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Videos: Johnny Bench complains about Opening Day

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Hall of Famer Johnny Bench did a few videos for Kingsford Charcoal in which the catcher complains about what Major League Baseball’s Opening Day has become. The videos are titled “Sadness”, “Anger”, and “Disgust”.

Bench complains that some teams open the season at night, rather than during the afternoon. Or some teams open a day later than other teams. In his perfect world, all 30 teams open the season on the same afternoon.

The videos direct users to a Kingsford-sponsored petition called “Take Back Opening Day”.

Bench has had his complaining cap on a lot lately. Last month, he lamented the lack of “chin music” in baseball.

(Tip of the cap to Ted Berg of USA TODAY on finding these videos.)

Shohei Ohtani medically cleared to begin a throwing progression

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The Angels released a medical update on P/DH Shohei Ohtani Thursday evening. Ohtani was reevaluated by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The right-hander’s sprained UCL showed improved healing and, as a result, he has been cleared to begin a throwing progression.

Ohtani, 24, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow after his June 6 start against the Royals and hasn’t pitched since, though he has been in the lineup as a hitter since July 3. It was initially believed he would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then the thought was that Ohtani wouldn’t pitch again for the rest of the season, but this update suggests a possibility he could return to the mound before the season is over.

In nine starts, Ohtani put together a 3.10 ERA with a 61/20 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he batted .283/.365/.522 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 157 plate appearances.