What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday’s afternoon action

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Back in the day they used to call weekday day games “businessmen’s specials.” The idea being that some Don Draper-type might take the afternoon off from work and take in a ballgame. Or use the ballgame as an excuse, telling Betty Draper he’d be there while he was really at that Greenwich Village apartment with the beatnik greeting card artist woman who ended up being strung out on H or whatever happened later on. That was first season stuff, so I forget. You get the idea, though.

We don’t call them “businessmen’s specials” anymore because it’s 2016 and a lot has changed. Women being taken seriously as an important part of the workforce is the obvious one, but I think it’s also because the idea of a “businessman” is inherently ridiculous. Remember those “Kids in the Hall” sketches where literally the only joke was that things like “businessmen” exist? I couldn’t take that word seriously anymore after that, even if Skip Caray kept using the term well into the 1990s.

Anyway, we have a few day games today. They’re not businessmen specials. Let’s call them “work from home people’s distractions.” Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson), 1:05 PM EDT, Citizens Bank Park

Minnesota Twins (Ricky Nolasco) @ Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander), 1:10 PM EDT, Comerica Park

Boston Red Sox (Steven Wright) @ Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy), 2:15 PM EDT, Kauffman Stadium

Texas Rangers (Martin Perez) @ Oakland Athletics (Rich Hill), 3:35 PM EDT, Oakland Coliseum

Hold my calls, Peggy.

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.

The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.

Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.