MLB considers changing the order of batting practice

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At present, the home team takes batting practice first followed by the visitors. Major League Baseball is considering changing that order, however.

The reason: if the home team takes BP second, perhaps more fans of the local nine will show up early to watch BP and will then buy beer and hot dogs and foam fingers and all of that jazz. As it is now, if you want to see the home team take BP, you have to kill a lot more time at the ballpark while the bad guys from another city take their hacks, and that might deter you from bothering.

As Joel Sherman notes in his story about it at the Post, there is a bit of hitch to the plan: it would require the visiting team to show up to the park even earlier than they already do, making for a longer day when they’re already away from home. One would think, however, that being able to show up later when you’re at home, giving players a bit more time with the wife and kids, would make up for it.

Who knows. Worth watching, though.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”