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San Francisco Giants ballpark getting new name

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The Giants ballpark is getting a new name as of today: Goodbye “AT&T Park,” Hello “Oracle Park.” That’s part of a 20-year naming-rights deal the team is signing with giant technology company Oracle.

The ballpark has been known as AT&T Park since 2006. Before that it was SBC Park. Before that it was Pac Bell Park. Before that they played in what was once called Candlestick Park but, near the end there, was called 3Com Park at Candlestick Point, which was frankly ridiculous.

All of which is to say that, nah, it’s hard to get too worked up over this one way or the other. At least “Oracle” is a real word instead of initials, so it’s a bit more natural to write or say. It’d be a different case if the ballpark was once known as “Willie Mays Field” or “San Francisco Stadium” or something a little more stately, a little less commercial and imbued with something approaching civic pride.

It’s a beautiful ballpark, but it’s always had dumb corporate names and likely always will. Life goes on.

Report: Angels to sign Cody Allen

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.

Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.

The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.