Getty Images

Kyle Seager to miss far more time than initially expected

2 Comments

A few days ago Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager underwent surgery to repair a tendon in his left hand which he injured diving for a ball during a game last week. It was reported at the time that he was expected to be out through April.

Nope. Try June. That’s the report from Greg Johns of MLB.com who spoke with GM Jerry Dipoto who said that Seager will not even swing a bat for eight weeks, pushing his return to game action back even farther:

“He won’t be able to pick up a bat until the eighth week. It’s hard to believe we’ll shut him down for two-plus months and he’ll be able to hit MLB pitching in two weeks. So I suspect we’re probably looking more toward 10-12 weeks.”

That timetable puts Seager’s return in June, assuming no complications during recovery.

Seager, a Best Shape of His Life All-Star, was hoping for a bounce back season following a disappointing 2018 campaign in which he hit .221/.273/.400 with 22 home runs and 78 RBI in 630 plate appearances. Now he’ll endure the first season in which he’s not played in at least 154 games since 2011, which was his rookie season.

Tough break.

Straight-away center field will be 385 feet at London Stadium

Getty Images
6 Comments

Marley Rivera of ESPN has a story about some of the on-field and in-game entertainment, as well as some aspects of the field conditions, for this weekend’s London Series.

The fun stuff: a mascot race, not unlike the Sausage Race at Miller Park or the President’s race at Nationals Park. The mascots for London: Winston Churchill, Freddie Mercury, Henry VIII and the Loch Ness Monster. I suppose that’s OK but, frankly, I’d go with Roger Bannister, Shakespeare, Charles Darwin and Guy Fawkes. Of course no one asks me these things.

There will also be a “Beat the Streak”-style race which had better use the theme to “Chariots of Fire” or else what the heck are we even doing here.

They’ve also taught ushers and various volunteers who will be on-site to sing “Take me out to the ballgame,” which is a pretty good idea given how important that is to baseball. As a cultural exchange, I think some major league team should start using “Vindaloo” by Fat Les during the seventh inning stretch here. It’s a banger. It also seems to capture England a bit more accurately than, say, “Downton Abbey” or “The Crown.”

That’s all good fun I suppose. But here’s some stuff that actually affects the game:

The end result will have some interesting dimensions. The field will be 330 feet down each foul line, and it will have a distance of 385 feet to center field, which will feature a 16-foot wall. Cook also said it would have an expanded, “Oakland-like” foul territory, referencing the Athletics’ Oakland Coliseum expanse.

Those dimensions are unavoidable given that the square peg that is a baseball field is being shoved into the round hole that is a soccer stadium. As Murray Cook, MLB’s senior field coordinator tells Rivera, that sort of thing, while perhaps less than ideal, is at least in keeping with baseball’s strong tradition of irregular field conditions. It will, however, be one of the shortest dead center distances in baseball history.

Oh, and then there’s this:

Protective netting was also an important issue addressed when building the ballpark, with Cook stressing that his team has implemented netting that “is the largest you’ll ever see in any major league ballpark.”

[Craig makes a mental note to bookmark this for the next time MLB says it won’t mandate extended netting in the U.S. because doing so is too difficult]