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Dodgers set new Opening Day record with eight home runs

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The Dodgers brought the lumber, kicking off the 2019 regular season at home against the Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon. The club mashed eight home runs, setting a new Opening Day record. The previous record was six, accomplished only twice: by the White Sox against the Royals on March 29 last year, and by the Mets against the Expos on April 4, 1988.

The dingers:

Eight-homer games don’t happen often after Opening Day, either. The Dodgers’ outburst on Thursday was just the 25th eight-homer game since 1908, according to Baseball Reference. It’s the sixth eight-homer game since 2010.

The Dodgers went on to win 12-5. The eight homers allowed marks a new record for D-Backs pitching in a single game. Their previous record was six homers allowed, accomplished on seven different occasions.

Report: MLB owners want a 48-game season

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We’ve heard the back and forth between players and owners on money, on safety, on the size and the shape of the season. But not until now have we heard just how little baseball Major League Baseball and its owners actually want: 48 games.

That’s all they want, at least if they have to, as agreed, pay players their prorated salaries on a per-game basis. That’s the report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who writes this morning on the state of the current negotiations.

Passan’s article has a lot more than that. It contains a number of financial calculations about how much teams say they stand to lose per game played under any given scenario. That said, given the near total opacity when it comes to owner finances, we have no real way to evaluate the claims. The players have a bit more access to league financials, but even they are reported to be unsatisfied with what the owners have shared in that regard. So, while interesting, nothing Passan presents there is really convincing. It stakes out the positions of the parties but doesn’t really tell us much about the merits.

Which is to say that a 48-game schedule sounds like either (a) a bluff aimed at getting the players to offer financial concessions; or (b) a declaration from the owners that they’d prefer almost no baseball if it means that they have to lose any money. The whole “we’ll happily take the benefits of a good market but won’t bother if there’s a chance we might lose money” approach I’ve lambasted in this space before.

We’ll see soon which it is.