Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Thursday, March 16.
Adam Jones and Eric Hosmer launched two bombs, and I mean bombs to lead the USA to a 4-2 win over Venezuela last night in the ongoing World Baseball Classic. Jones’ shot tied the game at 2 in the last of the 8th and Hosmer’s blast was a two-run shot in the same inning to put the USA ahead. Those had to be bombs-Petco Park in San Diego is one of the toughest parks in baseball to hit a home run out of. Built to accommodate steroid-addled hitters, Its cavernous size made sense in the steroid era but it leads to dull games now especially considering its tenants are the San Diego Padres. All you need to know about the place is Ryan Braun-a known user-is the only man to hit 3 home runs in a game there. The Classic has been held in this hitter’s graveyard twice before. Adam Jones and Eric Hosmer, two All-Stars who wouldn’t be seen dead in Padres’ colors were men enough to clear the distant fences in last night’s contest which Venezuela thought they had won after a Rougned Odor dinger made it 2-0 in the 7th. The USA and Puerto Rico have each won their first game. Tonight Venezuela must win over the Dominican Republic (Who won the last Classic in 2013) to have any hope of survival.
While talking heads criticized the likes of Bumgarner, Syndergaard and DeGrom for not appearing, the Mariners’ Drew Smiley matched outs with his new teammate King Felix Hernandez through the first 5 innings. Hosmer has been here before. He was the MVP of the 2016 All-Star game, also played at Petco Park. Venezuela is behind the eightball now in two ways. Not only did they lose, they lost a second starter to injury. Already minus catcher Salvador Perez (knee injury) they lost Martin Prado possibly for the tournament with a pulled hamstring.
I know a lot of guys will be watching March Madness. I for one will listen to my old friend and current Phillies’ broadcaster Tom mcCarthy broadcast the NCAA from Orlando on Westwood 1. As for spring training games today, Atlanta’s WIFN radio has the only coverage of the Braves-Tigers game if you have the inclination and opportunity to listen. The Twins-Cards game is on KMOX and a radio broadcast of it is on MLB.com with the Twins’ announcers. The Blue Jays’ network has the only coverage of the Jays-Yankees game from Dunedin, the Jays’ cozy little spring training home. Balls sailed out of there before_ the steroid era. WTMJ has the Brewers game with the D-Backs. KLAC in Los Angeles has the Dodgers’ game with the Cubs. Both the Indians and A’s will broadcast their game today exclusively on the Internet. KIRO in Seattle has the Mariners-Royals game. The Angels-Rockies game will be broadcast by both teams’ radio network. At 6 PM, the Phillies face the Orioles and their broadcast can be heard on WIP in Philly. The Red Sox’ radio network has their game with the Pirates.0