My apologies for getting this up so late. I just went through a hell week of sorts at my school, needing to have the next 3 weeks of lessons finished in one week for a credit recovery-style class some of my students will attend for failing the first 9 weeks of school. Like several teachers, I chose instead to focus on getting the past 8 weeks ready, rather than the next three. Anyway, enough about me. Let's jump right in to the news around baseball.
- We all know the Houston Astros will be moving from the NL Central to the AL West next season, and with the move the Astros were planning on making some other changes. One of them was to be a new logo, and it appears as though the logo was accidentally leaked at a sporting goods store.
- After Brandon McCarthy and now Doug Fister were hit in the head recently by batted balls while on the mound, MLB is looking to fast-track headliners to protect pitchers. It will definitely be an adjustment for pitchers if they are required to wear helmets, so I'd expect that if MLB does mandate some sort of protection in the future, it will have to be something thin and lightweight. Whatever you do, MLB, just don't make it be another Great Gazoo helmet.
- Have you ever been desperate for tickets to an important game? I know I was for Game 163 a few years ago, enough so that my roommate had about 6 of those virtual waiting room tabs open on his computer to purchase tickets (he ended up getting randomly chosen in 2 of them and was able to buy 6 tickets). Well, there's a person in Detroit that wants to go to the World Series so badly that he's offering up a house in exchange for tickets. Now, you can look at it two ways. On one hand, the house isn't anything great, as it's missing doors, windows, and a toilet, according to the article. On the other hand, it's worth significantly more than the tickets, as the house would go for as much as $5,000 on the open market, whereas standing-room tickets would be $718. I don't know, but between a fixer-upper and witnessing a World Series game with my favorite team, I think I'd stick with the game.
- Japanese high school pitcher Shohei Otani has expressed the desire to sign with an MLB team rather than joining the Japanese Nippon Professional Baseball, but it looks like he'll have to ward off at least one NPB team nevertheless. Otani had told NPB teams to not pick him in their draft. However, that did not stop the Nippon Ham Fighters, as they drafted Otani first overall on Thursday. It's not necessarily a futile attempt to keep Otani in Japan, as now MLB teams will have to wait a few months before they can negotiate a contract with Otani since he was drafted in the NPB. Good luck to to the Fighters, but I see Otani staying true to his word (especially since money is not as much of a driving factor over in Japan) and coming over to the States sometime later this winter.
- Speaking of Japan, MLB has opened a few seasons over there, including this past season, but they have their eye on a different country for the 2014 season. That year, it's very possible that the Los Angeles Dodgers will open in Australia, with the Arizona Diamondbacks being called the likely team to join them. It would be a chance for MLB to extend their international profile, especially with many teams possessing Australian-born players now. Also, while there is a 6-hour time difference between Sydney and Los Angeles, the games could easily start at noon in Australia and Californians would be seeing the games at 6 pm. I really like this idea and I'd like to see it happen.