[SI.com] For Australia, Dodgers-Diamondbacks is good look at curious sport - "To understand why to catch a foul ball was more rapturously received than the more athletic efforts on the field, you need to know your cricket. In cricket, the same ball is used for at least 80 overs. There are six deliveries -- six pitches in baseball currency -- in each over. That means the red ball is used 480 times before the umpires produce a shiny new one. And on those rare occasions when the batsman -- never batter -- hits the ball into the crowd? It is tossed back to the fielder and returned to service. "
[theguardian.com] Baseball in Sydney: hairy giants, meaty thocks and Miller beer - Big Kenley stands atop the Diamondbacks' throats with a series of piss-fast hot-rocks, and after two hours and 49 minutes the game peters out, as baseball games do, and we finish Dodgers of Los Angeles 3, Diamondbacks of Arizona 1. But! Major League Baseball? Lend us an ear: Come back. Please. For like our Lady Liberty and unlike Dr Pepper’s foul demon juice, Australians could easily get used to watching this at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and in consistently super numbers. Make it happen, money.
[FOX Sports] Australia opens its arms for Dodgers, Diamondbacks - Getting people energized for a special event is one thing, maintaining genuine interest over the course of a 162 game season is quite another. Still, there’s no denying that for one night, Sydney buzzed with an electricity generated by baseball. Officials hope this can be the first major step towards breaking into a new market for the MLB. Years from now, if that goal becomes a reality, we’ll all be able to look back at this night and agree, it really was groundbreaking.
[Electronics News] LA Dodgers rely on LED lights to combat jetlag in Sydney - Ah, that explains why we went 0-2... "In order to combat jet lag, reset circadian rhythms, and maintain focus, the Dodgers have turned to Lighting Science Group’s biologically-correct LED bulbs. Specifically, Lighting Science outfitted the team plane, training center, dugout, and hotel rooms in Australia with its patented Awake & Alert and Good Night lights, technology originally developed with NASA to mitigate the effects of circadian rhythm disruption experienced by astronauts on the International Space Station."
[UTSanDiego.com] Padres' eight roster cuts bring clarity - Told they will not be with the big league club Sunday, when the Padres open the season against the Dodgers at Petco Park were left-handers Patrick Schuster and Tony Sipp. As of early Monday afternoon, Schuster was in the process of going through waivers. Being that he is a Rule 5 selection, any team that claims Schuster must keep him on the big league roster all season. If he clears waivers, the Padres will offer him back to his previous team, the Diamondbacks, for $25,000. Sipp can opt out of his contract on Wednesday, assuming he is not on the major league roster.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks to ease back into routines - "We probably won't push them as hard as we would as we're in recovery from the trip," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We're just trying to get back on schedule. I guess one of the theories is you're more susceptible to injury when you tax your body like that."
[Yahoo] Yasiel Puig's maddening duality still in full effect in Year 2 - With a fully healthy outfield, four or five men worth, Mattingly will have opportunity to more delicately express his disappointment. For now, two games in, I assume Mattingly was mad at the world, mad at what he had to watch over the final two hours of game two, mad at 25 guys but focused on one, because this stuff finds Puig about as often as he finds it. Mattingly said of the Dodgers' broader execution. "This ends up getting you in trouble." That goes for Puig. That goes for all of them.
While we're covering other former Diamondback news the Giants released Tony Abreu, and the Chicago White Sox sent Matt Davidson to Triple-A. The latter appears more of a roster crunch than anything as Davidson had a solid spring, hitting .308 with two home runs, six RBIs, and a .906 OPS in 17 games.Said GM Rick Hahn, "I’m confident if we did need him at this point that he’d be fine at the big league level. But it’s more about making sure he is totally equipped to succeed, and that’s probably not too far off in the offing."
[Baseball Prospectus] The Simulated Seasons Where the Astros Make the Playoffs - BP run 50,000 simulations of the year to come up with the playoff percentage charts. Here, they take a look at some of the more outlying ones. Personally, I was a particular fan of the campaign which ended in a five-way tie for the first and second AL wild card spots, plus the east division title. I was also quite fond of the one where the Dodgers won only 73, though enthusiasm for it was dampened by the D-backs also finishing below .500.
[AP] Team president wants Marlins to play faster - "Pace of game is about our fans," Samson said. "It's very much a TV issue and an in-game-experience issue. No one is complaining about pace of game where it goes 12 innings and it's 3 hours and 20 minutes and it's a 5-4 game. That's not the issue. If it's a 3-1 nine-inning game that goes 3 hours and 12 minutes, that's not enjoyable... My hope is that we lower our average game time from last year to this year, and that we have the highest-percentage decrease of any team."
Minor league jersey of the week, by a landslide, goes to the Durham Bulls, who'll be wearing these on - when else? - May 4.: