How vain it is to sit down to write when you haven't stood up to live?
Mariners doing it BIG in 2013. The Seattle franchise will debut Major League Baseball’s largest high def screen this spring, measuring in at 56.7’ high x 201.5’ wide. More info via KREM below:
For those who want to geek out on the specs, the Mariners write:
The new Panasonic HD video screen will combine 1080p x 3840 screen resolution and Surface Mount LED technology, which uses more pixels and therefore produces higher quality images. Paired with the latest ANC Sports VisionSOFT operating system, Safeco Field’s new video screen will have image quality that is superior to broadcast HD signals. VisionSOFT is the first 64-bit operating system in large format live event display.
“1080p live sports is an experience unavailable in ballparks or to home viewers until now. It’s like the difference between normal HD programming and a Blu-ray disc, except displayed on an enormous scale. You’ll be able to see details like blades of grass and the texture of the infield dirt. Fans will be amazed when they see it,” said Dave Curry, Seattle Mariners Vice President of Technology.
The Mariners said the video screen and other production upgrades are part of an estimated $15 million maintenance and capital improvement plan for Safeco Field. The Mariners said it has invested over $80 million in the ballpark since it opened.
The Mariners open the home schedule April 8 against their new division rival, the Houston Astros. In addition to the video board, the outfield walls are being moved in with the hopes of providing more home runs at the stadium.
Have you heard of this kid, yet?
While the baseball world is busy drooling over Pablo ‘Kung Fu Panda’ Sandoval’s record-breaking World Series MVP performance, another player in the Major League Baseball limelight has a much firmer grasp on my attention. Shohei Otani is a name to be remembered. Whether his career reaches American superstardom or not, he will forever be known as the kid that changed the game for young Japanese players aspiring to go pro in Bigs.
This wouldn’t be the first time a prominent Japanese sensation found his name in the headlines for wanting to play in the world’s top professional baseball league. Ichiro Suzuki, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Yu Darvish were three of the most notable names to join MLB clubs after departing from their Japanese homeland. When Otani adds his name to the list of Japanese players in the MLB, he will have reached his goal in a much different way. The drastic difference is all about timing, as the 18-year-old Otani is choosing not to wait around, electing to bypass playing professional ball in Japan altogether. Otani isn’t alone either—see 18-year-old Takuya Tsuchida a player that just signed with Cleveland—as they are apart of a growing trend of young players darting to the MLB far before they hit their prime.
Although the influx of young international talent into MLB organizations can be seen as a great thing to expand the global interest of baseball worldwide, it is also a cause for concern for general managers and ownership in Japanese professional leagues overseas. Losing a few impact players in their mid-twenties like Darvish and Suzuki is nothing new, but losing budding teenage talent courted by MLB scouts on a basis of potential alone can open devastating floodgates when weighing a league’s appeal and sustainability.
Japanese baseball has recognized this issue as a serious red flag, and many are questioning if change is on the horizon set to hinder young players from becoming MLB eligible straight out of high school. Back in 2008, Junichi Tazawa became the first amateur player to bypass the Japanese draft. As a result, a bitter rule was instituted as if to force players to think twice about leaving, stating that a player is unable to sign with a Japanese club for up to three years if a short stint in the MLB didn’t happen to pan out. Following Otani’s announced departure, Japan’s 12 professional teams joined together to address how to move forward with their young talent pool now at an unprecedented level of vulnerability.
Like I said, remember the name. Otani may be the last Japanese teen you see in a MLB uniform. Good thing he can throw it 100mph, he’ll be a fan favorite in no time.
Unbelievably awesome read on the strange trip of Dock Ellis. No footage has ever surfaced, so this is as close as you can get to reading/listening about the epic no-hitter thrown by the Pittsburgh Pirate while he was off in his own world, tripping on the psychedelic drug LSD from the airplane read to the final pitch. Unreal.
I didn’t see the hitters. All I could tell was if they was on the right side or the left side. The catcher put tape on his fingers so I could see the signals.
Crown ‘em! King Felix just threw a perfect game for the Seattle Mariners, the first in franchise history, just the 23rd EVER in MLB.
[image via Deadspin—thank you, they are always on top of their shit]