Happy 1 year to The Opener
Yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of Sergio Romo throwing a pitch in the 1st inning against the Angels. And with it, shockwaves of hot takes, wondering, debate (both good and bad faith), and discussions of what this meant for baseball? Was it good? Was it evil? Was it pointless? A lot of those debates still rage.
Now, I would be doing a major disservice if I didn’t mention Andrew Kittridge. Sure, most of baseball credits Romo as the 1st “Opener”, and even the Rays official tweet showcases the anniversary date of Romo’s Open. However, Rays fans know it wasn’t Sergio who was the true first Opener, but actually Andrew Kittridge earlier in the year who was the middle reliever who got the 1st inning duty. When Sergio Romo did it, a well known World Series champion closer, it commanded headlines. But let the history books not forget Kittridge.
With that quibble aside, The Opener has been adopted around the league to a variety of levels of success or failure. It has been used to explain things that it very much does not do, as well as blamed for things it definitely has nothing to do with. Overall, it was weird, it was different, it was neat.
In other words: it was very Rays-y.
- How has a year of ‘the opener’ changed MLB? - Mike Petriello, MLB.com: A fun look back into one year of the Opener, and how it’s worked, who is trying it, and what it all means for modern MLB.
- A little scare late in Sunday’s game as Yandy Diaz was replaced after being hit on the hand, but it sounds like he will be okay:
Left hand contusion for #Rays Yandy Diaz. X-Rays negative and he is listed as day to day.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) May 19, 2019
- Rays’ Yandy Diaz says Yankees hit him intentionally; Daniel Robertson relieved he wasn’t hurt - Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times: Yandy takes issue with more Yankees beanballs. Diaz was the second Rays batter hit by the Yankees on sunday after Daniel Robertson had a scary HBP earlier in the game. I’m not sure if either was intentional, but what I do know is that CC Sabathia is causing some serious issues and his old school, macho BS attitude should retire along with him (and both hopefully soon).
- Some fantastic work by the Rays media team with videos following various Rays in New York:
- Austin Meadows was mic’d up before Saturday’s game. Meadows ended up with the game winning go-ahead HR to win it in extras, so maybe Austin needs to be mic’d up more?
- Jake Cronenworth is the Rays latest two-way experiment - Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times: Another two-way player for the Rays, this time just a call away in Durham.
- The most productive team at each position - Matt Kelly, MLB.com: Rays represent as the most productive starting pitching unit in baseball.
have ballpark proposals gone too far? pic.twitter.com/RfW1irnCNw— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) May 19, 2019
Around the League
- Maddon drops protest, ‘though I still don’t agree’ - Jeff Seidel, MLB.com: The bespectacled duel between Maddon and Sean Doolittle seems mostly a war of words rather than action.
- Called Up: Brendan Rodgers - Eric Longenhagen, Fan Graphs: One of the top prospects in the game is getting the call.
- The Marlins Are Bad Enough to Have a Shot at History - Jay Jaffe, Fan Graphs: This headline will hurt Mets fans more after a weekend sweep by those potentially historically bad Marlins.