MLBits: Happy Opening Day, Sunday Morning Baseball, Improved MiLB Conditions, Happy Birthday to The Sandlot, More

Happy Opening Day!

MLB-Peacock Strike a Deal for ‘Sunday Morning Baseball’

This is pretty cool! Major League Baseball has struck a deal with NBC’s streaming service Peacock TV to bring baseball back to NBC. The new agreement will bring baseball fans a ‘Sunday Morning Baseball’ offering that includes 18 consecutive Sundays with baseball. This mashup of the old NBC ‘Game of the Week’ intro and modern-day footage is pretty sweet.

Peacock’s ‘Sunday Morning Baseball’ will kick off on May 8 when the White Sox take on the Red Sox at Fenway Park at 10:30 am (ct). I don’t know about you guys, but FOX Saturday Baseball was a staple of my childhood. I loved catching a national broadcast at Noon on FOX and then heading out to the park to play baseball with my friends for the rest of the day. Saturdays were the best during that era (1996-2006).

Now I get to get up with my kids and catch a Sunday morning game before heading to their baseball and softball games. The length of the deal between MLB and NBC/Peacock isn’t known yet, but it is reportedly a multi-year agreement between the two sides. If you are an Xfinity customer, Peacock’s premium tier of their streaming service is included in your plan and can be accessed through the apps selection on your Xfinity box.

Opening Day Trade!

When the MLB lockout ended last month, we knew that the offseason 2.0 would run throughout much of Spring Training, but now we’ve reached Opening Day and still see noteworthy trades happen. A.J. Preller (of course) is at it again, acquiring Minnesota reliever Taylor Rogers and outfielder Brent Rooker for Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagan.

Paddack has struggled the past two seasons (5.07 ERA in 2021 and 4.73 in 2020) but is just two years removed from a phenomenal 2019 rookie season where Paddack posted a 3.33 ERA over 26 starts for the Padres. The Twins are hoping that the step down from Rogers to Pagan in the bullpen isn’t too steep and that they can return Paddack to his 2019 form for a rotation that is littered with question marks to open the season.

Brett has more on the trade this morning:

Top Prospects Making Opening Day Rosters

Opening Day will feature the MLB debuts of a handful of top prospects around baseball this season, including the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, Detroit’s Spencer Torkelson. Kansas City’s 2019 first-rounder Bobby Witt Jr. and Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez are among some of the biggest names to make the leap right out of Spring Training this season.

It’s nice to see teams valuing their prospects and letting them make their rise to the majors organically rather than holding them in the minors to extract an additional year of contract control out of them.

Improved Housing Conditions for MiLB Players

Speaking of improvements for minor leaguers and young players, Major League Baseball’s new housing policy is receiving rave reviews from players around the league. Orioles’ minor leaguer Cole Uvila recalls sleeping in a bathtub last summer to find some comfort during a heatwave that made their “budget” apartment unbearable to sleep in. Uvila’s roommate chose to sleep in his car with the vehicle running all night to have air conditioning. According to Uvila, who now has a comfortable and fully-furnished studio apartment for him, his wife, and their dog to live in, the days of sleeping in bathtubs are over for MiLB players.

Cubs farmhand Max Bain shared some photos of his new place in South Bend, where the Cubs’ High-A affiliate plays, on Twitter:

Happy Birthday to The Sandlot

One of the greatest baseball movies of all time, The Sandlot, was released in theaters 29 years ago today.

This is a reminder that The Sandlot gave us the greatest 4th of July scene of all time:

Extra Innings …

•   CC Sabathia is taking a job with Major League Baseball as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner:

•   A statement from Sabathia on his new role:

•   Way to make me feel old today, Jon.

•   Happy Opening Day, Cubs fans! Hopefully, Mother Nature cooperates this afternoon.

•   The Baltimore Orioles have changed the left field wall at Camden Yards, pushing back 26 1/2 feet into the seating area and raising it from 7 feet, 4 inches to an even 13 feet. The distance to the left-field foul pole will remain unchanged at 333 feet, but the distance to true left field will be pushed back to 384 feet. The new distance to left-center will be 400 feet; the distance to the visiting bullpen will remain unchanged at 380 feet, as will the rest of the park dimensions towards center and right field.

written by

Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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