MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 4/5/2024

Something is rotten in the state of California.

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It was a slow day for baseball action on Thursday, with only six games taking place during the league’s first big travel day. Despite this, there was still plenty of off-the-field news to digest. Here are the biggest things to know from Thursday’s headlines across the league:


Today’s Headlines


Athletics Find Temporary Home in Sacramento


The migration of the Oakland Athletics to Las Vegas has been widely criticized among fans and journalists alike as owner John Fisher seeks to relocate the franchise from its home since 1968. With the team’s lease at Oakland Coliseum expiring at the end of this season and the team failing to reach a deal for an extension just days ago, the team’s short-term future was very much in doubt until their relocation to Vegas a few years from now. Early Thursday morning, we got an answer for the team’s plans for 2025 and beyond:

It seems the Oakland Athletics will be the Sacramento Athletics (or, as Evan Drellich reports, just the Athletics/A’s) for the next few seasons before the stadium in Las Vegas is constructed. Construction on said stadium appears to be underway, as one of the city’s oldest casinos, the Tropicana, closed its doors after 67 years to make room for the ballpark.

The A’s new home stadium, Sutter Health Park, doesn’t have quite the same capacity or amenities as Oakland Coliseum. The park is the home of the Sacramento River Cats, the AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Jeff Passan cites the park as having a maximum capacity of around 14,000, a far cry from the 63,000 capacity of the Coliseum. There’s also much less space in foul territory for players to field the ball:

This news is the latest of several sad developments in this story for the Oakland faithful, who have seen the relocation of the NBA’s Warriors across the bay to San Francisco and the NFL’s Raiders, also to Las Vegas, in the past few years. It’s a disservice to the league, the fans, the city, the players, the team staff, and the storied franchise as a whole that will leave a bad taste in the mouth of anyone who hears the name “John Fisher” for decades to come. To support the fans of the Athletics, look no further than Last Dive Bar:


Dodgers Fan Pressured to Relinquish Ohtani Homer


Late on Wednesday night, superstar Shohei Ohtani hit his first home run in a Dodgers uniform during the team’s 5-4 win over the Giants:

It was a crucial moment in a close game, with the ball caught by Dodgers superfan Amber Roman. She and her husband, Alexis Valenzuela, were understandably elated at the moment. It’s some good, pure baseball joy.

Unfortunately, this is where the good news ends when it comes to this story. You would probably think Shohei’s first homer as a Dodger would be worth a decent chunk of change, and you’d be right–Chris Ivey of Heritage Auctions estimates the ball was worth at least $100,000. So what did Roman and her husband receive for their good fortune? A couple of signed hats and other memorabilia.

Roman was pressured by Dodgers security to give up the baseball for far less than it was worth and ended up with the signed merchandise instead of a chance to earn life-changing money, or at the very least a chance to meet Ohtani. There are a lot of moving pieces and things to digest about this situation, so I implore you to read Sam Blum’s article on The Athletic to get all the details.


Marlins’ Young Star to Undergo Tommy John


Late in Spring Training, budding Marlins star pitcher Eury Pérez was diagnosed with inflammation in his pitching elbow and it was announced he would begin the season on the 15-day IL. On Thursday, the news got much worse as our worst fears were realized:

It’s a gargantuan blow for the Marlins and baseball fans in general, as Pérez was one of the most promising young pitchers in the game. The 21-year-old posted a 3.15 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP while collecting 108 strikeouts across 91.1 innings in his rookie season last year. The Marlins seemed to do everything they could to manage Pérez’s innings to mitigate injury risk while still giving him valuable big-league experience, which makes this injury all the more tough to digest. The good news is that Pérez is still young and plenty talented, meaning he should still have a long and successful big-league career ahead of him post-recovery. Get well soon, Eury.


Best Moments From Yesterday


Mets Walk it Off for First Win of Season


Well, that certainly was a trio of depressing headlines. Let’s try to lighten up a bit, shall we? There were still plenty of fun moments across baseball on Thursday, including a walkoff hit by Tyrone Taylor in the second game of a doubleheader to give the Mets a 2-1 victory over the Tigers in their first win of the season.

It was the first walk-off hit of Taylor’s career and the first loss of the season for the Tigers, who leave New York with an impressive 5-1 record.


Alonso Tallies 500th RBI


Just before Taylor’s heroics, Pete Alonso played his part in the Mets’ 9th-inning comeback, launching his second home run of the season to record the 500th RBI of his career. Alonso golfed a pitch from Alex Faedo to left-center field to tie the game at one run apiece to reach the milestone.


Two Patties with Cheese


Even in a loss, it was a big day at the plate for Jake Burger, who hit two home runs in an 8-5 loss to the Cardinals, going back-to-back with Josh Bell in the fifth inning.

The St. Louis native did his best to ruin the Cardinals’ home opener, but a five-run seventh gave the home team a come-from-behind win. The Marlins are still searching for their first victory of the season at 0-8 and will look to finally get in the win column on Saturday in St. Louis.


Tigers Pitcher Returns to Bigs


After a couple of years dealing with injuries, former top prospect Casey Mize took the bump in the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader. Mize allowed three runs across 4.1 innings pitched but threw 86 pitches in his first big league action since 2022. Here’s hoping Mize can stay on track and continue to develop throughout the year.


50 Years of Hammerin’ Hank


Fifty years ago, Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth for the league’s all-time home run record with 714. Relive the legendary moment here:


Injuries and Other Moves


⚾ Marlins SPs Braxton Garrett and Edward Cabrera will both make rehab starts for AAA Jacksonville over the weekend.

⚾ White Sox P Mike Clevinger was officially signed to a one-year, $3 million contract.

Astros RP Bennett Sousa underwent season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.

Cardinals SP Sonny Gray threw a 54-pitch simulated game on Wednesday.

⚾ Twins 3B Royce Lewis received a PRP injection.

Cardinals C Willson Contreras missed Thursday’s game after being hit by a pitch, but X-rays came back negative on his left hand.

Cardinals 2B/OF Brendan Donovan is day-to-day with a right elbow contusion.

⚾ P Cory Abbott was released by the Mariners.


Articles You Should Read


Let John Fisher’s A’s leave Oakland, and let’s see who’s better off Marcus Thompson II, The Athletic

A’s move will mean layoffs, ballpark alterations, and a chance to showcase Sacramento Evan Drellich, The Athletic

One magic town. 60 pro players. And they’re all related to Ronald Acuña Jr. Matt Monagan, MLB.com


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Christian Otteman

Christian Otteman is a hopelessly optimistic Cubs fan living in Milwaukee just looking to share his love of this beautiful game with others. He is especially a fan of the wild and weird things that only a game like baseball can produce. While he's not watching baseball, Christian is playing golf, hosting trivia, and working on his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Marquette University.

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