Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

April 1, 2014

MLB season starts off with replays, metal detectors, comebacks

Jimmy Rollins began the season with a slam, Neil Walker with a walkoff homer and the Washington Nationals with a thrilling ninth-inning comeback.

After a frigid winter of blizzards for much of the U.S., baseball came storming back Monday when 26 major league teams opened their seasons and seemed to make the outdoors feel a little warmer.

Washington's Matt Williams and Detroit's Brad Ausmus won in their big league debuts as managers.

They weren't the only inaugurals.

There was an innovative replay system for umpires, and at some ballparks new metal detectors at fan entrances as teams installed the devices a year before Major League Baseball's industrywide requirement.

At U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, there were long lines as spectators were screened by hand held or walkthrough metal detectors.

"Everybody's safety is important and if Major League Baseball and the Chicago White Sox are trying to protect their fans that are loyal to them, I'm fine with that," said Paula Green of Paris, Ill.

On the field, there were five video reviews in the day games. In the two decisions overturned by umpires in the New York control room, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Emilio Bonifacio of the Chicago Cubs were called out at first base after initially being ruled safe. In the two of the three rulings confirmed, Washington's Danny Espinosa and the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija both were called out.

The other confirmed ruling was the first review to be initiated by a crew chief. Umpire Mike Winters requested a replay to see if A's catcher John Jaso had illegally blocked the plate while tagging Cleveland's Michael Brantley under baseball's new rule regarding home plate collisions.

Braun received a standing ovation at Miller Park in his return from a 65-game, season-ending suspension he accepted for violations of baseball's drug agreement and labor contract.

"Fans are fans. That's the way it's supposed to be. He's their hometown player and it was a wonderful reaction. I wish everybody well," said baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, the former Brewers owner who was on hand to watch his hometown team.

Nelson Cruz, who completed his 50-game suspension in time to return for Texas' season finale last fall, celebrated his Baltimore debut with a tiebreaking home run off Jon Lester in the seventh inning in the Orioles' 2-1 win over World Series champion Boston. Fans chanted "Cruuuuuze!" every time his name was announced.

"It was really neat, it was special," he said. "I made the right call to come and be part of this organization, be part of this town."

Rollins hit his 200th career homer in Philadelphia's 14-10 interleague win at Texas as the Phillies had 17 hits and scored their most runs in an opener since 1900. Rollins, whose wife is expecting their second child, flew to Texas on Sunday, a day after the rest of the team.

"I didn't want to come here and then have to fly to Philadelphia," Rollins said. "The baby has let me go out and play ball for a few more days."

Rollins connected off Tanner Scheppers, the first pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela of the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers to make his first big league start on opening day.

At Pittsburgh, Walker homered off Carlos Villanueva leading off the 10th inning to give the Pirates a 1-0, 10-inning win over the perennially hapless Chicago Cubs. He becomes the first Pittsburgh player to hit a game-ending home on opening day since Bob Bailey against San Francisco's Juan Marichal in a 1-0, 10-inning victory in 1965.

"This one feels pretty special," said Walker, who last year helped the Pirates finish with a winning record for the first time since 1992. "This is a special day for this team, this organization. We've come a long way."

Washington rallied for a 9-7 win at the New York Mets. Denard Span hit a tying double with two outs in the ninth off closer Bobby Parnell, and Ian Desmond put the Nationals in front for the first time with a sacrifice fly in the 10th and Anthony Rendon followed with a three-run homer.

"I have a stomach ache right now," Williams said. "I'll probably sleep good tonight."

Detroit beat visiting Kansas City 4-3 when Alex Gonzalez finished his Tigers debut with a winning RBI single in the ninth against Greg Holland. Kansas City lost its sixth straight opener but Salvador Perez's run-scoring double in the fourth ended a 22-inning scoreless streak for the Royals in openers.

St. Louis won 1-0 at Cincinnati behind Yadier Molina's seventh-inning homer off Johnny Cueto, the Reds' first shutout loss on opening day since 1953. Bryan Price lost his managing debut with Cincinnati.

Coming off a 63-99 season, their poorest record since 1970, the Chicago White Sox beat Minnesota 5-3. Tampa Bay beat Toronto 9-2 behind ace David Price, who wasn't sure he'd remain with the Rays during a winter of trade rumors.

Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes left the lineup after his first at-bat because of a tight left hamstring and was put on the disabled list. Reyes injured his left ankle in Toronto's 10th game last year and was sidelined until June 26.

Jose Fernandez struck out nine and allowed one run in six innings for the Miami Marlins in a 10-1 rout of visiting Colorado. The 21-year-old became the youngest NL opening-day starter since Dwight Gooden in 1986, according to STATS.

Nyjer Morgan hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the ninth inning against new Athletics closer Jim Johnson and visiting Cleveland sent Oakland to its major league-record 10th straight opening loss, 2-0.

Felix Hernandez struck out 11 in the new-look Mariners' 10-3 victory at the Angels. Robinson Cano went 2 for 4 with a double and an intentional walk in the $240 million second baseman's debut for new Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon. Mike Trout hit a two-run homer in the first inning for Los Angeles.

Buster Posey hit a two-run homer off new Arizona closer Addison Reed in the ninth inning and the visiting Giants rallied from four runs down for a 9-8 victory.

The final opener is Tuesday, when the New York Yankees start captain Derek Jeter's last season at Houston.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bassmaster.jpg Crossing, and fishing, the Delaware

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to compete Aug. 7

    BASS has fished out of some legendary venues over the years (including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans), but never Philadelphia, which is host of the Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, 2014.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mison.jpg Mixon’s attorney says incident with woman self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Stocks