2014 March

6thDoctor Frank Jobe, inventor of the “Tommy John” surgery, dies at the age of 88.

12thWith the prospects that they will lose their ace Kris Medlen to his second Tommy John surgery, the Braves sign a one-year contract with Ervin Santana. The deal is worth $14.1 million.

14thIn Jupiter, Florida, Zack Wheeler allows 3 hits, including a homer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, in 4 2/3 innings as the Mets lose to the Marlins, 1-0.  The Marlins are second in the Grapefruit League with an 11-5 record.  Tampa Bay leads with a 10-4 mark.

16thIn Panama, a day after Mariano Rivera threw out the first pitch in Panama City, and the Yankees lost to Miami, 7-0 on a no-hitter, New York turns it around and beats the Marlins, 5-0.  The Marlins make one hit against five Yankee pitchers with CC Sabathia going 5 innings.

19thReds closer Aroldis Chapman incurs a harrowing injury when he is hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of the Royals Salvador Perez during a spring training game. The fireballer sustains a fractured eye and nose and has a concussion. He will need a 3-inch titanium plate and 12 screws inserted in his head to stabilize the bones in his left eye socket. Despite the life threatening injury, he will return to action on May 11.

21stThe Dodgers open the 2014 season with a 3-1 victory over the Diamondbacks at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground (no S, mate), built in 1886, in Sydney, Australia. Significant changes were made at SCG to accommodate baseball and the field features 8-foot fences and foul poles at 328 feet. CF is 400 feet. Dirt for the pitcher’s mound was imported from the U.S. Clayton Kershaw gets the win with 6.2 innings and Scott Van Slyke hits the first HR of the season in front of a crowd announced at 38,267.

Yankee manager Joe Girardi successfully appeals an ump’s call through television replay for the first time. The appeal comes during a 5-4 spring training win over the Twins when Minnesota runner Aaron Hicks is called safe on a steal of 2B.

22nd  The Indians release veteran Jeff Francoeur, who hit .286 in spring training with 10 RBI. San Diego will sign him in 3 days and he will appear in 10 games in late July and August, hitting .083.

23rdRays pitcher Alex Colome is suspended for the first 50 games of the season for testing positive for steroids.

The Braves release veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia, who they had re-signed in January.  Freddy split the 2013 between Baltimore and Atlanta.

24thThe Tigers send UT Steve Lombardozzi to the Orioles in exchange for SS Alex Gonzalez.

25thThe Pirates obtain P Vance Worley from the Twins for cash.

An Associated Press study reveals that the Dodgers are ending the Yankees 15-year streak as baseball’s biggest spenders, with a projected payroll of $235 million. The Houston Astros are last with a payroll of $45 million.

29thMike Trout agrees to a 6-year extension on his contract with the Angels.  The deal is worth $144 million.

Anexhibition game in Montreal between the Blue Jays and Mets draws 50,229 fans making the case for reconsidering the city as a major-league venue; Last season, only 15 (0.6 percent) of 2,431 regular-season games drew a larger crowd.

31stThe Phillies defeat the Rangers, 14-10. Rookie P Seth Rosin hurls a scoreless inning in relief for Texas in his ML debut. He also likely makes history by appearing on a team’s Opening Day roster for the second time this year. He was on the Dodgers roster when they opened the season in Australia, but did not get in a game. He was then put on waivers and claimed by the Rangers prior to their opener.

In a bizarre start to the season in Anaheim, Vlad Guerrero is about to throw a ceremonial first pitch to Angels hitting coach Don Baylor who suddenly breaks his femur when he squats to catch the ball. Baylor will undergo surgery at UC-Irvine hospital and will be out of action for months. He is a survivor of multiple myeloma, a cancer that attacks bone marrow. Minutes before the accident, Guerrero had signed a one-day contract so that he could officially retire as an Angel.  The Angels then lose, 10-3, in the Opener, their ML-record 10thstraight opening day loss.

The Nationals beat the Mets, 9-7, in 10 innings. A total of 18 New York batters fan in the contest for the second-highest total for a team’s Opening Day game in ML history. The Mariners struck out 21 White Sox batters in 12 innings in their 1996 Opener. The Mets will set a record with another 13 strikeouts tomorrow.

The Cardinals edge the Reds, 1-0. It is the first Opening Day shutout suffered by Cincinnati since 1953. That streak of 60 consecutive openers scoring at least one run is second only to the Phillies run of 62 straight from 1911 through 1972.

Hoist the Jolly Roger. The Pirates defeat the Cubs, 1-0, on a 10th-inning walkoff homer by native son Neil Walker. He becomes the second player in ML history to hit an Opening Day walkoff homer in a game that was scoreless to that point. Bob Bailey turned the trick for Pittsburgh in 1965. Walker hit a grand slam against the Cubs in the Opener three years ago.