Monday, April 3, 2023

The Durham Bulls Are Back


Throwback Uniform — I like it

Quite possibly the worst opening home stand in Durham Bulls history. But, hey, the season is very, very young.

The Bulls lost all three games: 4-3, 4-13, and 4-7. So, they've shown they can score four runs. Now, how do they hold down the opposing team? Well, they sure won't do it by giving out bases on balls. Bulls pitchers issued 21 walks and gave up 9 home runs. Not auspicious. For now, the are firmly in last place in the International League. Standings.

Nevertheless, this roster looks pretty good. Nine on the 40-man, 4 position players and 5 pitchers. Mostly young players. 

Without checking history too closely, it seems to me that the first year with a new manager in Durham was usually pretty tough. I'd hope that's not what we're up against this year.

Meanwhile, MLB keeps piling on the weirdness in whatever the International League is going to be from year to year. This year, assuming I understand it, we have a 20-team league and no divisions. Whichever team is leading after 75 games wins the first half. The team out front at the end of the year wins the second half. And then they have a playoff for the championship.

But wait, there's more. We might be getting automated balls and strikes right here at the DBAP, any day now. Not sure whether it's going to be full-blown ABS or the version where appeals are allowed.

And even more. The home dugout has moved from the first base side to the third base side. I was worried that Ripken might get confused, but I think that the main person confused was me. I'll get used to it. Just like I've got used to living inside a cage while at a game.

The changes in the rules making such a stir in Major League Baseball were the norm here at AAA last year. The only new rule for us involves doing away with the extreme shifts. I'm happy with that. We saw at least one ground ball on Sunday that would have been an out last year. Still, we saw a couple of pitch clock violations over the early games (both pitcher and hitter). 

Patrick Kinas is back in the radio/TV booth doing his superb job. All home games, by the way, are televised. 1257 on Spectrum. 

Beautiful catch in the 8th last night. Video here.

Our favorite manager, Charlie Montoyo, is back. Now with the Chicago White Sox.

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