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  • 08 May 2019
    Bee-gate and other stories"Baseball history marches forth ...
    as always on
    Mondays ,
    Wednesdays, and Fridays, I bring a wildly popular Cubs-centric look at
    baseball’s past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we
    review select scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League
    Baseball history. The embedded links often point to articles that I’ve chosen as
    illustrative of the scenes, from The Society for American Baseball Research,
    reproductions of period newspapers, images, and other such material. It’s all
    lightly unpacked and folded neatly, just for you.You might learn something, but
    mostly, it’s for fun!Today in baseball history:1884 - National League owners
    agree to provide two separate team benches to minimize fraternizing among
    opposing players during games. (3)1886 - The National League meets and adopts
    the stolen base and the four foot by seven foot pitcher’s box. But the NL
    retains seven balls for a walk and rejects the American Association’s rule
    giving a batter first base on a hit by pitch. (3)1912 - Ground is broken on a
    new ballpark in Brooklyn, New York. The
    $650 Russell
    Martin Jersey
    ,000 ballpark is scheduled to be called “Washington Park”,
    but will be renamed for Brooklyn Dodgers president Charles Ebbets. Ebbets Field
    will open officially on April 9, 1913 and will serve as the Dodgers’ home until
    1957. (3)2004 - Commissioner Bud Selig announces major league baseball will
    celebrate “Jackie Robinson Day” in every ballpark on April 15, the anniversary
    of the debut of the first black player in the major leagues. Jackie’s number
    (42) was retired for all time in a ceremony at Shea Stadium in April of 1997 to
    mark the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s achievement. (1)2012 - A swarm of bees,
    that moved down the right field line and settled near the Giants’ dugout behind
    first base, causes two sections of fans to be evacuated, resulting in a
    41-minute delay of the Giants’ split squad game against the Diamondbacks. The
    Salt River Fields grounds crew uses a combination of lemonade and cotton candy
    obtained from the concession stand to lure the buzzing insects away from fans
    and players. (1)Cubs birthdays: Jim Korwan, Red Murray, Earl Tyree, Clyde
    McCullough, Dave Stevens. Also notable: Dazzy Vance (HoF)Sources:(1) — The
    National Pastime.(2) — Today in Baseball History.(3) — Baseball Reference.(4) —
    Society for American Baseball Research.(5) — Baseball Hall of Fame.Thanks for
    reading. #Cubsnews ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mike Minor will now do for the
    Rangers what Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish did the past three seasons in Texas.With
    those former Rangers aces in the visitors’
    dugout Josh
    Donaldson Jersey
    , Minor starts the season opener for Texas against the
    Chicago Cubs on Thursday. The left-hander’s first career opening day start comes
    only a year after his return to a rotation following shoulder surgery that led
    to him missing two entire seasons and then being a full-time reliever.“From
    being hurt for two years and not thinking I was ever going to throw again, pitch
    again in the big leagues, or pitch at all, to being the opening day starter,
    yeah it feels pretty good,” Minor said. “I even doubted myself because of the
    way I felt, and then once I was healthy, I didn’t doubt myself.”The opener also
    marks the managerial debut for new Rangers skipper Chris Woodward, the
    42-year-old former utility infielder who spent the past three seasons — and the
    last two World Series — as third base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers.It will
    be the final opener at the Rangers’ current ballpark, which is going into its
    26th season. A new retractable roof stadium is being built across the street.Joe
    Maddon starts his fifth season with the Cubs. The 65-year-old manager enters the
    final year of his contract after four consecutive playoff appearances and the
    2016 World Series title.Jon Lester makes his third consecutive opening day start
    for the Cubs, followed by Darvish and Hamels in the other two games of the
    opening series.Darvish, who began his big league career with the Rangers after
    coming from
    Japan ,
    started their 2017 opener before getting traded later that season to the Dodgers
    and then going to the Cubs in free agency last year. Hamels was the opening day
    starter for Texas in 2016 and 2018 before getting traded to the Cubs last
    summer.“Now it’s go time, get in front of the big crowds and big stadiums and
    everything starts to matter,” said Hamels, 38-21 with a 3.90 ERA in 88 starts
    for the Rangers, who acquired the lefty from Philadelphia during the 2015
    season.Minor is the only rotation holdover from last season for the
    Rangers.Edinson Volquez, who made his big league debut for Texas in 2005 and
    returned as a free agent last year while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, will
    start the second game Saturday. Right-hander Lance Lynn, who signed a three-year
    deal as a free agent during the offseason, goes Sunday.The 31-year-old Minor was
    the seventh overall pick by Atlanta in the 2009 amateur draft, and started for
    the Braves from 2010-14 before surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left
    shoulder. He missed all of 2015 and 2016 and then made 65 relief appearances for
    Kansas City in 2017 before turning down a $10 million player option because he
    wanted the chance to start again.The Rangers offered that opportunity with a $28
    million, three-year contract and he led them last season with 12 wins and 157
    innings, even while the team was cautious with him in his return to starting. He
    made 22 of his team-high 28 starts on extended
    rest J.A. Happ
    , and at times didn’t get the opportunity to go deeper into
    games.“There were some games last year I thought they were overly cautious.
    Maybe it worked out, maybe it paid off,” Minor said.After adjusting last spring
    to starting again, and then making it through the entire season, Minor said this
    spring felt normal.“I knew what to expect again. Last year was a new team … I
    had to learn all new coaches, all new teammates, had to be comfortable with
    myself, being around the team and everything,” he said. “This year feels a lot
    different. I feel way more prepared and know exactly what to expect out of my
    arm and what I used to feel really being a starter in Atlanta.”