Play Ball! Major League Baseball Has Returned.

Dodgers vs. D-Backs Saturday -- In Australia

Friday, March 21, 2014
Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw
- photo by Tim Evearitt
SYDNEY -- After a long fall, winter and spring of waiting, the time has come. The Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Major League Baseball and fans across the globe can all celebrate together, because the season is finally here.

The quest for the 110th World Series opens on Saturday in Sydney, where the National League West rival D-backs and Dodgers lift the lid on the Opening Series at the hallowed Sydney Cricket Ground. A sellout crowd of close to 45,000 is expected Down Under for the game, which is slated to begin at 7 p.m. Sydney time, or 4 a.m. ET and 1 a.m. PT/MST if you're scoring at home back in the States.

The pitching matchup pits two left-handers against one another, with reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw getting the ball for Los Angeles. Arizona's Wade Miley was pressed into duty when the D-backs got the unfortunate news prior to their 15-hour flight to Australia that staff ace Patrick Corbin had suffered an elbow injury that will likely knock him out for the year.

The Dodgers want to take the next step after falling two wins short of the World Series in a six-game loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series. The D-backs want to return to contention after two seasons of .500 ball.

It all starts when Miley pitches to Dodgers leadoff hitter, Yasiel Puig, and it's safe to say that both teams are glad that these games count. Puig, who opens the 2014 season in the Dodgers' starting lineup, played his first 40 games of 2013 playing for the Chattanooga Lookouts.

For the D-backs, it will be a slightly different group. Arizona traded for slugger Mark Trumbo in the offseason, signed veteran starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo and added closer Addison Reed.

The loss of Corbin will hurt, but the team has young alternatives in Randall Delgado and possibly Archie Bradley, a 21-year-old top prospect who could be with the D-backs at some point in 2014.

The Dodgers weren't sitting home for much of last October, but they weren't around for the ultimate seven-game series. They have plans on getting over that hump this time around, and they've attempted to fortify their roster in an attempt to do so, bringing in veteran right-hander Dan Haren and lefty Paul Maholm for starting depth, adding Chris Perez to a deep bullpen, and signing veteran utility man Chone Figgins while returning the main nucleus of their division-winning club.

"We feel like we're tough," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We were down 10 games in the division and ended up winning by 10 or 11. To me, we went through a lot. We're not afraid of the field."

And now the Dodgers and D-backs meet on this field, in the middle of an iconic cricket stadium halfway around the world. They've brushed aside the jet lag, gotten used to the novelty of a foreign country and a converted cricket pitch, and they're ready.

--- Source: MLB.com

Don Mattingly
Don Mattingly
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

Dalton State's S.M. Lee Named National Player Of The Week

S.M. Lee of Dalton State (Ga.) has been named the NAIA National Men's Golfer of the Week, the national office announced  Wednesday . Lee was selected based on his performances from March 20 – 26 and was chosen out of a pool of conference, Association of Independent Institutions and unaffiliated group winners.   National Golfer of the Week S.M. Lee, Dalton State ... (click for more)

Covenant Women's Tennis Wins 9-0 Over Piedmont

For a second time in three conference matches, the Covenant women's tennis team produced a shutout as the Lady Scots claimed a 9-0 victory at Piedmont in USA South action  on Tuesday  afternoon. Covenant (8-6, 3-0 USA South) remains perfect in league play with the win. Piedmont drops to 5-8 overall and 2-2 against the USA South. Doubles play was controlled ... (click for more)

Boyd Says $4.1 Million In County Budget Cuts Would Yield $43.1 Million For School Projects; Proposes That CSLA Move To Dalewood

County Commission Finance Chairman Tim Boyd on Wednesday recommended $4.1 million in county budget cuts, which he said would provide bond funds for $43,150,000 in county school projects. He recommended that $250,000 of the money from the cuts go to relocating Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts (CSLA) to Dalewood Middle School. He said Dalewood students could move to a portion ... (click for more)

Police Shoot And Kill Sheriff's Office Employee, Daniel Hendrix After Disorder At Brainerd Home; 2 Off-Duty City Officers Were At Scene Of Altercation Where Shot Was Fired

Chattanooga Police responded to an altercation at a house in Brainerd early Wednesday morning and wound up shooting and killing an armed man, who is an employee of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. Police said two off-duty Chattanooga Police officers were at the scene of the disorder in the 300 block of Shawnee Trail. A shot was fired before officers arrived at 1:26 a.m. ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: OK, Sis, Off You Go

I’ve got to do something to adjust my sense of humor but fear there is not a big enough wrench. Rasmea Yousef Odeh, who is a naturalized American citizen from Jordan, was one of the principal figures in January’s Women’s March on Washington and had an equal starring role in the most recent “Day Without Women” protests in America. I’m all for equal rights for women yet I was appalled ... (click for more)