Listen, we know it's tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn't easy. It's okay, though. We're going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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We are all wondering how Kenta Maeda is going to do in his first season in MLB. He doesn't have the same hype or background of fellow Japanese starters who came out of Nippon Professional Baseball like Yu Darvish or Masahiro Tanaka, and his contract made it very clear that the league considers him a health risk. For at least one night, though, he was a star, as Maeda shut out the Padres for six innings while also hitting his first big-league homer. It was also the first Dodgers' dinger of the season, so don't feel too bad, Padres. Well, OK, you were shut out in the first three games of the season: you should feel pretty terrible.
So, we're yet to see Maeda pitch against a team that can score runs -- we have no evidence the Padres are capable of this, given they are on pace to score zero runs in 2016 and all -- but this was about all you can ask for out of a debut. He didn't walk anyone, he struck out four batters in six innings, and he added to his own cause. If this is a preview of things to come, the Dodgers' rotation might not be in such a bad place after all. It's a long season, though, so let's not get too excited/downtrodden about that.
As for the Padres, losing their first three games via shutout is embarrassing, but in the long run, doesn't mean much for them. San Diego could very well contend in 2016, but they're probably on the periphery of the real races even if they do, so if the result of the first half of the season is the Padres know for a fact they have to make midseason trades to hasten the rebuilding process, well, that's sort of going according to plan, anyway. It's just horrible to watch happen. But hey, at least they have new uniforms that actually look good for a change.
- Dexter Fowler's daughter couldn't stop saying hi to her dad when she saw him on television and it is as adorable as it sounds.
- John Gibbons made a sexist remark he thought was a joke after Tuesday's game, and on Wednesday, the Orioles' announcers still treated it like a joke.
- Eric Hosmer showed up at a Justin Bieber concert and was mobbed like the champion he is.
- Tony Massarotti wrote an article titled "Baseball's New Sissy Slide Rule" where he bemoaned not just the "wussification" of baseball, but also America, all through the lens of said slide rule. I read it for you so that you don't have to.
- While we're on the subject, letting Jose Bautista swat at an infielder's legs on a slide won't make baseball fun again. And was an illegal slide even before the "Utley Rule" that's apparently ruining America was even introduced.
- Chance the Rapper designed new White Sox hats, and they are good hats.
- These Rangers fans named their kids "Pudge" and "Odor" after their favorite players. Presumably without thinking at all about what school is going to be like for either of them.
- You should probably read this New York Times' feature on the "Unbearable Whiteness of Baseball."