The Associated Press baseball preview package is moving over the next two weeks. Because the Diamondbacks and Dodgers opened the season in Australia a week before other teams begin play, we will send the package in two parts.
Monday, March 24
BBO–Ramped-Up Relievers. With Mariano Rivera relaxing in retirement, David Robertson takes over for the greatest closer in baseball history. How will he fill the role? Well, no one expected Koji Uehara or Fernando Rodney to suddenly become completely unhittable, but somehow it happened. UPCOMING: By Ronald Blum. 650 words. AP Photos.
Tuesday, March 25
All other team previews.
BBN–East Capsules. 2,500 words.
BBN–Central Capsules. 2,500 words.
BBN–West Capsules. 2,500 words.
BBA–East Capsules. 2,500 words.
BBA–Central Capsules. 2,500 words.
BBA–West Capsules. 2,500 words.
Wednesday, March 26:
BBO–Top Rookies. Xander Bogaerts already has earned a World Series ring, Billy Hamilton is creating a buzz all around baseball and Jose Abreu could be the next impact player from Cuba. A look at the top rookies in the majors this year. By Jay Cohen. 650 words. AP Photos.
Thursday, March 27:
BBO–The Biogenesis Bunch. Ryan Braun got booed in spring training, Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta got new teams. It’s been a little bit different for the 13 players suspended late last season in the Biogenesis drug scandal. By Genaro Armas. 650 words. AP Photos.
Friday, March 28:
BBO–Baker’s New Life. A quick glimpse of his overgrown collard greens sends Dusty Baker straight to the shed for a pair of scissors and back to his impressive, organized garden for a small harvest. Baker the longtime baseball man is now Baker the focused gardener and businessman. While his sport is still close to his heart despite the sting of his firing after last season in Cincinnati, Baker is working on more than a half-dozen projects at once out of his Sacramento-area home – not to mention helping baseball-loving son, Darren and his freshman pals with their swings in the family batting cage. By Janie McCauley. 900 words. AP Photos by Eric Risberg.
Wednesday, March 19:
BBO-FROZEN FIELDS. In all his years as a groundskeeper for the Chicago White Sox, Roger Bossard has never faced anything quite like this. The snow that piled up at U.S. Cellular Field could be dealt with easily enough. It’s Chicago, after all. But the frost in the ground can be measured in feet, not inches. To ready the field for the first pitch, Bossard is overseeing an effort akin to blowing a gigantic hair dryer under a tarp to pump hot air onto the field and thaw it out. Groundskeepers all over baseball are scrambling to help their ballparks recover from months of snow and freezing temperatures. By Baseball Writer Noah Trister. 800 words. AP Photos.
Thursday, March 20:
BBO–Season Preview. By Baseball Writer Ben Walker. 800 words. AP Photos.
BBN–National League Preview. By Jay Cohen. 700 words. AP Photos.
BBA–American League Preview. By Janie McCauley. 700 words. AP Photos.
BBN–Diamondbacks Preview. By Bob Baum. 600 words. AP Photos.
BBN–Dodgers Preview. By Beth Harris. 600 words. AP Photos.
Friday, March 21:
BBO–Replay Wizards. Some teams have hired a person who will watch the clubhouse TV and decide whether it’s worth challenging an umpire’s call. Other clubs don’t want to say exactly how they’ll do it. Either way, the job of replay coordinator has become a big one. By Ben Walker. 650 words.