Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Sports

Greinke's lack of enthusiasm angers Aussies

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Organizers of Major League Baseball's season-opening series in Australia are upset about comments made by Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke, who told ESPN that he was not excited about the trip.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Australian officials have reached out to the Dodgers and Major League Baseball for an explanation. The officials are "holding off on making comment until they've spoken to relevant parties in America," according to the newspaper.

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are scheduled to open the regular season at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 22-23, more than a week before any other team opens its season. The Dodgers will play 21 Cactus League games before the series and three after before finally playing a regular-season game on U.S. soil on March 30 against the Padres.

Greinke, the Dodgers' No. 2 starter, presumably would pitch one of the games in Sydney.

"I would say there is absolutely zero excitement for it. There just isn't any excitement to it," Greinke told espnlosangeles.com. "I can't think of one reason to be excited for it."

The Dodgers responded by saying that the team, as a whole, is looking forward to the trip.

"Zack has this endearing, contrarian quality to him that we all know and love about him," team president Stan Kasten said in a statement. "He's famously focused and meticulous about his training regimen. It's what makes him so good and such a great teammate. This is clearly going to alter his routine. I understand that aspect of it.

"But my problem right now is trying to make room for all the people that want to go — players, family, front-office people. As an organization, we couldn't be more excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

ANGELS, TROUT TALK DEAL: The Angels and centerfielder Mike Trout are discussing a six-year extension that would pay him in the neighborhood of $150 million, Yahoo Sports reported.

The sides are several million dollars apart in negotiations but are optimistic that the gap will be bridged, according to the website. The deal, which would smash records for a player with two-plus years of service time, would buy out two years of Trout's free agency and put him on the open market at 28 years old.

Trout, 22, has been arguably baseball's best player in his first two seasons, with a majors-best Wins Above Replacement of 10.0 as a rookie in 2012 and 10.4 last season.

PADRES: Third baseman Chase Headley is expected to be out for at least the next two weeks with an injured right calf. He's scheduled to have an MRI exam today.

RANGERS: Matt Harrison concedes that he likely won't be ready to pitch by opening day. The left-hander hasn't thrown in a week because of stiffness in his neck and back. He was the opening day starter last year but made only one more start the rest of the season.

ROCKIES: Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, the team's best starter last season, was shut down with right shoulder inflammation and is scheduled for an MRI exam today.

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