Play It Forward April 3-9: Mash up MLB, March Madness, Masters and IRL in Long Beach

What, again, is so boring about baseball?
We’ll hold up four fingers and see if you can figure out what our intentional talking points are as the 2017 season opens for the Dodgers (Monday at Dodger Stadium vs. San Diego, 1:10 p.m.) and Angels (Monday at Oakland, 7 p.m.):
No. 1: Corey Seager, your coverboy for the ESPN Magazine national baseball preview issue, with the feature story entitled “Showstopper.” The NL Rookie of the Year attracts attention for his size and power, with his fear of failure as a catalyst behind his work ethic. But is this mystery injury he’s been nursing during spring training something that might come up as something bigger as the season progresses?
No. 2: Mike Trout is the Sports Illustrated kid on the cover for its baseball preview. Its feature story on the defending AL MVP starts: “Half a decade into the Mike Trout era, this much is clear: He can do most anything he puts his mind to. … (and) Trout theoretically has yet to reach his physical prime.” The MLB Network is also launching a feature documentary entitled “Millville to MVP.”
No. 3: We can’t believe we’ve made it this far without even mentioning Clayton Kershaw, who will make his seventh straight Opening Day assignment, tying a franchise record held by Don Drysdale and Don Sutton (Sandy Koufax, by the way, only did it once). In last year’s season opener at San Diego, Kershaw was the recipient of a 15-0 victory over the Padres in Dave Roberts’ managerial debut. It was the most lopsided Opening Day shutout in major league history.
No. 4: Poor, poor Mike Scioscia. Trout can only do so much to help the man managing to enter his 18th season with the Angels, needing 10 more wins to reach 1,500. Will that even happen in April? The Angels haven’t recorded a playoff win since 2009 and come off a season finishing fourth in the competitive AL West. Albert Pujols also just needs nine homers to reach 600 and 172 hits to reach 3,000.
It can be done. Check back in October. Unless you suddenly become too bored between now and then.
What’s up for the rest of the week that includes the Masters, Bob Miller’s final calls for the Kings, the Grand Prix of Long Beach, the NCAA men’s basketball final … what are we missing?

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