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By John Clark

Whiteville’s MacKenzie Gore fulfilled all the expectations for a No. 3 overall pick from the 2017 major league baseball draft Friday night. For his first appearance in ‘The Show’ for the San Diego Padres, Gore pitched 5.1 innings, threw 73 pitches and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks against the World Champion Atlanta Braves.

More importantly on the mound and in his post-game interview on YouTube, Gore pitched and acted like a big leaguer. “It was fun,” said Gore. “It was everything you dream about. If we had won it would have been better, but we learned I could pitch here. I am around a bunch of great pitchers, so I will just keep working on learning and getting better.”

Never been a big fan of what I call ‘Talking Heads’ – you know those experts who know everything. Quit watching anything on ESPN that wasn’t a live sporting event because anytime you get an analyst involved you are getting a biased opinion.

‘Homer’ announcers are bad too – ‘Homers’ are those who openly root for the team they are working for. Bob Carpenter, the play-by-play announcer for the Washington Nationals, is one of the worst, but Tuesday night I couldn’t help but laugh at Carpenter.

The Braves were pounding the Nats late in the game when Atlanta’s Guillermo Heredia was caught in a rundown trying to score after Ozzie Albies was out at first base. Seven throws later obstruction was called on the Nationals catcher and Heredia was awarded home plate and teammate Orlando Arcia was awarded third base.

Carpenter was trying to figure out how to score the play and plot out those 7 throws. Uh Bob, it is actually simple. The only putout recorded was Albies who was retired 3U (first baseman unassisted). Those 7 throws meant nothing in the scorebook. Heredia scored and Arcia was awarded third on an E2 (catcher’s error).

The reason I was watching Carpenter is because of MLB’s blackout rules. Even though I am subscribed to the Braves through MLB, when they play the Nationals I have to watch the Nationals broadcast because Southeastern North Carolina is in the Nationals coverage area.

We were in the Braves coverage area and perfectly happy until the Nationals moved to D. C. from Montreal in 2006. There are rumblings now that real estate billionaire Ted Lerner (Nationals principal owner) is exploring selling the Nationals. Sounds like a great idea … as long as they move the team back to Montreal or to Butte, Montana or Fargo, North Dakota.

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