A’s, Giants announce game times for 2019 season

The A’s will open the 2019 regular season at 2:35 a.m. PDT in Tokyo against the Mariners on March 20, and the Giants will begin at 1:10 p.m. March 28 in San Diego.

The Major League Baseball commissioner’s office announced games times Wednesday for the regular-season schedule, which was released in August.

For teams other than the A’s and Seattle, the regular-season Opening Day is March 28, the earliest start ever. The previous earliest regular start was March 30 in 2003, 2008 and 2014.

All 30 major-league teams will play March 28, including the A’s. After two games in Japan, Oakland get a six-day break in its regular season that includes three exhibition games against the Giants in the Bay Bridge Series, then resumes play in Oakland at 1:07 p.m. against the Angels.

The A’s-Mariners series is MLB’s fifth opener in Japan after 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.

•The Cleveland Indians avoided salary arbitration with new catcher Kevin Plawecki, who agreed to a one-year contract for $1,137,500. Plawecki was acquired Sunday from the New York Mets.

•Catcher Travis d’Arnaud got a $40,000 raise from the Mets to $3,515,000 despite missing nearly all of last season following Tommy John surgery.

ELSEWHERE

Group wants changes in targeting rule

Automatic ejections for targeting in college football could be dropped in some cases as early as next season if an American Football Coaches Association proposal is approved by the NCAA Football Rules Committee.

Few rules have caused as much consternation, frustration and aggravation among coaches, players and fans as targeting, defined as forcible hits above the shoulders of players determined to be defenseless.

Coaches are unanimous in wanting to get punishing hits to the head out of the game, but they argue that ejection is too stiff a penalty for players who inadvertently strike an opponent above the shoulders.

AFCA executive director Todd Berry said coaches want two degrees of targeting. Targeting 1 would carry a 15-yard penalty, meaning there was no malicious intent on the hit. Targeting 2 would be for hits with malicious intent and prompt an ejection of the offending player as well as the 15-yard penalty.

•Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts reportedly has entered his name into the NCAA transfer database portal. Putting his name on the list allows other schools to contact Hurts, who has graduated and is eligible to play his final season as a graduate transfer.

Alabama lost to Clemson 44-16 in the national championship game Monday night at Levi’s Stadium.

•Suspended Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, a 350-pound, 6-foot-4 lineman who missed the Tigers’ College Football Playoff games after he and two teammates tested positive for the banned substance ostarine, said he’ll enter the NFL draft. Lawrence is considered a first-round NFL pick in the draft.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/A-s-Giants-announce-game-times-for-2019-season-13522028.php.

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