Best of the Week: March 29-April 4, 2014

04/04/2014 4:00 AM ET
By Editorial Team
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THE HEADLINE: MLB's high-tech replay room open for business Sunday
THE SKINNY: Making expanded instant replay happen isn't just something that MLB could do in the snap of a finger. As the story states, it took an investment of more than $10 million for a state-of-the-art command center in New York City just to get this far. With the new "replay cave," baseball has followed a similar model to the NHL's goal command center in Toronto, and we'll see throughout 2014 just how often a dozen cameras are better than eight eyes.

THE HEADLINE: BarDown: A look at 15 absurd MLB ballpark foods
THE SKINNY: Yankee Stadium added a chicken-and-waffles cart, some new pizza options and the "nacho helmet" to an already expansive food menu, but those are nothing compared to some of these behemoths. If you tour the right parks this season, you can grab yourself a "Texas Hold 'Em" BBQ sandwich (Astros) and a side of "Tatchcos" chili-cheese tater tots (Pirates), wash that down with a frozen beer (Rangers) or an oversized, hamburger-clad Bloody Mary (Twins), and grab a nice, 12-scoop banana split in a helmet (White Sox). If that's not enough of a meal, you can grab some bacon on a stick in Texas for good measure…and while you're at it, you might want to look into some Lipitor, too.

THE HEADLINE: Nightengale: Astros whiffed passing on Jeter
THE SKINNY: The Astros (and four other teams) passing on Derek Jeter in the 1992 MLB Draft is a story every Yankees fan knows by now. With the Yankees opening Jeter's final season in Houston, USA Today's Bob Nightengale interviewed then-Yankees scout Dick Groch, then-Astros scouting director Dan O'Brien and 1992 No. 1 pick Phil Nevin to take a look back at a "mistake" that changed the fate of baseball history and reminisce on what could have been.

THE HEADLINE: The Anatomy of Perspective: Shaun Livingston, the visionary
THE SKINNY: Shaun Livingston's NBA career has had plenty of ups and downs -- but as revealed in the feature by The Brooklyn Game, "art imitates life" in that manner for the Nets backup point guard. Basketball has always been an escape, and after a career that has seen Livingston go from highly-touted prep prospect to injury-prone journeyman, he's finally figured it out at age 28 and is thriving as one of Brooklyn's "glue guys" in 2013-14.

THE HEADLINE: Andray Blatche close to Filipino naturalization?
THE SKINNY: If you've ever watched the Olympics and joked that you should move to a remote island and become their first Olympian, this story proves your idea isn't so far-fetched. The Philippines qualified to play in the FIBA World Basketball Championships this summer, and as FIBA rules allow each nation to have one "naturalized" player on their roster, the island nation has taken a step to exploit the loophole by "recruiting" Nets center Andray Blatche. The bill introduced to naturalize Blatche as a Filipino citizen has passed the first level of Filipino government, and while it has a long road ahead, the measure passing could be a huge coup -- especially for a nation like Japan, who will host the 2020 Summer Olympics and thus qualify for an entry in every sport.

THE HEADLINE: Nets clinch playoff berth, win record 14th straight at home
THE SKINNY: The Nets' win over the Rockets on Tuesday was a case of killing two awesome birds with one stone. On the one hand, the victory was Brooklyn's first home win over Houston in 11 years and their 14th straight overall win at Barclays Center, setting a new franchise record for consecutive home wins. Better than that, though, was the fact that the "W" also punched Brooklyn's ticket to the NBA playoffs. That playoff berth may not seem extraordinary, but for a team that was 10-21 on Jan. 1 and in danger of floundering badly, their turnaround since the turn of the calendar (30-12 from Jan. 1 - April 1) certainly is.

THE HEADLINE: Yankees announce festivities for Opening Day at the Stadium
THE SKINNY: The Yankees' first homestand of the season runs from April 7-16, and there's something for everyone on each day of the stretch. From giveaways to special guests to a Core Four first pitch, check out the link above to see what's happening when at Yankee Stadium.

THE HEADLINE: Jeter among leaders in MLB jersey sales
THE SKINNY: He's No. 2 in your scorebooks, but Derek Jeter is No. 3 overall in MLB jersey sales in 2014, and No. 1 since that fateful day in February where he announced 2014 was his final season. In Majestic's overall Top 10 of offseason jersey sales, a pair of World Champion Red Sox ranked Nos. 1 and 2, with Mets star David Wright seventh and Robinson Cano's combined Yankees and Mariners jersey sales ranking No. 9. The difference between Jeter and all the rest? Come November, The Captain's will be the only one that is a "throwback."

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