Mar 28, 2019

Axios PM

Situational awareness: After two years at the helm, Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan will step down effective immediately. The company's general counsel Allen Parker will serve as interim CEO while the company searches for a new chief executive.

1 big thing: ⚾️ The first real day of spring

Members of the New York Mets and Washington Nationals line the baselines for the national anthem at Nationals Park. Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

It's Opening Day in America, with mostly beautiful weather and the fresh optimism of a season where even the worst of last year's teams can hope, at least for a while.

Why it matters: "Baseball is part of us, it's like our faith. You're born with it, you live with it, and it's a constant," MSNBC's Mike Barnicle said on "Morning Joe" today.

  • "The days get longer, the weather gets warmer. It's a relief from the everyday stress of things we talk about each and every day. And it's back, finally, today."
  • "And for a few fractions of a second, you don't have to worry about what's happening in Washington, D.C. because you're worried about the American League East."

What to watch this year, flagged by Axios Sports editor Kendall Baker:

  • "Walks, strikeouts, homers: 'Off the field, MLB took some major steps toward change this spring. But the exhibition season showed us that fans should anticipate another year of games loaded with the three true outcomes,' writes The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh."
  • "A dying breed of managers: 10 of the winningest managers in history have worked in this decade, and when Giants skipper Bruce Bochy retires at the end of the year, only one of them (Terry Francona) will remain."
  • "So many pitchers: With starters working fewer innings and bullpens becoming more specialized, a record 751 pitchers played in the big leagues last season. Expect even more in 2019."
Robinson Cano of the New York Mets celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the Nationals. Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Go deeper: Axios Sports previewed each of the six MLB divisions (Subscribe for free.)

P.S. If baseball's not your thing, the different March Madness games airing tonight:

  • FSU vs. Gonzaga (7:09pm EST, CBS)
  • Purdue vs. Tennessee (7:29 EST, TBS)
  • Texas Tech vs. Michigan (9:39 EST, CBS)
  • Oregon vs. UVA (9:59 EST, TBS)
2. What you missed
  1. Speaker Nancy Pelosi called AG Bill Barr "condescending" and "arrogant" for releasing a summary of the Mueller investigation rather than the entire report. Video.
  2. And Republicans called on Rep. Adam Schiff to resign today as House Intelligence committee chair. Video.
  3. Venezuela's Maduro regime is barring opposition leader Juan Guaidó from holding public office for 15 years, the AP reports.
  4. Thousands of people have been stranded by WOW Air, a low-cost Icelandic airline that abruptly announced it will be ceasing all operations and grounding all 27 of its airplanes. BuzzFeed News captures their plight.
  5. The first Democratic debate of the 2020 presidential primary will take place on June 26 and 27 in Miami, host NBC News announced on Thursday.
3. 1 pet thing

"When Olivia Lanes’s allergy test came back positive for cats and dogs, she did what any dedicated pet owner would do. She ignored the results," the WSJ reports.

  • "It’s no secret that Americans are committed to their animals, but it turns out that some people are taking their devotion even further by willingly suffering for them."
  • "Those pet owners are dealing with watery eyes, runny noses, swollen faces, rashes and difficulty breathing. All the while, their pets appear largely oblivious to their misery."
  • The bottom line: “'They are like my children,' says [Tracy] Spiering, who has an adult daughter. 'It would be like giving away your kid.'"

Grab a kleenex.