Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opening Day

Some quick hits from baseball on Opening Day:

--Another day, another DL stint: Jason Bay was placed on the DL today for the Mets.  Strained ribcage.  I'll bite the bullet and admit that when the Sox let this guy go, I was angry.  Turns out to be a really good move, as he hasn't played a meaningful game (or, seemingly, consecutive games) since.  A good non-signing.  Those don't get as much credit, by the way, as good signings, but Ellsbury would have nowhere to play without him gone.  And that would've been a helluva lot of money tied up to a guy who doesn't play.  (I have Ellsbury's and Bay's autographs, so I wish them both well.)

--Which brings to mind a hilarious moment I spent with Bay at Fenway, which I'll share here during an MLB off-day.

--That's a textbook definition of many Mets players, too.  All the way back to Pedro, another good Sox non-siging, though he did have one good year before his arm fell off, which it was always destined to do.

--Pujols grounded into 3 DPs today, the first person since 1920 to do so on Opening Day.  He'll recover, don't worry.  Cards lost in 11.

--Speaking of 11: For the 11th straight opener at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees win.  Th-uh-uh-uh-uh Yankees win!!!  (Sorry.)  Tex and Granderson hit homers.  Granderson continues to surprise with the Yanks after a bad first year with them, as he still impresses while still not being a typical Yanks player.

--Such a player, by the way, defined as most Sox players: long at-bats, lots of pitches, foul off a lot, draw walks, make contact, wear the pitchers down.  Granderson doesn't do that, but still does well.  The second he loses a bit of steam, he's gone, take my word for it.

--Snow today here; 85 at Chavez Revine for the Dodgers game.

--Speaking of that game, Freddie Sanchez would've looked good playing for the Sox.  Oh, well.

--Mattingly is the manager for the Dodgers now.  Tim Wallach, with a little managing experience, is his 3rd base coach, typically a position for the next manager-in-waiting, outside of the bench coach.  Davey Lopes is the 1st base coach, typically a road to nowhere, if you have managerial aspirations.  Every time I look up, Davey Lopes is a 1st base coach somewhere, never a 3rd base coach, giving credence to his assertion that he's not looked at as a manager anymore.  Hmmmm....

--Sox games won't be the same without Gottfried as the AFLAC duck.  But that was a REALLY dumb thing for him to do, twitting uncouth Japanese jokes about dead women floating by, right after the earthquake--and probably without knowing that 75% of AFLAC's total insurance business comes from Japan.  Comedians said that it was an unfair firing because he's a comedian, who should have artistic license.  But he wasn't a comedian.  He was an AFLAC employee, and he would've cost a ton of money to the company--and its shareholders.  If you ran the company, you would've fired him, too.

--Tim Lincecum weighs maybe 160 pounds, which shows you it's all about mechanics and control.  He gets his fastball over all the time, and his cutter and splitter and off-speed stuff over all the time, and he can put them wherever he wants.  If you can do that, you'll be successful, no matter what you weigh.

--Pedro was the same way, and he was a tank by comparison to The Freak.

--How much did Bonds pay Dr. Ting?

--With the bases loaded, with one out and The Freak pitching, Buster Posey tries to pick the runner off 3rd base.  He throws it away, runner scores, runners move up to second and third, taking away the double-play, with the majors' best pitcher on the mound.  And he's struck out more batters in his first 4 years than any pitcher ever.  (Dwight Gooden had been first--and Hideo Nomo second!)  Sandoval called for the throw, but, still, what was he thinking?

--Miguel Tejada is still playing well.  Eric Chavez, who replaced him with the A's, not so much.

--Sandoval never met a pitch he didn't like.

--But for a bad back, Mattingly would be in the Hall of Fame.  He was a great fielding first baseman, too.

--The Brewers haven't had the best of luck in the 9th inning these last few years.

--Interesting Wade Davis signing today.  4 year deal, after going 14-12 with a 4.01 ERA last year, 7-1 down the stretch.  Three consecutive one-year team options in that.  Odd.  But the Rays know they have to sign the good, young ones now.  I'm pretty sure that they could make the playoffs this year.  They will surprise.  They'll be in it until the end.

--It looks like somebody went up to Dodgers closer Jonathon Broxton and said, "Betelguese, Betelguese, Betelguese..."

--I'm going to love the MLB Channel this year.

--There's nothing like seeing a baseball game that counts when there's snow on the ground here.

--It's good to see baseball back.  Baby, I missed ya.

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