Normally, right around this time of year (less than a week till the season begins), I start to get nervous. I’ll pace around anticipating the upcoming season, and the thrill of Opening Day.
Not so much right now. Pretty sure I’ll still be pumped when the day actually arrives, but there is a distinct lack of anticipation or nervousness in me right now. Probably because of the low expectation of sustained success for the upcoming season…something many (though definitely not all–I mean the Yankees pretty much never let the fans down from a “competitive” perspective) YFs and SFs can probably empathize with this season.
So hurry up, two days from now, so that I can feel a bit of the old thrill!
(I’ve a feeling, though, that come April Fool’s Day, the joke will be on me. Also, WTF is it with having a day of baseball and then an immediate day off every start of the season the past few years?)
Already preparing for Opening Day without Granderson, Teixeira, A-Rod, Hughes, and now likely Jeter, the Yankees – owners of the worst contract in baseball – are apparently looking to buy a piece of the second worst. Let’s hope it’s a very small piece. All signs point to Vernon Wells joining the Yankees in the next few days though details, including how much the power-packed Angels will eat of his contract, are still to be hammered out. I can’t recall ever feeling so ambivalent about the start of a baseball season.
In his last nine games of the 2012 regular season, Robinson Cano went an astonishing 24 for 39, yielding a line of .615/.628/1.026, practically single-handedly keeping the Yankees a step ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the race for the division title.
In the eight games of the World Baseball Classic he hit .469/.514/.781 on his way to winning the MVP and helping the DR take the title.
Unfortunately, in between these stretches of batting genius, he went 3 for 40 in the 2012 ALDS and ALCS, yielding a line of .075/.098/.125.
…or RD, however you roll. The hotbed of baseball talent that is the Dominican Republic fielded a team that never lost in the World Baseball Classic, 8-0 in their games, defeating Puerto Rico 3-0 in the final last night. Robinson Cano was the MVP, hitting “.469 (15-for-32) with four doubles, two homers, six RBIs and 25 total bases”. Fernando Rodney pitched in all 8 games, recorded saves in seven of them (!) and gave up no runs, 1 hit (!), and 3 walks.
Never seen this angle on “The Steal” in ’04 ALCS Game 4. Roberts’s hand appears to be on the bag with Jeter’s glove mere inches from his arm/side. Ump made the right call, but it would be hard to blame him if he’d gotten it wrong.
In Francona’s recent book, it is noted that this was perhaps Posada’s best throw on an attempted steal up to that point in time (the “pop” time–or time from ball hitting catcher’s glove to infielder’s glove on an attempted steal–was less than 1.8 seconds…excellent for any catcher, let alone the defensively maligned Posada). His aim was perfect. Roberts just had him and Rivera beat…by a whisker.
H/T: Joy of Sox
Also, Ortiz is likely to start the season on the DL, so forgive a Sox fan whose upcoming season is likely to be lackluster for celebrating bygone good days.
If you don’t want to watch the recap, but care to “enjoy” the quick version in the rest of this sentence: Netherlands oust mighty Cuba (whose WBC frustrations continue) with a tying 2-run blast in the 8th, and a walk-off sac fly (scoring Andruw Jones!) in the 9th. Take that, communism! Or something.
At first base, Derrek Lee? I suppose. He was a fun player to watch and played a great first base. Huge fan when he was a Cubbie. It’s hard to believe there isn’t an option somewhere out there that is somewhat more .. un-retired. Maybe this is a genius move by Cashman. Maybe he is bent from the Oxy for his gelatinized leg. It feels like the Yankees are browsing that wire rack at the back of the supermarket where they clear out the dented boxes of dry goods and nearly remaindered bread.
The long, tortuous route back to the field rehabbing from two brain operations has ended…in a manner no one would have wished for. According to his Twitter feed, he plans to pursue a degree and work in baseball in a different manner. So rehab hasn’t really ended, maybe, just taken a different route.
Godspeed, Ryan. Wish I could have seen you play at Fenway.