My Fearless and Asinine AL East Predictions.

by Chuck

By:  Bob Owens

1. First place. Tampa Bay Rays.

Why? Well, reason number one has to be their manager, Joe Maddon. Recently Maddon stated that he intends to use his top four starters at least 200 innings each this season. Contrast that approach to other teams who dictate their starters throwing 75 pitches a game, or capping their proclaimed ace at 160 innings. Tampa’s number one guy is lefty David Price, the current Cy Young award winner who over the past three seasons has thrown 208.2, 224.1and 211 innings respectively. What I find even more remarkable about the Rays’ pitching depth is they traded their number two guy, James Shields in the deal with Kansas City which returned top prospect Wil Myers, meaning they probably had five starters already capable of pitching 200 plus innings.
Are teams paying attention to how the Rays do it? They should be.
Now let’s take a look at this formidable group of starters the Rays have assembled. They are of course led by the aforementioned Price, whose WHIP was 1.10 with a 2.56 ERA. He should again be a contender for the Cy Young. The other three workhorse candidates are Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, ( whose stuff may be as solid as Price’s) and Alex Cobb. Both Hellickson and Moore threw 177 innings last year, so it should be fun and informative to see how they progress when they are north of 190 innings pitched. Three starters will vie for the last spot in the rotation, Jeff Niemann, Roberto Hernandez and Chris Archer. My gut says Hernandez prevails, with Niemann either traded or in the bullpen. They could send Archer to the minors where he could still start and provide quality depth. Jake Odorizzi could also be a vital member of their staff this year.
The Rays pen will be headlined by Fernando Rodney, who saved 50 games in 51 shots, a remarkable percentage. His ERA was an unheard of .60. Other members include up-and-coming Jake McGee, Joel Peralta and Kyle Farnsworth.
The offense will be led by MVP candidate, third baseman Evan Longoria. A hamstring which required post-season surgery limited him to just 74 games, but early buzz from Rays’ camp so far indicates “Longo” looks solid. The rest of their infield consists of the newly acquired James Loney at first base and Yunel Escobar at short. Both players may be new to Tampa, yet they both have experience playing in the division, Escobar with the Blue Jays and Loney with the Red Sox. Second base will be manned by either Ryan Roberts or Kelly Johnson.
The Rays outfield has Desmond Jennings manning center; he slides over to his natural position from left field, replacing the departed B.J. Upton. Newcomer Wil Myers should generate the most buzz early on, the 2012 minor league player of the year could fill a huge hole in right field. There is some speculation that the Rays could wait until mid-May to call him up in order to delay his arbtration and free-agent years, yet I will argue that the Rays should  start him right away. Teams should have learned last year  with the Angels waiting a month to bring up Mike Trout and fallng one game short of the playoffs That  should be a case study in being penny wise and pound foolish.Secondly, we all know that the Rays will not be the ones forking over the bg bucks when and if Myers hits it big. The other outfield spot will probably go to either Matt Joyce or Ben Zobrist with both getting ample playing time. Zobrist will also provide depth in the infield. Sam Fuld will probably be the fifth outfielder and pinch-runner.
Luke Scott should be the full-time DH. Last year he only played in 96 games and put up a .229/.285/.439 slash line, well behind his career yardsticks. If healthy, look for him to rebound. Their starting catcher should be Jose Molina, with  Jose Lobaton providing back-up.

Second Place, Toronto Blue Jays


The Blue Jays lost their manager John Farrell to the Red Sox, (replacing him with John Gibbons,) but seemingly found talent every place else. Nothing like pressure for an incoming manager.  They traded with the Mets for NL Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey, and while I do not  think he will come close to replicating his 2012 season, there is little doubt that they acquired a very serviceable pitcher. The Jays also pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Florida Marlins which landed them two more dependable starters in Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson. They will join Brandon Morrow in what could be the best staff in the East. Ricky Romero will most likely be their fifth starter with J.A. Happ also in the mix.

The bullpen will be headlined by Casey Janssen who is coming off shoulder surgery. He  led the team with 22 saves last year.  And behind him they have quantity with Sergio Santos, Brett Cecil and Darren Oliver providing a solid if unspectacular base. But the Jays will probably get at least  200 innings from Dickey and Buehrle thus limiting bullpen usage.
The Jays outfield has one of the pre-eminent sluggers in the game in right fielder Jose Bautista,  who  led the American League in homers in both 2010 and 2011, but was injured for 70 games last year. If healthy look for him to be around a .280/.375/.600 The Jays also have Colby Rasmus in center and in one of the more interesting/debateable/dubious moves of the off-season they signed free-agent Melky Cabrera to a two year contract. Not sure what to expect from him, so I expect the Jays to go with 5 outfielders. Rajai Davis is a lock to make the roster, and will be used frequently as a pinch-runner. Emilio Bonificio should make the roster as well.

The Jays should have a strong left side of the infield led by shortstop Jose Reyes who was in the blockbuster deal with the Marlins. Brett Lawrie could also  emerge this season and could rank only behind the Rays Evan Longoria as the best third baseman in the division. Edwin Encarnacion and  Adam Lind will spend time at first base and DH with Maicer Izturis manning second.
J.P Arencibia will handle the bulk of the catching duties, and he should be fine. he is just entering his prime, so look for him to improve on last year’s  .233/.275/.435. The back-up catcher will most likely go to Henry Blanco, with Josh Thole a possibility. If the Jays stay healthy, Gibbons could be sipping champagne come late October.

Third Place, New York Yankees


The Yankees seem hellbent on lowering their payroll, on the plus side of this decision, they are a savvy, veteran team. On the negative side, they are a veteran team, dealing with injuries all over the diamond with no obvious replacements. Can players like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera defy the aging process for another year? Well, it will be very difficult for ARod as the Yankees placed him on the 60-day DL after hip surgery and signed Kevin Youkillis as a free agent, though I anticipate Youk playing some first base to spell Mark Teixiera periodically when ARod returns. Robinson Cano will again cover second, and he is clearly their best player. Jeter is again the SS, though I expect the Yanks to use Eduardo Nunez quite frequently this year to spell Jeter. I am reluctant to make predictions on this group as a whole simply because I have no idea how many games they will miss this year.
Likewise with their outfield. They recently lost Curtis Granderson for the first month of the season, possibly longer. And yet Brian Cashman and Joe Giradi seem intent on finding a replacement internally, even rejecting the overtures of Johnny Damon. Ichiro Suzuki, a late season pick-up from the Mariners returns and should get plenty of playing time in the early going. Brett Gardner returns and will probably play center field while Granderson is out. Matt Diaz should make the roster out of spring training, unless the Yankees make a move, which will always be a possibility. Their DH could be any of the regular starters who need a mini-breather, though Travis Hafner, a newcomer to the Yankees, should get the bulk of those responsibilities.
Francisco Cervelli should be their everyday catcher, with Chris Stewart and Austin Romine will battle for back-up spot.
The Yankees staff will be headed by C.C. Sabathia  and Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda  was actually  the Yankees best starter last year. He started 33 games last year putting up a 3.32 ERA  in 220 innings. For the Yanks to succeed, he will need to replicate those numbers. Andy Pettitte spurned retirement for another year and will be their #3 starter. Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova round out the starting five, with young David Phelps waiting in the wings.

The bullpen will once again have Mariano Rivera as their closer. And for the first time in well over a decade, the discussion is not about what a great prior season he had, but whether or not he can rebound from the gruesome knee injury he suffered last year. While I understand he is 42, I still would not bet against him. Should he falter, the Yanks do have a stable of arms behind him. David Robertson, David Aardsma and Joba Chamberlain could all see save oppurtunities this year. Boone Logan and Shawn Kelly should also provide quality depth. The most interesting aspect of this season for the Yankees could come in July if they are in the thick of things. Will ownership add to payroll come the deadline? Or will they stand pat?

Fourth Place, Baltimore Orioles


Last year the Orioles shocked many pundits by making the post-season. Can manager Buck Showalter perform his magic once again? Let’s take a look.

Jason Hammel is supposed to be their opening day starter, and will be followed by Wei-Yin Chen and Chris Tillman. However I am extrememly bullish on uber prospect Dylan Bundy and I can see him making the starting five out of spring training. Remember, he was a September call-up so his service clock is ticking away as you read this. Miguel Gonzalez and Brian Matusz are also in the mix for the rotation. Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton provide enviable depth. Kevin Gausman is another good-looking prospect who could get a late-season call-up.
Jim Johnson will again be their closer and he is coming off a season he which he which he saved 51 games in 54 chances. Pedro Strop will most likely be their 8th inning guy with Darren O’Day and Troy Patton also candidates for high-leverage innings.
The offense will be led by Adam Jones, who had a breakout year in 2012 placing sixth in the MVP voting. His slash line of .287/.334/.505 will most likely be maintained and possibly improved upon as he is just eneering his prime. Nick Markakis, who is coming off a broken thumb, should be healthy and rested and back to man right field.  Nolan Reimold will be their left fielder with Nate McLouth and Xavier Avery battling it out for the fourth spot.
Their infield got a huge boost when the Orioles promoted Manny Machado from the minors and he instantly had an impact drilling seven homers in 51 games and proving he could handle the AL East. The underrated  J.J.Hardy is entrenched at  short with Ryan Flaherty at second, with Chris Davis taking over full time at first base.
The Orioles probably have the best catching tandem in the dicision, led by Matt Wieters. Taylor Teagarden and Luis Exposito will compete for the backup spot, though they may carry three catchers and ond of tthem will be a DH at times. Wilson Betemit could also DH in addition to providing depth at first and third. But because of their emergence last year, they now have a bulls eye on their jersey.

Fifth Place, Boston Red Sox


After finishing in the cellar last season, the Red Sox should not have a bulls eye on them. GM Ben Cherington himself has said he expects the next great Red Sox team to be ready around 2014-2015. That is not to say they have not made changes. They sure did alter their roster even after the Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford trade late last summer. The most notable of these is their manager. John Farrell was actually traded by the Toronto Blue Jays  to the Red Sox as it became clear he wanted to return to Boston where he was their pitching coach for a couple of years under Terry Francona. So he should be familiar with most of the  staff.
Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are the top returing starters. Ryan Dempster was signed to a deal as a free-agent. Big things were expected from Felix Doubrant, but he showed up to camp overwieght. Perhaps receiving an earful from Pedro Martinez will motivate him to bigger and better things. John Lackey is penciled in as their fifth starter and has looked solid as he rebounds from Tommy John surgery. Should anyone struggle, either Franklin Moralas or Alfredo Aceves could step in.
The bullpen should be anchored by Joel Hanrahan, who was acquired in an off-season trade with the Pirates. Andrew Bailey and Koji Uehara will also be used in the later innings. Daniel Bard and Andrew Miller could also make the team with Miller being the only lefty option.

Their outfield will have Jacoby Ellsbury in center and Shane Victorino in right. Newcomer Jonnny Gomes should get bulk of the left field responsibilities with Daniel Nava and Mike Carp periodically spelling the regulars. Jackie Bradley Jr. a  prospect could force his way into the line-up.
Dustin Pedroia once again leads the infield at second base. Will Middlebrooks, will probably man third base, although he recently re-injured his right wrist. If he is unable to start, Pedro Ciraco will likely get the nod. The battle for shortstop is between Stephen Drew or Jose Iglesias, with Iglesias being the superior defender. First base should got o Mike Napoli, though he could catch former Angels teammate John Lackey every now and again. David Ortiz will once again DH for the Red Sox, a task he has handled with aplomb for a decade. Lyle Overbay and Carp could also spell Napoli when his body needs a break.
Jarrod Saltamacchia and David Ross will handle the pitching staff though Ryan Lavarnway could make one of them available in a trade. Lavarnway himself could be trade bait. Which to some extent is what I expect again. For the Sox to once again make a mid-summer trade to augment their prospect base.

213 Responses to “My Fearless and Asinine AL East Predictions.”

  1. Leland Hall Says:

    I am not a Boston fan. In fact, I dislike them a lot. Having said that, I think
    that the trauma from last year was so severe that they will rally around the idea
    of just being rid of Valentine. It is team with a lot pride and talent. They have
    a lot resources (money freed up) and a front office that is serious about winning.
    Don’t be surprised to see them contend. They will go as far as the pitching will
    take them, which may be a considerable.

  2. Raul Says:

    Matt Diaz, Francisco Cervelli, Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez.

    Dear lord, I don’t think those guys would have even made the 1991 Yankees.

  3. Chuck Says:

    Nice title, Bob, although I disagree..if I were to predict today I’d agree with you across the board.

    Love the Sox in last…if that were to happen it would make my year, regardless.

  4. Bob Says:

    Leland. Good point. Welcome aboard.

  5. Raul Says:

    It’s a fluff piece by Kurkjian, but at least it was a well-written fluff piece.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/spring-training/post/_/id/696/respect-the-knuckleballer

  6. Raul Says:

    Just out of curiosity, what is Lackey being paid to be the #5 in Boston?

    Like 18 million?

  7. Chuck Says:

    $15.2

  8. Bob Says:

    He had a provision in his contract that said if he missed a year due to injury, he would play a 6th year at the league mimimum. A 5 year deal at $82.5M. A tad over 16 million.

  9. Raul Says:

    15.2 million?!?!?

    That’s disgraceful. I think we need to go have a talk, Luca Brasi-style, with John Lacky, Chuck.

    We get him to retire. Boston frees up salary in exchange for paying us that 0.2 million.

    I mean, in true mob fashion…I don’t want much. I just want to wet my beak a little.

  10. Bob Says:

    Actually, Lackey is my pick for comeback player of the year in the AL. Crawford is my selection in the NL.

  11. Raul Says:

    This contract situation with Mike Trout is silly.
    Yes the Angels are jerks for not giving him a larger increase.

    But on the other hand, why would you?
    You hold the cards. You signed Weaver, Pujols, Hamilton…all these large contracts. Why pay something if you don’t have to?

    So that in 5 years he’ll give you a hometown discount? That aint gonna happen. Players wanna be paid. And if the Angels offer Trout 200 million a decade from now, and some other team offers him 201 million…Trout’s gone. He isn’t thinking “Well the Angels tripled my salary after 1 year, I’ll stay.”

    Not a chance.

  12. Chuck Says:

    The Angels have no obligation to give Trout anything, just like Vernon Wells isn’t required to give anything back.

    Trout has no rights.

    And if he goes out this year and sucks..what then?

  13. Raul Says:

    Exactly.

  14. Chuck Says:

    I saw the Angels on Saturday..no Trout, no Hamilton, no Pujols, no Trumbo.

    ML rules state five “regulars” have to travel on ST road trips.

    We got Izturis, Callaspo, Kendrick, CJ Wilson and Garrett Richards.

  15. Raul Says:

    Seems MLB is doing their best to rival your average car dealership’s Bait-And-Switch reputation.

    Sorry to hear that, Chuck.

  16. Raul Says:

    I’m just posting here so this article remains in the most-recent comments section.

    Apparently beating a dead horse is quite the hobby for some of you.

  17. Chuck Says:

    Canada WBC team tomorrow.

    Brett Lawrie, Joey Votto, Justin Morneau, Jameson Taillon, pretty much it.

    Then Dbacks Thursday and Rangers Friday.

  18. Bob Says:

    Some good Canadian talent. Just lacking Jason Bay

  19. Raul Says:

    Didn’t know Taillon was Canadian.

    Must not have shown up in his WAR profile.

  20. Bob Says:

    LOL

  21. Chuck Says:

    Taillon’s parents were born in Canada.

    Russell Martin was on the team, but he bailed last week.

  22. Chuck Says:

    Wil Myers will not make the Rays opening day roster

  23. Raul Says:

    This Super 2 rule is dumb.

  24. Chuck Says:

    It’s not the rule that’s dumb as much as there are dumb teams that will intentionally fuck themselves to avoid the POTENTIAL of saving a few bucks six years from now.

  25. Bob Says:

    Brian Cashman broke his ankle while skydiving.

  26. Chuck Says:

    Dumbass

  27. Raul Says:

    They said he was skydiving for a good cause.

    I get it. But why not just donate money?

  28. Chuck Says:

    “Ellsbury secure in walk year”

    Secure in what, that the Red Sox will trade him in July?

  29. Jim Says:

    Bob, your prediction sound reasonable, though I guess that there is a 50-50 chance that the Yanks end up in 4th. As the other RS fan hanging around this site, I’ll be quite happy if the Sox are in the cellar near the trade deadline as they will have a grand fire sale. While they are a bad team, there are several pieces that will have trade value, Drew, Hanrahan, Elsbury, Lackey (I too expect he’ll be decent to good), Uehara, Aceves and maybe Lester to bring back some young talent.

  30. Bob Says:

    Jim, thank you.

  31. Raul Says:

    Middlebrooks, Papi and Pedroia COULD carry that team to a respectable season.

    But I doubt it.

  32. Bob Says:

    USA vs Mexico on Friday. Looking forward to it.

  33. Raul Says:

    I’m not.
    Maybe my expectations from Klinsmann were too high, but I’m not seeing a USMNT better than Bob Bradley’s.

    I expect them to get routed by El Tri.

    …oh wait, you mean WBC. Sorry. My first thought was soccer.
    I apologize.

  34. Bob Says:

    No problem.

  35. Bob Says:

    The Tigers are looking to trade for a closer. Why don’t they just let Porcello take it and use Drew Smyly as the 5th starter? Papelbon was originally groomed as a starter, then closed. They can then give Bruce Rondon a year to grow into the role ala Mariano with Wettland. And they can then trade Porcello in the off-season.

  36. Bob Says:

    Red Sox prospect was caught doing 111MPH while drunk Saturday morning. Holy shit.

  37. Raul Says:

    This has to be the 4th straight year where DWI/DUI has been a problem in MLB in Spring Training.

    Maybe they need to threaten these players with a 50 game ban. Unpaid.

  38. Bob Says:

    Drake Britton was the player. He was so wasted that when the cop asked him for his license, he gave the cop his credit or debit card.

  39. Bob Says:

    Hugo Chavez passed away.

  40. Raul Says:

    Wow @ 38

  41. Cameron Says:

    Ah fuck, it’s prediction season already? Uh… I’ll get mine in sometime this week.

  42. Jim Says:

    Re Drake Britton: The Sox have expressed concern. IIRC, Britton is a prospect who has not proceeded in the manner that top prospects are expected i.e. a bit of a disappointment. A 111 MPH DUI explains a lot.

    Raul: Papi is one awkward step from re-tearing his Achilles tendon and nice gig doing color for the game of the week.

  43. Chuck Says:

    “Red Sox prospect was caught doing 111MPH while drunk Saturday morning. Holy shit.”

    He was celebrating getting cut.

  44. Chuck Says:

    ” Papi is one awkward step from re-tearing his Achilles tendon and nice gig doing color for the game of the week.”

    On MLBNetwork Deportes.

  45. Chuck Says:

    Saw Jameson Taillon pitch yesterday.

    Could hear the ball coming out of his hand.

    You can have Bundy or Walker.

  46. Raul Says:

    Anyone in particular that Taillon reminds you of?
    Just curious.

  47. Chuck Says:

    Honestly, off the top of my head, no.

    He’s 6′6″, 225, throws 100 with a Blyleven-esque curveball and a good changeup.

    Maybe a taller version of the 1986 Doc Gooden?

  48. Chuck Says:

    “Royals searching for outfield help”

    Maybe they could swing a trade for Wil Myers.

  49. Raul Says:

    Hahahahaha

  50. Chuck Says:

    Mark Teixeira out of WBC with a right forearm strain, suffered while hitting off a tee.

    Only in spring training.

    Replaced by Eric Hosmer

  51. Raul Says:

    Not too bad for Hosmer.
    He could use an early start on seeing live pro pitching.

    Might help him prepare for the season.

  52. Chuck Says:

    He’s having a real good spring, actually..avg over .500 and leads team in meaningless RBI’s.

  53. Raul Says:

    He was crushing the ball last spring, too.
    I think he hit like .400

    Hope it continues this time.

  54. Raul Says:

    My buddy keeps telling me there’s a rumor that Robinson Cano was involved in that South Florida steroid ring but I haven’t seen anything on it.

    If it comes out in his walk year that Cano was juicing…the Yankees should halve their offer.

    I mean, they should cut their offer back anyway, but you know…

  55. Cameron Says:

    @48 I actually think we’re not too hurting in OF. We’re rolling with five right now using Dyson as a defensive replacement and Lough as an offensive replacement. Trading Myers was titanically stupid, but the outfield isn’t that bad off. It’s the infield depth that has me scared shitless. Irving Falu and Tony Abreu are the only backups on the left side. They shouldn’t be on a Major League roster, let alone the ONLY backups at third and short.

    Oh, and of course our top-to-bottom GODAWFUL pitching. The starters can eat innings, which saves usage of our shitty bullpen, but the only starters who aren’t total hogshit are Shields and Santana, everyone else may be durable, but will still need to be bailed out by the bullpen. It’s a shit paradox.

    …And yet, I think this team could have a similar “we did WHAT” season that we did in 2013.

  56. Bob Says:

    1. I am hearing those same rumors. Though I cannot get any sort of verification.
    2. Ryan Westmoreland retired today. Best wishes to him.

  57. Raul Says:

    Wow.

    Isn’t Westmoreland like 26?

  58. Raul Says:

    Not even.
    He’s 22.

    That sucks.

  59. Chuck Says:

    By the looks of Cano on the MLB homepage, it looks like he spent the offseason on Andruw Jones’ Big Mac and Bud diet.

  60. Chuck Says:

    Mark Teixeira out 8-10 weeks with a right wrist strain.

    Might want to re-think these predictions, Bob.

  61. Bob Says:

    Then you have to as well. You said you agreed with me across the board.

  62. Chuck Says:

    I haven’t posted mine yet

  63. Bob Says:

    I was referring to comment #3

  64. Chuck Says:

    I know.

  65. Jim Says:

    Part of Ryan Westmoreland’s statement to the media.

    “With a clear mind and heart, as well as the unwavering support and friendship of my family, friends, agent(s), doctors, therapists, and the Boston Red Sox, I have decided to voluntarily retire as a professional baseball player,”

    “Although it is a very difficult decision for me, it has become clear that the neurological damage caused by the most recent cavernous malformation and surgery leaves me with physical challenges that make it impossible to play the game at such a high level.

    “In my heart, I know that I have worked as hard as one possibly could to overcome the obstacles presented by this unfortunate series of events. It is with that confidence that I am comfortable turning the page.”

  66. Chuck Says:

    He was a higher rated prospect than either Kalish or Reddick.

  67. Chuck Says:

    DBacks today..Wade Miley pitching.

    Other than half the Oakland roster, he’s my choice as the most likely candidate to crash and burn this year.

  68. Chuck Says:

    Jameson Taillon is pitching against Team USA on Sunday..4 pm EST. Set the DVR.

  69. Raul Says:

    I’ll need to check out the highlights of Taillon.
    Anyone with a Doc Gooden-like curveball needs to be seen.
    Plus, he throws like 97.

  70. Chuck Says:

    Watch him get lit up… :)

  71. Raul Says:

    Hey Chuck,

    I haven’t read or heard anything about Gerritt Cole.
    What’s his story?

  72. Jim Says:

    An entry in one of the Boston baseball blogs noted that if today’s CBA was in place during 1967, Carl Yastrzemski would have been eligible for free agency after the season. After winning the MVP and capturing the Triple Crown, he would have had a nice pay day today. What he received was a one year, $100,000 contract, roughly $650K today. Puts Mike Trout’s deal in perspective.

  73. Chuck Says:

    Cole pitched against Spain on Tuesday (?) and struck out the first six hitters he faced. Granted, it was against a bunch of stiffs (only 1 of the 6 has ML experience), but six in a row is six in a row.

    He’s probably a bit higher than Taillon on the prospect lists because he’s an older college player and CTM does matter somewhat.

  74. Chuck Says:

    Rafael Furcal is having Tommy John and will miss the year.

    Dumbass..he got hurt last year..why not have the surgery in August and be ready by the AS break?

  75. Chuck Says:

    Did you guys see the 30/30 ESPN thing on Bo Jackson?

    One of the guys interviewed was Royals scout Art Stewart, who signed Jackson.

    Stewart’s worked for the Royals (and still does) for over 40 years.

    Here’s what he said about Bubba Starling;

    “The things you’d see this kid do, I haven’t seen stuff like that since Bo Jackson. And here’s the difference — Bubba has played less baseball than Bo.”

  76. Raul Says:

    That reminds me, I need to find that Bo Jackson 30 for 30 tonight.

  77. Chuck Says:

    Geez..for a team that’s supposed to be in transition and is inelgible for postseason play, UCONN’s had a pretty good year..if they beat Providence at home on Saturday they’ll have a 20 win season.

  78. Raul Says:

    This was posted Monday, but it’s not too often I see a Wil Myers piece.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130304/wil-myers-tampa-bay-rays/?sct=uk_bf3_a2

    The Wil Myers Show during Rays’ batting practice is becoming a must-see event in the Grapefruit League. On Friday morning in Dunedin, when Myers launched two jaw-dropping shots into the trees beyond the leftfield fence, fans behind the visitor’s dugout broke out into applause. An old scout, sitting behind home plate, squinted into the midday sun as he tried to track a ball that disappeared into the morning haze. He turned and said, “You hear him being compared to Dale Murphy.” There was another twhack — “like all the great ones, the sound is different from everyone else’s” says the scout — and he watched another ball clear the leftfield fence. “But, if you’re asking me,” he said, “I think he’s going to be better than Dale Murphy. Just watch.”

  79. Bob Says:

    Raul, I recently picked up 2 Johnny Cueto rooikie cards. How many Parrot fish could I get for one of them?

  80. Bob Says:

    Mariano will retire after the season.

  81. Raul Says:

    Hahaha.

    I have no idea. I think on the beach when we ordered the meal, it came out to like 450 pesos per plate…which was like…11 dollars. But that’s expensive compared to the fish markets.

    I went to one and bought like 6 fish and a few pounds of blue crab for like…jeez, it must have been a shade under 700 pesos (~17 dollars). Although I’m told there are different kinds of blue crab so I’m not sure EXACTLY what kind it was.

    Anyway, me? I’ll give you 5 fish. You can keep the card.
    Hahaha.

  82. Raul Says:

    It’s been a great career for Mariano Rivera.

    He is going to the Hall of Fame. Whether he deserves it is a matter of debate.
    But what isn’t up for debate is that Rivera is a class act all the way. Very nice man.

  83. Bob Says:

    Gracious.

  84. Bob Says:

    Doug Melvin got bit by a scorpion.

  85. Bob Says:

    Chris Sale and the White Sox agreed to a 5-year extension.

  86. Raul Says:

    That must have been painful for Melvin. Ouch.

    That’s probably a good idea for the White Sox and Chris Sale.
    Sale can be one of the best 5 starters in the American League when he is on. But he could get injured any minute.

    FYI – Sale finished 6th in the AL Cy Young voting last season.

    2012 1st half: 10-2, 2.19 ERA
    2012 2nd half: 7-6, 4.03 ERA

  87. Cameron Says:

    The less I say about Chris Sale the better. Numbers don’t lie, but he’s the biggest walking injury risk in the major leagues. I tried using his throwing motion once and damn near blew out my elbow.

  88. Bob Says:

    Actually, I have Sale as a top 5 Cy guy right now.

    1. Felix rewards the Mariners
    2. Verlander
    3. Price
    4. Either Weaver or Sale. Scherzer is another educated guess, but that could be wishcasting on my part.

  89. Bob Says:

    1. Derek Lowe signed with the Rangers.

  90. Raul Says:

    Again, the big thing with Chris Sale for me is whether he can keep up his dominance.

    On a sheer ability to dominate, I like him.
    But maybe I’ll push Sale back a little bit, since a guy like Sabathia — who has a history and is fairly consistent — would be taken ahead of him.

    Scherzer…I just don’t trust him.
    One game he’ll go 8 innings and strike out 10. The next he’s out by the 4th and gave up 5 runs.

  91. Cameron Says:

    From what I’ve seen of Scherzer, he leaves too much over the plate on a regular basis to be truly dominating. The difference between him and Verlander is Verlander pitches. He throws just as hard, maybe even harder than Scherzer, but he can paint corners and nail low pitches, two things crucial to good pitching. Scherzer has the “hit this if you can” mentality. Granted, it works about 7 to 8 times out of ten for him and historically guys have made entire careers out of that (lookin’ at you, Nolan Ryan). He doesn’t have to change to be good or even to be the best pitcher on 75% of major league teams, but if he wants to be great, he needs to use his head more than his arm.

  92. Chuck Says:

    “Although I’m told there are different kinds of blue crab so I’m not sure EXACTLY what kind it was.”

    There’s one kind of blue crab. You know how you can tell?

    It’s fucking blue.

    Waiting for Felber to ask for evidence.

    “Doug Melvin got bit by a scorpion.”

    He got roasted in the press box today.

    He came into the press men’s room and ended up next to me..he unzipped and I asked him, “You sure you want to do that?”

    He just smiled and rolled his eyes..he had been getting drilled all day long.

    “Chris Sale and the White Sox agreed to a 5-year extension.”

    The dollars are reasonable, but in the long run this will end up a disaster.

    Last year was an Ellsbury for him, plus his mechanics suck. Having TJ isn’t a matter of if, it’s when.

    Cameron, for you, brah..had a Kila Ka’aihue sighting today..he’s in camp with the Dbacks.

    He’s not dead, just in case you were wondering.

  93. Raul Says:

    I think they meant where the blue crab was from, Chuck.

    Like there’s blue crab in the gulf of mexico…there’s blue crab in delaware…that sort of shit.

    But I guess you’re right.

  94. Cameron Says:

    Ah Hawaiian Punch, glad to see he’s still at it.

  95. Chuck Says:

    Aaron Hicks yesterday…4-5..3 HR..6 RBI.

    I know it’s spring training, but….

    Love this kid..reminds me of Andrew McCutchen.

  96. Chuck Says:

    I just saw an article that suggested the Yankees sign Brian Wilson to replace Mo.

    Any guesses to what site it was on?

  97. Chuck Says:

    The last two home spring training rainouts for the Brewers have been against the Rangers.

    In both years, 2008 and 2011, the Brewers made the postseason.

    It’s raining like crazy today.

    Brewers have a home game.

    Against the Rangers.

    Off to Vegas for you, John.

  98. Bob Says:

    Just a guess. Bleacher Report?

  99. Chuck Says:

    Very good, Bob.

  100. Bob Says:

    A site that comes up with shit. I rarely go there.

  101. Chuck Says:

    I go there for the humor.

    Some people prefer the Onion, some the Examiner, me, there’s nothing that can guarantee a good laugh like Bleacher Report.

  102. Bob Says:

    I actually like the Onion.

  103. Chuck Says:

    I like Onions too.

  104. Bob Says:

    Delicious.

  105. Bob Says:

    In baseball news, the Cardinals and Allen Graig agreed to a 5-year extension.

  106. Chuck Says:

    Damn straight..somewhat thick sliced, sautee in butter just until they start to carmelize…then from there you can eat them alone..Vidalia’s are the best.

  107. Raul Says:

    I thought Aaron Hicks was a pitcher.

    I’m confusing him with someone.

  108. Bob Says:

    Aaron Sele?

  109. Chuck Says:

    Rained out again…played four innings, Texas up 2-0.

    Had hail, too.

    Been home two hours now and still freezing my ass off.

  110. Raul Says:

    I was thinking of Aaron Crow.

  111. Cameron Says:

    Oh yeah, that guy who was supposed to be our ace. …Then our closer. …Then good.

  112. Chuck Says:

    Going to see Cameron’s favorite pitcher throw on Monday.

  113. Chuck Says:

    Raul..did you watch the game today?

    What do you think of Taillon?

  114. Raul Says:

    After a snow storm on Friday, we had two days of 50-degree weather.
    So I’ve been outside all weekend and didn’t watch any baseball.

    Any video on him?
    Sorry.

  115. Chuck Says:

    Greinke scratched with a sore elbow..heading to LA for an exam.

  116. Cameron Says:

    I feel kinda bad for smiling when I read that. …But I got over it.

  117. Bob Says:

    The Yankees signed Ben Francisco.

  118. Lefty33 Says:

    Cashman is also talking to Scott Rolen and Derrek Lee.

    He also made an unsuccessful attempt to “un-retire” Chipper Jones.

  119. Mike Felber Says:

    The crab issue is not an argument that needs support. What we might need evidence for is which fish we buy in markets or restaurant-apparently it is very often fraudulent.

  120. Bob Says:

    One reason why I prefer to catch my own. Though fishing is enjoyable even if you get skunked.

  121. Raul Says:

    With all the injuries the Yankees are having, they are digging up anyone with a pulse to play for them this year.

    I wonder if Bob Watson and Kevin Maas are in shape.

  122. Bob Says:

    For their age bracket I bet they are. Reggie as well.

  123. Raul Says:

    Wondering if the Orioles should consider trading Nick Markakis.
    I don’t think this guy will ever be that good.

  124. Cameron Says:

    He’s a pretty stable presence on that team. While he’s not a superstar, he’s consistently… Above average. Not great, but he won’t have to fight for a starting job on just about every team in the league. That’s a harder find than you think.

  125. Raul Says:

    You know what, you’re right, Cam.

    It just seems like Markakis is a disappointment. But he actually is pretty valuable.

    I mean, I did expect him to show more power. Especially in Baltimore.
    But overall, he has been good.

    It’s worth noting that last year Markakis made 12 million.
    In 2013 and 2014 he is due 15 million.
    And in 2015 he is due 17 million.

    So I think he’ll have to kick it up a notch.

    It’s surprising to see that Markakis gets murdered by Defensive WAR in baseball-reference’s ratings. I really don’t think Markakis is that bad in the field. He always seemed average or a tick above average.

    But even Adam Jones is ranked poorly defensively by dWAR.

    Man, I don’t know what to make of that stat.

  126. Raul Says:

    So I read this:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/fantasy/news/20130311/fantasy-baseball-wil-myers/?sct=uk_t12_a5

    And I agree that no rookie is going to put up Mike Trout numbers. But in the end, this spider monkey says he is projecting Myers to have what amounts to an OPS range of .760 – .840.

    That sounds nice. But basically you’re telling me he could end up being Michael Brantley or Jay Bruce.

    I mean how many darts did you throw at a board to come up with that genius disparity?

  127. Cameron Says:

    The thing about Markakis in the field is that I think he’s not as good as he looks. He runs good routes, but he’s a bit slow in the field. He masks it with a good arm though, so it’s kinda hard to tell. He’s about average or a shade below average in straight chasing balls, but he has an accurate arm, which lends itself to good throws and the reason he’s in right instead of left. He has alright power. For a right fielder in Baltimore, it’s bad, but he’s a doubles hitter more than anything. Guy knows how to float a ball into the gap and get some extra bases. A gap-hitting contact corner outfielder’s always going to be a little overlooked if you ask me. I don’t think he’s worth what he’s being paid (very few are for that pricetag), but I’ve never been one to call Markakis bad. He’s a prototypical “lunch pail” kinda player. Check in, play 110%, check out. Nothing fancy, just ball.

  128. Raul Says:

    So let me get this straight:

    Nick Markakis runs good routes and has a good arm.
    But he’s a little slow so he rates as a below-average/shitty fielder?

    Let me put it to you this way, Cameron.

    Nick Swisher had a negative 0.4 dWAR for 2012.
    Nick Markakis had a negative 1.2 dWAR for 2012.

    Why? Because Markakis got hurt and only played 104 games to Swisher’s 148?

    There’s no way in hell Markakis is a worse RFer than Swisher.

  129. Cameron Says:

    No, I don’t believe that either. Then again, dWAR also rates Torii Hunter and Ken Griffey as career negatives, so I don’t know either.

  130. Raul Says:

    Happy 50th birthday, Mariano Duncan!

    Duncan had a monster year in 1996 playing 2nd base for the Yankees when they won the World Series.

    Steriods maybe?
    I don’t know, but he hit .340/.352/.500 (He had just 9 walks all season!!!)

    By most all accounts, Duncan was beloved in the clubhouse that year and is credited with that team’s mantra of “We Play Today, We Win Today” — something that might have been better suited for the 1998 team, but they did win.

    Duncan also won a title with the 1990 Cincinnati Reds.

  131. Bob Says:

    The Tigers released Brennan Boesch.

  132. Chuck Says:

    I’ve been on a self-imposed internet hiatus the past few days..between work and life and having four games in five days I just haven’t had the time.

    Can’t say I missed it, either.

    I can’t focus on anything…I just heard the Yankees signed Ben Francisco…two days ago.

  133. Raul Says:

    The Yankees are committed to staying under that 180 million next year.

  134. Chuck Says:

    Then they’re committed to being a .500 team, too.

    They’re carrying too much dead money.

  135. Chuck Says:

    Weird sight of the day at the Dodgers game on Tuesday..before it even started.

    Don Mattingly and Mark McGwire signing autographs standing side by side.

  136. Lefty33 Says:

    “staying under that 180 million next year.”

    189

  137. Raul Says:

    Thanks for correcting that, Lefty.
    I thought I was off.

  138. Chuck Says:

    Brian Kenny thinks there should be a rule limiting pitching changes during a game because “teams with better bullpens have an advantage”.

    He also thinks the knuckleball is a “trick pitch” and should be banned.

    http://sabr.org/latest/2013-sabr-analytics-conference-highlights-brian-kenny

  139. Bob Says:

    Strasburg will start the opener for the nationals.

  140. Raul Says:

    I clicked the link, Chuck.

    It’s loading.

    I have to tell you, honestly, I have a headache. I was trying to think of something to respond to those Brian Kenny claims, and my head hurts.

    That has never happened to me before.

  141. Chuck Says:

    LOL @ Bob…

  142. Chuck Says:

    There’s a 51 minute video on there if you’re interested.

  143. Cameron Says:

    I think pitching changes should be limited too, but that’s just for pacing reasons. I’m tired of the game being put on hold for ten minutes just so some jackass LOOGY can come in, throw one pitch that gets out with an easy grounder and gets replaced. Fuck. That.

  144. Bob Says:

    I am tired 0f 12-13 mman pitchming staffs. New policy. From April-August, teams can carry 11 pitchers max. If you want to showcase some new talent in September fine with me. Called promotion time, something most business have. And baseball is a business.

  145. Raul Says:

    Great. A knuckleball is a trick pitch.
    WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK A CURVEBALL IS?!!!!

    Do you have any fucking idea how hard it is to throw a GOOD knuckleball?

    Holy fucking shit. How does this asshole have a job on television speaking about baseball??

    Sigh.
    I had to get that out of my system.

  146. Raul Says:

    Luke Hochevar sent to the bullpen.

  147. Cameron Says:

    Good move. Luke’s best in short bursts anyway.

  148. Chuck Says:

    While I agree with you Cam about the one pitch/batter issue, I really don’t think anything could be done about that.

    If Mike Myers isn’t good enough to get out the occasional righthanded hitter, then he isn’t good enough to pitch in the major leagues.

    Baseball’s a game of specialization now for a few different reasons..the CBA..money, even advanced analysis plays a part, and it’s not for the better. There are a lot of guys cashing checks who have no business wearing a uniform.

    Italy was eliminated from the WBC last night because the manager wouldn’t use his ML closer in the eighth inning.

    Good.

  149. Chuck Says:

    So I get home last night and check email for the first time since Sunday and I had one from a SABR guy I met once about two years ago who is coming out for the weekend with a group from Fangraphs.

    He asked for tickets for Saturday.

    No problem, how many do you need?

    “38″

    Some guys have a bigger nutsack than brain.

    My allotment for the season is 34, and I try and save them for, you know, family and friends.

    So, no.

    I sent him the name and phone number for the group sales manager and said if he mentioned my name he’d get an extra $1 off the already discounted group rate.

  150. Raul Says:

    38??

    I don’t even think CC Sabathia could let in 38 guys to a game.
    He’s gotta pay those out of his pocket!

  151. Chuck Says:

    That’s nothing.

    I got a Twitter DM a couple of weeks ago from some guy who wanted me to email him my address so he could send me some stuff for Ryan Braun to sign for him.

    I had some lady at work (who I don’t even know) come by my desk once with a commemorative insert from the Kansas City paper on George Brett that she wanted me to have him sign “for her husband’s birthday present”.

    The best one was a few years ago when some 13 year old kid found my old Bleacher Report profile and wanted to send me his Ichiro card collection so I could get them signed..all 46 of them.

    I sent John a Brewers media guide last year.

    I got Bob Uecker to sign a copy of “Major League” for my cousin in CT.

    I’ve had guys sign stuff for Braut for his collection (we trade stuff through the mail..he sends me stuff I need).

    A good friend of my wife’s is from Milwaukee, last year I got her to run in the sausage race at a game.

    I don’t mind taking care of friends and family like that.

    Within reason.

    But some total stranger?

    Fuck off.

  152. Raul Says:

    Yeah that’s just weird.

    I wouldn’t ask for stuff like that, just because I feel like if I wanted it I could try to get signatures during the season when they’re at the stadium.

    Part of it is having strangers ask you to do things for them.
    Another part is having anyone ask you to get 30-40 things signed.
    Another part is asking you to get signatures from players you might not even like dealing with.

    We’re already at 3 strikes and I’m just getting warmed up.
    LOL.

  153. Bob Says:

    Shit, if I ever make my way to Arizona could I be the sausage in the running race?

  154. Chuck Says:

    Sure Bob..

    Bring Felber with you, he could be the weiner. :)

  155. Raul Says:

    Badum chhhh!

  156. Bob Says:

    LOL @ 154.

  157. Raul Says:

    17 days until opening day!

  158. Raul Says:

    Carlos Gomez gets 4 years, 28 million.
    I guess they think he’s turning a corner.

  159. Raul Says:

    Kirby Puckett would have been 53 today.
    Kevin Brown is 48.

    By the way, the top 10 picks of the 1986 MLB DRAFT?
    1. Jeff King (Pirates)
    2. Greg Swindell (Indians)
    3. Matt Williams (Giants)
    4. Kevin Brown (Rangers)
    5. Kent Mercker (Braves)
    6. Gary Sheffield (Brewers)
    7. Brad Brink (Phillies)
    8. Pat Lennon (Mariners)
    9. Derek May (Cubs)
    10. Derek Park (Twins)

    That’s actually pretty good.

    Butch Wynegar is 57 today.
    And Bobby Jenks is 32. Jenks appears to be retired, though.

  160. Chuck Says:

    Make sure you pick him up in your fantasy draft, Raul.

    Since 2009, he’s second in the major leagues in stolen base percentage with more than 100 attempts, and last year he was one of only six players with 15+ homers and 30+ steals.

    Now that Morgan’s gone and he’s not platooning anymore, I expect those numbers to go up.

  161. Raul Says:

    I haven’t joined a league yet, Chuck.
    But I’ll keep an eye on him.

    Knowing the guys I typically play with, I should have no problem drafting him in like the 20th round.

  162. Chuck Says:

    Wow..Patrick Lennon…there’s a bust for you.

  163. Raul Says:

    Never heard of him.

    I bet Lefty roomed with him in the PCL or something.

  164. Chuck Says:

    Swindell story..(OK, two).

    I was working part time on game days for the Waterbury Indians when Swindell was drafted.

    He was the second pick and signed pretty quickly and got sent to AA. It was a big deal for the EL, so there were a lot (then) of media requests and advance ticket sales.

    He showed up on Tuesday and got settled in, on Wednesday he gets to the park about four hours before the game and heads down to throw a bullpen.

    I was in the clubhouse helping the clubbie put out the uniforms and stuff for the game and the GM comes in and wants to know where Swindell was.

    We said we hadn’t seen him, he says go find him right away, “Cleveland’s on the phone”.

    So I head down the tunnel and come out and see he’s just finished throwing and is getting ready to walk back, I go over and say he has “an important call” in the office.

    We walk back and he picks up the phone, listens for a minute but says nothing, then hangs up. He turns to the GM and says, “They want me in Cleveland, I’m starting tomorrow, can someone drive me to the airport?”

    He did start the next day against Boston.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE198608210.shtml

    A couple of years ago at FanFest he was signing autographs with the Dbacks 2001 team and was at a table by himself. When I walked by there was no one around him so I went up to him, he stuck out his hand like I was going to hand him something to sign.

    I said no, but I had a story for him..he didn’t remember me obviously but he told the story almost exactly the way I remembered it.

    “You never forget the moment you get called to the Show, especially when it wasn’t expected.”

  165. Chuck Says:

    That reminds me..I never did solve the “Lefty mystery”.

    Lennon did play in the EL with Vermont, but as a Mariner, so I think he was there a couple of years after.

  166. Bob Says:

    Marc,”my father is Haywood” actually played that game.

  167. Chuck Says:

    I worked full time for the EL from August of ‘78 til the end of the ‘81 season, then part time from ‘82 to ‘86.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I saw Lefty play.

  168. Cameron Says:

    Can we just stop sending in invites to the WBC to Italy until they start fielding… You know, Italians?

  169. Chuck Says:

    If you count Independent ball (which I don’t), Patrick Lennon played 20 seasons of minor league baseball.

    Even if you don’t, he still played 16 seasons.

    Damn that’s a lot of bus rides.

    Six major league seasons too.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/lennopa01.shtml

  170. Raul Says:

    First start against Oil Can Boyd!!??

    3.2 innings for Swindell. Welcome to the bigs, kid.
    Then again that 86 Sox team was sort of famous…

  171. Raul Says:

    Wouldn’t surprise me if those minor league buses in the 80s were recycled jalopies from the 1950s.

  172. Bob Says:

    LOL @ 171.

  173. Chuck Says:

    Seeing an Ohio doubleheader this weekend..Reds tomorrow and Indians Saturday.

    Reds game is a SS, can’t wait to see what they send.

  174. Chuck Says:

    Other way around.

  175. Raul Says:

    Spring Training has to be bitter-sweet for you Chuck.
    Great time to be around the players. But you’re looking forward to the season starting.

    …but once the season starts…the mundane routine of regular work resumes.

  176. Chuck Says:

    Spring Training adds to my day, it doesn’t replace anything.

    I work a half day at my “real” job, then go to the park.

    Last Friday I left my house around 4 am and didn’t get home til 5:30 PM.

  177. Chuck Says:

    One thing I had forgotten since it’s been so long as how much fun it is to watch BP and infield..you can tell so much.

    I remember a couple of years ago the Brewers had tossed around the idea of moving Rickie Weeks to center field, partly because he can run, and partly because he has a cannon.

    People say Cano has the best arm for a 2B, but Rickie can really hose it.

  178. Raul Says:

    Cano does have a great arm.
    And he needs it. Because he hardly ever gets in front of the baseball.

  179. Mike Felber Says:

    If you are gonna make me-or anyone-the foil for japes, at least have them rise above the puerile single digit age level Chuck. But some other updates are interesting.

  180. Chuck Says:

    Sure, Mike, I’ll get right on that.

    Nice Yankees boxscore today..starter sucked, first reliever worse.

    They’ll have to score 1200 runs to be a contender.

  181. Lefty33 Says:

    Derrek Lee, like Chipper and Rolen, has chosen to stay retired rather then join the 2013 Titanic Yankees.

  182. Chuck Says:

    I’m frightened by the fact the Yankees even talked to Derrick Lee.

  183. Lefty33 Says:

    It also speaks volumes about the state of the Yankees that guys would rather stay home then take their millions for AAAA production in return.

  184. Raul Says:

    That’s true.

    It also says to their farm system what is has always said:
    We don’t think you’re even worth a shot.

  185. Chuck Says:

    In the last five years, the only player the Yankees sent to the AFL that I liked before he got here was Ian Kennedy..and he got traded a month later.

    I became somewhat of a Heathcott fan this year, but no one else they’ve sent is worth a shit.

    Romine, Banuelos, Adams, Claiborne, Phelps, Joseph, Burawa..the list goes on.

    The farm system is shallower than a Jersey Shore script.

  186. Chuck Says:

    So, ESPN suspends Bill Simmons from Twitter for three days for criticizing Skip Bayless?

    Man, if that’s not a clear case of pot and kettle.

  187. Raul Says:

    Bill Simmons should know by now that he doesn’t need ESPN anymore.
    He should quit.

  188. Bob Says:

    And nobody needs Skip Bayless.

  189. Chuck Says:

    Leave ESPN and fall into the land of irrelevancy.

    Look at Rob Neyer.

    Being the big fish in a little pond isn’t always the right move.

  190. Bob Says:

    Neyer shows up on the MLB Network off and on. Though your larger point still stands.

  191. Chuck Says:

    Yeah, to talk with another irrelevant ex-ESPNer..Brian Kenny.

    Some guys aren’t talented enough to be the main man..Kenny was good on late night SportsCenter (because no one watched) and his boxing shows, but as his work on MLBNetwork proves, he can’t lead the parade.

  192. Raul Says:

    More predictions?
    NL Central?

  193. Cameron Says:

    I’ll get the AL Central sometime this weekend probably. Though I have only this in my notes.

    1. Detroit
    2. Hell If I Know
    3. Minnesota

  194. Chuck Says:

    Detroit
    Kansas City
    Cleveland
    Chicago
    Minnesota

    For now.

  195. Chuck Says:

    Brett Myers v. Chris Narveson today.

    So excited.

  196. Raul Says:

    “Brett Myers v. Chris Narveson today.

    So excited.”

    Maybe someone will get hit in the on deck circle.

  197. Raul Says:

    Over/Under 22 home runs for Ike Davis this season?

  198. Bob Says:

    I will say under. The 2 first basemen to emerge into household names this year will be Anthony Rizzo and Hosmer. This also assumes Freeman is a big name.

  199. Raul Says:

    Davis hit 32 homers last year, so maybe 22 is a low suggestion by me.
    But I’m wondering if this kid will make any contact at all.

  200. Raul Says:

    Last year Jason Bay hit .165/.237/.299 for the Mets in 70 games.
    Wow.

    This is a guy who 3 years ago was OPSing .900 for Boston.

  201. Bob Says:

    Is he going to make the Mariners roster?

  202. Chuck Says:

    “Is he going to make the Mariners roster?”

    Not only will he make the roster, he’s going to be the leadoff hitter.

    Not a joke.

  203. Chuck Says:

    For Cameron..

    Throwing out the first pitch today.

    http://www.honkytonkman.net/

  204. Cameron Says:

    Greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time, baby!

  205. Chuck Says:

    I met him..very nice man.

    He looks exactly the same as he did when he was active.

    If you Google pictures of him, he appears to look like any other 60 year old ex performer (notice I didn’t say athlete), but according to him he’s lost close to 30 pounds in the last year and a half and actually wears the costumes he wore in 1988.

    I expected to meet some artificially created douchebag reality star, but he’s not that at all.

    Even though he’s lived in Arizona for years, he still has his Tennessee twang in his accent and is very polite and respectful to people.

    He walked into the media room wearing a golf shirt and Khaki shorts, then went and changed into his wrestling attire to throw out the first pitch, then changed back.

    I know there’s some Twitter pictures, but I just got home and haven’t had time to check, I’ll retweet those I find.

    I also met Thom Brennemann today..I can’t stand him as an announcer, but I had lunch with him today and he’s an awesome guy. Very nice, took pictures with the lunch room staff, signed some autographs for people walking by the gate who recognized him.

    Really nice guy.

    Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

  206. Chuck Says:

    Also, some inside stuff..that none of the ESPN “insiders” have.

    The guy who was suspended for 100 games from the Biogenesis probe, Cesar Carillo, was Ryan Braun’s roommate at the University of Miami.

    MLB approached him and said if he rolled on Braun, he wouldn’t be suspended and they’d guarantee him a 2013 roster spot in the majors.

    He told MLB to fuck off.

    Hence, his vacation.

  207. Raul Says:

    great stuff, Chuck.

    i’m glad you were able to meet those people.

  208. Chuck Says:

    I met Dick Enberg last year..nothing will top that.

    I still have a boner a year later.

    The first time I met Bob Uecker, I could barely talk..the last few times it was like talking to my neighbor.

    The encounter with Brennamann was by accident, he was in line ahead of me and I said hello, we ended up sitting together with a couple of other guys and his radio partner and just talked baseball for 20 minutes while eating lunch.

    After his first pitch, Honky came up to the press box and met everyone and posed for pictures with him and his Intercontinental belt.

    We got introduced, I shook his hand, said nice to meet you, and that was it.

    Interesting fact.

    Honky Tonk Man held the Intercontinental Title longer than any other wrestler in history..64 weeks.

    Look it up. (Google “Honky Tonk Man”, Mike)

    He is not in the WWE Hall of Fame.

    Bob Uecker is.

    You can look that up, too.

    I shit you not.

  209. Mike Felber Says:

    HOW would Bob Uecker get there? They all are entertainers, but he is no wrestler-must be the Clown Prince aspect of things.

    St, Paddies Day is a bit of an Amateur night/day in NYC. Many celebrated early, like the big parade today. Snowing, early PM, walked up to/corrected a young guy screaming from a car-fine he is whooping it up with his pals, but you don’t need to bellow the efffing part with kids walking by. He apologized.

  210. Chuck Says:

    “HOW would Bob Uecker get there”

    He was inducted as a “celebrity presenter”, hosting a WWF program. Uecker, Pete Rose, and Mike Tyson are also in for the same reason.

    Bob Uecker being in the WWE Hall of Fame isn’t quite the farce Tim Raines being in the Baseball HOF is, but you get the drift.

  211. Chuck Says:

    “St, Paddies Day is a bit of an Amateur night/day in NYC.”

    I cleaned up…owning a bar and having a “holiday” that celebrated drinking”

    Put some food coloring in draft beer..serve a high quality corn beef and cabbage lunch/dinner…cafuckingching.

    My uncle and his wife were cops..I played ball with a couple of cops..they’d cut me a break on their overtime wages..two in uniform and two in plain clothes..my place was safer than your house.

    Cafuckingching.

  212. Cameron Says:

    @210 Drew Carey too since he appeared in the 2001 Royal Rumble. Donald Trump is getting in this year. They have a celebrity a year quota. It’s one of the things the more hardcore fans gripe about.

    The real injustice is any of those guys getting in before Randy Savage, a multiple time WWE Champion and one of the most memorable wrestlers ever.

  213. Mike Felber Says:

    Except for the absurd & endless Raines griping, I can feel all that. Really should not be an issue if they put celebrities in a sport requiring some skills, but still being a scripted show.

    Safer than my place? Likely. I had an unexpected visitor on my fire escape last night, almost right outside the window by which I type on the couch…

    I see movement & open it up: a big orange tabby is staring at me with those big where eyes. I called to it, did not want to come, wandered away…Went down a flight, thought it was from the apt. right below me from whence a now deceased cat came up the fire escape a few years ago. No, their gorgeous large thing was right there…

    Knocked upstairs & this very cute, smiley & petite dancer answered. She had been watching the cat “apparently not very well” she said. I propagandized her w/my dog & pony shows, met her on the fire escape, the big girl cat had gone down & was just sitting there. Met her w/cat up a flight, gave her my very local ex GF’s # who adapts out strays, grooms & watches pets.

    Now if it was a(n especially ’70’s) porno, the mutual stroking of pussy in her arms would have led to so much more. ;-) But it was still a fun break from my endless newsletter writing.

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