Checking In on Baseball will be a regular series throughout the baseball season, featuring nine random thoughts, observations, you know, stuff about good ol’ Major League Baseball.
1.) Coolest name in baseball? That’s easy. It’s Sonny Gray. I don’t even know who is second.
2.) The Phillies aren’t bad, a joke or an embarrassment. They’re just sad. I watch them and feel like an old man reminiscing about American industry. We used to make something in this country and the Phillies used to be exciting- neither of which seem to be true anymore. Listening to the Opening Day game between the Phillies & the Red Sox, the lineup the Fightins trotted out there seemed like a mistake. Who the hell are some of these guys? How is the team still built offensively around Ryan Howard? How is Carlos Ruiz batting fifth for them? It really is baffling. And here the Phillies had made some serious strides towards becoming a player in the Philly sports scene. At least the Sixers, as laughable as it may be, have somewhat of a rebuilding plan. You can’t really say the same for the Phillies unless that plan involves a lab, genetic mutation and Howard.
3.) On a related note, I think Jimmy Rollins is going to have a monster year for the Dodgers. JRoll is a prime time dude and the Dodgers are a prime time team. It’s a match made in heaven- prime time heaven.
4.) This Tanaka thing is a damn shame. I hate the Yankees and seeing them wallow and flirt with impeding misery is wonderful. But Tanaka is a stud and thanks to his reluctance to have surgery last year, we’re going to lose him for at least an extra year than necessary. Lesson here: don’t be stubborn. Modified your throwing motion isn’t going to somehow fix a tear in a muscle.
5.) Too many people are picking the Nationals to win it all this year. Which is why they won’t. The team everyone thinks will win never wins in baseball. Season is too long; too many games.
6.) If the Padres really want to get people’s attention this year they should play only in throwback uniforms- specifically uniforms from the late 70’s. Do that and you’ll be the talk of baseball.
7.) Speaking of the Padres, big fan of Wil Myers, mainly because he’s part of the No Batting Glove Club. I’ll support any ball player who hits without batting gloves- even a Yankee (Jorge Posada is a member of the Club.)
8.) I take great satisfaction and joy in the fact that no one is talking about the Rays this year unless it’s in regards to how bad they’ll be, how terrible their stadium is or how piss poor their crowds are now that they aren’t fielding a competitive team. I saw a Red Sox/Rays series at the Tropicana Field a few years back and holy smokes that place is a shit shack. It’s the Amtrack bathroom of MLB stadiums. I like the Rays a lot better when they’re terrible, which they are now. Thumbs up all around.
9.) A lot of people like the Indians this year. Granted I don’t know much about them beyond that their manager is Terry Francona but picking the Tribe to win the Series seems like a stretch and a desperate cry for attention.