March 2, 2008
Less than a week now till the family and I jet off for a long weekend in Sarasota. Darn public school schedule is going to put a major crimp in our spring training style for the next 12 years, but there are benefits to making it a short trip. For example, since it’s only a couple days, we’re renting a convertible. Ought to be awesome driving over the bridge to St. Petersburg.
Quick aside before we get to the Reds blogs: someone’s written a limerick for the Fanhouse previewing the Reds 2008 season. I knew you’d want to know.
Meanwhile, JD at Red Reporter has run across a pessimistic projection for the Reds’ 2008 offense and rebuts it. History tells us that offense is not an issue for the Reds organization.
Case in point, yesterday’s game against the Pirates. The Reds barely scraped by with a win in this 12-11 affair. Read Andrew Kappes wrap up at Redlegs Rundown.
The guys at Redleg Nation brought Jay Bruce’s mild quadriceps strain to my attention. Apparently he came out of the game early and is now the dreaded “day-to-day.” They’re also talking about Johnny Cueto and whether he’ll break with the big team.
Not a lot to link to on Shawn’s blog today, but it’s a hoot to go over there when he is posting. The mid-game posts are like the other side of the conversation you’re having.
Finally, newcomer blog Chris Sabo’s Goggles has been putting up some humorous commentary on the team for the last couple weeks. And there’s certainly never a shortage of stuff to laugh about with the Reds.
March 2, 2008
What other team but the Cubs could drop the kind of money they’ve dropped this off-season and still not be considered a shoe-in to win the division? Money’s not everything, I know, but I think that demonstrates an impressive faith from the general public in the ability of the Cubs to come in second.
Cubnut at The Cub Reporter opened my eyes to a story from the Chicago Tribune that quotes Jason Marquis saying he wants to be traded if the Cubs won’t let him start:
“I love Chicago. I definitely want to stay hereâ€¦But I also signed as a starterâ€¦I love (Chicago), I love the fans, I love the stadium. I also have a family to worry about, too. I think I can take my services elsewhereâ€¦and help another team, in that capacity as a starter.”
He’s right, you know. We’ve got to think of the children.
Al at Bleed Cubbie Blue is looking beyond the Cubs’ third spring training loss in a row to get at the real lessons of the game. Among them: Sam Fuld, NLC’s Hottest Baller candidate, is not starting off the season as well as he ended last season. This probably doesn’t disappoint anyone as much as me, since I might have been the only one to vote for him.
The top post at The View From The Bleachers is a diary from Harry, cross-posted from another blog. It’s a close view at today’s game. If you’d like to feel like you were there, give it a read.
Finally, over at Goat Riders of the Apocalypse, Kurt reports that Alfonso Soriano’s broken middle finger on his throwing hand is taking him out of commission for only five days. How in the hell is he going to heal a broken finger in five days?? I guess his legs are all that really matter.
March 2, 2008
Ah, the Pirates. The team with the worst management and the best fans. Charlie at Bucs Dugout is previewing all of the teams in the NLC. The Cubs and Brewers aren’t up yet, but you can check out the previews for the Reds, Cardinals, and Astros.
The Pittsburgh Lumber Co., the MVN page for the Pirates, is previewing the season by taking a look at Andrew McCutcheon.
And our favorite, Pat at Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke? rounds up some of the Pirates news of the day. The Bucs have already made their first cuts of the season, Steve Pearce is very promising, and Pat is demonstrating depth of potential incompetence by using the name of the Reds’ manager. Good stuff.
March 2, 2008
Since my son is now school age and his April spring break doesn’t coordinate with a spring training trip, my family’s week-long baseball vacation this year will be a visit to Houston. We’ll get to catch two games in the home opener series, in addition to hitting the beach and other cool Houston stuff. There should be some awesome photos on Red Hot Mama in April.
In the meantime, the Astros are splitting their squad today to go up against the Braves and the Nationals, and The Crawfish Boxes has the scoop.
Lisa Gray at The Astros Dugout is analyzing some spring training performances. She’s not seeing as much as she’d like out of the ‘stros pitching:
The important thing is for pitchers to locate and to throw to live batters. So far, seems only Roy and Wandy are doing that well. I watched a clip of Wandy and he seemed to be a lot more in control of himself than he usually is when he starts out. Wandy controls the ball best when he controls his own self best.
Lisa was also the contributor of the Astros poem on the Fanhouse, so you’ll want to check that out.
March 2, 2008
It’s a challenge to write a blog buzz about the Cardinals. Many of the tried-and-true Card blogs folded up after the World Series win. I can also assume that the writers have ascended to a higher plane of existence.
Viva El Birdos is still around, though, where Houston Cardinal is talking about Albert Pujols’ year last year. While impressive in a vacuum, it wasn’t exactly the height of his career, and Houston Cardinal considers the wisdom of trading the big guy before his value drops.
Consider the following:
* Albert’s OPS of .997 was the 2nd lowest of his career and his lowest since 2002
* his .336 EQA was his lowest since 2002, 3rd lowest of his career
* his VORP of 72.1 was the 2nd lowest of his career and his lowest since 2002
* his isolated power of .241 was the lowest of his career
* his RC/27 was the 2nd lowest of his career
* his 27 GIDP was the highest of his career
* his PA’s were the 2nd lowest of his career
* he hit the fewest homers, had the fewest RBI and runs scored of his career
If he demands a trade before the 2010 season b/c the team has been horrible in 2008 and 2009, the team will have to seriously consider granting it in order to get maximum value in return. Right now, the Cards can’t get from another team what Pujols is worth but that may not be true in 2 years and this may be an option the team has to consider if the next 2 years are as bad as they might be.
I also dug around a little to find Mike on the Cards, a newish blog that started after the post-World Series delirium. Mike is wrapping games. Yesterday, the Cardinals lost to the Marlins 3-2 and Tyler Johnson didn’t get to pitch after he reported tightness in his shoulder. Prior to that, the Cardinals had won three straight.