The Lo Down: Hello, Baseball
By my counting, there are approximately 12 “day off” holidays in a year. That’s about one per month, so I feel like I’m allowed 3 or 4 articles a year of complete mush. This will be one of them, because it’s Opening Day. So if you’re looking for something concise and to the point read no further. Welcome to the ramblings of a mad man.
8:01 p.m., Sunday, March 30: Even though it’s the National League, I get chills hearing the sounds of baseball return to my television set.
I quickly update my FB status and Twitter as most Millennials do. I can’t explain why we post, we just feel like, “Hey, people care about my opinions, so I’m just going to keep on blasting the Internet with them.” Thirteen Facebook "likes" later, I would like to think my opinion mattered. You’re welcome portion of America that exists online.
Before I go to sleep, I've double-checked my fantasy baseball roster (even though it’s locked a week ago due to the Australia exhibition, once again another National League game cramping my style – Gah!).
Casey Janssen, closer for the Toronto Blue Jays has been placed on the DL. I can’t adjust it, but I like to stare at my screen longer thinking it will make a difference. Nope, no dice, I’ll have to satisfy with moving him to the DL and picking up Daniel Webb, relief pitcher for the Chicago White Sox; maybe he’ll be Chicago’s closer.
I scan the opening day schedule. I can rest easy until 1 p.m. when the Cubs take on the Pirates. It’s National League, but it will do. I’m still excited.
11:17 a.m., Monday, March 31: I’ve rigged a television next to my two computer monitors; so basically I’ve created a 3-screen Bloomberg terminal (don’t know what that is…thanks Internet!), here’s how it breaks down:
- Monitor 1: Baseball
- Monitor 2: Quickbooks and Excel
- Monitor 3: Email and web browser
Look, baseball is a boring game; I admit it. It’s the perfect game to have on while doing something. That's my opinion, but it’s the truth.
This combination of grace and boring makes it the perfect office companion (whether your office be a car, workshop, garage, etc…you get the point). One of the many things about baseball that I love, you don’t have to pay attention all the time, but you can, it’s a paradox…one fine damn sexy paradox…like Homer to donuts I can’t help but just start salivating about the thought: me, warm weather, sun, baseball broadcast in the background.
First pitch isn’t here yet, so I’m trying to find ways to quench my excitement. I watch the trailer to "Money Ball" about three times. I contemplate what are the odds of me owning or general managing a team someday (I’m convinced I can take any franchise to the playoffs in 5 years, ANY). Follow up question: Does $500 million dollars get me there? Also…how am I going to get $500 million dollars? (I don’t get too distracted by that and continue day dreaming about the imaginary baseball transactions I would execute under my leadership – a little preview I’M BIG ON PITCHING).
Finally, it’s here, baseball has returned; opening pitch of Kansas City vs Detroit is in 8 minutes, so for now I can deal with the NL game in front of me.
I quickly switch over to the AL game, just in time to see Victor Martinez hit the first home run of the day. He also is on my fantasy team. I lean back in my chair to center myself on my work/3-monitor rig and am contently in baseball bliss. Next up, 3 p.m. Red Sox start in Baltimore. Until then, I’m contemplating serious baseball issues while plugging numbers into my Excel spreadsheets.
They are serious topics like how I can’t wait for Yordano Ventura to pitch. Don’t know Yordano Ventura? Well in my opinion he’s the second coming of Pedro Martinez. Same height, same body type, same home country. What Yordano lacks in movement he makes up for in velocity. Yordano averages a fastball of 97.1 mph, and regularly tops above 100 mph.
Here’s video of Pedro Martinez. The windup and finish are eerily similar. Okay, maybe I’m just more excited to reminisce about Pedro Martinez, than I am about Yordano Ventura… “Pedroooooo”. Speaking of Pedro, another important topic, the travesty that is Montreal without a baseball team.
Here’s the background and everything you need to know on Montreal as a market, and here’s a more updated recap after the 80,000 tickets that Montreal sold during a two-game pre-season exhibition run a few days ago. My solution: Move the Rays to Montreal as part of the National League East, and Miami joins the AL East. Either that or I inherit $500 million dollars and start a team in Montreal ... whichever happens first.
More “serious” stuff: the Angels got an amazing deal with the Mike Trout extension.
In a time when Robinson Cano and Miguel Cabrera will earn $24 million and $29.2 million respectively (averaged over the life of the contract) Mike Trout will earn $24.1 million dollars while younger and with greater upside potential. My point said another way, it doesn't matter what a player did, it’s what they’re going to do. If you disagree, you probably were the fantasy owner that didn’t draft Trout 1st overall in your league.
Don’t be that guy.
Change monitor 3 to NESN: Oh, the comforting familiar voices of Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy.
After braving a brutally long Orioles introduction and watching the players rundown an even longer walkway first pitch is just minutes away. This may sound foolish, but I sometimes stand for the National Anthem during important televised events (Opening Day included).
Standing inherently seems like the right thing to do, #Murica. I am always excited and nervous for the National Anthem. I’m fearful that the singer’s voice won’t be able to hold the final notes; and I don’t wish that kind of misfortune on anyone. But we’re through the anthem and on to first pitch!
Welcome back Baseball, welcome back Red Sox.
Some Red Sox observations:
- 42% of Red Sox fans expect a World Series Repeat: foolish.
- Grady Sizemore is your starting center fielder
- Grady Sizemore just hit a home run for the first time since 2011
- Cheering for the “underdog Red Sox” is way more fun than cheering for the “42% favorite to repeat Red Sox”
- Ortiz looks heavier and is swinging top-heavy (or is that just me?)
One final random observation: AJ Pierzynski had stellar performances in 2013 with his highest WAR rating of 1.6 of late, in 2012 when he hit 27 home runs, and in 2009 when he hit for a .300 average. You will also be interested to know that all of these years correlate with years when the team AJ Pierzynski played on was in a pennant chase.
Hopefully this trend continues.
I’m also a Toronto Blue Jays fan. They’ve filled the void of “terrible team I cheer for” after the 2004 Red Sox vacated that position. So I change the channel to the Blue Jays game at 4:05 p.m. Jose Reyes leads off, hits ball, hit looks like a single until Desmond Jennings makes a fantastic catch. Jose Reyes is out. Jose Reyes is grabbing hamstring. Jose Reyes is on DL. I change the channel to other baseball games.
My nightcap is Seattle at Los Angeles Angels. The 10:05 p.m. start is a pleasant way to end the day the way it started, with more baseball. Mike Trout hits a home run on his first at bat of the season (looks like that extension is working out already).
Welcome back baseball; let’s do this one more time Friday when the Sox come home to Boston.
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