Forget what you’ve heard about Christmas, summer or Hawaiian Shirt (and jeans) Day… Thursday begins the most wonderful time of the year.
Thursday, the TinCaps’ Spring Training Brigade flies to Arizona. You’d think that would be enough, but it’s also the first day of the college basketball tournament, also known as National Watch College Basketball At Work Day. You know, if watching college basketball were allowed at your workplace. Sixteen basketball games per day for two days, four of them announced by Gus Johnson. This might be the best combination since someone decided to put melted cheese inside breadsticks.
One other thing I hope you got a chance to see was this: During the selection show for the tournament, Ohio State was announced as a No. 2 seed. That’s not news; the news was that Mark Titus of Club Trillion fame decided he would also be Mark Titus of “raising the roof on national television for what seemed like 20 minutes straight” fame. I can’t think of anything to better celebrate a tournament bid on TV than to resurrect one of the shortest-lived and lamest celebrations of all time for everyone to see.
- I caught the Indians-Padres game yesterday… Drew Cumberland pinch-ran and stole second base on Carlos Santana (not that Carlos Santana), who has a pretty good arm. James Darnell came in for an inning as a defensive replacement. Between them, Simon Castro, Alexi Amarista (Angels), Gustavo Nunez (Tigers), Kyle Russell (Dodgers) and others, there are a lot of guys who played in the MWL last year who are getting reps in MLB Spring Training games.
- Mat Latos is supposed to pitch four innings in today’s game. Now’s the time when starting pitchers are starting to stretch out and go deeper into games, which usually means more minor-leaguers get sent to minor-league camp.
- If you hear about a guy being “cut” from camp, chances are he’s not being released… He’s just being reassigned to minor-league camp, which just means he probably won’t make the major-league Opening Day roster.
- Pretty good article from Baseball America about what it means when a player is said to be “out of options.” It can be pretty confusing.
- Ben Sheets had what should end up as the most ridiculous pitching line of the year, and not in a good way: 0 IP, 8 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 1 BB, 0 K. Chris Dickerson led off the bottom of the 1st with a homer, then doubled later in the inning. Maybe nobody cares about Spring Training stats, but when you’re coming off major shoulder surgery, this is a red flag… Unless he was working on a secondary pitch or something weird.
- Former Astros INF Morgan Ensberg writes a blog and he has an interesting post about what led up to Albert Pujols’ monster home run against Brad Lidge. He’s not really throwing his manager under the bus, but you usually don’t hear these kinds of stories because they can be construed as a shot at somebody.
- I’m thinking about taking a tub of whale blubber with me to Arizona. Not for fuel, but for sunscreen. After a winter without sun, I’ll be lobster-fied by sundown the day we get there.
I think that’s it for now… Take care!