Today I went outside and the temperature was above freezing. It may as well have been 70 degrees. Also, spring training officially opens today. Today is a good day.
- There’s a bonanza of Padres links today… First up, Kyle Blanks has learned to eat. Well, he already knew how to eat, but you know what I mean.
- Brad Hawpe is using Todd Helton’s glove at first base. This kind of thing happens more often than you think.
- Manager Bud Black says (rightly) that the Padres are more balanced than they were last year.
- The obligatory “(Arbitrary number) questions as (team) opens Spring Training” story.
- Heath Bell may want to pull the Elaine Benes and force everyone in Padres camp to wear name tags. There’s that many new guys.
- Across the parking lot at Mariners’ camp, they’re figuring out who will be the closer while David Aardsma gets healthy. Which is important, as the Brewers proved last year when Trevor Hoffman struggled early.
- The White Sox might only need four starting pitchers early in the season, thanks to the way their schedule sets up. Which could ease the pressure on Fort Wayne alum RHP Jake Peavy to hurry back from injury.
- Former MWLer Mike Trout will start this year in Double-A, but he probably won’t get to the big leagues. That could change if he goes bananas, I bet.
- The Rockies are enjoying their new spring training park.
- What’s this? The Yankees focusing on drafting?
- Homer Bailey, Mike Leake and Travis Wood are three guys competing for two spots in the Reds’ rotation.
- Jim Edmonds is hobbling. Good thing the Cardinals only gave him a minor-league deal. Meanwhile, Albert doesn’t have a contract extension going into camp. So we can enjoy that story lingering all summer. Welcome to 2009-10 in Cleveland, Cardinals fans. In the Cardinals’ defense, I’d be pretty hesitant to give anybody a ten-year contract that runs through his age-41 season, too. But he’s one of the few guys who has “butts-in-seats” impact.
- Yep, the numbers back up that last year was the Year of the Pitcher.
- Josh Hamilton’s story has inspired a lot of people, including a Marlins prospect.
- Fact: DVR is the only way to watch awards shows.
- I don’t usually watch awards shows, but I couldn’t pass up the Mumford & Sons / Avett Brothers / Bob Dylan set on the Grammys. And I know I could be put to death for saying this, but if I had to rank the performances, it would go Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Dylan. And whoever ran the audio board for Mumford & Sons needs to get with the program. The banjo playing is what makes “The Cave” jump out of the stereo and it was almost inaudible on the show.
- Mick Jagger’s Blues Brothers set was good too.
- The awards part of the Grammys is as bad as ever. Fact: Lady Antebellum isn’t that good. Fact: Muse winning anything other than a 40-yard dash over Jeff Beck, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam and Neil Young is so utterly ridiculous that I don’t even know where to start.
- I’ll have to do the photo work tomorrow, but am I the only one who noticed that John Mayer, Johnny Depp and Jack White could be the same person?
FrenchFreedom toast experiment was a huge success. Cinnamon was good, but adding orange zest to the batter was like adding rocket fuel to a… rocket. I don’t know how I lived without it.
Musical guest… The Avett Brothers!