Sunday, March 16, 2008

Two Weeks Away from Opening Day and Counting

The table is being set for a team in the AL East to jump out to a quick lead as the Red Sox appear to be having health issues. Curt Schilling is on the 60 day DL and Josh Beckett is out with back spasms and not expected to be ready by the start of the season. In my mind, the only team not prepared to take advantage of that is the Orioles. Tampa and Toronto, on paper anyway, are better than they were last year. Will '08 be the year of a leadership change?

Through the process of suspensions, and absent any appeals, I"m thinking that the opening day lineup could be: Damon (DH), Jeter, Abreu, A-Rod, Giambi, Cano, Posada, Matsui, and Brett Gardner (CF). If Melkey opts to appeal his suspension than he gets the start at Center and Gardner sits. Due to how heavy the left side of the batter's box looks to be, perhaps Damon would get a start in Center and Ensberg gets a nod at DH. For the most part though, I think it is set. Any thoughts on Opening Day lineups?

The pitching staff is still a question mark in my mind as outside of (gulp) Kyle Farnsworth and LaTroy Hawkins, few have shown much consistency thus far.

I am highly disappointed that Miranda and Tabata did not make a better showing this Spring; both of whom have been reassigned to Minor League Camp. Steven White also optioned to SWB.

It just doesn't feel right that Tampa has gotten so much coverage in the national media during training camp.
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Political Bite and the "Don't say you weren't warned" for the week: At the start of '07, when Nancy P. and the Dem Presidential hopefuls were talking about raising taxes on the rich, 57 and I had several conversations and thought based on available evidence that they weren't talking about just CEOs and the Bill Gates of the world but were probably going to be taking aim at anyone earning greater than $250k. As recently as my brother's birthday dinner, I lowered my aim and said they were going to include households that earned over $100k as the definition of "rich". Well, I was wrong!! This past week, Senators Obama and Clinton supported, endorsed, and voted for a bill raising taxes on everyone earning more than $31,100. No, the comma is not a typo and I'm not missing a zero. $31,100 is their new definition of the rich that "need to pay their fair share". Wow.

21 comments:

57 said...

How many months do we work for the federal government? I think the number is 6, right?

Mid said...

I think 5 to 6.

I'm having second thoughts about Joba being a starter.

And - I think I"m late to the game on this one, I was reading a story that was a couple of weeks old - any more spec. on where Bonds is going to be - MLB.com had him talking with Tampa of all places.

old professor said...

Okay mid, regarding taxes - the Iraq War is eating 500 billion per year ending that Bush's family squabble would pay for a lot of programs. Apparently you have not been keeping track of the economy lately - tax cuts and federal spending have put us on the edge of a cliff. The housing market is a disaster. Bear Sterns get picked up by JP Morgan for $2/share and there is a $10billion dollar security by the federal reserve on the pick-up. Great, average Americans are losing their homes, gas is at an all time high consumer purchasing is in the tank and the administration bails out Bear Sterns. What a great country.

Regarding Joba, he will be fine as a starter. I have had the opportunity to watch a number of spring training games and the bullpen will be fine. There are a number of pitchers that have had decent numbers this spring and will be given the opportunity to break camp with the club. Patterson is one that has pitched well.

Bonds will be sitting at home watching baseball. The person people should be talking about is Sammy Sosa. He was not mentioned in any of the reports regarding steroid use and had a pretty decent year last year and he has not been even brought into a camp for a look.

Crash said...

That Bonds to Tampa story is several weeks old. That would destroy everything Tampa has tried to build and makes no sense. They trade an awesomely talented young player in the offseason because he had attitude problems. So they would bring in the circus show that is Bonds???

The Yanks need to come out hot, for the reasons you mentioned. Pettitte has looked good in spring, ditto for Hughes. Wang and Mussina may have turned a corner. I haven't heard anything on Kennedy. I know he started this weekend. Any news there?

Opening Day Line-up: Damon, Jeter, Abreu, A-Rod, Giambi, Posada, Cano, Duncan, & Cabrera.

I don't think the suspensions will come into play for opening day. I don't think Matsui will be ready for opening day either. If they bring him up for opening day, look for a slow start to his season. Bold prediction: Abreu has a huge year. He'll be over .300, about 25 HRs, 100 Runs & RBI, add in 25 steals.

Mid said...

I agree - Abreu turns into a monster.

57 said...

Abreu will get hurt 3 weeks into the season. Mark it.
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Did anyone catch Part 1 & 2 of the HBO Mini-series, 'John Adams' last night? I am a big history buff, and this was right up my alley. It is still amazing to fathom that without France we would have never declared independence from England....and most American's cannot stand France now. It was 'only' 200 years or so ago... It's too bad we don't have leaders in today's goverment (both parties) that had the integrity and fortitude that John Adams had... plus his wife was hot.

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Pedro looked TREMENDOUS yesterday through 4. He is, undoubtedly, back to 100%... could be the toughest one-two-three punch this year with Johann, Pedro and Maine. If Oliver Perez can stay consitent, the Mets will have their most dominating staff since Gooden, Darling, Fernandez and Ojeda. El Duque needs to realize that he has male reproductive organs and play baseball.

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Bear Stearns.... so that happened.

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I hate all media 'pundits'... CNN props David Gregory because he stood up to "the most powerful man in the world and did not back down".. referencing a White House PC where Gregory asked a 'tough' question and Bush got pissed. WHO CARES!! I hate the media...hate them.

Crash said...

Red Sox and Yankees battle today in spring training. Bartalo Colon has a nice pitching line:

.2 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 ER, 16.88 ERA

Middle Relief said...

I think Colon hit Jeter with a pitch in today's game didn't he?

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Gregory is just a left-wing hatchet man, nothing more. His show will meet the same fate as the rest of the MSNBC network
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Bear Stearns was a hit job carried out by Goldman.
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c said...

Colon didn't hit Jeter, but Tavarez did. Tavarez is the equivalent to a hockey thug.

with the NCAA tourney about to start it's time for some predictions...

Final Four

North Carolina
Georgetown
Texas
UCLA
I don't see any huge upsets happening...St Joseph, Villanova, Kent St. St. Mary's, and Davidson could all make it to the second round, but won't make much noise after that.

Middle Relief said...

This will be the year of "upsets" even though, they won't be real upsets. There is not that much that distance between the top teams and the mid majors any longer.

Butler, Davidson, and Winthrop will all be in sweet 16 if not higher - and it won't be an upset - these are good teams.

The Scooter said...

Talk about a FIRST CLASS organization:

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - The New York Yankees made a pilgrimage Tuesday to the Virginia Tech memorial dedicated to the campus shooting victims.

Along with about 200 onlookers, the Yankees viewed 32 stone memorials to the victims of the shooting rampage on April 16 at the Blacksburg campus.

The players were dressed in street clothes as they filed past the stones, then paused to look toward the classroom building where all but two of the gunman's victims were slain.

Tech President Charles Steger briefly addressed the players. The Yankees were to play Virginia Tech later Tuesday in an exhibition game.

In May, the Yankees made a $1 million contribution to the Virginia Tech "Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. "

The fund is designed to cover expenses such as grief counseling, memorials and other costs for the victims and their families. Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people in two campus buildings before committing suicide.

Students who came to see the Yankees said the players will help the healing process on campus.

"It gets our minds off what happened for a while," said Led Smith, a sophomore from Parsippany, N.J.

Matt Weaver, a sophomore from Springfield, Va., said he and his father attended the Yankees game against the Boston Red Sox when the $1 million gift was announced.

He said experiencing the support made him realize how many people were affected by the mass shootings.

Dave Wechtaluk, of Elmira, N.Y, said he was impressed by the generosity of George Steinbrenner and the presence of the Yankees.

Wechtaluk, whose wife is a faculty member and son attends Tech, was happy about the visit for the students' sake.

"You look at these young people. They've grown up awfully fast," he said.

57 said...

That is a class move.

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Delgado for Millar and Payton. Possible..very possible. We have to win now, and we wont with Delgado. He'd be a perfect DH in the American League. Watch it happen by weeks end.

The Scooter said...

That would be a GREAT trade for the Mets.

I would do Millar and Payton for Giambi.

The Scooter said...

This is totally off topic and most of you probably don't even care...But hey, this is a New York blog so I'm going to ask...

If Matt Ryan is on the board for the Jets do they pick him?

old professor said...

Scooter,

The Jets have been pretty active with free agent signings and I don't think they are looking at the quarterback position.

I would doubt Ryan being available for them, in addition, there would be a serious question about one the job training during a season. Last season was poor, I can't see management willing to waste another season while they experiment with a rookie quarterback.

Jim Kaat had an interesting take on MLB trying to grow interest in China and Japan. His view is there should be a greater emphasis at growing interest in this country and rekindling the lost interest.

Mid said...

I think Matt Ryan is headed to the Falcons -

Crash said...

The Jets just drafted a QB 2 years ago. He wasn't awful this year, was showing improvement and seems like a gamer. The Jets don't need Ryan. I have seen a couple of Mock Drafts that have McFadden falling to the Jets(in the 6th spot).

The Falcons have so many holes to fill why waste it on a position that won't help you immediately. If they draft Ryan and he starts, he will just get crushed (please reference Texans/David Carr) and certainly won't win for at least 2 years, and that's if he's good.

On to the real NY football team, the Super Bowl Champs...I think the G-Men need to look at LBs. They lost 2 to free agency, and if Strahan retires they could opt to move Kiwanuka back to D-Line instead of LB. That leaves only Pierce out there...I think they still have Blackburn, but he was essentially a back-up who just saw a lot of playing time due to injuries. I wouldn't be surprised if they go LB and Secondary. They are pretty set on the Offensive side of the ball.

The Scooter said...

Thanks guys...I guess I agree on the Jets passing on Ryan if he's there (I also think he won't get past Atlanta), although i don't know what games Crash was watching if he thinks Kellen Clemons was not AWFUL.

How about the MLBPA saying they are going to look into why Barry Bonds doesn't have a job? How about because he's an idiot who will do more to harm your team in the clubhouse then he will do to help it on the field? And how about he is the poster boy for cheaters? And how about the likelihood that he will spend more time in a courtroom then on the field during the next year?

old professor said...

Nice news out of Red Sox camp. Apparently the team is threatening to boycott the games in Japan because the coaches and staff aren't scheduled to get paid their $40,000 stipend (let them boycott - since when is $40,000 a stipend a large portion of the American public would call that an annual salary. So they can boycott and stamp their feet. Once more example of greed in the game.

The Scooter said...

Yea Prof...according to Mid, you and your liberal buddies would consider that $40k as making one RICH...and they would tax the hell out of it.

Crash said...

Scooter if you look at Kellen Clemens' stats for the season, they are terrible (53% Comp rate, 5 TDs to 10 INTs, passer rating in the 60's). But he did have good games too, he played well against Washington, Miami, and KC. Plus you have to consider the Jets O line was terrible. He was sacked 27 times in only 7 starts.

Looks like the Sox are going to Japan. That's too bad, I would have liked to see them forfeit the games.

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