Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Talkin' Baseball...

(Cross-posted at Bulldogs & Dirt Dogs)
Baseball season started earlier than ever this year (I think the date is earlier, I know the 6:05 EST first pitch was early), following the trend set by Fat Tuesday and Easter (ironically, my New Year's was an hour later than usual.)

Much wailing and gnashing of teeth towards DirectTV who decided that giving me a consistent signal of ESPN and ESPNews was fine, but not ESPN2 which was carrying the game.

So basically, I woke up at 5:45am to follow a baseball game online.

I was all set to have a pre-7am beer too.

The overall verdict?

A win is a win is a win.
I will tell myself that often, so as to not fret about Dice-K nearly shitting the bed in the first inning, Papelbon looking decidedly un-Papelbon-ish, Big Papi going hitless, and Kyle Synder still pitching like he was on the Royals.

In the meantime, Jacoby Ellsbury can fly, literally, Manny is still Manny, and Brandon Moss...welcome to the bigs.

Baseball season just started and the Sox are in 1st place in the AL East.

Skipping over to the not-yet-playing-games-that-count National League...I'm cautiously optimistic about the Braves this season.

Last year they had a very good offense (once they added Texiera) and that figures to be true this season as well (yep, going out on a limb and predicting they don't miss Andruw Jones' 2007 production) but were stuck with Tim Hudson and John Smoltz as their only good pitchers, plus a deranged mess of a bullpen.

The bullpen may be better (it's certainly less David Wellsian in size), but the starting pitching could be vastly improved. If Mike Hampton can somehow be not the Mike Hampton of the past couple seasons (Viz. injured and not pitching) and Jair Jurgens can continue being surprisingly badass...suddenly the Braves have a really good starting rotation. Sure, no one's going to be Johan Santana...but the Mets don't have #4/#5 starters like say, Hampton, Glavine or Jurgens either. And over 162 games a good #1-5 trumps a great #1 each time.

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