Tag:Yankees
Posted on: May 22, 2008 10:12 am
Edited on: May 22, 2008 10:14 am
 

There Are No Songs About Thursdays

I'm guessing you were lazy and just drive through Burger King this morning, picking up a sausage/egg/cheese croissanwich, with hash rounds, coffee -- and an order of the Cinni-minis because you couldn't resist. Here's Your Morning Constitutional:
  1. A-Rod homers twice, gets credit for just one: Despite hitting two balls out of the park, Alex Rodriguez was rewarded with just one homer and a double (the ball bounced off some outfield steps before returning the field and unjustly credited as a double by the umps). My Tout Wars team was quite upset over the ruling. But he has four hits, two homers, four RBI and three runs scored in his two games since returning from his quad injury.
  2. Joba Chamberlain begins to get stretched out for the rotation: The big Nebraskan threw two innings Wednesday and the Yankees will try to give him more innings in each outing, but you have to expect he'll take a trip to the minors for a couple of starts. His ownership has gone up from 79 to 84 percent in CBSSports.com leagues.
  3. Jason Taylor's career in Miami is likely over: J.T. won't be attending team activities, which signals the end of his Dolphins career. I can hear the phone calls now from Bill Parcells to other teams: "Hey, remember when I laughed at you for that trade offer you made on Draft Day for Taylor? ... Well, I'll take it! And I'll get Tony Sparano to get an autographed pic of Sylvio for you as well." Way to get less for a commodity, Fins.
  4. The Falcons acquire Tony Gonzalez and Jamal Lewis in monumental day: This wide receiver and safety won't have the same effect as the more famous Tony Gonzalez and Jamal Lewis, but still! Someone wanted to play for Atlanta!?! That's a coup in itself.
  5. The Rays look good on the new cover of Sports Illustrated: Our media relations guy, Alex Riethmiller, texted me yesterday to tell me about the new cover of SI. It's in comic-book style, with a Rays player holding Derek Jeter over his head, with the headline, "Bizarro Baseball!" Then I went to SI.com to look at it yesterday -- and I couldn't find it on their site. Nice marketing, boys. It might be up there by now.
  6. One player hit by pitch, one pitcher hit by batted pitch: Chipper had to leave Wednesday's game after getting plunked in the right ankle, but he hopes to be able to play on Thursday in the series finale against the Mets. Chris R. Young took an Albert Pujols' line drive in the face and had to leave his start in the third inning. He's questionable for his next start Tuesday, so whoever might replace him could see a two-start week.
  7. Bartolo Colon takes a break from the buffet, pitches five innings vs. Royals for a win: After a long wait, we finally got to see Colon make his Red Sox debut -- allowing six hits, two runs and two walks in five innings against Kansas City Wednesday. His ownership has climbed up 19 percent in the past week to 67 percent. He'll be a two-start pitcher in Week 9 (at Seattle, vs. Baltimore).
  8. The 2008 American Idol winner is David ... : That's how many people's Tivo's cut off the end of last night's finale. Cook is the winner, while Archuleta goes back to being an expensive underperforming safety in my dynasty IDP league for the last season of my stupid four-year contract with him.
  9. Speaking of David's you care about: I'm doing well. The other David you care about, David Price, is set to make his pro debut Thursday night for Class A Vero Beach. He has battled shoulder issues and an elbow strain in recent weeks. He struck out 10 batters in five innings in an extended spring training game Sunday. He even struck out A-Rod -- and served up a homer to him. The Rays' pitching staff is currently deep, so they can afford to remain cautious with the No. 1 overall pick from 2007.
  10. Thomas Diamond pitches in a game for the first time in 14 months: The last remaining DVD prospect left in the Rangers' organization pitched 4 2/3 innings for Double-A Frisco Wednesday night. Diamond underwent Tommy John surgery early last season. He allowed six runs on four hits and four walks, to go with five strikeouts. He was hit hard in the first inning, which can be written off for nerves. He's a 25-year-old prospect that was a first-round pick in 2004. The Rangers named him their Minor League Player of the Year in 2005.
Posted on: April 14, 2008 9:38 am
Edited on: April 14, 2008 10:55 am
 

The Sun is Evil

Just got back from fishing on Sunday on Lake Okeechobee with my brother and my two nephews. I'm a bright shade of pink -- as you'll see once today's video gets posted. Maybe I can get Weisberg to adjust the colors and just make me a nice tan. My knees feel like I rested a hot frying pan on them for 12 minutes. I have one of those cool raccoon sunburn lines from where my sunglasses sat on my bulbous head. The tops of my feet -- except for where my flip-flops were -- are burned this color at the moment.

While I get Amber Wilson -- or Dave Richard, whichever one is more willing -- to rub aloe all over me, I'll peruse the newspapers for baseball news.

David Ortiz is expected to play Monday night at Cleveland after getting a much-needed day off from his 0-for-17 slump. The fact that the Red Sox were able to beat the Yankees helps this news get shrugged off a little more. Had Phil Hughes won this game 5-2, I think there would be a little more debating. The Boston Herald notes that this slump matches the longest of his career with the Red Sox. He went 0-for-17 from Aug. 16-21, 2004. With Minnesota, he went 0-for-27 from Sept. 26, 1998 to April 4, 2000, including 10 at-bats in 1999.

Johnny Damon's stolen base was the first for the Yankees all season (12 games), which is the longest they've gone without one to start a season dating back to 1946. I bring this up again because I think it's a little indicative of this aging core of hitters in this lineup. A decade ago, this team was full of veteran pitchers and young hitters. It's the complete opposite this season, which is one of my major reasons for expecting their string of playoff appearances to end this year.

The Baltimore Sun's Roch Kubatko, one of our favorite beat writers, points out that Adam Jones is just overmatched at the plate right now. Teams will continue to feed him breaking balls until he proves he can hit them with authority. My favorite point from this blog was that Adam Jones would still be in Triple-A if he was with a contender. Supposedly the kid takes instruction well and he has the proper attitude. That's a great sign for his future, considering he's not even close to being the five-tool star he was labeled as, but my question is, how long will the Orioles allow him to hit in the majors until his confidence is beaten to a pulp. He had a four-game hit streak this week, but no RBI. I expect as long as he continues to show some progress, he'll stick. He struck out four times Sunday.

Tools of Ignorance takes on a new meaning
J.R. Towles' X-Rays on his hand came back negative, according to the Houston Chronicle, and he's questionable for Tuesday's game at Philadelphia. If he can't go, the Astros will go back to Brad Ausmus or possibly call-up and start Humberto Quintero.

Towles was hit in the hand by another pitch. He has been hit three times now -- second only to David Eckstein for the league lead. He said he does not intend to wear any protective gear. That's not what you want to hear coming from your Fantasy catcher's mouth -- especially one with three homers already. He's going to get his share of nicks and dings because he's already playing a painful position. Now he's crowding the plate and refusing to a) take a hint and b) wear an elbow pad. Once he comes back and continues to hit with power, I think this kind of news is enough to make me trade him. Seriously. As a rookie catcher, you better expect ups and downs anyway, but if you can get good value for him now, there is probably a decent replacement on the waiver wire for him as we speak. You likely grabbed him as your No. 2 catcher, so finding another No. 2 catcher shouldn't be too tough, considering little is asked of them.
Posted on: April 1, 2008 9:58 am
Edited on: April 1, 2008 6:11 pm
 

The Day After

Tout Wars adds a ringer!?!
Jeff Ma, who joined Tout Wars for his first season of action, comes from ProTrade.com, which is a sports stock market website. He also happens to be the character that the movie "21" is based around. The movie "21" is based on the book, "Bringing Down the House," which is about six MIT graduates that go to Vegas and run the blackjack tables by counting cards. Kevin Spacey plays Kaiser Soze.

Next thing I hear is that Brandon Funston is actually just a robot with the supercomputer, Big Blue, telling him what to do.

By the way, here are the links to the Tout Wars standings! On these pages, you'll also find links to the rosters and transactions.
Opening Day II: The Sequel After working a loooooong Opening Day that ended with Jake Peavy's excellent outing at Petco Park (seven scoreless innings, three hits, two RBI at the plate), I woke up at 8:30 this morning -- usually the time I leave for work. So I got in a little late, needless to say. I'll start you off with the predictions from a couple buddies about their teams:

Michael Fabiano used to be one of our Fantasy Football writers, now he pens columns for NFL.com. He's a Yankees fan: "While I am worried about their middle relief, the Yankees still bolster some exciting young arms and one of the top offensive attacks in baseball. I can also see the Bombers making a trade or two to improve their pitching if Ian Kennedy or Philip Hughes falter and/or Joba Chamberlain is thrust into the rotation. I'm not solid on Boston as the best team in the American League or the AL East (what Yankees fan is?) so I'll pick the Yanks to win 96 games and the division title. I'm afraid to pick them to win a postseason round based on their recent failures, but a World Championship will be in the cards if the right trades are made down the stretch."

And Reds fan Johnny Rosenstein, otherwise known as Johnny Roast-Beef, works in our newsroom: "It's really a shame my Reds have so much offense, but the pitching -- mostly middle relief -- sucks. It's nice that they added Francisco Cordero, but how will they get to him? With Kent Mercker? Pleaaaaazzze! Plus, please remind me how much of a great leader Junior is? Watching him strike out in the first inning of the opener, it was mentioned he has seven Opening Day homers -- all with the Mariners. I expect a 73-89 season, which might just keep them in the NL Central race until early September. ... I would also like to go on record that Flood (our former worker in the newsroom that made his predictions Monday) is obviously smokin' some wacky-tobackky and the Yanks will not make the playoffs."

Pros and Prose
So Ross and I were discussing some of the different baseball blogs in the known universe, and I came across this one at Humbug. (My favorite was this one from Score Bard a couple months ago.)

So here's my submission from this afternoon, about Bobby Kielty finally accepting his minor-league assignment ... Ahem ...

Bobby Kielty will now play for Pawtucket.
He thought of telling Boston to "Suck it."
Then he thought one day,
As he was swinging away,
"I'm Kielty -- I'm no Kirby Puckett!"

Dave Richard came up with a good one that I can't post too.

First Alstott retires officially, now Rocco's gone?
After hearing that the Rays declined Rocco Baldelli's option, making my favorite baseball player a free agent after this season, I said, "Maybe it's an April Fool's joke?"

To which Emack responded, "The Rays signing him to that contract in the first place was the April Fool's joke."

Then I ran over him with a car.

Fun with Links
Speaking of April Fool's jokes, Ross Devonport (my cube neighbor and workmate) has introduced me to the world of being "Rick Roll'd." For those apparently as out of the loop as myself, this is when you trick someone into clicking on a link, only to take them to a Rick Asten video, preferably of "Never Gonna Give You Up." So he got me on "Muppet Bloopers" just now, it's pretty darn good too. Please post links to some likewise good Rick Roll'd links so I can get him.

Speaking of fun links, I found this -- Playing For Peanuts -- it's a reality show that follows the South Georgia Peanuts, a minor league baseball team. They haven't shown which channels will be showing the shows yet, but you can sign up for the email list, which I did, and it'll let you know when and where it will air.
Posted on: March 31, 2008 7:58 am
Edited on: April 1, 2008 5:43 pm
 

The REAL Opening Day! (Part I)

Crap. I accidentally bolded in the source code and there ain't no way I'm going back and unbolding each little thing. So, I'm unbolding everything. I'm starting a whole new blog.

3:06 p.m.
Here's our PR guy Alex Riethmiller's take on the upcoming season for the hated POOR-ioles (they're playing my Rays!): "After trading away Miguel Tejada and Erik Bedard, it's unlikely Orioles fans had any doubts the club was serious about rebuilding. If there were any skeptics left, they were likely converted yesterday when the team cut Jay Gibbons eating $11.9 million in salary in the process. And surely the tinkering is not over as one would have to think Brian Roberts will be next to go assuming Orioles brass can get what they feel is a fair return for the second baseman. It's certainly going to be a long year for the boys in orange and black -- maybe a long couple years -- and the basement of the AL East is all but inevitable at this point. However, the upside is that a restocked farm system and young superstars like Nick Markakis give the team a solid base to build on." 2008 record: 62-100

3:01 p.m.
Emack is fond of saying (in a whiny voice), "Catchers hit like pitchers." And that appears to be the case in Milwaukee, as for the first time in Brewers history, Jason Kendall will hit behind Ben Sheets in the ninth spot. Manager Ned Yost wants more batters to get a chance to get on base in front of Braun and Fielder.

2:58 p.m.
You excited yet? It's only seven minutes away from first pitch at Camden Yards against the Rays!!! Here's the lineups:

Baltimore
  1. Brian Roberts - 2B
  2. Melvin Mora - 3B
  3. Nick Markakis - RF
  4. Kevin Millar - 1B
  5. Aubrey Huff - DH
  6. Ramon Hernandez - C
  7. Luke Scott - LF
  8. Adam Jones - CF
  9. Luis Hernandez - SS

Tampa Bay
  1. Akinori Iwamura - 2B
  2. Carl Crawford - LF
  3. Carlos Pena - 1B
  4. B.J. Upton - CF
  5. Cliff Floyd - DH
  6. Willy Aybar - 3B
  7. Eric Hinske - RF
  8. Dioner Navarro - C
  9. Jason Bartlett - SS
2:52 p.m.
Alex Gordon got rung up in the first inning with the bat on his shoulder -- not this time. The former top prospect homered on a 3-1 90 mph fastball at the belt into the right field stands -- and the fans throw the ball back on the field. (By the way, let's not get crazy about giving Cubs fans credit for that -- that's a White Sox deal from way back.) Looking back to last season, when Gordon struggled mightily through the first few months, he didn't hit his first homer until the seventh game -- which was also just his second basehit of the season. He hit just .173 with two homers and five RBI in April last year, so this is nice to see -- especially against a pitcher the caliber of Verlander.

2:39 p.m.
Miguel Cabrera -- Welcome to the pitching in the AL Central. Super-slim Miggy pounced on 2-1 hanging curve and deposited it into the left-center field stands for his first homer in Detroit. He was my pick for AL MVP heading into the season and he's off to a great start. The Royals, White Sox and Twins should offer up plenty of homer-able pitches. All three of those teams ranked among the bottom-14 in homers allowed last season.

2:27 p.m.
Our great big Opening Day extravaganza is in danger of becoming a soggy, wet turd in a punchbowl if these rain delays start becoming rainouts. I'll not have it!

2:37 p.m.
The Yankees have postponed their Opening Day officially. That stinks. They'll play this game against the Blue Jays Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.

In keeping with the Yankees as a theme, my former co-worker, Brian Flood, tells us what he thinks his Yankees will do this season: "The Yankees will respond very well to Joe Girardi's aggressive style and he gets a lot out of the younger players. Robinson Cano is in the batting-title hunt until the final week of the season, Phil Hughes wins 16-plus games and the Yankees finish first in the AL East with 96 wins. New York defeats Philly in six games to win its 27th World Series ... I would also like to go on record that Cincinnati makes the playoffs.
Flood now works with the NFL as the Assistant to the Director of Officiating, although he likes to introduce himself like Dwight Schrute, losing the "to the" part of the title.

2:25 p.m.
The Brewers and Cubs are also in a rain delay, but they are expecting to get going around 3:00 p.m. EST according to ESPN.

DeJesus sprained his ankle, that's why Gathright came in to play center field for the Royals, by the way.

2:03 p.m.
Carlos Guillen hit a single into right field, but Jose Guillen came up gunning and the new Royals right fielder gets Magglio Ordonez who unwisely tried to score from second base. Still 1-0 Detroit, thanks to the perfect throw from Jose Guillen.

By the way, that's the answer to the Aaron Harang trivia question earlier -- Jose Guillen came to Oakland in exchange for Harang in 2003. He has played on nine different teams in the past 10 seasons!

1:59 p.m.
Joey Gathright took over in center field for David DeJesus in the third inning. I'll keep you posted as to what the injury -- if there was one -- might be. On Guillen's drive over his head, DeJesus did seem to run back slow to the ball.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Brewers will bat Prince Fielder third and Ryan Braun fourth in the lineup -- the reverse of what they did for much of last season. "Braunie has done a nice job of making it work," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "If Braunie can take the same steps that Prince took in his second year, in terms of plate discipline, that's a big key to our offense. He's one of those special hitters, he's very smart and has great hitting instincts. I don't think he'll have any trouble with the adjustment. They're going to pitch around Prince at times and when they do, I want Braunie to make them come right after him. If they don't throw him strikes, he's going to have to take his walks and let Billy Hall and Corey Hart back him up."

Here are Fielder's numbers hitting third and fourth in the Brewers' lineup:
  • Hitting 3rd in 104 games -- .242 BA, 22 HR, 23 doubles, 64 RBI, 57 runs scored
  • Hitting 4th in 116 games -- .302 BA, 40 HR, 25 doubles, 85 RBI, 85 runs scored
Then again, Fielder did most of that work in cleanup with Braun in front of him. There shouldn't be much of a drop with Braun behind him.
1:43 p.m.
Renteria picks up his first RBI in a Tigers' uniform, as he pokes a shot up the middle to score Guillen. Looking at the time difference between my last post and this one reminds me of a pet peeve. I love sports movies -- and I hate sports movies. For instance, The Fan, with Robert De Niro playing a psycho fan of Giants' hitter Wesley Bonds (I mean Snipes). And De Niro is supposed to go pick up his kid or something important, yadayada, but he wants to wait through Snipes' at-bat. So of course, he keeps looking at his watch after every pitch, and apparently Snipes is the Nomar of the Silver Screen because several minutes would go by between every pitch. And of course, it's like a 10-pitch at-bat that takes 20 minutes according to Hollywood. Crap like that drives me nuts.

Although I did love "White Chicks."

1:34 p.m.
Carlos Guillen laced a drive well over DeJesus' head in right-center field, and he held up at second base following one of baseball's golden rules -- never make the first or third out at third base. He even broke his bat on that shot, so it's a wonder it had that much power to reach that deep.

1:31 p.m.
Miguel Cabrera hit a pop fly to center field that sounded good off the bat, but landed about 35 feet from the warning track. The announcers, crowd and myself were initially fooled. Emack would have made fun of me for going, "Uh oh!" -- then I would have asked him if he recently ate a dirty diaper.

Here's the Denver Post's breakdown of today's lineup between the Rockies and Cardinals, along with last season's statistics.

COLORADO ROCKIES
  1. CF Willy Taveras .320 2 24 .367
  2. SS Troy Tulowitzki .291 24 99 .359
  3. 1B Todd Helton .320 17 91 .434
  4. LF Matt Holliday .340 36 137 .405
  5. 3B Garrett Atkins .301 25 111 .367
  6. RF Brad Hawpe .291 29 116 .387
  7. C Yorvit Torrealba .255 8 47 .323
  8. 2B Jayson Nix* .292 11 58 .342
  9. LHP Jeff Francis W-L: 17-9, 4.22 ERA

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

  1. LF Skip Schumaker .333 2 19 .358
  2. RF Ryan Ludwick .267 14 52 .339
  3. 1B Albert Pujols .327 32 103 .429
  4. 3B Troy Glaus .262 20 62 .366
  5. CF Rick Ankiel .285 11 39 .328
  6. C Yadier Molina .275 6 40 .340
  7. SS Cesar Izturis .258 0 16 .302
  8. RHP Adam Wainwright W-L: 14-12, 3.70 ERA
  9. 2B Aaron Miles .290 2 32 .328 -- You gotta love being the guy that hits BEHIND the pitcher.

*Nix's statistics are from Triple-A Colorado Springs

1:20 p.m.
Guerrera notes that Gil Meche is now on pace for 1,400 Ks after taking out Edgar Renteria. Come on, let's not get crazy -- it's Gil Meche! ... He'll get 950 Ks max.

1:15 p.m.

It's raining in Cincinnati, but it's supposed to clear up, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. So their game has been pushed back to 2:10 in Cincinnati, which means 3:10 for us East Coasters.

David DeJesus grounds out to start the Royals/Tigers game. This is a guy that really hasn't developed the all-around game many had hoped. Considering the guy he replaced in center field at Kauffman Stadium, Carlos Beltran, said DeJesus reminded him a lot of himself -- he's not quite there.

You can check out this game in our live GameCenter here.

Mark Grudzielanek hit a slow chopper to Miguel Cabrera, and Carlos Guillen played the throw from third horribly. With his right foot on the bag and his left foot on the first base line, Grudzielanek had to jump over Guillen -- who dropped the ball anyway. That could have been a BIG collision at first, as Guillen played first base like a shortstop. Somehow, Cabrera gets tagged with the throwing error, but I'd blame Guillen for that play more than anything. (Grudz then went on to steal second base, NICE! The five percent of CBSSports.com leagues are happy about that one! Although only two percent are starting him.)

Verlander gets Alex Gordon looking on an outside circle-change. The ball really was outside, but Ivan Rodriguez framed it well and Verlander has his first strikeout of the season! ... And so does Gordon!

1:02 p.m.
Time to turn the channel to Fox Sports-Detroit to catch the Royals game at Comerica Park. Is today the first game in Justin Verlander's march toward his first Cy Young award? Emack and I both predicted he'd take that hardware home. Against the Royals in eight starts in his career, Verlander is 6-0 with a 2.26 ERA and 42 strikeouts in over 52 innings. Sounds like a good starting place to begin a Cy Young hunt.

12:54 p.m.
According to Newsday, it's still raining at Yankee Stadium, so teams were unable to take batting practice and the start of the game has been delayed -- not cancelled.

I am reporting that Ross Devonport, my British co-worker, has reported that CBSNews reports that this game will start at 2 p.m.

12:47 p.m.
OK, I've had my first hot dog of Opening Day officially. At Publix, our local grocery store, I saw Jake, Bisbee, Madden and one of the guys from customer service. It appears EVERYONE at CBSSports.com is gearing up for a big day! Btw, I finally went with a loaf of five-grain Italian Bread, some deli Chicken Salad, Cape Cod Potato chips (regular) and a rail of small Snickers bars.

It's absolutely gorgeous outside also (sorry snowbirds that already went back up north!)

12:09 p.m.
Sounds like the Blue Jays/Yankees game is in jeopardy because of weather also, according to Baseball Tonight. And here's the Opening Fay lineup for these two squads, according to the N.Y. Daily News.

Blue Jays

  1. David Eckstein, SS
  2. Shannon Stewart, LF
  3. Alex Rios, RF
  4. Vernon Wells, CF
  5. Frank Thomas, DH
  6. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  7. Aaron Hill, 2B
  8. Marco Scutaro, 3B
  9. Gregg Zaun, C

Yankees

  1. Johnny Damon, LF
  2. Derek Jeter, SS
  3. Bobby Abreu, RF
  4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
  5. Jason Giambi, 1B
  6. Robinson Cano, 2B
  7. Jorge Posada, C
  8. Hideki Matsui, DH
  9. Melky Cabrera, CF
11:56 a.m.
Just got out of video finally. Emack's breath was in rare form. I think he gargled with vomit this morning. I got into the studio before he did, which meant I was smart enough to grab the good chair (which is tricky because the good chair looks like it would be the bad char, but it's not), so Emack had to sit forward the whole time. And we both wore dark blue shirts, so Weisberg mentioned we looked like brothers. Big, ugly brothers.

Mets/Marlins weather update -- it's sunny out now! Apparently, as soon as I wrote that it was rainy, it stopped.

Once Eisenberg is done shooting his video, we're headed to Publix for lunch. I'm thinking of just getting a big loaf of awesome bread and a thing of chicken salad. I'm going to be here late tonight. Oooooh, maybe some Jalapeno Pringles!

11:08 a.m.
For those dying to know what the Reds/D-Backs lineup will be today, here it is courtesy of the Arizona Republic:
Diamondbacks
  1. Young, CF
  2. Hudson, 2B
  3. Byrnes, LF
  4. Jackson, 1B
  5. Snyder, C
  6. Reynolds, 3B
  7. Drew, SS
  8. Upton, RF
  9. Webb, P
Reds
  1. Patterson, CF
  2. Keppinger, SS
  3. Griffey, RF
  4. Phillips, 2B
  5. Dunn, LF
  6. Encarnacion, 3B
  7. Hatteberg, 1B
  8. Valentin, C
  9. Harang, P

10:49 a.m.
Still waiting to go into video. Apparently a light is out -- or they haven't put the ugly filters on the cameras yet. They never work anyway.

Mets/Marlins update -- It's raaaaaaining pretty steady in Fort Lauderdale right now. I'd have to say this afternoon's game is in question because it's been raining off and on all morning.

10:17 a.m.
Reds trivia time courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer: Aaron Harang is making his third consecutive Opening Day start for the Reds. That's the longest streak for the Reds since whom?

I talked about Foghorn Harang (I'm going to make that nickname stick!) on Saturday. Here's a few more remarks for one of the most unknown Cy Young candidates in the game: Since the All-Star break of 2005, he ranks third in the NL in wins, second in strikeouts, innings and starts, first in complete games and seventh in ERA. And he has lowered his ERA in each of his five seasons with the Reds. In last year's Opening Day, he allowed one unearned run on six hits and two walks in seven innings against the Cubs. He also struck out five batters.

Trivia question Part II: Which current major leaguer was also part of the trade that brought Harang to Cincinnati?

OK, we're doing video at 10:30, so I have to go take a PVP (pre-video poop).

9:57 a.m.
Roch Kubatko, of the Baltimore Sun, blogged that the conditions are cold and drizzly this morning, which is a bad omen for the Rays/O's game this afternoon. Hamstring gremlins looooooooove cold and rainy conditions.

Here's an interesting story in today's Chicago Sun-Times loosely comparing Kosuke Fukudome's underwhelming spring with Ichiro's first spring training in 2001. Apparently, Ichiro had almost nothing but infield hits that March, causing many scouts to laugh at Seattle's signing of the Japanese import.

9:45 a.m.
Emack just informed me that he's heading over to the Mets/Marlins game around lunchtime. Looks like it's just me and the football guys (Richard and Eisenberg) for Opening Day festivities. They'll probably yell stuff like, "Hey, a triple is almost like a field goal!"

Food options are quickly dwindling. I think I'm just going to the grocery store and buying hot dogs from the stand outside. Maybe I'll roll them around in gravel so they'll be like the ones at Dolphin Stadium.

9:29 a.m.
Here's the MLB Opening Day schedule:
Kansas City Royals @ Detroit Tigers 1:05 PM
Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees 1:05 PM
Arizona D-Backs @ Cincinnati Reds 2:10 PM
Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago Cubs 2:20 PM
Chicago White Sox @ Cleveland Indians 3:05 PM
Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles 3:05 PM
Washington Nationals @ Philadelphia Phillies 3:05 PM
New York Mets @ Florida Marlins 4:10 PM
San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers 4:10 PM
Colorado Rockies @ St. Louis Cardinals 4:15 PM
Texas Rangers @ Seattle Mariners 6:40 PM
LA Angels @ Minnesota Twins 7:05 PM
Pittsburgh Pirates @ Atlanta Braves 7:10 PM
Houston Astros @ San Diego Padres 10:05 PM

My viewing schedule for today (expect to read snippets on these games):

Kansas City Royals @ Detroit Tigers 1:05 PM -- The Yankees are old news, let's see a slimmed down Miggy in Motown.
Arizona D-Backs @ Cincinnati Reds 2:10 PM -- Opening Day used to ALWAYS start in Cincinnati, so I have to pay respects.
Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago Cubs 2:20 PM -- The Cubbies get 40 minutes of my attention on a busy day.
Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles 3:05 PM -- I've been sooooo pumped to check out Willy Aybar at third base finally.
Texas Rangers @ Seattle Mariners 6:40 PM -- Get 20 minutes in of this game.
LA Angels @ Minnesota Twins 7:05 PM -- I'm glogging this game tonight. Rex Hudler is one of my all-time fave broadcasters.
Houston Astros @ San Diego Padres 10:05 PM -- Finishing up the night with a 120-minute Oswalt/Peavy at Petco glog!

9:20 a.m.
Was it just me or was the new Nationals Park -- kinda boring? Why not have something unique, especially in D.C., like a mock Washington Monument in dead center? Or a smaller Lincoln Memorial sitting behind the left-field seats? ... Or how about some Mayor Marion Berry snow-cone machines? Maybe a guy dressed up as Nixon that slides down a big slide every time a steroids cheater comes up to bat? It's a work in progress.

9:03 a.m.
Dave Richard, our Fantasy Football writer, just mentioned that he just watched "The Departed" this weekend. Yeah, he's a little behind (actually, that's the ONLY time "little behind" and Dave Richard are used in the same sentence.) He still hasn't seen "Goodfellas" either. I'm not joking. And -- get this -- he was a film major in college. Irony, thy name is Dave Richard.

Corey Guerrera just mentioned he's going to the Mets/Marlins game this afternoon. He'll get to see Johan Santana in his Mets' debut. As a Mets fan, that's gotta have you pretty pumped. Remember Corey from our All-Time Mets Fantasy Team?

8:55 a.m.
We have Justin Upton projected for just 14 homers and 14 stolen bases this summer. Looking back now, I think we're shorting him a handful at least on both ends. He has been working on his base-stealing all winter, and as this young offense matures, he'll get more chances to steal a base successfully. Baseball Prospectus, one of the industry's best at forecasting numbers, has Upton hitting 37 doubles and 20 homers. They also have Conor Jackson slugging .493 (we have him at .447), with Mark Reynolds pounding out 28 homers (21 for us), and finally, Chris B. Young, according to BP, will rip 27 homers (30 for us). So you can take this from our projection comparisons -- the Baby D-Backs are going to be a much better offense this season.

Emack and I are doing video this morning for the first time in a couple years. We were so bad the first time, they run to find Amber Wilson, who's nearly as pretty as womanly as Emack. Don't worry, Amber's not gone! Get off the ledge! We're trying a point/counterpoint thing with Emack and I. Like, I'll say he looks silly with BBQ sauce on his face and he'll disagree. It should be entertaining. We've gotten a little better in our podcasts I think, so hopefully that will translate over to our on-camera presence.

At one point last night, Tim Hudson retired 19 straight batters. What their sexual preference has to do with anything, I don't know.

Like I said, Emack and I have done three other Opening Days together, and each time, we've tried to make it a little more special than on the other days. For the first couple days of March Madness, CBSSports.com provides subs and pizza for everyone, with cookies and ... I think there was even a pinata!!! For the first Sunday of the NFL season, the staff in the building is treated to barbecue and even more treats -- even pony rides! But for Opening Day in baseball, the only way CBSSports.com celebrates is that our bosses don't fart when they walk by our cubes.

So in the past, Emack and I have taken things into our own hands. We've grilled hot dogs, Italian sausages and brats out in the parking lot and offered them to our workmates in our own little Opening Day celebration. Most of the people though, would just ask, "You spit in this?" And they'd eventually say something like, "Opening Day for what?" I'm not sure what we're doing for lunch today though. I'm thinking microwaved hot dogs!!!

8:28 a.m.
Observations on some of last night's game --
  • Who's this Jones character with Atlanta? When was the last time we saw a Braves jersey with just "Jones" on the back? For those curious, Larry Jones' career season with the Braves was in 1999 when he hit .319 with 45 homers, 110 RBI, 116 runs scored, 41 doubles and even 25 stolen bases!
  • This time last year, Elijah Dukes was getting ready to hit two solo homers in his first two games for the (then-Devil) Rays, sending Fantasy owners into a tizzy trying to pick him up off waivers. Multiple threats to his baby mama and a trade to D.C. for an old Sega Genesis game (with NHL '95 and Bill Walsh College Football) later, and Dukes is on the DL with a tight hammy. So between Dukes and Wily Mo Pena (strained oblique), the Nationals have the hardest hitting LF triage in the majors.
  • Jon Rauch should now be in line for some saves with Chad Cordero coming up lame with a sore shoulder and a horribly unbent baseball cap. Former co-worker Brian Flood told me he spent several hours one day in 2002 waiting on Rauch, then a big-time starting pitching prospect with the White Sox, to show up on MLB's transaction call-ups, so he could pick him up before his opponents. Finally, in one of his first two outings, Rauch gave up eight runs on two homers in four innings against the Tigers. And so began Flood's drinking problem.
7:59 a.m.
Gooooooood morning to you, on Opening Day!
It makes me feel happy, it makes me feel gay!
Of course, I mean in a heterosexual way,
"Not that there's anything wrong with that," Seinfeld would say.


That's right, today's the day many will call in sick, coming up with a rare form of Opening-Day-itis (other forms include March-Madness Disorder and Got-Too-Drunk-After-First-MNF-Game). Emack and I will be sharing our fourth Opening Day together, which is pretty amazing considering I vowed to kill him years ago.

All day, I plan on blogging about games, life, baseball and our Fantasy staff. I already have my big coffee and blueberry bagel with cream cheese and I'm ready to rock. So keep coming back because I have a lot of people to make fun of.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com