Siberian Baseball

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Weekly Wrap-Up 4/8

We'll give this a short test drive to see if it's doable through the course of a baseball season. Depending on how diligent I am about keeping up during the week, it could be a simple link dump and weekend recap, but at least to get off the ground, this is a great place to start.

* We've seen nothing but parity in the 3-4-5 spots in most big league rotations this week as teams flew out of the gates only to come back to reality when their second-tier pitchers had to take the ball on Wednesday and Thursday.

This is why so much is being made of the starters and proven stars, as well as the Mets rotation shocking the National League by handcuffing the Cardinals to start the season off officially.

Watch for plenty of ink to be spilled regarding injuries to Chris Carpenter as well as Pedro Martinez and the return of Roger Clemens. It's only the first week, but it really does look like pitching will dictate who will be the major players in both leagues this year - go figure, huh?

* It'll come up in a day or so when I can post video, but Jonathan Papelbon needs to stay right where he is as the closer in Boston. He wasn't screwing around tonight when he took the mound with one out and the bases loaded in Texas.

I can't place it, but he's lost the goofy kid vibe and looked like a madman in the ninth. Needless to say, I like this turn of events.

* With the Cubs trailing 6-0 against Milwaukee, it was refreshing to see the team surge and try to make a comeback and not just because it was the third game on a Sunday afternoon on the road, but because the Cubs haven't had a lot of spark recently.

To paraphrase Ron White, "That team's got a lot of quit in it."

I'll need to see more, but the fact that the starters didn't get a 45-minute head start on the Tri-State makes me think things might actually be different with Lou Pinella in charge.

* Alex Rodriguez took Chris Ray deep to notch a walk-off grand slam and silence his critics who claim he's a world-class choke artist and that he can't deliver in the clutch.

Yeah, he sure rocked the Orioles in the fourth game of the year with his team down by three runs... That'll show 'em.

* Finally, the biggest story of the weekend is that everyone was too cold to play baseball - ask Paul Byrd how that worked out for him - and there were a few places where games were snowed out.

I'll admit that weird stuff happens when the weather goes cold like that, but it didn't provide quite the opening week we had all hoped for. Instead, we had pitchers taking it easy, players being overly concerned with pulling muscles and pitchers being given the A-OK from the umps to blow on their hands.

There were plenty of odd moments to open the season and while no team can get into trouble in just a week, it was a good enough opening act. The important thing - as I've been saying for a week - is that baseball is definitely back.

(Photo from the Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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