Monday, March 16, 2009

Finding Humor in Spring Training

Baseball can be a very funny game. Heck, Jayson Starks has made a career out of pointing to its oddities. But it can also be funny for a lot of different reasons. Though the players are certainly more business-minded then they were in years past, we still get players being interviewed get a pie in the face from a rowdy teammate. And there are still plenty of highlight reels filled with bonehead plays. Humor is just another way baseball is set apart from, say football, where the main object is to kill somebody.

It's this sense of humor that lends to looking at box scores in odd ways and how transactions can turn into pun-fests. For example, there was this little box score blurb: "Errors: Fields 1 (fielding)." So Josh Fields got an error for...fielding. Or Seattle, which got blasted again today, has a pitcher named, Vega, that pitched like a Pinto (you may have to be old enough to remember those cars to get that one).

How about after hearing Scott Boras tell everyone who would listen that Manny Ramirez, at age 36 was just as good as 26 and was no risk signing for four to six years. Then, today, when Manny got hurt in today's first spring training game in the field for him, told reporters that he isn't as young as he used to be. Oops.

There is even humor in seeing someone like Russell Branyon, who at one time was the perpetual phenom. If he had played more, he would have been this generation's Dave Kingman (without the being a jerk thing). Branyon has a respectable lifetime slugging percentage of .485, but has a lifetime batting average of .230. He has hit homers for seven different teams in the last six years including multiple stops in Milwaukee and San Diego. This year, he is sure to hit homers for the Mariners, making it eight in the last seven (want to lay odds on him hitting a homer for a different team some time later in the year?)

Yeah, baseball is fun. For many different reasons.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

Once again, Boras looks like an idiot.

As for Josh Fields, it's unfortunate he was born with that last name. I know he worked with Joey Cora on his defense in the winter. Let's hope his hard work pays off.

Wasn't there collusion to keep Kingman out of baseball? People must have really hated him.