The Fan overdosed on televised baseball today while working on a contract book. Needless to say, the book didn't get as much attention as needed while the baseball got rapt attention. Here are some observations while watching today's Opening Day games:
- Cincinnati has very good pitching but unless their hitters can find some patience, it's going to be a long season. Santana was good, but not THAT good. When he wasn't striking batters out on pitches that were balls, he was getting easy outs on first swing outs, as did all Mets pitchers.
- The Fan still can't believe that the Reds can't find someone better than Hairston in left.
- The new Mets bullpen did exactly what it was hired to do. Putz closed out the eighth and K-Rod closed out the ninth. Ball game.
- Steve Phillips is even more annoying when he doesn't have to share time during a broadcast. If he mentions one more time what he did while a GM for the Mets, the Fan is going to barf bacon bits.
- That kid, Murphy, looks like a natural hitter. Sheffield should not take any at bats away from him.
- In the Yankee game, Sabathia didn't have his fastball. That was obvious. But it should be nothing to worry about. It was cold and rainy. He'll be fine. What is more worrisome was that he looked uncomfortable. Was it Posada? The pitcher and catcher didn't look in sync. This will bear watching.
- As will Posada's catching. He did hit a homer and didn't have to throw anyone out, but he missed several pitches that he should have caught that resulted in wild pitches. He also failed to block an easy ball in the dirt...well, as easy as a ball in the dirt can be. It looked like he was too slow to get down. His catching will bear watching.
- Gardner did what he was supposed to do. Got on base, made something happen and played well in center while throwing out a runner at the plate.
- With all due apologies to Xavier Nady, the guy is a bum. Put Swisher in there! Nady killed one rally by overrunning third, then just stood there like a dummy when he did so. Try getting in a run down for crying out loud. Then he ruined another rally with a double play.
- Girardi may have cost the Yankees the game in the eighth inning. Phil Coke did a great job for an inning and two thirds and got the first out (a lefty) in the eighth. The Fan said, "Time to bring Bruney in." Girardi didn't. Five runs later, the game is over.
- Jeter looked great until he didn't wait for his pitch with the infield in. That was a rookie mistake that ruined a great game for him.
- Ludwick looked like a hero for the Cardinals with a homer to put the red birds up on the Pirates. But LaRussa put Motte in as closer instead of Ryan Franklin and the Pirates took the game. The Pirates are in first place! And the Cardinals are going to have a lot of fun closing games.
- Did Soriano clock Oswalt's second pitch or what? Wow!
- Griffey hit a homer in his first game back with Seattle. How sweet is that? Oh, and the Mariners beat the Twins as the Mariners' best pitcher looked much better than the Twin's best pitcher.
After all that, the Fan's wife wanted to watch Dancing With the Stars, so that was the end of baseball for the day. But it sure was fun while it lasted. The season has begun and as the English say, "the game is afoot!"