Saturday, April 10, 2010

Game Picks - Saturday: April 10, 2010

This is unbelievable. Sure enough, this picker will fall on his face soon enough, but like Vlad down in Texas, this picker is going to enjoy this roll as long as possible. 12-3 yesterday. 40-15 for the opening week! Incredible. The only blemish on the record was not seeing Vazquez pitching so badly for the Yankees, the Marlins booting the ball around to help the Dodgers and the Giants beating the Braves. Speaking of the Giants, they've started their season on a serious rush.

Maybe the Fan should quit now. You know, like in Vegas on the slots when you are up five dollars and you know you should cash out. But then you don't and lose the entire $20. But this is a year-long job, so despite the self-pressure to bail, here are Saturday's picks:

  • The Twins over the White Sox: Baker got smacked around in his first start, but it's only a matter of time before the White Sox tire of Freddie Garcia.
  • The Indians over the Tigers: It would be nice if Bonderman could bounce back this year. But it's improbable.
  • The Cubs over the Reds: Zambrano doesn't inspire confidence any more. But Harang was really bad his last time out.
  • The Mets over the Nationals: Jose Reyes is back and that will be spark enough to over come Perez's two innings of hell.
  • The Brewers over the Cardinals: Gallardo better start earning that new contract, because it didn't make much sense to the Fan based on his track record.
  • The Yankees over the Bay Rays: Sabathia should be just good enough to overcome Wade Davis.
  • The Mariners over the Rangers: The M's have stunk so far, but King Felix is pitching. Josh Hamilton is 0 for the season so far.
  • The Phillies over the Astros: Just because you can't help rooting for a 47 year old pitcher.
  • The Blue Jays over the Orioles: You can't stop the Blue Jays, you can only hope to contain them.
  • The Marlins over the Dodgers: The Dodgers going with Padilla, Ortiz and Ortiz as a quarter of their pitching staff is insane.
  • The Red Sox over the Royals: Beckett out-duels the Royals. Although both bullpens have been terrible so far.
  • The Padres over the Rockies: Really like this Latos kid.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Pirates: Haran over the kid, McCutchen.
  • The Angels over the A's: Weaver should out-pitch Sheets.
  • The Braves over the Giants: Lowe versus Wellemeyer. Heyward watch: 0-5 yesterday with four K's. Ouch.

Yesterday: 12-3
Week: 40-15
Month: 40-15

Friday, April 09, 2010

Game Picks - Friday: April 9, 2010

Another positive night for the game picker. The Reds got a surprisingly gritty performance from Arroyo. Didn't see that coming. The Royals got a great start from Bannister as predicted, but they have shown that their bullpen simply cannot hold a lead. Didn't see the Nationals beating the Phillies, but congrats on their first win. And the Cubs blanked the Braves which will cause rise to the first "rule" of the Fan's season: Never pick against Randy Wells. But overall, it was a good night to pad a great week. The highlights were picking the Orioles to win their first game of the season and for the Indians to take care of the White Sox. That pick alone gave the Fan six points on BallHype.

A full slate of games for Friday!

  • The Tigers over the Indians: Like the Indians and Huff, but like Porcello better.
  • The Blue Jays over the Orioles: Most pickers have it the other way around, but Vernon Wells is smoking hot as are the Jays so far.
  • The Rockies over the Padres: The Rockies are a good hitting team, but their bullpen sure looks shaky.
  • The Braves over the Giants: Hudson is going to have a very good year. Sanchez is either great or brutal. Never know which one it will be.
  • The Marlins over the Dodgers: Not feeling good about picking Volstad, but the alternative is picking Kuroda. Nah.
  • The Mets over the Nationals: Pelfrey versus Mock. Not a good alternative. Flip a coin.
  • The Reds over the Cubs: Homer Bailey for the Reds versus Carlos Silva for the Cubs. Carlos Silva? Blech.
  • The Yankees over the Bay Rays: Vazquez versus Price. The Yankees hit lefties well. Vazquez is an unknown for most of the Bay Ray hitters.
  • The Phillies over the Astros: The Phillies have Happ. The Astros are just hapless.
  • The Rangers over the Mariners: Vargas versus Lewis. When you don't believe in either pitcher, go with the better offense.
  • The Cardinals over the Brewers: Just can't pick any team that is pitching Bush.
  • The Royals over the Red Sox: In the upset of the day, the Royals jump on Wakefield. Just a feeling...
  • The Twins over the White Sox: Liriano is going to be the bomb this year. Or he will bomb and this pick will explode in the Fan's face.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Pirates: The pitching line makes this even, so going with Arizona's offense.
  • The Athletics over the Angels: Like Gonzalez over Palmer.

Yesterday: 7-4
Week: 28-12
Month: 28-12

Umpire Calls Yankees and Red Sox Slow

Umpire Joe West has called out the Red Sox and Yankees for playing the game too slowly. You know what? He's probably right. But is he really? Well, thank goodness for because all the dirty facts and figures are right there waiting for the right spreadsheet to come along. So after looking at the numbers, is West right? Yes.

The numbers confirm what most of us seemed to think anyway. The Yankees and Red Sox are the slowest playing teams in baseball. And you know who is right with them? The Dodgers, managed by former Yankee skipper, Joe Torre. The numbers? The Fan didn't really want to take the time to compile every team's 2009 game times, so a sampling was collected. It seems to be a large enough sample to prove the point anyway. But if you think the Fan cheated or was too lazy, just comment and we'll get them all for you.

2009 Average Game Times (a sample):

  • Yankees - 3:13
  • Red Sox - 3:06
  • Cubs - 2:51 (despite what seems like constant pitching changes)
  • Dodgers - 3:08 (did Torre start this trend while with Yanks?)
  • Royals - 2:54
  • Twins - 2:57
  • Cardinals - 2:48
  • Angels - 2:56
  • Rockies - 2:56
  • Phillies - 2:55

That's your sample size. It seems adequate. But what about extra inning games? They do take longer. But each of these teams had at least nine extra inning games and the most was sixteen. So the most logical way to look at it is to add up all the innings (thus including the extra frames) and dividing it by the total time to get a "time per inning". Take the average game time and turn it into minutes. That would make the average Yankee game at 193 minutes. Multiply that by the amount of innings they played (in the Yankees' case, it was the third highest in the American League) and you get the total minutes. For the Yankees, that was 31,266 minutes. Now divide that by the number of innings and you get the time per inning played. In the Yankees case, that comes to 21.56 minutes per inning. Doing the same thing with the Royals and you get 19.17 minutes. Doesn't seem like a lot does it?

But consider that the Yankees played 3564 minutes longer than the Royals. That might have been merciful for the Royals' fans. Over the course of the season, that's 59.4 hours more Yankee baseball than Royals' baseball.

So yeah, the Yankees, the Red Sox and the Dodgers play longer than anyone else. Why exactly? One commenter over at thinks that it may be because those three teams are more patient than others and more pitches means more time. Could be. The Fan doesn't have enough juice left in him to figure it out today.

But part of it probably is the belief by those three teams that every game is crucial. They play every game like there is no tomorrow. That means a lot of strategy, a lot of meetings on the mound. It's a deliberate approach that seems to shout that these teams care more about the outcome than on how long it takes to get there. There is one problem with that argument though.

Nobody works more in-game maneuvers than LaRussa and Piniella. They are constantly playing with the pitching match ups and changing players around. Have you ever seen a Cardinal box score? The second batter in the order may get two at bats and then there are five other guys in that slot the rest of the game. It takes an hour to get to see what Pujols did. Well...that's an exaggeration of course, but you get what the Fan is saying. If LaRussa and Piniella are such do or die managers, why aren't their game times as high as the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers?

It has to come down to the peccadilloes and routines of those teams and their managers. It seems that Nomar Garciaparra started today's trend of fidgeting with his entire batting equipment after every pitch. Now everyone on the Yankees and Red Sox do that. Jeter does. Manny does. A-Rod does. They all do. Add in the amount of mound visits that Posada makes over the course of a game and it all adds up.

Does it really matter? In some ways it does. Who wants to go to bed at 12:30 in the morning after watching another marathon Yankees' game? It gives announcers more time to get themselves (and us) into trouble because they have to talk more. It bores the casual fan and may perpetuate the feeling that baseball is a lot more boring than other sports. For the record, the average NFL game lasts about five minutes longer than the average baseball game. And from what the Fan understands, only about ten percent of a football telecast is about actual play on the field. But perceptions become reality and thus become a problem for baseball.

The other problem is the young fan. In order to ensure success as a brand for the future, the young fans need to be encouraged to follow the sport. For the average parent, the price of an outing to a game is prohibitive enough without the possibility that a young child will not get out of the stadium until after 11:00 o'clock never mind what time they get to bed.

For die hard fans like this writer, it doesn't matter. The give and take of a game is more than worth the time spent watching it. But even for folks like us, ten throws over to first when the runner is a foot off the bag is enough to send us into a dervish. And yeah, Posada's trips to the mound get really annoying. So does replacing the baseball any time it comes into contact with the ground.

West and his crew are following their boss's dictum and are trying to speed up the game. They are refusing the batter time at least half the time when it's asked for, and rightly so. But they are powerless to stop the mound trips by a catcher. Why not limit them to two just like the coach or manager?

A lot of Yankee and Red Sox fans are calling West a bunch of names. A lot of times baseball people rightly get flack for spouting opinions based on what they see happening. But in this case, the facts back up the statement. Three teams in baseball take longer than all the other teams. So give West a break. He has to get some sleep too you know.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Game Picks - Thursday: April 8, 2010

Not bad yesterday. Not bad at all. Had a couple of picks go south. Marquis got smacked around pretty good. The Royals (congrats) won their first game in odd fashion (see other post). The Dodgers lost. And a few other games led to a decent day but not as glorious as the rest of the week, but it still means that a very strong opening week is guaranteed for the picker.

For probably one of the few times this season, Thursday has a pretty heavy game schedule. So let's see what kind of trouble we can either cause or get into.

  • The Dodgers over the Pirates: The Dodgers and Joe Torre gave up on Billingsley last season. But the Fan still believes in his ability.
  • The Cardinals over the Reds: Brad Penny - this year's Duncan miracle.
  • The Blue Jays over the Rangers: Romero starts for the Jays and the Fan likes this kid. Plus, it seems the Rangers are a bit weak against lefties.
  • The Royals over the Tigers: Just a feeling that Bannister is going to have a good year. Plus, Willis is starting for the Tigers making them an uncomfortable pick.
  • The Athletics over the Mariners: Anderson is pitching and is one of the finest young arms in the league. Fister is pitching for the Mariners. Yeesh.
  • The Phillies over the Nationals: Thought the Nationals had some spunk this year, but they are just hanging there like dead lichen. The Fan thinks it's punishment for sending Strasburg to the minors.
  • The Marlins over the Mets: Have no confidence in this pick. Was going to pick the Mets and Niese but that felt even worse than picking Nate Robertson and the Marlins.
  • The Braves over the Cubs: Hanson blows up the Cubbies. Mark it down, there will be a housecleaning in Chicago soon.
  • The Orioles over the Bay Rays: The brilliant young Matusz reels in the Orioles' first win.
  • The Indians over the White Sox: It's time for Masterson to pitch to his ability.
  • The Twins over the Angels: Slowey had a good spring. We'll see if he can carry it over into the season.

Yesterday: 9-6
Week: 21-8
Month: 21-8

Vernon Wells is Back

The Fan's blog buddy in Toronto pulls no punches and is totally unapologetic for his love for the home teams in that city. It's a lot of fun to read every day from a guy who not only writes well, but wears his team colors right out there on his sleeves. At the same time, eyebleaf (that's the guy that writes the blog) doesn't have rose colored glasses. He calls them as he sees them. One of the true lightening rods of that combination of fandom and honesty is Vernon Wells. In what has to be the funniest thing on any baseball blog, there is a full time meter that rates where Wells is on the "Hatred Advisory System." Hilarious. But through it all, good old (but young) eyeb believes in Vernon Wells.

He isn't the only one. Wednesday's post on eyebleaf's Sports and the City showed the amazing split that Vernon Wells seems to have on even and odd years. In the odd years, he stinks. In the even years, he's either very good or he's great. This--if you hadn't noticed--is an even year.

But one really didn't have to know that this would be a bounce back year for Wells by knowing that weird historical split. You could just tell by the way Wells hit in Spring Training and the swagger that was back in his walk that Wells felt good about himself and was poised for a very good year. And of course we've just started the season, but Wells is off to a flying start. He had a good first game and on Wednesday, he took his team on his back and hit two homers to give the Blue Jays their first win of the season.

Mark it down. Vernon Wells is going to finish with an OPS over .850 this year. Forget about the money he is making. That's water under the bridge. Just watch him hit. It's going to be a nice year for the man eyebleaf calls, "V-dub."

There are Times You Just Know...

If you watch baseball long enough, you just know sometimes what is going to happen. Call it a feeling, deja vu, or whatever, but it's there. And if you've watched almost fifty years of baseball, that feeling happens more often than it doesn't. Let's take a couple of examples:

  • In Zack Greinke's first game of the season, he leaves with a decent sized lead. The Fan just knew it wouldn't stick. It didn't.
  • Wednesday, the Dodgers pitched back to back Ortiz. Ramon and Russ. The Fan just knew it would lead to a Dodgers loss. It did.
  • The Marlins were sailing along with a 6-1 lead in the seventh inning. The Mets got two walks off of a heretofore brilliant Nolasco, he then induces two outs and a run scores and no big deal because it's still 6-2. One more out and...but wait. Nolasco is at 105 pitches. The Mets bring in a pinch hitter. The Marlins' manager goes with a LOOGY. And the Fan just knew it would get ugly. It did. The Marlins barely scraped off with a one run win in ten innings.
But the old dowsing rod inside the Fan pulled double duty in the Tigers - Royals game. It was a tight squeaker all the way. Hochever and Scherzer were fantastic. Ni came in for the Tigers and gave up a run to make it a 1-1 game until the ninth. Now the first intuition didn't take fifty years of watching baseball to figure out. Farnsworth came in to pitch. The Fan can almost guarantee that every fan in Kansas City had the same gut reaction. Except theirs came in the form of, "Oh crap!"

Sure enough, Farnsworth did what he usually does in situations that matter. Single. Single. Single. Run. But there was when it got stupid. Inge pops out. And then of all things, the Tigers try a double steal with Miguel Cabrera and Jose Guillen. What!? Cabrera gets thrown out at third and Farnsworth gets a gift. Since that baserunner disaster poked a hole in the known Farnsworth universe, all Laird could do was pop up to end the inning.

And then the Fan knew the Tigers were doomed. It was done before it was done. The Tigers brought in their new closer, Valverde. Homer. Double. Error. Ball game. Just like that.

There are times when you just know. This was a game where that premonition was right twice. The Royals should have known better than to bring Farnsworth in when it mattered. And the Tigers should have allowed the inning to unfold in typical Farnsworth fashion but tried to force things. Once they did, it could have been any closer. Didn't matter. The Tigers were going to lose.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Sad State of the Astros

When looking at the rosters of teams in Major League Baseball, there are some standouts when it comes to poorly constructed offenses. The Athletics seem to be a poor offense. The Royals always seem to shine in the OBP anti-race. The Cubs look old. The White Sox look like a weak hitting team. But none of them seem more inclined to score less runs than the Astros. Man! What happened? Where is Biggio and Bagwell? This used to be a franchise that was always in the mix of things. How did they get this bad? Well, here is their lineup and each players historic OPS+:

Remember that less than 100 is lower than league average

Pedro Feliz - 83
Humberto Quintero/J. R. Towles - 58/61
Jeff Keppinger/Kaz Matsui - 89/85
Tommy Manzella - No relevant data, but his OPS in the minors was .694. Umm...
Chris Johnson/Geoff Blum - No data but a .736 OPS in minors / 81
Carlos Lee - 116! Yay!
Michael Bourn - 78
Hunter Pence - 114! Yay!
Any pitcher - nevermind

That adds up to a lot of outs. It's understood that Berkman is out. But isn't he always? It seems so lately. But no matter how good Oswalt and Wandy and friends can be, they just won't score enough runs to turn them into wins. It's going to be a long...long...long season in muggy Houston.

Game Picks - Wednesday: April 7, 2010

Last year's game picker was happy to finish any week above .500. Last year's game picker felt like a pretty dumb schmuck at times. But this year's version is starting on such a roll that giddiness has stepped in. But this picker has been doing this so long that as sure as shooting, there is some piano hanging by a thread above him and when it falls, it won't make a delightful chord like the end of a famous Beatles song. So with that in mind (looking up), here are today's picks:

  • The Rockies over the Brewers: Cook is decent enough and can at times be quite wonderful. Davis is quite awful and can be decent enough at times. Thus this pick.
  • The Giants over the Astros: How did the Astros get this bad? They might end up with a worse record than the Royals this year.
  • The Dodgers over the Pirates: The Pirates are a young scrappy team that will strike out a lot. Kershaw is a pitcher that will salivate over that opportunity.
  • The Nationals over the Phillies: The upset pick of the day. Going with Marquis over Hamels.
  • The Marlins over the Mets: Nolasco was unhittable all spring.
  • The Cardinals over the Reds: The Reds had to wonder if they would be in the mix this year. Starting against the Cardinals will put that to bed quickly.
  • The Braves over the Cubs: Dempster had a good spring, but is facing Jurrjens. Good luck with that.
  • The Yankees over the Red Sox: Just a feeling that the Yanks will jump on Lackey.
  • The Bay Rays over the Orioles: The Orioles' closer tossed the game out the window and that had to feel crappy, no?
  • The Rangers over the Blue Jays: Why couldn't the Blue Jays open against a lesser team?
  • The Tigers over the Royals: Doesn't matter how good Hochever will be. They'll still lose.
  • The Indians over the White Sox: Francisco Carmona! It's going to be a big year.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Padres: Got to go with Ian Kennedy for sentimental reasons.
  • The Mariners over the A's: Still scared about Duchscherer.
  • The Twins over the Angels: Must be the piano effect if the Fan is picking Pavano...

Yesterday: 5-2
Week: 17-4
Month: 17-4

Yankees Need to Consider Catching Change

The Boston Red Sox know when to cut the cord. Despite the spring debacle of the Nomar Garciaparra retirement party, the Red Sox are quite good at separating reality and devotion. They won a World Championship with Damon and set him free. Pedro? Gone in a heartbeat. Lowell? Thanks for the fine work. Last year, they understood that Varitek was done as a viable catcher and despite his mythical stature in Boston and despite his captaincy, they brought in Victor Martinez to take over. David Ortiz already looks bad this year. Don't expect them to let that go as far as it did last year. The Yankees are starting to learn (letting go of Damon and Matsui was the right call) but in the case of their catcher, they have a blind eye.

Look, the Fan gets it. It's Posada and Jeter and Pettitte and Rivera. The stalwarts. The legends. But when it gets to the point where it hurts the ball club, it's time to take a second look. Two games are certainly a small sample size. But we've already seen a passed ball that cost a run and possibly the game and a throwing error that cost another run in Tuesday's game. But small sample size or not, it's a pattern. His defense was staggeringly bad in the post season last year and his incessant trips to the mound are enough to drive everyone batty. The reality is that Posada is simply a liability on defense.

But he can hit and there is some intrinsic value in his leadership. But you have to prevent runs as much as you have to score them. Posada was a wash on Sunday. He homered. He missed a fastball and let a run in. That's a wash. Washes aren't good. It's time to do something creative.

The Fan will even state with understanding that it can be a gradual process. Here is what the Fan would do. Make Posada the DH against every lefty starter. He would be more effective than Nick Johnson in those situations as the DH. This way you get him out of harms way as often as a lefty starts. He still gets his hacks and hopefully his dignity stays somewhat intact. But the heck with dignity. The Red Sox don't worry about that do they? Cervelli is a better catcher. And it appears that he isn't too harmful with a bat in his hand. So a Cervelli/Posada, catcher/DH combination cannot hit any less against lefties than a Posada/Johnson combination. Plus, you get better defense behind the plate.

The future is a Montero/Cervelli catching mix. All Yankee watchers realize that. Posada's shelf life is limited and he could go all Varitek at any time. His defense already has.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Game Picks - Tuesday: April 6, 2010

We're off to a flying start! Halladay was true to form. Heyward got his first major league hit, homer and RBI on the same swing. Everything went great...except Santana was masterful and the Royals couldn't hold the lead that Greinke gave them.

Did you have as much fun poring over the box scores as the Fan did? Bet you did! Here are today's picks:

The Red Sox over the Yankees: Is New York going to start 0-8 again this year against the Sox?
The Bay Rays over the Orioles: Give the Fan, Shields any day over Millwood.
The Giants over the Astros: As much as the Fan loves Wandy, the Astros are absolutely toothless.
The Brewers over the Rockies: Randy Wolf has to have a good year for the Brewers to even be in the conversation.
The Padres over the Diamondbacks: Young looked good this spring. Jackson has been erratic and injury prone.
The Twins over the Angels: Don't like Blackburn as a starter, but like Saunders less.
The Mariners over the A's: Again, the A's have no offense.

Yesterday: 11-2
Week: 12-2
Month: 12-2

Monday, April 05, 2010

Game Picks - Monday: March 5, 2010

This game picker already has one win under his belt after the sloppy Yankees squandered a big lead against the Red Sox in the season opener. Today, everyone else gets to start the season and the Fan gets the first-time fun of diving into a full slate of games. Yow!

  • The Phillies over the Nationals - Should be an easy pick here. Halladay starts
  • The Marlins over the Mets - Still can't believe how fast Santana is back from elbow surgery.
  • The Cardinals over the Reds - Carpenter for the Cards versus Harang, who really has looked awful all spring.
  • The Pirates over the Dodgers - Okay, Padilla, convince the Fan that he's wrong. He dares you.
  • The White Sox over the Indians - The Fan believes the White Sox have slipped and the Indians have improved but for this game can't put his money where his mouth is.
  • The Rangers over the Blue Jays - The beginning of a new era in the AL West?
  • The Rockies over the Brewers - Have more faith in Ubaldo than in Gallardo.
  • The Braves over the Cubs - Lowe versus Zambrano in Atlanta.
  • The Royals over the Tigers - Have to go with Greinke.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Padres - Have to believe that Haran is better than Garland.
  • The Giants over the Astros - Lincecum versus a punchless lineup in Houston.
  • The Mariners over the A's - King Felix over the equally punchless A's.
  • The Angels over the Twins - Jared Weaver looked great in his last couple of spring outings.

Yesterday - 1-0
Week - 1-0
Month - 1-0

Have fun on opening day!

Cust is a Surprise Cut

The Athletics cut their popular all-or-nothing guy on the last day before the regular season. Jack Cust lost his job and apparently thinks it's bogus. But by any account, Cust has been fading over the last three years and with 21 strikeouts in 50 spring appearances, it didn't look like it was getting any better.

Cust has been fun. He really has. He generally had only three outcomes at the plate. He either walked, or he struck out, or he crushed the ball somewhere. But his OPS has gone from .912 in 2007 to .773 in 2009. His WARP has gone from 3.2 in 2007 to 0.4. And while Baseball Prospectus did forecast Cust to rebound a little this year, the A's had seen enough. A lower producing Cust isn't worth the terrible fielding he also provides.

The only bone to pick with this decision is that they really have nothing to back him up with. They are going to go with Chavez as the DH when Chavez hasn't been able to stay healthy for six years. How much will Chavez contribute and for how long? And if Chavez can't cut it, then who will take his place?

It isn't far from likely that this was also a cost cutting move for the Athletics. Perhaps they knew they weren't likely to contend this year and cut some losses. They are certainly one of the most strapped organizations in baseball. But from this perspective, the move seems to make good baseball sense as much as it makes money sense.

It was fun, Mr. Cust.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Tripping Over the Transactions - 3

It's that time again folks when we take an irreverant look at the transaction wire for the week. This was a bad week for many as final cuts are taking place. The Fan apologizes for their plight and for taking this light-hearted look at their outcomes.

  • Gil's shoulder is still a Meche, so he went on the disabled list.
  • Coco Crisp's body went snap, crackle, pop again and he's on the disabled list.
  • Sure as the dust that floats high and true, when movin’ through Kazmir who went on the disabled list. That was for you Zep'lin fans
  • The Angels were all excited that they got this great pitcher. But he wasn't who they thought he was and they send Zach Kroenke down to the minors.
  • In other Angel news, Zavada's chances of making the team were made of Clay and they crumbled.
  • In Braves' news, Joe was Thursten for a roster spot but didn't get it. Jordan is gimpy and Schafer is the one gear to have when you're using more than one and went on the disabled list. You have to be old to remember those commercials. A long time relief pitcher took his roster cut up the butt like a Procterologist.
  • The Orioles' manager was walking around looking for his pitcher. He yelled out, "Koji, are Uehara?" The coach told him he was at the doctor's getting examined again and he went on the disabled list.
  • In other Orioles news, the only way that pitcher, Mickolio, is going to see the Camden Yards clubhouse is via Web Kam as he was optioned out.
  • For the Rockies, Huston will be in Street clothes to start the season as he went on the disabled list.
  • In Florida, it seems rather unkind on Easter weekend for a Chisthian to get demoted. At least he'll have his Jai alli along with him as Miller was demoted too. Thought that happened last week?
  • The Royals had a bloody day as Bruce took it on the Chen and was sent to the minors. But he was hardly alone as Edwin Ballorin danced on his toes to the minors too. Irving Falu out the door in anguish when he got the bad news.
  • The Angels nipped Ryan's hopes in the Budde as he was sent down. They also told Peter Bourjos-no. The Fan thinks that's french.
  • In Los Angeles, the equipment guy was relieved when Mientkiewicz got released. "Whew!" he said. And unfortunately, a catcher is no Closser to making the bigs this year than last. The Dodgers apparently think Xavier needs more schooling, so they sent Paul down. In a serious side note, they broke camp by signing both Ramon Ortiz and Garret Anderson to their 25 man roster. Geez, Louise. That's bad.
  • Clay's injury put the Twins in a Condrey when they had to put him on the disabled list.
  • In a sleeper of a deal, the Yankees received catcher/outfielder Robbie Hammock in a trade.
  • The Reds' Wells will Kip town as he was released.
  • Adam Lind must have been Bewitched to sign a deal for that amount of money. What a bargain for the Blue Jays.
  • It wasn't an epic trade, but the Pirates traded Virgil Vasquez to the Bay Rays.
  • The Giants' GM is a Posey because he sent Buster down. Oops. Need to wash the mouth out with soap after that one. In other news from the Giants, their catcher, Steve, proved that you can always go Holm again as he returned to the minors.
  • Man, the Fan thought that they got rid of Bradley to provide a better atmosphere, but they still have Greifenkamp because they signed Jon to be their vice president.
  • The Cardinals traded Julio Lugo to the Orioles. The Orioles expectorant Lugo to arrive any day now.
  • When pitcher Bonser hits the wall and goes on the disabled list, he makes his own sound effects. To put seasoned salt on Boston's wound, they put Lowrie on the disabled list too.
  • The Royals must have sent Kila back to the minors despite crushing the ball all spring because Trey Hillman kept saying, "Ka'aiwho?" instead of Ka'aihue.
  • Seattle fans said, "Well I Bedard" when Eric went on the disabled list yet again.
  • And finally, the Fan is angry that the Cubs just won't take Sam into the Fuld and demoted the poor guy again.

Have a great opening week of baseball, Everyone!

Game Picks - Sunday: April 4, 2010

It's time to unleash the beast as the Fan rekindles (did you just think of Amazon?) the dusty forecaster for the new season. For those new to this space, the Fan will pick the games every day of the season (as long as the Internet is working). Take it for what it's worth:

The First game of the season!

The Red Sox over the Yankees: Sabathia is always a slow starter and the Yankees always seem to start slowly against the Red Sox.

This week: 0-0 Man! .500 already!?