It’s been a long week. I’ve been busy as hell with work trying to get all my ducks in a row so I can head off to Las Vegas next week for the National Fantasy Baseball Championship, and I seem to have pulled a muscle in my chest while I was maxing out my bench press (I think I had two 10 lbs plates on both sides). I know, it’s a tough life I lead isn’t it? If the biggest worries I have are about whether or not I can do 10 reps or 12 on the bench, or whether or not I can finish that massive margarita from Paris Las Vegas (that thing is like two feet tall in the shape of the Eiffel Tower), then life isn’t all bad. I know that drink doesn’t sound too masculine by the way, but who wouldn’t want to get bombed on $20 – am I right?
Some sports related thoughts after that random opening stanza.
* So much for Lance Berkman’s knee being OK. Turns out he will need minor knee surgery which could keep him out of action for 2-4 weeks, though Berkman still insists he can make opening day. “I don’t anticipate having any lingering effects from it. They said it’s about a three-to-four-week recovery period, so I’m hoping it’s closer to three weeks and I will be ready for Opening Day.” By the way, one of my expert league teams that was drafted last week has Berkman, Brian Roberts and Russell Martin – all injured – on it. Gotta love those early preseason drafts don’t you?
** I have nothing to say about Jesse Carlson. I just loved the picture so much that I had to find a way to bring up his name. What is that, My Little Pony?
* The hype machine continues to motor along in overdrive with Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban fireballer of the Reds. He struck out two in two scoreless innings again the Dodgers on Friday, and his fastball was once again recorded at 100 mph. As they say you can’t teach heat, and with each solid outing the temptation grows for the club to open the year with him on the roster. I think it would make sense for him to start in the minors if for no other reason than to allow him time to acclimatize himself to the American way of life, but here is a very important comparison that I haven’t seen listed anywhere – Chapman is actually 19 days older than the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.
* Bobby Jenks gave up five runs while recording two outs on Friday running his spring performance to seven runs in 1.2 innings. He’s lost weight and changed his outlook to improve his life, but let’s hope he didn’t leave his focus somewhere in the offseason.
* The Mets are a disaster. Contradictory news on the health of Carlos Beltran in the offseason followed up by the latest setback with Jose Reyes are but two of the biggest issues the club is dealing with. I’m no doctor and I know they often rule things out 1-by-1 cause they themselves don’t really know what’s going on sometimes, but the club from New York certainly seems to be having an inordinate number of issues with the diagnosis of injuries and the dissemination of the results.
* Mike Napoli hit his fourth homer on Friday. The guy can rake. Problem is his defense is only so-so which has limited his ability to be in the lineup every day (Jeff Mathis has the exact opposite issue, he can field but he ain’t so good with a bat in his hands). It’s probably sheer folly, but if Napoli were to garner 400 at-bats this season, while maintaining his career levels, he would produce a season of about .256-24-66. You know how many catchers reached all three of those levels last season? The answer is one – Joe Mauer.
Here are links to some of the recent stories that I have penned for those of you who need a little something to read over the weekend.
Breaking Down: Jhonny Peralta.
Breaking Down: Cody Ross.
Breaking Down: Alfonso Soriano.
Is there anything to the belief that 27 year old players blow up merely because of their age? I give my thoughts in two pieces.
These two articles give my thoughts on why you should pass on some of the guys being taken early in draft since you can likely find similar production much later on.
Taking Sides: First Base.
Taking Sides: Second Base.
By Ray Flowers