Friday, April 7, 2006

Opening Week in Review

Baseball season is back! I'm so excited. Some ramblings...

  • ESPN's new Thursday night package (I guess Thursday is the new Wednesday) is absolutely brutal. Not only do we get an extra dose of Joe Morgan, but he's teamed up with Chris Berman. Once I realized that was the announcing team, I just turned it off. I didn't it tune in to see if Peter Gammons was doing the sideline reporter thing, or if they'd found some other legit baseball guy to belittle with that role for the broadcast. Did Gammons really volunteer for that work? Does he need the money that badly? Is it some form of punishment?
  • Barry Bonds has taken more ugly swings this week than I saw him take in the past five years. I know he had a strong (albeit brief) Spring Training, but he doesn't look like the same guy since the season started. I'm no expert, but it looks like his legs aren't there. I'd be ready to write him off, but at this time last year nearly everyone wrote off Ken Griffey Jr. (including myself, after I watched him in person). Griffey was slow to start, but eventually heated up and won the Comeback Player of the Year award. Maybe Bonds is on track to do the same.
  • The Nationals seem to have finally worked out their broadcasting situation. Well, they're at least on the Extra Innings package more than they used to be (with Nats broadcasters -- in the past you always got the Expos/Nats opponents' broadcasters). I really like the team of Bob Carpenter and Tom Patoriek.
  • "Bonds on Bonds" was pretty pathetic.
  • I'm probably going to be staying up late a lot this year. The AL West is going to be a lot of fun to follow and every Bonds AB could be historic.
  • I can't wait to see the Marlins new video board in person. Apparently it's gigantic.
  • "The Fielding Bible" is a great read. I'm not a big fan of the format of it. It "looks" just like the THT annual and the Bill James book. They all feel the same. But the content (just like with the other two) of "The Fielding Bible" is great and completely different than anything I've ever read before.
  • Too bad Jimmy Rollins' streak ended. If he'd reached 56/57 games, it would have equalled/surpassed Joe D's mark in my book. Do all non-Yankee fans feel that way? Maybe it just seems like it.
  • Shea Stadium isn't my all-time favorite ballpark. But it's a nice enough place to see a game. And yes, it will be sad when they knock the old place down. I was sad when the White Sox left Old Comiskey. I'm sure I'll be sad when the Marlins leave whatever-it-is-that-they're-calling-their-stadium. I'll even be a little sad when they get rid of Shea, and any of the other ballparks I've watched a game or two in. At least with Shea we'll always have Suite 36.
  • Braves starting pitchers have gotten roughed up early and often this season. Do Bobby Cox's boys miss Leo Mazzone that much? It's too early to say that, especially when Mazzone's Orioles haven't exactly been shutting everyone down.
  • I hope the Brewers and Tigers (and Chris Shelton!) play this well all year long.


wiggins said...

I couldn't agree more with just about everything you have to say here. Including enjoying the Nats anouncers. I'm happy to have Paciorek, et al around now. I watched a couple Nats games on TV and got into it more than I did last year, a good deal in part beacuse I did not have to listen to the crap they had on the air last year...

Mike said...

Oh yeah - and I don't think I'd ever heard Bob Carpenter before, but I've owned his scorebook for years. He sells the scorebook that he uses to keep score when he's in the booth. If you're a game scoring geek like me, it's a pretty good one.

Mike said...

Oh yeah - and everyone should read "Game of Shadows", if only to understand why everyone else (who has read it) is walking around saying, "Did I fucking stutter?"

That is apparently one of Barry Lamar Bonds' favorite things to say. I'm using it all the time now. It's great. No wonder Barry has endeared himself to so many.