National / Sports / April 22, 2009

Early Season MLB Musings

As we enter the last week of April, the Major League Baseball season is nearly one tenth over. What have we learned?

Well, not much — a lot of which we already knew. The San Francisco Giants can’t score any runs (wait, you mean to tell me Pablo Sandoval isn’t that good?); the Cleveland Indians can’t pitch (Carl Pavano and his 9.69 ERA be damned); Milton Bradley is a little crazy, and a little tender, and makes a lot of money to be both. (I am anxious to see his 2011 option exercised, so that he and Alfonso Soriano can comprise two-thirds of the worst defensive outfield of all-time.)

Admittedly, some of what has happened was unforeseen. The Florida Marlins are apparently really, really good (Josh Johnson especially, Emilio Bonafacio not so much); the Dodgers are even better (despite the efforts of Ned Colletti, the Los Angeles Dodgers have the best run differential in the game, along with the best defense); the Baltimore Orioles made no attempt to field a pitching staff (no offense Adam Eaton – but where is Steve Trachsel?).

Of course, much has been made over C.C. Sabathia’s inability to pitch like a demi-god, and the terrible design of New Yankee Stadium, but I’ll leave that stimulating topic to ESPN so Skip Bayless and Buster Olney can give you enough (useless) information to cause a brain aneurysm.

Even as I type this, I’m sure they are readying both their fingers and tongues to type and talk for the next six hours about Sabathia’s putrid effort against the A’s on Wednesday, or about how Joe Torre may have designed the new stadium for pitchers, rather than hitters.

But I must say there is little time to wax poetic on the foibles of ESPN or the Yankees, as it is the best week of the year: yes, it is the Orioles-White Sox series. I hold both teams near and dear to my heart, as my father loved the Orioles as an adolescent, and tried fruitlessly to shove Cal Ripken and Brady Anderson down my throat in the late nineties. Seemingly every year, the Orioles are out in front at this point, only to fall hard by mid-May and never be heard from again – that is, until they acquire Matt Stairs in a waiver deal in late-August.

But this year, the Blue Jays look like the inevitably doomed AL East team that will tease their (8,000 or so) fans into a tizzy. The Orioles possess a great lineup, but their pitching, despite holding the White Sox to three runs on Tuesday night, could be swapped with that of the St. Paul Saints, and I’m convinced few would notice. So, if the White Sox lose the series or are swept, I may not be around much longer.

In fact, I’m surprised I’ve made it this far, given their recent acquisition of Scott Podsednik, albeit to a minor league contract. The name, one that lives on forever in White Sox lore, makes my hair stand on end, and will, if anything else, always remind me that I am smarter than the men who continue to give him money to play baseball.

Who did he replace? DeWayne Wise – who hurt himself, which I hope I played no part in.

Kevin Morris

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