March 24th, 2014
We’re into the last week of Spring Training. I must admit I felt it went rather quickly. But I’m still exhausted.
I want to thank you so much for your great comments and questions on twitter during the entire spring marathon. We’ll continue with baseball talk during the regular season.
I want to share some of my impressions of the spring before I do my last Spring Training blog at the end of the week and before the “real” season starts.
The Dodgers have to be flying high following a two-game sweep of the Dbacks in Australia. On the other hand, how would you like to travel that far and come away with no wins. Demoralizing, to say the least.
I think the Dbacks will have pitching issues all season. The loss of Patrick Corbin was crucial. There just isn’t enough depth.
If you ever go to Peoria for Spring Training, try the chicken/rice bowl from a vendor on the concourse. Superb.
I’ll be going to the new Cubs park tomorrow for the first time.
These are some guys I saw this spring I’m very high on. Remember-this is not a complete list. These are guys that made me sit up in my seat: Jose Abreu (White Sox)
Francisco Lindor, (Indians) Yordano Ventura (Royals) Kole Calhoun (Angels) BILLY BURNS (Athletics) Dustin Ackley (Mariners) Stefan Romero (Mariners) Brad Miller (Mariners)
Rougned Odor (Rangers) Andrelton Simmons (Braves0 Nick Markakis (Orioles) Ubaldo Jimenez (Orioles) Henry Urrutia (Orioles) Mike Foltynewicz (Astros) Carlos Correa (Astros)
Steven Matz (Mets) Tim Cooney (Cardinals) Anthony Rendon (Nationals)
Of course, there were countless other guys that I really, really liked. But these guys showed me some special talent. They may not all make it to the big leagues this season. And of course, many are already big names.
I didn’t see the Rays, Red Sox, Yankees or Blue Jays.
I think Brad Ausmus and Matt Williams will be fabulous managers.
The Angels have to have everything go well with their starting pitching. They have no (as in zero) pitching depth.
Most clubs have a gap the size of the grand canyon after their third starters. Good teams must—and I mean must—beat up on the 4th and 5th starters.
There are few home runs to be found.
I look at their team and I can’t figure why the Mariners don’t win. They have a collection of good players. But they don’t play them. Stefan Romero is a good player. Will Corey Hart ever be healthy? Nick Franklin is a good player. Where will he play? Does having Robbie Cano make them a contender? Will he sell lots of tickets? I’m just askin.
Why haven’t the Tigers signed Stephen Drew? Why didn’t Max Scherzer take the Tigers offer? Does he think he can win a World Series elsewhere next season? And for even more money than the Tigers offered? Lots of questions with the Tigers.
How much money is enough money? I’m just asking here.
I’m getting more and more annoyed by these blind sales calls on the telephone. I thought they were banned five years ago when we signed the “don’t call” list. No-I don’t have caller ID. Don’t try to call me and sell me new shingles for my roof. I just had three calls in a row trying to sell me something and I’m trying to write here.
You know what ticks me off? When a fan pays money to see a Spring Training game and excepts to see some recognizable names. He gets to the park and maybe one or two of the guys are starters. It’s wrong. Almost immoral in my book. Most box seats cost $23 or $24 bucks for a non-premium game. I don’t feel sorry for players that have to take a bus trip to the game. It’s their job. Fans take airplanes to see those games. It’s wrong!
I was a little kid when Herb Score got hit in the eye in Cleveland by the Yankees Gil McDougald. It made me sick then. Now-this injury to Aroldis Chapman. It was sickening. And it really shook up Salvador Perez. Really. He was devastated.
I know Billy Hamilton gets lots of publicity for his blazing speed. But have you seen Billy Burns of the A’s? Yikes! He’s a blurrr from home to first.
I worry about Michael Bourn. Can he hit? I’m just asking here.
I haven’t given up on Trevor Bauer. But I’m gettingthisclose.
The hamburgers at Salt River Fields are outstanding.
Ever get to Freeport, Illinois? I suggest you visit Little Cubs Field at Read Park on Empire Street. And throw em a few bucks to help keep the place going.
Have I told you yet that I love the Orioles this year? I do. And once they get Manny Machado back, they’ll be even better. Chris Davis. Are you kidding me? He sees a fastball and has to wipe the drool off his shirt. Very balanced club with a good manager in Buck.
Why? Why didn’t the Indians go get another pitcher or two? Or keep Kazmir and Ubaldo. And why will they let Justin Masterson go? Yes-I know why. And to think–George Steinbrenner wanted to buy the Indians but he was refused by the current owner at the time. What might have been.
The most sacred words in baseball are….draft pick. Ask Stephen Drew. Or even Nelson Cruz or Ubaldo Jimenez or Kendrys Morales or Kyle Lohse. I hope that rule gets changed. These guys are too good to be held hostage to a….draft pick.
Five Falling: Atlanta, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh
Five Flying: Kansas City, Colorado, Baltimore, Washington, San Francisco
No change in the rest. They’ll be as good or as bad.
Next blog: My predictions.
Warning: Don’t be upset with me if I think your team is falling or staying the same. I try to be honest with what I see. If you disagree, just agree to disagree. Don’t be angry. The world is too full of anger. We should agree to like each other. Fair enough.
As always-thanks for reading my work on Pipeline.com and for following me on twitter @BerniePleskoff. And remember-the podcast with Derek Van Riper and myself comes out every Wednesday on iTunes.
That’s it. I’m done.