BRONX, NY – Play Ball! Today marks the first day of MLB Spring Training, as well as the first day of Short Matt boring everyone by constantly reminding them that he has given up booze for Lent for the umpteenth time. Anyway, yesterday it even felt like Spring here in New York. It was glorious, even though we’re in for some more snow tomorrow. Where was I? Oh, yes, baseball! Let’s get some Spring Training Chatter going.
Power Rankings. I always love when sports websites come out with their Power Rankings of teams before the season even starts. It’s a fairly laughable exercise but, OK, whatevs. I glanced at one yesterday that had Pittsburgh dead last. I’m still not sure how the Rangers avoided the basement. Last I heard Texas had no power at all. Too soon?
Lindorpalooza. #Mets fans are rightfully geeked about having Francisco Lindor playing short this year. Finally someone to fill the void created when the ultra-dynamic Rey Ordóñez left. Jose Reyes, as we all saw, wilted under the intense pressure. Hopefully, the Mets’ crack A/V squad will have enough good sense to use this clip for Lindor early and often.
What D.H. is Going on in the Bronx? The Yankees just signed Jay Bruce. But, why? Do they really need another home run hitter who can barely field a position anymore? They already have two guys, Stanton and Judge, who should probably be mostly DH-ing. Then they got Gary Sanchez, who once looked like a DH candidate himself, but now mostly looks like dead weight. Anyway, this sure looks like the end of the line for Brett Gardner in pinstripes. Yankees got no room for guys that can chase down flies and aren’t a threat to hit monster dongs. Gardner’s really been one of the game’s great characters, albeit a cardboard one. He has all the personality of Yul Brynner in Westworld.
Predictions! JG Clancy’s Oakland Athletics will start horribly, go on a second half tear, win the AL West, and lose in the first round of the playoffs. Maybe pencil the Twins (CLICK) in for the same in the AL Central, sans the slow start. The Yankees will lead the league in home runs, strikeouts, wins over the Orioles, and multi-millionaires on the DL. Jacob deGrom will finally get some run support and win another Cy Young. The St. Louis Cardinals will make everyone want to puke, win the NL Central, and win nothing else. The Seattle Mariners will finally make it to the postseason. The Dodgers and Padres will have at least three bench-clearing brawls. The Red Sox will continue to suck. Mets win the Series. Just checking to see if you’re still awake.
If you’ve got nothing else going on, come back tomorrow for the President of the Julius Randle Fan Club, Buddy Diaz.