Games Plus Odds and Ends

And so begins, sort of, another baseball season. I mostly loathe Spring Training because of the sheer amount of fluffy writing it signals that is about to arrive as story-starved journalists (hey, that’s me now too!) need to fill the same number of column inches each day no matter that nothing of actual importance happened. Hence, we get the countless cliches about who lost weight, who gained muscle, who is ready to put last season behind him, who is ready to build off last season, and so on. It’s a rite of passage now to wade through that stuff.

But I cannot be down today. Games were played. As Dave Cameron mentioned, they don’t even begin to mean anything stats-wise. It doesn’t matter. Baseball is being played again between competing teams and I can start my countdown to Opening Day, that most glorious of all days. It’s a little more special for me this year with the new face of the Mariners front office and the emotional return of Griffey Jr in a Seattle uniform.

The great part of this part of the year is that usually nearly every team can see a glimmer of hope. Going by CHONE’s projected standings, there are 20 teams projected to be within ten or fewer games of a postseason berth and 26 within 15 games. Sorry Toronto, Baltimore, Chicago and Kansas City. I am sure fans of those four teams can come up with legit reasons they might contend though.

Hope abounds in Spring. It’s baseball and it’s coming back.

A couple quick notes since not much news happened today with the first spattering of games. The Dodgers added a $20 million player option for 2010 onto their offer to Manny Ramirez. I am not sure that will be enough, but I also do not see any other team making a play for the slugger so I think we can all hope for this drama to just be done with. Also, the exploratory surgery on Boof Bonser did reveal a tear in his shoulder so his 2009 season is over. Ditto for Mariners SP Ryan Feierabend who will undergo Tommy John surgery. He was a long shot to make any impact on the 2009 team, so his loss mostly just lessens Seattle’s rotational depth.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

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Mark Sobba

Maybe it would make you happy if you wrote a few fluff pieces.

Something about how the small stadiums, and the warm weather in Arizona is how baseball is suppose to be played!
Which star prospect is going to be the club house leader of the future?
The importance of clubhouse pranks to bring a team closer together!
Which is more important to making the majors: hard work or stick-to-itiveness?

…Or not. :)