The WBC is quite interesting after all…
I have to admit that I am starting to get caught up with the World Baseball Classic. At first, I dismissed it as a ploy by the Commissioner and viewed it as something that would prevent certain players from getting quality spring training time with their respective teams. Granted, a Derek Jeter doesn’t have to worry that someone’s going to steal his job while he is away, but how about someone like Carlos Marmol? Carlos should be the Cubs’ closer this year since Kerry Wood signed with Cleveland in the off-season. However, the Cubs did acquire the Florida Marlins closer Kevin Gregg in the off-season. I have not been following the Cubs that closely, so I don’t know if Marmol has already been given the closer’s role by Manager Lou Piniella or if he is in competition with Gregg. But regardless, time away from Cubs camp can’t be beneficial.
On the same token, Kevin Cash is fighting for a Yankees roster spot as the third catcher. Meanwhile, Francisco Cervelli has been with the WBC’s Team Italy. Granted, Italy has been eliminated and Cervelli is on his way to Tampa to join up with the Yanks. But still, the time away most likely was more beneficial for Cash than it was Cervelli.
Sorry, I digressed…
I am very surprised to see the Netherlands’ victory over the Dominican Republic. On the bright side, it means that Robinson Cano and Damaso Marte will be on their way back to camp. But I still have to believe that the DR was the better team. Well, I guess on “any given Tuesday”, everyone has a chance. That’s why the play the games, right?
Two things did stand out to me about the Netherlands-DR game.
First, Ubaldo Jimenez is a freak. Ten strikeouts in four innings. Two hits, no runs, no walks, and 43 of 65 pitches were for strikes. It’s a tremendous line score, and is obviously a tournament record. I’ve known that Jimenez was good, I just didn’t realize that he was this good. The Rockies are very fortunate to have him.
Secondly, Pedro Martinez pitched very well and certainly deserves another opportunity. The Mets are on record saying they have no interest in re-signing Pedro, but you’d think someone would take the chance. I mean, c’mon, if you have the chance to go with Carl “The American Idle” Pavano or Pedro Martinez (albeit the antique version), you tell me you’re going to go with the guy most likely to hit the DL first? I’d think a team that is capable of contending, like the Indians, would take a chance on Pedro as their fifth starter. In the Netherlands-DR game, Pedro pitched very well (three innings, no hits, no runs, no walks, and two strikeouts).
The WBC games have been very entertaining, and I am looking forward to the second round. Plus, Jimmy Curran has my interest piqued about Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish…
Steroids, the topic that won’t go away
Alex Rodriguez should be thankful for the torn labrum. The injury and the subsequent surgery have caused people to focus on things other than his admitted steroids use. So, the surgery definitely has had some positive impact despite the negative of keeping A-Rod out of action for 6-9 weeks.
Meanwhile, the negative reports for Roger Clemens keep coming in. Now, Brian McNamee is saying that he injected Clemens with drugs in the Jacuzzi at Yankee Stadium. At this point, I fully believe that McNamee is telling the truth. From my perspective, what Clemens has done is far worse than anything A-Rod did.
Okay, maybe that’s not Clemens, but it could be! 😉
I used to feel that Clemens would be a shoo-in for first ballot Hall of Fame. Now, I don’t believe he should ever get in (not even posthumously).
Aside from Barry Bonds, Yankees who have taken steroids seem to get triple the press magnification than players from other teams. I realize that New York City is THE major market, but I’d have to believe that steroids found their way into other locker rooms and no team was immune.
Examples should be made of the so-called liars like Clemens and Bonds. I will always have more respect for those who step forward and admit their indiscretions and crimes than I will for those who continue to deny their guilt.
CC Sabathia didn’t last long today as he gave up 5 runs on 6 hits, and didn’t make it out of the second inning in the Yankees 7-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers. One of the hits was a home run by former Yankee Gary Sheffield. Ouch!
Meanwhile, Joba Chamberlain pitched much more effectively than he did his previous outing in Tuesday night’s 7-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds. He allowed one run on three hits, striking out three and walking none, in two innings of work.
Sounds like GM Brian Cashman is content to start the season with Cody Ransom as the starting third baseman. “I’m not optimistic about doing anything,” Cashman said. “I’m not going to be proactive in trying to do something. If something presents itself that makes sense, which is not realistic, then maybe it will be somebody different. I think our answer is here in camp.” Of course, you never know if that is talk to downplay any sense of desperation on the Yankees’ part or if Cashman is truly intending to stand pat. My guess is that there isn’t anything that makes sense and it’s not worth parting with a blue-chip prospect at this point. Now, if Ransom gets off to a very slow start…
Alex Rodriguez left a voice mail message for Manager Joe Girardi on Tuesday night that said, “I’m doing well.” I am hopeful that it means the recovery will be closer to six weeks than nine weeks!
It’s not Yankees news, but for everything negative about Manny Ramirez, there is no question that he is in a league of his own when it comes to hitting. I noticed these comments by Donnie Baseball, the Dodgers hitting coach. “By 8 [a.m.], he’s in the cage. He’ll only take 30 to 35 balls, but he’s almost perfect with them. He does it slow. He doesn’t rush. He’s not firing ball after ball. He takes his time with each swing. It’s like each swing is a whole at-bat. He thinks about what he wants to do and then he thinks about what he just did. Every swing he takes with a purpose. And he doesn’t talk much when he’s hitting. But if he doesn’t like one, he’ll ask what you think he did.” I don’t condone how Manny treated the Boston fans or the organization, or how he quit on his teammates, but I respect his ability to hit. That was the only reason that I wanted the Yankees to sign him.
The Sharks Win, The Sharks Win, TTTHHEEE SHHHAARRRKKKS WIN!
Okay, they blew a three-goal lead but the San Jose Sharks finally won last night, beating the Minnesota Wild, 5-4, in overtime. Wins have been hard to come by for the Sharks in recent weeks, so I’ll take any victory that I can.
“We won finally and that’s a real good thing,” said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. “But I’m disappointed in the way we carry ourselves. I’d like to see some guys step up and swing the bat. I want to see guys take the challenge on a little bit more.”
It was the Sharks first victory in five games.
I am hopeful that the victory will reignite some momentum for the Sharks as they continue the drive for the post-season.