Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’

Spring Training 2011: On The Fringe

With the Twins now in Fort Myers, FL, for Spring Training, they’ve been getting more media attention than usual due to issues like Morneau’s concussion comeback, Nathan’s Tommy John rehab, and the new Japanese SS whose name I’m too lazy to look up for spelling (probably should get on that).

However, there are three other areas I would like to comment on that perhaps slip our minds in the midst of the “bit stories”:

alexi.jpg

1. Alexi Casilla has never been an everyday player for a full season.  Whenever he’s been given the opportunity to start, he’s droppped the ball (sometimes even in the literal sense).  Considering Gardy’s love of guys like Matt “The Next Punto?” Tobert or the newcomer Luke Hughes, Casilla still has a lot to prove and will not be handed the job by any means.

danny-valencia.jpg 

2. Can “Valencia Mania” continue? A favorite example of mine of this case comes from 2000, when the Mets had an outfielder named Timo Perez (heck, he might be bouncing around somewhere yet) who, in August-September that year, looked like the next coming of Junior Griffey.  He then made a few World Series blunders, pitchers figured him out, and he’s been a fringe player since.  Pitchers now have a similar “book” on young Danny-Boy, so those fat pitches will be fewer and farther between.

delmonyoung.jpg

3. Besides a summer (June-July) that was out of control, Delmon Young was very average at the beginning and end of 2010.  What if that “Beast Mode” doesn’t occur again in ’11, or for nearly as long?  He’s always been a streaky hitter.

Keep an eye on these issues, as they could be every bit as important as “the big boys”.

Who Said Barry Bonds Has No “Appeal”?!

BondsTrial.jpgWhile I’m a little late on blogging about this news, it was announced a few days ago that federal prosecutors in the Barry Bonds case are appealing the judge’s ruling that Bonds’ positive steroid tests from 2003, as well as doping calendars put together by Bonds’ personal trainer Greg Anderson, could not be used as evidence that Bonds perjured himself.  This announcement was made shortly after Anderson again refused to testify against Bonds.  This new development will push the trial back into the summer months.

I know that many of you are probably sick of hearing about this kind of stuff during baseball’s ethereal-like Spring Training, but I feel compelled to discuss these matters due to the fact that they represent the biggest current problem in baseball right now.  Much like the 1919 Black Sox scandal, the Steroid Era has caused the game to lose much credibility, and thus must be dealt with in a very serious fashion.  I would like nothing more than to never write about the issue of steroids again, but unfortunately that may be long (if ever) in the future.

In an interesting comparison, I think that Bonds may very well be the “Shoeless” Joe Jackson of our generation.  Even though there wasn’t much concrete evidence that Jackson ever accepted a bribe to throw the 1919 World Series, he became one of the “Eight Men Out” nonetheless and was banned from the game for life just for THINKING about taking a bribe, essentially.  It could very well have been that then-Commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis made an example of Jackson, essentially declaring that not even the greatest stars could get away with acts that tarnish the game.

While Bonds’ case is a bit different, as he is much more quantifiably guilty than the Shoeless one, I believe he is also being made an example of.  I mean, there are many other players (weren’t there over 100 on the ’03 list?!) that the Fed could be going after, but instead they are focusing on nailing Bonds.  I’m not saying this is wrong by any means, as Bonds deserves to be punished if indeed he did perjure himself, but I’m just pointing out that the federal government is doing what current Commissioner Bud Selig has proven unable to do…play the “Judge Landis” card.

Notes:

-Just to let my readers know, I will not be blogging about individual Twins Spring Training games.  I know it is exciting that the boys of summer are getting after it again, but I’ve never really been able to get into evaluating essentially meaningless games.  Once the regular season starts, however, I hope to have some comments every night!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.