Monday, December 19, 2005

Open mouth....

...insert foot. Perhaps.

This morning on my way to work I stopped at the drive through for a motivating jolt of java, mocha to be precise, and was greet by My Barista R with "How many more days till opening day?" Guess another java jockey told him about my countdown clock that sits beside my vitamins. Gives me something to be happy about each morning as the days tick away toward that happy day.

Then he asked, "So how do you think 'we'll' do this year?"

Third place, I said. Toronto's looking good, they're going to make a run for it.

"Yeah, right," R said and grabbed a sheet of paper. "I'm going to write this down and post it in here. We'll revisit it in 109 days and again in September."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

It's That Time of Year

To casual fans, the time between the end of the World Series and the start of Spring Training (or maybe even Opening Day is they're casual enough) is a time of dormancy for baseball. Not so.

Trades, possible, probable or im, get underway before the champagne has dried on the locker room floor. It can be a heady time of year for baseball people, but one thing I've learned over the years is not to get too worked up about pending trades. Remember when A-Rod was coming to the Red Sox, or when Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams were going to be exchanged one-for-one? People like to speculate about trades, imminent or imaginary, picturing glory or catastrophe for their team. The pundits have players moving hither and yon at breakneck pace, getting fans in a tizzy over things that never come to pass. I've learned to wait until a trade is finalized before I get too excited.

Most fans are interested in the major league moves, especially the Big Names, like where are Miguel Tejada and Manny Ramirez going to end up. As a minor a league fan, it's that part of the announcement that most people ignore that most interests me, that part tacked on at the end, "for 2 minor league players" or "for a player to be named later." When the Roberto Alomar-Alex Escobar trade was initially announced, it included the dreaded PTBNL and I immediately figured that meant Earl Snyder. It did.

When I heard through the baseball grapevine at work that the Red Sox were making a trade with the Marlins that involved Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and some minor leaguers, my first thought wasn't about Boston adding to their rotation or getting a new third baseman. My first thought was that I hoped Anibal Sanchez, whom I've been touting as an up-and-comer, wasn't one of the minor leaguers thrown into the deal. He was, as was top shortstop prospect Hanley Ramirez, a fine player who hasn't met his promise yet and I'm not sure ever will.

With the Red Sox trading away their top minor league shortstop and releasing their regular shortstop, Edgar Renteria, it's apparently they're planning to acquire Miguel Tejada. Which would be great. Though if Steinbrenner can land Nomar Garciaparra to play first as rumor has happening, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't go after Miggy to play second so that George can have all four of the Big Guys from the Golden Age of the Shortstop playing infield for him at the same time. Hasn't happened yet, no point in getting worked up about.

Another move that caught my interest was the Marlins getting Mike Jacobs, another minor leaguer I've been rooting for. It's a move that should benefit Mike, and I may actually start paying attention to the Marlins, other than just how D-Train is doing.

Duke = Crash?
Earl Snyder has signed up for another season in the minors, with Cincinnati's AAA club, the Louisville Bats. First thing I did on hearing the news was check to see when the Bats would be making their only visit of the season to Syracuse, first week of April brrrrrr, then Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. If he hasn't gotten the call (he's listed on the Reds' depth chart at first base!) by July, it's up to Rochester to see him.