Sure, spring training baseball games matter not, permanent record-wise. What was the Rays spring training record last year? Nobody cares, but it was 18-8. The Phillies were 12-18. So there.
However, the Astros have posted an impressive string of futility this spring, winning the first game against MLB competition, then proceeding to lose 16 games in a row, with three ties thrown in for bad measure. Even a blind squirrel wins one of those games, one might John Lennon imagine.
But spring, in its true sense, emerged on March 20. And with the season turn turn turn, an Astros prison break-out, four whole runs. Hoo-ra!
It wasn’t easy, of course. Cecil Cooper said he was going to manage the game as if it counted and had to back that up with a 9th Inning call to the bullpen for a closer after the Reds scored two runs and sent the tying run up to the plate.
Katie slammed the door, however, for Win #2 this springless training. First win since Feb. 25. They celebrated like it was 1999.
Win #3? At this rate: April 17.
Are you kidding me? Who is this guy, Reggie Jackson?
It’s the 1969 Amazin Mets all over again.
Rays a roonis…
The National League Wild Card race has turned into a parody similar to that “Spy versus Spy” fiasco of Mad Magazine infamy. Whatever is about to happen, it ain’t gonna look good. And it’s gonna be messy.
These Mets and Brewers teams seem intent on staging a battle of the blow-offs. Call it a choke-thon, last team in the field loses. Each finds new ways to lose every day, with each loss more spectacular for its futility and/or strangeness.
Maybe in Bizarro World, but puleeeeze, not in the National League.
(Don’t even get me started on the Phillies. Lucky for them, these two knucklehead teams descend through the rear view hoagie.)
The fact is the Mets and Brewers appear lacking in a little something. Call it fortitude, maybe better, relief pitching. Either way, this wild card race-backwards is distressing. Perhaps the greatest commendation is the indubitable image of THIS THING, THIS EVIL THING ending with a lot of whimpers sometime around sunset Sunday.
Then, it’s merry merry to a three-and-out playoff walk, don’t run, no doubt. Neither C.C. Sabathia nor Johan Santana can save them.
That’s all for now oh, fair weather losers. I got a Padres-Nationals game to devour. Now, that’s baseball!
Hitting coach of the San Diego Padres apparently. The fourth hitting coach in four years, Wally Joiner, bit the bullet today, his agent citing his “frustration level with realizing…his philosophy.”
Philosophy. How about a see the ball hit the ball philosophy. Is that too much to ask?
Losing it as Padres hitting coach mysteriously coincides with number of years at Petco Park. Yes, it’s possible to hit there. Just not very much.
Fortunately, being let go or letting go as Padres hitting coach is far from a hinderance to future employment opportunities. Witness Dave Magadan. His resume includes Padres hitting coach, 2003-06, the advent of the Petco Era. Now, he is the hitting coach of the World Champion Red Sox, so he can’t be too bad. Same with Merv Rettenmund.
It all relates to Padres upper management, which is greatly in need of a bailout plan, namely somebody needs to bail them out of the front office and into the recycle bin.
It was bogus, but still a close call. Brad Lidge was ipso-facto coming off an injury lay-off. The bottom of the ninth inning, Cincinnati. Cole Hamels shut down the Reds. Tom Gordon actually had a 1-2-3 inning. Amazing considering his ridiculous path this year. So, Lidge dodged the first bullet. Brandon Phillips smashed a ball that died at the back of the back of the warning track. Two outs, one on and a somewhat routine fly ball down the left field line. The wind blew it a bit stand-ward and Toguchi ran up to catch the ball. Oops. He slightly overran it, held his glove out Willie Mays basket catch style and Dr. Strangeglove dropped it. Second and third. A semi-intentional walk to Ken Griffey later and a wild pitch later, the bases are loaded and so is the Philly Fanatic.
Baseball is back.
Lidge got the save after all.
Speaking of MVPs, how about Matt Holiday for the MVP — again — of April 6-7. After staring off slowly bang the drums, he hit his first home run of the year on Sunday and tied the game. Unfortunately, the rocks piled and Manny Corpas blew the game on a Coors-swept home run. On Monday, Holiday went on Spring Break and hit another home rune. This one won the game.