Saturday, April 18, 2009

The House that Damaso Marte Built

On April 18, 1923, Babe Ruth christened Yankees Stadium with a 3-run homer en route to a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox. On April 16, 2009, Damaso Marte gave up a Grand Slam to Grady Sizemore en route to a 10-2 loss against Cleveland Indians.

After their victory in 1923, the Yankees went on to win 26 World Championships and become the most successful franchise in the history of North American sports. After their loss in 2009 ... well that remains to be seen. For those of you who believe in such things: the Universe may be sending us a sign regarding the direction of baseball for the next Century. For those of you who do not believe such things: the Indians took enough pitches to knock the Hefty Lefty out of the game just in time to victimize a truly awful bullpen and save a fighting Cliff Lee.

But now that the Yankees have opened up the House that Damaso Built it feels like the baseball season has truly started. Are there any themes we can notice yet? Power production seems to be down but that is nothing new. Perennial favorites (Yanks, Mets, Sox, etc.) are all struggling but again that is nothing new because I picked them and obviously jinxed them for the early season (sorry Tribe!). The only thing that seems to be the constant in the early-goings is loss. And I don't mean "loss" as in "opposite of win", I am referring to all of the baseball figures that have died recently. 

One expects a few players to be placed on the DL in the beginning of the new season. But it seems to me that baseball has lost more than its fair share of important men forever. The Angels lost a current player, the Tigers lost a former player and the Phillies lost a current broadcaster. I know they say death comes in threes, but come on! 

Player of the Week
Look, I don't want to be too Yankees-centric this week, but Nick Swisher has to be the guy. I was so confused as to why Yanks fans were down on the trade for him. The dude has 20-25 HR legit power, gets on-base at will and is  basically Kevin Millar 2.0 personality-wise. But I know how smart Yankees fans are, they probably missed Wilson Betemit and all the great things he brings to a baseball team. Nick Swisher is POW this week (I love that the initials are the same as "Prisoner of War) for proving me right. This guy should be batting 5th or 6th all year...even in that line-up.

Pitching Performances that Rocked
I was sitting around bored the other day, when I flipped open my phone to check scores around the league. It was then that I read of Josh Johnson and Johan Santana's duel. Look, I am not Johan's biggest fan, but even I had to give the old golf-clap to his 16 Ks. And it was a losing effort! I knew once I saw that box score that that was a game I would have loved to see. I get the feeling that the Marlins are going to engage in a Pitching duel more than once this year. Props also go out to Tim Wakefield for a masterful performance when his team needed it.

I guess it is perfectly normal to witness a cycle two days in a row by Second-Basemen (Orlando Hudson, Ian Kinsler). This game confuses me sometimes.
Fantasy Minute with BBB
So far, so great for my experiment. I had the fourth overall pick and ended up selecting Jose Reyes. I know, he wasn't the best SS available according to my Bojalad Factor stat but the players I really wanted would be available later on and Jose Reyes wouldn't. The only player in the first round that I truly coveted was Wright and he was gone after pick three. I ended up with several guys I targeted: Carlos Quentin, Carlos Beltran, Justin Morneau, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Victor Martinez. And the early results have been unbelievable. I squeaked out a little win in the first week and have now been dominating my opponent every single day in Week Two. My confidence in Bojalad Factor is currently 10/10.
Linking it Up

Paul Lukas is dead-on about the influx of sleeve patches in baseball right now.

And this will never stop making me happy.
Odds and Ends
- Chris Carpenter to the DL? Ohhh boy. This should worry you, Cards fans.

- The more I see Brandon Inge play, the more I understand why everybody raves about his Defense at 3B. Seriously, he was Brooks Robinson-esque this week. Making him a Catcher would be like putting hand-cuffs on a painter.

- Evan Longoria will win the MVP. If I had my doubts before, they are no longer there.

- My brother went to the Diamondbacks game in Arizona on Wednesday. He loved Chase Field...he did not love Jon Garland.

- The Nationals really need to start trading people ASAP. Forget the fact that they are 0 and 5 trillion, for a second and remember they have 5 decent outfielders on their team. What business do they have keeping Elijah Dukes off the field and making my Fantasy team suffer?

1 comment:

mark cunningham said...

Add Jason Kubel of the Twinkies to the list of cycles in only TWO weeks (on an upper deck grand slam at the Hefty Bag!). There were five cycles last year I believe; that should be eclipsed easily.

And I thought Johan had 13 k's vs. Florida. Still impressive.

The Nationals were 0 and 5 trillion, but the Phillies felt bad and let them improve to 1 and 5 trillion.

Thanks for sending the Onion link. What a moving tribute Harry the K narrated for himself.