Regression towards the mean

At least from the Orioles’ standpoint. They seem to be drifting right where everyone thought they would end up. Although Tampa Bay seems to be scuffling a bit early in the campaign. And while the hitting isn’t exactly where most fans would like it to be, a 4 game winning streak with decent pitching (and a very good bullpen thus far) helps assuage panicky feelings beget by a 2-6 start.

The Yankees have a huge Wang problem. (heh, heh). He has been terrible, and unless they invent a malady for him, I don’t think they are able to send him down (something about available options and MLB service time). And everybody they throw out there between the starters and Rivera is really terrible. Regarding the new Stadium; what are homers going to be like in the summer when they have had 20 in the first 4 games (14 to right field…did they make RF even easier than old Yankee Stadium?)?

And don’t look now; but I think the Jays might be good enough to stay in the mix all year. They have good pitching, and if they can keep swinging the bats…it could be an interesting year in the AL East with possibly 4 teams in the mix all year.

Part of the Sox stellar bullpen gets the 11 AM start today…looks like another Slingbox special..

2-160 here we come!

So glad I didn’t attempt to stay awake for THAT one. When the Sox got off to the 3-0 start, I thought to myself “Self; you should go to bed right now on a positive note.” Instead I stayed awake for the first 5 innings. When I let the dogs out at 5:45 and saw the game ended around 2:30, I was thankful I got my beauty sleep.

A nut-crushing loss like that reminds me of a couple of west coast games where I DID stay up to late only to endure a loss…A 19 inning affair vs. Seattle in 2000, and an 18 inning jaunt in Texas in 2001. I think after that last one I decided it wasn’t necessary to stay up late for the Red Sox for otherwise meaningless games.

So the positive thing is the bullpen had a nice outing (except for that stiff Lopez). Not much positive to say about Matsuzaka being worn out from the WBC. Or the Red Sox offense being worn out from…well, I don’t know what they are worn out from.

Regarding the Beckett thing…what a load of crap that MLB feels the need to undermine the on-field umpires. Here’s what crew chief Joe West had to say after the game:

“He took too long delivering the ball,” said crew chief Joe West. “Abreu called time, which is normal. Then Beckett, in the middle of throwing the ball, threw the ball. They should throw the ball, rather than risk an injury.

“Did he throw it up and in? Yeah. Do we believe he threw it at Abreu? No. Would we have warned him had both benches not emptied? Probably not, but because both benches emptied, we did issue a warning,” explained West.

But Yankee Bob Watson feels the need to take it a step further. What a douche.

I hate West Coast trips

And I’m glad they are getting this one out of the way early.  Frankly, I would hate the trip even if they weren’t sucking out loud…I hate falling asleep in the 7th inning (and even THEN it is midnight); although last night I obviously didn’t miss much.

Hard to believe that is the first time the Sox have played against Nomar since he left the team.  I was thinking about Nomar on my way home from work yesterday; and about how this year he will finally get to play in Fenway again.  I’m looking forward to that, and it will be nice to see the reception he gets.

I met Nomar in 1995 or 1996…it was around the time I was starting to get back into baseball after not paying as much attention in college.  My cousin was attending Mo Vaughn’s “Hit Dog” camp at Springfield College, so I went with my uncle (a true baseball nut who started a roto league in the late ’80s) to bring him up there.  I didn’t pay attention to the Sox farm system at all back then; but my uncle pointed Nomar out and said he was going to be the next Sox star (Eric Wedge was also an instructor that day).  As I was watching him last night, I was amazed at the consistency of his OCD routine still to this day.  I hope NESN does some kind of side by side of Nomar doing his routine as a Sox with him doing it as an A; just to see how much it hasn’t changed.

So on to the current situation…the hitting has to come around, right??  Right??  I’m not terribly worried about the pitching…but aside from Youks, it just isn’t happening out there right now…

Can I make this a regular thing again?

Who knows..maybe I’m just caught up in the start of the season.  But maybe…just maybe…we can start bringing some content back to this place again.  Maybe some other people would like to contribute as they have in the past, so I’m not the only one responsible for writing crap all the time.

Kind of a ho-hum game for the Sox last night…Kazmir was sharp at Fenway as always, and Lester wasn’t.  A nice catch in right by Baldelli (by the way; stop trying to convinces us he grew up a Sox fan just because he is from Rhode Island.  Pretty sure I read long ago that he grew up a Yanks fan, like many Italians in the Ocean State tend to be), and a flash of speed by the Dreamboat (how long before he overtakes Tek in the ‘Sox players most chicks want to bang’ category?  Methinks Tek is strong in the MILF contingent, and Els is looking strong with the Cougars) and an inauspicious debut by Saito (remember Okijima gave up a HR to his first batter as a Sox…naaah; that’s a stupid comparison).

Even though I had Saito on a fantasy team over the past couple of years, I’d never actually seen him pitch before last night.  You can definitely see the Nomo influence in the windup.

Day game today…stop by chat to get some PBP if you can’t watch/listen at work!

162-0 here we come!

Listened to most, watched the end.

Beckett was outstanding; much better than you would expect an opening day start to be.  Sorry, ladies, but Tek got lucky with that Pesky Pole shot.  He’ll adjust back to his norm soon.

Nice to see so many old-timers in chat today.  After being absent for a couple of years, Tard showed up.  Knuck, who I believe started chatting as a high-schooler, is evidently in grad school now…Benj will be stateside in June; we’ll have to see if we can get some folks together.

Almost there!

Been a little caught up in the NCAAs with UConn being still in it, but don’t think I’m not psyched that baseball is around the corner.

I know I promised an in-depth post on my thoughts about the upcoming season; but then I thought of two things:

  1. What the hell do I know?
  2. Who cares what I have to say?

With that, here is my prediction for the AL East:

  1. Sox
  2. Rays
  3. Jays
  4. Yanks
  5. O’s

I think the injury bug is going to hurt the Yanks pitching staff (I predict Burnett, Pettite, and Joba see significant downtime) and I don’t like their outfield.  I might be being too kind to the Rays; but I really do hope they continue to be a force.  I just put the Jays 3rd ’cause I wanted to put the Yanks closer to the bottom; and the O’s are entrenched in their spot.

Here’s to another great year at…almost time to get the chat buzzing again!