Major League Baseball Thus Far

In April baseball optimism knows no bounds, but you shouldn’t make too much of early results. Raise your hand if you really think the Milwaukee Brewers are going to the World Series! Here’s what we’ve learned thus far.

1. The replay sucks. It simply slows down the game and isn’t any more “accurate” than the umps. Even worse, it makes the game as generic and corporate as the NFL.

2. Speaking of the NFL, those who love “parity” ought to be pleased–with the exception of train wrecks like the Astros, Cubs, and Diamondbacks, every team in baseball is either at, over, or within 5 games of .500. Count me among those who think parity is a synonym for mediocrity, not competitiveness.

3. Whatever the minors are doing to bring on young pitchers, it isn’t working. With the exception of Gonzalez, the most common name in baseball is Tommy John (as in surgery). Go back to training pitchers to toss 300 innings. It can’t be worse.

4. Anyone else think it would be a good idea to start the season later? Cleveland and 20 degrees anyone?

5. We’ll know better his second time through the league, but the Yankees’ Mashiro Tanaka seems to be everything he was advertised to be.

6. The AL East looks very weak this year. I said that 90 wins could take it. I’m feeling good about that prediction at present.

7. Local Teams I: The Red Sox sure are missing Jacoby Ellsbury so far. Bradley might be the answer, but he’s not so far. Ortiz’s bat has looked slow, and it stays that way when the weather gets hot, uh-oh. Bogaerts needs to be a third baseman or he’ll settle the debate over whether Jeter has the worst range among MLB shortstops. Everyone wants Grady Sizemore to be a feel-good story, but I fear he’s not going to be.

8. Local Teams II: Speaking of which, how much longer until the Yankees give up on Brian Roberts? It says here that June 1, he’s reassigned, Solarte goes to second, and Stephen Drew becomes a Yankee. Frankie Cervelli is the Nick Johnson of catchers. Time to cut bait–J. R. Murphy will do just fine. If I own this team, I tie Sabathia the dinner table until he’s fat and powerful again. Too early to tell if Jeter is done, but there’s no drive in his legs at present.

9. Local Teams III: I told Mets fans that Curtis Granderson was a bad signing. The Grandy Man can't.

10. Thus far I’m spot on in saying the Rays won’t hit and Toronto won’t pitch. The Orioles are good enough to stick around, but does this look like a championship caliber team to you? June 1—Kendry Morales.

11. Jose Abreu sure has excited ChiSox fans. As with Tanaka, we’ll know for sure about him when teams have seen him a few times, but he’s been awesome so far.

12. Told you that Robbie Cano would like his Seattle contract better than the ballpark. His slugging percentage is barely higher than his average.

13. I hate the Marlins, but Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton are worth seeing, which no one in Miami does. If Loria unloads them, or young pitcher Tom Koehler, MLB should veto the deals and strip Loria of the team. Think the Red Sox might want to have Saltamacchia back?

14. The Angels continue to be a team of a few thoroughbreds (Trout, Pojuls, Wilson) and a barn full of plow horses. What the hell happened to David Freese?

15. As predicted, the Giants have sprinted and the Dodgers have chemistry problems. Again Mattingly is in the hot seat and his new contract notwithstanding, I wouldn’t buy invest in local real estate were I he. The Dodgers are not a disaster, but with a roster (and payroll) like theirs, they should dominate, not hang around.

16. Who would have predicted Prince Fielder would suffer a power outage, that the Pirates would struggle, that the Phillies would play old, or that the Tigers would be better sans Leyland? I did, actually.

Don’t like what I’ve written about your team? Don’t worry; it’s only May. Last time I looked Miggy Cabrera was only hitting. 280. That won’t stand.

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