Ah, the vernal equinox, the season which begins many anticipations: warmer weather, impending and feared allergies, Easter [food], much needed housecleaning, highly anticipated washed-up reality TV finales, and of course... Major League Baseball.
On this rather cold day just about anywhere in the US of A, thousands of men who like to throw balls, run, hit stuff, and play pranks on each other are reporting to their respective camps in Florida to begin their Spring Training sessions. Yes, ST officially began last week with the reporting of pitchers and catchers, but this is where the real fun starts, right? It's like when you come back to your high school in September and you see all your friends (I went to an all-girls high school, so when we saw someone we knew, we screamed, ran to the person, and hugged them as if we'd hadn't seen them in 5 years)and notice how different people look since last year. Some people don't change at all; sure, guys get married and maybe buy new condos, get contract extensions (*cough* Joe Torre *cough*) or get new commercial deals (Hey everybody, Charlie Manuel is the new poster boy for Nutrisystem by losing a whopping 60 pounds!). Some people look completely different. Like so:
Don't you just wanna give him a hug?
Phillies OF Jayson Werth shows up to Clearwater, FL for his training sessions looking like, well, Jesus. Is he thinking about saving the team and avenging the World Series loss to the 27-time champion New York Yankees? Don't know.
Anyway, many teams have been reconstructed from every which way this year. First two teams that come to mind: the Seattle Mariners and the New York Mets.
Seattle, after a harsh 2009, has acquired the much-sought-for INF Chone Figgins, the not-to-be-confused-for-a-board-game OF Milton Bradley, and the Phillies former 3-1/2-month-stand-LHP Cliff Lee. Not to mention, they also gave a big extension to ace [King] Felix Hernandez. Do they want a ring this year? Sure. Let's just hope a team like the '01 Yankees doesn't try to rain on their parade after having as many as 116 wins that season. Good gravy, how did they not win that year?!
The New York Mets...hmm. After finishing fourth in the NL East in 2009 due to having more injuries than a whole nursing home can handle, the rosters changes, contract extensions, and signings were, let's say, abundant. Already losing OF Carlos Beltran for several weeks due to hip surgery that supposedly nobody really knew about and therefore sending the Mets' front office into chaos, as well as INF Carlos Delgado due to injury, the Mets are showing their money. Gaining some well-known names such as OF Jason Bay, Mets' ace Johann Santana thinks they can do it this year. He also thinks he's better than the Phillies LHP Roy Halladay. Is it true? Looks like we'll be finding that out soon enough.
There have also been some news spreading around concerning Red Sox RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka and his physical health after an issue with back tightness. After throwing a session today, he was cleared to begin throwing on flat ground. According to MLB.com's Ian Browne, "Matsuzaka looks at the back injury as more of an annoyance than a setback." Sounds like good news for the Sox. He puts a springy step into Boston's rotation, and in all honesty, Boston fans don't look very friendly when they lose something precious.
Source for full article: Dice-K cleared to start throwing regimen
That's all I have for today. Any more information and updates that I've missed over the past few days will be covered as soon as possible. If it's not here, it's because I'm still misinformed and horrible in researching, or I personally don't find it important enough to rant about.
Oh yeah, and Jayson Werth's beard has a Twitter account too. It's that big.
I dare you goofs to follow it.