Some thoughts during the first days of the 2008 season:
So far, I’m starting to like this season, even if the Atlanta Braves are losing to (of all people) the Colorado Rockies! UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just remember one thing: the season is a marathon and not a sprint, so that means that sooner or later, some teams are going to hit the wall and it will hurt.
Tigers losing streak
Are the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox that good or are the Detroit Tigers that bad? I watched the White Sox/Tigers games on WGN Friday and ESPN Sunday, and actually sat down and kept score. Neither team impressed me with their pitching Friday, but the Chicago pitching was a bit better Sunday night, despite the Sox making three errors.
Right now, Detroit doesn’t have the killer instincts they once had when they went to the World Series. Granted, it’s early. One week doesn’t make a season and Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Jim Leyland has to get aces Dontrelle Willis and Justin Verlander and the bullpen going in the right direction (that’s what got you in the World Series, guys!) if the Tigers are going to be in contention with Cleveland and Minnesota in the race for the AL Central. Right now, these Tigers are not even good, let alone grrreat! They're playing more like Tigger right now and if this continues, they could lose 100+ games and that could mean an early departure for Jim Leyland.
Hampton hurt - AGAIN!
This time, Mike Hampton’s injury has nothing to do with the left arm; it’s the oblique muscle that's hurting. It's kind of hard to pitch when you hurt a muscle, because you have to change your mechanics, which could cause arm trouble. The Braves did the right thing by putting the lefty on the shelf pro tempore.
A strong case in point would be the late Dizzy Dean, who was struck in the foot by a line drive in an All Star Game. That injury caused him to change his mechanics and he was never the same again. Hampton is on the 15-day DL as of Friday night. The Braves need Hampton to get healthy and stay healthy to make a run for what was once their domain: the NL East title.
Tampa Bay, New York playing nice?
It seems that there was some order restored between these two teams since that rumble in Florida in Spring Training. So far, so good. The only key injury was to New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (quad); he’s day-to-day. As Dodgers broadcasting great Vin Scully once said, “ So are we all.” The two teams split the four games played in the Bronx and everyone played nice. For now.
Hawk attacks girl at Fenway
I talked about this one in an earlier column. For those of you who came in late, a young lady that was touring the home of the defending World Champs, Fenway Park, was attacked by a red hawk. She only suffered a scratch on her head. What I found out later was that the young lady’s name was (are you ready for this?) Alexa Rodriguez. Strange, you think? Maybe the bird was a Red Sox fan. I wonder if her friends at school call her A-Rod?
Bowa loses cool
Larry Bowa, former manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, former ESPN Baseball Tonight analylist and currently third base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was asked by MLB to take a three-day vacation. UNPAID! Why? It seems that Larry got into it with third base ump Ed Montague in the bottom of the sixth inning for not standing in the coaches’ box.
Bowa, not being a happy camper and being a bigger hothead than when he was a player for the Phillies, went off like a guest on Jerry Springer, proceeding to knock over a couple of water coolers and a chair. Most coaches usually stand with one foot in the box or as close to the box as possible, so someone on the San Francisco bench must have said something. Just another log on an already hot rivalry.