Barry Bonds was found guilty yesterday of one count of obstruction of justice by a jury of his peers. The other charges – charges related to him lying to a grand jury about use of steroids and HGH – were dismissed and declared a mistrial by the judge. They could be brought up again if the prosecution chooses to pursue the matter further.
If you ask me, there was no way that Bonds was going to get out of that obstruction charge. His head and ego were so huge that they arrived at the court in a separate vehicle. They were obstructing everything in the vicinity.
So, here’s the deal. I’ve never caught a foul ball. I’ve been to a good number of baseball games – both Minor and Major League. There’s a Triple A team near where I grew up, and we’d always go to a few games during the season. There was a Single A team where I went to seminary. We went to a couple of games. I’ve also been to Major League games in Pittsburgh, Arlington, St. Louis, Chicago and Houston. Never. Caught. A. Ball. (I saw a tweet a week or so ago that said typing like that doesn’t emphasize your point; it makes it look like your keyboard is having an asthma attack…. so…. apparently my keyboard is having an asthma attack.)
I have never had the opportunity that Mr. Greenshirt had here. I’ve never had a ball hit in the seat/row/section that I was sitting in. But, I can guarantee you this – if a ball ever comes my way, I going to try to catch it with my hands together.
Seriously, dude. Bad form! You can’t catch a ball like that!
I don’t even want to get into Mr. Whiteshirt sitting behind Mr. Greenshirt. Seriously, buddy, it’s a baseball, not a pineapple grenade.
Okay, at this point, it’s not really breaking news, but if you haven’t heard: Manny Ramirez retired suddenly on Friday afternoon because he was notified of an issue with a drug test that he took during Spring Training.
As you can imagine, this has sparked all sorts of insanity throughout the baseball world. Perhaps the best comment I’ve seen on the matter comes from @FakeMLBFacts: “Manny Ramirez retires from baseball the same way he plays it: awkwardly out of left field.”
It was totally unexpected, but instead of facing a 100 game suspension (which would put Manny as eligible to return at the end of the season, afterwards, no team was going to take a chance on him), Manny walked away from the game that he mocked for so long.
Don’t get me wrong, Manny was a fun guy to watch… off the field. He was impressive as a hitter for so long (and now we might be starting to see why), but the phrase “Manny being Manny” was coined to describe his shenanigans, which ultimately alienated him from his teammates and promptly showed him the door.
Here’s a great video of St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa getting annoyed with some very stupid questions from reporters. For all those wanting to press the panic button early on in the season, watch the video and soak in the wisdom… and hilarity.
I heard a very interesting stat yesterday. In their first 5 games, the Tampa Bay Rays have scored 7 runs. Not surprisingly, they are sitting in the cellar of the AL East with an 0-5 record. But, wait, it gets worse.
Not only have the Rays only recorded 7 runs, but they also only have 21 hits. B.J. Upton has 6. In fact, Mr. Upton is the only reason the Rays have been as offensively productive as they’ve been. He not only leads the team with his, but also in home runs (2), RBIs (3), runs scored (2… from the HRs… duh…), and batting average (.333).
Among players with at least 2 AB/game, this is what the Rays batting average leader board look like:
- Upton – .333
- Zobrist – .176
- Joyce – .071
- Damon – .067
- Ramirez – .059
When four of your Top 5 BA leaders make Carlos Pena look like George Brett, you’re in a lot of trouble. Don’t worry, Rays fans. It’s only April 7th. Things can’t possibly get worse…. right?
And now for the Things We’ve Learned National League Edition. The following are things that we have learned after the first weekend of baseball.
- Cardinals’ closer Ryan Franklin should spend less time grooming the rodent growing on his chin and more time trying to figure out how to avoid allowing a HR to Cameron Maybin (a guy with 13 career HRs) in the 9th inning of Opening Day.
- The 2011 season may look a lot like the 2010 season: the Reds win games they shouldn’t; the Brewers’ bullpen blows leads that should hold up; the Cardinals find ways to lose games they should win; the Pirates will have everybody wondering at the end of April if they can “keep the pace” this season; and the Cubs will make it 103 years since their last World Series victory… and the Astros will make both the Cubs and Pirates look like contenders.
- The Phillies rotation will single-handedly prove Jimmy Rollins win by winning 100 games just between the starters. Halladay, Lee and Oswalt will win 30 games each, and Hamels and Blanton will split the remaining 10 victories.
- The NL West will be much like the AL Central – most competitive division, but not because the teams are actually good. And Aubrey Huff will have more errors than hits… and he’s going to have quite a few hits.
That’s what we’ve learned after 3-4 games in the National League.
The first weekend of baseball is officially in the books. Most teams have started their second series of the year, and already we are starting to see some trends.
- The Baltimore Orioles will defy everyone’s expectations (including mine) and run away with the AL East title by sweeping the season series with the Red Sox, Rays and Yankees, and only losing 3 games to the Blue Jays (2 of which will be in August). I’m revising my prediction to put the O’s at 135-27 for the season.
- Conversely, the Red Sox are going to be terrible. All of the money that they have spent this offseason would be better used to destroy Fenway and put up and brand new stadium modeled after the original Yankee Stadium.
- The Rangers will be the only team that can possibly withstand the onslaught from Baltimore, and they will score an average of 8.36 runs per game. Expect to see the Rangers beat the O’s in Game 7 of the ALCS after 35 innings.
- The Yankees will hit a bunch of home runs. Actually, that’s probably true, but they won’t hit as many as the Rangers.
- The AL Central will be the most competitive division… because all of the teams are terrible.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at some of the Things We’ve Learned from the first weekend in the National League.