I mentioned earlier that I’m in an impossibly good mood today. The park has a lot to do with it. Great weather of course. Just woke up on the right side of the bed somehow.
And when I’m in a good mood I like to walk around and take pictures of stuff. Yes, I realize that my job is very hard. Sorry to keep reminding you all of that.
Stuff like this scene to the right. Robin Yount instructing Mat Gamel on the finer points of infield defense. It must have worked, because Gamel put on a defensive clinic at first in the third inning of today’s game. He saved Brooks Conrad’s bacon with a nifty jump-tag when Conrad threw wide of first on a grounder. The next batter hit a hot shot to first which Gamel gobbled up and most guys wouldn’t have. Now all he needs to do is to find Yount a hat that fits him and his day will have been perfection.
Other stuff I saw while bopping around Maryvale before today’s game:
I wrote this morning about how close I came to getting a baseball. If I thought about it — and didn’t mind getting my butt kicked out of the park — I could have gotten a lot of baseballs here.
This guy was fun. Wearing a Prince Fielder Tigers jersey at the Brewers ballpark. And you all say I’m a troll. This guy is the troll king. I should look into hiring him.
“Dudes, wait … listen … what if the universe is just, like, a particle of some larger atom.”
“I know, Frankie De La Cruz … I blew your mind just now. I’m sorry. Here, we can hug the confusion away.”
Four parks so far this week, four pics of equipment bags on grass. I have two more to go this weekend for the perfecto. I like my chances.
This was pretty neat. The entire team — and manager Ron Roenicke — was there and watching attentively as others did base running drills. You don’t see that very often. Usually teams break up into a bunch of different groups when those kinds of drills are going down. No idea if this is a usual thing or if it was just random happenstance.
I’m watching the game now. Best things besides those Gamel plays so far: (1) Dan Wheeler retiring Zelous Wheeler on a 6-3 grounder; and (2) Ryan Braun walking.
AGAIN. God, that guy.
Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:
The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.
The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.
I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.
In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.