Isn’t exercising your right NOT to speak protected anymore? Are one word answers not speaking? Ladies and Gentleman, I’ll be brief – the issue here is not whether or not a few liberties were taken with the rules – they did. But you cannot hold an entire Organization responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then should we not blame the whole NFL system? And if the whole NFL system is guilty, then isn’t it an indictment of our sporting institutions in general? I put it to you Roger – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American Society? Well you can do whatever you want to them, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!
29 days until Pitchers and Catchers report…
So Spring Training is almost upon us and I thought I would set down the Cognac for minute to talk about what’s missing from some potential contenders this year…
Orioles: Good Left-handed bat
Last year the Orioles won the AL East by 12 games but lost Nelson Cruz and Jason Markakis. Matt Weiters and Manny Machado are expected back so how much of a difference will those losses be? They also lost reliever Andrew Miller so the Offense has the added pressure to keep scoring runs. Add to that there are rumors that GM Dan Duquette could laterally move to the Blue Jays and that idea could be a reason the Orioles have been slow to act. The O’s need a left-handed bat that has some power and gets on base and a prime candidate, if they wanted to trade, would be Charlie Blackmon. But we already can assume the Rockies asking price – maybe the Rockies would bring back Ubaldo and parade him around as the guy who will anchor a playoff run out of the basement. If the Orioles were serious and if I was running the Rockies – I would trade Blackmon for Kevin Gausman (local kid, pitched collegiately @ LSU), the Rockies have several guys that can play the Outfield, not named Rosario.
Red Sox: an Ace
The Sawx have a lineup that should bring in a lot of runs and while their current pitching staff is decent in name, it lacks a solid #1. Clay Bucholz is a good pitcher and can be a solid #1, but health and being mentally tough seem to be an issue consistently, #2014. The rest of the staff is Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson and Joe Kelly. It’s a good staff, but no one is looking at this group and thinking pennant chasers. So who are the possible anchors? Cole Hamels, Jordan Zimmerman or maybe Stephen Strasburg – Zim or Strasburg have both been made available from the Nat’s. The Red Sox have talent in their farm system to make a deal with Washington and still be solid – If the Sawx were the Rockies they would demand Jordan Zimmerman AND Stephen Strasburg for their 3rd-team Catcher/1B.
Cardinals: SP Insurance
The best baseball organization always seems to find and produce arm-talent. What I’m sure they are tired of is someone always going down that causes them to adjust their rotation, #EverySpringTraining. How many years have gone by where “If Healthy” is said about some Cardinal pitcher – yet it does not stop them – so The Cardinals could add more depth to the rotation. The current “If Healthy” rotation is: Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha, John Lackey and Carlos Martinez – a good staff that is formidable – and it makes you wonder beyond that, how the Cards would actually go about providing that depth. It’s like Troy Tulowitzki – damn good, but you’re just waiting for the injury. Maybe the answer is Cole Hamels, but who do you trade? The Cardinals will probably not do anything considering they have already traded Shelby Miller and Joe Kelly – while still having very good 6th and 7th options in Marco Gonzales and Jaime Garcia. We’ll see, the Rockies, if they drafted Shelby Miller or Michael Wacha, would have not yet made it to the Majors, let alone be good enough to pitch for the Cardinals.
Dodgers: SP insurance
Because their 5th starter is former Rockies Ace Brett Anderson who has not pitch more than 100 innings since 2010. Sure Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu will win you a lot of games and Brandon McCarthy (who has his own injured past) was the only one of these 4 who did not go on IR – #He’sDue. Expect Greinke to be moved at some point this year as he has an opt-out clause at the end of the year. The Dodgers have the resources and like the Cardinals have the staff to get to the post-season, “If Healthy” and still finish ahead of the Rockies.
Giants: another Starting Pitcher
Bumgarner, Cain, Hudson and then who? Lincecum? Peavy? Vogelsong re-signed after flirting with the ‘stros – so they got that going for them. But if you are gonna go into the season having to rely on the “Freak” and “the creeper at the end of the bar” Peavy for your 5th starter, then you could enjoy some mound-fireworks – I suppose it won’t matter to much, but they could financially trade for Shields, but will likely go younger with Dakota Dill or Dylan Gee – Like the Cardinals the Giants know how to teach pitching and Brian Sabean always finds a way to make it all work. Of course this being an odd year the Giants will not win the World Series but will still finish ahead of the Rockies.
Bullpen arms are difficult to come by – we know Scherzer is gone – and the Tigers have a GREEN back of the rotation – plus what about Verlander? The Tigers starting rotation is a big question mark, however, you can hide that with an excellent bullpen. For Detroit its a whole lot of faith: Can Joe Nathan bounce back? How is Bruce Rondon post surgery? Is Joakim Soria healthy? Can Al Alburquerque and Tom Gorzelanny handle the increased work-load? But the biggest issue for Detroit to correct the issues they face, is how close they are to the luxury tax threshold, so it comes down to playing the “price is right” – expect them to roll the dice and then maybe chase after Joba or Rafael Soriano. If Detroit were the Rockies they’d resign a guy in his 40’s to anchor the back end, then maybe throw in Jamie Moyer to eat up a few innings.
Some other teams have needs too and I’m not sure what the issue is with the Nationals – because if they kept their current pitching staff, front and back, they could be generationally good – #OnPaper. Everyone always needs pitching and truthfully I’m just getting angrier with the Rockies front office, discussing about what contenders need. Baseball in Colorado is like getting punched in the nose – it stings and makes your eyes water – as long as we have a party-deck and keep turning the ‘styles, who cares…right?