Monday, April 16, 2012

The White Sox on the Docket; Thoughts Around Baseball...

After winning two out of three games up in Toronto, the Baltimore Orioles return stateside and face the White Sox in the Windy City.

Over the past nine games to start the season, the Orioles have looked much improved from last year.

Granted, it has only been two weeks, but the pitching – for the most part – has kept the team in games, and the batters have come through in key moments.

Nolan Reimold, Wilson Betemit and Adam Jones deserve serious props for their hitting up in Canada.

Matt Wieters continues to look like a stud, and Ronny Paulino – no slouch at all – has swung the bat extremely well, compiling a .538 average in the early few weeks.

Although Matsuz has been hit around at times, overall, the staff has done remarkably well. They’ve pitched into the sixth inning most of the time, and that has given the bullpen a break.

So far, the bullpen has not had to come into a game in the early innings and salvage a poor start by a pitcher. That is highly encouraging to see.

Although Sunday’s loss was painful to watch, the Orioles have started their road trip on a high note.

The White Sox are 5-3 and are atop the American League Central – along with the favored Detroit Tigers. They had a seriously disappointing year in 2011; however, much like the Orioles, they are off to a decent start.

The White Sox pitching – and especially offense, plus defense – was a mess at times last year, but they have looked much improved. They nearly swept the Tigers over the weekend but lost on Sunday.

Tonight, Jake Arrieta takes the mound for the Orioles. He has been pitching well, as he is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA.

Last week against the Yankees, Arrieta gave up four runs in 6 2/3 innings of work, but he might do better against a White Sox lineup – outside of Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and A.J. Pierzynski – that hacks a lot at the plate.

Arrieta will counter against Phil Humber, who is making first start of the season.


It is refreshing to see the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals off to hot starts and leading their respective divisions.

We all know about the drama that Dodgers fans have been through and now that Magic Johnson and friends have saved the franchise with a golden parachute, the sport will await to see what happens next.

And yes, Matt Kemp – who should have been MVP last year – is crazy talented and already has hit six homers and 16 RBI, plus is batting .487.

You have also got be amazed by the Nationals. They are 7-3, and although they are a trendy pick for many to make a playoff run, they have done everything right so far.

They’ve got a talented rotation and one of the best bullpens in the game today. I would not be surprised to see them win the division if the Philadelphia Phillies struggle with age, and the Marlins implode.

As well, their division rivals, the New York Mets are 6-3.

That is invigorating to see, but a team from New York should not struggle with their finances at all. It is a travesty what has happened with that organization.

Speaking about the Marlins, manager Ozzie Guillen is a piece of work.
Of course, Guillen has been a blowhard and attention-seeker for a long time, so was anyone really surprised by what he said?

Yes, we all want our celebs to speak their mind and be entertaining; however, only if you actually know what you are talking about and do not offend.

I think the suspension over his Castro comments was warranted; however, the Marlins did it because it was a prudent business decision considering they play in ... well, South Florida, with a huge Cuban population.

If he is fired, it will not be for his comments; it will be because the Marlins fell apart or they take a hit at the box office. I would think from here on out Guillen keep his mouth shut, unless he is just dumb.

Finally, yesterday was Jackie Robinson Day throughout the Major Leagues. It is always surreal and also awe-inspiring to see all the players and uniformed staffs wear the number 42 on their jerseys.

It is always beautiful to see, and it is good to see Major League Baseball keeping his memory and legacy alive.

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