Major League Baseball: Opening Day Storylines
April 5, 2010 by luckylester
I love baseball. I grew up loving baseball, I cried when the Braves lost, I threw things at walls when the Yankees won. I love baseball, and the only reason I can explain as to why I love the molasses-moving game is that I always have – and refs rarely decide a game. Unlike football and definitely basketball, baseball has just a couple poor calls per game (if that), and rarely do they decide an outcome, and they are always close. Glorious!
Today is opening day, not the opening day for Redsox and Yankees, but the opening day for most everyone else (sans a couple teams that make their start tomorrow) and that’s the “real” opening day. Baseball is rocking the television and the computer and opening day parks everywhere, and already there are 9 things (kind of like 9 innings) getting me smiling from ear to ear.
I try my best to keep up with fantasy baseball as well as impressive players and teams, so if you’re interested in my take, stay tuned all season long for updates on the goings-on around the major leagues.
Opening Day List:
1. Albert Pujols is on pace to hit 324 homeruns. The guy is a monster, a perfect hitter, a serial crusher and a big F#$%ing guy. Griffey circa 2001 thinks Al’s swing is perfect… If you picked first and grabbed somebody else, you should have to wake up and read St. Louis Cardinals box scores every single day. Relive the wrongness, live the pain! Al’s also on pace to hit .800 with 486 RBIs and 648 runs, but that probably won’t happen because I’m sure he’ll take a handful of games off to rest his legs…
2. After not pitching last season, Shaun Marcum won the Blue Jays opening day spot this season. It took 6 innings of perfect baseball before Marcum he gave up a hit. For those that were smart enough to pilfer Marcum late in fine drafting fashion – good work – for those that only pick their clubs based on last years’ stats – mooahahahahaha…. He ended up giving up a couple runs, but this guy is the steal of your draft.
3. If Roy Halladay wasn’t the first pitcher off the board in your fantasy leagues, somebody made a boo-boo. I will be stunned if Ol’ Roy Boy doesn’t win 25 games this year for the Phillies. That line-up is stacked with run scoring/producing giants and if he stays healthy, the guy is going to throw 5-8 complete games and get a unanimous decision Cy Young award. I’m telling you – the guys that drafted Lincecum and Sabathia before Roy will see their donkey hooves in the mirror every day. Roy went 7 innings, allowed 1 run, and struck out 9 for the Phills. 24 more to go…
4. Placido Polanco hit a grandslam on day 1 of his 2010 season with the Phillies. My prediction is that he ends up a Top 5 second baseman and he’s owned in less than half of fantasy leagues everywhere. Unless you’re playing in a 4 person league (and if you are, go punch yourself in the face) Polanco is somebody you want to go plunder from the depths of the waiver wire immediately.
5. Speaking of the Phillies, ever single guy in their starting line-up collected a hit today against the Nationals. It’s the Nats, I know, but still, even Halladay busted out the hitting stick (infield single, mind you). If this team doesn’t lead the majors in runs scored, I am a clueless oik that steps on flaming paper bags left on front steps after a ring of the doorbell.
6. Speaking of poop, has anyone taken a gander at the Cleveland Indians pitching staff? I’d say that I feel sorry for the line-up, but after day 1 they are looking equally nutty. Their “Ace” rolled out of bed this morning and when he realized his name was Jake Westbrook he called Vegas and bet on his team to win less than 60 games this year. What did he risk? Nobody knows, but possibly the house given he tossed 5 innings of 5-run baseball allowing 5 hits and 4 walks to just a single strikeout. And to that strikeout, Juan Pierre, thanks for coming down!
7. Garret Jones came right from Ray’s Boom Boom Room to jack 2 out of the park in his first two at bats this season. This guy spent most of the first 22 rounds of fantasy drafts getting looked over, only to fall on some guy’s team that left early, as an auto pick, where everybody mocked, “One year wonder… hahahaha” – I believe that many people forgot that Jones busted 21 home runs and 21 doubles in 314 at-bats in just 82 games with the club last year. Oh, he also hit .293 and walked 40 times. I currently own Garret Jones in each of the 3 fantasy leagues that I play in (minus the AL Only league that I give blood to). I actually picked him, and in my first base slot he will ditch 30 balls over fences this season, and plate Andrew McCutchen 50-60 times. Thanks for buying into that one-year-wonder stigma folks, the 28-year old Jones is just getting started…
8. Maybe without all the expectations, the hype, and with more All-Stars on the DL than in their starting line-up, the Mets might have a pretty good season this year. Nan, probably not. But a successful middle of the order could put some pressure on those suggesting the Mets’ demise this season. Maybe they hit gold picking up Jason Bay and a bunch of scraps from other teams. Gary Mathews Jr. and Jeff Francoeur think so.
9. How about Man-Ram getting ignored through the first four to five rounds on draft day? I picked this guy up for $7 less than BJ Upton went for in my auction league and $8 less than Jason Bay. Please. I know Man-Ram when roid-ram on us last year and missed 50 games before coming back and being about 75% of what people expected from him, but mark my words when I say he’ll hit about .300, plate 100+ Dodgers, and rake 30 bombs this season. As much as I think Upton will improve and Bay will be decent in New York, I’d be stunned if either of those guys get to write home with those kind of stats. Man-Ram may be from planet Man-Ram, but they teach you how to hit on that planet.
10. I added this 10th one just a couple minutes after publishing this article originally because how can I live with myself without mentioning the initiation to the major leagues by the 20-year-old soon-to-be-star in Atlanta. Jason Heyward went yhatzee-bomb in his first at-bat as a big leaguer and you can probably count the surprised teammates, fans and coaches on a fingerless hand. Enjoy this guy, he’s going to be smashing little stitched baseballs over fences for years to come.