The 2014 season is underway …
- Vladimir Guerrero returned to the Angels yesterday so that he could retire on one of those one-day contracts (the Expos don’t exist anymore, so … ). It was to be a great thing, capped off with him throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Which he did, to Angels hitting coach, and former Cubs manager, Don Baylor. And Baylor caught it. But he also broke his leg. Ugh – the Angels certainly have bad luck with freak injuries. Somebody get Mike Trout in bubblewrap, posthaste.
- Ryan Braun received a standing ovation in Milwaukee, which I actually think is what you should have expected. Does he deserve it? Of course not. The guy lied, repeatedly, buried innocent people, cheated the game, and almost single-handedly crushed the Brewers’ 2013 season (while ensuring he would lose the least amount of money in doing so). He should be booed. Repeatedly. But, here’s the thing: he’s still a good, important player to the Brewers, and he’s going to be around for years to come. The kind of cognitive dissonance hating him would produce in Brewers fans would be enough to explode their cheesy heads. They’ve gotta get over it so that they can continue to enjoy their team. I totally get it.
- Tommy John surgery: it ain’t just for important starters! Or some other slogan like that. In other words, important relievers David Hernandez (Diamondbacks) and Bobby Parnell (Mets) could soon go under the knife. For Hernandez, the decision has been made. For Parnell, it’s a little more complicated, and might not be a true Tommy John situation, anyway – he’s got a partially torn MCL (not UCL), and he’s going to rest and get platelet-rich plasma injections before a decision is made on surgery. Parnell, 29, is the Mets’ closer, so any amount of lost time stings.
- Speaking of injuries, Jose Reyes – that poor guy can’t catch a break – is already hitting the DL with hamstring tightness (which will be further evaluated today by MRI). He missed a sizable portion of last year with a bad ankle sprain. The Blue Jays were already light in the middle infield, so losing Reyes for any significant length of time would really hurt.
- Rangers fans had a rough Opening Day. No, I’m not talking about them seeing their team lose to the Phillies despite scoring 10 runs. I’m talking about this:
This is the statue of the Rangers fan who fell to his death at the ballpark in '11. Look what people did to it today. pic.twitter.com/zaZgRnMl7W
— Kami Mattioli (@kmattio) April 1, 2014
- Few things allow me to muster my full register of outrage – as you’ve notice, I see a lot of gray in the world – but this is one of them. In what universe would one person think it was OK to put their trash on a memorial statue, let alone dozens of people? Surrounded by hundreds of people who did nothing to stop them? “Well, I’m headed into the ballpark now and I can’t bring my Miller Lite can with me, and I don’t see a trash can within two feet of me, so I should probably just throw it on the ground. Wait! There’s a statue I can put my trash on, because I’m a very important person with very important things to do!”
- The Rangers responded with a pretty reasonable “we try very hard to keep things clean, that shouldn’t have happened, and it won’t happen again” kind of statement, which is about the best they can do. But, really, this isn’t on the Rangers. It’s on the people who decided to act like pigs.
- So as not to end on that note, here’s a picture of some of the Red Sox players visiting the White House. Well played, Jonny Gomes:
Nailed it. pic.twitter.com/5a65OUogGo
— Mike Napoli (@MikeNapoli25) April 1, 2014