Baseball is back. (caveat: the first official game was actually last night, in March. The Houston Astros began life in the American League after 51 seasons in the NL. Even stranger, they won).
Some random thoughts.
- The Yankees have been crushed, 8-2, in their opener. Sporting a starting nine that includes Jayson Nix, Vernon Wells, and Kevin Youkillis (with Lyle Overbay brought on as a PH to add even more spice), the Bronx Bombers could actually be in for a very long season.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs have just wrapped up a quick 3-1 affair, won by the Cubs. The game featured nine hits and 26 strikeouts. Ouch.
- The New York Mets started their season in convincing fashion, with an 11-2 trouncing of the San Diego Padres. Normally, I could take or leave the Mets, but this off-season, they were the other half of a perhaps pivotal trade with my team (the Toronto Blue Jays); the Jays sent top prospect Travis D'Arnaud to the Mets for 2012 Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey. Dickey starts tomorrow in the SkyDome, and D'Arnaud did not play today, so the evaluation has to wait at least one more day.
In the Met game, the Mets pounded out 13 hits, with eight of the nine starters each collecting at least one hit, including starting pitcher Jonathan Niese. The only Met not to reach safely was Ike Davis, who not only went 0-5, but struck out four times. A Golden Sombrero.
- The Giants and Dodgers continue their 137-year grudge match in LA. The Dodgers feature a roster that truly spared no expense, adding Josh Beckett, Zack Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, and Carl Crawford. The LOWEST contract on that payroll is Greinke, a bargain at $14MM. That's an awful lot of green to make up the Dodger Blue.
- The Blue Jays season, as mentioned above, starts tomorrow, much as it did in 2012 with the Cleveland Indians. This year, the teams face off in Toronto instead of Cleveland. The Jays are actually hopeful of competing this year for the playoffs, something they have not done in two decades. No; not that they haven't made the playoffs since then - though that, too, is true. The Jays have not contended in any real sense in twenty years. The "highlight," such as it were, was seven years ago, when the team went on a hot streak at the end of the year to nip Boston for second place in the AL East. Even then, the team wound up 10 games out of first.
Should be fun.