The Week We’ve Been Waiting For
As people continue to deal with snow, ice, and arctic temperatures, a nation’s eyes turn to the states of Florida and Arizona, desperate for relief and for the magical words of “Play ball!”
It is that time of year again, thankfully, when the baseball news starts flowing and the excitement starts building.Â The scribes are already down there (if you aren’t doing it already, following Derrick Goold, John Marecek, Joe Strauss, Bernie Miklasz, BJ Rains and Matthew Leach is a must during this time of year) and soon we’ll get to know who is in the best shape of their life and who is ready to have a career year.
The news is already starting to trickle out, with a feature on Jaime Garcia and his quest for the last spot in the rotation.Â Before our conversation on UCB Radio Hour with Kyle McClellan, I was all for Garcia taking that role, and I still think it’s a smart idea.Â That said, I expect the club will try to build up Garcia’s arm in the minors, as they seem to indicate they don’t have complete confidence that he can throw the innings needed in the bigs.Â It sounds like his stuff wouldn’t be the issue, though, so if he has a real strong camp, it may be tough to send him down.
Speaking of the writers above, Strauss has a list of ten questions that hang over the Cardinals right now as camps open.Â It’s a pretty encompassing list of what surrounds the team right now, whether it’s the question of if this is Tony LaRussa’s last year (I’m torn on that, but I wouldn’t be surprised), Mark McGwire’s presence (I still think he can say he’s talked all he wants to talk, let’s focus on the team, and eventually he’ll have the fan base behind him), and the questions around the end of the rotation, third base, and the bullpen.
There are a lot of things to be looking at as we start seeing box scores and results.Â Who is Tony using the most out of McClellan, Garcia, Mitchell Boggs and Rich Hill?Â What batters are they facing?Â How does David Freese look in his at-bats?Â It could be that a slow start by Freese makes the Cards finally complete the deal for Felipe Lopez.Â I doubt the fact that Lopez fired Scott Boras this weekend went unnoticed by the St. Louis brass.
As the players get into spring training, so too do the bloggers.Â I realize that the content here has been pretty sporadic this winter (I make no apologies for the quality–you know what you get when you come here, so it’s your own fault) and I am going to try to get back into the regular posting swing of things now that we have much more to discuss.Â If nothing else, there should be an increase in the number of postings as I bring back the Playing Pepper series for 2010.Â I’ve already sent out ten questions to numerous bloggers for all the other teams and look forward to sharing those responses with you.
But, to cover my bases, I want to let you know about a new podcast/radio show.Â The Baseball Bloggers Alliance, which I founded and has succeeded in spite of that, is starting up a weekly show over at Blog Talk Radio similar to the UCB Radio Hour.Â Tomorrow night at 10 Central will be our first show.Â Yours truly will be hosting with Ron from Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf.Â We plan on having a free-flowing discussion of what’s going on in baseball today, so be sure to mark it down!