Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sprung

All is right with the world. I got to listen to some Tiger baseball yesterday on the radio. It was the perfect harbinger of spring. Who needs robins? So overrated. Then today, the sun was out, and the mercury surpassed 40 degrees. Wearing a sweatshirt instead of a bulky winter coat? Priceless.

Anyway, a couple quick notes from yesterday's game. Sizemore misplayed a couple balls. On one play, Dan Dickerson and Jim Price said he would've had no chance at the runner even if he'd fielded the ball cleanly. On the other, a routine ball went off his glove. This is no big deal, but it's just a reminder that he needs some reps here in Spring Training. He broke his ankle and cut short his Fall League playing time. Regarding that ankle, I heard a radio interview with Sizemore on Detroit's AM 1130, and he said that turning a double play helped him clear a mental hurdle. He also said he's got more to do--a lot of turns and pivots with which to get comfortable again. All this rookie, broken ankle and defensive issues stuff has me fretting a little. I believe he'll be just fine, I do. Everyone says he's ready. I know. But it plays mind games with my head.

You know what it is? It's all the things that have to go right for the Tigers to have a good season, a contending season. We need Bonderman to come back to a form he hasn't had in the past two full seasons. We need Scherzer to make a smooth transition from the NL to the AL. We need a fifth starter to materialize. We need two rookies to walk onto Major League ball fields and perform at the Major League level. We need older veterans to stay healthy. We need Joel Zumaya to keep the ball up in the zone and finally learn to pitch, or at least listen to his catcher.

Ok. I'm sorry. I know that a lot of clubs are dealing with their own set of question marks. Take Seattle, for instance. They've got to pin hopes on head-case Milton Bradley behaving himself.

The other item of note I have from Thursday's radio broadcast is a little bone to pick with Dan and Jim. They kept raving about our young prospects, really gushing, going on and on. Now, Baseball America via Sports Illustrated has us in the "Worst of the Rest" category, which means a ranking between 16-25 out of 30 clubs. Keith Law at ESPN had us at 28 out of 30! Usually, one of the things I like about Dan and Jim is that they're honest. A little more up front than say, Rod Allen and Mario Impemba. If a guy makes a bad play, they general just say so. Maybe they were just caught up in the hype of Spring and all, but it was over the top for a system that is ranked so poorly.

In case you weren't aware, Spring Training games played on Saturdays and Sundays will be broadcast on the radio. Detroit listeners can tune to 97.1 FM or 1270 AM. Maybe I'll clear the snow off my deck, dig out a lawn chair, and listen outside.

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