Well we've been playing spring training games for about a week now. I've never gotten too excited about what happens during Feb/Mar at the major league level. For one, the veterans typically have a time table or workout schedule they adhere to - a product of many, many springs getting ready for the long season. That means the majority of at bats go to the kids - kids trying to make the team, kids being evaluated as to where they should start the season, etc.
Every now and again a veteran climbs into camp, more often than not an old Cardinal from days gone by (Andy Van Slyke, Willie McGee, Ray Lankford) trying to will themselves onto the team. That's at least interesting to watch, especially if they have a good spring (like Van Slyke and Lankford did their last go-around); you can't help but root for them. Even if, in Van Slyke's case, they tear a hammie and ultimately don't break camp with the club, or, in Lankford's case, get hurt early in the season and are really not the same afterwards.
We have a story-line sort of like that in Juan Gonzalez this year, but he's not an old Cardinal hand, and I've expressed my opinion of him previously, so you know I'm not that excited about this either.
So there won't be much analysis of the 2008 Grapefruit League Cardinals here this month. We'll continue trying to fill the weeks with somewhat interesting blather until the season starts.
Although I will continue to watch Anthony Reyes' progress this spring. I really hope that guy turns it around and has a good season. Two starts so far, one a teaser of all his talent, the other a reprise of last season. If he's throwing strikes, that's a start; if he has velocity on his fastball, that's a plus; now he needs to put hitters away when he's ahead in the count.
Come on, kid - we're rooting for you.
One final note - the Sweet 16 round in the Tournament of Champions (hosted by vivaelbirdos) is complete. Going into today, I was tied for third with 18 points; two series remained, 1944 vs 1964, and 1934 vs 1886 (my pick in bold). 1934 won, as did 1964. I should know better than to bet against Gibson. I end up 4-4 in this round. Based on a rough calculation, I should be tied for second with 21 (one point out of first); but the most important thing is both my finalists are still alive.
Enjoy your weekend.
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