Wednesday, April 6, 2011

SweetSpot Roundup 4/6

In today's roundup, Jon Shields chronicles the dawning of Prince Pineda, Big Papi hits some big flies, Ryan Madson gets drawn into a shadowy conspiracy from whence he cannot escape, and the New York media works hard to create controversy where there is none, so that they can cover the hell out of said controversy.

Baseballin' on a Budget (A's): 2011 Sacramento River Cat's roster preview
Exactly what it sounds like, and very thorough.  Nice work.

ProBall NW (Mariners): Michael Pineda's MLB Debut
Jon Shields liveblogs the first start of the Pineda era.

Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): Texas Is Still Undefeated
"I'd like to offer this gentle one-time reminder to completely and unconditionally appreciate what we're witnessing right now and to never take winning for granted ... because prosperity in baseball has a finite life, and the day will come when the Rangers won't make this game look so easy...and I would hate for anyone to look back and realize they hadn't celebrated times like these to the fullest."

The Ray Area: Step Away From the Panic Button
"It is ok to be upset.  No one wants to watch this team lose, particularly in the opening weekend.  But let’s not lose our heads over just three games.  If we do, we are no better than the Johnny-Come-Lately-Pink-Hat-Wearing members of Red Sox Nation."

Fire Brand of the American League (Red Sox): Papi's Early Power Surge
"At least we know he can still crush 89 MPH fastballs."

Royals Authority: Can A Good Bullpen Overcome a Bad Rotation?
"In order to be competitive with a poor rotation, a team would have to have not only a good bullpen, but shift more innings to the bullpen." Do the Royals have the horses to get that done?

It's About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): The New York Media Is Still Strangely Proud of Itself
Brien explains the NYC press's attempts to create controversy.
(Or, you could enjoy this excellent game recap of the Twins 5-4 win last night.)

Austin's Astros 290 Blog10 Reasons to Keep Watching the Astros
From Brett Wallace to brawls to Brett Myers, incentives to keep watching a team that (and this is Bill talking now, not Austin) is just not very good at all.

Capitol Avenue Club (Braves)Mistreatment of Kenshin Kawakami continues
"Rather than working with a player who has a) shown he’s capable of being a successful major league pitcher in the past and b) wants to get back to doing so, the Braves are trying to harass him into accepting an offer to play in Japan. That, to me, is disgusting and despicable."

Disciples of Uecker (Brewers)Game of Inches
Great pictures and some really high-tech writing-on-pictures technology to illustrate how a couple inches either way could have made all the difference in Monday's Brewers-Braves game. 

View from the Bleachers (Cubs)Game 5 - Down Goes Cashner
Wrap-up and thoughts on game five, which would've been an awfully exciting win without that whole prized-prospect-injury thing.

"What is a quality start for the Dodgers this year? Given the expectations for the offense in 2011, I've been thinking that the definition might need to be lowered to a maximum of two runs."

Exactly what it sounds like. Nothing in there told me that the Phils' fourth ace wasn't going to get out of the third inning, though.

"You can stack [the Bench] with veterans if you want, Rizzo, but make sure your manager then knows these are guys you play only when you HAVE to, not guys you work into the rotation like they are viable major league players anymore."

Crashburn Alley (Phillies)Ryan Madson, Closing, and Contracts
Bill explores a sneaky contract-based theory for why the Phillies aren't using their best reliever as the closer.

That's a reference to the World Champion Reds team of 1990, which was the last time the Reds started 4-0, until the win yesterday (which, of course, is recapped here).

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