Lord, I Was Born a Ramblin’ Man…

by John Farrell | Posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2016
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Let’s talk some baseball! We’ve got a couple of games in the books and as we glance around the American League I’ve got a few observations to pass along.  Nothing specific enough to change the course of history, but things I feel like getting off my chest…

Opening Day – Why does major league baseball insist on having teams above the Mason-Dixon Line play at home before April 15th or so? What’s the rush? We’ve had a couple of snowed out games already and foul weather delaying others. It’s so nice to watch games in Oakland and Texas where the players we painstakingly draft each year are not at risk of breaking their hands fouling off a frozen curveball.  I get it; they’d prefer all the openers occur within a few days of each other, but why not have two sets of openers? One for the teams in the South and one for the teams in the North. I’m sick of taking those icy 0-4’s in Boston, Detroit, Chicago and New York while my competition glides into the season with 3-4’s in Anaheim (hypothetically speaking of course).  Would it hurt them to let NY open on the road in Houston rather than vice versa?  Does it make any sense to anyone?  I don’t care how far in advance they make the schedule. Ten more days wouldn’t hurt anyone and it would make for a better experience for players and fans alike. Of course that means it won’t happen.

Yankee Stadium in Snow

Raising The Banner – I didn’t happen to see anything negative regarding having recently vanquished foes have to sit through banner raising ceremonies, but I find it tremendously disrespectful.  The New York Mets didn’t play their best and the Kansas City Royals are more than worthy Champions, but there should be a rule that banner raising ceremonies can’t come against the team they just beat the October before.  I don’t want to hear about the schedule being made too far in advance.  People can move mountains in conditions more serious than this.  As soon as the previous season ends, with six months to make changes, this should never happen. It’s in your face rude. I can remember the Yankees having to go to Fenway Park after choking away a 3-0 lead to the Red Sox the previous Fall in 2005 as well. I don’t enjoy the irony or anything else about it. The losing players must dread it. I know I do. I don’t care what teams are involved. In this case however, the good news is that three of those insufferable Interleague games are in the past early. I’m so glad they can’t take prime vacation and weather attendance figures and trumpet them as proof of interest. Of course, Opening Day is sometimes the high water attendance mark for some non-contenders.  Anyway, even as all World Series intrigue is lost, Interleague play is here to stay I’m afraid.

Kansas City Royals Champs

Robinson Cano – If anyone read my previous article you’d know that I participate in an auction come draft day. I had $101 to spend, 15 players protected and 9 players to buy. Many moons to the south I released a little known player named Robinson Cano right after one of the Yankee trading deadlines in the early 00’s. I figured once he was not part of any deal it’d be awhile before he got his chance to play in the show.  Some other smart player scooped him up on waivers the following week and the rest is history. If memory serves he surfaced the next year with Chien- Ming Wang (by the way, welcome back CMW!…I often wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t stepped on the 3rd base bag running the bases in Houston awkwardly in or around 2008…Another reason to hate Interleague play I guess).  Ironically the Yankees never gave kids a chance in those days and out of desperation the two of them were elevated around the same time the next season. Robinson Cano has never looked back. Wang won 19 games two years running before falling (literally I guess) on hard times. Good to see him back though in the KC bullpen. Hope he sticks. Cano, though, is on an almighty tear out of the game and no one is more pleased about this than I am. He was dealing with a hernia last year and wasn’t himself. If Spring Training was any indication this year he’ll be back to his terrorizing ways. I think he’s got 4 homers and 7 RBI in 3 games to date. Yes! Would he look good in Pinstripes? Of course, but both the player and the club did what they had to do at the time. I knew it was suicide for NY to add another 10 year contract to their stockpile of useless long term deals. I wish Robbie well wherever he goes. Still, it doesn’t mean I’m not happy with Jay Z. Ban him I say! Oh, where was I? I plunked down $40 on Robinson Cano last Saturday determined to have a 2B that can actually play after years of stiffs like Omar Infante. I had a good draft even with that massive outlay of cash, but Robbie is making me feel wicked smart so far as they say up in New England. Thanks old friend.

Joey Bats’ Take Out Slide – Bullocks.  Sure he broke the rule by sticking out his hand, but I’m with Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons (something I’d never thought I’d hear myself say) on this; Come out tomorrow wearing dresses. Baseball has gone soft. I don’t want anyone to get hurt either mind you, but next thing you know everyone will be getting trophies. Can’t hit the catcher, can’t take out the 2B…Where’s the fun in that? P.S. Anybody who just assumed Tampa would finish last take a big fat step back. I hate playing those guys; they get no respect and play like it.  Every game is a knock down drag out 3-2 thriller. God help you if you have to face Logan Forsythe or Steven Souza with the game in the balance. I’m being facetious of course, but Whoomp, There It Is!

Snakebitten Starters –  Are you kidding Jose Quintana? Again? Right out of the chute? Brutal. I’ve got Steve Stone and The Hawk telling me how unhittable Nate Jones is with two on and two out and he can’t get one stinkin’ out to lock up a W for poor Jose. This guy would be Cy Young with any run support. It hurts even more when you get beat by undrafted (in our 10 team league) Yonder Alonso. Don’t throw slugs first pitch fastballs with men on base. That should be a rule. Write that down.

Aaron Sanchez – Before they draft I was totally flummoxed by the prospect of having to choose between Roberto Osuna (who should have never had to worry in the first place) and free agent to be Drew Storen for my protected fantasy roster.  I even put out one of those Twitter polls asking my flock to choose between the two for me.  Thanks to all that replied (both of you). I was all set to protect Drew Storen when another owner said he needed more time (I was collecting the protected rosters) to decide about Aaron Sanchez.  I said “what’s to decide?” I’ll give you Drew Storen and Roberto Osuna for him and you can make the decision. I didn’t know he would make room for both, but I really didn’t care. I can always find a closer somewhere (although not in Saturday’s draft apparently after spending $40 on Robbie Cano). I really needed to find me some Ace material. I don’t know if Sanchez is that guy, but at $8 I was willing to find out. Killer outing last night. Naturally my bullpen also includes the unscored upon in his last 38 appearances Brett Cecil. One cheap HBP (If I’m the ump Kevin Kiermaier gets no credit for sticking his armor plated elbow into that path of that pitch, but nobody wants to cause a fuss…That’s as intentional as it gets as far as I’m concerned) and one opposite field homer later there was no joy in Mudville for Sanchez. 2 extra earnies for yours truly. Painful all around for my Blue Jay heavy Fantasy roster. Hopefully, as far as Sanchez is concerned, this wasn’t about pitching to a weak hitting lineup verses great strides forward.

Joey Rickard – Raise your hand if you heard of Baltimore’s new LF before last week. Now he’s going to steal 25 for pennies on the dollar. Just not my dollar unfortunately.

Mark Trumbo – This guy gets no respect, but he’s going rake this year. I owned him back when he was with Anaheim. No more I’m afraid. Power is at a premium these days.

Byung-ho Park – I know it was only the Korean League, but this guy has two 50+ homer seasons under his belt.  Did any of you watch his YouTube videos of all of his homers the past two years? Color me seduced. I put down $19 on this dude. Hopefully he won’t turn into Tsuyoshi Nishioka on me. I hope he gets off to a good start.

OK, I ran long yet again, but I’ll be back with more fun observations in the near future. Promise.

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John Farrell
About the Author

John grew up in NJ and has been following the game since 1968. John has played Fantasy Baseball since 1988. 2 Loves; Baseball and Rock & Roll…

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