Tag Archives: fenway park

I’m So Ready For Baseball, I Don’t Even Care If It’s the Yankees vs. Red Sox

Here we go… Easter lunch is out of the way, so now the real holiday can begin – no disrespect to Jesus of course. Two of Major League Baseball’s top franchises will take the diamond tonight and kick of the 2010 season. Normally I’d be as interested in a Yankees-Red Sox affair as I would in a Spurs-Jazz snoozefest, but tonight, I’m so starved for baseball I can’t wait to see these guys in action. Aside from the whole Opening Night thing, there’s plenty of other storylines to keep me glued to the tube. Sure, it’s a rivalry game featuring the defending champions blah blah blah, but here is what has got me excited…

CC Sabathia vs. Josh Beckett – Forget great Opening Day matchups, this is about as good a matchup as you’ll see on any given day in baseball. Sabathia is a Bay Area product, so he’s got plenty of supporters at Doin Work. He’s also one of the preseason favorites for the AL Cy Young Award. While Beckett isn’t as high on the Cy Young list, he’s still one of the best pitchers in the game. He may not have the hardware that most pitchers covet, but I’m sure he wouldn’t trade his two World Series rings or his World Series MVP for anything. One might anticipate a pitcher’s duel tonight, but there’s so much firepower on the offensive side for both teams that there are sure to be some runs put on the board as well.

New Additions – Each team picked up one guy I’m looking forward to seeing make their debut tonight. The Yankees replaced Johnny Damon in center field with former Tiger, Curtis Granderson. Granderson is quietly emerging as an elite player in this league, and the Yankees coveting him only further cements that. If he can get his average back up closer to .300 this year, he’ll surely build on his first all-star berth last year with many more to come, since there’ll be no shortage of exposure playing the Big Apple. The Red Sox, on the other hand, tested my hatred of them by signing the legendary Marco Scutaro. Even if Scutaro spurned the A’s to sign with Boston, he can do absolutely nothing to ever stop me from being a fan.

John Lackey in a Boston Uniform – You know how there are certain things that make you cringe or gag at the sight of it? I’m willing to bet that John Lackey donning a Red Sox jersey is going to be one of those. As much as I dislike the Red Sox, there’s not really any players on the team that I hate, aside from Papelbon of course. I think Lackey is going to be that guy, and I look forward to it. I’m actually going to keep a trash can by the couch to start the game in case the first camera shot of Lackey makes me throw up. It could happen.

First Fantasy AB of the Year – I try to keep my fantasy nerdom to a minimum here on the blog, but I can’t lie…. When Granderson steps into the box to face Beckett in the first pitch of the season, my squad, Five Tool Academy, is going to have a monopoly on fantasy stats for the duration of the at-bat. Beckett returns to my team by way of the draft (7th rd) after helping HolyShirtsandPants secure third place in last year’s league. Granderson is a new addition after being selected in the 5th round as part of my five tool plan, complementing other power/speed combo players Matt Kemp, BJ Upton, and Adam Jones. The fantasy season won’t be won with one at bat, but it starts here.


Big Night In Boston!

This is the night I’ve been waiting for!

Nomar Garciaparra made his long-awaited return to Fenway Park tonight.  But while the ovation he received from the fans was fantastic and well-deserved, that’s not what this is about.

What’s that you say?  It was also John Smoltz Fenway debut?  This definitely isn’t about that!

No, this is about the Athletics 21-year old pitcher, Brett Anderson, finally doing what we’ve all been hearing he was capable of.  Coming over from the Diamondbacks in the huge haul that was the Danny Haren deal, Anderson was widely regarded as the second best prospect of the bunch.  Once Carlos Gonzalez showed his ceiling as a lifetime quadruple-A player, Anderson emerged as the top prospect in the A’s system.  Working for the A’s triple-A club in Sacramento, and being 45 minutes from the single-A affiliate, has given me plenty of opportunities to check out the A’s young players.  Brett Anderson, along with other prized pitcher Trevor Cahill, however, spent all of last season in AA-Midland.  That’s in Texas, not really within driving distance.  So, that left me following box scores, and reading updates from Baseball America and Athletics Nation.

That was, until Anderson was moved up to AAA in time for the PCL playoffs last year.  I would finally get an up close look at the next great Oakland pitcher.  I won’t lie, it was sort of a letdown.  He had a great outing, don’t get me wrong.  If I recall, he threw 2 or 3 scoreless innings, giving up 1 or 2 hits.  But nothing really stood out.  Not one dominant pitch, no crazy velocity, or filthy strikeouts.  I guess he was just a placement pitcher – not flashy, but efficient.  Fine by me, I guess.

But this year, since starting the season in Oakland, Anderson had yet to impress (5-7, 5.45 ERA).  Is he just another Gio Gonzalez? (I’m not ready to write him off, but I’m close)  Anyway, Cahill was the one looking like the future ace of the staff.

UNTIL TODAY.  Against the best team in the AL with the best home record in the major leagues at the most famed stadium in baseball, Brett Anderson threw a complete game, 2-hit shutout.  It wasn’t just the outcome though, he looked filthy doing it.  He struck out nine batters, and he did it with nasty curveballs, sliders, changeups, and oh yeah, a 97 mph fastball.  I don’t expect him to duplicate this performance every time out, but he finally showed what he’s capable of – on the game’s biggest stage no less.  All of a sudden, Anderson-Cahill-Mazzaro sounds a lot more like it’ll have the same ring to it for years to come that Hudson-Mulder-Zito did.