Take me out to the Ball game
With March Madness wrapping up, the days sluggishly warming up, well, at least the days are getting longer: It’s baseball season!
I know this means that we are officially making our way from co-existing in peace rooting for the Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks (yes, that is supposed to be an alliteration, say it five times really fast) to our separate corners picking either black and white or red and blue. Even though ideally it would be nice for Sox fans to at least respect Cubs fans and the other way around, it just simply isn’t realistic, it’s like hoping that the entire box of Oreos you just ate wasn’t that bad for you.
The preseason in any sport doesn’t really show how well or poorly a team is going to do in the regular season, let alone the post season, it’s meant more for coaches to experiment with different players in different positions and so on, so we can forget the Cubs and Sox losing record in the Cactus League.
There are some definite positives for the Cubs this year. For example, their starting rotation is looking pretty strong, especially in comparison to the rest of the NL Central.
As far as the Cubs offense goes, things have been up and down this spring. There is a concern with very few left-handed hitters in the starting line-up, but General Manager Mike Quade says it’s not a concern of his. There is potential for the long-ball being an integral part of the Cubs offense in 2011.
The Cubs didn’t have a single 30-home run hitter in 2010. This year though, the Cubs have potential for four hitters that can do this:
Even though the Cubs got the best of the Sox during Spring Training, the Sox did not look that bad. In fact, at times they looked much better than the Cubs. There were only eight hits gave up by the Sox pitching staff, and the Sox doubled the amount of hits the Cubs had with 16, but just didn’t do anything with men on base.
The Sox record is less than stellar. The Sox have a number of concerns with durability in players, especially Jake Peavy, who is really the biggest concern the Sox have right now. With him their season looks sunny, without him, it’s cloudy and balmy. According to Peavy his health is getting better and is hoping to make a full recovery very soon.
I’ve come to the conclusion that soon to be 44-year old Omar Vizquel has to be a robot or martian with his amazing endurance, leadership and consistency. He continues to awe everyone, hitting with a .317 average after the Cubs game with a HR and a double against the Cubs. He is going to be a leader in the clubhouse with ample years of experience. He’s been playing in the MLB for almost as long as I have been alive.
I don’t care how old you are, playing 162 times a year, plus spring training and if the team does well enough, tack on another month of baseball, that is a lot of hitting, throwing, catching, bunting, running, practicing, traveling and rarely resting. Really, baseball is a test of relentlessness.
The Sox will face the Indians in Cleveland on Friday April 1 at 2:05 p.m. Their home opener will be Thursday April 7 at 1:10 p.m. against the Rays.
The Cubs will be taking on the Pirates at their home/season opener on Friday April 1 at 1:20 p.m. and this game should be a W, with the Pirates finishing with the worst record in baseball at 57-105.
LET’S PLAY BALL!
Photo Source: BleacherNation.com