Saturday, February 13, 2010

Get well soon, Geno

The NY post is reporting that Yankee trainer Gene Monahan will be missing his first spring training in 48 years. The source states that it is a "significant illness that possibly could sideline him for the beginning of the regular season."

I've run into Geno on several occasions while in Tampa and in Toronto and he seems to be a good guy. He's been that mainstay with the Yankees for years and is someone the players seem to like. Him and Bobby Murcer were extremely close; a relationship that formed when Bobby was a CF for the Yankees. If you're not familiar with him, hes the guy the announcers always talk about when someone has a memorable hit and they write the accomplishment on the ball (As documented by Tyler Kepner of the NY Times)

Heres to a speedy recovering Gene. Hopefully he will be back to action soon.

The best invention

I recently purchased a DVR player for me room. It is probably one of the best inventions out there. Not only can I ditch the VHS tapes when I was to record a show (yes I am wayyy behind technology-wise), but I now have digital cable so I am able to catch the MLB Network.

First thing that I have to note is the phenomenal guys talent they have on this network. Bob Costas does an amazing job, along with Victor Rojas, analysts that are former players, including current players into aspects of the show, and of course, the addition of Al Leiter is always a positive thing in my world.

I mean a channel focusing solely on baseball 24/7.. It's like heaven in my eyes.

Today i was watching an old Blue Jays/ Devil Rays (it took a year to get used to call them the 'Rays', but now its hard to see them called the 'Devil Rays') game on the MLB Network. t was the game in which Delgado hit 4 homeruns in one game; a feat that was never accomplished by a Blue Jays before in one game. It's always fun to look back at past games; seeing the different players on the teams and how much they have aged since the game took place.

It was also interesting to see the how different the turf used to look. The improvements to the game in that regard are amazing as the surface has somewhat more of a "less fake" look of grass. Here is a look at the purpose of playing on artificial turf. I have never heard anyone really talk about enjoying to play on artificial turf, but I perhaps it works better for other sports.

Spring Training is Near!

The best time of the year is approaching us soon. Pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Tampa on Thursday; a signal that spring is on the way and Major league Baseball will be returning back to action.

For me, it is a time of the year in which I am busy trying to catch up with HW and the preparation for my annual trip Tampa. Though many think I am crazy attending all these games by myself, it is the best type of atmosphere one can ever embark on. The fans you meet down in Tampa are like none other. Their knowledge about baseball is vast and you can hang around the field all morning before the games starts, just talking solely about baseball. I can't think of anything better.

I am purchasing a laptop soon so that I can document my week long travels down to Florida more extensively than I have in the past. The players are easier to see down in Tampa and the autographs are much easier to come by than if you are going to a game in the Bronx.

Is anyone else heading down to Tampa soon? I have gone to spring training during the practices in February and also the games in March.

Advantages of going to practices:
  • Admission into the stadium is free (parking was free back in the day, not sure if it still is); you can sit wherever you want
  • Players are friendly and autographs are easier to come by
  • Player development
  • You can see the different drills the players engage in to build strength
  • Catcher activities are always fun to watch. The players also have fun with this which makes it entertaining
Disadvantages of practices:
  • Its only a practice. Players are running and doing sprints. Not a great deal of action, though you can watch the pitchers throw a BP session.
  • Only pitchers and catchers for the first week. If you head over the Himes field you can try to catch a glimpse of the position players. Forewarning, do not park close to the field. You could get your car smashed by a ball. Seen it happen first hand.
  • Last i checked, the practices were maybe 2 hours long. Not a great deal of time at the field, especially if you're traveling from far away.
Advantages of games:
  • Player development- If you are into seeing the guys in the Yankees farm system, this is the place to catch a glimpse of what is in store for the future.
  • Autographs are easier to come by, though you need to get to the games early, when the players are practicing in the morning before the game.
Disadvantages of attending games:
  • $$$... The tickets are pretty expensive, especially considering the fact you are seeing the stars play for only 3 innings or so. Parking, last I checked, was 7 dollars. I work 3 jobs and tutor a handful of kids just to afford this. But it IS worth the money, I assure you.

For the record, if you attend spring training during the beginning of March, the regulars are only going to be starting about 3 innings. Starting pitchers start out slow and will be pulled after a certain pitch count (typically going 3 innings, which is built up during the last week of camp). if you go to see big players such as Jeter or Arod, then your best bet is to try heading down at the middle to end of spring training. Those who enjoy player development are better off going in the beginning. As camp starts to progress and wind down, players are sent to the minor leagues, which is located a few minutes away from the GMS complex.

Those with kids and jobs may only be able to attend spring training in February when kids are on break. While I think the games are better, I still recommend going to the workouts. Not only do you see the players close up, but its Florida and the weather is amazing as it is. Attending practices is certainly cheaper than games too.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wang to the Nationals

It looks as if Chien-Ming Wang has decided to sign with the Nationals. This signing shows me that the Dodgers must either not have faith in Wang or that they are done spending money. Though with that, I can't imagine the salary that he was demanding and/or why they wouldn't put that commitment towards Wang. I know Wang is a huge fan of Torre and Bowa, and if there was interest by the Dodgers, I think he would have signed there in a heartbeat.

Given that, I am curious as to how many years/ how much money the Nationals are going to sign him for. I would bet an incentive clause would be good for Wang, considering how healthy he is after coming back from surgery. Since I am going to assume this is a short term deal, an incentive-based contract may not be a huge deal. There is risk with him, but there is also the potential for great reward if he comes back to the pitcher he was before that injury. But really you never know how a guy will come back.

It appears as if this post turned out to be very wishy-washy. I guess it stems from the fact there are some unknowns with this deal.


2 years 8 million?

1 year 5 million?

Do you think that's going too high for Wang?

It appears we will know for sure within a week or so. I hope for the best with Wang. He was our ace until these injuries and has the potential to return back to that status if he can recover from the surgery and continue to stay healthy.