"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Tomorrow, Tomorrow


I question the wisdom of having Opening Day on a Thursday at 1 pm, when most people can’t watch it. But, since I’ll be working from home tomorrow, I don’t question it too hard – the sooner the better. The Knicks suck, I don’t have a horse in the NCAA tournament, football is all horrifying brain injuries and labor disputes. GET HERE ALREADY, BASEBALL.

I went on record yesterday as predicting the Yanks to finish a respectable 3rd in the AL East, though I’m not as pessimistic as that may sound; I expect them to be a good, competitive team, just maybe not quite good and competitive enough. On the plus side, I also have C.C. Sabathia and Robinson Cano in the top three for Cy Young and MVP, respectively. I think it’ll be an entertaining season, which is what I mostly care about,

Things I’m most looking forward to:

  • Mariano Rivera. The one Yankee who is never overhyped, just that damn good.
  • Curtis Granderson. Maybe I shouldn’t have bought into all the fuss about his improved swing at the end of last season (small sample size and all), but I did, and I’m looking for a big season from him this year. Even if that doesn’t happen, the guy is extremely likable, so he should be fun to root for.
  • Robbie Cano. I don’t know if he’ll keep getting better – and that would be a lot to ask for since he’s already plenty good enough – but this is the first year, I think, that going in I’ve considered Cano to be a real first-tier star and not just a talented and promising youngster. A good second baseman who’s also a legit middle-of-the-lineup masher is a precious thing.
  • A healthy A-Rod in, possibly, one of the last years he’s young enough to make that contract seem like a good one. I don’t think he’ll be bad or anything, going forward – just a bit diminished with age (and aren’t we all?). I know better than to read anything into spring training numbers, but let’s just say it looks like Rodriguez is feeling pretty good right now. And that makes me rub my hands together like an old movie villain.
  • Brett Gardner. I keep waiting for him to crash back to earth… but maybe he won’t? Is he actually this good? How much more does he need to show before I start believing it?

There are also, of course, a few things I have a bad feeling about:

  • Ivan Nova. See, I’m not including Freddy Garcia/Bartolo Colon here, because everyone expects a fifth starter to be lousy. But Nova is in a position where, if he can’t give the team at least a solidly mediocre start, those losses are going to hurt. I think Nova could be solid in a relief role but that six good innings from him on a regular basis is too much to ask for; but the thing that gives me hope here is that he’s only 24 and threw well at AAA last year. Still, I miss Pettitte already.
  • Catcher/Backup catcher. Gustavo Molina is such an incredibly awful hitter that we will all rejoice when Francisco Cervelli turns up again, hopefully in a month or so. But then we will remember that – much as I like the guy’s effort and energy and persona – he can’t hit either, except as compared to Molina. That’s fine and dandy for a BUC, but meanwhile, Russell Martin is no Jorge Posada – not with the bat and, so far in his career at least, not with the work ethic. We’ve all been spoiled by watching a borderline Hall of Famer catch the last decade-plus, and I think we’re about to realize just how much.
  • Joba. For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

This was a long damn winter. Good, bad, whatever, bring on the baseball. And if, like me, Little Orphan Annie isn’t really your style, try this:


1 unmoderated   ~  Mar 30, 2011 12:24 pm

Thursday? Crap, time has really gotten away from me. I haven't signed up for cable yet, I better get on that.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Mar 30, 2011 12:29 pm

Mo, Mo, Mo!

3 RagingTartabull   ~  Mar 30, 2011 12:34 pm

I'll be under the overhang in the upper deck freezing my Kamienieckis off, can't wait

4 Alex Belth   ~  Mar 30, 2011 12:48 pm


5 RagingTartabull   ~  Mar 30, 2011 1:07 pm

perks of working from home? Being able to put on 61* while working on a project.

6 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Mar 30, 2011 1:14 pm

ESPN.com is out today with season predictions from 45 separate contributors and affiliates.


34 give the Yanks the AL Wild Card. No one calls them to win the division. Only one, ESPN Fantasy's Tristan Cockcroft, advances them to the Serious, where they lose to the Phils. (Mark Simon's entry may be a misprint - he has Yanks as AL champs but calls the Serious as Sox over Phils.)

Is this where I bluster out my bold prediction that they're all fools and the Bombers will march on a road of bones to title no. 28? Naw, I can't go that far. Facts is facts.

It just makes me think of Lou Brown, is all:

"I'd like to hang around and see if we can give 'em all a nice big shitburger to eat."

7 ms october   ~  Mar 30, 2011 1:30 pm

at least 1pm allows us to catch a few innings on a long lunch. least that's my plan.

[3] if the weather is anything like today it might not be as bad as it seems. and i say this as a person who is always cold.

8 rbj   ~  Mar 30, 2011 1:52 pm

I'm more excited for the upcoming season than I was for Christmas last year.

9 Alex Belth   ~  Mar 30, 2011 2:10 pm


10 Bruce Markusen   ~  Mar 30, 2011 2:33 pm

It's an interesting call, but I like the Yankees to finish ahead of the Rays. Tampa Bay has great starting pitching, but a bullpen full of holes, and some potential black holes in their lineup. I don't think Damon and Ramirez have enough left in the tank to give Longoria the offensive support he needs. It will simply be too much to replace Pena, Bartlett, and Crawford all at once.

So I'll go Red Sox first, Yankees second, and Rays third.

11 thelarmis   ~  Mar 30, 2011 2:41 pm

[7] i am always cold, too! even here in your deep south...

Alex - what are you trying to say? ; )

12 williamnyy23   ~  Mar 30, 2011 3:04 pm

[6] We all know what happen the last time a group of ESPN analysts were unanimous about something. Maybe Girardi will be baseball’s version of Shaka Smart.

[10] This is often repeated, but besides Prices, who is a great pitcher on the Rays’ starting staff? I don’t think they even have another who is very good (even though Hellickson may be one day).

13 RagingTartabull   ~  Mar 30, 2011 3:26 pm

[12] I think a big part of it is that a lot of people have Hellickson and to a lesser extend Davis penciled in as being great. Its a little bit of a halo effect like we used to see with the A's, the old "oh Beane drafted him, so you know its just a matter of time before he turns out great"

Not saying those guys won't be great, but its just based on speculation and nothing more at this point.

14 Alex Belth   ~  Mar 30, 2011 3:44 pm

Mo, Mo, Mo, Mo, Mo, Mo...

15 Duke 55   ~  Mar 30, 2011 10:25 pm

Mo forevvva.
Please don't let him get old.
If Gardner could bunt, we'd actually win the division. Oh yes.

16 FlyGirlFan   ~  Mar 31, 2011 12:17 pm

Well the game starts at 6 p.m. in Manchester, UK so I guess I can have a pint as I listen to John and Suzyn on MLB Game Day Audio. For some reason I don't think that bangers and mash are going to taste as good as a good old ballpark hotdog. Cheers! Mo! Mo! Mo!

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver