[Edited to change my comments on this bozo's Nationals 2B situation analysis. He's a bozo. I'm a bozo. We're all bozos.]
Before I get into this though, you know what I noticed while cruising around Bill Simmons's Grantland Brought To You By Bill Simmons And Edited By Bill Simmons By Which I Mean Not Edited At All? Bill did part 1 of his NBA trade value column back in late January, and hasn't done part 2 yet. (There's a disclaimer at the end of part 1 that says part 2 will happen after the Super Bowl.) This asshole is just as lazy as I am! Holy shit, how do you let yourself get away with that as the EIC of a major content mill? "Yeah, I just kind of set my own deadlines and then I don't stick to them, because I had some podcasts and TV work to do." Sure, I do that all the time around here. I also don't make a dime from this, and have another job to work in order to make dimes. Fuck you, Bill. I'll start working on that trade value column next week. (Seriously! I will!)
In the meantime, as I've said many many times, I don't really mind Jonah Keri that much. But today I stumbled across an MLB spring training preview piece written by some diptard named Michael Baumann. As you'll see when you start to read it, this isn't really meant to be taken as 100% serious analysis. There's a decent number of "jokes" and a medium amount of whimsical bullshit. But you'll also see that Michael actually does take his baseball knowledge seriously. And that's why I'm writing this post. Michael is also, according to his mini-bio, "author of the upcoming book Philadelphia Phenoms: The Most Amazing Athletes to Play in the City of Brotherly Love, due in November 2014." This will be relevant later, when I get butthurt about what he says about my favorite team. Away we go.
Yesterday, I listed the pressing spring training question facing each American League team.
Diamondbacks fans don’t have much to feel optimistic about, but that could change if Bradley, arguably the top pitching prospect in the game a year ago,
After liquidating Jason Heyward, Evan Gattis, and Justin Upton,
Adding ace Jon Lester and veteran outfielder Dexter Fowler will help the Cubs in the short term, but the buzz building around the franchise is largely based on Chicago amassing, in scientific terms, a butt load of young position players.
I make no secret of how profoundly boring I find exhibition baseball,
I’m serious. I spent forever trying to give Rockies fans a reason to be optimistic other than “Maybe Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez won’t get hurt this year?” but I struck out.
But hey, Coors Field is lovely. I haven’t seen such a beautiful building filled with so much garbage since my last trip to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, though.
Los Angeles Dodgers: How weird is it going to be to see Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick in Dodger uniforms?
The Dodgers now have a pair of very experienced, very good two-way middle infielders in Rollins and Kendrick,
Miami Marlins: How is the Mighty Giancarlo Stanton’s Face?
The big questions for Miami’s playoff hopes (when will Jose Fernandez come back? Is Dee Gordon actually good? What’s Christian Yelich’s ceiling?) can’t be answered in the spring.
Milwaukee Brewers: What critter will the Brew Crew find at the ballpark this year?
The highlight of last season — yes, including Jonathan Lucroy’s insane breakout performance — was the emergence of Hank, a stray bichon frise mix who wandered into the team’s spring training facility and became the Brewers’ unofficial mascot.
New York Mets: Is it time for Thor? WE WANT THOR! WE WANT THOR!
I left that link in on purpose--I guess Mets fans refer to Noah Syndergaard as "Thor." Mets fans are fucking idiots and I've never met one I liked. This does not change that.
[A terrifying, baseball-headed man bursts through the wall, followed by a mob of blue-and-orange-clad villagers.] “WE WANT THOR! WE WANT THOR!”
Philadelphia Phillies: Are the broken pitchers still broken?
Chad Billingsley and Cliff Lee would’ve made a great one-two punch in 2008, yet in 2015, the best-case scenario for the Phillies involves both returning to health.
Pittsburgh Pirates: What can the Bucs expect from Jung Ho Kang?
Spring training will be our first extended look at Kang, a 27-year-old South Korean infielder who arrived in Pittsburgh this offseason. With only $16 million invested in Kang, and Neil Walker and Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison already in the fold, the Pirates don’t need Kang to perform, but it’d sure be nice if he did.
San Diego Padres: Who’s going to play center field?
Contrary to popular opinion, going to war with three outfielders who fall just short of being able to play center field isn’t a season-killer.
San Francisco Giants: Do you think wearing three World Series rings at once looks tacky?
There’s not much to worry about here, since the Giants return almost everyone from the pretty well-rounded, veteran team that won the World Series last year.
St. Louis Cardinals: Will a change of scenery do Jason Heyward good?
Heyward isn’t the player we’d hoped he’d be when he came up, but he’s already one of the top outfielders in the National League, and he’s still only 25. A shoulder injury he suffered as a second-year player kicked off a never-ending cycle of swing tinkering that seemed to limit his offensive potential, a theory Heyward himself spoke about after arriving in Cardinals camp.
Washington Nationals: How will Danny Espinosa do against righties?
There aren’t many guys who have 20–home run power, 20-steal speed, and the ability to play above-average middle infield defense. Espinosa is one of them.