I got into the spirit of Opening Day this weekend by purchasing a box of eight packs of baseball cards at Target. Out of the eight packs, I got exactly one Cubs player. I'm not exactly complaining though since that player was Anthony Rizzo. It could have been Ian Stewart.
- The Astros are in first place. It was the first win for their brilliant new manager, former Hawkeyes defensive back and center fielder Bo Porter. Many of his former Iowa teammates were in attendance. (I managed to get the Iowa stuff out of the way first, and it's even relevant!)
- You've probably heard this already, but this weekend was the time for contract extensions. The list and terms of the new multimillionaires are as follows:
- Justin Verlander. Seven years, $180 million.
- Buster Posey. Eight years, $167 million.
- Paul Goldschmidt. Five years, $32 million.
- Elvis Andrus. Eight years, $120 million. This one isn't official yet. Andrus still has to pass a physical and the terms may be slightly different than what's been reported.
- Cliff Corcoran of SI.com points out that the Posey deal is good for the Giants, bad for teams looking to the free agent market. Every one of these extensions take a player off the market and gives the players yet to sign an extension (Hello, Clayton Kershaw!) even more leverage in seeking out megadeals from their own team or through free agency.
- Across the bay from the Giants, the Athletics can only look and sigh, knowing they could never offer a contract like that to any player. They'd be able to only if they could move to San Jose which of course, the Giants are blocking.
- Ken Rosenthal asks whether these megadeals make sense. He says they're a bad gamble, but increasingly, teams have little choice.
- Speaking of megadeals that didn't work out, Jason Keidel thinks that Johan Santana's time with the Mets is emblematic of their history of futility since the 80s. Gloom, despair, and agony on me.
- Juan C. Rodriguez and Craig Davis in the Sun Sentinel look back at twenty years of Marlins baseball. Two highs, eighteen lows and a decimated fan base.
- I'm not a big fan of John Kruk, but speaking of the Marlins, he was right on: "If I’m a fan of the Miami Marlins, I don’t know if I would be a fan anymore. How do you root for anyone?"
- The Marlins did give fans one reason to come to the park: They promoted top prospect Jose Fernandez to the majors to start the season. Of course, he's never pitched above the High-A Florida State League before. He's still likely better than anything else they've got right now.
- Ken Rosenthal lists twelve managers on the hot seat. Don Mattingly and Mike Scioscia top the list with very high expectations in Southern California this season.
- Davey Johnson doesn't want to think about the future, although it's been announced that this is going to be his last season managing the Nationals. He doesn't sound like a guy who wants to retire, however.
- Story number 6174 on how the Yankees are old, injured and ready to collapse. These stories are becoming like the ones where columnists answer their mail. Can't think of anything original? Just write about the demise of the Yankees.
- Braves president John Schuerholz says that while Atlanta doesn't have the most money in baseball, they have enough money to win.
- The Tigers had adorable pictures taken with a baby tiger. Yeah, it wasn't so adorable when the baby's mother found Austin Jackson alone in the clubhouse. (That didn't actually happen, for the gullible out there.)
- The Brewers have announced you are not allowed to bring your own potty to Miller Park. Only in Wisconsin. Only in Wisconsin.
- The Pirates set a spring training attendance record with their newly remodeled McKechnie Field. Yeah, that's about the best I can do for Pirates news. At least it's good news.
- The Cardinals just get better with Trevor Rosenthal in their bullpen all season. Even if you hate the Cardinals, you can still respect them.
- It's going to be really cold in Minneapolis for Twins opening day.
- Miguel Tejada made the Royals opening day roster.
- Finally, and this is the type of story I love, Scott Rice has made it to the show (well, the Mets at least) after 14 years in the minors. Even better was his response: "It's been a long road. Now I got to stay up here." Good luck.
This is the part where I'm supposed to tell an April Fool joke. Well, here goes. One of the stories I linked to above is a fake.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster, because the Cubs will be 1-0 and in first place.