First day game of the year, so I appreciate all of you who bother to stop by and read Bullets anyway.
I’m considering an offer to appear on “Dancing With The Third-Rate Baseball Bloggers.” Do you think I should do it?
- Depending on how you count it, Opening Day was sometime in the past week. Grant Brisbee has some lessons to share from one day of baseball.
- David Schoenfield presents a guide to what’s real and what’s an Opening Day illusion in baseball.
- Cliff Corcoran has one interesting fact from each Opening Day game. (Except the White Sox/Tigers game, unless you think “It was rained out” is interesting. Then you’re probably Mike Trout.)
- Speaking of Trout, Brisbee thinks his unremarkable Opening Day home run is just more evidence of how remarkable he is.
- But Trout was a bit confused by the new intentional walk rule.
- If you’re watching the game and thinking “Boy, pitchers are throwing a lot harder this season,” you’re not alone. Except they’re not. As David Cameron explains, there’s been a change in the way that pitching velocity is measured this year. And no, they’re not using kilometers.
- The Orioles beat the Blue Jays on Opening Day and, as Jayson Stark points out, Zach Britton pitched the ninth inning at home in a tie game. Better late than never? Nah.
- Brett Smiley has the oldest player on each team’s Opening Day roster.
- What did Vin Scully do on the first Opening Day of retirement? He didn’t watch baseball, that’s for sure. What he did will amaze you, if you’re amazed by the boring stuff that grandparents do every day. (h/t Big League Stew)
- The Dodgers tell Doug Padilla that they are confident that this is the year they can break their 29-year World Series title drought. How cute.
- Sad news from the Dodgers as their former player Pedro Guerrero is in critical condition after a massive stroke. For about five years in the 1980s, Guerrero was one of the top five hitters in the majors. He couldn’t field at all, which was a problem in the NL, which kept him from being considered one of the top overall players. That, and people not understanding how park effects worked.
- Roy Sievers, who was the first American League player to win the Rookie of the Year award, has died at age 90.
- Dayn Perry thinks that the Mets deep starting rotation may not be all that deep.
- Among the many reasons for this, Seth Lugo has a slight tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. He won’t need Tommy John surgery for now, which is the good news here.
- Brewers Opening Day starter Junior Guerra will miss at least six weeks with a calf strain.
- Paul Lebowitz thinks that everyone, including the Nationals, are expecting too much of Trea Turner.
- Madison Bumgarner wants to pinch-hit more this year. Well, he does lead the league in home runs.
- Former Cubs pitcher Spencer Patton is writing a journal about his season with the Yokohama BayStars. In the first one, he writes about how his life’s path brought him to Japan. It’s an interesting read.
- Travis Sawchik wonders if and how Shohei Otani will change the game.
- The Padres experiment to turn Christian Bethancourt into a two-way player did not get off to a strong start. But as Evan Davis notes, what do the Padres have to lose by trying?
- Could the Cubs only win 65 games this year? Sam Miller explains how it is possible, along with several other extremely improbable outcomes to the season.
- David Schoenfield writes about how players can improve their chances of getting into Cooperstown.
- Scott Lauber compares the current Red Sox outfield to the legendary Jim Rice/Fred Lynn/Dwight Evans outfield of the 1970s. And he’s not the only one.
- Jerry Crasnick reports on how the Mariners are rebuilding their outfield with an emphasis on defense.
- Dexter Fowler has brought “You go, we go” to St. Louis.
- Christopher Crawford thinks that the next Yankees dynasty is coming. Like winter, only with more misery.
- “Peak (whatever)” has become a cliché in recent years, but Steven Goldman looks at periods of “Peak Shortstop” in baseball history. Like now.
- The University at Buffalo is eliminating their baseball program.
- Jeff Passan writes that there is more to the story than just tears of joy surrounding Brock Stassi making the major league.
- The Braves thought it would be a cute idea to have retired NBA star Allen Iverson tell fans to not worry about parking at SunTrust Field. You can watch the piece and decide for yourself if it’s cute or not taking a serious problem seriously.
- Some undisclosed Rangers player wanted to wear number 69 on his jersey and was denied. I noticed an infielder for Chinese Taipei in the World Baseball Classic wore number 69. And then, of course, there is this Barry Jones classic from the 1980s.
- And finally, this one has been making the rounds. A Mets fan got angry about a train derailment that threatened to keep him away from Opening Day.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Although since ESPN ended your formerly-terrific links column that inspired me, maybe not.