Ozzie’s Opening Day Notes (Also Hooray!)

It’s official: the 2007 baseball season is underway. Since I spent all of yesterday at my desk in work three miles from the nearest major league park, I really didn’t get to experience it as fully as I would’ve liked. Did catch the Mets-Cards the night before though, as well as bits and pieces of other games thanks to my mlb.com radio account. A few thoughts to kick off the season:

As it stands, do no trust the Phillies bullpen to hold a close lead or tie for its starters.

Phillies reliever Ryan Madson dropped his curveball this spring in favor of a slider, which he claims to be much more comfortable with. Unfortunately for Madson and Phillies fans (myself included), Edgar Renteria appeared comfortable with it too – the Braves shortstop took a 2-2 hanging slider from Madson and dropped it over the right field wall of Citizens Bank Park in the tenth inning of yesterday’s game, sending the Braves ahead 5 to 3. The Phillies, in case you missed it, did not come back.

Somehow, some way, I convinced myself going into the season that Madson, Geary, Gordon, and a handful of other unproven, less-than-dominating arms in the pen would suffice, at least until the trade deadline when quality relief will start to be shopped. Now, I know that part of me was just living in denial of just how thin the Phillies bullpen actually is. But another part genuinely believed that seven to eight innings of well-pitched ball from the front end of Philly’s rotation would cancel out the bullpen’s question marks over the course of the season, despite what the critics said. Yesterday’s game has me thinking otherwise. The Phillies simply cannot count on the bullpen, as it is, to nail down tight games. At all. Ever. And if Gordon is lost to the DL, which, given his age and soreness issues this offseason, is a real possibility, the Phils might again find themselves in a hole they can’t dig themselves out of early on. Following from that…

Quality relief is rarer than sabermetrics makes it out to be.

Can you imagine plugging Ryan Madson and his slider into the closer’s role in Philadelphia, or anywhere for that matter? He’s not going to spit out 40 saves. Closers don’t grow on trees. They just don’t.

Dear God, if you’re reading this, please don’t let Tom Gordon’s arm fall off.

Tom Glavine will be effective this year, as always.

Glavine did not dominate the Cardinals’ lineup Sunday night, but he pitched well. Very well, in fact. Watching Glavine go 3-0 on Pujols only to work back to 3-2 with two low-and-outside-changeups, then getting Pujols to fly out on a third low-and-away changeup was, in a word, satisfying. It was a High Fidelity outing – “It wasn’t boring. But it wasn’t spectacular either. It was just… Good. Very good.” – the kind Glavine has been turning in routinely now for the past few years. Glavine has his game-plan and sticks to it, which, even as a Phillies fan, I admire. The process is never electric and the results tend not to be spectacular, but the statistics, especially that 291 Wins, speak for themselves. He’ll be on the cusp of 300 by the All-Star break.

Joe Morgan will provide banal and incoherent commentary, as always.

I forgot how mind-numbingly incoherent Joe Morgan’s ramblings are, especially about statistics in baseball. Then Sunday night happened.

Don’t draft players from your real-life favorite team’s division rivals for your fantasy league roster.

I’m a Phillies fan that drafted Bob Wickman, Tim Hudson, Jose Reyes, and, as you might have guessed, Glavine. What am I thinking? Wickman didn’t close yesterday afternoon, but he did pitch, and fairly well. How am I supposed to feel about that? How should I feel if he comes in to close tomorrow night? This is my first season doing fantasy. How do other people handle these conflicts of interest? Please, counsel me. The schedule tells me I have 25 to 30 games just like this ahead of me. My heart may very well explode.

Know how the scoring system for your fantasy league works before the season starts.

It doesn’t do much good to have Todd Helton and J.D. Drew in your lineup if you’re not scoring points for walks or OBP. Thanks a lot, Bob. You turd.

I live in the worst market in all of major league baseball.

Washington, DC, ladies and gentleman! We’re looking at a possible 200 losses between the Nats and Orioles. The sad part is I’m only half-joking.

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One Response

  1. The good news about being in the Beltway area for baseball is that Baltimore has $5 Friday nights called “College Nights.” You could really go anytime to see a game.

    And man! Is RFK in a good neighborhood or what?! A lot happening there!

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