The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Early Observations from Around the League

Many of the Opening Series for the 2005 campaign wrap up today and already I’ve enjoyed a lot of different things. Some of those things even involve non-White Sox or Marlins things…

Miami Heat head coach Stan Van Gundy was featured prominently during last night’s Marlins broadcast. Van Gundy is a baseball fan and can often be seen at Marlins and Canes (baseball) games when basketball doesn’t keep him away. While yesterday’s television coverage was a little over the top (let the man enjoy some privacy!), it was fun to see Van Gundy out looking like the rest of us think we would if we were the coach of the Heat and had a free evening.

I caught Huston Street’s debut for the A’s last night. Striking out Sammy Sosa to end an inning always makes for a nice way to register your first major league strike out.

Speaking of Sosa, I found this interesting: Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro are the first members of the 500 home run club to be teammates after they hit their 500th homer. Even more interesting is that Sammy hit his first home run as a Texas Ranger and his 500th as a Chicago Cub. Palmeiro, of course, did just the opposite – hitting his first with the Cubs and his 500th with the Rangers. Now both hope to hit their last with the Orioles.

Between the XM coverage and MLB Extra Innings package I’m starting to form some (surprise!) strong opinions on broadcasters around the league. As we get farther into the season I hope to provide some commentary on this.

Speaking of broadcasters, Bert Blyleven likely didn’t do any good for his Hall of Fame chances with his birthday shenanigans yesterday. I’m just playing, but “Circle-me” Bert looked a little funny with a kid’s birthday hat on his head and a colorful ley around his neck.

The Reds are fun to watch. Offensively their lineup includes Ken Griffey, Sean Casey, Austin Kearns, and Adam Dunn – in order. Wily Mo Pena’s on the bench. There’s a lot of potential for offense there, and the Reds pitching staff promises to provide much of the same – even if it’s in the wrong direction.

The Cardinals lineup promises to be equally fun to watch. Fortunately for Tony LaRussa, they have better pitching.

Does anyone recognize the Astros this season? Biggio and Bagwell we all know, but the rest of the guys seem to be fresh off the train from Round Rock.

The opening series between the Rangers and Angels has been fun even if you were only able to catch Alfonso Soriano and Vladimir Guerrero. If you’ve read this blog for very long you know that I’m a huge Vlad fan. Soriano is one of those guys who’s fun to watch too – and you have to respect the high pants.

Well, I think that covers about half of the games that I’ve watched in the past two days, but I’ll leave it at that because I’m probably scaring people by now…


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