SMALL BALL: QUICK UPDATES FOR 4/4/13

The transition from spring games that don’t matter to regular season games that count in the standings is always a real eye-opener. No matter how closely you try to watch what is going on in Arizona and Florida, once the games start for real and everybody’s Number 1 is going against everybody else’s Number 1, it just takes on a whole new life. So far I’ve made it to Opening Day in Oakland, where the A’s were stymied by Felix Hernandez, and media day for the Visalia Rawhide, the Diamondbacks’ hiA affiliate. Next it’s back to Visalia to see Archie Bradley debut for the Rawhide on Friday and then I’m heading to Dodger Stadium on Saturday to see Clayton Kershaw battle @THECUTCH22 and the Pirates. That’s not a bad first week or so for 2013.

SITE NEWS AND UPDATES

  • The Archie Bradley interview is up and there are a couple more player interviews to be posted soon form the media day session in Visalia. The players were great with the assembled media and the Rawhide staff were fantastic in making it all happen.
  • The Watch List was updated this evening with Chris Owings and Aaron Judge being brought up to date. More to come with the other players on the list. I was thinking about discontinuing the watch on Manny Machado since he got called up and stayed up, but then again, he is off to a 2-for-14 start with the  Orioles….and he’s still just 20 years old. I think we’ll keep watching his progress.
  • DODGERS-GIANTS opening series….what do you make of that? I guess if we want to analyze the first three games of the season, we have a lot to talk about for both clubs. It’s just so hard for me to attach the proper value to these early games. You can say that Clayton Kershaw showed what he is made of and you can say the same for Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner. That Lincecum outing sure was interesting, though. Effectively wild? I can’t ever say that walking 7 batters over 5 innings is good, but the Dodgers didn’t get too many good swings on The Freak otherwise. I’ve got a lot of thoughts on the Giants along the lines of who Bruce Bochy is playing, where he is playing them and in what circumstances. I can probably just keep them to myself because I saw a lot of weird things and, as per usual, they all seemed to pay off with the Giants winning 2 of 3. There’s a future post there on Bochy, the puppet-master of MLB.
  • Almost as good as Opening Day in MLB is Opening Day in the minor leagues. There’s not much that compares to the pageantry on this special day in all the far-flung minor league parks that specialize in catering to the fan experience. It had to be a blast from coast to coast. The aforementioned Visalia Rawhide had their second-largest crowd in the club’s 67-year history tonight and minor-league attendance increased last year and has been over 41 million for the last 8 years. Play Ball!

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