Ladies and gentlemen, baseball is finally upon us. While the dormant offense yesterday wasn't very encouraging, I'm still excited for this season. Plus, Josh Willingham getting that first home run out of the way likely will aid our fellow Twins fans in getting over the loss of Michael Cuddyer.
Today is a jam-packed Breakfast and Baseball post, so I hope you don't have anywhere to go in the early hours of the day.
- Let's get our depressing news out of the way first. The new Miami Marlins stadium looks awful. Just absolutely awful. In my latest blog post (that link above), I said it feels like Jeffrey Loria brought back "Turn Ahead The Clock," and it's just as awful as it was over a decade ago. Also, this appearance by Muhammed Ali didn't make things any better. I didn't even watch that live, but the video from Deadspin just makes me feel miserable. Ali doesn't even seem aware of his surroundings, while Loria has that stupid grin on his face with his arm around Ali. Do they acknowledge one of the greatest boxers in history, or do they call for the team doctor?
- Don't worry, Deadspin will cheer you right back up. Somehow, ESPN managed to catch Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal with his pants down. Don't worry, this isn't a Visanthe Shiancoe/locker room-type situation, as Furcal at least had his sliding shorts still on. Moral of the story: The tunnel between the dugout and clubhouse, like the area around first base, is not a safe place to fix your drawers.
- Sorry, last Deadspin link. They've been doing a scouting report of sorts on all major league umpires, and I've found it to be absolutely fascinating. Plus, they've included a .gif for each ump, showing his particular Strike 3 call (Hey, a strikeout looking for Scott Diamond!). Like the wild variations of batting stances and pitching windups, I'm a sucker for these types of things. One complaint I do have is each umpire's supposed K/9 and BB/9 rates. Every ump profiled thus far has had a K/9 over 10 and a BB/9 over 5, which seems absurdly high in both cases. If there's one thing to take a grain of salt over, it's this.
- Is this racism in its finest? Torii Hunter caused some cops to pull out their guns when Hunter accidentally set off the burglar alarm at his house, and the officers didn't believe that Hunter was the actual homeowner. He had to march upstairs at "gunpoint" to get his ID to prove that he was indeed Torii Hunter. I have the quotation marks there, because Hunter later clarified that the cops' guns were pointed downward, as in a "precautionary, but we still don't fully trust you" sort of way. Hunter later said that the police were just doing their job, and he was not upset over the matter, so chill out, folks. According to Hunter, there was no racism here. However, we should keep an eye on this. Knowing his track record, Hunter will be claiming in no time that SWAT teams forced their way into his house and tortured him until he spilled our country's nuclear launch codes.
- Add one to the "Weirdest injuries of all-time" list when Rockies pitcher Josh Outman suffered an oblique injury from vomiting. Definitely in the same vein as when Sammy Sosa hurt his back sneezing, (or in my case, having back spasms from trying to pick up a <10 lb. bag) but Outman's is the more ridiculous one. There's even a kicker, as the vomiting was induced by a bad plate of Denny's food. Upon learning this, people just could not stop themselves from making this joke (punchline from Craig Calcaterra, pic from myself). If you're unsure of what's going on here, I recommend this.
- Finally, if you remember from a while back, FanGraphs was crowdsourcing the TV broadcast teams from around Major League Baseball. The Twins ended up in the top half of the 31 teams (Dodgers have two), must to my surprise. Well, this time around, FanGraphs is doing the radio teams, and coincidentally the Twins came up yesterday. You may first believe they are asking us to rate newbie Cory Provus already, but they're actually asking for us to share our thoughts on recently retired play-by-play man John Gordon, along with Dan Gladden. My take was that I loved Gordon's voice, but his absentmindedness became a problem. Gladden is just a hindrance. Head on over and tell Carson Cistulli what you think of these two men.
Congratulations, everyone. We made it through the "cold" winter and baseball is finally back in session. Catch me later on today as we see if the Twins can notch their first victory of 2012. By the way, if you have some suggestions of what you'd like to see from me for these Breakfast and Baseball posts, feel free to leave your opinion down in the comments suggestion. Just be a little gentler than this person, please.