the boys at Baseball Analysts were kind enough to invite me to their nl central preseason scrum -- part of BA's "two on two" series of divisional previews. BA's rich lederer and bryan smith constitute one of the "twos," the cub reporter's john hill and i the other. three of us have the cardinals winning the division; the fourth picked the brewers. (it wasn't me, i swear.) head on over there and see the opinions fly.
re the new bonds allegations: we had a long steroids discussion on this blog not that long ago, so i'm not going to rant at length on the subject again. but i can't resist sharing this comment from a giants partisan at McCovey Chronicles:
From my personal end, I don't really care what Bonds put into his body then, and I don't care what he puts into it now. Morals be damned -- as long as he's playing for the San Francisco Giants I'll take every hit he gives the team with a big fucking smile on my face.
there are a whole range of perspectives
from sf fans in that thread, if you're interested.
back on march 2, before the cards' first spring-training game, ryan at cardinals diaspora said this about junior spivey:
I'm making Junior Spivey my preseason pick for 2006 whipping boy. This should not be confused with CardNilly's "Waste of Flesh" title given to different members of the 25-man active roster. Much more invective filled, the Whipping Boy stands to be ridden hard all season long, to the point where he is irrationally blamed for failures throughout the year. The Cardinals have done quite well with retreads like Spivey, and their success with second basemen really stands out. However, I think fans carry a lot of unjustified irrational exuberance in regards to what Spivey is capable of. I also think that, as I've said before, not every project is going to work out for the better.
a week into the grapefruit league schedule, spivey is making diaspora look pretty smart: he's 0 for 11 this spring. i normally wouldn't pay any mind to a hitless week in spring training, but one thing has got my attention: spivey has struck out in 6 of those 11 at-bats. makes you wonder if that bum shoulder of his has fully healed; during his injury-plagued 2005 spivey whiffed once in every three at-bats, far and away the highest ratio of his career. it is only a week, too soon -- as danup pointed out in a comment to a subsequent diaspora post
about spivey -- to label spivey a bust. but keep an eye on that strikeout rate.
i doubt it will come to this, but tony graffanino is surely available for cheap. from chris snow in the boston globe:
Checked the box scores on Kaz Matsui this spring? The Mets' second baseman fighting to keep his job is 0 for 12. Odd man out Tony Graffanino would make some sense for the Mets if he turns it on. Four games into the spring, Graffanino is 1 for 8. Playing third base yesterday, he was eaten up by a ball smoked right at him (properly ruled a hit) but later committed an error when he dropped a towering foul ball.
he's on a one-year, $2m deal; i tend to doubt we'll see him here. but there's another odd-2bman-out in boston's camp -- my crush object, willie harris
-- who's only on a $650K minor-league deal . . . .
in other, far more important bum-shoulder news, they say scott rolen looked good in his spring debut yesterday.