Monday, February 16, 2009

Contreras and Jenks in the Headlines

Here’s something you never thought you’d hear on the first day of Spring Training: Jose Contreras lost something like 30 lbs (I’ve heard 25, I’ve heard around 40. Guess we’ll see.) in the offseason! I haven't seen the video or any pictures yes, but I'm looking forward to it! Not just that, but he and Ozzie are optimistically [getting ready for a start as soon as May!] Wouldn’t that be something?

Although Jose hasn’t had an ERA below 4.00 (an occurrence that has happened but twice in his career) since 2005 (a career high in innings pitched that has been on the decline ever since), and last year, he acted his age more than ever before- that is, if the rumors are true, and he really is 57, rather than 37, that definitely takes the pressure off (or at least makes it significantly lighter) Ozzie to find a 5th starter among the unseasoned youth on the farm.

At least he’s shown to be eager to get back. The fact that he got into better shape and that he’s saying to pitch now is a sign of good things. Remember his last game? He had earned no hits until his injury suddenly set him back and D.J. Carrasco had to be brought back, if I’m not mistaken. There are hopefully still another 200 good inning left in him to last us the ’09 season.

While Contreras is looking forward to pitching again, [Mark Buehrle can’t wait to retire.] A family-oriented guy, he feels he may not return to the mound for much longer after 2011. You can read the article yourself, but there isn’t much to it other than the basic facts.

And then, there’s Bobby Jenks, who –once again- comes out smelling like roses. Bobby was mentioned in [“Odd Man Out,”] Matt McCarthy’s memoirs of his time in baseball. Well, the excerpt certainly doesn't make Bobby seem like most upstanding guy. He's accused of faking back problems to avoid workouts, the alcohol, and the history of violence. It’s even worded so that it makes it seem like his marriage is a bad thing. I can't blame Jenks for not wanting to be associated with those claims. And I think it'll be real easy for him to win his case because the entire "article" seems like a work of fiction; I wouldn't have a hard time believing McCarthy rounded some corners to make the story flow smoothly. [Bobby’s retaliation was], as usual, everything Carlos Quentin and Joe Crede aren’t: outspoken and stingy on eloquence. Whether or not he actually did make things up is none of my business. It doesn't affect what Jenks has done on the field and his integral role with the Sox.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pitchers and Catchers Report!

Finally, a sign that baseball is coming back to life! And to celebrate, the Pale Hose 9 is back and moving with full speed ahead! All aboard Ozzie’s Crazy-Train.

Aside from that good news, not even coverage of SoxFest is news-worthy.

In case you missed it, everyone is excited about Josh Fields, Dayan Viciedo hit some balls in batting practice, new numbers have been handed out, Dewayne Wise thinks he probably won’t win a starting position, and we signed Ben Boussard. ALL THAT, and they had time to write about 12 articles on the new Spring Training facility.

But, things aren’t as boring as they seem. Pitchers and catchers reporting means more than the return of Buehrle-Floyd-Danks. It is the beginning of an intriguing competition between Colon (I know he’s technically supposed to be the 4th starter, but I’m not 100% sold on the idea yet), Marquez, Richard (Although, I still think he’s going to ultimately be in the ‘pen), and, I suppose, Broadway, and Poreda for spots in the end of the rotation.