Today started off with drafting Conor’s fantasy team in the ProBallNW roto draft. I have no idea what a roto draft is, but I participated anyway. I think I did OK, though my last relief pitcher choice, Brad Ziegler, was swiped out from under me at the very last minute by Mike from East Coast Mariner. Curses to you, good sir! The draft was an 18-team draft, and it was a lot of fun, picking out players that will be used by someone during this year, even if it did take two hours to complete – and waiting 24 turns and seeing the guys you want snagged away is kind of a bummer, but I’ll live. My triumphs were Tim Lincecum and Nick Markakis, and I tossed in Darren O’Day just for kicks.
I’ve got company over today, so in an effort to be a little less than rude with keeping track of absolutely everything, some observations on today’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks…
- Eric Byrnes made an absolutely stunning, Franklin-Gutierrez-worthy diving catch in left field in the first inning, with the ball peeling away from him on the wind. He looked really happy with himself, and got a huge reaction from the crowd (I’m guessing there may have been some DBacks fans who were applauding him, too). He just looked really delighted to be playing baseball, and that amount of joy was nice to see.
- Franklin Gutierrez took Dan Haren yard in his first at-bat. I have nothing more to add to that statement, it speaks for itself. Adding to this little pile of awesome is the fact that Ryan Langerhans did the same thing in his first at-bat.
- Felix looked amazing through 5 innings, giving up only two hits and no runs. I’m glad he’s on our side. David Aardsma, however, is getting really scary to me now. If his Spring Training performance continues into the season, I have to think that he’s going to have to be replaced as closer. He managed to get out of the 6th inning without allowing any runs, but it was a slower inning for him. Either he’s going to lose his job, or we’ll be having some very interesting end-of-game moments this year. I foresee a lot of sitting on the edge of the metal.
- Shawn Kelley had a very successful outing today for two innings. While he was being interviewed in the dugout by Angie Mentink, John Wetteland walked up to the two of them, rested an arm on Kelley’s shoulder and gently petted the side of his head for a few moments. Kelley didn’t flinch. This pleases me greatly.Kanekoa Texeira had some control problems with his first two pitches in the 9th inning, hitting his first batter in the shoulder with a wild pitch. No words were exchanged, no benches cleared. I’m eagerly waiting to hear the terms of Texeira’s suspension (yes, that is sarcasm). I have also made up my mind – I want Tex on the team. If only so I have someone to refer to as “Tex” that is not a Yankee. I also want Matt Tuiasosopo on the team. I don’t think I can hold back the Tui love anymore. I don’t know what any of this would mean for our bench or other position players, but I’m sold.
More information and a little analysis about the Cliff Lee situation and what it could mean for us. I’m not ready to panic yet, and will probably remain in denial for a long time, at least until I can’t anymore. Hopefully none of that will be necessary. The offseason has been too good to us to give up hope just yet, and since I have no wish to return to 2008 form. I think I’ll just keep my fingers crossed and hope that Lee heals as fast as possible. Have a great Saturday, everyone!