Sunday, February 10, 2013

Spring Training

Pitchers and Catchers report to camp on Tuesday. Of course, some veterans have been working out at camp already. There was a good article in the NY Times this week about fans waiting at the Yankee's camp in Tampa - some lining up at 3am - for a Derek Jeter sighting and maybe - an autograph. So, as they say, hope springs eternal at Spring training camps. Every team is tied at 0-0. Every team has a shot at the playoffs, theoretically. We suspect some teams have a better shot than others. But there are always surprises like the Orioles of last season. There are unseen injuries like Jeter's postseason broken ankle. There are power outages in the superstars we thought we could depend on like A-Rod's production dropoff at the end of last year. There may be suspensions coming as the Miami PED story plays out. So, as they say, that's why we play the game. Are the Yankees finally too old? Jeter, Rivera, Texiera, A-Rod are all right around 40. But, other than A-Rod, who is out until at least the allstar break, they are in good shape. Who has helped themselves out in the offseason? Toronto picked up Dickey, the Angels got Hamilton, Altanta took the Upton brothers. Baltimore and Oakland did not do much but they may not have needed to. Seattle beefed up the middle of their line-up and secured King Felix for the longterm but the rest of their pitching staff is shaky. They may have been helped the most by the addition of Houston to the AL West. They will not finish last this year. Will Detroit contend again? Are the Royals ready to fulfill their potential? Will Washington with Strasburg pitching all year be in the World Series? Can the Red Sox come back from the Valentine fiasco?  Come Tuesday our questions will begin to be answered. We will be watching and waiting and cheering.