Friday, February 16, 2007

Spring training is underway

This is what I get for bragging about the Florida weather & rubbing it in to my snow-bound Northern friends & family. Today is a blustery 50 degree day and the forecast is calling for 3-6 hours of freezing temps tonight. Lovely.

Hey I realize it's nothing compared to 100+ inch snowfalls and daytime sub-freezing temps of the North but for Florida it's bad enough. That's why I moved here, to escape that kind of crap.

Spring training is underway and the spotlight around Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is already in mid-season, white-hot form. From the minute-by-minute account of his arrival in Fort Myers to comments about his, shall we say, ample frame, the Diceman hath cometh into the world of Intense Media & Fan Scrutiny.

Dan Shaughnessy has already come out with a column railing against the gobs of attention being given to the Japanese phenom the Sox shelled out $103 million bucks to bring to MLB, but I'm sure if Dice-K starts out 8-2 with a 2.30 ERA and indeed throws 5 quality pitches he'll be sucking on his chopstick, too.

It's nice to see the guys down here, though, if for no other reason than to provide a break from the craziness that is the John Amaechi/Tim Hardaway nightmare, the Anna Nicole fiasco and tainted peanut butter.

It's only the first official day of pitchers & catchers reporting but there have already been a number of stories catching the attention of bloggers & news outlets everywhere:

-Keith Johnny Burger King Foulke selfishly denies Sox fans the right to watch him attempt to be a mentor for Fausto Blown Save Carmona

-Mediocre Philles hurler Jon Lieber has a huge overcompen-sation problem

- Kerry Wood has a slip-up on the road to resurrecting his career as a closer

-Barroid Bonds (credit sports aficionado Roger Lodge for that one) finally signs his $15.8 million deal, full of hidden clauses filed under "in case of accidental imprisonment"

-Willy Mo Pena avoids arbitration and signs a 1-year deal with the Sox, thus ensuring Red Sox nation of at least one more season of outfield follies and tape-measure homers

Those are a few of the stories from the first few days of camp. And with the NBA All Star weekend taking place in Las Vegas this weekend baseball will probably take a back seat until the next week, because you can bank on some major stories breaking out of Sin City over the next couple of days.

Be prepared.

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