The Week That Was in Baseball: March 24-30, 2008
Opening Day for the Graveyard Shift • Who's Readyand Not Readyfor 2008
What's Jose Canseco Babbling About Now? • It's a Big, Big, Big, Big Crowd in L.A.
Baseball's Late, Late Show
City of 115,000 Angels
More Partisan Cheese
The Chemist's Girlfriend Has Ears
No Spokesman of Ours
Demoted to Wisteria Lane
Bend it Like Livan
Wounded of the Week
Now Playing: This Great Game Predicts 2008
In honor of the Chicago Cubs' 100th anniversary of their last World Series title, This Great Game is counting down the 40 years between 1909 and 2007 in which the Cubs came nearest to winning another. Our Tragical History Tour of Wrigleyville continues this week with:
31. 1968 84 Wins, 78 Losses
Spring Trained? Who's Ready and Not for 2008
Ready: Josh Hamilton, Texas. Many thought the Rangers would be taking a big chance on a very talented player with a very troubled past. But if Hamilton’s .435 average and 13 extra-base hits (with three homers) in Arizona is any indication, Texas will get a big payoff in the regular season.
Not Ready: Khalil Greene, San Diego. The Padres are thin on hitting as it is, they don’t need Greene, one of their better hitters, to perform as he did in the spring (.190 average, 16 strikeouts in 42 at-bats).
Ready: Albert Pujols, St. Louis. If Pujols’ elbow is so bad that he’s considering major surgery, then it boggles the mind to think how good he can be if he was 100% healthy. Pujols batted .407 with five homers and 18 RBIs in camp.
Not Ready: Frank Thomas, Toronto. Has age finally crept up to the 40-year old Big Hurt, or has he simply learned when to turn it on when the games count? Hopefully the latter for Blue Jay fans, who watched him hit .156 with a home run and one RBI in 15 spring games.
Ready: Scott Podsednik, Colorado. Given up on by the White Sox, the 32-year old outfielder batted .319 with ten steals for the Rockies in Arizona, earning his way onto the Colorado roster.
Not Ready: Joe Crede, Chicago White Sox. Perhaps the White Sox let go of the wrong guy. Crede hit just .172 and capped his awful spring by bruising his knee. The White Sox are rumored to be using Crede as trade bait, but no fish is going to bite at numbers like those.
Ready: Brian Anderson, Chicago White Sox. The 26-year old outfielder has a career batting mark of .216, but after hitting .324 with four homers this spring, he looks good to raise that average up a bit.
Not Ready: Brian Anderson, Tampa Bay. That other Brian Anderson, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2005 because of two Tommy John surgeries, tried to make a comeback in Tampa Bay. Instead he got hurt again and is now facing Tommy John for a third time. So he quit instead.
Ready: Jake Westbrook, Cleveland. A fragile, forgotten man of sorts in an otherwise superb Indian rotation last year, Westbrook is looking to be noticed anew after pitching 18 scoreless innings in camp.
Not Ready: Erik Bedard, Seattle. He’s the guy who’s supposed to put Seattle over the top. Instead nine opposing hitters sent his noted fastball over the fence, leading to an exhibition ERA of 8.63.
Ready: Jared Weaver, Los Angeles of Anaheim. While the Angel staff falls apart to injury, there is one good thing going in Anaheim with Weaver, who won five spring games and put together a 1.37 ERA.
Not Ready: San Francisco Giant pitchers. The Giant staffanchored by a respected starting rotationis supposed to be the saving grace for an otherwise decrepit ballclub. But it authored an ERA well over 6.00 thanks to Noah Lowry’s wildness and Barry Zito’s inability to pitch worth $126, let alone $126 million.
Don't Print Those World Series Tix Yet, Floridians
Running in Super Slo-Mo
The Comebacker’s Greatest Hits
Next Week: The Comebacker at Full Strength