The Squeeze Play: Random Thoughts from Spring Training


The view is better from the berm.

The sports world is providing me with no uniform ideas, and I don’t know anything about “Lost.” Here are some rambling, unrelated  thoughts about the past few days of spring training.

Who said Ted Williams pulled off some amazing feat when he registered a .406 batting average in 1941? Three weeks into spring training, .400 batting averages are being passed out like Plan B pills on the John Edwards campaign trail. Mike Cameron, Joe Mauer and Buck Commander Chipper Jones, are among those with averages above the frozen line. Unfortunately for them, their early successes are coming during a period of time that is about as meaningful as a Brett Favre retirement.

Spring training can occasionally catch one off guard when they forget about offseason deals and then are confronted by them while watching a game. This happened to me on Tuesday when Billy Wagner took the mound for Robbie Hilson’s beloved Fighting Lil’ Jons in their game against the Mets. I had totally forgotten that Wagner signed a deal with the Braves in December.

One of Wagner’s more memorable moments during his time with the Mets was his postgame tirade suggesting that the surplus of Spanish-speaking players were dividing the clubhouse. It’s about time the Braves found a good closer to carry on the old #49 legacy.

Right on, Billy Wagner.

The Philadelphia Phillies beat MY Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Tuesday in a “friendly” rematch of the 2008 World Series. For the Phillies, this was the second day in a row that they participated in a meaningless World Series rematch. On Monday, they played the New York Yankees, their opponent in the 2009 Fall Classic.

Ryan Howard hit two home runs in Tuesday’s game. Albert Pujols hit none. His team also did not play Tuesday. Vindication Buster Olney, sweet freaking vindication.

Anybody who watches MLB Network knows what it’s like to be constantly loaded down with the “MLB 2K10” commercials that feature Evan Longoria. The theme behind those commercials is “How to Keep Longo from Going Longo.” It appears that the Phillies discovered the secret that the commercial is searching for. Just pray for doubles.

Man, Man, Man

ESPN began their annual TV coverage of spring training games on Monday. That’s right, if you love spring training but don’t enjoy beautiful days outside in Florida or Arizona, this is perfect for you. Sorry honey, sunscreen and a berm ticket cost $17, and times are tough. Now hand me the remote, woman.

I personally love how TV personalities treat any city in Florida as an exotic paradise when they come down here for these telecasts. We’re in FLORIDA! It must be necessary to wear the cheesiest looking Hawaiian shirt that I can find, or unbutton my super cool ESPN polo all the way! I mean we are in FLORIDA and this is how all of these people dress, right?

No, you’re in Lakeland, not Oahu. And you look like a jackass.

Stolen from John Kruk's hotel room.

On a side note, by the time you are reading this, it will be Wednesday, and the official announcement of who will get the Rays job as a fifth starter will likely be announced. I am still clinging to some form of blind faith that Wade Davis will not make a fool out of me in my personal competition that I have pitted him in against Jason Heyward. You better make the roster, Davis, my already non-existent credibility relies upon it.

Happy spring training…from Gainesville.



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2 responses to “The Squeeze Play: Random Thoughts from Spring Training

  1. Den

    Will the Yanks repeat??

    The Tank Method

  2. For the sake of your livelihood, I hope you don’t run into John Rocker tonight. Also, I have never dawned a goofy-ass Tommy Bahama shirt, or as the folks over at ESPN like to call it, “pulled a Sutcliffe.”

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