On Opening Day, there's hope and promise and all kinds of other good things. Even for Pirates fans, if only for a little while. The first in a periodic series of diaries on following the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pete Gaines said something stupid on Twitter over the weekend, then spent the better part of the day being cyberbullied by a sure-thing first-ballot Hall of Famer and his online sycophants. This is his story.
It's Opening Day: a day to summon hope where possible and delusion where necessary, bust on Shane Victorino out of reflex, and try not to make eye contact with the Arizona Diamondbacks. A hugely digressive and mostly useless season preview, in dialogue form.
Team USA was bounced from the World Baseball Classic before the semifinals, again. But given the exuberance and joy of the teams that remain, this doesn't seem like a bad thing. National pride aside, a WBC without Team USA is a happier and more interesting place.
Spring Training baseball, in Arizona and in general, is a long way from the game fans are used to, for better and worse. But if Spring Training isn't quite like regular baseball, neither is it quite like anything else.
Deer antler spray included, there's never been a crazier example of animal-based performance enhancing than Hall of Fame pitcher Pud Galvin's experience with a magical elixir created by Charles Brown-Sequard. Let's just put it this way: whether or not it had monkey testerone is the least interesting part of the ingredient list.
There are reasons why baseball fans have been slow to warm up to the World Baseball Classic, but the baseball being played in these goofy, great games is not one of them. It's time we got over ourselves, and get into the WBC.
Getting loose, jogging through some desultory in-game outfield sprints, finding our arm slots and feeling raw terror at the prospect of a well-armed and irked Kirk "Ted Nugent Is A Friend" Gibson. Spring Training is a time for figuring things out.
Before the World Baseball Classic, slightly after the actual fall of the Soviet Union, and definitely on inexpensive Canadian locations, one baseball movie dared to ask: could David Mamet's favorite actor coach a ragtag bunch of Soviet athletes to semi-competence?
It seemed reasonable to expect a mess from FYI, the low-budget "vodcast" hosted by former Detroit Tigers misfits/miscreants Dmitri Young and Robert Fick. But while the show itself was kind of a mess, it was also oddly earnest and endearing. And that was before they started telling Matt Anderson stories.