I can't get overly worked up about Spring Training...especially compared with: 1) my youth basketball coaching, 2) March Madness, and 3) a vacation in the Bahamas. It's not that I don't care about Drew Sutton or Nate Spears, but really. Still, there's a time to spout off.
Buck Showalter. First, Showalter has been a pretty effective manager over the years, with a pair of AL Manager of the Year awards under his belt. Showalter has a rep as a "tough guy", in the cycle of 'player's manager' and authoritarian, also known as 'task-oriented' versus "relationship-oriented". He felt it necessary to diss Derek Jeter (so what?) and Theo Epstein, hinting that being a GM with tons of money is easier than being a GM of a financially challenged franchise. Hey Buck, with the Yankees, your managerial record was .539, and your career managerial record is .517. Did you turn down expensive players when you managed the Bombers?
Daisuke Matsuzaka. No matter what we might think of Matsuzaka as a pitcher regarding consistency, his 1 million dollar donation to Japanese relief says a lot about Matsuzaka the man. Sox fans ought to think about sending something their way as well...
Josh Beckett. Beckett came in good shape and hasn't gotten very good results so far. As I mentioned earlier I'm not that excited about Spring Training. So I'll give Beckett the benefit of the doubt.
Jonathan Papelbon. See Beckett.
LOOGY. Lefty one-out guy. Looks like Dennys Reyes has made almost 9 million dollars playing professional baseball, which is way more than I'll make as a career physician. I guess the argument Babe Ruth made when comparing his salary to the President's, "what kind of year did he have?"
Tim Wakefield. This is a tough call, the sentimental favorite, good soldier, who has the capacity to contribute occasionally, but who is slowed by age and some health issues. Wakefield has also been a great communit guy. Some pitchers, to borrow a Warren Buffett phrase about Mickey Mouse, are like oil wells, where you get to pump the oil out, and the next day, it's back in the well ready to be pumped out again. At this point, you pump a lot, and most of the time, there's not so much oil...as in 'dry well'. Maybe it's the Mo Vaughn "it's not about the money" thing. Is Wakefield better than Okajima at this point, or Albers, or Aceves? Somehow, it just feels like Wakefield's time has passed. Just saying.
Net worth. So the Red Sox are worth 900 Million dollars now, or at least that's what I heard somewhere. And all this time, I was thinking that John Henry was worrying about where his next meal was coming from. Really, I mean, who's watching the Polk County Championship deciding game tonight, besides me? Don and Jerry have totally degenerated into "Inane Banter", while Dan Wheeler gets beaten up more than a rented mule.
Scutaro versus Lowrie. "It's not about the money." Says who?
Salty Peppering. Well, once again there's that "it's only Spring Training" thingy. Saltalamacchia has thrown the ball no worse than recent incumbents, and looks like he's got a reasonable stick. Maybe the curse of unlimited potential won't devalue him after all.
Favorite player. I can't help myself from finding Darnell McDonald the guy I root hard for. And with the Sox expecting to see a heavy diet of LHP, Mac may get more at bats than you think.
All that being said, the Notre Dame women looked pretty strong today as they manhandled Oklahoma. And how many coaches go from High School to coaching a powerhouse D1 school? That's what the OU coach Sherri Coale did. March Madness, women's division.