Friday, February 19, 2010

A Millionaire and a Dillionaire

A Millionaire and a Dillionaire

The Big Ray himself was out at the Park Almost Called Mosaic this morning for the beginning of Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers reported this morning and it appears the Big Ray was giving a pep talk to the boys. There are a lot of expectations for this squad.  The Big Ray has approved quite a payroll to start the season.

The best part about today is that it finally seems as winter is over. I know we don't have it that bad in Florida, but it'll be nice when we can stop complaining about the chill and start complaining about the heat. 

As for the team, we usually don't learn much the first few days.  Rafael Soriano had to cut his workout short because of a cold.  J.P. Howell was sporting a new look for 2010 with a longer haircut and a full on beard.

The one thing that still bothers me about the starting pitching staff is the lack of a "veteran" presence. Joe Maddon said yesterday that this group will have an interesting dynamic because of their age. James Shields is the "gray beard" at the ripe old age of 28.  The good news is that Shields, Matt Garza, and David Price all have playoff pitching experience.  They've also had a full off-season to get ready for this year. I'm interested in seeing which of these pitchers steps up as the leader this year.

The team does seam to know the importance of starting out strong this year.  Howell said, "We learned the hard way last year that it starts in April and we thought we could catch up and it was false, and now we know. It was a good lesson to learn."

We'll know real quickly if that lesson sunk in.

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