Westside Culture is moving up in the world. The world of baseball blogging that is. From 28th up to 23rd (Ryne Sandberg style) and taking a shot at the Top 20 next month. To celebrate I’ve decided to give you, the fans of Westside Culture, an exclusive interview. (For those of you who may not know, I Kevin Rehberg, aka Westside Culture, do most of the interviews for Westside Culture, thus I will be interviewing myself. Or is it my alter ego? Either way.)
WestSide Culture: So, what’s it like being
the biggest bad ass on the planet ranked 23rd in MLB’s Fan Blogs??
Kevin Rehberg: You know, it’s a daily grind. Let me put it this way. Beat writers constantly talk about the daily grind for baseball players and having to get up for 162 games per year, even when you’re playing the Rockies and the Mariners. For me, I have to be ready 365 and always prepared. I’ve found shots of espresso and RedBull throughout the day do the trick.
Recently Ubaldo Jimenez threw at Troy Tulowitzki and was suspended 5 games, what are your thoughts?
Troy, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Ubaldo and Tulo had been yapping back and forth for weeks, Troy had to know in the back of his mind getting thrown at was a possibility. Get over it. It’s baseball. With that being said, a 5 game suspension for a starting pitcher means he misses one start. What Ubaldo did was bush league and warrants at least missing a couple of starts.
D’Backs take on the Giants tonight in Arizona. Predictions?
D’Backs win. Ian Kennedy owns the Giants, although any time your opposing pitcher is Tim Lincecum, you cannot guarantee a win. I’ll say 1-0 Arizona and Paul Goldschmidt’s solo HR off of Lincecum in the 4th is the only scoring.
Sorry to cut you short, but I’ve got shit to do. Do you mind if I post this as is and we can reschedule for later this evening to finish up the rest?
Do what you gotta’ do.
## update, interview continued
Well, you were wrong about the Giants v D’Backs game.
Yes, still I picked the correct winner and nailed the Paul Goldschmidt solo HR off of Tim Lincecum. So there.
Give me your 2012 World Series picks.
A please would be nice. An American League team will play a National League team.
Who is your favorite MLB Blogger, besides yourself?
Hmm… I’m really feeling Dallas Latos’ blog, I also like Diamond’s are a Girl’s Best Friend, and for obvious reasons, Down the Line with the Phillies Ball Girls. Although that blog is definitely not West Coast. Shame on them.
The second game in the final stretch of Kevin’s Cactus League Road Trip 2012, featured the Arizona Diamondbacks versus the Chicago Cubs. The game was at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, which is home to both the D’Backs and Rockies. I’ll give you the highlights of said game and then some photos.
1st inning: J-Up, Justin Upton, doubles. Miguel Montero hits the world’s longest single, scoring Upton. (1-0 D’Backs)
3rd inning: J-Up doubles again, scoring Aaron Hill. (2-0 D’Backs)
4th inning: Paul “Gold-Finger” Goldschmidt homers deep to center field. I estimate about a 440 solo shot. (3-0 D’Backs)
7th inning: Ian Stewart doubles, scoring Blake DeWitt. (3-1 D’Backs)
8th inning: Micah Gibbs singles, DeVoss scores. (3-2 D’Backs) <—- no idea who they are
9th inning: D’Backs closer J.J. Putz shuts the door on the Cubbies retiring two players with the best names of the day, Dave (not Chappelle) Sappelt and Blake Lalli-pop.
Witnessed: Ian Kennedy mowing down Cubs hitters left and right. 7IP, 4K, 1ER. Ian Stewart throwing his mac down on a couple of shorties pre-game.
Not witnessed: Anthony Rizzo, Jed Hoyer, Theo Epstein. Grrr. Stupid split squads.
Day 1. 4 games in 5 days. The final stretch of my 2012 Cactus League experience. Offense still rules. 7-6. Final. Rockies over Giants. 33 hits. 3 Home Runs. 2 runners picked off. And a Troy Tulowitzki mo-hawk.
In the first inning, Tulo steps up to bat. 2 out, runner on first. #99 pitching for the G-Men. I leaned over to my group and said, “Who is #99?” followed up with, “#99 wants no part of Tulo here.” Sure enough 99 used his best pick off move to get the runner at 1st. End of inning. Tulo left standing flabbergasted at the dish.
Fast forward to the second inning. Tulo leading off. 1st pitch from #99, Tulo launched way over the trees in left, out of Scottsdale Stadium, landing somewhere near the library. “Told you he wanted no part of him.”
Two of the best stories from the Cactus League, Buster Posey and Juan Nicasio, both played very well Saturday. The Buster Posey experiment continues as the Giants try ‘ol Busta Bust at various positions besides catcher. He played 1st base today and looked smooth as butter doing it, adding two hits and 2RBI. The Giants can afford to take some chances with Posey, because, this just in:
San Francisco has found themselves another catcher. Hector Sanchez can flat out hit. Home run today and a double, 2 RBI. 4 HRs in Spring ball.
Nicasio who is coming back after missing much of last year with a broken neck and taking a line drive to the face, pitched very well. 6 innings, 3R, 6K’s, good life on his pitches.
#5pm update… I’ll be back with more thoughts from today’s game. Beer + sun + peanuts = dehydration. Need water. Cactus League in desert.
And we’re back…. nicknames section…. the Milk Man had another 2 hits today… Brett “Jagged Little” Pill added 2 hits off the bench… Guillermo “Fumar La” Mota baked up a scoreless inning in relief…. Gregor “Mr White” Blanco continues his torrid Spring with a 2/5 HR kind of day…. Kung Fu Panda kicked himself into an 0/4.
It’s the NL West where anything can, and usually does happen. For example: everyone thought Arizona would finish at the bottom of the division last season. The previous year people picked San Diego to finish last and they nearly won the division. That year, many had the Giants near the bottom of the NL West and they won the World Series. It just goes to show you how wide open the NL West is.
I could make a strong case for any team to win the NL West, except the Rockies. Their pitching, with a few miracles could be good, but everything would need to go their way. Jhoulys Chacin is a stud and should lead the staff. Drew Pomeranz will be a legit ace in the majors, but he’s still very young. After that, it’s a grab bag.
Their next best pitcher, Jorge De La Rosa, is recovering from Tommy John surgery. Following him is Juan Nicasio, who broke his neck last season after being hit in the head from a line drive. Alex White was supposed to be the real deal, but his ERA of 7.01 last season raises questions. Recently acquired Jamie Moyer will be turning 50.
In the line-up, yes there is Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. Jason Giambi is 110 years old. Todd Helton is 108 years old. Casey Blake is the same age as Helton. The next youngest person in their infield is Marco Scutaro, which at 36 is a baby on this roster.
I do like their top prospect, third baseman Nolan Arenado, who was the MVP of the Arizona Fall League this off-season. He is rated as the 22nd overall prospect in MLB and should make the big league club. Let’s face it, he has to be better than a 108 year old Casey Blake, right?
Originally, I picked Colorado to finish 4th in the NL West, but after seeing the team Josh Byrnes is building in San Diego, I am putting the Rockies dead last. Sorry, Rockies fans.
There is something about Colorado where they always seem to hang around, but this year I just don’t see it. Get out your favorite tumbler, some booze and drink it on the Rox. It’s gonna be a long season.
Fearless prediction: 71-91. Last in NL West.
Up next in our Spring Training Preview is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.