In Cactus League action today, the Brewers beat the Rangers 5-3. The big story however was Yu Darvish facing Ryan Braun.
Darvish dazzled in 4 scoreless innings, striking out 4. He did walk 3 however and his last two starts has had difficulty controlling his pitches. Braun was 0/2 against Yu, and finished the day 0/2 with a walk.
To say Ryan Braun is struggling this Spring would be an understatement. He couldn’t even get himself up for an appearance against the second biggest story in the Cactus League (Braun himself was #1). Braun is now batting .059 in Spring Training. Guess that’s what happens when your testosterone goes back to normal levels. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
Got my first look at Baby Japanese Jesus today, although it was via live streaming video. I wish I was there in person. Would have been fun to see.
Anyway, I watched the first inning versus the San Diego Padres. Yu struck out Cameron Maybin looking on a nasty curveball. He also fanned Carlos Quentin on a slider that CQ missed by a foot.
Darvish 1 – MLB 0.
Another development in the Cactus League… this is starting to become a circus. Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson in Angels camp, Yoenis Cespedes an A, Manny being Manny, Matt Kemp being Matt Kemp, Josh Hamilton aka The Relapse, If the Yu Fits Darvish, and now Brewergate.
Something in Milwaukee stinks, and it ain’t the cheddar. No, Prince Fielder has not suddenly shown up at Brewers camp, but Ryan Braun has. And yes he brought baggage. After all, he now has to pack for an extra 50 games this year. Congratulations, Ryan. Let’s show him what he’s won. A court case appeal on a technicality a full 162 game season. Yeah!
I’m honestly not hating on the guy. I could care less if he cheated. I just think it’s funny and all very convenient.
Let’s recap. The National League MVP tests positive for a elevated testosterone, which was 30x higher than normal. He plays for the team which is owned in part by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Suddenly his urine sample is carried home overnight by some random employee before being shipped to Montreal. Really? Montreal? MLB hasn’t had a team there for 8 years, but they do their drug testing there? That ish cray.
I am excited about both the NL West and AL West this season. Additions like Albert Pujols, Yoenis Cespedes, Manny Ramirez, Melky Cabrera, Carlos Quentin, Yu Darvish and many others, brings an increased focus to West Coast baseball. Plus there are some incredible prospects in both these divisions. Guys like Yonder Alonso (Padres), Jesus Montero (Mariners), Mike Trout (Angels), Jarrod Parker (A’s), Michael Choice (A’s), Jurickson Profar (Rangers), Trevor Bauer (D’Backs), Tyler Skaggs (D’Backs) and Nolan Arenado (Rockies) are all future big league All-Stars.
There is no doubt the top two teams in the AL West, Rangers and Angels, are going to dominate the headlines, but don’t count out the Oakland A’s. They have made some very interesting moves this off-season and refuse to just give up. While I don’t think they can win the division, I do think they will finish above .500, leaving the Mariners destined for last.
The NL West, like just about every year, is just going to beat up on each other, until one team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, pulls away from the pack. The Giants, Dodgers, Padres and Rockies have each improved, but I still believe AZ has the best team.
The East Coast seems to get 99% of the baseball coverage, with the Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Braves and Rays leading the way. That’s fine. I understand how major markets and advertising dollars work (I majored in Marketing). I have however, started to see a shift this year. It appears as though MLB.com, ESPN.com, Yahoo, etc have taken notice that there is some seriously good baseball about to be played on the West Coast. I’m seeing a lot of Angels, A’s, Rockies, Rangers, D’Backs, Dodgers and Giants headlines leading the homepages of the previously mentioned sites.
About time. Last time the West Coast got this much love, NWA ran the streets of Los Angeles. Now, it’s the Angels. Although technically they are in Anaheim.