I swing as hard as I can, and I try to swing right through the ball. In boxing, your fist usually stops when you hit a man, but its possible to hit so hard that your fist doesn’t stop. I try to follow through in the same way. The harder you grip the bat, the more you can swing it through the ball, and the farther the ball will go. I swing big, with everything I’ve got. I hit big or I miss big. I like to live as big as I can.
I watched my first baseball game of the year today. A game between the Yankees and the Phillies in Tampa at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees started the game with Bartolo Colon on the mound, trying to make a comeback in the majors after missing nearly 2 years due, as I recall, to a variety of injuries, including a major shoulder injury. He pitched well. He’s got a few pounds to lose, and he’s not exactly the Bartolo Colon of old, but he was good out there. After starting out a bit slow, he was hitting the gun with the fastball in the mid 90’s, and he was locating his pitches well.
(Almost) The entire Yankee 2011 starting offense played today. The one missing piece was Russell Martin, who is still out with an injury, he’s due back next week. Jorge Posada saw exactly one pitch, which he popped up. Since he was the DH, that was the end of his day. Gazoo … err … Franscisco Cervelli was good out there at the plate. He did yeoman’s work calling the game, and hit a run scoring double that plated Robby Cano (that’s what I recall anyway). Yankee prospect Jorge Vazquez absolutely crushed a shot deep to centerfield for the first home run of the exhibition season. Over the batter’s eye, easily a 450 foot shot.
Nice way to start the season, kid.
The Yankees lost the game 5-4 though, as a kid named Eric Wordekemper gave up a couple of laser shots to some good players out there, and it cost the Yankees 2 runs in the top of the 8th inning, after they had just clawed back to grab a one run lead in the bottom of the seventh. Most of the other pitchers out there for the Yankees were pretty damn good. Joba was damn good out there, as was Dave Robertson, and the kid Hector Noesi had a good inning out there as well.
It was a fun game, just because it was the first game of the year. It was great to watch live baseball again.
There was a fantasy draft today. My wife and I both participated. We had two separate teams in an 8 team draft, Had fun doing it.
My wife drafted second, and went against convention and drafted Mark Teixeira. She may well have been able to get him in the second round, but she got Felix Hernandez in the second round, and I tell you this, the Mix of King Felix, and Tex in the first two rounds is pretty good.
Of course I think I did better with my first two pick. I drafted 4th, and got Carlos Gonzalez in the first round, and then landed Roy Halladay in the second round.
She asked my advice on a few picks, in general. I told her she should grab an outfielder in the fourth round, after getting the two aforementioned picks and Cliff Lee. She got Matt Holliday in the 4th round, I think that’s a decent pickup in that spot.
Not a lot out of the ordinary happened in this draft. I was happy to catch Adrian Gonzalez, the new Red Sox First baseman, at the 20th spot. He usually goes first round. There is the minor issue with him just coming back from shoulder surgery, but that doesn’t mean his numbers are going to drop, playing in that bandbox in beantown, even if he loses something because of his surgery, the size of Fenway, in comparison to the size of Petco Park, or whatever the name of that damn stadium in San Diego is this week, should play in his favor. And I don’t see his shoulder being an issue.
I took a flyer on Grady Sizemore on my last pick of the draft, 164th. I was surprised he fell that far, he is coming back from injury, but when Sizemore is on, he has one of the best bats in the league. And so far this year, he is going 40 picks earlier than that, so why not? And the pick before that I got Hideki Matsui cheap. The man still has it, and is good for 20 -25 Homers and 90 RBI’s, and that kind of production out of a 20th round pick, even in an 8 team draft, is nothing to sneeze at.
My wife made some other solid picks as well. She went out on a limb for a few players, getting the kid, the new closer from Atlanta, Kimbrel in the 13th round . If he give a performance like the one he gave towards the end of last year, she got an absolute steal in that spot. Juan Pierre fell all the way down in this draft, despite leading the league in stolen bases last year, and she got him with the 162nd pick in the draft. Nice. And she has 2/3rds of the starting outfield for the Detroit Tigers. Austin Jackson should have a monster year, run production wise, he’s got speed to burn, and a healthy Magglio Ordonez should be good for 25 homers and 100 RBI’s in that lineup.
You’d think she likes the Tigers hearing that. Not really. She’s a big Yankee fan, and has 4 starters from the offense on her team. Russell Martin, Tex, Derek, and Nick Swisher. Like I said, she’s got a good team.
Had a fun baseball day today, America. I’ll write to you tomorrow.