Opening Day Thoughts from Around the AL and Sox

Opening Day

Opening Day is upon us. The long, long winter is fading away in the rear view mirror, and around all of baseball hope springs as eternal as the spring flowers. Opening Day—an unofficial day off from school all over New England. Here are some random thoughts from around the Sox and the American League for you.

  • The Sox and Jon Lester have been ‘talking contract’ for about a month now until they announced a “pause” today. (The Sox’ idea.) Since they started talks, the Tigers have signed Miggy Cabrera to a monstrous 10 year $300M deal and the Angels just inked Mike Trout to a 6 year, $140M contract. Note to Sox: Get this done. The prices are getting silly. Bend now rather than break later.
  • Nobody knows how the Grady Sizemore thing will work out, but when he broke in he was Mike Trout before there was a Mike Trout.
  • I really like the Royals this year. They shouldn’t threaten the Tigers, but the playoffs are possible.
  • On the other hand, I think the Rangers are in for a tumble with injured starters and losing Jurickson Profar for 10-12 weeks.
  • Why do I have this feeling that Bryce Brentz is going to be up in Fenway this year and will have an impact?
  • And by the way, the Paw Sox are going to be absolutely loaded this year. Well worth the trip down Route 95.
  • Quick…name the Yankees’ backup shortstop behind Mr. Jeter. If you said Yangervis Solarte you win!
  • Two break through, “where the heck did that come from,” AL players to watch this year: Dustin Ackley of the Mariners and Mike “Moose” Moustakas of the Royals.
  • Shane Victorino tweaked his hammy? Bad karma for an injury prone player.
  • The Sox have lost their last three Opening Day trips to Baltimore. They last won one there in 1982, when they shut the O’s out 2-0. It was Dennis Eckersley with the complete game shutout.
  • Royals’ rookie starter Yordano Ventura won a job as their 5th starter. He routinely throws his fastball 98MPH-100MPH.
  • Getting off to a fast start is important to the Sox. In 2004 they were 15-6 as April ended. In 2007, 16-8. And last year, 18-8. They led the Division at the end of April in all three years that they ultimately won the Series.
  • Mike Napoli, Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts ended spring red hot– Papi not so much.
  • Ortiz has 18 career home runs at Camden Yards; the same as Manny Ramirez.
  • Lester is 15-3 lifetime vs. the Orioles.
  • The Captain-Yaz hit 6 Opening Day homers, a Sox record.
  • Opening Day in Baltimore, 1976: Jim Palmer outduels the Sox’ Fergie Jenkins 1-0. Talk about great pitchers.

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