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March 28, 2009 [LINK / comment]
Spring training winds down
It's hard to believe, but the 2009 regular season is right around the corner, and Opening Day is just one week from tomorrow. The 2009 spring training hasn't yielded any big surprises that I'm aware of, and the drama about Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers was mostly a sideshow. The main question is whether the big-spending teams in New York will finally get their money's worth (in terms of payroll) this year, as they each inaugurate their new stadiums. C.C. Sabathia has lived up to the Yankees' high expectation during the preseason, while the Mets are pinning their hopes on former Twins pitcher Johan Santana. Two former Nationals, Ryan Church and Brian Schneider, both have a secure place in the Mets' lineup, which is still subject to some adjustments. (I still think the Mets got the better deal when they traded away Lastings Milledge in late 2007.) The Mets are hoping that young left fielder Daniel Murphy will bat as well as he did last August and September, when he began his major league career. See MLB.com.
Prospects for the Washington Nationals have been lifted by the arrival of Adam Dunn, and that may be why the other former Cincinnati Red, Austin Kearns, is batting better so far this year. I hope he keeps it up. The Nats' pitching staff is young but very promising, and Jordan Zimmermann was almost unhittable in his first few starts, but he will play in the minor leagues for at least a while. A respectable season (meaning at or above .500) is entirely possible for the Nats this year.
R.I.P. Johnny Blanchard
I learned from Bruce Orser that former New York Yankee Johnny Blanchard has passed away. He began playing for the Yankees in 1955, and even though he remained a bench player for most of his career, he earned a reputation as a clutch performer: "In five World Series [1960-1964], he batted .345 (10-for-29) with six runs, four doubles, two home runs and five RBI." See MLB.com, which includes fond remembrances from Yogi Berra, Moose Skowron, and other team mates. On most other teams, Blanchard probably would have been a first-stringer.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 28 Mar 2009, 3: 51 PM
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January 5, 2009 Illegal immigration: no problem
January 10, 2009 Bush's fiscal profligacy: a recap
January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day 2009
March 13, 2009 Tax revolt in Augusta County!
March 14, 2009 Mexican Army counterattacks
March 27, 2009 Facebook: resistance is futile
April 5, 2009 RPV chair Frederick is removed
April 8, 2009 Fujimori is convicted, again
May 3, 2009 (Very) Big Spring Day, 2009
June 12, 2009 Tiger Stadium memorial update
June 16, 2009 Home runs in New Yankee Stadium
June 28, 2009 Obama's health care proposals
June 29, 2009 House votes to regulate climate
July 7, 2009 R.I.P. Michael Jackson, Superstar
July 9, 2009 Conservative defeat in Mexico
August 16, 2009 Great Baseball Road Trip 2009
August 23, 2009 Road Trip 2009: The Birds of August
August 27, 2009 R.I.P. Edward M. Kennedy
September 7, 2009 Two clutch homers end Nats' skid
October 10, 2009 Republicans reunite in Verona
October 16, 2009 Health care polemics heat up
November 4, 2009 Republicans sweep Virginia races
November 5, 2009 Yankees are the 2009 champions
November 21, 2009 Senate votes on health care
December 23, 2009 Musings on health care "reform"
December 30, 2009 Decade of creation, and destruction
December 30, 2009 Whither the Republican soul?
December 31, 2009 A (half) decade of baseball in D.C.
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