A sad note - despite my best efforts, legal and illegal, Annie-O is again kicking my butt in our personal NCAA Bracket. Since she is ahead by 4 and I can only gain one more game the rest of the way, I am officially dead. I'm going to have to cheat better next year. Maybe I'll fill her bracket with teams that aren't included.
** I watched CC Sabathia pitch twice now and his fastball is reaching 92 and 93 mph, speeds he hasn't achieved in two years. Everyone is saying how much better he looks and how pleased they are with his progress. Sorry, I have seen 4 home runs being hit and many line drives. So maybe his velocity is back, but the Yanks still have two losses when he pitches and that's what counts.
** I see that A-Rod's cousin and cohort in steroids, Yuri Sucart, has pleaded guilty. I don't know if it's to drug charges or to being A-Rod's cousin. (I think these are identical felonies)
** After watching the Yanks new shortstop, Didi Gregorious throw to first, I mentioned to Annie-O that he seems to have an exceptionally strong arm, however, it could be because I'm comparing it to Derek Jeter, who had lost most of the zip off his throws the last two years
** Baseball Tonight (BBTN) is ranking the top ten players at each position, starting with the three outfield spots. Boston, with 7 players competing for 3 spots, placed only one outfielder altogether. Interestingly, it's Hanley Ramirez as #4 in Left Field. This is a shortstop converting to left field and already he's better than 26 other left fielders? Brett Gardner is listed as #10, which is just as puzzling.
** The Wisconsin players had a good time with an NCAA official stenographer after their game. Here's the video and subsequent interview with Badger Nigel Hayes.
“Before I answer that question, I would like to say a few words: cattywampus, onomatopoeia and antidisestablishmentarianism,” Hayes said, according to the stenographer, who spelled the words correctly. “Now, back to your question."
When asked about his unexpected words, Hayes explained his fascination with the stenographer’s job. “She does an amazing job of typing words, sometimes if words are not in her dictionary, maybe if I say soliloquy right now, she may have to work a little bit harder to type that word,” Hayes said, “or quandary, zephyr, Xylophone, things like that, that make her job really interesting.”
You have to remember that these are still just kids, not jaded, professional superstars. At least somebody is still having fun.
We sometimes forget that umpires have spring training, too. Here's good old Joe West getting in HIS work.
(Courtesy of Dwight Perry)
***THEY SAID IT ***
"I just saw a list of "The 10 Wealthiest People in Omaha." Six of them are ticket scalpers in front of the CenturyLink Center." -- Brad Dickson
"The Rangers working on the squeeze in spring training. They're trying to get Prince Fielder in a size-medium pants." -- Alan Ray
"Baylor, Texas, SMU and Texas Southern all lost their NCAA-tournament openers Thursday. Last time the state of Texas had a day this bad, the Alamo was involved" -- Janice Hough
"March Madness has officially begun today, where people that know nothing about college basketball fill out “bracket” pool sheets. Most of the players couldn’t tell you where Xavier, Villanova, SMU, Virginia or Michigan State are if you gave them a map and a GPS." -- TC Chong
"An Indianapolis building saluted Colts receiver Reggie Wayne by lighting offices to form number 87. Not to be outdone, Toronto’s CN Tower saluted Leafs’ management by only using dim bulbs" -- RJ Curry
" Hampton beat Manhattan in a play-in game for the privilege of getting hammered 79-56 by No. 1 Kentucky. Sort of like winning a competition between two Christians to meet the lions." -- Janice Hough
"Tim Tebow worked out in Philadelphia for the Eagles. I won’t say how the passing drills went, but there are now two cracks in the Liberty Bell." -- Brad Dickson
For my cousins, Cas & Fran:
"More people would call the Gambling Addicts Hotline if they made every fifth call a winner." -- Argus Hamilton