Hope Springs: Pitchers and Catchers Report!

Aren’t you impressed that I refrained from using a caps locky title with multiple exclamation points? BUT IT WAS SO TEMPTING!!!!

Monday was the big day for pitchers and catchers from several MLB teams to report. Others, like my Yankees, report Tuesday. And then you have those like my second husband Derek Jeter recovering from surgery and other ailments who have been at their respective training facilities for a while. All this to say HOORAY FOR BASEBALL’S WELCOME RETURN! How about a photo essay?

Let’s start with new Jay R.A. Dickey, who is kind of an awesome human being in case you weren’t aware. It’s going to be tough cheering against this new AL East foe.

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There’s something about a maple leaf on R.A. Dickey’s hat that makes him even more endearing. (Canadian Press photo)

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Hit and Run: Time Flies Edition

Since the Cardinals played the Opening Night game on ESPN this year, on actual Opening Day I had my pick of games on MLB.tv.  By the time I got home from work, the Indians and Blue Jays were tied in the 9th inning. “Oh, I’ll just watch this quick dramatic conclusion,” I thought.  Then it turned out to be the longest Opening Day game ever played.  It went on so long, in fact, that the benches for both teams saw a lot of work.  Which brought in Omar Vizquel. Who yesterday turned 45.

A longtime Indian now with Toronto, Vizquel got a warm round of applause from the Cleveland fans both when he was first inserted as a defensive replacement, and later when the game went on long enough to give him an at bat.  In an MLB where players my age are now considered on the far side of their prime, and where many of his contemporaries are now mangers, Vizquel’s longevity is both remarkable and jarring.  (Related: Chipper Jones turned 40 the same day. Chipper. Jones. is 40.)

Other sports news properly introduced with “it seems like only yesterday….”

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Mr. Mondays (yes, we have three!)

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See? The Red Sox still remember how to smile. (AP Photo)

It’s the Monday of a four-day work week for me. Don’t those Mondays seem like the very longest of Mondays? Ugh. And for that reason, I wish I had this post up for you sooner. Forgive me. How about I make it up to you with not one, but three Mr. Mondays!

Let’s start with a belated Happy Patriots’ Day to the good residents of my geographical neighbours in Maine, and further on in Massachusetts. The Red Sox celebrated the day by beating up on the Toronto Blue Jays 9-1. It was like the War of 1812 except, um, not really. At all.

But hey, how about Jed Lowrie who had four hits including a two-run homer! I haven’t done the research, but at .516/.545/.774, is it safe to say that Jed is off to his Best Start Ever? It’s just a shame he’s Scutaro’s backup. The win is Boston’s third in a row, so maybe we’re finally seeing the team we were warned about all along.

See who else made our Monday after the jump.

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Hit and Run: With Spring in our Step

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Here's Marquette, whose victory over Syracuse last night made me cry. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s Monday. How are your brackets looking? Like hell? Thought so.

First of all, a warm welcome to our special guest Ladies… Bracket Brawl participants: Melissa_thistle, Courknee35, Big10Bias and fellow Canuck/friend of the blog Andrew Bucholtz (you will go read his blog The 55-Yard Line now, won’t you?) Our current leader isn’t in our Ladies… group – due to technical difficulties, we had to create another group on ESPN.com so one gal could get her picks in. That gal is Buffalita, leading the pack with 460 points and picking Ohio State to win it all. CuteSports and Raven round out the Top 3 at 440 and 430 points respectively. Any hopes I had of repeating last year’s surprise success have been flushed down the proverbial toilet. I blame Butler.

Best of luck heading into Thursday! Sweet Sixteen will be hopefully be sweet for some of you.

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I Was There: Opening Day Edition

On a beautiful April day in Cleveland, Ohio I had the privilege and fortune of attending my very first opening day.   The fans in their new team gear, the smell of grilling flesh, the way the afternoon sun sparkles on the fresh outfield – I could not have been happier.  Apparently, this was the first time in years where the city of Cleveland wasn’t covered in snow for opening day, so I feel rather like a good luck charm!

Immediately I was reminded of a very simple truth – there is nowhere on the planet I’d rather be between the months of April and October – than a baseball stadium.

I was also reminded of a few not so beautiful things about baseball season, and that’s what I’ll be sharing here.

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Ladies and stat nerds unite: in celebration of F-Gut!

Stat-nerds have been falling all over themselves in adoration of Franklin Gutierrez’s astounding CF defense, which is so stunningly awesome that the Mariners are hanging on to him for four more years. But don’t leave the F-Gut lovin’ to the statheads* – he’s someone the Ladies… can appreciate as well. Behold:

He is the WORLD. It says so right on his jersey.

*I, much like Crane, proudly belong to that set of people. Give me FanGraphs or give me death!

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