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The Batting Order – Barry Bonds, Zach Greinke and Trevor Bell

A look around Major League Baseball at some of the interesting stories from last week.

#1 LF Yahoo! – Barry Bonds is back… sort of. Don Ketchum reports that the San Francisco Giants have brought Bonds in as a guest hitting instructor for a week. Maybe it’s just a publicity stunt, but some of the younger sluggers in the Giants organization can pick up a few pointers from one of the greatest hitters in MLB history.

#2 RF Grantland – Jonah Kerri looks at the different strategies employed by different MLB teams when it comes to developing raw talent. Kerri looks at four ballclubs (Twins, Red Sox, Marlins and Rays) and concludes that every team does things a little differently.

#3 2B Sydney Morning Hearld – For a sport that is trying to grow international appear, the MLB hasn’t been recruiting as many fans in Australia as it would have hoped when it announced the Dogers and Diamondbacks would open the 2014 season in Sydney. Zack Greinke‘s remarks on how he that he “was not excited” to open the season in Australia did not go ignored by Sydney locals. In his weekly rant, Peter FitzSimons aggressively identifies how Greinke’s attitude (along with those of local Dodger beat writers) is proving to be a PR disaster with the Australian sports fan.

#4 CF CBS Sports – Spring Training in Florida or spring training in Arizona. The age old debate has been solved thanks to Mike Axisa. Maybe it just isn’t safe enough to play baseball in Arizona…

#5 3B ESPN – Doug Padilla reports on the newest roster problem for last years 63-99 Chicago White Sox: The Bull Pen. Mitchell Boggs, in particular, is not helping the situation with his 14.73 ERA in Cactus League action this year.

#6 1B Omaha Today –  Even coaches from other sports are getting excited about the 2014 season. Thanks to Big Red Today for this clip of Bo Pelini, head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football program, talking Cleveland Indians Baseball with Darin Erstad.

#7 SS ABC – Random Fact of the Day: Trevor Bell has more clown in him than just his antics in the clubhouse. Jamie Lutz uncovers the family history behind Trevor Bell’s impressive tattoos.

#8 C Fan Graphs – Eno Sarris breaks down how many starting pitchers a MLB teams needs for the average season. Blue Jays fan take note: “…[I]t’s the Jays that show us a worst-case scenario when it comes to an injury-riddled staff… they’ve needed, on average, 12.3 [starts from] pitchers a year over the past three years.

#9 P RantSports – Jason Cooper explains why it might take a little time for Padres fans to warm up to Seth Smith, even though Smith is looking like a solid pick-up heading into the season start.

 

This Day in Baseball History: 1982: Ballantine Books publishes the first “Bill James Abstracts”, which brings Bill James and Sabermetrics into the mainstream national baseball discussion. While Bill James had been writing The Baseball Abstracts since 1977, it wasn’t until 1982 that Bill James’ name became synonymous with The Baseball Abstracts.