A look around Major League Baseball and those local stories that don’t get nearly as much national coverage.
#1: CF – AJC: No Tim Hudson, no Brian McCann, no problem. David O’Brien explains why Braves fans need to look past the big names who are left, and start appreciating what could be an even better team this year.
#3: 3B – Hardballtalk: Is this the year Houston doesn’t lose 100 games? Matthew Pouliot thinks so. The off-season additions of Dexter Fowler and Scott Feldman have signaled to the world that the Astros are ready to stop building the farm system, and start climbing out of the AL West basement.
#4: 1B – MLB Blogs: The Orioles are being aggressive in the free agent market this year, and Brittany Ghirola discusses who might be coming to Baltimore in time for spring training.
#5: DH – Ultimate Astros: The Sugerland Skeeters are at it again. The same independent league team that brought back a 50-year-old Roger Clemens in 2012 is testing out former NBA star Tracy McGrady as a pitcher. But is this just a publicity stunt, or does McGrady really have what it takes to pitch like a pro?
#6: RF – NY Daily News: Good luck to David Robertson. As if it wasn’t enough pressure to take over from Mariano Riveria as the Yankees new closer, he can now look forward to being ribbed from the legend himself on any blown save.
#7: 2B – TB Times: Poised for a comeback after a tough 2013 season, in which he pitched 5 or fewer innings in 9 his last 13 starts, Jeremy Hellickson will start the 2014 season on the DL after arthroscopic surgery on his throwing elbow. Jeremy on the injury: “I was absolutely looking forward to getting back out there this year. I guess a lot of people where doubting me toward the end of last year so I was motivated to get back out there and do what I know I can do. So it definitely sucks. It’s frustrating to have to go through this and miss hopefully just a month, month and a half.”
#8: C – Bleacher Report: Joel Reuter looks at where fans get the best value-baseball experience. Nice to see the Houston Astros (8th highest ticket price vs 30th highest payroll) and Miami Marlins (10th highest ticket price vs 29th highest payroll) blatantly gouging their fan base with high ticket prices and low team payrolls.
#9: SS – MLB Trade Rumors: Jeff Todd looks at this year’s free agent bonanza and explains why teams are locking so many players into multiyear contracts like never before.
Video Clip of the Week:
If Oakland fans don’t know Sam Fuld, they will soon.