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Picks of the Pen: The Beginning of the Beginning

See this?  This is how we picture Opening Day.  Players returning to each other, embracing as friends (even if one of them is Phil Coke), not yet emotionally gutted and physically destroyed by another disappointing year of flailing about in pursuit of what seems like inevitable failure.

To new beginnings!  And links.  There are links below.

Justin Klugh

Someone once told me that on the west coast, they’re more relaxed about baseball because they can say “We lost! Ah, fuck it. Let’s go to the beach.”  Dom Di Tolla explained recently on Chicken Friars how his upcoming dread-citement toward the 2012 Padres season sort of goes against this mentality.

There are plenty of examples in the New York sportscape of bonafide success.  And then there are stories of unexpected success, two of which have happened right in a row in the forms of Victor Cruz and Jeremy Lin.  So naturally, the Mets would love to get in on the act.  Who better to turn to than David Wright, the probably exhausted superstar currently all by himself in Flushing?  Well, that’s the point.  We don’t who could be better than him.  They’re going to be a total nobody that catches us all off guard.  But, as we all saw, it happened to the Giants and Knicks, so obviously, it’s about to happen to the Mets, too!

Or you know.

You could just watch the Yankees.

Kyle Davis

Jon Anderson of Rum Bunter examines all the things that make Andrew McCutchen a dream of a baseball player and what his chances may be of hitting 30 home runs and stealing 30 bases this upcoming season.

Over at a little site called Baseball Prospectus, Sam Miller breaks down the worst game of the 2011 season. All sorts of hilarity and GIFs ensue.

Joe Soriano

Tim Brown on Yahoo! Sports, the same guy who broke the Yoenis Cespedes signing, has a piece on how Buster Posey will bounce back from his injury last season.

To follow up on that, the excellent Justin Hunter has a piece on our site detailing both Joe Mauer and Buster Posey’s abilities to bounce back after injury-filled 2011 seasons. It’s sure going to be interesting to watch these two superstar catchers next year, and they should both bounce back and be worth at least 4 WAR next year.

Chris Carelli

Being a Yankee fan, I enjoyed Mickey Brignall’s piece about Phil Hughes and what the Yankees can expect from him in 2012. Mickey rightfully suggests that an effective Hughes is important to the Yankees especially once the post season comes around. Without him, they will again have trouble beating teams who have deep rotations.

There were many tributes to Gary Carter after his untimely passing. I liked Ian O’Connor’s restrospective which spoke of Carter’s jovial attitude combined with a competitive determination to win.

Doug Wachter

Larry Granillo at Baseball Prospectus explored the introduction and demise of a failed statistic, the “game-winning RBI,” while Jon Anderson at Rum Bunter compared the Pirates’ 2012 rotation to their starters over the last few seasons.

Matt Musico

I read a good artile on MSN yesterday by Jon Paul Morosi about the 12 players who will be under scrutiny this year.

I also enjoyed the article on Call to the Pen that highlighted the chances of Manny still signing with the A’s, even after the Yoenis Cespedes agreement.

Blaine Blontz

Devon Rodgers of Rays Colored Glasses took a look at Tampa Bay’s 2012 rotation.  As Devon put it, this is going to be an extremely fun competition to monitor not because their is a hole to fill but because there is an excess of viable options.

The Milwaukee Brewers have a pair of pitchers nearing free agency in Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke.  While both are certainly talented arms, Eric Seidman of FanGraphs.com told readers why the Brewers should most of their efforts on re-signing Greinke.

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Tags: Andrew McCutchen David Wright Jeremy Lin Manny Ramirez Phil Coke Phil Hughes Shaun Marcum Yoenis Cespedes Zack Greinke

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