Picks of the Pen: Miguel Cabrera and the Dark Side of Spring

It’s never too long before something truly awful happens in Spring Training, and now that Miguel Cabrera has been hit in the face with a groundball as the Tigers played the Phillies, we can say that yes, it has happened.  The Phillies got their own dose of awful this week as well, so it’s comforting to know that these sort of crappy things still occur in large groups.

Hoo… ray?

Links.  Down there.

Chris Carelli

I enjoyed and agree with Lew Freeman’s assessment of the drama surrounding the Yankees/Red Sox exhibition game earlier in the week. The rivalry is intense, but Spring Training is the last place we see the true form of the teams contempt for each other.

Yahoo! baseball columnist Tim Brown wrote about not falling in love with the .600 batting average or the rookie who struck out Albert Pujols during Spring Training. He vowed to not get immersed in these moments and yet he does every year. We are happy to write about the game we love and sometimes it’s great to root for the little guy, even though we know it just won’t last for many of them.

Justin Klugh

If there’s one thing we love about Philadelphia, it’s the hipsters.  Why, I have no greater passion than strolling into Fishtown and hitting up a bar full plaid flannel shirts, making up band names to say I like, and then being caught off guard when the band actually exists and people start telling me their opinions of them.

C.J. Wilson is one of those hipsters, only instead of ‘windowless Philadelphia bars’  he hangs out in California, playing for the Angels.  He used some of that hipster magic the other when, in response to the Rangers’ Mike Napoli threatening to hit a home run off him, he posted Napoli’s actual phone number on Twitter.  We all had a good laugh, just like we did at that My Snakes Are Dying show last week.  You know, the one where Buttjuice opened for them?  And Food Processor showed up for an impromptu reunion set?  Classic.

Also not in Philadelphia is Joel Pineiro, who was recently released by the Phillies, whittling their roster down to 45.  However, Matt Kaufman at Rising Apple asks, should the Mets pick him up?  And, as most answers to questions about the Mets go these days, “…meh.”

Matt Musico

Andy Pettitte coming out of retirement and returning to the Yankees was the biggest shock of the week for me. I wonder how long it’s going to take him to get his arm back into game shape. I’ve been hearing he’ll be back by June if all goes well. Then, it will be interesting to see what Joe Girardi does with his crowded rotation.

On CttP this week, I really enjoyed Joe’s article on how the Baltimore Orioles want some pitching for this year. The pitchers that are currently in camp this month are inexperienced and have had uneven performances throughout their careers, so it only makes sense that they are in the market for starting pitching. I wonder if they will make a public push for Roy Oswalt, especially since he recently said he’d be willing to pitch anywhere.

Blaine Blontz

With the expected absence of long-time leadoff hitter Brian Roberts and the passing of another offseason, the Baltimore Orioles lineup is in flux. There are many possibilities for Buck Showalter and the Birds, and Baltimore’s skipper is likely to use multiple lineup variations in 2012. Birds Watchers staff writer Randy Buchman gave his $0.02 on how the Orioles lineup will shape up next season.

Marc Hulet of Fan Graphs mined the minors last week for potential buy-low candidates. Check and see if your favorite club has any players that Hulet considers undervalued and ripe for the picking.

Kyle Davis

Bryan Rosa of Around the Foghorn examines the potential leverage Mr. Matt Cain, home run suppressor extraordinaire, might have in contract discussions with the San Francisco Giants baseball club.

The Seattle Mariners released their much anticipated slate of commercials, and they once again do not disappoint. Trees are punched, fish are thrown, and Ichiro(!) busts out his acting chops. There’s also some terrifying business with Felix Hernandez and a doll. Something for everyone!

Tags: Albert Pujols Andy Pettitte Brian Roberts C.J. Wilson Felix Hernandez Joel Pineiro Matt Cain Mike Napoli Roy Oswalt

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