Picks of the Pen: That's So Ubaldo, Apparently

It wasn’t even Opening Day, and we already had a sickening display of emotional buffoonery, and then the follow-up, in which all involved attempt to escape blame.  If I’m understanding this soap opera correctly, Ubaldo Jimenez was upset that he’d already signed a contract when Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez got shiny new ones. Insane with inexplicable jealousy, Ubaldo and his apparently childlike understanding of baseball’s contractual negotiations were traded to Cleveland, where he sulked for a few months before capitalizing on the opportunity to hit Tulowitzki in the back with a baseball while the league commissioner watched from the stands.  His old coach called him “gutless.”

Now he would like to walk away without punishment.  I wonder if he knew that there were TV cameras at the game.  And people in the stands.  As a Cleveland Indian, that actually makes sense.  It just sort of seems like he forgot that… other people could, you know.  See him.

Check out these links I found on my front porch this morning.

Blaine Blontz

Over the past several years, baseball fans have watched player agents move into ownership roles around the game. Some of these situations have worked out better than others, but they all have made for interesting stories. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports checks into the agent-to-owner phenomenon, speaking with baseball’s most well known representative, Scott Boras.

Many question marks surround the Boston Red Sox as they prepare for the 2012 season. Some feel these questions have gone unanswered as Opening Day approaches, leading analysts to project the Red Sox to finish as low as fourth in the American League East.

One of these questions surrounds the Red Sox bullpen. For this reason, John Green of BoSox Injections believes that Red Sox fans will be missing Jonathan Papelbon this year.

Justin Klugh

What is baseball, if not a collection of stoic, intimidating dialogue, grisly decapitations, and relentless frontal nudity?  Which is why the sport is so easily comparable to HBO’s Game of Thrones, the long-awaited second season of which premiered Sunday night.

And if you thought that parallel was weakly drawn or flat out unacceptable, you should check out this list of MLB franchises as characters from Game of Thrones.  Highlights include the Royals as King Joffrey, the Phillies as The White Walkers, and the Twins as the friendliest whore in all of the seven kingdoms.

Speaking of friendly whores, Manny Ramirez.  Sean Davis of Swingin’ A’s discusses how Manny’s job in 2012, after serving his suspension of course, is to impart all of his knowledge to a younger core of players, namely Yoenis Cespedes, and escort them into the next generation before disappearing quietly into a corn field.  Of course, you have to hope the only lessons handed off to the youth are about baseball, not Manny’s personality or attitude or banned substances or his entire life outside of baseball.

Chris Carelli

Richard Justice of MLB.com speaks of Justin Verlander‘s competitive fire and explains why Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland describes Verlander’s focus as tunnel vision. Verlander’s determination grows with experience and believes last year was only the beginning of a long stretch. Watch out American League.

Call to the Pen’s Doug Wachter analyzes the Cincinnati Reds contenders for saves now that Ryan Madson is gone for the season. A good read for the statistically inclined.

Justin Hunter

The Hardball Times goes all magazine style with an 8 bagillion word article in the history of baseball in St. Louis. It’s a fantastic article though. Frank Jackson covers much of what we did know, but a whole lot we didn’t about the Cardinals, the Browns, and how the Red Birds could have been playing in Houston.

Our boy Justin Klugh covered the position battle between Scott Posednik and Juan Pierre. Both would keep the old Phillies old, but Pierre at least has a shot at leading the league in caught stealing. They chose Pierre, leaving Posednik without a major league job.

Kyle Davis

Kevin Scobee of Kings of Kauffman breaks down the recent Alex Gordon extension and speaks to what such a move might mean for the future of the Royals and their ultimate goal of contending in the AL Central.

Over at Pitchers & Poets, Patrick Dubuque explains the feelings of a baseball writer not yet ready to start writing about baseball again, and the struggles of a 2AM game time.

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