Those of us who are sports fans find community and passion and friendship in the world of sports. It is a way of connecting with others. If we replace the things we do every day that bring us together and give us joy with sadness and fear, then we have already lost. And America may be a number of things, but we are not losers.
Let me begin in the only place I can, my thoughts and sympathies are with the people of Boston and their friends and families. As a personal victim of violent crime in my past, I can only share with the victims of yesterdays events my deepest condolences the knowledge that you don't have to deal with this alone. Many people will never understand what you are going through, but they love you just the same. And so do I.
The only thing left to do is to resume living. Those of us who are sports fans find community and passion and friendship in the world of sports. It is a way of connecting with others. If we replace the things we do every day that bring us together and give us joy with sadness and fear, then we have already lost. And America may be a number of things, but we are not losers. So let us get back to the silly task of breaking down a game where people throw a ball and hit it with a stick.
Live for what you love.
And now...some baseball.
Arizona Diamondbacks (8-4, W 3, 0.5 GB, T-2nd)
You Should Know: The key to the Diamondbacks relative success may lie in their fundamental understanding that giving the opposition free bases is bad. Very bad. Every time I sit screaming at my television "just throw strikes!" it's a bit of an oversimplification, but th D-backs 6.9% BB% reflects a consistent organizational philosophy that goes a long way in keeping them consistently competitive.
Quotable: "I don’t like pitchers who walk hitters. It puts pressure on your defense. The less walks you have, the better your chances of getting through innings. More walks lead to overworking your bullpen, sometimes just by having to get somebody up, just in case." - Kevin Towers
Last Week: 3-2, Lost 2 of 3 at home against the Pirates, took 2 or 3 at home against the Dodgers.
This Week: 3 game serires @ the Yankees, 3 games @ the Rockies, 1 @ Giants.
News: The D-backs played a nailbiter against the Dodgers in their last game, getting a win over Josh Beckett who actually took an L in a complete game. Arizona got a solid 7 1/3 scoreless inning from Trevor Cahill, but in a game where offense was very difficult to find, Paul Goldschmidt would supply the only fireworks (maybe more of a sparkler) with a fluky walkoff hit.
You Should Know: Matt Kemp's slash line this season. .196/.236/.275, 0 HRs in 55 ABs. So, he's due. Health isn't a concern at this point and he has been better as of late (hitting .273 with a couple of doubles in his last 8 games) so it may just be a matter of time before he breaks out in a big way. His manager is unconcerned, so the rest of us should be.
Quotable: "I'm seeing more of simple things like you would if anyone else was struggling: Not backing the ball up, not getting himself strikes, pressing a little bit. When you have a little bit of a rough start, you want to get going." -Don Mattingly
Last Week: 3-4, Took 2 of 3 @ the Padres, lost 2 of 3 @ the Diamondbacks, lost last night back at home against the Padres.
This Week: Two more at home Vs. the Padres, 3 game set @ the Orioles.
News: Anyone hear these guys got in a fight? I'm sure you've seen all the footage both of the on-field action and the post-game commentary by everyone from the people directly involved to a nationwide debate about what to do with mound rushing. Zack Greinke is out and although it may not have been a factor, it's hard to take a bullpen loss to the very same team that just dealt such damage to your rotation, as they did last night. Are the Dodgers just whining millionaires whom people only care about due to the massive team salary despite of the lack of results? Or did the Padres just kick the sleeping giant? We have the rest of 2013 to find out.
You Should Know: The Rockies would like to play the Padres for the rest of the season and the Padres are glad they won't be seeing the Rockies again for a while. When two teams play each other this much this early in the season it can be tough to tell anything about either team. The Padres are 3-5 against non-Rockies opponents. In the next few weeks they play the Dodgers, Giants, Brewers, and Cubs so we should get a better idea of where these guys actually are.
"We've got to hold the fort a little bit until we get our roster back in order, especially on the position-player side," - Bud Black
Last Week: 2-5, Took 1 of 3 from the Dodgers at home, swept in 3 by the Rockies at home, won last night @ the Dodgers.
This Week: 2 more @ the Dodgers, 3 games @ the Giants, then they start a home series against the Brewers.
News: The Padres are expecting Chase Headley to return to the lineup very soon. It could easily be argued that he is their best player and he could be a decent boost to a team that looks like it could really use it. Maybe the Padres aren't as bad as they look and the Rockies are just awesome.
San Francisco Giants (9-4, W2, 1st)
You Should Know: The Cubs got all Rockie'd last week. Yes twice the Cubs had sizable early game advantages over the champs and twice lost. The Cubs did manage to beat them once in 4 games but put up a familiar slash line of coulda/woulda/shoulda in the other 3. So either the Rockies and Cubs are the kind of teams you don't fear getting down on early, or the Giants are just going to keep doing this until the rest of us just quit.
Last Week: 5-1, Swept the Rockies at home, took 3 of 4 @ the Cubs.
This Week: 3 games @ the Brewers, 3 games back home against the Padres.
News: Tim Lincecum's struggles have perhaps continued into the 2013 season. I still don't believe he is a pitcher to be taken lightly, but he did match a career high by walking 7 in his only outing yet this year. He still got the win, and the Giants say they want him in the rotation unless he totally implodes.
Quotable: "His velocities are down just a little bit, and when the velocity's down a little bit, you're not in as big a hurry. When the velocities go down a little bit, then you're a lot more comfortable up there that he can't throw the ball by you. At that point you're not going to chase as much." -Don Mattingly on Tim Lincecum
DateTransaction04/02/13San Francisco Giants claimed RHP Hunter Strickland off waivers from Pittsburgh Pirates.San Francisco Giants optioned RHP Hunter Strickland to San Jose Giants.04/04/13San Francisco Giants sent 1B Brett Pill on a rehab assignment to Fresno Grizzlies.San Francisco Giants released LHP Matt Yourkin.04/15/13San Francisco Giants activated 1B Brett Pill from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Fresno Grizzlies.
Insert your favorite anti-Giants remarks here.