Welcome to Football Friday, a baseball column by Connor. I am Connor. Each week I will dive into the previous seven days of baseball news, shout my opinion into the void, discuss some things about the Colorado Rockies, and answer your emails. Some of them.
Send them to email@example.com and we'll see what happens, OK?
Baseball is back, baby!
After a long winter of staring at the snow and burning 2015 Rockies Magazines in pagan sacrifice for the new year, the time has finally come for the guys to start actually playing baseball again! Nothing is better than crisp Phoenix-area afternoons, non-roster invitees, and people blatantly overreacting to meaningless results.
Spring training stats don't matter, they just don't. This is a practice month, a time for pitchers like Jon Gray to establish a curve ball, a time for hitters like David Dahl and Ryan McMahon to work on a major league approach, and a time where you'll watch Kyle Parker take a 1-2 fastball down the middle for strike three because the coaches told him to be overly patient.
You'll see a lot of people, and I mean a lot of people, get either very excited or very depressed about what's happening on the fields at Salt River, but seriously don't get caught up in it. Last year, Rafael Ynoa had a very good spring and made the 25-man roster because of it; he later went on to be part of a Rockies bench that was so frustratingly terrible to watch that I honestly would've preferred to view reruns of the cancelled NBC show A to Z.
Let's just be honest with ourselves: the worst thing that could happen to the Rockies right now is if all of their players' arms fell off and the club had to hire 25 random people to play until arm reattachment surgery is perfected.
But through all of the unreasonable reactions and wack cliches, we can at least agree on one thing: baseball is back and that is good.
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The Spring Training Cliche Variety Hour
Welcome to The Spring Training Cliche Variety Hour! Spring training is like Disneyland for bad cliches. We all line up to hear them and squeal with delight when they happen. Here's my favorite this season:
Here at Cactus League media day, consensus from opposing NL West managers: #Dbacks play game the right way.— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) February 22, 2016
About time someone played the game the right way around here! Too long I've been watching the Rockies practice with beach balls and goofy clown shoes. We need a team at the same facility who knows how to play the game.
"Playing the right way" was a fun thing to say to kids in Little League to get them to respect fundamentals. Too often young kids are inspired to do things that are a detriment to their skills but they think it looks cool. In basketball, this leads to kids trying to chuck 100 three pointers and never pass. In baseball this leads to kids ... I don't know, smoking cigarettes in the batters box and trying to throw balls through their legs to turn a double play I guess.
But with professional baseball players in a high-stress environment, this doesn't mean jack. The Right Way (trademark) becomes a garbage-ass way to police emotion on the diamond, to make people think that having fun and not approaching the game the same way they do is bad. Every player on that field knows how to play the game fundamentally; nobody got to the big leagues and then realized they should run faster to get to places quicker.
The worst part is, it's the Diamondbacks. A team run by established Right Way purveyor Tony La Russa, the guy who set up the original No Fun Sheriff's Office in St. Louis (with branches now in San Francisco, Atlanta, and Phoenix). It makes me already hate the team the Rockies are set to face upwards of 18 times this season, and it makes me desire their failure. If they play the game the "right way," they shouldn't fail right? God, I hope they do.
I like Saunders, I do, I think he's an old-school baseball guy and that's respectable. It's just a lame cliche. Anyway, here's some new cliches I think writers should start using:
They got all their limbs!
It's become almost a joke how many times we hear "best shape of his life" every single spring as players return to camp and get ready. Every player says the phrase to writers to ensure that they've been working out this winter and not just sitting around eating Bugles and watching Making a Murderer like every single one of you.
So why not upgrade the phrase with this one? They got all their limbs! It's a good way for players to ensure they weren't involved in a horrible accident during the offseason and it will put fans' worries at ease knowing that Carlos Gonzalez is not missing a leg, forcing him to use some kind of contraption in the outfield that wheels him around to get to fly balls. I would appreciate this update.
They have all their forks in the right places.
I don't know what this means! But it sounds fancy and like something you'd want someone to be able to do.
[Insert new player] is definitely someone you'd want to take your kid go-karting.
I don't know. This seems like the most trustworthy a person can be. I would trust a lot of people with a lot of things but if I had a kid and he wanted to go to the go-kart track and I couldn't take him, there's only like four or five people I would trust with that. Just from a safety standpoint. Not only am I trusting you with my child, but also I'm trusting you to help him drive a small car.
This could be the new "trust them with the game on the line" cliche. I don't know, just spitballing here guys.
He'd hammer hot dogs at a burger eating contest!
For a pitcher who's struggling to find the strike zone. Because you don't bring hot dogs to a burger eating contest and you don't hammer them anyway! It's all mucked up.
Please inform all writers of the new cliches.
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The Good Opinion of the Week
Each week, I will personally scour Rockies-related Twitter feeds for good opinions on food, music, movies, or even bottled water. I will feature anything that I look at and think "that is a good opinion." This week, the good opinion comes from Rockies top prospect David Dahl who tweets:
Is it just me or is Sunday the day I crave chick-fi-la the most??— David Dahl (@ddahl21) February 21, 2016
David, this is the realest tweet that's ever been tweeted.
Chick-Fil-A, for those that apparently don't exist in America, is a fast food chicken restaurant that specializes in amazing biscuits, waffle fries, and intolerance.
Chick-Fil-A is not open on Sundays. They do this because they are owned by religious people who do not believe in working on Sunday. They believe it is for family and God, which isn't something I will take offense at. It's their private business; they can choose what days to be open and for what reasons. If I owned a business we'd be closed on Thursdays just because I feel like that would mess with people the most.
The only thing that sucks about "No Chick Sundays" is it's always on Sunday that you want that dang chicken. I used to wake up in college, hungover from the night before, craving a chicken biscuit and hash browns. Alas, I would be unable to acquire said biscuit and hash because Chick-Fil-A would be closed.
It's a real issue that Americans everywhere feel. It's like in July when you crave Girl Scout cookies but Girl Scouts aren't selling them in July. But every Sunday. For your entire life.
Good opinion, David.
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Has Connor Been Owned?
Each week, our team of investigators and officials here at Connor, Inc. will look into whether or not Connor was the victim of an "own." For the uneducated, an own is often a comeback or put down that renders the person speechless and unable to turn the conversation around. It's also described as a "serve" or "savage." I'm a medical miracle in that at no point in my life have I been owned by anyone online or in real life.
Here is what is being brought forth to the Committee of Owns this week as alleged evidence of my owning:
@PurpleRow @rockiesVSconnor this is stupid— Creo Media (@creosports) March 2, 2016
This guy, Creo Media, decides that he's going to voice his opinion on my Tulo-Taylor Swift piece and calls it stupid. Which I agree.
Weirdly enough, that post angered a few Blue Jays fans and they yelled at me online about it. But only brave Creo here had to the guts to come up to me and say, "I don't like this, I think it is stupid."
Twitter is a website of opinions; I post a bunch of mine and used to argue people about the merits of my opinion vs. the merits of theirs. Then I realized something: I don't really care if people think differently than me. Someone thinking Two Broke Girls is funny has no tangible effect on my life, so why do I try and debate someone on its merits?
Unfortunately, not everyone on Twitter (or on the Internet) has come to this conclusion. Many spend days and days announcing the things they don't like and why, as though their bravery for standing up to the popularity of something will be rewarded with Snickers bars and smooches from attractive celebrities. I'm going to lay this out smoothly and simply:
People like different things.
Anyway, the committee determined that I was not owned in this instance. Any spreading of information to the contrary will be met with swift legal recourse from the law team here at Connor, Inc. Thank you.
(Editor's note: Please start sending this guy emails -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- so that I don't have to read this much of his own musings ever again.)