Posts Tagged ‘Braves’

The Red, The White, The Blue

May 28, 2012

Memorial Day in baseball is one of the most properly done holidays in any sport in the world. I don’t know what other sports do for certain holidays necessarily, but I don’t care. This is an entire day, dedicated to honoring our troops overseas who serve to protect us. And through the vein of America’s Pastime, no less.

During the Cardinals vs. Braves game at Turner Field today, a family (mother, two daughters, two sons, all kids mid-teens or younger) were honored on the field because the husband/father was a veteran.

He recorded a message to play over the Jumbotron. Then, as one would expect…surprise! Daddy’s home. He came out onto the field, back from the war surprisingly early. The kids nearly tackled him and the moment altogether was incredibly touching. The kids were a mixture of laughing and crying, and it was hard to not get a little choked up just watching in my living room.

This is one of the many millions of reasons I love baseball. Is there any better setting for an epic reunion like that?

In the NBA, they’d have to come through tunnels into an enclosed space. In football, there aren’t hardly enough stopping points to make it happen. Soccer? Fughhetabboudit!

The way Memorial Day is handled across stadiums in America during the MLB season is second to none. Major props to the league for doing such a fantastic job.

Remember, people. When you think “America,” word association should lead you to, in order: “Apple pie,” “baseball,” and “freedom.”

Well, you can thank your mom for making a delicious apple pie, and handing you a slice while you watch a military family reunite on a baseball field. And don’t worry about saying to the man in the camo on your TV screen, “Thank you.” For the freedom he and his comrades give us all.

God Bless America. And baseball. And everything it stands for.

 

Opening Day Predictions

April 4, 2012

Okay, okay. I know the A’s and Mariners played in Japan and the defending-champion Cardinals already defeated the Marlins at the new stadium earlier tonight. But a big slate of games is finally set for tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited. 

We’ve got seven games lined up for tomorrow, capped off with reigning Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and my Dodger squaring off against the Padres in San Diego. Without further adieu, here are my predictions for tomorrow’s games:

Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers: This is the first of the great pitching matchups we’ll see over the first weekend of play, but it might just be the best one. Jon Lester will take the hill against last year’s Cy Young and MVP winner, Justin Verlander. Normally, I’d expect a pitcher’s duel, but Lester is a notorious slow starter, so look for a big game from Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder and the Tigers to take the home opener 5-2. (Side note: Jose Valverde will get his 51st straight save, creeping slowly towards the record of 84)

Atlanta Braves at New York Mets: I like this pitching matchup for a number of different reasons. First of all, I really enjoy watching Tommy Hanson pitch. If he’s healthy for Atlanta this year, it’s going to be huge for their playoff aspirations. But the real story here is Johan Santana’s return to the hill after a multitude of injuries have crippled the former Cy Young winner. I’m going to take my first upset, but don’t expect the Mets’ winning streak to last long. Give me the Mets 3-2.

Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates: Another former ace takes the hill on Opening Day, hoping to rebound. Erik Bedard won’t have as much success as Johan does in New York, although I do expect an above average season out of the lefty in 2012. Roy Halladay is going to be too much for the young Pirates offense, and the Phils take it on the road 5-0.

Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs: Raise your hand if you’re as excited to see Stephen Strasburg on the mound tomorrow as I am! He takes on the re-tooled Cubs and Ryan Dempster at Wrigley. And I’m sorry Cubbie fans, but the curse will continue, starting with an ugly loss at the hands of the Nats. I’m going to enjoy watching Strasburg go 8 innings with 10 strikeouts in a 7-1 win.

Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Indians: This might be the most underrated pitching matchup of the day. If you like young, up-and-coming stars on the bump, this is the game for you. Ricky Romero is my dark horse candidate for A.L. Cy Young this year, and Justin Masterson for Cleveland isn’t far behind. I think this is going to be the best pitching duel of the day. Toronto takes it 1-0 on a late solo homer by Jose Bautista.

Miami Marlins at Cincinnati Reds: One of the Marlins’ big free agent acquisitions is opening this series, and Mark Buerhle can certainly be trusted to give a quality outing. Johnny Cueto gets the ball for Cincy and two very strong offenses will have their respective hands full. Give me the wily veteran for the new-look Marlins’ first win in a 4-3 game.

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres: You know this is the one I’ve been waiting to talk about. You’ve gotta like the young lefty Kershaw to start defending his Cy Young title with a pretty dominant win at Petco Park. I think the Dodgers put up a five spot on Edinson Volquez early and chase him from the game. I want to give the Padres a pity run to sound unbiased, but they just aren’t a good enough team to score against Kershaw. Final score: 6-0 Dodgers.

That’s all folks! Call in sick tomorrow, ditch school, and watch MLB Network all day to see my picks put into motion. Happy baseball! Peace.


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