Okay, so it's been a while ...
The season's almost here. In fact, the Yankees are supposed to break in their shiny new stadium tonight, which has me thrilled. For those who might want a little bit of an early peek, the New York Times has provided a wonderful, interactive panoramic view of the stadium on their Web site.
The Yanks are supposed to play the Cubs tonight in the Stadium's first action, but it's been raining pretty good today, both here and in the Bronx. It'd be pretty sad if the first game got rained out, but no worries, there's another one scheduled for tomorrow.
Last I checked, there were still plenty of tickets available for reasonable prices (get those while they last) on StubHub, so do what I can't: Go see the new park!
We're at five days and counting until the Thunder season opener (I'll be at media day on Tuesday, so check back then for notes, quotes and plenty of juicy tidbits).
Additionally, The Trentonian is putting out a preview section, authored primarily by yours truly, on Monday, so check the newsstands for that.
There will be an in-depth look at the rotation, bullpen, infield, scouting reports on the Eastern League opposition, and everything else your Thunder-loving heart desires (that I can think of, and that can fit in the section).
Speaking of the Thunder and their Eastern League foes, you can cross one name off the list of top prospects coming through Waterfront Park this season: Rick Porcello, who's gone and ruined everyone's fun by making the Tigers' rotation.
He doesn't have an inning of experience above High-A Lakeland, but his talent and the tattered state of Detroit pitching coupled with a whizbang performance in the spring was enough to convince Jim Leyland that he belonged with the big club.
Ryan Perry, who also was theoretically slated for Double-A Erie, was placed in Detroit's bullpen. It's a pair of gutsy moves by Leyland and a good show by an organization out to prove its commitment to a young core.
The Orioles, who have decided to send uber-prospect Matt Wieters to the minors, could learn a thing or two from them.
Speaking of gutsy moves, how about the Tigers releasing Gary Sheffield, thus eating his contract? That was, for me at least, the most shocking decision of the fall, especially considering the Tigers might have been able to sell extra tickets to see his 500th home run (he's only one shy, as you may have heard).
I mean, the Tigers' first home game is against the Rangers, who sport a rotation of Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Kris Benson, Matt Harrison and Brandon McCarthy. There's a group that might give up a longball or two, you think?
Detroit could have limited his at-bats in the first few games (Leyland would find a way) and unleashed him on the Rangers and White Sox a few days later. I know he's not what he used to be, but even old, broken down Sheff could reach Kris Benson, couldn't he?