Rainy Day Fungoes
First and most obviously, R.I.P. to Harry Kalas, Nick Adenhart and Mark Fydrich (wow, three obits in one week, unbelievable). The Trentonian published three stories about Kalas' death yesterday, including: One by sports editor Matthew Osborne, one by copy editor and longtime baseball writer Jay Dunn and one by yours truly.
As a baseball fan, it's almost embarrassing to say this, but my first real exposure to Kalas before I moved from Oregon to Pennsylvania was hearing him call the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.
You can imagine my shock finding out that the man describing the movements of close to dozen puppies (and at halftime, kittens) in a pen decorated to look like a football field was also a member of baseball's Hall of Fame.
Along with Vin Scully, Marty Brennaman, Dave Niehaus in Seattle (who doesn't get NEARLY the credit he deserves) and Jerry Coleman and Ted Leitner in San Diego, Kalas was truly one of the game's giants.
He will be missed.
Welcome to Bizzaro Baseball: While the Rays were shocking the world last year, Sports Illustrated published this brilliant cover, illustrating just how shocking the the Rays' early success had been.
Don't look now, but a few teams for whom most predicted nothing but failure are defying the critics and have gotten off to hot starts.
First and foremost in my mind are the Seattle Mariners, who have jumped out to a 6-2 start in spite of their pop-gun-esque offense (their 1-2 "punch" at the top is Endy Chavez and Ronny Cedeno, and their cleanup hitter, some Griffey fellow, hasn't cracked .200).
So, obviously, their success has been borne out of their strong pitching. But who's been doing that pitching?
Erik Bedard, Felix Hernandez and Carlos Silva all are 1-0, and the first two on that list have combined for 29 strikeouts in 26.1 innings.
Fireballers Brandon Morrow (who should be a starter) and David Aardsma each have a save, and the latter has allowed just one hit in four innings of relief.
The trio of Miguel Batista, Mark Lowe and Shawn Kelley has combined to throw eight scoreless innings of relief.
Their Pythag says the Mariners are playing a little above their heads, but here's hoping they continue to shock the world and prove that you don't have to have a payroll of more than $100,000,000 to be successful.