Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Baseball's Silly Sayings Season

Brad Boxberger: Somehow less exciting than a rampaging kaiju
In roughly two weeks, pitchers and catchers report to spring training, and something vaguely resembling actual baseball starts happening again. In the meantime, it's stupid quote season. 

I don't blame the sportswriters. There's nothing else to talk about, not unless they want to rehash for the 47th time how draft pick compensation is keeping a team from signing Ubaldo Jimenez. The big fish of the winter, Masahiro Tanaka, has landed. The biggest trade made recently involved Brad Boxberger as a key component, and if you know who Brad Boxberger is, you need spring training to start as much as I do.

So instead, it's the stupid quotes that get blown up into "stories". It's everyone fainting at David Ortiz suggesting that if he and the Red Sox don't agree on another contract, he might go somewhere else (well, duh). It's the shock and horror over Victor Martinez saying, quite sensibly, that he'll figure out what he wants to do next season after the end of this season. It's alarm bells going off in Texas over a mild statement from GM Jon Daniels that the team isn't going to offer pitcher Yu Darvish - who is great, but doesn't have a long MLB track record and does have a lot of miles on his arm - a contract extension right this instant. And it's the alter lockers of the sport muttering darkly into their seltzer waters when Twins prospect Miguel Sano said he was going to hit lots of home runs this year. 

It's January. The kid is 20. Every prospect maven in the world describes him as having light-tower power. And he hit 35 last year with a bum elbow. Of course the kid thinks he's going to do better.  That's what 20 year olds do, God bless 'em and more power to him. But somehow, because there's nothing else to talk about, this becomes an ominous cloud of Disrespect For The Game and Those Darn Kids With Their Home Runs and He Should Know Better and, presumably, Do His Parents Know He Left The House Dressed Like That.

All of which, ultimately, is hogwash. None of this stuff matters; it's just filler. We know better than to take it seriously (C'mon, Big Papi's been making offseason pronouncements about how he Just Might Leave Boston every since he got there) no matter how breathlessly it gets shoved in our faces. The best thing we can do is hold tight and count down those two weeks. The best thing the writers can do is admit that these really are non-stories, and not report them like they're kaiju attacks. 

And if Miguel Sano does hit 50 home runs (deeply unlikely considering how bad a park Target Field is for power hitters), well, then we can revisit things. Which would be awesome.

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