This week's edition includes notes from Friday's action (and lack thereof), Gold Glove news, and the countries I'm most interested in visiting.
The Indians' scheduled game with the Royals was called during the third inning due to rain. I don't suppose that happens very often during spring training in Arizona. Drew Stubbs led the game off with a home run and also doubled before the rain washed the game away. Corey Kulber pitched for the Tribe, allowing three runs on three hits before the rain. Zach McAllister is scheduled to work during Saturday's game against the Cubs, while Trevor Bauer will pitch in a minor league game.
William Boor had the Indians.com notes for yesterday, which include Terry Francona stressing the importance of the Indians being a good baserunning team and also of Nick Swisher being himself, "That's why we signed you. We like what you do." The notes also mention that Michael Brantley is expected back in the lineup on Sunday, the same day Chris Perez hopes to begin throwing again.
Rawlings announced that they will begin incorporating a "sabermetric component" into the voting for the Gold Glove Awards, which may or may not improve their selections. From the press release:
SABR will develop an expanded statistical resource guide that will accompany the Rawlings Gold Glove Award ballots sent to managers and coaches each year. In addition, SABR will immediately establish a new Fielding Research Committee tasked to develop a proprietary new defensive analytic called the SABR Defensive IndexTM, or SDITM. The SDI will serve as an "apples-to-apples" metric to help determine the best defensive players in baseball exclusively for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award and Rawlings Platinum Glove Award selection processes.
Yahoo! has a good interview up with Brandon McCarthy, one of my favorite MLB players. He's got a good sense of humor (including cracking jokes about having been hit in the head with that come-backer last season) and also an appreciation for advanced statistics, something I haven't seen from many players. Highlights from the interview include thoughts on A.J. Pierzynski and reflections on wins and RBI as "worthless," but also being the numbers that "truly get you paid."
Grantland's Jonah Keri has compiled a new team for Mr. Burns, one with current players, complete with misadventures for each player, causing them to miss the actual game (as happened in the original episode). Jonah is a huge Simpsons fan and the article is chock-full of good references. Check it out.
The U.S. got its butt handed to it by Mexico last in the World Baseball Classic (we've got an open thread going for the WBC). I, for one, can't find it in myself to get too broken up about the loss, as my pride in being an American does not extend to needing world domination. A tip of my hat to Mexico and good luck to the boys in red, white, and blue in their next game. I'm fairly well versed in the 50 states, but my international travel resume is awfully slight.
Top Six Countries to Visit:
6) France - I base this largely on having read an awful lot of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I'm hoping Paris and the French Riviera haven't changed at all in the last 90 years or so.
5) Chile - Mostly I would like to visit Patagonia, which seems like one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and Chile seems to have the best parts of Patagonia.
4) Japan - It would be fun to visit a country with such interesting history that it also pretty nuts for baseball. I will totally wear my Hiroshima Carp t-shirt if I ever visit Japan.
3) UK/Ireland - I am cheating here to fit both my main "homelands" into one trip, because counting Ireland and Scotland as two different places seems like a waste of a spot.
2) New Zealand - I'm assuming visiting New Zealand is pretty much like wandering around Middle Earth, which I am down for.
1) Tanzania/Kenya - My dream trip is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and then go on safari to see some of the incredible wildlife in that part of Africa. I'm a mediocre long-distance runner as well, and putting in a few
miles kilometers in the land of so many great distance runners would be neat.