Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.
Last night in Kansas City, it rained. The game was postponed and has been rescheduled for Sunday night, when it will serve as the backend of a day/night double header. Scott Kazmir, Friday night's scheduled starter, will be pushed back to Saturday night. Ubaldo Jimenez was scheduled to pitch Saturday, but he'll be pushed back to Monday. Justin Masterson will still start Sunday afternoon as scheduled, Corey Kluber is likely to start the nightcap.
Jordan Bastian's Friday notes from MLB.com include word on Michael Bourn resuming baseball activities. He hopes to be ready to return when eligible on Tuesday, but it's not yet clear that he'll be able to.
Meanwhile, Paul Hoynes' Friday notes from the Plain Dealer report that Matt LaPorta is wrapping up his extended spring training and is expected to be assigned to Columbus in the next week or so. Give him a week or two there and then tell the American League to watch out.
In the absence of the Indians, there were four shutouts around MLB last night:
The Nationals defeated the Reds 1-0. Jordan Zimmermann pitched all 9 innings, allowing just 1 hit and needing only 91 pitches to finish the game. A complete game shutout on under 100 pitches is known in some circles (mostly my own) as a "Maddux," and Zimmermann's is the second of 2013, following Clayton Kershaw's incredible Opening Day performance.
The Tigers crushed Atlanta 10-0, with Anibal Sanchez setting a Tigers' record with 17 strikeouts over 8 innings. Sanchez had thrown 121 pitches to that point, so he didn't have the opportunity to go back out in the 9th and make a run at tying the MLB record for most strikeouts in a 9-inning game (20).
Jonah Keri at Grantland asks Can Anyone Explain Why the A's Are Good? Specifically, he looks at the success of their hitters and attempts to identify some causes (ranging from luck to intelligent playing time distribution). The A's operate with an even smaller budget than the Indians, so their success is a point of interest/frustration for a segment of Tribe fans.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! reports that the Yankees appear to be scrapping plan of staying below $189M payroll. For months they have discussed getting under that threshold for 2014 because it would reset their luxury tax rate, saving them a few million dollars a year. The equation is changing though, and the Yankees may head to the off-season with numerous holes (2B the most glaring, if they don't re-sign Robinson Cano), so they may ignore the tax implications.
The ballot for the 2013 MLB All-Star Game has been released and voting has begun. Carlos Santana and Mark Reynolds are both entirely reasonable choices. On the other hand, if you vote for Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera, you're a huge homer. That's cool though, Hawk Harrelson is a huge homer, so you'd have company.
Finally, for this week's non-baseball topic, we turn to films the 1950s. Television was spreading and Hollywood wanted to keep people in theaters, so the decade saw a number of huge-budget productions with massive set pieces (and in some cases, massive running times). Science fiction also saw a big jump in popularity, sparked by fears of atomic war and the dawn of the space age. With apologies to North by Northwest, Seven Samurai, and Some Like it Hot, here are my...
Favorite Films of the 1950s
6) Rear Window - As this list will attest, I'm a big Jimmy Stewart fan. Notably, the Rear Window episode of The Simpsons is also a great one.
5) Giant - A sweeping, sprawling film, set deep in the heart of Texas, with strong work by Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and especially James Dean (in his final performance).
4) 12 Angry Men - Henry Fonda stars as the one member of a jury not convinced the suspect is guilty. Almost the entire film takes place in one room, where he attempts to convince the others.
3) The Bridge on the River Kwai - One of my favorite WWII films, about a group of British soldiers in a Japanese POW camp.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Alec Guinness plays the commanding officer, which is cool.
2) Harvey - Arguably the greatest movie about an invisible, six-foot, three-and-a-half-inch tall rabbit ever made. ...Arguably.
1) Vertigo - My favorite Hitchcock film ever since my dad took me to see it in 70mm after an impressive restoration process. Jimmy Stewart plays a private investigator hired to follow a wealthy man's wife... but all is not as it seems.