The Sweet Spot is running its first full Spring Training preview item today that will include a short paragraph on the player each blogger is most excited to see in 2012. Do you see my dilemma? How can you possibly pick just one player on this roster to be excited about?
I ultimately went with Joe because my non-sexual crush on him burst into an all out affair this week after he signed his extension and held one of the greatest open interviews in the history of sports yesterday on 620 WDAE. (During the interview I emailed my former boss the following “You already know this, but Joe’s a stud.”) If I write about Joe again, this blog is going to turn into his CV so, I’ll save the remaining thoughts I have about the skipper for another day.
I grappled with this decision for several days before writing the blurb I ultimately used. (I found out hours later about this ridiculous DJ Kitty mascot and immediately reconsidered making the person in charge of hiring and firing in the marketing department the player I was most excited to watch).
Here are the options I am excited about that were left on the proverbial cutting room floor:
- Sean Rodriguez: I love this guy. Love him. There is something about him that gives you that “old ballplayer vibe.” I know, I know, that is not scientific in the least but, I sense it about SRod (He REALLY REALLY needs a better nickname too). Maybe it’s because he grew up in the game. Maybe it’s because he looks like he wears eye black to bed. But he just reeks of a guy that is going to play this game for 25 years. So, I am excited to see if this is the year he puts it together.
- Matt Joyce: Sure we added Luke Scott and Carlos Pena and Jeff Keppinger. Sure we have an entire season of Desmond Jennings. Sure BJ will be in a contract year. None of that will matter for the Rays offense if Matt Joyce backslides. Call me an optimist, but I don’t think he will. I think Joe has a good book on Joyce and will continue to use him in situations where he can succeed. Besides, looking through our lineup, Matt is going to get a ton of good pitches.
- Kyle Farnsworth: He was solid last year. And, if memory serves, had been solid the year before in Kansas City. So, maybe my unease isn’t justified. But who can forget the gas can that used his name and pitched for the Yankees and Cubs? If he reverts to that Farnsworth, we are going to have big matchup problems in the late innings.
Who’d I miss? (Besides the obvious. I mean, we’re all excited to see Evan Longoria walk from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box. We’re all excited to see Matt Moore spin that breaking ball up there. We’re all excited to see BJ go back on a ball over his head.)