Saturday, April 02, 2005

News around the MLB

Today, several major league stars were placed on the disabled list, changing the possible outcomes for the season. Barry Bonds, Eric Gagne, and Curt Schilling all were put on the 15-day DL for various reasons. Bonds, as most people know by now, is having knee trouble and the calls for retirement are already coming. I'd say Bonds, despite the steroids scandel and his incidious approach towards the media, is good for baseball. He still manages to widen the fanbase and just his presence alone will fill up the Metrodome for the interleague series in June if he's healthy. Bonds changes the face of the game and the Giants as well. With his presence, he gives them more walks than most major league clubs can attain. Even if he took steroids, when he's healthy, he'll likely have a shot at 755 if he doesn't retire. The real issue with Bonds is the long-term effect he'll have on Baseball history. When people look back, if he wins the record, it will always be surrounded with the looming cloud of steroids. I'm not saying they should have seperate records, but I would rather see Albert Pujols or even Alex Rodrigez break the record. Or better yet, Ken Griffey Jr. Just as long as they are seperate from the scandal.

Gagne, on the other hand, will have just as much of an impact on his team when he's not in the bullpen. Though the Dodgers have a few good arms, mainlyYhency Brazoban, but not real way to replace him. What's really problematic is that Gagne's injury is almost in the vacinity of Joe Mauer's, as it resembles the same type of pain he felt eight years ago when he had Tommy John surgery. He also has been hampered this spring by a sprained ligament in his left knee, which he injured while playing pepper during the Dodgers' first full-squad workout. It seems apparent that Gagne will be out at least a month if not more. If the Dodgers want any chance of making the playoffs, they have precious few games they can give up by not having an able, reliable closer. Gagne is such a reliable and effective closer that losing him likely signals the end of the Dodger's playoff hopes.

As for the Twins, they lose to the Pirates 5-0 today in the last game of spring training. Kyle Lohse looked sloppy, giving up four runs in five innings, closing up a inconsistent spring. Let's hope Lohse can get things together this season because he doesn't not pitch up to the talent he has. Well, let's look foward to Monday now and the beginning of a very exciting season!

Tommorow, Nick Nelson will talk about the press the Twins are getting, including the impressive number of experts predicting a world series victory.