Baseball season is in full swing folks as we have no a full series worth of games for each team now in the books. As is the case every season there are some events during the opening series of the year that has people jumping to some crazy conclusions. Other overreactions may prove not to be so crazy after all and that the opening series performances were in fact tone setters for the entire season. Here are a few notable overreactions that have been discussed on this Opening Weekend of baseball.
- Albert Pujols goes 0 for 5 with 3 GIDP on Opening Day. There are people out there who believe that Pujols is/will be distracted by his looming free agency and contract talks. Albert Pujols is without question one of the most professional, not to mention most talented, ball players in the game today. Everyone has an off day and just because it happened to be the worst he ever had does not mean he will be on a crash course in 2011. It is fair to expect a regularly Pujols-esque year out of Albert if not better; we all know players tend to elevate their game in walk years.
- John Axford has Opening Day meltdown and blows save to Reds. Axford surrendered 4 runs in only 2/3 of an inning on Thursday leading to the Reds first win(a walk off win) of 2011. The Brewers were a popular preseason pick by many people to be the division winner in the NL Central due to their powerful offense(tops in the NL in 2010) and the bolstering up for their starting rotation(Greinke, Marcum, Gallardo) but now those same people are jumping off the bandwagon because they do not believe that Milwaukee will be able to close out wins late in games. John Axford saved 24 games last year in 27 chances, pitched to a 2.48 ERA and struck out 76 men in 58 inning. Talent like that does not just dissolve. Despite the poor showing on Thursday(and ultimate sweep by the Reds,) Axford should be okay and the Brew Crew should compete for that division crown this season.
- The Boston Red Sox are swept in Arlington by the Texas Rangers. As a Yankee fan I was glad to see the BoSox go down three times, as a bettor not so much. People are trying to knit-pick and find out what is wrong with the Red Sox since they were believed out of the gate to be one of the most dominant teams we were ever going to see. Carl Crawford has struggled at the plate in the early going but he is a perennial all star and will find his stroke; this is nothing to get crazy about. The Red Sox simply have too much talent on that roster, both offensively and in the pitching staff, to not be a successful contender in 2011. Nothing is wrong with the Boston Red Sox, they just ran into a very good Rangers team and did not play well for a few games. The good news for them is that there are 159 games left this season to get the monkey off their back.
- Barry Larkin says Rickie Weeks will hit 40 home runs this season. I love me some Barry Larkin. He is one of the best shortstops I have ever seen play the game but maybe he should not be predicting such outlandish things. Larkin says he worked with Rickie Weeks this offseason and that he is poised for a huge season in 2011. He was reacting to Rickie’s Opening Day performance in which he blasted a lead off home run and followed that up with an RBI double the next inning. Rickie Weeks is a very nice player and will earn every dollar of that juicy extension he got this offseason but 40 home runs? Really Barry? It is not out of the realm of possibility since Weeks hit 29 dingers in 2010 but that was considered to be a huge break out year for Rickie, so to expect him to progress in a huge way again this year is asking a lot of the guy.
Leave some comments with your favorite Opening Weekend overreactions. Stay tuned for this week’s baseball poll question!