Braves, Marlins and Blue Jays Start Season 2-0
The Braves and Marlins are off to 2-0 start in the NL East. The Braves have had superb pitching from Derek Lowe and Jair Jurrjens who have allowed no runs and six hits in 13 2/3 innings. The Braves hitters have hit with a lot of power hitting five homers over the first two games but only Chipper Jones hitting .500 and Jordan Schafer hitting .333 are hitting higher than .250.
Emilio Bonifacio has been a big part of the early success of the Marlins hitting .600 and leading the majors in hits with six, tied with teammate Jorge Cantu for lead in total bases with eleven. Bonifacio also leads the majors in stolen bases with three. The Marlins lead the majors in runs scored with 20 but they will face a better test when they host the Mets this weekend. It looks like another long season for the Nationals after their ace John Lannan allowed six runs and six hits in three innings in their first loss on Monday and then Scott Olsen allowed eight runs and eight hits in three innings yesterday leaving Lannan with an ERA of 18.00 and Olsen an ERA of 24.00. They have allowed a combined 14 runs and 14 hits in six innings.
The Toronto Blue Jays are off to a good start after defeating the Tigers in the first two games. They lead all AL teams in scoring with 17 runs. Adam Lind might finally get to play regularly after getting off to a hot start driving in six runs in his first game on Monday. Lind only played in 88 games last season.
The Blue Jays were hit hard by injuries in 2008 with Vernon Wells missing 54 games, Aaron Hill missing 107 games and Scott Rolen missing 47 games. Alex Rios is due for a breakout season since he has never hit more than 24 homers or drove in more than 85 runs in a season. Roy Halladay didn’t pitch well on Monday but still garnered the win. David Purcey allowed only two runs and five hits in seven innings yesterday but didn’t get the decision. With Jesse Litsch on the mound today they have an excellent chance of starting the season 3-0.
Jim Thome turned a potential loss into a win with one swing of the bat when he hit a three run homer for the White Sox in the eighth inning to overcome a 2-1 Royals lead and give the White Sox a 4-2 win. The White Sox bullpen kept the score close after starter Mark Buehrle left the game by pitching four scoreless innings….Meanwhile in Houston the other team from Chicago didn’t fare so well as the Cubs lost to the Astros on a broken bat single by Jeff Keppinger by a score of 3-2 in ten innings. Josh Beckett struck out ten enroute to a 5-3 Red Sox win over the Rays….The Mariners blew a 4-0 lead and lost to the Twins 6-5….The A’s garnered 16 hits in their 6-4 win over the Angels.
Tim Lincecum didn’t pitch well but the Giants offense led them to a 10-6 win over the Brewers as Travis Ishikawa and Aaron Rowand both drove in three runs in the contest….Jair Jurrjens pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings to lead the Braves to a 4-0 shutout over the world champion Phillies….The Cardinals spotted the Pirates a 1-0 lead then scored in each of their first five innings to defeat the Pirates 9-3. The 3-4-5 hitters Albert Pujols, Chris Duncan and Khalil Greene drove in three runs each….Ubaldo Jiminez pitched seven scoreless innings of four hit baseball in the 3-0 shutout win by the Rockies over the Diamondbacks.
Mark Teixeira Booed By Orioles Fans
The fans of the Baltimore Orioles showed Mark Teixeira what they thought of him apparently rejecting an Orioles offer even though he is from the area by loudly booing him on Monday. If he repeats his habit of getting off to a slow start the Yankee fans may be booing him soon. Regardless of what Teixeira may give as his reason for signing with the Yankees it is apparent that he was going for the big money and the prestige of playing for the Yankees. He is in a place where he can make even more money from product endorsements and playing for the Yankees won’t hurt his Hall of Fame chances.
I used to be a big Mark Teixeira fan but his signing with the Yankees showed me he is all about the money like so many athletes who have faced similar decisions. Teixeira will be 29 on Saturday and already has made $34 million during his career. When his present contract expires he will have made in the neighborhood of $220 million for playing a game. It would take 220 lifetimes for an average baseball fan to make this kind of money.
Teixeira has never hit less than 26 homers in a season but in his rookie season he came out fifth in the voting for AL Rookie of the Year despite hitting 26 homers and driving in 84 runs. I can see Hideki Matsui winning that year after driving in 106 runs but can’t see why Angel Berroa won the 2003 AL Rookie of the Year Award. One thing for sure is that Rocco Baldelli and Jody Gerut should not have had more votes than Teixeira.
By the end of the season Teixeira will probably have his 30 homers and 100 RBI’s but there is no way he can actually earn a contract like this contract detailed at Cot’s Baseball Contracts. The Yankee infield will make $78 million in 2009. That is more than the payroll of fourteen major league clubs with the Cardinals the closest to the $78 million with a $77 million payroll.