Ah yes, the smell of spring is in the air (except for our one East Coast reader who has another diddy of a snowstorm on the way to bury him). Pitchers and catchers report this week, with the position players following them next week. Sportsline.com is sending me daily emails regarding my fantasy leagues. Ah, yes.
But the number one sign of spring and baseball being near?
I'm sitting around in my boxers on a Sunday watching Baseball Tonight.
Buster Olney is doing a thinkpiece on Carl Crawford, inevitably setting up for a season of a LeBron-like "where will he go in the offseason" that ESPN can ride until November. If you get a chance to watch this segment, I highly suggest dropping everything in order to absorb it. Please note how Crawford's trainer has a vocabulary stretching a formidable seventy-five words; Buster's awkward analogy of comparing one of CC's workouts to rowing a boat, to which both Crawford and his trainer are perplexed but eventually agree upon; and finally, the ability of Olney and Karl Ravech to remind us of when Crawford is a free agent around every turn. This is going to get annoying real fast. Instead, I would like a thinkpiece on how Carl Crawford and Vince Young are actually long lost brothers.
This past offseason has been quite strange, if you ask me. Matt Holliday, who two years ago could have demanded A-Rod money and received it from any team, could only find one suitor for his services. Anyone over the age of 35 without a position is still sitting on his ass at home. And all of the fat cats owning these teams kept using the economy as an excuse to not pay market value for players, even though their revenues far outweigh their expenses. But somehow amongst all of this, the Braves entrusted Billy Wagner to close for them for $6.75 million. Someone please explain that move to me because I still can't comprehend it.
Meanwhile, impact players like Johnny Damon, Felipe Lopez, and Cliff Floyd remain unsigned, which leads me to my biggest discovery/realization this offseason.
My epiphany occurred when I was scrolling through the endless blah about Damon and Lopez on my MLB Trade Rumors feed one day. I was bored of seeing who wanted to pay the least for the noodle-armed Damon and becoming excited to see what was lying in store for me on the People of Wal-Mart feed instead. Then, I discovered this seemingly harmless headline, "Rays Sign Matt Bush." Little did I know that my thirteen-year-old-like interest in a dude named "Bush" would accompany the awesomeness that followed.
I assume that most people on this blog read MLB Trade Rumors quite regularly or at least know the format and style of the site. So you know what I mean when I say that the posts (not necessarily all of the comments) are a little bland. They feel like press announcements from the McDonald's PR department promoting their desire to fight childhood obesity. Matt Bush's post was extremely controversial compared to most posts, and definitely eye-opening.
I had no idea that Matt ("The Bush" as I will be calling him from now on) Bush was such a douchebag. And now I had a new douchey athlete to cheer for (because like Dave, I often cheer for the openly douchey athletes because unlike the rest, all of whom are douches, who jump through all sorts of hoops to avoid the public seeing their true douchiness, like Tiger, guys like Dennis Rodman, Ron Artest, and "The Bush" just let it all out; it's refreshing actually).
However, everything behind Matt Bush is quite vague from what I have found. And by what I have found, I mean reading his Wikipedia and Google results. And here's what we do know about him:
1. He was suspended pretty much immediately after being taken number one overall (in front of Jeff Niemann, Stephen Drew, and Jered Weaver, as his Wiki mentions... like those guys would have done a great job of living up to #1 hype at this point in their careers) due to a fight outside of an Arizona nightclub. Which I think is pretty logical, I mean, who wouldn't want to punch this kid?
2. He sucked as a shortstop, so the Padres thought they would just fuck around with their number one overall pick and convert him to a pitcher. I mean why the hell not? He turned out to be so good, that he was cut from the roster in the spring last year in favor of Cliff Floyd. (See, now that whole Cliff shout out earlier comes full circle, boom, roasted)
3. Not only was he designated for Cliff Floyd due to lack of skill, but also because he was fighting with high school lacrosse players. A visual of "The Bush" fighting Chris Klein immediately popped into my head, just barely beating out the image of "The Bush" being a douchey version of Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused.
4. After trading for him, the Blue Jays outright released Bush based on their zero tolerance behavioral policy for something so vague (or hopefully, unmentionable), I have been unable to find anything. I assume that "The Bush" told Vernon Wells that he sucks.
Overall, Bush is really just one drug addiction away from becoming the next Josh Hamilton story. But I (ironically) pray that he doesn't find Jesus. Because I don't know if I can stand a summer of ESPN berating me with feel good Bush stories to accompany the Crawford talk.