Wooden's World of Baseball

Sunday, March 01, 2009

March's Here...


Unfortunately, with this weird—almost menopausal—winter there's snow on the ground and a storm predicted for tonight. But there's baseball on TV today, and that should help.

But baseball's not on my mind as I sit down to write.

A funny thing I've been noticing lately is the decrying of the demise of the newspaper. Yesterday, in fact, there was a long post in the Washington Post about how its baseball coverage will be reduced. This morning saw a more thoughtful essay about what it means when a newspaper stops covering the police and another about how bloggers can't fill the gap that's been left.

While I consider myself a Journalist, what I do here is not journalism. It's an online diary. There are no policies, procedures or oversight. I have no editor but myself. And I answer to no one. There's a serious problem when people confuse passion with professionalism.

And I guess that's what really bothers me, that the newspaper profession is dying. When I was a newspaperman, there was a certain satisfaction in doing the job, knowing that even mundane stories about the school board or the town meeting was doing a public service by enabling folks to make informed decisions (or at least the information to do so).

OK, enough ranting about my poor career choices and/or bad luck.

A few random thoughts, and then I'll go...

...Does anyone truly care about the World Baseball Classic? I care only insofar as it'll be the best baseball to watch the next two weeks, since spring training games are meaningless except to the kids trying to make it up the ladder. As you saw above, the Post will only be running AP stories, and I think most folks won't watch until the finals. And I'm willing to bet the U.S. won't be there.

...The Jim Bowden saga is a tough call. On the one hand, he's made enough mistakes to warrant his dismissal, but I really have a hard time blaming him for the revelation that the team's top Dominican prospect is neither who he said he was, or how old he was. The "Natmosphere" is buzzing about the endgame, playing the "where's Jimbo" parlor game.

...And that's a shame because this team had made some decent moves to improve itself this offseason. They now have a surplus of players for the outfield and first base, and a legitimate power hitter for the first time in its short history. A trade seems inevitable, and Nick Johnson seems to be the odd man out, but that depends heavily on whether anyone will part with the position prospects that this team has to demand.

...Which is because this team could theoretically end up with a rotation that's entirely homegrown by the end of the year. Collin Balester, Shairon Martis, Jordan Zimmermann, and Shawn Hill are battling for presumably the two remaining slots, with John Lannan, Daniel Cabrera and Scott Olsen the likely first three pitchers out of the gate. But even Cabrera can't be considered a lock, but I have a feeling that the dramatically lowered expectations will suit his demeanor.


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