Monday, February 21, 2005

Lake Wobegon 

Spring is a time of hope and optimism. Of dreams. We are most acutely aware of this as we read Spring Training articles.

Bob Melvin -- or, indeed, any manager -- is our Garrison Keillor, giving us the news from Lake Wobegon, where the "women are strong, the are good-looking, and the children are above average." When it comes to Casey Daigle's wife Jennie Finch, she's all three of those, but as for her husband, well, let's just say 2004 was Not A Good Year for him. So it was with initial surprise and alarm that we read of Melvin's appreciation of Daigle -- the man could compete for the 5 spot. Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued ("GOOD GOD NO!!!"). But after taking a deep breath, I remembered that Spring Training is all about the promise of the future: Webb, Halsey, Gonzalez, Pena, Aquino, or just the whole freakin' rotation.

It's all about being hopeful. And, really, what do you expect Melvin to say… "oh, yeah, [X], man, his mechanics stink and he's a basket case -- the next time he'll see BOB is when the monster truck rally comes through." No, it's a time when everyone is "above average" -- we won't find out whether that's actually true for another six weeks.

So that's why I'm taking all these articles with one giant grain (lump) of salt. Especially when the pitching coach (Mark Davis) talks about the staff and isn't quoted making a single comment regarding the relative chances of success.

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