Monday, January 28, 2013

Local sports and stuff

The Lightning have gotten off to an impressive start now that hockey is actually being played with a 4-1 record. The boys are scoring a lot of goals and with the exception of a mysterious lapse in the second period of each game, they are playing good defense as well.

Kind of hard to say how this short season is going to work out. Seems painfully obvious to say that either they will be rounding into top form when the playoffs start or they'll be struggling with those nagging injuries that crop up just around the half-way point of a normal season, but yeah . . . that's what I'm thinking.

It would be nice to see the guys in playoff hockey again. Here's hoping.

And it looks like the Red Sox actually have a team in place. Cherry's been pretty busy in the off season jettisoning the clubhouse cancers and bringing in guys who will be happy to play in Boston. Plus saving a ton of cash at the same time.

There's a lot of pop in the lineup (fingers crossed on injuries) and the bullpen looks like it might actually be a plus this season with two quality closers in Bailey and Hanrahan. Putting Aceves back in his accustomed long relief role and the possibility of rehabbing Daniel Bard and leads might just hold up this year.

Starting pitching is a question with a lot of what ifs abounding. But with Cherrington saving money on contracts, there's plenty of cash on hand to pick up another solid starter to bolster the staff.

The AL East is going to be an interesting division this year. I think the Sox might be playing for third place, but they could be a sleeper to make the wild card depending on how some other teams do. And speaking of that . . .

I mentioned this time last year that I thought that the Rays ownership was setting the city of St. Pete up for a leverage play. Bringing in Pena and Scott and spending freely to upgrade the team, the Ray's owners hoped for another pennant drive knowing full well that the area wouldn't respond any better than it had in years past vis a vis attendance. Then they could go to MLB and get the league to force the city to break the stadium lease and allow the team to move.

Well slap my face and call me Susie. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig released a statement last week saying that he is"...disappointed with the current situation in Tampa Bay... and ...the status quo is simply not sustainable."

Comparisons between the Rays and the Rangers are apt here. Both teams were languishing at the bottom of attendance before each took off on a five year run of winning and playoff baseball. However, though the Rangers finished last year in the top five in attendance, the Rays still finished in the bottom five.

Local officials are already conceding that it's not a matter of if the team moves but when. And even the language of the lease has magically morphed from a stadium lease until 2027 to what is now referred to as an area lease. I hate to see the team go, but I simply don't think the Rays are going to be here much longer.

And on a different note, is it just me or should Nabilla Benattia keep her sunglasses on?

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