Sunday, April 23, 2006

Early Weekend Wrap

We still have not reached May yet, which means the NBA and NHL playoffs haven't really started. The next few weeks, and yes it actually takes a few weeks to play just one round, should count more as a qualifier for the real playoffs since it seems that half the league makes it in. Are these professional leagues or intramural sports where everyone gets rewarded for particiaption. Come back in Round 2...just don't expect to see the Rangers there.

55 Million Reasons to Worry
It started as a chance for the Blue Jays to make their mark in the AL East race against the two incumbents after a big off-season. After pounding Randy Johnson, the Jays were about to send one of their prized off-season acquistions, pitcher AJ Burnett, to the hill to open a weekend set with the Sox. And if I were to tell you they got to one of Bostons co-ace's, Burnett's fellow former Marlin Josh Beckett, and that Toronto would take home a win, Jay's fans would have to be happy.
But did we mention that AJ Burnett left the game early with yet another injury, sending him to the DL for the second time in this young season. Burnett's stuff has never been questioned. As for his attitude and comment. That's why this comes as no surprise.
Toronto made a huge splash in the off-season, throwing a ton of money at Burnett, BJ Ryan, Troy Glaus, and Lyle Overbay, looking to catapult into the AL elite with Boston and NY. Given their recent history, city, and budget, there was no question they needed to overpay to attract free agents. But I thought they went a little more high risk, high reward then they needed to. Ryan was unproven in big spots heading into the season and Burnett had exhibited enough of a downside to be a potential problem. While Ryan has worked out thus far, throwing up nothing but zeroes, Burnett has not and Toronto may be in trouble. Throw in the fact that Josh Towers and Gustavo Chacin have been less than impressive soon, and Burnett's injury really hampers the Jays pitching. If they plan to be in the mix, one thing Toronto can't afford is to fall too far behind in the early going. Hate to say it, but we told you so.

Around the League
Not too long after being allegedly "washed up", Greg Maddux is off to his best start since 2000 with an ERA harder to find than a contact lens on the floor. He was so good today the only thing St. Louis hitters could do to slow him down was ask the umpires to check the ball. I guess they needed to make sure the ball was still white. I thought it was very bush league. It's not like Gaylord Perry was on the mound. Instead of complaining and trying to point the finger, how about hitting...Is it me or are the White Sox posting another win behind a sterling starting pitching performance every time you look up? Today it was Cuban and Yankee refugee Jose Contreras going to 3-0, following up Garcia and Buerhle on a 3-game sweep of the Twins to run the win streak to 8. Seems so easy, especially when you only give up 7 runs all week. Dare I say, repeat?...No, Barry Bonds does not warrant any comment...

Mets and Yanks commentary to come...


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