Finally a story that is worthy of the tone and urgency of Spring Training. The Dodgers and White Sox facilities are overrun with scorpions.
Since the events of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, scorpions have been derided as a national menace. Now, they serve as the initial test for a White Sox team eager to prove themselves as contenders. If they survive the Spring with a casualty rate under 30%, they're playoff-bound. That's how it works, and we're already seeing how weaker organizations are being felled.
Don't think the Sox are better than the Dodgers? Then how do you reconcile this irrefutable evidence?
Chemistry between the top-two pitchers in the rotation is not the most important thing, since they will never ever ever interact with each other on the field, but the Sox are selling a narrative and why not buy it? It's so shiny and pleasant. Any fringe, illogical reason to think Samardzija will just get flush with emotion and sign a below-market extension is worth it.
Chris Sale is surrounded by actual decent players and is loooooving it. Jose Quintana's last three years annihilates Samardzija's, he's spoken openly about his desire to be a 1-2 pairing with Sale for years to come (Since they're actually signed long-term), and this whole "NEW 1-2 PUNCH!" chatter has been more than a little insulting to him, but hey it's just a fuuuuun Spring story.
So much for resting Alexei
In the even more boring era of the winter, I campaigned for Alexei Ramirez, he of the 33 years of age, marathon work schedule, slowly declining range, late-season hitting swoons; to possibly get 15, 20, 25 games of rest on a roster than now has Carlos Sanchez, Emilio Bonifacio and Gordon Beckham on it. Alexei politely declines.
It'd be nice for Alexei to not discuss playing time like he was being asked to abandon his platoonmates in Vietnam, but not everyone has a full skill set. This ultimately isn't his responsibility, but I imagine that him never being one to say that he needs a day, and him playing 158 games per year are not a coincidence.
Vince Coleman's early impressions
How would the Sox' speed-demons respond to their new baserunning coach, the man who once injured Dwight Gooden with a golf club and threw fireworks at a child?
Eaton's review is actually positive, since unchecked aggression is kind of his thing. Coleman's main proteges seem to be Eaton and Micah Johnson, and since the former was dreadful at swiping bags last year and the other is a rookie trying to impress, he has two sponges. Eaton doesn't need stolen bags to be very good, and doesn't need to beat his head against the wall if the steals aren't coming like Johnson might, but there's time yet for conspiracy theories on Coleman actually affecting offensive approach.
Apparently this wound up being very boring in real life, but that description!