Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to pitch for the White Sox Tuesday, against the White Sox, after Monday's White Sox vs. White Sox competition got rained out in the middle of the desert. Since the proper Cactus League Opener is on Wednesday with Jose Quintana, a preview of freaking out about actual, fake baseball could have waited a day, but I'm out of ideas now.
Tuesday is an important precursor, a chance to prime habits in preparation for the possible mid-Wednesday emergence of an online stream of a White Sox game where they are playing another baseball franchise. Gawking at non-work pertinent video is not a smooth look to the immediate supervisor, and the added detail that it was an exhibition game that even the players gave half a crap about is the added insult.
Because they are just down there and getting paid and certainly not ignoring anything more important going on simultaneously, the beat writers will start tweeting out updates of the players competing against one another. New information, early contaminated samples will start trickling in--Jeff Samardzija just struck out Jose Abreu--what does it mean?--Samardzija, there's the second ace you asked for!--Oh sweet Jesus, Abreu is toast...
There are a lot of emotions that come with this initial burst. Like coffee stains on my teeth, I can still taste the bitter residue of hope that a Dayan Viciedo split-squad Spring home run left. Gordon Beckham's tendency to hit like prime Pete Rose during the first week of Spring action, and like last-year-of-his-career Pete Rose during the regular season is not lost on me, not now. And of course, just last Spring, Jose Quintana gave us the "Uh, it's Spring, but maybe this dude can't pitch anymore" spectacular last March.
Perhaps this is why Tuesday is crucial, so that the pangs of excitement can be forcefully dissipated when Andy Wilkins replaces Jose Abreu and you realize this is actually the least-serious baseball game you've ever followed. There's not even Chris Sale incinerating folks to distract you. By Wednesday, when there's actually video, you'll barely bat an eye when the starters just begin to wander away from the field halfway through.
You probably know someone who is better at hot yoga than Micah Johnson
Micah Johnson was working his way back from his hamstring injury this offseason, so he decided to take up an exercise program that would ease him back in. He chose hot yoga, which is both an excellent and terrible choice.
PRO: Yoga allowed him to stretch out him hamstring, and can be low impact.
CON: Hot yoga is born of the rationalization "This is nice, but not inherently strenuous unless you're advanced, so let's just up the intensity by doing it in unlivable and dangerous conditions."
Dan Hayes quotes Johnson recalling his breaking point:
Rapidly changing the temperature of your environment is the type of mistake you expect from someone who has yet to play a full season in Triple-A. If Johnson had simply laid on the ground and allowed himself to acclimate to the temperature rather than launching into activity, he wouldn't be splashing water on his face and keeling over in the bathroom like an old drunk.
Or, so my wife says.
Dayan goes to Canada
Viciedo's incentive-laden minor league deal with Toronto is the source of much unreasonable optimism, but not too much, since he's no longer being expected to fill-in for Michael Saunders for half the season. It's the usual material, "Boy he hits a lot of home runs, even if everything else is bad," but one particular line from Shi Davidi's report is a knee-slapper.
Oh, go ahead and get a good look at that, AA.
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