The One With True Grit
Happy Tuesday, everybody. Let's get our baseball on.
The Big Three
1. Well, I guess the D'Backs weren't kidding when they said they wanted to fill their roster of "gritty," hard-nosed players. Arizona acquired speedster Tony Campana from the Chicago Cubs yesterday in exchange for two 17-year-old pitchers: Eric Leal and Jesus Castillo. Campana perfectly fits the small, over-achieving white guy mold championed by David Eckstein and Willie Bloomquist (also a D'Back), which, according to GM Kevin Towers, is exactly the kind of player the team wants to procure. Lord knows that Arizona didn't need another outfielder, so one would assume that the D'Backs plan on using Campana more for his elite base-running skills more than his ability to roam the outfield grass. Another confusing move for the D'Backs, whose front office seems hellbent on destroying all the good will they built up in the last few years. Perhaps Jerry Dipoto and/or Josh Byrnes were more responsible for their success?
2. Poor Mat Gamel. The guy finally gets a shot to break camp with a starting job and he can't even make it onto the field for a single game. The 27-year-old Gamel was set to start the season at first base for the Brewers while Corey Hart recovered from knee surgery, but he couldn't avoid a knee injury of his own. Gamel has reportedly re-torn the right ACL that forced him to miss five months last year, and will now miss all of 2013. The injury puts the Brewers in a very tight spot in terms of finding an adequate first baseman for Opening Day, so look for them to make a small move in next few days. My money is on either Mike Carp or Justin Smoak.
3. So the Pirates are planning to hand out a one-year extension (through 2014) to manager Clint Hurdle with an option for the 2015 season. Why the Bucs decided that now was a good idea for an extension is beyond me. Yes, Hurdle has been around for the two seasons in which Pittsburgh got somewhat close to a winning season, but I fail to see how two epic second-half collapses warrant greater job security. I understand that on some level a manager is only as good as the tools with which he is equipped, but that still doesn't explain how nine losing seasons in 10 years as an MLB manager merits a contract extension. Maybe he's just really good at instituting all the weird Navy SEALs training stuff.
In Other News...
1. When winter began, the Mets had been on the lookout for a right-handed hitting catcher to complement Josh Thole for ages. Now that New York has acquired said right-handed hitting catcher -- John Buck! -- they, of course, are now looking to trade him. Yes, youngster Travis D'Arnaud is waiting in the wings, but at least wait until camp ends to send anyone away. You never know.
2. A reunion for Ryan Theriot and the San Francisco Giants is looking less and less likely. The club has brought back just about everyone from the 2012 championship squad except for Theriot, so I wouldn't blame him if he feels a little left out. He'll still land on his feet somewhere. I vote for the Angels because Bill Hall? Really?
3. Well, so much for Jose Valverde having a suitor. The Mets are now "very unlikely" to sign Papa Grande despite Frank Francisco being at a self-diagnosed "zero" percent. Maybe Valverde, Kyle Lohse, and Scott Boras can start their own team? I hear Manny's available.
Instead of random links from the darkest reaches of the interwebs, we're going to go on a trial run with themed extras for at least the near future. Today, music!
It's really quite amazing how quickly one can fall out of the loop when it comes to something like popular music. I spent nearly every waking hour of my first two years of high school searching for any and all rock music that I could get my hands on (God bless 70s' AOR). While I'm now pretty ashamed of a lot of the stuff I listened to at the time -- the early aughts was not kind to unlearned ears -- my taste in music has sadly never really evolved much beyond that.
Sure, my college experience led to the inevitable "appreciation" of Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Arcade Fire, etc., but my iPod is still chock full of crap. Gatsby's American Dream, anyone? Anyone?
I'm pretty sure the last album I actually went to the store and purchased was Thrice's Major/Minor, which Wikipedia is telling me came out in 2011. Yikes.
Anywho, all this is a long-winded way of me asking for your musical guidance...
1. What do you have on repeat at the moment?
2. What was your favorite album/song of 2012?
Here's one of my recent favorites from SoCal band Local Natives (formerly Cavil at Rest):
Edit: The trivia is no more. It has ceased to be. It is ex-trivia. Those responsible have been sacked.