Whistling Past the Graveyard 

Two weeks until pitchers and catchers report, or, as a recent New York Times headline puts it, until pitchers and Molinas report. (It's a piece on the Molina brothers and their hometown of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico; turns out Bengie owes his major-league career to his pushy mom. ¡Viva Boricua!)

Nice to have a little fluff these days. It actually gave me a wee frisson for the upcoming season. There will be bright moments, such as when the Cards come to town and Yadier and Bengie play against each other. (April 18-19.) Other things worthy of our anticipation:

* Rich Aurilia walks to the plate for his first home at-bat back in a Giant uniform. I expect a warm reception for one of the nicer guys to wear the french vanilla in recent years.

* Assuming Zito and Schmidt are the Giants and Dodgers opening-day starters, they'll match up against one another at Mays Field on Sunday, April 8. Ain't we got fun?

* The major-league debut of Tim Lincecum.

* Omar Fu, Part 3. It arrives from nowhere with little warning. You must remain alert at all times. Behold Part 1:

And Part 2.

And this magic trick, called La Pelota en la Camisa. ¡Increíble!

* Matt Cain's no-hitter. What the hell: both of them. Not possible? He had five starts last year in which he only gave up one hit (only one was a complete game), and another in which he gave up two over 8 innings. It's a matter of time, my friends.

* Barry Bonds breaks the all-time home-run record. He needs 22 more. I predict: Tuesday August 21, at home against the Cubs. Yes, I will stand and cheer.


P.M. UPDATE: Speaking of anticipation, you can't beat this for the pure joy of baseball fandom. Do people really talk like that in Minnesota? Oh you betcha. (Thanks to Bat-Girl for the link.)


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