The Hanging Curve – Baseball Opinion Blog with MLB Analysis that won’t Bend or Break

Preseason is Upon Us

Today, MLB preseason kicked off, with everyone except the Padres and the Mariners playing their first games.  Hope abounds throughout the league, with every team believing that the carte blanche of the new season brings them playoff hopes.

The Pirates trotted out their predicted starting lineup minus Andy LaRoche, who had some back spasms, against the defending champion Phillies.  The starters came out plenty early, and every Pirate pitcher tossed one inning.  The second base position was strong:  Freddy Sanchez went 2-2 while prospect Shelby Ford blasted a 3-run home run which helped solidify the win.

The Phillies couldn’t muster much against the Pirates pitching, although closer Matt Capps struggled uncharacteristically through the second inning by walking the bases loaded with 12 straight balls.  Donald Veal, a Rule-5 pickup this offseason, picked up the win as the Pirates came through with the 8-2 win.  They face off with the Red Sox tomorrow.

Rodriguez Thanks Team, Lies Profusely

Syringe with cap

Yesterday Alex Rodriguez did his best impression of someone who feels sorry for doing something wrong.  Manager Joe Girardi is apparently standing strong with him, although it is still unclear whether the rest of the team feels they have been given a giant enough sackful of money to maintain solidarity; the press conference was as scripted and non-confrontational as a Sesame Street episode.

Trying his best to seem truly remorseful, A-is-for-anabolic-Rod only came off as being sorry for getting caught.  The press was allowed to ask questions, but not follow up questions (to avoid navigating that tricky web of lies).  Rodriguez constantly bemoaned his youth and naïvete, and claimed some sort of ambiguous knowledge of what he was doing:  “I knew we weren’t taking Tic Tacs”.  Yet, he went further to insult those present by claiming:

I’m not sure what the benifit was…if you take this glass of water and say you’re going to be a better baseball player, if you believe it, you probably will be.  I certainly felt more energy, but it’s hard to say.

Alex Rodriguez Batting

Apparently, Rodriguez didn’t know what he was doing, but he did know it was wrong, but doesn’t think it did anything.  I can only assume he is attempting to frame his actions under the time-tested legal precedent of “no harm no foul”.  Here’s a tip man:  you don’t take mild, over-the-counter medicine via intravenous injection.  If someone, even your “cousin”, offers you a needle, the contents of which are a total mystery to you beyond “not being Tic Tacs”, and you take it, you are either a complete moron and deserve the public uproar and media circus you must endure, or you knowingly cheated while already making hundreds of millions of dollars to play a game and thus lie somewhere on the spectrum between “criminal thug” and “complete douche”.

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Big Stories You Didn’t Hear About Here First – Offseason Edition

Rays beat Sox in 7 : Argh

Phillies beat Rays for World Series : Who cares by now.

Yankees sign any free agent worth more than the GDP of the U.S. economy in order to (re)build their unholy tower of Babel

Manny insists he’ll work at a Denny’s if they pay him…and they might be the only ones who might.

The Hanging Curve cracks the top 10 for Google search “Rich Harden Injury”. Massive traffic coming our way! (Although…man I got burnt on that timeline (for the first time in Harden’s career ever) and boy is my face going to be red for 6-8 weeks)

A mass amount of arbitration deniers get hammered – the prime example being Red Sox captain Jason Varitek – signing for a one year five million dollar deal. Boras and Varitek ate some crow, which is nice to see. Maybe he’ll respond by hitting above a buck ninety.

Bonds took Roids/A-Rod took roids/Giambi took roids – hell, Giambi might have sold some to your mom. He’s back with his old pal Billy Beane in Oakland for the 2009 season – Beane being famous for his willingness to play a giant bag of dogshit in the field so long as it hits like a steroid-using Alex Rodriguez (one of many cheap shots to come).

Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 12. We’ll try to do some more updates and cover a bit of the World Baseball Classic. The USA or “Team Re-cover” has got a lot of bad press, but I’m gonna go out on a wild limb here and call for a USA victory. NOW LET’S GET DRUNK AND LISTEN TO POP COUNTRY WHILE WE DRINK COORS!

I notice from our site-tracking that someone has come here after doing a Yahoo! search for my little pony panties.  Sick fuck.  Fortunately all he got was a loadful of my hatred towards a Yahoo! sports “journalist” interviewing former-President still-criminal Bush.

Many more to come as I think of them~