Spring Training has started and already several players (and one team) is making news. Here are the top five baseball news stories of the day.
- Carl Crawford: Crawford is currently in the Los Angeles Dodger’s rehab facility for his elbow., where he is recovering from elbow surgery. Crawford is happy with the Dodgers, but admits how awful his two years with the Red Sox were. Crawford says “I knew with the struggles I was having, it would never get better for me. I just didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. It puts you in kind of a depression stage. You just don’t see a way out.” Crawford also said he regretted signing with the Red Sox “ a lot of times” and how he thought his career was over since he did not believe any team would take over his expensive contract. Can’t believe a team organization nearly drove a player into depression.
- Kevin Youkilis: Mr. Red Sox is now with the New York Yankees, due to Alex Rodriquez missing half the season due to surgery. The Red Sox traded Youkilis away due to disagreements with Coach Bobby Valentine. Youkilis’ message to the Yankees fans “I’ll always be a Red Sock.” Though Youkilis met all his fellow teammates, he and Joba Chamberlain had yet to talk face-to-face due due to a previous feud in 2007 when Chamerlain threw two pitches over the head of Youkilis. Chamberlain was ejected for the first time in his career and suspended for two games. The “feud” is being overblown by the media, but Youkilis being a Yankee should make an interesting year.
- Grant Balfour: Oakland Athletics closer had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus. The recovery time is 4-6 weeks, meaning Balfour will just probably just miss Spring Training.
- The Red Sox 793-game sellout streak at Fenway will likely come to an end, said the team president Larry Lucchino. No one, but Red Sox fans, take the streak seriously since the Red Sox organization would actually buy and give away free tickets just to keep the streak alive. Also, judging by the amount of empty seats at the stadium toward the end of the 2012 season, it seems as though not every game was a sell-out. Anyways, the fact that the team president believes he can’t count on Red Sox fans to attend games shows how the Red Sox will start off another “great” year.
- Alex Rodriguez: Last week a report came out that Rodriquez was doping in Miami, just in time for spring training. Rodriquez was due to miss half the season due to hip surgery, but the allegations that he is using steroids made sure that his name will continue to be in the news. Now some baseball fans, mainly non-Yankee fans, are wondering if A-Roid is the only Yankee player using steroids. Due to years of steroid abuse, I believe Rodriquez no longer has testicles. Quite possible that he also has man-boobs since that is also an effect of steroids. Stay away from drugs kids!
Grant Balfour is a bullpen pitcher from Australia, known for using profanity when he pitches.
The Rays acquired Balfour in July 2007 from the Brewers in a trade that dealt Seth McClung to the Brewers. Balfour failed to make the opening roster in 2008 but after a successful month in Durham and Troy Percival being placed on the disabled list (DL), the Rays sent Ben Zobrist to Durham in exchange for Balfour. Balfour became the new closer until Percival returned from the DL. In mid-July 2008, Balfour had a 2-1 record with a 1.54 ERA. Balfour continued to do well throughout the rest of the reason and had a low ERA throughout the year. In Game 4 against the Chicago White Sox, Balfour struck out Ken Griffey Jr. for the final out of the series, leading to the Rays’ first playoff series win ever. In 2009, he was one of the most consistent bullpen pitchers.
Due to the Rays low payroll, Balfour was forced to find a job elsewhere. He signed a two-year, *$8.1 million contract with the Oakland Athletics. As of April 21st, Balfour’s 2011 record is 1-1 and his ERA is 4.26 in 6 innings pitch. The Athletics are in 3rd place in the A,L. West with a record of 9-9.