The Commish Online                                                                                
BLOG ARCHIVE:  03/01/08 - 03/31/08
With foreign opening day and opening night behind us, that only leaves the traditional Opening Day, scheduled to begin with 14 games early this afternoon.  Not sure what's happened with your favorite team over the winter?  Not sure who's going to win it all this year?  Check out TCO's Season Preview for all the answers!

The Braves have already lost a winnable game to the Nationals tonight, so it must be time for TCO's Season Preview.  Check it out now!

Like almost everyone else in America, I had a hard time getting behind the Boston-Oakland series to "start" the baseball season.  While viewing an inning or two, it was just weird, almost depressing, watching these two teams play meaningful games, knowing they have to hop back on a plane, fly across the country, play non-meaningful games, only to restart the motors again a few days later when the real Opening Day rolls along.  Simply, it just didn't feel like Major League Baseball.

When Opening Day (the real one) rolls along Monday, check in with TCO for our always informative Season Preview.  I am already finding this year's predictions to be harder than ever, with every top tier having just enough holes in the armor to convince me to choose another team.

Love him or hate him, Bobby Valentine has never shied away from an opinion (well, except for that one time he wore a disguise in the Mets dugout).  This time around, Valentine is balking at MLB for promoting and scheduling the Boston-Oakland opener in Japan right at the start of the Japan Professional Baseball. 

Whatever your feelings are about Valentine, in this day where so many professionals follow the money and ignore the community supporting them, it's nice to see a guy like Valentine, as manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines, show some passion and take some interest in the league itself.  It would be easy to collect the paycheck and go back to the hotel and watch some American television, but Valentine seems to embrace the country, the sport of baseball, the league, and the club that's paying his bills.  We should all be so passionate.

This year's Yankees are a far cry from Joe Torre's respectful, workmanlike squads of year's past, largely due to fiery disposition of new skipper Joe Girardi.  Hank Steinbrenner isn't exactly Mister Rogers, either, so if you were just waiting for the right time to start hating the Yankees again, wait no more: it's time!  The latest Hot Corner gives you several more reasons to pull your "I hate NY" cap out of storage.

It's still way too early in the spring to make any predictions about starting jobs or who will have a breakout season.  How early is it?  Well, Ichiro is still hitless (0 for 17) and the Yankees have signed Billy Crystal (yes, that Billy Crystal) to a minor league deal and will play him in an exhibition game as a thank you for buying front row tickets all these years. 

I'm all for a little fun during spring training, but when celebrities start taking the place of a player in actual games, it becomes a bit much for me.  Hopefully Jorge Posada will get the chance to perform in a co-starring role in Jersey Boys on Broadway one day in the offseason.  Or maybe Alex Rodriguez can sign up for a recurring role on All My Children.

The Rockies must REALLY have liked what they saw in their team at the end of last season, because ownership is doing their best to sign every important young player to a multi-year deal.  I think it's a good move, because no one is really breaking the bank, and signing the core part of the team (Holliday, Tulowitzki, Hawpe, Corpas, and Cook) for several years might look like a bargain if they all hit their prime somewhere between '08 to '10.

Unfortunately, Colorado is stuck with Todd Helton's ludicrous contract (unofficially making $16.6 million per year from now until 2011, when he will make $19.1 million) which includes a $23 million club option in 2012.  Uh... I don't think they will be exercising that.  As good a person and player as Helton is, paying him that much money might be the reason a competitive Rockies team won't be able to make a deadline deal for another World Series shot. 

In the end, if your last name isn't Steinbrenner, there's only so much money that can be spent on talent, and if it's overspent in some places, bargains must be found elsewhere.  At least the Rockies are on the right path, paying proper market value over medium length contracts (2 - 6 years) so no single player can hamper the development of the club.