We're back for 2013, and my only hope is that this is the year we finally have a quadruple play. It's been so long. And with that wish in our hearts, here are the top 10 stories/players/matchups heading into the weekend.
10. The Weird Constant Interleague Series (LAD-BAL)
Now that the Astros have betrayed and abandoned the National League and joined the AL Central (that's how it went down, right?), there are 15 teams in each league instead of the previous 16-14 split. That means on any given Friday, there will be seven NL games, seven AL games, and one crazy, weird, fun interleague series. This weekend, it's Dodgers-Orioles in what I'm calling "The Battle Between Yankees Envy Past and Yankees Envy Present." Kind of a long name, but you get the point. Both teams are off to mediocre starts and looking to string a few wins together.
Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and R.A. Dickey. The A's, the O's, and the Nats. The 2012 MLB season has been flush with unlikely heroes and amazing stories. But the wildest ride going right now isn't a rookie phenom, a 37-year-old knuckleballer, or a Cinderella team. It's a 10th-round draft pick turned Tommy John case, now on one of the most amazing runs in baseball history.
Kris Medlen was never the scouts' favorite. Undersized at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, the 26-year-old Braves right-hander needs to rear back just to dial his fastball into the low-90s. He put up big strikeout numbers in the minors while also showing impressive command. But skeptics still wondered if Medlen could do it in the big leagues, given the long history of pitchers who dominated on the farm only to fail spectacularly in the Show. Medlen didn't fail. He pitched reasonably well, though not spectacularly, for his first season and a half in the majors. Then his elbow gave out. On August 18, 2010, he went under the knife for ligament replacement surgery in his pitching elbow. Tommy John recovery has come a long way from its humble beginnings 38 years ago. Today, when a star pitcher has TJ, we have every reason to believe he can return to top form in 18 months, and often much faster. But when a pitcher with legions of doubters gets the surgery, it becomes that much easier to write him off.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Wednesday.
Adam Jones bashed an 11th-inning home run to lead the Orioles past the Mariners 3-1 and give the club its 15th straight extra-innings win, the longest streak in MLB since Cleveland won 17 straight in 1949. "I see what's happening here," said 1949 Indians manager Lou Boudreau, in hell. "My soul's not good enough for you anymore, is that it?" Satan sighed. "It's not like that, Lou," he said. "But I'm the devil and the devil gots to get his soul on, you know?" Boudreau frowned. "Oh, don't start talking like you're some big hot shot. Fine, run off with some younger soul, see if it makes you happy." Boudreau crossed his arms and turned away, and Satan fumed. "Maybe I will!" he shouted. "And maybe he'll actually put some effort into the meals he cooks for me! I'm sick of eating this creamed corn every goddamn night. This creamed corn is shit, Lou! It's shit!" At that, Boudreau broke down in tears and ran away when Satan tried to awkwardly apologize.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports over the weekend.
Quarterback Logan Thomas led no. 16 Virginia Tech back from the brink of defeat with two key drives as the Hokies beat Georgia Tech 17-14 in overtime. Unfortunately, the celebrations on the Blacksburg campus got a little out of hand late Monday night when Virginia Tech students began throwing upholstered hay bales out their dorm windows.