Bulletin: You will still have to come down with the flu to attend Opening Day.
Matt Holliday is still in. But a National Holiday is out.
Yep, the White House has turned down the petition to have baseball’s annual rebirth declared a National Holiday. The drive generated more than the 100,000 signatures required for formal consideration, but received a quick thumb from the Administration.
The “out” call was made gently by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who ended his statement thusly:
“While we are sympathetic to your pitch to make Opening Day a national holiday, it’s a little outside our strike zone: creating permanent federal holidays is traditionally the purview of Congress. So, it’s up to the men and women on Capitol Hill to decide whether to swing at this pitch.”
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Anyone wondering what kind of Spring Training was had by Justin Morneau? Pretty much like his month with the Pirates: No home runs, three doubles his only extra-base hits, three RBIs, a .229 average.
Morneau still has not hit a home run since he left the American League. He’ll find a few in Denver’s altitude, but letting him go had to be GM Neal Huntington’s easiest call.
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Let’s do a spring clean-up on the Pirates’ other high-profile exes:
A.J. Burnett: 6.05 ERA, nine walks, 12 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings; Down
Marlon Byrd: .298, two homers, eight RBIs; Up
Garrett Jones: .200, but three homers and 10 RBIs; Typical G.I.
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Final cuts sometimes tell you more about a team than the players kept.
For instance, I’m thinking the Mets may not be so bad after all if they could not find room for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had a 25-to-4 strikeouts-to-walks ration in 23 2/3 innings, along with a solid 3.04 ERA. He’s been sent to Triple-A Las Vegas.
And the Pirates? Vin Mazzaro is out after putting up a 1.24 WHIP and holding batters to a .239 average. Bet there are 25 other teams that broke camp with guys in their bullpens who only see those numbers in their dreams. The Bucs have become a relief factory, and Vin just fell off the conveyor belt.
I’d wish him luck — but the team that picks him up will have all the luck.
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Rolled through the Fort Pitt Tunnel. Drove high above PNC Park. The heart skipped a few beats, and I swear I could hear Roberto urge, “Arriba! Arriba!” and the crack of Stargell’s bat answer pleas to put one “On The Hill Will.”
They’re ready up in heaven. We’re certainly ready down here on Earth.
Let The Show begin. Hope you all find it enthralling — and, again, unforgettable.
Happy Opening Day!