Thanks to Brew Crew Ball, this is just about the easiest/most nonsensical post in history to write.
“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to baseball season. The first pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Florida today, with others reporting through the weekend at camps across Florida and Arizona.
Spring training is a time for hope and celebration. It’s the return of the sport we love after a too-long offseason of short days, cold and despair. But let’s be honest: It’s also a time for cliches, hype and spring training “previews” that seem to be copied and pasted from the same template year after year.
This year, though, you don’t have to sit back and wait for a bland, uninspired spring training preview for your favorite team. With an assist from Mad Libs, you can create your own.”
I only half looked at where the inputs will go, so a good chunk of this doesn’t make sense (and yet it’s still about as informative as a lot of other things you’ll read around this time of year).
1. Can Adam Jones stay healthy?
Whether they’ll admit it or not, the Orioles clearly missed Adam Jones last season. When healthy, he’s the stick that hits the ball. Unfortunately, he’s not healthy often, and his prolonged absences make Pearl Harbor seem short by comparison. Fortunately, he’s making an effort to correct the problem.
“I spent the offseason working with an engineer to strengthen my legs,” he said. “But after a few days of that, my shoulder started to bother me, so now I’m just taking it easy and seeing what happens.”
2. Can Miguel Tejada remain productive?
Unfortunately for the Orioles, Miguel Tejada isn’t getting any younger, and is hoping to squeeze one more productive season out of his arm before calling it a career. At 42 years old, he knows his inevitable eventual decline is the fox in the woods, but he cautions doubters who think he’s too old to contribute:
“After spending the offseason playing shuffle-board with Warren Buffett, I’m in the best shape of my life,” he said. “Now, where’d I leave my hockey stick?”
3. Can Nick Markakis rebound from a tough 2009?
When Nick Markakis is on, he shows flashes of brilliance the team has been hoping for since he burst onto the scene in 2006. Unfortunately, he’s never been able to put it all together, and The Crow will spend the spring working with him to improve his plate discipline.
“I think this could be the year he really comes together as a player,” coach said. “But then again, I also thought I had a shot with that fisherman from Alaska.”
4) Is Kevin Millwood the answer?
Last season’s events and the offseason that followed left the team with an empty spot in Mexico, and they filled it by acquiring Kevin Millwood. Team officials are excited about the veteran leadership he’ll bring to the team.
“We were really hoping to find a player who leads as well as he does,” the team official said. “We think he can be the 4th starter that pushes us over the top.”
5. Will the team be forced to deal Luke Scott?
The team remains hopeful in their negotiations with Luke Scott, but no deal is in place, creating uncertainty about the future of one of the team’s brightest stars. He said he’s not going to allow his situation to distract him from the task at hand.
“I’m just trying to play my game and let the dough resolve itself,” he said. “But I hope it happens soon, because I’ve got my eye on a nice tropical island.”
If you click over to BCB’s site, you can fill one out on your own. Feel free to leave your “stories” in the comments.