By In Stuff

Spring Training Surprises

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It has been a hectic couple of weeks, moving to MLB.com and MLB Network, getting some sort of death flu, drafting furniture with Michael Schur, having an emergency Super Bowl PosCast and so on. I’m hoping things will settle down over the next little bit.

In the meantime, we did a package on potential surprises in Spring Training this year.

And I looked back at the ultimate Spring Training surprise, Albert Pujols in 2001.

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19 Responses to Spring Training Surprises

  1. Pete R says:

    From Baseball Prospectus 2001:

    “Albert Pujols is a very promising third-base prospect. It’s probably early to call him grade-A, but he has one great year under his belt, a .324/.389/.585 performance at Peoria followed by a brief stint at Potomac in which he wasn’t overmatched. He finished the season with three games in Memphis and will likely start the 2001 season at Double-A Arkansas. Pujols is not going to be a fast guy; he’s already big at 205 pounds and has the frame of a power hitter. His defense is good enough that he can probably avoid the dreaded corner migration from third base to first base. This is someone to watch: he could be starting at a Cardinal corner sooner than anyone realises.”
    .
    Well, in fact Pujols was the Cardinals’ Opening Day starter in left field, but a very good call there.
    .
    Incredibly, Pujols spent 2001 as a utility player: 161 games, 156 starts, but no more than 52 starts at any one position. (3B/LF/RF/1B/DH).

  2. Grover Jones says:

    Thanks for the link. Articles on MLB.com get buried quickly–can’t they make the writer’s name a hyperlink to all his articles? I don’t want to miss a single one!

  3. Marco says:

    1. The more absurd the drafts are, the more entertaining I find them.

    2. More importantly, how could you draft chair 1:1? A couch does all the things a chair does, plus it’s more comfortable, can seat multiple people, and doubles as a bed on Saturday afternoons. I’m unreasonably upset about this.

    • invitro says:

      “A couch does all the things a chair does” — Can you hit someone over the head with a couch?

    • Karyn says:

      Was rocking chair a separate category? Chairs are easier to move than are couches, which supports invitro’s point.

      • invitro says:

        Don’t get me wrong… couches are great. I think I might still go with an ultimate chair… a recliner that was massively adjustable. But I’d pick a king-size vibrating bed over both. Oh, what the heck: 1. Bed, 2. Computer Desk, 3. Office Chair, 4. Recliner, 5. Bookcase, 6. Sofa, 7. End Table.

  4. Doug says:

    Couches were way underdrafted, easy number one, most powerful furniture. Brings everything together. Completely versatile.

    • Patrick says:

      Agreed. We have a sectional and it’s the most amazing thing ever. My wife and I can both lay down at the same time, the dog can hang out, we can set up a changing station for the baby at one end.

    • Dan says:

      It wasn’t the couch. The rug really tied the room together. 🙂

  5. Crazy Diamond says:

    I really hope nobody drafted a hide-a-bed. My wife loves them…mostly because she never has to move them, lol. My goodness those stupid things are heavy!

  6. Pat says:

    Gahh, I can’t stop listening to Michael Schuur talk about his %(**@&%ing Patriots, but it’s painful every second. (I agree entirely with Mike’s observation that, even after watching it happened, I still can’t understand how the Patriots did it. Also I agree with Joe that, reading the play-by-play, yeah, it probably didn’t happen. No way the Patriots pulled that off.)
    .
    Full disclosure, I’m a Patriots hater and a homer for my own team’s players, but the argument that Tom Brady is the greatest, while certainly colorable, is essentially inscrutable. I really wish Joe had pressed Mike for an answer on the question: If you could have a team with only one, Belichick or Brady, which would you pick?
    .
    And of course, there’s this: Patriots minus Brady are 11-5. Colts without Manning are 2-14 (and if memory serves until the 13th week or so everyone thought they’d lose all 16).

  7. Pat says:

    … now listening to Michael Schuur talk about The Good Place (which, agree again with Joe that it’s very good, although I haven’t seen the whole thing yet).

    Michael just mentioned a quote about the best twists being one’s that are shocking but also feel inevitable. I suspect he is talking about a different quote than the one I have in mind, but in one of John Gardner’s books on writing (I would guess The Art of Fiction), he explains the plot of a story as a series of trails like the veins of a leaf, each splitting of which represents a choice the characters made that could have made the story go differently. As you look at the beginning of the story, from left to right, each diverging pair means the story looks like it can go any number of ways. But from the end of the story, looking from right to left, it feels like there was only one way to go, because only one combination of those paths led to this point.

  8. Brett Alan says:

    This is a simple story…any decent writer could have written an enjoyable story about this. But Joe somehow makes it awesome. Thanks.

  9. Dave Smith says:

    I’d have drafted a bar as my throw away pick. It’s a useful table like structure (like a desk) but specialized for sitting around and drinking. It wouldn’t even necessarily be for adult beverages.

    Another specialized (kind of already drafted) item would be a rocking chair.

  10. MikeN says:

    So once every 25 years, means we can expect a surprise in 2026.

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