MLB In Full Bloom 2/28/2014

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32 – Number of days until Opening Day

43,186 – Number of signatures at www.budweiser.com/openingday to make Opening Day a National Holiday

This weekend I will be making my annual journey to Mesa,AZ to visit the new Cubs Park. I watched opening day at the park yesterday and it looks like the new gem of the Cactus League. I'll be attending the Royals/Cubs game on Sunday afternoon. It will be great to watch a ballgame and enjoy my beverage of choice. The Cubs are going anywhere there year, but I still find myself full of excitement and anticipation. On Monday, I will begin breaking down each team and give you my predictions for 2014.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Zack Greinke (calf) made an early exit from his Cactus League debut Thursday due to a mild right calf strain. Greinke will undergo treatment today and could throw a regularly scheduled bullpen session Saturday. While the injury is considered minor, it could be that the Dodgers keep him from making the trip to Australia next month.
  • Carl Crawford's (quad) injury is being called quad tightness. It was originally described as hamstring tightness, but the Dodgers made the clarification on Thursday. Crawford has already been ruled out for Friday's Cactus League game but could return to action on Saturday. The hope is that he'll be 100 percent on Opening Day.
  • Yasmani Grandal's (knee) side-to-side blocking and stamina have not progressed enough to catch a Cactus League game in the immediate future. It might not be too long before Grandal is allowed to hit in a Cactus League game, but the Padres aren't ready to let him work behind the plate this early in spring training.
  • Joe Blanton could be traded or released by the Angels before Opening Day. Unless there is an injury to another starter before the end of spring training there's no spot for Blanton in the team's rotation and it does not appear the Angels are going to keep a long relief pitcher on the roster to start the season. Blanton is still owed $7.5 million for 2104 and he has a $1 million buyout in 2015 and the Angels are on the hook for all of it.
  • Cody Ross (hip) is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on March 13 according to Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson. This is assuming everything continues to go smoothly for Ross as he works his way back from surgery to repair a dislocated hip. The Diamondbacks have not officially ruled Ross out for Opening Day, but they'd probably be happy if he made his season debut by the end of April.
  • Adam Wainwright has figured out a solution to speed up the games in baseball - expand the strike zone. With the addition of instant replay and manager challenges this year, the length of games will certainly increase.  Wainwright went on to challenge critics that say that baseball is making millions of dollars with commercials and if they want to keep those commercials open the strike zone.
  • San Francisco Giants president and CEO Larry Baer is leaving the door slightly open and hinted that of the possibility that the Athletics could play home games at AT&T Park as long as it does not conflict with the Giants schedule. The A's want a new stadium and its highly likely that they will need some help. The The Giants hold territorial rights to San Jose, where the A's want to build a new ballpark.