14 Days to start of the season (at Gwinnett)
21 Days to first game at the DBAP
For aficionados of Carolina barbecue, losing Dillard’s is the most important story of the spring. For the impact on the DBAP, see George Habel’s blog. For a view of the larger impact, check on Bull City Rising.
I am not about to divulge my own preferences for barbecue, since that is one of the great theological debates of North Carolina. I don’t have many friends as it is. I’d hate to lose those I’ve got over barbecue. Nor am I willing to divulge my favorite barbecue joint, since there is even less agreement on that topic than there is on barbecue styles hereabouts. I can say that if you want to get a “dialogue” going with newcomers, the opening remark, “What do y’all think about Carolina barbecue?” is the equivalent of pulling the pin on a hand grenade and leaving it in the middle of the table.
That said, one would assume that someone will be taking Dillard’s place in the DBAP. Hope so. Barbecue and a beer is a pleasant start to a late afternoon game.
As has been abundantly clear over the years, as much as I like stats and charts, I’m not very good at them. On the other hand there are those who dive into numbers and just keep on swimmin’. A good example is this analysis of prospective Durham Bulls first baseman Casey Kotchman by blogger FreeZorrilla. Worth reading both as an exemplar of number-crunching and to let us know a bit about a player we will probably be seeing some of this spring.
And let me say this just to get ahead of the commenters: Yeah, Chris Richard is probably just as good a glove and probably a better bat than Kotchman.
My first response to Tonya Cloyd’s story over on The Life of a Baseball Wife was to ask my wife, “Were we ever that young?” But of course we were. Fun read.
Over on RaysProspects they’ve rounded up a bunch of Rays Bloggers to make predictions about players in the Rays system. All posts are worth reading, but this one and this one has players on the lists that we could be seeing this year. In addition, their list of bloggers is a good start for those who want to roam around in the Rays bloggerverse.
UPDATE: Just had to add this link from Indy Week about Dillard's.