On the surface, fans of football and baseball are entirely different. But when you’re in a small market like Milwaukee, you take anything you can get. The entire state is feeling the first signs of Spring and still feeling confident about after the Packers Super Bowl win a few weeks ago. The win left a high level of expectation in all areas of sports, including the Brewers.
New Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said it best, “With the moves we made over the winter, we’ve put ourselves in position to win. My expectation for this team is very high, it’s very deep into the playoffs.”
He’s not the only one. Brewers fans are confident their team can make the playoffs, if not the World Series. Too confident? Maybe. But the Brewers have been “almost” a well-rounded team, so great in some areas and then slightly lacking in others. Add to that the overall high that the area has with the Packers win in the Super Bowl, and you’ve got a set of fairly confident fans and players. Even general manager Doug Melvin acknowledges the expectations, saying “I think people are energized about this club. Coming off the Packers’ Super Bowl win, I think our fans will get behind our team now. That’s what you want to do. You want to increase your franchise value and level of interest.”
Outfielder Ryan Braun no doubt heard an earful from his buddy Aaron Rodgers about the Super Bowl win. Braun admitted that there is “definitely a buzz around the Packers” but that “there’s a buzz around this baseball team, too. People are genuinely excited, probably more so than they’ve been in years.”
The above picture depicts the aftermath of what happens to a wall when a Ryan Howard-hit baseball makes contact with it. Notice the baseball seams? Yeah, I think it’s safe to say the Phillies first baseman has respectable upper-body strength. The Zo Zone (via Can’t Stop The Bleeding) has more:
Ryan Howard just ripped a foul ball into the Bright House Field press box. The ball cruised between Phillies baseball communications folks Greg Casterioto and Kevin Gregg. Howard hit the ball so ridiculously hard that it put a hole in the drywall in the back of the press box, a good 20 feet behind the open window it sailed through.
Maybe Mr. Mahvelous has a future in Spring Training after all. After I scoffed at the Yankees monumental free agent signing, Billy Crystal decided to show folks like me his signing was not just a publicity stunt.
Crystal certainly looked the part during his day-before workout. He kept the jokes to a minimum, made contact on all 52 swings against batting practice pitcher Tino Martinez and kept up with Derek Jeter in jogging drills.
“He did fine,” Jeter said. “He did a good job.”
Take that, Chris Richardsons of the world.
When asked what position he’d be playing when the Yanks play the Pirates tomorrow, Crystal responded with, “DH — Designated Hebrew.”