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While perhaps the story of the day should be how Bartolo Colon hasn’t allowed a run in 20.2 innings, dating back to July 22, center stage again belongs to everyone’s favorite rookie, Mike Trout. Turns out that when Trout homered off of A’s reliever Travis Blackley, he became the youngest player in MLB history to hit 20 home runs and steal 30 bases in a single season. Even better is that he did it on his 21st birthday! That’s right, for the first time in his fledgling career, Trout could actually celebrate one of these milestones with a legal alcoholic beverage. No more getting drenched with non-alcoholic sparkling cider, no more guys buying him root beers and Diet Cokes after the game. When they say it’s Miller time, it’s actually Miller time.
There was a little bit of player movement over the weekend that, while not of the same magnitude as the non-waiver trade deadline, still had some significance in the fantasy baseball world. As the teams that are out of playoff contention fall further and further out of the race, they begin to audition some of their more highly touted prospects to see just how they rate at the major league level. Some of them, you’ve heard of and some, maybe not so much. But if you take the time to scout a few of them, not only could you find yourself a nice two-month boost for this year, but you could also be getting a leg up on your competition for next season. Keeper league owners likely have a good number of these guys on their radar already, but they tend to be afterthoughts in re-draft leagues, and that might be where you can get a leg up, whether it’s using the players now or scouting them for your draft next year.
So it was Opening Day on Thursday….again. And while some people will mock the fact that MLB pretty much has four different Opening Days, I’m going to relish in it. For me, the offseason drags on for far too long. Sure, football is a nice distraction, but I’ll take a heated pitcher’s duel for nine innings any day. And that’s exactly what we saw on Thursday – outstanding pitcher’s duels. Roy Halladay squaring off against Erik Bedard, John Lester versus Justin Verlander, Johan Santana against Tommy Hanson, and Stephen Strasburg taking on Ryan Dempster. Some of the other matchups were good, but the show that these eight pitchers put on the other day was top notch. Maybe some of the offenses each guy faced were a tad anemic (yes, Pittsburgh, I’m looking in your direction), but overall, you have to love watching a guy standing on the hill pulling strings on pitches left and right, making hitters look just plain silly in the batter’s box.