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04/02/2005 Archived Entry: "MLB: Don't Lose Focus"

MLB: Don't Lose Focus by Rodney Lopez

Even though everyone has their eyes on Louisville/Illini and Michigan State/North Carolina, the true star of this weekend is opening day for Major League baseball. Another day in the sun, watching the boys of summer and choking down hot dogs awaits millions of fans all across this great nation. Another season of baseball begins.

But before we get there, some final tune ups are in progress. Like in todays featured game in the Cactus League between the Boston Red Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Over 35,000 people showed up to watch Brandon Webb versus veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

This game saw two extremes from the starting pitchers. Brandon Webb was in his form from two years ago, tossing six solid innings. He faced 25 batters and allowed 6 hits and only two earned runs in his second victory of the spring. On the other hand, Wakefield could not get through the first inning tossing nothing but softballs. The veteran was touched up for 6 runs on 6 hits and two walks in only two thirds of an inning. When that knuckleball doesn't knuckle, it's like putting the ball on a tee for the big fellows.

Luis Gonzalez had a banner day going three for three with 2 rbi's. The heart of the Diamondback order came to life accounting for 6 of the 10 runs driven in. As we near the season, the line-up seems to be solidifying and posing quite a challenge for opposing pitching. The Diamondbacks have replaced the big bat of Richie "Big Sexy" Sexson with some free swinging acquisitions - Gonzalez, Glaus, Green, and Clark. They need only to avoid the DL and the Diamondbacks could be a sleeper team if Webb and Vazquez hold up their ends of the bargain.

The Red Sox could only muster three runs in the loss. Not much concern as the line-up was lacking a couple big names. The Red Sox are still the team to beat, not much concern here.

Be back tomorrow with another featured game. Remember, keep your eye on the real ball - BASEBALL!

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