Welcome to 7th Inning Kvetch

Larry Levin and Gary Kodner

Larry Levin

Thanks for joining us on our new blog, which brings together two things that Jews have an innate passion for:

* Baseball and

* Kvetching

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Well, it won’t only be gratuitous whining, of course. After all, hope springs eternal as players bask in the warmth of the Florida and Arizona sunlight. 

But even now — with the landscape of an entire season ahead of us — I have so many things to righteously complain about, that I just can’t keep them in. So here goes:

* Why have some of the national media anointed the Chicago Cubs the next coming of the 1927 Yankees? Don’t get me wrong — I’m happy to see an enhanced rivalry between the North Siders and St. Louis. Those affairs the last few years have looked kinda like a big red shoe squashing a little blue bug. More competition, it’s good for the game. I dunno, maybe we can pretend it’s cuz Theo Epstein’s Jewish. More likely, folks are trying to swirl up some fervor in the Friendly Confines. I say….wait til we know whether Kris Bryant is or isn’t the second coming (can I say that in a Jewish blog?) of Dave Kingman, the dual master of homers and whiffs. Have you ever looked at Kingman’s history? Take a gander and compare it to Bryant’s 2014 minor league figures. You won’t be sorry. 

* Why are fans so concerned about the Cardinals’ starting rotation? Sure there’s some injury risk and inexperience toward the bottom. But last I looked, there was basically the Washington Nationals rotation followed by…everyone else. And in the later category, the Cards remain near the top of the heap. They’re plenty good enough. Surprise of the season–Marco Gonzales gets his chance and out pitches Carlos Martinez. You heard it here first. 

* You worried about the Cards’ last year anemic hitting? Don’t be…it was about as aberrational on the low side as 2013’s ridiculously inflated run totals. We knew two years ago wasn’t sustainable but the utter collapse in plating batters wasn’t so predictable either. Adding Justin Heyward stretches the lineup at the top, and a maturing Kolten Wong does the same near the bottom. A healthy Molina adds to the mix.

* I’m in the minority on the Dodgers. I know they’re good. I just don’t think they’re that good. Good outfield (again, let’s see how phenom OF Joc Pederson performs. And if either Clayton Kershaw or Zack Greinke is hurt, look for a rudderless ship drifting into the Pacific Ocean. And BTW, the Nats…incredible rotation and strong bullpen make them formidable, but that lineup may be somewhat holey. Their issues aren’t once they make it to the playoffs; it’s whether they can withstand the inevitable in-season slugfests. And their starting eight isn’t hearty enough to stand injuries to Bryce Harper or Anthony Rendon, who — yikes! — had an ACL sprain the other day. 

* Some surprises on the high side (these don’t qualify as kvetches): Marlins, Mariners, Padres and both White Sox and Indians. On the low side: Reds and Rangers (Astros may not finish last!). Worst team in baseball? Phillies, they’ll look like pounded cheesesteak by season’s end.

That’s enough for a get-it-going rev up. More to come from both me and others. Stay kvetching, my friends!