Even if it’s just Oakland playing the f'ing Red Sox in Japan, I’m so happy that the baseball season has started again. Just looking at box scores, seeing that Daric Barton walked twice more, bringing his OBP to .444 despite not getting a hit yet, and seeing Rich Harden make the Sox look silly, striking out nine in six innings, it just brings a smile to my face. Never mind that the Orioles aren’t expected to win even 70 games this year. I’m not going to worry about that right now. Instead, I’ll point and laugh at Jason Varitek, 0-8 with six Ks so far. And who knows - maybe the Orioles will flash back to 1989 and unexpectedly make the playoffs. I can’t imagine Jeff Ballard is too busy these days … Edit: Article here mentioning Barton as an AL Rookie of the Year candidate.
Barton has never hit up to corner-infielder standards – though he’s still young enough to develop the power – but he has never not hit, topping .300 everywhere he has been. He is a remarkably disciplined hitter at a young age – his Minor League totals show 303 walks versus 255 strikeouts.
I like this kid more and more. He’d probably be the poster boy for Moneyball II - What Can Billy Beane Get for Huston Street?