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Spring Training Weekend Open Thread

Consider this the Open Thread for the weekend...

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone. I have no doubt that my cyber-greetings and glad tidings will deeply warm your heart, especially on so meaningful a day. Like today's Royals-D'backs game, we will remember this exchange for the rest of our lives.

It's interesting that the holiday has remained St. Patrick's Day, unlike Valentine's Day. Before I waste more space on the subject, let me simply recommend Leigh Eric Schmidt's wonderful book Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of American Holidays. Schmidt traces holiday customs in America, but avoids writing yet another "the holidays are too commericalized" screed, arguing that grand wastes of money are part of the very definition of a festival. Yes, commercialization has its problems, but inventions like greeting cards, Easter bonnets and the like also respond to a deep need within us, even if sometimes in humbug. Did you know that until the 1830-40s the big gift-giving day in this country was... New Years? That in the middle of the nineteenth-century joke Valentine's cards were quite popular among men? That Christmas and Easter were virtually uncelebrated in colonial New England? That the founder of Mother's Day later started a crusade against the floral industry for profaning her invention? And on and on. Its a great book.

Anyway, Happy St. Patrick's Day, or something.

Keep your eyes on the ball.

And yes, thats George Brett. Thanks to Chris of Arrowhead Pride for the link on this one. Apparently eye-tracking devices have some interesting things to say about what men see. As evidenced by the shocking success of the movie Wild Hogs, its safe to say homosexual-panic jokes are alive and well. A fact not surprising to anyone who's ever spent 5 seconds on a sports message board. I believe the proper response here is to kinda awkwardly laugh, then say something about Jenn Sterger.

Ohh, the Royals. Its the Diamondbacks today and the Giants tomorrow. Meche takes the mound today, so of course extra attention is merited. Yesterday "nycroyal" posted this thirdhand account:

Meche - Didn't see him throw, but body looks better. Scouts buzzing that his mechanics are more consistent than they ever were with Seattle.

If you haven't read nycroyals diary do so now, its tremendous. Well, unless you're Reggie Sanders or Ryan Shealy.

Lastly, Rany Jazayerli of Baseball Prospectus was kind enough to talk with me about the Royals chapter in the 2007 BP Annual, so look for that on Monday.