Well, for some reason, Major League Baseball decided to open the season in March and play the two games in Tokyo in the middle of the night for the two West Coast teams. I mean, at least if they would have played two East coast teams, they may have gotten some viewers, but these two games were the lowest watch MLB openers since the invention of TV, I would think. Oh yeah, the 49ers also made yet another move, and we'll talk about both in this post.
First off we'll start with the Niners, who continued their great offseason by filling yet another void in their offensive arsenal with a power running back and one that should really help them keep Gore fresh throughout the year. Him and Kendal Hunter are the perfect mix of thunder and lightning behind Frankie, and should he miss a game or two, they'll be in much better shape to handle things with Jacobs now in tow. He's a guy who had that big 15 TD season in 2008, then the Giants cut his workload in half and split him up with Ahmad Bradshaw, but he still managed to put up nearly 850 yards with 9 TD's on just 152 carries in 2010 as the 2nd back. The 49ers are giving him just a one-year deal, which I like because it'll motivate him to go our and knock some heads to try and get that big deal next offseason. The NFL is now a league in which every good team has two startable backs, and Jacobs knows that when he's right, he's one of the best power backs, next to Peyton Hillis, in the NFL today. I think Harbough and the 49ers staff now exactly how to use him and I'm expecting a similar output to what he showed in 2010. This deal gives the 49ers a bruiser for short-yardage situations, and gives them insurance in-case Gore misses some time. In a market and draft paper thin at running back, the 49ers just got themselves a good one that knows how to win ballgames and can get that first down on 3rd and 1 when Frankie's on the sidelines. Anthony Dixon was so bad at it last year, they barely used him, and when they did, it showed how sorely they needed to upgrade, and that they have!
Now, completely switching subjects, we move to the A's, who split their two game set with their near equals, the Seattle Mariners, across the World in Tokyo these last two mornings. The Mariners drew first blood, winning the opener on Ichiro Suzuki's 4-hit effort and Felix Hernandez's 8 shutout innings, but they responded well in game two, as young Yeonis Cespedes flexed his muscle and hit a mammoth shot to help guide the A's to a 4-1 victory. Fellow new comer Josh Reddick also homered and raised his average to .667 through 2 games, and he's looking like a real nice pickup early on for the A's. The only two A's yet to get anything going offensively are Jemile Weeks and Coco Crisp, who the A's are hoping spark the top of that lineup if they're to be any kind of offensive threat. However, if Cespedes is the real deal, and this Reddick kid continues to hit (he did it in Boston, so why not?) then the A's will sport a better lineup than I thought. Plus they still have Manny on the way after his 50 game suspension who should be like adding another bopper to the mix. They still are thin in the rotation, though Bartolo Colon gave them a great outing this morning, working 8 innings of 3-hit ball before yielding to Grant Balfour who was perfect in his first save opp. Brandon McCarthy was decent too on Thursday, but didn't match up with Hernandez.