Spring Has Sprung

I know it is a cliche, but I had to use it for the temperatures this weekend. April is the finest month for weather in Belgrade and we are taking full advantage of the perfect temperatures and spectacular light conditions. It also means the start of baseball season and I usually do a blog post on the Detroit Tigers. I am shown above pitching to my son Oliver. It is one of my fondest memories of growing up was my family’s Sunday afternoon batting practice. My mom and dad used to take us up to the nearby Caspian ball field and pitch to us. We all played Little League Baseball and my Mom especially was an avid Detroit Tigers baseball fan. All I hope for every year is for the Tigers to contend for a Division Title to make the season interesting. Luckily, they have a good owner that has the tenth highest payroll in the Majors (30 teams total) and although the hated Yankees have a payroll twice as much as the Tigers, it is still enough to field a decent team.

The Tigers have two of the best players in baseball. Justin Verlander is always a Cy Young Candidate and a dominant starting pitcher that gives the team a very good chance to win every few days. Miguel Cabrera is a monster hitter. The huge Venezuelan could lead the league in RBI’s and homeruns and is an MVP candidate. The Tigers added Victor Martinez, another Venezuelan, from the Boston Red Sox which should help. It all depends on the others however, because of the long 162-game season. They have many question marks with the pitchers other than Verlander. They also need some other players, like lead-off batter Austin Jackson, outfielder Ryan Rayburn and others to contribute. So far they are 1-4 and not off to a good start. I predict that they will win the Central Division with 90 wins, in a close race with the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins. All three teams look about equal and I especially fear the Twins because they are so well coached. My other picks for the AL are the Yankees winning the East, with the Boston Red Sox and the Wild Card, and in a surprise, the Oakland A’s winning the west. In the National League, I am predicting the Atlanta Braves in the NL East, St. Louis Cardinals in the central, and the SF Giants in the west with the Colorado Rockies as the wild card. It will be the Tigers and Giants in the World Series with the Tigers winning in six games. Of course I have to pick my favorite team to win it all.

Owen is really into baseball and Ollie is getting used to it. As you can see, Oliver bats from the left side naturally as a right-hander and Owen, a left-hander, bats naturally from the right side. There is no Little League Baseball program here in Serbia and while the kids are young, it is okay that they are just playing with me in the yard. There is a baseball diamond at Ada Ciganlija and I hope to eventually start a program at the school for kids.

 I also want to keep them playing soccer and tennis. Fitness and exercise are important to Nadia and I and we want to give that gift to our children.

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