Sports Briefs: Leaving 2014 MLB Camps

(No team is perfect, and while over a month of spring training has helped to address inefficiencies, Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie have found something each team still needs to work on, assuming a winning season - and not the first pick in the draft - is the goal . . . Sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt) 

Joe: The Arizona Diamondbacks still need to work on finding a replacement for relief pitcher Patrick Corbin, who is out with an elbow injury. One of the shortstops needs to step up and take over the position - Didi Gregorius or Chris Owings. The odd man out may have to be shopped.

Chris: The Atlanta Braves still need to work on creating roster spaces for B.J. and Justin Upton’s father and B.J.’s son, ergo having three generations from the same family on the team and determining whether choking in the playoffs runs in the family. 

Brad: The Chicago Cubs still need to work on keeping Mike Olt' s eyes open so he can hit the ball. 

Ralphie: The Cincinnati Reds still need to work on getting Aroldis Chapman healthy and back to his pre-injury status.

Joe: The Colorado Rockies still need to work on shoring up the bullpen, which is still thin.

Chris: The Los Angeles Dodgers still need to work on scheduling interviews for those who responded to the job posting for “Babysitter Needed for Yasiel Puig.” 

Brad: The Miami Marlins still need to work on Marisnick's at-bat game. 

Ralphie: The Milwaukee Brewers still need to work on keeping an eye on Ryan Braun as he tries to come back and play without PED's. Will he pick up where he left off or has "Samson's hair been cut"?

Joe: The New York Mets still need to work on getting over the loss of stud pitcher Matt Harvey to TJ surgery. The infield will have to improve for the Mets to have a chance to compete in this very difficult division.

Chris: The Philadelphia Phillies still need to work on convincing official Subway spokesperson Ryan Howard that eating two, foot-long roast beef sandwiches and one of the new Flatizzas for each meal will not help him lose weight. 

Brad: The Pittsburgh Pirates still need to work on proving that they have what it takes to make it to the postseason. 

Ralphie: The San Diego Padres still need to work on keeping Carlos Quentin healthy.

Joe: The San Francisco Giants still need to work on catching the Dodgers, but the additions of veterans RHP Tim Hudson and LF Mike Morse will need to payoff big time if the Giants have a shot at the division.

Chris: The St. Louis Cardinals still need to work on exorcising the “Sports Illustrated” cover curse; considering that every player ever featured on their baseball preview issue since the magazine’s inception failed to get even one hit that season, circumstances do not bode well for Yadier Molina. 

Brad: The Washington Nationals still need to work on improving their overall game and not looking like a minor league team. 

Ralphie: The Baltimore Orioles still need to work on getting Matt Wieters some relief behind the plate. The innings are adding up on Matt and affecting his offensive production.

Joe: The Boston Red Sox still need to work on getting 3B Will Middlebrooks to be consistent at the plate. The BoSox will have a strong bullpen and push the Rays for division title.

Chris: The Chicago White Sox still need to work on expanding the size of the seats in their ballpark, considering that this season they will begin selling a three-pound, 12-scoop, banana split sundae, served in a full-size batting helmet for $17. 

Brad: The Cleveland Indians still need to work on not having all their players becoming free agents. 

Ralphie: The Detroit Tigers still need to work on keeping 39-year-old Joe Nathan RHP to stay healthy this year.

Joe: The Houston Astros still need to work on figuring out what they have. They are a collection of unknown prospects and will need to develop quickly to stay out of the cellar.

Chris: The Kansas City Royals still need to work on finalizing their trade of manager Ned Yost to the Kansas City Chiefs for Andy Reid. Reid would get the Royals to the playoffs, before improbably blowing a 28-run lead in a deciding Game 5, while Yost (who won a championship as an assistant with the Braves) could at least let the Chiefs rub his World Series ring. 

Brad: The Los Angeles Angels still need to work on putting a solid pitcher in the bullpen. 

Ralphie: The Minnesota Twins still need to work on keeping Ricky Nolasco healthy. The left side of the infield has to tighten up to help the defense keep runs down.

Joe: The New York Yankees still need to work on putting A-Rod behind them. The best way to do that is to win the division. The Rays and Red Sox will be tough to overcome. Brian McCann is a great addition.

Chris: The Oakland Athletics still need to work on adding some speed to their lineup and outfield, and what better player to do that than Terrelle Pryor, who was recently put on a clearance sale across town in the Raiders team store. 

Brad: The Seattle Mariners still need to work on putting together a decent playing team. 

Ralphie: The Tampa Bay Rays still need to work on getting their third, fourth and fifth starters to step it up, particularly the number five starter. The defense needs to improve also.

Joe: The Texas Rangers still need to work on filling in the rotation. Now that Tommy Hansen has been released, another arm is needed.

Chris: The Toronto Blue Jays still need to work on repaying the city of Buffalo for the yearly visit of the Bills by offering to play one series a year at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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