Posted on: February 11th, 2013 by Jen Mueller

This week marks the official start to spring for baseball fans around the country.  Spring Training opens in both Florida and Arizona.  My bags are packed for a trip to the Mariners complex just outside Phoenix.  That means for the next several weeks I’ll track how the 2013 team looks and from now until October baseball will be a relevant conversation topic for most sports fans.

If you’re not already a baseball time, this a great time to pick a team and start following along.  Look for more details this week on how baseball provides influencing opportunities at work.  And who doesn’t want to be more influential?

Of course baseball isn’t the only topic making news this week.  Check out the following list and use the info provided to chime in on a conversation or spark one.

Perfect Game

MLB – Every team has it’s own storylines heading into Spring Training, but one of the biggest headlines in baseball this week is the apparent snag in the Felix Hernandez deal.  The Mariners ace was expected to sign a 7-year deal worth $175 million.  The deal would make him the highest paid pitcher in baseball.  But it appears there are now concerns about the health of his elbow and nothing has been finalized.  (By the way, I was a little surprised when I clicked on the link and realized it was a picture of Felix and me after his Perfect Game.)

  • What does the deal say about the seriousness of the Mariners in keeping “King” Felix for the long-term?
  • Which team are you most intrigued by this spring?

NBA – Another King, King James (LeBron James) is on a tear.  He’s scored more than 30 points in 5 straight games and hit at least 60% of his shots in each of those games.  James becomes just the third player in NBA history to accomplish that feat.  He helped the Heat beat the LA Lakers Sunday.

  • Where does LeBron rank among the best players in the league right now?
  • LeBron in one of the All-Star’s competing in the All Star game this weekend.  How do you view the NBA All-Star game compared to the All Star equivalents in other sports?


NCAA Basketball –  Indiana remains the top ranked team in basketball after rebounding from a loss last week.  Michigan could have retaken the top spot if not for an overtime loss against Wisconsin.  Duke is ranked #3 and narrowly avoided losing to Boston College.   The 4th best team in the country, Miami, is the only remaining undefeated team from one of the power conferences.


Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, helps business professionals understand the sports conversations that happen every day at work.  Jen’s practical approach helps professionals join in, sound intelligent, and understand how to leverage sports conversation in business.  Her conversation strategy comes from her 12 years of experience as a sports broadcaster.  Jen is available to speak for keynotes, presentations and workshops.  Contact for more information and read more at