Friday, May 13, 2005
As seems to be the case more an more often these days it's been a while since my last post. I'm sure this costing me the attention of even my meager audience but what can I say? Maybe I'm overwhelmed by all the crap in the world. It seems like everyday there's something that makes me shake my head. Or, perhaps I'm so content that I've become complacent and unable to Rant. Life has been pretty good lately. I still have a good job with prospects of getting better. I've got a few irons in the fire in terms of other projects. I'm moving in with a guy and saving some money. Life is good. Or maybe it's just that I work too much and play too much and just don't have the time or the mental energy required for writing. Whatever it is it's led to this, not quite a "dot dot dot" column, but a few quick hits on things that have been rattling around my brain.
Disenfranchised voters, judicial impropriety, illegal gifts, it's not national politics, it's not South America, it's American Idol and it's getting more attention than Tom Delay and the Pope combined. Who gives a crap if Paula got her groove back? It's not a real contest! This is not steroids in baseball, this is not point shaving in the NCAA tournament, this is American Karaoke. It doesn't matter, it effects no one, and the guy got eliminated anyway. No harm no foul. Now can we get back to talking about Medicare, Social Security, House Ethics, Congressional Filibusters and Oakland's Bullpen? Jeez.
How great would it be for The Artful Roger to get traded back to Boston? Let's face it: Houston is done. If they're out of it at the trade deadline why not send Roger to a contender? After all he only came to Houston because he thought he and Petite could get the Astros to the series. Well, they couldn't. There are several interesting possibilities for Roger's future if he is indeed traded. Really, you could put any contender in this list, but I'll name my favorites.
-Chicago (AL or NL): The Sox look legit, and they don't have the glaring pitching holes they had when they ran through the AL, only to get demolished in the playoffs, in 2000. If the Sox are in it then I don't see how they could not push for Clemens. As for the Cubs, well, if they climb out of their current hole they should go for it too. After watching what Boston did last year the Cubs have to figure they're next. Besides, Clemens isn't going to want to be a savior and have to carry a team on his own, if he could join an healthy Prior and Wood then why not go for it? After all, Greg Maddux makes a pretty scary fourth starter.
-Texas: They're young, good and in the hunt, but they have no pitching. I guy like Roger may be what the Rangers need to overcome The The Angels Angels of Anaheim, and Seattle. Texas has a history of bringing in aging power pitchers. By going to Texas Roger could cement his legacy (as if he needs to) by tying himself further to the man to whom he is often compared, Nolan Ryan.
-New York: No I don't mean the Mets though it would be interesting to see the "what could have been" of Clemens and Pedro together. It's interesting that for years people said that these two were good in part because they could pitch inside without fear of retribution yet both have excelled so far on the senior circuit. Of course the only option for Roger in NY is the Yanks assuming they're even close. In my mind it would be sad to see Roger got to NY only to miss the playoffs anyway, but it would be a nice thing rub in my cousin's face.
-Boston: This is the best story. If only this could happen. Roger going back to Boston to team with Schilling, the man whose career he saved, to rewrite the final chapter of his tenure with the franchise he was so closely identified with is...well, it's something George Lucas would come up with. A story of redemption so Hollywood it almost makes me want the Sox to win the world series again just so my kids could have one more baseball legend to dream about. Roger helping the Sox to another title would rival last year's Sox run in terms of scale and spectacle. Mr. McLane, please send Roger back to Boston.
Rip-a-ping-ping, the A's dodged a bullet when they didn't resign Giambi. As the steroid cloud follows this fallen figure I don't know whether to laugh or just shrug it all off. In a way Giambi is getting exactly what he deserves after stabbing an entire city in the back. How's that top ten list look now Jason? Now the Yanks want to send him to the minors so he can rebuild his swing and maybe fix his head. The problem is Giambi doesn't want to go. He should. If he doesn't it only confirms what fans in Oakland have suspected since he left in 2001, that he's all about the money. Before he got paid Giambi seemed like a throwback bad boy playing for the pure joy of it. Now he seems like a brooding selfish ass putting himself before the team. The reality is if he doesn't start hitting soon he's going to be a waste of a roster spot. Still, like I said a few months ago, I'd take him back on the cheap if he showed that he really did want to redeem himself. Be humble Jason, be contrite, that's all you need to do to start turning it around.
On an side note, Miggy's making us look like idiots for choosing to go after Giambi, and then Chavez and totally ignoring Tejada. Quick comparison:
Wow, after looking at those numbers I have to wonder if Chavez destroyed his BALCO evidence before the Feds got to it. Of course it could be that both Giambi and Chavez are in wicked slumps that they'll pull out of. The real difference is that Giambi went to NY and has to accept everything that goes with it including the scrutiny that Chavez has managed to escape thus far.
In more A's related news; the bullpen sucks. After leading the league in blown saves and losing the division by one game last year the A's tried to upgrade their bullpen during the off-season. Oakland added power arms in Juan Cruz and rookie Huston Street to go along with closer Octavio Dotel. Still the A's pen has failed to hold leads in recent weeks, the most glaring example being back to back blown saves against the Red Sox. It seems like missing soft tossers like Chad Bradford (DL-back) is hurting the A's because they have no change of pace type relievers to throw out there.
Moving to football, Rod Gardner wants out of Washington and it wouldn't take much to get him at this point. A former first round pick, Gardner has a modest base salary and though he hasn't lived up to his potential the past couple years he has been very solid under difficult circumstances. If anyone should be willing to risk a 6th or 7th round pick on Gardner it should be the Forty Niners. Gardner would come relatively cheap in terms of cap room as well since Washington would still be responsible for the balance of his signing bonus. SF needs dependable receivers to help number one pick Alex Smith adjust to the NFL. Gardner isn't a super star, think JJ Stokes with better hands, but he can be the steady position type receiver that SF thought they were getting in Curtis "Stone Hands" Conway last year. The SF receiving corps took a step backwards last year with each of their young receivers seeming to regress. I loved the pick of Arnaz Battle but now I wonder if he'll ever be more than a Nate Singleton/ Dexter Carter type player. Bringing in Gardner to complement Brandon Lloyd and to give last year's number one pick Rashaun Woods time to mature would be a good move provided Gardner understood that he wasn't being brought in to save the franchise and would not be getting a new deal as part of the trade.
Speaking of SF receivers I don't understand why SF wouldn't want to bring Jerry Rice back as a player-coach for one last season. Rice could come in for a minimum deal with no bonus and take advantage of the recent rule that allows veteran players with minimum deals to count only half their salary against the cap. At this point in his career Rice could serve as a great mentor to SF's young receivers in a way that he never could when he still believed he was a top-flight player himself. Also, even at his age, Rice could be a good third down type guy, especially in a four receiver set going against a team's fourth corner.
I think it's great that new Forty Niner coach Mike Nolan petitioned the league for permission to wear a jacket and tie on the sidelines rather than the coaches polo and warm ups that have become the norm in recent years. Aside from a few exceptions (Tom Landry) coaches have sported a more casual sideline look since before Nolan's dad Dick Nolan coached the Niners. In a sports scene dominated by throwbacks why not a throwback style coach? Look up a picture of Lawrence “Buck” Shaw aka "The Silver Fox" and tell me that isn't a great look for an NFL coach.
Final thoughts...Eagles owner Jeffery Laurie says TO isn't getting a new deal. Huzzah! Laurie and head coach Andy Reid should be applauded for taking a hard line with the hard head. Right now Owens has few options since he has not been given permission to seek a trade. He can sit out and miss out on this year's salary (a move that backfired on Sean Gilbert), he can admit defeat and report to training camp with the hope that he'll be traded at some point, or he can retire, thus forfeiting the rest of his signing bonus. If he retires and decides to come back his Eagles contract would be reinstated. Here's hoping that the Eagles tell him he can play for their money or sit out forever, or at least until an equal value deal comes along...Every time I come across the name Drew Henson I wonder if anyone's ever made as much money for doing so little. In fact, stat for stat Henson is even more over paid than A-fRod Henson got more than 10 mil from the Yankees and never came up from AAA for more than a cup of coffee, and he was so underwhelming in Dallas last year that Parcells traded for Drew Bledsoe...Which reminds me of that old joke, what's less mobile, Drew Bledsoe or a cardboard cutout of Drew Bledsoe?...Let's Go Nats!...Speaking of which, it's amazing how many prospects came out of the Expos system considering they once had both Dan Duquette and Kevin Malone in their front office...Summer reading? Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty, You Gotta Have Wa, The Meaning of Ichiro, Aces, Moneyball...That oughta hold ya.
12:44 pm edt
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