Tagged: Miscellaneous

From off the top of my head and other strange places VI

Random thoughts while contemplating the magnitude of getting Peyton Manning for my fantasy football team:

  • Next up are the Royals, for 3 games in the K. We are 8-5 against them. Does anyone remember that we were 1-5 against them at one point?
  • Who’s everyone rooting for in the playoffs? Since Detroit has kicked our heads in so badly this year, I think I’m going to root for them. If you’re only going to win 4 games in a season series with a division opponent (assuming the likely event of a Tigers sweep at the Jake this weekend), you might as well get to say it was against the champs.
  • The White Sox are still the Evil People. Anyone who accepts employment with them becomes one of Lucifer’s top aids. That wil be the case long after time comes to an end. It’s a hard and fast mathematical equation – White Sox = Evil.
  • It was noted the other day that Jhonny Peralta is now 4th (from the top) in the AL in fielding percentage for shortstops. Maybe he will earn that monster contract after all.
  • I would rather watch Jeremy Sowers vs. Anyone in a 2-1 game that Sowers wins than an 11-10 game any day. Maybe it’s because great pitching is rare (for those of us that don’t live in Detroit or the Twin Cities), but I love a great pitchers’ duel.
  • Speaking of football, I hope Cleveland citizens won’t hate me when my Panthers beat the Browns this year. Keep in mind – the Browns are 0-for-life against Carolina.
  • Shipiro had better not whiff when shopping for a closer like he did last year.
  • Speaking of closers, good thing he didn’t take me up on my challenge to pay me for being the first to tout Carmona as closer, huh? Guess that’s why he’s the Indians GM, and I’m a shmuck sitting on his duff in Charlotte NC writing in a blog.
  • I would probably hate the White Sox a lot less if Hawk Harrelson disappeared off the face of the earth. Has there ever been a more annoying announcer ever in any sport? I mean, besides Chris Berman?

From off the top of my head and other strange places  V

Random thoughts as I continue to call down curses on Dell computers for all the heartache they have caused me the past month:

  • Who’s getting traded next? Let’s not pretend we’re done dealing. My money’s on Todd Hollandsworth. He would be a great addition to a contender that needs another bat at a moment’s notice. Imagine how hard it must be never knowing when you will actually get to play, never getting to settle into a rhythm, and yet post a .720 OPS over 4 months, and never gripe once. He’s a pro’s pro, that’s for sure. It would hurt to lose him, but he deserves better than to play once every 8 or 9 days on a team going nowhere.
  • I bet Boone isn’t going anywhere. He’s going to have to be available when Marte comes up. Like every other rookie who has ever played, Marte is probably going to be totally lost at the plate his first few games (see Gutierrez, Franklin), and his confidence will take at least a minor hit. Once your confidence at the plate wavers, your confidence in other areas will suffer as well (see Rodriguez, Alex). At that point, Wedge will want to sit him for a day or two to clear his head. Bad as Boone has been this year, I trust him more at third than I do Tongue Man. Keep him at second to spell Inglett.
  • Anyone want to bet that Big Ben will light us up this weekend? He’s probably only going to play on Saturday against Westbrook (Sowers tonight and Lee on Sunday are both lefties). I say put the over/under for his hits at 3. I’ll take the over.
  • Conversely, I don’t have the same confidence that Choo will light up Seattle. Not that I’m pessimistic or anything.
  • OK, so the Jason Johnson signing was a disaster, the Coco Crisp trade does not look good until Marte becomes an MVP, and the Byrd signing is not a disaster but not as good as we wanted. But let’s give Shipiro props on the Jason Michaels trade. He’s got a decent .728 OPS, and Arthur Rhodes wouldn’t have made our shaky ‘pen any better.
  • JUST SAY NO TO DELL COMPUTERS! Trust me on this one. Buy one your neighbor built in his garage first. Stay away from Dell unless you are convinced you will NEVER have any problems for the entire life of the machine.
  • How ’bout that Sam Rutigliano stopping by the SportsTime Ohio booth to yuk it up with Sanders and Manning the other night? I can’t believe the guy is still working. He didn’t need to kiss up to Manning so much though. He’s got his own big name.
  • Speaking of Sowers, he’s the real deal. All he has to do is cut down on the Big Jacks and he’s ready to join the list of dominant young southpaws.

From off the top of my head and other strange places IV

Plastic Man goes tonight against one of his former teams. When I was rooting for the Royals, it seemed like every time a former Royal played against them, he became Babe Ruth or Cy Young, no matter how badly he may have been struggling coming in. Here’s hoping for more of the same.

On the other hand, this is set up to be the day where the massive run support for Plastic Man starts to revert to the norm. Bautista has a 4.09 ERA, which is not too bad in the 21st century American League. I doubt we score double figures on him.

While it’s a shame the Mrs. and I will be in separate towns the next two weeks, I am already taking advantage of the otherwise empty crib to freely scream at my TV during critical moments of Tribe games. I feel sorry for the poor people living in the apartment above me. Can’t imagine what they thought was going on when I reacted to the game-ending double play yesterday.

My attention was divided for a big chunk of the game, as I was also watching the Wachovia Championship that took place here in Charlotte. Great comeback win for Jim Furyk on the first playoff hole. And what a surprise to see that Furyk’s caddie is Wilford Brimley’s stunt double.

OK, the Tigers ain’t this good. Time for them to knock it off. Or maybe we’ll do it for them when they get to The Jake this weekend. They will be facing our two best pitchers, Cliff and C.C.

Another sign things are breaking good for KC this week. They get to miss our two best pitchers. They get Plastic Man, Jason Johnson and Jake Westbrook. As shaky as their pitching is, we might be looking at a few 10-9, 3 1/2 hour ballgames.

Well, the Yankees have caught the Red Sox in the East. I still think they have major question marks on their pitching staff. But they can mash so well they will likely get away with it.

Good call by MLB saying no formal celebration is coming when Bonds passes Babe Ruth. Commissioner Bud got it right when he said there is no reason to celebrate achieving second place. I’m sure Barry, the only human being alive who is so narcissistic he makes Terrell Owens look outward-focused, is taking it personally.

A good question

Had lunch with a female colleague yesterday and was attempting to explain the phenomenon of the sports fanatic (she adores football but can take or leave the rest), particularly baseball. Sending her the link to the Grady Sizemore female fan club should help. But the bigger question was, "Why do you take this stuff so seriously?"

An excellent question. My wife asks the same question, particularly when I begin screaming at my TV when Grady strikes out with the bases loaded or Paul Byrd (or Plastic Man, as I like to call him) gives up another gopher ball, or when Eric Wedge calls for any reliever to come into the game.

The answer? I have no bloody idea. What I have been able to deduce is that this disease doesn’t appear to be on that can be learned; it appears to be inate. No one will confirm it, but I suspect the first words I ever spoke were "Johnny Bench rules!" or something to that effect, rather than identifying my parental figures, as the record states.

I have been a severely passionate sports fan for as long as I can remember. One of the earliest memories in my life is the first baseball game I ever attendeda Reds game in Riverfront Stadium in 1975, at the ripe old age of 5. I remember the Reds mounting a scoring threat and someone hit a weak popup. My dad jumps up and starts screaming at the opposing player at the top of his lungs, "DROP IT!!! DROP IT!!!!!!" to no avail.

I was hooked and have stayed hooked. It has spread to other sports. Ask me how I really feel about the Cleveland Indians, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats, Auburn football, Charlotte 49ers hoops, or Dale Earnhardt Jr. and you can be entertained for hours as I rant on and on. (I’m a big-time Tiger Woods fan too, but golf is far too civilized for all that yelling and screaming.)

Baseball is particularly maddening, because the momentum can swing several times in each half-inning. One pitch you are sure your boys are headed for 8 straight World Series titles, the next pitch they look like the ’62 Mets. Absolutely maddening. Any individual can go from Idiot to Diety in a matter of seconds.

So I don’t know why I and others like me act like this. I have a sign on my desk at work that sums it up best: "Don’t try to understand me. Just love me."

From off the top of my head and other strange places III

Random musings trying to figure out how Pat Riley gets his hair to do that….

  • I notice the Yankees endured a streaky first two weeks, very similar to our Tribe. They destroyed Oakland on opening night, lost 4 in a row, won 4 in a row and then lost 2 of 3 to Minnesota over the weekend. Thanks to MLB Extra Innings, I watched most of that series. It’s hard to imagine them wining 95 games like everyone says, although they may set a new MLB record for runs scored with that offense. The pitching is the problem. You just never know if Cy Young or someone’s grandmother is going to go to the mound each night. And all the Yankees starters can be either one of those on any given day.
  • MLB Extra Innings rules the world. You pay a fee and can watch all the Brewers-Mets games you can stomach. And I can stomach a lot of them. And Twins-Blue Jays. And A’s-Rangers. And Red Sox-Marriners. And Astros-D’backs. And Padres-Florida Fish. And Royals-Rays. What a country.
  • Speaking of the Rays, how soon before they petition Commissioner Bud for a realignment that puts them and the Royals in the same division so they can have their way with them 19 times a year? Looks like it might be the 22nd century before they lose to the Royals again.
  • How ’bout that Fausto Carmona? What a great debut. Don’t know which was prettier – Carmona’s pitching or Pronk’s first-inning home run.
  • Really enjoyed Cliff Lee’s intensity yesterday. I agree the Tribe was getting squeezed by the umps, but it had little to do with the outcome. The double plays we hit into every time we got 2 runners on base were a much bigger problem.
  • There’s only one thing you can do about yesterday – tip your cap. Maroth was just better yesterday. Some days are like that. I’m willing to be the farm we will torch him later in the season. Seems like he pitches every series against the Tribe, so there will be plenty of chances.
  • I was skeptical of Hollandsworth getting the 4th outfielder job coming out of Winter Haven. So much for that. Gotta love that guy – sit on the bench for 10 days, then get 2 hits, drive in 2 runs and make the defensive play of the year. I was disappointed SportsTime Ohio only showed the replay of the catch 47 times. I wanted 47 more looks.

From off the top of my head and other strange places  I

Random thoughts will remaining in stunned disbelief that the Charlotte Bobcats actually won a game in the Pacific time zone:

  • Now I’m rooting for Paul Byrd again? I was among the few still-existing Royals fans who were outraged that despite Allard Baird being the only human being alive that thought he could still pitch and gave him a job and winning 17 games in 2002, he bolted to the first big pile of money thrown at him in Atlanta. I was happy he got hurt in 2003. Now I’m in the Tribe camp, and whadaya know, so is he. Hmmmmmm.
  • Bobblehead dolls never look like the celebrity they are modeled after. With that in mind, when should we expect a Ronnie Belliard bobblehead with its tongue hanging down to its belt buckle?
  • Loved the small shot Ryan Garko took at Winter Haven in his diary on the Indians website, detailing life there by stating "opening day is only 38 days away." Snort, snort…..
  • The new Indians channel will be called SportsTime Ohio. The Indians websit reports "long-time game day broadcast team of Mike Hegan, Rick Manning and John Sanders will return" to call the games. There will also be a weekly show with WKYC’s Jim Donnovan will host a studio show. We are warned, "Don’t expect your normal recap showthe discussion could get a bit irreverent." Maybe some antagonism……