Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hey, Let's Talk Baseball

All this offseason NFL drama is enough to tucker somebody out. Let's venture, for just a minute, to the pastoral fields of Florida and Arizona. It's Spring Training--Catch The Very Mild Fever!

In every sport, folks wonder how much the preseason matters. At a time when my favorite team sits at 2-5 in the Grapefruit League, and my home-state representatives have posted an 0-7 mark in the Cactus, I'm arguing that exhibition games don't matter at all. Not one bit, nope. Just warming up.

Come along, kids, if you dare. There's much more meaningless action after the jump...

Manny Your Post The Dodgers and estranged slugger Manny Ramirez came to terms on a two-year, $45 million contract that includes a player option in 2010. It's a good thing that Manny employs the cuddly and beloved Scott Boras as his agent--that dude is a negotiating mastermind. Through his incredible willpower and financial savvy, Boras got Manny the exact same contract that was on the table last week, for the exact same money that's been in play for three months. I suppose Boras did allow Manny to miss the first two weeks of practice and stuff, which freed Ramirez up to collect modern art or play with Legos. That is definitely worth ten per cent.

One thing this insures is that the Dodger lineup will be devastating this year. LA Times blogger Jon Weisman projects this:

1. Rafael Furcal (S) SS
2. Russell Martin (R) C
3. Andre Ethier (L) RF
4. Manny Ramirez (R) LF
5. James Loney (L) 1B
6. Matt Kemp (R) CF
7. Orlando Hudson (S) 2B
8. Casey Blake (R) 3B

You may ask what the big deal is, just adding one player, even if that player is as potent as Manny. I think that dropping such a proven vet in the middle of all those young kids is like adding a match to gasoline. If Loney or Martin of Kemp felt like they needed to carry the Dodgers, I think their production would suffer. Let Manny carry that burden and those guys will thrive.

And that, folks, is what will pass for serious analysis in this installment. Back to the snark and fag jokes.

In Dusty We Trust Dusty Baker, the Herm Edwards of baseball, was at it again yesterday. Dusty noticed that his best hitter, infielder Brandon Phillips, spends far more time next to him in the dugout than on the basepaths. So Dusty wants Phillips to hone his strike zone awareness.

That's very progressive, Dusty, but where do I get the notion that this whole on-base percentage is very, very new to you? Here. Reds fans, I'm sorry to say it but your manager has brought a knife to a gunfight.

Small Market My Ass I know I've beat this dead horse for years (the HoG turns two in two weeks, we're registered at Target), but I think small-market clubs using financial woes as an excuse for playing poorly is bullshit. The economy is certainly in the toilet and the stock market decimated. This has many teams shedding payroll and many investors bailing out.

You know what smart guys, especially ones with balls, do during times like these? They buy cheap. Warren Buffett has made billions capitalizing on undervalued assets in economic downturns, and A's GM Billy Beane always fields a competitive squad despite one of MLB's skimpiest budgets. Beane inked Orlando Cabrera, vastly underpriced at $4 million, to take over from always-injured Bobby Crosby at short, and added Nomar as a utility man. This after picking up former MVP Jason Giambi for $15 million less than his 2008 salary and superstar Matt Holliday for scraps (sorry Rockies).

Beane knows that the AL West is winnable, and even if his thin pitching does him in, he can unload these veterans in July to rebuild. This is how you play the front office game.

I Love A Parade Captain Cheeseburger wants one. He's come to the right town.

The World Is Bud Selig's Oyster Baseball Classic I guess the World Baseball Classic started early this morning in Tokyo. I'd give you a score, but you're already on the fucking Internet, do it yourself. I'm not your God damned lackey. I think I'm going to love the WBC, but I said that last time and the U.S. lost to Canada. This time we have to travel to Toronto for the first round, and my anger levels are approaching redline. We fucking invented this game, the weather in the southern portion of this nation is gorgeous, and yet our best and brightest baseballers have to go play on the plastic carpet of a second-rate country. I'll ask again, what good is an enormous military if you can't use it to subsume our weak-ass neighbors to the north? Riddle me that, President Obama.

Clever Headline Starting With The Letter A and a Hyphen Goes Here Alex Rodriguez has a cyst in his hip and may have to miss the next ten weeks of baseball. This would knock him out of the WBC and force him to skip the opening of the New Yankee Stadium, where he would be mercilessly booed. Today A-Rod flies to Vail, where he'll get his hip checked out at the world-renowned Steadman-Hawkins clinic. I predict one thing: Rape. You see, Steadman-Hawkins was where Kobe Bryant was visiting when he bent a hotel employee over a chair for some "consensual" good times. And Kobe shared his smooth pickup skills with A-Rod on the set of this commercial:

Of course, A-Rod may have also picked up some party tips from another rocker in that video. Innocent residents of Eagle County, Colorado be warned. Lock up your daughters and your weed.


Cecil said...

Ah, but that 0-7 record: it's because they were focusing on *fundamentals.*