Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tonight, I find that I don't have one single topic to fill a post. I guess after last night's long rant on the upcoming Oden-Hibbert matchup, I'm tapped out. There are a few things that I've been meaning to say, and none of them inspires me enough to write a standard length post. So tonight is a sort of moveable feast of negativity.

First, I don't really know why I think this, but I am going to go out on a limb and predict an impressive season for Carl Pavano, the Yankees likely opening day starter. I think he's going to win 18 games, and more to the point, I think he's going to win more games than Schilling and Matsuzaka. Yes, Pavano has only won 18 in a season once and he's lost more than he's won in his career, but I believe in him. He has a forgiving lineup to support him (much more balanced than the Red Sox hitters, who only scare me if they're named Ramirez or Ortiz).

The Yankees defense behind him should be much better since they added Mientkiewicz to fill in for Jason "Oh My God, Please Let This Infield Throw Be Right On The Money Or We're Looking At An Advancing Runner Instead Of An Out" Giambi at first (I'm aware that his offense numbers from this spring need to increase dramatically for them to be considered pathetic in the regular season). I just have a sense that Pavano will win 18, and I'm usually wrong, but get ready for the I Told You So from me when it happens.

As I guy who loves fantasy football, so much so that I blog about it and drive my readership down in the football season and bore my friends who don't care about it so much that they want to smash a chair over my hear like as though it were pro wrestling, it might surprise you but I hate fantasy baseball. And it's not a hypocritical stance, on my part. I have no problem with the giant waste of time that all fantasy sports are. It does bother me when people talk to me about it, but it bothers me when most people talk to me about most things.

What really irritates me about fantasy baseball is that it is the fantasy sports equivalent of writing blank verse poetry, not that I write blank verse poetry, and I damn sure don't want to read any more blank verse poetry than I have to. Robert Frost described it as playing tennis without a net. That's what fantasy baseball is. For instance, Mike Piazza can be counted as a catcher in most leagues despite the fact that he won't be playing catcher for the As this season.

By that rationale, any player should be able to be classified at any position. For instance, Ichiro catches balls in right field, so he is on some level a catcher. Or he hits a number of singles, so he spends a fair bit of time at first base. If you need a first baseman, Ichiro should count. Or even better, he beats out a lot of ground balls for infield hits, so he ought to be considered for any of the infield positions.

Maybe this trend could carry over to the other fantasy sports. Terrell Owens lines up in the slot in certain formations and situations, tight ends like Dallas Clark line up in the slot in certain formations and situations. Therefore I ought to be able to classify him as a tight end if I need help there. While that sounds completely ridiculous, I just don't see how it is more ridiculous than letting a DH be considered a catcher because he played the position at some point within the last X number of games.

Tonight, due to a lack of interesting viewing options, I came across one of Mel Gibson's early films. It's called Tim, and according to digital cable it's about a May-December romance. I couldn't tell if it were an Australian movie with an American actress or an American movie with an Australian actor. The one thing I could tell from the few minutes I watched, is that is was dreadful. I bet Mel goes bananas like he did in the South Park Passion parody when he sees that it's on TV. I don't know how to adequately describe how awful it is save to say that it's like they took the basic elements of porn (bad lighting, bad sets, bad wardrobe, horrific script and dreadful acting) to make this film, but left out the eroticism.

One more thing I have to complain about tonight is the commercial for the lost pet lojack service. I don't know if you've caught it. I happened to be watching Most Extreme Ancestors on Animal Planet when I saw it. There is a hideously, horrendously awful cover of the Peaches and Herb song Reunited. I understand that this wouldn't bother most people, but it bothers me.

I like a lot of 1970s soul and R&B. I usually try not to talk about it much, because most single, straight guys don't make a habit of admitting that they've listened to a track by Peaches and Herb lately. But I like the song, and I'm not afraid to admit it. And after all, it's not like I'm listening to WHAM or Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

But as far as I know, Peaches and Herb aren't in a financial position to turn people away when they come calling to use the song in a commercial. After all, while there's only been one Herb, he's on Peaches number 5, I think. So the pet locator service people probably didn't save much money when they went with the cover version that sounds like a sickening blend of Up With People and Muzak. I'm not in marketing, nor am I acquainted with the demographic audience of Animal Planet (I am, however, willing to bet that the average Animal Planet viewer isn't all that cool), but there's no way that you'll ever convince me that the commercial wouldn't have more impact with the real version of the song in it.

And I realize that I admitted to watching Animal Planet and went out on a limb and offered my opinion that the average viewer of said network probably isn't cool. That said, I'm not an average viewer of Animal Planet. Or at least the network better hope I'm not, as I only tune in when there is a dire programming emergency.

Finally, there is the rumored trade which could have sent Lance Briggs and the 31st pick in the first round to the Redskins in exchange for the sixth overall pick. This might not be a bad deal for the Bears, since the Redskins love to butcher the draft and that's probably as much value as the Bears will get from this nightmare. That said, I also don't blame the Bears for putting the kibosh on it after either the Redskins or Rosehnaus released the details before formal negotiations had even begun.

Briggs is building up a hell of a lot of bad karma in this situation. If he sits 10 games as he's threatening now, and comes back for the last six, I don't think the situation will work out the way he wants. His timing will be off, he'll disrupt the team and he just might hurt his value going forward. If the bridges can be repaired and he goes to Washington, he's tempting fate there too. Yes, he'll get paid by Dan Snyder, but Washington is the NFL's place where careers go to die.

No one who signs big deals with the Redskins ever plays up to the potential they showed before they got there. I guess it's possible that you could throw Portis and Santana Moss in my face on this one, and I'd have to give you Moss. But Portis has more 1,500 yard seasons in Denver than Washington. To be fair, I must concede that his career is hardly over. But going to Washington is much better for the wallet than the Hall of Fame resume. I guess it comes down to what Briggs really wants, and if the Bears suddenly undergo a transformation like Scrooge experienced in A Christmas Carol and become forgiving enough to deal him.

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