Thursday, December 13, 2007

I'm getting kind of tired of prefacing each of my increasingly rare posts with an apology. But it gets kind of old after a while, sitting here in front of the computer trying to invent reasons why a given team has a chance to beat the Patriots. And should I indulge in speculation on what team will give up which prospects and position players to get Johann Santana away from Minnesota? It's just not all that interesting to me at the moment.

I suppose I could take a sort of grim satisfaction from the fact that the Patriots have become everything which they were not supposed to be two years or so ago when every talking head and his brother insisted on holding them up as the model of virtue and excellence in professional sports. But even that gets old after a while.

I must confess, I was disappointed to see the way the Patriots reacted to Anthony Smith's "guarantee." It was disgusting to see Tom Brady go out of his way to get in his face after the first TD pass. Brady is, regrettably, a Hall of Fame quarterback on a record setting pace. Anthony Smith is a second year nobody whom the media exploited to generate more interest in a non-story.

There was a time when Brady was supposed to be a paragon of how to succeed with class and dignity. There is very little that smacks of class and dignity in going out of your way to put down a guy who barely even ran his mouth. Could you see Joe Montana or Terry Bradshaw doing that? Hell, Bradshaw never seemed to go out of his way to talk trash to Hollywood Henderson, who said considerably more insulting things about Bradshaw than any one has ever said about Brady.

Now the Patriots are playing the Jets again. Thankfully the media has an easy angle courtesy of the whole taping signals scandal to justify hours of coverage devoted to a very mediocre game. Conventional wisdom tells us that the Jets have no chance to win this game. Unfortunately, I can see no reason to disagree everybody and his brother for a change.

In other news, George Mitchell has finally delivered his report on steroids in Major League Baseball after 20 months of what surely was a exhaustive and ethically conducted investigation. In a blaze of vindication for those who have dragged Roger Clemens' name through the mud on this issue for the last two years or so, his name is at the top of the list of high-profile players who are named.

If you had told me earlier that losing to an unknown despite running not only as an incumbent but the sitting Senate Majority Leader to boot would end up not being the most embarassing professional failure of George Mitchell's career, I wouldn't have believed it. And then he had to go and release this report.

If sources like discredited and terminated former Yankees strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee are at all typical of the informers who are expected to provide the Mitchell Report with its substance, then I am willing to bet guys like Clemens, Tejada and Pettitte will have little to fear from these proceedings.

This report which tells us many things we already knew (like MLB dragged its collective feet on the steroids issue) amid its hearsay and innuendo about respected players and choice nuggets about players who have already been caught cheating like Giambi, will likely go down in the annals of justice with hard-hitting and epoch shaping events like the Red Scare, the Army-McCarthy hearings and the Salem Witch Trials.

Curiously, outside of Eric Gagne, no one of consequence from the Boston Red Sox was named in this document. Thankfully, and perhaps conveniently, Brendan Donnelly was not offered a contract today. Interesting....

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