How sad is it that A-Rod has his mommy leap to his defense and get the word out that his post-season struggles this year were a result of his uncle dying? Well, that explains everything. Now if only she could find a reason why he folded-up like cheap origami in 2004 against the Red Sox. It looks like it is back to the couch for another winter of therapy for May-Rod. You know, I always thought he looked like the kind of kid who had the controlling Mommy, no father, and the wife that now takes the place of Mommy by ordering him about, controlling his every movement, and spanking him when he is bad.

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Chelsea is undefeated in the Premiership as once again, but all anyone wants to talk about is Ralph Wiggum, err, I mean Wigan Athletic hanging in second place ahead of Arsenal, Man U and the other powers behind them and the other surprise team, Tottenham. My Toffees sit twentieth in the twenty team division, with one win to seven losses. Hard to believe they finished fourth last season. Old number seven, my brother-from-another-mother Marcus Bent has one of the five goals they have scored this season. But I have faith, they will turn it around and at least finish ahead of Middlesbrough, who just cannot be as good as they have looked.

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Head of the Charles? Give me the cream of Manchester in a can and wake we when it is over.

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The Redbirds fell at last to the Astros. Somewhere, Terry Puhl, Jose Cruz Sr., Joe Neikro, and Enos Cabell are raising a glass-tro to the Astros.

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Manny wants out? To Cleveland? Uhh, ok. Give us C.C. Sabathia and Travis Hafner and we will call it even. Yah, somehow I just do not see it happening. The Mets? They have NOTHING we would want (OK, Kris Benson, but mainly because his wife draws more attention than he does.). The Angels? Yah, give us Vladi and Scott Shields and its on. Somehow I do not see that happening.

Sorry Manny, but you have two more years to suffer through the Boston experience.

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Somehow, David Wells thinks that being 43 and having a six-million guaranteed contract plus incentives makes him tradeable. OK, San Diego, give us Adam Eaton and we will gladly make the deal. Gee, why would that trade not work?

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It was with surprise that I read the obituary in the Boston Globe on Wednesday of Hal Lebovitz. Lebovitz was a columnist who wrote on the Cleveland sports scene for over sixty years. My notice of Lebovitz came about as a seven or eight year old when I started getting a subscription to the Sporting News. Lebovitz had a column that was called Ask Hal in which he answered questions about various sports rules. Now such a title would be enough to catch my young eyes as other than my Dad, I knew of no one else named Hal. Also, as my older sisters A.J. & Joellyn are still quick to point out, I was a bit of a stickler for the rules and procedures when playing sports as a precocious young lad.

Taking pen to paper (or more likely, pencil or crayon) I immediately whipped off a question to this mysterious other Hal which, immediately after sending, I realized I knew the answer to, and regretted ever having sent it. In fact, I fervently checked his column each week in fear my ignorant question would be printed for the world to laugh at. Fortunately, a letter arrived from the Sporting News with a type-written answer from Mr. Lebovitz himself. I was safe, my ignorance hidden away from the world and exposed only to those who knew me at the time.

The question? Yes, I still remember it, of course. I had asked him if a punter would receive three points for his team by punting the ball through the uprights. Of course, I immediately realized right after it was mailed that, duh, it was a touchback. I should have asked a real question like how many points did a defense receive if they blocked an extra point try and returned it for a touchdown or if they intercepted a pass or recovered a fumble on a two-point conversion try and returned it for a touchdown.

Anyway, after this my letter writing was limited to my letter of sympathy (for his firing) and congratulations (on his hiring by Texas) for former Red Sox manager Don Zimmer who I much admired, and still do admire to this day. Zim, you got a raw deal from the fans here in Boston. I knew that as a kid, which is likely why I sent the letter. The letter (I shudder to imagine what I had written in the flowing cursive writing of an eight year-old) had garnered an autographed picture and, more importantly, it came in an envelope with Texas Rangers stationary (which, yes, I still have in storage). The autographed picture, yeah that was nice. The stationary with the Rangers logo, that was special. Anyway, it may be a little late, but thanks Hal Lebovitz and thanks Zim!

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I may have said it before, but I will say it again: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER do I want to hear David Ortiz referred to as Ortizzle. Like Little Papi, Jon Papelbon, being called Super Bon-bon, these words should never be uttered. I will pull out my Louisville Slugger if need be.

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I am sitting on the train listening to some bozo talk about how the Red Sox should hire Roger Clemens as their pitching coach next year. What the? These people need muzzles. Mandatory muzzles for morons. Clemens as pitching coach, yah, like he would accept or ever even want that job. Now he has moved on to a rant about Lynn Jones being a great first base coach. Huh? This guy pulls more crap outta his ass than the pooper-scooper at the zoo. Ipod, I really need an Ipod to block out these idiots.

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First off, I always imagine her in lace. Oh, sorry, this if fantasy football. My apologies.

Anyway, at this point of the season, you know if your team is in the running, or in need of desperation. In my league, there is no carry-over so I am free to release Deuce McAllister and look for help on the scrap heap (Hello, Mewelde Moore. COME ON DOWN!)

Here are my free, three to snag. Likely, you can get them on the cheap, and now is the time to do so:

1. Kevin Jones, RB Detroit: Eventually, the Lions will replace Joey Harrington and play a healthy Jeff Garcia. Once they have someone who can throw the ball to their talented trio of wideouts, there should be running room aplenty for Jones. Strike now, and laugh later.

2. Stephen Jackson, RB St Louis: Marshall Faulk gets injured EVERY year. This is the Fred Taylor rule. Likely, someone has Jackson and is growing frustrated with his lack of touches (He is a cold bitch. Whoops, I mean, touches of the football. Who the heck set the tone for dirty thoughts?). Jackson will likely be the lead back in three or four weeks so grab him now while you can.

3. Andre Johnson, WR Houston: David Carr just cannot consistently get time to throw the ball to Johnson. Eventually Carr will be beaten down and a new QB will step in and feed the ball to the only receiver who can catch it on the team. Johnson will put up some mad stats because the ball will be coming to him constantly no matter if he is covered or not. Get him now before his 8 catch 150 yard 2 TD game that is coming soon.

BONUS: Larry Fitzgerald, WR Arizona: Hah! I drafted him. What did I tell you? Mad Larry is blowing up and opening things up for Anquan Boldin on the other side of the field. Here is a phrase I never imagined myself writing: Fortunately for me, I got both Arizona receivers in the draft.

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Trade Bronson Arroyo NOW:

Do I need explain this any further? He has worn out his welcome ala his pal D-Lowe. Pack up his cheap salary to a team spending beyond its needs for a quality veteran starter. Strike now while the iron is hot.

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He looked like a dork in pinstripes anyway. If Francona promised to use him as a utility player ONLY, he might be a good insurance policy for Dustin Pedroia. Tony Graff has earned the right to play everyday.

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Can anyone tell me why when they take down Busch Stadium in St. Louis, no one will give Vince Coleman a sledgehammer and tell him to go after the automatic tarpaulin roller. I would pay to see that on Pay-Per-View.

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Finally caught the HBO production of the Larry Holmes versus Gerry Cooney fight. I had never seen the fight but vividly remembered the hype and lead-up to the great white hope. Holmes, the least appreciated great champion ever, destroyed Cooney, who was clearly not in his class. It saddens me to this day that Holmes, after his loss to Michael Spinks, berated the Marciano family and tried to trash Rocky. Lost me forever right there, Larry.

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