Kudos, many props, words of admiration, and other accolades and superlatives aplenty for David Wells and his unmatched ability to speak his mind with no restraint whatsoever. Seriously, a good Bud Selig bashing is needed every so often to remind him that the game has survived his leadership, it has not prospered from his leadership.
A quick opinion on Selig: I do not think he means harm or is indifferent to the game (see: Ueberroth, Peter), but I think he truly cares for the game, but understands he is a shill for the owners. He knows his role and plays it well. He takes the abuse and goes out in public. Like the monarchies of old, he is figurehead, as the true power resides behind the crown. Unlike Fay Vincent, who actually tried to be a real commissioner and not fall in line with the will of the ownership groups, Selig has one goal, and that is to increase revenue for all teams.
Now Bart Giamatti, he was a commissioner who could have saved baseball and was like an angel from the skies appearing to the game at the time of its greatest need. Alas, he was taken from the game he loved far too soon and before he could make a meaningful impact. I can only imagine the baseball utopia that could have come to pass had Giamatti had a few years to shape the game as he saw fit. To say the man loved the game of baseball is akin to saying the ocean is larger than a grain of sand.
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RAYS OF SUNSHINE:
All praises to the scheduling gods who decreed upon us the mighty Tampa Bay Rays for this mid-week series at home. Granted, the Scott Kazmir match-up is no doubt fretted upon by certain Sox bats, but Seth McClung and his one inning of work was a nice gift as the good guys (wait, how can the T-Bay Rays be bad guys?) pounded away on the shaky middle relief of the Tampa Twenty-five.
Since most of my conscious time was spent with the game in a rain delay and the Yankees game not on the MLB package, I was diverted by the quality HBO On-Demand Late Night line-up. When I finally got back to the game, it was what I imagine living with Tivo must be like, as I had missed absolutely nothing but NESN replays of Theo and his reaction for the umpteenth time to the Sox coming back to beat the Yankees in the playoffs last year.
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CONFUSED, BEWILDERED, A LITTLE SCARED, AND POTENTIALLY SCARRED FOR LIFE:
At least, that is how I feel when I watch Snoop selling Chryslers four-hundred times a night with Lee Iacocca. This commercial really, really bothers me. It is like it is a sign of the collapse of civilization or something. Foshizzle.
This is a situation BEGGING for Berkeley Breathed to take aim at and skewer in Opus, or Outland, or whatever he calls his once a week Bloom County wanna-be. Just what audience is the target that for that advertisement? Young, suburban white kids who will buy and Snoop Dogg album? Thirty-something yuppies who balance the line between remember that Lee Iacocca was in the news in the eighties and think they are still hip to listen to the D-O-double G? Laid back (with my mind on my money and my money on my mind).
* * *
SPEAKING OF PAINFUL TO WATCH:
Can we just put the jester hat on Millar, give him a pet monkey, a couple of baseballs to juggle, and get him the heck off the field for the last few months. This guy is almost as painful to watch as Smellhorn.
Speaking of Smellhorn, rumors abound that he is the next double-agent to be planted on the Yankees. Since Alan Embree has brought his incredibly hittable fastball to New York and been such a good double-agent (a little payback for Ramiro Mendoza), apparently the Sox need more information into just what goes on in a certain Bronx clubhouse.
I can just picture Embree recording coded messages for Theo and the Triumvirate:
Agent Embree: 5:47PM report form behind enemy lines: A-Rod is eating a Powerbar. Repeat, a Powerbar.
Commander Theo: Can you make out the flavor?
Agent Embree: It is banana yogurt flavored.
Commander Theo: I am forwarding the information on to Bill James and that whacky statman Gimbel-whatever freak the Duke hired who still lives in the vents in the stadium and fights the mice for leftovers from the post-game spread. This could be vital in determining what pitch to throw on a 2-2 count with less than two outs and no runners on base. Keep up the good work, Agent.
Agent Embree: Aye, aye, Commander. Over and out.
* * *
Yes, the cuts are coming, the cuts are coming. Here is how I see it (and much thanks to Mike Reiss of the Globe for the inspiration to get me to go beyond babbling about them and actually figuring out how to get to 53):
QBs: Brady, Flutie, Cassel - (They would have to have three--it is anti-Belichick not to be prepared, unless Troy Brown can play QB too!)RBs: Dillon, Faulk, Pass, and Chapman or Morton. (Chapman to the practice squad if Morton is on the PUP, otherwise it is likely Morton when healthy. Eckel to the practice squad or back to the Navy and back in camp next year.)TEs: Graham, Watson, Fauria and Weaver - (Weaver may sneak in just for special teams depth.)WRs: Branch, Givens, Davis, Brown, T. Dwight, Sam (Bethel Johnson is almost certainly a PUP; Terrellis gone for sure, I think. I expected more from Terrell, but when he dropped that long pass from Flutie the other night when he was wide open on the sidelines, I could hear Belichick scratching his name off the list)OL: Light, Mankins, Koppen, Neal, Ashworth, Kaczur, Mruczkowski, Hochstein, Gorin (Yates could make it if they PUP Gorin, otherwise he is practice squad. I have to say, their line looks very solid with Light and Ashworth both healthy.)Total offensive players: 25DL: Warren, Wilfork, Seymour, Bailey, Green, Hill, Klecko - (What is most amazing about this bunch is their age. Seymour and Bailey are the only 25+ year olds, if my memory serves.)LBs: McGinest, Vrabel, Colvin, Banta-Cain, C. Brown, Beisel, Izzo, Davis. (I think it is between Davis and Chatham for the last position with Davis pulling it out and Chatham joining the ex-Patriot bus to Cleveland.)CBs: Samuel, Poole, Gay, Starks, Hobbs, C. Scott - (again, great depth. I had heard some rumblings about letting Poole go and saving $, but that seems counter-productive) S: Harrison, Wilson, Sanders, G. Scott- (better than having Antwan Harris and Dex Reid back there as backup) Total defensive players: 25Specialists: K: VinatieriP: MillerLS: Paxton
PUP: Bethel Johnson, Chad Morton, Tedy Bruschi, Brandon Gorin(?),
Practice Squad: Eckel, Yates, a couple wide receivers, some unknown linemen who will likely start in the Super Bowl, etc. This team is so good they are just giving away good players simply because they do not have enough roster spots.
* * *
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