Saturday, April 08, 2006


I love mock drafts. Just the idea that you are trying to predict what 32 teams are going to do, when you have no idea what the one team you follow religiously is going to do, is so much fun. I love seeing these experts, who do nothing but focus on the draft all year long, have no idea where anyone is going, but still publish a number of mock drafts throughout the year. This week, Mel Kiper Jr, the expert among all experts (he is on ESPN for chrissake!) titles his mock draft: Texans set to take Bush number one overall. Gee, I had no idea they were leaning that way.

Anyway, Helmet-head Kiper predicts the Patriots will now choose Santonio Holmes, a junior wide receiver from THE Ohio State University. says that, and I quote: Similar in many ways to Terry Glenn. Yes, that sound you just heard was Bill Belichick dry heaving. First off, if the Patriots go wide receiver, I imagine they will try to get a slider in the second round (like Deion Branch). Second, if Lendale White is still on the board, there is no way the big bruising running back that Bill Belichick has been looking for since he arrived in New England is going to be passed over.

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Yeah, that was me standing on my bed at 10:45pm pumping my fist and shouting as Josh Beckett mowed down Brad Wilkerson to end the seventh inning. Yeah, that was me who has been babbling on non-stop since the Red Sox got him that Josh Beckett was the best thing since sliced bread (ehh, when did sliced bread become such a big deal. Was it ever that big of a deal to not have to slice bread? Sliced cheese would have been more impressive in my opinion. The phrase should be amended to: best thing since the Internet was created to give bozos like me a forum and all the porn anyone could ever want. That is more like it).

Anyway, Beckett was as awesome as advertised. He pitched horribly, yet gave up just one run in seven innings (do you remember when Pedro used to have those games?). Yeah, he had trouble early, he threw way too many pitches, but when he needed that big out, he got it. Not to put too much shine on the Sox, but the performances by Beckett and Schilling to open the season came against Texas, a team with the best line-up 1-9 in baseball playing in a park made for hitters (not the Great American Ballfield in Cincinnati, but George W. Bush Park in Arlington (or whatever the heck they call it) is a launching pad.

Not to denigrate the Yankees, who have put their entire season on the backs of their line-up (because they have one starting pitcher, one closer, and the line-up: that is it), but Texas is the best line-up in the American League if not in all of baseball. For all you Yankees lovers out there, look at how the line-up falls apart at the bottom. Texas is strong straight through. I mean, Horsehead Posada wishes he was the offensive juggernaut that is Rod Barajas.

Of course, Beckett turned into the invisible man last night in ninth inning as Jonathan Papelbon was brought in to close out the ninth inning of a 2-1 game. First point, we know the Red Sox front office is very, very, very comfortable with a bullpen with multiple closers (Foulke, Papelbon, and Timlin) as the much ballyhooed closer-by-committee disaster of 2003 proved. It was not the idea that was poor, it was the pitchers in the bullpen who were the problem. Second point, Keith Foulke is coming off double-knee surgery. You do not exactly throw him into the fire before he is healthy and comfortable coming out of the bullpen. In retrospect, it was damned laughable to think any sane team (This is the Red Sox, however) would even put any pitcher into that kind of situation. Three games in, 157 to go.

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