Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's Been Such a Long Time...

It's been so long since my last post that the guy pictured on the right in the photo below is no longer coaching the Jets and is now coaching the Browns. What kind of dirt does Eric Mangini have on Browns owner Randy Lerner?

Lots to catch up on, obviously, but let's hit the high notes.

It sucks that the Patriots aren't playing a playoff game today, and maybe getting a chance to exact some revenge on the Steelers, who whupped us good in Week 13. The path to the Super Bowl this year is wide open - two of the best teams all year, the Titans and Panthers, lost yesterday - and it's a shittin' shame that we don't get a chance to see if Cassel and Welker could have kept it rolling. So far, we know that the Ravens and Cardinals are heading to the final four. Today, we've got Eagles-Giants in the early game, and Steelers-Chargers in the night game. I'm thinking the home favorites roll, but then again...

Baseball. Our reason for living. Man, where do we start? Yes, the Yankees got supremely better by signing the best hitter and the best pitcher on the market. Yes, the Rays are better with Pat Burrell in their lineup and more David Price (remember that beast?). Are the Sox - as currently consituted - a 3rd place team? Maybe, but if we've learned anything over the years, it's that we truly know nothing. The Yanks' ridiculous spending spree, as it so often has done in the past, could backfire on them. Think about the pressure that team is under right now to win it all. Pressure, New York, the Steinbrenner boys, an underwhelming manager, and the possibility that maybe this little economic problem we're having could come back to haunt their free-spending ways. It's got all the ingredients for lots and lots of fun. The Rays will be better, which is a scary thought, but we also need to remember that since we took them to a Game 7 in last year's ALCS, we've gotten better too. The bullpen, in particular, will be much improved with Ramon Ramirez and Takashi Saito added to the mix. Frees up Masterson to be a full-time starter, which I think he should be. Theo also took fliers on Brad Penny and John Smoltz, both of whom may pan out to be great deals if they can stay relatively healthy. Obviously a very large 'if.' The other notable addition was Rocco Baldelli as a fourth outfielder. (Busy offseason, too, for the Sox medical staff, which no doubt spent a lot of time looking over records for Penny, Smoltz, and Rocco, who suffers from sort of fatigue syndrome.)

Of course, the thing that worries you the most when you look at the current Sox' roster is this: Catchers: Josh Bard, Dusty Brown, George Kottaras, Mark Wagner. It's been quiet on the Jason Varitek front, but while there's still a chance he comes back here I think the Sox may be eyeing a move for a talented young catcher who can step in and start. Maybe they'll use their new bullpen depth to move someone like Manny Delcarmen for a young catcher.

On the surface, the Yanks went shopping in the high-end district, and we went to the local flea market. Yes, we were in on Teixeira, and we know the Sox made an inquiry about Hanley Ramirez (be still my heart). But I kind of like how Theo and his guys adjusted after being strung along by Boras. They went the low-risk, high reward route, and that may turn out to be a blessing in disguise some the July trading deadline.

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