Monday, December 3, 2007

Early December musings

· I’m a big college football fan, but this season has been maddening, and the NCAA refusing to implement anything resembling a playoff appears increasingly counter-intuitive, given what’s transpired over the past few weeks. Gene Wojciechowski of summarizes it better than I could. Maybe this year the Lords of the NCAA should just determine that nobody’s worthy of being called National Champion.

· The Boston Celtics are DAMN good. I haven’t said that preceding sentence in well over 20 years. Have you watched them play? This team is for real. Kevin Garnett has turned them into a whole other animal, and I don’t know about you, but I’m already envisioning the C’s going up against San Antonio in a hot, stifling June series. I think we’ve waited long enough for Banner #17, don’t you?

· George Mitchell’s steroids report for MLB is due out any day. It might have the impact of a nuclear warhead. I’m idly wondering if it will be hard hitting enough to get Congress involved, forcing the implementation of an IOC-type testing program, or perhaps threatening to revoke MLB’s utterly ludicrous anti-trust exemption, which has been in place since the early days of Prohibition. It might even succeed in shaking the players’ union out of its selfish intransigence. Well, ok, maybe that’s asking a bit much.

· I love that Kenny Rogers fired Scott Boras so he could re-sign with the Tigers, as he had wanted all along. Scott Boras should watch “Jerry Maguire” sometime. There are some important truths for him in that movie.

· Dick Williams, the manager of the Red Sox’ Impossible Dream team of 1967 as well as the great ’72 and ‘73 Oakland A’s teams and a pennant winner in San Diego, has been voted into the Hall of Fame. Good for him. Williams was a superb, no-nonsense kind of manager that we’d call “old school” today. The only promise he made to reporters before the ’67 season was “We’ll win more games than we’ll lose”. That would be been good enough for the majority of the fan base at the time. By the time Williams’ career was done, franchises in both Boston and Oakland were transformed forever.

· Brooklyn Dodgers fans will be furious that the late Walter O’Malley is going to enshrined in Cooperstown as well, but that’s just too bad. He deserves to be in. He helped transform the game exactly 50 years ago. A shame he couldn’t live to see the day.

· Sometime during (or after) the baseball general manager meetings in Nashville, the Red Sox will have one of the following on the 40-man roster: Johan Santana, Eric Bedard or Dan Haren. And we’ll be missing some combination of Coco Crisp, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholtz, Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson.

· Add me to the list of fans who will be seriously pissed off if we lose Ellsbury or Buchholtz. It isn’t that I don’t want Johan Santana: he is, hands down, one of the three best starters in the game. Acquiring him will create a rotation that borders on the unfair, but he’s going to demand a contract that will rival Venezuela’s annual oil revenues, and Theo still has to make Jonathan Papelbon happy in another year, so Pap can continue doing his deranged rocker act each October. Home grown talent is worth so much more than we realize, and when it pans out (like Lester, Papelbon, Pedroia, Ellsbury and Buchholtz, all of whom contributed to the team’s championship trophy), it affords a team a huge advantage. I don’t want to lose those few gems we develop in house that we already KNOW are going to make it big. Can you say Jeff Bagwell?

No comments: