Saturday, April 07, 2007

And A Good Saturday To You

"Get about as oiled as a diesel train."

Well alright then. Still working on the baseball preview, which is kind of ridiculous considering at this rate, it will be done by about late June. Also when you consider Finals week is right around the corner (wonder why I capitalized finals?), it's going to be even longer before I can actually devote the amount of time I really want to write this. You have to understand how passionate I am about doing this. It's nice to have a space where I can basically say anything I want to, and from the sound of it, apparently some people enjoy it, which makes it even more worth it. So I got some things on my mind...figured I might as well throw it out there.

Although everyone always talks about the first-round and who might be going where (I am included in this), the real draft doesn't start until after the first round, where you can potentially draft a franchise-changing player. I know this is like beating a dead horse, but #12 went #199 overall. So the Pats are sitting right now with four sixth-round picks. Furthermore, don't be in the least bit surprised if they trade out of one of their first-round picks in order to get even more picks (there is a flip side to this, and they very well could use one or both of their first round picks to move up...when you consider how the Pats draft (i.e. lock onto a guy and do whatever it takes to get him), there is a real possibility of that happening). So anyway, with all that being said, I have made a list of guys who probably don't have a first round grade, but I believe would be a great fit for New England:

  1. Eric Weddle, CB/S, Utah
  2. Jared Zabransky, QB, Boise St.
  3. Drew Stanton, QB, Michigan St.
  4. Michael Bush, RB, Louisville
  5. Justin Blalock, G, Texas
  6. Josh Beekman, G, Boston College
  7. Marcus McCauley, CB, Fresno St.
  8. Aundrae Allison, WR, East Carolina
  9. Brandon Siler, ILB, Florida
  10. Ben Patrick, TE, Delaware
  11. Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn
  12. Doug Datish, C, Ohio St.
  13. LaMarr Woodley, DE, Michigan
  14. Antonio Johnson, DT, Mississippi St.
  15. Kevin Kolb, QB, Houston
So we are a week into the baseball season, and yes, I already have questions. First of all, Opening Day was again disappointing. I don't even know what I get excited for? Seriously, I mean are we the worst team ever on Opening Day? (Actually, just looked that up, and we're actually not bad...I guess the losses are way harder to swallow when it's the first regular season we play in six months). Gil Meche went to town on the Sox, which begs the question: Is this guy for real? Meche was a third-to-fourth starter at best for the Mariners, and was able to cash in on the wildness that was free agency this past year, signing a 5-year, $55 million contract with Kansas City. From what I saw, this guy could be worth every penny. It's funny how sometimes, all it takes is a change of scenery, and all of a sudden, it just hits someone, and everything starts clicking. The all-time best example of this has to be Roger Clemens. After a 14-14 season, he was disbanded by "The Duke" and the rest of the Sox brass. The Rocket wound up in Toronto, and has been sticking it to us ever since. So, if Meche is able to pitch like he did on Opening Day the rest of the year, the Royals will look like geniuses for the first time in a long time.

Curt, seriously, leave the blogging to me. This guy writes more than I do, which is ok, but after his performance against the Royals, maybe his hands cramped up from all that typing, because he looked horrendous. He had no control, no velocity, and he looked like he was about 30 pounds overweight. Is this the end for Schill? Boy I hope not, because he's the "rock" of the staff, and if the rock starts moving, the team will roll down the hill with him. Personally, I'm not incredibly worried about this, and the fact was that the Royals were incredibly pumped up for that game. I mean they actually sold out Kauffman Stadium. I'm thinking that might happen once every five years. So the Royals seemed to have the fire that the Sox were lacking, and thus, we got destroyed. However, flash forward to the next night, and there were those lovable Royals, looking like the AAA team that they are, and being supported by about 5,000 fans, half of whom were probably Red Sox backers. Josh Beckett looked incredible, but then again, where did I see that before? (hint: Arlington, TX) So once again, I will be holding my breath and wondering if the real Josh Beckett would please stand up, because I'm tired of worrying about who this guy really is.

And then, there was "The Monster." For some bizarre reason, ESPN didn't pick up Dice-K's first start. Do the realize what kind of ratings bonanza they passed up on? Also, apparently DirecTV was only carrying the game on the Royals broadcast, and from what I can gather (Sports Guy), that really sucked. I mean I need Gary Thorne and Rick Sutcliffe on the mic. I need Sutcliffe to throw in some kind of pitching reference that has absolutely nothing to do with anything. I want that! However, they did manage to make up for it by having wall-to-wall coverage of the outing on Baseball Tonight, SportsCenter, and every show in between. Again, his debut was against the woeful Royals, but I mean...come on now. Come on! I don't care who you play (speaking of great Jim Mora lines, this is just a tribute, you gotta believe it!), that was an outstanding performance by the Dice man (random side note: because of the name, and because of his new reality show, there is going to be an endless amount of references to Andrew Dice Clay...I'm serious, I don't even know if I can contain myself...boom!). Anyway, I was able to see the first five innings on Japanese NESN (YouTube is simply amazing, but the thing is, once people found out about it, they took down all of the clips, which totally sucked because I only got to see the first five innings...still, it was awesome), and his stuff was so right on. It's like every time 'Tek was spotting the corners, or wanting a ball down in the zone, Dice was all over it (speaking of 'Tek...what the freak? I mean the guy has one hit! By the way, I could easily throw a Bob Eucker reference from "Major League," but I know some people would not appreciate me throwing a GD out there...but you know what I'm talking about...anyway, 'Tek is great, but seriously, the guy's gotta find his swing, because he looks lost out there in the box). I was noting the speeds of his pitches, you know, all seven of the pitches he had (you know, having way too many pitches is good, but sometimes it can be bad...Eric Gagne sometimes gets attached to his curveball, which is ok, but I mean he should be a fastball-first pitcher, and I think sometimes, he feels like he can't get people out with his fastball). I actually had fun computing KM/H to MPH (check it out!...yay metric system! the way, I saw a bumper sticker that was advocating the switch to the metric system...ok, first of all, who does that? And secondly, does anyone realize how much money that would cost? You know that national debt ticker in New York?...Yeah, that's not slowing down anytime soon...I don't get it...maybe you do and I'm an idiot...maybe). His change-up was clocking at anywhere between 71-77 MPH and his fastball was between 87-96 MPH. I mean this is Pedro-esque, and those comparisons are becoming more popular every day. I can't even imagine what it's going to be like on Wednesday night, where the first at-bat of the game will be Dice-K on the mound, and a guy named Ichiro in the box. You want to talk about an international event? (ESPN is actually making it up to me by broadcasting this game on the Deuce...7:00 by the way, because I know you're interested, I don't have to ask). That is going to be some fun stuff. I cannot wait. But again, I have my reservations about naming this guy "the next great thing," but after that outing, I am glowing just writing about this guy. "These are the good times" as Chic would say.

So New England's offseason has taken a turn for the worst, as Asante Samuel pulled a "Lance Briggs" earlier this week while being interviewed on NFL Network, basically saying he's not happy with his contract negotiations, and will be seeking a trade (Redskins have already shown interest). Look, I know we're cheap, but sometimes, you have to pony up. Look at what happened when we let Ty Law go. Yeah, he only went on to lead the NFL in interceptions for the freggin' Jets. So I have this to say to the Pats' front office...come on! Come on! It's Asante! This guy is so young and is so good. You have got to lock this guy up. And you know what? This is what you get for waiting until the last minute. Had they locked him up right after the AFC Championship, they could have gotten him for cheaper than what Asante is "worth." With 'Dre Bly signing with the Broncos, the market has officially been set, and as of right now, Samuel is arguably better than Bly, and he's younger, meaning that he is likely asking for more than the five-year, $33 million Bly received from Denver. So all of this is really disappointing for me. The Pats are already skinny at cornerback, and if this all falls apart, the quest to get back to the Super Bowl will likely end...the guy is that good.

I am thoroughly convinced that Will Ferrell is taking on all of these sports movie roles because he is simply toying with us. My theory is that he is going to keep getting even more and more outlandish characters just because he can make anything funny...Anything! "Blades of Glory" is his newest release, marking the third straight sports-themed movie he has starred in ("Kicking and Screaming" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby). I mean seriously, figure skating? I haven't even seen the movie, and I already know that it's going to be outstanding (by the way, while he was on SNL, this was one of his better skits ever, and oddly enough, also sports-related). All I have to say to this is, keep toying with me, because I am loving this. Taking the most interesting and outlandish stories and making them hysterically funny.

Well, that about wraps things up for now. Just a programming note, I will be on a little bit of a field trip in the middle of May, going up and down the east coast, visiting different ballparks, and getting college credit (yessah!), so I will be keeping a bit of a diary on that. Also, I'm going to take a page out of Sports Guy's book and do a running diary on the Draft coming on April 28. Take care, and thanks for reading. Peace.


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