Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hand In Glove

Yes, I did watch the Rose Bowl last night. Sure, it was riveting. One of the best football games that I've ever seen. And yeah, I was happy that Texas won. So guess how I spent my morning?

I started gearing up for the World Baseball Classic. After all, the first pitch will be in Japan on March 3 and I have a lot to learn until then.

A few things jumped out at me, however, after reading the WBC FAQ page and checking out the (potential) rosters of all the teams:
  • Poor Andruw Jones, representing The Netherlands. But what a cool thing for his WBC teammates to take the field with him.

  • All this talk about whether or not Cuba can participate confuses me on many levels because I am just a caveman, thus unfamiliar with your modern ways. But the main question I have is, if Cuba does not participate, which country steps in to fill the empty slot in that bracket?

  • The round robin tournament style intrigues me, but the single elimination rounds are what I am looking forward to the most. One game to decide who moves on to the semi-finals and then one game to see who wins it all. Back-to-back Game Sevens, really. Perfect.

  • One scary thought about the first two rounds, in which each team plays the others once and the top two teams move on: "Tiebreaking methods for Rounds 1 and 2 will be announced prior to the start of the tournament." It's kind of sad to think that they might have to resort to the football-like process of checking stats to decide who moves on. And which ones will they choose? Total runs? ERA? Star-factor? I say add another "Game Seven".

  • Pitch-limits? I can live with that, I guess. But they are also instituting the "mercy rule". Now that has the potential to be interesting.

  • I must have missed the announcement that Buck Martinez was selected to manage the United States team. Yes, he is a quality "baseball guy" and a pretty good manager, but I wish they would have picked someone with a little more pizzazz.

  • On second thought, considering the way the rest of the world views Americans now (speaking in generalities), Martinez might have been the perfect choice to represent our country.

  • On a disappointing note, I saw that Sadaharu Oh's coaching staff for the Japanese team does not include Bobby Valentine. Too bad. Say what you will about his antics, but he is great for the game. And, along with Tom Grieve, he helped save baseball in the D/FW metroplex.

  • I wonder if Tommy Lasorda has been asked to coach Italy? Hopefully. It would add a little spice to the tourney.

  • Cool little sidenote about the Mexican team: It will be managed by Paquin Estrada, a man who had a rather esteemed 26 year career in the Mexican Baseball League. He did get the proverbial cup of coffee in the bigs, going 1-for-2 in the only major league game he appeared in. That was while he was in a New York Mets uniform. But his big claim to fame, MLB-style? He was included in the trade that sent Nolan Ryan to the (then) California Angels.

  • So who is my pick to win? It's a little early to tell because there is still some flux concerning final rosters. However, I'm going to have to go with Ireland. Oh. Wait...

Are you as ready as I am?

haircuts and suits for everybody....

I sit down to write today for one simple reason. I want to share with you an opinion. This opinion is mine only, and should not reflect the other writers of this board.

I HATE The New York Yankees.

Whew. There I said it. I don’t have a whole lot of hot opinions. I don’t have a strong stance when it comes to DH vs. no DH. Although it is kinda funny to watch a pitcher hit, and as the announcers talk about little league stats for the guy, he smacks a dinger. Priceless. I don’t worry about the in-depth rules of the infield fly rule, because its one of those “use at your own risk” type of rules.

But I do believe I hate the Yankees as much as I hate hangovers. I hate them more than I hate that annoying way people breathe into the phone when they are trying to talk to you about the merits of Vibe and Soap Digest. I hate them more than I hate that little piece of gum you pick up on the sole of your shoe, and carry all day, only to look at your shoe and see hair, and something that looks like a smushed cheerio.

The Yankees are cocky. Sure they have a lot of championships under their collective belt. So what? I can buy a trophy if I have enough money. They have a bevy of talent in their farm system, but tend to spend money the way a depressed guy shops for a home stereo. They sign guys that seem to have been created in a lab, from a test tube. They athletes they sign are pretty, strong, marketing geniuses, and all have that “why can’t you come home with friends like that guy” sort of presence.

I look at the prospective rosters on yesterday, and see that they have signed exactly 1 new player. Of course that player is Boston media darling Johnny Damon. Of course he was a media darling for shirking the norm, growing his hair out and having a “come down from the hills and have my baby” sort of beard. Now in New York, he is that center fielder with a weak arm.

Jason Giambi was the same sort of player in Oakland. Tattoos, long hair, riding his Harley, he was that white trash story of Cinderella. Now? He is a once great, but tainted by juice, might be past his prime, probably traded for a can of tuna mid-season type of player.

As a Ranger fan, don’t get me started on A-Rod and his fat wallet.

So I could rant all day on the fact that my hatred of the Yankees makes me dislike Donny Baseball. It even surpasses the fact that Wade Boggs was a favorite of mine, until he suited up in the pinstripes. I could tell you how I laugh when they loose, deny any win they might have, and wonder when the Mets are going to have their year. But I won’t. Instead, I will say: