Wednesday, 2 April 2008

The Roundup

One slightly positive outcome to recognizing that everything around you is being dumbed down for the dimmer bulbs of this world is the self-satisfaction that comes in knowing that you are in fact smarter than pretty much everyone else. That's how I felt about TSN's Jays coverage last night. Rod Black, who was broadcasting the game in a leotard, didn't miss an opportunity to fawn over the Yankees or their crappy old stadium that's soon to be torn down. We even had to suffer through the ubiquitous 9/11 reference when Rudy Guiliani was located in the stands by a cameraman. Tabler, as always, was as bland as a bowl of flavour-free vanilla ice cream.

I know people who do the tv-on-mute-with-the-radio-on semi-protest, but I just can't bring myself down to the level of relying on pre-WWII technology to get my play by play. Part of me is tempted to just mute it and listen to the missus' insights (e.g. "why doesn't he hit a home run?"), because they do tend to be more thoughtful (and cuter, ahhhhh....) than much of what the real broadcasters have to say, but I think I'd rather just rack up about three hours of tuneage and go the musical route. Tonight, leading off with Tortoise, followed by Explosions in the Sky, and finishing with Mogwai.

(If you want to be an almost-30-year-old clinging to whatever shreds of coolness you might have had in the late 90s/early 2000s, I invite you to do likewise.)

Boss game review from Twitchy; now that real real games have started we can really do some brainwork that the kids'll enjoy. Tell your friends!

Since I am, reluctantly, also a fan of the Hockey Team That Must Not Be Named, I must resist the genetic defect that causes me to blame any loss on some combination of blown marginal calls that didn't go our way. Like Derek Jeter not being called out on strikes in the first inning before A-Rod doubled in the Yankees first run. Or Vernon Wells being punched out looking in the eighth on an elbow-high Joba Chamberlain breaking ball with one out and Rios on first/second. Fuck, didn't I just say I wasn't going to do that?

The Good (Doc, Downs) was easy to identify, and since it's easier (for me) to whinge and moan than find praise, let the airing of grievances begin:

* Aaron Hill should not be buried in the 7 hole and Shannon Stewart should not be hitting second. One is a rising young star who absolutely raked during the spring, the second is a once solid vet who's flying his last sortie. Oh, and Hill had gone 10 for 17 with 4 doubles career against Wang going into last night; surprised he was the only Jay to make solid contact against him (a double and a near-double robbed by Melky Cabrera)? Stewart, who feebly put bat on ball a couple of times, was 2 for 9 with no extra base hits. It just sat ill and didn't work out as a single game move, nor will it as a long-term lineup strategy.

* Vernon Wells cannot and should not be hitting third against righties, period. Twitchy mentioned this earlier and it has been a bugaboo of sorts around here. I would hope that this time next month we look something like Hill/Rios/Rolen/Thomas/Overbay/Wells/Zaun/Stewart/Eckstein against righties (equation changes if Stairs is healthy or Lind up, of course), and we do have to make it fit with what we have now. At the very, very least, Gibby should be swapping Wells and Overbay, as Twitchy suggested.

* Zaun hitting ninth behind Scutaro? That was a head-scratcher, even if Scooter did have a nifty little game.

If you're thinking, "You're pretty uppitty for someone who eats bugs all day" I will remind all that I've exposited earlier that it's going to take near perfection for things to break right this year and I'm hoping these little matters get resolved soon so I don't have to start hitting the sauce again. That's just the way that I feel.

In related news, Blair reports that Aaron Hill's contract talks have been shut down until the offseason, no doubt a consequence of JP's protracted slow dance with Alex Rios and Paul Kinzer. Apparently Mighty Mouse is lookin' to get paid and the club doesn't know what he's really worth yet:

Hill expects to be paid like a 20-to-30-homer second baseman. The Blue Jays, well, they may not see him that way, yet. In other words, Hill's 2008 will dictate the dollar figures he will make in a multiyear contract that both sides seem to think will be a gimme next winter.

"I got together with my agents and looked at the market, decided what the low end and the high end would be and what a fair market would be," said Hill, who to his credit seems to have been completely engaged in the process.

"You know, it was fun. It was the first bite at the apple for me, and you want to do it right, but at the end of the day, it's like I didn't pick up a bat when I was two years old to become the richest baseball player ever. I did it because I wanted to become a major-leaguer.

"What we had was a little difference of opinion, but we were really not that far off. They still said, 'You're still our guy.' I know that."

Mmm, that's some good plagarism.

Some good news: Stairs might be able to play tonight. I want J-Mac playing as well, not only because of some defensive miscues from Eckstein last night, but also because he's 6 for 16 with a double career vs. Mussina.


* It's stuff like this that makes the Cubs the laughingstock they are.

* Jose Canseco has changed his tune: not only did A-Rod allegedly hit on his wife, but now apparently he plowed her, too. After all the scandal and inneudo, this probably takes the cake: you've really got to question the thought process of someone who'd put his junk up in the same dark crevice that used to be inhabited by Canseco...

- Johnny Was


/a said...

Quit yer whining - I'm on the other side of 30 and wondering why I haven't picked up that new REM record yet. I mean Helio Sequence! Black Mountain! or, um, something else current and with it to listen to while I watch the game.

Fuck, I'm old.

The Southpaw said...

Old enough to bang on some CCR tapes, even...

Lloyd "the barber" Moseby said...

I wouldn't hold out hope for the creedence...

Anonymous said...

I don't mind Zaun batting ninth because he can just work on getting on base for the big mashers.

... oh, what's that? David Eckstein's batting first? Okay, maybe he can scrappily bunt Zaun over, we still have Rios or Hill batting second, right? No? Shannon Stewart ....?

I understand the love of on-base guys and having a consistent leadoff hitter, but let's take the three worst hitters in the lineup and put them firmly 7-9, not 9-2.

I'll be much happier when Stairs is in the lineup and when JP gets off his love for has-beens and finally gives the job to Lind.

The Southpaw said...

The Chiefs' season begins tomorrow, so I guess we're just getting that much closer to Adam Lind tearing it up and forcing his way onto the big club?

/a said...

I fucking love CCR. On vinyl.