An assortment of random thoughts for your consideration. Many of these will be the barely coherent rants of a madman, but that’s nothing new.
- I’m officially at a loss as to what the Red Sox are doing. They just signed Adrian Beltre to a one year, nine million dollar contract (option for next year) which is the exact amount they were going to pay the Texas Rangers to take Mike Lowell. I can defend the signing on the basis that Beltre is a fantastic defensive third baseman, but is he that much better than Lowell? Hell, is he that much better than Youkilis?
Offensively, Beltre’s prime (ahem…steroid induced) years are behind him; as are Lowell’s. But Lowell nearly matched Beltre’s numbers last season and he was playing on a bum hip for a majority of the year. If we are to assume Lowell is now healthy, than why not pay him the twelve million for his final year and let him go after the 2010 season?
Do the Sox know something everyone else doesn’t? One can only assume they consider Lowell a lost cause and that he won’t come close to his pre-hip injury days, which may be true. However, as it stands now, the Red Sox now have three potential Gold Glove third basemen on the team (I include Youkilis), two of whom are on the downward slope of their careers.
This signing certainly doesn’t address the screaming need for a potent bat in the lineup. At best Beltre will simply replace Lowell’s production. Are the Sox holding out hope Big Papi will return to form? If so, it’s looking like a long, deadly dull season of 2-1 and 3-2 games occurring at Fenway.
- Listen New England fans, stop blaming Belichick for Wes Welker’s knee injury. This was hardly a meaningless game. Pats win and they clinch the three seed (and possible home field in round three if things fall properly). They should have been playing to win. You can’t predict or prevent what happened to Welker. Hell it could have happened during practice.
As it turns out, the Bengals lost and the Pats got the three, anyway, but there was no way to know that at the time. Play to win. Especially heading into the playoffs where every advantage counts.
- And while we’re here, let’s take the Colts as the prime example of why that is. Heading into the final two weeks of the season, the Colts were 14 – 0 and on the cusp of making history. With the Jets and Bills coming up, the third undefeated season in NFL history was more than possible; it was nearly a given.
What do they do? Fold up the tents in an attempt to keep everyone healthy for the playoffs. I can understand the thinking – Manning gets hurt and there goes the season. But you had a chance at history and you didn’t even try! You could have been mentioned with the elite teams of all time and instead you rolled over and played dead.
Please, do not bring up the 2007 Patriots to me. Yes, I would trade another Boston ring for that 16 – 0 but don’t mistake the result of a ridiculous fourth down near sack/non hold call/ludicrous helmet catch while being mauled as an example of what happens to a team that hasn’t lost. The Patriots should still be considered one of the best teams in history, regardless of one of the luckiest plays in Super Bowl history. Yes, lucky.
The Colts had that same opportunity. 16 – 0. Heading into the playoffs with a true mission: accomplish what that Patriots team couldn’t. Undefeated. Super Bowl Champions. 19 – 0. Imagine.
By laying down they’ve accidentally kicked off the exact chain of events they were trying to avoid: Nothing short of a Super Bowl championship will satisfy their fans. They feel cheated from a perfect season, as well they should. If the Colts don’t go on and win it all (and even if they do) they will be second guessed until the end of time.
There is another aspect to this, as well. Taking in to account the bye week they’ve earned, the Colts will go four weeks without playing one competitive, meaningful football game. Four weeks! That’s a long time for an NFL player to not taste blood. Remember this when the Colts are fighting for their lives against one of the teams that had to claw and fight their way simply to be playing in January.
- Now might be a good time to mention I won my fantasy football league. Boo fucking YEAH! Seven hundred big ones coming my way. I would like to thank Andre Johnson and Jonathan Stewart for having HUGE games and should probably mention Marion Barber who finally rose from the dead in weeks 15 and 16. That was nice of him. I took extra pleasure in my victory by taking down the juggernaut who was 11-0 at one point and was 14-1 by the time I faced him.
- As we were enjoying the New Year celebration, both my boys were aghast at all the boys kissing all the girls. ‘Why do they do that, Dad?’ they asked. I wanted to say ‘Cause it’s fun and leads to even more fun!’ but settled for ‘Believe me, when you get to be older you’ll want to do the same thing.’
My youngest - who isn’t even five - made a distasteful face and declared ‘No WAY!’ as if kissing girls was completely out of the question. Just wait, grasshopper…just wait.
- Any bets on when Dan Snyder runs Mike Shanahan out of town? I’ll go with December of 2012.
- Lost in all the hoopla (a word we really need to get back into regular circulation this year) about the attempted terrorist attack on that airplane is the fact that this idiot didn’t even succeed. Anyone ever think that one of those reasons is because the security standards in our airports actually worked and he didn’t have enough explosives to complete the job? Instead we’re going to have to undergo even stricter check points and even slower lines. I’m still convinced drug stores around the world are behind this. Soon we’ll have to buy new toiletries in every city we fly into. Just you watch.
- The above said (or written), I am all for those full body screenings if only to plaster on an enormous (and sadly fake) penis so it dangles halfway down my leg just to see the looks on all the security personnel faces. Would be classic. Unless, of course, they think I’m smuggling something in it and I’m stripped searched and violated in ways I really don’t want to think about. Then...not so funny.
- Google’s attempt at world domination continues with the introduction of their own smartphone. They’ve made a fatal mistake, if rumors are to be believed: they priced the thing at $500! This means only the richy rich will be purchasing them….
…wait a second. This means Google takes over the wealthiest 10% of the world first. Fucking brilliant! I don’t know who’s running this operation, but James Bond would be impressed.
- Because you demand it with threat of heavy violence if it’s not delivered, here are my playoff picks:
Pats beat Baltimore despite Ray Rice running for 452 yards all by himself.
Bengals beat Jets because Mark Sanchez can’t play in 25 degree weather and throws 5 INT.
Cowboys beat Philly in the Most Obnoxious Fans Bowl.
Green Bay beats Arizona after Warner goes down with ‘old age’.
I’ll deal with the rest next week after all these predictions go up in smoke. I really hope Green Bay plays the Vikings again and ends the drama that is Brett Favre.
Until next time!
Today’s distraction: A new game from ESPN.COM (my life partner). Play home run derby. Can be infuriatingly inconsistent at times, but still good fun.