Saturday, January 09, 2010

Saturday in the Tundra

Winter has returned to northern Maine and as the wind whips the snow around, not many cogent thoughts fill the brain. There are only wishes for warmer days and a longing for a warm breeze on a sunny day. There are also no complete thoughts in the head today. But there are fragments. We might as well get them out there in the open and let them breathe.

Mr. Neyer wrote today that Ken Rosenthal's call for Hall of Fame voter changes would ultimately mean more players voted into the Hall. While Mr. Neyer is a personal hero despite not being much more these days than someone who comments on other people's work, the Fan found this thought disrespectful to all who would love to have a vote. All of us who have passion for this sport would be more than respectful to this game that we love.

Adrian Beltre was a great pickup by the Red Sox. The Fan has been predicting for months that Beltre was going to have a bounce back year. The Red Sox saw it too and they are an intelligent bunch. Beltre is a huge addition.

Mr. Posnanski has a wonderful piece today about cherry picking stats to support Hall of Fame picks (or non-picks). As usual, he nails it. His exposition concerning the number of seasons Edgar Martinez played 150 or more games (only four) as being a ridiculous reason for keeping Martinez out of the Hall was dead on. Mickey Mantle had the same number of 150+ game seasons.

Eyebleaf and Josh Borenstein are terrific bloggers. Tao of Stieb is without a doubt, one of the best blog names of all time. The writing found there is as good as the name too.

Count the Fan among the many who would love to see Tony LaRussa follow through and get Mark McGwire to pinch hit a few times this year. Wouldn't that be awesome?

The Fan still wishes like heck that Roger Clemens had simply admitted what he took instead of going all "Nixon" on the thing. For those of you too young to understand the Nixon thing, just replace it with Clemens going all "Palmeiro" on the thing.

For some reason, Stan Bahnson just popped into the Fan's brain. Hadn't thought about him for a long time. Funny thing is that Al Downing soon followed. Weird.

This mall where the Fan conducts his business is dying a slow death. It's like watching a big bee whither and shiver after getting a dose of Raid. You know it's going to die, it's just a question of when. The record store (FYE) and the book store are closing their doors this month. Those were the only two really interesting stores in the mall to begin with. Tough times, my friends...

The Fan sells local interest calendars. They are proudly made in the Fan's basement and they are very pretty. But a customer looked at the $10 price tag and stated indignantly that you can buy a calendar in K-Mart for $4. This same person will complain to their senator when a local manufacturer closes because the jobs can be done cheaper overseas. Knowing of this buyer duplicity, the Fan looked the customer square in the eye and stated that the calendar selling for $10 wasn't made in China. The Fan should probably work on his people skills.

The Fan really wants to see Avatar, but will probably end up waiting until it comes out on video where it will be much less effective.

It will really suck if the commissioner is serious about a series with Japan AFTER the World Series is completed. As if the post season isn't long enough as it is. It all seems like a sacrilege. Hey, the Fan doesn't care if it doesn't include the entire world, the World Series is the World Series.

The Fan also hopes that intentional walks aren't done away with or made easier without throwing any actual pitches. That just seems artificial. The Fan sounds like Grouchy Smirf: "I HATE change." Yeah.

Why don't more smart players take advantage of lazy outfielders that absently "lollipop" the throw back to the infield after a single. That seems like an open invitation to take second base to this observer. But all too often, the lazy outfielder is often matched by a lazy base runner who lallygag to first.

Ken Rosenthal and others base most of their angst about the Hall of Fame vote on Roberto Alomar. While the Fan agrees that Alomar certainly belongs in the HOF, the real snubs go to Blyleven, Raines and McGwire. Those are worthy of angst.

The Fan would believe the Yankees are a 100-win team going into 2010 if Burnett wasn't still one of the counted on cogs of that happening. Burnett just doesn't inspire any kind of confidence. At least Lackey maximizes his talent. Burnett just can't quite believe he can throw a third strike anywhere near the plate. And thank goodness Molina won't be part of the Yankee lineup. He was the worst hitter since Miguel Cairo.

Tim Raines reached base 3943 times in his career. Tony Gwynn reached base 3965 times in his career. Just saying...

Warm Coca-Cola tastes better than cold Pepsi.

The Fan misses watching minor league baseball. If you ever want to spend a worthy $30, take the family to a minor league game this year. It sure is a lot of fun.

Which player will have a bounce back year in 2010? Will Soriano come back to something near what he was? Will Grady Sizemore? What about Wang?

Would you have guessed that the Marlins had a better winning percentage since the beginning of the 2000 season than the Cubs?

Why can't this country really commit to going all out to develop alternate power and put the Arab countries out of business? Would we really have to worry about terrorists if there was no oil money to fund them? Wouldn't that be energy (pun not intended) better spent than a moribund health care bill that isn't what anybody really wanted? Why not give every American home owner $15,000 to put up a windmill or solar panels for about the same cost as bailing out the crooked and spiteful banks who turn around and misuse the same taxpayers that helped bail them out? Tax breaks to install those things don't mean much if you can't afford to install them in the first place.

How can one spit define a person's entire life character?

Why do parents just dump their kids at the mall so they can walk around like zombies the entire day? What a waste and the height of lazy parenting.

Every day, the mentally handicapped are brought to the mall to walk around for exercise. Does it mean anything about life that those with lesser mental capacities seem easy to please and ultimately happier than most of us?

Does anyone have a list of players who blog and whose sites are really meaningful and insightful? And please don't include Schilling. Please.

Will Schilling and Randy Johnson be elected to the HOF the same year? And if so, will Johnson relieve Schilling in the bottom of Schilling's speech to save another day?

Other than convenience, why have we all been sold on using debit and credit cards instead of cash and checks? Did you know that it cost businesses 3 to 5 percent every time you use a card to purchase a product or service? If the customer is getting the convenience, why aren't they being charged the fee instead of the business? The Fan gladly accepts checks, they are cheaper.

Okay, the Fan has taken enough of your time and is starting to hear Andy Rooney in his head. Let's hope that if the next time you watch a game and the outfielder lobs the ball in an arch to second base, you all yell, "Why didn't he take second?" If so, then this will all be worth it.


eyebleaf said...

I'd love to see LaRussa follow through on McGwire as well. That would be pretty special, and I'd definitely want to see his at-bats.

Josh Borenstein said...

What I'd like to know is when Johnson gets in the HoF and if Schilling gets in, will Johnson get in as a Mariner or a Diamondback?

Schilling is a tough call. Spent most of his career with the Phillies, but didn't really reach iconic status until he went to Arizona and Boston.