Questionable: Owens (hand, overdose)
Ten free minutes for me, 10 free sniveling whines for you . . .
1. So rather than being a desperate man's cry for help, it appears today's T.O. Suicide Watch was just one more melodramatic episode in the tragicomedy known as Terrell Owens's life. I trust there's more truth in his words than in the police report, especially since he was back at work and seemingly in good spirits yesterday. Still, I'm left with a couple of questions beyond the obvious one: What the hell was he thinking?: 1) During the day-long Very Special Sports Center, why wouldn't it have been appropriate if NFL expert and Friend of T.O. Michael Irvin was referred to as a "crack reporter"? 2) When T.O.'s inept publicist made reference to "a man of his statue," that was some sort of obtuse reference to Drew Bledsoe, right? 3) Do you think Bill Parcells ever thinks to himself, "Tuna, why can't The Player just grow the hell up and be responsible for himself? Man, how much easier would this job be if only Terrell could be more like Terry Glenn."
2. You know I've been counting down the innings until Jerry Trupiano is WAY BACK . . . WAY BACK . . . GONE!, but after 13 years with Red Sox, the man deserves better than finding out that his contract won't be renewed by the sludge-stirrers at the Inside Freakin' Track. And if Glenn Geffner is his replacement . . . well, let's just say I'm skeptical. With his P.R./House Organ background, I'm wondering if he'll spend more time pushing Red Sox Nation Membership cards then telling us what's happening on the field. I want Trupe gone . . . but it shouldn't be too much to ask to have him replaced by someone better.
3. I wonder if any of the teammates who were so heroic in questioning the severity of Matt Clement's injuries are the same ones who are ripping Manny under the cloak of anonymity. It's funny, whenever I see an unattributed quote from one teammate questioning another's toughness, I seem to recall Curt Schilling labeling Scott Williamson a ----- for not pitching through pain, only to look like a complete jackass when Williamson needed Tommy John surgery. You'd think they'd learn.
4. Things I never thought I'd write, Chapter 86, Vol. 1918: The Red Sox would have been better off signing Derek Lowe after the 2004 season than Pedro Martinez. D-Lowe has 16 wins, including a huge one last night that kept L.A. a game back in the NL West and a game up in the wild card. Lately, he's been an ace . . . something you haven't been able to say about Pedro for some time now. After last night's 2 2/3-inning, 7-run debacle, I'm beginning to fear the end is near for the best pitcher I've ever had the privilege of watching. That wasn't Pedro last night; that was John Burkett.
5. Do I think Tom Brady is injured? Let's put it this way: You're going to turn on the TV at 1:05 one of these Sundays only to be blindsided by the sight of Matt Cassel lining up over center. Brady looks frustrated, he has little zip and none of his customary touch on many of his throws, and the Pats are bringing in the likes of Vinny Testaverde and Tommy Maddox for clandestine workouts. You do the math.
6. Not that I'm jealous, but the Yankees batted future batting champion Robinson Cano ninth last night. He'd hit either third or fourth for the current skeleton-crew version of the Sox, depending upon Manny's health/whims that particular day. But the point is this: Theo has a long winter's worth of work to do if he intends on bringing down the Empire again anytime soon. The gap, since Oct. 2004, has widened, and not in the way we envisioned.
7. It's not officially football season in New England until Randall Gay is on injured reserve with what you were sure was a minor injury.
8. Alex Gonzalez wants a three-year deal? Thanks for all the Web Gems and good luck wherever the road may lead you, slick, but for that kind of commitment we're looking for a shortstop who can make all the plays and avoid those gruesome six-week stretches of being an automatic out. Whatever happened to that Cabrera cat, anyway?
9. It's no exaggeration to suggest that Albert Pujols saved the Cardinals' season last night. Which I suppose means Tony La Russa will cling for one more year to his fraudulent genius label rather than be remembered as the modern day Gene Mauch, overseer of one of the biggest gag jobs in baseball history. Bummer. Maybe Tony Big Brain will get his comeuppance next year.
10. As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:
The Red Sox led the league in runs scored for the first three seasons of Papa Jack's reign, and now his job is supposedly in jeopardy after one hiccup of a lost season? I don't like it, and I don't think Papi will either. Can you say scapegoat?