They're not saying "Drewww . . ."
Ten free minutes for me, 10 free . . . ah, you know the drill . . .
1. As far as our Old Friend Drew's Dallas demise is concerned, I was initially bummed to see the second-best quarterback in Patriots history suffer the indignity of losing his job to the legendary Tony Romo in the middle of a nationally televised game. But the more consideration I gave it, the more I realized that's what happening to him now is his own damn fault. If you connect the dots over the course of his stagnated career, you realize he never, ever improved from his second season in the league forward. He didn't. He's the same flawed fireballer he was in '94, albeit with having lost a few MPH off his fastball. He still can't throw a screen pass without bouncing it, he still holds the ball too long, he still locks in on one receiver, he still lacks that Marino/Brady poise under a heavy rush, he still bolts for the hills of Montana the minute the seasons final whistle blows . . . and the only conclusion you can come to is that football didn't mean enough to him to work on the aspects of his game that demanded his attention. He always thought that blessed right arm would be enough, and I'm still not sure he's realized it isn't.
2. Three things I've learned from this World Series, which finally delivered some fun last night: 1) Adam Wainwright '06 equals Todd Worrell '85. The kid with the duck-for-cover curve should inherit Jason Isringhausen's job next season. 2) Albert Pujols, sadly, is turning into a surly, arrogant dinkus. 3) Jeff Suppan looks much more confident in his middling stuff than he did during his Schiraldi-eyed, tongue-swallowing stint with the Sox in '03. And I actually mean that as a compliment.
3. Did you ever think back in 1996 - or even a few years ago, really - that reformed headcase Terry Glenn would be healthier and/or more reliable than Bledsoe and Curtis Martin at this stage of their careers? Or that Troy Brown, special-teamer extraordinaire and little more a decade ago, would be on the verge of becoming the franchise's all-time receiving leader? Sometimes, as the great philosopher Joaquin Andujar once said, youneverknow.
4. Kudos to a couple of readers who pointed out that I left an intriguing name off my list of semi-sleeper free agents the Sox should be considering: Justin Speier, the 32-year-old righty reliever who's had two straight terrific under-the-radar seasons for Toronto. He'll probably command pretty good coin considering the dearth of quality bullpen help on the free agent market, and I hope the Sox are in the bidding, though I must admit one thing about his profile is rather alarming: the pitcher he is most similar to statistically? Some bum named Seanez. Yeesh.
5. I'm feeling pretty good about the Pats' chances against upstart Minnesota, though I'd feel much better if I didn't have this nagging suspicion that Richard Seymour won't be playing again until November. Jarvis Green is a fine backup, but against Bryant McKinnie and Steve Hutchinson, the Patriots will require their defensive anchor if they have any intentions of stopping the run.
6. I'm not sure which stunned me more from this biting column from the usually placid Tom Verducci: That he'd actually consider voting for Ken Caminiti for the Hall of Fame (say what?!?!), or that he all but accuses Kenny Rogers of using performance enhancers without anything but the slightest circumstantial evidence.
7. Dammit, I'm trying to give Doc Rivers the benefit of the doubt here, but then he goes and does something so blatantly stupid and M.L. Carr-eque, such as playing creaky-kneed Wally Szczerbiak 30-something minutes in a meaningless preseason game, or claiming defiantly that he won't have a set rotation when his young team so obviously needs the structure, and again I catch myself wondering how the hell he ever won a coach of the year award in Orlando.
8. Captain Fist-Pump wins the Hank Aaron Award. And somewhere in the backwoods of Texas, Kevin Millar demands a recount.
9. I just never know what's going to fill the email box. Got 20-something messages today regarding my verbal drooling over The Office's Jenna Fischer, with the vast majority agreeing that she's the most underrated hot chick on TV and the minority revealing that they somehow manage to read this website despite being completely freakin' blind. Glad you're with me, people. Which reminds me: TATB's new mission in life is to get an email from her at some point, since that that CNN/SI weenie Stewart Mandel did, and well, we saw her first. So what are you waiting for - make it happen, TATB readers! Ah, I suppose I'll just have to settle for that restraining order.
10. As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:
I'm pretty sure La Russa the Player would be the most self-satisfied .199-hitting benchwarmer you'd ever meet. Well, except for Mirabelli.