Saturday, November 25, 2006

A boy named Nancy

Ten free minutes for me, 10 free pea-brained ideas for you . . .

1. Just when I was talking myself into thinking J.D. Drew would be a good fit in the No. 5 slot for the Sox, Gordon Edes reveals that the injury-prone and indifferent Drew's nickname within the Dodgers clubhouse was "Nancy Drew." Good lord, and I thought calling him D.L. Drew was an insult. Suddenly, I'm thinking Trot Nixon on a one-year deal to platoon with Wily Mo isn't the worst idea. And Dave Dellucci wouldn't be a bad Plan D. At least they want to play.

2. Gary Matthews Jr. was a .249 hitter coming into this season. He's 32 years old. He's been claimed on waivers three times and outright released once. He was nearly traded straight-up for Tony Graffanino last spring. And he gets five years and $55 million from the Angels? How long until the buyer's remorse sets in? April? Then again, I'd rather have Matthews than Juan Pierre, who has no power, no arm, and makes more outs than just about any player in baseball. I'm not one to get worked up about contracts . . . but damn, some of these deals are just inexplicable.

3. The only chance the Bears have of beating the Patriots Sunday is if they can make Tom Brady play like his name is Rex Grossman. I can't see the Chicago offense making much headway (even if Willie Clay and Prentice McCray end up starting in the Pats' depleted defensive backfield), and I can see Brady, Laurence Maroney and the Pats solving Urlacher and his fearsome friends just enough to win. Prediction: Patriots 17, Ditka 9.

4. Okay, after that football interlude, I gotta go back to my rant about all of these ridiculous baseball contracts. If Alfonso Soriano is worth $138 million, and Carlos Lee gets a nice, even $100 mil, what would a 34-year-old Manny Ramirez get on the open market right now? One-twenty? One-fifty? Or would his age and spaciness work against him? I never for a moment thought Manny's 8-year, $160-million contract was an albatross for the Sox - I've certainly got my money's worth watching him through the seasons, and he never failed to produce - and now, with two years and $34 million remaining, it's a downright bargain.

5. Ken Walter? Really? That's the best they can do? Again? Was Brooks Barnard unavailable? OH, I suppose Josh Miller was struggling this season, and he's older than you think, but make no mistake, he'll be missed. He was the unsung hero of the Patriots' Super Bowl victory over the Eagles, and he's about the steadiest punter the Patriots had since Rich Camarillo called Foxboro home. Yeah, Miller's just the lonesome punter, but this a major loss.

6. Gotta love the New York tabloids, which were predictably outraged when the Twins' Justin Morneau edged the sweetest-smelling shortstop in all the land for the AL MVP award. George King, the dishonest and slimy Yankees beat writer for the NY Post, went so far as to suggest it was an anti-Yankee bias that cost Captain Intangibles his rightful honor. Funny, but I didn't hear anyone spouting such a theory when A-Rod beat out Papi for the award last year.

7. Brian Scalabrine has no business being inside an NBA arena without paying for a ticket. Why Doc Rivers continues to give him any minutes at the expense of Gerald Green, Leon Powe, Ryan Gomes, Terry Duerod, anyone, remains a damning indictment of Doc's abilities as an NBA coach and talent evaluator.

8. Tony Romo reminds me of Jake Plummer . . . except, you know, good. Forget what I said last week - you bet I'm buying the hype now, to the point that I'm daydreaming of a Pats-Cowboys Super Bowl and wondering how Belichick would defend Dallas.

9. Hard to believe his fumble against the Jets is the lone transgression that has Doug Gabriel buried deep in the Belichick doghouse. Among the new receivers, he seemed to adapt the quickest to the Patriots offense, and until two weeks ago I had more faith in him than I did Reche Caldwell or Jabar Gaffney. There's gotta be something we don't know.

10. As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:

What's that you say? It was Pat Dobson? The ex-Oriole? Whoops, never mind then.

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