Friday, December 08, 2006

I hate *$*#* winter

Just got home from Boston, my 1 hour 20 minute commute having turned into a 3-hour, white-knuckle whiteout of an ordeal thanks to the blinding freakin' snow squalls that I had no idea were coming. No joke, these were some of the worst conditions I've ever driven in, and I've lived in New England my whole snow-dreading life. I hate winter. Hate it. One of these years, I'm going to pack up the wife, the kids, one of the three cats, my Buffett and Marley CDs, and Jenna Fischer if she's willing, and head someplace warm like Bequia or St. John, and I'm not returning until I get confirmation that every last snowflake in the Northeast has melted. Did I mention I hate winter? I do. How much? It's December 8, and I'm ready to bash Frosty the Snowman's skull in with a snowshoe. That's how much.

(Deep breath)

Okay, now for a few leftovers from the winter (I hate that word) meetings. (God, I'm so ready for summer . . .)

Looks like Balco Barry will still be a San Francisco Giant when he breaks (insert asterisk here) Henry Aaron's all-time home run record. Bummer. I was intrigued by the fleeting Bonds-to-St. Louis rumor, if only because it made sense on a number of levels: Bonds would form a fearsome tandem with Albert Pujols in the St. Louis lineup, Tony La Russa is a well-known steroid sympathizer, the Stepford Cardinals fans would welcome him without wondering how his head got so damn swollen, and he could help Pujols make the transition from budding jerk into a full-blown *%*#*#**.

Ramirez straight-up for Soriano? Finally, a blockbuster! Wait . . . you mean we're talking Horacio Ramirez for Rafael Soriano? Okay, not such a blockbuster as their surnames might suggest, though I do find myself wondering why the Mariners would trade a power-armed, highly coveted setup man for Ramirez, who amounts to a fourth starter at best in the American League. Schuerholz, you've done it again.

Never thought I'd see the day the Sox were outbid by the Royals, but I have to give Kansas City credit for shelling out the dough for Octavio Dotel, who is more than a year removed from Tommy John surgery and offers a much higher reward than most of the usual relief suspects on the market. He was near the top of my Red Sox wish list, though I'd still prefer gambling on Eric Gagne.

However, I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that the Royals gave $55 million bucks to Gil Meche, who has a history of arm problems and reputation for indifference. Perhaps I'm a hypocrite considering the team I follow recently paid a similar amount of money simply for the sole rights to negotiate with a pitcher, but it seems an alleged small-market team like Kansas City would be reluctant to empty the vault on a pitcher with a career 4.45 ERA. Then again, maybe that's the lesson to take from this: the small-market teams aren't quite so small anymore. Well, except for the Marlins.

Manny for the fading and overpriced Todd Helton? C'mon now, I refuse to believe Theo would even consider such foolishness.

Count me as wholeheartedly on board with Tito Francona's plan to bat Kevin Youkilis second and Coco Crisp eighth, particularly if it leads to Crisp utilizing his wheels, finding a comfort zone, and rediscovering the good health and mojo that made him such a dynamic offensive player in Cleveland.

Words to mark: Someone is going to get a bargain in Keith Foulke. A grumpy bargain, and a creaky-kneed bargain, but a bargain nonetheless. The pitcher I saw in September, 2006 looked pretty close to the one I saw in October, 2004.

Nah, I'm not sweating the Matsuzaka situation. I remain convinced the Sox will get it done, but not without another week's worth of posturing by both sides.

Barry Zito, lefthanded pitcher, Texas Rangers? Could be, and for the bargain price of $102,000,000.00! Yep, sure looks like Scott Boras is going to play Tom Hicks for a rube again, isn't he? Can you say Chan Ho Zito? All right, maybe that's an exaggeration . . . but man, sometimes I wonder how these owners got so filthy rich when some of them are so clueless.

C'mon, Drayton McLane. Open up the safe and give Andy Pettitte the extra couple of million he's obviously angling for. No one outside of the Bronx wants to see the classy lefty wear pinstripes again. Keep the Houston boy home, and the hell away from pitching against us, 'kay?

As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:

I knew there was something I didn't like about him.

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