Just read this. Gorgeous.
***Disclaimer: I’m sorry to make light of a situation that is actually quite serious, but I’ve now come to the point where the only way I can not completely shatter my faith in humanity is by pretending that Roger Clemens is a not a part of it and by laughing it off. This man is just a huge pile of scum, and I’m venting in my off-brand way. So, if you are not prepared for a post that is at moments of questionable taste, please read no further. ***
Okay, so I knew he was slime, and I may have fired off just about every other hideous insult and insinuation that I could at the man, but pedophile was never one upon which even I dared to tread. Well, it’s like my father told me the summer before I was a camp counsellor: “Son, be careful. Fifteen’ll get you twenty.”
Now here is a question for all you budding statisticians and econmetricians out there: is there any way to tease out or assign linear weights to Mindy McCready’s problems as an adult? I mean, is she screwed up and in legal trouble because of the normal trappings of fame, or is it all based on the Lolita/statutory rape thing? I would imagine that sex with an Ohioan claiming he is a born-and-bred Texan would be traumatic for a woman of any age (and maybe force her to express her mental anguish through bizarre and obscene ways), but for a 15-year-old to be forced to base all future sexual experiences off of this, well, it is no surprise that she has had a rough time.
I knew he was a dick, and I doubt there is a baseball player out there that hasn’t attempted to steal home on at least one of their lengthy roadtrips away from their wives, but seriously? 15? When you are 28? For reference, I’m 27 and I teach college students. I’m freakin’ creeped out by how young most of the freshman look, and most of them are 18 (correction, I’m creeped out by what they wear while looking so young, but the point stands). Sure, maybe I get the occasional 17-year-old in class who looks like she could be 19. Maybe I’ve dabbled once or twice in those websites where 21-year-olds pretend to have just turned 18. But 15? Come on, Roger. That’s still in puberty. That’s still “hey, I might still grow another 3 inches” young. That is really creepy. You were 28. You could drink. You could vote. You could rent a car without getting charged those higher rates. She didn’t even have her learner’s permit. She was younger than those brats on MTV who bitch about not getting a big enough party for their 16th birthday. For Chrissakes, I needed a workers permit to get my summer job when I was 15. I think I had my first kiss around that age, not my first emotionally traumatic sexual experience with a fat hillbilly (note: I was 19). But hey, I’m sure it was very romantic for you. You’re only human, right? What was it, though? Did you find it sexy that, like you, she had never taken the SAT? Were you kindred spirits because you both still read at a 9th-grade level? She sang lyrics that really touched your soul? Lyrics like, “Stuffed animals are my life” or “I’m looking forward to having to shave my legs” or “Gosh, I sure do love it when older men take me out, because then I get to watch R-rated movies” ? Was it her song about turning ten, “Double-Digit Gidget”? What the hell is wrong with you, you horrid, inhuman, prick?!?
What a sleaze. I’d no longer be shocked by anything. In fact, I’m going to google Clemens right now to see if there are any pictures of him clubbing a baby seal.
The guys over at Firejoemorgan.com have always been good, but this article transcends the usual brilliance. Needs to be posted.
According to ESPN.com, in an effort to shore up their old and injury-plauged outfield, the Mets have agreed to terms with the Boston Red Sox to swap rising young stars Ellsbury & Wright, with the Sox including all-star 3B Mike Lowell in the deal. The move comes the day after Angel Pagan tweaked an oblique during his final at bat of the season opener, limiting his availabilty for the forseeable future and once again creating a hole in the outfield. Ellsbury and Lowell will fill out the left side of the field for the Mets, who are expected to keep Beltran in center. David Wright is expected to start at 3B in Oakland for the Red Sox tonight, with Coco Crisp to remain as a CF for the Red Sox. Bobby Kielty will serve as the Sox backup outfielder, and Brandon Moss is expected to be recalled from AAA Pawtucket once his 10-day assignment is over (a player must remain in the minors for 10 days after being optioned unless there is an injury on the big league club).
In addition to Wright, the Sox will also receive minor league lefthander Angel Calero from Savannah. The 3rd year pro is a marginal prospect with a live arm, projected to be a marginal middle reliever if he ever cracks the majors.
The fantasy options from this are very interesting. Expect Wright’s doubles to spike as he pulls hits off of the Green Monster in his home games, though his HR numbers will suffer similarly. Expect about a 40-60 point increase in his OPS for the year. Lowell, on the other hand, should see his power numbers dip a bit.
Per Jason Stark at ESPN.com
Thanks to a little Brandon Moss magic and a white-knuckle 10th-inning save, the Red Sox have inched one game closer to a post-season title defense, lowering their magic number for clinching the AL (far) East to 162 games. This means that the Red Sox will make the post-season with any combination of 162 wins and Yankee losses. And Toronto. And Tampa Bay. And the Oriol… nevermind.
For those that were unaware, the Sox had their opening day game in Japan this morning at 6 AM, and will continue their season tomorrow morning at the same time. I woke up and watched this game like a dutiful little fan because, well, I wake up at 6 every morning. I will say, though, that supplimenting my daily CNN & coffee for Japanese-flavored baseball was a bit weird. Definitely a new way to start the day (although, in fairness to my darker side, I did roll out of bed at 11 AM once in college and turned on the Patriots Day game, so this was not a true first, unless you factor in that I was sober this morning).
More importantly, though, this game represented much more than a potentially crippling case of Jet Lag as the Old Towne Team amps up for a grueling April slate; it represents the start of another baseball season. Sure, there are troubles in the country: George Bush continues to do his best Mel Brooks impression, Ben Bernanke seems to be deathly frightened that people on Wall Street will beat him up if he doesn’t quadruple the money supply every three weeks, Bear Stearns reverse-alchemied themselves into JPMorgan, Hilary and Obama continue to piss on each other over irrelevant nothings while failing to forward any real ideas for running the country, the quadruple deficits (buget, trade, medicare, & social security) are no closer to being fixed, and MTV celebrities that I have never heard of continue to do stupid crap that I don’t read about. Yet it all seems a little less frightening today; today there is baseball to watch. The country is suddenly a markedly better place than it was the day before.
Yeah, I know that the last time a team other than the Red Sox won a meaningful game was October 16th (congrats, Cleveland). Sure, after tomorrow there will actually be a 3-day hiatus before the Nats play on Sunday. Yes, the game was actually very sloppy and looked kind of half-steatopygously played. Granted, the middle-relief corp and lineup of the teams still had a spring training flavor. Some other positive assertion, our backup opening-day starter looked very worrisome in those first two outings. But gosh durnit, it was fun to watch. The season has begun, the balls have been put in play, and there are six months of daily news, results, and recaps lying ahead. There are six months of nightly hits, runs, strikeouts, and steals. We’ve just put our first footprint into the freshly fallen snow, read our first page in the new novel, taken the first bite of our 162-course meal*. The fun of baseball is not figuring out who wins the world series, but rather waking up and knowing there is a game that day to watch, or listen to, or read about, or end a sentence preposition with.
For the next few months, I will wake up and have a game to watch (literally, in tomorrow’s case). There isn’t a whole lot more than I can ask out of life.
*Okay, FireJoeMorgan.com, I threw in a food metaphor for you guys.
A lovely turn of events is transpiring in the Bronx. For those unaware, Handsome Hank Steinbrenner has begun assuming his father’s old role as the equivalent of my role with this blog: irrational, exuberant, and bat-poop-crazy crank. As good ol’ George, whom the Sox community had affectionately labeled “SiaS” for “Satan in a Suit” (or some such approximation), began his steady descent into funeral-fainting irrelevance, it seemed like the Sox-Yanks were going to devolve into a pair of “large-market, well run, PR-machine, boring snoozefest” teams. Well, fortunately, there is an heir apparent to the absolutely insane and iron-fisted pyschotic felon owner, and I couldn’t be happier. Lets call him PiaP, for Pleionosis in a Polo. The man has been on the job for less than an offseason and already has raised the ire of the Twins for trying to tamper with Santana, professed his love for his 1999 crush, and just recently fired a salvo over the bow of the Sox battleship, reigniting the spark of the rivalry.
Quite frankly, I welcome back the drama with open arms. Of course, I will do so with arms even more open if he starts acting like his father: signing overpriced and over-the-hill stars, trading away young talent for marginal players with once-big names, and ultimately pushing the franchise to the bottom of the standings like his father did in the 1980s. If only George had never gotten himself banned for life from MLB (which allowed the franchise to put its resources to intelligent, rational use that ultimately produced 4 titles), we might never have been subjected to the quixotic lauding of Jeter’s over-valued clutch intangibles and sub-par defensive gold gloves and 1995 suddenly showing that 1.5 million rocks scattered all over Manhattan magically producing 1.5 million Yankees fans crawling out from underneath them. (NB: as Chad Finn points out, Jeter is 34. The national nightmare will soon be over).
Seriously, though, if Hank is as remotely impulsive and psychotic as his father, and follows his genetic predisposition to mess with the franchise’s operations, the passing of the torch will be the best thing to happen the Red Sox in a long time. Oh, besides the last 4 phenomenal years. But, even if it doesn’t pan out that way, at least it will be more dramatic. Who else is excited?
Ah, spring training, where a young fan’s fancy turns to glove…
I don’t have much of a crank-style rant this week, as the beginning of spring training games has added a spring to my step and a glide to my stride. Beckett mowing down college students, Daisuke getting 6 outs with 12 pitches, and Lester about to start throwing in a few minutes all just get my heart a-flutter. So, I’ll just toss off a quick Red Sox note:
So the Sox signed Bartolo “Brando” Colon to a minor league contract, and I think that is just swell. Color me impressed with Theo’s ability to turn a potentially devastating blow in the rotation (Schilling’s absence) into an incentive for some down-on-his luck guy to salivate at being the 5th starter on the reigning world series champion. Sure, you could mention that Colon looks like the accidental byproduct of a drunken orca-safari, but this is the type of gambles that a team like the Sox should take. Three year ago, Colon was pitching like a front of the rotation starter and winning a Cy Young. Now, after some injury-related turbulance, he gets to try to sneak his way past the No-Hit Kid (on 185-inning limit) and hold down the back of the rotation for minimum money. If he does have something left in the tank, the Sox only shell out $1.2mm. If not, well, it gives the Sox the chance to keep Buchholz innings downs so that he can still be pitching in September and hopefully October, and possibly even keep his service time low to prevent super-2 status. All in all a massive upside signing (no pun intended).
As to the downside risk? Well, he might eat Pedroia.
Okay, too many bad fat-based jokes. I’m out of here.