The Jiggernaut would have been a hard act to
follow: The Belly Flop a near impossible task to follow. Same
with The Mousetrap and Whale’s Tale. Fortunately, I
get to follow Buser, who, with no submission has made it an easy act to
follow, writing for a league now starved for information and
entertainment. That is good, because this missive will be short on both.
It will also be short on religious instruction. Since I am a Druid
(actually a Reformed Druid....we worship at bushes rather than trees) we
are prohibited from disclosing the secrets of our lust for the hackberry
to those who do not share our unique views of the world. This comes
from centuries of persecution for our beliefs. We are, however, not
prohibited from taking good natured jabs at league members attempts at
proselytizing. And being a good Christian, I am sure Chuck will be
able to turn the other cheek.
Rants, Raves or
In the past when I have filled in for Skipper in
writing for this august publication, I usually get on some rant about the
woes that have befallen my team. My initial thoughts were to attempt
to avoid such negativity, as I may be getting a bad reputation.
(Dead Man Walking?) Then I thought, why? Without such venting , I
have nothing much to say. So here we go:
How does a team with a 3.53 ERA (presently..it had actually been better),
the best in the league, yet have a pitching record of 19 and 26, by far
the worst in the league. How unfair is that? Rotten luck.
How many pitchers should you have? A question I
have been pondering; debating whether or not to add another pitcher to my
starting line-up, going from the traditional 5 to 6, a trend, I believe,
started by the Senators a few years back, in Skipper’s quest to prove it
is all about pitching. So I thought I would peruse the various
rosters of my league rivals. And what did I discover? The
interesting roster of the Chiefs presently has 8 starting pitchers.
Wow! Is it working? Not at the moment. Or one could opt
for the 5 starter, 4 reliever approach presently being employed by the
Reds and the Redbirds. Is it working? Apparently so.
Myself, I think I am destined to follow my idol, Itchie, and not only have
6 starters, but have an additional 12 pitchers in my minors, just in case.
(A roster philosophy also shared by the Cubs.)
It is about time Ichiro got hot. One of the biggest surprises for
the Blues (and probably the league) is Rafael Furcal. Can he keep it
In preparation for this I was reviewing The Jiggernaut, hoping to
be inspired, but rather came away just awed. In any event, Itchie
was musing about the free-agent draft and how we cast aside so many of
those players we drafted. I thought I would take a quick peruse of
the current rosters and see who was highest round draftee set adrift thus
far. Skipjacks: J. Lackey, 13th round; Reds, Kennedy (2b Angels),
16th round; Wahoos, Phillips (2b Indians) 21st round; Cubs, Nunez (MR
Marlins)18th round; Chiefs, T. Hall (Catcher TB), 16th round; Bombers,
Barrett, (Catcher Expos) 16th round; Senators, Crawford (LF TB) 17th
Round; Redbirds M. Vaughn 20th round (probably due to injury, although it
may just be that Vaughn is a big tub of goo...next highest cast-off P.
Reese a 22nd rounder); Tribe, A.J. Burnett, 10th round (this was for
injury, his next highest was K. Garcia 16th round); Irates, J. Spivey 7th
round; Tigers, J. Cirillo, 16th round. The Blues cast off Nen, a 7th
rounder, due to injury and Konerko, an 8th rounder. Thus, the winner
is the Irates, with a 7th rounder. But the Blues are a close second
with ditching an 8th rounder, a 12th rounder (A. Beltre) and a 15th
rounder (Rick Reed). What does this tell us? That most
guys liked the team they drafted. (Or couldn’t face the shame in dropping
a low round pick...or just plain stubbornness.) Of all those cut
loose in that first free agent drat, all were very high rounders. It also
tells us that the Blues had a serious problem in those middle rounds 6
through 12. Finally, it also tells us that Konerko is a slug,
a half season wonder.
It says great things about league parity, when you can
go from 9th to 3rd ( and back again) in a day or two. The Blues have
been bobbing up and down almost as much as a Houston lap dancer on One-Way
A poem, stolen from Itchie, but imitation is the
sincerest form of flattery
A is for Alfonso, who has started so hot
B is for Beckett, whose young arm may be shot
C is for Carter, not Joe, but TB’s Lance
for whom saves are a rare chance
D is for DL, where we find, Erstad, Beckett and Kim
E is for Ernst, may he be our Skipper as long as Don Zim.
F is for Fick, who must often be fraily,
for he is one Atlantan who plays not daily.
G is for Grimsley of the “great” Royals
H is for Hurtin’, as is the team for whom he toils
I is for Ichiro, he of the one name
J is for Jay Payton, to whom “Coors” has given “game”
K is for Konerko, no longer a Blue
L is for Lawrence, who may soon be that too.
M is for Martinez of St. Louie,
I must be desperate to have him as a Bluie
N is for Nen, who may never pitch again
O is for
odiferous, another word for stink
which sums up the Blue’s chances, I think
P is for Putrid, the smell of the Blues,
for their manager is the one without clues
Q is for Queen City, to which we are headed
to where McBlunder’s snoring is dreaded
R is for Rhodes, Rafael and Runelveys
No U-Belly could not spell this
S is for Superstar of which I have none
for even Bonds, his days may be done
T is for Tucker a Blue from hell
Oh, come back Erstad, from the DL
U is for Uncle, which the Skipjacks will cause us to cry
for they will have this won by the 27th of July
V is for Victory, which Itchie will claim
once again, putting us all to shame
W is for Wearing, that great stuff he will buy us.
X is for XXL, if he needs to size us
Z is for Zambrano, found deep in round 2-8
A blind pig pick?, no, my prep work was just that great!
Boy that was ugly, but after spending 12 billable hours
writing it, I couldn’t just delete it.
In closing, if there are weekly points and standing included in this, it
is because Ernst saved them, because I neglected to do so. Sorry E.
It has been fun. Hope to see you on the trip. (Oh E, where are
those details. Mr. Fidgety Fuss-Bucket Pants, or whatever you called me,
wants to know.) And I for one am not sorry that we have evolved
beyond the strip joint (see Message Board posting of Itchie). Maybe
I am getting old, but I truly enjoyed just sitting in a local Pittsburgh
watering hole, watching Johnny get drunk and arguing over the Save rule
and future Hall of Famers. It was a great time and I am looking
forward to doing it again. I still do not think we have gotten a
definitive answer on that Save rule thing.
Don’t forget to call, we get lonely down here in KC.