SENATORS BOLT TO LEAD
CUBS* POISED FOR SECOND HALF RUN
Collapse (col-lapse, verb) Fall because of weakness
Catastrophe (ca-tas-tro-phe, noun) Major Disaster
The Collapse: It’s bad enough when your very own team decides to take the week off without sending “the memo” to the manager, requesting the requisite pre-approval for their seven days of vacation time, of which I was unaware that all 20 active players had decided to take simultaneously. What’s even worse is when the competition decides to turn up the heat and work overtime the very same week, posting numbers that would leave Ripley incredulous. Let me explain in a little more detail so Buser can understand what I’m talking about.
The Skipjacks flat out collapsed last week. Hitters didn’t hit, pitchers didn’t pitch, holders didn’t hold, and closers didn’t close. And yes, it was because of weakness. I knew it was only a matter of time before this came to pass. Sure I talked myself into believing the house of cards was all real and things would be swell, in much the same fashion as Barney Cotton is selling us that the I-backs will catch passes in a wide open offense and Jammal has really improved his passing ability. Uh Huh. It all makes for nice water cooler conversation, but eventually the cold slap in the face called reality sets in.
A pitching staff held together with bubble gum and paper clips came undone, and the Possum’s dreaded “reversion to the mean” theory reared it’s ugly mug to the Skipjacks would-be batters (I really can’t in good conscience call them hitters), exposing the smoke and mirrors that had been used to keep this once proud club in the lead for the past six weeks.
It was a nice run while it lasted. But not only was I eclipsed last week, I was virtually eliminated. I am not pained so much by that development as I am by the other events that occurred simultaneously, known also as:
The Catastrophe: The Senators are in the lead. Need I say more? If this holds for long, we’ll have to listen to daily doses of chest thumping from the pompous one. Why, just last week, as he passed me up for but a single day by a mere five points, he had to tell the whole world about himself via the electronic media. I can only compare him to Carmelo Anthony, who when asked if there was anybody he would like to thank upon hearing the news that he was the third pick in the NBA draft, responded with “I’d most of all like to thank myself for being in position to get drafted third.” Humility is not in the dictionary here.
And you were right, Skippy. I am about to take out some frustration on you. Don’t take it personally. It’s just that when I have 12 active hitters generate a total of 11.5 points in one night (no, make that three straight nights), I build up some anger that must find an outlet. 11.5 freakin points. Hell, that’s a first inning for Johnny Damon.
For those of you not watching too closely, here’s how all this came about. After Saturday’s games last week, the Senators and Skipjacks were languishing along in 11th and 12th place for the week respectively, with the paltry sums of 226 and 225 points. I’m thinking my team sucks, but hey, at least I’ve got company. On Sunday, someone places a nut under all the shells in Skippy’s fun house game. He gets 58 points from Eric Byrnes, the result of a 5 for 5 day that culminated when he hit for the cycle in the ninth inning, courtesy of a badly misplayed fly ball that turns into the ever-elusive triple. He gets the obligatory daily 20 from Albert Pujols. He gets four stellar pitching outings from the likes of Jeffrey Suppan, who just happens to be in his majors as a result of that incestuous trade with Screech (you sure do have a purty mouth, Screech) .Suppan rings up 34 points in his debut as a Senator after losing six of his seven previous decisions. He gets 28 points from Jason Davis (who?), 24 from Kerry Wood, and 30 from Russ Ortiz, and proceeds to rack up 181 points for the day!
You’ve now had your fifteen minutes, Skip. Come back to earth.
Oh and a couple more things. What I don’t understand is that with eleven weeks to prepare, after numerous ass-kissing comments from numerous ass kissing league members about your uncanny ability to deliver such a fine and humorous, well written, timely Bullpen, blah, blah, blah …you missed your deadline. Sure, you had a whole quiver full of excuses, but you are the same individual who publicly and consistently upbraided the poor, well meaning Possum last season for his failure to fulfill his journalistic responsibilities in a timely manner, and in typical attorney fashion, refused to listen to his justifications. The pot may have never before called the kettle so black. You got some splainin to do on this one, Lucy.
By the way, I thought there was supposed to be some magical spell that generates an automatic 480 points for one’s team the week you pen the league publication. Beware, all future guest writers. When it’s your second time around, they divide your total by two.
As we approach the Fourth of July, unofficially deemed the traditional midpoint of the baseball season, I look at the 12 HSL teams and ponder, in keeping with the seasonal theme:
Itchie’s got a lot of questions, with more to come, but Itchie provides very few answers today. Come Labor Day and the traditional start of the home stretch, we’ll all know if Shamu’s side deal with the higher powers to stay out of the titty bar in exchange for one summer of HSL productivity was a long term commitment or a “Possumian” type proposal, ready to be pulled back just when it appears the other side might actually bite.
Here’s my assessment of the teams:
Senators – A solid team in spite of their helmsman. Pujols, Byrnes and Helton will carry the offense; Brown, Wood, and Ortiz are a formidable staff.
Cubs* – Poised for a second half run, in spite of Melvin Mora’s forthcoming plunge. Izzy’s return to form will be a big boost for Oral Roberts, Jr.
Reds- Nomar is on fire, Blalock is real, and Schmidt is the All Star starter. With Buehrle now showing signs of his old self, this team will contend.
Chiefs – Lowell, Giambi, and Cabrera are the sticks. Sosa has flopped, and Maddux has disappointed, but if Vazquez pitches like he’s capable and Meche continues his dominance, the Chiefs will make some noise.
Redbirds – Austin Kearns has thrived in Coors East. Needs a healthy Roy Oswalt and needs Manny to mash.
Irates- Prior has made a genius out of SloPay, and Mussina is rock solid. Can Chacon maintain his mastery at Coors? Vernon Wells has significantly raised his draft stock, and Sheff is once again raking.
Tribe- Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. This team has put together back to back killer weeks. Best pick up has been Dontrelle Willis..man, talk about a live arm. If Shecky can start hitting and Hampton continues his push toward respectability, the Consumer of the Year may finish much higher than his current position.
Blues_ Bonds and Soriano on the same team? Get outta here.Ichiro is back and Furcal is having a career year..where have we gone wrong here? Well, pitching. Only Matt Morris can win. You need Loaiza if you want to contend. The owner of the greatest team of all time needs to swap some merchandise.
Skipjax – Nuf said already. Franchise moving to Manila.
Wahoos- Awesome offense, but one-dimensional. Delgado and Catalanotto are churning out huge numbers, and the coveted Preston Wilson has taken a liking to Coors. (Beware of reversion to the mean, Possum. He struck out 180 times last year.) Desperately needs Cory Lidle.
Bombers- Needs Millwood and Washburn to do what they were drafted to do, but mostly needs to sprinkle cortisone on Vladdy’s breakfast cereal.
Tigers- No pitching, and I’ve got news for you. Chris Stynes, Steve Finley, and Mike DeJean will not pull you out of the cellar. Back to back basement finishes for the Bengals.
I pose these questions to all league members as fodder for conversation to be had over a brewski or two at the local Queen City pubs:
Let’s discuss why in Cincy. Have a couple more cocktails and I’m sure you’ll see things my way.
Who are the five most overrated players right now? My votes:
Who are the five most underrated players right now? My picks:
Stream of consciousness thoughts and revelations, some picked up while watching the Rangers play the Mets in an Interleague matchup at the Ballpark in Arlington :
Cliff Floyd will never be called Cliffy Hustle..this guy takes longer to get to first than it takes the Possum to make a 20th round selection on draft day.
Roberto Alomar’s skills have fallen off precipitously. I watched him pull a 5-0-0-0 and drop a routine popup. He has made a Chuck Knoblauch type descent into a level slightly below mediocrity. Buser, I brought him in the league 14 years ago. it’s your duty to take him out. Spit him onto the scrap heap next Monday and be done with it.
Ty Wiggington is white.
Everyone on the Mets has a goatee.
The lady sitting next to me, eating the traditional ballpark turkey leg (no coffee this time), asks me if there was going to be an intermission. I kid you not, this really happened. The worse news is that her husband was sitting next to her, anxiously awaiting my response as well. When I delivered the bad news that they would only get a seventh inning stretch, they promptly exited after the bottom of the fourth.
Rafael Palmeiro may still have some lead in his pencil thanks to Viagra, but the three hour extension he gains during his amorous activities is about the time it takes him to get from first to third on a double. Dude’s got some crippled gams.
STANDINGS AND POINT TOTALS
For those of you who still care, here were the point totals for last week.
Denny, I’ve been more than long winded here. Feel free to use use my excess words as a credit toward your next publication of the Irate Pirate. Between the two of us, we’ll have six pages. I am
Done for the Year, (in more ways than one)