When Dave asked everyone at the
draft if they wanted to share Bullpen duties, (Or is that honors?) my
heart fluttered like a little girl at an 'N Sync concert. It took
everything I had not to jump on that Dewey, Cheatum & Howe table, or
whatever they call themselves, and shout "Me first please!" Not
wanting to ruin it for everyone I stayed within myself.
I must have had three Bullpens ready to go right then and there, but after
listening to Old Underpitching drone on all the way home about his new
draft strategy, taking a player at each position before taking a pitcher,
plus driving home in a monsoon that scared more than just ideas out me.
That plus the fact that I'm closing in on 50, and can't even remember
where I parked my car after work. Where was I?
Okay, here goes; how nice that I get to write this after having the worst
week of the season, even finishing below Old Underpitch.
Let's start with the current positions from top to bottom. Sorry Bob,
you'll have to wait awhile.
Wahoo's: I like hitting too, but after years of finishing in the
bottom half, and the bottom period, I thought a change was needed. Posada
was my pick for the 4th round. But I thought Mauer would be great so
that's Okay. Hey, I got one good day out of him. Contreras in the 6th I
understand, that is when I took Marte, I guess just because he looks like
M. Rivera doesn't mean he pitches like him.
Tigers: Randy Johnson, the first time in my life I had a chance at
him and I passed. OUCH! Lorretta had a good year for me last year, I
thought it was a fluke, OUCH!
Good chance for worst to first.
Skipjacks: If I had the outfield of Burrell, Griffey jr. and Drew,
two of them would be on the DL and the other would be batting .200.
Burrell is my new Daryl Kile. I hope nothing happens to him in his hotel
room. By the way, why did you have to cut that guys head off for? He was
just looking for work.
Senators: Just as I write this, you have passed me. YUCK! I hate
you, enough said.
Redbirds: What can I say? Bush has six months left and our
exclusive club is still intact.
Reds: Zito in the 3rd. Hey, I'll trade you straight across for my
3rd rounder, Webb, nice! Speaking of nice, I like the new head of lettuce,
you went from Sgt. Carter to Christopher Walken.
Chiefs: Scott and Screech, talk a little louder next year. Maybe my
team will look better next year. When you said Mora, I didn't think he'd
end up being my top hitter, just kidding.
Cubs: They called my pitching staff Chuck Lite, isn't everything
next to you Chuck lite? That was mean, sorry. God Bless you.
Bombers: If Giambi gets back on the steriods and you find some more
pitching, I see you climbing the ladder a bit.
Blues: Before the draft I thought about going for Prior, Beckett 1
and 2 whew! That was a close one!
Tribe: God your team sucks! Starting with Fat LeCroy, that is what
you get for mowing my grass on Well, Patterson and Reyes. Hey, I started
calling my mower Cal, you know, after Cal Ripken. It never misses a start.
That thing is older than all my children and gets as much care from me.
P.S. That is if we include your
Old Timers League points.
In the Life Isn’t Always Fair
Department, how about that outing that Double Ugly had for me on
Sunday: 1/3 IP, 6 ER, ¾ 20.5 points. Now,
first of all, UU shouldn’t even be in my starting lineup, given the
qualify of my relief corps, but that wussie Billy Wagner refuses to
suck it up and get back out on the mound and pitch. So, the Ungodly
Ugly one is essentially filling Wagner'’ spot as a caretaker, since
the Detroit Tigers only put UU into a save situation about once every
John Odom (Blue Moon, of course). Here’s where the real unfairness
comes in. UU has essentially been rotting in the Tiger bullpen ever
since Wagner went on the DL and I had to call UU up, but the old
Skipper has been good and hasn’t even been whining or moaning about
this situation – insofar as the rest of you know – but has been
quietly patient while hoping only for a mop-up appearance by UU now
and then, so as to garner just a few points until Wags gets back. So
what happens? Trammel puts UU in the game in Sunday’s matchup against
the Orioles, and then lets him twist in the wind as he gets shellacked
for 6 runs in one-third of an inning. Not since seeing a baleful Mike
Flannigan look pleadingly toward his manager in his 1999 drubbing at
old Tiger Stadium has a manager so cooly watched one of his pitchers
get beaten around on the diamond.
There has certainly been a lot of
free agent activity for being this deep into the season. Hope, after
all, does spring eternal. We are all hoping to catch that lightning in
a bottle that might push our team to the front, and if this means
loading up the back of the pickup truck with somebody else’s back
alley castoffs, like Marcus Giles or Derek Lowe or Jeremy Affeldt,
well, then, so be it. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
How about Randy Johnson and Roger
Clemens being the top two starting pitcher point-getters? Two war
horses in their 40s, well past their chronological prime, pitching
like they are both 25 years old and trying to earn their spurs in the
majors. Talk about two players who actually earn their money.
This is the week that I have been
looking forward to for the past several weeks, because three of my
starting pitchers were lined up to pitch twice this week, Russ Ortiz
on Monday and Saturday, and Roy Halliday and Ben Sheets on Tuesday and
Sunday. Pitching points galore, is of course what I am thinking. So
when I sat down at my home computer late on Tuesday night, ice cold
beer in my left paw, I was naturally salivating at the prospect of
seeing another Ben Sheets 18K performance, or some other similar
delightful pitching effort from last year’s Cy Young Award winner Roy
Halliday, but when I scanned the box scores, I find with no
explanation whatsoever that neither Halliday nor Sheets has pitched
that night, and in looking at Wednesday’s pitching probables, I see
that neither of them are slated to throw on Wednesday. I didn’t find
out until the following day that both of these pitchers missed the
start because of physical maladies.
Nobody said it would be easy. Or fair. As my wife puts it, if you
want fair, it comes to town about once a year.
On the other hand, I would concede
that Danny Graves and his 26 saves and Sean Casey with his .392 BA are
overachieving for the Senators just a bit, just in case any of you
were about ready to point that out.
Our second monthly First Tuesday
lunch was another rousing success, with Mouse, Possum, Big Guy,
Tirebiter and myself breaking bread at the party room at Jams. As
usual, lots of good baseball talk. Thanks to our Chairman of Lunch,
Mouse, for organizing it. Next month: Back to Jams on Tuesday, July 6,
High Noon. Don’t miss it.
Trip: If you haven’t given the
go-ahead to Magpie or Possum to make your air reservations to San
Diego, you need to do so. It looks like we might have 11 of us
visiting Petco Park – lovingly referred to by the locals as Bark
Park – for the first time. Our 20th HSL trip promises to be one of
those great lifetime experiences that you won’t want to miss. We might
even be able to get our normally reserved league teetotaler, Itchie,
to loosen up and have a few belts and a good time, for once in his