THE BELLYFLOP

Special Edition of

From the Bullpen

Official Publication of

The Hot Stove League

Eastern Nebraska Division

2004 Season     Edition No. 2     January 30,  2004

Guest Editor:  Underbelly

 


THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO THE ATKINS DIET

     Life is good. The Husker ship has righted itself, my snow blower started on the 2nd pull and baseball is just around the corner. The only pea under my mattress is an Omaha collection agency trying to get 15 bucks out of me for a ďMont BlancĒ pen, supposedly given to another lawyer for services rendered. Christ! It had better be the one Ben Franklin used on the Constitution. I go through pens like sunglasses and lawn mowers. Iíll bet if you put a gun to his head today he couldnít find it.

     I truly believe this just might be the year of the Tribe. As mentioned earlier, my snow blower has started on the second pull ALL three times Iíve needed it this winter. I thought I was the only person who leased his snow blower. It cost me 600 bucks to take that little gem off the showroom floor and 60 bucks a year to keep it running. To say that this little miracle has lightened my burden is an understatement. I can now cross off one of my gripes in my ever expanding Rolodex that I plan on taking with me on judgment day. Obviously, Iíve got some explaining to do, but so does He.

     It certainly has been an interesting off-season for the Husker football team. I totally agree with the direction that itís heading in; we needed a change. We were headed into the land of mediocrity with no return in sight. Although I thought Frank would probably be given another year. With the new staff he assembled itís not unreasonable to think that he may have been able to turn things around. But, letís face it. Frank lost control, of ďLittle FrankĒ that is. Whatís up with that? If those stories are right, it would make Shawn Kemp blush.

     The Offense was getting so outdated that it became almost impossible to entice the cream of the crop recruits to even give us a second thought let alone visit. As much as I enjoyed the Crouch years, it spelled doom for the program. We completely got away from using the I-backs and the offense was based solely on the Quarterback. Every time we got behind by 7 or more points, I got this sick feeling in my stomach because I knew there was no chance to make a comeback. How can we lead the nation in rushing year after year and not be able to get a capable I-back over 5'4" tall?

     Callahan has definitely hit the ground running. Blake might be his best hire; it looks like damn near all the recruits that we have visiting these past 2 weekends were set up by him. Iím still old school. I love the running game and I hope we donít abandon it entirely. But to quote a person on one of the internet bulletin boards ďThe best thing about the West Coast Offense is Jamal Lord will be watching it from the East Coast.Ē

     I like all of Callahanís hires except one, Cosgrove. Does his drinking buddy have to be the second in command? He doesnít have the resume to coach here. He was nothing but mediocre at Wisconsin and thereís nothing in his past to lead me to believe he will be anything special here. It would have been nice to keep Pelini; the guy has a lot of fire. But Iím sure Callahan didnít like the idea of coaching with one eye on the field and the other trying to watch his back. The first time he loses Iím sure he would hear the ďWe want BoĒ chants.

PETE ROSE

     Ted, Iím starting to come over to your way of thinking concerning Pete Rose and his possible Hall of Fame induction.

     Isnít it ironic that after 14 years of people saying, ďPete, if you just admit that you gambled on baseball all would be forgivenĒ that it has almost had the opposite effect on people? I agree with Peter Gammons; I too have always felt that Rose belonged in the Hall. How can you keep the all-time hits leader out? But after seeing his interview and the self-serving timing of his book announcement, Iím on the fence. It doesnít look good for him if itís left to the Veterans Committee. They are definitely old school and less forgiving than the sportswriters and general public.

     Let Shoeless Joe in and wait another 10 to 15 years on Pete. He belongs in the Hall of FameÖÖ..barely.

     I do disagree with your take on the ARod for Manny trade. I would love to see ARod go to the Redsox; it would be great for Boston and great for baseball. His talent and class deserve the East Coast exposure. Your bitch should be with the greedy Texas Rangers, not the players union. The Rangers gave 96 million dollars over the length of ARodís contract that they could save or spend on much needed pitching, but they are not satisfied with that. They want Boston to pony up the difference between Mannyís salary and ARodís, approx 28 million. I donít blame ARod for trying to make it work, but to do so he had to restructure and devalue his contract with the Redsox. If he devalued his contract by the 28 million (this figure has since been lowered but itís still not workable) this would technically save Boston 28 million, which it in turn would give to the Rangers to complete the deal. The union then stepped in with its only recourse, which was to put the pin back in the grenade. Once you push that snowball down the hill it only gets bigger. If you think that this would be a one-time exception youíre on crack. They would be leaving themselves open to a slew of own-ers reneging on contracts and demanding restructuring, if not canceling contracts alto-gether.

     Texas should be happy a team is willing to take on the worst contract in the history of professional sports. The unionís agreement is designed to protect all players, stars and roster fillers alike.

     I know your argument ďwhy canít two sides who want the same thing be allowed to pursue their agendas as long as both sides agree?Ē You mean like ďdo oversĒ? Not going to happen.

     So what have we learned? Be aware of what you propose and be aware of what you sign. There are no ďdo oversĒ in baseball. And that is management, labor 101.

     I saw the sweatshirts that Magpie gave out this year, another nice effort, but itís time for a change. I talked Scott into selling Art F/X and investing in a sports car dealership and prostitution ring. So Iím expecting big things from next yearís winner. And if I should be so honored to win the Championship next year, I promise a Mont Blanc in every pocket, a Rayban on every nose, and a Murrayís lawn mower in every garage! Of course if one of you win, I donít want a pen, Iíd lose the sunglasses and I already have a Murray lawn mower, so see Scott for my present.

     I canít wait to hear those beautiful four words:

PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT

Underbelly


 

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