2009 Season     

   Edition No. 5        

April 14, 2009



Boy, isnít that the truth?  Ground Hog Day.  I mentally walk in and out of that movie every year about this time.  Iím hoping that the earlier start time might shake things up a bit. Iím a morning person.  I always think better in the morning.


Iím also a ponderer.  I like to ponder things, try to figure out why things turn out the way they do.  Iíd like to figure out why my draft always turns out the way it does, which brings me to do a little pondering on myself.  How far away am I from being competitive?  Iíll give you an example.  While preparing for the draft this year I get this breath of fresh thought . . . . an epiphany--look for a starting pitcher who actually is just a reliever who you can keep in the lineup all the time.  I know, I know, Chuck does it every year, but the point is I NEVER think about it beforehand.  This year I actually did.  So I skip over to Scottís office to inform him about this life-altering change in strategy.  Scott, being the person that he is, politely nods in agreement and says ďWow, thatís a great idea, I think youíre on to somethingĒ (or on something, I donít remember exactly what he said), all the while thinking to himself, ďWow, I wonder if this guy knows about microwaves and remote controls.Ē  It all comes back to that damn 156K Tandy hard drive God fitted me with.  Weíve all kind of grown old together and, since Iím the oldest, I can give you an idea of whatís coming. You know youíre old when your wife talks you into watching Dancing With the Stars and you canít figure out who the ďStarsĒ are.  I suffer from Brimful Brain Disease and this will eventually happen to each of you at some point in your life, depending upon the size of your own internal hard drive. . . . .  Well, mineís full, I canít fit anymore in it, not without something getting deleted or falling out the bottom of it.  Thatís why time seems to go faster as you get older.  You canít jam anymore life experiences into the old memory bank, so thereís this skip . . . . like on a record, it doesnít take up any space but you missed the whole damn thing.  Now each of you has something to ponder.  So while pondering on just when did mine get full, I had to go all the way back to high school.


I went to school with Kathi, Daveís sister, very beautiful, very smart.  In fact, we went through junior high and high school together, yet I never had her in a class, not one.  You would think at some point we would have had at least one class together.  This got me to pondering if there was something going on.  Granted, my locker was dangerously close to ďThe PoolĒ which in Northeast speak means ďThe Special EdĒ section, but I refuse to believe that my proximity to ďThe PoolĒ meant anymore than just a coincidence, plus my Mom assured me there was no significance to it and I hadnít shown an aptitude for the ďIndustrial ArtsĒ . . . . still havenít as far as theyíre concerned.  Looking back on my transcripts, it was pretty evident that the Fields Medal was safe and, as Iím sure Ted can attest, so was the Pulitzer Prize.  Iíll bet when he reads my posts on the Message Board and plows through the misspelled words and fragmented sentences, itís like driving down a pot-holed gravel road in his Lexus.  So it looks like the last time I was on top of my game may have been junior high.  Well, it is what it is.  Even though my Mom said I was ďspecialĒ to her, she did mention the word lazy a few times.  I can live with that.  So my hard drive is full and Iím lazy.


So how does that relate to baseball?  It means I might have to put forth some extra effort, not blowing snot bubbles effort . . . . but maybe a little more than I have in the past.  Itís no secret that I feel luck is the overriding factor in winning this thing and I can put together a pretty strong case to prove it.  Look at Ted and Big Guy.  Nobody knows more about baseball and statistics than those two guys and they are never going to win again.  Ted has decided to pursue his career as the Unablogger full time and keep us filled in on the daily, if not hourly, trials and tribulations of HIS team in a very heartfelt, intelligent and unbiased (as long as the player isnít a Red Sox, was a Red Sox, retired as a Red Sox or is planning on becoming a Red Sox) fashion and, believe me, it touches us all in that ďspecial way.Ē  Big Guy is hopelessly lost in the maze of the lower division and believe me itís no easy chore to find your way out.  Iíve been looking for that manhole cover for the past 20 years.


Iíve always felt the odds of winning the Hot Stove League are about the same as getting hit with a lightning bolt, as evidenced by the two singed chairs on either side of me at the draft.  So what am I missing?  What is the common denominator that the winning teams share?  Or should I say, what is the common denominator of the teams that havenít won?  WEíRE THE THREE SHORTEST GUYS IN THE LEAGUE.  No one would argue that God is a pretty good shot with a lightning bolt, but not even he can slip one past 6í7Ē Godzilla sitting next to me, and when he did get one past Daveís coconut, it hit Denny.  Heís also lazy and I did have a class with him but heís also two inches taller than me.


In Johnnyís case, he was more than likely sitting in a puddle of beer, which would explain the water and electricity theory.  In fact, heís been hit so many times Iím sure his ears are still ringing.


Mouse is kind of an enigma; heís a cross between Mr. Rogers and Charlie Scheen, with a little more Scheen than Rogers, which may be the rub.  Although, I have to tell you, after seeing that paisley shirt that you wore at Blongoís shindig, Iím starting to lean towards Jon Cryer.  If thatís the case you might want to think about some platform heel shoes to get a little more height.  Iím not here to judge, Iím here to help.


Jim, what can I say?  They donít call you the Crimson Chirpper for nothing, as evidenced by your red complexion and numerous second place finishes.  Youíve had lightning bolts flying all around you, probably for a myriad of reasons.  You might want to lube up with some more Butch Wax and wear a tinfoil hat or, if youíre in that same puddle as Johnny, try standing up.


It all comes down to how liberal God is at flinging those bolts.  Even though Chuck is one of the shorter league members, he obviously ďelevatedĒ his position by recharging his faith, a feat that didnít go unnoticed by the real ďBig Guy.Ē  This is going to require a little more work on my part. Just attending church is not good enough and evidently staring at my shoelaces and thinking about what Iím going to do later in the day and generally being fussy during the sermons didnít go unnoticed either.  Thank God, Jody would always have a baggie full of Cheerios and Trix in her purse to take the edge off.


The only fly in the ointment is Jeff.  He doesnít have the losing longevity that the rest of us have, so he gets a pass for a couple of more years, plus he seems to be grounded in some way or another.  He might have scoliosis or something causing him to stoop down.  Trust me, sitting next to Scott and Dave at the draft isnít doing you any favors.  You want the opposite effect of laying in a ditch when a tornado goes over.  Plus, he may be a poser, especially after the great team he drafted this year and after last yearís second place finish.


This year I was planning on scooting my chair over next to Mitch.  Heís always in the hunt no matter what kind of a team he drafts.  But you know what?  As soon as I would start thinking about moving over by him, the sky would cloud up and lights would dim and the room would get cold, very cold . . . . that damp, chill-to-the-bone cold and I was immediately reminded of that quote, ďThe greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didnít exist.Ē  I think it was from Danteís Divine Comedy or Vrbal Kent in Usual Suspects.  And all this time we have been blaming poor, old, soot-covered, ears ringing, singed, drunk Johnny.   Hmmmmmmm?


Jim, Mouse, Iím going to bring old phone books for us to sit on next year to even the playing field.


The Draft always reminds me of a circus fire--wildly entertaining and you never really know how itís going to turn out.  So letís find out!


Bob Belly