2012 Season                    Edition No. 7                    April 16, 2012



                    I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it


But it was close.  It sure beats a long winter of sitting down to the computer and watching videos of talking dogs and trying to keep up on Kim Kardashian’s new hairdo.  The anticipation of the season and Draft Day hasn’t waned a bit over the years; try explaining that to someone who doesn’t automatically think you’re on a waiting list for a backstage pass at a Star Trek convention.  I tell them it’s kind of a Free Mason, Knights Templar sort of thing, secret and all of that, but it’s getting to be a hard sell, especially when you’re 56 years old.


I’ve always thought the normal aging process consisted of your mind and body aging at the same pace to create a kind of harmonious hand-holding stroll into the golden years, but I have to tell you, I can’t stand looking at the old guy whose teeth I’m brushing in the mirror every morning.  What’s the opposite of Alzheimer’s?   Suddenly my unrealistic mental expectations are growing at a faster rate than my physical demise, which is on its own break-neck pace in the opposite direction.


Denny is just now reaping the rewards of premature graying.  When Max, his middle child, graduated from high school last year he had a graduation party where he had some photos of his family spanning the past 18 years, and although his kids have grown and matured into fine young adults, Denny has been perpetually frozen in time.  There is no discernible difference between the Denny posing with his family here and the Denny at the Draft.  Surely, the rewards of the Tortoise vs. the Hare if there ever was one.



Speaking of “hairs” I’m still waiting patiently for my reward for premature balding.  I had to bring my graduation photo to work so that I could scan it and it quickly became a “Can you name this person” contest. Unbeknownst to me, no one guessed correctly…….no one.  That made me brush my teeth a little harder.



 Herb Tarlek Class of ‘73      




           How do I get Pat Boone to stop calling me about Safe Step Walk-in tubs?



All the Intel pointed to Cabrera, but until he was tagged, bagged and greased in   permanent ink on the board….there is always handwringing, doubt and genuine surprise (Hillary did not see that coming).


It was unusual to see Ryan Braun cleared of his “failed” drug test, well, maybe not unusual.  I’m not sure baseball can keep surviving these haymakers year and year to their best players.  The whole circumstances surrounding the findings of his test and the subsequent packaging and shipping of his sample clouded the water more than shined any light on what really happened, either on his end or the tester’s end.  I’m not sure what 48 hours in the guy's fridge would have on the effects of his tests, or what if any agenda someone would have to alter his sample.  Anywhoooo….. He dodged one big bullet.  Thank God for unions, huh Ryan?  I’m sure there won’t be any drop off in your production this year, if like you said the tests were tainted, then it’s business as usual…..huh-uh?


This steroid issue just refuses to go away and probably won’t for a good many years.  As for the Hall of Fame, I’m slowly starting to come around to Ted’s way of thinking.  I’m not sure it’s because he’s right or if I’m just experiencing the Stockholm hostage syndrome and he’s gradually wore me down.  Since no one else posts on the message board with any regularity and if you read something over and over enough times it starts to read as true.  But he is right; I enjoy the band Pavement and agree with his take on voting for the Hall of Fame. Vote them in as their numbers demand and let other people put whatever brand they want to on them.  There are just some things we know to be true but don’t need to verbalize, like Tony Bennett’s toupee.


The Oscars have gone political.  There are certain actors and movies that the Academy wants to be nominated to create the excitement and buzz of watching the Academy Awards—Moneyball was one of those movies.  Pitt, who by the way I do like as an actor, just mailed in his performance in this Hallmark made for TV effort and how his co-star Jonah Hill ever got a nomination I’ll never know.  Playing a stiff penguin of a guy with just a handful of lines didn’t have that “Wow” factor that you normally attribute to an Oscar nominee, unless of course you were comparing his performance to that of Phillip Seymour Hoffman “AKA” Truman Capote as Art Howe.  Really?  If all you need to do is shave your head and act apathetic to get a part in a movie, where was my agent?  Poor Brad and George, you know it’s not your night when the guy who wins Best Actor didn’t speak a word.


It was a rough year for movies, we rented The Tree of Life, oddly enough also starring the fore-mentioned Mr.Pitt and it was also nominated for Movie of the Year.  It started off with this 20-minute montage of volcanoes erupting, dinosaurs and hundreds of pictures of deep space, supposedly depicting “birth” in a French, artsy, can’t stomach kind of way, which forced me into my usual MO that I reserve for chick flicks.  I get up and act like I’m getting a drink and then I just don’t come back.  You’ll have to ask Jody how the movie turned out.


If you want to see a good Brad Pitt movie rent Snatch, a Guy Ritchie film where Pitt plays an Irish gypsy bare-knuckle fighter living in a trailer park, be sure to watch it with the subtitles, his accent is dead on and hard to understand but is very funny.  It enjoys a cult status with the young guys at work; they can recite every line verbatim, accent and all.



I wouldn’t tie your horse up to any pre-season predictions; the variables of what could go right and what could go wrong are endless.  Just enjoy the season and remember, the harder you fight it---the harder it can be.


I thought I had my first pick pretty well ironed out before the draft,  the more I told myself that I wasn’t going to take Kemp if he was available the more I wanted him.  I rode that Freudian merry-go-round for the better part of March before settling on 3 players.  Tulowitzski, because of the scarcity of the position….. Votto, who I wanted all along…….. and Kemp coming off a career year, a no-no if there ever was one in this league.  I threw out Chuck’s preseason picks on who he was going to take, that sneaky competitive streak in him gets watered pretty well about this time every year.  Fortunately I don’t know enough about what I’m doing for a subterfuge ploy to work on me, I’m pretty good at sabotaging myself…Kemp…coming off a career year…I’m in trouble.


Tulowitzski is the cherry JuJy in a box of JuJy Fruits—99 times out of 100 you’re going to get a filing pulled out by one of those damn licorice ones, but you KNOW that cherry one is in there somewhere.  That  reminds me of the good ole days at the movie theater, I’d buy a box of JuJy Fruits, plop down and start holding them up to the screen, if you could see through them you knew they were good, so you ate them, if you couldn’t, they were licorice…….so you threw them.  I just didn’t want to take that risk, some day he’s going to pay off big time, I’m just glad Chuck took that decision away from me and I didn’t have worry about keeping him or throwing him back.


Thanks again to Linda who has done a CAPITAL job all these years with our web-site and before that The Bullpen news letter.  I shudder to think where we would be without her dedication to maintaining the everyday mechanics that make this the best rotisserie league I could imagine.  It takes all fourteen of us to make this work and no one is more important than Linda.  Helping run Dave’s empire, making sure the message board has enough oil in it and still have enough time to do some embezzling to make this all worth it, takes an extraordinary person.   Thank you very much, Linda!


I would have loved to go on the Miami trip this year, but as you read this we will be on vacation with our youngest son and his wife at some resort south of Cancun, where my wife is sure we will be beheaded by a drug cartel with a bone to pick with tourists from Nebraska.  I told her I think I’ll be fine as I don’t offer much in the way of a scalp, but she has an unusually thick head of hair which could draw unwanted attention.  She’s still a little gun shy from our trip to Aruba where I had her help me smuggle some Cuban cigars back in her shoes at the Miami airport.  She couldn’t understand why the airport would employ blind security guards, she didn’t take it well when I told her they were drug sniffing dogs and the guards weren’t blind.  She was literally jogging in front of them with her luggage, but with all highly planned operations it went off without a hitch.  Yet, according to her I have to re-earn her trust from square one.  So the wheels on the bus go round and round.  Anyway, I’ll be looking forward to John’s re-cap of the Miami trip.


Good luck with the season, may all your drug tests be improperly handled, enjoy your face in the mirror, have a blast in Miami, live long and prosper and I’ll see you backstage.




P.S. Just for the fun of it see if you can guess how many references there are to the Hot Stove League in the Obama photo, some are easy to tell, others, not so obvious.