December 2010

It’s legal tender!

This happened way back on Sunday, but I’ve been so fixated on Winter Meetings moves that I haven’t even thought about it until now.

I had been holding onto about two years’ worth of spare change because I’m too lazy to count it (and because it’s impossible to buy less than 100 paper rollers for coins at one time, which is a travesty). I had seen a CoinStar machine at the front of my grocery store, so when I made my weekly trip to the store at halftime of the Sunday Night Football game, I decided to bring my Cosmo Kramer-esque stash of coins and see what kind of damage I could do. Think about it: those coins just sat around forever doing nothing and suddenly, they morphed into $52 to spend on groceries. I was like Michael Scott with $600 in Burlington Coat Factory. I may as well have owned the place.

Think Supermarket Sweep, except you know exactly how much money you can spend. I wanted to buy a side of beef, like the kind Rocky would punch. I was looking at wheels of cheese. Garden hoses. I even went looking around in the electronics section just for fun. Bought some CDs. Looking forward to burning some mixtapes to play my car. I’ll be eating (and living… but mostly eating) like a marginally richer dude for the next two weeks. And all because of turning change into groceries. I had so much fun, I’m thinking about starting a change-counting service to rival CoinStar (they charge almost 10 percent, which is crazy; it’s not like people are actually sitting there counting it by hand). But until I do, try turning your change into groceries. It’s one of the most underrated ways to save/spend money in the world. Because you’re going to end up buying groceries anyway, right?

On an unrelated note, “Chef to the Stars” Scott Kammerer heard the old-guy joke about how many seconds there are in a year. The old guys I talked to said there are twelve (January 2nd, Feburary 2nd, etc.). Scott tried saying there are 24 (January 2nd, January 22nd, February 2nd, February 22nd). We argued about this for about three full minutes before I decided he’s an idiot we’d have to agree to disagree. It’s only a matter of time until he reads this and poisons my food, but at least you’ll know what happened.

On another note, I had been craving Thai food, but hadn’t seen any Thai restaurants in Fort Wayne. Scott tipped me off to Switta Thai Cafe. It’s darn good. Try it sometime. If you’re into that sort of thing.

Random thoughts:

  • A Winter Meetings recap by Jayson Stark.
  • GMs of about 26 teams are getting a little tired of watching big-name free agents go to the same places.
  • Jed Hoyer says the Padres’ priorities right now are finding a first baseman and second baseman. The Jason Bartlett trade still hasn’t gone through, but that would take care of shortstop.
  • Here’s a story about former TinCaps pitching coach Bronswell Patrick’s unique MLB debut. He came in to mop up after a brawl against the Rockies.
  • So what you’re saying is, the Indians could’ve had Tim Lincecum, but the commissioner’s office frowned upon the means of getting him. Excuse me while I set myself on fire.
  • The baseball program at the University of Cal-Berkeley was supposed to be discontinued, but now it might not be. Baseball isn’t a moneymaker at many (if any) colleges, but it’s an important feeder system.
  • Jay Bruce got a contract extension. When he becomes more consistent, he’ll be one of the best outfielders in the game.
  • I keep reading that the Red Sox have a deal in place with Adrian Gonzalez, but aren’t telling anybody until later this month so the Sox can save money against this year’s luxury tax. Makes sense, but Gonzalez denies it.
  • Ken Griffey, Sr., has gone from hitting coach in Dayton to manager at Advanced-A Bakersfield. Interesting.
  • Here’s a pretty accurate dress code glossary for the baseball Winter Meetings.
  • A lesson we broadcasters seem to learn roughly once a year, this time from your Indianapolis Colts: No matter how mad you are, never, ever say overtly dumb things around microphones, even during breaks. Some of us can’t avoid it, though.
  • Dave Hutte hasn’t had an interesting status update in what seems like a decade. I feel like he’s holding back for a major announcement. (Apparently Dave Hutte is the pre-Jayson Werth Washington Nationals. Yikes.) I’ll keep you posted.

Musical guest… Michael Franti!

Have a good weekend!


It’s drafty!

It’s a good day when it’s 9 a.m. and you can follow a baseball draft. Not as good as a day that features hot breakfast, but you take the small victories when you can get them.

Anyway, that draft would be the Rule 5 Draft, where teams can pick players from other organizations. If you’re taken in the major-league phase of the draft, you have to stay on the MLB roster (or disabled list) for the entire next season or be offered back to your old organization.

In the MLB portion of the draft, the Padres took RHP George Kontos from the Yankees. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 and put up good numbers in his return in 2010 (until the Arizona Fall League). He could be an important pickup, especially if the trade for Jason Bartlett happens.

In the Triple-A phase, San Diego took 3B Jacob Blackwood, who was technically in the Giants organization. He was released by the Marlins in 2009, destroyed independent ball in 2010 (.331-31-86 to almost win the Northern League’s Triple Crown) and played in the Mexican League this fall after signing with San Francisco. According to this report, he’s 25 years old and played a lot of second base last year. The Padres could use middle infielders at the higher levels. Worth a shot, that’s for sure.

Fort Wayne alum OF Brad Chalk drafted in the minor-league phase by Pittsburgh. Which means he could get to Triple-A Indianapolis this year, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Random thoughts:

  • Jason Bartlett would be a really nice pickup for San Diego. He fills a need on the infield and even if he leaves when is contract is up (end of 2011), the Padres would get at least one draft pick for him. Hopefully by that point, Drew Cumberland would be ready to contribute in the big leagues.
  • It’s worth noting that the Padres have four open spots on their 40-man roster.
  • Almost forgot this story: When I was working at the mall store (the Orchard at Glenbrook Square) the other day, a lady (I didn’t catch her name) came in who had been Justin Germano‘s host mother when he played in Fort Wayne. Lately, Justin played a season in Japan, caught on with the Indians and got his shot in the big leagues. He’s living in Florida with his wife now and they just welcomed their first child into the world. The lady was sending a TinCaps newborn t-shirt to them. Good stuff.
  • Carl Crawford got a seven-year deal from the Red Sox. Seven years is a long time. They’ll be paying him until he’s 35, which isn’t terrible, but it also isn’t great considering Crawford is a speed guy; unless it’s Rickey Henderson, guys like that don’t usually age all that well.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury isn’t a center fielder defensively (Mike Cameron is, and he’s a good one) and J.D. Drew is making too much money to not play in right. They wouldn’t keep Ellsbury (or Cameron) around as a fourth outfielder, would they?
  • Prediction: By the time May rolls around, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford will have gone from “underappreciated” to “OK, Boston fans, we get it, they’re good” status. I might take Gonzalez over Mark Teixeira, straight up. He’s that good.
  • The Orioles grabbed J.J. Hardy from the Twins for a couple of minor-league pitchers. They finished strong last year with Buck Showalter taking over as manager, but their outlook isn’t nearly as good as it was this time two years ago. Their young guys haven’t hit it big yet, but Matt Wieters and some of the young pitchers still have hope.
  • Nolan Ryan wants to know what he has to do to get Cliff Lee back with Texas. I’d love it if Lee stayed away from New York just to spite the fans who spit at his wife, but money talks. It don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk, though.
  • Rolling Stone put out its Top 30 albums of 2010. I was tickled to see The Black Keys near the top. Kid Rock at 16 nearly invalidates the whole thing, though.
  • It wasn’t long ago that some front-office people from the Mad Ants basketball team hammered our front-office people in volleyball. Well, the next challenge in the World Series of Leisure Sports is bowling. Last night a few of us rolled some practice games. If we’re anywhere close to that good in sanctioned competition, the Ants are about to enter a world of pain.

Musical guest… The Spin Doctors!

Take care!


Fun with numbers

Some important numbers today:

44 – The latest ranking of The Watson Files in the MLB Pro Blogs standings. Which is five spots higher than last month. Which is, like, five times as many spots as it’s ever climbed in a single month. So we’ve got that going for us.

7 years, $126 million – Also known as Jayson Werth’s income for the forseeable future. Other definitions: The kiss of death. Did you realize it’s the very same terms of two other oppressively terrible contracts? Barry Zito. Vernon Wells. Jayson Werth. All in the 7/$126 club. Yikes.

(None of your business) – The number of birthdays my mom has celebrated, including the one today.

Random thoughts

  • In a totally tasteless attempt at humor, Abby Naas sent me an offensive photo of our mascot in the midst of a LeBron-esque activity. Hours earlier, Penny Wascovich told me she dreamed about dunking my head under bathwater. Which is gross. This is the effect I have on women.
  • Looks like the Padres are close to a deal with RHP Dustin Moseley, who has been the pitching version of a super utility man lately. Hasn’t been able to stick in the big leagues anywhere, but can start or relieve and will be 29 in a few weeks. He’s cheap and might just be a stopgap until guys like Simon Castro are ready. And Petco Park has a way of helping pitchers. Right, Jon Garland?
  • In an unintentionally related story, here’s a reminder of the value of “just average” players. They’re more important than you might think.
  • As you probably know, Matt Stairs is anything but “just average.” He discusses beer, pizza and NutriSystem.
  • Apparently the Padres have something like $10 million to spend
    if they want to get to a $40 million payroll. They do need about five
    players (1B, 2B, SS, C, P), so I’m not expecting any big (or medium)
  • If you think the money being thrown around this off-season is crazy, Albert Pujols is a free agent after the 2011 season. The Yankees and Red Sox (and Angels) have good first basemen which should keep the world from exploding, but still… God help us all.
  • The Cubs and White Sox have their first basemen for this year. Carlos Pena just seems too much like the first base, left-handed version of Mark Reynolds to me. He’s fine, but so inconsistent.
  • The roster moves get all the attention from the Winter Meetings, but a lot of work happens for minor-league teams. Everybody in the business goes to the Trade Show, which is the source of an incredible amount of free stuff. Just never reveal your identity to anyone, or you’ll get people calling to sell you stuff for the rest of your life.
  • Michael Wilbon wrote an article that looks suspiciously like this blog. How dare he. Everyone knows I invented the bulleted list. And the Internet. And “it’s not you, it’s me.”
  • Let me get this straight: Cam Newton’s dad broke the rules. His punishment was supposed to be “limited access” to the Auburn football program. Now, Auburn is getting his dad into the Heisman Trophy presentation. I think it would be pretty cold to NOT let a dad see his son accept an award like this. But what would you say… the punishment is?

Musical guest, the Beatles!

Take care!


Live from the mall, it’s Tuesday afternoon

Today I’m working at the Orchard team store at Glenbrook Square Mall (lubing the deals, as Kenny Powers might say). Those of you sickos who read this on a regular basis know that I avoid shopping near other people like everyone avoided The Noid back in the 80s. Clearly, I am not in my element.

Be that as it may, two retired guys just rolled into the store and started holding court. At the conclusion of the court-holding session, one of them asked me this:

“You’re a smart guy (debatable)… How many seconds are there in a year?”

I tried to remember that song about how many minutes are in a year, but then remembered musical theater isn’t really in my wheelhouse and gave up.

“There are 12 seconds in a year. January 2nd, February 2nd…”

I’ll be here all day, folks! Remember to tip your servers!

Random thoughts:

I love the Winter Meetings. So much news with snow on the ground!

  • Former Padres RHP Kevin Correia signed with the Pirates, which gives San Diego another supplemental first-round draft pick. Which means the Padres have five picks in the first 50 (or so) of the draft. This should mean good things for the TinCaps in 2012, if not sooner.
  • I caught an interview with San Diego manager Bud Black yesterday on
    the MLB Network. He said they’re probably not going to trade Heath Bell.
    You might wonder why not, since trading Gonzalez is basically
    starting/accelerating the rebuilding process. Here’s why: Bell’s fairly
    affordable, the demand for him isn’t as big as the demand for Gonzalez,
    and (most importantly) even when you’re not very good, you’ll have leads going to the ninth inning. You HAVE to win those games. Bell makes sure you you do that the vast majority of the time.
  • We might think Jayson Werth’s ridiculous new contract with the Nationals will only help Carl Crawford. We might be very wrong, says Jayson Stark. There’s only one team that makes a habit of giving those types of deals. You can guess which one.
  • The Nationals’ whole “we have to overpay because we stink” explanation of signing Werth doesn’t hold a whole lot of water. Do good teams get discounts on free agents because they’re good?
  • The Red Sox probably aren’t finished with their roster after the Adrian Gonzalez trade.
  • Mark Reynolds to the Orioles now looks more like Kevin Towers REALLY not liking his bullpen than anything else. He got two relievers from the Orioles and also signed J.J. Putz (who hasn’t been healthy lately) to a two-year deal. Who knows if any of them will be any good, but they’re three new arms, right? And, Melvin Mora will take Reynolds’ spot at 3B.
  • Bryce Harper will get to play in MLB Spring Training games. Not surprising, considering he already has a spot on the 40-man roster. More interesting to me, the article says he’ll play in Class-A to open next year.
  • Here’s a look back at last year’s Rule 5 Draft. Pretty underwhelming, but you could say that about the majority of these drafts.
  • Don’t forget how good we have it at Parkview Field (and the Midwest League as a whole).
  • Who does this guy think he is? He’s Keith Hernandez, in documentary form. And, more importantly, t-shirt form.
  • My buddy’s band is opening for Robert Randolph. That’s big-time.

Musical guest… DJ Darude!

Note: True TinCaps fans may instinctively fold into the fetal position, considering this is the song that plays every. single. time. a certain “seasoned” MWL team scores a run.

Take care!


I like my trades like I like my women

Like most single men in their mid-20s, my knowledge of women sits somewhere between “little” and “none.” But one night, while enjoying a round-table discussion with some people after a game this season, a bolt of real genius struck. Genius which sent at least a dozen people into utter hysterics. And it was this: Single dudes assume the average single girl gets asked out on dates hundreds of times per day, at least a dozen times by male models. This is not true. In actuality, we dudes don’t have to be some suave ladies’ man. We just have to be generally nice people and NOT elicit the response, “Uh, what?” (Note: Since hatching my theory, it has been confirmed as true by multiple female sources.)

The same philosophy applies to building a baseball team. You don’t always have to pull off blockbuster deals. You just can’t make moves that make people react by saying, “Uh, what?”

So when the Padres grabbed three minor-leaguers and a player to be named later for Adrian Gonzalez and signed Aaron Harang to a one-year, $3-million deal, I thought Jed Hoyer had a pretty good weekend. Because, especially when you’re operating on a $40-million payroll, you have to make consistently good deals. And since he took over, I can’t think of any “Uh, what?” moves.

Can you quibble with the trade? Sure. I don’t think the Padres have anybody in the minors who looks like a big-league shortstop (Drew Cumberland looks like a second baseman to me), so Jose Iglesias would’ve been a nice addition. And it would have been nice if the power hitter in the deal (1B Anthony Rizzo) hit right-handed to fit Petco Park better, but in San Diego, there’s much more to life than home runs.

The way I look at it (not that it matters) is this: Adrian Gonzalez was not going to be a Padre in 2012. If even the best prospects are far from sure things in the major leagues, then what does that make the two draft picks San Diego would’ve gotten for Gonzalez leaving as a free agent (if they even would’ve gotten them; a new collective bargaining agreement could change the landscape of compensatory picks)? Hoyer and most of his top assistants used to work for the Red Sox. Jason McLeod drafted all three of the players the Padres are getting. I doubt the Padres could’ve gotten more had they waited for the trade deadline. This deal might not make you stand up and applaud, but it doesn’t make you throw batteries, either.

Now… about those “Uh, what?” deals. Meet the Washington Nationals. Jayson Werth was going to torpedo any team not named the Yankees or Red Sox, and it looks like that’s about to happen. Here’s why: Werth is a very good player who put up very good numbers in Philadelphia, but he’s not $18 million a year until he’s 39 years old good. In other words, he’s not face-of-the-franchise good. Especially when he’s leaving the ideal surroundings in Philadelphia to the not-ideal surroundings of Washington. The Nationals have to overpay to get good players right now, but it doesn’t make sense for a bad team to give up all payroll flexibility, especially for a guy on the wrong side of 30. This has the Aaron Rowand stench all over it.

Random thoughts:

  • Baseball America‘s recap of the Gonzalez trade and just who the heck these prospects are.
  • Peter Gammons weighs in.
  • More on what the trade means for the farm system.
  • And where it leaves the major-league roster. Hint: They need infielders real bad.
  • The Padres have multiple holes on the MLB roster, but don’t forget about the Rule 5 Draft coming up this week. I’m pretty surprised the Orioles didn’t protect Wynn Pelzer from being taken. The Padres traded him to Baltimore for Miguel Tejada and could get him right back.
  • Second-biggest trade so far: RHP Shaun Marcum from the Blue Jays to the Brewers for minor-league 2B Brett Lawrie. Looks good for both sides. The Brewers need pitching in the worst way and Marcum is good. Lawrie goes home to Canada and looked like one of the best prospects in the MWL at the plate last year. He’s still blocked at second base by Aaron Hill, though.
  • Fat Elvis to the Cardinals. Low risk, potentially big reward.
  • Mark Reynolds supposedly traded to the Orioles. Good move for the Diamondbacks; they seem to set the intergalactic record for strikeouts every year. From the Orioles’ perspective? Ehh.
  • As Jayson Stark points out, it’s amazing how it seems like, every year, everybody waits for the top free agent to sign and the dominoes fall from there.
  • Gammons says similar things. He also says the Werth contract might not be as bad as it looks.
  • The Mariners’ Top 10 Prospects list is up for you sickos out there.
  • The Colts are a .500 team now. Call me a hater, but now you know how the rest of the world lives.
  • You deserve to hear the story of my Sunday: Abby Naas and I watched the Browns-Dolphins game, which the Browns won despite Jake Delhomme. I cooked delicious mahi mahi (which isn’t really dolphin meat, but it’s dolphin fish, which is close enough) and acquired the services of accomplished bakers to make brownies (on which I wrote “Fins suck” in orange frosting). You’d think someone would take a joke and just eat the food. Not Abby. Oh well. More for me.
  • The rest of the world supposedly jumped on the Grace Potter bandwagon last night thanks to a VH1 special. I’ve been trying to get her to marry me for years. Won’t return my calls. Something about a restraining order.

Musical guest… the Black Crowes!

Take care!


How dare he!

First of all, come out to Franke Park tonight (Friday, 6-10 p.m.) for the Fantasy of Lights. Johnny will be there along with a cavalcade of other TinCaps celebrities. Drive through the park, check out the light displays, good times for all. It’s $5 per car and proceeds go to AWS which helps folks with disabilities.

Now. If “The Decision” was like the captain of the football team breaking up with the nice girl by announcing it from the stage at prom, last night was the same guy going to the homecoming dance the following school year with another, sleazier girl and giving the nice girl a wedgie in front of everyone at the pep rally. In other words, just another chapter in Cleveland sports history.

You know what, though? I hope that nice girl realizes that, while he’s a great athlete, this guy was kind of a butthead the whole time. He’s just not HER butthead anymore. He’s the kind of guy who gets dunked on by high-school kids and confiscates all video proof. He wears shirts like this. He says things like, “take my talents to South Beach” and “continue the greatness for myself in Miami.”

Best sign of the night: “We’re not terribly fond of LeBron.” Beautiful. Plus, the posterboard had ads for Quaker Steak & Lube, which is the best wing restaurant in the universe and (I just heard today) is opening a location in Fort Wayne soon. That news made my week. And in no way is that depressing.

But seriously, let’s move on and drop the Zydrunas Ilgauskas talk. And the “Victim” t-shirts. Start wearing those and you’re no better than Cubs fans.

Cubs fans who, today, I feel for. Ron Santo passed away on Thursday. The first time I ever heard a Cubs radio broadcast, I was in Daytona with a couple of Chicago natives. Santo came across like a total whack job, not so much a broadcaster as a cheerleader with a microphone. Three years later, I listen to every afternoon Cubs game I can. I still think Santo was a little “out there,” but it was completely genuine and he had the best intentions. He loved the game, he loved the team and the fans. And when he and Pat Hughes got going back and forth (Ron’s toupee catching on fire at Shea Stadium, Pat’s ugly sweaters, etc.), it was gold. Bummer.

Random thoughts:

  • In addition to Tony Gwynn, Jr., and Scott Hairston, the Padres also didn’t offer contracts to INF Matt Antonelli and RHP Luis Perdomo.
  • If you haven’t seen this Matt Antonelli-Wade LeBlanc show of athletic prowess, you haven’t really lived.
  • The full list of players who weren’t offered contracts by their teams is out. Russell Martin is an interesting one. So is Andrew Miller, mostly because the Red Sox just traded for him (although they could be trying to get him off the 40-man roster and onto a minor-league deal). Same for Chien-Ming Wang and the Nationals, or maybe it’s a testament to the health of his shoulder. This sets things up nicely for the Winter Meetings next week.
  • I think it’s funny that not being offered a contract is known as being “non-tendered.” Because, as we all know, nothing heals a broken heart like time, love and tenderness.
  • Adam Dunn to the White Sox? There goes all that talk about him not wanting to be a DH. I guess if he wants to hit 40 bombs every year, it’s a good environment for it.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman is going to dress like an elf and rappel off the side of a building for charity on Sunday. This is not a joke.
  • Oakland’s Top 10 prospects according to Baseball America have been posted. Their Class-A affiliate is in Burlington now and the Royals are in Kane County. A straight-up trade.
  • Dave Hutte status update: Dave Hutte is doing some Christmas shopping today.
  • Did you know the Miami Dolphins are also known as the “Smile Sharks“? Did Buddy the Elf pick that one? Smiling IS his favorite, you know.
  • Have you ever heard of Dolfan Denny? Me neither.
  • Go Browns. Preferably without Jake Delhomme.

And now, musical guest… Go West!

Have a great weekend!


The players who aren’t here yet

With the Padres racking up the supplemental-round draft picks lately, I’ve been meaning to take a look at the results of recent sandwich picks. But I’m not doing it today. Because it’s a big day and I can’t stop wondering what’s going to happen tonight in Cleveland. Almost nothing would surprise me at this point. I hope Cleveland doesn’t embarrass itself again (which, all things considered, may have launched what we know today as “The Gus Johnson Effect,” which isn’t all bad). No, I hope it happens the way it was described on opening night:

“The game hits the fourth quarter and, with about five minutes left, the fans realize the Cavs have a shot to win. There’s a timeout and a series of montages is played. Then something happens. The video cuts to a shot of the new banner. The banner with the skyline of Cleveland. The crowd goes insane, and the game ops guys just leave that image on the screen for the longest three or four seconds of the night. My God. They. Are. Going. To. Win. This is, for one night, a communal act of defiance against a nation’s celebrity culture.”

I don’t care what you think about Cleveland, that’s good writing.

Random thoughts:

  • Baseball players leave as free agents, then come back to their original cities in baseball, too. None of them made a national spectacle out of ripping their old city’s heart out, though.
  • More roster shuffling for the Padres. Tony Gwynn, Jr., and Scott Hairston were not offered contracts while Chris Denorfia signed a one-year deal. Even after all that, this article points out that San Diego still has TEN outfielders of the 37 guys on the 40-man roster. Which is a little misleading because Jerry Hairston is more of a utility guy who plays more middle infield than outfield. And Kyle Blanks might be the first baseman in waiting if/when Adrian Gonzalez gets dealt. But still.
  • Your new Sunday Night Baseball crew: Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine. I like it, not that that matters. It’s the one game every week I generally get a chance to watch all the way through.
  • Pretty good case for why baseball should leave the playoffs alone. The biggest one, for me, is November baseball. Don’t want it ever again.
  • Another pretty good case against a salary cap in baseball. With guaranteed contracts and no ability to hold out, it would be NOTHING like the NFL’s system. And we’ve seen what it’s done in the NBA, where expiring contracts happen.
  • Rangers manager Ron Washington changed his managerial style this year, calling for fewer intentional walks. And if he can change, you can change. WE ALL CAN CHANGE!
  • Baseball nerds, assemble! Keith Olbermann found some pictures from something called the Temple Cup, which was a quasi-World Series in the late 1800s when the American Association fell apart.
  • That’s enough, Jamie Moyer. The guy is having Tommy John surgery and wants to come back in 2012. At the age of 49. Did you know he’s married to Digger Phelps‘s daughter?
  • Abby Naas prank update: So far this week in the lead-up to Browns-Dolphins grudge match, I’ve signed her up for the Cleveland Browns’ e-newsletter and put Peyton Hillis wallpaper on her computer. And there are still three days until the game. What else could I possibly have up my sleeve?

And now, musical guest… the Red Hot Chili Peppers!

Take care!


Tirades and tired phrases

I can’t even describe how happy I am to have our first press conference flipout from the 20-o-10 season. In any sport, really. Thank you, Derek Anderson. My favorite part of any tirade is reading the stories with direct quotes from said tirade. Anderson’s “Nothing’s funny to me,” is right up there with Mike Gundy starting a screaming rant with the underrated gem, “This was brought to me by a mother… of children.” And Hal McRae ending his phone-throwing episode with, “Now… stick that in your pipe and smoke it!”

Now, as hilarious as it is for me personally to watch another fan base have to endure Derek Anderson’s stink bombs week after week, I think the reporter was pushing a little too hard on something that didn’t really matter. So the cameras caught him smiling for about five seconds. Would pouting and throwing things make everyone feel better (or make him play better)? I think if he was asked about the context of laughing, Anderson had every right to say, “It’s none of your business,” and stick to that. Anderson catches the heat, but sometimes dumb-sounding answers are provoked by dumb (or poorly-worded) questions.

Why do I love flipouts? Mainly because sports aren’t that important (unless they’re your livelihood), yet it’s the only place we find these kinds of meltdowns. But also because, for once, even if these guys say the dumbest things in the world, at least they’re saying what’s on their mind instead of spitting out Crash Davis’s standard interview cliches.

Maybe my favorite cliche is the one that all started with “Manny being Manny.” You’re not saying anything that’ll end up getting blared all over every media outlet everywhere. In fact, you’re not saying anything at all. If he’s not Manny, then who is he? But at the same time, you’re saying everything. Example: it’s been said, “That’s just Brett being Brett,” in a tone that makes you think they’re saying, “He’s a gunslinger! He’s just a fun-loving kid out there! He’s kooky! We love him!” In reality, they’re usually saying, “This guy is an idiot and we
can’t stand his tired act, but he’s OUR idiot and we deal with him because we can’t win
without him.” If anybody uses this phrase toward you, assume you’re no longer friends.

Random thoughts:

  • Miguel Tejada is going to get paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $6.5 million to play baseball next year. Do you think he’s as surprised as everyone else that he got that much?
  • The Rangers’ Top 10 prospects list is up on Baseball America.
  • Somebody thinks LeBron is a lost cause. Dooooooyyyy.
  • Read this about being a Cleveland sports fan. I dare you.
  • I forgot my cell phone at home today. Just didn’t think to put it in my pocket before I left. And it isn’t the end of the world. It’s like 1999 with way faster internet and less Ricky Martin. Which, all things considered, isn’t that bad.

Musical guest… Ben Harper!