Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday Things (McLouth, Ostertag, Babies, Elaine Benes, Kobe, Idiots)

Just finished up a nice meal on the grill (steaks, corn-on-the-cob, baked beans), WonderbabyTM is in bed, and I'm kicking back with a couple of Red Stripes, ready to watch the NBA Finals (for as long as Mrs. W will let me get away with it) and toss up a few observations and what not.

- My all-star ballot:

C Joe Mauer
1b Justin Morneau
2b Ian Kinsler
3b Evan Longoria
ss Jason Bartlett (this one stings a bit)
of Adam Jones
of Nelson Cruz
of Carl Crawford

c Brian McCann
1b Albert Pujols
2b Chase Utley
3b Ryan Zimmerman
ss Miguel Tejada
of Raul Ibanez
of Justin Upton
of Carlos Beltran

And I don't have a single one of these guys on either of my fantasy teams. Yippee. God I suck.

- Since we're talking about baseball here, let's talk about this Nate McLouth trade and how little of it I really understand. In case you missed it, the perpetually financially strapped and non-competitive Pittsburgh Pirates traded their best player, third-year outfielder Nate McLouth, to the Braves for three prospects. Normally you'd just say this is a case of the have-nots trading to the haves and trying to reload. But this is gets curiouser and curiouser the more you look at it.

First off, McLouth is not an old all-star on his last legs. He's just 27, and is in just his third season. Last year he hit .276/.356/.497 (an OPS+ of 126, equivalent to Kubel so far this year) with 26 homers, 23 steals, and a league leading 46 doubles. He's putting up very similar numbers again this year, so he doesn't look like a one-year wonder.

Even more, he's not that expensive. McLouth is on the hook for the next 3 years at just $13 million after signing an extension with the Pirates in February. Basically the Pirates agreed to pay him that money in February, and then after he played exactly as expected, they traded him away just 3.5 months later. And he's only scheduled to make $2 million this year (then $4.5 and $6.5) so it's not like there was a lot of urgency to get that money off the books. Why now? Why not wait until the trade deadline when team's are ready to pay higher premiums for players? Or next year? It makes zero sense.

Lastly, the package the Pirates got back was subpar, and described by the Pirates GM himself as "Three players who could become above average players someday." Not exactly glowing praise. They got back outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and pitchers Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke. Hernandez is the "jewel" here the same way Bernard Berrian is the "jewel" of the Vikings' wideouts - more "meh" than anything else. He's a no power, speedy, excellent defender with zero batting eye (sounds familiar) who was ranked the #8 prospect in the Braves system, with Locke coming in at #10 and Morton unranked in the top 40, and in his fifteen starts with the Braves last year he put up numbers nearly identical to Liriano so far this season, but without the strikeouts and might very well be a classic AAAA player.

Essentially, the Pirates traded a young, talented, cheap player for a handful of mediocre two years before he would be a financial issue. Seriously, it looks like the Pirates could have the budget of the Yankees and still suck. Not even Bill Smith is this shitty.

- You know who isn't shitty? My guys Denard Span and Jason Kubel combined for three home runs and seven rbi today to help kick the crap out of Cleveland 11-3. Seriously, those two are the best players on the team by far. Canucks and Roid-heads are ineligible.

- You know what I love about Mrs. W? Every time we watch basketball together when she sees a big dumb white guy she always asks, "Oh, is that their Ostertag?" She knows almost nothing about basketball, but always remembers that. I laugh every time. (This time it was Gasol. I don't think he qualifies. Dumb enough and ugly enough, but slightly too skilled).

- Ha Ha! Kobe missed. Jackass.

- Twice!

- Jameer Nelson is back. There's a guy I never thought would become much of an NBA player, but once again my eye for talent is surpassed only by Bogart, he of the Troy Williamson worship. Downside to Nelson back is we'll get less Skip 2 My Lou.

- Speaking of Bogart, I just poured myself a Cranberry & Vodka (with Lime) in honor of Wonderbaby's future husband's birth. That's right, little Baby Bogart arrived yesterday in Chicago, weighing in at 8 lbs. and 6 oz, ready to start his journey towards eventually becoming my (rich) son-in-law. Since Wonder Woman once had a little thing with Superman, I have decided that Baby Bogart will henceforth also be known as, SuperbabyTM.

- Uh oh, looks like Lamar Odom decided to actually try tonight. Magic in trouble (even though they're winning).

- Ok, so there's a trailer for a romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Normally romantic comedies are the suck, and Sandra Bullock is really annoying, but Ryan Reynolds is the freakin' man and makes anything good - including that other romantic comedy he was in with that chick from Wedding Crashers. So do I let Mama W drag me to it or not? Decisions, decisions.

- FYI - last night at 2am my Tivo recorded a movie called "Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy." I don't know when I'll get to it, but I'll get to it.

- Tobey McGuire is there!! Sweet!!! And he's sitting with Kevin Connolly!!! The star power is amazing!!! (NOTE: I have no idea who Kevin Connolly is)

- Hedo Turkoglu was the 16th overall pick the year he came out? I guess that's about right. Actually, now that I look it up, he was a top 10 player from that draft, along with Kenyon Martin, Jamaal Magloire, Michael Redd, Jamal Crawford, Mike Miller, Quentin Richardson, Joel Pryzbilla, Eduardo Najera, and Eddie House. Top ten picks Stromile Swift, Marcus Fizer, Darius Miles, and DerMarr Johnson sure worked out well.

- Did you know Kobe Bryant likes to have buttsecks with Pau Gasol? I'm not kidding. I've seen it.

- I've been watching a lot of "The New Adventures of Old Christine" lately. I think I'm falling in love with Elaine Benes (no relation to Andy. or Alan) all over again.

- NOTE: Courtney Lee, as much as I liked him at Western Kentucky, cannot guard Kobe Bryant, aka The Rapisttm. By the way, I'd bet anything Bogart is a huge Kobe fan. Jesus, I really hope SuperBabyTM doesn't get Bogart's eye for talent. I don't think WonderBabyTM could handle that. I know I couldn't. If you take idiocy to a second generation, it's like idiocy2.

- 18 point Laker lead. This shit got lame faster than Jumper. Dwight Howard is the Al Nolen of centers, and they have no chance at stopping Kobe. This finals is going to suck, and my least favorite player ever is going to win another ring, except this one without Shaq which will cause morons like the Sports Guy to say things like, "Kobe is now the third best shooting guard in the history of the NBA." God that guy sucks now. Sports Guy, I mean, not Kobe. Kobe is like the third best guard in NBA history.

- Remember Matt Wieters? The next Joe Mauer, but with power (so like Mauer now that he is on roids)? He's really made a big splash since being called up on May 29th. A stellar 7-21 with five strikeouts and one walk. I know, small sample size and actually his overall stat profile is fine, but I like to make snap judgements. It's easier. That's probably why most people think I'm racist and sexist, but I just think it saves time. And I'm usually right. If not, oh well, I'm sure the jury will acquit.

- Randy Johnson got his 300th win today, which has set off an obnoxious spurt of morons with columns like, "Last 300-game winner ever" and "The End of the 300-win club?" Relax, idiots. There will always be 300 game winners. You realize there are only 24 people who have won 300 games? And four have them have done it in years that end begin with the number 2. That's one-sixth. That's a disproportionate amount based on how long baseball has existed. So settle down, idiots.

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