Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Musings (World Series, Vikings, Billy Beane, Racism in football, etc.)

I'm watching the World Series right now (currently 2-0 St. Louis in the 3rd) and watching the Rangers work on imploding, which is exactly what Detroit did to hand the Cards their last World Championship, when they were once again a substantial underdog.  So far C.J. Wilson has walked Lance Berkman after being ahead 0-2, and Berkman then advanced to third on David or Daniel Murphy's error on a single to left (which scored Holliday), and then scored when Keith Moreland's kid booted a ground ball.  C.J. Wilson also threw a Furcal bunt away, but was able to pitch out of it.  And now Moreland just hit a Thome-sized home run.  Looks like a ball game.  I'm not going to live blog it like, but I'll just do that thing where I type whatever comes into my head about whatever.  I guess that's what I usually do.  Whatever.  Shut your big fat face.

-  So I suppose, for the first time in two years, there's something worthwhile to talk about with the Vikings.  Of course, this is only because they have clearly jumped into rebuilding mold and Ponder gave everyone hope, but despite being impressed with Ponder I'm not exactly looking forward to the next couple of years. 

Here's your problem - too old and/or too bad.  What do you have?  Well you have a good start because you have one bona fide superstar on each side of the ball (AP and Jared Allen), both of whom will probably be able to give you 3-5 more years at a high level.  That's an excellent start, and far better than a lot of teams can build around.  But from there it's tough.

Ponder looked very good for it being his first start.  He made his mistakes, misjudged just how fast even an old cornerback is in the NFL, and made some interesting decisions, but he also made a lot of good throws, showed a lot of poise for a rookie, and never seemed rattled.  I don't know what exactly his upside is, but, at the very least, he looks like a young QB the team can build around.  It's been a long time since this team has had that (Culpepper), and I'd say Ponder's downside is as a middle of the pack type starter.  That's very, very good.

But what else do you have?  Nothing.  On offense the only other person who has big-time potential is Percy Harvin, but it's hard for me to see him as anything more than a kick returner slot receiver type.  I think his absolute upside is the kind of guy who can have a 5 catch-180 yd-2 td day and then follow it up the next week with 1 catch for 8 yards.  Who else is there?  Kyle Rudolph I guess, but I'm pretty sure everybody loves him because he's white and he's best friends with Ponder who, it turns out, is also white and everybody loves.  We'll see. 

The real problem here is that there is absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, on that offensive line.  There is not one single player who starts on that line who would start for any other team in the league with the possible exception of Steve Hutchinson, but that doesn't matter because he's too old to matter when this team is 2-3 years away at a minimum.  Loadholt I suppose has some potential and I wouldn't exactly give up on him, but he's not nearly as good as I had hoped and the rest of these guys are fuckin' clown shoes.

And the defense?  Who, outside of Allen is remotely interesting?  Greenway is alright and Robison is fine as long as you're ok with a mediocre DE2, but that's it.  E.J. Henderson?  Please.  Guy is so overrated and still can't move around correctly.  Maybe after another year of healing he'll be ok but I'm not betting on it.  Kevin Williams is done, I have no idea who the other DT or LB is, and the only half-way decent defensive backs are a guy who has had 2 knee surgeries and a guy who is currently in jail.  Antoine Winfield is one of my favorite players ever but he's pretty much done unless he can move to safety which they should definitely try because Hussain Abdullah's one skill seems to be allowing the big play and also because he's probably a terrorist.

The good news is there are some legitimately nice players here - AP, Allen, Harvin, Ponder, and Greenway are all quality players.  The bad news is this isn't baseball or basketball and you can't just trade veterans from prospects and/or picks.  It's unfortunate, because guys like Winfield and Hutchinson would be perfect trade bait in other sports, but not the NFL so their kind of stuck.  So I guess my point is that the Vikings will be bad for a while but should at least be fun to watch.  So I guess that's something.  The Gophers are going to be terrible and no fun to watch, so I guess point NFL.

-  You know what I'd rather watch than that Captain America movie that's coming out on DVD tomorrow?  Anything.

-  You know what I do like though?  Walking Dead.  Very good show so far.  Not exactly the most realistic, but if you're looking for realism in a show about zombies I contend you're kind of lost already. 

-  Last time Pujols came up there as a runner on third with 1 out and they walked him.  Holliday grounded into a double play.  Now there are runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs.  They're walking him again.  The intrigue is so thick you could cut it with a spoon.

-  Ground out to short.  Holliday is terrible.  Billy Beane was right again.

-  Know who the A's got for Holliday?  Shane Peterson, Clay Mortensen, and Brett Wallace.  Mortensen was then traded to the Rockies for Ethan Hollingsworth, Wallace was shipped to the Jays for Michael Taylor, and Peterson is still in the minors (along with Hollingsworth and Taylor).  And Beane originally had to give up Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street, and Greg Smith to get Holliday.  So essentially he flipped a superstar outfielder (down year notwithstanding), a still capable closer, and a young starter who is already in the majors for three minor leaguers, only one of which (Taylor) is considered a top 20 prospect in their system.  I guess Joe Morgan was right, moneyball schmoneyball.

-  So not only am I playing in the fantasy Big 10 hoops league with my friends (Snacks, Dawger, Snake, Bogart, Optimator, Elk, and Grandslam), but I'm playing in a bigger college hoops league as well, similar to the won I played in - and won - 2 years ago.  We've got 13 teams and we're using the Big Six leagues plus the meaningful outliers (UNLV, BYU, New Mexico, Memphis, Gonzaga, etc.).  It's a lot harder, and I wish I could talk about it more in depth but unfortunately TRE from Still got Hope? (which if you don't read you should) is also in the league, so I can't divulge my secrets.  We fire up the draft tomorrow and it's slowish style so I might get like 2 picks per day.  I pick 9th, and I'll give you a hint (and also TRE picks after me) - if he's there I'm going to go with a guy whose name rhymes with Shumbakwe and probably has a huge crank.

-  That "huge crank" talk is probably inappropriate but I'm going to leave it in there because it's just going to help the google search results.  Also megan fox lesbian kiss midget vagina fart ass sex nick punto.

-  Speaking of Nick Punto vagina farts, he just struck out with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs.  Big spot there.  Punto's definitely the guy I'd want up in that situation.

-  Adrian Beltre just hit a home run on a lollipop curve ball from his knees.  No lie.  That was pretty weird and impressive.  Now 2-2.  This has been a great series.

Big fuckin' deal, Beltre.  I could've done that do if that dickhead Veeck would've let me swing.
-  So this morning before work one of our Direct TV remotes stopped working.  It had been going and even when we switched batteries it didn't get any better and today it was just done.  So I looked it up on their website and I can get a replacement remote for $15.  I figured cool, that's a reasonable price and I'll swing by the nearest retailer to my house and see how much more it is, thinking I'd be willing to pay $5-$10 to have it tonight rather than waiting for it to ship.  So I get home from work, grab my damn wiener kids so Mrs. W can do her Tae Bo or yoga or whatever it is tonight, and run up to said retailer.  Almost immediately find the remote.  It's priced at $44.99.  Forty.  Five.  Fucking.  Dollars.  Naturally I walked out without it and am now watching the game with no ability to flip channels on the commercials or mute Tim McCarver, but I'm sure as shit not paying 200% more than I have to.  I'll wait a couple days, thanks.

-  Top 7, tie game.  Allen Craig or someone with a name like that, walks with one out and then tries to steal second and is out by two billion feet.  And now they're walking Pujols.  And guess what they would have done if that steal would have been successful?  Yep.  Walked him.  Since he's nearly as likely to hit an XBH as get a single, maybe you just stay put on first, ok?  I get the stolen base and it certainly has it's place, but these two managers both seem to be way to obsessed with it and have both screwed their teams over in this series.  Also let's see if Holliday can go 0-3 after getting slapped in the mouth.

-  Hey a base hit!  Way to go little buddy!  And thanks to a whole bunch of thrown the ball around-itis, we're at 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs.  20 bucks says Berkman strikes out for the 3rd time tonight.

-  I missed what happened with Berkman but the bases were loaded when David Freese struck out so I assume they walked him.

Let me guess, you were expecting a picture of Arnold as Mr. Freeze?  You probably don't even know who this is, do you you unoriginal bastard? 

-  By the way you should probably ignore everything I wrote about the Vikings above.  I made most of that up. 

-  Bottom 7, 1 out, Kinsler on first.  20 bucks says they send him here. 

-  Nope, but Elvis Andrus struck out on 3 pitches.  God they'd be so much better if they hit Napoli or Cruz or even Beltre second.  But of course, Ron Washington can't do that.  You gotta have a guy there who can handle the bat, right Gardy and every other manager in the stupid world.  And Dawger.

-  Ever want to combine racism with football?  Go nuts. 

-  After a leadoff hit by Yadier Molina I'm pretty sure the Cardinals just pinch hit for Skip Schumaker with Ryan Theriot just so he could sac bunt.  You're telling me a dude named Skip can't bunt?  You might as well tell me that sliding into first doesn't get you there faster.  I can't believe it.  I won't.

-  Punto blows it again, striking out in a still tied game with a runner on 2nd and 1 out.  Takes a special kind of guy to constantly disappoint two franchises.

-  In one fantasy league I'm in today I was offered Cam Newton and James Starks in exchange for Hakeem Nicks and LaSean McCoy.  So that was pretty fun.

-  Bases loaded.  One out.  Bottom of the 8th.  2-2 game.  Mike Napoli up.  A hit, and particularly an extra-base hit, would help my bank account tremendously.  Na-Po-Li.  Na-Po-Li.  Na-Po-Li.

-  Double, scores 2.  Damn dude, shit never works out like this for me.

-  That message board I posted earlier really thinks Peyton Hillis is being held down because he's white.  Why can't they just accept that he's terrible at football?  Probably a good blocker though.

-  I couldn't tell you one thing about Lance Lynn.  Well, other than he's a pitcher for St. Louis who is about to come into a high leverage situation in the World Series.

-  Your name is Lance Lynn and you're gonna roll out the perm?  Interesting choice.  Also he just intentionally walked Ian Kinsler and then got yanked.  Looks like LaRussa  has his overmanaging pants on again.

Oh hello.  I pitch for the Cardinals.
-  Feliz now in for the ninth and he gets 2 strikes on Craig and then plunks him right in the back shoulder on a pitch that was so zeroed in on him that there was no way Craig could've gotten out of the way even if his life was on the line.  Pujols up.  Tying run, can't walk him.  Nice.

-  Jesus Pujols has a great eye.  Now at 3-2.  Laid off three close ones but were clearly balls.  He's really good at hitting stuff. Not unlike Chris Cook, I suppose.

-  Strike 'em out throw 'em out.  Pujols whiffs on a pitch that was ball four and Craig is tossed easily and I have no clue why they sent him.  I know Albert doesn't strike out a ton, but you just took a runner out who, really, didn't matter.  If he gets to second and scores on a single who fucking cares, you're still down by a run.  Stupid play.  Tony LaRussa outsmarted himself here tonight.  I hope Holliday hits a home run here.

-  Holliday walks.  Will probably get thrown out stealing.  Stay tuned.

-  Berkman whiffs.  Texas wins.  Pretty sure we're going 7 folks.  Adios and good night.


TRE said...

Bumflockway is a reach, hth.

WWWWWW said...

18-12-2-1-2 with a 60% FG%? I'll go ahead and take 'em, thanks.