Friday, April 1, 2011

I give you my word

My word means nothing. You can take anything I have ever said and chuck it out the window. I reneged. An Indian giver of words. I deserve to be stung up by my thumbs. Someone grab a switch; ten lashes for this one.

In January I wrote a column stating that I would boycott an entire season of Major League Baseball because the Hall of Fame voters snubbed Edgar Martinez. A guy, who in my opinion, deserved to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. I decided to follow Cricket instead, stating it was far superior to baseball, and that I would be better off because of it. After all, Cricket has been around long since before baseball and was a true “gentleman’s game”.

Having access to ESPN3, I watched a few fixtures and it really was quite interesting. I learned a lot. The core concept of Cricket and Major League Baseball are immensely similar. For any of you out there with even a moderately peaked interest in watching Cricket, the Cricket World Cup is right in it’s final stages. The best of the best are shellacking out right now.

But as I said before: I reneged. My MLB boycott lasted a total of one-half inning. That is it.

January I was able to power through the boycott with zest in my newly decided plan of action. February was much the same, and the prohibition of baseball was aided by a little something called Jimmermania. Perhaps you heard about it. It was kind of a big deal. With March, came the Spring Training and pitchers started to report to their respective camps. I heard a little bit about Puljos and how a deal had not been reached yet, as well as the signings of Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon with the Tampa Bay Rays… but all of that stuff was on the home feed of ESPN. I did not go out looking for that info; it came to me. Boycott yet intact. Teams began to play games and I was able to stymie any urges to watch them by dousing myself with as much College Basketball March Madness as possible. Things first took their turn for the worse, when I decided to purchase 2K Sports MLB 2K11. Big mistake. Thinking that it would sustain the craving I had for my fanship to somehow associate with The Show, in turn, ended up fueling my desire to be on top of every move going down within the realm of the sport. Yesterday—Opening Day—it was just pathetic.

I cannot even say I tried or even prepared to hang tough. Certainly I did not hang in there. HITS editors have their face in palm over the bad pun.

I am the biggest hypocrite there is… but then again, is that like, not the prerequisite number one when it comes to being a sports writers/analyst? If anything the naturalness with which the hypocrisy came should make me feel good for being on the right track of sports writing. I saw the box scores, felt the magic that is Major League Baseball, and dove in to the bottom of the first inning in the New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers game.

On paper, the boycott lasted 2 months and 23 days, but technically it lasted one-half inning. Three outs of pure baseball boycott… out of 131,220. God bless America. And good old-fashioned hardball.

Now that I do not have to be living in the closet, I can come out and finally say to world: the Red Sox are looking good. Dig the lineup.

- Jacoby Ellsbury
- Carl Crawford
- Dustin Pedrioa
- Kevin Youkilis
- Andrian Gonzalez
- David Ortiz
- Mike Cameron
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia
- Marco Scutaro

Batters 1 through 6 are stout. Mike Cameron will always hold gangster status in my book because of the time he hit four homeruns in one game while wearing a Seattle Mariners jersey. My boy Knauss can attest to his gangster stasis. Saltalamacchia is iffy for me. The guy is a switch hitter and there is a reason why he was drafted in the first round—I just hope it manifest itself this season. Then there is Scutaro.

I have made no attempt to hide my distain for the guy.

Shortstop, 36-years old
Career Stats: BA .267, HR 7, RBI 39

He is too old and does not offer a bunch on the offensive end. Did I mention had TWENTY errors last season? Two at second base and eight-teen at short. That is too many. Get out of Fenway already. I cannot even get in to sabermetrics with the guy. He is indefensible. Secondary batting average of .198… (shaking my head in disgust). Just so you know, for the non-saber people out there, a secondary average .200 or below is atrocious. Like, if you had a SECA of .198 you should feel really embarrassed and decline party invitations because people are only inviting you so they can whisper about you in a negative way from across the room. You suck Marco Scutaro. I cannot wait until we trade you or retire. The sting of you playing for us is just a painful reminder that we traded Hanley Ramirez away. Instead of having him, we now have you. Cannot even think about it without shaking in anger.

Does it even matter though? Why get so upset? With the pitching staff the Phillies put together this year, we are all just fighting for second place. Time to face the music: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and savvy vet Roy Oswalt. It is too much for teams to overcome. Sure the Phils will be missing some bat with the departure of Jason Werth to the Washington Nationals, but not much. The Nationals overpaid for Werth, but they DID need him. I like that the Nationals are at least making moves instead of doing nothing. But for Philadelphia, Palanco, Howard, and Rollins (someone who I think will have a monster bounce back year from the injury) still give them enough for wins. The Phillies pitching staff is so good, I contend the Halladay and Lee 1-2 combo is more potent then the 2001 Arizona Diamondback combo of Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson. That’s right, I said it. Barring injury, the Philadelphia Phillies will be the 2011 World Series Champions. They have to be the favorite.

Here is to the next 5-6 months of one of the best sports grinds around. Baseball: you drive me bonkers sometimes, oh, but how I love you.


- Jacoby Ellsbury will have more stolen bases than Carl Crawford
- Carl Crawford will have 50+ stolen bases
- Ortiz (with adding power to the lineup) hits 35 jacks and 100+ RBIs
- Kevin Youkilis gets career highs in hits and RBIs
- Papelbon takes the ERA back down to something under 2.20 gets 35-39 saves
- Daisuke Matsuzaka gives us 2008 like production

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