Monday, March 28, 2005
posted by James - 5:01 PM
I know I haven't written anything on here in a while. A lot of that has to do with steroids. No, I'm not off the juice, nor was I ever on the juice... but everytime I'd start to write something, It would end up as a rant about steroids.
I'm pretty hurt right now as far as that goes. Most of the pain comes from a childhood watching these guys and I don't know what to believe anymore. They won't even answer the questions. Or if they do, they could be lying, plenty of them have lied in the past, trying to make a profit or both.
Not one cell in my body has ever trusted MLB... at least not with a car salesman at the helm. So it wasn't much of a surprise to me to find a ton of ambiguity in their zero-tolerance policy.
I have so much to say on this topic. I've said a lot of it before, so you can scour through my archives if you want.
I've got a lot to say about a lot of things right now, which is also part of the problem, maybe steroids or uppers - not covered under MLB's new drug policy - would have helped. I sit down a lot and don't know where to start and definitely where it ends.
I told somebody recently, if I was writing a book it wouldn't be a problem. I could talk about a hundred different things and just wrap it up later, but I don't really have the time, space or captive audience to do that here.
As a wise man advised me recently, here's a couple quick things to get off my chest, so maybe I can move on...
The Bears: Love them right now. I'm excited about Mushin Muhammad, Eddie Berlin and Fred Miller. Even though I'd love for them to pick Mike Williams over Braylon Edwards or trade down, I haven't heard a bad pick associated with the Bears in any of the mock drafts I've seen.
The Huskies: That would the be the University of Washington Husky Dawgs!!! WOOF WOOF WOOF!!! I went absolutely nuts when they announced the Huskies as the final #1 seed for the NCAA Tournament. I was at the bar, of course, and I was screaming and hollering like a maniac. I never expected that all. I expected Wake Forest or maybe Louisville, who eventually bested the Dawgs in the regional semi-finals, or Connecticut. I was hoping for a three seed at best, and they blew me away.
It was fun while it lasted. I sported my Huskies #1 jersey even when I was working at the bar, even as it was apparent they weren't going to beat the Cardinals. They really didn't play well, and losing Nate Robinson, a player-of-the-year candidate, for most of the first half with foul trouble killed our chances. I'd like to say they'll be back next year, but they probably won't. Sure, they'll have a shot to pull down their second-straight conference title, but it won't be for another two years when we'll see a team like this... Yes, that's right kids. The Huskies actually have a recruiting class this year. WOOF WOOF WOOF!
Brackets: Like everybody... don't even ask.
Wrestling: Dave Batista... IS GOD! That is all.
Fantasy Sports: Ahh yes... at least I have this to keep me going. My basketball teams all have a shot at winning. All of them are in striking distance, if not leading.
If you've stuck around this long, you've come to the real crux for my awakening... It's the Just North of Wrigley Field Baseball League, of course. Anybody who wants to join, e-mail me and I'll send you an invite. I'd love to just give out the league info and password to everybody, but I've had a couple bad experiences this year with guys joining up for multiple teams in a league and ruining the league by collusive trading and causing whole teams to dump their whole roster in protest.
All is not doom and gloom though. Earlier, I made reference to a "Prior Engagement" which prevented me from getting one of those wristbands on the first day. Well, that was my first fantasy draft of the season, which happened to be for an NL-only league with only 10 teams in it.
Which meant Cubs galore for me!!! Oh, I did not disappoint either. Having the eighth pick in the first round, I grabbed Mark Prior (Aramis Ramirez went the pick before, and he won't trade him to me!) and followed with Nomar!!! at pick 13. My good Cubbie fortune continued with the Zammer himself fell to me at pick 28 and Derrek Lee was astoudingly available at 33. (See, it's hard to trade for a first-round pick like Aramis, when you can't give up any of your first four picks yourself.)
Because the other teams caught on, I couldn't keep my string of Cubs going, but I did finish off the draft with Michael Barrett at catcher, LaTroy Hawkins as one of my closers and Ryan Dempster. Although I was really hoping for Dempster to come out of the bullpen, but I guess with Prior going on the DL to start the season, I might need him to fill out my innings. Without Prior and Brad Penny to start the season, my pitching has an obvious weakness, but my offense is a good mix of power and speed, and if Hawkins and Guillermo Mota don't give me the best bullpen, I'm moving to Canada where they don't care about baseball... oops, sorry Kurt.
My other teams are great too... but I don't have time to talk about the hundred teams I've drafted, but what's five more right? So everybody in the Cubs Blogosphere, hurry up and come join my fantasy league before it's too late.
To make a long post even longer... I just got one of those useless e-mails from the Cubs that popped up on my yahoo! messenger. "From: cubs.com; Subj: 2005 Insider #4 - Wood will start Wednesday".
When I saw that, I thought maybe they've moved up Kerry to start the last game of the series in Arizona, which is a Wednesday, more on that in a second.
...but of course the news couldn't be that good, or good at all. They're actually pushing back his FIRST Cactus League start since March 9 to Wednesday instead of tomorrow.
None of this is because of any setbacks, like that would be a shocking development though, it's just to have him build up his pitch count and get on a time schedule where he'll pitch his following game against Triple-A hitters on April 3, and be ready on April 8 for the home opener against the Brewers.
I guess I'm happy with whatever keeps Kerry Wood from missing a start or having to go on the DL, but I was thinking earlier how good it would be to get Kerry a start against the Diamondbacks, pushing Greg Maddux to the home opener.
It's not for any sentimental reason, I just don't want to expose Maddux to the horrors of Bank One Ballpark unless necessary. His numbers there are across-the-board worse than his numbers at the Friendly Confines. He's lost three of his six starts without a win, while averaging just over 5 innings per start. It's a homer friendly park, and he's a fly ball pitcher. It's a mix to avoid if possible.
But apparently, that's not possible. So we'll get Zammer, Mad Dog than Demp, with Wood opening up at Wrigley.
On a somewhat-related note. The Prior situation isn't as dire as it may seem, if we can believe his assertion he'll only miss two starts. Actually he says, he'll make 30 starts (instead of 32-34), which isn't the same. I have no problem believing he'll only miss two starts. As our "fifth starter", we only need him a couple times before the end of the month.
Now, I'm hoping this means he'll be back in 10 days around the 12th or 13th (if they have to DL him, it will be retroactive so he can come off at any time). If he comes back on the 12th, he actually wouldn't miss only one start and then they can follow with Wood on the 13th, effectively resetting the rotation: Prior, Wood, Zambrano, Maddux, Dempster. IF he's not ready by then, the Cubs will have to start Glendon Rusch, who's either a colossal waste of money or incredibly under-utilized, or Sergio Mitre on the 12th.
With another off day on the 14th, working in Prior to the rotation without messing with the timing of the other starts gets difficult. If he opens the Pittsburgh series, that would mean a week between starts for Zambrano, Maddux and Dempster, six days for Wood, before getting back to Prior at five. If it's not the 12th, the 19th would be the next most logical time to bring him off the DL, and shuttle either Mitre or Jose Macias off the roster, right boys?
Now, I'm kinda rambling... so I'll end with an excerpt from cubs.com, which was the real reason I'm talking about Prior.
Mark Prior will try to keep his record perfect in simulated games when he takes the mound on the back field on Monday.Does anybody know why the heck anybody, including Carrie Muskat, would care what Prior's record in simulated games was... or even what it means to be perfect in them?