Thursday, May 26, 2005

Miscellaneous Ramblings

  • On Baseball Tonight a couple weeks ago, Peter Gammons that Robbie Alomar once said that John MacDonald was the best shortstop he ever played with. Two thoughts on this: 1. In past years, Gammons has called MacDonald the best defensive player in the AL, and I wouldn't argue too much. Johnny Mac plays every position like it's shortstop, with a great glove and a quick release. Truly fun to watch. But, he couldn't hit to save his life, and the past two years he was a victim of new manager Eric Wedge's reluctance to play his bench. Fortunately, with new life and increased playing time in Toronto, MacDonald is finally hitting - and fielding - well. 2.) The list of shortstops that Alomar has played with includes Omar Vizquel. Now, I'm not going to argue MacDonald vs. Vizquel, but as I said above, even Gammons has in the past alluded to the thought that MacDonald is the better fielder. But here's the thing. Alomar is the kind of guy who didn't have very thick skin and didn't get along with his teammates for a very long period of time (see the mullet picture incident with the Mets a few years back, and the theory that his production took a sharp decline after his first 3 years with each team he played). Omar is a nice guy, but he's not going to put on any airs if you're going to be a jerk (see his autobiography and the death threats from Jose Mesa). So, it's quite possible that there was a falling out there, and Alomar's assessment of MacDonald is part of a larger hissy-fit by Sandy Sr.'s younger son.

  • Who played the better James Lipton, Will Ferrell or Will Sasso? Why has this never been debated anywhere? (Tangent: The random shot of George Plimpton sitting in the audience while the real Lipton was interviewing the cast of The Simpsons has got to be the best moment Bravo has ever experienced. The Bravo network, that is, not Katie Bravo.)

  • Chances are you're reading this on Friday, the day The Longest Yard debuts. For all of you Gary Godsey fans out there, Godsey is playing the body double of this guy during the football scenes. Interestingly enough, this guy is by trade a stunt double, and in fact worked the football scenes in The Waterboy
  • Why all of a sudden is Lloyd Carr doing Cialis and anti-drug commercials?

  • Recently, I made up a chart of the best available KankaMatic free agents, in case I ever need anyone at any position. Well, as you know, my handwriting is terrible. So, I glance over the board one day and see the name Brian Cronk. Good Lord is that a Gammonsesque move by me! Wait, no - turns out it was Milwaukee outfielder Brady Clark.

  • Votes in final NCAA football poll of the year will be made public.

Transaction Wire

  • Bears sign Doug Brien and release Paul Edinger. Edinger basically asked for his walking papers to look for work elsewhere after the signing of Brien. Bad news for Nick Setta - the placekicker job now looks like it's Brien's to lose.

  • Browns look for $2-$3million repayment from Kellen Winslow, Jr. for his idiocy. If Winslow's agents say one word during this whole ordeal, it may be time to send in the homeless people. (Wait, I don't think that story ever made the site itself, just the message board. Well, here it is: we were discussing ideas for ESPN6 programming. My one idea was to have homeless people waiting in the wings of every selfish athlete's (and agent's) interview. The key phrase would be "I gotta feed my family" - at that point, the homeless people would leap out and start beating the crap out of the guy.)

  • Reds designate Danny Graves for assignment. This happened the morning after Graves made an "obscene gesture" to a fan after blowing a save. But, there may be more to the story than this. Even last year, when Graves was leading the league in saves, there were many complaints about his high ERA. Also, about a week before Graves' release, the Reds cut ties with second baseman D'Angelo Jimenez (who has since reported to AA) for being a clubhouse cancer. After high expectations, the Reds have struggled, and maybe they're looking to start over. They could have already been looking to get rid of Graves, and the gesture offered them just that excuse. He'll be back somewhere, though.

  • Indians recall Jody Gerut. Angel Berroa who?

  • Mariners acquire the 42 year old Pat Borders. When I see this, all I can think of is a sideburned, pimp-stached circa 1985 Peter Gammons raving about Borders, Terry Mulholland, and Julio Franco.