Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Transaction Wire

  • Three way trade: Astros get Carlos Beltran, A's get Octavio Dotel, and Royals get three prospects. Well, once again the A's are involved in a deal that involves the Royals dumping a good outfielder (Johnny Damon was the first, and Jermaine Dye was a good player at the time of the trade). The Astros get a major defensive upgrade in center, moving Craig Biggio to left. Adding a young guy with speed and power to the lineup never hurts, either. Getting rid of Dotel and naming Paul Manieri product Brad Lidge closer is great for my fantasy team, but isn't too smart for the Astros. They went from the deepest bullpen backend last year, with Lidge, Dotel, and Billy Wagner, to a very weak pen overall - there's basically no one in front of Lidge. The A's did well in getting a replacement for Arthur Rhodes (Rhodes is still there, he just isn't doing too well), but I would have gone for Lidge. The Royals continue to feel the effects of a tight budget, but they did end up with a good catching prospect (Benito Santiago can't play forever... or can he?) and a good 3B prospect (Joe Randa is decent but no superstar).

  • Indians sign Aaron Boone. Not a bad idea. A veteran influence on the bench is always good, and it shows the Indians are willing to spend some money to win. However, Boone does have a tendency to be a walking leg injury (or, maybe he's a not-walking leg injury). My favorite quote from Boone's press conference: "I'm fired up." Boone admitted to having chills while putting on his Indians uniform for the first time; his father Ray started his career with the Tribe back in '48. Aaron's wife noticed a close resemblance between the two - I'll let you decide:

    Now, the question is, whose place does Boone take. The obvious choice is current third baseman Casey Blake. But, on second look, Blake is on pace to put up numbers very similar to Boone's averages (about .260, 26 HR, 95 RBI). Plus, Blake can play third, first, and (supposedly) second, while Boone can play anywhere on the infield except first (although he prefers the left side). So, let's say we move Blake to first. That means the guy to go is good glove, no hit 1B Ben Broussard. Well, Broussard will have none of this. In the last 5 games, Broussard has responded with 14 RBI, including a game-deciding grand slam, a go-ahead 3 run HR, a walkoff double, and a game-tying 2 run HR in the 9th. He's not going quitely. Option three, with 2B/SS Brandon Phillips (remember him?) and SS/2B Jhonny Peralta (that's not a typo) on the way, would be to make Blake the "extra" (aka utility) infielder. This of course would spell the end of Omar Vizquel (not a huge surprise), and John McDonald - who is probably the best defensive infielder in the league (Gammons backs me up on this one, and you have to see him in person - he plays every position like it's shortstop), but was never able to sustain a decent batting average (except for last year, when then injury bug bit often).

  • Mariners trade Freddy "The Rock" Garcia and Ben Davis to the White Sox for Miguel Olivo, Jeremy Reed, and Mike Morse. Well, Indians fans we starting to whisper the words "playoff run," but this trade might kill that for this year. Garcia joins Mark Buehrle as "are we really good and having a bad spell, or are we washed up at age 25?" pitchers. Davis is a decent catcher. Until now, he platooned with Dan Wilson; let's see how he does as the man (unless a platoon with Sandy Alomar) is in the works. Seattle needs youth, and they got a great deal out of this one. Now that he's an everyday catcher, Olivo could turn into a rather good all-around player. Reed, I'm told, is ready to become a star outfielder in a few short years. Plug him in with Randy Winn and Ichiro, and that's a great place to rebuild around. Morse is a shortstop that helps the Mariners cover ground after trading away young shortstop Carlos Guillen, who is quietly having a career year in Detroit.

  • Rockets get Tracy McGrady, Tyronn Lue, Reece Gaines and Juwan Howard from the Orlando Magic for Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato. First of all - the "other guys": they basically cancel each other out; their real purpose is salary cap finagling. I don't blame McGrady for wanting to go home to Orlando, but once again we have a case of someone who took big money to go to a crappy team, then whined about it when they didn't want to lose any more. Is McGrady-Yao the new Shaq-Kobe? I don't know. McGrady isn't a great defensive player, even though he says he is (MAJOR KANKA SPORTS PHILOSOPHY RULE: Saying "I'm this" or "I'm not that" doesn't get you anywhere. Prove it through your actions. Listen up, Leprechaun Legion (become such a great cheering section that they can't help but move your seats) and Kellen Winslow II ("I'm not a bad person.")). Plus, the offense just has to go through Yao. Can McGrady handle that?

  • Chris Niesel signs with the Indians; is assigned to Class A Mahoning Valley of the New York-Penn League. Niesel, ND's number 2 pitcher this year, had a year of eligibilty left, but decided to go pro anyways.

  • ND IF Steve Sollman signs with the Brewers and is assigned to Helena of the Pioneer League.

  • ND C/IF Javy Sanchez signs with the Twins and is assigned to Elizabethton (Tenn.) of the Appalachian League.

KankaMatic pages are updated. Of course, this means my weekly ritual of a) putting Sammy Sosa on the DL and calling up Hideki Matsui or b) activating Sosa from the DL and sending down Matsui is now complete. In case anyone's interested, Mike also just cut Larry Walker, who had about 35 home runs and 75 RBI against the Indians last weekend. Oh, and unfortunately, I was "that guy," as I was the first to steal someone off waivers (Jorge Julio - I'm building for the future!).

Monday, June 28, 2004

The Weekend in Review

Where I'm looking to use this blog to get press credentials

  • OK, who wants to put an over under on the age we'll be before we all cave in and sign up for ND Fantasy Camp?

  • Why did this just hit me now? Minute Maid Park (aka "The Juice Box") has to be one of the best hitters' park out there. It's short down the lines, complete with a porch in left (sluggers love it when they have something to aim at). Then, center field is just huge - small guys can put it up the middle then run for days. It's great for everyone. And hey, if you're lucky enough to be a ground ball up the middle pitcher, you can survive there too.

  • Congrats to Wes O'Neill (Islanders) and David Brown (Penguins, two ND players selected in the NHL draft over the weekend.

  • Got my Timmermans poster the other day, and Chad (Ellen loves him) sent me an extra as well. If anyone still wants one (a poster, not Chad) let me know.

  • ESPN has brought back "The Rick," aka Mike O'Malley, currently star of CBS's "Yes, Dear" (decent pre-Raw show), and formerly the host of every single Nickelodeon game show not named "Double Dare." It was such a great commercial character ("Yeah, I was a senior on JV. But I did have my cup of coffee with the varsity."), I won't even call this a desperate gimmick on ESPN's part.

  • Don't be That Guy I

  • Don't be That Guy II

  • So, if you were Torrian Jones, would you pick up girls by telling them stories about guarding the #3 picks from the last two years' drafts? Segueway...

NBA Draft Review

1 Orlando Dwight Howard: blah blah upside blah blah. Well, it's a good pick if and when Okafor's pulling a Larry Bird and lying down between trips on the court in two years.

2 Charlotte Emeka Okafor: My poster says Timmermans once took him off the dribble. I believe it.

3 Chicago Ben Gordon: Solid, he'll do well. In any other year, there's no way he's the #3.

7 Chicago Luol Deng: A project, but he can surprise you with what he knows already.

9 Philadelphia Andre Iguodala: A gutsy pick, mostly an upside pick. Dicky V said they should have gone for Jackson, but they already have that Creighton guy shooting 45% from 3's.

10 Cleveland Luke Jackson: That's a good pick. I like that pick, and I'll tell you why. Jackson is like the male Alicia Ratay - 44% career from 3's in college. But, he can create his own shot. That's key on a team with no other long range shooters.

12 Seattle Robert Swift: Um, I don't know. Is he related to Stromile Swift?

33 L.A. Clippers SuperNintendo Chalmers: That's it, just the Simpsons joke.

37 Atlanta Royal Ivey: Is he related to Niele Ivey? I'm still trying to figure this out.

38 Chicago Chris Duhon: At least it's not Daniel Ewing. Dirty Smirnoff Ice drinker.

43 New York Trevor Ariza: Ummm... never heard of him. Are we guessing he's good since he's from UCLA?

51 New Jersey Christian Drejer : What, did you guys forget to show up for the first 50 picks? About time you got here.

Wow, guess I should actually do a Transaction Wire this week. Tune back in Wednesday night/Thursday morning for that. Oh, and I know that I'm getting really behind with the KankaMatic pages, but the database is up to date, and I'll try to update the pages tomorrow.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Weekend in Review

by Dave Schmitt, Special to KankaNation

Last weekend began at Shea Stadium, where Ellen, my mom, my sister, and I watched the Mets play the Tigers. Before the game there was a ceremony honoring Mike Piazza for breaking the all-time home run record for catchers. Kanka would’ve loved all the old catchers in attendance. The living Hall of Famers were all there – Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, and Gary Carter. Two guys also represented the Tigers. One was obviously Pudge Rodriguez, who’s a likely future HOF catcher in his own right. The other guy? Turns out it was none other than the great catcher Lance Parrish. I’m name-dropping 80’s ballplayers. It’s fun. Anyway, Tommy Lasorda, being Mike’s “paison” (Italian buddy) and real-life Godfather, gave a speech. His best line of many: “When Mike first came to camp with the Dodgers, he played baseball like my wife shops: all day, every day!” (By the way, can anyone remember Tommy’s classic line from the pep rally a few years back, something about a “weight problem”, being hungry, and killing the other team? It’s driving me nuts trying to remember it). John Franco presented Mike with a bottle of wine and a fancy watch on behalf of his teammates. Hearing John talk, I think they keep him around just as a mascot. His arm’s obviously shot, but he’s so NY, and he definitely fits in more with the Mets than with the corporate mercenaries on the Spankmees. The organization gave Mike a sweet Chevy conversion sports car/SUV thingee. It was yellow, with his name, number, and 352 for the number of HRs as a catcher painted on it. Awesome. Of course Jeff Wilpon (son of owner) and Art Howe got booed (not as bad as on Gary Carter Day the season after the bungled A-Rod free agency, when we booed Steve Philips throughout his entire speech. Good times. They weren’t dumb enough to let those guys speak this time). But the best part of the ceremony came at the very end. Yogi, being in the Crazy Old Man Hall of Fame, was spacing out through the entire ceremony. I’m talking “staring straight ahead, eyes bulging, Ellen-level” spacing out. When everyone got up to leave the field, he had no idea what was going on, and just sat there. Finally, someone on the grounds crew came over and tapped him on the shoulder and told him it was time to get up. High comedy. The game was quality: walkoff homer by Mike Cameron (he made contact!)

Saturday night, we went to my Aunt Betty’s 50th birthday party. Nothing fancy, just family and some friends. Her boyfriend, Archie, is a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose (insert John Doyle joke here), which is a group similar to the Knights of Columbus (but not religious) of generally older men who hang out, do community service, etc. He was able to rent out their meeting hall for the party. So outside my family, most of the other people there were friends they had met through the Moose, mostly boring older guys in flannel shirts with their wives, trying to dance to an incredibly unhip DJ. So you can imagine how exciting this scene was (actually, it was a pretty fun time). Anyway, the only booze they had there was Bud on tap (fine by me) and wine-in-a-box (obviously fine by Ellen.) Waaaaaay too fine by Ellen. When I was ready for my second beer, she was on 3 wines. When I got 3, she was up to 5. Shit got ugly. But it wasn’t like she got progressively drunker. It just hit her. Basically, she got trashed at my aunt’s 50th birthday party, not exactly a boozefest of epic proportions. On boxed wine. I had to take her outside for air several times, and she kept falling over. She remembers little about the later parts of the evening. If Kanka had a cell phone, he definitely would’ve been drunk-dialed. Suffice to say, it was one of the funnier experiences I’ve had recently. So what’s the moral of the story?

Ellen +Boxed Wine = Trouble.

*Editors notes:
-"These guys all have 'wait' problems. They can't wait to get out there and win tomorrow!"
-So, is Cameron pulling a "Dave Justice in the 2001 World Series"?
-"paison"/"paisono"/whatever used to be such a cool word when they used it on the Super Mario Brothers Super Show. Now, whenever I hear it, all I can think of is that God-awful "Love, Italian Style" SI article about Gino Auriemma and Diani Taurasi. After that, all I can think of was the incredibly high amount of hits I get from people Googling for "Diani Taurasi"+boyfriend. I wish I was making this up. I really shouldn't have written this right after dinner...
-Well, before I turn this into a running diary on Dave's column, I'd better stop now. And remember: Always wipe, and stay of the pipe. Until next time, tell them I'm Chillin'.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The Weekend in Review

Ramblings from a guy who was once traded for a soccer ball

  • I think that "baseball players not wearing their caps" is up there with "womens basketball players trying to walk in heels" as far as awkward athlete moments go. Their hairstyles are never what you expect. For example, in addition to the insane amount of balding guys, you also have Sean Casey's circa 1996 hair Brett Boone's inexplicable frosty tips.

  • Alicia Ratay realized she couldn't live without basketball, and is currently looking to play in Europe. She'll be in the WNBA in no time.

  • Danny Almonte, the kid who pitched a perfect game in the Little League World Series at age 14 (the age limit is 12), has recently led his high school to a New York state championship. Almonte reportedly has an 87 mph heater and a wicked breaking ball. But wait, there's more. Because he took a year off before entering high school, Almonte is currently a 17 year old sophomore. What does this mean? Well, his senior year, he'll be 19 - a year or two older than everyone else he plays against.

  • Finally, be sure to check out C'mon Ref!, a Detroit-centric blog that was nice enough to link to us.

Transaction Wire

  • Three way trade: YHC gets 2b Jose Vidro from Gammonsesquity; MMEB get 3B Corey Koskie from YHC and free booze from Gammonsesquity; Gammonsesquity gets 2B Luis Castillo from MMEB. A great trade all around - Dave gets insurance at 2B in case Brett Boone gets busted for 'roids, Kanka's team gets younger and faster, and Klondike gets free booze.

  • White Sox trade RP Billy Kock to Florida for a minor leaguer. Well, Koch was always more of a thrower than a pitcher, and Billy Beane basically cheated when he was able to get Keith Foulke for Koch a few years ago. Now that Koch is barely topping 90, it's time for him to reinvent himself as a setup man in Florida.

  • Royals trade RP Jason Grimsley to Baltimore. Ah, it took a whole year for the Royals to return to their "trade everyone as soon as their good" philosophy.

  • Phil Jackson is out of LA (poor baby doesn't want to rebuild). Shaq and Kobe shouldn't be far behind.

  • Rumor has it that there's a small shot the Cavs would trade Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Carlos Boozer for Shaq and Luke Walton. That's terrrrible! Yeah, let's give up my favorite Cav (Boozer) for my two least favorite Lakers. Why don't we trade for Warren Sapp, Shannon Sharpe, and Ray Lewis while we're at it. Yippee!

  • Everyone's probably heard the Tracy McGrady for Steve Francis rumor by now. Random question: who's better, McGrady or Kobe? I'd say Kobe is a smarter player, but if you want pure talent (at least as a scorer), I'd take McGrady.

  • WNBA news: rumor has it that the Minnesota Lynx are interested in a trade to bring Lindsay Whalen (or Whay Dizzle, as her friends call her) to her hometown team. The Lynx are prepared to give up three players, including former K-State standout Nicole Ohlde, but the Connecticut Sun allegedly want four players in return for the rookie guard.

I have all the KankaMatic transactions up to date, so don't worry. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to update the web pages, however. Scoring on the main page, however, is up to date.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I was planning to do a Transaction Wire today, but since there isn't much going on, here are a few more ramblings:

  • Packers sign Tim Couch. Couch, in theory, is a "mobile enough to get a pass off," make-things-happen kind of guy. Becoming Brett Favre's backup is probably the best thing that could have happened to him (of course, that all depends on you opinion of Favre). Three things can come of this; unfortunately for Couch, two are bad. 1) Brett Farve takes Couch under his wing, Couch learns well, and Couch finally lives up to his potential. 2) Once Favre retires, Couch tries to hard to actually be Brett Favre and remains a disappointment. 3) Couch does good, but Packers fans start to complain since he isn't Brett Favre. Rattle, Couch begins to lose it, and he must flee town once again.

  • Congrats to the Pistons. Believing that anything can happen, I actually gave them some chance to win the finals. Of course, I was also waiting for the Lakers to wake up and win 3 straight. Boy, it's been fun today watching all the "there's no way the Lakers can lose" 'experts' eat their words today.

  • Rumor has it that tOSU alum Bob Knight is interested in the vacant head coaching job. However, tOSU has yet to show interest in Knight (perhaps due to influence from Miles Brand in the Big Ten?). As a player, Knight helped lead tOSU to two championships back in the 1950s.

  • Finally, I'll point you to two articles from SportsPickle: "‘Playmakers’ DVD boxed set contains 14-Hour Baltimore Ravens documentary"; "Idiot on cell phone waving to camera told he’s an idiot by person he’s talking to on his cell phone." I'd also recommend checking out the Ponder This section.

  • Finally, if you get a chance, be sure to check out Coast to Coast Tickets. They've been gracious enough to offer a "link exchange" - basically, we'll each be advertising on the other's page.

Monday, June 14, 2004

The Weekend in Review

I'm Kanka, and I approve these ramblings

  • So, we had this guy come in to work last week to install some new software. He needed to read off a product number to someone back at the home office, so he used his cell phone. Here's how he read it off: "H S Five Two Four Niner Niner." Did I detect a 'niner' in there? What, were you using a walkie-talkie? Then, I looked again, and he was using a Nextel phone... specifically, the built-in walkie-talkie feature.

  • So, the latest rumblings are that Lorain could be trying to lure a Frontier League team by building a stadium on some soon-to-be-renovated lakefront property. The Frontier League is an independent minor league, whose alumni include Angels reliever Brendan Donnelly. Now, the question is, should I start training for the predicted 2006 start, or should I try to save my money for the $8 million that the league president is asking for a new franchise?

  • So, for last Friday's Reds-Indians Indians pitcher CC Sabathia in all red. This of course means the Indians were dressed in red from head to toe. Seeing CC Sabathia dressed like a 6'7" tomato caused my dad to remember Boog Powell in the very same uniform. Now, the only thing more than amusing than Sabathia or Powell in all red was the fact that Powell left the bright orange jerseys of Baltimore just in time to suit up in monochrome red.

  • So, the other night, I was forced to watch the MTV Video Music Awards with my sisters. The scariest thing was seeing the guy who plays Stiffler now with long-ish hair and a bad five o'clock shadow. The new look gave him an eerie resemblance to one Charlie Manson.

  • The highlight of the MTV VMA, of course, was the obligatory reaction shot of KankaNation Hall of Famer Snoop Dogg every time remotely funny happened onstage.

  • Actual pregame pep-talk from my softball game the other day (our coach's lines in regular text, and our responses in italics):
    "Now, does anybody remember that speech from 'Major League'?"
    "Oh, you mean we should be like that catcher who read 'Playboy' because we're thinking too much?"
    "No, that's not it"
    "You mean when Jake Taylor said, 'Let's win the whole damn thing"?
    "Or when they took pieces of that girl every time they won?"

    "No, no. It's from that one where they all get sent down but come back."
    "Oh, the one in the minors? That one sucked; nobody saw it."
    "OK, just get out there."

  • Ken Griffey, Jr. hit his 499th career home run off of Cliff Lee the other day. On the first pitch of his next at bat, Lee threw the ball behind Griffey. After the game, Griffey said that Lee was lucky that Griffey was not a pitcher, or Griffey would bean him his first time up at Cincinnati. Of course, Griffey would know all about doing things that deserve to get a guy beaned, since his little "walk and stare" routine is practically trademarked. (Of course, I'm not too bitter, since that little routine managed to turn a double into a single in this series. Plus, now that Griffey hustles to first less that Manny Ramirez, Albert "Joey" Belle, and Milton Bradley combined, a would be infield single turned into a rally-killing groundout in game two of the series.)

  • So, the Sports Guy thinks that the team with the best player always wins the NBA Finals? OK, so is that Rip, 'Sheed, Chauncey, or Ben Wallace?

  • Has anyone seen the Verizon commercial about the guy who's the first among his college friends to get a job? He's trying to be all serious in his business suit in his cubicle, and riding around with his bosses in a limo, and there are his friends. First time, his answers his phone, and they're all on the other end: "Schmitty!" Then, it's "Gueth howmny cookies I have in my mouf right now?" Ah, Dave, aren't you glad that a) I hate cell phones and b) the rest of us all have jobs and didn't just get some random appartment on Long Island just to bug you?

Monday, June 07, 2004

The Weekend in Review

Ramblings from a guy whose twin once hooked up with an Aussie bartender

  • Leftovers from last week: So, on the way home from Knoxville, I stopped at a Wendy's for dinner. The song playing? "Getaway." I can't escape this stuff. Fortunately, I was able to enjoy the whole song, as it took about 15 minutes for them to make a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. Must've been tOSU grads.

  • Speaking of "All Dye, All the Time," I stopped in to check out Lorain Catholic's jazz band a few times this year. Now, the songs they played were the same as always, but they did have a few new ones in the folder. Joining the classic "Carry On My Wayward Son" were "Livin' La Vida Loca," "Smooth," a Gloria Estefan medley (somehow not including "Rhythym of the Night"), and "American Pie." None were Dye arrangements, but I still about fell out of my seat as I flipped through the folder and just... couldn't... escape... the Dye songs.

  • Transaction Wire (wow, haven't done that in ages): Angels sign Raul Mondesi. So, we have Vlad Guerrero and Jose Guillen. With Garret Anderson, that's probably the best throwing outfield in the majors. (In fact, except for Ichiro, who is more technique than raw power, those are probably three of the best individual arms in baseball). Oh shoot, Anderson's hurt. How can we make sure no one goes from first to third on us ever? Oh yeah, that Mondesi guy's available, let's put him in center. Well, I for one wouldn't run on these guys.

  • So, Ellen and Dave are separated at work by one cubicle? A certain catch-phrase comes to mind. Let's see... Oh yeah, "don't be that guy."

  • Speaking of Marsh - is it true that Bon Jovi's brother works there? Is it just me, or do we just have to invite this guy to the 'Backer?

  • Overheard on The Daily show: "If the Republicans can turn 'Lierberman' into 'Loserman,' the Democrats can't nominate someone who has 'sack' in his name." Well, there go my plans for the next four years. (This quote refers to Iowa Senator Tom Vilsack's consideration as a vice-presidential running mate.)

  • I said it before, and I'll say it again. Between the Pistons' defense and the fact the Lakers are guaranteed to not show up for at least two games, LA's going to finish one of these games with about 45 points - total.

  • Poor Smarty Jones. His MO so far has been to hang out in the middle of the pack for 3/4 of the race, then power ahead down the home stretch. Unfortunately, all the other jockeys decided to use the "Australian short track speed skater" method at the Belmont Stakes, hanging out in the back and not letting Smarty be anywhere else but in first. Then, Birdstone pulls the Smarty Jones and saves Visa some endorsement money (Visa supposedly offered $50mil to Smarty Jones if he won the Triple Crown).

  • Poor Philadelphia. They haven't seen a championship since 1983. Yeah. OK.

  • Belmont - Triple Crown race, cheap liquor store, or Canadian strip club? Discuss.

  • ND baseball has finished another fine season (51-12). In the double elimination regionals, ND started on Friday with a 2-1 loss to Kent State's (Kent is not a state) best pitcher. The Irish followed with a pair of wins on Saturday against UC-Irvine and Kent State. This meant ND had to beat Arizona twice on Sunday to advance to the super regionals. Matt "Don't call me Townie" Edwards had two homers. The game was back and forth with ND trailing 6-3 in the top of the 7th. Then, OF Cody Rizzo tied it with a three run bomb. Unfortunately, Arizona was able to manufacture a run in the bottom of the 7th, and the final score was 7-6.

  • The Gipper on ND (courtesy ND press releas): [the University] "stands among the winds of subjectivity for lasting values and principles that are at the heart of our civilization and upon which all human progress is built. If they want to see the goodness and love of life of this generation, the commitment to decency and a better future, let them come here…to Notre Dame."

Baseball's Amateur Draft - Highlights from Day 1

#1 Overall - Padres take local HS SS Matt Bush. A very Twins-Joe Mauer-esque move.
#3 Overall - Mets take Rice (defending NCAA champs) P Philip Humber.
#6 Overall - Indians take P Jeremy Sowers of Vanderbilt.
#10 Overall - Rangers take U of New Orleans P Thomas Diamond.
#11 Overall - Pirates take HS C Neil Walker.
#12 Overall - Angels take Long Beach St. P Jered Weaver. Originally picked to go #2 overall, he dropped dramatically after agent Scott Boras began asking for a huge contract.
#15 Overall - Diamondbacks take FSU SS Stephen Drew - brother of JD and Tim. Expected to be #1 overall until the news of San Diego's interest in Matt Bush broke out.
#16 Overall - Blue Jays take Oklahoma P David Purcey.
#23 Overall - Yankees take HS P Philip Hughes.
Round 2
#66 Overall - Cubs take ND junior (redshirt sophomore) P Grant Johnson.
#69 Overall - White Sox take HS P Raymond Liotta. Maybe they hope he'll play like Shoeless Joe.
#93 Overall - Mariners take HS SS Matthew Tuiasosopo. I'm assuming he's the brother of the former USC footballer.
Round 5
#140 Overall - Rockies take ND junior 3B Matt Macri. Trivia: Macri was the Twins' backup in '02 if they couldn't sign Mauer.
Round 9
#257 Overall - Indians take ND junior P Chris Niesel.
Round 10
#287 Overall - Brewers take ND 2B Steve Sollman.
Round 14
#421 Overall - Twins take ND C (IF) Javi Sanchez.
Teams have until next year's draft to sign the high schoolers and college juniors. If they choose not to sign, the juniors will reenter the draft and the high schoolers will again be draft-eligible after their junior years.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Weekend in Review

"Not Getting in Trouble With My Significant Other" Edition

Well, the ride down was rather uneventful, until I got to Cincinnati. Freaking Cincinnati. All those dang business majors just had to get out of work early on Friday. Who said that?
Well, once I was past that, I got to see all the great sights on I-75: Florence Y'all, Big Bone Lick State Park. Ah, good times.
I was the first to arrive at the house (other than Cronk). The After a rough introduction to Super Smash Brothers Melee, the Alaskan showed up with a certain whipped... I mean married man. Ah, the Jeep had survived yet another trip. It was time for a few stories and even more video games. The next thing you know, Klondike had the flask out; apparently, he only had room for one, however.
The final group was not due in for another four hours, so repeated cell phone calls were made to check progress. That's good, I thought, since three grown men with college degrees could never fend for themselves in case of a minor mishap. The final call was the best, however. Mike: "Where are you guys right now?" "We're right outside the house." Hey, great timing. I walked outside to proclaim, "Hey you guys!" For the record, I was overly loud due more to sugar and lack of sleep than alcohol, even though my tolerance has gone to pbbbttt lately.
The late night meant nothing was planned until Saturday afternoon. We woke up and headed out to the paintball range. The introduction involved the important "Don't be a Jerk Rule," which meant no firing from within 10 feet. Unfortunately for Klondike, that rule didn't include not getting fired at after being hit and trying to stand up. You see, when you were hit, you were supposed to raise your gun in the air to signal you're out. Well, Klondike raised his gun, but then needed to use that arm to help him stand. "Gee, Klondike's wide open!" I noticed. Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang! "Hey!" Dah. Other highlights included Scott being hit while in a slow motion dive. I was fortunate that Mike mentioned that we should wear a "noseguard" (a cup). It was Mike himself who hit the shot that richocheted off my male protection. I have the paint splatter on my jock strap to prove it. I'm sure you all wanted to hear that one. Well, I'll move on to a more humorous moment. One of the games went down to me and Dave against Cronk. Now, we were probably the worst players out there. Within a short time, I ran out of ammo. Mike, on the sidelines, yelled "Guy who is not Dave - move over and shoot at Cronk!" "I'm out of ammo!" I yelled repeatedly. Well, I thought of the best thing I could do. "I'm out of ammo, time to throw paintballs!" Cronk had no idea what was going on, and my plan worked. In the confusion and laughter, Dave hit Cronk. For the last round, everyone was low on ammo. We realized that Cronk hadn't been hit in the head yet, as asked by ROTC, so Mike and I went after him. However, we were out before we knew it. So, again I did the best thing I could. "Banzai!" I charged Cronk chucking paintballs with my right arm, only to be nailed in the head. Ah, good times.
After showering off, we headed to one of those Japanese restaurants where they grill at the table. Now, in our section, the floor was raised, but the table was in a pit with the tabletop at about floor level (in other words, we sat on the floor with our legs "underground." Now, since the floor was at about table level, whenever people walked by, they looked like they were walking across a table. I was waiting for the Heartland-style music and dancing to kick in. Dinner was good, but unfortunately, no one wanted to pitch in to get Cronk the "Japanese Happiness Song."
After a trip to the store for supplies, it was time for a night of booze and video games. Fortunately, there were no fights, or else the fists would have been flying. I preferred MVP Baseball that Pete brought along with his XBox. Cronk's friend Kurt did as well - he likes switch-hitters as much as he likes Natalie Portman. I had my first shot of straight gin, and "I'll tell you what" - I can see why the Alaskan likes the stuff. That'll warm you up something fierce.
Sunday morning was time for mass. I was able to talk Cronk into a noon mass (similar to Sam trying to custom-order masses on away trips). Afterwards, it was Schlotsky's for lunch. Nothing like the Jewish Deli after the Catholic mass.
Sunday was set aside for a barbeque, and it was a solid one. But first, we stopped at the insane asylum for a game of wiffle ball. The team of Dave, Mike, Brandon, and me (with Klondike pitching) dominated the team of Pete, Joey, Cronk, and Scott. And by "dominated," I of course mean "sucked less." Back to the barbeque, and this was a fancy one - we had some pork roast and brought out the fine crystal. Next, we stopped to visit Cronk's house (in the middle of Tennessee). I finally got to meet Cronk's parents, after they had seen me on TV for years. Cronk gave us a tour of the house while Klondike swapped stories with the parents. Pete's favorite part of the tour was Cronk's sister's room, but everyone else seemed to enjoy Cronk's sister's modelling quality picture (ahem. sports bra.) - even if it was next to Cronk's band award. Dah. After the house tour, we drove through UT. All the campus streets were named after current sports celebs - Todd Helton Dr. (who else has a fantasy team player with a street named after them), Pat Summitt Dr., Peyton Manning Pass, and Phillip Fullmer St. (or is that the "Insert the Current Coach Here" St.?) Neyland Stadium reminded me of Distaster Transport at Cedar Point (an 80s futuristic factory eyesore), and the orange-roofed McDonald's made everyone say Dah.
Back at the house, it was time for poker night. The game this time was Texas Hold 'Em, and Klondike's resentment against Texas made him the master of this game. Everyone won at least once (I hope). I discovered something during the game - a Gin Remix (Sprite Remix & Tanqueray) is much better than a Gin & Juice made with Slice. The Gin Remix was almost chick drink good - "Tanqueray and Remix, yeah I'm f*cked up now."
Well, that was that. We all headed for home the next morning. I'm sure there are some stories I'm forgetting, so feel free to post them to the board - unless you're afraid of getting in trouble that is. Thanks again to Brandon and Joey for the accomodations. Their house is for sale if you want it - the price is good, too.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Due to the weekend, I'm going to extend the KankaMatic new player auctions and waiver wires until Friday. Speaking of KankaMatic, you can find the link on the top of the page.

Weekend in Review (clean version) will be here tomorrow night (hopefully). Tonight, I'm off to my softball game (where I'm not a switch hitter).

Don't forget to RSVP for the Brintnall/Cronk wedding by next Monday.