Friday, June 23, 2006

Random Baseball Thoughts

The Hills Have EyesJust Watched:
The Hills Have Eyess
2 Stars

If you've seen the commercials, you know that this movie looks FREAKY. Not just scary ... freaky. After watching, I was disappointed. Over half the deaths happen in a matter of minutes, are not drawn out, and are disturbingly brutal. You may say, "It's a horror movie, what do you expect?" But in the midst of this scene, a woman is raped, an infant is tortured, and a pregnant woman is shot in the stomach. I found it distasteful. The movie then becomes predictable, and the people I watched it with got bored & we entertained ourselves by making our own "Mystery Science Theater 3000"-like commentary.

All in all, if you want to waste $4 and 2 hours, go out & rent The Hills Have Eyes.

Here's some of my random thoughts on baseball:

  • Red Sox Red Hot. After being swept by the Minnesota Twins, the Red Sox have won 7 in a row. Manny's got his swing going, the front office is having Yankee-like luck in filling the holes in the pitching rotation, and the defense is the best in the bigs (99.1% pct.). And I love their pitching youth movement with Jon Papelbon (future starter), Manny Delcarmen (bullpen), Jon Lester (starter), and Craig Hansen (future closer). And when you consider that there is also a 26 year-old World Series MVP (Josh Beckett) in the mix, and the Sox look to have some of the best young arms in the majors. Theo Epstein over-rated? I don't think so.

  • Braves Not. Atlanta won tonight, gracefully snapping a 10 game losing streak. They have lost 18 of their last 21. It's sad to see this run come to an end like this. Three names are being tossed around as trade bait: John Smoltz, Andruw Jones, & Chipper Jones. The most attractive of these names is probably Smoltz, given his postseason record & that he's got the cheapest contract among these guys. Unless they get A-level pitching prospect or a proven young starter (e.g. Ervin Santana) in return, this would be a huge mistake. Smoltz has an $8 million option for 2007, which is a great deal for a pitcher of Smoltz's caliber. Andruw or Chipper would make more sense. Andruw makes 17% of Atlanta's payroll. However, there is no forseeable replacement. That's why I'd like to see the Braves move Chipper. He's aging, has a hard time staying healthy, makes just less than Andruw, and has a young backup who could produce almost as well as he does in Wilson Betemit. I'm guessing that none of the three gets moved, however, and that the Braves work to overhaul their bullpen & come back strong in '07.

  • Marlins vs. Yankees payroll. An interesting matchup this weekend in the Bronx. New York puts their $210 million payroll (largest in the bigs) up against Florida's $17 million payroll (smallest in the bigs). Yanks won the opener, 6-5.

  • All-Star Voting. Something needs to be done about our All-Star Voting system. Of the 8 starters on the AL team, 6 of the current voting leaders are Red Sox or Yankees. And it's close to 7 of 8, with Johnny Damon almost in the top 3 OF vote-getters. Jason Varitek is floundering as Joe Mauer leads the league in hitting, but it looks like 'Tek will start the big game. Chone Figgins has 26 steals & Ty Wigginton has 13 homeruns, but it looks like Robinson Cano and Mark Loretta will battle it out for starter. Come on, people -- variety is the spice of life.

  • Ozzie-fest. Other than his frequent use of profanity, I love Ozzie Guillen. I love that he is totally anti-PC. And if anyone deserved being called a "fag," it is Jay Mariotti. Lots of folks are hating on Ozzie lately, but I wish they wouldn't. We criticize atheletes & sports personalities when they reveal too little of themselves & their feelings (e.g. A-Rod), and then we criticize them when they reveal too much (e.g. Ozzie, Curt Schilling, et. al.). I love the guys who speak their mind -- a breath of anti-PC air!

  • Gammons pimping the Mobile ESPN phone. A friend of mine recently recommended that ESPN Baseball personality Peter Gammons should be Baseball's Commissioner. Often, I'd agree. But lately, my least favorite commerical on television involves Gammons. I hate how ESPN has been hawking their ESPN Mobile cell phone & service at nearly every commercial break. And now, they have Gammons pimping the product. Apparently, even he has a price.

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