Sunday, March 25, 2007

Quick Hits

  • Every year there's howling, but this year's NCAA tournament has featured the worst officiating I've seen in a long time. There have been more bad calls deciding the outcome of games than in any year I can remember. One wonders when precisely the NCAA hired Don Denkinger, and if they feel they're getting their money's worth.
  • The next announcement from Pete Rose: "At least I didn't bet on cricket." On one hand, it now seems safe to assume that Rose has lost any and all credibility with anyone but the crowd that believes that O.J. is really out there looking for Nicole's killer. As noted elsewhere, the man can't even confess without lying (according to the Dowd Report, Rose did not bet on the Reds every day - he steadfastly refused when his #4 and #5 starters were going). On the other hand, the fact that the coach of Pakistan's national cricket team was murdered after an unexpected loss to lightweights Ireland raises all sorts of disturbing notions that the American sports media is busily ignoring. The long-running accusations of corruption in the sport have been given new life, with the tentacles of corruption apparently reaching to the highest level of the sport. And, lest we forget, a man is dead, violently murdered in his hotel room. It makes the latest kerfuffle between, say, Kerry Wood and Lou Pinella seem rather petty, doesn't it?
  • As much as I love Baseball Prospectus, Steven Goldman's "Hope and Faith" piece on the Phillies (and his subsequent interview on BP Radio) was about as hopeless a riff as one could imagine. Come on, Steve - they haven't even started blowing games yet.
  • I'm looking forward to seeing Greg Oden trying that chest shove on someone a little older and more savvy than he is next year. Say, Shaq. That could get verrrry interesting. Or, he could take a page out of Kobe's book and just go after guys whom Klaus Nomi could have taken in a fair fight.
  • Tampa Bay has too many outfielders, most of whom can play center, and no starting pitching. Florida has no centerfielder, and a positive bounty of starting-quality pitchers. At what point do we have to have an intervention so these two will start talking to one another?
  • Speaking of Tampa Bay, the Phillies originally got Bobby Abreu from them for Kevin Stocker. Pat Gillick traded Abreu last year for guys who, at this point, make Stocker look good. One can only assume that Brian Cashman will eventually flip him for some balls, a couple of nice clean uniforms, and 33 pounds of meat.
  • What are the odds the Milwaukee Admirals experience a sudden upswing in merchandise sales on May 25th?
  • The longer the Mets keep Lastings Milledge on the bench or in AAA, the happier the rest of the NL East will be.
  • Did the rumor that had Aaron Rowand going back to the White Sox ever make any sense to anyone? One can only assume that eventually, the rumor mill is going to have Jim Thome traded back to Philly.
  • Over-under on the first incapacitating injury for Nomar this year is May 2nd. I'll take the under. The longer the Dodgers keep their kids in AAA en masse, the happier the NL West will be. Even Colorado.
  • God help us all when Chris Berman comes up with a nickname for Troy Tulowitzki.
  • If the Dodgers do get off to a slow start, do you think Bill Plaschke will find a way to blame Paul DePodesta?
  • The moment I'm waiting for most this season: The first time Dice-K whiffs Alex Rodriguez. The sheer volume of calls to Mike & the Mad Dog may in fact bring down the entire New York phone system.
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