Late Winter, Early Spring (When everyone goes to Mexico)
As I write this, I glance down at my ever-present watch. It reminds me that today is Feb. 28, which means a few things.
It means rent is due
It means March is read to emerge, at least willing to give a few subtle hints of an approaching spring.
It also means we are but one day away from this blog's two-year anniversary. I'd thought of doing something special, and still might, but honestly, I'm not in a very creative mood. Beyond that, going over my "greatest hits" would only cause me to look over my posts and realize how many mistakes I have made.
So, if you have any thoughts on the blog, anything at all, feel free to leave a comment about it. If not, hey, I'll sleep at night. And in the day. And pretty much any time I'm not working.
I would like to say however, that I would like to thank my old friend Danny O'Brien for getting me interested in blogging back in March of 2003. From there to 210 West, and from there to my own blog, and now to my own blog and Blog Critics. So it's been an interesting few years.
---The Ports Deal
There seems both reason for concern and reason for restraint. I'll follow the story and as a result, become more educated on the issue. Hopefully. But for now, I am taking a wait-and-see approach. The interesting thing about this issue is that it has divided the political pundits, but not along a left-right fault. There is no way of predicting anyone's opinion on it. In some ways, it's a beautiful moment of political chaos. It's a strange moment of respectful disagreement, where you have Democrats and Republicans not wanting to offend their fellow party members.
Though I must admit, when I heard Jimmy Carter was OK with the deal, I was pretty sure I would side against it. Just out of habit.
---The Blake Factor
The Plain Dealer's Bill Livingston was one of the few to notice how bad Indians' outfielder Casey Blake played last season. For a while, I felt like it was just Bill, Erik Cassano and myself.
Still, Livingston's column
earlier this week had me wondering if he had checked out my blog since the beginning of last season. Probably not.
But Blake has been a major issue with me because I just don't believe he's a Major League player. Some have said last year was an abberation for Blake, but it seems to me that 2004 (when Blake hit .271 and 28 homers) was the abberation.
Casey Blake is probably a heck of a guy. But that's not the point. The point is the Indians will try to contend this season with the Killer B's (Aaron Boone, Ben Broussard and Blake) at the bottom of the order.
What worries me is that Eric Wedge is patient, to a fault. If Blake hits .135 in the first two months of the season and the offense again suffers, will he replace him or let him ride out the slump, waiting for a hot streak that never arrives?
Wedge's line about Blake putting too much pressure on himself is hardly comforting. Rather, it's disturbing. He's a Major League player. It's all about production.
Here's a quote from the Livingston article:
"It's amazing how quickly people's views changed," Blake said. "You wonder how many of those people put a glove on at this level of baseball?"
Funny Casey. I wonder how many of those same people get paid $2.2 million, as you did last year. Or how many of them paid good money to watch you on the diamond. You had a bad year, and you got criticized for it. It tends to happen at the major league level.
Although really, my problem was and has never been with Blake himself.
It's with the guys that keep sticking him out there. And sadly for the Indians, it looks like they will continue to do so.
---The original titleWhen Everyone Goes to Mexico
is the fourth song in a five song suite that closes out John Denver's Rocky Mountain High
album. It is an acoustic guitar-based instrumental, and one of my favorite tracks on the album. I have written a few times about John Denver's music here, but as the great philosopher Martin Mull once said, "Talking about music is like dancing about architecture."
All I can say is the album is perhaps the biggest reason there's an acoustic guitar resting against my wall right now rather than an electric one.