10 questions I'm looking forward to hearing this baseball season
This is a list that has little to do with the play on the field. The best drama the sport has created over the last five years has been found in the courtroom, not the diamond. With that in mind:
1. What new phrases Bud Selig will come up with to explain the steroid issue?: Selig has used phrases like "sensitive issue" in the past. He's was also stuck on the word "eradicate," saying he was "not going to rest" until the league got steroids out of the sport. He must be tired. A few months ago, he used the term "meaningful strides" to describe the game's progress. He's not going away anytime soon, so I might as well enjoy his interesting perspective on the past and future, even if I won't do so in a way he would likely appreciate.
2. How many times will Richard Justice try to convince me Bud Selig is the greatest commissioner the sport has ever had?: I like Richard as a writer and reporter, but his almost hero-worship of Selig is hard to accept.
It ended up being a great vent piece for me, as I laid out a counter argument. The article later showed up on the Sporting News site. I read it again and still was toubled by it. But this is an issue I'll just have to agree to disagree with him on. And because the issue with Clemens and Bonds won't go away, I wonder if the the topic will come up again.
3. What team will create a media firestorm by asking about Barry Bonds?: Seriously, if Tampa Bay can get media coverage, imagine what happens when a relevant team calls?
4. Speaking of which, has there ever been a better case for contraction than the Devi-- wait ... Rays? Just Rays. For god's sake. The name alone means they'll lose at least 90 games this year.
5. How many days until one of the ESPN announcers asks if A-Rod is a true Yankee?: This was beaten to death last season. As long as he's wearing the uniform and on the roster, I'd say that's a damn good sign.
6. What will be the number of times Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro says the word "market" when discussing potential moves? Of course, it will be harder this year after the Browns went on a spending binge and the Cavs have the third highest payroll in the NBA. Mark should just speak the truth: The Indians can't get big stars because the fans don't buy enough tickets.
7. Who wins in a battle between Reds manager Dusty Baker and Reds' announcer and Hall of Famer Marty Brennaman?: It's true, the two aren't arguing yet, but Brennaman's penchant for telling it the way he sees it will probably irritate the Reds manager at some point, especially when the season goes downhill. And it will. Remember Steve Stone?
8. What is the most annoying thing about the Red Sox?: I think they have officially surpassed the Yankees as far as the team I hate most. And I still hate the Yankees. But last year's World Series title put me over the edge.
9. How many times will we hear about what a great guy Andy Pettitte is?: Everyone loved Pettitte for telling the truth. Some even called him a role model. But while the confessed cheater pitches to praise, the clean players play on. Maybe one of them will admit steroid use, just so they can get the positive press.
10. How will the Indians screw it up this year?: Sixty years and counting. It's nothing major in the grand scheme of life. But after watching this team, you just start to wonder what will keep the team from a title. It's always something. People have every reason to be positive about the Indians, but I'm a little shy to get on board. 3-to-1 vs. Boston with an ace on the hill and the Rockies waiting. If you can't get it done then, when?