Friday, February 27, 2009

Rogers wants out
So great. One month into the Eric Mangini tenure and the Browns best defensive player from last season wants to be released.

I don't care who's right or wrong. Many of the fans commenting on this article seem to be taking the Browns' side, which I don't get.

Great NFL players act like Prima Donnas. Or at least, most do. Every four years a new coach comes into Cleveland and tries to lay down the law. And what happens? Four mediocre seasons and it starts over again.

I don't care if Shaun Rogers is being a jerk. He's a great player. The Browns do not have many.

Memo to Mangini: fix it.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

A-Rod's story
The truth, it is said, will set you free. Partial truth, though, is about as good as no truth at all.

It's like when I told my parents I failed a math test, but neglected to tell them I actually failed three math tests and thus, was failing the class.

Of course, I was 17 then. And later, 22. See, that's the whole truth. At least it is if you accept the word math, multiply it three times and replace the word "math" with "science" and "computers."

OK, so I do have a bit of sympathy for Alex Rodriguez, or perhaps empathy, in a sort of "let he who is without sin" kind of way.

My advice to Rodriguez at this moment? Come completely clean, or shut up. Anything less will get you in more trouble than you're in right now.

The preferable option is the whole truth, if only because it's the right thing to do, and because the New York media will find whatever he's covering up.

There really is no choice.

My penalty for not telling the whole truth was getting yelled at by my parents, which sounds light (although anyone ever yelled at by disappointed parents knows otherwise). A-Rod may have more at stake, but that's only more reason to come clean.

Because it's clear that what he has said over the past weeks is far from that.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Griffey will make $4.5 million at most in Seattle
I keep looking at the Indians outfield. Grady Sizemore, Shin Soo Choo, Ben Francisco and David Dellucci make up the parts.

Then there's Travis Hafner. But what if he's bad again? Is there a plan?

I guess that's the nature of a mid-market team. But even so, I'm surprised the Indians didn't at least consider Ken Griffey. He was injured last year and still hit 18 homers. There's only one outfielder on the Indians who I think will hit that many this year.

Going to the Mariners is not a baseball move for Griffey or the team. It's hard to imagine Seattle contending this season, and it's hard to see what value Griffey has to the Mariners, except for nostalgia purposes.

Which is not to say I'm negative on Junior playing where he wants to play. As an Ohioan, I was always annoyed when people questioned why the superstar wanted to play in Cincinnati.

Thing is, if Griffey hits 25 homers by July, Seattle may be forced to trade him for the pennant drive. Interesting ending.

But that's a ways off.


Desert Island mix CD
If I could pick 17 songs, here would be the choices.

1. Caravan-Van Morrison
Why: Everything in this works for me. A positive song about listening to music, performed by one of the best songwriters ever. This would be a good pick-me-up as I wondered if I'd return to civilization.

2. Whiter Shade of Pale-Procol Harum
Why: One of the most interesting pieces of music I've ever heard. I listen to it, and am almost drawn in, as if I'm watching a mystery. The song's organ just breaks open a gate to possibilities like few songs can.

3. A Day in the Life-The Beatles
Why: The best song from the best rock album ever. Lennon's vocal is haunting, beautiful, and honest. This is, at this moment, my favorite Beatles song.

4. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down-The Band
Why: This might be the most American song ever written, and it was composed by a Canadian. It hits on the pride and pain of the most stunning conflict in our nation's history, and does so with a killer vocal by Levon Helm.

5. The Way You Look Tonight -Frank Sinatra
Why: Just listen to it and you'll know why.

6. I Fall to Pieces -Patsy Cline
Why: Perhaps the best country recording ever. Cline has been dead for more than half a century, and I still don't think she has ever been touched by any female recording artist since. Maybe Aretha.

7. Satisfaction-Rolling Stones
Why: What a rock record is supposed to be.

8. Brown Sugar-Rolling Stones
Why: Favorite Stones song.

9. When a Man Loves a Woman- Percy Sledge
Why: Few singers have been able to achieve this much passion in a career. Sledge does it in three minutes. How many people were conceived to this song? God only knows. Speaking of which ...

10. God Only Knows- Beach Boys
Why: Carl Wilson's vocal is outstanding, the music is beautiful, and America's greatest rock songwriter hits his peak. Plus, it was my brother and sister-in-law's first dance, so I'm partial.

11. Sail Away- Randy Newman
Why: The first track from one of the greatest albums of the 1970s, this song is another history lesson of sorts, presented in a jingle. It actually is a beautiful song with a somewhat depressing subject matter, which in some ways is Newman's trademark.

12. Like a Rolling Stone-Bob Dylan
Why: This one shouldn't need explanation.

13. Tangled up in Blue-Bob Dylan
Why: There's just something about the song -- its performance, its lyric, its story-- that I would want to have.

14. Imagine-John Lennon
Why: Never a socialist, and this is socialism in a Trojan Horse. But it's still beautiful.

15. Hungry Heart-Bruce Springsteen
Why: It's just too good to pass up.

16. Walls- Tom Petty
Why: A special song for me for a number of reasons.

17. Lover's Cross- Jim Croce
Why: You need Jim Croce at least once a day.


Spring Training Predictions
- Andy Marte and Josh Barfield will not make the opening day roster.

- Cliff Lee will scare everyone by not being awesome in Arizona.

- Travis Hafner will get everyone excited, then be awful in the regular season.

- Carl Pavano will make the team.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Didn't ring right
When I saw the story of a 56-year old woman swimming across the Atlantic Ocean, well, I was skeptical.

Turns out I was right to be. But the reporter obviously wasn't skeptical enough when reporting this story, which was picked up all over the place.

No, the woman didn't swim across the Atlantic. Which just proves that no matter how advanced we get, people can always be suckers for a feel good story.