Meanwhile, Back At Congress, Roger Clemens Is Talking Needles and Butt
Manager or Court Jester?
In a way, I'm starting to feel nauseous already about the prospects of Willie at the helm of this Titanic Championship craft. Especially when he makes idiotic comments like he did at the All Hail Johan Press Conference and General Giddiness Buffet when he said, straight-face and all:
“We felt good about ourselves going into spring training as it was,”
Sorry? What was that? Willie needs a psych evaluation? Willie is out campaigning for the Championship of Absurdist Statements?
What was there all that good to feel about exactly? No consistently palatable starters other than Pedro? A bullpen too full of question marks? A left fielder destined to play about 30% of the team's games? Mediocrity patrolling right? A first baseman who spent most of last season struggling to hit his weight? The 20 man platoon of catchers waiting to be unleashed? A Spring Training full of nothing but talk about your historic choking collapse? I don't see how anyone felt good going into Spring Training with that sort of mess trailing behind like a tin can tail following a wedding car. It was more likely something everyone was dreading. Answering the questions.
Yes, it's ok to feel a little giddier now. Johan and Pedro are a lethal one-two punch. They can't fill out the bullpen or the rest of the rotation but it's a good start for one and it's a big distraction from last season's miserably negotiated gut check. And whilst Maine and Oliver both had 15 wins last season, they were sneaky totals. Don't pencil them in for more than 22 combined unless the bullpen suddenly discovers a bunch of heretofore undiscovered arms and consistency. Yes, Guillermo Mota is finally gone, thank christ for that, but whilst one can add by subtraction, one cannot add very far that way. Not even getting rid of Mota will do that.
But who can play pessimist amid all this happyhappy joyjoy symphony of optimism and for that matter, who wants to at the moment? Sure, Willie can paint a nice mural of bullshit about how content he was going into Spring Training without Johan Santana but let's face it, even Willie admits “But when you add a person like Santana, a guy of his caliber, you have a little bit of swagger going.”
The Man who saved Omar's skin...
Of course that swagger could diminish to a stagger what with all the rumours about Pedro and his cockfights. Pedro might end up sharing stories with Michael Vick whilst they sort the laundry in federal prison instead of pitching his way to the NLCS. Then again the outcry against cockfighting in Coliseo de Gallos is probably far less substantial than the outcry in America against hanging dogs. Especially considering it's not only "legal" in the Dominican Republic, but "popular" too.
And really, even the arrival of Santana is somewhat muted by the revelation that Billy Joel is going to headline the final concert at Shea before it is torn down. If he doesn't drink drive himself into the Nissequogue River some night before then, that is. He sang at Yankee Stadium already, he shouldn't be allowed in Shea.
And now Mr Joel, please sing Only The Good Die Young backwards and in Latin...
All in all, a good day at Shea.
Because it's not every day our doings make both Red Sox and Yankee fans jealous...
What? You think they're not secretly dying that Billy Joel isn't playing Fenway?