Tuesday, April 7, 2009

And The Long March Begins In April....

Yep, that's about the way March Madness usually ends: a superior team sucking most of the drama out of the game by the second half, or in this case the first five minutes.

Last year we got treated to a fantastic game as Memphis bricked free-throws and Kansas hit a huge three pointer that eventually brought a title back to the heartland. That was a nice change, but the title game often goes out with a whimper as it did last night.

Plus, I didn't hear enough ridiculous pun-laden ending comments by Jim Nance! Double boo! I had a shotgun ready and everything!

Meanwhile, we had something referred to as Opening Day happening all across America. I admit I was into it, mostly bec
ause I got roped into a fantasy baseball league this year and I wanted to see if I had made horrible choices. But all the pageantry and bunting celebrating the beginning of baseball season is quite nice. Plus fly-overs are always sweet.

And now I'll lose interest in two or three weeks....

It's too mu
ch for my short attention span. 162 games? Just give me the Cliff's Notes version up until the pennant races kick into full gear.

This is why I hate playing fantasy baseball. I have to keep up with everything happening for the next six month
s so I don't end up fielding a team of corpses by July.

You probably are wondering to yourself, "why don't you just stop paying attention instead of bitching about it?"

If it were only that easy. But any fantasy player (even if you're coerced into it by pleading friends) worth his or her salt knows that just abandoning a team is an embarrassmen
t even if you can claim nescience. It's just an unspoken rule among competitors that you won't just give up on your team. It sucks the fun out of a league and I don't want to be that guy.

So I pai
d attention yesterday and here are the knee-jerk (and probably false) conclusions I came to:

This is the Mets year: I have plenty of friends who are Mets fans who will now blam
e me for cursing their beloved Metropolitans by picking them to win, but the Mets have finally put it together. They only beat Cincinnati 2-1, but the Mets waited patiently for Reds ace Aaron Harang to tire, then pounced on him for two runs. Meanwhile, Mets ace Johan Santana only gave up one run while the new bullpen duo of J.J. Putz and K-Rod shut out the Reds for the final innings. That's how you play baseball.

Plus, the Phillies got torched by the Braves Derrick Lowe. If Lowe does that to the Phillies, Santana will destroy them. Mets take the division easy and might be the second coming of the 1998 Yankees.

Speaking of the Yankees.....

The Yankees wasted a lot of money and will go down in flames: The always over-spending Yankees gave the finger to this global recession and spent $423.5 million on just three of their big free-agents. Once again it's World Series or bust! And they busted yesterday. $161 million pitcher C.C. Sabathia only lasted four innings and gave up six runs to Baltimore. Baltimore! What a horrible pitcher. Meanwhile $180 million dollar man, Mark Teixeira batted four times and got zilch. Left five men stranded on base. Yeah, he's worth it. FAIL.

The AL West is AWESOME!: Texas destroys last year Cy Young w
inner Cliff Lee and beats the Indians 9-1. Seattle unloads on the Twins 6-1. The only team that lost was Oakland and they lost to the division rival Angels. No doubt the A's would have easily beaten most other teams.

Pirates are back to contender status: They came out of nowhere to beat the pre-season playoff contender St. Louis Cardinals, showing that times are changing. Maybe it's because of those two Indian pitchers they signed.

There will no longer be baseball in Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Boston, and on the south side of Chicago: I understand why the Royals would fold and the White Sox just don't have the backing that the Cubs do. Tampa Bay picked a bad time to fold since the team was in the World Series just last year. I guess the blue mohawks weren't enough. I'm really surprised by the Red Sox. I always thought that was a pretty popular team. Oh well, the MLB probably didn't want to have any more teams named after Sox.

AL MVP: Adam Lind- OF Toronto--Lind is putting Toronto on his back in their bid for the AL East which is up for grabs since it no longer includes Boston or Tampa. He's 4 out of 5 and has six RBI's. What a stud

NL MVP: Hanley Ramirez- SS Florida-- Great things were expected for Ramirez and he didn't disappoint. He got five RBI's in only three at bats. That's efficient.

AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez-- goes deep into games and can strike you out.

NL Cy Young: Derrick Lowe-- Finds a perfect place in Atlanta and shows what he can do.

World Series: New York Mets over Texas Rangers--Series go seven games and only ends when K-Rod gets Jarrod Saltalamacchia to pop up with two men on base.

Wow, what a season! Is it time for football yet?

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