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public witness ain't seeing too much
this is a public service announcement with guitars...
punks like you get beat up, knocked unconscious or...
may be the last time, i don't know
like katrina with no fema, like martin with no gin...
that way we can fuck and watch tv
why it have to be like this mama said i'm priceles...
soon as i step up in the club i'mma flirt
all the beating drums, the celebration guns
bow to me, faithful ye
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
lift me up, burn it down, we may suffer and we may die:
Anna Holmes eloquently defends baseball to her skeptical female friends. She makes the point that baseball is a thinking woman's game. I don't want to get into what can become an elitist argument, but I'll point out that many of the female fans of my acquaintance tend to have a grasp of the game on both a statistical, historical, player-based and strategic level -- Erin Simpson, Emma Daly, Jill Greenberg, Samantha Power, Rabbi Leslie Bergson, my mom -- that, on average, surpasses that of the male fan. If young Claire Schmitt, the world's smartest six-year old, decides to add baseball to her sporting repertoire, Bill James will be out of a job.
Meanwhile: Opening Day. Or rather, Real Opening Day, as a rainout moved the Yanks-Toronto game to this evening. I'm perpetually optimistic about the Yankees, in spite of all cross-cutting evidence, but even in this year of rebuilding, the next 162 games look promising. The Yankees' weakest defensive position is -- yes -- shortstop. Jeter's defensive prowess has dropped off just as his offense has expanded. But the outfield is very solid; we're giving Giambi another chance at first (playing in Oakland, with its massive foul territory, made him a better 1B than he gets credit for); and, most importantly, the pitching is tremendous all throughout the rotation and the bullpen. The future is brighter still: an onslaught of young pitchers and outfielders, along with the coming payroll drop after this year, when Pavano, Pettitte, Mussina, Farnsworth and Abreu (I think) depart. Damon's gone after 2009. (The payroll/departure stuff is all stolen from commenter UFred.) We just need a new shortstop and a new catcher after that. There, I said it.
ESPN Magazine has a piece that I haven't yet read about the seemingly intractable difference in quality between American League and National League play, something even the casual fan picks up on immediately. But I wonder if, even without rules changes, there's a growing American League-ization of the NL. Omar Minaya's Mets were the first to build an NL team around a slugger's lineup. Now Chicago and Milwaukee, to lesser degrees, have done the same. I only saw the final three innings of yesterday's Chicago-Milwaukee matchup, but it was like watching an AL game, particularly with the feat of Kosuke Fukodome, today's big story. I saw the home run. It was thrilling. I actually threw my arms up and nearly fell off the elliptical machine. If I'm not mistaken, the last time a Japanese position player had such an amazing MLB debut, it came from a porn addict named Hideki Matsui. What league does he play in, again?
So, yeah, whatever, Opening Day does not a season make, and perhaps the more important point was that both teams experienced the excruciation of their closers failing miserably. (Tres NL!) My female-fan friends could have told me that.
I'd just like to point out as a Brewers fan that Milwaukee did end up winning the game. Fukudome is impressive, this I admit, but Fielder, Braun, and company carried the day. I agree that there is reason for Yankees fans to be optimistic, however, I think Toronto is going to surprise a lot of people this year.