Friday, December 26, 2008

Free Kicks- Post Christmas Edition

Well, despite my best efforts, we closed up the shop here on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, though we will do our best down the road to keep our doors open through the new year. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with family, a nice meal and some NBA (if you cared to watch any). There wasn’t much in the way of sports on Christmas Day, but that might be because everything is building up to Week 17. The Ravens will be looking for a playoff spot against the Jags, the Jets, Pats, and Dolphins are all fighting for the AFC East, the Chargers and Broncos will go head to head for the AFC West, and the Bears will be looking to spoil the Vikings’ first division title since 1998. How great is that? In the meantime, let’s line up for the kick…

Much-Delayed Response to Teixeira Fallout
A couple weeks ago I wrote about the A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia signings by the Yankees as examples of how it had taken the team all of about 6 months to throw out the idea of building from within and avoiding the temptation to try to buy a ring. Well, that was before the Yankees took control of the top 4 most expensive contracts in all of baseball and make their earlier signings look like a pittance. This team got one taste of what the other 29 teams have to put up with every season and threw their hands up and walked away. They could not handle the growing pains of young talent, the long-term scouting and evaluation process, the complex scheme of building up the farm system and working young players through the system. This is a team- no, an organization, that is so utterly unprepared for baseball as it is becoming that they are forced to fall back on the familiar formula after it has shown to be ineffective. They do not have the patience or fortitude to endure anything less than excellence, and will spend however they can to have it every single year. Let them do it. I am terrified of that rotation and that lineup, and I think they have just vastly improved themselves and will be a major factor in the AL East (I know, I am really going out on a limb there). In the long run however, this organization is weak-minded and slow to recognize the changing landscape of Major League Baseball, and will suffer for it as they hammer away at the same tired (and ineffective) formula.

As for Tex, I don’t care much about losing him. If he doesn’t want to play here, then that is perfectly understandable- he wants a ring. I wouldn’t expect him to suffer through 5 years of agony in the hopes of maybe making the playoffs- it doesn’t make sense for a player entering his prime. Oh well, take that cash and spend it elsewhere… Nick Markakis perhaps?

Nationals Looking like O’s of Old
So, the Nationals just signed Daniel Cabrera, and Corey Patterson among others to try to rebuild their team on the run as they look to try to fill their new stadium in their 4th year since becoming the Washington Expos Nationals from Montreal. This is starting to get rather silly for me, to be honest. They ought to be taking a lesson from their neighbors in Baltimore and realize that a set of free agent also-rans from other organizations isn’t going to save the franchise, especially in the NL East. Like the AL East, their division is stacked with quality competition- the World Champion Phillies, the Mets, the Marlins, and even the Braves are superior teams, and no number of Cabreras or Pattersons will change that. I mean, if Patterson couldn’t earn a spot in Cincinnati’s outfield and Daniel Cabrera couldn’t cut it in the god-awful Orioles rotation, they aren’t players who will help you compete. Rather than desperately throwing cash at Mark Teixeira, perhaps Washington should focus on building up their empty farm system before trying to make a half hearted move in the division. They shouldn’t have to look far to figure out how.

I am Getting Tired of Brett Favre

For those of you who were reading back in the summer, you will remember my adamant defense of Brett Favre and the abysmal treatment he was receiving from Packer’s management. I still believe he was mistreated, abused, and shoved out the door like yesterday’s garbage when he attempted to come back. He should have been allowed to come back, the Pack owed that much to him (unless they planned to give him back the division titles, NFC crowns, and the Superbowl win he gave them). However, I am now finding myself on the other side of the fence. Favre has no business talking retirement right now. I am not nostalgic this time around, and this is not a time to be discussing it. There is a game to be played that might- MIGHT get the Jets in the playoffs, not to mention any playoff games after that. I know he was pushed into a question about his future, but that was all to easy to dodge. He could have easily said that he was going to wait until the season end, or give some cliché answer about how he is “only thinking about next week.” That would have been fine. Instead, he goes down the road about his arm injury, how he is tired, etc. We have heard it before, and if he drags it out a second time I won’t be by his side. The Pack owed him… the Jets don’t.

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