With the barn door to baseball '07 about to swing open, The Cow stands poised at the gate, ready to run ... but every bovine knows that before a good stampede, you gotta lighten the load, drop one last udderfull of the white stuff.
Papelbon to Papbullpen
Five milksquirts for the Bosox brass and their ultimate confrontation with reality. Sooner rather than later, the elders came to grips with what they were facing in the ninth inning. Signing reliever after reliever during the offseason was starting to look to The Cow like nothing more than a desperate pitcher "surge" (wink, wink), while the front office stubbornly resisted the only realistic strategy left: "withdrawing" (wink, wink) Paps from the rotation and "bringing him home" (wink, wink) to the pen. Good to see Theo "taking responsibility for his blunder" (wink, wink) before games that count started "dying unnecessarily" (wink, wink) during outs 25-27, to the demoralization of the whole Triple-B (Bosox Bovine Barnyard). Squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt.
"How do you ask a starter to be the last pitcher to lose a lead for a mistake?"
The Dinger Milkstones to Follow in ‘07
The world is watching Barry Bonds' legendary chasedown of the Babe [wait ... did The Cow read that Barry has injected himself with "a steroid created to improve the muscle quality of cattle?" The Cow's had that roid! It's awesome! Not only did it increase the power with which The Cow can ring a cowbell, it also produced the munchies, causing The Cow to stagger down to Wa-Wa for a pack of Hostess Sno Balls! Mooooo ...] There are other dinger milkstones to watch, though, all in the AL parks. There's the shocking (short lived?) resurrection of Sammy, who is only 12 short of 600. Frank Thomas is only 13 away from 500. Jim Thome is only 28 shy of 500. And then there's Manny. Being Manny. He's 30 short of the Magic 500, and he should get it, with one caveat (speaking of pastries):
[H/T to Over the Monster for one of the most artistic photo-journalistic endeavors ever; OTM credited the Boston Herald].
Keep it together this year, ManRam - we need ya'. And this seems like an opportune time for The Cow to resurrect Manny's TO'LC limerick, from an under-appreciated post lying around in the archives:For children most hire a nannyBut in Fenway things are quite uncannyThe little boy criesSox brass then adviseWe just must let Manny be Manny.
[You may read all the poetic musings of the TO'LC staff in Red Sox in Meter and Verse].
Basketballs Are Made Of Leather, Right? [Yecch]
The Cow rarely wanders from the diamond, but feels compelled to briefly comment on the hardwood, the culmination of which always seems to interfere with the bonhomie of the baseball season commencing. Though a Floridian, The Cow can't stand those stinkin' Gators [if you lived in Florida and were not a Gator, you would understand]. However, The Cow is also a Michigan mammal, and so has lost no love for those stinkin' Buckeyes, either. What is a sallow steer to do? Alas, a formula has been found. The heifer weight of The Cow will be thrown behind the Buckeyes. You see, the Buckeyes haven't won a hoops title since 1960. And the venue for that historical triumph? San Francisco. Yep, you guessed it:
Oh, to make that pilgramage ...
Troy O'Leary Fun Fact #5 (sort of ...)
The patron saint of TO'LC has begun his resurrection. One of The Cow's favorite blogs, The Joy of Sox, recently quipped:
Yankees 98-64 -
Red Sox 96-66 2
Blue Jays 85-77 13
Orioles 73-89 25
Devil Rays 70-92 28
Brown: The last time Alex Rodriguez played in a contract year (2000), he hit 41 home runs, drove in 132 runs, batted .316 and finished third in the AL MVP voting. By chance, future teammate Jason Giambi was the AL MVP that season and future former best friend Derek Jeter finished 10th. I'm just sayin' (*).
(*) - Yeah, saying absolutely nothing. Not one thought about the 2007 club, but what happened 7 years ago is considered relevant? Why didn't you mention how Troy O'Leary (2000 LF) will impact Boston's chances this summer?
The Cow rejoices (squirt, squirt, squirt), and hopes that it is TO'LC's moo-ing into the blogosphere that is bringing Troy-boy back into the collective consciousness.
A plaque honoring Ray Chapman hangs at Heritage Park, Thursday, March 29, 2007, in Cleveland. The 175-pound bronzed memorial for Ray Chapman, the Cleveland Indians shortstop who was killed when he was hit in the head with a pitch in a 1920 game, was recently rediscovered after decades in storage. Heritage Park is a walk-through monument area at Jacobs Field.
The story of the Mays/Chapman incident is recounted, in fictional form, in The Curse of Carl Mays.
-- The Cow has a sneaking, contrarion suspicion that the Orioles might be greatly improved this year. With a little luck, the Bedard-Cabrera-Loewen threesome could emerge, the bullpen is much improved, Markakis-Tejada-Huff make a decent middle of the order, Roberts is a fine lead-off hitter, and the line-up has depth (Gibbons, Hernandez, Mora). If The Cow is wrong, it will be for two reasons: the murderous AL East, and Jaret Wright [The Cow tosses his cud mentioning the name].-- The Cow's least favorite player is now KC reliever Joel Peralta. It speaks for itself: Joel Peralta - R - KC - Mar. 30 - 11:02 am et
Joel Peralta admitted that the virus he was suffering from early this spring was actually food poisoning from eating a cow tail.
Peralta locked down a place in the Royals' bullpen earlier this week. He allowed three runs in 8 2/3 innings while striking out 10 and walking none during the spring. "Peralta is on the club," manager Buddy Bell said. "This kid can do a lot. He can pitch at the end, or he can pitch in the middle. That makes him a valuable guy." Mar. 30 - 11:02 am et
Source: Kansas City Star
Valuable, maybe Buddy; but a heinous Hanibel Lechter - like monster, too. They nver run out of ways to humiliate us bovines, do they? Anybody else ever hear of such a thing?
--The Rays have a pitcher named Reyes. The Cow chortles.
Another cow post driven into the turf ... I'm outtie!