Thursday, August 16, 2007

It's Deja Vu All Over Again

In honor of the current exchange rates, a look back at an obviously premature conclusion from those fellas over in the former CCCP. A few years ago some Russians decided to poke fun at the value of the US dollar and the exchange rate between the buck and Euro, to the delight of many.

Hopefully the euro at least wined and dined the dollar first. Luckily for everyone siphoning those US dollars into their bank accounts then taking them overseas, the US did something to recapture their status as the economic Big Man On Campus and the richest, most powerful big, bad financial wolf in the world. So how many dollars does it take to equal one euro again?


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Holy Christ, Jose Offerman Actually Hit Something

Poor taste, I know. But for anyone who spent The Jose Offerman Era in the Greater Boston area, it's a remarkable day. If you're out of the loop, this picture should pretty much explain it:


Former major league All-Star Jose Offerman was charged with two counts of second-degree assault after hitting the pitcher and catcher with his bat during an independent minor league game.

"[Beech] hit him with a cut fastball in the left calf," John said, according to the Post. "And the next thing you know, Offerman's going to the mound with his bat over his head taking swings at Beech. He took at least two, maybe even three [swings]."

So if Jose took three swings, does the one where he hit the catcher on the back swing and then the pitcher on the hand count as one or two? If it's one, that's two hits in one swing, which could possibly be considered the greatest achievement he's had in his post-Kansas City Royals baseball career. Alright, maybe that's a tad unfair. But Offerman is still a guy who had a stranglehold on a top spot on the perennial "Baseball's Most Overpaid Players" list. A Top 5 guy beyond question.

Most people realize that Offerman sucked, to put it mildly. But most people forget who he was brought in to replace way back in 1999: Mo Vaughn. A Boston icon (outside of his Foxy Lady field trips) and one of the premier power hitters in baseball at the time, coming off a year in which he hit .326, 40, 105. Even in the era of steroids and horse testosterone, very impressive production for a man whose physical appearance was more The Island of Dr. Moreau Marlon Brando than his On the Waterfront counterpart (I'm telling you, the smartest thing James Dean ever did was take a drive that fateful day on Route 46 and leave the rest of us wondering,"what if?").

Over the 4 years post-Sox, Maurice had 297 RBIs, including the season he missed trying to ice skate down those Anaheim dugout steps. By contrast, Offerman had 186 RBIs in four full season. Not exactly replacing Big Mo's offensive production. Although certainly placing Mo's big bucks bolt a little lower on the list of "Things To Ire Red Sox Fans." Number one being anbody from NY. Number two is Dan Duquette, the man who handed over that $30m contract to Offerman, and proceeded to watch his career mirror that of Jose. On the slippery slide to nowhere. Absolutely freakin' nowhere.

Regarding the Jose Offerman Red Sox Era, I had this to say over at the offside one day (if you know nothing about AS Roma, ignore the first two sentences, then explain to me why you're here):

I still believe there’s one high-quality guy in there, and the recent rumors involving Alessandro Rosina give creed to this theory, but who knows. Maybe I’m just a little too optimistic. But, in my defense, I did grow up in Boston during the Jose Offerman era. You could give me manure on a plate and I’d think it was filet mignon. (I’m assuming at some point science will catch up with the times and a psychological disorder will be borne from that era, maybe Danduquetteitis? Characterized by lower than normal expectations, frequent blackouts, cold night sweats, anger management issues and genital herpes)

I'm not willing to take any grief over that "one high-quality guy" prediction because there are still 2+ weeks left in the market and we all know Rosella would cancel her VIP tanning bed passes just to appease me. We're tight like that. Anyway, you can basically see what it was like from the inside watching the Yankees win division title after division title while the big $30m man was making Jeff Frye look like the second coming of Rogers Hornsby.

As far as Jose's most recent exploits, I think this puts his future Major League career in question. Maybe. Typically bringing a bat to the pitcher's mound with you isn't exactly the wisest of decisions. Nor is it a good sign when you're arrested during the middle of a game (how many times has that happened before?). Which I can only imagine is bound to happen once Pacman Jones returns to the NFL. Excuse me, if he ever returns to the NFL (breaching you contract while on suspension, absolutely brilliant).

Anyway, I'm livid. I had Elijah Dukes in the offside office pool being the first guy to hit a home run AND commit second degree attempted murder during the same game. Although I'll have to check the rules to see if independent leagues are within the realm of office pool acceptability.

Jose will probably spend a little time having nightmares about dropping the soap, at the very least some probation. He'll also probably be banned from baseball for long enough that Julio Franco will deem him too old to continue. But he does have one thing to hold out hope for: Somewhere, when he's all through serving his prison time/suspension, Dan Duquette will be waiting for him with a 5 year, $30m contract. Dan saw something in his swing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Curse of the Broken Metatarsal (Amongst Other Things)

For those footy aficionados who may have been asleep over the weekend, Wayne Rooney has broken his foot. No, you have not been asleep since 2005. It happened again.

I was watching the game live, and the moment I saw Rooney hunched over on the pitch nursing his foot, I just knew. It's one of those things that you just know will haunt someone for the rest of their career. Like Ken Griffey Jr. and his hamstrings. Or Mark Prior with his various arm injuries. Or Jeff Weaver with his suckitude. A certain medical je ne sais quoi, if you will.

Now, I will also admit I had a wry smile on my face as I'm a fervent flag waver of Liverpool FC. Back in the early days, when I was highly impressionable, the passion and vigor emanating from the Kop and Steven Gerrard's armband drew me in like Lindsay Lohan hanging out with Robert Downey Jr. At some point, it's just stupid not to give in and let it happen. And of course, who could not love a team marching to the anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone." The history and the numerous championships didn't hurt either, although had I been a bit younger that 1983 win against my beloved Roma at the Stadio Olimpcio may have tinged my heart otherwise. So, in light of all this, and Manchester United - the Roonster's squad - being Liverpool's arch nemesis, the immediate thought of seeing his ugly mug on the sidelines was a tad comforting. Of course comforting in the "from a human standpoint I feel bad for you, but you're still a wanker so I'm not all that upset about it." And yes, writing for the offside has really expanded my vocabulary in ways I'd never imagined - nor desired. The fact that I drop "bollocks" as if I was born Merseyside is a bit disturbing; combined with the fact that I write for an Italian team and sometimes I just don't know what to do with myself. So, uh, vaffanculo - for good measure.

Back to the Roonster. Obviously on a certain unbiased level (didn't know I had one, did you?) it's a shame to see a player of his natural talent and stature go down early and often to a recurring injury; but it's bound to happen. In the physical nature that is professional sports, some of these gems will inevitably come out a little rough and imperfect, a bit fragile. Even someone who had the media (prematurely) fanning the white smoke as the arrival of the new Pele at Euro 2004.

The kid's only out two months, and he's still at an age when most players are considered "prospects" or languishing in the reserves. But at some point, this is bound to have a significant effect on Wayne's career - whether it be physical or psychological. If I were a betting man, I'd go with the physical, as the Roonster doesn't appear to be MENSA material to say the least; and as we all know, "ignorance is bliss." If he's a step slower or a touch weaker nobody will know yet. He'll undoubtedly put the book deals on hold and throw himself into rehab 100%, but it won't be enough. This is just one of those things that will dog his career to the very end, and it will always be in the back of his mind somewhere. And mark my words, it will happen again.

I have my theories as to why this is happening, the first is karma for visiting concubines from the biblical era dressed up like Ms. Kitty. All while signing autographs in the waiting room of a brothel. Then a year later calling it a "youthful indiscretion." Another is the boy obviously spends too much time drinking pints and not enough time drinking milk. In the end I'm going to go with it's punishment from the gods above for being so damn ugly and forcing us to see his mug in advertisements and commercials all the time. If you're going to be that talented and have that much commercial appeal, please be somewhat tolerable from a looks standpoint. Or at least not British (I kid).

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Baseball Nuggets

News and observations from around the diamond......

  • Eric Byrnes was just given a 3 year, $30m contract. In other, not so unrelated news, I just paid half a million dollars for a Toyota Camry.
  • Whispers abound that Johnny Damon might be unceremoniously cut after selling his soul to Lucifer for a bigger paycheck in the Bronx less than two years ago. So next year when you open up your crisp new edition of Webster's and look up the word karma, JD's Judas bolt will be listed under the definitions. Along with Hugh Grant's career after he got caught with that hooker. What was her name? Oh yeah, Eddie Izzard.

  • In case you missed it, Barry Bonds has been going after some record of sorts after tying the current record about 7 years ago. If anyone has seen Bud Selig up in the box during the game, I'm sure you would agree that ole Bud would personally bend Barry over, pull his pants down and stick a needle in his ass filled with straight horse testosterone just to get this over with. This is like the baseball equivalent of I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. It's just painful to watch for everybody.

  • Neifi Perez has now been suspended twice within the last year for steroids and in that time he averaged a home run roughly every 175 bats. Therefore, we can deduce that he was getting his testosterone directly from Zach Braff.

  • LA of A Angels' stadium has been cited for "vermin violations", aka they have rat problems. So when you see the return of the Bubonic plague you can blame Artur Moreno on his refusal to spend his beaucoup bucks on exterminators and instead spend it on......Gary Matthews Jr.?

  • Alfonso Soriano has torn his quad and reports have him pegged at being able to return in 2-4 weeks. Apparently whoever is figuring out this timeline has also been driving the Cubs to the World Series bus for the last, oh, 80 years. That's childlike optimism you only see in Cubs fans these days. If you've ever even tweaked your quad you'd know it's going to take an act of God - who obviously isn't a Cubs fan - to have him back anywhere near 2 weeks.

  • A-Rod hit some milestone, some guy grabbed his ball (not the first time, last guy was Jeter I believe) and now said guy is holding an auction. Obviously this matters to only Mr. April, so that kind of limits this guy's negotiation stance. But I still vote that the guy who caught the ball signs a deal with Scott Boras. He'd probably get roughly half the GDP of Moldova. Or the Devil Rays.

  • Some of this stuff just writes itself, from ESPN: "David Wells will stay in the Padres' rotation despite being hammered lately."

    No @#$%, huh.

  • Pedro Martinez will be making his first rehab start this season shortly. With Petey's injury woes and Johnny Damon's suckitude, is there any question that the Boston Red Sox front office is the greatest collective group of prognosticators in baseball? Except for J.D. Drew. And Yoel Piniero. And Edgar Renteria. And Wily Mo Pena. And Julio Lugo. Alright, Theo's mediocre at best.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Future Is Now, The Future Is.....French?

As I struggle to find something to write, I see the ad for Who's Now pop across the screen while watching Barry Bonds get walked for the 56th time in his last 12 plate appearances. In the final are two current superduper stars, Tiger Woods and Lebron James. At the same time, on comes an advertisement asking us to watch David Beckham sit on the pine while his team drags soccer into the legitimacy doldrums of major American sports. Which has me thinking, David Beckham is not the answer. He has simple proven what we already know: the MLS is a sideshow. The MLS is beyond the grasp of global US acceptance unless American big boys stop buying up EPL teams and start reinvesting domestically. One player won't change the MLS. But one player can change the perception of some. Either from within the country or abroad.

So, who is the answer? Who is the person that could drag an otherwise indifferent demographic off their asses and start to realize, "Hey, this other football ain't so bad"? A superstar whose abilities transcend sporting boundaries. America needs an athlete they can grow to love. The American sports fan loves the icons that they can see improve and mature as athletes before their very eyes. Tiger Woods made his first TV appearance in Pampers and Lebron James has had his home games shown on ESPN since the second trimester. The list is long and storied, and while littered with failures, it is also filled with some of the most beloved figures in American sports history.

When it comes to football's answer, Freddie Adu is far from my mind. If he was that good he would've been in Europe a long time ago, rather than taking trials and failing to sign a contract - regardless of his desire to stay stateside. Not to mention the club which just signed him, Benfica, paid out a paltry $2m for him, which is one-twentieth of what a great 18 year old will require, if not more (a quick look at Manchester United's transfer list this summer will do just fine). So, again, who is the answer? In France he is The Chosen One. Nothing short of the grandest expectations for the kid named Samir Nasri.

The great majority of France has been crusading for the white smoke to announce Zinedine Zidane's successor since he first announced his impending retirement last season with Real Madrid. Plenty of names are floated about; some justifiable, most as legitimate as Enron being run by Scooter Libby. Nasri is the one who is close to being universally accepted as The Guy. Partially due to the uncanny comparisons between he and Zidane. Both being born of Algerian ethnicity in the streets of Marseille. Both are intelligent wizards with the ball at their foot, and a veritable one man tornado versus the opposition. Zidane has the greater vision and feel for the pitch, but that is largely acquired, and most would refuse to concede Nasri will never get there. But most importantly, both are able to create that which simply isn't there.

It is an amazing vision to watch an athlete simply create something from nothing. Whether it be a running back hitting a one foot hole which turns into the parting of the Red Sea. Or a point guard lacing the ball to a spot on the floor where only the man who is double teamed can receive it and lay it off the glass. Nasri has this ability and then some. In comparison, he's like combining the passing of Steve Nash with the slashing ability of Dwayne Wade. Or the athletic dynamism of Reggie Bush with the vision of Peyton Manning. Quite simply, he ranks up there with the best athletes I have ever seen. The kicker? He's 20 years old.

Right now he is the lifeline of his hometown team, Olympique de Marseille, a minnow in the eyes of most Americans, but a former powerhouse in France (think the Braves in the 90's). In about a year or two he will be the sole reason that I become a Real Madrid fan - one of probably 5 clubs many Americans would at least recognize. Based on not only the football, but also marketing and status, Real Madrid is really the only place for him. He's just too good not to become an icon and galactico which only los merengues can create aptly. Despite my distaste for most anything French, I'm a fan because he's classy and intelligent, with a great work ethic and prodigious one of a kind talent. In essence, he's Zizou minus the headbutts.

While he will undoubtedly never make his way to America unless something drastic changes or he accrues debts from his baby mommas and needs to pay up later on in life (ahem, Pele), he can still become an olive branch to the American public. With the increasing globalization of soccer, including the popularity of the World Cup and now regular broadcastings of the Champions League stateside, his name will start to pop up everywhere. Including stateside. He will become France's guy. The entire country's hopes will rest largely on his shoulders, despite the talent surrounding him - it will simply be his team, as it was Zidane's. His senior debut was only a glimpse of such, as after a dazzling performance he was subbed off to a standing ovation, still but a 19 year old teenager. An honor hardly expressed justifiably by words. Especially in a nation with the recent pedigree of France.

The question in sports often pops up in sports, "who would you pay to watch?" The first name that immediately enters my mind is Samir Nasri. In 5 years? It's possible he will be the only option. For someone who grew up without exposure to the sport yet an undying love for all other major American sports, I believe that says something. More than something, in fact. It says pretty much everything.

* - And yes, for the record, I would take him over Lionel Messi 8 days of the week.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Yeah, I'll Have A Stolichnaya On The Rocks....

A sure contestant for the greatest T-Shirt ever. It can be purchased here, although they're almost all out, so send in your e-mail address so they smarten up and realize the people need this. And that's what it's all about - the people - right? Communism, that is.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Celtic Pride Back Again

Alright, I know you've heard it 17,000 times in the last three days but.....

Paul Pierce IS walking through that door, Kevin Garnett IS walking through that door, Ray Allen IS walking through that door. If they did walk through that door, they'd be unstoppable.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Growing up as a teenager in the Greater Boston area, it's much easier to associate the Celtics with Dino Radja, Rick Fox, M.L. Carr and Rick Pitino than with Larry Bird, Robert Parrish and Kevin McHale. Basically, it's like comparing
Dude, Where's My Car? and On The Waterfront. I think Sean William Scott is Dino and Ashton is Pitino, but I'm not sure yet. For the first time in years, the Celtics have become relevant again thanks to one Mr. Kevin Garnett. Ray Allen in the fold is nice, but there are few players in American sports more dynamic and supremely gifted than KG. However, I'm putting talent aside here and focusing on one thing: will. Words can only say so much, but this interview says everything. No acting, no playing around, no bullshit. This is KG:

Pretty much says it all for me. Beyond the domination is just a guy who would give anything to win. I'm sold. Even if the C's are selling their souls to the luxury tax Lucifer to get it done, not to mention spinning off most of their young talent. Although the marketing slogan, "We've Got The Big Ticket (Time To Get Yours)" really is tempting - kudos to the marketing department for that one. A great change from the "Come Watch Doc Rivers Babysit (Please?)" of recent years. I'm sure Wyc factored that in while he was reaching deep into his wallet for that $20m per annum KG will be netting.

Where do the Celtics wind up next year? Right now, just a playoff team. The fact is they're still really young outside of the Big 3. Only Brian Scalabrine - who is more thankful than anyone else in Boston right now because maybe people now will forget how awful his game and contract are.....nah - was born in the 70's (take a look at his official Celtics website photo, he looks like some guy they just grabbed pre-game from The Fours after scarfing down a Bobby Orr* and has that look on his face like "Hello? Hellooooooo?"). Then again, who knows, his wikipedia shows that he scored 80 points in a game against Golden State. You know, it's a wonder how some things slip past the mass media.

The job of getting the ball into the hands of B3 is now down to Rajon Rondo, who is entering his sophomore season. Kid's talented, but he's got a lot of work to do. Kedrick Perkins might benefit greatly from all this, now his only job will be to crash the boards like Kirstie Alley crashes buffets. Tony Allen is coming off knee surgery and will be tackled by a flying Scalabrine coming off the bench the next time he tries to go up for a dunk after the whistle has blown. Other than that, who the hell knows. I'm sorry, but I just can't trust a guy who a) is 22 and has braces, b) has the nickname Big Baby and c) lost 50+ pounds but still weighs circa 3 bills. What happens the first time he meets Scalabrine at The Fours for a quick meal? Hello Robert Traylor.

* - The Bobby Orr - steak and cheese, enough to instantly clog the arteries of a lifelong vegan.

Luckily, the allure of playing alongside 3 title-hungry superduperstars will be enough to get some savvy veterans on the squad to help them out. First up, I would hope, would be a solid pass-first option should Rondo falter. Preferably somebody with a title or two to show them how it's done. Other than that, just start plugging roster spots as best Danny Ainge can. And who could've predicted that two years after giving Veal Scalabrine $15m DA would land Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen without giving up Paul Pierce? That's a prodigious turnaround not seen since Cuba Gooding Jr. went from an Oscar to starring in Norbit and Daddy Day Camp. Only the complete opposite.

As for a Celtics prediction? 51 wins, two seed in the East, and they'll meet up with the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. I have faith they'll pick up a few quality "fillers" to actually formulate a decent rotation, not just have a team comprised of the B3 and everybody else. What a turnaround from last year, when most loyal followers were rooting for the Celtics to lose in anticipation of maybe kinda possibly netting a top lottery pick and therefore a stud for 3 years down the line. It's good to be a C's fan again.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Curse of Alyssa Milano

After watching Barry Zito get torched yet again last night, I've come to the conclusion that MLB pitchers who have dated Alyssa Milano will end up cursed the next season, have a brief reprieve from her hex, and ultimately wind up a broken athlete down the line. Whether or not this has transcended professional boundaries, into the music or movie field for example, is unknown. What we do know is that she has bewitched quite a few of baseball's young arms and shows no signs of stopping, unless I missed the latest breaking story on E! news. At current count, 3 highly talented pitchers have participated in the Samantha Micelli Talented Pitcher Scholarship Program: Carl Pavano, Brad Penny, and the aforementioned Barry Zito. So let's break this down.

Carl Pavano:

Ole rubber arm and Milano supposedly met during the 2003 World Series, when the Marlins were busy dominating the Yankees to take home the title. The fact that they met at a club during the Series is probably ominous, one might think the baseball gods would not look kindly upon that type of behavior. They dated for 6 months or so, reportedly, and then went on their merry ways. Milano to take a ride on Planet Zito and Pavano to date some stripper/Penthouse figurine. Beside the point. As we all know, Pavano signed with those same Yankees the next year, to the tune of $10m over 4 years - or roughly twice the size of the Devil Rays payroll. Good investment, that.

The stats:

2003 32 201 12-13 4.30 1.26 * Dated Alyssa during offseason
2004 31 222 18-8 3.00 1.17
2005 17 100 4-6 4.77 1.47
2006 -------------DNP-------------
2007 2 11 1-0 4.77 1.23

If you couldn't tell, he's missed some significant time in the last 3 years since signing his big contract. That's $30m for a total of 111 innings pitched. The word "value" doesn't exactly come to mind when thinking about him. "Bust" does. As does "dirtbag." So, roughly 18 months after Carlyssa Pilano split up, his career started to plummet. One could obviously make the case that his career died once he sold his soul to the devil to play for the Yankees, but there seems to be another pattern forming here.

Barry Zito:

I will not hide the fact that I am a massive Zito fan, have been since his early days. Just as much for his wacky persona as his sick 11-5, 12-6, 10-4....whatever curve. Sam took a trip to Planet Zito immediately after she realized the Pavano train was going to crash violently, and who can blame her. Barry took home the Cy Young in '02 and was rapidly becoming baseball's top southpaw not named Randy Johnson, both of whom have since been lapped twice by Joe-han Santana, a Rule V pick taken from the Astros (and people wonder why they can't do jack in the playoffs - it's The Curse of the Joe-Han). That, however, is neither here nor there. Alyssa and BZ dated during the 2004 season and well into the winter. When Cupid decided to pluck the Milano love arrow out of Zito's ass is unclear, but it's safe to say 2005 was free of her voodoo.

The stats:

2002 35 229 23-5 2.75 1.13 (Cy)
2003 35 231 14-2 3.30 1.18
2004 34 213 11-11 4.48 1.39 * Year dated Alyssa Milano
2005 35 228 14-13 3.86 1.20
2006 34 221 16-10 3.83 1.40
2007 21 121 7-10 5.28 1.42 ($126 bazillion dollar contract)

BZ's tenure in Oakland seems to have one anomaly. Whaddya know? Same year he dated Alyssa Milano. Another interesting stat, his BAA (batting average against) in 2004 was .263, well well above his career average. Coincidence? I think not. Obviously. I also do not think it's a coincidence that both Pavano and Zito had fantastic seasons the year after they broke up. This year hasn't exactly been kind to Barry, especially when he was supposed have the advantage heading into the season, with the new lineups yet to face him regularly along with that whole no-DH thing. But the fact is Barry is creating zero hip rotation (note for the young athletes, every single major sport is based upon a minimum of 75% hip rotation - learn it, live it, love it) and one must wonder whether or not Alyssa has been working her magic on a BZ voodoo doll back home. For the sake of Brian Sabean's sanity, and job, we hope not.

Brad Penny:

LA's newest baseball hero rode the Sam Micelli disaster choo-choo throughout the 2005 season, and they decided to part ways during the offseason. Isn't that nice of Alyssa? She always waits until the season is over to release the hook and move on to another thriving starting pitcher. Reminds of a certain Susan Sarandon character, does it not? But for some reason I tend to doubt Milano is quite as cultured as Ms. Savoy. If only because she spent years working alongside Tony Danza, which is enough to turn Stephen Hawking into a bumbling idiot. Well, maybe not bumbling.

The stats:

2005 29 175 7-9 3.90 1.28 *
2006 33 189 16-9 4.33 1.37
2007 21 136 13-1 2.52 1.19

I don't know if you noticed, but Penny is having an alright season. As for the Milano year, it was not exactly Penny's finest year. Now, if you're saying "hey, his 2006 season was worse from an ERA/WHIP standpoint," I see your argument and I raise you this - the splits from that season:

Pre-All Star: 10-2 2.91 ERA
Post-All Star: 6-7 6.25 ERA

Why, you ask? As we all know Brad Penny started that 2006 All Star game. But guess who was sitting front and center during the game? None other than Alyssa Milano, who was busy Bewitching or Decharming or doing whatever the hell she did from whatever the hell that show was that she was on. Coincidence? At this point, it can't be. Therefore, if I'm Ned Colletti, I'm terrified as to what next season will bring from Brad Penny. Quad digit ERA? 20 loss season? Tommy John surgery? A Steve Howe-like cocaine addiction? I wouldn't rule any of it out.

As you can see, the numbers don't lie. Alyssa Milano has cursed 3 potentially great pitchers. And I throw Pavano into that group because he was once the main chip in a deal for Pedro Martinez, and if you watched Petey every start circa '99 as I did, you would know that the only way the Expos could have traded him was if they got the future Jesus of Nazareth in return, because unworldy doesn't even begin to describe those frisbees he was tossing up towards home plate.

Whether or not these guys rebound is questionable. Penny is still in his "denial" phase and has yet to reach a full-on "breakdown" phase. Which we can probably expect at some point next season. Zito's talents and durability will likely see him finish off with a very good career, potentially Hall material. I wouldn't be surprised if Pavano never sees another day in the bigs and just cashes in that final Papa George check, then rides off into the sunset with some C-list NY native "adult actress," because he's just a classy guy like that.

And why Baseball Tonight hasn't devoted an entire hour long special to this is really beyond the grasp of my intellectual understanding. There will obviously be another to find himself under the wing of AM's love tutelage, much to the horror of GM's across MLB. Who is the question. I'm going to go ahead and take a wild guess here, and go with Jon Garland. She's bound to make an assault on Chi-town soon, and I would never wish her upon the Cubbies, the loveable losers that they are.

I think we've finally received the answer to the age old question which has baffled pundits for years on end. Who, exactly, is the boss? It's Samantha. Pitchers beware.