Hmmm...Mark Mulder, who sucks during day games, comes up with a "stiff neck" that holds him out of a day game start in Washington. Meanwhile, Jason "Give My Regards to Beale St." Marquis pitches a complete game two-hit gem of a shutout in Mulder's place...sounds like an X-file to me.
Why has no one else made the Mark Mulder/X-Files parallel reference? Is it too old? Am I just that lame? (These are rhetorical questions, you knuckelheads!)
I hate, hate, hate preseason football. It tells you nothing about your favorite teams because paranoid coaches run basic play sets that they'll never use in the regular season, starters only stand to get injured, it sets up unreal expectations for actual season performance, the games are watching-paint-dry boring in the second half (which is the exact opposite of regular season games), and it reminds me that the season still hasn't started, and I want it to start, like, last Sunday. Okay?
Speaking of seasons starting, I don't know anyone (okay, MAYBE one person) who has said this: "Boy, I just can't wait for the NHL season to get started."
Pop quiz for everyone (except Tuck, who's a ringer): name the starting #1 line for the St. Louis Blues. I rest my case.
Who would you rather face in the divisional playoff series, the NL West champion, who will probably only be a .500 team, or a wild-card winner from the NL East? I'd rather take my chances on Atlanta beating Houston in a five-game series than facing the pitching matchups against either Florida or the Mets. I'm not sure about Philly; I've just not paid that much attention to them. Pitching usually wins a short series, and the Cardinals offense is still too suspect for me to be comfortable facing any NL East team in a best-of-five. Houston also poses pitching problems, but only if they make it to the NL championship series. It's a dilemma.
Doesn't Bob Costas owe us all an apology for bashing the wild card system? Can you imagine how boring baseball would be at this point if the only pennant races were the AL East (Boston and New York—just shoot me now; ESPN would offer 24/7 coverage); AL West (LosAngelesAnaheimSanDiegoTijuanaCaboWabo Angels and the Oakland A's—hardly anyone in California cares, much less the rest of the country); and the NL Worst (hey, somebody's gotta win it, right? Yeah, unfortunately, even if they finish below .500). Six teams in each league have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs, and they'll both probably come down to the last game of the season.
Note to Tony LaRussa: Tomorrow's game in D.C. is a scheduled day game. I suggest that Mark Mulder's neck should still be "too stiff." Better his neck than his arm. If that doesn't work, hire a hypnotist to convince him the start time is 7:05 p.m.
I don't think I've ever been less excited (or even interested) in the start of a University of Missouri football season than this year, and I went to MU during the Woody Widenhofer-Bob Stull errors (sorry, that's "eras."). Every time I see Gary Pinkel I think of Humphrey Bogart playing the psychotic captain in "The Caine Mutiny," only he's on the bridge of the Titanic. Women and children first!
I've heard baseball announcers refer to the Washington Nationals as the "Nats." Is it just me, or does that sound an awful lot like "Nads"? It makes me laugh in an uncomfortable kind of way.
Is it too soon to start a "Mike Martz Getting Fired" watch? What about a gambling pool?
Brett Favre deserves better than he's going to get this year. It would be a travesty to see him with another team, but the Packers are going to be a travesty this year, as well.
I'm coaching flag football for 6-7-8-year olds. Boys in that age range come in just two groups: 1) boys intensely interested in excelling in their particular sport; 2) boys who think it's fun to spin around in a circle until they fall down. Guess which category my son falls into.
CUBS: Completely Useless By September. See, it's not a joke; it's really an acronym. (insert sound effect: Nelson from "The Simpsons," HAA-haa!!!)
Until next time...