Tuesday, December 06, 2005

a little life advice

Mike Ditka has led a very successful life. His secret? To be what he calls a "Grabowski." On the gridiron, a Grabowski gives 110% each and every snap for the love of the game, not for the love of a paycheck. But one need not don pads and a helmet to be a Grabowski. Grabowskis are the hard-working blue collar joes who move our furniture, jack our hammers, hit our softballs and lift our weights.

Still not getting it?

Well, perhaps it can be better explained through song.

Monday, December 05, 2005

back to the future

If, in 2005, "next year is now" for the Mets, it only makes sense that 2007 will be 2002 (or 1993) - for nothing else than deals like this.

I hate to keep picking on the Daily News, Spector, but what is Bill Madden thinking? I can't believe the Marlins wouldn't have given Paul Lo Duca away, yet Omar Minaya sends them the Mets' (remaining) top pitching prospect and Madden basically calls it a steal - for New York! The Fish have to be dancing in the streets of Miami right now - they got a young power pitching prospect for a rapidly aging catcher (whom they still owed $12.5 million).

As for the Mets... WHEN OH WHEN is this organization - which plays in a power pitcher's paradise - EVER going to develop a stud power pitcher? More importantly, WHEN are they going to show faith in a player they develop? (David Wright doesn't count; you don't need to show faith in somebody who's as can't miss as you can get - basically making Wright the accidental by-product of a minor league system which is CLEARLY not designed to develop talent for the major league club).

They should just trade Milledge for Manny or some 35-year old "name" pitcher, sign Sosa, and get it all over with. This organization is disgusting, and this team is going to need truckloads of geritol come February in St. Lucie.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

some sunday baseball blogging

- The NY Daily News reported this morning that the Yankees will be tens of millions of dollars in the red when MLB's accountants put 2005 to bed. And the back page cartoon heavily implies that commissioner Bud Selig has finally succeeded in his apparent Inspector Javert-like quest to "get" George Steinbrenner.

My only thought? If Yankees execs and their mouthpieces in the media for years have said that the team is "only playing by the rules" regarding its 800-lb gorillaism and its massive spending, they can't whine that big bad Bud Selig is picking on them when "the rules" suddenly have negative consequences.

Well, I guess they can (and apparently are), but that would make everyone parroting the company line ginormous hypocrites. Which, I'm sure, doesn't bother any of the big players in this little drama in the least. But it still needs to be pointed out.

- I have no idea why people don't think Javier Vazquez would look fine and dandy in a Mets uniform. His 2005 VORP is nearly identical to that of Kris Benson, but given Benson's and Vazquez's respective ages, injury histories and career tracks, tell me you wouldn't want Vazquez over Benson any day of the week (and, more importantly, over a long season) - especially in a power pitcher's park like Shea, with a coach like Rick Peterson (who excels in getting pitchers not named Victor Zambrano to be more consistent with their mechanics).

- On a somewhat similar note, the Mets - considering all that they'd be giving up - don't need an aging Manny Ramirez clogging up the payroll for (at least) the next three years.

I felt OK about trading young guys for Carlos Delgado because I thought the Mets had gotten their big bat without surrendering their best prospects (opportunity cost-wise, it was like Yusmeiro Petit, Mike Jacobs, Grant Psomas and Manny for Delgado, Lastings Milledge, Aaron Heilman, probably Cliff Floyd and lots and lots and lots of cash).

But now they're going to trade their best prospects anyway, for another big bat - Manny's, which comes with even poorer defense than Delgado's. The Mets need a horse in the rotation (whom I hope is Vazquez - or even better, Barry Zito), a catcher, a second baseman (though I'd love to see Andy Hernandez given a fair shot next spring) and some arms for the bullpen - which means trading their only remaining chips for Manny makes absolutely zero sense (in the vast majority of cases, trading a chip like Milledge makes little sense to begin with).

Plus, with an aging Manny and an aging Delgado in the middle of the lineup, the Mets stand a better chance of ultimately regressing back towards the bloated, awful days of 2002/03 than actually progressing towards the type of long-term success their fans deserve.

For what it's worth, Ricardo over at Metsgeek details why trading for Manny is unnecessarily silly.

serendipity, just off exit 16W

Despite saying that Eli Manning "met" Charlie Conerly's widow on Friday night (I'm fairly certain that Eli used to visit Perian Conerly routinely during his time at Ole Miss - a tidbit that received some attention right after the 2004 draft), Mike Lupica makes a good point today - one that has occurred to me this entire season, even as I've believed throughout that the Giants' future is bright.

You only get so many chances to win.

This is the NFL's ultimate truth. Anything could happen to the Giants next year that could derail what is "supposed" to be their season. Eli could get injured, a la Chad Pennington in 2003 (or Donovan McNabb right now). The offense might lose a couple of linemen to free agency and fail to "click," a la the Giants in 2003. Big Blue's key players might suddenly get old.

There's just too much inherent randomness in professional football to count on anything beyond one Sunday afternoon.

Just ask the Eagles.

And yet, I'm still not worried about today's game. I'm not saying that the Giants are definitely going to win. I just feel that whatever is meant to be will happen (which has nothing to do with the fact that Serendipity is on TBS right now).

Yes, I do believe it's the Giants' turn. Yes, I believe the karmic ledger should be balanced, considering all the garbage the Giants (and their fans) have had to endure in recent years (perhaps even extending back to the 1993 season finale, when Emmitt carried the Cowboys to a victory and a division title despite a separated shoulder). Why not now?

Most of all, I believe Eli Manning is destined for special things. I have faith in him. Because of Eli, the Giants have a chance to win each and every single game they play, regardless of the competition. And when you look at him, you can see the game's past (and in some cases, its present). You can see older brother Peyton when Eli marches up to the line. You can see a little Brett Favre whenever he darts around the pocket before firing an off-balance rocket (something you'd never see from his brother). And you can see a little John Elway (or Johnny U.) when the game is on the line.

And eventually, if you watch him enough, you can see what Ernie Accorsi saw when he fell in love with him.

Eli's still got a ways to go. As Bill Parcells would say, let's not put him in Canton just yet. But even if the Giants lose today, I cannot imagine it will be because Eli allowed it to happen. Which is a slightly different way of saying that every fiber in my being knows Eli will not allow the Giants to lose (even if they end up losing; and before your eyes glaze over, think about how the Giants lost last week and you'll see what I mean).

I truly, seriously cannot wait for this game. I have this crazy feeling that it's going to be a classic.