It was announced today that Roger Clemens rejoined the Houston Astros for $22 Million for 1 year, prorated of course to the number of games he spends with the team. Rejoining the team on June 22, against the Twins no less, would net Clemens $12,632,307.
To me, this is just ri-dic-u-lous. I'd hesitate to give many pitchers $12+ Million for a year, much less a 43 year old pitcher who's taken half the year off. Everyone is on the Clemens bandwagon, understandably so with his performance last year. I'm just not convinced that he can pull this off twice. Eventually his age will catch up to him, and as a GM I'd be worried it already has. That didn't seem to scare off his suitors. Furthermore, I don't like the idea of this type of hired gun. Clemens just sat back and waited for his money. To a point it's unfair to the guys who went to Spring Training and have worked all year to make and stay on the team. What about the roster spot he's going to take? Someone is going to have to be sent down. If the MLBPA really cared about the players, it'd have made a bigger deal about this. He's taking a roster spot of someone who's earned it.
Royals Fire GM Baird
'Bout freakin' time. Quite possibly the worst GM in baseball. For Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye, and Carlos Beltran Baird got Angel Berroa, AJ Hinch, Roberto Hernandez, Neifi Perez, Mark Teahen, John Buck, and Mike Wood. That's the considerably shorter end of the stick in three major trades. He'll be replaced by Dayton Moore from the Braves System, renowned for its ability to find the players to keep winning no matter what. For the sake of the good people of Kansas City, I hope things start to turn for the better.
Here's the All-Star voting for the AL.
Red Sox Yankees Angels
Yankees Yankees Yankees Red Sox
The voters have put Manny, Johnny Damon, A-Rod, Jeter, Cano, David Ortiz, and Jason Varitek in first place of their respective positions. Good players on good teams? Yankees-Red Sox hype? Some of both? Draw your own conclusions.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
In preparations for next week's World Cup in Germany, the US National Team played 3 friendlies this week.
US vs. Morocco
How the fuck do you lose to Morocco? I'll tell you. Uninspired midfield play. There was almost no patience. No poking and prodding the defense, waiting for a crack to develop. Instead, passes were forced, creating no momentum and allowing Morocco to just sit back and let the ball come to them. It's when the defense has to go get the ball that defenses start to break down. With no real pressure applied, the Moroccan defense just settled in for the long haul, and it worked. Plus, in the 90th minute, when Steve Cherundolo got the ball deep in his own 1/3rd with no support and a Moroccan forward all over him, he dribbled too much and gave the ball away, leading to the game's only goal. Steve should have punted that thing into the stands and left a swoosh imprinted in the forehead of some poor bastard in the fifth row.
US vs. Venezuela
I didn't see this game. I was hanging out in Des Moines on my X-Men III trip. But we won 2-0, which is nice. Brian Ching and Clint Dempsey. Man, "Don't Tread" is really growing on me. Other than that, I've got nothing.
US vs. Latvia
The US came out and got good pressure on the Latvian defense. The score could have, and probably should have, been a lot higher than 1-0. The finishing wasn't up to par. I don't want to sound too negative, but with the way the US played in this game, combined with the Morocco game, it will be hard to get past group play. In my experience as Men's B League Drake University Intramural Indoor and Outdoor Soccer Champion, I've found a soccer team only needs three things - don't let anyone behind the defense, control the midfield, and finish your shots. If it sounds simple, its because it is. I don't profess to play high level soccer, but its still soccer, and the same basic rules of strategy apply. In the Morocco game, they failed in the midfield. Against Latvia, they didn't finish. Such play won't be good enough against the Czechs or Italians, or even the Ghanans.
PS - Does anyone know why Michael Bradley was playing?
- This is a little old, but Gregg Berhalter has replaced Cory Gibbs on the roster. Gibbs is out with a knee injury.
- I'll break down the lineup later in the week
Sunday, May 28, 2006
I went to the midnight showing of the new X-Men movie late Thursday night (early Friday I guess). I'm not much of an X-Men nerd, so it wasn't that I had to see it right away. A couple of my friends I went with suggested it, so I said "What the hell?" I only sparingly watched the cartoons, and never read the comics, but I really liked the first two movies, so I was really excited for this one.
As far as comics-cum-movies go, this was pretty good. I don't know any of the original storylines, so I can't comment as to the authenticity of the movie, but I can say this - it was entertaining. And that's all I expected. It's a summer blockbuster, not a dissertation on the comics. A couple of the people seated within hearing distance I heard to say "that's not right" and stuff along those lines. The very people that know that freakin' much about X-Men in the first place are the ones with no life to the point they don't know how Hollywood works and to whom I say "get a life". That said, it was fairly un-nerdy for a midnight showing.
My recommendation: go see it. Not necessarily right away, but maybe save it for a day you've got nothing to do on, like if it rains unexpectedly. Sit back and enjoy. The graphics are really cool. The acting is pretty good. The plot is pretty well developed (if not entirely true to the comics). Overall, its a solid movie.
Posted by Andrew at 1:19 AM
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Today, Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1 in the UEFA Champions League finals, the "most prestigeous club competition in Europe", to quote Derek Rae, or is it Tommy Smyth. It was a highly anticipated match-up as my favorite team, Barcelona, was pitted against my brother's favorite team, Arsenal. I'd always kinda liked Barcelona, but I wouldn't have said they were my favorite team, that is until last semester when two things happened - I read How Soccer Explains the World and when I travelled to Barcelona.
How Soccer Explains the World tells the story of FC Barcelona in one chapter, explaining how the team is more than a team ("mes que un club") - what it means in terms of representing Catalonia. I thought it was really cool what the team symbolized in terms of Catalonian identity and was happy to have a little background for my trip to Barcelona.
Barcelona is just about the coolest city I've ever visited. Reno is lying when they claim to be the "biggest little city in the world". Barcelona felt like I was in a small town like my hometown, all while being over 4 Million in population. The people were very welcoming and friendly, hospitable is the word, but the town is big enough to have an international airport, 2 soccer teams, a Picasso Museum, and a whole lot of other cool stuff. I recommend a visit to Barcelona if the opportunity ever arises. From this, I developed an appreciation for the team and they've become my favorite. Bandwagonning? Perhaps a little, but I do have well-founded reasons for my support.
The game itself was very exciting. In the 20th minute, Arsenal goalkeeper Jens (ed: I originally thought his name was Hans. Thanks Flash.) Lehmann got a red card and was sent off, requiring their backup keeper to be subbed in and leaving them a man down for the rest of the game. Despite being a man down, Arsenal scored first on a free kick from Thierry Henry-my brother's favorite player and the reason he likes the Gunners-to the head of Sol Campbell.
Around the 75th minute, I started to get really nervous. I didn't expect the game to be a rout, but I expected-and wanted- Barca to win, and they couldn't even score with a man advantage. About this time, Samuel Eto'o beat Arsenal's keeper near post after a blazing run and a beautiful touch pass from Larsson. 4 mintues later, sub Belletti went 5-hole (or nutmeged in soccer parlance, but I prefer the hockey term) on the Arsenal keeper for the 2-1 lead. Barcelona held on the final 10+ for the win. A good game all around, made that much better because my team won.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I know I promised more updates once I got home, but the cold that plagued me through finals week is just now clearing up. I spent all day Saturday and Sunday on the couch, and Monday donig the unpacking I wanted to do Saturday, hence the first post in awhile. These may not be the most insightful observations ever posted, but this is what I've noticed after being back only 2 days.
- It was nice to get to see the Twins on TV again, after being stuck in DSM with FSN Midwest. Say what you will about Dick and Bert, it's always nice to hear familiar voices.
- I like Nick Punto, I really do, but does that mean I think he should start? No. I like Punto because I identify with him - decent, enthusiastic, and best left on the bench most of the time. Again, considering our options for the left side of the infield, who knows?
- Cuddyer seems to be doing a pretty darn good job. It seems he's adjusting to the outfield quite nicely.
- Why on God's green FieldTurf does Gardy keep trotting out Stewart when Lew is a much better fielder. I say let Shannon DH and screw Rondell.
- I knew we'd signed Dennys Reyes, but it didn't really register until I saw him the other day. Dennys Reyes. Why did the Twins decide to make them his 9th team in 10 seasons?
- Being the general pessismist that I can be, I look at the lineup and think "We don't stand a chance with these schmucks." but then I look and the Twins were until recently 2 games under .500 with that terrible start.
- Don't forget they're now 5 under after tonight's loss at Detroit, not to mention 5-14 on the road and 7-15 against the AL Central. Maybe the pessimist was right.
Posted by Andrew at 9:47 PM
Friday, May 12, 2006
Sorry about the lack of posts lately, but it's finals week here. This morning, at 7:30 no less, I had my Orwell final. I had to write a page about the 5 year plans, a page about Lower Bimfield (from Coming up for Air), and a page about something else I can't even remember right now. Then came about 8 pages on the influences of fascism, the Spanish Civil War, and post-WWII political conditions on Orwell that appear in 1984. Over the past few days I've written 8 pages of philosophy, 10 pages on witchcraft, and 20 pages of murder mystery. All while I've been getting almost no sleep because of a cold. I've gone through more than half a box of kleenexes since yesterday. But no more excuses, new posts abound for my loyal readers. I'll be home for two weeks until I can move back to DSM on the first of the month. That means I'll have access to FSN North and Twins games. But your first new post is here, with my murder mystery.
Posted by Andrew at 11:00 AM
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Friday, May 05, 2006
"I have no respect for him. I think he's a pompous, arrogant individual...It was basketball for four games, then when he hit me in the face, that was the last straw last night."- Raja Bell
You want to know the first thing I thought of when I heard Bell's interview? This exchange from The Boondock Saints
Connor: You know what I think is psycho, Roc? It's decent men with loving families. They come home every day after work and they turn on the news. You know what they see? They see rapists, and murderers and child molesters. They're all getting out of prison.Admit it, you've always wanted for someone to smack some prick athlete right upside the head, be he T.O., Kobe, Barry Bonds, or whomever. The first thing I thought was "it's about time someone knocked him on his ass." As I am not a Phoenix fan, I don't really care if it cost them the series. Was it appropriate? Probably not. That sort of negative publicity isn't good for any sport. Do I approve? You bet.
Murphy: Mafiosos. Getting caught with twenty kilos. Getting out on bail the same fucking day.
Connor: And everywhere, everyone thinks the same thing: that someone should just go kill those motherfuckers.
Murphy: Kill 'em all. Admit it. Even you've thought about it.
Posted by Andrew at 12:07 AM
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Look back for commentary later, I just wanted to break this ASAP