28 April 2004

I Want My Radio Back!

Let me give you my impression of the phenomenon known as Sports Talk Radio for the last several weeks...

Mike: ...I don't know what you're talking about. Zeke Duke is definitely going to go #46 in the Draft. There just isn't any way around it...

MIKE: [interrupting] You're a moron! There's no way Zeke Duke goes any lower than #45 in the Draft. I mean, the last five games of the season, he was playing out of his mind...

Mike: [interrupting] How can you say that!? Sure, he's good, but Central Southern North Midwestern State is hardly known as a breeding ground for middle linebackers. Zeke Duke will be lucky if they pick him at #46, and then he'll be lucky if they don't trade him immediately for 6th, 9th and 11th round picks in the 2009 draft! At the end of the day...

MIKE: [interrupting] Mike, you ignorant slut! You know that if he's traded at all, which I doubt, it'll be for 6th, 8th and 11th round picks...

Mike: [interrupting] Go wax your eyebrows!

And on and on and on and on and on.....

As you probably know, if you're interested enough in any sports to be reading this baseball blog, the NFL Draft was (finally) held on Saturday. Thank goodness. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like football. Admittedly, I don't like it the way I like baseball, but it's OK. Violence punctuated by committee meetings, perhaps, but it can be fun to watch. Sometimes.

So it's not that I don't like football, it's just that I don't care about football. Not at all. It would not have made any less difference to me whatsoever if the Giants had instead traded Manhattan Island and $24 worth of beads to get the #1 pick in the draft and then chose , (as Choosy Moms do!), or to draft a Sam Adams instead of an Eli Manning. I couldn't care a whole lot less if they drafted Eli Manning and sent him to Afghanistan, just so long as they STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!!!

Therefore, as you might have guessed, I am glad that the stupid draft is finally over, and as soon as the stupid NBA and NHL playoffs are over, I'll have Sports Talk Radio back to myself again, which is to say, back to baseball.

On the other hand (where, it turns out, I have some sunburn from fishing all afternoon Saturday without any sunblock), maybe the media's distractedness with such trivial matters as the future stars of the NFL and the current potential NBA and NHL champions wasn't such a bad thing. You see, you probably know, if you're reading this blog, that the Yankees haven't been doing so well.

OK, that's a bit of an understatement. The Yanks have in fact been stinking up the joint. Their six losses out of seven games in two weekend series against the Hated Boston Red Sox (TM) had New York tabloids calling for Joe Torre's resignation, and Derek Jeter's (now 0-for-28) head. The starting pitchers' decidedly mediocre 4.92 ERA is certainly not helping things, but the real problem has been their bats. The Yanks are batting only .221 as a team, and their .697 OPS is better than only the Mets and Expos in MLB. Including yesterday's 10-8 win over Oakland, the Yanks have managed more than four runs in a game only six times this season, and not surprisingly, they've won all six of those games.

It got so bad (how bad was it?) that the kinder, gentler George Steinbrenner of the New Millennium felt compelled to issue a statement reassuring everyone that, at least for the next few hours, nobody would be fired for this:

"I have a great manager in Joe Torre, and a great general manager in Brian Cashman, and I have confidence in both of them. It's in their hands."

One of the main reasons that the Yanks were able to win this game was the Athletics' use of Jim Mecir and his screwball, which, as you'll recall is thought to be one of the ten best out-pitches in the major leagues by people who don't have any idea how to read a box score. Let me demonstrate:

0 4 5 5 0 1 0 22-12 5 9.45

This boxscore says that Jim threw 22 pitches, but only 12 for strikes, while facing five battters.
Of those five batters, he only walked one, which isn't bad, unless you take into account that he allowed hits to the other four, and that all five of them scored before he recorded an out, which gives him an in-game ERA of

Which is bad.

With any luck, the Yanks may get to beat up on Mr. Mecir again before the series is over, and then maybe they'll remember how to hit real pitchers once in a while too. If not, it's going to be a long season for Yankee fans like me.

T-minus-three hundred and sixty days to the next NFL Draft!!

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