Monday

1-12-09: What the hell do I talk about now?!

Hello again everybody...

Welcome back and Happy Monday to you all. For those of you not mired in the Winter wonderland that is the upper Midwest, be happy about that. The latest estimates have us getting 2-4" of snow, followed nearly immediately by a polar plunge, with lows near -17 by Wednesday night. Yes, we're loving life here in Minnesota!

Oof.

So the first full week of no baseball and no college football is upon us. As the title of this post suggests, this has left me wondering what in the world I'm going to talk about now? The short answer is: whatever strikes my fancy on a given day. Hopefully that will tide us over until Spring Training opens in earnest (pitchers and catchers report February 15th... pitchers and catchers report February 15th...).

Without further ado, I give you: Sports Take - The Dark Ages. Let's get to it.

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."
- Jack London (1876-1916), American author.


You hear that "inspiration"? I'm coming for you, and I'm bring a big stick!

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So what strikes my fancy today? Two things. And both are related to baseball. A shocker, I know.

First of all, have you seen the new MLB Network yet? Oh my. As near as I can tell, the only people not getting it are Dish Network subscribers. I have no idea where it shows up on other systems, but if you're a Comcast digital cable subscriber, flip on channel 733 and enjoy.

As for the programming? Naturally, it's all baseball all the time. All kinds of historical packages ranging from overviews of teams' seasons, to retrospectives on individual players. Their studio show right now focuses on Hot Stove action, runs for an hour and is played twice nightly. Once the season begins, they'll go on the air at 6pm central and run til the last pitch of the night has been thrown. An ambitious endeavor I think, but I look forward to watching it.

And if those things don't interest you, Tuesday nights they're airing Ken Burns' "Baseball" documentary. If that doesn't hook you in, then there may not be hope for you at all.

I'm kidding... mostly.

Trust me, if you like baseball half as much as I do, it's worth a look-see.

Secondly, I still hate the Boston Red Sox.

Yes, I know that will come as no surprise to any of you who read my work over the season, but Red Sox (whom I hate) owner John Henry has come out with yet more fuel for the raging inferno that is my hatred for those posers.

As many of you know, the Yankees have been big players in the free agent market this off-season. Their three big signings so far have been: CC Sabathia (7 years, $161 million), A.J. Burnett (5 years, $82.5 million), and the coup de grace, Mark Teixeira (8 years, $180 million).

Obviously that sounds like a lot of money. And it is. But people have to maintain a certain amount of perspective in all of this. Did you know that this year's Yankee payroll is actually lower than last years?

Apparently Red Sox (whom I hate) owner John Henry didn't know that. After the Yankees signed Teixeira right out from under the Red Sox's (whom I hate) nose, he had this to say:

"From the moment we arrived in Boston in late 2001, we saw it as a monumental challenge. We sought to reduce the financial gap, and succeeded to a degree. Now with a new stadium filled with revenue opportunities, they have leaped away from us again. So we have to be even more careful in deploying our resources."

"More careful in deploying our resources"?! Are you freaking kidding me?! This is the guy who built seats on top of the Green Monster. This is the guy who's raised ticket prices across the board. This is the guy who's developed 235* different alternate jerseys and insisted that "real" Red Sox (whom I hate) fans would own all of them.

(* this number may be slightly exaggerated for effect)

Do you know know who the only two teams ever to win a World Series with a $100 million+ payroll are? That's right, the 2004 and 2007 Boston Red Sox (whom I hate).

So shut up, John. Just shut your damned pie hole. I hate you and I hate your team because of you. I hope the Rays kick your ass again you moron.

(breathing deeply...)

Okay... I feel better now. But in case you think it's just me, here's what ESPN's Bill Simmons, the biggest Red Sox (whom I hate) fan I know, had to say about it:

"Note to John: They already hate us enough. Just stop. You sound like a rich prep-school kid lamenting the fact his Lamborghini isn't the most expensive car in the parking lot anymore. And while we're here, Fenway is a cash cow -- you can't play the "new stadium with revenue opportunities card" when you've done everything but stick hanging box seats on the Citgo sign. Boston's payroll has been somewhere between $120-145 million each year for the past five. Every middle-class fan you have has been priced out unless they want to sit in the bleachers or wooden grandstand seats down the outfield lines that face second base. Just stop. Please, stop. Thank you."

Now if a die-hard Red Sox (whom I hate) fan recognizes the ridiculousness of those statements, then hopefully you can understand how an accumulation of these asinine assertions would lead to the pure and unadulterated hatred which I harbor for them.

The only thing I'm certain of, is that this isn't the end of the Red Sox's (whom I hate) whiny, fit-pitching stupidity. If history has taught us anything about them, it's that they always find something new to bitch about.

Hating a team really shouldn't feel this good, should it? I might have to ponder that one.

But that's all I've got for today. I'll be back with more on Wednesday (and it quite possibly could be more baseball). Until then, thanks for reading!

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