I actually watched some of the NCAA title game last night. It was a pretty easy pattern. UNC — pass the ball to Sean May. May scores or is hacked by one of Illinois’ many tall skinny white guys. Illinois passes the ball 35 times and fires a three. Rinse and repeat. If Illinois could have made one of the threes they attempted in the final minute, that game’s going to OT. Congrats to Roy Williams. Williams has been killed in the press since he had not won a title before last night. It’s time for the media apology. Then again, he did coach the most talented (Illinois probably had the best team) team to the title. Isn’t that what he’s supposed to do?
TiVo has spoiled me. I watched the game live and the commercial breaks were tortuous. At least I know that I’m not missing anything by skipping commercials. The next good car commercial will be the first.
Here’s the best news from yesterday’s wild opening day for baseball. The Chicago White Sox won. Much has been made about how ‘The Cell’ (corporate names are so lame) is a launching pad for home runs. It’s like the stadium is the only structure in Chicago that somehow is 5000 feet above sea level. The final score? 1-0, good guys. The Indians jettisoned Omar Vizquel over the offseason, and what do you know, his successor, Jhonny Peralta, booted a ball that allowed Paul Konerko to score the only run of the game. Mark Buehrle, our opening-day pitcher, cemented his number one starter status with a solid eight innings. The Indians only had 28 players bat.
Buehrle injured his foot a couple of weeks ago shagging fly balls during batting practice. Initially it was thought that his foot was broken and he was going to miss six weeks. There would have been panic in the streets if the media covered it. Actually the injury was covered, but when it turned into a sprain everyone forgot. Besides, Buehrle is so hard to spell. Up until opening day I saw stories about not drafting Buehrle early in fantasy leagues because of his injury. Yes, I have him in both of mine.
Sure, one win doesn’t mean much, but it’s a nice start.
How many crazies picked up Dmitri Young in their fantasy leagues after his three-tater opening game? By the way, he hit two of them off Jose Lima. Homers off Lima should only count for half a run. I lived in Kansas City for a while in the early 90s. Those were good days. The Chiefs were on their way to many years of playoff frustration and the Royals had Bo Jackson. Now the Chiefs have no defense and the Royals are just another bad team that develops two or three good players every five years and lets them go for peanuts. The Beltran deal wasn’t bad because Mark Teahen and John Buck will be contributors. At least they got players with a pulse.
According to Yahoo, the top players available after day one are Brady Clark (two stolen bases) and Xavier Nady (two homers while filling in for Dave Roberts). The top pitcher is Glendon Rusch, with his big W and 7.71 ERA. It’s natural that a Cubs pitcher would be overrated in Yahoo.
The last guy to hit three homers on opening day? Tuffy Rhodes for the (ack) Cubs. It’s kind of funny that he ended up with eight homers that year and thirteen for his career. Young at least has 129 career home runs. He was a valuable fantasy commodity when he had 3B, 1B, and OF eligibility. Now he’s waiver-wire fodder. It’s too bad that waiver guys don’t come with retroactive stats.
It was a bad day for closers. Braden Looper of the Mets gave up three runs without recording an out. An ERA of infinity isn’t a good start. Trevor Hoffman gave up a two-out home run to rookie Clint Barmes to finish a blown save. That’s four runs in 2/3 of an inning for an ERA of 54. That’s the ERA equivalent of three McGriddles.