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Paul Byrd, Another Arctic Explorer
by Jim Sells
(Cue John Facenda, the "Voice of God")
The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field . . . the scowl of one Vincent Lombardi as he directs his field general, Bart Starr . . .
Hey, wait a fucking minute, this is a baseball/rockandroll kinda freakout, innit? By the freakin' way, listening to more Actress tracks on MySpace (The Evil One! Devil horns thrust in air) and it rocks harder every time. Total tangent alert - if you can ever get to see the video of the Ronnie James Dio interview where he explains how he started using the gesture at rock shows, DO. It really is an interesting view into a highly-underrated performer . . . oh yeah, BASEBALL!
While watching Star Wars Episode Seven: LeafBlowers vs. the Force (of Nature), it occurred to me: what the hell was MLB smoking when scheduling the start of the season? All these games in Nanook of the North conditions: Paul Byrd one pitch away from an abbreviated, Mother Nature-aided no-no; the grotesque sound of Victor Martinez's quad/hammy/whatever is attached somewhere around the nether regions that HURTS going pop (why, no, he's not on my fantasy team; why do you ask?); postponing games due to temperature . . . no, that is not a typo from my addled mind - temperature. Opening series scheduled in NY; Pittsburgh; Chicago; Detroit . . . what the hell? Didn't somebody somewhere build a dome? Are there no teams below the Mason-Dixon Line or on the West Coast? Bud Selig got $14.5 mil for this? Easy, must remember blood pressure . . .
The Giants are 1-6 to start. So's Philly. Ow, that must sting. The A's, supposedly reloaded for another shot at . . . what? A first-round loss in the playoffs? I'm sorry; I'm TERRIBLE. They really are not much better at 3-5. Not what Brian Sabean nor Billy Beane nor Pat Gillick had in mind. The Yanks rotation may be the worst of the past 15+ years by far - Pavano's got a lot to prove; Igawa has no breaking ball he can throw for a strike as yet; Mussina's an enigma (but a borderline HOF'er in my book; c'mon, bring your beef with that one and I will feed you your own head); and who the hell's next in the meatgrinder after them?
(Pause for deep breaths and Side A of Motorhead's "On Parole")
. . . the frozen tundra of . . .
(screw deep breaths; straight to bourbon)
Carpenter's DL'ed in St. Loo; Schmidt is headed the same way (probably) in LA; and Mark Prior's in the minors. Damn dude, if I was a big-name major league pitcher, I'd go in witness protection or some shit. Big props for Braden Looper and Adam Wainwright and Kip Wells for doing more than most thought they would/could this early in the season. Treading water isn't glamorous (KILL FERGIE NOW!) but, in the NL Central, it'll do until they formulate another plan, i.e. Albert Pujols actually hitting (.136 as of 4/9).
New changes/tweaks of Cincinnati and Arizona's uniforms are pretty sharp. If I missed any others, let me know - I'm a uniform geek.
Breaking news: Lidge out, Wheeler in as closer for Astros. Whoop-dee-damn-do. Like that will come close to fixing anything that's wrong down Houston-way. Lidge isn't a fourth or fifth starter, or a clone of Jeff Bagwell, or a fountain of youth for Craig Biggio; this will only hasten his ticket outta town which may be best for both he and the Astros.
And, oh yeah . . . Mike Hampton's not pitching THIS year either. Who'd a thunk it?
Y'all stay outta trouble-I'm running Paul Byrd some moonshine for that frostbite.