Friday, February 22, 2008
Has it really been over two weeks since I last made my rounds? What in the world have I been doing with my time? My mentor, Dr. Bombay will not be happy with me.
So what have I been doing lo these past 2+ weeks?
Well let's see, first I had to gear up for American Idol and that of course takes a lot of time and energy. You can't just "tune in" cold to AI. Oh no, it takes weeks of preparing to go on that emotional rollercoaster of triumph and tragedy.
Next I had to mentally prepare myself for the releasing of the... nominees for the Oscars? Hell no, I mean something REALLY important like the new cast of Dancing With the Stars.
Priscilla Presley, Kristi Yamaguchi and the Dolphins Jason Taylor are among the (ahem) celebrities who will be appearing. Of course Jason has had a long time to prepare given all the free time he had this past season.
And Steve Guttenberg? What, no Police Academy 17 to make?
So anyway, as you can see, I have been quite busy hence the extended time in between rounds.
But now I'm here, turn your head, cough and let's get going...
The RH Factor...
You know I tried to ingratiate, permeate and infiltrate this into the local vernacular as a nickname for Ryan Howard during his rookie season but oddly enough, it never caught on.
In his column on ESPN.com last week, Jayson Stark nails it, as usual --- as to why Ryan Howard won his arbitration case and is now looking for Robin Leach to come do a story on him.
Jayson made reference to Albert Pujols, Justin Morneau and Miguel Cabrera regarding service time and statistics as to why Ryan won his case. But he summed it thusly and I agree completely:
"...in the end, this case didn't turn out to be about service time -- the factor that determines most arbitration awards. It was about the fact that Ryan Howard is a historic player. A really historic player. There's only player in history who compares to this man. And it isn't Pujols, Cabrera or anyone else of this generation. It's a gentleman named George H. Ruth. You may know him as "Babe."
Now to some baseball purists that may sound like hardball heresy, comparing a legend like The Bambino to Ryan Howard but, when you look at Howard's numbers, they are staggering, one might say historic in a way. Since the decision came down, I have heard pundits and experts alike ponder aloud as to the future ramifications this will have both on the league itself and the Phillies.
As to what impact it will have on the league, it will obviously drive players salaries higher as it will give players & agents a trump card to play come contract or arbitration time. Of course the player in question will be hard-pressed to replicate what Ryan Howard has accomplished.
As for the Phillies themselves... there seems to be a growing number of people in the media and public alike who are predicting that by winning his case, Ryan Howard has somehow sealed his fate with the Phillies, that there is no way the Phillies will EVER pay the numbers Ryan and his agent will be commanding when he does become a free agent.
I even read in the Sunday Inky a reference to some young 2B the Phillies have in their system who could be the most-important part of all this as if he develops over the next few years, that will allow the Phillies to let Howard walk and move Chase Utley to first.
But my favorite thoughts on this matter of course come from the fans. Gotta love Philly sports fans.
Just a sampling of what I heard on the airwaves since Howard won his pot of gold.
"You know, he's really not THAT good... they should trade him."
"I don't think Howard deserved all that money, he strikes out a lot and makes a lot of errors."
People, people, people... can we just all take a collective deep breath here?
To the media: What'ya say we take this puppy one year at a time? Or better still, let's let this work itself out, which it will, trust me. Stop playing Nostradamus and speculating on that MAY happen 2-3 years from now.
To the public: GET A GRIP! Jeezus, are you kidding me here? The guy (Howard) has done everything we all want: put up incredible numbers and been a solid citizen. And now you want to denigrate him? Trade him? Be done with him?
Oh sure you'll cheer him on when he's sending little round balls into the stratosphere but the second you get a chance to take a shot at him, you take it? C'mon people, this is a very special player we have here. Let's appreciate him instead of trying to depreciate his value liked a used Honda.
The Patriot Act of 2001, 2002, 2003 and on and on...
Much is being made because OUR Senator, PA's own Arlen Single-Bullet Specter is leading the investigation into why the NFL destroyed the tapes that could have potentially brought some embarrassment to the NFL. And much is being made as to why Spector is using HIS time, which in essence is OUR time because theoretically he works for us, on this issue.
But I support him.
Not because I want my beloved Eagles to be awarded a posthumous Lombardi Trophy from 2004 but because the NFL is a mega-billion dollar company that operates freely and not under the auspices of Anti Trust rules & regs.
And ok, part of it is because I can't stand Bill Belichick's smug demeanor, not that it's personal with me or anything.
Yeah Roger Clemens lied and so did Brian McNamee, his now estranged trainer. I wonder who will get custody of the andro and creatine in the divorce settlement. Something to keep your eye on.
And what a disgrace it was to have a congressional committee convened so could clear his name. Yeah, this was not official doing mind you, the chairman of the committee himself, , said as much after the hearing that this was all to let Clemens try and clear his name. Now there's good use of our tax dollars.
Of course the biggest culprit in ALL of this is Bud Selig, the figurehead of a commissioner. Not since the days of Barney Fife have we seen such clearcut ineptitude and apparent lack of intelligence from a person of authority. Of course Ol Barney was supposed to be funny whereas Bud just is, naturally.
I'd Like To Thank The Academy...
Can't let this time go without sharing my thoughts on the 80th Academy Awards.
First, can we please put a moratorium on all Elizabethan movies? I think we've now seen every Elizabethan age covered on film, have we not? What's next, Elizabeth - The Punk Rock Years? Enough already. We get it.
For the record, I honestly thought No Country For Old Men was a documentary put out by the Democrats about John McCain.
And if I didn't know better, I would think There Will Be Blood was Bud Selig's response to a question regarding steroid testing in baseball.
Player: "Mr. Commissioner, will the steroid testing hurt?"
Bud: "There will be blood."
Come to think of it, another film that was nominated could have been mistaken for a response from a commissioner of a professional sports league.
Arlen Specter: "Mr. Goodell, where are the tapes that you had of the New England Patriots alleged cheating?"
Goodell: "They're Gone Baby, Gone."
Poor Cate Blanchett actually lost TWICE. She was up for Best Actress for her role in Elizabeth-The Golden Age and also for Best Supporting Actress for her role in I'm Not There, subtitled The Jevon Kearse Story.
And some of you may have dozed off and missed some of these awards that were also bestowed last night.
Worst Actor in Supporting Role - Andy Pettite
Worst Picture - the alleged photo of Roger Clemens at the now infamous Jose Canseco party
Best (or is it Worse?) Actor In A Closer's Role - Brad Lidge
Best Impression Of The Tin Man (AKA The No Heart Award) - The Philadelphia Flyers
And finally the Worst Impression of Fred Astaire went to the local college basketball teams. As it stands right now, ain't none of 'em gonna be doing any dancing any time soon, unless you count the NIT, which is akin to being a senior in high school but being forced to go to the junior prom instead.
Ok, I'm spent... I need a nap...
'Til next time.
Posted by Steve Olenski at Friday, February 22, 2008