Nice Job Moyer.

Now Haul Ass Back to the Bullpen.

Now Haul Ass Back to the Bullpen.

Six innings of shutout relief, I should give the guy a break, right?  Eh, I’m not going to say he was bad Tuesday night.  Clearly, he did a nice job, and shut down the D-Backs.  The fact that this is a team that lacks veteran hitters…well, we’ll overlook that fact for Jamie this one time.  Just don’t get overly excited.  I’m sure Moyer was pitching with anger and defiance tonight, and that’s fine, but the only reason he was even out there was because of a thunderstorm.  If Pedro had gotten knocked around, and Moyer saved the day, that would have been different.  But, Pedro looked to be settling in after giving up a lead off homerun, and certainly didn’t do anything to lose his spot.  Honestly, how much do we want to debate over the fifth starter, anyway?  Thanks for the six innings Jamie, now hop on your little rascal, and get back to the bullpen.   To address an earlier post, I guess the jury is still out on Ryan Howard getting really hot.  Might have jumped the gun on that one with a little o-fer finsky. 

Can someone get Brett Favre a new hat?  I mean, come on.  Throw on a Vikings hat, something.  This is the hat he was wearing at the press conference today.  And, what’s with the watch.  Are you Phil Mickelson now?  Mickelson wears a watch while he plays golf…if you didn’t know that.  I used to wear the same hat all the time, but I wasn’t a millionaire…and I have a big old head that makes it hard to find one that fits.  Favre just looks like a dirtbag.  I’m pretty sure he threw a pick here too…even though there were no defenders on the field.

Sweet Cargos.  Old Navy?

Sweet Cargos. Old Navy?

Old Brett did knock Mike Vick off the front page of most sports news outlets.  The news on Vick hasn’t been too exciting, as in the Eagles are just slowly bringing him along.  He worked with the scout team on Tuesday, and will not travel with the team to Indy for the second preseason game.  He’s not eligible to play in the preseason until August 27th against Jacksonville.  Brian Westbrook will not play against Indy either, and may not get a full speed snap in until the regular season opener against Carolina.  I say better safe than sorry with Westy.  A bigger concern remains the dinged up offensive line.  Already battling position changes, and unfamiliarity, the guys can’t seem to get on the field together.  Shawn Andrews spent Monday in Los Angeles getting his back examined, and there is no word on when he’ll return to practice.  Jason Peters and Shawn’s brother Stacy will also not play against Indy.

Ryan Howard Heat Check.

Is the Big Hoss Ready to Carry the Load for a While?

Is the Big Hoss Ready to Carry the Load for a While?

Ryan Howard is a pretty streaky hitter.  He goes off for a month, then settles back into a little slump.  He’s tended to have slower starts, and faster finishes, so when he hits four homers and knocks in 11 in a six game span, it gets your attention.  Howard has us spoiled, and we haven’t seen the unbelievably dynamic power hitter yet this year.  The two bombs he hit of Javier Vazquez, though, might signal the start of something.  If Howard can get hot, it takes pressure of everyone.  The other hitters in the order can relax a bit, the margins of error for the pitchers get wider.  It’s a domino effect.  Howard gets some criticism about his validity as an MVP candidacy, and lord knows he drives me crazy wtih the strikeouts and bad at-bats, but he certainly is valuable to this team. 

It’s an interesting series shaping up against the D-Backs.  Pedro Martinez makes start number two tonight.  It’s the home debut for Petey.  The Diamondbacks lineup isn’t exactly the ’27 Yankees, so it isn’t the sternest test for Martinez, but on a hot night at the Bank, he’ll need to keep the ball down.  I’m looking for location from Pedro tonight, especially in innings 4-6.  I’m going to go ahead and assume he won’t see the seventh.  I’m still not quite used to this notion of Pedro being a Phillie.  I want to pull for the guy, but it doesn’t feel quite right.  Seems almost bandwagon-ish in a way getting rah-rah for the guy.  Ah, who am I kidding?  If he is dealing tonight, I’ll have a stupid little satisfied grin on my face. 

Game two of the series features a great pitching matchup.  Cliff Lee faces Dan Haren.  Haren had been a little up and down of late, but he beat LA in his last start, and remains among the league leaders in many categories.  It’s a match-up of guys who struggle for run support.   Either of these guys could have 15 wins at this point, and I always like to see how the Phils match up against a front line pitcher.  They are much better suited to face Haren, then a Lincecum for example, but it’s still a tough match-up.  As far as “Mother Lovin” Lee is concerned…we’re just waiting, watching, hoping that bubble doesn’t burst.  I think everyone out there is going to expect this guy to win every time he takes the hill until he does lose one, and why not?  He should be able to handle the D-Backs.

Attention Ho.

Guess Brett Wanted on the List.

Guess Brett Wanted on the List.

Word is Brett Favre is going to sign with the Vikings today.  This will end his third or fourth retirement, and I could go back and try to find what Favre said the last time he hung it up…but it was all just lies.  That’s all you need to know.  Lies, lies, lies.  Clearly Favre just had no interest in training camp, and so he and the Vikings went through this cute little routine.  Meanwhile, I’m sure Favre’s been throwing spirals at a cutout of Sterling Sharpe in Mississippi.  Or maybe it’s the real Sterling Sharpe…not sure. 

Anyway, Favre’s return makes him my least favorite player in the league, and I’ll be hoping that every time he drops back he hits a defender in the chest with his throw.  It’s not that Favre is still playing.  It’s the chronic lying, manipulating, and everything else that drives me crazy.  The guy’s an infant.  He needs constant attention, and has to get his way.   He’s the kid that would throw himself down a flight of stairs right before his sister’s dance recital just so all eyes would be on him.  Egomaniacs around the World are sitting around saying, “Wow, that Favre guy is a little full of himself, no?” 

I can’t wait until this blows up in Minnesota’s face.  I can’t wait until the rest of the team realizes Favre’s a D, gets tired of the double standards, all that.  You know, kind of like everything that happened with the Jets?  He’ll probably come roaring out of the gate, and then as his bones start to fuse together in the second half of the year the Vikings will plummet from the playoff picture faster than a fat kid can take a lap through the lunch buffet at Pizza Hut. 

I understand that Jackson and Rosenfels aren’t exactly Montana and Unitas, and maybe in the sense of talent Favre still outclasses them both, but really…what’s the long term goal here?  Do we think Favre makes them a Super Bowl team this year?  Because I don’t, and then what about next year?  The Vikings are being used just so Favre can ride back into Green Bay one more time like the jilted lover with a hot new girlfriend.  It’s embarrassing.  I hope the Green Bay faithful rain down with boos…and an assortment of cheese.  Actually, send the cheese my way. 

I hope in the first Bears game Favre throws a pick, and starts shuffling towards the sideline, and Urlacher comes along…and just lays him out.  Literally, knocks him into retirement.  As in, have a wheelchair standing by. 

On the bright side…all those ticket brokers make out again, and all the dorks in your fantasy league just started thinking what round they can “steal” Favre in.

Strasburg Signs.

Nationals Finally Ponied Up.

Nationals Finally Ponied Up.

Take your Nationals season tickets out of the fireplace.  The Nats finally realized they had painted themselves into a corner, and they signed Stephen Strasburg to a four year deal worth 15-16 million.  Strasburg, when he eventually arrives in D.C. will breathe some much needed life into the franchise.  The pressure will be enormous, as will the hype, expectations and ticket sales.  The Nationals had no option, and all told I think they got a pretty reasonable deal.  We don’t have to worry about Scott Boras being out on the street anymore now either.  Phew. 

I assume that with this kind of deal Strasburg will be penciled into the rotation for 2010.  I mean, who else are they going to start?  The possibility exists that this Strasburg deal could even end up being a bargain.  If he reaches his ceiling the Nats could have bought themselves an arbitration year with this contract, and by the last year of it everyone will be patting them on the back.  Of course, if Strasburg doesn’t pan out…then it’s 16 milly down the toilet.  This whole franchise was headed there, though, basically…so it was now or never.  We’ll be looking forward to the Bryce Harper deadline watch a year from tonight. 

–Unrelated.  I can’t believe I forgot to mention Mad Men in my weekend preview.  There’s just so much good TV on Sundays now…it’s really hard to keep track.  I know I’m not scooping anyone on Mad Men.  It’s a great show.  Pretty documented at this point.  I still feel some people are missing out, though.  Probably because it is on A&E, and the tough guys out there don’t want to admit they even know what channel A&E is. 

But, this show really delivers.  I reccommend catching up with it on DVD if you haven’t seen any of the seasons.  You’ll kill it in a weekend, I promise.  And, there are great characters.  Little bit of everything.  The stone-cold 60s pimp Don Draper leads the way (he’s an advertising exec, not an actual pimp), but the whole cast is pretty strong, and there are some beautiful women on the show if you are interested in such things….Mad Men.  A&E, on demand.  Expand the horizons.