Halladay Derby Heating Up

Gun For Hire.

I admit I am still missing baseball a bit.  I know I’ve heard a few people lament over a similar feeling.  Yes, baseball is a long season, an everyday grind, but there is something comforting in that, isn’t there?  On Tuesday nights like these, you miss the day-to-day activities of the baseball season.  I’m not all over the rumor mill, but I’ve been keeping an eye on a couple things, and it looks like Roy Halladay could be on the move this winter.  Halladay said he will not re-sign in Toronto, so there isn’t much sense in the Jays keeping him.  He’ll get shipped.  The questions are when and where?  Also, obviously one guy does not make a team, but can a guy like Halladay swing a race in one direction?  I think he can.  Because…

1.  Look at the teams involved in the bidding.  National League contenders seem to be headed by the Dodgers.  I think LA moves to the head of the National League with Halladay, barring a Carpenter/Wainwright performance out of Hamels and Lee in 2010 for the Phillies.  Speaking of the Phils, they might not be completely dead in this, but likely are.  A Halladay to Philly trade sends the rest of the National League back to the drawing board in a desperate situation. 

In the American League, we’re talking Boston, NY, and Anaheim.  I can’t see the Yankees making the move, there has to be some limit on what they do, and I’m not positive they have what the Blue Jays want in return.  The Angels on the other hand have the young pitching and a couple of ML ready position players to include in a package.   Boston’s offer would center around Clay Bucholtz, and even though they traded some bargaining chips to Cleveland for Victor Martinez, some people still consider Boston the front-runner. 

2.  Not only will Halladay likely go to a team already in good position to make a postseason run, he has an excellent record against some of these top teams.  Boston doesn’t have to worry about Halladay being overwhelmed by AL East lineups.  His record against the Yankees is unmatched in recent years, and if the Yankees are the best, it is nice to have a guy who can beat them.  Halladay is a guy that can make a difference in a series.  The Angels took NY to six games.  Joe Saunders is nice, but maybe Anaheim would have rather had Roy on the mound for those games. 

3.  It’s always about pitching.  You can never have enough, and Halladay will add a durable arm to one of these rotations.  Is Daisuke going to be healthy for a whole season?  What if the Angels lose John Lackey?  The Dodgers have pitched their way out of the post-season for two consecutive years.  Success and health can be very fleeting.  So, adding Halladay who is likely to give you 30+ starts, it’s an insurance policy against what can go wrong.

I wouldn’t call this free agent crop very high-profile.  Certainly there are some big names out there, but I don’t see a guy who is going to impact a pennant race.  Matt Holliday is a nice hitter, but he’s not putting anybody on his back, or putting a team over the top.  It’s a guy like Halladay, who will have to be traded for that will create the most buzz this off-season.  He’s the real prize.

Things that Annoy the Bullcorn Out of Me.

Are there not Mirrors at these Things?

Ok, I’m taking the first reader suggestion, and listing things that bother me.  I will not use the term, “pet peeve”, because that term in itself is slightly annoying.  I could probably list a thousand things, but just to get the ball rolling…

1.  People who get into movie franchises.  This Twilight thing drives me crazy.  Fantasy about Hobbits, Storm Troopers, Vampires, Little Boy Wizards…it’s all “Crappy Pap” as Barry from High Fidelity would say.  Watch a movie about people morons, stop feeding the machine. 

2.  People who never carry ANY cash.  I mean, put a roll of quarters in your pocket.  I don’t care if it’s faster, more convenient in your head, whatever you think.  If I hear one more person get asked “Credit or Debit?”  when they’re buying a bleeping Snapple at Wawa, I might have to set the whole store on fire.  Hit an ATM once a week.  You know, for a rainy day.  Go wild.

3.  Back road tailgaters.  Don’t ride my ass.  Seriously, why do I need to floor it just so we can stop a hundred yards down the road at the red light.  You want to get somewhere quickly?  Take a highway.  Learn how to drive, mutts.

4.  When a drop of water goes into your ear during a haircut?  Maddening.  Especially when you know you have to be completely still or else “Special Sally” is going to give you the butcher job of a lifetime. 

5.  Ham-Handed Check out People.  Now, I’m no frequent eater of fruit, but when I pick out something like an apple.  I take my time.  Why?  Because the guy who stocked them already played bocce with them, and they’re all bruised.  So, I take my time picking one out, and then the mutt at the checkout dribbles the apple down the belt, drops it on the scale, and rifles it in the bag.  Thank you for validating self check-out.

6. Pop-Up videos on websites like ESPN.COM or Philly.com.  It almost makes me want to go back to dial-up.  Philly.com is the new champ, as you can’t even close the video.  It’s coming on, and it’s loud.  Here’s a news flash…I’m literate.  I came to read something.  Not watch the picture show. 

7.  The DiVinci Code/Angels and Demons….please.

8.  That sound, when you go to a movie, the first moment that everyone gets quiet…and all you can hear is people stuffing their faces with food.  It sounds like feeding time at the Zoo.  I mean, I like to eat, and it even creeps me out a little. 

9.  The ridiculous amount of ice that Fast-Food places put in their cups.  Can we come up with a compromise here?  Charge 10 more cents?  Something?  Let’s save some ice.  And, don’t give me no ice.  No ice is for idiots and Europeans.

10.  Cell phone at sporting event guy.  Oh, you’re sitting behind the plate?   I hate you, sit down.  I’m ready to put snipers in the light towers. 

Like I said, I could probably go on for a while…please feel free to add.

Done And Done.

I threw how Many Picks?

Well, in some ways there was never a doubt, and with Vince Young putting together a serviceable (ugly) game for the Titans I am pleased to award the Derek Anderson for week 11 to Mark Sanchez.  Sanchez beat out Josh Freeman, who avoided the dubious honor by being slightly less like Derek Anderson.  In truth, it was more how Sanchez just ripped the life out of his team.  Each of his five turnovers were coldly calculated.  From the opening pick-6, to the atrocious late INT that sealed New York’s fate, it was just Sanchez’s week.  How this team and Sanchez have fallen.  I wonder if there are Jet fans out there wishing there was an egomaniac in a #4 jersey still at the helm?

NFL Pick ‘Em Recap:

Standings:

Grossy, Record: 31-21-3 (This week, 4-0-1).  I’m kind of, sort of, on fire here.  Feeling good.  Thank you Kris Brown for helping turn a good week, into a great week.  PS, Chris Johnson is still fast. 

JCK, Record: 3-2 (This week, 3-2).  Not a bad opening for JCK.  The pride of Milton, MA was all over the Pats game.

Big Dub H, Record:  24-26 (This week, 3-2).  Big Dub H is back I think.  I really liked his theory this week.  Probably deserved 4 wins. 

Kraft, Record:  18-37 (This week, 2-3).  A two-win week improves his percentage, but really, still the most snake bit man alive. 

The “Everybody Covers A Line Sometimes” Pick of the week.  That’s meant to be sung by the way…Everybody Loves a Cover Sometime….Anyway, I’m giving it to myself.  Everyone else can taste the greatness for a while.  The Raiders.  I had the Raiders.  Thank you.  If I had only had the courage to take them out-right, but I just didn’t see the Bengals going all retro and handing the game over on a platter. 

The “Maybe You Should Try Video Blackjack” Bad Pick of the Week:  I’m going to give it to Big Dub for the Bucs pick.  He hasn’t taken one of these in a while I don’t think, and maybe he got a little too caught up in the Josh Freeman hype.  I don’t think he did at all, but someone has to take this prize.  I have no problem taking a bunch of points, but the Saints, even on a bad day can cover 2 Tds in a few minutes, so for disrespecting Easy Breesy Beautiful…I’ll give it to Big Dub.