The two big stories coming out of the meetings (Cabrera and Willis to Detroit, the ongoing "Where is Johan Santana going?" saga) further illustrate the chasm that still exists between the handful of "haves" sitting atop the revenue mountain, and the many species of "have nots" (ranging from the semi-destitute ball clubs like Minnesota to the rancid, flea-ridden homeless like Florida). I know that in the last two years we've seen 15 different teams make the playoffs, but in the end when the revenue pie gets bigger, it still becomes cost prohibitive/reckless for the mid-revenue/low-revenue ball clubs to keep their marquee guys. It's this dynamic that forces the have-nots to have baseball IQ's that virtually double their big market counterparts, and it's this dynamic that allows a dolt like Hank Steinbrenner to run a team that will be one of the odds-on favorites to win it all in 2008. (Of course, in the last eleven years, the Florida Marlins have won as many World Series as the Mets, Dodgers, Angels, White Sox, and Cubs combined so what the hell do I know.)
The Cabrera/Willis-to-Detroit trade was one of those fun "holy shit!" initial reaction trades, where as a baseball fan you immediately start scrambling for Detroit's roster so you can start constructing their opening day lineup. "Mother of God!....Granderson .... Polanco .... Cabrera .... Ordonez .... Sheffield ..... Guillen .... I-Rod .... whoever's playing left .... damn, they're gonna have Renteria in the f--ing NINE HOLE!" And then once you get past that, you realize that even with Willis they still don't have the pitching juice to overtake Boston (or Cleveland, for that matter). Check out the 2007 ERA's of the top four in Detroit's 2008 rotation:
Rogers 4.43 (and a year's worth of injuries)
I'll take the front of the Red Sox and Indians' rotations over that every day and twice on Sundays. And this also doesn't begin to scratch the surface on the Tigers' bullpen issues, which still persist (and are exacerbated by the injury to Joel Zumaya).
Finally, what is the over/under on average attendance for the Florida Marlins this season? 8,000? 7,000? 4,500? Seriously, why would they even play home games? I think the Marlins need to just scrap the whole "Florida" thing and just get a sponsor and turn into one of those barnstorming teams where their whole year consists of road games and they travel from town to town on a motor coach bus. You know, one of those rigs with a phone booth sized bathroom in the back where you get hit with the pungent smell of other people's waste if your within ten rows of the back of the bus? The Marlin Express baby! They'd be like the Globetrotters! The Harlem Marlins! Josh Willingham could throw buckets of confetti at the umpires; Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla could turn double plays by using some fancy, behind the back flip throws, the melodious "Sweet Georgia Brown" playing in the background the entire time of course. Totally sweet.
Now some time wasters, because the economy is doing a little too well ....
- The drive time shows at 1560 have been ELFED!!! Merry Christmas, Gamers!!! [Elf Yourself]
- About the only good thing left about Sportscenter is the hilarious commercials for Sportscenter. Here is the latest one. [Awful Announcing]
- SI compares the BCS contenders to pro wrestlers, which is right up my alley. The only thing missing is some sweet youtube clips. [SI Quick Slants]
- This was sent to me by an LSU fan, with the email "An Ohio State fan learns about golf." Neal, this is just wrong. Click here.
- A string of Jon Scheyer photoshops that are ... well, don't view this string while drinking anything or your keyboard will get soaked. [Scout.com]
- Peter King reveals his true feelings for Brett Favre [Kissing Suzy Kolber]
- Credit card theft taunts at Doug Gottlieb in an online chat. Like I'm not gonna put up a link to that. [Deadspin]
- A 2008 Heisman forecast that doesn't include Tim Tebow. Not smart. He'll fry this guy with bolts of lightning from his eyes. [Heisman Pundit]
Congrats to Missouri QB Chase Daniel for getting the invite to New York City for the Heisman Trophy awards ceremony. He's had many fine performances this season, but none better than this ....
Which brings us to Kentucky freshman Pat Patterson, who upped the ante and actually ate one DURING the game ....
When I was a kid, Kermit the Frog sang songs like "It's Not Easy Being Green" and "Rainbow Connection". It appears that with the death of Jim Henson, he's gotten in touch with hsi dark side and significantly edgier ....
Melissa Theuriau almost makes me want to move to France. I like at the 0:30 mark where she mentions President "George Boosh"...
They are in the Division 1-AA semifinals, folks ... Appalchian State! And they are HOT HOT HOT!! Best video ever ... and by best, I mean worst ...