Monday, October 25, 2004

Thanks, Beautiful

OK, the Red Sox are up 2-0 heading into St. Louis, and Pedro's on the mound in game 3, followed by D. Lowe in game 4. I don't think I'm alone in saying that this series almost pales in comparison to the ALCS -- and for obvious reasons. Still, it's a compliment to the The Idiots that they've been able avoid a letdown after the 7-game marathon with the Evil Empire. Of course, having two guys pose as St. Louis pitchers for Halloween didn't hurt the Sox either.

I've decided to quit spending so much of my energy worrying about Mark Bellhorn. If you except the fact that he's good about 12% of the time, you'll be fine. The bottom line with Bellhorn is that you have to wait until the entire series plays out. Last night I was listening to part of the game on the radio and Joe Morgan made the point that hundreds before him have made concerning Bellhorn -- "It's amazing that this guy walked 177 times during the regular season, but also had such a high number of strikeouts. That must mean that not only does he have a good eye in the strike zone, but he also swings at a lot of bad pitches."

Now first off, I have no idea what the last sentence really means, but I do know this. Bellhorn doesn't swing at any more bad pitches than the average player. Bellhorn's problem is that he goes for long stretches when he can't hit the "right down the middle of the plate" strikes. Well, that and he usually takes two called strikes before he starts his at-bat. But hey, he made progress last night. Not only did he hit a 400-ft. double, he also didn't strikeout. Now if only someone would tell him that when he's in the field, he's actually supposed to catch and throw the ball, not just knock it down.

Speaking of middle infielders, how good is Orlando Cabrera? He'll be a free agent in a week, but I hope the Red Sox are able to make him an offer and keep him around for a while. I have yet to hear during this post season one mention of Nomar. Well, that's not entirely true. I saw this Q & A exchange on Page 2 with Bill Simmons that I thought was pretty funny:

Patrick (Atlanta GA): Any chance of Nomar throwing out the first pitch Saturday?

Bill Simmons: He's going to come out with Mia, let her throw it and then say, "Thanks, beautiful." And then we're going to shoot him in the head and put him out of his misery.
Nice. Shooting him in the head might be a bit much, but what do I know -- I actually like Nomar. Just out of curiosity though, who thought it would be a good idea for him to make that goofy commercial? "Thanks, beautiful," is something you say when you're sure no one can see or hear you, and you're usually saying it because you did something really dopey like forget an anniversary or run over the dog. Why couldn't he just have said, "Thanks, Mia"? When I first saw the commercial I was convinced that either (a) I was drunk or, (b) Nomar was hosting Saturday Night Live and this was a promo. I've heard that actors who do those adult diapers or erectile disfunction commercials get something called embarrassment pay (and rightly so -- I mean really, who shouldn't be compensated for being identified as "that guy who wets his pants every time he gets excited?").

I'm guessing Nomar received no such compensation, but he might want to look into it. Somewhere Rafael Palmeiro is going, "Yes! Finally, the spotlight is off me and my Viagra commercials thanks to Nomar's dopey comments."

Anyway, where was I? What's interesting is that Nomar is currently a free agent -- along with about 40 other shortstops, and there's some speculation that teams will shy away from giving him a long-term deal until he proves he can play an entire season. Of course, if he's done in professional baseball, it looks like Nomar has a promising future in the soap opera business.

OK, enough talk about the Red Sox. They're traveling today, and more importantly, the Steelers have a date with the best team in the universe (to hear some people tell it) on Halloween. Hopefully, Tom Brady comes as Drew Bledsoe and Bill Belichick comes as Pete Carroll. Either way, I'll be looking at some Steelers stuff the next few days, all the while hoping and praying that the 2004 Red Sox don't pull a 2004 Yankees.