Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Slow News Days

This is the time of year where there's really not too much going on -- football season has just ended, college basketball won't get really interesting for a couple of weeks, and Opening Day is roughly six weeks away. Consequently, I haven't had a lot to say. And today is no different. Luckily, (and I can't believe I'm actually excited about this) the Steelers can franchise Plaxico as early as next Wednesday, NFL free agency starts in a few weeks, and the NFL draft is April 23-24. But until then, here are a couple of things I came across that I found at least mildly interesting.

Yet another story about the enigmatic Rashad McCants. Just when you thought there wasn't nearly enough new material to warrant yet another McCants story, Robbi Pickeral of the Raleigh News & Observer has a new angle: shoes. That's right, Pickeral examines every letter McCants scribbles on his size 13 Nikes that remind him of everything that's important; from wanting to be national player of the year, to remembering friends and family members who helped him along the way. And while it's not a bad article, it's nothing new either. I'm still waiting for somebody to actually write a column about McCants' play on the court. Now that might be interesting (/end sarcasm).

I mentioned above that the MLB season is right around the corner, and Chris Snow of the Boston Globe lists six things that the Red Sox might have to overcome in the 2005 season. He mentions Pedro as churlish and moody but does admit that he was also nearly unbeatable once he took the mound (I'm the first to admit that Pedro was a prima donna -- I refuse to use the word "heva" -- but I cringe when I hear revisionist bash the guy for not being good for the Red Sox; of course, these are also the same guys who were big Drew Bledsoe fans up until he got hurt and Tom Brady became the starter). But I think the most interesting item on the list is this:

You're not in Missouri any more
Edgar Renteria opted to leave St. Louis to come to baseball's true Show Me State. Renteria has produced in pressure situations before (you might recall that liner up the middle in 1997 that delivered the Marlins a World Series title). But the quiet Colombian with two Gold Gloves and a .289 career average enjoys his space.

"My suggestion," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said last month, "is to give him a little room."

How Renteria and free agent pitcher Matt Clement -- signed for a combined $65.5 million this offseason -- adjust to Boston could dictate how quickly the Sox come together.
While this isn't earth-shattering, it's important. If Orlando Cabrera didn't play out of his mind in his brief stint with the Sox, who knows what would have happened down the stretch (I mean, you can't always expect Kevin Millar to bail you out, right?). The good news for Renteria is that he'll have an entire season in Boston, so even if he starts slow, he'll have time to recover. It probably doesn't hurt that the Red Sox just won the World Series for the first time in 86 years too.

One more thing. As long as I'm talking about baseball, I feel it necessary to be completely forthcoming. I too took steroids with Jose Canseco in a bathroom stall. It was me, Canseco, Peter Gammons, Pedro's little friend, Mark Madden and Ruben Stoddard (and any other really ridiculous people you can think up) -- all in that little stall. Good times.