Sunday, June 11, 2006

Random Junk

Well, GlennW called it -- the Boston weather pretty much torpedoed any chance that I'd catch Jon Lester's first major league start. Instead, Saturday's double-header was reduced to a single game (which wasn't shown on the baseball package) and on Sunday I got to watch Josh Beckett have yet another uneven start. He even gave up a bomb to Samwise Gamgee for good measure.

Of course, in all my idiocy, I changed the channel once Beckett left the game and the Red Sox were down 4-2. Yeah, I should've hung around.

I guess I shouldn't be complaining too much, the Sox are still in first place. And yeah, I know, this is usually how things play out -- Boston hangs around the top of the division for two-thirds of the season, often in first place, and then the Yankees finish the season on a 30-game winning streak. This year might be different, though. First, everybody in New York is on the DL. Second, Randy Johnson sucks even more this season than he did last season. He had another bad outing Saturday, and in what's become commonplace during a Randy Johnson outing, he starting whining to the homeplate ump about calls that weren't going his way. But at least he didn't literally start crying on the mound:
In a crowded ballpark, long before the rain came, the ranting of one angry pitcher pierced the air. Randy Johnson's fury could be heard in the second deck of Yankee Stadium last night, and his distraction was obvious to everyone.
Johnson was trapped in an endless fourth inning, and he was screaming at the plate umpire, Chad Fairchild, after throwing a ball to Oakland's Jason Kendall. When Jorge Posada tossed it back, Johnson swatted at the ball with his glove and watched it dribble onto the grass.

Johnson had lost control of himself and the game. After the outburst, he simply turned away from Fairchild on calls he did not like. The Yankees fell to the Athletics, 6-5, on a night made drearier by an 87-minute rain delay in the seventh inning.

"I'm not going to sit out there when I think a strike's a strike," Johnson said. "A lot of times I'll ask a little more low-key, like a lot of other pitchers, but when I'm out there walking guys and I think some borderline pitches are strikes ... "
My bad, Johnson actually did cry. I have two thoughts going forward. One, I hope he makes 35 starts this season. Alternatively, I wouldn't mind Joe Torre pulling a Jason Giambi 2005 and ask Johnson if he'd be willing to go down to the minors and work on his mechanics. As best I can tell, it's a win-win.

At the very least, I'll enjoy this while it lasts and sometime in August, when the Yankees take over first place in the division, I'm sure somebody will remind me of this post. Looking forward to that.

Random Steelers Question of the Day
(Brought to you by Randy Steele)

Okey doke, this is a good one. I found this on the Ravens' message board and like most things on message boards, it seemed like a good idea at the start, but quickly devolved into sheer ridiculousness. Anyway, here's the question: How would you rank the AFC North QBs?

And just to make things more interesting, let's assume that Carson Palmer was in pre-Kimo-leg-snapping form. Most sane people would have Palmer and Roethlisberger in the top two, but I'm not sure which player is actually "the best." In fact, they're such different players, it's hard to imagine how well they'd do if they switched teams. Being as objective as possible, here's my list:

1) Carson Palmer/Ben Roethlisberger
3) Steve McNair
4) Charlie Frye

Okay, I wussed out, but hey, what can you do? Of course some Ravens' fans think McNair is either (a) now the best QB in the division or (b) at least better than Roethlisberger. Both assertions are just goofy, but that's not really all that surprising. Things got Carrot Top funny when someone suggested that the Ravens definitely have the best backup QB in the division with Kyle Boller. Uh, not quite. Boller was awful as a starter, why is there any reason to think that he'd be a competent backup? As long as we're talking about it, I might as well list the backups too:

1) Charlie Batch
2) Anthony Wright
3) Ken Dorsey
4) Kyle Boller

Alright, maybe listing Boller fourth is a bit much, but I really think I'd rather have Dorsey over Boller as a backup. But that's just me.

Today's the big day. The U.S. plays at 11:55 AM EST and I had initially planned to avoid all internets/TV/radio contact until I could get home and watch the replay. Yeah, that ain't happening. I'll be checking for updates during the day. Plus, like I always say, nothing like following a soccer match via the internets. Anyway, I watched seven of the eight matches this weekend and here are my two cents:

First cent - I thought the Argentina - Ivory Coast game was the most exciting match of the weekend; and

Second cent - The best goal of the weekend was the Torsten Frings goal in the 87th minute of the Germany - Costa Rica match (you can watch the highlights here).