Friday, December 08, 2006

Evidence of My Non-Deadness

Evidently, I am not the world's most fastidious blogger when the baseball season is not in session and therefore I see no need to bore my extremely limited audience with the mundane details of my life. But in case anybody... at all... was wondering, as a matter of fact, I am still alive and kicking. But I have been swamped with end-of-term work, including a 27-page philosophy paper, a 30-page history paper, a 140-page writing project, and compilation worksheets for two of those classes, all of which we do in lieu of ordinary final exams at SLC. I prefer it this way, being a wordophile, but it does leave quite a bit less time for doing things like sleeping, free time, and staring blankly into space. If anyone is interested, I'll post the final .pdfs of the projects later.

Let's see... I went to the Cloisters branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my history class today, which was very interesting, and most importantly: I go home in a week. I have found myself absolutely salivating, counting the hours, totally ready to go home and do nothing, although my passion for this does not equal my passion to get out in the first place. At this time next week (4:30 MT, 6:30 ET) I'll be on board a Boeing about an hour outside of Denver, and I am so ready to just let my frazzled brain unwind without constantly mentally charting my assignments, due dates, and needed edits...

My family is waiting to put up the tree until I get home, which is nice, but if they really wanted to, I don't care if they do it without me. I'm done with my Christmas shopping, mostly, and I think that I got some fairly nice gifts. What I seem to be spending the most money on is iTunes... suffice it to say that my music library has greatly expanded since I first arrived. But since I haven't been home since August, I am ready to go. One more week. Meergh... I won't survive. And then I'll have to get someone to post "Evidence of my Deadness."

On the baseball front, the Cardinals (thank God!) shot down any rumors of their interest in Bighead Bonds, who then re-signed with the Giants, to nobody's surprise. That's one worrisome rumor out of the way - I've heard scary (but probably unsubstantiated) rumors of my favorites, like Brad Hawpe and Danny Haren, possibly changing teams. This would most likely not kill me, but it would make me very upset.

The Cardinals need some rotational upgrades - they signed Carp to a five-year extension that will keep him sporting the Birds on the Bat through 2011 at an extra $50 million (or thereabouts; they already had some money invested in him for next season) which is a bargain for a pitcher of Carp's caliber. However, the rest of the starters are not similarly arranged. After Carp comes Anthony Reyes, talented but unpredictable, followed by Kip Wells, a suspect Pirates reclamation project, followed by.... ? There are two gaping holes in the rotation, and the Cards missed out on Jason Schmidt to the Dodgers.

Two theories have been put about - one is that the Cards try to fill the spaces with people within the organization - which would likely portend a move to the rotation for postseason hero and my dearly beloved Adam Wainwright. (Dear God, do not let LaRussa have been serious when he mentioned Braden Looper, the definition of mediocrity edging into frightening badness, making a move to the starting five. The man has one pitch, possibly two, hasn't started since making 10 appearances in A ball in 1997, and has an unfortunate tendency to turn into a pinata if he lets runners on, which he does frequently.).

The other is that the Cards try to sign Miguel Batista, who isn't that great, but he's about the only option left on the market that is not named Barry Zito. None of these scenarios have me that enthused. Then again, the Cards' rotation won the World Series last year with Carpenter, Suppan, a lot of smoke and mirrors, and occasional guest appearances by Jeff Weaver in the postseason, so what do I know? Still, the fact remains that my darling Redbirds won exactly 83 games in the regular season last year, an underwhelming total, and, let's face it, put together a magical run at exactly the right moment to carry them to the trophy. Now just imagine if they'd played like that all season... but their two previous years, 'o4 and '05, in which they hit the centennial-win mark both times, didn't deliver the hardware. I'll take the trophy any day, and I'm wearing my World Champs shirt right now. I wear it a lot. I discovered the other day that the majority of my shirts happen to be Cardinal-themed.

As for the other piece of news, my first and long-term favorite, Andy Pettitte, went back to the Yankees after playing out a three-year contract with the Astros. I'll admit it, I used to be a Yankees fan, but I have a good reason - I lived for four years in Columbus, Ohio, when I was young and watched their minor league team, the Columbus Clippers, including current catcher Jorge Posada. And I also discovered that the Clippers are no longer the AAA affiliate for the Yanks - they're for the Nationals. I feel betrayed.

But anyway, I have loved Andy for as long as I've known about baseball, no joke. If I was seven when I first discovered baseball - that would be 1995, we missed seeing Andy and Derek Jeter in the minors by one year - then I discovered him as soon as I looked into the MLB club that the Clippers, my first baseball loves, were affiliated with. (I can still sing your their rally jingle. Heavily paraphrased, it ran something like, "Guess which team is number one? They're the Columbus Clippers and they'll keep on playing till they've won -we’ll stand up and we’ll tell, Columbus Clippers, ring your bell.”) At which point everybody would clang the Clipper-themed cowbells which they gave away. This happened a lot. I have a lot of fond memories of my minor league baseball days. Ask me sometimes.

But, well, yeah. Andy. Since I have loved the man for 11 years, cried like a baby when he left the Yankees for the Astros, have a picture and a street sign (“46 Andy Pettitte Avenue") above my bed, and an Andy bobblehead… let’s just say I can’t root against him. For Christ's sake, when I was still playing Barbies with my sister, Andy was one of the recurring characters in our invented town. It would be amazing to get tickets for his first start back at the Stadium – the Bronx faithful still love him, and then I could happily boo A-Rod for the rest of the game.

As a final note, does anybody think the amount of money being thrown at mediocrity is out of control? Gil Freakin' Meche, who has a career record of 55-44, got $55 million over five years from the Kansas City Freakin' Royals. Match made in heaven, and you can definitely tell that that was a deal made all about the money, as the Royals have less chance of competing for a pennant than I do of turning their signature blue color. Ted Lilly got $40 million over 4 years from the Cubs, and of course, the new albatross contract was also doled out by the North Siders - $136 m. over 8 years for Alfonso Soriano. Just because the market is thin doesn't mean that GMs need to go absolutely berserk over the uninspiring talent. Must be nice to be rich (said the college student bitterly).

I think I need to a) take out the trash, b) use the bathroom, and c) edit my writing project now, so it’s time to wrap this up. Naturally, it ended up being longer than I expected, but at least no, I am not dead. Check back at the end of this week, as it may be a different story then.

(After fourth or fifth attempt to publish this: Blogger, what the fuck characters aren't allowed?)

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