Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lazy Sunday with Bill Shakespeare

Coming to you LIVE from my father-in-law’s home office in The Land of Bucky Badger, where cheese is for breakfast and beer is for lunch and dinner (or maybe it just seems that way, not that I'm complaining), let’s take a trip around “All the News that’s Fit to Link” with another Lazy Lazy:

Right off the bat, I’ll eat some humble pie and point out that a poem about the Indians was penned by some hack for AOL Fanhouse. In case you missed it, here it is in all of its glory:
Up three games to one, Cleveland was ready to cheer
When suddenly the teams' eyes evoked headlights and a deer
But Grady and Victor and an award-winning Lefty
(One whose frame would qualify as quite Hefty)
Have all of us wondering if '08 is finally "Next Year"

I have to be honest, the only thing I could think of, after being told the format and the idea of poetry, when coming up with this was the Chris Farley character Matt Foley raising his horn-rimmed glasses at David Spade after hearing that Spade’s character wanted to be a writer.
“We-e-e-elll.. la-de-freakin'-da! We've got ourselves a writer here! Hey, Dad, I can't see real that Bill Shakespeare over there?”
I suppose you can call me Bill after that attempt at a limerick.

Moving on…though it certainly constitutes a Spring Training “puff piece”, this article by Anthony Castrovince on Travis Hafner reveals that Hafner’s 2007 season was clouded by some family health concerns and the distraction of his contract. But that’s just the baseball-relevant paragraph in the piece, which also lifts the curtain on the man known as Pronk. You know, the guy who was the Mathlete in High School, is not quite sure of the difference between a wrench and a screwdriver, is deathly afraid of needles, and whose goal in 2006 was to wear the same pair of camouflage pants to the park every day.
That guy, right?
I’m not sure why, but every time I read something like this about Hafner (it all started with his admission that he finished in the Top Ten of his High School class…of 8) that I just can’t help but like the guy, regardless of his performance on the field. Without sounding like a myopic fan who think that they could relate to professional athletes (which simply isn’t true anymore as the chasm between average people and the modern professional athlete grows daily), I wouldn’t mind sitting down with this guy over a couple of bottles of The Champagne of Bottled Beers…maybe we could talk about how we both think that needles are scary and somewhat unneccesary.

From the department of “Unsurprising News”, Tom Mastny has apparently locked up the final bullpen spot, for all intents and purposes.

Terry Pluto examines the attendance disparity between the Tigers and the Indians for the past few years and hits on his positives from Winter Haven (Hafner, The Frisco Kid, Gutz, Cabrera, and Barfield) and the negatives (Fultz, Laffey, and Marte). Interestingly, in the games prior to Pluto’s column Marte essentially made the 25-man roster as he seems to be heating up, with 3 HR in the past two days, which includes a 2 HR, 6 RBI outing against the Astros. Despite what Jim Ingraham thinks, here’s hoping that Marte is able to parlay the success into a consistency that would force his way into the lineup.

Finally, here’s an absolutely hilarious first-person view of what a trip to Winter Haven by some hard-living folks in their 20’s (I assume), which comes from the LGT’s resident improvisational actor, afh4. The impossible-to-erase image of Tribe bullpen coach Luis Isaac bellying up to a hotel bar in Winter Haven wearing a Kangol hat has me already making plans to linger around the Tribe bullpen this summer sporting my (as yet unpurchased) Kangol hat, trying to catch Luis' eye.

That’s about it.
I’m going to have to get going as I just got an instant message from some guy named “gorilla suit theo” asking me if I’ve been keeping my pitching wing loose and if my passport’s in order. It seems he has some room on a charter flight to Japan and is looking for someone interested in “taking the pill” in something happening over there.
Sounds intriguing - I’ll keep everyone abreast of the situation as it develops.

Now, everyone, go back to watching basketball.


Voltaire said...

Basketball shmasketball. I want me some Tribe!

t-bone said...

My employer share season tix with a big group of people, we get 15 games, but the tix are in our name. Well the point is, I may or may not have just signed off on a delivery from DHL... tix arrived minutes ago!

On this year's tix: