Monday, October 29, 2007

Well, I guess baseball season is over...
It ain't over 'til it's over, but it's all over now...

The World Series ended last night, as the Boston Red Sox brought their brooms with them, and swept the Colorado Rockies in four straight. I'm sure that with the dawning of a new day, the Rockies will realize their team made some great strides this year, but, face it...losing is not fun, and they lost. Consider, if you will, that before the Red Sox won the Series in 2004, they hadn't been in a series for 86 YEARS. So the Rockies can't be feeling very good about this, 'cos who knows when they'll be in a series again...if ever. It's an "iffy" proposition all the way around. Sure, you've gotta have great players who can hit and pitch, but a certain amount of luck is needed, too. Balls bouncing your way; fielders missing your line drives, bad bounces on the infield turning a sure out into a base hit; you know, stuff like that. And if luck ain't with ya, it's gonna be a long season.

I had not seen Colorado play at all this past season; I torture myself by listening to or watching the yearly struggles of the Seattle Mariners, and as such, I rarely see any National League action. In the first two games of the series, Boston DOMINATED things, running up huge run tallies, and just punishing the Rockies, which had me thinking, "what makes Colorado so good, anyway?" As the series shifted from Boston to Denver, and the Rockies were playing on home turf, they began looking more comfortable, putting together hits and manufacturing runs, and also smacking the occasional home-run, and during those last two games, the Rockies had the Red Sox on the ropes a couple of times, but in the end, Boston's depth won out. Whatever the Rockies did, Boston did better. And in the end, Boston's pitching made all the difference. Closer Jonathon Papelbon's rocket right arm was devastating all series long...and especially last night.

The Rockies won something like 20 out of their last 21 regular-season games, just to get to the World Series. And like all the other major league teams (except for Boston, at least until their World Series victory euphoria ends), they hope they'll have something to smile about next year.

It looks like A-ROD wanted out: Alex Rodriguez is LEAVING THE YANKEES. Everyone knows he's making the largest salary in major league baseball, and will continue to make AT LEAST that, no matter who he ends up playing for. Presently, he's raking in $252 million over several seasons. Something like $5,000 for every at-bat. So why's he leaving? Well, he was playing for some of the most cynical and hardnosed fans in the baseball world, and his boss has never been a candidate for any kind of "Mr. Congeniality" award, ever. Well, you've heard the saying that "any kid can grow up to be President", but why would anyone want to? Talk about high pressure. By the same token, being a Yankee is a dream for a lot of players, but when one experiences all the pressure and bad vibes A-Rod, or anyone else who has been on the team receives, why would anyone want to be a New York Yankee? If ol' man Steinbrenner ain't on yer back, you've got the fans' pent-up hostility, plus the New York newspapers saying all kinds of nasty things about you.

I could belabor this point to death, much as I belabor points I've made in other blogs, but we all know that charts, graphs and pictures can oftentimes add much-needed clarity in achieving true understanding of a complicated situation, especially one that involves millions and millions of dollars. Major-league baseball players don't come cheap, after all, which necessitates those eight-dollar bottles of beer and ten-dollar hot dogs (that might be an exaggeration) that fans must buy, because after all, they're doing their duty by supporting Major League Baseball. Anyway, I have presented two pictures below...the first picture describes the aerodynamics of a baseball as it sails through the air...

Of course, if you're talking about a 98-mph baseball that Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon throws, the above diagram would actually need to show a tail of FLAMES, and quite possibly, the baseball would also need a NASA-type heat shield so it doesn't burn up before it reaches the catcher. Next up, I tailored the above diagram to represent the quandry that A-Rod presently finds himself immersed in. It's been customized to fit his present situation. After all, that $252 million (or what's left of it, since it's been a while since the Texas Rangers agreed to pay him that much before he left for New York to become a big star...) has gotta come from SOMEWHERE. This should, at least to a degree, portray ol' A-Rod's present situation...

The Texas Rangers have been funneling money to the New York Yankees in order to keep A-Rod's salary paid. Obviously, some kind of convoluted trade-plus-cash deal. I can just see it now: Pretty soon, the rest of the major league teams will be hearing from the Texas rangers, saying, "DON'T SIGN A-ROD, OR WE'LL GO BANKRUPT!" A-Rod's a great player, who set all kinds of records while a Yankee, but somehow, his batting average turned to almost zilch during the Yankees' numerous post-season appearances over the last few years. Maybe that huge wage he's being paid puts him under additional pressure. And then he tanks. That's my theory.

BLOG UPDATE: (11/28/2007) I heard recently that A-Rod actually RETURNED to the Yankees, albeit at a higher salary. That was probably the only move he could make, since he makes more per year than the average annual U.S. Gross National Product. Face it, no one else had the Really Big Bucks.

In writing this post, I was struck by a thought: People are often ridiculed if it's found out they pay attention to the goofy soap-operas which are still a presence on network TV. Heck, there's even a soap-opera network; how nuts is that? I don't need the soaps...I endure major-league baseball instead.


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