Sunday, November 19, 2006

I Must Be Having A Flashback

Last night's ephemeral jaunt into the twilight zone ended with the buzzing of an alarm clock at 11:55 AM this morning so I could be awake to watch the Bears/ Jets game. Let me tell you, I was tired. My throat was sore, my eyes were puffy, and slipping out from underneath the covers was a task I dreaded.

But a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. So after remaining in bed for the first quarter, I courageously crawled out of bed to check how my fantasy football teams were faring. Swooning from a light head and empty stomach I stumbled over to my desk, turned on the computer and found the bookmark to my first team. (Lee Evans massive first quarter staked me to a lead in two of my three matchups.)

The Outlook email notification told me to check the mail so I found a comment from Fornelli about something I posted yesterday, something he obviously found bemusing cuz all it read was, "(shakes his head)." One of the few commenting problems Blogger has is the non-identification of what post the comment email originates from, and with the ambiguity of the comment I needed to check the site to see what had Fornelli shaking his head.

Upon opening the site, I found the post just below this one which I really don't remember typing, but there were no comments attached to it so to the next one I went, the one with a big ole' pic of "Go Blue" staring me in the face. Yikes. Without looking, I knew what Fornelli was shaking his head at.

So after yesterday's games where did Notre Dame stand in the latest rankings? The AP and USAToday/ Coaches Poll were both available by this time, and the next link I clicked was to check it out.

The dream world/ fantasy land I'd invaded last night in order to post such a crazy thing as flags and flaggers suddenly flashed before me. On the television to my left the Bears were struggling with a mediocre Jets team, but that was no dream. The Bears have had issues lately. No, I felt the tug of the prior night's musings cuz of the headline before me: The Cubs Sign Alfonso Soriano for $136 Million.

Huh? Was I still asleep?

Was this part of my nocturnal journal?

A pinch of the skin didn't help; I was still groggy with sleep. Maybe I needed to clean the plumbing, get the blood flowing, get the neurons firing in the brain. Then again, maybe I needed to dry out from yesterday's cough medicine overdose.

The Tribune Company doesn't step out that often to make a big splash in the free agent market; they normally make their hay by trading for big names. They did so for Sammy Sosa, D-Lee and Aramis Ramirez. No, their free agent spending is used on the Todd Walkers, Jeremy Burnitzs or the Jacques Joneses of the baseball world -- third tier players used as stop-gap measures until something better comes along. Or they'll save their money to resign their own guys like A-Ram and Kerry Wood.

No, this headline didn't register in my cerebral cortex because it's something the Cubs management would normally never attempt. Look at the outrageous numbers included in the contract: 8 years at $17 million a year. And this after they just spent a bundle resigning A-Ram. What's with the recent unconscious spending spree? Wasn't the Cubs real problem pitching? Shouldn't they be spending that money on two established starters like Barry Zito and Jason Schmidt? Ten million for Zito and eight or nine for Schmidt would have given them a rather formidable rotation with Zambrano, Prior and Wade Miller or maybe even one of the many up and coming rookies they started last year.

But didn't the Cubs just sign a 2nd baseman, Mark DeRosa, and isn't A-Ram the 3rd baseman for the foreseeable future? What happens to Matt Murton's growth if they throw Soriano out in LF where played most of last season? Does this signal the end of the Juan Pierre era in CF, someone every Cubs fan will tell you they were very high on last year? They can't possibly spend any more money on free agents without risking a huge hit from the luxury tax, can they?

This certainly would signify a change in team strategy, one more to the liking of new team manager Lou Pinella. In fact the Cubs remind me a lot of some of his Seattle teams --big big lineup, fair to okay pitching, defense that will be tested down the lines other than at firstbase.

But now I'm thinking crazy. I'm speculating about the lineup, rotation and defense of the Cubs, a team I dislike almost as much as the University of Michigan. My eyes are starting to swell again, the Bears are still mired in a 0-0 tie at half-time, and I'm having vision of flaggers again.

"Get out quicker," that was last night's medicinal message.

"Get back into bed, you're seeing things" is what I'm hearing today. I can't really be seeing a Cubs team that's giving itself a chance to compete, can I?


Blogger Criminal Appeal said...

Fear not, in the long run Soriano will hurt the Cubs more than help them. They've just tied up a huge chunk of the budget in one guy who is about a 4 win improvement over any one of their starting outfielders from last year. Not exactly enough to put a 66 win team over the top. Plus, they'll still have a huge chunk of the budget tied up in him when he's 36, 37, 38!!! Insane.

10:45 AM, November 20, 2006  
Blogger Internet Creatures said...

Only Jay Mariotti would travel to East Rutherford only to write about the Soriano signing rather than the Bears game. Glad to see the Sun-Times getting their money's worth from their employee.

1:41 PM, November 20, 2006  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

Sorry Jimmy, I didn't get a chance to read this BEFORE I posted. Two Cubs posts on the same day is a terrible precedent, in any case.

3:08 PM, November 20, 2006  

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