The Common Man

Recent Posts

I don’t have hope. That sounds really horrible on the surface, so I feel like I should explain.  You’ve undoubtedly heard of the Ancient Greek myth of Pandora’s box, wherein Zeus gave the first woman, Pandora, a chest that she was instructed never to open.  But Pandora’s curiosity got the better of her and she opened it, releasing evil into this world.  By the time she could get it closed again, only hope remained in the bottom of the box.  Most people think this is a good thing, that hope gives us the strength to move forward in the face of incredible odds.  I mean, none of us get out of this life alive, so without hope, life could just be a nihilistic slog.

But there’s a certain interpretation of the myth that holds that hope is actually Zeus’s greatest revenge on Prometheus for his treachery.  By making sure that Prometheus’s creation, humanity, retained its hope for the future, Zeus ensured that men and women would continue to be disappointed when tragedy and death befell them, as it eventually does everyone. To live without hope, then, is the ultimate freedom because you can simply enjoy any good that comes your way without creating unreasonable expectations about that good fortune continuing.  So with the Twins on pace for a second consecutive 90 loss season, I’m enjoying my lack of hope as much as I possibly can.

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If I’m being honest (and when am I ever not honest with you people), I couldn’t care less about the Olympics this year.  A lot of that probably stems from the fact that I’d just prefer to keep watching baseball every night than to tune into a big event where I don’t really know all the rules and am going to have to trust the announcers to educate me (what if I get stuck with the Tim McCarver of water polo?).  And I’d rather see the Twins play or listen to the beautiful cadence of (the now Twitterly aware) Vin Scully than root for the U.S. of A. to prove that it has the best putters of shot on God’s green Earth.  And I don’t care to see the NBA superstars of Team USA destroy Nigeria, like the Globetrotters taking on an 8th grade traveling squad.  There’s not much glory in that.

It’s not that I’m not patriotic.  It’s just that I don’t see why I should care who the best hurdler or diver or marathon runner is.  I don’t understand the nationalist fervor that would have me rooting for a target shooter or rhythmic gymnast to somehow prove that the U.S. is #1, as though that weren’t (in large part) a function of having a large population and a willingness to funnel tremendous resources into our Olympic program.

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Rumor has it he’s the one I’m leaving you for. – Adele

(Yeah, that’s right, I just quoted Adele. I am that confident in my own masculinity.)

I’m beginning to hate rumors.  Like, a lot.  It’s not that I’m worried about spoilers.  I’d love to have a scoop about player movement before it happens, as it makes analysis and writing it up so much easier.

But here’s what happens with rumors:

 ”At least the Dodgers, Blue Jays and Giants appear to have some interest in Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who is making a nice comeback this year.”

See what Heyman did there?  The Blue Jays and Giants are “interested in” Morneau.  He doesn’t tell us the level of interest, or the likelihood that a deal will get done before Tuesday night (although Morneau could probably slip through waivers unclaimed).*  He also doesn’t mention the Rangers, who have also been linked to Morneau at one point or another in the last couple weeks.

*Update: Aaaaaaaand…the Dodgers are already out.

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I have a confession.  I used to watch Monday Night Raw.  I used to watch it a lot.  Like every week.  Like, I’d sit around a tiny TV in college with a bunch of other dudes and drink bad beer and yell at the screen.  We paid for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view that The Rock won (in controversial fashion) by clinging to the top rope and pulling The Big Show out while seeming to put his foot on the ground.  It was traumatic.

Anyway, with Raw’s 1000th episode last night (which I didn’t watch; sorry), I figured it was time to dust off our old metaphor bit and feature some of the greatest sports entertainers in WWF/WWE history:

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Honestly, I don’t know what to say.  I don’t know how to console you, Blue Jays fans.  I don’t know how to ease your pain.  I know that you are in pain, and that it just won’t stop.  He was a God who walked among you.  And now he’s gone with just a swing of the bat.

Jose Bautista might come back this year, but who knows how effective he’ll be with a weakened wrist?  Under normal circumstances, this would be a good time to panic and begin moving as much talent as you can before the trade deadline in two weeks.  Bautista would be worth something along the lines of 3-4 wins over the rest of the season, after all, and with the host of other problems the Jays have had staying healthy, keeping pace would normally be a tremendous longshot.

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Over the last few weeks, we’ve (ok, I’ve) had a good time making fun of the fact that Ricky Romero is basically the last man standing in Toronto, after Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchinson, and Brandon Morrow all went down and Henderson Alvarez came up sore.  But maybe “standing” is the wrong word, since Romero has been brought to his knees lately by opposing hitters.

Last night, Ricky Romero allowed eight earned runs in his second straight start, this time to the lowly Royals, who touched him up for 11 hits and three walks in 6 innings of work.  Romero now is 8-3 on the year, but don’t let the record fool you.  He has a 5.35 ERA that ranks 96th out of the 105 pitchers who qualify for the ERA title this year, and even before the Red Sox and Royals used him as a punching bag, it’s not like Romero was great shakes.  Indeed, since May 1, Romero has given up 54 runs in 70.1 innings and has walked 12.8% of the batters he’s faced.  Indeed, despite the fact that his velocity has essentially held steady, all of his indicator stats are going in the wrong direction:

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Last night, as you no doubt saw on your television machines, Henderson Alvarez left the game against the Red Sox with elbow soreness.  Now, it sounds as though this was something of a precautionary move and no big deal in the long run.  But since we’re talking about the Blue Jays starting rotation, you can be forgiven for assuming his arm needed to be amputated.

Help could be on the way, though, in the form of Jamie Moyer, who signed a Minor League contract last night and could be inserted into the Jays starting rotation, making himself more indispensible than any 9th starter in baseball history before him.  At least until he has a stroke or gets hit by a meteor.  Ricky Romero, lest he be felled in a hail of bullets or something, is only going to be allowed to leave his bubblewrap-casing to use the men’s room, and even then he has to use the buddy system.

You might wonder (I know I did) where the job of Blue Jays starting pitcher ranks on a list of the most dangerous jobs in North America.  Obviously pretty high.  The list looks something like this:

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