Don't worry folks, Liberace will be back next week, so we have Ted pinch hitting today with the Weekend Malaise. Once again, thanks to A Price Above Bip Roberts for pinch hitting here.
So you thought your week was bad, Ted has found some people whose lives are worse than yours. So while you are spending your weekend shuffling from Costco to cleaning out the attic, at least you know your lives aren't this bad.
Dallas Sports Fans
Pop quiz, hot shot: if you're QB of the Dallas Cowboys, and you go through a stretch of the season where Jessica Simpson is showing up to see you play, what DO you DO? Answer: nail her in as many positions as Texas law theoretically allows. Apparently, if you're Tony Romo, the answer is: put that on the back burner, and start canoodling with Carrie Underwood, mere months after you became only one of a handful of Dallas sports figures to crush your city's heart with one move (in your case, you couldn't hold onto a ball in a crucial situation). You got off the hook a little bit when the Stars lost first round, Dirk suddenly became Dirkina, and the Rangers - well, when the Rangers season began.
We're big fans of those in-game statistics that track "the swing" of events - for example, if a team misses a three ball, and the rebound is passed up the court for a wide open three, that's a "swing" of six points. Your swing, T-Mac, is abysmal. You could have swung from "never won a first round series" to "appearing in the Conference Finals," ala another HS-to-NBA prodigy, Da Kid, back in 2004. Your path was clear, because even though Yao is slow, we think you guys would have had a shot against the Warriors - and the Warriors had already punched their Conference Semi ticket when you got run off the court last Saturday night. So, your swing coulda been from "irrelevant little hack" to "on the verge of the Finals," but instead you're right back at the hack status. Sigh.
We won't badmouth Greinke too much, because he legitimately had social anxiety disorder last year. Facts are facts, though: in 2002, Baseball America called this kid "the future of pitching," essentially proving that if you use the word "future" in relation to someone on the Royals, the word "no" better be somewhere in that sentence too. Greinke, who led the AL in losses two years ago with 17, has now been moved to the bullpen.
We love you, Manny, but we'll be honest: maybe you shoulda waited just one more year to take a manager job. Jumping at this Nationals thing is cool and all, but there's a good chance you'll reach 30 losses before you reach 10 wins, and that's not - uh, how you say? -a good thing. By August, you might be running the winner of the White House Easter Egg Hunt, that dog that Bush's father had, and Strom Thurmond as your 2-3-4 pitchers, with Joe Theismann immediately after his Lawrence Taylor Moment of Zen as your set-up man. The sad thing is, even though that joke wasn't funny in the least, we weren't kidding.
First, you expose yourself as a total dork by getting hurt playing "Guitar Hero" (we'll admit, some cool people play that game, but usually only if they're trying to get laid that night). Then, because you grip your fastball too tightly, you're out for 12 weeks. In the meantime, the Tigers are on an eight-game tear, essentially proving that your 103 MPH gas is superfluous to everything the team has the potential to accomplish. Use this time wisely, Joel: learn the chords to "Patience," and then get some out there on that clump of dirt.
This was it, right here. Your year. You were about to come more than "the guy with the most assists in one game." You were about to come an Eastern Conference winning coach. Yea, dogg! You ran the defending World Champions off the court in embarassing, almost "new-king-is-getting-coronated" fashion. Here come the Bulls! Then, uh, you ran into a team that was the defending champions none too long ago, and they've essentially made you look worse than the Heat did in some respects. You go, boy... go right the heck home.
When Bonds got 661 to pass his godfather, or when he homered in his first game back after his dad's death, do you think he possibly could have realized that his (supposed) actions would eventually lead him to this? He's on the verge of a record that represents everything America is fascinated with: power, excess, and the long ball itself - and all anyone wants to do is hate on him.
What's this, you say? Drury's having a great week. He tied the game last Friday night against the Rangers with 7 seconds left in regulation; the Sabres went on to win in OT, then close out the series Sunday afternoon. No, he's not on this list because of looking back; he's on because of looking forward (we do both here, see?). Drury is about to enter a series against the Senators, a team that hates the Sabres perhaps more than Donald hates Rosie, and also knows full well that Drury is their emotional leader. Do you remember when the Red Wings and Avs were huge rivals, and Claude Lemieux absolutely destroyed Kris Draper in one of their pivotal playoff games? (I think it was 1997, but I might be wrong). Drury is going to get mercilessly head-hunted during this series. He better watch his back, neck, and other assorted parts.
Not only are you almost unquestionably now the NFL athlete with the biggest monkey on his back - after Peyton won it all - but your team goes and drafts Kevin Kolb, apparently without even telling you. You claimed to be "shocked" on a Philly radio station on Tuesday.
Billy Beane's Nurturing Soul
This isn't necessarily specific to this week, but consider some of Beane's main mentees since his baseball-philosophy-changing crusade in Oakland began: Paul DePodesta is unemployed, and the Dodgers are doing just fine, thank you very much with Ned Colletti; J.P. Riccardi, who seems to have abandoned "Moneyball" altogether, has a team bringing up the rear of the AL East during the 15th anniversary season of their first World Series; and all the scouts Beane left in his wake are probably slowly dying of cigar fume intake (you know, we'd guess).