The Rick Rampages

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(Soon, there will be hockey. Very soon.)

And away he goes!

As always, my comments are in italics.

Kudos to last night’s second base umpire, Larry Young, for supplying me with additional evidence that many Major League umpires are somewhat less than major league. Good god, what could he have been thinking in ringing up Orlando Cabrera for allegedly leaving second too early on Trot’s dive into the right field stands to catch a fly ball? The appeal play never works, and it shouldn’t have worked there. It wasn’t even close! You have to wonder why the Sox even tried the appeal? Maybe they knew something? (This is what comes from knowing thy enemy. Maybe it was a habit of Cabby’s to leave too early and they remembered it? Hell if I know.)

The conventional wisdom is that Manny will be gone after this season, which I tend to agree with. (Nooooo!) I’m not picking on him while he’s struggling, but, in spite of his immense batting talent, the guy brings a lot of liabilities, on and off the field that seem to really be apparent this year. So if he goes, who hits behind (or in front of) Big Papi? And don’t forget that Dan Duquette brought him here, and Theo has been saddled with that contract all the while. (I…can’t even think about this. We’re in a pennant race. Isn’t it too early to think about Next Year? Besides, you can’t break up the Dominican Duo. *cries* Let’s just move on.)

I’m mesmerized by Roger Federer, current #1 men’s tennis player in the world. Many, myself included, believe him to be the best ever. Last night he simply steamrolled a very good player in David Nalbandian in three straight sets. There is no one thing that stands out with Federer other than his shot-making is absurdly precise. He’s like a surgeon at work. You might want to catch him this weekend for a set as the US Open wraps up with men’s action Saturday and Sunday. (Wait, I’m covering tennis now? Good god, I’m never sleeping again, am I? But Federer? Hmmm, yes, I could get behind this.)

I fear that many of us won’t fully appreciate Bill Mueller until he’s gone. (Oh, we appreciate him. Do we ever. Just not in ways I’m going to readily share with my dad. But also, he’s hitting like eleventy billion with men in scoring position. We love the Buelly. LOVE him.) The Sox may cut him loose after this season as they make way for Youks. Not that he’s a slouch either. (True, but he ain’t no Buelly).

Hey Detroit, how come the Tigers are struggling so much? (I dunno. Sam? Thoughts?) They seem to have a pretty solid roster, and I know their pitching is growing up. Or maybe Alan Trammell is a meathead, as he demonstrated the night a few weeks ago against the Sox when he pulled a highly effective, low pitch count Nate Robertson without having a bona-fide closer?

I’m only going to say this once, but if The Boss cans either Joe Torre or Brian Cashman for any reason this winter it’s a big mistake…so let’s hope he does it. (Oh, yes please! And let’s hope the carnage is televised on ESPN. Maybe it will go something like this.) With all their injuries, especially to the pitching, and the variety of distractions, I believe this is the best job that either has done. (And don’t forget the steroids and the cheating. That’s helped too.)

Gotta love the Cleveland Indians (my fallback pick in the AL). They have completely dismantled and rebuilt the team into a contender in just a few short years. They seem to keep rolling out the kids who can get the job done. Ace Cliff Lee (yes, that Cliff Lee), is 15-4 with an ERA under 4.00. Indian fans become maniacal when the team starts winning as I’ve seen from my travels out there. Good for them. (Hey, if the freakin’ Bad News Bears can keep the Yankees out of the playoffs, I’ll roll out the red carpet for them myself.)

Randy Moss and the Raiders deserve each other. (*spits in the general direction of Oakland and its scary, insane fans*) That would also be a good place for TO, don’t you think? (And now, I feel the need to share with you a recent TO quote: “At the end of the day, I don’t have to worry about what people think of me, whether they hate me or not. People hated on Jesus. They threw stones at him and tried to kill him, so how can I complain or worry about what people think?” Um, yeah.)

Hockey will soon be upon us, (!!!!!) and being one of those hard-core fans that they talk about, I’m excited about the Bruins chances this year. I like a lot of the acquisitions that the team has made, and the rules changes, especially the planned reduction in clutching and grabbing which should open things up for the likes of Joe Thornton. We’ll have to search the TV dial some to find NHL games on OLN, the Tour de France network! (Seriously, the hell? What the hell is wrong with you people that you’re not watching more hockey? It’s like football! On ice! With sharp things! And sticks! It’s so excellent!) Thankfully, the Bruins will be on NESN as usual.

Speaking of hockey, it looks like the Sporting News has dropped coverage of the NHL. (WHAT?!?) TSN has been my favorite sports mag for several years but recent format changes, the fact that they can rarely get it to my mailbox in time, and the dropping of hockey coverage will prompt me to drop TSN when my subscription runs out. (Me too. Seriously, they can devote a trillion and a half pages to NASCAR which no one I know gives two shits about and they’re going to drop hockey coverage? Just when hockey is coming back? I knew I got a Sports Illustrated subscription for a reason. *sighs in disgust*)

Dontrelle Willis is a great story this summer – a refreshing break from all the steroids talk. Let’s see how he holds up. (I want! Don’t tell me his wacky leg kick and crazy ass delivery – not to mention his apparently goofy demeanor – wouldn’t fit in perfectly on the Sox? You know him and Millar’d be pouding Jaeger shots in no time.)

These are my rants, let’s hear yours!

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