With the season around the corner and today being a frivolous Friday, I figured now was the time to get a few general observations off my chest. I was going to do an April Fool’s Day post “arguing” that the Mariners should trade for Ryan Howard, but Dave’s under enough stress lately. For better or for worse, I actually believe everything written after the jump.
* Exhibit A in why you should always take fantasy baseball advice with a grain of salt is this important keeper league question David Gonos suggests you ask yourself:
Does Willie Bloomquist take over for Boone in 2006, or does Boone remain in the Emerald City?
It’s rare that a single “no” can take care of two questions, rarer still that one is so stunned by part of an inquiry as to render a more complete answer impossible.
* Bill Simmons puts me to shame with his knowledge of the NBA and pop culture arcana. So can he stick to that, and stop writing about Nirvana?
He’s done so in three recent columns. This one isn’t the worst — that was the bit where he claimed that, had Kurt Cobain lived, he’d be on a reality show for has-beens today — but this one illustrates a lot of what he has wrong.
There are the factual errors (Nirvana had produced only one, not two albums before Nevermind; also, apart from the question of which album you like better, it’s ludicrous to claim that every reviewer thought Pearl Jam’s album “Vs.” was much better than Nirvana’s “In Utero”).
There are also important omissions. It’s unfair to say that Nirvana had a head start on Messrs. Gossard, Vedder, Ament et. al. in terms of buzz. Pearl Jam was a much-anticipated successor to Mother Love Bone, a band on the cusp of making it, and included members of the late and lamented Green River. Around this time, Kurt Cobain was still glomming on to The Melvins for credibility. Think about that.
This is why Simmons should not call himself “The Music Guy.”
(And yes, that second Simmons link takes you to a Van Halen message board instead of the Worldwide Leader. I figure my fellow David Lee Roth believers need hits more than Bristol does. Plus, a Van Halen message board: how cool is that?)
* Speaking of reality TV: the only reality show I want to see Jose Canseco on involves Montecore the tiger and a suit made of t-bone steaks.
* Did anybody notice a month ago when Dallas Morning News columist Gerry Fraley half-seriously tried to start a rivalry between the M’s and the Rangers?
[Yes, it requires registration, but you can use mine: jeffmshaw at hotmail period com, password 842600]
To keep pace with the spring training unpleasantness, the Rangers need a blood rivalry. The ingredients are there for a feud with Seattle. Manager Buck Showalter seemed miffed that Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said at the start of spring training that the Rangers’ pitching is shaky. Rangers general manager John Hart fired new Seattle manager Mike Hargrove in 1999 despite five consecutive playoff appearances when both were at Cleveland. Hart picked up left-hander Brian Anderson from Bavasi in a contentious trade in 1996. The Rangers will have 19 games against Seattle this season. Stay tuned.
Well, I noticed. And I can say that I am all for this, especially if we get to sing “When You’re a Jet” before rivalry games.
* Lost in the shuffle from the Abraham Nunez signing was a prestigious award for Jeremy Reed. He won the Rookie of the Spring award, which is “given annually to the top Seattle or San Diego rookie at the conclusion of spring training.”
Clear a spot in the trophy case, Jeremy. This one should fit right between the little league trophies and the $2 winning scratch tickets. Hopefully, Reed can bring home similar honors from the 162 that count.
* Albert Chen, the guy who writes a non-daily non-blog for Sports Illustrated, predicts the Mariners will win the West. Woo-hah! Might as well not play the games and skip straight to the AL playoffs. Somebody tell Selig.
I think Chen may be the only national writer picking the Mariners. Here’s hoping he is as accurate as he is iconoclastic.