...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thursday was L.A. Sports Day

Albert Pujols is taking his talents to Long Beach (adjacent).  As a Yankees fan, this provides no heartburn since the Yanks couldn't even beat the Angels before this.  As a baseball fan, I really dig this because now I can actually watch the sport's most exciting robot play every day!  If you don't think that he's a robot, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.  He broke his forearm last year and was back in the lineup two weeks later as noticeably a better player.  I'm just going to repeat that.  He broke his forearm.  He healed in less than two weeks.  Then he was an even better player.  That's what the media will tell you at least.  He didn't heal at all.  They just replaced The Albot v4.1 with The Albot v4.2.  I'm interested in how the v5.0 model will perform.

The contract is daft.  Not the $254M.  Compared to other salaries out there and his actual value, the yearly salary is reasonable.  What's cracked is that it was for 10 years.  My qualms have nothing to do with the unsubstantiated rumors that he's been lying about his age.  Future Pujols models will be unable to play the field, so he'll be restricted to DH within six years; maybe fewer if he can do what Jeter can't and surrender the glove before the fielding gets embarrassing.  So, for most of the contract they'll have a part-time player (which is what a DH is, value-wise).  Hasn't baseball seen this happen before.  You know, recently.  This year.  Alex Rodriguez, anyone?

The Angels also picked up CJ Wilson for five years, $77.5M.  Wilson has been a starter for two years and is already 31.  I'm just happy the Yankees didn't pick him up.  The Angels will have great starting staff with Weaver and Haren and Wilson.

But they'll also have a 2012 payroll of over $180 million.  That means that we'll see at least three teams (Sawx, Anaheim, and Phils) in the $160-$180M range next year.  Meanwhile, the Yankees' payroll in 2012 will be what it was SEVEN YEARS AGO.  So I guess there will be four evil empires now.

Tangent: Owner Jeffrey Loria busted out the once-a-decade Marlins Credit Card, signing Jose Reyes and Mark Bueller Buehrle to cushy multi-year deals.  This time he's gambling on a new stadium and swapping out the dreaded "Florida" for the less-dreaded "Miami" to bring in more fans.  Reyes is a great signing, as long as he's healthy.  We'll see if he brings in the local Dominican demographic that Loria desperately wants in his seats.  Buehrle, on the other hand, probably won't sell more tickets but should hang a couple more Ws up in the standings.  Still, these two guys aren't enough to take the NL East.  Even if Josh Johnson is healthy all year, they'll be lucky to tussle with Atlanta for the Wild Card.  And if DC's youth turn out to be half as good as the hype, the Marlins may not move anywhere in the standings.

Tangent:  When I lumbered into the condo building's elevator this morning at 6:45am on the way to the gym, I was engulfed in the scents of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies AND brownies.  Then the doors closed and the elevator descended.  It was a pleasing experience.  As far as erotic sensory experiences go, it was a ★★★½.

Tangent: iTunes awarded Tiny Tower as the best game app of 2011.  I have Tiny Tower.  It requires no skill and has not a hint of complexity.  And I don't mean that in a Zen way.  I mean that in a "barely holds your attention while you sit on the toilet" way.  I should know.

The Lakers gave up Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom for CHRIS PAUL.  He gets all caps because he is awesome.  And there are rumors floating, like oh so many methane-loaded turds, about an LA-Orlando trade based around Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard.  If that goes through, the Lakers will run the table...... for the regular season.  And the playoffs.

They don't even need Howard.  Even with Bonehead Bynum playing occasionally, the CP-Kobe duo is monstrous.  It's perfect if you think about it.  Kobe wants the ball on every single play and CP is the best passer in the game.  As you can tell, my knowledge of on-court strategy is vast.  Vast.

"Esta bien."
This a reverse-Sheffield situation for me.  In 2004, I was a Yankee fan, but could not stand Gary Sheffield.  And then they signed him.  There was a lot nose pinching when he came to the plate in pinstripes.

[Wow, now I'm remembering that Yankee team.  By 2005 they'd picked up Sheffield, Randy Johnson, and Kevin Brown.  F***.  I guess I was just rooting for the uniform.]

Conversely, I'm not a Lakers fan (Go Clips!).  But I am a Chris Paul fan.  I wish the Clippers had traded for him, but they have no good pieces to deal--

BREAKING NEWS! (okay, it was breaking news when I started writing this last night)  The majority of NBA owners have blocked the trade.  Wow, what has happened to David Stern?  He's more like Daniel Stern now.

Here's the scoop: The Hornets are owned by the NBA, which means that each team owner has an equal share in the ownership.  This was supposed to allow the Hornets' general manager to deal openly with other teams, like any other GM.  But because this hurt some billionaires' feelings, as there was worry about the Lakers carrying an all-star team, they shotblocked this deal.  Stern clearly has no control over the owners and he handled the lockout like a fool.

And now a classic snippet from this morning's media blitz:
"I don't want to speak on the basketball side, but that particular one was weighed against Chris Paul's continued presence in New Orleans," Stern said in New York at the NBA's offices.  
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said Thursday the deal was blocked for "basketball reasons." The league owns the Hornets and is trying to sell the club.

So, um.  What?  Yes, let's not speak about the basketball side since you're the commissioner of Whack-A-Mole.  But then your spokesperson said that the deal was blocked due to the basketball side.

Well done.  Keep up the good work.  And to conclude, "Morons. I've got morons on my team."