The First Wind of the Bastard Winter Blows: Off Season News, Notes, and Thoughts Part I

Fuck… I’m a little hung here. At least, I think I am. It could just be the Taco Bell that I dominated last night on my way down to the Rhino (which, now that Parkes has validated my suspicions that it is an awesome bar, I am ready to claim is a fucking awesome bar). On their own, the five or six big bottles of Grolsh that I drank shouldn’t be quite enough to make me feel this shitty, so it’s probably a little from Column A, a little from Column B.

Anyhow, welcome to my first (sober) off-season post. I’m basically just winging it right now, so it’s very possible that titles, formats, potential recurring segments and whatever else might change.

News originating from ESPN today that former Jay, Scott Schoeneweis– or as we cleverly nicknamed him, Schoenedouche– received shipments of steroids, from the same company Troy Glaus did, during 2003 and 2004 when he was with the White Sox.

As much as I have a lot of sympathy for those sorts of “deer in the headlights” kind of pitchers who get run out there knowing that they just can’t quite cut it, this guy was a fucking bag of shit. Unlike, say, Jason Frasor or Josh Towers, I would have had a lot more sympathy for Shoeneweis if he didn’t insist that he was good and should probably be starting. He fucking sucked bag, and everybody knew exactly what was going to happen when he came into games. He was basically an unlikable Brian Tallet.

OK, maybe he’s actually an alright dude. Part of me always wanted to think that. But most of me thought: fuck him.

Strange Rumblings From the Atlanta Journal Constitution
Columnist Mark Bradley wrote today in the AJC that, instead of bringing back Tom Glavine (which apparently some Braves fans have been pining for– so I guess we don’t have the market cornered on sentimental tools up here just yet), the Braves should look at younger options, like… Shaun Marcum.

Ricciardi has said that he’s not interested in trading any of his young pitching, but obviously that’s just posturing. No GM, even one as dumb as a lot of Jays fans seem to believe Ricciardi is, would live by a blanket statement like that. It’s pretty simple: if a trade is going to improve the club, you listen.

Of course, the fact that Marcum’s name showed up in an Atlanta paper doesn’t at all mean that he’s available or even being talked about, but it wouldn’t be a terrible move to “sell high” on this guy. I like him a lot, but– to stick with the Braves angle– if you could package him up and get Renteria, who is expendable in Atlanta with the emergence of Yunel Escobar, that opens up a lot of possibilites. Renteria could leadoff, making Johnson expendable. Lind could be given the LF job, Reed could be non-tendered and his money used to bring in a bullpen arm that allows Janssen to enter the rotation.

I’m just thinking out loud, of course. But it’s really not such a terrible idea. At the very least, JP has to be aware that he’s failed to “sell high” on Glaus and Johnson (and Wells?), and that he’s not any better off for it.

Belated Awesomeness
I couldn’t stand to let the season’s last mention of our favourite phrase pass without comment… even though it happened like a week ago.

The $55 million man has been accused of making a long arm go a little way. He’s been injured for lengthy stretches of his first two years as a Jay and boasts an underwhelming 69-65 career record. But now he feels that, at 30, he has turned some sort of corner in his approach to pitching.

“I’m staying within myself,” a contemplative Burnett said. “I’m using all three of my pitches (fastball, curveball, change-up). You learn a lot from these kids – Marcum, McGowan – they pitch. All I’ve heard my whole career is, `This guy has got a God-blessed arm and all this talent.’ It’s time I harnessed that.”

Notes From a Fan590 Addiction
I know it’s not cool to reprint a private email that somebody sent to you without first asking their permission, but I think this case is cause for an exception. But before I do, let’s get something straight: I don’t give two shits about the NFL. It’s watchable. I’ll follow the playoffs. But basically it’s boring as hell– especially now that the Bills are useless as fuck. Frankly, because of my Fan590 addiction, I’m more interested in the CFL– which is fucked, because I’ve never given two shits (or even one shit) about the CFL.

Despite all that, I felt the need to respond when yesterday Chuck Swirsky started his show by forcefully proclaiming that Brett Favre is the greatest living quarterback. Not the greatest playing today, the greatest alive right now. So I shot him a quick email asking when the fuck Joe Montana died.

Chuck, as you might expect, responded with a thorough dissertation explaining his point: “GREATEST LIVING QB…Favre over Joe….hands down”. (OK, it’s pretty cool that Chuck actually responds.)

On to other things: During last week’s Friday Primetime Roundtable there was a mention of somebody with great hair. I can’t remember who it was, but it happened sometime after the whole group tossed around some embarrassingly uninformed shit about the Jays’ desire to win (Note to Primetime guys: You’re still the best in the business, but maybe at least watch a team before opening your fat mouths about how none of the Jays show any fire or emotion or frustration on the field, because Wells and Glaus were throwing helmets and gloves in batboys faces or shouting out in frustration all year).

The hair guy’s secret, we were told, was that instead of hair gel, he used hand cream.

This prompted Kirke to make a crack about how he thinks he’s past the point where he needs to get himself hair gel and hand cream, to which Kelley responded: “Yeah, but you still spend a lot of time on the road.”

Gold! This is why Kelley fucking rules, and why– despite his lack of an open mind about the UFC– I still haven’t decided whether I like him or Brunt the best.

Finally, it’s being reported this hour that the Leafs will inexplicably be matching the Hal Gill/Andy Wozniewski defensive pairing up against the Spezza line in their opener against Ottawa. Wow… I might have to break my vow to not watch hockey this year in the first fucking game just to watch this slaughter.