Various thoughts on current events with an emphasis on politics, legal issues, sports, and whatever is on my mind. Emails can be sent to email@example.com; please put "blog comments" in the subject line.
It's football season with the last game having the up and coming Vikings blew a good chance to tie at the end of regulation with a basically stupid third down attempt with thirteen seconds or so left with no time outs. It resulted in a turnover and after their rival (Packers) stole one on the inability of Detroit to finish, they looked not ready for prime time. This was bad since they were play prime time Thursday Night Football.
The Redskins on Monday Night Football blew a chance to take sole position in their weak division though looking at tie breakers and all, it might not help the NY Giants, who some people think won't even beat Miami. How I see it, even granting the Redskins split their remaining NL East games, the NYG likely would be tied three ways -- a 7-9 record for both teams (but who knows there), they split the season series with the Redskins and both will have the same record in-division. The Redskins control their destiny there -- if they beat both NL East opponents, they should win over the Giants. We then go to conference record. Unfortunately, three out of four games remain there for the Giants, including against Carolina and the Vikings.
Now, the Eagles did beat the Patriots in the "every dog has a day" game, so you'd think the Giants have ONE upset in them. You'd think they wouldn't blow every close game late more or less too. So, your mileage might vary there. There is a good chance that the Giants will actually need a 8-8 record to get the loser division trophy, or given how they are a bunch of losers, somehow have to win one of the tough opponents (who can lose; Carolina is due to lose eventually after all) just to tie. I will not be shocked if the Romo-less Cowboys or inept but managing to actually score an upset (which might be what it takes in the end) Eagles win. Meanwhile, there is a good chance that the Jets will go 9-7 and lose on tie breakers. Realistically, that is a reasonable record, except a great shot and promised more.
Meanwhile, baseball continues to be in the news with "Winter" Meetings and some major moves taken by teams like the Diamondbacks, Cubs and now the Mets. Well, "major" is relative. Perhaps, the most notable news on some level is that Michael Cuddyer just announced his retirement. Some Mets fans will say "a bit too late," but mean girl aside, I wish him luck. He came off as a great role model and guy. But, you know, it is not that big of a shock given how he played last season. And, though the team now kinda needs a back-up at 1st Base (though one of the catchers might do it, who is then the back-up catcher?), they now have around $10M. So, a NY Daily News piece was right basically to say this was a sort of early Christmas present. The idea of Cuddyer being the bench coach, the position now vacant, is intriguing. He's a good team guy; don't know about the position. Is he the next Mattingly (bench coach to manager)?
I'm still bummed about the team apparently running into a brick wall in the World Series. Damn winning one more game would have meant so much there. I'm going to allow myself to cry over spilled milk there -- the principle makes sense generally, but you need to give yourself a pass some time. Another thing hard to put aside is that Daniel Murphy is gone. He is now. They trade Jon Niese for a short term second baseman (Neil Walker), who is Murphy without the nuttiness and flexibility. And, they signed a new shortstop, Asdrubal Cabrera, who people are saying is serviceable. AC can also play some second. Flores, unless he's a trade chip for an outfielder or reliever, basically becomes a swing guy, plus logically the person to use as David Wright insurance.
So, the Mets basically have a new middle of the infield with Tejeda hurt because of you know who and Flores hurt from Winter Ball (he is said to be due back by Spring, but the signing might have been influenced by the Mets having both of their MLB shortstops hurt). They also only have four starters with Colon also not signed. This made me somewhat iffy on the Walker trade, but if we are honest about Murphy going, guess it made sense. The team still needs more offense and another outfielder would be useful there. Some want the yellow canary to come back there, but like Zobrist (who four year, near sixty million, contract to me is a bit nuts), question such a long term, expensive deal that might end when he is in his late 30s. I'm thinking they will find a cheaper option. Still, as seen in the World Series, this team needs a difference maker bat.
As is, the team really didn't seem to get better -- Walker in a way is a step down from Murphy, except perhaps his defense is a bit better. It isn't that good, mind you, but it does give people more opportunities to exaggerate Murphy's flaws there. I wish the guy well -- hope he goes to a team like the Angels. Likewise, the new shortstop is not much of an upgrade on Flores, except to provide a more veteran position there. So, especially to take the bad taste out of my mouth, I hope -- actually I both demand and kinda expect (less assuringly) another bat move. Plus some pitching tweaks. Good enough beginning and again Cuddyer helps there.