Yankee Doodle Dealings and Land-o-Links for 8/2/2006

Pitching and defense win championships in baseball. It’s a concept that’s constantly beaten into our heads, right? Yet, almost every baseball prognosticator alive is convinced that the Yankees have taken control of the American League by adding Bobby Abreu and Craig Wilson to the lineup along with fifth starter Cory Lidle. (Mercifully, the great Gregg Doyel is an exception.)

Now, considering that the Yankees were able to obtain these players for very little in exchange, these were certainly great deals when examining them on paper. However, even with the injuries to Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield, the Yankees weren’t having any trouble scoring runs before the trade deadline. Their biggest concern, as with many other teams, was and still is starting pitching. Lidle’s stats need to be taken with a monster grain of salt since he’s coming from the National League. If Bronson Arroyo all of the sudden becomes an ace by switching leagues, you know that there’s a serious gap in quality.

The upshot here is that the Yankees could very well bash in enough runs to make it to the postseason, but there’s no way that they’re winning the World Series this year with that pitching staff. For all of those that get a little too excited about sexy offensive stats, remember how the Indianpolis Colts and the Dallas Mavericks ended their respective seasons in 2006. The adage about pitching and defense winning championships is old and tired, but it bears repeating since people seem to forget it every single year. On to today’s links:

1) Parsing Mel’s Meltdown (Washington Post) – Let’s see… Steven Spielberg… Jeffrey Katzenberg… the Weinstein brothers… it seems to me that Hollywood isn’t the greatest town in the world to have a beef with Jewish people. (By the way, I hope I will look half as good as this if I ever have to get a mugshot taken in a drunken stupor.)

2) Bulls Announce 2006-07 Regular Season (Bulls.com) – Call me crazy, but the last time that I’ve been this excited about an upcoming season for any of my rooting interests was with the 2004-05 Illini basketball team. There’s nothing quite like watching a team on the ascent after improving significantly during the offseason. The coverage of the Bulls is getting back up to the numbers of the Jordan Era, with 30 of their games being broadcast on national television (which doesn’t even include the games on Superstation WGN). If anything, it could be a banner October with the Bulls (tipping off on Halloween), White Sox (as long as our pitchers stop giving up run totals in the double-digits), Bears, and better-than-even odds for a Big Ten win for Illinois football since we have Indiana at home this year.

3) Defending Conference Co-Champion Ohio State Named Big Ten Football Preseason Favorite (Big Ten.com) – In case you missed the blanket ESPNEWS coverage of Big Ten Media Day yesterday, the media members voted for the obvious preseason choice for conference football champs. With these high gridiron expectations being coupled with one of the greatest basketball recruiting classes in history coming into Columbus this year, it’s a great time to be a Buckeye. As for the Illini, did I mention the fact that Illinois gets to play Indiana at home this year?

4) Move Over, Napa (Chicago Tribune) – My wife and I were up in the Saugatuck-Douglas area over the Fourth of July weekend, and I’ll have to say that I’m a fan of the Michigan vino.

And finally…

5) Man Has Erection For 10 Years and Wins $400k in Lawsuit (San Francisco Chronicle) – Chuck Norris doesn’t understand why you should consult your doctor if your erection lasts more than four hours. As seen in this article, his erections have been known to last up to ten years.

(UPDATE: Deadspin is reporting that the Latino sensation Miller Park Chorizo, which began racing last week, won’t be back until next season because Major League Baseball needs to “vet all new mascots.”  This finally answers my question as to what Bud Selig does all day.)


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