Alright, ya ingrates, I know you've missed me. Well, here I am! It's been a little while since I've posted to Lion in Oil, this still youthful and nubile blog, only recently having emerged from its electronic chrysalis. During my convalescence away from LIO, I learned many things. Among them are these: 1) Don't trust the Lenox Mall food court (Atlanta residents will understand); 2) Ben Broussard is the next Conor Oberst; 3) Nothing that I experience in an entire calendar year compares with the thrill of a fantasy baseball draft. Nothing.
To get back in the swing of things, let's try to do a little beisbol roundup, Hak-style. What does that mean? It means I'll be focusing on oddities, weirdos, and nutcases -- the stuff I thrive on.
- Julio Franco is batting .324 this spring. Unbelievable.
- Dice-K is crazy. Yes, crazy. A couple days ago, he pitched five no-hit innings and then refused to talk to reporters afterwards. Instead, he released a statement:
"This time of year I think the content of my pitching is more important than the result on paper. I am not happy with the content of my pitching today," it said. "I threw a lot of walks and wasted balls. It was tough on my [fielders] to defend and to get into a good rhythm on offense. It's something I will want to pay attention to in the regular season."I'm sure that Boston fans will rave about this guy's "competitive drive" or his "mental toughness." I simply think it's ridiculous, bordering on maniacal, that that kind of a start can seemingly affect someone so deeply. In any case, I'm not going to extrapolate any further and make claims about what this reflects about Dice-K's character. I still think he's a great pitcher who will do very well this year. Just relax, Dice-K -- it's OK if your fielders have to.. actually do some fielding. I'm sure they're relieved to do that after watching Josh Beckett give up 36 gopher balls last year.
- As you may know, many of the LIO staff are People of the Claw (this is the new MoT; let's make it catch on). And of course, the PotC are always proud when we discover one of our own in sports. Recently, I have been trying to figure out who the best active Jewish baseball player is. Because of Shawn Green's spectacular decline, I think it's down to Kevin Youkilis and Ian Kinsler. After this season, I think it will be impossible to say anyone but Kinsler. Many are predicting a breakout year for him, health not withstanding, and I think he'll be considered a top 10 2B by the end of the year.
- Sometimes, late at night, I lie in bed, staring up at the ceiling, wondering if we're alone in the universe, and also thinking, "Where the hell is Ugueth Urbina?!" Well, apparently, he's still in jail, presumably awaiting trial. (Scroll down to the end of this mailbag for the update.) More information on this matter would be appreciated. I am considering offering an award for any credible information.
- I love Alex Gordon. Fin.
- There's a very good story in the NYT Magazine about Adam Greenberg. I hope he makes it back to the majors.
- I think I am the only person in the world who has an autographed, life-sized Rex Hudler poster (from his playing days). One day I will take a picture of this thing and post it. It's unreal. Huddy is amazing. My grandfather was his dentist. If anyone else owns a life-sized Rex Hudler poster, let me know. If yours too is autographed, then I applaud you.. and suggest we start a support group together.HAK will return.