Friday, December 17, 2010

Fan Mail

Hey everybody.  It’s already been five weeks and you know what that means?  It’s time for fan mail, boys and girls.  And on the slate today we have Cowboys questions, Cliff Lee frustrations and Dallas Mavericks’ inquisitations (just made that up).  So once again without further adieu, let’s see what we got.

Coach, now that the Rangers lost out on Cliff Lee, what is their next step?
-Trish, Paris, TX
That’s a great question and one that cannot be answered easily.  I had always figured that in addition to securing Lee, the Rangers would do an “in the mean-time” with the Royals about Zack Grienke, but they didn’t.  Now that they have lost Lee to the Phillies, and the Royals are going to ask for a king’s ransom in order to move Grienke.  In my opinion, they have to shore up the rotation—maybe Matt Garza or Carl Pavano—could be added to the mix, but none of them will have the effect that having a proven ace the likes of Grienke of Lee would have provided.  The Rangers also need to fill their hole at DH and I’m not sure bringing back half-season Vlad really works for them.  We still have a long way to go before we pitchers and catchers report, and trades can still be made, but how much quality can you really get if you wait that long?

Cliff Lee was a highly anticipated free agent.  He was coveted by the entire league (at least those with the cash) and he basically held up negotiations for an entire league while he and his agent tried to find the right fit.  His first stop was also Cleveland.  Here is my question: why is Lebron James vilified and Cliff Lee not?  What’s the difference?
-Tavis, Grand Prairie, TX
I asked myself this same question and my views are conflicting thus far.  Where I see basketball as more flash than substance, all of the things that surround basketball are so superficial; one has a hard time believing if any of it is real.  And that is the way the average person watching the sport sees it.  These guys are way over the top, make too much money, complain excessively and did I mention they make too much money?  For most people the opposite is true in baseball.  Baseball is seen as the American sport and these guys grind and hustle every play, every inning and every game.  They play 162 games, not including playoffs and earn their keep.  Yeah so you have a Manny Ramirez or a Barry Bonds every now and then, but it’s rare and the game is kept pristine and nothing but good ‘Ol fashioned hard work is attributed to baseball whereas it’s more luck and skill attributed to basketball.  When the public saw James’ spectacle, they saw just another poser trying to grab attention and be bigger than the game.  When people saw Cliff Lee, they saw a good ‘Ol boy taking his time and thinking about his family—nothing more.  What people fail to see is these guys did the exact same thing regardless of how it is perceived.  Lee wanted to go to a place he was familiar with and he wanted to win.  James went to a place where he was familiar with the players that would be coming and he wanted to win.  Oh yeah, they both took less money to go and do what we often accuse high-dollar athletes of not really wanting to do—win. 

What’s the deal with Michael Young?  Do you think the Rangers can move him?  Or better yet, do you think the Rangers should move him?
-M.O., Tyler, TX
I don’t think the Rangers should move him off the team.  However, I do think they should think about moving him to the DH role and leaving Vlad alone.  I know that it is the common belief that just because Mike had a league leading 20+ errors this year, we should get rid of him.  But what irrational people are missing is this guy is the heart of the team.  Regardless of what we fans see, Mike is the leader and the unofficial captain of the squad and how would it look if you unceremoniously ditched a guy that has moved for you twice because you want to get better and free up money.  I think the team would pay a heavy price in the PR department and many, me included, may rethink season ticket purchases.  I think the best thing to do is maybe look at moving Davis to third, keep Moreland at first and let Mike DH with the first option at second base when Kinsler inevitably goes down for a quarter of the season.

What was your take on the Tashard Choice autograph session at the end of Sunday’s Eagles-Cowboys game?
-Norm, Dallas, TX
Honestly, I did not care.  I also didn’t anticipate the big deal it was made into the next morning.  Look, these guys share agents, run camps and work out together and often go out to eat before and/or after the games.  So what he asked for an autograph.  The game’s intensity is not the same as it once was and these guys don’t carry the same hatred as fans and players of yesteryear.  Hell, the only fans that are still mired in hatred are Philly fans and maybe Browns’ fans.  But for the most part, no one cares anymore.  And we shouldn’t either.
Has Jason Garret showed you enough to be the Cowboys next head coach?
- Bill, Miami, FL
Jason Garret has showed me that he should have been fired along with Wade.  I’m sorry, and I know that I am in the minority, but this guy was the offensive coordinator the past 3+ seasons and the first eight games of this season.  It’s sorry to me that he gets promoted and then everything but the defense starts working.  It seems to me like he screwed Wade and I’ll never forget that.  In the meantime if he is named coach, give him three years and the same thing will happen to him.

Coach, my fantasy team lost…
-Will, Laporte, TX
 Stop, stop, stop.  If you want fantasy football information, plug in to Matthew Berry on ESPN.  I just play—I don’t give recommendations or get that tied into stats…nerd.

I finally got a chance to watch the Mavericks in their entirety and they looked pretty good.  What do you think they will do this year?
-Mark, Dallas, TX
 Hell, check with me in February after the Superbowl.  I don't really care because I have to see what they do after the trade deadline.  That's usually when they lose me by trading someone I think they need.

Who do you have winning the big BCS games and hypothetically, who should I put 180k on in the National Championship Game?  Hypothetically of course.
-Cecil N., GA by way of Mississippi State
The name looks familiar, but here we go:

Rose Bowl
Wisconsin d. TCU
Orange Bowl
VA. Tech d. Stanford (and Harbaugh leaves)
Sugar Bowl
Arkansas d. Ohio State (doesn’t matter who is playing, I hate Ohio St.)
Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma d. UConn (UConn makes it close/Stoops will do something stupid)
National Championship Game
Auburn d. Oregon
The NC is the only game I am not sure about.  I think it is one of the best match-ups in a while, but it all varies on what Oregon does the last 5-7 minutes of the second quarter.  If they are not scoring like they normally do, then they will lose.  If they score in the first and second quarter, regardless of what Auburn does (even if Auburn matches them) then Oregon will win running away and the Heisman curse will be alive and well.

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