Friday, May 26, 2006

A few suggestions, if I may, for the troubled but proud Kansas City Royals baseball team:

1. Trade Mike Sweeney. This in no way impugns Sweeney, but he makes too much for this team. Even if the trade value is low due to his injuries and age, the money saved will be worth it.
2. Re-acquire Jeff Suppan. He's the kind of pitcher the Royals need: always keeps his team in the game. And since his stats aren't that impressive, he won't break the bank.
3. Hire a great pitching coach. Dave Ricketts or Leo Mazzone (masterminded all those Braves division titles) can't be that attached to their new jobs.
4. Keep Reggie Sanders. The guy wins wherever he goes. It's clubhouse chemistry. That is the beginning of winning: a clubhouse full of guys who like each other.
5. Don't trade any minor-league prospects, ever. Even if St. Louis offers Pujols, don't do it. Most especially not pitchers, ever.
6. Stop making excuses. Oakland and Minnesota are consistently good with similar financial constraints. And a little winning will help revenues!
7. Be willing to tilt most of the payroll toward the starting pitchers, once good ones are found. This is why KC is bad: no starting pitching.
8. Ask San Diego what they want for Tim Stauffer. Unless they say, 'prospects' or 'cash,' give them what they ask for. This kid is going to be a star starting pitcher.

The ideal but plausible KC starting rotation looks like this:
Zack Grienke
Jeff Suppan
Tim Stauffer
Sidney Ponson
Mark Redman (he's not as bad as his stats suggest)

Do indeed thank STL for their generous contributions to future Royals success (Both Ponson and Jeff Suppan pitch for the Cardinals now). I think this rotation could be very good, if a bit unnoticed. But unnoticed is how one wants its starting pitchers when one shares a league with the Yankees.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Does anyone read this? Does it matter to me? Why or why not? Do ladies read this, like eligible, attractive ones? Is my secret crush reading this right now? Does she know of her status? Does she care? Do I care? I don't know. Should I set it aside to "focus on God"? How do you tell if someone is attracted to you? Do ladies cover it up in spiritual encouragement like guys sometimes do? In a way, I hope so. It makes me feel not as alone in my stupidity (idolatry, ahem). What does 'tradition' mean in the letters to the Thessalonians from Paul? Did Paul have a last name? Did he write 'apostle' on everything next to his name? Was he a bishop? Was he a presbyter? Was he a brother who led the congregation in singing once a month? Or a pulpit minister? (That one's for you, misguided congregationalists.) Was there anything remotely close to Coca-Cola in first-century Judea? Did they advertize? What did Judas Iscariot do for fun? Did he drink the first-century Coke? What was the hymn the brothers sung before they went to the Mount of Olives? (When our Lord was betrayed.) Is it still sung? Was it a 'traditional' version, or did some guy from the Judean Passion Worship Band take a run at it? Did Jesus write hymns? Did He automatically know all the words to all the hymns? Did Jesus tell the disciples which ones were about him? What was Jesus' favorite joke? Can we assume it was really funny? Did Jesus ever play checkers (or the equivalent) with kids? Did he let them win? Could Jesus run fast? Could he dunk a basketball? Is that a trivial question? No.
If you ever find yourself in Columbia, Missouri, there's more than a few things you ought to do. For instance, your trip would be more complete if you stopped at CJ's on 7th and Broadway for some chicken wings. Or a morning of worship at Christ Our King Presbyterian could change your world on a quiet Sunday. But I want to tell you about a man named Robert Collins. He's a history professor at our quaint University, and he's bleeping incredible. As a friend noted, he actually defends his positions during lecture. The stereotype of a professor filling young minds with his unsubstantiated (usually un-American) opinions doesn't apply to Collins. When I took his History of the 1960s, sure we dealt with the dominant liberalism of the time, giving it a fair airing. Then we critiqued it! Our class had to read Radical Son right alongside The Things They Carried. He even said some nice things about Nixon (which, even from my right-wing perch, takes some doing.) Collins will not be lambasted by the College Republicans (or the Democrats, for that matter) any time soon. And it was damned interesting all the way, I must say. Good job, chief. Keep up the good work, and please don't retire! If you're a student, take the class, or another he teaches. If you're a visitor, politely ask the folks at Jesse Hall if you can drop in. More than worth your time, I'd wager.