Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Randomization 04/05/06

Oh, that quirky clock. At 1:02:03 am today (and again this afternoon for those who don't observe military time), the time was 01:02:03 04/05/06.

I'm guessing this will never happen again. Time to break out the popcorn and savor the moment.

First-place Milwaukee Brewers. I know they're supposed to be good and stuff now, but I need to type this now in the event that I can't say this again later in the season. The Crew is off to a 2-0 start after beating Pittsburgh 7-5 last night. So far, everything has been working, well except for Ben Sheets (DL) and Prince Fielder (ugh - 0-9 with 7 Ks). Damien Miller (!) drove in three runs last night. Gabe Gross had a pinch-hit home run. Doug Davis and Chris Capuano both pitched well. Derrick Turnbow is 2-for-2 in save chances.

With expectations high and the fans as excited as they've ever been about this club, the Brewers needed a good start on this week-long homestand to open the season. 2-0 is nice, but they need to keep it up. Nothing worse than 5-1 or 4-2 will satisfy the faithful, especially considering that these games are against the Pirates and Diamondbacks, two teams picked to finish pretty low in their respective divisions this season.

It's too early to worry about Johan Santana. Right? I shouldn't be too terribly concerned that Santana followed up a ho-hum World Baseball Classic and a horrible spring training with an awful Opening Night outing in Toronto? I shouldn't let myself be worried that Santana had major issues locating his pitches last night and got knocked around a bit, right? After all, Santana did, in fairness, give up a lot of bleeder-type hits last night. Granted, he also gave up some big hits, but I still think it's too early to get too worried. Santana is such a great pitcher that he could pitch like he did last night for the whole month of April and still get a pass from the faithful. And he should. You don't win two straight Cy Young Awards* for nothing.

(*Yes, I am aware that Santana didn't really win the Cy Young last year. However, I refuse to recognize that the BBWAA gave the award to that fat cow from Anaheim simply because he got better run support than Santana did.)

The Twins have a long season ahead of them if they don't find a way to hit the ball better than they did last night. They have to score more runs, or it won't matter how good Santana, Radke, Silva, Lohse, and Baker are.

The Frozen Four is coming. And, once again, the media coverage is horrendous. I've come to expect no love from places like ESPN, SI, Fox Sports, and others for college hockey's premiere event. After all, TV ratings are typically just south of abysmal, and there is no coverage for the sport during the season, so you become accustomed to many ignoring what is usually a great event. I know that most people who read this blog think differently about hockey, but I've learned to just accept the fact that college hockey is very similar to college lacrosse in terms of media coverage, despite the fact that the sport is exceptionally entertaining. Lacrosse gets love one weekend out of the year (Memorial Day weekend), and hockey gets the same amount of love for its big weekend (Frozen Four). It's not a slight on the sport, because those who watch and attend know that they are going to be entertained.

If I could change one thing about hockey fans, I'd change how much they care about the media coverage of their sport. We live in a hype society nowdays. People want hype, and they want hype about things that are familar to them. And this is what the NCAA gets for holding an event the same week as the start of baseball season. When the event in question is in a baseball city (especially one like Milwaukee, where expectations and excitement are perhaps as high as ever), it's going to be at least somewhat overshadowed. Deal with it.

You're not getting front page coverage on for more than about ten minutes. You're not getting special cut-ins during SportsCenter, and they're not building a fancy set at the arena for their special Frozen Four coverage.

It's our event. And we'll all enjoy it. That's all that should matter.

(Actually, if you think about it, we should want it this way. It's always great fun to be recognized, and I think we would all like to see the sport of college hockey get the attention it so richly deserves. But with that attention comes the massive overhype that has damaged great events like the Super Bowl, World Series, and any random fight in the left-field seats at Yankee Stadium. Do you want the Frozen Four to receive the kind of hype that Barry Bonds has gotten? The Yankees? Red Sox? Terrell Owens? The NBA playoffs? I don't, because part of the reason these players/teams are so hated is because of all the coverage they get on TV.)

Frozen Four predictions. Um...tomorrow. Though my original picks to play in the championship game are still alive, so I'm guessing there won't be many changes. And I still can't believe, after what I saw in Florida, that Maine is in the Frozen Four.

1 comment:

Badger Backer said...

I wouldn't worry too much about Johan. He always starts out slow. He'll be in Cy Young form by the end of the year.

Let's just hope Tony Fatista and Juan Nobatstro can get enough hits on occasion so the Twins can score more than 3 runs a game (of course as I type this they're winning 12-4).