Wednesday, March 02, 2005
A welcome sight for sore eyes (and knees).
Bill Mueller is way ahead of schedule following his offseason arthroscopic knee surgery, despite the amount of work that's been done on his knees before.
Magglio Ordonez came into camp so healthy that when the team was running short sprints he actually ran out of his right shoe, nothing at all like the gimp-kneed slugger the ChiSox had led us to expect. *waggles fingers in ears and blows loud raspberries while facing in the general direction of US Cellular Field*
The offseason thus far has indeed revolved around those tricksy articular bits of cartilage and patellas, the ever-delicate knee. Jason Varitek's lengthy new contract brought the future health of his knees into question. Pudge Rodriguez lost a controversial 22 pounds* in part to alleviate the burden on his aging knees. Carlos Guillen's surgically repaired knee (always referred to as such... I think it could be a proper noun in its own right by now: Carlos Guillen's Surgically Repaired Knee) has been carefully watched down in Lakeland. My right knee, injured on a treacherous patch of ice while running for a bus in the frigid Michigan predawn, has been closely scrutinized by all concerned parties (i.e. professors and my fellow art students).
The biggest knees of the spring, however, belong to Mueller and Magglio.
Kevin Youkilis, the inaccurately-named Greek God of Walks**, would take Mueller's place at third base if he couldn't start the season. I like Youks, and I don't think it's a bad thing to get him some playing time-- he's young(ish), he's poised to have a breakout season if he gets enough playing time. If the Pro is healthy, though, I definitely think he's still got plenty left to show us. Like the articles say, it does look like he'll be healthy, phew, thank heavens, an' all that. It's good to know that we don't have to rush him, though, since we've got Youks trotting up right behind him. I'd rather Mueller doesn't make his personal games-played goal this year if it means saving his knee for later in the season.
Behind Maggs in Detroit's right field, should he be unable to play, are Craig Monroe, he of the infamous $30 belt, and Bobby Higginson, he of the infamous U of M house party. A pair any team would be proud to call their own, I'm sure. Maybe they both still have a bit of bat left in them, but I'd rather they stay the hell out of our defense. Let's just hope that Maggs really is as astonishingly sound-of-knee as the columnists have been telling us lately, hmm?
In a stroke of luck for the University of Michigan art school, my knee has been on a steady track back to full health for about a week now, and I expect something close to full maneuverability on the stairs by the time I return from spring break. This is indeed fortuitous, because there is no one in line behind me should my knee fail to heal properly. Seems unfair, really. I'd like Youks to write my art philosophy paper while I rehab, and maybe Higgy can expose himself to the extreme danger that is the metals studio in my stead while I work on cutting to the right.
In other news, Jeremy Bonderman makes Dmitri Young feel sorry for their opponents. Nice to hear, as we'd all love to finally see Bonderman break out and strike down opposing batters with the power that is his right. Of course, Dmitri now looks like this:
So I'm not sure how seriously we can take him. Also, Carlos Pena article! I feel it is my duty to spread the Carlos Pena love. If you don't love Carlos Pena, you are a filthy commie terrorist. Get out of my blog.
On the Sox side, Tim Wakefield has a few things to say, some of which cause me to fervently hope he doesn't mean all that stuff about definitely not wanting to go to the 'pen. See Firebrand for more on that, it's worrying me too much to rehash it properly here.
Not all is woe, however. Female Sox fans everywhere rejoice at the news that Jason Varitek has a younger brother who looks an awful lot like him. And everyone can smile at the sight of Kevin Millar stealing a golf cart*** and taking Ortiz, Manny, and newcomer Jay Payton for a joyride.
Plus, THE CUTEST THING TO EVER BE CUTE and be baseball-related. The expression of complete and utter contentment on Manny's face, like a 3 year old hugging his favorite teddy bear... the fact that you just know Millar has a comparable expression even if you can't see it... Trot walking by all sad, all 'Aaaww how come I don't get a hug?' If this doesn't melt your heart, you're up there with the Carlos Pena-haters. Get out of here, you scum.
Oh yeah, and ECA's been on a roll lately. Side-clutchingly funny stuff. I really, really hope Bambino's Curse comes back this season, mostly because watching Kyle get driven into a frenzy of rage by his writing is one of the most humorous spectacles on the internet.
To end on a bit of local news-- I'm not sure what to say about those LoFT things they're putting up in Ann Arbor (capitalization all their own, and unlike Mass MoCA or the MoMA I don't think it stands for anything other than general ultra-hipness), so I'm just gonna have to let Ann Arbor is Overrated say it for me:
"...it's the creativity of their advertising team that's given us the most inspired cropping of an Ann Arbor photo ever: the right side of Zingerman's sign behind a prominent ad for the U of M Museum of Art. It's almost enough to make us want to walk over to Kingsley and Detroit, cup our hands near our eyes and enjoy the three-square-foot field of vision with the highest density of Urban Hip in all of A2."
Unbelievably expensive sandwiches and a Georgia O'Keefe exhibit? Watch out, cultural meccas of the east coast! Ann Arbor is breathing down your necks!
Maybe if Boston has to get arthroscopic surgery on its Harbor, A2 can step in until it's fully rehabbed.
*Thanks Jose Canseco! Thanks Jason Giambi! Because of you assholes, an aging and self-admittedly overweight catcher can't even get himself into shape for the coming season without coming under a boatload of scrutiny. I applaud Pudge for realizing that he was getting a little soft around the middle, a little slow on the defensive side, and doing something about it. Like Pudge himself said, why would he have taken steroids? He's never hit for power, he needed them to hit more doubles? I hope he has a fucking awesome season with his newly fit self and Giambi implodes without his special creams. It's my blog, I'll rant about this as much as I bloody well want to.
**He’s not Greek, despite the way his last name sounds. He’s Jewish.
***Something was driving me nuts about this photo, even when I initially saw it in its small version, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Finally figured out what it is. Someone in the Globe art department ran it through Photoshop before putting it up in the 'web and hit it, or at least a few pieces of it, with the dodge tool (or something comparable). See how Ortiz and Manny's heads look a little weird, almost detached? I'm guessing they were in dark shadow and weren't all that clear, so someone decided to do a hatchet lightening job on them.
That whitish snow in what should be deep black areas (Manny's hair, Ortiz's jawline) is a signature of it. And if you look carefully, you can see that the bits of Payton's jersey and Manny's shoulder immediately surrounding Ortiz's head are lighter than the surrounding red areas, even though there's no light source that would cause that. Same with the inside of the golf cart roof and the area immediately around Manny's head.
Man, I'm glad I cleared that up. It was driving me insane. Anyways, c'mon Boston Globe. If a sophomore art student can pick it up, you really need to give your art department a couple tutorials in Photoshop or something.