Sunday, May 25, 2008

The ante-mortem post-mortem

It seems as if Willie Randolph is being marched out to the guillotine. I feel compelled to offer my take on events. If nothing else, it's out there before the (f)act.

The Mets are under .500 for their last 162 games. It's pretty well established that things started falling apart for Randolph and the Mets when he lost Jose Reyes. Contrary to the prevailing theories that this happened in July of 2007, when Randolph pulled Reyes from a game against the Astros, the Randolph regime jumped the shark during a June 13, 2007 game against the Dodgers. They were smoked, 9-1, as Penny was throwing steam that night and the Mets had their collective heads up their collective asses. No one was more conspicuous than Reyes, who, by my estimation, took off at least three plays in which he was directly involved.

I immediately picked up on this, as I had offered up my ass to trade for Reyes for my fantasy squad, but pulled it back after watching this game.

Back then, Billy Wagner was a little more veiled in calling out his Latino teammates for mamando gallo.

"We've caused a lot of our own problems. I mean, they played outstanding baseball, but we made them look better with our sloppy play and our lackadaisical efforts," Wagner added. "I don't think it's got anything to do with confidence. It's just about focus and desire. I mean, you've got to want it more than everybody else wants it."

In dealing with the suddenly lollygagging Reyes, Randolph's tough-love tactics backfired. Of course they would. Reyes was sore because he signed a shit contract (4 years, $23.25MM), made all the worse by David Wright's 6-year $55MM deal. The whole world knew it was a shit deal when it was announced, and the penny wise, dollar stupid Wilpons, still reeling and neurotic, years later, from Mo Vaughn's freeloading, thought they were getting over.

Of course, there is nobody in place, certainly not the agent that brokered the shit deal, to tell Reyes to man up and honor his contract. Instead, he has been sulking for the better part of two years.

The other load on the team is Carlos Beltrán. He's in cruise control. No one likes to talk about it, but he lost his balls when he bumped his head. He didn't even get the worst of it, but he has not been the same. While I don't necessarily fault him for that, if he's going to tell the world that the Mets are the team to beat, that tells me that he's over it and has no excuse not to dial it up.

While there are plenty of others on the team that I don't particularly like, I think you're getting what you're going to get from them.

Neither Beltran's nor Reyes' downturns are Randolph's doing or fault. It is the GM's job to identify these useless players and move them. Because GM Omar Minaya can't/won't move Reyes and/or Beltrán and because no amount of motivation from Randolph will fix this, the team has to change its manager. Someone has to come in, like Carlito Brigante, and explain that "I don't know you, so I don't owe rules, everybody pays."

Players and the GM have a one-manager buffer. When nothing changes, what's the excuse going to be?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Who the Fcuk...are man united?

As they showed all season that they could lock down the opposition, Europe was United's to win. Savor the flavor, fuckheads. unreliable.

I suppose it was easier to take because the poof missed his spot kick and didn't even have the character to go celebrate with his teammates. Instead, he rolled around on the pitch, in a crying fit that would shame a schoolgirl.

You'll never convince me that this punk isn't a fudgepacker. He looks like the type that would let a chic strap one on.

Let's see if this works...further proof of what a disgusting player this douchebag is.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Take this to the Bank

Apparently, Congress is growing its balls big enough to legislate to its benefactors...errr...banks and credit card companies. In true "...there oughta be a law..." fashion, Congress has picked out some shady moves and intends to stamp out some of the more objectionable items. What are those items? Look them up...WTF do I look like?

Generally, I'm not a big supporter of enacting legislation to address problems because those entities with the most money are in better position to be heard and, by extension, get their points across. All that the rest of us have are links to our Congressmen. As such, legislation is sure to get watered down or, worse yet, give the card companies explicit license and authority to put our heads in a vise.

That doesn't mean I'm against capitalism. Capitalism is one thing; a corporate bordello is another.

The real issue here is that corporations (and related entities) have more rights than people. The MBNA-supported (since swallowed up by Bank of America) bankrupcy law is one example, where corporations have a greater legal right to declare bankrupcy than citizens (it is easy for the cynic to point out that the bankrupcy law is evidence, however circumstantial, that the banks saw this mess coming).

Another example is that banks can "export" interest rates across states more easily than people can (legally) transport guns across state lines.

Finally, the credit card companies have the right to alter your credit card agreement at any time and for any reason. Nominally, we have no negotiating rights; any attempt to alter those terms, it typically states, would result in cancellation of the account agreement (read: they will close your account faster than they can wipe their asses with the paper on which you wrote your "amendments.").

Imagine, for a hot minute, that you had the right to tell the card company that sending unnecessary materials (like when they send offers to buy pens with your statement), literature or other items (and you have the right to determine that qualifies as unnecessary and an item) gives you the right to impose up to a $50 handling fee (for each item) on the banks, payable by a reduction in the account balance (at the cardholder's option, of course).

In practice, of course, we do have negotiating powers, subject to our leverage and credit scores. Unless you have a credit score- which has dubious underlying logic and serious underlying reporting issues- of 760 or above, you're fighting uphill.