Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump's ball, Tigers and Aussies

Don't get yours truly confused with one of those goofy hard-core partisans. I am decidedly not -- but rather quite independent, actually. Nonetheless, we have a new Prez, so I decided to check in on the festivities. Click.

There's an old black dude up on stage, reminiscent of Cab Calloway, trying to get the crowd into it. A dynamite back-up band behind him. And front and center are two dorky looking white boys, in goofy looking matching suits, wearing shades. These are evidently the front "men". They could easily remind one of a couple guys named Jake and Elwood from yesteryear. Hmm. This is starting to look and sound familiar. No sign of Aretha yet and, for obvious reasons, Ray isn't available anymore. But the two boys are blasting away on trumpets. Well, of COURSE they're blowing their own horns. This is in honor of Trump -- right? Would he have it any other way? Wait a second. Their suits are the wrong color. Whoever heard of the "Red Brothers"? OK, enough of that nonsense. Here's hoping for the best in the next four years. Click.

Interesting article in the local paper. The Detroit Tigers are not only rolling into their annual winter bus tour, but pretty much rolling with the same roster they had last year.

Which means they're also likely to roll right back into second place, at best, in the AL Central Division again.

The Cleveland Indians clearly remain the class of the division. They have, arguably, the best starting rotation in all of baseball. A great bullpen, even after fireballer Aroldis Chapman bailed in free agency. Hitters galore. Terrific defense. Team speed, and a manager in Terry Francona that's been there, done that when it comes to winning championships.

And don't sleep on the Kansas City Royals. They could come roaring back as well.

Meanwhile, in the East, the Toronto Blue Jays, Yanks, Bosox, and even Tampa Bay will all likely be contenders. Somebody has to win that division, but a couple of the others will be strong candidates as wild cards for the postseason.

In the West, the Texas Rangers won't have dropped off any. Plus the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners were in the hunt until the last week of last season. So we'll have a division champ and two more wild card wannabes.

Translation? Like last year, the Tigers could easily also find themselves rolling right back out of the playoffs, given they haven't upgraded their club. It's like musical chairs, with the Tigers being a step slow when the music stops.

Can that be right? The Tigers have a pitching coach named Dubee? Holy "smoke". Does he "weed" out the bad ones? Will the ones with good "stuff" create a "buzz" in town? Does he advocate throwing a lot of "high" hard ones? Sorry.

The Aussie tennis Open has started and the early rounds are underway. Pretty boring stuff. Who cares about tennis tournaments until maybe the quarterfinals, when all the riff raff has been weeded out? Uh oh. How did I get back on weed? Pushing on here....

We'll see the usual assortment of "ovas" from foreign countries. These are typically leggy long haired blondes with perfect teeth. Another distinguishing characteristic is they all have this super annoying habit of shrieking every time they strike a tennis ball. One is left to wonder if they exhibit the same behavior while partaking in their love lives -- if they have any. Scary thought. Maybe. Some guys like that sort of stuff. Either way, thank you Lord for mute buttons and earplugs.

If this tournament is like any other recent tennis major, the American men will have all been eliminated before the serious competition heats up in a couple weeks. Pretty much the women too, with the exception of the Williams sisters. At that, elder Venus, a veritable geezer at 36, has been watching her best years fade into the rear view mirror for some time now. Venus is no longer a threat to win a championship. Perhaps a semi-finalist at best.

Anything Serena does will be trumpeted to the heavens. There's that "trump" thing again. Dammit, it just won't go away. Kidding. But Williams junior is no spring chicken herself, only a year younger than big sis. She could easily get zapped by one the "ovas" or another rising young star somewhere along the way. BTW, she's quite the grunter and screamer herself.

Thing is, and always has been, is if she loses she'll never graciously admit the opponent was just better that day. With Serena, there's always an excuse. Perhaps an upset stomach, or a sore knee, ankle, hip, elbow, pick a body part. Maybe sun spots or another astrological reason why the universe turned against her. It wouldn't be too surprising to hear her somehow blame Putin and those pesky Russians for somehow disrupting her "campaign". (Hmm, that sounds vaguely familiar too.) Anything but owning the reality she got whupped fair and square.

Serena's time in the spotlight is quickly drawing to a close as well. The talented kids from the world over are going to keep on coming and Father Time has yet to make an exception when it comes to aging stars trying to hang around too long.

But the show must go on. Speaking of which, the Packers/Falcons/ NFC and Steelers/Patriots AFC championship contests should both be great games to watch this weekend.

Can't wait. Oh yeah, bring it on......

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