Monday, September 21, 2009

Digging for Victory!

Jerry Picks a Winner!

I didn't watch all of Sunday night's gala opening of the $1.2 BILLION Cowboys Stadium game against the New York Giants, as M. and I were switching channels between the Emmys, the Cowboy game, the Cubs-Cardinals game, and Mad Men. That's where a DVR that would record four shows at once would come in handy.

But we did get to see the highlights: the last three minutes of the game, where Eli Manning drove the Giants the length of the field to set up the last-second game-winning field goal, and a lingering view of Cowboy Owner Jerry Jones picking his nose in his ultra-expensive owner's box. I guess I was surprised that he didn't have some boy-servant do that for him.

Anyway, all is right with the world. Cowboys lose. Record-sized crowd goes home disappointed. The only thing missing from making it a perfect night would've been the giant Godzilla-Tron HD TV screens dropping onto the assembled Cowboy team below, or maybe an Al-Qaeda attack. But the season is early, yet.

Mad Men Season 3

Hey, how about that Sterling-Cooper? The AMC series Mad Men picked up another Best Dramatic Series Emmy last night. About the same time, the season's fifth episode of the year aired, and I think this might be the episode that those so inclined to decide these things would say the show "Jumped the Shark." A visiting young executive from the Home Office in London happened to get on the wrong side of a John Deere riding lawnmower careening through the office during a going-away celebration for the buxomy Joan, losing his foot in a rather Peckinpah-esque scene with spraying blood and shattering glass. A bit far-fetched, if you ask me.

September: Football season in Texas.

Rangers: That's All, Folks!

Kiss the Rangers' chances for post-season play goodbye, barring simultaneous meteorite strikes on Fenway Park and Angels Ballpark. At a time when home wins were most important, the Rangeritos dropped seven of nine in the just-concluded home-stand. We were at the Saturday night game, a 3-2 thriller over the Angels, but it was too-little, too-late, and the feel-good didn't extend to Sunday's series finale, where Rangers pitching was bombarded and the team fell, 5-10. The rest of the season is off little consequence now, however, one question remains. . . .

Thanks, Millie--hope we see you next year.

Is Millie Done as Well?

Tonights game in Oakland will answer whether the Rangers are willing to pay pitcher Kevin Millwood $12 million next year, or just let him go into free-agency. Millwood's contract stipulates that if he pitches 180 innings this year, he'll automatically be awarded a one-year extension worth $12 million. He's currently sitting at 175 2/3 inning. . .meaning that with 4 1/2 innings tonight, he's be into Tom Hicks' pockets next year DEEP. His record this season certainly hasn't been that of a 12 Million Dollar Man. . .he started off strong, but has faded badly. True, his veteran leadership has been a great example for the young pitchers, but he's been eclipsed as a top starter by Jim Hunter and Scooter Feldman.

Rumors have had team ownership "shut down" Millie for the rest of the year, denying him the innings that would fulfill his contract clause. Sneaky? Low-rent? Sure. But the Rangers are essentially broke, and certainly can't afford a $12 million pitcher with Milwood's statistics. On the other hand, shutting down a healthy pitcher just to save the franchise money is uncharted territory in major league baseball; doing so will likely result in some sort of protest through the Players' Union. Not to mention taint any future negotiations to bring free agents to Arlington, as incentives in contracts are the norm rather than the exception, and failing to live up to them in good faith certainly makes the franchise look less than honorable.

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