The basketball team will be #1 in both polls next week following Ohio State's loss to North Carolina last night in what was actually a pretty exciting game. Both teams look pretty damn good, and I wouldn't be shocked if they met in Atlanta in April, unless of course the final four isn't in Atlanta, but I'm not going to look it up, so you can figure out what I mean. Anyway, as noted before, this just means it will be that much more shocking when the UCR Highlanders shock the world on Sunday.
On the gridiron, the coaching staff announced today that Pat Cowan would remain the starter going into the game with the women of troy this weekend. I'm not happy about this. Nothing against Pat Cowan, but I see the team with two identities. They're either a) the pretty mediocre team with Cowan at the helm, or b) the mediocre team with Ben Olson behind center who may actually be really good at times. In other words, Cowan is more of a known quantity, and while Olson coming off an injury may be worse than Cowan, he may be better, and the known quantity that is Cowan will not be enough to beat $C. It's a gamble, but one worth taking. Though quite frankly, the play calling figures to be so conservative with either one that I can't see the Bruins scoring more than 21 points at best. That's probably not going to be enough.
The rumored supposedly done deal that shall remain nameless looks less and less like a done deal. The HH crew have been commenting on reports that a) Kenny Williams says he hasn't approached anyone about Crede, and b) Scioscia told Figgins he's the third baseman next year. Well, as a wise man once said, well, let's not start sucking each other's dicks quite yet. First, Williams never said that no one else approached him. Yeah, I'm parsing, but that's the way these guys work. Second, who cares what Scioscia told Figgins? Nothing is settled until those guys take the field next year. Of course, either Stoneman or Williams could make some sort of unequivocal statement that no deal will be done involving those players, but they won't because they're GMs, and GMs hedge. It's part of the job.
A reader pointed me to another take over here earlier today. I agree with this part:
If the Figgins-Santana for Crede-Garcia trade goes through, and Matthews, Crede, and Garcia all play up to their ability, Stoneman just might make a few friends in the OC.I disagree with pretty much everything else. Sure, if Garcia, Crede, and Matthews all play at their best, like say, Crede and Matthews repeating last year while Garcia repeats his 2001 season (that was five years ago, folks), it would look like a great deal next year, and I'm sure a lot of people behind the Orange Curtain would be very happy. It would still look awful three years down the line when Santana is a top 10 starter, Crede is hurt, and Garcia is either back to sucking, or pitching for another team for HUGE dollars. Look, there is risk in every deal, and even deals apparently lopsided against you can work out in your favor if everything breaks right, but show me a GM who expects everything to break in his favor every time, and I'll say "I didn't know you were buddies with Allard Baird and David Littlefield".
There is really no one the White Sox would consider trading who could a) help the Angels this year, and b) equal the value of Ervin Santana. It's just not possible. Pitchers who have completed two seasons by age 23 with his stuff and numbers don't come around very often, and trading him now in exchange for mediocrity is such a dumb idea that I can't even believe I'm addressing it. But, that's pretty much my take. Stoneman has already burdened the team with one albatross this off-season (at least the fourth in a continuing series - see also: Erstad, Anderson, and Finley), and if he does any more damage, it may take the franchise a few years to recover. Fortunately for me, were he to make that deal, I'd be rooting for another team, and the Angels lack of success wouldn't bother me.