The Dead Zone

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There’s really nothing to talk about today, so I’m going to talk about how there’s nothing to talk about. This strategy worked incredibly well for me in college; I had a paper on racial attitudes in Castro’s Cuba my senior year, and discovered as I did research that there was basically nothing written about it. So, instead of giving up, I wrote the paper on why there was nothing written about it, and what that said about racial attitudes in Castro’s Cuba. I got an A. But then, that’s really neither here nor there.
So as I said, there’s really nothing to talk about. We’re in that period of time where baseball news is non-existent; it’s been shorter this offseason than in most others, but we knew it would come. Behind us are the machinations of a busy winter, and ahead the hopes of a Florida spring, but for now… the dreariness of early February is upon us.
The biggest news story of the early week comes from, of all people, the intensely dislikeable Gerry Callahan. In yesterday’s Boston Herald, Callahan discussed the Sox’ pursuit of former ace Roger Clemens, currently in limbo after the Astros refused to offer him arbitration. Clemens has not closed the door on a Fenway return, and has said publicly that the only teams he’d consider for 2006 are the Sox, Yankees, and either Texas team (in reverse order). As I’m given to distrusting anything that comes from Callahan’s mouth or pen, I can’t faithfully devote much space to this one, other than to say that the chances of it coming about are so infitessimally small that it just might happen.
In other news, the Toronto Blue Jays added another quality ballplayer, signing former Angels catcher Bengie Molina to a one-year, $5 million deal. It’s a solid move, made better by Riccardi’s admirable restraint in not driving up his own price to three years, $27 million or some such thing. It gives the Jays a very solid defensive catcher with decent offense, and relegates Gregg Zaun to the backup role for which he’s better suited.
Meanwhile, plans for the World baseball Classic roll on, with rosters taking shape and a little preview of the action being played in the Carribean. The Carribean World Series concluded yesterday with Venezuela’s dramatic, ninth-inning comeback to take the seventh and deciding game vs. the Dominican club. The comeback was Venezuela’s second in a row, having stormed back in Game 6 as well; each charge was led by new Red Sox SS Alex Gonzalez, who capped a dramatic series with a game tying-single, and scored the winning run on a misplay by SS Erick Aybar. This lends some credence to my belief that Venezuela could be the big surprise team in a WBC that virtually everyone expects will come down to the US and the Dominican.
And beyond that… the silence. Maybe a little basketball, or hockey. The Olympics are on in a few days, and from what I hear, 16 Zimbabwean cricketers have signed contracts for the upcoming season, ending a long standoff over unpaid wages. But the roster is set, the positions are filled. The trades are made, the contracts signed, and the new custom jerseys are ready to be shipped. In a few days, baseball will start again in Ft. Myers, and throughout Florida and Arizona. Until then, hang on. Try to find something worth watching on ESPN Classic. Maybe pop in the World Series DVD one more time. Just a few more days, and it will all just be a bad dream.

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