The continuing chronicle of Wesley's quest to be published; plus comments on popular culture, family life, and whatever else falls out of his head.

Friday, May 20, 2005

'Why the Dispatch Sucks,' Reason #143

I'm going to post the entire article below, because eventually it will be archived on the Columbus Dispatch website, and I wanted an account of how stupid this is:

For Reds and Indians to contend, it would take a . . .
United front
Friday, May 20, 2005
Scott Priestle

Memorial Day is still a week away, and already much of the optimism that surrounded the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians this spring is gone. It appears the glory days of summer might not arrive. Is it too soon to think about football? We watched the struggling Indians offense batter a good double-A pitcher this week, so we know they have enough talent to win the Texas League. It got us wondering what it would take for the Indians to catch the Chicago White Sox or the Reds to catch the St. Louis Cardinals.

Maybe if we took the best each team had to offer? Maybe . . .

The following is our 25-man roster, based on how the players have performed through the first 6½ weeks of the season and how we can realistically expect them to perform the rest of the season:

OUTFIELD Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., Grady Sizemore, Wily Mo Pena, Coco Crisp
Dunn is the prototypical slugger of this generation — a lot of home runs, a lot of walks, a lot of strikeouts and soon a lot of money. The latter does not concern us, so Dunn will anchor our lineup.

We like Sizemore’s hustle, and his talent is beginning to show. But he has to move to right field, because center field is Griffey’s domain as long as he is healthy.

Crisp provides speed and versatility off the bench, and Pena provides pop. When they are hot, either can bump Sizemore out of the lineup. When they are hurt — as both are now — we will dip into triple-A for Austin Kearns and Jody Gerut.

INFIELD Sean Casey, Ryan Freel, Jhonny Peralta, Joe Randa, Travis Hafner, Felipe Lopez, Ronnie Belliard
Hafner will be our designated hitter in American League parks. The Indians have been reluctant to use him at first base, so we won’t put him there, either. Casey gets the nod there over Ben Broussard, based on a longer track record.

Randa wins the third-base job by default over the slumping Aaron Boone. We prefer Freel as a utility player, but he has been hot lately so he starts ahead of Belliard at second base. Peralta starts at shortstop based on his current power binge of five home runs in 11 games.

CATCHER Victor Martinez , Josh Bard
Switch-hitters. And Martinez can’t continue hitting this poorly, can he?

STARTING ROTATION C.C. Sabathia, Kevin Millwood, Cliff Lee, Aaron Harang, Jake Westbrook
As with Randa at third base, the Indians starters get the nod by default, with only Harang representing the Reds.

Sabathia, Millwood and Lee have been solid. Westbrook has either been very good with lousy luck or just plain lousy. Still, we will take him over the trio of Eric Milton (pow), Paul Wilson (bam) and Ramon Ortiz (boom).

BULLPEN Bob Wickman, Arthur Rhodes, Ryan Wagner, David Riske, Rafael Betancourt, Kent Mercker
Wickman and Danny Graves keep the ninth inning interesting. Wickman has been on a roll this month, and he hasn’t bad-mouthed any fans, so he is our guy.

Rhodes might be the best of this bunch right now, and the youngster Wagner could be by the end of the season. Riske and Betancourt have been automatic for the Indians.

Mercker gets the nod over Scott Sauerbeck as our left-handed specialist by virtue of being a Dublin native. We got love for the local boy.

In the end, our hybrid club should score a few more runs than the Indians have scored and allow fewer than the Reds have allowed, but only the outfield stands out. It still doesn’t look like a World Series contender, so we still like the Cardinals. Unless we can swing a trade for that Pujols guy.

Hey, it’s our dream . . .

Now here's the thing: Columbus isn't a large city, and outside of the OSU Buckeyes and Columbus Suck Jackets, there isn't a lot of local sports. However, because we're almost in the middle of Cincinnati and Cleveland, almost everybody has a favorite sports team. My point is that there's a lot of regional sports news to cover on any given day. Indians, Reds, Buckeyes, Browns, Bengals, Crew, Clippers, Cavaliers, etc.

We've got a lot of sports.

Now, why would the above story have the lead on the front page of the sports section?!? It's about FANTASY FREAKIN' BASEBALL. It's a 'what if!'

And it's not like it's been a slow news day. The Indians just lost an outfielder for several months due to injury. Another arrest by an OSU football player just got the NCAA involved in our program. Congress is grilling all the major sports commissioners, and we have a write-up on FANTASY BASEBALL?

I just don't get it.


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