Sunday, March 27, 2011
For a guy who really doesn't follow sports that much -- this is, by the way, a major point of contention, but as I've told Yvonne, if she spent time in the homes of any of our friends who really watch sports, she'd see how nice she's got it -- this was a pretty sporty weekend for me.
Yesterday, I trekked out to Giants Stadium with my co-worker Justine to watch the USA-Argentina "friendly" soccer match. The main attraction was Lionel Messi, the two-time World Player of the Year. Man, he's good. He didn't score, but he was head and shoulders above everyone else on the field -- which is sayin' something for a guy who's only about 5 foot 6. He has such amazing control of the ball, even/especially in tight spaces. Everything in his game is a series of small, deft flicks that set up -- or score -- goals where it looks like nothing should be possible. He made this Bradley kid from the USA (who I'd started to come around on during the World Cup) look like an idiot at least five or six times, and he set up the first goal of the game on a nice little give-and-go in the penalty box. The Americans eventually got an equalizer, off a well-placed free kick delivered by our best player ever, Landon Donovan, and that was that. 1-1. The Americans probably felt like something special for drawing with the mighty Argentina, even though Argentina dominated the game (di Maria alone nearly had three goals). But that's soccer. The American fans certainly liked it. Which reminds me, is there anything worse than the "U-S-A" chant?
And today, after all the nightmares, was my fantasy baseball draft. On the plus side, I did have high-speed Internet (though no thanks to Time Warner -- I had to go to the office to be sure I wouldn't lose my connection), and I remembered to draft some pitchers. But I'm not gonna lie -- there was one mistake that could haunt me for the next six months. [Leave here if you don't want the geeky part -- the really geeky part -- of this roundup.]
In the 12th round, I drafted the unproven yet moderately hyped infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka instead of the reliable and excellent Rangers starter CJ Wilson. Now, I happen to think that Yoshi will deliver what I'm looking for -- a .290 average, 85 runs, a dozen steals -- but I almost certainly could've gotten him one round later. So, by drafting him too early, I got Yoshi and Derek Holland (CJ Wilson's less proven teammate) instead of Yoshi and CJ. That's the kind of move that can kill a season. Thankfully, all the other teams suck!
I'm counting on Yoshi to have a good season for the Twins this year.
I should note that I also landed Hideki Matsui in the 16th round -- great value. Matsui was part of my championship team in 2006 and my team that should've won the championship in 2008. He also happens to be Yvonne's favorite baseball player -- and by that, I mean the only guy she roots for at all. Not gonna say there wasn't a political consideration to that pick. Having Matsui on my team should make fantasy baseball more palatable around here, which, in turn, frees me up to be even more obsessive with my team (if that's possible). Great pick by me.
As for Yvonne, she spent most of the weekend spring-cleaning. I think I got the better half of this deal.