There's definitely draft fever around here today. I went to a drive-thru and ordered a salad, and the girl criticized me for taking a need pick. She insisted that I select the best available sandwich on the board.
The Ravens will draft an offensive lineman, probably USC center Ryan Kalil, who can start immediately. And fans everywhere will yawn. Centers don't excite us unless they're 7-foot-4 and can run the floor.
I don't mean to judge Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas so harshly, but I hear that name and think of the Baltimore Colts' rapid decline. I know it's not his fault, and yet…
In another strange move, Lions general manager Matt Millen just traded the second overall pick for Joey Harrington.
Calvin Johnson will be a better pro than JaMarcus Russell. The Raiders could have taken him this year if they hadn't actually believed that Aaron Brooks was the answer last year.
Johnson should be catching Matt Leinart's passes this year. But at least Al David didn't try to lure Todd Marinovich out of retirement.
The Lions just can't resist taking receivers. In the second round, they'll choose Mel Farr.
Let's simplify things here:
You can't walk seven or eight batters a game and expect to win. You can't lead the league in walks and expect to win. You can't give teams opportunities to score as if you're handing out tickets at a toll booth and expect to win.
Are you listening, Orioles? Throws strikes, fellas. Just don't groove a fastball to Wily Mo Pena. But otherwise…
Manager Sam Perlozzo is in a difficult position right now with Jay Gibbons struggling so badly. Gibbons can't get hot sitting on the bench, and he's accustomed to starting against right-handers. But Kevin Millar did enough during Jay Payton's absence that he shouldn't be relegated to the bench. And we know he needs regular at-bats to produce. You get nothing out of him with sporadic play. Aubrey Huff has to stay in the lineup. Period.
It looks like Gibbons will be the odd-man out here, especially since I'd rather have Millar at first base than Huff, who should be getting most of his at-bats as the designated hitter. The Orioles can't trade Gibbons unless they're just going to hand him over. He's not exactly in demand. It would be the equivalent of releasing him. Or maybe they can get Alberto Castillo back if somebody claims him.
Gibbons crushed a ball to the opposite field last night, which the Orioles want to see from him, and it died on the warning track. If he was hot, that ball clears the left fielder's head. It probably clears the wall. But he can't catch a break. He hit a blooper the previous night that Boston's second baseman ran down in shallow right field. Again, that ball falls in if you're not in a slump. He's also had some of the worst swings and at-bats I've seen all year. And last year.
This lineup would get a tremendous boost with a healthy and productive Gibbons hitting seventh every night. As far as we know, he's still healthy. But will he ever be productive?
If you're Perlozzo, do you bench Gibbons and just go with Millar at first and Huff at DH, with Payton playing every day in left? And if so, do you really expect to get anything out of Gibbons when you finally call upon him to pinch-hit?
It's hard to work out of a slump from the sitting position. But it's also hard to watch him labor so much at the plate.