This is the most wonderful time of the year. Besides being lyrics from a song, it is also how I feel. I love Halloween, I gussie the place all up with scary sounds, figures, even had a fog machine cranking this year, but I still love the Christmas season the most. I even enjoy, and don’t share this with anyone, hot chocolate and those sappy holiday movies that they play on Lifetime (did I just lose my street cred?).
Before I head out to spend the next couple of days with my extended family, I thought I would list a few things that I hope people in the sports world will either find in their stocking or under their tree come Christmas morning (for those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas, Happy Holidays).
To the San Jose Sharks: Playoff success to avoid a mutiny amongst the fans.
To the 49ers and the Raiders: A winning season. Heck, even an 8-8 mark would be terrific.
To Grady Sizemore, Jose Reyes, Coco Crisp, Erik Bedard, Troy Glaus and Josh Hamilton: A full season of health. If you missed my review of the Glaus to Atlanta signing, click on Glaus Signs With Braves.
To Matt Holliday: I hope your agent, the reviled Scott Boras, can deliver the goods on what he surely promised would be a deal approaching $150 million. Right now it doesn’t seem like anyone has any interest in ponying up dollars that even remotely approach that total.
To Johnny Damon: Another Boras client, I wish him. Heck, I don’t wish him much of anything as he already has a beautiful wife to come home to.
To Brandon Morrow: I hope Santa brings you a heaping helping of control for the holiday. I’m still shocked that the Mariners gave up you so easily. You can read my analysis of the trade in The Other Deal.
To the New York Yankees: I wish you — well my mother told me if I didn’t have something nice to say then I shouldn’t say it, and in the spirit of the season I’m gonna stick to that. I will list a few of my “Tweets” from the Baseball Guys’ Twitter Page that should make what I think pretty obvious.
“Yankees payroll last season was $220 mil, $77.8 mil MORE than any other club. In fact, MORE than 11 other teams payrolls!”
“Yankees only team to pay luxury tax in 2009 – $25.7 mil. They have paid all seven years of existence, $174 of $190 raised overall.”
To the San Francisco Giants: I wish you a heart like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. Hell, I wish that you also had courage like the Cowardly Lion and a brain like the Scarecrow. Are you really going to just sit there knowing full well that your offense is putrid and do nothing to improve it? Newsflash, 2-years and $12 million for Mark DeRosa likely won’t be enough for a guy who thinks he is worth 3/$30 (even if he isn’t worth that). Do something big will ya Giants? Wait, wasn’t I supposed to keep this positive? Sorry for slipping.
To Garrett Atkins: I wish a return to prominence from the one-time borderline star. I’m not talking a return to his previously phat totals (.329-29-130-117 in 2006), but a nice .285-25-85 season would be great.
To Justin Duchscherer: I wish him peace. I hope he returns to prominence on the field, be it as a reliever or a starter, and I hope he got the help he needed to deal with his clinical depression. In fact, I wish the same for Joey Votto who also dealt with some tough times after losing his father.
At this time of year it’s good to remember what is truly important in life. Homers and shutouts are great, but it’s people that truly matter. So give thanks, wish someone a happy holiday season, and don’t be afraid to extend a helping hand to someone who might need it. Tis’ the season to be jolly remember?
BREAKING DOWN MATT CAPPS TO NATS
By Ray Flowers