I Need A Recurring Character

People don’t always like originality. Look at the movies that are being pumped out by Hollywood studio systems: They’re either retreads of bad seventies TV shows, sequels, remakes, or “fresh” takes on once-dead superhero franchises. (What does it say about the state of cinema when the most interesting character I’ve seen for a while on the big screen is Al Gore?) Things are so bad that I think most people, myself included, are being brainwashed to expect less from Hollywood: When I get excited about hearing about a potential Porky’s remake, something is very wrong.

So I think I need to take a cue from Hollywood and make my blogs less original. I need a running feature that I can plug in whenever I don’t know what to write about. Like a recurring character on Saturday Night Live that gets overused due to a lack of fresh comedic premises. I need a Church Lady. (Am I dating myself? Hey, I could have said Land Shark.)

So, with that in mind, welcome to the first edition of “Sane vs. Crazy.” For those of you who may be a little slow to grasp the concept, a statement that seems logical will be dubbed to be “sane” while a statement that seems wackier than a medicated Star Jones will be deemed “crazy.” Let’s begin with a midseason baseball edition.

1. The balance of power in the AL Central will shift. The popular perception is that the Detroit Tigers, owners of the best record in baseball, will fall apart and that the White Sox will repeat as AL Central champions and likely American League champs as well. Not so fast. The Tigers aren’t a fluke — they are sitting on 60 wins in what is undoubtedly the best division in baseball, and they have the right mix of veterans (I-Rod, Kenny “The Gambler” Rogers) and young stars-in-the-making (Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman) to keep it going. Not to mention manager Jim Leyland has the experience to keep this group on the right path. I like the Tigers to hold off Chicago and win the division. Statement is “crazy.”

2. We will be spared another postseason of Yankees/Red Sox hype. See above. While either team would be an automatic candidate to represent the weaker NL in the World Series, in the AL, one of these teams is going to be sitting home come October. I’m guessing the Red Sox will be the unfortunates, as the Yankees lineup is just a little bit scarier. What will be fun is watching the close AL East race with the knowledge that neither team will have the Wild Card to fall back on. In fact, by the time Boston and the Yankees play again — a FIVE-game series starting August 18 — the White Sox should have the Wild Card all but wrapped up. Baseball fans will be enjoying an October free of Yankee/Red Sox hype, while Star Jones will be enjoying her first October getting the employee discount at Dress Barn. Statement is “sane.”

3. The Brewers will trade Carlos Lee. The 30-year-old oufielder is a free agent at the end of the season and he will demand big bucks to stay in a Brewers uniform. The team has two options — sign Lee to a sizable contract or trade him to avoid simply losing him to free agency. Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and general manager Doug Melvin have said they will not trade Lee if the team is in the playoff picture. Problem is, the Brewers play in the soft NL where nearly everyone — save probably the woeful Pirates — are in the playoff picture. Attanasio doesn’t want to risk the fan rebellion that would surely come if the popular All-Star was sent packing, so the team will keep him on. Unfortunately, Lee isn’t that swift a defender (as anyone who watched him try to run down Troy Glaus’s double in the All-Star Game can attest), and playing in the NL, the Brewers obviously can’t assign him as the DH. Keeping Lee eliminates the Brewers’ best chance to stock up on sorely needed pitching prospects or land the next Weeks or Fielder. But they’ll do it anyway. Statement is “crazy” but should be “sane.”

4. Erika will win Big Brother All-Stars. The Pilates Instructor from BB4 is smart enough to keep her mouth shut and avoid being targeted, unlike many of the other larger-than-life houseguests. My other pick, should Erika falter, is Jase. The newly-matured family man has grown remarkably calmer and wiser since BB5 just two years ago. Statement is “sane” but blogger is “crazy” for including it in a sports blog.

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