…so as I was saying…Oh wait…uh…let me explain. After a self-imposed six month hiatus we opened the mail the other day to find a check from the visitor tracking firm of the FanvsFan Network so we decided to give this one more try. Of course said check was barely enough to purchase a 12-pack of Pabst, but that being currently imbibed in it has given us the impetus to return and satisfy (can ‘impetus’ and ‘satisfy’ go in the same sentence? Or am I mistaken?) the needs of bad pun and sarcastic sports lovers everywhere. And I must be tipsy for as Liz Lemon put it, “I never use the word ‘lovers’ unless it’s between ‘meat’ and ‘pizza’”. So before we sober up here are some intrepid thoughts on life, pop culture and Week 1 in the MLB…hey if you got this far you know you have nothing better to do…

Oh, and in honor of the start of baseball let me throw out the first bitch…

BOOKS: Hellhound on his Trail- I always assumed Martin Luther King’s assassin was captured within hours while on the run. Or at worst after days found holed up in the basement of some 1969 version of Cooter from The Dukes of Hazzard. Turns out it took a two month manhunt spanning 2 continents, 4 countries and included multiple aliases, the Rhodesian Civil War plus the work of the FBI, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Scotland Yard to bring in the lone gunman. From Hampton Sides, the NYT best-selling author of Ghost Soldiers, this is an entertaining, fast-paced narrative that if nothing else reminds one that if you ever become famous try to steer clear of guys with 3 names: James Earl Ray, John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan Sirhan (though I could be off give or take a Sirhan on this last one)…Cardboard Gods- Josh Wilker’s memoir of an offbeat childhood told with the visual aid of baseball cards from the 70s and early 80s. Including the Detroit Tiger below who appeared as a JEOPARDY answer to the question…

What did we all wanna do after seeing the movie Basic Instinct? (Note: This is a rather belligerent pose for a guy who hit .218 with a .638 OPS over 562 career Plate Appearances)…

Uh…these days, not so much…

RIP: First a belated RIP to Bonnie Franklin, the mom from One Day at a Time in which I was surprised to learn she wasn’t supposed to be playing a recovering alcoholic. It’s been a month, but word is Schneider is still in mourning and MacKenzie Phillips hasn’t touched her meth in weeks…Also saddened to hear of the passing of Reid Flair (Fleihr), the 25 year-old son of Nature Boy Ric Flair, who died of an apparent drug overdose. As the expose below on Slick Ric’s finances and family life points out the man who WCW management once forbid to take his shirt off is starting to make Fritz Von Erich look like friggin’ Heathcliff Huxtable. Check it out at http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6891795/the-wrestler-real-life and you’ll understand why Flair is still available to take a pounding and blade his forehead  at Birthday parties and Bar Mitzvahs at age 64. Woooo…indeed!

FIELD TRIP: Quick thanks to our local County College for our recent excursion to their Planetarium. I mean it was no Laser Zeppelin, but for a couple hours outta the classroom they coulda aired the entire 7 seasons of Reba for all I care. And yes, I know…7 SEASONS!?!

Elizabeth Leigh Garner the most recent NFL Cheerleader to sleep with an underage boy…but still kinda the Anti-Sandusky if you think about it…

AMERICAN LEAGUE: My take on the AL this season is that we are finally gonna to have a partial answer to the Yogi-ism “Good pitching beats good hitting and vice versa…” So here’s a snarky roundup formulated as I can start to see the bottom of the Pabst case-

Blue Jays: Dickey, Josh Johnson, Buehrle switch leagues and allow 31 hits and 19 runs in 22 IP over 4 games…Dream Team? Yeah like the 2011 Eagles. In the mix of this weakening Division, but I’m not buying it…Rays: Having James Loney starting at the #1 offensive position on the field is like a band with a fat chick as lead singer. For every Heart there’s two dozen Romeo Voids. Is a killer staff (we think Matt Moore will be huge) enough to overcome this flaccid an offense?...

When you hide your female lead singer behind the 80s equivalent of Stephen Colbert with a guitar even a song with the hook, “I might like ya better if we slept together…” ain’t gonna break you through…

Yankees: How freakin’ old can a team be? They have 4 key position starters on the DL, one guy with a broken hip, the oldest rotation regular in baseball (Pettitte), they signed 36 YO Travis Hafner to hit 3rd and if Ichiro grew one of those long Fu Manchus I swear he’d look like Master Po from the old Kung Fu series. And yet they’ll be in this Medi-Alert necklaces and all…Orioles: Buck Showalter always reminded me of a Christina Applegate sitcom. At first she seems hot and funny, but gets less and less so with each passing episode. Or in other words welcome to your future Whitney Cummings. Considering this club improved by 24 games due in part to an unconscionable 29-9 record in 1-run games something stinks of regression…So since this looks like anyone’s division…why not the Red Sox?

Tigers: Only question here is who closes? We feel like the electric Alberto Alburquerque (88 Ks over 58.2 MLB IP) jumps up to the fill the void eventually. Plus it’s just a fun name to say, like Bobby Hebert… Royals/Indians/White Sox:  The good pitch/good hit conundrum shows up here with everyone choosing either Cle. or K.C. for 2nd and possibly a WC. First, the Indians #2 is Ubaldo Jimenez who went 9-17 last year and is still living off one good year like the MLB version of Mark Sanchez. With 3 starters worse than that and a shaky pen they’re done. We like both the Sox and Royals staffs and depending on whose pen holds up better that could be your 2nd WC. We’ll go ChiSox just to be different…oh and the Twins will play a full season.

You know I’m starting to come around to the whole Mary Ann over Ginger thing…

Rangers: Most balanced team in the West, but those Harrison/Darvish performances to start the year were a mirage (more on that later)…A’s: Best young staff in the AL (Harpo Marx-haired Bartolo Colon notwithstanding) and if Brett Anderson can stay healthy they’ll pitch their way back to the playoffs. The Moneyball myth requires a deep, strong staff and only then do pickups like Jed Lowrie, John Jaso and Scott Sizemore, who give you just enough offense to get by, look like genius…Angels: Here’s the slugging converse to Oakland, but at 2-4 with their prized offseason acquisition, Josh Hamilton, slumping it looks like déjà vu all over again…or is it vuja de? No, that’s the feeling that none of this ever happened before. Anyway they did open with Tex./Cin. and get 3 with Houston coming up so things will get better. Still Jered Weaver’s velocity is down and now he’s out 4-6 weeks (hey, actual breaking news who woulda guessed), C.J. Wilson is a regression candidate, Joe Blanton is actually in the rotation and Tommy Hanson stands about as much chance of staying intact for the whole year as the bottom chip in a can of Pringles. They’ll stalk, but never close…Mariners: When you break camp with both Jason Bay and Oliver Perez on the roster you’ve got questions. When you open with 41 YO Raul Ibanez in the cleanup spot you’ve got problems. It’s King Felix and a gang of jesters on the mound, but they do have the second dirtiest named pitcher in the league in Charlie Furbush (#1 Detroit’s Doug Fister)…And now for the Astros. They’re offensive K/BB is at 8.22, only one other AL team is over 2.84 and their second best starting pitcher is Right-fielder Rick Ankiel. Finally, when I posted the question “Who is the Houston closer?” on Facebook the response came back- 8 votes Joe Sambito, 6 Billy Wagner, 4 Charlie Kerfeld, 3 Terry Puhl (?), 2 Why Bother and a Warren Moon. They’ll lose 100, they’ll lose 110, but can they…Meet the (1962) Mets?

Done. NL stuff next time.