Tag:Oakland A's
Posted on: March 23, 2011 11:06 am

Stuff my editors whacked from the column

PHOENIX -- It seems like, at 27, Oakland lefty Dallas Braden is just coming into his own. But on this talented and young -- emphasis on young -- staff, Braden is the graybeard.

There's All-Star Trevor Cahill (23), who was 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA over 30 starts last year.

There's Brett Anderson (23), who was 7-6 with a 2.80 ERA over 19 starts last year.

There's Gio Gonzalez (25), who was 15-9 with a 3.23 ERA over 33 starts last year.

"I love watching these dudes," Braden says. "I'm excited to be a part of this staff.

"I'm the first guy Cahill ran into in his professional career. I've been taping his shoes together and putting baby powder in his pants [for years], and now look at him."

Braden and Cahill first bumped into each other in 2006, when Braden was rehabbing following shoulder surgery and Cahill had just signed after the Athletics had picked him second in the '06 draft.

"He was all of 18," Braden says.

So of course Braden messed with him.

"Tied his shoes together, baby powder in his pants, eyeblack in his hat, Icy Hot in his sliding pants and shoes," Braden says. "You name it, he wore it.

"Now look at him. He's an All Star, and damn near a Cy Young winner. You talk about people high ceilings ... you tune in three out of every five days to watch the A's playing because when those three guys take the mound [Cahill, Anderson, Gonzalez], they may do something special."

Sunblock Day? The rain has moved on, but temps early Tuesday were in the low 50s. You'll need the sunblock by Wednesday, though, when we're supposed to climb back into the 70s in the Phoenix area.

Likes: Go Butler. ... Old Town Scottsdale. ... The predicted return of the sun to the desert valley. ... Home in a couple of days. ... Home in time for my daughter's play this weekend. ... NCAA tourney games back on Thursday for four more days. ... Opening day next week. ... Final roster decisions starting to arrive. ... www.Segerfile.com for all your Bob Seger news as his new tour lifts off Saturday.

Dislikes: I've loved Bob Seger forever, and I'm thrilled he and the Silver Bullet Band are going back on tour (opening March 26 in Toledo, Ohio). But I'm sorry, I'm not thrilled with the first song I've heard from a new disc coming out this summer. Look, Tom Waits' Downtown Train is a great song, but Rod Stewart did it 20 years ago. Seger always has had an affinity for a well-chosen cover, but he could have been far more creative here. Plus, that's the second song he's covered off of Waits' Rain Dogs, following New Coat of Paint. Bob, at least choose from a different Waits album. ... Aw, my Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central boys' hoops team was bounced in the quarterfinals of the Michigan tournament Tuesday night, 48-45 by Schoolcraft. But the Falcons still made it further in the state tourney than they ever have. Well done, fellas.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Working all day for a mean little guy
"With a bad toupee and a soup-stained tie
"He's got me running 'round the office
"Like a gerbil on a wheel
"He can tell me what to do
"But he can't tell me what to feel"

-- Fountains of Wayne, Hey Julie

Posted on: March 15, 2011 7:05 pm

News is good for A's on Andrew Bailey

PHOENIX -- Score one for closer Andrew Bailey and the A's.

Following Monday's very serious scare, news out of Alabama a day later left Oakland breathing a huge sigh of relief: Bailey was diagnosed with a strained right forearm during a visit to renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Alabama. According to the team, there is no structural damage.

Prescription: Rest.

Which is significantly better than it appeared on Monday when Bailey clutched at his elbow, held his arm close to his body and walked off of the mound in pain during a Cactus League game. Bailey has a checkered health history with his elbow, dating back to undergoing Tommy John ligament reconstruction surgery when he was in college.

More recently, Bailey, a two-time All-Star, was shut down two weeks early in 2010 and underwent a surgery to "clean out" his elbow.

That's why the sight of him coming off the mound Monday was so disheartening ... and why news that the injury is just a strain is so welcome.

"Any time a pitcher comes out of a game like Andrew did, you hold your breath," A's president and general manager Billy Beane said in a statement. While there is no timetable on his return, this is welcome news."

Because Bailey will not resume throwing until there are no more symptoms of the strain, and that could range from days to weeks, there remains a very good chance that he opens the season on the disabled list, but even missing a couple of weeks of the season -- or whatever it turns out to be early -- sure beats another surgery.

Especially after it threw such a scare into the Athletics.

"That was possibly the toughest moment going in to pitch of any game of my life," said Brad Ziegler, who was summoned when Bailey left. "If it's a little discomfort, it would be one thing. But he was doubled over in pain. It was like, 'Oh my gosh.'"

Speaking Tuesday morning before the extent of Bailey's injury was known, Ziegler said, "It might be real serious, but we're all hoping some scar tissue became loose. I don't even know if that's realistic.

"We're all just thinking about him and praying for him."

Now, sooner rather than later, they'll get Bailey back.

Sunblock Day: Nice and consistent at 86 degrees. Bring lots of sunblock and, here in the desert, lots of water.

Likes: Bracket time. ... The Chrysler Sebring convertible to which the nice rental car lady gave me the keys upon arrival here nearly two weeks ago. The top has been down much of the time. Fabulous. ... Mavis Staples' You Are Not Alone, produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. I've mentioned this before, but this disc is phenomenally good. ... Jimmy Buffett over the sound system in spring training parks. ... Oregano's still has its fastball. Several locations throughout the Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and Scottsdale areas, and I'm here to tell you, the thin crust pizza is outstanding and the pizza cookie dessert is killer (half-baked cookie with ice cream over it). ... The tortilla-encrusted halibut at Rokerij in Phoenix the other night. Best dinner option in the valley.

Dislikes: Subway remains a go-to lunch place when I'm in a hurry and want to eat something relatively healthy. But I have to say, I've been angry with them for years now since they went to Coke products and eliminated the Mountain Dew.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Someone showed me a picture and I just laughed
"Dignity never been photographed
"I went into the red, went into the black
"Into the valley of dry bone dreams
"So many roads, so much at stake
"So many dead ends, I’m at the edge of the lake
"Sometimes I wonder what it’s gonna take
"To find dignity"

-- Bob Dylan, Dignity


Posted on: December 2, 2010 10:21 pm

Clock ticking on A's, Iwakuma talks

The Oakland Athletics are all over the place this winter, from Lance Berkman to Adrian Beltre to Adam Dunn (before the White Sox closed the deal Thursday). But the one target with an increasingly urgent deadline is Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma.

The A's won exclusive bidding rights to Iwakuma, but that window closes Tuesday. Negotiations between Oakland and the right-hander stalled a couple of weeks ago, and if the two sides don't reach an agreement, then Iwakuma's only choice is to return to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan.

The A's have been library-quiet about the talks. With the clock ticking, one director of international scouting for a rival club expects the two sides to hammer out an agreement in the end.

"It's hard for me to see how Japan saves face if he goes back to Japan," said the scout, who has spent significant time in that country. "If he goes back to Japan, it will be an embarrassment to the team."

Iwakuma, 29, is not eligible for free agency in Japan until after the 2011 season, but Rakuten allowed him to be put up for bid to United States teams this winter.

The Athletics won exclusive negotiating rights with a $19.1 million bid. If Iwakuma signs, Rakuten receives the posting fee.

Iwakuma is said to be looking for $12 to $13 million annually in salary. Japanese media reported last month that the Athletics offered $15.25 million over four years. That's roughly the equivalent to what Iwakuma earned in salary with the Golden Eagles.

To play in the majors with Oakland, Iwakuma most likely is going to have to accept that his base salary will be lower than he wants because the A's will average the posting bid over the length of the contract as well, much like Boston did in signing Daisuke Matsuzaka to an overall deal of $103.1 million in 2006.

Then, the Red Sox paid a $51.1 posting fee and then agreed to a six-year, $52 million deal.

Spread over six years, the total of $103.1 million cost the Red Sox an average of just over $17 million annually, including the posting fee.

"He's good," the scout said of Iwakuma, who went 10-9 with a 2.82 ERA in 28 games in 2010 and is 101-62 with a 3.32 ERA over 10 professional seasons in Japan, with 46 complete games in 209 appearances. "I think he'll pitch a lot better than some guys who recently have come over.

"I like Hiroki Kuroda (of the Dodgers) a little better."

Iwakuma does not compare to Matsuzaka because their syles are so different.

"Daisuke wants to throw all of his pitches," the scout said. "Iwakuma is a sinker-slider guy. Daisuke is a high-count guy. Iwakuma is a lower-count guy.

"I think it will get done with Oakland in the end, but who knows?"

Posted on: November 19, 2010 3:12 pm

Love Letters: Readers take bite of Cy Felix

Some excellent and very well-reasoned responses to my defense of Felix Hernandez's AL Cy Young award this week. In fact, this is the best batch of letters in a long time. Nice to hear from everyone. ...

From: Henry H.
Re. Felix gets his Cy due, thanks to slowly changing outlooks

This vote reflects sportswriters who think they are smarter than the game. You showed Felix's stats against AL east in 5 games! Did he not pitch against the Rays? If not, the vote is more of a travesty. If he actually pitched in the AL East all year long, he would have had something like 15-17 starts against better lineups than he faced routinely -- more chance to explode that ERA. Tougher fans, more pressurized games -- no risk for him where he was. Too small a sample against the best teams in the league. Imagine how great he would have been if he could have pitched in AAA all year long! This isn't old' evaluation technique versus new evaluation technique. This is dopey sportswriters trying to show how smart they are. Pitchers are paid to win. The best pitchers win against the toughest competition. This is vote is crap.

To answer your question, Hernandez did not start against Tampa Bay this year. And in my heart, I agree with you: Pitchers SHOULD BE paid to win. Some are. But anymore, most are paid to keep their teams in games and eat innings. I don't think it was sportswriters thinking they're smart. I think this vote was sportswriters trying their best to get it right. I think they did because, as I pointed out in the column, this was a very unique year for Hernandez. But I'm with you in hoping this is an aberration rather than the coming norm.

From: Jay T.

Though your opinion on the matter has merit, I cannot support it. The pitchers that finished second and third respectively both were better candidates. Felix pitched in the AL West, which was the Rangers then nobody else, where as Price and CC both had to deal with three definite powerhouses of the division. Did Felix have a great year? Yes. But I am sorry to say that 13 wins, when most of your games are against weaker opponents, should not get you a Cy Young.

Tough call. And I'd say your opinion has merit as well.

FROM: Andy

I have no problem with Felix Hernandez winning. My problem is with CC ending up third. The Yankee Love has got to stop. He had a worse season than a handful of other pitchers -- Trevor Cahill, Clay Buchholz and Jered Weaver all had better ERAs, and better WHIPs. All CC had was wins, which are easy to come by when you are a Yankee. Further, somehow he basically got the same point total as Price, which is a joke. Price's ERA is almost a 1/2 a run better than CC's, and CC did not have to pitch against the best team money can buy. Plain and simple, there were several pitchers better than CC in the AL, so people have got to stop handing the Yankees everything.

I take it you don't own a copy of Sinatra's New York, New York.

FROM: Jack H

Given the same sabermetrics Felix Hernandez had, would he win the Cy Young if he were 0-25? Now that I think about it, I would vote for Price. Very good W-L and a good ERA, etc. I could just as well argue that Hernandez lost seven in a row early in the year before his team was eliminated, and demoralized his team and although he pitched great, the team basically packed it in. We have now said that for Cy Young, wins mean nothing.

I hope that's not what we've said. I really do. And if it is, then we need to veer back in the other direction.

Likes: Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central playing in the Michigan state high school football semi-finals on Saturday against Constantine at a neutral site in Jackson. Good luck to the green-and-gold Falcons. Another great season, and it's still rolling.

Dislikes: Been so busy with things this week that I haven't even had a chance to dig into the new Bruce Springsteen box set celebrating Darkness on the Edge of Town that was released Tuesday. All I did was open it, and the packaging is incredible. Cannot wait to dig into the CDs and DVDs.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Some folks are born into a good life
"Other folks get it anyway anyhow
"I lost my money and I lost my wife
"Them things don't seem to matter much to me now
"Tonight I'll be on that hill 'cause I can't stop
"I'll be on that hill with everything I got
"Lives on the line where dreams are found and lost
"I'll be there on time and I'll pay the cost
"For wanting things that can only be found
"In the darkness on the edge of town"

-- Bruce Springsteen, Darkness on the Edge of Town


Posted on: May 11, 2010 12:52 am

The Rays and the art of the perfect game

Perfect games follow the Tampa Bay Rays around the way stray dogs hang near the meat market.

Rays' outfielder Gabe Kapler on Sunday became the only man in baseball history to bat in the ninth inning twice with his team facing a perfect game.

Kapler bounced to shortstop to end Dallas Braden's grab at history in Oakland on Sunday.

And in Chicago last July, he was Mark Buehrle's first out in the ninth inning.

You might recall that one: Kapler was the guy who smoked the fly ball to the wall that Chicago outfielder DeWayne Wise majestically chased down in a highlight reel play for the ages.

"And if you want to take it one step further. ..." Kapler said Monday in Anaheim as the Rays prepared to open a series with the Angels.

Yes, if you want to do that, Kapler now has had three brushes with perfect games in three years: In 2008, San Diego's Chris Young spun a perfect game for 7 2/3 innings on Sept. 7 in Milwaukee when Kapler, then a Brewers outfielder, broke it up by smashing a home run.

Understandably so, Kapler says he felt "very connected to" Buehrle's moment, given how close he came to breaking up and Wise's spectacular play.

As for Braden's perfecto on Sunday, Kapler said, "I think in the order of the universe, there are reasons why it would have been nice for us to break it up. But after the game, I read about how Braden's mom had died of cancer, and it was poetic [to have it happen on Mother's Day]. It was his day. He needed to make pitches, and he made them."

Meantime, Kapler's wild perfect game history isn't all in this crazy Tampa Bay connection.

Manager Joe Maddon?

He's now been involved with three perfect games (plus another no-hitter) -- all on the wrong side.

While his Rays now have been victimized by two perfect games in their past 96 (Braden on Sunday, the White Sox's Mark Buehrle last July 23), Maddon also was the Angels' bullpen coach when Texas' Kenny Rogers was perfect against them back in 1994.

He also was the Angels' interim manager when Minnesota's Eric Milton no-hit them in 1999.

"I'm your guy for a perfect game," Maddon joked. "I'm on the bad side of history once again. Kind of amazing, but it happened."

Wait, there's more: Including the Braden and Buehrle games, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and third-base coach Tom Foley each have been involved with three perfect games.

Unlike with Maddon and Kapler, though, the Rays finally have a winner with Foley and Martinez: Each was on the 1991 Montreal club when Pedro Martinez tossed a perfect game against the Dodgers on July 28, 1991.

The Rays join the Dodgers and Twins as the only three teams to have two perfect games thrown against them.

Likes: Do yourself a favor and watch this absolutely hilarious recent rant by a disgusted Cleveland television guy doing a postgame show. And it was on the Indians' flagship station, no less. ... Terrific analysis encapsulating the mess that is the Kansas City Royals here. ... Classy tribute to the late Ernie Harwell before Monday's Tigers game in Detroit. A sad, sad thing, but the Tigers really deserve credit for the first-class manner in which they've handled everything. ... Really superb Drive-By Truckers show last Thursday at the House of Blues in San Diego. Those guys can play and, boy, do they rock. The new disc, The Big To-Do, is very good. Of course, it's no Decoration Day -- the Truckers set the bar with that (or maybe with Southern Rock Opera) -- but it's good. Love Birthday Boy, Daddy Learned to Fly, Santa Fe and (It's Gonna Be) I Told You So. ...

Dislikes: So, what, this oil is going to continue leaking into the ocean indefinitely? Can we get it fixed anytime soon? Yeah, drill, baby, drill. It's sickening watching what's going on.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"There was that whole weird thing with the horses
"I think they know exactly what happened
"I don't think it needs any explaining
"I'm pretty sure I wasn't your first choice
"I think I was the last one remaining"

-- The Hold Steady, The Weekenders

Posted on: May 9, 2010 7:33 pm
Edited on: May 9, 2010 11:01 pm

The AL Worst

Dallas Braden's exquisite perfect game for Oakland on Sunday notwithstanding, no division in baseball has been as disappointing as this motley crew (though the NL Central should not be overlooked, what with the Cubs, Brewers and Astros).

The AL West this year is Conan O'Brien in his last few days on The Tonight Show. Not nearly as funny, but every bit as beleaguered.

How rough is it out there? They nearly had to delay the first pitch of Friday night's Angels-Mariners game because both clubs held meetings to discuss, they were scuffling so badly.

The weekend started with the Angels dragging a seven-game losing streak to Seattle, where the Mariners greeted them with a six-game losing streak of their own. Seattle skipper Don Wakamatsu closed the doors to address his team before the series started while the Angels held a players-only meeting.

For the Angels, who normally under manager Mike Scioscia only hold team meetings to divide up playoff shares, it was their second meeting in less than 24 hours. Scioscia had briefly closed the doors to address the troops the night before in Boston, where Los Angeles had been swept in a four-game series for the first time since 1967 which, for the Red Sox, goes all the way back to the Impossible Dream and Jim Lonborg pre-skiing injury.

Already, the Angels, who miss Chone Figgins and John Lackey more than they acknowledge, are closing in on a club record for meetings in a season. They don't need another alternate jersey so much as they need an appointment book.

Last time the Angels and Mariners met with each club at least six games under .500? According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was way back in 1994.

By Sunday, that had changed because the Angels, behind Jered Weaver's 7 1/3 shutout innings Friday and Joe Saunders righting himself Saturday, took the first two games of this pillow-fight to climb to within four games of .500 -- and push Seattle's losing streak to eight in a row.

Obvious answer to the light-hitting Mariners' woes, of course, was to fire hitting coach Alan Cockrell, which Seattle did before Sunday's game. It's not Cockrell's fault that a single can of Mountain Dew contains more pop than the Mariners' lineup, which was last in the majors with a hard-to-believe paltry sum of 10 home runs.

The White Sox's Paul Konerko has more than that by himself (13), while five other big leaguers have equaled the M's total by themselves: Toronto's Alex Gonzalez, Baltimore's Ty Wigginton, the Dodgers' Andre Ethier and Arizona's Mark Reynolds and Kelly Johnson.

While the power outage cannot be blamed on Cockrell -- he didn't construct a lineup that has Franklin Gutierrez, Jose Lopez and Casey Kotchman in the middle -- the M's figured they had enough other evidence to sack him: Last in the AL in team batting average (.225), on-base percentage (.302), slugging percentage (.315) and runs scored (94).

Wretched? Eight Mariners in the regular lineup are hitting worse than .220.

Ugh -- and it's no picnic elsewhere in the division.

Texas is in first place, but every day "owner" Tom Hicks fails to pay his bills leaves the creditors barking more savagely, demanding that major-league baseball seize the franchise from Hicks and facilitate a sale. The Rangers franchise was supposed to have been sold by early April, and baseball taking control is a very real possibility. Turns out, whether or not the Rangers can afford a summer's worth of baseballs might be the least of their issues.

Oakland? In the muck of the AL West, the A's have been the most pleasant story going. Their only crime so far is guilt-by-association in this haggard division. That, and having nine players on the disabled list, their most since May, 2008. Which pretty much makes running in place a goal, not a detriment.

Ah well, what the AL West lacks in looks, it should make up for in sheer competitiveness this summer. At one point last week, the four clubs were separated by a mere half-game. And right now, looking through the one-way glass at the perp walk, it doesn't look like anybody here will be running away anytime soon.

Posted on: April 5, 2010 2:38 pm

Early race for comeback player of year

Four key players are or will be on the field today who did not even make it for one game in 2009:

Jake Westbrook is Cleveland's opening day starter against the White Sox.

Shaun Marcum is Toronto's opening day starter against Texas.

Ben Sheets is Oakland's opening day starter tonight against Seattle.

And outfielder Jim Edmonds is in Milwaukee's opening day lineup today in place of right fielder Corey Hart. Edmonds just whiffed with Brewers on first and third in the first inning. But the Brewers have high hopes for him, think he looked great this spring and manager Ken Macha thinks he will get Edmonds at least 250 at-bats this year.

In Chicago, meanwhile, Westbrook surrendered two early runs (a two-run Paul Konerko homer) and is trailing 2-0 in the third.
Posted on: March 28, 2010 7:09 pm

A's juggle pitching as spring days dwindle

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The one thing Oakland figured was its best bet this spring was its pitching, and now look.

Justin Duchscherer surrendered 11 runs (eight earned) on nine hits in just three-plus innings in a Cactus League game against Kansas City on Saturday.

Ben Sheets was torched for 10 runs without even recording an out three outings ago.

Concern? Not so much. Both pitchers, coming back from a year layoff, continue to progress physically.

But what is a concern -- at least for the next 24 hours or so for manager Bob Geren -- is the shape of the A's bullpen. Which no doubt is why they signed veteran swingman Chad Gaudin -- who can start or relieve -- on Sunday.

Right-hander Michael Wuertz, one of the most underrated set-up men in the game last summer, was scratched from Sunday's scheduled Cactus League appearance against Colorado with a "tender" shoulder.

Meantime, closer Andrew Bailey and lefty reliever Craig Breslow each of whom has been stricken with elbow tendinitis and has missed the past several days, are slotted to return to the mound Monday against Seattle.

That's why Geren says his concern right now is over the next 24 hours. If Bailey and Breslow pass their tests Monday, it will be a boost as the A's continue to prepare for their April 5 opener against the Mariners.

As for Wuertz, whose 102 strikeouts in 2009 led AL relievers, that will not be decided over the next 24 hours. Wuertz, who appeared in 74 games last summer, well could open the season on the disabled list at this point.

All this, and it's fortunate Sheets and Duchscherer are in such good shape, right?

Duchscherer, the latest of the duo to get hammered, shrugged it off Sunday.

"Numbers-wise, you don't like that, but physically I felt good and that's more important than anything," said Duchscherer. "My fastball was 83-84 early, and that's five miles off from normal. And I gave up a couple of hits in counts where normally I wouldn't throw fastballs."

Duchscherer, who suffered from elbow pain and then was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2009, causing him to miss the entire season, was happy with the fact that he threw 86 pitches on Saturday and then felt better Sunday than he did following his previous outing.

Sheets, meantime, didn't throw a pitch in '09 following elbow surgery. He's already been named by Geren as Oakland's Opening Day starter -- though a buzz swept through the baseball land following his 10-run appearance a couple of weeks ago with folks wondering if he was hurt again.

"Aw, that just means a lot of people are rooting for me," Sheets said Sunday. "A lot of people care."

Sheets said he historically has struggled in the spring because he has a hard time focusing. But, as is the case with Duchscherer, he's encouraged that he feels good physically.

"There are some days that are definitely better than others," Sheets said. "I'm trying to get my fastball going. If I can get the right downhill tilt, and locate and throw strikes. ...

"I think I'm going to be OK if I can locate my heater. I think I'm going to get better throughout the year."

So, too, do the A's think that -- about Sheets, about Duchscherer, about their bullpen and about themselves.

Sunblock Day: Little cool in the morning, but gorgeous, 70-some degree day in the desert Sunday.

Likes: Eric Chavez, Oakland's six-time Gold Glove-winning third baseman, is loving his switch to first base this spring. So far, so good with both his back and shoulder. Chavez and the A's are optimistic that he can stay in the lineup at first this year. Chavez says he has only cut loose with about six throws this spring, saving his shoulder as best he can until the regular season. ... There are always silver linings, and here is Ben Sheets' after missing the 2009 season: "It was a long year, but it was a fulfilling year as a dad, being around my kids for the whole summer." Sheets has two boys: Seaver, 7, and Miller, 3. And yes, they're named after Hall of Famer Tom Seaver and after Miller Park in Milwaukee, where Sheets worked for so long. ... Love Bill Raftery as a college hoops announcer. ... Those Southwest Airlines commercials advertising their bags flying free. The one with the men and the older lady on the plane is annoying, but the rest are very clever. ... Gran Torino, the outstanding Clint Eastwood flick, on HBO late the other night in my hotel room. ... Havana Café in Phoenix.

Dislikes: What are we going to do this week with no NCAA games until Saturday? What an incredible, incredible tournament.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Top coat, top hat
"I don't worry cuz my wallet's fat
"Black shades, white gloves
"Lookin' sharp, and lookin' for love
"They come runnin' just as fast as they can
"Cuz every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man"

-- ZZ Top, Sharp-Dressed Man

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com