Updated May 3
Save for the name-based puns and back-and-forth shrieking, my most super-favorite part of the NFL Draft is the postmortems, in which pundits grade each team's haul based on fanciful criteria (need-fulfillment, value-accumulation, toughness-obtainment, etc.). It goes without saying that we can't grade a player until he actually plays, of course, but that shouldn't stop us.
Why? Because grading is fun, plus it instills a false sense of power in the individual wielding the red pen. That's as much authority as most of us media idiots are going to experience, at least until we hang up the laptops and enroll at the police academy. So I'm hopping on the grade-y train (hoy-o!) with a condensed report card, culled from a weekend spent watching 54 hours of baseball.
Bud Selig gets an A-minus for his out-of-character authoritative handling of the Dodger mess and a B-plus for his improved posture. The owners and MLBPA each receive A's and little gold friendship stars for learning how to play nice with one another, unlike their counterparts in other sports. Bartolo Colon receives an A for performance and a R-minus for diet.
For the alleged indiscretions of Roger McDowell and Derek Lowe, the Braves get a D and a subpoena to appear before baseball's executive manners and decency committee. For gutting the Dodgers and then having the chutzpah to assume a man-of-the-people pose, Frank McCourt gets an engraved sterling F, which will be lasered in half and delivered to divorce court. The third basemen of the fantasy-baseball universe receive a dreaded INC owing to their inability to shield their obliques during stretches, sneezes and comparably rigorous activities.
Baseball itself always gets the highest mark -- a glowing A-plus topped with butterscotch and adorned with candles -- for the ineffable joy it brings into our lives. But this year it'll have to settle for salutatorian honors behind the Navy SEAL Team Six, which may or may not officially exist. Assuming it does, put it down for an A-octuple-plus, and put me down as grateful for the bravery, sacrifice and unrepentant bad-assery of its members.