Tuesday, August 31, 2004 

Where have you gone Gary Coleman?

If you could bring back a word or a phrase from your past back into mainstream America, what would it be? I would vote for "Philip Michael Thomas". Example: I was having a good day at work, but then my boss got all Philip Michael Thomas on me.

Monday, August 30, 2004 


Perhaps the view from here is tainted by hearing too many doomsday prognostications about malfeasance in the potentially very close outcome in the upcoming presidential election, but I have to say that I am entirely baffled by the fact that the Franks have either left on the bench or else actively benched players performing quite well (including all-stars like Chavez and Schilling) for the sake of activating players doing worse this check, or even on the DL (and whose names are much less impressive-sounding generally).

Perhaps there are thought processes beyond my comprehension at work (to be sure, I know next to nothing about anything), and I can't see what is to be gained by tanking here--no one is betting on LOC games, are they?--but could it possibly be that the Franks want the Stox out of the playoffs so badly that they would actually allow the Toilet to sneak in ahead by keeping the game closer than it might otherwise be?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004 

Oh Crap

Here's a strong candidate for story of the year.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004 


This is from PageSix in the New York Post:

August 21, 2004 -- OK, we get it — you're really not that innocent, Britney Spears. The increasingly prurient pop tart left British TV host Simon Amstell speechless during a recent interview. When he asked her what the last thing she'd had in her mouth was, she replied, "A dildo." Skanks for the memories, Britney! Simon tells London's Daily Mirror: "I was doing this interview with Britney and I had my usual set of silly questions. I thought her answer would be something like chicken escalope. Anyway, her people stepped in and cut that bit out."

My question is, why would she have that in her mouth anyway? Whatever, i just eagerly anticipate her sex tape to surface.

Monday, August 23, 2004 


Early on, Kazmir looks pretty good. He has a clean, smooth delivery combined with a consistent high 90s FB. He's not that big, but he has good mechanics. He needs to change speeds more often and fine tune his corner work, but that's pretty common for a 20 year old. Great sign: both benches have been on their feet watching him the whole game. Should be fun to watch him progress.

That said, I've been sidetracked by my guy Bobby Madritsch's giant neck tattoo.



The potential number one pick in next year's minor league draft, Scott Kazmir, makes his major league debut tonight in Seattle. This could also be the beginning of a long, painful period for Mets fans. Either way, I'll let you know how he looks.

Thursday, August 19, 2004 

On Holiday

I'm off to sunny Siesta Key for a few days, so you kids are on your own. We were originally scheduled to go last weekend, but something came up.



The surprise decision by ToC manager Tom Emanski to start Larry Bigbie this check versus the surging Stox took a major blow when the young outfielder was placed on the DL.

Will the Franks be able to withstand this lineup loss and hold off their fiercest rivals through the weekend?

More importantly, will this championship run end because of Larry Bigbie's groin? History awaits.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004 

Lesson Learned

It's a dark day here at the Record. We have learned that Olympic correspondent Jayson Blair is not only not in Athens, but is not even our Olympic correspondent. We regret the error and any confusion that may have arisen from his erroneous report concerning the Japan-Netherlands baseball game. Also, we are currently investigating the claim that Klong is God.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004 

Klong is my God

Thanks to the one and only Kris Long, who has reminded me that there is so much more to life than a nickname, I have changed my user name to EW. What a glorious day! I am reborn!


Fly in My Chardonnay

Aside from total devastation and possible death, my greatest Charley-related worry was loss of AC. So, what happened Saturday night? Right, our AC stopped working. Completely unrelated, but the irony came in as borderline category 5. Dont'cha think?

Postscript: It was just clogged, or something, and I'm back in the cool pretending it's not so f'n hot outside. Where would we be if we couldn't lie to ourselves?

Monday, August 16, 2004 

What's in a name?

Every since I was a little kid, I hated my name. I tried all variations of it (although there aren't many ways to spelling Ed), and all I could come up with is Eddie. And I hate Eddie. My wife calls me Edward, and if there is a name I hate more than Eddie it's Edward. More than that, I hate Ed. To go even further, I hate Wilders. There are too many sylables, and it's too close to Gene Wilder or or Little House on the Prarrie. I'm basically up a creek without a paddle.

So now I move onto college, and I pledge a fraternity. Finally I'm thinking I'm gonna walk out with a cool nickname that may stick, hopefully leaving Eddie behind forever. But, they come up with Dizzy, and that's what I'm stuck with. On top of that, no one uses it.

Now the jealousy starts. Klong became Klong basically by accident. Trudeau (even though it's his last name) still sounds like a nickname. And all the time I'm still Eddie.

Frank starts the blog and every one uses a nickname or something else, and I'm here with Eddie. Crappy old boring Eddie. I hate Eddie.

Saturday, August 14, 2004 

The Aftermath

Around 2 Friday afternoon, Charley was upgraded to a Category 4 and things started to get a little dicey. Then, it suddenly hooked right, away from Tampa. At first, though, it only shifted slightly and looked like it was still heading for us (a little east of Tampa). In the end, it veered more northeast than expected and missed us entirely. We got a little rain, much less than what we normally get courtesy of our daily afternoon thunderstorm.

That said, the storm shredded the town of Punta Gorda and everything else in its path. I'm sure you've seen some of the damage and I feel very fortunate to have avoided its wrath. This is the first time I've really understood the power of a hurricane. Not fun.

Friday, August 13, 2004 

The Calm

It looks like Charley has been upgraded to a Category 3. That's big time. ETA has been pushed up a bit to late afternoon/early evening. If I'm still here, I'll let you know how it went. Until then, enjoy Friday the 13th.

Thursday, August 12, 2004 

Rock Me Like a Hurricane

Well, it looks like Tampa is about to receive its first direct hurricane hit since 1921. A Super Bowl, a Stanley Cup, and now this--my work here is done. ETA is 8PM Friday. Everything is closed tomorrow and they have issued a mandatory evacuation of Pinellas County (St. Pete, Clearwater), the most densely-populated county in the state. Sounds like a big deal.

Of course, my fear is that we are going to lose electricity. First, no AC, which is just unthinkable. Second, no anything else. Seriously, it could get ugly.



Well, i went out for ice cream yesterday to that Cold Stone Creamery. it's a notch (yes "notch") better than regular ice cream, i think. slightly sweeter plus they mix up the toppings evenly throughout instead of just dumping it on top. plus they had a flavor called "cake batter". Trudeau should open up an ice cream place and make a flavor called "ball batter". Anyway, it was a fun night and i was talking to camille's friend. i'm just on the edge of having a shot with her. i might actually not need a louisville slugger to hook up with her, but it's probably gonna take alot of alcohol.


Free Agent Results

Glad you found the Blog. Here are the results of the exciting Orlando Cabrera bidding wars.

Toilet bids $2.00/2 on Orlando Cabrera (DL Guardado)
*Toilet bids $0.25/1 on Bobby Howry (Drop Clark)
*Toilet bids $0.25/1 on David Borkowski (Drop Sierra)
*Lobes bid $0.75/2 on Jairo Garcia (Drop Speizio)-- worse record than TOC
*Lobes bid $0.75/1 on Ruben Gotay (Drop Catalanotto)
*Lobes bid $8.00/1 on Orlando Cabrera (Drop Kielty)
*Lobes bid $0.25/1 on Robb Quinlan (Drop Embree)
Kissimike bids $0.25/2 on Ben Broussard (Drop Garcia)
Kissimike bids $1.00/2 on Orlando Cabrera (Drop Cirillo)
Kissimike promotes Kevin Youklis $0.25/3 (Demote Bill Mueller)
St. Paul bids $3.00/3 on Orlando Cabrera (Drop Balfour)
*St. Paul bids $0.50/1 on Robby Alomar (Drop Balfour)-- worse record than TOC
St. Paul bids $0.50/1 on Ruben Gotay (Drop Balfour)
*St. Paul bids $0.50/1 on Jorge Sosa (Drop Lehr)
TOC bids $0.50/1 on Robby Alomar (Drop Harris)
*TOC bids $0.25/1 on Bobby Madritsch (DL Bradford)
TOC bids $0.50/3 on Jairo Garcia (DL Giambi)
TOC bids $0.25/3 on Scott Kazmir (DL Molina)-- ineligible for bidding
*TOC bids $0.25/1 on Jamie Walker (DL Giambi)
*500 bids $1.00/2 on Ben Broussard (Rios to minors)
500 bids $1.00/2 on Orlando Cabrera (Drop Cerda)

Nice try Frank but Kazmir is not yet eligible for bidding. Lucky for Kissimike their bids failed so Jeff Cirillo is still a Wilder.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004 

You Can't Fight Science

And we thought it was just empty whining all these years. Well, apparently, Paul may have a legitimate gripe. Unfortunately, this will now only lead to new parental issues to confront.

MIT scientists have found that your name is your key to sexiness. And:

"Men with "front vowels" in their names -- sounds formed at the front of the mouth like the "a" in Matt -- were considered sexier than men with "back vowel" sounds like the "au" in Paul, she concluded."


Don't Forget Your Glove on the Way Out

When Edgar Martinez completed his 6th straight 20 HR/.320 AVG season in 2000, only 5 other players in history had equal or longer streaks. Their names? Gehrig (8), Williams (8), Ruth (7), Musial (7), and DiMaggio (6). A seven time All-Star, Martinez brings some pretty impressive season totals to the Hall of Fame debate. But is that enough?

If Eddie can overlook his own misfortune from The Curse of Edgar and join his campaign support, then surely there must be something to it. And, there's no denying this conversation should be taking place, as opposed to say one in favor of enshrining Mike Pagliarulo. That said, I think Edgar comes up just short of immortality.

Now, I have no problem with him being a full time DH. However, I don't feel he should be rewarded for it either. Being the best designated hitter doesn't carry the same weight as being the best shortstop or catcher. Edgar Martinez was, according to his job description, a hitter and, as such, that is how he should be judged. While his lack of defensive contributions should not held against him, they shouldn't be factored into the equation either. So, he doesn't have the secondary numbers to bolster his case, like Ozzie Smith or Bill Mazeroski. It all rides on his bat.

Again, there can be no denying Martinez's accomplishments. He was an amazing hitter who only got better with age. The problem is that he had no other choice because he didn't start contributing in the majors until he was 27. His career wasn't cut short, it began late, which amounts to the same thing: he just didn't have the time to accumulate Hall of Fame statistics. According to Baseball-Reference.com, the most similar player to Edgar is Will Clark. That sounds about right. Two great players who fall just short of being all-time great. It's not that Edgar wasn't good enough, it's that he wasn't good enough for long enough.


Remake made bad

I was driving to work yesterday morning, flipping through radio stations. I came across 103.5 KTU, and a catchy little diddy was playing. It sounded familiar, but the techno beat knocked me for a loop. I sat trying to figure it out, and then, like a dodge ball in 6th grade, it hit me right in the face. It was Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline", and my heart dropped. I couldn't understand it. Who were the ad wizards that came up with this one? Was there a public outcry for bad dance music featuring Neil? Was I still in America?

To make matters worse, 20 minutes later I heard yet another familiar song. Again, I tried to place it, but alas. could not. It wasn't until I heard the familiar "Real Love" from a horrible singer who wasn't Mary J., and I finally realized it. I was in some kind of communist bizarro nation where they take good tunes and make them horrible.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004 


If you aren't reading King Kaufman's sports column on Salon.com, what are you waiting for? The catch is that in order to read the full version, you have to click on an ad. This takes only a few seconds and gives you a day pass to Salon's premium material. Absolute bargain.

This is from today's column about Greg Maddux's 300th win:

"I didn't mention Maddux's achievement because I don't get as excited as most people seem to about counting milestones such as a 300th victory. Maddux is only the 22nd gent to win 300 big-league ballgames, and that's certainly a spectacular thing, but he was also only the 22nd to win 299 games.

"Everyone got so much more excited about Maddux's 300th win than they're going to get about his 301st, a greater achievement. Aside from it being a higher number -- you're with me on that, right? -- he'll be only the 20th man to win 301.

"And why is this? Because 300 divides by 100, which is 10 times 10, and we have 10 fingers. That's it. If we had eight fingers, numbers that divide by 64 would resonate with us. The milestones would be 256 -- Tom Glavine became the 38th to win that many earlier this year -- and 320, a club of 14 joined two months ago by Roger Clemens.

"Well, that's just silly, isn't it? Three hundred twenty? Two hundred fifty-six? Of course it is. There's nothing wrong with being silly, of course. If 300 means something to you, good for you, but for me the targets that resonate are the ones that have been set by other players -- numbers like 755 or 73."


The immortal Edgar

Now that Edgar has retired, the national debate has begun as to whether he is Hall material or not. I'll be the first to start any debate, and I will say he does belong in the hall. It's not his fault that a position was created that he excelled at. So he's a really good hitter, who hit for average (.312) and power (305 homers and counting) and was a run producer (2,000+ RBI's). Not stellar numbers, but comparable to a lot of guys who are in the Hall. Him not winning a championship really doesn't hurt him that much. He never won an MVP either. But he was one of the top hitters in the league for what, 15 years. And all I hear about when voting comes along is "Was he the best player at his postion during his playing days?" (A reason that Thurman Munson will never make the Hall). So, he was probably the best DH of his time, and since DH is a position, then he should be considered.

Me personally, I don't agree with the DH rule. But then again, I'm not Bud Selig. But as with Theo, I am better looking than Bud. But if the Hall is going to induct closers, then they should induct DH's. The closer was established, as we know it, not so long ago. Guys like Eck wouldn't be getting in if it wasn't for him closing out so many games. Guys like Rivera would be regular relievers, who are just as important to a team as the lead off hitter, but wouldn't sniff the Hall. But because of the position of closer, Rivera will be a first ballot HOFer.

Now this might make no sense, but looking at it black and white it does. DH's only play half the game. Yet starting pitchers play every 5th day. DH's play 162 games a year, and ususally have as much influence on a game as the cleanup hitter. Starting pitchers play in 35 games a year, if they are lucky. I know that you can't win a game without a pitcher (batters would probably go nuts hitting off of a tee or self hitting), but a player is a player, no matter what position he plays. And I don't think that he should be penalized for being one of the best pure hitters of his era.



Here's a brief bio of our boy Theo. Yes, his grandfather wrote "Casablanca."

And because you wanted more, here's another side to the man who traded Nomar.

Monday, August 09, 2004 

The conclusion

OK, i'm a little slow, i didn't figure out the whole "reply" thing to specific messages...i see there were five replies to my ice cream wednesday post...i figured no one gave a rat's ass so i didn't post...but since you asked...

When we last left off, i had planned to get Tasty Delite...that elicited many good responses. i just don't know why the one about the cherry on top was signed anonymous. it sounds like the work of Trudeau but i'm really hoping it was Tom. Anyway, but i got a call from some chick. She's cute. her name is Camille. i'll give her a cum meal. most of the league has met her. nice girl. i think i'd have a chance with her if 1) i was attractive 2) she didn't have a boyfriend. but she asked me out to lunch so i couldn't turn that down. So i rubbed one out and headed to a diner nearby our work. we both ordered Pizza Burgers and milkshakes. awww, how cute...Shut up!!!
it was a nice lunch and she laughs at my jokes which shows she has good taste. i'll give her something good to taste.

this wednesday is her birthday. we're gonna go to this great ice cream place called Cold Stone Creamery. i've only been to that place once in my life and that was in Ybor city in Tampa in 2002. that was some great ice cream so i'm looking forward to it. And don't worry, i'll let you know how that goes too.


Michalobes, indeed

From what i hear on PageSix in the New York Post, two members of the LOC were representin' at the yankees game on Friday night, Dan Kohler of the Toilets and Big Mike of the 'Lobes. The story making the rounds is that Big Mike may have had a few too many and might have, sort of, possibly blacked out for a little at the game...and then he went out in the city for some drinks.

I'd like to hear from the participants themselves to see if this can be confirmed...


Brave Old World

In case you haven't noticed, the Atlanta Braves have not only reclaimed the pole in the NL East, but have run up a 5.5 game lead. The same Braves that lost Gary Sheffield, Javy Lopez, Greg Maddux, and Vinny Castilla* in the offseason and whose best remaining hitter, Chipper Jones, is treading water at .244. So, how in the name of Mark Lemke are they doing it yet again? Would you believe Jaret Wright?

Okay, it's a little more than the former Indians burnout. But, Wright, along with fellow starters Russ Ortiz and Mike Hampton, combined to go 14-0 with a 1.87 ERA in July. To put this in some sort of perspective, the best month ever recorded by Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz? April of 1997 when the legendary trio went 11-3, 1.90. The only question left is when does pitching coach Leo Mazzone get his own "Extreme Makeover" show where he turns a lucky viewer into a 14-game winner?

(* I know he's in Colorado, but Castilla is on pace for a 38 HR/150 RBI year.)


ESPNough Already

Nothing says you made it like inspiring a boycott.

Again, I freely admit I always try to have ESPNews on "Last" (or "Recall" or whatever your remote calls the button leading to the previous channel watched). But, Bristol, we have a problem.

Sunday, August 08, 2004 

Theo & Me

So, I'm standing in beautiful Bright House Networks Field--home of the Clearwater Threshers--Saturday night waiting out a rain delay when I notice an attractive couple dressed noticably better than the rest of the crowd. My first thought was that the guy looked familiar, a little like Theo Epstein. After a few moments, the synapses clicked and I remembered that the Threshers were playing the Sarasota Red Sox and that, yes, I was a few feet from the wonderboy GM. No, I didn't say anything to him. As I have inexplicably run across a fair number of celebrities recently, I've realized that they're nothing more than recognizable strangers. Sure, I could have grilled him on Nomargate or started a "1918" chant or rubbed my back-to-back LOC championships in his face, but what would have been the point. It was like staring through a portal into a bizarro world of what could have been and then realizing that, no, it couldn't have.

The game was DOA, finally being called after an hour. For the record, Theo lingered with the damp masses until the end. Two Sox fans briefly engaged him in an exchange, the only crack in his anonymity. Right before he left, he twice passed within a foot of me. I stand by my decision not to poke him.

Friday, August 06, 2004 

Singing a New Tune

Sometimes, ESPN comes off as a feckless graffito, tagging anything and everything. Has anyone ever given us a reason for ESPN2, particularly when you consider ESPN has to pretend poker and bass fishing are sports in order to fill air time. But, the worst example of this branding addiction is indisputably ESPN.com's Page 3. For those not in the know, the Web site already has a Page 2 that provides an entertainment/sports mix to complement its main news pages. For the most part, the online Deuce is moderately interesting and generally harmless (with the exception of Bill Simmons' aces "The Sports Guy" column , although, in Simmonsonian fashion, I think it isn't too far-fetched to say he may have jumped the shark awhile back).

Page 3, on the other hand, is, well, I'm not sure what it is. A waste of bandwidth, you say? Good one, and I wouldn't disagree. That said, today's favorite link is from...Page 3. How can that be? I don't have an answer, but one may be found in the explanatory footnotes of Whoopi Goldberg's Oscar win. Every dog has its day (or in Ms. Whoopi's case, its career).

Why the shout-out to the Thrice? A list of At-Bat Songs for every MLB team.

After a brief sampling, my early favorite is Jeff Cirillo's "Bad Boy For Life." Hit the "Comments" link below to vote for the entry of your choice.

(For the record, I think ESPN is still, by far, truly the worldwide leader. I just fear they are taking career advice from MTV. Seriously, I turned on "Sportscenter" last week and Alanis Morrisette was performing. And it wasn't even 1995.)

Thursday, August 05, 2004 

Cappy Doodle Dandy

i guess i can admit it now. i intentionally sabotaged the Capuchins' season this year so i could use my high draft pick to get Doodle Hicks. he is destined to don the brown pinstripes of the Cleveland Steamers.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004 

The Archi Cianfrocco Files II

Are you jonesing (or, rather, Balboning) for more future Archis? Here's a list of candidates from this year's MLB draft:

Ricky Bambino, C, Anaheim
Koley Kolberg, P, Arizona
Ray Liotta, P, Chisox
Frank Viola, P, Chisox
Doodle Hicks, P, Cleveland
Deik Scram, OF, Milwaukee
Joey Metropoulos, 1B, Toronto
Woods Fines, P, Tampa Bay
Marquise Liverpool, OF, Seattle
Mumba Rivera, P, Seattle
Willie Mays, OF, Philadelphia
R.J. Swindle, P, Boston
Denver Kitch, SS, Baltimore

What, you ask, no A's? Fat catchers are "moneyball," but not phat names? The best Billy Beane could come up with is pitcher Broc Coffman (who I hear is already in talks to make a movie with Kaz Tadano).


The Archi Cianfrocco Files

What's in a name? Everything if it doesn't come in a Costco bulk like Rodriguez or Jones. In the grand tradition of the aforementioned Signor Cianfrocco, the almost-legendary Wiki Gonzalez, and the man, the myth, the owner of the freakin' awesomest name ever, Rusty Kuntz (or, if you prefer), I bring you future Mark Davis Award winner (and current Dunedin Blue Jay) Bubbie Buzachero. That, future parents, is how you name a kid.

From the Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott via Slam Sports:

 Bubbie Buzachero? Would the Jarry Parc announcer, who turned John Bocabella's name into 10 syllables have fun with Bubbie Buzachero?

 Up from minor-league camp, he faced six batters, walking the first two, then a single, a double, an error by first baseman John-Ford Griffin and another walk. In 35 innings last year at class-A Auburn he only allowed seven walks.

 "My first four pitches were all up in the zone," Buzachero said.

 His first trip with the Jays, he received a loud reception in the clubhouse from Orlando Hudson.

 "You a Cali kid?" Hudson asked since Buzachero's long blond locks have the just-got-out-of-bed, California surfer-dude look.

 Buzachero told Hudson he was from Livingstone, Tenn. Hudson is from Darlington, S.C.

 "He said we were southern kinfolk, and kept saying: 'What's your name again?' " Buzachero said.

 Bubbie is a nickname ("don't print my real name, I only use it when I have to"). He's had it for all of his 22 years courtesy of his older sister. He retired the Philadelphia Phillies 1-2-3 in Dunedin and yesterday didn't retire one hitter he faced.

 He was a 23rd-round draft pick from Tennessee Tech University.


Return of the Logo

Originally uploaded by francomega.


Now i get it

ohhhh...so we're supposed to write about baseball and specifically the LOC...riiiight...


Happy Birthday to All

whenever August 4 rolls around, i always think of Praveen...brilliant, slimy Praveen.

Hmmm...since i'm not sure what we're supposed to write in this blog, i'll just write about what's going on with me...it's a sticky summer day, and not just in my pants...i've decided to make today "ice cream wednesday"so i'm going to Tasty Delite. don't worry...i'll let you know what flavor i get after lunch.


Rocket Man

You even offered up Clemens to the rest of the league knowing you would just drop him, and nobody took you up. It's hard to adjust for those unique individuals who defy father time (Clemens, Randy), but everyone knows it's going to happen to even the most productive players at some point (Moyer finally got zapped this year, about 4 years after most figured). People just assume Mr. Bonds will break the home run record and he very well might, but he's at the age where the fall is drastic and complete.


Jump Street

After years of experimenting with the communicative powers of cyberspace—Web site, stat service message board, and the most pedestrian of tools, e-mail—it has come to this. To paraphrase something that I'm pretty sure wasn't actually spoken in either the original, the Johnny Drama-starring remake, or the long-forgotten sequel to the original: Run, here comes The Blog! Yes, that 21st century catalyst of Democracy, the Web Log, or blog as the kids like to say, has beseiged the League of Champions. No, not in the form of a carnivorous gelatinous, well, blob, but as a rising phoenix known as the LOC Record. (Don't you love that new blog smell?)

Coincidentally, this launch date happens to fall on the 42nd birthday of Roger Clemens (as well as the birthday of Mrs. Trader Tom, my sister, and former neighbor and owner in last century's original LOC incarnation, Praveen Rangnath). Now, apparently the Rocket was celebrating a bit early, but we won't hold that against him. Or maybe we should. Anyway, what can be said of the Rocket that ESPN hasn't or won't beat us to death with after every one of his starts?

Wait, that wasn't a rhetorical question. As you are well aware, the mainstream press has continued their disgraceful policy of ignoring the League of Champions, the premier fantasy baseball organization in the free world. Thank the roto gods that the Record is around to fill in the information gaps, to grout the crevices of ignorance.

So, how surprising is Clemens' post-LOC success? Not very, or at least, it shouldn't have been. Here are his season TLV (Total LOC Values): 2000: 7 (5th among starters), 2001: 7.4 (2nd), 2002: 19.8 (18th), 2003: 10.4 (7th). Besides the aberration of 2002—no doubt partially due to his rocky relationship with owner Russ Power—Clemens has been an elite pitcher. By passing on another year of his services for $14 million, the Cactus Franks forced their own hand into signing over $23 million to Curt Schilling. Not that Schilling has disappointed, but he hasn't been $9 million better than the future HOFer he replaced. Also, consider the hefty price tags across the league for Barry Zito ($22), Bartolo Colon ($16), and Javier Vazquez ($20.75), and the dude who gave all his kids names beginning with the letter "K" looks like a pretty decent bargain. Ah, retrospect, you got me again.