Friday, April 1, 2005

"Eyes to the stage, pilgrim, she's just warming up."

Frank Miller's Sin City

There are 2 reasons to look forward to this weekend. The obvious reason is that it's Final Four Weekend. The less obvious reason is that the best movie of 2005 is opening this weekend.

That's right, I'm talking about Sin City.

The film, directed by Austin's own Robert Rodriguez, is based off of Frank Miller's comics and graphic novels (heck, it even looks like the Sin City graphic novels.), has an all star cast the likes of which we will probably never see again in our lifetime.

By the way, it's nice to know some Hollywood types recognize where they came from.
Robert Rodriguez was nice enough to hold an advance screening for us Austinites at the Paramount Theater yesterday. And he brought stars Jamie King and Nick Stahl along for the ride.

I'm going to see it this weekend, which is a rarity for me. I always wait for stuff to come out on DVD.

If you want a preview of the movie, click
here for a trailer.

MLB Preview, or "I Don't Live For This"

I really haven't been excited about a baseball season in a while. In fact, I haven't really closely followed Major League Baseball since 1994. I didn't really care when the whole home run thing was going on in 1998. The only times I really closely follow things are when the Astros are a serious contender, which haven't been often.

Heck, I can't even tell
sabermetrics from a Sabre jet sometimes.

That's not to say that I don't like baseball, I used to catch Texas Tech games often because it was just a walk from my dorm to Dan Law Field, and I will catch an occasional Round Rock Express game.

But for some reason, the start of the MLB season doesn't excite me like it does a lot of people.

Still, I'm going to try to make my picks since everyone else has theirs up. Bear in mind that I am usually wrong when it comes to baseball. And bear in mind I'm not responsible for any money you lose taking my picks to the sports book.

NL East

1. Atlanta - Because somehow they always win it. Every time for the last 3 years people have tried to put someone else up here and the Braves always win it.
2. Florida - could be a serious Wild Card contender because of their pitching, defense and base stealing.
3. Washington - They've got a good, young, improving team, but I think until MLB can get a real owner who is willing to sign some pitchers and role players, there's no way they finish above 3rd.
4. Philadelphia - I wouldn't wish their starting rotation on anyone.
5. New York - What a waste of money.

NL Central

1. St. Louis - Probably the best lineup in the NL. Mark Mulder really helps solidify that rotation.
2. Houston - I really had a tough time picking a second place team here because everyone else behind St. Louis did not improve in the offseason. I give Houston a slight edge over the other teams because of their pitching.
3. Cincinnati - They could be higher, they could be lower, it all depends on if the starters can keep the ball in the park.
4. Chicago - I can't see either Kerry Wood or Mark Prior staying healthy long enough to get this team in contention.
5. Milwaukee - A young team that needs another year.
6. Pittsburgh - I think the folks of Pittsburgh need to consider filing fraud charges against Kevin McClatchey since he told them a new park would help them field a competitive team.

NL West

1. Los Angeles - Basically a new team except for Eric Gagne, but should still finish first.
2. San Diego - They were in the division race until the final week last year, and they basically keep the same team, minus the overrated David Wells.
3. San Fransisco - Not competitive without a healthy Barry Bonds. Even with him, Moises Alou is on the downside of his career and won't be enough of a threat in the 5 spot. Either way, the pitching staff beyond Jason Schmidt is suspect and Armando Benitez is the closer (ouch!).
4. Arizona - That's a lot of money to sink into a 4th place ball club.
5. Colorado - If you can name one player on this team besides Peyton Manning's former backup Todd Helton, you need a life.

NL Hardware

MVP: Albert Pujols
Cy Young: Josh Beckett (though if baseball writers had any sense they would give it to Gagne)
Manager: Jack McKeon
Wild Card: Florida
Division Champs (in order): St. Louis, Atlanta, Los Angeles
NL Pennant: St Louis over Florida

AL East

1. Boston - Both the Yankees and Red Sox are in the playoffs, but Boston gets the edge on pitching
2. New York - Like I said, it really doesn't matter which order you put these two teams in because both will make postseason.
3. Toronto - Unfortunately share a division with Boston and New York. Move them to the Central, and they'd be in the mix.
4. Tampa Bay - Another young team that would be better off in a different division.
5. Baltimore - Sosa deal overrated. Baltimore is going nowhere.

AL Central

1. Cleveland - Should finally have all the pieces to overtake Minnesota.
2. Minnesota - Oh, you mean the Twins aren't gonna win this year? Oh yah, you betcha.
3. Detroit - They improved a lot in the offseason. Probably not a contender, but they're better than last year
4. Chicago - Didn't make any moves in the offseason to improve their team. Nor did they try.
5. Kansas City - KC has loyal fans who deserve a hell of a lot better.

AL West

1. Anaheim - They lost a lot of core players from their 2003 Championship team and replaced them with mercenaries.
2. Texas - Are all the pieces in place? Time will tell
3. Oakland - I don't care what voodoo math Billy Beane is using, my math says they lost too many good players in the offseason.
4. Seattle - Nice team who will get a lot of attention from Ichiro hitting .400 and not much else.

AL Hardware

MVP: Vladimir Guerrero
Cy Young: C.C. Sabathia
Manager: Eric Wedge
Wild Card: New York
Division Champs (in order): Boston, Anaheim, Cleveland
Pennant: New York over Boston. (Thought the curse went away, didn't you?)

World Series

New York over St. Louis

Let's face it. Tony LaRussa always finds a way to tank in postseason.

Sunday: Tournament Journal.
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