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The Thinking Chair

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There are a lot of things you do for love. Going to family dinners instead of watching the game, cleaning rooms that don't appear dirty, and, it turns out, watching crappy TV shows that your wife likes. In this case, I'm talking about Heroes, a show that started with so much promise that it became a huge national success. I believe I was one of about 740 columnists to headline a column riffing on the phrase "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World." But that's yesterday's news ... because Heroes hasn't been good since its first season. And in retrospect, that first season wasn't as impressive as many of us thought.

In that regard, Heroes is to television as Bobby Crosby (SS, OAK) is to baseball. He won Rookie of the Year in 2004, notching 22 HR and 64 RBI -- but with a .239 batting average. (Seriously, that's ridiculous -- there should be a minimum for some of these awards.) Since then, he's been an offensive wasteland and is unowned in most fantasy leagues.

On the other hand, you have a show like Lost -- the steady veteran that still feels fresh and young, and in some ways is even better than it was when it burst onto the scene. Want a baseball comparison? How about Albert Pujols (1B, STL), who even as the best hitter in the game manages to improve each season? I know some folks gave up on Lost, and it certainly had some missteps a few years back, but at this point it's the most compelling show on television -- just like everyone needs to stop what they're doing every time Pujols steps into the batters box.

I could run with more analogies here, and it would give me an opportunity to talk more about the preposterous amount of TV that I watch, but I'm both lazy and think I should focus a little more on sports.

Speaking of which, since I mentioned the Rookie of the Year voting, here's something I didn't know: Last year, Edinson Volquez (P, CIN) came in fourth in the National League ROY voting. That's fine, and a nice reflection on a standout season ... except he wasn't eligible for the award. Seriously, how hard is that to control? And how embarrassed are the folks who voted for him?

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Here's another thing -- it's just the third full week of the baseball season, but at this point we are starting to see some things -- or in some cases, not see it. Folks who many pegged as sleepers have yet to wake up, like Ricky Nolasco (P, FLA) or Justin Upton (OF, ARI). On the other hand, folks who banked on Nelson Cruz (OF, TEX) are feeling pretty smart these days. For what it's worth, I like all of these guys, and wouldn't really change my projections for them for the whole season. Cruz is white-hot right now (six homers through Tuesday) but he'll cool off just as surely as Upton and Nolasco will get it going.

I have another complaint about Corey Hart -- and it's not his play on the field (which is solid -- he has the potential to be a dominant five-tool player). It's his absolutely silly look -- the blonde hair, the chinstrap beard ... seriously? If I'd known Hart looked like that, I would have paid less for him in my NL auction. (You think I'm joking, but ... am I?) Another guy on that list is Nate McLouth, someone who genuinely does appear to be a real offensive threat. But the long blonde hair? It's just not working for me. On a surfboard, I can see it, but in a baseball uniform? I saw McLouth send a pitch into the Allegheny on Monday night, and his power is for real ... the hair is another story. Worth noting, I also saw Joey Votto strike out on a pitch that was so ugly (it was up near his chin) I refused to believe it was actually Votto until I saw proof. The guy is a good hitter, but of course, everyone can look bad here and there. Striking him out was Bronson Arroyo, who looks like he might be back on his way to another solid season. With Arroyo, Volquez, Johnny Cueto and Aaron Harang, the Reds have a really capable staff. When their bats heat up, they may well become a team to be reckoned with.

Speaking of nothing related to this at all, did you know that Chien-Ming Wang is God? Or, failing that, he controls the weather. That's the only explanation I can think of for a rainout spoiling his slated start this Monday against the A's, allowing the Yankees to skip him in the rotation and give everyone a break. I know the Yankees were likely to do this anyway, but this certainly made it an easy decision. (Somehow the idea of Wang controlling the weather when he can barely throw a strike these days was too funny for me not to run with.) I had a die-hard Yankees fan suggest making a bet with me before the season started regarding how many games Wang would win. I essentially told him I'd take the under. I'm not sure what happened, though I think Stella Artois was largely to blame, and the bet never happened.

That stings. That stings a lot.

Count me officially worried about B.J. Upton. I don't think his recent quad injury is all that serious, but I do get concerned when someone starts to pile up the injuries this early in the year.

I was watching the Cubs-Reds game on Tuesday, and announcer Bob Brenly said something that made me sort of wish he was managing my Giants. They were talking about the four-pound pretzel sold at Wrigley Field (read that again - a four-pound pretzel) and Brenly, largely as a throwaway comment, added "Wash that down with a case of Bud Light and you're doing alright!" Way to go, Bobby.

That seems as good a note as any to wrap up with, so until next week, grab yourself a four-pound pretzel and ... well, you know the rest.