Monday, August 25, 2008

Max Kellerman's Monday Musings Vol XXIV - Of realism, baseball and separation

Today's Max Kellerman and Brian Kenny show was yet another example of the fusion of sports talk and social commentary which is the Kellerman and Kenny show.

Before getting to sports, there was an interesting call to the show that I heard while I was on my way back from court. The caller said to Max that Max frequently says "I could make the argument." The caller then said that although you could make an argument, that does not mean that you should. Max then commented that "just because a position is defensible, doesn't make it right." It fell in line with another call that came in Friday when the Yankees were at their season's nadir. When a Yankee fan told Max that he takes it too far with Yankee puffery, Max responded that people listen to a sports show because they want hope and that if he was negative all the time people would not listen. The two comments showed that Max has the capacity for intellectual honesty. In fairness though, you can usually tell when Max is knowingly taking things too far to prove his point.

There was also an interesting observation about Michael Strahan. After the news broke that Osi Umenyora was finished for the season, a story began percolating about Strahan possibly coming out of retirement to fill the void at defensive end for the New York Giants. Then a comment was attributed to Strahan that he would play for the Giants if they paid him $8 million and said nice things to him. Max and Brian said that they could not pay him $8 million (I guess that ESPN does not pay as well as I thought) but that they could give him kind words. Of course the kindest words (as noted by Max and Brian) are "eight million dollars."

There was also discussion about the Mets continued bullpen woes. Max observed that Heilman, Feliciano, Smith and Sanchez are among the league leaders for appearances. He then absolved Smith and Feliciano from blame (they are situational pitchers in his eyes) and buried Sanchez and Heilman for not doing the job. Then Max had a suggestion - use Santana in the pen and let him pitch the last three innings every second or third day to ensure victory. [This was before the news broke that Maine was going on the DL]. Personally, I think that Max has the right idea, but I would use a different starter. The main problem for the Mets pen has been that when a pitcher comes in with runners on base, the batter usually makes contact. If the Mets were to use Oliver Perez in the role envisioned by Max, the problem would be diminished. Perez strikes out almost a batter an inning and walks one slightly less than every two innings. Santana is far too valuable to take out of the rotation as he pitches deeper into games and is more of an intimidating presence. But that's just my two cents.

There was a great line from a caller about Carl Pavano - he pitches great on 500 days rest. Max joked that instead of going with a five man rotation, the Yankees should go with a five hundred man rotation.

As always, the Max Kellerman show (in my opinion) had an element of Torah thought. It was observed that Robinson Cano's numbers have greatly improved since Melky Cabrera was sent to the minor leagues. Max then reiterated his previous observation that Melky and Cano had partied too much together. Max then talked about how after kindergarten he had always been separated from his best friend so that they would not make too much trouble.

This of course finds its roots in Torah. When Sarah observed that Ishmael was doing many bad things, she was concerned about his impact on Isaac. When she brought her concerns to Abraham and requested that he send Ishmael away, Hashem said to Abraham "All that Sarah tells you, listen to her." (Bereishis 21:12). Sometimes, people need to be separated for their own well being...

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