No Ice for the Dice 

I'm on assignment Thursday and Friday with little time to write, so you'll have to amuse yourselves elsewhere. I recommend here. And here. And going against my initial instincts, here. If you don't vote for me, I'll get a dolphin tattoo on my ankle and move to MySpace.

Congratulations to Russ Ortiz, Mr. Fifth Starter. Remember, Russ, the leash is short. Starting eating donuts again, and [draws finger across throat in menacing motion]. But garlic fries are another matter, starting this year. I have never seen a word on a Web page drip with more sarcasm than the word "delicacy" in that story.

Speaking of stories, I was in a waiting room today and saw the Sports Illustrated baseball preview issue. Tom Verducci's cover story on Daisuke "Dice-K" Matsuzaka is excellent: well-written, well-reported, and counter-intuitive. Verducci makes a compelling argument that Matsuzaka, if successful, could make major-league teams rethink the way they coddle pitchers, even though he's already being forced to adjust to American workout regimes. We'll see if he can go a whole season without icing his arm.

It may not be "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu," but it's as well-crafted a piece of sportswriting as you'll find these days in a mainstream sports publication.


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