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Necessary Super Bowl Post

As any self-respecting sports blogger in America would tell you, it is now time for the ever-necessary Super Bowl post. Regardless of the sport you cover and care about, if you don't watch the Super Bowl, you are to the rest of the sports blogging industry as Creed is to the music industry. And thus, it is my duty to provide all of our off-season readers with a post about this year's epic showdown that will be watched more than anything else in this country for probably a couple years (I don't see the England-USA World Cup match garnering that many viewers).

There are many storylines in play here that have been drilled into your head for the past two weeks, so I'll avoid all that. But needless to say, we're interested in how this will play out. Could it be one of the greatest Super Bowls ever? Methinks it might. Could this year's E*TRADE baby be funnier and cuter than last years? Again, it's certainly possible. And will The Who provide the halftime entertainment that each year's Super Bowl promises and doesn't quite deliver (the exception being Janet Jackson's lovely breast)? Only time will tell, folks. But there's one problem with this year's Super Bowl that we haven't seen in some time.

I don't give a flying fuck, rat's ass, or two shits who wins this game. There isn't one team that I absolutely hate, or two for that matter (see Giants v. Patriots). There isn't one team I love, either. Peyton Manning is a billion times better than McNabb can ever dream to be, of course. And, yes, the Saints' offense striking at will and reviving the city that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina is thrilling. But the question still remains, and that's why I am dubbing this Super Bowl "'The Who' Do I Root For?" Super Bowl. And the answer to that question is quite simple: gambling, my friends. Put your money where your mouth is, even if it's already full of hot wings, pizza, and Natural Light.

We've got the celebrity predictions. Choose the Colts, and side with the likes of Maya Angelou, Lebron James, Tyler Hansbrough and Dick Clark. Pick the Saints, and join sides with Hulk Hogan, Shaq, Jennie Finch, and Peter from "The Brady Bunch". Personally, I took a vow earlier this season never to bet against Peyton Manning, so I'll say Colts 31 Saints 27 in a late thriller. Peyton will once again win MVP and hoist the Lombardi Trophy (which was made by Tiffany's, mind you) high above his head, before an angry Reggie Bush rips his face off, revealing the face of a half-alien half-stormtrooper and proving what we already believed to be true: Peyton Manning is from another planet. Reggie will then steal the trophy and proceed to propose to his lovely girlfriend, Kim Boslice. What's your Super Bowl prediction?




Today the Phillies signed sure-handed backstop Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal worth 8.85 million dollars. Good value for a reliable catcher who has proven very capable of hitting in clutch situations, particularly in the playoffs. The chooch train will be riding through town for at least three more years, and thankfully so, because as I stated earlier, the Phillies have completely depleted their catching prospect supply. However, with Brian Schneider as his new backup, the two will prove to be viable plugs for the 8-hole this year and into the future.



Phils Nab Contreras

In what has become a 24-hour period that could rival Jack Bauer's level of excitement and adrenaline, the Phillies have finished off yet another ink job. Rube and the Gang have signed Cuban righty Jose Contreras to a one-year deal. The deal has been compared to Chan Ho Park's last year, where he was able to vie for a job as a starter but was ultimately used as a crucial bullpen piece. Contreras provides competition for Moyer and Kendrick for the fifth start spot, but should end up stabilizing our 'pen. Then again, who knows? It's a low risk move that could turn out to be huge. This all, of course, is pending a physical. Exact figures to be released soon.


Vic Gets Inked, Chooch Remains

Shane Victorino will be roaming center field at Citizens Bank Park for three more years, at the very least. Last night the Phils completed a big day by signing the Hawaiian to a three-year, 22 million dollar deal. I don't think anyone will argue that this was a great signing. Vic has become a fan favorite and a great option in center field every day. I'm glad to see we locked him up for the next couple years, and you should be too.

Chooch remains the last arbitration-eligible guy that we need to sign. Reports are we're looking at a multi-year deal on that front as well, and rightfully so. Chooch may not be the best hitter, but he knows how to handle his pitchers and he can hit in the fucking clutch. My money is on another three-year deal coming in the next couple days.

The question that the Vic signing begs now is what to do with Werth. He'll certainly demand a big contract after this season, and with Vic locked up and Ibanez around for another two years, and Dom Brown clawing at the door, it saddens me to say that I think this will be Jayson's last year as a Phillie. However, it's pretty damn early to be saying such things, so let's see how this all pans out.

Overall, a nice day for the Phils yesterday. Glad we don't have anyone here commenting about why we signed Blanton and didn't keep Lee. Not so glad we don't have anyone commenting at all. See you guys when spring training starts!



Kentucky Joe Puts Pen to Paper

"Kentucky" Joe "Bam-Bam" Blanton has inked himself a 3-year, $24mil deal to remain with the Phils, so long as they don't trade him, through 2013. Earlier today I stressed the need to get this done, considering how Blanton really holds down the middle of our rotation with question marks at the back end. It's a reasonable deal at first glance, and the fact that Blanton only makes $7mil this year frees up some cash to spend on that miserable bullpen of ours.

Quick quiz: Who did the Phils trade to the A's for Blanton back in '08?

Answer: Adrian Cardenas, Josh Outman, and Matthew Spencer. Despite having a great last name for a pitcher, Outman has failed to greatly impress at the Major League level. I'd say we got a pretty good deal there. Glad to see Joe the Lumber back with the Phils for another three years.

Another interesting note: Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton under team control through 2012, Halladay is under team control through 2013, and JA Happ is under team control through 2014 and isn't arbitration eligible until 2012.