Thursday, March 27, 2008

All That Sucking Takes Talent or a Complete Lack Thereof

That's Placido Polanco. He was the 202nd player taken in my fantasy baseball draft. Polanco was the 2007 American League batting champ, he scored over 100 runs, and he struck out a mere 30 times in about 620 plate appearances (for comparison A-Rod K'ed about 120 times in about 50 more trips to the plate).

And when I finally had to draft a second baseman to fill a full line-up I still almost picked Mark Ellis over him.

Point being: even at 202 you can be pretty damn good at what you do.

Unless you are Aruba. And what you do is soccer.

According to FIFA, Aruba is the 202nd ranked soccer team in the world. That's dead fucking last. But the nice people at the sport's world governing body know that misery doesn't just love company, it needs it. So they made Montserrat and the US Virgin Islands (along with Guam, East Timor, and American Samoa) co-202'ers with Aruba so that none of them would feel humiliated in their abject suckitude.

Still, if only there were a way to determine which of the countries were truly the worst. Something like some sort of on-field competition where you could see how they faired against each other.

Really, it'd be great if there were something like that. But short of them playing head to head we have the preliminary round of World Cup Qualifying for CONCACAF, for which matches were held yesterday (March 26, 2008).

The early leader (or loser depending) in the clubhouse might appear to be the US Virgin Islands who were blanked 10-0 by 157th-ranked Grenada, a country whose sole accomplishment on the world's stage was to be invaded by the US in about 37 minutes' time. In USVI's defense, it would have only been 9-0 save for an 87th minute own goal by Dwight Ferguson.

Poor Bastard.

Montserrat fared slightly better losing only 7-1 to 155th-ranked Suriname, although they were at home. But hey, at least they have a grasp on which goal they are supposed to put the ball in.

Aruba would appear to be outclassing their co-cellar dwellers by miles, or whatever the units of "class" are. They dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker at Antigua and Barbuda. And even that's hardly fair as they were playing two places—Antigua and Barbuda.

Then you read the story of the match. Antigua and Barbuda had 3 players sent off, two of whom were showed red in the 45th and 46th minutes. That's pretty much a whole half with a 2-man advantage.

Three. Aruba had none. Antigua and Barbuda also missed a PK. So Aruba stopped a penalty, had a three man advantage and not only still lost, but got shut out.

So Aruba, might be number one in your hearts and, oh mid-teens on your list of vacation destinations, but they are clearly number 202 in the world.

And probably deserve to be number 208 in the FIFA rankings.


Keith said...

If Polanco went 202nd, your entire league is populated by idiots. The dropoff from he, Utley, and maaaaybe Pedroia/Uggla to the next best second basemen is much larger than the one from Santana/Halladay/Beckett and the next best starters or Wright/Rodriguez and the next best 3Bs.


Precious Roy said...

No, it's just that I was the last person to fill the 2B position. He falls somewhere in the 8-12 range for 2Bs depending on your league scoring. The 10th and 11th guys to fill the 2B slot went with reaches like Yunel Escobar and I forget who else, so I let a few rounds go before I thought anyone might be tempted to take Polanco as a back-up (depth at pitching is coveted in our league), then took him then.

We're not idiots. And I took advantage of the fact that everyone else had a 2B and I had the luxury of grabbing some other guys.

The Fan's Attic said...

So Aruba, might be number one in your hearts and, oh mid-teens on your list of vacation destinations, but they are clearly number 202 in the world.

Natalee Holloway disagrees about Aruba as a vacation spot.

strong like bull smart like tractor said...

They really need to stop playing Sidney Ponson in the midfield.