10. Sports radio talk show hosts and callers that endorse $100 million over four years for Manny Ramirez, but not $200 million over eight years for Mark Teixeira.
9. People who can never admit when they’re wrong, even on the brink of disaster. That is, grown-up infants.
8. Those same Manny Ramirez advocates who insist that the Yankees cannot sign Teixeira because they must keep first base open for a superannuated Jorge Posada, as if there’s some equivalence there, as if an elderly Posada would hit and field like a first baseman, any first baseman, in the prime of his career.
7. My complete inability to get a contractor to commit to redoing my front walk. How do these guys make money when they never, ever show up? I’ve had four separate guys give estimates, then disappear.
6. The realistic possibility that the Yankees will have no young players in the lineup or starting rotation to start the season. In the long term this is a recipe for disaster.
5. The guy in this very crowded train who either just expired of a digestive meltdown or is consuming rancid sauerkraut. Also, the woman who, prior to the radioactive cabbage incident, perfumed herself in this same car. You’d think this was a German attack at the Somme. Ladies: spraying your perfume around in enclosed public spaces is just selfish and cruel. A rose by any other name would smell just as rank if its odor had been forced on you.
4. The Baltimore Orioles. The most competitive division in baseball could be one-fifth more exciting with a real team in Maryland. Exception: their automatic Rookie of the Year catcher.
3. So-called collaborators who leave you holding the bag. Also, the Carolina parakeet. You never see them around anymore.
2. The extremely lethargic way the winter market is proceeding. At this pace, half the teams in baseball will be unsettled on the eve of spring training.
1. Tie: Mark Teixeira on the Red Sox/It’s always about you, isn’t it?
HOT STOVE SHOW OPEN THREAD
Your thoughts here, because I want to know. Also, I might have trouble thinking for myself. You wouldn’t want me to freeze up on cable, would you? Bob Lorenz might yell at me. Also, any number of ex-girlfriends might be watching, and if I can’t appear handsome and prosperous, with your help I might at least seem intelligent. I’ll be checking in during the middle segment of the show, when they keep me locked in the closet.