Watchmen Rising While The Dow Keeps Falling, Bad News For Robin Williams, And Why I’m Scratching A-Rod Off My Draft Lists NOW

It’s Friday — welcome to the weekend!  As has been the case lately, I’ll kick us off with a look at some happenings of note that don’t warrant a whole piece, but are still worth mentioning.

— It’s Watchmen time!  Unfortunately, my plans to see the film today with my wife may have hit an unexpected snag, as I’ll be tied up at the house for most of the morning and afternoon;  I had wanted to catch a matinee, but we may try to get to an early evening showing instead.  Of course, I could just go without her — while she knows her comic book stuff pretty well, she’s never been that much of a Watchmen fan, and she doesn’t know the source material as well, so her excitement has been tempered compared to mine — but going on Saturday by myself isn’t really an option, and we have plans for Sunday (her next day off) as well.  Maybe I’ll be hitting the theater on Monday?

I’ll predict a $50-60 million dollar opening weekend for the film.  The buzz from theater owners has been good, so I hope I’m underestimating the take, and that Watchmen ends up being a huge hit.  I still hope to have a non-spoiler-filled review up soon, so keep looking here for it (as if you’ll go or not go based on what I think, but what the heck, right?).  If you’re looking for a little bit of background on the story, then take a look here.

— Is there a bottom coming up anytime soon for the Stock Market?  Thursday’s trading saw the Dow Jones fall to its lowest levels it’s been at since April of 1997, so the answer to that question might be “Not yet”.  While the market had rebounded ever so slightly on Wednesday by posting moderate gains, all of that was quickly erased away yesterday.  There’s a lot of scary stuff in the financial world these days, and I think I can safely say that it’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.  You can trust me on that assessment — while I’m not a financial expert by any means, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night — which makes me about as qualified to fix things as are the number of people who helped cause these problems to begin with.

Wall Street Training Facility

Wall Street Training Facility

— Robin Williams has always been one of my favorite comedians.  It’s fair to say that he’s lost some of his edge as he’s gotten older — or maybe it’s just a side effect of staying sober (him, not me … not that I’m saying that I’m not sober right now … aw, forget it …).  But he’s still funny, and there’s no denying that much of his work over the years has been absolute genius.  The sad news from yesterday is that the comedian is in need of an aortic valve replacement, a procedure that is as serious as it sounds.  Former First Lady Barbara Bush just underwent the surgery herself and seems to be recovering well, so here’s to hoping that all goes successfully for Williams.  In this day and age, the world can use all the people that can make us laugh.

— The other big sports news from Thursday that didn’t involve selfish wide receivers looking for a new home pertained to Alex Rodriguez and his hip.  Apparently, in addition to an already discovered cyst, Rodriguez’ hip is home to a torn labrum as well.  At this point, A-Rod’s status for the 2009 season is uncertain;  in a best-case scenario, the Yankees third baseman will likely miss the beginning of the season in order to have treatment for the cyst (which would probably put his return to the lineup no sooner than sometime in May).  However, this would be only if rest and rehab is enough to allow Rodriguez to play despite the injury to the labrum.  If that isn’t the case, however, additional surgery would be the only other option available to the slugger — and that would put A-Rod out for at least four months, setting his return all the way until after the All-Star Break, in the most optimistic case.

The Yankees have to be wondering what else can happen to them so far as their troubled star goes;  at least one bright side is that, without A-Rod in the clubhouse, the potential media circus that would revolve around Rodriguez’ recent steroid revelations might be a non-issue.  Still, with the free-agent crop having dried up, the Yankees will be hard-pressed to replace A-Rod’s potent bat in the lineup while he’s gone.

Meanwhile, the fantasy implications are huge.  A-Rod has been healthy nearly his entire career, and there has been almost no example that I can remember in the time I’ve been playing rotisserie baseball (since 1992) that arguably the game’s best player (or at least, one of the top-3) might miss as much time as A-Rod will — and that it’s already common knowledge before draft day.   He now becomes a huge X-factor on draft day — particularly in keeper leagues — as contending teams try to decide how much half a season (or less) of Rodriguez is worth (or if it’s worth bidding for at all), and rebuilding teams try to decide at what price does A-Rod remain at an attractive keeper value for 2010.

For what it’s worth, A-Rod wasn’t on my fantasy radar for my main league anyway (the steroid issues added to his fragile psyche and the fact that I already own Evan Longoria and Alex Gordon guaranteed that), but I’ll be an interested observer when our league’s draft day rolls around later this month.  My gut feeling tells me that avoiding A-Rod is the way to go for fantasy teams that are hoping to contend this year — in my opinion, an injured Rodriguez who missed any lengthy amount of time is going to be fool’s gold that isn’t worth chasing after.

With all of his upcoming free time, maybe she can teach him how to have a hit in October

With all of his upcoming free time, maybe she can teach him how to have a hit in October

— Finally, another reminder to vote on my poll if you haven’t already to help me stock my bar for the upcoming year!  Comments, as always, are welcomed (unless you’re already drunk and incoherent).  Thanks again for chiming in, and I’ll try to be back here before the weekend is out.  Until then, enjoy.

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