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By my reckoning, we're now approximately halfway through the four month holiday season, an annual punishment which runs roughly from mid-November to Valentine's Day. Somewhere between my 2,000th jewelry ad and the Christmas Afternoon "see you at the mall tomorrow" type proddings I simply gave up any semblance of feigning cheer. Amazingly, the radio ads for slavery/murder/lawlessnes-fueled diamonds were even more insulting, as one featured a random three-fourth's reading of Byron's "She Walks in Beauty" followed by the line, (I'm broadly remembering, this isn't 100% accurate) "thats how Lord Byron said 'I love you' you can say it this Christmas without words at all with a diamond...". There was also a version of this ad which ripped off Browning and I'm sure multiple other public-domain accesible poets.

Bear in mind, this isn't some lefty writer saying we've devalued human expression to comsumer exchange, thats the actual sales-pitch!!. The ad uses poetry to tell you you needn't express yourself at all... A line of argument no different than the daily spam emails I get selling less socially acceptable wares with subject lines like "she will love you more than any other guy!"

And so it goes.

The Holidays: Will They Ever End?

But returning to our beloved Royals, I was especially heartened in these insane times to see that the official site has posted their version of the 2006 Year in Review. Once again, Dick Kaegel gets the job done. Its a bit different than the RR version, in that Kaegel goes month by month, including the memorable "Runelyvs is fat and Greinke has mysterious issues" February, a 28 day epoch which will redound in the depths of my soul for years to come.

Despite the ghostly hand of nostalgia, it is important to remember that actual changes have been made. Just consider the current pitching staff as we sit right now:

Current Royals Pitching Staff:

Starters:

1. Gilgamesh
2. Odalis Perez
3. Luke Hudson
4. A guy Dayton irrationally likes (J. de la R)
5. Greinke
6. Elarton (for now)
7. Bannister
8. Day

Bullpeners:

Noble Closer who possesses inscrutable qualities only given to those special few (Dotel)
Wellemeyer
Gobble
Peralta
Braun
Ray
Nunez
Wright
Bale
Riske
Nelson

And I'm sure I'm forgetting someone.

On the other side of the ball its been frustratingly boring: no long-dreamed of Sweeney trade nor Berroa cuttation nor even a prospect swap involving persona non grata Justin Huber. Just Ross Gload and Jason LaRue, which seems like a lazy boyfriend Christmas gift to me.

To that end, the question then becomes, are there any yet undiscovered gifts left waiting under the tree?