Friday, December 30, 2005

Vincent Schiavelli, RIP

Vincent Schiavelli, the creepy-looking guy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Ghost and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, died on Monday. Rest in Peace, Vincent.

(Of course, this is baseball news because he and a member of the 2005 Orioles were separated at birth.)

That didn't take long.

"I've been with the Orioles for two years and things haven't gone in the direction that we were expecting, so I think the best thing will be a change of scenery." - Miguel Tejada, December 8

"I never said I wanted to be traded. I said I want to see a better team. I don't want to keep losing like we have the past two years." - Miguel Tejada, December 11

"Now, I am more upset than when I requested the trade because it's been a month and they haven't done anything.'' - Miguel Tejada, December 29

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Santa, Jesus, etc.

For Kwanzaa I got this, containing 35 hours of pure awesomeness. The plan was to watch it all from the beginning, but then I realized how stupid that is. Who wants to watch games 1-3 of the Yankees series? I know I'm like the 10000th person to ask this, but why not just show the 3 ALDS games? 11 disks, all wins. But seriously, really, has any Sox fan actually watched those first three DVD's?

Having decided not to watch games 1-3, I nearly began game 4, but then realized I didn't have seven hours to spare. So I zipped ahead to game 7. Johnny Damon's grand slam -- damn, that still makes me smile when I think about it. Anyway, it was great to watch, and I realized (for the first time) I really am going to miss him. I was never as big a fan of him as most people were -- his media whorishness would be fine, if he had anything even remotely interesting to say. (Okay, "it seems to me that we've won four games in a row before" is a pretty good line.) But it'll be different with him gone; it's going to be very weird seeing someone else lead off next year.

Thanks Johnny. Here's hoping your decline is swift and completely free of pain.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Fight for your right to parity

So I'm a big fan of the Cincinnati Bengals. That happened in late October of 2002, when they opened their season 0-and-7. I thought they had a chance of having the first-ever "defeated" season (what's the opposite of "undefeated"? "Unvictorious"), but on November 3 they routed the Houston Texans (of Houston Texas), and finished the season 2-14. It was at this time that everyone started pointing to the Bengals as the prime example of "the downside of parity". Cheap teams could be bottom-feeders, living off the league's largesse without contributing, or even trying. From 1991-2002 they went a combined 55-137, with zero playoff appearances, and since the owner showed no sign of selling, they were doomed to stay this way. In other words, the argument was: "parity is communism, and communism doesn't work".

And yet, just 3 years later, with the same ownership, the Cincinnati Bengals are AFC North Champions, with a 11-4 record. They haven't been dominant (2-3 against playoff-bound teams...which suggests a pretty weak schedule), but that particular "parity doesn't work" argument is pretty much shot. I suppose people can try to apply it to the Arizona Cardinals, or the Houston Texans, but neither of those would be anywhere near as convincing.

It'll be interesting to see what the next "parity doesn't work" argument is. I imagine someone, somewhere, is going to mention the Pats. Which is silly.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Monday, December 26, 2005

My favorite (non) story

Well, we have all read about ten thousand Johnny to NY stories, but my favorite was the one about Damon having asked Manny for his opinion on where Damon should sign and Manny supposedly said "Sign in NY, go for it."

Of course we are supposed to be shocked that a guy would encourage one of his own teammates to sign elsewhere, but then again Manny says he doesn't want to play for the Sox anymore. So no real story. However my favorite part is that Damon would actually consider advice on where to sign from the same guy who also took maximum dollar (I still have not heard where the mystery $65 MM offer was from, maybe it was from Santa Claus). And what has happened since Manny took maximum dollar - he has only wanted to leave ever since he got here.

My second favorite one was George King trying to goad Damon into taking shots at Schilling.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Hoo boy

The BJ's are about to sign Troy Glaus. And of course they've gotten AJ and BJ already. (Would be pretty cool if they could also sign Pierzinski and Nitkowski and Surhoff). I'm starting to wonder of Andrew's long-standing prediction of the emergence of a three-team AL East may be coming true.

(...on a related note, remember 9 months ago, when the Orioles were leading the division? God that was ridiculous.)

The Onion

...has a year-end sports wrapup. Best line:
Nov. 14—Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez wins the AL MVP award for the second time. A-Rod tells a group of reporters, "The second one feels just like the first, in that none of my teammates called to congratulate me this time, either.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Damon is Gone...Get Over It

I, for one, will not look sadly on the departure of Johnny Damon. The guy was great for the Sox, but he took the money and ran. Not only that, he went to the Yankees...If that doesn't show everyone in Red Sox Nation that baseball is purely a business I don't know what will...

With that said here are my guesses as to what we'll see in the next week or two (and I really do believe that there will be a quick move to fill this void...mostly because of PR.

So the possibilities?
Wells to San Diego for Roberts and prospects...
Arroyo and Youk to Minnesota for Torii Hunter...
Marte and Clement to Cleveland for Crisp...

I don't believe that the Sox will run at Preston Wilson or Juan Encarnacion...At least I hope not. And Terence Long is not the answer, either.

I also believe the Sox will take some of this money and sign Millwood, especially if they trade Clement or Arroyo AND Wells.

I look at that Yankees lineup and it is scary, but hasn't it been scary for a few years now? Adding Damon gives them a legit leadoff guy, but Jeter was pretty good there, too.

The Yankees still have not addressed their pitching. The Yankees and Sox scored a billion runs each last year...It didn't do either of them any good.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Quote of the Day

On moving to the OF, Alfonso Soriano offerred: ""I don't want to change," Soriano said Monday night at a dinner held for major league players by Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez. "If I haven't done it before, I won't do it now."

Your typical self centered athlete. Yes, but it gets better:

"I knew the pitchers and batters of opposing teams and, therefore, where to place myself defensively. In the National that's going to take me a while," he said.

He knows where to place himself defensivel and will get worse in the NL. Of course using just about every single defensive measure, Soriano is among the worst 2b in the major leagues. (zone rating 13 of 17, range factor 12 out of 17, fielding percentage last).

Seems like all the more reason to move him. Not.

Two Birds with one Stone

So much for some of the names discussed as possibilites. This deal kills the proposed Wells for Otsuka deal and also likely eliminates the Sox from getting Gonzales. Although maybe we could do Wells for Gonzalez. The Friars could put Klesko at first and have an OF of Giles, Cameron Roberts and/or Sledge.

Anna Benson Watch, part 281

Obviously a bit late to the party on this one, but a while back she gave a ridiculous interview to NY Daily News reporter Adam Rubin, in which she:
  1. criticized Carlos Delgado for being unpatriotic for not standing up during "God Bless America" (in protest of the Iraq War);
  2. then showed her own patriotism by suggesting the Mets, if they trade husband Kris, should give them back the $1M they donated to 9/11 charities;
  3. mentioned there would be no Playboy spread because talks fell apart because of (surprise) money disagreements;
  4. complained that the Mets promised them they would build around him and that "They wanted Tommy [Glavine] to school him, and then they turn around and trade us?" (Where to begin?)
But now, thanks to an article by Flip Bondy, it turns out Rubin didn't even print all the stuff she said, which included complaining that Minaya was building an "All-Latin team". However, she also dispenses some wisdom: "The first rule of journalism is: 'Don't believe what you read in the papers.'"

I did not know that.

Anyway, some nice, whore-y pictures of the Anna at the Mets' holiday party can be found here.
Kris Benson went as Santa, Anna has his "little helper". Interestingly, the last two Mets Santas, John Franco and Mike Cameron, are no longer with the organization.

Monday, December 19, 2005

And the outfield?

Ok, with the post below discussing the infield, what about the outfield?

Looks like Manny is staying...So we'll (for the time being) put him out in left...
Center field? The arbitration deadline is approaching so this forces Damon and Boras's hands...They definitely won't accept arbitration...

I can't imagine Damon going to NY, but anything is possible.

If he does leave, I don't want the Sox to try to get Coco Crisp...not at the asking price the Indians want. Not worth it...

For CF I go back to Lowell (picking up some of his salary) for Torii Hunter.

I guess we'll have Nixon in RF. I haven't heard anything different.

Kapler as the 4th outfielder? Will he even be ready for the season?

With all the positive talk about the moves so far this offseason, I am not too confident in this Sox team if this is the plan...

So combined the infield and outfield posts and our lineup looks like the following:

CF Damon/Crisp/Hunter/????
2B Loretta
DH Ortiz
LF Manny
C Varitek
RF Nixon
3B Lowell
1b Youkilis
SS Cora

Graf'ing out the infield

Ok...I know...bad pun...whatever.

It's looks like Tony Graff-el-nino will be accepting arbitration and will be on the Red Sox next season (for probably $2MM). That's good, I guess, but it looks like we are stockpiling second basemen. Why?

Do the Sox really need Cora, Loretta, and Graffanino? Cora can play short and, therefore, probably won't get any time at second. But Loretta and Graf are pretty much the same player. Good gloves, hover around .300 at the plate...Can you trade a guy that goes through arbitration?

The Sox probably offered Graf arbitration just to get some draft picks. I, frankly, am surprised that no one picked him up. He is a bargain, and a heck of a player...Aren't there teams that need guys to play second?

Meanwhile, we still don't have a SS. Rumors are that something is still in the works for Lugo. I am thinking that the Sox go with Cora and Pedroia through spring training and see how things go. There are always some strange releases during the spring and the Sox may look to pounce then...Pedroia was moved to second because of Hanley...Now Hanley is gone, and Pedroia can return to his natural position.

It looks like Lowell at third. Despite the Twins talk, they aren't biting. That's fine. Lowell is solid at third and hopefully he'll hit a little...Graf can also play there. For that matter, so can Youk...

But...

Youk looks like our first baseman...Who else???

One thing is for sure, we have a infield full of utility guys. I see many Jimy Williams like lineups for a while until Francona can sort it all out...

Opening day predictions?
1b Youk
2b Loretta
SS Cora
3B Lowell

No power whatsoever (unless Lowell can get some B-12 shots!!!)...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

"At Dodger Stadium, it's beginning to look a lot like Boston."

Lowe, Little, Mueller...and now Nomar. Frank McCourt must really miss Beantown. (They should go ahead and sign Damon just to get it over with.) Nomar's new (one-year) contract is reportedly about $6. So far then, his decision to turn down the Sox's offer of 4 years, $64M has cost him $18M...in just the first two years. Yikes.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

World Baseball Classic

I am bvery excited about the WBC, but I do think it is silly to call it the World Baseball Classic. Doesn't classic portray that it is a tradition and has been happening for years?

Friday, December 16, 2005

KC

"Mientkiewicz, Grudzielanek join Royals."

The uniform guys in the Royals clubhouse must be thrilled.

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Reported on Boston.com today, "The Sox continue to work on contingency plans, with the team source indicating talks with the Mariners for center fielder Jeremy Reed have intensified. The Sox have proposed trading Matt Clement for Reed; the Mariners have asked for Bronson Arroyo. The Sox have also talked with the Cleveland Indians about switch-hitting outfielder Coco Crisp; the Indians also would like Arroyo."

Earl, please contain your enthusiasm regarding the possibility of screaming "I love Coco Pufss" from the bleachers next year.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Prospects

The prior post on how good Francona had been, brought up some interesting dialogue toward the end. Particularly relative to what is a prospect. Andrew brought up the phrase - "There's No Such Thing As A pitching Prospect, "which now that it is in the mainstream is getting a bit tired, but I always though it was pretty accurate. But is it really limited to pitchers?

Go back 10 years to the first round of the draft. Darrin Estad was picked first overall. Todd Helton was 8th. That year also had Kerry Wood, Roy Halladay, Matt Morris and Mark Redman. There were 10 guys that never made the bigs and the rest of the ones that did were middling at best. of the 13 pitchers that were selected, 9 eventually made the bigs as opposed to 9 of 15 for the position players. Close. But does not give much credence to pitchers being more risky. I checked some other years for the first round of the draft and really didn't see 1995 as an aberation. So, I thought - "is the first round of the draft really the right sample." Probably not since a large population of players, notably the DR, are not subject to the draft and sometimes players get picked in like the 62nd round and become potential HOFers (Mike Piazza).

So I dug up my Baseball America from 2000 to look at the top prospects from 5 years ago.

the top 20:
1. Rick Ankiel, lhp, Cardinals
2. Pat Burrell, 1b/of, Phillies
3. Corey Patterson, of, Cubs
4. Vernon Wells, of, Blue Jays
5. Nick Johnson, 1b, Yankees
6. Ruben Mateo, of, Rangers
7. Sean Burroughs, 3b, Padres
8. Rafael Furcal, ss, Braves
9. Ryan Anderson, lhp, Mariners
10. John Patterson, rhp, Diamondbacks
11. Dee Brown, of, Royals
12. Mark Mulder, lhp, Athletics
13. Josh Hamilton, of, Devil Rays
14. Kip Wells, rhp, White Sox
15. Matt Riley, lhp, Orioles
16. Alfonso Soriano, ss, Yankees
17. Chin-Feng Chen, of, Dodgers
18. Michael Cuddyer, 3b, Twins
19. Josh Beckett, rhp, Marlins
20. A.J. Burnett, rhp, Marlins

Now I don't have time to do very, very thorough analysis here (like win shares or VORP or even all star appearances) but I will say of the 8 pitchers on the list there are 3 that were stars, 2 that were good (with Patterson maybe moving up), 2 busts and one that I'm not sure where to classify (Ankiel). For the position players - I would say (and this can be debated) 3 stars, 4 good players (of which some may move up), 3 low level and 2 busts. Again not seeing strong evidence that pitchers are more of a risk.

I have about 8 other years of BA at my house and in going through the lists, it really is the same equal distribution. For every Rick Ankeil at the top, there is a Josh Hamilton. and I know injury can more likely blow out a pitchers career (Ryan Anderson aka the little unit), but other guys that have been number one in the past include JD Drew and Joe Mauer both of who are injury prone.

Overall I do agree position players project a bit better, but not so much so to the point that the old quote is irrefutable.

Local boy does good

In New York, but whatever.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Dodger blues

Well, another one is moving out here to SoCal. Weird. I just can't get excited about the Dodgers, as close as the stadium is to me and as nice is it to go to their games. And this season could be a particularly bad one. But at least Bill Mueller will be there. (On the other hand, watching Grady Little walk to the mound is sure to give me nightmares for weeks.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Its that time again

Book Review.

Well it seems like a very long time since I have been able to post a book review. And its not that I have taken a vacation in reading, its just that I don't think most of you would have an interest in this. Or this. Or this. In case it had been missed, that is right. I am a daddy. Thanksgiving morning, Little Kate made her grand enterance to the world.


So, this months entry is Stud. No, its not the story of Kate's creation. Or even the story of Shawn Kemp. Its about horse breeding.

-see comments

Monday, December 12, 2005

Terry Francona, the player

Terry Francona's player page.

Decided to take a look and see what type of player the Sox feerless leader was. Turns out his professional (major league) career was rather uneventful. Although Francona was the winner of the Golden Spikes award at U of A (the BB equivalent of the Heisman).

But two unique things jumped out at me. I guess I can turn this into a trivia question...

One is obvious, the other, not so.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hothead

So the Sox offered the Orioles Manny for Tejada. The Orioles will ask for a lot more, namely a young pitcher, and I hope the Sox don't give in to that. As nice as it would be to have a hitter like him (and he's no Manny, but the price difference reflects that), I just can't get excited about anything more than a straight up trade, which won't happen.

And quite frankly, I just don't like Tejada. My main impressions of him of course comes from his complaints about Derek Lowe's "obscene" gesture, after Game 5 of the 2003 ALDS. "He's going to pay for that sign he made. I'm a man. I'm a professional. I have my kid up in the stands, dammit. He's going to pay for that." Not only was that an open threat to another player, it also came after 5 games of live TV picking up his screams of "motherFUCKER!" after every one of his crappy at-bats. (And there were a lot of those: he was 2-for-19, with no walks, for a postseason OPS of .217.) And now he's announced that with the O's, "things haven't gone in the direction that we were expecting". I really wish someone would ask him what exactly he was expecting. He forgoed even taking offers from smaller market teams like the A's, and signed with one that everyone knows is run by a miser, who cares only about profits and not about fielding a good team. I really hate it when players sign for the best-paying contract they can find, with no regard for what team they're actually signing with, and then suddenly feel that somehow they have the standing to comment on their teams' "desire to win."

Okay, enough ranting.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I don't run a MLB team

but maybe a I could.

Less than 24 hours after predicting the Yankees would sign Myers. Well it happens. I still don't understand why not at least offer arbitration.

Also the Sox elect to go with GM by committee - as also, not really predicted, but noted. Hey why not? I like the idea. And it is certainly better than Jim Beattie.

Equal Value or Better???

Renteria gets traded and all of the sudden Tejada says he wants to be traded and that he would LOVE to play in Boston.

Manny for Tejada...In a second...Tejada plays everyday and is an RBI machine. He would provide the protection needed for Ortiz and he is a great clubhouse guy.

The infield (still searching for a 1b) would be:
Lowell at third
Tejada at short
Loretta at second
Youk and other at first

Damn, bring back D-Lowe and his ground ball outs...Nothing is getting through that infield...

Of course, now there are swirling rumors of Nixon getting traded and, perhaps, Damon going to Detroit. Now we need an outfield, but at least we have some money to get some guys.

Torii Hunter in CF?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Myers

I don't understand that one. Why not offer him arbitration? I know Lajoie said they could not afford two specialists in the pen (w/ Chadford), but Myers has value and probably would only get $2MM in arbitration. Plus if he signs elsewhere (rumored to be NY) they get the draft pick. And if he accepts, can't you trade one of them? I don't get it. My guess is that the Yanks move in today and snatch him up, now that they are not faced with the potential PR hit of losing their draft pick to the Sox.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New trade talks...

Renteria in the three-way trade with Atlanta and Tampa Bay. We get Lugo. Not too bad...I don't know how much better he is than Renteria. I just can't see Renteria having another year in the field like that.

SO...this looks like our infield.

1b Sean Casey (Youk and Arroyo to the Reds),OR Overbay (Clement and/or Arroyo to the Brewers)
2b Loretta
SS Lugo
3b Glaus (Lowell may be going to the Twins)...

Outfield?
CF Damon (although I can't say I am liking him as a person too much right now...his Yankees are the greatest comments really bothered me)
RF Nixon
LF ???

DH....Ortiz, of course

And the latest trade rumor...Even swap...D-Lowe for Clement...
It might be good for the first year. Lowe has something to prove and no one in Boston like Clement. Lowe would be back with Tek...

Soooo many possibilities...

New trade talks...

Renteria in the three-way trade with Atlanta and Tampa Bay. We get Lugo. Not too bad...I don't know how much better he is than Renteria. I just can't see Renteria having another year in the field like that.

SO...this looks like our infield.

1b Sean Casey (Youk and Arroyo to the Reds),OR Overbay (Clement and/or Arroyo to the Brewers)
2b Loretta
SS Lugo
3b Glaus (Lowell may be going to the Twins)...

Outfield?
CF Damon (although I can't say I am liking him as a person too much right now...his Yankees are the greatest comments really bothered me)
RF Nixon
LF ???

DH....Ortiz, of course

And the latest trade rumor...Even swap...D-Lowe for Clement...
It might be good for the first year. Lowe has something to prove and no one in Boston like Clement. Lowe would be back with Tek...

Soooo many possibilities...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Oh Boy

The CHB is going to have fun with this one.

I'll save everyone the trouble of going to the globe tomorrow. Here is the link.

He'll be falling all over himself on this one. Forcing his stupid "He who will not be named" nickname on him as if this will spawn another book deal for him. I see him doing something gimmicky and silly like an open letter to Dodger fans.

What I would really like to see is this as a chance for Grady to earn some redemption. Maybe Ryan or McMullan will take that angle.

GM Thoughts

It looks like the Sox are not getting any loser to naming a GM. And with the few candidates that have been mentioned (especially Bowden and to a certain extent Beattie), I am kind of happy about that.

I think the multi-headed GM thing can work really well - the role has so many different aspects that it is somewhat unreasonable to expect one person to do it all - talent evaluation, contract negotiations, trade talks, scouting and PR/media relations (which can be especially difficult in Boston). Why not have a team of individual contributors each specializing in one area. It may even be the wave of the future in front offices. Of course egos can get in the way of such an arrangement, but really not take the strengths of multiple people and end up with a stronger situation?

Monday, December 05, 2005

We knew

This was coming. I'm suprised it took three or four days since the trade rumors surfaced before she started popping off.

And I love the 'we never would have signed with NY." Um, we?

In case you guys did not know, but my wife and I just had a baby girl and one of my pet peeves was whenever someone would say - I didn't know YOU (Plural) were pregnanat." Or some variation. Its Debbie that was pregnant not me. But in today's PC world, this type of shit is soooo common. Its ri-donk-ulous.

Trade Possibilities...

According to Edes in today's Globe...

Wells back to San Diego (possibly with Mirabelli) for Loretta (2B) and Otsuka. I like Loretta. He was my fantasy league 2b two years ago and he was great. He was hurt last year. He's got a good glove and can get on base. However, I think they need more in this trade. Wells was a 15-game winning LEFTY...Mirabelli handles Wakefield and we've seen Varitek give that a go...Yikes...That leaves two large holes...I know Wells is in the last year of the contract, and he might retire if not traded...I don't really have a problem with Loretta for Wells except that I might rather just resign Graffanino...

Other trade possibilities...Soriano for Ramirez...That isn't too bad...It gives us a more than solid leadoff guy if we can't resign Damon. If we can then our top of the lineup looks like this...

Damon
Soriano
???
Ortiz

Who is the elusive number 3??? Of course if we get Loretta than it shapes up like this...

Damon CF
Loretta 2B
Soriano LF (there was talk of moving him there)
Ortiz

That looks really good. I'd do that...

Also, it looks like the Sox might try to bring back Olerud for some platooning with Youk...Nice.

Our infield would be
Youk/Olerud 1B
Loretta 2B
Renteria SS
Lowell 3B

Our outfield
Nixon RF
Damon CF
Soriano LF

Catching
Varitek
Shoppach

DH
Ortiz

Pitching
Schilling
Beckett
Wakefield
Papelbon
Clement

Mets trade and sign EVERYONE in MLB

No seriously, the Mets just locked up the 2006 season by buying every single free agent and trading for every player of value. "It's going to be quite a camp," Manager Randolph explained in a statement released to the press. "I think we have like 10 guys competiting for the catcher position and a couple of them have been All-Stars!" he added.

Monday, November 28, 2005

B.J. Blows B.J.'s Wad; Blows Expectations.

The title pretty much says it all...

This is actually a pretty scary move. Toronto's pitching has improved over the last couple of years and this will give them another solid arm. Not to mention the fact that B.J. won't have to suffer through changing leagues or divisions so his impact will be immmediate.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Holiday

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I'm in Boston now -- flew in yesterday from LAX, saw Sean McDonough sitting in first class -- and am staying here a few days for a job interview. So I won't be posting for a while. Have a great weekend, don't shop too much.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Who knew?

Section titles in the free-agent binder Scott Boras has been giving all teams potentially interested in Johnny Damon:
  • "Most Durable Active Player in the Major Leagues"
  • "Better Than Future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson"
You can't make this stuff up.

Trivia

Okay, we all know who the eventually leader will be, but what MLB player to date (not including future payments owed) has made the most in salary.

Edit: Career cumulative earnings.

Piling on

Our favorite whipping boy had this quote today:

"The Mets and the Red Sox have not talked about Ramirez recently, most likely because the Red Sox don't have a general manager. The feeling here is Boston won't trade him, especially if he refuses to go to the Mets."

Yep, the Sox lack of a GM sure seems to be stopping them from getting things done. Not. They only just made what will be one of, if not the single, largest trades of the offseason. Good job Murray.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Beckett

I just hear on XM that this deal is now confirmed.

I really, really like this one. Beckett can be a stud - great stuff. Stays healthy. Not intimidated by the MFY.

Lowell is a gamble, but hey for two years why not.

Hanley Ramirez, in my opinion, would probably never live up to the hype. And is blocked for 3 more years by Edgar. And Sanchez was probably our 4th best prospect, which means he probably is never going to be a star. Plus now we maybe could deal Arroyo to fill out some other spots on the roster.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Chasshole watch, Part XIV

My lord, Murray Chass has made the Red Sox into an unhealthy obsession (and Yanks fans complain we're obsessed with them!). Another piece today, "Lucchino: Just a Soul That's Misunderstood". And no, the title is not ironic. (Though I can't help but think the headline writer was making fun of Chass a little.) Chass points to all the statements by candidates who turned down GM interviews that they wanted to "be with their families" as proof that the problem isn't Lucchino. Really now, Chass has been in the business for how long? Surely he knows the family argument is the polite way of saying "no way in hell". He also quotes Kevin Towers at length to bolster his case. But the reading Towers' comments, I can't help but think he hated the man, as a boss at least. Taken apart from Chass's editorializing, Towers said:
"I like the guy...you have to just let [aspects of his personality] roll off your shoulders....Over the years I think I figured out how to work with Larry....When you made a move you had to justify why you were making it...First of all, what are the financial implications of the move? You had to be prepared....If it was something you felt strongly about, he would test you and test you...I knew when to pick my battles with him. I picked ones I felt I had a chance to win. He's a tireless worker, a fierce competitor. He wants to win at all costs."
There you have it, proof that Lucchino is just a "misunderstood soul." More Hall-of-Fame-caliber writing. [For bonus ridiculousness, read the final item of the article. God I hate that man.]

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Sports Guy

Wow, two articles on Bill Simmons in the last month, about not his book but really his whole style, one in Slate and one in today's NYT. Both are worth a read -- he's now a media phenomenon. And, by the looks of the photo in the Times, he doesn't even have to wear pants any more.

...am I alone in wanting his life?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mets

Looks like they are trading Cameron to SD for Xavier Nady. I think I like that. It tells me that they are not holding out much hope of getting Manny. And anything that increases the chances of Manny returning to the Sox is a good thing.

It does strike me as an interesting move since the Pads apparently will pay all of Cameron's salary. Cameron is only a marginal upgrade from Nady plus Nady has some big upside. With the Pads looking to move Klesko (good luck) and also likely to lose Giles, are they looking for some veteran presence? I've read they have some good prospects so maybe they feel okay letting Nady go, but this move is still a bit strange for me. And Minaya is a headline seeker so trading a name for prospect seems very un-Omaresque to me (unless of course he takes the savings and overpays both Billy Wagner and Kevin Millwood).

All in all, I like this move for the Sox.

Winners

Another questionable year for Cy Young winners and MVP's. A mix of good picks and duds. C'mon voters, if you're going to base your votes on stupid, arbitrary criteria, at least pick stupid, arbitrary criteria which are also awesome. Criteria like "having a name that I find hilarious". Pujols...check. Colon...check. A-Rod...check. But Carpenter? Come on. The Rocket would've been a much better choice.

Well, 3 out of 4 isn't bad, I guess.

Monday, November 14, 2005

About a half hour to go....

Papi or Slappy?

I'm sure all of our hearts are with Papi, but if I had a vote I think it would have to go to A-Rod. I said earlier, whichever team wins the division that player should get the nod. And while it ended up a tie, the Yankees celebrated first. But for some reason (namely backlash against his contract and the fact that true NYers know that he's not even the most valuable player on his team - just ask Sheff), I somehow think Papi may actually win the award.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My Dream

Of course we all love baseball. I have loved baseball for as long as I can remember. Yet last night something strange happened. I had a dream that Manny was traded to MN for Johan Santana. Obviously it will not happen for a number of reasons, first an foremost that Manny would have to approve going to MN and I see the likelihood of that happening being something about the same as, say W, admitting he made a mistake.

But if pure baseball were the issue here, it actually could be a trade that makes sense. Trade many and $30 MM to the Twins for Johan. The Twins need the bat and have tons of pitching – Radke is signed, they have Silva and Lohse (although I’m sure they’d like to get rid of him) and they have a couple of top, top prospects who project to front of the rotation starters. Both Manny and Johan have 3 years left on contracts. And if the Sox gave them the $30 MM, the teams would be paying the exact same amount of money.

I know, I know. Never happens. But still kind of funny that what I dreamed actually, in one not so crazy alternative universe, would actually make some sense.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I Give Up

Seriously, I am no longer paying any attention to baseball awards given to individual players...

The reason? Gold Glove winner Derek Jeter? You have to be kidding me. O-Cab had way better numbers...

All of these rewards are jokes...The only one they always seem to get right is ROY (which is discussed in another thread)...

Gold Glove should be a no brainer. Look at the numbers and give the guy with the best numbers the reward...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

One hit wonder

Keeping on the theme of baseball awards. I decided to go back and take a look at the ROY winners and whether those players went on to be the top player in their "rookie" class. I already know the answer is going to be NO, because pitchers take longer to develop and rarely get immediate kudos. For instance Johan was a rook in 2000 and was a middle reliever/spot starter who just took some time to blossom. Like most starters - even a young Pedro threw only 100 or so innings and Clemens a middling 133 innings (and they finished 9th and 6th in ROY balloting.

-Continued.

No baseball being played

So let's bash the media.

First is GYS favorite whipping boy Murray Chass, who just can't seem to write an article without trashing the Sox. Funny, for a guy who grew up a Pirates fan, he is now the *exact* example of a typical Yankee fan - petty, spiteful, immature, and a whole bunch of other adjectives. Not only does he want the Yanks to win badly, he feels the need ridicule and humiliate others. He's just a bully with pen. Underneath it (and many, many NY fans) is a very insecure man.

Next, we can turn our eyes on the BBWAA and their awards. Some (more) of which will be laughable.

Finally. the CHB. As Earl pointed out has his latest nonsense. You have to wonder what goes through this guys mind. You would think after all the crap, he might, oh I don't know, focus on the Pats and their big loss or maybe how it seems that everyday when I pick up the paper the Bruins have either lost in OT or shootouts (and somehow that ends up being okay on the whole). Why does he continue to be such an idiot.

You know I have bit my tongue on this a couple of times, but I finally think it is now worth saying. I'm dating myself a bit here, but when the CHB first starting writing for the Globe, he was especially brutal and harsh on the local teams and personalities (which is to be expected to some degree by columnists). And in a field of strong columnists (McDonough, Ryan, Fitzgerald, the other red head guy that went to SI - can't remember his name), he was by far the most brutal. then about 10 years ago there was a tragedy in his family. The sport community reached out a lot - including some very "special" moments with Ted Williams. And then his writing started to change. He was a bit more positive. A little more upbeat and not as quick to, well, be an ass. But obviously over the past few years, is it a coincidence that the further those events get in his rearview mirror, the bigger ass he is becoming (returning to?) I don't know, maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but that is the way I see it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I mean, I like Colon, butt...

As great as it is to see the word "Colon" in a bunch of headlines, the choice of him for the AL Cy Young is pretty awful. Eighth in the league in ERA at 3.48 (Milwood was 1st with 2.86, Santana 2nd with 2.87), 8th in strikeouts with 157 (Santana was 1st with 238), 8th in K/BB at 3.65 (Silva was first with 7.89, Santana 2nd with 5.29), 13th in BAA at .254 (Santana was 1st with .210), 10th in OPSA with .698 (Santana was 1st with .596, which is absolutely incredible). There was only major category he was even in the top 5 in: wins. First, with 21. Whoop-de-fuckin'-do. He got a lot of run support, over 6 runs per game. Which only put him 7th overall - David Wells was first with (this is wild) 7.97 (Matt Clement was 3rd with 6.88). But being in the top 10 in run support and the top 10 in ERA is enough to give you the most wins in the league. And that's all you need to win you the Cy Young apparently. Ridiculous.

The real curse

Just this year alone:

The Sox would look like secretariat in the Belmont come September. Well, not exactly even though they did end up tied.

Then a piece about Boy Wonder. We know how that turned out.

And then this past Sunday, a predication, no wait, really a proclomation that the Pats would easily beat the Colts.

Like his fictitous curse or the SI jink. I give you, the Stain of the CHB.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Its that time again

Its only fitting that this book review is centered around our beloved Red Sox and, in the words of the publisher “How the Boston Red Sox Got smart, Won a World Series and Created a New Blueprint for Winning.” That’s right Mind Game.

-Continued

Friday, November 04, 2005

Giambi- Comeback Player of the Year

As if baseball isn't deemed stupid enough it goes and gives the award for CPOTY to Giambi.

Granted, he came back and had an excellent offensive season. But it was nothing but his own stupidity AND CHEATING that made him suck in the first place.

I don't know who deserved this award, but it is an embarrassment to everyone involved to give it to this guy.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Question

It looks like everyone's blaming CHB for this. That is silly. Is there any other evidence, anywhere, besides one cryptic line in the Herald?
"A leading contributing factor, according to sources close to the situation, was a column in Sunday’s Boston Globe..."
I hope people aren't actually taking that seriously. I mean, a can of alphabet soup generally has more credibility than the average Herald article. Particularly when the topic of said Herald article is the Boston Globe.

I was going to go off on this, but SF from Yanksfansoxfan has done it already, far more concisely than I could:
"Giving Shaughnessy any credit for causing the exit of Epstein would be giving him too much, it would only serve to reaffirm Dan's sense of self-importance and impact on the Boston sports scene."
Amen. The problem is Lucchino and company, not Shaughnessy.

We will survive

Right?

Pissed. Damn right I'm pissed.
Shocked? Yep, that too.

And while I am on record that I have not given up all hope of Theo returning, if he leaves I think we will be okay. Think. Hope. Okay, so I am also very confused.

-Continued in comments (warning rambling ahead)

Position of the Week

Ok, so we have to wait for February for the pitchers and catchers to report. This is what I propose...Let's take a hole in the Red Sox roster and discuss. Since this is the first week, let's start with first base. By the time the Sox get a GM and begin to fill in some of these positions we might have a lot of this figured out...

With Olerud and Millar gone, who is left? Well, from last year's team there is Youkilis and Petagine. Is there a chance that Petagine is our everyday guy? Unlikely. What about Youk? It looked like they were starting to groom him for that position a little last year, and he didn't look totally uncomfortable. Given that he isn't the best fielding third baseman, would this be a logical move for him?

I guess to answer that we'd have to look at alternatives. If Youk is at first then we are looking for a third baseman (and this becomes a discussion for a future week).

Konerko has been mentioned. However, don't you think that with Chicago's pitching, and the fact that they just won the WS, paired with the fact that they don't mind spending money, that Konerko will be in Chicago again next year? This is how I am leaning with him. Also, I've mentioned that his bat would be a tremendous addition to the Red Sox lineup. I still think that. However, I've also made the argument that with Youk at third, Renteria at short, and a Cora/Pedroia split at second that we will need a very good fielding first baseman. Does Konerko fit that bill?

I'd like to see the Sox get someone like Lance Berkman (not available). This way if Manny stays, they could move the guy to LF on some days, let Ortiz play some infield, and let Manny DH. This gets rid of some of the Manny crap in left, keeps him in the lineup, and doesn't really hurt us in the field (Ortiz is a good glove man, he just can't play there everyday).

At the risk of becoming a team with too many jack-of-all-trades and not enough specialists, I'd really like to see the Sox go after a quality first baseman. Not sure who is out there. Certainly, Erstad would be great, but who would it take to get him?

Mientkadfhaera was waived by the Mets. He's a great fielder. But...I think the whole "last ball of the WS" thing has blown up that chance...Plus, he can't hit.

What about bringing Olerud back for one more year? I don't know if he's an everyday guy, but he's a possibility. What if Youk and Olerud split the time there. That way, when Olerud is in, they move Youk to third to keep him in the lineup.

Again, I don't want the Sox to be a team with interchangeable parts. I'd rather have guys that are first baseman, second baseman, etc...But with guys like Youk (not the best at throwing the leather around) they may have to go that way.

Thoughts?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Fuuuuuuuuuucccccckkkkkkkk

Theo is gone.

New Outfield? New team?

Manny wants out...again...Time to go. Sorry, I will not listen to how great his numbers are, etc...How many times do we have to listen to this crap?

A few weeks ago Manny and his reps wanted to talk to the Sox about the direction in which the team was going (i.e.- are they going for the WS win in '06?). Apparently, Manny and his peeps didn't like the response. Does this mean the Sox are actually looking at a rebuilding (but competitive) year or two here? With a look at the current roster possibilities, there are many, many holes. There is a good chance with Manny forcing this trade that the Sox brass may very well blow it all up and look to catch lightning in a bottle with the young stars.

I believe that the Sox will take this chance to shed themselves of the rest of Duquette's doings.

With Theo staying, though, they will more than likely continue with the "Money Ball" philosophy. Gets some guys on and bash them home. However, they MUST pursue pitching.

Wells, it is reported, is not going to be a Bostonian next year. That leaves Schilling, Wake, Clement, Arroyo, and Papelbon. They definitely need to pursue a starter, and a top-of-the-rotation type at that. And what about the bullpen? Who is left? Foulke, Timlin (is he a free agent?), and Hansen. They need a ton of arms out there.

But...and here's the part that most Sox fans don't want to look at right now...Is there enough of a team to try to salvage here? Can Theo be expected to rebuild a starting rotation, a bullpen, the entire infield (minus the SS position) and two-thirds of the OF? Also, Kapler will probably miss a portion of the season so there goes your fourth outfielder for a while.

Seriously...here's the lineup (without Manny)

???
Renteria
Ortiz
???
Varitek
Nixon
Youkilis
???
??? (Cora?)

Rookies coming up this year?
Hansen
Pedroia
Papelbon (first full year)

I will be very impressed if Theo is able to put together a competitive team looking at the core here. And don't expect much in return for Mr. Ramirez. Thanks to his stupid PR people, every other team in MLB now knows that he will not play for the Sox next year no matter. Try trading someone like that and getting something resembling equal value in return.

I have heard rumblings of Erstad for Ramirez...Do it. With the infield of Youk, Renteria, and Pedroia the Sox are going to need a gold-glover at first.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Stay tuned...

Rumor or fact???

So there is a rumor floating around that an AL Outfielder on a playoff team has tested positive for steroids. He has been going through the appeals process and resolution is expected in the next few weeks. I have not seen anything confirmed, but supposedly USA Today Sports Weekly has the story (can't find on the web) and allegedly Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus did a radio show in DC and gave an official "I can not comment on this because I was involved in the appeals process." Yet he did confirm that it is a big name.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ozzie

Well, that didn’t take long.

I guess my prediction was only half right. I knew he wouldn’t go, but thought he would drag it on. I’m sure Bobby Cox is thrilled to have a comment like that made public. But then again from a guy who has beaten his wife, why should he care if he looks or sounds petty.

No mas beisbol

Congrats to the Chicago White Sox. So the Red Sox are no longer World Champions. But they still can lay claim to the Greatest Comeback in Sports History. And when they were eliminated in the playoffs this year, it was to the eventual champions, who really proved themselves to the Best Team in baseball. Hell, we put up a bigger fight than the National League Champions.

...and yet again the AL shows itself to be the stronger league. This is not the first time one league has swept the other for two consecutive World Series-es. It's actually the fourth time. But the other three times the team doing the sweeping was the New York Yankees. They swept in 1998-1999 (vs. Atlanta and San Diego), 1938-1939 (vs. Chicago and Cincinnatti) and 1927-1928 (vs. Pitsburgh and St. Louis).

Pitchers and catchers report in 4 1/2 months. [Edit: make that 3 1/2 months. Whew!]

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ms. Plunk?

Check out the last paragraph of article. I guess it runs in the family!?

Well then.

So I'm notoriously bad at predictions. I thought this was the year that was going to change -- by mid-August my two bold predictions, that the A's would take the AL West and the White Sox wouldn't make the playoffs, looked pretty good. But then both teams turned it around, in opposite directions, and I was totally wrong. I guess I called four of the eight playoff spots correctly (about what everyone else on this board did), but a smart monkey could've done as well. And someone picking the highest-salaried team from each division would have done even better, picking 5 of 8.

Anyway, even after the Bad Sox turned it around in September, I assumed they wouldn't get anywhere in the playoffs. And I maintain they didn't look great against the Red Sox, or even the Indians before that. But since then, damn. I guess I've been totally wrong about them. They've caught a number of lucky breaks, but they're still playing like the Best Team in Baseball. It's down to the same situation the Red Sox were in a year ago: either they win their first WS in over 85 years, or they suffer their worst collapse in team history. You gotta go with the first option. Even I don't hate Guillen or Pierzinksi that much.

So, really for the first time all season, or ever, I'm rooting for the White Sox. If they win, (1) Ozzie Guillen will have to address his promise to retire; (2) the Curse of Barbara Bush will become baseball's biggest curse (she deserves that after her New Orleans comments); and (3) the Red Sox will remain the only team in baseball history to come back from a 0-3 deficit to win a 7-game series.

These are all good things. Go Sox.

Random Thoughts during game 3

Part of me hopes the White Sox win this one and then we get to see the graphic "Only one team in postseason history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit."

If HOU can win here, Dookie gets the loss. Of course Petite did not get the loss yesterday, but it would Clemens the loser in game 1, Andy started game 2 and then Dookie the loss in game 3. HMMMM.

All these Prison Break promos remind me of the show Cop Rock for some reason.

Wow

Just in case you didn't already think Tadahito Iguchi was awesome: his favorite song is "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses. Check out Keep Your Sox On for a list of the favorite songs by other players in the WS.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Monday, October 24, 2005

Caple

Remember when Jim Caple was a decent writer? A big Red Sox fan, sort of funny. Maybe the emergence of Bill Simmons (who's funnier, and a bigger fan) set him off, but he's been terrible for a few years now. Anyway, his latest article sort of pissed me off -- I'm getting tired of cheap, unfair shots against Red Sox fans. So I wrote him back.
I just read your article "White Sox, Astros Deserve This". I completely agree with the title, but was surprised to find half the article was spent attacking Red Sox fans. Which is fine -- I'm used to it. But what's imcomprehensible to me is that your complaint is that we obsess about The Curse. "The Curse" was something entirely made up by the sports media, and many of us fans found it ridiculous and or annoying. We saw it for what it was -- something for you guys to write about. But now that "the Curse" is no more, you turn around and attack us for having obsessed about it. Incredible.
Okay, the "half the article" comment was a major exaggeration, but it otherwise feels like a fairly reasonable message overall. I very quickly got this well-thought out, well-typed response:
RIght. It was all us. We're the only ones who focused on the World Series drought. Which is why I got a recent email from someone whose address was sox1918@ aolcomor some such thing.
Wow, defensive much? Anyway I stared at my computer screen for a while trying to figure out what the hell he was trying to say. I finally responded with:
I'm sorry, but you just totally changed the subject -- nowhere in my message did I reference the World Series drought. I made it very clear I was talking about "The Curse". In my opinion, caring about the last year your team Won It All is not the same as obsessing about "The Curse". No, it's just being a fan. On my television at this very moment are a couple very happy White Sox fans holding up a "1917" sign. How is that different than putting a "1918" in an email address?
Then to show I wasn't nearly as pissed off as he was, I lied and said I was a big fan of his writing, etc. Anyway, he chose to ignore that, and the question I posed to him, and instead rattled off this response (which reads more like a schoolyard taunt than anything else):
right. and was it someone in the media who spray-paintedd ''reverse the curse'' on the overpass?
So there you have it. Modern sports writing in a nutshell: 4 numbers in an email address and 4 letters spraypainted onto a sign, and you have all the evidence you need to write an article attacking an entire fanbase.

(In his defense, judging from the typos, he may have been drunk.)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Funny funny

Not sure why it took me this long to discover it, but the Onion has a new sports section which is (naturally) completely brilliant. The writers clearly know a lot about sports, and also clearly are serious baseball fans. Headlines include "MLB Introduces Todd Zeile Award for Participation", "Attempt To Delay Ejaculation By Thinking About Baseball Ruined By Crush On Johnny Damon", and "Fox Cancels ALCS After Just Two Episodes". But two brilliant ones include
"Bush to Throw Out First Out First Through 120th Pitch of World Series"
"We want all the players on both teams to know that if they're hit by one of the First Pitches, they should just take their base. Anyone who charges the mound will be cut down by sharpshooters equipped with suppressed MP5 submachine guns. That goes double for you, Pierzynski."

"MLB Promises Next Season Will be Even More Predictable"
"Angels first place, A's second place, Rangers third place, Mariners last place," Selig said. "Sound familiar yet? If not, get used to it, as that will be your AL West for the next 20 or so years."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

zzzzzzzzz

Over two months ago I described the Lee Mazzilli firing and Sam Perlozzo hiring as "the first time in MLB history a manager with two z's in his name replaced another manager with two z's in his name". Of course I just made that up, but a day later Murray Chass reported the same thing. Meaning it must be true, and also that it's proof that the Red Sox are a horrible team with stupid fans who like to kill puppy dogs for pleasure.

Anyway, now the O's just signed Leo Mazzone as their pitching coach. I mean, c'mon. Way too obvious. Hey, I hear Mike Piazza is looking for a job...

Oh yeah, in less important baseball news, the World Series starts tonight. I still haven't decided who to root for. (Er, I mean "for whom to root". Man that sounds stupid.) Any thoughts? I was in Austin for games 5 and 6, watching them in Sixth Street bars -- Astros fans everywhere.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Damnit.

We could have been rich. Or at least have 5 minutes of fame.

Remember when we used to sit around for hours on end and discuss what would happen if it was any five of us against Shaq and Kobe. Or all four of us in the ring against Tyson. Or Us against Joe Thorton and any random defenseman. Well Spike TV has (sort of) created the show.

Random Thoughts for Friday

Gammons wrote on ESPN about Manny being traded “Another possibility would be Arizona, if Boston would take some of the contracts the Diamondbacks are trying to move, including Troy Glaus and Luis Gonzalez.” Huh? We are going to take back money? Are you kidding me?

Meet Scott Podsednik’s fiancee.

Look the fat kid made the majors.

Did anyone else notice that Billy Wagner’s agent is named Bean Stringfellow. I think this is a bad joke or something. "Yeah my agent's name is John Cocktosen."

Thursday, October 20, 2005

World Series Preview

I guess I will root for CHI. American league roots are just too strong, plus then we will have lost the eventual champ. Of course, I really won’t be upset if HOU wins, for the good guys (Biggio, Bagwell) and so Yankee fans will have to wonder “what if we had Clemens and Pettite.” Actually I think in this series I will start watching and then there will be some galvanizing event that makes me say – “I want Team X to win.” Well, actually Team X wins every year. Touche. I know, I know I’m in trouble now.

I'm not even going to make a prediction. I am just thoroughly enjoying the post division series playoff baseball this year.

One dude I enjoyed watching was Backe, who was “wired” for the last two games. He genuinely seemed pumped up.

Girardi in as marlins manager - no surprise there. Mazzone to Baltimore. Now we have the dual double zz’s going with Perlozzo. Just one season after Mazzili and Perlozzo. That didn’t turn out so great. I was a bit surprised the Braves let him go so willingly. I believer, he had one year left on his contract.

Good times listening to Steve “Psycho” Lyons announce a game. In one half inning he mentioned Grudzielanek fisted a single to right. And then also spoke about the Cardinal being dominated all night. And I always get a chuckle when announcer says “now coming up, switch hitter Lance Berkman.” Of course it was always infinitely more funny when it was Sean McDonough saying it.

I have to say the Brenneman, Lyons and Brenly team is far superior to Buck/McCarver. Buck is more and more becoming the next Costas – annoying little twerp, constantly sounding off on “the right way to play the game.” Shut up and do your job. Which is play by play. Its bad enough to have one (bad) analyst in the booth. We don’t need two. Of course, I will always love listening to the call – “Back to Foulke……” well you know the rest.

Speaking of which, in about a week we will be subjected to about 287,341,612 articles, postings, etc about the one year anniversary of …. Well you know the rest.

The curse of Barbara Bush may be over. Of course it could always come back for the WS.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Only one thought today

In one of the very, very earliest posts in the history of GYS, we discussed the relative strengths of the two leagues.

The general consensus was that the AL is the better league - and this really is backed up on a lot of fronts. One thing I found interesting is look at the pitching performances this post season from pitchers that were pitching in the AL within just the last two years.

Clemens, Carpenter, Hudson, Mulder, Suppan (kind of), Pettitte.

This just in.... Pujols Homer Just Landed

Man, I thought that homer would NEVER come down. The AP is reporting that some Canadian farmer found the remains of a baseball in his field at 10:30 AM this morning. Apparently, the leather was still smoldering.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Good Grief

So now, A-Rod's mom is saying A-Rod struggled in the post season because his uncle died. Please. So what was his excuse last year when he went 1-whatever in the last four games of the LCS. Maybe his therapist will provide an excuse for that collapse.

I know, I know. I should be sensitive. And I know how hard it is to lose a loved one. But really. You should be able to put it behind you for a few hours and go do your job.

Clemens did it the day HIS MOTHER DIED.
Last year, Rivera flew to Panama for the funeral of his cousin and his cousin's child. And still made it back. closed games 1 and 2. Do we hear his mommy offerring up excuses that "Mo was still rocked by the family deaths and that is why he coughed up consecutive games." Um, no I don't think so.
Brett Favre. And I'm sure about a dozen other high profile athletes have been able to temporarily put aside their grief.

This guys is unbelievable. I'm sure he is thrilled with his mom at this point. Classic.

Random Thoughts for Monday and some random predictions

I think I will root for the White Sox so we all get to hear Ozzie talk his way out of retiring. After all, he did say if the White Sox win the World Series he will retire.

The Angels can cry all they want, but the game 2 call did not cost them the game. In game 4, if Finley had run hard all the way to first instead of slowing to call for interference, he would have been safe and the tying run would have scored. These things are unfortunate, but good teams should rebound from them. A better place to look is at Vladi and Figgy’s atrocious series.

Am I the only one that gets annoyed that every article now refers to USC as the “two time defending national champions?” According to whom? If the sox win the 2006 AL East, will they then become two time defending champs?

I’m a little surprised that all the general/manager openings have not been filled. And with Bud’s gag order during the WS about to be in place, I imagine a number of these will extend to November. I have been keeping track of some and my predictions/thoughts as follows:

Yanks – Cashman – gone. Torre – safe and will take the high road. No bashing of George. Likely successor to Cash – Damon Oppenheimer from the Tampa faction.

Sox – of course Theo is staying.

Tampa – I think the new owner will do something unique here in the front office. Sternberg has a young director of basball ops (Andrew Friedman). He would be younger than even the kid in TEX. I think they will promote him to GM but bring in an advisor or two (maybe John Hart? Or Gord Ash?) As for a manager, Bobby V. I think he is in Japan, but never underestimate a NYers (Sternberg) love for past NYers.

Florida – Girardi.

Washington – if Bud hurries up and gets the sale done, Cashman is the man. But they have to have it done in the next 4 weeks. Don’t discount Theo assistant Josh Byrnes. Although if this thing drags on, Bowden will get one more year.

Phillies – they would love Cash, but I bet he holds out for Washington. Maybe Jerry Hunsicker? They can probably wait a long time for Cashman since they Have reuben amaro waiting in the wings.

Dodgers – god help them if they go with Terry Collins. I give up trying to figure out Depodesta.

AZ – Is Matt Williams ready to be the GM under Manny’s former agent Jeff Moorad?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Random Thoughts for Saturday

Man, CHI pitching continues to impress. Dare I say that this year might be lining up just right for them.... I do not like Ozzie Guillen or AJ, which would be the only reason to root against CHI. I need to keep reminding myself - "this is better than the Yankees, this is better than the Yankees, this is better than the Yankees...."

I have not read the Globe today, but I think Ryan is covering the LAA-CHI series. Which pretty much means that with O-Cab's HR last night, it will give him one more opportunity to rip Renteria, because, yes if we had resigned O-Cab, the sox pitchers probably would not have give up 24 runs in 3 games to the Pale Hose.

I read these stories about the Yanks (and to a lesser extent, the sox) signing BJ Ryan. I can’t help being skeptical. A proven left handed closer, with filthy, filthy stuff (285 K in 207 innings the last 3 years). And we are supposed to believe he will sign with the MFY to be a set up man? With his pedigree, he should get at least Foulke money. Are the Yanks going to give $8MM per year to set up? Maybe they will. They have taken all of MLB to new levels in the past for middle relief (Karsay, Chirs Hammond Gordon, Quantrill come to mind). And would Ryan be willing to accept that role? At least with the Sox, they could say, “we’ll make you the closer and we are trying to deal Foulke.” Apparently Ryan has said he would accept a set-up for a winning team, but does this not smack of "Lets get the Yankees and Red Sox to drive up my price?" I guess one way or another we will see the first $8MM set up man next year.

I love how the talk is that NY wants to take a run at Torii Hunter, but Cano is now untouchable. I mean sure he is a low cost option, but its not like he is the second coming of Soriano of Jeff Kent. At least I don’t think so. He does have one thing in common. Its like when the sox (and some fans) didn’t want to trade Casey Fossum for Colon. Or Nixon for Sosa.

This one passed without comment on these boards - Ramirez reportedly wants to discuss the direction of the franchise: What free agents are being pursued, what the payroll will be next year, whether the Red Sox will be a playoff team, etc. Seriously. I can just see it now, Manny and Bill James sitting down in Theo’s office debating the relative values and VORPs of Bill Meuller vs. Kevin Youkilis as the everyday 3B.

Along the same lines as my recent defense of Renteria….. I forget where I read it, but there is some noise about the upcoming FA class and a reference to how weak it is coupled with how last year’s market was overpriced. There were references to Kris Benson, Carl Pavano, Matt Clement, Jaret Wright, Eric Milton and Russ Ortiz. Sure he wore down a little (maybe even a lot, who knows how much affect the beaning had) at the end, but Clement had the best season of any of those guys. And he may have been the best overall FA pitcher with the possible exception of Lieber. Without Clement, the Sox don’t make the playoffs.

Friday, October 14, 2005

My One-Act Play

[I just realized that the problem is not that Doug Eddingses exist. The problem is that there aren't enough Doug Eddingses. For example, it'd be really great if Doug Eddings were in charge of the Human Resources Department at someplace I want to work for. So great, in fact, that I wrote a one-act play about it.]



DOUG EDDINGS AND ME
A one-act play, by Earl


[A nice corner office. DOUG EDDINGS is sitting behind his desk. I walk in. DOUG EDDINGS stands.]

DOUG EDDINGS: Thank you very much for your application. Unfortunately we received a large number of outstanding applications, but currently have only one position to fill. I regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you a position at this time.

ME: Oh. I see. Thank you very much -- well, I really like corner offices. I think I'll take...this one. [Sits down behind Doug Eddings' desk.]

DOUG EDDINGS: [confused for a moment] Welcome aboard!

[5 minute montage, with shots of me spinning around in my swivel chair, me dancing on the desk, me high-fiving Doug Eddings, Doug Eddings giving me an oversized check for ten thousand dollars, me kissing a big wad of hundred dollar bills, and me dancing on the desk some more. Loverboy's "Everybody's Working For the Weekend" plays in the background.]

ME: Allllll riiiiight!!!

- FIN -

Random Thoughts for Friday

What a performance by Oswalt. The AB by Edmonds in the 5th, with 2 on was awesome. Oswalt just went right at him. And then froze him.

I'm sure it is just "negotiations" but I can't be the only one that thinks "If Theo wants $2.5 million, give him $2.5." Hell, that is about how much the Sox paid Mark Bellhorn in 2005 (not to pick on Bellhorn, just putting it in perspective). At this point, Theo has accomplished about as much (if not more) as Billy Beane had when the Sox made that offer to Beane. Except, as Joe Morgan would say "Theo did not write a best selling baseball book, like Billy Beane has."

And if Schilling gets and extra $16 Million for helping the Sox win the WS, now they are going to short change Theo? I don't get it.

Did you guys see this story. Classic.

I enjoy seeing a resurgence of Penn State football. Hopefully, they can have one more great season and Joe-Pa can go off into the sunset.

ND-USC. I thought that they usually played really late in the season, but regardless, this should be a good game. If only for the ex-Patriot factor. I was a bit surprised to not see Bob Ryan have a column today about it. In fact, we could probably write it for him.

Is anyone surprised that Romanowski used steroids? Why does the media even bother.

Wow, since when did I ever write about football. weird.

Please, please can we just let ball-gate end. Here's to the playoffs.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Random Thoughts for Today

I forget which broadcast I was watching (and I'm not even sure it was last night), but I can't believe the constant criticism and labeling of the Edgar Renteria signing being a bust. Actually I was watching NESN and they had Bob Ryan on complaining that the team screwed up by not signing O-Cab. Now sure O-Cab was hurt, but even when he played he was inferior to Renteria, with the possible and I mean possible, exception of defensively. Renteria did have a hire Range Factor so it is possible it was not so much worse than O-CAB. Other numbers - OCab batted .257/.315/.403 vs. .288/.345/.385 and Renteris scored 100 runs - that is a lot of runs. Now I agree he was a bit below his potential, but he was not a bust. If they'd signed Cabrera for 4years/$32MM, they would now be questining that move.

Watching Pettite last night was creepy. I never liked that guy. His beedy little eyes peering out from behind his glove and hat. But it would kind of be nice as GR said, to have MFY fans watch their two best pitchers from 2003 win a WS with another team one year after watching their mortal enemy dance on their lawn and then do what they could not do the year before.

The whole Eddings thing is unbelievable. And sad. I wish we were not talking about this and were, instead, talking about what a tight, exciting series it has been so far.

Interesting to see Reggie Sanders play like Reggie Jackson this year. Especially after he sucked so bad in his 5 other trips to the post season. Including last year when he went O for the world series. But then again the Sox did that to a number of batters.

Does anyone other than the NY media really care what Joe Torre says about the Boss when he launches his promised season ending comments on George. I looked at a couple of Yankee blogs and lets just say, I did not see a single reference to the upcoming missives. Lots of talk about what went wrong. And some (stupid) speculation that every GM in baseball will just give NY their best players (Vernon Wells, Aaron Rowand, and Torri Hunter) and and happily take Giambi off NYs hands now that he is back. My guess is that Joe takes the high road. As usual.

Plus like they say. If you take George's money, you also have to take his crap.

I didn't think it was possible, but...

...I now hate AJ Pierzinksi, and Fox Sports, more than ever.

I'm seriously considering scalping tickets to Friday's game in Anaheim, just to watch the umpires come out: they will be booed probably more than at any other time in baseball history. And they'll deserve it. Fun stuff.

[Also, if you were as pissed of at Chris Myers's postgame interview as much as I was -- he didn't have the balls to let the White Sox players know they got a serious gift, and then he plugged not one, but two Fox shows -- then click here and him them know.]

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Its that time again

Book Review!!!

This month’s installment – The Last Commissioner by Fay Vincent.

Continued.

Random Thoughts for Today

This one shocked me. The team layed down on him. Sure there were distractions and injuries, but god they sucked at the end. And with Camden Yards not being the guaranteed sell out it used to be plus the new TV network, and competition from the Nats, I would have expected them to do something to generate more buzz.

Ozzie ran the White Sox out of a couple of potential rallys. Yet escaped criticism. Oh well.

Lou Pinella was actually pretty good. In fact, he did something I had not seen - he managed to get McCarver to actually be quiet. For long stretches of time.

I am a bit surprised that both games today are at 5:00. I remember having to leave work very early last year to catch Game 5 of the ALCS - of course the 14 innings meant it overlapped anyway. I guess for games 1 and 2 they don't stagger the starts.

And if I manage to get out of work early tonight and catch some of the games, I will be able to get another book review done.

Sure sign that your NL-only fantasy league has bit the dust:

You make a blockbuster 32-player trade, in which all players from two teams are swapped (click here for details), in early August...

...and no one notices. My team (the Easy Roiders) won, by the way, which means I am the best GM ever.

Best Headline Ever

From Fark.com (the best source of news on the web)

"Nomar Garciaparra saves two women from drowning; A-Rod and Jeter said to be in good condition"

Monday, October 10, 2005

LAA

So there you have it - no Red Sox, and no Yankees, in the ALCS this year. Did anyone actually call that back in April? Both looked outmatched, and tired, in their Division Series, against teams they each really had a shot at beating (at least the Yanks forced a game 5). I'm bummed Boston is out, but also thrilled that New York is out also. Of course, the only people upset about both are the folks at Fox Sports. And, at the very least, what's bad for Fox is probably good for baseball.

Let's go Angels.

Breaking News

Anaheim, California October 10, 2005 - New York Yankee spokesman Howard Rubenstein today announced that George Steinbrenner happily has entered into a five year agreement that is expected to regain and extend the Yankee dominance of MLB. Under the contract, whose exact terms were not released, Steinbrenner will deliver his soul and the souls of approximately two or three dozen Tri-State area millionaires to Satan. The deal is effectively immediately and is reminiscent of an earlier five year deal the parties had entered into in the period early 1996 and expired at the end of October 2001.

In other news, LA Angel starter and Cy Young favorite, Bartolo Colon was removed from the decisive Game 5 of the AL Division series this evening. Colon's removal from the game forced into action Angel rookie Ervin Santana.

Too Early for Hot Stove

It's weird not having the Sox playing right now, but it doesn't hurt. I guess winning it all last year really did do something...

Anyway, is it too early to start thinking about the hot stove? In years past, it would take weeks to get over the final Sox loss. Hell, it took a year to get over the 03 game 7 loss. But not this year. Which leads me to this statement, or maybe more of a question: Was this Sox team likeable???

I love the Red Sox. But does that mean that I loved this group of players that comprised this year's campaign? I liked Ortiz, Papelbon, Timlin, and Bill Mueller. Jason Varitek is a perenial favorite. Nixon always plays hard and you have to respect that. But, with a little distance, I am finding that I did not like this team despite them being my favorite sports francise...

Does anyone else feel this way?

I got mad often at Manny Ramirez. He's making millions to play a game, and he was lazy. Yes, amazing offensive stats once again, but lazy nonetheless. Damon couldn't keep his yap shut. I got sick of him being the team spokesman. Those were the main two dislikes. Oh, and Foulke...

Then came the indifferents...This was a huge band...Millar, Olerud (he may fall in to the "liked" category, but he seemed like a desperation move), Bellhorn, Cora, Mirabelli, most of the pen...

Then there were "others"...

Yet, I rooted them on. I wanted them to pull it together...

So looking to next year, we will be losing most of the aforementioned...At first, I looked at this as a sad occasion. Most of these guys brought us the salvation of finally winning it all. But, just like the movie "Major League II", they got caught up in the hype. Does anyone really care that Arroyo put out a record, or that he was playing concerts? Could we have had one less Damon commercial or one less Ford F50 with Curt and the family?

Why couldn't I see all these faults during the season...Well, I believe it is called rationalization. I wanted to win it all again...to experience that joy of another Series win...It didn't happen...

Let's bring in some new blood. Let's discuss the Hot Stove.

Nothing better to do on a Sunday night than pile on

This hack. I know we have said it before. Again and again. But really. In the midst of an exciting post season series, this is the article he writes? It is really a mailed in piece. Not a single reader could possible learn something from it. Or even think, hey that was a funny article. Or uplifting. Or anything. Utterly absurb. At least with CHB he will take an opinion on something. Or say something controversial.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

There oughta be a law

Given the sudden absence of baseball in my life, I'm watching the Patriots-Falcons game, despite not really caring much about football. I was really excited to learn Atlanta has a guy named "Alge Crumpler". Which should be the most awesome football name ever - except he's a tight end. And then some guy on the Patriots named "Patrick Pass" rushes for 6 yards. This is not right.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

random note on Red Sox fans...

...Sometimes they piss me off. A lot. I hate the booing, I hate the "Yankees Suck" chants, I hate the irrational hate of players who underperform, and I hate the WEEI callers who are sure they could manage any team to a 162-0 season. For these reasons I don't read the Boston papers, or listen to WEEI. Given that, I have to say: I saw none of the Hate Towards Graffanino that a lot of Sox bloggers were going off about (possibly setting a new record for the number of times the word "crucifying" was used in a non-religious context).

No, before yesterday's game, Graffanino got a huge ovation at Fenway. He really appreciated it, and wants to come back. That was absolutely awesome. Really, if the season was going to end that day, what a great note to end it on.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Three and out

Well, that didn't work out quite the way we had planned, huh? It's amazing -- on this site we've been going on for months about how this Sox team is not built for the postseason (the first post I can find was August 13), and so fully saw this coming, but...well, sometimes you really hope you're wrong about some things.*

So this sucks. But you know what? For me at least, it doesn't...super-suck. Given the utter joy of last year's Win, and utter misery of the previous year's Loss, this hurts, but not in a heart-ripped-out-of-my-chest-and-thrown-into-the- garbage-disposal sort of way. No, it just sucks. There's next year, and a very exciting off-season (let's get all 7 closers that are on the market, just in case), to look forward to. Am I alone in feeling this?

Meanwhile, let's go Angels. I really don't want to have to root for the White Sox in the ALCS.

* and in a sense, our predictions were wrong, I guess: it wasn't so much the pitching, and certainly not the bullpen, but rather the hitting -- or utter lack thereof -- that lost it. Oh well.

Today?

Hey Boston folks: will there be a game today? Weather reports seem to indicate the showers will come afterwards, but then again, Boston weather reports never seem to be right. (Tomorrow looks a lot worse.)

This can be done. Wakefield's the guy to do it. If it becomes 1-2...well, in every ALDS Game 4 it's 1-2. Hopefully the offense will wake up. They've spent the last 36+ hours getting pissed at themselves...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Yikes

Best case scenario: two wins at home, followed by a Game 5 back in Chicago. But who starts?

Bottom line: much more dire situation than 1999, or 2003...

ALDS Game 2: open thread

A slightly better 1st inning than yesterday. Already matched yesterday's total offense, and the Sox starting pitcher looks like he knows how to pitch. Let's keep it up -- anyone online?

WTF?!?

I keep hearing and reading complaints to the effect of, "Why did Francoma bring Clement in for the 4th?!?" Okay, maybe it wasn't the best decision in the world, but...I mean, did these people actually watch the game? Or, you know, actually look at the final score? The Red Sox lost by 12. Let's just say Clement was pulled after 3 IP. And somehow the bullpen magically becomes really really good and pitches 6 innings of shutout baseball. So then what -- the final score is 6-2, and the Red Sox still lose. No, the simple fact is, the hitting sucked. They made Contreras look like...well, the Contreras that the Yankees thought they were getting back in 2003. (Once again, proof that Mel Stottlemyre is a terrible, terrible pitching coach.) The way Manny and Damon and everyone else looked lost at the plate -- it's reasonable to assume they flat-out told Francona the guy was unhittable (and the huge strike zone didn't help). And so Francona assumed -- correctly -- that a 4-run lead was in fact insurmountable, and so wanted to keep Clement in the game, to save the bullpen.

If anyone here wants to argue that Tito did in fact blow it with his decision, I'd love to hear it. (Please, no "we had him on the ropes the previous half inning" arguments. Crede made a huge error, and even after the runs were scored, Contreras needed just 10 pitches to get three outs. He was still very much on his game.)

Anyway, no matter what Boston loses by, 14-2 or 6-2 or 5-4 (remember Game 1 in 2003? ugh...), they're only down 0-1. A win today ties it, after two on the road. Let's go Wells! Let's go...entire lineup!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Parity scorecard

Following up on something Grieve said a few days ago...remember when we were told this was the year parity returned to baseball? That neither the Sox nor the Yanks were making it to the playoffs, as the Orioles would take the East and a low-payroll team like the A's or Indians would win the Wild Card? Yeah, those predictions were spot-on. Just like they were last year. The Yanks, Red Sox, Los Anaheim, and Other Sox rank 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in salary in the AL (4th was the Mariners, somehow). Put another way:
  • Yankees: highest-paid team in baseball (and hence in the AL East)
  • Red Sox: second highest-paid team in baseball (and hence in the AL East)
  • Angels: highest-paid team in AL West
  • Hose: highest-paid team inthe AL Central
Talk about parity! Highest salary means you get in; it was the same last year, except the Twins had a slightly lower payroll than the Hose. And the year before that, except the A's beat the Angels. Only one lower-salaried team even came close this year, the Indians; and this was at least in part because they benefitted from the best strength of schedule in the entire league.

The NL is not as clear-cut. But this is due to two horribly mismanaged, overpaid teams (Mets and Phillies...who almost made it) and of course the Worst Division in Baseball History. The only playoff spot not affected by those two factors was the NL Central -- which was also won by the highest-salaried team in the division.

Yet all this year - just like last year - we had the sports media and Bud Selig going on about parity finally arriving to baseball. Next year, when they do the same, don't believe them.

Good Thoughts

Not that the bullpen appeared much in this series, but they seemed to pitch well when they had to...Not sure if that is a sign of how things will continue in the upcoming series, but certainly facing the White Sox lineup might be a good confidence builder.

With that said...
In the long run, is it an advantage for the Sox to face Chicago in the short series rather than LAA? I think so...First off, because of how things line up, we will only face Buerhle or Garland once...We might see Buerhle on short rest in Game 5 (if necessary). I think the Sox starters can go deeper in to games against the White Sox lineup than the LAA lineup. We will go with Clement in Game 1, then my guess is Wells, Schilling, and Wake. That makes the matchups Clement v Contreras, Wells v Buerhle, Schilling v Garland (in Boston) for the first three.

Meanwhile, the Angels have their rotation lined up and ready to go against the Yankees. Colon in Game 1 against Mussina. Not too sure about how it rounds out after that...

Not sure what any of this means...If there is one thing this year has taught me is that nothing means anything in baseball. Even baseball prospectus stats had the Yankees chance at making the playoffs at 25% in August, they won the division. We had also thrown out things like, "If the Sox go .500 the rest of the way, the Yankees will have to play .667 baseball to catch them." Well, the Sox went better than .500 and the Yankees played better than .667." And who would have thought Cleveland folds like that? Craziness.

My ALDS predictions-
Angels in 4
Red Sox in 5

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Another question

One month ago today I commented the fact that Joe Torre replaced 7 of his 8 position players. In the 6th inning of today's game he outdid himself, replacing all 8:

- M. Bellhorn at third
- T. Womack at second
- F. Escalona at shortstop
- M. Vento in right field
- M. Lawton in left field
- W. Nieves catching
- B. Crosby in center field
- A. Phillips at first

I don't think I'd ever heard of Mike Vento before (turns out he has only one career at at-bat).

The inning also featured a pitching change (F-Rod for Franklin), two pinch runners (Shoppach for Ortiz, and Machado for Manny), and two pinch hitters (Mirabelli, whose HR made the pinch runners sort of useless, for Varitek, and Hanley Ramirez for Tony G). That's 13 substitutions in a single half-inning. Is that a record?

[P.S. 46 players used total, for an 9 inning game (8 1/2 innings, really). Is that a record?]

Non-Red Sox question

Jimmy Rollins just got a hit (2, actually), extending his hit streak to 36 games. On the last game of the season. So what happens to the streak? If there's a one-game playoff (unlikely -- Astros are winning, and Oswalt is on fire), does that count? What about the playoffs? I assume hit streaks carry over to new seasons?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

And so...

...the de facto postseason has begun. A best-of-three series between the Sox and the Yankees (2 games at Fenway, one at Yankee Stadium), winner takes the AL East. Loser now has a real shot at the postseason also, given that Cleveland lost their game against the White Sox's bench (after losing 2 of 3 from Tampa Bay). But who cares: the division is within sight.

Win today; win tomorrow; get a day off.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Robert Redford...

...Giving the best "celebrity sports fan interview" I have ever seen. I had no idea he was a Sox fan; apparently this is first time in Fenway, and he keeps cutting off the interviewer for each pitch -- "hold on". So much better than anything Ben Affleck, Billy Crystal, etc. has ever said in such interviews. Highlight:
ESPN: You played Roy Hobbs in the Natural, and does --

RR [stares at interviewer icily]: Yes. I did.

ESPN [flustered]: Yes, you did. When you watch David Ortiz hit, does -- does he remind of you of Roy Hobbs?

[Brief pause]

RR: No.
My new hero. C'mon Sox -- let's get a couple more runs.

To win the East...

...the Sox have to win three of the next four games. The Yanks have to win only two of the next four. So basically, tonight we watch Game 2 of a 5-game series between the Red Sox and the Yankees. Yanks took Game 1 (the first 159 games of the season), barely. So we're 0-1 in a 5-game series. Big deal -- the Sox can do this. Who the hell cares what the Indians do.

Win tonight.

Two This Weekend

OK, so all we need is two this weekend. That gets us to NY for a game on Monday to determine the winner of the East. Arroyo v Chacon or Small...That's a tough call for Torre seeing how good Small was against us and how we roughed up Chacon.

Of course, that won't be necessary if the Indians lose 2 and we win 2. Sox and Yankees then make the playoffs...But who is declared the division winner?

And yet another scenario...
Sox sweep.
Cleveland sweep.
One of the central is the wild card winner, the other division winner. Red Sox East Champs. All with the same record. First round matchups?

Anyway, let's forget about all of this and look at some other matchups...

Wells v Wang- Wells hasn't been great in his last two outings thanks to the knee, but he said he is loose and ready to go. Wang...big pressure situation (big stage anyway). This is not a must win game for the Yankees, but pretty close (especially with "The Comeback" from last year looming). It is a must win game for the Sox (even though they could win Sat and Sun...it would be nice to get one win out of the way).

Game plan Boston- Score early and get in to the Yankees bullpen quickly. This means, Sturtze and Gordon...If we can take either one of them out of Saturday's game, we're much better off. Don't pitch to Sheffield under any circumstances...

Game plan Yankees- Don't throw a strike to Ortiz or Ramirez. With the way the rest of the lineup has been performing, you could walk those two to start an inning and still not get scored upon. Also, get to the pen...

Papelbon won't be in the game tonight. It's everyone then Timlin. This means we need a great start from Wells...

I know we're not going to mess with the lineup, but wouldn't it be great to move Graffanino to the two hole. The guy's an on-base machine and a threat to steal.

Damon
Graf
Ortiz
Manny
Nixon
Tek
Renteria
Mueller
Olerud

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Awesome start.

Sox are down by 1, Yanks and Indians each up by 4. This is fun.

Good God, No!!!!

Red Sox have picked up Mike Stanton for the Yankees series...

Ok, it's over...I'd rather have Embree...

Break from the action

Okay, let's not think about baseball for a while. At least for the next 8 hours. Anyway, I may be behind the game on this, but inspired by X's and GrieveRules' discoveries of some ridiculous baseball pictures (man, Leia really let herself go), I started surfing for other photos, and came across On the DL, a blog devoted to the off-the-field shenanigans* of major leaguers. Best are the random photos of players partying it up with random drunken tramps, like this one of Giambi signing someone's cleavage...a photo which is really just begging for a caption contest.

* I just said "shenanigans". Probably for the first time in my life.