Thursday, March 31, 2005

Team loyalty

So I never thought I, on a blog like this, would ever link to him, because his writing is really political and conservative (though his first book was pretty awesome), but today David Brooks tackles the question of loyalty to a team today. I guess he is/was a huge Mets fan, but now finds himself drawn to the Nats, since he's lived in DC for a long time. That, and the fact that the Mets suck, despite paying out the big bucks for so long.

I dunno. I've been here in LA for a year and a half, and while I guess I've gained an appreciation for the Dodgers (and hell, even the Angels), my loyalty to the Sox hasn't wavered one bit. So I can't really relate to what he's going through (though the Sox are no Mets, so we're in different boats). Still, his points about different reasons to love a team seem pretty valid.

Not exactly a *S* related post

The guy may be an idiot, but he sure has pulled a lot of crap in the last month to keep his name in the news. He stood up the SF sports radio station for an on air appearance and did not even bother to call. Of course they talked about it nonstop. Apparently he has done it on a number of the stops on his book tour. Of course the media has been talking about him nonstop regardless of his shennanigans, but still he keeps stepping it up.

When my wife first told me about his Surreal Life gig, I said "No way he will actually go through with it. Its just another publicity stunt." Well, I can't claim to be right just yet, but accompanying this story is a picture in which "Canseco did not arrive in time for the photo." Yeah, like they think he will arrive for shooting? Probably not. But then again if he goes on the show, he will probably talk about the book all the time. But I doubt he'll get there.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Dr. Perlman

All right, so I promise not to use the S-word. But the new brouhaha* over Dr. Elliott Perlman is pretty damn funny. Two weeks after he testified before Congress that baseball's new testing policy is great, we find out that he's been overstating his credentials. For example, he got his M.D. in Guadalajara, Mexico, and not SUNY, like his bio from back in his days with the Jets says. And there are some "exaggerations".

So that's pretty hilarious in itself -- he was the only guy baseball could find to defend their new policy, But I also like that:

1) I think he's not being honest about his name either. Look at the photo -- he's clearly Rob Reiner.
2) The guy who broke the story is named "Duff Wilson". Not sure why that's funny, but it is somehow.
3) Best of all, when Ron Colangelo, a VP of the Jets, was told about the discrepancy, his response was:
"Oh my goodness, oh my goodness gracious."

Talk about lame. I'm no football expert, but if you ask me, he should be fired on the spot.

* that's right, I said "brouhaha". Oh, I went there.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


This could be the missing link.

Also, good to see the Yankees having so much faith in Jaret wright that they will skip his first turn in the rotation. Imagine that another Yankee $8 Million per year middle reliever.

Monday, March 28, 2005

From the LA times

According to an industry source, Schilling's repugnance for Canseco did not start or end with steroids, or with Canseco's transparency in outing baseball and its biggest names.About a decade ago, the source said, Canseco sold Schilling his Lamborghini for "a couple hundred thousand dollars." A few months later, the car "melted down," perhaps as a result of Canseco's taste for supercharged fuel. The engine required extensive work.Schilling apparently blamed Canseco, who assumed a buyer-beware attitude, leading to a feud that was rekindled when they were fellow witnesses before the House Government Reform Committee.Presumably, Canseco got his own ride home

Saturday, March 26, 2005

That was quick...

Just a couple weeks ago we were laughing at the Mets for the way they were treating Pedro...allowing him to pitch as much as he wants, even in his first Spring Training start. We made the (very safe) prediction that they'd realize the error of their ways eventually. But I never imagined that'd happen before the season even began.

Before, they were defending allowing him to throw 3 innings (60 pitches!) in his first outing. Now, only 8 innings later, we're hearing stuff like:

Minaya: "We said, 'Look, why take a chance?'"

Pedro: "Right now, we just don't want to take any chances of making it worse or having to be in jeopardy for Opening Day. Opening Day, without a doubt, if I play it careful right now, it's going to be there."

Either someone's talked some sense into them, or they got a bit of a scare and they're a little more worried about it than they're letting on. Not to mention a teammate (anonymously) told a NYDN reporter Pedro "couldn't even stand up straight" at one point.

And then there's this, also from the Daily News:

Earlier in the day, the Mets were in near-crisis mode over a situation that seemingly could have been easily defused. Minaya held an afternoon Q&A with reporters and discussed reliever Mike DeJean's calf injury. He then suggested going into Randolph's office to get other injury updates.

"What do you mean updates?" Randolph said.

Pressed, the manager said matter-of-factly: "Pedro is going to miss a start, you know about that, right? Oh, you don't know about that?"

Martinez then refused to comment through team spokesman Jay Horwitz. He later relented after behind-the-scenes arm-twisting from an influential team official.


Friday, March 25, 2005

Not to be overlooked

I think this acquisition of Blaine Neal might be bigger than we think. Just a hunch. Of course it is exciting to have someone named Blaine on the Sox, sparking memories of Ducky in Pretty in Pink. "Blaine. His name is Blaine. That's the name of a major appliance."

Seriously though, his numbers are pretty decent in the minors and his major league numbers last year are a bit skewered by a couple of bad outings. And the last pitcher we picked up from SD (Embree) turned out to be pretty decent. In Boston, Neal could be that extra arm to get us through the 6th or 7th inning.

And if it doesn't work out, all we did was give up Hydzu who wasn't going to make the team and was out of options.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

okay, here's a topic...

...Who's going to have a Monster Year this year? (I mean, besides Wally the Green Monster, because when you're a Monster, every year's a Monster Year, obviously.) You're welcome to back up your arguments with statistics, but no need, really...

Matt's already mentioned Nomar. Sadly I think A-Rod may return to MVP form, now that he's comfortable at 3rd and can focus on his hitting. Ortiz will continue his upward trend...Soriano, V-Mart...Cabrera? How'll Aaron Boone do with the Wahoos?

And how about those who will disappoint? I'll just throw out a couple names: Sexton, Finley...maybe Michael Young. Oh and Tony Womack, of course, but for most I don't think the expectations are that high.

Obviously these are hitters only. Pitchers...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Two things that piss me off

1. Am I the only one that hates the fact that it seems like every web site now cuts its articles into multiple pages? Some of them have that "single page view" that you can click on the bottom (today's bill simmons article) . And the Boston Herald has it so you have to click on the 2, 3 and 4 to read a whole article. I mean this screws up my entire morning - I now have to do some planning before I go in and take a crap. I used to just print off an article or two real quickly. Now I need at least five minutes warning.

2. Is every friggin' article an insider now? I hardly go there anymore. But of course has the same "continue story" nonsense as the other sites.

I sure need some baseball so that I will be less irritable...

Saturday, March 19, 2005


Maybe this will get a bit more play in a couple weeks, but the Sox are scheduled to play two exhibitions in Arizona the Thursday and Friday before the regular season starts. These are games at Bank One ball park and the ONLY reason for this is $$$$. I'm not sure when they were scheduled, but if the Sox new they were opening on the East Coast (or even if they did not), this seems really bad.

Of course all the players will not make the trip (especially the starting pitchers), but having even some of the players fly across the country twice in two days prior to the biggest season opener in the hsitory of baseball, seems like poor judgment. Of course it is not as bad as opening in Tokyo, but still I don't like it.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Pretty amazing that those hearings manages to make almost EVERYONE invovled look bad. (For a re-enactment, using Legos, click here). Let's see:

Congress: bunch of blowhards, not surprisingly. Poorly informed about the new steroids policy, thinking the first offense was a $10,000 fine (though that might not have been their fault: see below). When corrected many times, they chose to ignore the real policy (suspension), sticking to a script. And good call, Matt -- NFL has a 4-game suspension for drug use, which they conveniently ignore, sticking to the Olympics' 2-year standard.

Sen Jim Bunning: had some good points, but sounded like a grouchy old man. Trying to keep his buddies in the record books. "In my day..." Sadly, no one asked him about amphetamines, which many of those same buddies were probably taking. That would've been fun to watch.

Jose Canseco: even more disgusting than before, which is quite a feat. Disavows much of what he wrote in the book about steroids being good for you, even while trying to sell the book. Using a Congressional hearing for profit -- classy.

Mark McGwire: pretty obvious how much his life sucks right now.

Curt Schilling: backtracked on much of his anti-steroids rants from the last few years. Admitted he's never seen a syringe in a clubhouse, and didn't know anyone who definitely used 'roids. Didn't he once tell SI he couldn't pat some guys on the butt because of their soreness from steroid injections?

Sosa, Palmeiro, Thomas: okay, they came out all right. Assuming they didn't perjure themselves.

Baseball, Union executives: funny to see them all buddy-buddy. And apparently the copy of the revised labor agreement they gave Congress had "sloppy language"? How does that happen?!? I'm not sure I believe them. More likely they inserted a potential loophole, and got called out on it.

The media: all acting high-and-mighty about the whole ridiculous spectacle, as if they're not actually part of the problem. Check out this gem from Jayson Stark:

"And let's give him one more shred of sympathy. Nobody would want to be put in the position this committee put McGwire in Thursday -- dragged in front of Congress, TV cameras rolling, essentially declaring him guilty the moment he walked into the room unless he could figure out some way to prove himself innocent.

We said last week we had a problem with Congress placing anybody in that un-American position. We still do."

"TV cameras rolling"?!? The only live video feed to the general public was provided by...that's right, ESPN, Stark's employer. It's sick that Stark tries to pretend that it's all Congress's fault.

Okay, enough ranting. I'm surprised to find myself disgusted at pretty much everyone involved in this whole fiasco.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

sad news...

Koch has been released. Looks like Ricciardi really dropped the ball. He must feel foolish having spent so much money on Koch and not gotten anything in return. Now Toronto is Koch-less. If you asked me, they pulled Koch a bit prematurely.

Loophole watch, part I

Sammy Sosa: "To be clear: I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything."

Plenty of performance-enhancing substances are not illegal. Plus, performance-enhancing substances can be taken...orally. Of course, I strongly doubt his second sentence is technically true -- I certainly couldn't say that under oath. Also, I like the use of the word "clear". "I have been in the Clear all throughout my time in the Majors."]


Sitting at his locker Monday, Johnny Damon noticed a quarter-size lump on his groin. A few hours later, the lump was almost "the size of a baseball," Damon said.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

March Madness

In addition to the NCAA tournament beginning tomorrow, we get treated to the baseball steroids hearing (on ESPN!). I'm not going to watch, but I'm looking forward to reading about it, and seeing the highlights.

Following up on Matt's earlier comment, while I agree this whole thing could be a bit of a circus, and certainly risks serious congressional grandstanding, I'm not sure it's such a bad thing. Yes, NFL shouldn't get a free pass, but one difference is that typical NFL heroes -- quarterbacks and wide receivers -- are unlikely to benefit hugely from juicing. On the other hand, Sosa and McGwire -- both implicated in the scandal -- almost singlehandedly saved MLB back in 1998. MLB's own estimate is that their home run race made the sport over $1.5 billion. So if those guys juiced, baseball benefited financially from an illegal activity. And if HS students started juicing as a result, it's not a victimless crime.

In any case, I think we can all agree about this: one good thing about this whole steroids thing is we get to read all about Dick Pound, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (or WAD Agency, for short). This has really thrusted him back into the limelight. (I would google his name to get some of his (um) juicy quotes, but I'm afraid what I might find...)

Pitching Injury Bug...


Prior is out indefinitely again with elbow problems. This kid had such a chance to be a great one, but it looks like he might be an outfielder sooner than later. Can he hit?

Rivera (Mariano) is out resting elbow soreness. This took a little while to pop up last year. Man, what happens to the Yankees if they lose this guy for a stretch? Do you think that they really want to make Gordon the every day guy? Isn't that part of what did them in last year? If Gordon hadn't been used so much during the regular season us Sox fans might be waiting for this to be "the year".

So, I had made a prediction about less elbow problems now that roids were leaving the league. You know less freakish stress on the tendons, less muscle tears...Maybe, though, there will need to be a few years for adjustment. I am NOT saying that Rivera and Prior were using. I think that Rivera has just thrown a billion innings in his career and turning over that cutter pitch after pitch is taking its toll. I have no idea what Prior's problems are...

Speaking of the Cubs...Wood is hurt, too...Jeez, these guys throw heat, but they are really young. How did guys like Clemens and Randy Johnson throw so much heat for so long. Or how about that Nolan Ryan. Kerry Wood has a violent delivery (kind of like Miller...who will also miss at least April with elbow problems) so you can see why he might get hurt, but Prior is a smooth/good mechanics-type pitcher. Looks like another long season for the Cubbies. Although, here's another prediction: Nomar is going to crush this year...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

This just in... Jeremy used Roids

I know... I know... all of you guys lived with me at one time or another and I never asked any of you to stick a needle in my ass...

But I needed to come clean... I used roids...

Ok, all jokes aside, this is not a big suprise. A couple comments:

1. "His last stint in the majors was in 2003, when he batted .197 in 127 at-bats with the Red Sox." -- They totally over looked the fact that he also had 1 SB -- HE'S ONLY SB IN HIS CAREER!!!

2. "'If you don't know what he's apologizing for,'' Jeremy Giambi said, ``you must've been in a coma for two years.'" -- Thank you Jeremy, Reports, please shut up.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


Okay, there are 3 weeks and a day until Opening day. Is Schilling really not going to be ready? He is making progress toward appearing in a game - he threw BP yesterday. This likely means he will throw in a game in a few days, say Wednesday, Thursday. If that is the case, he could get into 4 games before the season starts.

Now don't get me wring, I love Schilling as much as the next guy, but does anyone else think this is Schilling being a bit of a drama queen again? Saying all this stuff about how its doubtful, etc. just so he will be an even bigger hero when he takes the mound April 3.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Spring Training (tm)

So the Giants just asked the comissioner's office if Bonds could DH at their home park, a request which has already been accepted for the Reds and Griffey. My initial response was, "Hold on -- they can't EXPAND the designated hitter rule!" but then I realized how stupid and reactionary that is. Spring Training used to be a time when teams just played games to get the rust off. I don't think MLB was even involved. And apparently you could walk over to the local bar and hang out with players after the game -- obviously things like that don't last, but even when I went to Fort Myers just 5 years ago the whole thing was totally relaxed -- a fun way to take in a meaningless game. But now it's different -- a Sox-Yankees (split squad!) game gets 150 reporters, half of New England is down there...and Spring Training is now Spring Training (tm). The whole thing's become almost as serious as the Regular Season [soon to be the Regular Season(tm)]. So I guess I'm happy that MLB is letting the teams bend the rules a bit -- it keeps the whole thing a bit loose. Even if it does mean we have to see more of Bonds.

On a related note, why exactly did Bonds get surgery on his right knee on January 31, and not, say, late last fall? I mean, given he had surgery on the LEFT knee back then, wouldn't it have made sense to...

Giambi -- not (exactly) a steroids post

Anyone else a little bit impressed with Jason Giambi so far? Like I said, I have zero sympathy for the guy, but he seems to be handling Spring Training (tm) quite well. Probably the most accessible player to the fans and the media right now, saying the right things...and (this is bad) showing signs of being the Moneyball guy he used to be. I honestly thought he would've crumbled by now. It'll be interesting to see how it all works out.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Mets = Disaster waiting to happen

It really is amusing to watch what is happening with that team. Originally I had picked them for third, and I still think they MAY finish there, but....

It almost seems like Minaya and Randolph are over their heads. Willie is going to try to be like Torre and Minaya simply overpaid for everyone without addressing some real needs (bullpen).

And now all the sniping about Delgado, plus Pedro throwing 60 pitches in his first game - 60!!! Looks like he is trying to hard to impress. Wanting NY to feel they made the right decision in spending all that money on him. And Willie kept him out there for 3 innings - how many other pitchers threw 3 innings in their debut this spring? None that I have heard of.


As a bit of a follow up to an earlier post.....

I agree Cashman is a classy guy - sure he is a bit arrogant at times, but all things considered, having to deal with the Boss and the NY media, he holds up pretty well. I do think he gets far too much credit for the early success he had in winning 4 WS in his first five years - the core of those championship teams was assembled by Watson and Michael.

I previously railed on Cashman for his sketchy trade record, now I have come across some interesting data (thank you, baseball prospectus) to support more criticism. Since 1996 (when Cashman first took over), the Yankees have drafted 9 players in the first round. And exactly one of them has played in the majors. And that was Eric Milton pitching for the Twins (of course the Yankees did get Knoblauch for him and you could argue he did help them win a couple WS - so Milton was a good pick.)

That is a pretty awful record. And most of the picks they had were not even close to being prospects (save maybe Eric Duncan - number 27 in 2003 - who probably will end up being just another overrated Yankee prospect). The Red Sox, who have been no gem themselves, but at least we can blame many of them on Duquette and the Sox have some good prospects from their recent first rounds - Phil Dumatrait and David Murphy in particular.

Some will say the Yankees pick to late in the draft to get an impact player, but that is a lame excuse. Players picked in either the first or second round after the Yankees picked (i.e., not some 6th round flyer that everyone underestimated, include Carlos Beltran, Jeff Weaver, Adam Dunn, Carl Crawford, and Bobby Crosby to name a few.

Mark Prior was actually drafted by the Yankees in the first round - but they did not want to pay him. So he went to college and the rest is history. It reminds me of the Sox drafting Mark Texeria and not signing him over an additional million or so.

And for the Yankees, the worst part here is that they should be able to use the draft to even further exploit their financial domination of other teams. These days, signability is more an issue than ever, meaning good players slip to later rounds. The Yankees could grab some of these players and use their millions to sign these players. I guess this doesn't fit with Steinbrenner's win now/big name philosophy.

I guess in the long run, I should be happy. I really do believe Cashman's record is abysmal. Its always nice to see the enemy be poorly managed.

Friday, March 04, 2005

A New Level of Respect for Millar

While all of New England was busy bashing Millar for his poor start last year, Millar was trying to overcome the fact that his wife had just miscarried. They had been trying to have a child for years. They went to in vitro. Finally, it took.

Then the miscarriage. But he didn't blame the miscarriage for his bad performance. He kept his nose to the grindstone and then exploded in the second half. According to his teammates, he didn't even tell them.

I am not all about cheering and ra-ra attitude, but Millar took a beating from the press, talk shows, callers, fans, etc...It just goes to show you that we always don't know of what we speak. For example, when Damon wasn't performing early in the 2003 season people were frustrated and took shots at him. He had just gone through, what was described as, a devastating divorce.

Millar just climbed another notch in my book. And, by the way, he's now expecting twins...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

A bit off topic

After reading way too many articles by Lupica where he whines and whines about NYC's olympic bid, I found this poll interesting. Lupica constantly says how nobody in NY wants the Olympics except Bloomberg. Funny, while not overwhelming it is nearly 60%. Hell, we elected a president with a lot less support and some were saying Bush had a mandate.

Of course if Bush had won 59-41, Lupica would still say how nobody wanted Bush as the president either. I wonder if he will shut up about the issue. Yeah, like that will actuall happen.

Edes on Sox Pitching

I just finished reading today's Gordon Edes' article in the Boston Globe. It left me perplexed. Here's a quote. Talk about going back far enough to find numbers to support your argument. He was trying to say that Sox fans should worry about their starting rotation come April.

" In seven seasons with the Sox, Martinez was 21-3 with 13 no-decisions in 37 April starts, with an ERA of 2.39." Ok, but in the past 3 years he was 8-3 with a 3.30 in April. That's a run higher than ALL previous years of Aprils and ALL of his losses. Last year he was 5-3 after May.

But Edes wanted to write an article on the Sox staff coming in to start the season. Wells hasn't missed an April start since '94. Edes concedes that point, but he tries to spin this uncertainty beneath that. Gordon, that is 10 years! Clement was awesome last year. Edes breezes by that point. Arroyo is healthy and should be solid. I don't expect him to be worse than last year. Schill is still on target for opening day. He might not go 8 innings in his April starts, but with the bullpen the Sox have, it doesn't matter. He will pitch 5-6 innings and build strength with each start.

So that's Clement, Wells, Arroyo, and Schilling. Then there's Wakefield who should be the same Tim we've always known...That's Schill, Wells, Clement, Wakefield, and Arroyo. Last year, Schill, Pedro, Lowe, Wakefield, and Kim. Which would you rather have? Plus, we will have Miller at some point (that's like trading for a huge arm), and maybe sooner than later.

What's the problem Gordon? Nothing else to write about?