Sunday, April 30, 2006

Unintended consequences

Whoda earlier post on all the hits this site gets from people searching for Hazel Mae pictures just led to more hits from people searching for Hazel Mae pictures. From the last 2 hours:Also, some Canadian has a blog devoted to Hazel Mae. Awesomely, it's called "Thoughts of Hazel Mae".

(Yes, I'm bored. But I have nothing good to say about the Red Sox right now so instead I'll just focus on stuff like this.)

Two (or more) Sunday thoughts

1) The Red Sox have hit their mid-summer doldrums about 2 months early this year. Yuck.
2) The Rays seem to have fans this year.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

What I have learned this Morning

I saw a special on the Marlins and their financial difficulties. Apparently they really do have the worst lease in baseball. No revenue from concessions, luxury boxes, parking, stadium signage or club seats. But the funniest part is listening to the Marlins talking heads complain about it. After all, they bought the team with the lease in place. It would be like me asking Calista Flockhart or Nicole Ritchie to marry me and then two years later start complaining that I really like voluptuous brunettes with lots of t&a. I swear some of these owners are incredulous. If they thought it was going to be easy to get a new stadium did Loria think that Huzienga and or John Henry (both fairly successful businessmen themselves) would have given up?

As most sports writers have a heard or gang mentality, I guess it shouldn't surprise me too much that we are hearing virtually nothing about the fact that the MLB CBA expires at the end of this season. Hopefully the owners and players will reach a settlement that averts a work stoppage. I think that the chances are pretty good - just like the recent NFL deal, there is just too much money to be lost. And with all the new sources of revenue, as long as the players don't get too greedy, there is non way they shouldn't reach an agreement.

And while I expect the major issues to be revenue sharing and luxury tax, there is one item in the current CBA that has received NO attention. Contraction. Granted everything could change in negotiations, but the current agreement calls for the owners to notify the players of their intention to contract teams (including which two teams) by July 1. So with the Expos now in DC and about to reap the owners a nice windfall and apparently MN getting a new stadium, it looks like contraction is not happening.

And I know I railed against the NFL draft, but two things from having it on - I don't know whats funnier, Matt Leinart looking like "what they hell is happening here" or the fact the ESPN can't seem to take the camera off him as he continues to slide and slide.

Apparently Jets fans (most of them anyway) can spell. J-E-T-S. Jets. Jets. Jets. Judging by the looks of most the characters at the draft, they should all be thankful they don't live in Jacksonville as I'm sure the spelling on that one would give them difficulty.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Jeff Passan Forum

About Jeff Passan. Welcome all. Jeff Passan - Pugilist or Pariah? Discuss.

Fun with Statcounter

Since the season began, and normal people - people who don't follow every minor transaction on the offseason - started tuning into in to Red Sox baseball again, the readership of this site has changed immensely. I say "readership" in the loosest sense, because it's pretty clear most of these new visitors aren't here to read. Instead, about 15%-25% of our hits are people looking for naked pictures of Hazel Mae. Thanks mostly to this post, made by X when he was very bored (and quite possibly drunk), the GYS Network is now the first site you get when googling "hazel mae boobs". And that is something a lot of people do; we've gotten 4 hits in the last day from that particular search. (Incidentally, the second site from the same search provides is an interesting read, describing Hazel Mae as being in a "dead-but-fuckable pose". Seriously.) "Hazel mae naked", "hazel mae breasts", and "hazel mae nude" are also quite popular. Some people like to type in questions: "Are Hazel Mae's breasts real?". But I think my favorite search term of the ones I've seen is "boobs of hazel mae"; not sure why I find that hilarious, but I do.

Well, I guess you get web traffic any way you can. I mean, obviously we aren't going to get us any readers from the quality of our Red Sox commentary, or our predictions. So if our only option is to make empty promises about topless pictures of hot C-list celebs, so be it.

Other interesting tidbits:
  • Since Kris Benson was traded to Baltimore, people pretty much stopped coming here looking for Anna Benson photos. I think her 15 minutes of fame - which unfortunately for us stretched into a year or so - are up.
  • Ben Grieve has a posse. 1-2% of our hits are from people trying to figure out what happened to him (mostly from this search).
  • Jeff Passan also has a posse. We get a fair number of hits from searches of his name, mostly from Dino's inexplicably titled post "Reading Jeff Passan is like snorting coke off the back of Anna Benson's naked body". At least one such visit was by Jeff Passan himself, who has the admirable ability to laugh at stuff like that. Strangely, over the next couple weeks random people kept finding that post, ranting about him in the comments section. One person (possibly Mr. Passan himself?) even got there by googling "jeff passan snorting coke anna benson". Terrifyingly, GYS is not the only site that comes up from that search.

Pitching, hitting, defense

The less said about last night's game, the better.

...So, how about those D-Rays?

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Not sure if you guys saw this video of the Delmon Young incident. When I first heard the story, I thought "oh he flipped his bat at the ump." No freakin way - he threw it at the ump. and threw it hard. They talk about 30 days that Rose got for shoving Vallone. Knowing that minor leaguers always get dealt with more severly, I say he is looking at a minimum of 60 days, if not 90 or even giving him an Artest rest of year. And if that happens (rest of year suspension), I look for the D-Rays to do something really stupid later this summer, like try to call him up.


Getting past Bard that is...10 in 5 games. He is on pace for 60, and while he may not get that many (as he has to get better at this, right?), he will definitely, if given the chance, break the current record of 36.

And Wake knows it...

Which is why it is time for a change. Now, Corky can't hit, but he can get hit...115 times so far, in a short career. And he can catch a knuckleball.

Wake's confidence is way down. You can see it. He is frustrated. You can hear it in his interviews. He defends Bard, but you know that inside it is bothering him. A LOT!

Bard reaches for all these pitches. I have yet to see him try to block pitches in the dirt. I can live with a guy who throws himself around back there, but Bard isn't even following catching 101. Use the body to block as much as you can.

I am not saying that it is easy to catch Wakefield. No way. However, this is the regular season and the experiment must stop. Both Huckaby and Corky can catch the knuckler, and Wake needs someone who can do that. The Sox should make a move.

Our depth in the OF isn't as deep as we thought...But, if we are going to play Wily Mo, then let's not play Mohr on the same night. Let Nixon play against lefties. Despite his splits, the guy is a better alternative than both Mo and Mohr playing. Let Mo play CF (apparently he has some wheels, so let's see them). Nixon and Manny will just have to back up a few plays, that's all.

Does Francona just throw up his hands in defeat whenever we face a lefty? That lineup last night was silly. If your catcher can't hit, don't put an equally bad hitter in CF. That's Gonzalez (why can't he hit anymore?), Mohr, and Bard. Terrible.

By the way, isn't it starting to feel like Sox teams of old? Where when you have your ace on the mound you know you are going to win, but any other day it is a crap shoot?

They have some things they can do to remedy some of these. They are wasting good outings by Wake with a ton of passed balls and no hitting. Here's a news flash...IF YOU ARE PLAYING THE SOX AND WAKEFIELD IS PITCHING...RUN A LOT (THE CATCHER CAN'T CATCH...YOU WON'T EVEN HAVE TO SLIDE..OR EVEN RUN THAT HARD)...ALSO, START A LEFTY...YOU ARE GUARANTEED A SOFT LINEUP...

No hitting from a B lineup and the bad defense behind the plate leading to a lot of free bases= loss...

I know the Sox are in first. I am not in a panic. Just needed a Thursday rant is all.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Clevelands Announcers

Following up from an earlier post where I had vowed to listen to and watch each announcer....

With the sox in Cleveland, this is the perfect opportunity to catch up with the Tribe. Radio Announcers - Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan.

Yesterday's game I observed that these guys are complete homers. Not in the Uecker-esque manner, but their excitement for when good things happen for the tribe. Screaming and yelling, but when Ortiz hit his homer yesterday - very monotonous call.

I Am in Need of Baseball Discussion

Ok, look...My wife is a Yankees fan, and my daughter is 10-months old (and WILL be a Red Sox fan)...I get no baseball discussion except here and there isn't much going on today.

So, someone talk about something...

How about how great Ben Grieve is? No, that is a very short discussion...

How about how the Sox lineup will suck tonight...? I know they sent Stern down because Willie Harris HAD to be brought up or we lose him...but, let's see...Let Willie Harris go! At least Stern could hit some...I know they want Stern to get some ABs in the minors, but Harris is not good. And with Lee (the lefty) going, I am expecting Wily Mo to be in RF...


Notes from the Other-side

So it wasn't quite the weekend, but here I am with another post. I read something today that was funny and I wanted to link to it. Deadspin reported that the YESNetwork's injury report was simply, "C. Pavano - Buttocks". I thought that was brilliant and I wanted to link it here.

So I rolled up my sleaves and ventured forth to the belly of the beast. My fingers burned with each additional key as I typed "Y-E-S-N-e-t...". I felt sick as I final clicked "go". Confused and feeling dirty, I couldn't find the injury report. I knew I could not spend long on this pseudo-forbidden site.

Then finally, my eye caught something: "Lowell Blow", which appears at the bottom of their Yankees page. The catchy tag reads, "The Little League in Lowell, Mass., has banned teams from being named 'Yankees.' The adults love it, but the children don't".

I had to read more. I swallowed my pride and clicked one step deeper. Expecting to see a story littered with examples of rude Red Sox parents and their poor confused children, I was shocked to find a couple of mild examples twisted into a story about rabid Sox fans. The best part is that the only evidence the author provides with regards to the unhappy children is a one-line intrepretation of the photos on the Spinner's Web-site. AMAZING!

Better yet, the piece then turns into a fluff piece about Jeter growing up a Yankees fan. It starts out with a retrospective image of Jeter, age 11, wearing his Yankees cap. I couldn't read anymore.

By the way, the Lowell program is donating all of the Yankee uniforms to little leagues in NY that can't afford uniforms!!! Some little Jeter wannabe gets to have a Yankees hat this Spring, thanks to the Lowell Spinners.

I have now closed my browser and cleared my history. I then ran spybot search and destroy to make sure any and all cookies were removed. I feel so dirty, I hope you all appreciate it!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This Week in Cleveland

If you look at the matchups in this series, you can feel pretty good about the Sox coming out of the Jake taking at least 2 of 3.

Game 1
Schill v Westbrook...Schill is on fire, and after dropping 2 of 3 to Toronto, I know Schill goes into this one looking to become 5-0 on the season, but MORE importantly looking to continue to pace the Sox. Westbrook, while talented, has been struggling a bit this season (2-2 5.93 ERA). While he may pitch well this time out, I don't look for him to out-pitch Schill in the opener.

Game 2
Wakefield v Lee...Wakefield has pitched well enough to be 3-1, but a lack of run support sets him up with the opposite record. The potent Indians lineup will be looking to tee off on any knuckler that doesn't knuckle. Look for Wake to keep them off-balance by mixing in the curve and fastball. Lee, however, goes for the Indians. He's been as close as they get to a staff ace. And being a talented lefty this spells trouble for the Sox.

Game 3
Beckett will come out on fire in the closing game of this series. He must harness that aggression and pound the strike zone. As we've seen Beckett's emotions can get the best of him early on. You don't want to fall behind the hitters in this lineup. The Indians counter with Paul Byrd. After a stellar season last year, Byrd is off to nothing less than a poor start. He enters this game at 2-2 with a 9-plus ERA. If he's not sharp, the Sox cruise.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Monday morning rant

So I know second-guessing the manager has been around for as long as baseball has - there have always been fans who are pretty sure they could win 162 games if they just had the chance. But it seems to me that lately the second-guessing in RSN has reached record-high levels. I'm not sure if it's all the new fans, or simply the fact that the internets let people express their opinion publicly (probably some combination of the two), but it's gotten bad. For example, people are still complaining about Tito's decision in Friday's game to let Beckett pitch in the 8th (despite the fact that he had only thrown 78 pitches, and was hitting 96 mph). But I can't find a single game thread where anyone had a problem with sending him out there at the time. And can you imagine the outrage if Beckett didn't come out? Timlin was pretty bad (as he had been for the previous couple outings...though yesterday he looked good), so might've tied it then and there. And everyone would've blamed Francona for not sending Beckett out there. It's ridiculous.

Of course, you can never prove that such fans are hypocrites, since we don't have an "alternate reality" machine. A machine where we get to see how people would react if Lowell or Varitek got hurt by starting every single day, or if Manny or Wily Mo made some ridiculous baserunning or defensive gaffe instead of Nixon. But that's just the point: in baseball, we don't have such a machine, and it's stupid to pretend that we do. If a particular gamble has a 55% chance of working, and a 45% of failing, you go for it. Every time. (Assuming the cost:benefit ratio is about 1:1). It won't work out nearly half the time, but over the course of the season, it will: 55% is almost enough to get you in the playoffs (more than enough if you're the NL West). Really: what were the odds of Beckett giving up 2 homers, and Lowell committing an error, in that one inning? Unless you honestly think they were better than the odds of the bullpen screwing up (and if that's the case, I'd argue you haven't been paying attention), then you'd be wrong to complain.

And on top of just the stupidity of armchair managing with the benefit of hindsight, there are other considerations as well. Who knows what's really going on in the clubhouse? What players are in pain, which ones have the trainers worried about potential injuries, etc. Only the coaching staff and the front office knows for sure (hopefully). And people need to stop pretending that Francona does everything in a vacuum - one reason he's a good match for the Red Sox is that not only that is he a players' manager, and deals with the media well, but also he listens to our statistically-minded front office. Does anyone really believe he and Theo don't talk about lineups, and defensive replacements, and use of the bullpen? And also: what about the ban of greenies? I can't say I agree with Tito's "JV squad" approach towards giving guys rest, but my guess is he, and the front office, are very concerned about players' energy levels dropping precipitously in August and September. If our best players are ready to go in those months, and other teams' best players aren't, I'm all for all the extra rest.

Okay, I'm done ranting. That felt good.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Thank goodness!

I would not want to head into the offday on the heals of a four game losing streak.

Question for Monday - Keith Foulke. After two very strong appearances this weekend. Is he back? Discuss.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

DiNardo vs. Halladay

So that, uh, worked out well. Brace yourself for all the "Shoulda kept Arroyo" comments tomorrow.

Update: too late. Turns out some Sox fans held "Bring Back Arroyo" signs at yesterday's game. Sigh.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Through five innings tonight, a couple of thoughts.

It is still hard to believe that my beloved Red Sox flash such leather. The play by Lowell throwing from his butt was impressive.

I'm sure glad whoever was running the front office was able to veto John Henry who allegedly wanted to sign Burnett rather than trade for Beckett. AJ just looks like a guy getting ready to give up the big hit. And Beckett looks good firing those mid 90 BBs toward homeplate.

And Josh is one guy you want on your team. Imagine how much we would hate him in pinstripes. I love how its okay for Beckett to yell at Hillenbrand and Howard for not playing the game right and/or showing him up, but its okay for him to scream profanities, bounce around and pump his fists after a strikeout.

2-1 Red Sox Appearance Record

So 2 out of 3 ain't bad. I implemented the Bukowski-method, but was early enough to catch most of the first inning. I would have been earlier if I didn't try to upgrade my tickets. The lack of scalpers was striking. Here are a couple more general observations:

1. Scalpers are nuts. I tried to upgrade my tickets to the nice seats for giggles and they wanted WAY too much money. Although I love the reverse pyschological approach they take, by asking for tickets instead of saying they have tickets.
2. The concession stands at the top of the Grandstands behind home plate are TERRIBLE.
3. Fans that go to the game for a social event are often very annoying. The guy in front of me was on his phone the entire time and would stand up at random moments to make it easier for his friends to spot him.
4. Sitting in the nice seat when all the fans pour out in the late innings is awesome! The game is completely different up close.
5. Bud Light is not as bad as Budweiser, it's less sweet.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


From The Sporting News, the AL: East Preview sidebar:

When asked by Twins manager Ron Gardenhire for the secret to beating the Yankees, ex-pinstriper Ruben Sierra says, "Play them in October."

More Evidence

That Carl really luvs Kenji. This is twice this season already! X, how about we make that bet again, Everett hits over 20 HR?

2-0 Red Sox Appearance Record

At the risk of scaring even more people away, I would like to say I am undefeated in my Red Sox Appearance Record. That could all change drastically tonight as it appears that I will be attending my first full series! Only a couple of additional observations:

1. There is a really expensive "good beer" stand under the bleachers (Harp, Guiness, Smithwicks).
2. Varitek has this habit of "clapping" his glove right as the pithcer delivers. I have never seen this before, so I don't know if it was just last night.
3. Adam Stern is a lot of fun to watch in the outfield. I thought he died when he hit the wall.
4. Wigginton showed some good spirit when he caught a fly-ball (after his atrocious error) and he pumped his fist for the crowd!
5. The D-rays play a 4 outfield set when Ortiz is batting. It's totally crazy.

Schilling and the Rocket

I haven't seen this written about anywhere, but last night in the post game interview, Schilling gave a 2-minute shout out to Clemens. For the most part, it was an open invitation to return to baseball.

Now...with that said...

If Clemens were to return, when would he have to resume "baseball activities"? I would think within the next couple of weeks (like 2-3 weeks).

What could Roger take from this season so far?

That the Sox are finding ways to win the games where they don't score a lot of runs. That they are playing ridiculous defense. And that there pen is strong. Also, the Sox have ridiculous depth at almost every position. That Schilling, Beckett, Clemens would be an unbelievable combination of starters.

Conclusion? The Sox could very easily contend for the Series this year.

But, what else?

That Houston is off to a 10-5 start. That without leaving Texas he could also contend. That if he joined the Astros in the NL, that they could possibly run away with the pennant.

However, is winning the NL enough?
Are the Astros strong enough to win the series?
Are the Sox?
And let's not forget the Wild Card NY Yankees. They will need pitching. Randy Johnson (let's finally face it) will NEVER return to the dominating guy he was for the entire season. Mussina will not hold up for the entire season. Chacon is already out of the rotation, and Aaron Small won't save them. Also, too many teams will be in contention for the Yankees to go and trade for someone...Basically, Roger could get $20MM for half a season from NY.

But, I have to say that Schill might swing the vote. Schill is setting a silly pace for the rest of the pitchers in the league. Last year Roger did that. Schill can tell Roger what it is like to win a WS in Boston. He can play that sentimental card. And, let's face it, the Sox would run away with Clemens in the rotation. As it has been said many times before, Roger would come full circle in his career and wrap it up with a championship in Boston.

Where would you go?

Always good for a laugh

A piece on the Cubs. Best part is midway down on Prior.

I figured I need to start some conversation around here. I think everyone is speechless or scared that Dino has emerged from hibernation.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

1-0 Red Sox Attendence Record

Well, I've got the season off to a good start. I actually applied the Earl strategy to last night's game. This involves Bukowski's, beer, and burgers for the first inning or two and then heading over to Fenway. I find Earl's method to be a great approach especially if there is a potential for rain delay, which was mild last night, but whatever it's still less expensive then eating at Fenway and the beer is WAY better.

Here are a couple of observations, made from Fenway.

Given: The game is SO MUCH better LIVE (no d'uh, but I thought I had a good read on this team and a couple of things change last night)
1. Pena is not comfortable in the field, neither is Youk. I think Youk has done a great job so far, but you can tell that he's not settled into first yet. They didn't rule it an error, but there was a line drive right at him that he missed. I was a bit suprised because it was the type of play at third you see them at least get a glove on. I think the whole keeping the runner honest/on is a bit tough to adjust to.
2. Clement has no filth. Again, I knew that coming into the game, but it's SO OBVIOUS when you see him pitch. Regardless, he pitched as well as I could expect and would have won the game if it weren't for Timlin :-) (See number 4)
3. Papelbon, who some people are trying to call "JP", who I am calling "02130" could not locate his slider to save his life. We'll chalk up last night to character building, and hope that's not a sign of something else.
4. Timlin is on a secret mission to steal wins from starting pitchers. I think he pitches better mad. Can we do something like put tabasco in his water instead of letting him into the game with inherited runners? He did kick the first base line dirt on his way off the field. That's at least a good sign that he knows what he did.
5. Pena worked a clutch walk last night, but no one cheered?!
6. Adam Stern is AMAZING, except at bunting! I am actually suprised that he didn't show bunt and pull back for a push-bunt or whatever that is called. The D-rays third baseman was charging before the pitch. I know it's hard to see that when you're at the plate, but bunting in that case made NO SENSE. It was an out! I'd rather try to see him hit behind the runners. Of course, that could have led to a double-play, but it didn't seem like they had much of a chance to move the runner over to third once the Drays knew he was bunting. He made up for it in spades with that catch - unbelieveable!!!
7. Papi's opposite field line drive was one of the best piece of hitting I have ever witnessed. He was in total command during that at bat.
8. Budweiser is really crappy beer.
9. The fans at fenway are intense. This is an early season game against the D-rays and I stood for half the game! AWESOME!!!
10. The new changes to the park look great (from the outside).

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The hate continues

People are going batshit crazy over how awful Wily Mo Pena is. Already he's getting booed for doing the exact same things in RF that Nixon does (only without, you know, hurting himself). His stats in his first 9 games:

6-for-23 (.261), 3R, 2 RBI, 9 SO, 1 HR, .346 OBP, .522 SLG, .868 OPS

Terrible. And if you think that's bad, back in 2003 you must have been livid about the first 9 Sox games of another platoon player and slugger, who also contributed nothing defensively:

6-for-31 (.194), 4R, 4 RBI, 5 SO, 0 HR, .324 OBP, .290 SLG, .614 OPS

Truly awful - why was he even kept in the lineup? We should've known right then and there that that bum ("David Ortiz") wasn't going to amount to anything.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Sunday, April 16, 2006


So there seems to be a lot of panic about the lack of offense. Shut out in the 11th game of the season, whereas it took 67 games for it to happen last year. It's troubling, but didn't we see this coming? We knew the offense would suffer, but the expectation was that the pitching would be improved. And it clearly has. Yes, Clement, Wells (now on the DL), and Wake each has had one awful start , but the Sox have now won 3 games in which they scored 2 runs or fewer. That matches last year's total. That's something to be happy about. And the bullpen ERA is over a point better than it was year.

Hopefully I didn't just jinx them. But it seems a little early to panic.

P.S. anyone else notice that people seem happier with a mellow, no-complaints Manny who slugs .200 than they are with a spacey, wants-out-of-Boston Manny who slugs .600?

P.P.S. Also, a proposed rule: anyone who laments the Sox lack of offense has no right also lamenting the Arroyo-Wily Mo trade. Guy has an OPS over 1, thank you.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

So THAT'S why there's an East Coast bias...

Last night I went to my first MLB game of the season, Dodgers-Giants. The game was delayed over 2 hours, due to rain. And this was SoCal rain - a light intermittent drizzle, something they'd probably play through in Boston or New York or Baltimore. So after an endless documentary on the Dodgers from ca. 1988 ("Mike Scioscia: Dodgers catcher 1980-present"), the game finally began around 9:45. When it did, the stadium was half empty (or half full, if you're into that), and only got emptier as the game progressed.

I just kept thinking: this is the big West Coast baseball rivalry? The only sign of life by the fans was the loudness of the "Barry Sucks" chants. (And yes, my proposed signs were far more awesome than anything the Dodgers fans said or did.) Pretty sad. X pretty much nailed it beforehand: "Most Boston-TB games have more intensity." Of course, there's an upside to crappy fanbases like that: we all got free tickets to a game in late May, just for sticking around. Goooo Rockies!

(Speaking of which, a little trivia: Jamey Wright had 132 starts for the Rockies, the starts by a single pitcher in team history. Also, his ears are terrifyingly huge.)


(a followup to this.)


Today's lineup features Stern, Cora, Snow, Bard, and Gonzalez. I can't think of the last time the Sox lineup was that weak. Seriously, what's Terry thinking? Why give Loretta and Lowell the day off when Wake is pitching (taking Tek out of the lineup)?

Reason number 5,209,367

That I am glad I live in California. With this news, the airwaves will be buzzing with all sorts of nonsense.

I'm sure 850AM will have all sorts of talk about how the Sox should not have traded Arroyo, blah, blah, blah. As was discussed at 12 Eight, the Arroyo/Pena trade has not been universally embraced. Admittedly, I liked the deal, while recognizing that there was some risk, but also that there is upside and backup plans. Complicating this matter is that it is Wells who is hurt. Wells was roundly booed in his start - a product largely, in my opinion, of his desire to leave the Sox. I disagree that Bronson was a huge fan favorite (well except with the ladies), but as long as Wells is hurt and Wily Mo is not hitting .300/.400./600, the Big O will be whining his ass off.

As for the backup plans, they probably didn't think they would need to deploy them just yet. At least, apparently, they will give the start to DiNardo and not mess with the current bullpen rotation which is working very well.

So there you have it. For those in Boston, do yourself a favor and avoid 850 AM for the next few days.

Friday, April 14, 2006


As a follow up to yesterdays post, it appears that Johnson left the game due to unspecified stiffness. I would have to say the NY papers certainly missed an opportunity.


Over at Joy of Sox are the stats for each of Lilly's regular-season appearances against the Red Sox (he's also pitched against them once in the postseason). We all know he owns the Sox, no matter who's in the lineup, but this jumps out at me:

Prior to October 4, 2003: (26 IP): 0-2, 5.54 ERA, 1.57 WHIP
Since then (inc. postseason): (76.2 IP): 5-1, 2.58 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

I assume this has been pointed out before, but October 4, 2003 was Game 3 of the ALDS, before which some Boston players wore L-I-L-L-Y on their backs to get the fans chanting. It was pretty bush-league; I guess the team's paying for it now.

(Note: Lilly has not become a substantially better pitcher since that day. His lifetime ERA prior to that was 4.68. It's barely budged since then, at 4.66.)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Two annoying items in the news...

...that we've discussed recently.

1) This is what I never got about Bonds: he had immunity from prosecutors for everything except perjury. So why the hell did he perjure himself? Now there's an investigation, and this whole situation's just going to get worse. Just think about how better things would be right now had he told the truth a couple years ago. Yes, the imaginary asterisk would be put on his HR record, but that was bound to happen anyway. But by this point he could have been through the whole vilification and redemption Giambi experienced, and maybe by now some people would actually be excited about him chasing Ruth. And of course, he wouldn't be in trouble with the law. More importantly, baseball would've had to deal with the steroid issues earlier, and avoided the embarrassment of Game of Shadows and this ridiculous investigation. It's all just so stupid, and all the fault of one guy who was so egotistical he thought he could lie under oath and get away with it. I'm pretty disgusted.

2) On a less serious note, I hope this guy languishes in the minor leagues until he's 40.

Programming Alert - stay tuned

I’m not sure if there is a story here. But The Big Unit did not come out for the 6th in NY. 4 hits. Only 1 Run and only 87 pitches.
And its not a blow out – although given KC’s bullpen it probably will be soon.

Could he be hurt?

Everyone's doing it...

...but nobody's doing it right. As X pointed out in a while back, you have to balance home runs hit with home runs given up. On that score:


Why do I have a feeling this will be a blowout by the end of the season?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ben Grieve's Quest to Return to the Majors Watch, Part I

A couple months ago, in order to stay on top of All Things Ben Grieve, I set up a "Google News Alert", to email me any time there was a new article with "Ben" and "Grieve" in it. Unfortunately, now any time some community finds themselves grieving over the loss of someone named Ben, I get an email, which is pretty depressing. As a result, I haven't been paying very close attention. And it turns out I missed this article from almost a month ago. Basically, he's a really, really nice guy, with an unusual sense of perspective for a baseball player. Making me feel really bad about this. No more meanness from me.

Go Ben.

Its that time again

Book review. This month's entry - Game of Shadows. I know, I know. I just can't help myself. these books come out and I say "I'm not going to buy into this crap." And yet I do.

Things I knew (or thought I knew) Before I Read Game of Shadows:

Barry Bonds is an ego-maniac
Barry Bonds took steroids
Lots of Olympic athletes cheat
The SF Chronicle guys and the FBI Agents don't really like Barry
Barry Bonds had an affair and threatened to kill the woman
Victor Conte is a buffoon
Barry is a dick

Things I know after reading GOS:

Barry Bonds is an ego-maniac
Barry Bonds took steroids
Lots of Olympic athletes cheat
The SF Chronicle guys and the FBI Agents don't really like Barry
Barry Bonds had an affair and threatened to kill the woman
Victor Conte is a buffoon
Barry is Dick (Greg Anderson mockingly called him His Highness, behind his back)

So there you have it. While it was interesting at times and there is tons of detail, there really is nothing new for anyone that has even remotely followed the situation. About the closest things that come as revelations are confirmation that the lead FBI agent pretty much began the whole BALCO investigation to get Bonds. And a lot of detail on the mishandling by the US Attorneys office, who despite a mountain of evidence and virtual public admissions (hell, he was bragging) by Conte - they dropped all but 2 of the 40+ charges and Conte did 4 months in prison. And they go NO names out of him. Needless to say the FBI and the SF US Attorneys office are not happy with one another.

The only other thing I found very interesting is that Barry often referred to Anderson as his life long best friend, which was patently not true. They really did not become friends until 93 when Bonds came to SF. Worth noting.

Nothing new - that was the disappointing part. Entertaining at times. I have read much worse.

And Now for the Outfield

Ok, so yesterday's save opportunity was not Foulke's fault. Wily Mo (for the second time in his short MLB career) has bounced a ball from his glove to the stands in Fenway. In the end, it doesn't matter as the Sox won, but Foulke can't catch a break...

Anyway, with that said, let's discuss the OF. If, say, the Yankees had Sheffield and Damon go down with injuries, they'd be in BIG trouble. But the Sox are, actually, not going to suffer too much from Crisp and Nixon being out for a little while.

Now, Stern is not Crisp, but Youk was money in the leadoff spot yesterday, so Stern hitting down near the bottom of the order isn't bad...Plus, he can hit. Also, he is solid defensively, and has a pretty good arm. This won't kill us, and it isn't like we are losing a lot of power from the lineup.

Wily Mo scares me, and he can't go to the minors to learn how to play. This move was a huge gamble with a huge possible upside, but this is a wasted roster spot that they can't clear for the entire year if they have to...I am sure after a year or so of working with Ortiz and Manny and working out in Fenway's strange outfield that he'll improve, but this is going to be tough to watch this year.

Dustin Mohr was solid in spring training. He's a pretty good fielder with some pop. If they move Tek to the five-hole, and maybe put Mohr ahead of Lowell in the lineup, they should be ok. Plus, this was a "tweak" without pain. They just want Trot to rest it up a little. 5 days or so...

So, my lineup...

1B Youk
2B Loretta
DH Ortiz
LF Manny
C Varitek
RF Mohr
3B Lowell
CF Stern
SS Rodriguez

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bronson Arroyo...

...with another HR. Tying him for the team lead, on a team with Dunn, Kearns, and Griffey. And again on a day when Griffey homers. Insane. Here we go with all the "Arroyo 2, Wily Mo 0" headlines.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Where's Waldo

So, read this profile, as painful as it may be. And tell me, what sticks out the most (pun intended).


So David Ortiz is in Boston through 2010, possibly 2011. Which is awesome. But the press conference itself was unusual in that it was so much fun to watch. Obviously it's always a joy to hear Ortiz talk. But it speaks volumes that Theo can sit right next to him and tell a bunch of reporters that the Sox front office and players generally don't agree on a player's value. And the best part was when John Henry interjected after Lucchino was done answering a question (about their desire to sign Ortiz) and said something to the effect of (I'm paraphrasing; no transcript yet):
Near the beginning of the negotiations, David and his people made it abundantly clear how strongly he felt about the team, and the city of Boston, and the fans, and that he really wanted to stay. That was something...well, something we'd never experienced before. And it really helped both sides get focused on getting the deal done.
That was nothing short of a slam on Pedro and Damon. Pretty shrewd.

Coco so-so or Coco no-go?

The media circus over this one possibly broken, possibly jammed finger is amazing. Joy of Sox is keeping track of the individual, mostly conflicting, media reports. I don't remember it being anything like this back in 2002 when Manny broke his finger, which honestly was a much bigger deal. The amount of hysteria from the sports media this seem like, I dunno, the Sinking of the Lusitania or something.

And with that Sinking of the Lusitania reference, I have exhausted my entire knowledge of world history from high school. Oh yeah, except for some stuff about the Fertile Crescent. And the Magna Carta. But after those things came the Sinking of the Lusitania. And then Princess Di got married, and that brings us to today, the day which Coco Crisp may or may not have broken his finger.

The Papelbon Experiment

Ok, so this may be a touchy subject, but...

I think Papelbon should already NOT be our closer. In yesterday's game, his velocity was down and his location was off. I believe that this was a direct result of him pitching the night before and then having to come back and pitch the next afternoon. Now, if he had 24-hours (a night game to night game), he might be better, but he looked pretty bad yesterday.

Don't get me wrong, I am a huge Papelbon fan. However, I'd like to see him in more 2-innings pitched situations as a setup man.

Wells is coming back this week, and who knows? He might be great. I certainly think that Wells has a large ego, and he will be focused based on how well the rest of the starting staff has pitched. I expect nothing short of typical Wells.

With that said, I also expect Wells to DL it at some point this year, and I'd prefer Papelbon to DiNardo or Alvarez or Lester in the rotation. Flat out, he's the best choice.

Secondly, it would be easier to replace Papelbon as a setup man than a starter. Delcarmen, Hansen or other (even Lester) could fill that effectively. And let's not forget that Tavarez (when not beating people up) is another great setup man. DiNardo might have a good spot start, but do you want him pitching every fifth day?

Thirdly, Foulke is back. And I will stand by this. He had a great spring. He had a rough first outing, but it wasn't an explosion. Yes, there were some good plays behind him, no doubt...But only one run. His second outing was 10 pitches or so. And he was electric yesterday. His fastball had pop on it...His changeup looked unhittable. He's ready, and he's proven. I was expecting Foulke to come out and finish the game yesterday after that 8th inning. (I think it was a bad idea to bring Papelbon out to start the got even worse after the leadoff double and hit batsman). Where do we go after him? Seanez? Riske? Yikes! Let Foulke start that inning. He was unhittable...

I have no problem with Tavarez, Papelbon, and Timlin being the setup guys. That's 6-innings from a starter...And with this rotation (Schill, Wake, Beckett, Clement, Wells) more times than not, that is nothing. Moving Pap out of the closer role allows you to stretch him out a little for if (and when) he has to move into a starting role. Again, I'd rather have him on the hill than the alternatives. And then you can (as we all really, really want) DFA Riske and bring up Delcarmen.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


I suppose there are a lot of little things about the Sox's play I could be worried about, but it's pretty hard to complain. For the first time since October 2004, the pitching is decent, if not excellent. It's April 9th, and the Sox have won three games in which the offense was unable to score more than 4 runs. In 2005, their third win with 4 or fewer runs scored didn't happen until... May 5. By that point they were 3-10 in those situations.

Unfortunately, the Yanks' offensive hiatus seems to be over, with a 10-1 win over the Los Anahangels, putting my fantasy teams in serious, serious trouble. On the bright side, at least we get treated to headlines like "Yankees Beat up on Angels' Colon". Tee hee!

update: okay, so I might as well post them all...
Yankees manhandle Colon - the News Tribune
Shaky Colon ripped for eight runs - LA Daily News
Yankees show some clout by clobbering Colon - Boston Glob
Colon can't keep Yankees down - Ventura County Star
Colon Cures Yankee Slump - LA Times
Yankees thump Colon - St. Petersburg Time

A question

In last night's MFY-LAAAAA game, Adam Kennedy made a relatively weak hit up the right field line. But he got a triple out of it: even though relay throw easily beat him to the 3rd, and A-Rod was ready to apply the tag, he kicked it out of A-Rod's glove and it went flying up. No one was backing A-Rod up, but luckily for them it only bounced a couple feet away, and A-Rod walked over and picked it up. My question is: what if it had hit the third base coach? I assume if the coach deliberately prevented it from, say, dribbling into left field, they'd be penalized, but what's the penalty? And what if it wasn't so deliberate?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Schill is looking good

But now that its the 7th and lead man on, I'm wondering if we are already seeing the downstream effects of our supposedly stonger bullpen. Is Tito thinking I need to get Schill through 7 and have Papelbon and Timlin each throw an inning? And he does not trust Riske, Seanez, Dinardo and Foulke in a one run game? Hurry back Julian.....

Friday, April 07, 2006

Note to Sox hitters facing Daniel Cabrera


If the Season Ended Today

Ok...This is totally just for fun...But using current standings, how likely are any of these teams to make the playoffs?

The following teams are in first place.

AL East
Red Sox (Very likely)
Blue Jays (unlikely)
Orioles (no way)

AL Central
Detroit (no way)

AL West
Mariners (no way)

AL East
Mets (likely)

AL Central
Brewers (not this year)
Cards (absolutely)

AL West
Arizona (nope)
Giants (possibly)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Earl on Bonds

So my friend got us tickets to next Friday's Dodgers-Giants game. I figure I'd better get started right away making clever anti-Barry Bonds signs to bring with me. Here's what I've come up with so far:



Any other suggestions? I know these ones aren't great, but I bet they're a hell of a lot more clever, and more subtle, than the ones the Dodgers fans will come up with.

(Also, there are some awesome new Grady and Nomar quotes over at Dodger Blues.)

Random Thoughts on a Thursday

Beckett was great...Papelbon was great...Timlin was lucky...I think the only reason Texiera was called out on that play was because the ball beat him there by a lot. I actually think that the tag was high...

Francona's explanation about using Papelbon was weak, but I don't long as the Sox won.

Papelbon might be awesome as a closer, but this team needs Foulke. Papelbon will need to start here and there this year.

Nice to see how good the Yankees defense is...Cano with 2 errors. Wright explodes. The Yankees lose....THeeee heeee Yankees lose.

Manny is off to a similar start compared to last year. I think...I can't remember because his numbers were pretty damned impressive by season's end.

How great is Loretta? Totally professional hitter and solid glove man.

Here's a little prediction...The Sox will make a move at some point this season for a first baseman with a bat. Youk and Snow aren't going to cut it over there.

Some early (VERY early surprises)...Seattle takes 2 of 3 from LAA. Twins pound on Toronto's bullpen yesterday. The O's offense looks good. Of course they've faced the Rays, but I thought the Rays would have more oomph early this year...The Braves miss Leo Mazzone so far...They've had to outslug the Dodgers to win those games.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Random Kameron Loe observations

  1. He's really pitching well tonight.
  2. Both his first and last names are misspelled.
  3. Dude's chin is HUGE.

Cincinnati-Chicago game

Bronson Arroyo with a home run! First for his career. So far for 2006 he has as many HR's as Ken Griffey Jr., Austin Kearns, and Adam Dunn, combined.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Interesting Blue Jay Facts

So one of the things I plan on doing this year is listening to the radio and TV announcers for every major league team. The beauty of satellite TV and radio, plus my obsession with baseball, should make this a slam dunk. Of course, this ambition may lose some steam in August when the -Rays, Royals and Rockies remain on my list. But for now, I'm ready.

First up - Blue Jay announcers. BJ home opener vs. Minnesota.

The radio announcers (I think Jerry Howarth and Mike Wilner) so far seem pretty decent. Howarth has a little bit of the Scully thing going. They both seem a bit generic in their call. But overall (through 2 innings), they appear solid. Calling it pretty straight, which I would expect for opening day. The color guy is VERY quiet. Of course there is not much to add in this game so far. But you would think on the first game of the season and the first time through the lineups, he would have something to say.

Jays tidbits - I nearly swallowed by tongue when I learned that this was the Blue Jays 30th season. Christ, I'm getting old.

The Jays have the best record in home openers in all of baseball. Something like 22-7. That coupled with Baltimore winning their 6th straight opener last night - made me think "hey wait, they both can't play the Red Sox every year in their opener."

Thsi is the first season ever that they Jays have not had a rookie on their opening day roster.

Apparently Kelly Gruber is one of the most beloved Blue Jays of all time. My personal favorite was John Cerrutti.

No Blue Jay has ever hit for the cycle.

Dave Steib is the winningest pitcher in club history (175 wins). That seems like a lot for a team that has been around for only 30 years. For perspective, SEA has Moyer at 139.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Oh no

Tino Martinez is a new Baseball Tonight analyst. This makes me very sad. Unlike, say, Kruk, or Brantley, or Dibble, or Bowa, or Valentine, I actually like the guy. But he's terrible. I'm hoping it's first day jitters, but I'm not so sure. He had all offseason to work on his very first "Most Important Thing", and he came up with "Any team can win the World Series". Yeah, Tino, like your 2004 Tampa Bay Devil Rays (70-91)? Ugh.

[that said, nice job by ESPN2, carrying 4 consecutive Opening Day games. Hard to complain about that.]

That felt weird.

Not used to them winning on Opening Day. We're usually in last place at this point in the season. Not sure what to say here, except random thoughts...Curt looked good, Foulke not so much. I've always said I'd take 1 of 2, but it still worries me...and the 117 pitches for Curt is, uh, interesting...Ortiz is still a monster...the new guys (Lowell, Crisp, Loretta, Gonzalez) each got a hit, with all but Gonzalez getting an R or for Kevin Milwood: welcome to Arlington!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Predictions- NL and Awards

At Earl's suggestion.....

NL East

ATL - until they are knocked off....
NYM - Only because everyone else is worse (WC)
PHL - Tom Gordon and Ryan Howard dissapoint
WAS - Nothing there
FLA - a no brainer, although look for them to be good early and then fade

Central - considering about the biggest acquistion in the division is Encanarcion for STL, I expect things to be pretty much the same as last year

HOU - Clemens rejoins June 1
MIL - some pretty good pitching and a young Prince
CUBS - Prior and Wood are not that good (if they can't pitch 200 innings)
PIT - good young pitching but not much else
CIN - the fact that Arroyo may be their best pitcher should tell you everything you need to know

West - a crapshoot again

LA - why not. They are practically the Red Sox.
SFG - If Barry plays 120 games they could be number 1.
SD - They will have the other tall pitcher that disappoints this season
AZ - Josh Byrnes has a plan, it just won't be ready this year.
COL - Sam old, same old

MVPs - Pujols, A-rod (unless Ichiro does something crazy like hit .400)
ROY - Prince Fielder, Kenji
CY Young - Santana, Peavy
Manager of they year - Ned Yost, Ken Macha
First manager fired - Hargrove
most likely head explosion (some many good candidates....) - Pedro (I had to venture outside the totally obvious candidates Bonds, Sheff, Guillen, Everett, Bradley)

Journalism 101

So is it pretty much a given that CHB writes an article tomorrow giving his "prediction" for the upcoming baseball season. And since it is 20 years after 1986, his logical result will be the Mets defeating the Red Sox in the WS. Or will it be that the Sox will atone for '86 by beating the Mets and further reversing the memory of the Curse (furthering his own legend.)