BUCKNER WAS FRAMED!
Red Sox fans are NOT Charlie Brown futilely trying to kick a football. Red Sox fans are like Linus patiently waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive on a late October night.
Friday, February 27, 2004
I liked the AP article at ESPN today about Manny letting bygones be bygones:
"I'm happy to be back with the guys. What happened in the winter happened, and it's in the past." Glad to hear Manny is going to give it 110% and take it one game at a time. :-P Go get em Manny!
Anybody read the Ted Robinson article about the softball pitcher striking out MLB All-Stars at:
Good stuff there. If Jamie Moyer can have 20 win seasons and a long career anybody wonder what the odds are that a woman could be a MLB pitcher someday? If she had really phenomenal skills? Just curious.
Anybody catch the ESPN poll listing Buckner's ball as the most infamous baseball in the game's history? I hope Calvin Schiraldi feels bad about that.
Glad to read that Barry Bonds is willing to be tested for Steroids everyday. That's a relief. Now I can sleep well tonight and stop wondering how he went from looking like Kenny Lofton to looking like The Rock.
And Bonds' trainer's attorney has come out saying Bonds "never took anything illegal." Hi kids, can you say "Carefully-worded-and-overly-qualified-answer"? I knew ya could.
Jeff Kent says not to jump to conclusions. Babe Ruth could have been on steroids... nobody knows for sure. Hmmmm thanks for the input Jeff. Thank goodness we have him to be the devil's advocate. Hope he hasn't slipped off his truck while washing it lately.
Jayson Stark had a good piece at ESPN.com about the Yankees spending today. His article starts with this line:
Headline on IronicTimes.com:
Yankees sign Roy Hobbs, Joe Hardy, Mighty Casey
He talks about how all the talk about a salary cap is all a smoke-screen since the player's union would never go along with that. He also factors in Revenue Sharing money AND Luxury Tax money they'll have to pay and surmises:
But by our calculations, that means the Yankees' revenue-sharing and tax bills this year will be over $80 million. Within two years, they'll no doubt blow past $100 million.
That's $100 million over and above their payroll, which could be more than $200 million. There is only one franchise on earth that wouldn't be phased by that kind of I.O.U. And let's just say it sure isn't the Devil Rays.
The best part was when he mentioned that MLB is going to investigate the business dealings with the YES Network:
"The way the Yankees' critics see it, the YES network has been, essentially, a license for the Yankees to print funny money. They're reporting $50 million a year in rights fees. But MLB suspects the true value of YES to this club is actually much higher.
To determine how much higher, sources say that MLB is ready to bring in an independent auditor to determine YES's true market value to the team. If that value turns out to be more than $50 million, the Yankees would have to pay another 40 percent of that difference. Not just this year. Every year. Retroactively."
Wow that would be awesome to see that happen. CHA-CHING! Firesale in the Bronx!
Slowly but surely the Rebel Alliance will take down the Evil Empire. Anybody think it's an odd coincidence that the colors of the Rebellion are Red and White and the colors of the Empire are dark blue? Just thought that was interesting.
Good Night Red Sox Nation!
@ 10:24 PM
Buckner's fame lives on
It's not often I see an item in sports news that directly ties into Bill Buckner but ESPN.com
hd a poll on their baseball site asking which basball is the most infamous in history.
The choices are:
1. The Bill Buckner baseball
2. The Barry bonds 73rd Homerun ball
3. The Jeff Maier/Derek Jeter Homerun ball
4. The ball Randy Johnson hit a bird with
4. The Steve Bartman ball
The votes were overwhelming. Out of 260,000 votes the Bill Buckner ball was voted by 51.2% as the most infamous baseball in the history of the game. I hope you are reading this Calvin Schiraldi! You too Bob Stanley, Rich Gedman, John McNamara and Roger Clemens!
@ 11:48 AM
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Sunny Day... Chasin' the clouds away
As winter wears away and gives way to spring I present you with two happy pictures of the day from Boston Dirt Dogs
Nomar reports that his contract talks are still going on. He sounds pretty frustrated about it but that will just have to play itself out. Some encouragng news is that he isn't singing "Feelings" anymore.
"I'm excited about our team... I talked to Kevin Millar, he's probably going to take me out to dinner tonight. All you guys are invited. We put that behind us, and now everything is really good." -Nomar's press conference at Red Sox training
Now that all our kids are happy and tucked in it's time to get this party started.
@ 7:50 AM
Monday, February 23, 2004
Not to beat a dead horse...
I know I've posted a couple of items on my blog talking about the fact that A-Rod and Soriano's offensive stats away from their home ball-parks before the trade sure make it appear that the Yankees didn't upgrade the offense as much as most people presume.
Today Rob Neyer at espn.com
has a clearer illustration of what the Yankees and Rangers each presumably will be paying approximately $16 Million dollars per year for:
"I think the world of Alex's value. But as a few cooler heads have pointed out, Rodriguez did benefit from playing half his games at The Ballpark in Arlington, which is probably the hitter-friendliest park in the American League (well, it or Kauffman Stadium). And Soriano suffered from playing half his games at Yankee Stadium, which is fairly kind to pitchers.
Here are the home stats for Rodriguez and Soriano, 2001-2003:
OBP Slug OPS
AR .466 .666 1082
AS .305 .466 771
Big edge for A-Rod. Now the road stats:
OBP Slug OPS
AR .375 .564 939
AS .346 .543 889
And they'd be even closer if we looked at just the last two seasons, as Soriano was just fair in 2001.
I'm not arguing that Soriano is Rodriguez's equal. What I'm arguing is that the difference between them, right now, probably isn't large enough to justify the argument that the balance of power in the American League East took a big swing last week."
Well put Rob. Red Sox Nation can sleep easier tonight. We upgraded the only areas that needed improvement. The Yankees panicked nad added players haphazardly with no single strategy. Bernie Williams and Kenny Lofton competing for CF? Shipping off Nick Johnson so Giambi can spend 162 games at first base? Moving a gold-glove short-stop to thiird base to accomodate the ego of the Captain of the team?
Do the Yankees really think that an infield of A-Rod, Jeter and Enrique Wilson will be as good offensivley AND defensively as Boone, Jeter and Soriano? For all the hoopla it looks like a wash to me.
The Kevin Brown DL watch continues. We are now on Week 2. We'll be putting together a pool when the regular season begins but feel free to send me your picks for his first trip to the DL.
I loved the clippings on BostonDirtDogs.com about Ortiz. He sounds like he's excited and really feeling good about the team. I think that enthusiasm will be contagious this year.
Anybody have any thoughts on how Grady Little will factor in if the baseball gods have their way and we finally get a Red Sox / Cubs World Series in 2004? It's going to be a GREAT year.
Go red Sox in 2004!
@ 8:19 PM
We Love Schilling. Let's get em #38!
Here's the picture of the day.
Nothing else needs to be said. We're on a serious mission in 2004
Thanks to RedSox.com for the photo
@ 9:55 AM
Sunday, February 22, 2004
As the crow flies
It just occurred to me after seeing the replays of the A-Rod news conference and all the Yankee fans crowing about getting him on their team...
A-Rod had his choice of teams to go to. The Red Sox were his first choice. Most people involved on his side of the deal say he only mentioned that he would approve going to the Yankees to gain some leverage in the negotiations.
A-Rod has resented the Yankees ridiculous payroll advantage as much as anybody over the years. This was simply his last chance to get out of town this year.
So in the final analysis.... He's only a Yankee because he had nowhere else to go. So have fun and enjoy your sloppy seconds Yankee fans. Let's hope that all of A-Rod's bad-mouthing of the Yankees and Jeter over the years doesn't rock the boat and disturb that carefully balanced Yankee club-house chemistry.
Perhaps it won't be long before the Yankees are eating crow.
Before I go I'll leave you with a picture of the day from RedSox.com
Isn't this an awesome picture of Keith Foulke?
Foulke and Schilling both got a little banged up this weekend with strained calves.
To those that follow spring-training that's not a surprise. Working out the bumps and bruises is what spring training is all about.
What makes the Kevin Brown bone-bruise so hilarious is that it is just the tip of his iceberg of misfortunes that will land on New York's shoulders this year.
Those of us living in LA know all about the baggage that comes along with a Kevin Brown contract. Time for New Yawrk to get educated. The Red Sox can't wait!
It's going to be such a fun year. Is it April yet?
@ 9:17 PM
Under the heading... What's the big deal...
Earlier in the week Theo Epstein was asked if he thought that the core Red Sox players that are in the final year of their contracts will all be able to come back next year in 2005. Theo said that given the amount of money the free agents will be looking for in 2005 he said it was unlikely that all 6 of them would be re-signed.
Now Derek Lowe has given interviews saying he thinks the same thing and the press is all over him for saying this is the last Hurrah for the Sox as we know them. Come on people, he's just stating his opinion which I'm sure was framed by Theo's earlier comments.
Just let it go. Let's concentrate on baseball.
Curt Schilling's got another "Baseball Talk" thread going over at The Sons of Sam Horn site
that everyone should check out.
When asked how he's going to deal with getting all nine Yankees out 3 times each during a game Curt came back with a very common sense reply. He said it's not a matter of thinking about how you will deal with the whole line-up. That thought would set anyone up for failure. It just comes down to taking each batter and each pitch one at a time.
Sme may fnd it corny and being way too Karate-Kid-like to hear him talk about how important focus is for a pitcher. He takes each inning one at a time.... and each batter and each pitch one at a time. Curt is going to be one hell of a spark plug in our engine this year.
Here's a picture of Curt posted at Boston Dirt Dogs
that I think you'll all like.
Let's Go Red Sox 2004!
Left Coast Rep for Red Sox Nation
@ 12:01 PM
Saturday, February 21, 2004
A picture is worth a thousand words.
We waited a long time to see this picture. The first picture of Curt pitching in Red Sox gear! Go Curt! You are the man!
Way to go Lowe! It's been a long winter and we've missed ya!
You can see that Curt always knows what to say
A journey of 162 regular season games and three post-season series victories begins with a single pitch...
These pictures say a lot more than that to me....
Thanks to RedSox.com, ESPN.COM and BOSTONDIRTDOGS.com for the pictures!
Sorry Yankee fans it's already starting for you all... time to reap the whirlwind of your off-season deals. "Notes: RHP Kevin Brown was hit by a ball in the right ankle during fielding practice. He is icing the bruise."
Pardon me while all of Red Sox Nation has a laugh.
Additionally there's another bit of analysis by Michael Ventre at NBC Sports who concludes the following:
Red Sox have the edge
Call me a contrarian, but I still think the Boston Red Sox have the edge in offseason improvements over their hated rivals in the Bronx.
Ultimately, it all comes down to the arms. The Sox have two dominators in Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling, and really, that’s all they need in the postseason. However, add Derek Lowe and Tim Wakefield and you have one of the best quartets of starters in the game.
The Yankees now have an all-righty starting rotation. It seems to me that if you play half your games in a park with a short porch in right field, you might want to mix in a lefty. Just a suggestion.
To me, the Yankees conceded the American League East title to Boston when they insulted and ignored Pettitte, their most reliable big-game pitcher, and encouraged him to bolt. They’ll pay in 2004.
Go Sox in 2004!
Deane @ 10:25 AM
Friday, February 20, 2004
Many people have asked me this week "So Deane what do you think of A-Rod going to the Yankees?"
My final thoughts on this are pretty simple. During the entire 45 day trade talks between all three parties involved I said "If we get A-Rod and Maglio that would be great. If talks fall apart and we keep Nomar and Manny instead that will be fine too."
The only thing that got Red Sox Nation mad wasn't that they couldn't reach an agrteement. It's that all parties involved agreed on a deal but the Player's UNion axed the deal.
It made us mad but we got over it.
When word hit that A-Rod was going to play 3rd for the Yankees I think we were all surprised A-Rod would make that concession but nobody was shocked that the Yankees could pull that off.
A-Rod as a Yankee will make the season more interesting but we're not too worried. The only thing we needed last year was an additonal good starter and a good closer. We picked up the best of each. Our offense remains intact.
As far as the rest of the circus around A-Rod I'm just done with it. A-Rod tries so hard to look like the good guy but everything he touches turns to crap.
Bailing out on the Rangers and their fans after the last 6 week PR blitz to try and sell ranger season tickets, all I can say is that I'd feel pretty manipulated and abused if I was a Rangers fan.
They crown A-Rod Captain of the Rangers and he says "I'm probably pretty sure this will work out for the best." Very inspiring A-Rod. Three weeks later he bolts for the Yankees. Nice...
But anyway back to the Yankees and what's going to happen in 2004...
The Yankees have a lot of question marks that nobody knows the answer to and that makes Red Sox Nation very happy. MFY's can thump their chests like a bunch of Neanderthals all they want that they have A-Rod. However when A-Rod's road record is compared with Soriano's they really aren't getting much of an offensive upgrade and they still need to solve their second base problem.
Giambi can't run and his knees are in such bad shape that he will have major problems at the plate. Not to mention that he may not be able to use the "vitamins" he used in the past so that will cause his power to go down.
Sheffield likewise is not on those "vitamins" so we'll see what happens to his power numbers.
Hopefully they both aren't indicted. That would be a crying shame.
Kevin Brown is making reservations for the DL and his shoulder and elbow are on borrowed time.
There is the aforementioned hole currently at second base. Who on Earth are they going to get to play there? Any good sefcond baseman plays for a contender that won't let go of them. The other owners won't let Jose Vidro go from the Expos to New York. It's going to be interesting.
@ 10:10 AM
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Just a quick note regarding a very interesting article from Jayson Stark at espn.com. This should help calm down anxious members of Red Sox Nation:
"We might want to mention something here. A-Rod is, no doubt, an upgrade over just about anybody in any team's lineup. But he's not a massive offensive upgrade over the guy he's replacing in the Yankees' lineup -- Alfonso Soriano.
Only six players in the whole sport have outhomered Soriano over the last two years. Only two have scored more runs. No one has spewed more extra-base hits.
Even more fascinating, if you factor out A-Rod's Texas stats by comparing the numbers of these two guys just on the road, you discover something shocking:
Soriano has more road homers (45 to 44), many more runs scored (133 to 108) and a much higher batting average (.311 to .279) than A-Rod over the last two seasons. Hmmmm.
OK, so A-Rod is a much tougher out against certain pitchers in certain situations. And he's undoubtedly a better defensive player than Soriano, even at a new position.
But does he make the Yankees a vastly better offensive team? Does he make them a surefire, guaranteed, take-it-to-Vegas lock to win it all?
Sorry, friends. That's a knee-jerk conclusion. But it's not an accurate conclusion. Even if it turns out there was no such thing as that Curse of Don Zimmer."
@ 1:07 PM
Monday, February 16, 2004
A few thoughts to share today.
As far as A-Rod to the Yankees goes... I'm convinced now more than ever of one immutable fact:
The New York Yankees are run by Keyser Soze.
That's the only explanation. That explains where their financing comes from. Keyser Soze says that to have power you just have to be willing to do what the other guy won't.
Two Hundred Million dollar payroll... no problem.
Luxury Tax... no problem.
Send free agent salaries through the roof? No problem.
Revenue sharing.... no problem.
Create a competitive gulf in the league that leaves half the teams as virtual AAA farm-league clubs? No problem.
Hire mercenaries like Giambi, Matsui, Contreras, Lofton, Sheffield, and now A-Rod.... no problem.
I don't have a problem with an owner being a bazillion-aire. I'm not a commie.
But if you are going to have a league of teams competing with each other then the playing field has to be level. It will soon be to the point where the only teams Yankee fans will want to watch the Yankees play against are the Red Sox, The Mariners, the A's and maybe the Twins, Angels and Blue Jays. You can't run a game that way kids.
And before Yankee Trollers jump in here to kick more sand in the face of the kids in the sandbox that is Red Sox Nation by saying that the Red Sox failed at a game the Yankees succeeded at, that is not true.
The Red Sox were doing everything they could to get A-Rod AND stay under the luxury tax threshhold.
The Yankees were playing a different game entirely.
That's all for today kids. No worries about this season. Red Sox have the best team with the best character. I'm just amused by the MFY trollers over at Bambinoscurse.com. Ed had some good thoughts for them if they can only penetrate their Neanderthal skulls.
So get ready for Good vs Evil.
The Rebellion vs The Empire.
Keyser Soze vs The Ususal Suspects
@ 7:41 PM
Saturday, February 14, 2004
Nothing worthwhile is easy....
That's all I know this week.
The Yankee camp is living up their reputation as the MFY's.
The latest news in the land can be found here:
agree to deal for A-Rod
Rodriguez would move to third;
Rangers would get Soriano
Alex Rodriguez is so desperate to leave the Rangers that he'd be willing to play third base, Newsday reported.
NBCSports.com news services
Well the dog-and-pony show from a few weeks back with Captain A-Rod posing with Hicks and Buck turns out to be the charade it appeared to be.
Jim Caple at EPSN.COM said it best on January 27:
Rangers Make a Titanic Gesture
By Jim Caple
Fear not. We may have lost Captain Kangaroo last week but we gained Cap'n A-Rod.
"Oh yeah... I'm happy to be with the Rangers. I'm probably pretty sure that the Rangers are moving in the right direction."
Caple also gets it right on Steinbrenner when he writes:
Why does Steinbrenner have to be such a jerk about everything?
Sombody stop the world please I want to get off.
So he's so desperate to get off the loser's train that he's will to play third base. I wonder if A-Rod and Boras are willing to throw in a glass Texaco mug if the Yankees buy the Rangers 8 gallons of premium gas.
Well I'm glad the Red Sox loaded up on pitching because we're going to need every freaking strike-out we can get.
I think at this point we need to get Red Sox Nation to start ordering some of these for A-Rod and ship them to him at home... wherever that is at the moment.
So some other reactions...
How the heck is Steinbrenner going to handle a $200 Million Dollar payroll? Anybody know what the luxury tax on that salary comes out to? Has their ever been a sport where the payroll difference between the highest and lowest team in the league was $160 Million dollars?
Will Theo and Larry swoop in at the last minute and push the Manny for A-Rod trade through as a spoiler? Most likely no way, but they do say to never say never. Until it's announced and the papers are signed anything can happen.
If it goes through who will play second base for the Yankees? We had a tough enough time coming up with an answer to that and our solution was Pokey Reese.
What rabbit will the Yankees pull out of their hat for second base with a depleted farm system?
How will A-Rod react to playing thrid for the first time? Especially with the pressure of all New York on him? Especially with that gimpy Giambi statue playing first base. He sure as heck won't be digging any short throws from A-Rod out of the dirt. I bet A-Rod is going to be missing John Olerud very soon.
If Pay-Rod goes to the Bronx I can't WAIT to see his first game back in Arlington. If he think that he gets some boos in Safeco Field I suspect he hasn't heard anything yet.
At least when he left Seattle it was obvious he was going for the highest paycheck he could get.
If he leaves Texas it will be obvious that he simply gave up on his team and his fans. For 25 Million a year I guess I'd expect more team spirit than that. Let's not forget that he was just named Rangers Team-Captain less than one month ago.
Still after all is said and done isn't this what rooting for the Red Sox is all about. It wouldn't be the Red Sox if they weren't trying to overcome adversity.
It wouldn't be the Red Sox if they weren't the underdogs to the MFY's.
It wouldn't be the Red Sox if they weren't victims suffering from some higher power giving them the cosmic finger.
I choose not to be afraid. I choose to be hopeful. I am now very happy to see that Theo invested in picthing this off-season because we'll need every damn strike we can get our hands on this year. In Schilling, Pedro, Wake, Kim, Lowe, Embree, Timlin and Foulke we trust!
Oh and as far as Celizic's stupid column pronouncing:
Landing A-Rod is the boldest move of all, the sort of move that the Red Sox had no stomach for. That’s why Boston is what it is. It’s why the Yankees just keep winning. When bold moves are called for, they don’t back down. And if it blows up in their faces, they make another move, bolder than the last.
Celizic can bite me. Steinbrenner's mercenaries can do anything they want. I'd rather be a Red Sox fan for another 100 years and never see a World Series Chamionship than celebrate any one of the Yankees Chamionships.
The team I root for doesn't need 120 wins per season. It doesn't need Cy Young awards, batting titles, triple crowns, MVP's or any of that. My team just needs to have character. To come back from the dead against the A's last year was better than almost anything I've ever seen. It took character.
The 2004 Red Sox have character and can overcome anything. We will go the distance and meet this challenge. Let's gove George Steinbrenner a freaking heart attack this October when Schilling, Pedro and Foulke silence the Yankee bats. Then we'll let him choke on his $200 Million payroll.
Let's Go Red Sox!
@ 2:20 PM
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
So there I was....
One second I'm at work taking calls and helping people at my company solve their computer problems. The next minute my boss has me giving a tour of our department tools and intranet to the manager of the Help Desk for another division of my company.
As I finish my tour she looks over at the Xeroxed article from The Onion that declares "Yankees ensure 2003 Pennant by signing every player in baseball." The article has Photoshopped pictures of Barry Bonds, A-Rod, Mike Piazza and Randy Johnson in Pinstripes. My guest then said "Oh I didn't know you were a Yankee fan!"
(((CRINGE))) (((SHUDDER))) (((HEART ATTACK)))
If ever there was a moment in my life where I felt like the character Michael Bolton in Office Space this was it. Perhaps she didn't see the Curt Schilling McFarlane figure sitting on my desk rail. Perhaps she didn't notice the redSox.com web site windows on my screen.
I politely and TACTFULLY informed her that the article was satirical and that I was in fact a Red Sox fan. In her least condescending New York/New Jersey accent she said she would email me a great email article listing all the reasons Red Sox fans should convert and become Yankee fans.
It felt like I was fighting Cortez during his conquest of the New World. Either that or else it felt like Luke Skywalker being told that Darth Vader is his father:
Darth Vader: If you only knew the power of the Dark Side. Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke: He told me enough. He told me you killed him.
Darth Vader: No. I am your father.
Luke: No. That's not true. That's impossible.
Darth Vader: Search your feelings you know it to be true.
Luke: Nooooo. Nooooo.
She then went on to tell me the story of how her 8 year-old son was at the Aaron Boone Game 7 playoff and how he didn't really understand what had happened. I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying that no Yankee fan truly understood what happened that night. The truth of that night is that it took an act of God... Divine Intervention to keep the 2003 Red Sox from completing their Destiny and beating the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.
That is the only explanation for both Steve Bartman deflecting that foul ball and for Grady Little sticking with Pedro after pitch # 115. In the real world neither of those things would really happen. Only a supernatural event can account for these twists of fate.
In light of the article Ed posted today at BambinosCurse.com
about how being a Red Sox fan equals a never-ending belief in hope for the future this episode put me to the test. I'm happy to say I laughed the whole episode off and passed the test. I have faith in our boys for 2004. I know that we will be unstoppable this year.
The start of the season should have Sean Connery give his Red October speech in Fenway. Fitting since 2004 will complete the final Hunt for Red October...
Comrades! This is your captain! It is an honor to speak to you today!
And I'm honored to be playing with you on the maiden voyage of our
Commonwealth's most recent achievement.
And once more, we play our dangerous
game. A game of chess....against our old adversary...the New York Yankees!
For 85 years, your grand-fathers before you and your parents
played this game...and played it well. But today, the game is different.
WE have the advantage! It reminds me of the heady days of Sputnik
and Yuri Gagarin when the world trembled at the sound of our rockets.
Now they will tremble again - at the sound of their silence.
The order is: Schilling to the mound.... Foulke start warming up!
Comrades! Our own fans don't know our full potential!
They will do everything possible to test us,
but they will only test their own embarrassment. We will leave our
fans behind! We will pass through the the Holland Tunnel, past
their five burroughs, and lay off their largest city, and listen to
their rock and roll...while we conduct batting practice!
A great day, comrades! We slide into history!
@ 9:27 PM
Monday, February 09, 2004
So what's the latest...
Hmmm well there were whispers in the wind about The Yankees trying to enginer a trade of Soriano for Albert Pujols. Since Pujols is supposed to be the second coming of Barry Bonds that would normally make my Red Sox heart have an attack.
Over the years I have learned to never trust trade rumors involving a player with an agent in a salary dispute. Pujols is in the midst of a major salary arbitration case so I wou;dn't doubt this story was planted by his reps.
It would be scary if it happened but St. Louis knows that even if they lose in arbitration and have to payl him 10 Million next year he will be a bargain. they know it would be crazy to trade him so it should not be a surprise that nobody is giving this rumor any credence. Just more evidence of a greedy agent or the Yankees trying to stir up the press.
Nothing new on the Schilling/Pinto/SoSH controversy. I'm expecting it to blow away. Good stuff on The Boston Globe about Schilling's history with Ellis Burks. I didn't realize that Burks hit the first homer off of Schilling. Seeing them finish their careers together on the Red Sox could portend great things.
If anybody out there finds pics of Curt Schilling or Kieth Foulke in their Red Sox uniforms at spring training please email me the links or post them in the comments section. I can't wait to see that.
Boston Dirt Dogs has a good interview with Lucchiano posted. It covers the off-season events and expectations for 2004.
Finally bambinoscurse.com has a good thread going about what will happen to Red Sox Nation when they win a World Series Championship. It was quoted from a Yankee fan so it is good to see them preparing for the inevitable.
Ed pondered the fact that the Asian Bird Flu starting to spread has been linked to the 1918 Influenza pandemic that killed about 40 million people worldwide. Now with Asian bird flu on the prowl in the Northeast Ed theorizes that the circle will come complete, The Red Sox will go to the World Series and then all of red Sox Nation will droip dead from the flu in the 9th inning. LOL
Who else could be as literally fatalistic but Red Sox fans. LOL
This is the year folks!
@ 3:00 PM
Saturday, February 07, 2004
Today was a good day for resting, (Slept in today until 11:30! Bless my sweet wife!) cleaning, and generally recharging our batteries. I think I've watched Seabiscuit three times this weekend. Ya have to love Netflix for a constant variety of new movies.
I finally printed out labels for our videotapes so nobody has to go blind reading my writing anymore. All in all it was a nice, restful and productive day. Just what I needed.
Our 2 1/2 year-old daughter Hannah went through her usual movie rotation of Lady & The Tramp, Monsters Inc, Shrek and The Wiggles. Amazing what you can find yourself enjoying when you share it with your child. When I started quoting LAdy & The Tramp my wife Sarah suggested I need to stop watching it. LOL
The lastest from Ed at bambinoscurse.com is a reader post saying that this Pinto controversy will be a Clemens fastball high and inside to SoSH. I posted a comment to Ed asking if Red Sox Nation was going to dress up as Yankees and dump the SoSH servers into Boston Harbor.
Another post-er suggested the challenge to SoSH will be like a Jamie Moyer change-up to the rear. That made me laugh for the obscure reference. Jamie Moyer's one of my heroes. I laugh my butt off every time Curt Schilling calls him a freak.
I'm still hoping this "controversy" goes away. It's pointless and takes away from the fun of Curt's postings.
I read a piece at ESPN.com about managers that could be on a short hook this season if they don't get off to a good start. The theory was that the Red Sox are so very much improved and the AL West is so strong between the Mariners, A's and Angels that the Yankees could find themselves far behind. Not only far behind in the division but also far behind in the wild-card race.
The article mentioned big trouble for the pin-stripers due primarily to Giambi's knee being completely out of cartilage and him forced to play first base with Bernie Williams taking DH to allow Lofton to play CF.
In addition Kevin Brown, Sheffield and Lofton are not deemed to be well suited to suddenly playing for the Yankees. All three of them are in their mid/late 30's. All three are changing to the American League this year. Sheffield hasn't been in the AL since 92 with the Brewers. Brown was last in the AL in 95 with the Orioles.
Lofton has been in the NL since mid-2002. Additionally having a mid 30's Center Fielder is not usually a great plan for a contender.
With Kevin Brown being a ground-ball inducing pitcher depending on Soriano and whoever they get to play 3rd to protect him on defense, he's not going to have his usual confidence on the mound. Brown is also widely reported to be clubhouse cancer and is an elbow twinge away from the DL. All of this looks bad in the crystal ball to me.
Sheffield is going to get mighty distracted once the NY press starts baiting him. I saw what a head-case he was out in LA for years fighting with the press and the Dodger front-office. LA sports press is nothing compared to what he'll see in NY.
All of these factors happening with Torre flipping through fishing boat catalogs and Steinbrenner reverting back to classic 70s-80s form portend a potential meltdown for the Yanks in 2004. Torre could get the hook quick if the Red Sox jump out to a quick lead in the AL East. Imagine the Sox going 20-10 in the first six weeks. That would be beautiful.
So the writing is on the wall. In a best case scenario the Yankees will have to really fight for the AL East title. Anything less than a best case scenario and the Yanks could find themselves out in the cold come October with the wild-card going to one of the three strong AL West teams.
This seems like good fodder to feast my dreams upon. With this I bid you all good-night and happy dreams.
@ 11:12 PM
Friday, February 06, 2004
Under the heading of "If you can't find a problem, go and create one" there is controversy afoot at the Sons of Sam Horn site.
Curt Schilling has been doing an awesome Q&A session for the past month or so with fans on the site talking about baseball. The insights Curt has shared have been awesome. Curt's posts are made with the understanding that the professional media not quote his posts and that other people don't steal the sites thunder by posting or linking to content on the site.
Curt has granted permission to the Boston Dirt Dogs site to link and copy his posts. Apparently someone with their own blog quoted Curt's post about statistical analysis ans editorialized it. Curt specifically said that Rob Neyer of espn.com places too much emphasis on stats to predict future performance.
The Sons of Sam Horn site calls this a poor display of ethics for using their material. Now baseball bloggers are about to nail their protests on the cathedral door over who has the right to quote articles publicly available on the web.
My take on this is that we're lucky that Curt takes the time to share his experiences and thoughts for fre with fans with no tangible benefit to him except to create goodwill and enthusiasm among the fans. Curt isn't an owner. For him to volunteer his time to the fans like this is amazing. I think that everyne should just play by Curt's and SoSH's rules and enjoy what we've got.
We certainly don't want Curt to decide this is more trouble than it's worth and give up on the whole thing. We also don't want Curt to take his posts to some sort of pay-per-view private forum, although if the money went to charity I'd be willing to kick in a few bucks to be part of it. I'd prefer that the posts stay public but there will always be jackasses willing to try and turn Curt's opinions or words against him or use them out of context.
So far Curt has been lucky that more stuff hasn't been run up the flagpole in the press, but sooner or later someone will try and make Curt look bad for saying something on the web. I mentioned this specifically in a post on bambinoscurse and Curt replied to me that he thought I was right about the possibility of him getting burned from time to time.
He seemed to hint that he's a big boy, he knows how to play the PR game and he'll survive it.
All I know is that as a father of one child and a husband I barely have time to maintain daily posts. For Curt to be able to write such great pieces about baseball and what it is like to be a Hall of Fame caliber big-league pitcher and still have tie for his wife Shonda, his four kids, preparing for the 2004 season, maintining a thriving career, and all the volunteer charity and commuity work that he does is simply amazing.
I don't know how he does it. He should write a time management book. I would surely love to hear his thoughts on that subject.
Here's hoping that this quasi-controversy blows itself out. This off-season has been a complete and utter dream come true. I don't want anything to spoil the ride. Let's break out the balls, the gloves, the bats, the pine-tar and let's get the 2004 season rolling.
@ 9:57 PM
Thursday, February 05, 2004
So Ellis Burks is coming back to the Red Sox. I'm glad to see he is getting another chance to contribute and seeing him hop on the Red Sox train for 2004 may prove to be very fortuitous indeed. I'm excited to see what he can do. At $750K + bonus money he could be a real bargain for us.
I got some good tips from Ed at www.bambinoscurse.com about formatting and writing for blogs. I'll see if I can adopt some of his tips and make this blog a bit easier to read and digest.
My wife still thinks that Red Sox Nation pulled some sort of Tonya Harding attack on Aaron Boone's ACL and knee. That really made me laugh. And people thought Red Sox fans were fatalistic.
Jayson Stark at Espn.com
had a great article summarizing the past four seasons to see who the pitching stat leaders since 2000 began. Curt Schilling is in a 4-way tie for 7th place in Wins with 64 wins from 2000-2003. He's tied with Mark Mulder, Tom Glavine and Bartolo Colon.
Good Old Pedro is the ERA leader with a 2.11 ERA since 2000. Amazing!
The top three strikeout pitchers.... Randy Johnson with 1178k's, Curt Schilling with 971 and Pedro Martinez with 892. Yeah I think the Red Sox Rotation is going to be just fine. :)
Here are some other juicy tidbits:
Best winning percentage -- Pedro Martinez 59-17, .776
Most complete games -- Curt Schilling 22 (Runners-up: Hernandez, Johnson, Colon 20)
Strikeouts per 9 IP (starters)* -- Johnson 12.15 (AL leader: Pedro Martinez, 11.16)
Fewest hits per 9 IP (starters) -- Martinez 6.29
Best K/BB ratio -- Schilling 6.52 (AL leader: Martinez, 6.19)
Yes Red Sox Nation.... We're going to be just fine.
@ 1:03 PM
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Well it's been a while since I posted. I'll just jot down a few of my latest thoughts.
I saw the Red Sox had a congratulations TV commercial for the New England Patriots. It's posted on the Red Sox website. I thought that was a cool thing for them to do and hopefully it bodes well "Karma-ically" for the Sox to win the World Series in 2004. Terry Francona looked a bit awkward in the second part of the commercial but both Tim Wakefield and he seem like great guys for doing that.
MLB's commercial for the 2004 season has A-Rod and Jeter playing whiffle ball in a ski lodge with Josh Beckett. At first glance it looked like a cheesey promo video, but I think all three of them came off looking like pretty good guys and I liked that a lot.
Pudge Rodriguez finally signed with the Tigers. I'm glad he finally found a team willing to throw those dollars at him. In the long run though I don't think this will work out that well for them. ESPN.com has an article that shows pretty substantially that hot-hitting catchers don't comes anywhere close to matching their "normal" performance after age 32. I'll go out on a limb and say Pudge will have two decent years with the Tigers since injuries over the last few years have limited his playing time and he was healthy all 2003. I think this deal will really have the Tigers hamstrung in the last two years of the deal though. Don't get me wrong though I think Pudge is an awesome player and he was one of the most enjoyable parts of the 2003 post-season. His enthusiasm is incredible and his big-hits in the clutch are thrilling. I especially loved watching him settle down the young Marlins picthers all through the playoffs. I'd love to see him go to the post-season again but I can understand his desire to get a big paycheck while he can now that he has his World Series ring. He really missed the boat by one year becoming a free agent after the 2002 season. A year or two earlier and he'd have pulled down an 80 million dollar contract but times change and Pudge won't be hurting for money so in the end everybody comes out okay.
The whole Janet Jackson situation.... first it was an accident.... then it was a mistake and now it was a planned stunt gone awry.... It just makes me shrug and think "whatever." Stupidity is contagious people. My only concerns are that I'm glad I wasn't watching it with my daughter or family and I shudder to think that celebs out there that want to make the news for doing something shocking have a new standard to try and beat. Those were my only concerns about the whole Britney/Madonna/Christina kiss at the MTV awards as well. People need to understand that there's a difference between fame and notoriety. Welp, at least it got Michael Jackson out of the news for a while.
The Dodger sale finally wenty through. The new owner Frank McCourt had a PR event at Dodger stadium to celebrate the sale. It was ironic though since as a Real Estate developer one of the first things he'd love to do is bulldoze Chavez Ravine to build condos and move the Dodgers to a stadium downtown. I'm worried that he sees more value on the Real Estate he bought than the team that goes along with it. It's hard to believe that Dodger Stadium is the 4th oldest pro ballpark in MLB. I'm not sentimental about the stadium and I'll be okay seeing the Dodgers in a new stadium. I just want an owner that is committed to winning. We're still all sitting here looking at Juan Encarnacion's contract and wondering if this is the big move the Dodgers are going to make this winter. At least I hear the GM has to interview for his own job. I hear they are talking to Maddux's agent and if they get him they can trade Odalis Perez for a big bat but I'm not too optimistic on the Dodgers in 2004. It took the Angels about a full season under new ownership before they were able to make any major moves so I'm going to expect the Dodgers to win about 83 games next year.
Now that the MLB schedule is out I'll have to check with my friend to see if I can get a pair of her season tickets for a Red Sox game in Anaheim this year. I'd love to see the Sox play from a nice field level seat near third base. Joanna if you read this get ready for my phone call. :)
Curt Schilling has posted more good stuff on the Sons of Sam Horn site and I feel like everything he says is something I wholeheartedly agree with. On fans caring about player salaries he says that it is nobody's business except the player and the guy that writes the checks... HOWEVER... he does think it is understandable for a fan to care about salaries in terms of how it affects the team payroll, especially in future years. I was glad to hear him concede that point since it is the only reason I care about player salaries. A ticket to a baseball game is still about the best live entertainment value you'll find.... as long as you eat before the game. LOL
On players hiring agents he says that for younger players that's probably a good idea to ensure they aren't taken advantage of but that the upper tier of players shouldn't be paying someone 5%-10% to handle their contracts when their player value is pretty well established in the market. Bravo Curt. You are sooo the man!
Sorry that I hadn't posted for a while. I was on a business trip up in Carnation, Washington for a week and then my wife and daughter have been ill since I got back so they have been my full-time conerns of late. The trip went well and I was treated very well by my company. They hosted me in some very luxurious lodges there at their Training Center and the people I helped with their computer problems were all very kind. Sarah handled our two year old like a champ while I was gone. It makes me wonder how pro baseball players survive so much travel when they have kids. I'd expect a much higher divorce rate among ball-players because one parent having to do all the parenting for more than a few days at a time is an incredibly hard thing to do. I loved the way that aspect of live was covered in the movie The Rookie. I'm going to go out ona limb here and declare that The Rookie is just about the best movie that will ever be made... about the Tampa Bay Devil rays. LOL Okay so that was a cheap, easy and unnecessary shot. I am ashamed. Especially since I love Lou Piniella and they've got some good young players coming up. It will be sad when they aren't the doormat of the AL East anymore. Once they start getting some major TV and revenue sharing money to feed their payroll they'll start being a much more competitive team. I'd expect them to improve each year that Sweet Lou manages them.
That's about all that's going on for now. Take care and please feel free to comment. I love hearing from people checking out my blog.
@ 11:08 AM