Thursday, September 28, 2006

My Trip to Fenway

I got to go to Fenway for last night's game against the Devil Rays. We had great seats, courtesy of my friend Matt. Beckett pitched great through the first 6 innings, keeping his pitch count low and strikeouts high, but imploded in the 7th. I had a little bit of a fan's dilemma: I am currently in the finals of my fantasy baseball league, playing against a guy who sabotaged his team halfway through the season because he got fired from the company I work for, then came begging back to me to let him back in and I relented. So now he's got a sizeable lead on me in the finals and he had Beckett starting for his team last night. Now, I would normally NEVER root against the Sox or one of their pitchers. I have never let fantasy baseball get in the way of my real allegiances. But a couple of things were going against that last night: the Sox are waaaaaaay out of the race for the playoffs and I didn't want Beckett padding his stats so his season looked better than it really was. I know this is mean and cynical, but if he had pitched well last night and dropped his ERA to say 4.60 and finished the year 17-10, that looks a hell of a lot better than 16-11 with an ERA above 5, right? And the latter is more a more accurate portrayal of how his season went.

I know, I'll get e-mails from fans (or Paul Hughes - see my last post) telling me I'm a fair weather fan. I'm not. I watched every single game for 3 straight summers during their bad years at the beginning of this century. I still watch them now on NESN at night. I love the Sox, good or bad.

As for the rest of the game, some notes:
  • I enjoyed seeing David Murphy and I hope he is our 4th outfielder in 2007.
  • The stands were packed, even for a meaningless game on a Wednesday night at the end of the season.
  • Wily Mo Pena looked AWFUL. I think he struck out in every at-bat. Same goes for Varitek.
  • Big Papi is the only draw for this team right now. Even when the team was down 11-0, the fans stayed, knowing he'd be leading off the bottom of the 8th. He got a huge standing ovation here, even though he can't hit an eleven run homer, and chants of "MVP" filled the stadium. Great times.
  • Sweet Caroline is still sweet after all these years. If you haven't been to Fenway, this is a late-in-the-game staple and the fans join in and sing along. It never gets old.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Response to E-mail

I received an interesting e-mail this morning that I feel the need to respond to:

Hey you-You have the weakest,most pathetic,horrible web site I have ever seen in my life. You are just worthless and that nasty stuff you say about players-Damon-Pedro-Wakefield and some media, well let me tell you I'd like nothing better than to stare you right in the eye and throw you thru a window. You are a gutless piece of crap and are a disgrace to Red Sox Nation. You make me sick.You make vicious attacks on these guys and hide behind your keyboard like a coward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please pull the plug on the worst web site ever. Let's see if you have the balls to post this item- You creep!!!!!!! Paul Hughes Saco Maine

Paul,
Thanks for writing. I read this e-mail several hours ago and actually formulated a response similar to your style of writing and was going to be very rude in my response back. But I decided to think more about it and have decided to be a little more professional. I'll tackle each issue separately.
1. Damon/Pedro/Wakefield comments. Pedro has always been and will probably always be my favorite pitcher/baseball character of all time. I'm not sure what you're referring to her. I also love Tim Wakefield. If I had disparaging remarks about either of them, they were statistically/injury based and not opinion. I have been very clear about how much I like and respect these guys. As for Damon, I hope you're prepared to send a similar e-mail to bloggers and journalists everywhere because my opinion about him is extremely common.
2. As for being a disgrace, that's a bit strong. I've been doing my website for 6 months and yours is the first negative e-mail I've ever received. I have received constructie criticism, but nothing as nasty as yours.

If you don't like my site, there's a very simple solution: don't visit it. I have the consitutional right to post my opinions and you have the right to not read them. That's the beauty of this country. You wasted a lot of time writing that e-mail and all it did was motivate me to write more often on my site. It's a shame that you would take the time out of your day to attack me for my opinions or for objective analysis of statistics.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Red Sox Win Custody Dispute

Roxbury, MA (AP) - A seven-year-old boy was at the center of a Boston courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the degree possible.

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him.

After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.

After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Boston Red Sox, whom the boy firmly believes is not capable of beating anyone.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Big Extension for Timlin

2/3 of an inning, 6 hits, 4 runs. Quality relief work from Timlin.

In related news, Theo Epstein announced after the game that he had signed Timlin to a Tim Wakefield-like contract that will keep Timlin in Boston for many years to come. The deal was worth $9 million per year and is a club/player option each year. “Mike has become a Boston staple since he joined the club in 2003, performing nearly perfectly in each April since then.” When pressed on Timlin’s recent struggles, Epstein again pointed to how strong Timlin had been in April. “This guy is a workhorse. His ERA was really low in April. And no, he hasn’t pitched that great recently, but at least he’s been consistent. And he’s still relatively young compared to guys like Phil Neikro, Charlie Hough, and Nolan Ryan. Those guys were pitching until they were almost 50! And look at Julio Franco. I think he’s older than my dad! I think Timlin can make the Hall of Fame if he pitches 10 more seasons in Boston and far be it for me to deny him that opportunity. And this deal is only worth $9 million per year. That may seem like a lot now, but think about how much of a bargain it’ll be in 2015!” Local media members were speechless.

Epstein also announced that there would be upcoming announcements for the extensions of Julian Tavarez, Coco Crisp, and Josh Beckett. When it was mentioned that Crisp and Beckett had already been extended and Tavarez was already signed beyond this year, Epstein said that he just wanted to lock them up so they were still on this team when they finally became good players again. He also mentioned that the club had released Dustin Pedroia after he struggled in the big leagues and they had resigned Craig Grebeck. “I really feel like we need the veteran presence in the clubhouse and Craig provides that. Plus, I love his mullet. Dustin just hadn’t proved anything to me and I think I gave him enough time.”



*This is a joke, people.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sabotage?

After seeing Anibal Sanchez throw a no-hitter in his 13th career start and pitch extremely well all season, Hanley Ramirez blossom into a future long-term All-Star shortstop, Johnny Damon go on to be an MVP candidate, Josh Bard become a .325-hitting backup, Cla Meredith become a middle relief stud, Josh Beckett and Coco Crisp become busts, the Sox slipped out of contention before September started, etc, I'm wondering if maybe Theo Epstein was so angry with the Red Sox that he agreed to come back to them so he could sabotage their future. Now, I know that he didn't pull the trigger on all of these deals, but rumor around town was that he was still advising them while on hiatus. These lyrics seem quite appropriate right now:

I Can't Stand It I Know You Planned It
I'm Gonna Set It Straight, This Watergate
I Can't Stand Rocking When I'm In Here
Because Your Crystal Ball Ain't So Crystal Clear
So While You Sit Back and Wonder Why
I Got This Fucking Thorn In My Side
Oh My, It's A Mirage
I'm Tellin' Y'all It's Sabotage

So Listen Up 'Cause You Can't Say Nothin'
You'll Shut Me Down With A Push Of Your Button?
But Yo I'm Out And I'm Gone
I'll Tell You Now I Keep It On And On

'Cause What You See You Might Not Get
And We Can Bet So Don't You Get Souped Yet
You're Scheming On A Thing That's A Mirage
I'm Trying To Tell You Now It's Sabotage

Whyyy; Our Backs Are Now Against The Wall
Listen All Of Y'all It's A Sabotage
Listen All Of Y'all It's A Sabotage
Listen All Of Y'all It's A Sabotage
Listen All Of Y'all It's A Sabotage

I Can't Stand It, I Know You Planned It
But I'm Gonna Set It Straight This Watergate
But I Can't Stand Rockin' When I'm In This Place
Because I Feel Disgrace Because You're All In My Face
But Make No Mistakes And Switch Up My Channel
I'm Buddy Rich When I Fly Off The Handle
What Could It Be, It's A Mirage
You're Scheming On A Thing - That's Sabotage