Monthly Archives: March 2010

Really RedSox.com?

I was perusing redsox.com as I do several times a day, as I typically enjoy that over espn or any 3rd party sites for my red sox official news.

Over the past few months of the offseason, I’ve been looking at the Red Sox Stat Leaders area, I saw the following.

Woahhh! Good for you Mr. David Ortiz! You managed to slump for pretty much the first half of the season, and still lead the club in RBI and HR!

But wait a minute… no you didn’t…

Somebody had more home runs than David Ortiz! Jason Bay! So naturally, I want a reason why. Is Bay being left off the list because he left as a free agent?

In addition, Jason Bay AND Victor Martinez had more than 99 RBI. Alright, I get it, Martinez might not be on the list because he only had 41 RBI as a Red Sox, the other 67 came as an Indian. But Bay? Was he snubbed here too?

So RedSox.com, I ask you this…

What’s up with the Bay stats missing?

Are you trying to avoid the fact that the most productive RBI and HR machine we had left?

Regardless of how I feel about him,  his leaving, or any aspect of it, give the man the respect he deserves for his performance in Boston!

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Modern Day Ruth

Before reading this post, read this one, as I’ll give all the credit to the On Deck Circle for this topic.

It really got me thinking about how the game has changed. Our athletes our now celebrities, and scrutiny of every move leads to a PR fiasco of epic proportions. See Tiger Woods or Alex Rodriguez. Good for you George Herman, you got your flappers and floozies in pre-TMZ times. You could drink, smoke, and fornicate to your hearts content in an era where people didn’t care what you did outside the diamond.

So how would your career had gone 80-90 years later?

My first question is really, would you even had made the majors? I know this seems silly, he is after all, BABE RUTH! But think about it, he wasn’t the most athletic build, and given his behavioral tendencies, would he have been able to compete with the lifetime driven athletes of today?

Now, if he put up numbers, of course he would make it. Anyone who hits that many dingers gets noticed. So now you have made the modern MLB, and you are “theoretically” putting up the same numbers you did then. Now what?

Now many of ODC’s points come in to play, and oh how many of them are spot on. This guy would be the most loved/hated controversy in baseball. Every fan would love him for every HR, and hate him for his poor ability to be a roll model and responsible face of the game. He would be more controversial than Manny Ramirez, Ocho Cinco, and Terrel Owens combined.  It would be that fiery balance of love and hate that would get him more sportcenter time than Brett Favre. He would be a marketing locomotive, barreling forward at an unbelievable pace, getting money anywhere he could. He would be the face of every razor, car, and deodorant commercial there is.

He would most certainly be accused of steroids, even if his figure was less than built. It’s just the nature of the beast. Then again, who knows, his personality may have been one to say, “What the hell I’ll do it.” Imagine the disgusting numbers he would have put up if he did. 100 HR season?

Most importantly, I don’t think he would play for the Red Sox OR the Yankees. NL teams only. You have a pitcher who can hit like that, some NL team would pay the big bucks. Then again, who knows, he basically didn’t pitch after going to the Yankees in 1919 so maybe he would sacrifice that aspect of his game again. I doubt any major league club these days would say, “Oh, you just had 5 seasons of sub 3 ERA? We are going to have you hit full time.”

It’s tough to see a team out bidding the Yankees, but his true value is in the NL, hitting and pitching. If he did play in the AL, can you imagine him closing for the Yankees? After a game where he hits 3 HR’s and 6 RBI, he walks in from first base to the mound for the save. That’s a scary thought. MVP forever.

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Why I love baseball, and the Sox

Here we are, a little more than a week into spring training, and just as I expected, not a whole lot to talk about. The biggest stories have stemmed from injuries to Jose Reyes and the odd one day retirement contract of Nomar Garciaparra.

The combination of the Nomar story and Matthew Berry’s Love/Hate ’10 which had an interesting “Why I hate the Yankees” segment, made me want to write about why I love baseball, and why I love the sox. As a side note, Matt, I have had food thrown at me in Yankee stadium as well. Nachos to be exact.

Why do I love baseball? Man that is a question of a million answers. The biggest reason probably being that I played. I played and I loved it. I played, and I wasn’t good for a long time. I remember my dad promising me batting gloves as soon as I got my first hit, which took me maybe half a season to get. With time, I got better, I worked hard, and eventually got pretty decent at hitting as well. I was fast too, like really fast. Rickey Henderson fast.

I beat out more ground balls in little league than anyone. I led off a lot of games before I had the strength to get the ball over an infielder’s heads. There was value in my abilities when I was not the best athlete, and that made it fun. I have distinct memories of my first layout in center field, much like Jacoby Ellsbury. When I caught the ball, the man on second had already crossed the plate, making it an extremely easy double play.

Which by the way, I can still do…

Aside from playing the game, I loved to watch it. I loved to watch it since my dad took me to my first game at Fenway. I loved the stats, standings and analysis in every way possible. I checked the paper every morning for the new stats. (I became a math major down the road). I loved the dirt dogs, the guys who worked hard. Trot Nixon, Pedro Martinez, and Nomar.

I remember the epic debates in the late 90’s as to who the best shortstop ever was. Nomar, Jeter, or A-Rod. I argued hard for Nomar every time. Funny what 12 years can do to the perception of a players career.

I loved the vigor and love these guys showed on the field. I hated that their passion always seemed to be dominated by the Evil Empire. I loved these guys for the same reasons I love Dustin Pedroia, and John Lester.

These guys play the game the right way. The play hard, work hard, and give the effort that I gave as a kid. These players not only won my loyalty for the last 2 decades, but have won it for long after they are no longer with the team.

With less than a month left until the regular season starts, and not much happing story wise in baseball, I guess it’s time to go watch some march madness to hold me over!

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Giddy!

The first spring training games are around tomorrow and I’m giddy! I don’t even care that they are split squad games and the results don’t mean a thing. It just means one thing, we are that much closer to opening day.

Spring training is tough as a fan, mainly because it is very hard to gauge what is really going on. The media coverage is controlled, and teams usually aren’t giving it “important game” status. What I mean by that is lineups vary, players experiment with mechanics, and coaches play people who typically have to compete for their spot on the roster. This makes winning a bad metric for… wins?

Winning aside, these are the storylines of Red Sox Spring Training 2010.

1.  How the new players do.

Obviously this is the focus of any team in any year. We have Beltre, Cameron, and Scutaro as big players on this team this year, and all of them will be under the media microscope. They will have every at bat analyzed. As said before, players work on mechanics and as a result, their statistics matter a little less. New players like Jeremy Hermida, Boof Bonser, Casey Fien, Bill Hall, and Jose Iglesias all are competing for backup roles and spots on the roster. Casey Kelly and Lars Anderson, while not new to the organization, have the potential to cement their future value to the team. As non-roster invitees and minor league youngins, they are not likely to make the big league club right out of the gate, but certainly can be auditioning for some call-up time down the line should there be a need for it. The players who have uncertain futures are the most interesting stories here, because they have the most potential for surprising everyone. Beltre, Cameron and Scutaro don’t need to be so harshly judged until the season is underway.

2. Pitching!

Nothing gets me going more than knowing we have enough pitching to run two major league teams. 6 Men to start, going to be exciting to see how it plays out for a 5 man rotation. Per a previous post, I think Daisuke will sit out a few weeks to start to make sure he is strong and ready.

Our relief core is seemingly just as strong as last year, though I am disappointed to see Takashi Saito go, I think Bard is going to be a force in 2010. We still have one of the best pens in the game, and I look forward to seeing how the last few roster slots line up.  

3. Ortiz

Ortiz will be in the media crosshairs due to his poor ’09 start. I’m not willing to pull any triggers based on what he does this spring, but my guess is he doesn’t have much more than one month into the regular season to show he won’t be repeating that start.

4. Lowell

Poor Mikey. I love this guy, and love what he has done for us the last few years. It’s a shame it went down like this, but I think he has to, and will be traded. I would love for him to stick around as a backup, but I don’t think that’s good for the team chemistry. He won’t be happy, and unhappy players drag down other players. Tic Toc, it’s a matter of time on this one. He is auditioning for other clubs at this point.

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