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Join the discussion now

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Contents Copyright 2001-2004 Boston Dirt Dogs, except logos used in accordance with the Fair Use provision (section 107) of U.S. Copyright Act.

Photographic images posted with permission of Associated Press unless otherwise indicated.

Thu. - Sat.. Jan. 29-31

Will Yankees Go After A-Rod?

"The Yankees, finding themselves without a third baseman, somehow jigger their finances, make up some package that is frankly beyond my imagination and trade for A-Rod, who would be more than thrilled to rip the "C" off his mental uniform and switch to third base next to his old pal Derek Jeter." - NY Times, George Vecsey

"I should note that Cashman and A-Rod were sitting next to each other. And, A-Rod talked about how much he loved New York City. I honestly think that Boston, as a state would commit suicide if he came to the Bronx." - Zimmer's Way

Three Stooges

Stuck in the Middle (You Lose)

(lyrics to Stuck in the Middle with You)

Well I don't know why they named him that night
You get the feeling that something ain't right
He's so scared and looking stiff in his chair
And he's still wondering how he'll get outta there
Clown to the left of him, Joker on his right
There he is
Stuck back in Texas (boo hoo)

Yes A-Rod's stuck back in Texas (smooth move)
And he's wondering what it is he should do
It's so hard to keep that smile on his face
Losing games, the Rangers stay in last place

Clown to the left of him
Joker to his right
There he is
Stuck back in Texas (you lose)

Well you started off with millions
And you're proud that you're a self made man
And your filthy owner calling
Slap you on the back and say
Please (stay)!
Please (be my Captain)!

Tried to make some sense of it all
But I can see it makes no sense at all
Does a Captain have one foot out the door?
PR stunt, can't be anything more

Yes he's stuck in last place with Buckaroo
Stuck back in Texas (he'll hear boos)
Buried like Cap'n Kangaroo

Captain A-Odd

"I guess I'm probably kinda sorta pretty sure it might work
out for the best sometimes." - Rangers "Captain"

Captain Rallies the Troops in Texas

"Guys, this game we have against Boston tonight is pretty important for us, so I just wanted to say before we take the field that I think that if we go out and give it our best, maybe we might not embarrass ourselves. Though I'm not promising anything and to be perfectly honest, I'd feel a whole lot more confident if I was playing for them instead of you. Now, let's go get them! Just don't get hurt.''
- Caple Calls Captain A-Fraud

Dewey Defeats Truman

NFLShop.com Jinx

Yep, They're Selling It Online.
Patriots Victory Guaranteed.

(Yes we know you can dig around for the Patriots DVD box too, yeesh, no fun)

Wed. Jan. 28

Danny Strange

Jim O'Brien, the longest tenured coach in the NBA's Eastern Conference, has resigned his post with the Boston Celtics due to 'philosophical differences' with director of basketball operations Danny Ainge.


Let's Talk Baseball, Real Baseball

On Statistical Analysis

I think it's gone too far in some instances. The main problem I have is that hard core fans, IMO, are using this kind of stuff as their sole analysis of players, period. For the true hard core fan that really may be the only way to do it I guess. Problem for me is I see the real life application of these opinions formed by the stats. I eat, sleep live and breathe with those guys you love to hate, and hate to love. I see what happens when a stadium full of people boos the hell out of one of my teammates. Whether it was warranted or not, you go home at night, miserable with your player, mad at whatever he did, and I go to the clubhouse, and see the real effects of your actions and reactions to my teammates, and to me. I'm not whining, not in the least, it's all part of playing a professional sport, and for the most part we all understand that. That doesn't change the impact, the effect, that fans create. RSN is a nation of people that for the most part that determines their opinions on new guys based on their OPS and WHIP, which is understood given the passion and history here. I can't, and don't, and when the media creates or stirs that opinion in a way I know to be untrue, I am more than bothered. Stats have their applications in the game, no one knows that more than me, but a media guy who's writing career is pretty much founded on these new stats and has a legion of followers, a guy like Neyer on ESPN, I tend to have more dislikes, than likes of.

I'm not saying he's wrong, or right, just that he talks about the numbers as they pertain to future performance almost as if it's an absolute. Oh I know he always inserts the italicized "maybe" and "potentially", but the tone of his writing suggests his belief lies more in what he is writing to be fact, than just trend and probability. I've seen him say things in the past about players, and be so far wrong it's ludicrous, but you do enough projecting, of enough people, and at some point you'll be right, or near right.

On Statistics Determining Value

That's a hard one for me to answer, since value to me is way beyond the numbers in a lot of instances. Back in the late 1990s before I left Philly, one of my closest friends on the team was Kevin Jordan. I played with Kevin for about 5 years, and to this day we are still very good friends. His 2000 season was a forgettable one. His main role was our 1st guy off the bench to PH, and utility guy every now and then. I watched him from '96-'99 turn himself into a very very good pinch hitter. Probably one of the better 2k hitters I have ever seen. He's the guy you got 0-2 on in 2 pitches, then 13 pitches later watched him push a single to right. He got that way by studying his craft, working his ass off. I saw it firsthand, and loved every minute of it. Now fast forward to 2000, and he's struggling, big time. His PH appearances are starting to have much longer downtime in between than normal, and even when he centers a ball, it's an out. But, the entire time this is happening, I am watching him on the bench, in the clubhouse, working EVERY single day by talking to the young players, teaching them the routine for being good at his job. At the time it was him saying "do as I say, not as I do", and he was respected enough that the younger guys saw that his approach, regardless of the outcome at the present time, was A HOW TO in being a young ML player. He taught a lot of the younger players, Lieberthal, Abreu, Burrell and others what it REALLY meant to be prepared. If he wasn't in the game he'd head up to the video room in the 4-5th innings, watching their bullpen righty and lefty, depending on score, and then he'd warm up, stretch, hit off the tee, get himself ready.

When his turn came, when he was up there, he had done all he could to be prepared, and as far as teammates go, that's all I could or would ever ask. There are guys in the major leagues now that owe Kevin a HUGE thanks, because they are better major league players because of him. There were games that he won for us that year without every being in the lineup, because one of the young guys had tried his approach, was ready for his AB's in a way he might not have been, and he produced. I know it to be true, because I watched it happen.

That's value, above and beyond any numbers or stats out there. I am sure there are a lot of people rolling their eyes, the put up or shut up crowd usually does, but that's what happens in our clubhouses and on our fields. That's real life. Kevin went into 2001 and struggled again, and now he's playing AAA ball and working on trying to get back. I talk to him every few weeks and always love the hell out of our conversations, because he got it, and I got to see him use it.

So yes, stats have a place, but they don't come close to painting the whole picture of any one player IMO. When someone, and there were a lot of someone's in Philly at that time, wrote something that was derogatory about KJ, you know the kinda thing like "Jordan could be released, he's just taking up a spot on the bench and roster right now" I got bothered, and still do, because neither success nor failure can be summed up that easily. ...Read more on SoSH

Belichick's No Microphony

But Let's Get this Show on the Road Already.

Tues. Jan 27

Martinez Muscles Up

Positive Reports on Pedro's Shoulder from Miami.

Mo Gone

Retirement. Right from the Horse's Mouth.

Schilling on the Spot in Boston

"The Red Sox haven't won a World Series since 1918. Now they've brought in a 37-year-old ace, a former Red Sox farmhand, to beat the Yankees and bring a world championship to Boston.

He'll have a lot of help and a good team behind him, but being trusted more than anyone to break an 86-year curse brings a lot of pressure." - ESPN Magazine 1.23

"Sure over the course of a season there are certain players that have more of an impact than others, but when the recipe is finally put together, it's the sum of all the parts that makes the meal, not any one individual thing. Leave just one out, and it changes dramatically, same thing here." - Curt Schilling on SoSH

Thurs. Jan. 21 - Mon. Jan 26

*Nine Out of Ten Dentists Agree

The A-Rod Deal Bears Its Teeth One More Time Before Spring Training

(*The tenth dentist has been identified as Dr. Charles Steinberg, 4 Yawkey Way, Boston)

"The strength of the wolf lies in its pack." - Bill Belichick

"Get Rid of Steroids Now!"

President says using steroids sends the wrong message that a "shortcut to accomplishment is more important than character," urges teams and players to get them out of baseball.

(The President is not expected to intervene in the A-Rod trade talks at this time.)

"Product Marketing Mistake"

Sox Fan Wants Her A-Rod Jersey

1.21.04: "Back to the whole jersey thing. I was one of the unfortunates who actually purchased one yesterday. I got a conformation number and my credit card had a pending charge to Digital River-MLB for $101.95.

I just got off the phone with MLB.COM about this. At first the guy played dumb like he had no idea what I was talking about. Then he said "it was a product marketing mistake" and "they could not get the jerseys from the vendor" he also said no one hacked into their site and that my credit card would not be charged.

I want to know what product marketing mistake is and I WANT MY JERSEY."

- remcat, redsoxnation.net

MLB.com removes Red Sox A-Rod Replica Home Jerseys from ShopMLB.com at 11:11am, 1.20.04. Thank God for screen grabs:

Or Get the Boston Red Sox Alex Rodriguez Red Retro Cooperstown Jersey for
Only $200 Large
(MLB.com dropped Cooperstown and Warm-up jersey pages too, 1.20.04)




Let's Talk Baseball, Real Baseball

On Pitch Counts and Workloads

One of the old saws is that in the "old days' guys could throw 165 pitches a start or whatever because they didn't have to throw each pitch with the intensity that is necessary today.

Which is true, since you could give up a 400 foot fly ball and have it be an out. You didn't have to be as sharp on EVERY single pitch. The game of pitching has changed DRAMATICALLY in the past 30-40 years. Moreso than any other aspect of the game. Factor in the following, and you can see.

First off the strike zone. It used to be right below the letters, to the lower knee, shin area. Today it is pretty much top of the knee to high thigh up and down. Now we have a much smaller area to pitch to, which means a lot less area for a hitter to have to cover. Compound that with harder baseballs, MUCH smaller parks, overall lack of pitching depth, talent, MUCH bigger, stronger, faster hitters, and you get the offensive explosion we are witnessing over the last decade. Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton and Jim Palmer told me that when they pitched, you could actually "mush" the seams and leather of a baseball, meaning you could actually create wrinkles in the ball by pinching the leather. Pick up a ML baseball today, they are pool balls, not swimming pool either, but billiard ball hard.

There is much less margin for error in the game today as a pitcher, that means to be good you have to be REAL REAL good, and that's every pitch. I can remember talking to some HOF pitchers, including Robin Roberts, and on more than one occasion they told me that in some parks you'd just make sure to throw FB middle out, because if you didn't pull the ball in the air, it was an out. Heck Richie Ashburn told me that they used to park the batting cage in one stadium out in deep center field, ON THE FIELD, during the game, since it was so far away it was never really in play. Now I don't know about you, but I have yet to see a park with those dimensions :).

So, does dialing down a fastball -- throwing it 91 instead of 94 -- help maintain your freshness?


More generally, there is clearly some corollary between a heavy workload and a pitcher breaking down, but the specifics of what that corollary is are as vague as can be. Some commentators, without any firm basis, have said that the way to get the most innings out of pitcher is to keep innings per start down, but go back to a 4-man rotation. The idea being that it is the 130 plus pitch count starts that wear a pitcher down, but outings with less than 100 pitches would permit a guy to thrive on a 4 man rotation. Do you have any sense of what an optimal workload would be and how it should be apportioned, or is the status quo the result of tried and tested practice?

Here is how I have come to view pitching fatigue, injuries and all the things that come with them.

Example: If I throw 135 pitches in a 9-2 game, a game my team leads early and big in, I am gonna feel stiff the next day, bit sore maybe, but not nearly as sore and stiff as throwing 95 pitches over 7 innings in a 1-1 game. The game, score and pitch counts all factor in, and by pitch counts I mean if I have to throw 30 pitches in the 3rd inning with runners in scoring position all inning long, in a scoreless or close game, that's gonna take a TON out of me for later. I always call these kinda situations reaching into the tank. I feel like I can muster up two of these a game if I have too. Situations that in my mind the outcome of the game is riding on. I try and make sure the 2nd time I have to do this is after the 7th. ...Read more on SoSH

Wed. Jan. 20



1.20.04 Dan Patrick on SportsCenter: "There's certainly movement on the A-Rod to Boston deal online. A person with access to create a page on MLB.com posted a link to the websites online shop that offers fans an opportunity to purchase an Alex Rodriguez replica Boston Red Sox jersey for a mere $99.95. The page eventually appeared on a Red Sox fan site (hello). A source close to the situation said the link was up for minutes and the same person who posted it apparently took it down."

"An authorized person conducted an unauthorized hoax"
- Jim Gallagher, spokesman for MLB Advanced Media

"Dirt on the Shirt. A-Rod Jersey a Hoax." ESPN.com news services - Tuesday, January 20, 2004 (our comments in parenthesis). A person who has access to create pages on MLB.com posted a link to the Web site's online shop that offered fans an opportunity to purchase an Alex Rodriguez replica Boston Red Sox jersey for $99.95. (Nope. No link, the pages were embedded into the ShopMLB.com database. That was one sample product and size. There were three A-Rod Red Sox jersey styles that went live on ShopMLB.com on January 16th -- Sox fans discovered pages last night when the images went up here. The jerseys were loaded into MLB.com's searchable database as attested to by many fans on the redsox.com forum, redsoxnation.net, SoSH, and other discussion boards last night. The red Cooperstown jerseys were going for $200.00 each and some people were actually able to backorder it, as they were already out of stock. See warm up shirt above.)

An image of the page appeared on Red Sox fan site www.bostondirtdogs.com. (Correct, and I should have grabbed the other two products -- Cooperstown and warm up jerseys -- as well had I known about this sketchy spin). The file containing the A-Rod jersey image was uploaded to bostondirtdogs.com on Friday and was accompanied by the text "Boston Red Sox Alex Rodriguez Replica Home Jersey." (Nope. The images and screen grab were saved last night when Red Sox Nation online discovered the gaffe of releasing these shirts to the live shop database early instead of leaving the pages in the testing area.) "Be one of the first to own a jersey customized with the name and number of the newest Red Sox, Alex Rodriguez! $99.95." (Again, that was just one size, one style -- there were three.)

A source close to the situation said the link was up for several minutes and the same individual who posted it apparently removed it from MLB.com. ("Several minutes" my donkey. A simple peruse here, January 19, 4:13pm, and here "three different ones?" will prove otherwise. This gaffe was just discovered last night. Pages on MLB.com were live since January 16th. "Minutes" to pull it down maybe after Dr. Steinberg called and said MLB Advanced Media has to take the fall for this one -- the Sox took the heat for bannergate just two weeks ago right?)

"An authorized person conducted an unauthorized hoax," Jim Gallagher, spokesman for MLB Advanced Media, which runs MLB.com and 30 team Web sites, told ESPN.com. "We take this situation very seriously and we are currently investigating." (Yeah right, an authorized person made three different sample A-Rod shirts, built the pages with sizes and pricing variables, put them into the database, and launched them all live... for a joke. Are you related to Gene Mota Jim? We've got guys that bought the shirts Jim. You took credit cards on those shirts, bottom line.)

MLB.com Advanced Media editor-in-chief Dinn Mann was not available for comment. (Smart move Dinn)

-- Darren Rovell, ESPN.com (Quit your day job buddy but run a correction first.)


"Of course it can get done... done in private without a whole lot of media scrutiny... privacy will rule the day if this trade ever has a chance." - Jeff Moorad

"You're (ESPN) jumping the gun." - Scott Boras


1.20.04 Dan Patrick, ESPN SportsCenter: "Earlier today a major league baseball official confirmed to me that trade talks between the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers centering around Alex Rodriguez are still being explored. The source was quick to point out that no deal is imminent, and given the much publicized talks of last month, both sides have gone about their business in a covert manner. Money has been the major stumbling block in the A-Rod deal getting done."

Bruce Levine, ESPN radio 1000: "If you talk to the people involved right now they'll tell you the story is totally incorrect and that there's no meeting but Texas people did verify that Texas people will be in New York (NY baseball writers dinner/MVP presentation)... but if a deal like this is going to get done, certainly the media is not going to be reporting on it. This was a good source, two good sources that I had on this, and they said, you know, you're going to have to sit on this thing because, Dan, no one is going to talk about this until it gets done. None of the teams can absorb the type of publicity involved here if the thing doesn't get done this time."

Rangers-Red Sox Offer Strong Denials This Time Around

Negotiations to Stay Out of the Media for Round Three

"This deal is dead. Honestly. There is no chance of this happening. Don't read anything into some of those people being in New York." - Rangers statement, 1.20.04

"The reports are completely baseless. There are no plans for us to meet with anybody. We just learned about it. I was surprised by it, John Henry was surprised by it, Larry Lucchino was surprised by it, Tom Werner was surprised by it. It's unfortunate that someone can apparently fabricate a story and then Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez have to read about their futures again in the press. It's completely baseless, it's not true. The healthiest thing is just to move on. This story has been behind us for several weeks now." - Theo Epstein, General Manager, Boston Red Sox, 1.20.04... but is it deja vu all over again?...

"It's baseless" - Theo Epstein, General Manager, Boston Red Sox, 11.12.03


(Elvis says "Hey Baby" from Burger King)



Teams Learn from Past Mistakes
and Deny Reports

Talks to Resume this Weekend


1:20:04, 1:17pm: ESPN radio's Bruce Levine on Dan Patrick's radio show is now saying that talks on the Manny-for-A-Rod trade heated up this past week and John Henry and Tom Hicks either met last weekend or will meet this coming weekend. Patrick says A-Rod was bending Bud Selig's ear about the trade at Sammy Sosa's birthday party in the Dominican a while back and is pressing hard for the deal. According to Levine, who says the deal will happen according to his sources, all parties still want the deal to go through, and Selig's comment was to "get the deal done then call me only after everyone has approved the trade." Patrick says the deal will get done most likely by "this weekend." Alex has not spoken to manager Buck Showalter since the trade talks stalled in December.

(Hey, it beats Terry Shumpert talk)


Tues. Jan. 20 -

He's Back!


A-Rod Red Sox Home Jerseys On Sale
at ShopMLB.com

(MLB files uploaded Jan. 16, 2004; MLB dropped page, 1.20.04)

"Boston Red Sox Alex Rodriguez Replica Home Jersey. Be one of the first to own a jersey customized with the name and number of the newest Red Sox, Alex Rodriguez! $99.95"

ESPN Radio's Bruce Levine, who broke Pettitte to Astros, Roger too, reports of "secret talks" scheduled this week between the Red Sox and Rangers.

Does MLB Know Something We Don't Know?

It's Good to Be ALIVE!

Sun. Jan 18, Mon. Jan 19.



You Can't Break the Law in Foxboro

AFC Champions 24 Colts 14

(Carolina, You Have A Problem)

That's Manning Being Manning

Foxboro is Not Peyton's Place

Four Interceptions = Fourteen in a Row for Patriots.

Colts Go Pony Up!

Pats Fans are Houston Rockets

Gillette's Go Pats

It's Patriots Day

Sat. Jan 17

Boo Hoo

Gillette's Go Manny!

Ramirez Allegedly Afraid of Fan Blitz While Nomar Calls an Audible for Pats Game and Goes Back to Phoenix.

"They boo because they want to cheer you." - Mike Timlin

Eskimo Up! Get on the Plane to Foxboro Manny.
And Get Some Bonus Miles with the Fans.

"I think Manny will be met with a mix of jeers, boos, and half-hearted cheers. But the place will positively erupt if either he or Nomar hits a dinger, much more so, I predict, than if, for example, Kevin Millar or Bill Mueller homered.

Manny isn't unequivocally a villain in the the eyes of Red Sox Nation. But he's a mix of great characteristics and confounding and aggravating characteristics. On rare occasions, the aggravations rise to be real problems (like when he wheeled out of the batters box or refused to pinch hit), but those are rare. Most times, the guy performs like a monster and has fun with this teammates. His bosses hate him, but I'm not his boss and I could care less if he or anyone make their jobs more difficult if Manny produces.

In the race thread, someone described Boston as a liberal city. I disagree. There is a small academic community that grabs headlines and attention, but Boston is very much a blue collar, working class city, much like Chicago. And I think that the people of Boston like their heroes in their own image - flawed in some way, with contradictions, and rough edges. I think that was part of Bird's appeal. I also think that's why Tom Brady is really, really, really well-liked, but not beloved or adored. Quite frankly, I think white-bread A-Rod (he may be "a person of color" but A-Rod is pure Wonderbread) would get the same reception." - dag2000, redsoxnation.net

What's the Mato Here?

Manny's Agent Spins Guilt Trip on Gordon Edes.
 And Trips Up.

Return address correct
Agent insists Ramirez not unhappy in Boston

By Gordon Edes, Boston Globe Staff, 1/17/2004

"Ramirez bought a plane ticket and planned to fly up from South Florida to attend tomorrow's AFC Championship game with Mato, but as of yesterday, Mato said, Ramirez had a change of heart and is probably going to stay home."

(Then why even tell us the story? To make us feel guilty? You've got to be kidding Gene. This strategy won't work in Boston buddy.)

"He's afraid that if he goes to the game and they show him on the scoreboard, everybody will start booing him," Mato said."

(Boo hoo. Fans may boo to acknowledge that they know he asked to be traded and wants to play for the Yankees. And as D-Lowe said "they cheer when you win, they boo when you lose."  Get over it.)

"And that would be unfortunate, the agent said, because despite whatever people may believe at this stage, Ramirez is glad to be coming back to the Red Sox this season."

 (Only because he was deathly afraid of trying to fill A-Rod's shoes in Texas. We know he's a Yankee at heart, but we'll cheer him anyway. We're stuck with each other, he wears our laundry, what's the point?)

"As evidence, Mato cites the date, Dec. 6, when he and Ramirez placed a phone call to Red Sox owner John W. Henry, in the midst of the trade talks that would have sent Ramirez to the Texas Rangers for shortstop Alex Rodriguez. "He called John Henry and told him he didn't want to be traded," Mato said."

 (See above. We have enough evidence to convict Mato right now.)

 "John's been great with Manny. Manny likes him a lot. Manny doesn't blame John for anything."

(Why should he blame John. Tried to trade him. Tried to give him away. Unfortunately he could not "accommodate Manny's requests." But he tried.)

"Yes, Alex Rodriguez is a great player, but he's already proved he can't do it alone. Why break up the great chemistry that team had?

(Huh? He proved that even with a great hitter you need pitching. The Sox have it. And a lineup to support him. Losing Manny wouldn't affect the chemistry Gene. But you know that.)

"Manny seems to be real excited about this year. He started working out about three days after the Red Sox lost to the Yankees, and he's probably in better shape right now than he was at any time last year."

(We assumed at twenty million dollars per season he would always be excited to play for the Boston Red Sox. And why can't we hear it from him directly Baghdad Bob?)

"Get ready. Get ready for this year. He is going in angry."

(Yeah, angry that his trade requests leaked out last season, angry that the Yankees wouldn't pick up his contract, angry at Millar's comments... what's he got to be angry about? He's our Manny!)

"Mato said Ramirez would not consent to an interview at this time, though he urged the player to do so just the day before. "If he says something," Mato said, "he feels it will be taken out of context. People misinterpret him, so he says let people think whatever they want."

(Godalmighty. Does Mato think we're stupid up here? If Manny speaks, and he does speak perfect English Gene, he can't be misinterpreted. Ask Curt Schilling.)

"Nobody's heard Manny's story," Mato said. "They just say Manny wanted to leave, but that wasn't the case. There were times he did want to leave. That is true. But one thing that also is true is that when the A-Rod rumors first started, he called John Henry to let him know he wanted to stay in Boston."

(Ohmygod. It is Baghdad Bob! I thought he was captured?)

"He doesn't deny complaining several times throughout the year. There were certain issues. He doesn't deny saying he wanted to be traded at some points. But it had nothing to do with the fans. He loves Boston. But he's an emotional guy. Things developed, and he wanted to get out."

(Oy vey! What "things developed" Manny? Your trade requests? Chat with Joe Morgan? Skipping the Yankee series?)

Mato acknowledges that Ramirez's emotions were running high when the Sox hosted the Yankees over the weekend of Aug. 29-31, especially after media reports that a supposedly ailing Ramirez had gone out to eat with Yankees infielder Enrique Wilson, a longtime friend.

(sigh... his emotions are supposed to be running high because they were playing the Yankees and he's our cleanup hitter. He should have been in the lineup, or at least on the bench. Period. He should not be worrying about gossip.)

"Though the players did see each other that Saturday evening, Mato insists the two did not have dinner. "People say Manny didn't want to beat the Yankees," Mato said. "Nobody wants to beat the Yankees more than Manny."

(and if you can't beat 'em... join 'em... or try to right Baghdad Bob?)

"Manny lives at the Ritz-Carlton. Enrique went to see him. He came downstairs to see Enrique because he doesn't want anyone in his home. He saw Enrique about a half-hour. They never had dinner. I wasn't there, but according to Manny, he started feeling sick when he was with Enrique. He went back to his room that night feeling real bad and when he woke up the next day, he felt terrible."

(Except that he went with Wilson back to the other hotel:

"Wilson, who went 3 for 4 to help lead the rout, visited the Sox superstar at the Ritz-Carlton/Boston Common, on Avery Street, where Ramirez lives during the season.

"He told me that he was sick," Wilson said. "He didn't want to play [Saturday] because he didn't feel so good."

The Sox official said Ramirez accompanied Wilson back to his hotel, the Ritz-Carlton/Boston on Arlington Street. - Ramirez actions raise a red fag, Boston Globe, 9.2.03

Left there an maybe went home. Then blew off the doctor's appointment Sunday. Wouldn't sit on the bench to intimidate Torre as his teammates had wanted at a minimum. Oh, but he did eventually call Ino Guerrero. How thoughtful.)

"They [the Red Sox] knew Manny wasn't going [to the park on Sunday] -- I spoke to them," said Mato, adding that he couldn't recall which Sox official he spoke with. "I told them he was sick. They wanted him there regardless. They disagreed on whether he wanted to be there or not. One of the things I told Manny is they wanted him to be there."

(Sorry Gene you lied. And if you lie once... well... Boston Globe, September 2, 2003: "While manager Grady Little waited to write his lineup, hoping Ramirez would be well enough to play, team officials tried to reach their prized cleanup hitter, to no avail... While the Sox continued their attempts to reach Ramirez, the slugger phoned Ino Guerrero, his close friend and staff member, near the end of batting practice and said he did not plan to report to the park." You didn't speak to anyone Gene. "Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here." - Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson), As Good as it Gets, 1997.

"Still, when the season ended, Ramirez was placed on waivers, but no team claimed him for the $20,000 waiver price. Mato said Ramirez became upset that the process became public and that the Red Sox did not offer any public explanation (Sox officials said baseball rules prevented them from commenting on the waiver process)."

(The explanation was that they were "honoring Manny's request" according to John Henry who might have a tad more credibility than Mato right about now wouldn't you say?)

But whatever distress Ramirez felt at the time, Mato insists, is no longer an issue. "What bothered Manny most was what [Kevin] Millar said," Mato said, referring to interviews in which Millar came out in favor of the Rodriguez trade. "But Kevin has reached out to Manny and they've worked it out. Kevin was put in a bad situation. Kevin didn't mean any harm by it, but what's done is done, and they've already worked it out."

(Millar's fault again (sigh). Hey, Kevin was told it was a done deal too. 100% done before Orza torpedoed it)

"There is no animosity, Mato said."

(Nor should there be, not our fault no one picked up the contract.
It is what it is.)

Gene, Gene the Lying Machine

Mato Could Be More Disingenuous than Moorad,
if That's Even Possible (Dump Him Manny)

"He told one group of reporters that his grandmother was ''kind of sick,'' another group that his grandmother had died, even going so far as spelling his grandmother's name for one reporter and giving her age to another. He said he felt obligated to come because he was the only Sox representative."

"But his agent, Jeff Moorad, and Moorad's associate, Gene Mato, had said nothing about Ramirez's grandmother Monday, when they offered the explanation that Ramirez had skipped the flight the Sox had arranged for him on Sunday night and flew out on a private plane on Monday in order to tend to some personal business that involved a stopover in New York. Yesterday, Ramirez didn't arrive at the ballpark until almost 2:30 p.m. and said that he had flown to Miami, contradicting his agents." - Ramirez Mystery, Boston Globe, July 2001

"His agent, Gene Mato, said that the rising star, facing astronomical prices in Boston, won't be looking for a penthouse apartment or even a house, just "something simple, in a quiet area." - AP 12.18.00

Meanwhile, Manny's Penthouse Was Quietly for Sale

"TAKING A SWING AT THE MARKET? And speaking of baseball players, slugger Manny Ramirez's penthouse condo in the Ritz Towers has been the subject of more trade speculation than he has. The condo, when we checked this week, was not on the market, although it had been briefly, in a very quiet way."  - Boston Globe 12.28.03

Williamson Signs One Year Deal. Trot Close to Three Year Package.

Terry Shumpert alive and signs a non-guaranteed contract with Sox.

A-Rod Deal Could Be Given Last Rites Soon.

Millar Gets Back on Campaign Trail

10. Did Grady stick with Pedro too long?

"No. I stand behind Grady Little and his decision for this reason: Pedro Martinez is our ace. We live with Pedro; we lose with Pedro. I would never have taken him out -- Pedro did everything he could. We lost the game. That's the bad part; but with Pedro out there, we absolutely had the chance to have it."

But earlier, Millar confessed: "To tell you the truth, I'm not real smart."

10 Burning Questions for Kevin Millar, ESPN.com Page 2

Fri. Jan. 16


Pats Kick Colts Ass on Sunday

Ghost is Back in the Machine

Grady lands job as Cubs' reporter.

Big Dan on Campus

Duke Waves Goodbye to MLB

EgoManiac Names New Berkshire Collegiate Team After Himself. Was this John Flynn's idea?

John Henry considers changing name of
Boston Red Sox to "The Boston Henrys"

"I have a friend who plays in that league. He says he'll quit if
he has to play for Duquette."
- The Ghost of Todd Jones, redsoxnation.net

"The Dukes plan to spend more days in first place than any other team
in the New England Collegiate Baseball League."
- Dan "Twilight Zone" Duquette, President, Berkshire Dukes

 Seriously, take a spin out to Hinsdale this summer, say hi to The Duke,
watch some baseball in the Berkshires... good times.

Done Deal on M-Rod?

"We'll have guys there to watch him but that's all I'll say.'' - Theo

File under: close, but no Cuban cigar yet.
(It's about 2% done for those keeping score at home.)


Let's Talk Baseball, Real Baseball

On Pressure

Pressure is self imposed. Regardless of what anyone in the world expects of me, no one expects more of me than myself. That's my pressure. What you call pressure I call adrenalin. Pressure is what I think people feel we are under to win the big one, to come through in the clutch. I have always felt I had the ability to funnel outside forces, home/road crowd noise, big game, big AB, crucial situation etc., into a positive adrenalin rush for me. I use it, I think I perform better with it. I also think as a pitcher that being able to recognize when the situation has intensified, for both hitter and pitcher, and perform accordingly, stay within yourself, is a huge key to success.

I have watched and studied Greg Maddux for years. He is so far ahead of the field when it comes to the mental aspects of pitching that its scary. I watched a game about 10 years ago, Maddux was pitching in SF, bases loaded, Dave Martinez hitting. 2-2 count. Maddux throws ball three, way way outside, a fastball, then goes 3-2 and throws a picture perfect change up, not even close to the zone. Martinez swings, inning over. It stuck with me so much that the next year when I saw him I asked him about it. He remembered it, he told me on 2-2, the crowd was pumped in SF, he had great command of his changeup, he knew that 3-2 Martinez would sit FB and would be swinging and that the crowd would be even louder, the situation even more tense on the hitter as well as the runners would be going, always a nice distraction, something he wasn't sure of 2-2, so he intentionally threw ball 3 to ramp up the situation, lure Martinez into a false sense of security, then pulled the string on him. When the situation intensifies, and the game is on the line, the only players that distance themselves from others and achieve are the ones that don't get "caught up" in that pressure in the wrong way, they actually hold back. Everyone else is pressing, except the guys that know their adrenalin is way kicked in, and their ability plus the extra adrenalin will do the work for them.

I've always thought that once I started doing all the work to prepare for games, the only thing that would be different from game 1 of spring training to game 7 of the world series was the 27 outs I needed to get, all the other stuff would always be present, but narrowing my focus would allow me to not have time to get caught up in it. I am an adrenalin junkie, I want the ball in the biggest games because that's when you prove the most, when more is at stake. People afraid of those situations look at it from the other side, there's more to lose than there is to gain...

Lastly, once you learn to deal with pressure, does it matter how much pressure there is (i.e. the World Series different from LCS, etc.), or is it that once you learn to tune it out, it doesn't matter if its game #142, 9th inning two on, vs. Game #6 of the World Series with 10,000,000 watching.

I can tell you this, the pressure in the division series and NLCS was ten times more than world series pressure. If you get to the world series you've done something, you've won the league, if not you've done nothing IMO.I was ten times more nervous in games 1 and 5 of the NLDS and game 3 of the NLCS than I was for games 1 and 4 of the world series in 2001. Now game 7 was a little different animal, lots of subplots to that one on a personal level, but that night I worked with my sports psychologist and slept better than I ever had.

Also, what aspect of the performance did "pressure" impact? Is it the mental part - not thinking clearly and calling the wrong pitch, fielding a bunt and throwing it to the wrong base (or offline) during the 9th inning of game 7 etc, or the physical part - gripping the ball more tightly and not hitting the spot or not getting a sharp break on the ball?

Like everything else that is player dependent. Honestly before games, any game I am starting, you couldn't pull a pin out of my butt with a tractor, I'm that nervous, fear of failure can be a tremendous motivator. It can also be a paralyzer to the player that fears failure too much. You have to have perspective, in a game where failing 7 out of 10 times every day for 20 years can get you to the hall of fame, failure takes on a different meaning. I have always stayed away from that word too, failure, I believe you can only truly fail at something if you quit, everything else is just roadblocks that you've been given the tools to navigate if you can find it in yourself to push. - Curt Schilling - 1.14

Read the Q&A on SoSH

Wed/Thu. Jan. 14-15

Yankee Fan Fesses Up

New Yorker Knows Our Passion

BK to Stay

Kim Byung-hyun to Sign on for 2 More Years, $10 million

But Arroyo has shot at 5th spot.

No BK Deal Yet

Ortiz, Nixon, Williamson, and Kim file for arbitration.

"Little Brain"

Kevin Millar explains why Grady left Pedro
in at the Boston Baseball Writers' Dinner.

Cheatin' and Lyin' in Houston

Pettitte and Clemens together again.

Tues. Jan. 13


Let's Talk Baseball, Real Baseball

"I love Bill James' stuff, a lot of it, I use it a lot in fantasy baseball, because IMO that's where it has its best application, but on the mound, in the game, things are dramatically different because you cannot put a number or % to the human brain, or psyche, and humans react differently to different atmospheres, pressure, environments, it's what makes sports the coolest thing on earth." - 1.14.04

Forget the mind-numbing number crunching, Schilling wants to talk "real baseball."

On Mentors

Mentors? Few, but I have gotten advice from literally everyone I've gone to. I think, I think :) , one of my strong suits is an intense willingness to learn things, always. I realized very early in my career that I wasn't going to be doing things in the big leagues that no one had ever seen, so I looked at the guys that were the best (early 90's, Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Clemens) and tried to figure out what made each one so good. Not the overall general stuff, but looking into the numbers. My thought then was that if I could get my control as good as Maddux, with 5-8 more mph, I might have something good to work with. That's been my goal now for years. But as far as influence, what I do on the field, how I prepare, how I conduct myself, how I work, is all a result of talking and watching the following people Jim Palmer, Sandy Koufax, Johnny Podres, Terry Mulholland, Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Brian Anderson, Don Drysdale, Jim Fregosi, and tons more. Next to my dad, Johnny P was by far and away my largest influence, and the guy that helped me turn the corner, without him I don't think any of this would have happened to me.

I can remember when we first got cable TV in Arizona, we started getting WGN, which was great because we were dyed in the wool Pirate fans, so we got to see them alot. I'm like 10 years old and we're watching baseball pretty much everyday and there's my dad talking about first pitch strikes, lead off walks, getting ahead of hitters. I'm sitting there thinking, WHAT? Damn, turn the channel, isn't Godzilla vs Rodan on now?

Funny how life works. I've learned as much, if not more, from my dad from the day he died, through today, than I did while he was alive. When he was around it was "blah blah blah" to me, like every other kid, tune them out, now, as a dad myself, I hear his stinking advice every day of the year and the damn guy was 100% correct.

On Catchers

I can't really answer the game thing regarding Jason yet, but based on what I have heard there will be a lot of interaction between he and I. There are 5 people that I speak with on the day I pitch, My trainer, manager, pitching coach, defensive coach and my catcher. On my day, IMO, it's my world, conversing with anyone else is wasting breath and time on things that will have no positive impact on me getting anyone out that night.

I ask, no I think the word demand fits, a lot of my catchers. It's the reason I prefer to work with one guy, every game. It's never been a thing where I liked one guy more than the next, I want my catchers to be able to throw sure, but more than anything I want to know he's as locked into getting every hitter out and making every single pitch, for 9 innings, regardless of his AB's. That's not as easy as it sounds to find. I have always asked my catchers during games, if they have a feel for something, or see something, to shake me off. For that to happen, I shake a catcher off, he taps his chest and puts the same sign down, telling me that it's his call, and he wants the pitch he put down. In that situation he's telling me he has seen something and the pitch he wants is the pitch to throw. Hasn't happened for me in about 5 years. Catchers are afraid to do this because with that decision comes responsibility, I am hoping Tek is ok with this and I think from what I hear he will be. I want my catchers to be psyched when we throw a shutout, that matters to me. I want them to WANT to know before the games what we are going to do for that 9 innings.

On Stats

As far as the baseball prospectus reference, well I am not sure what to tell you. I am a stat guy, there are certain stats that I absolutely pay attention to before I pitch a game, stats I write down that affect my pitch selection, but to think that anyone can tell you what's gonna happen based on certain formulas is, IMO, crap. I think they do a fantastic job of telling you who was worth what last year, who did what, who was more important, but to even think anyone can assure you they know what a player is going to do this year is not true, can't happen. Check back to the 2001 pre-season predictions, how many of the baseball gurus picked us to win it all, how many people picked RJ and I to do what we did? Gonzo? There are enough players out there that if you predict for all of them, your accidentally gonna be right sometimes, but I have always been on the other side of that kind of argument. I think some of that is taking offense when someone who has a Harvard degree comes out and says so and so was crap last year, regardless of his stats. Fact of the matter is that so and so is still 1000x better than anyone at this game than that guy has ever known. I get offended by that stuff, right or wrong it bugs me. I love Bill James' stuff, a lot of it, I use it a lot in fantasy baseball, because IMO that's where it has its best application, but on the mound, in the game, things are dramatically different because you cannot put a number or % to the human brain, or psyche, and humans react differently to different atmospheres, pressure, environments, it's what makes sports the coolest thing on earth. Great example, Kurt Reuter, he does ZERO, nothing, has stuff I'd die to NOT have, honestly couldn't break glass with a rock, but you know what? He wins, a lot, and in the major leagues, when all the stats are thrown out there, and all the "experts" are done with their predictions, the games have to be played, and nothing, absolutely nothing, matters more than winning that game, that day." - Curt Schilling talking baseball, 1.14.04

- Read the Q&A on SoSH

Mon. Jan 12

The Gr8 One

You had to figure 8 would be hanging from the rafters.
Thanks for the memories Tough Guy.

One More Time

Houston Rocket Re-launch

Will he be back in Boston in October?

Hot Music, Cool Stove

Gammo Stole the Show, But He Don't Know
"Son of Sam." Trauser Better than Ezra.

No Hot Trade Rumors in the House.

Mueller on Millar: "We're gonna put duct tape over his mouth when he gets to spring training."

Foxbrrro Fanatics

Indy comes to WINdy city after
Pats boot Titans out of playoffs.


Let's Talk Baseball, Real Baseball

"What I have never been able to tolerate is mental mistakes, guys forgetting how many outs there are, a catcher throwing the ball back to me after strike three with no one on, or someone running off the field, or starting to, with two outs. That's stupid, and those mistakes are disrespectful to teammates, and that's unacceptable." - 1.13.04

Forget the mind-numbing number crunching, Schilling wants to talk "real baseball."

"I have a pre-game meeting the day I pitch, with the pitching coach, my catcher and the defensive coach. In that meeting I tell the defensive coach where I want the defenders to be playing for each hitter, in the past that is then put on a defensive chart that is in the dugout for the players and coaches to see. Also during the game I will turn off the mound and reposition defenders based on certain situations and counts. I watch enough video to know or feel where a hitter will hit my pitches, and feel I have the command to make those pitches again, so I defend accordingly. Amazingly some of the best hitters in the game are the easiest to defend. Tony Gwynn, finally got smart and gave up trying to strike him out, knew he'd hit the ball hard to the left side if I kept my fastball away, so I just had a simple entry in my defensive notes on him, pitch away, play away. Would move the SS in the hole, 2B almost in an anti-Ted Williams shift, and move the CF into the LF gap, start throwing him FB away and hope someone caught it. Only trouble was with a runner on first he'd go out and try to hook the ball in the hole, and was one of the few guys that could do it, which then afforded me the rare opportunity to go inner half and possibly make him hit it on a part of the bat other than the barrel, which happened about as often as you see Haley's comet.

...As a pitcher, would you prefer to have a defensive whiz who can save you runs but is a hole in the lineup or a poor fielder who can give you some run support. Since the first day of my career, with Bob Melvin catching me, I have never cared what a catcher hits, as long as he makes me think that his calling of a game is as important to him as pitching it is to me.

I'd love to have the Gold Glove batting champ behind me, but those guys are the rarity. The only thing I ask is that you put as much effort into the game I pitch as I do. Errors happen, an error is a chance for me to pick up that teammate by not allowing that runner to score, no problem. What I have never been able to tolerate is mental mistakes, guys forgetting how many outs there are, a catcher throwing the ball back to me after strike three with no one on, or someone running off the field, or starting to, with two outs. That's stupid, and those mistakes are disrespectful to teammates, and that's unacceptable." - Curt Schilling talking baseball, 1.13.04

- Read the Q&A on SoSH

Fri. Jan. 9


Radio Daze: Theo Cooked on Trade Talk, While Gammons Stirs the Pot

Mo Gone

Sumo Slugger to Sit out 2004 season.
Eyes big, huge return in 2005.

"It's not about the honeys Dale."

Hey Baby, Do You Want Fries with That?

"It's like seeing Elvis at Burger King."

- Theo Epstein on A-Rod talk 1.8.04

(Oh, and happy birthday Elvis... wherever you are.)

A-Rod has been working all week on the trade, again. - Peter Gammons on WAAF

Big O: Is this whole deal with A-Rod dead, can it be revived, should we even speculate, talk about it, waste our time?

Gammons: "I wouldn't talk about it because I think it will drive people either insane or ad-nauseam or take away from the Patriots, which I don't think anyone wants to have happen BUT, A-Rod still wants it to happen and he's trying to come up with some ways to see if he can rekindle it, I doubt it will happen, but if he can be successful in getting John Henry and Tom Hicks, Gene Orza and Alex into a suite for a day, maybe it could happen.

I think that could happen too (end of 2004 season), just because from Texas' standpoint, the difference between A-Rod's and Manny's salaries gets wider at the end of next season. I'm sure the Rangers would like to revisit that.

I think it could still happen. He does like it here. Most everyone wants it to happen, how it happens is the problem they have. They haven't been able to find the tracks to get the train on, maybe they can get it back. I do think that the Nomar/Ordonez thing is still there, so they could probably still do that."

Big O: If the Red Sox don't sign Nomar, and I'm not sure since they seem to be far apart that they will going into the last year of the contract, people keep talking about Nomar's feelings. I'm not concerned that he's not going to go out and have a terrific season. He's a professional that knows what he's got to do, especially in the last year of his contract. But doesn't it become such a distraction by us, by the media people, it's constantly going to be asked of him everywhere.

We had this stupid thing in the last few days, which was really dumb, the masthead of the website was changed by Major League Baseball and Nomar's picture, who was on it two days ago, was not omitted along with Manny's and now (PG: as was Ordonez in Chicago) and everybody put two-and-two together and suddenly everybody's talking about... the thing is Nomar's in Austin Texas right now apparently, he's not dealing it, but imagine if we're dealing with little idiotic stuff like that on a day-to-day basis, that this is not gonna get to a guy who hates for us to speculate about anything anyway?

PG: What I think will happen is that Manny will just shut things out even more, and Nomar will shut things off even more... I have never been to a Red Sox game in which Nomar Garciaparra didn't play as hard as he could and I think he will play that way. I don't know though whether the sensitivity issue will effect him or whether he'll just completely put on the blinders and go out and have a great year and say 'see I told you you should have paid me $16 or $17 million' and then ride off into the sunset. I can't really judge which way it's gonna go, my guess is it's more towards the latter because I think, he's actually now in Tempe at that performance institute with Mia working out. His regime for six weeks is just incredible." - Peter Gammons, WEEI, The Big Show, 1.8.04

Peter Gammons was also on WAAF 107.3 FM (plugging the Hot Stove music event) this morning and informed the Hillman Morning Show that A-Rod has been working all week on the trade, again. Greg Hill asked if that was a new break in the current information, he confirmed it was. He said Alex was not talking to the Sox, because he isn't allowed to, but confirmed that A-Rod was working on getting the deal back to the table and trying to get everyone to consider it again.

Is Gammo Sick or What?

Theoretically Speaking

"Sick*... Perverse"

Terse Theo Speaks out on A-Rod Deal While Gammons is Talking it Up

(Meanwhile, across the dial on the AM side, Gammo's fellow guitarist chimes in) “It’s perverse, it's sick (that some are still obsessed about the A-Rod trade), it's like seeing Elvis at Burger King… it’s our fault in a way for letting it get so public when there are lives on the line… no one is to blame… the money involved didn’t help, although we were close… when it gets so public, so intense, it hurts people, but that is overblown (with Nomar), it will be a small issue in spring training but it will pass, Nomar will play hard. ...Nomar is a top fielder and actually had one of his better years fielding last year, we have the tools to measure that now."

On negotiating with Nomar: "It’s tough to put yourself in their shoes when you’re looking at the market, it makes it hard to get together, it remains to be seen (if we can get closer). Let me clarify about saying ‘sick’, if I were a fan, 10-12 years removed, I would probably be thinking about the trade. Let’s just say it would be healthy for us to move on. ...And it’s not just the draft picks you get when you let someone go. You get the skills and impact of keeping them another year rather than trade them and hope you controlled talent. You free up that player slot for $10-$12-$15 million and you can be creative with that slot, get three guys at $5 million, take on a contract to get a young superstar... Organically, players will leave and you get not just the draft picks, but the use of those resources.

I don’t expect that we’ll score as many runs but not all players had career years, if you look at Kevin Millar’s career, he actually underperformed.

The free agent period in November is when most players resign with their teams. I don’t mind getting close to the free agent period. You don’t automatically trade your free agents the year before to get value for them. There is tremendous value for having that player play for your team for that year while in his prime, you can cheat yourself of that if you trade just to get someone now. Of the seven players we have coming up, someone’s not going to be here.

We improved greatly in the off-season with the acquisitions of Schilling and Foulke, filling two needs. We’ll have a talented 5th starter, Timlin, Embree, and Williamson will set up Foulke, Arroyo will be a great swingman and 6th starter, Pokey Reese helps us with our right-side defense, ...he works hard on his hitting. Trot is a great candidate for arbitration… Reserve the Hot Stove, Cool Music CD at www.fenwayrecordings.com … Go Pats!” – Theo on with WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan 1.8.04

* Then Theo softened his stance :-)

Red Sox Admit They "Approved" (wink) Dumping Nomar and Manny from
Masthead and Were Forced to Put
Them Back After Fan Pressure.

"Conspiracy buffs were undoubtedly let down early last night with the return of Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez to the masthead of the redsox.com Web site. As part of an mlb.com-prompted overhaul, the site was revamped Tuesday, with the images of Garciaparra and Ramirez being replaced by Curt Schilling and David Ortiz (and Tim Wakefield). The Red Sox were deluged with inquiries as to whether the overhaul was a message about future happenings. It wasn't, although the club acknowledged that it had approved the Ramirez- and Garciaparra-less look when it was shown to them by mlb.com." - 1.8 Herald, Silverman notebook

And if you believe for a second that the flunkies at MLB Advanced Media in New York tell the Boston Red Sox which players to feature on their masthead, well, we've got some CMGI stock we'd like to sell you. ("Charles Steinberg on line one Mr. Rasky"). We were born at night... but it wasn't last night.

"It's not very bright on the Red Sox part to approve it, then change it back again after what's been going on with these guys... are you kidding me?"
- Bob Neumeier, WEEI, Dale & Neumy 1.8.04

Thu. Jan 8

Eskimo Up!

Lobel Coins the Battle-cry as Patriots Fans Leave for Foxboro.

(Whiner Line caller stole it from him or here, Borges got from same.)

Oops! They Changed it Again

Red Sox Respond to Getting Caught Dumping Superstars Online. Dr. Steinberg's Webmasters Scramble to Change RedSox.com Top Banner After Late Night Move Gets Exposed Here. Manny and Nomar Hastily Added Back In, but Wakefield Gets Whacked in New Version.

The edited background and border didn't even line up.
"The Off/site of the Boston Red Sox" (now fixed)

The Revised Fab Five of RedSox.com

Pedro, Nomar, Ortiz, Manny, Schilling


Tangled Web May Mean Trades Not Dead

RedSox.com drops Manny and Nomar from homepage masthead (below). Veteran superstars replaced with
Wakefield, Big O, and The Big Schill (above).
File under: Things that make you go hmmm.

Going, Going, Gone: 

(And that's Yawkey Way's decision, not MLB Advanced Media in NYC)

Don't expect to see Nomar and Manny on the new pocket schedule either.

Inside Out Debuts on NESN: Tewksbury's sportcoat was the big story.

"Nothing says they can't revisit this (A-Rod) before spring training." - Gordon Edes, NESN Inside Out

New Information:  On December 23rd, the Red Sox wanted all their Aramark commissions paid up front. They wanted a chunk of cash, and they
wanted it "post-haste."  There is speculation within Aramark headquarters that the Red Sox wanted that money for something involving A-Rod.

Boston.com on Bannergate

Throwing Some Wood on the Hot Stove

"Have you heard the latest buzz about the seemingly dead Manny-for-A-Rod, Nomar-for-Ordonez blockbuster deal? According to several fan message boards, including sonsofsamhorn.com and bostondirtdogs.com, the official team sites of the Red Sox, Rangers, and White Sox all changed their flags at the top of their sites within an hour of each other at about 2 a.m. today, removing images of the aforementioned players. Spooky! Conspiracy! What do you think is going on???"


Questioning Questec

Off the record as usual, this post if for the fans here only and BDD site please.

Questec doesn't call balls and strikes, period. If it did, I would love it, it doesn't, I hate it. I know what it does to the umpires, excuses or not, they hate it. If it causes umpires to change their game, become uncomfortable about calling balls and strikes they then become inconsistent, which is all true. I don't care what the "global numbers" say, I know the strike zone, I know this is not a good thing. We've been let into umpires rooms to get a first hand look at it, and how it's used, and it really is amusing, in a bad way, at how bad the whole setup really is.

See Questec calls balls and strikes approximately 4 feet or so from where the umpire is standing, farther in Joe Brinkman's case, and umpires are now being asked to project in space, their strike zone. Umps are taught to call balls and strikes at or near the catcher, right or wrong that's how they are taught, they are now being asked to completely change the method in which they view the strike zone.

I don't want balls called strikes, well yes I do but I certainly don't prepare a game plan with that in mind. I, and every player, hitter or pitcher, want consistency. Questec has eliminated consistency. I study umpires, I get to know their zones, I get a feel for which corners they are stronger on, their human, they are going to f it up, that much I know, and like most other mature rational guys up here I deal with it.

Home plate is 17 inches wide, Questec has a 2 inch "buffer" zone in which either call (ball or strike) is correct, they can't make a mistake in that 2 inch buffer. However, the safe route, and they have said this repeatedly, is to call that 2 inch zone a ball, in doing so you eliminate the ability to be called "wrong" by never calling strikes that are a half inch out of that buffer. What has happened is that the 17-19 inch plate of human interpretation has now become 15 inches wide max, and that ain't cutting it in this game today.
You know how they measure a hitters K zone? First AB they take a still photo, regardless of hitters stance, even if you square to bunt, and that's your zone for the game. I would call me a liar if I hadn't actually seen this shown to me by umpires.

Listen, hitting the Questec camera was stupid, immature and dumb as hell, certainly not the way to make a point. But as I told Mr. Alderson when we met, this thing has a direct impact on the outcome of major league games, and IMO not in a good way. Last year in Milwaukee Jim Joyce was umping at 3rd, I told him to tell the Rookie at 1B who was umping behind the plate for me the next day that I'd have Gracie stand in front of the cameras, he told me not to worry, Questec had not paid the Milwaukee operators in months so they stopped showing up and using it. How does that factor into the "global numbers" MLB is pushing on fans to show this thing does in fact work?

I profess to know a lot about a lot, I also know I am wrong about a lot I think I am right about, but I do know pitching, I do know the strike zone and I do know when things are different, and things are VASTLY different in Questec parks than in parks that don't have Questec.

And btw, my sig refers to bad umpires being like good ones, that's not a misprint. - Schilling on SoSH

(Sig) I'd rather have bamboo shoots jammed into my eye socket, than pitch a game in a quest-tec infested park. It sucks, it doesn't work and it makes bad umpires the same as good ones.  More Questec talk on SoSH

Wed. Jan 7

Pats Seeing Red Over Sox Talk

"Word around the (Patriots) locker room is that some in the organization are a bit put out by the fact that the baseball team managed to grab the spotlight, the headlines and the hearts and minds of the fans - even after the season was over and they AGAIN finished out of the money.

"They walk around like they own the town,'' groused one ex-player. "What have they ever won anyway?''

It's all so sibling-rivalry, isn't it?

We hear the pigskin poohbahs were particularly miffed at the way the non-Alex Rodriguez trade managed to steal the Pats' thunder as the team rolled over all comers during their 12-game win streak.

"And they didn't even have the deal done,'' moaned one incredulous exec. ``All that ink and they didn't get it done!''

The Pats were particularly peeved by Nomar Garciaparra's famous phone call to WEEI on Dec. 9 - the one during which he reiterated his desire to stay in Boston and his dismay at the A-Rod dealings.

Now it's nothing personal with Nomar, mind you, it's just that he called into the station on "Patriots Monday'' - the mop-up after the Pats had just clinched the division title with a 12-0 win over Miami at a raucous Gillette Stadium Snow Bowl.

"Richard Seymour and Deion Branch were in the studio, and they made them sit there and cool their heels until Nomar finished,'' said Someone Who Knows.

We can only hope the A-Rod deal doesn't crop up again during the Super Bowl." - 1.7 Boston Herald - Inside Track

Sox Brass will continue to apply the pressure on Saturday night when several Red Sox players are expected to hand out 2004 Red Sox pocket schedules at bars around Fenway during the Patriots playoff game.

Tue. Jan 6

Off the Wagon, Sadly

Vinny Losing Battle With Alcohol

 Baker Suspended for "Non-Compliance" for
Three Games. Celtics May Have Contract Out.

Kid's in the Hall

"It's overwhelming, I'm just thrilled,
that's all I can say... I'm like a little kid."

Writers Give Us Eck!

Stud Starter to Rubber-Armed Reliever,
Dennis Dossier Gets Him into the Hall on First Ballot.

Congratulations to our favorite NESN studio analyst.

Natural Born Liars

Corrupt Gambler Admits to Some Betting. Lies About Clubhouse Activity.

Baseball expected to buckle and let Cincy dirtbag back onto baseball field and Hall-of-Fame ballot. Apparently integrity is no longer important as lying-for-14-years phony didn't understand the betting rule posted on every door in a major league clubhouse.

"He bet on baseball, end of story." - Bob Gibson

Duke Peddling Camp Outside Fenway.

"Can you say, "pathetic?" Our spies, who obviously just awoke from an eggnog-induced stupor, report that Duquette stood in front of a SUV decorated with Sox stuff, handing out flyers for his Dan Duquette Sports Academy in the Berkshires. "It was quite a sight," said Someone Who Was There.

Mon. Jan 5

The Zany One is Gone

"I dunno. I never smoked any Astroturf."

"I have no trouble with the twelve inches between my elbow and my palm. It's the seven inches between my ears that's bent."

"Kids should practice autographing baseballs. This is a skill that's often overlooked in Little League."

"Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish Whiskey.
The other ten percent I'll probably waste.

"Ten million years from now, when then sun burns out and the Earth is just a frozen iceball hurtling through space, nobody's going to care whether or not I got this guy out."

"Ya Gotta Believe!"

Sunday January 04, 2004

"Crank This Puppy Up"

"I think we are all frothing at the bit to get to Florida and crank this puppy up" - Curt Schilling

Tell 'em: Schill Speaks Up on Signing Garciaparra

Will Nomar Dump Tellem and Represent Himself?

"Who knows, maybe Nomar dumps Tellem and goes to the Sox and says 'What's it gonna take to finish my career here?', certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Either way this team has the feel of something special." - Schilling on SoSH


1.4.03: "All text in this post is off the record for any media members browsing this forum (SoSH). I am not granting permission for this to be duplicated in any form in any other media forum. BDD (here) can link to this, but I would ask that to be the only place something about this post appears other than here.

First off I am enjoying the hell out of Mr. Edes' columns, always great to read someone's stuff where you can see the writers passion for the subject and getting it right, very nice. I don't really care if writers do suck-up pieces or slam-people articles, as long as they are interested in getting the whole story right, as opposed to just getting a story.

One question I have for fans now, how do you feel about the luxury tax after seeing it's impact on your team? Just curious as I know I thought during negotiations that luxury tax was wealthy man's speak for salary cap. It's clearly some sort of financial barrier to some, invisible to one.

When all is said and done on the Nomar side of things I really wonder how it will play out. Given that you have heard nothing from Nomar's agent regarding his spurning of a 4x15 offer I can't wait to talk to Nomar tomorrow to see how and what he thinks of all this. Having been privy to agent player relationships for close to two decades, I know that speculation by fans or writers about how the situation has been handled on the players side is a lot of times pretty far off." - Schill chimes in on Nomar on SoSH


That's All Folks

John Henry Breaks Silence, Calls Deal Dead, but Won't Explain Luxury Tax Limits, the Public Fiasco that Played Out, or the Critical Players Association Negotiation Mistakes.

"I think the post mortem (and it may sound overly simple) should emphasize that the Red Sox were afraid of losing a Hall of Fame shortstop and they were trying to accomodate (sic) another player in exchange for a great Hall of Famer who really wanted to play in Boston. However, 2004 was set up so well that we had to have a deal within particular parameters for it to make sense.

Was it a mistake to find out if it could happen? I don't think so. Ultimately, under the terms we were given to make it happen, making a major change in this team would have been a mistake - in our view - particularly in our GM's view.

Of course references to the Hall of Fame are meant to refer to future Hall of Famers.

Red Sox management had a consistent consensus regarding our parameters and approach. As in all baseball matters the GM here was the lead voice internally and essentially set parameters that made sense.

...The second largest tactical errors I've seen are by those who sit on their duff rather than trying to make things happen. The largest occur when you move forward regardless - "go for it" simply because of momentum, effort invested, impatience and potential disappointment. We are very much at peace with the end result. I hope you can be as well " - JWH on A-Rod saga on SoSH

Sox Won't Pay-Rod

Henry's answers raise more questions

Did luxury tax limit them all along?

Is Manny just "another player" and not "future Hall of Famer"
like Nomar, A-Rod?

But didn't Tellem tell you to trade the HOF shortstop you were afraid to lose?

Will Lucchino ever return from "family business" in Pittsburgh?

Will willing-to-spend-whatever-it-takes-Yankees move in on Alex?

(Tony Mazz is furious that JWH took his case to the fans via the web again while he's doing ABC's for a Sunday column.
Sox charitable promotions in Herald now in jeopardy.)

Lobel's Virgin Post Ferrets Henry Out of Boca Bunker

"As for THE DEAL? The trap is there for all of us. Wishing doesn't make it happen and maybe it is keeping it alive... but I still don't think that's true... I think it would be easier for everyone to move on if the Red Sox just said 'hey, we gave it our best shot...' even if we did shoot ourselves on this one... we need to hear from the Sox front office on something more than 'nothing is going on'... just because that is true today, doesn't make it necessarily true tomorrow.

... I always believed that if the Red Sox thought they wouldn't be able to sign Nomar, they would trade him. I think they believe they can't sign him for what they want to sign him for, and will stick to their long held philosophy on Nomar. Hey, it's possible they will be forced to get his contract year farewell performance and a draft pick, but that is not the style of this group. I still believe they have not moved off their intended policy... sign him by (fill in the date before spring training) or trade him." - Bob Lobel, SoSH 1.3.04

Oops! She Got Annulment

Britney Spears Jason Alexander

Britney and Jason Alexander
get unhitched in Vegas.

Back to Singing Single, Late Night Marriage Gets Nixed.

Breaking News: Love on the Rocks... Ain't No Big Surprise.


Sun 1.5

Wake Up!

Tim Worried About Buckner Tag

Puhleeze, first of all Wake we love Buck.

Secondly, Game 7 was over when Grady
patted Pedro's shoulder in the 8th.

Manny Nearly Killed Red Sox 2003 Season

"I think what he did was wrong, but I think the game in Philadelphia turned our season around because he was able to play [and didn't] and Grady [Little] didn't play him the next day, either." - Tim Wakefield

The day that defined the Sox' season, Wakefield said, was Labor Day in Philadelphia, when the controversy surrounding Manny Ramirez threatened to derail Boston's stretch drive. Ramirez had missed a key weekend series against the Yankees with a sore throat, and ticked off management and his teammates when he didn't show for a doctor's appointment that Sunday. The next day in Philadelphia, Ramirez refused to pinch hit, a further invitation for the Sox to fall prey to the kind of distractions that had roiled the clubhouse in the past.

Not this time, after Trot Nixon's dramatic grand slam made them a winner in the ninth. "I think it could have," Wakefield said, "but I think because we were so close-knit and together for such a long period of time, we didn't allow it to become an issue.

"I like Manny, don't get me wrong. I think what he did was wrong, but I think the game in Philadelphia turned our season around because he was able to play [and didn't] and Grady [Little] didn't play him the next day, either. I respect him for that. That was a huge turning point for us as a team because that distraction was nipped in the bud right then and there. It didn't become an issue, and I think that had a lot to do with the decision Grady made.

"I think Kevin [Millar] said it [on the team highlight film]. `We're going to do it without him. If he doesn't want to be part of this team, that's fine, that's his decision, but we're going to win it without him.' I think that brought us even closer together and then he realized, I think, that he wants to be part of this team and if you noticed, his numbers got a little better. He started playing harder. Not that he wasn't playing hard before, but he realized it wasn't enough. It was about us as a team." - Edes does it again, 1.4 Boston Sunday Globe

That's Entertainment?

"The night we lost, Grady said, `You guys have nothing to be disappointed about. You really entertained a lot of people.'"

Hey Grady, if we want "entertainment" in New York City we'll go to Broadway,
Game 7 was about winning loser.

Sat. 1.4

"There's nothing going on there"

Henry Confirms Cooling-Off Period

A-Rod Negotiations Tabled Over Holidays

Fri. 1.3

Charlie Hustler

The Blush is Off the Rose

The Confessions of Pete Rose - by Fay Vincent

Gone with the Wind

Edes Pens Great A-Rod Romance Novel

Is Boston Brass to Blame for
Botched A-Rod Trade?

Gordon Breaks Down A-Rod Saga, Exposes Critical Mistakes

Sox Shut Out in A-Rod Deal,
Ownership Did Not "Speak in One Voice."

Liar for Hire: Tellem Asked to Sox to Trade Garciaparra.

John "Sergeant Schultz, I know Noth-ing about Negotiating" Henry, Larry "Gone with the Windbag" Lucchino, Tom "Closer-by-Committee" Werner, and Theo "But I got Schilling" Epstein can't seal the deal... yet.

"I think the Red Sox thought the Rangers were going to blink, and that the Players Association was going to blink," said one of the principals in the negotiations. "That was never going to happen. Ever."

Failed Pursuit of A-Rod is top local sports story

Boston.com top 10 local stories

1. Red Sox pursue A-Rod

2. Grady Little leaves in Pedro

3. Red Sox rally to beat A's

4. Game 3 of the ALCS

5. Patriots go on a tear

6. Ainge in, Walker out

7. Vin Baker falls, recovers

8. Red Sox acquire Curt Schilling

9. BC joins the ACC

10. Saugus Little Leaguers

"Do you think the Red Sox have outmaneuvered the Yankees this offseason, or does the botched A-Rod deal still give New York the advantage?"

Put in Your Two Cents in on the Billion Dollar Question at NESN/boston.com

Fri. 1.2

Sheppard: Sheepish on the Internet

"Players going on these independent websites is going to backfire on them... I don't know... the ID not being right... don't know who it's being controlled by... a player will say something he normally wouldn't say... there's no follow-up questions... I don't know... those sites don't have information about Red Sox players over guys that cover the team... no locker room access... it's going to backfire on them." - Pete Sheppard, WEEI 12.31

Friday, January 2, 2004 - Exclusive Breaking News

Mills Fills Seat on the Bench

Brad Mills will be named Tito's bench coach next week.

Francona Hopes to Have All-Bald Coaching Staff

Brad Mills spent 10 seasons as a minor-league manager from 1987-1996 before becoming first base coach for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1997-2000 and advance scout for the Chicago Cubs in 2001. Mills managed six seasons (1987-92) in the Cubs system and four (1993-96) in the Colorado Rockies organization. He was most recently the bench coach for the Montreal Expos.

Mills, a former All-American infielder at Arizona, appeared in 106 major-league games over four seasons with the Expos from 1980-83. He's best known, however, for the dubious distinction of being Nolan Ryan's 3,509th career strikeout victim, which broke Walter Johnson's all-time mark.

Thu. 1.1

New Year's Day

All is quiet on New Year's Day
SoSH hates song parody
I want to be with you
Be with you from Fenway
Nothing changes on New Year's Day
On New Year's Day

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

Under a Sox Red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers says, says
Say it's true it's true...
And we can break through
Though torn in two
It can be won

I... I will begin again
I... I will begin again

Maybe the time is right
Oh... October night...

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

And so we're told the Red Sox have turned the page
A-Rod was the reason for the wars we wage
Though I want to be with you
Be with you from Fenway
Nothing changes
On New Year's Day
On New Year's Day

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The “Curt’s Pitch for ALS” program is a joint effort by Curt and Shonda Schilling, and The ALS Association Mass Chapter to strike out Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Curt and Shonda will be contributing $25,000 to The ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter, and they are asking fans to contribute as well. All proceeds will benefit research and patient services for those in Massachusetts affected by the disease. Program participants will receive different incentive prizes based on the dollar amount per strikeout that they pledge. Please click here to learn more about the program.

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