04.02.03 Neyer and Naysayers. "All that
makes sense," you might be saying, especially if you don't live in California,
"but why in the hell would you pick the Red Sox to win the World Series?"
Because I can, and because I want to.
Look, it's not really a huge stretch. ESPN.com
polled 27 "experts" -- writers and editors, mostly -- and 15 of the 27
predicted that the Red Sox would either win their division (five votes) or the
wild card (10). And I wasn't the only "expert" who sees the Red Sox going all
the way; ESPN.com Fantasy Games guru Brandon Funston and Diamond Mind
Baseball's Tom Tippett also picked the Sox. - Rob Neyer, ESPN.com
- - -
Someone called the Red Sox bullpen the "Boston
division of the Republican Guard" on The Big Show intro today. While that's a
bit harsh, the sketchy relief corps is second on the minds of The Nation these
days after the U.S. Marine Corps. The ubiquitous term "Closer by Committee"
was uttered in Boston a record 367,875 times today.
While everyone and their grandmother in the
national media is suddenly picking the Sox to win the Series this year, the
tide is turning locally after Tampa's tenacious efforts the past couple of
days. Even though the Sox won the Tuesday night marathon, the pen blew another
save and The Nation is more than happy to accentuate the negative. Even
boston.com's Insider email listed the Sox at 0-2 this morning. Pitching is a
problem. Maybe Person can eventually help. Fossum and Burkett will be the big
tests coming up on the starting end.
But what about the rest of the team so far? Millar
is a star. The infield defense may be a little worse than advertised. Is Julio
Zuleta still in Pawtucket? They could use the glove, and the right-handed bat.
The outfield D may be a little better than people think as Damon chases down
absolutely everything within a mile radius. But there's no speed beyond
Johnny. The rest of the line-up is station-to-station at best (as I watch the
Rays steal bases at will and drag-bunt infield hits... we won't see this at
Fenway). The bats have been soft in general. Not everyone firing on all
cylinders at the same time. Waiting for more OPS less LOBs.
It could be worse. Just ask Derek Jeter.
03.20.03 The skinny on Trot. Last October, Trot looked
terrible, he went home to Wilmington, NC weighing about 194 lbs. Trot's a
little emotional (derh?!) so nothing was said to him, but some were thinking
"JESUS H. CHRIST! Is he sick?".
Trot said, "F*** stealing bases, they pay some
skinny-ass f***** to do that s***. I want to get big, strong and scary and hit
home runs -- feel good again."
His diet was tweaked, increased protein and caloric
intake in general. He did cardio, but none of that Delta
Force-Sprint-'till-you-puke crap he did last year. Last year he came back to
camp around 220 and 8% body fat (that's 202.4 lbs Lean Body Mass (LBM) and 17.6
lbs of other.)
This year he came back at 230lbs. 11% body fat.
That's 204.7lbs of lean body mass and 25.3 of other. That's eight more pounds of
fat but much more importantly, 3 lbs more muscle mass. More muscle to burn the
fat, more fat to preserve the muscle for a much more powerful season.
Trot ain't fat, and he's NO slower. No worries, just
wait and see. He's doubling up on his cardio and maintaining his diet, he'll be
fine. Big season coming, he'll shut people up.
01.16.03 The kids are alright.
kid burst on stage with his '59 French sunburst Les Paul, singing the lead
for the rockabilly riff "Keep On Rockin'". And the whole joint got rockin’
quick. He was the bomb on lead guitar, and lead vocals. Who knew the boy
could sing? He turned it up a notch before it even started. And by his
second song he was knee-deep in a rousing guitar solo. Boy Wonder was on
fire… it was The House of Gammons, Peter can play. And PG was funny,
humble, and a great host all night long.
“There are three addresses I know off the top of my head… 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue, 24 Lansdowne Street, now Yawkey Way, and 2120 South
Michigan Ave., the home of Bo Diddley” winded the gasbag. For their second
and last song, Gammo’s band busted into a Chuck Berry rendition of “Route
66” with Peter taking the lead again, mesmerizing the packed Paradise...
the Fenway Park of rock clubs, complete with three giant poles in the
middle of the floor for that obstructed view feel.
briefly with Theo and his brother Paul, who may be the nicest guy on the
planet, before the GM's weekend band Trauser went on next. As you may have
seen on the news, he was decked out in a gray/black stocking cap for a
while and was sporting a checkered gray-flannel shirt. You’d never know he
was the GM for the Red Sox. He was having a good time, relaxed and kicking
back with his homies, the antithesis of just-down-the-road at ‘The Whineys’
Dan Duquette. Other local luminaries in the crowd included Debbie
Wrobleski taking tickets at the door (no she doesn’t remember my two-hour,
three-drink courtship at Joe’s six years ago apparently), Joe
Amorosino, Jeff Horrigan, Don “young Sinatra” Orsillo… and those were just
the heavy hitters.
ESPN’s Rich Eisen, who is a rock solid poor man’s Chris Rock as the lead
comedian… funny guy, Karl Ravech of Needham fame, and Gammons took the
stage, razzing each other. Eisen was a riot joking about people sending
Gammons $20 bills (as he’s a dead ringer for Andrew Jackson). They read a
few written questions from the crowd “should Gammons replace Selig as
Commissioner?” Ravech yelled out “screw Colon.” Theo came up on stage,
Eisner read message from 'Death Star' “how’s the air up there?” Theo said
“Ask Lucchino.” Lots of jokes thrown PG's way "is there a Peter Gammons
fantasy camp? PG: Yeah, you log on and off all day", but also many items
up for bid including "sit with John Henry for a Yankee game" prizes up for
did you come up with the name Trouser (or is it Trauser)?... is next album
going to be “inside the beltway?” Theo “unzipped.” Actually, the name
came from "an inside joke" between Theo and his sister.
Gammons: “On ESPN, we hate closers blowing games because we have to stay
on and wait. Rob Nenn is responsible for more 3:30am games than any man in
history.” More Gammons: “you have to get to October, then anything can
happen… and waxing nostalgic "you can only be young once but you can
always be immature.”
came on at 9:20pm “on the same stage where U2 began 20 years ago” as PG
introduced them. Theo played lead with a Hendrix/Clapton like blond Strat
with a rosewood fingerboard, no Papa Roach Schecter for this young man,
he’s a purist. His mesa boogie amp was on top of a Marshall cabinet, but
he could have been playing from the Fender amp right next to it. Lead
singer Tara Love (no relation to Courtney) started it off with “I am
mine,” a new song from Pearl Jam. She hit all her high notes. Trouser
followed it up with Neil Young’s “Keep On Rockin’ in the free world.”
Gammons called Theo “Iglasias General Manager” as his hat get-up made him
look like Enrique Iglesias.
Gentlemen” came up next, sort of a Del Fuego’s sound, good stuff ending
with the ballad “Pussywhipped” by the Dogmatics. I think we missed
Fossum, Johnny Damon, in-shape, looking good with some wild-ass hair, all
came onstage. Todd Walker spoke “heard you haven’t won the World Series in
a few years?.... &%#! That, we’ll win the World Series this year.” Fossum
was funny when asked about possibility of being traded all winter: “Every
time I saw that 615 area code, I got nervous.” Naturally everyone yelled
out “it’s 617!” Someone behind me said “he looks like the white Can.”
Fossum weighing 163 says “I eat all I can but can’t gain weight… my wife
is jealous.” Gammons said “We’re all happy he’s still here.”
most importantly, a lot of money was raised for the Jimmy Fund as Boston
continues to lead the way in curing cancer in children. Go to
www.jimmyfund.org to join the fight.)
Addendum: Kieran fills in the blanks as the 6:00am wake-up call cause
a 11:00pm exit:
spoke with Theo, very cool guy, comfortable in his skin, and he was
certainly rockin' out on stage.
signed Petey jersey went for $325!!
thought you would've mentioned Johnny D's onstage antics. Let's just say
he's in shape.....And I wonder if Wakes is feeling good this morning? He
had some good pipes, though, on the closing tune of the night, Cheap
night all round, it sold out a few hours before the show. Next year will
be bigger I expect and it might start to lose its intimate feel.
01.09.03: Going gets tough.
D-Day: "War's over, man. Omar dropped the big
What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it
over when Gammons bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.
Theo: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the going gets tough . . . the tough
get going. Who's with me? Let's Go! Come on! AAAAEEEEEGGGHHHH!!
Theo is a smart guy...we KNOW you are, Theo. You
don't have to schedule press conference calls, or go on nitwit radio, or
internet chats, etc to tell us. Just do the job you're getting paid to do. And
keep your mouth shut.
Part of the problem with exceptionally bright and
talented, yet still immature, people is that they've got to tell everyone
exactly how smart they are. Let everyone in on their new strategy, and how
Bill James is on board, etc...
How about a couple of quotes?:
1. "It's what you learn after you know it all that
counts" - Earl Weaver
2. "Never tell anyone outside the family what
you're thinking" - Vito Corleone
An example just today: I read this morning Red Sox
Dirt Dog's transcript of Theo's interview, and I just about pooped my pants.
In response to a question about "the most overrated hitting statistic", he
promptly responded " batting average."
Let me see now...you're up to your ass trying to
get somebody to take the AL's #1 3B in batting average in 2002(!!!) off of
your hands, (not to mention he's also the leader in ABs, Hits, 2Bs, and 2nd in
TBs), and you just can't seem to get it done? Maybe because anybody who's ever
listened to you and your cohort Bill James knows that the Shea you're trading
is the guy who only walked 25 times, has a crappy OBP, and so you don't think
very much of him, and are gonna dump him anyway.
Meanwhile, isn't it funny that Mueller's agent
makes a beeline to your door, and bends you over the table to the tune of
$4.5M for 2 years, because he knows how much you value the only offensive
commodity his client maintains?
But Theo, you're smart, you're our guy, and you're
gonna learn. Now, get out there, and earn some respect. Make someone afraid of
you. You need to really make some people pay big time for this. Start by
playing hardball. Make waiver claims on quality people. Jump into Omar's
pending trades now and start showing some interest with those other clubs. Cut
him off at the kneecaps, just because you can. God knows, that piece of &#%!
has it coming to him, and good. Then, feast heartily on his entrails.
Who knows, maybe then you'll get Willie Mac to
cower in fear about you someday. - Caroll Hardy
Met Will once. My friend's brother-in-law sang the national anthem at the
Pats-Colts game during the Super Bowl drive in '96. Part of the deal was
having the opportunity to come to the private brunch in Bob Kraft's office
before the game... guys like old man Shaughnessy, not Dan, but the guy with
the construction company, and other corporate guys milling about. So in walks
Will McDonough, and he strolls over to the buffet, where I'm naturally hanging
out, next thing you know my friend, McDonough, Kraft, and I are talking about
Parcells, the game strategy, Chuck Fairbanks for 10 minutes that seemed like
10 seconds. He did make you feel like you were as important as Pete Rozelle in
a football discussion. Unlike some other top dog writers in Boston who won't
even look you in the eye on the street. Will was the real deal. And Ryan said
he would have come around on Lucchino eventually.
01.04.03: Lucchino shows him who's boss.
Special from Caroll Hardy "Your Turn" - Three cheers for
LL! Since when did Will Mac become the Cowardly Lion? He wants the Red Sox to
bring in someone "..hopefully, that someone would be smart enough not to
challenge Steinbrenner." Memo to WM: Drop dead, old man. go watch your
LL is not afraid of Steinbrenner. And he shouldn't be. No, I think that "Evil
Empire" PR shot skillfully fired across the Boss' bow will serve to demonize
the MFYs throughout MLB should they meddle in l'affaire Colon/Vazquez. Giving
Theo a free hand to stretch this thing as long as required to work the best
deal possible. And with the acquisition of Colon/Vazquez to cap off the rest
of the 2002-2003 off-season, the MFYs will be facing the 1984 Tigers in 2003.
And let's give credit where credit is due: to the great work done by Theo and
the new regime finishing up the similar great work started by the DD regime in
locking up our nucleus through 2004.
And let the Boss get furious. What's he gonna do? Jump in and sign everybody?
Fire Archibald Cox? And the rest of MLB is going to sit by idly? I don't think
LL knows exactly what he's doing and is serving notice to the Boss and MLB
that unlike Harrington, et.al, they aren't going to take this lying down.
Never underestimate those old school EBW/ Williams and Connolly guys. They are
masters of public relations and hardball Washington politics, and they
practically (if not actually) invented "spin control" and the art of
demonizing your enemy. LL served with HRC and Bernie Nussbaum on the old House
Impeachment Committee staff, so I bet their mutual animosity goes way beyond
baseball. LL's survived cancer, and he's survived Nixon. I really don't think
he worries about King George III.
11.25.02: A young man's game. If Theo
Epstein doesn't back out before the press conference for any "personal"
reasons, he'll be calling the shots as Boston Red Sox GM for the foreseeable
future, maybe the next 30 years. And yes Larry Lucchino will be there every
step of the way. Along with John Henry, Bill James, and a host of new
advisors. Most of Red Sox Nation applaud this move and are ready to give the
local kid a shot. Or maybe they're just glad to have this knock-down, drag-out
process over with.
For those who say Theo is too young for the job, I'm
reminded of the guy who made the computer I type on now, Michael Dell. Since
founding his Austin, Texas-based company in 1984 as a 19-year-old dropout from
the University of Texas, Dell heard no shortage of experts explain why the sky
was about to come crashing down on top of him -- starting with the stock
market collapse of 1987, which hit just as he was preparing to take the
business public. A company of less than $8 billion at the time, the PC maker
grew to finish 2001 with $32 billion in sales. Just one example of someone who
hit their prime before their time. If there is a key to Michael Dell's
success, it is his ability to make the right decision at the right time -- and
often, that decision is to do nothing at all. Hopefully Theo shows some
patience with the current Red Sox, who seem to be only a few players
And what will Theo do with Grady? Nothing. Although if he had his druthers,
he'd probably make a switch if there was a viable candidate out there, but
Theo has already spouted the "our manager won 93 games" party line. So we
might as well get behind Grady now and hope he learned a thing or two from the
pack-it-in, mail-it-in early, there's-always-tomorrow 2002 debacle.
And what will Theo do with the millions saved by hiring him
in lieu of Billy Beane? Spend it on a brand new first baseman? Try to replace
Burkett? Get a new closer? Hopefully all of the above. Time to put the hot
stove on the front burner.
10.9.02: Grady and the New GM. You've got a
better chance of seeing Lou Gorman return than you do of Larry Lucchino
admitting that after a worldwide search the best candidate for the plum GM job
is one of Dan Duquette's two assistant GM's, Mike Port. Carve it in stone,
he's not it even though I like Mike too. Same for Tim Naehring, please, Theo
was running circles around him ten years ago. Gene Michael?!? We're dusting
off old Yankee managers now? Well then let's just bring in Zim to
replace Grady while we're at it. And forget Omar Minaya.
The GM decision is all about how much power Larry is
willing to relinquish, and how quickly he wants Theo at the top, three years
or five. That's why he's out west stalking Beane right now.
The idea of a GM picking his own manager started going out
the window when Lucchino gave Grady a two year deal. It would have been
perfectly reasonable at the time to only give him one year based on the fact
that they publicly said they would name a permanent GM at the end of one year.
Grady would have understood that, it would not have been an embarrassment to
only give him one year IMHO, considering the unique circumstances. Because now
Lucchino uses "we have a manager under contract for 2003" as one of his bullet
points on 'why we're supposed to keep Grady' PowerPoint presentation.
Yes there is another car waiting for the media member who
can write the most ridiculous Grady Must Stay column. Right now, Michael
Holley remains way out if front, but he doesn't want a free Thunderbird
If either Mike Port or Theo Epstein were the GM, and could
make their decisions without ramification from Lucchino/Henry, both would
choose to fire Grady.
Another piece of double-talk going on was that when Grady
was hired, we were sold on the fact that he 'managed thousands of games in the
minor leagues' he wasn't just a minor league guy, he was Mr. Award Winning
Minor League Guy and we should be happy to get him because he's seen every
possible game situation and will seamlessly be able to inject this game
management expertise to the big club.
Never happened. As you know, Grady was outfoxed,
outmatched, outwitted, outplayed in every situation where it mattered, all
year long. Pitchers warming up two batters too late, the tail runner pinch
runner backfires, wrong guys resting on wrong days and guys that need rest
burning out, using Embree and Howry in blowouts and getting blown out when the
needed them, not knowing platoon splits resulting in splitting headaches for
the astute members of RSN on SoSH.
Notice the suck up media and H/W/L don't say boo about
Grady's ability to manage games now... no, the smokescreen is about 'his
ability to keep Manny focused on his batting title,' 'he never got to pick his
own bullpen coach.' Holley: 'he's overpaid his dues,' 'he won 93 games in his
first year as manager,' and the best flip-flop: 'he's a first year manager you
know.' HAAAAA what a joke. I thought he was Mr. Field General from all those
minor league wins and BA awards?
Regarding off-season moves, they'll sign Floyd, put him in
left, Manny will mostly DH, they keep Nixon in right. Acquire pitchers by hook
and crook. Then get a big gun firstbaseman. That will be it. If someone has to
be traded for a decent pitcher, it's Shea. Varitek could be part of a package
with Shea if a catcher and the right pitcher came back.
I sat behind the dugout his last game against the Yankees
in '96, tears welled up in my eyes when they played 'Rocket Man' when he came
in from the bullpen... but we gave it to him good all game long for leaving
town as we knew he would, The Texas Con Man, quit against the Mets, let Dave
Stewart eat his lunch through the 90's, sandbagged Hobson, got fat here for
four years, poisoned the atmosphere, selfish lying dirty rotten MFY
Bring him back. No question.
9.18.02: Thanks for the memories? No more Nomar? Say it
ain't so. Here's saying Nomar gets a rousing standing-O tonight and clears the
air with the fans once he chills out. Am I still bummed at him for being so
smug in July about 'having plenty of time,' the 'little leaguers' BS, and the
steroids 'false positive' crap? Yes. Do I wish he would dive for balls and get
his uniform dirty every once in while? Yes. But I'm not ready to advocate
trading him for overreacting in The Year to be Jeered.
Is this a lousy town to play in? You'd have to ask them.
But I was at The Rack last night for a friend's CD release party when Carlos
Baerga walked in and I almost got a bear hug myself. Rey Sanchez said thanks
and shook my hand after I told him "great game tonight Rey." And Doug
Mirabelli came in and mingled easily with the patrons as well. They had a
great time as they usually do with about 200 fans in the house, peacefully
co-existing even though the Red Sox are not going to be playing this fall for
the third year in a row. No one jeered or hassled the guys in public. We're
not a bunch of A-holes as some people would have you believe.
Secret to the Tim Wakefield turnaround? Like with most of
us out there... a good woman. Tim's lovely and smart fiancé Stacy Stover
started whooping his soft-in-the-middle body into shape about two years ago.
"Get up, we're going running." Red Sox Nation thanks you Stacy :-). Now
let's sign Tim up for a three year extension.
Grady on putting the Sea Dogs out there for $60 a seat
Tuesday night: "There was a long time without any off days... some guys are
running on fumes. I thought that was the best thing to do. You get to a point
where we've been, playing hard... you run a big risk of injury... it's
tough... they've been working real hard since September 1st..." Oh, thanks for
telling me now that they started playing hard on September 1st, I could have
saved a lot of time and money. See you in Portland Mr. Little.
And no Larry Lucchino was not happy about all the negative
calls that came in to NESN about the 30-year-old-minor-leaguer-line-up and the
perception that they mailed it in for the paying public Monday night.
But as Jimy Williams might say "the horses have already left the barn."
9.17.02: The Year to Drink Beer? I'm still a little emotional
after watching "The Corsi Years" on NESN last Sunday. What a story... what a
story. I wonder if the other six people who watched are still teary-eyed?
Oh and belated happy birthday Corsino.
Don't get too excited if you've been asked to put in your two cents on Fenway
Park via an "email conference" today. Chances are your feedback will fall on
deaf ears. Example: Popped down to the Player's Club after a Sox game a couple
of Sundays ago. I was watching the end of the Buffalo-Jets game with Larry
Johnson and a friend of mine. Big beautiful television. And we had a table and
seats right in front. The rest of our crew was across the street at Atlas but
I was going to get people back to the Players' Club to watch the 4:00 game as
it was a decent set-up for football. Went up to get a couple of Buds, and it
was something like $14.00 for two beers with tip. When I asked the bartenders
what the deal was with mortgaging your house for a brew, they said "we've told
them upstairs that the beer prices are too high and no one will stay here...
but they just won't listen." Very scary. The bartenders go home empty
handed, and eight people drink beers for the next three hours elsewhere. File
under penny wise, pound foolish.
Is Manny ever going to speak to the fans again? I'm
done waiting for the apology for not running out the ball.
I was sitting with a Stonington, CT police officer and his
girlfriend last Friday behind the Sox dugout (yes I had the big ass American
flag). When the game went south faster than Grady Little on September
30th, the catcalls and chants began. When our police officer yelled "I didn't
pay $60 dollars to see this!" Rodrigo S., the friendly Fenway
ambassador/usher, stood up and said "Would you keep it down." No, we're not
keeping it down, we're fed up.
Hey Grady, was it still too "loud" for anyone to hear anything last night
(this guy missed his calling, should have been a defense attorney)?
Grady also says lots of guys fly home during season, he would too, and would
like to play with his grandchildren. Please fly home to see your
grandchildren and accept the Portland assignment for next year. Water would
then seek its own level.
When the fans wanted to know what happened with Manny's
check swing u-turn, the reporters went into the clubhouse to ask our
questions. When Rey 'Dirty Pool' Sanchez saw the reporters coming, he
said to Manny in Spanish "just tell them you don't know what they're talking
about." What Rey didn't know was that Bob Hohler speaks Spanish.
And now we know the depth of the deceit that has poisoned the Friendly Fenway
Is it all still Rich Garces' fault? And is this still
Dan Duquette's team?
Un-Amannycan? When John Dennis was ranting about
Manny on September 12th at 6:15am, it nearly knocked me out of bed. I thought
he was going to be talking about his big, clutch home run the night before,
but John was furious at Manny's tardiness at getting to the top step to salute
the country on its most solemn day, the country that pays him $160M beans.
And Manny's mindless walk three feet ahead of his firefighter partner set him
off as well. Over the top by John? Maybe. Manny evil? No. Sick of his
crap? Yes. But in all fairness to Mr. Dennis, there were three or four calls
that followed from people who were equally as outraged. One veteran shouted
out "There is not a man on that team!" Ouch.
Wonder is NESN will rebroadcast the ceremony to exonerate
Manny? Don't hold your breath.
Tom Daley is the coach of the Worcester Little League team,
Jesse Burkett All-Stars. When the team took the field at Fenway a couple
of weeks ago, his son had to walk out to left field alone. Apparently Manny
was busy still fishing through his CD collections. When Tom tried to cheer up
his son by saying "hey you had the whole left field to yourself, wasn't that
great?" His son replied "dad... I felt stupid." File under: Superstar
Stupid Time. Nice work Manny.
Grady said not benching Manny on the spot was "the worst
mistake I've ever made as a manager." No kidding. Now go play with
your grandkids Grady. They miss you. We won't.
9.10.02: "Wait 'till next year." Those were the words of a
high-ranking Red Sox official when asked last week if they could possibly rip
off 15 in a row and get right back in the race. But he wasn't talking
about the cliché, he actually meant "wait 'till next year." Translation:
"we're going for it next year, the Boston Red Sox are not going to be
'rebuilding' in 2003." Good news, especially for the grandfathers of Red Sox
In other tidbits, shared on the condition of anonymity, the
"interim" General Manager is just that. I like Mike, but Beane or Riccardi
and Macha or Showalter is the right thing to do for the franchise. When asked
if Grady's contract was two years with an option, the answer was "it doesn't
matter." Translation: they'll eat the short dough, this experiment is over.
"And why are your friends (on SoSH) still in love with Dan
Duquette? Don't they realize that this guy had eight years, unlimited
resources, and yet was only able to win one playoff series?" My answer,
"they are not my friends." And yes, they are reading, sometimes.
Regarding first base, admittedly "that position killed us."
When asked if Big Juan Diaz might have a shot next year: "he can't play, is
not in our plans, we can do much better." Of all the free agents Alan
Embree is the top priority to get resigned, and it should happen as Urbina is
long gone and hard to find like most of his clutch pitches this season.
And if you think you can trade John Boycott Burkett for a
bag of balls, apparently "it's not that easy."
After Friday night's game, Cliff
Floyd pulled his Mercedes (with a couple of hotties inside) into the Texaco on
Boylston Street and actually got out to pump his own gas. Who does this?
Supposedly Jeff Kemp is the only other major leaguer who does. But what was
great was that Cliff was actually signing autographs and chatting with a bunch
of kids while filling his tank. Just for fun, a bunch of us sitting at the
corner of the Red Sox dugout were yelling "Pump Your Own Gas Cliff" after his
home run on Sunday. He seemed to get a kick out of it. And here's hoping he
re-signs here for the right amount (yes we do care about Cliff as we
understand his comments on the pressure of Boston were taken out of context).
He plays, runs, and hits everything hard, even though he is hurting badly.
We could use more guys like that, especially if he's willing to play for $6-7
Other chants heard at the park over the weekend included
"Bentley" when Rey Sanchez stepped up to the plate and "There Goes Another 25
Grand" when Mannyjuana struck out with the game on the line.
"Phony Clark Your Cell Phone is Ringing" was another crowd
pleaser during halftime... err the fifth inning. Yes more people were watching
or listening to the Buffalo/Jets game than were paying attention to the
disaster on the field as Going, Going, Gomes turned into Willie Outer Banks
seamlessly. And hey Phony, when the phone don't ring, that's your next $5
million major league contract on the other end.
The Herald's Tony Mazz said on The Zone that "the Red Sox
don't want it as much as the other teams." If that's the case, and the
evidence doesn't show otherwise, it's the ultimate insult to Red Sox Nation.
$27.00. The cost of two beers and two El Tiante ham
sandwiches (with pickle) at the new Yawkey Way concourse. Good news is you can
now go down to 'Who's on First' during the game and do a couple of shots of
Jägermeister to wash away the pain.
The police, working closely with MLB, busted a 'Yankees Suck'
t-shirt factory last week, confiscating 30,000 shirts and two printing
machines (will they please come and take a few "It's a Whole New Ballgame"
shirts off our back as well?)
Rumor has it some of the old-line Globie scribes are not so
enamored with 'Hench's Corner.' in the Sunday Notes column. I'm shocked that
these well-known pompous asses would object to some new blood, and more
importantly, some new style and brutal honesty invading their oh-so-sacred
The vast majority of the Red Sox minor leaguers are slow and
fat (much like the Dan Duquette years). Expect some changes in the strength
and conditioning program and personnel asap.
Anybody going on the Red Sox cruise with Grady and "others"
in January? Supposedly it leaves from Southhampton England and will cruise the
arctic waters of the Atlantic. Hmmm.
9.4.02: I'm ready for Freddy. Who is Rey banjo-bat Sanchez not to speak to the fans who foot the bill for
his $300,000 Bentley after he blows a routine double play at the most critical
point in this season? That's Dirty pool in these parts. Hey Rey, don't plan on
shipping your Arnage T next time the union gets tough, just drive it out of
town. Let the Freddy Sanchez Era begin tonight.
I was all set to settle into the big eighth inning comeback last night when
the MoneyManny steps up and tries to pull a low and away first pitch with a
home run free swing, head flying, with the tying run on second. That's
"Manny being Manny" again, with the obligatory shuffle to first, barely
entering the camera frame as the easy double play was completed. One more time
with those OPS numbers?
Things to do on Thursday: I'm busy working on my six rows deep by 12
seats wide sign "Hey Bags-are-Packed Burkett, Buy a One-Way Ticket to Texas
Next Time." Why does Grady think it's a good idea for Bad-News-Beer-Belly-Boy
to ever pitch at Fenway again in this lifetime as a member of the Red Sox?
Hopefully Theo is scouting out any possible takers for BoycottBoy as I type.
Of all the post-strike-threat finger-pointing and blow-up
quotes, this one may be the most telling: ''here, a lot of guys make a lot of
money and everybody does their thing,'' as Cliff Floyd said last week.
''Different strokes for different folks.'' And 25 guys, 25 tabs again.
And Floyd will probably fly the free-agent coop. Do we even care what Cliff
Is he Dodger blue? The fact that Nomie "I know my
first-pitch average... but don't pay attention to that stuff" is thinking of
pulling a Mo Vaughn on us shouldn't surprise anyone. I'll never forget
seeing Nomar on "Extra Innings" on July 26th smirking at those who were
concerned saying "pffft, it's July... and people are talking about this... is
it July?." No Nomar, sadly it's September, and we're no longer
Going, going, Gomes? Last night? A Little much don't you
think Grampy? Howry waiting for "tomorrow's" game? Embree getting ready
for '03? Do you even know you're
5-1/2 back on September 4th? The Angels with Appier
going against Tampa are poised to go 30 games over .500 tonight. And the
locker room cuts continue to contain "we'll get 'em tomorrow's." ...Go
Pats, Crush Steelers!
"Malaise," "Inertia," "Flaccid," "Solemn." These are the words I've
heard to describe the 2002 crew, hardly "The Year to be Here." Know
this NESN friends, The Nation can no longer bear to watch one more TYtbH commercial, especially the "...we're gonna wii-iin"
ad. Give me the old bag in the parking lot
all day long if you have to. Is the "Big Three" spot still in the
The Red Sox rang the opening bell at the AMEX yesterday
morning... the market proceeded to tumble over 350 points en route to its
biggest drop in a year. 'Nuff said.
Oh and New York won the media/staff softball game against
Boston last week too. Yankee GM Brian Cashman hit a three-run double to
win it for the bad guys. In other news, Dan Duquette was hanging out
just north of the border at "Water Country" in Portsmouth, NH a couple of
Friday afternoons ago (again, water seeks its own level :-).
Unfortunately "Rolls Rey" Sanchez doesn't make that play
"10 out of 10 times" to be perfectly Frank.
Tony C's hottie daughter said on WBZ's Sports Final: "what
we don't know is all the 'ins and outs' of what took place back then"... I
would say it was all the 'ins and outs' that started this whole thing to begin
Something to chew on: Trot's tobacco cheek is growing to
the size of
that "second-evil-head" in the Mike's Hard Lemonade commercials.
Is Tony "Mr. Steinbrenner has done an outstanding
job with the Yankees and he continues to be successful" Clark still here
(like the Seinfeld episode when George quits his job but shows up at the
Monday morning meeting)?
I'm seriously starting to get tired of his act (and tired of my Strike on Sleep 'till
he's Swept out of Town). Let him go, praise the Lord, Fehr the Cartel, whatever
just take the last couple of checks and go already.
8.25.02: The Hunt for Red Sox October.
There goes the three-game winning "streak" as Nomar Garciapopup was
in full (first pitch) swing in the ninth yesterday. But it was good to
see a little Paul O'Neill on the way back into the dugout by our refocused
shortstop, and right on the heels of his F-bomb laden pep talk on Wednesday.
For those who can fill my hard drive with Manny's OPS
numbers for any split imaginable, I continue to see a guy who has the talent
to break some random Ted Williams' consecutive on-base records but yesterday
flies out in the sixth and grounds out to the pitcher in the ninth with the
close game on the line. Meanwhile, Jason Giambi is hitting
seventh-inning game winning home runs in low scoring affairs (NY-3 Texas-2
The Dog Days of Bummer: nothing makes me feel worse than
David Wells was right all along.
Holy Cow! (was the little play on words by-the-by). Speaking of
"Bye...Bye...Bye," Everett was on 1510 The Zone with Mike Wallace, a.k.a.
Debbie Wrobleski (who I attempted to ask out back when Kevin Kennedy was
manager) on Thursday. Carl called Boston fans "boring and unoriginal for
booing me... they don't have much to say because I play well... (last year)
was one of the worst clubhouses in baseball with no leaders on that team until
Carlos Baerga and Rickey Henderson came on board this year... I was the only
one who would speak up for other players... I say what I feel, not what's
popular... until the fans relax and the media stops being jerks, Boston's not
going to win anything... the media adores some guys but I never threatened to
"kick the scorekeeper's ass' like some other players' did." That's The
Truth's story and his sticking to it (you need your head examined if you
believe one word this fraud says).
In John Tomase's Lawrence Eagle Trib column on Carl (Captain
Kook Strikes Back), The Excuse plays the race card and the tired "you know
Boston" as his latest reasons for being a pathetic failure here. And according
to John "he was just starting to get into the whole race thing when his cell
phone rang and ruined the interview. Damn 21st century technology."
Clemens was on David Letterman Wednesday night, where he said: "We have a boss
'Mr. Steinbrenner' that wants us to be in the World Series... so we have to
get there again, that's what I like about being in New York." Who do the
Red Sox fear if they don't get into the World Series? John Henry? Lucky (damn
right)? Mr. Little?
More of Rockhead and Dave: DL: (I hate management, believe me....) But can you
explain this strike to us, what is the reason the players would strike? RC:
(the players) make it fun for the fans, we don't want to strike, we set the
date so we could find a medium point... Mr. Torre has us concentrating on
what's going on in the field. DL: Do you always call him Mr. Torre? RC:
Well, when I'm not pitching well it's Mr. Torre, if I'm goin' good it's
'Skip.' DL: So what are the key issues here for those of us not really
following this? RC: The revenue sharing is good.The luxury tax is the sticky
point. DL: Will there be a strike? RC: I say it will not happen (crowd
applause). Oh yeah, sure, let's bring the bum back next year so he can
pass Cy Young in Red Sox wins.
I posted it to a popular Red Sox discussion board after the devastating loss
on Tuesday night to Texas: "After last night's debacle and this team now
officially as lifeless as it's been since the mid-60's, I can say without a
shadow of a doubt that the 2002 version of the Boston Red Sox will make a
resurgence starting tonight and sail into the playoffs as the AL League Wild
Card team." How's that for a
File this one under 'In the Doghouse and in Gilligan's Island Quicksand Up to
his Chest': Gerry Callahan asked Larry Lucchino "has Tony Clark's role
with Player's Association contributed to the lack of success he's had with the
Red Sox this year? Larry answered "here's something I never use on this
program, 'no comment.' GC: "but it's not in your contract to say 'no
comment' with us." Larry: "alright then... "No Commento." Ouch.
Say goodbye to the $5 million slowest swing in baseball. And praise the Lord.
I sat next to Jim Fregosi for Pedro's effort on Friday night. He's a roving
scout for the Atlanta Braves and was at Fenway looking at the Angels,
particularly Jarrod Washburn their outstanding lefty starter. They may try to pick
him up in a trade if they lose Glavin or Maddux this off-season. Atlanta
sure knows how to keep it going.
Speaking of "I Like the Way You Do It," on Friday Grady said "these jobs and
these seasons are going to come and go with the Red Sox." Be careful
what you wish for Gramps. Seriously, he was talking about baseball in
comparison to what the Red Sox and WEEI did on Friday, raise over $350,000 for
cancer research. I was remiss in not linking to The Jimmy Fund during WEEI's
recent radiothon. Like Larry Lucchino, I have highly personal reasons
for supporting Dana-Farber (having raised over $16,000 by running two Boston
Please donate if your economic situation is not in such dire straights
that you'd have to consider striking from your day job.
8.21.02: Where's our Paul O'Neill?
"When he saw Jeter and A-Rod laughing it up on the field
during a game in Yankee Stadium he would run up and get right in Jeter's face
and let him know that this bull#&%! would not be tolerated... not on this
field, not while he's playing.... how Red Sox fans can continue to cheer these
frauds is beyond me." Those are the comforting words of one of my oldest
friends who just happens to have pinstripe-colored blood (among other things)
running through his veins. Z-man-the-Yankee-fan loves Paul O'Neill, the
"heart and soul" of the Bronx Bombers, and the brand of baseball he forced on
his team. Even though O'Neill is up in the broadcast booth now, the tone
he set in 1993 remains with the Yankees, just as it did when Mattingly stepped
down and O'Neill took the torch. It was all about winning, and O'Neill
was dead serious about it. Chuck your helmet
after popping out. Toss the bat after taking strike three. Smashing a paper
cup against the dugout floor after hitting into a double play. That's
quintessential Paul O'Neill. He had the "fire" that the Red Sox have
been looking for all season, the "sense of urgency" which are now the
watchwords of the day. Where's our Paul O'Neill?
Funny line dropped by an 'EEI caller this morning: "The Red Sox bullpen is
shakier than Michael J. Fox giving Mohammed Ali a piggy-back ride."
Dustin Hurtmanson is hoping the Sox pick up his $7.5 million option for next
season. Insanity reaches a fever pitch. Sure Dustin, let's say $1
million, laden with incentives? Or better yet, why don't you just play for
this year's money next year since you didn't earn it? Sorry Bulldog, "sorry"
doesn't cut it in these parts anymore.
The mood of The Nation has never been nastier. When people are longing
for the days of Mike Lansing and Dante Bitchette, you know you got trouble
Larry. Some people are calling this the least likable team they've ever
seen. And I have a hard time arguing against that.
How are our player's reps doing these days? Well,
team-rep Johnny Damon is all set to play in a beer league in Florida.
Funny, I would have thought he'd be focused on working as hard as he can to
stop this strike and wouldn't rest until our National Pastime is saved from
permanent death. Oh but we've AL-rep Tony Clark to take care of that.
He, who stole $5 million right out from under Duke's nose, has the gall to
speak about labor relations. If the guy had put half the energy into his
swing that he puts into the Union and his hairstyles, he might be hitting .230
with five home runs today. Wouldn't you just love to see him get cut in
Burkett has already given the Bitchette "hey if we don't win, we'll go home
and watch football just like you" speech. Wonderful. Can we
boycott the second year of his contract? The second the guy opened his
big boycott mouth, it was over.
Nomar, who had a stranglehold on the number one spot for years, would not even
crack the top 10 of most popular athletes in Boston right now. My how
far his star has fallen. Mr. even-keel has run aground. Let's just
hope the food table is in tact.
During my weekend hiatus from this train wreck formerly
known as "The Year to Be Here" (Note to NESN: pull those new ads with the
players getting all fired up for the camera stat, it's not what anyone needs
to see right now) I had the pleasure of going down to The Razor to welcome the
Pats back. Sat 30 rows from the new field, beautiful sightlines, stadium
is as advertised. My only regrets: the $6.00 Buds and the fact that they
were out of tartar sauce for the $8.00 fried clam strips (was hoping for
bellies) before the game even started. Otherwise, Gillette Stadium is
the best little bargain in town (sarcasm).
Hey at least down there the team is greater than the sum of
its parts. This team has just fallen apart.
insult to injury.
My Cambridge Racquet &
Fitness Club's softball team's season ended last night too. The Mass State
Police team, complete with cops who were dead "ringers" for Johnny Val, Jim
Thome, and the Green Mile guy, beat us 7-5. But we played with a hell of a lot
more heart and fire than a certain other more highly-paid unit that I follow.
For one, I played the full game in the field with a three-week-old torn calf,
that's what you do in playoff Softball. Unfortunately it's one game and
out. So it's over. Plenty of time for rehab now.
The play-by-play from the last of Nomar's five first-swing atbats last night:
"...somehow Nomar is up there on a 1-1 pitch...here's the pitch, ball
bounces twice, 11 feet outside, Garciapopup checks his swing... the one-two pitch, bounces in the
dirt, Nomar somehow holds back... the two-two, a mile outside, Nomar again
shows the Patience of Job... the three-two pitch, line fly right to right.
Ho-hum... Breaking News: Locker Room Uncut.... Nomar says
"nobody's getting down in this clubhouse... we battled out there all night...
we'll get dressed and get back out there tomorrow"... Whew!
For a minute there I was worried.
Along with 70,000 other Red Sox fans, I will be sitting in
a sweet spot at the grand opening of Gillette Stadium on Saturday night to
welcome the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots back home (a shiver of
gargantuan proportions just ran down Larry Lucchino's spine). A team, with
heart, that wins. Imagine that.
So yesterday morning I was updating the Globe link and did a quick scan of the
'On baseball' column. The beginning was about palm trees being moved out
of the Safeco outfield and I saw some mentions of the Sox tendencies to be on
the wrong side of blowouts, Baerga recruiting Pineiro for his winter team, and
the Sox failure to get a streak going. I posted the "Uprooting Interest"
headline like the Globe had. Fifteen minutes later I was sitting in a
barber's chair in Oak Square reading a printed version of the Globe. I'm
looking for the 'On baseball' column so I can read it through. Except I can't
find the palm trees. And my paper Globe has the headline: "Finger of fate
points in familiar direction" and is a totally different column and this version's got good
stuff on the role of "luck" that John Henry says contributed to the one-run
losses. So I'm thinking, why the hell isn't this the same as the online
version... it's got nothing to do with the game ending late? So
the piece goes on to mention the bad fate that has permeated the Red Sox past,
including Aparicio stumbling around third in '72, the year this torture began
for me. But then suddenly Edes adds in:
"New owners have managed to drive off the rats that used to have the run of
the place - there hasn't been a single rodent sighting by this correspondent,
who used to have rats waiting for him at the press box elevator door on his
way out of Fenway Park - but they have apparently haven't shaken themselves of
the notion that forces beyond their control are still capable of haunting
I jerk my head back for a double-take (which is not a good thing to do in a
barber's chair) and say to myself, holy #&%!, Edes is calling Duquette and his
minions rat bastards now? I know the relations between the media and the
team weren't good last year but did they really wait at the elevator to escort
him out of the building? Wow, calling these guys "rats" could be bigger
than Junkomania... somebody said something to him about this column and he got
in trouble... looks like someone thought the rat references were a
little too close to home... maybe some of those "rats" are still around and it
would cause a ruckus... God if Shaughnessy's little 'piece of junk' line
caused such a tizzy, imagine the controversy when readers figure out they
pulled this column online and in the later editions, holy cow. And Greg
Dickerson had just reported that Offy wanted to beat Edes up on Tuesday to
boot (but turns out it was Tony Mazz). The boards are going to have a field
day with this, hard evidence that The Red Sox Globe is pulling the strings and
will kill any column they deem controversial, even though the rat references
were dead on.
I sent Edes an email at the Globe to get to the bottom of this outrage,
presenting my evidence above of a Globe heavy-hand.
Then today, low and behold, I get an email back from the man himself. And
Gordon simply writes:
"I meant real, actual rodents."
Oh... as Rosanne Rosanna Danna used to say, "...Nevermind".
(But I still like the story better with Duquette and Kevin Shea playing the
role of the rats...)
8.14.02: A series of disappointments.
Dogs were put in this world to remind humanity that love, loyalty, devotion,
courage, patience, and good humor are the qualities that, with honesty, are
the essence of admirable character and the very definition of a life well
- Christopher Snow in Seize the Night, by Dean
There's no worse feeling than being disappointed
in someone, or being a disappointment to someone. Like when you did
something so terribly wrong that your girlfriend doesn't just threaten to
break up with you, or throw something at you, she says the magic words "I'm
really disappointed in you." There's no worse feeling on either side,
and disappointment has been running rampant lately.
Just a short list of some of those who have come up short:
My man Trot - Yes the turnaround has been solid, right through last night,
but he should have taken on that Captain's role by hook or by crook,
formally or not, right from the get-go. Right after he saw
Manny-Being-Manny coming a mile away this spring with the
"insurance/doctor's appointment" scam. Trot should have stuck to his guns,
demanded his two-spot back, and infused some life into this 2002 unit.
Call it whatever the hell you want, but these New Red Sox needed the
leadership, gusto, determination, and finishing power that the Dirt Dog
brand of baseball brought most of last season. Step up, speak up Trot, we need to
hear something real.
Grady Little - I guess we now know why he got a standing ovation at his
announcement. Maybe we should have held the applause? Note to Grady: we
can't "get 'em tomorrow" much longer... as a famous coach once said, "The
Future is Now." No need to beat a dead horse on the rest of the
well-chronicled moves and non-moves that killed the season, and he did
avoid the one-run loss again last night. No, Summertime Grandpa Grady
doesn't pitch or hit, but as I keep hearing people saying "the team takes
on the lackadaisical personality of the manager." Indeed.
Nomar - No interest in ever taking a strike to extend an atbat, inning,
work a pitcher... I've never seen more rallies die via the pop-up.
And the same old "just one game, we'll be back out there tomorrow" lines.
More passion was uttered in his stumps on steroids, traveling and
Burkett - Gammons was right all along. Boycott? Boycott being a beer man
at my softball game? Boycott what?
Manny Ramirez - Indifference makes a difference. In addition to everything
else we see with our own eyes, this guy was yucking it up with Prime Time
in Pawtucket while the crowd stood singing for "God Bless America" during
his rehab. Lucky would say RB-Bye-Bye if anyone could stomach the
contract. "Manny for Mo and move around the dough" looks better every day.
Watching this team play and listening to "Locker Room Uncut" on NESN is
making me long for the Hit Dog who could at least cut to the chase.
Jason Varitek - While the signed ball still sits proudly on my mantle,
could you just find a way to stay out of the double play? Is that asking
Pedro - "Jose didn't get many chances." Jose didn't get many
chances!?! Then what were the daily "WHAT IS HE DOING IN THE
STARTING LINEUP BATTING SECOND AGAIN!" cries from the Nation all about?
Offerman not getting enough chances? I'm all about helping your bummed out
buddy in a "pinch" but pulheeze Petey.
The Disingenuous Dance has had many partners this week.
And I'm so disappointed.
8.11.02: Pedro's out of focus, misses photo opp!
little prima dona 170-pounds-soaking-wet... just
kidding, that was my changeup. Who cares that Petey missed the team photo? He was picture perfect yesterday. But Neumy does make good points, you
do mark history with the team photo and it is a tad disrespectful.
A personal thank you to my friend Matt "The Factor" Lyons,
who set me up six rows from the field yesterday. Matty's come a long way
from throwing golf balls at Mickey Rivers from the bleachers. I've never
had such a great view of Pedro, and it was fun whispering into the ears of the
Sox players in the on-deck circle ("Hey NOMAR, my name's OBP, do you know
me?"), but after eight innings and eight Amstels,
I was speechless.
I was fortunate enough to get on-air with Mike
Port on The Zone last week. After I lauded him with praise for releasing
Oliver, Garces, and Offerman, picking up Embree, Howry, and Floyd, and
successfully commandeering the War Room on trading day, I got around to asking
him Curly's draft question: "With Floyd in the fold, will you now
turn your attention to the draft and getting the top talent signed?" Port answered roughly: "Chadd and the scouts working on it, working hard...
aware of the schools and when classes start...other clubs... rounding into
shape, still alive on most of these fronts, made great selections but if you
don't sign them...good course of negotiations..." And now it looks like
number one draft pick Lester is in, but good Neighborgall is out.
This Must Be 'The Place?' Shame on those of you who are saying that
because Dauber and Sanchez were at 'The Place,' a popular watering hole
downtown, on Thursday night that it contributed to The-Pop-Up-That-Fell-Down
Friday night and Rey's "flu-like symptoms" yesterday. They only had "a
couple of drinks" according to someone-who-was-there. Jeez, give these
guys a break, it's not like they were out getting gassed the night before
Yankee day games. This isn't 2001 you know (although a little Dirt Dog
fighting spirit wouldn't hurt right about now).
Line of the week on WEEI's Whiner Line: "If John Henry had added a
couple of rows of seats in front of the bullpen, we would've won that game." I guess it's just me, but I've seen a thousand better catches than Long's
Is Eminem's 'Without Me,' the Trot Nixon Show parody coming to a radio
station near you? Stay tuned.
The man that shilled for Dan Duquette nine years ago, Peter Gammons, likes
Billy Beane (or is it
Bean?) to be the next Sox GM.
In the sprit of shameless self-promotion (which we do less of than any other
site on the planet) and in an effort to answer our oh-so-many critics over
the past year, one loyal reader this week best articulates what this site is all about:
"Just wanted to let you know how
much I enjoy your site! I discovered it about 6 months ago and can’t get
enough of it. Not only is it funny and entertaining at times, but
informative and honest, as well. There’s only so much I can read
ESPN, NESN and Red Sox sites. The honesty and insight on your
website is refreshing! Thanks for the great escape from passive,
straight fact media. It’s nice to read information given by true Red
Sox fans! Keep up the awesome work!
Fellow Red Sox Fanatic,
Our Boy All Grows Up! And one more round of props for our own Kevin Hench who cracked the Sunday Globe this morning (let's just hope he doesn't
forget the little people... and the Little people).
Kudos to the unctuous Laguna Beach Bum Craig Dickinson (or is it Greg
Dickerson?) the Dennis & Callahan fill-in last week who screamed "YOUR WEBSITE
SUCKS" on air when his borrowed anecdotal theory that "managers affect about
10 games a year" was challenged by me. And after his tirade, he offered
no evidence to support his theory. Well at least we know what t-shirt Craig wears to the Park. More proof that water does indeed seek its own level.
Namedropping: For the second year in a row, Mayor Tom Menino is a Dirt
Dog. Caught up with Mr. Maaya on Yawkey Way yesterday (something I won't
be able to do once the Sox claim the street) and gave him his 2002 shirt.
...found myself on the corner of the bar with Skakel lawyer Mickey Sherman at The
Cooke House in Newport. I said nothing about the trial, just joked about
what I had heard about his going out for 'lobster campanese' when he finally
felt he could grab a bite to eat during the Moxley trial. Anyway, turns
out he's a lifelong Mets fan. So I cheered him up with my 1986 houseparty
little tale. He got a kick out of that, glad I could cheer him up, case closed.
Housecleaning: We're trying to update some of the forgotten sections and
figure out a mutually-palatable solution to the 'Headlinks' gaps (for now, the
top three links will always take you to today's Globe, Herald, and ProJo
stories), unfortunately our little labor of love has suddenly turned into
Last but not least,
Major League Baseball/Bud Selig is cracking down on fan websites and doesn't
appear to be worried about alienating baseball fans any further than they already have. First back in early July, MLB took over Astros Daily, a site similar to ours,
faster than you can throw a gate up on Yawkey Way and
turned it into a Stepford Wife site. Take a look at this godawful thing
www.AstrosDaily.com. Then Bud moved on to
buried it. And most recently on August 5th, Selig sent a 'Cease and
Desist' order to
Bronx-Bombers.com and MLB has now begun negotiating (is this taking away
from fixin' that strike thing?) to keep them up in some form. Hmmm, who's next Bud? And why do I feel
like Princess Nefretiri talking to Sephora in "The Ten Commandments" after
Pharaoh's reverse-curse on the first-born is explained, "Moses (Larry) would
never hurt MY
child, that you can be sure of" So let it be emailed by the local
lawyers, so let it be done?
Could this be the parting of the (New) Red Sox?
8.06.02: It's a whole new ballgame, part II. Right off
the bat Grady, guys who make over $15M per for working 162 days a year, and
already had 39 games off at home in Miami, don't get anymore mental health/new
days this year, Capeche?
Now, moving on to your pitching philosophy: "he's
capable of ripping off five, six, seven innings every night, too, as a starter
and what more do you want from a starter?'' Grady Little asked about Tim
Wakefield yesterday. What I want from a starter is eight or nine
innings, not five and six Jimy, err Grady!
I was really kidding when I asked Sean McDonough yesterday
"any chance someone would pick Manny up if we put
him on the wire? It's probably the only way to get out of this $160
million albatross right?" But the scary part is that the question was a
heartbeat away from being taken seriously by Sean, Ron Borges, and Mike Giardi
who did say it may be the worst contract ever signed in professional sports.
Manny better get that one tool working fast.
Signs things are getting serious: Pedro's slamming of the front office for the
way they made malcontent Offy fly through Texas to pick us his four million
dollar severance package on the way to Braintree, goes virtually unnoticed.
Goes to show you that 10Ks a game is the price to get The Nation to bite its
collective tongue. Remember the outcry against Pedro last year after his
Danny Almonte comments?
Look for a BIG ovation for Clifford The Big Red Dog tonight. Huge.
We'll be down with the signs.
Anyone who was rooting for the Yankees to beat Anaheim last weekend, please
log off this site now and don't come back. Ever. Losers play for
the wildcard when they are four games out in the beginning of August.
Grady cannot logically explain why Howry and Embree were in that blowout
Friday night in Texas, which led to the Arrojo-in-the-seventh-of-a-close-game-good-idea
And Grady, let me say it first "we just ran up against some
good pitchin' tonight, we got snakebit a little bit out there." Nope,
you punched that ticket about 15 times already. Good pitching is coming
at you all month long, get used to it, and figure out how to win these close
March 4, 2002: "I'm back, I want my own show! I couldn't take it
anymore!" August 1, 2002: "send us an email... that's Eddie and Jags at
1510 The Zone daut kaum." In other media news, look for major changes to NESN's
pre-game show after the Minnesota series as the Boston Globe takes over.
The Globe reported first that Offerman's insubordination took place Monday
night against Anaheim. Two days later the Herald chimes in that Offerman
refused to go in for Baerga in the seventh inning on Sunday against Baltimore
at Fenway. Both papers say Mike Port confirmed their reported incident,
but not the other. Me thinks the Herald's Michael Silverman is smokin'
Yes, we are going to pat ourselves on the back for being 9-1/2 hours ahead of
the rest of the world on Offerman's release, but only because we figured it
out all on our own, no team/media/personal sources contributed to our scoop.
Larry told you he was releasing Offerman in his weekly report on WEEI's Dennis
& Callahan. All you had to do was listen.
Signs I really am Lucky's lap dog: People
are sending me messages for Lucchino. First, "larry, i hear that
hell froze over on may 1, 2002. mazel tov, larry grumet." Larry please
give Larry a call.
Secondly Larry, could you please address the following somewhere, or have Theo
or Port do it? This from Curly over at ProJo's 'Your Turn':
"The Sox are among the poorest teams this year in signing top picks, and time
is running out. The No. 1 pick (Lester) is unsigned, as is Neighborgall,
the guy who slipped in the draft, and three other top 10 picks. Maybe with
Floyd in the fold, these guys will turn to the draft and getting the top
talent signed, as they promised to do. If they don't sign at least two
or three of their unsigned picks, this draft could wind up being as bad as the
1997 debacle of Curtice, Fischer, Capista, Glaser, et. al."
The Nation is never happy Larry. Never.
7.31.02: Today. (Happy Birthday to us. Site is one year old today. Many thanks to
our 238,288 visitors (and now counting over 3,000 a day) for checking in,
and especially those who help out with our ever-increasing server fees by purchasing
a couple of shirts and hats.)
Today is the first day of the rest
of your season. The big bat has been found. And for those of you
who think that getting a stick wasn't as important as getting another starter,
I ask you to look back at the Arizona, Atlanta, and Los Angeles games.
The pitching was there. The hitting was not.
Kudos to the front office team who worked 25/8 on
the Big Deal. Kudos to Gordon Edes for giving it to us right a week
early. And Kudos to the fans who didn't bail out on the new group. (Pay
no attention to any panicky whining that was going on here yesterday, it was
just a set-up for today... we never lost faith for a second :-).
Port, fresh off his beating out the Yankees for
Clifford, and doing a little chest-beating too, puts the pedal to the metal
for a pitcher today.
Sun has set for the last time (yeah, we liked him
too), but this is not the same old Song and dance my friend (read: Dante
7.30.02: Tomorrow. (Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya tomorrow! You're only a day
The sun'll come out Tomorrow Bet your bottom
dollar That tomorrow There'll be sun!
Just thinkin' about Tomorrow Clears away the
cobwebs, And the sorrow 'Til there's none!
When I'm stuck with a day That's gray, And lonely,
I just stick out my chin And Grin, And Say, Oh
The sun'll come out Tomorrow So ya gotta hang on
'til tomorrow Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya Tomorrow!
You're only A day A way!
7.28.02: Make the move.
The clock is ticking on the trade
deadline, rumors abound, anything short of a top-of-the-line brand name hitter
or pitcher will be deemed a disaster at this point. Here's guessing that
Fossum and Song go in a package for either/and/or Rolen, Colon, Floyd, or
I was at the morning Ted Fest last week. When I was
leaning over the Red Sox bullpen wall, the phone in the pen started ringing,
but no one was there to take the call. It kept ringing, and ringing, no one
was there to answer. Maybe it was Grady calling from Yankee Stadium.
Regarding the Ted napkinpact, Jeff Baskies, CEO of Mass.
Lawyers Weekly and experienced Florida probate attorney, told WEEI's Big Show
"if this is all they have, they're probably going to lose." Besides the
inherent problems with the trunk-stored oil stained paper with the changed
date and questionable signature sandwiched in between Fraudia and Freezer Boy,
the most interesting fact presented was that Ted signed his original will,
hospital submission papers, and all other legal documents as "Theodore
Williams." The "Ted Williams" autograph was reserved for memorabilia...
and no-witness agreements. Just give the man his real last wishes.
Kudos to Mike Port for his tough-love handling of the
Garces release. It sends a strong message that fitness and focus are
always going to be part of the deal around here, fan favorite or not,
multi-year pact or plain old multi-million dollar deal. On
sale at Twins Souvenirs: 6,000 number '34' XXXXL "El Guapo" shirts, while they
Note to my friends at NESN: Please, I'm beggin' you,
no more new player-feature commercials. Manny, Hillenbrand, Urbina, and Burkett
went right into the tank the second their new spots broke. File under:
Curse of the Corsino.
A Dominican gentleman called in to WEEI last week to
complain about Dan Shaughnessy. He said "he called Jose Offerman a piece
of junk... I'm a janitor and I find good things in the junk, there's nothing
good about Jose Offerman."
How about that (I'm not going to say I told you so) Trot
Nixon. Who are we trading him for again? And who plays right, left,
first, and DH in his absence?
Welcome to the Grand Illusion, come on in and see what's
happening, pay the price get your tickets for the show... a.k.a. 'Fenway
If I hear the Fehr-and-Loathing line of "we've made a lot
of progress with the worldwide draft issue which is very important to both
sides," I'm gonna snap. Do they think we were born last night?
Line of the week: Pedro and Lowe, and pray for snow.
As far as the wide-ranging criticism of the front office
for not making a major move yet, a savvy poster on SoSH said "they're just
working the count right?... we still believe in working the count don't we?"
Yes we do Nomar. As long as TheBigMove is made by 4pm EDT Wednesday.
If we haven't seen any live action by then, all bets are off.
7.09.02: All-Star shame. Been out in the sun too long... Hey I was selected to the
All-Star team but the sticker on my windshield says I have to change my oil
today... so I can't go. You can now skip the All-Star game for any old reason,
who cares? The players? No. The fans? No. The All-Star game you couldn't wait
for as a kid is over. Imagine The Kid skipping out on the A-game to go
fishing? Never happened (and it won't happen his next time around either :-).
The Yankees "budget" keeps expanding faster that El Guapo's ERA. They're
quickly becoming the Harlem Globetrotters competing against the likes of the
Boston Shamrocks, Washington Generals, Baltimore Rockets, New York Nationals,
Atlantic City Seagulls, and the New Jersey Reds. Good times. Thanks George.
What happened to Nomar the quiet man? Do we need to hear that the players will
strike for "my brother Michael and the kids in the sandlot playing Little League?"
Embarrassing. Hey Little Leaguer, if the players don't strike you might only
make $6M per year, not $10M for being a .230 hitter. Incentive bonuses
slashed. Signing bonuses cut back by 5%. Cy Young, MVP, All-Star bonuses could
remain flat. Contract buyouts out. Hey Little Leaguers, if you don't stick a
needle in your ass you might not be able to compete. Oh the humanity! Poor little kids. Scraping
to get by in 2010.
And where did Nomar come up with the "false positives" and "confidentiality"
crap regarding the scourge that is steroids. I don't think Norma Rae rallied
for the union more than Nomar. Take the test. Take the test. Take the test.
Not you Nomar, we know you're clean, but that's all you should be saying. Why
does random testing work in the NFL Nomar? False positives? You've been
watching too many 'Quincy' reruns.
Ted Williams looks like he could have been Sammy Sosa's jockey.
Who is looking out for the game here anyway?
Everyone should be forced to wear their pants and socks like Bryant Nelson. It
looks like the kid is ready to run unlike some other players who look like
they're going snowboarding out there with their dumpy, baggy hip-hop look
which is so over.
Remember the game against Cleveland (6/27) that got rained out because of the
sudden thunderstorms? Turns out that wasn't the only thunderstorm at Fenway.
Lucchino wanted to get the game back on but umpire John Hirschbeck had already
left for the airport to catch an early flight to his next series. Lucky
was furious and you could hear him screaming from the street.
Just heard the first "why don't they clone Bill Buckner and spread him around
the Red Sox minor league system" joke by Craig Kilborn. Here we go.
Met John Henry on Yawkey Way. But when we started to chat, the WB56 cameras
came rolling in. We were both interviewed on Ted. He followed me as the lead
on The Ten O'Clock News, must have been the sign :-). Oh and yes the 'Yankees
Suck' guy is pissed about the Metro article. I was misquoted I tell ya.
Can we stop with the "hey would you trade Trot for Sammy Sosa now?"
trade was never going to happen and there were about three people (no not me)
who said they wouldn't do it. Sick and tired of people proposing all these
Trot trades. Let's see who carries the team up until the strike.
Mike Port claims he had jury duty the day Duke traded Tankersley for Sprague.
Death or no death in the family, losing two out of three to the toothless
Tigers at "home" is inexcusable.
I love Fenway, but I went to a game with my friend Monty last week (Monty is
about 6'2" 250 and I'm... a bit smaller) one of us had to lean forward while
the other leaned back just so we could drink our beers. No chance of us just
sitting side by side and having a conversation. And these were box seats.
Knock it down, build it up. Right over the Pike.
Reminder to JHW: The various fees
and minimum funding which the Alcor Life Extension Foundation requires from
Cryotransport (Suspension) Members in connection with their cryostasis
(cryonic suspension) arrangements is increasing in August. Lucifer may have to
get a job while he waits to put that DNA on eBay (Is this the same DNA that
created him and Bobby-Jo?).
I long for the days when all we had
to worry about was Ben Affleck's bad jokes and Manny's lost-and-found earring.
Breaking news: Manny has arrived in
Milwaukee, well-rested, for his at bat tonight. He is expected to rejoin the
Red Sox sometime in August.
6.25.02: Stand by your Manny. As frustrating as the Manny mishandling was from Jeff Moorad's
phone calls to Dr. Uribe's underlings to the Miami MIAs to cancelled Dr.
Morgan appointments to changing timetables to missed flights to jumping the
gun on BP to overreacting to under reacting to sending him to Pawtucket too
soon to keeping him in Pawtucket too long to head flops to mining diamonds to
too long plane rides to too many one run losses, to busses to mid-game
haircuts to fifth inning exits to .100 batting AAAverages to "whatever,
nothing matters to me," it's time to get behind your Manny.
His head was not in the game at Camp Pawtucket. He needs the 40,000 people,
lights, camera, and action to get somewhat focused.
You'll see a different Manny tonight. So bite your tongue, clap your hands,
and pamper him just like the Red Sox do. Bottom line, they're a .500 team
without him right now.
The Ramirez rehab was one of three big bungles by the new Red Sox regime, the
other two being starting the game on April 3rd, which may have cost them
Dustin Hermanson for the season, and the last mistake being allowing
JohnHenryWilliams to make a mockery of a travesty of a sham out of his poor
dad, the team, and the new administration.
Speaking of bad moves coming in threes, Dan Shaughnessy is in a
second-place-slump himself. First he gets garbage tossed at him by most
everyone for the "junk" tag he hung on Offerman. Then he gets his Mazz kicked
on the Johnny Shellgame shocker. And now he's sending out computer viruses
from his Globe email account. I've received two emails from the curly haired
one with the subjects: "Eager to meet you" and "Garden of Eden." Luckily
I had protection (some wish they did from his Globe columns).
After watching and listening to The Dentist read his PowerPoint presentations
over home runs in the booth, some out there in the Nation need Novocain.
As Rough Carrigan writes on SoSH "just spare us the spiel. Every American
adult has seen or heard thousands of ads by age 30. We can detect sales talk.
Don't give us sales talk. We'd like to know a little bit about you for our
files. We'd like to help you learn to help yourself. We're all about value. We
can never take the fans for granted. Spare us. We'll judge whether or not you
care by what you do, not by how much you tell us you care."
It was Bill Buckner night in Chicago at the Cubs game last night.
More from the worn-out-their-welcome department: Grady's Jimy-like lineups and
over-resting people is starting to grate on people's nerves. Did he play
enough National League ball on this last trip? Did he ruin Trot's start and
put him in a spot to be traded now? And was he hemming and hawing about first
base for too long? Stick Big Thunder in there and let him swing the bat. At
least it looks like he has a chance of getting a hit.
Welcome home Red Sox.
It's warm now, but no longer fuzzy.
Johnny Shellgame gets to first base. Lucchino and Henry at odds on helping John Henry Williams,
stupid soap opera continues in Florida this week. 6:20: This paragraph brought to you by the now defunct porn hosting
website Hitter.net, the domain name on the hat that "dad wore in his last
appearance at Fenway. The hat dad's wearing to his goddamn grave" said
JohnHenryWilliams the First, Looking-Out-for-Number-One-Son, the Greatest
Bullshitter that Ever Lived.
So JohnHenryWilliams is back in the limelight signing a minor league deal with
the Red Sox. Of course he's another first base/DH type. Hey with Tony
Clark's retirement and Daubach suddenly struggling again, why not take a look
at the soon-to-be-34-year-old inexperienced Splendid Grifter?
"Autographed JohnHenryWilliams' Fort Myers first baseman's jerseys
available at JohnHenryWilliams.com. Sign up today and get two months access to
the secret live cam in dad's bedroom absolutely free. Act now and get a copy
of a signed rent check from my sister Claudia along with a copy of her court
summons. 'Thanks Ted' rookie cards available soon" (or
as soon as he can cut a deal).
Fenway Magic, Promotion #2:
Take your picture with owner John Henry and stoner John Henry for the low, low
price of $400.20. Act today and get a vile of dad's signed toenail clippings for only
$999.99... while they last.
are standing by.
6.14.02: The road to recovery.
M*A*S*H unit and the psychiatric ward are full again. The Sox will have their
hands full on this NL trip: Manny is still sore and needs more time to
get his timing right. Rey Sanchez pulled a Dustin Hermanson and is on the
indefinite timetable. Varitek's ankle is hurting. Pedro is still on the couch
at $300 an hour. Rickey who? Trot and Tony continue to fight through vicious
slumps. Hillenbrand is heading downhill. And the Sox get a Maddux-Glavine
double-dose this weekend, no skating around the star rotation this time.
Shocker: Sox to stay at Fenway.
Enough of the Clemens nonsense. Hit 'em,
don't hit him. Bat him, don't bat him. Who cares? Like Grady said, it's
store-bought Bob Watson we've got to worry about.
Sports Illustrated's Jeff Pearlman was kind
enough to respond to my tirade about his Yankees Love column:
"...Why so much anger? It's just baseball... I spent 90% of
the series at Fenway in the standing-room-only section, not in the press box
(too sanitary up there)."
"That's a funny place. But I'm no serial killer," said
Pearlman after reading the thread on his column on the SonsofSamHorn Red Sox
"Thanks for the letter. And for reading.
PS: For the record, I was not and never have been a real Yankee fan. I grew up
down the street from a kid who pitched for Seattle, so the Ms were my team."
So Jeff is simply another
front-running fake Yankee fan writing for a national rag. But he gets points
for taking the heat. I promised to check in with Jeff Pearlman when his
Yankees don't "win the division by 10 games" and his M's get ready for a
Boston-Seattle pennant battle.
6.7.02: Pearl of wisdom: Jeff's a real gem.
Have you read this week's thoughtless Sports Illustrated piece on the
Yankees-Red Sox rivalry and recent series by Yankee shill Jeff Pearlman, a
lifelong pin-striper born and raised in Mahopac, NY and now living in
Manhattan. Objective for sure.
Result: another tired blanket description of Boston and Red Sox Nation from a
national publication. After Pearlman paints us all as being caught up in the
barely-breathing 'Yankees Sucks' embarrassment, he writes "after Clemens
surrendered seven runs in 3-2/3 innings on May 24th, in a game Boston would
win 9-8, the boos and chants of "Clemens sucks!" that accompanied his
departure nearly equaled the decibel level at a DMX concert. Unlike the masses
at Yankee Stadium last weekend, who jovially mocked the Red Sox with chants of
'Nine-teen-eight-teen!', there is a palpable bitterness to the Boston crowds."
So as always, here in Boston we're "bitter" while the New York fans are
"jovial." What bullshit you bomber butt-kisser.
First of all Jeff, the chant that erupted inside Fenway starting in the second
inning on May 24th, was the really jovial "Rah-ger... Rah-ger" chant, not
"Clemens sucks!" as you claim. Step outside the press box sometime and find
out what's really happening inside and outside the park. And "Rah-ger... Rah-ger"
is the second cousin to "Dar-rul... Dar-rul" another oh-so-bitter chant that's
been around since '86.
He goes on to write the absurd "yet afterward the Yankees were showering and
eating and talking as if they had been bitten by a flea" after the Sox beat
the Yankees last Friday night. Then he describes the Clemens
20-strikeout banner in the Fenway concourse having some mustard "spittle" on
it, another sign of our "hostility." What a reach from this rat. Who gave this
guy a license to write for SI?
Pearlman later describes the right-field crowd in Yankee Stadium after last
Saturday's 10-2 defeat of the Red Sox "...the famed Bleacher Creatures made
life miserable for the fearless few who ventured into enemy territory wearing
Boston garb. There was no anger, though, just free-flowing put-downs... the
assaults began early. 'Let's go Celtics' (they were eliminated the night
before), '1918', and 'Trot Nixon sucks!"
So "Trot Nixon sucks!" is now "free-flowing" but we're the bitter, hostile
crowd?!? Pearlman goes on to close this airline magazine quality piece with a
quote from a Yankee fan who says "There's no hatred here, only pity... Boston
is like the kid in the neighborhood you used to beat up on, and he couldn't
fight back. They've never stood a chance."
Yeah, we never stood a chance because New York has been bankrolling their way
to the World Series since the early 70's. Now that the playing field is a
little closer to level (are we under a billion in the real revenue gap yet?)
we stand more than a chance pal.
In the SI email, you get even more gems from Pearlman "After
spending time watching these teams play each other both at Fenway and Yankee
Stadium, I got the sense that Red Sox fans are desperate to beat the Yankees
while New York fans really don't get caught up in the day-to-day scores.
They seem confident that by the end of the year the Yankees will probably be
ahead of the Red Sox in the standings anyway. I have to say that I agree with
the New York fans. Even though the Yankees trail the Red Sox in the standings
right now, I think the Yankees will win the division by 10 games."
Yankees win by ten games? Jeff Pearlman is a fraud. He invokes every
reference from Beantown to Bucky Dent to Bill Buckner to Green Monster in this
piece of mail-it-in trash. Hey Pearlman, welcome to the present. You don't
know Boston. These aren't my grandfather's Red Sox. And I've got news for
you, we're not bitter, we're simply better.
"Pearlman Sucks!" Now that makes sense.
6.3.02: Trade time. With Guap weighing in with an 11.77 ERA, a plus
1.100 OPS against, and back in Boston with a bad hamstring, and Rickey's
banged up back, it's time to test Mike Port's GM mettle. He doesn't sound
happy with "Richard" Garces but can he make a middle relief move with nothing
substantial to offer?
Gammons says Cleveland and Toronto won't talk to Boston
about Colon and Escobar because there aren't any players here better than what
they already have over there. And there aren't too many outfielders out there
either, but the Sox can't continue to go with a Daubach, Nelson, Offerman
backup mix much longer, can they?
I am shocked and chagrined at all the people who are offering to drive Trot
Nixon to the airport for any pitcher with a pulse. How quickly they forget who
held it all together through thick and thin, all season long, just last year.
I didn't realize we had disposable team MVPs. Look out for a monster second
half from Nixon. Volcano will explode and that's not crying wolf again.
The other trade options look like pending free agent dumps. Do they really
want to take on another Lansing-Arrojo deal and throw good money after
mediocre? Do they want to go into 2003 with more Hermanson, Oliver, Offerman-type
But what are the alternatives? They don't live in Rhode Island. The upper
minors are as bare as advertised both at the position and pitching levels. The
AA prospects are thin as well. People sing Song's praises, but the rest of the
group has been overrated for a long time, traded prospects aside.
Who will be the real trade bait in the call to arms? For now, we'll just have
to sit and wait.
Speaking of trades, happy, happy birthday to the mercurial Carl Everett who
turns 31 today. If they released Oliver overnight, it was a great trade for
5.29.02: Manny thoughts. Two-cents while trying to program my Tivo to
record Lou Merloni vs. Ben Affleck, Celebrity Boxing III on Fox next
Sunday night. Lou, you gotta be thick-skinned like Manny. He would love
getting roasted by a celebrity if he knew it was happening. While Ben's
busting chops was quite funny, his muffed play-by-play was as wooden as his
acting. And nice comebacks from the clubhouse over the Affleck flap, Lou can
quit his part-time day job anytime.
6:00pm is the deadline for submitting your resume to become a
Fenway Ambassador. Successful candidates "are intended to be the
pinnacle of customer service, good will, kindness, and helpfulness. These are
people who inherently go out of their way to meet and help people, to solve
problems, to thrill children, and to spread the magic of baseball throughout
New England." We've been taking care of this job outside the park since last
July. I guess the check is in the mail right Larry :-) ? They're going
to get about 10,000 resumes from blanketing Boston.com all week for the three
open positions. Nice grassroots database building guys. And what
happens to all the cranky white-hairs clogging up the aisles already?
Deep breath, repeat after me... "he just crushes the ball... he just crushes
the ball." Hey send us a postcard at least will ya' IronManny?
Don't you have friends in the old neighborhood that you wouldn't mind seeing
in Gotham City this weekend? What the hell are you doing down there?
Better not be recording a new single, that won't work. Hope you're just
setting up Nintendo GameCube's all over the house, planting your tomato
garden, or watching South Park. See you in July buddy, don't worry about nothin'.
The statute of limitations just ran out. You can no longer refer to Juan
Pena's two starts in '99 as a reason to call him up. But you can reference his
towering ERA and the fact that he's given up more home runs that the Yankees
hit this month as reasons not to put him on the bus.
Alright Grady, I get it. Pedro should probably sit on Sunday. Hey Buckley,
yeah Buckley, where was your know-it-all rant about Pedro starting in New York
yesterday? Pure genius calling for him to sit after last night's game
blowhard. Had those of us who "know nothing about baseball, know nothing about
Pedro... or both" known that he had complained of a heavy arm during long-toss
on Sunday, the decision would have been as obvious as your elitist Monday
morning quarterbacking. Nice grift Grady. Bonus points for keeping it
Sat two seats over, one back from Peter Gammons at the Pedro/Yankee game at
Fenway last week. He was affable to the fans behind home plate, shrugging when
asked if Tony Clark's swing can be saved, and telling me that Wells was all
set to go on Saturday. He stood up for every two-strike count along with the
rest of us, but he wouldn't physically clap when Pedro got the K. Gasbag
stares at his cell phone more than a Marblehead girl in an Irish bar. Is he
just checking the sports ticker or waiting for Mike Hampton to call to confirm
his trade to the Red Sox for Ramirez?
Derek Lowe has the biggest start of his career Friday night.
5.28.02: Good move, bad move. Thank God Grady came to his senses and has decided
to sit Darren down for a bit. I'm not convinced that Oliver is a piece of ju...
err uh... is totally hopeless... as a player (note: Darren is a wonderful
person). But it was time to make the switch, albeit a day late to
salvage the Yankees series.
Moving on to Pedro: Bad move. They may not get swept in
the Bronx with a rotation of Lowe, Arrojo, Castillo, but they could
easily lose two of three under Grady's plan. But then we've got Pedro
pitching against the Mighty Tigers in Detroit on Monday, ugh! I don't like
it one bit. How about a Little Carpe Diem?
Seize the moment Grady. Get tough Grady. And suck it up Pedro, you can get five
days of rest over the next three starts by going Sunday and then next Saturday
(using the two off days June 13th and 17th to "protect" him again). Keeping
Pedro on schedule this week will also allow him a second start in New York on
Sunday July 21st, instead of starting against Tampa at Fenway the game after.
Never mind the psychological side of the situation, the full game gain in the
standings is huge as this race seems destined to go down to the wire. And New
York doesn't seem to lose to White Sox of the world as easily as the Red Sox do.
A game swing in the standings now = a game swing in the standings in September.
The math don't lie. No one is asking Pedro to pull a Bob Gibson here, just
asking him to go about his normal routine for one more week.
Go for the green Grady, just like you would on the 16th at Pinehurst. You are
playing for first place in the American League's Eastern Division. This is no
time to settle or talk wildcard. Success against the Yankees is your choice. If
you choose to sit him on Sunday, fine. But as Rick Pitino used to say, it stinks
and it sucks.
Barks and Bites - May 2002
Barks and Bites - March/April 2002
2001 Barks and Bites