Sunday, November 27, 2005

A Hot Stove is a Good Stove

I have that "burning trade" sensation

Nothing makes you yearn for the baseball season to start more than a good trade. Ok maybe the Pats record of 6-5 and on the verge of being a playoff joke is a good reason to yearn too, but the trades are a close second. Now, I was SHOCKED when I saw that Beckett was coming to Boston. I was not so shocked when I saw that Mike Lowell was attached to the deal. When the deal was finalized last week and Guillermo Mota was added, I realized that there might be someone running the Red Sox front office after all. The hot stove is cooking!

So it’s Beckett, Lowell and Mota for Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado, Harvey Garcia and not one but TWO buckets of balls. I would say that the Marlins are having a firesale, but with AJ Burnett signed up for free agency and Delgado gone to the Mets there really isn’t much left to set on fire. Highway robbery or not, this was a fantastic trade. The only real loss is Hanley, who seemed like a good guy, but we HAVE a mediocre hitting shortstop…why horde them? The others aren’t too much of a loss (at least for now). Beckett is great. He’s a Yankee killer with ace pitcher stuff and a great attitude. The minor health problems? Who doesn’t have health problems?!?! The Red Sox other star had surgical work that had only been done before on a DEAD GUY. We can deal with blisters.

As for Lowell, he couldn’t be THAT much worse than Millar could he? He might even profit from being in Fenway (a pull hitter park) rather than Dolphins Stadium (a black hole with seats). Getting Mota is good for another reason. Sure he might be a fine addition to the crippled pen or they might move him for tickets to “Walk The Line”, but the point is that the front office demanded the Fish throw some more meat on the already full plate. Somebody showed a couple of brass ones at that meeting and proved that just because we don’t have a real GM and the “wonderkid” we did have ran out of town like he was set ablaze, doesn’t mean we can’t exploit teams in the process of rebuilding. GIVE US MOTA!!! WE DEMAND MOTA!!!

In other news, the David Wells Fargo Wagon hasn’t left town yet (come on back now Dave Roberts). Ortiz doesn’t think Manny is coming back to Boston, but the Mariners and Angels don’t really want him and Mets best offer involves unlimited use of Omar Minaya’s pool and hot tub. Lastly, in the search for a manager, the Dodgers are in the process of interviewing Grady Little. He’s on a short list that includes Michael Jackson, OJ Simpson and a trained orangutan.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Waiting For Josh

What's That? Josh Beckett Might Come To Boston?

Checking my RSS reader today, as I do, this headline from the Boston Herald’s feed jumped out at me: “Texas may lead Red Sox in race for pitcher Josh Beckett.” My two-fold reaction:

  • Beckett’s on the market? Man, the Marlins really are trying to unload salary.
  • A 1, 2, 3 of Schilling (assuming he’s finally back to speed), Beckett and Papelbon, plus another great season of Timmy would be hott (definitely with two Ts), would be the Second Coming of Red Sox pitching…would be the equivalent of the 2005 White Sox.
Even with the asking price – Hanley Ramirez and Jon Lester and the requirement that the Sox take Mike Lowell, with his terrible season in ’05 and his $18 million, two year contract, I’m still for the deal. Beckett is a young, proven commodity; Lester and Ramirez, for all of their impressiveness in the minors, are still prospects. Beckett’s big problems sound mechanical – he wouldn’t be the first guy the Sox have imported to be fixed up by Messrs. Wallace and Varitek – and he’s got the biggest game experience you could possibly want in Boston, shutting down the Yankees to end the 2003 World Series. Now the Gang of 4 just has to convince Florida that they want to save money and get prospects instead of taking the underpaid Hank Blaylock from Texas. Should be easy, right?

Monday, November 14, 2005


"DH? Never heard of it!"

I first saw it when I checked DirtDogs after lunch today.

“No Surprise, A-Rod Wins MVP”

Well I was surprised. Really. I was shocked. I thought this was a done deal for Ortiz and the rest was just paperwork. The numbers have been floated out there enough:

A-Rod has a better average, is better on the base paths, and better junktime numbers.
Ortiz has more RBI’s, more walks, and gets his hits when they count. Close and Late.

The bottom line was at the plate, nobody beats David “Big Papi” Ortiz. He’s the guy you want and there isn’t even a question about it. He is the most valuable hitter in baseball. Get it? VALUE. He has the MOST of it.

“But what about fielding” you say? I say shut up. Fielding is all well and good, but this isn’t “Most Valuable 5 Tool Player” it’s the plain old “MVP”. Ortiz is the most valuable player when batting… why isn’t that enough? It isn’t like A-Rod is the most valuable fielder the Yankees have. He is a mediocre shortstop/third baseman on a team with mediocre fielders at every position (except Jeter… I guess). If A-Rod DHed instead of applying purple lip gloss while running to his corner base position every half inning, I wouldn’t be writing this now. Because Ortiz would have won the MVP hands down. Conversely, if Ortiz had replaced the GAWD AWFUL Kevin Millar at first this season, not only would no one have noticed, but he would have won the MVP hands down. Do you see where I am going with this?

The dried up geezers who vote on things like the AL MVP are vocally against the DH rule. It has been called a perversion of the sport by fans and players alike, but guess what? IT’S STILL A RULE!! It’s allowed and I don’t think players should be penalized just because they hit and then go sit down. It’s DH racism, DH discrimination and it’s hurting the game of baseball! When Jessie Jackson is done picketing the Eagles practice tell him I could use him and his soap box outside of Fenway.

And don't get on me about this being an ANTI YANKEE thing! Hell, I thought Rivera should have won the CY Young over Fatso Colon. This is dumb people using the DH as a yardstick for MVP value. If this was Vlad vs Ortiz I would have the same stance (except I couldn't make fun of his stupid purple lips).

Look, in the long run I probably won’t care about this. I might not remember in 5 years, but now it really frosts my cupcakes. After I settle down I’ll remember that the numbers really are in favor of Ortiz:

Two MVP’s for A-Rod are not as impressive as the one ring for Papi.

Boo yah. GO SOX.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Peyton Manning Is A Poopie Head

I would be bothered about Peyton Manning winning the first game for the Colts against New England in Foxboro in about a decade, snapping his personal losing streak against the Pats and ending a 3 year win streak for New England at home…but then I remember the terrible things that have happened to New England’s defense this year (decimated secondary ring a bell?).  So congratulations, Peyton.   You make sure to come back and try your luck again when the team’s at full strength, ya hear?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Cap'n Makes It Happen

With all of the bad things that have happened to the Red Sox (or is to us, the fans? I’m starting to feel like I should distinguish the two groups a good deal more) this week, some good news is certainly welcome.

Red Sox Nation knows that Jason Varitek, captain extraordinaire and beloved member of the Red Sox, was a kick-ass catcher. Well, as of yesterday, so does the rest of the world. On Monday, Varitek picked up his first Silver Slugger award, joining Manny Ramirez (8th time winner) and David Ortiz (2nd time winner) as the first three Red Sox to win the award in one year. Yesterday, Varitek became the first Red Sox to win a Gold Glove since catcher Tony Pena in 1991.

Basically, what winning these awards comes down to is that the man who regularly dons the mask behind home plate for Boston is a catching machine, a baseball powerhouse sent from the future to help drive the heart of the order, block the plate, bring the best out of neurotic pitchers with his ability to call a game and outsmart the other team with his wily planning and insight into the abilities of opposing hitters. I hear he’s pretty good at taking down card-shark wannabes, too.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Red Rage

What's a Nubian?

Here’s the thing about Theo: none of us outside of the organization will ever know what really happened. I realize this fact, on an intellectual level. I try not to buy into the typecasting of Larry Lucchino as the bad guy, the power-hungry face of evil, the George Steinbrenner of Boston, despite the accusations by fans and sports writers and descriptions from a friend of mine about Lucchino’s behavior with the Padres, because I don’t know the full story.

On an emotional level though, I’m full of rage. Here’s the guy for the job, right there, no looking required and the Sox lose him because of a power-hungry CEO. Even worse, I can relate this rage back to an intellectual level: it’s the beginning of the off-season and there are several big signings that need to be done, a Manny Ramirez to be kept or traded, a bullpen and a starting rotation to be built…and the Red Sox have no General Manager, no guy to get the deals done. I’m ready to write the 2006 season off right now, because Boston’s going to miss the starting gun.

But really, a user comment on today’s Soxaholics post nails my underlying problem on the head: Boston fans are so crazy because everyone, from the sports writers to Chahlie tendin’ bah on Comm. Ave. to yours truly think that we’re on the team. Seriously, just sit there and think about it for a moment. If you really care about the Red Sox, you get frustrated when the front office signs the wrong player, when the team is doing poorly, when Manny says he wants to be traded…not because you’re a fan, but because you feel like the team you invest so much emotional energy into is letting you down, like you have a right to satisfaction because you’re a part of the organization. I’m convinced that the expression of this phenomenon is unique to Boston sports fans. To be honest, there are days when being a member of such a passionate fan base is the most thrilling thing in the world, because you can surround yourself with people who really care about the team. And then there are days, like today, when you wish to God your fellow fans were a bit more normal.