Tag Archives: Boston Red Sox

Shocker #2! Mets Make Smart Deal! Land Bay!

30 Dec

No Contract Talks for Bay thumbnail

As a Mets and Red Sox fan, today is an interesting day for me to say the least.  Jason Bay, it’s being reported, has accepted an offer to join the Mets.  Pending passing a physical, Bay will be playing in Queens next year.

I know the Mets track record in free agency isn’t the greatest.  And that’s an understatement.

After all, I remember being a child and so excited that George Foster was leaving the Big Red Machine to join the Mets that I could barely sleep.  This was followed by many sleepless nights learning the true meaning of disappointment when Foster failed to play big (or red for that matter) for the Metropolitans.

Despite all of that, this signing will turn out fine.  The two biggest hitters of the off season this year are Bay and Matt Holliday.  There’s been a lot of debate over who’s a better choice. 

Here’s what it boils down to.  Bay has played mostly in Pittsburgh and Boston.  He’s played well in both places.  He’s played well in both leagues.

Holliday has played in Colorado (mostly), which makes his hitting stats highly suspicious to begin with.  He’s played in Oakland, where his stats dropped way off his Colorado standards.

Hmmmmmmm….

And then, he really put his career back together in half a season with the Cardinals, a lineup that featured Albert Pujols only the best hitter in the game.

So, to review…  Bay has played well everywhere he’s played.

Holliday did really well in Colorado and didn’t hit anywhere near as well in the American League until being rescued by Albert Pujols.  Plus, he made a key error in this year’s playoffs despite being a supposedly much better fielder than Bay.

All in all, I think the Mets made the right choice.  And unless he has a David Wright-like power fade from playing in Citi Field next year, I think the Mets 2010 season just got a lot brighter.  Now they need to address their lack of pitching.

As for the Red Sox, I think they long ago started to prepare for life after Bay and so I’m not too worried about.

PS – I completely reserve the right to flip on the whole Bay/Holliday issue when the Red Sox sign Holliday in the next few weeks. 

Stay tuned….

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HUGE Pitching News and it’s all about REVENGE! Halladay a Phil! Cliff Lee Not! Lackey Moving Too!

14 Dec

FINALLY!  After the most boring winter meetings EVAH (unless you’re a Yankee fan or president of the Curtis Granderson Fan Club),  we’ve finally got some legitimate hot stove action.  And it’s all about pitching!

John Lackey (according to ESPN.com) has signed with the Red Sox further strengthening a strong rotation.  Perhaps more importantly weakening the Angels of Los Angeles or Anaheim or where ever…  Point is losing Lackey helps the Sox get better all while damaging the team that eliminated them in this year’s playoffs.  You gotta love revenge!

The bigger news though is a three team trade that has Roy Halladay going to the Phillies of all places.  And Cliff Lee leaving the Phils for Seattle.  Toronto, I heard, is getting prospects.

Has anyone ever been better in a short try out and then traded way quicker than Cliff Lee.  What happened?  His contract was reasonable and he’s just about as good as Roy Halliday, who I’m hearing is negotiating a long-term deal with the Phillies.  Maybe Lee embarrassed himself at the company holiday party??  Just a guess.

You’ve got to give the Phillies props for testicular fortitude, but it seems to me that Lee was already pretty good and much cheaper.  But, maybe this trade is about revenge, much like the Sox signing John Lackey.  The Phillies managed to snag the off season’s biggest pitching prize and in doing so kept both Halladay & Cliff Lee away from the Yanks. 

If it does come back down to the Phillies and Yankees next year, it will be interesting to see if Halladay can top what Lee was able to do in his first start against the Yanks.

As a Mets’ and Red Sox fan and the new president of the John Lackey Fan Club, hear’s hoping we don’t find out!

Tonight, My DVR Killed The Red Sox!

11 Aug

Yes, I’m a Red Sox fan.  Yes, getting swept in the Bronx this past weekend was pretty hard to take, but my DVR made it even worse tonight.

Earlier this evening, I was watching a show called “Baseball Seasons” on one of the many sports channels my TV package includes.  My seven year old son, who all of a sudden is getting very into baseball, loves this show.  He’s very into history too and this show combines them both.  Each episode tells the story of one season in baseball history.

The episode we watched tonight highlighted 1993, in which the Toronto Blue Jays became the first repeat World Series Champions since the late 70’s Yankees.

Anyway, there I was happily watching the show with my seven year old when I start seeing scores at the bottom of the screen.  I forget that I’m watching a show recorded days earlier on my DVR.  I see the Red Sox losing to Roy Halladay and this year’s version of the Blue Jays.  To my horror, I also see the Yankees picking up a win.

I have no idea these scores aren’t live.  I think the Red Sox have now fallen 7 1/2 games behind the hated Yankees.  I pray that my son doesn’t notice the results as they’ll break his little heart.  Luckily, he doesn’t notice a thing, but asks lots of questions about 1993.

I answer all of his questions, put him and his sister to bed, hang out with my wife, and then it’s not til just a few minutes ago that I see that the Red Sox situation is in fact exactly the opposite of what I thought it was.

Tonight, the Sox in actuality bounced back against the Tigers, while the Yankees played and lost to those same Blue Jays I thought the BoSox had lost to.  All of a sudden, the Sox are only five and a half behind the Yankees rather than 7 1/2 out.

Hope springs a new.  And that’s what’s great about baseball.  It’s a cliche, but it’s true.  The baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint.

In fact, the show I watched tonight reminded me of that.  In 1993, the Braves trailed the Giants by almost double figures at one point in their race for the NL West title.  With the addition of Fred McGriff, great pitching and some luck, Atlanta ended up catching San Fran and winning the division title by one game.  104 wins to 103.  (In those days, there was no wildcard, so the Giants just got to go home despite winning 103 ball games.  Ouch!)

Anyway, here’s the point.  The DVR could not kill my Red Sox.  There is a wildcard and there’s about 50 games left.  The Yankees and the Red Sox have a lot of games left.  The Sox have been injured and are beginning to heal.  The Yanks have been relatively healthy, but are an old team.

You see where I’m going with this.  Yes, Yankee fans should be very pleased with their team.  The Bombers are going to be in the playoffs.  They’ll probably win the division.

But, they’re probably not done with the Red Sox.  And that’s what’s great about this rivalry.

Jim Rice Deserved The Hall Of Fame More Than Rickey Henderson!

13 Jan

Good news today for me as a big part of my childhood was validated.  I grew up in the New York area rooting for the Red Sox.  My Junior High memories consist largely of fending back the taunts of the many Yankee fans who were my classmates during the awful summer of ’78.

One of the few things that got me through those lean Red Sox years was the knowledge that my team had Jim Rice on it.  Sure, the Yankees had Reggie and he absolutely had a flair for the dramatic.  But, I knew from the mid-70s to the early 80s that my team had the most feared slugger in the game on it.  Rice could hit for power and average.  Reggie?  Well…. He hit for power and drama.

After waiting 15 inexcusable years, Jim Rice made the Hall of Fame today.  In doing so, Rice proved that my childhood memories of his greatness and all it meant to me were real.  Rice is a baseball great.  He was an all timer in his heyday and it was documented and ratified today by Cooperstown.  About time!

Maybe it’s the heady air of baseball Olympus, but let me say one more thing.  Jim Rice deserved the Hall of Fame more than Rickey Henderson.

Yes, OVERALL, Henderson is clearly more of a slam dunk as a Hall of Famer.  He is, without a doubt, one of the best lead off men in the history of the game.  It likely comes down to him, Pete Rose or  Ty Cobb.  In contrast, Rice’s career came to a relatively early end due to series of injuries that prevented him from putting up numbers that would have more than solidified his case.

But you know what?  Back in the day, how many of us would have taken Jim Rice over Rickey Henderson if given the chance?  That’s right.  A whole lot of us. 

I love the sabermetric approach to baseball.  I think Bill James is one of the smartest minds ever to waste his time studying baseball & am thankful he did.  Due to James and his ilk, we know so much more about the game.  I’m a big believer in on base percentage.

That all said, I remember the era that Rice played in.  Back in those days, there weren’t that many guys who could do what he could.  Forty homers, .320 batting average and a ton of RBIs meant something in the 1970s.  It meant intimidation and teams working hard to beat you.

Rickey, though amazing and clearly disruptive to other teams, was never viewed or game planned against as Jim Rice was when both were at their best.  Knowing what we know know about the important of on base percentage, etc, maybe those 70s  & 80s managers and baseball executives were wrong to value Rice more than Henderson.  But, they did.  That has to count for something.

No matter what else Rice’s shortcomings (hitting into double plays, not the greatest defensively), no one ever doubted Jim Rice came to play.

Can the same be said of Rickey?  I don’t think so.  In the rush to make Rickey a first ballot HOFer, everyone seems to have forgotten Rickey’s Yankee tenure.  While in pin stripes, Henderson became unhappy about his contract, which resulted in him clearly dogging it to protest. 

That’s a first ballot hall of famer?

Jim Rice had to wait 15 long years and Rickey Henderson gets in on  one ballet with nary a mention of the fact that for certain stretches of his career he simply didn’t show up to play. 

No one ever said it was a fair world.

My point isn’t that Henderson isn’t a first ballot guy.  My point isn’t that Henderson didn’t accomplish more his career.

My point is that after being made to wait for far too long, Jim Rice finally came home today.  And due to his long and unwarranted  journey through the Cooperstown wilderness, Jim Rice deserved today even more than Rickey Henderson.

WTF! Yankees Sign Teixeira And Unleash A Bucketful of Questions!

23 Dec

Sports Illustrated is reporting on their web site that the Yankees just got bigger and badder.  With money seemingly seemingly flowing like water out of the Bronx this winter, the Yanks just hauled in Mark Teixeira with an eight year, $180 million dollar deal.

Here are some thoughts from a slightly biased Red Sox fan:

This explains why the Yanks weren’t courting Manny.  I was actually just about to sit down to blog about how the Yankees weren’t living up to their end of the rivalry by not pursuing Manny more aggressively.  I thought Manny to the Yanks made sense cause he’s still one of the best hitters in the game, he’d love to come home to the Bronx and most importantly he’d be motivated to go head to head against the Sox.  Imagine the drama that might have been…

In this crazy winter could something completely insane happen like the Red Sox feeling threatened enough to bring Manny back?  While I don’t think either side wants to reunite, the Sox have to be sobered by the Yankees’ acquisition of Teixeira.  And with his bad deeds catching up to him, Manny is left without much of a market for his services relatively speaking (he’ll still wind of up with millions of LA’s or someone else’s money).  It’s closing time and you find yourself alone with someone slightly below your standards, you and she say “what the heck” and leave together.  Sound like a story you’ve heard before??  That’s maybe where the Red Sox and Manny are about to find themselves.

How does this impact A-Rod?  Is this deal bigger than his on a per year basis?  (I haven’t crunched the numbers)  Is that a problem?  Having another big bat has to help unless ego gets in the way, right?

With the CC signing, the AJ deal and now this one, it’s guaranteed that lightning won’t strike three times.  Now, you can look at this in a positive or negative way.  I’ll go positive but from the Red Sox POV…  There is absolutely no chance that all three of these deals will turn out to be great deals for the Yankees.  Life and really I’m talking about sports, just doesn’t work that way.  So, count on one or more of these signings to turn out just awful.

Are the Yankees better?  ABSOLUTELY.  The question is how much better.  Well, Nick Swisher isn’t their starting first baseman anymore so that’s got to mean something.  Again, maybe I’m a bitter Boston fan, but there’s still a lot of holes on this team, which is has aged.  Do the names Damon, Matsui, Jeter, Posada mean anything to you?  They are all old guys who are past their prime.  Yes, even Jeter.  Somebody is going to break down and likely more than one.  Although with their cash, the Yankees will have the resources to get replacements next winter.  So much for rebuilding with youth, Yankee fans…

Didn’t the Yankees (and my second favorite team the Mets) just ask the city of New York for a ton of additional money to complete their new stadiums? During these tough times will it bother any Bronx tax payers to know that their hard earned money is going to Mark Teixeira and others who they’ll never be able to buy a seat to watch?  In fairness, that’s the state of sports accross the US, not just in NY.  When will tax payers wake up and demand that these subsidies end?  If the Yanks have money for this signing, they ought to pony up the rest of the dough needed to finish their new homes themselves.  And that goes for the Metropolitans too.

How will the Red Sox respond?  Sure, there’s my Manny fantasy, but that’s not likely.  And with their starting pitching mostly set, who among everyday players is left that makes sense for them to chase?

Stay tuned…

The rivalry is back on!

PS – speaking of rivalries.  How would you like to be the Mets this winter? You land the best closer in baseball as well as another closer who was pretty good two years ago to fix your bullpen.  Meanwhile, your crosstown rivals go nuclear and sign the three biggest prizes available this year.  It’s like you can’t win for trying if you’re Omar Minaya.  But that won’t stop him from taking another crack at it. And that’s why sport is so much fun!

Signing CC! Not An Ace Move?!

11 Dec

Here was the state of the Yankee pitching staff as the free agent market opened up.  Their most consistent pitcher, Chien Ming Wang doesn’t deliver come playoff time and had arm trouble last season.  Their best pitcher last year, Mike Mussina, decide to forgo a shot at 300 wins and just retire.  That should tell you something right there.  Moving on, Andy Petitte simply isn’t what he was in Houston.  Joba belongs in the pen.  And their other heralded youngsters either got hurt or simply weren’t ready in  ’08.

With all that as the background, upgraded pitching clearly needed to be a goal in this off season.  Upgrade-wise, they don’t come any bigger than C.C. Sabathia.  Despite my natural bias against the Yankees, clearly I have to be praising this signing.

And yet, I’m not.  Here’s why:

TSee full size imagehe Ed Whitson Effect – Whitson was no CC but back in his days he was a very effective pitcher.  Just not in NY.  Both before and after his Bronx stint, he pitched capably in the Major Leagues, but he just couldn’t handle NY.  Over the years, baseball watchers have seen numerous other cases of big contract players wilting under the big city lights of New York.

Will CC be another victim?  Consider this.  He had to be talked into coming East despite the Yankees having an offer that blew away the competition on the table for weeks.  Apparently, Reggie Jackson had some words with the boy.  But, remember that CC’s wife really wanted be closer to home.  How will they like New York the first time they make the back page for some trivial thing?   New York’s not Milwaukee or Cleveland is all I’m saying.

The A-Rod Effect– Fair or not, Alex Rodriguez has a reputation for choking come playoff time despite being perhaps the game’s best position player during the regular season.  Hmmmm.  Have you taken a look at CC’s playoff numbers?  They’re none too pretty.  Will he come to New York only to become A-Rod’s bookend?  Will he dominate during the first 162 and get beaten up in the post-season?  As they say “fool me once, shame on you.  fool me twice…” You know the rest.

The Long Term Pitching Contracts Are Jinxed Effect– Very few big money pitching contracts end up playing out well for the team shelling out all that money.  Don’t believe me?  Do the names Mike Hampton,  Barry Zito and Kevin Brown mean anything to you?  No?  Then what about Carl Pavano?

The AL Effect– The American League is just way tougher for pitchers to pitch in than the NL.  You only need to look at CC’s time in Cleveland last season versus his time with the NL’s Brewers to see the difference.  Even if CC has a great year, it won’t be the burst of dominance we saw down the stretch in Milwaukee.

The Innings Matter Effect – CC is coming off of two of the busiest years of his career.  All those innings logged two years ago when he almost pitched the Indians to the World Series may have accounted for his collapse that post season against the Sox.  It also may have accounted for the way he started this past season.  In case you missed it, his year started off really badly in Cleveland before he turned it around so dramatically. 

Still, the innings last season may have led to his inability to be an ace come playoff time.  After all down the stretch he was pitching every three days and going deep into games.  Count on CC starting out a bit roughly again this season Yankee fans.

The Rest of The Team Effect – Yes, the Yankees have tons of money.  But, after signing CC, they’ve vowed to continue their pursuit of more pitching help.  That will cost them.  Will they have the money to upgrade the day to day lineup?  If not, keep in mind that the Yankees’ starting first baseman is current ly Nick Swisher.  In addition, the team is getting older not better.  Only two Yankee starters were under 32 last year.  Those two, Robinson Cano & Milky Cabrera, had bad years.  Then there’s the defense.  The Yankees up the middle are made up of Cano, Derek Jeter and as of now Johnny Damon.  That threesome isn’t making any pitchers life easier.  Welcome to New York CC and hey, sorry we didn’t turn that double play…

The bottom line is that CC is a fine pitcher, but he’s no savior or even a sure thing.  The Yankees need way more than pitching to keep up with the Rays and a Red Sox team that may add Mark Teixeira.

After all, Teixeira plays everyday.

Cowboys, Giants And More Government Aid Than You Can Shake A Stick At!

15 Oct

It’s been crazy at work, so I , thought I’d just jot down some quick thoughts that have hit me over the head lately…

Being a Cowboys Fan is like being a soap opera fan – Myself, I hate hate hate the ‘Boys.  But even I can see that this week, has been one crazy ride for the Dallas faithful.  Losing to the Cardinals the way they did, only to suffer a bigger loss with Romo going out for a month or more.  Pac gets into a fight.  Jerry Jones chickens out of doing anything about it only to have the NFL banish Pac yet again.  And then, Roy Williams comes gift wrapped courtesy of the Detroit Lions.  Oh, and the Phillips guy is still your coach.  If I was a Cowboys fan I wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry…

The Giants Loss Is A Good Thing – I AM a Giants fan (and now you know why I hate hate hate the ‘Boys).  Never like to lose, but I think this loss will serve them and their fans well.  A respected NY area columnist actually wrote before the loss that the Giants were one of a precious few legitimate Super Bowl contenders.  I hope he’s right, but the football guy inside me tells me that there’s a good chance they got on a fantastic role last year and that Eli is not better than his bro just yet (which a lot of locals are claiming…).  Time for Big Blue to stop worrying about defending their crown and just get back to play good team ball.

Manny & The Sox – The Sox got rocked again tonight and now face big odds in their fight to banish the upstart Rays.  That series against the Yankees in ’04 not withstanding, it’s REAL tough to come back from 3-1.  And last time I checked Manny and his Dodgers were in the same hole as his former team.  Why is it that people don’t realize when a breakup will mean bad things for both?  Manny and Sox remind me of countless bands and a few romantic couples who just can’t seem to realize that when they’re together they’re magic and when they’re not, they are something less.

As a big time Sox fan, I want to believe that we got a great younger & cheaper player in Jason Bay who will ultimately prove less of a clubhouse distraction than Manny and allow the Sox to use some of the Manny money in other needed places.  Tonight, my faith is a little shaken, but I’ll still be rooting for a miracle in this series.

Parenting – what a great job.  And what a tough job.  My kids are great.  I love them.  And I don’t think I’ll ever stop worrying about them.  I’m sure many of you feel the same way.  No new news there.

The Bail Outs – As a center left kind of guy, it’s amazing to me how quickly so many free market Republicans have quickly become socialists.  How is it that their unending faith in the power of free markets has crumbled so fast?

I, like John McCain says, don’t know that much about the economy.  But, I do know this…  While it’s probably true that not addressing it would’ve eventually effected a lot of us on “main street”, it’s interesting to see politicians only move fast when the fate of millionaires in on the line.  Maybe that’s cause that’s who is really paying their salaries.  As I said, I’m for the buy out, but I’m distressed that rather than just talking about temporary measures on taxes, the discussion isn’t focusing much (as far as I can tell) on putting back in a few “dreaded” regulations to make sure this doesn’t happen again.  And who out there doesn’t believe there’s some people getting mighty rich off of this?

John McCain – another day and another promise.  To be fair, Obama is going at about the same rate.  Now, McCain is going to guarantee “all savings” for six months once he gets in office.  This is after, he buys up a ton of bad mortgages and god only knows what else.  We can’t afford all this from him or Barack Obama.  Where’s the straight talk?

Bail Out – Part Deux – As a guy feeling the pinch like many of you, I do have sympathy for people about to lose their homes.  That said, while I do think predatory lenders had a lot to do with getting people into houses they couldn’t afford, I can’t quite shake the feeling that when we bail out individuals on their mortgages, we will certainly be bailing out some people who clearly took advantage of the broken system.  I can’t help but think, what about me and millions like me and my wife?  We struggle to pay the mortgage each month, when do we see a rate reduction??

Grammer – mine is bad so late at night.  Deal with it!

Good night to all!

Tidewater J