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Monday, October 20, 2003

STAY TUNED FOR OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM

I plan on keeping El Guapo’s Ghost up through the winter. The baseball season really never ends. From now until February, I’ll be try to keep the following schedule:
Monday – Baseball Rumors
Tuesday – Pats and/or Celtics
Wednesday – Baseball Transactions
Every other Thursday or Friday – potluck
Of course when the Sox make a move, it will throw off the schedule. February will be for Fantasy baseball analysis and March will have team previews.

I would really like some reader feedback on possible topics for potluck. Please email me (link to right). To date some posts will cover:
• If I could buy a baseball team, besides the Red Sox, which one would it be and why?
• The best team money can buy on a $50 million budget
• 2003 Red Sox draft pick update
• Red Sox business analysis
• GM for a day (a.k.a. what would EGG do with a MLB club) – I would love to have team suggestions
• Various political and entertainment rumblings

FOR BETTER FOR WORSE, FOR RICHER FOR POORER, IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH…

Bill Simmons of espn.com sums being a member of RSN.

Hey, this is my team. I came to grips with that a long time ago. They're part of my life. Sometimes they lift me to a higher place. Sometimes they punch me in the stomach and leave me for dead. There's no rhyme or reason. And there are thousands and thousands of diehards just like me, all trapped in that same bad marriage, united by our experiences and memories. We wear Sox caps, we pack Fenway Park, we travel insane distances to support our team on the road. We always have each other. And some days are better than others.

You spend six months following a team, you devote something like 1,000 hours of your year to watching-reading-discussing them, and then everything vanishes in thin air. And you feel like a moron for devoting so much of your time to something so, so, so . . .
wonderful as Red Sox baseball. When a World Series Championship is won, it will all be worth it. Keep the faith.

SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO NOW?

I maybe the only member of RSN that does not want to see Shady Chicken Little’s head on a stick. Should he be let go? Yes. Theo and company should be putting out feelers as I am typing. I am changing my position on SCL because it would be difficult for a Manager to keep the players focused – SCL’s major asset - when you are the eye of a media hurricane. RSN is like elephants; we never forget.

I know the stats on Pedro after 100 pitches but he is the Red Sox best. I believe you make them beat your best. He was strong; hitting mid-90’s with his fastball in the eighth. Petey got two strikes on each of the batters faced in his final inning. I understand SCL’s reasoning behind staying with Petey as well as the counterargument. It was a judgement call that did not work out.

Unfortunately, SCL did not make the Sox last opponent beat their best in the eleventh. Scott Williamson should have been in the game to start the tenth. Wakefield should not have been the ballgame before Williamson. Williamson is a better relief pitcher than Wake. Williamson was also well rested throwing only 11 pitches the following night; Wake was not with TWO days following his brilliant Game 4 start. SCL should not have been saving Williamson for the save situation. Lowe or Wake could have closed out the game. SCL should have went with his best again in the extra frames.

I feel better now. The 2003 Red Sox season was really fun to watch. It was a fantastic team. I believe I saw eight games at Fenway, including Pedro-Clemens, one in the Bronx, a true double header in Steel City, and a great comeback in the home of cheap beer. Good times with a tough ending.

Friday, October 17, 2003

I really do not know what to say. It is roughly nine hours after the end of last night’s game and I am still in shock. Right after the game, I exited the bar and walked home (not until this morning did I realize my credit card is still at the joint). I am not sure if I am going to read or listen to any Sox stuff today. It is too painful. Every fiber of my being thought the Sox would pull it out. The Red Sox Best, the man that gives me hope and faith to believe that a World Series Championship will be won got hit up last night. Sometimes balls fall for hits; it happens.

It was a great season.

Anyway, my life regains some sense of normalcy until opening day, no make that spring training, wait the winter meetings, oh forget it. Jose Jimenez was released a few days ago from the Rockies. He might be worth a look at the right price.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

BELIEVE!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

RUMBLINGS

• Manny swinging at a 1-0 curveball grounding out with the bases loaded. What da F$@#!
• Nomah now has struck out eight times in 39 post-season at-bats. The good folks over at Sox Therapy have been discussing the cause for his slump for sometime. The traditional media has just begun to write about it.
• The biggest difference between DLowe 02 and 03 is the walk rate. It hurt him again yesterday in the second.
• End the high, out of the zone fastball strategy when the count is 0-2 or 1-2. They are not taking the bait.
• The Sox lack of offensive production in the second season is directly related to an OBP of 290 in the Oakland series and 309 to date in the ALCS. It is not solely the lack of timely hits. The Sox are not getting enough opportunities for clutch hits too.
Rob Neyer would ask Suppan to give you his three best innings, ask Burkett for the same, and see if your bullpen can get you through the last three. Yes, it's radical. But losing conventionally isn't any better than losing radically. It is a good notion, but having two similar pitchers follow one another is not a good option. Burkett for three, Wake for one, Charles in Charge Arroyo for two, then give the ball to Timlin, Embree and Williamson for an inning apiece.
Doug Marshall, 35, a Giants fan from San Francisco, said he came to Boston this weekend because he loves baseball and wants to see history. "I don't think it got out of hand at all," he said. "We live in a vanilla world and finally someone comes out and they show they have some passion, and then people want to criticize them for it. In the Bay Area, nobody has this kind of passion about sports. That's why I wanted to come here to be a part of it" (Weiss and Rosenwald, Globe).
Darren Rovell found out that scoring tickets in Boston is like nowhere else as well.
Did you see Lawyer?" asked Derek Lowe, today's starter. "I told him that he should come play baseball. In our game, they don't cut you when you become too good or too expensive. In our game, we ain't gonna cut you (Holley, Globe).
• Word on the street from my pal, Steve and the Tribune is that three security guards ejected one fan after throwing beer. "I hope you're happy," the man screamed. "You cost us a [expletive] World Series." Another fan yelled, "You could tell we're better than Boston or he'd be dead already." Proof that Sox fans deserve a W.S. more than Cubs fans. Stupidity should not be rewarded.

I STILL BELIEVE!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Are all heathens fat and obnoxious? Well...







...of course not but a prime example was out in front this evening at Nectars. Perhaps, it is just the infidels that live in New England?

Monday, October 13, 2003

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is correct and it was on display Saturday at Fenway Park.

First off, pitchers need to throw inside to be effective but not at a batter’s head. Throwing a fastball at a hitter’s head is an act of violence like Rivera-Hillenbrand in 2002 and the infamous Clemens-Piazza incident. I believe Pedro Martinez was throwing inside to Karim Garcia. He was not trying to hit Garcia in the head or throw behind him given the circumstances of the game. A man was on third base in a tight PLAYOFF game. A wild throw, trying to hit Garcia in the head, could get by the Catcher scoring another run. It was not worth the risk. Regardless of intent, the act (I am still not convinced Garcia was actually hit by the pitch) spurred multiple foolish plays of retaliation between the Red Sox players and their opponents. Aaron Gleeman has an good and unbiased take on the situtation.

But the most asinine event occurred in the visitor’s bullpen. A Red Sox security staff person got involved in a physical altercation with a member(s) of the pen and Garcia. It is unclear how it started or all of the participants involved. The police report authored by witnesses, Det. William Dunn and Officer Michael Pankievich states that

Jeff Nelson was observed pushing/grabbing the victim in the chest area at which time both parties fell to the ground where Jeff Nelson began punching and flaring his legs at the victim. At that point numerous other members of the Yankees bullpen jumped on the victim (some striking the victim and others attempting to break up the melee). The right fielder (Karim Garcia) from the Yankees was then observed jumping the right field wall, into the bullpen and begin striking down at the victim with his left hand.

I know Garcia was involved. I saw him jump into the bullpen, I was standing right above the visiting team’s dugout, and then Garcia came right in my sight line holding his hand with the trainer. I do not fault Garcia for trying to aid his
teammate(s). I assume he like I thought fans hopped into the pen. When he realized it was only one guy, he should have, at the very least, backed off. Of course, I do not know who started the altercation but I can not fathom why any sane person would start a fight with a professional athlete in a semi-confined area with about five of his teammates within 70 feet. By all accounts the victim is of sound mind, an exemplary Red Sox employee and Special Education Teacher. I wish him a speedy recovery.

I still BELIEVE!

Notes:
• While waiting for a beer on Saturday, a staff person said that Clemens made them wait outside before entering the Park. He was just sitting in his car making hard-working people wait to do their job. The story was confirmed by her fellow beer pourer who demonstrated his pinstripes earlier. Clemens = DONKEY
• My buddy, Tim, called last night after MLB canceled the game saying “This is proof God is a Red Sox fan.”
• Is it time to move Nomah down in the lineup like Torre did with Soriano?
• I am so envious of Pacers fans. Donnie Walsh, Larry F*$%@ Bird and former Coach of the Year, Rick Carlisle guiding the best talent in the East while playing in a great arena. I feel like the ugly step-child with Danny Ainge, Jim O’Brien, and the Fleet Center.
• "If you want to live like a Republican, you've got to vote for the Democrats." – Richard Gephardt

Friday, October 10, 2003

GAME NOTES OR BITCHING…

…is what I was going to write about but everyone has already done that – Jackson for Walker, Sour-suck, Kapler leading off and the first pitch DP, Ferris Mueller not protecting Kapler. I will be attending tomorrow’s game (thanks Rick and Amy) and I also went to Clemens’ last regular season game at Fenway when he received a Standing O. I did not stand, but I clapped. As much as I hate da fatty, he accomplished a lot with the Sox and it was the appropriate time to acknowledge it. I know one thing – a similar response will not be coming tomorrow.

I want the liar to know all of “real” New England hates every once of his being.
I want the anti-Christ’s room service food undercooked.
I want the devil’s shower to only provide scolding hot or ice cold water.
I want the team bus re-routed through Roxbury.
I want 35,000 plus to serenade baseball’s Benedict Arnold.
I want the delinquent’s children to cry again like in 1999.
I want bastard’s last game to be his worst ever.

Sorry, my meds wore off.

We, RSN, need to BELIEVE!

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Notes, quotes, and links about a great game!

Every time Wakefield emerges from a game by allowing four runs or less, people all over New England vow to put a little extra money in the collection plate when next they visit a house of worship (Bob Ryan, Globe).
• Wake pitched a great game. Quality starts is a key to this series.
• Even though Mussina in his career has been tough on Sox hitters, getting behind when facing good hitters will hurt every pitcher.
• Jeter has no range and should be moved to third.
• Jose Contreras could be a big factor. He hit 97 on the gun with a nasty splitter.
• Don Aucion on RSN relationships.
The Red Sox Animal Clubhouse
• Should I be concerned? – Nomah struck out 35 times in 436 abs through July and from August through last evening 29 times in only 242 abs.
• Andy Pettitte’s stats versus probable Sox starters with 20 or more abs. Manny – 424/470/695; Nomah – 333/366/538; V-Tek – 361/400/444; Ortiz – 409/458/682
• I am not the only Sox fan not speaking to heathens so is Ed Cossette at Shaughnessy's Curse.


Two other notes:
• Congrats to Geoff and Tanya on the birth of their first child, Liam Hristo. I’ll be heading down to see the baby after I attend Game 3 at Fenway.
VT International Film Festival appears to be incredible. Howard Zinn's book, You Can't Stay Neutral on a Moving Train, has been made into a documentary and Zinn will have a Q&A session following the showing. Danny Glover is also scheduled to make an appearance to end the event.

BELIEVE!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Maybe it is because the students are back or more tourist are in town to check out the foliage or whatever, but the Vermont Chapter of Red Sox Nation has Cowboyed Up! As I walked home from the gym (I had to burn off some energy before the game), I saw plenty of Sox caps. Even one house with a "Red Sox fan only parking" sign, a big flag on the house and a Cowboy Up sign in the window. I am pumped! It is go time! Shit another hour until the first pitch. Where are my meds?

BELIEVE.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

There is no need for a preview of this one. We saw it 19 times over the last six months so I'll make it short. The Sox won nine out of the 19, but out scored their rival by 15 runs. The Sox offense and glove work is a notch above their opponents. The other team's starting pitching is slightly better and certainly deeper, rested and lined up. Both team's middle relief is iffy, but one has an top notch ace coming out of the pen. The Sox pen has more potential with Williamson, Embree and Timlin. The benches are equal. The other club's management gets the nod. Intangibles go to the Sox with the smiles, the hugs, the shaved heads, the Rally Karaoke Guy, Cowboy Up and we, RSN, BELIEVE!

WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR?

Wednesday begins the battle between Good and Evil, the Allies versus Hitler, Believers and Heathens. It is Baseball’s Holy War.

I will not be socially speaking with any infidels, friends and family included, until after the series. No negative energy will pierce inside of RSN. No evil doers will break down the church doors of RSN. Good will prevail over evil.

We need to BELIEVE!

LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING…

• Manny, I forgot that you could speak or hit, but last night you did both and with some emotion after the homerun and the check-swing strike call.
• Pedro cowboyed up on his fastball to 94 mph. Good times. Good times.
Closer’s mentality is BS. DLowe is the pitcher who never wanted to close games again ended one of the biggest games in Red Sox history.
• V-Tek – MVP!
• Just a total team effort.
• And another “W” was taken down. Eight more to go!


Monday, October 06, 2003

THE TUCK RULE BASEBALL STYLE

First, I want to say how great it is to be writing about Boston Red Sox games in October! Second, Jason Grady has very clear take on the “obstruction” and “interference” calls in Game 3 for Baseball Prospectus. It is a pay or premium article, but in summary Bill Welke makes the right calls. The V-tek play could have been avoided if Chavez and Hernandez executed the run down properly. Chavez should not have been in a position to catch the relay throw from Hernandez; it was Tejada’s. Then, Tejada should have run out the “interference” play. As Grady notes,

If he is safe, well then, he is safe. If he is called out, it is in the umpire's judgment whether he would have been safe if for the obstruction and if so, the umpire will overturn the out due to the obstruction. Incidentally, there will be cases when the runner would obviously still have been out and cases when the runner would obviously have been safe. For the middle ground, umpires will tend to "penalize" the defense for the obstruction, giving the benefit of the doubt to the runner, so if Tejada had continued the play and been thrown out, it is likely that would have been overturned.

Plus, another error on Chavez and one charged to both Hernandez and Tejada. Jim Caple knows the A’s have not been fundamentally sound in the postseason before.

In Game 1, the Sox did not play a clean game allowing the A’s to steal one. The opposite occurred on Saturday night as I watched the game at the 99 in Springfield, Mass-hole or where folks begin to find pinstripes more fashionable than red colored sox.

Then, the Olde Towne Team takes a squeaker the following day allowing me to take down two “W”s last night. I plan on removing another one just before midnight tonight. We have to BELIEVE!

Light Number Crunching:

Given this theory is flawed in too many ways to describe, please indulge EGG. The Red Sox averaged 5.93 runs per game while Oakland gave up 3.97 per game. Averaging the two averages, one could expect the Red Sox to score 4.95 runs per game or 24.75 over five games with Oakland. After four games, the Sox have put up 13 runs on the A’s. 11.75 runs are needed in Game 5 to reach 24.75 through five games. I’ll settle for eleven runs tonight. The offense is due for an explosion.

Notes:
• Lilly on the jackets was BUSH League. Next year, a Red Sox hitter gets one up and in.
• which is almost as foolish as Hudson and Zito being featured in the Boston version of fight club.
• which is almost as foolish as Kim’s flicking off RSN.

BTW:

If Howard Dean does not become President, his candidacy will have made a positive impact energizing college students. Hopefully, Dean has ended the general apathy young people have regarding politics and government.

Friday, October 03, 2003

The negativity in this town sucks!

Was said by a man that took at least 3-months off my life but the bastard is right and it extends throughout New England (minus southern CT; Giuliani should have made it officially a part of NYC when he had the chance). I couple of weeks ago when Burlington had around two weeks of glorious sunny weather - we get like literally 20 sunny days a year – two fellow shuttle passengers were bitching about not having any rain. We, New Englanders, will find something to complain about. Of course, I exemplify New England negativity as well (my last post was somber only). I have lived here my entire life minus two months in DC.

But Kevin Paul Dupont's article on Shady Chicken Little is tough to overlook. He writes:

If Little's leaguers are dumped in straight sets, he could be dumped within three minutes after the game tomorrow night. The Sox hold an option on his services for the next two years, a pair of one-year deals, but it doesn't take much of a leap in cognitive thinking to figure the option drops dead if his Sox do, too.

If you are a frequent reader of EGG, you know that SCL is not my ideal manager. But the man has steered the ship and achieved the organization’s major objective: get into the playoffs. It is difficult for me to cognitively think that Theo could justify not renewing SCL’s contract after the team’s accomplishments.

I would recommend bringing in a Bench Coach that would be more in line with the organization’s philosophy like Larry Dierker, who seems to be every RSN SABR fans’s first choice now, to assist with in-game decisions.

BTW, I still BELIEVE.

BTW2, Howard Dean is not a part of Red Sox Nation. I really hate shitting on a guy I may vote for President, but any member of RSN would have known the start time of a playoff game.

"All I want to know is, are the Red Sox winning?'' Dean asked the crowd, two hours before the first pitch in the playoff game against Oakland (Adam Silverman, Burlington Free Press).

I HATE BEING RIGHT…WELL THIS TIME

I was not the only one, Aaron Gleeman and Ben Jacobs also wrote about the real difference in the Sox and A’s – the DEFENSE. As it was too painful for me to write anything yesterday (I do think I was not mentally capable of completing a sentence), I can not relive the miscues in the in the field for the Sox and the brilliant plays by the A’s. I actually logged all of them for Game 1. I just can’t bring myself to write about them.

Since I started this blog, some of friends have asked me if I would like to try this for a living. (They are also surprised that I can write coherently since I am a numbers geek and do that for a living. As if I never had to write a paper to graduate from college. They also forget that my other major was political science. I know they are just BSing, right?) Well, no way. I have even more respect for journalists now. I always thought it would be great to work for a MLB club or any sports team as well. But I could never just sit and analyze every single pitch like Theo. I would not be able to divide my head from my heart. I am a fan first - I mean I taped up eleven “W”s on a wall in my apartment - and hopefully, I’ll be able to watch my favorite team play more than just one more time in 2003.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

One of the great things about baseball is that the team usually plays everyday. The Sox are back at it again in about two hours.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

I think I am one of the few people not rooting for a Cubs-Sox W.S. I want to see either the Braves or Marlins because I'll have a better shot at Series tickets. And let's go Twins! The drive to Min. is only 20 hours or so.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

A key in the series is controlling Tejada and Chavez. They make the A's go offensively. Tejada is a free swinger, so get ahead and he will get himself out. Of course, that is much easier said than done. Unlike Tejada, Chavez has one glaring weakness - his inability to hit LHP.

Once the starter is out of the game, Chavez should never face a RHP with runners on base. Should it be Embree or Sour-beck? Both have not been pitching particularly well of late and neither has enough Abs against Chavez for the numbers to be significant – greater than 20. But here is a list of current AL LHP that do (AVG/OBP/SLG):
• Rhodes (261/292/304)
• Washburn (250/250/438)
• Buehrle (192/185/308)
• Schoenewis (115/148/154)
• Moyer (258/343/645)
Rhodes is a pure power relief pitcher (mid-90s heat with a slider). Washburn and Buehrle mix things up more. They top out with low 90s heat, feature a slider or curve and changeup. Schoenewis is mostly a sinkerballer. Moyer is a classic control pitcher who changes speeds and nibbles. ESPN.com notes that Moyer’s outpitch to LHB is a looping curveball. Sour-beck’s best pitch is his curveball as well. Embree is a similar style pitcher as Rhodes. The evidence is inconclusive but I would rather have Embree take on Chavez than Sour-beck or should it be Burkie (156/227/300) or Suckpan (143/182/190)?

Series notes:
• Timlin should not pitch to Chavez, Durazo or TLong. LHB with power have teed off on him this season.
• The A’s like Sox emphasis OBP but the A’s have been tops in Defensive Efficiency over the last couple of years. It was learned in Moneyball that Assistant A’s G.M., Paul DePodesta has a system to quantify and evaluate a player’s defensive ability, which is a big part of preventing runs. It seems to be working. Is defense now being undervalued in the baseball marketplace instead of OBP?
• Williamson will come up big. His head is on straight and has been impressive of late. The last sentence was influenced by the man from Mulberry Street who I think was also a Sox fan. Email me if you know who I am referring to; the prize has yet to be determined.
• Rich Harden in the pen could be a factor in the series. Strikeout pitchers can get out of jams more easily than others. Good things happen for the defense when the ball is not put into play.

Other notes:

…in Boston, baseball fandom is religion, a manifestation of hope, a test of endurance. If you've built up the strength to bear years of cruel defeats, you don't have another favorite team. You have a community of fellow sufferers, and you can't let them down. (Joanna Weiss, Boston Globe).

That 70's sale: Tom Werner is looking to save a buck on everything and everything around Fenway whenever he comes to town, playing the old "do you know who I am?" card and "do we get a discount?". I'm talking $10.00 items here. Yikes. BostonDirtDogs.com – if this is true, it is sickening. Tom Werner has a net worth of $600 million based on a Los Angeles Almanac report in 2002 like he needs a discount. Who the f_ck does this Laker fan think he is? BTW, nice fire sale in San Diego. Try that here and you will be tar and feathered or worse.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Ben Jacobs over at Universal Baseball Blog does a great job of breaking down the series.

Rob Neyer thinks Hatteberg could be big in the series.

Jim Caple's take on the playoffs is anti-Spankee.

Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus is predicting a sweep but is concerned about the Sox's spilts vs. LHP even though only Nixon and Walker have career significant differences.

Sean McAdam writes the pressure is on the A's.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Many folks have written good pieces on the Sox-A's matchup so instead of repeating them here are the links and other interesting articles. Tomorrow, I'll post my own thoughts on the series focusing on topics the articles/posts did not include.

Buster Olney on key matchups - 1) Lowe vs. Himself, 2) southpaws vs. Chavez more on this one tomorrow

Gammon's on the Celebrate Good Times Come On .

Aaron Gleeman's wonderful analysis on both AL series.

The Sox's other Rule V pick sent a mile high (no Manny was not involved).

The KC Star has two good journalists in Bob Dutton and Joe Posnanski.

I did not get playoff tickets. Being in the Virtual Waiting Room is like being in some kind of cruel baseball purgatory. If anyone has an extra for the ALCS, please let me know. I'll be there in a Beantown minute. I maybe able to hook you up with standing room for ALDS too.

I just heard Al Sharpton is going to be on The Daily Show tonight! Ask and you shall receive.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

The talk around RSN is that the post-season roster will carry 11 pitchers including Jeff Suckpan. The last spot going to Todd Jones (no appropriate nickname), Charles In Charge Bronson or Heart of a Lyon. As most of you know, I think it is a mistake for the Sox to take 11 pitchers. In most cases in the playoffs, a long-man comes into the game when your club is very unlikely to comeback and win the game. The value of holding your opponent is minimal since the outcome is likely determined. The only benefit is saving your pen for future games and in a five game series with a day off that value is almost nothing. An extra bench player, rather than a mop up pitcher, can help win a game when your club has better shot at doing so. The player can pinch hit or bunt, steal a base, be used as a defensive replacement which all could be critical in a determining the outcome of the game.

Specifically, the Sox should have 10 pitchers on the roster for the following reasons:
*The three announced starters average over six innings per outing.
*Pitch counts = NA in the playoffs.
*At least seven arms in the bullpen for each game.
*Soursuck and BK could pitch in each game of the series without fatigue being much of a factor.
*Wakefield would be available out of the pen for games four and five assuming a four-man rotation.
*If a starter is pulled after one or two innings, he could be available out of the pen later in the series.
*David McCarty could throw an inning.

Plus, Suppan, Jones and Lyon's have been, for the most part, ineffective. The last pitcher, the tenth, taken should be Charles In Charge. Bronson has been the most productive of late and can pitch multiple innings as the long-man. Hopefully, we will not be seeing Bronson take the mound in October of 2003.


From Rob Neyer’s chat on espn.com,

According to the New York Observer's Jim Callaghan, thanks to Rudy Giuliani the city of New York is paying $5 million per year to both the Yankees and the Mets for the "planning and design" of new ballparks . . . which aren't anywhere near the planning and design stages. Baseball is a great game, but Major League Baseball is a disgusting racket.

George and Fred, please call Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council to instruct them to use the money for NYC public schools or donate a combined $5 million. I do not like vomiting in my own mouth.

Random Rumblings

• Speaking of BONDS, here is an update on my NL MVP standings (this time I added walks; I am a dumb ass). PUJOLS comprises 24.13% of the Cards total bases plus walks; Bonds 24.28% of the Giants in 131 fewer plate appearances. WICKED AWESOME.
• Relief - the Sox did not have to clinch in St. Pete. Weird things happened down at the Trop.
• Lucky LL, “the magic number is now eleven.”
• BK should throw some BP to simulate the A’s CHAD BRADFORD, another sidearm reliever. BK throws everyday anyway.
• In TROT we trust will get better.
MO LITE (a.k.a. David Ortiz) OPS of 961 at 27. MO VAUGHN OPS at 27 was 984.
SCOTT WILLIAMSON will pitch better and will be a difference maker. He can now focus on getting hitters out. Pitchers with over a 2 to 1 K/BB ratio while averaging a K per inning in their prime do not sport 6.63 ERAs for long.
• The TWINS will BEAT the YANKS in five if the rotation goes Santana, Radke, and Chicken Roaster.
• Five days until the Sox play another meaningful game. Well, I have five days to get my prescriptions filled. ;)
• Even if you are not into politics, which I find hard to understand since most of us pay taxes, watch the debates for the comedy of Rev. Al Sharpton. The man is hilarious! I am demanding Sharpton on The Daily Show. Come on, they live in the same city. It would be easy. Get it done folks.
• Howard Dean is a Red Sox fan? I think not. President Dean? Maybe. Jimmy Dean?
• Hardcore paseball analysis coming. Otherwise known as baseball numbers geek alert scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. I’ll have to reload the tape to my adding machine over the weekend.

The folks over at Elephants in Oaktown are calling Mr. Todd Walker a jack ass. Okay, he made some foolish remarks. At least, the Sox can sell out playoff games. One can have two tickets in the lower level. Are there A's fans? I think we, RSN, should buy up all of the remaining tickets and charter a plane to Oakland.

Friday, September 26, 2003

I'm the king of the world, I am the greatest,…, I shook up the world, I am the greatest, I'm king of the world, I'm pretty, I'm pretty, I'm a baaaad man, you heard me I'm a baaad man,…, I'm king of the world!!!!! - Muhammed Ali

Barry Bonds is one of the greatest ballplayers of all-time. He is a legit five-tool superstar. He is feared by the baseball community. I will not recite his numbers as they and his legend are still growing but it leads me to the question: Is Barry Bonds the greatest baseball player ever?

Most label Babe Ruth as the greatest of all-time. There is little doubt that Ruth dominated the game during his era, but is he the best of the best?

Ruth did not play against the best competition in the world as Bonds does. Ruth never faced pitchers of African, Asian, or Latino descent or be compared to hitters of color. Could Ruth handle a Randy Johnson’s slider, a Roger Clemens’ split finger fastball, the assortment of sidearm LOOGYs and how would he compare to Josh Gibson if they faced the same pitchers? I believe Ruth COULD do very well, but we will never know. Just like we will probably never know how Bonds would fare with Lou Gehrig or another first ballot, unanimous HOF hitter in the same lineup. Also if Bonds took aim at the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium (please God, no), how many more home runs would the man hit not having to put it over a wall 420 feet away into a stiff cold wind coming off the Bay.

Right now, Bonds and Ruth are very close and most would say Ruth is still the best. But with each passing day, walk, hit, RBI double, outfield assist, and game winning walk off puts Mr. Bonds one step closer Ruth. Bonds IS and will be known widely as the greatest of all-time. This fact should end the irrational notion of the so called Curse, since it is based on trading the best ballplayer ever. It is over; if it ever was. We, citizens of Red Sox Nation, need to simply BELIEVE!

Thursday, September 25, 2003

One of the latest from the AFKATBSG and espn.com,

Q: As I sat in my 8:30 class staring at the hottest girl for a solid 20 minutes, I began to wonder what day of the year Dunkin Donuts stops making iced coffee and everyone switches back to regular hot coffee. Is it the Albanian lady who struggles with your order every morning? Is she the one who decides it’s getting too cold for iced coffee? Is it the manager that you feel bad for because he’s so stressed out by 7:30 a.m. each day? Or could there be a correlation with the end of iced coffee and the time when the Red Sox fall out of the pennant each year? – Casey C., Worcester, MA

SG: Brilliant question. I like the Red Sox corollary, but the good people at D & D usually stop making iced coffee in mid-October, after it’s been a little Nipsy Russell outside for a few weeks. The bigger question: How do they know? How can a group of people who rarely grasp anything instinctively know when to stop making the iced coffee? I’m guessing that it’s a collective Epiphany, almost like birds deciding to fly south for the winter. That’s the only way it makes sense.


• Forget the Sox theory, how about the start of the C’s training camp.
• I bet Dunkin corporate makes the call on the ice coffee based on morning temps, but is it regional. Do Dunkins in the south and west have the option of keeping it on ice longer?
• Is it wrong for me to factor in the proximity to Dunkin when selecting an apartment? How about pubs?
• When are Dunkins in the greater Burlington, Vermont area going to realize that COFFEE ONLY lines are necessary in the morning? Hello, McFly!
• I forgot about all of the eye candy college classes produce. I got two words for you: Tuition Reimbursement.
• Why is Casey taking 8:30 classes? I quote the Beastie Boys, “sleep late it is much easier on your constitution.” Plus, the hottest girl will be even hotter when she has more prep time.
• I believe about ten colleges are in Worcester. I am not sure what school he attends, but we can rule out WPI with their five female students.
• Is it just me or are the AFKATBSG’s email columns collectively much better than the others? If so, then AFTKATBSG should just get half of the credit.

Please email me with your answers and comments.

BTW and FYI, I revised my links to the right.

BTW number two, Dave Matthews and others played in Central Park yesterday for free to raise money for the New City Public Schools. From CNN.com,

AOL pledged $1 million to a public school fund supporting music and arts education, and concert organizers have committed another $1 million, according to the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The concert was the idea of Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy who has volunteered to raise philanthropic funds for the city's school system, which serves 1.1 million children.


These types of events is one of the things I miss about living in a large city and was my first reaction when I heard of the event last night on The Daily Show. My second thought was how screwed up are our priorities as a country that we need to raise money to properly educate our future. My third notion was Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg - Bush? CKS, how about raising funds to create an organization to promote full and equal government funding for public schools as an entitlement similar to Social Security and Medicare for seniors? How about trying to make a lasting difference?

BTW number three, great time for a debate 4pm. est. on a Thursday! Everyone is home from work at four and citizens on the west coast can check it out over their lunch hour. Chalk up another one for the large media conglomerates desire to increase apathy in the political process.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

MEMO

To: Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe Columnist

From: Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., Chairman of The New York Times Company

CC: Richard H. Gilman, Publisher of The Boston Globe
John Henry, Principal Owner of New England Sports Ventures

Sub: Abuse of Power

We at The New York Times Company, owner of the Boston Globe, request that you discontinue using our publication to promote your book. At times, negative columns and/or referring to the so called Curse are appropriate for publication, but now is not the time. After last evening's game, it was not appropriate to write about a message “…left on my office voice mail this week” for print in today’s Globe (Shaughnessy, Globe). It is a non-story. The man who left the message is irrelevant to the 2003 Boston Red Sox. The 2003 Boston Red Sox is the news.

Even though the Times Company is a minority partner of New England Sports Ventures, which owns the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park and 80% of the NESN, we want fair coverage of the team and organization. History and a supernatural phenomenon without a logical link to the 2003 Boston Red Sox performance is irresponsible journalism which appears to be motivated to increase sales of your book. Thus, we are suspending your column until further notice. At the Times, we still work by the motto: All the News That’s Fit to Print.

Monday, September 22, 2003

GAME NOT ON

Various family commitments did not allow me to view any of the weekend games so I do not have any comments. Gammons had some interesting news and notes in case you missed them on espn.com.

The Red Sox, who talked to the Diamondbacks about Spivey before the trading and Aug. 31 deadlines, internally discussed trying to make a preemptive strike on Schilling in the waning weeks of the season, but decided against it. So watch for Vazquez and Schilling this winter.
But while Piniella enthusiastically is embracing the young players, one GM warns, "The problem is that as soon as they're ready to win, the players will leave. You can argue that the two best high school players of the last 15 years were A-Rod and Manny Ramirez, and as soon as their times came, they left their originally clubs." - This is why you do not bring up your organization’s top prospects until they are ready. Rebuilding team’s can not afford to develop players at the show.
One of the most amazing comebacks of the second half was Tom Gordon. "He's better than ever," said Sandy Alomar. "He's throwing 98 (mph) with the great curveball, but now he's also come up with a nasty slider. He's as good as anyone in the league." – Flash is the man and El Guapo’s Ghost’s first choice for the Red Sox back in July and in the off-season.
He [Doug Mientkiewicz] is a great defensive first baseman and superb situational hitter, though his RBI totals may not be those of the prototypical first baseman. Also his .396 on-base percentage and 72/54 walk/strikeout ratio are remarkable… - Say hello to the future second baseman of the Olde Towne Team.

Thank you - Red Sox!

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