Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Santana to the Mets, not the Red Sox

OK. Yesterday, the Sox were unable to land an ace pitcher in a trade. They were unable because they wouldn’t part with an unproven young player. (This player had a reasonable replacement on the roster, but the Sox still wouldn’t budge.) After hearing the news, I went right to sleep, and slept through the night. I woke up this morning rested, with no stomach pains, and no slit marks on my wrists. Welcome, to the new Red Sox Nation.
If 2004 and 2007 hadn’t happened, today would be completely different. If the Sox lose, like they could have, in the ALCS both those years, and we’re pushing 90 years since our last title, today is different. Today I’d be looking at the roster and seeing two aging starters, and a clean-up hitter with a couple years left under contract. I’d be screaming at the top of my lungs that the window was closing fast, and the Sox needed to move to win TODAY. But, blissfully, 2004 did happen to change my life. And 2007 came along to give me a championship I could sit back and enjoy. So, today I’m not lining up on a bridge, or stomping around about finishing second to NY again. I can sit back and realize that this was probably the best thing that could have happened.
Personally, I flip-flopped almost daily as to whether I wanted the trade or not. On the one hand, I will ALWAYS sell the farm for a proven player, especially an ace pitcher. The Pedro, Schilling, and Beckett trades all worked fine by me...even if we gave Florida a superstar shortstop. (You just have to be sure you lock the guy up so you don't give away Grady Sizemore for a few months of Bartolo Colon like the Expos did) On the other hand...the Sox don't need an ace. They have one. They have a young one. So, if I'm going to shell out $130 million, I'm looking more at a Manny replacement than another pitcher. In a year or two, we're going to have to pay for a bat (whether it's Manny himself, or an approved equal). Thirdly, yes it will be fun to watch the kids develop. But I remember the big deal we made in '88 when the Sox were stacked for years to come with exciting young players like Greenwell, Burks, Benzinger, Marzano, Reed, and Horn. That didn't exactly work. If push came to shove, I would have said to make the deal, even if it included Ellsbury and Lester, but I wouldn’t have felt good about it.
Really. I could have gone either way. I didn’t want the Yankees to get Santana, so that worked out. Plus, the Yankees will have to live with the back page of the Post spouting headlines like: “Joba Junky, Johan Jiggy” every five days this season. That will make for a lot of fun. It’s one thing for the Yankees to pass on Santana. It’s another thing to have the Mets rub their noses in it all year as they cruise to the top of the National League. So, this really is the best of both worlds. Santana is out of the American League. (The Sox don’t even play the Mets this year…but the Yankees do.) The Sox can keep all the young talent, and use them to build on. And, there’s the extra $130 million to dole out as needed. Who knows? Maybe a bid on Sabathia makes it a complete win-win. Nice going Theo. My emotions are completely in uncharted waters…and I love every second of it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Red Sox Joke

A lot of jokes make their way through the e-mail ranks. I got this one the other day, and it was one of the few that made me laugh.

A Red Sox fan is driving across a bridge late one night during a snowstorm. In the middle of the bridge, he crashes head on with a car coming the other way, driven by a Yankee fan. Both drivers get out of their cars and feel lucky to be alive. The yankee fan comes to the Red Sox fan and says, "Let the fact that we survived be a sign that we should put away our differences and be friends." "I agree" responds the Red Sox fan, "In fact..." The Red Sox fan goes to the trunk of his car and removes an unbroken bottle of whisky. "Let us toast our new friendship." And hands the bottle to the Yankee fan, who quickly downs half the bottle. Handing the bottle back to the Red Sox fan he says, "Your turn." "Nah," replies the Red Sox fan as he puts the top back on the bottle and tosses it into the river. "I think I'll just wait for the cops to arrive."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Idiot - By Johnny Damon

You can tell this book was written by an athlete. First, Damon does
not come off as modest. He’s certainly willing to tell you exactly how good he is, and how much he means to his teams. It was a quality I had started to notice during interviews his last couple seasons with the Sox. But, it's magnified in the book. He also gives you the “straight dope”. The book reads like you’re talking to Damon at a table in a restaurant, and he's on his third beer.

If you’re looking for great Pulitzer Prize winning writing, obviously this isn’t the place to look. While, not exactly well written, it’s worth the read. And, it's quick, so you don't feel like you wasted a lot of time. It contains insight into a team locker room, and gives an insider’s thoughts on the events of a baseball season. It explores the issues of “distractions” that the media likes to speak at length about. How much did the players really care when Pedro bolted early? It also discusses the lengths a ballplayer must go through to enjoy life inside the microscope that is professional sports. I felt I had learned something worthwhile after reading this book, which is really all you can ask for.

If I have to rate it...out of four bases, I give it: 3 Bases.

Friday, January 25, 2008

All-Time team

Not much activity to talk about, with Spring Training still a while from now. So, I thought I'd talk about a subject some friends and I were tossing around lately. Who would make up the Red Sox All-Time team? I thought I'd throw my team out there. First a couple ground rules...The Red Sox HOF requires a player play for the Sox for three years for induction. I used the same criteria here. Also, this is a Red Sox Dennis Eckersley doesn't get to be my closer. Sure, he's a Hall of Famer at that position...but none of the good years closing came with the Sox. Plus, everyone has to go in the position they're "known" for playing. No fair putting Yaz in right to get him on the team. Here it goes...

C: Carlton Fisk. Jason Varitek should pass him soon, but right now Fisk's BoSox carrer numbers are tough to ignore.

1B: Jimmy Foxx. The numbers are staggering...especially in a weak position.

2B : Bobby Doerr. A Hall of Famer. nuff said. Nobody else is even close. (Sorry Jody Reed)

3B: Wade Boggs. Sure, he wasn't a power threat, but he did everything you'd want from a top of the order guy.

SS: Nomar Garciaparra. This was a closer than I thought it'd be, but those first four or five years were other worldly.

LF: Ted Williams. If this needs back-up, you shouldn't be reading.

CF: Tris Speaker. Even after all these years, his greatness shines. Great hitter, and played the pivot on the 6-8-3 double plays.

RF: Dwight Evans. Dominated the 80's. Great all-around player...helped by the fact that neither Yaz, Rice, or Manny played right

DH: David Ortiz. At the DH, perhaps the best ever.

SP1: Pedro Martinez. Dominated like no other in baseball in his prime.

SP2: Roger Clemens. I hate to say it, but he was good. (Plus, he was apparently clean in Boston)

SP3: Cy Young. Tied with Roger in career wins and shutouts

SP4: Lefty Grove. Great numbers, and every staff needs a lefty.

SP5: Smokey Joe Wood. Check out his numbers from 1912.

CL: Dick Radatz. Pap will probably break through in a few years. And Smith, Eck, and Reardon starred with other teams. In his time, The Monster was amazing out of the pen.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Leading Off

Hi. Welcome to the first post of my Boston Red Sox blog. I have been a lifelong Sox fan, especially the last 10+ years. I try to see them live at Fenway whenever I can. Over the years I've collected quite a list of top games I've been at. Including, an All-Star game, a couple World Series games, a handfull of ALCS games, a no-hitter, and much more. After watching them through their ups and downs, I feel qualified to spout out about them at my whim. So, that's exactly what I plan to do. This won't be an every day thing. But, when I get a chance, I'll talk about the team, their games and their moves. I'll mention some Red Sox books and movies I liked, and didn't like. Players I enjoy, or detest. I'm not going to do game recaps, or the like. There are plenty of other sites that will do a much better job at that than I will. I certainly wouldn't expect to be the first site you check to see if the Sox won, or if Manny homered. Otherwise basically, it's all fair game. Hope you enjoy.

It's also great if you want to participate. After all, it's less work for me if you do it all. Right? The easiest way is to leave a comment. So, feel free to respond to a review I've made, or anything else I've said. Or, if you're shy, send me an e-mail. section36 at gmail dot com) Either way, I just ask that you be smart and respectful. Plus, I love to get pictures. If you have a picture of yourself with a Sox player past or present, a picture of you decked out for a game, a favorite Sox collectable, a Sox joke, or anything else you'd like to share, send it along. If I like it, I'll post it for everyone to see. Thanks. Enjoy the read!

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