Friday, June 29, 2012

One More Day!

That’s right. You only have one more day to enter my JuneContest. One more day to enter to win a wonderful book. One more day to scour your phone, or computer, or camera, looking for a picture of you in Section 36. One more day to send it to me to enter! The contest will end at 12:36 PM tomorrow! Don’t miss out.

I already have several great entries. Don’t let one of them win just because you were too lazy to e-mail me a picture. You’ll regret it if you do! So, send in those pictures.

Good Luck!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Problem Facing Will Middlebrooks

In baseball, timing is everything. Timing the delivery to the plate. Timing your swing. Or, in the case of Will Middlebrooks and Ben Cherington, timing a trade.

This is one thing that Theo was pretty good at. When he traded a popular player, the schedule often worked in his favor. Trading Manny? Better make sure your next ten games or so are against lesser opponents. That way the team will win right after the trade, and make the deal look good. When Ben Cherington traded Kevin Youkilis, he got that part pretty well take care of. He got the next nine games to be against Toronto, Seattle, and Oakland. The Sox should cruise through those series. The trade will look better with every victory. But, he didn’t exactly do Will Middlebrooks any favors.

Middlebrooks was off to a blazing hot start to his career. He can’t keep up that pace. Mike Schmidt would have had trouble keeping up that pace. He was going to cool off. The problem came down to timing.

Kevin Youkilis was traded at Middlebrooks’s peak. He was even named the AL player of the week for the week prior to the trade. That’s a pretty good peak. Then Youkilis was traded. The third base job was given to Middlebrooks. I actually heard a radio moron ask on Monday if Will would be able to handle the pressure of being an everyday third baseman. They were already setting him up. Would he be able to keep up his production under the intense pressure of being a starter in Boston? Of course the radio moron knew the answer was “no.” Middlebrooks would not be the player of the week every week for the rest of his career. His production was going to fall off. Bingo. A story was created.

Naturally, Middlebrooks has cooled a bit. He has something like one hit since Youkilis was traded. Chances are he won’t be going 3-3 tonight against King Felix. Even if he goes 1-3 in Seattle, the radio moron will be able to talk about him batting .150 since the trade. The story he invented will suddenly have legs. And that’s all the media needs. Legs. Callers will call in supporting this ridiculous theory. Callers will call in opposing the idea. Then, writers will ask Middlebrooks about it. Is the pressure getting to you? They’ll ask his teammates. Is Will crumbling under the expectations that come with being a starter? He’s only 1-11. He made that error, remember? The made up story keeps going.

If only Cherington had traded Youkilis this weekend instead of last. Middlebrooks could have been spared all this nonsense. He could have come back next week and performed well. Then, instead of “crumbling under pressure” he could have “seized his opportunity.”

The only difference would have been timing. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Why are Pictures Repeated so Often?

It’s another common complaint heard throughout the baseball card collecting blogs. Why do the card companies keep using the same pictures over and over from one year to the next, or from brand to brand? Why can’t they just find another picture? There have to be more of them out there. Lots more.

I can almost understand reusing pictures of the really old players. There can’t be more than a handful of pictures of Tris Speaker or Cy Young. It’s not like every schmuck in the stands had a camera snapping away. So, I almost give the card companies credit for doing the best they can with a limited selection. Cropping the picture differently or using a “painted” version is understandable under the circumstances. I assume it’s fairly similar for the players of the fifties. Again, there are a limited number of pictures of those guys as well. The modern players? That’s less forgivable. How do they not have 1000 pictures of every current player in the major leagues? Are they simply lazy?

I wondered that until I noticed my David Ortiz Wheaties box. It has a nice picture of Ortiz winning game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. How can I be sure? Because I have a print of that exact picture hanging on my wall. Huh? The same picture? How did that happen? It was a playoff game. There were cameras on the field. I saw them. It was extra innings. I’m guessing one or two of those cameras were pointed at Ortiz. Where are all the other pictures that were taken? Why wasn’t the Wheaties box a picture taken a step or two after the 8x10? Is General Mills lazy too?

Or is it the photographers taking the pictures? No, I don’t think they’re lazy. But, are they only allowing one or two pictures to leave their cameras? Do they scan through picture after picture to select the one perfect picture from their day? Are they protecting their professional integrity by limiting the number of pictures out there? They can’t let that picture circulate. Ortiz’s hand is at a funny angle. They can’t release that picture, the guy in the background is making a weird face. So, everyone has to pick from this one really good shot I got. That’s it.

So, maybe Topps isn’t lazy. Maybe their monopoly isn’t making them just mail it in. (I never really bought that explanation anyway.) Maybe even in this digital age, there are still only a limited number of images to choose from. Maybe that’s the real answer.

They’re just slaves to the photographers.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Manny Was Framed

So, four years ago, Manny Ramirez was caught on camera in a scuffle in the dugout during a game. What a horrible teammate he was! Get him out of town! Now! Yesterday, the Sox shipped out the other member of the scuffle, Kevin Youkilis, because he was a grumpy, bad teammate. Hmm.

When do the reports come out that Youkilis threatened to have his injuries “flare up” and miss time unless he was made the starter over Middlebrooks? That seems to be the company line whenever a popular player is traded for odd reasons.

I was never much of a Youkilis fan, myself. I didn’t hate him. I was glad he was on the team. He just never really did anything for me. I’ve mentioned before that it was the case with most of the current team. I have trouble naming a favorite player, but it definitely wasn’t Youkilis. That being said, I don’t think he should have been traded. They should have traded Will Middlebrooks.

I think Youkilis can still be a decent third baseman. The White Sox certainly seem to think so. I have no doubt that he could have finished the year without killing the team. I don’t have a problem with his attitude either. If the team can’t play baseball because one person is grumpy, it’s the team that has the problem. Besides, if you trade Middlebrooks, Youkilis gets less grumpy.

But why trade Middlebrooks instead of Youk? Look what you got in return. A no-name pitcher, and a utility guy. Oh, and you had to pay a ton of cash. If the best you can do is addition by subtraction, that’s not good enough. I hate seeing trades go through where fans of the other team are dancing in the streets. But, on the other hand, what could you have gotten for Middlebrooks? A lot more than that. The Yankees got Michael Pineda for an unproven DH with potential. What could the Sox get for an unproven third baseman with potential? You’d be selling Middlebrooks very high. You’d be able to actually improve the team. Why not go that route?

But, the Sox chose Youkilis to go. What does that do from here? Not much. The Sox were playing Middlebrooks anyway. It makes what they’ve been doing permanent way from here on out. It keeps Gonzalez where he belongs. It keeps Ortiz in the line-up. It lets the Sox ride the hot bat of Middlebrooks.

Let’s hope his joy ride continues.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

One Week Left!

That’s right everybody. There is only one more week remaining in my June contest. Seven more days are all that remain for you to send me pictures of yourself in Section 36 and have a chance to win a fabulous book! So, if you have a picture of yourself in Section 36, get off your duff and send it in. If you don’t have a picture of yourself in Section 36 yet, you have five more games at Fenway to go and take a picture. Otherwise you’ll have to find another Section 36 to take your picture in. Hop to it!

Time is winding down!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Red Sox Drop Magic Number to 100

That’s right. Thanks to their current win streak, the Sox have dropped their magic number to clinch at least a tie for the division title to 100. They’re on their way!

What’s the reason behind their recent good stretch? Nothing, and everything at the same time. They haven’t been shutting out the other team. They haven’t been scoring 15 runs every game. But, they’ve been doing what they need to do in order to win. They’ve battled. They’ve come from behind. They’ve capitalized on mistakes. They’ve put other teams away when they needed to.

And, that’s exactly what a team needs to do. They don’t need a pitching staff to throw a 1.20 ERA. They don’t need to score 6.8 runs a game. They just need to score one more than the other team. Some nights, that’s going to mean the pitchers have to account for a slow night at the plate. Sometimes the bats are going to need to make up for a pitcher who has lost his way. And things are going to get even better from here.

Adrian Gonzalez drew a big walk last night. Not big in that he walked in the winning run or anything. But, he was up in a relatively close game, relatively late, with a couple people on base. It’s the exact situation someone might try too hard in. They may go outside their game to try and drive in those runs. End their slump right in that at bat. It’s exactly what Gonzalez has been doing too much of lately. His trademark patience has gone away, and been replaced with flailing at pitches early in the count. But, in this case, he didn’t do too much. He waited the pitcher out, and drew the walk. That’s a wonderful sign.

Another good sign? The Sox are one day closer to the return of Beckett, Bailey, Ellsbury, and Crawford. That’s going to be a big boost. Sure, the replacements have been doing a wonderful job. They’ve done more than hold the fort. But, that balloon is going to pop. Having the cavalry back before that happens will be a big help. Everything is starting to shape up for a second half run.

I can’t wait.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Red Sox 1-36: 10 is for…

Red Sox and Major League record ten runs before making an out in the first inning

This record was set on June 27, 2003 against the Florida Marlins. I remember this game for a couple different reasons. The first was because Carl Pavano was the starting pitcher for the Marlins that night, and he happened to also be on my fantasy baseball team. So, I had a big decision to make. Do I start the opposing starting pitcher? Isn’t that like cheering against the Sox? Do I bench him? After all, if you remember, the 2003 Red Sox had a pretty decent offense. There was a good chance that Pavano wouldn’t have a great outing. I ended up starting him. I figured one of two things would happen. He could pitch great, and the Sox would lose. At least I would then have the consolation prize of having a better fantasy night. Or the Sox offense would drub him. I figured in that case, he wouldn’t throw many innings, so the damage to me team would be minimized. It ended up being option B. He gave up six runs over 0.0 innings. I didn’t mind one bit.

I also remember because the Red Sox ended up thumping the Marlins, and took a little grief for running up the score. I was at the game the following day. The Sox had a decent lead in that game, and then took their foot off the accelerator. The Marlins promptly came back to win the game. Figures.

Is there a significant difference between scoring ten runs before an out is made and simply scoring ten runs in an inning? Not really. In both cases you’re set up pretty well for a victory. Doing it before an out is made is a lot more fun, though. It almost became comical. You had players getting two hits before an out is made. Incredible. It’s also fun when they start flipping though the record books during a game. Even though this is more of a fluke than an accomplishment (like a 56-game hitting streak) it’s still fun to think you’re watching something that hasn’t happened before. As the number got higher, you hoped to make it to certain hurdles. Can they bat around without making an out? Can they get to double figures without making an out? Can they make the Marlins use a third pitcher without making an out? The game was basically over before the second inning, so it was just a lot of fun. And that’s really all I’m looking for in a game.

10 is for ten runs scored before making the first out of the game

Monday, June 18, 2012

I Usually Hate National Broadcasts

But then, Terry Francona isn't on most national broadcasts.

Last night's ESPN broadcast was a refreshing break from the doomsday slanted offerings from the local media. It was amazing. Aceves gave up three hits, and nobody mentioned that if he gave up back to back home runs, the Cubs would win.

They were talking about the Red Sox and their standing in the East, and said "if this score holds, they're only 4 back in the wild card." They didn't say, "If the Sox blow this lead, they'll drop to an amazing 5 games out of even the wild card."

None of the Red Sox pitchers were lucky to get a swinging strike. The Sox weren't lucky the Cubs made errors...they took advantage of miscues.


But, the best conversation of the night was about Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. they were discussing the powerhouse combination those two provided six or seven years ago. One of the other broadcasters asked Francona point blank how he decided who batted third, and who batted fourth. Francona admitted that they both, obviously, wanted to bat third. So, he called them both into his office at the same time. Told them he, obviously, couldn't bat them both third. It was going to be up to them to decide who bats where. Uh-oh. I smell conflict. So, Tito, what happened? "Manny said, bat me fourth." Francona said he quickly made out the card before Manny could change his mind.

So, Manny put his personal feelings aside, and volunteered to do what was best for the club. (Clearly, Manny was the right choice for fourth) As the best hitter on the team, he deserved the three-hole, but saw that it was better all around if he protected Ortiz. You don't hear many "unselfish Manny" stories.

I bet there are more of them though.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What Does the 2012 Topps Archives Set Say About Me?

I know, wise guy. “Nothing. A box of cardboard can’t talk.” But, what does this set suggest about my collecting habits? That’s the question.

I read all the reviews from other bloggers on the Archives set. I read the good points, and the complaints. One of the more frequent criticisms is the thinness of the cards. At one point, I thought to myself, “I don’t care if the cards are a little thin. As long as…” And then I stopped. As long as what, exactly?

As long as there’s a picture of a Red Sox player on it? Is that my only qualification? Newspapers and magazines have pictures of Red Sox players on them. I don’t feel the need to have every copy of the newspaper with a Red Sox player on it that was printed in 2012. So, clearly I need more than just a picture. What else?

Do I need it to be printed on cardboard? Is that the magic feature that turns a random picture into something I need to have? That seems like an odd thing to me. After all, I just said to myself that I don’t care how thick this cardboard is.

Do I need a fancy border around the photo? At first offer, I’d say this is the most logical feature. After all, the border is what makes it a card instead of a picture. But, I run into a snag with that one as well. My favorite sets are the Stadium Club issues. Yup. No border. Damn. They don’t even have overblown graphics on the front.

Is it the stats on the back? That is also pretty distinctive when it comes to cards vs. other pictures. I can just flip the card over, and instantly get career stats for the player pictured on the front. That’s a great reason. Phew. I’ve got it. When I want to know how many hits Kevin Youkilis had in 2009, I run to his 2010 Topps card to look at the back. Ummm. Yeah, not so much. In fact, since my cards are stored back-to-back in pages, looking at the backs of the cards is actually pretty difficult. I can’t remember the last time I actually pulled out a Red Sox card to look at the back.

Is it the size? It certainly makes it easier to collect them as opposed to, say, 8x10 pictures. But, there are plenty of Red Sox collectable out there that measure less that 3 inches. I don’t scour the internet looking for every one of them.

I’m starting to run out of options here.

It gets even weirder when I go back in time.

I’ve been trying to add more vintage cards to my collection. If I want to get the really early stuff, I need to stay away from superstars like Babe Ruth and Cy Young. Their Sox cards are well out of my price range. But, what about Joe Wood? He’s more of a regional star. Maybe I can afford him. In looking at the bay, a card of his from the 1915 Polo Grounds Game set popped up. I dismissed it. That’s not even a card, I reasoned. What? What makes it not a card? It has a picture of Joe Wood on it. A border. It’s on cardboard. It’s even a “standard” size. But it’s not a card? What am I on?

The best I’ve been able to come up with is that I collect baseball cards because I collect baseball cards. The same way people collect teapots because they collect teapots, I guess. But, if I collect baseball cards because I collect baseball cards…maybe I don’t need to collect every baseball card because I collect baseball cards?

Don’t worry. This isn’t one of those, “I’ve lost all interest in the hobby” manifestos. I haven’t lost interest. I just want to be sure my collecting follows my interest. As I mentioned, I’ve already started to dream about more vintage. Maybe instead of five blasters of thin Topps Archives cards, I should consider a Carl Yastrzemski rookie? Or a Harry Hooper? Maybe it’s focusing more on fewer sets. Instead of Topps Opening Day blasters, get that David Ortiz bat card from Topps flagship. (If he has a bat card, that is.) I just need to figure out why I want what I want.

And then, just buy what I want.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Two-Week Notice!

Let this stand as your two-week notice to enter the June Contest. This month, I’m asking you to submit pictures of yourself in a section 36 in order to enter. So, if you’re going to a game this month, hop over to Section 36 and snap a picture or two. Don't lose out just by not entering!

Good Luck!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What is an Autograph?

I hear it quite often, inside the hobby and out. “What a terrible signature that is.” “What kind of autograph is that? You can’t make out all the letters!” My question back to them is always, “So?”

Isn’t a signature or autograph more that simply writing your name in cursive? Isn’t a signature simply your name written in a distinctive way? So people know it’s you? I saw an auction listing once for a “dual-signed Christy Matthewson envelope” Basically, this was an envelope that Christy had autographed twice. Why did he sign the same envelope twice? Good question. One of the autographs was in the return address. Since it was the early 1900’s, Big 6 wrote his return address in cursive. So, there was one “autograph.” The second one? Well, the envelope was addressed to Christy’s wife. “Mrs. Christy Matthewson” Once again, since cursive was used, it was called another autograph. I was astounded. Those weren’t signatures. They were just him writing his name. That’s not the same thing, is it? Let’s say Jon Lester was writing a letter to his brother telling him to throw a party. “Get the invitations out.” Jon might start out the letter. “Invite, Frank, Casey, Jon, Lester, Kyle, and Theo.” Did he just produce a Jon Lester autograph?

So, why is there so much discussion about the “quality” of an autograph? Why is a “nice signature” one where you can make out all the letters? Isn’t a big D followed by a squiggle still distinctive? Wouldn’t you still know who it was? Wouldn’t it, in reality, be more distinctive? I bet if you asked ten people to write “David Ortiz” in their best cursive, they would all look fairly similar. But, a David Ortiz signature would be distinctive. You might even say, a signature mark.

So, I don’t care if I can make out every letter of an autograph. I don’t care if I can only make out two letters. I’ll be happy if I can tell the squiggle gets higher where there should be a “k.” It’s an autograph. If I made someone rewrite it so I could make out every letter, it wouldn’t be their autograph.

Frankly, I can’t blame players if their signatures aren’t perfect anyway. If I had to sign as many things, and as many hard-to-sign things, I’d develop an easy to do signature too. Since that’s the way they sign things, it’s their signature.

Why isn’t that the most important thing?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I’m Really Sick of Miami

So, here’s the understatement of the year. The Red Sox aren’t on the best stretch at the moment. To be fair, even though they’ve been on a four-game losing streak, and are only 3-7 in their last ten, they haven’t been terrible. It’s almost been encouraging. Calm down. I said almost.

The good news? The pitching staff hasn’t been terrible. Giving up three or four runs a game is actually a pretty good goal. The Sox have been in that range a lot lately. I can’t really complain about that. Mark Melancon returned and had his best inning of the season. Daisuke made his amazing return, and didn’t get blown up. He actually pitched pretty well. (Better than Bard has, at least.) Really, if the pitching staff kept on keeping on, I would be pleased.

The problem has been that the offense hasn’t been quite good enough. They’ve been close. Most of the losses lately have earned saves for the opposing closer. So, they’re right there at the end. They just can’t quite get over the hump. That’s the kind of thing that happens when you’re missing the tops of your depth charts. (And, let’s be honest. Facing Strasberg, Gonzalez, and Johnson in that stretch didn’t help.) The thing I thought was encouraging? There’s a slight light in that department. Cody Ross is getting close to returning. No, Ross isn’t exactly Matt Kemp. But, he’s better than what the Sox have been throwing out there. Like the said, the Sox just need a little boost. The big boosts are on their way as well. Once the outfield is in better shape, Adrian Gonzalez can ditch right field and get back to first where he belongs. (On a side note, I don’t think Gonzalez get nearly enough credit for the job he’s doing out there in a tight spot. Or, for just being willing to do it in the first place.) That allows the Sox to dangle Will Middlebrooks and really see what kind of trade can improve the team.

The Sox are 6.5 games out, with about 100 games left.

Sounds doable to me.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I Scored

1999 April 24

In a preview of the 1999 ALDS, the Indians were in town in this game. That Indians team would go on to score over 1000 runs that year. In this game, they picked up four of them. Let’s check out the action.

Speaking of Indians runs, lets see who they scored them off. Looks like Bret Saberhagen had the start that day, and gave up one of the runs. Oddly, he left after only four innings. I can’t see any decent reason for him to be removed. Must have been an injury. Or, Jimy Williams simply made a “manager’s decision.” Tim Harikkala came into the game, and didn’t provide much relief. He gave up the other three runs the Indians scored. Guthrie, Cormier and Lowe combined to pitch three shutout innings. Overall, a good job to hold that line-up to four runs. How about the Red Sox line-up? They did a bit better.

Right off the bat, the Sox got some breathing room with three quick ones. Five straight batters reached base with four singles and a walk. Pretty impressive to score three runs with two outs without getting an extra-base hit. The Sox broke it open with three more runs in the seventh. That was a bit more of a conventional rally with a homer and double mixed in to score the runs.

Looking at the rest of the line-up begs one question, though. Is O’Leary-Buford-Lewis a better outfield than Nava-Byrd-Sweeney?

The hero of the game? I’m going to give it to Mike Stanley. He went 2-3 on the day, driving in two runs and scoring two. The goat of the game? Has to be Jason Varitek. The future captain went 0-5 with only one ball getting to the outfield. Pretty pathetic.

But, it didn’t matter. The Sox took the game by out-slugging the Indians. On a day that their bullpen had to pitch most of the game, the offense was able to pick up the slack. It was a big win against a very good team.

And the scorecard shows how it happened.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Three Weeks Left!

Let this stand as your three-week notice to enter the June Contest. This month, I’m asking you to submit pictures of yourself in a section 36 in order to enter. So, if you’re going to this afternoon’s game, or any other game this month, hop over to Section 36 and snap a picture or two.

Good Luck!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

And They’re Back

A couple losses, and the morons come screaming back.

My personal favorite was this afternoon’s radio. The comment was made that Josh Beckett didn’t talk to the media after the game last night. They wondered why. They started out by saying that it could simply be that Beckett had nothing to say. He pitched well, nothing interesting happened to him, so why bother? They could have left it at that. But, no. They said that because he didn’t talk, they were now “forced to speculate.” Imagine that. They admitted that the most reasonable answer was looking them in the face, but they were still going to go ahead and make stuff up. Why did Josh Beckett not see it fit to make the media’s job easier? Was he mad that Bobby Valentine had played NL ball and bunted in the seventh? Was it another case of unrest between the pitcher and his manager? Remember when Beckett played golf that off day? What controversy is hidden in Beckett’s silence? Who else wants to come up with something? No answer is too outlandish. After all, we’re “forced to speculate.” I was, of course, forced to change the station.

We need a few more wins to get the EEidiots to go back where they belong. It would be nice if it came tonight. Why are the Sox having such trouble with the Orioles? I have no idea. I think it’s mainly because with their injuries, they are the Orioles. Frankly it’s amazing the Sox win any games with Podsednick-Byrd-Nava as their outfield. When Gonzalez slumps too, it’s just too much. So, you get streaky results. Win three, lose three. If the back-ups swing the bat well, the Sox win. When they don’t, the Sox lose. The nature of a back-up player is the inconsistency. That’s the killer. So, the team gets inconsistent results. Say what you want about what Carl Crawford did when he was healthy last year. He’s better than Podsednick. Ellsbury is better than Nava. Until those guys get back, the Sox are going to be streaky.

The deficit is back to four games…behind just about everyone else in the league. It’s an amazing logjam out there. What does that say? That the Sox are in good shape. They’ve been playing with their AA team, while the rest of the division has not, and they have stayed close. They’re in striking distance. When they get players back, it looks like it will be an easy cruise to the division.

The waiting is the hardest part.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fenway Fever, By John H. Ritter

Uh-oh. Has the dreaded Curse of the Bambino returned? Is that why the Sox have gone on an extended losing streak? How can it be reversed this time? That’s the challenge facing young “Stats” Pagano as another promising Red Sox season begins to slip away. What can he do to try and put an end to this madness? How can a kid fight whatever forces are at work? What can any of us do?

I was fortunate enough to have a copy of this book provided to e in order to review. I admit that because of that, part of me hoped the book would be terrible. Then, I could trash it, and brag about how honest I was with my review. When I saw the write-up on the back, I thought that “wish” might have come true. Another book about the Curse of the Bambino? Weren’t we done with that yet? Is that the only thing you can write about in a Red Sox book? Even now? As I read the book, though, I was delighted to find that it wasn’t the case. This was a fantastic read. It’s another book geared towards kids. As such, there were a few times when I read something and thought, “That must be for the youngsters reading this.” Those distractions are the only things I can fault this book for. Fenway Fever ended up treating the Curse of the Bambino like Shoeless Joe treated the Black Sox. A magical story that used the curse as a backdrop, without dwelling on it. Sure, the curse was the main storyline. But this was really a book about family, and faith, and fandom. I greatly enjoyed this book. I can easily see a kid enjoying it even more.

Rating: 3 bases (if I were a kid, I bet I’d add that fourth base)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Red Sox 1-36: 9 is for…

Retired number 9 for Ted Williams

Much like my entry for Carl Yastrzemski, I’m going to have a tough time finding new things to say about the greatest Red Sox player ever. He’s been discussed and rediscussed at length. And, why wouldn’t he be? I always have one question when I think about the greats of yesteryear. Who would they compare to in today’s game?

I know that the easy, and correct, answer is “nobody.” But, who comes close? Or, which pieces need to be put together to create Ted Williams?

He could hit. He could hit for power. He could hit for average. So, of current Red Sox players, we’re looking at Adrian Gonzalez, but better. He was disliked by the media. Are we talking John Lackey dislike? Daisuke Matsuzaka level? He had the flair for the dramatic. Like Papi? Is that the buzz he created when he stepped to the plate? Was it Dustin Pedroia level fame and adoration? Nomar in 2000? Pedro? Did people in 1941 know what they were looking at when he stepped to the plate? Looking back at over 100 years of Red Sox history, we can say with some certainty that the great ones really were great. In 1941, with only 40 years of reference, was he just considered pretty good? Who was he?

9 is for Number 9, Ted Williams

Saturday, June 2, 2012

It’s the 21st Century!

And now you’d know it from this blog as well. Section 36 finally has it’s own Facebook page!

I know. I’m late. But I could never figure out why a blog would need a page. Now? I’m still not sure. But, I figured what the heck. So, check out the link on the side of this page to like me. To really like me.

And I’ll eventually figure out what there will be to like.

Friday, June 1, 2012

June Contest

If you remember, I had a contest in April to help celebrate the 100th birthday of Fenway Park, as well as the 100th anniversary of that year’s World Series. The prize was a copy of Mike Vaccaro’s wonderful book The First Fall Classic. That book chronicles the 1912 World Series, and does a fantastic job. I’m doing another contest this month to give away another copy of this book. What hoops am I going to make you jump through this time to enter? I’m glad you asked.

Once again, it’s not a difficult entry. Simply send me a picture of you in Section 36. That’s it. Everyone who sends me a picture of themselves in Section 36 gets one entry into a random drawing. The winner of the drawing (or randomization, or dice roll, or dart throw, or however I decide to do it) wins the copy of the book. To make it even easier, it doesn’t have to be a new picture. It doesn’t even have to be section 36 in Fenway Park. It can be any section 36 you find yourself in. So, anyone can enter.

So, find those pictures of you in Section 36. Or, get to a game this month and take a picture of yourself in Section 36. When you do, send them to me (section36 at gmail dot com). I’ll accept entries until 12:36 PM on June 30. So, get me those pictures!

Good Luck!

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