Category Archives: Baseball

You’ll find all the diatribes you’ve ever wanted about the Sox, Yankees and other baseball nuances.

Now this is what I meant to say..

Ok, so this guy gets it. My buddy Pete sent me this amazing blog post on RocketShoes.com entitled “A Love Letter to the San Francisco Giants.” This is basically what I’m trying to say, but he did so much more eloquently.

I was in Boston for the 2004 World Series, the first time the S won it in 86 years. They won 7 games in a row, coming back from a 3-1 deficit against the Yankees and then sweeping the Cardinals in four straight.  Granted, the Cardinals never walked four straight batters in a row (3 of which on 4 straight pitches).

And with that as my baseline for a city’s energy level during a world series, I have to say that San Francisco is even more excited going on 56 years. The main difference is that everyone in Boston was so pessimistic — always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Here, it’s the exact opposite. Everyone has known all year long, this team was special. I’ve loved watching these guys — they’ve been a hoot!

The sox were so injury plagued this year, I never felt like I knew the team — especially being that it’s hard to catch the games out here on the left coast… In any event, I loved what this guy had to say.. it’s true every word and you can feel it in the air.

World Series Time

Let’s Go Giants!

Even though I’m a Sox fan at heart, living in San Francisco the Giants have now become my NL team. This year’s team is so scrappy and have been fun to watch this year (plus the games are on in my time zone) that I’m so proud of them. Having everyone in this city cheering for them is awesome. It reminds me of 2004, when I was in Boston.. But with less stress. There was so much riding on that World Series that I think a lot of people kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and didn’t really enjoy it. For me, I only have a tangential interest in seeing the Giants win.. so it’s much more fun.

The first two games have been a great success, let’s just see how well the Giants can handle things back in Texas.

Adios, Senor Ramirez

The cost of getting rid of perennial headache Manny Ramirez was steep for the Boston Red Sox.  Probably too steep, but still very much worth it.  Boston, with its struggling offense, not only had to give up two months of hitting from a future Hall of Famer, but also had to pay the last $7 million of his contract, had to give up on a bright hitting prospect and a downtrodden pitching prospect, and now will not get the two first round draft picks that the team would have received as compensation for losing a type A free agent to another team in the off-season.  In return, all they got was a younger left fielder.  Oh yeah, and they also got their peace of mind back.

You won’t find “peace of mind” listed in the official MLB trade transaction transcript, but trust me, it is huge and it can not be underestimated.  I didn’t mind when Ramirez slapped Kevin Youkilis and [allegedly] told him to “cut that shit out” (in reference to Youk’s constant whining and bitching about the strike zone, not to mention his bat and helming throwing tantrums).  Other Sox players were fed up with Youk, so I hear, and so the team was glad that someone finally got in Youk’s face.  However, I’d bet that the team would have prefered a more discreet way of dealing with him.

Anyway, when Ramirez assaulted the Sox travelling secretary, that was just plain wrong.  Ramirez should have been suspended for at least 10 games without pay immediately.  Nope, didn’t happen.  The Sox brass allegedly fined Ramirez about $10,000 or $15,000.  For a guy nearing the end of a $160 million contract, that is pocket change.  But in retrospect, maybe the team didn’t want to make a bigger national issue out of the incident.  Maybe they knew that keeping Manny in the starting lineup was the best way to ensure they got maximum value in return.  Well, if so, then it didn’t quite work out.  Jason Bay is a nice hitter and Fenway Park should bolster his stats even further, but there was never any way to get equal value for Ramirez.  Boston knew it.  Manny knew it.  Scott Boras knew it.  And the rest of MLB knew it.

That’s exactly why Boston had to give up so much.  And I, for one, think this is addition by subtraction.  I wish the Sox didn’t have to give up two young prospects, but this deal had to happen.  Even David Ortiz was losing his patience for his little buddy and that spoke volumes to the Sox brass.  I think the most relieved men in Boston right now are Theo Epstein and Terry Francona.   Boston might have hurt its chances of repeating as World Series champions in 2008, but in the end, they did the right thing.  I’ll miss your bat, Manny, but you can take that Hall of Fame attitude out to LA.  Adios!

We Did It!

You know it, the Red Sox are the 2007 World Series Champions! The Rockies (or Rookies as I’ve been calling them) looked weak throughout the entire series. Whether it was the 8 days off, or if it was just a fluke that they came up big at the end of the season is beyond me. Either way, 21 out of 22 ended abrutly when they came to Fenway.

While the Red Sox looked like a experienced ball club — their opponents looked like newbies to the Post Season. The Denver Post disagrees:

The Red Sox were too everything in winning their second title in four years. Too strong, too good, too expensive…. Their pulse slow on the sport’s biggest stage, their team looking every bit a $143-million bully (The Red Sox posting bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka $51.1 million nearly equals the Rockies’ $54-million payroll).

If you ask me, that’s Bullshit. The entire team played very well, but the key players in the series were: Lowell, Pedroia (a rookie), Ellsbury (a rookie), Okajima, and their starting Pitching. While Schilling, Beckett, and Matsuzaka were a little pricey, the other big ticket players didn’t do much. The young guys came up big and without them, the team would never have won.

The Rockies were chumps and rolled over. Who knows what happened, but they couldn’t cut it when it mattered most. Same with the Indians. Sorry guys — maybe next year. Time to go open that Champagne.

World Series, here we come

Just when you thought the sox were out — they pull you back in. While I dislike the continual references to the 2004 ALCS, which was a much more amazing comeback (4 straight against their arch rival) and much more satisfying, I’m glad to see that the Sox pulled it off.

I wasn’t nearly as “on the edge of my seat” or losing sleep as I was 3 years ago, but I have been glued to the TV. So much so, in fact, that when our cable went out yesterday afternoon around 3:30pm PST with the game only 1.5 hours away, I started to panic. I ran around our complex, trying to see if there was a TV in another building that might have power — no luck. I then started to try to find a nearby bar that I could go to, in the event that the cable was not back. I even tried to get all of the radios in the house to pick up the AM channel that would carry the game, but it was a failed effort. Finally, 10 minute before game time, the cable miraculously came back and I could watch the game in peace.

I tell ya, though… After the first five innings of last night’s game, I have no fingernails left. Unbelievable game. Matsuzaka wasn’t perfect, but he was pretty damn close. The offense was still on fire (with the exception of the two big guys in the middle). To be honest, I’d rather have the entire lineup hitting with the exception of Ortiz & Ramirez than have the opposite. That’s what happened in Games 1-4, and once they went cold the rest of the team came up big. Fantastic.

The key to the Indians loss, though, was their youth. Playing in the ALDS is stressful, but the Yankees didn’t have it. Also, the ALDS isn’t the same sort of pressure that you have when you’re playing in the series before the world championship — the semi-finals. With the exception of CC, their entire pitching staff is just so young: Carmona, Perez, Betancourt. These guys were lights out all season — but when push came to shove, they fell apart. Fielding errors, lack of clutch hits, and stupid baserunning mistakes cost them the game last night. All things that could’ve been avoided, if they’d have been more experienced and more able to handle the pressure.

Here we come Colorado. Oh, and one more thing: You can take your 21 of 22 wins streak, and shove it up your &*#@$… Welcome to Fenway.

The Yankee Demise

Call it sick, but I get such pleasure out of reading about the Yankees demise. Almost more than reading about the Red Sox Winning — is that bad? Is this wrong? Maybe it’s the cocky attitude of the Yankee players and fans that gives me this warm and cuddly feeling when the Yankees lose. Not sure.

Despite what some people think (coughcoughMrsLarbycoughcough), I’m counting down the days until Steinbrenner hastily fires Joe Torre. Joe Torre is one of the best managers in baseball — anyone that can turn a team from 14.5 games out to 1.5 games out of first in just a few months has something special. Despite not having made it past the first round of the playoffs for the past three years, he’s successfully made it to the post season for the last consecutive 12 seasons. When you talk about the Curse of The Century — look to theplayers, not the manager. A bunch of star athletes all wearing the same uniform does not make them a team — just ask Cleveland.

Being the Red Sox fan that I am, I revel in the fact that Joe Torre may be on the way out. With him, a number of his players may hit the road as well. Knowing that this fantastic skipper is no longer running the show down there in New York, will make me rest just a little easier the next time the Yankees visit Friendly Fenway. I mean, seriously, is there really someone out there who could possibly be better than Joe Torre? I doubt it.

As for Joe’s future, I’m sure there’s a team that’s going to sign him — and I fear said team.

Let’s Go Sox

Sox take game one, 4-0. Beckett pitched a gem, and has proved that he’s going to be a threat in the post season. The big bats came through, now let’s hope that Cleveland can help take out the evil empire before they make it to the ALCS.

Here’s a pic of my cube at work — Go Sox!

My Cube at Work

755

A day that will live in infamy. Until 756.

Update @ 1:25 AM:
On a separate baseball-related note… What’s worse? I’ll have to hear “It’s an A-bomb. [Pause] From A-Rod” every time they re-play Alex Rodriguez’s 500th Homerun.