Category Archives: Red Sox

The Nation.

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.

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

Fourteen and a half

As of this writing, the Red Sox are currently leading the American League East by 11.5 games over the second place Baltimore Orioles, though this is not the highlight of the standings box. For all intents and purposes, Orioles could be 1 game out of first place, and yet I’d still have a sense of satistfaction when I look at the standings.

For the first time since May 29, 1984, the Yankees are 14.5 games out of first place. Following the news and stories surrounding the poor start the Yankees have faced this year is just as exciting as the great start the Red Sox have had. Though, despite being ahead of the Yankees by 15 games in the Win Column, I still can’t seem to shake that they have the opportunity to come back. They did it in 1978.. My only hope is that 2007 will be different.

I anxiously await the headline atop the New York Times ‘Joe Torre Fired” — but I may need to wait until the end of the season. I write this post as a moment in history. A statement of fact that on May 30, 2007 — the Yankees are now officially 14.5 games out of first place. What will happen in the last four months of the seasons is completely up-for-grabs, but for this moment.. let’s relish in the spotlight.

Man, why couldn’t this have happened last year — when I was living in Hoboken. A giant smile would have come across my face each time I walked by the Yankee Laundromat .

Keep on going deep, Dougie!

Last two games for Doug Mirabelli:

* 4-8

* 2 runs

* 4 RBI

* 2 home runs

Dougie is on pace to demolish his career high in home runs, which should be 10, but those fucks in Toronto cheated him out of #10 at the end of 2004.  Clearly, Dougie remembered that last night at SkyDome, Rogers Centre, or whatever they’re calling it this week.  Then he went to high-five Manny Ramirez and Manny thought Doug was cocking his arm to punch him, so he hid under the bench for the rest of the inning. 

Anyway, as Dougie goes, so go the Red Sox.  Doug had a sub-par year in 2006 and the Sox wilted.  Doug is on fire this year (as is his boss Tim Wakefield) and the Sox are looking good.  Just one question, with Nomar gone, does that leave Coco as Dougie’s de facto urine recepticle?

Manny Being Manny

I am thoroughly excited to read the new ‘New Yorker’ article about Manny Ramirez. I need to track it down ASAP. I can’t remember the last time I even picked up a ‘New Yorker,’ but the old rag has my attention now.

I was watching TV earlier and a commercial for Heelies, or some competitor, came on and it struck me that Manny Ramirez seems to me like the type of guy that wears Heelies. I can totally picture him wheeling around The Home Depot, the supermarket, the Red Sox clubhouse, or wherever he goes. I would bet money that Manny owns some Heelies. And it they’re not made in his size, then he plunked down $5,000 to get a pair custom-made.

It would be just fascinating to spend some time with the enigma wrapped in a riddle, infused by madness that is Manny Ramirez. I mean, this is a guy that was selling an autographed grill on eBay for a neighbor. Wha…? Paraphrasing David Ortiz, as quoted in that article, ‘Manny is just a crazy shit. He lives on his own planet.’ I love it. From a sneak preview of the article, I learned that Manny watches The History Channel and wants to visit the Forbidden City in China. No doubt he’d be wheelin’ around on his Heelies hip hoppin’ down the Great Wall of China with his iPod cranked up and his dred locks blowing in the breeze.

When his Washington Heights high school baseball team was chronicled by the ‘New Yorker’ about 16 years ago, the world learned that Manny got up early in the mornings and ran up hills dragging a tire on a rope tied to his waist. We know that he still works very studiously at what he does, with a fierce dedication. However, he’s also a space case. I can’t wait to find out more idiosyncracies about him. Until then, I can only imagine that he sleeps with a teddy bear, watches the Teletubbies, probably speaks fluent Italian, has season tickets to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has never written or cashed a check, thinks Curt Schilling is the assistant manager, probably loaned Theo Epstein that infamous gorilla suit, thinks the Green Monster speaks to him between innings, is deathly afraid of Wally the Green Monster mascot, probably calls Mayor Menino from time to time, can’t remember his shoe size, refuses to shower until Doug Mirabelli is out of the shower room, and thinks the show ’24’ is a reality show.

Manny is the Syd Barrett of baseball. Gifted by God with immense talent, yet fragile and introverted. The miraculous thing is that Manny has been able to stay focused enough to keep doing what God put him here to do. Why, you ask? That’s just Manny being Manny.

Bay Area Baseball

The San Francisco Bay Area is a ‘Two-Team Town’ for all intents and purposes. You’ve got the San Francisco Giants in downtown San Fran and then you’ve got the Oakland A’s just on the other side of the bay. The distance is similar to that of Queens to Brooklyn, I’d imagine — maybe a little closer.

First off, it’s strange to be on west coast time. By the time you’ve left work the vast majority of teams have already played (some as early as 10:05am PST for the 1:05p starts) and there’s possibly only a few games left: LAA, LAD, SF, OAK, SD & SEA. Most of these teams play eachother, so that really means that there’s about 3 games left by 7:05 PST. It’s nice to watch (or listen) to the games at work via — because I feel like I can keep closer tabs on what’s going on. Especially being in a Fantasy League for the first time in years.

But the time difference aside, I actually enjoy the baseball here in the SF Bay area. It’s the opposite of New York where the American League Yankees dominate the headlines and water cooler gossip. Out here, the National League Giants are the focus of conversation and the A’s are an afterthought. The Giants are televised nearly every night whereas the A’s are a little harder to find. It’s nice to watch the Giants… watch HD quality baseball of two teams you could care less about. The ambivalence is relaxing. I’ve even found myself tuning into some Giants games during the day just to stay in touch with baseball.

Don’t worry, I am not going to turn into a Giants fan. The Sox are my pride & joy and I’m not getting involved with any team that does business with the likes of Barry Bonds. Most people feel the same here as well. I often hear “Yeah, I love the Giants.. but I hate Bonds.”

It’s nice having baseball on during the day. Kinda like the nice change with Sunday Morning Football. I’m not quite sure how I feel about the 8:05am start for Marathon Monday.. but apart from that, it’s ok. Besides, I’ve got one Sox fan neighbor in the cube next door, two on the floor above — and even better — not a Yankees fan in sight. I love this place.