God. This is good. Not a lot to cheer about lately. But this is good. Very, very good. Our take: Theo was offered a more than reasonable contract. Seeing as the “Moneyball” system he is given credit for instituting is based on the exploitation of market inefficiency, it’s more than a bit ironic to see him as the possible victim of those same ideas. You reap what you sow. Meanwhile, members of RSN who have so enjoyed watching that system in action, might want to ask why different rules apply to their ex-GM.
Monday, October 31st, 2005
Egg, meet face. Yikes. It’s not like I waited for the Weekly World News to report that Theo was returning. So much for trusting mainstream news sources, for anything. Was the Globe was relying on "Official A" for their story, for f**k’s sake? In any case, this is, in the immediate present and on the surface, terrible news for the Sox and us Sox fans. First, Josh Byrnes, Epstein’s reliable second, heads to Arizona. Now, Theo leaves town, history. We will just have to trust that John Henry (and/or Lucchino, that a**hole) has something intelligent planned, because it sure looks like he/they botched this one, at least until we know who will be replacing Epstein. Obviously John Henry values Lucchino more than Epstein, or else Lucky would have been the one heading into the sunset, and that should tell us quite a bit about how he views the Sox, as both a baseball organization and as a business. Who knows what’s next. Brian Sabean? How about Lou Gorman? Blech.
(On the other hand, perhaps ownership can send Curt to ask W for some suggestions, since he’s so good at picking judges…)
So this turned out just like a standard negotiation usually does. Wheeee. Can all of the Sox media (and a modest segment of the fan base) move on, now? Or will we have to brave 9 days of columns from gossip-mongers detailing all the ins and outs of how Theo is an ungrateful snake (that means you, Shaughnessy), or how Theo is a "special talent who nearly moved on to, of all places, Tampa" (that means you, Gammons), or a 97 page thread on SoSH detailing how wrong many Sox fans think Shaughnessy and Gammons are? I refrained from posting much on this because it seemed to me a non-story, a negotiation between two parties with both individual and mutual benefits at stake. It turned out as expected.
(and now Theo can finally move on to trading Manny to the Mets for a bag of balls and a lifetime pass to Scores…)
Sunday, October 30th, 2005
Is there a Scooter Libby within the Sox front office? Possible, though it looks like the organization is (obliquely) fingering the confidant of a certain dissatisfied insider. Funny how
art baseball imitates life. We wonder if there will in fact be a new GM in Beantown: Patrick Fitzgerald.
Friday, October 28th, 2005
”I want to become an architect,” he said. ”I want to design things.
via our favorite architecture
gossip fact sheet The Gutter, we learn that everyone’s favorite crackpot Carl Everett harbors (what are no longer secret) ambitions to join the design world. This leads us to what is, for us, an obvious question: can Carl please design his way back to the Planet Zartron…
Cashman is back, we all know that, and Yankee fans can further rejoice in the news that all of the team’s baseball decisions will flow through him. “I’m the general manager, and everybody within the baseball operations department reports to me. That’s not how it’s operated recently,” says Cash. But let’s be frank: that’s not how it’s operated ever. Cashman clearly has the support of Torre, and most likely of Steinbrenner’s son-in-law and heir apparent, Steve Swindal. Has George finally seen the light? That remains to be seen. But now there should be no excuses for Cashman. We think he’ll do a good job.
As the folks at BP argue, an organization needs to have a plan, and it needs to stick to it. That plan doesn’t necessarily need to be a Bill James product (look at the Braves), but it does need to be cohesive. Cashman’s philosophy will apparently be modeled on that of Stick Michael. Build from within, acquire smartly from without. If he can pull that off—if he is capable and if he is allowed—the Yankee future will be bright indeed.
Thursday, October 27th, 2005
Are the Cubbies next? Sox World Series victories in consecutive years, the most recent, we have to say, being one of the least interesting in our memory, and a rather unimpressive cap on what was, overall, a disappointing year, despite some excitement in the second half. We suspect the 2005 campaign, at least outside of Chicago, will be remembered more for steroid hearings and positive tests than the anemic offensive abilities of the two league champions. And after two consecutive sweeps (small sample size?) and continued interleague dominance, is their any questioon about the NL’s inferiority?
Next year in Jerusalem, Yankee fans. Next year. Now back to SF’s hot stove…..
Finally. Congrats to the White Sox and their long-suffering fans. Cubs fans have an even bigger complex. The Sox, not Red, are the best. The Astros are cooked. But the stove is still warm.
First order of business? GMs. The Yankees re-enslaved theirs yesterday, with Brian Cashman trading a big pile of money and the possibility of not having to work for a sociopathic ex-felon for…a big pile of money and three years of having to work under a sociopathic ex-felon. Meanwhile, the Epstein saga in Boston drags on, supposedly nearing conclusion. It’s an important signing, for both talent-related reasons (who knows the Sox’ system better than Theo?), external PR-related reasons (what Boston GM in the last 20 years has handled the cannibalistic Boston press better?), and fan-appeasement reasons (this is the guy who most people perceive, rightly or wrongly, as having brought us our championship). The lack of significant leaks from the two sides leads me to believe that this is a standard negotiation, with some normal degree of contentiousness, and that Epstein is simply weighing his possible salary and lifestyle in Beantown against the demands and stresses of the position against another possible position in a far more boring city elsewhere. The hot (stove) discussion in Boston has centered on a perceived rift between Lucchino and Epstein, a chain-of-command fight over decision-making power and talent assessment, but this strikes me largely as media and fandom speculation, and not much else. It took Cashman until yesterday to re-up, so the delay on Epstein’s part is highly unsurprising and incredibly smart of him, negotiation-wise. In the end, Theo’s decision is probably all about weighing the challenge of the job and the money against the quality of life he enjoys (or resents) in Boston. It’s not likely about a power struggle (does he think those don’t exist elsewhere?), it’s not likely about Lucky. It is, for once, a decision all about himself. Here’s hoping he comes back.
Wednesday, October 26th, 2005
Could it be? "1918" replaced by "2004", and then "1917" replaced by "2005" within the year? Not too many stranger things have happened, but tonight it could. Hopefully the game will end before it’s Thursday in California, or else we’ll be reading about it tomorrow. No over/under on the comment count tonight; our trust in our webhost is shot. Have at it.
(and P.S. – the market for Epstein is now set: whatever Cashman got, plus one buck)
Phil Garner’s pissed. Clemens may be cooked (has he pitched his last ball?). The ‘Stros are gonna need a Sox-style (BoSox style) comeback if they’re gonna take this thing. Don’t bet on it. But we’ll be watching, and assuming no further technical meltdowns, commenting on it here. We hope you will be, too….
Likewise, there are differing accounts of where "Scooter" comes from. He told the New York Times in 2002 that his father, an investment banker now deceased, coined it upon seeing him crawl across his crib. The same year, in an interview with King, Libby spoke of a childhood comparison to New York Yankees Hall of Fame shortstop Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto ("I had the range but not the arm," Libby said).
How a propos. (Potentially) criminal right wing politicos and comparisons of them to beloved Yankees never cease to surprise (or entertain!).
Tuesday, October 25th, 2005
The good news for Yanks fans: reports are that Cashman will return (3 years, $5 million) while Theo and the Sox are still haggling. The coaching staff is coming together as well: Bowa at third, Sojo at first, Mazz on the bench, and possibly Gator instructing the pitchers. It’s not really the ideal staff, in our humble opinion (Bowa’s a hothead, Mazz is a Mazz, Gator has no record whatsoever). Anyway, tonight we’ll be thinking about the ChiSox and the Astros. Can Houston break through? Will they open their roof? Is anyone gonna slap a ChiSox wife? We’ll be commenting, and we hope you will be, too. Thirty comments? We know you’re up to it, YFSF Nation…..
Sunday, October 23rd, 2005
OK, so last night’s over/under was weak. Like the Astros with men in scoring position. Or AJ’s likeability factor. Tonight, we expect more, as in more idiotic yips from Fox’s Backecam, more stupid hand motions from Ozzie Guillen (and I thought Peyton Manning was annoying!), and more of Jeff Bagwell taking walks back to the dugout hand-in-hand with the end of his career. Enjoy this peaceful Sunday and tonight’s game.
Congratulations YFSF Nation: you hit the over on SF’s 3-comment challenge for our game 1 thread. Let’s up the ante here. How about….25 comments? Yeah, 25. So no flippin’ over to West Wing. No flippin’ over to Erin Brockovitch. We have, at most, 6 games left in this season. Let’s pay attention. Go Sox. (Boy, do I hate the way that sounds.)