We've been slightly obsessed with the impending election, and it turns out there are some interesting baseball-related things of which to take note:
- There are lots of reports describing the Red Sox' interest in Mark Teixeira, a player I think should be the Sox' No. 1 priority this offseason. They don't necessarily agree on how deep the Sox' interest is — or, for that matter, how deep the Yankees' interest is, which could affect most dramatically the Sox' chances of landing him.
- Kevin Youkilis won the Hank Aaron Award as the league's best hitter. I won't say he didn't deserve it, but Alex Rodriguez and Milton Bradley may have raised their eyebrows when the award was announced.
- Luis Alicea was the only Sox coach let go by Terry Francona — a surprise to him, and a surprise to me, too. The Sox' infield defense has been solid under his watch, particularly that of the kids — Dustin Pedroia and Jed Lowrie.
- Lowrie, it turns out, played since May with a fractured wrist, which helps explain his increasingly poor numbers as it went on.
- From the New York Post, speculation that the Yankees want Manny Ramirez so he can play right field. Although I think this is so much all-natural fertilizer, let me just say: "Please, please, please, please, pleeaaase God let this happen.
by The Wire · 19 comments
at 12:26 pm in
Somewhere, the great Cornelius McGillicuddy is smiling. Ring that bell Philadelphia, you earned the honor.
by General Baseball · 2 comments
at 11:36 pm in
When last we left the World Series, in the frigid rains of a Philadelphia night, the score was knotted at 2, the visiting American Leaguers having just finished their at bat in the top of the sixth. Play resumes this evening in the bottom of that inning, the homestanding Phillies at the plate. Cole Hamels, the starter for the Phils, is due to lead off, but it is safe to say he will be watching someone else take his swings from the comfort of the bench. Who will this mystery batter be facing? Grant Balfour was minding the dampened hill for the Rays when play was suspended. Will he be replaced by super-rook David Price? We shall see. Tampa has 9 outs to work with, more if it remains tied, and if they can't take a lead in that time, they and this series will be done. Contrary to some of the carping, and notwithstanding the low ratings, Part I of this game was a real humdinger of an affair, exciting and dramatic as only baseball in October can be. We hope Part II is just as swell, if dry. Comment away here, and enjoy the pregame.
by General Baseball · 79 comments
at 6:33 pm in
This may be a little dated, but still funny. And it's equal-opportunity, for those who might not be into a little BO.
by Humor · 9 comments
at 9:52 am in
We may not be that interested in the game tomorrow night, but we're definitely tuning into the pre-game show.
by Miscellany · 29 comments
at 2:28 pm in
It seems like something from yesteryear: the world series, en flagrante delicto, called to a halt and suspended until who-knows-when. Baseball can't seem to keep its guns pointed anywhere but at its own clown feet. It had been a terrific game, full of excitement, until it was called going into the bottom of the 6th. Tampa had just tied it at 2 thanks to the daring baserunning of BJ Upton. You knew, immediately, that with the score knotted and the rain coming down hard and the Commish in the stand, the umps would call it. The last thing baseball needed was to have it stopped later, the Phils ahead in the clincher and the game "official." (It would have been finished, but what an anticlimax.) Perhaps the game should never have started, given the forecast. Certainly starting at 8:30 is inexcusable. When they get back to it is anyone's guess. The forecast for Philly is rain rain rain. And so we wait….and wait….and wait.
by General Baseball · 13 comments
at 11:00 am in
Right now, the Rays are feeling a lot like Pete Campbell right after Peggy Olsen dropped that bomb on him last night—coincidentally, that came at just about the same time that the Phils and Ryan Howard were pounding the boys from Tampa out of Game 5 of the Series. If the Rays don’t turn things around and quick, they’re gonna be gone like Duck, and there won’t be any Draper-style surprise returns for them until next season. The bad news for Tampa is they face Cole Hamels, a stone-cold customer, who will be showing no sympathy. He goes against Scott Kazmir, who pulled a Rumsen in the ALCS but looked good last time out. Get your martini ready, it’s a seller’s market and this might be the end of the ride. Comment away.
by Uncategorized · 57 comments
at 5:57 pm in
Two weeks ago we hit the Berkshires
. We were back up there this weekend, but before departing took a sidetrip to Moscow, by way of Brooklyn. If there’s a better dinner in this borough than Varenechnaya, I’ll be damned, and you can keep your Luger. Sashlik. Vareniki. Pelmeni. Compote. Goodness.
by Uncategorized · 1 comment
at 3:27 pm in
Three cheers and a tiger to Alex Belth and the rest of our very good friends over at Bronx Banter, which has a new address as a member of the SNY blog network. Make sure you bookmark the new URL. Alex is still running things, and will still be serving up his indispensable daily observations on the Yanks and life in New York; Cliff will continue with his gimlet-eyed analysis of players and teams; occasional YFSF contributor Emma Span will still be there; and there are a few fine new voices added, along with a handy daily link feature. It's a great boon for Yanks fans, and really baseball fans everywhere. (Minor nit: the new design, still in beta, is a bit busy for my taste.) Unlike the newspapers that cover our favorite teams, there's always been a sense of camaraderie within the baseball blogosphere, and we're glad to see one of our own growing in its success. Check it out.
by The Media · 0 comments
at 2:51 pm in
World Series Game four in Philly today, and a big season finale on AMC. Not sure the Maddon men will win the ratings war. We're watching both. Comment away.
by Uncategorized · 18 comments
at 9:23 pm in
From Today's Globe:
Boras said Ramírez, 36, wants to play at least six more years and expects to command a salary similar to Alex Rodriguez's. Boras negotiated a 10-year deal with the Yankees last year that guarantees Rodriguez an average of $27.5 million a season through 2017, when he will be 42.
Boras also struck a five-year, $90 million deal for Barry Bonds with the Giants in 2002 that ran until Bonds was 42.
"There is no question that Manny is in the same category of those extraordinary hitters," Boras said. "And Manny has done something those hitters have not done. He has won two World Series rings."
If Dave Roberts had been 1/5 of a step slower:
"And Manny has done something those hitters have not done. He has won a World Series ring."
If Josh Beckett had only been above-average and not otherworldly:
"And Manny, but for the slimmest of circumstances, would have won two World Series rings."
I'm not interested in demeaning Manny's contributions to the Sox' two championships, but there is something arbitrary in citing these rings as evidence of anything other than circumstance. But for a bullpen implosion, Barry Bonds would have a ring. But for an historic collapse (and several years playing for Seattle and then a greed-influenced interlude in the success-vacuum that is Arlington), Alex Rodriguez might have one too. Citing Manny's rings isn't where I'd necessarily rest my laurels were I Manny's agent. I'd just stick with the ungodly hitting ability.
by General Baseball,General Red Sox · 8 comments
at 8:19 am in
Rain is threatening the game in Philadelphia. If nature stays out of the way, Phils' bats will be trying to figure out how to plate a RISP against Matt Garza, while Jamie Moyer gets the start against the Rays, trying to become the most aged pitcher to win a post-season game. Comment away.
by General Baseball · 15 comments
at 7:23 pm in
Newt Gingrich, John Kerry, and….Billy Beane (yes, him) think they know how to fix our health care system. Seriously:
Sabermetrics relies on obscure statistics like WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched), VORP (value over replacement player) or runs created — a number derived from the formula [(hits + walks) x total bases]/(at bats + walks). Franchises have used this data to answer some of the key questions in baseball: When is an attempted steal worth the risk? Whom should we draft, and in what order? Should we re-sign an aging star player and run the risk of paying for past performance rather than future results?Similarly, a health care system that is driven by robust comparative clinical evidence will save lives and money.
I’m all for sports metaphors but this just might be pushing it. They didn’t need PECOTA to install an excellent universal health care system in the UK.
by Miscellany · 2 comments
at 2:49 pm in
Who is the greatest living batsman? You could make a reasonable case for Manny, for A-Rod, for Albert Pujols; for Barry Bonds; for Hammerin’ Hank. All reasonable choices, to be sure, but given population figures there’s probably a greater constituency for the man pictured above, the great Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. Last week, Tendulkar became the all-time scoring leader in “test” cricket after scoring his 12,000 career run. The righty from Mumbai was a child prodigy at the sport, like Manny, and is admired especially for his beautiful, textbook form. Baseball and cricket are cousins (baseball is not a derivation of cricket, a common misconception) that require mastery of the difficult art of placing bat on a whizzing ball. Putting aside our chauvinist ideas about the superior game, surely we can all appreciate those in either sport who can perform that feat with consistent excellence.
by History · 6 comments
at 8:25 am in
Game one was a good game. Actually, a great game. On to game two, with Myers facing Shields. Sure hope more people are watching than how many I think are.
by General Baseball · 3 comments
at 7:40 pm in