Have at it, Bombers fans.
update.. lineups added – ag
Let’s Go Yankees… clap..clap..clap-clap-clap
Friday, September 30th, 2011
Thursday, September 29th, 2011
We think it is fair to say that there will be changes on the Sox this offseason. We hope they aren’t reactionary (fire the GM!) moves, but rather smartly considered personnel decisions tailored to the context. Beyond player personnel (Papi, Paps, what to do with an albatross like Lackey) we are curious to hear what people think will happen. We’re going with the following:
Theo – sticks around unless he quits, he is NOT getting canned
Tito – sticks around unless his health and emotions aren’t in it. He shouldn’t be canned, and won’t be
Allard Baird – gone
Curt Young – gone
Tim Bogar – gone, even Wendell Kim thinks this guy sucks
We come at this a bit uninformed: we didn’t watch a single pitch of any of last night’s action. But we have read up, and we did follow (in cursory fashion) the action of the month of September. All we can really say is that the Sox are right where they should be, on their way home to clean out their lockers. The September team was not the mid-summer team, which was the team the front office wanted. That’s life. Had the Sox come out of the winter with a rotation including Kyle Weiland, Andrew Miller, Time Wakefield, nobody would have picked them to win a damn thing, and that’s the team we got (and, to an extent, Theo gave us) in the last 30 days. They go home getting what they deserved, and while it happened in gut-wrenching fashion we can’t help but think this was essentially a mercy killing, the dispatch of a team that had neither a right to be in the playoffs nor any future in that tournament (had they made it at all).
This was no 1975, 1978, 1986, 2003. We lived through all of those. We feel nothing like we did freshman year in college when the Sox blew it. We feel nothing like we did on that red-eye home from California the night Aaron Boone hit it out, just before we boarded the place. 1986 and 2003, in particular, were small sample size freak-shows of tragic decision-making and performance. This, on the other hand, was a terrible performance over a long stretch by what was, in the end, a lineup and pitching staff that (had they been in place in April) nobody would have pegged to win even 81 games. In the end, this was the just result, and there should be no hyperbolizing or complaining about that.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist homered, with the go-ahead shot coming off of the plainly obvious mole Rayfael Soriano (how could we NOT SEE that coming), and the Tampa infield turned their third triple play in team history, a bases-loaded 543 off the bat of Russell “Headlong” Martin. Seriously Russell, I know Brett Gardner claims it is faster, and for him, maybe it is. You ain’t Brett Gardner.
Meanwhile, Boston pitchers Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon needed 25 and 28 pitches respectively in the incredibly intense eighth and ninth innings to squeeze past Baltimore at Camden. Rookie catcher Ryan Lavarnway and Baltimore backstop Matt Wieters were the stars for their teams at the plate and in the field.
Boston will pitch Jon Lester on three days rest in Baltimore tomorrow, while Tampa will pitch David Price, also on three days. Regardless of your allegiance, one can only hope for more of the same. As for the Yankees part, perceiving a pinch or a pound of Machiavellianism makes for more than a little fun. Gametime is 7pm Wednesday night. See you then.
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
Jeremy Hellickson takes the mound for the Rays. Bartolo Colon has been awful his last two times out. He looks to dash the Rays playoff hopes, as Tampa sends 24-year-old Jeremy Hellickson. With the exception of Nunez starting for Jeter, Girardi is sending the “A” lineup, which follows. Comment away.
As this 2011 season implodes on our beloved Red Sox, it seemed like a fine time to explain our sentiments on what has been transpiring, what might transpire, and our connection (or lack thereof) to this real-time athletic cataclysm. In the absence of a brilliant historical piece from Paul, we’ll air some thoughts on the current plight of the Olde Towne Team.
In no particular order:
1. About a month and a half ago, prior to the clusterf*ck of a September, work got INSANE. Hence we have (despite the occasional rant-ish comment here and there) been mostly detached from what has happened. Thank goodness for that. The total innings of Red Sox action we have seen over the past 45 days may be below 20. So we never had to pick the wrong time to stop sniffing glue, so to say, since we never started.
2. Despite not paying attention or posting here much, there’s certainly some pain in seeing the scores every night, reading game threads (at SoSH, especially), and trying to comprehend the horrible end to this season.
3. Despite that pain, being an adult has never come in more handy. Emotional maturity is an asset, and though we came in possession of it late we are grateful we came in possession of it at all.
4. 2004 and 2007 might have made a wee contribution to the acquisition of said emotional maturity, we aren’t naive. Those titles may have been 4 and 7 years ago, but I am still in the “house money” phase of my life with regards to Boston sports. I can’t imagine engaging in anything like self-pity because the Sox blew a lead this year. Those who want to make a big, personal deal out of this are short on memory and long on arrogance. We have had it good, still have it good.
5. While one may subjectively bandy about the term “choke”, the Sox most certainly are collapsing. But they are collapsing for a whole host of rational reasons: bad signings, bad performances, bad injuries, combined with bad luck. Such is sports, frankly. So it goes. Were the Sox healthy and failing this would be exponentially harder to take.
6. Moving forward, assuming this season goes no further than Wednesday (a safe assumption, we think), there will be changes. The Sox will HAVE to make changes. That doesn’t mean they should fire the manager or the GM. But they should change something. Conditioning coach, bench coach, pitching coach, players (Ortiz and Paps are free to choose their future to an extent), who knows. One cannot pin failure on a single reason, or blame injuries alone. Something will change. Many things may change. We advocate a new third base coach. Beyond that we hope stability and reason reign, combined with a LOT of re-assessment of organizational strategy – any good business would assess why failure happened without blinders. We hope this September isn’t chalked up solely to bad luck, though we do hope the front office is able to recognize that rash, reactionary moves aren’t the right thing either and that there is some accountability, even if it only means something non-personnel-based like a change in talent assessment methodology.
7. There’s always next year.
Monday, September 26th, 2011
No surprise, but the Yankee brass has stated publically that they want Cashman back as he nears the end of his three-year contract. He sure did pick a good season to pull not one but multiple rabbits out of his hat. Well, it's better to be lucky and good than to just be good I guess.
Cashman has made things more interesting this year by speaking his mind, sometimes making me wonder what the point is, but I guess when you've been working in an autocracy for years, newfound freedoms sometimes get exercised awkwardly.
Regardless, I hope they keep him right where he is. If nothing else, he's got the perfect name for the job.
Sunday, September 25th, 2011
By the end of the day, Boston could be as much as three games up on Tampa, or tied with them for the last seat on the bus. The Sox are still in the driver’s seat for the wild card, and the Yankees are doing their best to help Boston’s cause by starting one of the two or three worst starters in the American League. Unfortunately, the Sox are sending one of the other ones. Wakefield/Burnett at the Stadium starts now. Lineups for game one follow, comment away.
Saturday, September 24th, 2011
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
Please explain to me why Brian Cashman felt it necessary to say this:
"I actually had dinner with the agent to pretend that we were actually involved and drive the price up. The outfield wasn't an area of need, but everybody kept writing, 'Crawford, Crawford, Crawford, Crawford.' And I was like, 'I feel like we've got Carl Crawford in Brett Gardner, except he costs more than $100 million less, with less experience.'"
Is he tired of hearing about boy-genius Theo while his own accomplishments get dismissed as the result of a big budget and his mistakes get amplified for the same reason? Is he unable to restrain himself from rubbing it in a bit? Does he not recognize that nothing good can come from gloating like this, and in fact some bad things can come of it? Does he need to introduce more motivation for Crawford, who may never live up to the exorbitant contract that Theo dropped on him but will almost certainly not remain at the putrid level he has played this season and could very well hurt the Yankees as soon as this year's ALCS? Does he need to undercut his future use of the have-dinner-with-the-agent-so-as-to-feign-interest tactic by crowing publically about how he employed it this past off-season?
Don't get me wrong – I'm very happy with the actions he took (and didn't take) vis-a-vis Crawford. But I see absolutely no upside and lots of potential downside to him going on record like this. It's just stupid and unnecessary and frankly makes him look small.