Sunday Reading

The days are creeping closer. Daisuke Matsuzaka will report to Fort Myers tomorrow. Jon Lester’s there already. The equipment truck leaves Fenway tomorrow. The major members of the press have geared up their preseason questions, while those of us in the Red Sox blogosphere have started compiling lists to wile away the time. What to read while you pine for baseball?

  • First, an excellent piece today by Gordon Edes on just what the Sox are doing to prepare for the impending arrival of the BASP (Biggest Acquisition Since Pedro).
  • Likewise, Edes and Massarotti go after the Sox’ preseason questions — Edes in Top 10 stories form, Mazz in position-by-position style. This is something that Ian Browne at RedSox.com also tackled recently. Really, they all could be boiled down to three questions: Can those who underperformed last season (Varitek, Crisp, Pedroia, Beckett, Hansen) improve? Can the new additions (Lugo, Drew, Matsuzaka) fit in and succeed? Who will be the closer? If the answer to the first two is yes, the answer to the third becomes a lot less crucial.
  • Lists! If you haven’t yet, check out the Top 100 Red Sox project, in which a host of Sox bloggers run down the top Sox of all time. SF and I will be contributing a total of about nine player bios. I’ll make my debut around the middle of next week, and we’ll post the links when our players appear. I’m not sure which players SF has.
  • Coincidentally, the House That Dewey Built also has compiled a list, this one being the top Sox middle infielders of all time.
  • Finally, the Herald reports that Matsuzaka’s awesome Asahi beer ad raised the hackles of some in the Red Sox front office. Two words: Lighten up. Sure, the ad made me want to run out and down a six-pack — even though I hate beer — but that’s just because I’m easily impressionable. In fact, I’m so excited to be the next president of Red Sox Nation, I’ve taken a second mortgage on our house so I can by 24,000 membership cards.
42 comments… add one
  • Is Dice-K a bigger acquisition than Big Papi was? Or Schilling for that matter?

    Nick-YF February 11, 2007, 1:42 pm
  • Ortiz wasn’t a big acquisition at the time it was made. Clearly the impact since then has certainly been tremendous. You may have a point with Schilling. But I remember the excitement over Schilling as being different than the excitement over Pedro and Matsuzaka. More of a “What a great move!” way instead of the “Holy crap, can you believe this actually happened?!” way.

    Paul SF February 11, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • Yeah, I see your point. It’s a semantic argument. Certainly there seems to be a lot of excitement about this.

    Nick-YF February 11, 2007, 1:50 pm
  • I am doing a bio on just one player, George Scott. It should be up around the first of March.

    SF February 11, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • “The idea of fans, especially young ones, seeing a Red Sox player drinking alcohol is not one the team is particularly keen on. ‘It is a perception,’ Blake said, ‘and we certainly want our players to be perceived in the right light.'”
    Was that non-alcoholic champagne they celebrated the World Series victory with?

    pastorsteve February 11, 2007, 2:52 pm
  • Nothing cracked me up more than seeing a whole locker room full of guys who all make about a gillion times the middle income household salary, and what were they celebrating with?
    Korbel and Bud Light. Really? I outgrew those (and by those, I mean Bud Light) my third year in college. It cracked me up.

    Brad February 11, 2007, 3:51 pm
  • You really hate beer Paul?!

    bloodyank78 February 11, 2007, 3:53 pm
  • I too despise beer, which sucked when I went to Scotland. I was looking forward to maybe finding some European brews I could actually enjoy, but as it turns out, the stronger the flavor the less I like it. Very unfortunate…
    Hard cider is great, though, and in other countries guys don’t get ridiculed for drinking it. If you ever get the chance, try Koppenhagen blackberry cider…one of the best drinks I’ve ever had, alcoholic or non.

    desturbd1 February 11, 2007, 4:01 pm
  • I can’t imagine what I’d drink if I didn’t like beer.

    Brad February 11, 2007, 4:07 pm
  • true, d1. Guys get killed for drinking that stuff. I have a buddy who drinks this stuff called Woodchuck, and he get’s ridiculed all the time by our friends for it. But, nobody ever drinks his beer!

    Brad February 11, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • Woodchuck…just looked it up, that looks great. Heh…if I’m trying to get drunk, I start with hard stuff until the beer doesn’t bother me anymore…and when I’m just relaxing, some of the more expensive beers, like Sam’s, are pretty good. I just turned 20, though, so my experience is limited…we take what we can get, and usually it’s cheap. Can’t exactly wander into a sports bar to watch a Sox game and work my way through the menu.

    desturbd1 February 11, 2007, 4:16 pm
  • Sam all the time. Summer ale. Stock up though, selling stops around October. Also, there’s a brewery in Holyoke named “high and mighty” that’s great. I’m a huge beer snob.

    Brad February 11, 2007, 4:22 pm
  • Yeah Summer Ale was exactly the beer I had in mind; good times last summer sitting around my friend’s pool/watching the Sox before they crumbled. Interestingly enough…as highly regarded as Sam’s is here, my Euro friends mostly thought it was sh*t. Go figure.

    desturbd1 February 11, 2007, 4:38 pm
  • I am trying to figure out what the Sox were drinking in the locker room in 2004 in St. Louis. Every story refers to the liquid as “champagne”, but addressing pastorsteve’s point earlier I was under the impression that teams no longer had alcoholic sparkling wine in the post-game celebrations. My research hasn’t turned up a brand: photos have some clues but nothing I can discern. The label is orange/yellow, and has the word “mount” in the name of the winery, but nothing has turned up. It’s not Veuve, which has a similarly colored label, so I am at a bit of a loss, being something of a wine nut. I’ll keep hunting.

    SF February 11, 2007, 4:47 pm
  • what celebration are you talking about? Didn’t a strike cut the 2004 season off early?
    Myself, I like wine much more than beer. And whiskey is also up there.

    Nick-YF February 11, 2007, 4:54 pm
  • SF, since my girlfriend is the absolute greatest person in the world, she went out and purchased all of the magazines after the win. The Boston Globe put out a special publications called “Finally: The Red Sox are Champions”. Anyhow, in that book, there are pictures of the celebration complete with Budweiser coolers and Korbel champagne bottles. The Budweiser coolers are full of Bud and Bud Light, while the Korbel is in just ordinary iced coolers. Both are being consumed heavily by all players in these photos. I have no idea if it’s online anywhere, but these pictures definitely showcase the alcohol at no regard to who’s seeing it.

    Brad February 11, 2007, 5:07 pm
  • I also see the bottle you are talking about in your post, but I don’t know what it is either.

    Brad February 11, 2007, 5:08 pm
  • The pictures from Boston.com show Trot Nixon holding an orange-labeled bottle of something “Mount”, not Korbel. The celebrations at Fenway may have been Korbel, or the celebration in St. Louis may have had more than one type of champagne. There’s a Missouri non-alcoholic sparkling wine called “Mount Pleasant” but the labels look different.

    SF February 11, 2007, 5:26 pm
  • I think every flavor of Samuel Adams is awful.
    … Am I kicked out of the Soxfan clubhouse?

    Kazz February 11, 2007, 8:04 pm
  • Eh, no, Kazz. Sam is fine, but certainly not the best of anything. Give me a Guinness, as close to Dublin as possible (the distance saps the quality, somehow), and all is well.

    SF February 11, 2007, 8:52 pm
  • I see in poking around online that the Yankees in 1999 used non-alcoholic champagne, because of Strawberry’s drug and alcohol problems (a lot of good that did), so if seems if that was worth mentioning then the norm is probably regular champagne. I didn’t find any references to the Red Sox having used anything other than “champagne.” There are also obviously bottles of beer in the photos and video footage of the postgame celebrations from 2004.
    While I personally don’t have an issue with that, or with the zillions of beer ads around ballparks, it just seems to be a bit inconsistent to have a problem with players being seen consuming alcoholic beverages, but not with them dumping them on each others’ heads.

    pastorsteve February 11, 2007, 10:05 pm
  • Also, I’m told that my grandmother used to keep a barrel of cider in the cellar that she allowed to get hard. My dad says she was pretty mellow most of the winter.

    pastorsteve February 11, 2007, 10:08 pm
  • …paul, not sure which part of your post offended me the most:
    basp: if the guy sucks [but, i don’t think he will], someone will have egg on their face, and those business cards will be altered quick as a wink…
    questions and changes: you guys have a good team with the new guys and the guys who underachieved last year…stop stressing over it…
    top 100 red sox: you guys are kidding with this one right?…first do you have that many, and second, who the hell cares?…i saw the sample, and i’m not sure i’ve heard of these guys…i know ted williams, but what else you got?…
    sox middle infielders: monar who?…didn’t you guys run him out of town?…huge mistake, since you’ve had a dozen or so since him that couldn’t measure up, including lugey [mark my words]…jeter is a hack?…your jealously knows no bounds…
    dm’s beer drinking: i already like him, he’s the closest to a real person that you guys have run out on the field yet…
    …if you guys want to try a good beer, get some blackened voodoo…i like guinness too sf, and i grab a sammy’s whenever i see it…

    dc February 11, 2007, 10:21 pm
  • dc, re: Top 100.
    We’re absolutely serious. I admit, some on the tail end are pretty obscure, though Butch Hobson gets a bit of a boost due to his stint as manager. And hey, how about that guy who wrote the Greg Harris bio? ;-)

    QuoSF February 11, 2007, 10:31 pm
  • Good beers: Dos XX Amber, Negra Modelo, Guiness, Yazoo Dos Perros, Smithwick’s, Murphy’s Red…not neccessarily in that order.

    QuoSF February 11, 2007, 10:35 pm
  • Quo, did you just give away your secret identity?
    It’s true. I can’t stand beer. I’ve tried, really I have, and it sucks. I have a similar relationship with coffee. When I tell people this, they always nod their heads and say, “Yeah, it’s an acquired taste.” If it’s so hard to acquire, why do people kep drinking it? I’ve never understood.
    Anyway, I like the “girly drinks,” Smirnoff Ice, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, margeritas, etc. Sue me. They taste good and actually accentuate the good parts of the alcohol instead of tasting like someone else’s puke.
    dc, it’s always hard to tell when you’re joking, but I think I figured it out. You’re serious about the BASP part, and I agree with you. My tongue was somewhat in cheek (thus the acronym). You’re joking about the Top 100 (the Ted Williams line cinched it). And you’re joking about Nomar (acting like it was a bad move for the Sox when it won the team a championship). That’s my guess, anyhow.
    Since we’re discussing identities, I know a guy formerly from Connecticut whom I met in college in Texas whose father is Steve — a Church of Christ pastor and a huge Red Sox fan. Same guy, pastorsteve?

    Paul SF February 12, 2007, 2:54 am
  • If by giving away my identity, you mean “a guy who’s Irish and likes dark beer”, then yes.

    QuoSF February 12, 2007, 2:58 am
  • “Finally, the Herald reports that Matsuzaka’s awesome Asahi beer ad raised the hackles of some in the Red Sox front office.”
    Non-alcoholic wine coolers for all!

    Devil Rays' Fan February 12, 2007, 5:59 am
  • dc:
    Whether you were joking or not, the idea of creating a blogger-based history of a beloved team is valuable, whatever team it might be. The “Top 100 Sox” venture will end up being a nice resource for Sox fans, and it will, most importantly, be a bit of FUN!
    What a novel concept!

    SF February 12, 2007, 6:28 am
  • > “actually accentuate the good parts of the alcohol instead of tasting like somebody else’s puke.”
    Goodness, Paul. It sounds like someone played a really nasty trick on you at some point in time.
    “You can’t really dust for vomit.” – Nigel Tufnel.
    “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” – B. Franklin.

    attackgerbil February 12, 2007, 9:14 am
  • AG, is that Benjamin’s younger brother, Bart?

    Paul SF February 12, 2007, 9:40 am
  • Major league ballplayers drink beer? Shocking!

    john February 12, 2007, 9:48 am
  • The problem is with promotion of beer. Ostensibly, little kids emulate ballplayers, so when ballplayers chug Asahi, little kids chug Asahi.
    I’m reminded of the scene in the Sandlot when all the kids try chewing tobacco and end up vomitting on themselves.
    Paul SF: I have a friend who only drinks “girly drinks” like the ones you described. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he ends up making himself sick more often than most.
    SF: On the rare occasions that I can drink with dinner (I don’t go to restaurants often if I’m not stuck driving), it is always Guinness.

    Kazz February 12, 2007, 10:30 am
  • Wasn’t the Asahi ad was for the Japanese market, which may have different cultural mores w/r/t drinking. The Sox’ FO getting in a huff over a Japanese market ad is a tad ridiculous.

    SF February 12, 2007, 10:42 am
  • Yeah, their problem isn’t that he violated any rules, it’s just that the appearance is bad. Frankly, I think the appearance is awesome. That computer-enhanced clip of him pitching in front of “screaming fans” got me more excited for baseball than anything else in the last month. The Sox should be overjoyed they’re getting any kind of press in early February.

    Paul SF February 12, 2007, 10:48 am
  • “The problem is with promotion of beer. Ostensibly, little kids emulate ballplayers, so when ballplayers chug Asahi, little kids chug Asahi.”
    Before I comment, is that a serious comment?

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 11:06 am
  • PaulSF,
    Sorry, not the same guy. I’m a United Methodist in Schenectady, NY (and not like most UM’s you’ll meet in Texas). I grew up in the Adirondacks, but my dad’s a Vermonter, hence my allegiance to the Sox (4th generation).

    pastorsteve February 12, 2007, 12:03 pm
  • Disclaimer: politics may creep into this comment.
    Never mind that beer in particular served a very important role in providing a source of non-polluted liquid for much of European and American society prior to the development of water treatment plants and organized sanitation systems. Ignore the fact that humankind has been creating fermented beverages for at least 10,000 years. Modern society is obviously overwhelmed by the threat to our youth posed by the images of adults consuming alcohol in advertisement and by god we had better do something about it. Sorry, that’s enough sarcasm.
    I can see the point that chugging a beer is arguably a bad message to send to anyone, but I don’t see that the law in American advertising that prohibits the visual of a person imbibing an alcoholic beverage does anything to say to kids that they shouldn’t drink.
    People drink booze. They have ever since they figured out they could. They will until we don’t exist. American society is so backward in how they handle alcohol that I could write two pages right here on the contradictions and hypocrisy, but I’ll just stop at the fact that the biggest affront to me is that considering how lucrative the alcoholic beverage sponsorships are, and how much revenue concessions of the sale of said beverages generate, crying over this advertisement is beyond ridiculous.
    That, and the fact that the two stadiums named after beers are named after swill.

    attackgerbil February 12, 2007, 7:58 pm
  • sf and paul,
    honestly, i was just joking about most of this, here’s the rundown:
    ..basp: not a joke, but i’ve said dm will do good, so it’s a moot point
    ..questions and changes: not a joke, you guys have a good team and made improvements [i’ve also said that before]
    ..top 100 red sox: total joking…you guys have had a storied history, with a bunch of great players through the years…
    ..sox middle infielders: not a joke for ss anyway
    ..dm’s beer drinking: half joke [the non-joke part is that i like him already]
    ..beer: not a joke
    by the way, on the top 100 thing…i may have missed this by being too lazy to read the whole thing, but is the plan to consolidate these into a book for publication?…i have a couple of friends who are really into the sox and sox history, and this would be an awesome gift…thanks

    dc February 12, 2007, 8:12 pm
  • “They will until we don’t exist. American society is so backward in how they handle alcohol that I could write two pages right here on the contradictions and hypocrisy”
    Yep. Well said. You deserve a beer. :)

    desturbd1 February 12, 2007, 8:15 pm
  • ” “The problem is with promotion of beer. Ostensibly, little kids emulate ballplayers, so when ballplayers chug Asahi, little kids chug Asahi.”
    Before I comment, is that a serious comment?”
    No, of course not. Little kids chug Kirin. :)

    Kazz February 13, 2007, 5:13 pm
  • It was a Mount Pleasant 2003 Brut Imperial at the Red Sox World Series celebaration.
    The Sox did not bring their own as they did not anticipate a sweep. When they won Game 3 the asked the Cards who they use. The Cardnals drank the same Mount Pleasant 03 for their NLCS celebration. They contacted the Augusta Missouri based winery and had 5 cases delivered to the clubhouse.
    The guys I talked at Mount Pleasant said they did so with a heavy heart and it hurt to see the Sox celebrating with their bubbly.
    I purchased 2 cases and still have 11 bottles left.
    Hope this helps……

    Billy March 21, 2007, 1:25 pm

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