General Baseball

The Season of Awesome

In case anyone else is paying attention, these are just a few of the things that have happened this season:

  • Stephen Strasburg struck out 14  and didn't walk a batter in his major league debut. His night ended at 94 pitches with 2 more innings to go. He struck out the last seven batters he faced. If he's allowed to pitch the next two innings, I say he ties the Clemens record. 
  • Jason Heyward is 20 years old and has mastered major league pitching. He's ridiculous.
  • Three perfect games were pitched in a 4-week period.
  • Cliff Lee has struck out 57 batters and walked 4 for a 14.25 k/bb ratio. I saw that one on Fangraphs.
  • An umpire made a ridiculously awful call and America fell in love with him.
  • Brett Gardner stole home against the Boston Red Sox in the first game of the season. The first game!!!

Not all seasons are created equal. This one has the makings of a great one.

74 replies on “The Season of Awesome”

ken griffey jr. retiring makes the list as well.
to be fair, gardners “steal” of home was a little closer to defensive indifference than a steal.

Certainly, the end of Griffey’s career is significant. There are probably a few other things I’m missing. It’s been a great season, for instance, for rookies in general. Leake has been great. Garcia has been better. Austin Jackson might be the one that got away.
I’m basically kidding about the Gardner steal. It was a fun play, but I don’t think it really registers as anything truly significant.

That last one is, of course, a massive stretch. He stole home on a delayed double steal, which happens in every video game ad naseum. So Brett Gardner did what I can do in my living room. Nobody cares and nobody will remember either of these things.
The rest of your list? Awesome!

Do now, evidently, this loser is the second-coming of Strasburg? Mark “Automatic Out” Texeira living up to his name and then ARod can’t even get it out of the infield…I am going to fucking puke.

CC is 0-2 on Ty fucking Wigginton then proceeds to throw 3 pitches into VA, then gives up a hit…WTF CC????
And before I can finish typing this rant, first pitch hangs and another 2 out hit…CC is fucking horrible right now. Just awful.

Breathe krueg, breathe…

CC gets worse every game…finally got a lead and now he loads the bases with a 2 out walk…Game, set, match.
Fucking total embarrassment. I’m going back to watching hockey.

Great post Nick – there have been some great story-lines already in this season and we’re not even half-way through. I would add Ubaldo Jimenez’s performance to-date to this list, and pretty high on it in fact. I know he’s pitching in the NL, but Coors Field is not exactly known as a pitcher’s park and the guy has a sub-1.00 ERA through 12 games and more thn 87 IP. he has given up 9 earned runs. ALL YEAR. It is mind-boggling Walter Johnson-era stuff. I haven’t gotten to watch him pitch, but I hope he can keep this up.

I’m seeing a bunch of articles saying we aren’t going after him now…maybe in the offseason?
I would prefer a bullpen arm and a bat.

I would like for Boston to get Poujous and put him at first, then move Youk to third. Then, if possible, I would like to trade for Lincecum or King Felix and slot them into the rotation after moving Wakefield for Carl Crawford and maybe take a flyer on Paul Konerko to spell Ortiz from time to time.
While I’m at it, I would really like for the Red Sox to hire Jesus as a consultant (or Paul from Waltham), so they can avoid any mistakes in the future.
Is that too much to ask as well? I hope the red sox have a Hall of Famer at every single position, so I feel better when they keep sweeping Baltimore:)

i’m right there with you brad and dw. but you’re leaving out adrian gonzalez. i think it would do the sox well to actually have a cluster of all-stars standing around first base. get on that theo!

I’m not sure how to take that post Brad. I feel like it was “Old Brad” i.e. Rod-ish but you put the “haha” so I guess that makes it cool? Not at all passive-aggresive. Or am I being too sensitive again because it kinda feels like your going back to the “whoa-is-me, i’m a fan of a poor little team that can’t compete, except when we do which blows up my argument when we don’t” mode, no?
Maybe I’m wrong…

“…While I’m at it, I would really like for the Red Sox to hire Jesus as a consultant (or Paul from Waltham), so they can avoid any mistakes in the future…”
amen brad…maybe he can also teach me the proper use of an ellipse, and help me find the darn shift key…but i say we just dfa paul from waltham…

and another thing…how come we just don’t seem to be having any fun this season?…have we really run out of stuff to discuss, or have the rays really gotten into our heads that much?…i’d even welcome another lively discussion about how rbi’s don’t matter, if ortiz is really washed up, or how the yanks can justify keeping an aging, rangeless shortstop at that position, just to avoid hurting his feelings as they contemplate his next contract…i even miss stat-paul’s attempts to educate old-time thinkers like me about the value of actually sprinkling some facts in with my perceptions of how players are actually performing…i even miss the waltham-paul beat-downs…what’s up anyway?…you guys are freakin’ me out man…

Yes, K, you’re wrong.
You know how i feel. If the Yankees add yet another fucking all-star just to fucking compete with the other teams in this division, it’s absurd. What the hell do you need another great pitcher for – isn’t your rotation good enough for you?
Listen, I’ve lived my whole life as a Red Sox fan, so I understand that the Yankees go above and beyond what they should do, and I don’t really care, but it’s absurd.
You think they need another bat when they have the best offense in baseball? Another starting pitcher, when they have a top ten staff already?
I guess the difference is that I DONT WANT my team to get that stuff. I know where the absurd crosses into the really fucking absurd.
I want NOTHING to do with Lee, or any other pitcher. I’d rather lose than add another all star pitcher just to compete with the likes of Tampa and Toronto.
But, if NY wants to go get a couple more all-stars so they can stay in the race, by all means, please do. But angry I’m not

You’re right, dc.
It seems as if You, Nick, Rod, dw, Krueg, and myself are the only ones around.
Where is Paul? Did I miss something?
I think the completely polar starts the two teams had have a lot to do with it. For a month, we didn’t really have anything to talk about while NY was setting the world on fire.
Perhaps this is the year of the opposites, where NY starts hot, then falls apart ( I mean, CC can’t pitch to Baltimore every single time he needs a win) haha.

The only thing I would like to see the Red Sox do is add an outfielder. Now that the news that Jacoby has a broken rib on his back side, he’s going to be out for a pretty significant chunk of time – probably well after the break.
I’d like for the Sox to trade for a guy if Hermida is going to be a question as far as health is concerned. If Hermida can play, I’m cool with running him out there, but the combo of Hall and Cameron is not viable option over time.
If the Red Sox can move for a more servicable guy to take Jacoby’s spot, then sit when he gets back, I’m happy.
A good fourth outfielder who is more servicable than Hall seems most logical to me.
That, and a decent lefty for the pen. Hideki Okajima’s schtick has just worn off at this point.

And, as far the bullpen is concerned, I’m perfectly fine bringing up someone as opposed to going and getting one.
To me, it’s important, but I do believe the Red Sox have the options available to them now, but those guys need to step it up (looking at you, Boof).
I’m fine if the Sox make a move, and I’m fine if they don’t. They have the parts to stay in the race at this point. I’d rather not add any payroll during the year, unless it’s a move that improves them long term not named Lee or Werth.
I don’t know why, but I really think Lee is smoke and mirrors. I HATE guys that get it done on soft shit. It’s why I never, ever like Wakefield or Glavine or any of these other guys that require control and artistry over power and strength.
Lee can find home in NY, and I’m absolutely ok with that.

Or am I being too sensitive again because it kinda feels like your going back to the “whoa-is-me…
After reading this, I’ve realized you just taking it all wrong. It has nothing to do with the belief that the Sox “can’t” compete, but rather everything to do with the thought that I don’t think they have to. I don’t want them to spend more and more and more on overpriced guys. I want them to get good, young talent. I know the Sox can, but I just don’t want them to. I think it’s overkill and bad for baseball when already good teams go out and get players that are over the top, and past the curve.
If they’re getting them as accessory parts, I’m cool with it, but when teams decide to eat millions and millions of dollars just to get an edge (on paper), when they’re already one of the best five teams in baseball, I’m against it, and always have been.
So, it’s not that I don’t think they can, it’s that I hope they don’t. If they’re going to trade for someone, make it a young guy that they can lock up for long term – even if it is expensive.

you make a lot of sense brad…despite my earlier comment, lee feels like overkill right now…unless you consider that it might be because of the uncertainty of pettitte coming back next season and that even if he did, it’s unlikely that he would repeat what he’s done so far this season, or it’s insurance in case they say goodbye to vazquez…i dunno…i have to say though that it’s doubly disappointing to have such high expectations when you root for a free-spending team, then don’t win, but i’d rather be a sox or yanks fan than a fan of one of those low payroll – low expectation teams…i’ll endure the insults from friends about how i root for a front-runner that “bought” their 27 championships…

You sure sounded angry until the last post dude…
All the talk about homegrown guys, not “buying” all-stars, etc. sounds good but isn’t reality. Not sure what else to say? It’s all good. And yes, I do want my team to win it all every year and do everything they can to crush all comers…which they at least try to do so I’m good. I’m a smaller-market fan in other sports so I have no problem with any of it…obviously. And there certainly is some level of satisfaction knowing how much it infuriates other teams fans… :)

No, don’t merge the two issues. This isn’t a matter of free agency v. homegrown players. I’m all for going and trading for players that can help long term.
If the Sox went and traded for Prince, I’d be estatic – not because he’s a great player now, but because it locks up that position for years to come, albeit expensive, but also productive.
Guys like Lee, who I see as a two year (tops) player at this level, just aren’t on my radar.
If the Yankees traded for a great, young player that locks up a position for years, I’d say “that makes all the sense in the world”.
Trading for a rental just to win this year, at excessive rates no less, just doesn’t make sense to me.
And, as far as “infuriating” me, that’s where we are different. I don’t want to look back on great seasons and say that my GM had to spend two times more than anyone in baseball just to do what he did. As hypocratic as that might sound (2004), it always bothered me that the Sox went and got Schilling and the like.
07 didn’t matter so much because so much more of the talent came from younger, Sox produced players (Ped, youk, Papelbon, ect).
Also, I’m happy to hear you’re a small market team guy in other sports.
I’m a huge Broncos fan (Jesus wears Tebow pajamas, btw), and nuggets fan. The Red Sox thing really comes from my family when I was a kid. I NEVER got on the Patroit/Celtic train with them.

And there certainly is some level of satisfaction knowing how much it infuriates other teams fans… :)
Another difference. I want the fans of other teams to be jealous of the organization, not the wallet and market. I want fans of other teams to not have a reason to hate the Red Sox. Jealous, yes, but not hate. I want other organizations to model the way the scout, develop, and run themselves to that of the Red Sox. To a point, many have.
I could really care less if the Red Sox had a team that was paid 85M dollars, but was talented and competed every night. I don’t need Lee or any other “inset name here” just to infuriate people with the money available to burn.
That being said, it’s not reality. The Red Sox spend a lot of money, but every year, that has been getting better, and further away from that, which makes me happy.
I want them to win as a middle of the road payroll and great organizational philosophies.
This goes back to me saying that it doesn’t matter with regards to the draft so much anymore. All they need draft picks to do, most of the time, is perform at the AA and AAA levels because more frequently than not, those players are traded.

“…I don’t want to look back on great seasons and say that my GM had to spend two times more than anyone in baseball just to do what he did. …”
see, i feel just the opposite…my only angst is when we don’t win…i know i’m going to get the “money” argument win or lose, and it stings just a bit more when the yanks lose…espn especially loves to rub it in…i have no problem with outspending the other teams…our teams and the other big spenders haven’t broken any rules…if the rest of baseball wants to level the playing field re. spending, then they should do it already…i know they’d have a battle with the union, but the smart guys that run the game can figure all that out…the main reason why i have no guilt is that i also have rooting interest [of varying degrees] in the following teams:
ny jets
ny knicks
notre dame
while these teams have had some success in their history, they have also dealt me some colossal disappointments as well…

I see what you’re saying, DC, but when Yankee fans immediately trotted out the “what team spent the most to win” argument in 2004, it was a problem for me. I hated that to no end because it was exactly what I didn’t want. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved the win, but I hated the way they went about it that year with all the FA.
I absolutely do not want to be anywhere near the top of spending teams. I want a smart GM, who makes good baseball moves, and makes the right big signing at the right time. I want nothing to do with a guy who adds aging FA veterans at the deadline just to do so – when there is no real need to do it. Winning by a foot isn’t good enough if you can win by a mile? That’s kind of the way I look at it. The Yankees and the Sox are good enough to win a short series right now against any team in baseball – including each other – so why go above and beyond when it doesn’t confirm anything?
The Yankees could get Lee, but what does that prove in a big series? He could still get lit up by Boston or Tampa, like he always has. Right?

As a lifelong Buffalo Sabres fan, it’s really nice to be on the other side of the fence with the Yankees. I feel ZERO guilt about anything the Yankees do because they are trying to win. Right or wrong, they do more than any other team to win for their fans, and I appreciate that. The Sabres certainly don’t. The Dolphins are coming around but football is different. Another conversation for another time on that one…
Basically, and this isn’t directed at you specifically Brad, ANY fan that sits back and says the Yankees and their money are bad for baseball/sports/the universe/etc. are really being dishonest because if the shoe was on the other foot, would this altruistic stuff still be the prevaling sentiment? I highly doubt it.

Acutally, yes, it would. As I’ve said thousands of times on here – I do NOT want the Red Sox to spend more than everyone else – especially not twice as much.
It takes the fun out of the game for me to just trot out a gaggle 220M dollars worth of talent in a series against Seattle or the like. I really don’t find it exciting when I know that a really talented pitcher is struggling to make it through the lineup because it’s composed of guys with 3000 homesruns and .300 lifetime averages.
It’s why anyone with any rational sense of baseball doesn’t judge pitchers on how they perform within the confines of the AL East or against NY. When else is one going to have to face that kind of talent outside of an All Star game on a regular basis.
It’s not fun for me when the Red Sox outspend in the end. It’s so much more encouraging when they out play.
I really think the reason most Yankee fans point to 1998 as the year they will remember most, it’s because it was basically done with guys from your system, who all gelled, and who weren’t making a shit-load of money to play together, and it’s also the reason I like 2007 so much more than 2004. Yes, there were certainly free agents on the team, and good ones at that, but there was a core of guys the Red Sox didn’t just pick up via trade and FA.
I like that way so much more. Differences, that’s all.

i agree with you that lee is overkill brad, unless like i said earlier, some other things play out in the offseason re. the rest of the rotation…as for rooting for a low[er] payroll team, i also agree, but lavish free agent spending just doesn’t bother me as much as it seems to bother you, especially if the intent is to supplement a core of home-grown guys [which the yankees do have], a point i think you agree with…rooting for a low payroll / high achievement team like the twins or rays, or a team looking to lower it’s spending profile, assuming the sox can pull it off, is a comfortable position to be in, because you get the best of both worlds: a winning team, and protection from the money argument…if the rays win, their fans and espn can trumpet about how they beat the big dogs utilizing very little resources [rightfully so], and if they lose, well golly, how can they ever compete against those same big dogs with big wallets, like the yanks and sox…the other reason i have no guilt about being a yankee fan is because i didn’t choose to…i’m not a front-runner who has a pink hat for every mlb team busting out just the right one at playoff time…i’ve been a yankee fan since i was old enough to say “mickey mantle”, partly because of geography, and partly because of heavy family influence, including my mom…i can’t help how the game has evolved through the free agent era and i’m not going to feel guilty or apologize to fans of have-not teams because of the circumstances…and the steinbrenner family and the yankee organization shouldn’t have to either…whether we like it or not, we live in a results-oriented society…as long as the rules aren’t being broken, what’s the problem with utilizing your resources, whether it’s money, or cunning and creativity, or all of those things, to maximize your advantage over the competition?…

The only thing I take offense to with what you are saying Brad, and I’ve said THIS a thousand times and DC kinda touched on it above is that the Sox are not the Rays/Marlins/Twins. They are MUCH closer to the Yankees than those small market teams. Obviously not on par with the Yankees, but even less so than the small market winners that you seem to admire…this is our big disagreement I think. You can’t really revel in the Yankees preceived failures while spending the money without acknowledging your own teams failures, right? I mean, your team had it’s greatest success doing exactly what you seem to rail against. Does it dampen your feeling about ’04 and ’07? Beating teams with much lower payrolls with a team full of and led by mercenaries?

…and one more thing, OBVIOUSLY everyone would love to root for a team full of homegrown talent that played hard, had no ego’s, didn’t get arrested, etc. etc. etc…
What team has ever really lived up to this in baseball? Or any sport for that matter? It’s just a utopian fantasy at this point really, no?

K – Several times in this thread I have said that I HATED how they won the 04 series.
And, not once did I say that I think the Sox don’t spend, in fact, I said they most certainly do. But, my point is that I wish they didn’t, and it pisses me off when they trade for old talent.
We are arguing the same thing (except you’re a hundred million more) – i don’t like it. They do it, and I wish they wouldn’t. I don’t want to be in the same class as the Yankees with regards to money ever.
PSSS – you can have the cry baby, wife beating, excuse making crimial. Take his “posse” and his bullshit with it though. I hope, and I’m not kidding, he breaks every bone in his leg on the first play of the season. I haven’t hated a football player more since TO early years. You can have him – won’t be long before he starts his bullshit ghetto shit there too.

But not ’07? I just wonder if the Sox suddenly got a new stadium and had a bunch more revenue, or at least spent more of it on the team, and the Sox went on some kind of dynastic tear if you would feel the same way…not saying you would or wouldn’t, it would be interesting to see.
PSSSS SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE ABOUT THE BEAST!!! He has been a model citizen and teammate in South Florida and will lead the league in receiving…just needed a change of scenery! ;)

in brad’s defense [though he doesn’t need it], he has said repeatedly, and not just today, that he would prefer to have the sox spend less money, and that he is happier with the 07 ws than the 04 ws…he’s been consistent…i just think the disconnect is that some of us, like krueg and me, don’t care as much about how much our team spends as long as we win…and i’d venture to say that a lot of sox fans don’t agree with brad, and are more in line with our thinking…sure it’s a great story when a bunch of low paid, overachieving davids whup the big money goliaths, and it happens once in awhile, but i’d say the teams that have money that aren’t using it to better the product are doing a tremendous disservice to their fans…to me, that’s a much bigger problem that the yankees spending…that’s why the twins resigning mauer was such a good story…the twins showed their fans that they were willing to make a commitment to reward their loyalty…

speaking of high priced players – what are the YF feeling on the A-Rod front i.e. his “sore groin”. Hip problems show up as “groin pain” – that can’t be a good thing.

ARod – my guess is that he’s fine.
And you’re right, DC. The biggest problem in baseball is that the bottom 15 teams are so far below what they should be.
But, that middle of the pack is right where I want them to be with regards to the Red Sox. Yes, they’re a player or two away from the next six or seven, which is fine in my book. I’d like it to be lower, but eh, there is no way to compete in this division and drop too much payroll (hello Baltimore)
The twins story was a good one.
DC – I think a lot of Red Sox fans want the team to spend less, but know they cant or wont. None of us want to revisit a time when they sucked, but to be honest, all I’m trying to say is that the difference between us is that I don’t think the Sox or the Yankees need to add any more players to already stacked clubs, and several others feel that one more all-star is no big deal and “whatever it takes” mentality to win. Problem is, it’s not whatever it takes, it’s more than it takes.
The season, to me, is much more interesting if teams like LAA and Toronto make the move for Lee. Then, when the smoke clears, we’ll see how it worked for them. To me, teams that are fringe competitive players this year – not two teams that almost certainly in the running all year long.
It would be awesome for LAA to get Lee – or Toronto or the Twins. It makes a statement, and keeps them in the hunt and able to compete all year long.
I like that sooo much better than the Sox or the Yankees just adding another piece.

I’m not doubting Brad’s sincerity…
ARod will be fine. He’s day-to-day. No big deal. We are still awesome, even if they aren’t playing well right now. Not to mention ARod knows plenty of good Canadian physicians around to treat him. :)
How about Ellsbury? Is he ever going to get healthy? What’s up with the whole his doctor vs the team doctor thing?

TO was a model citizen in Dallas. And Philly. And Buffalo. and San Fran.
Change of scenery only works short term.
You’ll see. He’s a cancer, that will get your coach fired, your quarterback picked off consistently, and your spirit broken.
I’ll hold off, until things don’t go his way.

“…what are the YF feeling on the A-Rod front …?”
um, not good…?…any time you lose a key member of your lineup, even one who is having a bit of an off year for him, it’s troubling…i guess along the lines of you guys losing drew for awhile…

And there certainly is some level of satisfaction knowing how much it infuriates other teams fans… :)
I agree completely. The Ellsbury thing is pissing me off (I’m not a fan of slap hitting outfielders anyhow), but this has gone on long enough. I think there is some credibility to the “he won’t play through anything” meme.
I actually think that Pedroia’s quote last night was directed at him when he said (and I’m paraphrasing) ‘yeah, my knee is huring a lot, which is constantly on my mind. I could probably use a break for it, but this team needs me, and I have to get out there – I can’t lay up on the DL because of a little pain’.
Right over the bow.

ouch…i’m liking pedroia more and more…nothing to do with it being a shot at ellsbury, who i couldn’t care less about, but because ped is the type of player i like…tough, hustler, doesn’t bitch, does more than his fair share…and he’s funny too…

I hope for your sake you’re right, K. Becauase thats the kind of money that sets a franchise back if it blows up.
Lets hope he treats his wife better than the last two girlfriends.

Ells – weird that he gets a fracture, heals, then gets another one – that doesn’t initially show up on scans. These are totally hairline fractures. Francona keeps saying it’s up to him to play. I don’t see the Sox keeping him around once he heals.

Well, dw, the first indication of that was when the Red Sox opted to move their aspiring young CF to left field in lieu of an aging FA.
I agree as well, he is long gone before too long, though they’re not going to sell low (I don’t think).
Everything was great, till he had 5 good minutes and hired Boras. haha.

He has more hush money now Brad so…
He has to work out. We have been irrelevant for far too long. Although we have beat the Jets 3 straight and we always beat the Patties so I have that at least.
The Ellsbury thing seems weird. But when Boras is involved, shady-ness always seems to follow. That dude is the devil played by al pacino in that movie with keanu and naked charlize…

dunno…maybe boras is pulling the strings, but what good is a player that doesn’t play…ellsbury doesn’t have that much quality time, that is, performance equity, under his belt to be trying some kind of holdout stunt…if other teams think there’s something to his being soft, i don’t see how the sox could do anything but sell low, or “at value”, which isn’t much if like i said, the suspicions are true…when your teammates start to question you, that’s not good…and, it’s a shame, because i remember a lot of discussion here about what high hopes sox fans had for him as he came up near the end of 07 and seemed to live up to the hype…but if i were you guys, i’d be more pissed at the sox medical team…didn’t they also miss or underestimate lowell’s thumb problem scuttling the best chance they had to dump his salary?…
by the way krueg, my jets are the team to beat…[you can’t see my eyes rolling around in my head, but they are]…looking forward to sparring with you a little bit this year about football…if the baseball purists on yfsf allow us to digress once in awhile…

As much as I love the Yankees, I equally hate the Jets. We certainly will my friend…Fins are flying a bit under the radar with all the Jets Superbowl talk! GO FINS!!! JETS AND PATTIES SUCK!!! ;)

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