Monday, April 30, 2007

Quick Thoughts

Quick thoughts from the weekend:
  1. I'm officially ready to see Alex Cora start everyday at Second Base...I was actually ready about a week ago, but now I guess I'm making it "official". ;-)
    The guy's a gamer
  2. Is it me or does it feel like the Red Sox aren't that good? I mean they're good, but they don't seem like the type of fearsome team that you would think would be behind the best record in the AL. I guess maybe that means they're more of a "team" since you never know who's going to step up.
  3. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver may actually be a better broadcasting team than Jon Miller and Joe Morgan...I know that's not saying much...well it's actually saying that Jon Miller and Joe Morgan might be the worst broadcasting team ever. If they ever team up Morgan and McCarver, that will surely be the first sign of the Apocalypse.
  4. I don't care about their so-called bad attitudes, I'm freakin' psyched for Brandon Merriweather and Randy Moss...and I'm sorry a fake moon is funny. It's not "disgusting", Joe Buck.
That's it.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pats/Dolphins Day 1

A quick rundown of who you will be seeing twice a year with the Miami Dolphins, and the Pats lone pick.

1.Ted Ginn, Jr.- you all know who he is from the National Championship game. He is our replacement for Wes Welker- a stud kick-returner and slot reciever who can light it up. A bit smallish, but should provide some spark to what has been a flat offense the last few years. Worthy of a #1 pick, Im not so sure just yet. We will know better once he gets clobbered a bit by a DB at full speed. But Im glad the Dolphins didnt take Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn. Didnt like him to begin with- too cocky- and, seeing that he fell all the way to 22, he wasnt seen as the real deal in many coaches eyes. I'll trust our coach and GM on this one.

2.John Beck, QB, BYU. - Hopefully, Quinn will turn out to be a bust, and this guy will at least be decent. A very smart player who cannot throw deep consistantly, but doesnt force passes, and can lead a steady offense.

3. This is who the Dolphins got from the Pats for Welker- a badasscenter to hopefully anchor an emerging offensive line.

4. Lorenzo Booker, RB, Florida State (cue tomahawk chop) No one has heard of this guy because Bobby Bowden didnt use him as well as he could have and should have.. He is a solid runner, though. He will be the #3 back, behind Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Look the fuck out.

Four very promising picks on the offensive side of the ball for the Fins-agreat Day 1.

As for your hometown Patriots, of course, Bill Bellachick makes the most of his only pick on the first day, again dipping into the endless well of Miami Hurricanes, a badass free safety that can hit hard, tackle well, and provide a serious presence on the field. Oh yeah, NFL scouts compare him to Ed Reed. "Hey Lee Evens of the Bills. Get off the turf, put your teeth back in your mouth, stop convulsing, and meet Brandon Meriweather of the Pats"

And once again, its ALWAYS football season at my house.

Exit Sandman

Say your prayers little one
Dont forget, my son
To include everyone
Tuck you in, warm within
Keep you free from sin
Till the sandman he comes
Mariano Rivera might need to go shopping for a new Metallica theme song if his awful start to the 2007 season continues for much longer. No music accompanies your jaunt from the bullpen when you enter the 9th inning trailing by 3 runs though. Last night was just the latest of a string of bad outings for the once great closer who has blown his only two chances for saves this season and wakes up today with an ERA over 12. Last weekend when he imploded against the Sox it seemed to be a situation where his famous cutter just wasn't cutting but last night was about lack of control. The cutter was cutting but he was leaving it out over the plate or just simply missing the strike zone. Torre was forced to wake up from his nap and remove him with the bases loaded and only a single out recorded. The fact that Joe then summoned his lefty specialist (Michael Myers) who can't seem to get out any lefties (see Big Papi, Carl Crawford) only serves to highlight how big of a problem the Bronx Bombers have if Mo has lost it.
The Yank's pitching will get better only because it really can't get any worse. Wang is their best pitcher and I expect him to be solid and while Pettitte wasn't good last night he has pitched well this season. Mussina will help once he is healthy and I'm sure Cashman will make a serious run at Roger with a huge check in hand...and we all know how much Roger values money. However, they have no backup plan if Rivera has lost his magic. The Yankees can win games by outslugging opponents but to close out games they need the Mariano Rivera of old instead of the old Mariano Rivera we have seen this season.
Perhaps it finally is Exit Sandman time for Rivera. A much more fitting Metallica song for him now would be Fade to Black:
No one but me can save myself, but its too late
Now I cant think, think why I should even try
Yesterday seems as though it never existed
Death greets me warm, now I will just say good-bye

Friday, April 27, 2007

3 cheers for NBA; Big Raz-berry for D.A.

With the fate and reputation of the NBA depending on it, I thought this topic should resurface at the top, with all due respect to the previous Camby blog, as opposed to simply a comment, so here goes:

While the NBA surely isnt what it used to be during the Michael, Larry, and Magic years, I beg to differ that no one cares about what happens in the league anymore. New England might not care about the NBA right now, but there are three reasons for this:
1. Everyone up there is into the Pats and the Sox, hardcore, summer and winter, spring and fall, day and night, and who can blame you, because while they are winning championships:
2. The Celtics have sucked for the last 5 years.
3. The Celtics will continue to suck as long as Danny Ainge is in charge.

Its not D.Stern, its not players leaving college early, its not the dress code, its not the strike 10 years ago, and its not global warming that makes Boston uninterested in the NBA. Its not the NBAs fault that Boston is the 2nd worst team in the league. If they were the 2nd best, things would be different for the Green and Boston. If you want to talk about sports that no one cares about, lets talk hockey or boxing.

Here in Texas, where football is KING and baseball is queen, the NBA still thrives here as the Mavs, Rockets, and Spurs all have a healthy, successful fanbase. Here, as well as in the rest of the country, basketball is still a big deal. The league is on the verge of another climax, as its all about the young up-and-coming teams like Chicago, Golden State, Cleveland, Utah, Denver, etc. taking over the established teams . There is a ton of great talent, young and old. Wade, Melo', and James are givens, along with Luol Deng, Chris Bosh, Baron Davis, Steven Jackson, Carlos Boozer, - I could go on and on. There is still Kobe, Shaq, Wallace, Kidd, Nash, Ming, Billups, and look at A.I. and Marcus Camby in Denver.. again, I could go on.

Its unfortunate that the Celtics arent on that list, as they should be- all these teams in the playoffs now were worse than the Celts a few years ago- but Danny Ainge can take alot blame for that, for reasons we all know of. Thus, there has been no reason for the 617 to tune into the NBA, which leads to local apathy and then league apathy, turning into the rest of the NBA passing the Celtics and their fanbase by, leaving once-proud Celtic fans with a seemingly unrealistic view of the NBA beyond Route 128.

I guarantee that if the Celtics were in the mix with at least a decent team, Boston would care very much about the NBA. Its too great of a sports town not to. So even if the Celts are nowhere near the playoffs, Boston still needs to support the NBA. So for the next few nights, instead of worrying about whether or not Shrilling put blood on his sock over two freaking years ago, watch the new Bulls beat up on the defending champs, see the lights-out Warriors take it to the Mavs., and see if Kidd or Nash finally get a ring.

And pray that the Celts can get Kevin Durant.

Oh Mo!

It's never a good sign when your team is losing by three runs in the 9th inning and your manager decides to bring in your closer. It's even worse when that closer is Mo Rivera and he is forced to give way to Mike "I can't believe I tricked the Yankees into signing me" Myers with one run in and the bases loaded. What I found most pitiful was Rivera feeling the need to throw over to first base FIVE times to keep Coco Crisp from stealing second (which Coco ultimately did anyway). That's not the Mo Rivera I've come to know and hate over the years.

You're right, it's still April. These games don't really count. However, just like NFL pre-season games, you'd rather see your team win than watching them consistently get crushed. It might not mean anything but you can't help but let the doubts creep in. Well, the Yankees just fell to 6 1/2 games behind the Red Sox (and own the rights to last place in the AL East). 6 1/2 games certainly isn't an insurmountable lead for the Bombers to overcome but if I'm a Yankees fan right now, I'm beginning to second guess my team a little.

For starters, the Yankees have A LOT of money tied up in several aging veterans. While A-Rod seems to be earning his $27.7M/year, the Yanks have $10M wrapped up in perpetual DL inhabitant, Carl Pavano. Jason Giambi makes $23.4M, and while he can still hit, that is some serious cake for a DH that can't run. Abreu is making $15.6M a hefty sum for a guy that instills fear into no one right now. What's crazy is that among those four players, the Yanks are spending more than the individual payrolls of the bottom 13 teams in MLB.

At the risk of stating the obvious. the Bombers pitching situation is a mess. Bob Klapisch of ESPN wrote, "[the Yankees] best game this week was the one they didn't play -- Wednesday's rainout against the Blue Jays, which allowed Andy Pettitte to start tonight against the Red Sox." Hindsight being 20-20, one might argue that didn't end up being such a big advantage (he got pulled in the 5th inning of tonight's game.)

What's tough about the Yanks lack of consistency with their 9 man rotation these days is the fact that they are averaging 4.9 innings/start, lowest in the majors. History shows that this can kill your bullpen in a hurry. Poor Scott Proctor is on pace to pitch 162 games this year (yes, I'm exaggerating on that one.) Mariano Rivera's less than stellar showing tonight is one more data point supporting the argument that his best days may be behind him.

Two more games to go in the series. While I like our chances tomorrow with Wake facing off against Jeff Karstens, my rationale brain tells me that odds do not favor us in Sunday's game with Tavarez leading the charge against Yanks new ace, Chien Ming Wang. Even so, splitting the remaining two games is still a major victory for the Sox (that would be five out of six to start the season). Still a long way to go until September but I like what I'm seeing...

One Cheer for Camby

Marcus Camby was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year today, which, since he's a UMass alum makes it an important news story. It would be especially cool if anyone actually cared about the NBA anymore. What went wrong there? I was a fantasy basketball owner for a bunch of years in the 90's, when professional basketball was still interesting. Now I might catch the tail end of a regular season game (one) and use these playoffs games to put me to sleep. How did Dr. Stern screw this thing up?

One reason to click through to the story is to see the porn star mustache Camby's sporting in the stock photo. Reminds me a little bit of the soul patch Aaron strolled out a couple of days ago. Nice going gents.

the bloody soX-Files

The Bloody Sock Episode…A conspiracy theory erupts in MD around the Red Sox/Yankees ALCS and following World Series and is ignited by a well-respected broadcaster. Talk about a case that screams for Fox Mulder and Dana Scully to investigate as this is definitely an X-File. After all, Fox understands the dynamics of Red Sox/Yankees baseball since he grew up in Chlimark, MA and is a Yankee’s fan. He has shown an ability to uncover much bigger scandals than this. Scully grew up in Annapolis, MD which is just miles away from where this scandal broke and X-File’s creator Chris Carter named her after Hall Of Fame Broadcaster VIN Scully. She is forensic pathologist and could do wonders with an almost 3-year old bloody sock. The stars are aligned for this pair to get to the bottom of things because The Truth is Out There.

A ton of information and statements have been made since Gary Thorne made his now famous comments on Curt Schilling and the bloody sock but please don’t tell me that any of it has been the truth. The spin doctors have taking over and everyone knows that the Red Sox cover up the truth better than the Cigarette Smoking Man. Did everyone catch the sham press conferences yesterday where Mirabelli and Thorne co-concocted a story before each of them went to the media yesterday that was designed to limit the backlash against both?

I’ve listened to so many people screaming on WEEI about this and then last night Red Light decides to rip every media person on the planet a new A-Hole in his blog. So many people were yelling and screaming that the bloody sock was the ALCS. Actually, it was both the ALCS and the World Series. Thorne is referencing the World Series game because Curt wrote on his sneakers K ALS and the bloody sock guaranteed the K ALS (Strike out ALS) would get a ton of attention. Personally, I never doubted that the blood on the sock was Schilling’s blood. I have always contended though that it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to know that the blood was applied to the outside of the sox as opposed to seeping through from the inside…especially the World Series game.

Does this take away from what Schilling did? I don’t think so because he risked his career by having that ankle surgery. I doubt many others of his brethren would have gutted it up in a similar circumstance. Would I put it past Schilling to dabble blood on the outside of the sock in the World Series game as a way to promote a charitable endeavor? Definitely not.

Now, what was said between Mirabelli and Thorne? We will never know for sure but I would think Thorne’s initial statements are way closer to what was actually said than what those two spewed for the media yesterday. Is it really a great secret that Schilling’s teammates in Philly, Arizona and Boston wouldn’t vote him most popular in the clubhouse? Christ, while I love and appreciate what the guy did to bring a championship to Boston he repeatedly rubs me the wrong way. I can certainly see why Randy Johnson and a host of other former teammates don’t have him on their Christmas card lists.

Will we ever get to the bottom of things and does it really matter? The answers are probably no and no unless Mulder & Scully are resurrected. Psst…Mulder go seek out the Dominican under the mango tree because he is the key to finding out the truth.

Me name is Junior Gong

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Yankees Suck Chant Sucks

Watching the weekend sweep over the Yankees was by far the most enjoyable time I've had watching baseball this year. Every game was wildly entertaining on multiple levels, and I had the pleasure of being at the game on Saturday.

I do have to bring up one thing that came up in each game. Near the end of those games when the Sox had the lead, be it the eighth or ninth inning, starting slowly, but gaining a head of steam, you could start to hear the inevitable cheer, "Yankees Suck, Yankees Suck."

This chant bothers me in many ways. The foremost being that, the Yankees don't, in fact, suck. Actually they're pretty fuckin' awesome. Winning the division, what is it now, 9 years in a row. Now I hate the Yankees as much as anyone, but let's put things in perspective. Would the defeat of the Yankees in 2004 ALCS been nearly as much fun if the Yankees sucked? Of course not.

I was in my local after we won the seventh game of that series and a couple of idiots (no pun intended) tried to get that chant going. I responded by yelling, 'the Yankees don't suck. That's why it's so awesome that we beat them,' much to the delight of some of the other patrons.

Remember how the World Series was almost, almost, a let down. That's cause the Cardinals sucked, and we just steamrolled over them. There was no drama, so it wasn't nearly as exciting.

One of the things that really bothered me about the chant before we won the World Series was that it made us sound like sore losers, and revealed what a deep seated inferiority complex we, as Red Sox fans, have when it comes to the Yankees. It was like, 'well we can't beat you, so we'll call you names.'

You'll note that there are never any Devil Rays Suck, or Kansas City Royals Suck chants. That's because they do suck and no one needs to point that out. (Though given recent history we might need a KC Sucks chant).

After the World Series, I was really hoping that this chant would die out, but it still seems to crop up (maybe not as vociferously as before 2004) and it's always embarrassing.

By far the worst thing for me is when the Red Sox are in another ballpark like the Sky Dome…err Rogers Centre, or the Trop, where Sox fans can have a dominating presence at an away game and the Yankees Suck chant starts. You'll note it's always when we're losing late in the game. It's as if we know we're going to lose, and it's the one way we can make us feel better about it…trying to denigrate a team that's not even there. The next to worst is when we're playing another team besides the Yankees at Fenway and the chant starts. Always the same situation.

I had one glimmer of possible relief when the Sox were up in Toronto…one of the games where we actually beat them. I thought, I wasn't sure, but I thought I heard a Red Sox Suck chant brewing. That made me happy. That made me think that the Red Sox are finally in the Blue Jays Fans' heads. Now if we heard that chant this weekend in the Bronx we'd really have something...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The late, great, Dave Halberstam

Not trying to bring a downer to the blog, but the sudden death of David Halberstam should be recognized.

While Dave is no longer with us, his writing and viewpoints will continue to educate and entertain. His works on baseball alone are about SO much more than just hitting, pitching, and running the bases. They are about sociology, culture, American history, relationships, drama and art, and the overall humanity that surrounds the great game. His viewpoints come from someone who really understood the big picture of sports and society, and their direct influence on one another. (Check out his writings about Jackie Robinson.) Furthermore, his well-rounded writings and research on politics, wars, the 'real' 1950s, and a number of other topics were usually spot-on. The Bill Russell segment in his 1950s documentary is awesome, and, as mentioned in the article, he won the Pulitzer for his journalism covering the early days of the Vietnam War way back in 1964.(!) (He also wrote a book called," The Education of a Coach", which is all about how Bill Belichick became Bill Belichick.)

But it is his stories and memories of baseball in another time, place, and era that will indeed live on, woven into our American quilt alongside the game he was so passionate about, giving us a clearer perspective of what baseball and America were really like back then, in order to better understand where they, and we, are today.

(dont miss the pesky article Pesky saddened by Halberstam's death )

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I love this word. It's a childish thing really. Cocksure sounds like it's a dirty word. It's not.

Courtesy of Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: cock·sure
Pronunciation: 'käk-'shur
Function: adjective

1 : feeling perfect assurance sometimes on inadequate grounds
2 : marked by overconfidence or presumptuousness : COCKY

One might think I chose the word cocksure as the title of this post to describe the collective state of mind of Red Sox Nation after a two spectacular come from behind winds against the Jays and Yanks followed by another solid win over the Evil Empire again today. I didn't. The title of the post describes the look on the face of the man in the Yankees on-deck circle in the 9th inning of today's game.

To frame the situation, the Sox are up 7-5 in the 9th. They've squandered numerous opportunities to break the game wide open including a bases loaded situation in the 8th. At no point during the game did I get that "uh oh" feeling. However, this is the New York Yankees and they haven't exactly been putting up goose eggs recently (on the offensive or defensive side of the ball). We get to the ninth and in comes this blog's namesake, Jon Papelbon.

Game, set match, right? Not quite. Papelbon gets a fairly quick out against Johnny Damon. Then walks Melky Cabrera on four straight balls. Next up, Derek Jeter. The Nation's palms begin to sweat a little (not a lot, after all, we have uber-closer, Jon Papelbon, pitching for us). Papelbon makes Jeter look like Dustin Pedroia against Johann Santana on a couple pitches, the last of which sends Jeter to the bench. Now we get the mighty Bobby Abreu. Not a world beater but still dangerous.

So here's where the title of this post comes in. The Fox camera flashes to A-Rod swinging the bat in the on deck circle. He's got a little smirk on his face as if to say, sorry Boston, I'm about to ruin your Saturday night. And you know what, the guy should feel that way. I dislike A-Rod immensely but I will give the him credit. He's been lights out so far this season (of course this will not last when it counts -- mark my words). Except A-Rod never gets a chance to ruin our night. Abreu flies out to deep center. Game over. No more cock-surity from Mr. Rodriguez.

I know it's early. I know the games we care about come in months that start with "O"s, not "A"s. Still, it's sweet being a Boston fan and constantly getting a chance to tweak A-Rod's, and the Yankee's noses. It all stems back to the 2004 ALCS. Ah, the memories.

Two side notes. First, it looks like Varitek has broken out of his funk. Same goes for Coco. This will be huge for the Sox down the stretch. Second, I love Alex Cora. Guys like this make the game worth watching. Can't wait for tomorrow!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Rooster Ramblings

Some thoughts before oiling up for tonight's Sox-Yanks tilt ...

-- OK, so you’re John Gibbons, and you’re managing the Blue Jays in a division where you’re fighting for a seat at the table with the Red Sox and Yankees. You’ve got a chance to win an early series against the Sox at home, you’ve got your ace Roy Halladay on the mound with a two run lead in the eighth – aaaaaand you’re gonna pull him after 95 pitches? Really? You sure you wanna do that, big guy? ... Wow. What a gift. Next time you hear someone complain about Terry Francona, the Rooster hopes you point to that game to feel a little better ... A side note: Gibbons is the only manager in the majors who hasn’t played professional baseball. When Gibbons gets fired this year, someone needs to find JP Ricciardi’s email address. The Rooster wants to apply for the job.

-- So, I’m at Game On last Friday night enjoying a few libations with the fellas after one of the buttwhippings the Sox laid on the Angels. A couple of feet away there’s a steady steam of admiring gents making their way to a certain female who has her back turned to us. So, of course, we get a glance, and who is it holding court? Smiling Tina Cervasio – you know, the woman who has seemingly lost some buttons on all of her blouses this year ... Anyway, I’ve seen athletes out on the town with admirers lined up, and Tina certainly represented. Guys were popping by left and right -– she was the Belle of the Ball(game) and loving it ... So, I finally say to our boy C, “I’ll buy you a beer if you go up and say, ‘I’m a huuuge fan of your work, Hazel Mae.’ Sho nuff, not only does he charge up and do it, he asks her to sign her autograph on a cocktail napkin. The Hazel Mae comment? Didn’t even register with her (maybe doing Terry’s Take taught her to just smile through mindless banter), and she gladly signed the napkin. The Rooster, of course, bought another round of Stellas, and we toasted the Belle. Cheers, Tina.

-- Larry Bird, where have you gone? Sometimes you just can’t shake the feeling that if Bird had his choice, he’d be wearing a Pacers uni rather than a Celtics one in the Hall of Fame. I know, I know – that’s over-the-top. But one of the (many) disappointing things about the Celtics franchise is the lack of association that Bird has had with the team over the years. When I see Magic Johnson on TNT – and see him constantly talking about Laker pride – it makes me envious. For an entire new generation of fans, Magic Johnson still – and always will – equal the Lakers. Sadly, Larry no longer equals the Celtics.

-- The flip side to Bird is Cam Neely. No. 8 has stayed in the fold, only to watch the franchise sink to competing with the Big Apple Circus for customers. Enough. If Bourque or Neely – or both – were running the show, the Bruins would still matter in the hearts of people in the region. This is the no-brainer of the Boston sports scene. Right now, Bruins games at the Gahden are just an excuse to get the kids out of the house.

-- A-Rod and the Bombers are in for three. The Yanks can’t keep winning with that pitching staff, can they? I mean, gulp, it’s not possible right?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

He Should be 3-0

Well the Red Sox are quietly off to a pretty good start, with the starting pitching really stepping up. The offense on the other hand...pretty hot and cold. Varitek and Crisp continue to cause concern. The end of the line-up just feeling pretty weak at this point.

Which brings to light the steaming hot shit sandwiches that Matsuzaka got served, with one run of "run suport" over the past 18 innings in the last two games he's pitched.

I had the displeasure to watch the Felix Hernandez one hitter from Fenway for Dice-K's first home start. Both of the last two games he's pitched, if the Red Sox had just hit normally would have been wins, and he'd be 3-0 right now.

On a slightly different topic. The namesake of this blog has been amazing. He just gave up his first hit last night. Having called for it over the winter, I'm of course thrilled that they moved Big Papelbon back to the closer role. That first save after the Schilling start in Texas was a true save where it looked like the game was about to go down the toilet and a great start was going to be wasted. I think we'll end up with a lot more wins overall with Pap as the anchor man.

Really excited for the first Yankees series this weekend. We'll see how our hot pitching fares against their hot bats. I hear pitching is very important, but that you can't score runs without good hitting...who knew?


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sunny San Francisco

Man is it beautiful out here in San Francisco. 65 degrees and sunny. Even better is the lack of rain!

I've been blogging my head off for my company at the Web 2.0 Expo so I don't have a whole lotta words left for Big P. right now. However, I couldn't resist mentioning two things:

- Was that an ass kicking the Sox put on the "Angels of California, in Anaheim, near Los Angeles but not that Close to San Diego" or what? I mean 25-3 over three games? Wow. I remember looking at the match up between the Sox and Angels a week ago when LA was 6-1 thinking, "this could be a close one". Not even close.

- Poor San Francisco Giants fans. I was walking by a sign the other day that was touting the '07 Giants. Want to know who the two poster boys were? If you guessed Barry Zito and Dave Roberts then you are correct. Yes, that's the same Barry "I'd be a 2-3 starter in anyone else but Pittsburgh, KC or Tampa Bay's rotation" Zito and Dave "I was a fourth outfielder for the Red Sox" Roberts. That's no disrespect for Roberts because he will always have a special place in my heart after stealing a certain base in a certain series against a certain rival. But a poster boy for your franchise? Yikes!

It's bad enough that SF fans have to look at Barry Bonds super sized head all the time. Now they have to hang their hopes on an overpaid, Jeckyll and Hide, curveball pitcher that may get 14 wins this year and a guy that is really a 4th outfielder for any decent team.

On that note, I can't wait for the Yanks/Sox series next weekend. Is it bad that I'm hoping for a 97 MPH fastball right up in A-Rod's grill? I didn't think so...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Drew Bledsoe's retirement

It was no real surprise last week to hear that Drew Bledsoe retired from the NFL after a long, pretty damn good career. He was done, he knew it, and just couldnt bring himself to play in a backup role somewhere, just as he left the Pats with the rise of Tom Brady. That being said, as a Dolphin fan who saw or heard him play against us twice a year for 12 years (9 with Pats, 3 with the Bills), I can offer nothing but solid respect for Bledsoe and his place in NFL lore. I dont know his record against the Fins, but I can remember that he would "bring it" anytime he played the Dolphins or anyone else, broken fingers and all. He was one of the first big name players in the Kraft era, the face of the franchise, helping guide the Pats to their second Superbowl, and helping to build a foundation that would later become a dynasty . Its possible that they couldnt have done it without him; remember in Pittsburgh when he came off the bench during the AFC championship to help lead the Pats to the SB ? This is the game and moment that I most remember Drew for. Lets hear it from ya'll and post up with some great DB moments, and does he belong in the Hall of Fame someday?

Its always football season at my house,

Monday, April 09, 2007

Rooster Ramblings

Some random Sox thoughts from The Rooster:

-- Did the Red Sox REALLY need to let J.D. Drew wear No. 7 right after Trot leaves town? Granted, Trot never lived up to the huge expectations when he was first signed, but he was a Dirtdog for a decade. Meanwhile, Nomar’s number 5 continues to stay out of circulation. Maybe that’s fitting tho -- Trot’s uni continues to get dirty after he’s gone, and Nomar’s continues to stay clean.

-- Jerry Trupiano, wow, we miss ya big guy. I caught a few innings of the opener on RKO. Glenn Geffner was announcing an octave higher than Sanjaya.

-- There’s been a lot of nervous chatter on the local talk show airwaves about the potential trainwreck at the tail end of the Sox lineup. One thing I like down there: Pedroia doesn’t get cheated on his hacks. Varitek, on the other hand, looks Gedman-esque.

-- Raise your hand if you’d rather see Jacoby Ellsbury as the starting centerfielder right now.

-- Yes, we’re only a week into the season, but it already seems that the Yankees hopes of winning the AL East may hinge on two pitchers who aren’t even on their team now – Philip Hughes and the Rocket. If the Red Sox sales pitch works for Roger, it would be crippling for New York. Then again, at the rate the Yankees are pitching, Roger could name whatever price he wants and George would have to pay it.

-- Barry Bonds doesn’t look nearly as crippled at the plate as some writers led us to believe this offseason. The Giants come to Fenway at the Game 67 mark. If he gets some protection in that lineup, is it so unthinkable to believe he could be near the 18-20 home run mark? That would put him on the verge of Hank’s record at the Fens.

-- Do you get the feeling that this is the last week of the season where the Sox are remotely close to .500? Four terrifically pitched games out of the first six. Josh Beckett may have been the best sign of all. We all hoped for– and, in part, expected – Dice K magic. But the bar has been lowered for Beckett after last year’s 5.00 ERA. But if homeboy returns to the form that turbocharged the Marlins, this team could end up running away with the division.


Three thoughts to start off your week:
  1. John Papelbon is MONEY! Anyone who saw Big P. mow down the heart of the Rangers order last night (2 huge outs in the 8th and 1-2-3 in the 9th) can't help but salivate at the thought of what is to come.
  2. Nice to see Ortiz get back on track. He's historically a slow starter so I don't think anyone was worried. Still good to see him break out with 2 HRs and a scorcher to Teixeira that should have been a hit.
  3. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend the movie The Year of the Yao. It's a documentary on Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets' first year in the NBA.
Home Opener is tomorrow. Can't wait!

Friday, April 06, 2007

10 Ks for Dice K*

Phew. Can you feel the collective sigh of relief from Red Sox nation today? Imagine if Dice K had gone out and laid an egg similar to that of Monsieur Schilling on Monday? Instead, we got the masterful performance that we expected from the phenom from Nippon! I know his first inning was a little rocky but hell, it was 30 degrees in KC yesterday. Have you ever tried to play catch in 30 degree weather never mind pitching 7 innings against a major league team?

Meanwhile, our friends the Yankees are saying, "thank God we went out and got Andy "four innings" Pettite instead of really joining the bidding war for Dice K. And thank goodness we got rid of that Randy Johnson guy and his 17 wins." Granted, RJ did struggle mightily at times last season and his ERA was 5.00. But seriously, the Yanks can't feel good right now.

Back to Dice K. 10 strike outs in his first game. Nothing sucks about that. And you know what, to all those skeptics that throw out the "but it was against the KC Royals, those guys are a AAA team at best" -- those same Royals were ranked 11th in the league with a .271 team batting average last year. Those guys don't lose games because they can't hit -- it's their pitching that sucks.

I don't know about you but I can't wait until next Wednesday to see the Dice Man pitch again in Beantown. Badda boom!

*I have to give credit to NPR for the title of this post.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Random Musings on Poisson d'Avril

Four interesting tidbits from the sports page of this morning's Boston Globe:
  1. I'm feeling better about Coco Crisp who went 8-20 (.400) in the seven games after returning from an injured shoulder. Let's hope that's a sign of things to come.
  2. Bill James 2007 baseball handbook projection of 33 combined wins for Schilling, Beckett and Wakefield makes me a little skeptical of his methodology. I predicted the three to win 45 games in a previous post. My guess is that the answer lies somewhere in between.
  3. Would you be concerned if you were a Indianapolis Colts fan and your team just lost five important contributors: running back Dominic Rhodes (Raiders), linebacker Cato June (Buccaneers), cornerback Nick Harper (Titans), defensive lineman Montae Reagor (Eagles), and receiver Brandon Stokley (Broncos) and your team -- drafting last in every round btw -- was looking to fill holes through the draft? Makes be glad to be a Patriots fan.
  4. Why does the Globe continue to put NHL/Bruins highlights first in the paper when hockey is easily the fourth most popular (and arguably maybe fifth after BC football/basketball) up front in the Sunday sports section? I'm guessing it's because they want you to flip through to the good stuff i.e. baseball, basketball and football. A happy medium may be to lead with baseball or football and sandwich hockey in the middle. Do I have too much time on my hands to worry about such things? Probably.
A quick note on the title of this post.... For those of you lucky enough to have avoided taking French in high school, "Poisson d'Avril" is the French equivalent of "April Fool's Day." Translated, it means "fish of April." Look at the Wikipedia entry if you're interested in the back story. Happy April Fools!