Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Musings, July 27

It's Friday and we're gearing up for a hot weekend and a sweep of the D-rays. I know that this is going to crush the readers of this blog but no talk about Michael Vick, Tim Donaghy or Barry Bonds today...

  • *A co-worker of mine has been giving me shit recently about the Sox/Yankees (he's a Mets fan so his dislike of the Yanks is not far behind mine). Every day he comes into work and asks me if I'm nervous. My answer is of course "no" but yesterday I put my money where my mouth was. I said "Derek, if the Yankees play .800 ball the rest of the season, I'll walk up and down the hall at work in my underwear."

    Yes, the Yanks are currently 7 1/2 behind the Sox and were only 6 1/2 as recently as yesterday. However, the odds of them continuing their torrid pace down the stretch just isn't in their favor. They've got a crappy bullpen, average defense and several talented pitchers that are a tweaked hammy away from landing on the 15 day DL. The Sox meanwhile have shown that they have superior pitching and apparently their bats have started to follow suit. It's not happening and that's that.

  • * How can Dustin Pedroia not be your favorite Red Sox player? The guy is a dirt dog, he seems to get to every ball hit within 50 feet of him, he makes impossible throws... oh yeah, since May, he's also been one of the best and most consistent hitters on the team. Now I know why Theo was able to sleep peacefully after not resigning Mark Loretta.

  • * I'm I the only one that yells at my radio on my morning commute to work? Against my better judgment, I've been tuning in to WEEI to hear John Dennis et al. talk some serious smack recently. This morning, JD was talking about the possibility of the Pats getting off to a slow start due to Brady needing to get used to the new receivers. WHAT? Okay, I know they do have a slew of new receivers but last time I checked, Reche Caldwell, Ben Watson (a receiver posing as a tight end), Chad Jackson, Jabar Gaffney and Troy Brown all played for the Pats last year. Did they get cut and someone forgot to announce it?

  • * Going to see the Police tomorrow night at Fenway. Should be another great show in a string of many. Maybe we can get some post-concert reviews up this blog Sunday/Monday morning.

  • * I know I promised not to talk about Michael Vick or Tim Donaghy but I just can't resist this question. If you had to trade places with one of these two dirt bags, which would it be? There's a good chance Vick is going to do some time but you know Donaghy is either going to end up wearing cement shoes at the bottom of the East River or find an inconspicuous residence in the midwest as a member of the Federal Witness Protection Program. I can't say that either of these options sounds all that appealing.

  • * This may be a moot point because I think he's going to end up in Atlanta but I can't decide whether or not the Sox going after Teixiera is a good thing or not. On the plus side, he's relatively young, a great first baseman and hits for both average and power. On the downside, we already have a good, younger, first baseman who hits for average (and may eventually hit for power) who gets paid about 1/3 of what Teixiera makes. We also have a gold glove third baseman who is not as young, is in the last year of his contract but hits for both power and average and is a team leader that could be replaced if the above-mentioned Sox first basemen were to move over to Third. Bottom line -- I don't see Teixiera as a serious upgrade over Youk or Lowell and to get him, we'd be looking at losing at least Ellsbury and probably either Lester or Gabbard. Would love to see some "replies" with other opinions on this trade and other possibilities...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Toivonen for Soderberg Trade

An amusing e-mail exchange between me and my man Joey M. following yesterday's Tovionen for Soderberg trade. Thought you all might get a kick out of it

-----Original Message-----

From: Newsletters []
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 5:01 PM
To: Aaron S.
Subject: Breaking Sports Alert: Toivonen traded

Hannu Toivonen has been traded to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for forward Carl Soderberg.

To read more, visit

-----Original Message-----

From: Aaron S.

Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 5:00 PM
To: Joe M.
Subject: FW: Breaking Sports Alert: Toivonen traded

Is this a good thing or bad thing? I know Toivonen is decent (he was our goalie, right?). Is Soderberg any good?

-----Original Message-----

From: Joe M.
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 9:47 AM
To: Aaron S.
Subject: RE: Breaking Sports Alert: Toivonen traded

Hey, what's up...

Not sure if it is good or bad, never heard of Soderberg, unless he is the guy that directs movies... then it would be good..

Honestly..Who f*ing cares... the B's are so irrelevant it is not even funny. Not sure which team in pro-sports that is mired in failure that you can compare them to...

You can't compare them to the KC Royals/Tampa Bay, because the B's have spent money, but not well.

You can't compare them to the Washington Redskins, because they have spent money and gotten little performance for it... because as crazy as Dan Snyder is he at least will go after the big name proven guys without hesitation... and not sit on his hands while free agents that could help go to other teams without any B's interest

You can only compare them to themselves..haven't done anything in the playoffs in years on the rare occasion they have made it... and 36 years since last Cup...

( Although the Celtics are going to make a run at them soon )

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Musings, July 20

After a week of shit pie performances by the Sox (Monday excepted), I'm dragging myself into Blogger today to write my "Friday Musings" column. Here goes:

  • * According to an anonymous source close to the Red Sox, Kevin Millar will "Cowboy Up" once again and become a member of the Red Sox. You may be thinking two things -- why and why? The answer to the first "why" as in "why would anyone want him" is, in spite of teetering along the Mendoza line the last few seasons, Millar has raised his average from .238 to .286 since June 14 and currently enjoys an OPS that is higher than Manny Ramirez. The answer to the second "why" as in "why do the Sox need him" is that they desperately need a right-hand bat for pinch hitting purposes late in the game. The Wily Mo experiment is obviously not working and we are getting killed with guys left on base.

  • *You want to talk about luck -- I took the family to the game this week (thanks to my dad for the tickets). You know which game I went to? The one game that didn't suck for weather or performance reasons i.e. Monday night. Great pitching performance by Kason Gabbard and HRs by Pedroia, Manny and Big Papi to boot. We had great seats and it was a perfect night for a game. I also met former Celtics Guard, David Wesley. It was almost surreal as the dialog (near the concessions) went something like this:

    ME: Hey, you used to play for the Celts, right?

    DAVID: (looking around), yes, that's right.

    ME: How are things? Enjoying the game?

    DAVID: Not bad and yeah, it's a good one.

    ME: So you went to Charlotte after the Celtics, right?

    DAVID: Yes, and then onto Houston and now Cleveland.

    ME: Things in Cleveland good?

    DAVID: Yeah, pretty good. Not bad.
    At this point, my daughter is looking at me cross-eyed because she has to use the Ladie's room. So I politely excuse myself and head on my way. What was particularly funny was that toward the end of our exchange, I think that if I asked him if he wanted to grab a beer and sit down with me and watch the game, he would have. No ego, no posse. Very cool

  • * Is anyone else looking over their shoulders at the Yanks right now? I'm doing my best to fight the urge. I'll be honest, I still don't think the Yanks catch the Sox (although anything is possible) because the Yanks are not going to continue to play .750 ball. It's near impossible to do. Second, the Sox aren't going to continue to play .500 ball. They're too good.

  • * Can the Sox possibly leave any more guys on base? I can't believe they got 11 hits last night and they were all singles. And they only scored two freaking runs. More of the same in Josh Beckett's last outing. Let's hope that streak of bad luck ends tonight.

  • * My how quickly things change. A month ago, nobody wanted Lugo on the team. Three months ago, the same could be said about Dustin Pedroia. Now these two guys are the players I most expect to get a hit (other than maybe Mike Lowell). Unbelievable.

  • * One more week until the Patriots camp opens. Can't wait!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Musings, July 13

Happy Friday the 13th!

Here goes:
  • * What the hell is wrong with Gary Sheffield? The guy is having a great season. His team is having a great season. His former team is having a shitty season and yet he feels the need to tee off on the coach and some of his former team members. If you haven't read about it, you should because it's nothing short of comical.
  • * Looks like Manny and Ortiz' power outages are over. Both have hit the ground running post-All Star break. Now that everyone on the team is starting to hit, we could be in for a scary July and August.
  • *Nice move by the Pats to re-sign Troy Brown. Ideally, this is his last season and then he moves into a cushy coaching position next season. If you look up the word "class act" in the dictionary, there is a picture of this guy next to the entry. Speaking of nice moves, the re-upping of Testaverde is not the worst idea in the world either. I love Cassell and do think he has the potential to be the next "Brady" but if he Brady goes down, I'd like someone in the game that's "been there, done that."
  • *Another loss for the Rocket against the mighty D-Rays. Breaks my heart...
  • *I know there has been a lot of discussion about JD Drew on this post -- most of it negative -- but it looks like he's taken to batting leadoff with a .317 avg. and .400 OBP. Let's hope that his removal from last night's game was just for precautionary measures.
  • *Just four more weeks until the Pats first preason game. My prediction is that the first offensive play of the game is a 75 yard bomb to Randy for a TD. That play will set the tone for this very promising season.
  • *So what does everyone think about A-Rod coming to the Sox next season. I hate the guy with every moral fiber of my being and he's been tagged with the nick-named the "Cooler" for a reason. However, the guy is arguably one of the 5 best players in the game right now. Thoughts?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sox Trade Options Are Limited

As we begin to head into the second half of the baseball season it should be pretty clear to everyone that the Red Sox are going to win the East comfortably and be in the post-season. As such they need to figure out what moves they can make to maximize their chances in winning another World Series. Unfortunately, their trade options are limited. Their two biggest needs right now are a leadoff hitter and a #5 hitter but Theo invested huge money in the offseason to address both with the signings of Lugo and Drew. The Lugo signing was needed because an early move by Theo (Coco Crisp) failed to properly address the void left by Damon at the top of the order. Much like a gambler who takes a beating on the NFL on Sunday and tries to make it all up on Monday Night Football, Theo chased by overpaying for Lugo (.197, 5 HR this season) when they could have had Alex Gonzales (.250, 13 HR) for a fraction of the cost. Drew is starting to show some signs of coming around at least in terms of average but he only has 33 RBIs at the break which is piss poor production for a # 5 hitter.

I don't see how they can upgrade at leadoff or the #5 hole giving the investments made to Lugo & Drew. So that means this team will need to improve by making a move for pitching. With Schilling supposedly on the shelve to August they could really use a #3 starter giving his uncertainty. I would only have two untouchables in the farm system for the right deal and they are Ellbury (the next Grady Sizemore) and Buchholtz. If they have to give up Lester for a solid # 3 starter I make the move. This hedges your bet on Schilling's health and best case if he is healthy would also improve your bullpen by moving Taverez there.

I don't feel great about the Sox chances against either Anaheim or Detroit in the playoffs. Theo needs to make a move to improve this club for the championship run. It is just too bad his offseason moves have limited the options.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday Musings, July 6

Cleaning out the cobwebs from a week out of the office...
  • * What about that Jacoby Ellsbury kid. Speed, power, defense. I can't wait until he gets his September call up and the Sox are 15 games up in the AL East. We are definitely going to enjoy watching this guy play.
  • * To that end, you almost wonder if someone slipped some video highlights of Ellsbury into Coco Crisp's locker with a note that said "watch out" because Coco sure has hit A LOT better over the last few weeks. Nice grand slam last night in the first against Tampon Bay.
  • * The Red Sox midseason grades provided by Chad Finn this week were entertaining and I have to say, I agree with most of them. However, I take exception with the "D" Chad gave Joel Pineiro. Taking out a three game stretch in May where Pineiro basically came in for mop-up duty, Joel would have a 3.99 ERA. For the most part, he has been a serviceable right-handed option out of the bullpen and I can honestly say, I don't mind seeing him come into a game, even when it's a tight one.
  • * The fact that the idiots on WEEI are still giving Ainge shit about trading for Ray Allen blows me away. I will bet anyone a rack of ribs that a) the Celt's aren't done dealing yet and b) that even as currently constituted, they are good enough to contend for the 3-4 spot in the East next year. Any takers?
  • * Tell me something. How is it possible that the Yankees are listed as "players" in half of the trade rumors on ESPN Insider? I'm quite sure they are interested in anyone and everyone but they have little of value to trade -- both in the farm system, and in the "bigs" -- and have said that they will not trade Philip Hughes. On top of that, they are 12 games behind the Sox with next to no chance of catching them and are 8 back in the wild card with four teams in front of them. I'm not ruling out a playoff appearance for them but seriously, this would be a great opportunity for the Yanks to acquiesce, become sellers and take the opportunity to rebuild their team around key players like Wang, Cano, and Cabrera. Fortunately for the Sox and the rest of the AL East, that's not the way George thinks so expect more payroll, fewer prospects and lots more overpaid veterans by the trade deadline.
  • * Is it heresy to start salivating about football season with the Sox in first place and cruising toward the AL East tile? Training camp starts next week and the season opener is just seven weeks away!
Let's keep our fingers crossed that Papi's HR touch returns this weekend in Comerica Park!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Who Wins at Coney Island Tomorrow?

Tomorrow is the most anticipated Nathan's hot dog eating contest in the last decade as Kobayashi looks to win 6 in a row amid swirling reports of an injured jaw. He has a chance to match Bjorn Borg's 6-straight titles at the Big W and put himself among the all-time greatest individual athletes (if he is not already there). However, huge competition this year most notably in 23 year old Joey Chestnuts who recently dropped 59.5 dogs a few weeks back in a tune up event to break Kobayashi's world record. I also think you could see a dark horse shock the world as both Pat Bertoletti and Arturo Rios will probably jump to early leads as they eat very fast. I don't know if they can sustain the pace throughout as both Kobayashi and Chestnuts are great closers but it all adds up to just a must see American event on the 4th of July!