Thursday, July 31, 2008


So as most of you probably already know, Manny is going to LA, and the Red Sox get Jason Bay in return. As part of the deal, the Sox had to give up Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss. Maybe I am living in the past, but this seems like a lot to give up for Jason Bay - I thinks fans aren't going to be super-psyched about this deal and I sort of feel sorry for Bay already. Bay has the same power as Manny, but does not have the career lifetime BA that Manny has. Plus to give up a power arm like Hansen - granted he has control issues, but he is still really young - plus Moss makes it appear that the Sox were pretty desperate to get rid of Manny. Maybe they were.

Maybe this is just sour grapes, but if they Yankees were the ones trading Manny, they would have gotten back Bay plus prospects, not given up prospects.

Maybe Manny had to go, but the Sox are going to miss that feared one-two (or should I say three-four?) punch of Ortiz and Manny. Oh well.

The King is dead. Long live the King.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Best Albums

This is somewhat spawned from the previous posting on Yankee stadium, so not a total non sequitur. I was contemplating how much I hate the YMCA song and how appropriate the Yankees play it all the time. Being a positive person and not wanting to linger on such hate of the YMCA song, I thought "what are the best albums of all time - for me personally, not what are considered the best by all the world.{ For me, a great album is one I can listen to from beginning to end, singing or humming the words to each song, with little desire to forward on to the next one, not because I don't want to get to the next song, but because I am fully enjoying the current song. An album that you could listen to each day and not get tired of it. In short, an album where I fully enjoy each song as its own, not because it is a great song on one album. Three examples for me are the Weezer - Weezer (their 1st(?) album), the Smiths - the Queen is Dead, and Dave Matthews - Under the Table and Dreaming.

Was just curious if other people had such albums that they would recommend - even though such a question may be outdated in this day and age of downloading music.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Into the Belly of the Beast

I've been to many ballparks. By far, Fenway and Wrigley are my favorites for many reasons, but the primary reasons are the passion of the fans and the aura, tradition and old school feel. It wasn't for a Red Sox game, but last night I attended my first game at Yankee Stadium. Here are some anecdotes and thoughts from the game. First, my view from the seats, upper deck behind home plate, a great spot to see balls and strikes:

  1. The park looks a thousand times nicer and more intimidating on TV. In reality it's just a big, cold ballpark with awful infrastructure.
  2. It is painfully clear why a new park is needed. The place sucks - in an emergency, there is no way I could ever get out when sitting in the upper deck. The advertising is old, tired and consists mostly of translucent panes backlit with fluorescent lights.
  3. The scoreboard is old and there are no replays shown. This was annoying when a very controversial "safe" call was made at 1B.
  4. The sound system is atrocious. I was stupefied by this - is it that hard to wire speakers around the park? They only have one stack of giant speakers in a pile atop the center field bleacher wall. I think my fraternity house had the same stack in the basement for parties back in the day.
  5. I've heard much about the field dimensions and how they are no longer the House that Ruth Built. The center and LF wall configurations are just plain odd to look at, and the fans seem so far away from the game.
  6. The field was in horrible shape. The grass had been worn down from the all-star game and looked like my backyard after a 4-year-old's slip-n-slide birthday party.
  7. The lighting is weird - all those lights shine on the field but there are pockets of darkness covering the fans. It made it look cloudy even at night.
  8. The ballpark frankly looks tired. The hallways look like a dirty subway station. The place has just been neglected over the years and it shows. It really makes me appreciate the Fenway ownership and what they have done to invest in the infrastructure, down to details like getting rid of the trough toilets.
  9. My buddy Larry who brought me is a season ticket holder and has been for 12+ years. 5 years ago, the seats were $18. Today they are $60. In the new park they will be at least $100 and have TVs and waitress service.
  10. One tradition I kinda liked - in the first inning the right field bleachers chant each NYY fielder's name until they wave or acknowledge them in some way - even when the pitcher is about to throw. I also liked that Jeter has a recording of the old announcer still announce his name when he comes up to bat.
Sure, I'm biased, but I did want to see the park before it gets replaced. Now that I've been? Good riddance.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Worst All-Star Performances of All Time

With apologies to RedFish, here is an interesting post on worst All-Star Performances of all time. Uggla's 3 error game was tops for position players, but not worst all time, if you can believe it. Anyway, enjoy.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

15 Minute Post

I'm a little pressed for time these days but wanted to get up a quick post on BigP. I've got 15 minutes to do it so please ignore the typos and lack of coherent sentences. Today's topic is a quick assessment of the Sox at mid-season (I know they officially have a few games to go before the All Star break but we're pretty close).

  1. I like what I see so far. Great starting pitching (I mean REALLY great starting pitching). For the first time in years, they actually have a reliable number 5. They are also getting quality innings from youngsters Lester and Masterson which is a huge plus. If DiceK can get over his early inning walks, he could easily pitch 240 innings and be somewhere in the 20-6 range. Can't believe Wake is still cranking along - that guy is $$!
  2. Defense (minus Lugo's occasional naps at short) has been equally stellar. The outfield in particular has been lights out. You have to go back to the days of Dewey Evans, Fredd Lynn and Jim Rice to recreate the speed, agility and hitting that we're getting today with msrs. Ellsbury, Drew, Crisp and Manny (who really is where he should be these days i.e. DH).
  3. Hitting has been solid but timely hitting has been sorely missed. Credit this to a little bad luck and a lot to Ortiz being out of the lineup. Although the rest of the Sox have done a stellar job hanging in there (Drew, Lowell, Pedroia and Youk in particular), Ortiz being out of the lineup has had a ripple effect. It would be a huge boost to get him back in the lineup post All Star break. I know, I know, tell you something you don't know already.
  4. Other than the occasional brain fart (like leaving Hanson in last week against the Rays after he's walked two straight batters on 9 pitches), I love Francona more and more each day. The guy totally gets this club and his balanced approach (don't get too high or too low) has really helped. Who would have thunk it when the Sox hired him back in 2004.
  5. Congrats to the DRays who have been lights out the first half of the season. I honestly wish them well (as long as they don't keep sweeping the Sox) but I have one word of caution to their bandwagon fan base - 2003 Baltimore Orioles. Remember them? They were white hot during the first half of the season but forgot there was a second half to play (maybe Roberts stopped taking steroids during the second half). I still like the Sox chances...
Done! And with four minutes to spare. I guess I can go off and comment on some other blogs now. Oh yeah, almost forgot to congratulate the seven - yes SEVEN Sox that got nomitated to the All Star game this year. Not sure Varitek truly deserved it (although his impact on the pitching staff is probably reason alone) but love the fact that Pedroia, Youkilis, Paps, Manny, JD Drew, and Big Papi all made it.

What am I missing?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Can you believe it? The Rays!

The Rays??? Swept by the Rays!.No, folks these are not the Tampa Bay Devil Rays of old. As we just saw, they are very good, very very good. Some great young players, Evan Longoria, BJ Upton, Carl Crawford with a good blend of seasoned vets like Carlos Pena and Eric Hinske (remember him). And the pitching staff, Kazmir, Shields, Garza, and even Sonnanstine. They are loaded and given the youth could be trouble for years to come. The minor league prospects are among the best in baseball according to Baseball America with arms to rival our kids. Don’t forget, they’ve traded away Elijah Dukes and Delmon Young (got Garza back), too. I don’t know about you, but Evan Longoria looks better than Eva! I think even Tony Parker is jealous!

I feel bad for Rocco Baldelli and all of his injuries, but if he was healthy, it just wouldn’t be fair. I think their inexperience will hold them back this year, but this team looks like it could be a force for years to come. I don’t know about you, but I’m glad we’re playing the old has-beens in the Bronx now.