In Black & White. Steve Buckley doesn't seem too keen on "Lost in Space outfielder Manny Ramirez" who he says is "dead weight" to the Red Sox, but reminds us that when it comes to Boston's "stocky, bulldog" Trot Nixon, "he may run through the wrong wall, just as he may forget how many outs there are, but that's OK." ... Etc.: Edes: Eddie Guardado was contacted by Sox. ... Theo: Trades more likely than free agent signings. ... Orange County Register on Joe Maddon. ... Rob Neyer, who loves knuckleball pitchers, writes about Charlie Zink (Mesa Desert Dogs (Red Sox))
Quotes re AL RoY: Bill Ballou, Worcester Telegram and Gazette [Baldelli Gerut Berroa]: "Matsui's numbers are comparable to any of the other strong candidates. But I really think that while he is technically a rookie by the rules of Major League Baseball, he is not a rookie in the spirit of the award." More Ballou: "I really do think [Matsui] is not a rookie in the traditional and true sense of what a rookie is. I think major league baseball has to look at redefining what a rookie is." Jim Souhan, Minneapolis Star Tribune [Berroa Gerut Baldelli]: "I just don't think someone who's played at such a high level in an environment I consider to be a major league is a real candidate for rookie of the year. I don't think it's a fair fight when someone who is an All-Star player in a major league goes up against someone who is learning how to play at the major league level."
First of all, the first RoY award went to Jackie Robinson, who played for years in the Negro Leagues (a high level in an environment I consider to be a major league) before debuting with Brooklyn. ... Second, why do these writers believe they can impose their own rules on the voting process? There is a definition of "rookie" and voters should abide by it (just as they are obligated to consider pitchers for MVP). If a voter cannot in good conscience fill out his ballot according to the guidelines, he should surrender his ballot. ... Pat Caputo of The Oakland Press in Michigan and Bill Campbell of The Dallas Morning News left Berroa of their ballots; they should be denied further voting privledges because they are morons.
Politics: The sham of the 9/11 Commission continues. Just as the Commission was showing some teeth by issuing subpoenas for documents being withheld by the Bush adminsitration, it caved and did not include the classified intelligence briefings in the subpoena, documents it had previously described as vital to its investigation. (The August 6, 2001 briefing noted that Osama bin Laden was planning to hijack airliners in an attack inside the US.) NORAD was also subpoenaed because "the commission are interested in the time sequence for notifying the jets that headed to Washington where one of the hijacked planes struck the Pentagon." That is one of the biggest mysteries of 9/11 because NORAD has changed its story every time it discusses the military response. ... Who directed the war hype? Confusing, but worth reading.