October 29, 2006

The Further Adventures Of Dirtid Gritstein

Update: Poster Yaz-Tex meets Tito on a plane! See comments.

...

Anyone sick of the media gushing over lil' David Eckstein?

The undoubtedly-now-completely-insane people over at Fire Joe Morgan sure are. Click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and (this one is out of chronological order, but I wanted to save it for last) HERE.

Ken Tremendous also pretty much destroys any defense of Jeter winning the Aaron Award for the best offensive performance.

October 26, 2006

Jeter Wins AL Aaron Award

Derek Jeter was the AL winner of the Hank Aaron Award for all-around offensive performance. Ryan Howard was the NL winner.

Howard received 33 percent of all National League fan votes and Jeter received 37 percent of the AL votes. The votes came from fans voting at MLB's website, thus making this a fairly pointless exercise. Still, it might serve as a small insight into how the actual awards will go in November.

The AL MVP will be named on November 21. MLB's story lists what it feels are the strongest candidates -- Jermaine Dye, Jeter, Justin Morneau, David Ortiz, and Johan Santana.

In Ortiz's case, Jim Molony writes:
Big Papi certainly has MVP numbers. ... Unfortunately for Ortiz, his team has struggled in the second half and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
This shit infuriates me (the same excuse is offered for Travis Hafner, who also was injured for all of September). An ungodly number of injuries in August and sub-par seasons from various teammates should not affect Ortiz's standing. Likewise, if the prolonged absences of Matsui and Sheffield (or some shitty pitching) had derailed New York's season, that should in no way detract from Jeter's performance.

Dave Roberts Among Sox Hall Of Fame Inductees

David Roberts will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame on November 9, along with Jerry Remy, George Scott, Ellis Kinder, Vern Stephens, VP Dick Bresciani and former managers Dick Williams and Joe Morgan.

Roberts is being honored in the "Memorable Moments" category for his "Steal of the Century":
What's funny is that when I was in the middle of stealing the base, I thought I had it. But as I look back at the highlight over and over, I didn't realize how close the play actually was. It seems like the more I watch it, the closer and closer it gets. ... It's just amazing how close the play was and I get chills every time I think about it.

October 24, 2006

Timlin Signed For '07; Tito In Hospital

The Globe reports that the Sox have resigned Mike Timlin for next season at $2.8 million (about a 20% cut from 2006).

In 68 games last year, Timlin's ERA was 4.36. Not a horrible number -- it's a 106 ERA+ -- but his second half was ugly. From July 23: 28.2 innings, 6.91 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, and only 3.8 K/9.

I figured the Sox would let him go, but until Manny Delcarmen and Craig Hansen get their shit together, this is probably not a bad move. Boston may not be able to find six other relievers who would be better than the 41-year-old Timlin, and $3 million is not a lot of dough for what he could give them.

Also, Terry Francona has been hospitalized with an infection in his left foot and will not be going to Japan for the exhibition games next month.

October 20, 2006

WS 102: Cardinals / Tigers

For the next week or so, we here at Redsock Manor are Tiger fans.

Tito Will Manage MLB All-Stars In Japan

MLB says Terry Francona will replace Ken Macha
as the manager of the 27-member MLB All-Star contingent that will travel to Japan in November and play in a newly-formatted, best-of-five-game competition against their counterparts from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in "All-Star Series 2006."

The series begins on Nov. 2 against the Yomiuri Giants at the Tokyo Dome and concludes on Nov. 8 at the Yahoo Dome in Fukuoka against the Japan All-Stars.
No Red Sox players are on the team.

October 19, 2006

NLCS7: Cardinals 3, Mets 1

Now that was a ball game! With Jeff Suppan and Oliver Perez on the hill, I expected a bit of scoring, but after New York scored a two-out run in the first and St. Louis tied it in the top of the second, everyone's bats were silent for a few hours.

Endy Chavez robbed Scott Rolen of a two-run home run in the top of the sixth, a leaping sno-cone of a catch over the left field wall that turned into an inning-ending double play. In the home half of the sixth, the Mets loaded the bases with one out (thanks in part to a two-base throwing error from Rolen), but could not score. Jose Valentin struck out and Chavez flied to center on the first pitch.

In the top of the ninth, still tied 1-1, Rolen singled with one out. After that nine-pitch at-bat, Yada Yada Yada Molina banged Aaron Heilman's first pitch for a two-run homer to left. This time, Chavez could only watch. It was the first time since the second inning that the Cardinals had a runner touch third base.

In the bottom of the ninth, facing rookie closer Adam Wainwright, Valentin and Chavez both singled -- the Mets' first hits since the first inning. Pinch-hitter Cliff Floyd was caught looking at a 2-2 breaking ball (after five straight fastballs) and Jose Reyes lined to center. But then Paul Lo Duca walked to load the bases. Cardinal-killer Carlos Beltran took a fastball down the pipe, fouled a curve off his foot, then was frozen on a beautiful curveball that broke over the heart of the plate.

The Cardinals won their 17th pennant and will head to Detroit for Game 1 of the World Series on Saturday night.

Fox gave some silly stat that coming into this game, the last 11 home teams that had won a Game 6 (as the Mets had last night) also won Game 7. The last team not to do it? The 1975 Red Sox. ... We're off the hook! We're off the hook!

Game 7, Two Years Ago and Sticks

The Mets and Cardinals will play tonight in Queens for the right to face the Tigers in the World Series. And it will be the first game of this post-season that I'll actually sit down and watch.

Catching a bit of the later innings of Game 6 last night, I was surprised at how quiet the Mets fans were. Their team enjoyed a 4-0 lead, but they were clearly more apprehensive than excited. Was Fenway Park that quiet two years ago?

October 18, 2004. One of the greatest days of our Red Sox lives. Maybe the greatest. The Stolen Base That Started It All came just after midnight -- and less than 24 hours later, the Red Sox had won two extra-inning games from the Yankees -- almost 11 hours of baseball! -- both at Fenway Park, on the way to the most wonderful comeback in sports history.
Game 4
Yankees - 002 002 000 000 - 4 12 1
Red Sox - 000 030 001 002 - 6 8 0

Game 5
Yankees - 010 003 000 000 00 - 4 12 1
Red Sox - 200 000 020 000 01 - 5 13 1
And here's a picture of our dog Cody (she loves sticks).

Example

October 16, 2006

October 15, 2006

Fall/Winter Ball: Go Javelinas & CaneFires!

The Red Sox have assigned 10 players to the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League and West Oahu CaneFires of the four-team Hawaii Winter League.

Peoria: RHPs Barry Hertzler, Kyle Jackson, and David Pauley, LHP Lenny DiNardo, C Dustin Brown, 3B Chad Spann, CF Jacoby Ellsbury.

West Oahu: LHP Ryan Phillips, C John Otness, LF Jeff Corsaletti.

October 14, 2006

7:11

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the White Sox
have agreed to start weeknight home games at 7:11 p.m. under a sponsorship deal struck with the convenience store chain known for its Slurpee frozen drinks, the team announced Wednesday.

White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert would not disclose the value of the three-year deal with Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc., but he said the revenue it generates will probably be reinvested in the team or its ballpark.

The new start time does not represent a drastic change since many weeknight games at U.S. Cellular Field currently start at 7:07 p.m., Reifert said. "We're just talking about four minutes, so it's not much of an inconvenience for the fans," he said.
The team will probably reinvest the profits in either the team or ballpark. ... Or not. Whatever.

Is there anything that baseball will not sell for a few extra dollars? Maybe Reebok can sponsor intentional walks? How about Purdue doing something with foul balls? When will players get logos tattooed on their foreheads?

[Hat tip to Eric Wilbur, who also has a few anti-Thom Brennaman links.]

Pitching Coach: John Farrell?

The Globe reports that John Farrell, Cleveland's director of player development, is expected to be named pitching coach of the Red Sox. Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro confirmed that Farrell interviewed with Boston.

Farrell, 44, pitched parts of eight seasons in the major leagues (1987-90, 1993-96). He and Terry Francona were teammates in Cleveland in 1988.

NESN: Papi's Greatest Hits

Peter N taped this show a few weeks ago and mailed it to me and asked what I thought of it.

It was pretty disappointing (though I'm glad I got the chance to see it).

How the hell can NESN make Flo banging 54 taters dull? Here's how:

1. Cut the clips really short, so we don't see the pitchers' windup or any of the tension of the at-bats.

2. Give no context of the game -- date, inning, score at the time, # of guys on base, pitcher, etc.

3. Show way too much of the crowd. ... They stand up and yell when the ball is hit. We get it.

4. Stick a big logo in the bottom left of the screen, so it blocks some of the action.

5. Use the exact same camera angles we have seen all season long. NESN did include some unique shots, however, so I know they exist.

6. Use split screens -- sometimes even splitting the screen in three -- so we can't really make heads or tails of anything.

7. Include interviews with teammates that were the same ones NESN used bits of in their promos all year.

8. When NESN shows the standing ovation Papi gets when he returns from his heart scare, the shot is from deep left -- with no zoom -- so you can't really see Ortiz raise his helmet.

It didn't look like NESN put much effort into producing this thing at all. They just slapped the clips together and put it on the air. (Note to self: Add "Big Papi does it again!" to the Orsillo Drinking Game for 2007.)

The one HR that gave me some goosebumps was the 3-run walkoff against Cleveland (it included a short Grady Sizemore interview clip). I remember watching that game and both Laura and I saying "well here it comes (naturally)" and then after the ball sailed over Sizemore and into the CF seats just laughing for several minutes.

(Another great shot was seeing Manny in the on-deck circle, hand on his hip, watching the ball sail away with absolutely no expression of his face.)

With some creativity and decent direction/production -- maybe an original Ortiz interview (what an idea!) -- this would have been much better. And then NESN could have made the show twice as long. Red Sox fans will watch an hour of Ortiz.

...

Dear NESN:

Here's what you have to do. Make a DVD called "Walkoff". Include all of Ortiz's walkoff hits from his career (and include the three from Minnesota for fun). Include a little narration -- but each DVD chapter will be the entire bottom of the 9th (or later) inning that ends with Ortiz's hit. Include the mob at the plate and any on-field interview.

Now. You should have had this thing ready to go for Christmas. I apologize for not suggesting it earlier, when I first thought of it -- but whenever you get it out there, it'll fly off the fucking shelves. Now get to work.

Love,

October 13, 2006

Red Sox Hire Dave Magadan

The Red Sox have hired former San Diego Padres hitting coach Dave Magadan, but have not announced what specific job he will have (it may not be in Boston).

A SoSHer dug up these quotes:

Kevin Towers in 2003: "Magadan is fully aware of the importance of getting a good pitch to hit and constantly stresses patience at the plate. He has been outstanding and should be a great teacher for many years."

A Baseball Musings post from David Pinto: "One thing I liked from this is using hitting coach Dave Magadan to make the players more selective at the plate. ... His approach to hitting is excellent, and it will be interesting to see how he performs as a hitting coach."

October 10, 2006

LCS

Tigers in 7. Mets in 6.

October 8, 2006

The Party Doesn't Stop

Happy Yankee Elimination Day!

In a SoSH thread begun by Mourning Woodward Jr (no link available), various posters submitted "limericks and haikus dedicated to our dear friends in the Bronx". A sampling:

Tudor Fever:
Work the pitch count? Nah ...
Let’s bench HGH and use
Melky Cabrera.

Bandwagon empties
as MFY get shitcanned
while the Mets advance.
Remagellan:
Yank fans can't believe
That Jeter could ever lose
So they blame A-Rod.

Best line-up ever?
The Gambler and Bonderman
Turned their bats to dust.

Hey, MFY fans
Want to hear "Enter Sandman"?
Take a trip to Shea!
BosoxBob:
Damon made mistake
Signed with a choking franchise
What an idiot

Yankees bandwagon
Has no passengers aboard
Where did they all go?
favreauk:
I have no poetry, but ... A-Rod was hitless in his final 12 at-bats, dropping to 4-for-41 (.098) with no RBIs in his last 12 postseason games.
mabrowndog:
An arrogant hitter named Sheff
Walks around like a cocky Hugh Heff
But this once-great hitter
Has tanked in the shitter
And now only brags to the deaf

Joe sent out a starter named Jaret
Even though Yankee fans couldn't bear it
Under pressure Wright drowned
And he limped off the mound
Like his ass cheeks were clamped 'round a carrot
Tudor Fever:
I'm sipping fine Scotch
A fine October tradition
Man, this is great!

Sunday In New York

Will George Steinbrenner -- reportedly as angry as he's ever been -- replace Joe Torre with Lou Pinella?

Mike Lupica, Daily News:
This is just as bad for the Yankees, losing these last three to the Tigers this way, not even competing in the last two, as losing four in a row to the Red Sox two years ago. These Yankees have now become the biggest postseason flops in the history of the team, maybe any team. ...

This is now three times in five years, with a payroll three times the size of most playoff teams, that Joe Torre can't make it to the second round. Tell me another manager, no matter how well-respected, no matter how classy, who survives that?
SoSH cackles with glee.







And in Detroit ...

October 7, 2006

Detroit Top Yankees 3 Games To 1, Will Face A's In ALCS; Mets Sweep Dodgers

Saturday In New York

Get the #$@% away from me, Johnny!





ALDS 4: Wright / Bonderman, 4 PM

If you don't mind my sayin', I can see you're out of aces.

October 3, 2006

Theo On 2006 -- And 2007

Theo Epstein reflected on the 2006 season:
This is one of those years I tend to agree with my critics. ... We have a lot to address and we plan on being active ... We need help in the starting rotation, at least one [more] starter. We need help in the bullpen, certainly by moving Papelbon ... There are several spots in the bullpen. We'd like to add some more offense and depth to our lineup, some power to be our lineup, and continue to be an on-base threat as a club as well.

[T]here were two separate and distinct things which happened in the second half. The first was that the team had some weaknesses and those weaknesses weren't revealed in the first half but were exposed in the second half. There were injuries. But that's not a crutch. You can't let the fact there were a lot of injuries mask the first factor. ...

At the trading deadline ... we could have made some moves that were largely cosmetic, to cover our backsides a little bit. But that's not the way we want to do things. ... [B]ased on our injuries and based on our performance the rest of the way, there was not a deal that we could have done or a player we could have acquired that would have made a difference. ... I'm convinced it was the right decision.
According to the Courant, former Dodgers hitting coach Tim Wallach and White Sox minor league pitching coordinator Kirk Champion are the leading candidates to replace Ron Jackson and Dave Wallace. Terry Francona played with Wallach in Montreal and when Tito managed the White Sox's AA team in Birmingham in 1994, Champion was his pitching coach.

Jackson wrote a letter to Red Sox fans.

October 2, 2006

Two Coaches -- Jackson and Wallace -- Axed

The Globe's Eric Wilbur reports that hitting coach Ron Jackson and pitching coach Dave Wallace will not return in 2007 (or have other jobs in the organization).

Does this mean Al Nipper will be next year's official pitching coach? Ugh.

ALDS / NLDS

Athletics - Twins
Tigers - Yankees

Cardinals - Padres
Dodgers - Mets
Thoughts?

Final Standings / Contest

     W   L  GB   HOME  ROAD 1-RUN  RS  RA X W-L
NY 97 65 -- 50-31 47-34 24-22 930 767 95-67
Tor 87 75 10 50-31 37-44 20-10 809 754 86-76
Bos 86 76 11 48-33 38-43 29-20 820 825 81-81
Bal 70 92 27 40-41 30-51 22-20 768 899 69-93
TB 61 101 36 41-40 20-61 17-22 689 856 65-97
Boston outperformed their expected W-L record by five games.

In our contest to guess the team's final record, the lowest entry was 88 wins. Thanks in no small part to the August From Hell, the Sox fell shy of that by two wins.

October 1, 2006

G162: Red Sox 9, Orioles 0 (5)

Devern Hansack pitched a no-hitter!

Sort of.

After a 3:23 rain delay, Mike Lowell clubbed a three-run home run in the first to give Boston a quick lead. In the third, a bases-loaded walk to Carlos Pena and Gabe kapler's three-run double upped the score to 7-0. Mark Loretta and Eric Hinske hit solo home runs in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, for the other two runs.

Hansack (5-0-0-1-6, 61) retired 14 of the 15 batters he faced (six on strikeouts) and picked up his first major-league win. He walked Fernando Tatis in the second, but then got an inning-ending double play. It will not be recorded as an official no-hitter, since the game did not go nine innings.

The game began at 5:28. As Hansack was finishing his warmup pitches for the sixth inning at 7:05, the umpires called for the tarp.

An odd way to end the season.

***

There's a chance of rain this afternoon. Lineups for the final game of the year:
Roberts, 2B Nixon, RF
Patterson, CF Loretta, 2B
Mora, 3B Ortiz, DH
Tejada, DH Lowell, 3B
Tatis, LF Varitek, C
Gomez, 1B Hinske, 1B
Newhan, RF C Pena, 1B
Fahey, SS Kapler, CF
Chavez, C Cora, SS
***

Hayden Penn (13.76) / Devern Hansack (5.40), 2 PM

Will this be Trot Nixon's last game in a Red Sox uniform? ... Penn has made five starts this year and pitched out of the fourth inning only once.

To finish in a second-place tie (and not in third), Boston must win this afternoon and the Yankees have to beat the Blue Jays.

Grimsley Steroid Affidavit Names Clemens, Pettitte, And 3 Orioles: Tejada, Gibbons, Roberts

Los Angeles Times:
Roger Clemens, one of professional baseball's most durable and successful pitchers, is among six players allegedly linked to performance-enhancing drugs by a former teammate, The Times has learned. The names had been blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court.

Others whose identities had been concealed include Clemens' fellow Houston Astros pitcher Andy Pettitte and former American League most valuable player Miguel Tejada of the Baltimore Orioles.

The discovery ends four months of speculation surrounding the possible identities of Major League Baseball figures whose names were redacted from the search warrant affidavit filed in Phoenix on May 31. The document was based on statements allegedly made to federal agents by pitcher Jason Grimsley, who has since retired. ...

According to the affidavit, Grimsley told investigators that Clemens "used athletic performance-enhancing drugs." He also allegedly said Tejada used anabolic steroids. ...

According to the 20-page search warrant affidavit, signed by IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky, Grimsley told investigators he obtained amphetamines, anabolic steroids and human growth hormone from someone recommended to him by, a source said, former Yankees trainer Brian McNamee. McNamee is a personal strength coach for Clemens and Pettitte.
I don't think I've ever heard Pettitte mentioned regarding PEDs before. Intersting that the bit about Clemens mentions "athletic performance-enhancing drug" and not "anabolic steroids". HGH is not an anabolic steroid.

From MLB.com's report:
Grimsley's accusations are legally considered hearsay. The statements were not made under oath and he has not been charged in connection with any investigation. Since June, the Times reported, he has complained to friends that the affidavit misrepresented his statements.

"Jason is loyal to the death, a hard-headed guy who would not give up his friends," one of Grimsley's friends told the Times. "The only names he discussed with those investigators were names ... [the investigators] suggested to him."
As Jack mentions in comments to G161, this
will also set up a needed acid test for those who have come after Barry with guns blazing: will they be as vociferous in their condemnation of a wildly admired (white) superstar like Clemens, and as quick to discount his similar late career achievements?
My educated guess (as I'm sure you know) is No.