April 22, 2007

Slice It Thin, But Not Too Thin

Josh Beckett entered yesterday's game as the third Red Sox pitcher to win his first three outings in a season while allowing no more than one run and striking out at least five in each start. Babe Ruth (1916) and Roger Clemens (1991) are the other two.

Hideki Okajima facing Giambi:
I heard [the crowd] going crazy. I got the power from the crowd, but at the same time, I wasn't too conscious about that. I was concentrating purely on how I was going to get the out. ... When I'm facing a batter, I don't think of who he is, or what his name is. I perform what I have to offer. I do my pitching.
Kevin Youkilis:
We're getting wins. I don't think we've played great. This team is definitely capable of playing better. We were talking about that, a couple of the guys. ... I mean, Manny Ramírez hasn't even started hitting.
Alex Cora called Ortiz "Shakespeare": "He hits home runs, he writes books - it's his day."

Joel Sherman, New York Post:
Win or lose [tonight], the Yanks leave Boston for Tampa, where George Steinbrenner is certain to be waiting with some questions, notably for GM Brian Cashman and Joe Torre. Here are some: How come the new strength and conditioning guys can't keep the players on the field? How come two roster spots are being used for first base with the end result being almost zero production? Who thought Nieves as a backup catcher was a good idea? And what happened to all those plans to limit Mariano Rivera to three-out saves? ...

Obviously, it is just April. Hideki Matsui is due back tomorrow, Chien-Ming Wang the next day and Mike Mussina next week. But disturbing cracks and deficiencies have arisen, all of which would be made exponentially worse if Rivera does not regain the magic in his cutter. Before the game yesterday, Rivera was searching for that. He was watching on a computer a frame-by-frame break down of his Friday night breakdown. ... At the first sign of Fenway trouble, Torre ditched all the offseason planning that Rivera would not be used in the eighth inning. Torre's greatest asset as a manager is his serenity, but you could see the sweat here. ...
I love MFY panic. Especially less than 20 games in.

During the Jackie Robinson tributes last week (the Red Sox wear 42 tonight), one repeated lament was the tiny percentage of black players in the major leagues. In today's Globe, Nick Cafardo notes: "The Devil Rays have the most African-American players (5) among major league teams."

Is this bad? No. It just is. No one is denying black players a chance to play. ... But according to whoever keeps these lists, the Red Sox have only one: Coco Crisp. So David Ortiz is not black. Wily Mo Pena is not black. ... Hoooooo-kay.

3 comments:

L-girl said...

During the Jackie Robinson tributes last week (the Red Sox wear 42 tonight), one repeated lament was the tiny percentage of black players in the major leagues.

They're making a distinction between African-Americans and "foreign-born" (NOT my expression!) black people. It's ridiculous. The idea was to integrate the game (and society). I can't see why it matters in 2007 whether or not African-American athletes choose to go into baseball or not.

I love MFY panic. Especially less than 20 games in.

You could go back into the archives and find it for almost every year. They were panicking in 1998, you may recall.

***

I wonder if any JoS readers have ever worked in a deli.

rob said...

Ortiz is black, but not African-American. He's African-Dominican. I think losing ATHLETES to other sports is bad for baseball, regardless of skin color. It does seem like more young A-A athletes are going into basketball and football, which is a problem for baseball. But at the same time, baseball is globalizing nicely and harvesting international talent markets for players. It's an interesting subject, though, and I intend to write a post about it sometime this week on my Sox blog.

L-girl said...

I think losing ATHLETES to other sports is bad for baseball, regardless of skin color.

It would be, if there were a shortage of athletes choosing baseball. But there's no evidence of that.

Yes, Ortiz is a black Dominican man, not a black American man. Either way, he would have been ineligible for major league play pre-1947, and for many years after. To me, where he was born is irrelevant when it comes to that.