February 16, 2011

Everyone Is Happy, In Good Shape, & Ready To Play

Getting caught up on some of the bits of news from Fort Myers:

Daisuke Matsuzaka says he lost 11 pounds over the winter and feels he can pitch even more innings than he did in 2007 (204.2). Dice threw two bullpen sessions last week and on Sunday, he threw approximately 70 pitches off a mound. Matsuzaka worked out in Honolulu in the off-season with some of his former Seibu Lions teammates.

John Lackey, who also lost about 10 pounds (not from his chins, though, judging from photos), admits he "definitely could have pitched better" last year. Ya think? Third worst ERA of his career, the worst WHIP of his career, and the worst opponents OBP of his career (actually a tie for worst).

Josh Beckett confessed that he relied on his cutter far too often last year and was impressed that catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has picked up a few of Jason Varitek's mannerisms behind the plate. "He does things like Tek now. There's not a better guy to follow if you're in that position." Also:
I've always wanted to been on a team that won 100 games. ... I feel like this team has a chance to do something really, really special like that. ... I'm eager to get this year rolling. I think I'm ready. ... I'm only 30. Thirty's the new 20. Someone told me that.
During a bullpen session last Friday, WEEI's Rob Bradford noticed Beckett "was raising his hands up from his waist when executing his delivery, a small change from when he would keep his hands at his waist".

Clay Buchholz is at the same spot in his career -- two years and a couple of months of service time -- as Jon Lester was when Lester signed a 5/30 extension in 2009. While the Red Sox have not talked with HH about a deal, he has been thinking about it.
[Lester's contract] would definitely be a base model for it — numbers-wise, security reasons. ... I'm not saying I'm as good as Lester or I deserve what he got, but just from the other guys who signed their deal in the past year or so with the same service [Toronto's Ricky Romero and Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo], I think that's definitely a good starting point if there ever was one.
Kevin Youkilis would like to win a Gold Glove at third base, but "as long as I'm not making mental errors, that's the key". He is glad to be away from what he called the "social scene" at first base.
It's just not interesting. It's fun sometimes if you have guys you know ... [but] there's some guys you might not care for too much. ... I'll leave it to Sean Casey, Jim Thome, guys that are really good over there. Kevin Millar. I'll leave it to them to master that.
Carl Crawford is expected in camp on Thursday.

Mike Cameron is fully healed from his sports hernia surgery and will be playing a lot of right field this spring. In a related story, J.D. Drew recently visited noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews to have his balky hamstrings examined.

Considering all the times he has been ended up being completely full of shit (the outcome of the 2004 ALCS being a prime example), you would think the CHB would not offer any more pronouncements with such a haughty tone of inevitability:
He's gone. This is it. One more season and Jonathan Papelbon and the Red Sox get divorced. ... Papelbon knows it. General manager Theo Epstein knows it. We are on the threshold of Papelbon's final campaign at Fenway ...
Papelbon says getting Bobby Jenks was "a pretty strong acquisition ... he's going to be a huge instrument for our success". And Jenks says that Boston
is a place that I've wanted to play in for a while. ... It wasn't a matter of the money or years. ... I wanted to play baseball for the Red Sox. I got that opportunity and I jumped on it. ... I'd rather be here than anywhere on the East Coast.
The Red Sox traded right-handed reliever Robert Coello, who had been designated for assignment on February 9 to clear a roster spot for Alfredo Aceves, to the Cubs. Boston received second baseman Tony Thomas, 24, who hit .276 in the Southern League (AA) last year, finishing fourth in slugging (.485) and tying for second with 11 triples.

31 comments:

allan said...

Sox Space was voted Best Red Sox Blog for the second consecutive year in the New England Sports Blog Awards. It also won Best New England Sports Blog.

Thanks to everyone who voted for JoS!

Kathryn (nee Mrs.GotRibe) said...

BOOOOOO

Zenslinger said...

Was it close?

Should we sue?

allan said...

I have no idea. Honestly, I don't think I had even heard of Sox Space before the nominee list was posted. It turns out he is Red Sox Nation Governor of Mass.

What is weird is that the TruFan site had absolutely no mention of it on their main page. So I have no idea what results they are sharing. I found out who won only because Tim emailed me late last night, like 20 to midnight!

Jere said...

That governor guy was there that day with Remy and Lobell for their Truck Day broadcast on Trufan.com. So the guy who won works for the site that hosted the awards--he is a "featured contributor" there. I've always had issues with that site, this is just another one.

allan said...

So the guy who won works for the site that hosted the awards

Well, how about that...

Jared said...

Hey guys, I'm "that guy that works for the site". I came by to say congrats on the nomination, and came to find this stuff. Pretty lame. SoxSpace has over 6,000 fans on Facebook, and over 1,000 followers on Twitter. I don't write for TruFan, I do a webcast for them. To say that it was fixed is pretty immature. Just sayin'. Anyway, congrats on the nomination and good luck next year.

allan said...

congrats on the nomination

I think all that took was me emailing the guy running the awards and saying, "Hey, I want to be nominated."

As far as the vote, you'll have to take that up with Jere! You clearly have the numbers to win, so there you go.

(I thought I was over the whole silly notion of blog awards, but I got sucked into this one!)

laura k said...

Hey guys, I'm "that guy that works for the site". I came by to say congrats on the nomination, and came to find this stuff. Pretty lame.

In many people's opinion, it has the appearance of conflict of interest at best, rigged at worst. If you care to explain how this is not true, please do. Calling our suspicions "lame" or "immature" is not much of a refutation.

laura k said...

Another question for James:

Why would the number of followers on Facebook or Twitter be an indication of the "best" sports blog?

laura k said...

^^

Sorry, make that Jared, not James.

Jere said...

The point is, the winner of the vote is associated with the site that hosted the vote.

There's no question Jared is the king of social Red Sox media and all that, and surely could win any contest because of number of followers alone, but if it's supposed to be a unbiased vote on who is the best, why not make it fair?

Vinny Plateroti Jr. said...

wow everyone here seems to be pretty joyful! How classy to half heartedly congratulate soxspace and even classier to entertain thoughts of "conflicts of interest" and even "rigged." The sheer number of followers both soxspace and jared had, have, and will have is a great testament to the kind of quality his blog demonstrates as well as shows the type of person he is.
reading what you guys have wrote is a disgrace to jared's hard work and dedication for not only the red sox, but for red sox nation as a whole. He continually provides an outlet to red sox fans in the form of blogs, books and video webcasts to not just massachusetts, the united states, but around the world. For you to even question his latest accomplishment shows me that you have not spent any amount of time on soxspace, because those who have know the rightful winner of the best red sox blog.

allan said...

The sheer number of followers both soxspace and jared had, have, and will have is a great testament to the kind of quality his blog demonstrates as well as shows the type of person he is.

Wait a minute: Are you seriously equating the quality of a product with its popularity?

Because if you are, I need a moment to sit down and fully take that in.

...

I have no idea what type of person Jared is. I have never met him. And most readers of this blog have no idea what I am like. It is completely irrelevant. Being a nice person does not inherently make you are more creative or productive than the asshole down the block.

He continually provides an outlet to red sox fans in the form of blogs, books and video webcasts to not just massachusetts, the united states, but around the world.

Every Red Sox blog provides an outlet for Red Sox fans all over the world. That is kind of the whole point of a blog.

Thanks for stopping by, though.

Jared said...

Well, I agree with you that there should be more than just an online voting that goes into it. Because then it just becomes the "most traffic award" and not "Best Red Sox Blog", but you gain those followers by producing good content. I didn't win a contest to have someone hand over 6,000 Facebook followers for my site. I got them because those people read my site and enjoy it. And yeah, I'm associated with TruFan. I do a Wednesday night webcast for free. I'm not on payroll. I was a "featured contributor" for a website called SawxHeads, which was run by a guy named Ozzie. Ozzie sold the site to Rafe, who made it TruFan and my name stayed on there as a featured contributor, even though I hardly ever contribute. There's no fix. And you can point to the social media thing, but Fenway West and Surviving Grady (both nominated) have more Twitter followers than me. I understand that you guys are passionate about Joy of Sox and you wanted them to win, which is great. I respect the hell out of that, but the "rigged" comments are a little juvenile.

allan said...

Maybe I should join Facebook and Twitter....

Jared said...

That's the way of the world, my friend. I don't know of any Red Sox blogs, or sports blogs in general, that don't use Facebook or Twitter to promote their posts. Social media is the new media. Take advantage of it. Again, I didn't come here to stir anything up, just saying congrats on the recognition. Sorry if I riled up your readers.

Vinny Plateroti Jr. said...

Let me put it this way guy, if people didn't like his blog they wouldn't be reading it. Just like if people didn't like his blog they wouldn't vote it twice as best red sox blog. So by all means sit down and fully take that in. Numbers don't lie. The kid is doing something right wouldn't you say?

Second your right you don't know the kind of person Jared is, and I dont know the kind of person Jared is just like most of the readers have no idea how you are. However, its pretty clear by how you have handled this loss that you might as well be living down my street and we have a pretty good idea how you are now

Last, if the whole point of a blog is to be an outlet then be an outlet, quit complaining!

Thanks for stopping by, though.

allan said...

I added your blog to the State of the Nation list. Looks like you do a lot of posting.

I do not question the results at all, but if the only nominee with a direct connection to the host of the awards ends up winning the top prize in both years -- people may raise an eyebrow or two.

If my father is an executive at a company who runs some sort of contest and I happen to win first prize two years in a row ... it would annoy me if people thought I did not win fair and square, but I would be fooling myself if I did not see why people might be suspicious.

That is why contests always have that fine print that forbids employees or relatives of employees or anyone affiliated with a company from entering a contest run by that company. Even the hint of a conflict of interest can make people doubt the honesty of what is going on.

And if people express doubt, the problem is not with those people. It is with the company running the contest, who should want to have anything with its name on it free from suspicion of dishonesty.

But then, these awards are silly anyway* -- even the ones I have pushed really hard for and won.

* Because if I go on a Facebook and Twitter binge and get 500,000 followers and kick everyone's ass next year, it does not mean my blog is any good. My blog might suck. (The best blog might not even be on the ballot.) But I was able, among the handful of blogs that happen to be on the ballot, to stuff more votes in the box.

allan said...

I don't know of any Red Sox blogs, or sports blogs in general, that don't use Facebook or Twitter to promote their posts.

You do now.

In fact, I have never had a cell phone. And I am one of the few Sox blogs with no ads. And I listen to 8-tracks. (Only 2 of those 3 statements are true.)

Again, I didn't come here to stir anything up, just saying congrats on the recognition. Sorry if I riled up your readers.

Do not apologize. You did nothing wrong. I appreciate the thanks.

See you in late October.

x3baseball18 said...

I don't know about any of you... but I'm 95% sure I was in the third grade when I stopped "liking" things just to follow the crowd. This was by no means a popularity contest. I've followed Jared for a long time and in MY opinion... if he tried half as hard and put half as much effort into what he does, he would still be at the top.

I like Jared's fans... Instead of speculating a contest being rigged, they would congratulate the winner faster than the winners own fans would. I guess that's the kind of respect and etiquette Jared has taught all of us.

Keep up the good work and best of luck next year.

allan said...

its pretty clear by how you have handled this loss that you might as well be living down my street

How have I "handled this loss"?

Let's take a look at what I have written since I found out who won:

Sox Space was voted Best Red Sox Blog for the second consecutive year in the New England Sports Blog Awards. It also won Best New England Sports Blog.

Two statements of fact.

Honestly, I don't think I had even heard of Sox Space before the nominee list was posted. It turns out he is Red Sox Nation Governor of Mass.

Two more facts, offered without comment.

What is weird is that the TruFan site had absolutely no mention of it on their main page. So I have no idea what results they are sharing. I found out who won only because Tim emailed me late last night, like 20 to midnight!

Nothing wrong with this. Again, facts from my visit to TruFan today.

"So the guy who won works for the site that hosted the awards"
Well, how about that...


A sarcastic four word response to a comment about SS having some type of connection with TruFan -- which SS admits is true: "yeah, I'm associated with TruFan".

You clearly have the numbers to win, so there you go.

Yawn. That is it. The other stuff devolves into general (barely philosophical) comments on blogs and people online.

You are right. I have "handled this loss" horribly.

***

I am more fascinated that someone thinks popularity = quality -- and when called on it, repeats it.

So ... of all the music released in 2010, the best came from Lady GaGa and Justin Bieber. The finest book published last year (according to B&N) was "Decision Points" by George W. Bush. And "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and "Toy Story 3" are two of the greatest movies ever made.

allan said...

This was by no means a popularity contest.

It was ONLY a popularity contest. It was based on who got the most votes.* That is the PRECISE definition of a popularity contest!!!!! lol

This was not a studied examination of the posts of every single Red Sox blogger by some team of independent experts who graded all of the various posts by some objective criteria and then came to a decision. No online voting contest is like that.

Good lord.

* I have taken advantage of that, too. I won Best Sports Blog in Canada a few years ago because with maybe 20 minutes to go in the voting, I made a desperate plea for more votes. It worked. I surged ahead at the last minute and won by fewer than 5 votes. And it had nothing to do with my writing (beyond writing the post begging for votes). It had to do with the fact that people were reading the blog at that hour (because of its popularity) and they voted.

tim said...

Are you seriously equating the quality of a product with its popularity?

*cough*musicindustry*grumblegrumble*

Jere said...

"I don't know of any Red Sox blogs, or sports blogs in general, that don't use Facebook or Twitter to promote their posts."

Jared, I've done a daily Red Sox blog for seven years and I'm not on Twitter or facebook. Maybe the reason you never see any blogs that aren't on T or fb is because you're only looking there.

Zenslinger said...

The readers of this blog, I am pretty sure, do not think of it as a "big" blog (although the number of people who lurk here does surprise me). I'm quite sure no one took this as a loss. Knowing that makes it all the more obvious that I was kidding, of course, in my first post ("Was it close? Should we sue?")

x3baseball18 said...

I said "This was by no means a popularity contest" in response to the person who made it seem like Sox Space only won BECAUSE of his popularity/number of followers, not because of the content.

mattymatty said...

These followers of Jared who have showed up here to "defend" him (not that he needs defending) are creeping me out.

allan said...

Should we sue?

We have no shortage of access to lawyers!

I need to work on my claim for mental anguish, emotional and physical distress, public ridicule and humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, etc., etc. ...

allan said...

Q: Aren't all guys named Vinny de facto Yankee fans?

tim said...

Oh, you already referenced the music industry in the "popularity = quality" discussion. My bad.

As you were...