Tony Blengino of Fangraphs calls the Red Sox the "most interesting" AL contender:
The major league club is talented throughout, with young talent sprinkled around a core of proven but ever-motivated veterans. ... When the inevitable roadblocks present themselves after the season begins, their combination of minor league strength and financial power and flexibility should still give them the ability to be squarely in the conversation for the AL pennant. They aren't going away anytime soon.Eno Sarris tells some incredibly uncomfortable stories about finding his way as an interviewer in a major league clubhouse. ... Tom Ruane of Retrosheet recaps some of the highlights from the 1914-1919 seasons. ... Joe Posnanski examines the myth of Louis Sockalexis and the naming of Cleveland's baseball team.
Former pitcher Jack McDowell plays the guitar - and likes R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck:
When I really started getting into guitar seriously and learning song structure, the early R.E.M. records were a great basis because there wasn't a lot of overdubbing - it was just one guitar part and him playing the song. You could really tune in on what he was doing, His arpeggio style filled out the songs, and that was really how I learned a lot of what I do. ... If I had to rank [their albums], I would go "Lifes Rich Pageant," "Murmur," and then the rest.Same here. With "Fables of the Reconstruction", "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" and "Reckoning" (or "Chronic Town") rounding out the Top 5.