February 18, 2004

In Fort Myers. Alan Embree and Doug Mirabelli are unfazed by the Rodriguez trade. Mirabelli to a reporter reading a newspaper at City of Palms Park: "Hey, have they got us finishing in last place yet?" Keith Foulke is also in camp. Curt Schilling is expected to arrive today. ... Scott Williamson: "There's no panic here, by any means. One guy is not going to win you a World Series ... I don't see anyone who can hold a candle to us. I still think we have the best team in baseball. ... I want to win a World Series and wear a ring for the rest of my life."

9 Questions as the Red Sox open camp. ... Bill Simmons has 33 random thoughts on the Red Sox/Yankees this season. ... According to Brian Cashman, having Rodriguez and not Jeter play shortstop is "not a consideration whatsoever." And Steinbrenner says he wants Bernie Williams in CF, not DHing.

Thomas Boswell: "The longest, fiercest, bitterest rivalry in the game has been taken far over the top, over the moon it almost seems. Never before has there been such a sense of soul-deep animosity and identity-at-stake competition between two teams that extended through every level of the organization, from ownership through batboys, with players who will be remembered for generations taking the part of human chess pieces. Electric as this confrontation is, the nature of baseball itself brings an extra dimension into play. A level of unpredictability, caprice and psychological drama confounds predictions in baseball more than any other major sport. ... [The Yankees] no longer have four-fifths of last year's pennant-winning rotation. In any confrontation where the Red Sox start Martinez and Curt Schilling, the Yankees are already on the short end of both matchups no matter whom they choose. As for their fourth and fifth starters, the Yankees have names, but little more. ... Some will moan that this monumental Yankees coup is bad for baseball. It's just the opposite. ... But the Yankees, Rodriguez or not, are no longer constructed to be an October juggernaut with special daunting abilities. A great slugging lineup, backed by a pretty good starting rotation, what's that? It sounds like so many Red Sox teams that other Yankee outfits loved to meet."

Sarah at Rally Cuff: "Jim Donaldson, by the power vested in me as the self-appointed Militant Cheerleader of Red Sox Nation, you are hereby cast out of the fold, you miserable puke. If you want to see the Sox lose so bad then why don't you become a Yanks or an A's fan. ... You are beneath my contempt." Ah yes, Donaldson, King of the One-Sentence Paragraphs. While he's sometimes amusing to read in a I-can't-believe-someone-is paying-this-guy-real-money-to-write-this-shit, I will second Sarah's comments and declare Joy of Sox a "Donaldson-Free Zone." ... Speaking of bad writers, Aaron Gleeman takes apart a column written by Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times (also see here). Gleeman also found an older column about Barry Bonds, in which Plaschke wrote (in apparent seriousness): "Last season, one study showed that Bonds reached base 1.1 times per plate appearance."

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