February 29, 2008

Mr. Hankee: USA Is Yankee Country

In an interview with the New York Times' Play magazine, the clown whose mouth is always several yards ahead of his brain says:
Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of [expletive] that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans.

Go anywhere in America and you won't see Red Sox hats and jackets, you'll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order.
What Mr. Hankee didn't say was that, two years ago, in an blatantly obvious attempt to be like the Red Sox, the Chokers created and sold "Yankee Universe" t-shirts.

This guy -- a winner of the lucky sperm contest -- is a solid-gold asshole who has no concept of the idea of a professional businessman keeping some of his thoughts to himself. The Hankapalooza Era is going to be non-stop fun. I hope he runs the MFY (into the ground) for the next three decades.

ST1: Red Sox 8, Twins 3

Daisuke Matsuzaka vs Boof Bonser (who has dropped about 30 pounds from last year) , 7 PM

Hideki Okajima, Mike Timlin and Julian Tavarez will also pitch. Twins relievers will include Joe Nathan, Brian Bass, Kevin Slowey, Phil Humber and Zach Day.

Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Julio Lugo, Mike Lowell, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Coco Crisp and Bobby Kielty will be in the lineup. And a catcher, I guess. (Jason Varitek, Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew are not making the trip.)

The game will be on MLB.TV*. If work is slow tonight, I'll watch and comment.

*: I bought the basic package this time. I didn't notice much of a difference in picture quality last season -- so why give MLB an extra $30?

February 28, 2008


Any other college wants a piece o' us?
Boston College - 000 000 0 -  0   1  3
Red Sox - 080 592 x - 24 16 1

Northeastern - 000 000 0 - 0 3 2
Red Sox - 114 423 x - 15 14 0
Yeah. I thought so.

39 runs, 30 hits, 27 walks ... and only four hits allowed!

Tomorrow night, Boston visits the Twins at 7 PM. Daisuke Matsuzaka gets the start, with Jeemer, White Flag and Sexy Lips getting some mound time. Boof Bonser gets the start for Minnesota. .. Gotta order my MLB.TV!

My Obsession

In recent weeks, I have posted often about the mounting legal woes of a certain hefty gentlemen who hails from the Buckeye State.

As you can tell, I'm enjoying his public implosion immensely (pun intended), but since he's no longer a member of the Red Sox (or even the Chokers), perhaps you don't care that much.

Unlike a magazine or newspaper, a blog is not constrained by a finite number of pages, so any time I post about Fat Billy, it doesn't mean there will be any less Red Sox coverage.

My questions to you: Do you have an opinion on this? Do you relish each new allegation or do you merely tolerate it? Does it annoy you? Should I relegate the posts to a Fat Billy-only blog?

A Good Start

BC      - 000 000 0  -  0   1  3
Red Sox - 080 592 x - 24 16 1

Beckett: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K
Snyder: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Lopez: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K
MDC: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Corey: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Booooo, Lopez!

Tony Granadillo hit a bases-loaded dong in the 4th. ... Canadian George Kottaras had two doubles, two runs scored and three RBI. ... Extra Bases posted a few updates.

According one SoSHer's best guess, the 2nd inning went this way:
Lowell Walk
Tek Walk
Youk singles
Lugo Sac Fly, Lowell Scores
Kielty singles, Tek Scores
Moss singles, Youk Scores, Moss out at first
Ellsbury walks
Pedroia doubles, Kielty and Ellsbury score
Ortiz doubles, Pedroia scores
Thurston reaches on fielding error, Kottaras scores
Tek walks
Youk walks
Lugo walks, Thurston scores
Kielty grounds out

The Daily Roger

Post: Rog Can't Pitch Around Novitzky

Daily News: Roger Clemens Faces Perjury Probe As Congress Throws Ball To Justice

Lupica: Roger Clemens May Trade Hall Of Fame For Halls Of Prison

Newsday: Congress Asks Justice Dept. To Probe Clemens (with a photo that's dying to be photoshopped)

Newsday: Clemens Is Having Fun In Sun, While He Can

Newsday: Nitkowski: Clemens Spoke Of Canseco Party

Times: Congress Requests Clemens Inquiry (with photo of TCM with a player whose uniform name -- Bogusevic -- is prominently displayed)

Times: Reporters Seeking Reaction From Clemens Receive Brushback

Richard Emery:
Roger Clemens' chance against the kind of case that Novitzky and Parrella will make against him, given what I believe is overwhelming evidence against him, is the same kind of chance you have against a hurricane.

You know the real problem that Clemens has now? That he's ended up lying about so many other things other than steroids. ... He's not just going to get investigated, there's going to be a grand jury and then he's going to get indicted. But I've been saying that from the night he started painting a bull's-eye on himself on "60 Minutes".

Papi Arrives In Style


More White House pix from DC and Anna at Jere's blog.

Sox Play College Doubleheader

The spring schedule begins this afternoon at 1 PM, as the Red Sox host Boston College. Josh Beckett will start, followed by Kyle Synder, Javier Lopez, Manny Delcarmen and Bryan Corey.

At 6 PM, Justin Masterson gets the ball against Northeastern. He'll be relieved by Craig Hansen, Michael Bowden, Craig Breslow, Hunter Jones and Kyle Jackson.

There is no TV coverage of the games, but the nightcap will be on WEEI.

1 PM vs Boston College
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Lowell, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Julio Lugo, SS
Bobby Kielty, RF
Brandon Moss, LF

6 PM vs Northeastern
Coco Crisp, CF
Alex Cora, 2B
J.D. Drew, RF
Manny Ramirez, DH
Sean Casey, 1B
Chris Carter, LF
Doug Mirabelli, C
Jed Lowrie, SS
Keith Ginter, 3B
The Sox play the Twins tomorrow night.

Bartolo Colon thinks he might be able to pitch in a game March 9. Francona said he was "very pleased. [He's] probably a little bit ahead of where we expected him to be."

February 27, 2008

Phil Hughes, Blogger

This might be worth reading this season.

He started writing on January 16.

Papi (And Sox) In '08

Manny did not make the trip, thus making me like him even more.

SoSH has pix.

Rut Roh Roger

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Roger Clemens lied under oath to Congress.

From its letter (PDF, web) to Attorney General Michael Mukasey:
We are writing to ask the Justice Department to investigate whether former professional baseball player Roger Clemens committed perjury and made knowingly false statements during the Oversight and Government Reform Committee's investigation of the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs in professional baseball.

"We believe that his testimony in a sworn deposition on Feb. 5, 2008 and at a hearing on Feb. 13, 2008 that he never used anabolic steroids or human growth hormone warrants further investigation.
Meanwhile at the Astros' camp:

"This isn't a zoo!"

February 26, 2008

Colon Arrives In Camp

The Bartolo Colon signing is official and the pitcher is in camp. Sean McAdam notes Colon's "ill-advised decision to wear a horizontally striped shirt, which was not a slenderizing look".

The Herald has more on his contract:
As long as Colon is in the minor leagues, he will be paid a salary of $18,000 a month. If and when Colon reports to the major leagues, he will receive a pro-rated, guaranteed base salary of $1.2 million that translates into roughly $200,000 a month.
There are also a bunch of incentives. Theo offers his thoughts here.

Manny Ramirez, asked if he thought Colon could help the Red Sox: "I'm not a pitching coach."

A bit more on Terry Francona's new contract: he'll get an extra $250,000 in any season the Red Sox win the AL pennant. The option years -- for 2012 and 2013 -- must be excerised together after the 2011 season.

Daisuke Matsuzaka is working on his changeup. John Farrell says hitters "won't be able to detect it early upon its release". Dice is much more relaxed this spring: "Most of the things that were a source of stress for me last season have disappeared, and now I'm just able to practice. I'm feeling really good about it." ... If you find yourself in the Japanese province of Hokkaido, check out Dice's museum in the town of Wakkanai.

Daniel Bard, Boston's first-round draft pick in 2006, struggled with his control in A ball last year, walking 22 batters in 13.1 innings for Lancaster and posting a 6.39 ERA in Greenville (where he walked 56 in 62 innings). The organization is moving him to the bullpen.

Working out of the pen for Honolulu in the Hawaiian Winter League, Bard threw 16 innings in 16 games. He allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out 15. "I was throwing one- or two-inning outings, just coming in and blowing it out and letting my stuff take over. To be honest, my command and stuff all jumped up when I was out there, whether it was a confidence thing or being more aggressive facing hitters."

An unnamed GM:
It's a terrible market to trade Coco. There were like eight to 10 free agents on the market and some are still out there ... teams probably would prefer to pay ... instead of having to give up talent for someone like Crisp.
If everyone stays healthy, it's possible the Red Sox will have Jacoby Ellsbury start the season in Pawtucket, so as to limit his service time and allow the club to retain control over him for another season.

Clemens's Credibility Has Gone "Tits Up"

The New York Daily News "has learned that in the days since the Feb. 13 public hearing on steroids in baseball, another major leaguer has informed congressional investigators that Clemens often joked in the clubhouse about a memorable account of the party -- a scene in which Debbie Clemens and Canseco's ex-wife Jessica compared the results of their surgical breast enhancements."

February 25, 2008

Daily Spring Training Reports

Don't forget to click here for daily camp reports from Mike F and BoSoxLady. Not only words -- pictures too. The story thus far:
February 16
February 17
February 18
February 19
February 21
February 22
February 23
February 24
An amusing story from the 23rd:
FAN ON FENCE: "Hey, Tito."

TITO (Half turns, sees the guy and turns back saying over his shoulder) "You expect me to talk to you, take off that Yankee hat."

FAN: "But I was rooting for youse guys."

TITO: "Yeah, sure."

CROWD: "Burn the hat!!! Burn the hat!!!"
Also, a recap of Theo's WEEI interview today.

A First Step Toward Criminal Investigation Into Whether Clemens Committed Perjury

Roger Clemens' appearance before Congress not only may have failed to clear his name, it might also have led to more trouble.
New York Times:
A Congressional committee has taken the first steps toward asking the Department of Justice to launch a criminal investigation into whether Roger Clemens committed perjury during testimony about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, according to three lawyers familiar with the matter.

A draft letter referring Clemens, but not his accuser, Brian McNamee, had been drawn up by staff members for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform by the end of last week, according to two of the lawyers. However, all three lawyers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly on the matter, said it was possible that McNamee could also be included in the referral by the time it is sent to the Justice Department.

February 24, 2008

Sox Reach Agreement With Bartolo Colon

The Boston Red Sox have reached preliminary agreement on a minor league contract with right-hander Bartolo Colon, a source told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.

If he makes the Opening Day roster, Colon would provide rotation insurance for Boston, which will be without Curt Schilling ...

Colon suffered through an injury-marred 2007 for the Los Angeles Angels, posting a 6-8 record and a 6.34 ERA -- the worst of his career.
Small risk, possible reward. Why not?

Pedro Talks About Koufax

On Bats -- the New York Times baseball blog. Writer Ben Shpigel:
Koufax has a very special relationship with Pedro Martinez, who met Koufax about 20 years ago when he was a 17-year-old in Dodgertown, up in Vero Beach, for the first time. Pedro spoke about that relationship with us today. Some of it you'll see in my story, but Pedro was so fantastic speaking about the subject that it would be unfair for baseball fans not to read more.

Francona Gets 3-Year Extension

The Red Sox and Terry Francona this morning finalized terms of a three-year extension that will take the Sox manager through the 2011 season, the team confirmed today. ...

The agreement was reached after the sides met last night and again this morning. ... [T]he new deal is expected to place Francona among the highest-paid managers in the game, which would place him in the $3 million to $4 million range. ... The deal also includes club options for 2012 and 2013.
The Globe has quotes:
Theo Epstein: "Terry Francona has done an outstanding job in managing the Red Sox over the last four seasons. This is demonstrated not only in the three playoff appearances and two World Series victories but also in the way in which he handles the demands of managing in Boston on a day-to-day basis, both on and off the field. It also represents a strong and sincere commitment by our ownership.

Francona: "I want to thank the Red Sox ownership and management for their tremendous support. From the resources provided by the ownership group and front office to a great collection of players and the passion and loyalty of the fans, there is no doubt that Boston is the best place to manage in the major leagues. I look forward to being in a Red Sox uniform for many years to come."
Ian Browne, redsox.com:
Last October, Francona became the first manager in Major League history to win his first six World Series games. That streak was extended to eight when the Red Sox swept the World Series for the second time in as many tries, this time against the Colorado Rockies. ...

His 375 wins in his first four years on the job are the most any Boston manager has won in his first four seasons.

February 23, 2008

All Is Well As Sox Work Out

The Red Sox held their first full-squad workout yesterday. It was free of controversy. Terry Francona called it "nice".

Julio Lugo is glad he's in Boston:
I didn't make a mistake coming here. The mistake would have been wanting to leave here. I got booed, but I don't blame the fans. I understood them. ... [It was] a transition that everyone has to go through - new team, new city, new teammates ... Things will be different this time around.
Manny Delcarmen will get an opportunity to close games here and there.

Sean Casey says he can play the outfield in an emergency:
Such as the city of Boston being on fire. ... [Francona] said I'd probably pinch run before I play the outfield. ... We'll see.
Note: Casey has never pinch-run and has a mere 17 stolen bases in 11 seasons.

Rob Bradford chats with J.D. Drew and like all of his stories, this one includes nuggets that other writers don't get. Drew talks about using Bobby Kielty's bat in Games 5 and 6 of the ALCS. (Yesterday, it was Josh Beckett's journal.)

Manny Ramirez is the 7th member of the 2008 Red Sox to have Scott Boras as his agent, joining Drew, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jason Varitek, Alex Cora, Craig Hansen and Julian Tavarez.

Steve Buckley asks:
Has there ever been a major leaguer who played on five World Series-winning teams but never played for the Yankees?
There is one. Stuffy McInnis: three with the Philadelphia Athletics (1910, 1911, 1913) and one each with the Red Sox (1918) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1925).

Mike Timlin has played on four: two in Toronto (1992, 1993) and two in Boston (2004, 2007). He could join McInnis if the Red Sox repeat.

Timlin admitted he had no idea who McInnis was, "but Wake may have played with him".

Vote Today!

Laura made the finals in the F-Word Blog Awards, the best of the Canadian feminist blogosphere:
Best Activist Blog
Best Political Blog
Best Feminist Blog
Voting ends today -- so go now!

I think that's it for blog awards for awhile.

Party Time

Roger Clemens, deposition to Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, February 5, 2008:
I never was at the party. ... I was not at this party. ... No. ... I wasn't at the party. I know I wasn't at the party. ... I just know for a fact I wasn't at the party. ... I wasn't there.
Statement of Rusty Hardin, Clemens's lawyer, February 22, 2008:
[Roger] may have stopped by the Canseco house after playing golf before heading to the ballpark for the game.
The Daily News reports that the father of the boy who took the pictures contacted Hardin before Clemens's appearance before the committee. Richard Emery, McNamee's lawyer, says Hardin "walked away from it, probably because he didn't want any contradictory evidence that showed Clemens was at the party".

February 22, 2008

More Bad News For Roger?

Federal investigators may have photographic evidence undermining Roger Clemens's sworn testimony that he did not attend a 1998 party at Jose Canseco's house.

The photo is owned by a young man who attended the party when he was 11 years old and took photos of his baseball heroes, including Clemens. Richard Emery, one of the lawyers for Clemens accuser Brian McNamee, was aware that such evidence had been circulating this week.

"We have reason to believe it's reliable evidence," Emery told the Daily News on Thursday. "We believe there's photographic evidence that shows Clemens was at a party he says he wasn't at."
Whether McNamee was correct when he testified that Clemens was at this party has almost nothing to do with his claims of shooting Clemens full of HGH and steroids on multiple occasions.

It was simply a red herring seized upon by the Republicans during Fat Billy's Congressional Lie-a-thon to push the idea that McNamee might be fibbing. Still, I find it amusing that Clemens may have lied about every single topic at the hearing.

No word on whether the 11-year-old boy was Nelson Muntz.

Tito Must Stay

Contract extension talks continue with Terry Francona, who muses:
This is the best job I've ever had. It's the hardest job I've ever had. I don't know if you can have the passion people have for this team without having the criticism or whatever comes with it. ... Some nights I go home with a headache, but I can't imagine being in some other place.
Sean McAdam, on managing in Boston:
He was prepared for the talk-show callers and the profane comments from fans seated behind the home dugout at Fenway. He was not, however, prepared for a particular writing assignment given to his daughter's middle school English class. The topic: Should the Red Sox fire Terry Francona?
Francona is apparently looking for at least three years -- I am completely in favor of that.

He has a great rapport with his players. He understands and accepts the progressive thoughts of the front office -- and he's wise enough to not yak about them to the media, many of whom are hopelessly mired in the 1870s when it comes to analyzing the game.

When I watch the Red Sox, I want them to win. Every single time. I'm sure Francona feels the same way, but he also knows that the season could last as long as 181 games -- and no team can sustain a win-or-die attitude every night. That can be frustrating, as we saw last September, but it's the right way to manage.

And watching Francona work through two gut-wrenching post-seasons, it's beyond question that when it's truly crunch time -- when there is no margin for error, where even a slight mistake could mean the end of the season -- he is a steady, cold-blooded assassin. He may be the greatest manager the Red Sox have ever had.

Theo: CF Is Crisp's To Lose

It could be nothing more than posturing for prospective trade partners, but Theo Epstein says the centerfield job is Coco Crisp's to lose:
[A]s Tito said, Coco is the incumbent. Coco played great defense last year and was a huge part of our run prevention. We allowed the fewest runs in baseball. ... He's got an opportunity to keep his job and go out and make an impact for this club again as an everyday player.
Sean Casey is excited about the upcoming season.

February 21, 2008

Manny Speaks

The Globe has his arrival and chat:
We've got a great team. ... I want to finish my career here, but it's up to them. ... I'm just going to come, try to be Manny, and do my thing. ... I'm blessed, man. ... I'm going to come and play and let them make the decision. ... I'm happy, yeah. ... I think you start growing up, and mature also. Now I'm here and I want to stay here. ... I'm going to go until the wheels fall off. ... Whatever happens, happens.

February 20, 2008

Pitching Assignments

From the Globe:
Feb. 28 vs. Boston College (1:05 p.m. at City of Palms Park)
Scheduled starter: Josh Beckett
Also likely to pitch: Kyle Snyder

Feb. 28 vs. Northeastern (6:05 p.m. at City of Palms Park)
Scheduled starter: Justin Masterson
Also likely to pitch: Craig Hansen, Michael Bowden, and some other young pitchers

Feb. 29 vs. Twins (7:05 p.m. at Hammond Stadium)
Scheduled starter: Daisuke Matsuzaka
Also likely to pitch: Julian Tavarez, Hideki Okajima

March 1 vs. Twins (1:05 p.m. at Hammond Stadium)
Scheduled starter: Jon Lester
Also likely to pitch: Devern Hansack, David Pauley

March 2 vs. Twins (1:05 p.m. at City of Palms Park)
Likely to pitch: Tim Wakefield, Clay Buchholz
There are also links to NESN video, including:
David Ortiz press briefing
Terry Francona press briefing
Mike Lowell press briefing
Mike Timlin talks with Don Orsillo
Justin Masterson talks with Don Orsillo
Nine Innings with Gordon Edes

Center Stage

There won't be much drama in Fort Myers this spring.

There is a question of who will be the 5th starter (and the possibility that Clay Buchholz begin the year in Pawtucket) and perhaps the final bullpen spot. ... And who starts in center field.

Obviously, the team has said very little about either Coco Crisp or Jacby Ellsbury, but Terry Francona has noted that "coming into camp, we're not going to forget as an organization that he's [Crisp] the incumbent."

Coco's desires are clear:
I think everybody wants to play everyday and if you don't, I think there's something wrong with you. I don't want to sit on the bench. I could cheerlead with the best of them, but that's not where I want to be. ...

A lot of people say, well, I don't deserve it. Well, that's understandable too. I didn't have a good offensive year like I did in the past. I think I proved ... that my defense is way better than what people thought. People think that my offense is terrible. Now it's time to show them that my offense really isn't. ...

I would honestly rather be somewhere else and play than be on the bench. I'll take whatever comes and deal with it. It's no knock against Boston. The fans have treated me well. It's ultimately for myself.
Ellsbury, a rookie, is saying the right things:
I went into the offseason and worked hard to be the center fielder, but it's their decision and I'll respect it either way. ... I have the most respect for him and he's definitely a great teammate. I know both of us want it ...
The team's first full workout will be on Friday.

JD Drew has been bowling in the off-season to keep his lower back strong.

Sean McAdam quotes Tom Werner: "I do remember in our first press conference we said we wanted to win multiple championships and people laughed at us. ..."

The Brothers Steinbrenner

Today's silly quote from Hank Steinbrenner:
Truthfully, I think Girardi is going to end up being one of the greatest managers in the history of the game. That's my gut feeling. He reminds me of Billy Martin - without the baggage.
Well, Girardi did get a reputation of abusing young arms in Florida -- something Martin clearly did with the 1980-82 Atheltics.

GQ's Nate Penn sat down with the more introverted Hal Steinbrenner for a lengthy Q&A. The closing:
Are you willing to concede that Boston, my favorite team, is the superior organization right now?

No, I will never concede. They've got a lot of talent, and you've done very well the past few years, but let me put it this way: I don't think you guys wanted to play us in the ALCS. So I will concede nothing. I think we're better than you.
The Herald errs and attributes the quote to Hank.

February 19, 2008

Ortiz In Camp

David Ortiz arrived in camp, took some BP and said he's nearly fully recovered -- "getting almost 100 percent" -- from his off-season right knee surgery.

Tiz, who looks in very good shape: "We'll see if we can win another World Series. That would be kind of fun."

Someone asked Ortiz about his extra hair. "Why, you don't like it?" He also said Curt Schilling will be alright. "He's just trying to call people's attention" to himself.

Mr. Hankee At It Again

Hank Steinbrenner can't keep his yapper shut.

He admits that the lack of Red Sox names in George Mitchell's report has been eating at him since it was released approximately two months ago.
I don't think they would want to be hollering too loud at Andy up in Fenway. They had plenty of players doing this stuff, too. It's just that those players weren't mentioned in the Mitchell Report. That's my biggest problem with the Mitchell Report.
Say what? His biggest issue with the Report isn't the high number of Yankees that are alleged to have taken steroids and PEDs, but that there weren't enough Boston players named. ... Obsessed much?

Andy Pettitte arrived in Tampa and faced the press. He said he was both "desperate" and "stupid", but not a cheater.

Overall, he seems to have received positive marks from the fans and press (though this Newsday columnist wasn't fooled).

Let's remember that Pettitte's candor came only once the evidence against him was out of the bag. It's highly unlikely that he would have volunteered this information absent the Mitchell Report. And we should recall that the last time Pettitte told "the truth" about his illegal drug use -- only two months ago -- he "forgot" to mention his 2004 use of HGH. Pettitte admitted that he wasn't telling the truth when he made his December comments, though he certainly let his teammates and fans think he was being honest and upright.

Asked about Roger Cemens's claim that he "misremembered" their conversations, Pettitte said:
I testified under oath. Roger said what he had to say. ... I don't take it as a personal attack. Roger is a grown man and he feels he is doing the right thing.

Day-Old News

Curt Schilling spoke about his right shoulder injury and the dispute with the team over diagnosis and treatment with some hand-picked members of the media on Monday. (No one from the Globe was invited.)
If [the team's] course of action doesn't work, I don't pitch this year, and I may never pitch again. I don't really have a choice. I have to mentally get behind it and do everything I can do to make it work. ...

I signed a contract with this team ... from a medical standpoint, they're allowed to dictate how and when things are supposed to happen. ... I will have to have the surgery no matter what, that was made very clear to me. I will have to have the biceps procedure at some point in the very near future in my life if I want to live a pain-free, normal life.
Schilling said he still believes that Dr. Craig Morgan's recommendation was his best option.
As soon as he tells me, 'You can be back and ready to go by All-Star break, pre All-Star break,' that's the best news I ever heard. I immediately jumped on that. ... I'm obviously going to fall back on the guy who's already been down this path before and who has always been right.
Schilling spoke with Theo Epstein "early on when the Santana stuff came up, because I knew I was not in a good situation. I knew if we started to poke around medically that word might get out." ... There is also an update at 38 Pitches: "I will pitch again, and win, but it will be on a timetable I just don't know yet."

John Henry said that Schilling:
shouldn't be upset because we're trying to do what is in the best interest of Curt and the team. I heard the arguments, and I felt we were doing the right thing.
Pictures from camp show Josh Beckett with what looks like a beer gut, but the Courant's Jeff Goldberg writes that those images are "deceptive. Beckett looks as lean and limber as ever. And Beckett in motion, throwing his first official side session Saturday, looked better than any snapshot, his fluid windup and arm action already in midseason form."

The Red Sox talked to the Reds about Scott Hatteberg before they decided to sign Sean Casey.

February 18, 2008

Book On 1918 Red Sox Due In June


I mentioned this project last July and now it looks like the book will be out in June.

In addition to working as an Associate Editor, I wrote biographies of Babe Ruth, Carl Mays and Walt Kinney. (The bios of all of the players cover their entire careers/lives, not just the 1918 season.) I also wrote the book's introduction and co-wrote the day-by-day timeline of the season.

As I mentioned last summer, the amount of information the various SABR members found on the lesser-known players is staggering. It's a perfect companion to my book.

February 17, 2008

Spring Roster

SoSH's BoSoxLady posts the camp roster:

The Poetry of Roger Clemens

Hart Seely:
In his testimony and depositions, the Rocket has hurled a poetic masterpiece, with a repertoire that ranges from free-form verse to haiku.
A sample:
"Stop Sign"

In Boston, I know I was on prednisone.
I remember that because actually
I came here to visit the White House
When the president was in,
And my head looked like a stop sign.

—Feb. 5, 2008, deposition


Kids come to my house and work out.
I invite them to come work out.
The littler kids,
I try to get them to sign a waiver
In case a bat comes out of my hand, or a ball.
We've experienced that.
That's headaches.

—Feb. 5, 2008, deposition

"Offensive Haiku"

I am offended.
I will be honest with you.
I am offended.

—Feb. 5, 2008, deposition

The First Workout

SoSH legend Mike F files his first spring report (with pictures!).

February 16, 2008

Wakefield Says His Shoulder Is Healthy

The morning after Tim Wakefield pitched in Game 4 of the ALCS against Cleveland, he was in pain:
I went to get out of bed, I couldn't even pull the covers off of me. It hurt that bad.
He was told he had "a slap (superior labral anterior posterior) tear" in his right labrum and was replaced on the World Series roster by Jon Lester. Now, Wakefield says he's healthy. With 154 wins, he needs 39 more victories to become the Red Sox all-time leader, passing Cy Young and Fat Billy.

Julian Tavarez was surprised, and happy, that Boston picked up his 2008 option:
I come to spring training and I say, 'Hello. Good morning. How are things going?' And they said, 'You have a chance to be No. 5 in the rotation.' ... I asked somebody what was going on. I don't read the newspapers in the offseason.
Mike Timlin was asked if he had ever been offered performance-enhancing drugs:
No, never have. Since I never had that chance to say no, I don't know if I would have said no. ... [Pettitte] used it in probably the same way I would have used it had I had the availability to it ... There are cells throughout your body that are receptive to it and it's going to give you a youth feel.
John Farrell told the Japanese media that Josh Beckett will make his first start of the spring on Feb. 28, against Boston College. Daisuke Matsuzaka will not throw until the next day, on Feb. 29, at the Twins ballpark.

February 15, 2008

Time To Vote (Again)

My partner Laura's blog -- we move to canada -- recently finished 3rd in the Best Progressive Blog category of the 2007 Canadian Blog Awards.

wmtc is also a nominee in the following categories of the Canadian F-word (Feminist) Blog Awards:
Best Feminist Blog

Best Activist Blog

Best Political Blog
First round voting is tonight and tomorrow (Saturday).

So take 15 seconds and do some clicking! Thanks!

Partisan Split On Clemens Explained

... by Richard Emery, one of Brian McNamee's lawyers.

During the hearing, Clemens cited his friendship with Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, a baseball fan who regularly attends Houston Astros' games. Clemens said he was on a recent hunting trip when the elder Bush called with words of support. ...

"All the pieces fell into place given his friendship, his personal friendship with the Bush family. ... It would be the easiest thing in the world for George W. Bush, given the corrupt proclivities of his administration, to say Roger Clemens is an American hero ... It was clear to me they were carrying someone's water."
Clemens constructed a horseshoe pit at his home in Texas home at the suggestion of GHWB.

Christine Daniels of the LA Times reports:
In 1991, while still pitching for the Boston Red Sox, Clemens visited Bush's home in Kennebunkport, Maine, and pitched horseshoes with the president. ... George W. Bush is also a Clemens friend. ... In 2006, USA Today reported Clemens has a standing invitation to dine at the White House.
And George Mitchell (Democrat) was Senate Majority Leader for much of GWHB's presidency.

Red Sox Overwhelming Pick To Win Title

MLB.com asked either the GM or manager of every major league team which club (other than their own) would likely win the 2008 World Series?

The Red Sox were the overwheming favorite (17 votes), followed by the Tigers (7), Cleveland (3), Mets (2) and Atlanta (1).

Most common WS match-up: Red Sox-Mets (10 votes).

Jonathan Papelbon held court at camp yesterday (turns out his dog didn't eat the WS ball). ... Bruce Hurst will work as a minor league pitching coach this spring.

February 14, 2008

Spring Training Has Begun

Hideki Okajima began throwing a split-changeup for the first time in his career last year. For 2008, he knows that "the same pattern as last year is not going to work. ... I'm trying to come up with new types of pitches ... some new techniques."

Jeemer also wants to avoid running out of gas in September. He says that in the first half of the season, "I'll have less practice and less number of pitches. I'll try to make myself peak at the end of the season -- August, September, October."

Daisuke Matsuzaka also had trouble with the long grind of the season.
I think what happened last year was that the peak of my fatigue arrived at a time when I wasn't exactly expecting it to arrive ... [it] just dragged on gradually, all the way throughout September, so I wasn't able to readjust.
Craig Hansen had off-season surgery to correct sleep apnea and is convinced -- now that he no longer snores "like a 500-pound fat man" -- that a more normal sleep pattern will mean greater success on the mound. ... John Farrell says there are two clear candidates for the 5th starter spot: Clay Buchholz and Julian Tavarez.

Theo Epstein spoke about Curt Schilling:
He'll be rehabbing and strengthening for at least 6-to-8 weeks and then we'll see where we go from there. ...

The diagnosis process is really behind us. There were some bumps along the road because both parties care so much about the team and his career and doing what's right, but now that we're here in spring training it's pretty simple: he's here to rehab and get back into position to help the club.
Asked about Matsuzaka's availability for the games in Tokyo, Terry Francona said, "unless you want to go talk to Daisuke's wife and ask her when she's going to spit out this kid, we're kind of at a loss here. We're good, but we're not that good. We have Plan B. We know what we're going to do."

Kevin Youkilis avoided salary arbitration, signing a $3 million contract for this season. ... Jonathan Papelbon: "If we're not the team to beat, I'd like to know who is."


Has anyone seen a columnist who has written a pro-Clemens piece this morning?

The main news story in the Daily News described that Clemens as "unbowed, unruffled and unapologetic" -- unruffled?? -- but that was about it.

Mike Lupica, Daily News:
[I]f you watched the show yesterday, you know that McNamee did better in the end than Clemens did, a lot better, even on a day when Clemens kept telling us how much he loved baseball and America and his late mother and especially the troops.

Clemens had every Republican in this room, including a hyena named Dan Burton of Indiana, acting as defense attorneys for him and prosecutors against McNamee. But even they couldn't save him. ...

But no matter how many speeches Clemens gave, especially when teed up by one of his friends in the room, one of those he had lobbied over the last week, here was the money quote that wouldn't go away, and at the very least could end him up in front of a grand jury sometime soon:

Pettitte: "In 1999 or 2000, I had a conversation with Roger Clemens in which Roger told me he had taken human growth hormone. This conversation occurred at his gym in Memorial, Tex. He did not tell me where he got the HGH or from whom, but he did tell me that it helped his body recover."
Dan Shaughnessy, Globe:
Clemens last week visited more than 20 representatives - an outrageous parade that compromised the hearing and painted numerous elected officials as fanboy/sycophants. Listening to the questions yesterday, you could pretty much tell which reps got autographed baseballs and signed photos for their office walls.

Representative Dan Burton, Republican of Indiana, was buffoon of the day (did you notice the Lone Star cuff links?), bashing the media, reminding us that Roger is a "titan" in baseball ...

Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, produced four photographs of Clemens, a progression dating to his Red Sox days, and insisted, "You appear to be the same size."

Good observation, Ginny. That's like saying Michael Jackson's features haven't changed since he posed for the cover of "Thriller."

Hope they all have their autographed Rocket jerseys. Too bad they didn't bother to read Andy Pettitte's deposition. ... Pettitte is the smoking gun. ... Pettitte's deposition shreds Clemens's story.
Peter Gelzinis, Herald:
In a sworn deposition before the committee, Pettitte corroborated everything Brian McNamee, the ex-trainer, hanger-on and steroid hustler, told the feds about the pitcher's use of human growth hormone.

This left the bottled Rocket in the ridiculous position of trying to tell Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland that, no, his ol' buddy and workout partner wasn't lying when he told the committee he and Roger had talked about steroids and HGH. No, Andy was misrememberin'. Yeah, that's the ticket. Misrememberin'. ...

What the Rocket never denied, however, is that in her search for youthfulness, Debbie Clemens allowed her husband's personal trainer Brian McNamee to give her a butt shot of HGH, right there in the master bedroom of the Clemens' Texas Ponderosa.
Howard Bryant, ESPN.com:
Clemens had his day under oath in front of the country, and he spent it flailing, splashing against relentless waves of facts he could not calm, even after 4½ hours. ...

[H]is improbable position remains: He has asked the public to believe that his handpicked personal trainer obtained human growth hormone, and used it on his most loyal protégé as well as his wife, but not on him. ...

Clemens, meanwhile, revealed himself as incapable of introspection or culpability. When cornered, he attempted to bully, but Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building is not a pitcher's mound and he did not hold the gavel. Not being in control frustrated Clemens, and he did not know what to do.

He avoided accountability for his role in his own drama. At no point during the day did he take responsibility for the direction of his career or the choices he's made. ... Clemens had an answer for everything the committee asked him, and each answer, when sifted to its essence, was that nothing was his fault. ... He threw his entire team -- family, friends, agent, team doctors, everyone -- under the bus. And they all had to take it, because he's Roger Clemens.
Mike Vaccarro, Post:
No matter how angrily Clemens shouts into microphones, no matter how ardently his team of lawyers tries to spin this story - and no matter how stridently Clemens' camp tries to discredit McNamee's character, which is hardly a difficult task - we keep coming back to a simple formula of logic:

McNamee told the truth, under threat of prosecution, about Andy Pettitte.

McNamee told the truth, under threat of prosecution, about Chuck Knoblauch.

It defies logic, then, that McNamee would choose to spin wild, fantastic tales about Roger Clemens, the one member of that triumvirate with whom he had a personal relationship. It is inexplicable why McNamee, who would face jail time only if he lied with feds in the room, would decide to serve up Clemens out of thin air.
Phil Mushnick, Post:
... [N]ot until nearly four hours after the hearing began did someone on the 41-member congressional committee ask Clemens why he didn't choose to be injected by, say, oh, a doctor, as opposed to Brian McNamee. And when Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) injected that question, Clemens answered:

"I'm a trusting person."

Oh, OK.

After the hearings, one of the first questions reporters asked Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin, was why Clemens chose to be treated by McNamee instead of a doctor.

"Do you call a doctor every time you don't feel good?" Hardin answered.

Well, a doctor does come to mind, certainly as opposed to everyone else - especially if I told him to come on over "and don't forget the syringes."
Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com:
Pettitte, in absentia, called Clemens, in so many words, a liar. In return, Clemens politely called Pettitte, in so many words, a nitwit who was mistaken about past conversations between them regarding performance-enhancing substances. ...

So, in review, when Pettitte says Clemens was on the juice, it's a case of a good guy who simply misheard and made an innocent mistake. But when McNamee alleges the same thing -- granted, in much greater volume and detail -- Team Clemens tries to kneecap the guy's credibility.
Somebody is trying to break my spirit in this room. They are not going to break my spirit.
Richard Emery, McNamee's lawyer:
It's not going to be hard to prove that he lied today. We believe he will be referred [for a criminal investigation] because the evidence is so overwhelming.
Rusty Hardin:
I think Roger showed the kind of person he is ...

February 13, 2008

Clemens/McNamee Hearing


Just watched the final two hours.

Clemens came off as an inarticulate, poorly-prepared, question-dodging, excuse-making dolt. He said the only one in his family who has used HGH was his wife. When asked about excessive B-12 injections, he blamed his mother.

He rambled through some patriotic pap about the WBC, said a former president had tracked him down in a Texas duck blind, and otherwise gave answers that bore no relation to the questions being asked. He said that Andy Pettitte and his wife has "misremembered" various conversations about Clemens and steroid use. He also admitted he has no idea what a "vegan" is.

For the most part, the Republicans attacked McNamee and were ultra-soft on Clemens, indulging in copious amounts of praise, though it was Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia) who assured Billy that "I'm sure you're going to heaven". Several of the more sycophantic Clemens admirers, including Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina), came down for hugs from the pitcher after the hearing was over.

Many Democrats pushed Clemens on his dubious claims that his honest and God-fearing best friend Andy would repeatedly lie about him and his alleged steroid use.

Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) was the hero of the day: "Mr. Pettitte said he had 'no doubt' about his recollection. ... Why would he tell Congress that one of his closest friends was taking an illegal performance-enhancing drug if there was any doubt in his mind? ... What possible reason would Mr. Pettitte have to fabricate a statement about you, his friend?"

Clemens: "Andy would have no reason to."

Most of Cummings's questions were along this line. He destroyed Billy.

McNamee's answers, for the most part, were short and to the point. He stumbled when he took offense to being called a "drug dealer"; he should have been contrite and added that if so, then Clemens was a "drug user".

Jayson Stark blogged the hearing.

New possible nickname for Clemens? The "palpable mass".

February 12, 2008

Something Else #4 - Music Blogs

The world of music blogs is seemingly infinite. Go to one at random, click on a link that sounds interesting, and you soon find yourself snaking your way through blog after blog as the hours go by. Sometimes I think there may be as much music on the internet as there is porn (it's safe).

This post has been sitting around for a few weeks, because I keep adding stuff to it. However, with Mr. Clemens Goes to Washington airing tomorrow and pitchers and catchers officially reporting on Thursday, I figure I better get this up.

First of all, Totally Fuzzy ("your guide to the music blogosphere") posts as often as 10 times a day, highlighting various blogs. Gravy Bread offers a list of 1,500+ music blogs & sites.

Two blogs I check every day: Nargo the Bort and The Ultimate Bootleg Experience. Nargo's Tony Tiger also has blogs devoted to blues/jazz, country and videos for iPods. I'm pretty sure he does not sleep. ... TUBE features a wide variety of shows -- from Huey Lewis to Black Sabbath to Radiohead. Both guys usually post only soundboard or radio-sourced recordings.

A Truer Sound is Alt-Country; last August, the blog owner compiled a four-disc set of the genre. See also Setting the Woods on Fire (there's great stuff in the sidebar too). Wilco fans should check out The Owl and The Bear.

Other blogs I've been visiting lately: I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, Doctor Mooney's 115th Dream, Hear Rock City, Chris Goes Rocks, Power Pop Criminals, Licorice Pizza, Hot Sauce Lounge, Six Songs, Infinite Foolishness and WFMU's Beware Of The Blog.

Some blogs and boards devoted to one band: U2, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Oasis, The Beatles, Van Halen (and others).

One of Not Thin Man's two blogs is Watching The River Flow, a mind-bogglingly huge collection of Bob Dylan shows. Dylan fans should also register at Expecting Rain and check out the discussion board. DVDylan might also be of interest.

Three punk & metal blogs: Hangover Heart Attack, Punk Not Profit, Punch Drunk.

This is only the tip of the tip of the iceberg. I'll likely post more blogs in comments as I find them, so sign up to receive future comments to this post. And feel free to share the music blogs you like, if you have any.

Note: The music files on these (and most other) blogs have been uploaded to a server site like Rapidshare or Megaupload. Without a subscription to these sites, you can usually download a single file only every few hours. The shows are almost always saved as RAR files (similar to zipped files), which require an application (WinRAR) to unpack and play.

The files are mp3s of varying bit rates. They should not be traded as the quality is not as good as larger lossless files (such as flac and shn). If the files are for personal use only, then mp3 is fine.

Lossless versions of concerts and studio outtakes are traded via bit torrent at sites like DimeADozen, Hunger City, Tape City and Traders Den. The Vine Factory has oodles of shows if you'd rather use the postal service. Sign up, copy the discs when they arrive and pass them on.

Truck Day South

The Truck has arrived in Fort Myers!

SoSHer BoSoxLady has photos from "Truck Day South" and Noah Pransky has a bit of footage of the unloading.

Noah has also posted some comments from Clay Buchholz.

The Brian & Billy Show; Pettitte Won't Appear

It'll be Brian McNamee vs. the Texas Con Man tomorrow morning in Washington. Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch and Kirk Radomski will not appear.

Newsday reports that, Tom Davis, the ranking Republican on the congressional committee investigating steroid use, said that Pettitte, in last week's deposition, backed up McNamee's account "in most details".

A congressional staff member and several other people familiar with the case said that Pettitte did not want to have to testify publicly, on national television, and perhaps be forced to reiterate statements that would not be in Clemens's interest. ...

After Pettitte gave a two-and-a-half-hour deposition to committee lawyers Feb. 4, he emerged looking shaken.

The Post claims that
Pettitte verified a story McNamee told in his deposition about training at Clemens' home in 2002 with both Clemens and Pettitte. McNamee said that during a break, Pettitte said to him something like, "How come you don't give me the same stuff you give Roger?" indicating Clemens told Pettitte about his human growth hormone use.
Meanwhile, Clemens's attorney Rusty Hardin was taken to task by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Henry Waxman for comments he made about FBI agent Jeff Novitzky.

Meanwhile, there is this:
[John] Rocker said that doctors from management and the players' association, following a spring training talk with the Texas Rangers about steroids and other topics, pulled himself, A-Rod, Rafael Palmeiro and Ivan Rodriguez aside. Rocker was with the Rangers in 2002.

"Look guys, if you take one kind of steroid, you don't triple stack them and take them 10 months out of the year like Lyle Alzado did," Rocker said the doctors told them. "If you do it responsibly, it's not going to hurt you."

February 11, 2008

Matsuzaka, Beckett Arrive In Fort Myers

The official date for the arrival of pitchers and catchers is Thursday, but Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka are already in Fort Myers.

February 9, 2008

Topps Puts Giuliani In Red Sox WS Celebration

One of the cards in Topps upcoming 2008 series -- a shot of the Red Sox's on-field celebration after clinching the World Series last October -- features an unexpected participant: Rudy Giuliani.

You may recall Rudy pledging his loyalty to the Red Sox last fall, as soon as his Chokers were sent packing by Cleveland. Topps manager Clay Luraschi: "We thought it would make for a funny card, since the Red Sox won. We thought, let's put him in the championship dog pile."

(First seen at The Mighty Quinn Media Machine)

Morgan Highly Skeptical As Schilling Gets Cortisone Shot

Curt Schilling received a cortisone shot in his right shoulder on Friday.

The Globe's Gordon Edes quotes Dr. Craig Morgan as saying the treatment prescribed by the Red Sox -- and which Schilling has now agreed to follow -- has no chance of success:
If [the Sox' plan] was successful, I think it would be the greatest thing known to man. But, unfortunately, that's not the case. That's like wishing for the best-case scenario. Wishing isn't going to make it happen. Within a week or two of the cortisone shot, he's unable to exercise due to pain, then it's over.
Edes also reports that the Red Sox, thinking that Schilling's shoulder would not stand up to the rigors of a full season, initially proposed that he sign a half-season contract, and pitch about 100 innings. Schilling said no to that idea.

Truck Day

It might be somewhat anachronistic, but it's a New England tradition:


SoSHer amh03 has many photos, including this one:

Schadenfreude 39 (A Continuing Series)

I have been lax in collecting tabloid covers. My apologies.

Thursday, February 7:

Friday, February 8:

Saturday, February 9:

Debbie Clemens:
Roger came to me one day and told me that we had been asked to do a photo shoot for Sports Illustrated. I had major anxiety! I was a 39-year-old mother of 4! Once I realized that this WAS going to be a reality, I decided I had to give it everything I had. My mind was set. I am not a risk-taker, but have since learned that with great risk, sometimes comes great reward.
And then there's this oldie from December:

That's just wrong!