December 31, 2022

Dennis Eckersley Files Petition To Adopt Daughter's Newborn After The Baby Was Abandoned In A Tent In The Woods

After news reports last week that Alexandra Eckersley, the 26-year-old daughter of Dennis Eckersley, had been arrested for abandoning her newborn baby in the New Hampshire woods, the former Red Sox pitcher and broadcaster has filed a guardianship petition to adopt the child.

The baby "was found unclothed, freezing, and alone in the darkness in a wooded area . . . on Sunday night . . . The baby was found uncovered and struggling to breathe on the floor of a tent . . . Efforts were then made to provide warmth and the baby was taken to an area hospital for additional treatment." The baby was suffering from hypothermia.

Dennis Eckersley and his family released a lengthy statement, expressing their shock at the news. They stated Alexandra had chosen to live on the streets for the last six years and pointed out that New Hampshire's mental health system is, like the systems in so many other states, in utter shambles.

When a state deliberately slashes the number of available beds from 2,500 to fewer than 150, as New Hampshire has, and drastically cuts or eliminates other essential services (because everyone wants lower taxes, right?), it guarantees that people who desperately need help will end up in situations like this, giving birth outside at 1:00 a.m. in 15-degree weather. And we will read stories like this – with far  worse outcomes – again and again and again.

We are utterly devastated by the events that unfolded on Christmas night when our daughter Allie delivered a baby while living in a tent. It is heartbreaking that a child was born under such unthinkable conditions and in such tragic circumstances. We learned with everyone else from news reports what happened and are still in complete shock. We had no prior knowledge of Allie's pregnancy.

We are extremely grateful to the first responders in Manchester, NH for saving this innocent newborn boy and to the hospital staff for everything they are doing to ensure his well-being.

Allie is our beloved daughter who we adopted at birth. Though it is painful to share, we feel it necessary to offer greater context of Allie's circumstances and background. Allie has suffered from severe mental illness her entire life. Allie was hospitalized numerous times for her illness and lived in several residential programs. We did our very best to get Allie all of the help and support humanly possible.

Once Allie became an adult there was even less we could do because she was legally free to make her own decisions as long as she was not a danger to herself or others. Under existing laws, there was simply no way to force her to receive treatment. Nonetheless, we continued to support her as best we could.

Since she was twenty, Allie chose to live on the streets in New Hampshire. As in many states, the mental health system in New Hampshire is broken. The state hospital used to have 2,500 psychiatric beds. Now there are less than 200 for more than 1.2 million citizens and the state was forced to eliminate another 48 beds this fall because of staff shortages. Without adequate inpatient beds for crisis, treatment and stabilization, a state mental system fails.

We have always offered Allie a path home but she has made other choices. We hope Allie now accepts the treatment she desperately needs for her mental health issues. We also hope that all those who have heard this tragic story withhold judgment about our daughter until all the facts come out.

We are in the process of filing a guardianship petition so that we may receive information and have decision making with respect to Allie's son.

We thank you for your support and prayers for this beautiful, innocent baby boy. We hope people understand what an agonizing situation this is and we respectfully ask for privacy. Accordingly, we will have no further comment on this matter for the time being.

Troy Lynch, WMUR:

Eckersley was arrested on Monday. She is accused of telling first responders she gave birth to a prematurely born baby boy on a soccer field. Crews searched in the wrong area for an hour before police said she informed them of the true location of the tent, officials said.

First responders raced down a footpath in the dark to reach the child, who was described by fire officials as moving, not crying, exposed and in the cold, without a blanket and next to a bed covered in blood. The temperature was around 15-18 degrees. . . .

[Alexandra Eckersley] has pleaded not guilty to charges including second-degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child, falsifying physical evidence and reckless conduct.

December 28, 2022

Wake Up! We Signed Corey Kluber.

Nathan Eovaldi has left for Texas and Rich Hill is Pittsburgh bound, but do not fear. The Red Sox have made another off-season splash by signing Corey Kluber to a one-year deal with a club option for a second.

Unfortunately, next season will not be 2017.

The Red Sox are the Klubot's fifth team in the last five seasons. Kluber, who will be 37 next season, had the lowest walk rate in the majors last year (1.2 per nine innings). He threw 164 innings in 31 starts, and walked 21.

Boston will head into next spring with at least seven starters for five spots: Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Garrett Whitlock, James Paxton, Tanner Houck, Brayan Bello, and Kluber.

Fans may be down on Bloom, but he is obviously hoarding money to give to Ohtani.

December 25, 2022

August 1942 Video: Babe Ruth Bats Against Walter Johnson

Same event, different footage:

Ruth's swing:

December 18, 2022

Red Sox Grab Justin Turner, While JDM Signs With Dodgers

Justin Turner has agreed with the Red Sox on a contract for next season, with a player option for 2024.

Turner, who turned 38 last month, will be the team's designated hitter and probably spend some time at first base. He will be paid $8.3 in 2023 and, if the option is exercised, $11.4 in 2024. 

Boston's DH for the last five seasons, J.D. Martinez, inked a one-year deal with the Dodgers.

December 15, 2022

Red Sox Introduce Outfielder Masataka Yoshida

On Thursday, the Red Sox officially announced the signing of outfielder Masataka Yoshida, 29, to a five-year contract (2023-27), reportedly worth $90 million (the figure was not made official). He will wear #7 and play left field. 

Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom:
He's someone that we like, we've spent a lot of time on. Really, really good hitter, [gives a] quality at-bat and a great talent. . . . There is a foundation here to be able to do some things and be able to handle an at-bat a certain way. The way the swing works, the way that he sees the ball -- those things do tend to translate really well for whatever environment the player is in.
The most common description of Yoshida over the past few weeks leading up to his posting has been "on-base machine". In seven seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball, Yoshida batted .327/.421/.539. Last season, he walked 80 times and posted a .447 OBP, and struck out only 41 times. It won't be surprising to have him at the top of lineup, if not on Opening Day, then shortly thereafter.

Yoshida was open and honest during the press conference:
I'm Masataka Yoshida. I'm 29 years old. I have played for the Orix Buffaloes for seven years. I don't speak English. [I'm] so nervous. I want to learn English, and I want to speak it. I'm honored to be with Red Sox Nation. I'll do my best. Thank you. . . .

Obviously, the Red Sox organization is the best one of all 30 teams. So that's why I chose it. . . . The Green Monster, it's really tall -- I was surprised. . . . I haven't experienced leading off. That's why I said maybe I don't have confidence to hit as a leadoff hitter, but whatever they say, I'll do. I'm going to play hard, that's all. I just want to keep doing the same thing [as] what I did in Japan -- make good contact and get on base.
[Maybe his "obviously" line was not honest, but he's getting $90 million, of course they're great!]

The Red Sox also signed Kenley Jansen to a 2/32 deal. My experience with Jansen is watching him white-knuckle his way through recent postseason innings. He's 35 and heading into his 14th season. I am not expecting to be impressed.

December 8, 2022

Xander Bogaerts Signs With Padres (11/280)

Xander Bogaerts has agreed to a 11-year contract with the Padres, for worth $280 million. Reports are the deal includes a full no-trade clause and no opt-outs.

Bogaerts first signed with the Red Sox as a 16-year-old in 2009. He turned 30 last October and leaves  Boston having played the most games at shortstop in Red Sox history (1,192). In ten seasons, he hit .292/.356/.458, for an .814 OPS and 117 OPS+, and was a member of two World Series champions: 2013 and 2018.

It's not my money, of course, but that deal is nothing I would have wanted the Red Sox to saddle themselves with. Shelling out an average of $25 million per in Bogaerts's age 38-41 years? No, thank you. According to ESPN Stats & Info, "Bogaerts' deal is the longest contract ever signed at age 30 or older."

Alex Speier (Globe) tweeted

According to a major league source, the Red Sox were "really far" from the Padres offer  and their offers were short of $200M. Just a huge gap in where the Padres went.

Peter Abraham (Globe) added:

Bogaerts, a source said, wanted to give the Sox a last chance to improve their offer. But there was what was described as a "huge gap" between the teams and Bogaerts felt he had no choice but to choose the Padres.

Of course, he had a choice. But, hey, good for X and best of luck in San Diego.

It remains to be seen who will be our shortstop coming next April. If Trevor Story slides over from second, who will play second? The chatter will likely pivot to Carlos Correa, who is two years younger than Bogaerts and has some shared history with manager Alex Cora.

I assumed Chaim Bloom would let Bogaerts go and concentrate on inking Rafael Devers to a long-term deal. The first part of that plan was super easy. Do not fuck up the second half.

December 7, 2022

Analytics – Ruining Baseball Since . . . 1897

Players Rank Not Always Shown By His Fielding Average
The Ground He Covers and the Balls He Shirks Not Recorded

It always has been maintained that fielding averages are misleading in the estimate of the real abilities of players. That a player, for example, who leads the league at second base, according to the figures compiled by Mr. [Nick] Young [National League president] every fall, does so because he is a cautious player, who does not take the chances that other men in the position go after and who in doing so make errors that may put them far down in the list in the so-called "averages." On this account many close critics always watch the totals of chances recorded opposite each player's name and attach more importance to that column than they do to the "percentage of chances accepted," which is supposed to determine the rank of the player.

. . . In order to give some estimate of the work of the National League players in this particular, the Chicago Tribune has compiled a table of percentage of chances to the game accepted by players [chances per game] the last season, in accordance with the official figures given out by President Young. The worst defect about the table will be the fact that no allowance can be made for instances where players have participated in only part of a game.

The Sporting News, November 20, 1897