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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Numbers, or Believing?

Well, which is it sports fans? Are we going to judge these Red Sox on the numbers they put up (Tim's point below, and the whole point of bringing somebody like Bill James into the Yawkey Way sanctum) or on their heart, effort, teamwork, and what we believe (still not much there it appears.) The numbers, as they say - especially the W-L - don't lie. And players faces don't lie either (Nomar, somebody, your agent perhaps, should tell your face to smile, you're on camera when you make those E6s!)

From today's Boston Globe, Francona speaks: "If I'm any judge of talent, I think we'll be fantastic," he said. "I love these guys. I think we're going to find a way to be a very good team. I also think we have to improve, and I believe we're going to do that."

Yes, Terry, you and they do have to improve, don't you. The question is: will you? What's the plan, really? Grind it out says Terry. How insightful!
Sound a bit like Jimmy Williams or Grady, don't you think?

What else is there to say? Let some numbers speak.

There is nothing printable to say about last night, or even the season to date, in a family blog, at least no PG adjectives, so I'll let some numbers speak for me, and a few Sox numbers everest above all the others:

-- 59 unearned runs given up so far in 75 games. The Sox are spotting opponents almost a run a game. That might be okay if this team were last year's slugging, often clutch-hitting Sox but it's not. (There is no debate about whether clutch hitting exists, despite the recent SI article.)
-- 595 LOB vs. 529 so far for opponents. Other than David Ortiz, who on the Sox drives in runs with people on base? In the 9-2 loss to Philadelphia the other day, the Sox had 14 hits, and left 11 on base. That's a good way to win!
-- 5-8. Their record in 1-run games.
-- 17-18. Their away record.
-- .302. That's opponents' batting average against Derek Lowe. Not surpringly, his ERA is 5.47. So much for regaining his form. His career ERA? 3.73, and I wonder what it was at the end of last year, before the flameout this season?
-- 37-37. That's Tampa Bay's record now, just 4 games down in the lost column from the expensive Red Sox, but there is no point in beating the dead horse of Sox salary -- there is a crowd around it now anyway.
-- 41-34 (Minnesota's record); 43-31 (Texas); 42-33 (Oakland); 41-35 (Anaheim). Wild Card? What Wild Card? (apologies to Mr. Mora)
-- 62. Number of Sox errors so far - also perilously close to 1 per game.
-- 743. Total hits so far this season, tops in the AL -- BUT the Yankees have scored 4 more runs on 77 fewer hits.
-- .323. opponents OBP, second only to the Yankees' .319. Combine with errors and it seems that lots of the guys on base for the opponents score.

There are some positive stats, too, of course: .457 (3rd in slugging in AL); 1207 (3rd in total bases); .275 (4th in average but two teams each are tied for 1, 2, 3); 386 RBI (3rd - looks like they are getting runs when it does not matter much, given their record).
Stats: Blah, blah, blah, right? But when you watch or hear the games, you know that they are inconsistent performers at best, apparently unable to concentrate in the field or on the mound at times, and -- this one is impossible to prove -- not into it as a team. Blame the manager (I have). Blame the owners. Blame the GM. Blame Bill James. Blame the players. Take your pick or mix all of them together and make Jambalaya blame. It does not matter, because the one stat -- W/L record -- either gets them in or does not.
Tim

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

It Is Just One Game, Isn't It Theo? (And Larry, and John.....)

How 'ya feeling about Nomah coming back for '05 right about now?
How 'ya feeling about Millar's role with this club right about now?
How 'ya feeling about the Mojo with this club right about now?
How 'ya feeling about executing the Bill James Stat-O-Matic approach with this club right about now?
How 'ya feeling about the prices you paid for those Box Seats you bought for August right about now?

Tonight's horrible embarassment in the Stadium must have been sweet, oh so sweet for Georgie Porgie.
Theo, these Dead-Ass (Thanks DirtDogs!) Red Sox don't have to worry about the NY Yankees for the forseeable future; they do have to worry, seriously worry, about making the playoffs and finishing second in the AL East behind the not-DeadAss Devil Rays. The way they are playing right now, Tampa will finish second in the AL East, or one of the AL West teams will certainly grab the Wild Card slot.

Still We Believe, The Boston Red Sox.......WHAT? Horror Movie.
Gimme a break. The $129 million payroll is looking like $129.00 straight out of the NECBL.

How long before the Nation starts demanding Theo dump Francona and install Remy as a means to save the season (as a PR move anyway).

Blah of the Game

While NESN should be applauded for trying to bring some new features to its Sox broadcasts besides the further adventures of Wally, "Sounds of the Game," where the Don and Jerry do in-game interviews and also have players wired for sound, is a very unwelcome addition. First, the mush-speak of the modern athlete and manager is so finely tuned and vague that nothing of consequence or interest is ever forthcoming - just more boring crap including re-stating the glaringly obvious (Francona: “We just have to score one more run than the other guys,”). Second, the game telecasts have actually missed at-bats while cutting away for an in-game interview - breaking a cardinal rule of sports telecasting. Third, I must admit I am never convinced that anyone wearing a mike isn't very much aware of having that mike on - and possibly either pandering to the situation or holding back comments because of it.
While the effort to add something new to the broadcast is appreciated, this feature is definitely not.
Note to NESN: drop "Sounds of the Game," please, unless you can develop it so it isn't just background dribble.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

A Simple (and Perhaps Fair) Measure?

Here it is, folks plain and simple:

Team: The Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Median Player Salary: $650,000
Total Payroll 2004: $29,556,667
W-L Record (as of today, not including TB evening game): 35-35
Payroll Dollars per Win: $844,476

Team: The Boston Red Sox
Median Player Salary: $3,087,500
Total Payroll 2004: $127,298,500
W-L Record (as of today, not including TB evening game): 41-31
Payroll Dollars per Win: $3,104,841


This is not rocket science folks. It's baseball.
No this isn't a "get Lou Pinella" rant.
I wonder what the average ticket price is at Tropicana Field?
Well, don't worry: Ramiro Mendoza will be back soon to save the day. And, the upcoming series against the Devil Rays has some real playoff implications, doesn't it?

Angry Young Men

by Lisa Williams
http://www.cadence90.com/blogs/nixon.html

Photo of a brawl among the players of a minor league baseball game



Angry Young Men


The problem with going to a ballgame with your toddler is that you don't always get to see what starts the bench-clearing brawl.



The North Shore Spirit were playing the visiting New Jersey Jackals, and the game was really over when Marichal hit Jackals outfielder Goodman with a wild -- or calculatedly wide? -- pitch.



The two teams massed in front of their dugouts. There was this weird hesitancy for a minute, like that awkward moment when you're trying to pass somebody in the aisle at the supermarket, but you both seem to dance right and left at the same time, and just can't move forward.



The spell holding them backllasted for an instant, and then snapped like a dry twig. Everybody blasted toward the mound, with the considerable speed young atheletes command. They ended up in a giant scrum of forty men that bobbled around the infield and got pushed towards the home team's dugout. Then the fight stopped, and everybody stood around hitching their shoulders, trying to shake off the tension, the black and white uniforms like salt and pepper poured together.



Somebody shook too hard, and one of the black uniforms rushed one of the white uniforms. It was Jay LaFlair, easily identifiable by his bright blond head; one of his teammates grabbed him around the waist and dragged him backwards as he continued to lunge forward.



When it was over, there was paperwork. Enough paperwork, in fact, to keep not one but two umpires busy writing up violation notices in their books, which looked like ticket books that metermaids have -- the kind with the stiff manila covers and the carbon paper. The coaches, Rich Gedman and X stood quietly, almost meekly, in that Yes, Officer, here's my license and registration kind of way.



Three players ended up getting ejected -- Scott Goodman, the Jersey batter, the Spirit's reliever Marichal, and Onix Mercado, the Spirit's catcher.



I figured that the brawl was the end of a truly spectacular bullpen flameout. The Spirit's starting pitcher, Dean, pitched only 1 1/3 innings -- and gave up nine runs. Nine!



(Nine runs!)



Dean was relieved by Marichal, whose wild pitch started the brawl. After Marichal was ejected, Tim Hart came in to pitch.



And hit the next batter, catcher Jay LaFlair, with the ball.



LaFlair just stood there with a You've Got To Be Shitting Me look on his face. A fan in the stands -- let's call him Mr. Creosote -- started heckling: "What is this, wrestling? This is outta control!"



The PA was silent. No play-by-play for half an inning. I thought, maybe that will help calm people down. The PA at Fraser is so loud that it seems designed to reach the fan who has taken out his hearing aids.



It was, by far, the rowdiest crowd I'd ever seen at a Spirit game. It wasn't particularly scary, though, because most of the rowdies weren't tall enough to ride the big rollercoasters at Six Flags. There was a Little League team from Revere -- the Diamondbacks, in their purple team t-shirts -- stomping on the metal risers every time the Spirit got up to bat, and each time the Spirit had a runner on base, they all wore their hats inside out as rally caps. The contest where fans got a pizza for being the loudest cheerers? They won. No contest, really.



DisSpirited, I thought, as the next batter after LaFlair, Zach Smithlin, hit the notch between first and second and the ball flew past one, two...three diving fielders, finally rolling unacompanied toward the right field wall.



Then the Diamondbacks started chanting: Let's go Spirit, let's go! Let's go Spirit, let's go! The team seemed to pause and shrug off the indignities the night had heaped on them. Sometimes all you have to fall back on is your professionalism. They didn't score, but they got into their positions and played like they meant it.



The next day, they came back and beat the Jackals three-zip.



By Lisa W. [http://www.cadence90.com/blogs/nixon.html]


Friday, June 25, 2004

Dauber: Stay at McCoy....Please!

Ah the Zen of Brian Daubach. Hitting a trivial .227 in his stint at Boston, Dauber is back at Pawtucket, where he is hitting .330 (tells you something right there folks.) Last night though, Dauber outdid himself: with his club trailing by 4 in the bottom of the eighth, two out, Dauber steps to the plate with two on. Nice place to be, right, Rally Time? And he delivers - a right field gapper, which the RF misplays. Two runs score - now down by two with a runner on second, right, with Andy Dominique on deck? Wrong. "Speedy" Dauber tries to stretch things into a triple and makes the third out at third base, and looked bad doing it. Ugly folks. Brian, stay at McCoy please.
Rehab Dept.: saw Kim and Mendoza each pitch an inning at McCoy against the Richmond Braves. Nothing memorable to report.
More ugly Dept.: PawSox below .500, look to be out of the IL playoffs if trends continue (Need pitching). And two errors last night (could have been more also.)

John, I Couldn't Agree With You More

Error.
Error.
Error.
Error.
Error.

I think that is the real total for Nomar So Far.

Error.

Maybe that is the real one, but Nomar is not the scorer.

That said, is it time to start wondering whether Francona is the manager these guys need. Sure, Grady lost track of the importance of the 7th game (how could anyone do that?), but did he not do a better job day to day than Francona? I don't see MANAGING going on with the Sox, I see NEW LINEUPS as a substitute for managing, thinking, etc. Anyone else getting the feeling that Francona is not much more than a puppet (and I mean that in a good way, don't I?) for that would-be manager group in the offices? Hey, I think Bill James is a pretty smart guy, but data don't make decisions on the field; baseball is a game of situations and I don't think Francona reacts to situations or prepares for them or even sees them.

Yeah, if they don't make the playoffs, fire Terry, too. But please let's not start the "Bring Lou Pinella in here to kick these guys' asses" talk; it's more complicated than lack of discipline.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Baseball Goofs?

What's the value of an article title? The above is an example of a "blank space" approach: I don't know what's coming so I insert a goofy title. Here comes the goof:

Barry Bonds: Boston may be a racist city (I'm not qualified to say, I am not black), certainly was a racist city (Bill Russell thought so), and while the school desegragation fiasco was over 30 years ago the Charles Stuart episode wasn't. Regardless, Barry should experience the atmosphere of Boston firsthand before he mouths off to Gordon Edes, or any other scribe or interviewer. I am sure Barry would say it would be unfair of me to deem him a self-centered prima-donna in a national interview, simply based on what other people have told me about him. I am sure Barry would insist that I get that experience firsthand.

Watching the Red Sox vs. Minnesota last night: Why is stone-fingers Bellhorn at third when Youkillis is around? Why didn't Damon get charged with an error when he lost that ball in the dusk (if that is what happened)? Was Theo's stoneface after Nomah's Slam a foreshadowing? And Lew Ford: he looks even better on the Twins than he did in his years down at New Britain, when it was obvious he was going to be a Player.

PawSox: Saw re-habbing Scott Erickson pitch for the Norfolk Tides on Saturday; looked VERY shaky to start (wild and weak velocity) but straightened it out and got a W against the PSox. Dominique has struggled since taking the bus trip back to McCoy. The PSox did a cool promo on Saturday: a Girl Scout sleepover. After the game, the outfield was populated full of small tents as lots of Girl Scouts stayed the night at McCoy. Cool - and a neat way to get girls as fans?

Legion Ball, Little League: Watched some Legion ball this weekend (good bats, need defensive work?) plus Little League games at random.
Suggestion Du Jour: Just stop sometime as you pass by any Little League game and sit for a bit. If you have had it with Bonds, the money, the media, and the hype, watch the kids. You will not be sorry you did. I promise.

D-Rays: Ya gotta love'em. Lou was right - they will not be last. The question is how can Baltimore, with Palmiero, Tejeda, Mora, Lopez, at. al. be that bad.

Living -- and Dying -- with a Minor League Team

This story, about the loss of the Martinsville Astros and the effects on the community, show just how deep the roots of minor league baseball sink into the communities where they are located.
Not much more to say than that.
Tim

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62093-2004Jun22_4.html


Friday, June 18, 2004

The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling

Oops, no it's not.
Derek Lowe: 14 scoreless innings, at home and away. Good location. Able to get out of jams.
Problems solved? Maybe not, but it seems to me that the most sophisticated and knowledgeable sports fans and media in the universe here in Boston might have cut this guy some slack. He knows more about pitching than any of them and more about himself than any of them, so when he says he does not know what was wrong but will find it and work at fixing it, maybe the all-knowing crowd would take him at his word. Instead, they called him a head case and screamed "trade." Talk about treating the players as meat -- the fans and talk-show gurus were more worried about how his poor pitching wouldn't get "us" a top-notch ballplayer!
Just how in the world did Boston fans ever get the reputation as most knowledgeable? I've been here 15 years, up from the provinces in Washington, D.C., and still haven't seen it.
Most obnoxious, quickest to judge, speediest on the call-in speed dial, and fastest to jettison their one-time favorites -- yup, they win on all counts.
Tim

Thursday, June 17, 2004

What baseball teaches kids

Ted Williams said hitting a baseball was "the hardest thing to do in sports . . . A round ball, a round bat, curves, sliders, knuckleballs, upside down and a ball coming in at 90 to 100 miles an hour, it's a pretty lethal thing."
Which is, of course, why 3 of 10 is great, and 0 for 21 is bad under all circumstances. That's the way my son's AAU team started out in the state tournament last weekend: That's right - they were no-hit twice.
They lost, of course, both times; the first game was an error-filled mess when they just seemed to have shown up to see each other. The second, though, against a very good team was harder to watch. His team's pitchers gave up just two hits, but the team lost 6-0, on a few untimely errors. Next game, they hit but not enough and lost 6-2. They finally got it together on Sunday, playing just their fourth game of the summer, and won 6-3 and stayed in the tournament.
So, what's the point?
That baseball is a hard game to play, but is also a paradox: it is a team game where success depends entirely on individual performances at critical times, and every pitch is a critical time. Errors can wipe out hits, hits can wipe out errors, good pitching does not always win, bad pitching almost always loses. And everyone depends on everyone else doing individual, skill-based things right all the time.
To me, it's different from basketball or football, soccer or lacrosse, where team success depends on a total team performance all the time. Individual skills count, but we have seen in football and now in basketball that good teams win against even better talent. The motto of my son's AAU program (and this is not unique) is: "Talent wins games--teamwork wins championships."
In baseball, for most of the game, one person -- the pitcher, who has a special talent -- has the ball and gives it up, perhaps 120 times, and hopes that in the times that the batter touches it - more than 3 out of 10 times, of course - the other eight players do everything right. It is often the pitcher's fault, though, when the batter gets on base, and the pitcher alone never wins a game although the pitcher can and does lose games all by himself.
For my son, the pleasures of baseball seem to lie in the opportunities for success and the sharing of the struggle against serious odds to succeed. When he does poorly, he is learning -- and this is the most rewarding part of this game, for me -- not to lose his confidence at the same time, not to give up after striking out or flying out or making a mental error. He is learning not to judge or criticize or hold responsible his teammates because everything they do poorly, he has done or will do again -- every physical or mental mistake is a shared experience. He is learning to analyze what he did right, and wrong, more dispassionately; he is learning to remove his performance from his identity. He is also beginning to understand just how hard it is to succeed, what kind of work it takes, where he has to improve and where he has to persevere, and, for now, he is willing to do whatever it takes (although running is still an issue). And he is learning that confidence comes from success, but lasts through failure.
With 3 for 10 defining success in one phase of the game, the difficulty of baseball has not broken him or his friends, and there are no statistics that can measure how important this will be in the long run, outside the lines, where success can be just as hard.
There is nothing like sports to temper character and there is nothing like baseball, in my opinion, to give you perspective. He will need both as he grows up.
Now, if only I had the same perspective watching the games . . . but that is another story.
Tim



Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Just Another Night at Pawtucket ....

- From the You don't see this Every Day Department: Durham Bulls Right Fielder Matt Diaz flies out three straight times - to second base; F4, F4, F4. Despite that, the kid looks like a player; time will tell.
- In the famous movie, Robert Redford's injured character (#9, remember) slugs a mammoth home run to right center and into the light standard to win the game for the Knights, amid tons of sparks, music, and bombast. Well, last night at McCoy, a foul ball over the right field roof blew out one of the bulbs in the light standard. I can report that we somehow missed out on the showering sparks and bombast (some trickling glass shards was about it folks), though for good measure, the PawSox played the famous clip from the movie later - on the Jumbotron.
- Buddy Bailey does a terrific job as manager of the PawSox (you know the "but" is coming) but last night he pulled Jamie Brown one out short of a victory (4 2/3) and it didn’t appear that Brown was in any serious trouble (only 1 ER to that point). While two men were on, he had pretty much controlled the game so far and looked strong, hitting the corners and changing speeds well. Go figure.
- A Buddy Move that worked (Go Figure, again): in the seventh, Henri Stanley (.222 BA on the season, and hasn’t even looked that good) as a PH singles to right for an RBI.
- Feast or Famine Department: Brian Daubach’s line: 5 PA’s - BB, BB, BB, then K,K. That's Brian folks, after two mammoth HR’s over the weekend.
On Sunday, the PawSox’s 8-0 shellacking of the Bulls was behind a strong, five hit pitching performance by Tim Kester.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Guest Columnists Invited to Blog: Can You Write?

If you are a Baseball Zeitgesit reader and follow a team in our region, send us a column about your latest visit to the ballpark! Lisa W. sent us a nice piece (published below) on the North Shore Spirit; she loves baseball, she can write, and she has thoughtful opinions.
Thanks Lisa - and if you have the urge to tell us about a Northeast League, Atlantic League, NECBL, Cape Cod League, or other, send it in.
General Considerations: Try to be fair, certainly be accurate, and please be concise.

When The Pitching Doesn't Fall Apart - Guest Blog from Lisa W.

[Baseball Zeitgeist welcomes Lisa W. as a columnist for the N. S. Spirit]

MD, M.D. and I watched the North Shore Spirit down the New Haven Cutters 2-1 on Thursday at Fraser Field in Lynn.



The stands were packed with grade-school kids in lemon-yellow t-shirts, part of a literacy program the team runs in local schools. They call it The New Fraser Field, and they aren't kidding: I remember seeing it back when the Massachusetts Mad Dogs, another indy team, played there. Let's just say, well, there wasn't a jumbotron (or a staffed kids playground, or an immaculate field, or reliable delivery of hot dogs (For tales of our sojourns to see the Mad Dogs, see Coma Lady Does the Macarena).



Things fall apart/The center cannot hold could have been written by Yates about minor league pitching staffs. The biggest difference between pro ball and any other kind of ball is the quality and depth of the pitching. As a result, young pitchers get lit up by young batters, and in the semipro teams I've followed, scores like June 8th's 11-9 loss, also to New Haven, are common.



Bryan Morse, a lefty, started on the mound for the Spirit, alternating a fastball that would occasionally touch the nineties with an off-speed pitch that few of the batters could make contact with.



Looking at Morse and his teammates I was struck by the idea that the New Haven guys seemed so much bigger -- but then I dismissed the idea, thinking that my eyes must be fooling me. Looking down the rosters now, though, I see that over half of the Cutters are north of 200, while only a handful of the Spirit are. While baseball players aren't offensive linemen, this did seem to make a difference in the style of play between the two teams -- the jittery, almost caffeinated Spirit could barely stay still on the field, while New Haven seemed to be playing for offensive power, a bunch of guys with huge arms and shoulders coming up to the plate, a frightening sight for an opposing pitcher.



On the opposing team, Jordy Alexander, another lefty, took the mound. Alexander played on the World Cup team for Canada, and has been working his way around the Central and Northeast leagues. As Alexander pitched to Spirit shortstop Yuri Alexander, Marcos Agramonte stood a few yards from us in the on-deck circle. I love the little persnickety things batters do when they're on deck. Marcos watched every pitch Alexander delivered to Sanchez, and swung as if the ball were being pitched to him. His practice was rewarded; in his at-bat, he managed to make contact with the ball and send it skittering towards third, but not with enough authority to get him on base. A lot of Alexander's pitches ended up being batted straight up and landing on top of the netting that encloses the grandstand behind home base. Batters were swinging under it and pulling up, but often too late, striking the ball with the narrower part of the bat after the ball had mostly gotten by them, sending it up and back. Alexander's catcher, Adam Shorser, covered a lot of ground behind home base, popping up from his crouch, spinning, and scanning for fouled balls that could be converted into outs. Both catchers wore something I hadn't noticed before -- wedge-shaped foam pads attached to the back of their shin guards to make it easier to sit in the crouch.



Proponents of the theory of free markets need to explain one thing to me: why do I get ten times more showbiz for $4 at Fraser Field than I do for $44 at Fenway? Between innings, denizens of the bleachers at Fenway have to make their own entertainment -- as in years past when inflatable naked women would be bounced around the bleachers along with more conventionally shaped beachballs. At Fraser Field, fans are provided ample entertainment between innings -- by the fifth inning, we had already seen the team's mascot, Slugger, race a kid around the bases, liberally hosing him down with a bazooka of a squirt gun while people in the stands called for equal armament for the kid; we saw an adult choose between a prize in a dollhouse and one in a paperboy's bag, and win a can of beans, and my personal favorite, the laundry race, where two kids had to put on three t-shirts and then race to a waiting washing machine on a dolly, take the t-shirts off, and throw them in. Lest anyone think I am being snarky, the fact is I adore the sweet, lighthearted entertainment that the management crams into every game; they want you to like them, and they're not afraid to show it. And they're not afraid to let you on the field; the kind of pernicious demarcation between fans and players that you see in a major league park, where the fences are more like the Berlin Wall, and a single fan's incursion onto the field is reacted to as if it were the invasion of a horde of bloodhirsty Huns, reincarnated with tactical nuclear weapons.



In the bottom of the sixth inning, I said to MD, "The pitching should start to fall apart right about now." I went and got myself some popcorn and settled in for a rally -- a rally that never came. Ryan Bicondoa, a righty, came in as a reliever for the Spirit in the final inning, pitching a curious sinking ball that batters swung right over the top of. The rally didn't materialize, and the Spirit prevailed, 2-1.



While looking up references to players for this post, I ran into a couple of items that may be of interest to those who follow indy league baseball: Indy League Notebook, and an interesting story about the Aces. Just before the start of the 2004 season, the Allentown Ambassadors folded, and the Northeast League reacted by fielding a road team -- a team for whom no game is a home game. Looking around, I spotted this story: Aces may find a home in Utica.




[Thanks Lisa!]


Monday, June 07, 2004

The 'EEI Hype Machine: The Cowardly Lion

I am so glad Dennis and Callahan were worried about how to keep Derek Lowe's confidence up now that he has had a decent (?) outing; while suggesting and developing various strategies the Sox can employ to make sure that happens. I am so glad someone is working on that problem because I am sure Terry Francona and his staff are much to busy working on Caesar Crespo's baserunning.

Every day, the droids at 'EEI sway with the speed of a well-oiled weather vane - one day Theo is a genius, and the next, the franchise is going to hell in a handbasket because somebody got caught in a rundown or a starter got whipped for six runs. And yet, the wailing and gnashing is done behind the backs of Sox players and management: 'EEI has access like no other media outlet, and yet their interviewers wimp out with softball/puffball questions whenever they interview to players or management.

It's all about projecting disasters, exaggeration, hyperbole, and excitement folks - that's what generates interest, listeners, ratings, and ultimately, ad dollars.

Now what I want you all to do right now is to get up out of your chairs, go to the window, stick your head out, and shout at the top of your lungs, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"
Where's the great Peter Finch when we really need him.