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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

And introducing your 2006 Boston Red Sox

at 1B: Kevin Youkilis? David Ortiz? (Not John Olerud)
at 2B: Tony Graffinino? Joey Cora?
at SS: ? (Not Hanley Ramirez, Not Orlando Cabrera)
at 3B: Mike Lowell
playing left field: ?
playing center field: ? (Coco Crisp? Jeremy Reed?)
playing right field: Trot Nixon (I guess)
catching: Jason Varitek (not Doug Mirabelli)
and pitching for the Red Sox, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield, Curt Schilling, Bronson Arroyo,
So, Theo doesn't matter, huh? Co-GMs work okay, right? Coco Crisp? Juan Encarnacion? Preston Wilson?
These guys really lack any clue about how to build a team. The sheer absence of Johnny Damon in center field changes the way I think about this team. To me, Damon was the team icon: played hard, played hurt, played with the skills he had and somehow minimized the impact of his very weak arm, consistently outperformed every other leadoff hitter in the AL, was critical to putting pressure on the other team from the very first at-bat, loved Boston, had fun, and was beloved by fans - and FU to those assholes who will now show up on the radio and in print to denigrate him and to say how little he mattered, blah, blah, blah.
Hey, Larry, get ready for the Matt Millen parade around Fenway. You and your team have colossally screwed up by letting Damon go to the YANKEES! Why don't you see if you can swing a Manny for __________________ trade with the Yankees.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Mike Adams gets a JOB!

Real radio happened last night at WEEI, the self-proclaimed number-one sports radio station in the country, when Mike Adams, forever the part-time fill-in with great sports knowledge and real comedic talent, barricaded himself in the studio until he heard from station manager Jason Wolfe. This, folks, just does not happen in the media, where except on the far-right and far-left talk shows no one actually behaves in anger or disappointment or honesty.
I was listening when Adams locked himself in the studio between The Big Show and his night-time gig and refused to play the replays for an hour and for a bit, refused to play commercials. He seems to have pissed off both Glenn Ordway, Big Show host, and sports flash bulk, Pete Sheppard, who both left to go to the company Christmas party. The engineers were openly worried about being implicated in the take over, but Adams calmed them and played the commercials - and generated hundreds of supporting calls from lots of long-time listeners/first-time callers, and potential and actual advertisers. Adams has a lot of fans, including me, but few if any times do the listeners actually influence hiring decisions.
Adams has been strung along for a couple of months while Wolfe tried out dopey and lame sports talk show candidates, but Adams knows and loves Boston sports, has an encylopedic knowledge of all things Red Sox. He is a pleasure to listen to and great fun.
You hung it out there, Adams, took a huge chance, and it seems to have paid off. Congratulations!
And, Jason Wolfe, expect a tidal wave of spam emails, phone calls, etc., if you back down on this one.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Survey says . . .

Not a real survey, statistically valid, etc., but listening yesterday to the WEEI opinionators and call-ins, the sense that a two-headed GM is just a stopgap measure that looks ridiculous is widespread.
Lucchino's citing Baltimore and Tampa Bay as examples of other clubs that have a two-headed GM was particularly galling to some callers, for the obvious reasons: their teams suck and the organizations are in disarray. You really want to copy those guys? was the question.
Ben and Jed are, I'm certain, capable, qualified to do what they do, etc., but GM of the Boston Red Sox is not a managerial position - it is a CEO-level, PR-heavy assignment that Theo fit into so well, it seemed as if he were born to it. Few, if any, public missteps. Great relationships with the carnivores in the press and with the players. The only one who had a problem with him, I guess, was Lucchino, and I still attribute that to the estrangement that happens when your child becomes an adult and no longer needs you.
The most annoying aspect, to me, of the entire debacle that is the GM Scramble at Yawkey Way is the sudden appearance of callers and even some press who now question just how much Theo really accomplished as GM. Hey, folks, it does not matter: They won the World Series on his watch, he was instrumental in getting and helping to hold together the team of characters for the stretch run, he traded ICON Nomah, shopped ICON Manny, helped bring in ICON Schilling (who may actually have had almost as much to do with the Series win because of his locker room presence and bulldog approach). No one that I heard make these remarks has any knowledge of just how much everyone on the staff, from Lucchino down, contributed, so these complaints and criticisms are - however typical of Boston's so-called sophisticated sports intelligentsia - simply a reflection of the cynicism that festers in pockets of the fan base and of the character of the people making the comments. Long way to say, "Hey, assholes, shut up!"
More later on what the team actually looks like now . . .

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Doing the right things

Well, it is inevitable that some people might begin to wonder how important Theo was, given the trades and acquisitions so far.
There is little to dislike at this point, other than the evident lack of a shortstop; I have to assume they - the multiheaded team now constituting the GM - have a plan for this. As important as pitching is, the Sox leaders in the last two years have made it clear they think defense is a close second, so I cannot imagine they are going to go with a second-team shortstop. There is still time, I think to fix this, but I am clueless about who it might be.
Renteria will thrive in Atlanta, with the lack of public fervor and scrutiny there. It was a weird year, wasn't it, for the Gold Glove shortstop? Too many errors, no real long streaks at the plate that mattered. I think there must have been something physical with Edgar, his back most likely, and we will probably find this out later.
Too bad about Mirabelli, mostly for Wakefield, but he's a pro, and he will groom another catcher to take Doug's place. He will also get a chance to play as many as 100 games in SD, which is also good for him.
Loretta and Lowell will perform, my prediction.
Right now, they have a great 3rd baseman (at least defensively), great 2nd baseman, a terrific new pitcher.
I think they are in good shape - on December 8, 2005. We have a long way to go, don't we?
The stove is stoked.
And finally, what's with the Theo rumor?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


It's an ugly nickname but it seems to have stuck with the brass at Yawkey Way; 30 errors at SS will do that to you.
Seems in hindsight (where we are all the smartest GMs on earth) like the big name of Renteria overwhelmed common sense last year when the Brass dumped Cabrera for Edgar. We do love big names here, don't we?
Edgar to anywhere we get a SS in return might be a great deal for Edgar, for whom I have no hard feelings. Perhaps Tony L's comments on WEEI last year about Edgar's sensitive nature were really on the mark; the fact that the Sox are "aggressively" seeking to move Edgar might be because they see no hope of his resurrecting himself to his St. Louis performances. Honestly, I will not miss Edgar because whenever the ball was hit to him or when the Sox really needed a hit, I was more likely to turn away from the TV screen or move away from the radio, and, like most fans, lacked confidence in him.
Best of luck to Edgar in the NL or wherever he ends up. He will probably be very successful. For Edgar, like many other players over the years who proved to be good or great elsewhere, Boston was not a home field; it was more like the Coliseum.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Yankees in the red?!

From EPSN.com news services

Report: Yankees lost $50M to $85M in 2005

The New York Yankees lost between $50 million and $85 million for the 2005
season, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.
Despite drawing more than four million fans, a payroll of $200 million
plus an additional $110 million in revenue sharing and luxury taxes has
left the Yankees in the red, according to the paper.
"Yes, even George has his limits," one source told the Daily News.
The paper also reports that the Yankees might have to open up their
checkbooks even further if a consultant hired by MLB decides the team
undervalued their television rights.
The Yankees currently charge the YES Network about $60 million a year to
broadcast games, but if it's found to be undervalued, the Yankees will
have to make up the difference by putting more money into the
revenue-sharing fund, the paper reported.
"They're going to owe us money," one MLB source predicted to the paper.
The final numbers won't be crunched for a few months, but it's believed
the final number will be roughly $80 million when all is tallied.
According to Forbes magazine, the Yankees lost $37.1 million in 2004.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hip Hip Hooray!

The Sox have a great young pitcher! Damn, hard to believe they could pull this off GM-less.
Manny, Manny, Manny. What is up, dude? Selling the homestead in advance of a trade. Guess we get the message. Sorry to see you go, but I'll take Abreu if the GM-less team can swing it. Some protection for Ortiz is all I want from any trade.
I never cared whether you did weird stuff on or off the field; you are the man, when it comes to hitting. The other stuff is irrelevant to most everyone except some self-proclaimed baseball purists. See the ball, hit the ball, catch the ball (mostly), and throw the ball. You did not take drugs, get into car accidents, hit the strip clubs, mouth off about teammates, complain about fans, blah blah blah, so I just did not care about the things you did do. Pee in the left field hidie-hole all you want. Just hope we don't miss you more than we expected.