Tuesday, August 03, 2010

August: No Time For Horsin' Around...

Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and BAM!, it's August. Happens every year, yet as is often seen in the anger that accompanies the first annual snowfall, it seems to catch us off guard. From August, you can actually see September, and when September becomes a reality, it's a sober reminder that whether good or bad, your Summer is coming to an end...

And hey, I'm not trying to be JD Downer, here, telling you your days of soaking up rays are nearing their conclusion, it's just a less than pleasurable fact of life that once you flip your calendar to August, you're in the stretch run. Like, if you're Summer were an actual horse in a race, this would be the time the midget on it's back would start whippin' it. And as is this case with the little man and his big horse, by the time you hit that stretch run you usually have a pretty good idea of how you're gonna finish...

For yours truly, that means yet another busy month filled with a typically heavy workload over @ Citadel Broadcasting, a bachelor party, 2 family birthdays, a trip to NYC + Long Island, my glorious return to both live and online poker and yet another cameo as the morning news guy on my mothership of AM790. For the Red Sox? Well unfortunately I fear their stretch run is going to likewise be a mirrored image of their Summer to date. If mine's been busy, there's has been...well...lackluster. To put that in terms of horse racing, I'm leaning less towards Sea Biscuit, and more towards Eight Belles. What, too soon? For which, the horse or the Sox? Well not soon enough for either, if you ask me. And if the Sox finish up the way their trade deadline behavior suggests, it won't be long before even the most loyal of Red Team fans starts shifting their eyes a few mile south to that other Bay State squad, a few weeks earlier than they had anticipated...

And by "most loyal Red Team fans", I mean me...

Red Sox Update
Overall: 61-46, 7 games back in AL East/Wild Card LOSS column

This Week: vs CLE (8/2-8/5) @ NYY (8/6-8/9)

Well, the trading deadline has come and gone. And while the waiver thing where you can really still trade for still in effect, Theo Epstein made it perfectly clear with his inaction that even with this season's outcome looking more and more bleak by the day, he is content to stand pat and more or less "see what happens". I mean, you tell me. Do these moves look like a team that's making a run for the 2010 playoffs?..

Ramon Ramirez traded to SF Giants for minor league LHP Dan Turpen

When I saw this deal come across the wire, it was essentially all I needed to know about Theo's plans. Just the fact that the Sox were dealing someone, anyone, away for prospects told me they were less likely to be buyers, and more likely to hang back and let things play out...

Red Sox acquire C Jarrod Saltalamacchia from Texas for prospects + cash

When I saw this deal the first thought that came to mind was "Hey 2007 called, they want their ill prospect back". The once elite catching prospect dubbed "Salty" has seemingly been in Theo's cross hairs since he hit the scene back in '06, and in giving up so little to eventually get him it could turn out as a very shrewd move...down the road. For now, we're talking about a guy whose a career .251 hitter in 3+ seasons and who has more strikeouts (247) than he does hits and home runs combined (222). OH, and he can't really catch, either. Not exactly someone you can plug in right now and expect to help you out...

So to answer my original question, NO, these don't resemble the moves of a team that's trying to improve it's roster here and now. Good value for the future, perhaps, but no help to the team that's actually attempting to win games here in 2010...

Now, does this give validity to the theory that the Red Sox always viewed this as a "bridge year"? Eh, yes and no. IT certainly doesn't hurt the argument, that's for sure. But it obviously doesn't do much to discredit it, either. Here's my take. I think, if put on the truth serum before the season, Theo Epstein would have told you that while he felt the team as constituted would be able to ride it's pitching depth a position of contention come deadline time, he wasn't going to be willing to part with big time prospects to bring in a big time player if that's what was necessary to get back into the race. Basically, he felt in his heart of hearts it would work out, but if it didn't, he wasn't going to take seemingly extreme measures to help salvage the season. He figures he's got the pitching talent and depth he wants in place for years to come, and seeing as next season is already filled with potential departures on the offensive end (Ortiz, Martinez), he feels he's better off holding onto his pitching now and taking a fresh stab at rebuilding the offense in the off season (Carl Crawford, anyone?). A nice long term strategy, just not one that's going to help revitalize a team that sits 7 back in the Wild Card and AL East loss column with just 56 games to play...

Listen, I'm still holding out hope that some move comes out of left field a la 2004 and provides the jolt this team is looking for, but not only does it not seem like it's in the cards, it just doesn't seem all that practical. Then again, neither did signing JD Drew to a massive contract, so who knows...

For me, I'll be sitting back with the Theo for the rest of this season, praying for a miracle while at the same time acquiescing to the obvious. This season, while it's had plenty of Sea Biscuit moments, is destined to have an ending more akin to Eight Belles. A solid effort that only ends in cheap dog food, glue, and utter disappointment. If we're lucky, maybe we can get Theo "the jockey" Epstein have JD Drew re-enact Eight Belles final race as he runs the bases for the last time this season. In failing that, I don't see much else worth smiling about...

Then again, last time I publicly voiced my doubts about the rest of the season, the Sox won 4 in a row and 7 of their next 10. So what do I know?...

Well I'll tell you what I know. Whatever the Sox end up doing, one thing is for sure. Football is close, friends. So close I can taste it. Well, at least my Droid can...

New England Patriots Update

You know how I know football season can't be too far off? No, it's not the fact that training camps have already started. And no, it's not even the fact that some of my ADHD/OCD/TED friends have already had their fantasy football draft lottery. Nope. How I know that football is near, that the season is a mere precious week's away, is that text messages like this one are popping up in my inbox more regularly than the bowel movements of a bran muffin addict...

This particular gem is courtesy of New York City resident, New Jersey native, New York Jets fan, and all around sports fanatic, Mr. Jared Hutter (picture far right). I often refer to him as "Nappy Hutts", "Lord", or any distorted variation of those two nicknames, but for today's purposes, we'll just stick with calling him "Jared" lest any of you get thrown off course. And here's the conversation Jared and I engaged in on Monday afternoon. Take a look...

Jared: I've got a hookup for authentic NFL jerseys if you're interested at all
Me: Nice. Yea, lemme get a Darrelle Revis Cowboys jersey
Me: Ha!...but yeah don't buy me one of those now just to spite me, please, because I'm not payin'
Besides the Pats, who wouldn't pay him anyway, that's my worst nightmare
Me: If he ever went to the Pats, I'd have that pic you guys took with him in Vegas blown up and put on a pro Patriots t-shirt (similar to the crude paint job above)
Jared: I don't blame you. If he goes to the Pats I may have to shoot Belichick out of spite, though.
Me: Not gonna lie, as long as he doesn't die I wouldn't mind you doing that as long as you allow me to tag along and tape it for Internet millionaire purposes
Jared: I don't want him to die, but I want him to suffer. And you could tag along, but only if the tape were made in such a way as I could not be positively identified.

Ha! Classic stuff, right?

Obviously I was referring to Jets DB Darrelle Revis and his current holdout, and obviously, for all you narcs out there, Jared isn't really planning on shooting coach least I'm pretty sure he isn't. It's just the typical banter of yet another NFL season, and I for one couldn't be happier that it's nearly upon is...

For now, I direct Patriot fans to Mike Reiss, for all their pertinent Patriot info, and all other NFL fans to, where Mike Florio will make sure you're in good hands no matter you're squad. I'll have my full pre season predictions when the time comes, and I even might throw the dogs a bone with a few fantasy draft tips from time to time. So be on the lookout. You may think you don't want my fantasy advice, but you're wrong. You want, nay!, you need it, my friends. You crave it...

And as long as we're talking about fantasy football, and seeing as I've already made several mentions of dead horses, allow me to take this time to express how important it is that you put a lot of thought into nailing down a good fantasy football team name. What does that have to do with dead horses, you ask? Well I've always likened naming a fantasy team to naming a race horse, something I've wanted to do since I myself was the size of a jockey. So let's call it, 9 or 10 years old. But since I lack the ways and means to obtain a horse worthy of racing (for now), I use fantasy sports as a way to capture what would otherwise be wasted creativity. Example: Here's a list of the team's currently under management by the fantasy branch of Rooch Nation Enterprises...

Baseball: Pete Rose Haircut (1st place)
Baseball: The Naxed Nixons (Otis, not Trot...or Dick, and also in 1st place)
Football: The Ted Whisperer (that photo is my team logo-->)
Golf: The D'Oyly Carte Operea Company
College Picks: WWJosephGordonLevittDo?
NFL Picks: Sexy Alf + The Melmac Dancers (because why the F not?)

Not a bad little stable there, if you don't mind the pun. And if you do mind the pun, then you probably suck at naming fantasy teams. So there. Listen, I'm just trying to remind you that the opportunity is there to be creative so don't just waste it by sticking with the same name every year or naming it something gay like the Attleboro Patriots. Maybe if you're 10 that probably sounds cool, but 10 year olds are also big into vampires right now, so let's not go followin' them into the depths of creativity. I did hear that one of those vampires is named Edward, though. And that's mighty close to Ted. So I guess you could work with that if push really came to shove. But don't let that happen. Get your brain out, dig deep, and get your fantasy season started on the right foot with a baller name that has your league in awe of your pimpness. Just think to yourself, "What would Don Draper name his fantasy team if he came up with that name after drinkin' scotch and smokin' buds all day?", and go from there. Then, it won't be long til you have your own Melmac Dancers, and you too are headed for the fantasy winner's circle...or maybe running onto the track with a big needle and a body bag. Either way...

So there you have it Teds and Tedettes, another Nation in the books. I didn't get to a lot of things I wanted to touch on, but that's what Twitter is for (@RoochNation) and that's why I come back to frequent this space this time on a weekly basis. Come football season, you'll get my regular updates along with my weekly college and pro picks, so mark that on your virtual calendar, too...

Until then, this is Brett Ferruccio saying "Keep your hooves on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars!"

Goodnight Everybody!

Teddy Williams...
Sterling, Frosco, Draper, Rooch...



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