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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just Another Case of Boston Being Boston...

You said it, kid...
Well, we're 10 games in.  And if I'm to understand things correctly, the Red Sox are already dead and buried.  Thankfully, for both the Red Sox and my sanity, I'm a guy that's well known for not understanding things correctly.  At least when "correctly" refers to how the masses are viewing things.  Hey, what can I say?  I'm a contrarian.  Not by design, mind you, but more often than not, that just seems to be the way the way things shake out.  That doesn't mean I'm excited or encouraged by how the Red Sox have limped out of the gate with their best Barbaro impression (not too soon, I checked), it just means that despite their slow start, I don't see why they still can't meet my expectations for the 2011 season.  Then again, maybe that's because my expectations were a lot lower than most of those in Red Sox Nation...

I'll elaborate on that, get to some Manny retirement talk, and give my take on some hypocritical Boston sports talkers and their sudden lust for all things NHL and NBA.  All that, and who knows, maybe a few more scantily clad supermodels, as I delve into this week's post...

Read on, my damies.  And enjoy...      



Sick a chopstick in 'em, cuz he's done...
Red Sox Update

2 and 8.  I certainly didn't see this coming, but then again, I wasn't on the same page as a lot of Sox fans when the season began.  I never had them pegged for 100 wins, never had them winning the division, and didn't have them advancing past the first round of the playoffs.  As much as I love them with every bone in my body, I saw this as a team that would fight tooth and nail to get the AL Wild Card, and a team that would be more primed to win in 2012 than they were here in 2011.  I just always feel that we as fans often predict greatness a year too early, so it made sense to me that while it seemed the Sox were destined for greatness this year, it would probably take at least a year before this group really started living up to the lofty expectations...

On the bright side, Adrian's been pretty ill...
Now, that doesn't mean I simply predicted the Sox would "fail" because of some fan trend or some sketchy feeling I had.  NO.  I predicted what I did because I didn't buy into the supposed pitching depth and the alleged murder's row that they had supposedly put together.  Hey, don't get me wrong, I think they're going to score plenty of runs, but to put together a season like most of the experts had predicted, this team was going to have to be at or near the top in virtually every pitching category you could think of.  Obviously, through the first 10 games, that doesn't seem to be the case (MLB worst 7.29 team ERA).  I'll go to war with Lester, Buchholz and Beckett every day of the week, but to those that had faith in Dice K and Lackey, I have to think you were on your fifth glass of RemDawg Kool Aid when you convinced yourself of that.  And after watching the garb they've chucked up there the first 2 weeks, I think you'd be hard pressed to disagree...

But hey, this isn't me trying to say "I told you so".  After all, no matter our difference in opinion even I didn't have them limping out to a 2-8 start.  NO.  This is me trying to tell Red Sox fans not to get their pink panties in a bunch over the slow start.  This is still a team that's built for success this season, with front line starters and big bats, and a team that should have no trouble turning things around.  The only thing the slow start has really done, is tempered expectations, and exposed fans earlier than many would have thought, to the imperfections that will most likely prevent this particular team from walking away with the Red Sox 3rd World Series title in the last 8 years.  Namely, the lack of any top tier pitching depth.  Something GM Theo Epstein could definitely try to fix before the trade deadline, but in failing that, something that will keep this team from steamrolling it's way to 95-100 wins...

Now I know I just gave you a mixed bag by saying the slow start didn't worry me, but that I also don't think they're going to win it all, so I'll leave you with this.  IF you thought the Red Sox were going to win it all before the season started, then you should still think that.  It's just a slow start to what is a very long season.  A start that, in hindsight, should be a mere footnote to the 2011 season, not what comes to define it...

Keep the faith, friends.  Just keep the faith.  Besides, it's not like it could get any worse, right?...

...smoke weed everyday?
Manny Ramirez Retires

Manny Ramirez is the NCAA Tournament.  Which is to say, the next predictable thing he does, will be the first.  Which is also to say, if Manny's sudden retirement surprised you, then I'm not sure who you've been watching for all these years...

Manny Ramirez was, is, and always will be, an enigma.  A player who was as seemingly spaced out in life as he was spectacular at the plate.  A guy we were told was a "student of the game", but one we wouldn't take in a spelling bee over a student K through 8.  Uncoachable and disruptive one minute, and unflappable and charming the next.  His game was truly one of a kind, and from a simple character study aspect, his presence in Major League Baseball will be sorely missed...

As for his legacy, and his chances of getting into the Hall of Fame, I have only two things to say...

1) The Hall of Fame and it's voting process are more or less a joke.  Guys on the ballot for 10+ years getting in AND voters simply NOT voting a guy in on his first try because of some stupid "tradition"?  Please...

AND

2) Due to his several drug policies, he'll go down as the greatest right handed hitter of the Steroid Era.

Anything for a buck, right ManRam?
IT's all pretty simple.  If all the Roiders get in, like McGwire, Bonds etc., then Manny will get in, too.  If they don't, well then he won't either.  If I had a vote, it would be easy.  Guy was and IS a confirmed and admitted cheater, so he doesn't deserve to get in.  I loved his game, I loved to watch him, and there was little doubt that he was one of the best at what he did, but that's just not enough.  And I'm sure many Pete Rose fans can say the exact same things in defense of him.  Fact is, the guy  repeatedly broke rules.  Even worse, he committed these Cardinal Sins even after guys like him were essentially given a pass for a decade of chemical decadence and consistently warned about their actions going forward...

That to me gets right to the root of who Manny is, and who he was for his entire career.  Failing drug tests even though you've already been warned, caught, and suspended?! Why would you even take that risk?  Well that's an easy one, right?  It's money.  The all mighty dollar (career earning in excess of $200 mil).  And though I believe that Manny did love playing baseball, I think it was his love for himself, and the love of the money that won out when all was said and done...

So while I believe him when he says he's happy and "at ease" with his decision to retire despite the fact that he's going out on a drug suspension and short of some "sure fire" Hall of Fame #'s, I believe just as strongly that when it does come time to make his case for the Hall of Fame, he'll be front and center wanting to get in, and pleading his case.  Why?  Because at that point, it will still be all about Manny, and all about the possible money he could get once he adds that HOF patch to his arm.  Seems out of character for the more or less indifferent guy we've come to know and sometimes love, but for me, that's what makes it all the more probable.  It'll be the final act in the saga that we've come to know, as "Manny Being Manny", and anything but a big and sketchy finish just wouldn't seem right...

I for one am gonna miss you, Manny.  In the end, this is entertainment, and despite all your flaws, and likely because of some of them, you were one of the most entertaining players of my generation.  Not to mention the fact that you pissed inside the Green Monster in the middle of an inning.  That's gotta count for somethin', right?..

Quick, name the guy on the left...
Turn on the Radio. Nah, F*CK it, turn it off...

Pop Quiz, hot Teds: What do you get when you get a bunch of football and baseball experts talking about hockey and basketball on the radio?  Answer? Me, shaking my head, and changing the channel...

Hey, I get it.  People like the NHL and the NBA and I don't.  Fine (And Go Knicks, by the way).  But if Boston's such a big NBA and NHL town, then why are their respective sports barely...and allow me to repeat barely represented on the air waves of two of the biggest sports radio stations in the country?  Well, to me that answer is easy.  It's because people only want to talk Celtics and Bruins when those teams are in first place, or knocking down the door to a possible title.  Other than that, people wanna talk baseball and football.  And to a man, mostly baseball, though the Patriots continue to fuel chatter with their past decade+ of excellence...

This isn't just conjecture, either, as I have some experience to back up my opinion.  Experience that came at a time when I worked for 99.7 & 790 The Score in Providence, RI, with current 98.5 The SportsHub midday hosts, Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak.  Great guys, and when it comes to talking football, they have few peers, but to now hear them talk hockey virtually every day as if they grew up playing on a pond in their backyard?!  IT's a little bizarre.  Especially when I know that had I brought up a Bruins topic, ya know, when they were fighting for the 8th spot in '07-'08, I would have been laughed out of the room and likely sent out for coffee in hopes I might not return...
Wow, Gresh was a lot thinner back then...

And while I know that it's all about ratings, and that topics on talk radio are almost strictly caller driven, the pink hat attitude both WEEI and TheSortsHub seem to have adopted in terms of hockey and hoops is only hurting their credibility.  I even heard a host, who shall remain nameless, mock a Canadian hockey analyst because he had said that when people called his show they could discuss hockey whether it be the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, or Nashville Predators.  The Boston yapper's response?  Who cares about the Nashville Predators?!  Who cares about the Nashville Predators?  Well, OK, probably nobody, and I agree most Canadians need to be put in their place.  But in reality, to the man's greater point, it's ACTUAL HOCKEY FANS that care about that stuff!  The guy's point was that, in Boston, they know the Bruins, not hockey, and I gotta tell ya, despite his funny accent, it would be really tough for me to disagree...

And tell me, would someone get laughed off the air if they called up to talk about Tim Tebow or the Texas Rangers?  Of course they wouldn't.  Why?  Because fans in this market love to talk baseball and football, not just Red Sox and Patriots, and the roster of talkers on the radio are well equipped to talk about those sports from every angle...

Again, I get it.  I don't like these sports, and a lot of you do.  That's cool.  Intelligent people can disagree.  It's just that I love sports talk radio, and sports talk in this town thrives on baseball and football.  Just look at the roster, a bunch of journalists, ex football players, and ex baseball players.  Hell the closest thing to an on air hockey expert was former Bruins play by play voice, Dale Arnold at WEEI, and he more or less just got canned.  To me, that clearly indicates that they don't wanna talk hockey or basketball, and combined with the blatant apathy they've shown in the past for the two sports, only further convinces me that we're hearing now is all a dog and pony show...

So forgive me if I want the Bruins and Celtics to be eliminated as quickly as humanly possible, and believe me when I tell you it's nothing personal.  I just happen to like it when the football and baseball experts I listen to, ya know, actually talk about football and baseball.  Yeah, I'm weird like that...

Oh and one more time, just for effect. LET'S GO KNICKS!


And before I go, here's the aforementioned supermodel shot I promised you off the top.  Well, OK, maybe she's not a supermodel, at least not one I can readily name, but I gotta figure she's at least good for some old fashioned Red Sox karma. Yes sir, let's play some ball!...

I don't care what Google Images says, this is NOT Tila Tequila...

Have a great week, friends.  And remember, I'm not a hater, I just call it like I see it.  And these days in Boston sports, emotions run high.  I guess I've just come to the conclusion that while I may cheer for several Boston sports teams, I'm far from your typical Boston sports fan.  Like Manny, I march to the beat of my own drummer.  And also like Manny, I hope that even if you don't agree, you find it entertaining.  At least more entertaining than what you're currently doing at work.  After all, in the end, it IS all about the ratings.  And here's to hoping you help my #'s to continue to climb...

Thanks for your continued support, kids, and I'll catch you on the flipman...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

2 comments:

frosco said...

Check out Manny's feet in his grill pic. Either he dropped that grill on his toes, or he's been shooting those roids into them for far too long.

Rooch said...

...Or option 3. He's the biggest hobbit EVER

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