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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Red Sox Update: These Are the Breaks...


OK, so maybe the NFL didn't end their lockout this past weekend.  Hmmmm.  So much for my "inside source", huh?  Or should I say,  former "inside source", and current "Ted of the Week".  But that's neither here nor there.  Especially since a wise man once told me that all you really need to establish and maintain at least the illusion of credibility, is for just one out of every 3 things you say to be true (which shadily enough, has proven to be eerily accurate advice that can be very dangerous in the wrong hands).  And seeing as I nailed the fact last week that John Lackey was still a mess despite an encouraging outing against the Phillies, I figure I've built up enough good will that I may just throw a few unnecessary predictions out there this week, more or less just because I can.  I mean,  John Lackey still sucks, right?  Exactly.  So there's my one thing that's true.  The rest?  Well, that's for you to decide.  Although you know what?  That's how it usually is, anyway...

But that's how I've always liked to operate.  I know I'm fiercely opinionated, but I like to think while half of this is just getting my opinion out there, the other half is providing a fairly unique and valuable service.  Half whistle blower, half gate keeper, and half PinkHat assassin.  That's the service I provide.  More or less, I just try to keep peeps accountable, and if I can make you laugh a little along the way with a few jokes about the brothers Penus Williams or the finer points of Pootie Tang, well then that works, too...

So why bring this up?  Well I figured you can never throw your mission statement out there too many times, and what better time to trot that ole sucker out there then right around the All Star Break.  I figure, Major League Baseball is goin' on a little vacation, I'm going on a little vacation (stress "little"), so why not use this landmark-type occasion to give any new readers the heads up, and remind all the loyal readers why exactly it is that they just can't get enough?  And that's what I've done.  So now with all that house keeping out of the way, it's time to get down to business...
Certified SKANK...allegedly

This week, I've got the obligatory notes on the M*A*S*H unit that is the Boston Red Sox, a look at Roger Clemens' latest trip to court, and a few other juicy items that may or may not have to do with baseball. OK, they do, but I promise there's another NFL prediction in there, too, and if you're lucky, maybe even a pretty lady or a snappy little video (probably not, sorry).  Nothing about Casey Anthony, though.  Although, if you're looking for silver lining in that situation, it's gotta be that it's good to see that poor people have just as good a chance of getting off as rich people do, right?  That's an encouraging sign, I think?  Ya know, equality and whatnot.  Then again, it also makes me wonder if this is all just a result what happens because all of us smarties are too clever to get trapped into even serving on a jury.  Hmmmm.  I'll have to get back to you kids on that one...

And while I think that over, why don't you avoid the jury duty that is your job, your life, or whatever it is you're doing now, and take a look at this week's post.  It's gotta be better than stressin' over a child killing skank.  Sorry, an alleged child killing skank.  Wanna make sure I'm politically correct here...

OK, let's do this thing...



About that pitching depth...
Red Sox Update
Last Week: 6-1
Overall: 51-35 1/2 game back of NYY in AL East

Never thought a 6-1 week could ever be even semi-depressing, but here we are...

*As if the specter of the trading deadline (7/31) doesn't usually loom large enough, with Jon Lester essentially out until then, it's turned into what I can only imagine is a ridiculously anxious stretch for one, Mr. Theo Epstein.  It's just an incredibly pivotal time, laced with a lot of ins, outs and what have yous, and it's these types of situations where a GM can really earn his keep.  For Theo to do that, and to keep this team pointed towards the playoffs, he'll need to answer just one question.  Does he need to trade for another top 3 starter?...

Fourth and Fifth starters can be had for a handful of prospects and cash, but a #3 starter or better?  That's makin' a move, right there.  One where even the casual fan will notice the names involved.  But, if Theo Epstein determines that Jon Lester AND Clay Buchholz can't both return to form in a reasonable period of time, that's exactly the type of move he's going to have to make in order to keep this team in viable contention.  That's the #1 priority, right there.  Not a bat off the bench or a new everyday right fielder.  Those were priorities, but that was before Lester went down and Buchholz went searching for a 3rd opinion on his back,  Oh, and allow me to translate that for ya.  Best case scenario, only 1 of the first two doctors suggested a prolonged rest or surgery.  Worst case, they both said prolonged rest or surgery.  Either way, I don't like the fact that he's fishin' for a 3rd opinion, and we should all take that as a bad sign, no matter what the final verdict...
Oh, right.  There's the pitching depth...

So yeah, Josh Beckett won't be able to do it by himself, and I doubt he'll be able to do it with just Buchholz OR Lester, either.  They'll need a 3rd legit arm.  I think Theo's gotta know that, now, and while I already admitted it won't be an easy move to pull off, I think beginning to get a deal like that in place has immediately moved to the top of his priority list.  Hopefully, he won't have to do it, and both of those guys can come back chuckin', but with an offense capable of scoring enough runs to win it all, it's only fair to both the fans, and the franchises $170 million dollar investment, that he make that move to keep this year's squad in the running.  Oh and for those that will call out, "Andrew Miller", I say he's a viable part of this mix.  He's gotta be viewed as "super insurance", though.  I know he's had a few good starts, but to think he's the answer as a possible #3 for the rest of this season, I'd have to say that's just too bold of an assumption to make.  Borderline reckless.  He's an outstanding guy to have, he's just not there yet...

I hate to put Theo in a corner like that, as I think he tends to do a good job, but it's just the way I see it.  If both of those guys don't come back, and he doesn't add a legitimate arm, then he's more or less crossing his fingers and "hoping for", as opposed to "aggressively attacking"' a 2011 World Series Title.  You can argue "big picture" there, if you want, but with his drafting and developmental track record, and the ownership's obvious dedication, I think more often than not it's a good move for this team to jump at the chance for a short term gain.  Not when it comes to breaking the bank in the off season, but at least when it comes to shaking a few pennies out of the piggy bank at the trade deadline...


That's just where I'm at, right now.  As usual, it's getting down to the trade deadline, and the team is "one piece away".  Just so happens that this time around, the necessary piece in question is more of a surprise, and could prove to be pretty tough to find with just a tiny window in which to operate...

Check back next week for a full breakdown of the road ahead, as I'm sure I'll need to talk about somethin' to fill the post All Star Break void.  Then again, I'm sure somethin' bizarre will happen at the All Star game that I'll want to talk about.  Ya know, like Selig deciding the winner of sausage races gets to pick where the World Series is held.  Oh, and I'd stop laughing, if I were you.  Because I hear that's another topic that's getting some serious love along with this new 2 division format.  And even if I didn't hear that, John Lackey sucks, so at worst right now I'm still 1 for 2...

Movin' on!...

MLB News & Notes


3,000 for The Captain

"Excited" might be a little strong, but I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't looking forward to seeing New York Yankee captain, Derek Jeter, get his 3,000th hit over the next few days.  At 28 years young, Jeter's career has served as a baseball soundtrack to my youth.  Not saying he's ever been my favorite player, or even in my  top 5, but he's been so consistently good, I've have no choice but to appreciate what he brings to the game.  Yankee or not...

Hey, he's the man.
And it's in being a Yankee where Jeter's 3,000th his takes on even a little more significance.  Out of all the great Yankees (Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle), Jeter will be the 1st once ever to collect all 3,000 career hits while playing for the pin stripes.  Pretty amazing, right?  I mean, I know a lot of those guys had their careers shortened by war and booze, but still.  Funny, too, that it's being done in the day and age of free agency, where you would have figured no player would have lasted long enough under Steinbrenner to even dream about getting to 3,000.  Yet here we are...

Even funnier still, is that it's like all baseball fans in and around my age are actually winning something here.  It's like he's our guy that we saw reach 3,000 hits.  This isn't some grainy footage or some old and grizzled Wade Boggs, this is a guy that was taggin' Mariah Carey in the 90's, and now he's got 3,000 hits.  It's one for our generation, if you will...

So good luck, Jeter, and thanks for the memories...even if for me they're more just nightmares.  OH and get to 3,000 quickly, too, so I can go back to hoping you never get another hit against the Red Sox for the rest of your career...which can end once you get 3K, by the way...

Roger "The Bull" Clemens?...
Mr. Clemens Goes Back to Washington...

OK, so we're all pretty sure that Roger Clemens is a liar and a cheater, right?  OK, good.  Because that's not why his perjury case is important.  It's important, because in order for all the right people to be brought to justice in terms of the whole "Steroid Era", dominoes will have to start to fall, and people will have to start namin' names.  IT's like the Quiz Show scandals.  You know about those? Seen the movie?  No?  Well I gave you the links, so the rest is on you.  But it's just like the Quiz Show scandal, with Clemens, Bonds, and everybody else that's brought to trial, playing the role of the contestants.  Sure, they deserve all the blame and punishment they get, but it's not until these guys start talkin', and start bargaining for their lives, that we'll get real scoop on how far up the chain all this steroid stuff actually went...
You're just the Turturro of this, Roger.
Ralph Fiennes, at best...

Then again, just like with the Quiz Shows, it'll be all for naught.  The players have no credibility, and the public doesn't care.  Which is cool, I guess, seeing as it's the public's right to determine how they're entertained.  It's just that it's also my right to be able to point out when I think the real issue, of how corrupt the system really was, is being continuously swept under the rug.  Rights are fun like that...

As far as the potential verdict, your guess is as good as mine.  All I know, is that after the Casey Anthony verdict, Whitey Bulger's gotta be watchin' this thing closely and thinkin, "Whoa, if he gets off too, I'm likin' my chances!"...

It's funny because it's true.  It's also extremely sad for the exact same reasons...

No, No, No, Jimmy. If I can't eat my rack of ribs on the field, then you can't smoke...
Not In My Country, Cowboy...

Just like Derek Jeter, manager Jim Leyland has "been there" more or less my whole sports life.  And he's the man.  Huffin' Marbs, winnin' games, players love him.  Just by all accounts a great baseball guy...

Then, there's "Country" or "Cowboy" Joe West.  The umpire that thinks people actually pay to watch him ply his trade, because apparently some of them actually do pay to hear him sing country music during the off season.  Pretty much, the guy is an awful ump (voted 2nd worst by the players in 2010), and it's been blatant for years that he thinks part of his job is to get as involved in the game as he possibly can.  A cardinal sin for umpires, and one that's not only got him in the headlines again, but that's got a stand up guy like Leyland questioning the state of Major League umpiring.  I, for one, am right there with him, and per usual, I've got a few simple suggestions that would go a long way towards making things right...

First off, strictly regulate HOW an umpire is make a specific call. Out, safe, strike, ball, whatever.  Just make sure everyone has to to if the same way.  And emphatically, too.  I know we all have high def and 1,000 foot score boards, but a little clarity wouldn't hurt.  No need to have 2-3 players a game start walkin' to first and takin' off their body armor because they thought they just walked.  Oh and if this means there needs to be some sort of umpiring college set up, then by all means do that.  Hell, I think that would be a damn good idea, actually, although I'm sure some bootleg version of what I'm thinkin' of probably  already exists...
Wait...Chirs Farley? Is that you? Either way,
it's looking like this poor fat bastard musta met the
same fate right after making this call...

And secondly, someone, whether it's MLB or the umpires, needs to set up a legitimate grading and credential system by which these guys are judged.  Starting all the way down to high school baseball, if they need to.  I don't care.  Just don't make it such an old boys system, where it seems the worst performers always get the cushiest jobs.  Oh and for that matter, throw a 50-55 year old type age cap and a weight limit on there while you're at it, too.  Joe West is nearly 60, and has gotta way 250+.  Now I know experience is good and all, and I like food as much as the next guy, but is there really any reason to believe that a husky 60 year old man should be the most qualified person to be doing this job?  I mean, no offense to 60 year olds, but NO!  Professional sports is a young man's game, and God knows it's a fit man's game.  IF you wanna be old and fat and still be in sports, get into coaching...

So there it is.  Younger, more fit umps that are rewarded on merit, rather than because they own a 10 gallon hat signed by Hank Williams.  Should make things a whole lot better.  Although I must admit I do get a smug sense of superiority watching those Teds botch their job on a nightly basis.  Eh, I'd rather have better baseball.  I can find my smug senses of superiority somewhere else...


...like hopefully from winning some more money this year playing fantasy football!  Yeah, yeah, I know I sad we'd already have news about an end to the NFL labor strife, but I still am of the belief that the end truly is in sight.  Either that, or the whole thing will blow up so huge in the next 10 days or so that it'll destroy any hope of even a partial season.  Obviously I think the former is more likely, but I figured I'd throw the latter out there  just in case it actually does come to pass.  Ya know, just a random prediction...that I can make...because John Lackey sucks...

Hey there, Long Beach!
Have a great weekend, friends.  I know I'll be doing my best to live it up down in Long Beach, NY (lookout FourSquare!), and I hope your little slice of Summer is just as fruitful.  Oh, and next week I promise I'll be back with some video clips and perhaps a scantily clad lady or two.  It wasn't nice of me to tease you with that earlier, and besides I'll be fresh off viewings of both The Social Network and The Curious Case of Curt Flood, so there will be plenty of good reason, too.  Not sure how the half naked broads fit in quite yet, but seeing as I'll be on the beach all weekend, I'm sure I'll find a way...

Keep it real, friends.  And I'll catch you on the flipman...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>  

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

By picking up another pitcher I'm assuming your talking about the inevitable acquisition of King Felix right? See you n LB pimp

D said...

What's the concensus on how long Buchholz will be out til? I feel like its been forever. Lester obvs just went on the 15-day. Atleast this didnt happen at the beginning of August so Theo will have this month to see where the starters are at. Great read Rooch!

Brett Ferruccio said...

The Mariner's won't give up King Felix, and when you look at their situation, that makes sense for them. Hell, he makes less $$ right now than John Lackey! I'm not sure who exactly I'm looking for, and I know it's going to be a tough deal to make, but it's more some other team's #2 than a front line stud. Although I wouldn't mind that, either.

Anonymous said...

So you're saying he "needs" to make a move, one that's "really tough" to make, and you don't even have any suggestions as to whom this magical player might be? Sounds to me like you're asking Theo to make a move that flat out isn't out there to make. Just my Anonymous 2 cents. Muuuahahaha

Brett Ferruccio said...

Muahahaha indeed. Well that's why Theo gets the big bucks, and I still do Moose Stuff for money on the weekends to help keep a little extra cake in my pocket...

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