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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sox To Be You...


Boston Red Sox
Overall: 22-29 (5 games out of AL Playoffs)
Last Week: 2-5

So, it's official. The Red Sox are a mess, and are making their way towards irrelevance faster than a Meth addict makes his way to anywhere where there might be Meth...or to do a favor for someone that can get them Meth. Whatever. Point is they're moving very quickly in the wrong direction. Much like the aforementioned if theoretical speed-freak. And it's become clear that the team's lack of success is already taking it's toll. Not just in terms of losing begetting losing. But the accountability that made this team so easy to love during last year's run is all but gone. And with it, any credibility and hope that the team can turn their season around and contend for a playoff spot...

And that's the big thing for me. Accountability. That, combined with effort, are really all a fan can ask for from a player on their team. If the player still sucks despite giving maximum effort and owning up to their struggles? Well, then that's on the coach or GM. Dude just shouldn't be in there. But otherwise, effort and accountability remain the keys to a fan's heart. They're usually keys to success, too. But at the very least, they can buy you some good karma and give you a little
Haven't heard too many people saying
"But he's our asshole!", have ya?
leeway when you struggle. Something that, apparently, the Red Sox players have already forgotten. Despite having used those humbling tactics so strategically to their advantage just a year ago. Now, a team whose camaraderie and willingness to take responsibility for failures made them fun to root for, has become a team that's more interested in making excuses. IE - Clay Buchoolz (he of the imminent phantom DL stint) complaining about the heat during an 84 degree game AND AJ Pierzinski (he of the "Uh oh, turns out he really is a dick and the pitchers hate him and love David Ross") refusing to slide on a close play AND Jon Lester acting as if during every start he's the victim of some massive, JFK-like umpiring conspiracy (Seriously, yell into your glove one more time. That'll fix it)...

Now, granted, these are merely specific instances, and aren't necessarily reflective of everyone on the team. And they're probably only being brought up because the Red Sox are barely holding off the Houston Astros in the AL basement (really? REALLY).But they're still worth mentioning. If for no other reason than they seem to effectively encapsulate the team's struggles and the fact they just don't seem to having a good time. Win or lose. And yes, I realize it's not easy to have fun when your'e losing all the time. But I also realize that it's that exact behavior which is supposed to be one of the defining characteristics of a "professional"...

So, yeah. Play uninspired ball, and you're fair game for aggressive scrutiny. And that's what this is. It's not that problems like Buchholz' performance and the team's struggle with runners in scoring position aren't real. They very much are. But it's just that all of those problems become magnified and generalized when the team seems apathetic towards their plight. And 2 straight wins in Atlanta aside, this Red Sox team is going to need to string together a lot more quality games before they can rid themselves of their current stink...

But two wins in Atlanta is a good place to start. So there's always that. But this is going to be about how they win as opposed to if they win for at least the next fe weeks. So there's that, too. Hey, you can';t be results orienTed. And you know this...MAN!...


Now to prove I'm not completely negative, here's some interesting news about the next season of True Detective, and here's a sports' fan friendly re/pre-cap of the first half of Mad Men's final season. I'm higher on Peggy's potential impact than is the review, and I'm really hoping for a Roger fueled frenzy to end the series. Probably one that will somehow lead to Don's death. Yeah. He dead. Just like Bertrum Cooper. Though I'm doubting don's ghost will be nearly as graceful. Freaking Dancing Bertrum. Gotta love it...

And while I hate that we have to wait so long for the final 7 episodes, it's not like I'm really going anywhere. So, whatever. I'll sweat it out and let shows like Fargo (already one of the best miniseries of ALL TIME) and Boardwalk Empire keep me company in the interim. Not sure when the latter starts, and the former is almost over. But the point is I live an uneventful life, and I'll be able to make due. Sports help. And music, too. Like the HBO Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction show, airing on May 31st. With Nirvana, KISS, The E Street Band, and Dog Stevens (Ha!) all getting the nod, I'm sure the tributes will melt the appropriate number of faceses. Faci? Meh, either way. It should make for some good watchin'...

Oh, and here's confirmation (from February??) that Rick and Morty has indeed been renewed for a 2nd season. Somehow that one slipped through the wickets on me (there's also a strong chance I simply forgot that I already knew). But nonetheless. It's fantastic news, and I can't wait until that diabolical son of a mother is back and pumping out all sorts of new deranged comedic happenings for the masses. I'm even holding out hope that there will be another 'Ball Fondlers' appearance. Mostly because most people don't understand that wanting that doesn't make me a pederass, Donnie. But mostly because WUBBA LUBBA DUB DUB, BITCH!

Yeah, get on board. Or don't, and just admit that you're an old bastard who's only interested in can laughter and scripted "reality". Your choice. OR you can spend all your free time posting pictures of your dog and/or baby to Facebook. Because there's no way we ALL don't see RIGHT through that into your LONELY AND EMPTY SOUL!!! OK, maybe it's not completely empty. BUT ENOUGH ALREADY, YOU RAT BASTARDS! YOU'RE RUININ' MY SUMMAHHH!

OK, maybe you're just ruinin' my Interweb, while the Red Sox are runin' my summah...which hasn't even started. Either way, you both need to stop. Please AND thank you...

And now I'm done. Hope you all enjoyed, and I'll catch you Teds next week. Be good...


#BAGSMUNMAN

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Let's Play Drew...


Boston Red Sox
Overall: 20-24 (3 games out of playoffs)
Last Week: 1-5

So, Stephen Drew is back. And I for one, welcome him. Sure, he's a Drew. Which puts him right next to Joe Dirt at the underachievement nexus of the universe. And, yes. Paying him a pro-rated $14 million (basically $10 mil) is ridiculously absurd. But, sadly he provides an upgrade to the left side of the Red Sox infield on both sides of the ball. That, combined with his familiarity and apparent popularity within the clubhouse (and the fact he's easily the best guy available), and there's no real argument that he doesn't nicely fill what's rapidly become a gaping void, and should provide at least a decent upgrade. Despite his obvious shortcomings, and the last name that occasionally graces his back...

Now granted, if AAA stud Garin Cecchini gets called up in the interim (as expected by many) and pulls a Will Middlebrooks (the good, not the bad), this move will seem like a waste of time and money. But in the mean time, there's still plenty of time and it's not my money. I say the more the merrier, until the problem works itself out. And if anything, it's just encouraging that the front office also realizes there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Whether you agree with their particular choice, is a different story. But at least their addressing the problem, as opposed to playing the "youth" card while the left side of diamond continues to play chicken with the Mendoza line...

"Of course his name used to be Mike Stanton."
 - Joe Castiglione...hopefully
So, yeah. Stephen Drew is back. And hopefully he can provide some stability to what's been an underwhelming part of the lineup. Unfortunately, whether he does that or not, he still can't pitch. And it's pitching that continues to be what's holding this team back. Dubront is down, Buchholz continues to be a shadow of his former self (mostly not being able to effectively throw that devastating change up), and the rest of the staff just isn't dominant enough to make up for it (not their "fault", but facts is facts). Add to the fact that, unlike in years past, the offense hasn't been able to cover those warts. They've begun to come around, of late, despite the continued struggles of Bogaerts, Bradley, Middlebrooks. And by that I mean Big Papi is absolutely tearing the cover off of the ball. But they're obviously gonna need more than that to stay in the hunt...

Which gets me to thinkin'. Is this Stephen Drew acquisition merely the attempt to "tinker" before finally settling on a major move? Say, a Giancarlo Stanton-type? I don't know. I do know that would be my thought process, right now. You know, if I actually thought it was within reason to think my team could win the World Series. Something that should become evident, no matter the performance of Stephen Drew, within the next month or so. If the Sox are playing well? I wouldn't rule out a big move that helps push them over the top. If not, I'd expect them to hold pat and play for the future. AKA I expect them to make the best business decision. Something they've proven rather good during their tenure as an ownership group. i mean, at least when it comes to putting a good group of players on the field. They're still too Pink-Hattish for my liking, but that's a different column for a different day that you don't want to read and I don't want to write!

Speaking of not wanting to write, I'm already behind the 8-ball thanks to some day baseball at the job for which I actually get paid. So I've gotta go. Haven't even had time to watch the new Fargo yet, for Pete's sake! So I'm gonna do all that, you can do the Teddish stuff you do, and we'll meet back here next week. Or I'll catch you on the Twitter. It's where the elite meet to Tweet, friends. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, if you're not using Twitter, then you're missing out. It's really that simple. So get on board, and get your timeline right. If for no other reason than you don't want to be accused of having a Twitter Education Deficiency. And you know that's my new favorite acronym now, too...


So, yeah. Have a good one, friends. And enjoy you're Memorial Day weekend. OR as I like to call it, the beginning of bikini season. Just don't forget to turn your jugs back. I mean turn your clock rack. Wait, that's not even what time of year it is. OK, time to bounce. You know, before I make a complete boob out of myself...OH!

OK, Happy Mammary-ial Day. And I'll catch you next time...


#BAGSMUNMAN

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Bill of Goods I'll Gladly Buy...


OK. So, I said last week that I would be using Pootie Tang references in order to describe and analyze the New England Patriots' draft picks. But I won't. And, matter of fact. I never actually planned on doing that, either. Not either part. Mostly because I was only using Pootie last week as a transitional device. But mostly because trying to break down the reasons as to why Bill Belichick does what he does has long ago been proven a fruitless enterprise. I do have some thoughts, though. If for no other reason than to occupy my mind and prevent me from making disparaging and deflecting remarks about the good Reverend Dr. Martin Luther Rivers, and his struggle for racial equality...

So, yeah. There'll be that, and a few other thoughts. With a stress on "few". Enjoy...

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

A Ribbing For Robby? Mo Praises Pedey, Fuels Debates For Decades to Come...


I've never made a list of my favorite baseball players, and I won't be doing that right now. But were I too jot one down, I'm pretty sure the following players would all appear in the top 20. With 2 of them likely appearing in my top 10. And those players are Mariano Rivera, Dustin Pedroia, and Robinson Cano. Now, why is that remotely important or relevant? Well, it's important because in Mariano Rivera's new book, he pulls no punches when saying that he questioned Robinson Cano's passion, and that he'd take Dustin Pedroia as his 2nd baseman if given the chance...

Now, that's all well and good. And I'm sure it will help move a few extra copies of that book. But, at best, it's a forest through the trees/grass is always greener type of situation. One where Mo knows he can pick a nit, or two. And come out looking like some sort of baseball intellectual that sees through jerseys and rivalries like he were some sort of cyborg. Which, maybe he can. I mean, he certainly pitched like h was a potential cyborg. But, cyborg or not, it would be nice if he had a little more than the dirt on Pedroia's cap to back up his opinion...