Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Turn and Burgh, Baby!

First of all, Ryan, I'm not 100% in love with your tone, ok? And the Sox are in Balty the 25th & 26th of this fair month.

Alright, moving on. The off day yesterday did absolutely nothing to calm me down over either Schill's Opening Day cryfest, nor over Josh Beckett's impending meltdown today. Fortunately (or not depending on your perspective) the game will be unavailable to these two eyes due to the fact that, as well chronicled here, we lack DirectTV (another reason why I refuse to celebrate Arbor Day- trees- go to Hell!) and because I refused to renew my subscription on the computer. Why, Matty, would you cut off your only chance to watch the Sox on a regular basis? Well, I'll tell you my four reasons:

1. Our computer chair is really uncomfortable and our "office area" is not conducive to making a very comfortable encampment around the computer.

2. Most evenings, my wife is on the computer administrating/chatting/proselytizing/running her website.

3. One of my favorite things about when I first got it lo so many years (3?) ago, was the fact that all the commercials were shown. I can put up with a grainy, herky-jerky, freezing up picture if I know that, eventually, there's a Marty's RVs commercial at the end of that technologically inept rainbow. Or Lincoln-Mercury of Raynam, whose wonderful jingle I still get stuck in my head from time to time. Or the sweet Jack-in-the-Box ads when the Sox would play out west. Now? Just silence and ads for, which you already have if you're seeing the ad. Pretty shitty.

4. No choice in announcers. If you can choose home and away feeds for the MLB Radio dealy, why not for the TV part? Doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the announcer choice, either. Sometimes you get the home guys, sometimes the road guys. And believe me, there's a lot of crappy announcers out there.

So I figure your next question is, "How, without a reliable source of game footage, are you going to accurately assign the appropriate number of Matty's or Ry's to each Red Sox game?" The answer is simple- it won't be that accurate or appropriate. Matty's and Ry's will be determined by a BCS-like complicated formula factoring in Sportscenter highlights, other bloggers' comments, reputable and disreputable, reliable or unreliable print and on-line news resources, and my own biases for and against various players on the Red Sox and other teams. This, of course, may present some inherent contrasts within the rating scale. If Sportscenter leads their show with footage of Papi hitting a walk-off off Mo Rivera, then that's probably worth four Matty's. But if JD Drew does it, and Sportscenter runs it fifteen minutes into the broadcast, and I've already fallen asleep and miss the clip, and then find out about by reading the Globe the next morning, who still employ Shaugnessy, well then, that might only be worth three Matty's and maybe even one Ry, because, man, I can't believe Drew is wearing Trot's number.

Nobody has worn 21 since Fat Fuck left, and they just give out Trot's old digit like it's cool? Couldn't they have told him they lost the 7 or something? It's like this- if you wear a number 8 jersey, it's a sweet throwback, a tribute to Yaz. But now, if I wear my number 7 shirt, I don't look like a guy paying tribute to Trot's awesome time in Boston, I look like a guy who can't afford a new shirt. Like everybody who bought a $250 Damon road jersey, then used a magic marker to cross out the "A" and replace it with an "E" after he went to New York. I hate free agency sometimes.

Oh, speaking of players changing hands, I realized that our middle infield could feature not just last year's ROY, Hanley Ramirez of course, but also Freddy Sanchez, last year's batting champ, who we gave up for, basically, Jeff Suppan, who before making a memorable mockery of baserunning, was completely useless for us for three months in '03. Then again, if we'd resigned Orlando Cabrera after '04, like EVERYBODY knows we should have, we could have avoided the Renteria signing, which means we would never have traded him, which means we would have never had Andy Marte, which means we would have never traded him for Coco Crisp, et al. Then everybody's favorite (at least Jere's) favorite Canadian, Adam Stern, might be in center field, and without Beckett's and Lowell's and Crisp's big contracts, we might be primed to make a run at Ichiro, which would mean that we never really needed to sign JD Drew in the first place. Which at the end of nearly every day, will probably be my point.

Remember how Theo keeps saying we have to hold onto our prospects, we have to build for the future? Well, all I know is that we've given up Freddy Sanchez, Anibel Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez in the last three years, as well as Cla Meredith and Josh Bard, who have quietly made themselves into good players. We've gotten back a three-month rental who did nothing, a questionable headcase starter, an aging, slow, but serviceable and likeable third basemen and Mirrabelli again. And we've kept Craig Hansen, Manny Delcarmen and Dustin Pedroia (who becomes wicked dispensable since we'd have last year's batting champ playing 2nd base). Those were the untouchables? Really? And people think I'm crazy to question Theo... like I'm supposed to lay off him because he got lucky when Millar and Mueller had career years in '03, then made two good moves getting rid of Nomar to bring in Cabrera, and getting us Dave Roberts. But then we sign Renteria, who we didn't need because we could have chosen between the slick-fielding, clutch hitting sparkplug shortstop WHO WON A WORLD SERIES WITH US or the hot-shot prospect everyone's been talking about for years. Then to get out from under that mistake, we trade Renteria to Atlanta for Andy Marte, who Theo touts as a superstar third basemen in the making then we immediately trade that ballyhooed prospect to Cleveland, with others, for Coco Crisp (along with David Riske [KC's closer for now] and Josh Bard [(already covered]) who we wouldn't have needed if management hadn't misjudged the open market value of one of the most popular players to wear a Sox uni in the last 20 years, Damon.

So I'll let the SoSHy and Retrosheet folk rip all that nonsense apart. That's fine. There's just been so many mixed signals coming from 4 Yawkey the last few years. We are building for the future, but keeping the wrong prospects. We are in first place in late July but can't spend any money. Then we spend $170 mil on Dice-K and Drew. Meanwhile, we have a AA backup for our .230 hitting catcher, questionable middle infield defense, a lumbering, strikeout prone fourth outfielder who we didn't need, but got anyway, by trading away a "surplus" starting pitcher. It all seems so random, I frequently wonder what the plan is. We basically came into spring training either lacking a fifth starter or a closer. That's inexcusable for a team with a payroll as big as ours. Instead of a $70mil right fielder, maybe there's better ways to spend that money. Unless the Sox had to sign Drew to placate Boras so that they could sign Dice. Then that makes Dice basically a $170mil investment. Either way, I question seriously the direction and wisdom of this front office. Ironically enough, as I was preparing to write this post, what should appear in my email, but a photo of the Red Sox trade deadline war room, as it appeared at 3:55PM last July 31. It was sent to me by the friend of a friend of a drinking buddy of some guy that knows the janitor at 4 Yawkey. Very reputable, this source. Here's the photo:

And finally, speaking of Freddy Sanchez, we'll be leaving tomorrow for Pittsburgh where we'll be spending Easter weekend. I'm not sure how much time I will have to update things here. I think I've done enough damage with this post to last a few days. I've got tix for the Pirates home opener against the Cards on Monday, where Freddy is on the DL and it should be, according to, 43 degrees and partly sunny at gorgeous PNC Park. Yay baseball.


Blogger Jere said...

Lincoln Mercury of RRRay-nuhmmm...

I always sing this to my girlfriend (upon hearing the word Lincoln, Mercury, Raynham, link, rain, etc.) assuming she knows it, since she's been in NESn territory for years. But she never knows it. I think it only went to the "southern New England" sector of the NESN territory, which I've always gotten at either my parents' in New Haven, or on the EI or Lucky her.

6:12 PM  

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