Friday, March 30, 2007

It's Time for the Johnny Pesky Rule

Grandfathered, (verb from; Grandfather Clause); to exempt (one involved in an activity or business) from new regulations: as in ‘the new ordinance restricts the size of billboards, but it grandfathers those erected before 1997.’ (

The grandfather clause is something that Major League Baseball should have looked into before making its latest fan alienating decision. For the second time, well technically the third time Major League Baseball is booting Johnny Pesky out of the Red Sox dugout. Some people might say this isn’t a big deal and it’s probably safer not to have Pesky in the dugout during games but I disagree and in my opinion the fact that a guy like Pesky isn’t grandfathered in this rule is complete BS.

Johnny Pesky turns 88 in September and he’s been with the Red Sox for 55 years. 55 years with the Sox and MLB is really going to remove him from the dugout because he’s not deemed as essential staff, give me a break. Pesky has a physical part of Fenway Park named after him, he’s been with the Sox for 55 of his 68 years in baseball and his biography is titled Mr. Red Sox. I really don’t have to make the case that he’s a part of the team. He was a part of one of the greatest Red Sox teams ever in the mid to late 40’s that featured “the Teammates” (which is a fantastic book by the way) Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr and Dom DiMaggio he’s like a living breathing piece of Red Sox history and lore.

I have a little bit of a personal attachment to Pesky for a couple of reasons. One, he was one of my grandfather’s favorite players when he was younger and my grandfather had a big impact on just about every aspect of my life. Two, I was fortunate enough to briefly meet Johnny Pesky when I went to spring training in 2005. It was just long enough to get my picture taken with him and say a few quick things but in that brief meeting I learned a lot about Johnny Pesky. He was incredibly gracious and had a giant smile on his face, he was so happy to be out at the ball park shaking hands with fans talking baseball.

He legitimately was one of the happiest people I have ever seen and seeing the way he reacted to the each fan, young and old and the way his eyes lit up every time some one handed him Mr. Red Sox to sign or how he excited he was to talk about ‘the Teammates’ with me even if it was only for a brief moment. Pesky reminded me of why I love baseball so much. I like to be 10 years old once in while and that’s how Johnny Pesky made me feel, like I was a little kid it’s the same way I feel every time I set foot inside Fenway it’s the reason why above all the other sports I’ve grown to embrace, baseball will always be my first love.

In my opinion Pesky represents everything that is good about baseball and sports. He genuinely loves baseball and loves the Red Sox, I cannot think of one good reason why he shouldn’t be allowed to watch Red Sox games from the dugout, I think after all these years that is something that he has earned.

In 1997, Dan Duquette told Pesky he would no long be in uniform with the team but once the new ownership took over they changed that. But then again at the end of 2004 the MLB told Pesky he was being banned from the dugout and watched from the stands when the Sox won the World Series. He went back to the dugout in 2005 and the MLB had no problem with it until this year. According to Theo Epstein the Sox have been breaking the rule for a while but now the MLB is enforcing the rule with fines.

According to the Globe in Gordon Edes column today

The rule governing dugout occupancy states that only the players, manager, and
six coaches can be in uniform and in the dugout, Garagiola said. The rule used
to be only five coaches, until bench coaches became in vogue. The trainer is
allowed to be on the bench, and it is understood that the equipment manager and
an assistant trainer would be going back and forth to the clubhouse, so their
presence is accepted.

Some teams feel that extra personnel could be a potential advantage for teams; I’m not against that I agree there should be limitations, but I am calling for some sort of Grandfather Clause for guys like Johnny Pesky. I really just don’t understand removing someone like Pesky from the dugout. Clearly Major League Baseball just doesn’t care about pissing off fans, the Direct TV package certainly affects more people then this ruling but since I live in Boston and get all the Sox games on NESN it’s not one that hits home quite like Johnny Pesky being removed from the dugout.

Two of the major points or arguments I’ve seen not necessarily supporting the decision but highlighting why its not a bad thing are as follows. If you allow Pesky on the bench what’s to stop other teams from doing the same with former players and end up having 15 non-players in the dugout. The other is the health risk that Pesky is frail and could easily be hurt. I feel like the risk of Pesky getting hit by a ball in the dugout is equal to the chance of anyone else in the dugout getting hit by a foul ball.

As far as keeping the number of people in the dugout from getting out of control, I’m fine with that, which is why I suggested a Grandfather Clause for someone like Pesky. I don’t really think he’s going to give Boston an advantage I think he is probably more there for the fans because he enjoys being at the ballpark, interacting with the fans and being part of the team.

I also think it’s important for fans to connect with the sports past, I know that my fandom has been increased significantly by the history of the sport. I love reading about Red Sox teams of the past, I loved my trip to the Hall of Fame as a kid and have been itching to go back ever since and I’m completely fascinated by baseball in the 1920’s seeing how the sport emerged from the dead ball era and eventually helped pull the United States out of the depression. I think that Pesky is a great representation of the history of one of the most storied franchises in the world.

According to Edes column the Sox are fighting this decision but it will be interesting to see what they do come opening day. I assume we will at least see Pesky on the field and in uniform before games and in the clubhouse but he will probably move up to the stands for the actual game, although it would be good to see the Sox fight it and have Pesky in the dugout for at least the home opener.

Here is the link to the Globe article: Baseball Ready to Give Pesky the Hook (Boston Globe)

And if you’d like to see some of the lively discussions on the matter check out Sons of Sam Horn: MLB bans Pesky from the dugout (again)

One last thing, this quote from SoSH pretty much sums up my feelings on Dan Shaughnessy and clearly I’m not alone.

From poster AlNipper49 – “If I was Schilling and Shaughnessy got ALS I’d find a new fucking charity.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Poor A-Rod?

I know it’s a little early to start with the Red Sox-Yankees feuding but there has to be a line somewhere. If you haven’t seen it yet take a look at this, Project A13 the “anti-boos movement”. I could not possibly make this up, there is a website and a so-called (quotation fingers) “movement” (quotation fingers) to get fans to stop booing Alex Rodriguez in New York.

What? Are these people serious? The site operates under the taglines “dedicated to the positive in us” and “forget the contract remember the game”. I’m sorry should a player that is getting paid more then any other player not be held accountable for poor performance? As a Red Sox fan I get the feeling this is one of those things that most Yankee fans would see and just shake their heads and be embarrassed to be associated with. Kind of like when certain Sox fans get obliterated and start making completely outlandish statements or when people tape themselves ranting about how much the Yankees suck then put it on youtube. You know the stuff that generally makes Sox fans think… “well that’s why everyone hates us”. It all gets multiplied by the Boston accent for some reason too people seem to think the accent implies some sort of inherent ignorance but I digress, let’s take a closer look at project wampity wamp.

It appears to be a genuine attempt at getting people to try and react positively and not boo Alex Rodriquez for not being “perfect”. Fair enough I can respect fans making some excuses for players, I’ve forgiven Manny plenty of times for some of the stuff he does. Let’s not get carried away thought, do Yankee fans really expect A-Rod (it’s well documented that I don’t like referring to him as A-Rod but for the purpose of the blog) perfect? Baseball is a game where a player is considered to be good if he fails seven out of ten times so I think perfect is a little bit unrealistic in literal terms. But I will give the site the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s not literally talking about perfection but rather coming through in the clutch.

He was the MVP in 2005 after having a monster season but everyone seems to have jumped on him last year. The guy is a career .305 hitter he’s averaged 43 homers and 125 RBI with a .386 OBP, he’s a two time MVP, ten time All Star and has won a Silver Slugger award eight times. I’d say that any player with numbers like is going to be expected to perform the highest level. He’s got one of the best resumes in the MLB, why wouldn’t he be expected to be the best player, especially when he makes as much as he does.

Why should fans worry about the fact that Alex’s feelings get hurt when people boo him? If anything Alex should be confused as hell as to why Yankee fans boo him.

Here are some of Alex’s stats since coming to the Yankees:
2004 155 games, 106 RBI, .286 BA, .375 OBP, 36 HR
2005 162 games, 130 RBI, .321 BA, .421 OBP, 48 HR (MVP)
2006 154 games, 121 RBI, .290 BA, .392 OBP, 35 HR

Those are three pretty good years, especially when you consider his career numbers and the fact that he beat out Big Papi and Manny for MVP in 2005.

Just for fun here are Derek Jeter’s stats over the same three years:
2004 154 games, 78 RBI, .292 BA, .352 OBP, 23 HR
2005 159 games, 70 RBI, .309 BA, .389 OBP, 19 HR
2006 154 games, 97 RBI, .343 BA, .417 OBP, 14 HR (MVP runner up)

Now I know Jeter is not in a position to drive in as many runs as A-Rod and he’s not going to hit as many home runs but when you compare the stats you wouldn’t think A-Rod would be getting booed to being with if Jeter is the holiest of holies and favorite son of the Rotten Apple.

It sounds like I’m saying I don’t think Yankee fans should boo Rodriguez, well that is what I’m saying to a point. I don’t think his regular season performance has warranted it. His post season performance is a different story, but the Yankees are a team that shouldn’t need to be carried. They have enough power in their lineup that one struggling player shouldn’t determine the outcome of a season or playoff race.

My main problem is with this ‘movement’ of being positive and not booing, now I think as many positive thoughts about the Red Sox as possible but why shouldn’t fans hold players accountable for their performance? If I feel that a player is playing below his capability to the point where it warrants boos why not boo. It doesn’t motivate him? Too bad, fans shell out a ton of money in support of their favorite teams so why shouldn’t players have to earn their respect and applause.

“And yet, he stays. Out of position, out of favor, and out of comfort in the
sport he was born to play. He stays against all odds that New York will ever
respect his game. He stays against all odds that we, the infamous Yankee fans,
will ever revere his name. But this is what he wants, more than anything in
baseball, so he stays.”

I think people need to take a step back every now and again and remember that at the end of the day it’s a game and it’s entertainment. This Project A 13 make Rodriquez sound like Tom Cruise in Born on the Forth of July, he’s not doing some service and being spit on for it. He’s not some great warrior in a greek play or something, he is a professional baseball player that isn’t playing up to the expectations of fans. Are those expectations unrealistic? I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect him to be one of if not the best player in baseball. He’s is being paid as such and to be honest during the regular season he has put up the numbers.

This isn’t little league smokey, the games aren’t going to end in ties…usually anyway, and when you are in a media fish bowl like the Rotten Apple or Boston there is going to be immense pressure from the media and fans and whether A-Rod and his fragile self can handle that or not it’s not going to change. Maybe he can’t handle the pressure of New York and if that’s the case he’ll probably move along and continue to put up Hall of Fame numbers somewhere else.

Is it bad that reading Project A13 I can see that (at least one) Yankee fan is starting to dislike the bad taste in his mouth from playoff struggles and no World Series titles in the last seven years. Is it bad that I’m hoping it continues?

I have no problem with thinking it’s unfair to boo Alex Rodriguez, hell I wouldn’t mind if they run him out of New York allowing the Sox to sign him, maybe then we’ll have some reverse Babe Ruth thing going. Now there is a book that Dan Shaughnessy can right any day. Again what I do have a problem with is making it sound like holding players accountable is wrong. It’s not, it’s part of being a fan some players are embraced and others are booed. The funny thing about A-Rod is that he plays beside the Prodigal Son Derek Jeter. I seriously doubt Jeter would get booed if he went 0-23 in the final four games of the ALCS and A-Rod was swinging a hot bat. Good luck with your movement Yankee fans…Remember the game, peace, love and free hugs.

I think it would be the best thing for Rodriguez to get booed out of New York so he can carry on his career elsewhere, assuming he takes off the dress and ends this tea party. The guy just isn’t suited for New York and the fans don’t seem to be suited for A-Rod.

A special thanks to the guys at sox and pinstripes for linking my blog to their Red Sox Blognation section. Baseball from Red Sox fans and Yankees fans stand point, it’s very cool and you should check it out.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Countdown: Six

Six days, six days until the Red Sox open the 2007 season. To tell you the God’s honest truth I really wasn’t that excited for this year’s edition of my absolute favorite team. I felt a little lost really. I think it was all the off season spending, obviously I wanted the Red Sox to get the best players, I didn’t have a problem with the Red Sox paying Dice-K and Julio Lugo but the terrible wrap that JD Drew has gotten of the years made me stop and think a bit.

I felt like going with Drew, a Boras client, was the final straw in the dismantling of the 2004 Red Sox. Getting ready for this season felt weird, it was like going through the motions. I still filled my day with plenty of SoSH, Dirtdogs, Bill Simmons and I found some great new info thanks to Schilling’s blog and Bradford on Baseball. I listened to WEEI everyday and watched spring training highlights. It just didn’t feel the same as it has in the past.

Maybe at first it had to do with the fact that I’m almost a year removed from college and that I won’t be skipping class to watch the 10:05 Patriots Day game or anything like that. That couldn’t have been it, the people I work with still talk Sox everyday, I’m back home and all my old friends are Sox fans and we still talk about them and on top of it all I’m not in New Hampshire anymore. Being back home means I’m 20 minutes from Boston again. What was it that made me feel so lackadaisical and halfhearted about a team and sport that I’ve loved watching for years?

Like I said before I’m convinced it had to do with all the money they spent in the off-season. But like any fan I always want my team to have the best players and that often costs the most money. Prior to spring training I sent an email to good old Joe Reynolds discussing how I didn’t feel great about the 2007 Red Sox, I said I was almost more excited to wait a year and see Jacoby Ellsbury and a fully recovered Jon Lester. I’ll admit I’m really excited for Ellsbury, I have nothing against Coco, I just really like seeing homegrown/Sox drafted players make it. That’s one of the reasons why I love Youk so much, more on him later, and why I am really pulling for Pedrioa this season.

Of course as the season started to get closer I stopped caring about big money signings and what not and I began looking forward to the season. That all culminated with me realizing that I love the Sox and the fact that they spent a bunch on money and seem to be heading down that Yankee outspend everyone road is not going to change that fact.

For some reason Red Sox fans like the think that Boston is this grass roots organization and that the 2004 Red Sox were this lowly, ho-hum team that defied all the odds to win the World Series. They did defy all odds, since they came back from 3-0 in the ALCS but still let’s not act like they had a 75-million dollar payroll. Granted they hit the lottery with Ortiz and guys like Millar, Mueller and Bellhorn pulled more than just their weight but that team certainly didn’t come cheap.

According to USA Today (circa 2004) the Red Sox had the second highest payroll in Major League Baseball at 127,298,500 dollars second only the Yankees, who had and 184,193,950 dollar payroll. I like to include the whole figure so we can all realize how much money that is. Seeing those numbers also makes you appreciate guys like Youk and Papelbon who are being paid about 45,000 above the league minimum.

When you think about that and the fact that the Sox payroll is around 160 million this year there is really no point in trying to pretend that the Red Sox are totally unlike the Yankees in the financial department. Besides if we as fans want the organization to field a competitive team, wait forget competitive we want them to field a championship contender year in and year out that is going to take money. The Red Sox are also one of the most marketable brands in the world, thus making them one of the most profitable teams. Why not spend that money on improving the team by getting better players.

Spending money is the reason the Red Sox were able to get Schilling (that had a lot to do with Francona too according to Schill) and Manny. I might not have been high on JD Drew a month or two ago but I’m certainly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, if he stays healthy and plays up to potential he’s not only an upgrade from Trot Nixon but who cares if he cost 70-million, it’s not my money.

Now that I think about it I can’t believe I was in such a malaise about the 2007 team and that really hit me on Sunday afternoon at about three o’clock. Let me explain. The NCAA tournament was going on, the Elite Eight Oregon-Florida game to be exact, myself and two friends stopped by the 466 to grab a beer and watch some of the game while we waited for the pizzas we ordered. As we sat at the bar watching Oregon-Florida I couldn’t pull my gaze from the Red Sox Spring Training game against the Marlins. I glanced over and saw one Josh Beckett fastball and that was it. Both of the guys I was with are big Red Sox fans but they were into the Florida game (one of my buddies mothers is a Florida grad) I don’t know what it was but I was memorized by the Sox game.

I’ve watched a couple of innings of ST baseball but for some reason Sunday I was drawn in for the first time this year. Maybe it was the fact that it was baseball in HD, which I don’t have at home, or maybe it was just the colors of the green grass and the why the players moved, seeing that it was real or something. It was probably less poetic then that, but either way seeing the dirt jump off of Varitek’s glove after each fastball woke me up.

Six days, six days and I can’t wait. I’m excited about the 2007 Red Sox, I think they have the potential to have a monster year. Schilling seems like he will be good for 15-18 wins, Beckett is ready to be the Josh Beckett we expected him to be, Dice-K is going to be special, Papelbon is back in the closer role. As far as pitching goes the Red Sox have all the components of a championship squad and their lineup is looking top self as well.

Let’s take a look at the lineup. Lugo is an offensive upgrade from Gonzo, he’s going to get on base and he can run and he’s got Ortiz, Manny and JD Drew hitting behind him. I left Youkilis out of that sentence for a reason, he needs his own. Youk has been a full-time major leaguer for just over two years and is going to have a monster year hitting in the two-hole. Mark Loretta hit well there last year and he’s not the on-base guy that Youk is. Youkilis, batting second is going to work wonders for the Sox, he is an on-base, ‘moneyball’ guy and batting in front of the most feared three-four combo in the league is going to give him an opportunity to see some great pitches because opposing teams aren’t going to want to give up a walk and put two runners on (potentially) with Papi and Manny coming up. It’s my firm belief that Kevin Youkilis is going to the 2007 American League Batting Champion. In fact I’m going to call it right now.

Big Papi and Manny Ramirez need no introduction they are going to be a great duo once again. With the numbers they put up it seems like either one could win the MVP in any given year. Thank you Minnesota, to think in 2003 Ortiz was fighting for time in Boston with Jeremy Giambi.

Drew should be a huge addition to the line up. He’s really only had two healthy seasons, so if he can stay healthy he’s going to be fun to watch. Mike Lowell turned out to be a great throw-in as part of the Beckett deal, even if he costs 9-million, you can’t beat his defense and he hit 20 homers last year and was a doubles machine. If Lowell can just keep pulling his weight and hit .275 with 15 homers he’s a great six or seven hitter.

Tek remains a question. Schilling claims he was hurt all last year and that this year he is healthy and ready for another Tek like year. He’s struggled in ST but if he can stay in the lineup and hit at all he will be ok. He’s invaluable to the pitching staff and even if he struggles at the plate and you have to hit him eighth he’s going to help more then hurt.

Coco is a guy that needs to step it up. He got off to a good start but got hurt so I’ve refrained from judging him. I’m really hoping he turns it around and plays at least the way he did in Cleveland, he’s an exciting player and a guy that goes out and has fun everyday and when those guys are playing well they are the most fun to watch. As for Pedroia, anything you get from him is a bonus. As long as he plays solid defense and hits better then he did at the end of last year he will be fine. Boston isn’t a great place to be thrown into the lineup, I love the way they brought Youk along with Billy Mueller, giving him time to get ready. It will be tough for Pedroia but with the lineup the Red Sox have he isn’t going to be looked to for any kind of unrealistic offensive production. Hey, who ever heard of Mark Bellhorn in 2004 and look what he did.

Six days, six days and it’s almost here.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The internet's not going to surf itself buddy

What the F*ck is the Internet!

Bored? Me too, check out some of this stuff...after all the internet isn't going to surf itself, that's what we're here for.

Bill Simmons on Kevin Durant & Greg Oden

to tank or not to tank? - Hoops World

Ryan Dempster has the Real Ultimate Power - Deadspin

More Ebay Shenanigans, Barbaro Lives!

TREOS has a new CD coming this summer - TREOS

Bar Stool Sports, Why Not? - Barstoolsports

Hazel Mae is off the market - Metronews West (Canada, eh)

Just a couple of things I enjoyed and felt like sharing

Busted Brackets

Well it’s a good thing that I didn’t take the time to post anything about the NCAA tournament before I left New England for Spring Break. Let’s just say my brackets aren’t doing so hot. I think the only 8-9 game I picked right was Michigan State and my best bracket has Memphis in the final four. What was I thinking, honestly, first they have to get by Texas A&M then they potentially have to beat Ohio State or Tennessee then Georgetown or UNC there is no way they don’t blow it…it’s just really not going well.

‘Bustday’, as defined by; “The day you realize your NCAA bracket is busted, and you're probably not going to win the pool unless somehow, a double digit team wins the title.” – That’s me minus the double digit’s winning the title, I’m not an artard (or /r/-tard if you want to get picky with the spelling).

I’ve said it before and will say it again I don’t follow college basketball that closely, I dabble but I don’t follow it closely or claim to have any idea what I’m talking about. I followed Texas this year but that’s because I hope the Celtics get Kevin Durant. When NCAA tournament rolls around everyone becomes an expert, thanks to a wonderful creation known as the office pool. Which has now been extended to just tournament pools because I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t participate in some form of NCAA Pool, legal or illegal, money or no money. Facebook even has NCAA Pools now yes this might be the end of the world.

I’m not an expert, I don’t claim to be and my brackets as evidence when it comes to college basketball I am a dumbass. With that said I’ve made a decision. I’m abandoning my brackets I might check them after games out of curiosity but I’m not going to watch games and root for a team because I picked them, that totally takes all the fun out of the tournament.

Here’s an example of what I am getting at. Duke-VCU, I don’t like Duke, no real reason I just never have, but since I figured they would get by VCU (even though I knew they shouldn’t have been seeded as high as they were) I picked the Blue Devils to lose in the second round. I was in Daytona Beach for Spring Break for the Duke-VCU game and I didn’t get to fully enjoy the collapse of Duke and savor the VCU upset because I was thinking about how it would F my bracket.

After the Duke-VCU game decided to dump my brackets, that decision was confirmed later that night while taking to a cheerleader from Purdue, I had Purdue losing to Arizona but changed my tune pretty quickly, so I’m dumping my brackets and just watching the games, allowing my support to be swayed by which ever team captivates me.

Tonight should be an interesting night, Memphis-Texas A&M should be a good one, I’m always going to root for John Calipari, c’mon like you didn’t have a Marcus Camby U-Mass jersey, but after watching Acie Law IV (the best big game shot taker and maker in the country) I have to take the Aggies. I wouldn’t mind either team moving on thought.

The other game I’ll be keeping an eye on tonight, Kansas-Southern Illinois, this game I actually had, not that it was really a tough pick, it should be another good one to watch. SIU has a great defense and Kansas might be the best team in the country. After watching those Kansas-Texas games I think they have a great chance to win a national championship.

In abandoning my brackets I’ve pretty much surrendered to Reynolds who challenged me to a facebook bracket duel. My bracket on facebook is probably the worst one I filled out, yet some how I have the second most points out of all my friends who filled out brackets, makes no sense but whatever. Either way I’ve got Reynolds pretty much dead to rights, what does that prove you ask? That despite my limited knowledge of College Hoops and my miserable failure in Bracketology, drugs are still bad mmkaay. Pot smoking, ski bums don’t hold a candle to bored kids that work in offices and spend all day reading about sports. The internet doesn’t surf itself my friend, that’s what I’m here for.

I missed a lot of stuff being gone for a week but here are a couple of thoughts as you continue to watch your NCAA bracket spiral further into oblivion.

- Danny Ainge got fined 30 grand for “excessive contact with Kevin Durant” (Jordan also got fined for comments) if you are Durant why wouldn’t you come out? GM’s are taking fines for sitting next to your mom, the greatest player ever said you’re going to be great and Kobe pretty much guaranteed you that you’d get a huge shoe deal from Nike.

-The NCAA age limit has worked wonders as a PR tool for Durant, he wouldn’t be nearly this well know or talked about had he come to the NBA from high school but after playing a year in college he’s essentially marketed himself into one of the top two picks if he comes out. This is just more proof that David Stern is a genius…can you put a price on the buzz that the age restriction has put on the NBA with guys like Durant and Oden becoming guaranteed top two picks?

- There is only one word to describe Manny Ramirez. Unpredictable, that’s it the guy is off his rocker.

- Dice-K looked strong in his outing yesterday. It’s always a good sign when players from the other team are going into the club house between innings to look at the DVDs of their at-bats to try and figure out what exactly a pitcher is throwing.

- It looks like the Sox are going to announce Papelbon as the closer after their game today. I liked the idea of Paps starting but he was lights out last year and moving him the closer makes the team better immediately with out losing anything. Even taking him out of the rotation the Red Sox have a couple of avenues to explore with the fifth starter, whether that’s Pinero, Tavarez, Snyder or hopefully later in the season Lester.

Alright that was more like a full time out…more on March Madness and Papelbon later.
For your reading pleasure: Bradford on Baseball & 38pitches - they are more enteraining and insightful then I am.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The greatest idea in the history of the world…of warcraft.

It’s Massachusetts State Hockey Tournament time which means I’ve been uber busy and haven’t had a chance to comment on all the Spring Training action or the Patriots free agency.

Well, kind of a lot has happened in the last week. I haven’t had a chance to watch any of the spring training games, with the exception of a few innings of a Yankees, Tigers game. I did see some video of Dice-K, he looks good so far and on top of that Hanley Ramirez (who was all lined up to be my next favorite Red Sox) said he was nasty and threw too hard. Han-Ram was the NL Rookie of the Year by the way.

I don’t want to put too much stock in his TUP (tremendous upside potential…a la Bill Simmons) but he was legit in the World Baseball Classic, he was legit in Japan and now Curt Schilling says he is legit. And that brings me to the focal point of this post. I know there’s a lot going on right now, I’ll get to that, but Curt Schilling has a blog.

Yep. It’s the truth good ole G38 has entered the world of blogging. If you think about it, this move makes a ton of sense coming from Schilling. Bloggers have a stereotype of living in their parents basement and Schilling is a known computer gamer. Guy loves World of Warcraft, Everquest and the likes, he’s perfect for a blog.

A lot of people hate on Schilling for speaking his mind and being a “blowhard” but can you really get mad if that’s what he writes about in his blog…isn’t that what blogs are for, to write about what you think? There already are a lot of people hating on Schilling for his blog. People seem to think that because he’s a baseball player he should stick to baseball and that’s it, but the guy has other interests I’m sure. And what makes anyone else anymore qualified to have a blog over anyone else.

Some people might have better or more entertaining blogs but I’d say Schilling is more qualified to write about baseball than I am but you know what I like baseball so I want to write about it some people might like it, others will no doubt think I am an idiot but that’s what this is all about.

Now if his 38pitches blog turns out to be him yammering on about politics or religion or online multiplayer video gaming I probably won’t read it, because I don’t really care what his take on that stuff is.

I personally think he is on to something here, if his blog provides insight into the thoughts of a major league pitcher…the premier pitcher on my favorite team even then it has the potential to be an awesome resource for fans. So far his blog has been exactly that…a space with his thoughts and feeling on baseball, he even said right off the bat that his opinion are his opinions and they can be wrong.

His first post was a good intro but if his second post is any indication of what is to come we could not only have great ‘from the horses mouth’ (so to speak) insight on the Red Sox and Curt Schilling but it could be open the door for more players to do similar things.

Schilling is not one to shy away from talking, that is no secret, he’s a regular on WEEI and on Sons of Sam Horn (Gehrig38) so something like this isn’t really that much of a surprise but I am a little bit excited to see where he takes this.

His first real post, entitled Spring Training 2007 was great. It’s up at right now and you should check it out (after you read this of course). In the spring training post he takes you through his starts and lets you know how and what he was feeling. It’s pretty cool to be able to hear what was going through his mind on the mound and see that he’s not fully comfortable with some of his pitches yet, while he is set with others.

I found it very interesting to read about a situation wear Varitek called for a fastball but Schilling didn’t want to throw it so he tried to shake Tek off but the Captain insisted so he threw it but Schill didn’t have it in his head that he could throw that pitch in that spot with confidence and it got crushed. I don’t think he threw Tek under the bus as much as he was just saying that the pitch got crushed because he threw it without confidence. I think that insight like that is great and it could add another dynamic to following the Sox. I don’t want to rehash the whole post but I found that part of particular interest.

Possibly the best part about Schilling’s blog is the fact that he enabled you can rip him if you so chose (as long as you use clean language) I can’t wait until he responds to a commenter with “Any dungeon master worth his weight in geldings…” No matter what your thoughts on Schilling are you have to admit the idea of his blog is a pretty cool one.

Check it out – 38pitches