Monthly Archives: December 2009

Mets fans Turn to Us Because We Know Our Shit.

With the migration of our favorite (former) Canadian, Jason Bay, to the Mets, which is still a move that I think will leave Mets fans holding their junk for the next five years, Our friend Kerel Cooper at On the Black asked for some info on the palefaced wonder. Of course, I was more than willing to share all of the reasons that the Mets would have been much better suited to signing Chone  Figgins (before the Mariners gobbled him up) or another speed and defense guy as opposed to more right handed power that has trouble getting to balls in the gap.

Here’s a snippet of the “interview:”

Question: What’s the reaction from Boston fans (including you) on Bay signing with the Mets?
Answer: Bay is a terrific player and a class act. The Sox obviously saw something in him that made them believe that he would not be a $ 15 million player at age 36 and didn’t want to include the fifth year of the deal. We are very happy with his move to the Mets because it takes him out of our path to the World Series and most of us who were paying attention for the past month or so knew he wasn’t coming back here.

Question: A lot has been made of Jason Bay being a defensive liability. Especially as he moves to a big park like Citi Field. As someone who watched him all of last summer, can you give some insight into he defensive liabilities?
Answer: Jason Bay is not a hugely awful defensive player, but he is not a great one. He was an upgrade over Manny, but that’s not a huge challenge. Mostly he will suffer in a ballpark with massive gaps like Citi Field, and he doesn’t always take the best path to the ball. In a left field the size of most new yorkers’ studio apartments (Fenway Park LF) this wasn’t a huge deal, but when we were on the road last summer it was pretty apparent.

Question: What’s the strongest part of Bay’s game?
Answer: Bay is a right handed power hitter. He is at his best when people are throwing him fastballs which he hammers with the best of them. Sliders down and away are another story and a large reason for his 162 ks last year.

Even their Mascot doesn't want to be associated with them.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of Kerel’s work and the interview at OnTheBlack.com. He knows his stuff and (for a Mets fan) has a great perspective on whats going on in the world of baseball. No matter how much the Sox have planned for the rest of the winter, nothing is likely to go down for the next few days, what with Fenway being used by some second rate league tomorrow.

It’s snowing, which means that tonight is going to be interesting travel, though I shouldn’t mind, based on the amount of fine locally brewed frost beverages I plan to consume. Be safe out there yourself and happy f#$%ing New Year.

Go Sox.

49 Days.

Done.

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Mets Sink $66 Million into the Bay: Bad Move.

Over the past few weeks, listening to what Theo, Tito and others who know what is up (Perter Gammons chief among them), I’ve softened on the whole Mike Cameron thing. I still think it is a bad idea to trade away both Ellsbury and Buchholz for anyone, even Adrian Gonzalez (though either one of them along with a package of top end prospects is cool with me), but having Cameron patrolling under the Monster and training Ells how to track balls and take better angles so that he can make it look easy is an idea that is growing on me.

hopefully smarter than me.

The reason that I had not liked the signing in the first place was because it closed the door on the possible return of Jason Bay, who was the offensive key for the Sox last season. When he hit, the Sox hit. When he didn’t, they couldn’t score runs for the life of them. He ended the season at .267 with 36 HR and 119 RBI, leading many to believe that signing him to cement the middle of the order would be the Sox first priority this winter. I was among that group originally, and while I have since seen some of what the “don’t sign Bay” contingent was saying (like that he struck out too much and that he wasn’t going to be a $15 million a year player at age 35), Jason was a class act since the day he arrived, helped the entire nation get over a messy breakup with Manny, and played very well for the majority of his time on the Sox.

Though the Sox did make a very strong offer at four years and $60 million, Bay was seen to be wanting more years and his agent, Joe Urbon, had evidently led him to believe that that type of thing was out there. Unfortunately, Bay’s defensive liabilities (which were masked in many ways by the small size of Fenway’s left field) and something that Red Sox Head Trainer Mike Reinhold (a shoulder guru) saw on Bay’s MRI held the team back as they rebuilt the team for next season around pitching (Lester, Beckett, Lackey) and defense.

Please keep this man in town.

So Bay has now reportedly signed with the New York Mets for four years and $66 million with a vesting option to make it five years and $80 million.For Jason Bay, it seems, this is the best deal he is going to get, so the deal works. For the Red Sox, it is a best case scenario, as Bay doesn’t end up in a place where he will be a problem for them and with him off the market, they can stop dealing with fans who still want him back. It also works for the Mets if by “works for” you mean “is a complete waste of the money that they should be using elsewhere.”

The Mets have to be the most dysfunctional organization in the Major Leagues. They are a team built on right handed power hitters (Wright, Beltran – who is switch, but has power from the right-, now Bay) that plays in a ballpark with an absolutely cavernous left field. They just signed a guy who will not only hit worse than he did in Fenway, but his defensive liabilities will be exposed when he is playing 81 games with such a huge patch of grass around him. they don’t have a catcher, even though they have been the only suitor for whichever freaking Molina is on the Free Agent market this year (there is always one), and last season had to fire one of their VPs when he started to lose his mind due to all the crap that had happened to the team (injuries, not being the Yankees, having cheap owners).

This is what I stick up my butt when I'm supposed to be doing smart things.

I really don’t know what Mets GM Omar Minaya is thinking with this one. While the rest of the world tries to get better at preventing runs, he signs a guy who won’t be able to cover the ground in the outfield of TaxPayerField. Not only that, but Minaya’s new signing will be trying to hit home runs (which is where he is best) in a ballpark which had a tremendously negative impact on David Wright’s power numbers. This is another big name signing by the Mets which will go nowhere, even though they have a very good team on paper (on paper).

Good for Jason Bay, we will miss him, but at least now the Sox (and their fans) can start looking forward to next season (and figuring out how they will score) instead of dwelling on the guy who we knew was gone when he was replaced.

Go Sox.

51 Days.

Done.

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Artificial Turf: Patriots Feeling Especially Randy

Feeling the love, baby.

One thing was clear when Coach Bill and QB Tom came to the public defense of Randy Moss: We need him. And yesterday, we got him. Moss contributed 3 TD scores on 4 receptions in the Patriots 35-7 romping of the Jax Jags. 13 of Brady’s 23 completions on 26 attempts went to Mr. Welker (who is crushing the league in receptions) and the good guys ran the ball by committee for 197 yards, led by Slammin Sammy Morris with 95 yards and a Six.

So my formula seems to be working: Rush for over 100, score more than 24, and protect the football. (Not a very original formula… but it sure does get the j-o-b done.)

The boys in blue are gearing up for their January run. Last year proved that all you need is a spark to push through the playoffs and the Pats are doing their best Cardinals impersonation as they look ahead. The best part about yesterday’s whoopin was the sideline attitude, they looked loose, and that’s what we need.

A man on a mission.

What we need to remember about Moss, getting back to the ordeal the national media made out of his 2 off-games, is that Randy Moss is only upset by one thing: losing. If you look back at the griping pattern of Randy’s career, it happens when he feels like the team isn’t doing all they can to win ball games… so of course he was a pain in the ass when he played for the Raiders. And frankly, when you compare our prima donna to the rest of the league’s Number 1 wide outs, Randy’s the one we want.

Cry your eyes out, cuz ya suck.

Another thing worth noting about yesterday’s events was the mail-it-in performance the sissy ponies (Colts) put up against the Jets. With no more unbeaten teams in the NFL, it sure does look from my seat like the Peytons had a chance to take a 25 game winning streak into the playoffs and now risk riding a 2 game losing streak and a bye week into January. It is thoroughly beyond my comprehension how you can tell a bunch of paid-professional competitors to just ease up and take lumps.

That's the game face we're lookin for... fa'sho!

So we start looking ahead… the AFC has 5 teams in the 8-7 club and through some incredibly complicated formula… it seems like any one of them may be a guest in Foxboro fo the wild card round. Currently, I’m optimistic, although being a New England fan, that may change 27 seconds from now.

I simply can’t bring myself to believe that the Bill/Brady combo can lose in the 1st round of the playoffs. We beat the Texans next week, we beat our first round opponent in the playoffs, and the poop-talking will begin again. That I can promise you. The Jets are in a win-and-you’re-in situation… and oh boy, I’d love to stuff it down their throats next month.

Go Pats.

StartMattCassel

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Live From The Sunshine State, It’s Week 16 NFL Picks

We’re in Florida for the week, and unlike last year when we were down here, nothing catastrophic has happened to the Sox. Yet. The whole world is on hiatus for the week so nothing super exciting is likely to happen any time soon.

We all dropped a stinker on Christmas (must be because we are Joos), so we’re all 0-1 this week.

Last Week: Done 11-5, SMC 11-5, MVPork 7-9

Overall: Done 86-92-2, SMC 86-92-2, MVPork 30-35-0

Favorite Spread Dog Done SMC MVPork
At GB -14 SEA SEA GB GB
At CLE -3 OAK OAK OAK OAK
At CIN -13.5 KC CIN CIN KC
At ATL -9 BUF ATL BUF BUF
At MIA -1.5 HOU HOU MIA MIA
At NYG -8 CAR NYG CAR CAR
At NO -14 TB NO NO TB
At NE -10 JAX NE NE NE
At PITT -3 BAL BAL PIT BAL
At PHI -7 DEN PHI DEN PHI
At AZ -15 STL AZ AZ AZ
At SF -14 DET SF SF DET
At IND -4 NYJ IND IND IND
DAL -7 At WASH DAL DAL WAS
MIN -7 At CHI MIN MIN MIN

We hope it’s as nice where you are as it is where we are. I’m headed to the pool.

Go Pats. Go Sox.

53 Days.

Done.

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Merry Christmas From The Ballpark

This is what Santa looks like when he is wasted and doing karaoke with the elves.

Tonight the NFL is unveiling “Thursday Night Football: Friday Night Special” and in the spirit of the season, we are all picking the Titans -2.5 to give the Patriots one more shot at getting the bye by beating the Chargers. The C’s are also playing the Magic today so you all have something to do before chinese food and movies tonight.

A holiday best to all of you and yours. Enjoy the day and don’t forget that you can email us presents at MyBallpark@gmail.com all year. By the way, Jesus was born in late July.

Go Sox.

55 Days.

Done.

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Johnny Damon to the Red Sox? Why Not?

Hopefully solving this problem.

Ever since the end of the season, and all of Theo’s “Bridge Year” crap, the Sox have been in a state of flux. The departure of Jason Bay (unless……), the attempted trade of Mike Lowell, and the signings of Scutaro, Cameron and Lackey have in many ways opened up more questions than answers. Among the biggest are Who is going to be in center, Cameron or Ellsbury? What will Lowell’s role be (if he stays with the team after surgery)? Where in the hell are we going to get runs from?

Of course, the huge boner I get just thinking about Adrian Gonzalez in a Red Sox uniform is one answer to many of the questions, and may still happen, but with the Sox payroll building up towards the magic $170 million mark (including benefits and other crap which players can afford with the millions they are getting paid), where luxury tax kicks in, there aren’t many other options for adding to the roster.

No seriously, that's what's inside of a baseball.

As an aside, I have to say that I agree with John Henry in his stance on Baseball’s current revenue sharing plan. If the big market teams are going to pay the small market teams to keep things competitive, then those teams that get the money should be required to spend it. The Yankees (the only team above the tax number last season), had a bigger payroll than the bottom four teams combined. The owners of those teams should be required to keep a certain minimum salary level for players so that the money from the Sox, Yanks and others isn’t just going to lining the pockets of assholes (the aforementioned owners), and the fans actually have a reason to actually go out and support them.

With this in mind, the Sox are looking for a cheap way to improve their offense. I say that option has been masquerading as a vastly overpaid, weak armed, beardless outfielder in New York for the past four seasons. Ever since he ditched the Sox for the Yanks following 2005, Johnny Damon’s abilities to play the outfield and get on base at the top of the lineup have been declining, but he does still have some pop in his bat, and could probably play a pretty good first base with his range and talent for catching the ball. He would need to learn a new position, and given the Sox’ hopes to improve the defense this offseason (as they have already done with Mike Cameron and Marco Scutaro) this would be a deviation from the plan.

The upside of the signing is that Damon (formerly Captain Caveman) is one of the guys that will fall prey to the “Abreu Effect” by which productive veterans (24 HR, 82 RBI, 107 Runs, .854 OPS last year) end up sitting around until the new year (coming soon) and then sign bargain basement one year deals for the chance to prove themselves again. Damon could very well end up as one of those guys, and one year/$5-6 million might just get it done (even with Satan/Scott Boras as his agent). He also would not have to be hitting leadoff or second, but could slide into the eighth spot and protect guys like Ellsbury at the top of the lineup. Combined with Cameron, and considering the fact that there was no offense out of the Shortstop position last season (sure to be improved upon by Scutaro), Damon could definitely fill the offensive hole left by Bay.

And it gives me an excuse to show this all the time:

Just a thought. Merry Christmas, be safe, and our best to you from the Ballpark.

Go Sox.

56 Days.

Done.

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Um…. Er….. (Awkward Glance)….. Welcome Back, Mike Lowell!

Aaaaaand, We’re back.

Awkwardly, so is Mike Lowell. The third baseman, gold glove and World Series MVP winning as he is, was supposed to be traded (along with $9 million) to the Texas Rangers for 25 year old catcher Max Ramirez at the end of the Winter Meetings a few weeks ago. Then his physical held everything up. The bum hip that slowed him in the field last season and a thumb injury suffered at the end of the year were both hold ups, but people kept assuring us that this was going to happen, and the Sox would fill the hole by switching Youk to third and finding someone else for first, or signing Adrian Beltre, or building a second, robotic Youkilis so that he can man both sides of the diamond. All we knew for sure was that Treebeard was gone.

Or not. Saturday night I’m out with some buddies playing darts and watching the Saints lose to the Cowboys (and getting my car towed because of the f#$%ing snow emergency), and what do I see crawl across the bottom of the screen but the news that the trade is off. Treebeard (and his massive wooden penis) is back with the Sox.

More Awkward Than This. Unless You Boof Dudes. (haha, the Sox have a guy named Boof on the team)

Now comes the hard part, bringing Lowell back into the fold without leaning on him too heavily (like depending upon him to start at third this year), or alienating him further by making him feel like the awkward guy hanging out when his friend is about to nail both their dates. It is the hard part not only because the Sox tried to trade him and pay for him to go, but because they did the same last year while talking to Teixeira, and he had only come back to the Sox in ’08 for less money than the Phillies had offered him. What nobody wants is an unhappy guy in the clubhouse, especially one who is know for being such a class act. That is the kind of thing that leads to the team (most importantly the young nucleus) starting to distrust the management of the team.

My hope is that Lowell gets the surgery, comes back healthy and dominating in spring training, and the team either keeps him around for the year, or Texas comes calling again and we get back Max Ramirez. Of course, Ramirez is on the other end of this stick, the guy who an organization was willing to give up for a 35 year old injury risk filled stopgap. Ramirez is now lost as a piece of the puzzle to the Adrian Gonzalez mystery, and/or the future of the team as a first baseman.

Either way, this whole thing isn’t going to get worked out any time soon, even if people close to Gonzalez tell the media that he thinks he’s going to be traded before New Years.

Go Sox.

57 Days.

Done.

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