Preview: All others must bring data
All others must bring data
Boston Sports And Me
TBS Declares Red Sox Lose!
I would think TBS should wait before they push the stories declaring the Red Sox loss onto the web site until after they actually lose.
Note the 'Rays stun Red Sox to Win AL pennant at the bottom left and the story: Red Sox fall short as the middle story on the right.
Has Showcasing Crisp Worked?
I don't get it. Crisp is a great defensive substitution. He's almost a perfect fourth outfielder. Either let Crisp be the fourth outfielder or get him out of town. What are they holding out for in a trade?
Did anyone expect Crisp to still be here when the season started? It was particularly upsetting to see him out there and have Ellsbury sitting on the bench instead during the home opener. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
The Sox should make a change sooner, not later. Any more delays and Jacoby would have a good excuse to be sullen about the whole thing. He's not a kid, and delaying his progress at this point is bad for his career, bad for the Sox and just plain wrong.
On another Red Sox note, I picked up Drew late in my fantasy league. I'm beginning to think he'll make a real good substitute OF for my team. He may even become more than that if he can manage to stay on the field.
Collusion in Bonds Case
Really? Is an investigation really necessary to figure out why no one wants Bonds on their team? Does anyone really think collusion is going on?
Source: Union to examine why Bonds has no offers - Yahoo! News
The lack of offers to Barry Bonds will be examined by the baseball players' association as part of its annual review of the free-agent market. Less than two weeks before opening day, the 43-year-old home run king remains unsigned.
Then again, maybe the association has a point. Not picking up Bonds requires some common sense. That sort of thinking is usually pretty scarce in baseball front offices.
BTW, Kudos to the Sox players for sticking up for their managers and other team employees. They really should have thought of this a long time ago, however. Crisis on the day of is a bit much, I think
Volvo Wants You to Live in the Past
In what Volvo hopes is going to become the 'ultimate' collectible, they are building 107 C30 cars, one for each victory by the Boston Red Sox in their championship series.The last one, representing the final game, will be donated by Volvo to The Red Sox Foundation for a separate charity raffle to be held later this year. If you had been to win #15, but the scorecard you made up while sitting in the Monster Seats wasn't enough for you and you have $30K to spend, this might now be the ideal solution for you. Now if only you could get the team to sign the dashboard.Press Release follows:Limited Run Of 107 Cars Lets Fans Drive Home The Magic IRVINE, Calif., Mar. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Boston Red Sox remarkable 2007 season that culminated in a championship title continues to make headlines. Volvo is offering lucky fans the opportunity to drive home in what may be the ultimate collectible: The Boston Red Sox Special Edition Volvo C30. This specially equipped 2008 C30 is commissioned by Volvo and Major League Baseball to symbolize the partnership between Volvo and the Boston Red Sox. Only 107 of the Special Edition C30s will be produced with each car built to commemorate a Red Sox victory during the 2007 season and bearing a numbered dash plaque authenticated by Major League Baseball. The numbered dash plaque indicates which of the 107 victories each individual car represents. A Certificate of Authenticity signed by Anne Belec, President/CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, LLC and Larry Lucchino, President/CEO of the Boston Red Sox is also included. The Certificate of Authenticity couples the numbered dash plaque of each individual car to the corresponding 2007 season individual game victory, opponent and final score. Signifying the championship-clinching game, Red Sox Special Edition Volvo C30 number 107 will be donated by Volvo to The Red Sox Foundation for a separate charity raffle to be held later this year. Finished in vibrant Passion Red, Red Sox Special Edition C30s proudly wear the team's logo on the front fenders while a larger transparent logo is affixed inside the rear glass hatch. The team logo is also featured on the floor mats. In addition, the C30s are authenticated by Major League Baseball through the Major League Baseball Authentication Program. Similar to the Volvo C30 R-Design, each Red Sox Special Edition C30 is fitted with a matte-silver finish for the outside mirror housings and front grille surround. Front fog lights, power-assisted and heated front seats, a blue watch-dial instrument cluster, leather-wrapped steering wheel with aluminum inlays, sport pedals, sport shifter, vehicle security alarm, soft load cover, cruise control and the Dynaudio Sound System with Sirius Satellite Radio are also included. As the smallest and most expressive car in Volvo's model range, the C30 offers a dynamic driving experience. The turbocharged T5 5-cylinder engine produces 227-horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. A five-speed eartronic transmission is optional on the Boston Red Sox Special Edition C30. Available exclusively at select Volvo Retailers in New England, the Boston Red Sox Special Edition C30 equipped with five-speed automatic transmission with Geartronic is priced at $29,465*. VCNA provides marketing, sales, service, technology and training to Volvo automobile retailers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more information on the entire Volvo product lineup please refer to the Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, public relations website at: http://www.volvocars-pr.com/. *Price does not include destination charges of $745.
Specter Wastes Congress Time
Having begun the process for world peace, fixed the economy, thrown out all the crooked politicians, cured cancer, developed a fool proof method for voting and put aside funding to get the US debt in hand, Arlen Specter has turned his sights on the issues facing the NFL, specifically spygate.
"I am very concerned about the underlying facts on the taping, the reasons for the judgment on the limited penalties and, most of all, on the inexplicable destruction of the tapes," said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., in a Thursday letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Are you kidding me? This is what he's concerned about? After admitting he probably won't even watch the big game ("I may play squash while it's on"), Specter is putting the NFL anti-trust up for inspection over something that happened at the beginning of the season.
I know it's the only hold Congress has over the NFL (and MLB for that matter), but to bring up the big hammer for such a matter brings to mind the old sledge hammer to swat a fly anecdote.
Specter claims he made inquiries two months ago, but Goodell says he just became aware of Specter's interest on Thursday.
Really, Specter. Don't you have something better to do with your time?
Playoffs, Are You Talking About Playoffs?
Haven't the Patriots clinched a playoff spot
? Too much math for my brain to deal with at the moment.If the AFC Playoffs Began Today : Patriots Daily
1st seed - AFCE division leader New England Patriots (9-0). Last Sunday’s gutty comeback win over the reigning champion Colts gives the Pats undisputed possession of the AFC’s first seed this week. Little known fact - prior to Sunday, the Colts held this spot by virtue of the 4th tiebreaker; strength of victory.
That's surprising. If someone had come off the street and told me that last week, I wouldn't have believed them.
Drama, Drama, Drama...
It's only been a few weeks since the Red Sox won the World Series and we're seeing more drama now than we did during the season.
Schilling returns after his last game in a Red Sox uniform for only $8 million for one year, unless he keeps the weight down, in which case he gets $2 million more. I mean, offer me the money to keep the weight off, please!
Will Lowell be coming back (I want him for two years, but certainly not four!), or will the Red Sox enter the ARod party line (Please, please, please don't spend that much money on one player! Remember how you tried to waive manny and no one took him? That was just for $20 mill a year!). What about Pena at first instead?
Youk gets the golden glove and the most photographed award (I've seen so many after party pictures and in-flight shots over the past few days).
And then there's Coco, the man who could have won a Gold Glove if his rep was better than his name. Will he be traded and for who? Theo always seems to want to get the best deal possible, but let's just take what we can get, ok? We don't need a fourth outfielder all that badly. We could have won with or without him this year, and the same can be said for any other fourth outfielder you can name.
All in all, a lot to digest over the past week. Can we get back to the dancing and bedazzling, please? ;-)
Yankees are OUT, Cleveland is IN
Really, it's kind of depressing to see the Yankees out of the playoffs again. I would rather have faced them in the ALCS than Cleveland.
Mostly, that's because I'm more familiar with them. I know who the bad guys are. I know who the talented guys are. I know the coach(es). But what that all boils down to is I know what to expect and why. And that is, I know the Yankees will come all out every game right up until the last pitch. That makes the game exciting to watch.
Cleveland, from all reports, are better than the Yankees. They proved they were, at least, when they faced them down in the first round. But as we gear up for the second round, I can't help thinking: who is Carmona and how can those yahoos on the radio say he has an edge over Schilling? I mean, Curt Schilling, the guy with the best playoff record in baseball? I know the kid went 19-8 with a 3.06 record during the season. I know he pitched very well against the Yankees. But to say a 23 (or is he 24?) year old has an edge against a veteran playoff pitcher like Schilling?
BTW, despite all the hype about the pitching match-up in game one, I expect it to be ugly. No one has played a game in a week. The hitters and pitchers are going to be rusty. The second game will probably be a lot better.
Today was Easy, Tomorrow Will Be Harder
Even as the Patriots and Red Sox celebrated their wins last night, I couldn't help think that next week will be harder. The Cowboys will be the first team to face the Patriots who will really be seen as a tough team to beat. Especially since the Boys will be at home. And whoever wins out in the Cleveland/Yankees series is bound to be tougher than the Angels turned out to be.
The Indians pitching (starting) can be scary, while the Yankees line-up makes it difficult to put them away. They will keep coming at you right up until the last out.
I do so hope it's the Yankees that win, btw. It would certainly make things a lot more interesting. It seems like a lot of people are burned out on the rivalry, but I think they will come back alive if the Yankees manage to come back to life.
However, the quick end to the Angels match-up means we have to wait until Friday for the next game. What are we supposed to do in the meantime, watch the Bruins?
Six Reasons You Should Watch The Patriots-Browns Game
Let's face it, the Patriots are romping on teams that people think are good and then stomping on the teams people think are bad this season. So, perhaps you're getting bored with all this romping and stomping and need some other inspiration for you to sit down and watch for three hours.
- You have Moss or Brady on your fantasy team
- Rodney Harrison will be back, which means the New England defense is about to get better
- You want to keep in touch with how much the rest of the nation hates the Patriots
- You want to feel better about benching all those players from the Browns you have on your fantasy team
- Romeo could come up with some insight into the Belichick mindset, turning this into a real game
- When the season is done, you want to look down on all those others who are 'just now jumping on the bandwagon.'
Wow. That was quite a gem from Beckett last night. A shut out to start the series is a great way to make it happen. I was listening on the radio this morning and the meatheads were in agreement that if it comes down to game 4, this series is in the bag.
It's also nice to see the swagger back in Ortiz. He delivered once again and it's so nice to see it happen.
It's interesting to note how the two biggest bargains on the team, Ortiz and Beckett, are the ones who make the biggest difference in game 1. I wouldn't be surprised to see the 'throw-in' Lowell come up big in game 2. It just goes to show you don't need the big name player (read: big money guy) to win the big games.
The Skies Are Clearing
The skies are starting to clear out as game time approaches. The shock of seeing Dice-K go in Game two while Schilling was pushed back to Game three, plus Wakefield being left off the roster for a third catcher (is Mirabelli needed if Wakefield isn't pitching?) is still being felt here in the Bay State, but the excitement is building.
The Red Sox are clearly the favorites going into the series, but not by as much as I had hoped for at the beginning of the season. I thought the pitching would be right where it's at (given that they have been relatively healthy, although I will admit Beckett has done even better than I thought he would. You should have bet me on him winning the Cy Young!) It's the hitting that has disappointed, but not as much as it seems to have bothered others. They still have one of the top offensive teams in the League.
If they win:
- If J.D. continues his .390 pace into the playoffs, all will be forgiven and forgotten.
- No one will remember how Manny took a quarter of the season off.
- Schilling will be re-signed for next year
- Papelbon will show up on Dancing with the Stars
- Dice-K will make a special appearance on the Tele-Tubbies
- Mirabelli will be given a police escort out of Massachusetts
Have the Patriots Played Any Good Teams, Yet?
At this point, it's hard to know how good this Patriots team really is. With four games down, people are already talking about going undefeated for the season and I find that ludicrous to contemplate at this point in the season. I was always irritated by it when I saw the talk about the Colts start up in the past few years, so it really isn't surprising that I'm annoyed when it comes up with the Patriots.
We just don't know what the real mettle of this team is. Oh, there's no doubt this is a good to great team, but until they face an opponent that's shown they are also a good to great team, it's hard to judge where they are at.
I know the Chargers were supposed to be good, but it turns out they really aren't.
I know the Bengals are supposed to have a good offense, but a weak defense has kept them down. The Patriots obviously dominated them, which is a good indicator that they are in the 'haves' column, while the Bengals are not.
The Jets are nowhere, and so are the Bills. The Pats finished those games up almost as soon as they started.
The other limitation is we haven't really seen how they're going to be affected by injuries. I know Seymour and Harrison have been out, but that's nothing compared to how this team will look in Week 16 and 17. We know this, and yet we still try to predict a perfect season.
Don't misunderstand me, the Pats are obviously good to great (I lean towards great, but I tend to be biased). It's obvious at this point they will wrap up the division quickly. I'd even go so far as to say they are very likely to get home field advantage. But undefeated? Ask me again after the face the Cowboys or even better after the Colts game. It will still be early in the season, but at least we'll know they faced off against some other good to great teams.
As the Sox Season Winds Down
And we get ready for the playoffs, I can't help but wonder about all the stress and thought people put into the Yankees situation. At the beginning of the season, the Red Sox and Yankees were predicted to be together right until the end. And look, that's exactly what's happened.
Maybe it was just because the Red Sox got off to such a great start, but all the talk about how the Yankees wouldn't even make the playoffs went nowhere.
All the talk about how the Red Sox would continue to dominate throughout the entire season went nowhere.
When the Yankees came back and did so well during the second half of the season, all the talk started up on how the Red Sox and Yankees positions had completely turned completely around. Now it was the Red Sox who were going to fall out of contention and the Yankees who would take over first place.
And all that talk and angst and pressure went nowhere.
At the end of the season, both teams will be in the playoffs. Both teams still have what we expected them to have (better pitching for the Sox, better hitting for the Yankees).
And, I think, unlike most fans, I would love to face off with the Yankees in the second round. It always makes it more interesting. And for those who would rather face off with one team or another, I say you have to be the best team to win. If you're not, then what's the point?
So stop worrying so much and enjoy what's about to happen.
Can It Get Any Better?
Last night's game saw:
- the return of Manny
- Manny got a hit
- J.D. Drew continued to do better
- Schilling pitched great (only 80 some odd pitches, too)
- Red Sox won
- Yankees lost (Magic Number is 3)
- Yankees have not clinched a spot, yet (I expect them to)
- Clemens is hurt
Why it's good to be a Boston fan overall right now:
- 38 is the magic number for the pats
- only 4 punts so far, for the season!
- Red Sox are in the playoffs
- Celtics are favored to win again
- Beckett is favored to win the Cy Young
Bruins? Never heard of them?
One Game Difference
To me, it's amazing what a difference one game makes. Yesterday, there was still panic in the air and Yankees fans were calling in left and right to the radio shows talking about how well the Bombers were playing and how the Sox weren't.
One day later and the talk is all about Vick and nothing about the Sox.
The difference? One game. The Sox went from 4 games up to 5 games up and all of a sudden, everything has calmed down.
I don't understand it. The Yankees were on a 3 wins for every one loss and everyone knows the Sox were sitting at .500 ball for two months. But even so, the Red Sox were still 4 games up.
I mean, think about that. The Red Sox were playing mediocre and the Yankees were playing phenomenal ball (record-wise) and the Sox were still four games up and had the best record in baseball.
What more do you want from your team?
The Yankees are Coming!
Enough already. The Yankees are on a complete tear, while the Red Sox offense has gone bye-bye for the past few weeks. So all I hear about on the radio these days is how the Yankees are coming, the Yankees are coming.
Give me a break, please.
The Yankees, because of their winning ways, are just now getting up over .500. The Red Sox, despite their recent losing streak, are now 7.5 games up. I mean, really. How much better do you want things to be?
And why is everyone getting on Crisp? No one ever promised he was going to be the next great center fielder. He's a good (not great) offensive player who has speed. He's an above average center fielder with great range. That's it. If you were expecting more from him, then that's your fault, not his.
That's a lot of money
What happened to paying market value? Or has the market gone crazy? All the extra revenue seems to have gone to the GMs heads.
5 years, $70 million for JD Drew. 4 years, $36 million for Lugo (are you kidding me? all the bouncing around at shortstop to end with Lugo?). Add in the $19 million for Manny next year (who's reported to be staying after all) and you've got a serious budgetary issue when you're paying 3 players $42 million.
And they still haven't signed the player who should be their priority, Daisuke Matsuzaka. Oh, and what about a closer? Has anyone seen Theo et al looking for a closer this offseason? Pitching is what wins you games. I have a quote I want to place on Theo's wall where he can see it every day. "It's the pitchers, stupid!"
A friend has been hired
A friend for Matsuzaka has been hired. The lefty reliever Hideki Okajima was signed to a two year deal. In 439 Japanese major league games, he is 34-32 with a 3.36 ERA and 41 saves.
It's likely that the Red Sox were looking for just about anyone to come in and be the other new guy along with Matsuzaka in an effort to make him more comfortable. But a 3.36 ERA is fairly respectable for a reliever and I'll be happy to see Hideki in the Red Sox uniform.
Who came up with this one? Red Sox make offer to Matsuzaka - Yahoo! News
Lucchino brushed aside suggestions that the bid was made just to block the
New York Yankees from signing Matsuzaka.
I mean, can you imagine that sort of thing? Really? Why can't it be about the Red Sox trying to improve their own pitching? You do know that their pitching fell apart last year, right?
Hopefully, they can sign Matsuzaka. If they can't, I'm not about to believe this sort of conspiracy theory claptrap.
Is he ready for the spotlight?
Many times, a player comes to Boston and folds under the spotlight. Given that, it's a big concern any time the Red Sox look for new players.(image)
I think Daisuke is ready for it. He certainly looks comfortable under the spotlight in this photo. And he reacted well to the scrutiny during the World Baseball Classic.
$51 Million Dollars
At then end of the day, was it worth 51 million? What happened to the cautious approach to paying players what they are worth in the marketplace? What happened to the small market mentality in a big market team? What happened to not spending?Boston Red Sox - Green light - The Boston Globe
"If they can sign him, they've got the best pitcher in the market, and he may be the best pitcher in baseball when all is said and done," said one American League general manager last night. "He's got five outstanding pitches.
I'd say it was pretty clear what happened.
A few years ago, the Yankees outspent the Red Sox in the bidding war for Jose Contreras. I think the results of that deal are still sitting on Georgie's head, which is why the Sox were able to outspend them. Now let's hope after all the hoopla, they're able to close the deal, making Curt Schillings last season worth while.
Because that's what this is going to be about. Josh Beckett was disappointing (not bad, just disappointing). Wakefield was injured and is getting older. Clement is an unknown. The other pitchers are too young. The Red Sox finished in third last season with these pitchers. Theo and the gang know they need to upgrade, and upgrade now. In a year Curt will be gone. They need a new ace to replace him.
By the way, I hope that Matsuzaka is not the only starting pitcher they're going to go after. They need another pitcher just like him to make things happen in the coming season.
Make money with your blog
Performancing has come up with a new ad network
(see the top left adblock), that's being billed as similar to blogads. Unfortunately for the rest of us, blogads is by invite only these days. So, I would recommend signing up with Partners, now, while they are accepting everyone. What I like about it
It only takes a tiny bit of code to get started. Also, the split is laid out for you right from the beginning. 70% for you, 30% for them (unlike adsense for instance, where you never know what the split is). Also, you get paid CPM (per 1000 times your ad is shown). Your pricing can be set by you, or you can let them use auto-pricing. That way, you and your advertiser know up front what to expect.
Another nice feature: You get paid by paypal at the first of the month. No waiting for checks.
Also, you get to approve any ads being shown on your site. In other words, you are in complete control of your content.What I don't like
The option for multiple ads would be nice. Being able to tell your advertiser where the ad is going to show up and being able to do different pricing based on location would be a nice feature (above the fold is usually worth more).Beta Testing
You can see the temporary testing ad in the top left of this page. I like it's look and it seems to fit well into my design. Unfortunately, they don't have any advertisers, yet. But I'm sure that will change quickly. In the meantime, I would recommend signing up today. Get in at the beginning
before this takes off and it becomes 'by invitation' only.