Saturday, November 23, 2002

Cien Años de Beisbol

With the lack of daily baseball news during this time of the year, I often turn to the Red Sox books on my shelf to get a good dose baseball history and drama.

I came across this passage recently about a crucial game with the Angels during the '67 Impossible Dream season that put a smile on my face and reminded me again why being a Red Sox fan is so special.

[Bottom of the ninth with the winning run at third,] Jerry Adair stepped in to pinch-hit.

Across town, a Boston cabbie stopped short of the entrance to the Callahan Tunnel so he wouldn't lose the game on the radio, blocking traffic as he waited for Adair to hit. Back in Fenway, as the crowd roared, Adair chopped the ball toward third. …

Does that give you goosebumps or what?

That excerpt is from the "Incredibly Beautiful People" chapter in the excellent and highly recommended Red Sox Century: One Hundred Years of Red Sox Baseball.

Friday, November 22, 2002

November Red Sox Fan Attitude Check

Metaphorically, regarding the Red Sox, the glass is ...



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Thursday, November 21, 2002

Under the Klieg Lights

The interview with the HBO/Black Canyon crew went very well. I haven't had that much fun talking about the Red Sox in a long time. I look back at my pre-interview jitters now, and all I can do is laugh. Once I opened my mouth, the words just spilled out. (No bricks were shit.)

And to put it in baseball terms, I'm pretty sure I took the ball deep (unlike my perceived 0-fer in my initial phone interview).

The film production crew was topnotch as well. These guys just exuded professionalism. I can see why they've got a handful of Emmy Awards notched in their belts.

I can't wait to see the finished documentary (scheduled for June 2003 I think). And while Game 6, 1986 taught me not to take anything for granted, not to get too sure of yourself, they said that some of my bits will make the final cut. The in the can version (yeah, I'm tossing around movie lingo now!) will run exactly an hour, and considering that my interview ran nearly an hour, you can imagine how much of what I said will end up on the cutting room floor. But that's as it should be, since only the best of the best of what everyone said will make the cut.

I haven't felt this good since Lowe's no-hitter.

In baseball news, the Expos are indeed going to play 22 games in Puerto Rico. ¡QUE bueno!

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Cork Sales Up in Columbus, Ohio

Bucky effin' Dent is back with the Yankees after agreeing to manage the team's Columbus farm club in the International League:

"It's always been my goal to be a major league manager," Dent said. "It's been 12 years since I've been in the Yankees organization. It's a great organization with a great tradition and I'm glad to come back" (ESPN)

Gotta like the symmetry of it. Dent should be coaching a Yankee farm club.

Seems the Red Sox are not interested in Glavine. I think this makes it all the more apparent that the Red Sox think they've got a solid chance to sign the Cuban Missile Contreras.

In other news, I'm finally off to DC later today for the aforementioned HBO interview. I'll fill you in on all the gory details tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Freudian Slip?

In an interview with Allen Barra at Salon*, Bill James says something that made me literally do a double-take:

James: … the Red Sox. Larry Lucchino, the president and CEO, is pretty progressive and has been a proponent of objective analysis for a long time, and their general manager, Theo Epstein, is pretty well versed in my work … (Salon)

Did you get that? "General manager, Theo Epstein."

Whoa. Is that just a mistake or did Bill James just leak some real information?

Also noteworthy from the interview:

James: Clearly when you [the Red Sox] have players that good, you're not too far from winning something.

I like the sound of those words.

[* Hat tip to John Perricone's Only Baseball Matters for the link.]

Cuban Missile Targets Boston!

High-level intelligence sources reveal shocking news regarding Cuban defector Jose Contreras:

"He reminds me of Roger Clemens."

Our man in Havana has also obtained the following reconnaissance information:

"His slider is an out pitch, and he has a split-fingered fastball that is devastating. He also will mix in a curveball and changeup, but he's basically a fastball-slider-split pitcher. He's very intimidating on the mound."

At the briefing room on Yawkey Way, the Red Sox Nation confirmed keen interest in the Cuban Missile Contreras:

Almost from the day Contreras defected from the Cuban national team in Mexico last month, the Red Sox have kept in regular contact with his agent, Jaime Torres, and plan to make a major push to sign him as soon as he becomes a free agent (Edes, Globe).

from 1963 a photo of men in suits looking at  recon. photos of secret Cuba missile program
Photo: Intelligence briefing detailing potential split-fingered fastball devastation

How this tense situation unfolds is anyone's guess as the "Sox anticipate plenty of competition for his services, including from the Yankees."

If the Red Sox are able to land Contreras, I'm going to pull a Nikita Kruschev and take my shoe off, bang it on the table and yell, "We will bury you Yanquis!"

Pot Calls Kettle Black

In his Herald column today, Michael Gee suggests the Red Sox should dump their fans:

Specifically, the Sox must purge the self-centered, obnoxious soreheads who make sitting in the bleachers a trial, and sitting in a bar on a summer's evening a positive ordeal. These deluded souls have the impression that the most important thing about the Red Sox is how the team affects them (Gee).

He's got a point, although, I suggest this alternative: Let's first get rid of the certain members of the Boston media, trade them for a group from Phoenix or Kansas City, and see if that helps. I contend, of course, that "the self-centered, obnoxious soreheads" to whom Gee refers are nurtured and encouraged by the likes of Messieurs Shaughnessy and Buckley, to name two off the top of my head.

Monday, November 18, 2002

"$100 million developmental machine"

Light posting today as it has quickly become one of those* days.

Just tossing out this little positive tidbit from our old friend Billy "should I stay or should I go" Beane:

Beane's approach to Boston was to instill a motto for the organization that he passed on to his close friend Epstein: "Our goal is to be a $100 million developmental machine."

"With (the Red Sox's) potential revenues, they can accomplish that goal, but it's going to take a ton of hard work and creativity," says Beane. "I'm not worried about them, because Theo has the vision, the creativity and the capacity to outwork people. That's what it's going to take, and no less" (Gammons, ESPN).

I like that sound of that: "$100 million developmental machine."

Despite some of the less than positive things that have transpired in the past couple months (e.g., not making the playoffs, GM search dragging, getting rebuffed by Beane, having to deal with the new labor agreement and trim payroll), it's important not to lose sight of the fact that in so many ways things are better and brighter than they've ever been for the Red Sox. The Yawkey legacy, the team being run by a trust … all that is in the rear view mirror.

It still may take several years before the Red Sox can truly be a World Series contender, but I'm highly confident that day will come before this decade is done.

Note; If you're an early riser (settle down, Beavis!), don't forget to check out the Leonid Meteor Shower tomorrow morning before sunrise.

[* Take one vehicle in for minor service at 10am Saturday. Should be ready by 1pm. Not ready, of course, at 1pm and they ask if they can keep it 'til Monday and do first thing Monday. Sure, why not, we've got a second vehicle. Go out to get into second vehicle this morning and find it has a flat tire. It goes on from there …]