Saturday, December 28, 2002

The Force

For your viewing pleasure, the "Finca" and "Paleo" design skins have been added, bringing the final total to 6 design skins.

The "Finca" design I'm especially partial to at the moment, and it's the one I'm using. The "Paleo" is really an anti-design of sorts in that it uses almost no CSS styling. I put it out there as an example of just how far things have come since the early (i.e., paleo) days of the web when browsers supported plain text and that was it.

Now, at the risk of conceit, I'm telling you the Yankees may have got Contreras; they may have unlimited ability to outspend everyone else, and they have all those World Series pennants -- But you know what they don't have? They don't have a friggin' fan blog with 6 effin' kick ass design skins! No they don't. The Yankees don't have a fan blog quite like this one.

So up yours, Mr. Steinbrenner!

Yeah, it's a very tiny, almost non-existent victory, but it IS a victory of the Red Sox over the Yankees. And it's a starting point.

I could have quit after one redesign. Heck, I could have not done a redesign at all, since the original "Classic" design was already the blog design equivalent of Manny taking the ball deep, but I don't have much of the quitter within me. It's why I stick with the Red Sox through thick and thin and why I'm alway optimistcally "waiting for next year."

It's what I do. It's what we all do. We are Red Sox fans.

And while we are not major league ballplayers or front office baseball executives, and we can't have direct influence over what takes place on the baseball diamond, we can hold our heads high and take pride in our work -- be it raising a family, crunching numbers for your boss, teaching a child to read, or driving a dump truck -- and we can do the absolute best we possibly can at every task at hand. To do any less, is to hand yourself over to the dark side of our souls. And you know what lives over there? It's all the giving up, throwing in the towel, quitting, self-hatred, "these guys are a bunch of bums" frustrations. And therein lies our own defeat.

As the adage says, "You can't change the world, but you can change the world within you." So we can't change the outcome of a baseball game, can't change that the Yankees can outspend the Red Sox, but we can make our own little personal victories each day.

This season, then, when you have the urge to criticise a Red Sox player, coach, or manager, check first to see if you've got your own shit in order first. Check to see if you ran out every metaphorical grounder. Check to see if you showed up ready to play every day at your job, at your personal relationships, at your spiritual relationships …

Asked how the Sox can compete with the Yankees if they have no hope of outbidding them for talent, Lucchino turned to ''Star Wars'' again.

"The Force will be with us," he said (Edes, Globe).

Yes. Yes it will.

Friday, December 27, 2002

Chilling on Trading

So I grab the morning Post off the driveway, open it up and read this headline:

U.S. Courted Top Iraqi
Official for Defection
Nuclear Weapons Pioneer Rebuffed Overture

And the first thought that pops into my head: My God, there must be a Red Sox fan heading the group trying to get the guy to defect! Such is our station in life, no?

Yeah, it wouldn't surprise me to wake up to this headline tomorrow:

Steinbrenner Gets Iraqi Nuclear Arms Pioneer
Defector To Head Pinstripe Weapons Program
Reactor Being Build Under the Stadium

It's New Year's resolution time and that always puts me in a less is more mood; you know, the penny pinching, the calorie watching, the overall Cottom Mather approach to life. And in this mood, I've resolved myself to the fact that the Red Sox are not going to get Colon.

Nope. Ain't gonna happen.

Buckley puts forth this scenario, though:

I remain convinced that rookie general manager Theo Epstein is going to blow up the Sox and start over again … why not make one last run for the World Series in 2003 before reaching for the blasting caps?

Obtaining Colon for one season makes the Sox contenders . . . for one season (Buckley, Herald).

Maybe he's right and the Red Sox do get Colon for 2003. However, it's important to remember, as Buckley points out, that the Epstein overhaul of the Red Sox organization has only just begun. This is going to be a long haul. While we are of course excited about the 2003 season, it's just a blip on the timeline overall.

Personally, I'm not ready to hand over Fossum in a deal to get Colon for this one season blip.

Chances are in 2005 we will already barely be able to remember the '03 season. But will we remember Casey Fossum? I tell you what: I don't want to remember Fossum the way I remember Curt Schilling. (How'd that Mike Boddicker trade work out for you? You remember that?)

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Out of the Loop

Over 48 hours without Internet access. And I still don't have it, once again having to slump into the office in order to connect with the wider world.

During my Christmas call home to my parents in NH yesterday, I had my dad read me all the Contreras related articles out of both the Globe and Herald. I'm over my disappointment now, so I'm just going to move on. It's over. Today is another day.

Meanwhile, I can't believe how dependent I've become on the Internet and how my non-web research skills have atrophied. Case in point: We wanted to go see a movie yesterday but without Fandango I was stuck having to use the phone book to find the numbers of the theater movie lines. It was painful. I've more or less completely abandoned any sense of knowing what order the letters come in the alphabet. Pretty sad. And all the swearing and foot stomping I was doing regarding my fury at not having Internet service in the first place didn't help.

I left a series of messages on my ISP's voice mail, each one escalating the rhetoric slightly until by the final one I sounded like Bukowski'sHenry Chinaski in a drunken rage. Now I'm thinking they'll just make me wait and wait to ever get service back as punishment.

Ah, well. As Chinaski would say, "Some people never go crazy. What miserable lives they must lead."

Interesting line repeated several times in the movie we did see on Christmas Day, Catch Me If You Can:

Q: Why do the Yankees always win.
A: Because they have Mickey Mantle.
Q: No, because everyone is too busy looking at the pinstripes.
A: No, it's because of Mickey Mantle.
Q: Are you sure?

OK. Now off to give my ISP another call …

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Bienvenidos a Ramiro!

Great link from DarnSox to an article from a newspaper in Panana:

… panameño Ramiro Mendoza confirmó que esta pronto a llegar a un acuerdo con los Medias Rojas de Boston, que le podría reportar unos 12 millones de dólares en los próximos tres años con un salario entre 3.8 y 4 millones de dólares por temporada (Newland, El Siglo).

Even if you don't speak Spanish, you can probably translate the above. Basically it reports that Mendoza confirms that he's nearly reached an agreement with the Red Sox for 12 million over three years or about 3.8 to 4 million per season.

The article goes on to say that the negotiations are 80-90% complete and that the Red Sox want him to undergo a complete physical before finalizing the deal.

Of course, this has yet to be confirmed by any US media outlets, but my guess is that it's legit.

ISP Woes

Meanwhile, my Internet service from home has been down since last night, and no one seems to be in the office there. (How can an ISP take off for a holiday? Man, sometimes I really hate living out in the boonies.)

So I had to drive into and go to my office in order to get the latest trade news and to blog.

If you don't hear from me in awhile, it's because my service is still out. In case I don't get a chance to say so later, Happy Holidays to everyone.

Monday, December 23, 2002

Scribes of Mordor

This morning, I'm not in the mood for the mudsling fest going on in the Boston media over the Patriots loss last night and season as a whole. As they say in the songs, "don't need that drama in my life … don't need that hateration …" I willingly steel my courage and wade through The Land of Shadow cast by Boston's Scribes of Mordor during the baseball season, but I won't subject myself to it for football.

So let's turn our attention to something more cheerful shall we?

Check out Gammons:

  • The best free-agent steal thus far could be Boston's signing of Chad Fox, he of the nearly-unhittable curveball. Fox sat out nearly all of last season with arm problems and has had a history of physical woes. But in 2001 he was 5-2 with a 1.89 ERA with 44 hits allowed, 36 walks and 80 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings for the Brewers.
  • Red Sox GM Theo Epstein's theory is to get as many good arms as possible, and out of the Rule 5 draft the Red Sox got one of the best pitchers in Puerto Rico, sidearming lefty reliever Javier Lopez, who a Tampa Bay scout says, "will get lefties out in the big leagues with ease. He was the best pitcher I saw in winter ball."

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