Sunday, December 23, 2007

Men at Work

Yeah, so we're playing around a bit with MLC's look. Give us a few days before you get apoplectic. And if you know how to make a graphic span the entire page in Blogger's template, be a dear and give us a pointer in the Comments section.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Chosen

Old friend Gabe Kapler returned to major league baseball after a one-season hiatus, signing yesterday with the Milwaukee Brewers for $800,000. That's a pretty good bargain for the Brew Crew; somebody needs to teach Gagne effective weight training techniques.

I love guys like Kapler, players who ricochet around at the bottom of the major league food chain with an attitude that says, "Yeah, I know I suck compared to a lot of these guys, but I love this shit and I'm gonna keep busting my tail until they make me leave." Eric Hinske was 2007's version on the Sox roster. Joe McEwing's another name that comes to mind, as are Chris Gomez and Damien Jackson. Who are your favorite scrubeenie good guys?

(For the record, a Google image search of 'gabe kapler' is a treasure trove of gay-friendly shots of our man oiled up in various poses. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just be careful, is all I'm saying.)

Note - the fine gentlemen at Surviving Grady are evidently more secure in their manhood than I, as they went with one of the aforementioned photos as their lead. That, or they're gay. And you know how we feel about that.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Air Bud

The Joy of Sox comes through this morning with a story that's eminently plausible and highly comical:

After Jonathan Papelbon struck out Seth Smith to clinch the 2007 World Series title, Jason Varitek pocketed the baseball, then gave it to the pitcher.Later, Papelbon's agent said the Bot did not have the ball. No one cared all that much -- Theo Epstein: "I hope that's a recurring problem for us" -- but the mystery may have been solved.


"My dog ate it. ... He plays with baseballs like they are his toys. His name is Boss. He jumped up one day on the counter and snatched it. He likes rawhide. He tore that thing to pieces. Nobody knows that. I'll keep what's left of it."

Add one more brick to the wall of awesome that is Jonathan Papelbon.

(Story originally from the Hattiesburg American)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Children of a Lesser God

At the risk of being a noisy gong redundantly posting yet again about the Phils' miserable history being compounded by their remarkable forgetableness, I go to the well one more time.

This thought came to me when I read in an ESPN hyperlink that the Phils are interested in Mike Cameron. Whit will recall that a few years ago, I was enamored with Mr. Cameron and would make outrageous trade proposals based on my covetousness of the superb center fielder. Well, it's obvious I no longer like Mike. I can't imagine why anyone would at this point in his career. So when I read the aforementioned snippet, my reaction was a Seinfeldian matter-of-fact quote "I tell ya, I don't see it."

It's so very obvious that GM "Stand" Pat Gillick was calling Aaron Rowand's bluff by suggesting the Phils were prepared to lose him because the cupboard was still plenty full with the much maligned Pat the Bat, the diminutive Shane Victorino and the 21st century reincarnation of Von Hayes - Jason Werth. Admittedly, I am happy Rowand was able to find a club not in South Philly or the NL East willing to take on 5 years (good luck with all that) and certainly I am happy that the Phils didn't cave in as well. However, that does not mean that a.) we are fine without a replacement or b.) that we could benefit from the services of a 34 year old, diminishing skills center fielder who, oh by the way, won't be of much use until May due his involvement in the drug trade. (Sheesh, he's got to be embarrassed, eh? Aren't 'roids supposed to make you superman?)

All this gets me to thinking, why oh why do my Phils either acquire a former superstar long past his sell by date or the lesser talent of baseball playing brothers?

Over the Hill Category
Dale Murphy
Lance Parrish
Jamie Moyer
Tony Perez
Joe Morgan
Jerry Koosman
Andy Van Slyke
Sparky Lyle
Tommy Herr

Other Brother Category*
Ken Brett
Mike Maddux
Jeremy Giambi
Vince DiMaggio (technically the other, other brother)

*In fairness, we did manage to get the better of the two Iorg bros. - Dane - who though marginally, was better than Garth.

Misery is sometimes self imposed, I know.

Friday, December 14, 2007


The Mitchell Report is out for all the world to see, and although there's a very slight sense that the other shoe hasn't yet dropped, we dodged our worst fears when we didn't see "David Ortiz" or "Mike Piazza" listed in there. A pair of sighs of relief.

In fact, I think there had to be a modest exhale when Rob saw that several Sox' and ex-Sox' names included on the rumor mill version were not on the real report: Varitek, Nomar, Trot, and Damon. I gotta ask -- if those names had appeared on the real list, does that tarnish the 2004 title in your mind, even a teensy bit?

"It is what it is" always strikes me as a dopey axiom, but it seems to be an easy way of describing steroids in baseball. It's not evil-doing, but it's not without effect. It's not ubiquitous, so that makes the playing field skewed, but it's fairly pervasive so it's hard to get a very pointed angle on it. It is what it is.

Still . . . I would be a little disappointed if one of my guys popped up in there. As it was, Paulie Lo Duca was the only Met revelation of any note, and he's a National now. Mildly disappointing.

(Oh, and I guess it goes without saying that I came to terms many years ago with the fact that one of my all-time favorite Mets took "really good vitamins" , so his inclusion here almost failed to register. Maybe some time is all this report needs.)

I guess it gets back to the questions on many folks' minds: so, what exactly does this report mean? What does it do for the game, or what did it do to the game? As fans, were we better off not knowing, or is this what they call closure? Incomplete as it inevitably is, though, is that impossible? And why was he trying to kill Nordberg? And for whom? And where the hell was I?

(Editor's Note: Our friends over at Gheorghe: The Blog weighed in today with a more substantive take on the Mitchell Report and its fallout.)

(Editor's Note regarding the previous Editor's Note: And by "friends over at Gheorghe: The Blog", we mean us, in a totally normal and not ironically self-referential way.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Analyze This

Nick poses a good question in the comments section of yesterday's post: Why would I be upset if Papi were fingered by the Mitchell Report?

I don't have a great answer; or, better said, I don't have a terribly cogent answer. Maybe it's because Papi's infectious good humor transcends the business of the game and reminds me that it was once and maybe still can be fun. Maybe it's because the out-of-my-seat thrill provided when his lumpy body uncoils on a fastball middle-in and vaporizes it over the bullpens in Fenway tops my list of sports-induced joyful moments. Maybe it's because he seems deeply in touch with his inner goofball. Maybe it's because, of all the players in the major leagues, Papi's the one who makes me look at the game through child's eyes, and if he gets tarnished by the PED scandal, I'd lose the dwindling but still surviving sense of wonderment and pure joy I still have for sports.

Really, Nick, I think it's because I don't want to grow up. And seeing Papi, of all players, implicated this afternoon will mean in some small but meaningful way that I have to do that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Minority Report

The long-awaited Mitchell Report comes out tomorrow, and the general speculation indicates 60-80 current and former players will be implicated (which is, by no means, an exhaustive list of the players that have used performance enhancing substances). I've discussed this with my colleagues in blog (and may have even written it here before, though I can't find any evidence of that), but I will not be surprised nor disappointed by any player that makes Mitchell's list. Any player, that is, save one.

I will be profoundly saddened and disheartened to find David Ortiz' name in the report. If Papi does, in fact, wear the scarlet 'S' tomorrow, you'll find me curled in the fetal position on the floor of my office. I won't be taking calls.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Gone Baby Gone

If we're really interested in chronicling misery here, we need to find a Brewers fan to add to the roster. 'Cause those morons just signed Eric Gagne to a $10m (!) 1-year deal. I'm glad Gone...Yay! is no longer manning the barricades for the Sox, but I wish he'd gone to an AL team, especially a good one.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Fast and the Furious

NASHVILLE - The Baseball Writers' Association of America voted ths morning to approve a resolution where starting in 2013 all contracts that have financial terms attached to major awards will not be eligible for consideration for that award.The resolution stems from Curt Schilling's new contract were he received a $1 million bonus for at least one Cy Young vote. The Baseball Writers Association memebership votes on the annual awards. The BBWAA will also notify the Major League Players' Association and Major League Baseball of its decision. A committee will discuss the issue with both bodies at a future date.

From one absurdity to another this offseason. We were prepared to come in here guns blazing at the irrationality of this decision, but SoSH poster glennhoffmania said it so much better than we were planning to:

"So basically the writers are saying, we can't be trusted to vote objectively and one of us may either let personal bias affect judgment or possibly even take a bribe. That's heartening."

Yup. Sounds about right. Baseball writers have really covered themselves in glory over the past several years, completely whiffing (morally, ethically, and journalistically) on the steroids story before jumping on Barry Bonds with two feet to make up for it (not that Bonds was undeserving of the pummeling, but he wasn't the only one). This action truly recognizes their lack of integrity, and for that, we're thankful.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Face Off

Maybe it's their mannerisms or the way the speak but I firmly believe there's more than just a striking similarity in play here. Any chance Mr. Phillips was born in or around Annapolis? Can one of our Metmen reveal any covert trades made involving arms for cash which was then used to free Venuzuelan ballplayers from their oppressive Carribean League contracts?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Color of Money

After the blockbuster Tigers/Marlins deal completely clears the decks in Florida, the Fish are left with a major league roster with a payroll of somewhere just north of $9 million.

Payroll floor, anyone? The Red Sox roster gets paid that much every 10 games. Alex Rodriguez will make that much by the end of May.




Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Reversal of Fortune

The heady times in Bean Town were the focus of a recent article (11/25) from a Philly sportswriter. Its quite amusing to me at least.

The site no longer has the video blog from the writer on the same subject. He was bantering with a fellow writer and the line that was particularly humorous was something like this:

"Boston's new found success is similar to your older brother suddenly dating
a super model and driving a Ferrari."

How true. Boston, we hardly knew ye!