Saturday, February 28, 2009

Brand New Day

Teejay's back. Nick is chiding us for our lameness via email, blogpost, and comment - lacking only a twitter account to hit for the modern-day quadruple crown. The Scottish contingent has weighed in. And Whitney's...somewhere. Spring is in the air, ladies and gentlemen.

I wrote this 13 months ago, and it's as true today as it was then:

It occurs to me that my tolerance for Snyder’s wanton incompetence would be greater but for the fact that I’m a Sox fan. The differences between John Henry’s organization and that of Snyder are so stark as to be polar in their distance. I’ve had the unique and distinct pleasure of watching my favorite baseball club become a standard-bearer for organizational excellence, using deep pockets to fuel an extraordinarily disciplined and focused pursuit of every advantage. In the meantime, my football team has used similarly deep pockets to fuck up in every way possible, overspending on players, gleefully milking money from fans, and creating discontinuity as an organizational strategy.

On the morning after Dan Synder signed off on the single largest contract for a defensive player in the history of professional football and dropped over $55 million in guaranteed contracts to a pair of talented but oft-troubled players, I once again nod thankfully in Theo Epstein's direction.

The Sox didn't create any great splashes this offseason, though they certainly tried with Mark Teixeira. Once they missed on the talented firstbaseman, though, they didn't overcompensate, they didn't panic, and they didn't overreact. Instead, they inked several medium-risk, high-reward, budget-friendly deals. Rocco Baldelli joins his hometown nine as the 4th outfielder. Brad Penny and John Smoltz add serious depth to the rotation when they get healthy. And Takashi Saito does the same for the already solid bullpen (a his scoreless inning yesterday is a cause for fingers-crossed optimism). All four of these veterans joined the Sox for less total money than Alex Rodriguez will make by the All-Star break.

Fingers-crossed optimism. That may well be the mantra going into the season. Given a few good breaks in the trainer's room, the Sox could be very, very good. If Mike Lowell and David Ortiz return to even a semblance of their 2007 form, the offense will be deep enough to carry even Jason Varitek. The bench is anchored by Baldelli, health permitting, with Julio Lugo (please to be making Jed Lowrie the starter, skipper) and Mark Kotsay providing big-league quality depth. If Penny and Smoltz can contribute, Terry Francona will have to pick an odd man out, as the Beckett, Matsuzaka, Lester, Penny, Smoltz, Wakefield rotation matches up with any in the league and Clay Buchholz waits in the wings, trying to prove he belongs in the bigs after a forgettable 2008. Jonathan Papelbon's sublime idiocy anchors the pen, with Saito, Hideki Okajima, Manny Delcarmen, Justin Masterson, and Javier Lopez rounding out a group with the potential to be among the league's best. (Godspeed, Mike Timlin, wherever you are).

Ifs, buts, candies, nuts, my friends. But the view from the cheap seats shines with soft glow of a new season's promise. Roll the balls out, let 'em play.

Friday, February 27, 2009

He is Vigo! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!

Hello Nick. So nice of you to flip the lights on over here. I'm happy to be back after my three month tour of Europe, Scandinavia and the sub continent, but honestly, I was "hired" here at MLC to discuss my beloved Yankees, and it's been such a quiet offseason what do I even have to talk about?

Oh, right....

Well, February 27th might even be too early for me to jump in guns blazing Yosemite Sam-style, so I'll just start my coverage off with this:
The Alex Rodriguez steroid soap opera, fueled by the heathens at the WWL and the NY press corps, is the major slime-related psychokinetic event affecting this 2009 season. And right now Alex the Despised is starring as Vigo.

Of course, that makes this whole Yankees season Ghostbusters 2, but hell, I can live with that, as long as we get this ending (see, one post in and already TWO youtubes for you guys. who missed me?)...and a world series title (wait, did I just say that?)

Final note: Just like Vigo, Alex Rodriguez can't die of old age. He can't be poisoned, stabbed, shot, hung, stretched, disemboweled, drawn and/or quartered. Unless it's October of course.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

In a Big Country

A note to our friend Derek from Scotland:

We hear you, promise. Like a number of the pitchers and catchers reporting this week to Fort Myers, Tampa, Port St. Lucie, and Clearwater, the gentlemen of Misery Loves Company are in woeful blogging shape. Picture Josh Beckett circa February 2008. And like those tubby hurlers and winded receivers, come late March we'll be rarin' to go.

Unless Papi gets caught up in a steroid scandal, in which case I'm never blogging another word.

See you again soon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Days Are Here Again!

Only Whitey until "Pitchers and catchers report."

As the equipment trucks roll into various destinations in sunny F-L-A, let's hope the rest of you lads shake the winter doldrums and start making this place interesting.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Final Countdown (cont.)

Only Marvelous Marv Throneberry until "Pitchers and catchers report."

I could have gone with some other options here. I was thinking Tommy Lasorda but I had to throw Whitney a bone. Here ya go Whit - enjoy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Final Countdown (cont.)

Only The Bambino until "Pitchers and catchers report."

If you are paying careful attention, you'll notice this is a photo from the Babe's days as a member of the Red Sox (photo lifted from For the record, I do not believe uniform numbers were used in 1918. Also, I chose this photo not because of any newfound sense of Soxaphilia. I just thought I'd spread the love around to head off any rumors about Teej and me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Final Countdown (cont.)

Only the (original) Iron Horse until "Pitchers and catchers report."

Monday, February 09, 2009

Final Countdown

Only Johnny Bench until "Pitchers and catchers report."