Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dr. Strangeglove

My local paper did some research on the best-ever negative baseball nickname now that people are focusing on all the A-Rod* choices. They picked Dick Stuart with his nickname: "Dr. Strangeglove"

"In 1964 -- the year Stanley Kubrick's classic black comedy about nuclear war, "Dr. Strangelove," hit the movie theaters. In 1963 with the Red Sox, Stewart made a career-high and AL-leading 29 errors at first base, for a fielding percentage of .979, 11 points below the league average.

As you can see they spelled his last name wrong. Now how about a nickname for Lugo?


Ellsbury Bulked Up During Offseason

Wondering where the power might come from without Manny's bat? Look to the big guy playing center. Jacoby Ellsbury spent the offseason working out and is now 195 pounds causing Pedroia to say he was "jacked."

"I think Jacoby is already an impact defender and impact baserunner," said GM Theo Epstein. "With his track record in the minor leagues, he's a guy we feel will hit and get on base enough to be a real weapon offensively moreso than he already is."

With the sophomore slump over, Ellsbury could have and All-Star season. He will be playing everyday with Coco gone and he seems to be ready for the grind of a long season this year.


Friday, February 13, 2009

The Sights and Sounds of Spring Training

Not exactly the most exciting thing in the world but "Play Ball!" can't be far away.


Like it Or Not, Buchholz Still Under Pressure

He worked things out in the minors, he got his command back in the Arizona Fall League, he has better mental control now:

"I don't think there are any words for it," he said. "I never had to go through any adversity throughout my whole career. It was different last year. It was the first time I really struggled and it sort of snowballed on me. You have to live and learn, and I learned a lot from it last year."

Sound like something you have heard before? Unlike last season when Buchholz was given the benefit of the doubt when he struggled in spring training, this spring he will have to earn his spot in the rotation. Beckett, Lester, Dice-K and Wake are already in. Penny wants to be number 5 and Masterson will start the spring as a starter. Clay better bring his A game to Fort Myers if he wants a spot. He has had a hard time with pressure before and this spring is going to test him again.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tito is Confident in This Team

Red Sox skipper Terry Francona talks to the media at the start of spring training. For those of you that want to follow Tito's every move, he is now on Twitter.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Bigger A-Hole than A-Rod*

I have no love for the Yankee's third baseman and consider him to be everything the NY Post said he was on the cover. However, there is one person out there who has proven to be a bigger A-Hole than Arod* this week and his name is Sheriff Leon Lott of the Richland County Sheriff's Department in South Carolina. (not to be confused with a-hole Leon Lett) In case you missed the story, he is the guy who is going after swimmer Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps for *gasp* smoking marijuana at a college party. From Sheriff Lott:

"The Richland County Sheriff's Department is making an effort to determine if Mr. Phelps broke the law. If he did, he will be charged in the same manner as anyone else. The sheriff has a responsibility to be fair, to enforce the law and to not turn a blind eye because someone is a celebrity."

This is the same sheriff that thought it would be a good use of taxpayer money to buy an armoured personell carrier complete with a .50 caliber machine gun. I wonder what they do if you jaywalk in their county...look out Manny! On the Richland County Sheriff's Department's website they list 17 unsolved homicides, good thing they are wasting their time going after a guy who was in a picture smoking weed. Better get that menace to society off of the streets.

UPDATE: Now that they have arrested some of the people at the party they are continuing to focus on Phelps and not the bigger issues in Richland County:
“After they arrested him, they didn’t ask him, ’Where did you get the marijuana?’ or ’Who sold it to you?’ Almost all the questions they asked him were about Michael Phelps,”


Penny Throws

This spring we get to find out what Theo pulled out of the bargain bin. Brad Penny is coming off a shoulder injury and may be a great find or could be a mediocre fill-in a la Bartolo Colon. He took to the hill in Fort Myers today and spoke with Extra Bases about his session:

"The way I feel now I shouldn't have any setbacks," said Penny, who threw all fastballs. "I've just got to stay after my shoulder work, do the best I can to stay in the best shape I can. Everything else will take care of itself."

The staying in shape part may prove elusive when you look at this photo from Boston Dirt Dogs.


Wednesday in the Nation

Here's your quick look at what's going on in Red Sox Nation today:

Josh Beckett is throwing in Fort Myers and without the spare tire from last spring. (Extra Bases)

Pedroia is writing a book (Sox & Dawgs) and Manny's wife and former agent contribute to another one. (Red Sox Monster).

Red Sox bloggers love Smotz (The Bottom Line)

and Youk below:


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Late Show w/Letterman - Top 10 Messages Left on A-Rod's Answering Machine

10. "Hey, it's Mark McGwire. Want to get together this week and not talk about the past?"

9. "Joe Torre here -- thanks for helping book sales"

8. "Could you find a steroid that keeps you from choking in the playoffs?"

7. "Are you worried this will taint all the championships you didn't win?"

6. "It's Bernie Madoff. Nice try but I'm still the most hated man in New York"

5. "Michael Phelps here. Got any snacks?"

4. "This is Sammy Sosa. Just pretend you don't speak English"

3. "Michael Phelps again. Did I call you or did you call me?"

2. "Hey, it's Rod Blagojevich -- I'll say you're innocent, if you say I am"

1. "It's Madonna. You got a phone number for Jeter?"


Mike Lowell's Health is Key to Red Sox Chances

The Nation is worried about their guy on the hot corner. The Red Sox can ill afford to have Mike Lowell injured for a significant part of the season. If the Sox are to return to the promised land in '09, Mikey need to put up numbers like he did in '07, without Manny's bat in the lineup the team cannot do well without a solid hitting performance by Lowell. Baseball Prospectus does not think that is likely to happen:

Lowell's rehab is supposedly going well, but the combination of a severe injury and a player in his mid-30s rarely augurs heightened production. Baseball Prospectus's PECOTA forecasting system envisions him showing no more durability than he did in 2008, while projecting a further decline in offensive production, dropping to .272/.332/.442.

Lowell will not participate in the WBC and will not be back at full strength until April. Cross your fingers folks, this season could depend on what he can bring to the table.


Spring is in the Air

The Boston media has descended on Fort Myers to start to cover spring training. Finally we get some updates about the players that have arrived and what they have been up to. President Obama will be in Fort Myers today to deliver a speech so there may be some traffic around town. I have to admit it does seem strange to not have the "When will Manny arrive?" storyline out there, although we do have the "When will Manny sign with a team?" storyline.


Monday, February 9, 2009

I Warned You This Was Coming

Shocked by the leaking of the A-Rod* test results? You shouldn't be, I warned you that this was going to happen back in May.

...and for those of you saying "what's the big deal? he didn't break any rules when he took roids in '03." Steroids were against MLB rules from 1991 on. Check out the memo below:


Red Sox Bloggers Pick the Best Offseason Move

Red Sox bloggers have weighed in on the best move by the team this offseason. Take a look at my response and others over at The Bottom Line.


A-Rod* Admits to Juicing


Tired of the A-Rod* News? It's Just Getting Started

If you thought we were done with the steroid era with the Mitchell Report you are sorely mistaken. A-Rod* has brought the story back to the forefront where it will stay through his retirement as writers vote for or against his admittance into the Hall of Fame. The story will burn brightly until A-Rod* holds a press conference, it will simmer until all 104 names are released, it will smolder as the Bonds* and Clemens* trials drag on. We are in a dark period of baseball history but the game will ultimately survive; just as it did with the Black Sox scandal and the strike shortened season. If you are one of those people that do not care about this story then you are part of the culture that accepts cheating in sports. Let this story run its course, embrace the bad news whatever it may be and hopefully baseball will come out better because of it.


The Best One Yet

If you have not had a look at this morning's New York Post you have missed out on perhaps the best cover of all time. This one is sure to be a collector's item for years to come.


The Battle for the Corner Infielder Spot

With the news of Mark Kotsay's injury the Red Sox have an opening for the backup corner infielder at the start of spring training. The battle in Fort Myers will be between Wilkerson, Bailey, and Anderson. Lars Anderson is the only one of them without major league experience but is also the most hyped. Will the Red Sox bring him up at the start of the season? Everyone in the Nation wants to see what he can do and with his invite to spring training we well get that chance in a few weeks.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Another Cover for the Collection

A-Rod* has his share of classic NY Post and Daily News are a few more to add to the collection:

Read more... Gets it Right For a Change

I headed over to this morning to see how they would be dealing with the A-Rod* story, half expecting the news to be buried behind the hype of the World Baseball Classic. To my surprise the news was front and center, with great videos from people involved in the story. If you have not watched any of their video coverage yet I highly recommend you check it out.



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