Tuesday, February 28, 2006

And Something You Must See, And Now, When You're Here...

Put the sound on and watch one of the funniest animation/brilliance displayed diversions you have EVER seen. And you're welcome. http://www.shinyhappyhead.com/Files/BinLadenBloopers_lois.wmv

Anna Benson and Howard Stern

Anna Benson, right now, as I write this, is on the Howard Stern Show on Sirius. When asked about the trade that sent her husband from the Mets to the O's, here is how she responded. She said the O's were short of pitchers, and the Mets were short of balls. At this point, Howard and Robin tried to stop her and tell her she wasn't making sense. She was on medication for a cold, and it sounded like it was the codeine talking. But she stubbornly went on with her "story." So the Mets, she said, traded Kris to the Orioles, because the Orioles needed pitching. And the Mets got a bag of balls. She finished the story by saying the Mets still don't have any balls. It was at this point that Howard said that she is no comedian and went on to other more important things. But she wasn't finished. In the end, even she agreed the Mets thought her to be a distraction that they did not need. As soon as the talk went back to her looks instead of her lack of brains, she was much more at home.
I could go on, because she is still right now running her mouth, but some things are better left alone. Sirius...pay radio. 40 cents a day. For stuff like this, a bargain. And for the record, she said it was the Sudafed and codeine that contributed to her mental state this morning. I say she was born with it.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Beckett Draws A Crowd, And Looks Good, Much Like Schill's Early Outings On The Mound.

Well, it seems so far that we're two for two when it comes to a starting pitcher drawing a crowd, and smiles on those faces in the crowd. Josh Beckett, our number three starter, (with Wakes in between, to change the mood and the delivery speed of pitches) also had the people roaring for more. Or, as the Herald put it this morning...... FORT MYERS -- "Like Curt Schilling one day earlier, Josh Beckett wowed observers during his first session throwing batting practice yesterday.
The 2003 World Series MVP overpowered hitters during the 10-minute, 32-pitch workout and only allowed two solidly hit balls.
"He had pretty filthy stuff," rookie Dustin Pedroia said. "He’s telling us where it’s going and it was still tough to hit. He looks like he’s in midseason form."
Josh Pressley, a nonroster invitee who hadn’t faced Beckett since summer league play as high schoolers in the late 1990s, was just as wowed.
"He’s got electric stuff, even this early," Pressley said. "With the cage around you, you feel you have no place to go."
Jonathan Papelbon, who was pitching BP on an adjacent field, also left a similar impression in his workout.
"It’s very obvious he really worked hard this winter," Sox managerTerry Francona said. "He came into camp very well prepared and ready to go. He’s not playing catch-up."
Peter here, and smiling a "cannot wait for the season to start" smile, goofy but great. To have a healthy and nasty Schill, then a deceptive and in the strike zone but not on an even plane Wakes, and then Josh Beckett with his variety of nastiness sounds just so good. And the potpourri of guys not yet slated for our numbers 4 and 5 starters, much like items on your favorite restaurant, where EVERYTHING is good and you can't lose, and I'm talking Papelbon, Wells, Clement and Arroyo, is looking good too. So I'm happy, high even, with the parts of the 2006 Red Sox, which will be skillfully and carefully melded together into a wire to wire first place team. Write it down. In ink. Indelible marker. Burn it into a tattoo on your body. No, don't, but sear it just as indelibly into your brain. We've got a good team! Now let injuries be minimized and get on with it!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Fox Sports Dot Com Likes the Sox. I like Their '06 Predictions.

This, from Fox Sports, gave me a big smile this morning. Let's see if that smile rubs off on you. I like stuff like that. And for brevity's sake, I only ran the Red Sox and Yankees summaries in the article. Here you go..... Red Sox are favorites in AL East
2006 predicted order of finish: AL East

1. Red Sox
2. Yankees*
3. Blue Jays
4. Orioles
5. Devil Rays

*Predicted AL wild-card winner

Boston Red Sox

2005 runs scored (AL rank): 910 (1st)

2005 runs allowed (AL rank): 805 (11th)

2005 starters ERA (AL rank): 4.56 (7th)

2005 bullpen ERA (AL rank): 5.17 (14th)

Boston last season had the best offense in all of baseball, and most of the principals are back for 2006 (albeit another year older). In center, Coco Crisp should roughly approximate Johnny Damon's level of plate production, and the right-handed fly-ball stroke of shortstop Alex Gonzalez should play reasonably well at Fenway. Also, among J.T. Snow, Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell (who's a strong rebound candidate) they should be able to cobble together solid production at first and third. Expect the Sox to once again lead the majors in runs scored.

The rotation should be improved. Curt Schilling is reportedly at last recovered from ankle surgery, David Wells showed up to camp on time, and Josh Beckett is newly in the fold. If nothing else, the Sox have a surfeit of arms they can run through. Tim Wakefield, Matt Clement, Bronson Arroyo and, if need be, Jon Papelbon give the Sox rotation depth that they haven't enjoyed in quite a while. It won't be a league-leading corps, but expect Boston starters to improve as a unit.

According to ERA, the Red Sox bullpen was the worst in the AL last season. In 2006, things are bound to get better. Keith Foulke is throwing with more velocity this spring, Mike Timlin returns, Craig Hansen will work a full season, Papelbon will open the year in the pen, David Riske comes over from Cleveland, and Julian Tavarez and Rudy Seanez were signed on the free-agent market. That's going to be a vastly improved unit.
Curt Schilling is looking to rebound from an injury-plagued 2005 campaign.
Overall, the Sox will thump, play capable defense, trot out a solid rotation and benefit from a significantly ramped-up bullpen. That all adds up to an AL East crown.*** Peter here. Yeah baby!!!***

New York Yankees

2005 runs scored (AL rank): 886 (2nd)

2005 runs allowed (AL rank): 789 (9th)

2005 starters' ERA (AL rank): 4.59 (8th)

2005 bullpen ERA (AL rank): 4.43 (10th)

The Yankees were a lot like the Red Sox last season: great offensive attack, sub-optimal rotation and a downright bad bullpen (to be more specific, a downright bad bullpen other than Mariano Rivera and Tom Gordon).
Most notable, of course, is that the Yanks have belatedly gotten around to adding a legitimate center fielder. They overpaid for Johnny Damon, but he does plug the sucking organizational chest wound that's been with them for about half a decade. He's an upgrade — offensively and defensively — over decline-phase Bernie Williams and the assorted fauna they ran out there last season.
If there's a concern throughout the lineup, it's this: the average age of the Yankees regulars on opening day will be just over 32. New York is aging at a number of key positions, and they face the unseemly proposition of having to play Jason Giambi in the field on a daily basis. They'll score runs, but you can expect further decline from guys like Giambi, Jorge Posada, Gary Sheffield and Bernie Williams.
There's also the matter of the woeful Yankees bench. You can make the case that the Yankees roster, as currently constructed, has the worst assemblage of reserves in all of baseball. Andy Phillips would make a useful platoon partner for Cano, but there's nothing in the way of a lefty bat on the bench and no pinch hitter of note behind Phillips.

The rotation is deep and should benefit from having Damon behind them and from getting full-season doses of Shawn Chacon and Chien-Ming Wang. The Yanks would do well to limit Jaret Wright to low-leverage bullpen innings or just cut bait on him allogether.
As for the bullpen, Kyle Farnsworth replaces Gordon, and the Yanks should be adequate from the left side. It's not as strong as Boston's revamped pen, and it should place middle of pack in terms of relief ERA.***Peter here. Not as strong as the Boston pen! I like. This guy's a genius!***
On the whole, you have an 800-run offense, a moderately improved team defense and rotation and a bullpen that's about the same. That won't be enough to catch Boston, but the Yankees will claim the AL wild card.

***Peter here. I like what I see, and I'm not the only one. Now go and have a great Sunday, or watch the movie Pleasantville on DVD for Don Knotts' marvelous role of a quirky TV repairman who is so much more. Above all, be happy. After all, you make ME happy.***

Don Knotts, Darren McGavin. You Will Be Missed.

We lost two great actors yesterday. Don Knotts, best known as Barney Fife in The Andy Griffith Show, who went on to star in Disney films, the movie Pleasantville, which I cannot recommend more highly for a rental, and recent voiceovers for major animated features. And don't forget his Mr. Furley on the beloved vehicle for John Ritter, Three's Company.
Darren McGavin, a charactor actor, is best known to me from his work as the reporter Kolchak, in the stunning and frightening TV series THE NIGHT STALKER, a show that still holds up so well today as he chases gargoyles under the streets of the Big Apple.. He still found time for vampires and other evil oddities in his busy life reporting the strange goings on in the gathering of buildings and people that we know as New York City.
They will both be missed.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

From CBS Sports. And Then, Of Course, My Comments.

I'd like to comment, briefly, on each of these five points from an on-line article by CBS Sports. My comments start and end with three stars (***). Enjoy, my buddies.

Red Sox: Five things to know
By Scott Miller
CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
Miller from Red Sox camp

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Five things to know about the Boston Red Sox:

1. Manager Terry Francona is entering the final season of his three-year deal, and the Red Sox are expected to extend him sometime this spring. If they don't, it simply will add to the usual controversies that pop up during the course of the regular season around Fenway Park. Besides, he deserves it -- name another Boston manager who has won a World Series since 1918. And Francona did a terrific job down the stretch last summer without closer Keith Foulke or a healthy Curt Schilling.
***A positive. Tito deserves an extention, and he'll get one.****

2. The Red Sox turned over their entire infield over the winter, going to Mike Lowell at third, Alex Gonzalez at shortstop, Mark Loretta at second and either Kevin Youkilis or J.T. Snow at first. One attraction to Loretta in GM Theo Epstein's quest to build a lineup of good on-base guys is that he saw an average of 3.92 pitches per at-bat.
***Another positive. The infield is better in every way, every day, and we, the fans, should be delighted. I still think Loretta should be leading off.***

3. So far, so good for closer Foulke, who is coming off of surgery on both knees. If Foulke falters, Mike Timlin is Boston's best bet to close.
***A MASSIVE positive. A 40 plus save season is what I see. It seems his zip is back, which will prevent the "all change up' season of 2005.***

4. This is a team that will undergo a total personality change, with Johnny Damon now playing in New York for the Yankees and Kevin Millar in Baltimore. "Like every year, the personality of the team takes hold over time," team captain Jason Varitek says. "It's something you develop as the season goes along. You don't have a personality that is set going into the year, because every year there's a different mix."
***And yet another developing positive...We're entering Spring training. The players are new, except for the small core of '04 and '05ers. But that does not bode bad news to come. By the middle of April, hell the beginning of the month, these guys will be a cohesive and deadly unit capable of knocking off any foe in a variety of ways.***

5. At third, Lowell is coming off of the worst season of his career, batting .236 with eight homers and just 58 RBI. Refusing to believe he's finished at 32, Lowell radically changed his workout regimen over the offseason. "I was as baseball-specific with the weights as I've ever been," he says. He also started hitting earlier than usual. "I wanted to come to camp and be competitive," he says. "You usually have the luxury of spring training to get ready, but that didn't bode well for me last year."
***Positive. He has incentive. A new club, a good one at that, maybe great. Mike Lowell is in shape and I fully expect him to post the offensive stats that he is capable of.***

Peter here. I wanted to give you my thoughts on these points. Well, you got 'em!

Oh Sheffield, You Poor Baby. IDIOT.

The guy we love to hate, and believe me using the words love and Sheffield in the same sentence was, until a moment ago, beyond me, spoke out yesterday. And you know what. He proved way beyond a reasonable doubt that he is the clear and consise definition of an IDIOT. Here is part of what he had to say. Pardon me for laughing uncontrollably while you read this..... "Sheffield called "certain members" of the media "idiots," but he also took shots at the Yankees.
"I don't trust anybody completely," Sheffield said. "Until it's down on paper, I don't trust you. ... They think they can say something to make me happy, and then I'll go out and produce like I always do and at the end of the year they'll pick the option up. It doesn't work like that. Don't play me. Don't try to play me, or you'll get burned. ... They brought it up. It would have been better if they didn't say anything.""
Peter here again. It doesn't get any better than that, as the Yankees set themselves up for what I hope to be a forgetable season.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Young Arms. What A Beautiful Thing.

And this from the Herald made me smile. With glee. And anticipation. And downright confidence in the capabilities and future of the 2006 Boston Red Sox. I leave you with this blurb, and hope everyone has a GREAT weekend, though I will be back with more words my style.
" Remember these names, Sox followers: Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen. All are 25 or younger, all are pitchers, all are in major league camp. In recent Red Sox history, it is difficult to remember a time when the Sox had so many talented young arms so close to contributing at the big league level. "
YAY!!!!!!!!!! That's the kid in me talking. He comes out once in a while. The Pan of this Peter.

Dave Wallace Might Be Out For The Year

Dave Wallace's importance to the club might not seem critical, but do not minimize the loss. No way. From the Globe," Without him, the Sox are faced with a difficult task. The staff is a blend of pitchers who have worked with Wallace (Schilling, Tim Wakefield, Matt Clement, Bronson Arroyo, Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Timlin, Keith Foulke) and pitchers new to the organization (Josh Beckett, Julián Tavárez, Rudy Seánez, David Riske).
''He's invaluable," Schilling said last night."
Peter here again. Quietly, without public fanfair, Dave Wallace stepped in when the job opened up and became the glue needed to quiet the chaos that was last year's pitching staff. Compared to the ups and downs and more downs and then sheer madness that was Red Sox pitching in 2005, this year has to be, no make that WILL be, smooth sailing. A repeat is all but impossible. But the reigns of leadership will be handed over to Al Nipper. Capable hands, in my book. But make no mistake. Mr. Wallace, not Mike but Dave, will be missed. We wish him the best. May his infection clear up with no further complications. You hear that, big guy in the sky?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

***FLASH*** 3PM Thurday And It Is Official....NO WBC For Manny

Just made official, by Sox offiicials. Manny will be in Spring training camp without the move to play in the WBC. And yes, it does have something to do with his APPROVED late arrival. And when I say late, I really don't think of it as late, just a few hours tardy. And the club was eager for him to avoid playing in the WBC, so a happy compromise was quickly attained between the two parties. I can live with it.....can you??? I thought so.

The Boss (Not Bruce) Speaks.

From New Jersey's The Daily Record...........
TAMPA, Fla. -- In a proclamation bold by even his standards, George Steinbrenner said Wednesday the Yankees would win the World Series.
"We're going to win it this year," said Steinbrenner after the team's first full-squad workout at Legends Field. "We're going after it."
Peter here.... Hey Georgie Porgie (of course meant as a term of endearment), don't forget to wipe yourself. And maybe a new hair color would be a good idea. A return to grey comes to mind. And thank you, Witch City Girl, for posting that inglorious picture in the first place. A work of pure genius. Only hairdressers know for sure.

Great Minds Think Alike.......

From the Herald, Big Papi speaks his mind on Manny -- "David Ortiz has not spoken with Manny Ramirez since it was announced the Red Sox left fielder would report to camp a week behind the rest of the position players, but he’s confident his teammate will show up.
"He will," Ortiz said. "He’s not going to walk away from $20 million."
Ramirez is expected, however, to forgo participating in the World Baseball Classic for the Dominican Republic in order to remain with the Sox throughout the Grapefruit League schedule. Ortiz, who will play for the Dominican in the March 3-20 event, said he’s not bothered by that. Manny will be fine."
Peter here. I've said all along that Manny reporting on March 1 does not represent a problem for the club. In fact, it's a relief! He will be in camp. He's NOT playing in the WBC. He will be in shape. And he will bat his usual .300ish with his 140 or so runs batted in while protecting Big Papi, who WILL see pitches to hit. I shudder to think what the line up would be without him in the 4 spot. You see? Smiles all around. And a big smile is on my face for you stopping in to my little spot in blogland, a place I'm getting to like. And I hope you are, too.

Hey Enrique.......

What's the matter? Too busy with your explosive baseball career to show up at Red Sox Spring training?? I know it must be tough with all the movie roles and personal appearances being offered you. Listen, you idiot. Stay in your own personal spotlight and OUT of a Red Sox uniform. We have enough infielders, and great ones at that, even on the bench, without your late-assed presence being needed. Nice to know you, putz!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

What An Ass..The Writer, Not The Player...

You know who, from the Globe....."Manny rules. So the Red Sox once again are forced to play by Manny Rules."
I can do better typing with my toes. Pedicure please??

Front And Back Ends..A New Beginning...A Return To 2004? If So, The Sky's The Limit.

From the Weymouth (MA.) News..."The two biggest question marks stand at the front of the rotation and the back end of the bullpen. In 2004, Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke showed us first hand how important it is to have an ace and a dominant closer for a postseason run. In 2005, Schilling and Foulke showed us what happens when you have neither. Last season, Schilling suffered from a bum ankle and Foulke was hampered by both of his knees, not to mention his mental mindset. If both pitchers are able to rebound and pitch like they did in 2004, these Sox will be tough to beat."
The last sentence in that blurb is so true. Let's play what if. What if this year Schill, who is determined to become one of the select few pitchers 39 years of age or older to win 20 plus games, does so, or comes close. For the record, I think he'll come close if he doesn't do it in the first place. And what if Foulkie, who reportedly, and I know its early and he's only had one or two outings on the mound, regains that zip on the fastball and his pinpoint control. He never lost his change-up. In fact, everything he threw last year was a change-up. So what if. The answer is 40 plus saves and a bullpen so far removed from last year's that the only thing recognizable will be the uniforms. The answer to these what-ifs is FIRST PLACE!

Hey Orlando. ZIP IT!!

This is just a little something I wanted to say to Orlando Cabrera, he of 2004 heroics that will forever be in our hearts. From the Herald today...“They’ve been trying to get rid of him for the last three years,” Cabrera said. “I don’t see no reason why he would be happy. If that was me and they were treating me like that, I wouldn’t be happy.”
He was, of course, talking about Manny. Hey OC, don't fan any fires. You say you talked to him in the off-season. The off-season is more than 5 months long. Is this recent information, or are you flapping your gums over an October conversation? Zip it and concentrate on your own career. We love what you did for us in the magic of '04, but adding any fire to the enigma that is Manny is something WE DON'T NEED. Have a good season.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

This Is Good Manny News

FORT MYERS, Fla. --" Superstar slugger Manny Ramirez will not be with the Red Sox when they have their first full-squad workout on Thursday. But by rules of Major League Baseball's Collective Bargaining Agreement, Ramirez won't be late by the letter of the law when he does arrive.
The Red Sox and their left fielder came to a compromise, agreeing that Ramirez can report to camp on March 1, the day he must be there, according to the basic agreement between the union and the league.
Manager Terry Francona spoke with Ramirez on Monday night, and they decided it would be best for everyone for the left fielder to arrive on March 1."
***Peter here. This is good news because the drama is gone. He will be in camp, if only for a couple of days until the end of the WBC. Then he is ALL OURS, batting fourth.***

***FLASH*** AROD Still Sick. FIMD The Culprit Again!

The Yankee team doctors, who thought the problem had been erased, have confirmed the worst. Alex Rodriguez, better known as AROD, third baseman and AL MVP last year, has had a relapse and is still suffering from FIMD. That is, foot in mouth disease. Blood tests have confimed that FIMD levels are off the scale. More to come as the situation warrants. Doctors fear this might be a lifetime malady. This has been a PeterOnAll flash, copyright 2006.

Is David Wells Playing US? Or Will He Play Baseball?

David Wells' behavior so far down in Florida raises questions. He isn't working out with the team. He threw catch apart from his teamates on a far removed part of the field. What's up with that? Out of camp by noon for lunch and beers? Or does his surgically repaired knee really need this coddling? I suspect he still is seething at not being traded. I hope he knows that the Sox have done their all to trade him without having to GIVE him away. I hope he toes the line and gets his act together, for his 15 wins last season could be matched this season if he has no further trouble from his knee. I always thought he wouldn't try to pull something like this. Please Boomer, get your act together and get in shape for the season. You'll be playing somewhere. And an out of shape David Wells is good to no one. And is he really going to walk away from all that cash? Mystifying. Hey David. Let us know what's going on and stop being an a-hole.

Spring Is Just Around The Corner.

Today, Tuesday February 21st, 2006. Exactly 4 weeks until the start of Spring. Feel better? I know I do.

The Best Outfielder I Ever Saw With My Own Eyes? Number 24.

Number 24. Just the mention of those two digits sends shivers of memories not imagined down my spine. Dwight Evans. Dewey, or as it sounded when 35,000 chanted it, "Dew-ey Dew-ey Dew-ey." Right field at Fenway, hell, right field if it was on Mars, was owned by him. But first I must give my honorable mention player. none other that Carl Yastrezemski. Yaz. Number 8 at the plate. Just as Dewey owned right field, Yaz owned the wall and the small patch of grass in front of it known as left field. He could take a carrom off the wall and before the runner lifted his head rounding first base was ready to gun him out by 8 steps. Wall ball line singles were the norm, for if the ball had any mustard on it and the batter decided to take an elongated stroll past the first base bag, he was out, dead cold, dead meat, frozen fish. Then, eyes to the ground, he would have to take that miles long walk across the diamond to the visiter's dugout. Yaz played that wall like Springsteen plays the guitar, like Billy Joel plays the piano. Like God created us in his image. There was no other.
Now to Dewey. There never was, nor ever will be, at least in my lifetime, a person who could track a ball in any direction, at any speed, wind be damned. It was as if he had his own built in radar system. A fly ball near the Pesky Pole? If the fans gave him room and it was catchable, he would catch it. A ball in the gap? He would cut it off and unleash powerful throws from the cannon known as his arm, possibly the best throwing outfielder ever known in this grand old game. The ball would travel with cannonlike speed and laserlike accuracy to its target. Woe to the hitter who tried to stretch a single into a double. There WAS no stretching when Dewey was on patrol. And he was and is a great Dad to a medically challenged child. An inspration to us all and something he would never talk about. With classic good looks that even my Mom fell in love with, he still cuts a dashing figure. Put that package into a home white Red Sox uniform, and miracles would occur. And that is why he was the best ballplayer to play the outfield that I have or ever will see. Thanks Dewey. We love you. We always did. We always will.

Monday, February 20, 2006

My God. Curt..Goodbye And Rest In Peace

Today, just this moment, the news was released, Curt Gowdy, Amerca's beloved voice of sports of all kind, has passed. Of Leukemia. Too close. My sister passed from the same Hell. He was OUR voice decades ago...the sixties...the Red Sox. But he was so much more than that. He will never be replaced. We will miss you. Each and every one of us. Your play by play was magic. Your voice spoke for all of us. My goodness. We miss you. Goodbye, with tears.

Where's Manny? Papi Does Not Know.

From SI....."David Ortiz arrived at camp Sunday wearing a black T-shirt that read "Manny being Manny'' but unsure of the whereabouts of his peculiar partner in the middle of the Red Sox lineup.
Perhaps the enigmatic Manny Ramirez tuned to the Olympics one night on television and decided to travel to Turin ."

Yes, that WAS Manny on the back end of the US two man bobsled. I thought I saw his hair trailing out from beneath the back of his helmut.
All kidding aside, and that's tough for me, I fully expect him in camp and on time. He's known for his own peculiar form of communication. None. Don't worry. Be happy. Sounds like a tune to me.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A French Commercial. You Have To Watch It. With Sound.


Curt Schilling On Jonathon Papelbon

Curt Schilling has spoken of his desire to see Jonathon Papelbon in the rotation. Here's what he said...."Schilling raved about the team's improved defense in the infield, joked about being ranked fourth on GQ's list of most hated athletes (''I actually talked to my wife about that because I thought maybe she had some input in the article") and was open about his desire to see rookie Jonathan Papelbon in the rotation.
''I think what I said was, I think he's a guy you benefit a lot more from getting 200 innings from than 60," Schilling said when asked about lobbying for Papelbon earlier this winter. ''Makeup-wise, he's not far from being a consistent winner in the big leagues. He's got to pitch. He's got to get innings."
He and Theo are in agreement. They both know that Papelbon's place is in the rotation. Theo said exactly that as the two parted after the sudden end to the season, before his odd departure. He told Jonathon to work hard in the off season and get ready to be a part of the rotation. The numbers are hard to crunch right now, but we have too many starters. That is for certain. Trades, yes, spring training trade(s) are looming. That's as far as my myopic crystal ball can see. But put him in the rotation and let the numbers determine who stays in it and who does not. Clemente and/or Welles will be going. To where? When? I do not know. Papel in the rotation? MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

And Who Says We're Not More Than Ready For Springtime?

This from the Globe today, Saturday. I like this brand of enthusiasm, this lack of whining, this group of guys who are commited to making the summer of 2006 one to remember. After all, as Billy Joel said in an 80s song..." These are the times to remember, though they will not last forever. These are the times to hold on to, but we can't although we want to." So sadly true. Live every day, my friends. And visit here often......from the Globe - " Today is reporting day for pitchers and catchers, but the list of players already in camp is lengthy: Schilling, Mike Timlin, Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon, Coco Crisp, Trot Nixon, Kevin Youkilis, Graffanino, Tim Wakefield, David Riske, Craig Hansen, Lenny DiNardo, Josh Bard, Willie Harris, Ken Huckaby, David Murphy, Cla Meredith,"....... and Johhny Pesky. Sadly the only Johnny left.

Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie. You Had It Right The First Time!

Oh well. A man in the know speaks his mind. And then that man, manager of the World Champion Chicago White Sox, takes a step back and publicly apologises. But I know his inner feelings haven't changed about DORA a whit. But to remain "politically correct", he did say this, as reprinted from New York's The Daily News. Here it is......

Ozzie Says Sorry, A-Rod

TAMPA - Ozzie Guillen made a full retreat yesterday from his comments in a Sports Illustrated interview calling Alex Rodriguez a "hypocrite," among other niceties, for waffling over playing for Team USA or the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.
"I learned a lesson. I never took a first shot at anybody in my life and now I feel like I took the first shot," Guillen said at a news conference at White Sox camp in Tucson, Ariz. "I feel embarrassed, I feel guilty. I wish I had not said it the way it sounds or the way I said it."
Like the Red Sox - who last spring mocked A-Rod for hyping his own workout regimen in a newspaper article - Guillen's interview once again made the Yankees third baseman into baseball's piñata. Though as far as Derek Jeter is concerned, the barbs hardly bother the Bombers.
"Let them keep taking shots," Jeter said yesterday of A-Rod's critics. "He had a pretty good year last year."
Rodriguez, of course, won his second American League MVP award last season, batting .321 with 48 home runs and 130 RBI.
"People are entitled to their opinion," Jeter said. Asked why he thought Rodriguez is a frequent target, Jeter said, "He makes the most money, a lot of people are probably jealous of him. I don't really know. I haven't thought about it and we don't really concern ourselves with it."
Yesterday's apology was something of a departure for the Chisox's ever-outspoken skipper, who told SI that "Alex was kissing Latino people's (butts)" by even considering playing for the Dominican team.
"What I did to Alex was wrong," Guillen said. "He can do whatever he wants. If he wants to play for Japan, fine for him."
Asked for his own opinion of the WBC - and of George Steinbrenner's disdain for it - Jeter said: "I'm sure (The Boss) wouldn't be happy. There are probably a lot of owners that aren't thrilled about it, but this is something that the Players Association and Major League Baseball have come together on. I'm excited about it and looking forward to it."
***Peter here again. You know what? I agree that Ozzie did the right thing in making this statement of apology. He did take a blind shot at a guy who keeps doing his job defensively and offensively, up there at the summit. And you all know I am a non-fan of DORA. But I do have to give it to him. As much as my dislike is for him, he does produce, in the field and at the plate. That's as much as I can give him though. As a person, he's a twit. A cheap shot advantage taker. A perennial loser. Other than that I can't say anything bad about the purse snatching, slapping, cry baby fool. See...who said I couldn't be nice!

Links Up, And Schill On The Hill Friday

Memory recovery mission accomplished. What I mean is that, after fooling around with the gibberish ( Reb's term, aptly put) inside the template box, I had a morning epiphany. Now I know that morning epiphinies are just as good as evening epiphinies. The links to my favorite Sox blogs that were missing, and also one Yankee blog (boo hiss) are up!! I did it. What might be easy for some and had never been for me is now doable. Thank you very much.
In Sox news, our Curtis Schilling took the mound on Friday and looked good, with no problems putting his full weight on his refurbished ankle and foot. He is said to be in good shape, although not much less in the poundage department. I guess his gut from last year is more evenly distributed. Have a great weekend, and I will be back a little later.
Check out the additions at the bottom portion of my links. Thanks.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Old Man Speaks. And We Laugh.

Well, the Boss, and in my world there is only ONE BOSS, and that is Bruce Springsteen in all his 33 year glory, has spoken. The newspaper called it "THE BOSSES' FIRST BLAST." I call it "WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH." You withered idiot. It seems Georgie doesn't want any of his players to leave Spring training to play in the World Baseball Classic. Awwww. Hey Steinbrenner, and I call you by your last name only because that's what you do as a way of disrespect when you are peeved at someone. The only thing I wish for you, oh ancient blubber boy, is good health, because I cannot with my make-up wish ANYONE short of Hitler bad health. And we know what happened to him. Too quick a death, if you ask me. Wow, from Steinbrenner to Hitler. Does that tell you something?
George, your employees are just that. The slave days are over. Issue as many proclamations as you want. We smart ones, the blessed many who root for the good guys, The Boston Red Sox, will just sit back and laugh at you. And psst, why don't you personally pick out a few more players for your excuse of a team. We all know how well those picks do when you fail to discuss it with "your baseball people."
I feel so much better now. Time for breakfast and the sports pages. See ya.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

***FLASH***Carl Pavano's Ailing Back A Secret Boston Red Sox Fan.

Carl Pavano's ailing back is secretly a Red Sox fan. The back's agent, Danny Disk, disclosed the details in an unannounced press conference held in the small town of Cartilidge New York. This is good news for all Red Sox fans, as the possibility of more New York Yankee body parts joining the millions of Sox fans across the nation becomes more and more probable.
We will interupt your normal programming if the situation changes. This has been a PeterOnAll network presentation.

MSNBC Speaks Up.

This is part of a lengthy article on the Red Sox's chances this year. "In a best-case scenario for the Sox, Crisp takes to his new position in center field (he was moved to left last year by the Indians), the rebuilt infield fields better and hits as well as the one of a year ago, Manny is still Manny, Ortiz continues swinging one of the best clutch bats in the game and catcher Jason Varitek remains arguably the best combination of catcher/hitter in the American League.

As for the pitching, if Schilling bounces back and Beckett's arm holds up and Foulke pitches like the guy who dominated the World Series two years ago, the Sox will be in the heat of the pennant race when the shadows begin to lengthen next fall.

Then again, that's a lot of ifs. If it's too many there'll be no ifs, ands or buts about how it happened. It happened because Epstein won his battle with Lucchino. He wanted to build for the future in a town where, when it comes to baseball, the future is always now."
Peter here. And I thrive on "ifs". Nothing else needs to be said. So "if you" MSNBC.

My Sentiments EXACTLY.

From the New York post, Ozzie speaks out on DORA.......

OZZIE; AROD a phony

TAMPA - "Last year it was the Red Sox taking shots at Alex Rodriguez; this year it's Ozzie Guillen.
The White Sox manager ripped into the Yankee third baseman in a magazine interview, targeting A-Rod's much-publicized waffling over whether to play for the Dominican Republic or the United States during next month's inaugural World Baseball Classic.

"Alex was kissing Latino people's (butts)," Guillen, who's from Venezuela, said in the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated. "He knew he wasn't going to play for the Dominicans; he's not a Dominican!"

Rodriguez, who has dual citizenship in the Dominican Republic and United States, was linked to both teams' rosters at various points over the past few months and also said once that he simply wasn't going to play in the tournament because choosing a country to represent was too difficult. After talking with MLB and WBC officials, however, he opted to play for the Americans, and Guillen apparently found his flip-flopping to be disingenuous. "I hate hypocrites: He's full of ---," Guillen said. "The Dominican team doesn't need his (butt). It's the same with (Nomar) Garciaparra playing for Mexico. Garciaparra only knows Cancun because he went to visit."

Guillen, whose candor has drawn him both praise and criticism, added, "People say 'Ozzie Guillen is a big mouth, he's so controversial.' No, people don't like it when you tell the truth."***This is me again. DORA sucks. Plain and simple. it's good to have at least one whipping boy in each league, but he's good enough for both!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Theo's Team? No. The Red Sox Are OUR TEAM..No One Else Can Make That Claim.

Tony Massarotti of the Herald poses a question that every Red Sox fan can answer. He writes this. " Theo Epstein is back, but the uncertainty has not died as much as it has gone dormant. Officially, at least, Epstein was gone for much of this offseason. In his absence, the Red Sox were torn down and rebuilt, undergoing changes as significant as those to their 94-year-old ballpark.
So whose team is this, anyway?
Is it his? "
No, it is OURS, the Red Sox fans. Sure, the Red Sox brass get paid for making the decisions, paying the bills, and overseeing the everyday things that make the club purr like a sweet sports car's engine. And they are well compensated. But what is the toughest job? Whose hearts are on the line every time the team steps onto the hallowed ground that is Fenway Park? It is us. The Red Sox fan. Girls and boys. Men and women. All united in their love for the team from Boston. So John Henry, Larry Lucchino, Theo Epstein, Tom Warner. They are the builders who put together the team. The coaches and Terry Francona are the sculpters. They mold the individuals into a cohesive unit that can function like a winner. But it is the fans who shell out their hard earned bucks and lay their hearts on the line, vulnerable and exposed just as if the front line is looming right in front of them. And the front line is not pretty. Neither is baseball if everything does not fall into place. Win. Or else. That's the mindset. But I feel it when the players, our modern heroes, fail. But the old saying, "you can't win them all" is true in baseball, as it is in life. We, as the fans, must tread that fine line and enjoy baseball for what it is, a game loved by millions. And it will not be for a lack of trying if the Sox fall short this year. I'm optimistic. And that's good.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Trot Tragedy? Nah....

That's what it would be if the Red Sox traded Trot Noxon. His 2005 numbers....275 average, 13 home runs, and 67 RBIs -- were far below the career numbers he posted in 2003: .306, 28, and 87. But he is the heart of this team, or one of them. For people that have never had a back injury involving a disk hitting the nerve that runs down the backside to the foot, and I have, as a 20 year old, it is as debilitating a type of pain that exists to man. Well maybe a tooth extraction or a root canal without novocaine is up there too, but I would not know. Give me that shot of novocaine, Dr. Dentist, please. Maybe a little gas, to go! A portable container, maybe? Just kidding.
There has been talk here and there, sporadically, that Trot's name has come up in trade talks. With our surplus of starting pitchers, all such talk should be banished to the water cooler, where baseball is never discussed. Oh, the water cooler, now better known as the coffee maker. Such tales to tell. There's time before the heat of the baseball season percolates. I'll share. Don't worry. But I really think that the Red Sox could not put anyone in charge of right field defense at Fenway who could come close to Trot Nixon. He knows Pesky's corner better than the man it was named for. If the fans in the first couple of rows give him a chance and lean back (read this as get the f**k out of his way), he will make the catch. And he rarely lets the ball get by him just to roll around the sloped corner toward center field, a place where rare Fenway triples are encountered. Trot Nixon is our right fielder. Don't change something that works. If the injuries, namely the back problem and the rib cage muscle pull, are behind him, there's nothing stopping him from a rebound season with tough defense and clubhouse leadership. Things this '06 version of the Red Sox will so desperately need. There is no reason to say goodbye. SO DON'T.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Morning Aftermath

Well, the cars are unburied and moved to higher ground. It's one thing I do for my neighbors, who are in the mid-eighties and able to get around just fine. But with the drifts burying their cars this morning, I knew they couldn't do it. And boy, it being ZERO degrees out, after their 2 cars were done I needed badly to get inside for a cup of hot cocoa, my Mom's recipe, and a half of a wheat bagel, light on the cream cheese. Yoy know that feeling you get after you do something nice for someone, sort of an internal smile with a feeling of warmth, with your mind telling you in that little voice it has (mine has a little voice, yours might be bigger) "Peter, good job." I hope there's someone there to help me when I need to unbury my car when, in the distant future, I'm not able to. Sort of like Paul was singing in his song. "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64." Well, there's a few years left till that happens. Anyone interested apply in the comments section. See ya.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Famous Last Words. I Could Not Resist.

""Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel." – Last words of George Appel, executed in electric chair in New York, 1928."

Would You Believe 26 Inches...and Still Wailing!

What a great movie! Except the movie is being playing as I look out the windows. It is still snowing sooo hard, and my last (for good) measurement, validated by the local TV/radio meteoroligists, is 26 inches. Much more to come.
As for NYC, Central Park snowfall has surpassed the Blizzard of 1888, which was 21 inches. And I did say 1888.... SURPASSED! Even I wasn't around for that one. Thanks guys.....I had to check in while there are still parts of my home's windows that give a view of outside.

WOW!!! 3 Inch Per Hour Snowfall For The Last 4 Hours!!

We have been, since about 5 AM, in a narrow band of super heavy snowfall. This band has paralleled Route 84 from Hartford southwest to near Monroe into Danbury. What was at around 6 AM 3 or 4 inches of snowfall has turned into a monster 12 to 14 inches, and that's in a 3 or 3 1/2 hour span. And with another 10 or 12 inches to go. Maybe more. My goodness. Visibility right now as I type this maybe is 30 feet! 10 yards! And I am not exagerating. My neighbor's houses have disappeared into a solid white sheet of nothingness. I feel like a catapiller wrapped in his or her cocoon, safe and warm (not) inside a cloudlike white puff pastry. It's almost like being smack dab in the middle of an unsliced loaf of white bread, safe and comfortable with plenty to eat but nearly blind. Blind but happy. Oh yes. More to come. In the time it took to type this, keep my eye on the radar, and correct the spelling errors, some of which will remain, the snow depth is up to 17 inches. Holy crap, as Frank Barone would say.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A Snowball's Chance in Hartford, and a Blizzard WARNING Issued for NYC and Points North and East.

From today's Herald, this short blurb...."The Red Sox continue to decline comment on any and all matters regarding Roger Clemens, and the chance of the seven-time Cy Young Award winner returning to Boston still appear remote."
I would say that the chances are better for a sunny and warm day here tomorrow than the possibility of Rocket hurling anything, including his lunch, at Fenway Park, although it would be nice. Nice? Hell, it would be fantastic. But we do have a surplus of starters, and I still would be surprised if there is no further trade action before Spring Training. But the chances of that get slimmer and slimmer every day.
On the weather front on this Saturday mid-morning, the new computer info is in. It leads us to believe that there will be a higher amount of liquid precipitation than was expected earlier. This of course will increase the snow depth. The winds are a certainty, and even NYC has a blizzard warning that was just issued. Now, if you know me well, you know that I love snow, and the study of weather itself. So I am excited. Doesn't take much, does it?
And I did want to give a shout out to someone I've known but never met in person. That would be Faithy. She's from the grand old city of Baltimore, and her thoughtful comments are appreciated. And I'm just happy she reads my stuff. Happy weekend everyone, and more storm bulletins will be issued by this roving reporter. Roving between the living room and the kitchen just about encompasses my travels this weekend. All the food shopping and beer purchases have been done. Now I'll just sit back and let it all be.
Oh, I thought the Opening ceremony for Olympics 2006 were great, with stunning HD visuals.Good job NBC.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Storm A'brewing. And Spring Training Approaches.

It looks like Southern New England, which is comprised of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Mass., are in for a big blow. And I mean a quick dose of the white stuff. Wait, I have to be even more clear, or there will be trouble. I talkin' 'bout SNOW. But this storm, which will move QUICKLY up the coast, will dump a quick 10 or 12 inches of the white stuff between 6pm Saturday to about 9am Sunday. Now, if it slows down, or stalls, throw all that out the window. Don't worry, I have safety nets surrounding the house. But it should be a fleet-footed storm that's in a hurry to go somewhere, and most of its pretty damage will be done when the sun is below the horizon. But the timing is so great because most people do not have to be out, so the snow plow drivers will have all the room they need.
Being as the main coastal low (storm center) has not formed yet, if I were more precise it would be a dis-service to the readers. But it will be like my last date. Quick but great to look at and fun while it lasted, then gone, never to be seen again. Unique but not to be repeated in its exact dimensions. Forgettably wonderful. I think I got it there. I"ll be back, he says.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Speeding Ticket Part 3-THE END!!

All things must pass, as George Harrison said, and finally my saga with a speeding ticket has ended. Read parts 1 and 2, dated Dec. 12 and Dec.19 first, if you wish. In a nutshell, I got a speeding ticket for going 54 in a 40 zone. My bad. I paid the ticket, pleading guilty and sending in a check. Roughly a week later I received a letter from the Superior Court State of Connecticut ordering me to report to the courthouse on Jan. 9th. Why, they did not say. WHAT THE FUCK? When I called the clerk's office to find out, she said there was another charge that had to be resolved in court. For a simple speeding ticket?
My lawyer (needing a lawyer for a speeding ticket is a new one for me. First time last time) went to court, where the prosecuter said he THOUGHT there was a reckless driving charge on the ticket itself, but he had not seen it. My lawyer pointed out that the policeman had written down the wrong plate number to begin with, so the prosecuters were mixed up. What they needed to see was the original ticket handed to me by the cop. There were no other charges, or I never would have pled guilty and paid the fine. I knew that. They didn't. What, me worry? No way. Bothered? Yes way.
Now we come to today, the second court date, lawyer's fees growing quicker than pot under a gro-light. Wait, did I say that outloud? The prosecuters realized there was NEVER a reckless driving charge involved at all, and with the confusion over the wrong plate number and other tidbits of facts that were never clear to them, they threw the whole fucking thing out, including the speeding charge. The $200 I paid originally was returned to me, but that's just going to the lawyer when I get his bill. All in all, yes, a snafu. But a snafu that's over! YES! Idiots.They're everywhere! But I'm a happy guy now that this infernal little thing that has been tugging at the back of my mind is no longer there to tug. With that, I take a bow and say later, readers. I'm a free man!!!!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Gonzo's On Fire

Our very own shortstop Alex Gonzalez has been tearing up the Caribbean Baseball Series, with his bat AND with his glove. Read on, from the AP..........." Late rally boosts Venezuela to Caribbean Series title."

"VALENCIA, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela won its first Caribbean Series championship since 1989 by rallying for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Dominican Republic 5-4 Tuesday night.
New Boston Red Sox shortstop Alex Gonzalez singled in the tying run off Jorge Sosa and scored the game-winner on Henry Blanco's pop-fly double, which bounced off the head of shortstop Erick Aybar after he lost the ball in the lights."

**NICE! And he's headed to Fenway via Fort Myers, the home of Michelbobs' Ribs, the best rib place I've ever had the fortune to chow down in. A healthy meal? Nah. But a once in a while treat. YES! They have a second place in Naples Florida, not too far from where my parents lived after their house was blown away by hurricane Hugo in St. Croix U.S.V.I., in 1989. I wrote about that in a previous post, which you can easily find if you want. But as for the Rib Sox, err, RED Sox, I am feeling good at the prospect of games on NESN and the handful of visits to Fenway. As always, thanks for being here, and I'll be back later.

And The Rocket's Red Glare

Where will Roger Clemens pitch this coming baseball season? Let's hear from the man himself, in an article I came across in Newsday today.


February 8, 2006

"The Yankees, and the rest of baseball, will have to wait a while longer to learn of Roger Clemens' plans for 2006.

"There will be no final decision until after the World Baseball Classic," Randy Hendricks, Clemens' agent, wrote yesterday in an e-mail.

Clemens intends to pitch for Team USA in the upcoming tournament. Clemens has said that if he pitches this season, he'd consider doing so for the Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers in addition to the Astros, who declined to offer him arbitration during the free agency process. Consequently, Clemens can't return to the Astros until May 1.

"My guess is he'll pitch," Joe Torre said yesterday. "You don't get yourself in shape to do what he's going to do now and then go home."

At a Manhattan promotional appearance, Torre didn't address the possibility of Clemens in pinstripes, but he spoke as though he would bet on a Clemens-Astros reunion.

Torre said. "Even going back to Houston, going back in May, I don't think is going to be any big deal for him. It'll probably benefit him, the fact that he won't have to pitch the whole time."

Asked whether he has been in touch with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers, Hendricks replied, "We talk to everybody." "

*** Me here. I have mixed feelings on this issue. Part of me, the left half, would love to see Roger pitch in a Red Sox uniform once more. His ERA the last two years proves he's still "got it." My right half says that we have a surplus of starting pitchers, and to think the development of Jon Papelbon might be hindered because Rocket would take his spot in the rotation, if there is a spot to begin with (there better be), is a big negative. Time will tell. I would NOT, repeat not, like to see him in pinstripes again. That would be tough, he being paired with RJ at the top of the Yankee rotation. Time will tell.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Three For Three

"The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Josh Beckett, 25, who officially signed a one-year deal, reportedly worth $4.325 million. Beckett (15-8, 3.38 ERA) had agreed to the contract Saturday."

***This is me. It's official, and wrapped with fancy paper and a red bow. Josh beckett is our number two starter, right behind ace Curt Schilling in our rotation. That's one for one.

"The Red Sox will pay Coco Crisp $2.75 million to fill the roles of leadoff hitter and centerfielder. Crisp, acquired from the Indians in a trade last month, avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal Monday."

***This is me again. Coco Crisp makes it two for two. A capable, fast and durable fielder we hope he will be, as well as a patient hitter, able to make the opposing pitchers throw a few pitches starting out the top of the first. Something the now hated Johhnie Damon always did well. I'm using the "ie" way to spell Johnny because I think because of his actions he deserves the feminine treatment of his first name. Tough, Johnnie. That's two for two.

"Also Monday, the Red Sox officially announced the signing of free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez to a one-year, $3 million contract. To make room on the 40-man roster for Gonzalez, first baseman Roberto Petagine, 34, was designated for assignment."

***This is me, for the last time in this post. Those of you cheering at that piece of information keep it down, will ya! We have a guy at short for one year, which is what we wanted. We have a guy at short who does not make many errors. His glove is a Hoover. Eureka! And that makes three for three on this Tuesday noon. And I say, YES!

Monday, February 06, 2006

And Since Detroit Is In The News.....

This, from the Detroit News, and interesting to Red Sox fans, just in case you missed it, my readers galore (ha ha, but I love you all.)......."Tom Gage's Top 5 ... What wasn't news..."
"Top five things that didn't happen this winter:
1) Miguel Tejada didn't get traded: After huffing and puffing about the fact the Orioles haven't improved since he's been there (all of two years), Tejada rescinded his request to be dealt. There'd been talk about a Miggy-for-Manny deal -- Tejada for Manny Ramirez -- but nothing happened.
Actually, it's to the Orioles benefit nothing happened, because Tejada, happy or not, is a heck of a player and nowhere near as high maintenance as Ramirez.
2) Neither did Manny: There will continue to be rumblings about the Red Sox hoping to find a taker for Ramirez, but it's going to be difficult. For instance, there was speculation last week the Sox approached the Angels about a possible deal but a) they asked for too much in return and b) wanted the Angels to assume most, if not all, of the $57 million remaining on Ramirez's deal that runs through 2008.
Sorry, he's still your problem, Bosox -- but a productive problem all the same.
3) Roger Clemens didn't retire: No indeed he did not, but neither did he re-sign with the Astros or get traded to the Red Sox or Yankees. He's just sort of out there, playing golf and mulling over what he's going to do.
Frankly, a lot of people think Clemens is through mulling and will return to the Astros for one more year, starting in May. And why not? At last glance, he's still better than most.
4) Red Sox didn't retain Johnny Damon: The Yankees grabbed him as a free agent when the Red Sox lost their negotiating edge -- or as a lot of Sox fans feel, when the Red Sox blew it.
This will be difficult throughout the season for the Sox to stomach because 136 of their 162 games this year are against the Yankees -- or so it will seem. Every time they turn around, Damon will be playing against them this season, not for them.
Coco Crisp will try to fill the void -- good player, Crisp, but not a Johnny Damon.
5) White Sox didn't get worse: At least on paper they didn't. On paper, they got a lot better.
For one thing, they retained Paul Konerko -- and what a coup that was. They could have lost him as a free agent, like to the Angels, but Konerko wanted to stay in Chicago. The Sox quickly stepped up, pen and checkbook in hand, and kept him.
They also traded for Jim Thome, who could prove to be a monstrous force at Cellular Field if healthy, and acquired Javier Vasquez to make their deep rotation even deeper.
So, no, it appears the White Sox didn't get worse." Peter here again, just to say that any of your learned comments will be deliriously accepted. I love being delirious, especially during Billy Joel concerts. And Bruce. And,well I'd better stop right there.

Save Some Of Those Zingers, Alex!

From The Post Gazette, of Pittsburgh, PA., momentary football capital of the world......"Alex Gonzalez hit a three-run homer off Jorge Sosa in the top of the ninth inning, lifting Venezuela to an 11-9 victory against the visiting Dominican Republic late Saturday night in the Caribbean Series."
Hey Alex, save some of those taters for Fenway. But a great job he is doing in the green water series cannot be denied. And I call it the green water series because green is the color of the 88 degree water inside the reefs surrounding most of the islands in that beautiful part of the world. The reefs provide relative safety for the bathers and swimmers lucky enough to be able to immerse themselves in the bath water temperature salt water, and make for great skin (snorkel) and scuba (with air tanks) diving. In fact, one mile off the North shore of our former house in St. Croix is a small island called Buck Island, where in 1961 JFK did some diving on the reef there and was so impressed, he made it a United States underwater national park, protected by all the laws a National Park deserves. I remember the island so well. One half mile long and maybe 100 yards wide and uninhabited, it was my first and only close-up meeting, uneventful, thank God, with a baraccuda. Talk about scary teeth! I flew into the boat, although I remained calm and swam slowly until I reached it. Then I developed the power of flight, if only for a few scant moments. Although I smile as I remember, it was his needle toothed smile I had the problem with. Wow, from Alex Gonzales to a baraccuda. I'm rambling, but that's alright. There's more of me than meets the eye! Just not to a baraccuda, I guess. Phew!!

Super Bowl? Try Super Bore!

That's what I thought of the game. It would have been great to have last year's Pats there to wipe the field with both Pittsburgh and Seattle at the same time, using the best players from both teams. But the game accomplished something that nothing else can. THE FOOTBALL SEASON IS OVER. Long live baseball. Hope your weekend was great! Back later.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Pittsburgh 27 Seattle 17

There! In print so I cannot take it back. My prediction for the upcoming (2 hours and 12 minutes) game today in Motor (not Motah) City. I could be wrong and have the score reversed, however. If I did, it should read Seattle 27 Steelers 17. There, all bases covered!

Super Sunday? How About a Super Computer That Fights Back!

Sound needed for this short clip. Enjoy the pigskin game, everyone. But I'm ready for baseball, and we must get by the Super Bowl to set the stage. http://film.netop.com/selfdefence.mov

$4.325 For Josh Beckett? That's Just Fine.

Well, the Sox have agreed to terms with pitcher Josh Beckett, and at a little over $4 million, it makes sense. Barring injury, and that is a real concern with his hopefully sound shoulder, he should have a good season as part of a two-headed pair of aces, and that's counting on Schill's recovery to where he was in 2004.
As far as money management, the Herald said, in todays paper, "the Sox will pay Mark Loretta, Alex Gonzalez, Coco Crisp and Beckett an estimated $13.5 million, which is essentially what the New York Yankees will be paying Johnny Damon, who will average $13 million per year over the length of his new four-year contract." Nice. Now let's see how well the fractured pieces fit together to make a contender, a contender in a league where many teams are just that. Improved enough to be called true threats for the post season.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

LL in New Haven, With Much The Same To Say

Larry Lucchino was in New Haven yesterday, and the first question asked of him was, "What the heck happened with Theo. He said these things happen all the time in baseball. Uh, hello Larry, Theo's bizarre departure and re-arrival is not "one of those things" that happen all the time. And when asked about the most pressing issue for the club right now, he said, without hesitation, Manny Ramirez. "We're not going to give Manny away for a box of doughnuts and a bag of baseballs." GOOD. Larry, if you had any balls, maybe the off-season would have been easier to take than it was. I suggest you keep a hold of your balls, because sooner or later, they'll come in handy. And you can quote me.

Friday, February 03, 2006

2006 Lineup? At Least According To The Globe.

Here it is, stolen from today's Globe, that esteemed(?) publication.....
Coco Crisp
Mark Loretta
Big Papi
Big (as opposed to little) Manny
Mike Lowell
Trot Nixon
Kevin Youklis
Alex Gonzalez
Now may I make a little change? It's my blog, so all I heard were yes yes and yes. Switch Loretta and Coco. Crisp has performed better in the two slot in the past, and Loretta's numbers translate as well as anybody listed for leadoff. Just a thought. Nothing earth shattering, as my previous post regarding Manny could have been. But Big Papi would be naked without Manny behind him in the lineup. Boy, that is NOT a pretty picture!

Sox Were Still Trying To Trade Manny

****This was in this morning's Hartford Courant. Read on, and I'll have a comment when you finish****...From the AP..."The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday the Red Sox made another strong push to trade outfielder Manny Ramirez to the Angels this past week, but the Angels balked at the Sox's asking price.
While chances for a deal seem remote, the Red Sox rekindled negotiations this week, the Times said. They are believed to have asked for at least four players: pitcher Ervin Santana, utilityman Chone Figgins and two or three of the Angels' top four prospects, a list that includes shortstop Brandon Wood and second baseman Howie Kendrick. The Sox also wanted the Angels to assume virtually all of the $57 million left on Ramirez's contract, which runs through 2008."
*****Now, do those demands really make it seem like we were willing to let Manny go? It seems like a lot to ask, but then you have to look at the offensive numbers Manny puts up. But I wonder. I mean, we need another starting pitcher? I don't think so, unless there are things going on and the Sox are sticking to their new policy of mum-ness. I'll let you come to your own conclusions, and I'll be back to bother you a little later.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My Dad's Celtics, and Mine

You don't read much here about the Boston Celtics because I don't follow them with the fervor I did in the magical '80s, when every game was an event unto itself. DJ and Danny Ainge were the guards. Kevin McHale and Larry Bird were the forwards, and the Chief, Robert Parish, was the center. Now that is a starting line-up!
The Celtics always came to Hartford to play four games each year, one pre-season and three regular season games. We had seats in the mid-1980s that were three rows behind the Celtics' bench, just far enough up so that we would not be blocked by the seated players. One game I'll never forget was on a cold snowy night. I was sitting with my Dad. There were 2 seconds left against the Knicks, we were down by one, and Larry arched a shot from the corner near the bench. We were sitting not 6 feet away, and my Dad and I, standing, watched as the ball flew upward, reached its peak, and softly settled into the bottom of the net. Green team wins. It was a magical moment for players and fans alike, as the Civic Center erupted with an earthquake of cheering. And leave it to my Dad to go over to where Red Auerbach was sitting and hand him a cigar. Red promptly slid off the band and lit up. Right there! Priceless memories.
My Dad is gone now. And the Celtics, those multiple World Champions of the eighties, are gone too. In their place have been scores of pretenders. But they can never be MY Celtics. Or as my Dad used to say, our boys.

Manny's Friends Will Be Near During Spring training

Another good friend of Manny Ramirez, Enrique Wilson, will be in Spring Training camp. So maybe Manny will feel more comfortable being in his Sox uniform, colors we want him to be proud of, in the on deck circle while Big Papi takes his cuts. Enrique will have to perform miracles to make the club, as Alex Cora and Tony Graffanino are our back-ups in the infield. But he will be there through mid-March, at least. Anything for Manny, I guess. Let's just hope there are no more looping strolls to first base on ground balls. Perish the thought. The bathroom behind the Green Monster is clean and ready for you Manny, with a new Japanese toilet with a massaging heated seat and a timer to alert you to get back to the outfield.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Gentleman's Quarterly and Their List of The Ten Most HATED Atheletes In Sports

I do not read this publication, but I found this list to be enertaining and somewhat surprising. Here we go.....
10) LLeyton Hewitt, tennis player. "Disliked by every other player on the international circut."
9) A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox catcher. " He'll deliberately step on your foot at first base, then say, 'Man, I didn't mean to do that."'
8) Phil Mickelson, Golfer. "Literally has no friends out there. He annoys everybody.
7) Bonzi Wells, player for the Sacremento Kings. "It doesn't bother him that his unhappiness infects the entire team."
6) Michael Iaconelli, Bass fisherman. "Loud brash New Jerseyite." Jeez, so are a lot of people, and they don't fish! (That's me talking.)
5)Kobe Bryant, L.A. Laker player. "Even his coach said he was uncoachable. If his coach is saying it, you can be sure the players are saying it."
4)CURT SCHILLING, PITCHER, BOSTON RED SOX. "Some of his peers raise doubts about THE BLOODY SOCK."" All around baseball, people questioned that, says an ex-teamate (wonder who?). "It's funny how the stain didn't spread." ( Now that's a lot of bullshit from a player who probably is no longer a member of the team. I know Schill sometimes comes across as a jerk for always putting his thoughts right out there, but he'll prove his worth on the mound, again, this year, a surprising one for all of us, and in a great way.
3)Kurt Busch, NASCAR driver. " Said his sponser, "There have been far better champions in Nascar, and we wish we'd had one."
2)BARRY BONDS, San Francisco Giants. "Once dubbed the team's MDP - Most Despised Player."
1) TERRELLL OWENS (what a surprise!~) "Cograts, Terrell."
*********Honorable mentons.......Yankess' Alex Rodriguez and Randy Johnson ( I agree. Oh boy, do I agree. That should go without saying. I mean, this is Peter talkin') And finally,The Dodger's Jeff Kent......THAT'S THE LIST, MY READERS. YOUR COMMENTS WOULD BE GREAT. AND EVEN I AGREE THAT CURT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON THAT LIST. But remember - this was a player opinion type of list. Hope you enjoyed. As Richard Pryor said in the movie SILVER STREAK, "We aims to please!"

A New York Newspaper Lauds The Sox.

***I had to print this, because praise from a New York based paper about our team, the Red Sox, is rare. And the writer makes some good points, so many that I printed the article here, in its entirety.**** Red Sox In Excellent Shape Despite Front-Office Turmoil
February 1, 2006
With yesterday's reports that they had signed shortstop Alex Gonazalez to a one-year deal worth $3 million, the Red Sox' off-season is more or less over. They may deal disgruntled starter David Wells (who would make an awful lot of sense for the Mets), and it's even conceivable they could put together a late blockbuster to ship flaky slugger Manny Ramirez out of town, but big moves would be a surprise, and the team the Red Sox have now is pretty much the one they're going to run out on Opening Day.

It's a very good team, and particularly a very good offense. The Sox are now younger, deeper, and better than they were last season, when they won 95 games and scored the most runs of any team in the majors. Their only significant loss was center fielder Johnny Damon; his replacement, Coco Crisp, is an excellent bet to perform at least as well as Damon in 2006.

The other departures, like infielders Bill Mueller, Tony Graffanino, and Kevin Millar, are aging veterans who are likely to be outplayed by their replacements - Mike Lowell, Mark Loretta, and Kevin Youkilis. Even Gonzalez, a .245 career hitter who never walks but plays a solid shortstop, will probably do about as well next season as departed incumbent Edgar Renteria did last season - that's a low bar, but any time a 95-win team holds its ground, it's a good thing.

Looking the team over position by position, it's easy to see why improvement is in the offing. Catcher Jason Varitek is getting to that age (he'll be 34 in April) at which the daily pounding begins to exact its price, but he's hit about as well as he did last year four of the last five seasons, and he should remain a presence in the lineup.

At first and second base, the Sox ran out bizarre, hydra-like platoons made up of basically useless players last year. This year, Youkilis and Loretta will provide high on-base averages and, if not much power, at least more than last year's crew did. Shortstop should be a wash. At third base, Lowell will provide fewer on-base skills, but likely more power, defense, and durability than Mueller did, making the exchange a push.

In the outfield, Crisp was every bit the hitter Damon was last year, and is six years younger. There's no reason to think the right field platoon of Trot Nixon and whichever random right-handed bum the team scares up will be any worse this year than it has been over the last several, and no one's worried about the heart of the offense - Ramirez and the terrifying David Ortiz.

Continuedo, despite the caterwauling and smug scoffing heard in various quarters (including this one) about the Sox' center field and shortstop situations, it looks like the team not only hasn't shot itself in the foot, but has consolidated its strengths - an unhappy thought for the Yankees and Blue Jays.

What should make them more unhappy is that the Sox are in some ways retrenching their position, easing off the yearly battle with the Yankees for dominance and clearing space for younger players. You see this in particular in the middle infield, where Loretta and Gonzalez are stop-gaps. Should things go right, Dustin Pedroia, a 22-year-old shortstop prospect who profiles as something of a cross between Marcus Giles and David Eckstein and has hit .310 BA/.398 OBA/.473 SLG in 159 minor league games despite playing a third of them with a serious hand injury, will be up in Fenway by mid-summer.

Among Pedroia, Crisp, Youkilis (who's 27), and Ortiz (29), the Sox should end the year with four key offensive players approaching or in their primes. On the pitching side, with Josh Beckett, stud closer-in-waiting Craig Hansen, and prospects like Jonathan Papelbon and Jon Lester, the tendency is even more pronounced. This is not only evidence of good planning and a laudable willingness to make tough decisions, it's evidence that the team's soap opera-like off-season has had nowhere near as much an effect on morale as you might think.

The danger for the Sox going forward isn't that they've gotten rid of much of the team that won the 2004 World Series. That team's time had passed, and whatever chemistry there may have been among the lot of them, it wasn't going to make up for their diminished skills on the ballfield. Rather, it's that their strategy of shuffling useful role players with specific, discernible skills into and out of the lineup is highly dependent on Ramirez and Ortiz, awesome offensive performers who carry a disproportionate amount of the team's load.

Should one or both of them be injured, this team is going to have problems, and looking toward the future, should one or both of them depart the team and Sox management prove unable to acquire suitable replacements, the team is going to have much more serious ones. It's not a concern for right now, but it's the one glimmer of hope for Sox-bashers, who shouldn't be gloating anywhere near so much as they are.

tmarchman@nysun.com ******Well, what do you think?? I think the writer nailed many points with insight and knowlege. Sure is different than reading Murray Ch(ass) from the Times. I'll be back with that 10 most hated atheletes list from Gentleman's Quarterly. Thanks for reading.