Wednesday, August 10, 2005

NEW YORK BOZOS

Flipping between the Sox games and Yankees games has become an obsession of mine, and the other night was no exception as the Sox blew a five run lead against Texas I flipped to the Yankees-White Sox game that featured Jose Contreras on the mound just wrecking his former team. After double-agent Alan Embree gave up a tater to Paul Konerko (double-bonus points as he is my first baseman for my fantasy team), the Yankees inexplicably wasted an out having Jeter sacrifice Tony Womack to second. During the pitch Jeter bunted, some idiot New York bozo leaped from the upper deck onto the screen behind home plate. After sitting there dazed for a few minutes, he finally climbed up to the upper deck where security escorted him out. Hopefully, they threw in a couple jabs to his ribs when they were off camera as the Greg Louganis without a pool held up a close game at a critical moment for, according to the New York press this morning, a dare from his other, presumably underage and drunk, teenage buddies.

Speaking of bozo fans interfering with play, it was nice to see the Sox fan on the right field wall who deftly stuck his hand out to grab a bouncing double against the Rangers was quickly escorted from the premises by security.

One last New York Bozo note: Pedro Martinez gave up five runs in five innings. But with Petey it is not about winning, the imortant thing is respect he receives from his teammates and dwindling fans who have already given up on the season.

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THE OTHER REM-DAWG:

Who was just calling Mike Remlinger a good pickup? Oh yeah, me. Of course, in his defense, if Renteria turns the double-play instead of it being bases loaded and no one out, it may have been a less auspicious opening scene in the start of his Red Sox career for the Pride of Plymouth and distinguished alumni of Dartmouth College (like Red Rolfe, late 30s early 40s Yankee 3B & Jim Beattie, late 70s Yankee pitcher).

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ROHAN DAVEY:

Riders of Rohan Davey is finished, or at least if you believe every sportswriter in New England. Of course, as a fourth round pick entering fourth season on the team who has yet to throw 20 regular season passes, who knows what he can really do for the team. Davey has an electric arm and good size, but he has no track record and no one who has not watched him on the practice field daily can really offer any meaningful analysis. It is like the battle for the guard and right tackle positions: if no one is out there getting overwhelmed by defensive linemen, you have to leave the analysis to Dante Scarnecchia and Bill Belichick and take comfort in the fact that they have proven track records.

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JUMBO JOE THORNTON

Well, we will soon find out how desperate Jumbo Joe is to depart the Hub. Five years and over thirty million bucks is a top five contract in the NHL today. Jerome Iginla is the seven million a year man and rightfully the top of the NHL money list. Personally, I am certain Thornton wants out. However, this is a ton of money for Joe in this new NHL. If he wants to stay, he signs. If he really wants out, he will be playing for someone else next year for a very similar contract.

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BULLPEN HELP

The Sox made a couple of decent, under-the-radar type moves that may pay off down the stretch by picking up a couple of veteran relievers: Ricky Bottalico and Mike Remlinger. Bottalico took over as the closer after Philadelphia dumped Heathcliff Slocumb off on the Sox way back when (I believe…I am too lazy to do the research to see if it is true). He will pitch in Pawtucket for a few appearances before he comes up to the big club or goes on his way. Remlinger has bounced around as a situational lefty for years and had some success in the role with Atlanta in the middle of their decade-plus division title runs. Neither is going to wow anyone, but it certainly beats picking up Alan Embree and Hideo Nomo.

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BELL-WHO?

Tony Graffanino took a huge step towards keeping his stranglehold on the starting second base job. With arguably the best all-around game by anyone in a Sox uniform this year, G flashed the leather at the keystone, knocked one over the monster in left, and showed some heady moves not once but twice on the base paths: scoring from third on a mad-dash home on a passed ball, and then stealing second and scoring from second on an infield out.

Granted, Francona loves Bellhorn and the stoic sox second-sacker had a huge October last year, but as Bill Belichick (aka the modern-day Vince Lombardi) is quick to point out, last year was last year. This is a whole new season and everyone starts with the same record. Bellhorn is likely to reach the full twenty games on his rehab assignment and then either be designated for assignment or else slipped through the cracks until September 1.

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I-95 SHUFFLE:

Youk returns! Now, I understand that Terry Francona is never going to start Youkilis at third base without a direct order from Theo, but throw him a bone for goodness sake. He can hit. He is not a total spaz in the field. He gets on base. He is a peripheral character from a best-selling book (Moneyball). He is the third baseman of the future. Play Youk now!

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I DON’T KNOW WHY YOU SAY GOODBYE I SAY HELLO:

Jose Cruz Jr. was designated for assignment. Here is hoping he takes the assignment to AAA, gets his back in some order of shape, and contributes in September when the rosters expand or next year. Cruz has too much natural ability to continue to struggle as he has done for his entire career. Of course, I was burnt by Cruz one year in fantasy baseball and would never make that mistake again, so I can understand Theo having the quick hook.

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WADE INTO THE DEEP END:

There is no bigger Wade Miller fan than I, having ended up with him on my pitching staff every year in fantasy baseball, but there is definitely something not right with him. Even last year before the Astros shut him down, he was still pitching well. If I were running the Sox, I would attempt to get him on the 15-day DL with some phantom shoulder soreness and let him rest the wing and get his marbles together. With Jon Papelbon, Curt Schilling, Jon Lester, and Abe Alvarez available to step in for two or three starts, I think that is the most prudent decision.

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DOUBLE THE PLEASURE, DOUBLE THE FUN…

…with Sunny and Byung-Hyun. Yes those wild and crazy former Fenway farmhands, the unknown Sunny Kim and the unloved Byung-Hyun Kim started both ends of a double-header for the Rockies against the Florida Marlins yesterday. I think I will turn this one over to Beavis and Butthead:
Beavis: Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim…
Butthead: Shut-up, fart-knocker. Huh-huh.
Beavis: Colorado sucks. They started Sunny Kim. He-heh-heh. Sunny.
Butthead: Yeah, now they have to go out and sign Juan Pena and Brian Rose.
Beavis: He-heh-heh.
Butthead: Huh-huh.

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BORDER WARS REVISITED:

Ty Law to the Jets? Sure, and why not pick up Terrell Buckley, Chris Canty, and Willie Clay while they are adding former Patriots secondary players who peaked years ago? Think back to the Patriots first Super Bowl win: CB Ty Law, currently with the Jets; SS Lawyer Milloy, currently with the Bills; FS Tebuckey Jones, currently with the Dolphins; CB Otis My Man Smith, currently retired as a New England Patriot. Hmm, makes for some interesting divisional match-ups for Mr. Brady, no?

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