WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW!:
The Red Sox and Yankees are tied for last place in the A.L. East on May 22, 2012. Welcome to Bizarro-World.
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SIMPLE SOLUTIONS TO COMPLEX ISSUES:
There is a situation developing with the Red Sox and a simple solution that seems to have been overlooked. With Kevin Youkilis returning, the Red Sox find the team having two third basemen: Will Middlebrooks (aka the future) and Kevin Youkilis (aka the injured veteran). The Red Sox showed a solution last week in Philadelphia that I doubt they will employ.
First, leave Middlebrooks at third base. He's the the third baseman of the future, so let him keep playing. He's earned it with his bat. Then, move Youkilis to designated hitter. Big Papi David Ortiz then moves from DH to first base (where he is surprisingly a very capable fielder). Finally, Adrian Gonzalez moves to the outfield (right or left, does it matter?). The Red Sox are short four outfielders (Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, Darnell McDonald, and Cody Ross are all on the disabled list) and whoever plays out there now is not as productive as Youkilis, Middlebrooks, Ortiz, or Gonzalez. The Red Sox need their best hitters in the lineup.
What everyone is going to say is "what if someone gets hurt playing out of position?" I respond, if a player is paid millions of dollars, they shut their mouth and go play. I find it appalling that WEEIdiots will argue that Adrian Gonzalez is too fragile to play in the outfield as they have done since last year at interleague time. The man is a ballplayer. He is an athlete. He is an grown adult. Take off the kids gloves already. David Ortiz can't play in the field? Give it a rest. This is a simple solution. This is right. To do otherwise is foolish and hurts the team.
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STYMIED AT WORK:
Ben Cherington, General Manager of the Red Sox finds himself at this juncture coming across as a weak-sister to Theo Epstein since assuming the mantle of GM from him. I have no grudge with Cherington himself. He is no doubt a fine baseball man and potentially a good general manager in the right situation. Sadly, he is serving as Larry Lucchino's mouthpiece here in Boston and paying for the past mistakes of ownership at the detriment of his reputation. His choice of manager was rejected, he has apparently no power to make a deal in any way, and is likely hurting his future job prospects standing at the front of the parade and waving like a mascot. I hate that the team has put him in this position. This roster needs blowing-up. Cherington is likely chomping at the bit to do so, but likely will not get the opportunity to do so anytime soon. I suggest he follow Epstein's example and rent a gorilla suit.
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STILL ROLLING THE DICE AFTER ALL THESE YEARS:
Amazing how Dice-K, when the deadline approached for his rehab and he obviously was not ready to return, came up with a muscle strain and now can restart the rehab all over again in a few weeks. What a waste of cash this turkey has been, especially in light of Yu Darvish in Texas pitching extremely well this season. Remember Dice-K Mania? Embarrassing isn't it? I know I shudder to go to the archives and read the over-enthusiastic blather I wrote about this so-called second coming of Hideo Nomo (or, as a friend once took great pleasure in inappropriately and intentionally mis-pronouncing his name as "Nideo Homo") see: HERE and HERE, for examples I'd rather forget. For example: "Daisuke the Monster Matsuzaka will, eventually, be in a Red Sox uniform making the original Nomomania; Irabu-irritability; Ichiro-media-madness; and Matsui-mania look like small potatoes. This could be Fernandomania! This kid is the real deal." Somebody shoot me now for typing that drivel once-upon-a-time. Forget what point I was going to make about him letting us down time and again, I need to curl up in the fetal position and cry for an hour.
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I find Michael Felger and Tony Mazzarotti annoying on the Sports Hub drive-time show, but still less annoying than Glenn "I have no real opinion on anything other than what I am told to say by the producers" Ordway (even teamed up with Michael Holley). Just sayin' for the record...
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LAST YEAR'S PAT'S ROOKIES NEED TO STEP UP:
With the retirement of Matt Light, the blind-side protection for Tom Brady is not officially the mammoth Nate Solder at left tackle. The second-year offensive tackle is (if not by the media and fans, by the coaches) the most-watched and most-important driver of the Patriots high-powered offense. All season, his responsibility is keeping TB12 upright and protected from the best pass-rushers on the opposing squads.
Also on notice are second year running backs Steven Ridley and Shane Vereen. The third and second round picks are being thrust into the spotlight with BenJarvis Green-Ellis cashing in and making some well-deserved green in Cincy. Vereen and Ridley should handle the bulk of the carries, as Joseph Addai should not be counted on to beat-out either running back. While Danny Woodhead should continue on as a shot-gun/third-down back, I believe that Vereen should soon be taking those snaps as well. Vereen has to get on the field and Ridley needs to hold onto the ball for this to take place. Neither showed anything other than brief glimpses of talent last year (Ridley more so than Vereen).
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CAN THE CELTICS REACH THE FINALS WITH ENOUGH HEALTHY BODIES TO NOT FORFEIT THE GAMES?
Not to use the term "ridiculous" too often, but this Celtics team reminds me of an old lawnmower farting blue smoke, engine skipping and almost stalling, yet somehow plowing forward and, even though taking ten times longer than it should, eventually knocking down everything in its path. For a season that started with Jeff Green's heart ailment keeping him out and simmering resentment for even trading Hall of Fame center Kendrick Perkins for him (well, according to the WEEIdiots, he's better than Dwight Howard). A super-short camp after the lock-out was resolved, and the Celtics lurched forward playing under .500 ball through 30 games. Now they're a win from the Eastern Conference Finals? Wow.
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