Results tagged ‘ ESPN ’
It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged. Been busy, especially in the midst of a 9-game home stand. However, after working 6 games, I’ve finally gotten to try the brand new Fenway Frank!!! So, the Evil Empire comes to town, and I am blogging about hot dogs??????
I know you’ve all been drooling at the thought of eating a hot dog at a ball game. Is there anything more American than that??? But, there may have been some worries! Or some gasps from the fans! Replacing the Fenway Frank? Who would ever think of such a thing?
Let me tell you, though, the new Fenway Frank is DELICIOUS! Much better than the previous incarnation. I loved it. It was a great taste, and a very juicy hot dog. Make sure you get 3 or 4 the next time you are at a game.
Anyway, this home stand has been pretty darn good. Tonight, the Yankees
made are making their first trip of the season to Fenway. It was a slow night for me out there, but it has been quite a game. Pretty much a typical Yankee – Red Sox game. They are well over 4 hours played, and don’t seem intent on stopping anytime soon.
Was nice to see Jason Bay tie the game up of Mariano Rivera with 2 outs. We almost had J.D.P. Drew ground into his 3rd double play of the game to end it, luckily the ball was hit just a bit too softly to give Bay a chance. Will be interesting to see when and how this one ends.
I’m a bit disappointed that the next two games will be starting at 4pm and 8pm. What a buzzkill, especially since these next two days are going to be in the 80s. Instead of two SUNNY, HOT afternoon games which leads to lots of great vending, Fox and ESPN want to get some early season ratings of April Yankee – Red Sox games. Gahhhhhhh. Oh well, look for me on National TV then. Vendahhh number 41 on scorecard!!!!
Well, back to the Sox game for me.
P.S. I tried out the new MLB Gameday preview. Not a fan!
Walk-off (I hate that term) Game winning HOMER for Kevin Youkilis. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet, just like the new Fenway Frank!!!
I can’t imagine what it must be like losing a teammate in that fashion, but it must be a bit therapeutic to be able to get back on the field and play the game that you love, and the game that Nick loved. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of Nick and his three friends (two of who also died) and I hope the drunk driver never see the light of another day.
I was going to post a blog yesterday, after I returned from the Rays – Red Sox series finale, but when I logged onto MLBlogs, that is when I found out the news. So, I think I was going to write a blog titled Two Left Feet or something similarly unwitty to follow up my Right Foot post. Anyway, all thoughts left my brain after seeing the MLBlogs home page.
So right now, the Red Sox are currently playing the Angels. The first game since the passing of Adenhart. The Angels are making it a track meet, which usually happens when Tim Wakefield puts runners on base. I may be able to steal a base off of Wakefield. Wakefield has been a bit of Jeckyll and Hyde tonight. A good inning, a bad inning, and so forth. He just went J&H in the same inning. He loaded the bases with no outs, and gets out of the jam just as quickly as he got in it.
A few noteworthy items tonight. The Red Sox are not where there usual road uniforms. They look like they’re wearing their (Do I have the correct they’re/there/their usuage?) Spring Training uniform, except for a new cap with the Sox in place of the B. Not sure how I like it yet, maybe if they were winning, I’d probably love the new look. Haha.
Next, Jerry Remy is missing from the booth tonight. The Red Sox are going with a musical chair of color guys tonight, each chipping in 2 innings of work. First up was Sean McAdams, from the Boston Herald. He was followed by Angel’s color man, Rex Hudler. Hudler was great to listen to in the booth, recalling many stories of his time as a player under Terry Francona in Philly. Currently, Fox’s Ken Rosenthal is in the booth. He has always been a quality baseball reporter. Tony Masserotti of the Boston Globe will be finishing the night in the booth, that should be interesting.
I must say I am enjoying the free preview of the MLB package on cable. Today, I caught the end of the Tigers blowout in their home opener. I then caught some of the Yankees – Royals game. The Yankees should be undefeated opening up against the last place teams of the AL East and Central. I then flipped between the Mets – Marlins game, which was quite the contest ending in a dramatic game-winning (I’m not a fan of “walk-off”) single by Jorge Cantu, and the Astros – Cardinals game before the Sox game started. I love baseball.
Finally, speaking of the Yankees and their supposed easy opening schedule. It is interesting to take a look at the current standings in the AL East:
It’s funny how things happen early in the season, only to have the cream rise to the top. Most people are expecting that to be reversed by the time the season ends:
Oh well, you get the point!
Top of 7, Sox still down 3-1. Let’s see if they can get their first comeback victory tonight.
OPENING DAY POSTPONED
Opening Day game between the Rays and Sox is rescheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4:05 PM. Figures!
Guess I’ll be flipping back and forth between MLB Network and ESPN today.
I’ve recovered from Thanksgiving, Black Friday, My Birthday (Nov 29, and yes I do accept belated gifts), and Cyber Monday. Phew!
Now, it is that time of year again. The Hall of Fame Ballot has been published.
There are only 23 players on this year’s ballot. That is the smallest amount ever. 10 of those players are appearing on the ballot for the first time. Those 10 players are highlighted by Ricky Henderson who is a SURE THING to be voted in.
Of the players who are back on the ballot again, there is Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Dale Murphy, Mark McGwire, and Jim Rice, who is entering his 15th and final year on the HOF Ballot and is the subject of today’s blog entry.
Jim Rice was one of the most dominant and feared hitters of his era (1974 – 1989), yet he has been unable to garner the necessary 75% of the BBWAA votes to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Why is that?
Obviously, that answer is subjective. However, it can probably be a combination of various things.
Firstly, Rice does not have any “Magic Numbers” in his career statistics. He did not hit 400 HRs (which was pretty much the magic HR total before the steroid era pushed it up to 500) nor did he collect 3,000 career hits. Now, what do these Magic Numbers truly mean? They mean you were either an super extraordinary player or you were a good play who played a long, long time. There can be lots of arguments with regards to using this as a standard of Hall of Fame enshrinement; I mean just compare Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. However, it is pretty much an unwritten rule that reaching these milestones will garner Hall of Fame induction.
Secondly, when you compare Rice’s numbers to other Hall of Famers, there are some things that don’t add up for him. However, should players be compared to other Hall of Fame players who played in a different era? The game is constantly evolving; nowadays, more rapidly than ever before. Not only that, but how many of the writers who vote for the Hall of Fame and are doing these type of comparisons, but have never seen Jim Rice play. You figure, if I am 37, that means I wasn’t even 3 years old when Rice made his major league debut and I was enjoying my last summer of freedom after graduating high school and getting ready to head off to Nichols College when he played his final game on August 3, 1989. What were some of these other sportswriters doing back then? Now, all they have to go by to determine if he is worthy is by comparing numbers.
Lastly, and this is a weak reason, but there has always been some chatter that Rice was not friendly to the media during his career. Was this truly the case? Who knows? If it was the case, would voting writers hold a grudge and not vote for somebody because of this? I highly doubt it. Maybe 1 or 2 writers, but that would make a minimal difference, since Rice has always been short of reaching 75% by way more than 1 or 2 votes.
Why should Jim Rice be a Hall of Famer?
First of all, like I wrote above, he was one of the most feared hitters of his era. Ask Jim Palmer (actually, don’t ask him as he held Rice to a .219 average but he did give up the most HRs to Rice of any pitcher who faced him. So, ask him anyway! Haha), ask Ron Guidry, ask Dennis Martinez, ask Jack Morris, ask Steve Stone, ask Storm Davis, ask Rick Stutcliffe, ask Scott McGregor, ask Sparky Lyle, ask Jim Beattie, ask Doyle Alexander, ask Rollie Fingers, well, ask any pitcher from that time. I’m sure as a BBWAA member you’d be able to ask any of these pitchers, guys who actually faced Jim Rice.
Second, if Gary Carter is a Hall of Famer, than Jim Rice is a no-brainer. Carter is a career .262 hitter, 2,092 career hits, 324 HRs, 1225 RBIs in 19 seasons. His Mets defeated Rice’s Red Sox in the 1986 World Series. That is the only thing Carter has over Rice. Why is Carter in the hall? Now, let me be clear hear. I am not say Carter does not belong in the Hall of Fame. I am only saying that if you compare Jim Rice to Gary Carter, aside from position, Rice trumps Carter in most, if not all, offensive stats and is just as deserving to be in the Hall of Fame as Carter is.
Next, let us compare Jim Rice to other players of his ERA. Jim Rice played from August 19, 1974 through August 3, 1989. In those 15 seasons, 13 full seasons, his contemporaries were players such as Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson, Gary Carter, Fred Lynn, Andre Dawson, George Foster, Carlton Fisk, Don Baylor, Eddie Murray, Greg Luzinski, Robin Yount, Dale Murphy. All of these players were active for AT LEAST 12 seasons during Jim Rice’s career or the Rice era.
Only 2 players hit more career HRs during the Rice era than Jim’s 382. Mike Schmidt hit 529 in that span while Dave Kingman hit 383 HRs. Only Robin Yount and George Brett accumulated more than Rice’s 2,452 hits with 2,602 and 2,523, respectively. Only Mike Schmidt had more RBIs, 1,540 to 1,451 during the Rice era. Jim Rice led all players in the Rice ERA in RBI’s per game, as he average .69 RBIs which is slightly better than Mike Schmidt’s .68 RBIs per game. His Batting Average of .298 ranked 8th in the Rice era behind Rod Carew, George Brett, Al Oliver, Bill Madlock, Paul Molitor, and Cecil Cooper. His Slugging Percentage of .502 was 3rd in the era behind only Mike Schmidt and George Brett.
For this comparison, you could conclude that Rice was the 2nd or 3rd best hitter during this era. I think, undoubtedly, Mike Schmidt is the dominate hitter of this era. You could rank Rice ahead of or behind George Brett. Aside from that, there is nobody else who compares. However, you have to take into consideration that Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson, and Eddie Murray played 14, 13, and 12 of the seasons of the Rice ERA. I will concede that Reggie Jackson more than surpasses Jim Rice (although Rice did have a better career average and slugging percentage and ALMOST more career hits even though Jackson played 6 more seasons), but you CANNOT say that Dave Winfield or Eddie Murray surpass Jim Rice. The only reason they are in the Hall of Fame, is because they hit the one or both of the MAGIC NUMBERS.
Dave Winfield is a Hall of Famer. He played 22 seasons to Rice’s 15. Winfield finished with a .283 batting average, 3,110 hits, 465 HRs, and 1,833 RBIs. Rice retired at age 36. Winfield’s numbers at age 36 (he retired at 43) were: .287 batting average, 2,421 hits, 357 HRs, and 1,438 RBIs. Looks pretty similar, eh? Winfield never accumulated 200 hits in a season, while Rice did that 4 times. In his remaining 6 seasons, Winfield batted over .271 once (at .290) and averaged 18 HRs and 66 RBIs during that time. Not really HoF type numbers, but lasting those last 6 seasons, got him to the magic numbers. Winfield never won an MVP and placed in the Top 5 of MVP voting 3 times, but was a 12 time All-Star game selection. Jim Rice won 1 MVP and placed in the Top 5 6 times, but was only selected to 8 All-Star games.
Eddie Murray is a Hall of Famer. He played 21 seasons to Rice’s 15. Murray finished with a .287 batting average, 3,255 hits, 504 HRs, and 1,917 RBIs. Murray played his first full season of 160 games at the age of 21 while Rice only got 24 games at age 21 with his first full season at 22. Rice retired at age 36. Here are Murray’s numbers at 36 (he retired at 41): .290 batting average, 2,646 hits, 414 HRs, and 1,562 RBIs. Almost similar, but slightly better since that covers 16 full seasons while Rice only had 13 full seasons. In his remaining 5 seasons, Murray batted over .260 twice (.323 and .285) and averaged 18 HRs and 71 RBIs. Not really HoF type number again. However, like Winfield, Murray played long enough to reach the magice numbers of 500 HRs and 3,000 hits. Again, like Winfield, Murray never had a 200 hit season nor won an MVP. However, like Rice he finished in Top 5 MVP voting 6 times, and was selected to 8 All-Star games.
So why are Winfield and Murray Hall of Famers? You could argue that Rice was more of a feared hitter and a better hitter than both Winfield and Murray, but does that mean Winfield and Murray are only get rewarded for lasting 22 and 21 seasons? Is having a long career more important than how you performed over that career? It does seem that the combination of having a LONG career so that you can reach the MAGIC NUMBERS is the best way to guarantee yourself a plaque in Cooperstown. While injuries took their toll on Rice, forcing him to retire at 36, Winfield and Murray were able to continue playing the game at less than there full selves, but still good enough to remain useful to a team to get themselves the career numbers needed.
Personally, I think Jim Rice should be in the Hall of Fame. I think he isn’t because of what I wrote above, and also the fact that offensive numbers EXPLODED during the Steroid Era (maybe Rice should have taken some roids to hang on and over come his injury issues, like Mark McGwire) dwarfing a lot of the solid numbers of the players who dominated and were feared in the late 70s and early 80s. I think it is a joke is Rice does not end up in the Hall of Fame, yet Gary Carter is in there, especially since Jim Rice was just as great a player as Dave Winfield and Eddie Murray.
I rest my case.
PS. Sorry if this blog entry is too long. I try to keep them somewhat short, as I am sure folks don’t really want to read some War and Peace novel, but some something interesting, quick, and intersting.
In other Red Sox news, the Sox offered arbitration to Jason Varitek and Paul Byrd. You can read here why offering arbitration to Varitek is a no-lose situation for the Red Sox. Varitek and Byrd will have until Sunday, December 7th to accept or reject arbitration. If they accept, they are guaranteed to be Red Sox again in 2009.
ESPN is reporting that the Sox have signed Japanese pitcher Junichi Tazawa to a “term sheet” which means only passing a physical is impeding the official announcement of a deal.
HoF Ballot – Mark Newman/MLBlogs
Jim Rice – Photographed by: John Iacono (SI Vaults)
Gary Carter – http://www.garycarter.org
Dave Winfield – Unknown (off some random website I can’t remember)
Eddie Murray – Baltimore Sun (photo by Gene Sweeney Jr. / July 27, 2003)
Special Thanks: Baseball Reference (I love that website) / Play Index (used to research all of the stats listed above)
Well, since the Hot Stove flame seems like it is flickering and the off-season wheeling and dealing is moving a pace slower than this guy:
I figured I’d blog about something else.
This weekend, a Patriot QB did something no the other Patriot QB had ever done. (No, I’m not talking about marrying a pregnant girlfriend.) Matt Cassel threw for over 400 yards in two consecutive games. That is also more 400 yard games in a span of 2 games than Tom Brady has thrown in his career (or so I’ve hard, there is no snazzy Play-Index over at Football Reference like there is a Baseball Reference.) Cassel has really done a great job filling in for Brady during this injury. The Patriots still have a great shot of another championship. The Pats currently sit a game behind the Jets in the AFL East and tied with the Colts and Ravens in the Wild Card race at 7-4. Aside from this upcoming week against the Steelers, the remaining schedule is pretty easy. It looks like the Pats can easily finish the season at 12-4 or no worse than 11-5 which should easily clinch a playoff spot. However, the Patriots are no longer the sole winter team in Boston vying for our attention.
Although it is still early in their respective seasons, both the Celtics and Bruins are the top teams in their conferences. Usually nobody pays much attention to these two teams. However, since Kevin Garnett came to town, the Celtics have returned to being the force they were from a previous era:
Not only that, but the Bruins are actually fun to watch. They play fast, the play hard, they hit hard, and they score goals. I’ve never been much of a Bruin follower or a hockey watcher for that matter. Usually I’d start to tune into hockey come playoff time. There are less whistles and faster pace that is funner to watch during the playoffs. However, I actually did flick the channel over the Bruins game the other night against the Canadians. They were down 1-0 at that time, but came back to win in a shoot out. I can’t remember the last time I flipped to that channel.
So, at least in Boston, we have some sports to keep us occuppied during this baseball void.
Oh, and since this is a baseball themed blog specifically tailored to the Boston Red Sox, there was a bit of news today. Rob Bradford at WEEI.com is reporting that the Red Sox opened negotiations with Jason Varitek by offering him a 1-year deal. If the story is true, I don’t think that is an offer that is going to get a deal done. Maybe it is only a starting point, as according to Peter Gammons over at ESPN, it doesn’t appear that the fax machine dedicated to Varitek offers at the Boras office isn’t exactly ringing off the hook.
I do hope that the Sox and Tek can work out a deal, possibly a 2-yr deal with a mutual option for a 3rd year, as I can’t picture him in any other uniform but Red Sox.
I get my son into bed and back downstairs ready to watch the game at about 8:40 or 8:45. I turn on the TV, flip over to TBS and it is the top of the 2nd and the Rays already have a 2-0 lead. Christ! I sit down at the PC and head to ESPN.com to see how it happened. Iawmura hit followed by another Upton HR. Damn!
The Sox get a couple on against Kazmir, but can’t deliver. Kazmir seems to be pitching okay. Certainly not the Kazmir of old, but definitely not the Kazmir of recent either. However, it’s just a matter of time before the Sox get to him…right?
Top of the 3rd, and Upton gets another hit. Can we get this guy out yet? Pena HR, next. Longoria HR next. Gawd! Well, when 1 team is hitting on all cylinders and out pitching the opponent, what are you going to do? You just have to give credit to the Rays. It’s not going to be the year this year.
I check with the wife, see if she wants to watch a show. We’re both tired (my wife works nights, and worked Wed night, so she’s way more tired than me. But you know how it is with kids, your ALWAYS tired.), but I pull up the DVR and see what we have waiting to watch. How about Survivor? Great! We watch the Fang tribe (which could be like the Rays of old, or the Pirates, always losing) lose both challenges and GC get voted out.
The wife’s ready for bed, so she curls up on the couch with a blanket and is off to dreamland as I turn the game back on. It is the Top of the 7th, and Delcarmen just walked the 2nd of two batters, so the Rays have 1st & 2nd with nobody out and Upton (him again?) coming up. Francona, in a desperation moves, brings in Papelbon. However, after a double steal, runs are at 2nd and 3rd. Papelbon works back to a full count on Upton, but gives up a wall ball double that extends the lead to 7-0. That just about sealed up the MVP for Upton.
I get back on the PC, as I’m thinking about going to bed, and type up a little blog to congratulate the Rays, as I’ll probably type up more in the morning.
However, even though I am tired, it is a bit early for me to go to bed. I am a night owl. I like to stay up late. Not sure why, but I’ve always been that way. Sometimes I regret it in the morning, but most times I’m fine.
So, I start surfing the net, checking out some other blogs. I went to a message board that I frequent. I played a few games, all as the game was still on.
Maddon decides not to bring Kamir out for the 7th, and goes with the flame thrower Grant Balfour. Lowrie crushes a ball to RF, that just misses a HR. However, that gets you to take notice. Then when Varitek and Kotsay fly out, oh well. However, Crisp lines a single, but too hard for Lowrie to score. Pedroia then singles, and the Sox are on the board. At least they won’t be shut out.
Now, up comes Papi. He crushes one deep into the night.
Papelbon comes out and gets the Rays 1-2-3 in the 8th. Sweet!
Then, a 4 pitch lead-off walk to Bay, and you can just see how tightly Wheeler is squeezing that ball. Drew crushes a HR to right, and WOW! But, your still thinking how HUGE those 2 runs the Rays got in the top of 7th are. Walks will kill you. But, the Sox are now down a run. If you’re going to lose, if you’re going to get eliminated, this is the way to go out. Not some pathetic 7-0 loss. Wheeler gets Lowrie and Casey, and is almost out of the inning. But here is where some “weird” things happen:
- Kotsay’s line drive goes off the glove of B.J. Upton in CF )who has been tracking down EVERYTHING) for a double.
- Gabe Gross’ throw to home goes straight into the ground, allowing Kotsay to score on Crisp’s single to tie the game.
- Carlos Pena (who had ground into only 2 DPs all season) grouned into an inning ending DP with the leading run on 2nd.
- Evan Longoria, one of the best fielding 3B in the league, makes an error. That runner ends up scoring the winning run on J.D. Drew’s game winning hit.
There I am, dancing around the living room while my wife is fast asleep on the couch. Haha. But, who would have thought? Seriously!! Down 7-0 in the 7th?
We go back to Tampa. There is still a lot of work to be done, but ANYTHING can happen, as we just witnessed. There are lots of questions though:
Can Beckett be Beckett?
Is the offense back?
Should Francona swap Lester to game 6 (on normal rest) and Beckett for game 7 (on extra rest)?
Saturday can’t get here fast enough for me.
- 2 HRs allowed? (1st HRs by allowed to RH batter since July)
- Beckett looking like Colon.
- K-Rod looking like…well, honestly K-Rod (had the 4th highest WHIP in MLB (2nd highest in AL) of relievers with 30 or more saves.
- 27 runners LOB
- 0 for 13 and 0 for 8. 20 – 39 (.513 AVG of Tex, Vlad, Hunter who combine for over half of the Angels 36 hits so far)
- 7 – 40 (.175 AVG of Pedroia, Papi, and Youk)
Just some interesting numbers, trends, and such.
Was Beckett rusty or is the oblique still causing trouble? This was the perfect situations for the Sox. Up 2 games to none. Their best post-season pitcher on the hill. Back home in Fenway park. Everybody though that tonight would be the clincher. However, the Angels showed why they had the best record in the majors, along with an 8-1 record against the Sox this season. The win was their 6th in a row at Fenway park.
Tonight, we have Lester against Lackey. Lester has been incredible at Fenway (11-1, 2.49 ERA) while Lackey, including his almost no-hitter versus the Sox at Fenway earlier this season, has a 2-4 record with a 6.34 ERA. This is a big game for the Sox, because I am not really looking forward to seeing Dice-K pitch again, especially to that Big 3. So, the question for tonight’s game is which Lackey is going to show up? The battered Lackey from 2007 who blown up in Fenway or the Lackey from July, who lost a no-hitter and shut-out in the 9th thanks to Pedroia and Youk, but was UNTOUCHABLE up until then.
“Mike Napoli hit two homers, and is just the sixth catcher ever to have a multi-homer game in the postseason. The previous five have all been on the team that won the World Series that year.
Multi-Home Run Postseason Game by Catcher
2008 – Mike Napoli (Angels)
2005 – AJ Pierzynski (White Sox)
1986 (aye curumba) – Gary Carter (Mets)
1976 – Johnny Bench (Reds)
1972 – Gene Tenace (A’s)
1956 – Yogi Berra (Yankees)”
So, with that piece of info, maybe Chip Carey is right. The pressure is back on the Red Sox tonight. Haha.