Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Monday, November 16, 2009
Many sports pundits have an issue with Bellicheck going for it on 4th and 2. Believe it or not, the math slightly supports Belichick decision. More importantly, the Patriots had a 75% success rate against the Colts on 4th downs since 2000, including 4-4 in the playoffs. The numbers were there, including the most overlooked number: 12. If the game is weighing in the balance, I want it in Tom Brady's hands every time.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
"Burgundy, I hate your guts...But goddammit, I respect you."
Now this quote didn't lead to an Academy Award, but it typifies my feelings on Derek Jeter. I know, there are Red Sox diehards out there who will scream traitor, but that's ridiculous. I'm not saying I want to get in Jeter's jock. I'm just saying you have to give credit where credit is due.
Look at how the guy started his career: Rookie of the Year in 1996. World Series Championships in '96, '98, '99, and in 2000, where he became the only player to win the All Star and World Series MVP in the same season. Now, he has what might be his most amazing accolade to date: He has the most hits in Yankees history with 2,723 hits, and counting.
Just take a second to take that all in. Berra.Mantle. DiMaggio. Ruth. Gehrig. With that hard grounder down the first base line in the Bronx Friday night, he not only cemented his legacy as an all time great Yankee. He put himself in the argument as the greatest Yankee of all time.
But the real reason I respect Jeter so much is the fact that you don't get any BS with him. In sports these days sometimes it seems like you're watching soap opera or reality show. The Brett Favre saga over the past 2 seasons, Big Papi testing positive for PEDs, and well, just the TO Show seem to overshadow what what happens on the playing field.
Look in his own clubhouse. A-rod spends more time in US weekly and Star now than he does in Sports Illustrated because he "dates" high profile celebrities. It must be New York right? Well then how does Jeter have previous ties to Mariah Carey, Scarlett Johansson, and a former Miss Universe, and not half the scandal? It's in the way he carries himself.
And that goes for his demeanor on the field and in the locker room. Look, I love Jonathan Papelbon. In my opinion, his stat line for the 2007 postseason should have earned him MVP of the World Series. But Pap falls into the "love 'em if you got 'em, hate 'em if you don't" category. After a big out, hes going to celebrate like crazy. He's going to talk trash to opposing teams because he has no filter. Jeter, on the other hand, just goes about his business. Forget John Sterling and his "THeeeeeeee Yankees win!" after Bombers victory. Just look to the Yankees short stop and if his right fist is pumping, ball game.
It's funny to me that Jeter would pass Lou Gehrig on the night Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Unlike most 90's kids, I grew up hating Michael Jordan. He won too much, hit all the big shots, and I despised that. I actually remember going to bed fuming the night he hit his last game winner in a Bulls' uniform. I didn't appreciate the greatness I witnessed. Fast forward 10 years, I know the Yankees have one of the greatest of all time in their dugout. I won't ever cheer for him, but goddammit, I'll respect him.
Monday, August 3, 2009
To get the All-Star slugger, the Red Sox had to give up 3 players, including the guy who's been solid in the Boston bullpen the last two years, Justin Masterson. Normally here I would complain as to why we traded Masterson instead of sure fire Hall of Famer Clay Buchholz, but the personal affect it has on the players. During an interview right after being traded you could tell Masterson was shell shocked.
Normally guys say after being traded, "Hey, this is a business, and I can't wait to start the new part of my career in (insert city name here)." While Masterson did have a touch of this in his comments after being traded, he also talked about how he would miss his teammates. After all, many of these guys have come upt through the Red Sox system. With at least one teammate, the feeling was mutual.
"It kind of stinks a little bit," Sox reliever Manny Delcarman told Monique Walker of the Boston Globe before the game on Friday. And take a look at this comment straight from the article:
“He gets along with everybody,’’ said Delcarmen, as his voice cracked. “He would give me a hug, and I would feel good about myself.’’
Sounds like it's getting hot and heavy in the Sox Bullpen. I haven't seen this much man love since Iceman and Maverick.
The scene was the same for new Red Sox
catcher/DH/1st baseman/hot dog guy Victor Martinez. Reports say that Martinez was crying at his locker when he heard about the news about moving to a new team. According to most reports, Martinez was a great clubhouse guy, so he must've been well liked too. You'd think moving to a contender would be all V-Mart needed to get over leaving his team, but he did have 8 long years playing for the tribe. Could be all the new handshakes he has to learn that had him sobbing too.
In all seriousness, I appreciate seeing the human side of pro athletes. Too often, all men feel that the true test of masculinity is not feeling emotion, especially in sports. But the reality is we do have feelings, and it sucks losing people we care about. I still don't believe that I won't see the guys I've lived with the last four years on a day-to-day basis come September. Sure we keep in touch with texting, twitter, and phone calls. But this doesn't compare to playing video games instead of going to class, eating cold pizza, and impromptu games of beer pong.
To some degree, I think it's the same thing in a Major League club house. These guys spend more than 150 games with eachother. In the bullpen, you spend most of the game in a cramped space trying to pass the time until you're called on to pitch. I can't speak from experience, but my guess is you get to know each other pretty well under circumstances like that.
So both Masterson and Martinez are already making impacts on their new teams. Masterson pitched three scoreless innings on Saturday, striking out four in an extra innings win for the Indians. Martinez played a big part in the Red Sox hit parade Sunday, where he went 5-6 with four RBIs in the win. These guys have proved that they can perform with their new teams. With 2 months in the regular season left, these guys will have plenty of time to make new friends and be happy in their new surroundings. It's all going to be fine. Ok, the end was really a pep talk for me getting on with my life, growing up, and getting over my bromances.
Monday, July 20, 2009
But then the 6 o'clock hour rolls around and reality comes crashing in: A full work week in the morning. It doesn't matter if it's work at some fancy law firm, or a little pool store on route one, the fact is Sunday nights usually suck. But with the new HBO Sunday night lineup, it's actually something I look forward to on Sundays.HBO has set it up perfectly. Starting at 9 o'clock is an hour of sexy shape shifters, vicious vampires, and the Soldiers of the Sun on True Blood. To be honest, I've only seen two episodes so far, but this show is pretty out of control. It's from critically acclaimed director, producer, and writer Alan Ball, who also produced the HBO hit Six Feet Under. I'm not sure if it's because of the Twilight hoopla, but this show is being talked about everywhere. I judge this from my scientific research I did last night that said it was one of the top things tweeted about last night.
Personally I think the whole vampire thing is really stupid. But I will say that I like the social commentary on the relationship between the vampires and the Southern Christan humans. How about a shout out to the Bible Belt for their continued success of lowering America's overall IQ?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I've said it a million times, but my relationship with Manny in the last year has been like a break up with a long time girlfriend. I could deal with his BS, like peeing in the wall and or high fiving fans while making a catch. When the Sox traded him at the deadline last year I was crushed. I said that day that there was no way we could win the World Series without him. I don't remember for sure, but I probably put on some Simple Plan and cried in my room for three hours too.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that we could get anything as good as Jason Bay back in return. To be honest, my AL East bias told me that Bay was a good player on a bad team. Like Julio Lugo and Edger Renteria before him, I thought he wouldn't be able to handle to the heat from Boston fans and the media.
I could not have been more wrong. Yes his average has dipped quite a bit over the last month, but he still is top ten in the AL in home runs, and leads the league in RBIs. He also scored the game winning run against the Angels in game 4 last year to send Boston to the ALCS. Maybe most importantly, he already has a big hit against the Yankees this season to his credit.
Perhaps even better than his play, is Bay's demeanor. With Manny, you always had to be be prepared that he was going to do something stupid on or off the field. Fans, the media, and even the Red Sox management chalked this up to Manny being Manny. Thankfully, there is none of this nonsense with Jason Bay. The guy just goes out and plays the game. Bay has been a very model citizen while playing in a Sox uniform this year. In fact, his biggest off the field story was the fact that he became an American citizen.
The only question that remains now with Jay Bay is how long he'll be taking the field at 4 Yawkey Way. He is making close to $8 million this year, and he will certainly cash in this off season. In a perfect world, something would get done before the end of this season, so I wouldn't have to suffer another coronary about the Red Sox left field spot. But with Johnny Damon coming up as a free agent this off season too, there's a chance Jason Bay could break my heart worse than Manny by heading to the Skankees, I mean Yankees.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The Red Sox game last night was somewhere in the middle of the last two. I couldn't believe the entire infield would forget how many outs there were in the sixth, and it was even harder to believe the best bullpen in baseball could blow a 9 run lead with 9 outs to go. Things have been so good for the Sox the the last 5 and a half seasons that I forgot what those losses were like.
Luckily, I was over it by this afternoon because the Red Sox rallied this time, and came back to win the game 6-5 in extras. The road has been tough for the Sox over the last two seasons. It cost them a trip to the World Series because Game 7 of the ALCS was played in St. Petersburg and not in Boston. But after this very successful road trip (6-3) the Red Sox seemed to have solved that problem.
Or maybe it's really because these games don't seem like true road games. Red Sox fans are flooding their opponents ball parks, getting rid of home field advantage. I swear, watching a Sox Nationals game last week I heard Big Papi hit a home run, and the crowd went wild like it landed on Landsdowne.
Now this road trip included the Orioles and Nationals. Baltimore and D.C. are both short trips for fans from Boston, and are cool cities that have stuff to do other than baseball. Like the Lincoln Memorial and Hamsterdam.