Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Novel Use Of Javier Lopez



After letting up 5 runs in 1/3 of an inning, raising his ERA to 9.39, Javier Lopez finally found something he can do right.

He played the outfield.

I've been calling for the Red Sox to let Lopez go since November.

With Hunter Jones pitching well, they can have a second lefty.
And with Michael Bowden so talented and useful sitting in Pawtucket, it is almost criminal to use a roster space for Javier Lopez.

It's over.
He got his ring and his memories.

Now it's waivers time.

Now THAT is how you lose a game!

Folks, that was NOT a teeth grinder!

I have said before, getting blown completely out of the game never frustrates me.

My mom would call a game like this one "Final Score... A Lot to Not Enough."

And friends, you can not have a more complete loss than tonight!

1 hit. No runs. So the bats were dead.

And Beckett looked awful. Final score 13 - Bagel.

Not a lot of tension. Just a day you say "Oh well... we'll get them tomorrow."

But it is nice to see that along with getting a key hit, making a clutch catch and slamming the game winning homer last night, Jonathan Van Every 2/3 scoreless innings.

THAT'S how you stay on the roster!

How many more bombshells can there BE about A-Rod?

I was on the treadmill this morning, trying to get my body to a better place while not moving.

On the ESPN News Ticker there was a headline that said "New A-Rod Bombshell."

NEW Bombshell?

What is left to bomb?

Did he punch out Susan Boyle?

Is he responsible for the pandemic?

Did he raise the Subway fare?

Nope. It turns out he may have done 'roids as a high school player and as a Yankee, he plays a lot of poker, tips poorly at Hooters and tipped pitches to the opposition.

This is a bombshell?

We've had strippers, Madonna, injecting stuff into his butt, a public divorce and kissing his own image! This is barely a sparkler!

Wait! His teammates nicknamed him B*tch T*ts?

Now THAT is a bombshell!

Seriously, with A-Rod... anything short of a homicide at this point isn't a bombshell.


The next bombshell had better be an actual bombshell!!!

Meanwhile... back to baseball.

More Detailed Tally Board


















Because I am crazy, I decided to keep a more detailed tally of the DODGED A BULLET Games and the I'M PISSED OFF Games.

This way at the end of the year when I take a look at the Red Sox and wherever they ended up, we can have an accurate memory of the games.

And I need to create a uniform definition for the games and also pick a category name that doesn't include on of George Carlin's 7 words. So I've changed "I'm Pissed Off Game" to "Teeth Grinder Game."

A DODGED A BULLET GAME is a game where the Red Sox looked lifeless and were trailing by either a large margin early or were 3 outs from losing and then won.

A TEETH GRINDER GAME (a.k.a. "I'm Pissed Off Game") is either a game where the Red Sox had in control early, had a late lead or many chances to score in extra innings and still lose. Also any game where Javier Lopez pitches.

So here is the Tally Board... which will be updated throughout the year.

April 30th Tally

DODGED A BULLET GAMES - 4

April 17 - 10-8 win against Orioles. (Overcame 7-0 deficit.)
April 24 - 5-4 win against Yankees. (Bay homers off of Rivera in 9th to tie it.)
April 25 - 16-11 win against Yankees. (Overcame 6-0 deficit.)
April 29 - 6-5 win at Cleveland. (Overcame 5-0 deficit.)


TEETH GRINDER GAMES - 2

April 14 - 6-5 loss at Oakland. (Sox blow early 3-0 lead. Lose in 12)
April 28 - 9-8 loss at Cleveland. (Sox blow early 5-1 lead. Lopez drops 3rd out.)



So far the Red Sox are +2... which ain't bad.

I am going to update the list... and hopefully the top list will remain longer!



Triple Take

Bengie Molina tripled last night. That was more stunning than the Arlen Specter defection.

Glaciers can outrun Bengie Molina.

I would expect Spider-Man 2 star ALFRED Molina to get a triple before Bengie Molina.

He's not a lock to score if he is on third with two outs and the hitter gets a double.

And he got three bags? I don't care how badly Juan Pierre played it... I can't imagine LUPUS playing a flyball poorly enough for Molina to hit a triple.

Here's what's even more stunning:

It's not his first career triple.

He hit two in 2000 with the Angels.

One on May 30th, 2000 in Cleveland. He tripled to left center off of Dave Burba. Richie Sexson was in left and Kenny Lofton in center. 

Then on September 7th, 2000 in Detroit, he tripled to left center in the 9th off of Doug Brocail. Bobby Higginson was in left and Rich Becker was in center.


He hit one in 2006 while with the Blue Jays.

On August 17, 2006 at Tampa, Molina tripled to right in the second inning off of Scott Kazmir. Russell Branyan was the right fielder.

Then on May 23, 2007 as a member of the Giants, he tripled to right center field off of Houston's Rick White at AT&T Park. Hunter Pence was the centerfielder and Orlando Palmeiro was in right.

And then last night.

So let Sully Baseball salute Bengie Molina. You are only 304 triples behind Hall of Famer Sam Crawford's all time career mark.

As for Juan Pierre, Hunter Pence, Orlando Palmeiro, Russell Branyan, Rich Becker, Bobby Higginson, Richie Sexson and Kenny Lofton, the outfielders who let Bengie leg out three... I hope you are all proud!



The Rivalry Begins Again...
























How strange is it that I am more pumped about going into the Trop than into the Bronx?

But it's true. It is indeed a rivalry now... as I hoped it would be last June.

And why wouldn't my juices be flowing more?

The Rays have two things I want hanging in their rafters. The Division and League pennants for 2008. (Again, why both?)

What do they have in the Bronx?
A new Stadium with no history, no tradition and no fans in the good seats!

But guess what the Rays don't have?

ALCS Hero and Red Sox slayer David Price.

He's down on the farm so the Rays can save a few bucks in 2014.

That's fine by me. The Sox are on a roll... let's put the Devil back into the Rays!




Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I already knew Zack Greinke was awesome...

He's 5-0.

We won again today and his ERA is skyrocketed to 0.50.

OK OK! We get it! He's going to start the All Star Game.

(The AL Central is all bunched up... I wonder if this is the year the Royals pull a surprise run for October.)

Either way, just assume Greinke is going to win his next start!









Put that under the DODGE A BULLET category!
















OK, I REALLY thought this game was lost.

C'mon! You did too!

When the score was 5-2 in the 8th, I went into the Trader Joe's down the street to do some grocery shopping.

I came back in the car and the second I turned the car back on, I heard on my XM "And the Red Sox came ALL THE WAY BACK to tie the game."

Oh yeah. Like YOU thought Jonathan Van Every was going to be a hero!

Like I wrote... as long as the Red Sox dodge more bullets than piss me off with lost games... the Sox will do alright.

Let's update the tally board.


"DODGED A BULLET" GAMES - 4
"I'M PISSED OFF" GAME - 2

I am madly in love with this team.

Ah that Mets Bullpen!

Well the Marlins got their groove back because of the Mets lousy bullpen.

Johan Santana lost another decision and yet another one slipped away.

The Mets bullpen have already lost 5 games.

Didn't the Mets improve their bullpen?

Now I am expecting a few angry Mets responses, including my anonymous reader who called me "A fat no talent fool from the lucky sperm club."

Well as a card carrying member of the Lucky Sperm Club, I will tell you that I can fake talent and lose weight... but that won't change the fact that the Mets bullpen sucks and this is going to haunt the team down the stretch.

(Lucky sperm club? Is he implying that my dad got me this blog?)





Yovani Gallardo to the Brewers "Don't get up! I've got it."

The guy throws 8 innings of shutout baseball where he strikes out 11 batters... and wins 1-0 this afternoon.

How did they get the run?

On a homer by Yovani Gallardo.

I would imagine he would be a little ticked on the bus leaving the park.

"Hey guys. Was the 11 strikeouts not enough of a day off for you?"

I am guessing he was the "Player of the Game."


Just have "Dodge More Bullets" games than "I'm Pissed Off" games

Well that was horrible.

Brad Penny was worth less than his name, the Red Sox blew an early 5-1 and 7-3 lead and "SURPRISE!" Javier Lopez found a way to lose the game!

I suppose it is appropriate that Lopez lost the game just before the 11 game streak and then lost the game that ended the streak.

But I suppose I can't get too upset, even though my feelings for Lopez and his worth remain the same as before.

(I give bonus points for Lopez in finding a new and unique way for losing the game. Dropping a 3rd out in the 9th inning? BEAUTIFUL!)

Yes it was another "I'm Pissed Off Game."

But the Red Sox have also had a few "Dodged a Bullet" games in the 11 game stretch.

The game on April 17th against Baltimore... the Red Sox were down 7-0 in the second. The Red Sox had no business winning that game.

The first game against the Yankees, on April 24th... the Red Sox had no business winning a game with two outs, down by two and Rivera on the mound.

And the next day, April 25... the Red Sox were down 6-0 and lifeless and won the game.

So this year, the staff at Sully Baseball is going to keep a running tally of "I'm Pissed Off" games and "Dodged a Bullet" games.

We feel that if the Red Sox dodge more bullets than p*ssing me off, they will have a solid shot at the Division.

Plus it will help temper any anger if the dodging out weighs the p*ssing.

This is getting strange in terms of the wording.

So, here's the tally thus far:

"DODGED A BULLET" GAMES - 3
"I'M PISSED OFF" GAMES - 2

Not bad. 

This tally will be kept up all season long.
And if you think I won't keep it going all season long, then you don't know Sully Baseball!




Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Got to give credit where it is due



I had made fun of Phil Hughes and Mark Melancon in my previous post... but I have to tip my cap to them.

They combined for 7 innings of shutout 2 hit ball and the Yankees cruised.

Hughes has infinitely more wins in 2009 than he did in 2008.

And thus far has one other distinction:

He's the last Yankees pitcher to win a post season game (Game 3 of the 2007 Division Series.)

So this passionate Red Sox fan will ease on the throttle for Hughes and Melancon. It will be interesting to see how the New York press anoints Hughes as the next ace, won't it?


No Pressure Hughes or Melancon

























Well it's not even May yet and the Yankees are in overhaul due to Wang's fake injury and a bullpen that has more holes in it than the script of Highlander 2: The Quickening.

And yet with a payroll $65 million more than any other team (and yet they forgot to sign a back up infielder), a new unfilled stadium and sky high expectations, they are turning to two people to change their fate.

Mark Melancon, who before Sunday had appeared in exactly zero major league games...
And Phil Hughes, who Betty White tied his win total for 2008.

And my Yankee fan friends are talking as if they are saviors.

NO PRESSURE GUY!
Just save the season.

Thanks a bunch.

Happy Birthday to the greatest whiffle ball teammate I have ever had




















Growing up in suburban Boston (and in Europe and California) I was not alone in my baseball love nor my comic book reading.

When I played whiffle ball in the front lawn, it was with my brother Ted. (We once played a 100 inning game.)

When I cheered on the Sox, it was with my brother Ted. Butch Hobson was my favorite player and Jim Rice was my brother's favorite player.

When I went to games at Fenway, it was with my brother Ted.

When I went to Chain O Lakes Park in Winter Haven, I collected autographs with my brother Ted.

When I went to Games 3 and 4 of the 1988 ALCS in the Oakland Colosseum just to see the Red Sox lose the pennant, I was with my brother Ted.


And when I was hooked on Crisis on Infinite Earths, Teen Titans, Batman - The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, I was hooked with my brother Ted.

Now over the years my interest in comics has faded, but clearly my love of baseball hasn't.

Ted's home is filled with original comic art as his love hasn't faded one bit, but he's stopped following baseball.

I guess you can only retain one childhood obsession.

But Ted stopped by to see his nephews the same day as Game 5 of the 2008 ALCS... the game the Red Sox came back from down 7-0 to the Rays on the verge of elimination.

And when Crisp kept fouling off the pitches, I could see him get excited again.

And we both leapt off of the couch when J. D. Drew got the game ending hit.

I'm not expecting to have him be the big baseball fan again... but it was nice to have it back for a night.

Happy Birthday to my brother Ted.

Maybe I'll read a comic book in his honor today.

(Ooops. I'm sorry... a graphic novel.)


San Francisco fans gave Barry Bonds a standing ovation... as well the should have

I don't want to be a broken record about why Giants fans should always applaud Barry Bonds, even if he is vilified everywhere else.

I wrote it at the end of the 2006 season when it looked like the man who saved baseball in San Francisco was ending his career with a whimper.

But I'll reiterate the fact that the Giants were good as gone after the 1992 season. They were going to be the Tampa Bay Giants.

And now they have the single greatest ballpark in all of baseball tucked into China Basin.

The Giants went on their most competitive streak since the days of Willie Mays and played to packed houses.

And for those of you wringing your hands about his 'roid use, just relax with the knowledge that they never won a World Series with him. Just teams like the Yankees (with Clemens, Knoblauch and Pettitte), the Angels (with Glaus, the 2002 World Series MVP) and the Marlins (with Pudge Rodriguez) won titles.

Stand and cheer... and while you are at it, sign him up!

You know the Giants have a weak offense when their most feared hitter is sitting in the front row!


Let's all bow down to the underrated awesomeness of Tim Wakefield


Wakefield threw 7 innings of 1 hit ball yesterday... that's what aces do. This is after he nearly threw a no hitter and pitched a rain shortened complete game.

His awesome win in Oakland jump started this winning streak.

He has 2 wins (which is 2 wins more than anyone thought he'd have.)

Is it time to declare Tim Wakefield (who is third behind Roger Clemens and Cy Young for Red Sox wins) an all time Awesome Red Sox?

I'm not talking "Hall of Famer" or "Superstar" but like a Johnny Pesky. Maybe he's someone so identified with the team that maybe #49 gets retired some day.


This is his 15th season with the Sox. Along the way he has had ups and downs... but it goes a long way to show you how respected he is in Boston that he never wore the goat horns for a second after letting up Aaron Boone's homer.

It shows you the respect that he has in baseball that Joe Torre mentioned him during his post game interview for the 2004 ALCS and implied that while he was crushed, he was happy for Wakefield.

He has given the Red Sox 17 win seasons AND 15 save seasons.

He came up big for the 1995 Division Champs and the 2005 Wild Card team.

And amazingly he has pitched in 17 seasons and has never pitched in an All Star Game. Maybe if he keeps it up this year, he can add that to his resume.

But the most incredible part of his career for me is how he is the link to so many different names, faces and eras of Red Sox baseball.

He was teammates with Mike Greenwell and Roger Clemens... two guys who played for the 1986 AL Champs.

And now he has outlasted most of the members of the 2004 World Champs.

He actually was teammates with Dennis Eckersley, who returned to the Red Sox in 1998. So technically has was teammates with players from 1978, 1986, 2004 and 2007.

The Yawkey family trust was still in control of the team and Dan Duquette was calling the shots when he arrived. Theo Epstein was still in Yale.

Dustin Pedroia was 12.

When he arrived Mo Vaughn and John Valentin were the big bats in the lineup.

Now he has David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell behind him.

Just to give you an idea of how long reaching the Wakefield era has been, here is a partial list of players who arrived in Boston after Wakefield and left before him.

RICK AGUILERA
BRONSON ARROYO
MARK BELLHORN
JOHN BURKETT
ORLANDO CABRERA
MATT CLEMENT
ALEX CORA
COCO CRISP
JOHNNY DAMON
BRIAN DAUBACH
ALAN EMBREE
CARL EVERETT
KEITH FOULKE
RICH "EL GUAPO" GARCES
NOMAR GARCIAPARRA
TOM GORDON
SHEA HILLENBRAND
GABE KAPLER
MARK LORETTA
DEREK LOWE
PEDRO MARTINEZ
RAMON MARTINEZ
LOU MERLONI
DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ
KEVIN MILLAR
DOUG MIRABELLI
BILL MUELLER
MIKE MYERS
TROT NIXON
HIDEO NOMO
JOSE OFFERMAN
TROY O'LEARY
MANNY RAMIREZ
EDGAR RENTERIA
DAVE ROBERTS
BRET SABERHAGEN
CURT SCHILLING
MIKE TIMLIN
UGETH URBINA
TODD WALKER
DAVID WELLS
SCOTT WILLIAMSON


That's a lot of Red Sox coming and going... and yet the knuckler goes on!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ohhhhhhhhhhh yeah


The most telling stat of why the Red Sox swept the Yankees this weekend.

The Red Sox bullpen ERA for the weekend series: 2.13

The Yankees bullpen ERA for the weekend series: 8.18

I would write a lot more... but I've been watching hours and hours of baseball and it is time to spend some wife time!

Sorry Nationals fans



Sorry Nationals fans... your team is reaching new levels of "Suckdom" that I am actually getting fascinated by how bad it could get.

Don't screw up the draft this year... or next year.

And please keep having guys with criminal pasts drop easy fly balls.



Saturday, April 25, 2009

Albert... PLEASE don't test positive!



The way Albert Pujols has been hitting and the way that St. Louis has been winning... I know it is early but he might be sewing up his THIRD MVP trophy.

He is reaching that "default" position with the MVP at this point. The "Unless someone else just blows his numbers out of the water, he gets my vote" territory.

The last time MLB had that, it was "You Know Who."

You know, the guy who is kissing himself in the mirror.

The last time the NL had that, it was the other "You Know Who."

You know, the guy in San Francisco who broke all of the home run records with all of the joy and good will of Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men.

Albert can be that guy... you know the guy who we can call "The Best Player in the Game" without the qualifiers.

Just... don't... test... positive.

Even if you ARE taking stuff... please don't get caught!

I mean there's no reason to suspect him. I mean what player under Tony LaRussa's watch ever did anything bad?

oh no.

Don't test positive. PLEASE!




A possible case against Brian Cashman


Usually when I hear fans, especially Yankee fans, calling for the heads of the GM or manager in April, I give a little snicker.

"Crazy reactionary fans" I usually think.

But there are more and more Yankee fans calling for Brian Cashman's head. And do you know what? They could have a point.

I am not a fan of dumping a GM in mid season. It's a panic move and other GMs know that the replacement is either scared to make a big move or vulnerable.

But this Yankees team at least at this point has been horribly assembled.

Yes, he landed the big fish in Teixera, Sabathia and Burnett.

And no he can't be blamed for their slow starts. (Yes, today's shelling in Fenway puts Burnett in the bad start column. A 5.47 ERA is a 5.47 ERA.)

But what is mindboggling about this team is their complete lack of depth.

A-Rod goes down. Obviously there is no replacing A-Rod's prescience in the line up. But when a team is spending $65 million dollars more than the second highest payroll, they should have a utility infielder with some big league experience.

I'm not saying have another All Star. But with $200 million to throw around, shouldn't there be an infielder off the bench that people say "He'd start on any other team"?

Shouldn't that player be better than Cody Ransom?

And if the series in Boston has told us anything so far, it's that you can't blame ALL the pitching woes on the wind in the new Stadium.

There was no wind tunnel in Tampa Bay when Nick Swisher was the only guy who could throw a shutout inning. There was no wind tunnel today when the Yankees scored 11 runs and yet it wasn't a save situation for Papelbon.

17 games into the season... the pitching staff has let up 9 or more runs 5 times.

The bullpen is horrific. Veras can throw a good outing now and then, but his 6.30 ERA suggests what else he can do now and then.

Coke, Ramirez, Marte... all have ERAs that read like Social Security numbers.

And now there is talk of searching the waiver wire for other teams scraps to throw into the bullpen.

A bunch of relievers not good enough to make their team's 25 man roster are now going to be thrown into the Yankee pressure cooker? That should work out great.

Cashman has had control of the team since after the 2005 ALCS. Since then the pennants have run dry, the Division Title streak ended, the post season streak ended... and now... after spending $200 million on payroll when no other team topped $136 million... are looking for any live arm who can throw the ball 60 feet 6 inches.

Cashman rolled the dice to trust Hughes and Kennedy. So far that's been a disaster of Isringhausen/Wilson/Pulsipher proportions.

The Joba situation has been screwed up to the point where he doesn't go deep into starts and there is no depth in the bullpen when he comes out.

He took a team that was old and bloated and transformed them into a team that is disconnected.

All this while playing to empty seats in their new Coors Field in the Bronx.


I know I am a Red Sox fan and I am going to get a lot of hate e mails from Yankee fans for this post. But a lot of bad things have happened on Cashman's watch... and the biggest moves have come from the opening of the Steinbrenner wallet.

Honestly, can any Yankee fan look me in the eye and say they are better now than they were in 2005?

I'm not saying he should be fired.

I'm not saying that Joe Girardi is without blame.

All I am saying is for the first time in a long long time, I am not dismissive of people who think he should be gone.





Using my time constructively

When my wife realized today that her loving and caring and faithful husband was going to be spending the bulk of his Saturday afternoon watching the Red Sox and the Yankees... she decided to put the time to good use.

She gave me a box. Inside the box was a metal space saver she bought for the bathroom. Basically a shelf to put around the toilet.

Now anyone who knows me (and I would like to put my wife in this category) knows that my shelves get cluttered pretty quickly.

So naturally I want to have a shelf that if it gets cluttered and something falls off of it, it goes directly into the toilet.

But I am a dutiful husband. Besides, unlike last night's extra inning thriller when I was forced to be in the company of lovely people and eat good food in Arcadia, I would be watching this game.

My wife said "It will be easy to put together."

That's what they said to Alec Guinness when they started working on the Bridge over the River Kwai.

I emptied the contents out

It was a big pile of metal.

Now let me make something clear, dear readers. I HATE putting furniture together.

My friend, the wonderful comic, co creator of Breakup Girl and my one time boss Lynn Harris once said that "Ikea is Swedish for 'Wobbly.'"

I 100% agree with her. It never comes out the way you hoped. There is inevitably one step you missed or one screw you put in backwards.

I usually find out the mistake at the last step, which means tearing it apart.

Or else I just throw my hands up and say "The coffee table will lean to the side! Deal with it!"

When I try to build something, I basically turn into the dad from A Christmas Story, weaving a tapestry of profanity.

In fact I have a simple professional goal: I want to make enough money to buy furniture that is either already built or be able to pay some schmuck to do it.

So I begin to piece this metal sculpture that will wrap around my crapper together.


And of course the instructions are no help!

Instead of a series of clear step by step directions for a simian like me, they are a bunch of vague drawings and arrows.

They might as well have just put a Post-It note in the box saying "Good luck with your wobbly toilet shelf, sucker!"


Meanwhile I was watching the strangest, sloppiest and one of the longest regular season games I have ever witnessed.

First Beckett is awful and Burnett looks great.
Then suddenly Burnett stops throwing his curveball and Jason Varitek of all people hits a grand slam.

Back and forth... Ellsbury homers, Ortiz doubles, Bay singles. I'm in heaven.

The ghost of Grady Little inhabits Terry Francona and he leaves in Beckett long enough to tie the score.

Errors are made. Pitches are hung. Pedroia makes a base running mistake and is tagged out then lets a ball go through his legs.

Damon gets picked off.

And your pal Sully struggles with the new shelf. Of course I am half paying attention to what I am doing as the game has me transfixed.

I could have screwed one of the metal rods to my shin and not known until the 7th inning.

At one point I looked at the instructions and they called for me specifically to use rod "D".

And the directions had little drawings of which part was which.

There were four rods that were "C" and one that was "D." The drawings all looked exactly the same.

And of course the rods themselves weren't labeled.

So basically I had to reenact the Grail scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and hope that I don't hear "He chose poorly" when my wife's good towels fall into the John.

By the 8th inning and what seemed like the 46th lead change, I brought the pieces into the bathroom.

My sons were insistent on helping put it together and somehow by some miracle it didn't fall apart.

Equally amazingly, neither did the Red Sox.

But the Yankees, like many future towels in that bathroom, fell right into the toilet.


So Zack Greinke is awesome now?



















I just wanted to make sure my facts were straight.

I knew Greinke (I think that is the right spelling) is talented. But I know have to put "awesome" in his description?

He had a 38 scoreless inning streak end tonight but is 4-0, he had a 0.00 ERA this year (the run was unearned tonight) and threw his second complete game of the year tonight.

He's going to be a Cy Young contender, isn't he?

I guess he is.

Just not sure when that happened. Maybe I was paying too much attention to the Red Sox and Yankees and not the Kansas City Royals... a team that is actually in first place.

A home run almost as dramatic as the Bay and Youkilis homers


Believe it or not, there WERE some other games going on tonight other than Red Sox/Yankees.

And man, Shane Victorino's 2 out grand slam turning a 3-2 Marlins lead into a 6-3 Phillies lead has to be one of the most shocking hits you'll see this year.

The Marlins, looking to put some early room between themselves and the defending champs, would have made a tremendous statement. Instead they have given the Phillies something to cheer about.

I have a soft spot in my heart for these Marlins and I hope their 11-1 start wasn't a total fluke.

But I also love Victorino. His nickname, The Flying Hawaiian, is by far the best in the league.

Get your act together Marlins. These Pennsylvania teams are beating you up!

Man... the Yankees really showed Youkilis, didn't they?

My Yankee fan friends were calling and writing me all day and focusing on Youkilis.

"We are going to teach him a lesson!"

"He's going down!"

One person on my favorite Yankee blog was talking how the Red Sox had no fight in them and Youkilis will be put in his place.

He saw no inside pitches and hit a walk off home run.

THAT WILL TEACH HIM!

How will he ever recover?

More Joba Irony!
























The bullpen blew ANOTHER lead for Joba.

Rivera had to come in the 8th inning and he couldn't do the job.

Bruney is getting an MRI so there will be a lack of depth in the pen.

Gee... I wonder if the "Joba to the pen" controversy is over?

Wang Hurt


So wait a second...

Chien Ming Wang stunk for three starts and all we heard is "He's not hurt!"

They send him down to Tampa... not on assignment because he'd have to go through waivers to do that... but to check him out.

He throws a bunch of pitches. Everyone says he's healthy.

NOW all of a sudden with the Yankees bullpen a mess, they found an injury.

Doesn't this sound like last years "Phil Hughes isn't a bust... he's hurt" fake injury?

Just a bit?



Wine... Cheese... Small talk... all while a classic Red Sox game is going on!



As I mentioned earlier, I was at a dinner party tonight for the wonderful pre school my kids attend.

The evening couldn't have been nicer. The wine was flowing. The house was lovely. There were lovely works of art being raffled off. Wonderful caring teachers there wanting to really get to know us parents.

The dinner was lovely and the mood was a sense of joy that our children can all take part in a warm environment.

All the while I was wandering around like Gollum searching for the ring.

My 2005 Samsung cell phone uploads internet info about 1 page every 15 minutes and I had poor reception as it was.

I found out that it was 4-2 in the 8th. Somewhere in my mind I conceded the game.

I then sat down and had a lovely conversation with the parents of my two boys' best friend.

Then I saw a guy walk in with a Red Sox uniform on. I reacted as if I were a castaway spotting a ship.

"Do you know what's happening in the game?" I asked him.

"Which game?" He replied.

I was now mistrusting him. "You a Sox fan?" I asked the man wearing a Red Sox uniform and cap.

"Oh no." He said. "I'm an Angels fan. I was coaching a little league team called the Red Sox."

DAMN YOU, REALISTIC BASEBALL UNIFORMS!

Unlike me, he had a cell phone that was made after Hurricane Katrina. He checked the score for me. It was 4-4 in the 9th.

Now I had no idea that Jason Bay cracked a two out, two run bottom of the 9th homer off of Mariano Rivera. All I knew is they somehow tied it...

And I also knew that a classic Red Sox - Yankees game was going on while I was scarfing down brie.

I sat back down with my amazingly patient wife and continued talking.

Suddenly there was official business. New officers for the school board needed to be voted upon and awards needed to be handed out.

I got the game on my miserable little phone. The Yankees had second and third with two outs in the 10th. Papelbon had a full count on Teixeira.

And it stayed full for the next 15 minutes.

The page wouldn't refresh. A new President and Treasurer for my kids school was being voted upon. For all I know an embezzler could have been elected in the role of overseeing the money.

And... the count... remained... FULL!

My wife saw I was basically turning into Crispin Glover when she asked the father we were sitting next to if HE had a device that was more up to date than my phone.

Perhaps a Simon.

He found the game. It was the 11th. There was 1 out. Youk was at the plate.

I stared at it... Youk versus Marte... one swing could end it. It was slow refreshing. I gave the phone back.

There was another vote. For all I know it was a vote to bring live tarantulas into the class room.

The Angels fan dressed as a Red Sox player came up behind me.

"Youkilis just homered. The Red Sox won." He said.

I stood up and gave a little fist pump.

Then I sat back down with a huge grin on my face. My wife smiled too. She doesn't care about baseball... but she likes to see her husband happy. She's funny that way.

There was a motion introduced that was approved. I have no idea what it was for. Perhaps to give each child a loaded hand gun and a vile of cocaine. It needed seconding.

I yelled out "I SECOND IT!"

The head of the school looked confused that a new voice was heard. "Who was the seconder?"

I said with pride "PAUL SULLIVAN!" and then finished my quiche like a man.

If I was going to miss a classic Red Sox / Yankees game, I at least wanted to be in the minutes!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Honoring Earth Day a little late... I'm recycling

Going into the weekend, I could write about the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry and the NFL Draft... but stuff I already wrote about those topics still are valid. So why throw old posts into a landfill?  




I still think Red Sox fans and Yankee fans should be friends.
I don't think it should be a love fest... but the two fan bases have a lot more in common that they will EVER admit.
Don't believe me?


 
As for the NFL Draft... I just don't get it.
Hours and hours of coverage and you learn exactly GOTCH!
I made that clear on THIS POST.
And I feel the same for the Baseball Draft!
OK... 
There I got some of my thoughts heard AND I was ecologically responsible.



Enjoy this Mets promo from 1985





It is interesting to see how many of these people are imagining they will transform into cocaine addicts.


I would like to apologize in advance to the people I am going to see tonight



I am going to a dinner thrown by the pre school my kids attend.

It's a great preschool. My kids love it. They've met a lot of terrific kids that they have become friendly with. The parents I've met have been great and under normal circumstances, I would be looking forward to this and getting to know lots of interesting people.

But let me apologize in advance to everyone.

I am going to be distracted.
I am going to be checking my phone a lot.

I am going to be antsy.

There is a Red Sox/Yankees game going on during the dinner.

I can't help it. I HAVE to know each pitch. So if in the middle of a discussion about your career and where the best school districts are I suddenly blurt out "FRANCONA! TAKE HIM OUT!" or scream "YOOOOUK!!!!" when you tell me something painful and personal, let me just say I am so sorry.

You've invited a werewolf to your dinner and its a full moon.

I can't be responsible for my actions.



Dueling Cy Youngs...




First of all, I got some sleep last night. Thank you those of you who were concerned.

Granted, one of my sons woke me up at 4:45 AM DEMANDING water... but I got some rest.

But I did think about which Cy Young winners match up in the World Seres, as I foreshadowed in my MVPs in the World Series entry.

The Cy Young split into NL and AL awards in 1967, so there wasn't as big a sample to choose from as the MVP.

But pitching wins championships, right?
The Cy Young is given to the best pitcher, right?

So there must have been a TON of Cy Young winners matching up with each other, right?

WRONG!

It's happened 4 out of 41 World Series.

THE WORLD SERIES FEATURING THE EVENTUAL AL CY YOUNG WINNER AND THE EVENTUAL NL CY YOUNG WINNER

1968 - Denny McLain's DETROIT TIGERS defeat Bob Gibson's ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

1969 - Tom Seaver's NEW YORK METS defeat Mike Cuellar's BALTIMORE ORIOLES

1974 - Catfish Hunter's OAKLAND A's defeat Mike Marshall's LOS ANGELES DODGERS

2001 - Randy Johnson's ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS defeat Roger Clemens' NEW YORK YANKEES


And THAT'S IT!

And I should note that Mike Cuellar was Co-Cy Young winner in 1969 with Denny McLain. If one voter put McLain a little higher on their ballot, we'd only have three to talk about!

Fernando and Hershiser never matched up with the AL Counterpart.

Multiple winners like Steve Carlton, Jim Palmer and Bret Saberhagen won multiple Cy Youngs but didn't face the other winner in late October.

None of the great Braves pitchers of the 1990s faced off against the AL Cy Young winner. (Andy Pettitte arguably should have won in 1996... but he didn't.)

So with such a small sample, let's see how many times they faced off head to head.

Because Mike Marshall is a reliever and both Catfish Hunter and Randy Johnson came out the bullpen for surprise relief performances in the World Series, I'll word this list carefully.

WORLD SERIES GAMES THAT FEATURED BOTH LEAGUE'S CY YOUNG WINNERS

CARDINALS 4 - TIGERS 0

NL Cy Young Winner Bob Gibson - (W)
9 IP. 0 ER. 5 Hits. 1 BB. 17 K's. (A World Series record.)

AL Cy Young Winner Denny McLain - (L)
5 IP. 2 ER. 3 Hits. 3 BB. 3 K's


CARDINALS 10 - TIGERS 1

NL Cy Young Winner Bob Gibson - (W)
9 IP. 1 ER. 5 Hits. 2 BB. 10 K's.

AL Cy Young Winner Denny McLain - (L)
2 2/3 IP. 3 ER. 6 Hits. 1 BB. 3 K's.





ORIOLES 4 - METS 1

AL Cy Young Winner Mike Cuellar - (W)
9 IP. 1 ER. 6 Hits. 4 BB. 8 K's.

NL Cy Young Winner Tom Seaver - (L)
5 IP. 4 ER. 6 Hits. 1 BB. 3 K's.





METS 2 - ORIOLES 1 (10 Innings)

NL Cy Young Winner Tom Seaver - (W)
10 IP. 1 ER. 6 Hits. 2 BB. 6 K's.

AL Cy Young Winner Mike Cuellar - (ND)
7 IP. 1 ER. 7 Hits. 0 BB. 5 K's.





A'S 3 - DODGERS 2

AL Cy Young Winner Catfish Hunter - (SV)
1/3 IP. 0 ER. 0 Hits. 0 BB. 1 K.

NL Cy Young Winner Mike Marshall - (ND)
1 IP. 0 ER. 1 Hit. 1 BB. 1 K.





A'S 3 - DODGERS 2

AL Cy Young Winner Catfish Hunter - (W)
7 1/3 IP. 1 ER. 5 Hits. 2 BB. 4 K's.

NL Cy Young Winner Mike Marshall - (ND)
2 IP. 0 ER. 1 Hit. 0 BB. 1 K.





DIAMONDBACKS 3 - YANKEES 2

NL Cy Young Winner Randy Johnson - (W)
1 1/3 IP. 0 ER. 0 Hits. 0 BB. 1 K.

AL Cy Young Winner Roger Clemens - (ND)
6 1/3 IP. 1 ER. 7 Hits. 1 BB. 10 K's.




And THAT'S IT!

It's mindboggling to me that the eventual Cy Young winners haven't started against each other in a World Series game in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and so far through the 2000s. 

I can't believe that.

But why would Baseball Reference lie to me?




Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dueling MVPs...















I should be asleep right now.
Everyone in my home is...

But I had an idle thought:

Many people think the NBA Finals will be the Lakers vs. the Cavaliers this year.

And I am guessing most people also feel that Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will finish 1-2 in the MVP vote.


And I got to thinking... how many times has the World Series been played with the eventual NL MVP on one team and the eventual AL MVP on the other?

And I couldn't just let it go. I am up at this hour in my South Pasadena home with my family sound asleep writing a baseball list. 

And I found out that it is a lot more rare in recent years than you would think!

I am using the Baseball Writers Association MVPs for the applicable years. And for the years before that, I am using the League Awards. (The League Awards began in 1911... which is where we'll start.)

And I found out a few interesting things...

OK. Let's list!

THE WORLD SERIES MATCH UPS AGAINST EVENTUAL MVPS


1914 - BOSTON BRAVES (MVP: Johnny Evers) defeats PHILADELPHIA ATHLETICS (MVP: Eddie Collins)

1927 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Lou Gehrig) defeats PITTSBURGH PIRATES (MVP: Paul Waner)

1931 - ST. LOUS CARDINALS (MVP: Frankie Frisch) defeats PHILADELPHIA ATHLETICS (MVP: Lefty Grove)

1934 - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (MVP: Dizzy Dean) defeats DETROIT TIGERS (MVP: Mickey Cochrane)

1935 - DETROIT TIGERS (MVP: Hank Greenberg) defeats CHICAGO CUBS (MVP: Gabby Hartnett)

1936 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Lou Gehrig) defeats NEW YORK GIANTS (MVP: Carl Hubbell)

1939 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Joe DiMaggio) defeats CINCINNATI REDS (MVP: Bucky Walters)

1940 - CINCINNATI REDS (MVP: Frank McCormick) defeats DETROIT TIGERS (MVP: Hank Greenberg)

1941 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Joe DiMaggio) defeats BROOKLYN DODGERS (MVP: Dolph Camili)

1942 - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (MVP: Mort Cooper) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Joe Gordon)

1943 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Spud Chandler) defeats ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (MVP: Stan Musial)

1945 - DETROIT TIGERS (MVP: Hal Newhouser) defeats CHICAGO CUBS (MVP: Phil Cavaretta)

1946 - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (MVP: Stan Musial) defeats BOSTON RED SOX (MVP: Ted Williams)

1950 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Phil Rizzuto) defeats PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (MVP: Jim Konstanty)

1955 - BROOKLYN DODGERS (MVP: Roy Campanella) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Yogi Berra)

1956 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Mickey Mantle) defeats BROOKLYN DODGERS (MVP: Don Newcombe)

1957 - MILWAUKEE BRAVES (MVP: Hank Aaron) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Mickey Mantle)

1960 - PITTSBURGH PIRATES (MVP: Dick Groat) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Roger Maris)

1961 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Roger Maris) defeats CINCINANTI REDS (MVP: Frank Robinson)

1963 - LOS ANGELES DODGERS (MVP: Sandy Koufax) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Elston Howard)

1967 - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (MVP: Orlando Cepeda) defeats BOSTON RED SOX (MVP: Carl Yastrzemski)

1968 - DETROIT TIGERS (MVP: Denny McLain) defeats ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (MVP: Bob Gibson)

1970 - BALTIMORE ORIOLES (MVP: Boog Powell) defeats CINCINNATI REDS (MVP: Johnny Bench)

1975 - CINCINNATI REDS (MVP: Joe Morgan) defeats BOSTON RED SOX (MVP: Fred Lynn)

1976 - CINCINNATI REDS (MVP: Joe Morgan) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Thurman Munson)

1980 - PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (MVP: Mike Schmidt) defeats KANSAS CITY ROYALS (MVP: George Brett)

1988 - LOS ANGELES DODGERS (MVP: Kirk Gibson) defeats OAKLAND A'S (MVP: Jose Canseco)


I didn't get bored and stop. That's it!

It used to happen all of the time. I guess the voters for the award has always leaned towards the pennant winner and without divisions and rounds of post season play, each League champion would be well represented.

And these days you see the MVP awarded to players who didn't make the post season more and more. Last year Albert Pujols won it while his Cardinals played golf in October.

Since 1976, 7 AL MVPs and 12 NL MVPs were for teams that didn't even win their division. (I am not counting 1994 where there was no post season.)

But since 1977 it's happened two times? Not once in the 1990s or the 2000s?

Wouldn't it have happened by a fluke once or twice?

I wonder how many times Cy Young winners faced off?

Go to bed Sullivan!