Now let me say this... shut up. You rolled your eyes at Bobby V's banning beer from the clubhouse and called it a publicity stunt.
So what if it is? It's not a bad publicity move. It's saying to the fans "Hey, I realize there was a problem last year and things are going to be different now."
As much as I respect you, Mr. Francona, the reason for the massive regime change this year was because there needed to be a change in the culture. The laid back, let the guys do what they want, attitude worked brilliantly when the Sox were down 0-3 to the Yankees in 2004 and 1-3 to the Indians in 2007 and almost damn worked again against Tampa in 2008!
But it came back to bite the Red Sox in 2011. When starting pitchers couldn't make it out of the 4th and the team was spiraling and by your own admission you lost the clubhouse, the best thing to do is let Bobby V run the team the way he sees fit.
You are a really classy guy who brought glory to the Red Sox and left on strange terms. The same can be said for Joe Torre who lost a lot of respect in people's eyes when he put his name on The Yankee Years book.
Don't go down that road. We will all applaud you FOREVER for what you did. It was a glorious 8 year run. Now it is Bobby V's team.
I am taking a break this weekend from my baseball obsession to feed my other addiction:
The Academy Awards.
Now usually, I am super prepared for the Oscars. I've made it a point since the mid 1980s to see all the Best Picture Nominees before the telecast and most of the acting and writing picks as well.
In fact I've seen every Best Picture winner ever and every nominee since 1948.
Until this year. I haven't been able to get out to the movies at the clip that I would have wanted to this year. And while I've seen 6 of the 9 nominees (which I am betting is more than you've seen!) I am going into this year without seeing either one of the front runners.
Nope, I haven't seen The Artist yet. Nor have I seen Hugo.
So while I made to the end of that awful Tom Hanks/Sandra Bullock Sept. 11th movie and a feature length movie about the A's winning where they barely mention Mulder, Zito and Hudson, I am woefully unprepared by my own standards.
But that doesn't mean I can't make my predictions! My predictions are based upon who I think will win, not based upon any merit.
So here's my picks, submitted for your approval:
BEST PICTURE: The Artist BEST DIRECTOR: Michel Hazanavicus, The Artist BEST ACTOR: George Clooney, The Descendants BEST ACTRESS: Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christopher Plummer, Beginners BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Octavia Spencer, The Help BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: The Artist BEST ART DIRECTION: Hugo BEST COSTUME DESIGN: The Artist BEST SOUND MIXING: Hugo BEST EDITING: The Artist BEST SOUND EDITING: War Horse BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows BEST MAKE UP: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows BEST MUSIC SCORE: The Artist BEST SONG: Man or Muppet from The Muppets BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Rango BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: A Separation BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Pina
And of course the categories that NOBODY knows but we bet on them anyway.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: La Luna BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: Tuba Atlantic BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
Basically "When in doubt, pick The Artist!"
I am going to watch the show and I am unapologetic, I enjoy it.
And I tend to be very bad in predicting winners. I just hope Billy Beane is in the crowd.
Enjoy the show and enjoy listening to me talk about my Oscar obsession.
His song "He's Still Got Game" is a tribute to the veteran players still hanging on. And his video for the song shows many of the 15 or more year veterans from 2011 (with a few that have retired like Wakefield, Orlando Cabrera and Mike Cameron.)
I enjoyed it. I think you will too.
(And let's hope a few of the faces on the video will be fitted for a ring this October!)
The A. J. Burnett deal has opened up the chance that Raul Ibanez will be a New York Yankee soon.
If they want him to give the team outfield depth, it makes sense. Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Andruw Jones and Nick Swisher could make a good combination. But you never know, especially with the unpredictable Jones.
But if they want Ibanez to be the fulltime DH, I must submit that would be a mistake for the Yankees. They have a DH on the roster. It is A-Rod.
Let me make my case by asking 5 questions.
ARE THE YANKEES BETTER WITH ALEX RODRIGUEZ IN THE LINEUP EVERY DAY?
That's obviously a big yes. Even if he isn't an MVP candidate anymore (he isn't) he still is a dangerous hitter and helps the hitters right behind him and in front of him by playing every day.
IS ALEX RODRIGUEZ GOING TO PLAY 150 GAMES AT THIRD BASE?
Probably not. In fact he hasn't played 150 games at third base since 2007, when he was 31 and before I knew about what his cousin was shooting in his butt. He is going to be 36 this season and he only played 87 last year at third. When relatively healthy he has yet to play 140 games a season since resigning. So in a best case scenario, someone other than A-Rod will be playing third base 20-30 times. IS ALEX RODRIGUEZ'S HEALTH GOING TO IMPROVE IN 2012?
Well the days of players suddenly getting stronger in their mid to late 30s has mysteriously ended. And even A-Rod isn't dumb enough to get caught again.
How does he feel health wise? The fact that he's running all over the world, including blood treatments in Germany, makes me thinking that maybe he has some real concerns going into the new season.
WOULD PLAYING AT THIRD BASE BE RISKIER HEALTHWISE THAN BEING THE DESIGNATED HITTER?
What do you think?
IS THERE A LONG TERM BENEFIT TO A-ROD BEING THE DH?
He has 6 more years to this amazing deal. Last year he was 35 years old and breaking down. At age 41, he will be paid as an elite player. Shouldn't the Yankees do everything they can to have him NOT totally break down in his mid 30s so they can squeeze something out of him in his early 40s?
So keeping these five questions in mind, why not put him at Designated Hitter? Why risk having a player who is already a health risk and put him in the infield where he's probably only going to play 110-120 games at most anyway.
Wouldn't it help the Yankees to have A-Rod in the line up for an additional 25-40 games?
Have him play third maybe once a week or in the Interleague Games. Or maybe not. But resign Eric Chavez and have Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez play third in a rotation. Maybe at the trade deadline swing a deal when a team is dumping salaries. (If the Nationals fall out of contention, Mark Teahen is a pending free agent. Maybe stick him at third.)
Mind you, I think the same thing should be done for three other big leaguers.
Kevin Youkilis? He should be the Red Sox DH. After this year when we all say good bye to Ortiz, put Youk in at DH. He's not valuable for his glove. He needs to get on base and smack balls off the wall.
Miguel Cabrera? His job is to jack balls out of the park and make sure Prince Fielder sees a lot of fastballs.
Albert Pujols? His job is to launch homers into that strange Thunder Mountain Railroad thingee in centerfield and sell jerseys.
It all makes sense to me. Which is why it probably won't happen.
In many ways, Tim Wakefield has had one of the most unique careers in Red Sox history. No person other than Johnny Pesky has interacted with more legends of the franchise. And Wakefield has done it as an active player.
He was teammates with two members of the 1986 squad and has been a teammate of every post strike Red Sox player.
He has connections to Red Sox players that is Kevin Bacon esque. He even was a teammate of a 1978 Red Sox player! (Albeit when Eck returned to finish his career in Boston.)
I was going to make a 25 man roster of great Red Sox players who were Wakefield’s teammates over his 17 years in Boston.
But I realized that he played with so many quintessential Red Sox players that I could actually make up TWO all time Rosters. One consisting only of players who originated in the Red Sox organization and those that were acquired from other teams.
I am calling a player who started in the Red Sox organization as “Home Grown.” So that means Curt Schilling is on the Home Grown Team even though they picked him up from Arizona later in his career. They are my rules.
As always the Rosters will consist of a starter at each position, 5 starters, 5 relievers, 2 reserve infielders, 2 reserve outfielders, a back up catcher and a 25th man who could be any position.
The All Home Grown Red Sox Tim Wakefield Teammate Team
That’s quite a collection. And of course I skewed it towards players who played on winning Red Sox teams. I know Dave Roberts was only there for a few months, but would you rather see him or Carl Everett?
And I was hesitant to put Varitek on the roster at all! But notice he isn’t starting. That’s Mirabelli’s spot.
And yes I know Gonzalez is a better player than Kevin Millar, but these rosters are emotional and I’m putting the World Champion in the starting line up.
So Wakefield, who stretched through the Duquette and Theo years, over Kennedy, Williams, Kerrigan, Little and Francona and played for 9 different Red Sox playoff teams, will not continue onto the Bobby Valentine era.
But if the likes of Jose Iglesias or Ryan Lavarnway ever play for a World Series winner with the Red Sox, they can be connected to the 1986 team by 2 degrees.
It’s been fun Tim Wakefield. You are a champion and you will be missed.