Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I see Nelson Cruz has no problem catching THIS ball!

I guess he didn't have to leap.

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Francona... I love you... but shut up

I have nothing but love for Terry Francona.
I love how he was a classy manager and led my team to the two World Series titles that we Red Sox fans will always cherish.

And I thought management treated you horribly after the 2011 season.

I covered that already.

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.

Let him run it the way he wants to.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Sully Baseball Official Oscar Picks for 2012

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 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 VISUAL EFFECTS: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
BEST MAKE UP: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
BEST SONG: Man or Muppet from The Muppets

And of course the categories that NOBODY knows but we bet on them anyway.

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.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

I hope Omar Vizquel goes on a hitting rampage this year

Omar Vizquel has said that this year, his 24th in the big leagues, will be his last.

He is the best defensive shortstop since Ozzie Smith with his 11 Gold Gloves and has put together an unorthodox yet compelling Hall of Fame case.

His Hall of Fame candidacy would be a lot easier to defend if he passed 3,000 hits. And, as I wrote before, even though he never got 200 in a season, he is tantalizingly close.

At 2,841 hits, he is 159 hits away.
He got 171 hits in a season as recently as 2006.

I hope he gets a lot of playing time with the Blue Jays. (I wanted the Red Sox to sign him!)

And I hope the man who is currently 45th on the All Time Career Hits list moves up past some more Hall of Famers. He is a mere 32 hits away from passing Babe Ruth on the all time hits list!

I know it is a long shot, but how great would 3,000 hits for Vizquel?

(And keep in mind, he's probably STOLEN 3,000 hits over his career.)

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ryan's Hope

Oh this should clear everything up.
Ryan Braun tests positive and gets off because his sample was contaminated, damaged, left outside in the rain, microwaved and mixed with Mountain Dew.

Baseball and Braun went to arbitration and Ryan Braun became the first person to beat the rap.

So yeah, we need to go forward legally giving Ryan Braun the benefit of the doubt.
Will anyone?

I guess so, if the reaction to Jeff Bagwell speculation is any indication.

What do I think?
Did Ryan Braun take something or did MLB mess up his sample?

Are they mutually exclusive?

May I suggest tightly securing lids from now on, MLB?

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Sully Baseball Salutes... Clark Snyder and "He's Still Got Game"

Singer, songwriter and friend of Sully Baseball, Clark Snyder, has an upcoming album called "6" that is available on iTunes and elsewhere.

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!)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012


The A's just got a little bit more interesting in 2012.
At least every single baseball fan can name one player in A's camp this year.

I know we all said good bye to Manny Ramirez last year and we're supposed to just shake our heads and say "Damn idiot flunked two tests!"

But in an odd way, I'm glad he's back... at least for the 3 weeks that he'll play for the A's before flaming out.

It won't be boring.

And hey, it only cost Billy Beane a minor league contract and an autographed copy of the Moneyball DVD.

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Yup... it's real, Cardinal fans

He's an Angel.
Albert Pujols belongs to another team.

For some reason it just seems real when spring training starts, more so than any press conference.

It looks odd.
I remember when Pedro left the Red Sox for the Mets, I never quite accepted it until I saw him in Spring Training.

I can't imagine what a 15 year old Cardinal fan who probably has no memory of a St. Louis team WITHOUT Albert must be feeling.

Take the solace that I had when I saw Pedro wearing an odd uniform:

The last time he played for MY team, he was winning a World Championship. (Both in St. Louis!)

And three seasons later, a Pedro-less Red Sox team won ANOTHER title.

So yeah, it sucks. But it isn't the end.

I covered that in my video.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dear 1979 Pirate fan... please tell me you still have this shirt!

If you are out there and have that shirt, send me a picture of you wearing it NOW.

Send it to


Your pal, Sully

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Yankees have a DH... his name is Alex Rodriguez

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.


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.


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.

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.


What do you think?


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.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

The All Time Tim Wakefield Red Sox Teammate Roster... Home Grown and Acquired

Tim Wakefield’s career is over, falling just 6 wins short of Roger Clemens and Cy Young’s all time Red Sox mark. His time with the Red Sox deserves a salute.

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.

Yup, it’s another Home Grown vs. Acquired Roster.

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

Starting Catcher – Scott Hatteberg

Teammates from 1995-2001

Starting First Baseman – Mo Vaughn

Teammates from 1995-1998

Starting Second Baseman – Dustin Pedroia

Teammates from 2006-2011

Starting Shortstop – Nomar Garciaparra

Teammates from 1996-2004

Starting Third Baseman – John Valentin

Teammates from 1995-2001

Starting Left Fielder – Mike Greenwell

Teammates from 1995-1996

Starting Center Fielder – Jacoby Ellsbury

Teammates from 2007-2011

Starting Right Fielder – Trot Nixon

Teammates from 1996-2006

Starting Designated Hitter – Kevin Youkilis

Teammates from 2004-2011

Starting Rotation

Roger Clemens

Teammates from 1995-1996

Jon Lester

Teammates from 2006-2011

Curt Schilling

Teammates from 2004-2007

Clay Buchholz

Teammates from 2007-2011

Aaron Sele

Teammates from 1995-1997


Jonathan Papelbon

Teammates from 2005-2011

Manny Delcarmen

Teammates from 2005-2010

Daniel Bard

Teammates from 2009-2011

Casey Fossum

Teammates from 2001-2003

Justin Masterson

Teammates from 2008-2009

The Bench

Reserve Infielder – Tim Naehring

Teammates 1995-1997

Reserve Infielder – Shea Hillenbrand

Teammates 2001-2003

Reserve Outfielder – Josh Reddick

Teammates 2009-2011

Reserve Outfielder – Donnie Sadler

Teammates 1998-2000

Reserve Catcher – Kelly Shoppach

Teammates in 2005

25th Man - Jed Lowrie

Teammates 2008-2011

The All Acquired Red Sox Tim Wakefield Teammate Team

Starting Catcher – Doug Mirabelli

Teammates from 2001-2007

Starting First Baseman – Kevin Millar

Teammates from 2003-2005

Starting Second Baseman – Todd Walker

Teammates in 2003

Starting Shortstop – Orlando Cabrera

Teammates in 2004

Starting Third Baseman – Mike Lowell

Teammates from 2006-2010

Starting Left Fielder – Manny Ramirez

Teammates from 2001-2008

Starting Center Fielder – Johnny Damon

Teammates from 2002-2005

Starting Right Fielder – Troy O’Leary

Teammates from 1995-2001

Starting Designated Hitter – David Ortiz

Teammates from 2003-2011

Starting Rotation

Pedro Martinez

Teammates from 1998-2004

Josh Beckett

Teammates from 2006-2011

Bret Saberhagen

Teammates from 1997-2001

Derek Lowe

Teammates from 1997-2004

Erik Hanson

Teammates in 1995


Keith Foulke

Teammates from 2004-2006

Tom Gordon

Teammates from 1996-1999

Hideki Okajima

Teammates from 2007-2011

Mike Timlin

Teammates from 2003-2008

Dennis Eckersley

Teammates in 1998

The Bench

Reserve Infielder – Bill Mueller

Teammates from 2003-2005

Reserve Infielder – Mark Bellhorn

Teammates from 2004-2005

Reserve Outfielder – Dave Roberts

Teammates in 2004

Reserve Outfielder – J. D. Drew

Teammates from 2007-2011

Reserve Catcher – Jason Varitek

Teammates from 1997-2011

25th Man – Adrian Gonzalez

Teammates in 2011

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.

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