Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Peavy's Sox staying White

I've seen some Red Sox fans howling on Twitter today about Jake Peavy's two-year, $29 million dollar deal with the White Sox.  It seems that some of you were hoping he'd be wearing Sox of a different hue come spring training - but Peavy is a much better fit for Chicago than Boston, and it's actually a blessing that he's staying put.

Peavy's psychological background does not peg him as a man who would or could embrace the unique pressures and stresses that come with playing in Boston, and for obvious reasons, the Red Sox brass is (thus far) steering clear of any big name free agents.  Hopefully they keep this strategy with the other big name free agent out there, Josh Hamilton, another guy who has a questionable makeup as far as Boston is concerned.

Far better for the Red Sox to focus on retaining players who have proven that they can perform in Boston, such as David Ortiz (who reprotedly has a deal in the works) or the pleasantly surprising Cody Ross (no word on a deal with him).

I think we can all be pretty confident that the Red Sox won't be handing out many blockbuster contracts in the near future; the Dodgers won't always be foolish enough to take every failed contract off our hands.  What do you all think will happen this offseason? Who do you think might end up in Fort Meyers come February?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

World Series bandwagon - Go Giants!

I'm living vicariously through former Red Sox and current NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro - and you all know how I feel about short and gritty second basemen.

It's here. Game 1 of the 2012 World Series starts right about now, and I couldn't be more thrilled that one of the teams I picked at the start of the playoffs is still in it.  Sadly, the Orioles didn't make it through, so I will stick with my other original pick, the San Francisco Giants.

Of course, should the Tigers win, I won't be too upset.  Detroit hasn't seen a World Series title in more than thirty years, and we all know that the city could use something to celebrate.

That's really the beauty of being a bandwagon fan - after the horrible slow torture of being a diehard Red Sox fan this season, it's nice to be a casual fan of the Giants and Orioles. I was upset when the Orioles were eliminated, sure - but it wasn't the end of the world.

The same with the World Series. Of course I want to see the Giants take the whole thing - and see Marco Scutaro take the World Series MVP in addition to the NLCS MVP. But if they don't in, I won't be curling up in a ball to sob like I would if it were the Red Sox.

My biggest hope for the Series? That it goes seven games. I'm not ready for baseball to end!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bandwagoning: go hard or go home

When I decided to jump on the Orioles and Giants bangwagons through the postseason, I was hoping to see an all orange Giants-Orioles World Series. Thanks to CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees, that's no longer possible - but I would settle for a Tigers-Giants Fall Classic.

The Giants play Game 3 of the NLCS against the Cardinals this afternoon at 4, with that series tied at one game apiece. Because I never do anything halfway, when the Giants clinched their spot in the NLCS, I went online to order a San Francisco Giants shirt from the MLB team store.

I wanted to purchase a Marco Scutaro t-shirt, since he's a former Red Sox and is playing second base for the Giants (and you all know how I feel about short second basemen).  To get a Scutaro shirt, I would have had to fork over $36 for the "design your own" option, as they only continuously stock "big name" players like Posey and Lincecum for $26.  Instead, I went for a plain Giants logo shirt - and despite an estimated shipping date of next week, it arrived yesterday, so today I'm on the bandwagon in style.

I'm also hoping the Tigers can close out the Yankees tonight - because they've got Derek Lowe over there now yelling about how the comeback is possible, and "don't let us win tonight!" If anyone understands that a 3-0 lead isn't safe, it's the Yankees, so I would really prefer things to end tonight before they get any heroic ideas.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Jeter's injury: fatal weakness or galvanizing moment?

Let's be clear. The injury to Derek Jeter early this morning in the Bronx was awful.  His left ankle is fractured, and the timetable for recovery is at least three months.  I don't like the Yankees, and I think that Derek Jeter is vastly overrated, but I never, EVER want to see a player get injured - and especially not like that.

But the loss of Derek Jeter might actually help the Yankees on the field. Not only will they be replacing his subpar fielding (if you ever needed convincing that the Gold Glove Award is a ridiculous popularity contest, his FIVE Gold Gloves should do it), but there will be a "win one for the Captain" spirit wending its way through the Yankee clubhouse.

The Tigers took Game 1 in twelve innings, and the Yankees have Hiroki Kuroda going on short rest for the first time in his Major League career.  Jeter's injury is either a chink in the Yankees postseason armor (although, let's be honest, of the Core Four, Mariano Rivera is the single most important piece, and he's gone), or a galvanizing moment for the Evil Empire.

Here's hoping the Tigers capitalize on their momentum and take Game 2 this afternoon.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I live for this.

I actually do live for this.  When was the last time that all four LDS series went to Game 5? NEVER. This has never happend in the Wild Card era. We are literally witnessing history, and the only thing that would make it better would be if the Red Sox were in it.

Remember that annoying Dane Cook Postseason ad that MLB put out a few years ago?

Well, you do now. As irritating and out of vogue as Cook is, this commercial perfectly sums up the postseason thus far - though sans Red Sox, of course.  I haven't even been able to watch all of the games because of my work schedule (though I will admit to listening to the audio on the clock - no shame).

So far, I'm pretty happy with the outcomes: as I've already announced, I jumped on the Giants and Orioles bandwagons before the start of the postseason, and with San Francisco taking the series yesterday, I'm off to a pretty good start. I won't lie, I'm a little worried about Game 5 of the Yankees/O's ALDS, with Sabathia taking on Hammel, and a little pissed that the game is on at 5pm and I'm not scheduled to be done with work until 7.

But it doesn't even matter. I love this, I live and breathe this, and even if the Red Sox are at home instead of playing, this is the most fun I've had watching baseball in months.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

You be the Red Sox GM!

If you're not into watching the playoffs sans Red Sox, but you can't bear for baseball to be over, you can head over to and check out a new interactive feature.  It's called "You be the Red Sox GM," and it's pretty cool. You get to go through the Red Sox roster and decide who to keep and who to release, keeping in mind positions, salary, and intangibles.

I got an A - how about you?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wild Card Day!

Photo from the homepage

Today will be an exciting day for baseball.  Even if both Wild Card games are blowouts, it's a history-making endeavor: the first day of the newly extended playoffs.  The Braves take on the defending World Champion Cardinals at 5:00, and then the upstart Orioles look to knock out the defending AL Champion Texas Rangers at 8:30.

I know most people hate the new format, what with adding two more teams to the pennant race and making the Wild Card teams play a winner take all one game playoff - which understandably seems like a ridiculous gamble after slogging through 162 games to reach this point.

But I actually really like the new format.  First of all, Major League Baseball still has fewer teams make the playoffs than any other major sports league, so if you complain about the new Wild Card setup and have no qualms with the systems of the NBA, NFL, or NHL, you need to take a good long look at yourself.

More importantly, the disagreement over the "unfairness" of the one game playoff is absurd; if anything, this sets to right the issue with adding the Wild Card back in the nineties.  Since the inception of the Wild Card, the only penalty given for not winning your division was a lack of home field advantage.  Essentially the Wild Card winner was treated exactly the same as some of the division winners, and that is downright ridiculous.

Now, winning the division means something. It means not having to get through a one game playoff, which, as most baseball fans know, is essentially a tossup.  It means more meaningful baseball in the last games of the season. I don't know why you wouldn't be on board with that.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'm jumping on the bandwagon

Perhaps it was fitting to end the season with a final slap in the face.  The Red Sox not only were embarrassed by the Yankees, they had to watch them celebrate clinching the AL East title - something that means a LOT more than it used to with the new playoff format.

And peaking of the playoffs, are you all planning to watch?  I am, even though this will be the third year in a row that the Red Sox are playing golf instead of baseball.  I don't know about anybody else, but if I'm watching any sporting event, even if I don't come into it with any particular interest in the outcome, I need to pick a team to root for.  Earlier this week, I had this exchange with a friend on Twitter:

Normally, the Phillies are my National League team (they're the closest NL team to me that isn't from New York), and for the past two years I've been rooting for the Rangers.  This year, I'm looking for a change.  The Rangers and the Orioles will face off for the privilege of getting to the ALDS against the Yankees, and I want to see the Orioles go all the way. I've posted about this before, but their fans deal with a lot, and I think they deserve this.

But why the Giants? They won it just two seasons ago, while a team like the Nationals has never come close.  Call it a whim, but I'm really feeling the Giants this year.  And the Orioles/Giants choice has the added benefit of being in one color scheme.  My apologies to the diehard fans of these two franchises - I promise I'm not trying to steal your thunder, it's just that my team is out, and I've temporarily adopted yours. Let me know if I'm stepping on any toes.

Of course, it's been killing me for months that the Red Sox won't be in this, but there won't be Red Sox baseball until Spring Training. I'm a Red Sox fan, sure, but I'm also a BASEBALL fan, and I'm going to watch every game I can before the long winter takes it all away.

And then? Hope springs eternal - even for the Red Sox.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mercifully, this is it.

Remember the drama of last year's Game 162? The Red Sox were in Baltimore, and the Yankees were at the Trop.  It took either a Red Sox win OR a Rays loss to send Boston to the playoffs.  Not only did the Red Sox suffer a dramatic, devastating, walk-off loss to the Orioles, just minutes later, the Rays came back from a sizable deficit to beat the Yankees with a homer from Evan Longoria.

I can remember exactly how I felt when I watched Longoria's home run leave the stadium.  It was as if all the hope had been pushed out of me with one swing of the bat.  I kicked the other people watching the game with me out of my room, curled up on my bed, and thought about the awful September collapse that had brought the Red Sox to this point.  I remember thinking that they had hit rock bottom, that things could only look better from that point forward.

It goes without saying that I was horribly, tragically, comically WRONG.  The Red Sox have been out of things for months now, and I have to say that watching my team play essentially irrelevant games while everyone around me counts down to the beginning of football season is a whole new kind of excruciating.

I like the Patriots, don't get me wrong. But I LOVE the Red Sox. At least last year the Sox were in a pennant race up until the very last moments of the regular season.  The Red Sox haven't finished in sole possession of last place since I was two years old, and I don't like it.

It would be nice to end this awful season with a win in New York, but Daisuke Matsuzaka is pitching, so I'm not really holding out much hope.  Maybe it's more fitting that way.