Saturday, April 21, 2012

RSN Watch party recap

It started off well enough.  But in the 2nd inning some idiot decided to tweet this from the bar:

"a short afternoon for Freddy Garcia". Doesn't get out of 2nd inning and we are on way to 7th consecutive RSN watch party victory. (*)

Well, apparently that angered the The Baseball Gods and we know how the game turned out.  No need to rehash it here.   But that doesn't mean that this group of 17 or so local Red Sox fans didn't have fun.

(*) We won all 6 last year.  Some blowouts, some come from behind, but they were all great games.  Here's a recap I wrote previously on them.

Below is a pictorial recap of the afternoon:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Baseball is AWESOME! - Gives you perspective

I haven't written an article in the ongoing Baseball is AWESOME series in a while.  But today as I watch the tribute to Tanner Craswell and Mitch MacLean during the Blue Jays home opener against the Red Sox, I am once again reminded why Baseball is indeed awesome.  For the past few days I have been discussing the problems with the Red Sox.  Holes in the lineup, not enough starting pitching, shaky bullpen, Bobby the 5th is an idiot... blah, blah, blah. And after last night's loss it only got worse.

But listening to the tragedy (which I wrote about previously on my sister blog) that befell these young players and their families, helps put everything in perspective.  We watch these games to entertain us. It's really not life and death.  What happened to these boys and their friend Tabitha Steeple, as well as Shanya Conway who survived the ordeal but has to live with what she witnessed the rest of her life, is.

It sometimes takes a meaningless baseball game to remind oneself what truly is and isn't important.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

How to improve on perfection?

A year ago,  I thought at this time I might be writing a post with this title about the 162-0 Red Sox who swept their way to become 2011 World Series champions.  But that didn't quite happen as planned.  However, in the baseball world I did see something that I believed was about as close to perfect as possible.  That was Out of The Park Development's OOTP12 baseball game.  It was a very realistic simulation that included all the details of running a major league franchise.  "Best game ever", I proclaimed, and many others echoed that sentiment.  Well, I recently got my hands on this year's version of the game, OOTP 13, and incredibly IT'S EVEN BETTER!

Let me start by recapping what this game does, for those of you not familiar with sports simulation games.  This is not a flashy graphics arcade action console type game, where those with the quickest reflexes can win.  It is a game of wit and strategy.  You play not in the role of a batter facing a 90 MPH slider, but rather as a GM who gets to draft players, sign free agents and make trades.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Mayans were right!

Could it get any worse?  Jon Lester doesn't give up a run through 6 2/3 innings. Ryan Sweeney gets a 2 out game tying triple in the 9th against last year's majors saves leader, and we still lose?
Yes, it can!
The two best pitchers we have that aren't on the DL or in the starting rotation combined to give up 3 hits, hit one batter and allow the winning run to score while only recording a single out in the bottom of the 9th.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Opening Day MLB Power Rankings and Predictions

It's Opening Day Eve! (You Seattle fans be quiet.  Oakland fans don't exist, so I'm not worried about hearing from them). Time for my first real power rankings of the year.

Last year when I started doing these I said I hated putting them in writing because they always look poor in retrospect.  But the flip side is that you can also look like a genius.  Either way it's fun to look back at them afterwards and see where your analysis went wrong and learn from that.

#1 - Texas - do you realize they were 1 strike away from winning the World Series while having a 2 run lead last year?  Twice!  Not even the cursed Red Sox ....... oh, never mind.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2012 Red Sox optimism

I am very excited about the upcoming season for the Red Sox.  Even more so than last year, and I think I may be in the minority.  (Although, not alone, as you can see from the responses of the other bloggers to share their opinions on the upcoming season at the Cardinal70 at bat blog.)

The main things fans seemed to be concerned about in the offseason were the change in management with the associated lack of making a big splash in the free agent market which has led to perceived shortcomings at starting pitching,  shortstop, corner outfielders and closer positions.  Let me address each of these and demonstrate why I don't believe any of these are legitimate concerns.

Fans clamored their disappointment that we ran "THE GREATEST GM IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD" and the "MOST BELOVED MANAGER EVAH" out of town.  No argument from me here.  However, let's not overestimate the impact that these positions have on the results on the field.  Theo Epstein was the genius wonderboy who made all the right moves to bring a championship to Boston after 86 long years.  But if Dave Roberts doesn't beat the throw to second, Theo becomes the man who traded Nomar for
some spare parts and would probably need to wear a bullet proof vest the rest of his life, lest he run into some angry members of Red Sox Nation.  He did made some great acquisitions - picking up Bill Mueller, David Ortiz and Bronson Arroyo from the scrap heap, signing Foulke and Schilling, but he also spent a lot of money and/or traded some good prospects for the likes of Brad Penny, John Smoltz, Eric Gagne, Wily Mo Pena, and many others who weren't large contributors.  And let's not forget Julio Lugo, Edgar Renteria or the panic re-acquisition of Doug Mirabelli.  I'm giving him a pass on Lackey and Crawford for at least few more years.   Anyhow, Dan Duquette brought us Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek, and he doesn't get much credit because the team didn't win under his watch.  In summary, I think Theo was (is?) a good GM, but Ben Cherington learned under his watch, and the impact of the GM change is negligible.