Monday, August 20, 2012

On Resigning Kuroda or How the Yankees ended the Red Sox 2012 Season

Last night Hiroki Kuroda continued his dominance over the American League by throwing an 8 inning 4 hitter over the Dead Sox and it raised a couple of issues. Normally NL pitchers have trouble adjusting to AL style baseball with these explosive offenses. He has 12 wins and has a 2.96 ERA. I think he has adjusted fine. Sure, you might say “well, it was the Red Sucks” but he did it to Texas earlier in the week.

Much focus has been put on the 2014 season, lowered Yankee budget and free agents Cano, Granderson and Swisher, with all sorts of combinations being floated. Kuroda could be a perfect transition to this austerity budget. He is 37 years old but would seem to have at least one more good year in him. He could be a bridge to Pineda, recovering from surgery, Pettitte who will re-retire by then, having guys like Phelps and maybe a Killer “B” or two, along with figuring out Hughes and Joba. Seems like a win-win situation to me.

-As we say goodbye to the Dread Sox for 2012, (their savior Carl, will have season ending surgery tomorrow) next up is the White Sox. They just got swept by the Royals and are returning home. Yanks are dealing with the emotional release of destroying Red Sox Nation’s heart and probably will be somewhat drained. Could be a losing 3 game series, which is tough because Baltimore will not go away and Tampa Bay is hot too, both within about 5 games of New York. With a one game wild card elimination game this year, winning the division is important again so we shall see if they rise to the occasion.

-Kelly Shoppach has found an interesting way to use social media. He hated being with the Sox and Bobby V and made his wishes know. They trashed him on the way out, as they often do to their players leaving (Nomar, Roger, Youk all say hello here). Kelly’s response was interesting. He used his Twitter account to leak news of the big, super-super, top-secret player / ownership bitch session which led to the most recent (and may I say spectacular) Red Soxopolypse. Two lessons learned from this. Management needs to be more careful about trashing a player on the way out. Just shut up and stay above the fray. Also, players in all sports need some education about how to use and not use social media. Interacting with fans, OK. Posting naked pix of their wives or girlfriends or videos of them do stupid or illegal things, also not OK.  I used to think it was dumb to have to teach people basic skills, but if we do it about not drinking and driving it would seem that people are generally not as smart as we thought they were.

See you in a few days. Sucks fans, see you in 2013.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Some random notes:

It has been a couple of busy weeks since I last posted here. Much has been going on in Bombertown and in Tfabp-city, so I have neglected to write much but time is here, time is wasting and I have a few things to say. Here goes:

-Two weeks ago, the Yanks were doing poorly, losing a bunch of games, blowing leads, fielding badly, etc., etc. Since the trade for Ichiro, they have gone on a bit of a tear, lately winning like 8 of their last 9 games. Coincidence? Perhaps but don’t fool yourself, he has made an impact at bat, in the field, and I'm guessing, in the clubhouse. Just the fact that he has his own media entourage from Japan, means the reporters are concentrating more on him then writing stories about Tex’s struggles, the poor hitting with men in scoring position, and a bit of a blip in the bullpen. Without this constant media scrutiny, they have taken off. Unlike one of their biggest rivals. More on that below!

- King Felix of the Seattle Mariners threw a perfect game last night. He is an incredible talent. But, This isn’t a Len Barker, Mike Witt, Dallas Braden or even Don Larsen perfecto, this is more like a Randy Johnson, Sandy Koufax or Roy Halliday one. By this I mean instead of us asking how could THAT guy pitch a perfect game, we are asking today, why did it take so long for him to get one and when will he get another.

Yankees go tonight for a sweep of their anticipated playoff match, the Texas Rangers. I know games in August mean little in October but there has to be some confidence building in the Yanks and doubt setting in for the Rangers.

- There is nothing, NOTHING more enjoyable for me in baseball terms than when the Yankees beat the Red Sox. Make it a 3 game sweep and I start to hyperventilate. Make it in the playoffs and well, you’ll just have to guess how excited I get. I mean still today when I watch replay number 1.4 million of the Billy Buckner flub, I get tears in my eye, tears of joy. Right up there in this emotional apocalypse is watching the Sox crash and burn, watching them self-destruct. Last year, in beer and fried chickengate, when the club’s veteran players showed just how they led and they fell out of the playoffs entirely, I thought I had reached nirvana. I found myself listening to Boston Sports radio for the latest fan rant, I read the Red Sox fan blog “SOSH” every day to see the fans writing about choking and dismantling the club and just how bad they were. Over the winter, the Sox hired Bobby Valentine to be their manager and I knew, KNEW, that the match had been lit. All we needed was a small can of gas and they would burn again. Well it seems that the team was standing in line, holding a gas can waiting to tip it over. There was Youk and Bobby V, Becket and the V-ber, Crawford and Bobby V, and most recently Pedroia, Gonzolas vs. Bobby V, in the Mega Death Match, complete with damning tweets, photoshopped pictures and angry players and ownership in super duper top secret hotel meetings to trash Bobby V together. What does this all mean? Two things I think. It will be a while before the Sox compete again in the American League and to rob and paraphrase a poetic line or two:
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Boston – the mighty Red Sox have struck out.

See you in a few days!

You’ll recognize me, I’m the one with the shit-eating grin on my face… (Wiki: A broad smile indicating self-awareness that may suggest self-satisfaction, (or) smugness.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Some random notes:

As the Yankees complete a 3 game set with the Orioles, its time for a bunch of quick observations and commentary:

-The Yankees are playing poorly right now. Incredibly, Ivan Nova, who has been a rock for them for almost two years, got a five run lead against Baltimore and then promptly let them score seven runs.

-Ichiro has one hit in each game he has played as a Yankee. I am hoping that his Stadium home run is a foreshadowing of things to come. That right field porch should be a piece of cake.

-Joba is back and even though he gave up some hits and runs in his first outing, it is still nice to say, “Joba is back”.

-The Red Sox supposedly discussed a blockbuster deal with the Rangers that included Josh Beckett, Kelly Shoppach, and Jacoby Ellsbury. My only comment: how can they trade “dreamboat”? The pink hats will revolt (for those who don’t know, pink hats are what Red Sox Nation calls all the bandwagon jumpers who started following the team when it was winning the 2004 pennant and now buy up all the Fenway Park tickets to watch Jacoby’s ass, which means “real” Red Sox fan cannot go to Fenway. Their description, not mine.