Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Just say NOOOOOOO!

So if you clicked the link to the article about Derek Lowe and you continued reading, you read Jay Payton saying:

“When I talked to my agent recently, Boston was the first team I mentioned. I don’t know if it’s in the cards or if I squished my chances of ever returning there. I know the circumstances of my departure from there a few years back were blown out of proportion. I’ve talked to Tito [Terry Francona] several times since then and we’re OK. I’d love the chance to go back there because that’s a winning organization and they’re committed to winning. They do things the right way.”

Jay Payton drops acid, doesn’t he? Funny how, at the time, he never claimed that the story about his getting into a fight with Tito in the dugout after weeks of being a general pain in the ass because he wasn’t a everyday player was untrue or “blown out of proportion”. Only when he wants a job does he suddenly laugh it all off. He also was quoted as saying he and Kevin Millar had a chance to get back at Boston when he joined the Orioles. He was such a horse’s ass that he is the only player I’ve ever booed in his own home park.  (This year, in Baltimore. I even surprised myself.)

But now he loves Boston.  Being a bench player is exactly what he wants.  He’ll be a good boy.

This guy makes my brain hurt.

If we’re going to recycle fourth outfielders, I’d like to put my vote in for Gabe Kapler, thanks.  Guy appreciated every moment he was here and could be just as productive (if not more so) than Payton.

Just say “no” to the guy who antagonized Tito in order to get off the team, Theo.

November 30, 2008 Posted by | Hot Stove, Players | , , , | 13 Comments

Insomnia-Fueled Ramblings

Kyle Snyder - September 2008 Courtesy of Baseball Heavy - Just Because!

Kyle Snyder - September 2008 Courtesy of Baseball Heavy - Just Because!

I can’t sleep.  It’s just after 2am EST and I’m wide awake.  Which lends itself to my digging deeper through boston.com and other sites to see what’s going on.

I usually check out “What they were thinking”, the weekly photo by Stan Grossfeld with a description of what the subject of each photo was thinking (pretty straight-forward, huh?).  Somehow I missed this one.  If I’m not mistaken, this guy was sitting near Tru at the game.  And his taking his shirt off and trying to get the crowd into it is great – I love that stuff.  But reading this quote, I actually scoffed out loud:

Me and my buddies were trying to get something going. We tried to start the Wave, tried to get them to exert some energy.

Doing the wave isn’t getting something going. It isn’t getting the crowd to exert positive energy for their team. It’s, in my opinion, proof that people aren’t paying attention to the damn game. So don’t be judging me for being quiet at a stress-filled game, when your solution is to do the freaking wave, pallie.

More current is this piece on Derek Lowe.  I have mixed feelings about bringing Lowe back to Boston.  First off, aside from his amazing post-season in 2004, he didn’t exactly have the season of his career IN 2004.  And he’s been pitching in the National League for four seasons now.  I’m not exactly brimming with confidence that he’s going to be what the team needs.  And he can say what he wants about his personal life being less crazy now, but I have it on good authority that in saying so, he’s stretching the truth a bit.  I loved DLowe when he was here, but there really WAS too much off the field shit and some of it DID affect his pitching. I know you can never have too much pitching (and I truly believe that), but I don’t know that I want the Sox giving Lowe what he’s undoubtedly looking for – especially when it means we cross our fingers all year long.  I’m a big believer in once you’ve broken up with someone, you don’t go back.  I hope, in this case, the Sox are too.  (And I reserve the right to change my mind in regard to other ex-Sox!)

Still haven’t read or heard any news on Kyle Snyder.  But I have to laugh because I received two separate emails this weekend from people who thought I should check out Kyle’s myspace page.  Even funnier was that each email had a different page linked.  Now, I suppose there is a remote possibility that one of these two pages is Kyle’s, but I really, truly, doubt it.  Nice try, folks.  I will never understand people creating MySpace or Facebook pages pretending to be a famous person.

Football is just NOT filling the sports void right now.  Hell, I’m even looking forward to the WBC this time around!

November 30, 2008 Posted by | Randomness | , | 4 Comments

Leftovers

Well it seems Sarasota has messed with me since I’ve heard no news on Kyle Snyder.  Bad form, Sarasota, bad form indeed.

Back when I met with Rob Bradford to talk about blogging at WEEI.com, he shared that he was working diligently to get Curt Schilling aboard as a blogger…nice to see that has actually happened.  I guess posts like this won’t be necessary when he’s no longer a player and just a blogger (just an assumption on my part – I suppose he could still do both), but I sense that Curt and I will co-exist at EEI.com in very different realms as we do now.  At least we can both agree that the sky is blue.

Newsday reports that the second show televised on MLB Network on its inaugural day will be Don Larsen’s perfect game (Scheduled to be shown on New Year’s Day at 7pm EST).  Hell, for that alone I think it’s already exceeded expectations.

Today will be a day of laziness (I avoid the stores on this day) and, hopefully, we’ll get some hotstove news that won’t bum me out.

Hope everyone has a great day!

November 28, 2008 Posted by | Randomness | 1 Comment

THANKS!

I try not to get too personal on here and I certainly try not to be too hokey – well now I’m going to ignore both those guidelines. Hell, it’s Thanksgiving, I get to wax sentimental, right?

Usually, I pride myself on being independent. I rely on no one more than I do myself. If I make a mistake, I’m the only one I can blame, right? But the truth is, my friends and family mean more to me than anything else and today is as good a day as any to let them know that.

You won’t be subjected to a list of my friends and relatives, but those reading know who they are and how special they are to me. If you don’t, that’s my bad and I will remedy it at some point.

Just this year alone, those I love have been there to support me and my whims. When Tru came to me about the Taylors and I came to you, you all came through in spades. When I entered the EEI contest, you were all there with not only words of encouragement, but much time spent voting online to help ensure my winning (and a lot of shout-outs on your own blogs and message boards!). You’ve indulged my Bronson Arroyo and (especially this year) Kyle Snyder fandom and were a supportive shoulder for every Mike Timlin relief appearance. You bought me drinks when I was wallet-less (and even when I wasn’t) and you made gloomy days absolutely radiant.

I get love and support from all across the country (and from around the world!) on a daily basis. I don’t know anyone who is as fortunate as I am in that respect. For the love of amazing friends and the support of a family any one would be jealous of – I am eternally thankful.

Thanksgiving is, without argument, my favorite holiday. I love Christmas and will make you crazy, if you know me, with Christmas music and movies and stories – but Thanksgiving to me is less stressful, more enjoyable and means remembering how much I appreciate everything I have – and I truly do. So I’ll be thinking about those I won’t be spending the day with, while I’m enjoying the time I’ll get to spend with family. I hope you all get to do the same.

And, also, to all of you I don’t know but who spend some of your precious free time here – thank you – it’s much appreciated all year long!

This is way too sappy, I know. 🙂 So let’s end it with the best Thanksgiving ever shown on television!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

November 27, 2008 Posted by | Holidays! | | 7 Comments

Picture flames coming out of my eyes…

Another update:  It might take longer than a day to get the old/new site back up.  And there’s a possibility a lot of the work from the site is gone.  I’m trying not to be too cranky about this…but that’s a little tough.  Still working through some admin issues.

Here’s a picture of Kyle to make us (well ME) happy.  🙂  Hopefully by tonight I’ll have things back to normal.

Drownedworld73 flickr photo of Kyle Snyder from 2005

DreamHost (where I host the blog) is sucking big time again today so I’m hoping redirecting folks from “ToeingtheRubber” back to “Red Sox Chick” until things get worked out there (which should, hopefully, only be for today) will work.

Another benefit of blogging at WEEI in 2009 will be my not having to deal with stuff like this!  🙂

Edited to add:  the redirect worked.  Welcome to RSC/Toeing the Rubber – at least for the day.  (And thanks for putting up with this!)

November 26, 2008 Posted by | Admin | | Leave a comment

The Season of Giving is Upon Us

You might not know who Ricky Stone is, but his story is one that folks should hear.  For every Andy Pettitte or Roger Clemens, there’s also a Ricky Stone.

Stone spent 6 years in MLB and one year in the Chinese Professional Baseball League.  Stone was one of the many players outed for steroid use in the Mitchell Report in December 2007.  This past August, Stone was back in America and made a visit to former teammates in the Houston Astros visiting locker room at Citizens Bank Park,.  Soon after, he had a grand mal seizure at his home in Ohio and was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.  Ricky Stone is only 33 years old.

Whatever your feelings on steroid use in baseball, this is a sad story.  I’ve yet to read anyone make the connection, in this case, between steroid use and the brain tumor, but it won’t surprise me to find out sooner or later that there’s a connection.  Ricky wasn’t a superstar so he doesn’t get the support of the fans and MLB in general like Pettitte and Clemens did.

The Stones (Ricky is married with two young children) are hitting financial hardships because of the medical bills so free agent, relief pitcher Nelson Figueroa and his wife, Alisa, set up the “Rally for Recovery” auction over at eBay.  You can bid on items like an autographed, game-worn Mark Bellhorn jersey (really!) and know that 100% of what you pay goes to help defray Ricky’s medical costs.

I had a brief discussion (online) yesterday with Curt Schilling in which I wondered why MLB needed to give Lou Gehrig a day when there were so many diseases, sicknesses and birth defects that affect everyone, including MLB players.   Soon every day of baseball will be designated a “day” for something in MLB.  Which wouldn’t be so bad but I see it as a PR stunt for Bud Selig, especially where MLB does a lot of work for ALS awareness already (as they do for other charities).   I wasn’t questioning whether Gehrig was a good man or that ALS is a horrible disease, but I don’t see how you can pull one horrible thing out of the air and say THAT is the worst and IT will be what we deal with.  I donate to The Angel Fund, as I donate to many other causes, but I don’t think one group’s pain is worse than another’s.  Schilling wrongly believed that I was belittling what ALS sufferers and their loved ones go through by wondering why MLB would give Gehrig a “day”.  I wasn’t.  Not at all.  But mine was a point that was difficult to get across.   Then a friend pointed out that I had paid special attention to the Taylors and maybe there were people who didn’t understand why I felt they were worthy over someone else.

Which was a great point and something I had been thinking about a lot when I came across the auction for Ricky Stone.  And what I believe is that, in helping individuals, you aren’t deciding that one’s life is more important than another’s…you’re making a mark where you’re able to.  We can’t save the world, but we sure can try one person at a time.  So while Curt fights the good fight and tries to get ALS awareness more facetime with MLB, I’ve decided to bring Ricky Stone’s plight to your attention.  Neither of us is wrong, we’re just trying to do our part.

There are many cool items over at the Rally for Recovery auction and the auction ends in plenty of time for you to get items in for the holidays!  You get to kill two birds with one stone and do something for someone else while knocking a few items off your Christmas list!

November 25, 2008 Posted by | Charity | , | 3 Comments

Black Friday have you worried?

Who wants to go shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year?  Sure as hell not me.  SO I sit at my computer and shop in a much less stressful manner  – online!

Looking for the perfect gift for your baseball-loving friend or relative?  MLB.com is selling those caps the players wore on the 4th of July (Memorial Day?  Both?).  Chase Utley, Charlie Manual…get the cap your favorite player or coach wore.  (The only Red Sox player listed is Ramon Ramirez and that isn’t in a Red Sox cap!)

But here’s one I sense I know a person or two might like:  Craig Breslow!    Bidding starts at $150 and ends on December 5th.

Hey, there’s also an autographed photo of Bronson Arroyo going for…well, I forget how much, I’m distracted by the leg.

They’re also auctioning off an MLB authenticated, game used home jersey that Mike Timlin wore in the last game of the season this year.  Totally bittersweet for me, as you all know.  Opening bid?  $450.  Nothing says love like buying a USED jersey for what you might be able to pay for a smart phone or a really good digital camera.

Okay, so that’s out of my price range…how about a Mike Timlin hot wheels car??  You think I kid?

See?  There’s plenty of baseball-related stuff out there to buy!

November 25, 2008 Posted by | Housekeeping, Live Blog, Pawtucket Red Sox, Playoffs, Randomness, That was sweet! | , , , | 4 Comments

Well THIS is interesting

Rob Bradford is reporting that “sources familiar with the negotiations” are sayting that the Red Sox have made an offer to Jason Varitek, and the offer is only for one year.

Eesh.

Of course no one from the Red Sox nor Varitek’s camp are commenting on the story so it could all just be smoke…but if it isn’t – one year?  Hell, even I was convinced they’d offer him two.  If the one year offer is legit, it speaks volumes to Theo’s thoughts on where the team is going.  The folks saying ‘keep him around a year to help him train his replacement’ might not be too far off.

Also, I received an email from someone saying they’re from Sarasota and telling me to keep an eye out for Kyle Snyder news this week.  Don’t mess with me on this one, Sarasota.  I’m excited for some Kyle news, yet worried what it could be.

Ah, the Hot Stove.  Ugh.

November 24, 2008 Posted by | Hot Stove | , , | 5 Comments

Today’s your birthday

As my friend Beth points out, today is Jonathan Papelbon’s 28th birthday.  It also happens to be Luis Tiant’s 68th birthday.  Yes, El Tiante was born forty years before our Wild Thing!  This is what I write about when my brain doesn’t want to engage.

Other births of note today:

Steve Landesberg (“Dietrich” on Barney Miller for those too young to know, although if you’re too young to know who Steve Landesberg is you probably are too young to know who Barney Miller is too).

Maxwell Caulfield, best known for helping Michell Pfeiffer destroy the “Grease” legacy.

Robin Roberts – She, currently, of “Good Morning America” and the woman I wish Heidi Watney was.  🙂

And Miley Cyrus is 16 today.  If you don’t know who she is, I hope you say thanks tonight and you must not have a girl in your family between the ages of 6 and 13.

November 23, 2008 Posted by | Randomness | , , | 3 Comments

Is it February yet?

I’m sweating out a head cold, hopped up on NyQuil that hasn’t put me to sleep yet…so I’m looking around trying to sate my appetite for baseball news.  Forgive me while I replace writing with linking tonight.  🙂

Chad Billingsley forgot he lives in the Northeast, where it often snows in November.

Former Dodgers pitcher Dave Stewart, Billingsley’s agent, spoke by phone with the pitcher before and after the operation.

“He said they had their first snow of the year last night and he came out the front door and just slipped,” Stewart said. “He was bummed at first when they told him it was broken. But after the surgery, he was fine.

“The doctors said it turned out to be much better than they originally thought, because they thought it might have been really bad. After the surgery, Chad felt well enough to watch his favorite college football team, Notre Dame. But the way that went [a one-point loss to Syracuse], I told him he should let the medication set in and go to sleep. He laughed.”

He laughed and muttered, “I’ll get you…I’ll get you all you Orange-loving bastards as soon as I’m out of this cast!”

The time has come for the Yankees to put their foot down and that foot is Hal Steinbrenner.

“We’ve made him [CC Sabathia] an offer. It’s not going to be there forever,” Hal Steinbrenner said Thursday after he was approved as the team’s new controlling owner during a meeting at Major League Baseball headquarters.

New York offered a six-year contract to the pitcher last Friday, the first day teams were allowed to start talking money with free agents. The proposal exceeds Johan Santana’s $137.5 million, six-year contract with the New York Mets both in total and average, a baseball official familiar with the negotiations said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to divulge details.

Greg Genske, Sabathia’s agent, did not return a telephone message seeking comment.

I love that Sabathia and Genske are debating this offer like there’s a better one out there. It must chafe Steinbrenner’s ass that Sabathia didn’t jump all over it and thank the Steinbrenner’s for saving him from Major League unemployment.

I know many, many people who are saddened by the Coco trade.  I’m not really one of them.  I’m as sad as you get when a player you like leaves the team, sure, but I like the trade and I think Coco deserves to be a full-time, starting player somewhere.  I’ll miss the Red Bull-fueled catches out in center but, hey, now the pressure is on Jacoby to get his ass in gear.

If he’s asked, Matsuzaka will, once again, pitch in the World Baseball Classic.  As long as it doesn’t mess with his real season, I’m okay with that.

“I’m getting an opportunity to show everybody exactly what I’m capable of,” said Crisp. “I’m happy for that opportunity.”

And I’m happy for you, Covelli. Godspeed and all that.

I’m in a weird spot where I worry about what will happen during the Hot Stove season and yet I’m lamenting, now, the lack of real Sox-related news.  I’m never happy, you understand.

November 22, 2008 Posted by | Hot Stove | , , , | 2 Comments