This is how I was greeted tonight:
“So what do you think about whatshisname in the Herald writing that the Red Sox owe A-Rod an apology?”
I had no idea what he was talking about or who ‘whatshisname’ was. So I was forced to go look. And I found this from Steve Buckley:
Bottom line: Failing to acknowledge A-Rod Friday night wasn’t as bad as the stunt Dempster pulled in 2013. But it was a failure nonetheless, and the Red Sox owe A-Rod an apology.
While I am tempted to use salty language, I will try to refrain. At least for now.
But is Steve Buckley freaking kidding me? Is he trolling us all? Is he now turning into a Dan Shaughnessy click bait machine? I mean WHAT THE GOOD HELL?
Steve Buckley thinks that by not acknowledging that A-Rod is now tied for 4th place (With Willie Mays) on the all-time home run list that they have perpetuated some tragic miscarriage of justice.
Everyone knows what STFU means, yes?
(Also, I’d just like to say that if I ever meet Ryan Dempster he’s getting a hug, a kiss, and as many free beers as I can afford to buy him.)
I watched the game on NESN Friday night while also “watching” online via Twitter. A few reporters on Twitter immediately noted that Fenway Park did not mention the home run and seemed perplexed by this. My first thought about it was “Why antagonize the fans?” Seriously. The home run that A-Rod hit, his 660th, tied him with Mays for 4th place but more importantly in the moment it gave the Yankees the lead in a game they ended up winning. Red Sox fans already felt lousy enough. Why would their own team rub salt in that wound by making the fans cheer for the guy by announcing his milestone?
While I’m ranting about it, I dig Willie Mays as much as the next person but we’re talking about 4th place here. Where is it written that we have to celebrate you for coming in fourth?
But I digress.
Regardless of how petty others might think it is, there is a large contingent of baseball fans, the majority of them probably Red Sox fans, who flat-out do not like A-Rod. We could point to his suspension for steroids for the entire 2014 season. We could talk about his interview with Peter Gammons where he claimed the only time he used was in 2001-2002 while he was in Texas and that he didn’t even know what substance he used. Or we could talk about how he announced to the world that he was opting out of his contract with the Yankees during the 2007 World Series. I could keep listing reasons why Alex Rodriguez is not popular in general, but specifically if there is a fan base renowned for hating him it’s the Red Sox fans. Steve Buckley, along with the rest of the baseball world, knows this quite well.
Some of our reasons are rational and some aren’t. Some are thin and stretch the limits of why we wouldn’t like someone and some of them involve the freaking 2004 ALDS and A-Rod slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s hand and then acting all surprised when the umpires got together and called his ball slapping ass out.
Red Sox fans do not like Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod knows this. Steve Buckley knows this. Most importantly, the Boston Red Sox know this. They didn’t ignore his home run on Friday to show solidarity with the Yankees. I’d like to think they ignored it to show solidarity with the Red Sox fans.
(For the record, Dr. Charles Steinberg claims the intent was to acknowledge it during A-Rod’s next at-bat but he didn’t get one in that game.)
There are many, many people who believe home runs 1-654 (we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for 2015 just for the sake of argument) are irreparably tainted. Good for you if you are not one of those people, but at least understand not only that people feel this way but why. And if you can’t figure out why then you with your head in the sand and your eyes blinded by Yankees pinstripes are part of the problem.
I will be terribly disappointed if the Red Sox do decide to apologize to him.
In my opinion, what the Red Sox did Friday night wasn’t to disrespect Alex Rodriguez it was to show respect to their fans. If A-Rod wanted respect he should have gone about it a completely different way. If anyone owes an apology it’s A-Rod. For pretty much everything he’s ever done. And he should issue it every single day of the rest of his life.
Because, really, screw that guy.
In Boston we are fortunate. While so many other baseball towns suffer through the boredom of the off-season, we get all kinds of fun events to keep reminding us that baseball is again just around the corner. One of the more exciting and fun events that going into its ninth, let’s say season, is the New Stars for Young Stars event that benefits the Jimmy Fund. Every year the Red Sox bring a handful of up and coming players (as well as a veteran or two) to Jillian’s just across from Fenway Park for a meet and greet with the fans. Photos are taken, autographs given, and I even once got a kiss from Manny Delcarmen! It’s a great event and I’m happy to help promote it each year. This year, on Saturday, January 11th, along with young’uns like Mookie Betts and Drake Britton, newly signed Red Sox player A.J. Pierzynski will be appearing at the event.
A.J. Pierzynski and I will be in the same building. A few years ago that could have proved to be interesting but this year I’m in my “If I can embrace Jonny Gomes I can give A.J. Pierzynski a fresh start” mode so there won’t be any fireworks from me unless I decide to try and smuggle Mookie Betts home with me.
If you can make it out, it really is a fun way to spend a few hours. But to make sure you don’t get any misinformation, let me give the floor to the Jimmy Fund folks:
Red Sox players to sign autographs to support the Jimmy Fund at New Stars for Young Stars IX
Annual event will benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
BOSTON – Baseball fans have a chance to meet the newest members of the World Champion Boston Red Sox and up-and-coming minor leaguers on Saturday, January 11 as they sign autographs at the Jimmy Fund’s New Stars for Young Stars IX. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Jillian’s Boston. The lineup includes newly signed catcher AJ Pierzynski, infielder Mookie Betts, pitchers Drake Britton and Rubby De La Rosa, and catcher Blake Swihart. *Players are subject to change.
The event is presented by the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston and features a buffet lunch, sports memorabilia sale, opportunity drawing, silent auction and bowling. Tickets are available in advance for $89 per person, which includes one autograph from all attending Red Sox players, lunch buffet, and one guest ticket. VIP tickets for $250 are also available and include one of the first 30 spots in line, one autograph from all attending Red Sox players for the ticketholder and one guest, a Red Sox Jersey, lunch buffet, one guest ticket and one autograph from each player for guests. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to jimmyfund.org/new-stars or call 1-800-52-JIMMY. All proceeds from the event go to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.
The Jimmy Fund (www.JimmyFund.org) solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. This year celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Jimmy Fund and Boston Red Sox relationship, and represents one of the most remarkable partnerships between a team and a charity in the history of professional sports. The Jimmy Fund is also the official charity of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge, and the Variety Children’s Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide. Follow the Jimmy Fund on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thejimmyfund and on Twitter: @TheJimmyFund.
After all my complaining about people complaining about the team in Spring Training I have to fess up and admit that watching last night’s game was painful. I’m not proud. The game drove me crazy. Good God, it’s already started, hasn’t it?
It’s going to be a fun year.
Speaking of pain, send good thoughts to Corey Patterson who left the game after being hit by a Daniel Bard 95 mph fastball. It was a frightening moment during the game punctuated by the obvious remorse Bard showed while Patterson was being attended to. I can’t remember seeing a pitcher applaud someone he just hit as they walk off the field. Bard did that last night (he also spoke to Patterson after the game).
In one of the more unique stories of the week, Bronson Arroyo, thought to possibly have been suffering with Valley Fever can rest easy now knowing it’s Mono. Apparently the move to Arizona for the Reds has taken it’s toll on my favorite active right-hander. (A comment on the original ESPN story about the possibility of it being Valley Fever now seems more entertaining than when I originally read it: “some get pneumonia then get better, some are sick for months or years, and some die”. In either case, Bronson could probably use some positive vibes sent his way too!)
Previously, I mentioned Pedro Martinez getting a portrait in the Smithsonian this week. After reading the story about it and how he felt (and seeing this picture of him and his mother next to the portrait) I have a hankering to watch some old Red Sox games pitched by him. It’s interesting to me the kind of emotions Pedro can stir up. At least for me. I’m so proud of him and touched by his reaction to the honor. It also makes me sentimental for the Pedro Martinez days of the Boston Red Sox.
Including the exhibition game against the Houston Astros on the 30th, there are five games left for the Red Sox before the regular season begins. Three of them, including the Houston game, will be shown on NESN and two of those three (the Houston game and tonight’s 7:05 game against the Minnesota Twins) will also be shown on the MLB Network. So there are still plenty of opportunities to get a look at your 2011 Boston Red Sox before the games officially mean anything.
I’m not one who complains about Daylight Savings; I dig it being light out at 7, 8pm. But, apparently, it has been messing with my sleep patterns because this week I have gotten up every day at least an hour later than I usually do. So, once again, my post today is late and, this time, more of just a bit of rambling than any one cohesive thought. How about some confessions that you might or might now already know about me?
* I like Daisuke Matsuzaka. Sure it’s convenient for me to say that after he pitched so well yesterday, but I do. I’ve liked him from the beginning. I don’t fret over the money the Red Sox put out just to bid on him and I think, as far as making money in the bubble of the world known as MLB, he has been worth the money he’s being paid.
* I don’t like Jon Lester. I have my reasons just like everyone has their reasons for liking or not liking a player. Having written that, if he isn’t the starting pitcher for Opening Day, I will suspect Terry Francona was dropped on his head just before making the announcement. While I could also see Tito starting Clay Buchholz and being more than happy with that, I think Crabcakes has earned getting the nod first (and next).
* Ever since Mike Timlin left the Red Sox I haven’t developed a deep down, true favorite player. The seasons between 2002-2008 were magical for many reasons not the least of for me was the abundance of players to fall for. Kyle Snyder and Mike Timlin are the remnants of those years – both my last “favorite” players who are both no longer playing (hopefully that won’t be the case for Kyle much longer but who knows). I love the team and if I had to quickly pick the one whose being traded or DFA’d would rip my heart out I guess I’m looking at either JD Drew or Clay Buchholz. But it still isn’t the same. Ask anyone who went to a game with me while Mike Timlin was active and they’ll tell you how physically and emotionally involved I got in his appearances. You can also ask the handful of friends who spent the day texting me to find out if I was all right the Saturday Kyle was designated for assignment (yes, without looking I remembered it was a Saturday and they were in Toronto. The pain is burned into my memory). There’s no one on the team I feel that deeply for. Maybe that’s a good thing? I do know it changes the way I watch the games just a little bit.+
* I’ve never not had Bronson Arroyo on a fantasy baseball team and this year he’s on my team in two different leagues. So, in reference to the confession above this one, were he still on the Red Sox HE’D be the favorite. (I also still hold out the unrealistic hope of his returning to the Red Sox some day. I’m an optimist.)
* I’ve discovered (or maybe RE-discovered) that if I have any hard feelings for ex-Red Sox players (and goodness knows I do) they are stronger for Johnny Damon than they are for Manny Ramirez. I know the Yankees thing and the out and out lying thing are big parts of that but it struck me odd that I watched Manny and had NO feelings about how he did at bat (I felt “meh”) but just seeing Johnny holding a baseball bat my first thought was “I hope you strike out”. In real life, I’m a fairly rational person. Obviously this doesn’t translate well to my baseball fandom.
+If the Red Sox trade or DFA Tim Wakefield this year, I have no idea how I will handle it. They can only trade him with his approval because of his time in the league and on the Sox, so I guess I’d be more okay with that than with them just dumping him. He’s on a different level than a “favorite” player; he’s Tim Freaking Wakefield. I can’t write any more about it because it’s upsetting me just to think about it.
Truck Day will be upon us in two week’s time.
Because of this fact, I should be more inspired to write about baseball but listening to the plows go by my house and watching the snow pile up in feet around me is making it difficult to get inspired about the boys of summer.
If you, like me, are in need of friendly reminders that it will not always be white and cold outside and some day SOON there will be baseball played in Boston again, you might want to go to Kelly O’Connor’s SmugMug site where she has not only all of her photos from 2010, but ALL of her photos. Kelly has spent the better part of this snowy month updating her archives so folks don’t have to switch back and forth from her new site to the sittingstill site to see her wonderful photographs. The best part? Now her site is entirely searchable! You can search by keywords (including player’s names or phrases like “don’t touch his head” and, one of my favorites, “j.d. does so smile“), you can comment on the photos and vote for your favorites as well.
It’s a great way to spend a snowy day when you’re longing for green grass and baseball!
I get accused an awful lot of only liking certain players because they’re “cute”. Every accusation of this is wrong except for two: The first is Fred Lynn. If he hadn’t been cute I would have never started watching baseball as young as I did. The second is, you guessed it, Bronson Arroyo.
I’ll never be able to fully explain it so I’ll just say this, there is just something about Bronson that turns me into a sixteen year-old girl whenever I get the chance to see him. It’s funny because I don’t go out of my way to pay that much attention to him during the season. I pay enough attention to know he’s doing well and, as long as it doesn’t conflict with a Red Sox game, I try to watch his starts when I can, but it isn’t until he’s actually in town that I start getting all girly about him.
Tonight is that night. 🙂
So today I might lose a few points in the respect column for those who get upset when women who blog about baseball talk about how attractive they find a player but that’s really too bad. Tonight, with some friends, I get to be a giddy, excited girl again for a few hours thanks to Bronson’s appearance in Foxboro. It might not be popular to admit something as silly as my crush on Bronson, but for me it’s nice to look forward to just letting go and being silly once a year.
I hope everyone enjoys their weekend as much as I plan on enjoying mine!
I wonder where I’ll be tomorrow night?
Carl Crawford telling the world that his 6 year-old son might be “a closet Red Sox fan” because he was so excited about Crawford joining Boston kept me smiling all day yesterday.
I know he’s going to be rich beyond anyone’s wildest dreams and that’s the real reason he’s happy to be in Boston, but yesterday Crawford said all the right things and gave Red Sox fans yet another reason to be excited about this upcoming season. I’m as happy about this season as I have been any other…and a little bit more so at the idea of seeing both Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford playing in home whites at Fenway. Jason Varitek hanging around Fenway for another season pleases me too. Tek has his detractors but I’m not one of them. There’s a happy feeling that I get knowing Tek is around. As I wrote a few entries ago, same goes for Tim Wakefield. I’m going to enjoy having the old guard in the park along with the new blood. I feel like those being miserable about what has happened so far this off-season just don’t want to try and enjoy what we have. That’s not to say I don’t understand why some folks would question the length or amount of Crawford’s contract (it’s a bit mind-boggling) but I feel like it’s a no-brainer to say he’ll be a great addition to the team. If I have to pay a few extra dollars for a seat, or a beer, or a dog, and the upside is I’ll be using that seat, drinking that beer or eating that dog at a playoff game, I’m all right with that.
I’ve been meaning to bring up Bronson Arroyo signing an extension with the Reds. It’s so amusing to me how things change with time and, relative, success. Longtime readers of the blog know how devastated I was when Theo traded Bronson. (Oh, Wily Mo). I was counting the days until he was out of his contract. After a career first season with the Reds, Bronson was given an extension, adding four years and around $25 million in salary. I had to be happy for him but his contract ending in 2010 seemed so far away. Now he’s been given another extension, three years and $35 million and instead of lamenting how long he’ll be with the Reds, I’m happy that he’s become such a valuable fixture in the rotation. I must be getting soft in my old age. 🙂
If you haven’t heard of Dirk Hayhurst, The Garfoose or The Bullpen Gospels, you’re missing out on some entertaining musings. Dirk is a talented writer (and current free-agent pitcher) who uses his time to entertain and encourage those who read him. Last night, he jumped on Ustream and read chapters from the book he is currently working on for roughly 25 fans who caught his mention of it on Twitter. Along with having a pleasant voice to listen to, he has a knack for story telling and it was a unique and fun way to spend an evening. Dirk has really mastered using social media outlets to connect with fans. It would please me if more players could do this. I know not all of them have books to promote, but there are still ways to interact with the fans without it being intrusive for the players while giving the fans a taste of the athletes they support. Maybe they should give social media classes to the players? I’m looking for work and would be happy to assist!
There is an awful lot to appreciate about baseball. I’m appreciating how Theo and the trio seem to be going out of their way to make sure we appreciate them this year!
Not that many folks consider the Gold Glove competition anything more than a popularity contest. Rafael Palmeiro winning in 1999 while primarily being a designated hitter for the Baltimore Orioles saw to that. (He played 28 games at first in 1999. 28.)
The next time anyone complains about how the All Star Game voters (that would be US) vote, remind them that managers and coaches vote for the winner and the only criteria they need to go by is to NOT vote for someone on their own team. People who know more about the game than the regular folks thought that Derek Jeter was better than all other American League shortstops defensively. Then again, All Star Game voters chose Derek Jeter this year as well. There is no accounting for taste.
So it’s tough to get up in arms about Jeter winning. People will vote for who they like (or, what I believe to be the case here, for who they have been brainwashed is the greatest player playing) and that will never change. Once Jeter is retired, the world of MLB will find someone else to treat like a God and he’ll get a bunch of awards he doesn’t deserve. The circle will not be broken.
As an aside, a friend on Twitter led me to this blog entry by calling it “the worst sports related blog post of all time”. While I wouldn’t go that far (it IS well-written, if not, well, a bit angrily so) it is definitely worth reading for entertainment value. If you don’t want to visit the link, here’s the short version: Derek Jeter is the best player in the world, the Yankees are the best team, and anyone who thinks he is declining in his skills or that the Yankees won’t re-sign him is a big jerk/idiot otherwise known as a Red Sox fan or someone at ESPN”. The comments alone are worth a gander but two things stood out to me: 1) the idea that only Red Sox fans and folks at ESPN don’t like Derek Jeter (I know many Sox fans who like Jeter. I also know many fans of other teams who think he’s, say it with me, over-rated) and 2) how in the middle of a piece about Jeter, the writer stuck in there that many players (including David Ortiz) are declining because they no longer use PEDs but Alex Rodriguez isn’t on that list because his decline has to do with injuries. Oookay then. Also, I’m trying to figure out how this piece is on the sports page of the Los Angeles Times. Do people in L.A. give a flying fig what happens to Derek Jeter?
As far as Bronson is concerned, I really don’t know if he is deserving of the Gold Glove over other pitchers in his league. I know the defense on the Reds was damned fine this season and Bronson’s wasn’t shabby…so I’m good with it. Bronson’s comments about it tickled the heck out of me:
“It was definitely a shock. Honestly, it never even crossed my mind once throughout my entire career.”
Honesty with a touch of modesty is refreshing. I’m waiting for Jeter to come out with “Are you kidding? They gave it to ME? What the heck were they thinking?”
I’ll be waiting a long time.
Still processing that the season for the Sox has ended. Watching “Four Days in October” last night helped and hearing Don Orsillo calling the Rangers/Rays game does too.
Given that I don’t really dislike any of the teams in the playoffs except for one, for the most part I’m in the “Anyone but the Yankees” camp. There are three games on television today, though, so I might as well make some picks (idea kind of lifted from Metsgrrl who mapped out her choices over at her blog). I’m only picking by series, though, so here’s what I’d like to happen in the Division Series.
Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays: I’m torn. I despise the cowbells which means I’m not fond of most Rays fans (not all, though. I know a few I consider good fans and part of me is happy for them) so every Rays loss means we’re closer to no more freaking cowbells until April 2011. That I can get behind. (Also, I will always dislike James Shields for many reasons but mostly his dumbass nickname. Once the Rays are out of it, no one will be mentioning “Big Game” James. Who could root against that?) The only thing I have against the Rangers is Josh Hamilton. I don’t want to hear what a wonderful story he has for the next month. Any time someone starts talking about Josh Hamilton and his issues, it makes me want to start using drugs. That’s probably not what he had in mind when he shared his story, huh? I’m going with the Rangers. Cliff Lee making his way through the playoffs makes me happy. I won’t be devastated if the Rays win, but if the baseball gods love us even a little than they will spare us the idiocy that is adults ringing cowbells.
Cincinnati Reds v Philadelphia Phillies: I don’t hate the Phillies but I’m really just sick of them. The only things that make me not want to root for the Reds are Dusty Brown and Jonny Gomes. If Gomes pulls something in his first appearance and can’t play the rest of the post-season, I’ll be a happy gal. I’m rooting for the Reds. Gomes and Baker aside, I like their fan base and I think a fan base as loyal as theirs should get to enjoy more than one round of the playoffs. It doesn’t hurt that Bronson Arroyo is with the Reds, not at all. Okay, who am I kidding? I want Bronson to get another ring. I do. I do. I do. I do. There, I said it.
New York Yankees v Minnesota Twins: I’m all about the Yankees. (Man, I couldn’t even type that with a straight face!) I don’t just want the Twins to beat the Yankees, I want Joe Girardi to get thrown out of every game. I want Derek Jeter to throw his shoulder out while he’s fist pumping. I want Slappy to tear a few muscles in the groin area. I want CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte to all give up over ten hits and ten runs. I want Mark Teixeira to bat .000 and Nick Swisher to have 17 errors. I WANT THE TWINS TO DESTROY THE YANKEES! That is all.
Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants: Honestly? I couldn’t care less. There are ex-Sox on the Braves (Lowe, Gonzalez, Wagner, Hinske, heck even Ross) AND on the Giants (Lopez, Ramirez, Renteria, Sanchez), so I could develop a fondness for either team. Do I have to pick one? Let’s see, Tomahawk Chop versus panda hats…I’m going to have to give this one to San Francisco. Plus, seeing Javier Lopez in the post season makes me unreasonably happy. Not exactly a good rationale for choosing the Giants but there you have it.
I’m watching the Rangers take David Price for five runs in five innings so far. I hope every game today has a similar scenario!