January 16, 2017

Hall of Fame Ballot - Red Sox players

There are a ton of former Red Sox on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot;

The returning candidates are:
Jeff Bagwell (7th year, 72% last year)
Roger Clemens (5th, 45%)
Curt Schilling (5th, 52%)
Lee Smith (15th, 34%)
Billy Wagner (2nd, 11%)
They all have a legitimate case for the Hall, and although I won’t vote for all of them, you can read the cases I’ve made for each in the previous years’ posts.

There are also nine first timers. Unfortunately, eight of these will likely be one timers.  The new members on the ballot, who I will share my thoughts about below, are:

Orlando Cabrera
Mike Cameron
JD Drew
Manny Ramirez
Edgar Renteria
Freddy Sanchez
Matt Stairs
Jason Varitek
Tim Wakefield

November 13, 2016

Baseball Bloggers Alliance - 2016 American League Awards

 Yesterday I posted my National League votes, today I reveal the ones for the American League.

Connie Mack Award (Manager of the Year)
1. Jeff Bannister
2. Terry Francona
3. Scott Servais

I REALLY wanted to give this award to Tito. It would be very fitting with Dave Roberts getting the National League one, but I couldn't ignore facts. The Indians had five pitchers make 25 or more starts. The Rangers had two, and one of them had a losing record. They won the division by 9 games with a Pythagorean record that had them expected to win 82 games. I kept hearing that they weren't that good of a team, and their record was just smoke and mirrors -- and Jeff Bannister's influence, I guess.  The third choice was tough. Not a lot to pick from, I don't think any of the AL East playoff team managers really distinguished themselves this season.  Scott Servais made big strides in first year at the helm of the Mariners, and based on that he gets my last checkmark.

November 12, 2016

Baseball Bloggers Alliance - 2016 National League Awards

Every season I am entrusted with  a vote towards the the Baseball Bloggers Alliance annual awards.  As a Boston Chapter member, in past years I only voted for the AL awards. You can see how I voted previously here (and here, here, and here). But this year I get to have a say in the National League as well,  which I will share with you today.  In my next post, I will reveal my AL ballot along with fuller explanations for why I voted for whom I did.

The final results should be posted soon on the BBA site.

Connie Mack Award (Manager of the Year)
1. Dave Roberts
2. Dusty Baker
3. Don Mattingly

November 02, 2016

Why you Should Listen to your Opponent's fanbase

I'm copying most of this from a rant I posted on my other blog where I was really making a thinly-veiled political observation. But I used only baseball examples, so I thought with a few tweaks it was appropriate here:

An echo chamber is a place where ideas gain strength through repetition. A great place to find like-minded friends who all agree with you and reinforce your opinion. You have some slight belief in something, and before you know it, you are 100% convinced that it is inarguably correct based on all the feedback you hear. It can be a great place to boost your ego with so many people who share your worldview and make of those who like the other team.  But, it has its drawbacks. And they can have grave consequences.

The first time I became aware of this phenomenon, was when I learned of other people’s opinions of Tim McCarver

October 08, 2016

Game 3 of the ALDS is a MUST WIN Game

But not for the Red Sox.  The Red Sox are down 2-0 to the Cleveland Indians in their Division Series, so by any logical, reasonable, literal definition of "must win", game 3 is one.  Any elimination game is. When they were down 3-0 to the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, Game 4 was a literal "must-win", so was Game 5 and 6. Game 7 became one for both teams.   But this isn't what I'm talking about.  If Boston loses tomorrow, it will be disappointing. Any time a team makes the playoffs and doesn't win the last game they play, it's a disappointment.  Mets and Orioles fans are disappointed and before we crown another World Series Champion, seven other fanbases will be disappointed.

But this doesn't make tomorrow's Clay Buchholz start at Fenway Park a "MUST WIN" for the Red Sox.  Their fans have been disappointed before, and they will be disappointed again.  You can't win it all every season.  Even if we win five World Series in the next six years, we will be disappointed the other time.   And that's ok.  What is tougher to handle are the  heartbreaking, soul-crushing defeats when you think you are going to win and it's pulled out from other you. That takes all off-season to get over.  Sometimes it takes many seasons. Think Bucky Dent, Buckner or Boone.