Monday, January 31

Crossing the Atlantic for Spring Training

A few weeks ago, ITMGal and I jumped at the opportunity to spend the next 6 months with our respective companies across the pond in London. 

Sadly, before officially signing the dotted line, I started to sweat.  "What about the Sox?, my trip to Spring Training?  The day when JD Drew goes down with a hangnail and I can't immediately blog about it?"

All legit concerns in my book, not so much for others. 

Either way, I just used a ridiculous amount of air miles and two extra vacation days to book my flight from London back to Boston....only to recheck my bags after immigration to fly straight down to Ft Myers.  Spring Training, this year, is simply that important.

Surely my coworkers in London won't understand my actions, but that's likely going to be the case for every day of the 6 months I'm there.

Seriously though, one of the most exciting off season in recent memory and I'll be watching Sox games at 3 AM local time and discussing lineup options over tea and crumpets with someone who doesn't know how many outs there are in an inning.

A quick google search of Red Sox pubs in London came up empty....but I'm confident I can find a few.  Knock on wood for me.

That said, be ready for all sorts of random rants and photos as I go one on one with the Brits.  Go Sox, Go USA.

Wednesday, January 26

Meet the Man Who is Going to Save the Yankees...

In a move that has shaken the rest of the AL East to its core, the Yankees have solidified all of their starting pitching need by shelling out 900k to a 37 year old 5 foot 2 inch, 379 pound pitcher who didn't pitch in the majors last year.

Agon and Carl Crawford?  The Yanks have officially evened the playing field in the toughest division in baseball.  See how much they poured?

After getting douched on by the media, Cashman has gotta feel good about himself on this low risk high reward transaction.  He really pulled the shade over on Theo with this one.

...In all seriousness, I think regardless of who signed Bartolo I'd be writing this post.  Seriously though, how does this mass of a man continue to find work?  900k?  Not bad for a guy who has no business playing baseball anymore, nonetheless on the Yankees.

And now that I've typed this, he'll throw on the pinstripes, lose 200 pounds, and go 17-4 for the Yankees.

PS:  My condolences go out to Patrick Murray and all of Rhode Island.  Rocco Baldelli has officially retired at the age of 63...or 47...or 29, whatever he is.  Regardless, safe to say flags will be at half staff in Cumberland, RI tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 25

Cashman Sees the Writing on the Wall, Says the Sox are Better Than the Yanks  "During a question and answer session with fans in New York on Tuesday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman indicated that at the moment, he feels the Red Sox have a better roster than the Yankees.

 With the Yankees still looking to solidify their starting rotation, Cashman was asked by a local radio host who had the better squad without the Yanks adding another starter. The general manager replied, "Red Sox," and later in the conversation added, "they’ve got guys they can run one through six and I’m looking for a fourth.”

“The biggest problem we have right now is I need a starting pitcher,” Cashman added. "Everybody knows that. I’m going to work on trying to get that. It might come from someone who has decided right now they don’t want to play, it might come from a trade, it might come from within. Time will tell.”

It's about time Cashman came around and saw the writing on the wall.  The crap show that is the New York sports world continues and I couldn't be happier. 

Cashman confirmed that he wasn't involved in the Soriano deal, and now comes out and admits during a candid interview that their arch nemisis is a better team?  What's going on in NYC?  Right now, it seems incredibily unlikely that he'll resign with the Yanks.....disarray in NYC, I love it.

I tell you what, if I'm a Yankee fan, I'm pissed right now.  Do you think Theo would ever come out and say the Yankees were a better team than the Red Sox?  Shit no, he'd make up some random stat that indicated the Sox play better than the Yanks on the road against a right handed pitcher under the age of thirty on cloudy days south of the Mason-Dixon line......and just like that, we'd irrationally buy in.

Sunday, January 23

Bradford Working Out With Pedroia, Hilarity Ensues...

Pedroia dominates!  Man I can't wait until the annual ITM trip to Ft Myers....I'll be flying back from London this time's that important.

Either way, Rob Bradford actually managed better than I had expected.  Sure, he looks like the rest of the radio hosts... fat, ugly, middle-aged white guys, but you bet your ass Glen Ordway or John Dennis would never throw themselves into a tiger's ring like that.

Either way, I'm happy to see Pedey looks ready for the season after his foot surgery....he just needs to shave his head or wear a hat....

Bring on baseball season....only 33 days, 18 hours and 59 mins until Red Sox Spring Training (yes, I have an app for that).  Game on, go Sox.

PS:  The other guy in this workout is Andre Ethier

Friday, January 14

Bobby Jenks Looks Ready....Kinda....

Bobby Jenks everyone.  He literally looks like he just rolled out of bed and started throwing the baseball.  If I walked by that guy on Boylston street I would assume he was either a cab driver or carpenter from Southie. 

But let's be honest, the "I usually do everything on my own" line has to stop....not with Pedroia in that locker room.  In fact, according to the WEEI article, it's already started....

 "Right now I'm further ahead than I ever have been. Hopefully that will speak for itself once the season starts."
"It is all part of the metamorphosis for Jenks. About 30 minutes into his workout, he is presented with another alteration.
"Is he like this all the time," the pitcher asks Frandsen, referring to the never-ending stream of Pedroia-isms.
"You haven't seen anything yet," Frandsen responded.

(A few moments earlier, Pedroia could be found flexing while yelling over to Jenks, "This is what you'll have playing behind you this season!")"

Oh  Bobby Jenks, so much to learn, so little time. 

In all seriousness though, I'm eager to see he can bring to the table for the Sox.  An effective Jenks, coupled with Bard's sauce and any kind of return to normalcy for Pap will mean a significantly improved bullpen for the Sox.    While the Yank's recent move of picking of Soriano has New Yorkers claiming to have the best bullpen in the league, the Sox aren't exactly petting kittens over here either.

....I don't even know what that last line really means.  Game on.

Sunday, January 9

Sunday Funday....Going Around the Horn

It’s been a while since I’ve posted much of anything as we’re officially in the winter doldrums. That said, I’ll quickly go around the horn….

• Mike Cameron wants to stay in Boston despite the Sox bringing in Carl Crawford… surprise there, JD will likely go down with a hangnail in late April. Plus, Mikey sees the writing on the wall, this team has “special” potential.

• The Sox will not be bringing in the right field fences. Apparently, the Boston Historical Society could care less if Daniel Bard gets drilled in the head in their European style bullpen. (ITM note, the Sox still think this will happen in the upcoming years)

• I’m pumped about Max Ramirez joining the Sox. The team certainly needs the depth at the catcher position, plus, given his history with Boston (re: Mike Lowell trade), I’m glad he finally got here.

• I still can’t believe Beltre got that kind of money. I mean, good for him, but Texas will regretting that deal by 2013. Also, Pedey’s quote on Beltre was great…. “He wants to win. He plays great defense -- he gets to a ton of balls at third base” Nice Pedey, Nice.

• Speaking of balls, Buckner is going to coach the Brockton Rox huh? Good for him. Lock your doors though Billy boy, lock your doors.

A last point, come February, I’ll be heading across the pond to spend 6 months in London for work…’s likely to result in some ridiculous posts about their terrible ability to appreciate baseball, and my inability to conform to any of the cultural differences. Stay tuned....5 weeks until pitchers and catchers....

Monday, January 3

This Story Can't Be Real Life.....

(AP) DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- "Baltimore Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon surrendered to police Monday to face an involuntary manslaughter charge in a fatal shooting New Year's Eve. His lawyer said he was firing celebratory shots in the air.
The Dominican pitcher is suspected of killing 25-year-old Michel Castillo Almonte and wounding his 17-year-old brother in the northeast coastal town of Luperon. The dead man is Simon's cousin, according to the player's lawyer.

Police initially said a murder charge would be filed against Simon, but Public Prosecutor Victor Mueses told The Associated Press on Monday that witness accounts and evidence support an involuntary manslaughter charge instead.

"The version that we have is that there was a dispute between two women and he tried to dissolve it, fired a shot that ended up wounding a young person in the arm and that same bullet lodged in the chest of the deceased," Mueses said by phone.

Simon is to appear at the Puerto Plata courthouse for arraignment later in the day. He could face up to two years in prison if found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Mueses, the public prosecutor in Puerto Plata, said he will request three months of preventive detention for Simon while the case is pending.

Simon's lawyer, Carlos Olivares, told the AP his client fired random shots with a group of local boys. But he believes Simon could not have been the shooter because the player's cousin was shot in the chest.

"We are giving the weapon so that the national police can do the pertinent ballistics tests," Olivares said.Ballistics test should be completed in the next 48 hours, according to Dominican Police Chief Jose Polanco. 

Some Dominicans shoot guns in the air on New Year's Eve especially in the hours leading to midnight, although authorities have repeatedly warned against the practice. Bystanders are killed or wounded every New Year's Eve. Simon was accompanied to the police station by Julio Lugo, the free agent second baseman for the Orioles.  "He is scared because he recognizes that he fired shots, although they went into the air," said Lugo, who advised Simon to surrender after he fled the scene.

The injured teenager was shot in the right arm and remains hospitalized in the Dominican city of Santiago.

Simon joined Baltimore in 2008 but was quickly sidelined with an injury. The 29-year-old pitcher went 4-2 with a 4.93 ERA last season. He had 17 saves before Orioles manager Buck Showalter decided to make Koji Uehara the closer."

A friend of mine sent this over to me this afternoon saying "Happy New Year".  Honestly, this is the best present ever.  It's the jackpot, a unfathomable story with a Julio Lugo kicker at the end? Priceless.

I think I need to read this a few more times in an attempt to actually understand it.  Either way, the Orioles appear to be in mid-season form.
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