Recent Comments by justgary

The sanctimonious baseball purists want to elevate Aaron Judge. Don’t let them.

Aaron Judge's 62nd Home Run And MAGA's Rejection Of Reality

posted by justgary at 09:41 PM on October 05, 2022

Bill Buckner, All-Star slugger best known for his '86 World Series error, is dead at 69

What I didn't like was during the 2004 Series, the Sox were clearly dominating and they put Mientkiewicz in at first base as a late inning replacement. The announcers said something like: "That's mainly for defensive purposes. They're leaving nothing to chance. They remember what happened before." Whoever said that can go to hell. posted by beaverboard

The story was that McNamara left Buckner at first instead of putting in Stapleton for defensive purposes, as he had often done during the season, so he could be on field for the celebration. Not sure if that was ever confirmed or denied, and I did read where Buckner claimed the only time Stapleton came in to replace him was when he was hurting.

Regardless, he should have been taken out. And that was the manager's fault, not Buckner's. Buckner went through hell with the media, but I don't see anything wrong or untrue with what the announcer said.

Joe Posnanski:

Then, I also think that Billy Buck's legacy should have nothing to do with an awkward ground ball that slipped through his legs when he shouldn't have even been out there, when his manager dozed rather than replace him with a younger man, when his teammates floundered and gave the Mets a chance to win a game they'd already lost.

That Posnanski piece is the best write-up I've read on Buckner's passing, showing what qualities made Buckner unique while also completely ignoring the false claims the Red Sox fan base took years to forgive him.

It's cool Buckner got some big celebratory moments in Boston in recent years, such as tossing out a first pitch the season after a Series win. Part of me still hates the "Boston forgives Buckner" idea, though. The question I cared about was whether he forgave Boston. posted by rcade

100% this. If anyone needed to forgive anyone else in this situation, it's Buckner forgiving Boston sports fans posted by NoMich

None of this is true.

Joy of Sox

Red Sox fans did not wait 21 years to forgive Buckner. They gave him a huge ovation during a public rally for the team in Boston on October 29 ,1986, two days after the team lost the World Series.

On October 30, 1986, the Associated Press reported that "hundreds of thousands of fans ... offered prolonged cheers for first baseman Bill Buckner".

Peter Gammons wrote in Sports Illustrated (November 10, 1986)

The Hub Hails Its Hobbling Hero

He awakened on the morning after the morning after, knowing that he had two more rivers to cross. First, there was a parade in downtown Boston. ... As he started to get out of bed, he heard some mention of the Mets' parade on the radio. "More than two and a half million people honored the world champions yesterday in New York," said the announcer, "and the parade finished with the Mets' team bus going through Bill Buckner's legs."

"Here I just experienced the best year of my life with a team, and I feel rotten," Bill Buckner said to his wife, Jody, as they drove down Route 93 toward Boston last Wednesday morning. "This whole city hates me. Is this what I'm going to be remembered for? Is this what I've killed myself for all these years? Is a whole season ruined because of a bad hop? I've got to go through the humiliation of this parade, partly because I know I don't deserve it. Oh well, there'll only be two or three players and about 50 people who'll show up to boo us." ...

It was a crystal-clear autumn morning ... when the truck neared Copley Square, he saw that the street was lined with faces and banners as far as he could see. Buckner had asked not to speak at the rally at City Hall Plaza, and so he stood at the end of the stage. But when he heard the ringing one-minute ovation that followed his name, Buckner stepped forward and thanked the crowd.

"That was the most incredible experience of my career," he said to Jody ...

Joy of Sox

I have memories of Bill Buckner receiving a standing ovation from Red Sox fans at Fenway Park on Opening Day in 1987. Yet no sportswriter mentioned that in his or her coverage of yesterday's events.

there's some revisionist history going on with Buckner, that people around here never really hated him, and that, um, hello, he came back to play for the Red Sox in 1990 and got a standing ovation then.

Art Martone mentioned 1990's return -- "when the fans gave him an ovation similar to today's" -- but many writers didn't even bother mentioning that event.

So we have an ovation for Buckner at the rally 2 days after the World Series, during the opening game of the 1987 season, and during the first game of 1990 when Buckner returned to the Red Sox for his last year. Three times in the 3 years after his error.

And we haven't even gotten to 2004 and 2008.

Take it from Buckner himself:

(and notice the headline:"Bill Buckner, Red Sox Scapegoat Later Embraced By Fans, Dies)

"I really had to forgive, not the fans of Boston, per se, but I would have to say in my heart I had to forgive the media. For what they put me and my family through. So, you know, I've done that and I'm over that."

It was the media that was merciless to Buckner. Dan Shaughnessy made a living discussing Buckner's error, only to now claim the fans were unfair to him. Another reporter called Buckner's wife after Donnie Moore killed himself after a blown save to ask if Buckner had every contemplated suicide after his error.

And yet almost every article written by the media upon Buckner's death, even though he publicly blamed the media for his treatment, focused on the falsehood that the fans treated Buckner terribly. Think about that for a second.

Yes, some fans were cruel. I've heard the talk radio comments at the time, and I know the story of his kid being told by a classmate that he had to quit baseball because of the error. Kids can be cruel. But that would have happened at the fringe of any fan base as big as the Red Sox.

But the idea that the base of Red Sox fans forgave him only when they won in 2004 is not based in any kind of reality. It's simply not true. Again, to quote Buckner after a Red Sox rally 2 days after his error:

"That was the most incredible experience of my career."

But Boston fans being cruel until finally forgiving Buckner in 2004 makes a much better story than the truth, that the vast majority of Red Sox fans never held the error against Buckner, and were smart enough to know that error was the least of that innings problems.

Not that the truth will change anything. The story and lie is too big and the false narrative too ingrained to ever be corrected. If fans alive during his career believe a false narrative, those who were not and only know of his career through a false history shaped by the media don't stand a chance.

posted by justgary at 04:55 PM on May 29, 2019

The Single Worst Recorded Umpire Call in Organized Baseball History

Sorry Grum. Accidentally deleted your comment. Hopefully rcade can bring it back.

posted by justgary at 12:22 PM on July 20, 2018

Vin Scully recites the speech about baseball from "Field of Dreams".


posted by justgary at 01:02 PM on May 29, 2016

Patriots Win Super Bowl 0x31 After Epic Last-Second Interception

But he just has never invoked the "don't let him have the ball or we're done" fear that opponents had when facing Montana.

I think one reason people may feel that way about Montana is the last drive against dallas in 'I'm too lazy to look up the year'. One game that is so storied it pushes him into rarified air, but probably creates a bias among quite a few fans.

posted by justgary at 09:04 PM on February 03, 2015

New Yorker: The Twilight of Baseball

Surely if Trout or Harper played for the Yankees or the Red Sox he'd be real famous instead of baseball famous.

Sounds like a plan.

posted by justgary at 10:44 PM on August 31, 2014

New Yorker: The Twilight of Baseball

Also, I wonder how Trout or Harper would fare if they played for the Yankees. Definitely would help any player become more recognizable.

posted by justgary at 04:45 PM on August 31, 2014

New Yorker: The Twilight of Baseball

Harper is a great comparison to Trout. He seems to enjoy attention, and has had some commercial success, and is even a similar styled player, but he hasn't lived up to expectations lately.

Give Harper Trout's stats and you might have something. I have no doubt there's less MLB player posters on kids walls than the NBA or NFL. Not sure how to fix that.

posted by justgary at 04:43 PM on August 31, 2014

New Yorker: The Twilight of Baseball

You'd recognize Trout if he was treated like Reggie Jackson was in the '70s, with commercials and TV guest appearances and candy bars and the like. Everyone recognizes the top NFL and NBA stars.

I don't think it's really a fair comparison, though. Reggie was a personality. Does Trout want to go that route? Maybe those opportunities aren't there, and that does say something. I don't know. Was Jackson that recognizable and famous after 4 years? He wasn't a Yankee until his 11 year in the league.

But I'd recognize plenty of other baseball players. And there are plenty of football players that I wouldn't recognize in street clothes. Basketball players are different (extreme height, fewer players, lot of face time).

And I agree, baseball could become hockey. I just don't find the Trout example convincing. I'd recognize Josh Hamilton, Pujols, but Trout just seems pretty nondescript.

posted by justgary at 04:14 PM on August 31, 2014

New Yorker: The Twilight of Baseball

The Trout angle seems really weak. I watch quite a few Angel games, and I watch Trout highlights often. I recognize him when he comes up to bat. I recognize him in his uniform.

But if he walked into a bar I doubt very seriously I'd recognize him. And that proves... really not much.

The 'baseball isn't our national pastime' story has been going on for years. No, it will probably never be as popular as the NFL unless the NFL folds, but I have confidence it'll be just fine unless those in charge fuck it up, which could happen.

In general, I agree with Howard. Choices are everywhere. The world is far different than when baseball was our pastime.

posted by justgary at 08:45 AM on August 31, 2014

Red Sox owner Tom Werner has become a dark horse candidate to be baseball's next commissioner

Werner's ideas of making the Red Sox a prime sports attraction have little to do with making the team better.

86 years without a World Series victory, then 3 in 10 years. The Red Sox have, more than any time in recent history, been spectacularly 'better'. There's really no argument to the contrary. And to be a 'prime sports attraction', you must also win. To claim he's trying to do one without the other simply defies logic.

Rather, his ideas are all about "game presentation", the myth of Fenway Park's historical value

I completely understand and even sympathize with those that believe Fenway should be torn down and a new state of the art park with leg room and home plate facing seats be built, but to many, Fenway does have 'historical value'. There's nothing mythic about it. It's not like everyone hated Fenway and then Werner convinced them otherwise.

"and selling the idea of coming to Fenway as an "in thing" to the pink hat group."

I think the whole 'pink hats' things has been over done and for the most part is silly, but I've learned not to argue about it. But if anyone in charge of an MLB team is not marketing to every type of fan, including those that might not live for baseball, in a world with so many entertainment choices, they are not doing their job (and shouldn't be considered for commissioner).

2013 was supposed to be a year during which the young talent developed in the minors while a few established stars (Pedroia, Ortiz, Ellsbury, Lester) gave the team enough cachet to keep the turnstiles moving. Somehow, the rest of the roster had career years, the AL East was weak, and the accident happened.

I've heard this a lot recently, that somehow the Red Sox got lucky. If you condemn ownership when they lose, you've got to give them credit when their choices work.

The AL East was weak? Still had to make it through the rest of the playoffs and World Series. And a good team takes advantage of a week division.

the rest of the roster had career years

Here's the 2013 Red Sox lineup. Saltalamacchia had a good year. I guess you could call it career. He also wasn't the starting catcher by the time the World Series was over. Napoli career year? Nope. Pedroia? Nope. Drew? Middlebrooks? Gomes? Ellsbury? Victorino? Nope. Ortiz had a great year, but not career.

Pitching? No starting pitcher had a career year except Buchholz, who also missed much of the season. Uehara had a career year as a closer. They deserve credit for picking him up (the Red Sox 3rd closer after the first two were injured for the year).

The 2013 Red Sox team was deep, and talented up and down the lineup. The could beat you several ways. But they weren't a team of career years by any stretch. Lucky? Of course luck played a part. As it does to any team that wins the World Series.

During the off-season, the decision was made to try to go "on the cheap" for 2014.

Who should they have given big contracts to?

Rather than keep Ellsbury, albeit at a high price, they let him go

A smart move in my eyes, and one I still support. Put Ellsbury's current stats in this lineup and the Red Sox are still going nowhere.

Lester was offered an insult for a contract, the ensuing negotiations were a sham, and Lester was traded. They got a good piece for him in Cespedes, but how long will he be kept?

I don't know that it was the insult you believe it was, but regardless, power is in short supply. I don't really have a problem with this trade, but even if it was a mistake, way too early to point at it as a mistake by the front office.

Nelson Cruz was available at a good price

34. Don't give sluggers half way to 40 big contracts unless you're David Ortiz.

but Grady Sizemore was on the bargain rack. The results are obvious.

Yeah, didn't work out. Didn't lose much either though. Besides, if we're going to blame the front office when low risk deals don't work, we need to give them credit when they do, as they did multiple times in 2013.

I honestly have no idea of Tom Werner will make a good commissioner or not, and if I'm coming off as a huge fan of his, I'm not. But I fail to see how anything he did with the Red Sox would point to no, and Selig has set the bar so low I can only see him being an improvement.

There's a segment of Red Sox fans that are nostalgic for the days Fenway was filled with die hard fans and empty seats and a lot of 'get 'em next year'. I'm not one of those fans. The last 10 years has been pretty awesome, and for whatever hand Werner had during that time, I'm thankful.

The biggest mistake by the current front office was the Carl Crawford contract (which I approved of when it happened -- what do I know), which they thankfully solved by finding a sucker to take him off their hands.

posted by justgary at 11:37 PM on August 11, 2014

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

The problem I have specifically is that someone is letting her throw a curve ball at age 13. That's how you mess up an elbow/arm at that age.

I heard this growing up from about 8 until 13 (when my pitching career ended), and once I was older I realized the weekend coaches that preached this knew very little about baseball. It was just something repeated and accepted because it was so often repeated and accepted, similar to the using only 10 percent of your brain myth.

It seems even when studies don't support the results we have a hard time believing it might not be true:

Like a pitcher and a catcher disagreeing on pitch selection, the opposing sides in the debate could not be more closely allied. Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedic surgeon to many athletes, is a founder of the American Sports Medicine Institute and has written with Fleisig some of the studies that have failed to prove that curveballs are hazardous to young arms. It has not stopped Andrews from challenging the results.

And I'm not saying curveballs can't be dangerous. But I'm betting that arm fatigue, especially on young arms, is much more dangerous than pitch selection (and maybe even more so when throwing curveballs).

posted by justgary at 07:31 PM on August 11, 2014

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Daniel Bard released by Texas Rangers

Ahh, so he was. One pretty dominant season. Kind of unbelievable how badly things fell apart.

posted by justgary at 07:04 PM on July 30, 2014

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Daniel Bard, now in low minors, is still having extreme control problems

18 batters faced

nine walks

seven hit batters

two outs (one strikeout, one ground out back to the pitcher)

175.50 ERA and 13.43 WHIP

Over a month old link, but yeah, "problems" might not be the right word.

posted by justgary at 04:58 PM on July 30, 2014

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The Red Sox just need to sign Johnny Damon:

Johnny Damon: 'Ready' for comeback

"When you feel you can still outhit at least half the league and you don't get that call, it's rough," Damon told The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday.

posted by justgary at 05:48 PM on July 08, 2014

Tim Lincecum Throws 2nd No-Hitter Against Padres

Lince gets a few Smoltz points for doing well out of the bullpen.

I would guess that the bullpen is where Lincecum could get back on a HoF track, but he's got a very long way to go.

posted by justgary at 11:35 AM on June 26, 2014

Tim Lincecum Throws 2nd No-Hitter Against Padres

Over the past 2 and a half years he's 25 and 34 with an ERA of 4.82 and the fastball is no longer special.

If Lincecum does turn himself int a HoFamer over the next decade he's going to deserve a hell of a lot of credit for a pretty amazing turnaround.

posted by justgary at 12:23 AM on June 26, 2014

Tim Lincecum Throws 2nd No-Hitter Against Padres

Soooo...where does this put The Freak in the HOF hunt?

He's 94 and 75 with a 3.54 career ERA. In 8 years he only has a positive WAR in 5. His ERA+ is 110. That's way down on this list. For comparison, Mike Mussina ERA+ is 123.

If you look at his Baseball-Reference page and scan down to his Hall of Fame stats (chances a current player will make the HoF) he's not even close, coming in at 391st among pitchers.

Grum might come along and open my eyes but I'm guessing he doesn't have a shot in hell unless he has a very serious career resurgence. And I don't see that happening.

posted by justgary at 10:23 PM on June 25, 2014

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Game. Set. Match.


posted by justgary at 12:47 AM on June 11, 2014

Dan Marino joins concussion lawsuit against the NFL

And he's out.

posted by justgary at 12:14 AM on June 04, 2014

Red Sox Manager Rips Replay After Ejection

Gotya, misunderstood yo.

posted by justgary at 11:05 AM on April 15, 2014

Bubba Watson Wins Second Masters in Three Years

Bagdad Florida represent (about 20 minutes from me).

posted by justgary at 01:42 AM on April 15, 2014

Red Sox Manager Rips Replay After Ejection

Back to square one ... after two minutes and 50 seconds.

Of course not. Add back the part you took away: "If you have a system that is is correct 'most' of the time...".

One week isn't enough to make a judgment on the system. Maybe this is just a blip. If half way into the season we're still having similar situations, then yeah, that's a problem.

I think they'll figure it out. Then again, it's difficult to believe that on a play that was obvious to anyone with a TV the umpires didn't have the same view.

posted by justgary at 01:40 AM on April 15, 2014

Red Sox Manager Rips Replay After Ejection

I don't think this happens if the call is made correctly in the previous game. If you have a system that is is correct 'most' of the time, you're back to square one.

posted by justgary at 12:48 PM on April 14, 2014

Josh Hamilton Needs Thumb Surgery

Dude can't catch a break.

posted by justgary at 11:37 PM on April 09, 2014

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

The saddest-looking second-place finishers in Olympic history.

posted by justgary at 03:20 PM on February 22, 2014

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

LeBron James INSANE Dunk Session

If I was that ripped I would never put on a shirt.

posted by justgary at 05:23 PM on February 11, 2014

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Stunning, really.

As old as the Yankees are, with nothing ready in the minors, they had no choice but to go 'stunning'.

Pitching, center field, catching, shortstop, third base... it's amazing that they have nothing at all ready to even try and fill any of those positions without going outside of the organization.

This is where having a huge pay roll helps. Even if you'd rather not, you can try and make up for a badly run organization by buying up players.

posted by justgary at 07:33 PM on January 22, 2014

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

13 Trade Offers for Mike Trout

posted by justgary at 12:43 PM on December 22, 2013

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

That's awesome.

posted by justgary at 12:18 AM on December 15, 2013

Broncos' Prater Kicks Record-Breaking 64-Yard Field Goal

From wikipedia:

when an analysis of his kick was carried out by ESPN Sport Science, it was found that his modified shoe offered him no advantage - the smaller contact area could in fact have increased the margin of error.

posted by justgary at 09:04 PM on December 09, 2013

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Short on details that I can find as to why he's retiring. His age and the surgery on that bone spur wouldn't necessarily derail his comeback.

What else could it be (other than injury)? Watching him pitch in his final game, throwing 80 mph and sweating profusely to just do that, and knowing how great he was... easily one of the more painful things i've seen on a ball field.

After that they kind of spun it as him hitting a wall after surgery and he just needed time. I never really bought that. And even if time could help, he'd probably never be close to the pitcher he was, and he seems too prideful to just stick around.

posted by justgary at 12:58 PM on December 09, 2013

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

In total desperate and predictable move, Yankees sign Beltran ten years too late

Which brings us to this blog post by Joe Posnanski that brings up what the Yankee lineup would be like if this were 2006.

1. Ichiro, cf, .322/.370/.455 with 224 hits and 45 stolen bases (twice caught) 2. Derek Jeter, ss, .343/.417/.483 with 301 total bases and 34 stolen bases. 3. Travis Hafner, dh, .308/.439/.659 with 42 homers and 100 walks. 4. Alex Rodriguez, 3b, .290/.392/.523 with 35 homers. 5. Mark Teixeira, 1b, .282/.371/.514 with 33 homers. 6. Alfonso Soriano, .277/.351/.556 with 46 homers. 7. Robbie Cano, 2b, .342/.365/.525 with 41 doubles, 15 homers. 8. Vernon Wells, cf, .303/.357/542 with 32 homers and 17 stolen bases. 9. Brian McCann, c, .333/.388/.572 with 24 homers.

And now you can add 2006 Beltran:

Beltran, dh/of, .275/.388/.594 with 41 homers, 127 runs, 18 out of 21 steals, 8.2 WAR.

posted by justgary at 01:44 PM on December 07, 2013

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

The mystery of the Yankees' remaining $$$

posted by justgary at 07:39 PM on December 04, 2013

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

$153m for a player of Ellsbury's calibre today is totally reasonable

I think it makes sense specifically for the Yankees. They have the money, and they need the stars to fill up Yankees Stadium. For most other teams, this contract wouldn't make as much sense.

This seems to be the Red Sox front office sticking to their guns, or plan. The only way I'm upset is if the listen to complaints and eventually give a ridiculous contract to someone else to make up for this loss. Some players are going to give a home town discount, some are not. Nothing wrong with either approach, but Ellsbury was definitely in the latter category.

As hincandenza points out, Ellsbury will profit from the ridiculous RF dimensions in Yankee Stadium.

Everyone keeps jumping on this point, and I can understand why, but the statistics don't back this assumption at all.

Of course, maybe he changes his swing to take advantage of the new ballpark dimensions. That might work, or could backfire.

What will be interesting for me is if the Yankees still sign Cano or let him walk. If they let him walk, this deal doesn't improve them as much. If they keep Cano, they're now a better team that still needs pitching.

posted by justgary at 06:25 PM on December 04, 2013

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Season's Greetings from the Mets.

posted by justgary at 11:36 AM on November 25, 2013

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

The rare official silence of Alex Rodriguez

Lost in the briefcase-kicking, table-slamming, expletive-flying exit by Alex Rodriguez at his drug suspension arbitration hearing Wednesday was the history he made by choosing not to personally defend himself. Though often describing himself as fighting for his "life" and fighting for his "legacy," Rodriguez became the first player not to testify at his arbitration hearing since the Joint Drug Agreement was collectively bargained in 2002.

posted by justgary at 12:13 PM on November 23, 2013

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

2013 Best & Worst Fastball Hitters

posted by justgary at 07:22 PM on November 22, 2013

Tigers and Rangers Swap Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler

the Rangers got to the Series twice with some bangers in the lineup

Oh, I think it's a good trade for the Rangers if Fielder bounces back. Could be just a down season that extended into the playoffs.

posted by justgary at 04:28 PM on November 21, 2013

Tigers and Rangers Swap Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler

Looks to me like a 'win now' trade for Texas. Fielder turns 30 starting next year, he's huge, and he's signed for 7 years at about 20 mil per? Wow. Did the Rangers watch Fielder during the playoffs?

As Texas admitted, they probably can't make this deal if Fielder had a great 2013. So maybe he bounces back. Ortiz is 38 and he can still rake, so there's that...

posted by justgary at 04:05 PM on November 21, 2013

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Newspaper Ad Begs Jacksonville Jaguars to Sign Tim Tebow, Promises Full Stadium

posted by justgary at 05:04 PM on November 18, 2013

Atlanta Braves plan to build new stadium in Cobb County

The Braves' Move From Atlanta Is An Affront To Baseball And Democracy

posted by justgary at 06:00 PM on November 14, 2013

Atlanta Braves plan to build new stadium in Cobb County

In the times I've been to Atlanta, the downtown scene was pretty paltry. It feels like Dallas to me, a city that's spread out all over and not one where the city is the center of everything.

Oh, I agree. The advantage of being in the city varies by city, and I can see the benefits of the Braves moving. It's simply a personal preference, that the team actually play IN the city. I remember as a child being excited to go into Boston to see the Red Sox. The idea of going to Foxborough to see the Patriots couldn't compare.

If you go to games, do you take mass transit to the game and spend time in that area before or after? For me, the live sports experience is almost always driving to the game, parking and going home. Not partaking of the cool stuff around the venue, when there is any. That was true in Dallas, Denver and now Jacksonville.

The Saints are a perfect example. There is almost nothing bigger in New Orleans than the Saints. The dome dominates the skyline, and every sunday the Saints play the entire city is one big party.

New Orleans is small, and you can get to the French Quarter in about a minute from the Superdome. So it doesn't really matter what is right next to the dome. I can't imagine the Saints not playing in New Orleans, and moving them to a suburb would be terrible for the city.

posted by justgary at 11:31 AM on November 14, 2013

Atlanta Braves plan to build new stadium in Cobb County

Growing up in Dallas, my favorite local teams played in Irving and Arlington. I don't see why the Braves moving to the burbs is being treated like such a big deal,

Growing up a cowboy fan, I always thought it was strange that the Cowboys didn't play in Dallas. Even now, I much prefer a team that plays in the city. The Saints in the Super Dome. And in baseball, I always enjoy seeing the skyline out in the distance.

Like the guy in etagloh's link, I just love the city vibe. I've been to several braves games, and always had a good time. Going to the burbs just won't be the same. I get the reasons, still, seems like a sad time for Atlanta.

posted by justgary at 09:09 PM on November 12, 2013

Red Sox Write Love Letter to Cardinals

I didn't realize that Buckner got that ovation the next season. The media sure loved telling the story of him as the goat.

I think the media wanted it to be a story, at least bigger than it was, so they ran with it. Fit in nicely with the 'curse'. Not only did Buckner receive ovations on opening day in 87, and a standing ovation when he returned to Boston for his last year in 90, but at the city hall rally 2 days after the game 7 defeat.

Here's an article about the rally the Red Sox held after the WS loss in 1986.

The Hub Hails Its Hobbling Hero

Even though Bill Buckner let Game 6 slip through his injured legs, the fans in Boston showed last week how much they admired his courageous play in the World Series

Buckner had asked not to speak at the rally at City Hall Plaza, and so he stood at the end of the stage. But when he heard the ringing one-minute ovation that followed his name, Buckner stepped forward and thanked the crowd.

"That was the most incredible experience of my career," he said to Jody as they drove to Worcester, past a THANKS, RED SOX sign on the Mass Pike and a HOMETOWN OF HERO MARTY BARRETT sign at the city limits of Southborough. When the Buckners stopped at traffic lights in Worcester, people in other cars beeped their horns and waved at them.

posted by justgary at 08:26 PM on November 05, 2013

Red Sox Write Love Letter to Cardinals

The ad suggests they like playing them more than any other team.

Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of this. And if you're going to do it, the whole "hope to see you next October" seems weird. Leave that off, don't talk about your own team.

As the BestFansStLouis twitter feed showed

I'm pretty sure what that account shows is that every team has fans that are just horrible people, and are not representative of the fan base as a whole.

would Red Sox fans react the same way to Buckner today, given they've won 3 world series' recently?

And this is a good example. I'm sure Buckner received a lot of grief, but what most people forget is that he received a standing ovation at Fenway when introduced the next season.

posted by justgary at 05:41 PM on November 05, 2013

Red Sox win the World Series.

I'm almost sad to not see the series go 7 games, especially with the Peavy storyline, but maybe I'd be pushing my luck.

Speaking of luck, I'm still struck by how much luck it takes to win a WS. I believe the Red Sox entirely deserving, but there were so many instances over the entire playoffs that if changed only slightly would have led to the Red Sox falling short. I thought Farrell leaving Lackey in to face Matt Holliday was asking for trouble, and the Red Sox were lucky he only gave up the walk.

The Red Sox got the key hits, the Cardinals didn't. It's difficult to believe the Red Sox didn't lose another game after the obstruction call. And I still really have no idea how the Red Sox won when you consider their pitching was down to Lester and Lackey for the most part. Then again, they beat a lot of good pitchers with an offense that seemed to do just enough.

The dodgers winning the WS was my nightmare scenario. I wasn't crazy about the idea of the Tigers winning it. But other than the white towels the fans wave at home I have a hard time finding something I don't like about the Cardinals (and they got rid of the dodgers).

I was hoping for more Molina v. Baserunner matchups.

Me too. Just never happened. And there weren't that many chances. And I guess more than anything Molina just kills thoughts of a running game.

This Red Sox team is remarkably devoid of star power.

Well, Ortiz, Pedroia, and Ellsbury are all top notch players, but yeah, that was pretty much the story of the Red Sox season. This was not as talented a team as 04/07. Signing a bunch of B and C level players and having it all work out. It created a deep team. But everything went right this year, and I don't see that happening again. They need to get better. Unforgettable team, and super fun as a Red Sox fan to root for, but I would be shocked if the team constructed as is would have a long shelf life.

Boston's moment of a lifetime

posted by justgary at 05:25 PM on October 31, 2013

Red Sox Win Game 5, Go Home to Fenway

Last night was probably the first game that did not have some weird, fluky, or sloppy play or highly questionable managerial decisions (you could argue Matheny should have pulled Wainwright at the first signs of trouble in the 7th, but I think if there's one pitcher on the Cardinals staff you stick with in that situation, it's him).

I think you can definitely question Matheny leaving Wainwright in, and I've seen it questions several places. He appeared to be running out of gas, and Red Sox hitters can be overpowered. I've seen Ross blown away by a good fastball. I agree that you have to give the benefit of the doubt to Matheny (hindsight being 20/20 and all) with his ace on the hill, but I'll just say that I was very happy he waiting to bring in Martinez.

I still believe the series could go either way. The Red Sox only have to win one game, and they're at home. And if you believe in momentum, which I really don't, they've got it. But both teams have proven they can win on the road, and the Cardinals have the most dominant pitcher of the post season going in game 6. If it goes 7, the Red Sox have no idea what they're going to get from Peavy, and from what I just read Lester will be backing him up on a days rest. I'm happy where the Red Sox sit, but if I was a Cardinal fan I wouldn't be too worried either.

that's why I think the real question was what the ranking was for.

Agreed. We don't know the qualifications used for the rankings. If it's simply statistics, there's obviously quite a few players in front of Ortiz (even considering the craziness of comparing players from previous eras with today). If Ortiz hadn't taken a few years to get started his overall numbers would obviously be stronger.

But if we're talking most important players in Red Sox history, he's much higher than 15. If the Red Sox win the WS, Ortiz would have been a major cog and the one player linking all 3 WS wins over the past 10 years after 86 years of nothing. Of course, some of that is being in the right place at the right time. But he's certainly done more than his part. Even if they lose to the Cardinals, his stats this WS are out of this world.

By far my favorite Red Sox player was Yaz, though I can only remember the tail end of his career. And Ted Williams is untouchable. But when you consider what Ortiz has done combined with when he came along and what has transpired in Red Sox history, he's my number 3, and the most likely to have a statue next to Yaz's one day.

posted by justgary at 05:25 PM on October 30, 2013

Cards Win Game 3 Through Game-Ending Obstruction Call

In other words, when it works, you are brilliant. When it fails, you are the dumbest SoB in the game.

Eh, some decisions. Matheny has gotten a lot of criticism for bringing in a ground ball pitcher instead of a strikeout pitcher to face gomes. He was hoping for a double play. If he gets it, brilliant call.

But some decisions, allowing your pitcher to hit in the top of the 9th in a tie game while one of your best HR hitters never gets in the game, and then taking him out in the bottom of the 9th after a runner gets on, is a brain dead move. It doesn't matter if the pitcher hits a HR. That's luck, and still an awful decision. There's been a few of those this series.

posted by justgary at 06:15 PM on October 28, 2013

Cards Win Game 3 Through Game-Ending Obstruction Call

Saying that the Red Sox have thrown away two games, while technically true, also undersells the Cardinals' efforts/actions in getting in a position for that to happen.

Speaking for myself, when I use that phrase I'm not slighting the other team. A team might make mistakes, but the other team has to take advantage of them. And both the Cardinals and Red Sox have done that.

In the two Red Sox losses, the Cardinals forced the Red Sox to make plays they failed at. No doubt. When I say the Red Sox threw away games, that's just coming from a Red Sox fan view point. And really, all I'm saying is they're better than what they've been playing. And you can't do that against a talented team like the Cardinals and expect to win.

posted by justgary at 01:07 PM on October 28, 2013

Red Sox Even World Series at 2

Strange series. 2-2, yet if either team had pulled off a couple of plays, or avoided a few mistakes, a sweep by either team would be possible (or at least holding a commanding 3-1 lead).

As a Red Sox fan, I was happy with the pick-off, of course. But I kind of feel ripped off. In game 3, even though there seemed to be no other way to call the obstruction play, I felt like the game ended in an awful way. Not joy, not disappointment, just empty and confused. In this game, I was really looking forward to Uehara vs. Beltran. Fandom aside, great baseball. And yet it didn't happen. I could easily see Uehara striking Beltran out. And I could easily see Beltran hitting a 2 run homer to tie it. We'll never know.

I still feel the Cardinals are in the better position, but I'm happy the Red Sox didn't let game 3 linger and just roll over. I probably should have known better.

posted by justgary at 01:01 PM on October 28, 2013

Cards Win Game 3 Through Game-Ending Obstruction Call

What was the infield fly rule situation you're thinking of?



Cardinals still processing chaotic win

The Red Sox were dazed and Wainwright said he completely understood.

"As a baseball fan, you hate to see a game end like that," Wainwright said. "Obviously I'm on the Cardinals, so I'm fortunate the rule is the way it is. And you hate to say it, but he impeded the process of running home. But I totally understand why Red Sox players would be upset about that. That is just a horrible way to lose a baseball game, no question about it, especially after such a great play by Dustin at second."

posted by justgary at 06:17 PM on October 27, 2013

Cards Win Game 3 Through Game-Ending Obstruction Call

Had he stayed near the chalk, he had an open path to the plate, would have been out by 10 feet instead of the 15 by which he should have been out without obstruction

That sentence confuses me. But if the umpire felt the runner would not score anyway, they could have ignored the obstruction.

JIM JOYCE: Our determination is whether or not he could have scored or not. And Dana immediately came up with, he saw me make the call. And as soon as Craig slid into home plate, Dana immediately pointed down at me knowing that we had obstruction and it impeded Allen to score the run, essentially. Dana did a great job on installing that right away. Dana did a great job signaling that right away.

JOHN HIRSCHBECK: And that's the last, most important part of this rule, is that the umpire has to determine ‑‑ if what you saw tonight happened and he's out by 20 feet, then the umpire determines that if the obstruction had not occurred, he would have been out, okay? But since it was right there, bang, bang play, obviously that's obstruction, definitely had something to do with the play.

One of my initial problems with the play was that the runner had an open line from 3rd base to home, if he actually stayed in the direct path. But he takes a big step towards 2nd before coming home. Of course, doesn't matter because the runner determines his path home.

JOHN HIRSCHBECK: Don't forget, the runner establishes his own baseline. If he's on second on a base hit and rounds third wide, that baseline is from where he is, way outside the line, back to third and to home plate, it's almost a triangle. So the runner establishes his own baseline.

I've just come to see it as one of those weird things about baseball. A rule that almost seems inadequate for what happened, but is all we can go by. Baseball is a strange sport. In this case, the umpires use the letter of the law. When we had the debate about the infield fly rule a couple of years ago, my case was that the reasons we have the infield fly rule weren't applicable to that play, and the umpire doesn't have to call it. Others didn't care.

And yet we umpires with their own determination of the strike zone. Just one of those quirks about baseball that I love, but can bite you in the ass.

My biggest problem with the press conference is Joyce being so adamant that Middlebrooks was 'on the chalk". And of course, he wasn't. But that's neither here nor there.

JIM JOYCE: He was right on the baseline. He was right on the chalk. And so that never played into any decision, at all, because he was ‑‑ he had slid, stood up, and he was literally right on the chalk.

posted by justgary at 05:35 PM on October 27, 2013

Cards Win Game 3 Through Game-Ending Obstruction Call

Won't soon forget it, that's for sure. I think the two teams are pretty close, and so far the difference has been which team hurts itself the least. It'll be interesting to see if that continues.

For the Red Sox part, we're sending out a pitcher tonight who has a dead arm, so naturally I'm expecting great things.

posted by justgary at 01:43 PM on October 27, 2013

Cards Win Game 3 Through Game-Ending Obstruction Call

Ah, sorry, I understand you better now.

I think Farrell mismanaged the game. I think Salty made a bad decision. I think Middlebrooks 1st priority was the ball - he seemed to be glued to the bag.

Unfortunately for the BoSox, all those things put WMB in a position that he could do nothing to prevent.

Agree with all this. And...

1) Salty should never have made the through. Horrid decision. 2) Middlebrooks has got to catch the ball, knock it down. 3) Farrell allowed the pitcher to make the second out in the ninth inning, and then replaced him in the ninth inning. 4) Napoli, who can hit a home run at any time, never got off the bench.

Salty, Farrell, and Middlebrooks should be thankful the call was made. Most of the questions and attention after the game was on the call, and not their incompetence.

posted by justgary at 01:35 PM on October 27, 2013

Cards Win Game 3 Through Game-Ending Obstruction Call

Quoted from a Red Sox fan

Dude, you can use my name. I'm not sure if you're saying I'm a hypocrite, but I stand by those words. And everything I've written in multiple places said that the Red Sox made mistakes that cost them the game.

From this thread:

Shitty way to lose a game, but the throw should never have been made. - a Red Sox fan

Biggest shame of all is that the Red Sox have lost two games in a row because of bad throws to 3rd. It would be nice if they started, I don't know, making the Cardinals beat them instead of giving the game away?

Did you miss that?

I don't see a way to get around calling obstruction. That said, when a rule says 'very likely', when it's a play that you don't see very much, when the play has so many variables happening, I see no problem with it being discussed.

In game one, he simply didn't catch the ball. There's no rule to debate, no interpretation of the rule. I don't see the direct correlation between those two calls at all, and I'm not sure how you took my previous comment regarding the Cardinals as an insult.

posted by justgary at 01:08 PM on October 27, 2013

Cards Win Game 3 Through Game-Ending Obstruction Call

What's a shame is that lost in this is that Allen Craig actually had a monster 9th-inning clutch hit off of one of the best closers in baseball

There's a lot of shame to go around. The Red Sox came back twice from two runs deficits, the second time in the 8th inning on the road against the Cardinal closer, 21 year old Xander Bogaerts had a great game, Pedroia made a great play to get the runner at home.

Biggest shame of all is that the Red Sox have lost two games in a row because of bad throws to 3rd. It would be nice if they started, I don't know, making the Cardinals beat them instead of giving the game away?

posted by justgary at 09:19 AM on October 27, 2013

Cards Win Game 3 Through Game-Ending Obstruction Call

Here's the transcript from the conference with the umpires.

posted by justgary at 09:07 AM on October 27, 2013

Cards Win Game 3 Through Game-Ending Obstruction Call

Eh, never mind. Shitty way to lose a game, but the throw should never have been made. Gonna stick with that.

posted by justgary at 08:40 AM on October 27, 2013