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March 7, 2008
NOT YOUR ORDINARY JOE: He was always the enemy, but he was never a villain. Red Sox fans admired and respected Joe Torre (Murder of Ravens blog); as one said on the day of his dismissal as Yankee manager, Torre ''gives nobody anything to hate.'' (New York Times) So, as we discover in Sean McAdam's report, it's good to see him enjoying his baseball life again after trading in his pinstripes for Dodger Blue. It also turns out that the winning-isn't-everything-it's-the-only-thing mentality of the Steinbrenner Yankees irritates him just as much as it irritates most of us on the other side of the aisle.
WELCOME BACK, AND WELCOME ALWAYS: Also returning yesterday was Derek Lowe, and he enjoyed himself despite getting hammered by the Sox. (projo.com)
WE HAVE A DEAL: Torre's and Lowe's visits became secondary news late in the day when it was announced that Jonathan Papelbon had agreed to a $775,000 contract (projo.com), making him the highest-paid, non-arbitration-eligible closer in history. Ex-GM Lou Gorman explains to the Herald's Rob Bradford why teams pay more than they have to with some players.
WHAT DO YOU WANT FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS OR THE BAD NEWS? The good news centers around Jacoby Ellsbury, who, as McAdam noted, ''put his stamp'' on yesterday's game with a superlative catch in right-center and a ringing double up the gap during the Sox' three-run, second-inning rally. The bad news involved his competitor for the center-field job, Coco Crisp, who's been sidelined by niggling injuries and is losing ground to Ellsbury in the quest to win the starting job. (Both stories projo.com)
THE BEST-LAID PLANS . . . Tim Wakefield is trying to be more conscious of stopping the opponents' running game, but when the opponent is as speedy as the Dodgers' Juan Pierre, sometimes trying simply isn't enough. (projo.com)
NOTHIN' BUT BLUE SKIES DO I SEE: The Joy of Sox posts excerpts from The Sporting News' preseason baseball print publication, which picks the Red Sox to win the World Series again. (Over the Cubs, no less.) And if quotes about them from a scout are to be believed, they may not lose a game.
THE ANSWER IS . . . A 78-year-old Hawaiian golf pro who pitched for the Red Sox from 1953 to 1960. The question is . . . who is Frank Sullivan and why is he being inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame? (Honolulu Advertiser)
Q AND A: Bill James answers questions about his new book, along with some general baseball inquiries (and some specific Red Sox topics), in this conversation with Time Magazine.
|I CAN'T HEEEER YOU!! New Royals manager Trey Hillman's displeasure with the way his team ran the bases resulted in a 10-minute lecture -- in full view of both the public and yesterday's opponent, the Diamondbacks -- at home plate immediately after the game. (Kansas City Star) The drill-sergeant routine -- enormously popular with fans and some portions of the media, not so with players -- has gone the way of the straw hat in baseball, so it'll be interesting to see how the Royals respond to it. If it works, expect to see a spate of Sergeant Carters in major-league dugouts. Judging by the career record of modern martinets (like this one), though, I suspect I know the answer.|
THE POWER OF THE INTERNET: After being taken to task by our pal The Tao of Steib, the Toronto Globe and Mail's Jeff Blair vows to soften his crusty exterior.
NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY: Speaking of Tao, this was what prompted the post about Opening Day in Toronto. Jays followers have every right to be upset; when your team does direct marketing to opposing fans, the message you're getting is "All you represent to us is currency, and we don't really care where that currency comes from."
WE'RE FANS, TOO: Phil Hughes' Web site remains a daily treasure trove of fascinating material. (And we don't mean that sarcastically; if we can believe what we read, Hughes seems like a truly likeable sort.) Today he proudly displays autographed baseballs from Reggie Jackson and Goose Gossage.
BLAME THE POPE: That's what the Yankees are doing regarding their tough April schedule, since a lot of it stems from the Pope's saying a Mass at Yankee Stadium on April 20, which forced the team to switch some games. (nj.com)
'AT LEAST HE'S NOT CRAZY': That was the headline on the San Francisco Chronicle's Web page leading to the story that Noah Lowry has ''a very unusual injury . . . called exertional compartment syndrome'' and needs surgery. The hed, of course, refers to speculation that Lowry's all-over-the-place wildness Monday was a psychological, and not a physical, problem.
PLAYING WITH PAIN: That's what Albert Pujols, who will eventually need elbow reconstructive surgery, will be doing. (espn.com)
HERE AND THERE: The troubled Jeff Allison is back with the Marlins (Miami Herald) . . . IRS agents are looking into a Houston clinic as part of the Roger Clemens investigation. (New York Times)
AND FINALLY . . . Thoughts and prayers to Hart Brachen -- author of the enormously entertaining The Soxaholix blog -- and his wife as they face some difficult health issues.
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 6:17 AM | Permalink
Steve Smith | March 17, 2008 9:30 PM link