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Showing posts from May, 2011

Willie Mays Would Have Had It

"Willie would have had it." I heard it the first time I went to a baseball game and have heard it or thought about it at every game since. The words would come from my father as he tried to teach me about the greatness of Willie Mays. Fly balls that hit warning track or that would drop in front of or to the side of an outfielder would get the same comment from my Dad, "Willie would have had it".

My father grew up a Mays fan and was surrounded by Mickey Mantle fans. His neighborhood was just one of the many neighborhoods where fans of all ages debated over who was better. Mantle fans would talk about his ability to switch hit and when Mantle would struggle to match up with Willie they would argue it was only because of his bad knees. My father would respond accordingly, "fine, Mickey is the best centerfielder with bad knees and Willie is just the best centerfielder".

I was born in 1974, a year after Willie Mays played his final game. I never got to see hi…

The Captain?

Derek Jeter really is this generation's version of Joe Dimaggio. Joe Dimaggio was seen as soft spoken, classy, and a great quiet leader. We learned much later that wasn't quite the case. Dimaggio wasn't exactly friendly and a great teammate to a young kid named Mickey Mantle. Turns out that classy Dimaggio had an ego and while I am sure he loved to win, he wasn't much different than the normal pro athlete who thought of himself first. Dimaggio after all was the first player to hold out for more money, and after he retired, Joltin' Joe would only show up to events if his name was announced last and only if he was introduced as "the greatest living ballplayer". Stay classy Joe D.

Jeter is loved by Yankee fans because they view him as the ultimate winner. A team first guy, a leader, the Captain! We are starting to learn that Jeter may not be those things. Excerpts from Ian O'Connor's latest book have been released and The Captain comes off as more of…

Storybook Beginning for the Boston Red Sox

The 0-6 start for the Red Sox is a really good sign. Yes, you did read that correctly. The Red Sox of the last 25 years have always had to overcome long odds in order to have great moments. It has never been easy and 2011 will be no different.

The 2011 Red Sox were picked to breeze to an AL East title over the Yankees, steam roll through the playoffs and then beat the Phillies in the World Series. That sounds awful boring and the Red Sox have never been boring.They have also never been great at being the favorite. Six straight losses the favorite tag is now off of them and history tells us that this team filled with talent has some great moments ahead of them.

At 0-3 we could compare these Sox to the 1998 Yankees who went on to win 114 games and the World Series. At 0-6, that talk has stopped and it seems like many have counted the Red Sox down and out a week after a season of such promise began. However, isn't it possible that the 2011 Red Sox could do something no other team in…

Fixing Opening Day

Opening weekend of the baseball season is over and I want to give Bud Selig and MLB some credit for changing the way the baseball season starts. It is an improvement but definitely not perfect. I like the fact there is no "Opening Night" game. It works for the NFL but not for baseball. I also like the idea of starting the season with a weekend series but as usual MLB still doesn't get things totally right. Here are my issues:

Opening Day should be "Opening Day" for all teams! Start the season on Friday for all teams and have as many afternoon games as possible. There is no reason not to do it this way. MLB's explanation centers around having a built in off day as a possible make up day in case bad weather forces a cancellation.There is a real easy way to fix this.

I am not the smartest guy in the world but isn't there enough MLB teams that play home games in cities and/or ballparks where weather won't be a factor in April? Marlins, Rays, Rangers, As…

Are the 2004 Boston Red Sox Overrated?

The 2004 Red Sox will never be forgotten. They are easily the most loved team in the history of the Boston Red Sox, but are they really the best?

I conducted a poll and the 04 Sox received over 28% of the vote edging out the 1978 edition by about 7%. The shocking thing is that the 2007 champs only received 6% of the vote.

It is amazing how our perception changes over time. Seven years later and the 2004 Boston Red Sox are thought of as unbeatable when truth be told they were a very average team for most of the season.
Please save the hate mail. I do not think they were an "average" team but they did have more flaws than we care to remember. The 2004 Red Sox will always be special to me. They are by far my favorite Red Sox team, although I sure did love that 1999 team with Pedro Martinez and Nomar Garciaparra.

Many Red Sox teams have brought me to tears but the 2004 team finally brought the good tears out of me. It is impossible to put into words the emotions so many Red S…