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Showing posts from 2014

Raving about Rusney Castillo and Applauding the Yankees

Better than Puig?

Alex Cora continues to rave about Rusney Castillo. Unlike his fellow countryman, Yasiel Puig, Castillo doesn't seem to have the attitude issues. He appears to be someone who is a hard worker to go along with his immense talent. Everyone is focusing on the additions of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, it could be Castillo who ends up being the huge impact player next season. You can read more about Castillo here. By the way, why isn't Alex Cora somewhere in the Red Sox organization?

Yankees Step Up

I don't often like to praise the Yankees, in fact I usually like to make fun of them and Derek Jeter. I am still looking forward to the look on the faces of Yankee fans as they actually get to see what a good defensive shortstop looks like this season. Didi Gregorius will make the last ten years of Jeter in the field look statuesque. Anyway, the Yankees did step up this week in light of the awful murders of two NYPD officers. One of the officers killed h…

Red Sox Lose Jon Lester

Losing Lester

The Red Sox screwed up. I was happy that the Red Sox did not win the bidding war with the Cubs when it came to Jon Lester. The contract just got way too crazy. I understand why the Cubs did it and I agree with the Sox for not matching their final offer. However, the Sox screwed this up last spring. Lester could have easily signed for about $110 million and that deal would have made perfect sense for the Sox. Instead they offered him $70 million. The Red Sox then made a $140 million offer this past week, which wasn't nearly as sweet as the Cubs deal. I don't blame Jon Lester at all. Good for him and good for Theo Epstein and the Cubs.

Ben Cherington and Larry Lucchino both basically admitted the Sox screwed this up. This is not surprising from Ben but for Larry I was shocked. This is the same guy who shot his mouth off last spring about how the Red Sox philosophy is basically better than the Yankees because they don't give out long term, lavish contracts. La…

Box Score Stories: The Clemens and Canseco Effect

20 years ago today the Boston Red Sox acquired Jose Canseco from the Texas Rangers for Otis Nixon and Luis Ortiz. The Red Sox would go on to win the AL East the following season. 1995, was also the last time I would go to Fenway Park with my father.

My father took me to Fenway Park for the first time in 1988, ironically to see the Red Sox take on Jose Canseco and the Oakland A's. We would head to Fenway in 1995 while I was home from college.

We would take in a four game weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles in mid August. The Red Sox were riding a seven game win streak and had a 6.5 game lead in the AL East when we arrived. I was excited that I would get to see Roger Clemens pitch on Saturday but I was not real excited to see Jose Canseco.

Roger Clemens was my boyhood hero. He could do no wrong in my eyes. Jose Canseco was the guy I saw in Fenway in 1988, the guy I helped heckle with the steroid chant along with thousands of other fans in Fenway. He was the opposit…

Red Sox Sign Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval

Pablo and Hanley

The Red Sox signed BOTH Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. I thought it was going to be an either/or deal and I was campaigning for Hanley over Pablo. Both have their question marks but Hanley is the better player and I think Ramirez will thrive in Boston. Pablo, not so sure.

Don't Call Him Billy Boy

The Oakland A's traded Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays this week and it later came out that Donaldson and Billy Beane got into a heated argument this past season over a day off. During the argument, Donaldson reportedly called Beane "Billy Boy". You can read the whole story here.  Makes me think of this scene in Moneyball.

Blame the Turf

Brett Lawrie was one of the players involved in the Josh Donaldson trade and he seems eager to get to Oakland and play on the grass. In this article, he blamed his injuries on the artificial turf in Toronto. In the comment section of the article, a fan named Brendan Holness of Toronto, Ontario had this to say:

Media Rips Derek Jeter

Joel Sherman of the New York Post ripped Derek Jeter on the Michael Kay Show last week. It was  refreshing to hear the media go after Jeter about his captaincy. I touched on my issues about Jeter, The Captain in this blog post.

Sherman took issue first with manager Joe Girardi and the way he is managing Jeter. Sherman reminded Kay how Girardi insisted that in Jeter's final season he would not manage it like a farewell tour, rather he would manage to win games. Sherman pointed out that Girardi still has Jeter batting second in the order and has yet to lift Jeter late in the game for a better defender.

Sherman than pointed the finger to Jeter. While Girardi should be managing to win games, the captain could make it easier on him. Joel brought up Don Mattingly in 1994 and how he made life easier for manager Buck Showalter. Captain Don Mattingly went into Buck Showalter's office and told Buck that he realizes he is no longer the best hitter on the team and he should no longer b…

Best Teams in School History: South Carolina vs Clemson

I have many Clemson fans who read this blog on a regular basis and I hear from them often with their disagreements about my views on things. Sometimes the truth hurts. That works both ways. This is a post that I think Clemson fans are going to like a lot. Don't worry fellow Gamecocks, I will figure out a way to spin it by the end of the post.
The topic is history, something Clemson fans live and feed off of on a daily basis. One of my all time favorite websites is Baseball Reference. Well, the people that brought you that website now have similar sites for the NFL and College Football. These sites are amazing. For example, this site makes it easy to access stats when you are trying to prove some tater wrong about something dumb they said on a message board.
The site uses the SRS which stands for Simple Rating System. The simple rating system as you can imagine is pretty simple. It rates a team on two things, point differential and strength of schedule. 
I have done a couple of blog p…

Jon Lester Headed to the Atlanta Braves?

Jon Lester has officially been scratched from his start tomorrow night making it very likely that he will be traded before the deadline this week. 
WEEI is reporting that the Baltimore Orioles are no longer one of the teams after him. That leaves the Dodgers, Cardinals, Pirates and the Braves. The Dodgers already have the best rotation in baseball. I just don't see them going after Lester. Look for the Braves to come through and meet the Red Sox asking price. Just a guess and a request. The Braves could use him.
The Red Sox need to trade Lester. It is pretty clear the Red Sox have no desire to sign Lester for the number of years he is requesting and will be sure to get in the open market. It is also clear that Lester would prefer to stay in Boston. It is a long shot the Sox have Lester in uniform next year but it is also pretty clear that trading him now doesn't hurt their chances to sign him in the off-season. The Red Sox could decide in the heat of the hot stove season to ste…

Box Score Stories: Alex Rodriguez Makes His Debut

Twenty years ago this month, my father and I took our annual trip to Fenway Park. I was 19 years old and just finished up my freshman year at the University of South Carolina. I was home for the summer and the next summer would be the last time my father and I would take out annual trip to Boston together to watch the Sox play. The annual trip started in 1988 when we caught a three game series between the Red Sox and Oakland Athletics.  This trip in 1994 was all about the Red Sox of course, but also the Seattle Mariners and the great Ken Griffey Jr. He was having a monster season and the Griffey jerseys were out in full force at Fenway. Junior would also get a very warm reception each time he came to the plate. He was a star and the Fenway faithful knew it.  My father, who grew up a Willie Mays fan was a bit more skeptical of The Kid. After all, he was being compared to his hero and he did not like it. A deep ball was hit to center and it hit the wall behind Griffey and my father mutt…

Is the ACC Closing the Gap on the SEC?

Is the ACC closing the gap on the SEC? Yes and no. The ACC is much better than it was but that is not saying much. There is this belief among some that the SEC is overrated, that their bottom teams are awful and just like any other conference they just have a couple of good teams at the top.
This is something that ACC fans are really starting to believe since Florida State won the national title last year. The ACC thinks they are just like the SEC now. They have a couple of really good teams at the top and equally bad teams at the bottom. Very simple, very easy. Not so fast.
Using Phil Steele's power ranking numbers, I decided to match up each SEC team with their ACC counterpart (Best SEC vs Best ACC, Second Best SEC vs Second best ACC etc.) to see who would win and by how many on a neutral field. The conclusion is that it is not close. Let me be clear, Phil Steele's numbers are not perfect but they are pretty accurate and the results are pretty staggering in favor of the SEC. T…

2010: Alex Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox

Alex Rodriguez entered the final year of his contract with the Boston Red Sox with no contract extension in sight. The 2010 regular season was similar to the previous seasons as the Boston Red Sox dominated the AL East as AROD put up big numbers once again.

The postseason was also way too familiar for the Red Sox and AROD. Once again, the Sox would not get out of the first one and AROD would not be the dominant player that he was in the regular season.

In defense of AROD, he was hit in the face with a pitch towards the end of the season and came back just a few days before the playoffs began. He was the clear leader for MVP before the injury.

The attention next turned to AROD and his contract. He would hit the free agent market and it was quickly obvious that the Red Sox would not be serious players for his services.

The Braves would come calling on a two year deal with the second year contingent on 550 plate appearances by AROD in the 2011 season. 

Alex Rodriguez and the Boston Red Sox …

2009: Alex Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox

Alex Rodriguez would finally get his ring in real life in 2009 while playing for the Yankees. Would he finally get his first ring in the world of Out of the Park Baseball? Let's first take a look at the 2009 Red Sox. Below is a team picture. This is Out of the Park Baseball 15 now as I imported this dynasty from OOTP 14. The transfer went off without a hitch. The team picture concept was first introduced in OOTP 14 but it always was sized wrong and would cut off half the roster while saving the file. I figured it was my laptop and I was doing something wrong. In OOTP 15, saving the team picture is much easier and looks a lot better. Here you go. Love this feature!

As the season moved along, moves were made. The Red Sox traded for David Robertson. What I love about OOTP 15 is in the player profile screen it lists how they were acquired.

And then when you click on the link, you get this....

I love it. Something small but it is the small things that make the difference.
Moving on to th…

The Man Behind Out of the Park Baseball

Out of the Park Baseball 15 is set to be released. It is the latest installment of what I believe is the best simulation sports game ever invented. My addiction is the only proof you need.  Markus Heinsohn created the first installment of the game in 1999 and should be enshrined in Cooperstown because of it. I had the chance to exchange emails with Markus about OOTP 15 and the history of the series. Enjoy!

Me: Let’s get right to the big news, Out of the Park Baseball 15 and the leap into the word of 3D. There are plenty of us who have been wanting this for a long time but there are also many who do not want this at all and are worried it is somehow going to ruin the game. Has making OOTP 3D always been a goal of yours for the game or was it brought on by feedback of your loyal customers?

Markus: A little bit of both: We always knew we’d have to go the 3D route eventually, especially given how successful it has been for Football Manager, but we’ve also had people asking for it on our fo…