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Showing posts from 2017

Theo Epstein's Speech to Yale Students

Theo Epstein gave a speech to Yale students last week and it was good. Theo uses the Cubs World Championship as the backdrop for his speech. He talks about David Ross and makes fun of Yankee fans and the current administration in the White House. Enjoy!

Red Sox Game Preview: Sam Travis Debuts Tonight

The Red Sox bashed the Rangers last night and the bashing should continue tonight. Chris Sale takes the mound for the Red Sox and Martin Perez gets the ball for the Rangers.

Simulation Score 

Red Sox 9 Rangers 5

Heavy Favorites 

Vegas likes the Red Sox big tonight and that can be mostly attributed to Chris Sale. The Red Sox are -265 on the moneyline and even when they give the Rangers 1.5 runs they are still favored at -125. Our simulation agrees.

Just the Analytics, Please

Red Sox 0.5 SRS (12th)
Rangers 0.0 SRS  (17th)

Red Sox 23-21 (actual record) 23-21 (expected record)  0  Good Luck Factor
Rangers 24-22 (actual record)  25-21 (expected record) -1 Good Luck Factor

News and Notes 

Sam Travis will make his debut tonight as Mitch Moreland gets day off. This will be the plan going forward. Travis will play first base against lefties and Moreland will play against righties. Hanley Ramirez? Don't look for him to be holding a first baseman's glove anytime soon. Travis is slated …

Jay Groome Injury Update

Twelve days ago the #1 prospect for the Boston Red Sox made his season debut. It wasn't pretty

Jay Groome recorded just six outs, gave up seven hits, walked three, surrendered one long home run and allowed nine runs to score. His ERA sits at 60.75. Groome was pulled in the second inning with a sore lat. He was placed on the seven day disabled list three days later. Nine days later we are still waiting on Groome to make his next start.

Could Monday be the night? The Greenville Drive host Greensboro and have yet to name a starter. It would be exactly two weeks from his first start.

I reached out to the Greenville Drive yesterday and they expressed that Groome was still dealing with a sore lat and no timetable has been set for his return.

As for his debut, the numbers do look awful but he looked much better than his numbers suggest. The ball explodes out of his hand and three of the hits he gave up were infield hits where he got the best of the hitter.

These bad breaks may have caus…

Jay Groome Makes Season Debut Tonight

I will be making the trip up to Greenville, SC tonight to cover the Greenville Drive and the season debut of Jay Groome.

Groome is listed as the Red Sox #3 prospect, only Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers are listed ahead of him.

 Groome threw just 6.2 innings last season after being drafted by the Red Sox in the first round. Groome struck out 10 guys in those six plus innings while giving up two runs.

 The Greenville Drive is loaded with top Red Sox prospects. Here are just the Top 40 Red Sox prospects that are currently on the Drive roster:

Red Sox Prospect RankingPositionProspect#5Third BaseBobby Dalbec#14PitcherMike Shawaryn#19PitcherShaun Anderson#21PitcherDarwinzon Hernandez#26PitcherStephen Nogosek#31Left FieldTyler Hill#32CenterfieldLorenzo Cedrola
Follow me on twitter @ThePeskyPole for pictures,videos and observations from Groome's season debut

Don Rickles and the Los Angeles Dodgers

Don Rickles passed away yesterday at the age of 90. He was one of those guys that my grandfather liked which means I liked him too. This story told by Frank Sinatra perfectly sums up Don Rickles and his sense of humor.

The story about Don Rickles trying to use Frank Sinatra to impresss a woman is one of the funniest ever.

I'll let Frank tell it... — Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) April 6, 2017
Don Rickles was also a huge Dodger fan and became good friends with Tommy Lasorda. They were such good friends that apparently late in the 1976 season, with the NL West already clinched, Don Rickles dressed in a Dodgers uniform and sat in the dugout for the entire game. That was until a Dodger pitcher was getting roughed up and Lasorda had Rickles head to the mound to take him out. Rickles told the story like this:

"Sorry, fella," I told the pitcher. "You're through.""You're not the manager," he shot back."You're not e…

Tebow and the Fireflies Have a Blast on Opening Night

The Columbia Fireflies opened their second season on Thursday night and it promises to be nothing like their first season. Tim Tebow has arrived.I arrived 90 minutes before first pitch with media credential in hand. I wasn't alone. Reporters and camera men were camped out in front of the Fireflies dugout waiting for Tebow to appear from the clubhouse. The throng was noticeable especially to the Augusta GreenJackets who were in town for the opener.GreenJackets' shortstop Brandon Van Horn noticed the reporters and stood side by side with them for a second looking intently towards the Fireflies clubhouse and then sarcastically asked,  "What are we all hoping to see?"Tim Tebow gave everyone what they were hoping to see when he came to the plate for the first time in his professional baseball career. Facing lefty Domenic Mazza, Tebow worked the count to 2-1 and then blasted the pitch to left field for a two run homer. It was a surreal moment. News of his homer soon spread…

Columbia Fireflies' Ownership Defend Tim Tebow

Less than 24 hours ago the announcement came that Tim Tebow would be playing in Columbia, SC for the Fireflies. This led to the Greenville Drive twitter account making fun of the move and Tim Tebow. I reached out last night to Fireflies' Managing Owner Jason Freier for his reaction to the tweets and the assertion that Tebow is nothing more than a publicity stunt. Here is his statement in full:

I'm sure they meant it as a joke.It is certainly unusual for someone to be playing class-A baseball at 29 but this isn't any normal guy or situation. This is a world class athlete and a champion.  It is a guy who has shown tremendous leadership, determination and work ethic in everything he has done.He's 29 and trying to learn to do the hardest thing in sports--hit a baseball--so it is certainly an uphill battle. But anyone who is counting him out obviously hasn't paid attention to his career to date.
And there is no way in which this is a publicity stunt.  He is one of the mo…

Out of the Park Baseball 18 Review: Highlights

It is the most wonderful time of the year. The newest version of Out of the Park Baseball is on my computer. Here is a video I made while I was trying things out. I focused on the new highlight feature and a new feature from last year that got some love this time around.

20 Years Later, We Found Out

Twenty years ago we slapped Kentucky around at home with Dick Vitale in the building. As the game ended Dick Vitale warned the Gamecocks of their demise in the rematch game in Lexington on Senior Day.

Senior Day in Lexington was for the SEC regular season title. I was nervous and so was my roommate. Five minutes into the game I sat back in my chair. This incredible feeling came over me. We were the better team. They weren't going to beat us. I told my roommate, we were just better.

A 15-1 record in the SEC led to a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. We were finally going to find out what it felt like to make a run in March Madness. It didn't happen. It didn't happen the next year either as a #3 seed. The lawn furniture on our college apartment porch would pay the price. We missed our chance. Would it ever come again?

In 2017 Gamecock fans would grow frustrated wondering how good we could be if Duane Notice and Chris Silva played well in the same game. Sunday night in Greenvi…

Trash Talking Tim Tebow

The news broke today that the New York Mets would be assigning Tim Tebow to their Single A affiliate in Columbia, SC. The news was met with trash talk but not from fans, from the Greenville Drive twitter account 

The Drive are the Single A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and play in the South Atlantic League with Tebow's brand new team.  The Greenville Drive didn't back down when they received some complaints.


The Greenville Drive eventually did apologize....sort of...

Welcome to Tebow Time in minor league baseball.

Tebow Time Coming To Columbia

More good news for Columbia, South Carolina. Not only is it home to Sweet 16 basketball teams but it will also be the minor league home for Tim Tebow. As some of you know, I am based in Columbia, SC and have been fortunate enough to get media credentials for the Fireflies. Looking forward to seeing Tebow up close and personal this season. Here is the press release from the Columbia Fireflies:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — ‘Tebow Time’ is coming to Columbia. Former Heisman Trophy winner and two-time BCS National Champion Tim Tebow will start his professional baseball career with the Columbia Fireflies, Mets Manager Terry Collins announced. Tebow will continue with the Mets in spring training at the team’s complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida, before breaking camp the first week of April and heading to the Palmetto State’s capital.

 “No one works harder than Tim did this Spring,” said New York Mets manager Terry Collins in an interview today with Marc Carig from Newsday. “He was a pleasure to have…

Not in Tournament: Celebrating Clemson Basketball

Tonight could be the night that 2,000 lucky Clemson fans get to enjoy one of the most historic nights in Clemson basketball history. The Tigers will be going after yet another NIT victory. I think we all remember the last time Clemson hosted an NIT game....It was epic

To celebrate Clemson basketball in all its glory here is a satirical piece I wrote in November of 2015 after their double overtime win against basketball power Lenoir-Rhyne. If you are a tater and don't know what the word satirical means, let a neighbor or google help you

Clemson Shocks Lenoir-Rhyne in Double Overtime

November 8, 2015

The football team may be getting most of the press but the basketball team did their part to thrust themselves into the national spotlight with a shocking come from behind win over Lenoir-Rhyne in double overtime. It may have just been an exhibition but Coach Brownell feels it was as big of a game as his team will play all season.

"This was huge. I told our guys before the game tha…

The Greatness of George Brett

One of my all time favorite non-Red Sox players is George Brett. He is in that class of guys like Chipper Jones, Willie Mays, and Pete Rose. Guys who never played for the Red Sox but I wish they had.

I have always liked Brett and I even got to see him play 6 games in Fenway Park in 1990 and 1991. I recently went down a George Brett rabbit hole on the internet and I was reminded why I really liked him as a player.

The first thing I loved about him is that he hated the Yankees and still hates the Yankees. The Royals and the Yankees had some battles during the 70s and 80s and Brett was right in the middle of it all.

Brett was also a Yankee Killer, especially in the playoffs. Brett played in 17 postseason games against the Yankees and had 24 hits, 6 homers and 14 RBI. Not bad.

Here he is going deep three times in Game 3 of the 1978 ALCS

We all know what a prick Goose Gossage has become, here is Brett turning on a Gossage fastball in 1980 and sending it into the third deck of Yankee S…

A Date with Rat K?

Is there a better time to debut a Gamecock-centric blog than the day after Selection Sunday? Usually that would be a big fat no but for just the fourth time since I became a Gamecock (1993), the Gamecocks are dancing and looming in the distance is Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils.

Yeah...I know what you are saying. We haven't won a tournament game since 1973 (I was born in 1974) and I am already looking ahead to Duke. Trust me, winning on Friday night over Marquette is going to be a tough task and I will get more into that game later in the week. Humor me for a minute.

For now, let's just imagine a Sunday prime-time showdown in Greenville, SC against Duke. Can we beat Duke? Sure. Will we? Listen, I am not even sure we can beat Marquette. The point is this is the kind of game our program needs. We blew it in 1997 and 1998 and frankly haven't recovered until maybe now. A Sunday game against Duke in the NCAA Tournament gives us a huge leap towards basketball relevancy. These…

Bad News for Johnny Vander Meer

Eight years earlier Johnny Vander Meer did the impossible and threw back to back no hitters. In 1946, he would make 25 starts going 10-12 with a 3.17 ERA. The Reds would finish at 67-87 which was good for sixth place in the National League.

In our simulation of baseball history, Vander Meer will just make three starts as an injury will force him to miss the rest of the season.

The Reds are off to an 8-4 start thanks in part to the strong start by Vander Meer. They will have to move on without him now.

Here are the real box scores from both of Vander Meer's No-Hitters

First No Hitter

Second No Hitter

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The Teddy and Dom Show

The Red Sox are 12 games into their 1946 campaign and they are being carried by Ted Williams and Dom DiMaggio. Williams is expected to dominate but the kid brother of Joe DiMaggio is showing off some unusual power to start the season.

Here is a closer look at his red hot start

Ted Williams has been even scarier


Could David Ortiz Become The Next Johnny Bench?

Commissioner Manfred is worried about baseball's future and the appeal it has to the younger generation of fans. It made me think about my childhood and how I became such a huge baseball fan. I suddenly found myself on YouTube watching old episodes of This Week in Baseball and The Baseball Bunch. I thought to myself, why isn't there this time of programming for today's kids? Well, it could be on the way.

 The idea to bring The Baseball Bunch back isn't a new idea. In 2001 it was real close to coming back but was shelved by ESPN. Well, it is back on the table now and guess who is rumored to be this generation's Johnny Bench? You guessed it, David Ortiz. Can you think of a better fit? Me either. Here are the details on the possible revival of The Baseball Bunch:

 Steve Church began development on another Baseball Bunch, this time under a production shingle N-X211 Entertainment / CG Partners with actor John Goodman, This re-boot would still have a MLB star as host…