Rub some dirt on it

Let me start tonight by saying that I am thouroughly sick of pine tar-gate. Ok, Kenny Rogers had a smudge of some sort on his hand. Was this earth shattering?

He took the dirt or pine tar off and proceeded to pitch shutout baseball the rest of the night. Not sure why this story is being covered like Watergate, but that’s the way it works this time of year. I covered the Clemens-Piazza 2000 World Series, and I remember how the rest of the Series became an afterthought to why Clemens tossed a piece of sliced lumber at Mike Piazza.

Sounds like Mike Timlin is coming back in ’07. I don’t think he should be written off after one bad year. I think there were underlying issues, such as the World Baseball Classic throwing off his schedule, the 81 appearances he made in 2005 and the fact that he finally had arm issues. Add that to the fact that he’s 40 years old, and it all added up. That said, I think they should slot Timlin in as more of a seventh inning guy next year instead of an eighth inning guy. That will take some pressure off of him.

And I’m still disgusted as to why Bill Parcells would bench Drew Bledsoe in favor of Tony Romo. Yes, I just switched sports on you. Seriously, it seems like Parcells was throwing a bone to Jerry Jones by making that move. Let’s face it, the Cowboys aren’t going anywhere with Romo. At least they have a chance with Bledsoe.

Am I the only person excited about the 2006-07 edition of the Boston Celtics?

More later,

Ian.

34 Comments

Ian, for the first time in a long time, I am excited about the Celtics as well. Like the BoSox, I have followed the Celtics loyally since I was 7. I’m 38 now, so in between there have been great years and lean years. I like the fact that they have so many promising young players. I like the tandem of Ratliff and Perkins at center (if Ratliff can stay healthy), and guys such as Jefferson, Green, Gomes, Pierce and Szczerbiak (I’m sure I spelled that incorrectly). The point guard situation looks much better with Telfair and Rondo, and West can play both guard spots. I expect Tony Allen to be dealt (perhaps with Ratliff) for a veteran big man. The bottom line is they are young for the most part, and they will move at a fast pace and likely be improved defensively. I think a No. 7 or No. 8 spot in the playoffs is feasible.

The Celtics, and the BoSox Hot Stove League action, should make the winter interesting.

I’m a lifelong Steelers fan in football, so I dislike the Cowboys about as much as I dislike the Yankees.

Regarding Timlin, I think he will be a valuable addition, just not as a set-up man. Hopefully, he pitches fewer innings so he remains fresh in the second half. Do you know about who the BoSox are interested in as a closer? How about a set-up man and a left-handed specialist. I’ve heard Scott Linebrink and J.C. Romero. Any truth to those rumors?

Jamie, I don’t think Kottaras is too raw to serve as the backup catcher next season. It would be nice if the BoSox could break him in for a few seasons as the backup catcher under Varitek and if he works out, he will be the Sox catcher of the future. I prefer Kottaras right now over Mirabelli. Please, no more Mirabelli!

sorroy ian, not a basketball fan. its all about ND football and dallas stars hockey

Jeff,

I’m 34, so we grew up during the same golden era of Celtics basketball. We’ll never see better basketball than that, but it was that era that still makes me love the game. If one or two of these young guys can take another step this year, this could be a team to watch.

Ian – I have to disagree about Bledsoe after watching that game last night. Aside from the big huge cherry with the bow on it he threw up for an interception (after the momentum had just switched with a big play by Dallas D on Tiki), the play that stood out for me were the sacks he took in the first quarter. A couple were not his fault, but one of them he could have had a coffee and a cigarette and still had time to get it away. He is one of the most immobile qb’s in the nfl.

I agree about Rogers’s though. I hate the way this will call into question his efforts in the postseason so far. Cue trashy papers headlines saying “Rogers’s career tar-nished”. Has this been used yet? Maybe I should copyright it.

One other random point. Is there any case for arguing that unearned runs given up by a pitcher on account of an error should become earned runs if the error in question is made by the pitcher himself?

Yeah, those teams of the 80s were spectacular. I would take the ’86 Celtics against any of the Bulls teams of the 90s and Pistons and Lakers teams of the last few years.

I’m looking forward to seeing the Celtics when they come here to Orlando. The magic have a strong young team as well. I think they will compete with the Celtics for one of the final playoff spots.

About the Sox, I read where they are interested in Rod Barajas as the backup catcher. He has experience catching the knuckler. Do you know anything about this? Also, have you been able to gauge the Sox interest in Wakefield?

Well I guess people won’t think of the WS as a stroll for the Tigers any more.

The WS is certainly turning into an interesting series.

Think of it as cats vs. birds and it should be a no contest.

However, Sylvester vs Tweety Pie generally tends to swing the other way, despite the odds! Could this be the Sylvester vs Tweetie Pie Series? :-)

My level for the Celtics is at 5, they need to show me something this year. Tired of pine tar gate also, just play ball.

I bet there are a lot of Red Sox fans who will feel good for the people of St. Louis should they win the World Series. i’ve never seen a group of fans as classy as those fans were when the Sox went there and won it all. They basically opened their home to Red Sox fans and told them to party the night away. I can’t think of many other cities that would be so welcoming.

I think bringing Timlin back is a reasonable idea. I think his ineffectiveness at the end of last season was more running out of gas than age finally catching up with him. If we can keep him out of the World Baseball Classic, we might be able to keep him healthy and effective until at least July. By that time, we should have a solid bullpen transition plan in place.

Let me rephrase that- we’d BETTER have a solid bullpen plan in place.

http://outskirtsofredsoxnation.blogspot.com

The WBC won’t be an issue next year (it is an ‘Olympiad’ period event, I think). Keeping Timlin is a good move. I wonder what will pan out with Foulke though – he never really did find his mojo this season.

Ian, you say about the Cardinals’ fans being classy. Wasn’t that similar in Chicago when playing the Cubs last year?

I like Timlin for rebounding from last year, I’m sure the injury was the reason why. I’m thinking before the injury he was solid, after not so much. I don’t know about Embry, but Foulke could rebound but what if he doesn’t?

I’m a big Cowboys fan…Steelers ***! lol, just kidding Jeff. I liked when they brought in Romo, atleast he could scramble and he has an arm as well. He is a rookie and on the big Monday Night Football stage he made some errors, but I liked him more so then Drew. The Cowboys haven’t moved the ball like that for a while. Could have been better without that late int! Even with better offensive line, I would still go with Romo.

The Celtics haven’t been great it seems like forever. I hope this season will be better then past ones. Would be nice to add to the banners one day soon.

Hope game 4 doesn’t get rained out tonight, heard it might…still like the Tigers, but the Cards are playing some impressive ball.

I cant wait for the Celtics Basketball season. If you are a Celtics fan how can you not be excited with all the rookie talent we have. Also the vetrean leadership on the team we have with Paul Pierce. The fastbreak will setup well this year with all theese fast young guns. Telfair will be interesting to watch. The only thing that i am worried about is that we have too much rookie talent. Doc Rivers will have no clue on how to give them “expierence”. It will be interesting to see how the season plays out. Any body elses thoughts

…and Jeter wins the Hank Aaron Award.

Suddenly, the MLB is beginning to look as retarded as the Bush administration. No joking either. That’s a pretty big deal, if you’re compared in ANY way to Bush lol

Jeter had a higher BA, but had a fourth of Papi’s HR, and probably half of his RBI. Jeter winning the overall MVP over Papi is already a stretch, but for OFFENSIVE contributions too????

What’s this world come to? How do these ballot casting people get their jobs?? Where do I apply? Probably at a zoo, but I’ll need to know specifically which one so that my mentally retarded Chimpanzee can earn some $$.

I agree jamie.That was a surprise even to me.

Timlin will be a plus to the bullpen and the clubhouse, especially with all the young pitchers the Sox are likely to have.

Keith Foulke showed some signs of his 2004 form toward the end of the year. With playoff hopes gone, they should have given him some closer opportunities to see what he could do. He deserves a shot.

I really believe Papelbon should be the Sox’ biggest concern right now. Not much is being said about a 25 year old kid, with very few innings on his arm, having to be shut down for what amounts to a separated shoulder. That kind of an injury shouldn’t happen to a pitcher from throwing. I’m not worried about whether he will start or close, I’m worried about whether he’ll be able to pitch at all. If he can, will the Sox have to be so concerned that he is limited to five innings or 80 pitches or some ridiculous thing like that?

Kay-cee brings the ball across mid-court. He diddles and he daddles….and he breaks to the right, behind the back to Sam, he stops and he pops……BANG!

….and Havlicek steals the ball….Havlicek, he stole the ball…..Celtics win!

Bill Russell, Satch,Tommy Heinsohn, Bailey Howell, Sudden Sam, Bob Cousy, Jungle Jim Luscotoff, Jo Jo, etc….. Were there better days, ever, in any sport, anywhere? God bless you Johnny Most.

It’s good to see that Dave Roberts is being inducted into the BoSox Hall of Fame. What he did by stealing that base is one of the most critical post-season moments in baseball history, spurring what was the best playoff series comeback in baseball history. Years from now, outside of Red Sox Nation, few people will know of the significance of Roberts’ steal by looking at a box score and seeing his name as a pinch runner and looking further down and seeing his name after SB. However, we recognize his contribution. Roberts is a prime example of why role players are crucial on a team. I think it is better to have a roster dominated by role players, and just 1 or 2 stars, than a roster stocked with superstars, like the Yankees. In most cases, the complete team – the one with players who know their roles – wins. Just look at the Yankees teams since 2001, and the teams who have won the World Series since then. Enough said.

Because Curt Schilling, Keith foulke, david ortiz, johnny damon, manny ramirez, pedro martinez and jason varitek, none of whom were homegrown, were not superstars….1 or 2? Try again.

Melky Cabrera, miguel cairo, and andy phillips are not role players? Guys like cano jeter, posada and rivera along with soon wang will or have become superstars because they play in NY not because we bought them as advertised. If I recall correctly, many sox fans bashed the abreu deal too, sighting he was not going to deliver.

In other news, According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jeter became just the fifth player in the past 75 seasons to hit .340 or higher, drive in at least 90 runs and steal 30 or more bases in the same season. The others were Larry Walker (1997), Ellis Burks (1996), Willie Mays (1958) and Jackie Robinson (1949).

Not a bad stat to have on your side, though I think the rightful decision is probably ortiz as hank aaron winner and jeter mvp, but that’s just me.

There is no doubt Jeter is the most valuable to me, but when you talk strictly offense it would be hard to convince me Jeter is more of a force than Ortiz:

More than 250,000 votes were cast on MLB.com during the final phase of voting. Jeter received 29,275 votes, or 37 percent of the votes among the six American League finalists. Jeter, who beat out Vladimir Guerrero, Travis Hafner, David Ortiz, Justin Morneau and Paul Konerko, also is one of the leading candidates for the AL Most Valuable Player Award, which will be announced on Nov. 21. The Phillies’ Ryan Howard is the National League winner of the Aaron Award.

Jamie that might be a testament as to why Jeter won. The fans voted him in, so if anything a pat on their backs, it is the same reason varitek was voted starting catcher this season in the all star game, I personally think fans should vote in the replacements, not the starters. Not really sure why Ortiz fans didn’t vote for him harder, maybe they were upset by the sox season (and I mean that seriously, not sarcastically) I have no idea, but I do believe ortiz should have won the Hank Aaron award, but definitely not the MVP

you Celts fans on the blog are going to have to keep me in the loop on what is going on for the first few games because I’m going to miss them while i’m in Japan. I’d like to see Al Jefferson take a big leap this year. I’m a big Delonte West backer. Telfair and Rondo just might give this team a dimension they haven’t had at the point in recent years.

Vince, the only superstars on the 2004 BoSox were Manny, Schilling and Pedro. Ortiz was not yet a superstar, until after the season. Even if you throw him in, the rest of the Sox were just gritty players who knew their roles. I wouldn’t call Damon a superstar. Definitely not Varitek or Foulke.

You’re missing the point. This discussion has nothing to do with home-grown players. You can acquire role players and non-superstars who are quality starters (such as Mueller, Varitek, Millar, Roberts, Cabrera, Bellhorn, Timlin, Embree, Foulke, etc. on the 2004 team) through free agent signings and trades. The Yankees are loaded with all-stars across the board, yet they have not delivered a World Series title since 2000. Most of the teams who have won since have had just a few stars at the most, and numerous role players. The White Sox, BoSox, Marlins and Angels are prime examples. Even the Diamondbacks. Beyond Schilling and Johnson, they were mostly gritty, everyday players who were not superstars.

As I said, I would much rather have a BoSox team with just a few stars (like Manny and Ortiz, since nobody else on the team is in a star category) and a collection of gamers (like the 2004 team) than a team consisting of primaddonas (like Jeter, Giambi, A-Rod, Johnson, Mussina, Sheffield, etc.). The Yankees will not win another World Series title until they return to a team that is similar to guys like O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Brosius, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with the Yankees falling on their faces when they are built to win World Series titles. The point I am making is that, regardless of who you are (Devil Rays, Pirates, BoSox or Yankees), fielding a team of superstars is not the way to win. It looks good on paper, but not in reality. The last five World Series winners demonstrate that the team concept – and not a payroll of superstars – is the way to go. And this season it will be no different – regardless of whether the Cardinals or Tigers win.

Thus the reason I hope that the Sox do sign a guy like Matsuzaka or Schmidt, and perhaps even acquire Andruw Jones, but also fill the holes with gamers (like resigning Loretta, starting Pedroia, perhaps bringing back Millar in a reserve role, keeping Youkilis and Lowell, etc.). They’ve already started the right way by bringing back Timlin.

Ian, I agree about Telfair and Rondo. Hopefully, they can keep the turnovers down. I like West as well. It’s nice having a guy like that who can play both guard spots, though I think he is better suited as a shooting guard. I like a starting lineup of Telfair, Pierce, Szczerbiak, Al Jefferson or Gomes, and Perkins or Ratliff (if he is healthy). It’s nice having a bench with guys like West, Rondo, Tony Allen, Jefferson or Gomes, Perkins or Ratliff, and Gerald Green. If Scalabrine is healthy, he is a good power forward as long as he doesn’t have to start. Same with Olowokandi at center. And Leon Powe looks like he could be another second round steal.

I am excited about this team. Should make the winter interesting.

What is your name yankeevmm? Vince? What are you doing on the redsox blog? Get kicked off the yankee blog? Listen, try opening a dictionary when you want to spell a word you aren’t sure of like citing. It’s citing not sighting you *****. Don’t you have anything better to do than sully the sox blog?

Yankee fans are more than welcome on this blog, as is anyone who has something interesting to bring to the table.

You should probably check the yankee blog before you make accusations that make you look stupid. You want to criticize grammar? That’s fine, but this is a baseball blog, put up knowledge or shutup altogether. Jeff, Ortiz came out of the woodwork in 2003, there is no way by 2004 he was not a superstar. Jeter? A primadonna? Did you forget he was part of the dynasty and a very large part? It’s fine if you want to call guys like sheffield and a rod primadonnas, maybe even giambi, but calling Jeter one is just plain wrong. It’s like me calling Varitek one or calling him overrated because he has only one the world series once.

And in case you forgot, Foulke was a premiere closer when you signed him from the A’s, he wasn’t just some hardworking gritty pitcher. The whole problem with the ’03 team was closing games and the sox went out and got one of the very best at that time. I agree guys like Mueller, Bellhorn, Nixon, and Lowe were gritty guys, but Damon was already a well known player too when the sox signed him.

I don’t think you will find any disagreement here or on the Yankee blog that yankee fans would prefer to have more role players than non superstars, almost all of our suggestions for the offseason revolve around that trend. I think the offseasons of ’03 and ’04 hurt both teams when they went into an arms race against one another (pavano, clement, wright, johnson, renteria, etc.)

And BTW, you want to complain about the way somebody types? Try capitalizing your own team’s name if you’re going to completely miss the point of talking baseball and rather use a defense mechanism like criticizing typo’s to replace the potential for a lack of actual baseball intellect or blind hatred for another person because of their email address.

Vince, I guess you won’t be hiring the services of sdefreitas when you are in the market for a home, huh? (lol).

By the way, damon was an established player, but not a superstar. He was a cult favorite in Boston, but even today – after the season he had with the Yankees – he is not a superstar. A good player, but not a superstar. Foulke was one of the league’s top closers, you’re right, but I wouldn’t call him a superstar either. A dependable reliever, but not a superstar. I’m hoping he returns to his 2004 ways in 2007, if he picks up his player option and the BoSox don’t buy him out.

You are right about the arms race. I wanted the Sox to dump Pedro and resign Lowe, but letting both go and signing Clement was a tremendous mistake. Clement was just a mediocre pitcher when the BoSox signed him. Lowe was more proven, and showed he could come through in big games during the 2004 postseason. There is an element of risk in signing a No. 4 or No. 5 caliber pitcher, which the Sox will likely do (Meche, Padilla, Eaton, Lilly). You never know if it will work out. However, if you pay the big bucks for a guy like Schmidt, you have a better idea of what you are getting (but you will have to overpay to sign him).

Just a quick note about the Hank Aaron award…

I would take the results of this “fan-decided” award with a grain of salt. Unlike most of the other awards and contests, because the Hank Aaron award was sponsered by Century 21, you had to be 21 to vote in it; usually you only have to be 18 to vote in the corporate-sponsered contests.

I’m not saying that tens of thousands of fans were left out on this one, but the bottom line is that some people were still left out, period.

Just a thought.

Sigh, I keep on thinking about how amazing we were in 2004…

Damon leading off, Cabrera next. Papi and Manny creating ****, Varitek at his prime batting 5th. We had the 03 batting champ in Mueller, a 25-HR guy in Millar, reliable Nixon, and masher Bellhorn.

For pitching, we had Schilling (who would’ve won the Cy Young if not for Johan Santana), Pedro (the best Sox pitcher ever), Lowe (top-3 Cy Young candidate in 2002), Wakefield, and Arroyo. In the pen, we had the reliable cast of Embree and Timlin as well as a top-3 closer in Foulke.

Where did we go wrong?!?

AM I THE ONLY ONE LOOKING AT THIS YEARS FREE AGENTS. THERE ARE NOT TOO MANY EARTH SHATTERING NAMES BUT THERE ARE SOME DECENT LEFT HANDED ARMS OUT OUT THERE LIKE JC ROMERO, ATHUR RHODES, JAMIE WALKER. HOW ABOUT TAKING A FLYER ON RANDY WOLF TO COMPETE AS A 5TH STARTER.

I HOPING THE REDSOX TAKE A GOOD RUN AT JULIO LUGO TO HELP CLEAR UP THE INFIELD SITUATION. AN INTERESTING IDEA MAY TO BRING BACK JAY PAYTON AS THE STARTING RIGHT FIELDER. HE LEFT BEFORE BECAUSE HE COULD NOT BE A STARTER.

THERE ARE A LOT OF POSSIBILITIES BEFORE THE RED SOX HAVE TO START THINKING TRADES. I’M SURE THAT THEY WILL EXPLORE THOSE AS WELL. THE SOX HAVE DONE WELL IN RECENT DRAFTS, BUT I’M SURE THEO WILL BE CAREFULL NOT TO TRADE A LOT OF OUR YOUNG PROSPECTS SUCH AS ANABEL SANCHEZ LIKE LAST YEAR.

what is the significance of julio lugo’s dirt stain?

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