And then, at 11:18, Dustin Pedroia took a piss

February 26th, 2007 → 4:34 pm @

Hey, guess what: Manny arrived at the Sox spring training site in Ft. Myers. Here’s proof.

And here’s proof that Boston is, without a doubt, the city most in need of some perspective of the relative importance of baseball. Since this morning, the Globe and the Herald have combined for 12, count em, 12 blog posts on the situation down in Florida.

Here are a rundown of the Globe‘s entries:

Manny’s Here
Ramirez Ready for Work
Manny in the Cages
“10 bucks for a haircut”
Q&A with Manny’s agent
Q&A transcript
Manny vs. Dice K
Dice-K’s session
Manic Monday

And the Herald‘s:

Manny’s in the Fort
Manny’s agent, not Manny, speaks
Dice-K update

Contrast that to the three dailies in New York. The Times* insofar as I can tell, doesn’t have a Yankees blog. The Daily News has posted eight Yankees blog entries in the past week, and that’s a week that’s included Mo’s talk of leaving New York, the Bernie Williams situation, and the A-Rod/Jeter clearing of the air. The two Post blogs total 11 entries in the past week: seven in Joel Sherman’s spring training diary and another four in the tabloid’s catch-all Bombers blog.

It’s a suffocating situation. Just ask David Wells, who recently told the Globe‘s Nick Cafardo:

“‘It was the worst. You go to a mall with your kids and you have people always wanting to take pictures. They should call it ‘Picturetown’ not ‘Beantown.’ … Listen, I know the people are Red Sox-friendly. They love the Red Sox. I understand that. They have to understand that when we’re not at the ballpark, we’re not subject to autographs and pictures and we need to be able to enjoy ourselves. I don’t think they see that and don’t get it.’

New York, where Wells spent four seasons, ‘is a cakewalk compared to Boston,’ he said. “But you know what? Boston is a great town. When I was playing against them, it was great coming in. Great stuff in that town. Great restaurants and nightlife. Historical stuff.

‘But you have to be able to deal with it. That’s why Manny [Ramírez] is always a little loopy — because he can’t do stuff. If you want to be subject to that kind of stuff, God bless you. But as you get older, you want to relax.'”

Relax? As a member of the Red Sox? Dude…get a grip.

* And, as reader TPIRman points out…I’m wrong about the lack of a Times baseball blog. (Shoot, it’s not like I’ve written a book about the Times or anything.) “Bats,” the Times blog, has two-dozen posts up from the past week; that covers the Mets, the Yankees, and the rest of MLB (including everything from Ichiro to Bonds). And, naturally, there are three posts dedicated to the Red Sox included in there.

Post Categories: 2007 Spring Training & David Wells & Manny Ramirez & Red Sox Fans & Sports Reporters

Why is this night different from all other nights?

August 31st, 2006 → 6:06 pm @

OK, so this isn’t different, but important: for all you going to the game, remember to cheer. These comments from Gordon Edes’s article in today’s Globe were incredibly dispiriting:

* “Oh yeah, they’ll be welcoming us with open arms,” manager Terry Francona said sardonically of the reception that awaits the staggered Sox.

* “Are you dealing with rational people?” said [Kevin Youkilis], infielder by trade, left fielder again by necessity. “I don’t know, they’re Red Sox fans. If they want to boo, what are you going to do? People boo players when they come into a game trying to win a game. Some people will, some people won’t. It depends on the radio, and what they’re saying. Even our parking lot attendants listen to the radio.”

So c’mon: welcome them with open arms. Pedroia, Youkilis, Loretta, even emergency start Julian Tavarez — it’s not these guys’ fault.

(Emergency starter Julian Tavarez, you say? Yup…because the on-the-verge-of-being-traded David Wells has been sent home to literally pack his bags and wait for a phone call. Up to the minute updates are are here; the Globe writers get paid for this, after all. I’m heading out to grab some food.)

Post Categories: David Wells & Red Sox Fans

David Wells headed anywhere except to the Yankees

August 29th, 2006 → 6:47 pm @

From the “not-hugely surprising” department: the Sox are apparently shopping David Wells, who passed through waivers and can be traded to any team (although it’ll have to happen in the next couple of days for him to be eligible for the postseason). In this article, Buster Olney lists the Mets, Twins, Diamondbacks, Padres, Dodgers, Phillies, Cardinals, A’s, and Reds as possible destinations. That’s nine teams. Eight other teams have hopes of reaching the playoffs: the Tigers, White Sox, Giants, Marlins, Astros, Brewers, Braves, and Yankees. The Tigers and the White Sox aren’t in the market for starting pitching, despite recent woes. The ‘Stros have Clemens, Oswalt, and Pettitte; their problem is their pen. The Marlins would only agree to a trade if Wells paid them. The Braves’ best pitcher and its GM are too busy sniping back and forth to think about playing baseball in October, the Brewers are suffering from the curse of Bud Selig, and it wouldn’t be right if Barry Bonds got to finish his career in San Francisco with a trip to the playoffs.

That leaves the Yankees. Wells loves the Yankees. New York loves Wells (this guy notwithstanding). The Yankees could certainly use pitching: any team that’s relying on Jared Wright (9-7, 4.72), Cory Lidle (10-9, 4.64 ERA) and, um, Randy Johnson, (14-10, 4.96) can’t be totally secure about its starters. (And it doesn’t look like Carl Pavano will be helping the Yankees this year. Or ever.)

Which I guess means that while players have no compunction about jumping directly from one team to the other, the front offices still aren’t crazy about dealing with each other. Especially in the middle of a pennant race.

(Tomorrow if Wells ends up in pinstripes and this is proven wrong I’ll blame it all on Buster. No, not that one; this one.)

Post Categories: David Wells & Oblique references to Buster Bluth & Red Sox & Yankees

All hail the Fat Man: Gimme five, he’s still alive

August 12th, 2006 → 12:55 pm @

One of the things I was most surprised by last year was the hatred directed towards David Wells. Fans didn’t like him. Reporters weren’t overly fond of him. Casual acquaintances asked me why the Sox had bothered to sign him up at all.

I’ve always kind of liked Wells. I’m naturally predisposed towards people who speak their minds, and Wells’s apparent inability to keep his mouth shut was refreshing in a world in which most everyone is trained not to offend. Watching ESPN in the clubhouse before a game one day, he blurted out, apropos of nothing, “Can you imagine what my record would be like if all these guys weren’t on steroids? That’s one good thing about being so fat: no one’ll ever suspect me.” When Manny had his mid-season melt-down, most of his teammates tossed off platitudes about what a good teammate he was and how his trade demands were never a distraction. Wells wasn’t quite so politic. “The guy’s messing with my cake,” Wells said last July 30. “I don’t care what’s going on. This team needs him. … It’s selfish for him not to step up. Listen, we’ve got a couple of guys hurt.” On the last night of last year’s August visit to Kansas City, I asked Wells about the intensity of the fans in Boston. He didn’t give a rote speech about how nice it was to play in front of passionate fans; instead, he said publicly what a lot of the players had grumbled about privately. “[The fans] don’t care [about privacy]. That’s why I don’t go out. You can’t enjoy a drink with a friend or a meal with your family because they’re such huge fans. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when the game’s over, you’ve got to let us breathe. I mean, look at Manny. He’s got a hard time. And David Ortiz, Johnny Damon, guys very seldon go out because they know what they’re up against and they don’t want the hassle. There’s really nowhere to hide.”

I’ve also liked Wells because he’s a true physical marvel. Roger Clemens works his ass off to stay in shape; Julio Franco eats 20 egg whites as the first of his five or six meals a day. Wells? He eats like crap, drinks a lot, throws a beautifully nasty curve, has remarkable control…and may or may not have thrown a perfect game while half-drunk. He’s a physical marvel like Hunter Thompson was a physical marvel.

For Wells fans, last night was a good night. In May, the hulking lefty suffered an incredible bout of bad luck when he was nailed in the right knee in his first game back from an injury…to his right knee. Since then, he’s been uncharacteristically quiet: no calls for Bud Selig’s resignation, no disses of his teammates, none of his outbreaks of verbal diarhhea. As a result, he’d almost slipped under the radar (to the extent that any Red Sox player who weights 250 lbs can slip under the radar in Boston). After a so-so outing from Josh Beckett, a shaky one from Jon Lester, a blown save from Jonathan Papelbon, and a late-inning meltdown by Curt Schilling, it was Wells, the balding, ornery, overweight ex-Yankee, who, for one day at least, was the savior. The stopper, even.

Grateful Dead fans used to affectionately refer to Jerry Garcia as the Fat Man. If the Sox are going to make a successful push to October, Wells will be one of the keys, and I hope the Fat Man keeps tearing off those nasty curves, keeps putting up those phenomenal K/BB numbers, and keeps spouting off. It’s just David being David. And it’s exactly what we need.

Post Categories: David Wells & Oblique references to Grateful Dead lyrics