What, did Kelly Barons have the night off?

June 15th, 2006 → 2:50 pm @

Meet the new contestant for Boston’s favorite ballboy. Or ballperson, as the case may be. (Link via Deadspin, via some guy videotaping his DVR.)

Post Categories: David Ortiz & Deadspin & Kelly Barons & Rampaging morons & Red Sox

Gentlemen, update your resumes…

June 14th, 2006 → 3:35 pm @

Chris Snow began covering the Red Sox fulltime less than a year-and-a-half ago. His first stint with the team came during spring training, which, especially for reporters who’ve been on the beat for a while, can be a slog: the hundreth article on a crusty veteran’s hopes for the coming year, a bunch of plus ca change pieces…and on and on and on. Snow worked the hell out of the job from day one, always looking for different angles and always coming at stories with fresh reporting. In the regular season, during the soul-crushing hours reporters spent idly wandering around the Sox’s clubhouse before and after games, Snow was always politely excusing himself to go buttonhole a player about a story.

Today, the Globe announced that Snow was leaving the paper for a job as the director of hockey operations for the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild. At age 24, Snow will be one of the youngest executives in professional sports—but then, he knows all about the pressures of being a young executive.

In hiring Snow, Globe editor Marty Baron showed he wanted young, hungry reporters covering some of the paper’s most important beats. It’ll be interesting to see who ends up filling Snow’s spot: there’s the equally precocious Amalie Benjamin (a Newton North High School alum; go Tigers!), along with all the Herald scribes worried that the city’s tabloid is about to go under. And, of course, there’s Chasing Steinbrenner author Rob Bradford, who’s been cleaning up on the beat this season while toiling away for the Eagle-Tribune and its criminally difficult to navigate website

Post Categories: Boston Globe & Chris Snow & Red Sox & Sports Reporters

Outtakes: Kevin Youkilis

June 13th, 2006 → 11:30 pm @

This is the first in a series of outtakes from interviews done for Feeding the Monster, to be published on July 11 by Simon & Schuster. This interview with Kevin Youkilis was conducted in the Red Sox clubhouse on May 21, 2005. Read the book for exclusive details about how close Youkilis came to being a member of the Oakland A’s before his first at bat.

On the Red Sox farm system under the old ownership: When I got drafted [in the eighth round of the 2001 draft] and a couple of classes before me, and one or two after that, we weren’t that good. We didn’t have good drafts because [the organization] had spent all the money on the big leagues. They didn’t think about the minor league system when Dan Duquette was here. They’d rather spend their money on the big league level and not worry about the farm system. We had so many college guys that were getting paid $1,000 because they got drafted later and that was all [the club would] focus on. I was a four-year college guy, and you don’t have to pay those guys. There just wasn’t a lot of talent there. I mean, we were playing against some teams that had four first rounders on the team. We just didn’t have that kind of talent. We couldn’t compete. We battled, but we couldn’t compete against those teams on a regular basis because they had so much more talent than us.

On learning the game in the big leagues: Last year [in 2004] I didn’t really ask about stuff, I’d just watch. Now I’ll go sit down next to a coach after a play and ask him, you know, “You know, what if, like, I did this?” I talk to Dale Sveum a lot. Papa Jack—we always sit up there on that little bench. That’s the big thing for me, just getting knowledge and retaining knowledge of the game.

On the Red Sox’s reliance on statistics: We’ve got a great staff in here. We’ve got a lot of staff members in here that work their butts off. We’ve got more stuff on the computer – it’s unbelievable. They’ve got a war room in there. They’ve got their own little office in there that’s like a war room. They work to try to give us have an edge and they’ve done a great job with it.

On being known as Moneyball‘s Greek God of Walks: I got so much attention from that book. I mean, I was in AA and I got asked to the futures game, and I was like, “what?” I’ve always had the confidence that I could play the game, but I’ve never thought that I was at the elite status. I thought maybe down the road I’d make it, but then the next year I was in the big leagues. It was such an unbelievable year. All of a sudden this is getting introduced to the whole entire country as being in a New York Times bestseller. I read most of it. I’m bad with books. I’ll read like three-quarters and then put it down.

On playing with Derek Lowe: When he’s got his sinker on, he’s just deadly. He was great for us as position players. We loved it. When we were playing behind him, we knew we were going to get action in the game. But [2004] was tough. He knew he was going to be a free agent. I don’t know if that was the key. You know, sometimes it’s mental. Sometimes it’s physical. I don’t know if he wasn’t feeling well or – I think it was more a mental strain. The Boston media and the fans and everything – everyone jumps on you here so quick and sometimes some guys can’t get out of the hole mentally. Then in the playoffs I think he had a little chip on his shoulder, like I’m going to show them.

On Boston fans: It’s hard to go out. You gotta know where you’re going. You gotta watch yourself, too. You know, if you want to go out and have a drink or hang out with some of your friends, you just gotta know where you’re going because here they got Inside Track and this other stuff and you don’t want to end up in a gossip column. But it’s tough. We all want to go out and do things sometime. Sitting around in your house everyday is not fun.

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Outtakes & Kevin Youkilis & Red Sox

Coco Crisp wants to feel your love

June 9th, 2006 → 12:05 am @

For any over-eager fans watching tonight’s Red Sox-Yankees game, Coco Crisp was not asking you to make love to him when he repeatedly shouted “fuck me” after grounding out on a 3-0 count. In the future, YES might want to think about turning down the volume on their dugout mics in situations like this. (Michael Kay gamely tried to explain that “Crisp is clearly upset with himself.” At least he didn’t use a wall as a punching bag.)

Post Categories: Broadcasting & Onanism & Red Sox & Yankees

There’s this persistent buzzing in my ears…

June 7th, 2006 → 10:41 am @

It hasn’t been a good year for baseball broadcasters. First there was Keith Hernandez charming his way into our hearts with his pronouncement that “women don’t belong in the dugout.” Then Rick Sutcliffe taught the children of San Diego that if they worked hard and always ate their Wheaties, they could grow up to give drunken, rambling monologues on air.

But broadcasters don’t need to act like buffoons to embarrass themselves. Last Friday night, the Detroit Tigers broadcast team was talking about Curt Schilling’s evolution into one of the premier power pitchers of his generation. Schilling’s career, the broadcasters said, had been turned around after Roger Clemens chewed out the young righty when he was a member of the Baltimore Orioles. It’s a good story, and one that’s been repeated many, many times…and almost every time, the teller has gotten the basic details right: Schilling was with the Astros when the encounter occurred, not the Orioles. (What would Schilling have been doing working out in the Astrodome as a member of the Orioles anyway? At least Roger’s from Houston.) Not a hanging offense, granted, but couldn’t the Tigers broadcasters have done at least a tiny bit of research before a three-game series against (what was at the time) another first-place team?

This kind of careless ignorance is par for the course with baseball broadcasters. During last night’s painful Red Sox-Yankees matchup, Yankees broadcaster Ken Singleton had a weird little tangent about how the Red Sox’s not signing Johnny Damon was the reason why the team’s starting pitching was in trouble. (And here I thought it was the fact that Josh Beckett and Matt Clement were being used for batting practice.) Singleton’s logic, as far as I could tell, went something like this: because Damon left, the Sox had to find a replacement, which resulted in the trade of Bronson Arroyo for former Reds outfielder Wily Mo Pena. Now, never mind that it was Coco Crisp (whom the Yankees cameraman obligingly showed onscreen as Singleton was speaking) and not WMP who was acquired to replace Damon, and never mind that the Sox wanted (and needed) another backup outfielder regardless of whether or not they signed Damon, and never mind that assorted Arroyo deals were being discussed even before Damon decided to put on pinstripes. How about some acknowledgement that what the Red Sox gained in trading for Crisp and Pena was a pair of young, hard-hitting outfielders who still have several years to go before they’re eligible for free agency? Or even a nod to the fact that in a couple of years the Yankees will once again be saddled with a highly-paid center fielder with a poor throwing arm and limited range…and we saw how well that worked out last year. I know there are those folks who have problems with Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy, who broadcast Sox games for NESN. (The inside jokes, the corny puns, etc.) But they know the game, they do their research, and they make incisive, thoughtful, and provocative observations. The more broadcast teams you see during the course of a season, the more you realize just how rare that is.

Post Categories: Broadcasting & Red Sox & Yankees