Tuesday, August 25, 2009

14 comments Panic On The Streets of Boston! Everyone Grab Your Loved Ones And Trample The Nearest Person On The Way Out Of The City!

Just a reminder for what seems like the hundredth time, we have room for one more person in the BotB Fantasy League. If you are interested, tell me or sign up today. I will fill the spot tomorrow.

Hat Guy wants everyone in Boston to know it is all over. There's no need to even try anymore. They have lost to the Yankees in a 3 game series and they will never have a good team again. They may as well just disband the team and move to Omaha, Nebraska. I hear there are plenty of baseball fans in that area who will support a bunch of losers like the Red Sox.

It’s time for the Red Sox to throw out all the familiar plot lines.

This annoys me. There are no "plot lines" just games to be played. The media has a fascination with turning games into "plots" as if they need to add drama to sporting events. Its overplayed and overdone and I wish it would stop.

This season is no longer about beating the Yankees. It’s not about winning the AL East. It’s not about curses or Evil Empires or blood feuds.

When was it ever just about beating the Yankees? I realize the media eats up the rivalry between these two teams and turns it into something that it is not, which is more important than a normal game, but the Red Sox goal I presume is to win the World Series, not beat the Yankees.

I understand this. Trust me I do. Every year I have to deal with everyone treating Duke-UNC in college basketball like it is for the National Championship. When I tell everyone it doesn't matter if Duke beats UNC or UNC beats Duke if one of those teams loses to Virginia or another team they should not lose to, I get looked at like I am crazy. It's true. The Red Sox could sweep the Yankees in an "important" series but if they lose 2 out of 3 to the White Sox, the Yankees sweep doesn't matter as much.

The Red Sox lost two out of three to the Yankees but if they had swept the series they still would have been 5.5 games behind, which is still a tough job to come back and win the AL East. It's not time to panic quite yet.

All that counts now is figuring out a way to make the playoffs.

How about continue winning games and stay in the lead for the Wild Card? I think that would work to make the playoffs. I know it is much more fun to write this way, to write like the Red Sox season is over because the Yankees took 2 out of 3 from them, but all is not lost and the Red Sox still have the 4th best record in the American League which will get them in the playoffs as of today.

The Red Sox will tell you the division is still within their grasp, because that’s what they have to say and how they have to think.

Those noble gentleman...not acknowledging the unattainable. I would like to know when ANY MLB team has come out and said, "yeah, we are pretty much playing for the Wild Card spot from here on out," even in late August. I can't recall a time. Why would this case be any different?

But while we’re waiting for all these things to come to pass, Boston would be advised to stop looking ahead at the Yankees, who are about to disappear over the horizon.

I hate to be the person to tell Hat Guy this but there is really no difference in trying to catch the Yankees and trying to win the Wild Card. As much fun as it would be to think the focus of the team is different, either way the Red Sox are trying to win games to get the Wild Card or win games to catch the Yankees. Either way, they have to win games. I think they know that. The purpose really doesn't freaking matter.

Let's look at how the NL and AL Wild Cards have done lately:

Since the Wild Card's inception in 1995 the NL Wild Card has made the NLCS 8 times, made the World Series 6 times, and won the World Series twice.

The AL Wild Card has made the ALCS 8 times, made the World Series 3 times, and won the World Series twice.

What I am saying is the Wild Card is not a kiss of death for the Boston Red Sox, so no matter how many times they lose to the Yankees and have to "switch their focus," it doesn't matter what they do as long as they keep winning games, which was probably their intent in the first place.

Hat Guy is placing too much emphasis on beating the Yankees. It only counts for one win for the Red Sox anyway when they beat the Yankees. I am sure they just want to win baseball games and they aren't focused on beating the Yankees but just winning baseball games.

Better to take a look over their shoulders at the Rangers and the Rays, who are just one and three games behind respectively in the AL Wild Card race.

Actually as of today the Rangers are now 1.5 games behind the Red Sox and the Rays are 3 games back.

Maybe the key to the Red Sox winning the Wild Card is to not play any more baseball games.

Yankee and Red Sox fans may have looked at this series as some sort of test, but the players knew that it was just a three-game set that they really had to win.

Those stupid Yankee and Red Sox fans, they just thought this past 3 game series was an exhibition game that didn't count.

Even the premier matchup of Josh Beckett and CC Sabathia took a back seat to the Boston imperative to win games, no matter who the opponent is.

Again, that was sort of the point for Josh Beckett and CC Sabathia. I really doubt they were going into the game thinking they had to beat each other, they were probably thinking they had to win the damn game and to do that they each person had to pitch well. Only the media and select fans really buy into the hype that the Red Sox-Yankees games mean any more in the standings than just another game won or lost in the standings.

In the next few weeks, Boston has to play Chicago, which is battling Detroit for the AL Central title, seven times. They also have six more against the Rays, three against the Angels and three more against New York. That’s 19 games against contending teams.

So basically by being in the lead for the Wild Card and getting to play six more games against the Rays the Red Sox nearly control their own destiny...so there is really no need to panic? Before lighting the torches and running around the streets in a fit because the Red Sox may not make the playoffs, Hat Guy should sit down and realize it can be a good position to be in to actually play the teams contending for the playoffs down the stretch.

The Red Sox have to think about winning series now.

What the hell were they thinking about previously to this Yankee series? Winning one game and then finding a good bar to hang out in after the games?

The Yankees still have to go back to the West Coast, where they never thrive, to play three against Seattle and three more against the Angels. Texas has 19 games against the Angels, Mariners, Rays and Twins. Tampa has six against Boston, seven against the Yankees, four against the Tigers and three against the Rangers.

So basically every other team the Red Sox are going up against for the Wild Card have to play teams trying to make the playoffs also? It looks to me like the Rays have the hardest schedule of the four teams...maybe they should be the ones Hat Guy is writing a column in a panic about. Of course he only writes about the Yankees and Red Sox, so to write a column about the Rays needing to panic would be impossible for him.

You can write off bad losses or three-game losing streaks in April, May and June, but not in late August and September.

I see what he is saying but it actually counts the same in the standings. The Red Sox have always been focused on winning baseball games, whether it is for the AL East lead or for the Wild Card, it doesn't matter. I realize it is fun for the media and writers like Hat Guy to think their focus has switched from the rivalry with the Yankees to getting the Wild Card, but it's stupid, they just want to win games.

-Mark Sanchez, the future 3 time Super Bowl MVP, played another exhibition game last night. The greatest quarterback ever started the game and because he played more than one series and didn't go against a porous Rams defense, he struggled. Yes, I am rubbing his face in this because I am tired of the Sanchez love out in the media.

Even the Associated Press loves themselves some Mark Sanchez.

Once he gains experience, New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez will probably become more comfortable and confident in the pocket.

Probably, let's just ignore the fact 50% of quarterbacks taken in the first round are busts. Why would Mark Sanchez bust anyway, he is Mark Sanchez, God Among Men. Sum up the game and drop the commentary please.

I am not against Mark Sanchez, though it certainly sounds like it, but everyone has just assumed he is going to be a great quarterback based on one series against the Rams in the preseason. He is the heir apparent to Brett Favre to be the media's golden boy.

Sanchez was 3-8 for 43 yards with an interception returned for a touchdown, a fumble and a touchdown pass after the Ravens 1st team defense was taken out of the game. I make a motion we wait for the season to start before announcing Mark Sanchez is going to be a great quarterback in the NFL.

-After yesterday's discussion about Derek Jeter and where he ranks over the past 50 years, I found an article about Joe Posnanski that said Jeter is underrated.

I think we all agreed The Jeter is not the greatest player over the past 50 years, so Peter King's comment that brought it up was wrong, but I am not even sure if he is considered "underrated" either.

The word, Jeterate, was born of my own frustration -- a frustration shared with many people who are not in love with the Yankees -- that Jeter (because of his looks, his charms, his charisma, his natural ability to lead, his pinstripes) will receive hosannas and standing ovations for more or less anything he does, even ridiculous stuff. Especially INTANGIBLES.
When Derek Jeter was born, he came with an umbilical cord attached to a small bucket of intangibles.

Jeter has received excessive praise for his defense -- and three gold gloves -- though various defensive statistics and subjective viewings suggested that he has been a subpar shortstop.

Meaningless nerd statistics invented to bring down The Jeter.

Announcers and analysts of all kinds will write sonnets to Jeter's baseball brilliance -- the guy never makes a mistake! -- though a closer statistical view shows, for instance, he can be a spotty base runner (last year, for instance, Bill James' analysis showed Jeter to be minus-14 bases as a runner). Captain Clutch is actually hitting below his career averages with runners in scoring position, in late and close situations and in the postseason.

Then explain why he is the greatest shortstop ever! You can't because he is the greatest shortstop ever...or the greatest player of Peter King's lifetime, which could very well be the dumbest thing said by Peter King in a while and that is saying something.

He has, against all odds, become UNDERRATED. And that is a wicked turn. I think Jeter at 35 is having one of his greatest seasons. I think he's playing defense better than he ever has, he's getting on base and slugging like he did in his prime, and in my view he has been the Yankees most valuable player in 2009. And, for once, it's funny, I don't hear too many other people talking about it.

Because Derek Jeter is playing like he used to in his prime, this year only, he is now underrated because no one is overly singing his praises and describing what a great player he is?

I just want to make sure I am getting this straight. So for Derek Jeter to be properly "rated" you have to shower him with lavish praise at all times and speak of him as if he is the greatest player of all time? In that case, he has been properly rated his entire career.

I think Derek Jeter has been overrated in the past a bit and now that he is not getting all that praise he has become properly rated.

The Dewan Plus/Minus system -- a video system where they plot every ball hit in play -- had long shown him to consistently be the worst shortstop in baseball. Now, it has him as a plus-7 shortstop, a top-10 shortstop. Ultimate Zone Rating -- UZR -- which had shown him to be costing his team runs defensively every single year since 2002 now calculates that he has saved the Yankees almost six runs this year.

Because he is finally playing like a Hall of Fame defensive shortstop should play doesn't mean he all of a sudden deserves praise for doing so. This doesn't make him underrated now. This means he has finally lived up to his billing, for one year, to play shortstop well enough to deserve even one Gold Glove.

He's the only lifelong shortstop the last 60 years to punch up an on-base percentage better than .375 (.387 lifetime -- and on-base percentage is probably the most telling single offensive stat).

Somewhere in New York, Jeff Francouer takes issue with this statement.

Well, the Hit King Pete Rose had 2,762 hits on the day he turned 36. Jeter, assuming health, will have more when he turns 36 next June.

"Tell Derek that the first 3,000 hits are easy," Rose said, and it's a good line, but the truth is that Jeter should breeze past 3,000 hits and, depending on how important it is to him, could really climb the charts if he wants to keep going and going.

Then Pete Rose said, "I bet you $10,000 Jeter never gets to 4,000 hits. You want some of that action don't you? Come on, just one bet."

Jeter is still Jeter. He hit his usual .323/.390/.430 the rest of the way in 2008, and this year he has been preposterously consistent. Batting average isn't a great measuring tool, but it's telling that Jeter is hitting at home (.319) and on the road (.340), in wins (.337) and losses (.318), with men on base (.315) and with nobody on base (.339).

We can all agree Derek Jeter is a great baseball player and a future Hall of Famer. Simply because he is still playing like a Hall of Fame player doesn't mean he is underrated. The lack of discussion about how great he is can be weighed off by the fact EVERYONE spoke great of Jeter when it wasn't always completely true.

He's probably not the greatest shortstop of all time and I think there are other shortstops, like some named in the comments yesterday, that may be a step or two below The Jeter.

And it's those sorts of things that have led many to consider Jeter a media creation. Well, he's not. He's a great player having another great season. He's one of the best hitting shortstops in baseball history.

In no way does this mean he is underrated. I think that is crazy to call Jeter underrated, especially compared to the lavish praise he has gotten his entire career. It means Derek Jeter is still a great baseball player. He is not underrated because he is still meeting the praise everyone gave him as a younger player, he is not the greatest shortstop of the past 50 years and he is certainly not the best player in Peter King's lifetime.


AJ said...

If I told you a player was a future HoF'er, how could he possibly be underrated? Thats just not possible.

Oh and I for one am pulling for him to stay around long enough to beat Rose's hits mark. Rose is a loser and once you take away the "hit king" part of his argument for the HoF, he'll have nothing left (and yes i know he'll have lots left, but the fact is he plays that hit king card way to much).

He only needs about 8 more seasons to pass Rose...thats not to much to ask, for him to play till he's 43-44...

Bengoodfella said...

He's the most underrated HoF ever! I like Joe Posnanski and I think I see what he is saying. He is saying that Jeter is actually deserving of the great attention he used to get but now no one gives him as much attention. I don't think that is underrated though.

I am pulling for Jeter to beat Pete Rose too. I read an article and thought about posting it about Pete Rose and how he could have made the HoF but he pretty much refuses to do what is required of him to make it. The "Hit King" card is played out. I don't know if he should be in the HoF but I do know I still don't believe him when he says he didn't beat on Reds games while he was managing.

I hope Jeter passes him...and trust me, for me to come this far shows a lot of maturity. I used to absolutely hate Derek Jeter and wished nothing but bad things on him, but because he has received less attention I have found more things to like about him.

The Casey said...

Have you read PK's Tuesday column? We are all wrong about players who are better than Jeter. And the reason PK likes him so much is "things Jeter brings to the game other than fielding and hitting." So PK thinks he's the best player since 1975 because of his baserunning. Or maybe because he dates supermodels. Nobody dates supermodels like The Jeter does.

AJ said...

Oh i read it, and noticed he changed his mind to his ADULT lifetime...He clearly did not follow any sport before the age of 18.

Still, Schimdt is 1 million times the player Jeter is, as was Griffey. Hello, PK, Griffey would like a word with you. As would Bonds. But if you exclude Bonds because of all the steroids, you still are left with Griffey.

Name me a player (both offense and DEFENSE) more feared then Jr. in his prime. Oh, and Jr. played after 1975 so PK had to have seen him, right? I mean he did play on the extreme west coast, so maybe he never saw him play.

Bengoodfella said...

I have actually skimmed through what he wrote. Really, it is typical Peter King that he doesn't base his reasoning on actual baseball playing skills but on The Jeter's intangibles.

Many of the intangibles listed had nothing to do with anything Jeter can do (i.e. win World Series) but were actually team achievements. His reasoning sucks. When there is no real way to make a case for something, always go to the intangibles.

Basically everything Posnanski was saying about Jeter and how everyone rates his intangibles Peter King is the example for.

I think my two favorite parts are that he says "lifetime" is from 1975. Apparently that's when he believes he was born. I would personally count his lifetime as when he was actually freaking born, but then I am a stickler for details like that.

My second favorite part was when he said Johnny Bench would be second on his list. Really? He's just digging that hole deeper and deeper. "That hole" refers to his complete lack of baseball knowledge by the way.

Johnny Bench? Really? The second best player. I think Peter may actually be mentally handicapped or not actually understand baseball. Then to make matters worse if Peter was even using 1975 as his cut off for his "lifetime", Bench had his best years BEFORE that date, (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/benchjo01.shtml) so really I don't even see how Bench would be the 2nd best player he saw. Peter can't even stick to his own criteria!

Bengoodfella said...

Exactly AJ. The man is a wreck when it comes to baseball. One minute he names Yogi Berra the best baseball player still alive, the next he says Derek Jeter is the best player in his lifetime, then cuts off his lifetime as any time during his adult life, and then names a guy who shouldn't even be in the discussion as second best in Peter's lifetime as second best he ever saw.

I am all for respecting opinions but he needs to drop the keyboard and quit typing about baseball.

KentAllard said...

Mike Schmidt may have been better than Jeter at all the stuff that goes on during the game, but he isn't fit to tie Jeter's shoes when it comes to post-game banter. I don't know why they even let him in the hall of fame.

Martin said...

I gotta admit, if pulling tail is part of the criteria for Best Player Since 1975, Jeter probably IS the "Greatest of Our Adult Lifetimes Since 1975, or Maybe 95 For You Younger Guys." Seriously, if I could be any person in the world, Derek F'ing Jeter would be near the top of the list.

Bonds pre-steroid was better than Jeter, and definitly post-steroid. But riddle me this, how is Jeter having an almost career year at the age of 35? Hmmmmmmmm? New exercise program indeed!

I think I can safely say that Ken Griffey Jr. was the best all around baseball player that I have seen play. Aaron, Mays, I think I saw them a couple times their last years. I remember Aaron the night he hit the 715, but what I saw wasn't what those players were. Schmidt, Brett, pre-steroid Bonds, and probably Rickey Henderson would make my Top 5.

Bengoodfella said...

Mike Schmidt did have poor postgame banner, though I have to say Schmidt's inside-out swing on a fastball on the outside of the plate was very underrated. I wonder if Peter find it underrated as well.

I don't hate intangibles but you can't name someone the best player over the last 30 years based 50% on intangibles.

Martin, I knew there would be a veiled reference to Jeter using steroids at some point. I am glad we got that out of the way. He has had a prolific dating career, I will give him that. I wonder how many women he dated we never actually knew about?

Griffey is a good mention for greatest hitters of the last 30 years.

In my lifetime, I have a hard time making a list but I would put Albert Pujols on it until he gets busted for steroid use. I am horrible at making lists. I always forget someone.

I have to say, one guy I think gets overlooked a lot for the HoF, is Fred McGriff. I don't know if he deserves to make it but check out his numbers and tell me he doesn't deserve some consideration. Throw in the fact he routinely played well in the postseason and a case could be made.


Of course, me being a snob, I still say he doesn't deserve it.

AwesomeSean said...

BGF...You are getting quite bold, my friend. The internets can be cruel to anyone who even whispers something negative about Joe Pos.

Godspeed in your journey down these troubled roads.

I did like Hat Guy's use of "...come to pass..." Just seemed like Frodo and Gandaf should've been prominently involved, no?

Bengoodfella said...

You know, I was not criticizing him really. I just was disagreeing with him because I do like him. I just don't think he is underrated at this point. Possibly properly rated after a career of intangible overratedness. He's a great shortstop but I am not going to go as far as to say he is underrated.

I appreciate the well wishes though.

I actually think that article would have been better if Frodo and Gandalf had been involved in some fashion. I would have definitely enjoyed the article more.

Iridescence said...

Damn that article by Hat Guy was shitty even compared to his other articles. Ironically, the Red Sox biggest problem this year has been their inability to beat the AL West. The Rangers and Angels (and to a lesser extent the Mariners and A's) have buried them this year. While they still have a 9-5 record against the Yankees.

I still think they are the favorite to win the Wild Card though and while I would like to see them pull off a miracle in the division the WC is almost as good.

Is it possible for Jeter to be both over-rated and under-rated at the same time? He is definitely over-rated in terms of the coverage he gets. But I thought he deserved the MVP award in '06 (certainly more than Morneau did)

Mauer is my pick for MVP this year but Jeter, again, has been more valuable than Teixeira who gets a lot more support as the Yankees MVP candidate for some reason.

AJ said...

Well I for one do not believe Jeter is having a career year this year. Sure he is above all of his career averages to date, but it's not like he's THAT much better then what he normally would be producing at this age. And he will not hit his career highs in any catagory except maybe hits this year. We are not talking about a power hitter here, we are talking about a guy who basically gets hits, mostly singles.

Ichiro is also 35, and still doing what he does best, hit the ball. Are we wondering why he is doing all this at the age of 35?

Look at Rose, a classic singles and doubles hitter...he didn't start to decline till about age 41 or 42. Gwynn had a career year in hits at age 37.

I mean we are talking about a non-power hitter who mostly hits singles. His year to me looks normal, looks like every other Jeter year. I also believe he will continue to hit this way for 5-6 more years.

By the way, since MVP was mentioned...how come Cabrera isn't getting much hype?

.344, 27 HR's, 82 RBI, .408 OBP, .579 SLG. for a 1st place team with not a whole heck of a lot around him...

Teixeira (who is getting TONS of hype for MVP): .286, 31 HRs, 93 RBI, .385 OBP, .553 SLG. for a team that is stacked from top to bottom in a very friendly stadium.

Tell me who is having the better season, and tell me who deserves more support for MVP between those two. And yes I believe Mauer is having a better year, in terms of average, but I guess it depends on how you personally feel an MVP is.

Bengoodfella said...

Iridescence, I have very little doubt the Red Sox are going to win the Wild Card and once they do that they will probably go against the Angels and sweep them...again. I believe this is going to happen and I believe the Red Sox are going to be a tough out in the playoffs. Winning the division is nice but all is not lost if the Yankees win the division. A lot of people that aren't Hat Guy understand this.

I know the Red Sox have struggled against Texas for sure. I have watched a few of the games. Most of the teams in the running for the Wild Card have a pretty tough schedule down the stretch so there will be plenty of opportunity to make up or gain some ground.

It's possible for Jeter to be overrated consistently for some things he does and then underrated for other things he does.

AJ, that's a fairly good point. Jeter is having a much better year defensively, if you believe the metrics, but offensively he is slightly better than his career averages. From the examples you gave, it does seem that singles hitters are able to do this pretty well (without PEDs of course).

Jeter is having a great year, I am not going to deny that, but again I am not going to say he is now underrated as a baseball player. I can't go quite that far.

I kind of want Jeter to pass Pete Rose on the all time hits list but he is going to have to have years like this one for the next 5-6 years, which I think may be tough.

Mauer is my choice for MVP this year simply based on the position he plays, his production and the fact he still plays good defense at that position.

I didn't know Cabrera was putting up those great numbers. I am assuming those who champion Tex for MVP are paying attention to his defense also and they think it is better than Cabrera's defense. You do have a point about the stadium and the lineup though. I don't think Cabrera stands a chance because Tex is the big free agent signee playing in New York. Hell, I would not be surprised if Mauer lost to Tex.

One more thing. David Eckstein beat the Braves last night when he got a base hit in the 12th inning to drive in the winning run. The Phillies lost so the Braves could have gained another game on them. I hate that little shit so much. Of course the pitch he hit was down the middle. He's a little white turd.