Tuesday, October 06, 2015

State of the Red Sox

The Patriots were nice enough to have their bye-week the same week the 2015 season came to an end for the Red Sox so some fans were drawn back to the last place Sox for one last time. Which was nice since Sunday was also the last game to be called by fan and player favorite Don Orsillo.

Most Red Sox beat writers wasted no time in opining on what the Boston front office needs to do this winter. To save you the time of reading this fluff I'll summarize 90% of the articles: Dave Dombrowski needs to A. get an Ace and B. get rid of Hanley Ramirez. I largely don't disagree but there more work to be done than that.

At catcher the Red Sox seem set with Blake Swihart (who had a slash line of .303/.353/.452/.805 after the All-Star game) and Christian Vazquez (who was on his way to being the best defensive catcher in the AL before he hurt his arm). Does Dombrowski use one of his young stud catchers as a trade chip?

First base is the biggest question. Travis Shaw hit 13 homers in just 65 games but his splits are extreme. At home he has an OPS of  .953 while on the road is just .677. Versus lefties he mashed - batting .329 vs just .243 against righties. Move Hanley Ramirez to first? I'd rather not. A Brock Holt / Travis Shaw platoon might be the best solution if no other pieces are added.

Second (Pedroia), short (Bogaerts), DH (Ortiz) and third (Sandoval) are all-set. I say Boston is set at third mostly because of Pablo Sandoval's contract (he's got 4-years and $78 million left on his deal) but I'm not a fan.

The outfield also seems set with Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo. I'm not sold yet on Castillo but my guess is the Boston brass gives him a full year to see what they've got in him.

Everyone says the Red Sox need an ace with most people pointing to David Price via free agency or Sonny Gray via trade and I'd be happy to get either (unless the asking price for Gray was Betts or Bogaerts). However, as much crap the starting staff took this year - they weren't that bad in the second half of the season.

The bull-pen on the other hand was a mess. I hope this off season sees lots of changes. One person suggested (sorry I forget who) that Dombrowski float a bad contract in Allen Craig (2-years and $21 million remaining) for bad clubhouse person Jonathan Papelbon. Still not sure how I'd feel about that swap.

As always should be an interesting Hot Stove season.

Monday, October 05, 2015

The Devil's Wheel

Mesmerizing. One of the stranger / cooler things about Oktoberfest.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

When I hear Edward Norton narrating those DraftKings commercials - I always expect him to say, "I'm Jack's gambling habit"... Good to see some reporters learning from how the NFL blatantly used the press in Deflategate. Some others like Chris Mortensen and Peter King seem resigned to remaining NFL lapdogs... When are we going to see the "Hi I'm Peyton Manning and I'm Noodle Arm Peyton Manning and I have cable" DirecTV commercial?... Touching story from Joe Posnanski... If DraftKings spliced in quick-flash images of Tyler Durdin in their Edward Norton narrated commercials - then I would think about playing... The NFL's Pink October is just a scam.... Billion Dollar Babies by Alice Cooper is a very under-rated rock song...

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Chris Mintz

Here's the Go Fund Me page for Oregon shooting hero Chris Mintz. When I first clicked on the link it was at about $390,000 - now as I type this it's at $540,000. It would be cool if people could get that number over $1 million for this hero.

Here's some more info and background on Chris Mintz. Not just a hero but a devoted father who I think would make an excellent ambassador for the cause of helping cure or better understand autism.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- As Archer would say, "Phrasing!"

- Cool cartoon on Joseph Campbell's 12 stages to the hero's journey

- I'm a sucker for School House Rock

- The greatest Craig's List "Missed Connection" ever. I agree that I don't care if it's real or not - it's beautiful.

- Cool - pancake Starry Night

- NASA has just made available over 8,400 hi-res photos from the Apollo Program

- Interesting - the backstory to the Texas biker gang shoot-out in Waco

Friday, October 02, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

What came first? Bill Cosby becoming a rapist or Bill Cosby becoming pitch man for New Coke? Just curious as to which caused him to first lose his soul... Has any NFL coach with a sub .500 record ever gotten more attention than Rex Ryan and his 48-51 record?... Interesting - here are 5 things Jeremy Affeldt won't miss about baseball after he retires on Sunday... After posting about Maureen O'Hara the other day - I got to wondering what other stars of Hollywood's Golden Age are still not quite bereft of life? Mildly surprised that Kirk Douglas still hasn't joined joined the choir invisible... Surprising gun statistics. Imagine what they would look like if you were able to remove the deaths from Chicago...  Would you consider Sean Connery a member of Hollywood's Golden Age? He's still alive and kicking... Speaking of still alive and kicking - George H.W. Bush is still going strong. I wonder if the 91-year old Bush continues to cling to life out of a stubborn resolve to outlive the 85-year old H. Ross Perot...

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Interesting - the life of a professional guinea pig

- Heh heh - "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn"

- Maureen O'Hara sells her seaside Irish estate. Just $1.8 million - seems like quite a bargain. I hope she's not putting her affairs in order before dying. Perhaps the last of the great Hollywood Golden Age stars.

- Don't hold your breathe waiting for the NYT to admit they were wrong. Or that they were (and are) in the tank for Obama all along.

- I just don't get the people who don't like Tim Tebow

- Heh heh

- Interesting Q&A with Chad Finn (one of Boston's best sportswriters)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wasting Beer

I love beer and I make no bones about it. As old Ben Franklin put it, "Beer is proof that God loves us." That's why I don't understand people who would waste beer.

Let me tell a story that illustrates where I'm coming from.

When I went to college one of the first side-jobs I took was working at a package store (that's what we call liquor stores in new England). My job was to stock cases and handle kegs - incoming and outgoing. On my first day someone brought back a keg and I tried to refuse it - because it wasn't empty! How could you return a keg if it still had beer in it? In my mind that was just wrong on so many levels. That was the day I learned that not everyone shared my beliefs about wasting beer.

One of the biggest ways beer gets wasted is when you are at a bar or a party and you put your beer down - you go to pick your beer back up but suddenly there's more than one. Which one is yours? You don't want to grab someone else's beer - so you just go get another while your old beer sits there wasted. That doesn't happen to me because when I open a can of beer (or a can of anything else for that matter) I automatically turn the tab to the left. More than one can sitting on the table? Mine's the one with the tab turned to the side. [If it's a bottle then it's always in front of me or in my hand.]

What got me thinking is that it is almost October and that means Oktoberfest. Hmmmm... Oktoberfest.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

In 1984 George Orwell had his 2 minutes of hate. On modern US social media the hate can last much, much longer.. A Series of Unfortunate Abortions? Sad... Reminder - just 169 days till Saint Patrick's Day... Very cool - 3-D printed cars making 3-D printed shelters... Do you have a resigned Boehner? Ask your doctor about Cialis... Just so we are clear - Comedy Central is OK with a cartoon Donald Trump getting raped and killed on South Park but not OK with a cartoon Muhammad doing nothing... Interesting - players backing Papelbon over Harper...