Saturday, November 30, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Am I the only one bothered by ESPN and others always using the term "sexual assault" when discussing Jameis Winston? He is accused of "rape". Rape! Use the frigging word... Does drinking beer make you more creative? Not sure. Does the existence of beer prove there is a God who loves us? Absolutely... Not sure if this is just a Massachusetts expression but "book it" means run away. As in "the cops came and we all booked it"... You can get away with wearing a hat like this when you are Tom Brady... This blows my mind - Michael J. Fox's middle name is Andrew... Welcome to You can do anything at Always puts a smile on my face... I wish the AP issued a Stylebook ruling that said any time Alex Rodriguez's name is mentioned in print - the word "churlish" must precede his name... If Justin Beiber made a Christmas CD - I would give it as a gift to people I hate... It is amusing to see how the White House has stopped using the term "Obamacare" and now is calling it the Affordable Care Act once again.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Trade Proposal

There's a trade proposal that's been bouncing around my head for quite some time now. The Baltimore Orioles have said they want to shed payroll and are open to trading both closer Jim Johnson and catcher Matt Wieters. The Red Sox don't need a closer but a catcher like Matt Wieters would certainly be worth exploring.

I know the odds are slim that the Orioles would make a trade to improve a division rival but there has been precedent. Most notably in my mind was the Mike Boddicker trade that sent Curt Schilling and Brady Anderson to the Orioles. It could happen again and I keep thinking this could be a trade could make sense for both teams.

Matt Wieters would be a great fit for the Red Sox. He has two years left before free agency which would be the perfect amount of time for Boston before one of its two stud catching prospects (Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez) are ready to take the reins. David Ross is only really good for 60 games per year and he's only signed for one more year. Wieters could come in and have a relaxing year for him (he led the AL in games caught last year) and the next year he could mentor Swihart or Vazquez as one of them back him up in his year heading into free agency.

Wieters is perhaps the best defensive catcher in the AL (Gold Gloves in 2011 and 2012). He's hit more than 20 HR in three straight years. He'd be an upgrade over Jarrod Saltalamcchia and salary wise - he would be cheaper with arbitration probably getting Wieters $8.5 million next year and maybe $10.5 in 2015. Salty's probably going to get a 3-year $30 million deal at the least in free agency.

What would be in it for Baltimore? I'd suggest trading catcher Ryan Lavarnway who right now is probably going to catch the majority of the games next year but who would be extraneous with the arrival of Wieters and starter Felix Dubront. Both players are just 26 and both under team control for at least another 4 years. Dubront could be the 3rd starter right away for the Orioles and Lavarnway could be their starting backstop. Both are also very cheap and the two in exchange for Wieters would save Baltimore more than $10 million in 2014 alone when you factor in what a starting pitcher is going for in the free agency market.

It should also be noted that Wieters agent is Scott Boras - so Baltimore knows they are probably going to lose him to free agency anyway. Why not trade him now and get more than just a draft pick for him (especially now when they could use salary relief)?

A deal worth thinking about.

Linky Links

Happy day after Thanksgiving! Here are some stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- To give thanks - you must first be grateful. There's no reason you can't be grateful every day of the year.

- Good deal - All 5 Game of Thrones books for Amazon Kindle for just $10. I paid full price for them and would take advantage of this deal if I didn't already have the e-books.

- I can be very "scrutable" and after I brush my hair I think it would be fair to say that I'm "sheveled"

- Heh heh - Hope you had a Happy Twerk-y Day

- Cool - gardens on the Moon

- Touching story of Jonny Gomes and his biggest fan

- An oral history of the classic WKRP Turkey Drop episode

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Red Sox Options at Catcher

The more I think about it the more I think the Red Sox will be going with a combination of  David Ross and Ryan Lavarnway at catcher next season with Lavarnway getting about 3 out of 5 starts. Why do I think this?

I think it is becoming clear that Boston isn't interested in having Jarrod Saltalamacchia back. They could have offered him a qualifying offer of $14.1 million but they didn't do that because doing so would have meant any team signing him would have lost a draft pick. The Red Sox seemingly wanted to make it easier for another team to sign him. The Red Sox have also made it clear they aren't prepared to go beyond a 2-year deal for Salty. With Carlos Ruiz getting 3 years from the Phillies and Brian McCann getting 5 years from the Yankees - Salty is bound to get a 4-year deal from someone. Sticking with the 2-year offer and making that public is akin to begging another team to sign him.

Why do this is they aren't comfortable with Lavarnway?

Some have mentioned Boston making a trade for a backstop. Ryan Hanigan from the Reds? Sure he would probably come cheap and is a very good defender but does that defense improvement mean more than the better offense you'd gain from Lavarnway? Plus even though it would only cost a B-level prospect that's still a cost and then it would put you in a position of still having Lavarnway hanging around waiting to get his at bats. Chris Iannetta from the Angels? Why? He doesn't have the offensive potential of Lavarnway and he will cost $10 million in salary over they next two seasons.

When you add it up - the answer comes back that the Red Sox will be going with David Ross and Ryan Lavarnway next season at catcher. John Farrell has already said he thinks Ross is good for about 60 starts. That leaves about a 100 starts for Lavarnway. They must feel comfortable with him.

I do too.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Sexy Pilgrim

My favorite Thanksgiving song.

You're welcome!

Linky Links

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

- Curt Schilling for the Hall of Fame? I say yes based mostly on his 3,000 plus K's and his post season performance.

- Nice profile of BC's Andre Williams. I have to think Williams sudden Heisman chances will help get the Eagles into a higher profile Bowl game.

- Speaking of good profiles - here's one on ESPN's John Clayton one of the hardest working men in football.

- Cool - excellent photo of the Seattle skyline above the fog.

- Good point - why should it be called an RJ45 port?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The Patriots are now 1-0 all-time when Bill Belichick "takes the wind" in overtime. What a game!... John Kerry really does look like the Cold Miser... Have you seen that Cadillac "that's mine" commercial? Why was older brother Kyle trying to get into a car that didn't belong to him in the first place? Did he fall onto hard times? Meth addict? Just a creepy car thief?... As far as QB comparisons - Tom Brady is Maryann while Peyton Manning is Ginger... I think I would like Broadway plays more if they included lots of yodeling... Hollywood should remake a bunch of John Wayne's movies but with a Mike Dukakis look-alike in the lead. I would go see The Quiet Dukakis or She Wore a Yellow Dukakis. These would be awesome comedies... Is there a bigger hot-mess on the dance floor than middle-age people trying to fast dance to Chicago songs?... Where the redheads are. Looks like a redhead in Italy is as rare as a Peyton Manning victory against Tom Brady...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Anything funnier than sending an oblivious friend into Dunking Donuts for a large Blumpkin Spice? If he asks just tell him its half pumpkin and half blueberry... Heh heh - very funny play-by-play of a car accident... Con Brio with Cheese would be a nice name for a high end pizza bar... A dark horse Heisman candidate is Boston College's Andre Williams who is the leading rusher in the nation. Remember when running backs used to win this award?... Confession - I have never seen the movie A Christmas Story. No plans to either... Rock the vote! Obamacare forcing some universities to drop health care plans for students... I still find it amusing that something called the Beef O'Brady's Bowl actually exists... Speaking of Obamacare - the Emperor's New Clothes... Seriously - besides the extra $.20 per pound cost is there any difference between regular bananas and organic bananas... Wow! Wheeler Park is so beautiful... Who knew? Pitcher Chris Young who just signed with the Nationals is represented by the law firm of Williams & Connolly. The same firm that was started by former Orioles and Redskins owner Edward Bennett Williams. Interesting...

ObamaCare and the Holidays

President Obama sent out a Tweet saying, "When your loved ones get together this holiday season, remember to talk to them about health insurance."

Can this Administration be so out of touch as to not realize that this conversation about health care is absolutely going to happen for millions of families who either had their policies cancelled or premiums greatly increased? What the Administration may not comprehend is that the conversation is going to be something like this, "Well we could afford the turkey and trimmings for Thanksgiving but just so everyone knows - because of Obamacare and our increased costs for health insurance there will be no gifts at Christmas. Thanks to Obama, Pelosi and Reid - we just can't afford it"

Maybe the "loved ones" can discuss that $2,500 you said Obamacare was going to save the average family while they are at it?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Red Sox Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous Red Sox thoughts and observations while I try to keep the bad taste of last night's Patriots game out of my mouth.

FWIW - last season there were only 8 MLB 3rd basement who hit 20 or more HR (Edwin Encarnacion, Mark Reynolds and Jedd Gyorko were not primarily 3rd basemen). That's why I feel very comfortable with Will Middlebrooks who is almost a lock for 20+ HR in 2014 and he has 30 HR potential (Bill James has Middlebrooks projected for 32 HR in 2014)... I expect more offense from 3rd base in 2014 than the Red Sox got in 2013. I also expect offensive improvements at short (Xander Bogaerts is just a better hitter than Stephen Drew), and 2nd (Pedrioa played most of the season with a damaged hand that hurt his power). Improvement at those three positions should offset the decline in output at center (Ellsbury tough to replace), 1st (if Mike Napoli signs elsewhere) and catcher (if Jarrod Saltilamacchia signs elsewhere). Basically the offense is in good shape... Speaking of catcher - Alex Speier breaks down the options for the Red Sox. I would expect Boston to offer Saltalamacchia a 3-year $26 million deal maybe with a 4th option year. I'd also be fine with a platoon of Ross and Lavarnway... Red Sox have plenty of money to spend but I wouldn't look for any deals until after the Rule 5 Draft is done...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Player Comparison

Here's a player comparison I've been thinking about.

Player A - 1988 G/ 1355 R/ 383 HR/ 1311 RBI/ .313 BA/ .400 OBP/ .965 OPS
Player B - 2439 G/ 1513 R/ 118 HR/ 1013 RBI/ .328 BA/ .415 OBP/ .858 OPS

Both players have impressive numbers - though Player B had 451 more games in which to compile stats. But here's the numbers I was really curious about:

Player A - .278 BA/  .370 OBP/ .495 SLG/ .865 OPS
Player B - .302  BA/ .387 .OBP/ .395 SLG/ .781 OPS

Those are the career road numbers for the two players. You can see a big drop off for both players but Player B basically becomes a slap singles player on the road.

Player A - .348 BA/ .431 OBP/ .637 SLG/ 1.068 OPS
Player B - .354 BA/ .443 OBP/ .491 SLG/ .934 OPS

Those are the home numbers for both players. It should be noted that Player A won an MVP and was a 7 time Gold Glove winner. At home his numbers were almost Ruthian but ironically it was largely his home numbers which played against him when it came time for Hall of Fame voting. Player A was Larry Walker who played the bulk of his career home games at Coors Field. Player B was Wade Boggs who I still say would not be a Hall of Fame player if A - he didn't stick around just to get his 3,000 hits (3,010) or B - didn't play the bulk of his career home games at Fenway Park.

And yes I have a serious dislike for Wade Boggs.

Linky Links

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

- On drinking and peeing - the science of "breaking the seal"

- Getting rid of federal regulations - I always thought if I were elected to the Senate each week in office I would go through a year's worth of laws passed starting in say 1800. Then I would pick the law that was most out-dated and put forward a bill to get rid of that law. By the end of just one six-year term you'd clean up a lot of unnecessary laws (and have an excellent basis for a book)

- Interesting look at former Notre Dame star Tom Zbikowski now that he's out of football

- Heh heh - I'm definitely doing number 4

- Interesting profile of the guy who hoarded a billion dollars of Nazi looted worth of art 

- Awesome time-waster - the Rob Ford Soundboard

- This chart could also be labeled - why a Republican will be elected President in 2016

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Serious question - if Peyton Manning is hurt worse than the Broncos are letting on and is suddenly out for the season after taking a big hit Sunday - would Denver bring back Tim Tebow to be their QB? Do you think fans would prefer handing things off to Brock Osweiler? Tim Tebow would know his place as a back-up this time around... Fan art tributes to Teddy Roosevelt... I like the word "lumberjacks" and think florists should instead be called "flowerjacks"... This past week PBS had an American Experience special on JFK. The subconscious or conscious comparison to Brack Obama is not flattering to Obama and I think people on the Left had to have been thinking about it... After this week I think we also got a good glimpse as to why this Administration was not able to come up with a technological replacement for the Space Shuttle. Imagine that disaster!... Speaking of PBS and technology - some people there obviously think Albert Einstein was a closet rapist...

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Columbus Blue Jeters

Friend of mine was watching the sports ticker scroll on the bottom of the screen when he asked, "Who is CBJ?" That's the Columbus Blue Jackets. "Columbus has an NHL team?" I explained yes Columbus has an NHL team. Then he asked, "What's a Blue Jacket?" To that I had no answer.

Is it a Civil War reference? A cold northern cousin of the yellow jacket? Just a random piece of clothing like a Red Sock? Then my mind switched gears and thought of a better team mascot for Columbus.

Take Derek Jeter and combine him with the Blue Meanies from the Beatles' Yellow Submarine.

The Columbus Blue Jeters.

Hitler in the Bunker on Obamacare

Now Obamacare has officially become farce.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Linky Links

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

- Cool physics - the potential energy power of dominoes

- "There's an old saying in politics: when your opponent's in trouble, just get out of the way" - Barack Obama. Good advice - let the proponents of Obamacare reap what they have sown.

- Jennifer Lawrence is awesome

- Interesting point - beer calories and your fat ass

- My big quibble with that above link - it doesn't mention the fact that Guinness basically has the same calories as a Bud Light. Guinness is good for you.

- The time George Clooney dominated Leonardo DiCarprio at pick-up hoops.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Nobody lost their healthcare when Nixon lied about Watergate. Liberals love when you tell them that... 10 things to know about Thor... I'm nostalgic when it comes to Blockbuster Video. Every couple in my age group had a Blockbuster card. And every couple argued about what movie to rent because the new releases were all out and all couples then argued about whose fault it was the the movie you didn't end up watching wasn't returned on time... Interesting - the Will Farrell Chrysler ads for the Dodge Durango are very successful... So will the team theme for the 2014 Red Sox be "Boston Stronger"?... Beautiful photo - eclipse over New York... While nobody was paying attention Boston College's football team is on the verge of being Bowl eligible at 5-4... I'm waiting for the Bad Lip Reading version of the Jay Glazer / Richie Incognito. Should be much more watchable than the original...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Killing Kennedy

Marilyn Monroe once famously sang Happy Birthday to You (Mister President) to JFK. What's lesser known is that Kennedy never paid the licensing fee for the song.

That was the real reason he was killed. The Happy Birthday to You folks don't mess around.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Tulo to Red Sox

Ken Rosenthal had an article saying that the Colorado Rockies should listen to offers for Troy Tulowitzki. He mentioned the Cardinals as possible trade partners. Ever since reading the Rosenthal article - I've kept wondering "What about Tulo to the Red Sox?"

The Red Sox have top prospect Xander Bogaerts ready to take over for Stephen Drew if Drew moves on via free agency but Bogaerts could just as easily shift to third. What about Will Middlebrooks who was the Red Sox opening day 3rd baseman last season and is on track to be so again next season? Put him in a package with Felix Dubront (an MLB ready starter with 4 more years of team control), Allen Webster (the key prospect the Dodgers gave up for Adrian Gonzalez) and one AA prospect. That's a pretty good 4 for 1 package.

For the Rockies - they get 4 cost effective players including a potential 30-HR 3rd baseman who can play right now in Middlebrooks. Colorado already has 22-year old Nolan Arenado at third and he just won the NL Gold Glove for 3rd basemen. The solution is simple - just move Arenado over to short. He used to be a shortstop and he doesn't have the pop in the bat that you'd want from a corner playing half his games at Coors Field. Dubront would immediately become the Rockies number 3 starter and Webster could be a number 1 some day.

For the Red Sox - they get a proven player who has a career road OPS of .819 - as a shortstop! Tulo's career home OPS at Coors is .934 which is like Big Papi at Fenway. Tulo could play short to start then as he gets older move to third, first or DH.

Of course as Rosenthal says - right now the Rockies say Tulowitzki is unavailable. The Red Sox should dangle my proposed package and see if they change their mind.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Red Sox Offseason Moves - Pitchers

Here's my take on the Red Sox pitching staff for 2014. I'm assuming that the team will carry 12 pitchers and I'm also guessing one big name will be traded.

The starting pitching staff has 6 proven starters vying for 5 spots. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and John Lackey are givens. That leaves Jake Peavy, Ryan Dempster and Felix Dubront fighting for the 4th and 5th starter spots. That also leaves an interesting question - do you hang on to all three in case someone goes down in spring training? Or do you trade a Peavy, Dempster or a Dubront to ease the logjam?

Peavy ($14.5 million) and Dempster ($13 million) make too much money to be long relievers.  Peavy cost a top prospect to get and he's only going to be 33 this season. My guess is he'd bring the most back in a trade (especially to an NL team). Dempster will be 37 next year but his numbers are just as good as Peavy and probably more durable.

Logic says that just because of salary if the Red Sox trade a starter it should be Peavy or Demspter but I wouldn't be shocked if the Boston front office traded Felix Dubront instead. Felix went 11-6 with a 4.32 ERA last season and is under team control for 4 more seasons. I see his ceiling as a 3rd starter and you know his conditioning and work ethic were in question last spring. Ben Cherington could sell high on Dubront and get back an MLB ready 1st baseman or outfielder in exchange. Boston's farm system is chock full of starters with higher ceilings than Dubront. Keeping Peavy and Demspter for one more season and trading Dubront both eases the logjam and gives those young pitchers another year to develop.

For the seven member bullpen - the Red Sox have the following under contract or team control; Koji Uehara returns as closer, Craig Breslow, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey, Junichi Tazawa, and Brandon Workman seems to be a John Farrell favorite. That leaves one spot which could easily come from Drake Britton, Rubby de la Rosa and Franklin Morales.

Boston seems to be in very good position of not even having to dip its toe into the free agent pool to put together its 2014 pitching staff. It will be interesting to see if someone gets traded. And who.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Red Sox Offseason Moves - Position Players

Here's how I see the Red Sox roster for position players going forward for the 2014 season. Pretty long position-by-position breakdown so if you are interested - it continues after the break.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Linky Links

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

- The speech Obama never gave.

- Speaking of Obamacare - Obamacare deconstructed. History will not be kind to Barack Obama. Must see video.

- Glow-in-the-dark ice cream. You read that correctly.

- Heh heh - the Abovetexas Sooners

- 10 historical euphemisms for infidelity  

- Wow - 1500 works of art thought lost to the Nazi's found in German apartment

Monday, November 04, 2013

Who is in Charge?

The RNC has the above new video The Bystander in Chief. It does make you wonder. When Seal Team 6 was about to take down Osama bin Laden there was a famous photo of Obama in the situation room. Then it came out that he was so disengaged that he had to leave to play cards. The scary thing is the question "Who is in charge?" is now a legitimate issue.

I remember when George W Bush was President some people intimated that it was really VP Dick Cheney running things behind the scenes. Even with Obama so disengaged - NOBODY is suggesting it is actually VP Joe Biden pulling the strings. In fact Biden is the Where's Waldo of Vice Presidents. Who is in charge?

Some people are now coming around to the fact that Obama is a bad manager. My fear is that it will be revealed that it's not that he's a bad manager or disengaged  - its that he's a real life Chance the Gardner.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Massachusetts - Ylvis

Keith wants this as the new Massachusetts state song (but then again - he's Canadian).

I'm still on-board with Roadrunner as the official state song.

Linky Links

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

- Mike Napoli's wild night. I'd vote for a ticket of Napoli / Gomes for Mass Governor / Lt Governor right now. Someone make up the bumper stickers!

- The extremely disturbing truth about baby carrots. When I read the headline I was prepared for veal-like revelations. OK - that explains baby carrots but what about baby corn?

- I love the idea of Jake Peavy buying a Duck Boat. Probably means more to him than a Cy Young Award. Good for him!

- I'm rooting for both the Celtics and the Nets for the next two years. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett deserve that from all Celtics fans.

- Nobody in Boston sports history was more deserving of a statue in Boston. Nobody!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I'm pretty sure that Jeremy from those T-Mobile commercials ran away from home. I know I would have... Norway looks so beautiful... Last week I stayed at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas (beautiful place). One day I noticed a scale in the bathroom and I got on. The scale had me 15 pounds lighter than the last time I weighed myself at the gym (maybe two months ago). I wonder if the scale was accurate (good news) or if it was purposefully set to give a lower reading. If the latter - then that's genius! "Honey the scale says I'm down 5 pounds - lets get room service!"... The Kraft Family (on behalf of the New England Patriots and Revolution) took out a full page ad in the Boston Globe congratulating the Red Sox' World Series victory. I haven't seen anything about an ad in the Herald which is amusing. John Henry owns both the Red Sox and Boston Globe - so the Kraft's weren't just congratulating the Red Sox - they were also giving John Henry's Globe some revenue... This makes me proud to be a St. Peter-Marian alumnus... When I read stories about "protesters" - in my mind I change it to "polyesters". Always improves the story 100%... Black and white cows - is that supposed to be some sort of camouflage? Or proof that God wants people to eat beef?...