Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Doug Flutie and the BC Eagles beat Miami in the Orange Bowl with a 48 yard walk-off Hail Mary Touchdown. Also, I was born. Time to go to the liquor store.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


The Red Sox have reportedly sent prospects Hanley Ramirez, Anibel Sanchez, and Jesus Delgado for 25 year old righty Josh Beckett and veteran third baseman Mike Lowell.

Beckett went 15-8 last year with 2 CGs, 1 shutout, 178.2 IP, 166 Ks, and a 3.38 ERA. He is 41-34 in his career. He is a young pitcher that has potential to be something special. If he cana djust to the AL and Fenway Park he could be a potential 20 game winner down the line. Beckett is perhaps best known for his 2003 World Series MVP. In Game 6, he pitched a shutout in Yankee Stadium to clinch the Series.

Mike Lowell is essentially a salary dump for the Marlins. He is going to get paid $18M over the next 2 years. However, in years past he has hit well. Before last season, he had 5 seasons of 85 RBI or more. In Fenway Park, he could benefit greatly. He could be a .280-25-90 type of guy which is pretty good production. Furthermore, he won the Gold Glove at third base last year.

The Red Sox will be giving up some nice prospects. All we'v heard about for the past few years is how amazing Hanley Ramirez is going to be. Hanley struggled in AA Portland last season but his athleticism is very impressive. He still would have had at least one season in AAA.

Anibel Sanchez is another AA prospect who probably would have started 2006 in Portland. He still has a great deal of potential. He's only 21 years old. He went 6-1 for A Wilmington but went 3-5 for AA Portland.

Jesus Delgado is a 21 year old A prospect. He had Tommy John surgery a few years ago and has stuck around the A level. He had a decent season with Greanville last year going 7-3 with a 3.50 ERA.

I think this is a good trade for the Red Sox. It is still pending physicals, but it will probably be announced soon. The Sox needed some youth in their rotation. Lowell provides a short term solution for third base. Lowell also means that Youkilis will probably see time at first-base unless the Sox make another deal or signing for a first baseman.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


This morning, before the New England Patriots took on the New Orleans Saints, it was made known that Steve Belichick, father to Pats head coach Bill Belichick and former Coach at Navy, died of heart failure last night at the age of 86. Reports say he died while watching a college football game. Fitting way for The Coach to go.

The Patriots were able to win a game for Bill and for his father 24-17 over the Saints.

New Orleans began the game with a nice drive that sputtered around midfield. They punted and were able to pin the Patriots deep within their own territory.

The Pats started with the ball on their 2 yard line. Pass, back form injury, ran up the middle for 3 yards, getting the Patroits outside the shadow of their own goal posts. Pass ran to the right for 4 more yards, setting up a 3rd and 3. Brady hit Branch for 6 yards. McKenzie hit Branch hard, but Branch got up and had enough yardage for the 1st down.

Brady missed Pass on 1st and 10 at the 15, then Pass ran for 5 yards to the right. The Patriots were featuring a good deal of running which would set up a good deal of play action passing later in the game. Brandon Gorin was penalized for a false start. On 3rd and 10, Brady hit Watson on a beautiful seem route for 29 yards and a 1st down.

Pass ran to the left for 5 yards up the the 49. Brady hit Branch for 11 more. After an incomplete to Andre davis, and a Pass run up the gut for a yard, Brady hit Pass in the middle for 7 yards. On 4th and 2, Watson caught a pass for 4 yards and a 1st down at the New Orleans 28.

Brady hit Watson again for 5 more yards. Pass ran for 3 yards off the right guard. On the 2 yard line, Vrabel checked in at tight end, and Klecko at fullback with Heath Evans as tailback. Brady threw a bit too late and missed Fauria in the end zone. However, Brady was able to hit a wide open Deion Branch off a play action that induced the entire Saint secondary into jumping forward, leaving Branch all by himself in the back of the end zone. 7-0 Patriots.

The Pats defense took the field and made a nice stand. The Saints moved the ball 3 yards on the ground on 1st down and that was it. Antawan Smith was stuffed by MCGinist and Colvin at the line of scrimmage. Brooks then threw an incomplete pass intended for Horn. Mitch Berger's punt was shanked and went only 25 yards. The Pats got the ball back on the New Orleans 48.

Brady began the 2nd drive for the Pats with a 6 yard pass over the middle to Heath Evans. Heath is slowly becoming one of my favorite players. Evans ran around the right for 11 yards to the 31. The 1st quarter ended and the teams switched sides. To begin the 2nd quarter, Brady threw a screen to Pass who took it 29 yards to the 2 before being taken down.

The screen was perfectly designed and executed. The offensive lineman delayed but eventually allowed the Saints defensive rushers to get by. Brady dropped back a little over 10 yards. Pass escaped to the left side of the field. Only three men were on that side. Pass, and two offensive linemen. They blocked and Pass cut back towards the middle of the field. He nearly got into the end zone.

Evans got a handoff and run up the gut for a yard. On 2nd and goal from the 1, Brady hit Vrabel off a play action pass in the end zone. He was wide open. It was Vrabel's 6th career TD reception. 14-0 Patriots.

I remarked to my friend Charlie, part of me thinks we're going to pull away and win in a blowout, but I know we're going to get too comfortable, screw up, and it'll be close. I hate being right, but it all worked out.

The Saints were held to a 3 and out. Thanks to a 23 yard punt return by Tim Dwight, the Pats had excellent field position. From the New Orleans 42, Evans ran for 5 yards. Then he ran for 2. On 3rd and 3, Brady hit Ben Watson for 10 yards for a 1st down at the New Orleans 25. Evans was stuffed at the line. Kaczur was completely beaten by Will Smith on the left side of the line, allowing Smith to come around and sack Brady from the blind side. Smith knocked the ball out of brady's hands. The Saints recovered after a scrum on the ground between offensive and defensive linemen.

The Saints weren't able to score, but they moved the ball from their 33 to our 27. They took away a good deal of momentum. The Pats were probably going to get at least 3 and then the Saints stopped that. The Pats would get the ball back after a big 4th down stop. However, we were only able to move the ball 2 yards forward. Miller had a nice 54 yard punt.

The Patriots defense looked very susceptible on the next New Orleans drive. On 3rd and 11 from the 27, Brooks was able to hit Hakim for 32 yards. After a few penalties, the Saints were able to get 23 yards on 3rd and 20. A pass from Brooks to Stecker made it 1st and goal. Brooks hit Stallworth in the end zone. 14-7 Patriots.

The Pats got the ball with 1:12 on the clock. They didn't do much with it. Evans surprised the Saints and ran for 20 on 1st down. Brady then hit Evans for 15 yards. On 1st and 10, Brady overthrew Tim Dwight, who had beaten the coverage. On 2nd and 10, Brady underthrew Andre Davis, who had beaten McKenzie. On 3rd and 10 with 0:31 on the clock, Brady was sacked for a loss of 12. Miller's punt for a touchback ended the first half.

The Patriots didn't look too good in the later part of the 1st half, nor would they look good to begin the 3rd. The Pats were able to get 1 first down on their initial drive of the half, but a sack on 3rd and 8 ended it abruptly.

The Pats made a big play on the Saints first drive of the 2nd half. New Orleans moved the ball to the Patriot 43 yard line. On 3rd and 1, Wilfork and Seymour stacked up Aaron Stecker at the line of scrimmage for no gain. The play stopped the Saints drive and forced them to punt.

The Patriots offense seemed to feed off the big defensive stop. After a 2 yard run by Evans and an incomplete pass, Patrick Pass ran around the left end for 31 yards. On 1st and 10 from the Patriots 40, Brady threw downfield to Andre Davis. This time he was more accurate. Davis caught the ball in stride for a 60 yard touchdown. 21-7 Pats.

The Saints had a long drive that appeared would give them some points. They drove all the way down to the 7 yard line. On 3rd and 6 from the 7, Brooks threw incomplete to Horn. After a delay of game penalty, Carney missed a 30 yard field goal.

With 13:16 on the clock in the 4th quarter and a 2 touchdown lead, the game seemed relatively in hand. The Saints were having trouble finishing their drives, our defense was making the big plays, and we were able to run well and pass well.

On 1st and 10 from our 20, Evans got a handoff and ran to the left for 6. He then ran to the right for 8 and a 1st down. Having a guy like Evans is nice when wanting to run the clock down and run the defense down. On 1st and 10 from the 34, Brady hit Branch for 9 yards. McKenzie forced Branch out of bounds but out of frustration he continued the tackle on the Patriots sideline after the whistle. Tempers were starting to flare up.

On 1st and 10 from the New Orleans 42, Evans was stuffed for no gain. After an encorachment penalty, Evans ran 4 yards. On 3rd and 1, Brady sneaked up the middle for 5 yards. On 1st and 10 at the 28, Evans was stuffed. Will Smith was penalized three times on the play, all three of which were personal fouls. He kneed Christian Fauria after the whistle, threw his helmet, and had an undisclosed unsportsmanlike conduct. For some unkown reason, he wasn't ejected.

Only one of the penalties could be enforced so it was 1st and 10 on the 14 yard line. Evans was stuffed for no gain. Brady misthrew intended for Dwight. Pass was blown up in the middle for a loss of 5. Vinatieri kicked a 37 yard field goal. 24-7 Pats.

The Patriots defense seemed to get worse and worse as the game wore on. I think that the Saints were learning how to exploit our defensive backs better and better. Our DBs have a good number of weaknesses that can't be hidden for long.

The Saints were able to score their first TD of the game thanks to a series of mid-range passing. The score was set up by Stecker who had a 46 yard kick return that gave the Saints the ball on the New england 48. The Saints took advantage of the short field. Brooks hit Stallworth for a TD. 24-14 Pats.

For some reason, the Pats went away from the run and went to the deep pass. I know that Evans was getting stopped at the line of scrimmage a few times, but running the ball takes patience. It pays off in the end. There was 5:00 left in the 4th quarter when the Pats got the ball back.

First play: deep pass incomplete to Davis. (:06 taken off the clock)
Second play: Evans runs 11 yards. (:42 taken off)
Third play: deep pass incomplete to Davis. (:07 taken off)
Timeout NE
Fourth play: Pass runs 5 yards. (:06 taken off clock, Saints use timeout)

Pass fumbled the ball after this, but it was reversed. The Pats punted. New Orleans got the ball back with 3:38 left on the clock and 2 timeouts. Had we run on the 1st and 2nd plays, we could have taken off about 1:30 of clock while at the same time protecting the ball, wearing out the defense, resting our defense, and maybe pick up a few first downs.

The Saints moved the ball with ease against our defense. Then they got stopped at our 28 yard line. The Patriots were getting to Aaron Brooks, especially Willi McGinist. By the end of the day, Brooks had a 55 tattooed on his jersey. Carney hit a 46 yard field goal. 24-17 Pats.

The Pats got the ball back with 2:14 on the clock. Evans ran to the right for 2 yards. A Gorin holding penalty brought it back. On 1st and 20 from the 18, Evans ran up the middle for a yard. Just after the 2 minute warning, Brady once again missed Davis on a long pass. Patrick Pass ran on 3rd and 19 forcing New Orleans to burn a timeout.

The Saints got the ball back with 1 timeout and 1:36 on the clock. On 1st and 10 from the 22, Brooks hit Horn for 23 yards to the 45. Brooks then hit Hilton for 9 yards into New England territory. On 2nd and 1 from the NE 46, Brooks hit stecker for 4 and a 1st down. They called their last timeout with 0:34 on the clock. On 1st and 10 from the 42, Brooks was pressured but found a lane and ran for 20 yards. From the 22, Brooks stopped the clock with a spike. With 0:15 on the clock, Brooks threw to Stallworth in the corner of the end zone. "The Presence" Eugene Wilson intercepted it as time expired for a "walk off interception."

The score was closer than the game really was. Had the play calling been better, or the execution better at the end of the game, this contest would have been decided by at least 3 TDs.

Tom Brady had a good beginning but didn't really have it near the end. Overrall his numbers weren't bad. His completion percentage (15/29) was skewed by the number of deep passes the Pats were attempting. His execution on those plays was not as good as it could have been. Then again, how many times has he thrown to Andre Davis in his career? It makes sense that there would be an apparent level of uncomfortness.

Heath Evans had another solid day. He rushed for 74 yards on 16 carries. That's an average of 4.6 YPC which is dam good for a 260 pound fullback. He also caught 2 passes for 21 yards.

Patrick Pass had a decent day. He rushed for53 yards and had 36 yards receiving on 2 catches. Overrall the Patriots rushed for 132 yards which was huge as it established play action, screwed with the linebackers, and ate up a good amount of clock.

Ben Watson had a nice day receiving. He caught 4 passes for 66 yards. Andre davis only caught one pass but it was for 60 yards and a touchdown. Branch had 5 receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown. All of his catches seemed to come at key times. Mike Vrabel only had one catch for one yard, but it was a big yard. Vrabel also had 11 tackles on defense.

Wilfork and Seymour did a good job in the trenches. Warren wasn't heard from but didn't seem to hve a bad game. Bruschi looked good, as did Vrabel in the unfamiliar ILB spot. Colvin had a good day stopping the run from the outside and got in on alot of pressure of Brooks. Willie McGinist seemed to be involved in every defensive play. Apart from Wilson the defensive secondary was terrible and easily exploited by the Saints.

The Dolphins, Jets, and Bills all suffered losses. The 6-4 Patriots now have a 2 game lead in the division with 6 games left on the schedule, 4 left within the division. The AFC East is ours to lose.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Boston College/Maryland isn't exactly a rivalry, but there are alot of intense games all over the country.

#23 Boston College beat Maryland 31-16. The game was kept close by Boston College miscues but the Eagles eventually took off and left the Terps behind. This was the last regular season game for Boston College.

The Eagles finished their first season in the ACC with a 5-3 record. Two of their three losses came to division leaders within the ACC. Two of their three losses were on the road. The Eagles finished in a tie with the FSU Seminoles for the Atlantic Divison title, but their 28-17 loss to them earlier in the season cost BC a bid for the ACC Championship Game. BC might get a bid to the Chik-fil-a Peach Bowl in Atlanta.

Harvard beat Yale 30-24 in triple overtime in the 122nd playing of The Game.

Also in D-IAA, #1 New Hampshire beat Maine 59-47.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Dayton Moore has reportedly taken himself out of the running to be the next Red Sox GM. Moore was head of palyer development for the Atlanta Braves and was considered to be the front runner for the vacant spot in the Red Sox organization when he was asked back to Boston for a second interview.

The million dollar question, or rather the $125 million question is, why did he pull himself out? Was it fear of the pressure of Boston's media and their unholy alliance with The Grinch Larry Luchino? It was far too early in the negotiations for there to be a contract dispute. Was he afraid that if he didn't do well, he'd be fired within 2 years and have an abrupt end to a career as a General Manager. Was he afraid that if he did a good job, he would be gone in 3 years unless he bowed down before Master Larry? Perhaps it was a combination of both. As was feared, the Boston Red Sox have created a no-win situation for any prospective GM, particularly a young one, to come to Boston.

The Yankees are reportedly finished talking with Johnny Damon. Apparently, Damon's requests for a contract were too high even for New York. The numbers being written about are $84 million over 7 years. Ladies and gentlemen, if this is true, then Johnny Damon and Scott Boras need to seek psychological counseling NOW! $12M a year for 7 years?!? If he thinks that anyone will pay him that much for that long, he must be insane. I know he's endured alot of run ins with the wall at Fenway Park, but that is still no excuse for such an unreasonable demand. Damon would be 39 in the last year of this contract. Good luck, Johnny. Maybe you'll get a spot on a Mexican League team for 84 million pesos.

Defensive back Randall Gay and Center Dan Koppen are both out for the remainder of the season. They were both placed on Injured Reserve today. Koppen suffered a disloacted shoulder. Gay reaggravated an ankle injury, apparently. Koppen is the 3rd defensive lineman who will miss a start due to injury. Gay is the 6th defensive back to go on injured reserve.

The news out of Foxborough isn't all that bad. Patrick Pass practiced with no signs of serious pain. Kevin Faulk and Matt Light have been listed as "doubtful" on the mid-week injury report. Here is the full injury report:

Offensive tackle Matt Light (ankle) -- doubtful
Running back Kevin Faulk (foot) -- doubtful
Offensive tackle Tom Ashworth (knee) -- questionable
Linebacker Monty Beisel (back) -- questionable
Receiver Troy Brown (foot) -- questionable
Running back Corey Dillon (calf) -- questionable
Receiver Tim Dwight (rib) -- questionable
Receiver David Givens (knee) – questionable
Tight end Daniel Graham (shoulder) -- questionable
Defensive lineman Jarvis Green (shoulder) -- questionable
Fullback Patrick Pass (hamstring) -- questionable
Safety James Sanders (ankle) -- questionable
Quarterback Tom Brady (right shoulder) -- probable

The 5-4 AFC East leading Patriots host the 2-7 Saints on Sunday to begin the relatively easy part of the schedule. The Saints aren't pushovers, though. They have been playing with a good deal of pride this season despite their record, and the Patriots have had trouble winning each of their 5 victories.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Alex Rodriguez won his 2nd career MVP today, edging David Ortiz by the slimmest of margins. A-Rod got 16 first place votes, Ortiz got 11. A-Rod amassed 331 points from the voting, Ortiz had 307. Somehow, Vladimir Guerrero got a 1st place vote.

A-Rod had better numbers than Ortiz, but Ortiz's presence on the team was much more VALUABLE than A-Rod's. In "close and late" situations, Ortiz was 27 for 78, A-Rod was 22 for 75. (Ortiz: .346, A-Rod: .293) Ortiz had 11 HRs compared to A-Rod's 4. Ortiz had 33 RBI compared to A-Rod's 12. Ortiz also led the league in game winning RBI, and RBI that put the team ahead. In August, Ortiz hit 11 HRs and knocked in 30 RBI. He did the same in September.

Ortiz lost because he doesn't play the field. Anyone who has watched baseball the past few years knows that team defense is great, but it is offense and pitching that wins ball games, not Gold Glove defense. Furthermore, Ortiz would play first base if it weren't for players like Millar and Olerud who are already on the roster. Ortiz plays a capable first-base in interleague games and it does not affect the team's hitting.

I think this MVP race should have a runoff vote or the voting procedures should be changed. A-Rod's A-trocious playoff series against Anaheim didn't count against him because the voting ocurred before the playoffs. Ortiz had a solid series but fell victim to having no men on base in front of him.

Here's a suggestion. Because the playoffs are the most valuable part of the baseball season, they should matter when considering a most valuable player. Perhaps the MVP voters should determine 5 regular season candidates for the MVP before the playoffs. Then after the playoffs, vote for an MVP. If this had happened, the TRUE most valuable player would have gotten an award today, not A-pathetic, A-hole.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Huge win by the Patriots this afternoon in Miami. They didn't have Dillon except for 1 play, their defensive injuries are well documented, Tom Ashworth was out, Dan Kopen missed some time, Daniel Graham didn't play, David Givens didn't play, and quite a few of the men in blue left the field with injuries but most came back.

By the way, Tom Brady is the man. The INT in the 4th quarter was his fault, but he more than made up for that.

The Patriots started the game off with what else? A penalty. Bethel Johnson's long kickoff return was brought back by a holding penalty. The Pats drove nicely. Brady hit Johnson for 6, then Heath Evans ran for 21 up the middle. Brady threw to Troy Brown for 16 more yards. Evans was stuffed for a gain of 1. He then ran to the right for 8. The drive was stopped on 3rd and 1 when Mike Cloud got the handoff and lost a yard. Miller had the first of several great punts, pinning the Dolphins at their 3 yard line.

The Dolphins didn't look too good on their first drive. Brown ran to the right for 2. Frerotte threw incomplete to Chambers down the field. Eugene Wilson could have had an interception but he was interfered with by Chambers. The penalty wasn't called, though. On a broken play, the Dolphins were able to convert a 1st down. They weren't able to get another one, though, and were forced to punt.

The Pats won the special teams battle all day long. They started off with the ball at their 18. The Pats allowed a sack to begin the drive but didn't lose any yardage on the play. Cloud ran around the tackle for 7. Christian Fauria caught his first pass of the season for a gain of 5 to the 30 yard line. Cloud ran for 2. Brady threw and incomplete and was then sacked. There could have easily been a late hit penalty called on Kevin Carter, but it wasn't. Logan Mankins was called for holding and it was declined. Miller punted the ball 54 yards down to the Miami 15. Wes Walker muffed it but recovered at the 10.

The Dolphins looked a little bit better on their 2nd drive. Frerotte passed to Brown for 4 yards. Brown then ran for 3 yards. Booker caught a pass for 9 yards on 3rd and 3. Ricky Williams got his first touch and lost a yard. Frerotte threw incomplete to Chambers twice in a row. On 4th down, the Dolphins punted.

The Pats started on their 12 yard line and weren't able to do much with the ball. Evans had a 4 and a 14 yard run. Brady missed Branch, Cloud lost 3, and then Branch was called for a false start. Tom Ashworth's replacement, Brandon Gorin, was called for another false start. On 3rd and 23 from his 17, Brady hit Branch for 16 yards. Miller had a 48 yard punt.

The Dolphins 3rd drive was even better than their 2nd. Williams ran for 2, McMichael had a 7 yard gain. The Phins then went to a no huddle. Williams ran up the middle for 5 then 2. Frerotte hit Chambers for 12 yards, entering New England territory. Booker then had a 12 yard catch. Williams lost a yard. Frerotte threw an incomplete to Barnes then one to Welker. Olindo Mare tried a 31 yard field goal but missed to the right.

The Pats went 3 and out. Miller kicked a 51 yard punt. The Dolphins were able to move the ball on the exhausted and depleted defense. Booker had a 24 yard reception, Brown ran for 13, Williams for 1. Frerotte hit McMichael for 8, Brown ran for 2, then 2, then 16. On 1st and goal from the 3 yard line, Frerotte hit Chambers for a TD. Chambers might have pushed off but it wasn't called. 7-0 Miami.

The Patriots responded with a 3 and out on offense. They needed a big defensive play BADLY. They got one. On 1st and 10, Frerotte threw to McMichael who got the ball down to our 9 yard line. Roosevelt Colvin forced a fumble. Ellis Hobbs picked it up and ran it to the 15 yard line.

The Patriots haven't been that good this season when it comes to scoring with less than 2:00 on the clock. This time they were able to do something. Heath Evans started the drive with a surprise run for 14 yards. After an incomplete, Evans ran for 3 more. Brady threw to Troy Brown for 15 yards. Fauria caught his 2nd pass of the day for 18 yards. Jason Taylor was called for offside. On 1st and 5 from the Miami 30, Brady missed Brown then hit Branch for 13 yards. With 0:07 on the clock, Vinatieri hit a 35 yarder. 7-3 Miami.

The Dolphins started the 2nd half with a 3 and out. The defense played much better in the 2nd half. Brady threw an interception on the first Patriot drive of the 2nd half. The Dolphins moved the ball into New England territory but were stopped. The Patriots had a big play to start the enxt drive but they stalled near midfield. The Dolphins then went 3 and out.

The back-and-forth between the teams finally ended halfway through the 3rd quarter. Brady threw incomplete to Andre Davis but a pass itnerference call resulted in a 1st and 10 on the Miami 17. Johnson caught a 4 yard pass. Evans was stuffed at the line, and Brady threw incomplete to Brown. Vinatieri kicked a 32 yard field goal. 7-6 Miami.

The Pats got the ball with 5:01 left in the 3rd. Thanks to a poor Miami punt, the Pats started on their 47 yard line. Brady hit Tim Dwight for 3 yards. Evans ran to the right for 3 more. On 3rd and 4, Brady hit Brown for 5 yards and a 1st down. Evans caught a 2 yard pass, then a 5 yarder. On 3rd and 3, Evans ran for 3 yards and a 1st down. Brady missed Branch on 1st and 10 on the Miami 32. He then found Branch for 17. Cloud was stuffed for a loss of 1. On 2nd and 11 from the 16, Brady hit Watson in the end zone for his 2nd carrer touchdown. The 2 point conversion attempt failed. 12-7 Patriots.

I really didn't like the decision to go for 2. Why? It was way too early. Fifteen minutes left in the game. There is quite a bit of scoring possible. Had the Pats settled for 1, they could have had an 8 point lead in the late stages of the 4th quarter, which is MUCH more comfortable than a 7 point lead because it forced the other team to make a 2 point conversion in order to tie.

The Dolphins began the 4th quarter with an interception to Ellis Hobbs. The Pats got the ball on the Miami 23. The drive didn't really go anywhere and the Pats were forced to settle for 3. 15-7 Patriots.

The Dolphins finally got something going. They moved the ball from their 25 all the way down to the New England 16 yard line. The defense stood up though. On 1st and 10 from our 16, Vrabel and McGinist stuffed Williams for a loss of 2. Frerotte missed McMichael twice and the Dolphins settled for a field goal. 15-10 Patriots.

The Patriots got the ball with 8:07 left on their 31. They needed to move the ball, eat some clock, and at the very least pin the Phins back in their own territory with little time on the clock to work with. Instead, Brady made a terrible pass which was intercepted near midfield.

The Dolphins started with the ball on their 44 with 5:09 on the clock. Frerotte threw an incomplete. Then he hit Booker for 6, and then 28. On 1st and 10 from the New England 22, Frerotte missed Booker. Then he hit Chambers for 7 to the 16 yard line. On 3rd and 2, Frerotte fumbled the snap, the Pats defense stayed motionless, Chambers ran his route, Frerotte found the ball, threw, and hit Chambers for a touchdown. The Dolphins failed to convert a 2 pointer. 16-15 Miami.

The Pats got the ball with 2:53 on the clock and only one timeout. On 1st and 10 from the 24, Brady hit Tim Dwight for 59 yards. On the next play, Brady threw to Watson in the end zone. Heath Evans got the carry for the 2 point conversion attempt and made it into the end zone. 23-16, Patriots.

The only problem with the Patriots scoring drive was that it only lasted 43 seconds. Miami got it back with 2:11 on the clock. The Dolphins marched all the way down to the New England 5 yard line, needing only a touchdown and extra point to tie and force overtime. On 1st and goal from the 5, Ellis Hobbs broke up a pass intended for Marty Booker. Frerotte overthrew Chambers on 2nd and goal. On 3rd and goal, Tedy Bruschi got into Frerotte's face, forcing an early throw. Frerotte hit the outlet man, Brown, but McGinist coralled him and Poteat finished him off for a loss of 5. On 4th and goal from the 10, Frerotte threw incomplete intended for Chambers. The Pats got the ball back. Brady took a knee, and the game was over.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Patriots CB Duane Starks has been placed on Injured Reserve, ending his first year with the Champs. Starks has been slowed by a thigh injury and was noticeably incapable of one on one coverage.

Guess how many defensive backs are on IR for the Pats. Five! Safeties Rodney Harrison and Gus Scott, Cornerbacks Tyrone Poole, Chad Scott, and now Duane Starks. This coupled with the release of Ty Law before the season has seriously disabled the Patriots ability to defend against the pass. I don't care who you are, when you have 5 DBs out for the season, you're going to give up quite a few points. Of the 10 DBs the Patriots started the season with, 5 are out for the year, and 2 (Randall Gay and James Sanders) have missed significant time due to injury.

Ellis Hobbs will probably move into the #2 CB position oppositte Asante Samuel. Hobbs was the 10th man on the Pats cornerback depth chart. Randall Gay will probably play at Safety if he can play. Hank Poteat, who was cut after camp, will be the #3 corner. Troy Brown could also see some time at defensive back. It isn't official or a rumor, but I wouldn't be too surprised if Tom Brady and Doug Flutie saw some time at cornerback if the injuries keep occuring.

The Patriots will begin the 2nd half of the regular season with only their 2nd divisional game. They're on the road against Miami, much later in the year than we are used to seeing us have to play in Florida. However, the forecast for tommorrow is 80 degrees and sunny.

Of the 8 remaining games on the schedule, 5 are within the division, 1 is non-divisional but within the AFC, and 2 are against NFC teams. 4 are at home and 4 are on the road. The Pats don't have 2 home games or two road games in a row. The schedule is much easier than the first 8 games of the season. We play the Dolphins twice, the Jets twice, the Bills, Chiefs, Saints, and Buccaneers. The Pats really need to capitalize on those division games and beat up on some bad teams if they want to claim the AFC East for the 3rd year in a row.

Friday, November 11, 2005


The Atlanta Braves are renowned for their player development. Their team had 18 rookies this season and they still made the playoffs by winning their 14th consecutive NL East title. Dayton Moore is an up and coming executive who cut his teeth in the player development department of the Braves organization. The Red Sox are seriously considering him as a candidate for Theo's replacement. I think it is a good idea to try to get someone who is good at developing young players. The Red Sox definately need to be better at this, particularly when it comes to pitching.

Yesterday was the last day of exclusive negotiations for teams to talk with free agents. Now, anyone can talk to anyone. The Red Sox have resigned Mike Timlin, and that is it. Players like Johnny Damon are free to be romanced by other teams.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Paul Pierce had 29 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals to lead the Celtics to a 99-98 buzzer beating victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Lafrentz added 10 points, Blount had 17, and Delonte West had 8. Ricky Davis had 18 points including this jumper with, as you can see, only 0.3 seconds remaining. Pierce got the asisst. Every Celtics game has been down to the wire. It could be a very exciting season.


Does anyone else ever think that Manny Ramirez isn't real? Does he not act like a character out of a movie? Some quiet guy who is amazing at something but never really seems focused on it. The character can't really figure out what he wants so he is always changing his mind.

Manny Ramirez has asked to be traded away from the Boston Red Sox. Why? Who the hell knows why? The Red Sox are entertaining him and making it very well known that they are seeking trading partners. This raises suspicion in me because the trade talks are so public. The Red Sox usually don't make things widely known unless it is a stratagem. On previous occasions when Manny has asked to be traded, it has been supressed by the Organization. Now, it is almost as if they are trying to make Manny beleive that they are truly looking at trading options.

This is where the lack of Theo, who is truly gone by the way, has hurt us. Theo was very energetic and creative when it came to trades. Remember 2003 when he traded prospects to the Pirates for a player and then got those prospects BACK in a deal a few days later? That's just ingenious, right there. Anyway, without Theo, the Red Sox are essentially tied at the hands until a replacement can be found.

What would be the positives for trading Manny? We'd save about $60 million over the enxt three years. We wouldn't have to deal with his lapses in the outfield and his frequent needs for vacation days. We could get someone really good in return for him.

What is he downside to trading Ramirez? There is no way that he will be replaced. He is much too good of a hitter. Even if we got a good hitter in return and spent the money we saved on hitting, we would still have to dramatically alter our offensive approach to the game.

Our lineup centers around Ortiz and Ramirez. The 1 and 2 hitters get on base, Ortiz and Manny knock them in. They also get on base for the 5, 6, and 7 hitters who knock them in. The 8 and 9 hitters knock those guys in a few times and also get on base for the 1, and 2 hitters. Without Manny, we would be losing about 150 RBI, 40 HR, and an OBP of about .400 which allows Manny to score about 110 runs. We can probably get a few guys whose offensive production will add up to Manny's, but there is no-one out there who will produce as much as Manny produces in one spot of the lineup.

Manny also helps out Ortiz. He doesn't just knock him in, he protects him. Ortiz was walked 102 times this season with Manny hitting behind him. Just imagine how many more times he will be walked with no Manny behind him. What will happen to our offensive production then?

With no Manny Ramirez, the offensive philosophy of the Red Sox, which has proven quite successful, will have to change. They'll have to use a system that utilizes production from more spots in the lineup. This could work, but consider how many younger players are coming up soon. They are going to be under a good deal of pressure to produce even from the bottom of the lineup. I think Theo could compile a team without Manny that scored 900 runs, but I don't know about anyone else in the league apart from maybe Brian Cashman.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Red Sox kept Manny. After all, we've already paid him $100 million, why not hold on to him for 3 more seasons? We have so much improvement to do elsewhere on the team, why completely change the offense, as well? Finally, he might decide he wants to stay here again.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Tonight at 7 PM, the Red Sox Committee of GMs will meet with Johnny Damon's people. Here is what the two sides will probably talk about:

Damon's people:
Johnny batted .316 last season, the 4th best in the league. He got on base 36.6% of the time. He scored 117 runs and even knocked in 75 more, which is a lot for a leadoff hitter. He has a great deal of range in center field. He was 18/19 on stolen base attempts. Imagine how many runs he wouldv'e scored if Renteria had hit well. He is the spark plug for the offense. Plus, he is a star player.

The Red Sox:
Johnny's batting average dropped every month of the season. Scoring 117 runs with Ortiz and Ramirez behind you isn't a monumental accomplishment. He has no arm. He turned 32 a few days ago. We already have a great deal of big contracts on our hands. There isn't much of a market for outfielders this season.

The fact of the matter is that big market teams like the Cubs and Yankees have expressed that Damon is asking for too much. He wants a 5 year deal. He'll be 38 at the end of the deal. How much his skills will diminish in the next few years is unkown.

I think the Red Sox need to keep Damon's contract at around $40 million for 4 years. Absolutely no more than 4 with perhaps a mutual option or a buyout option for a 5th year. $10 M is the highest Damon's salary should go.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


So many questions to answer. Who will be the GM? Will Manny be traded and if so, for who? What other moves will the Sox make to improve their team? What about Johnny Damon's situation? The bullpen? The rotation? Will Keith Foulke be the closer, or will Timlin or someone from outside the organization?

The first priority has to be the vacancy at General Manager. At the moment, the Red Sox are looking at Jim Beattie and Jim Bowden.

Beattie was the GM for the Expos a few years ago and got alot out of a small payroll. He was given more money but had to share power in Baltimore in that strange co-consul ship reminiscent of the sharing of power between Julius Caesar and Pompey Magnus. He was interviewed for the Sox GM job in 2002. Beattie is scheduled for an interview in Boston on Friday.

Jim Bowden was the Reds GM from 1993 to 2003. He was then signed by the Washington Nationals who did pretty well last season, all things considered.

Two other unnamed candidates will be revealed later in the week. In the meantime, the remaining staff left behind by Theo are running things for the Red Sox. GM by Committee, if you will.

For all the bad news that has come out of the New England sports world recently, the only bright spot has been the New England Revolution. They beat the Chicago Fire 1-0 in Gillette on Saturday to win the Eastern Conference title. They play the LA Galaxy in Texas on Sunday for the MLS Cup. The Revolution have never won the MLS Cup. However, they appear to be the New England sports team best poised to win a championship.


At about 3:03 AM EDT the morning after the Patriots 40-21 loss to the Colts, Ron Borges came onto WBCN's post-game show. When at home, I prefer listening to WEEI's Real Post-Game Show but I don't have a membership with WEEI and the NFL lets me listen to WBCN's broadcasts so I listen to BCN's. Anyway, Ron came on and the first thing he complained about was? A) The secondary. B) the rushing offense. C) The pass rush. D) The rush defense. E) Coaching decisions. F) Injuries G) Officiating. All of these answers are wrong. Borges, who has never beena big Brady supporter to begin with, ripped Tom for having a short press conference. He ripped Belichick a bit but ripped Brady even more. This depsite the fact that Brady had about the best game you could want from a QB. 265 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs. He had no run support (34 total rushing yards) and his defense allowed 40 points. I guess he deserved criticism for not feeding the vultures of the media generic answers for 20 minutes at 1:00 AM with a divisional road game to play on Sunday. Borges asserted that we learned about Tom Brady's true nature by his not fully participating in a press conference after a brutal loss. Is Ron Borges trying to one-up his Globe colleague Shaughnessey by trying to run Brady out of town? I wouldn't be shocked.


So many reasons why we lost this game. First of all, give the Colts credit. They came into Foxborough with confidence despite their history in New England. They executed and played well. However, in my opinion, the Patriots melted one of their Lombardi trophies and made a silver platter on which to hand this game to the Colts.

The brief press conferences held by Belichick and Brady said a lot even though neither one of them said that much. The best quote was when a reporter asked Belichick why he attempted an onside kick so early in the game. Bill's answer: "To try to get the ball back."

The Pats started the game off on a bad foot. They needed to win the special teams battle, make some big special teams plays, and keep the Colts from having a short field to work with. The Colts returned the opening kickoff to the 46 yard line. James was stuffed for a 3 yard loss but on 2nd down Manning hit Harrison for 48 yards to the 9. James ran for 6 and then 2. On 3rd and goal at the 1, Manning hit Harrison. 7-0 Colts.

The Patriots responded nicely. A drive that featured alot of Corey Dillon in the early stages set-up Brady to make his trademark mid-depth passes for 8-15 yards. Brady spread the ball well hitting Branch, Brown, Dillon, Givens, and Graham on the drive. From the 16, Brady threw to Branch for a TD that tied the game at 7-7.

The Patriots offense did their job on their first drive. They ate up over 9 minutes of clock on an 11 play drive. They gradually moved the ball down the field, finding weaknesses in the Colts defense. Unfortunately, the Patriots defense was not able to maintain the tied score and give the ball back to Brady and the offense.

On 1st and 10 from the 32 James went around the left end for 7. He then picked on Jarvis Green and the right end for 6 more and a 1st down at the 45. After an incomplete to Harrison and a 3 yard loss on a James reception, the Colts faced a 3rd and 13 from the 42. In years past, the Pats have stepped up in these types of situations. This time, though, they let Manning hit Reggie Wayne for a gain of 12. As bad as the rush defense up the middle has been for us this year, the Colts really didn't have any choice. They went for it on 4th and short and got it. Once again, the Pats failed to step up and make the big play. The Colts intermingled running with James and passing with Manning and drove down the field and into the end zone for another touchdown. 14-7 Colts.

The Patriots offense did what they have done far too many times this year. They went 3 and out. Miller had a nice 55 yard punt that gave the Colts the ball at their 10 yard line. Josh Miller has been one of the few men wearing the blue, red, white and silver that has been excellent this season.

The Colts were able to move the ball to the 38 yard line. On 3rd and 11 the Patriots finally stepped up and made the big play. Mike Vrabel intercepted Manning and gave the ball back to the offense right near midfield.

The Patriots had a HUGE opportunity to create some momentum. We've all seen Manning unravel after making a few mistakes and then watching the Patriots capitalize on them. However, his defense was able to pick him up and our offense was unable to turn the interception into any points.

On the first play of the drive, Brady was sacked for a loss of 12 yards. He fumbled but Tom Ashworth recovered. On 2nd and 28 Graham had a 5 yard reception. On 3rd and 23, the Pats came up with a big play. Brady hit Givens for 35 yards to the Indy 31 yard line. On 1st and 10, Dillon ran for 1, then ran for 13 more up to the 17 yard line. There was a little more than 2 minutes left in the 1st half. It looked as thought the Pats were poised to put it into the end zone to tie it or at the very least, kick a field goal and go into halftime with some momentum. Dillon got the ball for the third straight play and fumbled. Indy recovered. This was essentiall the moment when the game was lost. Maybe if Faulk and/or Pass were healthy, Dillon wouldn't have gotten 3 straight carries. Maybe the Pats should have run a play action pass and varied their offense a bit.

The game was over. The Colts got the ball back, marched downfield and put up a 21-7 lead at halftime. The Patriots were able to score a few times in the 2nd half but the defense just couldn't stop the Colts running and passing attack. In fact, the only 3 and out drive by the Colts resulted in a Field Goal. They only had to punt once.

A few telling statistics. The Patriots did not sack the statue like Peyton Manning the entire game. Peyton Manning RUSHED for 24 yards. Corey Dillon rushed for only 40 and the Pats as a team amassed a pathetic 34 yards on the ground. The Colts had the ball for nearly 37 minutes of game clock. The Colts out rushed us by 98 yards. The Patriots had such little confidence in their defense's ability to stop the Colts that we tried an onside kick in the 3rd quarter with over 20 minutes left in the game and were down by only 2 scores.

What do the Patriots do now? What can we do now? We have no run offense and very few alternatives to Dillon who is probably still feeling his injuries. Our protection problems on the left side of the offensive line are causing us to adjust our offense in ways we really can't afford. On defense, we can't stop the run. We can't get pressure on the passer without blitzing. We can't prevent the deep pass, or the medium pass, or the short pass. We can't step up and make the big plays as consistently as we did in years past. I think we're going to make the playoffs this season and maybe we can advance a round. However, this team is not a Super Bowl calbre team and not to sound negative, but there is very little they can do but pray for medical miracles.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Peyton Manning has never won a game in Foxborough. He is 0-7. His QB Rating in Foxborough is a pathetic (especially when compared to his overrall rating) 61.6. Manning is 1-7 vs. Belichick and 2-10 against the Patriots. However, this year it isn't just Peyton Manning's offense and a bunch of bums on defense that will be playing in Gillette Stadium. And this year, guys like Rodney Harrison and Ty Law won't be there to pick off Manning. Nor will Matt Light match up against speedy Defensive End Dwight Freeney.

The Colts come to the Borough at 7-0. They've beaten Baltimore, Jacksonville, Cleveland, San Francisco, Houston, St. Louis, and Tennessee. However, they've only played 3 games outdoors and those were in Baltimore, San Francisco, and Tennessee. The game time temperature should be in the mid 40's.

Gillette Stadium isn't the impregnable fortress anymore. San Diego came in here and kicked us all over the field. Our defense isn't the big play machine it once was. Yes, we did beat Buffalo, but the Bills also made some big mistakes that handed us the game.

The Colts and Patriots both have a good amount of men on the injury report. Here is the list for Indianapolis:

PROBABLE: DT Vincent Burns (knee); DE Dwight Freeney (foot); T Tarik Glenn (back); S Joseph Jefferson (toe); LB Cato June (groin/knee); DE Robert Mathis (toe); S Bob Sanders (forearm/wrist); G Jake Scott (knee/toe); TE Ben Utecht (chest); K Mike Vanderjagt (right calf)

QUESTIONABLE: DT Larry Tripplett (ankle)

DOUBTFUL: LB Keith O'Neil (shoulder)

And for New England:

PROBABLE: QB Tom Brady (right shoulder)

QUESTIONABLE: WR Troy Brown (foot); RB Corey Dillon (ankle); WR Tim Dwight (rib); CB Randall Gay (ankle); WR David Givens (knee); DE Jarvis Green (shoulder); DE Marquise Hill (ankle); LB Willie McGinest (finger); RB Patrick Pass (hamstring); S James Sanders (ankle); DE Richard Seymour (knee); DE Ty Warren (hip); TE Ben Watson (knee)

OUT: RB Kevin Faulk (foot); T Matt Light (ankle)

Basically, all our running backs, most of our defensive line, and a good portion of our receiving corps are hurt. That's not good. We need to put up big numbers on offense, sustain long drives, and be dynamic to keep the defense honest when it comes to rushing the passer. On defense, ourt success against Manning has been our ability to put 4 man pressure on him and avoid blitzing. Then our coverage sits on his routes and guys like Law pick him off. I don't think we're going to be able to do this on Monday night.

The Patriots are going to have to disguise their pressure scheme on Manning and will be forced to bring in 5th rushers on blitzes, unfortunately. This will leave the secondary exposed but it is pretty exposed as is. We also MUST stop the run. We need to make the Colts offense be one dimensional. This can be done by stuffing the Colts at the line of scrimmage and by scoring alot on offense. Furthermore, we need to take our sweet time scoring on offense. If we possess the ball for 40 minutes in game time, we will probably win. Corey Dillon will be a huge factor in any victory we have.

We've got to force turnovers and we cannot have negative plays. The massive amount of penalties we have had this season have killed us and they will kill us if we let them on Monday. We must avoid allowing Brady to get sacked too many times, or even pressured. Freeney will be lined up against our rookie tackle and guard on the right so we need to keep a back in the backfield and put a TE on that side in order to help Kaczur and Mankins against him. We also cannot overscheme to counteract Freeney as the rest of the Colts line is pretty good. We absolutely cannot turn the ball over on offense.

I think that we will win this game but it will be very close. Somewhere around 20-18, or 21-18, or 24-20.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


It is probably a mere joke and publicity stunt from the ever original PR department of the Can-Am League team that plays down in Brockton, Mass. but here are a few reasons I think Theo should consider a job with the Rox.

1. He could watch his replacement fail from only a few miles down the road.

2. Bill Murray and the other owners and executives of the Rox probably wouldn't go behind Theo's back like the Red Sox did.

3. He could stay in baseball doing what he does best/loves while simultaneously having more free time to do whatever it is he wants to do outside of baseball. I think Dan Duquett'es become a better, more well-rounded person since he left the Red Sox and opened up His Sports Academy in the Berkshires.

4. He could definately activate himself a la Michael Dorn in Major League II. Maybe then could he attain the baseball knowledge of former college baseball hero Larry Luchino. (There's no HTML code for sarcasm but there should be) As a matter of fact, playing for the Rox would be a step up over Luchino because the Rox are a pro team.

5. Bill Murray seems like a much more fun and entertaining guy than John Henry.

6. Housing in Brockton is much cheaper than housing in Boston

7. Campanelli Stadium is much nicer than Fenway Park.

8. Dan Shaugnessey could be banned from Rox games, as well as the city of Brockton itself. In fact, an effigy of the Shank could be hung from one of the foul poles.

9. I'm sure the Rox don't have monumental problems like getting an entirely new pitching staff or dealing with overpaid players that beg to be traded than beg to stay.

10. Did I mention Bill Murray?


As much as the Red Sox wanted David Ortiz to win the MVP this year, I think they would kill for it to happen right now. The organization is clinging on to whatever it can in what appears to be an effort to avoid the topic of forcing Theo out of Boston.

I'll indulge them a bit and talk about Jason Varitek winning a Gold Glove. The last time a member of the Red Sox won the awards was 1991 when Tony Pena claimed it. Tek's Glove is the 28th awarded to a member of the Red Sox. He is the 15th different Red Sox player to win one. Other Catchers who have earned the honor for the Sox are the afore mentioned Tony Pena and Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk. I don't know when the last time a player won both a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award was, but claiming both is a big honor.

Back to the Red Sox. Remember back in the day when we were the Rebels and the Yankees were the Evil Empire? Could you imagine if the Rebel leaders had leaked stories behind Luke Skywalker's back after he blew up the Death Star? We're not the Rebels, we're just as bad, if not worse than the Evil Empire. At least Steinbrenner does his own dirty work. He doesn't use leaks and contract negotiation maneavuring to express his opinions. He'll come out and say them for all to here. He's also not afraid to buy a new stadium or do whatever it takes to win, unlike the Sox.

Here's a good article about the negotiations between Theo and the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, Red Sox struggle to get public funding for Fenway neighborhood improvements.

The lack of vision demonstrated by the Sox these last few days may come back to haunt them. If I were Mayor Menino, I'd defiantely be asking questions such as where the hell did they get the figure of $55 million from?

Full transcript of Theo's press conference

A few snippetts that stood out:

Q: Do you have a good relationship with Larry (Lucchino)?

Yeah. My relationship with Larry is one that spanned about 14 years. We’ve had a very successful working relationship. I think Larry and I like each other. As with any long relationship, there are complexities, there are ups and down, there are occasionally times where you have philosophical differences. But in the end, I want what’s best for Larry. I wish him well in the future. When I look back, he’s done a lot for me. I owe him quite a bit, and I take that to heart. In the end, 30 years from now when I look back on my relationship with Larry Lucchino, I’m gonna see it as a positive influence in my life.

So it is past tense? So it is over. So it must not have been that good of a relationship if it only spans the professional scope of life. And when someone answers a question like "are you good friends" and you say things like "I think we like each other" you're either a 12 year old girl with a big crush on a boy, or you can't stand each other but tolerate each other.

Q: Theo, do you believe that in any way that the confidentiality of certain issues concerning whether it was baseball decisions or a player’s desire to keep something private was breached by upper management either in the papers or on the talk shows?

You know, whenever you have a negotiation, an internal negotiation, management negotiating with one of its employees, there’s the possibility for it to get contentious. There’s the possibility for it to become public. And we took steps throughout the process to protect against that, and it worked for a long time. There were some breakdowns in the end, and that was unfortunate.

This speaks volumes. Theo's too classy to come out and say something like "they went behind me back and tried to bend me over." This is his way of saying it, in my opinion.

Q: If Larry Lucchino were not a part of this organization would you still retain this job?

That’s… look, focusing too much on any one person, or any one factor, is not appropriate here. This decision is not something I took lightly and it was based on a variety of factors and Larry and his ability to steer the franchise was a big factor in bringing me here in the first place and it was a big factor in our collective success. So it’s inappropriate to focus too much on any one person. Frankly, it’s been difficult for me to hear a lot of the things said about the organization and said about Larry over the last 48 hours because in the end, I want the best for him and I certainly want the best for the organization. And I believe that the Red Sox are going to be strong going forward and I would hate for the result of a very difficult decision that I had to make to in any way interrupt what I think is going to be continued success going forward.

Theo claims to not be that good at PR stuff but he avoids this question nicely. The fact that he uses 170 words to answer a yes or no question and still doesn't answer the question says quite a bit about Theo's real thoughts concerning the issue.

To me, the names Larry Luchino, Dan "the Shank" Shaughnessey, and Dr. Charles Steinberg are all beginning to sound like the names ov villains in some bad movie.

There's a new site up called Thank You Theo. If you want to tell Theo how much you appreciate what he did for Red Sox Nation, sign their online petition thingy. Who knows, maybe Theo will read it and be so moved that he'll come back. Or maybe Larry "the Grinch" Lucchino's heart will grow three sizes and he'll beg Theo to come back.

In other news, the Celtics started off their regular season with an exciting overtime victory against the Knicks 114-100 in The Garden. Paul Pierce had 30 points and 12 rebounds, Ricky Davis had 27 points, 9 of which were in OT, Delonte West had 14 points, 9 rebounds, 9 asissts and 4 blocks, every Celtics starter had at least 14 points.

At least there's some good news coming out of Boston these days, and not just Foxborough. I still have to do a full recap of Sunday's come from behind win. I'll do that within the next few days.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


In a column dated Tuesday the 1st of November, Dan Shaughnessey said:

One of the brightest minds ever to grace the Red Sox front office is gone. Theo Epstein was instrumental in delivering Boston's first baseball championship in 86 years

Woah! I thought he was merely a product of Larry Luchino's guidance. I'm sure that Larry will be able to produce such a baseball genious again in no time. He probably already has a few candidates lined up. What a Shank, a hypocrite, a bad writer, an opportunist, a scavenger, and a piece of crap.

Anyway, the Red Sox remain totally screwed and it's their own fault. They could have come out and offered Theo the $1.5M a year deal instead of waiting until November to do so. This would have given them ample time to find a suitable replacement from within or outside of the organisation. Instead, the tried saving a few hundred thousand dollars. That's alot of money to most people, but a few hundred thousand dollars is peanuts to a company like the Boston Red Sox. And it wasn't as if what Theo was asking for was unprecedented. Alot of big market GMs that have had success in the past make alot of money. It isn't that rare.

Theo isn't completely blameless in this whole thing, either. Even if Shaugnessey's leak assissted column was the straw that broke the camel's back, Theo could have been a bit more forthright with the team and the fans. A few days ago, he could have easily said that it wasn't about the money. Instead, he made it seem like it was. Usually it's the oppositte. So the team kept offering something that Theo really didn't care much about. Then the deadline came and Theo said "see ya." Maybe it was an intentional "FU" to the Red Sox or maybe Theo was just being a bit absent-minded. Whatever or why ever, or how ever it happened, we are screwed.

But hey, at least Jason Varitek won a Gold Glove, and a Silver Slugger Award for best hitting catcher.


Continuing Shanked, the post below this one:

Lucchino-bashers, and they are legion, maintain that he repeatedly has undermined Theo and on occasion killed deals made by Epstein and the minions. There was one, for sure. When Theo's assistant Josh Byrnes (hired by Arizona as GM Friday) made a deal with Colorado, Epstein thought he had a better deal with another club and requested that Lucchino fall on the sword and invoke the ownership approval clause to kill the Rockies deal. Accustomed to people hating him, Lucchino took the fall, killing the deal and saving Epstein.

Woah! What could possibly be your source for this story, Shank? And what the hells is this minions crap? Minions has always had a negative connotation, in my view at least, and Shaughnessey using such a word to describe Theo's associates isn't exactly good journalism, or good writing. It is, in fact, a cheap ploy used by bad writers/arguers that cannot prove things through argument so they must resort to petty name calling. Kind of like me calling Shaughnessey a Shank. Hehe.

It was charged last week that Sox management conducted a ''smear campaign" against Epstein. How? Where's the campaign? It was correctly reported that Theo turned down a three-year deal at $1.2 million per year. That's a smear campaign? There have been no quotes from Sox management on the negotiations. Lucchino and Epstein called me together at home Friday night but said they could say nothing about Theo's contract talks because they had not spoken with other outlets. So much for the Globe's ''home-court advantage" (the Globe's parent company, The New York Times Company, owns 17 percent of the Red Sox). So much for the cartel. In fact, Epstein's minions probably have done more talking about Theo's situation than anyone in Sox management. When postseason baseball visited Chicago, at least one nationally known Lucchino-hating Epstein source was trashing the Sox CEO to anyone who'd listen.

When the Red Sox leak information to you, and use you as a pawn, that's how they run a smeer campaign. They're not going to come out and say nasty things about Theo. They'll use people in the media who are perfectly willing to do that for them.

It would be a mistake for Epstein to think he can separate Lucchino from John Henry. Henry is a quiet man, but he is not a dolt. He believes in and trusts Lucchino. He admires his young GM, but it would be a mistake for Epstein to force Henry to choose.

I don't think part of Theo's demands or desires was to see Luchino go. I just think Theo wanted Larry to be less of an attention whore and a credit hog.

Publicly, Theo always has talked about ''mutual respect" regarding his relationship with dad Larry. They know that their silence produced considerable speculation and acrimony. Fans and media members have taken shots and taken sides. The Sox tomorrow will present a united front. It still can work. The only unfortunate aspect is that the embers will smolder for years to come. We know too much now.

This whole father-son analogy isn't really apt, if you ask me. And even if it was, isn't there always a time in life when the son starts to become better at things than the father?

Please feel free to e-mail Dan Shaughnessey, but don't just e-mail him stuff like "you suck, Shank." Be somewhat polite, cohesive, and try to tell him something he hasn't already heard, yet. His e-mail address is That isn't a big secret or anything, either.

I'm trying to find a silver lining in all of this. But I just can't. I suppose it is possible that the Red Sox will find a replacement that is better than Theo, but won't that mean that Luchino and the organization will force him out even quicker? It is such a bad idea to change GMs right now, in principal. The Red Sox are in a time of major flux. They're still trying to change from a $120M team of free agents into a team that is developed from within. Theo appeared to be getting this done and players like Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Youkilis, Delcarmen, Papelbon, Hansen, Alvarez, and more had emerged or were about to emerge as Major League players. Now there will be a new General Manager with a new philosophy.

Why did Luchino feel the need to leak a story to the Globe the day before Theo signed a contract extension? Was he trying to prevent Theo from signing? Or did he just want to say to Theo "I'm your boss. If you stay, you're working for me, boy!" This sounds like something Steinbrenner would do. I wouldv'e thought Luchino, who is OBSESSED with the Yankees, would try to avoid being like his nemesis.

A warning to Larry Luchino and the Boston Red Sox organization. The fans will stop coming if the team stops winning. The team will stop winning if there aren't good players. They're won't be good players without a good GM. No good GM would ever want to work for a man/organization that hordes all the credit and is paranoid about any young usurpers to the throne.

The scary thing is, Theo never went out of hiw way and tried claiming credit that wasn't his. He never went around saying "I won the World Series and nobody else did." Larry Luchino, and the other morons up on Yawkey Way have ALOT of explaining to do.