Sunday, June 27, 2021

HoraceClarke66: Fourth time is DEFINITELY NOT a charm

From the troubled computer of HoraceClarke66...

Let’s face it:  they’re baa-ack. 

No matter how the rest of this series or even this season goes, like demented cicadas on a hopped-up schedule the Boston Red Sox are back. This makes the fourth tear down and build up of our nemesis to the north since the traumatic events of October, 2004.

 The Carmine Hose have, yet again, built up a genuine contender, and the odds are that they will bring home another ring to Kenmore before our New York Yankees so much as grab their next division title.

 I would blame this on a flip in karma, or the bargain Jake Ruppert made with Mr. Scratch expiring, or some other magical mystery turn. But then I would be just like them, all those Red Sox fans blaming their misfortune on the Curse of the Bambino, or some piano that was pushed into a pond rather than eight decades of racists, fools, and scoundrels filling the front office and the manager’s seat in the dugout.

 Do you remember January 17th, 2002? I do. It was the day MLB approved the sale of the Red Sox to John Henry and Tom Werner. 

 I laughed. Henry and Werner were known at that time as a pair of geeky billionaire vandals, who went roaming around the country wrecking the likes of the San Diego Padres and the Florida Marlins for their own entertainment and profit.

All of New England was enraged, just seething mad, and the mood didn’t improve when the Red Sox’ new owners immediately launched a campaign to tear down Fenway Park. Next, they installed a 28-year-old numbers wonk—known mostly as the son of a pretty fair novelist and the grandson and grand-nephew of the men who wrote Casablanca—as the general manager.


What a joke! Well, at least we won’t have to worry about Boston for the next decade or so, I remember chortling.

The chortle was on us, of course. The sad reality was that, beginning on that January day in 2002, the Red Sox had smarter management than the Yankees for the first time in about 85 years.

Even after Epstein went off to work his magic at Wrigley, the Sox kept winning. Or rather, they kept on winning, tanking, and winning again.

This now makes four total, top-to-bottom renovations since 2004. All along the way, for almost 20 years now, they have outwitted us.

When the Yanks were picking up the likes of A-Rod and Giambi and…Raul Mondesi, they went Ortiz and Mueller and Millar, and Johnny Damon. While we grabbed Jose Contreras, “The Bronze Giant,” out from under their noses, they were busy developing Youkilis and Pedroia, and snatching up our own Mike Lowell.

 We went Randy Johnson? They went Curt Schilling. And Josh Beckett. They went Dice-K? We went…Kei Igawa.  When we went Giancarlo Stanton, they went J.D. Martinez.   

 When even terrific players and prospect didn’t pan out, the Red Sox didn’t hesitate. Off they went. Babe Benitendi, Jackie Rogers Bradley, Jr., Carl Crawford, David “The Churl” Price—it didn’t matter.

 They didn’t hitch them to some new, multi-year, gazillion-dollar contract. They shipped them out, for whatever they could get. Even a franchise player like Mookie Betts. He won a ring with the Dodgers? That’s nice. The Sox are already well on their way to their next ring, courtesy of Bogaerts and Devers and Verdugo.

 Sure, there have been some small disasters.

 Their 2003 managerial meltdown, and when the Yanks took the 2005 division title in Fenway, on the last weekend of the season. Boston Massacre II in 2006, and how after winning their first 8 games against us in 2009 they lost 9 of the next 10, and the division. The great collapse in 2011, the last-place finishes in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2020. Bobby Valentine.

 But secure in the strength of their farm system and their ability to assess talent at all levels, the Sox roll on, replacing managers and general managers as they leave or stumble.

 But they’ve cheated! I hear you protest. (I have very good hearing.) Yes, they have. The Big Papi Sox were juiced to the gills, and then there was the Dick Tracy two-way wrist radio scandal, and the trash can bangers.

 But so what? Cheating is allowed nowadays, as long as you’re not too blatant about it.

 The 21-century Sox understand that. In fact, they understand everything about the contemporary game of baseball very, very well. Analytics, contracts, payroll caps, young talent, old talent, foreign talent—you name it.

 Above all, they understand how to tear down and build up in the modern game, and how to play for the extended playoff system as well as the long season.

 Hey, you and I may not like much about this modern baseball. For all we know, the Sox don’t either. But they know how to play it. They have rebuilt four times in the past 17 seasons while HAL and George’s favorite office boy spent most of that time polishing his own reputation.

 Indeed, the further we’ve come from the great core built by the Blessed Trinity of Stick-Bob-Buck, the more one-sided the whole contest has become.  2002-2012:  Yanks with 6 division titles, 1 ring; Sox with 1 and 2; 2013-2020: Yanks with 1 division title, no rings; Sox with 4 and 2.

 And counting? We’ll see. Maybe they don’t have quite enough this year, but they’ll be back stronger than ever—while another certain franchise continues to both burn out and fade away. 



Ken of Brooklyn said...

Annnd it's already over in the first inning with absolute McBroom humiliation, URRGGGG!

Pocono Steve said...

It's funny listening to Kay and Cone circumlocute the simple brute fact that the team just sucks.

JM said...

Crap, I forgot they were on. Maybe I was better off.

JM said...

4 runs against Cole?

We are truly awful.

JM said...

Another shitty ump, on top of it.

JM said...

Duque must be so disgusted he hasn't even put up a game thread the past couple days. Can't blame him.

Pocono Steve said...

Fuck this. Cole should be hung out there to dry for 100 pitches, no matter the result. What good would it do to bring in, say, Officer Kriske, anyway?

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Thanks, guys I forgot the game was on also. I turned it on just in to listen to Sterling's call of Urshela striking out. Great.

Getting back to Hoss's post, I didn't know that Epstein's grandfather and grand-uncle were the screenwriters of Casablanca (perhaps the best screenplay ever written).

Now, I hate Theo Epstein a bit less, but not a lot less.

Retired Stratman said...

And just like Catfish Hunter, Cole goes from Cy Young to Cy O’Nara overnight without that sticky stuff. I agree with Pocono - hang him out to dry.

JM said...

Two crap throws by Torres today.

The replay guys must want the game to just end, based on that call against the Yanks.

Anonymous said...

I taped the game, then watched until after the first 4 Sox batted.
I went back to reading "Enemy at the Gates", the Battle for Stalingrad, a true life and death saga of all levels of humanity, heroes villains and true courage.- Not worrying if overpaid jocks "stuck" their way into contracts worth the GNP of Luxembourg.

Truly depressing;
Yankee Contract Commitments 2025 season
Cole- 36,000,00
Stanton -32,000,000
DJ- 15,000,000
Hicks- 9,875,700
Gardner- 1,500,000
[Just kidding on the last one}
Total = $92,875,000.

Saddled with those numbers , I may never see another Yankee WS win.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program

The Archangel

TheWinWarblist said...

Pathetic. I don't care what the Yankees owe. I care what the Yankees aren't spending. Which is billions. These Fuckers could assemble or could have assembled a dynasty if it was on their to-do list. But winning is never on their to-do list. They spend up to the luxury tax threshold only because they know they absolutely must. But not a penny more. That would cut into profits. Never mind that the value of the franchise was built on winning and excellence.

They could spend their way to a championship, in fact they should. But that would cut into profits. So they will not.


Rufus T. Firefly said...

Here's a more exciting match:

13bit said...

I'm with you, Archangel. Time to get back to my extensive library of Gulag literature, not quite Battle of Stalingrad, but it'll take me away as fast as Duque's Calgon Bath Oil...

Where's Doctor Olu when we need him?

Anonymous said...

@Hoss You're spot on, as usual. If Boston doesn't win this year, it'll be next year. And we'll still have Brett Gardner to kick around. Wow!

All this is happening because Cashman & Co. simply don't know how to do routine maintenance and tree pruning. Do we ever get rid of any dead wood around here? Sheesh. We might add a free agent or two, but we never say goodbye to aging players. And never make any trades to get younger.

Which brings up the next point, we never develop enough young players. Not enough starters, not enough relievers, not enough lefty bats, not enough of anything. Jordan Montgomery is beginning to show real signs of progress. That's what, the first starter we've developed since Andy Pettite? Not counting Luis Severino, who might have been a half season flash of lightning. I almost forgot, we had Ted Lilly. And we got rid of him after a year, so I'm not sure if he counts.

We have some young players in the minors right now who other teams would have brought up already (Hoy Jun Park, Estevan Florial). We're always too afraid to bring up guys until they're 28 years old. They need more experience, more seasoning, better seasons in AA or AAA. They come up when they're about ready to reach their expiration dates as athletes. What a freaking joke this franchise has become.

To top it all off, we can't even coach properly. On the network in game interview, Booney said the difference with Gary Sanchez is that his balance is better because his legs are more quiet now. Really? It took them three years to realize that his huge leg kick was the problem, three years to fix this mechanical issue?

I saw a slow motion side shot of Gleyber Torres swinging at a pitch yesterday. The FOX broadcast mentioned he likely has mechanical issues with his swing. He had his front foot still up in the air as he was swinging the bat. No wonder his power has disappeared. Both feet have to be down and the weight shift has to happen as the swing is taking place. Otherwise, he is not set to take a proper swing and he'll be late on the fastball. He has serious mechanical issues with his swing and his timing. This appears to have been going on since 2020. I guess they'll fix it sometime around late 2022 or 2023.

The Hammer of God

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thank you, Hammer. I know I am generally pessimistic about our New York Yankees—the juju gods prefer it!—but I did think this team would be a train wreck from Day One. It's not rocket science—just what all of us have been talking.

The demise of players such as The Gleyber and The Red Menace has been stunning. Even without the injuries that seem to afflict everyone, every year, they just imploded—and i think you put your Hammer on it: Where is the coaching? Where is the training?

I think you're right about not bringing up players fast enough, too.

We seemed to have suddenly developed a farm system, c. 2017-18. I thought Sevvy was for real—one of the best pitchers in the AL for a year-and-a-half—and what we didn't develop on our own we traded for. Judge, Sanchez, Torres, Andujar, Bird, Frazier: I still believe there was the core of a great team there.

Then Gary Denbo took off for Miami. More than coincidence? Maybe not—but for whatever reason, Cashman immediately reverted to form...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Winnie, you're right that they COULD spend their way to a championship.

OR, they could bring in people who understand the game and develop a dynasty from within.

And so far their decision has been...neither.

So the Yankees' grand strategy for putting a championship team on the field is....

Cue Final Jeopardy music. Forever.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yes, LBJ, Theo is descended from the Epstein twins, fabulous Hollywood screenwriters. Have you read how they came up with the great, climactic line in Casablanca?


They turned to each other at a stoplight and said, "Arrest the usual suspects."

A talented family. Father Leslie Epstein wrote a very good, very chilling novel, "King of the Jews" about the Lodz ghetto.

And then there's Theo. All he knows is baseball. Not a damned thing about how to kiss ass in a family of egomaniacs from Cleveland. He'd never last in the Bronx.

HoraceClarke66 said...

That's truly stunning, Archie. It shows how Coops has trashed our franchise for years to come. Awful.

And yes, Gardy will still be with the team.

Not a bad movie they made of "Enemy at the Gates." Too Hollywood, but they got across a lot of just how horrible Stalingrad was—especially good opening scene when the Soviet troops are sent into battle unarmed, and told to pick up weapons from the dead. If they don't, the commissars shoot them dead.

JM said...

Kriske proving he's Kriske.

JM said...

Good thing we had our ace pitching today.

BernBabyBern said...

The really awful thing is that the Red Sox aren't that good. We're just that bad.

And the guys in the booth need to stop talking like this team has talent to compare with the '27 Yankees, but they're just not producing. At some point, we are what we are. An overpaid, mediocre team.

JM said...

Like Sterling said, quoting a past GM of another team, they are not the sum of the parts.

They're just parts. And as Frank Perdue once said, parts is parts.

Celerino Sanchez said...

I didn’t realize that was still legal to hit Sac Flies and move base runners along. I thought teams either struck, hit into dps or occasionally hits HRs. Who knew, certainly not HOF Brian Cashman!

DickAllen said...

Horace, the actual quote is: “Major Strasser has been shot.”

Long sideways glance at Rick.

“Round up the usual suspects


Anonymous said...

I think I've said this before but I have held the Best Picture Oscar for Casablanca in my hands. It was a very cool moment.

Doug K.

ranger_lp said...

@Rufus...Windies vs SA...Chris Gayle had a terrible innings...only had 8 runs...he's had better that...but he's on the other of his career...

HoraceClarke66 said...

You're right, Dick Allen! How could I forget?

I love, though, that they apparently thought of it simultaneously. Twins!

And that's incredible, Doug. All I have is a cheap imitation of a Maltese falcon!

HoraceClarke66 said...

And Bern, you're very right. This Sox team couldn't hold the mercurochrome painted socks of the Big Papi Sox. Yet here they are bulldozing us as if we're the Orioles.

You're also right that this Yankees team just doesn't have it. BUT...the complete lack of heart and concentration in this series—as seen so often this season already—speaks as well to another problem.

These guys have got to stop just mailing it in. I love Ma Boone, but if he can't light a fire under this bunch, he needs to go.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, and Stratman: what sticky stuff did Catfish use?

It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the guy doctored the ball at times, but I think both his success and his demise were due to much more than that.

At his peak, Hunter won over 20 games 5 years in a row. He took a Cy Young, and finished in the top 4 for the award 3 other times.

His first season for us, in 1975, was spectacular. 23-14, 2.58, 7 shutouts, and a mind-blowing 30 CG. He had 7—count 'em 7!—complete-game losses in which he allowed 3 or fewer earned runs.

That is, with even moderate support he would have become only the second, 30-game winner since 1934.

He was never really the same pitcher after the second half of that 1975 season, as Billy Martin pitched his arm off despite the fact that the pennant was gone. Hunter threw a total of 328 innings that year.

Even so, he was good enough to go 17-15, 3.53, in 1976, and add a win in the ALCS—and to hold The Big Red Machine to 3 runs in 8 2/3 innings in the World Series.

Another big turning point was on Opening Day, 1977. I was in the stands—and Reggie was on the field. Hunter pitched 7 dominating, shutout innings—3 hits, 0 walks, 5 Ks—but was hit on the foot by a Sixto Lezcano line drive, breaking a toe. He blew out his arm soon after that—but came back to go 12-6 in 1978, and win the World Series clincher.

It was more than any sticky stuff. Catfish was a great pitcher who rose to the occasion in many big games (Unlike a certain individual we could name.).

Anonymous said...

HC66--why do you love Ma Boone? He's dumb and incompetent.

Anonymous said...

Hey stat baby, we're all allowed to have our opinions. You should know that better than anybody.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say he wasn't allowed to have his opinion. I asked why he loved him--in other words to explain his opinion. Clear enough, you psychopathic moron? You're really dumb--cognitive issues or chronic reading comprehension problem?

Anonymous said...

"Stat baby"--one of your pet idiot's glossary of abuse that indicates that you never grasped the meaning of Dylan's line: "Don't criticize what you can't understand."

Kevin said...

@Stratman: The quote "from Cy Young to Sayonara" refers to Sparky Lyle, Not to Catfish Hunter.

To those of us who were fans at the time it makes a difference. It was meant as a very sarcastic joke at the time.

Anonymous said...

The question regarding Boone is reasonable; I can't imagine why anyone not paying him would want him managing this team. If I'm missing some fantastic value he adds to this club I'd welcome the news.

Isiyku Abdulahi said...

I really want the world to know about this great man who brought back happiness into my life again after my husband left me and the kids 3 years ago for another women online when i contacted Dr Believe he cast a love spell for me within 48 hours my ex husband start calling me and begging for forgiveness for everything that have happened between us. I was so happy to have my family back together with love again here is the email of Dr Believe via a man with the great powers you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348156148821
God bless you
I am very grateful for your help in my marriage.

Araka john said...

CommentGet the cure to low sperm count, penis enlargement, weak erection and premature ejaculation problem from Dr Okoye, my wife left me because i was not able to perform on bed, and because of that we were childless, he sent his product (herbal medicine) to me which i used and it is a permanent cure to weak erection and premature ejaculation my new wife is two month pregnant now, so i give all thanks to Dr Okoye for making me a man again, i was cured with his herbal product. Dr Okoye contact or whatsapp him +2348109476757

Nitish Kumar said...

LOTTO, lottery,jackpot.
Hello all my viewers, I am very happy for sharing this great testimonies,The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how I win the lottery euro million mega jackpot. I am a Woman who believe that one day I will win the lottery. finally my dreams came through when I email and tell him I need the lottery numbers. I have spend so much money on ticket just to make sure I win. But I never know that winning was so easy until the day I meant the spell caster online which so many people has talked about that he is very great in casting lottery spell, . so I decide to give it a try.I contacted this great Dr Believe and he did a spell and he gave me the winning lottery numbers. But believe me when the draws were out I was among winners. I win 30,000 million Dollar. Dr Believe truly you are the best, all thanks to you forever