Your Thoughts Exactly: April 2005

Saturday, April 30, 2005


Fun With Sportswriters

Sele is clutch when it counts, proclaims the Seattle PI. Is it possible to be clutch when it doesn't count? "Sele is clutch with an 8 run lead in the 7th!" "Sele successfully works his way out of the tough, nobody on, two out, up by 5 situation! Clutch!" Or, to rewrite the current headline, "Sele performs well in a crucial situation, which is when it counts, when it counts."

Sunday, April 24, 2005



That’s what I am recommending for all the people who now hate the Red Sox, exemplified by David Schoenfield’s 86 Reasons to Hate the Red Sox column. As a devoted sports fan throughout the 1990s who never had any of his teams win, I am familiar with the position certain Mariners, Steelers, or Titans fans may find themselves in at this point. To tell you the truth, I can’t say I blame you…Red Sox overkill, whether in the form of fan documentaries, “Fever Pitch,” or book releases continues to spiral out of control. This was only reinforced by the two Red Sox-Yankees series to start the season as well as the fanfare surrounding raising our championship banner etc. (I don’t remember this being such a big deal for Florida in 2004…by the way the Marlins have won two World Series in the last 8 years…that’s what people should be hating on.) The exploitive tendencies of both Sox management (looking to milk as much revenue as possible) and certain Red Sox players (Johnny Damon with a Page 3 pictorial? A little much) does not help.

I guess when anything compelling happens, whether it’s in sports or any other realm, someone is going to try and figure out as many ways as possible to make money off it. Over the last two years, the Red Sox’ chase for the World Series has been deemed marketable to the national, “Red Sox Nation.” Now I don’t know how the Red Sox national phenomenon has occurred, whether people are embracing us as an alternative to the Yankees, or whether some combination of New England transplants and Boston university grads has combined to create a new fan base. Personally I think it’s the latter; and it kind of pisses me off as well. (I love how in a post about not hating I can’t do anything but hate.) For example, I met a kid in Australia who went to Brandeis…who informed me in the span of 30 seconds that:
1) He was in Landsdowne Street for Game Four of the World Series and it was one of the greatest experiences of his life
2) Because he was there and I had the fortune of watching the pinnacle sporting event of my life from the Marly Bar in Newtown Australia, he was more of a true fan than me.
3) He was originally from New York and actually a Mets fan first.

Now I have become more passive in my old age, due to either newfound maturity or smoking weed every day for four straight years (Disclaimer: please ignore this comment with regards to any Congressional campaigning,) so I restrained myself from breaking the kid’s jaw. Plus he did seem genuinely excited about the Sox, so I let him off with a simple “Not a chance,” and eye-roll after making a Jody Reed reference he didn’t pick up. This breed of Sox fan, as well as many Bostonians who started following the team in the last five years, will soon neglect their allegiance following our next down period. Frankly I won’t be sad to see them go, mostly so I can have a better chance of getting tickets.

But there will still be those more committed fans, like myself, and I’m going to let you in on a little secret, we are never going to stop gloating over 2004. There was a universal sentiment among Red Sox fans that, proceeding the 2004 postseason, our somewhat unfortunate history had been maliciously rubbed in our face by other sports fans and media outlets, with the primary transgressions coming from that small town four hours to our Southwest. The 2003 ALCS only magnified these feelings of frustration and hurt, as my cell phone found out when I threw it on the ground following the 8th inning that evening. It wasn’t just that our team was going to lose because of our idiotic manager, but that the Curse/Red Sox and their fans are such losers, stereotype that my brethren and I so resented was being fulfilled right before our very eyes. Thus, in 2004, when we went from 3-0 down to the Yanks (another brutal reinforcement of the stereotype,) to Champions…well you’ve seen it explained here and elsewhere. Regardless, after a few moments of “did that just happen? Yes it most certainly did” euphoria, us fans had a choice. Should we attempt to take the high road, by not rubbing our success in the face of Yankees fans, Cards fans, and other baseball fans who had not been fortunate enough to see their team win a World Series, remembering that not ten days earlier, we considered ourselves to be the captain of said ship? Or should we be insufferable asses, gloating as much as possible?

Score one for insufferable asses. If you can’t gloat over your sports team’s success, you are missing out on one of the best parts of sports fandom. I am personally stoked to move back to the US and make snide comments to anyone wearing a Yankees hat. I will annoy Mariners, Cubs, and White Sox fans by condescendingly reassuring them that “some day it will happen for them too,” and forcing them to watch the “Faith Rewarded,” DVD. Will that make them hate me as a sports fan? Maybe, but after all, it’s just sports. It’s not like I’m gloating over getting better grades than them, or getting paid more. And to those whose lives can’t go on due to Red Sox saturation, I offer this condolence: Ha Ha you sucker.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Dyson, Pathon coming to Seattle

The Seahawks continue their late off-season surge today, signing Andre Dyson and adding Jerome Pathon to the receiving corps. The acquisition of Dyson is huge, allowing newly signed corner Kelly Herndon to slide into the nickel-back slot and filling the shoes of the departed Ken Lucas. Dyson's deal is similar to what we gave Jamie Sharper - 5 years, 17.5 million - but with a bigger bonus (3 million, opposed to Sharper's 1.5). This is a fantastic move, as Dyson has become a very good corner at the ripe age of 24. Seattle now has two young, quality corners in Dyson and Trufant - a nice pair around which to shape a defense for the next years to come.

Pathon has never quite reached the level of a number 2 wideout in the NFL, but has developed into a solid option, averaging just over 40 receptions and 560 yards during his three year tenure in the Big Easy. Pathon and Joe Jurevicius fill out the back end of the receiving depth chart quite nicely.

This off-season is turning into a fun adventure. The 'Hawks are still a bit thin on defense, especially on the interior line and at linebacker (after releasing Chad Brown, which should happen any day), and old on the O'line, but they have made some quality moves. The Seahawks have definitely exceeded my expectations by bringing in both Sharper and Dyson. A good draft would solidify a great beginning to the Tim Ruskell era.


An apology to Hillary

So I just re-read my most recent post, and I realized that I am an idiot. Yes, it may be hard to swallow, but even we here at the shining tower of truth make mistakes.

So basically my last post revolved around two things: criticizing Hillary for conceding that abortion is wrong, and criticizing hypocrisy. Well I am guilty of both. Without even realizing it, I wrote that I'd be willing to ban second and third trimester abortions in favor of giving the green light to all first trimester ones. By doing that, of course, I was trying to find some common ground with the pro-lifers; compromising, if you will. It's not that I don't believe this anymore, it's that by saying this I am conceding that abortions are somehow wrong in the latter stages of pregnancy. (I actually hold the very unpopular view that second and third trimester abortions are perfectly ok. Remember, I believe there's no magic point at which it becomse human.) And by doing this I'm just giving up ground to the pro-lifers.

And yet, from their point of view, my compromise is not common ground at all. They would take that compromise and simply use it as a first step in banning all abortions. So it makes no sense to give up that ground if the other side only wants complete and unconditional surrender. It reminds me of the conflict in the Middle East.

So, there you have it. I apologize... but everything I said in that post still stands, if that makes any sense at all.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Joe Morgan Entertains

"Now that we're in the third full week of the season, it's time to take a quick look around the major leagues at some of the biggest stories so far this year and once again make a complete idiot of myself through a major media outlet, exemplifying yet again why I am often invoked in various attempts to define the words 'moron,' 'imbicile,' and 'ignoramus,' as well as the phrase 'gone the way of the Joe Morgan.'"

This is the first paragraph in Joe Morgan's latest over at ESPN. I may have taken a little creative license with it. And now to the rest of the column...

"Any time a team has a proven manager like Frank Robinson on the bench it has a chance to have a good season."

Wow, Joe sure isn't pulling his punches. First - I don't think Casey Stengel could squeeze a good season out of, say, the Royals this year, even with Joe Torre as his bench coach, Bobby Cox as first base coach, Earl Weaver as third base coach, and John McGraw as clubhouse manager. Further, since when is Frank Robinson a "proven" manager, unless proven simply means "managed a lot of games, even if he has lost a great deal of those." Robinson has managed in 14 seasons, compiling a 913-1004 record and 6 winning seasons.

"Veterans like Vinny Castilla and Cristian Guzman are the kinds of players who will thrive in the nation's capital."

Does this even mean anything? Crappy or passable-but-overrated players are perfectly suited to D.C. baseball? I guess that explains Jim Bowden's offseason moves.

Ok, I'm done making fun of Joe Morgan. I'm sure I'll want to in the future, so I won't dry up the well just yet. I did notice one interesting thing though. Finishing off his article, he mentioned the passing of Hall of Fame basketball coach Clarence Gaines, and said his thoughts go out to everyone who knew him. Usually, it is prayers that go out, or thoughts and prayers. "Thoughts" alone struck me as something rarely seen. Joe Morgan, the atheist? There may be hope for him yet.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others

I'm going to attempt to write a post involving abortion without delving into all the age-old issues of traditional abortion debates. But I make no promises. Actually, what I specifically want to talk about is the issue that Hillary Clinton brought up; that the goal should be zero abortions, that everyone who has a baby wants that baby; and that people don't get pregnant otherwise. This isn't a new position; in most abortion discussions, pro-choice people try to find common ground with pro-lifers by at least conceding this point.

But I do have an issue with it. By saying that abortions are something to be avoided, you give credence to the pro-life argument that there is something wrong about abortions. Now, there are many people who are pro-choice who actually DO believe that abortions are semi-wrong, but that it is simply worse to bring in an unwanted pregnancy. They believe that the choice itself is important because of the right, but that abortion itself isn't without moral complications.

The problem with this is that there will always be unwanted pregnancies; even with the best birth control methods there is a .4% chance of pregnancy. To say that you want these to be avoided may be admirable, but it isn't practical and therefore almost impossible. So to speak of a world of no abortions isn't saying that there won't be unwanted pregnancies, it's saying that it's a world where abortions are considered wrong and are banned.

As for moral issues, I won't concede that abortions are wrong in any way, especially not first trimester and RU-486 induced abortions. In these cases the fetus is nothing more than a bunch of cells, sometimes undifferentiated. I don't believe that anything magical happens at conception to make it human; in fact I don't believe anything magical ever happens to make it human except perhaps viability outside the womb (which is a tough benchmark, I admit. But I'd be willing to allow any first trimester abortions in exchange for banning second term abortions, which is pretty gray area.)

Anyway, the real moral issue here is that pro-lifers believe that they are preserving, well, life. I believe that is hypocritical to rail against abortions and unplugging feeding tubes and not rail against the death penalty and genocides around the world. In fact, I believe that it is so hypocritical that it exposes (most, not all) pro-lifers as not really trying to preserve life at all, but rather simply following popular religious opinion.

And as for the few people who are actually concerned about preserving human life in all situations; isn't it better to preserve human life that has actually lived, that is actually sentient? Aren't murder and capital punishment higher priorities in the right-to-life fight?

Of course, if you're still reading and thinking "yes, but all murder is murder; we shouldn't ignore this kind of murder just because other kinds exist", then we have no common ground. I refer you back to the fourth paragraph. And here's your miniature american flag.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Running for Congress: Secularism For Life

Since some people vote for their representatives based on their “moral,” background as opposed to their effectiveness as legislators or policymakers, I figured now was a good time to discuss my views on the place of religion in government. I believe that most people would prefer that those responsible for enacting laws which affect their lives are moral as opposed to amoral. Adhering to principles gives us comfort as part of a populace since we can thus gauge how our rulers are going to act. If a legislator, or President, can portray himself as a follower of a Christian God, that gives us the added support of thinking that such a person answers to the same higher power we do, and makes judgments of policy based with this morality and fear of eternal retribution in the back of his or her mind when he commits that executive order or asks for that filibuster.

Over time, there has been an increasing personalization in religious beliefs, whether to make religion more accessible or to reflect the general intellectual emphasis on individual freedom and equality as a self-evident truth. You’ll notice I use language from the Declaration of Independence, and for good reason, it is this principle on which the United States’ philosophy of governance is founded. Increased personalization, however, as well as fragmentation of religious ideals within the Christian community only emphasize the lack of moral consensus within the realm of religion.
This only reinforces the necessity of preventative measures to separate the realms of governance and religion. For, as legislators, we hold a unique position in society, we can force things on people, be it rules, civic duties, or ideologies. We must not abuse our power by doing such things. Moreover, the American judiciary, which has taken a beating from uninformed idiots in Congress, is in place to prevent the Congress and Executive branch from committing such impositions. Didn’t these people take Civics class? Or are they so obsessed with maintaining popularity through achieving desirable outcomes in matters of national media hysteria that they are willing to destroy our system of government?
After all, moral debate in this country now comes down to a few framed issues. Are you Pro-Life or Pro-Choice? Do you support the teaching of Creationism in our classrooms? Should the Ten Commandments be placed on state buildings? The real question however, is which moral codes can effectively be used in governing the United States? How can one be assured that those running the country are good people without forcing their moral standards on all of society?
I generally believe in the ability of people to come to their own moral conclusions about choices they make and the world around them. I believe through allowing as much information and exchange as possible, everyone can at least feel free to live their own lives as they want them. I also believe that the state cannot endorse, even implicitly, any religious or moral dogma over another, and that the United States has a history of adhering to this principle. If you want me to explain my position on any moral issue, I’d be more than happy to.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Sharper coming to Seattle!

Perfectly filling the slow news day of a Mariners' (incredibly odd) off-day, the Seahawks have wrapped up linebacker Jamie Sharper for 5 years, 17.5 million. He has been fantastic in Houston and can play either middle or outside for us. Though he'll be 34 entering the final year of the contract, it is well worth extending it 5 years if thats what it took to get him. Who knows, he may still be productive in 5 years. Or we Anthony Simmons him.

I guess the Seahawks got in the game

Friday, April 08, 2005


The OC? More like the NO-C!

Oh crap, did I just make a Capital One joke? It's too late, there's no going back at this point. Ok, I lied, I like it. So, dear readers, I come to you bearing bad news. The O.C. has lost me. I wouldn't say it's over between me and the show, but we're on the rocks and I think it might be time for a little break.

The OC's problem this year is that they started the season off with a big bang, added a slew of new characters, new plots, and took the show in a dozen different directions. At some point, directors, producers, actors, or perhaps the public finally informed them that they had to go somewhere with the show. They must have figured "Well, season 1 was a bigger hit, so let's move back to season 1 storylines. Let's kill off all the characters we had built up and focus on the good old Marissa and Ryan storyline. That will be great." Unfortunately, now, that's the only storyline. Seth and Summer are back together, Sandy and Kirsten are on pretty good terms, Jimmy is gone, Julie and Caleb are nonexistent. The next paragraph's a spoiler, although not much of one because the episode sucked, so don't read if you want to waste a good 40 minutes of your life.

So they brought in Ryan's brother. He's good for a laugh, and maybe a couple episodes worth of drama, right? Here's the problem: What difference does it make to us if he lives or dies? If he gets hauled right back to jail, we don't care, because he's a terrible character that brings nothing to Ryan's character (already a terrible character to begin with). If he stays, does great, never pisses of Ryan and never gets in trouble, we're actually unhappy because it means he might come back again. And just when they had started to get really good at killing off characters, they have it all work out for him.

Anyway, seeing as there are 3 episodes left in the season and they've basically wrapped everything up into a neat little package for about 3 straight episodes, they're obviously preparing to arc up a new storyline just so that they can leave it hanging at the end of this season as well. I foresee a pregnancy. Or death. Maybe both, in the same episode. Or I can just stop watching now, but of course I won't.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Mariners Madritsch Madness

This is probably a good idea: Madritsch injury could push Pineiro. Brilliant. One pitcher leaves with an injury, so the M's should probably rush another injured pitcher back early - a pitcher on whom the fate of the season heavily rests. You gotta love these guys!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Another crappy, crappy, crappy end to another sports season.

The Illini had a good season. There, I said it. A very good season. But when you win 37 games, you're supposed to win the whole damn thing, not fall short to a team that lost 4 times as many games as you. And now no one will remember the Illini, which is sad, because they were a good team. A good team that played badly in its final game and was beaten by a team that played not-quite as badly.

I might still be in denial- I turned off the radio whenever I heard people talking about it, I didn't read articles about it on the Web, and I refuse to acknowledge that crappy-ass UNC won the championship. What irritates me almost as much as the fact that the Illini lost is that there were so many people picking the ass-hats from Chapel Hill to win, and now they all can say 'I told you so." Dick Vitale, I understand. But basically every "expert" picked the ugly-faces to win. And this was the number 1 team in the nation they were picking against. If they were playing Duke or Kentucky, people would be split probably 50/50. What is wrong with you people? How can you be a college basketball fan and pick UNC or Duke to win every year? I guess people pick the Yankees to win every year. And those people should be shot. In the genitals.

At least the Bulls are charging hard towards the number 2 spot in the Eastern playoffs. I predict we come up a game short and end up with the #4. But dammit, we're going to win the whole thing anyway.

As for a White Sox non-statistical preview, here it is: Pitching: slightly above mediocre, Batting: mediocre, Bench:below average, Defense:above average, Managing (both general and on the field): terrible. I predict 160-2.

There you go.

Edit: P.S. Sean May likes gerbils. A lot.

Monday, April 04, 2005


The Non-Statistical Mariners Preview

After Marmar's statless Red Sox preview below, it is only natural to follow his lead and discuss the gloriously underway Mariners season. I may have a somewhat higher appreciation for sabremetrics (and Mark Bellhorn) than Marmar, but since there are already enough M's blogs that know much more about it than I, I'll stick to the intuitive style of my fellow blogger.


Jamie Moyer - Craft knows no bounds. Especially when you are a lefty who throws anywhere from 55-82 mph. (No, that's not a stat). Moyer has possibly had the oddest career of any major leaguer. Failed as a starter, failed out of the pen, told to quit by his father-in-law, and traded for Darren Bragg, who I saw play for the Columbus Clippers last year. Finally in his mid-30s the American League forgot how to hit little league pitching and Moyer became arguably a top-flight starter for nearly a decade. Last year Tee-Ball lived up to his nickname from his Boston days (or at least Marmar's nickname for him from his Boston days) - I think he'll rebound almost completely this year. Lord knows we need him to.

Joel Pineiro - Will he ever put it all together? He really could be quite good, but that shoulder and elbow worry me. And how in the world does the pronunciation pin-YARE-oh come from that spelling? If healthy, I can see him using the shiny new defense and establishing himself as a year away from being a legitimate #1 starter. Of course, by then King Felix could be the ace of the staff.

Gil Meche - Will he ever put it all together? He really could be quite good, but that........yeah, pretty much the same as Pineiro. Perhaps a bit better stuff, but after the abuse Melvin put him through during the last two seasons, I just have no hope for him to have a healthy career. Shame on you Bob.

Bobby Madritsch - Maybe I should get the same medicine wheel tattoo on my neck - my knee has been bothering me lately, and my wrist acts up from time to time. Bobby could have the best year of the staff. However, I think all the praise is a bit much, and see him having a slightly worse season than Moyer and whichever of Pineiro and Meche stay healthy. My favorite pitcher in the rotation, I hope he surprises me.

Aaron Sele - Marmar, I see your John Halama, and I raise, I'm all in.


Desperately need Guardado to remain healthy. After that, it doesn't look so pretty. Villone and Thornton can't throw strikes, Hasegawa still owes the devil for 2001, and Putz has the benefit of a few saves next to name - like gold plating on a twig. Franklin could be alright - he was good enough out of the pen a few years ago before moving to the rotation. Hopefully his misguided belief that he shouldn't have had to compete for his spot in the rotation doesn't affect him. On the bright side, I think Mateo will finally blossom as a quality setup man. There are a couple good arms in the minors who hopefully will get the call this season, the sooner the better.

I refuse to acknowledge that J ff Nels n is in the pen.


Miguel Olivo - I like this kid. Good pop in his bat, cannon attached to his right shoulder, and impressive drive to improve, shown by his offseason workouts to cut down on those passed balls. He was off to a good season before we traded for him, but once here he became a poor man's Dave Valle. I think he'll figure it out this year and become a top 5 AL catcher for the next 5+ seasons.

Richie Sexson - Big Sex. Got off to a great start with 2 home runs today. This guy has a history of injury, a big smile, and a DUI - bet we don't send him to Detroit for 2 scrubs. I like Richie Sexson. Its fun to watch players mash the baseball. I think the signing was stupid, considering his arm fell off on a check swing last year, but I'm hoping we get to watch him mash for all four years of the contract. Maybe we'll finally see that 550 foot bomb onto Royal Brougham we have all been waiting for.

Brett Boone - Like Moyer, I'm expecting a rebound - but not to the 2001/2003 levels. Thankfully, we don't need him to do that this year. Any guesses as to how many sizes his jersey dropped this offseason?

Pokey Reese - Good thing we don't plan on winning anything this year, because this would likely spoil our plans. I am excited to watch him in the field in between stints on the DL, but you just can't send out a National League batting order unless you are actually in the National League.

Adrian Beltre! - Good god how did we sign him? Really, what in the world happened so we could sign Adrian Beltre? I see him in a Mariners Jersey, and I just don't feel like I'm actually watching the Mariners. After a horrible offseason last year, and seeing Seattle avoid star players (except Ichiro) like they are going to steal all the coffee in the city before knocking down some trees, putting recycleables in the regular garbage, and high-tailing it out of town in an SUV, I am simply in awe of this signing. I expect a big year here - maybe a slight decline from last year, but don't forget that the Dodgers play in a pitcher's park too.

Randy Winn - Ho-hum. He's ok. I have never seen someone at the plate look like they care less about getting a hit than Winn. He's had a few solid seasons for us, and should do the same this year. His biggest contribution could come via a mid-season trade.

Jeremy Reed - Fine young ballplayer, that Jeremy Reed. It is so fun to have a team with exciting players again. Olivo, Reed, Beltre, and Sexson really add a lot of anticipation and enjoyment. Reed will walk with the ROY.

Ichiro - you heard it here thirty-ninth: Ichiro will hit .400 this year. Well, maybe that's a bad number to choose, because its just a standard cut-off that fits with predicting records and such; he'll hit .430.

Raul Ibanez - I almost forgot about him.


TO: Baseball Franchise Owners and General Managers
FROM: The Seattle Mariners
RE: Missing minor league team

If you own or run a baseball franchise, and you or somewone you know misplaced a minor league affiliate, we may have found it. Just call and describe your team to us (hint: must have an expected record of no higher than .500 to qualify), and if it fits this bunch, we'll gladly return them to you for a finders fee of no more or less than a firm handshake.


Bucky Jacobson comes off the DL in early June and should provide "hitting" off the "bench." That's right, Mariners, you can keep players on a so-called "bench," players who don't start and can be used from time to time to swing a bat and have it make contact with the baseball, and have it then go out into the field and find a nice quiet place to land, or, better yet, have it go completely over the field. This is what the "bench" is for. I'm sure you've heard that term from time to time, at winter meetings or elsewhere. Don't worry - a lot of people are afraid to ask when they don't know something.

Felix Hernandez, King Felix, The Future. Could get called up mid season, especially with the lack of skill/health on our staff. (See Sele/Franklin and Pineiro/Meche respectively). Though he may not dominate right away, I wouldn't miss a start. God bless MLBtv.

There you have it - your 2005 Seattle Mariners. I predict an 83-79 season, out of it by September but not mathematically eliminated until the last 10 games or so. I hope for everything to go right, 88 wins, an AL West that beats up on itself a bit, and that Oakland's young arms are not quite ready and the Angels rotation is actually as bad as I expect it to be, letting us slide into the playoffs.


The Non-Statistical Red Sox preview:

Baseball is a game of numbers, let’s face it. The whole reason most of us got into baseball as children is that we liked comparing the numbers to each other. As an aesthetic game, baseball cannot even begin to compare to basketball or football, for many reasons. First there is nothing going on the majority of the time. Second, the game, especially on television, is reduced to a battle between batter and pitcher (I almost said batsman and bowler, good gravy).

Most of the publicity generated by baseball has to do with individuals or teams chasing after historic streaks, or trying to discern whether recent accomplishments were accomplished with steroids, or whether Player A is having a better year than Player B. We focus on offense and pitching over defense because they are more readily quantifiable. We compare players across eras. We have fantasy teams based on statistical aggregation. There is an entire web genre dedicated to analyzing statistics, creating more accurate and complex statistics, and arguing over whose statistical methods are superior. Baseball truly is the game of the geek.

Thus, for this preview, which only concerns the Red Sox, since they are the only team I really care about (that and the fortunes of ex-Red Sox) I am trying something unorthodox. I will not quote one statistic. Because, in reality, statistics can’t accurately predict the future. You can take PETCOA and shove it up your ass.

For example, let’s say your team was down three games to zero in a playoff series. You were one run behind with one inning left to play in the fourth game. What would statistics tell you about your odds of winning that series?

Thus, all predictions for the season will be based simply on my own instincts.

Starting Pitching:

Curt Schilling: I realize I’m the only person from Boston who doesn’t like Curt Schilling, but I feel that I should strongly reiterate this point. I don’t like Curt Schilling. He talks too much. He is a big George W Bush supporter. And most importantly, he stole Pedro’s thunder. Schilling’s popularity shouldn’t surprise many: he is the first Caucasian superstar the Red Sox have had since Clemens. It was really hard for Bostonians to root for minority superstars over the decades. I predict an injury plagued year for Schilling, rife with excuses from his legions of online minions (you know who you are,) about how unlucky he’s been.

Bronson Arroyo: If he wears the cornrows for most of the season, he should intimidate enough of the opposition to lead the team in wins.

Matt Clement: Throws hard, but did get bumped from the rotation for Glendon Rusch. Meaning he sucks. Or Dusty Baker doesn’t know what he’s doing, because I may know nothing about Clement, but I can tell you this: Glendon Rusch is terrible. Clement, is supposedly the young gun who is going to turn into Nolan Ryan thanks to the leadership of Schilling and Varitek. Of course, he is thirty years old, an established major leaguer, and last year benefited from the counsel of a superior pitching legend (Greg Maddux) and a catcher the Red Sox tried to sign in the offseason. (Damien Miller.) I think Clement is what he is.

David Wells: I hate David Wells with the passion of five to six hundred burning suns. He does not incur the wrath of a Jeter, Clemens, or a Fader-Rattner. However, I loathe him enough to openly root against him even though he is wearing the Sox uniform. A terrible signing, by the way.

Tim Wakefield: The last connection to the glory days of my time as a Red Sox fan, when I could walk down the day before the game to Fenway and buy a Grandstand seat for 14 bucks. Ah the good old days. I can’t believe I’m old enough to have good old days.


This year, our management has determined to find out whether bullpen pitchers really can throw forever. Embree and Timlin are approaching 40, and we picked up John Halama for some reason. Dave can you shed any light on that? Then we have the rehab crew of Mantei and Miller, both coming off major arm problems. This of course pisses me off, because while we refused to sign Pedro because we assumed he was going to blow his shoulder out, we had no problem throwing money at other pitchers who are damaged goods. I know, I know, the amount of money we are committing to these players isn’t in the same ballpark. The thing is, we all know the Red Sox do not need to be concerned about money. And if these pitchers, both of whom are much higher risk than Pedro, blow out their arms, our team will suffer in the win column. And I will be sad.
We also have Keith Foulke, one of the best relievers in the game, who will close the end of many a Red Sox victory. And I will be happy.

Starting Lineup

Jason Varitek: When the Red Sox management made their decision to resign Varitek and let Martinez and Lowe go, Peter Gammons commented that the rowdy, carefree spirit that embodied the Red Sox clubhouse in 2003 and 2004, was not the long term image the team wanted to portray for the future, and that signing Varitek made him the face of the franchise. Well excuse me, but those rowdy carefree players, they won the freaking World Series for us! Who cares if they don’t shave their beards or drink whiskey before the games. They broke the curse! More importantly, I don’t want the Red Sox 21st century Gashouse Gang to turn into a boring, professional juggernaut. New England already has one of those. I need some variety in my champions. Anyways, when we are paying Varitek 10 mil to play 40 games off the DL in the last year of his deal as Pedro is wrapping up his fourth straight Cy Young, I’ll just have to say I told you so. Of course by then, we will have traded for Pedro again. So once again, I will be happy.

Kevin Millar: Another member of the All-Interview team, as in sometimes it seems all he ever does is interviews and never does anything on offense. I waver between appreciating Millar as a buffer for media attention and finding him overbearing. Ehhh, what the hey, I’ll let him stay around.

Mark Bellhorn: Destined to strike out, walk a ton, hit a little, be cited by statheads as the best second baseman in the league, and have me wishing for the days of Jody Reed. The fact that Bellhorn’s approach to the game of baseball could yield results implying he is the premier offensive force at his position indicates a flaw in the game of baseball itself. He is a negative player, content to rely on the inadequacies of the opposition rather than his own skills. I hate him for it.

Edgar Renteria: Edgar. Silly Edgar Renteria. Silly Edgar Renteria. What a guy he was. Derek Jeter. I didn’t mean to hurt you. But you are nothing compared to Edgar. Silly Edgar Renteria. Silly Edgar…Renteria.

Bill Mueller: Mueller has to be thinking to himself, “why does Dave Roberts get to be a Bostonian folk hero when I’m the one who actually got the hit off Rivera.” Good question. Mueller also hit the game-winning home run off Mariano in the Varitek/A-Guez brawl game. For these key contributions to our championship team, I will be rooting for him to be replaced by Kevin Youkilis come June.

Manny Ramirez: With Pedro gone, Manny becomes my favorite player on the team, which means he has one year tops before he gets traded. Unfortunately, I forsee Manny missing at least thirty games with a bonehead injury: crashing into Wally during fielding practice.

Johnny Damon: You think his hair is crazy? You should see mine. I am absolutely disgusted by the amount of hair on my head. Yet I cannot cut it. It has taken on a mind of its own. I look like the cavemen from the Wacky Races. Dave bring clippers when you come to Australia.

Trot Nixon: This is the year, when Trot finally fulfills the predictions of myself and several of Acton Massachusetts’ finest. That’s right, Trot Nixon will make the All-Star team. I would also like to mention, that I also predicted, and was mocked, for stating at the time that Jason Varitek would make the All-Star team, which he did in 2004. So ha.

David Ortiz: A worthy successor to Mo Vaughn. I can think of no higher praise.

Bench: I expect nothing but top quality high-fives, spitting of sunflower seeds, and hitting on teenage girls during the middle innings for our reserves.

Final Verdict: I am sticking with my prediction: 92-70 with a wildcard birth, followed by a repeat World Series victory. Bronson Arroyo for World Series MVP

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