Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Deep Breaths

Prior to last night's win against the Reds, the Red Sox were 10-12 in their last 22 games, all against teams with records above .500. 10-12 ain't great -- especially when you consider the pitching staff was pretty awful, but it's also not the end of the world. While not quite ready to call this season a lost cause, several people (see here, and ahem, here) have suggested making some trades in order to shore up the pitching staff just in case the Sox get back in this thing. (by the way, isn't Boston just three games out of first? Just asking.)

Evan of FBAL suggests putting Embree on the DL -- and I don't disagree with this move -- but at this point I'm not even sure the DL would take him without throwing in a player to be named later. But he also goes on to say that Bellhorn should be benched, start Youkilis at 3rd and move Mueller to second because, "...Bellhorn is just too tiresome striking out and while is very solid defensively, you get to a point where you don’t care about defense." Uh, I care about defense. To the point that (and I've said this about a million times now) I don't care if Bellhorn never gets another hit as long as he plays solid defense. I think Millar is exhibit A when talking about why defense is more important than offense, and I'm guessing most pitchers who've seen Millar boot a routine ground ball would agree. Not only that but Mueller can't play 2nd base every day because his body can't take it. I mentioned yesterday that I'd like to see Youkilis play everyday, but as it stands, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

(Eric Wilbur has an idea which I vehemently oppose: trading Mueller and getting Youkilis on the field. I'm not sure if he's confusing Mueller for Millar, but Mueller's actually playing well. I'm not sure if he's the guy you want to get rid of when the season's 60+ games old and the Sox are right in the middle of things.)

Evan also proposes trading Manny to the Mets for Mike Cameron and a minor league pitcher (Jae Weong Seo). I should've quit reading here. Can you imagine a lineup with Cameron and Bellhorn? These two guys would dominate the 'most strikeouts in a season' category for the foreseeable future. Not only that, but Cameron has driven in 76 RBI in each of his last two full seasons while batting about .240. Currently he's batting .320 (OBP: .426) with 6 HR and 13 RBI. Manny? He's only had 230 RBI the last two seasons, and currently has 13 HR and 49 RBI, even though the's only hitting .254 (OBP: .341)

Um, yeah, this is a pretty bad idea. And this is why people need to take a deep breath. First off, it's the Red Sox pitching that stinks. Manny is struggling, but he still has almost 50 RBI and he seems to be coming out of his funk. Not only that, but he's still one of the best hitters in baseball, slump or not. Sheesh.

I mentioned last week that I had no idea what 'Dirty Water' meant in Eric Wilbur’s column and since then, I've got a bunch of comments giving me the details. Yesterday, Rod Hoffman sent a link from a recent Boston Globe article with even more information about 'Dirty Water's' history.

Last Friday I mentioned that my buddy Des was attending the Tyson-McBride fight (I know what's-his-name's name now, huh?). Well, he made it out alive, and here's his response to my email asking about the fight:

ME: anything good happen at the tyson fight (other than the tyson fight)? did you wear alligator shoes and a $3,000 suit? did you shoot anybody, or kick anybody, or otherwise dole out punishment to an unsuspecting fight patron?

DES: Our tickets were $250. Lets just say that anybody who paid $250 for that crap should have been shot. Anyway, we were only there for about an hour. We got there at 9:45, about 15 minutes before Leila Ali fought. She was done at 10:15. I didn't think they would start the Tyson fight right away but they did, at about 10:33. It was over by 5 of 11. Somehow we were sitting with the only Irish people in the building, about 500 strong, all McBride supporters. For six rounds they were singing, dancing, chanting Ole, and screaming 'Give to him, Kevin', 'Yes, Kevin', and 'That a boy, Kevin.' It was a mix between a fight and a gay porn flick. Anyway, the place was about 95% African American, and they were all dressed to a T. The notables in the audience were Steve Francis, Juan Dixon, Dikembe Mutombo, and Muhammed Ali. I walked by Doctor J and said 'Yeah Doctor' and he didn't even acknowledge my presence. I wore jeans, a golf shirt, and flip flops. I was in bed by 11:30.

One of the weird things about going to a fight is you never really know what is going on. We had no idea why the fight was stopped. It was until I got home that I found out that Tyson quit. All in all, I was glad I went. It was good to see a fight and the atmosphere was great, especially when Tyson landed his two punches. What a bum.

I find it really hard to believe that Dr. J had no idea who Des was.

I have yet to discuss the Steelers this week, but I just can't pass up this offseason update I stumbled across concerning the Ravens' Kyle Boller:

Boller has made significant progress, but still needs to throw a better ball. Most of his passes still wobble, and he throws a tight spiral on only about every one of six. He'll need more velocity during the regular season because the Ravens like to run a lot of slants and quick outs.
Um, yeah. If you're not throwing spirals by the time you get to college, I don't think there's any amount of coaching that can fix that. Maybe somebody should ask the Ravens front office why they decided to draft this guy without looking at any film of him actually, you know, throwing the ball. I mentioned this last year, but Boller had pretty mediocre statistics in college so the fact that he's having trouble ... again ... shouldn't really come as a shock to anyone who's seem him play (in college or in Baltimore). On the upside, I always enjoy listening to all the ESPN bobbleheads tell me season after painful season that this will be Boller's breakout year. I prefer to think of it as the beginning of the end of a great career for Derrick Mason, and the end-of-a-career-that-will-never-get-the-chance-to-flourish-with-Boller-at-QB for Mark Clayton. I could be wrong, but Boller hasn't disappointed me yet.