A Little of This and Some of That
By Chris Cue
March 18, 2009
Did everyone enjoy their St. Patty’s Day? Man I’m tellin ya, between the baseball that was played and the Guinness I drank, yesterday was up there as one of my favorite days so far this year. The Red Sox won beating the Twins 9-5 (btw, I didn’t mind the uniforms…actually I thought they looked pretty good, but the hat?? Yuck! sorry Julia) and the USA won last night with a walk off hit by David Wright to beat team Puerto Rico 6-5….what a game! A link to the story on that game and video of the walk off hit from MLB.com is HERE. Great day! St. Patrick was smiling on us.
On to what’s in store for us today. Since Japan lost last night yeah! (You’re almost home Dice-K 🙂 Japan faces elimination tonight vs Cuba….. Japan beat Cuba 6-0 the last time they met.
While we’re on the subject of the Oh-So-Lovable WBC, The US plays Venezuela tonight @ 7pm. That game will be on MLBN. Both teams are heading to the Semi-finals. Tonight’s game is to determine the round 2, pool 2 winner.
Also on the tube today:
1:05 PM Baltimore Orioles @ St. Louis Cardinals / MASN & MLB.TV
1:10 PM Atlanta Braves @ New York Mets / SNY, MLBN & MLB.TV
7:05 PM Florida Marlins @ Washington Nationals (LOL, Never mind.. watch the WBC instead)
9:05 PM Seattle Mariners @ Kansas City Royals / FSKS & MLB.TV
Yankees – Astros @ 1:05 is not on TV….sorry Yankees fans, I don’t think it’s even being broadcast on the radio.
The Red Sox have an off day today. I think John Smoltz is playing Larry Lucchino 18 holes of Golf this morning. If Smoltzy wins, he’ll take Lucchino’s place for a day and be allowed to get under Theo’s skin w/o fear of being released…..(I could be wrong on that). If Lucchino wins,… well…..ha, ha, ha! forget about it. That will never happen. Mostly because I made that up .
That’s all for now….. I gotta get back to getting paint all over the place.
Have a great Day!
A Little of This and That
By Chris Cue
March 10, 2009
Just a few rambling thoughts this morning…
- A-Rod had surgery on his hip yesterday. Does anyone else think they missed the real problem by the distance of a torso and a neck?
- NESN isn’t televising another Red Sox Spring training game until March 17th. Just in time for us to watch the guys play in those funky green uniforms. Yee Haw! Even I think they look horrible….and I’m Irish.
- The WBC is being televised. Sure it’s baseball, but a “Mercy Rule”? Really? It’s kind of hard to take that seriously don’t ya think?
- With all the news of aches and pains coming out of the Red Sox and Yankees camps, would it surprise you to see Hawkeye, Trapper, Col. Henry Blake and Klinger show up to save the day?
- The Red Sox beat the Pirates yesterday with only 2 regulars playing in the game. Jon Lester and Jed Lowrie. It’s on the fence regarding if that’s impressive or not…..afterall, it was the Pirates…
- Joe Girardi seems to be loosening up on the Yankees this year. He took them to play pool with one another instead of practicing for a day. Who knows, maybe he’ll allow candy and ice cream in the clubhouse this season too.
- Anyone else been impressed with Jeff Bailey this Spring? Brad Wilkerson may be getting a run for his money for that final bench spot.
- Here’s a little piece of trivia for the younger generation…..Did you know that Team Canada’s coach was a former Red Sox guy? It’s true. Ernie Whitt was a catching prospect for the Sox and back in 1976 he played in 8 big league games backing up Carlton Fisk at the catchers spot. He hit his first homerun in a Sox uniform, then he was later sent off to Toronto in the expansion draft. Today, he’s considered one of the best catchers the Blue Jays ever had.
- I’m guessing the Terry Francona bashers are now happy to see him wearing eye glasses in the dug out. Make of that what you will…
- Finally, Jerry Remy has been noticably missed during the Spring Training broadcasts. Hopfully he’s on the mend from that bug he caught. Best wishes and a speedy return Rem-Dog~
The World Baseball Classic
By Chris Cue
February 2, 2009
The World Baseball Classic (WBC) officially gets underway on March 5, when China takes on Japan in the Tokyo Dome. The final event will take place on March 23rd in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. (A complete schedule is available HERE courtesy of worldbaseballclassic.com.) That time frame doesn’t sound like too much of a commitment does it? After all, it’s only an 18 day tournament right?
Well, not exactly. What gets left out of that equation is the fact that all the players who normally would be training with their own teams, will now be training with their respective countries teams instead. The starting dates for those practices vary by team, with the U.S. team scheduled to start their training March 2 in Clearwater, Fl., at the Spring Training home of the Phillies.
Not all of the teams involved in the classic operate the same way and the concerns that arise are with the differences in preparation styles each team may have. Japan for instance, normally trains their pitchers with long Bullpen sessions. That’s not typically done in the U.S. and will (if followed) possibly affect one Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Red Sox are sending 2 staff members along with Daisuke to Japan and they have been instructed to suggest what type of training program is best for him. They cannot however, dictate their policy to the Japan teams coaching staff. They can only let their desires be known and hope the Japan team co-operates. Risky business for an investment such as what the Red Sox have in Matsuzaka. Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald compares this situation to a museum lending one of it’s masterpiece portraits to another museum for a period of 2 months. That’s not too far off the mark. If pressed, the Red Sox organization would have to admit that they are not too pleased with the idea of one of their top 3 pitchers training with and playing for another team. This is training and increased playing time which could ultimately harm his durability and performance in the upcoming Major League season.
Position players participating in the WBC event are not that much of a concern to most organizations. Their training and conditioning won’t be that much different then what they would normally be doing here in the US with their professional teams. The chance for injury with position players is much smaller as well, so the risks are not as great. When it comes to the Pitchers involvement, red flags should begin to go up. Pitchers are notoriously creatures of habit. They have set schedules, set training exercises and gradual increases to their pitch counts to prepare them for opening day. Pitchers involved in the WBC are going to need to be brought along much faster then they normally would. They have to be ready to take the mound and throw a possible 70 pitches in their first game. Silverman notes that the Red Sox goal for game 5 of Spring Training is 75 pitches maximum. The WBC pitchers will have increases to their workloads after each round of competition. 70 pitches for round 1, 85 for round 2 and up to 100 pitches per game for the semi-finals and final round.
Let’s forget about the fact that the pitchers involved in the WBC won’t be getting ready with thier professional clubs catchers. Let’s ignore the fact that their typical preparation schedule may be altered. Furthermore, let’s not factor in what the extra workload could do to these pitchers durability in August and September. Let’s only consider one thing. The Red Sox have an investment of $51 million in posting fees and $8 million more on the line for the 2009 season with Daisuke Matsuzaka. Imagine for a second that you are an owner, manager or coach within the Red Sox organization, do you want him pitching for Japan?