Tuesday, April 20, 2010

An Awful Lot To Live For

Unlike David Ortiz, I am going to cite the source that I got this title from. Lou Gehrig said that in the "luckiest man" speech. But in response to a comment posted today, I promise that Red Sox fans on this blog will not have me talking about how much the Red Sox suck every other day, then have Pat go Suzyn Waldman on the Yankees the other two days of the week. There are some things the Red Sox can be optimistic about.

For the record, this should count double coming from me tonight. I got diagnosed also today with pretty much the same thing Mike Cameron has. We'll keep an update on my recovery versus his throughout the next, well, probably two months. Without further ado, here are a dozen things Red Sox fans should be thankful for.

1. Today was a big day in the progression of Terry Francona. He decided that after starting 4-9, it was time to lift David Ortiz in the interest of winning ballgames.
2. Ortiz broke his bat over his knee before pouting the rest of the game. This is especially good, because it's the bat's fault Ortiz sucks, and he will no longer be using that bat that made him suck.
3. The PawSox are probably better than the Red Sox, as Darnell McDonald proved today. In all seriousness, it's a nice story. It's like Jonathan Van Every all over again.
4. It only took one month (as opposed to five months for other professional athletes) to diagnose Cameron's sports hernia.
5. Dustin Pedroia. The guy has humongous balls. He basically called out his teammates for not showing up against the Devil Rays this weekend. Somebody's gotta say it, and it sure isn't going to be Francona.
6. Come-from-behind victories. Sox had one today. Granted, it has a lot to do with the Texas bullpen. But as bad as Boston's bullpen is, there are many teams who have it worse. They will just have bigger leads to work with, most likely.
7. Theo Epstein. He's getting the heat he deserves right now, which is good. Nice to see this entire fan base isn't brainwashed.
8. October 2, 2011. We're less than 18 months away from the end of the JD Drew era in Boston.
9. Jason Varitek. I'm actually serious. The guy who doesn't realize it's hockey is actually playing well. Granted, he usually does play like a serviceable major leaguer in April. But he really is being used correctly right now. It probably took a 4 year old in the grocery store/Pat when steroids are the topic level temper tantrum by Josh Beckett, but this usage of this catcher limits his at-bats, gives Martinez a blow that will save his legs for the end of the season, and will probably keep Varitek a lot more effective at the plate than when he was playing everyday. I'm actually okay seeing that stiff play every five days.
10. Josh Reddick got a real number. Greenwell's number!
11. Celtics and Bruins. And the NFL Draft talk finally ends this weekend. Mel Kiper can go into hibernation until next year.
12. The Baltimore Orioles. My boy from Baltimore called me yesterday to talk about his team's performance. Puts everything in perspective.


Anonymous said...


I hope that you didn't take offense to the post I left yesterday--I wasn't condemning any negativity coming from you; I was trying to say that if the Red Sox didn't play better you wouldn't have any choice but to write negative things. And no Sox fan wants a years worth of bad baseball.

Also, I was pumped when Lowell pinch-hit for Ortiz. Not because Mike Lowell was going to save the day (I really didn't expect much from him) but because it shows that Francona is ready to get after it right now. It's a great attitude to have (and the right one) and I guess it's better to start late (14 games in) rather than later (June? July?).

Darnell McDonald. My man. He's 31. He's not a prospect. He's been labeled as AAAA guy, which is what he is. But still, he's got a nice swing and it was nice to see that somebody other than Pedroia was fired up to play baseball.

Also, you're right on about Varitek. The guy isn't a regular anymore, but he's not bad if he can play twice a week. He won't wear down and maybe he'll have a Doug-Mirabell-in-2004-type season.

Two final thoughts--first, sorry to hear about your injury. Those are never fun to have. Secondly, if you need a hit with runners on in a close game, JD Drew is not your guy. But if you need a two-out walk with the bases empty in the bottom of the 8th in a game you're either up or down by nine runs, JD Drew is probably the best bet in the game.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...


He hit two big hits in the palyoffs in the ACLS!!!11

The Lowell move is significant exactly because of what you said.

The Dougie story was from a Red Sox/Orioles doubleheader in 2004. So obviously that's his best season.

Patrick said...

incredible for darnell mcdonald. you always feel good about a situation like that, even when it's a rival team.

totally agree with both dv and gunn on varitek. this is probably how he should have been used since about 2006, with 2007 being an exception. it's a double win because not only are you doing better by the team by not having him in the everyday lineup, but your also getting more out of him when he plays. it would be interesting to see how the varitek perception would have gone down had he been in this role earlier. my guess is there wouldn't be so much frustration.

i understand david ortiz being upset getting pinch hit for. i really do. no matter how much you're struggling, nobody who was once producing like he was wants to get pinch hit for. but you can't break your bat over your knee right in front of the dugout for everyone to see. go down to the locker room and turn some things upside down. i think that's to be expected, and i think francona and the team would know that's not directed at them but at himself. but when it happens in public for the whole stadium and everyone on TV to see it shows a complete lack of professionalism and concern about the team as mike lowell is up there trying to make something happen. i know he waited for lowell to come back to the dugout and gave him five before heading down to the locker room, but it's more a matter of how it comes off. no bother that him breaking his bat in public has the same meaning as him tossing a chair in the locker room (he's mad at himself), it's about the forum that you do it.

finally, this is clever. a lot of fun can be had with "run prevention".


Anonymous said...


In all fairness to Ortiz, I think he snapped his bat after he popped up in the fifth or sixth inning, not when he was pinch hit for. I could be wrong about that. Regardless, it's still unprofessional, but not as bad.

--the Gunn

TimC said...

I predict within the next two weeks some innovative manager breaks out the new "Ortiz Shift", where all the players overcompensate for his bat speed by standing in left field or at shortstop.

I think part of the problem with the Red Sox this season has been the inability of the front office to communicate just exactly what "run prevention" means. Clearly, some thought it meant no running in the off-season and as a result they arrived in Boston looking old and slow. Some thought it meant not running out to right field every half-inning to play the field, accomplished via fake injury. Some thought it meant not hitting, thereby preventing the Red Sox from scoring. God know what V-Mart thinks it is; maybe Venezuelans speak some dialect of Spanish where "prevention" means encouragement. DV set the over/under on blown saves around 37, I believe- I say if they have that many late game leads it'll be a minor miracle.

Patrick said...

gunn -

if that's the case - and you would know better than me - totally my bad, and i apologize. i saw him snap his bat on baseball tonight, followed by him giving lowell five before heading to the locker room, and assumed the two clips were related to the same sequence, which is obviously not a good assumption. i wasn't really paying that much attention. if he broke his bat after popping up, i actually don't find that too unprofessional. a lot of times i think it's a good thing, especially when you/the team are/is struggling. just can't do it when it could at all be inferred as directed at someone else or not supporting someone else, which appears to not be the case, which again is my fault for not getting the facts.

Patrick said...

timc - well played.

Anonymous said...

"I hope that you didn't take offense to the post I left yesterday"

-the Gunn

"incredible for darnell mcdonald. you always feel good about a situation like that, even when it's a rival team."

- Pat

"if that's the case - and you would know better than me - totally my bad, and i apologize"

- Pat

The level of civility, humility, and apologizing on this blog today is both touching and inspiring. I'm hoping this can be our "Berlin Wall coming down" moment on this blog, so that from now on we can all be positive and treat one another with respect, decency, and honor. Thank you one and all for inspiring me to be a better person.

Get well soon DV.


Patrick said...


if you haven't seen that yet take a look. sick play.

TimC said...


Had you been paying attention during your four years at Colby, you would know that the answer to all of this blog's problems is an increase in DIVERSITY. DIVERSITY is the quality that eludes us on a daily basis and without DIVERSITY we are all incomplete human beings. We should all become fans of more baseball teams, post in different languages, and, most importantly, embrace one another in the name of DIVERSITY.

Ross Kaplan said...

Tim, how is an old wooden ship going to solve this blog's problems. Jon, when will you learn that treating people with respect and decency just is not very exciting. Conflict is the essence of life.

Anyone else find it ironic how Theo's pitching-defense game plan as just totally backfired on him?

the gm at work said...

Folks, sorry to rain on everyone's parade, but Boston Dirt Dogs just alerted me that the boy wonder (the center fielder, not the general manager) got busted for violating the minor league drug policy in 2005. Apparently he was irresponsible with his use of vitamins and supplements.

However (and thank goodness for Pat and our overall pouting prevention measures because it's 5:30 PM), it is pretty clear that guys like Darnell McDonald are exactly why the league, not the players, are the ones to blame for the continuing steroid era. Is anyone going to expect Darnell McDonald, after spending what will probably be 15% (maybe more considering he juiced) of his entire freaking life in the minor leagues, to just have a moral compass strong enough to say, "hey, it's okay to be riding buses and making 30 grand until I'm 35?" Sorry, he's not a NESCAC college student planning on hiking the Appalachian Trail after graduation with his parents' trust fund money (although he is from Colorado, which carries little street cred). If he sees everyone else doing it, sees minimal fines, sees the possibility of a 90% raise, and knows that five years down the road, as long as he whacks a double or two off the wall, nobody will remember the drug suspension, why wouldn't you do it?

Harsher penalties may discourage McDonald from doing it. But they may also discourage the "other guy," be it Shane Monahan, Eric Gagne, or Paxton Crawford from doing it. Resulting in "fair play and may the best man win." And that is a quote from a Bowdoin track coach from like 90 years ago.