Archive for December, 2007

Happy Holidays from thefoulline.com

With Christmas right around the corner, I thought this would be a good time to ask Santa Clause to take special care of our favorite baseball team. I know that it may sound a little greedy since they are the World Series Champs, but they deserve it. So here it goes, the first annual thefoulline.com Christmas wish list.

  • Josh Beckett- 20 more wins, and a much deserved Cy Young award
  • Kevin Youkilis- a multi-year contract, and another Gold Glove
  • Dustin Pedroia- 3 inches and 20 pounds. Let’s start talking about what a great ball player he’s become, not his size.
  • Julio Lugo- A new At-Bat routine. The weird stare he did at the plate last year was a little scary looking.
  • Mike Lowell- Another season like 2007.
  • J.D. Drew- A continuation of the 2007 postseason, and at least one month of me not writing a post about how bad he sucks.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury- A return of the innocence. The Scott Boras signing and the pricey autographs have hurt your appeal. Please get it back. You’re the Red Sox Centerfielder for the next ten years.
  • Manny Ramirez-For Manny’s last year in Boston, a .330 batting average, 40 home runs and 135 RBI’s.
  • David Ortiz – He’s already led the AL in home runs and RBI’s. He’s the best clutch hitter in baseball…how about a batting title.
  • Dice K- 18 wins, and a sub 4.00 ERA
  • Curt Schilling- one Cy Young vote
  • Coco Crisp, Jon Lester, Jed Lowrie – a prosperous season in Minnesota.
  • Jason Varitek- 130 games behind the plate catching the best staff in baseball
  • Johan Santana- an undefeated record against the Yankees. (I really hope I’m not jinxing this)
  • Hideki Okajima- a return of the Oki- doke
  • Jonathan Papelbon- dance lessons, and a real toy for your dog
  • Terry Francona- recognition as the best manager in Red Sox history
  • Theo Epstein-the balls to pull off the Johan Santana trade. Please keep sticking it to the Yankees.
  • New York Yankees- a giant lump of coal. 22 guys on the Mitchell report? You guys don’t deserve anything.

I hope everyone has a healthy and happy holiday. And remember, Spring training is only 55 days away.

Cheater Man

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time,
‘Til touch down brings me ’round again to find,
I’m not the man they think I am at home,
Oh no no no I’m a rocket man.

Elton John must have known something the rest of the baseball world didn’t when he wrote “Rocket Man.”

Two days ago, Roger Clemens was the greatest right-handed pitcher in Major League history. He is a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, has the record for striking out the most players in a game twice, and has won 354 games. Now he will forever be mentioned in the same breath as Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire as a cheater and a disgrace to the game. The Mitchell Report has been made official and has listed some of the biggest names in the sport as steroid users. An All-Star team could be fielded with the names on the report: Guys like Andy Petitte, Miguel Tejada, and Gary Sheffield were all named, but the most newsworthy name was obviously Clemens.

I guess I should have thought something was up when a 40-year-old man was still throwing 95 MPH and dominating the league, but Clemens was well known for his extensive and excruciating off-season workouts. Of course, being the money-grubbing liar that he is, Clemens denies the accusations, even though the guy that trained both Clemens and Petitte came forward and admitted injecting both players in the butt with steroids.

When the talk of players using steroids came up, it was generally thought that it was the power hitters using them, not the pitchers. Now it’s been reported that there are just as many pitchers as position players on the report.

If Barry Bonds is getting asterisks on his records, I think Clemens should also.

These guys have degraded America’s pastime. I think the only way that they ever see the inside of the Baseball Hall of Fame is if they buy a $10 ticket.

Checking in from thefoulline.com

Sorry about the lack of post the last few weeks, but it has been quiet in the world of baseball. I don’t want to be one of those bloggers that writes something everyday, just for the sake of writing. I want to keep this a baseball blog, so please be patient and keep tuning in. Things will hopefully heat up soon. With that being said, here are some thefoulline.com news and notes:

  • How about Hank Steinbrenner doing his best George Steinbrenner impersonation. First, giving the Twins a deadline on the Johan Santana deal. How’d that one work out for you Hank? Secondly, New York has just signed Latroy Hawkins to a one year deal. So let me do the math for the 2008 Yankees: One weak bullpen – Joba + Hawkins + re-signing the aging Mariano Rivera = another lousy season for New York.
  • Only in MLB would a team give Eric Gagne a one year, ten million dollar contract. Maybe the G.M. of the Brewers should have watched some American League baseball last year. Gagne was horrible. He blew every opportunity he had last year in Boston. I wouldn’t have given him a nickel. Although with my luck, Gagne will probably win another Cy Young now that he’s back playing in the Junior Varsity. (N.L.)
  • I’m glad to see the Red Sox haven’t re-signed Doug Mirabelli. I know that he catches the knuckleball well. But there are other guys that can catch it also, and hit higher than .202.
  • How about this week for Red Sox Nation’s favorite player Jacoby Ellsbury. First signing with the anti-christ Scott Boras. Then charging $125 for his autograph. What is he thinking? I would never pay more then five bucks for an autograph from someone with 30 games of major league experience. Now that I think about it, there are maybe five athletes/celebrities that I would pay for an autograph. Here they are in no particular order:
    1. Bill Russell
    2. Ted Williams
    3. Larry Bird
    4. Eddie Vedder
    5. Dylan Hamilton

    Maybe it’s time for Jacoby to stop reading about how great he is, and remember that he is still a rookie.

  • The Red Sox Spring training games are going on sale next week. Have you seen the prices for decent seats? Standing room $10, box seats $26-$46. Why would someone pay $46 bucks for a spring training game? The chances are pretty good that you’ll be watching the 2008 Portland Sea Dogs take the field. I would rather take the $46 dollars and buy season tickets to the Tampa Bay Rays. At least this way I’m guaranteed to see major league players… and the Rays.

Thanks for reading, stay tuned….

Anybody but Ellsbury

The Boston Red Sox have seized the momentum in the great Yankees/Red Sox feud with another World Series victory. Let’s hope that they don’t let up. They have a great opportunity to upgrade their already potent pitching staff and drive a stake into the heart of the Evil Empire by finally beating out the Yankees for the best player available. I don’t care if they knock New York off the top of the high-salary mountain; everyone knows that Boston is loaded with cash after their second World Series victory in four years. If I were Theo Epstein, I’d have the Minnesota Twins on speed dial and start giving up players until they agree to give up Johan Santana.

With the exception of course of Jacoby Ellsbury.

Ellsbury has already proven that he belongs in the Majors. He plays the game like a seasoned veteran and should be a lock for the American League Rookie of the Year in 2008. We had the opportunity to see all aspects of Jacoby Ellsbury’s game last season: his speed, great defense, surprisingly potent bat, and most importantly his heart.

In professional baseball, it’s obvious when someone can play. This evaluation is a lot easier with a position player than it is with a pitching prospect, which is more like playing the stock market, where no one is guaranteed to perform. There have been countless “can’t miss” pitchers picked in the first round of the draft that have flamed out faster than you can say “Todd Van Poppel.” Does anyone know which Baskin Robbins former #1 pick Brien Taylor is working at these days? With young pitchers it is never a sure thing.

With that being said, I would give up Lester, Buchholz, Lowrie, Crisp and whichever Minor League pitcher they want. I would make them an offer they can’t refuse. With Josh Beckett, Johan Santana, and Dice K locked into the starting rotation for the next several years, Boston has the opportunity to become a legitimate dynasty and have time to restock their farm system.

The funny thing is, I would prefer it if the Red Sox made a deal for the Oakland A’s Dan Haren instead. I think he is just a notch below Santana in talent but would still fit in well in the Boston rotation. Haren wouldn’t cost as much in terms of salary and prospects as Johan but would still be considered another legitimate staff ace.

But knowing how bad the Yankees want and need Santana makes me want the Sox to push even harder for him, because no matter how many times I see the Yankees lose, it never gets old. Even if it’s just a player they’re playing for.