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Some ball…

September 25, 2008

The boys are playing some good baseball right now. They certainly haven’t conceded the division but their fate is in Tampa’s hands for a Division title. Getting in to October play with 7 or more days off is a huge plus in allowing everyday guys to get as many/few at bats as they need to get rested. To allow injured players to rest, in Mike’s case, or get back and see how they feel, in JD’s case.

But for me, by far, the biggest and most important piece is allowing your 3-4 starters to do what they need to do to get ready. You don’t concede any games, and they won’t, but at the same time you know you are one of only 4 teams that has games on the schedule past Sunday, and you get your starters and your bullpen lined up to be completely fresh and rested, but not too rested, when game 1 comes around. Josh will be as fresh as he needs to be, Paps, Oki and the bullpen will be completely rested as well. It can’t be overstated how important it is for the bullpen as well simply because you will ride your relievers as hard as you have to, to win in October. Hell look at the ’04 post season MVP stats Foulke put up. He pitched, and dominated, pretty much every night.

Not to take ANYTHING away from any of the other teams. Anaheim had a fantastic year and is a very good and very different team than we saw in ’04 and ’07 and Mike Scioscia is, from everything I have heard, an awesome guy to play for.

Tampa? What can you say, hats off to Joe Maddon and that entire franchise. They had an incredible year and earned every accolade that comes their way. Don’t overvalue that ‘lack of experience’ either, it can be every bit, if not more, of a positive than anyone could make it out to be a negative.

The Central winner, whomever that is, is getting highly overlooked as well. I hope it ends up being Minnesota but who knows how it will end up. In a best of 5 the only thing that matters is who’s #1 is hottest, and best. If your guy is then you only need to find 1 pitcher to win 1 of the other 3 games.

Having tossed out those accolades I’ll hold to what I said earlier. I’ll take the Sox with Beckett leading the way over any team playing in October. Backing him up with Lester, Dice-K and Papelbon, damn. Fact of the matter is in game one you bust ass to get 6-7 stud innings from Josh, which would be WELL BELOW his norm for October, and you get Oki for the 7th, and Paps to throw 194 the last two innings. Win game 1, that’s the goal. Then work back from 10 to 0, and you have a parade.

In the NL I was hoping to see the DBacks squeak in somehow. Shame to see Webby win 22-23 games and not get a shot at pitching in October. The Cubs and Phils look like the teams to beat. I am hoping the Brewers can find a way to get in though. Offensively the Phils look very much like an AL team from 1-9.

I’m going Sox-Phils, and if the Phils don’t get in, Sox-Brewers. After that I like Tito to go to 12-0 in World Series games…. Rolling Rally anyone?

I read some pretty good baseball stuff on ESPN and wanted to link here. A fantastic article from Buster Olney on the Yanks and why they are where they are can be found here and Peter checks in with his usual home town rah-rah for the sox here. I’m glad he doesn’t apologize for loving the Sox, ya his stuff is wildly skewed in their favor 101% of the time but people get pissed even when he’s right. I think the article nails the truth all the way through.

Here’s what I wonder, just like I wondered some 15 years ago when JD Drew was drafted. There are links off of this article about the Alvarez debacle. Does anyone think that Scott Boras, for one second, considers the immense grief he’ll bring his clients by doing the things he does?

Listen these guys are grown men and need to be held accountable for the decisions they make, but they are paying and trusting this man with their careers when, at the end of the day, his resume and being able to add “highest signing bonus/salary/contract in history” ends up being the sole motivator. He’s complained about the unfairness of the draft for 2 decades, and nothings changed. So like any smart businessman he circumvents the rules as best he can, and gets his players top dollar.

But if these players are what he claims they are, what is the difference at the end of that HOF career between what they wanted, and what they got? Is it enough to have to wear that tag around for at least the first year or two of your career when fans are going to wear you out. It adds IMMENSE pressure ON TOP of the already unimaginable pressure of arriving and performing in the major leagues.

I know the risks are incredibly high for players, being drafted in no way shape or form guarantees you anything other than the bonus you get. It just seems to me that there is so much horrible advice being listened to and given by men whose ONLY motivator is to get you as much money as they possibly can, period. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when your agent is and always will be more despised and reviled than an IRS agent, by many clubs, a HUGE portion of fans and some of his former players, doesn’t that signal some red flags?

Obviously I am all for players getting as much as they can, but isn’t there a ‘cleaner’ way to do that? Oh and another thing. When teams intentionally avoid drafting players represented by certain people doesn’t even the simplest mind get the fact that the field of potential suitors for you is smaller???? Not as much in the draft, but moreso as a free agent? Just seems too bad that this kid, who by all accounts has superstar potential, is going to be saddled with baggage he doesn’t need before he even steps in for batting practice in his first major league workout. For how much money? I would guess the amount, after taxes, will be less than a years salary at big league minimum, maybe a little more….

28 Comments leave one →
  1. thearsenallaabradoodle permalink
    September 25, 2008 9:24 pm

    Yeah – Boars pretty much is a ^&%$S&*K%^. I would say that it is the nature of the business, but in my opinion Boars and his NFL counterpart Drew Rosenhaus – (SP)? Have a special place in Purgatory if not Hell awaiting them.

    The other thing – And Manny is a good example of this – is that Talent has no relation to intelligence – emotional or otherwise.

    Anyway – we have never met -but we share the same birthday Nov 14,

    And I am 1967 so I have a whole year over you- played baseball through college – too bad I wasn’t a pitch because I would have had Carlos Reyes – (Fellow Florida Southern Player) ability – and while no one really would have know my name – I would have made about $2 to $3 Million more than I have since 1991.
    Hey I make my own way in the world and am not complaining.

    thank you for your blog – Hey sometimes it is retarded – but most of the time not, and I appreciate it.

  2. lschaef permalink
    September 25, 2008 10:03 pm

    I’m a Pirates fan….

    I almost feel like I’m introducing myself at a support group saying that. But, I know that whenever they have good teams again it will be that much nicer since I’ve stuck with them through the worst of times.

    Overall I am happy with the changes in management with our team, and I am glad that they picked Alvarez and made the effort to sign him, but it’s been frustrating first having him wait until the last minute (or longer) to accept their offer and then wait again over this latest issue.

    Baseball brings in a lot of money and the players should definitely make a good share of it, but with Alvarez/Boras it feels like they’ve spent all summer to try and squeeze an extra 100 thousand out of the Pirates. That’s a lot of money for the average fan, but it seems like peanuts when your talking about a 6+ million dollar bonus.

    I’m glad Alvarez is now a Pirate, but it’s going to be harder to really embrace him as a fan now, since he’s a Boras client and there is VERY little chance he’d consider staying here the first time he can be a free agent. Hopefully by then our system is built up enough that we can survive losing him.

  3. syphax permalink
    September 26, 2008 12:09 am

    Ah, baseball again.

    Curt, you are a really good baseball player and personality. Politics, not so much.

    Keep being you; you make the world more interesting.

  4. ahl0003 permalink
    September 26, 2008 1:38 am

    Did you used to play baseball or something? Palin ’16!

  5. September 26, 2008 8:35 am

    Are you sure your not complaining thearsenallaabradoodle? It sure sound s like it to me!

  6. teddywilliams9 permalink
    September 26, 2008 10:20 am

    curt, you went back to the norm.. good.

    wonderin.. check this site and its headlines: huffingtonpost.com

    McCain suspened his campaign to help the country, yet it seems he is working for his party and his campaign instead of the country. idk there..

  7. kfish25 permalink
    September 26, 2008 1:50 pm

    Hey Curt,

    I heard Boras is Varitek’s agent. One of my greatest fears is that Tek won’t be back with the Sox next year because of Boras and his “negotiating tactics”. What are your thoughts about this? I would hate to see such a beloved and smart player depart because of some jackass.

    Thanks for taking the time to write for all of us. Be well.

  8. September 26, 2008 4:54 pm

    I actually wrote something yesterday, though not about Alvarez specifically, nor with as great of an insight as you have – but about the issue in sports about the cash out rather than the buy in to a team. And, you’re so right as a fan – that aspect makes it difficult to embrace players.

    About the Yankees…. really great article. I don’t know what their prospects are/were, etc… but I definitely think that for some time now they’ve been lacking the hunger. They have the payroll and the superstars – but hunger, comraderie and the tenacity that they once seemed to have…gone.

    Just my humble opinion.

  9. ryssee permalink
    September 26, 2008 6:52 pm

    Thanks for getting back to baseball! I’m so excited about this post season, but I wish we could have YOU back in it. I’ll take them this year though with Beckett, Lester, and Dice-K leading the way!

  10. docrobinson permalink
    September 26, 2008 10:24 pm

    My comments have nothing to do with this article. I just wanted to send you a personal thank you for all your efforts and contributions towards the fight against ALS. I am a disabled veteran recently(and finally) diagnosed with ALS after six years.

    I was initially injured in the line of duty back in 2001, when I cracked my lower back. A few months later I was hit by a truck while crossing the street.
    I was assigned to a unit out in Michigan, so after I got hurt, they sent me to the VA out there. Unfortunately, the VA in Michigan lives down to the reputation of the VA in the national press. They misdiagnosed me and told me there was nothing wrong with me.

    Luckily I met a private neurosurgeon who saw me pro-bono, discovered I had nine ruptured disks in my neck and back and recommended to the VA that they perform surgery. Despite overwhelming physical evidence the Michigan VA’s neurosurgeon “wasn’t sure”, so I continued to go without treatment until I finally got back home last October.

    Since then I’ve gotten nothing but he best medical care in the world. Whatever reputation the VA has anywhere else is the antithesis of the quality of care provided to vets at the VA Boston facilities.

    My neurosurgeon is one of the best in the country. My neurologist is one of the best research doctors for ALS in the world. Unfortunately the neglect I suffered out in Michigan has taken its toll. My lower back is so far gone that no surgery can either correct it nor relieve the pain. My symptoms of ALS first started appearing back in 2002, but no one paid any attention to them.

    Thank God I’m finally back home where they don’t talk funny, people know and love their sports teams, win or lose, and we have the best medical care in the world. So, I’ve got a terminal illness! Life’s tough !! Guess I’d better get going on living ’cause I’m going to be doing it until the day I die.

    Fortunately, because of the injuries to my neck and back, we’ve got lots of diagnostics on me from before the disease started showing symptoms. Most cases the diagnoses isn’t made until well into the disease so there’s few records during the period of onset in the disease. My case we’ll have records from the onset throughout the course of its progress right up until the end. It’s probably too late to help me, but at least it can be used for research toward finding the cure or prevention for the next guy down the road.

    I’ve volunteered for a bunch of studies. I’m pretty healthy (well,… other than having ALS). I’m not afraid of needles (even if they’ve got electricity shooting through them all the time) and I’ve had so many radiology procedures I should glow in the dark by now.

    The greatest thing is that this isn’t a “me” disease. This is a “we” disease. Everyone I’ve met in connection with this disease has been positive, generous and supportive. That goes for everyone, from the doctors and medical staff, to my fellow patients, to the ALS Associaton’s Staff who are nothing short of fabulous. That also goes for folks like you and the Goddess you married to, as well.

    I’m not dying of ALS. I’m LIVING with it and I’ll be fighting to live my life to the fullest with every breath I have left, every step I can still take, every sentence I can still say. And I OWE that attitude to people like you and your wife, Curt, who continue to work diligently toward supporting guys like me, toward raising funds for research and towards continuing to spread the word of recognition and awarenss. You make me proud to be an American Veteran. Your efforts and your attitudes make it worth all the sacrifice we’ve paid. And it makes the pain and frustration of this disease less fearful and much easier to confront.

    So next time some goofball sports-writer (especially the ones with curly hair who have to put their picture by their headline even though the did nothing to create the story) or any psuedo-fans think about booing your performance and criticizing your opinion or exercise of free speech, for which my brothers- and sisters-in-arms gave their lives and limbs, you just remember that WE know your value and appreciate EVERYTHING you’ve done to make this world a better place for all of us (even curly-haired conceited sports-writers).

    GOD bless you and Shonda and all the people like you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  11. September 27, 2008 10:36 am

    last night was a touch choice, Sox game or debate? Since the state of the USA is a bit more important to me I chose the debate.

  12. September 28, 2008 2:41 am

    The thought of seeing The Red Sox in The World Series again astounds me. It never gets old. EVER. And the thought of Tito going 12-0 absolutely blows my mind.

    Rolling Rally? BETTER BELIEVE IT!!!

    That’s what Red Sox fans do. That’s ALL WE DO.

    We…BELIEVE!!!

  13. lspears79 permalink
    September 28, 2008 2:31 pm

    I am a transplant from Boston. I am a devote RedSox Fan.
    Since I live in Oklahoma there is not much here about the RedSox,
    I am wondering if you could send me a short sleeve, button down
    RedSox shirt? I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you, and God bless you.
    Beverly Mello

    212 W Utica Pl.
    Broken Arrow OK 74011

    I look forward to your reply.

  14. trubelieva permalink
    September 28, 2008 6:37 pm

    Congrats on making the Playoffs again. We will miss your clutch pitching. Just wondering if you could loan Dice-K one of your socks.

    On a side note- want to thank Red Sox Nation for writting to my niece for the last year or so. For those that don’t know, she is 5 years old and was diagnosed 3 years ago with Leukemia. She hopefully had her final Chemo treatment a few months ago. If you would like to cheer her up with a few words, please visit her here -http://caringbridge.org/visit/hannahw
    She is the Hero this year for the Light the Night walk in our area on Oct 4th. Light The Night is the nation’s night to pay tribute and bring hope to thousands of patients battling blood cancers and to commemorate loved ones lost.
    The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) funds lifesaving cancer research that has contributed to major advances in many treatments.
    If you would like to sponsor her/me (even a dollar or two helps!), please click here: http://www.active.com/donate/riltn/2282_UncaBob

    Thanks again Curt for all you’ve done on and off the field. We really missed you this year.

  15. nplemo3 permalink
    September 28, 2008 11:44 pm

    Curt – come back to Arizona! We miss you and I would love to run in to you again at Mastro’s.

  16. taso2177 permalink
    September 29, 2008 12:29 am

    I was wondering if you had any comment on Mike Mussina getting his 20th win as well as being the oldest player to ever win 20 for the 1st time. I know you both played for Rochester in 1990(not sure if you were both there at the same time).

  17. rhodysoxfan permalink
    September 29, 2008 8:05 am

    Curt I appreciate all of your insight and I have to agree with you about the “avoiding draft picks” but I think you have to take it one step further. What ever happened letting the players develop over a couple or 3 years. Having a big time agent going after the big time payday out of the gate puts big time pressure on these kids. Then they run the risk of injury because they’re “forced” to perform to validate the pay check.

    The greater injustice is that the teams allow this behaivor to occur. If the teams truely “despised and reviled” these agents “more than an IRS agent” then the teams should do their due diligence and not deal with them. However that will never happen because these players are commodities and not real people, they are t-shirts and not the players in them, they are letterhead for posters instead of figure heads for the next generation. In laymans terms they’re nothing more than dollar signs and that is unfair to the 8 year kid who who decides to play the America’s Favorite Past Time as a profession and when he gets there he can only perform if the money is right….wow sounds a lot like America’a Oldest Profession instead!

    Your thoughts?

  18. empirelady permalink
    September 29, 2008 1:47 pm

    I am a supporter of both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets(I am in New York City)so I will continue to support Boston and hope that they go all the way again. That said,my New York Mets clearly need help in the pitching department. Would you consider playing for the Mets in 2009? They will be looking for help in the off season and to have you would be great. Seriously,I always have and will always be a tremendous supporter,admirer,of you and everything that you have done,continue to do(both on the field and off)and I look forward to seeing you pitch once more in 2009,for whatever team it may be. I do want to see you playing at least one more season(Billy Wagner said that he will pitch again after recovering from surgery because he does not want to end his career due to injury and neither should you). Do consider the Mets,though-we need you! Interested to know your thoughts about playing for them.
    Donna Blanc,New York City at empirelady87@hotmail.com

  19. rijess14 permalink
    September 30, 2008 10:25 am

    I totally agree with you that it’s going to be the Phils/Sox in the WS. But then again, I’m a Phillies Phan and the only reason I’ll watch the Sox up here is because you’re a part of the team. Thanks for always producing good reading material, sports related or not.

    I have to second the thought on how great it will be to see you pitch one (or more) times in 2009! Keep up the good work. I’m a fan for life.

    Jessica
    jruhle@nail.cc

  20. kfish25 permalink
    September 30, 2008 1:38 pm

    Hi Curt.

    Last night being an off night for the Red Sox, I popped in the 2004 DVD to get psyched up for this year’s playoff run. (It did the trick!) I just wanted to thank you for all you’ve done for the team and for being absolutely tough as nails when it’s mattered the most. We missed you this year, will continue to miss you throughout the post-season, and hope that whatever you decide to do, you and your family remain happy and healthy.

    All the best and thanks again. We can’t say thank you enough.

  21. kingpin2004 permalink
    September 30, 2008 3:05 pm

    Curt–why do you appear on WEEI with 2 racists? Do you know their background? Has anyone explained their background? I read your blog and always am a fan of your performance on the field, but why bother with these 2?

  22. mitnan permalink
    September 30, 2008 3:42 pm

    Curt, I want to thank you so much for this mornings WEEI interview. I’m so glad that you stood your ground against that chump Jerry Callahan. We are not all deadbeats!! Thanks again so much. God Bless You!

  23. 38cantpitchnemore permalink
    October 1, 2008 10:47 am

    Curt,

    Are you contractually obligated to appear on the Dennis and Callahan show every so often? Im not sure if those two clowns say the things they say for shock value or if its what they truly believe. John Dennis’ eating disorder made him so fat he had to migrate to radio, as did Callahan’s hair line, I suspect. I ask you: Do you agree with them? Are the people losing their houses today because of the republican agenda “deadbeats”? Im sure you do not so why help out their ratings by going on their show in the morning? Is it because they are rebublicans? Go Sox!

    The ALS Association Boston receives well north of 100,000 dollars for my weekly appearance on the show. No, I don’t always agree with them and they don’t always agree with me, that’s not the point. If you heard last week I stated repeatedly that no, I don’t agree that everyone losing their homes is a deadbeat. I do however think we’re living in a time when people are not accountable many times for their own plight and situation, or actions.

  24. alexmiller6677 permalink
    October 1, 2008 2:59 pm

    I have to say Curt, I miss your name on that 40 man roster for the playoffs. I’m certain you miss it there too.

    Good luck regardless of whether you come back or retire, you provided a lot of entertainment over the years, and we’ll miss your dominating spirit on the mound.

  25. baseballcoach10 permalink
    October 1, 2008 6:08 pm

    Mr. Schilling-

    Wondering if you will be attending any local events in support of ALS?

    Coach

  26. metaphase permalink
    October 2, 2008 12:24 am

    I’m watching the game right now, and just saw Pap bring it home. I gotta’ say it would be nice to know you, your healthy self of course, would be out there on our side in the coming days during the playoffs.
    Lester had a heck of a night, and I hope Beckett is ready in the next couple of days.
    Well, this mom is up way past bedtime and my toddlers will be up at 6:00am. October kills me in the sleep department- I’m so glad I get to say that!

  27. October 2, 2008 8:18 am

    and your thoughts on the game last night???

  28. 38cantpitchnemore permalink
    October 2, 2008 9:09 pm

    All your work for raising money for als is appreciated, Curt. Hopefully, one day, we will have a cure.
    I agree that people have to be held accountable for their actions as well. For the last 10-15 years too many Americans have been pulling all their equity from their houses for vacations, cars, and additions. Well now its time to pay the piper if you ask me. I think peoples own fiscal irresponsibility coupled with predatory lending practices have gotten us where we are today. Do I want a bailout to pass? HELL NO!!!! I say let the chips hit the floor. My reward for buying a house I could afford should not be that now I get to pay for my irresponsible neighbor’s home as well. By the same token, those who benefitted from the bad loans should be culpable as well. The heck with them both. I say let Darwinism take over!!

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