Monthly Archives: March 2008

2008 MLB Predictions

It’s that time of year again, when college students drive who-knows-where and do who-knows-what for spring break, and Major League Baseball teams are breaking camp in Florida and Arizona to start playing games that matter. Technically, the season’s already started, with Oakland and Boston splitting their two games in Tokyo. Before I get into my picks, I really want to address the whole “regular season games in Japan” thing. 

I don’t like it. 

I’m all for the globalization of baseball, but the trip isn’t fair to Boston and it certainly isn’t fair to Oakland, who will be the only team in baseball not to play 81 home games. It’s a brutal trip for games that count. Play exhibitions there, take off-season trips there, but don’t play regular season games in Japan. They have their own leagues. I’m not even a fan of playing games in Toronto. Move them into the States. You shouldn’t need a passport to play baseball.Alright though, enough on that. Here are my picks for the 2008 season. 

AL EAST
1. Boston Red Sox: 95-67
They’re the defending World Series champs who really didn’t make a bad move all winter. Josh Beckett’s back is probably fine, and his “15-day DL” trip will cost him a whopping 4 games. Losing Curt Schilling only hurts if another starter goes down, and if he’s blocking a Jon Lester or Clay Buchholz, it’s probably better this way anyways. Another negative about that injury is that it gives him more time to write his pathetic blog.

2. New York Yankees: 91-71
The Yankees season depends on their pitching. If everything pans out accoring to plan, this Yankees team wins 100 games. If not, they could struggle to win 90. They’re relying on Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain to solidify an aging pitching staff and are also counting on rebound years from players like Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi. Almost regular season time and the bullpen still isn’t settled.

3. Toronto Blue Jays: 86-76
They’re in a tough place. I think they should have made a move in a year when Boston’s getting old and New York’s banking on unknowns. But they stayed relatively quiet and their biggest offseason acquisition (3B Scott Rolen), is down for awhile with a broken finger. I wouldn’t have expected much else from the vastly overrated Scott Rolen.

4. Tampa Bay Rays: 82-80
What’s this? An over-.500 finish for the perennial cellar-dwellers? I like the young talent they’ve accumulated and I love the young talent that hasn’t quite reached the bigs yet. A name change, uniform change and a new stadium definitely are moving this franchise in the right direction.

5. Baltimore Orioles: 65-97
They did what they needed to do. It’s not going to be pretty, and it’ll hurt pretty bad this year, but they’ll be glad they did it in a few years. 

AL CENTRAL
1. Cleveland Indians: 90-72
I still stand by the old truth that pitching wins. And I like Cleveland’s pitching ten times more than I do Detroit’s. I really think they need to add a bat before the trade deadline to put them over the top, but the division is down a little from previous seasons. There aren’t many 1-2s better than Sabathia/Carmona, and the bullpen is still a strength.

2. Detroit Tigers: 89-73
I don’t see Dontrelle Willis getting any better in the American League. Maybe he’ll be more motivated in Detroit, but I wouldn’t count on it. The offense could be historically good, but the rotation is paper-thin and the bullpen can’t stay healthy. Curtis Granderson’s injury won’t help any either.

3. Chicago White Sox: 77-85
Bought when they should have sold. They wasted a lot of money and a lot of young talent to finish third. I didn’t understand the re-signing of Uribe after the trade for Orlando Cabrera. Nick Swisher helps a lineup desperate for OBP, but keeping Joe Crede over Josh Fields is one of the dumbest moves of the spring for any team. They’d also be better off without that whackjob, Ozzie Guillen.

4. Kansas City Royals: 75-87
Dayton Moore’s doing an admirable job slowly brining the Royals back. But their new High-def video board is pretty much the only thing they’ve got to look forward to this year.

5. Minnesota Twins: 71-91
Overplayed their hand with Johan Santana and then got a better return on their next best pitcher, Matt Garza. Also lost innings-eater Carlos Silva to Seattle. They’ll depend on some promising young pitching, but unlike the Yankees, they don’t have the offense to bail them out.

AL WEST
1. Anaheim Angels: 96-66
John Lackey’s out for at least a month and Kelvim Escobar may be done for the year, so suddenly a preseason strength turns into a slight question mark. What they really need to do is swap one of those six starting outfielders they have for an insurance arm. I still think they have enough to hold off Seattle, but now only just.

2. Texas Rangers: 80-82
I like the direction of the team and the farm system. Still a few years away from contention, but they’re definitely making forward progress after several years of not.

3. Seattle Mariners: 78-84
Gave up a ton of young talent to get two years of Erik Bedard so they better win now. With Anaheim’s pitching injuries, this could be the year that Seattle steals a division, but their offense needs to hit and JJ Putz must have another superb season.

4. Oakland Athletics: 70-92
They gto a ton back for Dan Haren & Co. but they certainly aren’t going to win this year or anytime soon. Moneyball is nice, but hasn’t really paid ultimate dividends for Beane and his A’s.

NL EAST
1. New York Mets: 96-66
Johan Santana is worth about 8 wins or so for any National League team and I expect him to completely dominate the National League and make the Mets the favorite to reach the World Series. This team must stay healthy and effective because it’s slim pickings in the farm system now.

2. Atlanta Braves: 86-76
There should be some concern about how well the rotation will hold up, but the offense should be a go once they settle on a centerfielder to replace Andruw Jones. They’re at a Catch-22 with Mark Teixeira because they need him to have a big season and then re-sign him, but it’s unlikely both will happen.

3. Philadelphia Phillies: 85-77
They got hot at the right time last year, and I don’t think it’ll hold over to this year. They need a healthy Brad Lidge to balance a rather unstable bullpen and they’ll need to replace Aaron Rowand’s bat and glove.

4. Washington Nationals: 76-86
They’ve brought in some questionable character guys which could pay large dividends and they’ll christen a new ballpark on Opening Day, but there’s not too much else to get excited about.

5. Florida Marlins: 72-90
No Willis, no Cabrera, no chance. They’re making strides for a new ballpark, but Dolphin Stadium may be in for a few more 325-attendance games. The offense will still score runs with Dan Uggla (I have his bat) and Hanley Ramirez, but it’s a long chance the pitching will do much.

NL CENTRAL
1. Chicago Cubs: 89-73
They’ll feast on pathetic division competition and then be knocked out in the first round of the playoffs, just like last year. I don’t see Fukudome turning out to be another Ichiro-caliber player and Ryan Dempster’s lying through his teeth when he says the Cubs will win the World Series. Happy 100th, Cubs!

2. Milwaukee Brewers: 85-77
The pitching is hit or miss most days and they’re moving their players all over the diamond. They’ll be right around where they were last year. The Brewers would also be smart to follow the trend of other teams and start locking their young stars (Fielder, Braun) up long-term or they’ll end up losing them.

3. Houston Astros: 74-88
They stripped their farm system for this? They didn’t address their pitching enough and after Roy Oswalt, there’s nothing. They’ll probably continue losing 8-7 type games and blowing leads early and late.

4. St. Louis Cardinals: 74-88
Their starting pitching might be thinner than even Houston’s. Kyle Lohse helps some, but not immensely — he’ll eat innings. If Pujols needs Tommy John surgery, this season will be a complete waste of time. Troy Glaus should help a struggling offense some, but he’s nothing close to what Rolen was defensively at third base. He’s healthy though, for now.

5. Cincinnati Reds: 72-90
The Reds have put together a pretty good group of young prospects and they’ll spend this year learning and adjusting. Just not contending.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates: 71-91
Pittsburgh has some promising young pitching (Snell, Gorzelanny, Duke and Capps) but they’re going to need a long time and a lot of moves to start contending again. They should move Jason Bay and start rebuilding. Again.

NL WEST
1. Arizona Diamondbacks: 88-74
Haren upgrades the rotation, but they gave up a lot to get him. They had a lot of luck on their side last year and will probably fall off a little this year, but with the continued development of their young hitters (Drew, Upton, Young) they should slip by with the division.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers: 86-76
They underperform so frequently and consistently, it’s easy not to pick the most talented team in the division to finish second. Joe Torre plans to start Juan Pierre over Andre Ethier, and the rotation should, but won’t include left-handed gem, Clayton Kershaw.

3. San Diego Padres: 86-76
Same ol’, same ol’. A ton of good pitching, and a dearth of hitting. I don’t understand why they let Mike Cameron go and replaced him with Jim Edmonds of all people. Mike Cameron with a 25-game suspension is still move valuable than the post-2004 Jim Edmonds, both offensively and defensively.

4. Colorado Rockies: 81-81
Another team rolling the dice on young pitching and another team that probably won’t have the same amount of luck as they did last year. They, like the Phillies simply got hot at the right time and in the right league. That beatdown they suffered in the World Series isn’t likely to help the mindset of that team.
5. San Francisco Giants: 70-92
They’ve got some great young pitchers, but no hitting. They overpaid to see Aaron Rowand’s offense fall off the map and are stuck with Barry Zito for six more years.

And after every season comes the postseason. It’s why you play the regular season, yet once you reach the playoffs, nothing you did for the past six months really matters anymore.  

ALDS
Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians: Cleveland is one team that can match Boston’s front end of the rotation and will hit enough to dismiss the defending world champs early in October. I like Cleveland in 5.
Anaheim Angels vs. New York Yankees (WC): If Kelvim Escobar truly is done for the season, I like the Yankees even more. New York’s offense will be too relentless even for Anaheim. I like the Yankees in 4 to win their first playoff series since 2004.

NLDS
New York Mets vs. Arizona Diamondbacks: If you only have to win 3 games out of 5, I like whichever team can pitch Johan Santana in two of them. Meaning I’ll take the Mets in 4.
Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves: Something in me doesn’t correlate “Cubs” and “playoffs.” But maybe this year is different. Cubs in 3.

ALCS
Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees: If it weren’t for midges, these two teams would have played an epic five-game series last fall. I like the Yankees in 7 in the rematch. If I’m a Yankees fan, I’m worried about calling Chien-Ming Wang my ace and matching him up against a CC Sabathia of Fausto Carmona. I’d start Wang in Game 3, and go with Pettitte (if healthy) in Game 1, followed by Phil Hughes in Game 2. Cleveland’s pitching is good, but just as in the case with Anaheim, a healthy and hot New York offense will be too much for a really good Indians club.

NLCSNew York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs: If the Cubs can find someone to step up other than Carlos Zambrano in their rotation, I like their chances facing Johan Santana and the rest of the Amazin’s. But this series will come down to the bullpens and as long as Kerry Wood is healthy, the Cubs win in 6.

World Series 2008
New York Yankees vs. Chicago Cubs: 99 years is such a long time to wait for a championship, making it 100 won’t make no one no nevermind. As long as the young pitchers for the Yankees do their job, it’ll be the Yankees in 6.

So those are my 2008 picks. Love ’em or hate ’em, there they are. I’ll disclaim here that I’ve picked the Yankees to win the World Series every year since 1998. So I’m at 30% in the past 10 years. Which, in baseball would net me a pretty hefty contract if I hit .300 over the course of 10 years. I also managed to predict seven of the eight playoff teams correctly last year, only missing Colorado. However, I was dismal picking the playoff series. Only had Boston of the Championship Series teams advancing. Interpret them how you will. Boston’s only playing at a .500 clip so far. Doubt that will trend will hold true over 160 more games. Same for Oakland.

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Yankees at Virginia Tech

About a year ago, tragedy hit the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. Support and relief came from all across the country to the stunned Hokie community. Soon after the developments from the campus, the Yankees and owner George Steinbrenner donated a cool $1 million to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund to help rebuild the community. The Yankees also promised to use an off day the next spring to bring their team up to VT and play a scrimmage against the Hokie baseball team.And yesterday, true to their word, nearly every notable Yankees boarded a plane and flew up to participate in not only the baseball game, but the continuing healing of a fractured community.

Jeter was near the front of the group. He moved slowly, peering at each stone. Then he came upon the No. 2 jersey that had been placed next to a stone near the end. “I just wanted him to see it,” said Marcy Crevonis, a 19-year-old sophomore, who put the shirt beside the stone honoring her slain fiancé, Michael Pohle of New Jersey. Jeter saw it. Then he saw Crevonis standing nearby. She was wearing a Yankees shirt with a picture of Pohle screened on the back, and she turned around to show it to Jeter. “Would you sign on his face?” she said, and he obliged. When she asked for a picture, he agreed again, but said he would do it only if she smiled.

“And she did smile,” he said later.

That’s just one example of what the Yankees did for the people of Blacksburg. The Yankees won the game 11-0, but in a sense, everybody won yesterday. Some things transcend baseball, are bigger than the game. The game yesterday isn’t what mattered, what did matter is that the Yankees went and gave people who have been going though a tough time a reason to smile again. Cervonis told ESPN that her fiance had been a Phillies fan, “but he’d have been a Yankee fan today.”I’d like to share a letter with you that the Yankees received prior to the game.

As someone who lives in Roanoke and has many lifelong ties to Virginia Tech, I want to thank you for the coverage leading up to today’s exhibition game between Virginia Tech and the Yankees. I’ve been a Yankee fan over fifty years now, since I was a six-year old boy in 1956, and I’ve never been prouder of the organization in my life. For those who live elsewhere, I can honestly say that this game truly has had and is having a positive and healing effect on our community.

The horrible events of last April can never be erased from our collective consciousness, but out of this tragedy so many acts of courage and kindness have sprung that one cannot help but be moved by such a widespread show of support. George Steinbrenner has frustrated and angered me on more than one occasion through the years, but the immediate and heartfelt response of him, his sons, and the Yankee organization truly touched me.

One of my buddies, a Tech grad and diehard Red Sox fan (and diehard is too weak a description), is the person who called me with the news last year that the Yanks were coming and that George had donated a million dollars to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. His voice was choked with emotion, and he was crying. “I take back everything I’ve ever said about George Steinbrenner” he said, “and I will never say a hateful thing about him or the Yankees again. But I’m still calling you when the Sox beat them, OK?”So far he’s kept his word.

There have certainly been times during my Yankee fanhood where I have not been proud of what players or the organization have done, but I have never been prouder of my team than I was yesterday.While some teams are complaining about not getting an extra $40,000 – other teams are delivering healing to a damaged community. I have a feeling that yesterday will be a day that not a lot of people from that community will soon forget. Hopefully, the Yankee players won’t forget it either. The Yankees signed every autograph, Johnny Damon hugged the Hokie mascot and Virginia Tech coach Pete Hughes, a Red Sox fan from Massachusetts, said he will never look at the Yankees the same way again. One of his kids was running around the field wearing a Red Sox shirt with a Yankees jersey over it.

Recovering from the type of disaster that struck that campus is certainly something that doesn’t happen overnight. While the Yankees can’t possibly erase the terrible feelings that many of those people probably still have, they certainly did a lot to ease the pain and help people get back to living life they way they did before their world was shattered.

After about the fourth inning, most of the Yankee starters came out of the game and went across the field to hang out with the Hokie players in their dugout for the rest of the game. A-Rod joked around with them, asking them trivia questions for his bats and gloves. No one left the park without an autograph. VT second baseman Matt Hacker summed up the day perfectly.

“It was everything everybody wanted it to be.”

Totally Awesome

Alright. Those of you who know me, know that if I could, I’d play Whiffle Ball all day, every day of the week. I love it — the scaled-down version of baseball where you can make up your own rules as you go along, and define your own dimensions depending on what mailboxes, trees and bushes are available. So when this video was shared with me by a fellow Whiffle Ball enthusiast, I immediately began formulating plans for my own field somewhere down the road. But it certainly won’t be designed after Fenway Park.

I know some people that spend hours upon hours setting up model train landscapes, putting together ships-in-a-bottle or collecting something trivial like stamps or coins. So why can’t I design and build my own Whiffle Ball Stadium. Of course I’d probably add in certain obstacles between the plate and the outfield fence, but it’d be pretty freakin’ sweet.

Today’s Idiot: Kyle Goeke

Today’s Idiot may look familiar to you. He’s my roommate and he also answers to Kyyyle. I have no link for you, because he’s not important enough to warrant news coverage. But he’s certainly stupid enough to be featured in his own Today’s Idiot note. So sit back and scroll down through a tale of epic stupidity proportions.

—————————————–

The story begins at Jen’s place, where Kyle is helping Carl with his Calculus homework. After helping him to an assumed perfect score, Kyle hops into his truck and heads home.

“Hmm,” Kyle thinks to himself, “My truck like literally has no gas in it. I don’t think I’ll make it home.”

After realizing this, Kyle decides to do the only logical thing and stop by a gas station and fill up. As he rummages through his wallet and pockets, Kyle comes up with $33 in cash. Knowing his truck will require more than $33 in gas, Kyle starts to fill up his truck, planning of using the ATM inside the gas station to get whatever extra cash he needs to pay for the gas. His total came up to $43.91 and he went inside the gas station. He pulled out his wallet and took out his bank card, prepared to withdraw an extra twenty dollars.

“Insert card,” Kyle thought to himself and did so, “Enter PIN.”

Here’s where it gets good.

“Crap,” Kyle thought, “I can’t remember my PIN.” He proceeds to frantically punch in ****, **** and **** in hopes of stumbling across the correct PIN. No luck. Kyle didn’t have a credit or debit card, so he hung his head and approached the register and the attendant.

“Excuse me sir,” he said politely, “I filled up my truck for $43.91 and I had $33 in cash and was going to take out the rest out of the ATM but I’m an idiot and don’t remember my PIN number. Can I leave real quick and go get more money?”

Naturally, the cashier looked at Kyle incredulously, not quite sure if he heard this little redhaired guy correctly.

“I’ll leave you my license and be right back,” Kyle pleaded, “I only need eleven more dollars.”

“You could just leave and not come back,” the cashier said, “you could just get a new license. It’s not that hard.”

“Please man,” Kyle begged, “I’ll be right back. I promise.” This exchange went on for a while before the cashier finally let Kyle go after taking his license and phone as collateral and took a description of his truck and his license plate number.

“Be back in less than an hour or I’m calling the cops,” the cashier yelled as Kyle dashed out the door and to his topped-off truck. He set the timer on his watch to 1:00:00 and stuck the key in the ignition. He watched it fall for a few seconds before driving off.

1:00:00
0:59:59
0:59:58

“Gotta hurry, gotta hurry,” he thought as he processed his options. His always dependable roommate was at the Mizzou baseball game and Kyle’s phone was back at the gas station anyway, carefully guarded by the attendant. He parked in the VAG and dashed into his room to get his PIN number.

“Crap!” he yelled aloud, “I was a number off!” He ran out of the room and across the street to Hitt Street market to use the ATM there. He slid his card in and was stunned when the ATM wouldn’t process the card due to the excessive incorrect PIN numbers entered back at the gas station. He sprinted back across the street and into his room to see if he could rummage up some cash, all the while frantically checking his watch.

0:35:40
0:35:39
0:35:39

He unlocked the door to find his roommate just returned from Mizzou’s 9-8 walkoff win over Indiana State.

“Nate!” he screamed triumphantly, “Do you have any cash on you?”

“I’ve got a dollar, maybe,” I answered and Kyle’s face drooped noticeably, “sorry.”

“I need eleven bucks,” Kyle reiterated, “I may go to jail.” And with that, Kyle retreated out of the room and headed off to Amanda’s to see if she had any money.

0:22:12
0:22:11
0:22:10

He sprinted into Amanda’s room a few minute later and frantically explained his predicament. Luckily for Kyle, Amanda did in fact have some money to spare and fished $15 out of her purse, handed it to Kyle and wished him godspeed.

Kyle, noticeably winded at this point, returned back to his truck and sped out of the parking garage, in route to the gas station. He was forced to stop at a light and cursed silently.

0:11:01
0:11:00
0:10:59

The light turned green and Kyle sped off towards the gas station, returning with the needed money. Almost there, a little Honda pulled out in front of him and proceeded very slowly in front of him. He couldn’t pass her and his hour was dwindling down.

0:04:09
0:04:08
0:04:07

The Honda soon turned off and Kyle made it to the light that the gas station was located at. He barreled a yellow light and turned into the parking lot for the gas station. He dug the money out and ran across the parking lot to the store.

0:00:12
0:00:11
0:00:10

He pulled open the door and moved inside.

0:00:05
0:00:04
0:00:03

Navigated through an aisle of chips and beef jerky

0:00:02
0:00:01

And slapped the money down on the counter. Breathless he watched as the cashier scooped up the money and made about four dollars in change for Kyle.

“Thanks,” the cashier said, “here’s your stuff.”

“Can I buy you,” Kyle panted, “a soda?”

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Kyle told me this story (albeit not quite verbatim) when he had returned back from the gas station. I felt that this story needed to be shared, coming a week or so after momentarily forgetting his social security number. I enjoy Kyle as a roommate, and these stories are a big reason why. Who wants a boring roommate that contributes nothing to the roommate relationship?

Mizzou Baseball

Went to my first Mizzou baseball game of the season this afternoon. Mizzou opened the season as the number 5 team in the country and we had played like it during the two tournaments that we played in (one in Florida and one in California) to open the season.

We won 9-8 today on a walkoff triple in the bottom of the ninth. It was a really good game as it started slow (1-0 after five innings) and then got exciting for the last four innings. We started our third best starter and he allowed only an unearned run in 6 innings. Our hitting busted the crap out of the ball all afternoon and we played some really impressive defense. I’d say that Mizzou has a chance to win the national title, but the bullpen is going to have to improve drastically. We went through three pitchers in the seventh inning, when Indiana State scored five runs on only four hits. Each of the three pitchers walked a batter and none of them could consistently could throw strikes.

With three starters like Crow, Gibson and Berger and an offense that can really smoke the ball, this is a team that is certainly capable of contending and winning a national title (which would be sweet). But the bullpen needs to throw strikes and attack hitters. The team also needs to be smarter on the bases. We had a couple of botched stolen base attempts and had a guy thrown out stretching a single and one gunned down after he overran third.

Mizzou Condom Initiative

Over 18 months ago, a fraternity on Mizzou’s campus proposed the idea of providing free sexual education information and simple contraceptives for Missouri students. They had no details mapped out, just an idea. For a few months, the administration of the University held open forums for students and faculty to seek opinions from the masses. I went to many of these forums, listening to other’s opinions and offering my own.

At first, I was opposed to what has since become known as the Condom Initiative. My opposition wasn’t based on any religious beliefs as many of the Initiative protesters were, but rather because I felt that if a college student deemed him or herself responsible enough to engage in sexual intercourse, then they should be responsible enough to obtain proper contraception. Condoms are not overwhelmingly expensive and are sold at every Mizzou Market on campus. They’re also available for free at the student health center with education materials. But I was in a very small minority. The Initiative was very well-received and was soon being presented for support throughout the campuses’ student organizations, mainly MSA and RHA. RHA unanimously voted to support the initiative and as an Executive Board member, representing the best interest of Mizzou’s students, I switched my tune to support the process.

Because the people that I’ve been elected to represent want to see this initiative move forward, I feel that I am obligated to work to make this program come to pass. Therefore, I am working with the Missouri Student Association, Residential Life and the Missouri administration to find a way to make this work logistically and financially. Paying for all the dispensers and products will run up a bill of around $20,000. MSA has pledged to cover half of those costs, and while RHA has not discussed specific numbers within Congress, the Executive Board has tossed around covering half of the remaining costs, leaving $5,000 unaccounted for. We’ve talked about where to procure the remaining funding from and are pretty sure that we can raise the money through individual Hall Governments.

However, regardless of this hardwork by Missouri’s student leaders, obstacles have arisen from the administration, particularly Chancellor Brady Deaton. He has for the most part, simply ignored the students’ wishes and has continually added new stipulations for the project. The latest stipulation requires that the dispensers must be requested by students through their residence halls. Which means I have been tasked with visiting each Hall Government on campus requesting a petition of support from each government. Not an overly difficult task, but certainly a tedious and time-consuming one.

While the support from the student body is overwhelming, the cooperation from the higher-ups has been poor at best, and negligible at worst. Often the student opinion is overlooked by those that think they know better, but this time, the student leaders are not rolling over for the administration, but standing up for the student voices that have been adamant about the implementation of such an initiative.

There is a logistics committee that has formed and is currently meeting to hash out the finer details of the implementation. Another one of the Chancellor’s stipulations is all dispensers must be tamper-proof and placed in areas that will guarantee the privacy of users while limiting exposure to other students. Which means more work for us. We’ll have to find places that meet these requirements. The tampering is something that RHA included in their original resolution of support, so that’s nothing new. I have been working tirelessly with MSA President and Vice President Jim Kelley and Chelsea Johnson to finalize things from the student side of this initiative.

Hopefully, something comes from all this hard work and we can see this plan come to fruition before the beginning of next year. It’s been an arduous process and we’re all looking forward to a resolution.

Rivalry Renewed

Perhaps you heard what Hank Steinbrenner said about the infamous Red Sox Nation.

Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of [expletive] that is, that was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans.

Go anywhere in America and you won’t see Red Sox hats and jackets, you’ll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We’re going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order.

Perhaps he was upset about Theo Epstein taking a cheap shot at Mike Mussina. Perhaps it was just the inevitable Steinbrenner coming out. But he’s right.

Red Sox nation wasn’t a defined entity until 2004. And then it exploded exponentially with wannabes who couldn’t spell Papi. Now I’m not sure if you counted Sox hats vs. Yanks hats who would have more, but the Yankees outsell any team in the country, and in the world.

Now let me address the morons that ESPN employs to “analyze” baseball.

About an hour ago, the Baseball Tonight men just ripped into Hank for his comments about ESPN being full of Red Sox fans. They went on to say Hank doesn’t know what goes on behind the scenes at ESPN. John Kruk even invited Hank up to Bristol to check it out himself.

Alright, that sounds pretty good. Hank probably has never been to the ESPN studios or witnessed the production of a baseball broadcast. But he’s still right, and ESPN’s hurt that someone of substance finally called them out on it. Not a minute after the Baseball Tonight guys finished ripping on Hank, they run off this beautiful commentary.

Kruk said that Josh Beckett was a HOF pitcher.
Hmm…based on what, Kruk? 4 postseason starts? His 77 career wins or his 3.74 career ERA? He had a great year last year and has had a handful of great playoff starts, but that doesn’t make you a HOF pitcher. Only a year ago, Beckett posted an ERA over 5.00 and led the league in home runs allowed.

Noted Sox fan Peter Gammons said that Jason Varitek was more important to the Red Sox than any other player on any other team in the game.
Right. A catcher that misses nearly 30% of the teams games over the last two years and then hits around .240 when he’s in. I don’t doubt he’s an essential part to that team, but he’s not even the most important player on his team, let alone in the entire league.

Then they all agreed the Yankees will struggle due to the fact that they have to rely on two kids (Hughes and Kennedy) in their rotation.
But the Red Sox will be fine. Perhaps they failed to realize that lardass Schilling is out and Boston too, will be relying on two kids (Buchholz & Lester). But they’ll be fine, they’re the Red Sox.

You know, in that segment, Donald Duck predicted that Donald Duck would win both the AL MVP and the AL Cy Young. And I’m beginning to think Donald is more baseball-savvy than any of the idiots ESPN parades out in front of their cameras.

ESPN is located in Bristol, CT. If Red Sox Nation actually physically existed, Bristol would be it’s capital. Washed-up Sox beat writers go to Bristol to wither up and die. I’ve heard the argument that the Yankees get the most coverage, but none of it’s positive. Everything’s criticized. Journalism should be fair and balanced, not blatant propaganda.