" That's just the sort of blinkered, Philistine Pig ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage!"

John Cleese

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sox Summary Saturday - Edwin Jackson Edition


I'm sure all this will be a moot point by 3pm today (Manny Chatter! Ugh.).

But let's assume Kenny intends to keep Mr. Jackson, especially that it now seems like Rizzo screwed Kenny over by making him think a Dunn deal was imminent with Jackson acquired and then pulled the plug.

It's not necessarily a weird move as Daniel Hudson wasn't (and isn't) someone who was going to help in the last two months. He evoked visions of the '04 Rauch-Grilli-Wright-Diaz fifth starter debacle.

But Edwin Jackson?

Well, he's young at only 26. And doesn't come cheap next year at $8.75 million. He's known this year for throwing a 149-pitch, eight walk no-hitter and being absolutely brutal outside of that.

But oddly, have we just seen Kenny make his first sabermetrics-based move? Before acquiring Juan Pierre, it was reported that the Sox were trying to get Brett Gardner, a saber wet dream, from the Yankees, something that would have been a huge coup and may have helped the Sox avoid the early season crapfest.

With Jackson, his value this year rests in his deeper peripherals. He's not going to be anything close to what Hawk thinks he's going to be ("With Coop in his ear, this kid could easily be a 15-20 game winner." - remember to mop up the booth before you leave, Hawk.) but while his control is an issue, consider this:

Since becoming a full-time starter in '07, Jackson's groundball rate is the highest of his career this year at 50.5%, something that gives him big value in U.S. Cellular, and his HR/9 is a very respectable 0.87. He's walk-happy and not particularly strikeout-y but he's shown to be fairly durable and has proven success against the AL Central on his résumé.

On that, he's been brutal in his career against the Twins (Thome destroys him) but owns the Tigers' lineup along with the Royals' current collection of chumps. And maybe more importantly, he's been acceptable against the Indians. Especially lately (4-0, 2.14 ERA last year). His WHIP is a big concern along with his performance late last year but it's stuff you can deal with in the back-end of the rotation.

And he makes sure that Sweaty Freddy doesn't sniff the #4 spot in the rotation.

If they keep Jackson, and that's still a big "if", he has value for this season, doesn't come cheap for next season but is a much better certainty than Daniel Hudson (Phil compared him to Jered Weaver. BAH! He gets paid money to write. Think about that.). I worry about his historical comparables (Kyle Lohse and Ian Snell) and his salary for next year puts the starting rotation's commitment at around $51 million with a Danks' arb jump. That's a ton of dough for the five starters and may hamper the addition of a third baseman that isn't a trash can with a glove attached to it (Adrian Beltre if he opts out? - just think) but let's keep our sights on this year for now.

On this week. Some cooling of the jets should probably happen. The Seattle Mariners (a Christo entry in the forthcoming TOA) are on pace to be a historically awful offensive baseball team. That pace? 536 runs. To put that in perspective, no team since 2000 has even come close to scoring that few runs with the 2002 Tigers, a team so brutal it was almost funny, scoring 574 runs.

But they didn't succumb to a White Sox tendency of playing down to their competition. This team feels different now. It's the kind of team that gets a completely acceptable outing from guys like Lucas Harrell.

The week's recap from Saturday to Friday (5-2 overall, 5-0 at home, 0-2 on the road)

Started the week 2.5 games up and ended the week 1.5 games up

Offense:

.263/.329/.421 = .750 OPS and a .330 wOBA

Walk rate: 7.9%

K rate: 15.5%

BABIP: .279

Avg. w/ RISP: .451 Holy Crap!

Individually, it was the Ramon Castro week! Three long balls. You go, chubs. "Tank" (hate that name) got back on the horse. Beckham continues his slow climb. He could easily have very respectable numbers by the end of the season, especially when comparing him to other second-sackers. .860 OPS since June 9 with 16 doubles in 151 PAs (a 64 double pace for a full season). Pierzynski had a better week, which was becoming a concern and Kotsay continues to make a run at the 2010 Most Worthless Hitter Award currently held by Brandon Wood (a TOA entry). As of today, Kotsay OWES the Sox $3.6 million in terms of WAR Value. That doesn't touch the $5.5 million that Wood owes the Angels, something accomplished in barely two months worth of action, but it's still prodigious.

The "I'm gonna steal home in the first inning" stolen bases stat: Swiped seven, caught twice.

Pitching:

Short one. No worries here, as the Mariners and A's helped the situation. Jenks quieted some critics but he still blows and congers up Thigpen images when thinking about the last two months of this season. Putz's scoreless inning streak came to an end. Garcia and Buehrle weren't good at missing bats but Danks and Floyd were 2-0 with an 0.60 ERA and 0.80 WHIP combined for the week. They've been quite the two-headed monster in series match-ups lately. Threets is making a case for the LOOGY guy the Sox need. We'll see.


Inter Alia

Six game week, off Monday. Two more at home against the A's, then four in Detroit with a doubleheader Tuesday followed by the start of the FOUR-game set in Baltimore. This is the part of the schedule that teams dream of with oodles of Mariners, A's and Orioles fodder.


* Betcha Phil's going to TiVo the Gonzalez game on Sunday and do weird things while watching it. The Sox miss Verlander in Detroit. Thank You. Bergesen oddly has a respectable three-year track record against the Sox so prepare for that. Two-start week for Floyd.

* Important stretch after the Orioles' series with six against the Twins and three against the Tigers in a ten-day stretch helped by six against the Royals and the Orioles (again!!!) right after that.

* With the Tigers fading, the focus is back on the Twins (wrong again on that, Christo). New worry for me: Just how much are the games against the Indians in Cleveland going to mean? They are squeezed between the Yankees and the Red Sox between August 27 and September 5. Get through that stretch in good shape and the rest of the schedule helps when thinking about controlling their own fate.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This...Is Not A Major League Baseball Team


It started last night. I turned it when it was 2-1.

They're cooked and have been for about three weeks now.

I could now focus on the NFL if...you know...I enjoyed such things.

Alberto Callaspo is hitting third....DONE!!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's Not So Much The Heat As It Is the Humidity.....

Jesus, can we have a fucking day in the 70s?!!

I can't speak for Christo but the South Suburbs Headquarters of the BRE will be taking a sabbatical until August 2nd when we start the Tournament of Awful August Edition.

The Over/Under on Bobby Jenks pennant crippling blown saves in that time frame is at 2. I'm taking the over.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sox Summary Saturday - "Don't Stop Now, Boys!"


That phrase?

Not a fan. Hearing it 82 times a game makes me hit mute.

But they certainly haven't stopped.

If this season dispels any stupid baseball notion (and there are many), it's that an offense can get away with and be carried by two big bats in the lineup. For the first two months, Konerko and Rios were unconscious and it did nothing for the team's offensive prospects. It takes a village (glurp), people.

The 2007 Red Sox seem to be the go-to team for that stupid argument. But look at that team again. Five guys other than Manny and Ortiz had an OBP of .367 or above and five guys other than the two big bats had 30 or more doubles. Four guys had an OPS over .800. The 2004 Red Sox were astonishingly similar in the top-to-bottomness.

It takes a village (looks up at the clouds admirably with a peaceful smile). It takes...a village.

MLB Network's "The Club", if you follow the team at all, offers nothing more than, dare I say, a whitewash of what actually happened in the first few months of 2010. Interesting enough for the player interviews but Michael Clarke Duncan's God-like voiceover makes NFL Films seems positively quaint. I'll watch, though. Intriguing enough.

With this team now, there are so many luxuries. We can bitch about Jenks even with two and a half guys ready and waiting to be at least serviceable as a closer. We can gripe about individual games like the Felix Hernandez game but feeling like that was a game the Sox should have won feels almost greedy and certainly a sign that this is now a top-tier team. It's tough to worry about going out to the West Coast now since half the team wasn't around during that crap. And consider this. When was the last time seeing a first-time pitcher entered your mind? The man who in many ways resurrected and solidified all that last year goes today in one Vin Mazzaro.

For perspective, watch the Angels sometime. Every game is "let's see if they can somehow squeak this one out" every night. On them, they're one injury and a Sunday lineup away from fielding Aybar, Izturis, Callaspo, Willits, Frandsen, Hunter, Abreu, Rivera and Mathis. Count your blessings, boys.

14-day recap because of the All-Star break and a mangled thumb.

Two week recap from last Saturday to Friday (6-4 overall, 2-0 at home, 4-4 on the road)

Offense:

.301/.341/.467 = .808 OPS with a .353 wOBA. All numbers that are in the top three recaps on the year.

Walk rate: 5.5% Ugh.

K rate: 16% Good stuff.

BABIP: .321 Nice.

Avg. w/ RISP: .292 (21-72) Nice times two.

Started the stretch 1/2 GB and ended the stretch 2.5 games up.

NOTHING and I mean nothing to worry about.

Well...except every time Quentin dives for a ball or slides into third. He's getting a "made of balsa wood" quality. As he drifted back on a ball late in the game last night, I almost felt like he should just let it hit the wall and play it off instead of trying for it because something might happen like an arm falling off.

Individually, Beckham's making the slow climb back to relevance just as he becomes trade fodder in the Dunn/Fielder talks, which is pretty stupid. Dunn, even though he's been atrocious in the field, doesn't want to DH so he won't be signing back with the Sox. He's put in the work at first to improve his fielding and it's worked, according to UZR/150 where he's been nearly league-average this year (!). He'll want to stay in the field instead of converting to a 30 year-old DH. It's career suicide in many ways. Fielder wants Teixeira money and Kenny isn't doling that out. So...two months of Dunn or a year and two months of Fielder for Beckham, most likely a major-league ready starter (because Rizzo wants the world for Dunn) and a prospect? Nah.

And to all you Score callers out there: IT'S NOT GOING TO BE JUST BECKHAM, STRAIGHT-UP!!!!! CRIPES!

Beckham had a 1.257 OPS and a .543 wOBA on a .552 BABIP. Wow. When Quentin played, he OPSed 1.472 (on a .133 BABIP!) with three two-homer games, one before the break and two after. Ramirez continues to fly under the radar. .376 wOBA for the stretch and is now the best fielding shortstop in the majors according to UZR/150. Pierzynski's regressing again (.202 wOBA) and Pierre continues to not leadoff in the way leadoff hitters are asked to leadoff (283 OBP). Just trade Kotsay for a clubhouse fan or something. A .174 wOBA for the stretch in nearly full-time work (played in eight of the ten games).

The "I'm gonna steal home in the first inning" stolen bases stat: Swiped 12, caught four.

On this, they're stealing at a 67% clip, which isn't good. But during the extended winning streak, and especially lately, Guillen seems to be doing more in the way of smart, activist, put a strain on the defense managing. He's putting on more hit-and-runs in favorable counts. He's constantly running to get out of double plays. He's forcing guys to get the runner to third. Some of it seems to be the fact that he simply has more opportunities to do such things and doesn't have to be so precious compared to the few baserunners he had in the past. This, especially lately, is exactly what Ozzie was talking about before the season. They won without much of it during the winning streak but it seems Ozzie is hitting his stride just in the last two weeks.

Pitching:

First, the bad. Jenks. He's bad. And it's odd that it's not really his stuff per se. It's his control. I assumed his flat breaking pitches would be his downfall. It's that he can't throw a strike. And that fastball is scary straight. His utter meltdown in Minnesota on Sunday turned a four-game split in Minnesota to dropping three of four. Bad taste.

And while the overall team ERA was a superlative 2.85, their xFIP was 4.01, which is good enough for the most part but a big gap and something that becomes something to keep an eye on, especially individually. It helped that they played at Target Field and Safeco for seven of the ten games, two parks that depress homers and the stretch is too small to see much into it but Floyd's gap was over a run and Buehrle's was over two. We'll keep an eye on this as it might mean something. And with the Peavy injury, bumping Garcia up to the #4 starter isn't ideal. Floyd is having Ted Lilly luck, posting a 0.92 ERA in three starts and winning only one of them.

But if these are the only worries, that's a good place to be. It's the kind of place where a fan can start to project playoff match-ups and look at the September schedule, which means you follow a team good at doing baseball things.

Inter Alia

* Full week coming up. Two more against the A's and then they come home for a four-game set against the punchless Mariners (except when Lopez, Figgins, Wakamatsu and Branyan are in the same room. Ba-zing!) and the start of three-game weekend series against the A's...again...and again. Freakin' schedule makers.

* Vin Mazzaro twice, King Felix again and a stretch where this JUST saw all the opposing pitchers.

* Kotsay and the allusion to his "intangibles" and clubhouse chemistry probably doesn't save his place on the roster with the trade deadline exactly one week away. After all the talk, I can see Kenny standing pat with a minor move or two, like saying bye to Kotsay. With Viciedo on the roster, his presence isn't needed nor wanted and this is probably the reason Kotsay saw so much time over Viciedo lately. He's being showcased, if that's what you call that. And with Teahen coming back, he's done.

* August is six against the Twins, seven against the Tigers, seven against the Orioles (thank you), three against the Royals and three against the Yankees with a couple against the Indians and one against Oakland. 16 on the road, 13 at home. This is where the Sox need to make their move and create some breathing room. September isn't fun....

* Seven more against the Tigers, seven against the Red Sox, three against the Twins, three against the Angels, three against the Royals and three against Oakland with one against the Indians. 14 on the road, 13 at home. Then they finish up with a three-game set with the Indians at home in October. That totals a pretty even home/road split over the last two months against some decent competition.

* To compare, I think I'd worry about the Tigers' schedule being so breezy, especially in September, more than the not-nearly-as-good-as everyone-thinks Twins. Watch the Dan Haren talks. The Tigers are marginally in on him. And watch Porcello today. If he regains last year's first-half form, the Tigers could be the one to worry about until the end of the season. And they have a ton coming off the books after this year with almost $80 million shed before arb raises.

This Act Is Getting Tired...

"I've been the closer for this team, this is my sixth year closing," Jenks said before Friday night's game against the Oakland A's. "I shouldn't have to go out there and prove myself over and over again. I think I've done that, and it looks like I'm going to have to do it again."

Bobby, you have a 5.19 ERA and you have an astronomical ratio of base runners per innings pitched.

This is on the heels of "It's only April!" Bobby when he was shitting down his pants earlier this year.

Just trade him. Seriously. For a dead raccoon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Had To Be The Left Hand


Good one (looks up to the sky).

Ever try to eat, brush your teeth and wipe your butt with your other hand? That's been my life since last Friday when a wine bottle exploded in my hand at work, requiring five stitches and leaving some (hopefully temporary) nerve damage.

So...with that...typing has been a fun adventure. The August 2010 edition of the BRE TOA will have to be pushed back a week until Christo gets some level of function back. We should get going by August 2.

Good time in San Francisco. Ad Hoc and Chez Panisse were two of the top 10 best meals/times we've ever had.

And could somebody tell me how Ryne Sandberg is qualified to manage the Cubs? All this talk feels very Tribune-y.

Things Are Really Tough Down At the Office....

A quick respite with Christo on vacation to the Land of Chocolate before we delve into the T of A next week....My brackets will be up on Monday.

In the meantime....Yeah, what he said.



Monday, July 19, 2010

Now Can You Trim That Dead Animal On Your Chin, Bobby?

The guy's been playing with fire all season. Too many walks, too many baserunners, it was bound to happen. Of course, it comes against the team I hate with the passion of a million white hot suns.
In all of sports, there is nothing more frustrating than when your goddamn closer can't do his job.
Prevent defense is a close second.....

And even though he did nothing yesterday except pinch run, Nick Punto can blow me. He encapsulates everything I hate about the fucking Twins......

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Isn't For Thinking

Christo and I talked about this yesterday but Laurence Holmes was in rare form filling in for Dan McNeil. Apparently it's impossible to focus on 2 sports teams in Larry's brain. He doesn't want to stop paying attention to the Sox, now that they're in the race, in place of Bears training camp.
First, Larry, why can't you focus on BOTH? Are you similar to most American sports fans and incapable of multi level thought or are you just a dumb ass Chicago meathead? Or both? Second, what is ,Chicago and NFL fans in general, fascination with fucking practices?! I get that your reason to live, the astonishingly more and more boring and predictable NFL, is getting started. But a month and a half of meaningless exhibition games await you. As does playing time for 25 guys who have absolutely no chance in hell of making the team. Meanwhile, the baseball pennant races heat up. You know, games that actually mean something.....God, what a bunch of rubes. And Laurence is their spokesman.
Oh, and psssst, once again, the Bears are going to suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.....
---------------------------------------------------
When people tell me baseball is boring I usually greet them with a "pffffffffffft" and try to explain to them that they don't know the intricacies of the game, etc.
Last night's Sox game tested even my patience. Jesus! Hey, Mauer, make another trip to the goddamn mound! Oh, good, another pitching change! Look, Gordon Beckham has stepped out of the batter's box to dust off his hands.
I didn't make it. I was hepped up on Nyquil last night (due to a wonderful Sinus thing) and fought like hell to get to the end. I would've made it to if the game wasn't timed by the sun.
And now there's a beach ball on the field......

That said, nice win. And Nick Punto can blow me.
-------------------------------------------------

Oh, golly gee, there Sarah. How's that "judge-y hypocrite-y" thing workin' out for ya?

This makes me happy for so many reasons.....Maybe she should've been worrying about her own family instead of whoring herself out to every truck stop, hillbilly political rally that could write a check....My hatred for her now borders on the hate I feel for Sean Hannity, Busch Light and karaoke.

--------------------------------------------------
Christ, the ESPYS were on the other night? Missed it. For the 18th consecutive year.
If you encapsulate one thing that stands for the dancing bear that ESPN has become it's that thing.
That or giving Lebron James a blow job on national tv.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Well...The Season's Ruined Now


Pack it up, Sox fans. The season's done.

Matt Thornton lost the All-Star game last night.

I have no idea how Matt is going to recover psychologically. How does a baseball player get over that? Where do you start to even understand how to process such a devastating setback?

Geesh! Couple that with the three-day break killing the Sox mojo and derailing anything good that happened the previous month and the Sox are over, done, cooked.

I heart baseball stupid.

Remember. "The Club" starts this Sunday at 8pm. Trailer here.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fat Fuck Strikes Again

Rush, somehow, injects race into the death of George Steinbrenner.....Don't believe me?


I wonder what Rush's private phone calls sound like?

(Side note-- The comments section has been getting a rather large portions of weird Chinese SPAM shit so, as annoying as it is, you're gonna have to do the ol' "word verification" thing to post a comment.)

Stay Classy, Mel

He sounds like someone with a serious chemical imbalance. Seriously. He almost sounds unhuman. That's not anger, that's apoplectic rage that has taken over his brain. Guy's got issues.
Kinda makes Christian Bale's batshit insanity seem cute...
Still entertaining as hell, though.....
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Once again, I will not watch the All Star Game. I boycott it on the grounds of still loathing that they determine home field advantage in an EXHIBITION GAME!
Here's an idea, Bud, have home field advantage determined by win/loss record....Novel concept.
Yeah, it's the best all star game of the four major sports leagues but that's roughly equivalent to being the slimmest guy at the fat farm.
Just get back to real games, please. The All Star game is for casual fans who like shiny things.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I just looked at the calendar and the first Iowa game is 6 weeks away! Jesus.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is Arizona Senator Jon Kyl's explanation as to why he feels unemployment insurance is "a necessary evil".....Wow...Just...Wow.
First, what the hell are you talking about? Second, if I can decipher your rambling, you're saying that you...Wait..What are you saying?

"It's a necessary evil in a sense. You'd like not to have raise revenue in order to pay people for not working - or not to pay them for not working, but because they can't get work. You want them to get work so you don't have to pay them. It's something the government would just as soon not have to do if it could avoid it," he said. "To me, you shouldn't look at it as an economic matter. It's a humanitarian matter. You've got people who are out of work who can't find work, you want to help them out. Families need help. That's why you provide it. You don't do it because it's going to stimulate the economy."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Psst...The BRE TOA 6 Starts in a Mere Three (Or Four) Weeks


First, R.I.P Harvey Pekar

Second, a sampling of Christo's bracket in the forthcoming BRE TOA 6 that kicks off not only presently but anon and even in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

Your Grandmother's Recipe vs. The Type Of Personality That NEEDS To Be On TV

Tip-off this August.

If you ain't there, you ain't anybody.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What The Hell Is Going On?

I'm trying to think of a time where a team I rooted for went from absolute horse shit to a delirious joy to watch in a MONTH!

I bought three college football magazines in early June. I, at one point, was actually looking at Baseball Prospectus for Texas Rangers minor leaguers that the Sox could get for AJ. I was completely prepared to walk away from watching this team on June 13th.

Does losing Peavy hurt? You bet. Could it all come crashing down immediately after the All Star break in that 4 game set in Minnesota? Maybe. But the Sox have become the 2006 Twins. Where you turn to another guy and go "Jesus, do they ever play a road game?!" or "OK, you're not that good..".

It's nice to be on that side of it.

Watching the Sox feels like this now... (Cub fans represented by Ted Knight...Sorry, couldn't resist)



A month ago.....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sox Summary Saturday - Is There A Ceiling Here?


It's seemed to be about incremental steps to get to this point despite the 23-5 since June 9 stretch.

And it seems that it started when they split the four-game series in Tampa Bay to me. Sure, they lost two consecutive series after that to Texas and Cleveland but something happened in Tampa, something like a feeling that they weren't dead.

Tensions were high, the trade winds were blowin', more bickering between Ozzie and Kenny continued, nobody was playing well. But splitting that series avoided the proverbial "10 games under and 10 game back" pit in the stomach before May even ended.

First, they played .500 ball over a 16-game streak before that series, then Peavy and Floyd started to show some life, then they took entire advantage of an easy stretch to rattle out 13 of 14. After treading water on a six-game road trip, they came home and thoroughly drubbed a fading but marginally good Angels team in a four-game stretch, even overcoming the evil men in black hats and shirts calling balls, strikes and outs conspiring against the Sox. On that, I can't tell if it's better that Hawk has moved past Yaz as the man he wants to have babies with to Dan Plesac (?).

Mate rightly complained yesterday about the lack of coverage of this team. I don't know what the "coverage" would be, though. I guess expecting real coverage like looking at why they are playing well is asking a lot from the Chicago media. We know better and don't need it...cuz it will just wander into the stupid anyway.

And with little in the hopper in the way of prospects Kenny's willing to deal and Dunn (and maybe Lilly) being the only name that seems reasonable, would they be better with Dunn given what they would have to give up and both Dunn and Lilly not likely to re-sign with the team? Seems like a piss in the wind to me.

Really though, this is a good team not only playing well but a team that looks and feels like a team that's going to continue to play well. It's feels weird when they lose now. Who'd a thunk that?

Is there a ceiling? Maybe.

But the Twins and Tigers are doing their part to make sure that the definition of that ceiling might not matter.

BTW, was Bulaga wearing a Alexei jersey yesterday when he threw out the first pitch? Quite a constrast in body types wearing the same jersey. Get bigger, Bryan.

The week's recap from Saturday to Friday (6-1 overall, 5-0 at home, 1-1 on the road)

Offense:

.288/.342/.475 = .817 OPS and a .351 wOBA

Walk rate: 7.0%

K rate: 16.9%

BABIP: .309

Avg. w/RISP: .264 (14-53)

These are normal numbers from a good offensive team. Solid team power, very respectable OBP (boosted a bit by their average) and all of it done with a normal team BABIP. And it's been the Lillibridge week in many ways. He's the kind of guy who plays well for a week or two on a "good baseball team" and then someone else steps up when he falters. It's the 1998 Scott Brosius rule.

Instead of looking at individual performances for the week, I'll do what the Chicago baseball media probably should be doing. Let's see how "real" this extended stretch has been offensively:

Individual performances for the last 30 days (23-5 during that stretch):

.310 team BABIP:

Quentin: .464 wOBA with a .286 BABIP
Pierzynski: .361 wOBA with a .297 BABIP
Konerko: .353 wOBA with a .375 BABIP
Ramirez: .322 wOBA with a 337 BABIP (should be a bit higher cuz he was screwed on two calls just in the last week)
Rios: .303 wOBA with a .333 BABIP

You need a bigger sample size to use BABIP as a realistic indicator and it's not like those wOBA numbers are wildly great outside of Quentin but the overall team and individual BABIPs aren't off the charts by any measure for five guys that comprise most of the everyday and heart of the lineup. Meaning? Need more, but compared to the start of the season, we can now safely say that anybody on the ledge over the shit-ass offense early on weren't looking at why and weren't understanding that this stuff averages out over the long-term. We're starting to really see that.

The "I'm gonna steal home in the first inning" stolen bases stat: Five swipes, caught the same.

Pitching:

Okay, Peavy's done. It hurts. Don't think he was the ace by any stretch. Certainly was in a past life but on his best day, he was a 1A now. When thinking about playoff match-ups (still stunned we're doing that right now), it's a Danks in Game One kind of rumination followed by figuring out whether to throw Peavy or Buehrle in Game Two after looking at the batter vs. pitcher match-ups. Peavy's done so that puts the onus on Floyd to get into the match-up discussion with Buehrle. Good Garcia and Good Hudson get you to the playoffs and then they sit down and watch (with maybe Garcia seeing a spot start). The next three weeks before the trade deadline mean a lot for Floyd and the Sox. If he continues pitching ridiculously good, Kenny might stand pat and run with it. If not, is it Lilly, especially with the Twins coveting him? Big stretch here.

Putz, Thorton, Santos, Linebrink and Threets gave up nothing for the week. Pena filled in admirably when Peavy went down and then told Guillen he'd be ready to start Sunday in Peavy's slot. "Gamer!" But he's been solid in garbage situations this year, filling in and getting the win in the Buehrle balk game as well. A good team needs guys like Pena, someone that can go four or five out of the pen when needed.

Floyd, Buehrle, Danks and Garcia went 42 innings on the week, giving up 27 hits, 11 walks and 6 earned runs. 1.29 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP. That's utter dominance. Danks would like to personally thank Mike Scioscia for fielding Reggie Willits, Kevin Frandsen, Jeff Mathis and Cory Aldridge Thursday. He had the stuff to beat anybody that day but Scoiscia truly explored the depths of "anybody" when making the lineup.

Inter Alia

*All-star week. Two more at home against a good-hitting Royals team playing well coming in. After the break, it's four against a slumping Twins team who might be without Morneau (currently out with a concussion).

* No pitching match-ups set with the All-Star break and teams using the time to shuffle things.

* It's probably Hudson vs. Greinke Sunday. Though with the way Bannister pitches at U.S. Cellular (9.55 ERA in four starts), it might have been prudent to push Floyd back to Sunday to face Greinke and just use the Juggs machine Saturday.

* Big 10-game road trip to start the second half with four in Minnesota and three each out west against a now Lee-less Seattle team and a now bad Oakland team. Then they come home for seven against the Mariners and A's, which is just fucking annoying. Something has to be done about the construction of the schedule. These stretches of 12,000 games against Cleveland early in the season and this type of crap is just stupid.

* As I said before, Spetember's schedule isn't fun but it looks like it's going to matter. And matter a lot.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Well...With Lee To The Rangers...




I can officially declare the Angels dead.

And dead for the foreseeable future. Lee's from Arkansas and has clearly stated he wants to play closer to home. Dallas is very close to home.

I had no illusions about this Angels' season in the least, their payroll's a mess, they're old as Methuselah and any team that fields Paul McAulty, Kevin Frandsen and Reggie Willits in the same game ain't gonna be winnin' much this season.

I'm dangerously close to feeling a 90s-style lost decade coming on. Is Kent Bottenfield still available?

Friday Isn't For Thinking

So that shit's over. Can we please stop talking about it for a month or so? I'm looking at you, Boers and Bernstein.
Speaking of Bernstein, can he back pedal more about this? He was all geeked up about Lebron James coming here and how Carlos Boozer made them only marginally better, etc. Now he sounds like the petulant teen that got dumped at the Homecoming Dance.
"Oh, yeah. Well, it's your loss...." (Weeps in the rain as car drives off)
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In case you missed it (and if you listen to Chicago Sports Radio lately ,or as I call it "Lebron Delusions Week", you have) the Sox are in virtual tie for first place. That's 9 games under on June 8th to 8 games over on July 8th! Kinda a big deal. Oh, and their "ace" went down for the season. Might wanna devote more than 10 minutes to that story.
Fucking embarrassing.
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Another Hawkeye football player was arrested. In other news, pigs like mud.
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Tournament of Awful August Edition is just around the corner! Here's a sneak peak:

T-shirt In the Pool Guy vs. Children

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Will LeBron Out-Douche Brett Favre?


Not since last October has the BRE mentioned Brett Favre.

But tonight, we may see such a disgusting display of hubris on the part of LeBron James, he may usurp the king of douchebaggery.

I don't care about the NBA (or really basketball for that matter anymore).

And while I have recently acquired a certain affinity for the town of Cleveland and all its beautiful weirdness, where James goes isn't going to alter my world in the least bit.

But the spectacle being put on by James and ESPN tonight, which I mercifully will miss due to work, reeks of something only a colossal fuck-nut would do.

Jason Whitlock said it best. Assuming he goes to the Heat, this is kick to the balls of Cleveland with a 20-yard running start.

I can't believe I've dragged myself into this (and I haven't in the least since two days ago) as I don't care about the NBA but this kind of assholishness pricks up the ears. I'm leery of the "goin' back to Cleveland" possibility as he's doing the dog-and-pony show tonight from a Boys and Girls club in Connecticut.

I know it's stupid to even care but I root for Cleveland. I root for the taxi cab driver who thought it appropriate to tell us a hermaphrodite joke. I root for the homeless guy that told me a twenty minute story about his time with Barnum & Bailey and then asked for only two dollars (specifically...two dollars). I root for West Side Market and its glorious and deliciously weird foods. I root for the wine shop owner and his dogs just happy to see a couple of customers and talk their ears off in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday. I root for the Art Deco sculptures on the Carnegie Bridge near Jacobs Field that smells of a hope and optimism long gone more than anything in Cleveland. I root for the restored beauty and opulence of scores of banks and hotels downtown even though it's an complete ghost town most of the time. I root for the people that remind me of the all the good parts of growing up in the Midwest: the strange openness, the long stories, the forgiving heart, the pathological fear of coming across as snotty informing all of that.

Mostly though, having visited Cleveland three times in the last 18 months of so, I root for the effort even if the prospects look dim and the fate most likely predetermined.

So do what you want, Mr. James. But do you have to give Cleveland the middle finger on prime-time television, a venture only designed to fuel your already weird construction of the LeBron brand? Sure, you can use the overused phrase now designed to excuse the utter lack of grace and integrity these days and say, "It's just business." You can. But do you have to?

With the side show already scheduled, sales of jockstraps and cups have probably skyrocketed in Cleveland, gearing up for the impending kick to the nuts. But at least he's scheduled to announce in the first ten minutes of the show of the 8pm broadcast. There's something to be said getting it over quickly.

Like I said, I don't care about the NBA. I like Cleveland but it won't affect me a bit. I just hate to see such a douchey move presently in the offing. It's a good town and doesn't deserve it. The river caught on fire for the sake of cripes. They've had enough trouble and heartbreak. They don't need to see it on a weird one-hour prime-time special called "The Decision".

Feels like something that even Favre wouldn't do.

Well...that's a tough call. But at least he hasn't yet with this type of scope.

It seems LeBron's about to.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sox Summary Saturday - Well...That Was Probably Overdue


Gonna be a quicker one with the Fourth of July weekend.

Busy with a trip to see the family. There was a lot of 'bags' being played along with a game entirely new to me - ladder golf?

As an Angels fan, I'd like to echo a few choice words thrown the Royals' way this week. Apparently, Alberto Callaspo is Brooks Robinson and David DeJesus is Willie Mays.

Stats from Saturday to Friday, even though we all know that Tommy Hunter can come back down to Earth anytime now.

The week's recap from Saturday to Friday (3-3 overall, 1-1 at home, 2-2 on the road)

Offense:

.270/.329/.373 = .701 OPS - .312 wOBA

Walk Rate: 5.8% Down again

K Rate: 16.8%

BABIP: .308 Normal AND NO LONGER LAST OVERALL! Blue Jays now.

Avg. w/RISP: .273 (15-55) Decent

Began and ended the week 1.5 GB because...I will say again...the Twins are 25-29 since May 5, the day they were a season-high 10 games over .500. Beatable, catchable, bad pitching, all that.

Nice win Friday. That one earlier in the season would have been over. And they certainly made it interesting Wednesday against the Royals.

Individually, Pierre got back on the horse with eight hits and two walks in six games and Beckham is showing signs of life, though I don't know how he drew only two walks in June. That's Brandon Wood territory. You don't want to venture there, Gordon. Viciedo played and then he didn't. I can only think Kotsay's being showcased for a move (fill-in for Dunn until the off-season?). Pierzynski and Ramirez continue to show that April and May were a fluke, which was expected. Rios continues to be productive, though he has only five extra-base hits since June 4. Something to watch.

The "I'm gonna steal home in the first inning" stolen bases stat: Six stolen bases, caught four times. As a team, the Sox are third in all of baseball in stolen bases, behind only the Rays and Mets, but have been thrown out the most. 74 swipes, 36 caught = 67%. That's below the 70% mark that's generally considered the line where stolen base efficiency becomes...you know...not efficient and costs the team runs over the long term.

Overall though, a fair-to-middling week that could have easily resulted in a better record if not for the pitching.

Pitching:

All together now! The bullpen was great...expect for Pena and Williams! First group - 12 innings, zero earned runs. Pena and Williams - three innings, six earned runs.

Buehrle and Peavy both took losses, both give up three earned and both looked oodles worse than the numbers showed. On the flip side, Floyd had better stuff than his numbers showed in his win against the Royals. Garcia did his part in a two-start week with the bullpen picking up both wins and Danks is starting to bring some level of concern. In his last six starts, he has a 5.70 ERA but oddly, his velocity is up and his peripherals are fairly normal. At least within reason. Didn't see tonight's game but against the Cubs, it seemed like his shoulder wasn't as closed as usual, showing the ball more. Could be wrong.

Inter Alia

Full week. One more at Texas since the loss tonight and then they come home for four against the Angels (goin' down!) and three against the Royals.

Seen 'em all. Bruce Chen was cracker-jack against the Angels tonight, taking a perfect game into the seventh. In the Angels series, if everything goes according to Hoyle, Kazmir will shut the Sox down through three and then give up a five-spot in the fourth. Saunders loves U.S. Cellular, going 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA there. Weaver has been even better, going 3-0 with a 0.46 ERA. And they miss Piñeiro who's been shockingly un-hittable lately.

Good match-ups all around to counter, though. Let's see if coming home works better than it did for me.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Friday Quickie



Friday Isn't For Thinking (That Took About An Hour)

It didn't take long for me to go from "just ignore it and it will go away" to apoplectic rage over the minutia detailed overanalysis of the Lebron James Free Agency.
One of the things I look forward to in July is an NBA free month. This year, sadly, I will not get it as the Chicago media is going over every possible scenario as to what will happen if the Bulls get this guy or they get the other guy and not this guy or if they don't get any of them....It was 11:25 am yesterday and the dam broke. Just shut up. I swear to God, the NBA season never ends.
Just pick a fucking team, please.
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My neighbors the other day were doing their usual Summer activity, yard dwelling, and were cranking Nickelback. Yep. I'm actually looking forward to a 95 degree hot as hell day so I don't have to move my car so one of their idiot (and ugly) kids doesn't hit my car with whatever ball their throwing around.
I also plan to introduce Romeoville to the condom very soon. Judging by the amount of children running around, it hasn't reached these parts.
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Hey, did ya hear Judd Gregg, Senator from New Hampshire? Remember when Obama wanted to make him Commerce Secretary?

"Because you're out of the recession, you're starting to see growth and you're clearly going to dampen the capacity of that growth if you basically keep an economy that encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment."

Out of recession? Really, Judd? 9.5% Unemployment is growth?

I seriously wonder what planet some of these guys live on...
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Speaking of nutbaggery. This guy is apparently close to getting the GOP Nomination for some backwoods, ignorant dipshit hick filled district in Alabama....

This one is just weird and maybe this guy might want to actually read a history book once in awhile.




This one is laughably stupid yet, in a district of morons, probably works...

:15 second mark is priceless.

And then the old guy sings.
I honestly thought this was a joke. But it's not.

Almost moved there, BTW..........




Even Glenn Beck thinks he's an asshole...