PhilSox Blog: November 2007


A-Rod Crawls Back

Thursday, November 15, 2007
Since I published this post, A-Rod has in fact fired Scott Boras. Boras, to my knowledge, has not yet closed up shop.

DPS - 1/7/2008

As I type this, A-Rod is close to signing a deal with the Yankees. Supposedly, this deal would be for 10 years, around $270 million. And the clincher? A-Rod went to the Steinbrenner twins with C-Rod (his wife, Cynthia) at his side, but without Scott Boras, his mega-agent. While most Yankee fans will simply go on as nothing happened because, well, they're Yankee fans, I can't help but wonder what all this means in the big picture and what it would have been like to have been a fly on the wall for all of this.

After the debacle that Boras caused by announcing A-Rods intentions to opt out of his contract during the World Series, there has been a wave of bad feeling washing over the agent and his most famous client from all around the sports world. As such, this coming together of the Yankee front office with A-Rod and wife was contingent on Boras not being involved. Mike Greenberg tried to make some convoluted analogy that likened the whole thing to a wimp beating a bully and then the bully never being able to bully again. Well, while you could get away with calling Boras a bully, what person with a grip on reality would refer to the Yankee's FO as "wimpy"? Forget it! They are the evil empire. Sure, the general feeling is that they are moving down the first few inches of a slide into crappy that may (hopefully) last awhile, but wimps? Please! I do think that Greeny has one thing right, though. This screw-up will probably take a lot of the mojo out of Boras's future dealing power.

This just in...Yankees are allowing Boras into discussions about the finer points of the deal. How nice of them.

At first sight, we thought this would mean that a front runner for signing Mike Lowell would be out of the picture. That is not the case, as the Yankees are reportedly looking to see what Lowell would think about moving to first. I'm wondering what Shelley Duncan and Jason "The Wet Look" Giambi have to say about that.

The Yankees have gotten Posada to stay. Bobby Abreau will still be there. They've offered Rivera a boat load of money to stay, and now A-Rod will still be there. The question that still remains to be answered is whether the loss of Torre will make the difference that logic would dictate it will.

And let's not forget one other factor of this whole A-Rod thing. Aside from being just about the best hitter in the MLB (possibly ever), Alex also has shown himself to have the thinnest skin. Might the Yankees need to schedule some therapy for their third-baseman? Will A-Rod suffer some crisis of confidence after finding out that no teams were willing to fawn all over him and pour money into his lap? I think it's a pretty reasonable scenario.

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Yankee Propaganda

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

After the 2004 World Series, I began to find articles and blog posts and such about how the Red Sox may become the new "Evil Empire." This was a reference to Larry Luccino's term he used to name the Yankees. Since then, the world outside of Red Sox Nation has had to replace taunts like "1918" and "Curse of the Bambino" and many have decided to recycle Larry's jab and say that the Sox are taking over as the bad guys. This years mind blowingly dominant run from April through October, cluminating in the the second WS title in 4 years, these sentiments are getting more mileage than ever. I would like to submit, however, that it is all Yankee subterfuge, a way for the Yankees to finally get off of every decent fan's radar as the Sith Lords.

The first argument that comes up is that the Sox throw money around like the Yankees. In truth, the Sox had the second highest payroll in 2007. Second to the Yankees, of course. The Red Sox had a total payroll of $143,026,214, which puts them behind the Yankees by $46,612,831. That difference between number one and number two in the salary game is the same as the difference between number two and number nine, the Detroit Tigers. In between you have (low to high) the Cubs, Mariners, Dodgers, White Sox, Angels, and Mets. For my money (pardon the pun) that places the Red Sox closer to seven other franchise that it places them in the same category as the Yankees.

Another difference between the Sox and an evil empire is, as the Yankee fans love to remind us, about 19 World Series Championships. When you win two 90 years, only a moron calls you the bad guy.

In the end, though, that main thing that keeps this comparison, well, no comparison at all, is the front office. The Red Sox don't fire managers, then rehire them, then fire them again, etcetera, ad naseum. The Red Sox front office doesn't make announcements during the playoffs that their manager will be let go if the team gets eliminated. The Red Sox would not consider firing a manager who'd been with the team 12 years and delivered 12 post-season appearances and four World Series titles, especially after bring his team back from 14 games out in June to the post season that year.

This year, the Red Sox had Dustin Pedroia, rookie ofthe year, and a stellar debut from Jacoby Ellsbury, both of whom came from the farm system as young talent. The Yankees took a page from that book this year with guys like Joba the Hutt, but as far as the evil empire goes, who has the reputation for hire guns? A-Rod, Sheffield, Abreau, Clemens, all add logs to that fire.

No, in the end, the whole concept of the Red Sox as the dark character in the play is just not credible as long as the Yankees are still fielding teams. And there's one more piece of evidence...the rest of the league's fans don't hate the Red Sox. Well, probably the fans in Colorado, but even they hate the Yankees, too.

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Patriots, Shula, Asterisk, Oh My!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I wrote this as a thread for and even though it is off topic, I thought I include it here. Truth be known, I imagine there will be many "off topic" posts during the Hot Stove season. -

Generally speaking, I'm not a huge Pats fan. I'm an Eagles fan, as hard as that usually is. I certainly enjoy watching the Pats this year. They are exciting and, most likely, historical in their 2007 domination. As such, my interest was peaked when I heard the talk on ESPN Radio about Don Shula's comments that, should the Pats go undefeated this year, the record should have an asterisk because of the "Spygate" sideline camera cheating infraction.

Don Shula said, referring to the fines and draft choice loss that the league imposed on the Pats:
"That tells you the seriousness or significance of what they found," Shula said, according to the Daily News. "I guess you got the same thing as putting an asterisk by Barry Bonds' home run record."

In response, Mike Vrabel, pats linebacker, had this to say:
"I think that we try to go out there and play hard every week. And I don't think that guys are going to draw on an old retired coach and old washed up players to pump us up. We play hard. We try to go out there and play hard. That's our job every week is to go out there and play hard. To play for our team, my teammates, my coaches, the respect factor, that's what I try to go out and play for, and I think everybody else on our team does the same thing."

First, to compare what the Pats did in one game (because that was all that was "proven"), something that may or may not have made a difference, to Barry Bonds' half-career of steroid laden home runs , where the juice definitely affected the outcome, is like comparing a Cub Scout slap fight to World War II. Not even close.

Second, the punishment , as such, was the fines to the coach and franchise and the pending draft choice losses. That is the punishment. Bonds has received no punishments as yet, but either way, I believe the Pats have paid the piper sufficiently.

As far as Shula is concerned, what else should we expect? That undefeated Dolphins team is the only thing that Shula is really remembered for, other than being the coach who was so wonderful he couldn't win a Super Bowl with one of the top QB's of all time at the helm. Whenever a team starts off undefeated and then loses, Shula and Csonka and whomever else is left get together for a little d to congratulate themselves for the 35th or so time. I'd have more respect for Shula if he just came out and said, "Screw these guys! I love that record and I want to keep it all for myself!"

Vrabel? Well said. He wasn't vulgar or rude. He was honest.

And here's the kicker... This quote from USA today:
"[Shula] was still the coach of the Baltimore Colts at the end of the 1969 season, when then-Miami owner Joe Robbie approached him and signed Shula to a contract. The NFL charged the Dolphins with tampering and awarded their first-round pick to the Colts. Undaunted, Miami reached the Super Bowl in 1971, then rebounded from a loss to the Dallas Cowboys by winning the next two, including the perfect 17-0 campaign."

So, aside from being a bitter old fart, Shula is also a bit of a hypocrite.

Rockies Where They Should Be?

Monday, November 05, 2007 reported a story about kids in Denver who requested the name of their little league team be changed from the Red Sox to, well, anything else. In the aftermath of the Rockies demise on the World Series, the lads just cannot stomach the reference to the team that humiliated their hometown club. I certainly feel sorry for the kids. Having rooted for the Phillies as a kid and sitting through the '83 and '93 WS losses, I can relate. Sort of. Things were a little different for me because Philly won in '80. The Rockies still do not have a championship. They have only been around sonce 1998, and tha t is the issue.

See, the Phillies began their franchise in '83. 1883, that is. The were the Philadelphia Quakers until the 1890 season when they became the Phillies. 1980 was their first championship. Do tha math and you see that they had to wait 97 years for a world series title. They were the last non-expansion team to win one. The Rockies have been waiting for nine years. That is, truly, a weekend compared to the wait Phillies fans endured. This is not even mentioning the long wait to repeat that franchises like the Indians and Cubs are enduring. Not only is there no shame in the Rockies not winning the 2007 series, by historical standards they are nearly ready for such an honor. Sure, it would have been grand to have gotten it. No one would begrudge them the early success. But not having gotten it should not be leaving such a bad taste in their mouths.

Also paining me is the idea that, in their fans' eyes, the onus falls on the Red Sox, not the Rockies, for the loss. I am not sure what to take from that. They are not saying that the Sox cheated. They have not even asserted that they played dirty (they most certainly did not) or that they got some sort of preferential treatment (they did not get that, either.) What would the Rockies fans have rathered? A team that rolled over so they could have a title in their team's infancy? There's not honor, or even fun, in that.

Perhaps they should blame the crazy changes in the post season schedule that added to the eight day lay-off they had to sit through. Perhaps they could simply admit that the National League is generally inferior to the American League. Lets look at the last few facts:

World Series matchups:

2000 WS - Yankees 4 games, Mets 1
2001 WS - Diamondbacks 4 games, Yankees 3
2002 WS - Angels 4 games, Giants, 3
2003 WS - Marlins 4 games, Yankees 2
2004 WS - Red Sox 4 games, Cardinals 0
2005 WS - White Sox 4 games,
Astros 0
2006 WS - Cardinals 4 games, Tigers 1

Totals: AL = 22 wins
NL = 16

All-Star Games:

Since 2000, the AL record in All-Star Games is 7-0-1 (There was that tie in 02 then Selig called the game in extra innings.)

Interleague Play:

Play began in 1997. Since then the AL has come out ahead on the deal 6 out of 10 years (I couldn't find the tallies for 2007, but if memory serves, the AL was on top.)

Runs Scored:




























Batting Average:




.276 (.27565)

.266 (.26586)


.267 (.26687)

.261 (.26137)


.264 (.26378)

.259 (.25915)


.267 (.26728)

.262 (.26152)


.270 (.26991)

.263 (.26258)


.268 (.26763)

.262 (.26166)


.275 (.27481)

.265 (.26451)


.271 (.27053)

.266 (.26591)


Because of the Rockies improable and unsuccessful run to the WS, do the Red Sox now have to address the idea that they are going to be hated like the Yankees? I suppose if the Sox have to have something in common with the Yankees, it might as well be that they're hated. There'll still be one major difference...the Yankees suck!!!

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