Tuesday, November 29, 2011

That's It

I've thought about it quite a bit, and I've decided to shut this blog down for awhile, maybe for good.  I have a lot to say about sports, and its window into our society as a whole, but I have to admit that the recent excessively negative stories coming out of Sox camp at the end of the season, and Penn State and Syracuse, have turned me off so much to the world of sports that I have no desire at all to write about it.  I have a lot to say about it, but no need to actually write about it.  My passion, for now, is gone.  Perhaps this will change later, but I don't think so.  I have other ideas for another blog site to replace this one, and as there are but 24 hours in the day, there's only so much I can do--and it's going to take a lot more than Bobby Valentine to get me to do it here.

So thanks for following this, everyone, and I hope you'll turn your eyes to my writing, reading and general interest blog, http://stevenebelanger.blogspot.com/.  Look for another blog here sometime in the near future.

Thanks again.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


--That's the shortest base hit Ortiz will ever have.

--It was ugly to see, but I would have face-planted going after Ortiz's dribbler, too.  Then again, I'm not in the majors.

--Speaking of which, Dumatrait has not impressed this series.  Former Red Sox property, indeed.

--I looked around my thousands of cards recently, sort of mentally cataloging my stash for my move, when I realized I didn't have a Pujols RC or autograph.  For the hell of it, I googled same, and came upon an ebay auction of Pujols' Upper Deck 2001 RC.  Bidding was at $25.55 with a couple minutes left.  I made my top bid $30 as the totals rose and the seconds decreased.  Last second, someone made a bid of $28.03.  It ended, and I won, at $29.03.  So, yeah, I just spent $29.03 on a Pujols RC, graded 8.5.  Somebody stop me.  I can see where this ebay thing could be addictive.

--Here's where I say that I'm not in favor of the proposed playoff format next year.  Soon baseball will be like hockey and basketball, where almost everyone gets in.  No thanks.

--The Twins are Mauer and Morneau and...Thome, sometimes.  And that's about it.  Great park, though.

--Speaking of Thome, his 600+ homers will be the quietest 600 ever.  Lots of walks for him, too.  He'll be an interesting HOF candidate.  But he's far from automatic.  For those who care, he's second, all-time, in Ks, but also 8th, all-time, in walks.  8th in homers; top-25 in most offensive categories, career.  Stats show that he's probably one of the all-time best offensive players, at least in the top-40, career.  He played on the 96 Cleveland team with Belle, Alomar, Vizquel and Manny, too.  How that team didn't go all the way with those 4 players at the top of the lineup...I know, I know, pitching, pitching, pitching...

--Vizquel will be another interesting candidate.  He should just fall short, but worse players have made it in.

--Won't matter this year, but I'm curious about what games will be like at Target Field in, say, October.  And in April, for that matter.  Cold, is my guess.  But I'll repeat, great looking park.  Its backdrop maybe is the best in baseball.

--Reddick's doing well, but I'm giving him until the end of next year before I buy an autograph.  Unless he pulls a Dave Roberts in this year's playoffs.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back in First

Photo: Reddick between Ortiz and Pedroia, celebrating his 10th inning, game-winning hit.  Matt Stone, Boston Herald

Four days' fever of over 101 degrees, plus the moving and such (and a little writing), have kept me away, but I thought it was time to add a little perspective:

--You've heard that baseball is a game of inches; this series showed this.  Last night, Rivera made two mistakes: he left a ball up to Scutaro (double) and another to Pedroia (SF).  That's it.  The Sox finally played small ball when it mattered, which is not easy against Mo.  Pedroia's sacrifice fly was just as impressive as Scutaro's double.  Mo usually Ks the batter or makes him ground out (with a drawn-in infield, that's usually bad) in that situation.  The Sox had missed better chances to score all game--and all series.  Anyway, that's it.  Two pitches slightly up.  Despite a Top-5 sports reporter's column, games now have almost no bearing in October.  Mo will not be fazed then by this.  CC?  Maybe a little bit more.

--Having said that, it is amazing that Sabathia is 10-2 against the rest of the majors, with an ERA barely above 2, and 0-4 against Boston with an ERA about 7.  I repeat, though: This will matter only a little bit in October.

--The Sox 10-2 record against the Yanks is also inexplicable.  But there are 7 regular season games yet between these two.  If the Yanks win them all, we're having the exact opposite conversation in October.

--Here's to hoping that Reddick plays when J.D. returns.  In fact, I'd prefer Reddick in right in the postseason as well.  Maybe a platoon?  How's Reddick hitting against lefties, anyway?  Well, he's 9-23, .331, over 1.000 OPS against lefties, according to Baseball-Reference.com.  How about we leave him in against both for awhile?  He's being platooned against lefties; I don't see that (outside of stroking a veterans ego).

--The Yankees starting pitching staff is either seriously overachieving, or coming into its own.  Nova and other unknowns have 9, 10 wins.  The proof will be in October.

--Speaking of October, the Sox/Yanks have a 9+ game lead in the wild card race.  What race?

--I hope I can land a playoff ticket.  Last playoff game I saw was the Sox 7-run comeback against the Rays in 2008.  Went with my Dad; glad I did.  It was his last game.

--Speaking of starting pitching, Beckett and Lester are gonna hafta be Johnson and Schilling in order for the Sox to go anywhere in the playoffs.

--The Yanks are even more lost, with CC and who knows.  Nova, I guess.  Outside of those guys, Girardi pulls the starter and hopes for great relief like he got on Friday night.  Every game.  Or the offense will have to pound the other team into submission.

--By the way, I ran into some Action Packed (that's the brand name) football cards from 1993-1995.  Includes a Marshall Faulk rookie card (worth $10), and some Montanas, Elways, Marinos, Bledsoes, and other HOFers and stars.  All great shape; no wear or tear, corners sharp.  It's all worth over $42, but I'll let it go for $20; I'm moving and don't feel like dealing with more cards (I have literally thousands already).  Drop me an email at sb {at} stevenbelanger {dot} com if you're interested.