The Hangover’s musings on the ’08 baseball season.
- There should be no panic-worry-complaining from Sox nation. The team plays hard every night. The lineup is good and the pitching is there. Exciting young players are coming up through the system and contributing. But it’s the pitching that means the Sox will be in the mix in October. Oh yeah, and they won the Series again last year. Anyone bitching about this year’s model should be given 1950′s style shock therapy.
- Give Jason Varitek a break. He’s not a young man anymore but he’s being played like one. He’s hitting .218 and throwing out less than 20% of base runner’s attempting to steal. Hey, he’s 36–and he’s not Carlton Fisk (a freak of nature who played effectively into his 40′s). The Sox will figure out that they need to cut his workload and give him two out of every five days off. When they do, his numbers will rise.
- Is there a Heidi Watney fan club? If there is, The Hangover would like to join. The Red Sox Insider report with Heidi and Amalie Benjamin is the no-doubt highlight of the NESN pre-game show. In fact, The Hangover would be glad to join the Amalie Benjamin fan club, too.
- Occasionally, the Hangover listens to a game on the radio. While Joe Castiglione and Dave O’Brien do a good job describing the action, they can be tedious.
> When Castiglione is doing the play-by-play, every Sox out is imparted with the “I just found out my mother-in-law is coming for the weekend” voice. The “my dog just got hit by a car” tone pops up for bases loaded failures and the final out of the game. Relax, Joe. A loss isn’t the end of the world.
> O’Brien, on the other hand, seems to know what’s going on in every player and manager’s head. He’s constantly stating, “There’s nothing that Terry Francona wants more than…” or “Dustin Pedroia would really like to…” Hey, stick to the action. The Amazing Kreskin should have retired with Johnny Carson.
> Dale Arnold, on his nights, is fine. He gives the details and describes the game without the pathetic tones or a know-it-all attitude. And he can be humorous while doing so. A real bonus, considering.
- Give Hank Steinbrenner some credit. It was a no-brainer to turn Joba Chamberlain into a starter. He’s big, strong, and has more than two good pitches. By the end of the year, he’ll be the Yankees #1 starter. And if the owner has to stick his nose in to get things done, hey, it’s his team.
- We all know about how the Sox need to extract every dollar from their ballpark and broadcasts so that they can compete with the dreaded, rich Yankees. But enough with the sponsorships and marketing. How long will it be before Remy and Orsillo are discussing the Papelbon “Fed Ex” fastball for strike three? Or the Wakefield “Isotoner” knuckleball? Can the “Jiffy Lube” slider be far off? This will be a certain boon for Wendy’s who can sponsor every single, double, and triple.
- The Hangover closes this post by taking a look at the American League all-star infield. On the left, there are the Yankees Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. On the right, the Sox Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis. Let’s go over the stats:
Jeter and A-Fraud: Combined Production: .296, 24 HR, 95 RBI; Combined Salaries: 49.6 Million dollars.
Pedroia and Youkilis: Combined Production: .314, 24 HR, 110 RBI; Combined Salaries: 3.45 Million dollars.
Yikes. At 7% of the cost, the Sox pair exceeds the production of the Yankees starters. And we all know what happens to A-Fraud in October.
When evaluating players, one must consider the all-important (and Hangover original) RPY (Rings per Year) stat. Jeter and A-Fraud have a combined 27 years in the league with 4 Series victories between them for a RPY of .148. Pedroia and Youkilis have a combined 5 years in the league with three Series victories between them for a RPY of .600, an enormous edge for the Sox pair. This Saxony Stat of the Season is brought to you by Saxony Imports of Kennebunkport, Maine, the place to shop in Kennebunkport, located just over the bridge in Dock Square.
(Sorry, but expanding revenue streams works for the Sox, and The Hangover must compete with the dreaded, rich ESPN.com, MSNBC.com, The Onion, etc..,. )