I realize that there are a great many Boston related things I should be getting caught up on. The Pats’ two wins and the Bruins slow start jump to mind, but instead I’m going slightly off track and talk about a few things with a New York flavor to them.
I couldn’t fully enjoy watching the Yankees slide ass backwards into the playoffs for a variety of reasons. For one thing, despite the ugliness of their arrival, they did at least make a brief appearance there, while all the Sox could muster was a false hope they wouldn’t finish last. Also, there was something eerily similar to the September New York was having and the one Boston experienced back in 2011. That’s the one that has become to be simply referred to around here as “The Collapse”, which saw them go from being 9 games up in the Wild Card to losing it all on the last day of the season to Tampa Bay. The Yanks went from being in first place by 6.5 games to barely holding on to a spot, just barely holding onto “home field advantage,” which obviously did not prove to be much of an advantage.
To no small extent, alcohol was an issue for both teams. For the Red Sox, in was the three-ring, “beer and fried chicken circus” of John Lackey, Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. For New York, it was the revelation of C.C. Sebathia’s alcoholism and subsequent entry into rehab. The Sox lost 18 of their last 24, while New York lost 18 of their last 33, but 6 of their last 7. The 2011, Jacoby Ellsbury played 158 games, hit 32 HRs, and had 105 RBIs. The 2015 edition played in 111 games, hitting .257, with 7 HRs, and 33 RBSs. The Collapse cost manager Terry Francona his job, saw GM Theo Epstein leave for Chicago, and pretty much marked the beginning of the end for Larry Lucchino as president of the team. In New York, manager Joe Girardi is hailed as some kind of hero for “holding the team together,” and GM Brian Cashman’s job is safe despite saddling them with a bunch of old guys with long term contracts. Go figure…
As part of WEEI Red Sox Insider Rob Bradford’s post mortem of the 2015 season, he looks back at their history in the free agent market. He looked at their successful efforts, such as Manny Ramirez, this year’s failure–Hanley Ramirez, and the one that got away–Mark Teixeira. I mention this now because I had forgotten that the Yanks had signed Teixeira away from the LA Angels, and in the process lost their first round pick to the Angels. That pick, number 25 in the 2009 draft, turned out to be… MIKE TROUT. Now this might be common knowledge to New York fans, but it was news to me. I hate to admit it, but Trout is enough of an “old school” type that he probably would look good in pinstripes. Actually, if he is going to wear red socks, I really wish they were indeed Red Sox. I get that Yankees fans cannot be unhappy with the Teixeira signing, as he did help them win a championship, but the 6’2”, 230 pound Trout is only 24 years old… I wonder if they would have un-retired #7? Hopefully, we will never know.
Although I am not now or have ever been a Yankees fan, I was still saddened to hear of the death of Yogi Berra last month. He was very much a part of my childhood. Yogi was the backbone of some classic Yankees teams, and to me for years was the prototypical catcher. At 5’7”, 185 lbs, he was that fireplug of a human that could not be moved. It took me years to get used to seeing guys like the 6’3” Carlton Fisk, or the 6’2” Victor Martinez, squat behind the plate. They seemed a little too elegant, and never quite as dirty and messy as Berra. He was also an offensive threat as well, with a .285 career BA and 385 home runs over the span of his 19 years. Those numbers that might have been even better, if not for the time lost serving in World War II. It might be cliched, but they really don’t seem to make ’em like that anymore.
And I dare you to say, “Deja vu”, without saying, “All over again..”
- The “Roger That” Edition - February 28, 2017
- The “Nice Ring To It” Edition - February 3, 2017
- The “Shaken, Not Stirred” Edition - January 17, 2017
- The “Malcolms in the Middle” Edition - January 11, 2017
- A “Catching Up, Following Up, and Weighing In” Edition - December 31, 2016
- The “Cannon and Flowers” Edition - December 21, 2016
- The “Farm, for Sale” Edition - December 10, 2016
- The “Tebucky Jones Tribute” Edition - November 13, 2016
- The “World, Serious” Edition - November 1, 2016
- The “Easy Come, Easy Go” Edition - October 18, 2016