BOSTON, MA - JULY 06: J.D. Drew #7 of the Boston Red Sox hits a single as J.P. Arencibia #9 of the Toronto Blue Jays defends in the fourth inning on July 6, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Oh, the hard, hard life of an unpaid internet writer! Man hasn't had it this tough since the old west. That was a time when men were men, women were probably men, horses were also men, beer was probably water, and water was likely beer. Or urine. Gunfights could spring from almost nothing, and whore houses were only exceeded in quantity by hangings. That's pretty much my life in a nutshell, you know, minus the guns, whores, hangings, and water.
Looking back on last off-season's spending spree, the Red Sox purchased the equivalent of an old moldy peach and a banana with such a mushy center that there isn't much for short of throwing it the blender. Between Mike Cameron's forced departure to Florida and John Lackey's intermittent wiper routine (general suckitude, injury, general suckitude), the $100 million spent bringing them both to Boston for a combined seven seasons might have been better spent on lottery tickets. This season the team's free agent expenditures haven't been nearly as bad, but they haven't exactly set the world afire either. In fact, many teams are struggling with free agents. Conversely, a number of teams have struck gold with under-the-radar signings. The Daily Dish has a list of the five best off season signings and you won't find Carl Crawford, Rafael Soriano, or Jayson Werth anywhere near it with good reason.
The aptly named "Bill" at The Platoon Advantage wrote about the Red Sox and Yankees being over-represented at the All Star Game. To his credit he concedes that, if anything, they're probably under represented. Incidentally, the blog name always makes me think of the movie, Platoon, which makes me think of The Naked Gun where Leslie Nielsen and Priscella Presley are leaving a movie laughing and laughing and the camera pans back so you can see the marquis which says "Platoon". Good times.
Speaking of the Yankees, Dave Gershman at Beyond the Boxscore wonders who is the most popular baseball team. No, no, don't jump to conclusions, because it's not... well, actually its exactly who you think. Mr. Gershman uses an innovative method to reach an answer: he goes to the Bronx and asks everyone wearing a dark blue baseball cap. No, kidding, he used the power of the google to assist in his quest. And still, the results are hardly surprising.
Allan at Joy of Sox noticed something: Ted Williams was crazy good at hitting. Funny that it's called 'hitting' too, because part of being a good hitter is not hitting. That was Williams' deal. His patience was legendary. Dude could wait out hot coffee to the point where he never burned his tongue. Incredible. Just this morning I scalded my tongue and dripped hot coffee down my front because I couldn't wait. But then, I'm no Ted Williams. Pitchers were justifiably terrified of him too, which likely contributed to his high OBP, but even so, check out Williams two best seasons in terms of on-base percentage: .553 and .526. Yes, that first digit is a five. And, those two came seventeen years apart.
Over at the much derided Grantland, Chuck Klosterman interviews the great Bill James about James' new book Popular Crime. The interview isn't much on sports and has literally nothing to do with the Boston Red Sox, but anytime Bill James talks it behooves us all to listen. Even if you don't agree with the guy, which at times Klosterman doesn't, he makes you think. Also, in a disagreement between Bill James and Chuck Klosterman, I'm siding with James.
Marc and I talked a bit about Will Middlebrooks and Kyle Weiland in this week's podcast (out later today, though available right now on iTunes) so it makes sense to throw this link up there. Sox Prospects has the latest on the two prospects and what they need to work on to reach the big leagues.
Finally, the Roger Clemens perjury trial is about to get underway. There are so many questions, like why'd he lie, why did he lie about that other thing, why does he continue to lie, and maybe most importantly, does anyone anywhere still give a good crap about this guy?