BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 27: Alfredo Aceves #91 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park August 27, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
I was warned when I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast that I was moving into the more volatile area of the country. The West is known for more extreme weather, and natural disasters are commonplace (or so the story goes) while the east is docile, like a sleeping puppy in a tiny snuggy, safe, secure, and not likely to implode or be eaten by a plague of locusts. I won't make any comment on the West as I've only been out here a short time and, minor complaints aside, I like being alive, but since I've moved, the East has had droughts, floods, severe heat waves, record snowfall, earthquakes, and now a hurricane. My point: there are worse things than having a crappy local economy.
Is there more pressure in a pennant race? Maybe. Or maybe not. Does it negatively affect a players performance? This is the question Joe Posnanski of SI.com sets out to answer. He says, in order, no and no. Or, if you prefer out of order, no and no. The point being: Joe Posnanski of SI.com doesn't think there is more pressure on a player in a pennant race. What's more, I think he's right. As Mr. Posnanski says, this is one of those things that the more you think about them the more you realize the original line of thought doesn't make sense. But, as with all things written by Joe Posnanski, regardless of the conclusion the ride makes it worth while.
Ozzie Guillen had some choice words for Cleveland Indians fans after they welcomed Jim Thome back into their fold with open arms. Dave Brown of Yahoo's Big League Stew writes about it here. The gist is it's hypocritical to boo a player, as Indians fans did when Thome played against them, and then turn around and cheer him when he comes back to your team later on. Of that there is no doubt. But what, you may be asking, does this have to do with the Red Sox? Well, nothing directly, but there is a parallel that one doesn't have to go very far to see. Just read Mr. Brown's above linked piece and change the words "Indians", "Cleveland" and "Thome" to "Red Sox", "Boston" and "Damon." As an attendee to Johnny Damon's first game back to Boston after signing with the Yankees, I admit to booing the man. I'll also say I was excited last year when the Red Sox tried to trade for Damon and disappointed when he vetoed the deal essentially because, to paraphrase Ozzie Guillen, why would he want to go back after the way the fans treated him? It was a shame for both Red Sox fans and for Damon as it represented a lost opportunity to reconnect with a player who made a huge impact during his four years in Boston. Yes, he took more money to join the hated Yankees, and that will never be a popular action around these parts but that doesn't mean the fans should hate him forever.
There is an interesting discussion over at Fan Graphs as pertains to different kinds of stats. Some stats, as you are no doubt aware, define the past. These stats assess the value of what has happened and assign value to it. Other stats look at what has happened and attempt to show what will happen in the future. As is probably obvious, these are two different kinds of stats. Sometimes though one might misuse a stat. When that time comes, Dave Cameron is there to set us all straight. This is a good thing.
Mike Andrews at Sox Prospects has uncovered a heretofore unbeknownst proclivity. The Red Sox seem to choose lots of players from USA Baseball in the draft. This includes the most recent draft where the team's top four picks, Matt Barnes, Blake Swihart, Jackie Bradley, and Henry Owens, were all on the USA Baseball roster. Mr. Andrews helpfully includes the latest Team USA roster for us to bone up on next year's draft picks.
Finally, I'm not sure what "Nerdbone" is but it sounds rad.