Transitions can be difficult. There's that period of time in between where you're going and where you came from, in between where you were and where you must reach, that is uncomfortable. It's a waiting game, a purgatorial wait wherein all else is put on hold. Nothing can happen until that one goal is achieved, even if it takes days, weeks, or in some cases, an entire lifetime. Yes, it sucks waiting for microwave popcorn.
Dustin Parkes is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers on the interwebs. We're starting off today with as reasonable a take on the recently reported Red Sox related mess as you will find. It's easy to start yelling about drinking in the clubhouse. You don't get to do that at work, so why should they, right? Because you and they, as far as the marketplace are concerned, aren't equal. Unless you are a pro baseball player (in which case, hi!). But that isn't my point. The point, and the one that Mr. Parkes makes so well, is what kind of impact does all that has been reported have on production? It may or may not be, but let's all that is reported is true, did various Red Sox drinking on days they weren't playing change the Red Sox record? Did playing video games during the games take a 95 win team and create a 90 win team? It's impossible to say it had any impact what so ever. The rush to scapegoat is a common reaction. It's also fun because it has the word "goat" in it. But when looking for someone or something to blame, it's best, killjoy as it may be, to have all the facts. And in this case, we just don't come close.
After singing the praises of WEEI's Alex Speier on this week's podcast (up later today), Mr. Speier goes and publishes something like this... and completely redeems himself! Mr. Speier discusses an idea which Marc and I broached last week on the podcast (just finished editing it so it's on my brain), the idea that there is something intrinsically wrong with the Red Sox, with the players they have, with the way the evaluate players and the way the team conducts business. In fact, as Mr. Speier discusses (link fixed) there isn't anything at the core of any of that which would prevent the organization from going forward successfully in the very near future.
Normally I try to spread the links around, but in this case there's no point. More from Mr. Speier: a look at the presumptive new General Manager of the Red Sox. This is must read material, folks. Like an episode of Full House in 1990 (come on, you know you watched it).
The Tampa Rays completed a miraculous come back from irrelevance to playoff participants on the last two pitches of the season. They then went out and lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Texas Rangers. Then their owner turned around and said something to the effect of, "I don't like it here! Wah wah wah!" I'm paraphrasing of course. The point is for all the positive press the Rays get, for all the wins they accumulate, for all the playoff appearances they achieve, nobody cares. Well, nobody in Tampa anyway. OK, 'nobody' is too strong. Eight people care. The Rays stadium is kinda far from the down town. Also, it's a hole. According to some people it's not the worst hole in the world. To others, it's a giant hole that has no business hosting a major league soccer event let along a pro baseball game. Alex Remington over at Fan Graphs takes a look at the complex issues brought to the fore by Rays' owner, Stuart Sternberg's comments. Mr. Remington takes the time to talk with some others in the know, so the result is a refreshingly nuanced article.
The great Joe Posnanski + The Cubs + lots of swear words with ampersands and stars in place of vowels = Fun!
Finally, a bit of self promotion, over at Splice Today I wrote a piece wherein 'Joe Morgan' reviews the movie Moneyball. Yes, yes, I'm hilarious. No, you stop!