Sunday brought another in a recent series of inspiring wins or the 2011 Red Sox. Anytime the Sox can beat the Yankees, as a friend of mine once said of his wedding night, it's nice. But to beat them like that, by coming back against The Mighty Rivera, to take the series amidst the raucous throngs assembled at Fenway, well, that's some fun right there.
Neil deMause from Field of Schemes writes about the giant stadium subsidies snookering at The Nation (via NPR's site). As a former city planner I'm sadly familiar with the sad facts of stadium and ball park construction. Simply put, teams argue there is a tangible economic benefit to building new stadiums or ball parks. But as Mr. de Mause points out, this just simply isn't remotely true. The tax dollars wasted on these giant shiny new objects for the wealthy would probably be better spent by bundling them up and setting them on fire to warm homeless people. Think I'm being melodramatic? Read the article.
Former OTM Podcast guest Dave Brown wrote a piece at Baseball Prospectus on Moneyball: the Movie, which will be in theaters this week. This led to a conversation over Twitter in which it was suggested that they should have just turned the ridiculous quotient up to eleven and made Moneyball a musical. Then Ben Lindbergh found this, which is just... incredible. I am silenced.
Sox Prospects has an extensive scouting report up on Red Sox shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias. (Light years ago back at Red Sox Beacon I wrote a (ridiculously incomplete) scouting report on Iglesias based on watching him one night in Spring Training.) Iglesias has struggled offensively this year but there are some reasons for optimism. Well, I should say guarded optimism. There's little reason to believe Iglesias will ever be an above average hitter, but an average hitter with his defensive skills would be a a very valuable and productive asset. I think the jury is still out on that one though. It will be interesting to see what the Red Sox really think of his future, what with Jose Reyes on the free agent market this winter. Some are already speculating about the Red Sox interest in Reyes.
Joe Sheehan at SI.com has a history of the move from a four to a five and now in some cases to a six man rotation. As usual, Mr. Sheehan makes a good series of points, specifically about the added physical stress that pitchers endure as baseball evolved as a game. Initially pitchers were similar to the role a parent would play at a five year old's T-ball game. That has changed, and therefore what we ask of pitchers as a whole has changed too.
Finally, did any of you see the most recent Phillies game? A gorilla on a motorcycle dropped a banana peal which was then slipped on by the ballboy. Seriously.