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Daily Links - I Wonder What Will Happen If I Put The Words Brad Pitt Naked In Both The Title And The Post

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This is like Red Sox fans' own private version of Groundhog Day, the old(ish) movie where Bill Murray gets caught in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania on groundhog day over and over and over for eternity. Murray lives through Groundhog Day, goes to sleep on Groundhog Day and wakes up on Groundhog Day. Again. He isn't allowed to graduate until he had grown sufficiently as a person (this is Hollywood we're talking about so there had to be some personal growth). As a writer, I feel like each day I have to write a story about the thing I wrote about yesterday. The Red Sox lost, couldn't hold another lead, got blown out in the first inning, came back and lost anyway, dropped the ball at an inopportune time, crapped the bed in the first inning, got run over by a '47 Packard, were eaten by wolves, spontaneously combusted, what ever. It's all been done before. Can we just learn our lesson now and wake the hell up?

Link time?

There's been a bit of a hysteria over the Red Sox, who should be blamed and how many of their toenails should be pulled out and shoved into their eyes by a wild boar (editor's note: Boars have hooves, making this exercise difficult). You may recall my reaction to all that yesterday. Addressing the same general topic, the Globe's Chad Finn hits just the right notes of anger, fear, bewilderment, understanding, and blind freak'n rage. I don't anticipate his column would be much different had it been written following Wednesday's loss either, primarily because there isn't much to differentiate Wednesday's loss from Tuesday's or Monday's or Sunday's beyond the details.

Theo Epstein has been getting criticism right and left as if the Red Sox slide from AL East division leaders to out-of-the-playoff laughingstocks in under a month is something he did as a prank. There might be a infomercial in there somewhere... We've been beating that horse carcass ourselves here at OTM. Most specifically here, here, here, here, here, and here. You will all be heartened to know that The Common Man from The Platoon Advantage is with us, people. He sees the hypocrisy, he sees the Monday Morning Quarterbacking, the revisionist history, and that crazy dragon who smells like pee by the Qwiky Mart. All this losing is getting to me. How do Pirates fans do it?

Moneyball was a book written ten years ago by A's GM Billy Beane about his pet computer, which he programmed to run his baseball team. Or at least, that's what I read in Joe Morgan's new book, Baseball Stories I Made Up (now available in paperback). But Moneyball is no longer a book, It has transmogrified into a movie. So all you people who paid $22.95 at the local Borders can go ask for your money back. In a number of ways the movie is different, but in two prominent ways it is much like the book. Both prominently feature Brad Pitt naked (or so Joe Morgan says) and both succeeded in riling people up something fierce. It's funny that ten years after the darn thing came out many people still don't have a handle on what it was about. Or wait, that's not funny, it's sad. In any case, Fox's Ken Rosenthal attempts to set everyone straight. He mostly does that, though there were some quotes from people that made me yell at the screen. For the record, the esteemed Craig Calcaterra agrees.

Baseball Prospectus has taken the occasion of their 15th anniversary to make available for free the first ever edition of their annual, the 1996 Baseball Prospectus. You can access all the team chapters here, or click here to go straight to the Red Sox chapter and hear gems like comparing Nomar Garciaparra favorably to Neifi Perez. You can also read write-ups on immortal Red Sox like Clyde Pough and Vaughn Eshelman. And you were going to get so much accomplished today, too.

FInally, Ozzie Guillen really is crazy... like a fox... that is crazy. A crazy fox, if you will... I gotta get some sleep.