Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Brief Sporting History of #BostonStrong


It was a cold winter, colder than the Pilgrims had expected. Settlers in a new world, how could they have known? Back home, the ground didn’t freeze quite so viciously and at least there were always potatoes. So many fucking potatoes. But here they were, in a vast and undiscovered land, perhaps not even able to make it through the winter. Desperate and hungry, the Pilgrims had no choice; they would have to ask the other inhabitants of this uninhabited land if they had any food.

These other inhabitants were wild, savage people. It was a miracle they knew how to cultivate the land at all. But they had food, and while willing to share it, they proposed a friendly game. A game of lacrosse.

The Pilgrims were wary. They remembered how Cromwell had seized power from Charles I after a friendly game of badminton gone awry*. Unable to adequately control the damn shuttlecock, Charles had lost his head. This lacrosse match would be no friendly game. This was a test, one the Pilgrims had no intention of losing.

*Yes, I know my timeline’s wrong. Fuck off, I liked this joke.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Letters?

For those of you keeping track, the last time we did a Letters segment was April 27th hahahahahaha that's unbelievable. Literally a 6-month hiatus. At that time, we were talking about the first round of the NBA playoffs, the effect that tragedies like the Boston marathon bombings have on sports teams, and driving on parkways. We've accumulated some pretty good questions, so let's get to it. Back in business.

2004 World Series

David Ortiz and Mike Matheny in the 2004 World Series


How does this world series contention for the red sox compare to those of the last decade?  How do the associated emotions as a fan compare?  How do the rosters compare?  Some things to ponder.  Does this city "need" this championship?  What does that even mean, and is that a real thing?

Let me answer these 100 questions. The Red Sox were pretty much clearly the best team in baseball coming into the playoffs. That was also probably true in 2007. They had a really solid rotation this year, with 6 guys doing good work for them, and 3 guys at the top of rotation being great (Lester, Buchholz, Lackey). That's similar to 2004, when they had Pedro, Schilling, and Bronson Arroyo pitching great, and Tim Wakefield and Derek Lowe pitching quality innings. I think this team, all things considered, is the best of the 3 pennant winners. Manny probably made the lineup in 2007 slightly better, but the 2013 pitching staff is better than that of '07.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hate the Game

St. Louis Cardinals' Allen Craig gets tangled with Boston Red Sox's Will Middlebrooks during the ninth inning of Game 3 of baseball's World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in St. Louis. Middlebrooks was called for obstruction on the play and Craig went in to score the game-winning run. The Cardinals won 5-4 to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Photo: David J. Phillip, AP / AP
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Obstruction-call-gives-Cards-win-in-WS-Game-3-4929713.php#photo-5373986


"Obstruction" cost the Red Sox a chance to take the first game in St. Louis and go up 2-1 in the series. Most things I'm reading about this back up the umpires' decision that this was indeed obstruction, and that it's an unusual call and a wild way to end the game. I have a few thoughts on this.

The first thought is simple. Have you ever seen this happen before? Have you ever seen a run score because the third baseman dove for a ball? I know this is a very unusual play, but I've seen my fair share of baseball games. Craig, the runner at third, was essentially awarded home the moment the obstruction occurred. What made this play wilder was that he would have been out had there been no call, but have you ever seen that before? I can't believe this is the first time I've seen a third baseman dive with a runner on third. I just have a hard time believing that Will Middlebrooks did something that was so out of the ordinary that people literally had to pull out the rule book to see what the rule was. It's not like the ball hit a bird that was flying by and the bird dropped the ball into the stands. This seems like a play that happens every once in a while.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Baseball Playoff Preview



Baseball's regular season is over (Jon thinks it ended in July, but we told him that good teams were still playing and baseball didn't stop when Ryan Braun got caught). Yayyyy. We've thoroughly covered the randomness of baseball's playoffs, but that certainly won't stop us from putting out some last-second predictions so we can mock each other later. So, from the guys who predicted Josh Hamilton would win the AL MVP, the Dodgers and Cardinals as disappointing teams, and the Angels in the World Series, here come the best picks on the Internet.