Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Conversation

Anyone that saw the Sunday night broadcast of the Sox-Yanks game was privy to the following -

ESPN's Peter Gammons said on Sunday night's Red Sox-Yankees game broadcast that the Red Sox have had "internal discussions" about Barry Bonds, but he considers a workout for the 43-year-old free agent unlikely. Red Sox pitcher and vocal Bonds critic Curt Schilling, who is out for the season, Monday morning on Boston sports radio station WEEI called the possibility of Bonds coming to Boston for the stretch run "three months of a PR nightmare." More from Schilling: "That would be an eye-opener for sure. I know Barry said in the past that he hates the city of Boston. I really don't know. I hadn't thought about that one, I didn't think that was on the radar."
Beyond the accuracy of Schill's statement, am I the only one who thinks the "discussion," the team's conversation regarding Bonds went something like this -
Theo Epstein and the Red Sox brain trust are holed up in a room late one night last week on Yawkey Way. Their faces illuminated by their laptops as they scour the scouting reports, looking for a contingency plan given their issues with David Ortiz's wrist.

"Carlos Beltran?" piped up one man from the shadows.

"Maybe," replied Epstein," but I have a hunch that the Mets will want to much. Besides, the man averages almost 100 strike outs per year. Besides, for a guy that's supposed to be a slugger, an average of just under 24 home runs per year for his career...it doesn't really cut it."

"Junior Griffey," asked another.

"The Reds will likely want more in prospects for him than we'll be willing to give. Now his teammate, Dunn...," said Epstein, "let's take a closer look at Dunn, put a value on him as a DH/outfielder. If Papi doesn't come along as hoped, we can probably get Dunn in the line-up almost everyday as a utility outfielder/first baseman/DH."

"We might have some egos to massage in the outfield if we do that."

"We'll cross that bridge if and when we come to it," said Epstein. "Any other ideas?"

"Hey," a voice came from the corner, "Bonds is still available."

The room goes silent as everyone stops to stare at the scout who suggested Bonds.

The man holds a straight face for all of about five seconds before exploding in laughter. The rest of the room followed suit. "Sorry, everybody," he said. "I had to say it."

"Can you imagine the field day the press would have with this," asked Epstein as he regained his composure."

"God, it would be like throwing raw meat to starving dogs," said another. "The fans would march on Fenway like the villagers on Frankenstein's castle."

As the laughter finally reduced to the punch-drunk chuckle of people working just a few too many hours, Epstein again surveyed the room. "Seriously, now, anyone else," he asked. "Damn that was funny."
I See Dumb People...

In my occasional rants about the stupid in sports, I would like to return to Sunday's game against the Yankees. When the Red Sox bullpen was having its fire-sale, coughing up Wakefield's lead like a two-pack smoker with emphysema, a play stuck in my craw. On a play where the ball rolled to the wall in the gap between Coco Crisp and JD Drew - the play that tied the game - there was a slim outside chance (in my opinion), that someone with a strong arm might have been able to make the play at the plate that would have ended the inning, preserving the Sox lead.

Instead, with Drew (who has a cannon for an arm) and Crisp (whose arm is more akin to silly putty) converging on the ball at almost exactly the same time, Crisp called drew off the ball, picked it up, turned, and fired...a ball that skittered on the ground most of the way to the cut-off man.

I understand that the centerfielder is in charge out there, but the player has to know the situation and his own limitations. Crisp had to know that Drew would have been able to get the ball to the infield with a harder, more accurate throw - or if he didn't, he should have.

Part Two -

The Detroit Lions are at it again - ganking the NFL's "Believe in Now" slogan for the upcoming season with the simple alteration to make the slogan a question rather than a statement - "Do You Believe in Now?"

I really think they should do this up like those "I'm with stupid ->" tee shirts which have the arrows pointing in opposite directions so that wearers can walk side by side, "<- I'm with stupid" with the arrows pointing at each other. Except I think the Lions should pair it with a tee shirt, or maybe put this on the back, that says, "Why should I, you dumb f^@% ?"

Nothing says stating a certainty like stating it with a question.

One last note -

Best wishes to Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder who fractured one of his testicles last week. I read up on what that "fracture" entails, and out of mercy to my male readers, will not post that here.

However, Mr. Snyder, may you heal quickly and completely.


Dave said...

Only Detroit would turn it into a question. Obviously a Millen decision.

The concept of Bonds in a Sox uniform...ugh. All that drama and a pending court case to boot. No thanks. I'm with you; they probably took all of five seconds to dismiss the idea.

Kevin Smith said...

Matt Millen, the only GM in professional sports whose five year plan includes a sentence, "in year five we will be competitive enough to break into single digits in the loss column..."

Yup, the only reason why he's not the Isiah Thomas of the NFL - no sexual discrimination suit.

As for Bonds, I have a hunch that just about every team has brought up the name and dismissed it. If there's a place he's likely to surface, I'm guessing NYC is the place, and that's only if Hank overrules Cashman.

David Sullivan said...

I wonder if they have the hat that used to be on the old bullpen cart. It might be the only Sox hat that could fit Bond's prodigious noggin.