"Back in the '50s I first started watching
baseball on television and I was a fan of the Yankees to tell you the truth
when I was 6-7 years old... Mickey Mantle was playing, Yogi Berra, these
guys, these are the guys I think about when I think about when I was a
kid... and here I am 53 years old, driving to Fenway Park and I'm still
thinking about the Yankees..." - Grady Little
After the Mistake
your fault brother... seriously." - Trot Nixon, October 16, 2003
Ghost in the Machine
"I think you should get Manager of the Year... really."
- Rudy Giuliani, October 16, 2003
Colin Powell testifying to a House
Committee investigating how the Red Sox
could possibly have lost Game 7 of the ALCS, reveals that Grady
alone in keeping former ace Pedro Martinez in the game, shunning the
of the pitcher himself and Boston pitching coach Dave Wallace,
Red Sox their first world championship in 85 years.
Have Yourself a Terry Little
'Tis the Seasoned Manager, Sox Get Surprise Gift.
The Ghost of Grady
another ghost, fully capable of haunting."
"I'm not sure I want to manage
that team... if they don't want me, fine, they don't want me. If
they want me to come back, then we'll talk and see if I want to come
back up there. That's the way I feel about it.... if Grady Little is
not back with the Red Sox, he'll be somewhere... right now I'm
disappointed that evidently some people are judging me on the
results of one decision I made -- not the decision, but the results
of the decision. Less than 24 hours before, those same people were
hugging and kissing me. If that's the way they operate, I'm not sure
I want to be part of it. Just add one more ghost to the list if I'm
not there, because there are ghosts. That's certainly evident when
you're a player in that uniform."
you're nothing to me now. You're not a manager, you're not a
friend. I don't want to know you or what you do. I don't want to
see you at the ballpark, I don't want you near my players. When
you see our games, I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be
there. You understand?
I know it was
you, Grady. You broke my heart. You broke my heart."
John Henry: "How's Grady?"
Lucchino: "Oh, Grady? You won't see him no more."
Bulldog Bob Rodgers: Let me ask you
about some of the moves that you made in the off season, to bring in
the guys like Bill Mueller and David Ortiz and Kevin Millar, you
couldn't imagine they would contribute like they have to this
Theo: Well first of all it's not an "I"
thing, it's a we thing, we really do everything as an organization,
and a lot of people deserve credit for bringing in these players in
the off season, but as far as the offense went this winter, we
really focused on building a lineup 1-9, that made sense, full of
professional hitters, tough outs, guys who could work deep counts,
not to give the pitcher a break. We thought if we could put together
9 hitters with some on-base skills, and some pop, we could really
make things difficult on the opposing pitchers, get into bullpens,
have guys constantly on base. We thought we'd lead the league in
doubles. We thought we'd lead the league in walks. It's been great.
We didn't envision this type of historic offensive output, but we
did know we had a pretty good offense.
Bulldog Bob Rodgers:
You have guys that have really taken to
the philosophy it seems, guys who work the count, and get into good
hitters counts, and that seems to work top to bottom in the lineup.
Theo: Well Papa Jack's done a terrific
job this year with Grady, working with the hitters, but really
that's a credit to the hitters. We've brought in guys who had gotten
the job done in the big leagues before, some guys who had terrific
seasons, some guys who would have but just didn't get the
opportunity or injuries cut short some of their season, and
everything is breaking our way this year, we're getting a chance to
put together a good season, getting a chance to hit in a good
lineup, they hit with runners on base, the pitcher's in a stretch
all the time, get a chance to drive in runs, they're doing the job.
Bulldog Bob Rodgers: I gotta ask you,
you build one bullpen at the beginning of spring training, realizing
you needed to do something, you reconfigured the entire bullpen and
made acquisitions that all throughout baseball everybody thought
"OK, these are the best moves for the ballclub" really hasn't panned
out the way you thought. Any thoughts on where the bullpen stands
right now as you head for the post season?
Theo: I like it. And I like what I've
seen certainly the last two days and I'll tell you what, it's such
an unpredictable part of the ballclub, and things obviously weren't
working in April and May and I'll take full blame for that, so we
tore it apart a little bit, kept the parts that were working, the
Timlins and Embrees, and rebuilt around them, Embree got healthy,
he's been doing a great job since then. Timlin's been consistent all
year, and then we brought in some new guys. And the trade for Kim in
late May and then him going to the closer role on July 1st, I
thought that was a big step. And these guys are all capable. I'll
take a career worth of track record and talent over one or two month
of maybe some mediocre performance. I have a lot of faith in these
guys. Dave Wallace and Tony Cloninger are getting these guys right
and through the post season, they'll get the job done.
Bulldog Bob Rodgers:
It seems like BH Kim also took what
happened on Friday as almost a challenge. Like you said, someone who
has a track record takes it as kind of a personal challenge and
translates to good results on the field.
Theo: This guy's tough, he's got
tremendous make-up. And when I think of BH Kim, I don't think about
the games that he hasn't gotten the job done, because that's the
exception not the rule. I think of him wanting to go after Carlos
Delgado on the mound in Toronto. And that's the type of guy, the
type of performance that I expect to see in October out of him.
The adversity we went through as a team
starting day one, on opening day, when we blew a three run lead in
the ninth inning, has just brought this team together, and there
were numerous times throughout the year when lesser teams and lesser
ballplayers would have folded, but Grady's done a great job keeping
spirits up. The players have strong character, it's just made us
stronger. So I'll take where we are today, with the experiences
we've been through, and the roster that we have, and the clubhouse
that we have, over just about anyone else's 'cause nothing been easy
for us so we're not gonna get bothered in the post-season.
Fan: Should Varitek start catching
Wakefield with the post-season coming up, getting used to him? I
can't see taking Jason's bat out of the lineup every third or fourth
Theo: Well Jason's obviously such an
instrumental part of this team, but Doug is as well. Don't let it
fool you that he only plays a couple of times during the week, but
he does a fantastic job handling Tim Wakefield, and is a threat with
the bat as well. So that's something for Grady and the coaching
staff to decide but I think both players will play a very important
role in the post-season.
Fan: As great a season as Todd has
had, I much would have rather have had Sanchez from last year. My
concern down the stretch is the defense. Tonight for example, Damian
Jackson, it was a great effort to get to the ball, but when you have
a 6-3 lead, you should have made sure you had one out. And Rey
Sanchez, as everybody knows, was the best second baseman this team
has had in past 10-15 years, and what really frightens me down the
road is the defense, and number two, how is Grady going to balance
winning the wild card, and setting his rotation for the playoffs?
Theo: As far as nit-picking specific
plays from the game today I'll tell you the game is a lot easier
back sitting at home watching it on TV, and sitting here in the
booth, than it is on the field and Damian Jackson is a terrific
second baseman and Todd Walker is a huge part of this ballclub and
has been instrumental to our success all year, so I'll take the
second baseman that we have on this year's club and I'll take this
year's club over last year's as well. One step at a time, we don't
even like talking about the post season until we're there. Obviously
there's a lot of planning that goes in. There's a myriad of factors
that contribute to our decision making in regards to the post season
as far as setting up the rotation but there's a way to balance both
interests and give ourselves the best chance to succeed, to clinch,
and then also have it set up nicely for the post season.
Fan: If the Sox go on to make the
playoffs, we're gonna face lefties like Zito, Wells, Pettitte... do
you think Grady will sit the Nixons, Walkers, Ortiz in a playoff
scenario like the way he has in the regular season? Or do the
playoffs dictate that you stick with your thunder?
Theo: That's a good question, it's
obviously we're going to spend a lot of time talking about, but
Grady will make the right decision in the end. I think there's
something to be said for going with the horses that got you there,
but at the same time match-ups are very important, and any way you
can get an edge on the opposition you have to take advantage of
that. But I think, in the post-season, if they start a left-hander,
he doesn't have his good stuff, he's going to out of there after two
innings, and all of a sudden you're facing a right-hander, a
submariner, so I think you go with your best players and match-up
the best way you can from there. At this point, if we get in, we
have a pretty good idea of who we're playing in the post season, you
can really spend time matching up, not just left-handers and
right-handers, but there's a lot of different ways you can look at
match-ups head-to-head from the past, whether he's a sinkerballer,
or a high ball pitcher, so you can spend a lot of time with the
information, get the best possible lineup and go out there.
Fan: Have you looked at Mike Timlin
for the closing role considering that he has 82 innings pitched and
33 runs, that's 49 more innings pitched than runs? And Bronson
Arroyo, I'm hoping he'll make the playoff staff because he has three
earned runs in 9 innings. And as far as him knowing the hitters,
Varitek could help him with that. For the 10th and 11th pitcher on
the roster, do you have any idea who it will be? It seems to be
between Jones, Lyon, Fossum, Mendoza, Williamson, and Sauerbeck
although Sauerbeck has 15 walks...
Theo: First of all, Mike Timlin has done
a fantastic job all year for us, he's been probably the most
consistent guy coming out of the pen, just fantastic, he's got a
power sinker and now he's really able to manipulate the fastball
where he's got three distinct pitches, and its not easy for the
opposition to just dig in there and take a whack at his best
fastball anymore. He's got outstanding command, he's only walked a
handful of guys all year, you know he's not going to beat himself
and put guys on base, so he's doing a great job, we like him in the
role he's in right now with his important times in the game, whether
it's the 7th inning, 8th inning, 9th inning, who knows? But I think
we have a lot of quality options out of there and that leads into
your next question about the playoff roster. We're obviously not
going to divulge that but we have a lot of quality choices and we'll
make the right decision.
Fan: Bronson Arroyo is a name that we
heard... actually Grady was bringing up Bronson's name in his
pre-game meetings quite a bit in the last couple of days, you think
he's going to have an opportunity to pitch between now and Sunday to
have a chance to make that post-season roster?
Theo: Yeah, I know Grady has plans to
use him in a game. And he's someone who can go long for us to if we
don't get that quality start, we need to have someone who can throw
some innings and keep us in a ballgame, Bronson can do that as well
and he can also I think has real playable stuff for late in a game
as well, he's really tough on those right-handed hitters, with the
command on his breaking ball and the ability to cut the ball as
well... it feels great, it's a real compliment to our scouting staff
and our analysts that we can pick up a guy for $20,000 and all of a
sudden he's a commodity, he's an asset for us late in the season,
and in the post season, and he's a candidate to be a long guy or
fifth starter for us next season, so my hats off to those guys out
in the field.
Big Bad Bob Breeds
Negativity at NESN
MR. RODGERS GETS UNDER GRADY'S SKIN.
SHAUGHNESSY FURIOUS IT'S NOT ABOUT HIM.
WrestleMedia 8 on NESN*
The Unpredictable Bob Rodgers
vs. Grady "The Animal" Steele
Texas Chain Saw Match, No Holds Barred
*IN HIGH DEFINITION
He's Not in Little's League
Asked how he might align the pitching
rotation for the postseason, Little said, "Before we make decisions
like that, I think we're going to be talking to Bob Rodgers about
what we'll end up doing because he seems to be an authority about
everything that goes on around a major league team from all that
experience he's had with the Little League teams and high school
teams that he's coached." Little added, "The job we've got around
here is a whole lot easier to do after the game's over." - Bob
Hohler, Boston Globe - Notes, 9.23.03
"I'm not a completely
impartial broadcaster, but I'm not going to insult the viewers by
not bringing up points that I think are relevant."
- Bob Rodgers
Bob Rodgers, with D&C on WEEI:
How could I argue something with passion if I don't come to the
table and think that I'm correct in what I say. I don't think that
because I coached high school baseball for 10 years, or American
Legion, or Little League, or high school basketball but I do have a
sense of what it means to be in competition, I do understand what it
means to play the games... I do go down to the clubhouse every
single day, I sit in the dugout for 15 minutes, I go in the
clubhouse every day, even if it's just to check the lineup card or
to talk to a couple of players. And I do that in the same way Dan
Shaughnessy would when he writes a bad column because I know that
I'm on the air for 90 minutes live every day and that I'm gonna say
some things that might not go well with people and if a player has a
problem with it, or if the manager has a problem with it, I don't
mind if they question me on it. And I'll tell them why I said it, or
what I was thinking... we talk about pitching all the time, we talk
about what would be logical (from a pitching rotation), the big
debate now is if it's John Burkett or Jeff Suppan... I didn't think
Sauerbeck should be in a game that's close or on the line when the
team is struggling. And when the team right now needs to make the
playoffs... those are the types of things we say, it doesn't mean
I'm correct on it. Grady has to decide... I would also say this,
just to be fair, I come on when Grady has done a good job, on Friday
night when Grady took out Kim, I applauded him for that during that
game, the way he handled the Manny Ramirez situation, I applauded
him for that. He's done a lot of things with this ballclub that I
thought he did very well. When he apologized to Jack McKeon, I
didn't like that and I came on the air and said so. That's what I'm
going to, that's what I have to do.... I get a sense in talking to
the players that they appreciate the difficulty in what our job is
and they understand what we're there to do. I have had two players
in particular, I'd rather not say who, that have told me that that
was the case and I can only do the job the way I know how to do it.
I've been with NESN for a long time, I think the people that have
been watching me over the years know that I'm fair, I'm passionate,
and I'm not afraid to admit that I want the ballclub to win. I'm not
a completely impartial broadcaster, but I'm not going to insult the
viewers by not bringing up points that I think are relevant.
No worries, now that Shaughnessy has gone Positive, and the Fellowship-of the Miserable
on 'EEI has turned their fangs onto Belichek and Brady, we've got
the market cornered on "constructive" criticism.
Dirt Dog: In August, during one of Pedro's
tirades he said: "They can (expletive) my (expletive expletive).
I'll make my $17.5 (million) next year and I'm outta here. They're
criticizing me because I'm black and Dominican."
Regarding his being criticized because he's "black and Dominican"
charge, isn't this statement as hollow and belligerent as they come
David Ortiz is "black and Dominican" and is beloved in Boston and
throughout Red Sox Nation. Sox fans judge a player by how hard they
play, how good of a teammate they appear to be, and what they say to
the fans via direct contact or through the media. David Ortiz could
be league MVP if he had enough at bats. He's been instrumental in
setting the tone in the clubhouse. He plays hard. He's straight up
with the fans, seems like a great guy to have a beer with, and
doesn't insult our intelligence. No one cares about the color of his
skin, or his country of origin. People care about David Ortiz the
Do you agree with this assessment? And
if so, doesn't that confirm that Pedro's full of it when he says
he's criticized only because he's "black and Dominican?" Would you
agree that Pedro is only criticized when his words or behavior
Howard Bryant: I don't know what to make of
Pedro these days. The thing you have to remember about Pedro is that
he was close to Tommy Harper and he is very aware of the racial
dynamic in the press. He is affable about it, but is disappointed
that more reporters don't speak Spanish, and thus cannot communicate
on a real, unencumbered level with, say, 25 percent of the players
in the game.
think Pedro feels very honestly that a double standard exists for
white players and one for blacks, which has traditionally been the
case here, and in other cities. David Ortiz is a good example,
because the prevailing attitude among many blacks (and Latins) in
the game is that whites will only accept you if you are an
Ortiz-like personality, one who is easygoing, who takes pains to
disarm everyone. A black player who is intense as a Trot Nixon, for
example, will automatically be tagged as a malcontent, or an
attitude problem because he's NOT smiling all the time.
This is the double standard Pedro believes is taking place in the
clubhouse. He can be charming, but certainly over the past year, he
has made a conscious decision not to play along any more, which is
The problem, though, is that Pedro makes lightning-rod comments that
blur the discussion at the wrong moments. He used SosaGate as a way
to discuss the grievances of the Latin player in baseball, but the
timing was off because *Sosa was wrong.* I think Pedro's general
unhappiness is manifesting in many ways, and this is an example.
More Q&A here
"It is an expression used kind of like 'Let's Go,' 'Let's Roll,'
'Let's get together,' we're gonna need full 25 man guys to go out
there hurt, to go out there injured, go out there when maybe you're
not feeling the greatest and sometimes you get added injuries
throughout the year, but we just determined as a team just to Cowboy
Up." "Let's Cowboy Up, let's get rough, let's get tough, let's just
do what it takes to win, if that's taking a guy out at second base
in a double play, let's do that. If it's taking a hit by a pitch,
0-2 count, just things of that nature that win games. That's the
term and hopefully that's the kind of team we have, a bunch of dirt
bags, and baseball players. We're not all blessed with the Manny
Ramirez bat speed or ability, but I tell you what, you look at the
Billy Muellers, David Ortizs, Trot Nixons, and Variteks, a bunch of
guys who go out there and are just gamers." - K. Millar
"Don't let pain dictate or pain or suffering on a baseball field or
in your life dictate the next day, the next hour, the next minute of
your life, Cowboy Up and survive and overcome those adversities. -
T. Nixon (RSTW, UPN-38)
Baseball is better than Football. Really, it is. A lot has been
written on this subject, on their differences, on which is superior,
and most of it, to be honest, went the other way. Football is more
exciting they say, football is more intense, and football is a more
interesting game. Someone brings up how fast football is growing,
especially amongst kids. You are much more likely to find a Mike
Vick or Warren Sapp jersey running around the streets of your
neighborhood than any size XX-small Pedro garb. And then they cite
the ratings, how the Super Bowl is the most watched anything on TV,
and the World Series is just another four to seven games on the tail
end of season much too long.
not to be argumentative, but they are wrong. Completely wrong.
Baseball is where it is at. Just tonight the epic battle between the
two goliaths of sports continued. As I settled in for Roy Halladay
and John Burkett, another tense confrontation with those pesky Jays
from north of the border, I realized that in a mere hour channel
five would be live from Foxborough with the final game of the
Patriots 2003 preseason. Sure, this match up is a bit skewed: a late
August game between a playoff contender and a team said playoff
contender seems to lose to with too much frequency against a game
where the starters would not play more than a few possessions.
Nevertheless, in the name of science, I feel it is my duty to use
whatever means available to me to prove the grand game of baseball
and the Red Sox superior. So, here are enough reasons to convince
any Pigskin or Patriot fanatic that, until October, Baseball is the
only sport they need to care about.
Firstly, Pepsi is the official drink of the New England Patriots. We
all know about the massive Coke bottles hanging on the light tower
above the Green Monster. I donít really drink soda and couldnít pick
one over the other... but I will ask you this, what is the official
dairy drink of the Patriots? Itís all about the Hood milk for the
Remy versus Randy Cross. Remy might not have had the good fortune of
playing on the great 49er teams of Montana or the baseball
equivalent, but color commentary is a completely new ballgame. Iíll
take Rem-dog over the ex-lineman any day.
Speaking of Cross, for absolutely no reason I could figure out, he
and Don Criqui broke out a Mark Bavaro versus Jeremy Shockey debate
sometime in the second quarter. Iím sorry, but I was watching the
Bears and Pats, correct? When was the last time we caught Don
Orsillo discussing Edgar Renteria following in the great shortstop
footsteps of Ozzie Smith in St. Louis? Yeah, thatís right, never. We
baseball fans like to focus on the game at hand.
there in lies another common complaint about Americaís pastime: Each
game is insignificant. If you do the math, a baseball game is worth
about a tenth, a little less in fact, of what a football game is
worth in regards to the entire season. There seems to be this common
belief about sports that less is more. But what can be better than
the fact that on any given summer night, you can sit down in front
of your TV at 7:05, flip NESN on, and there are the Sox, nearly
without fail. I love being a fan everyday, not just on Sundays. I
especially like that when the Sox lose and it only ruins a day
rather than a week.
Everyone loves a team sport, depending just as much on the man next
to you as on yourself. Well, thatís all well and good, but forget
building character, every now and then, you need the tension and
drama of a one on one confrontation, perhaps between a pitcher and a
batter. Each snap on the gridiron is 11 versus 11, but is there
anything more nerve racking than a 3-2 pitch late in a close game?
There the batter is, toeing in the batters box like a bull ready to
charge, with the pitcher staring in with his icy ice trained the on
the catcherís mitt. Iím sweating already. I donít need bone
crunching tackles to define intensity; the diamond is filled with
watched the end of a preseason football game on a major channel.
Whatís worse, those poor fans in attendance, who saw more of Rex
Grossman and Rohan Davey than Tom Brady, paid just as much to enter
shiny Gillette Stadium as they would for a real game in November.
Many people complain about steep prices at Fenway, about the cramped
and lousy conditions. Keep in mind, however, that John Henry never
made you pay $100 to see a spring training game.
Baseball is more intense, they play pretty much everyday and a night
at the park can be had for about twenty bucks for a bleacher seat.
Shouldnít it be clear which the better game is? Not to mention the
Pats actually won a Super Bowl; doesnít actually winning the title
take the fun out of it?
- JJ Feigenbaum
Gordon, This is a bit of a rant, but I'm wondering why certain Red
Sox players with low sensitivity threshholds (sic) listen to
sports talk radio or read the Dirt Dogs site. Those two places in
particular (plus the usually sarcastic and nasty Shaughnessy) are
consistently negative, insulting and apparently filled with player
wannabees who clearly, if given the chance, could pitch, hit, and
catch better than anyone on the Sox. It is almost guaranteed that
a Sox player will find something to get hacked off at if he pays
attention to these guys. Most celebrities usually learn very
quickly not to read the Enquirer and the like. Pedro, Nomar,
Kevin, et. al. should learn to do the same with the black holes of
Boston sports if what they hear or read disturbs them so much,
that they start dissing Boston and all Red Sox fans who live and
die with them every season.
A: Kathryn, it's a mystery to me, too. I've often asked Don Zimmer
why he listened to talk radio when he managed here, and that was
25 years ago! Guys still haven't learned.
for not burying us in public with your answer Gordo, you know how
thin skinned and sensitive we are when we're labeled "negative":-).
I'll take it from here.
Kathryn (Nixon?!?), thanks for reading the site, over 5,000 Red Sox
diehards, players, front office types, media members, and accidental
tourists come here every day as well. Why do you think that is?
Because we're "negative, insulting and apparently filled with player
wannabees?" (Is there anything worse than the 'you never played the
game' argument?) Nah. It's because our audience truly appreciates
brutal honesty, honest analysis, irreverent humor, original content,
over-the-top headlines, Hench's Hardball, 20/20, B&B, Nation Speaks,
spot-on accuracy, sarcasm, cynicism, criticism as well as the
clearing house of information, praise, admiration, and appreciation we bring to the table. Were we
ranting and raving hysterically when the Red Sox Kevin Shea
incorrectly reported the Pedro illness story? Sure we were. But as
John Henry said "I think that's natural. When you really care about
something, you're prone to overreact."
we bust chops constantly too. Yeah we're smart asses (my father
always did tell me 'nobody likes a smart ass'). But it's only
because we care so damn much about this team. Manny, Pedro, and
Nomar especially included. When we start talking about Marsha Brady
and the Pathetic Patriots, that's when you'll know that we don't give a damn.
We're a little bit like The Onion, a little bit Breaking News, a
little bit New York Post, and a little bit Baseball Prospectus (OK,
not so much them, except for Hench), but we're a lot of things to a
lot of people. Like D-Lowe says "they cheer when you win, they boo
when you lose." It really is as simple as that if you've really been
paying attention. We've been told many times that we provide the
most interesting coverage of any team on the planet and people can't
live without us. We take that as an enormous compliment. And we're
humbled by it.
to make people laugh out loud at least once a day. Doctor's orders
(even for Pedro). Even Gordo got a kick out of the "Manny's Mother
Recovering" series. I'm sure Manny did too if he took a break from
the SpongeBob SquarePants marathons running simultaneously on his
five plasma TVs. Everybody lighten up.
Bob Lobel likes to say, we're not negative Kathryn. We're not. So
take it back and take your whiney email and get the hell off our
page. Can't you see we're busy motivating Manny, Pedro, Walker (look
at the results tonight) and the rest of the guys as they prepare for
the big showdown with you-know-who this weekend? We're not going to
change Kathryn, no worries. We'll be right here doing our thing
24/7/365, supporting the team in our own unique way right through
October. We hope you will be too. Now back to our regularly
The ďCurtís Pitch
for ALSĒ program is a joint effort by Curt and Shonda Schilling, and The
ALS Association Mass Chapter to strike out Amyotrophic Lateral
Sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrigís Disease.
Curt and Shonda
will be contributing $25,000 to The ALS Association Massachusetts
Chapter, and they are asking fans to contribute as well. All proceeds
will benefit research and patient services for those in Massachusetts
affected by the disease. Program participants will receive different
incentive prizes based on the dollar amount per strikeout that they
click here to learn more about the program.