Big Papi is now a Big Fraud

By now, everyone has heard that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez tested positive for steroids in 2003. It’s hard to describe the level of disappointment from a Red Sox’s perspective. Ortiz wasn’t just a superstar player. He was Big Papi. He was a legend. It’s not that the news is altogether shocking since his numbers were clearly abnormal, but there was always that hope that the huge smile and amazing personality meant that Ortiz’s surge was a result of a change of scenery and not steroids.

Is there a smile more famous than Big Papi’s? Is there a baseball player that is more lovable and more famous? Ortiz was the face of the Red Sox and Red Sox Nation. No matter what you thought of the team, every fan loved Ortiz. Every Yankee fan hated Ortiz. But besides the Yankees’ fans, most opposing fans actually liked Big Papi, because he was just so lovable. And now to see all that fall apart is heartbreaking and gut wrenching. Even if it was true, I never wanted to know about it; never wanted to face the day when I’d read that Papi tested positive. He’s superman. He’s invincible. How can Big Papi have used steroids? How can he have cheated? Continue reading “Big Papi is now a Big Fraud”


Joe Torre’s Flaw: Bullpen Management

I was recently reading The Yankee Years by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci and I came across this quote:

I was trying to do whatever I could to stay away from Mariano to have him for two innings the next day. Chamberlain got through the seventh with the low pitch count. Now my choice is to go with someone else in the eighth, but if I don’t get a clean inning, then I’ve got to get Mariano up, which was the one thing I was trying to avoid. I guess I never really had enough trust in everybody else down there to think that getting three outs in that spot is so simple

Before dissecting that quotation, let me give some background for you. This was game 3 of the 2007 ALDS where the Yankees were down 2-0 in games to the Cleveland Indians. Entering the 8th inning, New York lead 8-3 and had already used their set-up man Joba Chamberlain in the 7th, throwing 16 pitches. Torre made a critical mistake here by sending Joba back out to the mound to pitch the eighth. Up 5 runs, there was no reason to where Chamberlain’s arm out in a game that was close to out of reach. This wasn’t a two or three run game. It was a five-run game. Using Chamberlain for an inning is fine (especially, considering it was 5-3 at the time), but using him in the eighth was a big mistake. Eventually, Chamberlain faltered in game 4 and the Yanks lost the series. This can all be traced back to Torre’s unwillingness to use the rest of his bullpen. This was not something new in 2007 though. Thinking about Torre’s managerial style, I realized that he has faith in only a couple guys in his bullpen each year. The last sentence in that quote says everything. “I never really had enough trust in everybody else down there”. That’s a big problem over the course of a season and I decided to take a look into Torre’s problem managing his bullpen. Continue reading “Joe Torre’s Flaw: Bullpen Management”

The AL East is Too Good

Go check out the AL East division and look at who is leading it.

Tampa? Nope
Boston? Nope
New York? Nope

It’s the Toronto Blue Jays. They are 27-19, even though they have lost five in a row. They are a half game ahead of both the Yankees and Red Soxwho are both 25-18. Meanwhile, the Rays are 22-23 and sit 3.5 games back. Sound like a stacked division? It is.

Let’s look a little deeper into the AL East’s dominance:

The Blue Jays, Rays, and Yankees are 1, 2, and 3 respectively in runs scored while the Red Sox are 8th amongst all of Major League Baseball. All four teams are in the top 6 in team OPS in baseball. Without a doubt, these are four of the top offenses in baseball and they are all in the same division, facing each other day in and day out. Continue reading “The AL East is Too Good”