Ken Rosenthal, Are you Nuts?
In the past, I have made it a personal point to try and stay neutral and not get too upset over the wishy-washy personal opinions and print bravado hoisted to the heavens like gospel by the media mongrels who act as our “internal” eyes into the soul of baseball. I have begun to feel very strongly that these mongrels seem to forget sometimes that their social network followers their words and thoughts as written epiphanies of solemn truth than as muses of personal opinion or outlandish tongue-in-cheek comments .
And these same followers may see these daily postings from the media centerpieces mesh into their own personal opinions because the mongrels have been anointed by so many as the guardians of baseball. And being considered a sentry to sensibility can be a pretty important and lofty job description with a nest of surreal complications and phonetic pitfalls all over the place. I can tell you it is not a position I would ever interview to include on my resume’.
But a recent post by a Fox Sports guru has gotten a bit underneath my skin, and if I do not itch/comment now, it will surely fester into something severe and intense. My symbolic camel finally received it’s broken vertabrate courtesy of the muses of Ken Rosenthal during his December 22nd post. And sure, I maybe taking this a little too to the extreme with his literal post comments, but I truly feel like this is the kind of out of reality postings that can not be written at this juncture in the off season and have a realistic ounce of credibility beyond personal speculation.
I mean, not even one of the MLBlogs.com posters following the New York Yankee or Boston Red Sox would feel superiorly autonomous enough this early in the off season to proclaim in a posting the a headline like “The Rest of the A L East should just give up now”. I would have more respect and affirmation for such a headline if it was September 2010, or at least at a point centered somewhere within the 2010 season, not 3 days before Christmas with not a single baseball game played yet in 2010 season.
Sure I would expect bravado and numerous chest thumping episodes from their recent signing from both teams, but this headline illustrates that the trio of the Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays should just take their gloves and bats and go home now and not even show up in April 2010. I surely hope it was a tongue-in-cheek comment because I can assure you all three teams are gunning for you right now Mr. Rosenthal.
How could you post a headline like that Rosenthal. I had more respect for you in the 2008 playoffs when you honestly remembered where the Rays played, unlike the guys in the Press Box who thought it was 20 miles to the east. So what if the 2009 World Series Champion Yankees will counter with a rotation of CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Pettite and Javier Vasquez against the Rays, Jays and O’s. Let’s take a little gander at all three Yankee pitcher’s records against all three teams,with the exception of Vasquez since he was in the National League last season.
The Pinstripe pitcher’s went a combined 17-7 against the trio in 2009, and the most effective pitcher was newly acquired Burnett who went 4-0 against the Rays and posted an overall 7-2 record against the trio. Sabathia had a bag of mixed results, going 0-2 in 4 starts against the Rays, but went 4-1 against the Orioles. Take away Burnett’s 7 victories and you get the Yankees starters winning only 1 out of every 3 against the trio. The trio of pitchers actually went to the mound 32 times against all three squads in 2009.
So let’s now turn our attentions to the Boston brood’s 4 pitchers consisting of Josh Beckett,Jon Lester,Clay Buchholz and newcomer John Lackey and see if an identical pattern emerges in games against the trio. The 2010 Red Sox staff went a combined 17-4 against the three teams. In the 2009 series,Lester actually came out on top with a 9-2 record during 12 starts against the trio. Lester only lost to the Rays among the three teams isolated in this scenario. But the foursome did make a total of 36 starts against all three teams in 2009.
With a combined record by Boston and New York of 34-11 in 68 starts against Baltimore, Toronto and Tampa Bay, you can see that all three had some levels of success against the teams mentioned by Rosenthal. Those do not look like superior, dominanting numbers, but you also got to remember that each teams get to know each other pretty indepth personally after playing 17 games against each other during the season.
I hate to have to remind Mr. Rosenthal that he did pick one of that mentioned trio to win it all in 2009, and is now throwing them under the bus. Yes, Mr. Rosenthal, you did pick my own Rays to win it all in 2009, and we vanquished our own playoff aspirations with abysmal September campaign especially in divisional seriesagainst New York and Boston. But the reality of this division is that the rich will get richer especially in signed talent, and the trio who lurk in the small market concept will just have to squeeze every ounce of potential and talent from their rosters to match-up nightly.
And that is a real pity. All three of listed trio have begun to stockpile talented players who will not cost them millions of dollars. None of the three can go out and be super aggressive and affectively offer multi-years and millions to possible Fee Agents, but can get some great established players through trades (Soriano/Drabek/Atkins) and adequately patch up their teams holes before the 2010 season begins.
And I do not think for one moment that the Red Sox did not protect themselves when they included a provision in the contract to pitcher John Lackey because of his injury history. There is supposibly a “injury” provision in that contract where if Lackey suffers an injury, and misses considerable time during his contract, he will play for the MLB league minimum in 2015. Injuries are a part of baseball, and for Mr. Rosenthal to strut his feathers like a peacock at this point of the off season is totally absurd to me.
Let’s play at least 100 games before we start to parade words like “dynamo” or “dynasty” in general blog posts. It is not like you will not see people post and fantasize abo
ut a Yankee repeat again in 2010. For the sake of argument, Boston has been more consistent in the last 5 playoff seasons, but has hoisted the World Series trophy as many times as New York. In the last three seasons, three different teams have hoisted the American League Championship trophy, and all three came from this American League East division.
You can say that this division has an air of dominance, but you can not say any of the five teams in this division are every out of it even before we play one single game. Remember the last few seasons when the bottom guys were established securely on top of the division while Tampa Bay, Boston and New York tried to right their ships and sailed towards the top of the standings. In this division it is never over until it is over…….point blank.
So Mr. Rosenthal, I can be secure in the proposterious notion that I can say with the upmost confidence that there will be a boatload of surprises in the 2010 season, and that I want to be the one to serve you a nicely grilled breast of blackened crow with a nice port wine reduction when your boast goes south in 2010. Oh, and I would recommend a fine Robert Mondavi Carneros 2007 to wash all that crow humbly down.