Lessons Learned From the ’07 MLB Post-Season

23. When doing post-game interviews, sounding like Nuke LaLoosh from Bull Durham never gets old.

22. The Sox CAN actually take the pennant more than once in a decade. For that matter they CAN win the Series more than once in a decade.

21. The Sox can win a series without Papi or Manny hitting a home run.

20. Grounding into a record number of double plays is not a clear indicator of failure.

19. No lead is ever safe in baseball.

18. Being a baseball fan (or for that matter a sports fan) on the East Coast can be brutal. 8:35 pm start times?!?!?! I need more than four hours of sleep to function at work.

17. Eric Gagne = mop up.

16. English Premier League fans have nothing on Rockie fans.

15. Scott Boras = tactless. Why does this guy require so much attention that he needs to make announcements about his clients during World Series games?

14. Julio Lugo is better fielding a line drive in the hole between third and short than he is catching a pop fly on the outfield grass.

13. Mike Lowell looks good in a Sox uniform, and Theo needs to see to it that that continues.

12. If you chew gum hard enough you can make your hat move. Check out Clint Hurdle the next time you get a chance.

11. The years of toiling on the rug in Montreal is finally having an effect on Vladdy Guerrero.

10. Online dentists can prescribe HGH.

9. Miracles happen every day – you need to look around. Consider Jon Lester – less than a year ago he was going through chemotherapy. Last night he gave up three hits in five and two-thirds.

8. A game 7, 2-out Grand Slam can heal a mountain of troubles – ask JD Drew – though he would probably trade that ‘job’ to relieve the discomfort his infant son endures from a genetic hip displacement condition.

7. Mess with the High Life, and the High Life will mess with you – “11.50 for hamburger? Y’all must be crazy!”

6. Baseball is a marathon not a sprint. Knew this before the playoffs, but it bears repeating. Lotta folks were breathing down Tito’s neck as the Sox lead in the AL East dwindled. Give Tito credit for resting Okajima, and not rushing Youk and Manny back from injury.

5. Even Tito can go to the well one too many times. Okajima’s arm looked like rubber in game 4.

4. One doesn’t have to worry about going to the well too often when one has Jonathan Papelbon waiting in the bullpen.

3. Money isn’t everything – Papelbon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Youk, Manny Delcarmen and Hideki Okajima – their collective salary this year: $3,155,000.

2. I would rather have Kaz Matsui batting in the ninth inning of an elimination game than Jamey Carroll.

1. Removing your batting helmet DOES NOT make you run faster.

27 Responses to "Lessons Learned From the ’07 MLB Post-Season"

  1. Z Dubbs   October 29, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    I have to agree with #1. I like Manny, but flipping your helmet every time you run the bases is stupid and annoying.

    Seeing Dice K hit a few runs in makes me yearn for the AL to get rid of the DH.

    Scott Boras already made salaries way too high, and now he tries to ruin the series by making the A-Rod announcemnt during the deciding game. Where is A-Rod gonna go? (If the Cubs pull that off that would be amazing!) Where can he go to make more money than he was making before? How much money does this man possibly need?

  2. THe Thrilla in Manilla   October 29, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Arod will be the SS in Boston Next year 5 years 150mil

  3. Muels   October 29, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    I would love to see A-Rod go 3 months without a serious contract offer…know it would never happen, but it would sure give smarty-pants Boras a kick in the pants…Shouldn’t talk about Boras since we did give JD crazy money (maybe in two years it won’t be crazy $ anymore)…Mikey Lowell needs to stay a Red Sock- even if we overpay a bit for an extra year…A-Rod as a Red Sock- Just Say NO!…

    Interesting to see Edgar Renteria on the move again…berrrryyy eintearresssttiinnnngg (my best Col. Klink, or was it Sgt. Schultz?)…

    I could care less if Manny dropped his helmet, or did cartwheels, or tied pretty yellow bows in his hair- just stop getting freakin’ thrown out at home!

    Open 24 hours? Common sense never sleeps…

    Time for Tito to get some love as the great manager that he is…You mangage Manny for 4 years and still have hair to adjust your cap on…

    I officially don’t care if any baseball manager is wearing his uniform on under a coat or sweat top- dumb rule…

    Papelbon is the nuts, but am I the only one who thinks he could use a breaking pitch added to his arsenal- warning track shots in the bottom of the 9th from lightweights is not my idea of relaxing entertainment…

    I bet Jon Lester has had enough of the Jon Lester story…

    Tito has a knack for getting a pitcher out of the game before too much damage has been done- remember Grady Little? Grady who?… It does help to have a quality bullpen to choose from, but he still makes darn good decisions time after time…

    Julio Lugo should be just fine for 3 more years at short for the Saux…

    Schil- tough call- but I say 1 more year, and let him retire a Red Sock (bloody?)…

    About our outfield…many are calling for a trade to get rid of Coco…not so fast- Jacoby is still a kid and Coco should win a Gold Glove for his defense this year…I like keeping the 4 (Manny, Coco, JD and Jacoby) as your main outfielders as you can find spots for Jacoby (plenty of injury potential with these three and Jacoby can play any three spots) and they seem to work well together…

    Sobering thought- if Big Papi’s knee, shoulder, or whatever starts to break down the big man, can Manny as a DH be far behind? and is that a bad thing?…

    Time to save some for later in the week- like Pats/Colts and the Celtics reentering the NBA this Friday!…what do you mean they never left?…

  4. ccww   October 30, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Z-Dubbs – ARod in the windy city works for me. Might be the best fit. Team that can afford without the scrutiny of NYC.

    Thrilla – bringin’ it strong to the Clipboard! Great to hear from you. You have given me a nightmare considering ARod in Bean Town.

    Muels – That was a mountain of goodness in a mixed up world. Pulling out the Hogan’s Heroes reference-nice – actually I think that was Major Hofstetter. If Edgar Rentereia keeps moving, he will take Kenny Lofton’s spot on the DHL commercials. I like the idea of keeping Coco.

    Casey

  5. Reynell   October 30, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    Satisfaction will be the death of desire for Red Sox Nation. They will sign A-Rod this summer for $300+ million, win 10 more championships in the next 25 years, and build a $3 billion stadium. All that will be left standing on Yawkey Way will be an obscure part of what was once Fenway Park with a sign that reads: “Inside this wall existed a fraternity built from 86 years of torment. The existence of this brotherhood transcended championships and pennants. But inside these same walls integrity, loyalty, and human compassion prevailed.” And several blocks away in a retractable dome, probably named “Sam Adams Stadium,” a fan will finally reach the front of the concession stand in the 6th inning and order a garden salad with oil and vinegar and a grande orange mocha frappaccino. He’ll return to his seat in the box and turn on his personal massage setting and ask the gentleman seated next to him in a 1986 replica Bill Buckner jersey, “So how many outs until they switch sides?”

  6. The Thrilla in Manilla   October 30, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    The MLB playoffs were not intresting this year, the story will always be the yankees, Im not a yankee fan but do respect there organization, Girardi is a great hire he is a young Billy Martin, and his players will play hard for him.

    I still think A Rod will be in Boston, Just think If they win a WS with him how will that make the yankees feel…. try this on for size Elsberry, Pedroia , A Rod, Pappi, Ramirez who is going to get that out. Boston will make the right desicion and Lugo is the worst SS in the league, Mike Lowell will make 15 – 20 mil playing for the yanks

  7. ccww   October 30, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Brother Reynell – wow! some lofty projections.

    Thrilla – consecutive days on the clipboard? Great stuff. Don’t forget Youk in that projected lineup.

    Casey

  8. ccww   October 30, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    By the way – has anybody seen or heard from Gino? If memory serves me correct, he buried the Sox recently.

    Casey

  9. Aaron   October 30, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Here are a few of my thoughts..

    1. The second time around feels just as good as the first…

    2. Papelbon is a crazy, lunatic, fireballing closer who not only would I want as a younger brother, but backing me up in any fight.

    3. Varitek’s tears of joy after Game 4, made me respect him even more.

    4. The Red Sox of 2008 have the chance to be even better then 2007.

    5. Schilling should retire in a Red Sox jersey. If that means one more year, then Bucholtz and Lester have another year to pick the brain of one of the all-time clutch pitchers in our era and in baseball.

    6. That emotions right after a championship are sometimes the best instincts.. Resign Lowell and forget A-Fraud.

    7. Vlad Guerrero = Andre Dawson. And that is sad to say.

    8. Terry Francona may be the best manager in Red Sox history.

    9. Bucky Earl Dent and Aaron “Fing” Boone = ancient history.

    10. Theo’s best signing before the 2007 season may have been Hideki Okajima.

    11. Scott Boras is single handedly trying to ruin baseball. Maybe it is some bitterness from never making it to the bigs as a player himself.

    12. Joe Buck is the love child of Tim McCarver. It is the only explanation for the respect that Joe Buck has for him.

    13. That we don’t need the starting lineups twice before the game – first by the PA announcers and then by celebs.. I don’t need Jim Taylor telling me where Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting.

    14. The first time I will be sad to see a player traded. Coco, you were the man for a few months. Made some highlight catches and had some key hits. I hate to see you leave, but a guy name Ellsbury is knocking. It was a pleasure watching you roam CF this year.

    15. 2 in 4 years isn’t a fluke. We may see another couple of World Series before this is done.

    16. If the Pats make it to the Super Bowl, BC Eagles make it to the National Championship and the Celtics make it to the NBA finals, add the World Series championship, and is that the equivalent of having a menage trois with Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel – with Megan Fox(new favorite) watching and waiting to tag team to join in? Could it get better?

    17. That by February, NYC and rest of the country might hate Boston more then they do right now.

    18. There is a new riverdance.

    19. And for safety alone – don’t bring bottles to an opera. Cans folks.

    Sleep well and WE ARE THE CHAMPS… WE ARE ON TOP OF THE WORRRRLLLLLLDDDD!!

  10. Muels   October 31, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Just to set the record straight- it’s James Taylor and I can honestly say that I replayed my DVR of James singing the National Anthem about 20 times- the last 17 singing along…I don’t need no steeenkin’ opera, James singing the listings from the phone book would be almost as joyful as watching Mike Lowell resign with the Saux…

    Please don’t mention Tim McCarver and lovechild in the same paragraph again…

    There’s something pleasant sounding about “Sam Adams Stadium and Brewpub”- especially during Octoberfest!…I can hear Homer now…Ummmmmmmmmmmmm Boston Lager…

    Who’s more excited to play this weekend- Tom Brady or Paul Pierce?…Both have worked their tails off with less than stellar supporting staff but now find themselves blessed by surrounding talent that rivals (or possibly surpasses) their own…

    I don’t know who will win the Pats/Colts game, but what would the remainder of the season look like if the Pats continue their dominance with a convincing win? Just scary…

    Red Saux win World Series, Pats 8-0, Celtics are relavant again finally, and The Eagles release first studio album in 28 years with a new James Taylor cd/dvd coming next month– the sun is shining brightly in the Mueller household!!!!

  11. Aaron   October 31, 2007 at 7:35 am

    My bad.. It was late at night and I am not sure why I had Jim on the mind. Then again can anyone explain why Tim McCarver had Brandon Arroyo on the mind??

    James Taylor was phenomenal singing the national anthem. Just didn’t need him calling out the starting lineup. Singing it maybe..

    Which is more likely to happen first and hurt their opponent more ?? Celtics trio throwing down a couple of big “F you, we are relevant again” dunks at the end of a game up 25 or Tom Brady leading yet another “F you thisis my league” drive? I am getting lost right now in Red Sox euphoria about what is realistic and what isn’t..

  12. ccww   October 31, 2007 at 7:51 am

    Young Goodman Reynell- will “Sam Adams Stadium” have wireless hookup with ipod and phone chargers at each seat?

  13. ccww   October 31, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Aaron – funny you mention it- Bucky Dent does seem a little off my radar. Don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. Celebs giving lineups didn’t work, but some of the players were amusing.

    ‘Tek is the man.

    Muels – James Taylor and the Eagles…hmmm. I’ve been rocking to Springsteen thanks to Thrilla. Now I’m waiting to pick up the new Chesterfield Kings.
    When you get a chance check out: http://www.littlestevensundergroundgarage.com/homepage.html
    Don’t forget about the Pats’ date with the Jints.
    Casey

  14. ccww   October 31, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    Young Goodman Reynell,

    Thought you might enjoy this discussion:

    http://www.soxandpinstripes.com/sox_and_pinstripes/2007/10/while-jacoby-el.html#comments

  15. Gino   October 31, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    Casey,
    Now I know why there was a message on my voicemail. I wasn’t hiding, just been busy. You’re right, I buried the sox prematurely, and that’s my fault. But let me also say that I’m still not convinced on how the sox won the AlCS. The world series I understand, but the ALCS has got me thinking a whole lot.
    1 more thing, I’m happy Papelbon can pitch, cause he sure can’t dance.
    Last but not least, Casey let me congratulate you and all of Red Sox nation on a good year and another World Series Championship.

  16. ccww   October 31, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Gino,

    my friend great to hear from you.

    Casey

  17. Jnuke31   October 31, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Flipping off your helmet does not make you run faster. The next thing you are going to tell me is that diving into first base doesn’t make you get their any quicker. Waving your bat around in the box doesn’t make you swing harder. Grunting before each pitch doesn’t make you throw harder or stepping on the first baseline is good luck. I don’t believe it for a second.

  18. Reynell   October 31, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    Casey

    Thanks for the article, but there is little validity to it for me. He even points out the farm system from the Yanks. As much as I hate the Yankees, why should we chastise Cashman and George for signing “help us now” free agents? The core has been there for the Yankees. And Drew was signed for his defensive prowess in right? In the words of other bloggers, PUHHHHHLEASE! One grand slam justified a horrible year for an inflated contract. That is NOT the Red Sox way. Most interesting? Not one mention of Dice-K.

  19. THe Thrilla in Manilla   October 31, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    I just hope the mets, remember how to win, we could be the next Pre 04 Red Sox.

    Gino come on winning 3 in a row is nothing new, and you were not busy just in shock, I think papelbon is a great dancer, but would not want ot see him with my daughter,

    Aaron you’re right not bottles to the opera cans only, or maybe a flask,

    Personally I would just get really drunk before the show

    This is cool I’ll be back

  20. ccww   October 31, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    Nukes – great to hear from ya.

    Reynell – are those red or green grapes, ’cause they sure are sour – 🙂 – actually I brought up Dice-K in my comments to his article. you do realize that chat fee + salary he is still less than Clemens.

    Thrilla – we got you hooked on the Clipboard – nice.

    Casey

  21. Aaron   October 31, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Wow, Reynell is tougher then folks in Beantown. People in Boston were giving Dice-K a gimme on the first year. Too much of a transition, culture shock and expectations for him not to fatigue as he did late in the season. Even Okajima was given a couple of weeks off late in the season to give his shoulder a rest.

    Dice-K will win 20 games next year and everyone will be talking about what a steal he was…

    After all, people in Boston finally relaxed after they nearly ran Beckett out of town.

  22. ccww   November 1, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Brother Reynell,

    Such unparalleled levels of new-found contempt for the Sox. It is mind boggling. Maybe the Sox aren’t so lovable any more; of course no one can be as lovable as the Cubbies.

    Where should I start? The present front office might have abandoned the ‘Red Sox way’; I’m just trying to see this as a bad thing. Red Sox history is littered with owners trying to save a few bucks and GM’s incapable of fielding a chan’ship level team. If Theo is anything, he is shrewd. Yes he has made his share of mistakes…cough, cough Wily Mo – God it would be nice to have Bronson Arroyo (or is that Brandon, Tim?). But he has also made mistakes of aggression. Gone are the days when the Sox always stopped short of sealing the deal. They let go of Carlton Fisk long before they should have. It would have been nice to keep Freddie Lynn around, and of course Clemens didn’t do too badly after he left.

    From now on under Theo’s watch if any players get away it will be by design.

    You mention that the core has been there for the Yanks. That core has diminished significantly in this century. I am taking the core as Posada, Jeter, Riviera, and the prodigal son – Pettite. Sure they have added some recruits – Cano, Cabrera, Jaba, and Hughes. I’ll wait to throw them into the ranks of the previous company when they manage to win a playoff series or two.

    Are you sure the Yanks acquire free agents under the auspices of “help us now?” I can’t help but seeing too many of their acquisitions as publicity stunts. After winning in 2000 Cashman (Are Cashman and Jeff Van Gundy somehow related or do they look so much alike because of inordinate levels of sleep deprivation?) and Steinbrenner bid a fond adieu to Tino Martinez and brought in AL MVP Jason Giambi. They didn’t need Giambi; he just looked good in the public eye. And where has that gotten them?

    Then the ARod sweepstakes. They already had Jeter and decided to move in. I still wonder about this deal. Theo pulled a grand stroke here – putting Manny and Nomar in their place AND getting the Yanks to give up Alfonso Soriano along the way.

    The line of free agent acquisitions by the Yanks is long – Raul Mondesi, Gary Sheffield, and of course Judas Damon. Remember the Damon deal? The Sox offered three years, but the Yanks trumped with four. Oooh what a marketing coup, wrest the leader of the ‘idiots’ from the Sox. The Yanks thought they tore out our heart. Judas has two more years on his deal. Girardi is probably cursing cashman because he won’t know where to hide Damon. At least Coco is still good trade bait.

    Some other notables – let’s not forget mark Bellhorn and Alan Embree. Oh yeah, if you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em. Yeah the Yanks swiped the ghosts of’04. Then the kicker – the Yanks signed Mike Myers to: “neutralize Big Papi.” How many teams can sign a reliever to take care of one rival?

    This habit of grabbing players from teams who have beaten them is nothing new for the Yanks. In ’95 the Mariners downed the Bronx Bombers in divisional play. Some members of that Mariner team: Tino Martinez, Luis Sojo, Jeff Nelson, Jim Mecir, Randy Johnson, and Alex Rodriguez (ARod was only 19 – he got 142 ab’s that year)

    You bring up JD Drew and Dice-K. The Sox needed a right fielder. Do you remember the ’06 version of the Boston Massacre? Wily Mo had trouble catching a cold in right field, not to mention a pop fly. It would have been great to keep Trot, but you saw him this year with your Tribe. Is he an everyday outfielder? Drew was the best guy on the market. With the Yanks nipping on the Sox in the past, Theo put up the money.

    Same thing happened with Dice-K. Theo didn’t take any chances. Way I look at it $50,000,000 chat fee + $53,000,000 salary = 7 years at $103,000,000. That’s pretty much the going rate. And the guy won 15 games. Like Aaron said in a couple of years people are going look at the Dice-K contract as a bargain.

    No this is not the same Sox. But this Sox fan wishes that guys like Dewey Evans, Jim Rice, and Yaz had the present Sox front office and Theo pulling the strings so that those Sock greats could have sipped the finest champagne. Somehow, I can’t help but think that if Theo was at the helm, Calvin Schiraldi would not have been on the hill in ’86.

    Casey

  23. Aaron   November 2, 2007 at 7:25 am

    Well put Casey, as this is not the Red Sox organization of old.

    Let’s not forget that it was probably Theo (no one is sure who gave the okay on the trade) who was willing to trade their top prospect, Hanley Ramirez for Josh Beckett and a throw-in – Mike Lowell. Shortly after , sign Beckett to a $9 million a year extension for the next 4-5 years. Not bad…

    While it is trendy to like the Red Sox now, it is also trendy to hate the Red Sox and its nation. Lovable losers no more. Cubbies and the Indians have that title. I almost feel like we have become the Dallas Cowboys…The team everyone hated, but when asked some of them couldn’t tell you why they hated them.

  24. ccww   November 2, 2007 at 7:40 am

    How dare you lop the Sox in with the Cowpokes.

    Oh yeah – some other Theo mistakes – Renteria and Gagne. Especially Gagne when you consider the three prospects he gave up.

    Casey

  25. THe Thrilla in Manilla   November 2, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    Do You Mean GAG ME

  26. Aaron Smith   November 3, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    It has been confirmed that Gagne was a Yankee spy..

  27. THe Thrilla in Manilla   November 4, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Yes I think he was a spy as well, and I believe he will be in pinstripes next year, just a hunch.

    The thrilla needs more manilla come on Casey

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