Open Thread Thursday (10/16)

Someone post a topic, and get us started.

35 Responses to "Open Thread Thursday (10/16)"

  1. Chas   October 16, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Well, I’m certainly not going to make any bullpen comparisons this time:

  2. Wally   October 16, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    How about folks offer answers to this question: Now that we are essentially half way through the college football season, which two teams will meet in the BCS Championship game?

    I’m thinking it will be Texas and Penn State. Of course, my predictions haven’t exactly been stellar recently. Set me straight …

  3. Casey   October 16, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    This isn’t an exact prediction – unless they kill each other off – I would have a difficult time accepting the credibility of an a National Title game without a team from the SEC.

  4. Chas   October 16, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I’m guessing the fact that they’ll kill each other off is the reason why Wally predicts there won’t be an SEC team there. As a Penn State alum, I cringe at the fact that I’m saying this, but they seem to have the easiest road to an unbeaten season. Of course, anything can happen, and they could easily lose at Ohio State.

    I’m going to say USC and Penn State.

  5. Muels   October 16, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Sounds like a great argument supporting some kind of playoff system…

  6. Riverhawk20   October 16, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Can someone tell me why Red Sox fans have turned on Manny Ramirez? I understand he didn’t play 100% during the last games he was with the sox. I don’t blame Manny though. Baseball is a business and I’m sure there were some issues in the clubhouse that we don’t know about. I also believe he was sick of the media and fans. Boston just wasn’t for him. Ted Williams wrote a book called My Turn at Bat and many times he mentioned how awful the fans and media were to him. If Williams had a bad game he couldn’t go anywhere without being chastised. I’m sure this is the case with Manny too. Manny Ramirez might be one of the greatest players in baseball right now. I go to school right near Boston and it is unreal how many people jumped on the bandwagon to hate one of the greatest sluggers in the bigs. Does anyone else agree that Manny has been unfairly treated?

  7. Casey   October 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Riverhawk 20

    Great to see you back on the Clipboard. For everyone else check out Riverhawk on the hot corner:

    As for the Manny hate – readers of the Clipboard can attest to my unconditional support of the dreadlocked one until recently. If Manny wants to be a Scott Boras puppet go right ahead. Yes, that supports the – baseball is a business idea – but for me as a working stiff it just doesn’t go too far. I tried it the other day – told my principal I didn’t feel like grading papers until my contract was renegotiated. He smiled and kept walking.

    Manny Ramirez is a great hitter.

  8. Casey   October 16, 2008 at 6:49 pm


    How ya holdin’ up my internet friend? What with the Challenge less than a week away the bulls eye is squarely on your chest. 🙂

  9. Riverhawk20   October 16, 2008 at 8:53 pm


    You got a valid point I must admit. I find it funny you tried it out on your principal. Do you feel sox fans have a history of hating people they trade away? For example Nomar Garciaparra. I can’t tell you how many fans here hate Nomar. I don’t understand why. I think i’m just finding Bostonians are ignorant. Is that bad?

  10. Wally   October 16, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    To explain my Penn State vs Texas pick … yes, I don’t think there will be an undefeated team from the SEC … I see Alabama losing at least once … remember, they have to play SEC champ game if they win their division. Penn State’s tough game is Ohio State and I think they can go in there and win. There’s no conference title game in Big 10. Texas has some tough ones left … like Missou this week … but beating Oklahoma gives them a leg up. I think USC is lurking and will definitely pounce into the #2 spot if any of the 3-4 teams ahead of them falter.

    Here’s a big Q: Can BYU make it to the title game if they’re the only undefeated team? (they’re losing to TCU at the moment). I don’t think they can if there are two one-loss teams from the Major conferences. They just don’t have the marquee game on their schedule.

  11. Casey   October 16, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Riverhawk – as an outsider I have always viewed Bostonians as intelligent baseball people who allow their emotions to get the best of them. Doesn’t make them bad people – just a little crazy. Of course not any crazier than a few Yankee fans I know, or ND fans I know… By the way shouldn’t you be in front of the tv on bended knee praying that the Sox can cross the frickin’ plate? I expect to see you giving it the ol’ college try next for the Who am I? Challenge. 🙂

    Wally – here’s a question for your question – If BYU makes the national title game, will it be played at the Holiday Bowl? 🙂

  12. Casey   October 16, 2008 at 9:11 pm


    As a Neil Young fan you gotta love this – the inning and the damage done.

  13. Riverhawk20   October 16, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    haha you’re absolutely right. I guess I just don’t understand their emotions. Thanks for the good answer it has enlightened me a little bit. I have been trying to cheer the sox on tonight, but Dice K just keeps letting up moon shots. I guess they can’t hear me. Our fall season has just finished up, so I will try to participate in as many topics as I can now that I have time.

  14. Wally   October 16, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Good Q, Casey. Don’t know the answer.

    I hope BYU loses cuz I want to see Boise State go undefeated and represent all those good “mid-major” teams in a BCS bowl … and win again.

  15. Riverhawk20   October 16, 2008 at 9:17 pm’re absolutely right haha. I guess I just don’t understand their emotions. Maybe I’m the ignorant. one. Thanks for the good answer it has enlightened me a little bit. I have been trying to cheer the sox on tonight, but Dice K just keeps letting up moon shots. I guess they can’t hear me. Our fall season has just finished up, so I will try to participate in as many topics as I can now that I have time.

  16. Casey   October 16, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Riverhawk – how is the squad looking? Tell Dustin I said hi. You guys should use a team effort for the Who am I? Challenge.

    Those two home runs left the joint quicker than the kid at his 8th grade class dance who was just asked out by the ugliest girl in school.

  17. Riverhawk20   October 16, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    hahahahaha it’s pretty silent here in Mass. I will give the Who am I a shot. The squad is looking great our coach brought in 19 freshman and 3 transfers. We are stacked at every position. I will let Dusty know you said hello. He is playing in the NECBL this summer for the Sanford Mainers. Unfortunatly I am not playing summer baseball this summer. I am anxous to start the spring though, I have a feeling we have a good chance for the regionals. Tell Brust and everyone else up there I said hello as well.

  18. Wally   October 16, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Riverhawk —
    Welcome to blognation!

    Can I offer an objective comment on Manny Ramirez? (I’m not a member of RedSoxNation). A lot of superstars have their quirks, baggage, poor qualities, etc. Cobb had ’em. Ruth had ’em. Bonds had ’em. McGwire had ’em. Could go on and on. And yes, Manny Ramirez has ’em. But I’ll tell you this … Manny is an offensive machine … probably THE MOST FEARED HITTER OF THIS GENERATION. He is such a talented hitter, ESPECIALLY IN THE CLUTCH. His numbers support this praise. Regular season, post season, doesn’t matter … his numbers are eye-popping.

    He is a special talent … the Dodgers would’ve been buried in the NL West if not for Manny coming to the rescue. There would likely not be a “RedSoxNation” if Manny hadn’t given Boston his best years. Consequently, I think Boston fans should take a moment to appreciate what Manny helped create … and cut him some slack. Did he dog it occasionally and otherwise act immature? Sure. But I bet he was somewhat provoked or enticed to act that way. Doesn’t really matter. Manny played a HUGE role in putting the Bosox on the map this decade. That’s indisputable and Saux fans need to appreciate that.

  19. Casey   October 16, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Helmet sticker!

  20. Riverhawk20   October 16, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Wally I couldn’t agree with you more. You hit the nail on the head of what I was trying to say above. I go to school in Mass and it just blows my mind how sox fans have turned their backs to Manny. I believe he deserves a lot more credit than he gets in this state. I feel that once the sox trade people away the fans automatically hate them. It angers me that they have done this to one of the greatest hitters in the game today.

  21. Smitty   October 16, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Riverhawk – I think you will find a lot of Red Sox fans who do give Manny alot of credit. Sometimes it takes them some time to be a little removed from the situation to appreciate everything, someone has done.

    That being said, I have always been an admirer of Manny and always seemed to rationalize the immaturity and eccentricities of one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. That being said, the Red Sox over the years put with alot from Manny – the trade for putting up with it is simple – run production and protection for Big Papi.

    That being said – like Casey mentioned, he became a puppet of Scott Boras this year. He tried to bully Red Sox ownership into picking up his 2 options. He complained about it. He shoved a traveling secretary. I believed he came to spring training thinking that if he acted as the good soldier they would just pick up the options. Then the act started and this time around the act was damaging. He was obvious about it and when he called the owners out , I think it was the final straw. It is one thing to mock the hand that feeds you , it is another to insult the hand that feeds you. Ownership put up with alot of Manny’s antics and I think the last round went to far. Intentional? I have no doubt that it was.

    But the final straw was when he quit on his teammates. And when they felt they no longer could count on him, it left management with no choice.

    Riverhawk , you have to remember one thing. To go to Red Sox game for a single person is probably going to cost you $100-150. For a family it is probably going to be a $400-500 dollar night. Bostonians expect you to play hard – night in and night out. They are loyal to you and they expect loyalty back. It is one of the lures of playing there, it is also one of the deterrents of playing there. If it takes you more then 3 seconds to run out a ground ball or you don’t even hustle down the line in a double play situation – you are going to draw the ire of the fans.

    Remember that the last pictures of Nomar in a Red Sox uniform was him sitting the dugout pouting while the rest of the team was on the front step of the dugout. He was also pouting when Derek Jeter dove head first in the stands to catch a foul ball. Right then and there, he became selfish.

    I think in the years to come people in Boston will remember Manny for everything that he did do. He will be remembered for other things. But in the heat of the moment and everything since the trade deadline has been in the heat of the moment – people lose sight of the accomplishments when a relationship ends bad.

    Welcome to the Clipboard.

  22. Riverhawk20   October 16, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    Smitty..thanks for the welcome and thanks for the impressive response. Your facts are pretty eye opening to me. I can understand now why some fans have acted the way they did. My concern was that people did lose sight of the accomplishments Manny has had. However you have convinced me that in the heat of all this Bostonians are angry with the way he acted, and eventually will come to terms with what he did do for the organization. I appreciate you helping me understand this situation a little better.

  23. Wally   October 17, 2008 at 12:46 am

    Haven’t we seen this act before? Tonight … yet another data point … Red Sox overcome a 7-0 deficit in the 7th to win 8-7 … Fenway Park has gremlins! Opposing teams feel the heat in this ballpark … they make decisions (Madden takes out Kazmir) and plays (Longoria E’s) that baffle logic and reason. Boston hits just barely evade Tampa gloves. Bosox take advantage and extend the series. Next 2 games will be very interesting.

    Note that I said there will be 2 more games. #6 and #7. Stay tuned 🙂

  24. Smitty   October 17, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Riverhawk – I look at it like a bad or ill timed divorce. The Red Sox fans put up with the antics of Manny because – well, the going was good and we just assumed he was going to be a Red Sox for life. Then all of sudden he got up, said he had enough of the relationship and left without as much as a kiss good bye. And then he waved his new flame around in front of us like it was the best thing since sliced bread..

    Better yet, he started to perform like the Old Manny, making us wonder if he was holding out on us all along.

    Like any relationship we won’t come to grips with it until there is closure. And in October, you are not finding closure.

  25. Smitty   October 17, 2008 at 7:31 am

    Up 3-1 ? Sorry, Red Sox have you right where they want… (ulcers boiling.. again).

  26. Casey   October 17, 2008 at 7:44 am

    I need to make a confession – last night after Pena and Longoria hit those bombs I started to accept the outcome as fate. Then in the seventh Papelbon comes out of the pen only to allow two more, and I was in all out rationalization mode. I was trying to scheme a way to explain how losing and getting pounded could be a good thing. My twisted logic was that this loss could light a fire under these guys for ’09, and everything would be right after that. I actually had typed something to that effect on this thread, and then I deleted. Just needed to get that off my chest. I already said a couple of Hail Marys. I should be good to go.

  27. Bob Gotham   October 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Here is my take on Manny:

    Manny should be considered one of the greatest “HITTERS” in baseball

    Manny should be considered an average fielder in baseball that had the Green Monster to cover his defensive flaws.

    Manny should be considered a poor teammate that would choose when to run out a grounder and when not to suit up for a Yankee series.

    Manny should be considered a POOR employee that if the Red Sox ran the Team like a business, he would have been on FINAL WRITTEN WARNING. Do you give an employee on Final Written Warning a raise?

    Manny should be considered a poor judge of companionship. He has Scott Boras as an agent, enuf said.

    Add up these five items and the RedSoxNation can hit on Manny all they want. He was a short term employee for the Dodgers and he would wear out his welcome there to.

    Always remember: “You can’t put a shine on a sneaker”


  28. Riverhawk20   October 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Bob, you have one of the most interesting takes on this position. Your right about Manny being an average fielder. However if you can hit, the organization will find a spot for you in the lineup. Hitting is not only the most important thing in baseball, it is the hardest thing to do in baseball. Some say Ted Williams was an average fielder, but he could mash. Therefore I don’t think it matters if Manny is an average fielder. Now I could be wrong, but I heard that great outfielders have trouble playing the green monster. How do you think the green monster helped Manny? He still has to know the angles and has to be able to play the ball of the wall cleanly which I feel he did.

    Manny was a poor teammate no doubt about it. I don’t believe it was like this the whole time. If you remember the Red Sox were down 3 games to the Yanks in the 2004 ALCS. I believe Manny played a vital role in that series with keeping the team relaxed and not cracking under pressure. The Sox ultimately came back took the series, and went on to win the world series. If you remember former Red Sox centerfielder and now Yanks lead off man Johnny Damon wrote a book titled IDIOTS. A book written about the series and their laid back attitude. Manny was the leading factor to keeping the team in their relaxed state.

    In a buisness term Manny produced. He may have been a poor associate, but in a buisness that doesn’t always matter. If you have an employee that is a jerk off, but produces a lot of revenue and sales do you get rid of him? Manny was the most productive player in the Red Sox line up. If the Dodgers didn’t have Manny the ‘poor’ employee’ would their company have ended up in the NLCS? Not only does Manny produce he sells tickets, shirts, and fake dreadlocked hair. I would hire a guy bringing in that amount of money for me.

    Scott Boras does represent Manny, but he has also represented studs such as A-Rod and Andruw Jones. I would do a lot of things to be represented on that list. Baseball is a buisness and everyone involved is a buisness man. If you could be paid more than what your being offered would you take it?

    That being said I think Smitty has the best conclusion with the way the fans should react. They can be bitter now, but when it comes time Manny deserves a lot of credit.

    I have to head up to Maine to go white water rafting in the freezing cold. Have a good weekend everyone.

  29. Chas   October 17, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    What was so different about what Manny did this year vs. every other year? The answer is Scott Boras. He was manipulated, and, while he doesn’t deserve to be completely exonerated, it is also a great exaggeration to say he quit on the team. What’s the difference between what he did and what Carlos Delgado did earlier this year when he quit on Willie Randolph, then turned it on as soon as Randolph was fired? Neither Manny nor Delgado is the first player who lost motivation because he wasn’t happy with his situation. That’s not an excuse, but let’s not forget that, despite super-human physical abilities, these guys are still mentally human.

    In case you guys haven’t figured it out yet, the Red Sox front office are masters at manipulating the media in their favor. Bill Simmons wrote that Manny’s teammates didn’t necessarily think he had to go, they just wanted the drama to end. For that reason, his actions did create an undesirable situation, but before you go using the greatly exaggerated argument that his teammates voted him out, ask yourselves what you think they’ll be saying about him one year from now. I guarantee they’ll be over it, and Red Sox fans should get over it as well. As someone already said here, how much credit do you think he deserves for those two world championships?

    Also, what do you think would have happened had they not traded Manny? He would have sucked it up and played hard down the stretch, just as he did with the Dodgers, because he’d be playing for his next contract. The “cancer in the clubhouse” discussion would have blown over, and the Red Sox would probably be up 3-2 right now rather than down 3-2. But, of course, I can’t say that for sure, and we’ll never know for sure, but I personally feel this story has been blown way out of proportion.

  30. Chas   October 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Great Neil Young reference, Casey, although I wish the Red Sox had, in fact, gone the way of Danny Whitten.

  31. Chas   October 17, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    So, you think everyone’s going to be gunning for me Wednesday night, huh? I guess leading the pre-season makes me the favorite, but I still contend it’s been more “right place, right time” that has me in the lead.

    I have a question, though. Of the 10 Who Am I questions, are you going to be posting them one at a time, and waiting for an answer before the next one is up? Or, is it going to be 10 all at once?

  32. Casey   October 17, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I had planned to post all the Who am I? at once.

  33. Muels   October 17, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    As far as my take on Manny (and Nomaaah) goes, Red Saux Nation turned on both of these all-time greats because of their presence in the clubhouse. Plain and simple. When your teammates turn to you and you turn away, you have created a wedge in the room that can have no roadblocks. When the Red Saux faithful, spending their hundreds of dollars to squeeze into those god-awful seats from 90-something years ago, find out that you have turned your back on your teammates, get ready to be black-listed. Boston fans have turned on Manny not because he became a circus act in LF, but because Manny no longer wanted to be a part of any of the 3-rings. Boston fans love a star, but only when that star seems to shine brightest around his fellow teammates. Start to go it alone, and Boston fans will try to make that a reality (going it alone). The ONLY reason Johnny Damon lost the Saux faithful was because when he left, he left for the one team that we couldn’t accept. Both Manny and Nomaaah are out west, and we could care less, except that they dared mess with OUR clubhouse. You don’t damage the clubhouse and survive unscathed…

  34. Casey   October 18, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    The crazy thing is that if for some strange twist of fate Manny ended up back in Boston, all he would need to do is hit the snot out of the ball ( like he is so capable of), and the love fest would be palpable. Boston sports fans, like soooo many sports fans, have short memories. So short that they would for some God forsaken reason boo Jason Varitek – the guy is having a hitting slump for crying out loud leave ’em alone.

  35. Rey   October 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Let me eliminate any and all baseball analysis from the argument, not that I don’t think it is relevant, but simply because you guys have said it all as far as Manny goes.

    Why the ill feelings towards Manny? He’s a free spirit in a team sport. Deep down inside, people hate that. On a team, most fans want to see conformity and team principles. Manny is …well… Manny. He’d be a great boxer. Not because I know anything about his boxing skills, but his personality is straight out of what we love to see in a boxer. And when at the plate, Manny is a boxer. You can’t get around him; he can hit the worst of pitches out of the park. He’s fearless and evokes fear in his opponent. It’s the only time in the game that everything is 1-on-1. In no other sport can an attitude like Manny be successful and revered. Chad Johnson? Very cute charade he has going on, but you can’t do that stuff in football. TO quickly realized that his success is directly connected with his relationship with his QB. What a genius. Basketball has its Stephon Marburys. A PG who is me-first? Come on – that’ll never be successful in basketball.

    He goes to LA and Joe asks him to cut his hair. Manny cuts an inch. But did anyone care? It’ll be Boston all over again for him until people get tired of his antics. And to compound what Casey said – sports fans have a short memory and a “what have you done for me lately” attitude.

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