Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Should the Red Sox have traded Koji Uehara at the deadline?

After the Red Sox held on to Koji Uehara through their trade deadline fire sale last month, it was assumed that they planned to re-sign the free-agent closer for next season.  However, Uehara could still be moved this season via a waiver wire deal; remember the blockbuster trade that sent Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers (read how wrong I was about that one) two years ago happened after the deadline.  But at this point, I'm not even sure if Koji would have that much value.

Uehara has made 12 appearances since July 31, and he's given up at least one hit in nine of them.  For his career Koji has a WHIP of just 0.84, but for the month of August it's nearly doubled (1.59).  His ERA this month is 5.56, and over his last three appearances Uehara has two losses and two blown saves.

Is it possible the 39-year-old is finally wearing down?  A month ago Koji was arguable the best closer in baseball.  Now he's nowhere close.  Maybe the Red Sox missed the boat by not trading him at the deadline?

To be pragmatic, I'll throw in my optimistic view as well: There's a chance Uehara is just fine and his struggles will only mean Boston can re-sign him for less next season.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Major League Soccer may want to reconsider it's recruitment process...

Yesterday it was announced that U.S. World Cup star Jermaine Jones will be joining MLS' New England Revolution.  The 32-year-old has played professionally in Europe for the past 14 years.  From an official statement released by the Revs, here's the explanation of how Jones' signing with the team came about:

"As a designated player of a certain threshold, Jones was not subject to allocation ranking for dispersal to an MLS team. The Revolution and Chicago Fire expressed an interest in Jones, and had the available salary budget and a designated player slot to accommodate him. Following a blind draw between the two clubs, Jones was assigned to the Revolution."

For a league that has struggled to maintain relevance since its creation nearly two decades ago, it seems to me that when attempting to bring in top international talent MLS might want to try out a recruiting pitch other than: "We'd love for you to come here, but we're going to decide how much you'll get paid, and what city you'll be playing in."

Just a though...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "I'll Be You're Shelter" by Taylor Dayne

Once I'd made the decision to go with Taylor Dayne this week, I admittedly still had a tough time deciding which of her songs to choose.  Tell it to My Heart and With Every Beat of My Heart were also serious contenders, but 1990's I'll Be Your Shelter is Dayne's best tune in my book.

Two things of note about Taylor Dayne: One, her real name is actually Leslie Wunderman.  And two, one of my twitter followers suggested I write about her because friends of his just hired her to play their wedding.  If you go to delafont.com, she can apparently be booked for a mere $25,000 (related: Kevin Youkilis will play paintball with you for the bargain price of $3,600).

If you have a suggestion/request for an "Awesome Old Song of the Week," hit me up on twitter @LucidSportsFan, or by any other way you know how.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Contributing to ESPN Boston's Celtics 2014 Summer Forecast (Part 2)

For the second year in a row I'm taking part in ESPN Boston's Celtics Summer Forecast panel.  This year it's a three week long series of daily articles with questions and predictions regarding the upcoming season.  Myself and a number of other Celtics writers each give our take.  Here's what's was published in week 2, with my short answers in parentheses (click on the links to read them in full):

Which player will be the C's biggest overachiever this year? (Chris Johnson)

The biggest underachiever? (Evan Turner)

What should we expect from lottery pick Marcus Smart? (All-Rookie Team, rotation regular)

And from fellow rookie James Young? (D-League)

Who will be the team's MVP? (Rajon Rondo)

Read week 1 here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Why do you think these people have a dog stroller?

My attempt at discretion caused the poor photo quality.
I saw this contraption being pushed along the sidewalk of the Oak Bluffs harbor on Martha's Vineyard the other day.

Are dog strollers really a thing?  Do they apply in the same manner as with actual human children--too small to walk any distance on their own, but also too big to carry for very long?  I never heard of a dog being unable to walk as far as it's owner though, and from the looks of this person that explanation seems highly unlikely.

Is it for the dog's protection?  Who knows what potential puppy dangers are lurking on the Vineyard streets on a pleasant August evening...

As much as I mock this, in reality I fully support the concept.  Anything that keeps dogs better under their owners' control and less likely to come sniffing at my legs uninvited is definitely a plus.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Some numbers behind David Ortiz's spectacular under-the-radar season

David Ortiz crushed his 30th home run of the year last night, which puts him in some very elite company in Red Sox history:

Ortiz became just the 13th MLB player ever to hit 30 home runs at age 38 or older, and the first since Frank Thomas did it in 2006.  Papi now has 461 career homers, and 500 seems like a very legitimate possibility (is he the greatest DH of all time?).

His home run and RBI (93) totals so far this season put him on pace for personal bests since 2007 in each category.  Ortiz's 30 homers are tied for third most in the AL, but it's the 93 runs batted in that make his 2014 campaign so astounding.  Ortiz is leading all of baseball in that category (Jose Abreu of the White Sox is second with 90), and doing it for a Boston club that has scored the fewest runs in the league.  Nobody has led the league in RBI for a team that finished last in scoring since Wally Berger of the Boston Braves in 1935.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Advice for bar patrons: Don't be afraid to look at the menu before ordering

I promise it won't bite.
Couple sits down at my bar:

Me - "Would you like to see a beer, wine and cocktail list (as I reach for a menu)?"
Woman - "No thanks, we're just going to have some beers."

This amuses me because one, I feel as though a list of available beers might be a useful tool in the process of ordering them.  And two, I can already sense what's coming.

Woman - "We'll have two Miller Lites."
Me - "Sorry, I don't Miller Lite (holding out the list), will Bud Light do?"
Woman - "No thanks."
Man - "I'll take a Heineken instead."
Me - "I don't have that either (shaking my head and still holding out the aforementioned list)."
Woman - "I'll just have a Corona then."
Me - "Nope (with a bit of a chuckle).  Maybe you'd like to look at this list?"
Man - "Stella?"
Me - "I'll come back in a minute (setting the list down in front of them and walking away)."

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