Saturday, August 1, 2015

Yoenis Cespedes clearly is 'for the rest of us'

Cespedes won back-to-back home run derby titles in 2013 and 2014.

One year ago, the Red Sox dealt Jon Lester to the Oakland A's for Yoenis Cespedes at the July 31 trade deadline.  In the offseason, Boston sent Cespedes to the Detroit Tigers for Rick Porcello.  Yesterday, Cespedes was again moved at the deadline, as Detroit shipped him off to the New York Mets.

That's four different teams in the span of one year and a day for the Cuban slugger.  Seinfeld spelled his name wrong, but given his arrival in New York (the birthplace of Festivus) and his proclivity for switching ball clubs, this tweet sums up Yoenis' situation perfectly:

Friday, July 31, 2015

Texas is really stepping up its aquatic activities game

I've spent most of my life near the ocean, whether it be Martha's Vineyard, Boston, New York, San Diego or Sanibel Island, Florida.  However, the one place I lived that was extremely landlocked was Austin, Texas.  I don't believe I did anything acquatic the entire time I was there.  However, Texas seems to be pulling out all the stops lately when it comes to water-related fun.

First, I discovered the existence of the coolest water slide on the planet.  And now this, for the 40th anniversary of Jaws:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Would Tom Brady say "I did nothing wrong" under oath in a court of law? Could things ever get to that point?

OK, here's my jumbled thoughts on this whole Tom Brady mess.  Except that mess isn't the right word, what I'm looking for is something that implies mess^10th.

I stand by my Seinfeld-ian statement from two-and-a-half months ago: I have no idea what to believe.

You destroyed your phone.

No I didn't, I just got a new one and I always get rid of my old ones.  I gave you all the info you need from it anyway.

But we found your phone from two phones ago not destroyed.

That's what this has come down to?  On the phone thing, isn't it possible Brady just had personal stuff on it he didn't want to become public?

I am fairly certain Brady knowingly did something wrong though.  If he really was 100 percent innocent, he wouldn't be defending himself by writing finely crafted statements and posting them on facebook.

No, as I said before, he would be screaming from the rooftops.  He'd have a press conference where he adamantly denied everything repeatedly with fire in his eyes.  It's inconceivable that this guy wouldn't be more angry.  I'm just convinced he's sure they have no proof.

But what if this thing goes to an actual court of law?  What if Brady is forced to testify under oath and say "I did nothing wrong."  Would he do it?  What if he did and then some other evidence came out later?  He could actually be convicted of a crime.  And end up in jail.

How did we ever get here?  Mess^10th.  It's absolutely insane that this has become what it is.  The four-game suspension is absurd, as is the manner in which everybody involved has handled this situation.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mookie Betts' catch was not a home run

I'd never seen anything quite like this in a baseball game before, and I'm so fired up about it that I'm bumping my Tom Brady blog back another day (although that story keeps changing anyway).

Here's a video of Mookie Betts' spectacular catch last night, which the umpires ruled a home run after viewing the replay:

According to the crew chief, they decided Betts "didn't have control of his body when he hit the fence and the ball popped out."  From the MLB rulebook:

"A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it; providing he does not use his cap, protector, pocket or any other part of his uniform in getting possession. It is not a catch, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling, drops the ball."

The "immediately following" part is the key phrase.  Here's are the many things that happened during the time that Betts allegedly didn't have control of his body:

First, he caught the ball.  In the picture on the right, you can't see the ball because it's already in Betts' glove.  If he'd missed it it would've landed well in front of the wall.  After the catch, he did that thing players often do where they open and close their glove a bit to show they securely have possession of the ball.  Generally that is evidence of a catch.

In the process, Betts took two steps.  Following his two steps, Betts jumped into the wall.  One might think taking two steps then jumping constitutes having control of his body, but apparently not.  When he collided with the wall, the ball was still securely in his glove.  It did not fall out of his glove until after he'd flipped over the wall and landed on his head on the other side, likely suffering a concussion.

The way I see it, far too many things happening to all fall under the umbrella of "immediately following" the catch.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Have you ever blended your own shake at a convenience store?

I recently noticed this machine for the first time in my local Cumberland Farms:

It's too small to read in the photo, but according to the instructions you can pick both flavor and thickness.  It probably won't be long before there's a toppings bar and a "Blizzard maker" attached as well.  I wonder if Dairy Queen is worried...

Tom Brady suspension blog coming tomorrow.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Man, Boston lost the Olympics and Shane Victorino in the same day?

I was on Martha's Vineyard today and not really paying attention to what was going on in the outside world.  So, you can imagine my surprise when I checked the interwebs this evening and discovered that the city of Boston lost both Shane Victorino and its 2024 Olympic bid in the same day.

It was time for the Red Sox to move on from Victorino (and it's not really surprising that all they could get in return was a 26-year-old minor league infielder), but his value to the 2013 World Series champions was immeasurable.  I was in attendance at Fenway Park for his spectacular series-clinching grand slam in Game 6 of the ALCS:

That postseason, Victorino became the first player ever to knock in the winning runs in the deciding games of all three series.

The 2024 Olympics coming to Boston was always a long shot, but it was still something amazing to dream about.  As great as the above memory is, the Olympics coming here could've created some of the greatest sports moments the city has ever seen.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Happy Pedro Martinez Hall of Fame Induction Day

Ahh, Pedro.  What can I say.  Here's his immortal '99 All-Star game at Fenway:

Also from 1999, the time he struck out 17 Yankees (while allowing just one hit):

I shared a third remarkable outing from that season--the six innings of perfect relief while injured against the Indians in the playoffs--back in January when Pedro was voted into the Hall of Fame.

One other Pedro performance that stands out in my memory is a four-hit, nine-strikeout shutout of the Yankees on May 28, 2000.  Martinez out-dueled Roger Clemens, who held Boston scoreless for eight innings until Trot Nixon hit a two-run homer in the ninth.  It was the first of many, many baseball games I've watched at the Wharf Pub in my life.

The graphics in this Boston Globe piece are spectacular:

Recounting the greatest sports moment of my lifetime: The 2004 Boston Red Sox
Selecting the Boston Red Sox All-21st Century Team, Position by Position (on Bleacher Report)

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