Baseball Preview Wrapup Opening day

Baseball Preview Wrapup

Opening day is almost here. Today we’ve got baseball preview editions in a couple of newspapers. With the Red Sox bullpen strategy one of the most talked about items in baseball this year, the Globe decides to take an in-depth look at the bullpen, it’s use throughout the history of baseball and some of the biggest personalities involved. Gordon Edes starts off looking at how the role of the closer has risen in stature he also defines the roles in the modern bullpen and lists the best current and all time in each role. Bob Richardson looks at the very early uses of relief pitchers, back in the 19th century game, and early in the 20th century. Dan Shaughnessy remembers the Monster, Dick Radatz, and his impact on how relief aces are used today. Edes looks at Al Hrabosky…the mad Hungarian of the 1970’s. Even Bob Stanley gets from ink from Edes and remembering the role the former Sox pitcher had, and has his current thoughts on bullpen philosophy. Bob Ryan profiles the guy who really started the closer role as it is defined today, Dennis Eckersley. Edes also looks at the bullpen employed by the World Series champion Angels, highlighted by young Francisco Rodriguez. Edes looks at Jesse Orosco pitching in the majors since 1979, still getting people out. He then turns his attention to the maddening lefty/righty matchups. Edes wraps up his coverage with a look at the bullpen coaches.

Whereas the Globe focused on the bullpen, the Projo focuses on the other big controversy of the spring, the use of numbers and hiring of Bill James. Art Martone (pro-stats) and Steven Krasner (anti-stats) In my opinion, Krasner does not come off well in his arguments. You’d think by reading his article that He thinks that the Red Sox were solely relying on Bill James to evaluate players. They’re not. His contributions are simply just another something to factor in the total equation. He also mentions using very small stat groups and how misleading they can be. If he had even looked at a Bill James book, he’d know he doesn’t work that way. Not good arguments there. Maybe he just didn’t want to get into it with his boss, Martone, too much. Martone notes how one of the most famous moments in baseball history could’ve been very different if one of the managers was aware of some simple numbers. The concept of using statistics more in baseball has been around for a long time, but has been slow to be accepted. A dawn of a new age around Fenway, Sean McAdam takes an in-depth look at the changes Theo Epstein is making in the Red Sox thinking and philosophy. As for Bill James, Brandon Musler has a look at James and notes some of his comments from the past on Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, the Easler for Baylor trade, trading Bobby Ojeda to the Mets, Dave Henderson, He wrote about Lou Gorman rueing the day he traded Jeff Bagwell…before Bagwell had a single at bat in the majors, and got the trade for Lee Smith right as well. There are a TON more articles in the Projo rreview, mostly short, there are profiles of all the news guys, a position by position analysis, and predictions on the team.

A few notes: Looks like

A few notes:

Looks like the poll got “hacked” again. Last night it there was about 300 votes, and 80% said they were listening to WEEI less. Now there are 750 votes and it’s split almost 50/50. Today’s traffic is no higher than usual. I take this as a sign that I’ve made it here, people need to hack my little poll because they can’t stand to see what it is telling them. Someone must be pretty insecure to be doing that…

I hope to have the Mediamadness next round up tomorrow.

My job…many have asked what I did. I worked the last four years at New Hampshire Public Television. My position was eliminated due to “escalating expenses with diminishing revenues.” I worked in Information Technology. Jack of all trades, master of none. Did mostly desktop support on all versions of Windows, supported Microsoft Office products and worked on NT/2000 and Novell Servers. I was hoping to change career paths and find something related to what I’m doing here.

It appears Michael Felger was incorrect this morning in reporting Damien Woody’s salary this season as $375,000. From his NFLPA page, Woody is due to make $530,000 this year.

Celtics put six guys (including

Celtics put six guys (including Kedrick Brown) in double figures, Pierce scores 25, Walker is a rebound and two assists shy of a triple-double, Celtics only turn the ball over 8 times…and get waxed. Six losses in a row. Peter May says the team is in a “certifiable, embarrassing, and worrisome slump”. Steve Bulpett has Paul Pierce reaching for a positive as the Celtics guard says that maybe a little adversity will be good for the team. Carolyn Thornton has the story of the game for the Projo, and Christopher Price reports for the Metro. Andy Nesbitt has more on Pierce and Walker, who stuck around to face the music and talk about what the team needs. Mark Murphy looks at Antoine Walker, once again the target of boos at the Fleet. As for Pierce, Lenny Megliola points out that he’s likely hurting as well, but the focus of his article is that the Celtics were disgraced last night. Murphy also talks war with a few Celtics, find out how they stay informed, and chats with Grant Long about his uncle who went to Vietnam, lost an arm, and received the Purple Heart. Price also looks at the remaining schedule. Into the notebooks…Thornton’s notebook says Pierce’s back is still hurting him. May’s notebook says something will happen on the Union front with Vin Baker in the next few days. In Bulpett’s notebook, Pierce thinks the team will be ready for the playoffs.

With just a few days to go to opening day, there’s still time to stir the pot and strike fear into the hearts of Red Sox fans. While Jeff Horrigan and Nick Cafardo play up the doomsday countdown scenario regarding Pedro, I prefer to go with Sean McAdam’s version, which is more positive, and hints that perhaps the Sox and Pedro might be close to getting something done. (Hint – If you don’t want to get irritated, skip the first two, and go directly to McAdam.) Even Dan Shaughnessy avoids going the doomsday rout, instead praising Pedro for his maturity. Maybe Dan really has turned a new leaf… One question from his column though, he says:

let me go on record yet again and predict an Opening Day no-hitter from Pedro Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

I like that. Much better than a prediction that he blows his shoulder out opening day. I haven’t kept close tabs on Dan’s appearances lately, where else did he “go on the record” and say this? A Barnicle show? The NESN Globe SportsPlus program? I’m not being cynical, I want to know where else Shaughnessy is spreading his message of cheer and goodwill. Speaking of the SportsPlus program, Gordon Edes gives us some snippets from his one-on-one interview with Sox GM Theo Epstein which will air tonight. Tony Massarotti also weighs in on the Pedro issue, urging everyone to relax. David Heuschkel looks at the Sox pitching staff taking shape, with the release of Frank Castillo yeserday. He looks at the remaining candidates and their chances at sticking. It would appear that Steve Woodard might have the best shot. An intriguing guy is Hector Almonte. Of course, 96 MPH fastballs are always intriguing and nice to have in your bullpen. Sean McAdam has more on the release of Castillo. Kevin Gray makes his first trip to spring training this year, and finds amusement in Manny, and less amused by Casey Fossum. If you’re signed up for the Herald’s columnists, you can read Steve Buckley and get Nomar’s thoughts on his pal Lou leaving town. Cafardo and Horrigan continue to be joined at the hip, as their notebooks are as similar as their articles today. Cafardo’s notebook is about Castillo’s release and Nomar is happy for Lou. Horrigan’s notebook is about Castillo, Lou and Nomar taking a shot to the head yesterday. McAdam’s notebook looks at Pedro’s performance yesterday.

Stephen Harris looks at the Bruins facing a big test tonight if they want to be considered legit. Frank Dell’Apa also notes that the Bruins will clinch a playoff spot with a win tonight. Harris’ notebook looks at Joe Thornton trying to win the scoring title.

Michael Felger reports on the Patriots getting a restructured deal done with Tom Brady to free up some space (2.1 Million) to sign their upcoming draft picks. He assesses their progress this offseason and notes that they have all their starters under contract. That includes offense, defense and special teams. And they’re under the cap by a couple million at the least. Not bad, I’d say. Ron Borges reports on the decision not to change to overtime rules, and gives Belichick praise for his proposal for solving the OT problem…simply move the kickoff spot up five yards and make the team that gets the ball first work a little harder. At the end, the article quotes the Herald as it’s source for learning about the Tom Brady contract restructure. I found that slightly curious. Mark Farinella has a look at the beginning of the offseason program, and thoughts on the Pats moving their training camp to Foxboro. Picking up my Sports Illustrated, the Scorecard by Peter King was interesting. It’s about the changes Bill Parcells is making in Dallas. I liked this bit:

Parcells's coaches -- he has five holdovers from Dave Campo's staff -- don't even chafe when he tells them that past disciples, such as defensive guru Bill Belichick, did things better. "He talks about Belichick all the time," says defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. "You think that doesn't motivate me?"

Hector Longo compares Carmelo Anthony to Antoine Walker, gives the Patriots a “D” for their offseason moves to date, and urges fans to enjoy Nomar while you got him. Luke Meredith says goodbye to Lou and has mostly baseball related thoughts in the Unsilent Majority.