The Red Sox clinched at least a wild card playoff spot with the 3-1 win over the Orioles at Fenway last night. John Lackey pitched what might’ve been his best game in a Red Sox uniform, limiting the O’s to just two hits and going the complete nine innings.
How John Lackey became an improbable symbol of an improbable (and playoff-bound) team – Alex Speier looks at how the once-loathed pitcher has completely changed his image in Boston.
Lackey provides fitting push into playoffs – Gordon Edes says that Lackey being on the mound was fitting.
Red Sox holding off on big celebration – Nick Cafardo looks at how the Sox eschewed a “wild card” celebration because they have bigger goals in mind.
A couple media columns:
WEEI courting Curt Schilling for significant role – Chad Finn says that the pursuit of the former Sox pitcher is for real, and that is Joe Haggerty is brought in instead, it could mean the end for Kirk Minihane. He also has some Sox ratings numbers from NESN.
O’Brien cutting through Red Sox ads, high pitch counts – Bill Doyle has a Red Sox fan explaining his method for watching Red Sox games quickly.
The Patriots take on Tampa Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. From what I’ve learned this week, the Patriots are the worst 2-0 team in NFL history, while the Buccaneers are the best 0-2 team in NFL history. What exactly that means, I’m not sure.
Catch all the coverage at patriotslinks.com
This came in from a reader yesterday, and I thought it worthy of sharing:
It is the multiple layers of conceit that get me. I want to listen/read, and I want to acquire insights, but the multiple layers of conceit are in the way:
- That opinions matter as much or more than reporting
- That opinions are tapped into what sports fans are saying and thinking
- That opinions generate their own relevancy
- That prediction of absolute outcomes stand in as an argument, particularly to present false choices
- That criticism can be deflected by having it both ways (a Paul Reiser joke: “I am not saying you are fat, I am just saying that you are a little on the chubby side.”)
Tony Massarotti is now officially a believer in the Red Sox on the Baseball “Reporters,” and as revenge he has hiiiigh expectations for the Sox in the playoffs, and will be disappointed in them if they don’t advance in the right way.
He sees despicable complacency in calling the 2013 season already successful, and states that those who feel that way are not in tune with real Red Sox fandom.
It is evident to Tony that calling the 2013 season already successful places no expectations on success in the playoffs.
He doesn’t think that it is right to place no expectations on success in the playoffs, and that before 2004, maintaining high and passionate expectations is how fans thought about the Sox.
He maintains the Sox should be able to beat some teams easily in the playoffs. If they don’t, they will be a disappointment.
If Massarotti were a real “baseball reporter,” he would understand and relate a few things:
- That against playoff caliber teams, the very best likelihood of winning a short series would be no more than 60%, but probably not as much as that.
- That the chances of advancing to and then winning a World Series would be less than 20% for any and all teams this year, and yet we can still enjoy watching a team try.
- That the reason why there is uncertainty in a short series, is because a few inches on a Tony Clark line drive down the right field line, or a shut down performance by Derek Lowe who carried a 5.42 season ERA into the playoffs, can make huge differences.
- That performance on the field is not an absolute indicator of team character, and that character is not what is most on display when a game is being played.
But he is not a “baseball reporter.” He is not tapped into how real fans view the Red Sox. He is not relevant. He does not present cogent arguments. He does not present consistent arguments. Instead, he is conceited. I suspect he is laughing to the bank.
I am guilty of contributing to his humor, by even paying attention to (and writing about!) him, but dammit, I really really want to talk, listen, and read about a very enjoyable team. I am a sucker and I know it.
There is nothing I can say to Tony Massarotti because I hear others trying to say it on the radio, to no avail, and I know I can’t be any more successful. It is Tony Massarotti today, but previous others through the years have exercised those multiple layers of conceit with equal adroitness. Such people do succeed.
These ilk are not going to ruin my enjoyment of this season but really — dammit.
If you’ve missed it, Massarotti has already moved his goalposts. After an entire season of ‘I don’t believe in this team!!!‘ the theme is now ‘Anything short of a World Series victory and the season is a failure!!!‘