Red Sox vs. Yankees: Here we go again

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Yankee and Sox fans make out

The rivalry heats up [Photo lifted shamelessly from Boston's Weekly Dig]

The stars are almost aligned. But before we can live through another Red Sox-Yankees ALCS, both teams have to get to the post-season. And before that happens: a final, cataclysmic end-of-season fight to the finish. (There’s also the matter of one of them getting the wild card, but whatever. That’s another show.)

For now, we’re talking to Red Sox bloggers and to Yankees bloggers, and we want to line them up for a show and have them go at it. Like a cage match, maybe. So what are your questions? A few for starters:


  1. Whose pitching will stand up? Whose aces will pitch, finally, like aces?
  2. Will the loser of the final series win the wild card?
  3. Are you ready for this, all over again?
  4. Do you care?

Luke Salisbury

Professor of English, Bunker Hill Community College

Author, The Answer is Baseball and The Cleveland Indian

[In our Boston studio]

Jay Jaffe

Blogger, Futility Infielder

[On the phone from New York City]

Ryan Toohil

Co-blogger (“Mullet”), The House That Dewey Built

[On the phone from Boston]

Cllifford Corcoran

Co-blogger, Bronx Banter

[On the phone from New Jersey]


Comments

18 thoughts on “Red Sox vs. Yankees: Here we go again

  1. A little off-topic, but you mentioned Johnny Damon blogging…

    We need a certification service for celebrity bloggers that guarantees that all words are written by the celebrity him/herself. It should also apply to CEOs and politicians. Somehow I doubt that Dean and Kerry wrote much on their campaign blogs.

    I’m looking forward to the day when someone, by force of writing clarity, starts as a blogger and becomes a politician.

  2. I feel bad for them but I still get the sense the white sox won’t make it, but I do think cleveland will win their first series whoever they play. Now that I’m not playing soccer, no one calls me “cover red sox” anymore :(.

    Anyone else blogged up? It must be my allergies.

  3. To the point that “avecfrites” makes– since when does being a blogger confer legitimacy? I understand that Lydon’s been part of a school that’s pushing that, and it’s a largely unchallenged myth here and elsewhere on blog-booster sites. And if you can give me that, I can turn this thread back on topic as quick as Derek Jeter can turn the 4-6-3.

    First, I’ll concede that if you want to bring out a sports fan today, you would no more measure the size of their collection of memorabilia than you would the size of their collection of blog posts. Blogging is perfect for fanatics. But I don’t see measuring the worth of CEO’/politicians in the same way. Similarly, how much of what a CEO/politician says or writes is their own words in any medium? Granted, the conceit of the campaign blogs was that they were more personal than the typical speech.

    I don’t think authorship is that much a question on most of the blogs. (Note that this website didn’t have the bylines turned on three months ago, whereupon I put my foot in my mouth trying to guess who had authored a post). What is of question is when users posts in the comments; on most blogs– this one being of intelligent design and a rare exception– there is absolutely no authentication of who can post. It does sort of annoy me that this particular community is composed of people with pseudonyms, but at least there’s no impersonations. But it’s happened, and the big cheeses tend to laugh it off.

    Now on the blogs we are not for lack of people talking. Instead, as Esther Dyson has said, what we are missing is people listening (I expanded on her point part 3 of the New Gatekeepers series). This blog especially should be about listening; but there is no way, for each point made here, to check whether the ROS staff is listening.

    So what we should ask of our superstars is not to here them talk more (athletes tend to have a fairly high rate of career-ending statements). But to hear them listen. One of things that’s made Curt Schilling such a fan favorite here is that he actually participates on the online fan boards. In 2003, Seth Stevenson of Slate reported that Schilling had stopped by the Sons of Sam Horn message board to talk with fans about the negotiations. “Sons of Sam Horn,” while most certainly a leading example of citizen’s journalism, is anomalous in a couple of ways– it’s not a blog, and it’s members only. The site takes credit for helping persuade Schilling to choose Boston.

    I didn’t quite have that choice, as accident of birth and schooling, I root for the Yankees. In 2003 I made a bet with co-workers over the outcome of the playoffs; the following Monday, my opposite numbers brought in the bagels and read an epic poem that the bet specified was supposed to have praised the winning team. In 2004 I skipped the bet, just having a bad feeling going into the playoffs. Yada yada yada, and the day after I found myself at the dentist. Ouch. The hygienist needled Dr. Z: “Bruce, you’re a Yankees fan, right?” to which he responded: “I was growing up, but they make too much money these days for me to care.”

    Postscript: We scheduled a follow-up to do a filling on November 4th, and in the intervening time I flew to Florida help out with a larger contest: “Look, last week the Yankees lost like that and I had come to the dentist. And this week, John Kerry lost, and I’m back at the dentist. If I associated going to the dentist with pain and suffering, it’s entirely a coincidence!”

    I’ll be rooting for the pinstripes. But only to be a curmudgeon here.

  4. People will blog, or not. But it would be nice to know which celebrity blogs are actually written by the celebrity.

    Suppose you knew who actually wrote blog items. And you found yourself impressed by and interested in the writings of a particular blogger. And the blogger gained a large enough following that, when urged to run for office, his/her name recognition and following were large enough that he/she was a credible candidate. (And an attractive fairy with a magic wand…. oh, never mind). Wouldn’t that be a nice world?

    JonG hit a nerve when he commented that you can perhaps judge a fan by the size of his memorabilia collection. Well, perhaps. But wouldn’t it be a nicer world if that was absurd, and where you could judge a fan by his knowledge and evangelical passion for the game?

  5. That’s not quite how I said it. Let me make it two sentences. If you were looking for a superfan (as this show is today) by some measurement– perhaps their collections. Today, a blog allows a fan to build a portfolio of all of their knowledge and passion. I do think the ROS should try to get the Sons of Sam Horn crew on the air. I have no idea who their Yankee counterparts are.

  6. Ummm… anyone mind if we actually talk about baseball?

    These bastards (that would be the RED SOX) are KILLING me this year!

    So, if the Sox can somehow manage a win at home over the sub-.500 Blue Jays tonight (and that’s a big IF), they’ll go into the weekend series needing to take 2 of 3 from the Yankees to tie, 3 straight to win the division. Who knows what will happen with Cleveland (I mean… who loses two out of three to the Devil Rays in September, right? Oh… umm… I guess the RED SOX did.)

    My frustration with the team’s play in September is tempered by the miraculous absurdity of their position, given what they have to work with. I mean, pitching and defense win games and these guys got NOTHIN’! No ace. No closer. The only starter with an ERA under 4.00 is a knuckleballer they didn’t even want to put on the post-season roster a couple of years ago. Their set-up guy is pushing forty and has appeared in,like , every game. Their $40 million shortstop is leading the league in errors at his position. Their center fielder is so banged up he can’t even throw. The Red Sox just have no business being in a pennant race, Big Papi or not. The fact that they are is an ENORMOUS credit to Terry Francona and the players.

    On the other hand, September has just been nauseating. If these guys don’t make the playoffs, it will be because they dropped two of three to the bottom dwelling Devil Rays and lost eleven games (and counting) to the Blue Jays, including a split (assuming they win tonight) of eight games in September. Their performance against the good teams has been mediocre: won the Anaheim series, lost to New York, split with Oakland.

    The more I think of it, the more I think that hubris and bad judgement got us here. I’m trying to think of one offseason (or even mid-season) move by the Sox front office that improved this team. Right now I got John Olerud (who was injured and is platooning with Millar) and Tony Grafinino (who’s cooled off quite a bit). That’s pretty much it.

    As baseball sage Peter Gammons noted last year, the Sox won because they FINALLY built a team around pitching and defense. In the 2003-2004 offseason, Theo went out and got Schilling and Foulke to shore up the staff. During the season, he traded Nomar Garciaparra for defense and speed.

    This year, the Sox let Pedro get away, and showed Derek Lowe the door. Then they built they’re staff around old guys (Wells, Timlin, Embree), injured guys (Schilling, Miller) and guys who hadn’t won (Clement). They traded defensive star Doug Mienkewicz for a cooler of Gatorade so that they could hold onto Millar, who’s been lousy both in the field and at bat. They stiffed sparkplug shortstop Orlando Cabrera so that they could give $40 million to Edgar Renteria, who’s tied for the league lead in errors at short and has been mediocre at the dish. They held onto strike out king Mark Bellhorn for too long and sent Keith Foulke out there day after day when it was clear there was a problem.

    It’s back to the future with these Sox. They bash their way to wins, then start to fade as the weather cools down and games get tighter. Unfortunately, my response will be the same as in years past. Like a driver passing a bloody accident scene, I can’t stop watching these guys, even though it’s excrutiating!

    Unless, of course, WE BEAT NEW YORK!!

  7. Glen Ordway from WEEI would be a great guest. He has made the 2-6 time blossom under his direction. I promise, he could articulate this Sox/Yanks thing in layman’s terms. He is a man who, like Chris, does not talk down to his callers, but instead provokes them. He is also a very good facilitator of conversation.

    Doris Goodwin would be another good guest, as well as Peter Gammons.

    The following is a the last paragraph from ‘Perfect Day-A Day of Prowess’ a short essay from Robert Frost, written after attending the 1956 All-Star game:

    “Prowess, prowess, in about equal strength for both sides. Each team made 11 hits, two home runs and not a single error. The day was perfect, the scene perfect, the play perfect. Prowess of course comes first, the ability to perform with success in games, in the arts and, come right down to it, in battle. The nearest of kin to the artists in college where we all become bachelors of arts are their fellow performers in baseball, football, and tennis. That’s why I am so particular college athletics should be kept from corruption. They are close to the soul of culture. At any rate the Greeks thought so. Justice is a close second to prowess. When displayed toward each other by antagonists in war and peace, it is known as the nobility of noble natures. And I mustn’t forget courage, for there is neither prowess nor justice without it. My fourth, if it is important enough in comparison to be worth bringing in, is knowledge, the mere information we can’t get too much of and can’t ever get enough of, we complain, before going into action.

    As I say, I never feel more at home in America than at a ballgame be it in park or in sandlot. Beyond this I know not. And dare not.”

  8. I’m waiting for someone to mention the excellent thread last year on Sons of Sam Horn of the “Win it for …” posts which ended up running into the thousands and were hilarious and sweet and incredibly moving. I don’t know if I’ve ever read an odder or more wonderful collection of “baseball writing.”

  9. Hey greenbrier, I just tried to get in to Sons of Sam Horn, and it’s going to take me a bit to get in and use the search. Mind copying and pasting a couple of your favorites from that list? I’ll read ‘em on air. Thanks, B

  10. Note to pmassari: Damon couldn’t throw before he was hurt…thats why Manny had to cut him off…of course, that was also a case of Manny being Manny.

    In any case, this weekend series should be good fun. My girlfriend will be vacuuming furiously because she can’t take the tension. Sox fan, of course. I, on the other hand, will be waiting expectantly for one of the gas-cans in the Yankees bully to lose me yet another bet on the Yanks in the Post season. 4 Straight last year, guys? Really? Maybe if all the starters can go 8 we’ll be ok. Go Yankees!

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