Scarlet Fever

A teenage girl's perspective on the Red Sox and everything else.

Monday, February 26, 2007

And We Wonder Why Manny's Mum

Manny Ramirez' refusal to speak to the Boston media has bothered reporters and fans alike. The aloof and often immature Ramirez has gotten a reputation of being a tremendous slugger with an arrogant distaste for his adoring fans. Frazzled reporters like Dan Shaughnessy, desperate for some news from the tight-lipped star, create this image in an attempt to "get back" at Ramirez for (gasp) wanting a little privacy. Sure, Manny's a lucky guy. But he's also a human, just trying to get by in a fishbowl called Boston.
One angry media member asked Ramirez' agent, "Manny is 34 now. Do you think it’s time for him to be more accountable instead of being babied like a 12-year-old?" Another came up with, "Do you think since he’s your meal ticket, you should try to help him grow up?" And the reporters kept prying when it came to Manny's mother's offseason surgery. The Globe's Jackie MacMullan leaned in so close to Manny as he unpacked his locker that he had to demand "Can you give me a little space please?”.
I'm not naive enough to believe that Manny is a poor, innocent victim--the guy makes millions for playing a game, and his childish antics (such as coming out late for an inning because he was chillaxing in the Monster) have caused the coining of the phrase "Manny being Manny"; however, when reporters have such blatant disregard for his privacy, I can hardly blame him for his refusal to talk.
The limelight isn't for everybody, and if Ramirez prefers to be known for his play rather than his words, that should be respected. If he weren't such a superstar, it wouldn't be such a problem anyway. Though I would love to hear what Manny has to say, I don't want it to be at the cost of his dignity. We all deserve our privacy, and if the media ever wants another quote from Manny, they need to learn to respect his.

Edited to add: A few hours after posting I visited Red Sox Chick's blog and noticed she had a similar post to this one. Just wanted to clarify that I wasn't copying. And I'm glad to see that Cyn and I share an opinion on the matter.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Not Worth a Schilling

The warm sun shines in a cloudless sky, warming the baseball players working out in Fort Myers, Florida. The men in red stretch on the springy grass, their faces upturned toward the endless blue. Yet though it is midmorning in the Sunshine State, the sun is a setting sun for Curt Schilling. There is a good chance that this is his last Spring Training with the Red Sox, and as he nears his forty-first birthday, the reality of his age has set in.
Curt is a fan favorite, forever frozen in their memories as the pitcher with the bloody sock in that amazing 2004 postseason. But a fan base's affection doesn't stop time. The fact is that Schilling isn't a rookie anymore and "there's a bit of a sliding scale based on age," for Theo Epstein. "The deeper you go into your career, I think the more hesitant the club might be to guarantee salary years in advance. Curt is going to be 41. At that age, we get a little more conservative."
Though disappointing for both Schilling and many fans, Epstein's decision was a smart one. Schilling has the pitching ability of an ace and the attitude of a Ford, "built tough," but he's not ageless. It is impossibile to foretell how Big Schill's body will hold up. Pitching every five days puts a lot of stress on a pitcher's arm and body, and so many seasons of hard work tire one out quickly, even a man as tough as Curt. Should he remain healthy and effective throughout 2007, Epstein promises that "we'll find a way to keep him in a Red Sox uniform." For now, however, "It doesn't make sense from a business standpoint... to guarantee that kind of money a year in advance for a 41-year-old." Sox chairman Tom Werner echoes that "Curt Schilling will end his career as a Red Sox player... If he pitches as well as he expects to pitch this year, of course we'll make a deal for him for next year."
And Schill's thoughts on all this? "It's disappointing, but I said earlier, that's the way it works sometimes. It's a business, and I get that." Don't worry about his uncertain future affecting his performance this year, either, because "I don't pitch for contracts. I pitch for the reasons that I love playing the game."
Spoken like a true Sox.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Guess Who's Back

Sadly, I was without Internet and any Boston newspapers for my entire vacation, so my Sox news was extremely limited. So forgive me for not having anything interesting to say. The one newspaper we got focused on mostly local high school teams and the only articles were stupid non-news articles like "Subpar 2006 Season Motivates Sox". It was painful, trust me.
So, after spending some time catching up rather than unpacking, much to my parents' dismay, I feel a little more caught up with the Sox world again. Everything I read/saw made me happy. Except Manny's Manny-isms, but even that doesn't bother me a lot. If he's gonna hit, who cares what else he does?
Hopefully I'll be able to post something more interesting soon. Until then, go Sox.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Let's Compare

So while Roger Clemens basks in his own awesomeness back at his sprawling estate in Texas, Curt Schilling, barely younger than Clemens and just as talented, is in Fort Meyers, on time for Spring Training, working his butt off. Even though he's a seasoned veteran and still an ace at that. Somehow, he's even managing to enjoy himself. Because, you know (cough*Roger*cough), some people actually DO want to play baseball.
Let's compare the attitudes of two guys nearing the ends of two very similar careers. Schilling is humble enough to realize he can still learn at this stage in his career. "I'm trying to learn a little conversational Japanese," he said. "[Matsuzaka]'s got a whole different gig going. There are 200 people here just for him. He gives off the impression that he doesn't want it to be an inconvenience to other people, which is, I think, a pretty neat thing." He admires humility in others as well, and accepts the fact that other exceptional pitchers exist, too. He's still making adjustments, and he cares about his teammates; he realizes that a championship is a team effort, saying, "I'll be ready to go Opening Day. This is absolutely a World Series-caliber ballclub. We need to be ready right out of the chute, and I feel like I am. The preparation changes more on time [demands] than it does anything else. It takes more time to do things now than it did in the past. Warming up is just one of them. It takes me a little bit longer to get it cranked up and going, but it'll evolve over the spring. I'll tweak it as we go." He admits that he has dreams of another World Series ring or two, but "as far as that stuff goes, I really do not think about it." Because there are more important things to worry about right now. Like getting ready for a season, meeting new teammates, and getting in tip-top shape. Unless, of course, you're Roger Clemens and nobody's interested in seeing you before May, and you don't even want to play baseball. I'm not going to repeat my Roger quotes. You can reread my earlier I-hate-Roger post if you would like.
Anywho, now that I'm finally getting back into the swing (no pun intended) of baseball stuff, I have to leave for a few days. It's February vacation and I'm headed for Vermont for some skiing and snowboarding. I probably won't have any Internet access there, but I look forward to returning to a ton of comments and Sox news. Don't disappoint me :)

Shady JD

I'm having a hard time forcing myself to like JD Drew. I find it necessary to like all the players on my team, because if I don't, it makes for one long, painful season. All the struggling players, I always believe they're about to break out of their slump. All the hot (hitting-streak-hot, people) players, I love because their success is so fun to watch. The players with a genuine love for the game, I find the easiest to become enamored of. The Julio Lugos and David Ortizes, the guys with spunk and personality. The Jason Variteks and Trot Nixons, the quiet, gritty guys. The Tim Wakefields and Curt Schillings, the veterans, and the Jonathan Papelbons and Dustin Pedroias, the enthusiastic young guys. JD Drew falls into none of these categories. I have little faith that the passion of Red Sox Nation will be mirrored by Drew. I get the feeling that he will be bothered by it rather than soak it up, causing a mutually distasteful relationship. Then his shoulder will disintegrate, he'll go on the DL for a month or two, Wily Mo Pena will have a breakout season, and the 70 million we spent on Drew will go down the tubes. There's really nothing to like about him. He's a liability, because he's almost guaranteed to get hurt. I'm sure that for the three or four games per season that he's healthy, he'll hit well and defend well and all that. But as you can see from my last post, personality is what makes me endeared to a player -- or despise him. JD Drew will choke in a town like Boston. I'll start off the season fresh and give him a chance, but in the pit of my stomach I'll know that his blase attitude will never get him invited into the hearts of these fans.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Seriously, Roger

According to Dante's Inferno, hipocrisy is punished in Level 8 of Hell. Should such be the case, Roger Clemens has a secured himself a place deep within the gates of Lucifer (he has made a case for himself in the zones punishing avarice, prodigality, and pride as well). The aging pitcher shared several weeks ago that "I'm failing at retirement. Let's just face it. I'm failing miserably at it." Yet one must question his true motives when he makes comments like, "You put your body through a lot of punishment and then you come up one game short, like we did last year, for me it was a waste of time." Oh, Roger. So many young guys are killing themselves, working their butts off, and many will never see a major league game. But I understand. When you're as amazing as Roger Clemens you don't have to care. You don't even have to like playing. It's perfectly acceptable to not care about the regular season. To consider it a waste of your precious time. To put the baseball world on hold, year after year, for several months while you ponder a return. After all, you're Roger Clemens. You're a legend.
But you went beyond that. Beyond your typical arrogance. Now you claim that, "We get little notes at my foundation about people saying they wish I would make up [my] mind and decide because I am leaving people hanging. I'm not leaving anybody hanging. I don't want to play." Gosh, Roger. You could have fooled me. "Failing miserably at retirement" doesn't suggest at all that you are considering pitching another season. Of course you're not leaving anybody hanging. Just the Astros, Red Sox and Yankees. But no biggie. Take your time. Soak up the media attention. Immerse yourself in the prospect of several more millions to roll around in. "None of the teams are interested in seeing me before May, and that's great," you claim. "I don't have an interest in playing right now in May." God forbid you humble yourself to actually showing up at the beginning of the season, let alone Spring Training. Who would ever want you before May? What crazy team would want some quality pitching for an entire season rather than just half of one?
Roger, you disgust me. Many Sox fans are thrilled at the prospect of Clemens coming back to Boston, but you can count me out. If he does come here, I'll cheer for him. I always cheer for my boys. But I won't like him. And I won't have any respect for him.
In other news, my dad is a doctor and one of his patients knows Dr. Gill, the Red Sox physician. Apparently JD Drew's shoulder is in really bad shape. Ugh. Gotta love those injuries.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy Truck Day!

It seems almost too early for truck day. The winter was so late in coming that a sign of spring seems like cheating. Yet, I am most certainly not complaining! When the season ends I brace myself for the longest, most painful wait imaginable. Now that the wait is almost over, it wasn't as bad as I thought. Football helped. School. I've been so busy that I doubt I would have been able to watch much baseball if it had been going on. That's the good thing about baseball in the summer. So much more time.
Anyways, Truck Day! I've been devouring all the information I can get from The Boston Globe's Extra Bases site, which has Spring Training updates. Many of the young players are already there, working their butts off. I was especially thrilled that Jon Lester is there, apparently in perfect health and only three pounds shy of his target weight. I have so much respect for him. He is truly an incredible young man. He refuses to be treated differently from any of the other pitchers.
Well, with Spring Training my posts will likely become less sporatic. I can't wait until the preseason games begin!