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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Posnanski: Moneyball The Movie

“They broke down Chad Bradford’s pitching style”... wannabes.

There are baseball details so real that no other filmmaker would have ever dared even try it. They broke down Chad Bradford’s pitching style. They use the key sabermetric phrase “small sample size.” They spent a good chunk of the movie talking about Beane’s fascination with left-handed specialist Ricardo Rincon, for crying out loud. And then, on the other hand, they have a whole movie about the 2002 Oakland A’s without even subtly mentioning Miguel Tejada, who happened to win the league MVP, or Barry ZIto, who happened to win the Cy Young. Brad Pitt fans will leave the theater feeling pretty sure that the 2002 Oakland A’s won 103 games because of Scott Hatteberg and Chad ...

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The District Attorney Posted: September 22, 2011 at 07:06 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, baseball geeks, business, media, reviews

EPL Talk: Exclusive Interview With Liverpool Chairman Tom Werner

In England, the Red Sox are still a “powerhouse” and Theo Epstein is still a genius.

Alex Fairchild (AF):  To what extent is your experience transforming the Red Sox into a MLB powerhouse helping you turn LFC around?

Tom Werner (TW): I have said in the past that John and I are better owners at the Red Sox because of the experiences we had at the San Diego Padres and the Florida Marlins. I expect that our knowledge of running a first class baseball organization will give us useful experience that can apply to LFC.

AF: How does the European transfer market compare to that of MLB?

TW: While they are different conceptually, they both offer opportunities to dramatically improve your club. I feel that LFC is blessed to have Damien Comolli ...

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Greg Franklin Posted: September 22, 2011 at 05:11 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, red sox, special topics

Boston Herald: Source: Sox made play for Mets’ Capuano

How desperate are the Red Sox to hold on to their incredible shrinking wild card lead? So desperate the team is looking to trade for pitchers to just finish out the regular season. According to the Boston Herald, the Red Sox have spent the last week trying to get lefty Chris Capuano from the Mets to start Sunday at Yankee Stadium.


According to the report, the Mets will hold on to Capuano, who is a free agent after the season. Capuano is the scheduled starter for the Mets on Thursady in a 1:45 p.m. game against the Cardinals.


If the Red Sox did get Capuano—or any other pitcher—that player wouldn’t be eligible for the postseason, but they could use him over the last week of the season.

On the other hand, I’m sure the Yanks would offer ...

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Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:55 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, red sox, rumors

LAT: Bankruptcy doesn’t mean Dodgers can’t offer big contracts

The Dodgers’ status as a bankrupt company should not prevent owner Frank McCourt from offering big contracts this winter, according to parties involved in the federal bankruptcy proceedings.

“Whatever happens with the club, it’s in everyone’s interest for the team to be competitive and not compromised in trying to operate,” said Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Assn., which, as co-chair of the bankruptcy creditors’ committee, represents the interests of every party to whom the Dodgers owe money.

“They’ll be permitted to make whatever decisions they have to make.”

Free Matt Kemp!

Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:14 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Allen Barra: The ‘Moneyball’ Myth

Alright, alright…so the “SLOBball” movie wasn’t ignatin’ and fell through. But did you have to drag the Hirsch brothers in?

But while the New York Yankees had far more money to spend, the competition on the field was not so lopsided. Baseball had been evolving into a more competitive sport for decades. In fact, 2000 marked the first season in which every team in the league finished between .400 and .600 in won-lost percentage. In other words, no matter how much money was being made or spent by each team, baseball had never been closer to parity.

Even now, a decade later, as the salary gap between big- and small-market clubs continues to grow, baseball is fairer than either professional football or basketball in terms of the number of ...

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Repoz Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:54 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, books, business, history, media

MASN: Billy Rowell displeased with organization’s handling of his time after injury

Rowell from Sewell. No well.

I asked him if he thought he had been given a fair chance to show what he could do with Bowie?

“Not really. I was supposed to go to Florida for two weeks according to (director of player development) John Stockstill. Two weeks in Florida and then come back to Bowie. That was the plan. I was good (healthy) after two weeks, then they brought up the guy they traded for Derrek Lee, what’s his name, Baker.

“They bring him up and he gets dominated in Double-A. The game was way too fast for him. You know what I mean. They bring him up so it looks like the Derrek Lee trade was a good trade and they diss the guy they gave $2 million dollars to. It’s cool, it’s their business. But I don’t feel like it was carried out ...

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Repoz Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:37 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: business, minor leagues, orioles, prospect reports

One Hundred Years

Young’s shutout against Pittsburgh that Friday afternoon 100 years ago brought his season record to 7-6 (4-2 with Boston.)  It was the 511th win of his career. It would turn out to be the last. Three days later, he lost his next start 6-5 to the Cubs, giving up the winning run with one out in the ninth; five days after that the Reds beat him 4-1 in Cincinnati. This would be the 749th (we think!) and definitely the final complete game of his career. There’s another record that looks pretty safe.

mathesond Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:17 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: general

TTF: Dad-gum fired up about Kershaw snub on ESPN

Gee, I might have to find ESPN on my remote again.

The regular anchor started talking about the National League Cy Young race and said that a baseball expert was going to break down the race and the favorites. Then this “expert” came on and said that no matter what, a Philadelphia Phillies pitcher – either Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay – is most deserving of the Cy Young award. ESPN then flashed Lee, Halladay and Kershaw on the screen. Kershaw has more wins than Halladay or Lee. Kershaw has fewer losses than either pitcher. Kershaw has a lower ERA than either pitcher (are you sensing a theme here?). Kershaw has more strikeouts than either pitcher.

But hold on, despite this dominance, one of the Phillies deserves the Cy Young more ...

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Repoz Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:14 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, dodgers, phillies, projections, sabermetrics

ESPN: Ban foils Manny Ramirez’s comeback plans

Pregnant pause…......for a Winston Llenas sighting!

Manny Ramirez will have to scuttle existing plans to play for a team in the Dominican Republic because his Major League Baseball-mandated drug suspension still has to be served, a source close to the situation told ESPN’s Colleen Dominguez.

An MLB official confirmed that since Ramirez has unresolved MLB drug-program violations and the Dominican winter league is affiliated with MLB, commissioner Bud Selig’s office considers him ineligible to play in the league.

If the former World Series MVP wants to play ball again, the source said, he would have to play for an independent league club unaffiliated with MLB.

Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com’s Enrique Rojas that his representatives will ...

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Repoz Posted: September 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM | 106 comment(s)
  Beats: history, international, steroids

Former major league outfielder Aaron Guiel retires

Guiel’s theme goes away with everything…

Former major leaguer Aaron Guiel has retired after five seasons in Japanese professional baseball.

The 38-year-old outfielder from Vancouver, British Columbia, was limited to 11 games this season with the Yakult Swallows because of a back injury.

He batted .234 with 90 homers and 239 RBIs in 441 games over five seasons in Japan, all with Yakult.

“The Swallows brought me over here, and that changed my life and my career, so I think it’s only fitting to retire in a Swallows uniform,” Guiel said. “Playing with this team has defined me and my career, so it feels appropriate.”

Before coming to Japan, Guiel spent five seasons with the Kansas City Royals from 2002 and finished his major league career ...

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Repoz Posted: September 22, 2011 at 10:08 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: international, japan, royals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-22-2011

This just in:  Old-timer says current players aren’t as good as they used to be.

White Sox manager Hugh Duffy in the Toledo News-Bee, September 22, 1911:

“When I was a player you had to serve a long apprenticeship in the minors.  Breaking in with a major league club was a tough job.  Furthermore, the other players, the fellows who were in ahead of you, impressed it upon your mind at the start that you had a lot of things to learn.  They don’t do it that way any more.”

“A ballplayer starts with a Class Z league, bats .400 where the fences are short, gets his name in the papers.  Then he’s gobbled by the scout, and if he keeps on hitting goes south with the major club in the spring.  His name gets into the papers some more, he is praised ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 09:42 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, hall of fame, history

Strikeouts put Stubbs in funk

James Jamerson…Shake him, wake him (when it’s over)!

With the Reds idle today, Stubbs essentially will have two days off before play resumes Friday in Pittsburgh. He was in the original lineup Wednesday, then Baker thought better of it.

...“Obviously I’ve been in a pretty big funk lately,” Stubbs said. “This gives me a chance to kind of regroup.”

Yes, the strikeouts bother Stubbs.

“That’s a big part of it,” he said. “At the same time, it’s not like I’ve been striking out a couple times and getting a few hits mixed in there lately. I think that just kind of adds to some of the anguish. It’s definitely something that’s not any fun.”

Stubbs has 38 steals and 92 runs, and he is trying to become only the fifth Red since 1900 with 40 steals ...

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Repoz Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:50 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, reds, sabermetrics

MLB.com: Posada’s clutch hit delivers AL East title

The New York Yankees captured their 12th American League East championship in 16 years Wednesday at Yankee Stadium with a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Pinch-hitter Jorge Posada leveled the final blow in the eighth inning, a two-out, bases-loaded single that broke a 2-2 tie and put New York ahead for good.

The win gave the Yankees a sweep of a day-night doubleheader and, combined with Boston’s loss to Baltimore, mathematically eliminated the Red Sox from contention for first place in the division.

NTNgod Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:19 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, yankees

Joe Posnanski: Moneyball and the Ballad of Bill James

Da, dun…dun, dun, dun, dun. You walk into the post-movie party room. And you go watch the numbers geek

The movie did not suck, not at all; that’s the wrong word, and that’s a story for tomorrow. The story for today is how we even got here. It is a story about a man who is not really in the movie. No actor plays him. He’s mentioned in the movie here and there, but only for a few seconds. Still, without him, there is no Moneyball. There is no sabermetrics, at least not under that name. Certainly people would still be looking for objective knowledge in baseball — people were looking long before Bill James and they will be looking long after.

But without the life’s work of Bill James, they sure as heck would not have made a movie ...

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Repoz Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:13 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: books, history, media, sabermetrics

NL Wildcard race: September 21, 2011

ATL 88-68 [8-13 in SEPT]
STL 86-69 [14-5 in SEPT] (1.5 GB)
SFG 84-71 [12-6 in SEPT] (3.5 GB)

MLB.com: Lowe solid, but Braves stifled by Vazquez

[Javier] Vazquez extended a dominant run that extends back to June and made Derek Lowe pay for the few mistakes he made as the Marlins claimed a 3-0 win over the Braves at Sun Life Stadium on Wednesday night.

MLB.com: Freese’s big day helps Cards close on Braves
MLB.com: Giants 8, Dodgers 5

NTNgod Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:40 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cardinals, game recaps, giants

AL Wildcard race: September 21, 2011

BOS 88-68 [5-16 in SEPT]
TBR 85-70 [11-9 in SEPT] (2.5 GB)
LAA 85-70 [12-7 in SEPT] (2.5 GB)

MLB.com: Beckett stumbles

For the second consecutive evening, what was shaping up as a much-needed win turned into loss. Playing their final game at Fenway Park this season, the Sox suffered a 6-4 defeat to the last-place Orioles.

Almost stunningly, considering the juncture of the season that it is, Boston lost three out of four to Baltimore to cap a disappointing 3-7 homestand.

MLB.com: Rays miss opportunity in loss to Yankees
MLB.com: Haren wins 16th as Halos keep up in races

NTNgod Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:13 AM | 93 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rays, red sox

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Royals Designate Kila Ka’aihue For Assignment

The Roberto Petagine of our day?

It wasn’t long ago that Kila Ka’aihue seemed like a promising piece of the Royals’ future. But the Hawaiian first baseman doesn’t appear to fit into their long-term plans any more, despite the career minor league on-base percentage of .390 that has endeared him to the statistically minded. Kansas City designated the 27-year-old for assignment to create 40-man roster space for right-handed reliever Kelvin Herrera, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter).

Ka’aihue has excelled in ten minor league seasons, posting a career line of .266/.390/.458 that includes a .272/.379/.433 line this year in his fourth stint at Triple-A. The 2002 draft pick has had some opportunities against Major ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:26 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, royals

Baseball Prospectus: Fast: Removing the Mask

A freebie from Prospectus: a study on catchers and ranking them by their pitch-framing and ump-gulling ability, replete with animated GIFs and heat maps.

To calculate the catcher performance, I first established a baseline for each pitcher over the period 2007-2011. I used the strike zone definition described here and counted the number of extra strikes and subtracted the number of extra balls tallied by each pitcher. I also applied a small correction to the pitch location data as described here. I divided the net number of extra strikes by the total number of called pitches for that pitcher to arrive at an expected net extra strike rate for each pitcher. (The term “extra strikes” will be used in this article to refer to the net of ...

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Greg Franklin Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:17 PM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Sirius: In a classic Mad Dog Rant, hear Chris Russo go off on Billy Beane and “Moneyball” (Audio)

“Brad Pitt on the cover of Sports Illustrated is gonna make me throw up!”

Repoz Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:01 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, fantasy baseball, history, media, sabermetrics

Yahoo: Movietalk: Brad Pitt Going All Out for ‘Moneyball’

To say Pitt has been less than shy in his public appearances in support of “Moneyball” is putting it mildly: never before has the actor seemingly campaigned so hard to sell a film, happily posing for photos that milked his universal sex appeal. The new Sports Illustrated cover boy knows he’s hot, and he’s working it. According to Us Weekly, Pitt charmed journalists on the “Moneyball” red carpet and “let loose” at the afterparty. “He was hugging old ladies, taking pics with co-stars, and letting the crowd photograph him with cell cameras,” says an witness, noting that Pitt busted a move to the ‘80s music that was playing.

And that’s just the tip of the PR iceberg. In addition to his Toronto Film Festival blitz (where Jolie helped him ...

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Don Malcolm Posted: September 21, 2011 at 06:44 PM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: media

Hoffarth: Larry King says he’s mad as heck and isn’t going to take it anymore

Big Jack Braun from Borough Park…you’re on the air!

Longtime listener, perhaps first-time caller Larry King made it clear that he’s dropping his Dodgers’ season seats after this season because of his disappointment with Frank McCourt’s running of the franchise.

Calling in today to the MLB Network Radio channel on SiriusXM today to vent with hosts Kevin Kennedy and Jim Duquette, the former CNN talk-show host said:

“My contract’s up on my season tickets. I’m in partnership with another guy. We’re not renewing and the reason we’re not renewing is that I think we spent $400 a ticket for a guy to, instead of bidding on any free agent, spent the money on himself. And that to me is inexcusable. And I know Frank McCourt personally, I don’t ...

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Repoz Posted: September 21, 2011 at 06:28 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, dodgers, media, television

Kiszla: Time for Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd to take responsibility

When will somebody finally demand accountability from general manager Dan O’Dowd for a team that has lost its mojo in LoDo?

We know O’Dowd won’t be grilled by franchise owners Dick and Charlie Monfort, who apparently think general manager is a lifetime appointment, the same as Supreme Court justice or queen of England.

But, sooner or later, O’Dowd must answer to the 2.9 million Coors Field fans who mistakenly bought the idea that this would be a baseball season with no limits.

What went wrong?

“I wish I knew,” Colorado first baseman Todd Helton said Tuesday. “If you figure it out, let me know.”

...Why does it seem nothing bad ever sticks to O’Dowd when the Rockies fail to meet expectations?

Check the history, which you might think ...

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Repoz Posted: September 21, 2011 at 05:56 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: business, rockies

Playoff Race: Today’s Schedule

Rays@Yankees-GM 1: 1:05pm:  Shields (15-11) against Noesi (2-1)

Rays@Yankees-GM 2: 7:05pm:  Hellickson (13-10) against Sabathia (19-8)

Orioles@Red Sox-7:10pm:  Hunter (4-4) against Beckett (13-5)

Angels@Blue Jays-7:07pm:  Haren (15-9) against McGowan (0-0)

Braves@Marlins-7:10pm:  Lowe (9-15) against Vazquez (11-11)

Mets@Cardinals-8:15pm:  Schwinden (0-2) against Garcia (12-7)

Giants@Dodgers-10:10pm:  Vogelsong (11-7) against Eveland (2-1)

Tampa Bay: 2 GB from Red Sox
Angels: 3.5 GB from Red Sox

St. Louis: 2.5 GB from Braves
San Fran: 4.5 GB from Braves

McCoy Posted: September 21, 2011 at 04:21 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, braves, cardinals, giants, rays, red sox, yankees

Lost Giants Fan Billy Found

For those who read the first post about Billy.

Finally, I spotted Billy Chamberlain, the homeless Giants fan who has been missing, at the entrance to the main parking lot at Dodger Stadium. I talked to him for a little while. He said he’s OK and was looking forward to seeing the team. He’s been in Southern California for awhile, and although he heard something about people looking for him, he had no idea the Giants had been showing his picture on the scoreboard, etc.

“That’s the first I heard of that,” he said, smiling.

Posted: September 21, 2011 at 04:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, giants

New Miami Marlins logo latest uniform leak

My freakin’ eyes!

The latest security breach came last night, when the Marlins’ new 2012 logo began circulating. At first it wasn’t clear whether it was legit or just some Photoshopper’s concept, but Uni Watch has confirmed that it is in fact the real deal. This is what the team will be wearing next year when it’s rebranded as the Miami Marlins.

Joe Sheehan:

I don’t get the hate for the new Marlins logo. It’ll fit right in with the rest of Major League Lacrosse.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2011 at 03:18 PM | 152 comment(s)
  Beats: media, miami, online

Amazin’ Avenue: Transcript of Sandy Alderson’s Interview on SNY

During the top of the third inning of the Mets’ series-opener in St. Louis last night, Sandy Alderson joined Gary Cohen and Ron Darling in the SNY booth to talk about the organization’s prospects, offseason plans, and potential changes to Citi Field.

GC: Let’s parlay that question about team speed into the next question about the configuration of the ballpark. Do you see it changing appreciably next year?

SA: How do those relate, Gary? [laughter]

We’re certainly talking about it, and I think it’s conceivable that, yes, we will see some changes at Citi Field, but no final decisions have been made. We’re still looking at different possibilities. I think if we do something, it’s not likely to be subtle. I think it’s probably a ...

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Repoz Posted: September 21, 2011 at 02:06 PM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mets, projections, sabermetrics

Washington Post:  Boswell:  The Greatest Yankee Since Ruth

Mariano was the greatest Yankee since Babe Ruth. He was more valuable, more central and more emblematic than Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter or any of the assorted Hessians like Roger Clemens of the free agent era since ’76. That’s an opinion from observation; it’s not a proof. Joe DiMaggio hit .271 (.760 OPS) in his 10 World Series. Rivera’s ERA was 0.71 in 31 postseason series. Not 31 games, 31 entire series….

Too soon, Mo will become an oldie-but-goodie. But not yet. The Yanks have the best record in the AL and have outscored their foes by even more than the much-heralded Phillies. Will we have a Series with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels pitching on one side against a rotation of CC Sabathia, Question Mark ...

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ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 21, 2011 at 01:19 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Steve Cameron: Alex Gordon deserves to win Gold Glove

Now seriously, shouldn’t Alex win a Gold Glove by a country mile here?

Let’s see, why not start with those 20 assists, which lead all major league outfielders?

Or the fact that Alex has committed only three errors and has a fielding percentage of .991?

How about all the diving catches, the wall-scrapers, the leaps for balls headed into the left-center gap?

The fact is that Alex Gordon has had a magnificent season – from Opening Day through the twilight of September – and there’s no way managers and coaches throughout the league can ignore it.

Try this: Name another contender for the Gold Glove in left field.

OH…WADDA PLAY BY GARDNER! (re-seals Sona Hot Mustard packet for later use)

Repoz Posted: September 21, 2011 at 01:18 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, projections, royals, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-21-2011

Toledo News-Bee, September 21, 1911:

Gavvy Cravath made his twenty-sixth home run of the season yesterday, thereby breaking the former record of 25, held by John Freeman, while with the Boston Americans.

He’s had a nice season, but Cravath’s no prospect.  He’s a 30-year-old Quad-A corner outfielder, a .240 career hitter in 117 big league games.  He’s supposed to be a slugger but he only managed two major league home runs before getting shipped back to the bushes.

He’ll never amount to much.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 21, 2011 at 10:37 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, minor leagues

Schilling: ‘Don’t know that it’s there’

Owner of Big Huge Games speaks.

Schilling said the pressure is on Josh Beckett, Wednesday night’s starter, to go deep into the game—or else.

“Josh Beckett has to will himself to be in the game into the eighth or ninth inning, no matter what the score is. If they score one, he can give up none. It takes a pitcher getting that mentality and going out and executing on that to get this thing ended.”

That kind of performance is what the Red Sox have sorely needed over the last few weeks, Schilling said.

“Your ace, your postseason horse gets to the ninth inning of a dominant start—and they haven’t had that in a month.”

Repoz Posted: September 21, 2011 at 10:31 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, red sox, television

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