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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Idea of Red Sox going with internal candidates may be gaining steam

This is the John Henry quote from just a few days before the end of the regular season that so many keep pivoting to:

“This is a challenging offseason. So, to put one of the (internal) candidates you keep bringing up in charge and responsible for that, that’s sort of a tough way to start your career as a general manager. So, we are starting the search looking outward.”

And so they did look outward. The view, however, may have been a bit foggier than anticipated. No Theo Epstein. No Mike Hazen. No Andrew Friedman.

Now Red Sox ownership may be ultimately realizing its ultimate solution toward finding Dave Dombrowski’s was already inside the building.

While team officials remain mum on the interviewing/hiring process, the rumblings throughout the baseball world have more to do with how no names from outside the organization are being tied to the job. There is a growing belief that the foundation of the Red Sox’ baseball decision-making process will land back where it started, with some sort of chain of command that involves current executives Eddie Romero, Brian O’Halloran, Zack Scott and Raquel Ferreira.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 16, 2019 at 01:13 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Saturday, October 12, 2019

MLB Rumors: Curt Schilling Interested in Phillies Manager, Red Sox Coaching Job

Former MLB All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling is reportedly interested in interviewing to become the Philadelphia Phillies manager or Boston Red Sox pitching coach.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the three-time World Series champion would “love” to get involved in the game again, according to friends close to Schilling.

 

QLE Posted: October 12, 2019 at 12:04 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, managerial search, phillies, red sox

Friday, October 11, 2019

The perfect Red Sox GM candidate just became a free agent—Dodgers boss Andrew Friedman

The shocking elimination of the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLDS on Wednesday creates an opening for the Red Sox to pursue their white whale—Andrew Friedman.

L.A.‘s president of baseball operations is widely considered the shrewdest executive in the game, and he has built a juggernaut out west, with the Dodgers simultaneously cutting payroll and competing for World Series titles on an annual basis.

His contract happens to be up, and there’s some unease about why he hasn’t yet agreed to an extension. A couple of weeks ago, all involved expressed optimism to the L.A. Times that Friedman would return, albeit in less than absolute terms; president Stan Kasten said he was “pretty confident” Friedman would be back.

And if he’s not? Expect the Red Sox to be first in line.

I don’t know- given the impression we’ve been getting as for why there is an opening in the first place, Friedman’s track record on a certain matter, and the ways in which the local fan base has been behaving in the last decade-and-a-half, this could backfire pretty quickly…..

 

QLE Posted: October 11, 2019 at 12:58 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew friedman, general managers, red sox

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Dana LeVangie out as Red Sox pitching coach amid offseason shakeup

The Boston Red Sox’ offseason facelift continues.

The Red Sox announced a number of coaching changes Tuesday, most notably that pitching coach Dana LeVangie has been re-assigned to a pro scouting position with Boston.

....

LeVangie took over as Red Sox pitching coach in November 2017, and he and Bannister oversaw a Boston rotation that pitched very well in 2018 en route to a World Series title.

But that rotation went off the rails in 2019, posting a collective 4.95 ERA that ranked 20th in baseball and was a big reason why the Red Sox missed the playoffs.

And the personnel changes continue….

 

QLE Posted: October 09, 2019 at 01:22 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dana levangie, red sox

Sunday, October 06, 2019


The Sunday Baseball Column: How we should view J.D. Martinez | WEEI

He’s a really great DH but he’s still a DH. I’m fine with them bringing him back for what’s on his current contract. I wouldn’t like to see them make a higher salary/longer commitment to him.

Get the picture? Call Martinez anything you want, but don’t you suggest to Boras he is a designated hitter. Because if you did classify the righty hitter as just a DH than that would make the idea of the $62.5 million committed to the 32-year-old by the Red Sox a fairly reasonable rate.

But Boras believes teams should view Martinez as something more. Now comes the interesting part: Can he make the rest of baseball commit to the same vision?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2019 at 10:25 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: j.d. martinez, red sox

Mookie Betts removed from Red Sox season ticket web page

Are the Red Sox sending a not-so-subtle hint about Mookie Betts’ future in Boston to prospective season ticket holders?

When you visit the portion of the team website seeking new season-ticket buyers, the illustration on the web page shows Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Sale.

Barstool Sports’ Jared Carrabis pointed out earlier this week that Betts had been removed from the illustration. The Red Sox All-Star right fielder and 2018 AL MVP, the subject of much trade speculation as the team prepares to shed payroll this offseason, actually appeared on the page in mid-August. By last week, Eduardo Rodriguez had replaced him. The current graphic has Sale on the left. 

Just like the others pictured on the page, Betts isn’t a free agent…yet. Bogaerts and Sale have signed long-term extensions and the Sox are reportedly ready to talk about an extension with Devers. Betts? He’ll likely receive more than $30 million for the 2020 season in arbitration then command a long-term deal of $300 million or more when he tests the free-agent market after next season.

If we’re going to watch the Red Sox bizarrely melt down, can’t chicken and beer be involved somehow?

 

QLE Posted: October 06, 2019 at 01:06 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, red sox

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Red Sox expect to increase ticket prices in 2020

Tickets in the secondary market were cheaper than I ever remember seeing. Considering that the Red Sox sell tickets through this market, I wouldn’t have expected a ticket price increase for next season.

The Red Sox froze ticket prices ahead of the 2012, 2013 and 2015 seasons.

Over the last four years, ticket prices have gone up 1.4 percent, 2.9 percent., 2.5 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. In that time, the payroll has been around $204 million, $192 million, $239 million and $240 million, respectively.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 01, 2019 at 10:05 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, ticket prices

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Red Sox plan to slash payroll

A year ago the Boston Red Sox were finishing up a 108-win season and were about to buzz through the playoffs and win the World Series, completing perhaps the greatest season in team history. Today their owner announced that he intended to slash payroll.

That’s the word directly from Sox owner John Henry, who told reporters that he wants the club’s payroll to be below the first threshold of the Competitive Balance Tax.  Currently their payroll for CBT purposes is just under $242 million. The first level threshold for the CBT in 2020 will be $208 million. Which means they’ll have to cut around $20 million while still giving raises to players in arbitration, seeing certain players under contracts get raises per their terms and acquiring new players.

Some of the work on that cutting will happen automatically. As Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe notes, the team will lose around $56.2 million with Rick Porcello hitting free agency and Pablo Sandoval‘s, Steve Pearce‘s, Mitch Moreland‘s and Eduardo Núñez’s salaries coming off the books. Abraham identifies a few other players unlikely to return — Bock Holt, Sandy León, and Steven Wright — who will save the Sox another $7 million in change. Heck, even count Dustin Pedroia‘s salary going down $2 million if you want to. Assuming Abraham’s identified cuts at least, the Sox will start with a $179.2 million figure, leaving around $26 million to spend.

Of course, the Sox still have to field a team in 2020 and thus still have some choices to make. And they may have some choices made for them.

There will, of course, be people who will defend this- but good luck being able to explain them to the rest of us…..

 

QLE Posted: September 28, 2019 at 12:26 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: cheap owners, red sox

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Amid the Red Sox speculation, there’s an intriguing name: Theo Epstein

Yet there is one star-caliber executive who, above all, continues to maintain intrigue as a subject of speculation: Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. While the 45-year-old Epstein — who remains under contract with the Cubs through 2021 — represents an obvious potential target for the Sox given both his record of success and his upbringing in and near Fenway Park, it’s also fair to wonder whether either or both sides might be open to exploring the possibility (or if the Cubs would permit such a conversation)....

The team seems unlikely to limit itself to those with Red Sox ties. There are numerous potential candidates, whether it’s ex-Sox executives such as Arizona assistant GMs Jared Porter and Amiel Sawdaye, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer and VP Jason McLeod, or Mets assistant GM Allard Baird, or those with no prior experience working for the Sox, such as Rays senior VP Chaim Bloom or Brewers assistant GM Matt Arnold.

Multiple industry sources are convinced the Red Sox also will want to see if they have a chance of reeling in some of the biggest fish in the executive seas. Given that the team is forever in win-now mode, the idea of finding an executive with a known track record is significant.

But there’s skepticism in the game that several of the executives with such a track record — Arizona’s Mike Hazen (the former Red Sox executive who just signed an extension with the Diamondbacks); Oakland’s Billy Beane and David Forst; Chris Antonetti and Mike Chernoff in Cleveland; Andrew Friedman of the Dodgers; or Jeff Luhnow of the Astros — would leave their jobs to pursue another that is increasingly perceived as unstable.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2019 at 09:48 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Olney: Why nobody might want to be Boston’s GM ($)

Two World Series titles in six years, and two executives—with two very different personalities, operating very differently—both dismissed. These decisions loosely frame the industry perception of the Red Sox as a chaotic company, a miserable place to work. Boston owner John Henry needs to understand this, because it is why some of the people he’d probably love to consider as possible replacements for Dombrowski privately dismiss the idea out of hand.

They saw what happened to Cherington. They saw what happened to Dombrowski.

In fact, a wide-held view in other front offices is that the highly respected and well-liked Red Sox president Sam Kennedy stands as a thin buffer between the team devolving to the level of the Mets, the team generally regarded by rival executives as baseball’s model for dysfunction. “If Sam ever walked away,” said one official, “the whole thing would be a complete mess.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2019 at 05:58 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

How did World Series champions who missed the subsequent postseason respond the year after?

With a loss to the Rays and an Indians win over the Phillies, the Red Sox were officially eliminated from playoff contention in a season following their World Series championship.

Boston has won 4 titles in the last 15 years, a mark no other team has matched in the same time frame. But the last two times the Red Sox have won it all, they failed to make it past September the following season.

After winning the World Series in 2013 with a magical bearded run following the Boston Marathon bombings, the Red Sox finished with a 71-91 record, which was good for last place in the AL East. They followed up 2004’s championship with a first-round sweep to the eventual champion White Sox and then fell to the Rays in Game 7 of the ALCS in 2008.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, it’s become pretty common for a World Series hangover to last an entire season after the fact. Boston is now the 10th team since 2000 to miss the postseason after hoisting that World Series trophy.

There’s at least one major factual error in this article- can you spot it?

 

QLE Posted: September 22, 2019 at 12:50 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: missing the playoffs, red sox, world series

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa remaining with Red Sox

The Red Sox aren’t fully cleaning house of Dave Dombrowski’s top lieutenants—Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa has agreed to remain with the organization, per an industry source.

La Russa arrived as a special assistant to Dombrowski, but he ingratiated himself to the entire baseball operations department. A constant presence at Fenway Park and a frequent observer on the road, La Russa served not only as a sounding board for manager Alex Cora, but anyone in the organization who wanted to draw on his 56 years of big league experience.

Wait- this doesn’t mean he’ll end up being the one calling the shots in practice, does it?

 

QLE Posted: September 21, 2019 at 01:04 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, tony la russa

Friday, September 20, 2019

LEADING OFF: Braves set to clinch, Red Sox near elimination

POPPIN’

Ronald Acuña Jr. and the Braves are poised to break out the bubbly, with a magic number of one to clinch their second straight NL East title. They can celebrate when Mike Foltynewicz (7-5, 4.80 ERA) starts at SunTrust Park against San Francisco. A win by Atlanta or a loss by second-place Washington at Miami will seal it.

At 21, Acuña will be able to take part in a champagne toast. The star outfielder with 40 home runs wasn’t yet of legal age when the Braves won the division a year ago.

“They wouldn’t let me drink because I was a minor,” Acuña recalled, breaking into a big smile. “This year, it’s going to be different. I’m looking forward to it.”

 

QLE Posted: September 20, 2019 at 12:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jose ramirez, lorenzo cain, pennant race, red sox

Boston Red Sox dismiss Frank Wren, VP of player personnel and one of ex-boss Dave Dombrowski’s top a

The Red Sox have dismissed Frank Wren, senior VP of player personnel and one of former president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski’s top assistants. The organization also didn’t renew special assignment scout Eddie Bane’s contract.

Dombrowski hired Wren on Sept. 25, 2015. He had worked under Dombrowski in the Marlins front office. They were both there in 1997 for the Marlins’ first World Series title.

Wren worked as Orioles GM in 1999 and Atlanta’s GM from 2007-14.

Note to self: Send a copy of my CV to the Red Sox- it feels like it’s worth a shot, at least….

 

QLE Posted: September 20, 2019 at 12:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: eddie bane, firings, frank wren, red sox

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Giants tie pitching record in 15-inning win over Red Sox at Fenway Park

Caught in the Mike Yastrzemski mania at Fenway Park on Tuesday night was a Ferris wheel of pitchers taking their turn in the Giants’ 7-6 win over the Red Sox in 15 innings.

Around and around they went.

Logan Webb started on the hill for the Giants and went five innings before Andrew Suarez took over. Nathan Eovaldi was the first man up for Boston before they went with Colten Brewer. And that was just the start to the marathon of pitchers stepping on and off the mound.

In total, the Giants and Red Sox combined to use 24 pitchers, tying an MLB record, according to ESPN Stats and Info. The Giants broke their franchise record by using 13 pitchers in one game, which tied an MLB record as well.

Hopefully, the pitching conga line will start to slow down, but I have my doubts…..

 

QLE Posted: September 19, 2019 at 01:22 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, pitchers, red sox

Reversal of Fortune: Rusney Castillo’s Megadeal With Red Sox Traps Him in Minors

Seven miles north of Fenway Park, Rusney Castillo slides into the driver’s seat of his rented black Maserati Ghibli. It’s 7 1/2 hours before first pitch, but Castillo has learned the rhythms of game days in the U.S. after the Red Sox signed him to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal in 2014. Playing for his hometown Ciego de Ávila Tigres of the Cuban league, the outfielder would show up an hour before the game. Now he tries to beat his teammates to the park.

Dressed head to toe in Nike gear and wearing a gold chain with his diamond-encrusted initials, he wheels from the garage of his apartment building onto Route 1 toward Boston. Then, 10 minutes later, he drives past the exit for Fenway Park.

If he made less money, perhaps Castillo would turn off there. But due to a rule that confuses even Castillo, the Red Sox are paying him so much that he can’t play for them. So he continues along I-93 and then I-95 on his 50-mile commute to Pawtucket, R.I., home of the Triple A Red Sox. The highest-paid player in the minor leagues has made this drive more than 200 times, over five years. He knows he will make it another 70 or so in 2020, the final year of his contract. But he keeps his three-bedroom apartment in Boston because he believes that he belongs there—and that someday he will play there.

In August, Castillo won his second straight PawSox MVP award. In the four seasons since his last demotion, he has batted .294 and slugged .429. Manager Billy McMillon regularly advocates for the 32-year-old Castillo when he speaks to the player development officials. But no matter how well he performs, he will remain at McCoy Stadium, ensnared by a tax loophole no one could have foreseen. Through an interpreter Castillo explains matter-of-factly, “Anybody can [hope to] be called up but me.”

The more and more I hear about the current CBA and its details, the more and more I suspect that things won’t go well the next time it comes up for renewal….

QLE Posted: September 19, 2019 at 12:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, luxury tax, red sox, rusney castillo

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Red Sox on track for $13M luxury tax despite mediocre record

NEW YORK (AP) — The Boston Red Sox are on track to pay a $13.05 million luxury tax for a season in which they are likely to miss the playoffs.

The World Series champions’ payroll for purposes of the tax increased from $239.7 million on opening day to $242.8 million on Aug. 31, according to calculations by the commissioner’s office obtained by The Associated Press. That is well over the $206 million threshold where the tax begins.

As of opening day, the Red Sox were projected for an $11.76 million tax.

Boston entered Saturday with a 77-70 record, 8½ games out for the second AL wild card with 15 games remaining. The Red Sox fired president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski last weekend.

Sometimes, it’s nice to have a reminder that one can’t always buy one’s way to a pennant…..

 

QLE Posted: September 15, 2019 at 12:28 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: luxury tax, red sox

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Boston Red Sox Team President Dave Dombrowski Fired

The Red Sox are at the top tier of payroll yet ticket demand was pretty soft this year. From what I read they still sold about 97%. What hasn’t been talked about is how soft the secondary market has been. It cost me a lot less money to attend games this year. I paid about 25% to 33% of what I’ve paid in past years for Red Sox tickets. I wasn’t alone. My friends and the people sitting next to me at games have as well. One usher wondered to me, “What happens when season ticket holders get tired of paying full price and sitting next to people paying a lot less for the same tickets?” At the same time NESN ratings are down.

Teams usually get a windfall for a few years after winning a World Series. That’s not the case in Boston right now.

A lot of Sox fans have become spoiled. Their expectations have become championship or bust. Many, many fans were calling for Dombrowski’s head this year. So, don’t underestimate the marketing side of this move.

The Red Sox and Dombrowski, briefly, flew in the face of this: In many ways, spending now and not building for the future to win now has become the new market inefficiency. They were the rusty nail in baseball, the new A’s, doing something the other 29 teams in baseball weren’t doing, trading like crazy, acting as if, insanely, the point of running a baseball team was to win as soon as possible. But when the Red Sox took a step back this year — and it’s worth noting they still have a better winning percentage in 2019 than the Mets have had in three years — the ownership group looked around, saw everyone else in baseball with a better profit margin than them (thanks to that looming luxury tax), despite not having that recent championship that they did, and decided it was the perfect opportunity to jettison Dombrowski and get with the program. Red Sox brass have been curiously quiet in publicly justifying the move, but Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci reported that the team was looking for a “a process-oriented architect who can steer the franchise efficiently through a difficult transition toward its next championship team.” That sounds … that sounds like every team in baseball. It sounds like the Red Sox are getting with the program. Dombrowski wanted to win too fast. That’s no way to keep your job.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 12, 2019 at 06:56 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombrowski, red sox

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Report: Red Sox unlikely to retain Mookie Betts and/or J.D. Martinez

Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are unlikely to retain outfielder Mookie Betts and/or DH J.D. Martinez. One or both are likely to be traded this winter. The Red Sox purportedly do not have the payroll flexibility to afford both given the recent signings of pitchers Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi.

The Red Sox currently have a payroll over $236 million, exceeding the competitive balance tax threshold for a second straight year. Last year, the CBT threshold was $197 million, this year it’s $206 million. The Red Sox will pay a penalty on the $30 million overage, 30 percent ($9 million) plus a 12 percent penalty ($3.6 million) for exceeding the CBT threshold between $20-40 million. To a layperson, these are huge penalties. To a billionaire, they are drops in the ocean. Even to a team, it’s the cost of a free agent reliever.

John Henry, who is the principal owner of the Red Sox (and The Boston Globe), has a net worth of $2.7 billion, according to Forbes. Henry and the Red Sox could keep both Betts and Martinez if they really wanted to. The CBT, of course, was designed to give team owners a reason to limit their investments in their teams, so it’s working exactly as intended.

Ever get the feeling we’re on the verge of a major strike in a few years’ time?

QLE Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:30 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: cheap owners, j.d. martinez, mookie betts, red sox

Monday, September 09, 2019

To confront new challenges, the Red Sox sought new leadership - The Boston Globe

The Red Sox had a GM looking long-term and building a sustainable model. He won a World Series. Then to placate impatient, short-sighted fans, he was fired right before his long-term planning bore fruit. Dombrowski was brought in to win NOW. He harvested the long-term fruit and spent big, surely at the prodding of the owners. He won a championship. Now he’s been shown the door as well. Again, to placate impatient, short-sighted fans.

The Red Sox ownership group has done a lot for the franchise and fans. They broke “the Curse” and have won three more championships, quite a feat. They’ve also displayed a ruthlessness and lack of loyalty to the architects of those championships.

From the outside looking in, it’s tough not to believe there still isn’t dysfunction at the ownership level (the previous scapegoat, Larry Lucchino, is long gone). It’s also difficult not to think their impatience is more about revenue and profits. I doubt the ease in picking up cheaper Red Sox tickets this year isn’t directly related to the move.

Maybe it’s time for Henry and company to cash out.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 09, 2019 at 01:50 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Boston Red Sox firing Dave Dombrowski sends shockwaves through Fenway Park

BOSTON—Shortly before the first pitch of Sunday night’s Red Sox-Yankees game, Dave Dombrowski was honored on the Fenway Park field with some of the team’s longtime employees. Wearing a mustard-colored jacket, he exited the field through a gate behind home plate and climbed the steps between sections 17 and 18 in the grandstand, stopping to take pictures with some fans who had spotted him.

It turns out those fans captured the fleeting moments of Dombrowski’s tenure as Boston’s president of baseball operations. As the Red Sox wrapped up their 10-5 loss to the Yankees on the field, word of a major shakeup started traveling around Fenway. At 12:07 a.m., team spokesman Kevin Gregg addressed a group of reporters, saying that Dombrowski had been fired and that an official press release would come Monday morning.

Ownership did not address the decision after it broke. Manager Alex Cora, who informed his players of the news after the game, was left to serve as the organization’s public face.

“I’m surprised and shocked, obviously,” Cora said. “Right now, I don’t have too much to say.

Anyone else getting the feeling that this sort of decision-making could wind up backfiring severely for the Red Sox?

 

QLE Posted: September 09, 2019 at 04:41 AM | 105 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombrowski, firings, red sox

Friday, September 06, 2019

Rosenthal: Dombrowski’s status a hot topic; my thoughts on Manager of the Year; home runs and more home runs – The Athletic

This idea is insane, which fits Dan Shaughnessy well. If the Red Sox fire Dombrowski, the hubris of ownership will be exposed.
I believed the Red Sox erred when they fired Cherrington. He was building a great farm system to establish a sustainable playoff model. After winning in 2013, ownership wanted to win NOW. They brought in Dombrowski who is great as a win NOW exec. He delivered. Now they might want to fire him for delivering? Insanity.

On Aug. 6, longtime columnist Dan Shaughnessy wrote in The Boston Globe, “I’ll be shocked if Dave Dombrowski is back with the Red Sox next season.” Dombrowski is under contract through 2020, but his status is a hot topic around baseball. Which raises the question: If the Sox replace him, what will be the expectation for their next top executive?

The way Sox ownership operates, back-to-back World Series titles would figure to be the new standard. Evidently, one championship is no longer enough.

The team’s hiring of Dombrowski in August 2015 prompted the resignation of general manager Ben Cherington less than two years after Cherington won a title. The removal of Dombrowski after this season would be even quicker – the Sox beat the Dodgers in the 2018 Series, remember? Oh, and almost forgot: The team, in its first three seasons under Dombrowski, won the AL East three times.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 06, 2019 at 10:32 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombrowski, red sox

Monday, September 02, 2019

Alex Cora’s only hope for his Red Sox is September

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Alex Cora, erudite leader of the Boston Red Sox, shaper of a World Series champion, bearer of modest perspectives and global empathies, is not above the dispositions of the calendar. Some days it blesses him. Others, it comes for him. Same as for everyone. The best he—anyone—could hope for is to see it heading in his direction, the latter in particular.

He is 43 years old. That is not, in this case, how the calendar hounds him. Rather, on this Sunday, warm and sticky on the final afternoon of an eight-gamer first through San Diego and Colorado, Alex Cora awakened to September. He smiled. September can be an overbearing and wolfish beast. September fills his clubhouse and his bullpen, fills his nights, sends him home exhausted and drags him back for more September. September from 5 games back, from 15 ½ games back, is a god-awful mucky slog. September is his only hope. Their only hope.

Today, it comes for him, for them all.

“It’s not impossible,” Alex Cora said Sunday morning, which, sometimes, is about the best you can say for September.

Do you suppose he remembers dancing in September?

 

QLE Posted: September 02, 2019 at 04:29 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, red sox, september baseball

Friday, August 30, 2019

Allegations of O.C. Assemblyman Lavishly Spending Campaign Funds Draw Scrutiny From Watchdog

Focusing on the relevant sections of this article:

California’s campaign watchdog said Thursday that it’s investigating allegations that a sitting state lawmaker used campaign funds to fly his family to a Boston Red Sox baseball game, among other purported examples of lavish spending.

The Fair Political Practices Commission released a letter saying it is reviewing allegations that Republican Assemblyman Bill Brough of Dana Point improperly used campaign funds to benefit himself and his family.

...

The latest complaint was filed by conservative activist and blogger Aaron Park.

He says campaign spending records show Brough “took a two-day pleasure trip” to Boston with his wife and two children in 2017 to take in a Red Sox game before joining other members of the Legislature’s informal “Irish Caucus” in Ireland. He alleges that Brough improperly used his campaign fund to pay more than $2,700 for airfare and a hotel.

To be honest, isn’t it refreshing for a story involving dubious political spending and baseball to not involve stadium financing?

 

QLE Posted: August 30, 2019 at 05:10 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: corruption, red sox

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