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Monday, August 08, 2011

Brisbee: The Only Red Sox-Yankees Article You’ll Ever Need (If That’s What You Want)

In praise of the two greatest teams in the universe, and the media explosion which allows the rest of us to ignore them.

People who complain about Red Sox/Yankees games are my new pet peeve:

Oh, great, look: the front page of ESPN.com is all Yankees and Red Sox.

Of course MLB Network is showing Yankees/Red Sox. I wanted to watch [other game].

Yeah, went to read some stories about Craig Counsell’s hitless streak, but everything is all Boston this and New York that. Totally annoying.


The people who take the effort to complain this loudly fascinate me. It’s like sitting across from someone at a restaurant who keeps sticking his tongue in an open salt shaker and saying, “Gaah, this salt is all salty!” You don’t like the feeling of a tongue covered in salt? Keep your damned tongue out of there. That’s a useful maxim, regardless of context. And the principle holds true with Yankees/Red Sox games. Feel like they get too much coverage from the sites you frequent? The shows you watch? Frequent different sites. Watch different shows. ....

I was excited about the Yankees and Red Sox playing this weekend. They’re two well-constructed, impressive teams. Both teams are stacked. Even before you take into account that they’re blood rivals, these games are match-ups that baseball fans should look forward to. And they played a couple of great games, too. I could look forward to the games because I spend about 1/30th of my baseball time on the internet reading about the Red Sox or Yankees. This is because I can read and watch whatever in the heck I want to read and watch. The people who complain that they’re sick of Yankees/Red Sox aren’t trying hard enough.

Greg Franklin Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:03 PM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, media, online, red sox, television, yankees

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   1. Perry Posted: August 08, 2011 at 06:51 PM (#3895524)
Even before you take into account that they’re blood rivals, these games are match-ups that baseball fans should look forward to. And they played a couple of great games, too.


Maybe so, didn't see them. Did notice this from the box score of Sunday's game, though. Runs scored: 5. Time of game: 4:15. Granted it was 10 innings, but still, that's sllllllooooowwwww, even by Red Sox-Yanks standards.
   2. A triple short of the cycle Posted: August 08, 2011 at 06:59 PM (#3895528)
At the turn of the millennium, there weren't a lot of options for sports websites. ESPN.com was pretty much the only game in town. They covered the minor leagues excellently (with John Sickels) and had regular columns on the analytical side of baseball (with some jerk who faded into obscurity), so it was one-stop shopping for baseball coverage.


Okay I need a hint... did this writer wear a flannel shirt?
   3. Answer Guy Posted: August 08, 2011 at 07:00 PM (#3895530)
This was an unusual for a 3-2 game in that there were a lot of baserunners. All pitchers slow down with men on base and there were fewer bases empty situations than one would expect in such a low scoring game. Not to mention the pitching changes. These teams have lineup that cause more deep counts than most teams too.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 08, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#3895531)
Time of game: 4:15.

More entertainment for the same price - what's the problem? Folks here squawk about the demise of the scheduled doubleheader but criticize the Yanks & Red Sox for creatively trying to fill that gap. Geeez.
   5. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 08, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#3895532)
Maybe so, didn't see them. Did notice this from the box score of Sunday's game, though. Runs scored: 5. Time of game: 4:15. Granted it was 10 innings, but still, that's sllllllooooowwwww, even by Red Sox-Yanks standards.


I clicked over to an episode of "White Collar" on DVR around the sixth inning to make up some of the time and I had a rooting interest in the game. It was easily one of the most boring games I've seen in awhile. Beckett was unbearably slow. I cannot understand why he does that.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: August 08, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#3895535)
Maybe so, didn't see them. Did notice this from the box score of Sunday's game, though. Runs scored: 5. Time of game: 4:15. Granted it was 10 innings, but still, that's sllllllooooowwwww, even by Red Sox-Yanks standards.


I was thinking about what kind of impact this might be having just this morning. These are the two most high-profile teams (or, at least, one of them is, and the other is in the very next tier). Their games, whenever possible, are on national TV. And from the perspective of the networks, that's understandable, because these teams are going to get the best ratings. But these teams (at least in the games involving them, but also in a general sense) are the worst offenders at drawing out nine-inning games to interminable lengths. I wonder if, despite the higher ratings, it ultimately does the sport a disservice for these two clubs to be their two biggest attractions.
   7. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: August 08, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#3895537)
Okay I need a hint... did this writer wear a flannel shirt?
Yeah, his site's national baseball editor.
   8. robinred Posted: August 08, 2011 at 07:13 PM (#3895544)
I had Gameday Audio on a bit last night, (about four innings) and both Sterling/Waldman and Castiglione/O'Brien commented on the pace several times, and on Beckett. Sterling said several times that it seems to him like NYY/BOS games are played in a way such that every PITCH is a battle in and of itself. A couple of posters here have said similar things.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: August 08, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#3895571)
Beckett is terrible now with runners on base - so damn slow. I'm a Sox fan, and I'm growing to dislike him as much as everyone else. The guy only is a good pitcher in odd-numbered years, and every time makes everyone forget the previous mailed-in year. The Sox should trade him this offseason considering they have 1 odd-numbered years and 2 even-numbered years left in his contract. After this great year he will have trade value, and they can fill his rotation spot with the opted-out Sabathia who might jump at the chance to never have to get beaten by the Boston lineup again. I'm only partially kidding.

Time of game: 4:15. Granted it was 10 innings, but still, that's sllllllooooowwwww, even by Red Sox-Yanks standards.


If only. That sounds about average for a 10-inning game for them.
   10. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: August 08, 2011 at 07:52 PM (#3895582)
Beckett was unbearably slow.


More pitching...less douche-smirking, please.
   11. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 08, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#3895586)
Why was the game over 4 hours?

Extra innings.

Lots of baserunners.

Lots of pitching changes.

Beckett is really slow.

Paps is really slow.

A few other little things, like Beckett getting nailed by a hit ball, the trainers came out, that took an extra five minutes. Several wild pitches, which changes the approach to an at-bat mid-stream, etc.

The single biggest thing, though, is that these are the two teams that most religiously get into deep counts on many at bats. I've been to many major league ballparks, but I don't think anybody's crowd cheers as loudly for a player going deep into a count than Red Sox fans. Theo, Bill James, and the rest of the organization have done more to educate their fan base that good OBAs, SLGs, and OPSs are more important than batting averages and RBIs. But that kind of baseball makes for longer games...
   12. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#3895587)
I wonder if, despite the higher ratings, it ultimately does the sport a disservice for these two clubs to be their two biggest attractions.


From a television perspective, it is the best possible outcome.

They sell more commercial elements than a normal game would give them room to air. They're called "bonus breaks", and only pay up if they air. So long games with lots of pitching changes mean more money.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: August 08, 2011 at 08:02 PM (#3895599)
From a television perspective, it is the best possible outcome.

They sell more commercial elements than a normal game would give them room to air. They're called "bonus breaks", and only pay up if they air. So long games with lots of pitching changes mean more money.


What's good for Fox and ESPN isn't necessarily what's good for the longterm health of the sport. My question concerns the latter. I don't know that the way these two teams play (more the overall slowness as exemplified by Beckett than the deep counts thing), and the frequency with which they're on center stage isn't doing some harm to the sport's appeal.
   14. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 08, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3895609)
Beckett was unbearably slow. I cannot understand why he does that.

Because the umpires are too chicken#### to enforce the clock. He was almost as bad with nobody on base.

-------------------------------------------------

The single biggest thing, though, is that these are the two teams that most religiously get into deep counts on many at bats.

Hard to argue with that. And I'm sure that fans of other rivalries will say the same thing, but since about 1999, when Clemens arrived in New York and Pedro had his first totally unconscious year in Boston, every single pitch of every single matchup almost seems like a matter of life or death, from their first meeting to their last. It's like the Celtics and the Lakers or the Packers and the Bears, only it's 18 to 26 times a year instead of just 2 to 11. It's hard to imagine that this intensity level doesn't make each pitch the object of extra concentration and deliberation, AKA stalling.
   15. BDC Posted: August 08, 2011 at 08:19 PM (#3895610)
he way these two teams play (more the overall slowness as exemplified by Beckett than the deep counts thing), and the frequency with which they're on center stage isn't doing some harm to the sport's appeal

I haven't seen Iowans this excited since Frank Gotch and Strangler Lewis? lay on a mat for three-and-a-half hours without moving a muscle.
   16. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 08, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#3895615)
Part of it is also ESPN. I'm just talking out of my ass here, but it seems like their games are generally longer than games on NESN or what have you. They also don't start until 8:30, which is ridiculous.
   17. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: August 08, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3895617)
More entertainment for the same price - what's the problem?

Oh yes, watching Beckett stare into space and Varitek waddle out to the mound every pitch is so entertaining. (Posada did this just as much, so I'm not being biased.)

They should enforce a limit on catcher conferences just as they did with manager/coaches. One per inning, aside from any coaching conferences. Can't get your signs straight? Too ####### bad.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: August 08, 2011 at 08:44 PM (#3895632)
I'm reminded of the game I was at last year (or the year before) at Fenway which Beckett started. There's a two-hour rain delay in which it doesn't rain. And then they play and by the 5th the Sox have a huge lead over the opponent and it is raining steadily. As the top of the 5th goes on, the rain picks up in intensity, but yet Josh is taking his sweet time because there is a guy on base. He gets two outs, and by then it is straight-up pouring out, and Einstein calls Varitek out to the mound, in the driving rain and with a huge lead in the 5th with two outs. They have their talk and are barely able to finish off the hitter before the game is called, but jeez I hope someone sat him down afterwards and explained the rules of MLB.
   19. pthomas Posted: August 08, 2011 at 08:49 PM (#3895634)
Thank God for DVR's.....

We have seen so many Yankee and Mets games here in Southern California we think we live in New Jersey.
   20. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2011 at 08:51 PM (#3895637)
In another thread, someone was complaining about how difficult it is to time-shift sports programming. There are a lot of difficulties (I can't log in here or to Facebook as long as I'm not live), but that's the only way to watch AL baseball, in my opinion.
   21. SteveF Posted: August 08, 2011 at 09:52 PM (#3895664)
Here's the current rule:

When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call Ball. The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball.

Part of the issue, of course, is batters leaving the batter's box after every pitch. The clock wouldn't start until they got their butts in the box and finished their warmup ritual.
   22. ray james Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:08 PM (#3895672)
I don't agree with all the kvetching about things taking too long. Would you rather have the players hurry up and perform ineptly?

One of the reasons the Red Sox and Yankees are so good is because their players know how to prepare before every act. They work the count, they keep runners close, they gear up for important pitches.

It's OK with me. The players themselves will be excoriated if they screw up after rushing things. Just last night, Varitek got crucified in the chatter for popping up on a 3-0 count and two runners on. It was much more advisable to take in that situation.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:25 PM (#3895683)
Would you rather have the players hurry up and perform ineptly?


Yes.

And they're not going to be inept. But completing play in a timely manner is important.
   24. Dan Evensen Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:09 PM (#3895730)
Would you rather have the players hurry up and perform ineptly?

Since when was speedy play inept play? I always heard that you want to pitch at a quick pace to keep the fielders behind you alert and ready.

Seriously -- baseball played at a snail's pace is not interesting at all. That's when you hear complaints from non-fans about how boring the game is. Would ESPN ratings be higher if the game were an hour quicker?
   25. UCCF Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:15 PM (#3895734)
In another thread, someone was complaining about how difficult it is to time-shift sports programming. There are a lot of difficulties (I can't log in here or to Facebook as long as I'm not live), but that's the only way to watch AL baseball, in my opinion.

I love time-shifted sports. Football in particular - if you record at the start of the game and start watching about 2 hours later, you'll usually end just around the time that the game is ending.

Baseball is a leisurely game, meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. But last night's game was absurdly slow. I turned it on right at 7:00 and (given it was BOS/NYY) was not at all surprised to see it was 1-1 in the bottom of the 5th. 45 minutes later, it was still 1-1 in the bottom of the 6th. People who already love baseball could be bored to death by that pace - imagine if you're a new fan to the game. This is not how to grow your fan base.

I'm in favor of eliminating all of it. Keep the batter in the box and the pitcher on the mound. Keep the catcher behind the plate. Get the ball, throw the ball, repeat. No one wants to see your OCD batting glove nonsense, or your need to mentally recite the alphabet backward before every pitch. It makes sense to take (a little) more time in a key game situation, but if the batter's dancing around the home plate area on a 1-0 count with no one on, and the catcher's wandering back and forth like some old guy at the mall looking for the Orange Julius... enough.

(This is a stupid article anyway. The salt thing makes no sense. People aren't complaining that the salt container tastes like salt - they're complaining that MLB has an entire spice cabinet to choose from, but they've filled 80% of the spice jars with salt so that it's pretty tough to get any other kind of seasoning on your food. Salt can be great, but sometimes a little oregano hits the spot. That's why they put it on the toppings bar at Famous Original Ray's.)
   26. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:21 PM (#3895738)
I'm in favor of eliminating all of it. Keep the batter in the box and the pitcher on the mound. Keep the catcher behind the plate. Get the ball, throw the ball, repeat. No one wants to see your OCD batting glove nonsense, or your need to mentally recite the alphabet backward before every pitch. It makes sense to take (a little) more time in a key game situation, but if the batter's dancing around the home plate area on a 1-0 count with no one on, and the catcher's wandering back and forth like some old guy at the mall looking for the Orange Julius... enough.


Yup. And put Mark Buehrle in charge of disciplining any scofflaws.
   27. cardsfanboy Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:26 PM (#3895745)
The people who take the effort to complain this loudly fascinate me. It’s like sitting across from someone at a restaurant who keeps sticking his tongue in an open salt shaker and saying, “Gaah, this salt is all salty!” You don’t like the feeling of a tongue covered in salt? Keep your damned tongue out of there. That’s a useful maxim, regardless of context. And the principle holds true with Yankees/Red Sox games. Feel like they get too much coverage from the sites you frequent? The shows you watch? Frequent different sites. Watch different shows.



Is it possible that someone could be this clueless and not realize it? We like baseball, we want to see baseball, unfortunately the powers that be seem to think the atrocity that is the Yankees/Red Sox typical soccer match (ok, soccer isn't quite as boring as a typical Red Sox Yankee game..) is what we are interested in.
   28. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:26 PM (#3895746)
People aren't complaining that the salt container tastes like salt - they're complaining that MLB has an entire spice cabinet to choose from, but they've filled 80% of the spice jars with salt so that it's pretty tough to get any other kind of seasoning on your food.

MLB has filled up 80% of the spice jars with salt? No, I'm pretty sure that MLB still has all of the teams playing the same number of games.

The point is that ESPN is a salt shaker. If a baseball fan wants more variety, he just needs to look beyond ESPN (like to a full-featured toppings bar).

When is that condiment manifesto going to be ready?

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