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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Calcaterra:  Dice-K’s beatdown begins

A day after Dice-K declared the Red Sox’ training methods as the reason for his injuries (no word on whether he blamed them for his second chin and inability to throw a pitch down the middle), the team is striking back. And, as is the custom in Boston, they’re doing it through the media. First, Tony Massarotti hits him, relaying that the team is “downright angry” at him, and that “the truth is that the Red Sox were tired of Matsuzaka’s high-maintenance act a long time ago, but they kept their mouths shut and put up with it because Matsuzaka won games.”

Then Dan Shaughnessy, who has long been a trusted messenger for the Sox, says “the Sox are steamed. Matsuzaka talked out of turn, infuriated his bosses and his teammates, and unwittingly took the focus away from Hall of Famer Jim Rice on the night the slugger’s number was retired . . . It is reasonable to wonder if Matsuzaka will pitch again for the Sox this season. Or ever.”

Fat Al Posted: July 29, 2009 at 03:09 PM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Tripon Posted: July 29, 2009 at 04:57 PM (#3272392)
Man, the Red Sox hit machine is stellar.
   2. 1k5v3L Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:01 PM (#3272400)
I wonder how the other Japanese players in the Sox organization feel about this...
   3. Tripon Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:03 PM (#3272411)
I wonder how other players in the Sox organization feel about this. They know if they criticize the team, the Sox's PR people will mobilize the press corp.
   4. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:04 PM (#3272414)
too bad you can't trade guys on the DL. I can't see the Sox trading him anyway. Now that the posting fee is absorbed he's cheap.
   5. Josh Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:07 PM (#3272416)
Right - but the implication of "they're doing it through the media" is that they are not on the record. The opposite is true: both Francona and Ferrall spoke on the record in front of anyone who would listen. That is pretty different then recent past occasions (e.g., Manny) when the media blasted a player.
   6. Rally Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:10 PM (#3272426)
I can't see the Sox trading him anyway. Now that the posting fee is absorbed he's cheap.


Which means he has trade value. They don't only trade Lugo types. They traded Arroyo right after he signed a below market deal, making him valuable in trade.
   7. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:16 PM (#3272432)
Dice-K helped the Sox enter the Japanese market. I've always assumed they viewed the $51 million posting fee as an investment not only in the pitcher's talent but his popularity in Japan. So if this does turn ugly and the Sox end up trading him, I wonder how hurt the team will be in Japan.
   8. The Original SJ Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:27 PM (#3272452)
Peter Gammons is now reporting that Dice K doesn't even know which shoulder is hurt
   9. Jimmy P Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:28 PM (#3272458)
Which means he has trade value. They don't only trade Lugo types. They traded Arroyo right after he signed a below market deal, making him valuable in trade.

Hell, they traded Manny. Right after they gave Manny the press corps treatment.
   10. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:30 PM (#3272462)
Peter Gammons is now reporting that Dice K doesn't even know which shoulder is hurt

Is this a joke?
   11. RJ in TO Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:31 PM (#3272468)
Is this a joke?


Yes, and it's a good one.
   12. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:35 PM (#3272476)
I feel a little stupid not knowing it's a joke but Gammons is such a mouthpiece that it's something I think he could say.
   13. jcnyc Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:42 PM (#3272493)
What do they mean, took the focus off of Rice. Here in Boston, I've gotten enough Jim F Rice to last a lifetime this week.
   14. 1k5v3L Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:43 PM (#3272496)
Peter Gammons is now reporting that Dice K doesn't even know which shoulder is hurt
The Red Sox medical staff also don't know which shoulder to operate on, so it evens out.
   15. Rally Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:58 PM (#3272534)
Does anyone really think he's hurt so bad that he wouldn't be pitching for another team? Seems more like a case of "we have too many starting pitchers, and this one isn't getting people out, so DL him"
   16. 1k5v3L Posted: July 29, 2009 at 05:59 PM (#3272536)
"we have too many starting pitchers, and this one isn't getting people out, so DL him"
Smoltz went on the DL?
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: July 29, 2009 at 06:10 PM (#3272560)
took the focus away from Hall of Famer Jim Rice on the night the slugger’s number was retired


little things like this are why Sox fans hate CHB. He DIDNT TAKE THE FOCUS AWAY FROM RICE! I watched the pre-game ceremonies, and there was no mention of Matsuzaka by any of the presenters or speakers. The non-game focus of the TV Broadcast was all on Rice, with Mumbles Menino declaring this thursday Jim Rice day in Boston (I think). During this week, some of the baseball stories in the paper would be on non-Rice things: the deadline, Laroche, etc; so having one of them be about Dice-K and his quotes doesn't displace celebrating Rice. Furthermore, the Matsuzaka quotes are in a Japanese story from Monday, and presumably were uttered before that. So how does Matsuzaka know when the Boston media is going to make an issue out of it and whether that coincides with some event.

Plus, CHB is a columnist and CHOSE to mention Dice-K and CHOSE where to put his own focus. sheesh.
   18. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 29, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3272566)
While we're shitting on hack Boston writers, apparently Gammons 'let slip' last week in a chat that Selig and co. have threatened to take away the 2012 all star game from the Royals if they go over slot with their draft picks this year.
So either, there's a huige story out there, that he (or anyone) isn't covering, or Gammons is making up incredibly inflammatory material.
   19. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 29, 2009 at 06:14 PM (#3272569)
Selfish move by Theo, trading for LaRoche and taking all that attention away from Rice.
   20. The Original SJ Posted: July 29, 2009 at 06:17 PM (#3272574)
or Gammons is making up incredibly inflammatory material

He has done this a couple times, witness "Joba asking Arod's permission to throw over Youk's head" (something no one else reported, and no one asked either Joba or ARod, including Gammons.

The aforementioned "Manny doesn't know which leg hurts" thing was reported without anything or anyone backing it up.
   21. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 29, 2009 at 06:25 PM (#3272582)
Oh I know, I like him, but he's the biggest hack in sports, it's seriously embarrassing.
He's a terrible, terrible writer, who's legendarily bad at structure, spelling and grammar, he's notoriously loose with facts, passes along disinformation and grinds axes for GMs/agents/players he likes, has been caught plagiarizing, makes #### up on whims.
Yet he's in the writers wing of the Hall.
   22. TerpNats Posted: July 29, 2009 at 06:39 PM (#3272617)
Gammons 'let slip' last week in a chat that Selig and co. have threatened to take away the 2012 all star game from the Royals if they go over slot with their draft picks this year.
In other news, MLB has retroactively taken the 2005 All-Star game from Detroit for going over slot on Rick Porcello.
   23. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 29, 2009 at 06:44 PM (#3272641)
The strange thing about that report is that the Royals seem an unlikely team to massively overpay a draft pick. Do they have a history of going way over slot?
   24. villageidiom Posted: July 29, 2009 at 07:05 PM (#3272708)
Oh I know, I like him, but he's the biggest hack in sports, it's seriously embarrassing.
He's a terrible, terrible writer, who's legendarily bad at structure, spelling and grammar, he's notoriously loose with facts, passes along disinformation and grinds axes for GMs/agents/players he likes, has been caught plagiarizing, makes #### up on whims.
Yet he's in the writers wing of the Hall.
Willie Mays can't hit a fastball in 2009, yet he's in the players' wing.

Gammons WAS a great, great writer, and WAS among the best at getting good information from within MLB front offices. He is not nearly as good a writer as he once was, and hasn't been for some time. And front offices know that he will report whatever they tell him, allowing him to be a pawn in whatever they're peddling. Gammons in 2009 is nothing like Gammons in 1979, much as Mays in 2009 is nothing like Mays in 1959.
   25. aberg Posted: July 29, 2009 at 07:09 PM (#3272715)
Gammons WAS a great, great writer, and WAS among the best at getting good information from within MLB front offices. He is not nearly as good a writer as he once was, and hasn't been for some time. And front offices know that he will report whatever they tell him, allowing him to be a pawn in whatever they're peddling. Gammons in 2009 is nothing like Gammons in 1979, much as Mays in 2009 is nothing like Mays in 1959.


I was discussing this topic the other night; I think it's possible that Gammons willfully decided to scale it back a bit after he got sick. For someone whose talent was gathering facts, spending less time on the phone definitely translates into a worse product. I won't hold it against him, and I'll remember how good he once was rather than paying any attention to what he says now.
   26. The Original SJ Posted: July 29, 2009 at 07:12 PM (#3272718)
Gammons in 2009 is nothing like Gammons in 1979, much as Mays in 2009 is nothing like Mays in 1959.

well, Mays had the good sense to retire as soon as he washed up. Gammons is still going 15 years later.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: July 29, 2009 at 07:26 PM (#3272742)
Mays had the good sense to retire as soon as he washed up. Gammons is still going 15 years later.


Roids
   28. The Original SJ Posted: July 29, 2009 at 07:27 PM (#3272744)
My problem with Gammons now is not with Gammons, it is that no one calls him on his bullshit.
   29. Sam M. Posted: July 29, 2009 at 07:56 PM (#3272792)
I'm sorry, but to tell you the truth the turn this thread has taken is kind of sad. There is an obvious problem between the Red Sox and Dice-K, and what do people want to piss and moan about? How much they hate Gammons and Shaughnessy. A lot of the same thing happened in the Minaya/Rubin threads -- it became about the media instead of about baseball (although there at least it was a more direct and understandable turn, since Omar tried to make the reporter the story . . . .). Steroid threads, HOF threads, trade rumor threads . . . too many of them around here end up just become long #####-fests about how much everyone hates the reporters or columnists involved (or reporters/columnists who are NOT involved, or if that won't do just the media in general).

Yada. Yada. Maybe I'm just in a surly mood, but I don't think so. It just seems to me that the ratio of media/baseball discussion has gotten seriously out of whack somehow . . . .
   30. Toby Posted: July 29, 2009 at 07:57 PM (#3272796)
Gammons is one of the good guys. He loves baseball (and music) and you get the sense he considers himself very lucky to have spent his career covering baseball. He is not jaded or snarky or self-important. His writing is what it is -- stream of consciousness, mostly -- but it is authentic. He has always been open-minded about sabermetric developments and yes, he has always worn his heart on his sleeve for the teams and people he likes. But give me more like Peter Gammons and less like pretty much every other writer who gets linked to around here.

I grew up reading Gammons and Montville and Ryan and McDonough. I consider myself very lucky to have done so. Yeah, his best days were years ago. But let me put it this way. If I were a cub reporter in the press box and could sit next to anyone I liked, I'd sit next to Gammons. No one else is even close.
   31. Maxwn Posted: July 29, 2009 at 08:01 PM (#3272807)
Sam M. is obviously a Media mole.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: July 29, 2009 at 08:08 PM (#3272814)
Hey Sam M., the article linked to this tread is ABOUT THE MEDIA!!

There is another thread with an article ABOUT THE PROBLEM BETWEEN DICE-K AND THE SOX!

Here it is. There are over 70 posts, many of them interesting, and it never veers into a discussion about the media.
   33. Maxwn Posted: July 29, 2009 at 08:08 PM (#3272815)
Besides Sam, as far as I can tell there are only 2 Media Sucks! threads going right now, this one and the Minaya one. But on other subjects, we have the philosophy thread in the Honus Wagner story, the dictionary thread in the Law blog thread, a Delta airlines thread, and a basketball thread. What more could you want?
   34. Sam M. Posted: July 29, 2009 at 08:13 PM (#3272821)
Hey Sam M., the article linked to this tread is ABOUT THE MEDIA!!

Good point. My general views about the tenor of a lot of threads and the direction they take away from the baseball issues stand, though. This one . . . not so much.
   35. Nasty Nate Posted: July 29, 2009 at 08:19 PM (#3272836)
I see your point. The structure leads to the problem you notice. This isn't a forum where someone starts a thread based on any topic they choose. Almost every comment thread is based on both some media item (article/blog post/video) and whatever baseball topic that media item is about. So we end up talking about the article itself and by extension its author, and that leads to writers/media being a theme.
   36. The Original SJ Posted: July 29, 2009 at 08:48 PM (#3272882)
His writing is what it is -- stream of consciousness, mostly -- but it is authentic.

How can something be authentic and made up? He invented a look between Joba and ARod, and he inserted himself into their heads and LEAD HIS COLUMN WITH IT! There was nothing authentic about it.

But let me put it this way. If I were a cub reporter in the press box and could sit next to anyone I liked, I'd sit next to Gammons. No one else is even close.

I am sure he would love to sit with you, the question is would Henry allow you in the owner's box?
   37. The Original SJ Posted: July 29, 2009 at 08:52 PM (#3272884)
Lets put it this way, I loved, loved, loved Bernie Williams.

However, there came a point in time where I no longer wanted to watch Bernie play CF. It got to the point he was so bad I almost forgot the great times. Gammons has already made me forget about the writer I remember from the 80s.
   38. winnipegwhip Posted: July 29, 2009 at 08:56 PM (#3272888)
Peter Gammons is now reporting that Dice K doesn't even know which shoulder is hurt


The Sox weren't sure because when they asked Dice K which shoulder hurt he told them either "Reft" or "Light" which no one could discern which shoulder actually hurt.
   39. puck Posted: July 29, 2009 at 09:04 PM (#3272897)
Oh great, this thread is taking an even better turn now.

In my experience, if Japanese have trouble with those sounds, they don't reverse them, it's that they can't distinguish them, and make the same sound for both.
   40. winnipegwhip Posted: July 29, 2009 at 09:06 PM (#3272899)
Don't get me started on how Massholes say "Pawnography"
   41. Answer Guy, without side hustles. Posted: July 29, 2009 at 09:49 PM (#3272939)
Don't get me started on how Massholes say "Pawnography"


We love you too.

(Well, I haven't lived in the Commonwealth for over a decade at this point and I usually pronounce the "R" sounds in words nowadays.)
   42. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 30, 2009 at 12:49 AM (#3273214)
Toby, I agree, again I really, really like Gammons as a person, I can't think of many that it'd rather see a game with, I was more exited seeing Gammons up close at a game than I was meeting David Ortiz later that day.


But the fact is he's a nice guy who's bad at his job.
Sports/baseball sites like this one are FULL of posts/articles/comments ripping bad players regardless of how nice they are, if anything we reserve the worst for marginal at best ML guys who may only be keeping their jobs because of their decent, affable nature (Joe McEwing, Willie BLoomquest etc etc).
Why shouldn't this same standard apply to reporters, especially in Gammons' case, when it can be malicious, where he's more than happy slamming players, or willingly passing along dis-information.


VillageIdiom, I went back and read some old Gammons articles (early 90s) the other day, and they didn't strike me s any more well-written than his present stuff.
I'll add that the pre/post stroke cutoff doesn't work for me, his plagiarism and poor writing certainly occurred before the stroke, and if anything he's been given a bit of a pass on them since them.
I still do find his article fun to read, but that's solely because of the rumors and stuff he passes along, he's basically someone who gets by on his sources.
Maybe he has to be a conduit for front office slander, or he'd lose his privileged access?


Sam, I agree there's far too much, baseless, snarky media criticism out there, but that doesn't mean there isn't legitimate criticism too.

Imagine if Gammons was a political writer, something like a quarter of the country would love him, half would hate him and a quarter would apologize for him.
   43. Toby Posted: July 30, 2009 at 12:52 AM (#3273218)
sj, I didn't say his writing was accurate, just that it was authentic. I mean, he doesn't try to cop an attitude, turn a phrase, or be deliberately edgy. You don't get any treacly prose from him, no faux Angell, nothing like that.
   44. villageidiom Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:13 AM (#3273239)
VillageIdiom, I went back and read some old Gammons articles (early 90s) the other day, and they didn't strike me s any more well-written than his present stuff.
You didn't go back far enough. This was one of his most celebrated ones, close to 20 years before the "old" articles you'd sampled.
   45. Srul Itza Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:58 AM (#3273277)
Gammons true claim to fame was the baseball notes column he started in the 80's, and which was widely imitated thereafter. Back then, he really worked the phones and did good reporting.
   46. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:15 AM (#3273288)
#44 and #45, good points both. To understand why he is held in such high regard by many, you have to appreciate the quality of his writing through the early 1980s (see post #44 - the game recap of Game 6 in 1975 puts to shame any game recap written this decade) and his then-innovative Diamond Notes in the 70s and 80s, which was a) imitated by local and national publications throughout the late 80s and 90s, and then b) rendered antiquated by the internet in late 1990s. The idea of a weekly column with "scoops", that causes readers to scurry to their Sunday Globe weekly, simply doesn't happen anymore. There is endless competition for information and scoops, and few people will wait up to a week to collect all of their scoops.

But what is now an old format was very new when Gammons did it.

All that said, he has not had a decent fastball in almost 20 years.
   47. Halofan Posted: July 30, 2009 at 05:58 AM (#3273416)
Maybe they can trade him to Oakland for Nomar.
   48. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 30, 2009 at 07:26 AM (#3273431)
Oh I know, I like him, but he's the biggest hack in sports, it's seriously embarrassing.
He's a terrible, terrible writer, who's legendarily bad at structure, spelling and grammar, he's notoriously loose with facts, passes along disinformation and grinds axes for GMs/agents/players he likes, has been caught plagiarizing, makes #### up on whims.
Yet he's in the writers wing of the Hall.
All these posts and nobody has pointed out that there is no "writers wing of the Hall"?
   49. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 30, 2009 at 05:38 PM (#3273929)
re:linked article.
That is good, perhaps I just don't go back far enough (as I said, I started reading Gammons as a kid in the early/mid 90s).

I love reading those old 'game recap' type articles, I get the impression they're extinct no, since no one really waits for the paper to find out what happened anymore.

There's a neat part in Bill Bryson's memoir ("Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid") where he prints what his father, the sportswriter for the des moines register, wrote about the Bobby Thompson game.


Frick award, my bad, though he is frequently refered to as "the Hall of Famer Peter Gmmons"
   50. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 30, 2009 at 06:06 PM (#3273984)
Clearly BTF is acting here as a media mouthpiece for the Red Sox front office. Take this as a sign that the Red Sox are trying to unload Gammons, and are looking to tear down public opinion of Gammons so they'll look good when they drop him.

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