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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Minihane: Everything is wrong with Josh Beckett

Dream of Fair to Middling Starter.

The idea of yanking Beckett out of the rotation was always a reach at best, a break from reality from a sports talk caller.  As hideously mediocre as he’s been this season, I never thought he was a worse option than, say, Aaron Cook.

Guess what? Wrong again. Right now, Beckett is only in the rotation because he makes $15 million bucks. That’s it. He is not one of the five best starting pitchers on the roster. Buchholz is clearly better, Lester has shown progress (though it’s amazing to note that he and Beckett have combined to win exactly one game since June 27, a total of 14 starts. The Sox are where they are because of Beckett and Lester. Everything else—Valentine vs. players, rats in the clubhouse, even injuries—is mythology. If Lester and Beckett were earning their keep this team would be a couple of games behind the Yankees and in terrific wild-card position), Doubront has helped keep this season semi-alive and Morales has done more positive in his six starts than Beckett has done in his last 20. To me, Cook is basically a wash with Beckett for the rest of the season. Both are No. 5 starters, it’s just that one acts and is treated like an ace. And if I’m a Sox fan, I’m far less offended when Cook gets pounded. And he gave up one run in seven innings vs. the Rangers on Monday night. You taking him out and keeping Beckett in?

And I think Wednesday’s debacle against the Rangers—eight hits, eight runs in five innings in a must-win game for a team that is running out of time and excuses—was rock bottom for Beckett. We’re finally here. It can’t get any worse.

Repoz Posted: August 09, 2012 at 08:56 AM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Textbook Editor Posted: August 09, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4204104)
Well, I've been on the record as advocating a trade since last off-season. Let the stubborn mule be someone else's problem, I say.
   2. SG Posted: August 09, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4204119)
I could not imagine having to hold my nose and root for this guy if he was on my favorite team.
   3. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 09, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4204142)
This isn't a bad article but Minihane is part of a group along with Eric Wilbur at the Globe who are setting themselves up as the next generation's Shaughnessy. His stuff is relentlessly negative.

Semi-related to that I am the last Josh Beckett fan alive. I get the reasons people hate him but I like the guy. Not really sure why, just do. I think he is probably going to pitch elsewhere next year after a Youkilis-like trade and I think it is going to prove to be a mistake for the Sox. I hope I'm wrong on the last part of that.
   4. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4204159)
I don't think Beckett is in any way a 'good character guy', but why does bad performance = bad guy in some people's minds? Does he ignore pre-game pitching reports? Is he ignoring the catcher's signs? Why can't he just be struggling, like he does every other year? He had one of his best years last season and now he is ####? I really just don't get the fan hatred for him right now.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4204163)
What a shocker that he has had a relatively bad season in an even-year!

... but why does bad performance = bad guy in some people's minds? ..... I really just don't get the fan hatred for him right now.


For the record, some of us disliked him last year when his performance was good.
   6. AROM Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4204164)
but why does bad performance = bad guy in some people's minds?


Losing is a disease.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4204166)
I really just don't get the fan hatred for him right now.


Exactly, it should have been there all along.

I've always found Beckett to be among the most unlikable Red Sox ever (though no one will ever top Carl), even during his on-again seasons. The sooner he's gone, the better.

Edit: Coke to Nasty Nate.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4204174)
Not including the 24 innings he threw as a rookie, here are Beckett's ERA+ in even-numbered years: 98, 108, 95, 115, 75, 88 (so far)
...in odd-numbered years: 138, 118, 145, 121, 150

..also more innings in the odd years.
   9. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4204176)
I've always found Beckett to be among the most unlikable Red Sox ever (though no one will ever top Carl), even during his on again seasons.


Any particular reasons why? I certainly don't have positive feelings about him, but I don't have negative feelings either.
   10. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4204182)
I remember the "Is Josh Beckett one of the top ten pitchers in baseball" discussions. Seems like a long time ago.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4204184)
Any particular reasons why?


Here are a few:

Faux tough guy bullshit, both in words and deeds (throwing near Abreu's head because Bobby had the gall to ask for timeout against the slow-working Beckett).

Working so goddamned slow.

My sense that he's never reached his potential, in part because he's a stubborn jackass (as reflected in those even-numbered results). I see a guy with tremendous stuff. I don't see a guy with the results to match).

Whatever role he played in the end of 2011.

All of 2010.

I certainly appreciate his stellar 2007 postseason. Now, kindly leave.
   12. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4204189)
How would a stubborn jackass necessarily have inconsistent year-to-year results?

I would expect that he'd have remarkably consistent results.
   13. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4204192)
Working so goddamned slow.


This drives me insane and what really frosts me is that it seems to be an organizational thing. There is not a quick working pitcher on the staff. What frustrates me the most is it makes no sense to me, I would think a pitcher working quickly is going to have a better chance of keeping the hitter off balance.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4204199)
How would a stubborn jackass necessarily have inconsistent year-to-year results?


My phrasing is somewhat confusing there.

The inconsistent results aren't a reflection of the stubborn jackass part, but the inability to reach his potential part (his odd-numbered years show he has the talent to be one of the best pitchers in the league, he just isn't).

However, the inability to reach his potential, I feel, is partly because he seemed unwilling to adapt to what was working/not working on the mound, particularly when he was younger (i.e., throwing the curve when he couldn't get it over). His stubbornness wouldn't necesarily lead to such a bizarre yearly pattern, but a general inability to harness his talent.



   15. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4204228)
Has there ever been another starting pitcher - good, great, or indifferent - who has such a dramatically inconsistent yearly pattern?
   16. Randy Jones Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4204229)
Saberhagen

EDIT: His ERA+ numbers:
115, 143, 102, 136, 106, 180, 118, 135, 101, 122, 153, 106, 72, 119, 171,
   17. JJ1986 Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4204230)
Has there ever been another starting pitcher - good, great, or indifferent - who has such a dramatically inconsistent yearly pattern?


I think Saberhagen had something similar.

edit: too slow
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4204232)
Has there ever been another starting pitcher - good, great, or indifferent - who has such a dramatically inconsistent yearly pattern?


Bret Saberhagen had a pretty similar run for the first 10 years of his career, though the lows were much higher than Beckett's.

   19. The District Attorney Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4204237)
My son is also named Bort Saberhagen.
   20. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4204241)
re: pace

In the past, I've blithely accepted that baseball games can take forever, and that some pitchers don't have the same emphasis that I do about moving rather quickly.

But in the last few years, I've been DVR-ing most games. Which prevents some logistical hurdles for me. But on those occasions that I cannot DVR the game (or I've caught up to "live", so cannot fast-foward), I've found that I have a lot less patience for the game. Now it could be that the game is different now, but there's a far greater chance that I simply have lost the attention span for time-sucking "baseball" standing around.
   21. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4204249)
Has there ever been another starting pitcher - good, great, or indifferent - who has such a dramatically inconsistent yearly pattern?


It's not a player but a team. The Chicago White Sox are about to have their 6th consecutive year of not repeating an over or under .500 finish. Wins since 2006;

90
72
89
79
88
79
88 (current Pace)
   22. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4204255)
eight hits, eight runs in five innings in a must-win game for a team that is running out of time and excuses—was rock bottom for Beckett.


I've long been of the opinion that this team will run off a ten-game winning streak and be in the thick of the hunt in September. But "must-win", already overused, could not apply for an under-.500 baseball team in mid-August. Even in Bud's magical mystery "everyone makes the playoffs!" tour.
   23. Koot Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4204256)
Semi-related to that I am the last Josh Beckett fan alive. I get the reasons people hate him but I like the guy. Not really sure why, just do. I think he is probably going to pitch elsewhere next year after a Youkilis-like trade and I think it is going to prove to be a mistake for the Sox. I hope I'm wrong on the last part of that.


I wouldn't say I'm a Josh Beckett fan, but, he's far from the most detestable guy on the roster (for me anyway). I won't argue that he's kind of stubborn and a bit of a jerk, but that kind of stuff doesn't bother me. I'm more bothered by a guy like Daniel Bard, with all the updates on his feelings and about if he "sees himself" as a starter or a reliever. That attitude is far more of a problem than if he isn't a particularly chatty guy with the dipshits in the media.

I feel most of this is that the media has decided they don't like Beckett. I know he can be combative with them. But, that's extra points for me. Treating the Boston media poorly makes you even cooler in my book.
   24. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4204258)
That's really interesting, Jose. Of course, 79 is a pretty good under-.500 record. But still.
   25. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4204279)
Faux tough guy ########, both in words and deeds (throwing near Abreu's head because Bobby had the gall to ask for timeout against the slow-working Beckett).


Not that I don't think it was a dick move by Beckett to throw over Abreu's head but I was humored by all the comments that said Beckett was a ##### and would not have done that without Varitek there to back him up. Beckett is 6'5" 225 (according to BBREF), Abreu is 6'0" 220, why would Beckett need backup? Also, more importantly, it's Bobby Abreu, the guy deathly terrified of walls, it's not Gary Sheffield we are talking about here.
   26. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4204291)
I've always found Beckett to be among the most unlikable Red Sox ever (though no one will ever top Carl)


I find this interesting. Carl's easy to dislike, sure, but is he really worse than Wil Cordero?
   27. dr. scott Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4204297)
Has any other pitcher been on the DL or unable to pitch for so many games because of finger blisters? This was ally in his career, but it seemed to happen once a month.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4204307)
Carl's easy to dislike, sure, but is he really worse than Wil Cordero?


You're right. Carl would never do anything like that.

Obviously, Cordero was a POS in Boston, but Everett compounded his off-field problems with on-field loathsomeness.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4204308)
Has any other pitcher been on the DL or unable to pitch for so many games because of finger blisters?


Jeremy Affeldt, maybe?
   30. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4204315)
Santiago Casilla hasn't been on the DL, but has been unavailable several times this season due to blisters.
   31. Good cripple hitter Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4204318)
Has any other pitcher been on the DL or unable to pitch for so many games because of finger blisters?


Al Leiter, early in his career.
   32. Dale Sams Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4204321)
Faux tough guy ########, both in words and deeds (throwing near Abreu's head because Bobby had the gall to ask for timeout against the slow-working Beckett).


I just want to remind that the kerfluffle at the plate was caused by (according to the Angels) something the *umpire* said about Nick Adenhart. I suspect it was something along the lines of "Bobby get your ass back in the box, I know you guys have your underwear in a wad over Adenhart but..." It wouldn't have taken much.

But i back up your point with stuff like around 2010:

1. Threw at guys out of frustration when he started getting shelled.
2. His faux old school #### seemed to spread to Lester for a little while there.

On the other hand, I loved what he said in 2007 when his ex-gf sang the national anthem. I really don't have a problem with him when he can walk the walk. Bitd I'll bet he would have gone toe to toe with anyone. As a human being I have no prob with 2011-12 Josh Beckett. Chickengate and Golfgate are just stupid and I pay them no mind.

As a pitcher, I'd stick him in the pen or trade him in a heartbeat if we can't figure out what's wrong.
   33. Dale Sams Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4204328)
there's a far greater chance that I simply have lost the attention span for time-sucking "baseball" standing around.


*At* the game I'm cool as Lucas Jackson. On TV, I'll clean while watching. On the computer??? That's why I watch and sit in game-threads. I almost can hardly watch between pitchs anymore. I have a half-assed theory that if my team were doing better and had more people I like and have a viewing relationship with, I might be better. But there's been so much turn-over in the Sox, some days I feel like I had more emotion invested in Nick Green back in the day then I do with guys who have been there longer today.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4204332)
I just want to remind that the kerfluffle at the plate was caused by (according to the Angels) something the *umpire* said about Nick Adenhart. I suspect it was something along the lines of "Bobby get your ass back in the box, I know you guys have your underwear in a wad over Adenhart but..." It wouldn't have taken much.


No, it wasn't caused by Cowboy Joe. He repotedly said something during the on-field dance that pissed off the Angels, but it was Beckett's pitch high and tight (and subsequent steps toward the angered Abreu) that caused it.

   35. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4204356)
Is it allowed for a team to sign a player to a non-continuous contract? For example, 2015, 2017 and 2019, but not 2016 or 2018?
   36. dr. scott Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4204359)
Funny, i clearly follow the Giants and Casilla and Afeldt did not come to mind. That may be because I mostly follow the team in a bar with the sound off, or at the game, and its a long game, and I prefer IPAs. End of the game is often a blur...
   37. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4204367)
*At* the game I'm cool as Lucas Jackson.


I used to be cool with whatever at games, but in 2005-2006 I attended 11 or 12 Mark Buehrle starts. Once you get used to Buehrle and his "get the damn ball and chuck it over the plate" school of pitching you realize how quick and action-packed live baseball can and should be. It makes a lot of other games very frustrating.
   38. Dale Sams Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4204374)
I do wonder why when a pitcher is facing a batter that steps out a lot, and dawdles, and readjusts stuff,... very often the pitcher will wait until the batter is back in the box and is paying attention, THEN the pitcher gets his sign and then he throws. Why doesn't he just get his sign while the batter is out of the box and as soon as both feet are back in and the umpire signals 'time in'...or whatever...toss the damn ball. It's not a quick pitch if you do your normal wind-up.

edit: Some research shows my definition of 'quick pitch' doesn't meet the official rules. I still think it should be more up to the batter to be ready after spending some 15 seconds out of the box. Then stepping in the box and going through his 'now im in the box getting ready routine'.
   39. Textbook Editor Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4204376)
What about a Cliff Lee-Josh Beckett challenge trade?

The Phillies get salary relief and a pitcher with great stuff who needs a change of scenery (and the NL)

The Red Sox get a better pitcher and take on some salary, but there's salary coming off the books down the line and it's only a net increase of $10 million for next year.

I mean, I'm not wild about paying Lee ~$25 million for 3 more years + the buyout, but at least we'd get something of value while getting rid of Beckett. And the Phillies would do the trade (unless the Red Sox are one of the teams on Lee's no-trade list) simply because they can say "See, we got an ace back AND saved $ so we can go get a hitter!"

Or am I nuts? I'm probably nuts...
   40. Hit by Pitch Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4204378)
Has any other pitcher been on the DL or unable to pitch for so many games because of finger blisters?


Al Leiter during most of his Toronto stint.
   41. Hit by Pitch Posted: August 09, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4204383)
Beckett looks exactly the same as he did last September. He's 20, 25 pounds overweight, which is really remarkable when you consider everything we learned last year. It's a statement, and an extraordinarily telling one.


The guy is 6-5 and weighs 225, Sabathia is 6-7 and weighs 290. I wonder if anyone from the Yanks front office has approached him about that or do the yanks give their players free rides like the sox?
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4204386)
I wonder if anyone from the Yanks front office has approached him about that or do the yanks give their players free rides like the sox?


When CC starts fluctuating between good and shitty years like Josh has, the Yankees might try to rein him in. Until then, they'll probably take the dependable horse he's been and let him eat all the cheeseburgers he can.

   43. AROM Posted: August 09, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4204390)
The guy is 6-5 and weighs 225, Sabathia is 6-7 and weighs 290. I wonder if anyone from the Yanks front office has approached him about that or do the yanks give their players free rides like the sox?


The Yankees also had David Wells for many seasons. The Red Sox had Wells too. Both teams employed Bartolo Colon. Red Sox had the legendary Rich "El Guapo" Garces.

I think the message is that as long as you get people out, being fat is OK.
   44. Deacon Blues Posted: August 09, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4204393)
Actually the Yankees told Sabathia to lose weight two offseasons ago. He did but then put it back on slowly over the course of 2011. He lost it for real this past offseason. Sabathia is probably the most popular guy in the Yankees clubhouse and someone people love around baseball. Oh and he's good. Other than that it's pretty similar.
   45. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4204408)
Funny, i clearly follow the Giants and Casilla and Afeldt did not come to mind.


For Affeldt, it was more of a problem during his time with the Royals.
   46. The Good Face Posted: August 09, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4204423)
Actually the Yankees told Sabathia to lose weight two offseasons ago. He did but then put it back on slowly over the course of 2011. He lost it for real this past offseason.


Yeah, 2012 Sabathia is noticeably thinner than I've ever seen him before. Still a huge guy, but that giant gut is much reduced.

Sabathia is probably the most popular guy in the Yankees clubhouse and someone people love around baseball. Oh and he's good. Other than that it's pretty similar.


This too. When you're as good as Sabathia (and as well liked), you can get away with being fat. If he was a surly dick who stunk every other season, I'm guessing he'd get a lot less leeway.
   47. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4204480)
If he was a surly dick who stunk every other season, I'm guessing he'd get a lot less leeway.


Was David Wells hated?
   48. The District Attorney Posted: August 09, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4204491)
Everything right with Josh Beckett is wrong again.

Just like in The Long, Long Trailer.
   49. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 09, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4204509)
All the dishes got broken, the car kept driving, and nobody would stop to save her?
   50. villageidiom Posted: August 09, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4204737)
Has any other pitcher been on the DL or unable to pitch for so many games because of finger blisters?

Al Leiter, early in his career.
I think there was a period early on where Derek Lowe had the same issue.
   51. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 09, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4204775)
(though no one will ever top Carl)


The first Carl that came to my head was Yaz. It took me a minute to realize that you were talking about Everett, SoSh.
   52. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4204787)
Has any other pitcher been on the DL or unable to pitch for so many games because of finger blisters?

Al Leiter during most of his Toronto stint.


Steve Avery battled blisters for most of his career. Some guys are just susceptible to it for some reason.
   53. dejarouehg Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4205001)
Either Yaz or Everett qualify as creeps. Would be interesting to find out who the biggest dolts are. I went to the last game at Tiger Stadium and couldn't believe how people were openly hostile towards Kirk Gibson when he was making his rounds outside the ballpark. Not having any idea what was going on, I asked someone who told me he was absolutely despised.

Was always disappointed with how surly Seaver was.

Why don't managers try to enforce the 12 second rule against Beckett? His games are unwatchable.
   54. Jim Wisinski Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:43 AM (#4205041)
The first Carl that came to my head was Yaz. It took me a minute to realize that you were talking about Everett, SoSh


My immediate assumption was that he meant Crawford.
   55. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 10, 2012 at 06:42 AM (#4205054)
This isn't a bad article but Minihane is part of a group along with Eric Wilbur at the Globe who are setting themselves up as the next generation's Shaughnessy. His stuff is relentlessly negative.

Beckett (and Lester) are the reasons this team sucks. What are writers supposed to say about them?
   56. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 10, 2012 at 07:08 AM (#4205057)
Which is why I noted that there was nothing wrong with that particular article. It was more a general point that these guys are predictable in their writings and general troll-like tendencies in my opinion.
   57. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 10, 2012 at 07:38 AM (#4205058)
Maybe they are; I don't pay much attention to them.
   58. AROM Posted: August 10, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4205074)
"Why don't managers try to enforce the 12 second rule against Beckett? His games are unwatchable."

That rule doesn't apply when runners are on base. When's the last time you saw Beckett pitch without people on base?
   59. tfbg9 Posted: August 10, 2012 at 08:40 AM (#4205078)
I still like Beckett. Flags fly forever, blah blah blah.

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