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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Boston media explodes after Red Sox blow it without unvaccinated closer Houck

Because Boston Red Sox closer Tanner Houck is unvaccinated, he had to be placed on the restricted list prior to this week’s series in Toronto against the Blue Jays.

And wouldn’t you know it, his absence loomed large on Tuesday when the Blue Jays scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 win over the Red Sox.

Longtime Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy and other members of the Boston media were quick to post their feelings on Twitter.

Without Houck, the Red Sox asked Tyler Danish, who pitched the eighth, to go back out for the ninth.

But Danish, who has zero career saves, let the first two runners on. That prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to replace him with Hansel Robles.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 09:44 AM | 91 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox, tanner houck, vaccinations

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   1. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 29, 2022 at 09:51 AM (#6084441)
This is bizarre. Shaughnessy's column was before the game yesterday and there are no other examples in the "story." I haven't seen the paper and don't listen to sports radio but it seems like there should be at least one example. I mean it's almost certainly accurate, I have no doubt Houck is rightly being ripped today but you'd think you'd include an example of it in your article.
   2. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 29, 2022 at 10:07 AM (#6084448)
I was hoping the headline was literal, but no it is just a metaphor. Boo.
   3. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 29, 2022 at 10:11 AM (#6084450)
I was hoping the headline was literal


Oh that would have been nice.
   4. The Duke Posted: June 29, 2022 at 10:54 AM (#6084462)
DFA him - I'm sure the best solution is let him pitch for another team 90% of the time.
   5. baerga1 Posted: June 29, 2022 at 11:28 AM (#6084468)
DFA him - I'm sure the best solution is let him pitch for another team 90% of the time.

I believe you are missing the point here.. the best solution is that he get vaccinated and pitch for the Red Sox 100% of the time.
   6. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 29, 2022 at 11:35 AM (#6084469)
you'd think you'd include an example of it in your article.

The linked article includes tweets from several members of the Boston media:

Longtime Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy and other members of the Boston media were quick to post their feelings on Twitter.

   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 11:38 AM (#6084471)
I believe you are missing the point here.. the best solution is that he get vaccinated and pitch for the Red Sox 100% of the time.

The best solution is Canada drop its stupid rule. There's no point to vaccine mandates anymore. The vast majority of people have had COVID, and the vaccines don't work anymore.
   8. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 29, 2022 at 11:40 AM (#6084473)
6 - The article I click on doesn't have any tweets. I wonder if my office firewall is blocking them.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 11:50 AM (#6084477)
6 - The article I click on doesn't have any tweets. I wonder if my office firewall is blocking them.

I don't see them either and I'm at home.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: June 29, 2022 at 11:55 AM (#6084478)
I see the tweets.

The last one says If the playoffs started today, the Red Sox would face the Blue Jays. In Toronto.
   11. The Duke Posted: June 29, 2022 at 12:18 PM (#6084481)
This is the problem with govt edicts, once in place they hardly ever go away. It took a federal judge to force the govt to rescind the mask mandate. I wonder if we should force people to have a flu vaccine before visiting. If we are going to do this, let's go full throttle.
   12. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 29, 2022 at 12:48 PM (#6084486)
and the vaccines don't work anymore


Um, ...no.
   13. Lassus Posted: June 29, 2022 at 12:51 PM (#6084488)
and the vaccines don't work anymore.

Why should you be taken seriously about anything after this?
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 12:54 PM (#6084489)

Why should you be taken seriously about anything after this?


The vaccines were valuable before Omicron. Now, why bother? The protective period is now measured in low single digit months. I got vaccinated, still got COVID, like nearly everyone I know. I'll never get another shot. Not worth the health risks, unless you're in both a highly vulnerable group and have never had it. If you've had the disease, natural immunity is far more protective as the "experts" have finally admitted.
   15. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 29, 2022 at 01:02 PM (#6084492)
I love the scare quotes. But, um, you are wrong about nearly everything you wrote. So, well done.
   16. Lassus Posted: June 29, 2022 at 01:15 PM (#6084499)
I'll never get another shot. Not worth the health risks

This does not actually improve your "I should be listened to about things" case.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 01:22 PM (#6084501)
This does not actually improve your "I should be listened to about things" case.

So, you're just ignoring all the reports of health issues after vaccination? I've had the disease, why would I get vaccinated again?

The bitter-end clinging to the pandemic is just bizarre.
   18. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 01:22 PM (#6084502)

I'm not strongly in favor of vaccine mandates at this point either, but the vaccines are still highly effective at reducing severe outcomes even for Omicron.
   19. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 29, 2022 at 01:24 PM (#6084503)
I'm not strongly in favor of vaccine mandates at this point either, but the vaccines are still highly effective at reducing severe outcomes even for Omicron.


This. And, well, they are still working on improved versions of the vaccines to handle the evolved virus. Declaring "Never again" is just silly.
   20. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 01:30 PM (#6084505)
So, you're just ignoring all the reports of health issues after vaccination? I've had the disease, why would I get vaccinated again?

If you've already been vaccinated and had the disease, I don't care whether you get another shot. Probably smart for you to get one in advance of winter, but I'm not going to sit here trying to persuade you.
   21. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 29, 2022 at 01:31 PM (#6084506)
I don't see them either and I'm at home.


Do you live in my office?
   22. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 01:53 PM (#6084509)
So, you're just ignoring all the reports of health issues after vaccination?
You mean, like about how it allows Bill Gates to track you? Or causes spoons to stick to you? Because there are no such reports otherwise. Please tell me that you're not misusing VAERS like a crackpot/liar.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 01:54 PM (#6084511)

This. And, well, they are still working on improved versions of the vaccines to handle the evolved virus. Declaring "Never again" is just silly.


If it's a real vaccine, I might consider it, but no more of these mRNA gene therapies mislabeled as vaccines.
   24. Jay Seaver Posted: June 29, 2022 at 02:01 PM (#6084513)
(Saw tweets but embedded video was geoblocked)

Even without going to the playoffs, the Red Sox were slated to end the season in Toronto before the lockout, though now there's a series against the Rays at Fenway afterward. If it's a tight wild card race and the Sox are playing the series without their center-fielder, closer, and one of their top starters in Chris Sale, it's not hard to imagine the clubhouse, media, social media, talk radio, etc., going completely nuclear.
   25. Stop Oppressing Zonk by Investigating His Heroes Posted: June 29, 2022 at 02:12 PM (#6084515)
If it's a real vaccine, I might consider it, but no more of these mRNA gene therapies mislabeled as vaccines.


Welp, better hope you never get exposed to rabies.

But I'm sure your Pure Blood™ will save you.
   26. Karl from NY Posted: June 29, 2022 at 02:31 PM (#6084518)
The Covid vaccines have risk factors, of heart inflammation and blood clots. A professional athlete who earns his living with his physical body performance has absolutely every right to decline those risk factors.
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: June 29, 2022 at 02:34 PM (#6084520)
Shaughnessy's tweet is sharply critical of Houck, but it's not clear that he personally upset by it - which would be silly, because he's not a fan of the team (or shouldn't be).

speaking of which, A Denver Post beat writer is taking a beating on Twitter for posting a photo of himself, cigar in mouth, raising the Stanley Cup over his head (apparently at an "after party") the night the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup.

for all the members of the public who believe that the beat guys should be fans of the team they cover, well, this has to feel satisfying. but for beat guys who work hard against that notion, and who like to differentiate doing your job against being a fan, it's a bit frustrating.
   28. pthomas Posted: June 29, 2022 at 02:35 PM (#6084521)
The Herman Cain Award is calling and would like to show you dead people who believe "the vaccines don't work" and "don't you see the VAERS reports?
https://www.reddit.com/r/HermanCainAward/new/
   29. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 29, 2022 at 02:43 PM (#6084523)
Shaughnessy's tweet is sharply critical of Houck, but it's not clear that he personally upset by it - which would be silly, because he's not a fan of the team (or shouldn't be).

speaking of which, A Denver Post beat writer is taking a beating on Twitter for posting a photo of himself, cigar in mouth, raising the Stanley Cup over his head (apparently at an "after party") the night the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup.

for all the members of the public who believe that the beat guys should be fans of the team they cover, well, this has to feel satisfying. but for beat guys who work hard against that notion, and who like to differentiate doing your job against being a fan, it's a bit frustrating.


Why shouldn't writers/media be fans of the teams they cover? As long as they retain the ability to be appropriately critical it's fine. Dan Shaughnessy (not that I like him but he's a useful example) grew up in Massachusetts, is a big baseball fan...why is it bad if he's a Red Sox fan? Obviously there needs to be a willingness to be critical when called for and he shouldn't be lying or obfuscating the truth but to expect these people to just be robots seems unreasonable.
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 29, 2022 at 02:51 PM (#6084525)
If it's a tight wild card race and the Sox are playing the series without their center-fielder, closer, and one of their top starters in Chris Sale, it's not hard to imagine the clubhouse, media, social media, talk radio, etc., going completely nuclear.
Probably going to be some media & fan frenzy after the Toronto series, especially if Boston is swept, with Houck the focus. That alone could affect him or the team going forward.

However, the vaccination status of the players wasn’t a surprise, and it doesn’t seem like the Red Sox had a plan beyond muddling through with the remaining guys. An alternate closer would now seem like an even greater priority, with the late-season Toronto series potentially affecting the Red Sox playoff prospects, along with the distinct possibility that any WildCard match-up could be against Toronto, with all the games played there.
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: June 29, 2022 at 03:00 PM (#6084529)
I can't think of any writer in the NY/NJ market over the years who was a fan of the team they covered. (admittedly, in smaller markets this is not necessarily the case.)

if you're writing a gamer story on a tight deadline - and in this era, that means all of them - and you give a #### about the controversial call at the end of the contest, it's likely to interfere with your ability to explain what happened to, you know, fans.

it's not about being a robot, it's about doing your job. plenty of people would rather not take the job if faced with that choice, which is fine - they aren't cut out for it anyway.

so what DO writers root for?
if the local team is good, and you query the press box as to whether they hope the local team wins, it depends on many factors:

- am I happily married?
- if yes, would I like to get more of a break from my kids?
- where would the next series be? young, single writers absolutely wanted to "advance" to Miami, for example.
- am I in a new relationship and I really want to move it forward ASAP? then boo, home team.
- does my boss give me all the comp time I deserve if the team goes a long way?
- does my boss honor federal OT regulations, and do I need the extra cash?

all of those things factored in far ahead of "rooting for the laundry."

so obviously they are not robots - that would be unreasonable to expect.
but putting away the team-colored pom poms? not too much to ask.

if there is a front-office scandal with the Avalanche next month, and this writer suggests it is overblown - will you take him seriously, or just figure he's a fan, after all, so....?

tossing away one's credibility for a silly tweet hardly strikes me as a good tradeoff.
   32. Howie Menckel Posted: June 29, 2022 at 03:15 PM (#6084532)
so what DO writers root for?
if the local team is good, and you query the press box as to whether they hope the local team wins, it depends on many factors:

- am I happily married?
- if yes, would I like to get more of a break from my kids?
- where would the next series be? young, single writers absolutely wanted to "advance" to Miami, for example.
- am I in a new relationship and I really want to move it forward ASAP? then boo, home team.
- does my boss give me all the comp time I deserve if the team goes a long way?
- does my boss honor federal OT regulations, and do I need the extra cash?

all of those things factored in far ahead of "rooting for the laundry."

so obviously they are not robots - that would be unreasonable to expect. but putting away the team-colored pom poms? not too much to ask.
   33. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 29, 2022 at 03:16 PM (#6084533)
Not sure I’d equate posing with the Stanley Cup, and mimicking the iconic above-the-head pose, with rooting for the team. Are media members who write their name inside the Green Monster at Fenway rooting for the Red Sox, or just inserting themselves into the ballpark’s history?
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: June 29, 2022 at 03:23 PM (#6084537)
there's a big difference between having a photo taken of yourself next to the Stanley Cup, compared to raising it over your head as if you just had a goal and an assist in 20 minutes of ice time. the cigar clinches the fan-boy element. he's celebrating.

Reporting is interesting because it seems as if everyone in the peanut gallery thinks they know how it works. I imagine there are far more deferential to plumbers, doctors, salesmen, etc - because they likely have no expertise in that field and are cognizant of that fact.
but reporting? seems like everyone thinks they're an expert - no experience required!

:)
   35. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 29, 2022 at 03:31 PM (#6084539)
If it's a real vaccine, I might consider it, but no more of these mRNA gene therapies mislabeled as vaccines.


The Onion wants their bit back. Wait? Are you serious? <Checks notes>

Please, with your obvious medical knowledge and training, define "vaccine" and how the mRNA vaccines (note: Correct word) are in fact not ... vaccines. Thanks!
   36. Ron J Posted: June 29, 2022 at 03:34 PM (#6084542)
#13 Why would anybody take snaps seriously about anything?
   37. NaOH Posted: June 29, 2022 at 03:35 PM (#6084543)
but reporting? seems like everyone thinks they're an expert - no experience required!


This happens with plenty of fields: food, hospitality, politics, public relations, sports, infrastructure.... You can take off your martyr hat. Or buy hats for all of the afflicted and start a Facebook group. The problem has nothing to do with expertise or ignorance, it's people over-valuing their opinions and feeling compelled to share those opinions.
   38. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 29, 2022 at 03:35 PM (#6084544)
Oh don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I could do their job. As anyone who reads the stuff I write on SoxTherapy here I am not any kind of a writer. I would be living in a box if I had to make my living through writing and it wouldn't even be a nice box.

I question your comment about NY/NJ writers not being fans of the teams they cover. Now maybe we are talking past each other but I suspect that the beat writer for the Daily News or the Times is probably a Yankee/Met fan but at the same time they have the ability to shut it off or at least tone it down a bit.

if there is a front-office scandal with the Avalanche next month, and this writer suggests it is overblown - will you take him seriously, or just figure he's a fan, after all, so....?


This is of course a different kettle of fish. I think as a reader I'd rather have a good knowledge about the guy being an Avs fan so that when I read his stuff I can mentally adjust for his commentary. Depending on the nature of the scandal I think this is where we can point out that maybe asking sportswriters to write about crime issues is a bad idea (in much the same way asking a crime writer to write a gamer on deadline would be a bad idea). The guy who spends the majority of his time writing about why Nathan McKinnon needs to take longer shifts or Devon Toews ices the puck too much probably isn't the guy who can dig into the financial elements of the Kroenke's complicate ownership structure.

I appreciate the feedback though. Interesting stuff.
   39. Jay Seaver Posted: June 29, 2022 at 03:56 PM (#6084555)
However, the vaccination status of the players wasn’t a surprise, and it doesn’t seem like the Red Sox had a plan beyond muddling through with the remaining guys.


It wasn't a surprise to me, no, but I'm not sure how much the average person turning on NESN last night knew why Resfynder was playing instead of Duran or why Houck wasn't an option at the end. That's on top of how actually watching this happening can turn a person from "eh, no skin off my nose" to "that selfish SOB".

if you're writing a gamer story on a tight deadline - and in this era, that means all of them - and you give a #### about the controversial call at the end of the contest, it's likely to interfere with your ability to explain what happened to, you know, fans.


I don't know, I tend to figure that if having an opinion about something prevents you from writing well about it, you're either not cut out for the job or maybe should stick to something as relatively trivial as sports. We're in a thread that refers to the coronavirus here, and I don't think anybody expects people who write about science and medicine to pretend that they don't actually care how far a contagious disease spreads. I'm heading north to cover a film festival in a couple weeks and, yeah, I'm an unimportant blogger, but everybody expects entertainment writers to have favorites and still honestly appraise the third movie in a series they've enjoyed.

Honestly, I'd rather have a writer who has a point of view, acknowledges it, and makes the effort to both include appropriate context and build a reputation for being trustworthy than one who insists they are above the topic.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: June 29, 2022 at 04:04 PM (#6084558)
Blame Canada!!

Barring some health issues I don't know about, I think Houck is a moron on this issue. But Shaugnessy is a moron on many issues. Sandy Koufax famously "abandoned" his teammates ... in Game 1 of the World Series!! ... over his silly religious beliefs. Gil Meche (and others I assume) "abandoned" his teammates by deciding he would rather retire than rehab again.** Players regularly "abandon" their teammates over silly things like the birth of a child or the death in the family. Lots of things are more important than baseball.

** Not that it was very likely he'd have been able to rejoin them even if he'd rehabbed again.
   41. Howie Menckel Posted: June 29, 2022 at 04:10 PM (#6084559)
it's not that the writers don't have opinions - it's just that, if they do their job, they are not always aligned with the team's talking points (or always against the team's talking points, for that matter).

so a writer might agree with the team's reluctance to sign a veteran player to a longterm contract one day, and disagree with their belief that they don't need bullpen help the next day.

if an entertainment writer loves (or hates) every movie a prominent and accomplished actor has ever been in, that's the same blind-spot scenario. it's not lacking opinions, it's having opinions independent of what a team wants you to tell the fans that's the important thing. or being able to see a difference between an actor's best and worst work, in their honest opinion.

there are plenty of fans who think - and post here all the time - that "writers have to suck up to the star players, or else they'll lose access."

that goes exactly to my earlier point - because THEY can't imagine threading that needle, they believe nobody else can, either.
and that's why they wouldn't make it out there, because they are very, very wrong. there's an expertise needed, just as any profession requires expertise that not everyone has.

(not that any of this is going to change anyone's mind, alas.)
   42. The Duke Posted: June 29, 2022 at 04:14 PM (#6084561)
Snapper is mostly right here. The vaccines are largely impotent for younger people. Everyone still gets it. More importantly, it's just a cold for them.

If I were 55 and over I'd be boosted.....as it is I am, and I am boosted. This should come as no surprise - the vaccines were not developed for omnicron. It's like getting a flu shot from 2020, would you do that ?

So if I am weighing myocarditis vs omnicron, why get vaccinated if I'm a ballplayer. All you have to do is google death by age group to see the obvious on who this virus impacts and it's not ballplayers.

Bottom line is that they have been wrong about transmission being through touch, wrong about masks, wrong about the vaccines being a cure (it's only a mitigating), wrong about the schools, wrong about "double-masking", wrong about vaccinated people can't get covid and wrong about vaccinated people can't transmit covid.

It's not a great track record so let people make their own choices - an uninformed rational person is as likely to be right as Fauci who has been wrong about almost everything.
   43. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 04:29 PM (#6084566)
A Denver Post beat writer is taking a beating on Twitter for posting a photo of himself, cigar in mouth, raising the Stanley Cup over his head (apparently at an "after party") the night the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup.

Is the issue that the reporter is a fan of the team or that the reporter hoisted the Cup, an honor I thought that was traditionally reserved for players who won it.
   44. Jay Seaver Posted: June 29, 2022 at 04:41 PM (#6084570)
that goes exactly to my earlier point - because THEY can't imagine threading that needle, they believe nobody else can, either.


It sounds like you're the one that can't imagine threading that needle, saying that writers must either be disinterested in what they report on, or at least present themselves as such. And, sure, in many ways that's safer, especially when the writer who is an open fan has to write something negative about a player's performance and then deal with the fallout. I'm not sure it makes for better or even more honest writing, though.
   45. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 29, 2022 at 04:41 PM (#6084571)
I suspect that the beat writer for the Daily News or the Times is probably a Yankee/Met fan

The Times hasn't had a Yankees/Mets beat writer all year. They'll have a feature story on baseball now and then, but you're lucky if you see an actual Yankees or Mets game story by a Times writer more than once or twice a month. Their sports department is a big fat joke, with an editor who obviously thinks baseball is an afterthought to various Beautiful Games and political issues.

As for Houck, he's a bleeping idiot but as a Yankees fan I say three cheers for his idiocy, and I hope they play the Blue Jays in the postseason.
   46. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 29, 2022 at 04:57 PM (#6084573)
Two things can be simultaneously true: Houck is a dumbass for not getting vaccinated and Trudeau is a dumbass for maintaining the vaccine mandate policy.
   47. greenback needs a ride, not ammo Posted: June 29, 2022 at 05:52 PM (#6084589)
Honestly, I'd rather have a writer who has a point of view, acknowledges it, and makes the effort to both include appropriate context and build a reputation for being trustworthy than one who insists they are above the topic.

I would refine this and say that some part of the attitude is that sportswriters like to think they are above the fans. To pick an extreme example, if Murray Chass is just another baseball fan with a blog, then nobody would give a hoot what he thinks, not even Murray Chass.

Which reminds me, Lassus never did answer Ron J's question in #36.
   48. villageidiom Posted: June 29, 2022 at 06:08 PM (#6084592)
However, the vaccination status of the players wasn’t a surprise, and it doesn’t seem like the Red Sox had a plan beyond muddling through with the remaining guys. An alternate closer would now seem like an even greater priority, with the late-season Toronto series potentially affecting the Red Sox playoff prospects, along with the distinct possibility that any WildCard match-up could be against Toronto, with all the games played there.
Last night they ended the game with Hansel Robles, arguably the team's closer before Houck, on the mound trying to close it. He entered with no out and the tying run on 2nd (and the winning run on 1st), and gave up 2 ground balls that found infield gaps. Had they been hit at slightly more favorable trajectories Boston would've won. So, like, it seems Boston had a plan. Sometimes plans don't work out. But as always, your concern for their plans is noted.

I'd personally prefer that they have a better backup plan by September than Hansel Robles, but by that point in the season they will ideally be looking for spots for Garrett Whitlock and Chris Sale. And, I suppose, there's always the possibility that Matt Barnes finally bounces back to his prior level. I'm not saying the backup plan will just work itself out, but they don't seem to be in MUST ACQUIRE TOP RELIEVER mode by any stretch.

If they'd rather retain Houck and treat it like any other player absence, I'm fine with it, and if they'd rather trade him for someone of similar caliber, I'm fine with it, too. I'm just glad they recognized that if they're too scared to let him pitch a 3rd time against the order he's not going to give them the innings they need from a starter, and found a better use for him.
   49. villageidiom Posted: June 29, 2022 at 06:09 PM (#6084593)
Also, this:
I was hoping the headline was literal, but no it is just a metaphor. Boo.
   50. John Northey Posted: June 29, 2022 at 06:24 PM (#6084602)
Surprised this hasn't blown up to a 1000 comments from the anti-vaxx nuts. As a Jays fan I like to remind people that the Jays can only have vaccinated players now as otherwise the players would have to pick a country to play in - you can't travel from Canada to the USA without a vaccine, nor can you go USA to Canada without one. Thus part of why Robbie Ray couldn't be resigned last winter, and part of why Kirby Snead had to be traded (minor part of a deal as he really isn't much), and it limits the Jays on trades now - I figure one of the first questions Atkins asks is the vaccine status of any guy he is interested in. Luckily the team is a close knit group so it becomes part of the team culture I suspect - the us vs the world aspect.
   51. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 29, 2022 at 07:10 PM (#6084613)
The media blowing up is inane. I don't agree with Houck's stance, but who knows, he may have blown the save anyway.

Everyone should be upset that after blowing like 8-9 games in the late innings of April, that the Red Sox actually think Robles can be effective. They have 14 pitchers; pick anyone but Robles.

   52. Robbo Posted: June 29, 2022 at 07:52 PM (#6084618)
"Countries should be allowed to decide who can and can't enter them!"


"No, not like that!"
   53. Howie Menckel Posted: June 29, 2022 at 08:20 PM (#6084626)
Is the issue that the reporter is a fan of the team or that the reporter hoisted the Cup, an honor I thought that was traditionally reserved for players who won it.

several issues:

- the reporter puts out a strong vibe that he is a fanboy by sending out the tweet (and by getting to leave it up, it makes his bosses look lame as well). if he isn't, well, he sure as hell looks like one.
- yes, there are plenty of hockey players who take offense at ANYONE but them hoisting the Cup. it's seen as that, well, sacred for them.

Honestly, I'd rather have a writer who has a point of view, acknowledges it, and makes the effort to both include appropriate context and build a reputation for being trustworthy than one who insists they are above the topic.

well, I already explained about how writers DO have points of view, and express them. so not sure where that comes from. maybe you skipped a post or two.
it's just mystifying to media in many of the largest markets how the writers can cover the team and retain their fandom (if they even had it to begin with). it just seems so.... complicated and distracting to the job. but it's hard for fans to see it, because they'll never not be fans, no matter what.

I would refine this and say that some part of the attitude is that sportswriters like to think they are above the fans.

if any of them think that, then they are very dumb. the fans are the very reason for the existence of their jobs. to a great extent, the writers work for them. the writers are neither above nor below the fans - they're just not fans. they'll all human - and so is Fido next door and a service dog. but one has a role of playing with the family, and another has a specific job to do. there's a reason they have signs about not petting service dogs (or bomb-sniffing dogs, etc).
there's a difference between play and work, that's all.

meanwhile, I hope I now give up, after reminding myself to heed the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
   54. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 29, 2022 at 08:28 PM (#6084627)

The Covid vaccines have risk factors, of heart inflammation and blood clots. A professional athlete who earns his living with his physical body performance has absolutely every right to decline those risk factors.

COVID also has risk factors of heart inflammation and blood clots, among other things. Even for healthy young athletes.

The vaccines appear to be just as effective at preventing Omicron infection, hospitalization and death as they were for Delta. But Omicron is just so much more transmissible that lots of vaccinated people still get it.

As I noted earlier, I still think everyone should get vaccinated, but once Omicron happened I became less convinced that vaccine mandates made sense outside of settings like nursing homes and the like. If they develop a vaccine that is more effective against Omicron I'll feel differently.
   55. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 29, 2022 at 08:38 PM (#6084631)
Everyone should be upset that after blowing like 8-9 games in the late innings of April, that the Red Sox actually think Robles can be effective. They have 14 pitchers; pick anyone but Robles.
Danish started the inning, and put the first two batters on base.
   56. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 29, 2022 at 08:42 PM (#6084632)
Danish started the inning, and put the first two batters on base.


yeah, I'm well aware, I watched the game. They still had another few guys they could've chosen and they chose to run up the white flag instead.
   57. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 29, 2022 at 09:10 PM (#6084644)
Two things can be simultaneously true: Houck is a dumbass for not getting vaccinated and Trudeau is a dumbass for maintaining the vaccine mandate policy.

Or maybe Trudeau is just a Blue Jays fan who's seizing an opportunity to exploit other teams' self-imposed weaknesses.
   58. bookbook Posted: June 29, 2022 at 10:00 PM (#6084663)
There is a vaccine that is more effective against Omicron. Approval coming this fall….
   59. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: June 30, 2022 at 06:45 AM (#6084707)
Vaccines that lessen the severity of COVID without providing 100% immunity are still worthwhile.
   60. Ron J Posted: June 30, 2022 at 07:31 AM (#6084709)
Something that may surprise a lot of Americans is that the rules are reciprocal here (though not formally tied). Unless I've missed something recently you can't enter the US unvaccinated either. Though apparently it's a pretty good bet that you'll be admitted if travelling by car as it's seemingly not something they check frequently.
   61. Lassus Posted: June 30, 2022 at 07:57 AM (#6084710)
I can't think of any writer in the NY/NJ market over the years who was a fan of the team they covered.

Really? I know he's a broadcaster, but various Howie Cohen types across a thirty team league can't be THAT unusual.
   62. Lassus Posted: June 30, 2022 at 07:59 AM (#6084711)
COVID also has risk factors of heart inflammation and blood clots, among other things. Even for healthy young athletes.

And they aren't close to a parallel result (not that you were saying that). Give 100 million people a COVID vaccine and the other 100 million COVID, see how that works out mathematically.
   63. Lassus Posted: June 30, 2022 at 08:29 AM (#6084715)
I can't think of any writer in the NY/NJ market over the years who was a fan of the team they covered.
Really? I know he's a broadcaster, but various Howie Cohen types across a thirty team league can't be THAT unusual.


My brain got mixed up while I was writing, I was thinking baseball but mean more the THIRTEEN pro NY/NJ teams.
   64. The_Ex Posted: June 30, 2022 at 08:32 AM (#6084716)
I believe the US still has a vaccine requirement for non citizens, just like Canada. I saw Novak Djokovic saying this week that he couldn't play in the US open because he is not vaccinated.

So, I believe that all "foreign" players in MLB are vaccinated as they have to be to get into the US. It seems that the players who can't come to Canada are all US citizens.

Has their been any latino players who couldn't come to Toronto?
   65. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 30, 2022 at 08:33 AM (#6084717)
I have a good friend who was a Yankees beat writer and was also a Yankee fan. Before that he had been a Red Sox reporter for a different publication. I don’t think it was ever an issue.
   66. Howie Menckel Posted: June 30, 2022 at 08:41 AM (#6084719)
I know he's a broadcaster, but various Howie Cohen types across a thirty team league can't be THAT unusual.

Most, if not all, local broadcasters are paid by the teams. They are literally rooting for those that pay their salaries, which of course is not the same thing. There should be a different standard for them, naturally, as with any employees of a team.

A "reporter" whose tweet reads "probably the most memorable moment of my career" above his Stanley Cup hoist naturally confuses the issue for fans about who works for a team and who doesn't. This same fanboy's 2016 tweet noting "fans websites are cool! Just don't confuse them with journalists" has gotten quite a bit of attention as well.

   67. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 30, 2022 at 08:48 AM (#6084720)
Has their been any latino players who couldn't come to Toronto?


I don't know but I seem to recall that there was talk at one time of the Blue Jays signing one of the Cuban stars (the elder Gurriel?) to play only home games (the embargo and assorted issues around that meant he couldn't play in the US).
   68. Ron J Posted: June 30, 2022 at 11:07 AM (#6084745)
#64 Yeah, I posted something similar and now that I think about it I can confirm the rules are still in effect. Just last week a pastor with a medical exemption was denied entry into the US.

story
   69. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: June 30, 2022 at 11:16 AM (#6084748)
The vaccines were valuable before Omicron. Now, why bother? The protective period is now measured in low single digit months. I got vaccinated, still got COVID, like nearly everyone I know. I'll never get another shot. Not worth the health risks, unless you're in both a highly vulnerable group and have never had it. If you've had the disease, natural immunity is far more protective as the "experts" have finally admitted.
I've had the disease, why would I get vaccinated again?



xkcd
   70. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: June 30, 2022 at 11:23 AM (#6084751)
And they aren't close to a parallel result (not that you were saying that). Give 100 million people a COVID vaccine and the other 100 million COVID, see how that works out mathematically.

we already do that once every year. the "lame" "stream" "media" calls it "christmas".
   71. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 30, 2022 at 11:24 AM (#6084752)
Re 52: Reminds me of

Society: "Be yourself!"

Society, later: "No, not like that...!"
   72. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 30, 2022 at 11:27 AM (#6084755)
Trudeau is a dumbass for maintaining the vaccine mandate policy.


You know that the same policy that stopped Houck from playing in Toronto would also stop a non-American-born citizen playing for the Blue Jays (like Vladdy Jr.) from entering the US if they weren't vaccinated, right?

This is the part that I think most people don't realize. The border issue works BOTH WAYS.

CDC page for non-U.S. Citizen/non-U.S. Immigrants : Travel to and from US

Relevant passage:

You must be fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to travel to the United States by plane if you are a non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa). Only limited exceptions apply.


So, while everyone thinks the Blue Jays are exploiting an advantage by playing in Canada (despite playing 1.5 seasons "on the road" during the pandemic), they would be MORE disadvantaged if they had an unvaccinated non-US player because they could ONLY play home games in Toronto.

Edit: I see #64 explained it as well.
   73. Ron J Posted: June 30, 2022 at 12:48 PM (#6084769)
#72 And as the story I linked demonstrated they aren't kidding about the "only limited exceptions" bit. They will make you jump through hoops. Your doctor's signature isn't good enough (though it is mandatory) -- they'll evaluate your explanation against their criteria meaning in practice you'll have to get into the specifics of the medical issues that prevent you from being vaccinated and hope it passes muster at the border.
   74. Snowboy Posted: June 30, 2022 at 02:26 PM (#6084786)
yes, there are plenty of hockey players who take offense at ANYONE but them hoisting the Cup. it's seen as that, well, sacred for them.


Can confirm.
You can stand next to the Stanley Cup and, if you dare, you can touch it.
You can hug it? Honest affection is appreciated.
You can, if you feel that you've earned it, hold it at your waist.
But you will be cautioned if you are near it by anyone who knows, including the "keepers" who travel with it year-round, that you should not lift it above your head, unless you are/were a player (or a coach) on a team that has won it.

If you have not earned it, but you choose to hoist it...enjoy the moment, but be prepared that there may be blowback.
Blowback filled with wrath.

Oh, and don't drop-kick it into the Rideau Canal. That is not appreciated.
   75. The_Ex Posted: June 30, 2022 at 02:39 PM (#6084788)
The Jays had Robbie Ray last season and he could have returned as a free agent. But as we saw when Seattle went to Toronto, he stayed home, unvaxxed. If the Jays had signed him, he could only have played in road games.
   76. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 30, 2022 at 03:18 PM (#6084801)
But you will be cautioned if you are near it by anyone who knows, including the "keepers" who travel with it year-round, that you should not lift it above your head, unless you are/were a player (or a coach) on a team that has won it.


Are the players who've won it allowed to bestow that privilege on others? Here's how the reporter in question (or as Howie calls him, "reporter") described how it happened:

"I walked near the Cup with no intention of touching it and was approached by Gabe Landeskog," Chambers notes. "He bear-hugged me for about a minute, with mostly him talking. He thanked me for my professionalism and class in my coverage. It was mutual professional respect. Gabe and I go back to 2011, when he joined the Avs at age eighteen. We've had a long history through the ups and downs of the team's play, of my coverage. To that end, Gabe wanted to take a picture with me and the Cup. I obliged. He held one side, I held the other. I let go and he then handed it to me and said something like 'Hold it high.'"
   77. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 30, 2022 at 03:19 PM (#6084802)
including the "keepers" who travel with it year-round,


Hat tip here to Phil who I don't think has changed in a quarter of a century.
   78. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 30, 2022 at 03:26 PM (#6084809)
Okay, if a player who won the cup tells you to hold it up, I think you are excused.

I mean, is anyone going to be upset if a player has their teenage daughter give it a hoist during his day with the cup?
   79. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 30, 2022 at 03:37 PM (#6084821)
Yeah, I think it's a bit unprofessional to post that on social media. But if Gabe Landeskog tells me to hoist the cup, I'm going to do it.
   80. Snowboy Posted: June 30, 2022 at 05:15 PM (#6084855)
I am not a journalist, or a doctor (although I could probably play one, or either, on tv?)
I'm just a fan, and here's my unofficial list of the 2022 players placed on the restricted list (R) for not being vaccinated against covid and hence not allowed to travel into Canada to play @Toronto, and hopefully a list of those who were activated (A) or called up or however the team described it.
Source? the not-100% reliable team "Transaction" pages at mlb.com

TEX (08-10APR)- (R) nothing official
OAK (15-17APR)- (R) P-Kirby Snead, P-A.J. Puk, C-Austin Allen
OAK (15-17APR)- (A) P-Zach Logue, P-Ryan Castellani, C-Christian Bethancourt
BOS (25-28APR)- (R) P-Tanner Houck, P-Kutter Crawford
BOS (25-28APR)- (A) P-Tyler Danish, P-John Schreiber
HOU (29APR-01MAY) (R) nothing official
NYY (02-04MAY)- (R) nothing official
SEA (16-18MAY)- (R) P-Drew Steckenrider
SEA (16-18MAY)- (A) P-Roenis Elias
CIN (20-22MAY)- (R) P-Tyler Mahle, OF-Albert Almora Jr, P-Joel Kuhnel, IF-Brandon Drury
CIN (20-22MAY)- (A) P-Graham Ashcraft, IF-Taylor Motter, OF-Aristides Aquino, IF-Joey Votto
CWS (31MAY-02JUN)- (R) P-Kendall Graveman, P-Dylan Cease
CWS (31MAY-02JUN)- (A) P-Kyle Crick
MIN (02-05JUN)- (R) P-Caleb Thielbar, P-Trevor Megill, P-Emilio Pagan, OF-Max Kepler
MIN (02-05JUN)- (A) P-Chi Chi Gonzalez, P-Ian Hamilton, P-Jharel Cotton, OF-Mark Contreras
BAL (13-16JUN)- (R) P-Keegan Akin, OF-Anthony Santander
BAL (13-16JUN)- (A) P-Rico Garcia, OF-Kyle Stowers
NYY (17-19JUN)- nothing official
BOS (27-29JUN)- (R) P-Tanner Houck, IF-Jarren Duran
BOS (27-29JUN)- (A) P-Connor Seabold, IF-Yolmer Sanchez
TBR (30JUN-03JUL)- (R) P-Brooks Raley, P-Ryan Thompson
TBR (30JUN-03JUL)- (A) P-Phoenix Sanders, P-Ryan Yarbrough

(Plus there is also, unofficially, SEA (16-18MAY) P-Robbie Ray. Ray pitched on short rest, Sunday 15MAY, @PHI. He did not travel with the team @TOR and he may have officially, or unofficially, wrecked several celebrations for his reigning Cy Young self.)

30Jun TOR record is 42-33
Home 23-15
Road 19-18
   81. Howie Menckel Posted: June 30, 2022 at 07:17 PM (#6084901)
Are the players who've won it allowed to bestow that privilege on others? Here's how the reporter in question (or as Howie calls him, "reporter") described how it happened:


I think it's a bit unprofessional to post that on social media. But if Gabe Landeskog tells me to hoist the cup, I'm going to do it.


both interesting points (enough to lure me back in), and I think I can speak for many but not all, obviously:

given their unusually long professional relationship, at the point where the player says he wants to have a photo taken with them and the Cup, it can become awkward to say no - thus not so egregious. practicality is allowed.

but then
- hoisting the Cup alone
- the cigar
- the disheveled look
- especially posting the photo on Twitter, with a caption "Probably the most memorable moment of my career"
- especially leaving it up on Twitter, which tells you his editors love it
- his 2016 tweet: "fans websites are cool! Just don't confuse them with journalists."

it's like a circumstantial case where one particular factor is no big deal, but add them up and....

already in here, someone understandably - not being in the business - seemed unaware that the broadcasters are team employees. the way this guy acted, I couldn't blame a fan who now thinks he is, too (plenty of pro athletes also miss this distinction, believe it or not, so they get confused by a 'negative' article). so he blurred the line for all of his colleagues, and he doesn't even get it.

back to the "not so egregious" part:

years ago I land an interview with a zillionaire - as in, he's looking to buy a pro sports team in the NY/NJ area. this guy's FU money has FU money, in other words.

in-person interview goes well, and at the end, this guy opens a huge closet in his office and pulls out a yellow cashmere golf sweater and tries to hand it to me. I demur, and he says, 'c'mon, it's a piece of ####.'

I believe him - in the sense that it's probably a $200 item that he wouldn't even put on his dog. he's more the $1,200 golf sweater type.

he gently pushes it forward, I gently push it back, and the dance is on. finally, I 'win the battle' as he surrenders.

the intermediary - with these guys, there's always an intermediary - says to me later, "I thought he had you there."

"One more push, and I had to take it," I replied.

months go by, it's Christmastime, and a huge box arrives at the office. (not unusual for gifts to be sent to the office, even though obviously we as a profession don't accept gifts. so yes, it's weird.)

a small crowd gathers as I open the box - and it's from this guy, and it's a ..... expensive-looking bathrobe.

there is quiet at first, then a few murmurs - as you can imagine - to the effect of, "now, how did you land that interview again?"
lol

gift goes to a charity (as the sweater would have as well), and I always picture some guy on the street, down on his luck, who suddenly gets to feel a little like a 'boss.'

   82. Snowboy Posted: June 30, 2022 at 09:16 PM (#6084935)
   83. Jay Seaver Posted: July 01, 2022 at 02:34 PM (#6085197)
According to the Red Sox radio broadcast, Jarren Duran, at least, will be vaccinated by the time the team returns to Toronto at the end of the season. No word about Houck and/or Sale (who pitches in Worcester next week and will probably be facing these questions when he returns to the team thereafter).
   84. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: July 01, 2022 at 02:54 PM (#6085203)
You can stand next to the Stanley Cup and, if you dare, you can touch it.


I was at a White Sox game some years ago, a summer after the Blackhawks won one of their recent cups. I had just gotten food and drink at a concession stand where there's a large crowd coming down the main concourse making a huge ruckus. It's the cup. It passed so close to me that I could have touched it, and would have tried if I wasn't holding about $50 worth of food and beer with both hands.
   85. Snowboy Posted: July 01, 2022 at 04:17 PM (#6085243)
So you got nachos and a soda?
Cool story Misirlou, and thanks for not getting cheese on The Cup.
Ruckus, that's a good word; seems like a Chicago word.
   86. Textbook Editor Posted: July 01, 2022 at 04:49 PM (#6085253)
DFA Robles already. WTF are we doing even giving him a roster spot?
   87. Howie Menckel Posted: July 01, 2022 at 04:59 PM (#6085254)
young gal who covers the Rams for The Athletic posed for a photo of herself giddily holding the Lombardi Trophy after the Rams [owned by the same guy who owns the Avalanche] won the Super Bowl in February, adding "Oh my gosh!" as the caption.

my favorite Twitter reply was this one, with the 4th sentence doing all the work:

@JourdanRodrigue another amazing article. Relived the game! Your insight into this team is amazing, and you looked amazing holding the Lombardi! You are a key member of the team! We are blessed to have you share your stories with us!

.............

[the Avalanche fanboy had it right in that 2016 tweet above: "fans websites are cool! Just don't confuse them with journalists."]

   88. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: July 01, 2022 at 05:15 PM (#6085258)
Some folks on Staten Island might take issue with that assessment.
   89. shoelesjoe Posted: July 01, 2022 at 06:42 PM (#6085277)
Houck chose to abandon his teammates. His personal freedom is more important.


All this week I'm hearing people screaming "My body, My choice!". Who'd a thunk they were all selfish pudknockers.
   90. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 01, 2022 at 07:18 PM (#6085291)
A woman who has an abortion can't transmit an abortion virus to anyone else.

Houck made his choice, and the Red Sox have had to live with it. Are we supposed to sympathize with him?
   91. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 01, 2022 at 07:53 PM (#6085301)
A woman who has an abortion can't transmit an abortion virus to anyone else.


Have you researched this? Because I looked on Youtube (now I am an expert), and ...

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