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Make way for Papi

If I told you once, I've told you a thousand times: Dude, plan the fuck ahead!


Juan Gone as a Red Sock. I love it. Classic Theo move. Low risk. High reward.


Meanwhile, the current version of the most dangerous hittah in baseball returns to camp today. Make way for Papi.


Glad to have him back, of course, though tough luck for Ortiz and his fellow Dominicans.


As the sushi eatahs are about to discovah, nobody beats the Cubans in beisbol.


Yeah, I hear the Cubans are extra-motivated … Fidel told them that if they win they get an extra ration of beans and sugah for a whole month!


But, heh, you know, it's easy to laugh but as poor as they are at least every Cuban has health care.


Absolutely. Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press blah blah over fucking rated blah … What really counts in life is being able to see a doctah for free and shit.



I have much confidence in my Nihonji brethren. They shall send the commy buggers to their doom!

As for the Sox, I'm confident that J-Gone will make things happen, as will Lowell and the rest of the crew come opening day. My first pre-season game will air nationally next week, and I have half a chubby in anticipation.

It's good to see at least one outlet willing to even mention the fact that the Cuban players are slaves, with their families under constant threat of harm.

Good to see that hb is not a member of the media elite, the power players who fall over themselves to fete Castro when he makes it over here on occasion...How long does it take to wash off the blood of tens of 1000s of your countrymen (who you killed for their beliefs) before an upper-east side cocktail party?

Lowell I still have low expectations for, but the J-gon signing is pretty great. I mean, the worst case scenario is that Dustan Mohr is ripping the cover off the ball and we're putting in an underachieving Gonzalez. The best case scenario is having the ultimate platoon in right field, with total mashers from both sides of the plate. Or, Coco / Trot / Papi (1b) / Manny / Gonzalez (DH) / Trot / Lowell / Loretta / A. Gonzalez, for a quite ridiculous lineup.

Hell, I'm excited.

WTF, did Fieldcrest call about a missing towel shipment?

funny stuff from the Sahpranoze

If Juan-Gon can stay healthy, what an awesome pinch hitter he could be. When the Yanks used to send Sierra to the plate late in the game, I'd be near shitting myself. Hopefully Gonzalez can have that kind of an impact and be less of a douche-bag than he has in the past...

I like Tek's comments on the WBC. If we're gonna play, let's PLAY.

The USA, and the best Dominicans, are in early spring training form. The Cubans were all ready.

Another Theo quote on the signing:

"He used to be a good player, and he's willing to go to the minor leagues. No risk."

I'll bet it makes Juan Gone feel all warm and fuzzy to hear his new employer speak of his career in the past tense. In any case, I find the Wily Mo Pena rumor to be much more interesting.

"Good to see that hb is not a member of the media elite, the power players who fall over themselves to fete Castro when he makes it over here on occasion..."

It's fun knocking over strawmen, no?

Byebye Bronson-rock on in Cincy

Wily Mo and Coco too.It sounds like a kids story.

"It's fun knocking over strawmen, no?"

I bet the Mariel Boatlift people would say the same to Castro.

"I bet the Mariel Boatlift people would say the same to Castro."

What does that have to do with my point? Exactly who are these "Media Elite" who are falling all over themselves to praise Castro these days? It's been a long time since the national media painted anything but a grim picture of life in Cuba.

And of much greater interest to Sox Nation:

Arroyo traded to Cincy for Wily Mo Pena. Done deal. Love it. I'd fuck this deal if I could.

Probably a reasonable deal, Wily Mo for Boyo, but setting business needs aside, sorry to see Arroyo go. Big part of '04; tough, ballsy pitcher; and he signed that handshake deal this year to stay in Boston (in a year when few other players/execs were showing love for the Sox). The cornrows had to go, and the sweeping breaker didn't always function as expected, but he's a gamer.

Those talented Cuban guys...they can't choose where to showcase their God-given talent because the state threatens their families. Cuba's best players were left on their island prison because they were defection risks.

Memories are painfully short these days, it seems people don't recall during the Elian period how we were force fed from several media sources how great the Cuban educational and health care system is. (as hb skillfully alluded to) I'm sure that was a massive consolation for the (tens of thousands of) Cubans who have died under Castro's boot.

"Memories are painfully short these days, it seems people don't recall during the Elian period how we were force fed from several media sources how great the Cuban educational and health care system is"

Care to actually back that up with some proof? Yeah, right, the media loves to paint Cuba under Castro as one big Shangri-La.

I'm with Ike on the cornrows but I don't like losing Bronson. He's no Cy Young but he is incredibly dependable. He took a below market deal to stay with in Boston because he likes pitching there. With a rotation of injury ladden Schilling and Beckett, a whiny Wells, and an untested Papelbon, it would have been nice to have him around either as a starter or in the bullpen. While I do think the aforementioned started will do just fine, we lost a nice piece of insurance today.

NY Times, June 14, 2000:
"Cuba's literacy rate is 96 percent... Though Cuba historically enjoyed high literacy rates, Castro's revolution is credited even by the State Department for expanding its reach beyond urban areas. Indeed, while in Havana, i run into a group of teachers from New England visiting elementary schools to study Cuban literacy techniques..."

I wish I had more than 2 minutes a few times a day to scan this site and drop a comment, but hear me now and believe me later: If I had an afternoon to do a comprehensive search I could find dozens of examples in major media outlets of the following type of equivalency:

Statement: Cuba is in the top 5 of the most politically violent and repressive regimes in the world.

Rejoinder: The cuban system provides outstanding services to it citizens, health care, education, et al...

And let's not forget former media mogul and founder of CNN Ted Turner who pretty much is in love with Castro and takes every opportunity to tell us how great the guy is. :)

And among the "hate America" crowd, it's pretty common for someone to bring out the "Cuba has universal health care, has more doctors per capita than the US, has a higher literacy rate than the US, and has a lower infant mortality rate than the US" as a means of suggesting that somehow Cuba has it right and the US has it wrong. (Of course, the US is always wrong among that bunch.)

Finally, there's all the "Che" iconography among the hipster crowd, and I'm willing to bet my next paycheck that the average Gen X-er (or Y-er) knows far more about the life of of Che Guevera than say Thomas Jefferson or Alexander Hamilton.

It's this kind of stuff that Doug was alluding to in his line in today's strip.

Tell it like it is, bother.

Again, where is the proof of bias in any of this? All I see is ryan actually quoting a fact backed up by the State Department. I simply don't see mainstream media sources trying to claim that Cuba is an open society, or anything other than a repressive regime. And c'mon h.b....the Hate America bunch? Been watching a lot of Fox News lately, huh?

interesting that i don't see all these pro castro people moving to the paradise down there in cuba.

i don't see no boatloads of americans landing on cuban beaches to try to live there

i don't see no american/ japanese/ korean/ european/ australian/ canadian ballplayers defecting to baseball paradise down there

and who knows where the "doctors" get trained. or what exactly you get for "free health care" and why should anyone just believe their numbers for infant mortality or "literacy" - it's not like there's anyone to check them.

I'm willing to bet my next paycheck that the average person wearing a "Che" shirt knows absolutely nothing about Che Guevera or Alexander Hamilton and couldn't speak for more than thirty seconds about Thomas Jefferson.

And c'mon h.b....the Hate America bunch? Been watching a lot of Fox News lately, huh?

Fox News hates America, too? The sonsabitches...

The Pink Hat Brigade weeps today as Arroyo packs his bags and heads out of Boston.

Good luck throwing that no-hitter I always predicted for you, Cornrows.

Castro isn't Jesus Christ, touching the masses with good health and education...but neither is he Saddam Hussein, tyrannically raping the women and killing the men.

Most actions that anti-Castro debaters bring up (human rights, indiscriminate killing) are actually the results of US/CIA policies to turn Cubans against Castro (making him somewhat paranoid about his own citizens) AND are about 20-40 years in the past.

Most defendants of Castro use arguments (education, healthcare) that are difficult to prove without better access to the people without going through Castro's own political spin and the Cuban nationals are motivated by their repulsion to the way the US has treated Cuba since the Bay of Pigs.

As far as I can tell, Castro has mellowed with age but has been affected by early anti-US sentiment (and who can blaim him or us given the history). Yet, he does play nicer when it comes to US-Cuba relations not pertaining to us trying to usurp his power or undermine his authority (e.g., his offer of help after Katrina).

Meanwhile, we continue to antagonize him (e.g., the recent scrolling billboard at the US Embassy that extolls the wrongs of Cuba and the benefits of democracy). It's a perfect example of how our current warhawk leadership would rather escalate an issue (sometimes on false pretense, other times not) and bring it to the point of foaming at the mouth in order to swing at the problem with our military. Personally, I would find a "live and let live" attitude more appealing with regards to Cuba, specifically. Remove our embargo and play nice and I bet we'd get the same response from Castro and it would benefit his country if not our own.

Until the fall of the USSR, Cuba was reliant on Russian trade to keep itself going as well as it was. Since the fall of the USSR, Cuba hasn't had the same kind of economic success and we really botched a chance to fulfill that role for them and in time bring them around (not to democracy, that won't happen without a popular movement, but at least to feeling we're not out to crush them with every action).

On the scale of crazy political leaders, Castro doesn't even come close to a nut like Jong Il or half of the genocidal African tribal lords whose names I don't even know. I'm sure Castro leans heavy on people who might bruise his ego by leaving for "capitalism" rather than support his brand of communism and that's not necessarily good either. Then again, we've got a chieftain who's designed a policy of butting in if he feels it justifies "spreading democracy" even when the people themselves aren't necessarily positioned for it.

It'd be nice to see Cuba win (particularly after initially being told that they weren't allowed...just because they are Cuba). It would give Cubans something to be legitimately proud of without needing to infuse something mundane with slight paranoia and a lot of jingoistic and anti-American rhetoric like they usually have to.

Thanks, Bronson. I'll buy you a beer any time.

But... Wily Mo Pena? Holy Crap on a Stick! That's some serious game, boys. Let's get ready to tuck Trot in, cause WiMP, is a serious upgrade.



During games when Manny is DHing or resting, we can start the All Name Outfield: Trot, Coco, and Wily Mo.

Too awesome for words.

Wily. Fucking. Mo. Pena.

My faith in theo? potentially restored. Ridiculously awesome.

Then again, we've got a chieftain who's designed a policy of butting in if he feels it justifies "spreading democracy" even when the people themselves aren't necessarily positioned for it.

Yes, that mofo warmonger John F Kennedy and the Playa Giron. American hegemony at its worst.


Arrgh. Where do I even start on this one?

Cinci's my NL team, Boston's my AL team. It's always been stuck in my craw that my two teams battled one of the greatest World Series of all time.....three years before I was born.

I'm stuck with this sick feeling that this trade, which on paper looks like a terrific deal for both sides, will not work out for either....

On the other side, Cinci's now got Saturnalian nards, and Wily Mo can finally blossom alongside his countryman Big Papi. Here's hoping this trade lives up to expectations.

"Fox News hates America, too? The sonsabitches..."

Well, "Hate America Crowd" is a part of the GOP's Talking Points 101 course...

At least this political digression prompted a rather interesting post by Kaz.

Back on the Pena trade, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at this late date that there are a fair # of folks on SoSH and through the Sox Blogosphere who aren't happy with this deal...but it sure seemed to me like a trade Theo had to make.

We knew we weren't going to head into April with a 6-man rotation. We knew that Kapler (our previous platoon OF) wasn't going to be playable again for a while (May/June is the earliest I have heard). We have recently heard of Wells having a heart-to-heart moment with Varitek and getting ready to "come North" at the end of spring training.

The pieces all fit for a Bronson-"backup OF" trade.

The results are a Wily Mo who fits *everything* this team was still lacking:

  • OF - Check!
  • hits left-handers well - Check!
  • above-average speed - Check!

I can see him pinch-hitting late in games started by Trot, pinch-running off the bench if need be, starting in RF on LHP days, giving Coco rest if need be, and in a few years, we can pack him up and ship him out for more than he's worth because of his development into a mature hitter.

Welcome to the crazy corner, Wily Mo!

This has been a very good day.

Here's the thing about Wily Mo though. Lowell is hitting less than .220 right now, and even though he's a slow starter, this could prove problematic. So, if Lowell doesn't make it back to where he was, this gives us a tremendous first baseman, moving Youk back over to third.

So we have 2/3rds of a great outfield all set up, and another few prospects in the wings for the outfield. Or, we can move Pena to a new position like first, leaving Juan Gone a chance to prove himself at the MLB level once again.

Goddamn, I'm excited. For the first time, for whatever reason, I'm coming around to Crisp, since Pena and Crisp together makes a hell of a tandem.

Mmmm, Pena Crisps....

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