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Looking forward to June, shirt unbuttoned all lawn and sky

It's amazing just how quickly perceptions can flip …


I mean a couple of weeks ago the conventional wisdom was we lost Damon as a result of a front office in disarray and that the Yankees swooped in and took advantage of the Theo-less co-GM'ed Red Sox …


But now we learn that not only did Theo nevah fully leave, but that the Red Sox have been pursuing Coco Crisp since last Septembah.


And poor Johnny Damon is reduced to staring out his Manhattan window trying to rebuild his self esteem via intellectualizing — New York is the centah of the world. I'm in New York. Therefore, I am the centah of the world! It's still all about me, Johnny! Hey, Michelle, do these pants make my butt look big?


You know if he'd lay off with all the "I showed the Red Sox how to stop being afraid of failing" chest beating I might actually have some empathy for what must be a huge ego blow.


Yeah, I don't envy his situation. His formah club has snubbed him. He needs to prove to a hostile fan base that he's worth 13 mil a year. He's not getting any youngah.


But despite all that why is it I have the sinking feeling that Damon's first in Pinstripe appearance against the Red Sox he'll go 4-for-4 with a stolen base and a walkoff homah?


Oh, I'm mentally preparing myself for Damon to kill us all season long, but if that happens we need to remembah the biggah pictchah beyond just this season.


Absolutely. As Gammons says, "Allowing Damon to walk and patiently working to get Crisp is what the struggle for the soul of the Red Sox was all about."


I haven't felt this optimistic in a long time.


I know. The future's so bright I feel like a redneck with his first meth lab.



I have no doubt that Crisp will flourish in Boston, if only because he has a cute nickname which will allow the pink shirted fans to infantilize him. The evidence: They loved Pokey, even though he wasn’t much of a player. Players of color over the years have succeeded in Boston only when the fans have been able to infuse them with childlike qualities. George Scott? The Boomer. Mo Vaughn? Harmless titty show lover, but he loved his parents. Big Papi? ‘Nuff said. Sam Horn couldn’t play for crap, but now is an icon because the velvet rope crowd at SOSH has appropriated his haplessness for their own self-aggrandizement.

On the other hand…..

Jim Rice (the finest of them all)? A surly dude who could mash. Do you have any doubt while, however deserving, he is not in the HOF? Pedro presents an interesting question—grudgingly accepted because of his awesome talent and competitiveness, but ultimately not One of Us. The fans liked Pete with the dwarf, hated Pete with the early ticket from the park.

It is sad to say, but I believe this to be true. Name 5 black starting pitchers for the BRS in the last 20 years.


ps. sorry to be a downer on your uplifting "we can be a contendah" strip, h.b.

ps. sorry to be a downer on your uplifting "we can be a contendah" strip, h.b.

No need to apologize. After all, Mike's final speech was meant to suggest an ironic happiness. That is, it's a happiness with an awareness that the whole thing could go BOOM! by the All Star Break.


That last panel made me laugh out loud. Can we get it printed on a t-shirt, it would be a nice gift for the Sox fans stuck below the mason-dixon.

The courting of Coco comes as no surprise to me. Back in October when they were negotiating with Damon: buck three-eighty for one year, take it or leave it, seemed pretty reckless. I was hopeful they had a plan. Now it appears they did. So all that has to happen is that it has to work.

Redneck with a meth lab. Instant classic.

The future would've been bright if we'd kept our #1 prospect, instead of getting a corner outfielder who can't play center or leadoff, to be our centerfielder and leadoff.

Still so against this deal. What a disaster.

The future would've been bright if we'd kept our #1 prospect...

Coco Crisp's abilities (or lack thereof) aside, it's becoming clear that Marte was obtained only as a flip for Crisp whom they've been after for some time.

"It is sad to say, but I believe this to be true. Name 5 black starting pitchers for the BRS in the last 20 years."

fans like good players. pokey was liked for the crazy glove snares. some kds like the cooky nick-names. no racism there. the argument you're making is tired.

Name 5 black starting pitchers on any one club in the past twenty years.
BTW, I am a white boy from eastern mass and while he wasn't a pitcher and he was African American and had no infantile nickname how about Reggie Smith who was my hero growing up. Talk about a glove and a bat.
Anyways I just woke up... ohh this is an argument about how racist the BRS management has been. Yeah that could be a tired argument in the Henry/Lucciano/Epstein era.

Lucciano: Is that like Judge Alioto, Senator Kennedy?
(I know, I know, it was a typo)

I (truly) love this site...A devastating blow is now what we had planned all along. I'm beginning to wonder about Gammons and Epstein, a potential "Gods and Monsters" situation

For Sean O.:
Ad praesens ova cras pullis sunt meliora. (Eggs today are better than chickens tomorrow)

instead of getting a corner outfielder who can't play center or leadoff, to be our centerfielder and leadoff.

He was moved from center to left to make room for Grady Sizemore and he hit .360 in leadoff for Triple-A Buffalo.

I'm not sure if you've ever seen The Jake, but there's really not much of a difference between any of the outfields, as they all are ginormous in their own rights.

19 days...

So the revisionist historians of Yawkey Way are now spinning like Crisp has been Boston's "Plan A" for centerfield since before Octobah of 2004? Righteeo, fellas.
Was it right before, or just after Damon crushed the Yanks in Game 7 they decided Coco Crisp had to be their man for "The Oh-Six?"
The $40 million dollar insult was just the two-headed dog's evil-genius plan to drive Damon to the enemy? (give 'em props, it worked)
And when Gammons was seen rocking back and forth, twisting his lucky Red Sox blankie into knots after Johnny walked, and Lucchino was caught stuttering, all shellshocked and in denial, they were really laughing inside like 'Everything is going according to plan'?
Oh, if these guys don't get an Oscah, I'll nevah watch another movie again.

Are you ever going to move out of your parents' basement, or are you just going to stay there and post on Red Sox blogs for the foreseeable future?

Dear lord, Yankees fans are so pathetic.

"So the revisionist historians of Yawkey Way are now spinning like Crisp has been Boston's "Plan A" for centerfield since before Octobah of 2004? "

Try '05. Dipshit. Read the text before you spout off, lest you should sound like even more of a jackass.

Sean O- You have got to be the most pessimistic Sox fan I have ever come across in my life. "Still so against this deal. What a disaster."? WTF- have you seen Crisp play? Here's a better question- have you seeen Marte play? I think you should take into consideration that rebuilding and looking towards the future are nice and all (and I think we're doing very well to hold on to Paps, Lester, Delcarmen, and Hansen) but a team with a $110 mil payroll can't just throw the season into the out box because they want to hold on to a prospect. These guys come and go- fact of the matter is that we did not have a center fielder or a leadoff hitter. Now we have both. Would you have rather had Adam Stern flailing around out there all season and Youk hitting .240 in the leadoff spot? I think not.

"the argument you're making is tired."

I agree. That doesn't make it less valid. I am tired of the argumment, too, but I don't see any rebuttal.

What makes you think Youk would hit .240 in the leadoff slot? Now who's being pessimistic?

Look, if we're going to throw away our best prospect (side note: I really wish we'd dumped Lester instead of Marte in this deal), we better get someone who can excel at what we need. Crisp has a .340 OBP and substandard defense in center. According to every metric we have, he's bad at leading off and playing center field. This is not pessimism, this is reality.

I don't see how this changes anything long-term. We would need breakout performances from so many people to compete this year that I don't see it happening, and we've made ourselves weaker in the future.

And to answer your question, yes I have seen both Crisp and Marte play. Crisp is not a centerfielder, plain and simple. And the Jake does not have a large center field.

I have no problems with the Crisp trade - it was likely that Marte was going to be flipped no matter what, honestly.

The bright side here is that he was flipped for a 25 year old with no real injury history, who can essentially fill the remaining hole on the ballclub, and who comes very cheap.

Babe may actually be onto something with the 'revisionist history' tripe - in fact, I'd guess Curly Haired Irrelevance will be making this same argument later this week - but this is essentially a best-case scenario.

Did anyone really think that there were ever other realistic options?

Penis NV, This is from the Associated Press:

"Boston scouts had been watching Crisp for 18 months, Epstein said."

Get with the new math, Dummy.

I happen to think Babe is the CHB posting incognito as a yankees fan. If he claimed to be a Sox fan the proverbial jig would be up.

I always get a weird knot in my stomach when we trade off a prospect or two for a non-superstar, but I do think it was the trade to be made. Crisp isn't the best CF we could get, but yes he's young, cheap and (unless I'm mistaken) Sox property for 3 years. I don't know about Marte but I *do* recall the Sox hanging onto some "hot prospects" from years back who turned out to best serviceable big leaguers at best. Predicting who's going to be a star in MLB is not an exact science and a lot of highly touted minor leaguers just don't cut the mustard in the Show. It's too early to tell on Marte (or Shoppach) one way or the other, which is why until one of them turns into a .300-30-100 type guy, the Sox got the good end of the deal.

"I agree. That doesn't make it less valid. I am tired of the argumment, too, but I don't see any rebuttal"

I don't se this as a winnable argument either way. you're saying that Boston fans/media only like cutesy black players? i don't really agree but i don't really know how to defend that position. i think fans generally dont like surly attitudes (Nomar, Foulke)or prima donna attitudes (Pedro, Clemens) from their baseball players.

VA had your rebuttal- perhaps you missed it? While the Sox may not have had many black starters in the past few years, it certainly is not unique to Boston. And, they have had a few blacks in prominent pitching roles over that span- Can, Flash and Lee Smith immediately come to mind... Furthermore, the Sox have had one of the more diverse clubhouses in MLB over the past 5 years. Talent is the ultmiate arbiter here, IMO. 'Tired' is an understatement.

Substandard defense? Compared to who- Torii Hunter? If anything, he's got as much range and speed as John Damon, and there is really no way he doesn't have a better arm. His BA/SLG/OBP have been on a steady rise since his rookie year, and are only going to go up in hitter friendly Fenway. Did you see his numbers last September?- guy has a knack for producing when it matters. The most telling of all stats is his four years of experience. Prospects are just that- prospective ballplayers. Nobody knows if Marte is going to be the next Mike Schmidt or Todd Van Poppel. From what I've heard, he was tinkering with his swing in the Dominican Winter League and hitting an astounding .220.

From Baseballanalysts.com:
"From June 7 to June 23, Marte was given 35 at-bats at the Major League level. At the end of the two weeks, his line read .200/.286/.314... Many are wondering why, for nearly a fourth of his season from July 22 to August 20, Marte hit just .196/.304/.340. Or why he is, again, struggling in the Dominican Winter League so much."

Sounds like someone to hold on to when your club has present glaring needs? I think not.

Pessimism is calling this trade a disaster before you've even seen Covelli in a Sox uni.

Oh no, louC, did you know Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln and Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy??

Correlation is not the same as causation. Black Red Sox players having nicknames does not mean it's a requirement for fan loyalty. If anything, you could make the opposite argument. Fan loyalty is a requirement for having a nickname...if you're well-liked enough, then the people will shower you with cordialities.

Your counter-example of Pedro leaving games early isn't a display of how people treat a non-white player when he's not goofing off. It's a display of how they treat a non-white player who quits games early...and nobody likes a quitter no matter their color.

Penis NV- that's rich. I see we're back to BigBri levels, Babe. But hey, if you want to perpetuate the "legend"...

My bad on the "watching" stat. Honestly though, you think that a team who has an aging CF isn't going to keep their eyes open for his potential replacement when he's got 1 year left on a contract and is surely going to demand $$$ in the open market? That's just good management. Telling the press about the fact you're doing it- not so much.

You have to keep things in frame of reference, NV.

Trading for young talent that performs when it matters most isn't familiar to any Yankees fan for the past decade.


I'm sure Jason O can quote some Latin phrase that says something like:

It is only for us to pity them.

Glad to see you've all swallowed the Kool Aid like good little fan boys. Please disregard that statement from Theo over the weekend, about Coco's abysmal throwing arm. Theo has been reminded that candor is not part of our shared vision. Theo has been reminded that Coco is an upgrade over Damon and that those prospects all really sucked anyway. Besides, we can always try to get Marte back in 6 or 7 years thru free agency, right? Most importantly, look for our press release later this week! Ben and Jed, those little scamps, have done some number crunching and voila! Coco is the next Willie Mays. In fact, better than Willie Mays. The new face of the Red Sox and with the cutest little name. Now continue with the echo chamber...

I think everybody here is missing the real point. We have a CF named after a breakfast cereal. That has got to be good for at least 7-10 strips over the course of the season.

Now continue with the echo chamber...

Yes, that's what this site is, a mouthpiece for the FO.

Jeez, I hate trolls.

If you want to argue that Coco Crisp is a poor acquisition, that's fine. But how about some links or numbers to back it up?

Otherwise, don't pollute our signal/noise ratio in the comments. M'kay?

SNR is the very definition of an echo chamber, signal being the party line and noise being any disagreement.

I'm sorry I had to fight in the middle of your Black Panther party.

hb -

One problem is that the trolls can't really be quieted with performance analysis in this situation, since the real chip traded has been labeled with the infamous "can't-miss" prefix. Never mind the Brian Roses of the world, Corey Pattersons of the next (since he's apparently a dead body), and so on.

But, because I'm hung over at work, I'll give it a shot:

Last season, Crisp hit at an unadjusted EqA of .280 in his age-25 season - he's a .770+ OPS player right now, and on the way up on the growth curve. His VORP of 39.3 was 31st in the AL - ahead of such unknowns as Eric Chavez - and while this was garnered in relation to replacement level for LF, his offensive contributions will actually look better in CF.

Johnny Damon, meanwhile, hit to a VORP of 49.2 (20th in AL), with a slightly better OBP than Crisp but SLG that was nearly equivalently lower - much of the OBP difference was BA-driven, as well. He is not on the upslope of the growth curve. Oh, he'll cost over $10 million more, too, each year until 2009.

His defense will not set the world on fire - while he was a superior defensive LF, he has a career rate2 of 93ish in CF. His arm is notoriously weak. Damon played to a rate2 of 97 last season, as well. BP's WARP3 statistic, which incorporates defense as well as batting, had Crisp as worth 6.9 wins above replacement - Damon was also at 6.9 WARP3.

Oh yeah - that's a cumulative statistic, too. Damon played in 3 more games, and had 20 more ABs.

We're not drinking the Kool Aid here - we found someone to approximate Damon's production, and at the low low cost of a blocked C prospect the team is down on, one of a glut of relievers (and not the young ones), and Edgar Renteria. Is it ideal? Not really, but it's as good as they could do.

('He' in the 2nd paragraph, with the 93 career rate2, is Crisp - pronoun agreement is for sissies)

Hmmm...well, I'm actually really excited for the season to start now after getting Crisp. Mind you, I'm basically waiting for it to start from the moment it ends, but now that (just about) everything is together, I'm looking at it and...it's actually rather nice.

On defense, we've got an infield that's great, an outfield that's terrible, a pretty good set of starters (very good if Schilling and/or Beckett live up to potential or if Clement and/or Arroyo surprise me), and an outstandingly deep bullpen (why has this not seen much press, this suddenly-well-assembled bullpen?), though I wish they'd kept Myers. I just hope David Wells is up for staying, whatever his blab may have been.

And what's all this worry about our precipitous dropoff in offense? We've got Loretta, Crisp, Ortiz, Manny, and Tek and that's, you know, pretty good (barring injury, of course).

I'm happy! I'd say we have as good a chance as just about anybody, so let's get to April (the hell with spring training).

I define "noise" as people just typing crap.

Also, while there is not a one to one connection, quite often those filling this space with noise leave phony email addresses so that I have no way to contact them directly to let them know I'm not really liking the comments they are leaving.

Ok, I've been here long enough to use a real e-mail address I guess.

I'm still leaving the URL pointing back to the site though...Go go Gadget Googlebomb. :)

Note: Don't feel obligated to use a "real" email in the sense of one you check often etc.

Just anything that allows me (or another reader) to reach you.

Even the mailinator.com email addresses are fine. Those are valid for a couple hours and it at least gives me a chance to contact a poster privately should they veer across the line.

my god this shit is aggravating.

let's just PLAY BALL already.

To me, the most telling thing about your strip today was the link to the Berkshire Eagle story on Johnny Damon. No way he EVER gets the love in NYC that he got in Boston, unless he wins a World Series MVP, and even then he will be just another plaque in monument valley or whatever the hell they call that joint. I hope he enjoys his off-season celebrity this year, because I have a feeling Coco will make sure this is the last off-season that anybody in New England misses Johnny Damon.

Redneck with his first meth lab. Love it, HB.

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