Category Listing
Monthly Archive
Baseball Reference
Red Sox Links

Recent Posts
Recent Comments
Essential Empy

Home » Category Listing » 2004 News

December 30, 2004

Best Reruns Ever

Fire up those VCRs...wait, no one but my grandmother owns one of those any longer. Time to invest in a DVR and tune into NESN in the new year. Beginning January 3rd, NESN will be replaying the 1975 and 1986 World Series. Sadististic, don’t you think? Except that we’ll get sweet relief with the replaying of both the 2004 ALCS and World Series later on in the month. I don’t quite remember what happened in those series, so if it was truly real, this will be the visual proof I need.

December 27, 2004

Hub Hero

Theo Epstein was named Bostonian of the Year by the Boston Globe Magazine. The Architect he is called, and not in the AI that devised the Matrix sense. He designed the team that finally won it all, so all the acclaim garnered is well earned. But he, like Bill James, is extraordinarily private, although his family says “Theo’s girlfriend is a critical presence in his life.” Which is a telling quote that serves as the lead-in to:

Top 11 Critical Things Theo’s Girlfriend Says to Him
11. Aren’t there some other hats you can wear besides the one with that funny “B” on them?
10. You have a BA from Yale and a JD. Can’t you get a better job?
9. Well, if you don’t want me breaking your precious cell phone, don’t leave it lying around.
8. There’s all these Bill Jamison books in the bathroom. Be a dear and put them away.
7. Why can’t you come visit my relatives in October? Some stupid games?
6. That shirt from October STILL smells like stale champagne. Will you get rid of it?
5. I thought you were important at the Red Sox; why do you get seats behind that guy with the mask? You have to look at his fat butt the entire game.
4. I tossed out that weird trophy with all the little gold flags. It clashed.
3. Why are they putting up Ks? Doesn’t Curt’s name start with a “C”?
2. Well, as long as you don’t shave your head like in 2003.
1. How was I supposed to know that the voice mail from Billy Beanhead or whatever was important?

This list appears in a slightly different form in The Soxaholix. My lists go to 11, just like BBspot and Nigel’s amps.

December 23, 2004

Varitek’s Back

It looks like Jason Varitek is finally going to sign with the Red Sox. It took a while, and that is probably the fault of Scott Boras. The AAV of $10M for four years is a bit high for me, but with any luck Varitek will disprove the aging catchers theorem. The no-trade clause requirement was finally dropped, which was the deal-breaker for the Red Sox.


December 22, 2004

Reclamation Project

Wade Miller has been signed to a 1-year $1.5M deal laden with incentives that can put him up $3M. Obviously having a championship grants the Red Sox clout we haven’t seen before. Nice to see a player having to earn their money in a league of guaranteed contracts. Another NL pitcher who will hopefully make the leap to the AL. In Miller’s favor is that pitching in Minute Maid Park is somewhat similar to Fenway because of its dimensions, specifically the short porch to left field.

December 21, 2004

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

Thanks for the memories, Dave Roberts and Orlando Cabrera. You both came and left on the same day, and were indispensable parts of the 2004 World Champion Red Sox.



I wrote this limerick for Roberts and posted it previously on redsoxnation.net:

A speedy outfielder named Roberts,
Disaster in ALCS averts.
He steals a pivotal base,
Flouting a Yankee ace;
Sabermetricians become smallball converts.

December 20, 2004

Clement Joins Rotation

Thirty-year-old right-handed pitcher Matt Clement joins the Red Sox pitching staff, according to the Boston Globe. It is obvious that Billy Beane, Oakland’s General Manager, is wisely not dealing any of his pitchers to his potential competition in the American League, so Clement was one of the few options available. Clement came up through the San Diego Padres organization, and Theo Epstein is likely familiar with him. Despite his career ERA of 4.34, scouts recognize his pitches have natural movement, which is the source of the control issues he has had in his career. He is a primarily a ground out or strikeout pitcher, which is suitable to both the Red Sox infield defense and Fenway Park. The question is whether or not he can make the transition from the NL to the AL. Typically strikeout pitchers have an easier conversion, as witnessed by Curt Schilling. Maybe Clement can borrow Schilling’s notebook and figure out how to get those pesky 8 and 9 hole hitters that he is unused to dealing with.

December 15, 2004

Renteria Mania

He’s in, he’s out.... According to the latest report from the Boston Globe, he has just signed for 4/40. I’m surprised by his price, particularly since Orlando Cabrera probably could have been had for cheaper and is a proven commodity here. Hopefully, Renteria’s concerns about the Boston media were overstated, because if they weren’t, we might have another sullen shortstop on the team.

December 11, 2004

X-Mas at Fenway Sound Clips

The entire escapade for me was dashed when it was announced at 11 a.m. that the Opening Day pack was sold out. However, there were some compelling things to be heard around Fenway today. While in line, 3 a.m. to 7 a.m.

  • “Hey, where’s your wristband? He’s trying to cut!”
    —Guy to taxi cab trying to get around the mob on Ipswich
  • “Baseball is number one; Red Sox are number two. Am I right? Am I?”
    —Extremely wasted kid
  • “Get ’em! Hit ’em again! If they take each other out, we move up in line.”
    —Man in front of me commenting on fights taking place in front of us

Lenny DiNardo appearance

  • Woman in audience: “Are you dating anyone?”
    Lenny: “No.”
  • Question: “Who would you most like to strikeout?”
    Lenny: “Derek Jeter.”

Curt Schilling appearance

  • Kid: “Do you want Pedro to come back?”
    Curt: “Do you?”
    Kid: [Pause] “Yeah....”
    Curt: “Yeah, me too.”
  • Woman: “What is your Christmas wish?”
    Curt: [Long pause]
    Someone else in audience: “Varitek!”
    Curt: “Yeah, that would be a good wish. Getting Varitek back. I would like that to happen.”
  • Woman: “What do you think about being one of this year’s most fascinating people?” [Reference to the Barbara Walters special]
    Curt: “Well, I’m kind of torn about that. On one hand you have Mel Gibson, who has done some incredible things this year. On the other hand, you have...Paris Hilton. What has she done? Well, we know what she has done...let’s leave it at that.” [Laughter]

Many people thanked Curt for coming to speak with us as well as for the championship. I asked him what he thought the MLBPA should do about steroids in baseball, and he advocated a more stringent policy. He had some heartfelt comments about Jason Giambi and what kind of person Giambi is. Curt wanted a stronger policy as they have in other pro leagues so that it would eliminated from the sport and so that players would not have to play under the veil of speculation.

December 10, 2004

Preparation for Christmas at Fenway

Christmas at Fenway, T-minus 10 hours and counting. The grail of the Sox Pax is of course the Opening Day Pack, which grants the bearer admission to the April 11th game. It’s not eternal redemption of the soul, but seeing the raising of the banner will be something close to an epiphany for me.

I’ll be equipped with digital camera (for the “Red Sox personalities” to be on hand; let’s hope they don’t mean just Wally), Gortex jacket (50% chance of rain), fleece lining (highs in the lower 50s), and credit card (needn’t go into detail on Fenway tickets being the most expensive in the league).

I heard that last year’s attendees waited in the .406 Club, the apse of the cathedral that is Fenway. I hope that the trophy will be there for the celebrants. If there is one thing that elicits a remote amount of religious fervor in me it is baseball, Red Sox baseball. I’ll just think of the ticket purchasing as tithing, a necessary duty in the practice of my faith. I know of no other mass that lets you stand up and stretch, so I think I’ve made a good choice as far as what sect to be in.

December 9, 2004

Change Citizenship for $9.95

As threatened, the Boston Red Sox have begun issuing their Red Sox Nation membership cards. The listed benefits for 2005:

  • MLB.com Gameday Audio
  • ticketing preference
  • exclusive e-newsletter
  • access to members-only pages
  • membership card
  • special shop offers (no detail, I am assuming discounts)

The big deal for me is bullet point number two. If this frees me from Virtual Waiting Room purgatory, then I’m onboard. It’s a novel concept to generate new revenue streams. I understand why some fans are upset about the co-opting of the RSN concept and sentiment, but if this is a requirement to keep fielding competitive teams, it’s a price I’m willing to pay. Just get me out of the VWR. Nothing is more maddening than watching that counter taunt you.

December 8, 2004

Stove Finally Turns On

Matt Mantei was signed today for a one year, $750,000 contract. His line for the 2004 season is awful, but he only pitched 10 and 2/3 innings because of tendinitis in his pitching shoulder. He was also coming off Tommy John surgery in 2001. In my opinion, this is a good, low risk pickup that won’t cost any draft picks. His (hopefully still) 96-97 mph fastball will contrast nicely with Foulke’s style. With Scott Williamson gone, and Alan Embree and Mike Timlin aging, Mantei will fill the need for a reliable strikeout hurler. Remember when Mantei lost his job as closer to Byung-Hyun Kim at Arizona? Seems like Boston is the reclamation factory for Arizona pitchers. Perhaps Kim needs more processing....

On the empire front, the Yankees opted for Jaret Wright (3 years, $21M) instead of John Lieber, who is going to the Phillies for the same value and duration. I’m happy to see Lieber out of rotation, as he came up huge against the Red Sox during the ALCS. As for Wright, perhaps the Yankees are hoping that the Red Sox batters’ scarce showings against him (61 total ABs, with 3 of them being Arroyo and Schilling) will work to their advantage. We can all recall how well rookie pitchers, or pitchers that the hitters had little exposure to, did against the Sox this past season.

November 11, 2004

Boston Red Sox, World Series Champions

Every Spring Training, Red Sox fans fervently believe that the upcoming season will be the year. And in 2004, after an 86 year drought, it finally was.

Words cannot convey how incredibly inspiring this season was. Despite seemingly sleepwalking through most of the season, the team clinched the AL Wild Card and had one of the most memorable baseball postseasons ever.

Talk to any diehard Red Sox fan, and it still seems unbelievable. After falling 0-3 to the Yankees in the ALCS, the despair and doom surrounding the franchise was palpable. Especially since the third loss was a 19-8 debacle. At that point, all I was hoping for was not being swept by the Evil Empire.

And they weren’t. They won a game. And another, and another, and well, the rest is, quite literally, history.

Their World Series opponent had the most wins in the National League. After such an emotionally and physically trying series against the Yankees, you’d think there might be a slight letting up of intensity, a little easing of ferocity. Not this team; not this year. Boston rolled over St. Louis. Swept them. The team with the most wins.

For a legion of fans across the globe, four score and six years of waiting were over.

Now the hot stove season begins. There are pivotal decisions to be made regarding key free agents such as Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, Derek Lowe, and Orlando Cabrera. The Red Sox front office could conceivably not try and maintain the second highest salary in the big leagues and start replenishing the farm system with fresh prospects. Or they could continue to let the team’s salary total rise, paying aging talent in hopes of another run next season.

I think Theo Epstein will find a middle ground between these two extremes. It’s difficult not to have faith in a baseball operations crew that pulled one of the biggest trades of a franchise player, and thereby, arguably saved the season.

Boston Red Sox: World Series Champions. Sinking in, finally.

« Top « Home » Category ListingMonthly Archive


RSS Feed



  • Visitors to EE since November 2004
  • Boston Phoenix Best of ’06
    Phoenix Best
  • Blog contents, images, and design
    © 2004-2015 by Joanna J.M. Hicks.
    All Rights Reserved.
    Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.