Fan Interference’s 2009 MLB All-Stars: American League

July 8, 2009

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Ever since the end of my childhood (this occurred around 2000), I’ve watched Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game with less awe and more conviction. My interest in the game has become more self-righteous as I root for the game’s more overrated players to fail and the under-appreciated stars to succeed; or, in last year’s case, I root for the game to end. Not all inclinations are based on my ongoing quest for the accurate evaluation and perception of players. Yankees receive cheers no matter what, Red Sox remain vilified – that goes for any Met not named Carlos Beltran, too.

I find the All-Star selection process much more interesting than the game itself. Fans, players, and managers contribute to varying degrees in setting the 33-man roster. Each group – much like any group – has its idiots, its intelligent voters, and a group that falls somewhere between the two. Ultimately, the final rosters provide a useful glimpse into which players embody the intersection of popularity and skill. As you might expect, I prefer that the selectors look at the latter almost to the total exclusion of the former. More difficult is the question of which player is more deserving: the one-half wonder, or the (probably) more talented player with a consistent track record? I lean more towards the established player, although certain cases allow for the rewarding of an incredible first half, even if it is unlikely or unsustainable. There’s a fair argument on both sides.

Now that I’ve bored you with my philosophical musings, I’d like to share my picks for the American League’s 33-man roster. The actual roster can be found here, although they do not yet include the winner of the Final Vote. I’m loosely following the prescribed format: eight starting position players, 13 pitchers (distributed arbitrarily between starters and relievers), and 12 bench players (with a backup at each position). The National League will follow in the coming days. Here we go: Read the rest of this entry »


Factually Incorrect #2

October 29, 2007

During today’s “Around The Horn”, Jay Mariotti says:

“Unlike the Yankees, the Red Sox spend their money wisely – look at Josh Beckett.” (emphasis his)

Okay, so Mariotti either ignored or is completely unaware of J.D. Drew, Julio Lugo, and Daisuke Matsuzaka’s poor performances relative to their big contracts. Fine. Whatever. The Red Sox won the World Series. Congratulations. I’m serious.

But the Red Sox traded for Josh Beckett. Everyone and their mother knows this. I literally think my mom knows this. The Red Sox traded Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. This was a pretty big story, Jay.

Yeesh.


At Least TRY To Hide Your Bias, Peter Gammons

May 20, 2007

During tonight’s Mets-Yankees game on ESPN, Peter Gammons chimed in from the little near-dugout media box thingy about the state of the Red Sox. Fine. He said the Red Sox’ only real concern right now is Josh Beckett’s injury, which Gammons went on to say is pretty mild and “not a blister”. Beckett should only miss one more start. Fine.

Then Gammons said the blister avulsion was caused by a “defective baseball”.

Wha…what? I know your Red Sox homerism comes through sometimes, but at least try and be subtle, Mr. Gammons.


Josh Beckett Continues to Play The Game The Right Way

April 16, 2007

Josh Beckett, the Red Sox starting pitcher who is “kind of about respecting the game“, is defending the game’s honor for us all again today.

In the 1st inning of today’s (4/16) game against the Angels, Orlando Cabrera hit a home run off Beckett. Beckett then plunked Vladimir Guerrero, who was then taken out of the game due to an injury caused by said plunking.

So, to summarize, here are the things opposing batters are not allowed to do when Josh Beckett is pitching/respecting the game/playing the game the right way:

  1. Bunt
  2. Hit home runs

Josh “Kind of About Respecting The Game” Beckett, ladies and gentlemen.

EDIT: I explained this whole Josh Beckett thing to my girlfriend this afternoon, because I was riled up and needed to rant to someone. And she astutely asked “Isn’t bunting, like, one of the oldest things in baseball? Like one of the most traditional?”. Yes, yes it is. So Josh Beckett, in an effort to be “kind of about respecting the game”, likes to throw at people who attempt to utilize the most super duper traditional old-timey offensive play in baseball.


All Hail Sir Josh Beckett, Arbiter of Morality & Righteousness

March 26, 2007

We all know that Josh Beckett plays the game the right way. Last year, Beckett yelled at a player who thought he had hit a home run off Beckett, struck a little pose, but fell just short. Here, I’ll just let Beckett speak for himself:

“I wanted to make a point. You look like a jackass whenever you hit the ball like that and you’re pimping it, and you’re out. I’m kind of about respecting the game, and I’m not the type of guy to not say anything. . . I’m playing the game right. I didn’t appreciate that.”

Josh Beckett seems to have selectively forgotten all the times he’s struck someone out and run around the mound maniacally pumping his fist and screaming. I saw this with great frequency when he annihilated the Yankees in the 2002 World Series.

Now

Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis was clipped in the lower leg by base runner Alejandro De Aza on the final out of the fourth inning. Youkilis stayed in the game, but the Sox already were peeved at De Aza, who was repeatedly trying to bunt his way on.

In the seventh, Beckett hit De Aza in the ribs with a pitch, and there was a little tension when De Aza stared out to the mound and Beckett started walking toward the Marlins outfielder.

Julio Lugo later had to dodge a pitch, and then Sox outfielder Matt Van Der Bosch was hit by Florida’s Roy Corcoran, which prompted a warning from the umpires.

The nerve! Some scrub in Spring Training was trying to bunt! Bunting! In the game of baseball! Alejandro De Aza, you are a rascal. What ever would we do without Josh Beckett, who continues to strike down those who disrespect the game of baseball by doing something completely legal and harmless? All hail Josh Beckett, who is definitely not a hypocritical mouthbreather with an ERA over 5.00 in the AL and a home run problem!