Tag:Cliff Lee
Posted on: October 1, 2011 11:11 am
Edited on: November 6, 2011 9:10 am
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The 2011 MLB Disassociated Team of the Year Award

D.P. Wire Report 9/30/11 11:32p.m.

As if there was any doubt as to who would win this year's D.P. MLB 2011 Disassociated Team of the Year Award, rumors that had rolled around late last night and came to fruition earlier today as the greatest skipper in Boston history was fired, walked away, failed to have his options picked up, wasn't in God's future plans for the team, however you want to phrase it.  Yes, there can be no doubt that the only logical choice even before the rash reaction was the team that was nearly everyone's darling, the team that had the best preseason odds in Vegas, the team that should at the very least easily meet their predestined matchup against Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, and the Phillies, the team the Boston Herald proudly proclaimed in March to be "The Best Red Sox Team Ever," and speculated to rival the 1927 Yankees, the Boston Red Sox.  Afterall, after acquiring free agent Carl Crawford for just over $430,000 per extra base hit and their blockbuster trade to acquire Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres, how could this team that finished 3rd in the AL East last year behind the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees NOT all of a sudden be a clear cut favorite?  One person who saw this coming was Yankee's G.M. Brian Cashman.  "Yeah, I got into the C.C. sweepstakes just to get ol' Boy Blunder Theo (Epstein) over there to massively overpay for him, and boy, did he EVER.  We never had a real interest in Crawford.  And now look, by overpaying for him, Theo had no money left to help out his pitching staff.  And when the injuries started to mount, we knew it was just a matter of time that they'd be in our rearview mirror, where they belong."  And here, Cashman makes a good point.  With a team ERA that hovered near 6.00 for the month of September, the Sox historic 9 game September Swoon was clearly fueled by a pitching staff who proceeded to bring their gas cans and Bic's game after game and largely contributed to the fact the the Red Sox couldn't string together a winning streak of longer than 1 game since they took a double-header from the Oakland A's on August 27th.  As the losses kept compiling, the team began gripping, and the clubhouse began to fall apart.  Some players (see: Gonzalez, Adrian) as recently as the previous weekend versus the Yankees had this misconceived perception that the Red Sox had already clinched, perhaps because of the name on the front of their jerseys, even though they hadn't.  And then September 28th happened.  A day that will arguably go down as one of the best in MLB history saw the Red Sox 9 game September lead vanished, and entered their game in Camden Yard against the Baltimore Orioles in a deadlock with the surging Tampa Bay Rays who were in St. Petersburg throwing their 2010 Cy Young candidate against the New York Yankees.  Things started out great for Red Sox nation as their team scratched their way to a 3-2 lead while the hated Evil Empire roughed up David Price and held a 7-0 advantage that had members of the Red Sox nation who had invaded Baltimore absolutely giddy.  But then, as if to foreshadow everything, mother nature began to dampen Sox fans spirits, and everything else in the Baltimore area.  So, the Red Sox are forced into the clubhouse, where they start to watch the beginning of the end unfold.  First, there was NESN's rain delay coverage, in which Boston Globe hack reporter Dan Shaughnessy promptly tempted karma by declaring the Rays game against the Yankees over, even though, as Yogi Berra once put, "It ain't over 'til it's over."  "One thing we have eliminated tonight," Shaughnessy told NESN's Heidi Watney, "is the Red Sox's season is not going to end tonight.  They live to play another day."  At that cue, karma proved just what a b**** she can be.  Suddenly in the bottom of the 8th, the Yankees couldn't get the Rays out.  Hits, walks, hit batsmen, and an Evan Longoria 3 run blast later, and the Yankees lead was reduced to a precious 1 run.  Uh oh.  The rains began to subside and play was getting set to resume in Baltimore as we head to the bottom of the ninth in St. Pete.  The first two Rays go down meekly, as Joe Maddon sends .108 1 HR Jonathan Papelbon nightmare inducer Dan Johnson to the plate.  As John Kruk and Brian Anderson so accurately pointed out during ESPN's and Sun Sports' broadcasts of the game, he was up there for one reason.  He ends up down in the count, down to his last strike, when this happened.  7-7.  Now the Red Sox players have to go back out on the field knowing that suddenly, this is very likely a must win game in which they hold a precious one run lead.  The mistakes begin to mount.  First, this, on a Carl Crawford double in the top of the 8th.  Then, this, in the top of the 9th to get out of a bases loaded jam which was set up by a David Ortiz mental error.  And then finally the bottom of the 9th.  Jonathan Papelbon, images of Dan Johnson's recent homerun in St. Pete to tie the game rattling around in his head, conjuring images of 2008, and tired from having to go a long way in Sunday's doubleheader against the Yankees and throwing a 28 pitch save the night before, takes the mound.  Things look good for Red Sox nation as Papelbon gets Adam Jones and Mark Reynolds to strike out swinging on a total of 9 pitches.  But then, Chris Davis steps to the plate and sends the first pitch down the right field line for a double to the corner.  Kyle Hudson pinch runs for Davis.  Nolan Reimold then comes up.  After throwing 4 consecutive 4 seamers, the last two of which Reimold swung and missed, putting the Sox 1 strike away from fighting on, Papelbon grooves his fifth consecutive 4 seamer to Reimold, who promptly deposits it in deep right center for a ground rule double.  Save blown.  Tie game.  Season in jeopardy.  Then Robert Andino hits a little looper to left.  Carl Crawford seems to have a bead on it to get the third out and at least extend the game and maybe the season, but he is slowed down by the weight of his huge paycheck in his back pocket, traps the ball, and the nonchalantly chucks the ball up the line, seeming to not realize this game, and their season, are streaking down the third base line in the form of Reimold.  And the celebration was on.  Dejected, the Red Sox trudge off the field wondering what just happened, knowing they now need to pray for the hated Yankees to come through.  Meanwhile in St. Peterburg, Evan Longoria awaits in the on deck circle as the 3-3 score is posted, and there was much rejoicing.  Then, as he is at the plate, they 4-3 final gets posted, and the crowd goes wild.  Longoria mentions afterward how hard it was to concentrate.  But, somehow, despite the crowd noise, he managed to send the Rays improbably into the baseball post season as the wild card a mere 3 minutes after the Andino walkoff, but more importantly, disassociate the whole Red Sox team and send them home dejected, knowing there would not be a 163rd game or October baseball for the 9th best team money could buy.  Ironically, the Longoria homeun was occurring as the Sox entered the clubhouse following their own game, as the baseball gods refused to toy with them and put them out of their misery immediately.  After the game, Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, who had made a surprisingly good start, especially with the Sox recent struggles in that department, had this to say, "I thought it was completely unfair.  I couldn't believe Major League baseball sent us back on to the field after the rain delay to finish the game.  Doesn't Bud Selig know who we are?  We're the Red Sox, B****!  We were up and the game had gone long enough to be official.  But, no, they force us back out there, shaken, wet, and disconcerted at what we just saw in Tampa.  I mean, to make Pap's try to close the game with images of Dan Johnson hitting a homerun, inconceivable!"  The ugly season for the Sox ended in the most ugly way possible as Terry Francona fell on the sword for 25 guys who appeared disinterested, and underachieved.  But not to worry, news has come out that Carl Crawford has decided to give back to confused and frustrated teammates and fans by holding a Monday parade in which confetti will be made from some of his shredded millions, and the shredded dreams of printouts of some of the preseason predictions being made in newspapers, periodicals, and websites nationwide.  To add further insult to injury, though, the Tampa Bay Rays, who coincidentally enough will be the next team to play at Fenway Park on April 14th for the 2012 season opener have announced that they plan on having a banner hoisting ceremony there.  The banner?  It will proclaim the Red Sox as "2011 MLB Paper Champions."  But the one real award they can take solace in, is the coveted D.P. 2011 MLB Disassociated Team of the Year.

D.P. Archives:
9/27/11 D.P. Week 3 NFL Flop 10 Poll
9/27/11 "@JoeyCora, you're fired! #pinkslip"
9/26/11 Gopher Engineering Students To Fix Things Again

Posted on: November 3, 2009 11:00 pm
 

10 Things I Learned the Week of Nov. 2nd

1) The Sports Media can KMA- For those of you who follow me regularly here, you already know my opinion of the sports media.  Well they did absolutely NOTHING to change that this week.  I give you, the Brandon Spikes youtube video that went viral.  Now, even as a Gator fan, I am not going to sit here and even try to defend Brandon Spikes actions, even though the Georgia running back in an EXTREMELY classy move did.  Honestly, Spikes could have been suspended for the whole Vandy game.  But what gets me, and makes me give a big STFU to Bulldog fans, is that the coverage on this story has been completely one sided, which is a huge shock (not.  Remember, sensationalistic journalism obviously sells these days).  I don't mind people getting on Spikes or asking for punishment or whatever, BUT PLEASE POINT OUT that the Georgia team nearly took his head off during the game, at least twice.  Here's a quote from Mark Richt, who I have a lot of respect for, but obviously received a different version of the game tape than what I witnessed.  Georgia coach Mark Richt said Spikes' "helmet went flying off ... and there was one time he got hit with his helmet off."  Um, coach, what about the time it was going to be third and a half a yard, but you were penalized 15 yards because YOUR OFFENSIVE LINEMAN TRIED REMOVING SPIKES' HELMET WITH HIS HEAD STILL IN IT.  But do we hear about this from the media?  No.  Do we hear an outcry for this guy to be suspended for at least part of a game?  No.  Instead you get the same clueless, classless drivel from Dennis Dodd and Gator Hating onesidedness from John Taylor of collegefootballtalk.com.  Sad thing is, a lot of what Taylor was saying WOULD BE RIGHT, if he just dropped the Gator Hating angle and reported both sides.  He went so far as to say " Even if Spikes was the victim of having his helmet ripped off a couple of times during the game, there's no justification for playing proctologist on a man's eyes.  None."  IF??  IF???  All he has to do is change that "if" to "though" and he'd have a lot more respect.  Georgia fans, you are disqualified because of the people in glass houses rule.  Bama fans, equally disqualified due to sour grapes for Spikes not signing there.  The rest of you, I'm open to your opinions.  Am I just refusing to take off my Orange and Blue colored glasses here, or do I have a point?  By the way, one last thing, Spikes put Urban Meyer in a no win situation here, and can the media please back off of him, too.  Oh, and great win by the Gators, their most complete win of the season.  Joe Cox looks like the new Johnathan Crompton (and ironically, Crompton is lately playing like people thought Jevan Snead would).

2) Quack attack shellacks USC- Wow.  Nearly 400 yards rushing.  Over 600 yards overall.  I thought Oregon would win due to USC's suspect defense that hasn't shown up for 3 weeks now, but I simply did not see that big of a beat down.  A huge thank you to the Ducks for FINALLY taking care of what the pollsters have REFUSED to the past 4 years.  Good luck to the Ducks in Pasadena, most likely on the 1st.  And can we please stop the talk of an Oregon Boise State rematch (unless it is on the 1st).  First off, it would be unfair to Boise State.  What do you do if the Ducks win?  Best 2 out of 3?  Best combined stats?  Secondly, should TCU win out, they will be the more deserving non-BCS team.  Plus, you cannot simply erase the Ducks loss, no matter how well they are playing right now.  Also, I think the Big 10 champ has to be playing on the 7th for the rematch to happen on the 1st.

3) Some Musings on the BCS poll- In a largely cosmetic move, Texas moved up to the number two spot because they played their second complete game in dismantling Okie State while Bama was on a bye leaving pollsters with lasting memories of the squeaker against Tennessee.  Another thing that hurt Bama that's been overlooked by everyone I've seen is that that Va Tech win at the begining of the year just doesn't look so good anymore after they lost to UNC.  Meanwhile a kudos to the poll for having the seven undefeated teams as 1-7 in the poll.

4) Bulls run through the Mountaineers- In a must win to get some respect, the Bulls played one of their most complete games in stopping their annual October swoon and beating the Mountaineers.  They absolutely shut down Noel Devine, and just seem to match up well with them.  While the top 3 in the Big East all have to play each other in the coming weeks, the Bulls are lurking just on the outside with the two loses ALREADY having played the big three.  Depending on how things break, the Bulls could finish second in the Big East with a pretty good bowl game.

5) Indiana must love instant replay- Look, I'm not going to sit here and say it cost them the game, as replay did not score all of those points in the fourth quarter, but HOW does that play get botched, ESPECIALLY WHEN CALLED CORRECTLY ON THE FIELD.  In order to overturn, there (again) HAS TO, HAS TO, HAS TO be INDISPUTABLE video evidence that the call was botched (see, Dustin Doe return for "touchdown" last week).  Still Iowa pulls that junk against most other teams, throwing five picks in a game, and they get buried.  I'll actually be pulling for tOSU come the 14th.  Iowa would be KILLED by the Ducks in Pasadena.

6) The Saints go marching on- What a great game on Monday night, and the Saints just might be the best team in the NFL (although I still think it's the Colts, a close second, though, as much as it pains me to say it).  I must say though that Matt Ryan cost the Falcons by locking in on Tony Gonzalez late in the game.  On the pass that was deflected, Porter already had excellent coverage on Gonzalez (and this was the turning point in the whole game, you go from being potentially up 3 to down 11).  Plus Sharper should have had another pick around the 2 minute mark.  Still, have to give the Falcons credit, too, for never quiting in the game, especially Coy Wire.

7) Favre sticks it to Ted Thompson, Green Bay fans- The whole amazing thing to me (other than Packers fans not wanting to run TT and his tremendous ego out of town) is the quick chemistry that has developed between Lord Favre and Percy Harvin.  People said going into the draft, Harvin had the most upside, it was just a question of would he live up to his potential.  Well, with Favre taking him under his wing, and Percy listening to the grisled vet, the Gator WR/KR could just be the NFL offensive ROY.

8) Other quick lessons taught to me- The Giants are massively struggling on D as one of the games I looked forward to turned into a huge blowout, the Phins swept the Jets (so much for the post week 3 talk of an all NYC Super Bowl) thanks in large part to 2 100+ yard kickoff returns by Ted Ginn Jr. who Dolphin fans were almost ready to run out of town (wonder if Roy Hall held Reggie Nelson for him), and will somebody PLEASE explain to me why JaMarcus Russell is STILL a starting quarterback in an FL that does not start with U, C, or A?

9) The series returns to the Bronx- I know, I'm breaking my own rule a bit here, but in what is turning out to be just like I expected, since it seems the Phillies can only win with Lee on the mound and Chase Utley can only bat with Lee on the mound, I like my Yanks in 6 predicition right now (and I definitely like the Yanks if it goes 7.  Hammels is not the same pitcher any more).

10) The Look Ahead- Next week I do my official NFL playoff predictions, so look for those.  In colleges, give me Notre Dame Navy, to see if the Midshipmen can repeat their performance of two years ago just so I don't have to worry about the Domers cracking the BCS Top 14 and getting an automatic birth, tOSU PSU in a huge Big 10 matchup, and Alabama LSU to decide who will be in Atlanta on Dec. 5th taking on the Gators (seems a little ridiculous that they locked that up on Oct. 31st).  In the pros, it's just Dallas Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Denver.  Oh, and if the Bucs lose again this week, if I can just throw them back along with their throw back uniforms.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com