Author: @ltcmiked

2018 Baseball HOF Ballot: The Pitchers

The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) released their Modern Era committee Hall of Fame ballot yesterday. Over the next few weeks Boston Sports Extra will make our case for who should and who shouldn’t, and who will and won’t, get elected. The Process In order to walk into Cooperstown as anything other than a paid visitor, a player must be on at least 75% of the ballots. Last year, there were 442 ballots cast, so a player must have been on 332 ballots to be inducted. Voting for induction to baseball’s greatest shrine has no more integrity than...

Read More

JBJs San Fran suitors

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the San Francisco Giants are interested in acquiring Red Sox centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. Before everyone screams KUNG FOO PANDA! remember that wasn’t a trade. We signed him as a free agent. It was a self-inflicted wound. That we’re still paying for until 2020. Bradley is Eminently Tradeable I simply do not understand the love affair with Bradley. Jackie Bradley Jr. is not Mookie Betts.  He is a fine baseball player, but he is not untradeable. He is Coco Crisp, not Jacoby Ellsbury. Bradley is an elite fielder and a great base runner, but...

Read More

The Commish on the Ropes

Among the most common qualities great leaders share are supreme competence in what they do and the ability to anticipate and deal with change. They are principled, and their values are consistent. Roger Goodell is none of these things. I’ve spent my whole adult life surrounded by, working with, studying, and developing leaders. From infantry squad leaders to high ranking government officials and CEOs of Fortune 50 companies, I’ve seen some the best and the worst leaders in the country. The current commissioner of the NFL sits alone on the Iron Throne of incompetence. False Accomplishments Roger Goodell is...

Read More

Belichick breaks the “Patriot Way” for Brady

I remember my dad swearing at the sight of Bobby Orr in a Blackhawks sweater. I remember Joe Montana in a Kansas City uniform, Jerry Rice in Oakland, and Emmitt Smith in Arizona. The idea of Tom Brady playing anywhere else is nauseating. I get it. As a fan, I’m glad he’s staying in New England. That said, however, in trading Jimmy Garoppolo, Bill Belichick broke all the rules that have made New England the NFL’s premier franchise since 2001. Remorseless professionalism. Dispassionate player decisions. I know this will make everyone lose their minds; but rather than laughing at...

Read More

Cubs Interested in Benintendi

Don’t answer the phone. It’s a foregone conclusion that Theo Epstein is the best GM is baseball. If you didn’t believe it by the time he delivered two World Series trophies in Boston, you have to accept it after what he’s done in Chicago. It’s like global warming, or the Tom Brady GOAT argument, it’s settled science. When the best GM in baseball is interested in Andrew Benintendi, all you can do is check your caller ID and let it go straight to voice mail. Then delete it, throw away the sim card and change your number. The total...

Read More

State of the Sox Pitching Staff

Pitching wins championships. It’s that simple. Of course you need hitting, but it pales in comparison to the importance of a strong pitching staff. As we explained (here) and (here) and (here), we at Boston Sports Extra consider pitching kind of important. We’re smart. You should listen to us. Consider the 2017 Red Sox; punchless at the plate, abysmal on the bases, and among the worst fielding teams in the league. Yet they still won 93 games and the division. That’s only possible because of great pitching. To take the next step and hopefully another World Series, Boston not...

Read More

2017 Red Sox Report Card

We shouldn’t be upset that the 2017 Red Sox season is over. Certainly it would have been nice to get past Houston and into the ALCS. We might even hope to hit a little lightning in a bottle, beat the Tribe and make it to the World Series. As any smart baseball observer knew long ago, this wasn’t a great Boston team (see here).   It was constructed poorly, managed poorly, and it performed poorly against baseballs best teams. Frankly, if you look at it through the commonly accepted five-tools of baseball, the 2017 Sox actually over achieved. Tool 1: Hitting...

Read More

The Enemy of My Enemy

I must have missed that tweet. You know, the one where the @Yankees finally conceded that they were only a Wild Card team this season. Their public relations team must have just forgotten. I’m sure they were exhausted after pushing out hundreds of updates on how they were closing in on the division for the past two weeks. Let’s Go Tribe At the risk of sounding like an AL East snob, I don’t see any scenario in which the Twins beat the Yankees. Obviously, I hope that they do – nothing is quite as refreshing as bathing in the...

Read More

It’s Not About Veterans

Spaceballs This weekend, the world watched millionaire players and billionaire owners protest the national anthem, speak out against the President, or hide in the locker room. Monday, we saw a decorated Army Ranger who felt compelled to apologize for standing to honor his nation. WTF is wrong with this country? In the span of a week we have jumped at ludicrous speed from a few guys kneeling to protest social injustice to a full-blown culture war.  The internet flooded with videos of self-righteous fans burning their season tickets and team jerseys. Patriots’ fans booed their team at home – not...

Read More

Bullish on the ‘pen

Grudging Respect to the Skipper Let’s be clear. Despite this, I do not think much of John Farrell as a manager. That said, however, he was a great pitching coach during Terry Francona’s tenure as skipper. It is not a coincidence that the Red Sox have one of the best rotations and have the best bullpen in baseball. Tough to argue with a 15-3 record in extra-inning games or find fault in the skipper who got them there. Loaded for October As great as we may feel about sweeping unlikeable Baltimore and clinching a playoff berth, the road ahead...

Read More

“Judging” Rafael Devers

Let’s jump to conclusions. For one minute, let’s be Yankee fans and make ridiculous assertions about how every player who dons our uniform will one have a plaque in Cooperstown. Rafael Devers is that guy. His electric start, along with the addition of a scalding-hot Eduardo Nunez, injected energy and offense into the struggling Sox in July and vaulted them back into first place in the East. Even after a recent dip, his .300/8/18 start to his big league career is more than just promising, it’s exhilarating. Let’s face it, if he played in the Bronx they’d already be...

Read More

Happy Anniversary Wake

Aaron Bleepin’ Boone I was somewhere over the Mediterranean when Aaron Boone hit his home run off Wake to win the 2003 ALCS and send the Red Sox home early from the post season. Another year of what might have been. Truth be told I wouldn’t have been watching anyway. I was redeploying from Iraq that day, and after watching Pedro strike out Alfonso Soriano to end the seventh inning with the Sox still up 4-2, I went to check on my flight home. Ortiz added a home run off of David Wells in the top of the eighth...

Read More

Baltimore: America’s Sports Armpit

Name(required) Email(required) Website Message Embed from Getty Images   Worse than New York Though I now live outside Washington, DC and spent most of my adult life a nomad, I will always consider myself Bostonian to the core. There is only one kind of chowda, and only one way to say it.   Dunkin Donuts kicks Krispy Crème’s ass. And, of course, New York sucks. I hate everything about New York – from the filth in the streets to the noise pollution that is their accent. I hate the Yankees, the Giants, and all their fans – certainly in part...

Read More

Farrell Falls Short as Sox Biggest Flaw

Embed from Getty Images The 2017 Red Sox aren’t a World Series caliber team. This much should be obvious by this point in the season. That doesn’t mean they can’t win the World Series, it just means they’ll have to get hot and play above themselves for a few critical weeks. We’ve seen that before – I hope we can all agree that the 2013 Red Sox weren’t a great team either. This year’s squad can’t hit for power, a critical ingredient to October baseball, and they run the bases like little leaguers hopped up on Mountain Dew. We...

Read More

Chris Sale: Boston’s MIA Ace

Embed from Getty Images   It’s time for Chris Sale to be Chris Sale We should stop talking about Chris Sale (15-7, 2.85 ERA this season) as the likely 2017 Cy Young award winner.   Let’s start talking about his awful games against good teams for the last two months. And why Cleveland’s Cory Kluber (14-4, 2.56 ERA) will win the AL Cy Young award. Who cares? After dropping three of four against the second place and perennial pain-in-our asses Yankees, the struggling Red Sox need their ace to be an ace once again. Since July turned to August,...

Read More

Is Pedroia Bound for Cooperstown?

Embed from Getty Images   A little more than a decade ago, I took my son to Arlington to watch the Red Sox play the Rangers. I’d been to the park a few times – whenever Boston came to town we’d try to catch a game or two. A couple of years removed from 2004’s Curse Breakers, the ‘07 Sox were good. Objectively speaking, they were far and away the best of our three recent World Series teams. The 2007 Rangers sucked. Most of the 40,000 in attendance were there to watch Boston. First Glimpse of Greatness I don’t...

Read More

Calendar