February 28, 2008 Updates

Thursday February 28, 2008


I hope the Presidential candidates were watching...

First off I want to say good job to President George W. Bush’s speech writer. Really made President Bush look like he knew what he was talking about. The man is not best speaking president the United States has seen but he did a good job when the Red Sox visited Washington, D.C. earlier today. Also the 2008 Presidential candidates got a real look on who could be pitch-man material.

In his speech with the Boston Red Sox behind him, the President acknowledged Manny Ramirez’s absence, thanked Jonathan Papelbon for wearing pants and commented on his dancing abilities. President Bush also recognized Jon Lester’s battle with lymphoma and come back to be the starter and winner of game four of the World Series as well as crediting the Red Sox for extending manager Terry Francona’s contract.

But there was one thing I could not help but notice: the partisan politics. But everything in Washington reverts back to partisan politics. In the Boston Herald Crisp stated that he likes either Barack Obama (good choice) or Hilary Clinton in the upcoming Presidential election then winds up in the back row. Tim Wakefield said he was a big fan of President Bush and was standing in prime position of the President – near Curt Schilling.

Third baseman Mike Lowell endeared himself to President Bush and fellow Republicans with his criticism of Fidel Castro, Raul Castro and the Cuban government, thus was rewarded for it with a nice spot behind Bush. Since the Red Sox are so diverse and there is a Presidential election approaching in nine months, the candidates should use the Sox to their advantage.

Surprisingly John McCain did not swoop in and put the third baseman and the closer on the campaign payroll. With the 2007 World Series MVP in his camp, McCain would have the Cuban-American vote in the State of Florida. After Papelbon did the River-dance last year in his underwear on the Fenway Park field, it became even more apparent will do anything. After closing out the final game of the World Series last year, Papelbon has a face that is recognized throughout the country. Exactly what campaign managers are looking for. Can’t you just see it now, McCain and Papelbon doing the River-dance at campaign rally in March?

Since Coco pretty much lost his starting job in centerfield, he can go on the road with Barack Obama and sell the Illinois senator just like he sold the Red Sox Nation cards. Crisp’s dad can even get into the act. The Sox Nation commercial just needs a little tweaking to work for Obama. Speaking of Obama, with Texas being the next hot spot on the campaign trail, the first term Senator should have made friends with Sox ace and Texan Josh Beckett. (Fellow Texan Mike Timlin already supports McCain.)

Jacoby Ellsbury is not untouchable for the candidates either. The rights of Native Americans have always been a question of concern. Even though it is not really a high-priority issue but just as McCain could grab the Cuban-American vote, Obama could grab the vote of the Native Americans. I say Obama because he is the candidate that is most concerned about human rights (nationally and internationally) and American civil liberties.

Not only are the Red Sox the defending World Series Champions but because of their team diversity they could be instrumental in selecting the next President of the United States

Papelbon, Don't quit your day job

Why did the marketing department want to use Jonathan Papelbon for the promotional advertisement? The Sox have enough players on the team who speak spanish quite fluently they did not need to go here. They could have gone to David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Mike Lowell, Manny Delcarmen or Alex Cora. Mike Lowell is bi-lingual and can speak spanish just as good as he can speak English, he should have been the guy for the job. they could have gone to David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Manny Delcarmen or Alex Cora.

Ellsbury = Rice and Crisp = Hinnant

The only question the Red Sox regarding their starting line up is in center. Who will start the season in center?

In my humble opinion, I do not think it is right to just give the job to the young 24-year old, Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury is expected to become an All-Star in the outfield in the future but first he has to earn the starting spot.

Many Red Sox fans will argue that Ellsbury did just that last year in September and the playoffs but I firmly believe Coco Crisp deserves the opportunity to win position back. Crisp is the 28-year old, five year veteran incumbent who deserves more respect than to have a rookie steal his position. Let Ellsbury compete in Spring Training for the starting centerfield position and whichever player plays better gets the nod against Oakland on March 25 in Japan. It is the only fair way to make the decision

I know all you Ellsbury lovers and Crisp haters are going to say Crisp had his chance and he blew it. Well folks, it is a new year and a new season, anything can happen. Right now Crisp certainly has a leg up on Ellsbury because of Terry Francona. Like Boston College men’s basketball head coach Al Skinner, Francona favors the veterans because of their experience. In the fall of 2005, Tyrese Rice was a better player than incumbent point guard Louis Hinnant but Hinnant got the starting position over Rice’s relative inexperience at the collegiate level. Ellsbury is the same position as Rice was two years ago, he is Rice and Crisp is Hinnant.

Young guys have to earn their spots on the team they should not just be handed to them. Even Tom Brady earned the quarterback job for the Patriots. He played better (much better) than Drew Bledsoe in 2001. Let the rookies and veterans compete for the starting position to see who deserves the role.

I am not an Ellsbury hater, the guy is going to be a great player some day. Note that I said some day not today. He is not Rajon Rondo. Ellsbury needs some more seasoning and being Crisp’s understudy, like Rice was for Hinnant in 2005-2006, he will become better.

Can you repeat that? I "misremembered" that last comment?

It was blatantly obvious last Wednesday’s congressional hearing was about partisan politics rather than discovering the truth. It brought about more questions than it answered. It is tough to believe either Roger Clemens or Brian McNamee. It is awfully tough to trust a guy who obtained his Ph.D from an online University of Phoenix-type school but Roger Clemens is not a bed of roses either.

Although, McNamee’s past history record makes him a questionable witness, the man is correct about Clemens. Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch coming out and admitting their use of performance enhancing drugs was an arrow pointing the direction of McNamee. Pettitte’s deposition, under oath, to Congress stating a conversation he and Clemens had about the use of Human Growth Hormone was another arrow towards the former New York City cop.

The most credible witness during last week’s hearing was not even in the court room. It took a deposition from Pettitte to swing the fringe fans over to McNamee’s side. Clemens did not help himself by saying Pettitte is an “honest man” and his “best friend,” it just made people believe Clemens less. If Pettitte is such an “honest man” then how come both he and his wife (Laura) testified, via deposition, about Clemens’s use of HGH?

And Pettitte did not mishear or misremember an HGH conversation he had with Pettitte. Granted it was years ago, HGH is not a topic of conversation one usually forgets and Clemens was not referring to his wife, Debby. Sure McNamee injected Debby with steroids/HGH at some point in the last seven years but Debby did not, out of the blue, call up McNamee and say “Hey Brian can you come over and inject me with some HGH in our bedroom.” No, no, no that did not happen. If you believe it did then do you want a Roger Clemens rookie card?

On a side note, as trivial as it seemed at the time about Clemens being at Jose Canseco’s party in 1998, it turned out to be a very important piece in the case between trainer and former employer. McNamee insists he saw Clemens at the party but Clemens denies he was there with a green receipt he had from a round of golf he played that day. Sorry Clemens wrong again, a typical golf round for the average person takes four hours. You stated that your tee-time was at roughly 9:30am, which would give you plenty of time to stop by Canseco’s house for the party after the round since his house was on the course.

Even though the hearing brought about more questions than answers it did peel away many layers of the case. Currently if Congress turned the case over to the judiciary they would not have enough evidence to find Clemens guilty of perjury. (McNamee’s swabs of gauze he used on Clemens and old needles would be inadmissible evidence due to the possibility of tampering.) But the more investigating federal agents can do the more they are apt to peel away more pieces of the puzzle especially if they question the former nanny.

If the federal government does deem they have enough evidence to be able to indict Clemens on perjury charges they can add witness tampering and intimidation to the list as well. Clemens essential intimidated a crucial witness in the case when he invited his former nanny over to his house when he heard Congress called to question her.

So far in the case between McNamee-Clemens it is McNamee Three, Clemens Zero