''associated with something by chance rather than as an integral part; extrinsic.''
Some interesting, enjoyable and typically blunt comments from David Wells in yesterdays news. Here's what he thought about playing for Tito Francona, a guy many people, I think, overlook when they are talking about reasons the Sox won the World Series in 2004.
"Tito is awesome," Wells said. "I wish a lot of managers were like him. He lets you go out and play. Just don't embarrass the team and be accountable. He messed with all the guys. He made you feel welcome and at home at the ballpark. That's what players like to see.''
Personally, that's exactly the type of manager I would want to play for. To me he seems like the perfect man for the potentially messy job that is managing the Boston Red Sox. I believe he doesn't get half the credit he deserves.
Speaking of Tito, how long before a 'Tito-watch' type blog pops up, his comments are getting funnier by the second. What did he do while he was at home with those dreaded flu-like symptoms? He said he spent it "watching the Anna Nicole Smith trial to see if Manny [Ramírez] showed up there."
By the by, guess who managed Michael Jordan when he played in the Arizona Fall League in 1994? That's right, Tito Francona.
Who wants to party with these guys?
Sounds like things are going to be very different in Texas in 2007. Buck Showalter, who was often accused of micro managing the game and indeed the players, will probably not be missed too much by the players if comments from their new, more laid back manager turn out to become reality in the clubhouse.
New skipper Ron Washington has basically given them written permission to turn the clubhouse into a frat house
"It is their clubhouse," he said, "and I want them to do what they want to do as long as the police or the fire department doesn't show up. If they want to dance on top of tables, I'm fine with that."
My word. ''..as long as the police or the fire department doesn't show up''? is it just me or is it a bad idea to give a group of twenty something young men with that much money and that much time to kill that much leeway? I can see the headlines of the Dallas Morning News right now...
Who you callin' Hippo?
While researching and then writing a bio for the 'Top 100 Red Sox' blog on former Sox great Larry Gardner I came across this interesting list of other players who made their Major League debut along with Gardner in 1908.
Nine Other Players Who Debuted in 1908
- Donie Bush
- Larry Gardner
- Frank Baker
- Amos Strunk
- Buck Herzog
- Rube Marquard
- Slim Sallee
- Hippo Vaughn
- Joe Jackson
Hey check it out, Shoeless Joe. Must mention that. I loved 'Eight Men Out'. Great flick. I wonder why they are called flicks? Have to look that up at some stage. I would love a slice of pizza. Amos Strunk and Buck Herzog. Wow, the players names were so cool in those days. I bet Slim Sallee was a slick fielding centre fielder who stole a bunch of bases. Oh no, seriously? Hippo Vaughn? Where do I start with this one. Any relation of Mo?
You could write an entire blog on that listing alone. And seriously, was he? Any relation of Mo? Can someone check that out please?
Brendan Donnelly picks on girls
So, Brendan Donnelly has pitched to a woman in professional baseball. While pitching for the Ohio Valley Redcoats of the Frontier League in Parkersburg, W.Va., in 1994 a young woman stepped to the plate against him.
"I said to myself, 'If I don't get her out, I'm gonna quit. I actually went up and in on her and I got booed by all 12 people that were at the game. I know I got her out. A strikeout, I think. But it's been so long. Those are days I try to forget."
Well Brendan you would hate the Irish Baseball League so as every year there are one or two brave women who play. My club side, the Dublin Hurricanes, have a chequered past with the fairer sex when it comes to baseball games. Hard throwing former Hurricane and Irish National Team great Ken Murphy faced a girl once in league play. Ken was probably the hardest throwing pitcher on the Irish team in the nineties. His first pitch slammed into her back and a legend was born. Everyone hated the Hurricanes from that day on.
Good friend and huge Red Sox fan Garret Pearse also faced a girl a couple of years later, and this time slapped her in the thigh with a juicy fastball. Let me tell you, people look at you funny when you hit a girl with a pitch.
Brendan D is a cool guy, in person, by the way.
Matsuzaka watch intensifies
Finally, looking for advance word on how Matsuzaka is going to fare in the Majors? How about this report from Dan Shaughnessy in yesterday's Globe?
''Dice-K was impressive. He threw 40 pitches, then two pitchouts and two final pitches for good measure. A quartet of Sox minor leaguers (Bobby Scales, Kevin Cash, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Luis Jimenez) flailed away at home plate, managing two solid hits. Cash pulled a double to left-center and Ellsbury hit a solid opposite-field single to left. Jason Varitek caught the Japanese ace''
Two hits out of 40 pitches, in a situation where the pitcher is actually telling the batter what pitch is coming? I think this is going to work out well.