I have been writing for Fenway West for several years now. My FW posts are here, as well as posts about the San Francisco Giants and MLB.
And Thank You for visiting Sonoma Dave's Giant Red Sox Blog! This blog is an archive of most of my posts on Fenway West. Effective immediately, I will be be including posts about the San Francisco Giants, MLB, and on occasion, stuff that has nothing to do with baseball at all.
Apparently, my last post touched a nerve with Yankee fans who read Red Sox blogs. There are a few items to address resulting from that post.
Red Sox bloggers who write about the Yankees: Several commenters called me out for writing about the Yankees. First of all, What are Yankee fans doing reading Red Sox blogs? That argument works both ways. As to me writing about the Yankees? There are probably a bazillion posts about the Red Sox on Yankee blogs. Puh-leeze, “envy the Yankees”, gimme a break. Secondly, one can’t talk or write very much about the Red Sox without the Yankees invariably getting mentioned sooner rather than later.
Blown saves: Yankee fans are quick to point out Papelbon’s blown save in the 2009 ALCS. Those were the first runs scored upon Papelbon in 26 innings of post-season relief. He was due for one. He is, after all, just like the rest of us, and just like the Yankees, human. Mo could almost be considered the Red Sox MVP of the 2004 ALCS.
Steroids: A lot of Yankee fans are so quick to point out that Ortiz and Ramirez made it on to ‘The List’ and scream “STEROIDS! TAINTED!” every chance they get. Look at the fire hydrant piss on the dog. Do I have to rattle off the 22 names?
Yankees on Steroids
From the Mitchell report: Yankees on steroids include Giambi, Sheffield, Clemens, Pettitte, Mo and A-Rod; 22 Yankees in all Also: Kevin Brown, Chuck Knoblauch, David Justice, Mike Stanton, Ron Villone and Jerry Hairston Jr.
From the Mitchell report: Red Sox on steroids include Ramirez, Vaughn (previous decade), and Ortiz, (who bought an OTC supplement.)
Decade and Millennia:There was no year ‘Zero.’ The internationally accepted Gregorian Calendar starts with the year ‘One.’ Years numbers 1 through 10 make up the first decade. Years 1-100 make up the first century. Years 1-1000 make up the first millennia, and so forth. The tables below show which years belong in which decade.
The ‘sixties’, or the ‘eighties’ did comprise ten years and make a decade, but OK, for now I’ll go with you and declare the decade is over. Since most of the focus is on the number of World Series titles won in the last decade, we’ll start there.
Number of WS titles won by NYY & BOS: Yankees WS = 2, Red Sox WS = 2 The Yankees have no advantage here. W-L records of WS games played: Yankees WS W-L record = 8-3, Red Sox WS W-L record = 8-0 Advantage Red Sox $$$ spent by each team, total of all ten years: Red Sox = $1,168,264,423 Yankees = $1,671,237,457 Clearly, the Red Sox have been the more economical team. Now let’s fast forward to 25 years from now: Which team will be remembered for their glory the most? I can already hear the conversations: Oh, yeah. That was the decade the Red Sox finally broke that curse. And to think that they were down 3 games to none to the Yankees, down to their last inning and about to be eliminated when they came back to win that game and the next three! No team had ever done that! And then they swept the Cardinals! And then they won again in 2007! Another sweep! Oh yeah, the Yankees. Whatever did happen to them? Did they win any World Series that decade? Let me go log on and look it up. Let me see… Red Sox and Yankees… says here the Sox beat the Yankees 17-1 twice in the same year… that’s not what I’m looking for… Jason Varitek caught his 4th no-hitter... and the Sox hit 4 home runs in a row against the Yankees… interesting, Josh Beckett beat them in the 2001 World Series and again in the 2007 ALDS, that’s not it, either… wait a minute… ok, here it is, they won one in 2000 and another in 2009. Other than Yankee blogs and NY media outlets, who is proclaiming that the Yankees are the Team of the Decade: ESPN, located in Connecticut, not far at all from New York.
Are you sure you want the decade declared over? It’s obvious that 2004 is still in your heads. If winning a 27th WS in your new stadium didn’t erase the pain of 2004, nothing ever will. I didn’t even say anything downright nasty in the original post, yet the anger still spews. You guys really should get some therapy and let it go. Did someone shove a broom stick up your ass with 2004 etched into it? (OK, now that was nasty.)
I have said more than once, “Not all Yankee fans are scum.” But apparently, the ones who are like to congregate around here.
Apparently, winning another World Series isn’t enough for Yankee fans. They’re all crying and crying and crying like a gaggle of newborn babies with loads in their diapers about the Yankees not being named the MLB ‘Team of the Decade.’
Funny, though, none of them are acknowledging that the decade, and not just any ten year period, isn’t over yet. That the Red Sox could conceivably win a 3rd WS title in the decade 2001-2010 may be causing them to declare that the decade is over, perhaps? When the Yankees do not win the next WS, they will end the decade with only one WS title, and the Sox, at least two. Yes, I read all the statistics about number of division titles, number of wins, number of pennants, yadda. However, The title of ‘Team of the Decade’ cannot be determined in the same manner as a batting average, or earned run average. After factoring in the subjective aspects of the teams that could be considered ‘Team of the Decade’, the Sox are indeed that team. The Red Sox made a nearly impossible return from the brink of elimination in 2004, against who? The Yankees. No team in professional baseball had ever fallen into a 0-3 hole in a best of seven playoff series and come back to win a league championship. Magnifying this achievement ten-fold is the fact that the Sox were down to their last inning, when Dave Roberts stole that base. I think it was Kevin Millar who said, “Don’t let us win game 4,” in that snarky, humorous manner he can assume. Let's not forget that remark came after the Yanks had just thumped the Sox to the tune of a lopsided 19-8 score. Any other team would not have bothered to show up to the park for the next game, but not the Sox. There is no discussion at all about the Sox winning two World Series’ in the decade. There is no question of the Red Sox winning two WS titles in the ten year span beginning in 2000 and ending in 2009. There is a very real possibility that the Sox could win a 3rd title in the decade starting in 2001 and ending in 2010, but even if the Yankees did win another WS next year, they would still only have won two WS titles in the decade of 2001-2010.
OK Yankee fans, if you are so sure of the Yanks superiority, why don’t you wait until the decade is over to declare that team to be ‘The Team of the Decade’, not just any ten year span. But by then, the Red Sox may have just won their 3rd WS title of the decade. But if you can't wait 'til next year, you can click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, or here, to see who is proclaiming the Red Sox as 'Team of the Decade,' which includes CBS Sports and MLB Network. And no, none of those links lead you to Red Sox blogs or Boston media outlets.
Scott Hatteberg is another native Oregonian who played for the Sox (Ellsbury, Lowrie, and Pesky are some of the others.) He went to high school in Yakima, WA, and college at Washington State University. He was picked by the Sox in 1991 and played with them from 1995 to 2001. One of his claims to fame is that he is the only player to hit into a triple play and then hit a grand slam in his next plate appearance. An injury in 2001 seemingly ended his career, but the Oakland A’s took a chance on him in 2002 and converted him to a first baseman. In that year, Hatteberg hit a walk-off home run in extra innings to preserve the A’s winning streak, a MLB record of 20 games. He played for the A’s for four seasons. He signed on with the Reds in 2006, and was DFA’d in May of 2008.
He is married and has three children. He enjoys playing guitar and fly fishing. He is also scheduled to play himself in an upcoming film adaptation of ‘Moneyball’, the book about Billy Beane’s different approach to fielding top caliber teams.
One of our readers commented on my last ‘Where are they now’ series post, and wondered whatever happened to Shea Hillenbrand, Scott Hatteberg, and Jose Offerman. You asked for it, you get it! Today’s installment will be about Hillenbrand. Hatteberg and Offerman posts will be coming soon.
Shea Hillenbrand broke into the big leagues with the Red Sox in 2001. About 1/3 the way through the 2003 season he was sent packing to Arizona in exchange for Byung-Hyun Kim. Hillenbrand, who was born and raised in Mesa, AZ, was very outspoken and critical of the Red Sox FO. Despite earning a berth on the AL All Star Team in 2002, the Sox signed free agent Bill Mueller that winter. Hillenbrand was tied for the most errors in the league in 2002, and had a shaky strike zone assessment, which led Theo Epstein to trade Hillenbrand in May of 2003. He bounced back and forth between leagues, from BOS to ARZ to TOR to SFG to LAA and finally to LAD in 2007. After being traded to SFG in 2006, his batting average dropped significantly in this trip to the NL. He had played in at least 134 games in each of his first six seasons, but only 73 games in his last season split between LAA and LAD. Starting with his time with SFG, his BA of .254 with LAA was his highest in his last 133 games spread out over roughly a season and a half. Hillenbrand seemed to have differences with many of the teams he played for and was very vocal about them. In July of 2007, he was replaced by Casey Kotchman and was waived by LAA shortly thereafter. He went unsigned going into the 2008 season, and ended up playing for the independent Atlantic League for 36 games before his season ended prematurely due to a hamstring injury. It should also be noted that in 2003, Hillenbrand hit 3 HR’s in one game while playing for the D-Backs.
Hillenbrand and his wife have two adopted children and reside in Gilbert, AZ, only one town away from his home town. Together they run Marley Farms and the Against All Odds Foundation which rescues and rehabilitates animals and allows underprivileged inner-city kids to visit and interact with the animals.
NOTE~ While researching information for this post, I was reminded that also in 2003, Bill Mueller, coincidentally Hillenbrand’s replacement at third base, also hit 3 home runs in one game, 2 of which were grand slams. This duplicated Nomar Garciaparra’s same feat in 1999. Mike Cameron hit 4 home runs in one game in 2002 while playing for the Seattle Mariners. Going back to 1991, Jack Clark, John Valentin, Mo Vaughn (2x), Trot Nixon, Jason Varitek, and Kevin Millar all accomplished this as well. Surprisingly, Manny Ramirez did not accomplish this while with the Sox, although he did do it while playing for Cleveland. Mike Lowell and Victor Martinez also knocked three HR’s in one game before they arrived in Boston.
Best Wishes for a great 2010 to all our readers and also to everyone with The Boston American League Baseball Company, The Boston Red Sox, 'The Team of the Decade', without whom this blog would not exist.