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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

  Another One Bites the Dust, or The (Ex-)Red Sox Are Dropping Like Flies

Darren Oliver, New York Mets   Chad Bradford, New York Mets

It's been four days and five games since my last update. It would have been six games if the Mets and Cardinals hadn't been rained out last night, the second weather postponement in this series. St. Louis and New York are, by the way, the only two teams still playing; the Tigers have a one-week vacation after summarily dispatching the A's in four games. Evidently the National Leaguers are determined to wear themselves out before facing a rested and confident American League champion.

All of which reduces the number of former Sox still in the playoffs to five. Out is Oakland's Jay Payton. In is St. Louis' Jeff Suppan, who finally played and in fine fashion, going eight scoreless innings and hitting a home run. Anything can happen in the playoffs.

Cheers of Red Sox triumph so far: 1

Suppan has never pitched this well in all of his career:

Bradford was quite-good in relief;

Cliff(Not Chris)Floyd just had his achillies repaired & has filed for free agency.

Friday, October 13, 2006

  Catching Up on the (Ex-)Sox

Cliff Floyd, New York Mets   Todd Jones, Detroit Tigers   Jeff Suppan, St. Louis Cardinals   Jay Payton, Oakland Athletics

With humblest apologies for the lack of an update yesterday (hey, work happens), the Triumphant Red Sox Fan presents a two-for-one update covering games from the last two days. As it turned out, only two games were played due to a rainout of the National League's game one.

What jumps out at me from the stats this morning is that not a single error has been committed by a former Red Sox player in this year's playoffs, not a single passed ball, not a single wild pitch. That, and the fact that despite what the above pictures suggest, Jeff Suppan still has yet to play in the postseason.

Cheers of Red Sox triumph so far: 0

  Cory Lidle Update

As often happens when tragic news breaks, much of the information out of New York concerning Wednesday's fatal plane crash turned out to be incorrect. What was not incorrect, sadly, was the death of Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle in that crash.

It is now known that despite initial reports, Lidle was not the only person in the aircraft that crashed into a Manhattan condominium building. A California flight instructor, Tyler Stanger, was also aboard, though it isn't yet known why.

The New York Daily News is among many outlets reporting that Lidle was attempting to make a u-turn toward the south when he crashed. Callers claiming knowledge of aviation told WEEI hosts yesterday that such a move would have been standard procedure after flying up the East River corridor, as Lidle's plane reportedly did.

The London (Ontario) Free Press has an Associated Press report stating that much of the wreckage has been cleared from the scene, though quite a bit of debris remains. A maintenance worker told reporters that he saw one of the bodies, which had fallen to the ground with most of the destroyed aircraft.

The San Jose (California) Mercury News is running a Philadelphia Inquirer story describing a moment of silence for Lidle and former Negro Leaguer and Major League manager Buck O'Neil before last night's opener of the National League Championship Series. A similar moment was held Wednesday night before game two of the American League Championship Series, as noted by the Boston Herald. The Oakland Athletics, one of Lidle's former teams, hung a jersey in his honor.

In a story that may renew one's faith in baseball's powerful player's union, USA Today today states that Lidle's family will receive full pension and other available union benefits despite the pitcher's having been a replacement player during the 1994-95 strike and being therefore ineligible for benefits from the merchandise licensing program. Life insurance benefits, however, may not be payable because of language in the policy.

Further details are available in abundance from newspapers and media websites around the country.

Cheers of Red Sox triumph so far: 0

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

  Cory Lidle, 1972-2006

Edit 7:16pm EDT 10/13/2006 — Incorrect information has been indicated below. I have posted further details here.

Edit 5:51pm EDT — There are some conflicting reports about what happened, how many people died, etc. For now, I'll refrain from posting updates until I can do so with more solid information.

Cory LidleCory Lidle, the 34-year-old right-handed pitcher acquired by the Yankees at this year's trade deadline in the same deal that brought Bobby Abreu to New York, has apparently died in the Manhattan aircraft accident that made news earlier this afternoon.

According to ESPN.com, the plane that crashed into a high-rise condominium building was registered to Lidle and the pitcher's passport was found at the scene. As of this writing, three others, believed to be people who were inside the building, have also died.

The Triumphant Red Sox Fan mourns with the Yankees organization, all of Major League Baseball, and especially the Lidle family at this terribly tragic time. Cory Lidle was much too young to die. May he rest in peace.

Cheers of Red Sox triumph so far: 0

  American League (Ex-)Sox Move On

Todd Jones, Detroit Tigers   Jay Payton, Oakland Athletics

Both ex-Sox remaining in the American League playoffs had a good night in the first game of the American League Championship Series. Oakland's Jay Payton was the big winner with two doubles and an RBI, but his team lost so does it really matter? Todd Jones pitched another shutout inning, though it's hard to believe that will last given his 3.94 ERA in the regular season. How does one get 37 saves with an ERA that high? Answer: Three-run save opportunities. But I digress.

The National League series starts tonight and the AL series continues with game two. In the meantime, here are the stats updated as of this morning.

Cheers of Red Sox triumph so far: 0

Monday, October 09, 2006

  The San Diego Red Sox, er, Padres Go Down and Out

Dave Roberts, San Diego Padres   Josh Bard, San Diego Padres   Mark Bellhorn, San Diego Padres   Cla Meredith, San Diego Padres

These posts won't be nearly as much fun now that almost half the ex-Red Sox in the playoffs have been knocked out. San Diego's elimination knocked out eight former Sox, the most of any playoff team this year and two more than the total number of ex-Sox advancing to the American and National League series.

It is worth pointing out that of the 19 players we've been tracking, only one (the Dodgers' Aaron Sele) did not play in a postseason game before being eliminated. Jeff Suppan hasn't played either, but he probably will in the Cardinals' NLCS effort. Here are the stats as they stand at the end of all four divisional series.

Cheers of Red Sox triumph so far: 0

Sunday, October 08, 2006

  Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

The only thing worse than an arrogant, big-mouthed winner is an arrogant, big-mouthed loser. Johnny Damon sure did have a big mouth while in Boston, and he proved he could be a winner after almost single-handedly completing the humiliation of the New York Yankees back in the 2004 American League Championship Series (2 homers, including one grand slam). But I don't remember the arrogance. That happened when he left for the City of Arrogance, New York.

"I still think we're the best team," Johnny Damon said.

"Sometimes the best team doesn't win."

To be fair, Damon may not be arrogant. Perhaps he's just stupid. How else do you explain such a boneheaded remark, reminiscent of the 2001 St. Louis Rams' Kurt Warner, after such a decisive victory as that just pulled off by the Detroit Tigers? After winning game one and losing by a hair in game two, the Yankees just about failed to show up in the next two games. Ex-Yankee Kenny Rogers shut them out in game three, and game four wasn't nearly as close as the 8-3 score seems to suggest. The Evil Empire, whose ownership, players, and fans presume as their manifest destiny a World Championship every year, were outscored in the series 25-11 by a team that literally stumbled into October as the AL Wild Card team after blowing a division lead that appeared insurmountable for most of the season. The big money, big ego, big name crew that comprise the $200+ million payroll were outplayed by a team that lost more games just two years ago than any other team in baseball had won—in the same season the Cardinals won 105 games.

And Damon's part in it all looked like this:

With stats like that, you'd think he would be a little less cocky.

The difference between the Detroit Tigers of 2006 and the New York Yankees of any year in the George Steinbrenner post-banishment era is that the Tigers realize that the best team is the team that plays the best baseball when they're up against it, whereas the New York Yankees believe that the best team is the one wearing Yankees uniforms. The organization has only themselves to blame. They demand of their players a fawning adoration of the ball club, a public acknowledgement that it is the greatest of privileges to be allowed to play their home games in the Bronx. And they believe their own hype.

What happens when reality contradicts the hype? Easy—reality is the illusion. We're the best team; therefore, if we lose, it can't possibly be because the other team is better. The other team can't be better because we're the best. It's circular logic and everyone but them can see the absurdity of it.

Meanwhile, Damon (like his fellow underachievers Rodriguez, Mussina, Giambi, Abreu, Johnson, Sheffield, Matsui and all the other superstars who went to play for Steinbrenner because they thought it would get them a ring, not to mention make them rich) goes the way of every other player on every other team in baseball that wasn't good enough to move on. For that extra $3 million a year over what the Red Sox offered him, Johnny gets to go home and watch the rest of the playoffs on television. Too bad he can't buy himself the common sense to know when to shut up.

And the Yankees as an organization continue their run as the Atlanta Braves of this decade, the team that wins their division every year but keep falling short of sealing the deal.

The team and their big money center fielder deserve each other. At this moment, I couldn't be happier that Johnny Damon is no longer a Red Sox.

Cheers of Red Sox triumph so far: 4

Brian Cashman's response to Johnny's quote about being the best team:

"We didn't earn the right to say that."


I'm with you - very glad Johnny is no longer wearing the red socks.

I saw that response. At least one person in that organization has his head screwed on straight, which is why I'm surprised he is still there.

A Team of Clubhouse Cancers, cannot do it:

Abreu(A-Bob) was one in Philadelphia for when he departed, the Phillies became much-more competetive;

Gary Sheffield was one in Milwaukee, for when he played shortstop, he went out of his way to make errors so he wouldn't play the position;
he was one in Atlanta & now the Yankees;

A-Jerk was one in Seattle & Texas & now in The Bronx;

Randy Johnson was one in Arizona;

In the case of A-Slap, who would even want him?

Michael, egos come with the big salaries. Combine a big ego with someone who is selfish or a malcontent in the first place and you have trouble, that's for sure.

  Five (Ex-)Sox Down, 14 Still Standing

Cliff Floyd, New York Mets   Todd Jones, Detroit Tigers   Mike Myers, New York Yankees   Darren Oliver, New York Mets

Joining the Minnesota Twins in the baseball netherworld of postseason elimination are the New York Yankees (hee hee!) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (sniff, sob), both of whom fell to their divisional series opponents yesterday. With their elimination go five former Red Sox players, one of whom (Aaron Sele) never played and the rest of whom performed less than effectively. One divisional series remains to be decided: Cardinals vs. Padres. San Diego is in a must-win situation, but as Red Sox fans know from 2003 and 2004, it is possible to win a string of must-win games.

Player stats through Saturday's games are as follows:

Cheers of Red Sox triumph so far: 0

Saturday, October 07, 2006

  (Ex-)Sox Still Standing in the Playoffs

Cla Meredith, San Diego Padres   Todd Walker, San Diego Padres   Aaron Sele, Los Angeles Dodgers   Rudy Seanez, San Diego Padres

As I write this, one of today's playoff games is over and another is practically over, but this update covers up to and including Friday's games. Today's game stats will be included in tomorrow's post.

Keeping with yesterday's theme, pictured here are the remaining west coast ex-Sox, who entered today with their teams facing elimination. Here is what all of them have been through Day 4 of the postseason.

Cheers of Red Sox triumph so far: 0

Friday, October 06, 2006

  The Playoffs March On for the (Ex-)Red Sox

Mark Bellhorn, San Diego Padres   Josh Bard, San Diego Padres   Alan Embree, San Diego Padres   Grady Little, Los Angeles Dodgers

Our Dodger and Padre friends are up against it, their teams being down 2-0 in their respective best-of-five series. Both National League series take a day off today; after tomorrow, neither Los Angeles nor San Diego may be playing any more. That gives me two days to get in all the rest of the Dodger and Padres player pics.

The question of the moment is: will we see Jeff Suppan, Darren Oliver, or Aaron Sele at all in this postseason? None of the four has played yet...

Cheers of Red Sox triumph so far: 0

Thursday, October 05, 2006

  More about the (Ex-)Red Sox in the Playoffs

Mark Bellhorn's stats have been corrected. –TRSF

Derek Lowe, Los Angeles Dodgers   Jay Payton, St. Louis Cardinals   Johnny Damon, New York Yankees   David Wells, San Diego Padres

Another day, another opportunity to see what players would be doing if a) they were still playing for the Red Sox, and b) the Red Sox were still playing.

Cheers of Red Sox triumph so far: 0

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

  (Ex-)Red Sox in the Playoffs

Welcome Red Sox Chick's readers. See subsequent updates posted on October 5, October 6, October 7, and October 8.

Mark Bellhorn's stats have been corrected. –TRSF

Nomar Garciaparra, Los Angeles Dodgers   Jeff Suppan, St. Louis Cardinals   Chad Bradford, New York Mets   Dave Roberts, San Diego Padres

What? The Red Sox are in the playoffs? Not quite, but at times it might seem that way. Watch any given postseason game this month and you'll probably see at least one player who was on the Red Sox roster at some point in recent years. Of the eight playoff teams, only the Minnesota Twins have no former Sox. The San Diego Padres, a.k.a. Red Sox West, have a whopping eight players who have played in Boston during the Theo Epstein era.

Under such special circumstances, it might be fun to track the performance of the ex-Red Sox who are enjoying October baseball. Or it might not be fun. But we'll do it anyway. Stats will be updated daily.

Cheers of Red Sox triumph so far: 5

Hey, where is the love for Darren Oliver?

Oops - he's there now. There's probably someone else I missed too, but I have faith you'll let me know :P


Darren Oliver just stuck out for me because the night Pedro pitched at Fenway, Willie Randolph also used Bradford and Oliver.

A Red Sox reunion right there in front of me!

Hey (I only ask because he is pitching right now), does Guillermo Mota count?

I didn't include Mota because he never actually played for us. Besides, I don't want to try to remember all the fly-by prospects we've ever had who are now playing for someone else. That would make my brain hurt.

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