Bryan Joiner

Why then I

Tag: josh beckett

Buds

It’s hard for me to make sense of this whole drinking-in-the-clubhouse-and-possibly-dugout story. I do not care, but apparently I am lonely in not caring. Unless I am just one of many, many people who do not care and continue to click on the articles, thus giving the (digital) impression that I care.

I think people are frustrated with the collapse, and are looking to pin it on booze, a Massachusetts tradition dating back to 1620. Let’s be clear: the beer drinking, if an issue at all, was a symptom of the collapse, not a cause of it. Doc Gooden announced this week that he missed the 1986 Mets parade because he was on a coke binge. If he was sober during the World Series, I will eat my backpack.

Yes, in the 25 years since then, baseball players have developed better training regimens. Often, these training regimens have included steroids, and it should be noted that the 2004 Red Sox—who openly drank Jack Daniels in the clubhouse during the playoffs—looked like a Marvel Comics lineup out there. What can we do? We won, and we’re not going to apologize. Now we lost, and the players must grovel and cop to substance problems they don’t have. If it’s that easy, it’s a fixable problem. Ban booze, and up goes banner number eight.

It’s not that simple. I believe it was the philosopher Kenny Powers who observed that “fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.” You don’t get to the show without being able to play. You need to resist the temptation to give yourself to booze, but a 240-pound man drinking a beer with the alcohol content of Poland Spring? Come on.

This not to say there wasn’t anything fundamentally wrong with the 2011 Red Sox, by the end. This team lost all hope in a way a team this talented really never has before. Losing seemed like a fait accompli from the moment the downward drift started, but that doesn’t mean it was one. They came perilously close to making the playoffs as it was. They didn’t. Oh well.

The players have owned up to drinking beer, and called it a non-issue. It’s the one thing they’ve gone out of their way to stress means absolutely nothing in the context of the current discussion. The collapse, the sense of dread, all of it was real. The team pushed each other to fail, but it’s not life and death, and certainly bears no relation to 17th century ideas about drinking. End the witch trial, and watch the Bruins.

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Josh Beckett Did NOT Get Screwed

There seems to be quite the sentiment that Josh Beckett got screwed in the Cy Young Award voting. At least 10 people have come across this humble Web site looking for justice, as their search terms would indicate. These people are wrong. Josh Beckett did NOT get screwed in the Cy Young Award voting.
You could be forgiven for thinking so, but you would still be wrong. So if you think he got screwed…

Because he had better numbers
You are wrong. I’m not going to throw the numbers at you here — you can look them up yourself. Their numbers are virtually identical, except Sabathia has 40 more innings pitched. That’s good. From April 1 to October 1, Sabathia was better.

Because he was great in the playoffs
Well, then you should be a) ashamed that you don’t realize that the votes are taken before the postseason and b) happy that those extra 40 innings for Sabathia may have led to his postseason fatigue, which, with Beckett’s freshness, directly contributed to the Sox’ World Series title. He was the best pitcher in the playoffs, by far.

Because he had 20 wins
This proves you are able to count to 20. Congratulations. But one extra “win” does not nearly make up for the 40 IP difference. Why? Because wins are often a factor of offense and the bullpen — the pitcher can lose the win when they’re no longer playing, as almost certainly happened with Joe Borowski on the mound for the Indians. Beckett won 20 games because he’s great and so are Oki and Paps. Which means the Red Sox were the better team. So wait a minute…

Because the Red Sox are the better team
They both won 96 games during the regular season, and they came down to game seven in the playoffs (which, again, don’t count for awards voting). They were comparably good, and the Red Sox were a bit better in the end. But we didn’t vote in the end.

Because you’re married to Josh Beckett
If you think this, you are my friend Kaitlin. I have two things to say: one, you are NOT married to Josh Beckett; two, if you are, please keep doing what you’re doing.

Because you’re an angry Red Sox fan
This is probably the real reason. But I want you to think long and hard about this, because it’s a question you haven’t had to deal with in a while…

What are you so angry about? We won the World Series!

In 27 Minutes, Josh Beckett Will Not Win The Cy Young Award

I am not going to be surprised, nor am I going to fuss about it. Nor should I: it’s the right decision. Unlike some Boston-focused columnists, the Sox’ wins are enough for me. When Pedro got screwed out of the 1999 MVP award because two people did not vote for him — well, that hurt quite a bit.

Let’s not forget what an abomination that was. Vegas Watch has that listed as the worst MVP vote in history, and more recently, it’s driven Pedro to eat. Or something.

I remember exactly where I was when I heard that. I was in my living room in my first college apartment (during my junior year), and my head about exploded when I saw the ticker. I couldn’t believe it. I was on my way out the door to O’Hare, and I would, coincidentally, miss my flight for the first time ever. The only good part is that it allowed me to go back to my apartment and complain non-stop. I haven’t stopped yet, just muted it in light of recent success.

I’m still pissed about Aaron Boone, too.

(Update: He did not win, nor did I think he deserved to win. By “the wins are enough for me,” I mean the Red Sox’ wins, not his wins, because pitcher wins are dumb.)