Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
David Ortiz is a big deal in Boston. I’m not denying that. He is the longest lasting symbol of a decade and a half of the best baseball the Red Sox ever played. He was an important and inspirational figure in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. He’s someone, I feel anyway, who should be in the Hall of Fame one day. Most players aren’t worthy of a farewell tour like he’s getting, but I feel like he’e entitled to his.
That said, it’s possible to go a bit overboard. Or to maybe make some missteps in this regard. Maybe it’ll just take a little while for the Sox to get the tone down just right for his farewell tour. For now, however, they’re starting out a bit . . . something:
David Ortiz is a lot of things, but a subject of an anthem about global peace and harmony doesn’t strike me as one of those things. He doesn’t strike some other people that way that way either:
I dunno. You do you, Boston, but if you’re starting out with “Imagine” in the home opener I have no idea where you’re going to go for October.
The Oakland A’s are definitely the little brother to the San Francisco Giants when it comes to Bay Area baseball politics. It wasn’t always the case — the A’s have had great moments in their history at times when the Giants weren’t doing so hot — but ever since the Giants got their new ballpark and the A’s ballpark began to crumble, it’s clear who truly rules baseball in that area.
I don’t feel like A’s fans — at least the ones I know — have an inferiority complex about this. They sort of view it the way punk rockers viewed, I dunno, Pink Floyd in the 1970s. “The uncool people can have them!” they sort of say. “We like our own little thing. It’s better!” Of course that’s a complicated stance too, and there is definitely a sense that comparisons and, at times, jealousy and resentment fuel these sorts of dynamics. Punks didn’t want to fill arenas, necessarily, and A’s fans don’t want to be like the Giants, but there’s some . . . baggage there.
This sort of story is the kind of baggage that I mean. The one in which the A’s, flying home from Seattle to Oakland after yesterday’s game, had to ride in a charter plane that was painted up with San Francisco Giants branding:
Led Zeppelin had their own plane. Their name was painted on the side of it too. Imagine the Ramones having to take that someplace.
This is not one of those posts where, after a week of games, I am actually wringing my hands and worrying about anything. Or, since I don’t really give a rip about the Dbacks, not pretending to worry about anything on behalf of their fans. It’s just one of those “huh, look at that” kinds of things. It will even out soon.
But the Dbacks traded a lot for Shelby Miller and they’re paying a lot for Zack Greinke, and so far, this is how it’s going:
Greinke’s first start: 4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 2K, 3 HR;
Greinke’s second start: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 8K, 0 HR;
Miller’s first start: 6 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2K, 3 HR;
Miller’s second start: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 6K, 2 HR
Combined, that’s 31 hits, 21 earned runs and eight homers in 21 innings. Works out to a 9.00 ERA and a 1.81 WHIP. Which is not good.
It’ll get better. But hoo boy, it’s hard to see how it could’ve been worse.