25 September 2009


Ken Davidoff is the leading Baseball Columnist for Newsday. Ken Davidoff is one of the finest baseball writers in America. I enjoy reading Ken Davidoff's articles, I have been a frequent commenter and contributor to his blog for 2 years. (not so much lately...well, not at all, thanks to the new and improved Newsday website).

I really like Ken Davidoff. Hell, we're facebook friends (but I may get cut after this rant), even though I do not share his love of all things statistics, nor do I share his barely perceptible love of the Mets (nothing wrong with that), or his more than perceptible distaste for Derek Jeter.

For the past few days, Ken has been depositing little snippets on his blog about the unimportance of this weekend's Yankees/Red Sox series, trying to convince his readers to snooze through the games, and to look ahead to the playoffs in a few weeks.
Culminating in this main page article: "This Visit By Red Sox Only A Dress Rehearsal"
Found here.....http://www.newsday.com/columnists/ken-davidoff/this-visit-by-red-sox-only-a-dress-rehearsal-1.1472015

Some excerpts from Ken's column include the following....
"If you're a serious baseball fan... you should root for one important result this weekend: No serious injuries!"
"..the Red Sox-Yankees series starting Friday night at Yankee Stadium is nice, but it's nothing"
"You don't want to see anyone exert himself too much, however."

Ken goes on in the body of his work to emphasize the importance to baseball of a Yankees/Red Sox ALCS next month.
How "It all would be, most literally, Must-See TV".

STOP!!!!! NOW!!!!

You ask in your opening line for all "serious baseball fans" to not take these 3 games seriously.

Well, I'm a serious baseball fan. And someone who spent a lot of years playing the game at subterranean levels.
And I take every game very seriously. Especially games, ANY GAMES, against my biggest rival.
I don't give a shit about potential TV ratings and must see TV a month from now.
I don't want to see the Yankees or the fans "easing up" against the Red Sox because of the exhortations of misplaced priorities by disinterested scribes.
I fear injuries as much as you do, but I also know that more injuries occur when players "ease up".
And anyone who has played the game, any sport, knows that bad habits develop when you start "easing up".
It is a disservice to the fans in attendance who pay too much money to see these games to not expect a maximum effort by the participants to "TRY TO WIN THE DAMN GAME".

C'mon Ken....who are you trying to kid here?
It's the BOSTON RED SOX, fer chrissakes.....Every game should be approached by the Yankees with maximum intensity, and maximum desire to WIN.

And no true fan should have any less an attititude.

So please Ken, ease up with you easygoing armchair attitude and approach to these games.
It has no place in sports , and for that attitude to exude out of a pressbox is self defeating to your knowledge and appreciation of the sporting spectacle in general and baseball in particular.

Crush the Red Sox. Destroy them.....Turn them into rubble.

And that's just my opinion......from two time zones away.


  1. And you wrote this AFTER Jon Lester got kneecapped on a Melky Cabrera line drive?!? ;-)

  2. Certainly looked like the Red Sox mailed it in by putting all their scrubs in during the bottom of the 8th - that was a winnable game.

    I never thought I'd say this, but Michael Kay is right. There needs to be some kind of punishment for winning the Wild Card because right now teams don't really care.

  3. Didn't see the game JE....knew the result when I wrote this, but none of the details.
    Just got peeved when I read Ken's column.

    Anyway, what does Lester getting drilled with a line drive have to do with anything?

  4. Tom, I agree with what you wrote. I didn't like this line from Ken either, You don't want to see anyone exert himself too much, however." But you know I'm not going to like that line.

    I also agree with you that injuries occur when you ease up. I mean I'm sure Lester was giving his all, but if he said, "I'll throw 10 MPH slower" then maybe he gets killed instead of just a bruised quad.

    But I do also agree with Ken with a lot of what he wrote. Its not Ken's fault the games have little meaning. Its the Wild Cards fault. If the Yanks sweep the Sox, is it really going to matter come October? Not at all.

  5. Did Ken comment on this? Was that Ken?

  6. It's me, Richie. (Safeword: "Stearns") I appreciate the pub from I-505. I think I-505 also realizes this whole column was intended to be tongue-in-cheek. I wouldn't expect to see guys half-assing it. I just think a Yankees-Red Sox ALCS would be awesome.

  7. Pub from I-505?
    You bestow too much credit this way.
    You KNOW that I would have written this rant on your blog......if I could.

    I just think a Yankees and anyone but the Red Sox would be just as awesome.
    I don't give a damn about drama and TV ratings.
    Just want the Yanks to win...

    So I can get that autographed snapshot (by Ken) of Jeter and A-Rod hugging in the locker
    room for Christmas.

  8. So, did Girardi ease up by taking Sabathia out after 7 innings and 97 pitches in a one-run game today?

  9. Yes, NaOH, Girardi admitted that, in different circumstances, he would've sent Sabathia back out for the 8th.

  10. Mebbe, mebbe not...didn't see the game.
    Not for me to say or comment on.
    I fell victim to Fox Saturday in 505 and had the pleasure of viewing Cubs/Gints.
    Was Sabathia getting hit hard?
    Were his pitches up in the zone?
    Did he still have command?
    7 innings and 97 pitches could have been (or not) the end of the line for him today.
    Don't know without watching.

    If you saw it, what did you think?

  11. I didn't get the game here either, 505. He had a 1-hitter and had yielded two walks. Everything I read indicated he was dealing.

    Red Sox 5th: Single, followed by three strikeouts

    Red Sox 6th: Walk, strikeout, GIDP

    Red Sox 7th: Groundout, HBP, two groundouts

    Nothing here suggests he was losing command or anything of the sort. As Pete Abe reported from the press box once Sabathia was removed,

    CC is done after seven innings and 97 pitches. Sure, he could have gone more. But the idea is to win on Oct. 7, not an essentially meaningless game on Sept. 26. You want CC rested and ready.

    This is confirmed by Dear Leader's comments above from interviewing Girardi afterward. Basically – and this is how I read Ken's article – this series is not the games a fan should be overly concerned about winning. And players, shouldn't risk themselves for these games either. That doesn't mean they shouldn't hustle, but there's a difference between hustling and seeing someone like Jeter dive headfirst into the stands for a pop up.

  12. Just looked at the box score....
    You ask if Girardi "eased up" by pulling CC.
    Ken insinuates that he did because under different circumstances, he would have sent CC back out.

    I say that if Girardi "eased up" on anything, he simply eased up on CC.
    Cuz he followed up CC with the tried and true dependable combination of Hughes and Mo.
    With their usual 4 strikeouts in 6 batters.

    If Girardi was "easing up" on the Bosox, wouldn't we have seen perhaps Kennedy and Melancon close out the game?

    And looking over today's lineup, the only regular who didn't play was Posada, who, if Newsday pregame reports were accurate, begged out of the game with a sore neck.

    Putting your post-season lineup out there is not "easing up".

    Good for Joe Girardi, good for the Yankees, good for all Yankee fans everywhere.

    BTW...love the 7 stolen bases off of Varitek on Friday.....that's not easing up....that EMBARASSING a weak defensive catcher.


  13. Just looked at the box score....

    Whoa!!! Did you just say you looked at stats in a table?

    The end is near.

  14. I always read boxscores when I can't see a game.
    Those aren't "parabolic matrix, johnny decoder ring SCIENTIFIC" stats.....those are game stories....for the viscerally impaired.

  15. And it may surprise you to hear I read box scores, too.

    If I were new to baseball, and you told me BA is simply hits divided by at bats, that would make sense. If you then told me the following are exceptions, I'd ask for a decoder ring:

    A walk
    Sacrifice fly
    Sacrifice hit
    Reaching base via interference
    Being pinch hit for in the middle of an at bat (with the exception being that if the original batter has two strikes and the mid-at-bat pinch hitter strikes out, than the original batter is charged with an at bat)

    Basically, the only difference between something funky like this and the newer stats is we've spent our life with the at-bat decoder ring and some of these new stats are just a late-life decoder ring addition.

  16. Nope...not gonna go there NaOH...
    Let's not change the subject matter here.

    I'm gonna laugh my ass off if the BloSox go back home after an embarassing 0-3 in NY to face the Jays and the Tribe for their final 7 games and pull a collapse of Metropolitan proportion.
    Stranger things have happened.

    Never ease up.

  17. We see things differently. I just want good baseball, regardless of the teams. As an example, I was rooting for the Rays in last year's playoffs, but I thought it was cool that Boston pushed them to a 7th game in the ALCS.

    As for this year's playoffs, I've already been busting JE's chops with this prediction for a good month now: The World Series will feature the Yankees vs. the Phillies simply because everything else has gone wrong for the Mets this year, so I'm sure they'll have their two greatest rivals face off for the championship. No matter which team wins, Mets fans lose.

    On a completely different subject, here's something I've been meaning to share with you. It seems like something you'd appreciate. If not, my apologies.

    I'm not a Twitter person. Frankly, I just don't care. But this is a Twitter feed I can't help but read: http://bit.ly/1a8Wuj

  18. Ah, I-505, it's good to see that you're still hanging out with the Straw Man. Please send my best to him.

    You cite the Yankees' lineup and the usage of Hughes & Rivera as proof that the Yankees wanted this game. Of course they wanted this game. I never asserted otherwise.

    But I know that nuance is not your specialty. They wanted this game LESS than they want all of their ducks in a row for October.

    CC was absolutely dealing. He was good to go for the 8th. But Girardi lifted him for preservation purposes, and CC understood that and appreciated it.

    Hey, I like being the commenter ripping into the blogger, rather than the other way around! :)

  19. Ken...

    Sorry buddy, but you're the one grasping at straws here.
    The "lifting of CC" is really weak ground to defend your contention about "You don't want to see anyone exert himself too much, however."

    CC went 7 strong innings in late September.
    For him to go another inning when you have Jesus and God (Hughes and Mo) in the pen to finish up is really needless isn't it?
    At any point of the season?

    How many times did that scenario play out this year?
    7 innings by CC or AJ or Pettite?
    Followed up by Hughes and Mo.
    Go ahead, look it up.
    I am not gonna second guess Girardi for lifting CC when he did.
    Cuz Hughes and Mo have been golden all year.

    I'm wondering right now what went through Girardi's mind when you asked him that question about lifting CC.

    "Geezus, is Davidoff second guessing me for lifting CC after 7?....at this point in the season? with Hughes and Mo in the bullpen?"

    If Girardi lifted CC after 4, or 5, or even 6....legitimate question, but after 7?

    So now I'm gonna question your motives with the inquiry.
    Self serving?
    To defend yourself from the bloviations of a guy two time zones away?

    C'mon Ken....you're better than that.

  20. "But I know that nuance is not your specialty."

    LOL.....aren't "nuances" pretty much viscerally based?

    I though you pride yourself on "SCIENTIFIC statistical analysis", and not "nuances".

  21. "But Girardi lifted him for preservation purposes, and CC understood that and appreciated it."

    Did you ask CC if he was offended by being pulled?

    Cuz in your original comment you said
    " Girardi admitted that, in different circumstances, he would've sent Sabathia back out for the 8th."

    The "different circumstances" were never made clear.
    Perhaps the "different circumstances" could have been a tired Hughes and/or Mo in the bullpen?

    Cuz upon further review, Hughes only faced one batter on Friday night and Mo wasn't used at all.

  22. BTW NaOH

    Loved the twitter link.

    Someday I hope to grow up to be just like him

  23. I-505, my apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I shut it down for Yom Kippur.

    Sabathia threw 96 pitches through 7 innings. Can you handle pitch counts? Or is that in your "Johnny Decoder Ring" basket?

    Guess how many starts Sabathia had thrown fewer than 96 pitches this season? Two, of 32. In one, 6/21 at Florida, he left after 28 pitches due to injury. In the other, 8/18 at Oakland, he threw 94 pitches over eight innings and left with a 7-2 injury.

    Had the standings been closer, Girardi said, he would've pushed Sabathia to go an 8th inning. Because a non-fried Sabathia is better than Hughes. That's why Sabathia gets $23 million.

    I'm not quite sure how you equate "nuance" in a statement - in other words, a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, rather than solely a 1 or solely a 10, with the notion that hard data best supports an argument. But that's your journey.

  24. Ken...

    Did you not read my comment at 6:40PM about CC?
    "I say that if Girardi "eased up" on anything, he simply eased up on CC."

    You are diverting the original point of contention in my blog entry...which was my problem with you writing that this weekend's series with Boston meant nothing and that you didn't want to see anyone exert himself too much.

    This obsession about Sabathia throwing 7 innings or 8 innings is a smokescreen to coverup what is now the idiocy of the article you wrote.

    How anyone can discount/downplay the
    "significance" of the Yankees sweeping three games from the Red Sox and clinching the AL East, as well as home field advantage this past weekend is mind boggling to me.

    You have to win to get in.
    Until you win, every game means something.

    You have to play the damn game.

    Nothing is over until it is over.

  25. "How anyone can discount/downplay the
    "significance" of the Yankees sweeping three games from the Red Sox and clinching the AL East, as well as home field advantage this past weekend is mind boggling to me."

    You're in a minority of one. Everyone else on the planet was able to put this past weekend in context. Including Joe Girardi and Terry Francona.

    Everyone else seemed to understand that when I wrote, "This weekend's series is nice, but it's nothing," I meant nothing compared to what might come - a Yankees-Red Sox ALCS. Which would be spectacular.

    I wrote that this series was "about a 6" on the Rivalry Richter Scale. Not a 1. A 6. As always, you are misrepresenting my position and portraying it as a 1. Of course the Yankees were going to steal bases on Varitek. Of course they were going to use their best relievers. They're getting ready for the playoffs!

    "You don't want to see anyone exert himself too much" means 96 pitches for CC. It means Francona conceding Friday night, being down 4 in the 9th.

    If we had this disagreement cordially, that would be one thing. But you're all about personal attacks, which makes it more difficult to have a discussion with you.

  26. I am hard pressed to find anyting resembling a "personal attack" in the 1st two paragraphs of this blog.

    I see no time wasted dredging up your belittling and condescending "Straw Man" reference made famous from your Newsday blog within your first comment here.

    Yet, after I use the word "idiocy" in reference to your column, I am now the one and only guilty of "personal attack".

    Wow....just wow.

  27. "You're in a minority of one. Everyone else on the planet was able to put this past weekend in context. Including Joe Girardi and Terry Francona."

    I'm not so sure about the "minority of one" stat.
    I'd make a friendly wager that if you conducted a scientific survey of the 49K that attended each game, you might get 1 or 2 more, at least.

    And as far as Girardi and Francona, well, pardon me if I take into account their well honed years of careful training to not say the wrong thing in front of the press, a press that has been known (not accusing you of anything, I don't want this to sound like a "personal attack") to ask "loaded" questions.

  28. "Straw Man" is a personal attack? OK. To me, it's calling out a classic debate tactic in which a person (in this case, you) shoots down an extreme opinion that no one is actually voicing - such as that this past weekend's games would feature minor-league players and no attempted stolen bases.

    To me, an example of a personal attack is...let me think now...oh, I know! Going after a professional baseball player for using a psychologist! That is personal, hateful and just plain irrational.

    As usual, I have no clue what your'e talking about re: Girardi and Francona. Saying the "wrong thing"? They didn't "say" anything relevant. It's what they DID - not pushing their players too hard - that told the story.

  29. "It's what they DID - not pushing their players too hard - that told the story."

    Besides Sabathia, who was spared a total of one inning pitched this past weekend, who did Girardi not "push too hard"?
    Seven stolen bases on Friday night?
    That's not pushing?
    Playoff lineup the entire weekend?
    That's not pushing?

    I give you Francona "not pushing".
    And he is paying the price for it this week.
    I'm sure he's not happy riding a 5 game losing this week heading into the playoffs.

    And speaking of Straw Men...
    "Going after a professional baseball player for using a psychologist!"

    I believe, you can look it up (cuz I can't on that POS website of Newsday's), that my opening comments were something along the lines of,(paraphrasing) "it's gonna be hard for any major league ballplayer to evoke sympathy from the fans about his personal travails when he is collecting millions of dollars a year playing a game".

    And then, yes, the thread deteriorated when Bob Tufts defended the player(s) and began listing the long days/weeks away from family, on the road, without support etc....which I called Bullshit on when I countered with many other professions/jobs that have it worse and make far less money.

    My only regret in that whole discussion was taking on Bob Tufts, a man whom I admire and respect very much.

    But I stand by my point in that discussion.

    If you consider that "hate", well, fine, file charges against for engaging in a hate crime.

    It was just my opinion.

    Peace out Ken.

  30. and I'll give you the last word....

  31. The last word is, I appreciate all of your contributions to my blog since your first comment in, I'd venture, July of '08. In all sincerity, peace to you and your family.

  32. Back at you SIR!!

    (oops, I guess I got the last word...asshole that I am).

  33. ease up my ass//you tell him 505/a curse on both their houses--whenever the dead sox and the bronx bullies play i want blood and more blood on both sides--for the shameless amounts of money being showered on them let the players go to afbottomlespitghan in the off season and shed some real blood there