no, the fork was in a while ago...Oakland just applied a second coating of BBQ sauce

however, I give Ben this off season to impress.....he has nothing standing in his way at this point to create the exact team he wants and an owner that feels the egg on his face from his decision to not do anything to fix his team last off season.....

to say the pressure is on him to get things right this winter, is an understatement....
9/3/2012 5:09 PM
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....Thank god Brady and the Pats are on Sunday.
9/4/2012 2:47 PM
The clowns are at it again....
9/5/2012 2:39 PM


8/27/2012 @ 2:25PM |3,973 views
Tom Van Riper, Forbes Staff


Red Sox Were Left In Disarray By Theo Epstein

If Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington could say one thing to predecessor Theo Epstein, it might be: “Well, this is a fine mess you’ve gotten me into.”

With the Sox going nowhere, Cherington didn’t bother undoing the Epstein damage in piecemeal fashion. He unloaded the enormous salaries of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett in one monster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’ll ultimately be judged by how effectively he utilizes the newfound payroll flexibility to rebuild the club.

Epstein, who leveraged a pair of World Series titles on his watch into the presidency of the Chicago Cubs, has to go down as the decade’s most overrated baseball executive. Epstein’s story was irresistible, of course. He was billed as the boy genius – a local product who grew up in nearby Brookline, Mass., educated at Yale, achieving his dream job of running the Red Sox before the 2003 season at age 28. He was in charge when the team broke “the curse” by winning it all in 2004.

But the core of the Red Sox championship club was put together by Espstein’s predecessor, Dan Duquette (predecessor in the permanent sense, Mike Port held the GM job on an interim basis for a few months in 2002). Duquette, who was regarded as public enemy No. 1 in Boston in the mid-1990s when he publicly deemed a 34-year-old Roger Clemens to be in the twilight of his career, was ultimately vindicated after he let the Rocket walk to the Toronto Blue Jays.

While Clemens embarked on a major career revival, hindsight suggests he had a lot of artificial help. Meantime, Duquette went about building the Red Sox into championship contenders, letting other aging stars like Mo Vaughan and Jose Canseco sign elsewhere while he acquired major pieces like Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe. He also drafted future stars Nomar Garciaparra, Kevin Youkillis and Hanley Ramirez (later dealt for Beckett).

Epstein would have his moments, certainly, mainly by tinkering with Duquette’s blueprint to help put Boston over the top. Early in his tenure, Epstein picked up David Ortiz, a hitter who hadn’t particularly distinguished himself in Minnesota, on the cheap. When Ortiz flourished in Boston, Epstein had himself lightning in a bottle. He also had the gumption to deal Garciaparra, a big fan favorite, for shortstop Orlando Cabrera and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz. The move tightened up the 2004 infield defense, a big factor in that season’s championship.

Epstein also showed good discipline when he allowed World Series heroes Martinez and Damon to walk as free agents, rather than overpay for them as they reached their mid-30s. And he utilized Duquette’s farm system talent overflow to get Curt Schilling.

But when expectations are high and you’re competing against the free-spending Yankees, discipline is hard to maintain. And that’s just the trap Epstein fell into. Even as he was being held up as a leader of the new breed of sabremetric stat gurus, he veered from that formula often. The list of head scratching moves is a fairly long one. There were the three years and $25 million for Matt Clement. Five years and $70 million for J.D. Drew. Four years and $40 million for Edgar Renteria. Another four years and $36 million for Julio Lugo (possibly baseball’s worst everyday player during his time in Boston). And of course, $80 million over five years for John Lackey in 2010, despite his being on a two-year decline with the Angels at the time.

Those deals add up to $251 million effectively flushed down the toliet. Epstein was also ready to overpay for Cuban pitcher Jose Contreras in 2003, until the Yankees swooped in at the 11th hour (that development sparked Epstein into a famous temper tantrum that wrecked a hotel room). All of this with sabremetric godfather Bill James on the payroll.

And then the recent splurge, all in the name of trying to keep up with the Yankees, who had taken the 2009 World Series after signing CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira: $364 million committed to Crawford, Gonzalez and Beckett.  Only one of the three, Gonzalez, lived up to the money statistically, though many have questioned his laid back attitude and his possible role in bad mouthing manager Bobby Valentine to ownership. Those three are the Dodgers’ risks now, as Cherington begins the process of starting over.

Forget beer and chicken in the clubhouse. The Red Sox are victims of a GM who responded to the pressure to keep a winning program going by throwing good money after bad on a continuing basis. Eventually, it blows up on you.

9/5/2012 3:34 PM

I am as disappointed as anyone connected with Liverpool Football Club that we were unable to add further to our strike force in this summer transfer window, but that was not through any lack of desire or effort on the part of all of those involved. They pushed hard in the final days of the transfer window on a number of forward targets and it is unfortunate that on this occasion we were unable to conclude acceptable deals to bring those targets in.

But a summer window which brought in three young, but significantly talented starters in Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin and Fabio Borini as well as two exciting young potential stars of the future - Samed Yesil and Oussama Assaidi - could hardly be deemed a failure as we build for the future.  

Nor should anyone minimise the importance of keeping our best players during this window. We successfully retained Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Luis Suarez. We greatly appreciate their faith and belief in the club. And we successfully negotiated new, long-term contracts with Luis and with Martin.

No one should doubt our commitment to the club. In Brendan Rodgers we have a talented young manager and we have valued highly his judgement about the make-up of the squad. This is a work in progress. It will take time for Brendan to instill his philosophy into the squad and build exactly what he needs for the long term.

The transfer policy was not about cutting costs. It was - and will be in the future - about getting maximum value for what is spent so that we can build quality and depth. We are avowed proponents of UEFA's Financial Fair Play agenda that was this week reiterated by Mr Platini - something we heartily applaud. We must comply with Financial Fair Play guidelines that ensure spending is tied to income. We have been successful in improving the commercial side of the club and the monies generated going forward will give us greater spending power in the coming years.

We are still in the process of reversing the errors of previous regimes. It will not happen overnight. It has been compounded by our own mistakes in a difficult first two years of ownership. It has been a harsh education, but make no mistake, the club is healthier today than when we took over.   

Spending is not merely about buying talent. Our ambitions do not lie in cementing a mid-table place with expensive, short-term quick fixes that will only contribute for a couple of years. Our emphasis will be on developing our own players using the skills of an increasingly impressive coaching team. Much thought and investment already have gone into developing a self-sustaining pool of youngsters imbued in the club's traditions.

That ethos is to win. We will invest to succeed. But we will not mortgage the future with risky spending.

After almost two years at Anfield, we are close to having the system we need in place. The transfer window may not have been perfect but we are not just looking at the next 16 weeks until we can buy again: we are looking at the next 16 years and beyond. These are the first steps in restoring one of the world's great clubs to its proper status.

It will not be easy, it will not be perfect, but there is a clear vision at work. 

We will build and grow from within, buy prudently and cleverly and never again waste resources on inflated transfer fees and unrealistic wages. We have no fear of spending and competing with the very best but we will not overpay for players.

We will never place this club in the precarious position that we found it in when we took over at Anfield. This club should never again run up debts that threaten its existence.

Most of all, we want to win. That ambition drives every decision. It is the Liverpool way. We can and will generate the revenues to achieve that aim. There will be short-term setbacks from time to time, but we believe we have the right people in place to bring more glory to Anfield.

Finally, I can say with authority that our ownership is not about profit. Contrary to popular opinion, owners rarely get involved in sports in order to generate cash. They generally get involved with a club in order to compete and work for the benefit of their club. It's often difficult. In our case we work every day in order to generate revenues to improve the club. We have only one driving ambition at Liverpool and that is the quest to win the Premier League playing the kind of football our supporters want to see. That will only occur if we do absolutely the right things to build the club in a way that makes sense for supporters, for us and for those who will follow us. We will deliver what every long-term supporter of Liverpool Football Club aches for.


9/5/2012 3:43 PM
Aceves is a whiny little *****. Refusing to hand Valentine the ball after he coughs up yet another lead. The Sux should cut him.
9/22/2012 6:12 PM
Posted by Jtpsops on 9/22/2012 6:12:00 PM (view original):
Aceves is a whiny little *****. Refusing to hand Valentine the ball after he coughs up yet another lead. The Sux should cut him.
I hate the Red Sox, and I think Valentine is a clown.....but I agree with this 100%.  If you cannot respect your manager, then you should not have a job.  It's sad that he shows him up during games too, so the whole world can see it.  Pathetic attitude by Aceves.
9/24/2012 1:43 PM
I don't see how he was still with the team coming back from the last west coast trip.....the ownership of this team is completely without balls
9/25/2012 12:13 AM
That kind of attitude shouldn't fly anywhere, but I could somewhat understand the entitlement if he was good. Someone needs to hand Aceves his stat sheet. I guarantee his manager didn't give up all those runs.
9/25/2012 8:10 AM
It's not all on the front office - Valentine could take a stand himself by not putting Aceves in any games until he decides to grow up and be a man.  Wouldn't be hard at all with expanded rosters.
9/25/2012 1:44 PM
I'm feeling like Bobby V might be back next year. All the really strong personalities he clashed with are gone. Plus, even though he's been far from a perfect manager, with how much he was undermined by players and the executive this season, I don't know who in their right mind would want to manage that mess of a ballclub next season. I really can't see Farrell being stupid enough to leave the Jays, who have far more potential with a healthy team than the Sux do.
10/1/2012 5:59 PM
10/2/2012 8:47 AM
Anyone else think Melancon looked scared sh*tless tonight? He kept stalling between pitches, but it looked like he was actually freezing up, afraid to throw to Tex and Cano.
10/2/2012 10:19 PM
He did look unsure of himself. 
10/3/2012 8:39 AM
Bye Bye Bobby V.

Kind of feel bad for the guy.
10/4/2012 1:08 PM
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