The 'Linkage' post to the right will be in the barn shortly. We had a slight bend in the URL wheel. - Ed.
At Hey Bill:
Hmmmmm.... August 2006, THE worst string of injuries anybody EVER had. That in itself is worth a cuppa coffee, to me... just the fa'ax, ma'am:
1) As they went to bed on July 31st, the Red Sox had won on a walkoff to go 63 wins, 41 losses, up +1.0 in the AL East.
2) SP4 Jon Lester had been called up on June 10 and pitched well to go 7-2, 4.76 in 81 innings although his back had begun to pain him. The cancer diagnosis followed.
3) SP1 Curt Schilling was 14-4 on Aug. 4 but didn't win again until he scrabbled a W the last day of the season.
4) David Ortiz was hospitalized twice with heart (!) issues, but somewhow managed to keep hitting just as well.
5) SP5 Matt Clement had already been hit in the head in June and wasn't availalble to be tossed onto the village cart.
6) Trot Nixon was slugging .332/.437/.488 on July 4th, a line Edgar Martinez would be proud of, but rolled off the table to .268/.373/.394 by the end of the year.
7) Jason Varitek was struggling all the way through, I guess; he'd OPS+'ed over 120 the prvious three years, like .269/.390/.482, but hit only .238/.235/.400 at age 34.
8) Coco Crisp I'm not sure about; he dropped off from 34 runs scored in the 1H to 24 runs in the 2H, and maybe the Sox lost a lot of their outfield defense to a leg injury or something like that.
But in addition to those seven big name players, the 2006 had Manny Ramirez (!), the 27-year-old Kevin Youkilis, Mike Lowell 3B (20 HR, 80 RBI), Wily Mo Pena (.498 SLG) .... Gabe Kapler, Dustin Pedroia getting a cup of coffee, Carlos Pena. Pitching, they had Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield ... in the bullpen Jon Papelbon getting 35 saves, Keith Foulke, Mike Timlin.
You notice that James isn't complaining that the fans won't cut the Red Sox any slack. He's marvelling about how the Red Sox themselves won't cut themselves any slack. This is something very remarkable.
There is some (apocryphal) story about Johnny Unitas playing semi-pro for $6 a game and throwing for 550 yards, or whatever. His team lost 51-48 or something. His wife asked, "How'd it go?" A teammate asked, what did you tell her. "That we lost."
There is a real value in this, in the idea that the Space Shuttle has to make it back to ground safely; don't prep your excuses, just pull those astronauts out of the capsule. ... James seems to have little interest in how baseball history would have played out absent the wars.
Wow, Jon Lester has 5 years to go on a $125,000,000 contract.