Sunday, December 19, 2004

Tedious Research Reveals...

The Red Sox have a team in the Sally League this year called the Capital City Bombers. I wonder if they play on 4th Street & D. Did you know that Columbia, South Carolina (Capital City) has had minor league teams called the Commies and the Reds? As well as the Gamecocks and Comers. I tried to figure out that last one, and I'm thinkin' it refers to "All-Comers" meets, which, according to the internet oracle, seem to be popular at colleges in the south and midwest. And upstate New York.

In Quiz news, a person who goes by the name of PizzaBagel and my real-life friend Jen knew Pee-Wee's dog's name was Speck. They both get a point. Next quiz: How did Bill Lee autograph his 1971 Topps baseball card?

You know what isn't talked about enough? How the yankees played their home games at Shea Stadium in '74 & '75. I don't expect the girl who takes my order at Subway to bring it up out of the blue or anything, but I just never see footage or pictures of that. I'd love to see a big-sideburned Red Sox-yankees game at Shea on ESPN Classic. I tried looking for pics of baseball cards which might show American League players in Flushing from that time, and I came across a 1975 Jim Rice card where he's at Shea. This means the picture was taken in '74. Since Rice's first ever game was August 19th of that year, the pic had to be taken in the final yankee away series of the year. Which, thanks to retrosheet, was September 24th and 25th, 1974. There must have been a rain out on the 23rd, necessitating a doubleheader on the 24th, game 2 of which Jim Ed batted 5th and went 1 for 4 with a double off of Larry Gura. Also note that the Sox were in the midst of a nineteen game stretch where they played SIX extra inning games at the time. Ain't retrosheet grizzand?

So... oh yeah, isn't it weird that Rice and Evans had played regular season games at Shea before playing in the World Series games in '86?

After further review, that set the Rice card is from, SSPC, is one I'd never heard of. They had just a picture on the front, with no words, and were around in 1975 and 1976. So this card may be from '76, there seems to be some confusion. It would make sense, as the card I linked to, judging by the daylight and shadows, looks like it was taken in BP before a mid-summer day game, not a late September twi-night doubleheader after a rainy night. Then again, he's got long sleeves on. I'm stumped. Also, maybe SSPC came out at the end of the year, so their 1975 set would feature players FROM 1975, as opposed to the major companies, who release their set the following year. But either way, it turns out this set is good for seeing AL players at Shea, since A. Topps took a lot of pics for cards in spring training in those years, and B. Lots of baseball card pics are taken in NY anyway. (See the Mariners or Blue Jays page of the 1981 Topps Sticker Book.) It's okay, I know you're not going to.

I also noticed that SSPC had a Willie Mays card in '75 and '76, according to whoever put them on eBay, and his career ended in '73. Weird. Did he coach for the Mets after he stopped playing? Is SSPC a hoax?

I think Arrested Development might be giving David Cross' character more to do: The preview for next week's episode involved only him.

That's all I got.

No, wait. About's his WFAN interview from right after his press conference. This should link you right to it, you won't have to search the FAN site. Please listen to the whole thing if you haven't heard it, or if you've only seen the out-of-context quotes from it on the Muddy Mastiff's site.

You'll hear Pedro say how much he respects the Boston fans, how he doesn't care that Schill was ahead of him, how he isn't given special treatment, etc. I think he did a great job dealing with Mike & the Mad Dog being kind of stern in their style, and asking about all the bullcrap, almost hoping he'll admit to it. He defended himself well, saying how the media is just looking for ratings and to sell papers.

I think Theo did a great job reacting to what Pedro said about him, which, again, when taken out of context, seems like Pedro was snarling and yelling and foaming at the mouth. Kind of familiar, right, like when uninformed yankee fans blindly call Pedro a punk or a headhunter or whatever.

I think Pedro does deserve respect. For going out and pitching beautifully while all people would say about him was how he's about to break down, or he doesn't have it anymore, or he takes extra vacation time. So maybe after hearing so much about Schilling, he finally defended himself saying how he's just as good as Schilling. And of course, it sounds like he's "taking shots," but I don't know, who'll be better in four years anyway, Pedro at 37 or Schilling at 42? But in that initail interview, you can hear how he said he respected Curt.

That said, it must be hard for a superstar to understand why a team wouldn't bend over backwards for him. But as we know, the Sox are trying to squeeze every dime out of what they have, and giving a guy with health problems a long term contract was just to much of a risk.

So to sum up, I see where both sides are coming from.

I wish Pedro the best, and I, like Mike and the Mad Dog, will go see him pitch at Shea, maybe with a "Thank You, Pedro" sign or something. I think he'll see quite few Sox fans at Shea this year.

And I'm happy with everything Theo has done, and I trust him. We know he grew up a fan, so unless he was a dirtdog-style fan, he probably would've loved to have Pedro stay. Even if Pedro wins the next four Cy Youngs, we just can't be mad at Theo, because he did what he had to do.

How's that for positive thinking?

He signed it
William Frances Lee

and you can get one right now on ebay
$5.99 bid

I think, as long as Pedro doesn't end up a Yankee at some point along the line, he'll eventually be remembered very fondly by Sox fans everywhere.

If you do bring a "Thanks Pedro" sign to Shea, make sure you indicate that you're a Red Sox fan thanking him for his years with us, as opposed to being a Met fan thanking him for joining the Other New York team.

It'll mean more to him, that way.

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