Archive for August, 2012

The sun is setting over Fenway before it even got to shine these days….

There’s failure, then there’s what’s been going on in Fenway Park for the last 500 or so days. Not even two full years after their stunning spending spree on the biggest names on the market in Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, the club is getting a face lift that even Harvey Dent would cringe looking at. The malfunction of the entire system around the Boston Red Sox makes this next statement resoundingly true.

It’s official now: The Boston Red Sox’s winter of 2010 is the biggest failure in big-money free-agency history.

Let that set in, and then realize the truth in it. We’ve seen huge buy-ins that got busted before. Think about everybody the mid-2000’s Yankees dumped money into, emptying out hulls of Kevin Brown, Mike Mussina and Randy Johnson. How about the Marlins multi-buy-ins and -outs? Don’t forget about the Cubs and those huge checks they handed Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano and the walking disaster Milton Bradley. So we’ve seen this before, but never, ever quite this big of a fall-off.

What makes the destruction of the Sox the biggest disaster of them all? It all starts in where it happened. Anything that happens in Boston baseball is on as grand of a stage as there is. Even the failures are historic, and the escapes from them. They traded the entire upper level of their minor leagues for Gonzalez, just a few days before handing Crawford the richest deal of the 2010 winter. In the process, they changed the entire face of the franchise, and on paper, they looked to be the favorites for the American League, at the very least.

But instead of a third World Series in a decade’s time, they ended up being the greatest paper champs ever, because those signings were the highlights of the year in Bean Town. After rarely ever putting their full squad on the field, hosting pitchers that drank more beers than winning games and blowing the biggest lead in one month in baseball history, somebody had to burn. Manager Terry Francona took the burden of the burning ship last year and was made to walk the plank for the club’s failures. GM Theo Epstein may have been the smartest of the whole group, and he jumped off the Titanic on its way down. Anytime the Chicago Cubs, his new club of design, is seen as a safe haven, that’s the realest sign ever that everything’s gone to hell….

 

For the rest of this peace, including why it’s impossible for the Sox to really rebuild, head on over to The Sports Fan Journal’s CHEAT SEATS here: http://www.thesportsfanjournal.com/sports/baseball/everything-must-go-the-tragic-red-sox-yard-sale/

 

For more on baseball’s break into the final month, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan

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There’s something special happening in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this summer. A city that’s become accustomed to the sports summer being nothing but an extended punishment for being so dominant in the winter is getting its gifts early this year. A record-setting losing streak is nearly a thing of the past, and finally, there is the light of day.

Baseball in Pittsburgh has been bad for a while. Barry Bonds leaving town back in ’93 was basically the real-life equivalent of Bane destroying the field that hosted the faux-Steelers home in the summer movie of the moment (that was not-so-ironically shot in the Burgh). Since then the team has been locked in a perpetual cycle of losing without a bit of light shining on it: a run of 18 straight losing seasons. Forget just baseball; that’s the worst consecutive losing streak in North American sports history.

That seminal moment of citywide destruction in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” leading to hopelessness that could only be stopped by the greatest champion the city had, isn’t too far from the truth of the real Pittsburgh. It took the efforts of one, regular yet uniquely skilled man to come back and take on immense odds.

Enter Andrew McCutchen.

The ice cracked back in 2009 when a 22-year-old centerfielder broke in and donned the Pittsburgh “P” fitted, out to make his way. After less than two years into the task, he confirmed this commitment to the cause by signing on to stay until at least 2018. And now, just three years after setting foot in baseball’s biggest pile of rubble, he’s the unchallenged leader of the biggest turnaround in baseball history.

For three-fourths of last summer, the Pirates sat in as the shock of the baseball world, rising back to first place in the second half of the year for the first time in nearly 20 summers. However, their leader faltered for the first time in his career, hitting only .216 in the season’s last three months … and the Pirates fell from top of the division back toward the bottom again. There was more work to do, and it started with Andrew…

 

To peep the rest of how Pittsburgh is being reborn and pushing for long lost lands, head over to the next section of the CHEAP SEATS at The Sports Fan Journal here: http://www.thesportsfanjournal.com/columns/a-pirate-rises-andrew-mccutchen-is-saving-baseball-in-pittsburgh/

I’ve Been Away…But I’m Back

Posted: August 18, 2012 by The Cheap Seat Fan in Uncategorized

I was slowly realizing that I’ve been away directly here in the CHEAP SEATS for a few weeks. And while I’ve been writing, the last two weeks have pushed me into some of my print writing responsibilities, as well as radio ones, and I haven’t been able to pump in as much individual content.  It became resoundingly clear to me yesterday when my Father (like only a concerned father could) checked on my “status as a blogger” due to lack of content here. Yeah…wake up call.

So, with that firecracker of an inquiry, it’s time to get back to work on CSP, and with the widest open pennant chase ever in Major League Baseball there’s no lack of things to pop off on. As well, it’s time for the annual division to division CSP NFL Preview as well (no substitute writers or officials needed).

I’ve been working, but it’s time to step it up once again. But if you’re missing me, you won’t for too long if you ride on over to The Sports Fan Journal, and visit the Cheap Seats column over there. As well, the bulk of my recent work is currently available in the Summer Edition of the Kappa Alpha Psi Journal, and soon the Fall edition as well, featuring a full Olympic recap of various participants from around the world under the organization’s umbrella. Also there will be features on the Mizzou Tigers and ESPN analyst Shaun King

 

 

And for everything from how breakfast is working out, to how the strike zone of a random pitch is effecting my general energy in the world, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan.