Tag Archive: Occupy Boston


Record: 46-44

Standings: 9.5 games back. Tied for 3rd in the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Conversations That Happen Every Time I Talk About the Sox:
Me: Ehh the Sox are doing pretty bad this year.
Sox Fan: Yeah but they’re getting better that’s got to count for something.
ME: Ehh.. I guess. (Pause) Hey remember when you thought John Lackey was going to be good.
Sox Fan: (sigh and nod)

Top Pitcher So Far: Felix Doubront( Much like Zobirst I’m not going to dignify his performance with stats)

Top Batter So Far: David Ortiz .316 batting average, 23 Home Runs, 58 RBI’s, .414 On-base Percentage, and 101 hits(he leads the team in all these categories)

The Red Sox are the second most confusing tale of the first half…. except we’ve seen it all before. The Red Sox started off last  this season much like I started off high school, floundering and blaming all the wrong things for their problems. But they sort of picked things up. They’re tied for 3rd in the AL East and that counts for something. They are only a game back in the wild card too. at this rate by September they should lead the wild card by about ten games and there’s no way they can screw that up right. If you are feeling like you’ve heard this story before well you have. The Red Sox are thus far following an eerily similar scrip to last season, but fear not I for see a different end. The Red Sox can flat out hit the ball. They are struggling on the pitching side of things but are 2nd in Runs, 5th in Batting Average, 6th in On-base Percentage, and 4th in Slugging Percentage. I honestly don’t expect their pitching to get much better but what it can do is be more consistent. It helps that there’s no John Lackey. While I still think pitching is the key to true sucess you just can’t ignore this line-up. Carl Crawford is coming off the disabled list with should give them an improved defense and an infusion of speed. This will be good going forward.  With a bit more consistency in the pitching department this line-up could carry them a long way.

Thoughts about the Team: If this team makes the Play-offs Big Papi Should win the MVP. No player has been more valuable to his club this year than him. I know we have a tendency to give this award to the player with the flashiest number but how good has this guy been. He deserves the award and I’m a Yankee fan. If we are really talking about who is indispensably valuable to a team Papi has to be the guy. He provides numbers and leadership to a team that many thought was missing that last year.

Best Case Scenario: They can make the Play-offs as a wild card and their offense could send them to the AL Championship Series but I think there they get out pitched. If David Ortiz wins an MVP along the way more power to them.

Worst Case Scenario: They get a big lead in the wild card and fall apart like last season. If this were the Atlanta Braves who suffered a similar finish last season. I’d rather we just not even be in the race than that happen again.

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Record: 46-44

Standings: 9.5 games back. Tied for 3rd in the AL East with the Boston Red Sox

Something That Has Nothing to Do With Anything: I really hate that they won’t let Joe Maddon wear the Hoodie anymore. It really had a Belichick feel to it.

Top Pitcher So Far: David Price 12-4, 2.80 Earned Run Average, and 13 quality starts in 18 tries.

Top Hitter So Far: Can I Pass…Fine Ben Zobrist (I’m not mentioning his stats look for yourself}

So I’m going to say something and everyone is going to think I’m crazy. I actually like Tampa Bay’s chances going forward more than the Red Sox or the Orioles. No the Rays have had a crappy season and rank 28th in batting average, 21th in On-Base Percentage, and 26th in Slugging Percentage. The interesting thing is despite this they are 16th in Runs. Which says they are efficient with the chances they get. Now almost everyone on the team is having a career low year and it is unlikely that this trend will continue for everyone. This means if they use there chances at similar efficiency their run productions is sure to go up. Add to that they have in my opinion a much better rotation than Baltimore and Boston they could be formidable to say the least in a grab for the wildcard spot. David Price is leading a rotation that boasts The ninth best Earned Run Average in the majors, the 10th best Batting Average Against, and 12th best WHIP(walks + hits/innings pitched). To some of you that might sound good but not great but remember they play in a star studded AL East which can put up numbers that scare pitchers.

Silver Lining: Evan Longoria has only played 23 games this year so far. He is a big part of getting that offense back on track. Even though there is no set return date look for the team to see him return to the line-up soon and if history is any indication, he’ll return in a big way.

Best Case Scenario: There is a strong possibility in my mind that Tampa Bay could close strong. If Evan Longoria Comes back and plays well I think that they can steal the second wildcard spot which is sure to come out of the loaded AL East. More importantly I think David Price Might when the Cy Young Award.

Worst Case Scenario: Worst Case scenario in this case has nothing to do with standings. I think if injuries keep nagging Longoria and he doesn’t play to his usual standards this could be a huge red flag on this guy moviing forward on a guy they have built there organization around. Infact I’d let almost every guy on this team walk away before Longoria. Then top on that they probably won’t make the Play-offs, and David Price Fails to win the Cy Young and all is lost.

Record: 46-41

Standings: 2nd in the AL East. Back by 8 games. 2nd wild card sport up by half a game.

My favorite team nickname: The Fighting Showalters after their manager Buck Showalter.

Top Pitcher First Half: Jim Johnson 26 saves in 27 tries and a 1.41 ERA.

Top Batter First Half: Adam Jones .290 BA, 20 HR, 45 rbi’s

The Orioles are in a weird spot. They are second in their division and holding a wild card spot right now but by all regards no one would say they’re sitting pretty. The Yankees lead the division by 8 games at the moment and don’t look like they have any intentions of giving that up anytime soon. The Tampa Bay Rays are just a bit behind in the wild card, have a much better line-up, and arguably better pitching than the O’s. That being said the Orioles have made it this far so don’t sleep on them. The key to the second half for them will be getting better on offense. They picked up Jim Thome from the Phillies going into the second half and he should provide some power. Adam jones also needs to stay hot if they are going to continue this run. I honestly don’t think its the Orioles year this year. Time will tell if I am proved wrong.

Thing to Improve: They rank pretty near the bottom of the league in batting average(26th) and runs(19th). They might consider looking to the open market for help. I might call the Houston for help and see what it would take to get Jed Lowrie for the stretch. Not a great hitter but better than J.J. Hardy right now and you wouldn’t lose anything on defense. What I really like about this deal is Gonzalez is not the type of player you’d have to sell the farm to acquire. So even if things don’t work out it was worth a shot.

Best Case Scenario: I don’t see the Orioles winning the division. The Yankees are too far ahead and the Orioles to weak a team offensively to make a real push upwards in the division. They could very well snatch a wild card though.  If they can add a bat to go with Thome and Jones I think they can hold on and make the playoffs for the first season since 1997.

Worst Case Scenario: The O’s fall apart in the second half like most people predict. Which wouldn’t be all bad. They by all means even in the bleakest of predictions are predicted to finish with the best record they have had in years and have shown themselves to have good pieces to move forward with.

Record:54-33

Standings: 1st in the AL East 8 games up in the division

Top Pitcher first half: C.C. Sabathia 9-3, 2.45 ERA, and 105 strikeouts.

Top Batter first Half: Robison Cano .315 BA, 21 HR, and 54 RBIs

Coming into the second half the Yankees are sitting in the catbird seat. They are 8 games ahead of the second place Baltimore Orioles and by all measures have a much better team than the Orioles so there is not much fear that the Orioles will catch up. Add to that no one in the AL East came in to the break playing inspiring baseball they have to feel good about where they are. The real key for the Yankees is not getting complacent and entering the post-season rolling.

Things to work on: Russell Martin is by far the weak link in their line-up. Unfortunately he plays catcher and there is very little chance they can pick up a decent catcher in the trading market. That means if they are going to get better there Martin is going to have to step it up a lot. He’s batting a paltry .181 which is 80 points lower than his career marks. Word on the street is Manager Joe Girardi has already talked to the catcher and made him aware they are going to try for a fresh start ing the second half.

Some Telling Stats: The Yankees in my opinion could be scoring more runs. They are 6th in the Major League in runs(418) after having racking up the 3rd best on base percentage( .336} and the best slugging percentage(.461) Unfortunately for them, they rank eighth in batting average meaning with a little more contact from there hitters they might be driving in even more runs. They already have the second highest run differential in the American League.

Best Case Scenario: I see no circumstance Where the Yankees don’t make the play-offs. The best case scenario for them is going into the play-offs with home field advantage and staying healthy in the second half.

Worst Case Scenario: Like I said I see no way the Yanks don’t make the play-offs so the really the worst case scenario in my head is they get complacent and the Blue Jays slip past them by a game or so and they come into the play-offs weak.

Yesterday it was announced that Chipper Jones(3B, Atlanta Braves) will be replacing Matt Kemp(OF, L.A. Dodgers) on the National League All Star roster for Major League Baseball. Now it would be easy for me to write a post all about how this is the big bit of politicking and how it’s just a creative way to ensure Bryce Harper(OF, Washington Nationals) makes it into the All Star game. Lord knows that Major League Baseball wants him involved anyway possible and I’m fairly sure he’ll win MLB’s final vote with Jones gone but that’s not the story I want to tell here. The story I want to tell has a bit more heart.

A lot has changed since Chipper Jones broke into the league back in 1993. The Braves no longer are unfathomably a western division team, Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz are all retired, Bobby Cox has bid farewell to baseball, there is no longer a team in Montreal and once again a team in the nation’s capitol, social media has made the game much more accessible and, Fulton County Stadium no longer exists. Even Chipper himself has gone through a myriad of changes. He no longer plays shortstop, he’s not nearly as nimble as he used to be, and he takes more days off than he ever has before and yet… he’s still here.

He is now in his 20th season as a major league ball player and before spring training he announced it would be his last. In an old school way that befits him, it has allowed him to have a farewell tour of sorts and given the whole league(fans, players, and managers alike) a chance to celebrate the career of an amazing individual. In my mind he’s a sure-fire hall of famer and I’ll get into that argument and his numbers in another post but all that aside he’s been a joy to watch.

One of the things I’ve always liked about Chipper is how much fun he has. Whether you’re watching him in the batting cage or you’re watching make plays on the field he looks like he’s having so much fun. So many times over the years. I’ve seen the camera cut to him smiling and laughing with teams, cheering them on, and ribbing opponents after a hit. This man tormented Mets’ fans so much that they taunted him by his birth name(Larry) at the plate. In response he decimated their team every chance he got, and then named his kid Shea(I was so sad to see that stadium torn down) after their stadium which is sure to serve as a life long reminder that it was always him who got the last laugh. It was hard to watch him later in his career as injuries started to over take him and he sat out many games as he watched his team lose dominance. Probably wondering all the while if they might be doing better had he been healthy. But this year all that seems to not matter when you look at him.

He’s by all indications enjoying his last year. He’s resting a couple of times a week now to prevent injury and even though he has had some injuries he’s doing well when he plays. He has a .313 batting average and is coming up with clutch plays, some timely rbi’s. and is providing a ton of leadership to a young Braves team that needs it if the team is to reach their potential. Just last night he had 5 hits and 4 rbi’s proving he’s still got it in him. The Braves aren’t quite where he’d like them to be I’m sure but coming into the break they are right in the thick of things. With a few adjustments they could very well take a wild card spot and maybe even win the division for the first time in years.

As he’s gone from stadium to stadium fans and teams have done a lot to show them how much they appreciate his career and to Chipper’s credit he’s accepted their praise and occasional gifts humbly. He’s seemed very content and happy with his role this year and his pending retirement. He’s smiling and joking all the way through the season. He’s playing the role of elder statesmen perfectly. Telling stories about former Braves pitcher Greg Maddux cussing him out, helping the hitting coaches adjust the hitters swings as necessary, giving scouting reports to hitters coming to the plate, and proving he’s got enough left in the tank to justify this last year of play.

Two things about Chipper hasn’t changed in his twenty years. First he still plays for the Braves. As a fan it is so nice to see this. In an age where personalities, circumstance, and promises of riches in free agency rarely see a player in any sport finish his career playing for only one team it is refreshing to see a player like Chipper make a home in Atlanta and stay. Chipper has had to watch many things conspire to see lots of players who started with the Braves go many places. This year and last he’s played without the only manager he had ever known in the majors with retirement of Bobby Cox. Yet he’s still here and anyone should be able to appreciate that. The second thing is something a bit simpler. I’m just glad he’s still smiling and loving the game. He’s still in so many ways the kid drafted first overall in 1990, the shortstop that got hurt after his call-up, the World Series winner from the 95 team, the MVP from the 1999 season, and the batting champ from the 2008 season. In other words, he’s still Chipper after all these years.

The Nets were a pretty bad team the last two seasons and there’s not much else that needs to be said beyond but in the last few days they have taken major steps towards becoming a big player in the Eastern Conference, First they resigned small forward Gerald Wallace to a 4 year $40 million contract. Then in an effort to convince star point guard Deron Williams to stay with the team as they move to Brooklyn next season, they set up a deal that would bring Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Joe “I’ve-got-an-unmovable-contract” Johnson to Brooklyn in exchange for Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow, and Jordan Williams along with Deshawn Stevenson via a sign and trade. The best part is they made the deal not happen unless Deron Williams resigned. Well Today he announced he would be resigning with the Nets and Joining them in Brooklyn. The Hawks trade can now be completed. The more exciting thing for nets fans however is now talks with the Orlando Magic for center Dwight Howard have been renewed, If the deal were to happen that would immediately make the Nets contenders in the east and give them a big three of their own. Most importantly though it gives them legit marketable starts for their move to Brooklyn. The one concern as a Nets fan one might have is Money going forward. Fortunately for them owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov does not seemed scared of in the least by the penalties established in the collective bargaining agreement to discourage big spending. It looks as if the actions of the Nets has completely changed the look of the off-season. Only time will tell if this trend will continue.

Welcome to The Show

Most people don’t know this but the minor leagues in baseball is still a professional league. In fact all a league has to do to be professional is pay its players a living wage. Players who are in the minor leagues are acutely aware of people’s perception of their situation and of the reality. The know they’re professionals but they also know if they don’t hit the majors their nephew and his friends won’t see it that way. To these guys they call the majors The Show. Same job, some of the same faces even, and just as much work. The difference is two fold. The first difference is money. You can very quickly become a millionaire. Frankly that’s totally awesome but the second thing is even better. The second difference is now You’ve made it. Respect will always be there. You join a select group. You’ve accomplished your dream. Which is worth so much more than money. Even if that can’t pay the bills.

Now you may be saying what does that have to do with Occupy the Game, the sports radio show on Occupy Boston Radio? More importantly what does that how’ve to do with you, Alex Ingram host of Occupy the Game? The answer is everything.

This is The Show for me. I’ve been waiting for a chance to show and share my knowledge and opinions on sport for years. It used to be I’d just tell anyone who was randomly will to listen. I bombarded stranger, friends, and family with numbers, stats, anecdotes, scouting reports, predictions, and social commentary related to sports. Now I have a willing audience. It’s vindication for the time and energy spent watching extra inning games, learning the rules of cricket, and surfing the net looking for promising high school basketball prospects. More importantly it’s a chance to show people how this effects every moment of our lives whether we know it or not. Sports is Probably a Trillion dollar industry in this country. Effecting everything from tourism to fiscal fitness requirement for fifth graders. It is simultaneously the most ridiculous use of money on earth and the thing that has been known to cause even countries at war to sit down and engage in a little good old fashion fun. I’m not saying it fixes all problems but it provides a venue in which one can put aside differences and have a little relaxation.

So every Monday night at 7 I’m going to talk sports an I’m going to feel great about. Because Ive made it. This wonderful working put its faith in me to deliver a worth while message to the masses. I’ll do exactly that I’ll educate a legion of followers, all seven of them.

Alex Ingram