Saturday, July 15, 2006

The CHB Returns

It's been 2-1/2 weeks since The CHB penned a piece on the Red Sox. Dan, we hardly missed ye!

But he returns in full force this weekend, blowing into Fenway and blowing hot air the direction of the same player to whom he only months ago was blowing ... wet kisses at.

Josh Beckett, who has run hot and cold this season, is the latest focus of Dan's poison pen.

In Shaughnessy speak, Beckett becomes "Way Back," the "Bridgemaster" and "Bombino."

It's a shocking turnabout (lover's quarrel?). You will recall, of course, that on April 5 The CHB called Beckett a "stud starter," and on Nov. 29, he felt Boston management should be jailed for theft for the trade that brought Beckett to Beantown. On Nov. 27, he drooled so much on his keyboard he probably shorted electrical circuits all over Newton:

* "Young righthander Josh Beckett is coming to town, and he's the just the guy to don the jersey that hasn't been worn since Roger Clemens cleaned out his locker in the last week of September 1996."

* "... a 25-year-old stud righty. An heir to Clemens."

* "There he is, ladies and gentlemen, your new stopper. The torch has been passed from Clemens to Pedro to Schilling to Beckett. Time to pass along No. 21 now."


Bill James watch: "Time for Theo and the Minions to get Beckett a Bill James printout. The big righty's strategy is not working." Dan's antipathy toward those who know more about baseball than he does continues.


fadedredsoxhat said...

Did he really use the word "minions" to describe the people he wanted to see move up the ladder? I thought these "minions" knew more about baseball than Theo. As for Beckett, CHB came just short of calling him "a piece of junk" like he did to Jose Offerman shortly before his release.

jenny said...

"Minions" is a favorite term of CHB's. It was in practically every column over the winter. Given that it means "a servile or fawning dependant," I find it insulting. But whatever.

Aside from the irritating manner in which this is written and the fact that it pretty much directly contradicts what he wrote back at the time of the trade, I think CHB is right on point here.

Josh Beckett, to put it kindly, is a dumbass. So is Jason Varitek. The pitch-calling has been awe-inspiringly awful. He throws nothing but fastballs and can't control the inner half of the plate at all. He doesn't learn from his mistakes, he just tries to hurl it harder. He's a thrower, not a pitcher. He doesn't read scouting reports or prepare like Schilling does, he just feels his way through the lineup and then is seemingly surprised when it bites him in the ass. I'm rapidly tiring of this, even more so since I found out from the book that the trade was forced through by Lucchino just to prove something to the fan base, over the objections of Jed Hoyer, who must have been really galled when he had to stand up and defend the screwed-up use of the trade physicals when he didn't even want to do the damned thing in the first place. I'm honestly a little surprised that Jed is still around. If it's true that Beckett isn't throwing any curveballs because he's afraid of blister problems, the injury risk won't have been worth it, because it turns him into a crap pitcher.

I hate agreeing with CHB over pretty much anything, but here he's right. When Beckett sucks, he really sucks, and it's always the same story. Somebody needs to kick him in the ass and tell him to learn how to pitch, not throw.

The Chief said...

That all may be true about Beckett, but the problems with the column are 1) Shaughnessy put the kid on a pedestal all winter long, then after a few poor outings treats him like he's Whitey Bulger, and 2) unless calling him names counts, Shaughnessy doesn't offer any solution for the problem.

Quintessential CHB.

jenny said...

True. And it's very unlikely that this rant was well-thought out. If you blast enough people, eventually you'll hit on a semi-appropriate target. Even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut, I guess they would say.

I think we're going to be treated to a piece on HGH tomorrow, if I interpreted the NESN pregame show correctly. So brace yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Another piece of trash, starting with his opening tag line. True to form, the CHB ignores the facts, and says the following:

"He is the Bridgemaster, the Bombino, the man most likely to send you home with a souvenir if you are sitting in the Monster Seats."

Nice sentence. Now, only if it were true. But let's not let the facts get in the way of a swarmy open CHB!

Last I checked Beckett has allowed 5 HR's at Fenway thus far this year. So has Wakefield. Oh, and someone named Foulke has actually allowed 6 HR's. But maybe those don't count when you're more concerned about finishing that all-important, ground-breaking piece about a chem lab in LA.

Not sure which is more embarassing: not holding a 4 game lead against a Sheffield-less, Matsui-less Yankees, or reading a column by a supposed journalist whose utter laziness or just downright disregard for the facts leaves you with nothing but a liner for your kitty litter tray?

Is it the heat and humidity, or just the fact that everytime I read the CHB's drivel, I feel like I need to take a shower?

Gov. Skink

Objectivebruce said...

Looks like Mr. Anonymous of 7:27 will be joining the remedial reading class that will be populated by so many of his fellow "critics."

The point of this column was Beckett's performance of late and that Beckett is on a pace to set American and major league records for home runs allowed. You might want to READ the second graf. The column is just as clearly about how Beckett is doing right now, and you'll notice that he's given up four taters in his last three Fenway starts and has an ERA over seven for the month of July. But more than that, if you want to be Mr. Baseball Research, why didn't you explain just how many homers off Wakefield Fouke and Beckett have ended up in the monster seats? Too lazy? (Answer: Beckett 2; Foulke 2; Wakefield 4 [the last back on June 9])

Then,in yet another example of taking commentary about a baseball game personally, the blogger trots out columns written in the air of optimism that blew in when what appeared to be a front-line pitcher had been brought to town. Beckett isn't delivering on the high expectations that accompanied his acquisition; what's the columnist supposed to do, ignore it?

How is criticizing someone who one once held out high hopes for a pitcher only to see those hopes shredded by a record-breaking home runs allowed pace comparable to writing a "poison pen" piece? (BTW one does not "focus" a pen, watch those mixed metaphors)

And now a columnist, in addition to never waivering from praise for players whose skills go into the dumpster, is supposed to offer "solutions" to their performance problems?

Let's fire the coaches and get these boys more subscriptions!

Oh and FadedHat, give my regards to Jose Offerman (.224, 5, 22 in the IL) next time you're in Norfolk, Va.

Anonymous said...

The point about Offerman is that calling him a ˝piece of junk˝ is poor journalism.

With 55% of the season completed, he is on pace for 49 homers, not 64. Remedial math?

I agree with Jenny. It is a valid topic that he could have written more betterer.

The Chief said...

Beckett isn't delivering on the high expectations that accompanied his acquisition; what's the columnist supposed to do, ignore it?

Yes, if said columnist was the one who advanced the high expectations.

And now a columnist ... is supposed to offer "solutions" to their performance problems?

Yes again. Gee, Bruce, by your logic all columnist needs to be able to do is toss off insults like so much used tissue.

I would think that someone with 30-odd years of baseball expertise would be able to offer something more than insults to players and weak come-ons to chicks in bars.

Anonymous said...

Beckett sucks ass, he's like any other hard thrower who thinks his fastball is untouchable, it isn't. The Sox need to force this bloated asshole to throw nothing but off-speed pitches in a game, of course they can't afford to. Someone needs to take the Atl Braves approach in his spring training and make him throw nothing but one pitch the entire spring training start, for the Braves it was fastball down and away, and it worked for a time.

The Chief said...

While Beckett has struggled at times in the AL, I think saying a 26 year old pitcher who has a career ERA of 3.70 in 749.3 innings pitched "sucks ass" is a little extreme.

Also, I hope you aren't suggesting Beckett pitched for the Braves.