Friday, November 28, 2008

Cheerleader of the Week!

A Great SI Invention - Cheerleader of the Week. This is a tremendous diversion while the Boys of Summer rest!

Meet Dana, a proud Georgia senior and Bulldog cheerleader. When Dana's not watching 'The Count of Monte Cristo,' she's dreaming about eating peanut butter and chocolate, having dinner with Brady Quinn or being able to sing. Want to find out more? Click on the 20 Questions link below.

McGovern Sports Training

Click on posting for larger image.
Good Day!

I hope you all enjoyed a Happy Thanksgiving. Now it is back to Smart Ones and Lean Cuisines!

I have a very good friend, Dr. Kevin McGovern. Kevin is an expert in Sports Fitness and he is running a trmendous Sports Training Program. I would like to endorse this program and Kevin's efforts to provide such a qaulity opportunity.

If you, your players or friends want to participate - please take a moment to look at the piece I have attached. Kevin's contact info is also provided below.

Take care.

Dave McKay
The Boston Baseball Head


Dr. Kevin J. McGovern, PT, CSCS
McGovern Physical Therapy Associates
“We Get Results”

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SI Sportsman of year Nominee and Ours

The 2008 World Champion Boston Celtics
"The 2007-08 Celtics are my Sportsmen of the Year because they embraced the least respected and most valuable quality of NBA millionaires: humility. Each sought to play not for himself but for the team."

Baldelli - Does he have a role with the Sox?

Possible role for Baldelli with Sox?

Rocco Baldelli could have a role with Sox, writes Nick Cafardo: "The Red Sox are doing due diligence on free agent Rocco Baldelli, who could be in the mix as a fourth outfielder after the team dealt Coco Crisp to the Kansas City Royals last week for reliever Ramon Ramírez. According to major league sources, Baldelli, from Cumberland, R.I., met with the Red Sox at Fenway late last week to discuss his future and the effects of the mitochondrial disorder that limited him to 80 at-bats with the Rays last season." ... Writes Amalie Benjamin: "The Crisp trade leaves the Sox with a hole in their outfield rotation. They will explore deals for a righthanded bat off the bench who can protect them in center field. Most of the Red Sox prospects are lefthanded hitters. One possibility the Sox are exploring is Rocco Baldelli, the Rhode Island native and former Rays outfielder/DH." The Rays in April declined to pick up options on Baldelli's expiring three-year, $9 million deal. A former Scott Boras client, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound 27-year-old represented himself when negotiating with the Rays.

DLowe Return?

Mets don't expect to outbid Red Sox, Yankees for Lowe
The Mets "don't expect to outbid either the Yankees or Red Sox for (Derek) Lowe, if it comes to that, especially with agent Scott Boras putting out the word that he's looking for a five-year deal in the $15 million-$16 million a year range," according to the New York Daily News. ... According to Boras, numerous teams have contacted him about Dodgers free agent pitcher Lowe, writes the Globe's Adam Kilgore. "There is a very aggressive market for Derek," Boras said. "A widespread number of teams are interested. Certainly, when there is a pitcher in this free agent market who has established a pattern of durability he has for four years in Los Angeles, that's going to be there. ...From's Ken Rosenthal: "[Scott] Boras, according to executives with two different teams interested in Derek Lowe, is telling clubs he wants 'a Zito-type contract' for the free-agent right-hander. That's Zito, as in Barry Zito, as in seven years, $126 million... Boras could not be reached Tuesday night, but he has called Lowe 'the safest bet' of any free-agent pitcher." ...While confirming the team's offer to C.C. Sabathia, Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner also said his team was prepared to make offers to Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett. "Yes," Steinbrenner said when asked if an offer was made to Sabathia. "And we're prepared to make offers to Burnett and Lowe."... According to the Globe's Tony Massarotti, Derek Lowe is among the most probable targets for the Red Sox and the team has already asked agent Scott Boras about the 35-year-old righthander: "With regard to this year's [free-agent] market, in particular, a major league source has confirmed that the Sox have inquired with agent Scott Boras about Lowe, interest deemed sincere enough that Boras has equipped the Sox with one of his famed marketing portfolios, or 'books,' on the player's value." Massarotti writes that Lowe "has never has been shy about declaring his fondness for Boston and East Coast baseball -- largely because he is the safest and most reliable option, assuming the Sox can get him for what they would term "value." (Nonetheless, he won't come cheaply -- plan on at least $15 million a year.)" Lowe has made Boston his No. 1 preference according to the Globe's Nick Cafardo. More from Lowe's agent Scott Boras via's Alex Speier: "A lot of New York teams hope to be there. Boston teams hope to be there annual. When you sign players, I think the caveat there is that you’ve really got to look hard at the postseason resume to determine if those players will be beneficial." ... Cafardo also reported that the Mets are going after him strong and have the resources to land him. The Mets also employ Lowe's personal trainer, Chris Correnti, but Lowe, who wants to play for a winning organization in a place where he's comfortable, may not see the Mets fitting his criteria. St. Louis, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Detroit might be better fits, writes Cafardo.

Top Japanese Prospect Heading to Sox?

(click above for full story)

Reports coming out of Japan today indicate that the Red Sox are the choice of coveted amateur pitcher Junichi Tazawa, a 22-year-old righthander who idolizes Daisuke Matsuzaka. (11:22 a.m.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Baseball Heads December Show Feature Brett Rudy

Boston MABL Marketing Director, Brett Rudy, recently made an appearance on the Baseball Heads Show to promote current baseball charitable initiatives and ways to bring ballplayers across the Boston Baseball community closer together. Topics discussed with host Dave McKay included Winterball, 100 Innings of Baseball and the Boston Amateur Baseball Network. Those living in Boston or Brookline can tune into Comcast, Channel 12.
In this photo: Brett Rudy and Dave McKay - Host of Boston Baseball Heads Show

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Co Co WILL Be Missed

Click on the highlighted area for more details & pics.
The Red Sox parted ways with one of the classiest kids they ever had in their uniform today. Co Co Crisp ran into walls and made catches in the out field that many other guys would never be able to make. The Sox have a HUGE 'prospect'! They gave up on Crisp because he had sub-par offensive seasons and they made an economic decision to move him before he would become a huge money bench player.
Baseball business aside -- I loved to see this young man run the green grass at Fenway. If Iwas in the tight box seats or in a more comfortable setting in Dorchester (at home or in the gin mill). We Sox Heads were treated to nothing less than 100% dedication - hard play and balls!
I hope Co Co hits 30 homers and steals 30 bases in 2009! he is going to a more relaxed market and may become a super star at 29. he won a ring and almost delivered another to us in '08! Good luck and have fun doing what you do best --- PLAY BALL & PLAY HAHD!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bye Bye Co Co!! Kansas City Here You Come!

Click here for Ramierez Stats

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff November 19, 2008 10:23 AM

The Red Sox have traded center fielder Coco Crisp to the Royals for righthanded relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez, a major league baseball source confirmed to the Globe's Nick Cafardo this morning. The Red Sox formally announced the deal at noon, and general manager Theo Epstein has a conference call scheduled for 1 p.m.

Ramirez is an interesting acquisition for the Red Sox -- his arrival would suggest that the ball club is at least considering using Justin Masterson as a starter. Reports say the 27-year-old throws in the low 90s, with an outstanding curveball and a changeup that acts like a splitter. A scout who saw Ramirez pitch six times in person this season offered this analysis to Cafardo:
"Likes to challenge hitters . . . Definitely a setup man with potential to be a closer down the road . . . Plus fastball, plus slider, has a splitter or something that resembles a splitter . . . Average command . . . Deceptive delivery makes it hard for righthanded hitters to pick up his fastball."
Ramirez is coming off a very good 2008 season, having posted a 2.64 ERA in 71.2 innings this year while striking out 70. He allowed just two home runs, and held righthanders to a .153 average in 137 at-bats, the lowest in the AL and third in majors among pitchers with at least 50 games. Only the Cubs’ Carlos Marmol (.103) and Philadelphia’s Brad Lidge (.105) ranked higher. In his career, Ramirez has held righties to a .198 clip with an OPS of .586. He was particularly effective in September, allowing just one earned run and four hits in 9.2 innings (0.93 ERA).

Ramirez, who originally signed with the Rangers at age 15 in 1996, debuted in the majors in 2006 with the Colorado Rockies after he was acquired from the Yankees for pitcher Shaun Chacon. He posted a 3.46 ERA in 67.2 innings over 61 appearances as a Rockies rookie, and did not allow a run in his first 15.1 innings.

He struggled with an elbow injury in '07, going 2-2 with an 8.31 ERA in 22 games and was not on the Rockies' World Series roster against the Red Sox.

Crisp, 29, batted .283 -- .315 in the second half -- with seven homers, 41 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 361 at-bats last season, his third in Boston. An excellent fielder, started 98 games in center field while sharing the job with rookie Jacoby Ellsbury.

Trading Crisp clears a chunk of payroll for the Red Sox -- he will earn $5.7 million in 2009, with a club option for 2010 for $8 million or a $500,000 buyout.

The deal was first reported this morning on Kansas City sports radio station WHB 810 by Brian McRae, a former Royals outfielder who is a part owner of the station.

During an on-air interview with WHB 810 earlier this morning, Royals senior adviser Mike Arbuckle would not confirm that the deal was complete, but said he liked Crisp as a player.

"I would say Coco is a good player and we're always interested in getting good players," said Arbuckle, who recently joined the Royals after working in the front office of the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Mark this Day - I Agree with Callahan!


Signing 1B Mark Teixeira worth chaos for Boston Red Sox
By Gerry Callahan Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Boston Herald General Sports Columnist

In a perfect world, he would be the perfect player, a cleanup hitter who beats up on opposing pitchers and keeps his hands off the hired help. He would command $20 million a year, but unlike the last
Red Sox [team stats] player who pulled down that kind of dough, the team would get more than a good bat for its buck.

The Sox also would get some leadership, pride and respect for others in the organization. His teammates wouldn’t feel like they were living with Lindsay Lohan for eight months a year. The manager wouldn’t feel like he had 24 ballplayers and one Saudi prince in his clubhouse. The owners wouldn’t feel like chumps for forking over $3 million a month to a guy who doesn’t tip clubhouse kids.
In an ideal world, Mark Teixeira would be the ideal free agent pickup for the Red Sox. General manager
Theo Epstein would be on him like John Kruk on a Marriott Burger. A switch hitter, a good OBP guy and a Gold Glove first baseman who won’t turn 29 until April, Teixeira is as close to a sure thing as Epstein will find on the free agent market.

The Sox need someone to hit fourth. They want to get younger. They have the money. They have a good relationship with Teixeira’s evil agent, Scott Boras. The Sox would give the player a chance to win his first World Series. And they would put him closer to his home in Maryland (although not so close that he’s forced to play for the Baltimore Orioles).

The Red Sox have everything Teixeira could want in a ballclub, except, of course, a job opening. The Sox have a first baseman, and he will finish in the top three in the MVP race today (something Teixeira never has done). Kevin Youkilis [stats] could slide over to third base, but the Sox also have a third baseman.

Mike Lowell was the MVP of the 2007 World Series (something else Teixeira never has done).

So the Sox easily could take a pass on Teixeira, focus on their catching situation, save themselves about $150 million and go to battle next season with essentially the same team that just won 95 games and beat Teixeira’s Angels in the American League Division Series.

They could sit back, do nothing and fill every seat in their lyric little cashbox next season. But here’s a prediction that’s about as bold and gutsy as a Colin Powell endorsement:

The Sox will do something. It’s the way they operate. It’s how they roll.
Sometimes it leads to foolish moves, such as signing
Julio Lugo [stats] to a four-year, $ 36 million contract or trading for Eric Gagne. No Sox fan, however, could ever accuse Theo and the Trio of standing pat and settling for the status quo.

The Red Sox front office looks at its players the way
NASCAR drivers look at their wives: Hey, there is always room for an upgrade.

Which is why we expect Epstein to make an all-out effort to sign Teixeira and to unload Lowell. It will be messy, it will be complicated, it will create some dissension among Sox players, but no one can deny that the addition of Teixeira would make the team better.

Lowell is universally admired by teammates, management, fans and media, but the longer Epstein has been on the job, the less he has allowed sentiment to affect his decision-making. He is not a Son of Sam Horn anymore. He is a Son of Bill Belichick, a cold, cunning, ruthless, relentless GM who cares only about putting the best team on the field.

In the past, Epstein traded Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez [stats] and let Johnny Damon and Pedro Martinez walk away as free agents. But this offseason, he will have to tap into his inner Belichick like never before: Jason Varitek [stats], who turns 37 in April, appears to have priced himself out of a job. The catcher’s agent, Boras, compares him to Jorge Posada but leaves out one minor difference: The Yankees catcher still can hit. Anything more than two years for the Sox captain will be money for nothing, and Epstein knows it.

Last year at this time, Philadelphia was offering Lowell four years, and the Sox held the line at three. Lowell decided to forgo the extra year and stay because he was comfortable here. He’s probably not so comfortable anymore.

If the Sox were to sign Teixeira, they most likely would try to move Lowell, who has two years and $24 million left on his contract. Of course, Lowell is recovering from October hip surgery, which will make it difficult to deal him until he proves he can play. That means if the Sox ink Teixeira, they would be forced to bring all three players (Lowell, Youkilis and Teixeira) to spring training.

And you know what? It’s worth the chaos. Signing Teixeira is a rare opportunity for the Sox, a star player who would be a rock in the middle of their lineup for years to come. You don’t pass on that because Mike Lowell is a class act.

It’s not easy for those NASCAR guys either, but have you seen their wives? Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go for the upgrade.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pedroia MVP!

Boston Red Sox Second Baseman - Dustin Pedroia won the AL MVP today.

This young man has burst on the baseball scene with abandon. He won a World Series Ring and the Rookie of the Year in 2007. Dustin came very close to winning the batting title in '08 as well. He is a gutsy baseball head, who is everything he is on the field off the field. He also was a Gold Glover at 2B in '08!!

Pedroia is a budding superstar. Loved by fans and team mates alike, Dustin won the MVP voting by a land slide. Team mate, Kevin Youkilis garnered third place behind Justin Morneau of the Twins.

The Sox may not have won the World Series in 2008, but proved that they will be a solid threat with their young talent for many years to come.

Congratulations young man and here's to a long a fruitful career in Boston!

Sox should be in the mix for Teixeira

From the Globe's Nick Cafardo: "The Sox also should be in the mix for Teixeira, in whom they have long had interest. The early chatter is a contract in the vicinity of 7-10 years at more than $20 million annually might whittle the field, though the Angels, Red Sox, and Yankees won't likely feel their pockets burn no matter what they have to pay. The Sox love Teixeira's glove, his bat from both sides, and his presence. It would be a surprise if they don't make a substantial offer, though it might not come on Day 1." According to a report in the Washington Post, the Nationals may be making a run at Teixeira: "Against all odds and logic, the Nationals envision themselves as serious players in the Teixeira sweepstakes, according to team and league sources, and are believed to be preparing an offer they feel will be competitive with the others Teixeira is likely to receive. In other words, it would almost certainly be north of $100 million, if not $150 million... Agent Scott Boras talked up Teixeira at the GM meetings, the Herald's Sean McAdam reported: "[Teams' interest in Teixeira] is as widespread as it can be," Boras said. "There are probably too many teams involved. We're not going to be negotiating with as many teams as have interest, that's for sure, but I don't want to put a number on it. For a variety of reasons, he's just attracted a lot of interest from a lot of teams. Teams that you wouldn't think were interested were willing to move players, open up positions, to have him be a part of their franchise." According to McAdam, Boras wouldn't comment when asked if the Sox expressed an interest. ...The Globe's Tony Massarotti writes that according to a team source, the Red Sox have had some internal discussion about Teixeira. The 28-year-old Teixeira is a switch-hitter with power from both sides of the plate who has averaged 35 home runs and 118 RBIs the past five seasons. He is a two-time Gold Glove winner at first base who finished this year with more walks (97) than strikeouts (93), making him a perfect fit for the Sox in every way.

Dustin Could Bust with an MVP Award Today!

Red Sox Second Baseman - Dustin Pedroia could add MVP to his award chest today!

Who's in first?
There's no clear favorite for the top spot on the AL MVP ballot
By Nick Cafardo
Globe Staff / November 18, 2008

While Dustin Pedroia seems to be the front-runner heading into today's American League Most Valuable Player announcement, Kevin Youkilis, Justin Morneau, Carlos Quentin, and Francisco Rodriguez are all going to garner support, and with good reason.

There wasn't really a true No. 1 candidate for most of the season. Josh Hamilton was the favorite, it seemed, right up to the All-Star break and shortly thereafter, but he began to slow down while Quentin's stock was rising fast. After Quentin was hurt Sept. 1, Pedroia and Youkilis gained steam, with the momentum - in the form of attention - more in Pedroia's corner.
Which is why the vote could be close.

Before injuring his wrist, Quentin was the heart of the White Sox' order, and he ended his season hitting .288 with 36 homers, 100 RBIs, a .394 on-base percentage, and a .964 OPS.

Quentin, 25, was on his way to leading the White Sox to a division title in the AL Central. He had the earmarks of an MVP candidate - the numbers, the big bat in the middle of the order. Could you conservatively add 5 homers and 20 RBIs to those totals for the final month of the season?
But Quentin went down, which elevated the candidacy of Morneau and Rodriguez.

Quentin may still get votes, but as Morneau himself put it during the stretch run, "This is the time of year when you show whether you're an MVP. If you can help lead your team to the playoffs, then you should be in the running for the award."

With the Twins fighting for a playoff berth and falling just short, Morneau didn't have the best of endings: .243 with 2 homers and 21 RBIs in September. Yet his .300 season average with 23 homers and 129 RBIs certainly make him a contender. But Pedroia hit .326 the final month with 2 homers and 15 RBIs, while Youkilis, who missed five games at the start of the month because of injuries, hit .275, his worst monthly average of the season, with 5 homers and 21 RBIs.
There's a theory that if Pedroia and Youkilis split enough of the vote, Morneau could sneak in and win his second MVP.

The case is less compelling for Rodriguez, who set a season record by saving 62 of the Angels' 100 wins, an impressive feat. Yet late in the season Rodriguez's name wasn't coming up much in MVP discussions, prompting his manager, Mike Scioscia, to say, "He should be a strong contender for the Cy Young and the MVP."

There might not be a lot of love for K-Rod because the Angels were such a dominating regular-season team; they clinched their division Sept. 10, the night K-Rod earned his 56th save. All that was left for Rodriguez was to mount more saves, which he did.

The theory among some baseball officials is that if K-Rod was saving games in a tight divisional race, he would be considered a more serious contender.

But is that his fault?

"If it wasn't for K-Rod, we wouldn't have had the season we had," said teammate Gary Matthews Jr. in late September. "To have a guy you know is going to shut down a close game - what's that worth? That's everything right there."

Mark Teixeira also said at the time, "I think that's pretty valuable. It gives everyone a sense of confidence - the starting pitchers, the positional players, everyone - to know you have someone that dominating to end a game."

Matthews and Teixeira were right, but did that resonate with the voters?

Pedroia's case is compelling because he won the Gold Glove at second base, won a Silver Slugger for being the best offensive player at his position, led the league with 54 doubles, and was considered the heart and soul of the Red Sox.

Youkilis played both corner positions after Mike Lowell went down and ended up with a .312 average, 29 homers, and 115 RBIs. He hit .374 with runners in scoring position and .358 with men on base. He was voted the Hank Aaron Award as the league's best offensive player.

In an up-for-grabs type of field, two things often stand out with voters: the Morneau theory, about leading the team down the stretch run, or being the best player from start to finish who helped his team win.

There is no wrong answer. Any of the guys mentioned are deserving. It just seemed that Pedroia was the guy most talked about, the one who seemed to stick in the minds of voters.
Nick Cafardo can be reached at

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bill C Buried with Full Honors!

McKay Club Beacon "Brain-Less Trust" at a game during the summer of 2008. Pictured: Manager - Dave McKay (L) and Assistant manager - Bill Cunningham (R)



Many thanks to all of you - who took the time to be a part of this farewell to Bill Cunningham this morning. Remembering is important and today is a day to remember Bill and his life. His brother and other family members are gathered to look back and say good bye. Bill’s extended family from Dorchester, Gillette and Baseball also have gathered these past two days to reflect on the contributions he made to our community in a quiet and effective manner.

Someone wrote: “I LIVE FOR THIS” as an exclamation of ones love for the Game of Baseball. Well – they must have had Billy C in mind when they wrote that phrase.

In dreams and reality Bill was a “True Baseball Head” – many called him Baseball Billy! He lived the Game at Fenway Park, Ronan Park, City of Palms Park or any grassy area: where there where white lines painted - a bump in the middle of that grass with a rubber for the pitcher to stand on - and three bases inside a diamond with players dressed in old time garb as they chased a white stitched round ball.
Baseball teaches us many life-lessons. Some of them bitter, but most sweet... Bill had a handle on how to enjoy the benefits of being a part of the Game. He played ball in the Boston Park League and had a shot at the Bigs. BUT – I feel the most fun he had was sitting on the bench being a part of a generation of mad-cap players who populated the McKay Club Beacons in the Yawkey League of Boston.

McKay Club Team Captain – Jack Owens reflected upon hearing of Bill’s passing that The Beacons were Bill’s family. That was no slant on Bill’s namesake family, but he did spend 15 years with us chasing a Yawkey League Championship. He came close in 1998 & 2000. He also had an opportunity to coach 5 games at Fenway Park. One day - our team beat the Colorado Silver Bullets – Women’s Professional Baseball Team before a Saturday Red Sox Game in front of 20 thousand people. The other four were games he was the bench coach of the Yawkey league All Stars. Not too many guys can say they accomplished that in their life!

We all know Bill as a very quiet man. Bill made his home in Dorchester and was known as a good guy who never hurt anyone. He worked very hard his entire life. He also served his Nation with distinction in the US Army.

Bill suffered these past few months. His trek began as he watched his boys on the McKay Club compete at Ronan Park on a warm summer evening. Bill was dressed in his full uniform and ready to help his team win. He suffered a stroke that night doing the thing he loved to do the most. As we spoke on the phone after Tampa defeated the Red Sox in Game 7 of the ALCS Bill reflected, “Well I guess we will have to wait until next year again. I hope I am around to see another World Series. If I am not around, I will be satisfied that when I got sick I was at the park in uniform watching a baseball game – when it happened.”

Bill traveled with me every March to Florida. Along the way we both made tremendous friends and had a great time at all of the Grapefruit League training sites. We bumped into many former and current ball players in the informal settings of Florida. One of the most exciting of those encounters was a private gab fest we had with Johnny Pesky. Pesky asked Bill what the ring he wore signified. The ring that Bill wears to his rest today is that ring – a ring that was given to those who had the opportunity to play or coach a Yawkey League All Star Game at Fenway Park over the years. Pesky took the ring and placed it on the finger next to his 2004 World Series Ring. The look on Bill’s face was magic.

Joe O’Hara – the Vice President of the Yawkey League wrote to me the other day, “The League has lost a great baseball person. Be comforted that Bill is at his peace and now gets to hang out in the most majestic and magnificent baseball field he could imagine. A field where no one strikes out and every hit is a round tripper - I even heard the Umpires in Heaven are GREAT as well!”

I am sure that Bill would want to thank every one of you for your attendance this morning. He would want to extend his hand to the health care folks who provided him with expert care these last few months. I also know that he would want to thank his nieces and nephews for showing him love and care during his time of need. He would want to wish his Brother Neal well as he recovers from his recent illness. Also, he would extend a note of thanks to those he bumped into at the Public Houses he frequented along his path in life. Those who would sip an amber colored beverage with him at the Blarney Stone, Emerald Isle, Sonny’s Pub in Dorchester and those at Kitty O’Sheas and The Time Out Tavern in Florida as well.

It is time to send Bill to his rest. It is time to say a final farewell. Before we do that, I would like to provide this final reflection on that “Perfect Ball Park” that Joe spoke about.

This final reflection is entitled:

Between the Lines

"When I step between the lines, I become a legend. With my head held high and hat to my chest, the words "Oh say! can you see," remind me of what I am: A catalyst of tradition, striving to measure up to the heroes from past and present. Through countless hours of dedication and hard work, I live my dream. My heart is filled with a true love for this game knowing I, too, could be one of the all-time greats. I exist solely to experience the senses that are unmistakable and sacred to "America's Game." The smell of freshly cut grass. The distinct sound of a ball meeting the bat. Sensations of holding the glove to my face as the sun warms the back of my neck. These are the immortal rewards in baseball. This passionate game has created who I am, a member of an elite group: The Boys of Summer. Then I hear those timeless words of "PLAY BALL!" which once again remind me game time has arrived. It has always been at this very moment, between these lines, that I become frozen in time, when I am pure! And now, as the sun paints another beautiful picture of our national pastime, my heart begins to question who the better player will be today. Who has worked harder? Who will be tougher? Who wants it more? No matter who this may be, the humbling game of baseball will neither care nor remember the next time we step Between The Lines."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bill Cunningham - Wake & Funeral

William K. Cunningham
November 08, 2008

Cunningham, William K. of Dorchester, after a brief illness, November 8, 2008. Beloved son of the late Cornelius & Thelma(Nauss). Loving brother of Cornelius, Jr. of Ohio, and the late Barbara Meech. Also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours in the John J. O’Connor & Son Funeral Home, 740 Adams St., (near Gallivan Blvd) DORCHESTER, on Wednesday from 4-7pm. Funeral service in the funeral home, Thursday morning at 10 o’clock. Relatives and friends respectfully invited. Interment Cedar Grove Cemetery.

Retired employee of Gilette Co.
Bill was an avid baseball fan, and currently Assistant Manager with the Yawkey League, McKay Club Beacons.

John J. O'Connor & Son Funeral Home
740 Adams Street
Dorchester, MA USA 02122

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bill Cunningham Passes Away

Bill Cunningham
Assistant Manager - McKay Club Beacons

It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of William K. Cunninham. Billy C is the late Assistant Manager of the McKay Club Beacons of the Thomas A. Yawkey Baseball League. He was 59 years of age at the time of his passing.

Bill suffered a massive stroke at a Saturday evening baseball game in June of 2008. He was keeping score and exchanging lineups at Ronan Park - doing something he enjoyed more than anything - when he was felled by that near fatal incident. Bill recovered from major surgery and was in a Rehab Center preparing to be transfered to an assited living facility in his beloved Dorchester this week. he was taken for a routine check up at the Boston medical Center on Tuesday of this week. Bill collapsed and went into a coma and suffered another massive stroke on Wednesday. Doctors and his family decided to remove life support last night and Bill entered into rest at 12:30PM today.

Bill and I shared some tremendous moments watching Yawkey League games over the years. I know how much he cared for the young men who crossed his path over a generation. He made a huge contribution to our effort to promote quality amateur baseball in Boston. I will never forget his efforts in support of my agenda as a manager.

Some of Bill's happiest moments were spent in the sun splashed fields all over Florida every March watching MLB Spring Training Games. We traveled to every Grapefruit League location over a 12 year period. We also had an opportunity to see many college spring games while in Ft. Myers.

Bill made great friends at Sonny's Pub and the Blarney Stone over the years. No friends were dearer to him than those who we met every year at Kitty O'Sheas in Orlando and The Time Out Tavern in Ft. Myers.

A wake is being planned for Bill at O'Connor Funeral Home on Adams Street in Dorchester from 4PM to 8PM on Tuesday. Bill be sent to God at a Funeral mass to be held on Wednesday at St. Mark Chruch on Dorchester Avenue on Wednesday morning. I will email the complete and accurate times when I get them tomorrow.

This has been a very tragic week for the baseball world in Dorchester. Steve George and Joe Holloran passed this past week. Now, we Baseball heads morn the loss of Bill Cunningham.

May God Rest Bill's Soul!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Baseballs $100 Million Dollar Men!

Miguel Cabrera
The Tigers gave Cabrera a $153.3 million, eight-year deal in March 2008 after acquiring him in a December trade with the Florida Marlins. Cabrera posted career highs in HRs (an AL-best 37) and RBIs (126) in his first season in Detroit.

Carlos Lee

The Astros finally addressed their woeful offense by signing this All-Star slugger away from the Texas Rangers after the 2006 season.

Albert Pujols
Signed in 2004, this is looking like the best bargain of them all. Pujols has established himself as the best pure hitter in the game, helped lead the Cardinals to the World Series title in 2006. He won the 2005 NL MVP award and is the favorite to win again in 2008.

Kevin Brown

The Dodgers lured Brown away from the Padres in free agency after the 1998 season with the biggest contract in history at the time. Brown pitched well, though not spectacularly, for the Dodgers in parts of five non-playoff seasons before being traded to the Yankees.

Ken Griffey, Jr

The Reds won 96 games in 1999, the year before trading for The Kid and signing him to this massive contract extension. They haven't won more than 85 games in a season since and finally traded the injury-plagued Griffey to the White Sox in July 2008. He is now a free agent again.

Carlos Beltran

Mets fans are loathe to admit this, but Beltran reportedly would have played for the Yankees for a lot less money. Instead, he cashed in on his breakout 2004 postseason with the Astros by signing with the Mets, whom he led to within one game of the World Series in 2006.

Jason Giambi
Giambi won the AL MVP with the Oakland A's in 2001, then bolted for the Bronx. The Yankees have won only one pennant and no World Series since signing Giambi, who was one of a number of athletes who testified in the BALCO probe. He is on the free agent market once again.

Mike Hampton

The star left-hander led the Mets to the 2000 NL pennant before hitting free agency. The pitching-starved Rockies scooped him up with this mega-contract that ended up being paid off by three teams -- Colorado, Florida and Atlanta and resulted in only 56 wins to date.

Barry Zito

The last remaining member of Oakland's Big Three finally left for the crosstown Giants before the 2007 season by accepting the largest deal ever at the time for a pitcher, eclipsing the old mark held by Mike Hampton (eight years, $121 million with the Rockies). Zito has gone just 21-30 with San Francisco.

Vernon Wells

The Blue Jays ensured their All-Star center fielder wouldn't leave via free agency after 2007 by signing him to this extension. Wells averaged 21 home runs and 90 RBIs from 2004-06 but batted a career-low .245 with only 16 home runs in '07 and had 20 home runs and 78 RBIs in '08.

Alfonso Soriano

Questions about Soriano's power were answered after he hit 46 home runs while playing for the Nationals, whose home stadium is cavernous. With that kind of power, it's no wonder that Soriano's lack of a position doesn't seem to bother the Cubs, who signed him after 2006 and won the NL Central in his first two years with the club.

Johan Santana
After months of pursuit the Mets finally agreed to a trade to acquire Santana, but the deal wasn't official until the Mets inked him to a contract extension. Not surprisingly, the two-time Cy Young winner became the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history, then went 16-7 with a 2.53 ERA in his debut season in Queens.

Todd Helton

With player salaries skyrocketing in 2001, the Rockies thought they should lock up the star first baseman for an entire decade. Helton had been in decline in recent years before helping to lead the Rockies to the 2007 NL pennant.


During the length of Ramirez's deal, the world saw the best and worst of Manny Being Manny: two World Series titles, a fearsome bat and puzzling lapses in hustle and attitude. Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers in July and could be headed for his second nine-figure contract.
Derek Jeter
Thanks to A-Rod's 10-year, $252-million deal of 2001, the Yankees felt compelled to reward their own superstar shortstop, who, unlike Rodriguez, had actually won championships before. However, Jeter had four World Series rings when he signed this deal in 2001 -- the same as he has right now.
Only A-Rod, it seems, can beat A-Rod. After a monster 2007 season that resulted in his third AL MVP award, Rodriguez opted out of his record $252 million deal with three years remaining. He eventually wound up back with the Yankees, setting a new record for the richest contract in baseball history, one that includes potential bonuses for reaching certain milestones.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dustin Awarded Gold Glove

Dustin Pedroia won his first American League Gold Glove award today in what could also turn out to be an MVP season for the Red Sox second baseman. The award was the only Gold Glove given to a Sox player this season after Kevin Youkilis took one home for first base in 2007.
Last year, it was Rookie of the Year. This year, it’s a Gold Glove. Could MVP be next for Red Sox [team stats] second baseman Dustin Pedroia [stats]?

The annual award that honors the American League’s best defensive players was released today and Pedroia, already known for his bat, can now be proud of his glove. The second-year man brought home his first Gold Glove at second base.

Pedroia committed just six errors this season. His .992 fielding percentage was the second-best mark for second basemen, trailing only Oakland’s Mark Ellis’ .993.

This might be just the beginning of Pedroia’s posteason hardware haul, as the reigning Rookie of the Year is also an MVP favorite. Pedroia led the league in hits, runs and doubles, and his .326 batting average was second in the AL.

While Pedroia was duly recognized, Kevin Youkilis [stats] was passed over this year. Youkilis, who won the award at first base last year, was edged out by Tampa Bay first baseman Carlos Pena. Youkilis remarkably didn’t commit an error at first last season, but he had four in 125 games this year. He also played a number of games at third base due to Mike Lowell’s injuries.
In addition to Pena and Pedroia, Texas shortstop Michael Young and Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer also were first-time winners. The outfield was a repeat from last season: Los Angeles’ Torii Hunter and Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki each won for the eighth straight year and Cleveland’s Grady Sizemore earned his second award.

New York Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina, coming off his first 20-win season, added to his accolades with his seventh Gold Glove. Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre won for the second straight year.

For Pena, who grew up in Haverhill, the announcement was another in a big year for the Rays first baseman. He starred with the bat, with 31 homers and 102 RBI in helping lead the surprising Rays to their first playoff spot. He also sparkled with the glove, making only two errors as Tampa Bay reached the World Series, where it lost to Philadelphia.

The 30-year-old Pena has shown improvement in the field, cutting down from 13 errors with Detroit in 2003. He made eight last year with the Rays.

Rawlings has presented Gold Gloves since 1957. Managers and coaches pick players in their own leagues near the end of the regular season, and can’t vote for someone on their team.

The Gold Gloves often raise the ire of many baseball fans. Critics claim the best fielders are overlooked in favor of more popular players, and further insist that better hitters get a break in the voting.

Hunter and Sizemore earned $100,000 bonuses in their contracts for winning Gold Gloves. Beltre and Suzuki got $50,000 each and Pena, Mauer and Young won $25,000 apiece. Mussina and Pedroia did not have Gold Glove clauses.

The NL Gold Gloves were announced Wednesday. Winners were pitcher Greg Maddux, catcher Yadier Molina, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, second baseman Brandon Phillips, shortstop Jimmy Rollins, third baseman David Wright and outfielders Nate McLouth, Carlos Beltran and Shane Victorino.

Tribute to a Real Gentleman!

Steve George (C) is pictured with his sons (L to R) Steve Jr, David, Doug and Kevin

One of Dorchester's Finest Gentleman!

Steve George


It is with deep regret that I inform you of the passing of our very dear friend Steve George. Steve is a Yawkey League and Dorchester Hero. A tremendous husband, father, coach and community activist has been lost. Our League and City will miss the great contributions of this gentle man.

Steve along with his sons Doug and Kevin are members of the Yawkey Baseball Hall of Fame. That is a record that will never be broken -- three members of the same family in our Hall of Fame. The George Family and Steve in particular have been instrumental in helping to make the Yawkey League one of America's top amateur baseball programs for young men.

I will personally miss the great chats I had with Steve over the years about baseball and City Issues. It would not be uncommon for him to call me in the Mayor's Office late at night or early in the morning to give me "his slant' on an issue or controversy that affected our great city. His knowledge of the Game of Baseball and love of this sport brought so much joy to hundreds of young men in the Savin Hill - Tri-District sections of Dorchester.
Mr. George had a fine send off on Tuesday. His friends and family assembled in huge numbers at St. Margaret Church. The Mass was a true celebration of Steve's Faith and life in his beloved Dorchester. Son Doug presented a meaningful tribute at the end.
Steve would have been so proud as 9 of his grand kids sent him to his rest with a resounding rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". Oh my that was a killer!

We will all miss Steve at Ronan Park and around the Streets of his beloved Dorchester! I would like to express the deep sympathy of the entire Yawkey Baseball Family to the Greorge Family at this very difficult time.
May God rest his soul!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Ball Player Who COULD Be a Polititian

Curt Schilling
The staunch Republican not only introduced McCain at a rally in New Hampshire, but also stayed on stage to field questions with him from the audience. I would rather HIM than Kerry and Kennedy any day! At least you know what you are getting involved with in the Schill.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Former Ball Players Turned Politicians

President George W. Bush
Baseball is in his blood. Before becoming the 43rd President of the United States, Bush was a second baseman at Yale and a part-owner of the Texas Rangers.

Jim Bunning

As a pitcher for the Tigers and Phillies, he blew away opponents and became the second player in history to win 100 games in both the American and National leagues. Currently in his second term as a senator from Kentucky, Bunning is leading the battle for stiffer penalties for steroid users in Major League Baseball.