Protecting the Shields -- The Nick Cafardo Thread

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E5 Yaz

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Sunday, it's the column he's been waiting to write for years ... including comments from a dumbfounded Brian Kenney
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I'm a little surprised that there is no discussion about this morning's column. Even for Nick Cafardo, it was pretty fucking bad.

- 500 words on scouting vs. analytics with a lot of flip-flopping and no real conclusion. He starts out with a victory lap about scouts triumphing over nerds, walks it back a bit, then does another victory lap and then kind of flops with a "who the fuck knows anything" landing. It was actually kind of wonderful.
- Ortiz should watch what he's saying about Reyes, Puig and Chapman. Though it's funny that the Yankees were praised for the great deal in getting Chapman last week.
- Aaron Judge is the greatest prospect in major league camp and is the baseball version of Rob Gronkowski, which I'm sure will endear him to his Yankee "fun is the best!" overlords.
- Oh yeah, Jacoby Ellsbury is 100% healthy and is ready to have his greatest season ever. He told Nick that himself, so make him your number one pick in your fantasy draft. You will not be disappointed.

In a related story (literally) Kevin Paul Dupont wrote a real piece of shit article about the 1966 Boston Red Sox that I'm convinced was assigned to him because there was a huge hole in the sports section that needed to be filled. It's not good. At all.
 

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Red Sox: failed models

Yankees: always the model

And I loved the anonymous scout/drinking buddy whining about how sensitive the analytics guys are. Oooooookay.
I almost forgot about that chestnut. For the last, what, 20 years scouts have been crying about how they are the most important people in the world and how analysts are "basement dwelling nerds who never played at all." I may have missed it but I've never heard a stats guy get personal about scouts. Most of the time they're bending over backwards saying how much respect they have for them.

Having a scout say that analytic guys are crying is fucking laughable. For a group of supposed tough, hard scrabble, tobacco chewin guys who have been hardened by dozens of years on the roads, these scouts are a bunch of pussies.
 

joe dokes

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I almost forgot about that chestnut. For the last, what, 20 years scouts have been crying about how they are the most important people in the world and how analysts are "basement dwelling nerds who never played at all." I may have missed it but I've never heard a stats guy get personal about scouts. Most of the time they're bending over backwards saying how much respect they have for them.

Having a scout say that analytic guys are crying is fucking laughable. For a group of supposed tough, hard scrabble, tobacco chewin guys who have been hardened by dozens of years on the roads, these scouts are a bunch of pussies.

It's all about the scene at the table in Moneyball where Pitt eviscerates a scout. For the scouts, that's like the sinking of the Maine and Cafardo is their Hearst.



Yet for all their complaints and Cafardo's watercarrying, other than maybe the cash-strapped A's and Rays, the successful teams that went full-steam on analytics probably didn't cut their scouting staffs.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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It's all about the scene at the table in Moneyball where Pitt eviscerates a scout. For the scouts, that's like the sinking of the Maine and Cafardo is their Hearst.
Do you think so? You're probably right. Now that I think about it, it wouldn't really surprise me too much if that scene played out over and over again in different front offices.
 

joe dokes

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Do you think so? You're probably right. Now that I think about it, it wouldn't really surprise me too much if that scene played out over and over again in different front offices.
I was thinking slightly differently. It probably *didn't* play out that way in most major league front offices. What probably happened is that the scouts' opinions were no longer automatically transferred into action. Instead, the decision makers began to consider other, additional, info on players. And I doubt many were as rude as Beane was portrayed in the movie.

But in the minds of scouts, that scene in the movie is what actually happened in every *other* front office. (Not their own, of course).

For all of Cafardo's scout-quoting, as far as I recall he doesn't get any saying "this is what happened to me. They treated me like shit. Here's how." Instead, the scout was kept on the payroll and became one of several voices with input on personnel decisions and that somehow translates into killing all humans and letting Skynet run the team because there can be no in-between.
 

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Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Nick and Shank must be giggling like a couple of schoolgirls these days. There's a shot at James in every single thing each of them has written this spring.

It's so weird, because to the best of my knowledge they've never spoken to him or interacted with him at all. What an odd grudge to carry.
 

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Nick and Shank must be giggling like a couple of schoolgirls these days. There's a shot at James in every single thing each of them has written this spring.

It's so weird, because to the best of my knowledge they've never spoken to him or interacted with him at all. What an odd grudge to carry.
In Shank's case, maybe it's not so weird. Bill James likely played a role in the Curse being exposed as the sham it always was. Sucks for the CHB.

And maybe it's not so weird in Cafardo's case, either. Nicky is a dumbass and dumbasses often dislike people who make them stretch beyond what they already know.
 

joe dokes

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CHB is just giddy because you can see the Curse book in the movie that won Best Film
The fact that Marty Baron used *that* book to help him "understand Boston" is precisely why the Globe of 2015 resembles the Globe of Spotlight in name only.
 

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Jesus, my eyes melted from reading that tripe.

Do guys like Cafardo and Shank really think that they (the writers) want to win more badly than the players themselves? I know the beat guys generally don't feel that way, but some of these guys are truly deluded.
 

joe dokes

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Honestly, truly, unavoidably bad. Technically bad. Theoretically bad. Existentially bad.





Do guys like Cafardo and Shank really think that they (the writers) want to win more badly than the players themselves? .
No, but their core audience is fans who think *they* want the team to win more badly than some/many of the players do. And pinning success on "hunger" can lead only to debate about the story, rather than possible refutation. critical analysis or intellectual curiosity.
 

timlinin8th

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Honestly, truly, unavoidably bad. Technically bad. Theoretically bad. Existentially bad.
Dammit, with this kind of buildup I had to look, and it is exactly as advertised. I only got through a few paragraphs though, and now I feel dirty for having provided that article with a click. I wish there was some way I could take my click back.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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For some reason the Globe has been delivering papers to my door for the last two weeks and I started to read Cafardo's piece at lunch this afternoon. I literally stopped after two paragraphs because it was so fucking bad.

I can guarantee that Cafardo's thought process on writing this piece went something like this, "OH MY GOD! It's 3:30 and I'm starving. Too late for lunch, too early for dinner and linner doesn't exist ... YET! What should I do? I'll bang out a quick story about something stupid and then grab a snack. But what should I write about? I'm so hungry, this isn't fair. UGH! Why do I make deals with my self? I know that I'm no JP Riccardi, I'm just hungry. Curses! Wait a minute ... I've got it! What if the 2016 Red Sox were as hungry as me? That's a great premise but I have to change 'me' to something else? Hmmmm. But what? What should I change it to? Damn this brain, it always has the start of a grand thought but never the finish. Just like that Twix bar I ate here in 2013. I mean that was good, but it had so much promise. Ugh. Hey wait I second, did I say 2013? Hey! Hey! I did! Now I got something! What if the 2016 Red Sox were as hungry as the 2013 Red Sox? Huh? That's pretty freaking good. I bet I can bang out this column in 15 minutes, not research anything, write gobbledeegook that I've written a billion times in the past and be first in line at the Red Lobster! Cafardo, you magnificent bastard! I can taste those peel-n-eat shrimp now!"

And scene!
 

Vandalman

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For some reason the Globe has been delivering papers to my door for the last two weeks and I started to read Cafardo's piece at lunch this afternoon. I literally stopped after two paragraphs because it was so fucking bad.

I can guarantee that Cafardo's thought process on writing this piece went something like this, "OH MY GOD! It's 3:30 and I'm starving. Too late for lunch, too early for dinner and linner doesn't exist ... YET! What should I do? I'll bang out a quick story about something stupid and then grab a snack. But what should I write about? I'm so hungry, this isn't fair. UGH! Why do I make deals with my self? I know that I'm no JP Riccardi, I'm just hungry. Curses! Wait a minute ... I've got it! What if the 2016 Red Sox were as hungry as me? That's a great premise but I have to change 'me' to something else? Hmmmm. But what? What should I change it to? Damn this brain, it always has the start of a grand thought but never the finish. Just like that Twix bar I ate here in 2013. I mean that was good, but it had so much promise. Ugh. Hey wait I second, did I say 2013? Hey! Hey! I did! Now I got something! What if the 2016 Red Sox were as hungry as the 2013 Red Sox? Huh? That's pretty freaking good. I bet I can bang out this column in 15 minutes, not research anything, write gobbledeegook that I've written a billion times in the past and be first in line at the Red Lobster! Cafardo, you magnificent bastard! I can taste those peel-n-eat shrimp now!"

And scene!

I hope Nick never retires so we get more posts like this.
 

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Someone's especially grumpy today...
2. Maybe it’s just my hang-up, but Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada flaunting his expensive car collection in the parking lot of a Fort Myers hotel isn’t very becoming for a player who hasn’t played one inning in the major leagues. ...Moncada’s agent should be advising him that this isn’t a good look.
It may not be a good look, but at least it offers a different look, like Steven Wright.
5. Don’t think I’d admit to being Pablo Sandoval’s personal trainer.

6. Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna and Bour each lost 20-25 pounds this offseason. That’s commitment.
Hey, he snuck a note about fat boy Panda right next to another item about two guys who lost weight. I hope Panda notices and takes it to heart!

Hunger! Commitment! Show up early! (... and comment bad)
7. One baseball sage said to me recently, “Every time there’s an incident on the field, do we have to come up with a new rule or change the way the game is played? Isn’t baseball just great the way it is?”
Goose? Is that you? Frickin' NERDS!

Maybe this is why he has sad face:
1. Justin Morneau, 1B/DH, free agent — Nothing has materialized for the former AL MVP.
No one likes his 2016 binky.
8. Giancarlo Stanton, RF, Marlins — One of the game’s true superstars, there’s growing suspicion by baseball evaluators that Stanton will continue to have physical issues. ]
Why don't you just come right out and accuse him of juicing since, you know, you're over it and consider it just a "part of the game now" (not to mention Barry Bonds is his hitting coach. He must be supplying Stanton as well!)...
9. Jesus Montero, 1B, Mariners — Montero is out of options... We all know his story... the highly touted catching prospect gained about 40 pounds, was suspended twice, and saw his career spiral out of control. Montero has lost the weight, and at age 26 could be the righthanded complement to Adam Lind at first base.
Nick is clearly not comfortable in his own skin...

And lastly he is hell bent on blaming the (pre-determined in his mind) outcome of the Sox' season on Ramirez one way or the other. The inability to scoop a throw at first is the different between winning the World Series and not making the playoffs. Just ask Don Mattingly... a former Yankee... a franchise that is the model, is classy, and always does things right.
 

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2. Maybe it’s just my hang-up, but Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada flaunting his expensive car collection in the parking lot of a Fort Myers hotel isn’t very becoming for a player who hasn’t played one inning in the major leagues. ...Moncada’s agent should be advising him that this isn’t a good look.
I had an incredibly long diatribe about this but it's not worth it. Nick Cafardo is tongue-clucking piece of shit whose had a silver spoon up his ass since the day he strung three sentences together and conned some drunk sports editor into hiring him. The fact that he's protected by one of the strongest unions in the land to pump out unoriginal, unthoughtful, unintelligent claptrap bullshit every single day is sickening. Then he starts sermonizing from Mt. Fuckwad on what a 20-year-old professional should spend his money on, money BTW that Moncada earned by working harder at his craft than any day Cafardo worked in his life, is god damn laughable.

To paraphrase Frank Grimes, "If Cafardo lived in any other country in the world, he'd have starved to death a long time ago."

Seriously Nick, if Yoan rolled into camp in a 2005 Honda Civic, would that make him hit better? How about field? What if he dumped his $31.5M signing bonus into a Roth IRA, would that make him more cuddly and "a real ballplayer"? Fuck you, you fat, bald, stupid-ass, overpaid, no-talent, piece of human feces. Nick Cafardo is the personification of why newspapers are dying, he's a dinosaur that hasn't done us the favor of leaving. Go away. Let someone who isn't a pointy-headed ignorant hack, whose afraid and suspicious of anyone less than half his age and double his pigment shade take over and bring Red Sox coverage up to even replacement level.

Jesus Christ, you fucking suck.
 

Byrdbrain

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I don't read Cafardo because he is useless but I sure am glad JMOH does so we can get his rants.
 

Humphrey

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"7. One baseball sage said to me recently, “Every time there’s an incident on the field, do we have to come up with a new rule or change the way the game is played? Isn’t baseball just great the way it is?”"

Just like you, Nick, when you and Borass want to ban defensive shifting because some slugger loses out on some ground ball singles.
 

JohntheBaptist

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I had an incredibly long diatribe about this but it's not worth it. Nick Cafardo is tongue-clucking piece of shit whose had a silver spoon up his ass since the day he strung three sentences together and conned some drunk sports editor into hiring him. The fact that he's protected by one of the strongest unions in the land to pump out unoriginal, unthoughtful, unintelligent claptrap bullshit every single day is sickening. Then he starts sermonizing from Mt. Fuckwad on what a 20-year-old professional should spend his money on, money BTW that Moncada earned by working harder at his craft than any day Cafardo worked in his life, is god damn laughable.

To paraphrase Frank Grimes, "If Cafardo lived in any other country in the world, he'd have starved to death a long time ago."

Seriously Nick, if Yoan rolled into camp in a 2005 Honda Civic, would that make him hit better? How about field? What if he dumped his $31.5M signing bonus into a Roth IRA, would that make him more cuddly and "a real ballplayer"? Fuck you, you fat, bald, stupid-ass, overpaid, no-talent, piece of human feces. Nick Cafardo is the personification of why newspapers are dying, he's a dinosaur that hasn't done us the favor of leaving. Go away. Let someone who isn't a pointy-headed ignorant hack, whose afraid and suspicious of anyone less than half his age and double his pigment shade take over and bring Red Sox coverage up to even replacement level.

Jesus Christ, you fucking suck.
This actually brought tears to my eyes. I wish we could pool together cash for like a Balloon-o-gram and have the guy head over to the Globe and scream it in his face, word for word.
 

E5 Yaz

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I had an incredibly long diatribe about this but it's not worth it. Nick Cafardo is tongue-clucking piece of shit whose had a silver spoon up his ass since the day he strung three sentences together and conned some drunk sports editor into hiring him. The fact that he's protected by one of the strongest unions in the land to pump out unoriginal, unthoughtful, unintelligent claptrap bullshit every single day is sickening. Then he starts sermonizing from Mt. Fuckwad on what a 20-year-old professional should spend his money on, money BTW that Moncada earned by working harder at his craft than any day Cafardo worked in his life, is god damn laughable.

To paraphrase Frank Grimes, "If Cafardo lived in any other country in the world, he'd have starved to death a long time ago."

Seriously Nick, if Yoan rolled into camp in a 2005 Honda Civic, would that make him hit better? How about field? What if he dumped his $31.5M signing bonus into a Roth IRA, would that make him more cuddly and "a real ballplayer"? Fuck you, you fat, bald, stupid-ass, overpaid, no-talent, piece of human feces. Nick Cafardo is the personification of why newspapers are dying, he's a dinosaur that hasn't done us the favor of leaving. Go away. Let someone who isn't a pointy-headed ignorant hack, whose afraid and suspicious of anyone less than half his age and double his pigment shade take over and bring Red Sox coverage up to even replacement level.

Jesus Christ, you fucking suck.
If there is a God, this will be read as Cafardo's eulogy
 

joe dokes

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2. Maybe it’s just my hang-up, but Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada flaunting his expensive car collection in the parking lot of a Fort Myers hotel isn’t very becoming for a player who hasn’t played one inning in the major leagues. ...Moncada’s agent should be advising him that this isn’t a good look.
Nick would prefer if he shopwed up in a Zil or Lada.

And it's always the agents who are or should be the heroes. How about one of those hungry leaderly leaders that the Red Sox count on to provide leadership to those who need leading?
 

Jordu

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You'd think the editors at Globe would assign their absolute best sportswriters to the baseball beat. This is New England. This is the Red Sox.

Cafardo is as described above. Pete Abraham is a perfectly serviceable beat reporter -- his Journalism WAR would be 0.0. The Providence Journal guys report & write rings around him because they put in the hours and do the work.

At least someone at the Globe had the sense to hire Alex Speier, but, geez, he's so good he makes Cafardo and Pete Abraham look uninterested and lazy.

Ease Cafardo into being a roving columnist or something. Put Chad Finn on the beat. For goodness sake, this is Boston.
 

CoolPapaBellhorn

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I had an incredibly long diatribe about this but it's not worth it. Nick Cafardo is tongue-clucking piece of shit whose had a silver spoon up his ass since the day he strung three sentences together and conned some drunk sports editor into hiring him. The fact that he's protected by one of the strongest unions in the land to pump out unoriginal, unthoughtful, unintelligent claptrap bullshit every single day is sickening. Then he starts sermonizing from Mt. Fuckwad on what a 20-year-old professional should spend his money on, money BTW that Moncada earned by working harder at his craft than any day Cafardo worked in his life, is god damn laughable.

To paraphrase Frank Grimes, "If Cafardo lived in any other country in the world, he'd have starved to death a long time ago."

Seriously Nick, if Yoan rolled into camp in a 2005 Honda Civic, would that make him hit better? How about field? What if he dumped his $31.5M signing bonus into a Roth IRA, would that make him more cuddly and "a real ballplayer"? Fuck you, you fat, bald, stupid-ass, overpaid, no-talent, piece of human feces. Nick Cafardo is the personification of why newspapers are dying, he's a dinosaur that hasn't done us the favor of leaving. Go away. Let someone who isn't a pointy-headed ignorant hack, whose afraid and suspicious of anyone less than half his age and double his pigment shade take over and bring Red Sox coverage up to even replacement level.

Jesus Christ, you fucking suck.
This was glorious. It just makes me want to read the "incredibly long" version even more.
 

joe dokes

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You'd think the editors at Globe would assign their absolute best sportswriters to the baseball beat. This is New England. This is the Red Sox.

Cafardo is as described above. Pete Abraham is a perfectly serviceable beat reporter -- his Journalism WAR would be 0.0. The Providence Journal guys report & write rings around him because they put in the hours and do the work.

At least someone at the Globe had the sense to hire Alex Speier, but, geez, he's so good he makes Cafardo and Pete Abraham look uninterested and lazy.

Ease Cafardo into being a roving columnist or something. Put Chad Finn on the beat. For goodness sake, this is Boston.

Finn's got small kids. I think he likes his regular-hours editing gig.
 

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And I think Abraham's fine at what he does, honestly. He's on the beat, his stories have pretty good coverage, he has some clear biases but they don't really twist his work in any meaningful way. Pete's alright.

Cafardo though....my God. I've heard he's a very nice man, which probably explains his longevity since he's amiable in the newsroom and can get people to talk to him for sources. But holy hell his powers of analysis and overall baseball worldview are incredibly limited.
 

Van Everyman

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Would add that Abraham would probably be even better were he given the reins to the Notes column and could really put his stamp on the coverage. My sense has been that he has been waiting patiently for Nick to move on to that Great Sizzler in the Sky (or at least on 1A) but it just hasn't happened yet.

Edit: Would further add that the section is doing what it can short of dismissing Cafardo outright – in addition to Abraham, who is the first best writer I've read to embrace sabremertrics, Speier adds a great element of statistical analysis to the mix.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Pete Abraham would be a really good replacement for Cafardo on the Sunday Baseball Notes column. He has the skill, he has the contacts and I think that he'd bring an air of freshness to the section. Speier would be a good choice too, but he's been on the beat for less time than Abraham and I don't know if he has the same amount of contact numbers in his phone (though I would think that with the good work he's been doing, I bet they're climbing).

And SJH is right, everything I've read about Cafardo is how nice of a guy he is ... and he might be. But I don't care about whether he's a nice guy or not (and to be honest, I'm not sure how "nice of a guy" you can be when you're taking potshots at guy who can't read English and is playing a couple hundred miles away from where your paper is being circulated*) what I care about is if the dude can write about baseball in an intelligent way. He can't. It's not even the fact that I disagree with him on practically every baseball argument, it's that it's so clear where his loyalties lie. Boras, Riccardi, gritty white guys, old nameless scouts; we've heard it all before. Those angles have been worked so hard by Cafardo over the years that they're practically spherical.

Would it kill the guy to leave the press buffet for a minute and learn a little something about even the most elementary of advanced statistics? I suck at math, but even I can figure out most of this stuff. Speier does it every day and Abraham does too, it's not difficult to learn or even educate your readers. That's what bothers me most about Cafardo, he's so god damn lazy. If he wants to editorialize ask to solely be a baseball columnist. I don't know why he's doing any sort of reporting at all.

* What really pissed me off about the Moncada incident is how much of a pussy Cafardo was about it. Number one, he's picking on a 20-year-old Cuban kid. I'm pretty sure that Moncada speaks through an interpreter, so the chances are pretty good that he's not going to read this. Secondly, I know that the Internet exists, but I doubt that any of the Sox read Cafardo's baseball column unless it's jammed in their faces. Since they're in Florida, that probably didn't happen. Third, wasn't he just writing about Yankee prospect Aaron Judge and what a free spirit he is? Or as Cafardo called him, "The Gronk of the Yankees?" Why are his antics funny, but Moncada driving around in a new car so pearl-clutching?

Nick Cafardo is precisely the type of person Bryce Harper was talking about to ESPN. You know why baseball's shitheel unwritten rules are still around, because people like Nick Cafardo keep them there. Why? I have no idea, but they're the same people who unironically refer to the NFL as "The Shield". They're humorless twits who think that they need to puff up the subjects that they're covering in order to give their shallow, stupid lives any meaning.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Nick: Banana Split! Hey, I see your player isn't getting any offers. What's up?
Agent: Ugh. Tough market, Nick. Lots of nibbles, no bites!
Nick: Good enough for me! Put the ball gag back in my mouth.
 

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Nope. That might take a modicum of research.
Nick loves him some Morneau, but not enough to know anything about his injuries.

On Jan. 2 Nick wrote this:

5. Justin Morneau is a player you haven’t heard much about in free agency. He’s had his concussion issues, but it appears that Morneau, 34, still wants to play after being limited to 49 games last season. The Rockies could re-sign him, and a team such as the Orioles, Pirates, or Brewers could take him on. Morneau hit .382 over his last 18 games last season. Good teammate and leader.
On Jan 9 he wrote this:
Morneau’s issues are strictly with his concussion history, as the medical reports don’t look great, according to one major league source. But Morneau can still hit, and teams looking for a low-cost player could have interest in bringing him in.
On Feb. 20 he wrote this:
6. I sense that whichever team gets Justin Morneau as a late-camp signing is going to be happy it did.
And on March 12 he wrote this:
1. Justin Morneau, 1B/DH, free agent — Nothing has materialized for the former AL MVP. He still hasn’t announced his retirement, either. The Indians had interest prior to signing Mike Napoli.
Unbelievable. Not a single thing about having elbow surgery, or even that the elbow was an issue. He does mention the concussions, but nothing about a physical ailment. Just more pimping for a player whose agent is friendly. That shameless pimping of a player is disgraceful, and honestly is a fire-able offense. That's not reporting, that's straight PR.
 
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E5 Yaz

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Morneau’s issues are strictly with his concussion history

That line alone should be reason for an atomic wedgie
 

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Former AL MVP Justin Morneau is rehabbing from elbow surgery and wants to prove he can be dominant again.
Odd timing on the first mention of elbow surgery by Nick after all the concussion mentions. Coincidence? Doubtful.

And it sure seems that Nick and Pete Abe are determined to see the Sox rid themselves of Panda with the onslaught of insults and fabricated weight metrics...

BAPP = Base Advance per Panda Pound
 
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joe dokes

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Today was a treasure trove of NickFail. But this was my favorite:

Jose Iglesias, SS, Tigers — The defensive metrics and the eyeball test didn’t quite add up with Iglesias in 2015. Here’s the most talented shortstop in the game (right there with Andrelton Simmons) and Iglesias was scoring low in defensive runs saved and UZR. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said what they found was a shortstop who was lunging forward when the ball was hit, limiting his lateral movement and his range. So the Tigers have made him aware to stay back so he can use his eye-popping range to his advantage.
He implies that the defensive metrics were wrong, yet the Tigers made him change the way he plays defense.
 
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