Red Sox Should Dump Bobby Valentine for Brad Mills – A Bleacher Report Article

Brad Mills managed the Astros to their first 100 loss season and was well on his way to their second when he was fired yesterday.

So naturally I want him to be the manager of the Red Sox.

Think I’m kidding? Nope. And in my latest for Bleacher Report I describe why I think he is the right fit.

You can read the article HERE.

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How Josh Beckett and the Star Trek films mirror each other

Josh Beckett’s tenure with the Red Sox is in sync with the quality of the Star Trek movies. Don’t believe me? Don’t understand me?

Follow along… it is logical.

Josh Beckett’s first season in Boston (2006)
mirrored Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Both were eagerly anticipated by fans:

Red Sox fans were getting the 2003 World Series MVP who conquered the Yankees.

Star Trek fans were getting to return to the Enterprise for the first time in more than a decade.

Both were trying to recreate a success from 2 years before:
The Red Sox needed an ace to fill Pedro Martinez’s shoes and replicate the 2004 World Championship.

Paramount needed a science fiction blockbuster in 1979 to answer the staggering success of Star Wars.

Both were incredibly expensive:
Beckett cost the Red Sox budding superstar Hanley Ramirez, a good pitcher in Anibal Sanchez and a big fat $30 million contract extension.

Star Trek The Motion Picture was, at the time, the most expensive movie ever produced. It’s price tag was around $45 million.

Both were initially big let downs:
Beckett let up way too many homers, his ERA soared to 5.01 and Red Sox fans shook their heads. “This is NOT what we wanted in an ace.”

Star Trek The Motion Picture lumbered along with a not exactly action packed plot. And the flight through V’Ger was the longest and most dull special effects sequence in history, rivaled only by the laborious introduction of the Enterprise.

Both had some decent numbers, but not what was expected:
Beckett won 16 games and pitched over 200 innings, which would be fine for most pitchers. But for Pedro Martinez’s replacement, it was a let down.

Star Trek The Motion Picture grossed over $130 million world wide and made $30 million in profits for Paramount. Impressive, but not even close to Star Wars.

Both had, in retrospect, some bright spots:
Beckett pitched brilliantly out of the gate, winning his first three starts convincingly. He homered in a game against the Phillies. And on September 21, in his second to last start of the season, he out pitched Johan Santana in a game where the Twins were trying to take over the Division lead. Beckett went 8 innings of shutout ball.

There are some cool scenes in Star Trek The Motion Picture. The Klingons attacking the V’Ger cloud at the opening was neat. Spock’s spacewalk and mindmeld with V’Ger was a cool scene. And in retrospect, the film plays like a very good episode that happened to have some overlong special effects sequences shoved into it.

Josh Beckett’s second season in Boston (2007)
mirrored Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Both addressed what went wrong before:
Beckett stopped relying on his fastball and learned how to pitch in the American League with his breaking stuff and location. And along the way reduced the walks and homers that plagued his 2006 season.

For Star Trek II, they brought in a whole new creative cast and crew. And (get ready for some blasphemy) removing Gene Roddenberry in favor of Harve Bennet was the best thing to ever happen to Star Trek! The Wrath of Khan acted like Star Trek The Motion Picture didn’t even happen. It picked the story up with Kirk wanting the Enterprise back and, unlike the first movie, acknowledged the fact that the cast was old. Now the age of Kirk was no longer a distraction but part of the story and it worked big time.

Both obliterated all of the earlier doubts:
Beckett’s 2006 made people wonder if he was yet another National League pitcher who couldn’t make it in the American League. And some people started pointing out that his regular season stats weren’t exactly eye popping. Nobody was saying that after 2007.

Critics wondered if Star Trek was just a TV show that couldn’t translate to the big screen. I mean if they couldn’t make it work with a big budget and Robert Wise directing, what chance did it have? The new producers, writers and director solved that!

Both were so much better than anyone could have imagined:
Beckett was hoping for a good rebound season. What he got was a Cy Young caliber season where he played the role of ace and etched his name into Red Sox lore.

The Wrath of Khan became the gold standard of every Star Trek movie and episode since. It was more than a good Star Trek movie. It was a good MOVIE. Even non Trekkies (or Trekkers) admit that it is a heck of a good sci fi action film.

Both had a cool bad ass quality:
Beckett didn’t just win. He won with an unmistakable swagger and he was unflappable. Remember how the Red Sox were down 3-1 in the ALCS and Beckett had to save the season? He not only won, but he barely broke a sweat. The Indians hired his ex girlfriend to sing the national anthem. He didn’t care. Kenny Lofton tried to charge the mound, and Beckett shrugged. Nothing phased him.

Think Star Trek is nerdy? Check out Riccardo Montalban as Khan, chest out and out hamming William Shatner. There was nothing dorky about dropping creatures into Chekov’s ear. And Kirk was at his coolest, out smarting Khan and finding out he was a dad. Even Spock showed a unflappable side, lying in one scene taking one for the team at the end. The Enterprise was never cooler.

It just kept betting better:
Beckett just kept winning. On September 15th he faced off against the Yankees supposed ace Chien-Ming Wang and won easily. He opened the Division Series with a complete game shutout of the Angels. Won the ALCS MVP and probably would have been the World Series MVP if he got another start.

Wrath of Khan kept topping itself. The Khan sneak attack. The Genesis planet. Kirk screaming Khaaaaaaaan! The battle in the Nebula. And just when the film couldn’t get any better, Spock had a death scene. Are you kidding me?

The ending was not delivered goose bumps but promised more greatness:
Beckett won the opener of the World Series and set the tone for the Red Sox sweep. When they won, it felt different than 2004. There was the possibility of more titles on the way.

Wrath of Khan ended with the funeral of Spock. But then the camera swooped down to the Genesis planet with all new life forming from death… AND SPOCK’S COFFIN WAS INTACT! And the “Space The Final Frontier” monologue was said by Spock, not Kirk. You know what that means: There was going to be an awesome sequel with Spock in it!

Josh Beckett’s third season in Boston (2008)
mirrored Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

Both had an impossible act to follow:
How could Beckett top his near Cy Young winning 2007 season where he built on his reputation of being an all time Post Season pitcher? He couldn’t.

Could The Search for Spock even come close to the awesome roller coaster that was Wrath of Khan? Nope.

Both seemed like hollow facsimiles of the previous triumph:
Beckett got some big wins to be sure. But he hovered around .500 around most of the season and his ERA hovered around 4.00. Not bad, but not great.

There were some nice scenes in The Search for Spock. But Christopher Lloyd was a poor man’s Khan. And destroying the Enterprise and killing Kirk’s son just didn’t hold a candle to Spock’s sacrifice.

Both saved the best for last:
Despite some bad outings against the Angels and Rays in the playoffs, Beckett won Game 6 forcing the ALCS to go the limit. It didn’t have the cool ending as 2007, but Beckett did his job at the end.

The Search for Spock felt a little cheap and slapped together after Wrath of Khan. But the finale on Vulcan and Spock raising his eyebrow was a great ending.

Josh Beckett’s fourth season in Boston (2009)
mirrored Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Both were fun if a little light and less ambitious:
Beckett won a bunch of games including a terrific opening day start against the Rays and a complete game shutout against the Braves. He also showed his fire was there when he threw at Bobby Abreu’s head and got suspended. The Angels got revenge by beating Beckett in the playoffs.

The Voyage Home had no intention of topping Wrath of Khan. There was no bad guy and no great sacrifice. There were funny scenes in San Francisco and a save the whales message. It was the big screen equivalent of The Trouble with Tribbles.

Both were a nice return to form:
While he didn’t dominate in the playoffs, Beckett became an All Star starter and along side Jon Lester, it looked like the Red Sox had their aces back.

The Voyage Home was no Wrath of Khan. But all the crew was back and in uniform. Rand and Chapel had cameos. Even Spock’s mom showed up to say hello. And at the end, a new Enterprise was introduced meaning that the series was going to get a fresh start.

Josh Beckett’s fifth season in Boston (2010)
mirrored Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Both looked bad right from the beginning:

Beckett started the season against the Yankees got clobbered, being chased in the 5th inning. He looked bad and it wasn’t going to get better.

The Final Frontier opened with Spock, McCoy and Kirk singing “Row Row Row your boat” around a camp fire. It was worse than embarrassing. It was Mystery Science Theater material.

Both tried but failed to fix things in mid stream:
Beckett sat out a start in May before getting his butt kicked by the Yankees again. He was put on the disabled list after the Yankee start. But when he came back, he was dreadful, watching his ERA rising to 6.67 in mid August.

The Final Frontier went through so many different script changes and reedits that I am convinced that none of the actors knew what the plot was from scene to scene.

Both were so bad that you wondered if there was any hope for the future:
Forget being an ace. A 30 year old pitcher going 6-6 with a 5.78 ERA could be filed in the “he’s done” bin.

With the incomprehensible ending on the God planet, a return to the camp fire and a fat and old cast, the idea of another Star Trek voyage seemed unlikely.
Both made you think “better leave it to the next generation”:

Beckett was no longer the ace. Buchholz and Lester had that title. Should Beckett step down and give the Michael Bowden and Felix Doubronts of the world a shot?

Kirk, Spock and McCoy? By 1989 they should leave the “boldly going” to Piccard and company.

So where does this leave Beckett for 2011?

The good news is that Star Trek VI was the best written film of the series other than Wrath of Khan and gave the crew a great send off. So things look good for the Sox and Beckett.

Bad news is the NEXT Star Trek film, Generations, blew a great chance to have Kirk and Piccard team up. The film was a mess. Which means Beckett will probably flop in 2012.

However Star Trek: First Contact was a terrific and fun film. The Borg on the big screen? Awesome. Which bodes well for Beckett and the Sox in 2013.

The last year of Beckett’s contract is 2014. Sadly Star Trek: Insurrection was so forgettable that I forgot I saw it while I was in the theater. Doesn’t look good for Beckett that year.

And if a team signs him for 2015, bad news. I couldn’t finish Star Trek: Nemesis. I am guessing Beckett won’t finish that season.

A ray of hope for 2016? The Star Trek reboot wasn’t bad. Maybe he’ll finish in style.

Live long and prosper, Josh Beckett.

(How often can I combine two different childhood obsessions into one post?)

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Dice K… by way of Alfred Hitchcock

Earlier this year, I compared Daisuke Matsuzaka to a David Lynch film… so why not bring up another great director when talking about him?

The great Alfred Hitchcock explained his method of suspense using the analogy of showing the audience that there is a bomb under a table and the characters in the scene unaware that it is there. The audience recoils because they are waiting for the bomb to explode at any moment… and the more he could stretch out the scene, the more suspenseful it would be.

The whole analogy can be read here, but that is the basic idea.

Well that also describes how last night’s game with the A’s felt like.

As I wrote before, most of the time Daisuke pitches well… but there is always that one inning. The proverbial “bomb under the table” that we Red Sox fans dread.

And as the game went on, I recoiled thinking “Oh boy. Here’s where he is going to SUCK!”
And he didn’t. He’d get through, inning after inning… and in the end, when I was done covering my eyes, he was the winner.

Talk about a surprise ending!

I gladly will update the tally.


April 4 – 9-7 win against Yankees (On Opening Night, the Red Sox overcome a 5-1 Yankee lead with a game tying HR by Pedroia and a go ahead passed ball.)
April 10 – 8-3 win against Kansas City (Beckett out pitches Zack Greinke and nearly gets decapitated by a line drive.)
April 14 – 6-3 win in Minnesota. (Okajima gets Morneau to pop up with the bases loaded in the 7th and Papelbon wiggled out of a 9th inning jam.)
April 20 – 7-6 win against Texas. (Darnell McDonald introduces himself to Boston with an 8th inning game tying homer and a walk off hit in the 9th.)
April 21 – 8-7 win against Texas. (The Red Sox were down 4-0 early only to win it on Youk’s 2 out 11th inning double.)
April 23 – 4-3 win against Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 3-0 lead but win it on Adrian Beltre’s bases loaded walk.)
April 24 – 7-6 win against Baltimore. (The Red Sox score 6 in the 7th and hold off a late Baltimore comeback attempt.)
April 26 – 13-12 win at Toronto. (The Sox blow an early 5-0 lead but hang on for dear life in a slugfest.)
April 27 – 2-1 win at Toronto. (Buchholz holds the Jays down for 8 but it takes a bases loaded walk in the 8th to go ahead.)
April 28 – 2-0 win at Toronto. (Daniel Bard wiggles out of trouble in the 8th to help Lester shut down the Blue Jays and finish the sweep.)
May 4 – 5-1 win against the Angels. (Juan Rivera misplays Jeremy Hermedia’s 2 out flyball into a 3 run game winning double)
May 5 – 3-1 win against the Angels. (Papi and Beltre homer and the Sox hang on despite squandering many potential rallies.)
May 6 – 11-6 win against the Angels. (Dice-K puts the Red Sox in a 4-0 hole before they even bat. The Sox bats respond.)
May 10 – 7-6 win against the Blue Jays. (Sox blow an early 2-0 lead, take advantage of some errors and hang on.)
May 18 – 7-5 win in New York. (Sox climb back from a 5-1 hole. A day after hitting a walk off homer, Marcus Thames drops a fly ball to start the winning rally for the Sox.)
May 25 – 2-0 win in Tampa. (Big Papi supplies all the offense as Papelbon wiggles out of a 9th inning jam.)
May 29 – 1-0 win against Kansas City. (Zack Greinke holds the Sox to one run, but they make it stick)
June 1 – 9-4 win against Oakland. (Lackey puts the Sox in a 4-0 hole but Victor Martinez goes 5-5 and the Sox score 9 runs late.)
June 2 – 6-4 win against Oakland. (Dice-K puts the Sox in a 3-0 hole before they come to bat, but come back thanks to Papi’s homer.)
June 8 – 3-2 win at Cleveland. (With Papelbon unavailable, Okajima, Ramirez and Bard hang on to make a winner out of Wakefield.)
June 19 – 5-4 win against the Dodgers. (Sox make 4 errors, blow a late lead and let Manny homer, but they win it in the bottom of the 9th on a Pedroia single.)
June 20 – 2-0 win against the Dodgers. (Dodgers blow an early bases loaded scoring opportunity and allow Buchholz to settle down for the win.)
June 24 – 13-11 win in Colorado. (The bullpen lets up 9 runs in 5 innings, but Pedroia homers 3 times including with 2 outs in the 10th to win a wild and stupid game.)
June 26 – 4-2 win in San Francisco. (An injury running the bases takes Buchholz out in the second, but the bullpen and Mike Cameron’s bat and glove win the game.)
July 2 – 3-2 win against the Orioles. (Wakefield gets the win and J.D. Drew homers twice, but it is Nava’s 2 out 8th inning bloop that landed between three fielders that breaks the tie.)
July 11 – 3-2 win in Toronto. (Jesse Litch took a no hitter into the 6th but back to back homers by McDonald and Big Papi win the game.)
July 17 – 3-2 win against Texas. (Youk ties the game in the 9th off of Cliff Lee and wins it in the 11th with a sacrifuce fly)
July 19 – 2-1 win at Oakland. (Beltre homers and Dice-K holds on to the win.)


April 6 – 6-4 loss against the Yankees. (Scutaro’s error leads to the winning run.)
April 7 – 3-1 loss against the Yankees. (Sox leave the winning run on in the 9th only to lose on Granderson’s 10th inning homer)
April 9 – 4-3 loss in Kansas City. (Bard coughs up the lead, denying Wakefield a win.)
April 17 – 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Sox can’t score with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 11th… lost it in the 12th.)
April 17 – 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Red Sox comeback falls a run short, leaving two on in the 8th)
April 25 – 7-6 loss to Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 4-1 lead, leave the winning run on second in the 9th, let up 3 in the 10th and could only score 2 in the bottom of the 10th)
April 30 – 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (Tejada ties the game with a 2 out 8th inning homer and wins it with a bloop in the 10th)
May 1 – 12-9 loss in Baltimore. (Dice-K and Wakes get pounded, wasting 2 homers from Ortiz and an early 4-1 lead.)
May 2 – 3-2 loss in Baltimore. (Varitek is thrown at home trying to score with 2 outs in the 8th. Sox get swept in the 10th.
May 12 – 3-2 loss against the Blue Jays. (The Sox rally in the 9th comes up a run short and Kevin Gregg gets an ugly save.)
May 15 – 7-6 loss in Detroit. (The Sox blow a 6-1 lead and lose it on a 2 out bases loaded walk in the 12th.)
May 17 – 11-9 loss in New York. (The Sox come all the way back from a 5-0 first inning hole to take a 9-7 lead in the 9th… but Papelbon lets up a 2 run game tying shot to A-Rod and a 2 run walk off shot to Marcus Thames.)
May 21 – 5-1 loss in Philadelphia. (Big Papi’s bid for a game tying 9th inning grand slam is caught at the warning track.)
May 274-3 loss to Kansas City. (Dice-K walks the go ahead run in and lets another score on a wild pitch as the Royals no name bullpen shut down the Hot Sox.)
May 28 – 12-5 loss to Kansas City. (Sox blow a 3-0 first inning lead to be blown out in Fenway.)
June 3 – 9-8 loss to Oakland. (Sox lose a slugfest where two Boston runners are thrown out at home.)

June 6 – 4-3 loss in Baltimore. (Sox rally to tie the game in the 9th only to lose it on a small ball rally in the 11th.)
June 10 – 8-7 loss in Cleveland. (Sox blow an early 5-0 lead and then after rallying in the 9th to take the lead coughed it up with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th)
June 13 – 5-3 loss to Philadelphia. (Sox 9th inning rally comes up short)
June 22 – 2-1 loss in Colorado. (The Sox waste a solid Lester start and twice leave the bases loaded.)
June 23 – 8-6 loss in Colorado. (The Sox batter Ubaldo Jimenez around but Papelbon lets up 2 homers in the 9th to lose it.)
June 25 – 5-4 loss in San Francisco. (The Sox strand 11 runners in the last 4 innings wasting a solid Wakefield performance.)
July 5 – 6-5 loss in Tampa Bay. (Sox spoil a 5-1 lead and 2 homers by Eric Patterson when Dice-K and the bullpen couldn’t hold down the Rays.)
July 6 – 3-2 loss in Tampa Bay. (Sox bats go dead and Kevin Youkilis goes down to injury.)
July 7 – 6-4 loss in Tampa Bay. (Matt Garza comes out of the pen, shuts down a late rally as the Rays sweep the Sox.)

July 10 – 9-5 loss in Toronto. (The Sox give Lackey an early 5-3 lead that he couldn’t hold.)
July 18 – 4-2 loss to the Rangers. (Lester loses a rare game at home that included a Rangers steal of home.)

Back to +1.

And hopefully this team will put together a winning streak soon as the up and down nature of this season is indeed giving me Vertigo!

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