October 29, 2017

Days until the 2018 Goodboys Invitational: 260
Handicap: 27.3 / Change: (+1.2)
Location: Pease Golf Course
Score: 59 / 50 = 109
Location: Passaconaway Country Club
Score: 57 / 57 = 114
Location: Portsmouth Country Club
Score: 57 / 50 = 107

I’m wrapping up my visit back to Massachusetts and have been fortunate to play in some of the nicest fall golf conditions I’ve ever played in. Warm, bright sunny days I could have played in shorts and a summer golf shirt I’d wanted to. And while all three of the outings have been enjoyable, as you can see from the above the quality of golf has left much to be desired. I’ve clearly taken a step back from where I was pre-Goodboys Invitational just a little over three months ago and find myself amidst the worst stretch of golf since I started tracking my scores at MyScorecard.com. Those miserably hot July days of having to shoot in the mid-to-high 80s to lower my handicap beneath 23.4 – I’ve added nearly three strokes – count ‘em, three! in just those 3+ months – is just a memory.

It would be one thing if there were a single outstanding area that I’d been struggling with (not getting off the tee, for instance), but the truth is all facets of my game have been leaking, and, depending on the venue, one more than another. For example, just this past week, at Pease Golf Course I couldn’t hit any club anything but thin. Just couldn’t find my tempo and found myself over-swinging at everything. Old habits die hard, and when you’re struggling with all facets of your game, old demons especially. Sure, I sort of turned it around on the back nine with a 50, but that 50 also included four quadruple bogeys and a host of three-putted greens.

The round I played at Passaconaway Country Club last Monday was as bad as I’ve played in I don’t know how many years. The pair of 57s were a display of ugly golf and incredibly sloppy play around the greens. Had a few mist-hits off the tee, but by and large it was my iron play from top to bottom that really killed me. I actually putted the ball pretty well that day, but from one hundred yards in and then around the green I played as poorly as I ever had. Whether it was the yips, lack of focus, poor technique, poor course management, and/or any combination of the three, I was one lost soul out there. It was so bad that during a planned trip to the beach on Friday afternoon I took a detour back to Pease to spend an hour just to work on my irons and my short game. And it was there amidst falling leaves, pumpkins, and some cool Halloween scarecrows that I kinda-sorta think I found a little something.

It’s not, BTW, hard to see how a turn of events like this could occur: I’ve been playing around with my swing all year long and making significant changes to both my swing and my set-up, and I’m suffering from the ramifications. Not so different from a ballplayer who finds himself “in between” while he’s working his way out of a slump. In between working on all the swing changes I’ve neglected my short game to the point where I’ve completely lost my focus and my touch. Mastering and maintaining a short game requires hours of practice and play, and it’s been hard to focus on that aspect of my game while I’ve been implementing these swing changes. Now that I’ve settled on a set-up at address and swing technique I’m both comfortable with and can commit to, I can revisit those other aspects of my game that I’d been ignoring.

It all started to come back together on a lovely, relaxing day at Portsmouth Country Club yesterday with my good Goodboys friend “Killer” Kowalski. While the 107 score wasn’t much to write about, I did get back to driving the ball better off the tee, hitting my irons, and, most importantly, my short irons from 100 yards out or less. Overall, I felt much more comfortable over the ball and found my tempo starting to come back, but sloppy play around the green just continued to kill me.

For me, the big swing changes I’ve been making haven’t been about achieving quick results; it’s about the long term and looking ahead to a time in my life when I’m (God willing) able to play more regular golf. It’s been about standardizing my approach and having a swing that enables me to shoot in the 90s regularly and not having to guess what kind of swing is going to show up on any given day. While it’s true I didn’t expect my game to take the kind of dip it has, it has been the right thing to do, and I’m at the point now where I can revisit my short game. To that end, a reach out to my swing coach Alex Black is in order while I continue to refine the Paula Creamer “Pink Panther” swing I’ve adopted. I’m hoping I can look back and see this past week as the time where my handicap bottomed out and see it starting to decrease as fast as it has increased.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 08:01 | Comments (0)
October 21, 2017

First of all, my thoughts and prayers go out to commenter and our very good friend Jana on the passing of her mother yesterday. Tracey and I have fond memories of her parents and us gathered around the Christmas tree on Christmas morning enjoying the joys of the season during our time spent in Louisville. To this day I still look over my shoulder on Christmas morning wondering if someone is scheming to put cheese grits on my unsuspecting plate! I didn’t know her mother as well as I got to know her dad (he passed away several years ago), but judging from the character and the quality of the daughter they produced I think together they did all right.

May Jana’s mom rest in the love and peace of Our Lord, and may she feel comforted by all the good thoughts and prayers coming her way from Tracey and me and her numerous cadre of friends.

Secondly, before heading to the airport last night I couldn’t help remembering all those friends and loved ones who I’ve lost over all these years. On a warm, breezy patio under happy pineapple lights I thought about just how good it is to be alive and “in the flesh”. Which in turn got me to thinking about these two awesome Pink Floyd songs which simply demand to heard loud enough to make your pets run for cover and your neighbors consider calling the cops.

Life is so precious. I miss so much those who have passed before me. It makes me feel kind of like an empty vessel, but what can any of us do? You’re on this earth for a very short time. You love the people God brought you together with as long as it’s humanly possible, and once they’re gone you revere their memory. It’s all just happening a little too much for my taste, but that’s life.

In some ways I find I’m getting too old for this sort of thing.

Embrace the present.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:37 | Comment (1)
October 20, 2017

The line is uttered by Ed Harris in that great Nicholas Cage / Sean Connery action flick “The Rock”. The soldiers under Harris’s command have arrived on Alcatraz Island with the goal of forcing the U.S government to pay them millions of dollars so they won’t fire missiles containing deadly V/X gas into San Francisco. Whether Harris is serious about inflicting death on the likes of Tony Bennett or not, he cautions the soldiers who have joined him using that immortal line:

“Make no mistake about it, gentlemen, we are in harm’s way.”

It’s the same line I utter whenever I step off the jetway and into the terminal at Boston’s Logan Airport, where a sea of big-government liberals, progressives, and Kennedy family worshippers await. They’re not necessarily bad people, mind you – certainly as human beings go they’re no better or no worse than the folks you’d meet anywhere else (albeit with cooler accents), and in fact I always feel a sense of gratitude at being able to enjoy yet another visit back home to where I grew up: my family and friends, veal cutlet subs (no cheese, thank you), Howie Carr, Margaritas Mexican restaurants, fried clams and seafood (not fish), Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, exorbitant taxation, small, windy roads, and the endless construction on Route 93 to and from New Hampshire. (BTW, were that road was here in Arizona, I guarantee it would be called, “the 93″, like they call every main artery or interstate that runs through these parts.)

Ahh Massachusetts. Where in the Logan car rental center lobby there’s the advertisement for the JFK Library and its seemingly-endless exhibit dedicated to “The Lion of the Senate”, Ted Kennedy. Not sure if it’s a worthwhile gig to do or not, I only know Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment. A fat, sexist pig, a fraud, and a hero in Massachusetts’ highest political traditions.

You can’t avoid the politics of the place, because, unlike here in the Valley of the Sun where it’s all about recreation, ASU football, tattoos, Dutch Bros. coffee stands (although Dunkin’ Donuts are showing up all over the place), and doing one’s own thing, the folks in Massachusetts live and breathe professional sports and politics as if it’s a part of the very air they breathe.

…not that being a liberal stronghold is worth much where you have a state Senate and legislature that’s on the take from top to bottom, where it’s not a question of if you’re corrupt but how corrupt you are and how many family members you’ve been able to get on the state or county payrolls. Of course, Massachusetts is represented by those two powerhouses of progressivism and integrity, Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren and Ed “Milquetoast” Markey, who are nothing but pigs feeding off the trough of the D,C. Swamp. If there are two more ineffectual progressives and partisan pols in Washington, D.C. you’ll have to let me know. But no one cares about that kind of thing in Massachusetts – it’s just the way it is and has always been.

But that’s OK – I just like visiting there. The food is the best you’ll ever eat outside of New Orleans, the fall weather I plan on playing golf in ought to be a welcome change from the heat that still hasn’t broken here in the Valley of the Sun, and my friends remain my friends even if we might see things from different sides of the political aisle. There will be the seashore to visit, woods to walk in, golf to play, good food to eat, and friends and family members to visit and share laughs with. I still can’t get used to the fact that my Mom won’t be at the apartment to greet me with a warm, “There’s my son!”, but Dad is still there and we’ll have a good time when we take the Sunshine Bus down to the Mohegan Sun to play some Caveman Plus Keno.

The weather promises to be great the first few days before settling into the kind of fall weather I’m hoping to see. A chill in the air at night, bright-colored leaves, and the smell of the air that’s uniquely autumn in the northern climes. I’ll be playing golf at the “Three Ps”: Pease Golf Course on Sunday, Passaconaway C.C. (one of my top 5 favorite courses) on Monday, and, hopefully, Portsmouth C.C. (my #1 favorite course) the following Sunday before I return on Halloween Eve.

There’s a lot – and I mean a lot of stuff waiting for me to get to when I get back, but I’ll worry about that when I board the plane to Phoenix. Until then, it’ll hopefully be another nice trip back home. Even though, as a conservative and a die-hard fan of President Trump, I’ll be in harm’s way.

See y’all in the Eastern Time Zone!

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:18 | Comments (0)
October 18, 2017

There’s no greater example of the differences between the Obama administration and the Trump administration than the case of Army deserter and chickensh*t Bowe Bergdahl. The Obama administration attempted to give him the hero treatment, his parents even treated to a Rose Garden visit – something I never understood. Except, of course, for the fact that Barack Obama never treated the military with anything but scorn and the minions in his administration sought to glorify anything that would diminish our troops fighting in combat by using Bergdahl’s case as an excuse to try and empty out Guantanamo Bay. And wasn’t it Obama’s national security advisor Susan Rice – you know, the one who went on all the Sunday cable shows after the Benghazi fiasco to blame the whole thing on a video? – who called his service honorable. Honorable?

Of course, the Trump administration has a worldview quite different than Barack Obama’s, so the guy is finally getting what he deserved. In my view, he’s damned luck this isn’t sixty or seventy years ago – he’d be shot as a traitor rather than getting a life sentence. Which is why the deal Obama made looks even worse today than it did back then.

The greater the distance between the present day and the Obama administration, the more people are beginning to see what a sham it was and just how much the fawning mainstream media covered up for its lawlessness and excesses. But the truth will ultimately all come out.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 20:59 | Comments (0)
October 17, 2017

A number of news and notes while I start making plans for my trip back to Massachusetts this weekend and some legitimate fall weather for golf.

Surfing in Ghana. The seeds planted by Bruce Brown’s iconic surf film are still sprouting:

Peter Ansah, owner of Ahanta Waves Surf School & Camp, says their home is a surfer’s paradise. “When I was small, I would always come to the beach and try to surf with a piece of wood.” As a child, he met a couple from the United States using surfboards at Busua beach. Intrigued by the long pointy structure, he asked to use it in place of wood – falling in love with catching waves.

“Whenever I’m surfing, I forget about everything. I have nothing to think about. The only thing is that I enjoy it!” he described. He’s been surfing for 13 years and opened his surf school for locals and tourists alike. “A lot of people think it’s not possible to surf in Ghana because they think there’s no waves or no ocean in Ghana,”Ansah said.

However, Ian Fraser from California said he’s familiar with surfing in the country from the 1960’s movie “Endless Summer.” It depicts a scene of kids surfing on wood. He’s in Busua taking his daughter and her teammates to Ahanta Waves for lessons.

Ah yes, the two greatest motivating factors about learning to surf: the waves and the chicks.

Yes. Next question.

I’ve read a lot of stupid headlines in my life, but this one takes the cake. Err…paging Captain Obvious!!

And if you believe this story I’ve got some coastline in Nevada for you to buy. If she just admitted she got drunk with Huma Abedin and fell at least she’d come across as human.

…because, as the late, great Warren Zevon once sang, “…if California falls into the ocean, like the mystics and statistics say it will….” Some great lyrics there!

…but I guess that’s just asking too much. Every time I think Hillary Clinton can’t get more repulsive she keeps coming up with yet another example. Does she not realize everyone (and I’m including most Democrats in this, I’m guessing) just wants her to go away?

If Tiger’s starting to hit driver now is it asking too much that he might start playing a little in March to tune up for the Masters?

I mean, you somehow knew this was coming, didn’t you? You know the old saying, don’t sh*t in your bed? Well, there’s a reason for it, and this clown not only did that he also hurled into the punch bowl. My question: who’s the real victim here?

A story that will make you cry. God bless her and may she rest in peace.

..and one that will make you feel good.

It’s columns like this that make you think liberalism is truly a mental disorder.

…because everything they’ve been doing since Barack Obama became president has worked out so well for progressives.

Joe Bastardi at Weatherbell.com was talking about this the other day. What a crazy storm!

Because Bruce Springsteen has always been a man of the working class. A great artist, fer shure, but one of biggest phonies you’ll ever meet.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:16 | Comments (0)
October 16, 2017

The “American Dream”: still alive for those with the willingness to work hard and achieve their dreams. A stark contrast to those who just want a friggin’ handout.

Is there anyone you can think of as politically and intellectually tone-deaf as Hillary Clinton? The very thought she could have been elected president should give everyone pause.

…not really a surprise, the Clintons (and I’m talking Bill, Hill, and Chelsea) have always been pigs. And I say that apologizing to my porcine friends. The world has always been the Clintons’ toilet as long as the money is good.

Liberals be aware there’s gonna be some serious celebrating going on in the Trump universe with folks having parties and reliving last year’s election night sharing YouTube videos of the cable news networks melting down and tweets and chats. It promises to be a lot of fun, and you an bet I’m going to be a part of it!

Just one of the reasons I prefer meat over fish.

It isn’t just Iowa, Democrats – it’s New Hampshire and Minnesota and the Rust Belt states that have turned their backs on you because you don’t stand for America anymore.

The Yankees are pretty much done. Which is too bad because, even as a Red Sox fan I have to say I enjoy watching them play.

Yep. Which is why I refuse to take Democrats and liberals seriously anymore.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:06 | Comments (0)
October 14, 2017

Today is “Opening Day”, Arizona golf style. Most of the courses around here, including all the ones I have in my rotation, have been closed for two weeks while they transition from Bermuda grass to winter rye. So they all open the same day, and it’s mayhem with everyone wanting to be a part of it and get a tee time. Me? As a single it’s a whole lot easier to find a slot (not to mention the fact I hate early morning golf), so I’ll be teeing off at 10:21 at Stonecreek Golf Club. Tough course, lots of water and thin fairways. But a perfect opportunity to put into practice the swing I’ve been working on. And with the predicted temp around only 90 degrees? Well, it doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.

The Red Sox made the right move firing “Accountability John” Farrell as manager. The team needs not only a quality in-game manager, but someone who will make sure the young up-and-coming impressionable stars-to-be learn not just to play, but go about their business the right way. Me? I’d like to see the Sox pick Alex Cora, but I’m guessing because of their history together GM Dave Dombrowski will go with Brad Ausmus. Can’t go wrong with either, in my view.

You’d think a pro with 500 balls and a pin less than 150 yards out would be able to make a hole-in-one, but Edoardo Molinari was given the chance and couldn’t do it. Like they say, golf is hard.

I’m guessing if you’ve been around the bar circuit in southwest Florida you’ve heard of Danny Morgan. I hadn’t – I only heard about him from Randy Wayne White’s Doc Ford novel, “Night Moves”, but that alone was good enough for me to download his music from Amazon and add them to my “Tropical Breezes” music collection.

If I’m the Red Sox I’m thinking I need a big bat and a first baseman. Perhaps even a second baseman, although I’m sure they’ll want to see how Dustin Pedroia’s knee turns out. They’ve got plenty of chips to make a trade. But they really need a veteran and a good clubhouse guy.

Didn’t I tell y’all to watch out for the Yankees this year? And they’re only going to be better in 2018 – they’ve got a ton of old crappy contract money coming off the books and will be able to do whatever they want over the next couple of off-seasons. But the truth is, Terry Francona’s Cleveland Indians squad peaked too early.

You won’t hear it from the likes of CNN and MSNBC, but President Donald Trump just had one hell of a week – perhaps the best of his presidency. Opening up healthcare insurance purchases across state lines, indicating his willingness to back away from the Iran deal, and ending Obamacare insurance company subsidies is only going to help the middle class. You look at the stock market and consumer confidence, and you tell me what Democrats have to offer for the 2018 midterms.

Oh Megyn, Megyn – how the mighty have fallen!

There’s a lot of great Pink Floyd music out there, but the quirkiness and outright weirdness of “Atom Heart Mother” will always be a favorite of mine. As will “Sheep”. Two very different sounds from a band that did it all.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:57 | Comments (0)
October 10, 2017

A few thoughts and comments about the Liberal Left finally being exposed for exactly what it has always been: a cesspool of hypocrisy, corruption, and intolerance powered by identity politics under the guide of “diversity”, “fairness”, and “social justice”.

It took the election of Donald Trump to expose these vile bastards for who they are. It didn’t start with the likes Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the NFL players, Ashley Judd, Madonna, MSNBC, CNN, ESPN, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the L.A. Times, Antifa, George Clooney, Jimmy Kimmel, the Democratic Party, Black Lives Matter, the mainstream media, the GOP elites, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and all those behind the “Cheap Labor Express”, immigration activists, college and university administrators and professors across the country and the snowflake “social justice warriors” being brainwashed by their socialist/communist agenda, and (unfortunately) it’s not going to end any time soon, but by golly, it’s about time the game was being taken to them on a daily basis.

They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, and just watching the whole Harvey Weinstein thing play out is going to be fascinating. Everyone – and I do mean – everyone – in the “entertainment industrial complex” (Hollywood, the mainstream media, and the Democratic Party, etc.) is going to be looking to cover their pathetic and sanctimonious asses having to explain the utter hypocrisy in enthusiastically supporting the likes of Hillary Clinton while all the while knowing and covering up for the actions of a sexual predator. Like John Lennon once sang, “all I want is the truth. Just gimme some truth.”

…oh wait a second: I guess I do understand why these folks supported Hillary Clinton. Right, Bubba?

…and oh BTW, wasn’t Harvey one of “Shrill Hill”‘s most enthusiastic supporters and contributors? So where is “Madame President”‘s condemnation? I won’t hold my breath.

Some of this is just breathless to behold. You have Black Lives Matter protesters disrupting a ACLU speech, of all things! And DACA activists disrupting a Nancy Pelosi presser? And libs calling for a boycott of ESPN after they suspended their house racist Jamele Hill. Honestly, folks, you can’t make this stuff up.

…and speaking of that gift that just keeps on giving: “San Fran Nan” is now threatening to shut down the government over DACA. I have only three words: Do. It. Please.

Finally, back to the poster child for everything that’s gone wrong with the liberal left. If you’re the NFL where do you from here? Your reputation and brand is being shredded week in / week out by a bunch of ignorant employees who don’t seem to understand the need to restrict their provocative thoughts and actions to places off the playing field. Talk about self-inflicted wounds! Slave owners and slaves, indeed. Keep it up, I say, and see where that gets you. At that point, I’m guessing there will be plenty of blame to go around but have a feeling no one will be looking in the mirror!

…and while all this happens, Donald Trump just eggs them on into higher stratospheres of frustration and fury. Honest to God, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that the election of Trump could cause the kind of biblical proportion-esque level of liberal mayhem and hysteria we are witnessing on a daily basis. This has more than just a protracted tantrum, this is the equivalent of a Fukishima meltdown.

It sure is a joy to behold. Pass the popcorn.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 10:49 | Comments (0)
October 7, 2017

It’s a beautiful weekend here in the Valley of the Sun. While the nights have cooled down nicely into the 70s, the days still feel pretty damned warm and the sun’s angle, while noticeably different than it was even just a month ago, is still hot on the skin.

This week I’ll be turning 62, and, as I was saying to Tracey while we had morning coffee at the Tiki bar, it’s time to start actually playing more golf instead of just hitting balls. Playing weekends on uber-crowded courses isn’t a lot of fun (at least to me), so I’m thinking of taking advantage of my ability to work from home and start getting out on a weekday mid-morning after working a few hours, play a round, and return back to the office.

…which means, I feel I’m at a point now where I like the changes I’ve made to my swing and know what I want to do going forward, so I feel comfortable working on those aspects of my game in earnest that I’ve never been able to do before: situational awareness, course management, etc. etc. For some people that kind of thing comes naturally and easy, but for me it’s something I need to work on. Fortunately, it’s a skill that can be learned. As Ben Hogan once said, the longest difference in golf is the one between one’s ears.

The Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley has been pretty spot-on when it comes to the Red Sox and manager “Accountability John” Farrell all year, and today’s column is devastating. I was saying to my dad after yesterday’s second-in-a-row trouncing by the Astros that the team looked tired, unmotivated, unprepared, and overmatched. Farrell’s choices in the lineup were (as usual) questionable, and he can’t strategically manage a short series if his life depended on it.

…but beyond that, I just don’t like the way this club seems to go about it’s business. There are a bunch of veteran prima donnas in the clubhouse, and when an up-and-coming star like left-fielder Andrew Benintendi blows off reporters after the game instead of doing the professional thing and answer questions, well, that tells me that the players aren’t going about things and learning to do things the right way, both on and off the field. And while “Accountability John” may not be the one who hits and throws, he is responsible for how this team ultimately performs day in and day out. And what’s going on right now is, to be honest, an embarrassment.

…which is why I think the whole Dennis Eckersely / David Price incident this past summer seems now like a defining moment, as when a patient finds out that the cancer growing inside his body is no longer treatable. This was an opportunity for “Accountability John” to take control of the clubhouse and show both stars and rookies how things should be done as professionals and how you treat people with respect. Instead, Farrell blew the whole thing off as a clubhouse matter and refused to even apologize to Eck on behalf of the team, thus revealing to everyone the kind of “bunker mentality” that’s in place at Fenway Park by the manager.

…and maybe that’s why the Sox have looked so poor in the post-season: they don’t know what it means to step and perform when the pressure is on. Instead, they come across as prickly, self-centered, and unprepared for the spotlight. Watching the way the Astros, Indians, and Yankees not just play baseball, but play the game vs. the way the Sox do, you can see that, as Buckley writes, they truly are nothing bunch a bunch of frauds.

October is when it always feels right to start listening to the music of Pink Floyd again. It is universally believed that in terms of a pure concert experience – sights, sounds, effects, set list – the 1994 “Division Bell” tour was the best the band ever did. I’m so fortunate to have had a chance to see it. If you haven’t got a couple of hours to have a cocktail, crank the computer up loud, two examples that give you an idea of just how cool the experience was: “Astronomy Domine” and “One Of These Days”.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 12:04 | Comments (0)
October 6, 2017

Time for playoff baseball!

If you’re a major league baseball manager, that means your whole season is now condensed into a series where: 1) you actually have to know what you have for a playoff roster and how you’re going to use it and when, and 2) you have to manage to game conditions and make decisions fast. In both cases, the Red Sox loss to the Astros in Game 1 of their Divisional Series showed a manager seemingly incapable of both.

Anyone who has been watching Chris Sale pitch down the stretch knows it’s fairly easy to tell when he’s struggling, yet ol’ Manager John kept trotting him out one inning after another to take the punishment. Sure, it wasn’t easy to gauge the extent to which Sale was struggling since it wasn’t like he was being dinged one hitter after another, but it was clear he didn’t have his best stuff, either. Surely, Manager John has seen enough of him this year to know when his #1 dude has it and when he doesn’t.

Hint to Manager John: it’s OK in a playoff series to go to your bullpen early – after all, you really don’t want to get your inconsistent offense down too badly, too early. Oh, and it’s OK to bring in someone else other than Joe Kelly (of all people!) to replace Sale – not only is he as inconsistent as hell, but jeepers, you’ve got to pick his spots better than that. But of course that would require a manager who goes into a game with a plan and is ready to execute it if things start going awry. I’m guessing that’s too much to ask here.

And, while it was true that Eduardo Nunez was a solid hitter since his acquisition, the dude has had a bad knee (which, by the way, he blew out on his first at-bat of the game). Is Hanley Ramirez struggling? Yes. But he’s still a home run threat when you have him in your lineup. Still, Manager John chooses to play a dinged up, if not bona fide injured, player ahead of one of his only true home run threats. For gawdsakes, everyone (except Manager John, apparently) knows the Sox are going to struggle offensively against the Astros, yet Ramirez is sitting on the bench?

I guess what pisses me off the most about Manager John isn’t his incompetence (which he exhibits in spades) or his seeming aloofness (or is it arrogance?). What pisses me off the most is his lack of preparedness once the first pitch is thrown and the appearance that everyone else in the ballpark is at least three hitters (if not more) ahead of him. He seems to manage by the seat of his pants without rhyme nor reason. There seems to be little communication between Manager John and his coaches, and between his coaches and players. I honestly don’t know what Manager John is thinking when he’s there in the dugout, leaning forward seeming deep in concentration as he shifts one leg to another on the next step, and from all appearances, I don’t think he does either.

One final note: I’ve got a sneaky feeling the Sox are finding out under the not-so-best of circumstances that this winter they’re going to have some big decisions to make. Jackie Bradley, Jr., while one of my favorite players and a defensive whiz, can’t be counted upon for any real offense. Dustin Pedroia (another fave) is playing old. And they’re going to have to think about what they want to do at catcher, first base, and DH, because every time they take the field they’re playing teams who can actually generate offense – real offense – out of those positions.

The Sox are playing like a tired team, but even worse, they’re playing with a manager who has no clue what it means to manage a baseball team in the playoffs.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 02:24 | Comments (0)

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