Bill Buckner

Feeding the (Blue) Monster, Part One

This was my original thinking, the only reason I'd read any book about the Red Sox would be to gain insight into Theo Epstein's approach to roster construction and player acquisition. Still, I'm a sucker for a good baseball story and I have to admit that learning about the Cubs sister AL team that suffered from the 'Curse of the Bambino' had it's appeal, if for no other reason than  this old Billy Goat's misery loves company.

Seth Mnookin's 2006 book, 'Feeding the Monster' is an in-depth look at the Red Sox, focusing on team management and the eventual 2002 ownership change as the reason their drought ended. The Red Sox truly overcame urban legends created by the Boston press with their constant harping on eight decades of Epic failures and generations of fan misery.

Something I understand (except for the "overcame" part).

Now with the Theo "Compensation-gate" mostly completed, this book is filled with insights into the personalities behind what should have been a simple and quick front office only transaction (with no compensation as you will soon read). Why it became a bollixed, vitriol filled, press inflated, word-slinging mess that only Boston is known for makes more sense to me after this read.

There is a lot of story to set up before Theo Epstein jumps in, so prepare for the first part of the world's longest book summary.  Most of Theo's story will be in part deux.  Part one, after the jump...

Closure For Billy Buck?

Former Cub Bill Buckner threw out the first pitch before the Red Sox home opener Tuesday against the Tigers. In a tearful press conference--lot of that going around this week--Buckner said he had finally been able to forgive the media for the brutal treatment he and his family had received following Buckner's fateful error in Game Six of the Sox' 1986 World Series loss to the Mets.

For a whole generation of fans, Buckner's connection to that Mookie Wilson-hit ground ball has obscured the fact that the guy was a terrific baseball player. The onetime Dodger played seven full seasons on the North Side after the Cubs had acquired him and Ivan DeJesus in a January, 1977 trade for Rick Monday.

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  • Per Fangraphs...

    Bryant took over NL lead in WAR after yesterday's effort. 3.9. Rizzo's at 2.8 and 9th in the league. Rizzo actually with better offensive numbers (161 wRC+ versus 146 for Bryant), but Bryant gets a good bump because of defense and position(s) played.

    Fowler with a 2.8 WAR as well.

    M. Carpenter actually leads NL with 163 wRC+ just ahead of Rizzo who is 2nd.

    Rob G. 2 min 50 sec ago view
  • Amen

    jacos 51 min 58 sec ago view
  • @jonahkeri Joe Maddon living out Joe Maddon fanfic IRL tonight

    Rob G. 1 hour 12 min ago view
  • yes. I was at the Sean Marshall game in LF. Lou Piniella was managing. StL won 4-2, so I guess it didn't help but it was zany. Soriano/Reed Johnson and Marshall were the LF's.

    http://m.mlb.com/news/article/5854550/

    7-12-09

    http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?id=290712316

    On a 6 degrees of separation note: Cubs got Travis Wood in the trade that sent Sean Marshall to Cincy.

    Cubster 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • Make that 1-7, 4 RBI.

    billybucks 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • i like how strop played LF with his "crooked cap" look...that's not just for the mound.

    crunch 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • let baez pitch the 15th, he earned it.

    crunch 1 hour 45 min ago view
  • Forget the save, finally Javier!!

    cubbies.4ever 1 hour 45 min ago view
  • Can a pitcher get more than one hold in a game? Or a Win and a save?

    cubbies.4ever 1 hour 48 min ago view
  • Didn't they do this sort of thing with Sean Marshall years back? Sticking him in LF to save him to face others, but without a pitcher replacing him in LF.

    cubbies.4ever 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • This is the most beautiful thing ever.

    Transmission 2 hours 1 min ago view
  • all i wanna know is...when's d.ross gonna pitch?

    crunch 2 hours 5 min ago view
  • Maddon is over-managing the shit out of this game.

    Rob G. 2 hours 7 min ago view
  • yeah. ...or not...

    i was a bit more confused why the guy who gave up a HR to votto last night was facing him with 2 men on.

    ...now that wood is coming in to pitch the following inning, the whole thing gets weirder. so like, okay.

    crunch 2 hours 7 min ago view
  • Javy 0-6. At least he's consistent.

    The E-Man 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • Sweet play.

    What's with the Travis Wood stuff? Is it because he pitched the last 2 games?

    Rob G. 2 hours 17 min ago view