Noch einmal heiraten

Genau das wünschen sich heute mehr und mehr ältere Paare, die vor vielen Jahren, als sie selbst noch jung waren, sich das Ja-Wort gegeben haben. Wenn sie heute merken, welche Möglichkeiten und welche Auswahl junge Ehepaare haben, wünschen sich einige unter ihnen nichts sehnlicher, als ebenfalls noch einmal zu heiraten.

Und dann geht die Suche von neuem los. Es werden individuelle, einzigartige Trauringe herausgesucht, das perfekte Kleid muss gefunden werden und die Möglichkeiten, eine Feier so atemberaubend wie nur möglich zu gestalten muss auch bedacht werden.

Vor allem bei den Trauringen ist heute um einiges mehr möglich als damals. Viele der älteren Generationen waren froh, wenn es Rohstoffe gab, aus denen man sich einzigartige Trauringe schmieden lassen konnte. Denn oftmals gab es so wenig Gold und Silber in weiten Umkreisen, dass man alte Schmuckstücke womöglich einschmelzen lassen musste, um sich Trauringe machen zu lassen. An Gravuren, Edelsteinbesatz und Glanzrillen war da nicht zu denken.

Doch das ist heute anders: heute können sich Paare aller Altersklassen ihre ganz individuellen Trauringe selbst gestalten. Sie können aussuchen, welche Legierung sie bevorzugen, ob ihre Trauringe einen Edelstein besitzen sollen oder ob eine intime Botschaft in die Innenseite des Rings geschrieben werden soll.

Und genau das ist für viele Paare von damals ein guter Grund, heute noch einmal ihr Ja-Wort aufzufrischen und sich noch einmal als etwas ganz Besonderes zu fühlen.

Bigger, Better, Faster, More!

November 06, 2005

As if I didn’t have enough change in my life already, I am now happy to announce that 12eight has moved. The new site has all this stuff, and it has pretty colors and a shiny new banner and has even more room for me to write stuff nobody will read. It’s all very exciting.

Where is the new site, you ask?

http://www.12eight.org

That’s right: 12eight.com was taken. I’m not sure how that could happen, but there it is.

So anyway, if you have this site bookmarked for some reason, it’s time to update. And definitely time to clean out your bookmarks. And if you’re one of those nice people who linked to me, you can change the link as well. Thanks, and see you at the new place.

-Andrew

Posted by Andrew at 01:02:47 | Permanent Link | Comments (2) |

November 05, 2005

I Promise At Some Point I’ll Start Talking About Baseball Again

But in the meantime, here are further tales of wonder and woe from the ‘Theo’s Song’ saga. We’d already heard public comments from Sox players over Theo’s departure – the players as a whole seemed to really love the guy and from all indications, several knew exactly what was happening from our dear departed GM’s perspective. Now, from SoSH, comes further proof of this, as Curt Schilling – in two comments – essentially confirms the current thinking over this botched deal. The first came Thursday:

“This F’in sucks to all F’in hell.

And BTW, a few of you were spot on in what you think happened. Which means you few, and Maz knew what the hell was happening………….”

Then, after being challenged somewhat on the board, Schilling responded yesterday to a post that alluded he had no inside info:

“You’re serious? Are you, like Dan S., one of those people who believes you know as much, if not more, about what happens in and around this organization than players do?

I have found this to be continually humorous. When a tool like CHB tries to make himself appear ‘smarter’ than the players ’cause ‘he’s in the know’. Jesus please.

FWIW I spoke to one half of this situation over 10 times in the last 7 days. Oh and another thing, Dan S was wrong in his Sunday column, on alot.

FWIW the article didn’t make Theo leave, but if you were gonna bet on it, I’d tell you to bet that it was the proverbial “straw” given the load of BS in it, and the 100% blatantly obvious “industry source” who uttered, OUT LOUD, some of the EXACT comments that were IN the article on Sunday, verbatim. Not to mention the sickeningly bad timing of the uneeded Dan S piece, and everything else going on.

Oh btw, as I said about CHB and the article, why did that article have to be written? Did ANYONE here give 2 shits about the content of the article? Did it tell you anything you DIDN’T know about Theo, LL and their relationship? Or were you, like me, sick to your stomach reading an ass kissing editorial on just how incredibly unbelievably thankful Theo should be to a few people in the Sox organization? After paragraph 1 it was painfully obvious to me that this was just another case of a member of the media being flat out abused by someone to further a personal viewpoint or agenda. But that’s not the first time he’s had it happen to him since I have been here.”

Wow. So, obviously to be taken with a grain of salt, I think… Schilling does have that tendency to talk out of turn a little to often to be believed hook line and sinker. But even with a bag of salt, this effectively closes this discussion. Theo had reservations about the job, and reservations about what he saw going on in the FO, but was willing to put up with it for another three years, provided that he could at least maintain a level of trust and feel he had unwavering support. The Shaughnessy column was a vehicle for information that proved to Theo that he did not have that, and he walked.

Given that, I think I’m ready to call this the end of the story, or at least this part of the story. Kudos, by the way, to the Herald; I generally despise that paper, but on this issue they were 100% dead on.

Also, regardless of one’s feelings about the guy, you’ve got to love that Schilling is willing to get on a high-profile board like SoSH and drop bombs like this, which target both ownership and local media. Ah the power of a guaranteed contract and one of the 3 or 4 most emblematic moments in Red Sox history, I guess…

Posted by Andrew at 14:49:32 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) |

November 04, 2005

Theo’s Next Job?

This is just too brilliant not to post:

BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) — It didn’t take long for Theo Epstein to get another offer to be a baseball general manager — if he doesn’t mind cuts in his salary and the team payroll.

The independent Brockton Rox, who play about 30 minutes south of Fenway Park, offered Epstein their GM job on Thursday.

The team, which plays in the Canadian-American League, is restricted to a total player payroll of $87,500 — far less than the major league minimum of $316,000 per player and far below Boston’s $126.8 million payroll this year.

“It’s assumed that Epstein is looking for a greater challenge,” the team said in a statement, noting that Epstein could sweeten the pot for players with an $18 per diem and put them up with a host family.

Current Rox GM Andy Crossley basically dared Epstein to replace him.

“If the Rox can get Theo Epstein to take this job, great. All I can say is, good luck signing Manny Ramirez on our budget,” Crossley said. “We signed Emmanuel Ramirez as a pitcher last season, but we paid him about $800 per month.”

Rox owners include comedian Bill Murray and Mike Veeck, son of former Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck. The team has led the league in attendance in each of the past three seasons, and this year it gave 45-year-old former Red Sox pitcher Oil Can Boyd a platform for his comeback.

The team said Epstein could join Boyd for Thanksgiving dinner in the pitcher’s hometown of Meridian, Miss., in an effort to get the deal done. Epstein used a similar tack to bring Curt Schilling to Boston.

One warning for the 31-year-old baseball boy wonder, though: “We don’t actually have an office for Theo,” Rox president Jim Lucas said. “But we built two new cubicles this year and he’d have his own phone and access to the internet.”

Thanks to Baseball Primer for pointing out the link.

Posted by Andrew at 10:43:08 | Permanent Link | Comments (1) |

November 02, 2005

November To-Do List

New Job: Check.
New Apartment: Check.
New GM: …

D’oh.

Posted by Andrew at 15:20:27 | Permanent Link | Comments (6) |

Theo Epstein Press Conference Liveblogging

Theo on the podium now… re-reading his statement, and asking that once the press conference concludes, that the media respect his privacy.  Voice buckled a little bit in the middle of the phrase ‘World Championship’.  He does, however, look like a guy who was really really relieved by this decision.  Looking at him here… no chance at getting him back, folks.  He’s gone, and he’s happy about it.

He took a bullet on the Shaughnessy question, and he’s clearly saying it impacted him but only in as far as it cast a shadow on the office.  There was NO agreement in principle on a new contract, contrary to Globe reports.  Nothing that could have been done to keep him here, it wasn’t the right fit.  He’s not going to name names, there won’t be a big story here, and the details of his decision will remain personal; he said he is NOT burned out, and vaguely dodged the question of a year off.

Brushing off privacy issues as a motivating factor for leaving; it was tough but he was able to reconcile it, not a major factor, but led him to questions.  Anyone takingthe job knows about it going in.

Aside: good lord, away from everything else, how likeable is this guy?  Answer: extremely.  Like, I wanna hang out with him.  I also love the fact that whenever he mentions the accomplishments, he’s obviously looking at people standing to the sides.  Don’t know who they are, but the compassion is evident.

Theo made recommendations with ownership about how to proceed and how to maintain the strong base.  Somewhat dodged the question of whether the relationship with Larry was a contributing factor; said there were a lot of factors, but never denied it.  Asks the fans for patience with the team… is that a signal that there might be a slight rebuild?  “In some ways we’ve had some unprecedented success over the last three years”… you think, buddy?

Hey, I can recognize Bob Ryan’s voice.  That’s scary.  He asked the first confrontational question of the PC, going through all the things Theo ruled out as a reason for leaving and asked if all those things weren’t it, what was?  The answer was basically that there was a bunch of stuff and that you need to believe in the whole organization, and it wasn’t quite right.  Theo thinks the organization will be fine ‘if we handle this the right way’.  Now he’s smacking down someone or other… I hope it was Shaughnessy, but I doubt he’s there.

During the negotiations, the FO was ‘excruciatingly honest’ with one another, and in the end he decided that was that.  There were ‘some breakdown’ in the ability to keep leaks under control at the end.  No shit.  Also saying that once next week rolls around, he’ll listen to other teams.  Concentrating on Lucchino’s role is ‘inappropriate’, hearing some of the things said about Lucchino recently has been hard for him (sounds of a small violin).

Dude has balls; I expected him to look like shit here, and waver a bit, but he was resolute and firm and confident.  Good for him, then.

John Henry on the podium now, this should be interesting.

“I’ve never seen anyone work harder.”  Henry says he may not 100% agree with the decision, he believes it’s driven by a love for the franchise.  No comes the damage control where Henry tells us that what’s been said about Lucchino is unfair, and that Lucchino gets blamed for everything.  He doesn’t look all that angry, really, but then I’m not sure he could.  And… whoa.  He’s taking blame for everything.

Holds himself completely responsible as primary owner; losing Theo is a great loss, and there was plenty he could have done.  Asks himself if he’s fit to be the owner but “there’s no crying in baseball” but I think he’s hurt here.  Henry ‘didn’t hear Theo blaming Larry Lucchino’.  He maybe wasn’t listening.

It ‘wouldn’t be fair’ for Henry to comment on why Theo’s leaving, but it wasn’t blindsiding.  Henry is taking every single possible bullet.  “Did I blow it?  Yeah… yeah, I feel that way.”  Feels someone needed to stand up for Lucchino; Lucchino’s not there for that reason, that Henry had the responsibility to tackle it.

The new GM search won’t be rushed, and they’re trying to make the right decision.

Money was at one point an issue (and… you know, it IS a job) but it wasn’t the parting factor.  There were a multitude of issues.  Henry won’t speak for Theo.

Sounds like there will definitely be changes here; Henry won’t comment.  Commenting now on the media frenzy over the last two years that’s above and beyond what was even here before.  He doesn’t blame the media, but things that were said were inaccurate.

So… that’s it.  I guess I’m now past angry, and past sad, and am just resigned to this.  I don’t know what happened, nor do any of us; we’ll never ever know.  I have my suspicions, and frankly nothing said today negates any of it.  But, what is done is done.  I know I’ll wait with bated breath to find out where they move from here; will we contnue along the path Theo laid down here, or will we move from it?  We can only wait.

Good luck, Theo, in whatever you do.

Posted by Andrew at 13:50:11 | Permanent Link | Comments (2) |

November 01, 2005

Hardware

While we recoop from Theo’s departure, it should be noted that Sox players have been picking up some hardware.  Jason Varitek today won his first Gold Glove award for outstanding defense at his position; yesterday, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, and Jason Varitek took home Silver Sluggers as the best hitters at their respective positions in the American League.  Earlier in the week, David Ortiz was honored as this year’s AL Hank Aaron Award winner for the league’s best offensive performance.  Congratulations to all named.
Posted by Andrew at 17:50:49 | Permanent Link | Comments (9) |

A Letter to the Globe

My father today copied into the comments section of a previous post the contents of a letter he sent the Globe regarding Theo’s departure and Shaughnessy’s alleged role in it.  I’d like to reprint it here, because it brings up a number of important issues concerning the Globe’s coverage of the team generally and Shaughnessy’s involvement in the Theo Epstein resignation particularly.

To the Sports Editors:

While I understand Dan Shaughnessy’s decision to write the column he wrote on Sunday, and feel as though any other reporter, presented with that information, would have done roughly the same thing, I strongly disagree with the way the material was presented. It was clear that Dan made no attempt to get Theo’s point of view on any of these matters (or if he did, he ignored it). It was clear that Dan got inside information from someone on the Red Sox, be it Larry Lucchino or someone else, and presented it as facts (uncorroborated, I would guess, by any other source).

Dan has a history of being a shill for management. He did it before Clemens left, he did it before Pedro left, he did it before Nomar left, and now he’s done it again. If he wants to be a P.R. person for the Red Sox, please give him the opportunity. But if he wants to be a reporter, he owes it both to you and to his readership to do so honestly.

The only reason I’m not canceling my Globe subscription today is that the pages in your rival’s paper other than the sports pages are just too odious to read. If it were just for sports coverage, I’d be gone as a Globe subscriber today so that I wouldn’t have to read any more of that particular columnist.

It was mentioned on EEI today, after a caller related her conversation with a Globe representative, that the Globe is specifically taking note of and compiling records of complaints regarding Shaughnessy’s column.  Combined with the overall interest in the Globe’s relationship with the team – the subject of a recent article by the paper’s ombudsman – the events of the last few days could and very well may open a new and more serious discussion as to the propriety of the relationship, and the propriety of Shaughnessy’s close ties specifically.  Let’s hope this is the case.  We may not be able to clean up the inside of the Front Office, but the Globe is accountable to us its readership.  They need to address this issue, along with others, before they can regain their reputation – long earned – as a top sports section.

Posted by Andrew at 17:36:59 | Permanent Link | Comments (1) |

October 31, 2005

Theo: Door

So I can be wrong, or I can be WRONG.  I was the latter today, but more importantly…

He’s gone.  Theo Epstein, the man that did what no Red Sox GM in history had done, the Brookline kid that became baseball’s youngest GM – and of his own hometown team, no less – the man that signed David Ortiz, the man that celebrated like a player after the championship because goddammit he’d waited his whole life for it, the man that, for the last three years, was this team… is gone.  Driven from town by one arrogant man and one despicable ownership mouthpiece that has driven more people out of town than the commuter rail.

I feel like hurling this laptop through a window.  I honestly do.  If you’ve read this, I managed to restrain myself, but know that it was not by much.  This stunning turn of events requires so much space to explore, I don’t know if I could adequately cover it all in a year’s worth of posts.  In the end, though, one question keeps coming back at me: how can I be a fan of a team that would do that?  That would play infantile back-alley politics with the man that literally saved this franchise?  Theo Epstein deserved a statue.  What he leaves behind instead is an empty office, full of bitter memories and a World Series trophy that has now forever been tainted by untameable ego.  I can’t blame him, and I think you can guess who I do blame.  But I’ll tell you this right now; wherever Theo goes, if he becomes the GM of another ballclub, I honestly hope that that team beats the crap out of the Red Sox for years to come.  We deserve this coming back in our faces every inning of every game for the foreseeable future.

Is there any fan that feels that differently than I do today?  Anyone that wouldn’t curse out Lucchino to his face if they saw him on the street tomorrow morning?  Anyone that doesn’t want to give Shaughnessy the beat-down Carl Everett almost gave him 4 years ago?  Anyone that won’t feel the urge to boo next year’s starting lineup, knowing it was put together by… whoever?  This was, after all, not just Larry’s little fuck you to Theo.  This was a fuck you to every single fan of the team he runs.  Plain and simple.  Lucchino has tried to mold the Red Sox in his image, but what he apparently never realized was that the man he hired already embodied the team more fully than Lucchino could if he lived here for 50 years.  Now that man has resigned the job he always wanted, at age 31.

This is a black mark that will hang over this team for a long time to come.  You wanted to compete next year without giving up prospects?  Forget it.  By the time the GM situation is sorted out, they will have either rushed the search and found a willing yes man, or they will have taken their time but lost out on opportunity after opportunity.  This is a situation that screams bad contract; as of this evening, I now expect to see Johnny Damon in a Red Sox uniform again next year, with the kind of contract we laugh at Steinbrenner for.  This is a situation that makes me dread a year of Jim Thome back problems as we watch Anibal Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez own the Phillies farm system.  Those things were unthinkable yesterday.  Today they are the kind of fear that will keep you up at night because you know it’s that possible.

Dan Shaughnessy wanted a curse on this team?  Well, he’s got one now.  He helped make it.  Larry Lucchino wanted a godhead, and he was willing to make a martyr to get one.  So be it.  Theo Epstein?  A man that shunned the spotlight, who refused to cash in on his fame, his celebrity, his awesome popularity, had an opportunity worth taking to finally get recognition for what he’s accomplished.  Instead, he was treated like a spoiled child.

I don’t know how this will end, but it can’t end well.  I do know this: ownership has lost me forever.  Lucchino had to have his throne, and Henry – unless he does something drastic (and welcome) - will put financial stability ahead of baseball.  And if that doesn’t sound like John Harrington, I don’t know what does.

Theo… thank you isn’t enough.  Nothing is enough.  You did what no one thought they’d ever see, and you did it with honesty, integrity, and intelligence.  What you gave this team, this fanbase, and this city will be remembered forever.  There is certainly no consolation in this, but walking away here and now is the strongest thing you’ll ever do, for so many reasons.  Still, not even the bitter taste in my mouth can overshadow the elation I felt last October, the faith I put in you, and the unerring ability to fulfill that faith.  No GM for any team has ever done that for fans before, inspired that kind of love and adoration without ever seeming to want or notice it.  We knew what we had, and we know more acutely now that it’s gone.  Wherever you go, remember all of that.  And if you spend the next ten years building teams that kick us to the cellar, know that this team deserves every second of it, and you deserve every bit of reciprocal success.

And to fans reading this, don’t let it go.  Not this.  Kick and scream.  We’re the lifeblood of this team, and they just treated our guy like a two bit whore.  Never let them forget that.  I’m disgusted, and it’s not going to go away anytime soon.

Posted by Andrew at 23:59:59 | Permanent Link | Comments (22) |

Theocracy

After protracted negotiations that the media turned into a tense siege, Theo Epstein has signed his name to a new three-year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $4-4.5 million total.  I don’t think these negotiations ever got as bad as they were portrayed; these were, after all, two lawyers and two businessmen known for their savvy in negotiation.  I would have been surprised if these talks hadn’t been a bit hairy, given that; add the Lucchino-Epstein mentor/mentee relationship into the mix and the competition gets even more intense.  Hell, I still remember the first day I ever beat my father in a footrace.  I freaked out, and there wasn’t even a multi-million dollar paycheck at the finish line.

So, offseason priority 1 is out of the way.  Now, we move to offseason priorities 2-8, which are, in this order:

2) Find a center fielder;
2a) Find a leadoff hitter;
3) Figure out who will play first (Ortiz? Nixon? Konerko? Youkilis? A trade?);
3a) Figure out who plays third (only applicable if Youkilis isn’t the answer to #3, and if the Sox choose to let go of Bill Mueller);
4) Find a bullpen;
5) Pick a 2B; Cora’s under contract, and Graffanino isn’t but could be for very little money.  Pedroia is waiting; will he get a shot at the job in ST?
6) Trade David Wells (current rumor is Wells to SD for Brian Lawrence and Akinori Otsuka, to which my response is ‘yes please’)
7) Decide on a course for Papelbon, who arrived a half-year earlier than he was likely scheduled to – does he start ’06 in the pen with a cheap FA starter (or Lawrence, as above), or do they give Paps the 5th spot out of the gate?  Will there be a Spring Training battle?
8) Be very very careful who you protect and who you don’t on the 40-man – Boston finally has a bunch of desirable prospects, and I’d rather not lose any of them to Tampa Bay for $50,000.  Unless that money is coming to me personally.  Which it isn’t.

There’s other stuff, but I said 8 and I’m sticking to it even though I completely pulled that number out of my ass and there are two extra things there anyway.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I must be vewwy vewwy quiet.  I’m hunting apartments.

Posted by Andrew at 11:28:49 | Permanent Link | Comments (7) |

October 29, 2005

Goings On

So, things have been pretty quiet at 12eight for the last few days.  This is in part because I’m busy as hell; I’m now about a week away from starting a new job, and am hurling headfirst into an apartment search.  I’ve also been working on the new site, and it’s coming along quite nicely.  I’m expecting to be able to fully move over there in a matter of days, preferably before my first day at the new place of employ.  There are some entertaining new features, and a couple experiments I’m trying out to see what happens.

None of that, however, is to say that there has been no news.  The biggest today, at least in the baseball world (and discounting Patrick Fitzgerald’s colorful baseball analogy that compared Scooter Libby to Pedro v. Posada) came from the Sox front office.  The Theo-watch continued, though word today was that the sides were nearing an agreement; I’m not at all stunned, and really didn’t think all this was going to turn out to be a big deal anyway.  These were, after all, two parties quite skillful at negotiation, not to mention that no matter how many stories Tony Massarotti or Bob Ryan or Sean McAdam wrote, it was pretty plain that not a single one of them knew any more about the situation than you or I.  So, now, it appears that the Sox and their star GM have reached – or are approaching – a workable middle ground on whatever previously separated them, whether it was money or chain of command.  In either case, let’s hope this gets settled tomorrow so that Theo can get back in the business of building the 2006 team.

There was, however, one notable departure from Yawkey Way today, as Josh Byrnes was announced as the new GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  It’s an interesting job for Byrnes, as he inherits a weak MLB club with an outstanding farm system (at least as far as position players are concerned).  Word is he will be replaced internally, by current Assistant to the GM Jed Hoyer.

Two Sox players officially filed for free agency today, and they’re the two that I’d least expect to see back in a Boston uniform next year.  Kevin Millar, who will likely not even be offered arbitration, and Bill Mueller, who has likely already reached an agreement with the Sox that will see him turn down any arbitration offer in favor of a new contract with a West Coast Club (Padres?  Dodgers?).  The move drastically reduces our number of Miller-variations, as well as leaving openings for corner IF positions.  3B will almost certainly be filled by Kevin Youkilis, but 1B is a major question mark.

Finally, it also appears that the Sox are growing close to a deal that would bring back 2005 relief ace Mike Timlin, on either a one or two year contract.  Timlin would be even more valuable in a Sox pen that promises to feature no small number of rookie or young arms; Timlin is effectively an additional bullpen coach, and his presence is arguably as important to the bullpen as Varitek’s is to the team.

So that’s about that.  Once the new site is completed, I’ll announce it and post a link over there.  Once it’s up, I’ll start my own in-depth offseason analysis, whatever that may turn out to be.