Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rocco Comes Home

One of our own.

Good ol' Rocco Baldelli, famous for being a classmate to Z.C. Hosseini, is now on the Boston Red Sox. There's no doubt I am pleased with this development. A local boy on the local nine. Who doesn't love that?

He figures to be a fourth outfielder to sub in for J.D. Drew when Drew has his annual six week back strain injury. Baldelli himself has had his injury issues, but with a plentiful supply of nearby coffee milk and Dell's Lemonade, he should stay healthy and strong. I can tell you from first-hand experience that the lack of such Rhode Island delicacies is very tough on the body and soul.

Oh, they also signed future Hall of Famer John Smoltz, who is coming off major surgery. No one can predict what the Sox will get from him, but this signing is indicative of the Dan Duquette strategy Boston is employing this offseason.

The Dan Duquette strategy, you ask? The former GM of the Red Sox during the 90s always seemed to miss out on the big free-agent 'gets' so he ended up signing 'diamond in the rough' players. He signed an aging Brett Saberhagen whose shoulder was made of chicken wire and yarn by that point. He signed Steve Avery after the lefty's glory days had passed. He picked up Ramon Martinez, brother of Pedro, who I always feared would lose his right arm right on the mound.

But some of these players contributed to playoff teams. Duquette, for all his many faults, always seemed to find good players from the trash heap while their value was at their lowest. If he batted .500 with those acquisitions, he'd have taken it.

Flash forward to 2008 and the Sox have signed Brad Penny, John Smoltz and Rocco. All intriguing. They could contribute to an AL East title or they could become as useless as Julio Lugo. I'm not brave enough or smart enough to predict who will do what, but I do know one thing ...

The Red Sox should start selling Baldelli jerseys at the Warwick Mall as soon as possible.


  1. In other news...

    The Boston Celtics have announced the signing of former Florida guard Brett Nelson.

    Nelson, a West Virginia product, once dunked on Zach Hosseini at a game attended by literally dozens of adoring fans (all toothless yokels).

    "Brett has the kind of athleticism you can't help but appreciate," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "Think Hosseini before the ACL surgery."

  2. MIAMI (AP) --- The Florida Marlins announced they will cut ties with longtime pitcher "Iron" Will O'Houlihan following several seasons of poor performances on the mound and new revelations of off-the-field indiscretions that have surfaced in the new year.

    "He just sucks," said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria via text message on Monday.

    "With the Yankees buying up the free agent market, we decided that this was the year we were going to win the World Series again, which meant it was time to get rid of that junkballing turd."

    O'Houlihan has always been an enigma in Major League Baseball. Though not Cuban, there have been claims about his age during his 36-year career.

    On his website,, he claims that he is "26, almost 27, but . . . really, really, like, really, loves 24."

    The relief pitcher is among a small fraternity of Rhode Island-born ballplayers and grew up in the "Little Gaza" neighborhood of Cranston.

    On the mound, the 6-foot-1 119-pound righty, was infamous for his lack of composure and repertoire.

    O'Houlihan was prone to violent fits of sighs at the slightest setback.

    One former teammate who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: "Once, I went out to eat with the guy and he had to pay six more dollars because he forgot his reading glasses and didn't know that he had ordered the expensive rice."

    "He just totally trashed the place with this gangly-arm flailing motion. Eventually, we had to coax him back to sanity with some gelato. It was embarrassing."

    A former National League scout said O'Houlihan was best known for his "Mound presents. Get it? Like, presents because his pitches were gifts for opposing hitters! But it sounds like 'presence', which is what scouts look for . . . um . . . when . . . um . . they . . . scout pitchers."

    The scout said O'Houlihan was unique because he threw only changeups -- five to be exact: The Eephus, The Slow, The Keifer Sutherland Career Once '24' Mercifully Ends, The Brittle Ankle and The Gravity Ball, which was essentially just a pitch that adhered to the rules of gravity as it entered the strike zone.

    O'Houlihan finishes his career with a 1-178 career record and a 24.24 ERA. His lone win came in 2002 in interleague play when he struck out Yankees John Van Der Wal looking and Alfonso Soriano swinging to preserve a 19-1 Marlins victory.

    IN OTHER baseball news, former New York Yankee farmhand, turned pizza baron, turned photography frame store owner, turned rock musician Jeff Schaible, announced that he will be leaving show business for good to concentrate more on his family.

    Schaible said his band, Jeff Schaible's $45 T-Shirt, were breaking up for good.

    Rumors of the group's breakup have been swirling on the band's unofficial website,

    One poster on the site's message board, posting under the screen name "Zach Hosseini" said: "I've heard that Jeff's shows, which sometimes ran until 9:30 PM at night, were not jiving well with his spouse. In fact, he's probably at home right now, reading this with a "Schaible Face".