Protecting the Shields -- The Nick Cafardo Thread

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joyofsox said:
I think http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/ usually links to it - and you can read it all.
 
edit - here is a link to this past Sunday's Notes
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/08/cafardo-on.html
 
Oh wow.  Interesting.  Clicking the mlbtraderumors link makes it free.  Good to know.
 
Here's the test I performed that confirmed it:
 
This morning, I was on my iPad at home, and I clicked the mlbtraderumors link first.  I could read the article.  I followed it up with a search on "nick cafardo boston globe" and followed the bostonglobe.com link to his list of articles.  I was still able to read the article.
 
I just got into work, on a PC, searched on "nick cafardo boston globe" first, and followed the bostonglobe.com link to his list of articles.  Everything was blocked.  I went through the mlbtrade rumors link, and was able to read the whole thing.  What's odd is that I tried the boston globe search again, and it's still blocked.  I thought that once I went through mlbtraderumors, some cookie would have made it free regardless of how I got there.  That's slightly different than how it reacted when I was on the iPad.  Or maybe it was the sequence of events.
 
Regardless, a backdoor to Nicky.  Although, I admit, at this point, I typically only care to read Chad Finn and the Extra Bases updates.  I won't click a CHB article, or the Ask Nick mailbag, or Eric Wilbur, and on and on.  It's just a waste of time.
 
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New York Yankees: Pride, Power, Pinstripes .... PEDs.
 
I will take one issue to the drum some people are beating in regards to the Yankees.   After 111 games the Yankees are 57-54 and overperforming their pythag because of a tremendous bullpen.  After 111 games the 2012 Red Sox were 55-56, and my WAG is that they were underperforming their pyhtag, probably because people like Aceves were closing.  Yet, the Yankees are "all heart" and "mystique and aura".
 
Yes, I get that the Yankees have had their offense decimated by injuries.  But a couple of points:
 
1. Look at Teixeira's downward trajectory the past few years.  Conceivably, Lyle Overbay might be giving them similar production to a healthy Teixera.  If anything, it could be a small gap in Texixeira's favor.  And Kevin Youkilis could have continued his regression.  And Derek Jeter is still 39.  And Ichiro is still Ichiro.  And they started the season with Cervelli and what's his name at Catcher.  I'm not so sure that if completely healthy, they'd be a top 3 offense in the AL.
 
2. For all that has gone wrong with their offense, a lot has gone right with their pitching.  They've remained fairly healthy, Hiroki Kuroda is an animal, and although they are now 6th in the AL in Team ERA, just recently they were something like 2nd.  And that bullpen is still a strength.  To compare: The 2012 Sox were a top 3 AL offense, but a below average pitching team.  The 2013 Yankees were (recently) a top 3 AL pitching, but a below average hitting team.  A simplistic analysis, but is it any wonder they have, basically, similar records?  The difference being is that the Yankees are trying to add pieces now (example: Soriano was added, and Granderson and A-Rod are back), whereas the Sox sold off pieces and had devastating injuries to the heart of their order (Ortiz and Middlebrooks).  The Sox played September with a Spring Training lineup after their one strength was decimated.
 
The Yankees are going to go down as a team with heart and the Sox were viewed as the laughingstock of baseball.  Well, at least they have A-Rod staining that narrative right now.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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HillysLastWalk said:
 
Oh wow.  Interesting.  Clicking the mlbtraderumors link makes it free.  Good to know.
 
Here's the test I performed that confirmed it:
 
This morning, I was on my iPad at home, and I clicked the mlbtraderumors link first.  I could read the article.  I followed it up with a search on "nick cafardo boston globe" and followed the bostonglobe.com link to his list of articles.  I was still able to read the article.
 
I just got into work, on a PC, searched on "nick cafardo boston globe" first, and followed the bostonglobe.com link to his list of articles.  Everything was blocked.  I went through the mlbtrade rumors link, and was able to read the whole thing.  What's odd is that I tried the boston globe search again, and it's still blocked.  I thought that once I went through mlbtraderumors, some cookie would have made it free regardless of how I got there.  That's slightly different than how it reacted when I was on the iPad.  Or maybe it was the sequence of events.
 
Regardless, a backdoor to Nicky.  Although, I admit, at this point, I typically only care to read Chad Finn and the Extra Bases updates.  I won't click a CHB article, or the Ask Nick mailbag, or Eric Wilbur, and on and on.  It's just a waste of time.
 
 
I can teach you how to get roadkill for free off of the highways.
 

JGray38

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"Sometimes it's interesting to look back at throw-ins in deals. The Red Sox last season traded a kid named Jeremias Pineda to the Twins for Danny Valencia, who played just 10 games with Boston. Pineda, a center fielder, has been timed at 3.77 seconds to first base."
Except, Pineda is not that interesting. As a sprinter maybe, but not as a 23 year old still in A ball hitting 253/344/329. 
 

Byrdbrain

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JGray38 said:
Except, Pineda is not that interesting. As a sprinter maybe, but not as a 23 year old still in A ball hitting 253/344/329. 
I would actually like to read an article on some interesting throw ins and what has become of them. There certainly are cases where throw ins have become very good players.
But instead of finding one or two interesting throw ins Nick picks someone who has next to no chance of ever becoming anything and the only thing he can say about him is his time to first?
 

JGray38

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That would be an interesting article, actually. I think what bothers me is that he implies that the Sox screwed up here. The Sox gave away a guy in who is really, really fast for a guy who only played in 10 games in Boston! Of course, Valencia, despite being a lousy major league, is a vastly better player than Pineda, simply because he got to the big leagues in the first place.
 

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Dick Pole Upside said:
 
Let that one marinate for a little while. 
 
My hair hurt the instant I read that one...
Again, maybe he could make an interesting point- you know that it doesn't seem like guys coming off the DL in 2013 stay any healthier than those from 2000, 1990, whatever.     Even a quote or two from one of his "old friend" GMs or this-or-that scout.   
 
But, no, he just throws shit against the wall and walks away.   And, as he has done in the past, especially w/Ellsbury, takes an indirect shot at a Sox player, in this case Buchholz
 

joe dokes

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So comparing starting rotations is at least the kernel of a relevant idea -- although why for today? -- but then we get:
 
 They have James Shields, whose numbers (7-8, 3.33) mirror John Lackey’s, but there’s something about Shields’s presence that oozes ace.
 
I dont want to hear about James Shields's "oozing."
 
 
 
But Wait! There's more! Nick continues to fire away at his lates target in his personal game of pin the tail on the pussy:
The Red Sox could have him pitch simulated games and/or go to the instructional league for some work. Buchholz is on one of those strict throwing programs, a pet peeve of this reporter. Sometimes pitchers simply spend too much time going step by step in getting back to the mound to the point of ridiculous delays. Even doctors in the sports medicine business have shaken their heads at how long this process takes.
The progression: from throwing on flat ground, to throwing on the mound, or throwing a bullpen, or throwing to hitters, and then simulated games, and rehab starts. Holy cow! It’s mind-imploding.
Obviously, what the Sox have to be concerned about is whether Buchholz can rebuild his strength to the point where he can be dominant again. Is there enough time? And what if Buchholz is holding back because he doesn’t want to reinjure himself?
All of those are X-factors, of course
 
 
 Is a "doctor in the sports medicine business" actually the same as a "doctor"? I've been away....has Nick actually named and/or quoted any of them? Or has he told us which pitchers have "spent too much time" with "ridiculous delays"?
 
I wonder if Nick thought that Dennis Byrd took too long to get back on his feet.  Or maybe he thinks the Sox should've stopped screwing around and just put Ryan Westmoreland right into the lineup instead of babying him with rehab assignments like learning to pick up coins off a table. David Ross? Concussion? Feh. There's plenty of stupid guys playing. How does sitting in a dark room help you play baseball?   
 
 

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Did you know that Robin Ventura had his 58-game hit streak when he went to Stanford? Well, that would be surprising to him too considering that he went to Oklahoma State University
 
I am going to assume that either Cafardo confused him with former teammate Jack McDowell or that he messed up because OSU lost to Stanford in the 1987 College World Series. And honestly, i wouldn't be so petty (actually, you know I would) but it's pretty easy to double-check this. So maybe this isn't so much on Cafardo rather than on Globe fact checkers and editors. 
 
But empty information and incorrect facts are just part and parcel of the Boston Sunday Globe's once vaunted baseball column. 
 

Hendu4Kutcher

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This was my favorite bit, regarding Luke Hochevar:
 
The Royals could make him a starter again, but they seem to have missed the boat not dealing him at the deadline. However, general manager Dayton Moore correctly surmised that Hochevar could help them down the stretch. 
 
So, which is it? Did the Royals make the right call in retaining him to help with their playoff push, or did they screw up by not trading him? I'll guess we'll never know. This bit illustrates two of the many things that I find frustrating about Cafardo's writing: 1) he's too often unwilling to take a stand on issues (with the notable exception of calling out injured Red Sox players for taking too much time to rehab) and 2) he frequently contradicts himself within the same column or, in this case, within a few sentences.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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No, no. They only "seemed" to miss the boat in not dealing him. Dummies like you, reader, might have thought that. But astute observers like #1 baseball reporter Nick Cafardo were able to discern that Moore "correctly" surmised that Hochevar was too likely to help later in the season to part with. 
 
It's likely you weren't able to read that sentence correctly because you were still pondering that stunning observation that there is some chance that Hocehvar will be made a starter again. Or. Not. That's the crazy part of that whole thing. We're just not sure. 
 
Hope that clears things up for you. 
 

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http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/08/24/american-league-not-much-left-for-tigers/4V78Yu8YW15A4yBotLE3iO/story.html
 
Thought this was funny:
 
"9. Stephen Drew, SS, Red Sox — Scott Boras would like to see both Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury re-sign with the Red Sox long term. Boras’s other clients include Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., but he feels Bogaerts, as he fills out, will be better suited for third base, and Bradley, while extremely athletic, doesn’t have the on-base and scoring potential (because of stolen bases) Ellsbury does. Boras expects a big market for both Drew and Ellsbury."
 
I'm sure if Scott wasn't writing this blurb for him it would read more like "...Bogaerts and Bradley are game changers... you can't hand out long term big money to guys like Drew and Ellsbury who have spotty track records when it comes to injuries."
 

JGray38

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Of course, Nick's sock-puppet-ness means he doesn't challenge that statement either. Ellsbury (when you take out rehab assignments) and JBJ have surprisingly similar progression through the minors- started at about the same age, spent about the same amount of time at each level, same teams, leagues, etc. JBJ comes across as having better OBP and Slugging ability- by far. Those skills are are actually more important in scoring than just running fast and stealing bases. And JBJ isn't exactly slow. I know that he still needs to do it at the major league level, but it's certainly an argument that JBJ might just wind up with comparable or better "scoring potential". once he settles in. It's certainly something Nick could counter with if Boras' hand wasn't controlling his mouth.
 

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Before it gets changed, check out the numbering in the list of AL contenders in the opening segment
 

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E5 Yaz said:
Before it gets changed, check out the numbering in the list of AL contenders in the opening segment
 
So, number six must be that infamous mystery team that's always lurking with big offers for Scott Boras clients?
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Another update in Justin Morneau, now the Pirates want in. I hope he stays with the Twins forever.

And despite Ryan Braun not really owning up to anything and saying sorry via press release, Braun is good people. Same thing with ARod. Manny Ramirez is still Adolph Stalin Hussein though
 

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That cracked me up. What if Braun isn't really sorry at all (the likely truth imo)? He's still a good dude because he admitted it? Even after all of his abhorrent behavior? 
 

joe dokes

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Can't call Nick Cafardo dumb today.  He writes a plea for fans to attend games being played by this consistently exciting team.  I'm sure his new boss is taking note.
 
I can call Nick dumb on any day that ends with a 'y.'
 
Aside from the "new boss" angle . . .
 
--If the definition of "attendance" is retroactively changed to "number of humans that go to the game," attendance is probably up over last year. The problem the Sox created is that by calculating "attendance" by some formula that resulted in the Park being filled to 340% capacity 25 hours a day, 8 days a week and 366 days a year -- perhaps to drive demand, perhaps to keep the streak-related PR going -- they created a situation where future "attendance" *had* to decrease, even if more people were actually at the game.  The "tickets sold" method of attendance may not make a difference in places used to operating at less than 100% capacity, but mathematically, there was just no place to go but down.
 
--Nick and his colleagues have done little but trash the team at every opportunity. Each loss is accompanied by the hue and cry of, "With that loss last night -- even though it was their first in 10 games -- the Red Sox failed to open up more ground on Toronto and New York. And with Josh Johnson nearing a returning from his third arm amputation, and Derek Jeter's sonotubes almost ready for his reintallation at shortstop in the Bronx, the Sox pennant chances are looking bleak, especially with with the team's best shortstop now in Detroit and lollygagging righty Clay Buchholz on a "throwing program" that would make Cy Young cringe and Christian Barnard call his team in for a transplant."
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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There is absolutely nothing worse than a media member, who has never had to pay to attend a single game this year, scolding people for not getting out to the ballpark. 
 
I love this team. That doesn't mean I have the $100+ lying around it would require even just to go to a game with a friend in the cheap seats/standing room (I live in Maine, so there are extenuating circumstances, but still). 
 
So I think this is a team worth watching? Yes. Do I think a writer who watches for free from the press box has a leg to stand on? No.
 

joe dokes

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Middle of a real pennant race. Team just took 2 of 3 from an Oriole team that Nick has suggested had the Sox's number.  So what do we get today? *Another* story about attendance.
 
And now with Remy on the shelf for the rest of the season, can there be any doubt that The Least Interesting Man in the World (h/t someone else) will be filling our tv screens soon. (Since TV seems to be Fenway's chief rival, maybe putting Nick in the booth is the team's secret weapon in increasing attendance.)
 

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From today's notes column:

"1. Intentional walks should be banned. You're asking pitchers to purposely fail."

The mind reels .... He throws this shit in just to make sure we're paying attention, right?

Also, sacrifice bunts should be banned. You're asking batters to purposely fail.
 

JGray38

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Intentional walks should be banned. You're asking pitchers to purposely fail.
Apparently the notion of strategy, and the nuance of weighing the merits of allowing a baserunner in exchange for them not driving in a run is lost on Nick. 
 

JGray38

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I also liked this one:
 
The Red Sox have entered Friday having hit 56 homers against relievers tops in baseball. But they were 12th in average against relievers at .250. They had also scored more runs (204) than any team from the 7th inning on.
If this doesn't convince you that batting average is really limited in its ability to evaluate hitting, nothing will.
 

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Banning intentional walks as in not allowing the catcher to stand up, put his arm out and have the pitcher throw four balls well outside?  Why?  What's to stop pitcher from simply throwing four pitches well outside without the catcher standing and making it obvious?
 
The only semi-compelling argument I've heard in terms of messing with the intentional walk is forgoing the act of throwing the four pitches and just giving the hitter first base.  And that's only compelling, IMO, as a time-saver.  But there are many other means with which to save time and shorten games that they should address before doing anything with the intentional walk.
 

Orel Miraculous

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
Banning intentional walks as in not allowing the catcher to stand up, put his arm out and have the pitcher throw four balls well outside?  Why?  What's to stop pitcher from simply throwing four pitches well outside without the catcher standing and making it obvious?
 
Yes, as a spectator who wants to see baseball players play the game, I despise the intentional walk. Posnanski says it better than I can here, and here:
 
The second kind of intentional walk -- the avoidance intentional walk -- is the kind that makes me want to smash guitars. Take this year's World Series. I had no rooting interest this year. The writer in me usually leans one way or another -- one team tends to be a slightly better story than another, one manager drives me more batty than another -- but I thought both teams had good stories this time around, and the managers drove me equally nuts with moves they made.

But, again, that was strategy. Then came Game 6, tenth inning, the Texas Rangers up a run. The Cardinals had the tying run on second base. And Albert Pujols stepped to the plate.

Baseball fans watch for a million reasons. It's silly to try and reduce the game to a simple, "This is what the game's all about" cliche because the game is all about many, many things. But, Game 6 of the World Series, 10th inning, two outs, runner in scoring position, Albert Pujols at the plate, the whole city of St. Louis going bonkers -- yeah, that's a pretty good moment for the game. That's time you wake up your kids to watch. That's one you think about for the rest of your life.

And Ron Washington had his pitcher Scott Feldman intentionally walk Albert Pujols.
 
As you stated, the problem is how to actually prevent it from happening.  Bill James's idea was simply to allow the hitter to decline to take the walk and force the pitcher the pitch to him.  I'd be happy with just a rule stating that the catcher must remain in his normal crouch at the start of every pitch.  Pitchers could still try to pitch around hitters, but at the hitters would still have a chance.
 

Humphrey

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Orel Miraculous said:
 
Yes, as a spectator who wants to see baseball players play the game, I despise the intentional walk. Posnanski says it better than I can:
 
 
As you stated, the problem is how to actually prevent it from happening.  Bill James's idea was simply to allow the hitter to decline to take the walk and force the pitcher the pitch to him.  I'd be happy with just a rule stating that the catcher must remain in his normal crouch at the start of every pitch.  Pitchers could still try to pitch around hitters, but at the hitters would still have a chance.
why- do you think that teams would be less likely to risk a wild pitch/passed ball if the catcher couldn't stand up??
 
Nick seems to overrate the Yanks every week.
 

Rasputin

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I've seen a suggestion that an intentional walk should result in putting the batter on second base. I suspect that would all but eliminate the intentional walk and I think it's rather drastic.
 
What I would kind of like to see is that an intentional walk advances every batter a base even if they aren't forced so in the typical situation where there is a runner at second, the IBB would result in runners at first and third. You'd also probably all but eliminate the intentional walk with runners at second and third.
 

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Rasputin said:
I've seen a suggestion that an intentional walk should result in putting the batter on second base. I suspect that would all but eliminate the intentional walk and I think it's rather drastic.
 
What I would kind of like to see is that an intentional walk advances every batter a base even if they aren't forced so in the typical situation where there is a runner at second, the IBB would result in runners at first and third. You'd also probably all but eliminate the intentional walk with runners at second and third.
 
The analogy was alluded to upthread, but if they make either of these suggestions a rule, I propose they make a sacrifice bunt an automatic double play as long as one out is recorded.  The IBB is a perfectly valid strategic gambit by the offense sacrificing the opportunity to get one hitter out (and putting an additional baserunner on base) for an increased chance of recording one or two outs against the next hitter.  Making it more punitive for the pitching team to utilize should be balanced by making a sacrifice more punitive for the offense as well.
 

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I have no problem with the intentional walk as a strategy and as mentioned if you banned intentional walks you'd just have more "unintentional" walks where you get 4 unhittible pitches but the catcher doesn't stand up.
 
However, it is boring to have to watch 4 intentionally bad pitches. In the interest of speeding up the game, I would just make the pitching team's manager just press a button or something to signal the ump to send the batter to first with no pitches thrown. I know the 4 pitches take like, one minute, so this is minor, but it's one minute where absolutely nothing interesting happens.
 

Rasputin

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
 
The analogy was alluded to upthread, but if they make either of these suggestions a rule, I propose they make a sacrifice bunt an automatic double play as long as one out is recorded.  The IBB is a perfectly valid strategic gambit by the offense sacrificing the opportunity to get one hitter out (and putting an additional baserunner on base) for an increased chance of recording one or two outs against the next hitter.  Making it more punitive for the pitching team to utilize should be balanced by making a sacrifice more punitive for the offense as well.
 
This is wrong in two ways.
 
First, the guys who make the rules get to determine what is perfectly valid and what isn't.
 
Second, if the rule ever gets changed, it will be because the current rules are broken. I'm not entirely sure I want the rule changed to either of the things I mentioned, but the argument is that the rules as they are, are anti-competitive, and fixing that doesn't require a corresponding move to break it again.
 
Third, getting rid of the sacrifice bunt would be sexy.
 

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Orel Miraculous said:
I completely agree with him that intentional walks should be banned.  Posnanski and Bill James have been saying for years, too.
 
Posnanski and Bill James have also been saying for years that PEDs make no difference in performance despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  They also both have interesting takes on the Penn State scandal.
 
There are a lot of reasons to hate intentional walks and to argue that the rules should be changed.  Citing a sportswriter and a statistical savant who often  expresses idiotic opinions when he ventures outside of his area of expertise is not one of them. 
 

joe dokes

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A human, writed this, sentence:
 
Instead, the Yankees, fighting for a playoff berth, knowing the Orioles, one of teams they’re competing with, had won, had took an 8-7 lead after being down, 7-2.
 
 
 

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joe dokes said:
A human, writed this, sentence:
 
Instead, the Yankees, fighting for a playoff berth, knowing the Orioles, one of teams they’re competing with, had won, had took an 8-7 lead after being down, 7-2.
 
 
It's like listening to William Shatner speak
 

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riboflav

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Dick Pole Upside said:
I don't want to hear the lame "copy editor should have caught it" excuse... this is routinely unacceptable:
 
 
http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/09/07/red-sox-doing-special-things-daily/CAITGpyfJcOj5AhxlrAQcK/story.html
 
That's bad of course. But, the second sentence is just as bad. I have no idea what he actually means here. It's unfair to compare Berry to Roberts? Why? Because Roberts was so much better? Because Berry is so much better? I'm confused.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I think he means unfair to Berry, because Roberts is such a legend around here. Like he has so much to live up to no mortal man could possibly bear that pressure. 
 
And I'm not being hyperbolic in the slightest when I say "Kevin Foulke" should be a termination offense. Just absolutely mind-blowing. 
 
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