Nation STATion: Exclusive interview with .500 mark


Nation STATion: Exclusive interview with .500 mark

By Bill Chuck
Special to

Big day here because today I am thrilled to have an exclusive interview with the .500 mark.

Welcome to Nation STATion.

Thanks its all right to be here.

Before we begin, what do I call you? Mark?

.500 would be okay.

Ive been waiting all season to say this to you, Gotcha!

Yeah, big deal.

Well, you dont sound so enthusiastic. For the Red Sox, getting to 20-20 and reaching .500 is a big deal.

Hey, I gave you plenty of chances to catch me. I mean Opening Day was going to be my big moment. While all the other teams were bragging about being 1-0, the Red Sox could have finally said they were .500 all-time for Opening Days coming in 54-55-1 and then they lost 9-5 to Texas. Then in Game 2 of the season, they had the opportunity to reach .500 for the season, and they lost to Texas again. Then they strayed to the dark side and it wasnt until game 22 of the season that we had the opportunity to get together and the Sox lost to Baltimore. It took the Sox awhile before I became available again and they lost to the Angels to go 14-16. So, now youre finally here. Big deal.

You sound a little annoyed, I mean after all the Sox did start off 0-6.

Well, I am feeling a little rejected. And by the way, the Rays started off 0-6 as well and theyre 23-17 and they reached the .500 mark at 9-9.

Well, the Sox are here now.

You talk about catching me like it's something to brag about. Its really no biggie. Just like the Sox, Toronto and Oakland are 20-20. So is that primetime news magazine program with Elizabeth Vargas and Chris Cuomo?

That was pretty funny.

I just wanted you know that just because Im mediocre, it doesnt mean I cant have a sense of humor. You know, to reach me on May 15 is not that spectacular.

It is for Red Sox Nation. You know, this year the Sox have Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.

Yeah well, last year the Sox had Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez, and you know what their record was after 40 games? 20-20.

Take a look at the records for first and last time the Sox reached the .500 mark in each season since 2000:

Year When first reached .500 When last reached .500 2010 1-1 20-20 2009 1-1 6-6 2008 1-1 6-6 2007 1-1 4-4 2006 1-1 1-1 2005 2-2 11-11 2004 1-1 4-4 2003 1-1 1-1 2002 1-1 1-1 2001 1-1 79-79 2000 1-1 5-5

Okay I get it, youre a little annoyed the Sox dont visit that frequently.

Hello! Now, youre catching on. Do you know the last time you spent the winter with me? 1985 when John McNamaras men finished 81-81. In fact, the Sox have only ended their seasons three times at .500. The other two times were in 1944, when they finished 77-77-2, and in 1934, when they were 76-76-1.

Look, being me is being mediocre. Im like a cold; people all the time are just trying to get over me.

You really are pretty funny.

Im a good guy. I like to see teams do well. Im like Rodney Dangerfield, respect-wise that is.

But I did have one really great day last week.

Tell me

Monday, May 9, when Kansas City was 18-16, and the Pirates, the team that avoids me like the plague, were 18-17. The last date the Royals and the Pirates were .500 or above on the same day this late in the season was May 16, 1999.

Good for you! Okay, so what happens next?

With the Orioles coming into town, I presume the Sox are done with me for the season, although

Although what?

Well, Baltimore is 19-20 and theyre motivated, and the Sox have Dice-K and Lackey pitching in the two games.

Good point. Presuming though the Sox move on, whats next for you?

You know the phrase that is used a lot to describe relationships with me? Teams are hovering around the .500 mark. And this year, I have quite a few hoverers. The Royals are now just a game over me and the Rangers and Rockies, just two over. On the other hand, the Brewers, Mets and Nationals are two under.

Look, its been nice talking with you, Im glad you and the Nation got to stop in and visit. Think of this as a rest stop on the road to the postseason, but without chocolate chip cookies. But I have to clean the place up, we may have the paparazzi here for a REALLY big guest and I dont want this place to be a mess.

OMG, whos coming?

Well, I cant be certain, but there is a certain team with a 20-18 record that is in chaos. Between age, injuries, and poor performances, the team is freaking out. The only clue I will give you is that their name rhymes with Schmankees.

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, according to’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California. 


Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."