Sunday, August 31
Saturday, August 30
....and did I mention he makes 13 million less than Manny????
"In the end, did we give up a sure fire hall of famer? Absolutely. Will Manny rake out in LA? Most likely. Is Manny at 36, and 37 THAT much better than Jason Bay at 29 and 30? No"
Friday, August 29
Thursday, August 28
"The grand slam exploded like a gunshot Wednesday night, tearing out the guts of even the most naïve believers in the 2008 Yankees."
"The eighth-inning bullet by Dustin Pedroia was like the opening scene of a documentary, many years from now, capturing the thud of finality to something once so special. The question for the Yankees is what starts next: a glorious renaissance or a painful fall from grace?"
I can't get enough of reading these articles....also, for those of you like me who need more of it, check out The Post.
Wednesday, August 27
The Red Sox received 6 solid innings from Paul Byrd and broke the game open in the 8th inning, going on to win game two 11-2 in a romp of the men in pinstripes.
I have to interject the post game wrap up here with a general comment.....After watching game two, I must admit that something feels different about this series. Perhaps it is the fact that the Yankees are all but out of the playoff race and as a result the fans just are not as into it. Or maybe the Stadium doesn't have the same electric feeling because the fans have turned on their team. Regardless, something is different and it certainly feels like the Red Sox are capitalizing on a team that has lost it's edge. The Red Sox are one win away from leaving Yankee Stadium for the last time by delivering the crushing blow that ends New York's season. I can't wait.
Jason "our new Yankee killer" Bay had another big night, going 2 for 4 with a triple and 4 RBI. Bay now has 24 rbi since joining the Red Sox.....since going Hollywood that guy from Washington Heights has 21 (the same amount of rbi Jed Lowrie has in the month of August as well!) He may not have Manny's name, but Bay is putting up "Manny numbers".
Dusty Pedrioa continues to make an effort to gather MVP consideration, going 3 for 5, hitting a nail in the coffin grand slam an 8th inning which saw the Red Sox plate 7 runs. "I never write the Yankees off until the season's over and the standings are set," Pedroia said. That might be the right thing to say, but a sweep of the series would all but crush any playoff hopes for the Yanks.
While A-rod went 2 for 4 with an rbi and made a few nice plays in the field....he was cheered for the two hits, but ultimately booed in his last plate appearance. The Red Sox go for the sweep with Jon Lester taking the mound against Mike Mussina in an afternoon game.
Me, I'll be taking in the game from a local sports bar i've been dying to get to....a bar review and a postgame report will be following the game for sure.....until then, go Sox.
Tuesday, August 26
Timely hits allowed the Red Sox to initially trade runs with the Yankees and ultimately go ahead for good as they came away with a 7-3 win. While neither Tim Wakefield nor Manny Delcarmen were particularly good, they held the Yankees at bay and kept the Sox in a position to win the game. (In the end, that is all we can ask from Wakefield)
The Red Sox used a balanced hitting attack and smart base running to consistently push across runs through the middle innings. Jason Bay picked up where that guy from Washington Heights left off, going 2 for 4 and driving in 2 runs in his first expierence of the Red Sox/Yankee rivilary. Every hitter in the lineup had at least 1 hit (save for Dusty...weird).
On a separate note, I find the booing of A-rod to be quite obnoxious and annoying by Yankee fans. Believe me, I am certainly not a fan of their third basemen, but he has been in their lineup day in and day out, trying to bring his team back into a playoff race (perhaps trying too hard) and they boo him after failed attempts at the plate and successful plays in the field just the same. Quite simply, he is giving it his all but not performing up to his insanely high standards, and getting killed for it. If he was dogging it down the line, sitting out with a "fake injury", or bad mouthing the fans then go ahead and boo him, but booing a guy who is hitting well over .300 with 28 taters and 78 rbi isn't what true baseball fans are about.
Anyways, back to the game, combine tonight's victory against the Yankees with a Tampa Bay loss, and the Sox are now 3.5 games behind in the division race, and 6 games ahead of the fading Yankees in the Wild Card.
ITM Note: In AL Central action, The Whitesox won 8-3 over Baltimore and the Twins are in a late night matchup against the Mariners.
It was a good start to an important and potentially symbolic series in the Bronx. Certainly New Yorkers don't want to remember the last time the Red Sox played in "The Stadium" as the time the Sox buried their playoff chances. Until tomorrow....
-Good news for once...Mike Lowell worked out today and felt good, he will likely hit off a tee tomorrow. Accordion to him he feels "much better" and is "really bored". You might see him playing this weekend.
-More good news? Is it Christmas? Josh Beckett threw a 50 pitch side session and reportedly felt fine, he is a go for his start against Chicago on Friday night (the start of another big series).
-...and then there's Drew......JD Drew saw a spine specialist this morning in New York and it looks more and more likely that he will be going to the 15 day DL, in fact, the Sox will probably announce it before today's game begins. It will be retroactive to last Monday.
- Sean Casey's strained neck feels better but Jeff Bailey will start in his place.
That said, let's play some baseball, here are the lineups
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, RF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Jed Lowrie, SS
7. Coco Crisp, CF
8. Jeff Bailey, 1B
9. Kevin Cash, C-
- Tim Wakefield, SP
1. Johnny Damon, CF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Bobby Abreu, RF
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Jason Giambi, 1B
6. Xavier Nady, LF
7. Hideki Matsui, DH
8. Robinson Cano, 2B
9. Jose Molina, C-
- Andy Pettitte, SP
Monday, August 25
With the Sox going to Yankee stadium this week for a big series I thought it would be good to discuss a few of the topics with a good friend of mine living in NYC. Joe is someone who lives, eats, sleeps and stresses about the Red Sox just like me, but does so right in the middle of Manhattan, true enemy territory…..
ITM: Joe, the Red Sox are coming to town, the Yanks are somehow still in the race, but team ownership seems ready to ditch this season for the new ballpark and 2009….do most New Yorkers share this opinion?
NY Joe: Obviously real fans aren't going to waive the white flag yet, but a quick scan of the NY dailies will tell anyone that there isn't much hope around here at the moment---not that people are dogging the Yanks; it's that they're hardly talking about them at all. As a Red Sox fan, my suspicion is that really it's some sort of huge Truman Show conspiracy going on where the entire city went to a Joe Girardi press conference where he revealed that Jeter drank some magic potion and Ian Kennedy grew a pair and Robinson Cano opened up the Wikipedia page on baseball and remembered what he was supposed to be on the field for---and that at the end of the conference, Girardi told everyone, "but listen, don't tell that kid Joe about any of this, because it's gonna be funny as hell to see the look on his face when he realizes we're gonna win it all again." But of course, it's possible that's just the usual Sox fan assumption. Absent that scenario, it does seem like a lot of people have given up. Fortunately, they had the Olympics to talk about for the past couple weeks instead. Now the US Open is starting up and that's a surprisingly big deal in the city---sort of a homecoming weekend type thing after people flee this place for August.
These are the main Yankees subjects right now that I'm hearing: 1) People love, love Xavier Nady ; 2) People feel really sorry for Melky---the guy was well-loved, for all his faults ; 3) There's a s*#tstorm brewing around Girardi. The buzz right now aside from the uninspired on-field managing is that he doesn't understand the distinction between not disclosing everything to the press and flat out lying. It's getting fans upset, and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets less slack than some expect at the end of the season ; 4) And, obviously, Joba. He's apparently throwing up to 45 pitches in sessions now, but just moved beyond fast-ball changeup stuff. There's a lot of debate now about when and how he comes back---the starter experiment might be done for '08.
ITM: Are the Yanks hyping this series up at all since it is the last time Boston will play at Yankee Stadium? We’ve heard some of that talk here in Beantown, but not too much, thank god.
NY Joe:No, I actually haven't heard anyone bring that angle up coming out of New York. Probably by tomorrow the series will get some steam going, but so far there's hardly any indication that the Sox are in town. That's something that really mystifies me, too, since a good series puts them squarely in Wild Card contention, yet my non-baseball-fan neighbor said that he wouldn't have had any clue that the Sox were in town except the doorman’s claim that Francona walked by our building today. Me and Tito---ships passing in the night. As to the farewell to Yankee Stadium generally: there is definitely rising anxiety about moving to the new ballpark and abandoning the old ghosts. That and people are pretty worried about how expensive it's going to be. The Mets recently made a big to-do about how the big-seat ticket prices at their new Citi Field are significantly lower than the sort of astronomical numbers we're hearing about the new Yankee park. But the Steinbrenners points out that these high-roller tickets are going to keep the cheap seats more affordable than they will be at Citi.
ITM: Is there any sincere concern about the Bluejays passing the Yanks?
NY Joe: I haven't heard anybody talking about it. I'm not sure you get any lower than not making the playoffs in the minds of Yankees fans---that's sort of their attention cellar. There seems to be a faint memory of chiding us a couple years back when we sunk below the Jays, but really the only one talking about it around here is my Canadian girlfriend, and even she's more focused on Jason Bay right now as far as the compatriot scene goes. Also, she asks like every week whether Justin Morneau is a free agent and whether we're gonna sign him or what. She loves that guy. I don't have the heart to tell her that he wasn't actually born in Quebec.
ITM note: Keep that as ammunition for a later, unrelated disagreement between the two of you. Break it out when she least expects it and when you’re in the most trouble, it’ll throw her off so badly that you’ll win by default…just a thought.
ITM: Do you think Yankee fans/ownership are ready to admit that the Sox have had just as many, if not more injuries than the Bronx Bombers this year and they are not the only ones with issues? (This is one topic that particularly annoys me)
NY Joe: They seem to think they have a monopoly on the injury card this year, despite the Sox and the Rays own battles. As far as the Sox, I've heard people acknowledge the Beckett situation, but probably only because he's missing the start against them. Not a peep about Lowell's absence or anyone asking me where the hell J.D. Drew's been. Though to be fair, maybe they don't ask about Drew because the default assumption is that he's injured. Maybe they'd only think to ask me what was up if he was in the lineup and not complaining about something or other. And speaking of injuries, I liked a line I read somewhere this morning (might have even been Cafardo) that Carl Pavano has now officially beat Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes to recording his first win in 2008. What would Yankees fans have thought if you told them that was how this season was going to play out?
ITM Note: They probably would have turned it into a story about the Pinstripes giving Pavano Wolverine-like healing power and they all topped 15 wins on their way to the World Series.
ITM: Did you see the javelin thrower from Paraguay in the Olympics? Wow. Any chance the Sox and Yankees sign her?
NY Joe: Paraguay's landlocked, I know, which for some reason I think gives us the edge over the Yanks in the bidding war.
ITM Note: I don’t know what the hell that means, but I completely agree.
ITM: What’s the sense on the Rays? Is everyone there still blindly hoping/expecting them to fade like most people here?
NY Joe: Nope, I'd say they've made believers out of a lot of New Yorkers. Plus what hope the fans here do have is on the Wild Card, so they'd like, I think, to see the Rays keep up their end of it so that if the Yanks do make a run, it can be to bring the Sox down a notch. That said, no one's looking forward to the remaining Rays' series.
ITM: Last one...Please tell me people in NY don’t actually think they can still win the division…
NY Joe: Of course they do. They're just keeping it a secret from me so that I soar with hubris, then when I'm flying nearest to the gods, they'll watch me tumble to a watery death like Icarus. At least as far as I can tell that's what's going on.
ITM Note: Not sure if I know what that means either....but good work.
170 POUNDS OF MOUTH
As Boston's relentless agitator, Dustin Pedroia dishes out a never-ending stream of smack. Good thing he can back it up.
by Jeff Bradley
This is just one of 162. Every day is pretty much the same. It's not quite 4 o'clock, three hours before the first pitch at Fenway Park, and Dustin Pedroia is in the Red Sox dugout, ranting. "No one's going to separate us," he says to backup catcher Kevin Cash. "I'm telling you, when we win the World Series, I'll high-five everyone, but then you and me are going into the outfield, and we're going to have a fistfight. And no one's going to separate us!"
Although Pedroia keeps a straight face, Kevin Youkilis and Jason Varitek cannot. Cash just looks straight ahead and with a slight smile says, "That's fine by me, man."
There's not going to be any fistfight. Not even a shouting match (at least not a two-way shouting match). Pedroia has no real beef with Cash. His only problem right now is that it's quiet. And that's got to change. You've no doubt heard the expression "Manny being Manny." Well, this is Pedie being Pedie. He's a little loudmouth punk. And in a clubhouse full of superstars, he's also the guy who energizes the defending champs—with a never-ending stream of smack.
MANNY RAMIREZ THINKS PEDROIA IS CRAZY. "PEDIE NEVER SHUTS UP, MAN. BUT THAT'S WHY WE LOVE HIM. HE MAKES US ALL LAUGH."
From a distance, you might take the 24-year-old second baseman seriously, think he's bragging on himself and tearing others down. That would be a mistake. "C'mon, I'm like 5'2" 115," Pedroia says. "And this game's tough. I try to bring a loose attitude and make sure everyone's having fun. Hang around our team long enough, and you'll see that most of the jokes are on me."
Across the field, former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar steps out of the Orioles' dugout. "There he is," Pedroia says, "the only opposing player who gets his own song played for him when he comes to the plate at Fenway." It's a country hit, "My Town" by Montgomery Gentry, and it was Millar's intro during much of his time in Boston, from 2003 to '05. (The Sox finally stopped playing it for Millar after last season.) "I'm telling you, if they play that song tonight, I'm stopping the game. I'm going up to the booth and fighting the guy at the controls. Enough already."
Now Pedroia hops up the dugout steps and shouts in Millar's direction: "Hey, 2004 was like 20 years ago! And all you did was walk! Mariano let four fly! It was not, like, some 12-pitch at-bat!" Pedroia imitates Millar's stance in that critical Game 4 moment against the Yankees, with the Red Sox three outs away from elimination. He mimics the way Millar steps in the bucket. He does it four times. "Ball 1, Ball 2, Ball 3, Ball 4," he says. "That's all you did." Millar isn't even paying attention. "I've been hearing that for over a year," the veteran says when the story is relayed. "He says, 'You were Manny and Papi's teammate, and all you did was walk.' "
A little while later, when Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts appears, Pedroia pounds his own chest and shouts, "The strongest 160-pound player in the league, right here!" Roberts swats at the air like he's trying to shoo away a gnat as Pedroia repeats, "Right here!"
"Yeah, he's one of a kind," Roberts says. "He and I work out at the same place in Arizona in the off-season, and I've seen him call out NFL players during Ping-Pong games, asking them when they're starting Jenny Craig. He told Brady Quinn, who is a monster, a physical specimen, 'I'm going to rip this ball right off your throat.' He's a piece of work."On and on it goes. Day after day, in these pregame hours, Pedroia stirs the pot, dishing out threats and insults and mixing in bold predictions about his performance at the plate. He has already texted Millar, "Did you bring your glasses for the laser show tonight?"
Pedroia's confidence reached new heights this summer, when he was voted an All-Star starter.
To his teammates, Pedroia is more than just an All-Star second baseman; he's also a mascot. "Pedie never shuts up, man," Manny Ramírez says with a smile. "He's a little crazy. But that's why we love him. He talks big and makes us all laugh." Adds first baseman Sean Casey, "Oh yeah, he's nuts. He'll say before the game, 'I'm going to hit four freaking rockets tonight, watch.' Then he'll make an out his first time up against, like, Roy Halladay throwing 97 with sick movement, and he'll come back to the dugout and say, 'This guy's got nothing. He freaking sucks. I should've killed that pitch!' "
Terry Francona says Pedroia has been spewing like this since May 2007, a month into his Rookie of the Year season—around the time that he began to erase a .182 April. (He's hit .327 since then.) "Once he got going, his personality started to come out," the manager says. "He held it back until he felt established, and maybe that held him back a bit too. But it probably wouldn't have gone over too well if he'd acted that way from the start."In fact, Pedroia annoyed plenty of minor leaguers on his way to the Show. "He acted way too cocky, way too big league for my taste," says one former Triple-A teammate. "And I have to admit, I took some pleasure when he started off so badly. But I guess he's proved he belongs. You can't argue with the success the little SOB has had."Generously listed at 5'9", 180 pounds (he's closer to 5'8", 170), Pedroia looks a little impish wearing his cap pulled low and sporting a scruffy, on-again, off-again beard that never seems like more than an idea. Sitting on the dugout bench, he strikes a more subdued tone for the moment. "I know everyone at the major league level is really good," he says. "And I have respect for them. I just don't want it in my head, or anyone else's, that we can't get a hit off a guy, so I'm not one to be praising a pitcher. I'd rather everyone believe we'll hit the guy."
It's a philosophy he developed at Arizona State. During Pedroia's sophomore year, coach Pat Murphy asked him about a pitcher's slider, and the kid responded, "It's so nasty!" Pedroia was already one of the Sun Devils' best hitters, so Murphy told him, "Never let your teammates hear you say anything like that." From that point on, the better a pitcher threw the ball, the more Pedroia said he sucked. Once, after ripping a leadoff single off Wichita State's Mike Pelfrey (now with the Mets), Pedroia shouted at the pitcher as he rounded first, "Ninety-eight coming in, 102 going out!"
Boston third baseman Mike Lowell says that when Pedroia homered to lead off the bottom of the first inning in Game 1 of last year's World Series, the Sox couldn't wait for him to return to the dugout, "because it meant he could come back and tell us how hard he hit that ball." Adds hitting coach Dave Magadan: "His confidence radiates through our clubhouse. He never really gets down on himself, and he makes everyone feel so at ease. That's rare for a young player."
GROWING UP, HE FACED DOUBTS AT EVERY LEVEL: TOO SMALL, TOO SLOW, TOO BIG OF A SWING. IT'S ALMOST AS IF PEOPLE COULDN'T BELIEVE WHAT THEY WERE SEEING.
Red Sox GM Theo Epstein attributes Pedroia's attitude to the doubts he faced at every level, going back to his Little League days in Woodland, Calif., a small town about 25 minutes northwest of Sacramento. He was too small and too slow and had too big a swing. It's almost as if people couldn't believe what they were seeing: that Pedroia was always the best player on his team. "I love to read and hear that people are doubting his ability," says Epstein, "because what usually follows is that he goes out and, as he says, hits some lasers."
When drafting players, the Sox target guys with the mental makeup to handle Boston. Pedroia, a second-round pick in 2004, reads what's written about him in newspapers and online, but he's hardly intimidated by media heat. "I want to know who's good at what they do and who's not," he says. And he doesn't forget a slight. During spring training in 2007, the Boston Globe quoted anonymous scouts as saying that his swing was too long, that he'd struggle in the big leagues if he didn't make adjustments. Pedroia still gets animated when the subject comes up. "All I've got to say is, a .317 season later, is my swing still too long? You look at my swing closely and you'll see, while it may be violent, it's very short to the ball."
The key to Pedroia's stroke, and the thing that sets him apart (along with his perpetually dirty uniform), is superior hand-eye coordination. "He has a way of manipulating the barrel of the bat and getting it to the baseball quickly," Magadan says. "He hits as many balls on the sweet spot as any hitter in the league." Defensively, while his range may be average, Pedroia has exceptional hands (he made just six errors last season, and his .990 fielding percentage was fourth best among AL second basemen) and a knack for making big plays—such as his diving, up-the-middle stab that saved Clay Buchholz's no-hitter last September. Pedroia was a shortstop at ASU, and Murphy believes he could play that position in the majors. "His arm wasn't a classic shortstop's arm, but he got rid of the ball in a nanosecond," Murphy says.
Pedroia capped his Rookie of the Year season by helping the Sox win their second Series in four years.
It hasn't taken much longer than that for Pedroia to find his comfort zone with the Sox. The insults about the other team's ace? That's just his way of saying, Let's not be afraid of this guy. The proclamations that he's going to hit four ropes? Translation: If I can do it, then it should be easy for studs like you. (Murphy says Pedroia once wore a sleeveless shirt in college to show off his lack of biceps.) Challenging teammates to make-believe fistfights? Let's roll, boys. Whatever it takes. "He has definitely added life to our team," Varitek says. "It's hardly ever quiet around here, that's for sure."
And while opposing players were muttering about Pedroia's cockiness this time last year, now he has earned some respect. "I think he'll always rub some people the wrong way, because that's the way the game is, and some people take themselves really seriously," Roberts says. "But for me, he's got cocky arrogance that I can't hate. First of all, he's got the game to back it up. And second, if you're around him for any time at all, you see he's not serious. He's just having fun. I didn't even know he was a baseball player when I first met him working out in Arizona, and he was jawing at me from the get-go."
Meanwhile, Millar has just received a text from Pedroia: "I'm the real 15!" Millar wore the number in Boston before Pedroia—and yes, he's laughing.
"That guy is a baseball player," Millar says. "A great defensive player. A tough out. And he has very little natural ability. When you think of the amount of swagger he's got, at 5'3", how can you not love a guy like that?"
Over in the Red Sox dugout, Pedroia is in Youkilis' face: "Dude, when I was in high school, I was really good-looking." Youkilis cracks up. "No," Pedroia says, standing up. "I'm telling you." Clearly, these are fighting words.
Sunday, August 24
Saturday, August 23
Vernon Wells may be starting to return to his all-star form of 2006, he went 4-5, smashing two home runs and made two beautiful plays in center field. He and the rest of this Toronto team has really responded to the coaching change and are playing good baseball. If this was late July and not late August, I would be sincerely concerned that they could ride the hot streak back into playoff consideration. While I'm not ready to completely rule them out, (if they continue their dominance against Boston, the mere fact that they have 8 games against the Sox to go could make it interesting), there simply might not be enough games for their comeback to be completed.
The Red Sox, who had started this road trip 3-1 and were swinging the bats well, were unable to get themselves back in the game. In the first two innings they went 0-5 with runners in scoring position, they missed out of some great opportunities early in the game and before they knew it they were completely out of contention this afternoon.
All we can hope for now is a way that both Tampa and the Whitesox lose when they face each other this evening.
ITM Note: Carl Pavano goes for the Yanks tonight in his first start since the end of the Vietnam war, maybe he actually start earning his money. Should be interesting to watch.
Friday, August 22
Dustin Pedrioa got the Sox on board quickly in the first with a solo tater, he went on to go 2 for 4 with 3 rbi. But on the offensive end, the story of the night, check that, story of the week, has been Jason Varitek. Tek, who's bat finally got so bad that even the most die hard fans were questioning just what kind of net value the Sot out of him, has come out of his slump in a big way this week. He's hit a home run in each of the last three games and is batting well over .400 in his last 5 games. His confidence at the plate has gone up and you can tell he is currently seeing the ball very well right now. I think we all know how well respected Tek is as a catcher and game caller (the best in the league) but if he even hits .250 he has to be considered one of the most valuable catchers in the league.....which would also help him greatly in his contract negotiations that are coming up.
Unfortunately for the Sox, they were unable to make up any ground in the AL East as the Rays keep winning....this time thanks to Carlos Pena and Rocco Baldelli.
To update a previous mistake...the Yanks won 9-4 over Baltimore....not that it really matters. Anyone else notice that teams in the NL who are 10 games out of the division race don't even get mentioned?
His progress had been steadily improving, but all of a sudden the back was stiff when he woke up this morning, and he was having trouble walking around the clubhouse this afternoon. There is no official report on this yet, nor has he been put on the DL, but a trip to the 15 day DL is possible.
Beyond that, Josh Beckett reportedly threw some pitches and felt fine today, he is a go for his Tuesday start.
One thing is for sure, the Red Sox have a lot of injuries to work through and wins to earn if they want to make the playoffs.....that said, here is tonight's lineup:
Thursday, August 21
David Ross drew interest from both the Red Sox and Phillies after getting released by the Reds. Ross will reportedly be sent to triple A Pawtucket at first and will likely be called up for the Sept. 1st when the rosters are expanded for the post season. In what is likely a "back up to the back up" role, Ross will fill in mainly to protect against possible injuries in September. He is NOT the long term solution for the Red Sox at catcher.
Ross hit 17 homers in 2007, and 21 homers in just 247 ABs in 2006. In what is a Red Sox Management dream, Ross sports a .381 OBP this season, despite only hitting .231 with 3 homers (in 52 games).
Wednesday, August 20
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, RF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Jed Lowrie, SS
7. Jeff Bailey, 1B
8. Coco Crisp, CF
9. Kevin Cash,
C-- Clay Buchholz, SP
- I've discussed Tek's absence with a few people and I appear to be in the minority on not liking his day off today. He is finally starting to swing a good bat and Tito takes him out of the lineup. I understand he needs the rest but he and Clay Buchholz both need the confidence. (insert Tito's saying of it's a marathon not a sprint here...but there is something about him and Clay both in dire need of getting on a role that makes me think he should be in there)
- Looks like Julio Lugo will return by Sept. 1 given his progress from a quad injury.....you're right, who cares. Go Jed.
Tuesday, August 19
This is concerning on many levels, according to the Herald, the Red Sox trainer has been running multiple tests that seem to show it is not a aneurysm or related to poor circulation. Keep your fingers crossed for a positive outcome in yet another injury for the Red Sox.
Monday, August 18
While David Ortiz came through with an insurance supplying rbi double in the 9th but the story of the night was Jason Bay. Bay blasted two deep home runs to center while going 3 for 5 with 4 rbi for the winners. Jason's performance was needed in a lineup that was missing both JD Drew and Mike Lowell.
Jon Lester continues to be the true ace of this rotation this year. He stymied a previously hot Baltimore lineup going 7 innings, giving up only 4 hits and allowing 1 run on a home run to Aburey Huff.
Perhaps the only problem of the night for the Sox was Manny Delcarmen would could not be the 8th inning guy we all want him to be. He gave up two runs on 2/3rds of an inning while striking out one.
ITM note: The Rays are up 6-4 in the 9th against the Angels....nothing appears to be stopping them.
Sox are up 2-0 in the 3rd and with the Rays taking on the Angels this week, hope to make up some ground in the East. (Rays are currently up 2-1 in the 3rd)
-JD Drew is not in the lineup tonight as they wait to see how his back reacts to a few days of rest. A stint on the DL is unlikely, but we are talking about JD Drew here so no one knows for sure (see Nomar).
-Still no real word on Mike Lowell outside of the fact that he is still sore.
-Yanks are idle tonight.
Sunday, August 17
The only bright spot was Jed Lowrie (and maybe Dustin Pedrioa's tater on his 25th birthday). The kid continues to make Tito's short stop decision a very easy one, going 3 for 3 with a rbi triple. He is now batting .318.
....what was that sound? that was Alex Rios hitting his 9th double off of Red Sox pitching.
Now all we can do is hope for a Rays loss tonight.
Things can't get much worse for the Red Sox today (save for the Rays winning tonight), JD Drew has come out of the game with lower back stiffness. While this is likely just a precautionary move on Tito's part, with JD Drew you never know. At this point in the season and given our already injury-plagued lineups, we can hardly afford for JD Drew to miss much time. Maybe The Boss's son Hank should take a look at the Red Sox injuries this year and then reconsider his "no one has gone through the injuries we have" comment. Every team goes through injuries, this year they have hit many of the teams in the AL East particularly hard, but you don't see our management throwing in the towel on the team and the fans.
...did I just translate my current anger at the Red Sox and their injuries right into Yankee hatred?.....I think so....check.
The poor performance in the first caused the Sox to get David Ardsma up in the pen...an early sign that Tito and Farrel saw something wrong or Beckett could be injured to some extent. As a manager, you don't usually get a reliever up in the bullpen in the first when your ace is out there, it shows the pitcher you have no confidence in him.
Buchholz's shoulder was also tapped in the dugout to go get ready. He was scheduled to pitch today but was pushed back with Friday's rain out. Let's hope Beckett can settle down and we can get some runs back.
Saturday, August 16
Friday, August 15
...and the Jimmy Fund just went over 4 million dollars raised, good work all around.
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. J.D. Drew, RF
6. Jason Bay, LF
7. Jed Lowrie, SS
8. Sean Casey, 1B
9. Jason Varitek, C
SP- Paul Byrd, RHP
-The Yanks are looking more and more desperate, making multiple moves today to try to bring up some fresh legs with high OBP numbers from the minors. Stick a fork in them.
-No word on the Rays Troy Percival who was injured last night. It could be another significant blow to their AL East division hopes.
-The Jimmy Fund Telethon is having their annual fundraiser, hoping to get to 4 million dollars, such a good charity to help.
Thursday, August 14
Everything is clicking against a dreadful Texas lineup, but then again, these are the teams we're supposed to beat. Sure hope the Sox can hold this league.
...and in a crazy game, the Rays just won 7-6 in 12 innings. Stupid.
1. J.D.Drew RF
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
3. David Ortiz DH
4. Kevin Youkilis 1B
5. Jason Bay LF
6. Jed Lowrie 3B
7. Jason Varitek
8. Coco Crisp CF
9. Alex Cora SS
SP -- Daisuke Matsuzaka
Not sure how many of you feel, but I'm in favor of this lineup over the Sean Casey one on a day to day basis. However, I also believe you have to continue to use mix up the lineups in order to keep everyone fresh. Both Casey and Cora are not full time players, they are the kind of players whose numbers would severely decline should they be used in an everyday lineup.
Wednesday, August 13
As many of us feared, Mike Lowell is headed to the 15 DL because of an oblique injury suffered during last night's game. Lowell said last night that after he felt it pull during his at bat, between that and his hip injury, he was scared to swing at another pitch. That's concerning. It is everyone's hope that a few weeks of rest will allow Lowell to come back in September at 100 percent...or as close as his body will let him get to 100 percent in the short term. For now, get used to seeing Youk at third and Casey at first....fine for the short term, but will not lead us through the playoffs to another world series for sure.
1. J.D. Drew, RF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Jed Lowrie, SS
7. Sean Casey, 1B
8. Jason Varitek, C
9. Coco Crisp, CF
Jon Lester -- SP
Lugo Update (unfortunately):
According to reports, Julio Lugo completed several "baseball activities" yesterday which included taking ground balls at short. He is still about a week or more away from a possible return, at which time all eyes will be on Tito. My personal opinion? If Tito trots out Lugo as a starter I will personally tackle Lugo in an attempt to re tear his quad.
A 10 run first inning means I can keep the game on but focus on the massive amounts of grad school work I have on my plate, right? Apparently not. In one of the craziest games I've seen, the Sox blew two different 10 run leads but came back in the 8th to win a 19-17 football, I mean baseball game. There were simply too many plays to go over all of them but here are some take-away highlights:
-Concerned about our 3-4 hitters without that guy from Washington Heights? Last night Papi/Youk were a combined 5-9, blasting 4 taters, with 11 rbi and 6 runs scored.
-Pedrioa just continues to hit, blasting 5 hits in 6 at bats.
-Rookie Charlie Zink (on three days rest) only went 4 1/3, allowing 8 runs on 11 hits.
-The 36 total runs ties an AL record for most runs in a game.
-Frank Catalanotto is forever a Red Sox killer.
-Youkilis should see some MVP votes this year (totally seroius here, but this is for a later post).
While my voice is horse this morning from all the yelling I did last night (and I'm sure my neighbors hate me), I'm still debating if I should be happy or upset with this win. If you watched the postgame you heard a lot of players say this was an uplifting victory for Boston. I'm not so sold, while I agree a loss in this game would have been devastating, and this win shows we have heart, but it also shows how poor our relief is. Simply put, the Sox pen' could not hold the powerful Texas lineup at bay, none of them could. There was no consistency and the Rangers took advantage of Zink's early exit. As good as Youk's 8th inning tater (and his near sprint around the bases) felt, the game should have NEVER got to that point. Sure, a great team wins the close ones, but great teams can also put teams away with two separate 10 run leads. So as good as this win felt and crazy as it was to watch, there are a lot of concerns to be had as a result
-In late night action the Rays lost a close 2-1 game to Oakland, moving the Sox to within 3 games of the East Division lead. The Rays also said Carl Crawford had surgery on his finger and is expected to be out 6-8 weeks.
-Mariano Rivera blew his first save opportunity since September of 2007 but the Yanks came back via the homer in the 12th to win it 9-6. They remain 5 games behind the Sox and 8 behind the Rays.
(Video courtesy of NECN.com)
Tuesday, August 12
Byrd tossed a complete-game victory over Toronto Saturday. For the year he is 7-10 with a 4.53 ERA in 22 starts for the Tribe. Not great numbers right?...but since the All-Star break, the 37-year-old right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.24 ERA, the best such mark in the American League and second only to Arizona’s Randy Johnson (really, Randy Johnson is still alive?) in the majors.
Not sure if it is all that relevant or not, but Byrd has been linked to HGH in the past, including a report that he purchased 25K worth of HGH a few years back.
Monday, August 11
No fire, no emotion thus far tonight. So frustrated.
It is likely that he just needs a blow and give his wrist a little rest with no day off this week. Tonight's Red Sox lineup:
1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
4. Mike Lowell, 3B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. J.D. Drew, DH
7. Jed Lowrie, SS
8. Jason Varitek, C
9. Jacoby Ellsbury, RF
- -Josh Beckett, SP
Enter those beloved Dodgers and Andruw Jones. Now I’m not blindly accusing anyone of anything, but if there is ever a case of numbers that would make you question if someone was juicing or not, Jones would be it (save for Brady Anderson). Never an average hitter, Jones enjoyed amazing years in 2005 and 2006, hitting .263 respectively, but blasting 51 and 41 homeruns while driving in 128 and 129. His contract year in 2007 was a bust by most people’s high standards; he hit only .222, hit 28 homeruns and had 98 rbi. He did so while being criticized in Atlanta. Despite his bad season the Dodgers took the bait, offering him 36.5 million dollars over a two year deal….that’s right, over 18 million a year. Since then, Jones has been a complete and utter failure. He has been widely accused of losing passion for the game.
Regardless of what has happened, the fact remains, he is the most overpaid player in sports history, ever, no argument. 18+ million for ending with a .166 batting average, 2 home runs and 12 rbi with 68 strike outs in 187 at bats on the day he was benched by Joe Torre. Torre said Jones would only be used as a spot starter effective immediately. An 18 million dollar spot starter who is in the coach’s doghouse? Unreal. He is on pace to have the worst season by an outfielder in the history of baseball. Read that again and tell me if you would be ready to pay him 18 dollars to mow your lawn. He should be forced to pay the Dodgers back, I wonder if Manny could give him some tips of finding that “peace of mind”.
Sunday, August 10
Saturday, August 9
"He wants to play for the Yankees so he can get at the Red Sox," a close friend of Ramirez's told The Post. "
Say what you want about Dice-k's frustrating pitching style, but he will be receiving some Cy Young votes come October. He is 13-2, sports a 2.90 era, 98 strike outs. Opponents are hitting a mere .209 against him and the Sox are 16-4 in games Dice-K starts. They say great pitchers can win anywhere and perhaps the most important number for the Sox however are Dice-K's numbers on the road: 6-0 with a 2.10 era. Considering how poorly this team has played away from Fenway, ponder how much worse it would be without Dice-K's numbers. Overall, a good win tonight, now let's root for Seattle....
40-16, 314 runs, 543 hits, 57 hrs, 298 rbi, .291 Avg, .370 OBP, .465 SLG, .835 OPS
26-34, 265 runs, 567 hits, 66 hrs, 251 rbi, .267 Avg, .341 OBP, .418 SLG, .760 OPS
Friday, August 8
Here's to a great weekend of important baseball games. With the Yanks matching up against the Angels and the Rays coming off back to back loses, this weekend is ripe with playoff implications.
1. Drew (don't like him here)
2. Dusty (i've been calling him that all year, it's sticking. Use it.)
3. Ortiz (any minute now, look out)
4. Youkilis (somehow still underrated)
5. Lowell (get better buddy)
6. Bay (the new mayor of Boston, sure beats mumbles)
7. Lowrie (kinda in man love with the way you're playing lately)
8. Tek (do something at the plate....anything!)
9. Coco (Mr. Crisp, I know Jacoby Ellsbury...and you sir, are no Jacoby Ellsbury)...but seriously, why is he not in tonight? Take a hot bat finally finding it's way out?...why Tito...por que adesso?