Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

You have to love Red Sox Nation

Remy As was pointed out in comments last night, NESN has been airing, over the off-season, "Reliving the Rivalry".  Showing past games between the Red Sox and the Yankees (shortened to a two-hour format).  Not 24 hours a day, but a couple of times a week.  It’s been a very popular ‘show’ for them and helped keep their ratings up during this dismal Bruins season. 

Starting yesterday and going throughout the weekend, they are doing "All Red Sox, All Weekend", to ring in the new season.  Red Sox fans, if my email and personal relationships are to be believed, are eating this stuff up.  Heck, I’m driving the family crazy with my plans to use up so much dvr space.  NESN certainly knows their audience.  Red Sox fans (as are most MLB fans, I’m guessing) are READY for some baseball! 

But the big draw on NESN this weekend?  "RemDawg Unleashed"!  (For you non-Red Sox fans who might not be familiar with the name, "RemDawg" is our nickname for former player and current Red Sox color man, Jerry Remy.)  "Unleashed" is a half-hour blooper show, basically, but given Remy’s popularity in The Nation, they could make it a weekly show and it would probably get higher ratings than the daily "Sports Desk" they subject us to each morning and evening.

Cocoquiz Trotquiz Another item that made me smile about my fandom is on today’s boston.com site.  They have a quiz, regarding the "10 questions" the Red Sox face.  Most of the responses from the fans were pretty easy to guess…but these two are my favorite (Click on the thumbnails for a much better view).  The voting has only just started, but already 90% of the people who voted think that Coco Crisp is going to "post better numbers" than Johnny Damon, and 82% think Trot Nixon should be the "primary right fielder" over Wily Mo Pena.  I happen to be in that 82%, but not the 90%.  I think Coco should have a great year, but unless his arm flies off, I can’t see him putting  up better numbers than Damon.  Defensively, maybe, but not at the plate.  (thanks to Kellia for pointing out my use of the wrong preposition.)  Mind you, I hope I’m wrong.  🙂

I have to love the fans for backing Coco, though…and for sticking with Trot.  So much for those who say we’re fickle. 

It’s going to be a long day at work for me…but I have a long weekend coming up – so no complaints!

Have a great day folks!

March 31, 2006 Posted by | The "Nation" | 15 Comments

Rejoice, Mets – er, Orioles fans!

Captflck10503302129reds_red_sox_spring_t Was it "irretrievably broken" when Kris was traded from New York to Baltimore?  Is this what would have happened if Johnny didn’t sign with the Yankees?  And when are the soon-to-be former Mrs Benson and the eventually-to-be former Mrs Damon going to get their own reality show?

Good God in Heaven, I really need some meaningful baseball!

Julian Tavarez got a well-deserved 10-day suspension today

And Bronson kicked some Red Sox butt!  (Good for him!  Even though I didn’t get to see it.  I’m not worried about the Sox losing this one…let’s call it a gift to get Bronson’s confidence back!  Yeah, that works for me!)

March 30, 2006 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 4 Comments

Good luck today, Bronson

But I still hope you lose.  (No offense to Bronson or any Reds fans!)

Today the Reds visit the Sox at City of Palms Park.  This weekend the Red Sox play the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park…and then on Monday the REAL baseball is finally here!

This has been the longest spring training I can remember.  (Yes, I know it only FEELS that way.)

Trot NESN is showing all Red Sox programming the next couple of days.  Outtakes show with the RemDawg, classic Yankees v Red Sox games.  My dvr is going into overdrive.

I’m running late for work. I’m overtired and I just want to stay home…but I won’t.  I’m on my way.

Have a great day, everyone!

March 30, 2006 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 12 Comments

Is this possible?

Brosonreds There is no video of the Tavarez/Gathright fight?

Over at Surviving Grady yesterday, I posed the question ‘isn’t it possible there is no video footage’ and many folks responded with answers about how MLB shoots ALL the games, even if they’re spring training games.  Someone pointed out to me that NESN had footage of some of the game, as they showed it during the "Sports Desk" show. 

Some folks were saying that the Red Sox were just holding the footage back and others thought maybe MLB had the only footage so they could review what happened.  But according to the article I linked above:

It may be that no video exists. NESN is televising only seven games in Florida this spring, and Monday’s game was not one of the seven.

Which was basically my position yesterday over at SG.

No mention of any kind of conspiracy by the Red Sox to withhold the video.  (Which never made sense to me anyway.  Plenty of media folks saw and reported on the incident.  Tavarez admitted to it and there are plenty of pictures of it…I never saw the need for the Red Sox to not allow the video to be shown.)

The Boston Globe usually likes nothing more than to jump on an opportunity to bash the Sox…so I’m thinking maybe this is exactly as it looks, and there really is no videotaped footage to be shown.

Regardless, I think Bob Watson needs to suspend a player or two, starting with Tavarez.

A Bronson note from that linked article as well…he’ll be starting against the Red Sox on Thursday at City of Palms Park.  I suspect the fans will give him quite an ovation.

”Thursday’s going to be beautiful," Arroyo said before last night’s Sox-Reds game. ”It’s my last start before the regular season, so I know I’m going to be more jacked up for this game than for any other game."

Good luck, Bronson.  I still hope the Red Sox win, but I hope you pitch well too!

March 29, 2006 Posted by | Spring Training | 13 Comments

Scratch My Itch

Jtneckjg This is…interesting.

Red Sox fans who play the state lottery now have a chance at the ultimate prize: season tickets for life.

That’s the top giveaway of a Red Sox scratch-ticket game that the Massachusetts State Lottery unveiled yesterday. Players also can win Red Sox cruise packages and jerseys used in games, as well as more traditional prizes of up to $1 million.

Bravo to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for tapping into two things that keep their natives going…baseball and gambling.

I very rarely buy scratch tickets (more of a Mega-Millions chick myself), but the lure of season tickets for life will definitely draw me in.  What a brilliant move by the Lottery Commission.

Man, I’m so easy.

Oh, and for the Yankees fans who don’t click the link and are tempted to tell me how cheesy this is:

The Red Sox are the first team in Major League Baseball to unveil a lottery game, but several others — including the New York Yankees and Mets — have plans to follow suit.

Not only are the Yankees planning to do it as well, but theirs will be in conjunction with the Mets…they’re calling it the "Subway Series".

Isn’t that similar to the Yanks and the Sox or the Mets and the Braves working together?

In other news, Julian Tavarez and Joey Gathright are never going to have a beer together, but at least they’re making nice in public.

Gathright said "we’ll forget about it tomorrow." Tavarez said, "I don’t know if I hit him good or not. I just wish that would’ve never happened."

Have I mentioned that I can’t wait for the season to start?

March 28, 2006 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 4 Comments

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Fight3 It’s going to be a long season in regard to the Red Sox/Devil Rays games.

"After the two fielding mistakes by the Sox, Tavarez’s first pitch to Julio Lugo was high and tight. With Gathright already on second base, Lugo went on to get a hit, but got caught between first and second.

Recognizing they had Lugo in a pickle, Sox catcher Ken Huckaby ran out toward him while keeping an eye on Gathright, who had moved to third and was partway down the third base line. Fight2

Huckaby threw to infielder Zach Borowiak to try to nab Lugo. When he did, Gathright broke to the plate, forcing Tavarez to cover home. Borowiak threw to Tavarez, Gathright slid, and Tavarez tagged him (Tavarez might have gotten spiked).

Tavarez then connected with a punch, and players rushed the field. Jonathan Papelbon came running out from the bullpen, Fight1 and he and Papa Jack pulled Gathright out of the scrum.

Devil Rays outfielder Carl Crawford and Gathright were gesturing toward the Sox dugout, but there were no other incidents (though we believe Tavarez was yelling from the dugout).

In the bottom of the eighth, newly acquired Red Sox first baseman Hee-Seop Choi was plunked by Rays pitcher Wayne Franklin, and the umps warned both sides."

Same old, same old with these two teams. 

Looks like the 2006 Red Sox are going to be one feisty bunch of guys!

March 27, 2006 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 5 Comments

Josh Beckett

Bckettst_1 I was impressed with his pitching yesterday, but even more impressive (and a bit surprising) to me was this quote:

”That’s where I handled it wrong," Beckett said. ”That’s probably where I should have been a bigger man. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s my fault."

He’s referring to a bench-clearing exchange he had with Ryan Howard yesterday.  No punches were thrown, just a lot of yelling back and forth, but the benches did clear and it could have been a big fight. 

I saw the display in question and I thought the kid was pimping too.  I have differing opinions on showboating.  For the most part, I don’t like it.  But there are certain times when I understand it.  (Manny in the 2003 ALDS comes to mind and Papi in the WBC after the Cuban catcher had been trash talking the entire Dominican team – that was against Cuba wasn’t it?  Not being able to see a lot of the games, I relied on reports so I could have the wrong team there.)  But showboating during Spring Training is a little Bush League to me.

To be fair, as witnessed by Beckett’s comments above, he has a better  grasp on the situation than I do.  I like that he got so passionate during the game but was rational enough to 1) not let it escalate and 2) admit that he thought he was wrong after the game.

I think I’m going to like this kid.

March 27, 2006 Posted by | Players | 3 Comments

The Front Office

1099232328_8547 Thanks to Wookie for posing the question "what would you ask the FO in regard to Damon, Arroyo, and now Graffinino?", and thanks to Dover over at Surviving Grady for, coincidentally, posting the below quote around the same time.

"Scott [Boras] called me on the last night and said, ‘We have something coming over the transim, and we need you to make the deal’. The last one I had heard was for 7 years and 100 million or something like that and asked what the new deal was. He said, ‘5 years for 13 million a year’ and I told him we’ve never done 5 years and we’re not going to. You can imagine my surprise when he signed for 4. People say we didn’t respect him by not budging, but we never got a chance. We were lied to." – John W. Henry

This was aired on a local television show tonight.  And it tells me all I need to know (and already knew) about Scott Boras and, in turn, Johnny Damon.

And, wookie, I have no need to question them about it anyway.  Almost no one in Red Sox Nation, as I’ve written here numerous times, thought Johnny was worth five years or the money the Yankees gave him.  That has never been the issue with Damon.  The issue is the team he decided to go to.

Arroyo?  Well, my issue with the Arroyo trade is 1) I didn’t see the need for ANY trade for an outfielder right now and 2) they had other pitchers (David Wells I’m looking at you) they could have traded.  As much as I love Bronson…they made a trade that they thought would improve the team (and it probably has).  As a fan of Bronson’s, that doesn’t make me feel any better, but as Bronson knows too – business is business.  I don’t like what they did to Bronson, but it really isn’t a matter of taking them to task for it. 

And Graffanino?  He’s another one who is a fan favorite, a good guy and someone S_theo_epstein_051102300wwho didn’t want to leave.  They put him on waivers because we have a glut of infielders and he doesn’t fit into the plans of the team.  Again, I might personally not like it, but it isn’t as if the team is running this team poorly.  They’re making moves they think are best for the team.

So I’m curious as to why I would have to ‘ask’ the FO anything.  Do people wonder why the Yankees picked up another centerfielder when they still have Bernie Williams on the team?  Or why they let Tino Martinez go and signed Jason Giambi?  Apparently the double-standard is that the Yankees can do whatever  they want but any move the Red Sox make should get the FO crucified.

Just because I don’t love all the moves the team makes, doesn’t mean all the moves are necessarily bad.

March 26, 2006 Posted by | Front Office | 16 Comments

Goodbye, Tony

Tonyg_1We hardly knew ya.

I’m sorry he won’t be with the team.  He’s a good player who really wanted to be here.

I hope  he DOES get picked up by one of the teams mentioned in the piece (Mets, Cardinals or Cubs…if I’m voting, I hope he goes to the Cards!)…he deserves to play on a winning team.

Good luck, Tony, and thanks!

March 26, 2006 Posted by | Players | 12 Comments

Funny Stuff

Apparently, no one told the folks over at the Cincinnati Reds site that Wily Mo Pena was traded.

On their front page they have this paragraph under the headline,  Reds Single Game Tickets On Sale Now:

Tickets are on sale now for all Cincinnati Reds regular-season home games. Come out to Great American Ball Park and watch Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Wily Mo Pena and the rest of the Reds in 2006. Be a part of the Power of Tradition.

Now, I realize the trade just happened a few days ago, but there has been plenty of time to update the site, folks.

And a last note on Bronson today, courtesy of MSNBC: Arroyo’s spring ERA is 9.72. He has allowed at least five runs in three of his five outings.

March 25, 2006 Posted by | Bronson, Hee | 3 Comments