Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Keep on Dancing to the Rock ‘n’ Roll

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So I’m watching the Phillies/Mets game on Fox and Tim McCarver and Kenny Albert have referred to Shane Victorino being Hawaiian, but my count, four times in the 40 minutes the game has been on.  He isn’t from Mars, boys, he’s from Hawaii.  Last time I checked, it was one of the fifty states.  The last mention was because Shane has his sunglasses on up at bat while Jose Reyes has his sunglasses upside down and on his cap.  (They found this fascinating.  As if Reyes and Victorino were facing the same way while one was up and the other was in the field.) 

"He needs to wear those sunglasses all year round in Hawaii".

Good lord.

I was at the game last night…couldn’t have been happier for Wake.  And Little Manny really gave us something to cheer.  But watching that ninth inning was post-season 2004 painful, but well worth it.  Thank goodness Pedroia was there to push Papelbon away and ensure he didn’t get thrown out.  It could have gotten really ugly. 

Not so breaking news, Jacoby Ellsbury has been called up from Pawtucket to start tonight’s game in centerfield.  He’ll be batting ninth.  I haven’t heard the lineup yet, but here’s hoping Alex Cora is, yet again, playing short and Julio Lugo is taking another rest.  I want him (Lugo) to do well.  I do.  Heck, I’m involved in the postcard shower and I really want it to work.  I also want the team to do well, and if that means sitting Lugo, I’m all for it.

In the schadenfreude category, Yankees got one-hit today by the A’s.  Final score was 7-0.  Blue Jays play the Mariners at 10pm EST and the Sox have Beckett on the mound tonight.  Promises to be a fun night! 

When Tim Wakefield left the field last night, he tipped his cap to the crowd.  It happens, nothing crazy or surprising there.  But it felt different to me.  Denton touched upon it on Surviving Grady today.  Tim seemed a bit melancholy leaving the field and you could feel it in  the park and, by Denton’s account, see it on television.  I have every belief that Tim will be with the team for a few more years, but if not, I hope he knows how special he is to all of us in the Nation.

In his honor, I just finished off a bottle of Caberknuckle.  Here’s to you, Tim! 

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June 30, 2007 Posted by | Woo-Hoo! | 3 Comments

The Second Postcard Shower of 2007

And I’m pretty sure you all know who it is for!

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Mike gives Julio some love – we should too!
Listen, we’re all frustrated with Julio Lugo and his batting average that’s below the Mendoza line.   But, the fact remains that he’s on our team and he, obviously, needs our support.  So when KellyJ suggested the postcard shower, even though I was reluctant at first, I gave in.  Julio is performing terribly right now, so he’s getting beaten up in the press and, I’m sure, he will, sadly, be hearing it from the fans during this home stand.

So he really does need our support.  What better way than through a postcard shower

Let’s try to remember Mother’s Day, folks!

Click the link above (or here) for the specifics, and then send your cards ASAP to:

Julio Lugo
c/o Boston Red Sox
Fenway
Park
4 Yawkey Way
Boston
, MA 02215

Unfortunately, he’s already here so he won’t have the pleasure of having cards waiting for him after coming off a bad road trip.  But if we get them out ASAP, at least he’ll be here while they come showering in!

He’s on our team and we need him to perform well.  Join us in showing Julio Lugo that we’re behind him! 

As a follow-up to my wine post a few days ago: Apparently, the Red Sox Charity Wines are running low.  According to the Globe,  roughly 275,000 bottles were produced, and even Kappy’s (where I got mine last week) is running low.  I have one bottle of Chardonnay, one of Merlot and two of Caberknuckle left, that I’m keeping.  Here’s to me for thinking fast and actually going out last weekend in search of them.

Wake on the mound tonight, Cyn in the stands.  It’ll be nice to be at a game where I don’t wish I had those little handwarmers.

June 29, 2007 Posted by | Postcard Shower | 1 Comment

Home Again

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I have a very non-specific voice lately, eh? When I wrote "The Losing Ends TODAY" I should have specified, BEFORE the game, not AFTER.

Ah, well. Seattle has our number, apparently. Hate to see the team get swept, but, hell, it happens so rarely I’m not going to dwell on it. Boys get a day off today and are home for seven straight games, in Detroit for 3 and then most of them will enjoy the All Star break at home before settling into an 11-game home stand. That should be comforting.  It certainly is to  me.

O’s have taken the first two games from the Yankees. It’s nice that that Sox have (for me, anyway) a big enough cushion that, even with a loss and losing a game in the standings because the Blue Jays won, I got to enjoy that.  Schadenfreude and all.

I’ll be at the game tomorrow night. Wake v Jamey Wright. Wake’s due for a really good game.

Right? 🙂

I was looking for something fun or even inspirational to post from You Tube to end this entry. I’m running late and it seemed an easy way to finish up. What I found, instead, was this piece of brilliance from a Yankees fan.   I’m sure his fellow Yankees fans are so proud.   I hope you get as big a kick out of it as I did.  Like I said, schadenfreude.

June 28, 2007 Posted by | Sweeps Suck | 4 Comments

The losing ends TODAY!

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Daisuke OWNS Little Manny at "Rock, Paper, Scissors"!
Well, Kason Gabbard didn’t really impress last night did he?  Kid got knocked around big time (thanks to absolutely no command).  It’s too bad, with the way the guys came back last night, that game could have been winnable.  Every starting player had a hit last night.  The only two to NOT get a hit?  Pinch hitters Julio Lugo and Manny Ramirez.  According to Tito, though, he isn’t being sent down and will make Curt’s next two starts.  He can only get BETTER, right?

Okay, show  of hands, how many of you flipped out when Tito brought Timlin in with two on and one out?  I didn’t.  But I do admit to being nervous for him.  Mike through five pitches in the seventh.  Two balls, a called strike and two pitches that were hit for fly outs.  I couldn’t be happier for him.  To have a clean inning after the disaster of Monday night was, I’m sure, a big boost.  (And he did it with the pants long and no socks showing.  I was a little bummed about that.  I dig the old-timey look.  But, hey, whatever works!)

Online All Star voting ends tomorrow folks, so go vote for Manny if that’s what gets you going.  I filled out a ballot at the game in New York, but haven’t done any voting since.  I might vote tomorrow, but I’m not totally sold on the idea of any of the Sox going to the ASG.  Not because I don’t think they’re deserving, but the older I get the more I appreciate the players taking that time off.  So if none of the Sox start, it won’t upset me too much.  (Although, I WOULD like to see Youkilis and Beckett in there.  I think they are absolutely deserving. But those two are being left up to the manager of the ASG and the players.)

Shout out to Kevin Youkilis, baby!  He now holds the MLB record for consecutive errorless games by a first baseman, with 120.  Way to go, Kevin!  How nice to have reliable and talented men at both corners!

And, finally, Curt, I’m begging you, shut up.  You might think you feel fine and are ready to come back, but you have stunk up the place.  Take the rest, the team can, currently, well afford to give it to you.

Ah well, we put yesterday behind us and look forward to some weekday, afternoon baseball.   Daisuke v Ryan Feierabend at 4:30pm EST.  And after that, the boys come home.  Thank freaking goodness.  🙂

June 27, 2007 Posted by | Well, THAT sucked. | 2 Comments

Those who play because they love the game

I bought tickets to Sunday’s North Shore Spirit game yesterday.  I’ve been to a couple of the Spirit’s games and they’re always fun to watch.  It’s a different sport, almost, when you’re watching guys play who know they’ll probably never come close to the big leagues.  They play because they want to play.  Because they love the game.  Not because they make the big bucks.

The team playing the Spirit on Sunday is the Nashua Pride.  Best-known, right now, because Rich "El Guapo" Garces plays for them.  But when I looked at the roster, yesterday, I found another interesting name:  Tim Bausher.

In 2005, I took my first trip to Ft Myers for Spring Training.  Tim was with the Sox and was on the field the first time I arrived.  We went down to the dugout level to see the players and take some pictures and, almost by accident, I took this picture of Tim:

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This was taken while he was signing, what seemed to be, a hundred autographs for all the kids hanging around at the dugout.
 
His Wikipedia page hasn’t been updated and information about him is stingy, but he’s out there.   Playing ball in the CanAm League for the Nashua Pride.  Along side El Guapo and under the managing of Butch Hobson.  Bausher is 28 years old and the Pride is probably his best chance of staying in the game.  For not much except being able to play.
Ironically, another pitcher on the Pride is Jim Mann.  Also in 2005, I took a shine to Mann when I saw him playing in Portland.  When I first saw him, I thought he was a coach.  The Pride’s website has him at 22 years old, but he’s really 33.  I have his  rookie card on my desk.  Bought it in 2005 and have kept it ever since as a sort of reminder to myself that not every ball player is a money-hungry egomaniac.
 
There are players in MLB who I think fit that description.  And, yes, I think Mike Timlin is one of them.  He isn’t the best pitcher the Sox have in their bullpen right now, but he’s probably one of the best guys on the team.  And after his career-year in 2005, a year he should have been at the All Star game, when he could have tested the waters and taken a big pay day resting on that year, he fired his agent, and banged out a new contract with the Sox on his own…taking a pay cut and only a one year deal.   This guy just wants to play and he just wants to play in Boston.  He’s been iffy on the mound this year thanks to injuries and, according to half the free world, because he’s ‘old’, but I don’t care
 
I have nothing profound to say about Mike.  I like him and I want him to do well.  And if bringing him in during games we’re losing helps him build back his strength and (if it’s an issue) confidence, I think he’s earned that.
 
The Tim Baushers and Jim Manns of the world will never be at a level that Mike Timlin is, yet they all have a passion for the game that I admire.    So if you don’t want to support Timlin, I have no beef with that.  To each his own.  How about you go to a minor league game, or CanAm game and give some guys who’ll never hear their name chanted at Fenway a little love?  
 
I’m going to do both. 
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June 26, 2007 Posted by | Pitchers | 4 Comments

Pitching, or lack thereof

Tavarez sucked, Snyder sucked and Timlin is, currently, stinking up the place. 

And it’s only the 7th inning.

(Edited to add, the boys have left a hell of a lot of men on base tonight.  If I’m going to pick on the pitching, the offense needs a kick in the pants as well!) 

Jerry Remy wonders if Timlin is hurt.  I do too.  I know there are many out there who think he’s just ‘old’ but I think it’s more than that.

At any rate, if this game continues to go the way it has (and the 7th just ended) my man Mike giving up back to back home runs won’t be the reason they lose the game.

Interestingly enough, I’m wide awake, so I’m in for the long haul.  Hey, who knows, maybe they’ll surprise me and come back and win this thing?

And, even if they don’t, I’m not complaining.  No one expects them to win 162.  Tavarez was due for a bad game and the damage Snyder did could have been much worse.  Timlin, I’m a little concerned about.  It’ll be interesting to hear what is said about him and if Remy is right about there being another injury.

June 26, 2007 Posted by | Ballgames | 3 Comments

The Sun Shines Bright

1172701-885165-thumbnail.jpgWho knew that all the Sox bats needed to get hot was Jake Peavy?  Behind Josh Beckett’s major league-leading 11th win, the Sox got 9 hits and 3 earned runs off of Peavy (who only struck out 3 and walked 1) and knocked him out of the game after the fifth with 111 pitches.  Julio Lugo and a pinch-hitting Kevin Youkilis were the only two hitters in the lineup yesterday who didn’t get a hit off of Peavy (And Cora, Drew and Tek all had 2 hits!)

Beckett went 8 and gave up 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 8 and walking 1.  He only walked one and threw 116 pitches.  Then Pap came in and shut the door with 14 pitches and two strike outs, solidifying his 18th save.  THIS is the way things are supposed to work, right?

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Goodbye Shooter
On a sad note, Rod Beck was found dead on Saturday.   As I wrote somewhere else, when the Boston media can’t find something nasty to say about you, you must have been a nice guy.  Steve Buckley actually called him ‘sweet’ on Sports Desk last night.  38 years old is much too young to die.   My prayers are with Stacey Beck and her children today.  So sad.   Godspeed, Rod.

Sox just took two from the Padres while the Yankees just dropped two to the Giants.  I’m certainly not one of those people who thinks if you look at the standings in June it will reflect the standing s in September, but can people finally let go and admit that this is a good team that will not go gently into the good night?

Speaking of the standings, the Sox are 11 games up in the East – over Toronto, and 11.5 games over the Yankees.    Schadenfreude = seeing Roger Clemens come out of the bullpen against the Giants yesterday. 

Have a great day, folks! 

June 25, 2007 Posted by | Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!, Woo-Hoo! | 3 Comments

Mmmm, Wine!

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I now have a bottle of Schilling Chardonnay, a bottle of Manny being Merlot and 3 bottles of Caberknuckle.  (I’ll actually drink the Cabernet, which is the reason for the ‘extra’ bottles.)

I’m drinking a glass of the Caberknuckle while I’m writing this.  It’s actually quite good.  I’m saving one of each of the bottles as part of the memorabilia collection, but I’ll be enjoying this wine for a while as well.

I noticed you can buy these wines on eBay.  This seller is selling a bottle for $24.99 plus $8.00 s/h.  I paid $10 a bottle at Kappy’s and $12 a bottle at the local liquor store.  This is a huge markup that, I’m sure, someone will take advantage of.  I never thought I’d see the day wine would be ‘scalped’ online.  Go figure. 

I have mixed thoughts about it.  I mean, the money already went to charity, but the $33 someone spends on one bottle through ebay could get them 3 bottles if they tracked it down themselves or just went here  they can order the wine online next month.  I’d rather see all that money going to the various charities.

Whether or not we like it, alcohol plays a big part in professional sports, thanks to advertising.  While some folks might not like using wine to promote charities, at the very least, I prefer Wake, Schill and Manny on wine bottles to being greeted by the Budweiser sign every time I enter Fenway Park. 

These guys clean up pretty nice too:

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June 24, 2007 Posted by | Charity Wines | 1 Comment

What’s say we at least win the SERIES, eh boys?

The next time I ask the team to "pile it on", I guess I need to be more specific as to which team I want to do the piling.

Eesh.

Another game where Wake gets no run support.  And it seemed that Wake really let the (correctly) reversed calls get to him.  He just had a bad night all around and got no help from his teammates.

Let’s see.  I need to find something good here, right?  Well, JD Drew got a hit.  And David Murphy got a triple and scored the only run Sox had last night.  My man Mike Timlin only gave up one hit in two innings. None of our guys got hit in the face with a pitch.  That’s always good.  Oh, and the  Yankees lost.

The Padres are a good team.  And Young was amazing on the mound last night.  In the grand scheme of things, this wasn’t that big a deal, but for some reason the west coast losses sting me more than they probably should.

Hey, maybe Amalie Benjamin reads my blog?  🙂  In today’s "Red Sox Notebook" she mentions: 

Friday’s 2-1 win over the Padres gave the Red Sox an American League-best 13-6 record in one-run games . . .

Excellent observation, Amalie.  Heh. 

Ah well…off to an early viewing of "Evan Almighty" with Miss Madison.  

Laughs in the morning and happiness in the afternoon when Josh Beckett goes up against Jake Peavy! 

June 24, 2007 Posted by | Well, THAT sucked. | Leave a comment

Take two

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Okay, thanks to the stupidness of Firefox and my inability to remember to save as I write, I lost my entire post. 

Short version:  Yay for Daisuke, Papelbon (and the rest of our pitching) and Coco – Boo for Lugo (who needs a rest!).  (I swiped this photo from Yahoo! and called it  "Papishap"…I crack me up!)

Last night’s close game (2-1) made me wonder how many close games the Sox have won thus far.  In case you’re interested, this year they’ve been in 19 games that were won by one run, and they won 13 of those.  They’ve also been in 9 games that were won by two runs, and won 7 of those.

I often ‘complain’ about pitcher’s duels.  Not that I find them boring, sometimes I do, but usually I enjoy watching good pitching.  It’s just that those games are the more tense, worrisome games.  Although, given the Sox good fortune in tight games this year, my worry is a little unfounded.

And just for giggles, I looked at the Yankees record in close games this season.   In 16 games won by 1 run, the Yanks have won 6.  And in 11 games won by 2 runs, the Yankees have won 1 game.

 The Sox won 2-1 last night and the Yankees won 7-3.  None of these numbers really mean all that much.

Right now, the most important number is 10.5.  It might not even be halfway through the season just yet, but we all learned last year that padding the lead as early on as possible is never a bad thing.

Wake tonight…let’s  not make this one of those 1 or 2 run games boys! 

Pile. It. On.

June 23, 2007 Posted by | Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!, Woo-Hoo! | 4 Comments