Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

I remember, long ago, another starry night like this

Wake and Kottaras this past week at Fenway. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Wake and Kottaras this past week at Fenway. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

So an amazing win on Friday that I didn’t have time to write about gets followed up by a terrible loss on Saturday.  Wee.

But before I get into Saturday with the Sox, a mention about Tim Wakefield on Saturday with the PawSox.  According to Dan Hoard:

“My good friend Chris Scott at the Capital Grille in Boston made some arrangements for the Capital Grille of Atlanta to come up here,” Wakefield said. “It took them 45 minutes to an hour to get up here, but it’s nice to treat the guys to a nice spread from the Capital Grille – filet mignon and some lobster mac-and-cheese.”

Now THAT is the way to treat the minor league guys! Wake also went 3.2 innings and gave up 2 runs but out of 63 pitches 40 were strikes and he seemingly had no trouble being out on the field (fielding his position has been the biggest concern right now). Expect Wake to pitch at Fenway on Friday night against the Yankees. (Figures I’d have the Saturday game – I really enjoy the Wake games!)

But back to Texas.  For me the loss was “terrible” because of all the stolen bases.  Hell a loss is a loss but the Rangers went one step ahead and embarrassed Jason Varitek (Frank Viola wants to blame Brad Penny but Penny wasn’t the only pitcher last night who was run on).  According to a tweet by Amalie Benjamin last night, Tek has allowed 91.1 percent of runners stealing to reach safely – which is , obviously, the worst in the majors.  I was genuinely embarrassed not by the loss but by all those stolen bases.  Victor Martinez and Jacoby Ellsbury were the only bright spots for me last night – and Ian Kinsler being hit in the head was the darkest.

I have a hard time believing that Fernando Cabrera meant to hit him and Tito was quick to defend by saying that the way Kinsler covers the plate you have to pitch inside, but the kid went 2-3 last night (with a walk, strike out and home run mixed in before he was hit).  While I’d hope that, at the very least, Cabrera wasn’t aiming for his head, the timing of it all felt somewhat intentional to me.  I choose to believe Cabrera, though, when he says it wasn’t.

David Wright was hit by a 94-mph Matt Cain fastball yesterday and taken to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a concussion.  Ironically, the Dodgers’ Hiroki Kuroda was also hit in the head on Saturday by a line drive off of the Diamondbacks’ Rusty Ryal.   Both Wright and Kuroda stayed in the hospital overnight for observation.  Scary stuff happening in what is supposed to be just a game.

Michael Silverman wrote that as he got up and made his way to first, Kinsler said something that upset the Red Sox and then called back down to Tek to apologize for it. Now this I find interesting.  What could he have said that was so bad that he felt like he had to apologize after HE was the one hit in the head?  I probably don’t want to know.

Interesting moment (maybe only to me!) during the post-game interview of Brad Penny.  Heidi Watney started to ask him about all the stolen bases and he responded with:

“…I answered that earlier, so…”

and then he turned away.

I’m sure I read too much into this, but he was only slightly less insulting to her than his pal Josh Beckett was earlier in the year.  Aside from the buddy connection, there’s something else.  Both moments happened on the road.  I wonder if it just takes Heidi longer to get from the field where she does her work, including the post game interview on the field to the clubhouse where the rest of the interviews are being held than it does in Boston?  Then again, Penny was dressed.  I suppose that alone should have given her enough time to get there.  Maybe she just likes to say “so and so told me” so she asks the same questions.  Maybe she just doesn’t have that many questions to ask?  Maybe Beckett and Penny need etiquette lessons?  Or maybe none of this means anything except Heidi’s questions annoy people?  I’d say that last one is  a fair bet!

Junichi Tazawa on the mound at 2:05pm (Boston time!) today for the rubber match.  It’ll be interesting to see him in another start.  I like the offense’s chances against Dustin Nippert.

Monday is a day off for the Sox and then they head to Toronto for three games before the Yankees series back home.  More wins, fellas, more wins.


August 16, 2009 - Posted by | 2009 | , , , , ,


  1. Aside from ‘not answering’ her question…I didn’t hear any snarky tone of voice. But perhaps Heidi needs to take off her heels and get her happy ass in the clubhouse earlier if she wants to have first grab at asking questions.

    Maybe ‘the boys’ just don’t like Heidi. Maybe there is some underlying battle going on….either way…the loss sucked last night. As much as the win didn’t on friday.
    Heading back for one more game.

    Comment by Tex19 | August 16, 2009 | Reply

  2. “Tek has allowed 91.1 percent of runners stealing to reach safely”

    Indeed, but as Kilgore notes, “Penny has allowed 27 of 29 base stealers to reach safely this season, and the resulting 93.1 percent rate is the highest of any pitcher in baseball.” Watching the game, I would lay all six of the steals on Penny on the pitcher–slooooow delivery and really not watching the runners.

    I don’t know why Wake went with filet mignon. It’s such a seriously overrated steak. Give me a rib eye any day. 😉

    Guess who’s pitching the Wednesday day game for the PawSox–as if I didn’t KNOW this was going to happen…

    Comment by KellyO | August 16, 2009 | Reply

    • I figured it was going to be Charlie (who I see is pitching Wednesday night!). I really didn’t even THINK about Paul Byrd pitching. I can’t stop laughing…

      Comment by Cyn | August 16, 2009 | Reply

  3. Take it from someone who knows, as most viewers know, Heidi Watney does a one-on-one interview with Terry Francona after Terry meets with the writers post-game.

    While Heidi is in the manager’s office, the writers go to the game’s starting pitcher and begin asking questions. So by the time Heidi has completed her three question interview with Terry, often times the starting pitcher has already answered some questions that Heidi may ask…thus explains the Beckett and Penny situations.

    Comment by someone who knows | August 16, 2009 | Reply

    • Well that makes sense. And if, indeed, that’s the case, the players really should be a little more cooperative with her given she does work for NESN.

      Comment by Cyn | August 17, 2009 | Reply

  4. Kudos to Kelly for the Picture! love it!

    Comment by md | August 17, 2009 | Reply

  5. Cyn, also after that game, Heidi asked Tek a follow up question after trying to get him to throw Penny under the bus. He turned and said “I’m not answering that question” and then looked away. Awkward silence for at least 15 second until another reporter asked a non-Penny question. I DVR’d the game and must have replayed that part a thousand times (kidding) but could not make out what she was saying.

    Comment by Kooty | August 17, 2009 | Reply

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