Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Who’ll Stop the Rain?

ESPN deserves a tremendous amount of thanks because, honestly, they pay to have exclusivity on Sunday night and aside from good publicity, I don’t imagine they get much out of allowing NESN to cover the game (they’re also allowing Detroit to air the game locally) yet they gave the okay…not too shabby of them even if it looks like the tornado scene from “The Wizard of Oz’ in Detroit right now.

So we get another rain delay…Gordon Edes tweeted around 6:50 that there is no way this game begins on time (as I write this, there are tractors holding down the tarp in Detroit…that’s how strong they are expecting winds to be) but as soon as the game begins we’ll be here live chatting.  That is, IF the game begins.

Oh well…whatever ends up happening, thanks, again to ESPN because at least now we have the HOPE that we’re going to see a game.

The “Thank You ESPN” Live Chat

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May 29, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Live Chat 2011 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Live Blog/Chat tonight in spite of blackout rules!

So because of the exclusivity deal that MLB has with ESPN, the second game of today’s double header won’t be shown on television. Gordon Edes has reported that the Red Sox are in talks to get the blackout lifted for the game but who knows if that will really happen? (Also, NESN is reporting that they are expecting bad weather again today so there is a chance that the second game doesn’t get played.)

In the event that we don’t get to actually see the game tonight, I was thinking of doing an old-fashioned live blog where I actually blog what is going on in the game (given I WILL be listening to it on WEEI and there are many people who won’t have access to the radio broadcast).  I could make it a live ‘chat’ as well by using the same program we do for the chats and letting people chat during the game as well but I’d be following the broadcast and doing updates of every at bat for those who can’t see OR hear the game.

If NESN is successful and we get the game on television, I’ll be here for a live chat.  Either way, I’ll be here and we can chat during the Red Sox game.  How’s that sound?

So 7pm…be here.  One way or another we’ll get our Red Sox fix!

May 29, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Live Chat 2011 | , , | 2 Comments

Red Sox at Tigers Live Chat

With tonight’s game canceled, we get two on Sunday (Actually, we don’t…the 7pm game won’t be televised because of MLB’s lame ass rules). Unfortunately, I won’t be able to run the live chat (then again, at least we won’t get Fox!!)

It would figure that I get home in time to start the live chat and the first message I read tells me that there is a good possibility of a rain delay…Let’s see how this goes.
The “Fox Blacked Us Out” Live Chat

May 28, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Live Chat 2011 | , , , | Leave a comment

A Good Morning

Last night is what they call a good sports night in Boston. Red Sox (with Tim Wakefield on the mound) won again, then the Bruins won the Eastern Conference finals and are now on their way to the Stanley Cup finals and, to top off the night, the Yankees lost, helping to bump the Red Sox into sole possession of first place in the American League East.  It almost sounds like fiction, having everything align so perfectly in one night, but it isn’t…it happened and we get to bask in the glow if only for one day (it will be more than one day but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

Sadly, I didn’t see one moment of last night’s Sox game, only got to see the last period of the Bruins game and missed the Yankees game altogether.  Sometimes life gets in the way of sports, which is okay.  They can win without me once in a while, I don’t mind!

Because I usually don’t give much thought to what time the games begin unless I’m planning a live chat, I didn’t discover until this morning that Fox has, yet again, made it difficult or impossible for out of town fans to watch tonight’s Red Sox game.  I’ve been icing and resting the arm and this morning as I type this it feels a  lot better than it has…so I am tentatively scheduling a live blog/chat for tonight.  As long as my arm holds up, we’ll be here for Buchholz v Oliver at 7:00 tonight.  This one, while it will include the same chatty banter as usual, will include (from me) more legitimate game updates live blog style for those who won’t get to see the game…join us won’t you?

May 28, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , | 1 Comment

How You Like Me Now?

Although few fans seemed to give up on the Red Sox as a whole when they started as poorly as they did this year (at least in my neck of the woods), many were eager, even happy, to determine that the Carl Crawford signing was a complete bust because of his struggles.  I remarked to a friend that it was as if Crawford was a rookie and no one had ever seen him play before.  The fact that the majority of the offense struggled in April didn’t seem to matter.  Crawford had a poor beginning to his Red Sox career and, for many, that meant the Red Sox made a tremendous mistake in signing him.

In the past two games, where the Red Sox have scored 14 runs in each, Crawford has gone 4-4 in both games and has been an extra base machine.  Having played the same amount of games in April as he has in May, his batting average for April was .155, his OBP was .204 and his slugging percentage was .227.  In May, so far, his average is .333, his OBP .354 and he’s slugging at .510.

If there are folks who thought that his poor start was indicative of how he would play with Boston, and there are, what do those same folks think about his stats for May?

I don’t think I deserve a prize for being excited about the Crawford signing (and not giving up on him after 20 plus games) because, heck, I still hold out hope that John Lackey will turn out to be a great signing, but I do think it’s valid to point out that the naysayers the ones who seem to always want to find something to complain about and jumped right on Crawford’s back to do it, were terribly wrong.

This has been a fun week in Red Sox Nation.  I look forward to three more fun-filled games this weekend!

May 27, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Featured | , | 2 Comments

More Daytime Baseball!

Welcome back, Redd! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission.

Very few games are more entertaining than one that begins with your team scoring seven runs in the first inning and doubling that score before the game ends.  Even though I was watching it in my house, having the windows open with the warm breeze…it finally felt like baseball season.  Really nice to watch a game without any fog or grey skies.

Half a game out of first with the Rays now a game and a half out is a nice place to be sitting.  In the 23 games so far in May, the Red Sox have lost seven and since the Blue Jays swept them in a two-game series on May 11th, the Sox have gone 10-2, losing the first game of the Indians series this week and the Saturday game to the Cubs.  Given my violent reaction to the Cubs game, I write this to remind myself as much as anyone else – this team does not stink.

We get another afternoon game today, this one starting at 1 o’clock.  Josh Reddick has been called up and is starting in right field with JD Drew’s strained right hammy and Darnell McDonald going on the disabled list with a quad injury.  After being designated for assignment, both Hideki Okajima and Daniel Nava cleared waivers and will be in Pawtucket.  This could come  in handy.

The Yankees have an off-day today so if the Red Sox and Alfredo Aceves can beat the Tigers the Red Sox will find themselves in another tie for first place.  These small steps care coming fast and furious in May.

May 26, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , | Leave a comment

Afternoon Delight

While I won’t be able to stay online and type away during a live chat today, I’m still pleased that we get a noon baseball game!  (I’m fine but my left arm needs rest that joining in a live chat would not provide.)

Jason Varitek had what is hopefully not his last truly successful game of the season.  He caught two runners trying to steal and hit his first home run since a year ago.  Even had they not won, that made the night fun, but there’s no denying the win (their first this year against the Indians) was damn fun.

I was pleased that Josh Beckett addressed something that kept getting mentioned on NESN (and Twitter via all the beat writers):  the fact he’d never won a game in Cleveland:

The win was his first in four regular-season starts here, so when one reporter slipped up and forgot about that postseason victory and asked him about his first-ever win here, Beckett was ready.

“I think I won here in the playoffs — it’s not my first win at Progressive Field,” he said. Another reporter clarified it as his first “non-October win” here.

Beckett’s reached for a bottle of his top-shelf sarcasm.

“Those are bigger anyway, aren’t they?” he said.

It might be a small distinction to the people who cover the games, but I kept yelling it at the television (and computer) every time I heard or read it last night. (Also, at the time it was Jacobs Field…nipicky, I know.)  That win was so huge for the team it’s tough to forget.

It isn’t often we get to enjoy a noon baseball game so I’m excited to be able to watch a baseball game in the afternoon and not have to flip between it and the hockey game tonight.  (Yes, I’ve been watching the hockey playoffs, at least somewhat.  I’ve probably managed 2, 2 1/2 periods a game.  I definitely want the Bruins to win, I just wish I actually enjoyed the game more.  I still have a lot of issues with the violent nature of the game and the fans but for now I’ll just hope they end this tonight with a win.)

May 25, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , | 1 Comment

Early Exits

UPDATED AT 5:00PM

Well, the arm hasn’t fallen off but it’s in bad enough shape that I need to cancel tonight’s live chat.  Unfortunately, because of my one-armedness, tomorrow’s live chat might have to be canceled too.  It’s a little tough to do this with just one hand.  Hopefully by either the end of the week or beginning of next I should be in better shape to be live chatting.  Sorry, folks!

I’m not sure what it says about me that watching Dustin Pedroia leave the game last night didn’t freak me out, but it didn’t.  I was more bothered by the way Daniel Bard left, if I’m being honest.

There was a moment on NESN last night when the cameras showed Clay Buchholz’ reaction to Bard giving up what would become the winning run.  Clay pitched one hell of a game last night and deserved the win but Bard and the offense combined to stick him with the no-decision (along with Bard’s forth loss of the season).  Clay’s face went from hopeful the ball would be caught straight to a kind of “oh well” look.  No glove slamming, no swearing, no tossing up his hands and turning his back to the field.   No one wants to lose, especially games that seem so winnable, and Clay had every reason to be pissed about how his performance was squandered but he didn’t relay any of that in the moment.  I was impressed by his attitude.

Losses suck.  The best part is they get another chance tonight to win. As long as my left arm doesn’t fall off (a distinct possibility given how it’s been feeling) we’re live chatting tonight’s game.  Join us!

May 24, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , | 2 Comments

Old is the new good

Photo of Wake courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission

Between the spirited live chat and the great game we got, last night was an awful lot of fun.  Thanks to Tim Wakefield, the Red Sox and all the folks who joined in the chat!

I know there are plenty of folks who think Tim Wakefield should hang up his cleats for good, but I’ve never bee one of those people and last night only reinforces my belief that he is more helpful than hurtful being on this team.  On top of that, I find him extremely entertaining to watch pitch, especially when, like last night, his knuckle ball is moving.

Regardless of the fact that they didn’t sweep, the Red Sox found out this weekend that Aceves and Wakefield filling in for Lackey and Matsuzaka might not be as horrible a prospect as folks thought before the weekend began.  There are definitely reasons to be hopeful!

Once again, though, we have no time to dwell (this time on the good) because the Sox are back at it tonight when the Red Sox hit Cleveland.  Justin Masterson will be on the mound for the Tribe against Clay Buchholz.  I will always consider myself a Masterson fan and every time he takes the mound I hope he pitches well.  Except tonight.  No, I will not be less upset about a loss because it comes at the hands of Mr. Masterson so let’s hope it doesn’t come to that tonight.

Considering adding a few more live chats into the weekly schedule since the chats we’ve held so far have had such a good response.  If you folks would be up for it, I can work something out with my own schedule.  For now, I think the next one will be on Tuesday when Josh Beckett takes on Fausto Carmona at Progressive Field.  Both the Wednesday and Thursday games are afternoon games (Wednesday at 12pm and Thursday at 1pm) and I’m not sure folks will be around then to chat  If I get a sense that folks would like to do it, I might work in a Wednesday afternoon live chat as well.

Being a half a game out of first place after the terrible start doesn’t stink at all.

May 23, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Featured | , , , | 4 Comments

Let’s Go Wake! Live Chat 2011

No time to be glum about one loss…the series win is still in reach! Join us tonight when the Red Sox put Tim Wakefield on the mound against James Russell filling in for Cubs starter and old frenemy Matt Garza (suffering from elbow tightness).

Another Live Chat – Cubs v Sox: The Rubber Game

May 22, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Live Chat 2011 | , , , , , | Leave a comment