Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

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All Star Hangover

Some things will never change, especially in baseball.  The best example of this is how people will complain about the All Star Game.  To be fair to Bud Selig, there will never be anything that could make all baseball fans happy.  There is NOTHING he could do to “fix” the All Star Game that would make us all shut up and just enjoy the game.  So for all of us who complain (myself included), we need to remember that it doesn’t benefit Bud Selig to constantly annoy us and the players as well.  I think he’s doing the best he can (when it comes to the ASG) with the resources he has.  (I also think it might be time for him to bring some fresh blood around him so maybe some new and better ideas can be presented to him.)

So let me list the things that I enjoyed about last night’s All Star Game:

*  D’Angelo Ortiz showing off his version of various batting stances.  This was adorable.  D’Angelo is still at the age where he hasn’t started to get annoying and he holds himself in such a way that you just know he is destined for great things.  And right now, he’s still a million kinds of cute.  The segment didn’t go on too long and they didn’t beat us to death with “See how cute David Ortiz’ son is”…it was a fun, family-friendly moment and the ASG could use more of them.

*  Heath Bell talking with the fans (one being a Red Sox fan) in the stands and then giving them gifts (I’m surprised that “Yoda Backpack” wasn’t a trending topic on Twitter last night).  Between that and his slide into the pitcher’s mound, Bell showed us how a player can be quirky and fun without being overbearing and annoying (See Wilson, Brian).

*  Being a total homer, seeing Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and, especially, Adrian Gonzalez play was fun even if Youk and Adrian were the only ones to get hits.  Watching Adrian Gonzalez hitting a home run the night after he lit up the home run derby was fun (off of Cliff Lee, thank you very much).  Heck, I even enjoyed the Red Sox players being introduced pre-game.  I’ll admit it, I get a charge out of seeing our guys there even if I pretend I don’t.

*  I liked the “Stand Up to Cancer” moment and honoring the victims of the Arizona shootings before the game even if I do think that maybe the All Star Game could be a place where we don’t focus on the sad realities of life.  Even so, both were beautifully done and made me hate the ASG a little bit less.

That was pretty much it.  I never really care about who wins, regardless of it counting for home field advantage, but there wasn’t much excitement in last night’s game.  I could complain about Brian Wilson’s truly tired act, or Tim McCarver acting like he had never heard the words “Greek God of Walks” before last night (or, really, anything involving Joe Buck and Tim McCarver).  I could scoff at how when Joe Buck was taking about the shootings in Arizona the camera went right to Josh Hamilton as if now he is the MLB poster boy for tragedies and I could complain for the millionth time about how ridiculous it is to continue to sing “God Bless America” at a baseball game “to honor America” when we sing the National Anthem before the game starts to do that very thing.  But everyone will be complaining this morning (save for National League fans, I suspect) and why send out all those negative vibes, right?

We’re stuck with two more days of no Red Sox baseball but if you’re so inclined the Triple A All Star Game is being shown on the MLB Network tonight at 9 ET (pitcher Matt Fox is the lone representative from the PawSox this year).

July 13, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , | 2 Comments

All Star Stupidity

Ten years ago, on the night of the Home Run Derby, my niece Madison was born. At the HRD, Luis Gonzalez ended up being the winner and every year on the night of the Derby, I tell Madison about how Gonzalez won on the day she was born and then went on to beat the Yankees in the World Series. Last night, when I began talking about Luis Gonzalez again, she pointed out that we had our own Gonzalez in the Derby this year and wondered if, since it was her 10th birthday over the weekend, if he would win. We rooted for our Big Papi and for Adrian Gonzalez but oddly enough seeing Robinson Cano win didn’t upset either one of us.

I’m not a fan of Cano’s.  I occasionally call him Baby Jeter and when I do I don’t mean it as a compliment.  But I admitted to a few folks recently that I think my dislike of him comes more from a point of spite because of the way the fans and the media talk about him than it does a legitimate reason (short of “He’s a Yankee”).  In any event, watching him winning, with all of his teammates (his Home Run Derby teammates, not his Yankees teammates) cheering him on and his DAD pitching to him, well, that didn’t really bother me.  For the first time in a few, I enjoyed watching the Home Run Derby and saw it as the entertainment it is meant to be.  (God knows I could live without Chris Berman yelling “Back! Back! Back!”, but all in all it wasn’t the worst way to spend the evening.)

It feels like half of MLB is at this year’s All Star Game, doesn’t it?  Felix Hernandez was chosen, but because of the rule stating any starters who pitch on the Sunday before the ASG can’t be IN the ASG, he was replaced by Jon Lester.  Jon Lester who is on the disabled list and can’t pitch (and they knew this when they chose him as Hernandez’ replacement).  Lester has been replaced by Toronto Blue Jay Ricky Romero who, you know, can actually pitch.  Hernandez, Lester and Romero are all at the All Star Game this week.

David Brown over at Big League Stew covers this in more detail, revealing the idiotic rule of not letting Sunday’s pitcher in the game as well as how stupid it is to purposely choose a player that the league knows won’t be able to play.  I had no idea that CC Sabathia replaced James Shields in the ASG…Sabathia who pitched against Shields on Sunday and Shields pitching on Sunday being the only reason he wasn’t going to be in the game Tuesday night.  How does Bud Selig not see how utterly ridiculous that is?  (Yes, I will always be bitter about the freaking All Star Game “counting”.  If Bud wants to “fix” things with it, there are many other places they could work on.  Like the way the teams are chosen.  I know I’m beating a dead horse AND banging my head against a wall, but still…)

Added to that (again thanks to Brown and the link here) we have one out of every nine players in MLB being called an All Star even if they aren’t playing…and collecting their bonus money for making the All Star Team. Derek Jeter, who bowed out of the game after being chosen by fans who really shouldn’t have chosen him, will make an additional $500,000 this year for being on the team, even though he isn’t.  I mean, it’s like Selig is now going out of his way to do things to make the fans hate MLB.

That isn’t to say I don’t think CC Sabathia didn’t deserve to be chosen for the team.  You could argue he did.  But he wasn’t.  I’m going to guess the rule is however they were voted in (and didn’t make it) is how they go down the line of who replaces ineligible players or players who bail on the game.  Shouldn’t there be a rule in place that says you skip over the players who aren’t eligible if they are next in line?  This isn’t pre-school…everyone doesn’t go home with a trophy...everyone should not be chosen for the All Star Game.

I can’t remember the last time I actually looked forward to an All Star Game (1999, I suppose.  MAYBE 2005 and 2008 because Tito was the manager?) and there has been nothing to make me really look forward to this one.  That isn’t to say I’m not happy for our guys on the team, especially Jacoby Ellsbury, but I just want real baseball back and the All Star Break is usually one long bore.  At least I can thank the Home Run Derby for being entertaining this year.

July 12, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Weekend High

I was trying not to be greedy. I wasn’t really even considering a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles when I wrote that I’d like the Red Sox to go into the All Star break in first place.  I won’t lie, though, sweeping the Orioles in four after the Kevin Gregg show the other night, feels pretty damn sweet.

I received many “that will only bring this team closer together and now they’ll beat you” messages after the basebrawl.  Last night most of the messages were of the “all your team is on steroids” variety.  Interesting reading anyway.

John Lackey stepped up big and while I had high hopes for Kyle Weiland, his ejection yesterday possibly helped the Red Sox.  Hitting Vlad Guererro didn’t seem intentional to anyone but Orioles fans and the home plate umpire, but since the teams had been warned Kyle got the heave-ho, paving the way for Alfredo Aceves to come in and pitch three hitless/scoreless innings.  (Serious question:  Where would this team be without Aceves?  If they still gave away the 10th player award, as of right now he’d be the guy I gave it to.)  After Weiland giving up eight hits in four innings, the Red Sox bullpen (Aceves, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon) combined for five innings, no hits, one walk and seven strike outs.  As bad as the Orioles have been playing, I really looked at the second two of the four games as being their good chances to get wins…and I’m very happy at how wrong I was.

I only have two things to say about Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit. I’m always one who says if I caught a ball that was someone’s first home run or some kind of milestone, I’d most likely give it back without expecting anything. But when that player is Derek Jeter and it is something as big as his 3000th hit, I would expect a whole lot more than the Yankees shelled out to the guy who caught the home run ball. While people are lauding the guy for being unselfish (and, initially I was too), I can’t put out of my mind that Jeter will make millions off of this accomplishment and all this guy really got were tickets for half a season of baseball. Blows my mind.

The other thing is, if I never hear Michael Kay’s voice again, it’ll be too soon. An hour or so after the home run, this is what he had to say: “He needed two hits to get to 3000, he wears number 2, he’s only the second player to get 3000 hits in MLB history and when he hit that home run the clock struck two. (Long pause) I’ll wait for your goosebumps to go down.” Hitting your 3000th hit is very cool. Hitting it for a home run is freaking amazing. Phrasing what you did, Mr. Kay, did NOT bring on goosebumps, just a shrug and a “You can try to make something out of anything these days” attitude from me.  (Which isn’t a commentary on the achievement.  Sure what Jeter accomplished is impressive.  But Michael Kay’s trying to piece together the meaning of “2” really was ridiculous and not goosebump-inducing at all.)

But back to the Orioles for a moment.  After the series was over, Buck Showalter continued his pissing and moaning about the Red Sox and their payroll (Kevin Gregg got the memo about this as well when mentioning payroll in his post game comments) and it gave us a Jason Varitek uncharacteristically humorous quote:

“We have some youth, too. So people can literally kiss my rear end.”

It’s a visual I could live without, but it made me laugh out loud.

Red Sox don’t play until Friday but we get the Big Papi show at the Home Run Derby tonight and by way of players backing out, getting injured or being ineligible to play (sorry Felix Hernandez), we’re sending six guys to the All Star Game (even though Lester won’t be playing).  If you need your Red Sox fix before Friday, you still have these next two days.

July 11, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Time to Vote is NOW

Papi knows you voted for him! (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission)

Given the Red Sox just went 2-4 against National League teams that supposedly aren’t very good, the timing for this post is terrible.  But no matter.  After watching the Red Sox salvage a win in Pittsburgh, I flipped to the end of the Rockies/Yankees game.  Michael Kay was talking about Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson and how he should be elected to the All Star team but since there were going to be so many Yankees on the team he most likely wouldn’t be chosen.

Now, it’s true that there are many players on the Yankees who are leading in the All Star voting.  It was just the smugness of Michael Kay’s words that made me want to reach into the television and shake him a few times.  (Much like the other night when discussing Huston Street and Kay, in trying to compliment him, I guess, said “He’s not a clean closer like Mariano Rivera”.  (Now, I know damn well what a great pitcher Mo is.  My issue is, there is really NO ONE you can compare Rivera to and there was no reason to throw that dig in there…especially on a night when the Yankees LOST, Mr. Kay.)  So I decided yesterday that I was going to stop avoiding mentioning the All Star Game and ask you all to get on your butts (you’ll be sitting at a computer, yes?) and go vote for the Red Sox for the All Star Game.

But wait.  This is about spite (I’m not proud) so let me check that.  Alex Avila of the Detroit Tigers is behind Russell Martin right now in the voting for catcher.  I know Martin started off hot but after his first month with the Yankees he hasn’t really done much.  Certainly not enough to be the starting catcher in the All Star Game.  Voting ends this week at 11:59 on Thursday night, so there really isn’t much time to vote for your “favorite” any more if you actually want them to win (unless your favorite is Alex Avila, in which case you need to pick that up a notch).  So my spite vote for catcher goes to Alex Avila.  You’re welcome, Detroit.

At first base, Adrian Gonzalez is leading Mark Teixeira by about 600,000 votes.  Good work, Nation.  But the lead needs to widen.  It also gives us a little credibility that Adrian isn’t purely a spite vote, right?  I mean who, aside from Yankees fans, wouldn’t want Adrian Gonzalez on their team?

At second base, Robinson Cano is kicking Dustin Pedroia‘s butt by well over a million votes.  While I personally think this one is a bit of a wash, the idea of having baby Jeter out there annoys me to no end.  Unlike the catcher and first baseman positions, this one is a larger hurdle to jump, vote-wise, so you need to get out your multiple email addresses and start voting for Dustin.  I know Cano is a good second baseman and if I actually cared about winning or losing in the All Star Game I’d feel less annoyed by his presence, but I don’t and I am so Pedroia gets not only the “I think he deserves it” vote but the spite vote as well.

Third base has a pretty tight race going.  Sure Alex Rodriguez has 2,876,537 (at last count on June 21st) but behind him is Adrian Beltre with 2,307,380 and Kevin Youkilis with 2,025,438 votes.  When I started writing this, I had it in my head that Beltre was doing much better than Youk this season but after doing a little research I’m not so convinced of that any more.  I could go either way here, Beltre or Youkilis, and Beltre does have a better chance (give the current tallies) of catching up to Slappy, but I can’t go against Youk.  I just can’t.  So I’m not only spiteful but I’m a hypocrite.  Youk gets my vote.

Shortstop:  Derek Jeter is leading Asdrubal Cabrera by only 400,000 votes so there’s hope!  The fact alone that he’s leading is a complete joke.  Let’s forget how the Cleveland Indians have been struggling – who honestly believes Derek Jeter belongs in this year’s All Star Game over Cabrera?  If you aren’t a Yankee fan just voting across the board and you have voted for Derek Jeter this year, please tell me why?  I mean it, I really want to know why you think Jeter should start this year’s All Star Game?  A vote for Asdrubal Cabrera is a vote for baseball, people.  No spite or hypocrisy needed.

David Ortiz has almost two million more votes than Michael Young in the quest for starting DH.  I’d love to see that margin widen (no offense to Michael Young who seems like a perfectly nice guy).  Pile on the votes for Papi!  (Much to the chagrin of Joe Girardi, I’m sure, Jorge Posada has over a million votes and holds third place over Victor Martinez and Johnny Damon.)

Even on the DL, Carl Crawford is fifth on the list of outfielders.  Jacoby Ellsbury is fourth.  The top three are Jose Bautista (completely deserving), Curtis Granderson and Josh Hamilton.  I have a difficult time begrudging any one of those guys a spot on the team.  Jacoby is around 1.2 million votes below Granderson and would have to bump off Hamilton to get a starting spot.  Believe it or not, I’m okay with the way voting is going for this one.  Still, get your butt out there and vote for Jacoby.  He’s as deserving as Granderson or Hamilton.  (Carl, I love ya but I’m happy if you’re staying home this time around and resting up for the rest of the season.)

Sadly, Michael Kay, arrogant and annoying as he is, was right.  If the voting keeps up the way it is now, five out of the nine starting positions that fans are voting on will be filled by the New York Yankees and two by Boston Red Sox players.  Only Bautista and Hamilton in the outfield will save the American League from an all Boston/New York starting lineup.  We have work to do, people, and only four days to do it.

Now is the time to get to the voting, folks!

June 27, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , | 1 Comment

All Star Break Crankies

Alex Gonzalez got traded to a contender today (Atlanta Braves).  Good Luck, AGon! (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.)

Alex Gonzalez got traded to a contender today (Atlanta Braves). Good Luck, AGon! (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.)

I wrote a long, rambling blog entry yesterday that drew parallels between George Steinbrenner dying and my losing an aunt on the same day.  I scrapped it because my emotions are pretty raw right now and that’s probably a bad time to be writing about the dead – especially when all I want to write about Steinbrenner is how much I disliked him and how annoying all of the “He was a good man and great for baseball” stories that are out there right now.

I’ve had some time to take deep breaths so here goes draft two (without any mention of my aunt because, honestly, it’s an insult to her memory to lump her in with Steinbrenner).

George Steinbrenner was generous to the Jimmy Fund and to most of his players (at least with their salaries). These two things I won’t dispute. The list of reasons why he doesn’t deserve glowing obituaries that make him sound like the Second Coming is too long to rehash here but we all know it exists. I don’t expect to read headlines like “George Steinbrenner is dead – woo-hoo!” but I also don’t expect tweets like the one the official Oakland A’s Twitter account published yesterday:

…baseball lost a good one today

My reaction was a loud “Are you shitting me?”.

Baseball lost a notorious one today. Baseball lost an infamous one today. Baseball lost a scandalous one today. These all would have worked. Baseball lost a good one today is just mind-bogglingly ridiculous. George Steinbrenner did amazing things for the New York Yankees team and fans, often times to the detriment of the rest of the league. This does not make him a “good one”.

I understand when someone dies folks want to put a halt to the negative talk for a day or two. What I will never get (and will never join in on) is acting like someone was a wonderful human being just because they had the misfortune of dying.  This is a man who called one of his own players a “fat toad”.  This is a man who took the time to mock the Red Sox after their loss at Yankee Stadium in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS with “Go back to Boston, boys!”.  This is a man who insisted Don Mattingly be benched because of his facial hair.  This is a man who was a convicted felon.  This is a man who was suspended TWICE from baseball.  This is a man who hired someone to dig up dirt on one of his own players and got a lifetime suspension from then commissioner Fay Vincent because of it (as an aside, guess who reinstated him?  Fellow team owner Bud Selig.  I didn’t know weasels ran in packs).   Instead of being good for baseball, as so many claim today, he made a mockery of it and now that he’s dead we’re supposed to pretend he was the most amazing man to ever work in MLB?  Not me.  Not doing it.

I’m sorry that his family and others who love him are going through what they are because I know how much that truly sucks and I don’t wish it on anyone.  That doesn’t mean his entire slate gets wiped clean…that’s all I’m saying.  I’m not here to dump on the dead guy but I’ll be damned if I sit idly by while revisionist history runs amuck.

Now that I got that off my chest…

Local Yankee troll “Lou” commented last night that Big Papi lost the game for the American League with his poor base running (I deleted the comment because Lou lost commenting privileges a while ago, but he wasn’t the only Yankee fan I encountered who gave that argument).

How’s this for a dose of reality?  Joe Girardi manages his first All Star Game and the American League loses after 13 straight wins on the back of Phil Hughes’ poor pitching performance (check the box score folks, the “L” is next to Phil’s name).

Last week, when Joba choked up the lead by giving up a grand slam to the Mariners just after Girardi picked Paul Konerko over Kevin Youkilis for the All Star team, I jokingly tweeted:

Mariners win. Maybe the curse of Joe Girardi being a horse’s ass begins tonight?

Yanks won the next game but they lost both Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner and now have to face the realization that Mr Girardi (and Mr. Hughes) blew home field advantage for whichever AL team makes it to the World Series (I figure this way the Sox can win the next one in Boston!).  I don’t wish death on anyone (especially not sweet Mr. Bob Sheppard) so I take no glee from either death, but maybe there is a cloud forming over the house that Ruth didn’t build?

And finally, some of you mocked me when I began calling Jon Lester “Crabcakes”.  He’s finally letting his guard down.  Unlike Steve Buckley, I get no joy from reading about one of our players backhandedly insulting another player who hasn’t engaged first.  This isn’t a Sox/Yanks Sox/Rays Sox/anyone rivalry.  STFU and just say “no”, Jon.  You’re a major league ball player, try acting like an adult.

Guess I still don’t have the cranky out.  It’s going to be a long week and I really need a game that counts to get me through!

July 14, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

He's OUR Large Father!

This is the face America saw all night last night!  Courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

This is the face America saw all night last night! Courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

“It’s meaningless!” “It’s stupid!” “It’s boring!” “I can’t stand to listen to Chris Berman yelling ‘Back! Back! Back!’ all night!”

Whatever the reasons, many people don’t like the Home Run Derby.  I’m not one of them.  While it isn’t my favorite attraction that MLB gives us, there is something entertaining not only in watching the home runs but in watching the players interact and react to the home runs.

Last night, David Ortiz once again showed why he has such a place of honor in Major League Baseball.  Not because he won the contest but because of how he acted during it all.  Knowing that a good final outing by Hanley Ramirez would mean he lost the Derby, Papi was still out there encouraging him and cheering him on (telling Erin Andrews later that Hanley is like a son to him!).  It was quite the sight and something that seemed to take the ESPN guys (Yes, America, Bobby Valentine really did call him “Jose Ortiz” and then try to laugh it off by saying “I hope his middle name is Jose”) by surprise.

Tonight is the All Star Game and while I genuinely don’t care who wins, I just want the Sox to represent well, I hope folks watch and are entertained.  I won’t be able to watch tonight due to a family issue but I know folks will keep me posted in case Adrian Beltre takes out Joe Girardi.

July 13, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , | 2 Comments

Looking forward to the break

There was JUST a bit of rain at Fenway yesterday.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission.

There was JUST a bit of rain at Fenway yesterday. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission.

“I’m looking at the numbers, the numbers are close and one guy’s numbers are a little bit better. “I took the guy whose numbers are a little bit better.’’ – Joe Girardi on why he chose Paul Konerko over Kevin Youkilis to replace Justin Morneau in the All Star Game

I did my ranting about this on Twitter yesterday (Some PG-13 rated tweets there, possible R) and this morning the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the Yankees lost because Joba Chamberlain gave up a grand slam in the 8th inning, so I’m a lot less cranky about everything today and don’t feel like rehashing it all – I’ll just say this:  If you’re going to cite statistics as a reason for your choice, Joe, you should probably actually look at them (here’s a hint:  You DIDN’T take the guy whose numbers are a little bit better, Wile E.).  My hopes for the All Star Game are that the Red Sox there represent themselves well and Joe Girardi’s team (except for our guys) gets demolished.  If the Sox are fortunate enough to get to the World Series, I have faith in their abilities to not need home field advantage.  I’m spiteful enough that I’d prefer every move Girardi makes Tuesday night be mocked mercilessly.  That is all.  🙂

More disappointing is that yesterday was the fifth annual “Futures at Fenway” day and the rain shortened the Lowell Spinners game and made it necessary to cancel the Salem Red Sox game.  The Salem team has never played in the Futures game and it was not only a disappointment for the fans, but for the players too (all of them, even the non-Sox ones, I’m sure).   It’s a bummer when Mother Nature throws her monkey wrench around.

Also disappointing:  Jacoby Ellsbury coming out of hiding with his pile of notes to, basically, shit on the Red Sox.  Fair or not, when he dumped his agent and signed with Boras my attachment to him was pretty much lost but I still liked him being on the team and wanted him to do well.  When people started calling him “soft” this year, I defended him because no two injuries are alike and I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to judge how much pain someone is in except that person.  But his performance for the media yesterday left me feeling quite “meh” and thinking that I won’t miss him much when he forces his way out of Boston.  Folks can’t blame the perceptions people have about him now on the media or on the Red Sox trying to make him look bad…he’s done it all himself as far as I’m concerned.  That press conference yesterday was nothing more than a bunch of “I’m hurt and it’s their fault” to me.  Get better and come back and help the team or get lost, Jacoby.  In either case, quit your bitching.  (For the record, I’m not one who believes the Red Sox hire dolts as their medical professionals nor do I think they would do something – or not do something – in the best interest of the health of their players.  So while I appreciate that Jacoby wants folks to think the Red Sox dropped the ball here and can acknowledge that there was either miscommunication or just misunderstanding going on, I believe he’s letting Mr. Boras lead him around (it’s always the team’s fault, right?) and that annoys the hell out of me.

At 1:07 this afternoon, Daisuke leads the Sox into the All Star Break by, hopefully, salvaging the series win in Toronto.  It would be nice for the team to go into the break with a win, if only to shut up all the writers who keep talking about how tough the schedule in July will be for the Red Sox.  For what they’ve endured in this first half, I’m damn proud of this team for fighting through it and being in the position they are right now.  I choose to enjoy that and let the rest of it work itself out.

July 11, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Last Stand

My Youk collection from last year.  Voting ends at 4pm ET today!

My Youk collection from last year. Voting ends at 4pm ET today!

All I will say about the sweep is when you have the injuries this team does these things will happen.  It was ridiculous how many tweets/posts/status updates I read from people who seemed genuinely mad about it.  If you can’t understand the fact that this team is struggling because many of their starters aren’t starting, well then I think you’re a lost cause.  Watch the games and hope for the best and take comfort in the knowledge that there is an entire second half to go (and stop blaming the replacements for not being as good as the starters – there is a reason players start and others are in Triple A…being forced into situations you aren’t ready for is no way to be greeted into the organization so folks need to back off a bit).  Okay, I guess I had more to say than  I thought.

The Red Sox and Kevin Youkilis’ parents have asked Red Sox fans to vote not only for Youk but for Joey Votto as well.  Works for me.  I’m writing this around 8:30am which gives folks 7.5 hours to get their votes in for Kevin.  A vote for Youk is a vote for all that is right in the world.  Okay, that’s an exaggeration.  But a vote for Kevin is a vote for someone who deserves to be in the All Star Game who has gone out of his way to not self-promote himself.  How can you look away?  Nick Swisher has done more campaigning for this thing then Scott Brown and he needs to be taken down a peg.  (I will, once again, admit to being spiteful.  I’m not ashamed.)

If Kevin Youkilis gets voted in, we get shots of him, his lovely wife and adorable son in Los Angeles.  If Nick Swisher gets voted in we probably get more videos of him in Tommy Bahama shirts.  I’m willing to bet he bleaches his tips for the occasion.  We can’t let that happen people.  We’re live chatting the All Star Game…do we really want to have to look at Swisher all night?

I know folks are down because of the last four games.  No one enjoys a losing streak.  But voting for Youk is our chance to get some joy out of this week!  We can head into the weekend in Toronto proud of our efforts and hoping the team rides Youk’s victory to three of their own!

So take that early break today, sit yourself down and VOTE for Kevin Youkilis.  You’ll sleep much better if you do.

July 8, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , | 1 Comment

If I pretend it isn't happening…it isn't happening (right?)

"We Not Me" seems to be the Red Sox mantra lately as well.

"We Not Me" works for the Red Sox too!

I wrote this yesterday:

BUT the idea that Nick Swisher and his .375 OBP, his .509 slugging percentage and his .883 OPS is winning this thing over Youk and his .299 average, .416 OBP, .586 slugging and 1.002 OPS is ridiculous. Swisher is currently batting .296, has two more hits than Youk and 15 more strikeouts than him. Aside from the hits and Ks, Youk’s numbers are higher in every other category. He is, as they say, freaking better than Swisher and Swisher has the added taint of being a Yankee on him so, again, this is a no-brainer peeps.

Last night, after the Sox game was over but before the Yankees had finished pummeling the A’s, I received an email from my favorite Yankees fan telling me that the numbers meant nothing and Swisher was the better player (she also admitted to Youk having the Sox “taint” on him…fair enough given what I wrote about old Nick). This is the same person who thinks that Swisher’s “beauty” should get him on the team. (She also was very pleased at the prospect of Youk being injured, noting it would make it easier for Swisher to get the votes.  Something else I can understand.  I wouldn’t want them hobbled for life but it wouldn’t vex me any if any one of the Yankees came up lame tonight.)

I’m not a stat geek and math was never my best subject in school.  It took me a long time to “get” some of the newer statistics, I admit this.  Given my favorite players don’t/haven’t always put up the best numbers, I understand not basing your preferences on the numbers, I do.  But to tell me the numbers don’t mean anything is just ignorant.  If we are comparing two players and we want the better player to be on our team, we look at their numbers.  Youk’s numbers are better.  There is no arguing that.  I get why Yankees fans won’t vote for him (spite, as I’ve mentioned, is quite the motivator) but don’t tell me Youk isn’t a better player than Swisher…he is.

So get your butts out there and vote for Youk!  🙂

I’m not going to dwell on “right ankle pain” or “cramping” today.  Youk says he’s fine.  Tito says Youk’s fine.  Youk is fine, dammit.

Sox are currently 3.5 games out of first place with four games to go before the All Star Break.  Winning the next four would be nice but I’ll settle for the one game at a time approach and hope Tim Wakefield can lead the Sox to one victory before they leave Florida.  It won’t be easy but it is definitely possible.  I’m at the point where I’m not letting these losses eat me up.  Felix Doubront, Kevin Cash, Eric Patterson, Bill Hall, Darnell McDonald and Daniel Nava are all starters on the team right now and the team is only 3.5 games out of first place.  We should all be enjoying the baseball they’re playing right now and appreciating their attempts to keep the team in the running until (hopefully) the injured all get back to playing ball.  What else is there to do?

Special thanks to everyone who stopped by the live chat last night.  It was lots of fun in spite of the loss and the panic that set in when Youk went down.  We’ll be back here next Tuesday to live chat the All Star Game starting at 8pm!

July 7, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , | Leave a comment

Keep Voting (and join us for live chatting tonight)!

Make it seven!

Make it seven!

Thankfully, my obsessive voting for Kevin Youkilis kept my attention from fully being on the game last night.  I did get to see Eric Patterson’s two home runs, though, which was pretty damn exciting.

Also helping distract me was email messages from folks none too pleased with my campaigning for Youk.  Here’s a bit from an old “acquaintance” who also happens to be a Yankees fan:

I could care less if Nick Swisher gets in but voting for Youkilis just so he’ll beat Swish is ridiculous. Real fans would’ve voted in Youkilis to begin with not wait for the final vote and use it to spite the Yankees.

“Could care less” absolutely drives me batshit. If you could care less that means you COULD care less. It’s couldn’t, darling, couldn’t care less (and, yes,  responded to him with that and warned I’d be using his message today).

I covered it yesterday and I still keep hearing/reading complaints that if the Red Sox fans wanted Youkilis in the All Star Game they should have just voted him in to begin with.  Based on what I’m hearing now, I’m 100% certain that most of the fans who didn’t vote abstained because the idea of any more Sox players getting hurt is too painful and if the guys can get 3 days off let them have them.  Many people I’ve been trying to get to vote for Youk in the final vote STILL don’t want him in because they’d prefer he take the time off.  (See?  Not all Red Sox fans are driven by spite.)

Getting behind the idea of Youk getting good use out of some rest isn’t difficult.  Hell, it’s why I didn’t vote in the first place.  BUT the idea that Nick Swisher and his .375 OBP, his .509 slugging percentage and his .883 OPS is winning this thing over Youk and his .299 average, 416 OBP, .586 slugging and 1.002 OPS is ridiculous.  Swisher is currently batting .296, has two more hits than Youk and 15 more strikeouts than him.  Aside from the hits and Ks, Youk’s numbers are higher in every other category.  He is, as they say, freaking better than Swisher and Swisher has the added taint of being a Yankee on him so, again, this is a no-brainer peeps.

I’m not going to even bother quoting the email from the frequent Yankee fan woman who writes me to tell me…aw hell, yes I will:

Swish is beautiful and Youk is a dog! Who wants to see his ugly face on national tv?

That argument makes me want to punch someone and is another reason we need to keep voting for Youk – his getting in will annoy the crap out of that obnoxious woman.

Also, there’s this tweet from Tom Caron:

I’m on #wee(i) with Eric Frede today. Just had Kevin Youkilis on the show, and he wouldn’t lobby for All Star spot. We will! #voteyouk

Tonight we’ll be settling back into our Live Chat mode!  Felix Doubront will be on the mound to help salvage the possibility of at least a series win against the Tampa Bay Rays!  Join us at 7pm ET, won’t you?

July 6, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | 2 Comments