Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Does your bank account swell while you’re dreaming at night

A shot I took of Mike Lowell on Opening Day 2009...just to remind me that Opening Day 2010 will be here soon!

A shot I took of Mike Lowell on Opening Day 2009...just to remind me that Opening Day 2010 will be here sooner than it feels!

So what do you want?  As a baseball fan, what are you looking for from your team?

I’ve lost count at how many people have bitched about the Red Sox not “doing” anything thus far, how many people are “unimpressed” with the few signings that have taken place and how many people are convinced that the Red Sox will “suck” in 2010 (and I’m talking about Red Sox fans here).

I’ll tell you what I’m looking for.  I’m looking for Theo to fill gaps that need to be filled and I’m hoping for the team to be competitive enough to entertain me all season long.  Would I love a “blockbuster” signing?  Sure would, if it was for the right player.  But I’m not going to lose sleep over the Yankees getting Curtis Granderson for a song while the Red Sox didn’t.  And I’m getting sick to death of people comparing what the Red Sox aren’t doing to what the Yankees are.  If you want to root for the Yankees, have at it, they’re waiting for more folks to jump on the already overflowing bandwagon (and, truth be told, I wouldn’t be so sad to see the Red Sox bandwagon lose a few annoying, fair weather fans).

Now I don’t consider everyone who criticizes the team a fair weather fan but I do question why you’d be bitching about the team this early in the off-season.  The Sox can’t make a move without another party involved and the moves their contemplating are going to take some time.  I’m good with this.  I’m also good with not hearing every day which player’s rep the team is or isn’t talking to.  Just because it isn’t being reported on doesn’t mean nothing is getting done (or attempted).  I know that most of the media likes to think that the world doesn’t revolve unless they’re writing about it but that’s just not true.  So, if you don’t mind, I’d like the hot stove to get a bit older before I start lamenting about how Theo has lost his touch and won’t be doing anything to improve the team for 2010, thanks.

Yesterday, Amalie Benjamin kept up her fan-baiting ways with this tweet over at Twitter:

Given Theo’s “bridge” year comments about the upcoming season, how are you all feeling about the #RedSox and about the front office?

Now, obviously she was hoping for a ton of “The team is going to suck! We’ll never beat the Yankees again!” responses. But our own KellyO gave (in my opinion) the best response:

I’d FAR rather hold onto our future; if that means waiting out 2010, so be it. We’ve been blessed in recent years.

Now I don’t think two WS wins in the 2000s means the team gets a free pass to go forward and be unsuccessful, but that hasn’t been the situation, thus far, and I don’t see it being the situation any time soon.  ESPECIALLY if Theo doesn’t trade away the future just for some instant gratification.  What those two World Series wins means to me is Theo gets a lot of leeway to play with the house money because, regardless of what some would like to think, the Red Sox are a successful team thanks in large part to Theo and a few early exits from the post-season won’t change that.  Good teams don’t always make the post-season and they don’t always win the World Series.  Be competitive and entertain me and that’s all I can really ask for.  There’s no way I’m calling this off-season a failure in the second week of December.  Hysteria isn’t my style.

For those of you who missed it – here’s Theo’s “bridge” comments as reported by Amalie Benjamin:

“We talked about this a lot at the end of the year, that we’re kind of in a bridge period,’’ he said. “We still think that if we push some of the right buttons, we can be competitive at the very highest levels for the next two years. But we don’t want to compromise too much of the future for that competitiveness during the bridge period, but we all don’t want to sacrifice our competitiveness during the bridge just for the future. So we’re just trying to balance both those issues.’’

I’m not sure how anyone can read anything negative into that but it seems to be Amalie’s M.O. lately (riling the fans up just for fun).

Tickets for the regular season go on sale this Saturday.  I’ll be at the Sistah’s annual Christmas gathering so I won’t be joining you all in the virtual waiting room, but I’ll be there in spirit!  It’ll be interesting to see if this uncertainty in the team that seems to be permeating the Internet over these last couple of weeks will be reflected in ticket sales on Saturday.  Something tells me it won’t.

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December 9, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | 3 Comments

The kiss that's waiting for you

Don't be sad, Jacoby, you guys are in!!!  (Photo taken by me on Monday when just about all the Sox looked like this!)

Don't be sad, Jacoby, you guys are in!!! (Photo taken by me on Monday when just about all the Sox looked like this!)

Yep, I stayed up to watch all of the Angels/Rangers game.  And I don’t care if the Sox lost last night – they got into the playoffs and that’s the goal.  We’re rewarded for watching the last five shitstormy games with five games we don’t have to worry about at all.  This makes me very happy.

While I would have loved being able to see the Sox celebrate this by winning last night’s game, there’s a part of me that likes the idea that they celebrated alone (read: away from the prying eyes of the media).  No one can judge how much (or how little) they celebrated.  Of course, the likes of Amalie Benjamin can whine (via Twitter, on the Globe blog and then in her piece about last night’s game) about the lack of access:

But there was no way to know exactly what happened in the clubhouse during the post-clinch festivities. Reporters were not allowed in, including NESN cameras, as the Sox’ media relations staff rationed four English-speaking players to a group of approximately 30 remaining media members in the concourse outside the home clubhouse after 1 a.m.

I have to wonder if she was drunk, high or just really pissed about not having access (I sense that last one!) when she wrote that? What the hell would possess her to write “…rationed four English-speaking players…?”  (I actually asked her this via Twitter when she posted the link to her blog but, not surprisingly, I didn’t get a response.)  Seriously?  She (or an edit0r) omitted the “English-speaking” line out of the piece she delivered for the Globe but it still remains in the blog.  This team has enough idiots out there (looking at you, Ken Rosenthal) who love to try and convince people that they’re looking to create an all-white team.  The city is still considered racist by plenty of people (shout out to Amy K Nelson).  A crack by a professional writer who covers the team about “English-speaking” players on a team with many players who speak English as a second language is, at best, ill-conceived – even in a blog entry.  Amalie looking to compete with Gerry Callahan in the “Most Racist” category of Boston sports coverage?  Or maybe she’s being influenced too much by CHB’s snarky assholiness?  Sure it was a throwaway line but one that had no business being there (and with no purpose – without it would we have all thought Saito came out and answered questions in Japanese?).

Okay, I’m done being cranky.  Sox are in the playoffs and that’s all that matters on this lovely day.  The fellas got to celebrate last night with each other – and tonight they get to relax knowing if Wake gives up 5 runs in the first it really doesn’t mean a thing.  (But he won’t.  The no-hitter happens tonight!)

So to celebrate a meaningless game with Tim Wakefield and Roy Halladay pitching, tonight will be the final livechat of the 2009 season!

My plan, if it works out, will be to host livechats here for each of the playoff games.  MLB’s scheduling MIGHT prevent that – I’m hoping not.  They’ll be chats, not live blogs, so if you’ve participated or lurked at any of the chats we’ve had recently, you’ll know it’s more of a positivity train free-for-all than anything else.  So stop on by!

It’ll be nice to relax for a few days until the Sox head out to California!

September 30, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , | 6 Comments

Soon you'll all believe I'm right

It makes me sad that I get sad whenever Tek's in a game lately.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

It makes me sad that I get sad whenever Tek's in a game lately. Having written that - I despise the vitriol being spewed toward him. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Not going to lie…was absolutely sick after Lester got hit last night.  It was tough to invest fully in the rest of the game so I’m not going to worry about one crappy loss (and it was crappy – always hate to see them lose like that to the Yanks).  I figure I should just be grateful that Lester isn’t hurt as badly as it looked and leave it at that.

Of course, the Boston Globe is already in full “let’s panic the fans” mode.  Here’s what Amalie Benjamin tweeted just after it was released that Lester had a contusion not a break:

So … how worried are you all about the Lester injury? #redsox

Then she tweeted moments later:

Meant to point this out earlier: Right leg is the plant leg for a lefty pitcher. Does that change your panic level? #redsox

So I responded with:

Why is @amaliebenjamin hell bent on panicking the fans? Howsabout we just wait and see how Lester’s feeling tomorrow before we freak out?

Amalie responded with:

Not at all. Just wanted to see what the feeling was. We don’t know much at the moment, but it didn’t look very good.

See, I call bullshit. And others (including Bruce Allen from Boston Sports Media Watch) did too. This wasn’t trying to figure out how the fans felt, this was trying to stir up panic in Boston – yet again.  In looking for a story on how Lester is doing, I ended up reading CHB’s column today.  Most of it is fine, straight-forward even (seems that Jon was walking around the clubhouse after the game – this is a good piece of information to have) but Shaughnessy couldn’t leave it at that.  In this article he has to outline how the Sox lost the ’46 WS due in part to Ted Williams having been hit on the elbow before it started; the ’67 Series because the Sox didn’t have Tony Conigliaro; the ’75 Series because Jim Rice was injured and out and (wait for it), the ’86 Series because Tom Seaver got injured at the end of the season in Toronto.

So to make sure his theory of doom holds up (every time the Sox are in the WS they lose when a key player is hurt before the Series starts) he pulls Tom Seaver out of his butt.  How pathetic is it that he has to do that just so he can finish this off?   This isn’t a “here is some interesting and relevant information” piece.  This is “PANIC! PANIC!!!  THE SOX ARE GOING TO LOSE THE WORLD SERIES BECAUSE JON LESTER GOT HIT  IT’S IN THEIR HISTORY AND YOU CAN’T DENY IT!!!!”

How many of you out there blame the 1986 World Series loss on the lack of Tom Seaver?  Anyone?  Anyone?

The Sox aren’t even in the playoffs yet.  I mean, seriously, can’t he wait until the Red Sox make it into the playoffs before he starts setting the fans on fire?

No doubt that Lester going down last night made everyone think “There go our playoff chances”.  That’s not what I’m complaining about.  Once you hear that the injury isn’t serious, why force the issue (Amalie, CHB) and try to make it worse than it is just for the sake of panicking the fans?  For readers?  For traffic?  It certainly isn’t in the name of journalistic integrity.

4:10pm on Fox and they’re back at it…Matsuzaka v Sabathia.  Doesn’t look great on paper for the Sox but, hey, neither did last night for the Yanks.  Anything can happen and I’m not ready to curl up in the fetal position and rock myself to sleep just yet.

September 26, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , | 4 Comments

But strength rained down

He just doesn't care, the bastard!  (Is this where I should write "kidding"?)  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

He just doesn't care, the bastard! (Is this where I should write "kidding"?) Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

I have to give a shout-out to my friend Beth, who not only trekked 140 miles (each way) this weekend to see Tim Wakefield pitch with the PawSox but who also clued me in to this article in today’s Pawtucket Times.  Terry Nau the “Sports Editor” over there entitled the piece “Red Sox should shut up and play baseball”.  Now you may ask yourself, “Are the Red Sox doing a lot of jawing and not much playing lately?”  And I hope you will tell yourself, “No, that’s pretty ridiculous.” if you’ve been paying attention.

Here’s how the piece begins:

When Kevin Youkilis returns from suspension and rejoins Boston’s lineup in Toronto on Tuesday night, his teammates ought to follow his example and play the game like they really care.

On Friday night, the Red Sox were down to their last out in the ninth inning and the Nation was ready to chalk up an L for the night. The team had other ideas and mounted a comeback that resulted in their winning the game. Granted, it was the only game they won in Texas this weekend but there wasn’t a player in the bunch who was playing like he didn’t care. The above quote is the writing of someone lazy who wants to jump on the media panic-bandwagon just to rile up the fans. “Your players don’t care! Why should you?”

Then there’s this gem:

The first incident came in the eighth inning of Friday night’s game as Boston trailed 4-2. J.D. Drew sidled over to manager Terry Francona and told him he wouldn’t be able to play the field in the bottom of the inning because his groin pull was hurting him. “Tito” went ballistic, asking Drew in colorful language who he expected him to put in right field. So the laconic Drew strapped it up, went back in the field, and finished off Boston’s amazing comeback with a ninth-inning homer that provided insurance in an 8-4 victory.

Now, according to the Boston Globe’s Adam Kilgore:

“I said, ‘Look at the the scorecard. You have to,’ ” Francona said. “We already put a pitcher into run. That’s all we got to do, put somebody out in [expletive] right. It would have been like a circus.”

I don’t doubt for a moment that Tito wasn’t happy. But Nau makes the exchange seem like he dressed Drew down where Kilgore’s account makes it seem like Francona acted like a manager and basically said “Do what I say”. It might be nitpicking, but Nau’s version is written specifically to get the “Nancy Drew” crowd all up in arms about how Drew doesn’t care, has no passion, blah blah blah. In the line following the above quote, Nau goes on to write that Drew’s injury is “obviously real”. Yeah, imagine that. Someone who was hurt thought maybe he wouldn’t be able to play. The nerve of some people.

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August 17, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

You even worry my pet

The celebration after Clay’s no-hitter. Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

So here’s something I was thinking about all night:

Where is the line between honoring a baseball tradition and reporting what’s happening? And who makes that distinction?

A little background to begin. I import random Twitter feeds during my live blogs. Last night the PawSox feed, Chad Finn, Amalie Benjamin, Surviving Grady and the “Beard of Truth” were the feeds I decided to import just for fun. Around the fifth inning, Amalie tweeted (twittered? For this entry we’re going with tweeted) the following:

I’m sure you know what’s going on. No getting mad at me for jinxing by giving out info cause a) it’s my job, and b) I have no impact at all.

The people who were actively following the blog (that is, reading and commenting. We seem to get a lot of lurkers at the live blogs) pretty much were all for the removal of Amalie’s feeds at that point (which I did). With Amalie there are two issues. Is it her job? She isn’t a broadcaster. She was on Twitter. I’m relatively certain updating her Twitter feed isn’t part of her “job”. Sure it’s a nice way to market her writing at boston.com but it isn’t as if people rely on what she has tweeted to find out what’s going on with the game. The other issue is, the same. IS it her job? If you’re watching the game “I’m sure you know what’s going on” then why is it her job to tell you what you already know?

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June 4, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , | Leave a comment

Stay Gold

Pedroia's home run swing (yeah, it should have been a defensive picture - sue me!) Photo by Kelly O'Connor

Pedroia's home run swing (yeah, it should have been a defensive picture, sue me I like this one!) Photo by Kelly O'Connor

Amalie Benjamin wrote an entire piece about Dustin Pedroia and didn’t use the word small, or any variation of it, to describe him.  Go figure!

Michael Silverman stayed away from the small references as well…although he got a “feisty” in there.

Ian Browne still hasn’t received the message.  Threw a “little” in his first sentence.  “…little Dustin Pedroia…”.  Boo to you Mr. Superfluous E.  Guy has a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year award, a Gold Glove and is heading toward an MVP award and the best you come up with is “little”?  For shame, Ian, for shame.

No one will ever be able to say that Pedroia hasn’t earned his spot with the team or any of the awards he’s collecting, and his size has nothing to do with what an amazing player he is.  There are so many “superstars” in baseball and, to me, so few “baseball stars”.  Pedroia is a baseball star.

He might not be flashy, the paparazzi isn’t following him around,  but he has the respect of pretty much all of MLB and especially the fans.  He goes out, plays his ass off and gets things done.  So while, like Pedroia, I’m not all about individual achievements usually, in his case I will continue to make an exception.  Guy deserves every good baseball-related thing that happens to him!

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Awards, Boston Sports Media, Players | , , , | 5 Comments

Kyle still wreaking havoc

Kyle Snyder Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Kyle Snyder Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Woo!  I love writing a post early in the morning and setting it to publish later on.  (Yes, I’m a geek.)

So yesterday, in the middle of her post covering the rally (which really didn’t cover it at all), Amalie Benjamin lets us know the deal with the playoff roster thus far:

The only roster hints being given out were that virtually everyone up in September is heading out to Anaheim. Those who are not, and will not be on the ALDS roster, are Devern Hansack, David Pauley, and David Aardsma. Those three are going to Ft. Myers to the instructional league. PauleyHansack will be stretched out into starters, and Aardsma will pitch out of the bullpen. (That has to be a disappointment for Aardsma, who has not pitched well of late, but who has been with the team much of the season.) Chris Smith and George Kottaras were sent home. The rest of the September roster — including Chris Carter, Jeff Bailey, Jonathan Van Every, and Gil Velazquez among them — are going to California.

Wow. No David Aardsma? This really surprises me.  I’ve often called Aardsma “Dude who stole Kyle’s spot in the bullpen” (or some variation of that!).  And, as has been noted, Kyle isn’t someone you want to piss off.  What goes around comes around – or something like that.  David Aardsma has been smited.  Smote?  Dude’s done been smoten.

(Aardsma seems like a nice guy.  This must suck for him and I feel sorry about that.  But I’m Irish.  My memory for these things is long and unforgiving.  😀 )

Earlier this season I joked that the Curse of Kyle was on the bullpen.  And you thought I was kidding.

(Yes, this post is just a blatant way for me to get a Kyle picture in on a dreary Tuesday morning.  Guilty!)

September 30, 2008 Posted by | Randomness | , , | 4 Comments

Unbefreakinglievable

All photos in this entry were taken by me on August 12, 2008

billleeedit.jpg
Bill Lee! Right in front of me!

I woke up this morning almost convinced that last night was a dream.

The whole thing was surreal. I had a really good seat (about 8 rows off the field) and the weather was 100 times better than I expected. While KellyO (who had tickets for this game long before I did) and I stood watching the field and having a beer before the game, I was approached by a man asking “Are you Cyn?” (turns out he and I have mutual friends…I’m still not positive how he spotted me though!) And then a man asked me to take a picture of his son (first time at Fenway) and when I refused to let him “pay” me for it, he went and bought me a beer. Woot! Free beer! How much better could the night get?

I’ll tell you how much better…Bill Lee winked at me. 😆 He was walking around our section and ended up in the row ahead of me (and the the section next to me) for a few innings (he bolted when the rain, which only lasted about ten minutes, started).

timlinaugust122008.jpg

Obligatory shot of my man Mike!

I have pictures, but my card reader is acting up this morning so I’ll have to add them later (and I will!).

Photos are now added!

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August 13, 2008 Posted by | Games, Photos, Woo-Hoo! | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Either report it or don’t report it. I hate this half-assed stuff.

From Amalie Benjamin’s “Minor League Notebook” today, this is how she reported on Dustin Richardson and Kyle Snyder:

Pitchers Dustin Richardson (Portland) and Kyle Snyder (Pawtucket) have made rehab appearances as they work toward coming off the disabled list . . .

Chock full of information, that sentence is. I know the Globe doesn’t like to focus much attention on the Minors and this Amalie spends more time focusing on one story (that of Luis Exposito, which is actually interesting if not a little lacking in substance) and she used the paragraph this sentence was in as a throwaway to add bits and pieces she probably culled from other resources, but would it kill her to be a little more specific?

Richardson pitched for Lowell the other night and Kyle pitched an inning with the Gulf Coast League Sox on Monday. Richardson faced 11 batters in a little over two innings. He struck out two, walked two and gave up one hit. Pitching one inning, Kyle faced three batters and struck out the first two – one looking and one swinging – and got the third batter to ground out.

See? That didn’t take up much space or time at all.  🙂

July 4, 2008 Posted by | Boston Sports Media | , , | 3 Comments

Maybe I should be nicer to Amalie?

Kyle in 2003

(Photo of Kyle from MLB.com – No significance except it’s from 2003 and it’s a photo I hadn’t seen before and I like it!) 

I don’t know if my mortal enemy reads my blog – probably not. 🙂 But she did throw me this bone (intentionally or not!) the day after I asked folks for news on Kyle:

Snyder rushed things
Kyle Snyder, rehabbing from a recurring right groin strain, said he was “too prideful” in trying to come back too early. He remains on the Pawtucket disabled list, though he’s eager to resume throwing. Snyder was on the DL from May 16-27, then reinjured the groin June 2, failing to make it out of the first inning in a loss to the Durham Bulls .

I’m ridiculously happy at getting this blurb about Kyle. Thanks to Amalie for confirming he hadn’t fallen off the face of the earth.

It’s a long season, Kyle, take your time and don’t let pride get in the way of your health!

June 13, 2008 Posted by | Kyle Snyder | , | 1 Comment