Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Project Cupid 2012

Once again, this year my friend Amy Blue has organized the Project Cupid Charity Date Auction to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber. I’ve written before about Amy and the reason this cause is so dear to her.  No one likes to talk about cancer, heck no one likes to think about it, but ignoring it won’t make it go away and each year since 2010, Amy goes out of her way to face it head on and share the story of her family’s tragedy and the loss of young Isaias Thomas Valentin who they lost to cancer just days before he reached his tenth birthday.

Instead of dwelling in the sorrow, as no one would have blamed her for doing, Amy decided to make something joyful out of something so painful with the date auction.  This year, Amy has been fortunate enough to be able to sweeten the pot with the addition of a celebrity date.  Red over at Surviving Grady got all the details first hand in his interview with said celebrity.  So in her own words, here’s Heidi Watney:

…since I’m no longer in Boston, I can’t just be auctioned off and set up an open-ended date. So I gave Linda Henry a call and told her I’m trying to put together this date that’s going to be auctioned off and it’d be great if we could sweeten the pot by getting some great seats to a Sox game and without hesitation she said, no problem, you guys can have front row tickets. Then I called up the manager of Jerry’s restaurant [Remy’s Sports Bar & Grill] and told them about the date and asked if they could take care of us for dinner before the game and they said absolutely, no problem.

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January 30, 2012 Posted by | 2012 | , , | Leave a comment

Friday Funk

Things I don’t care about but that seem to be what everyone is talking about right now:

*David Ortiz interrupting Tito’s press conference because he was mad about a scoring change:  I’ve seen very little about this as I’ve been offline for about 24 hours, but, really, I couldn’t care less.  As long as he doesn’t make it a habit, I can forgive an instant of him being rude.  He’s human, it happens.  I’m only annoyed because unless something amazing happens in tonight’s game, it’s going to be all Tim McCarver will talk about tomorrow.

*MLB investigating Alex Rodriguez for taking part in  high stakes poker games: Here’s a surprise…I don’t like Alex Rodriguez.  Because of this, there is no way I can garner righteous indignation for MLB going after ARod for whatever he might or might not have done.  Have at him.  Like I said, I couldn’t care less.  Now, do I think they should reprimand the players who get arrested for DUIs or the players with murder charges against them or those accused of domestic violence?  Of course.  As a matter of fact, I would prefer they lob some kind of punishments against those players as opposed to keeping tabs on Slappy’s desperate attempts to go Hollywood.  But, really, I will experience schadenfreude any time ARod’s name is connected to something negative.  It makes my black heart happy.

*Heidi Watney possibly leaving NESN: This might come as a genuine surprise to some of you, but I really don’t care if she stays or goes.  I think she has improved a lot since she joined the NESN team and most of the time actually sounds like she understands the terms coming out of her mouth (one of my biggest issues with her when she started was that any time she used baseball terminology she fumbled over it like it was totally foreign to her.  Not what I want from the person assigned to telling me what is going on with the team) and I have been guilty this season of occasionally being entertained by her visits to the food stands during road trips (although I could live a long time without ever having to see her choke down food…you don’t ask someone without legs to dance and I don’t think you should ask Heidi to eat fried food on camera). But if she were to find a job on ESPN or the MLB Network I wouldn’t celebrate nor mourn her loss.  I don’t think NESN will take a huge hit with her being gone but I would worry they’d try to replace her with some talking head who knows nothing about baseball but looks good.  Maybe the devil I know is better than the one I don’t?

Here’s something I do kind of care about.  Yesterday both Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe tweeted their displeasure of a sign they noticed in the Red Sox clubhouse that reads: “What You See Here, What You Hear Here, Stays Here”.  The sign doesn’t bother me.  It’s been posted in baseball clubhouses and at AA meetings for decades.  What bothers me is that, once again, the writers need to seek things out to write negatively about.  Amusingly enough, Peter Abraham brings it up in his blog entry from just after 11pm last night, and phrases it like this:

During the game, the Red Sox posted a large red sign in the clubhouse that says, ‘WHAT YOU SEE HERE, WHAT YOU HEAR HERE, STAYS HERE!” Apparently the Red Sox clubhouse is the secret headquarters of planning against terrorist networks in the Middle East.

In all seriousness, these are adult men. They really need signs with hackneyed slogans? The Red Sox should be more sophisticated than that.

When Abraham covered the Yankees, the people who commented on his blog would complain that he came across as if he didn’t like the team and they all blamed his being from New England on his dislike of the Yankees. Now that he covers the Red Sox, his hometown team so to speak, he treats the team with the same disdain he did the Yanks.  I think I’ve written this before, but I’m writing it again.  I’m fine with the writers who cover the team not being “fans” of said team.  But I think it’s completely unprofessional when the writers covering the team show so much outward hostility toward the team, and this is something Abraham does often.  It must be horrible having a job many would sell a kidney for covering one of the most popular teams in baseball history and getting yourself on television every night with millions of people listening to and reading your every opinion.  Tough to bring up any sympathies here.  God forbid writers actually adhere to any kind of code these days.

August 5, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , | 1 Comment

April Fool?

Heidi on Truck Day this year

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I’m a rational, even-tempered person who trusts people implicitly…

Man, I can’t even type that with a straight face. I’m not rational, especially when it’s about something I’m passionate about. I’m only even-tempered if it doesn’t have to do with baseball and I very rarely trust anyone or anything unless I have many good reasons to do so.

I mention this because there is a comment left on my most recent “ranting” post that appears to be written by Heidi Watney. I trust nothing when it comes to the comments…this I learned at WEEI.com. So before taking it too seriously, I did a little research. As I responded in those same comments, either it’s a relatively elaborate April Fools’ joke or Heidi really did take the time to comment. There was an email address attached to the comment and in the event that it isn’t a joke, I responded privately.

Then I got to thinking.  If it was Heidi who left the comment, it’s a little unfair for me to just respond in private.  I very publicly call her out once or twice or eight times a year and she took the time to publicly respond so responding privately seemed a bit like hiding. Here’s the comment so you don’t have to go looking:

Hi Cyn,

I agree with your opinion on the show… It sounds like women are definitely not the target demo. I know you have always been very critical of me, without ever meeting me or knowing me, which is a bit unfair. But hey that’s the business I am in… Everyone’s a critic. I just wanted to point out an inaccuracy… I said they gave it to me in a pink helmet because I’m a girl because that is what the vendor off camera said to me. I didn’t ask for pink, and generally don’t like it on anyone but little girls. It was an offhand comment I repeated. I just want to point out that sometimes people can be quick to judge and take things out of context. That said I did read your comment, and I appreciate the “pass”.

I’m glad you like the new segment.

Thanks for listening…
Heidi

Being the cynic I am, I absolutely didn’t believe this was real. If it isn’t, someone in Texas wants me to think it is. In either event, it doesn’t hurt to take a moment to discuss it a bit.

If this is Heidi, I have to thank her for responding.  She gave some background to her comment that I criticized (that, frankly, made me yell at my television if I’m being honest) and it even makes sense to me.  In the message I sent back, I did two things:  I apologized for making her feel bad because if you think about it (and God knows when I’m in my rant mode I don’t) some of the things I write about her come off as plain mean and that isn’t my intent.  I’m not trying to be mean.  This falls into the other thing I mentioned, most of my criticisms I stand by.  I didn’t get specific.  “Here are the reasons I write about you now go fix yourself!” wasn’t really the tone I was going for when I responded last night.  So while I did write to her that I stood by most of the criticisms, I also apologized for being mean-spirited on occasion.  As I wrote, it’s easy to sometimes forget that the people we see on television so often are real people with real feelings.  I got a reminder last night to keep that in mind when I’m writing.

I still believe in calling those out who I think need to be called out occasionally and, as was noted in the above comment, it comes with the territory for a job like Heidi’s.  That doesn’t mean I have to be such an ass about it.

So if the comment wasn’t made by Heidi, the prankster still accomplished something that wasn’t childish and stupid, he/she got me to examine myself a bit and take myself to task for being too harsh on some at times.  April Fools to that person since I’m sure my self-reflection wasn’t the goal there.

But if it was Heidi Watney, what now?  Do I stop being critical when I think it calls for it?  If I’m being honest, probably not.  I will certainly cop to being a hypocrite on occasion, but I feel like I’d be a total fraud if I did that.  What’s the message?  It’s okay to talk about someone behind their back but once they acknowledge you it’s time to say something nice or not say anything at all?  Even I can’t be that big a hypocrite.

So, honestly, I have no idea.  I admit to having enjoyed the way NESN has been using Heidi lately and maybe that will help.  Maybe more segments like she’s been doing will just naturally turn the tide and give me nothing to criticize?  Maybe things will be going either so good or so bad for the team that I won’t have time to pay attention to anything she’s doing that I might be critical of?  There are a world of possibilities and all I can do is promise that I’ll try to be less mean and more constructive if/when the opportunities are presented.

I don’t pretend that everyone who reads my blog thinks I’m wonderful and I’m sure Heidi doesn’t expect that everyone who watches her on NESN is going to love her.  But it doesn’t hurt to be reminded sometimes that we’re all just people trying to do our thing and we have feelings just like everyone else.  Here endeth the lesson.

April 1, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | | 4 Comments

So Again I Rant

I have two issues on my mind that are somewhat connected.  Issue number 1 is that MLB promoted a “Win Your Dream Job” contest as being for “all” baseball fans and they chose two men who could pretty much be twins, showing no diversity whatsoever.  The 2nd issue is that this dream job looks like it is going to really be a reality show about two frat boy-types who do fun things like hang out with underwear models.  The connection for me is that it shows me that MLB couldn’t care less about a huge part of their fanbase.  This post reflects my feelings on these issues and I switch back and forth between the two.  Good information to have as you read my rant.

So I’m on Twitter tonight because, hey, it’s practically Opening Day and this final game is a fun time to tweet with like-minded folks. One of my buds, who goes by the handle of metschick so there is no mistaking her priorities, tweets that she wants to buy this paperweight:

For the record, I want one too!

It’s baseball-related and it is being coveted by a woman.  AND IT ISN’T EVEN PINK, HEIDI WATNEY!!* It was a good night.  Red Sox were whooping the butts of the Houston Astros, there was baseball being called by Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo on my television and many baseball-minded tweeps were hanging out online.  And then it happened…someone tweeted something that got my Irish up.  I’m fickle.  Sometimes it takes a lot to get the Irish going and sometimes the fuse is very short.  Tonight that fuse was a bit short.

Some background to catch folks up:

Today MLB announced the winners of the “Dream Job” contest they ran last month.  (Many kind people sent me the link to apply…I did NOT apply.  While on the surface watching every game and getting paid for it while living in New York sounds like a dream, it isn’t quite mine.)  I won’t lie, my initial reaction was “Two guys…big surprise”.  But I have to admit, the more I read, the more I started getting annoyed not just because there was no one representing the women fans, but because they didn’t even have the decency to represent any fan that wasn’t white, male or a fan of an American League East team.  10,000 applications and they came up with two white guys who root for East Coast, American League teams?

As an aside, I have nothing against white guys who root for East Coast, American League teams.  Some of my best friends are white guys who root for East Coast, American League teams and I love them.  But there are 30 teams (and two leagues!) in Major League Baseball and you would think that, along with impressive applications, Major League Baseball might have taken that into consideration.

I know the world is not a fair place and it doesn’t exist to work specifically the way I want it to.  I know this.  But this “Dream Job” was advertised as a great opportunity for a baseball fan.  “Baseball fan” covers a wide variety of people and one would think that MLB would have set up some parameters to make it fair to all its fans.  There is nothing wrong with creating criteria that says since they were choosing two people they would pick one man and one woman.  OR one American League fan and one National League fan.  Is this unfair?  Would it have been so difficult to create something interesting this way?  Did MLB think they had to go the stereotypical frat boy route to entice folks to watch?

So my thoughts were all over the place about it today.  My final one being, it probably won’t be something that interests me but there could be something fun about seeing an Orioles fan and a Yankees fan trying to live together so maybe I’d give it a try.  Everything doesn’t have to be a fight, right?

That lasted until I logged on to Twitter tonight and read this tweet (from Aerys Sports Red Sox correspondent Cee Angi):

Opening Day at @MLBFanCave has Victoria’s Secret models. No wonder they didn’t pick a woman. Is it Fan Cave or Man Cave? #annoying

So I click on the twitter account for the fan cave and see that, indeed, their plan for Opening Day is to hang with a Victoria’s Secret model and they want fans to ask her questions (there is a connection, VS creates a brand of clothes for MLB that I won’t link to here, but they have witty sayings on their tops like “Meet me in the dugout” because everyone knows women only watch baseball in the hopes of a quickie with one of the players…but I digress).

Before I continue this rant let me also say this, as I have many times before:  Personally I have been quite lucky in my life in regard to how men perceive me and my baseball fandom.  I’m from a family with many more women sports fans than men fans so my knowledge or passion was never questioned there and I tend to surround myself with people who respect me (as I do them) so the majority of my personal relationships also include the understanding that I’m not some baseball groupie, I actually care and know about the game and the people who play it.  The men who read my blog seem to not care one way or the other which gender I am.  I love this.  But it changed for me when I blogged over at WEEI.  Some of the comments and emails I got while I was there just amazed me.  I’m not naive and I know how some people feel about women and sports mixing together but the hatred spewed was just unbelievable.  So while I’ve seen the bad first hand, for the most part my life as a woman sports fan hasn’t been that difficult to endure.

With that out of the way, it is impossible to write with a straight face that Major League Baseball appreciates their women fans as much as they do their male fans.  A few years ago maybe I could understand this better but last year it was revealed that women make up 45% of the fan base of MLB.  45% is no small potatoes.  I don’t pretend to speak for all women…I’m speaking for myself today…but I don’t think I ask for much as a fan.  I don’t need (or want)  pink or sparkly clothes but I would love jerseys and t-shirts cut to fit a woman’s figure without that figure having to be a size 2.  I don’t need (or want) free lipstick night or teach women about baseball night, but I could do with being acknowledged as being just as important a member of the paying fandom as men are.

Some will disagree, and many on Twitter have, but interviewing a Victoria’s Secret model on the first day of the “Fan Cave” screams to me that there was no intention ever of having a woman be one of the winners.   Having an underwear model be your guest on OPENING DAY tells me exactly what kind of viewers you want.  If your plan was that women would get involved since this model was going to be talking about clothes for women, why didn’t you just have them interview women baseball writers to talk about baseball instead?  Caryn at Metsgrrl has a great list of women I would tune it to hear talk baseball here.  You know what would be nice?  Your new, exciting experiment being about baseball.

This isn’t anything personal against the two men who won.  They aren’t the ones who created this and they’re basically at the mercy of whatever MLB wants them to do.  But instead of us getting exciting and original baseball content , we get a social networking rehash of The Man Show or The Best Damn Sports Show Period?  (In fairness, I base this only on what they have planned for the first day but, you know, usually the first impression is the one that reflects the road the program will take.)

Already this month I’ve written about women and their online presence on sports-related websites.  If Major League Baseball refuses to respect their women fans why should other sites?  I’ve been often told that many sites use pictures of half-naked women because it’s what the men sports fans want to see.  I don’t fully believe this.  I mean, I certainly know that men want to see half-naked women but I don’t think they would stop visiting their favorite sports sites if those sites stopped showing scantily-clad women.  Am I silly to assume most men watch sports for the same reason most women do…because they like sports?

I feel the need to mention this again:  Thursday is Opening Day and we’re being introduced to this gig with an underwear model instead of something related to baseball.  I have to type it out to wrap my brain around it.

This won’t be something I’ll watch and Major League Baseball knows this.  Major League Baseball doesn’t care about this.  All they care about is getting the eyes something like this attracts.  Yes, I know I’m spitting into the wind because I can complain about this until my fingers cramp but it’s not going to change.  It’s 2011 and MLB thinks this is the way to attract fans.  That sound you hear is my head banging against my computer.

Thursday is Opening Day for Major League Baseball.  My mind will be on wins and losses and pitch counts and such and, oddly enough, not on what a Victoria’s Secret model is talking about on a, supposedly, baseball-themed program.

*Tonight on NESN Heidi Watney told a vendor in Houston that she wanted her ice cream in a pink cup “because I’m a girl!”.  There aren’t enough words to describe how much it annoyed me.

…also, it’s fair to say I was very emotional while writing this.  I understand many won’t agree and some will but if I only wrote to appeal to the masses I’d be pretty damn boring wouldn’t I?

March 31, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Featured | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Flashback Entry

I took this in 2009

I took this in 2009

Written on July 18, 2009…probably the last entry I wrote while I was at WEEI.com that I really poured my heart into.  Another of my many “rants” that runs a bit long!

=================================================================================

(Preemptive warning here: I’m still with fever but the Erin Andrews story pissed me off enough to get me up to write. My apologies if some of this comes across as rambling.)

I’ve made no secret of my feelings toward Heidi Watney. I think she does a poor job. I’ve heard grade-schoolers ask better questions. But she’s beautiful and that’s all that really matters in the business she’s in, so I have to suffer through her if I want to watch a Red Sox game on NESN.

Regardless of how I feel about her professionally, it bothers me to go to various Red Sox blogs and read about her looks and nothing about her talent. I’ve yet to read anyone genuinely critique what kind of job she does, it’s always about how gorgeous she is.

She doesn’t help her cause much (well, I suppose it isn’t her cause is it?) by wearing spiked shoes and thigh-high boots with mini-skirts when she’s on the field. I actually watched her wobble across the infield one day during batting practice, waiting for her to fall on her ass because that certainly looked like she was going that way in the high-heeled boots. Every time I wonder why sports bloggers don’t take her seriously and only focus on her looks, I remember that day and figure it’s what she wants. She gets the paycheck and the notoriety…why would she care if people think she can do her job or not?

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July 27, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , | 2 Comments

You know we're far from sober

One of the few bright spots on the team so far!  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net ad used with permission.

One of the few bright spots on the team so far! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net ad used with permission.

I had work to be done last night and I watched the game with the sound off so I wouldn’t be distracted.  Every so often I would look up from the laptop and see someone running around the bases and think “it’s going to be a long game”.  I had no idea.

One of my favorite tweets of the night came from Joe Giza at WBZ:

All I know is the Yankees must be pretty ticked that the Red Sox would play a game at this slow a pace without them.

And that was, pretty much, the only amusing thing about last night.

(Let me digress for a moment…I noticed on the NESN website that there is an interview with Jonathan Van Every – welcome back, JVE! – conducted by Heidi Watney.  Is she back?  Am I so oblivious to her now that I didn’t notice her during the games on Sunday or last night?  To be fair, I only watched some of the game on Sunday and last night’s without sound, but still, I didn’t think I disliked her so much that I would erase her from my mind any time she showed up on tv.  I’m glad she isn’t injured any more but I certainly didn’t miss her.)

Anyway.  All of Red Sox Nation is ready to start the novenas for Josh Beckett but one Tony Lee over at NESN has some good(?) news for us:

If Beckett is searching for some sort of excuse, he could point to the issues he has had throughout his career at Rogers Centre, where his ERA after six starts now stands at 9.28. But even a casual observer could see that what Beckett was throwing Monday would not translate to success in his own backyard.

If he is looking for a pick-me-up, he could look to last April. The right-hander gave up 23 earned runs in 28 2/3 innings in April 2009, but was 15-4 with a 3.33 ERA thereafter. Eerily, he finished this April giving up 23 earned runs in 28 2/3 innings.

Everything that could go wrong this season, so far, has. Okay, not everything, it still could be worse.  I’d rather not think about how much worse the already ugly season could be right now.  But things are pretty damn bad.  Still, winning three out of these last four games, no matter how ugly they all were, has to be moderately encouraging.  The Red Sox are 5.5 games out of first place on April 27th.  That doesn’t sound as bad as I expected it to.

I’m not sure if I want to find out that there is something physically wrong with Beckett, so they can fix it, or if I’d prefer it’s just some whacked issue he and his pal Lester have about pitching in April.  What I really want, though, is to watch a Red Sox game where they get the lead, keep the lead, and the starting pitcher doesn’t get beaten up.  I’d like a few of these in a row, thanks.

Extremely jealous of Mets fans today!  They get a real doubleheader starting at 4:10pm because their game against the Dodgers got rained out last night.  I’d love to go to single admission doubleheader at Fenway Park.  I’ve been to one where they had to herd everyone out, clean up the park and the herd the new crowd in…it’s fun but I think a true doubleheader would be even more fun.

Tonight Clay is on the mound against Shaun Marcum.  There has to come a point when the starting pitchers (for the Sox!) all get their acts together, right?  We’ll find out together!  Tonight is the second Toeing the Rubber Live Chat of the season.  Hope to see yo there!  (So far we’re 1 for 1!)

April 27, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I think you should wait for it

Fenway in the rain at the end of last September.  I've been to too many rain-delayed games to count.  Glad I missed this one!

Fenway in the rain at the end of last September. I've been to too many rain-delayed games to count. Glad I missed this one!

It isn’t often I say or write “thank goodness I wasn’t at the game last night” but today it is appropriate – for three reasons:

In the fourth inning, David Ortiz struck out for the second time of the night and fans at Fenway Park started booing him.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I got so mad over something so stupid the fans did.  I don’t care if he strikes out for the rest of the season.  I don’t care if his average and OBP get into negative numbers.  As much as I’m against booing your players, any of  your players, just on general principle, the idea that ANYONE who identifies as a Boston Red Sox fan would even THINK about booing Big Papi makes me see flames.  If you have so little appreciation for what that man has done for this organization and this fan base that you could so easily humiliate or hurt him by booing him….you have no business calling yourself a fan or stepping foot into Fenway Park.  It’s disgusting that there were enough idiots there last night booing him in the fourth that you could hear them on NESN (and at the park…folks I know who were there heard it too…this wasn’t remote or just a handful of fools).

It was pointed out to me last night that Ted Williams was booed at Fenway as well.  It was also pointed out that part of the reason was because Ted Williams could be a bit of a <I’d rather not write the word on my blog.  Let’s just say he wasn’t warm and fuzzy to folks>.  If we want to use this comparison, as amazing as a player as Williams was (and there is NO denying his God-given talents and how much he meant to the Red Sox and the fans) the one thing no one has ever said about Big Papi is that he is a mean or bad person.  So let’s do the tally:  He’s a good person, he adores the fans, he is a huge part of the reason the Sox have 2 World Championship titles in the 2000’s…and you think it’s a good idea to boo him because either he’s just struggling to begin the year (hello JD Drew) or his skills are diminishing with age?

What in the hell are people thinking?

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April 17, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , | 1 Comment

One more cheap suit in the loop

Do't ask him if he's Irish, he doesn't know.  But he'll wear green just in case!

Don't ask him if he's Irish, he doesn't know. But he'll wear green just in case!

Things I found out while watching NESN today:

*  The Opening Day (NIGHT) game on April 4th will be broadcast both on ESPN2 and on NESN.  This annoys me only in if it isn’t an exclusive game for ESPN then there was really no point making it the Sunday night game anyway and it just gets me cranky that we get cheated out of an actual opening DAY because MLB and ESPN stink like cheese.

*  Heidi Watney is “under the weather” and I didn’t miss her.  I understand this comes as no surprise to anyone who reads me but Heidi bashing aside what I mean is that I didn’t miss there being a sideline reporter at ALL.  Didn’t miss Heidi, didn’t miss anyone who would have taken her place.  It’s an unnecessary position created just to annoy me and/or people like me!

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March 17, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , | 5 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

I remember, long ago, another starry night like this

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

Wake and Kottaras this past week at Fenway. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net 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 | , , , , , | 7 Comments