Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Let's not praise OR bury him!

Remember the good old days, Jason?  When fans were just happy you weren't pushing around old guys?  (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.)

Remember the good old days, Jason? When fans were just happy you weren't pushing around old guys? (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.)

Let’s not dwell on the Sox losing the series in Oakland or the idea that Papi’s slow start to begin the second half is going to be the cause of another round of “Papi is toast” stories from the laziness that is most Boston sports writers.  Let’s dwell on someone else’s pain for a change.  Have you been following the season Jason Bay is having this year?

I like Bay.  Hell, I even like his nickname.  (“JayBay” fits him, doesn’t it?)  While I didn’t want the Sox giving him some crazy multi-year, high numbered contract, I was a little bummed to see him go to the Mets.  (Better the Mets than the Yankees I thought at the time.  Man, was I wrong.)  I liked Bay when he was in Pittsburgh and when he was traded to the Sox I was amazed that Theo had been able to make the trade not only for a decent player but for someone the fans would have a hard time disliking, even though he was replacing a Red Sox great.  Dude wasn’t going to win a Gold Glove playing at Fenway but he had a strong bat, a good personality to deal with the fans and the media, and darn it people just liked him.

So what the hell has happened in New York?

Been a bit of a fan of the Mets for a while and from that fondness for the team I’ve made some friends who also happen to be Mets fans.  To say that they write not nice things about JayBay would be understating it greatly.  Where Red Sox fans (and Pirates fans) always looked to Bay with  hope (if he was up we always felt he had a great chance of getting on base), it’s the complete opposite with the Mets fans.  A Twitter account called “MetsFail” tweeted this last night:

Jason Bay is so lost, he should fly home on Oceanic Airlines flight 815

(For those of you not familiar with the reference, it’s about the television show “Lost” not any real airplane tragedy.)

There are sarcastic tweets about being surprised that JayBay struck out (he has 87 strike outs in 92 games) and folks question the decision of the Mets to give him $66 million over 4 years on a daily basis.  What the Red Sox knew was that Bay could be a good, solid player for them but he wasn’t going to be a superstar or the guy who tipped the scales for Boston.  New York felt differently so while on paper Bay’s season isn’t horrid, it certainly isn’t close to being the production that the Mets expected.

Much like our Big Papi, Bay is struggling in the month of July.  While Boston writers will start with their talk of David Ortiz being too old and out of shape and “done” the New York press gets to moan about that contract Omar Minaya gave Bay.  The Mets were expecting home runs out of Bay and he hasn’t come through.  He’s hit six so far this season.   I can’t blame Mets fans for being disappointed in that kind of production from the guy who was supposed to bolster their offense.

My friend Caryn over at Metsgrrl tweeted this last night (she’s on a road trip and witnessed it in person):

Dbacks fan yells “thank you for leaving Boston” at Bay.

Ouch.

So, sure the Red Sox are struggling and the view into October looks dim, but things could always be worse! (For perspective, the Mets are 6.5 games out of first place in the NL East and are in second place.  The Sox are 7 games out of first place in the AL East and are in third place.)

John Lackey gets to pitch against a guy with a much worse ERA than his…it’s a 10:10pm ET start that has the possibility to last a very long time.  Stock up on the Red Bull!

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July 22, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , | Leave a comment

But baby that&#39s a lie

I dig the Jay Bay but I'll be happy when we don't have to keep hearing about him any more (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission)

I dig the Jay Bay but I'll be happy when we don't have to keep hearing about him any more (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission)

Red Sox baseball on television today!

Unless, of course, you actually live in the Boston area.

If what they’ve done historically still holds true, the MLB Network will be airing today’s 1:05pm Sox/Mets game as long as you aren’t in the Boston area market (not sure about NY – do they get blacked out too?). I always hope against hope that someone, somewhere will forget to flip a switch and we’ll get the game – but I sincerely doubt that’s what will happen. The game is also being aired on MLB.tv (but, seemingly, not on the radio) so there are options out there for folks who want to see there first glimpse of Jason Bay v the Red Sox.

It’ll come as no surprise that CHB chimed in today on the Nomar “signing” and wasn’t impressed.  Much to my surprise, Sean McAdam wrote a similar (if not even more scathing) piece yesterday about how the Red Sox “jumped the shark” by signing Nomar so he could retire. It’s nice to see that while Nomar and the Red Sox can acknowledge that people are human and baseball sometimes has to be treated like a business, these guys can still hold a grudge.

If by doing something that holds a lot of meaning for the individual player and the fans is “jumping the shark” I hope the Sox continue to circle that shark tank and jump it multiple times.  They made a lot of people happy yesterday and it didn’t cost them a dime (Rob Bradford tweeted yesterday that since Nomar immediately retired the Sox aren’t on the hook for his $30 as outlined in his contract).  They didn’t make it any kind of big show (hell they didn’t even present him with a jersey and cap – and I was really hoping for that!), they just made the announcement, let Nomar talk a bit and ended it.  Warm feelings all around and bygones being bygones.  Whats the big freaking deal with that?  It’s good PR (how great did the FO look yesterday?), it made Nomar feel good, most of the fans absolutely loved it and it helped close a relatively ugly period of Sox history (I say relatively because his leaving the team led to the greatest moments in Sox history – that part was damn beautiful).  Stop pissing in our cheerios, fellas.  It was a nice gesture and you’ll find more fans who loved it than who didn’t.

Although that was always CHB’s problem – no matter how much he wanted the fans to hate whichever player of the week he was pissed at, they just wouldn’t.  Hell, I’ll bet you can find more Red Sox fans who like(d) Carl Everett more than they liked Dan Shaughnessy.

I’ll say it forever – Nomar loved US (the fans) and hated THEM (most of the sports media) and I’m perfectly all right with that.

So it’s off to Port St Lucie for the Sox today (a Kyle sighting perhaps?).  Every one of these “meaningless” games brings us another day closer to April 4th!

March 11, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Should&#39ve told her that I can't linger

Photo I took of The Big Unit in May 2006

Photo I took of The Big Unit in May 2006

I genuinely surprised myself with my reaction upon seeing Jason Bay in a Mets uniform.  It was a lot more negative than I expected.  Pirates fans still are the ones wounded the most here.  One of the only reasons they want to go to the park gets traded and they have to see him in a Sox uniform talking about his father putting him in a Red Sox onesie when he was a baby.  I probably would have punched a wall in 2008 were I a Pirates fan (I imagine, Bay or not, there are a lot of punched walls in Pirates fandom).  So I won’t pretend to be heartbroken or devastated that Bay is now a Met but it sure was weird to watch.  As I’m sure the Pirate fans felt about the Sox uniform, he looked odd dress in the Mets jersey and cap.  Initially, I thought the first photo I saw of him from his press conference was photoshopped.   He looked so stiff and unreal in front of the CitiField backdrop.  But, alas, it was real and Jason Bay is now a Met.  It was hard to watch.  Difficult to hear him talk about how he knew he wanted to play for the Mets.  Which struck me odd since I was (and am) okay with the Red Sox not really wanting him back.  Oh well.  I wish him luck and think the Mets have, on paper, a really good team for 2010.  Sadly, we’ve seen what the Mets do with really good teams.  I hope this year is different for them.

More interesting news, to me, was the announcement that Jacoby Ellsbury will be the starting left fielder come the 2010 season.  Unlike so many I know, I don’t have a problem with this.  Less wear on his body = more opportunities to steal.  Plus, the idea of Mike Cameron in Fenway’s left field didn’t leave me with the warm and fuzzies.  If Jacoby feels slighted, and Terry Francona’s comments indicate they tried to do all they could to make sure he DIDN’T feel that way, I’m sure he’ll get over it soon enough.  Could be worse, he could be Mike Lowell watching the front office build a team where they obviously don’t want to make room for him.

Adrian Beltre.  Admittedly, not the Adrian most Red Sox fans were hoping for but I’m not all that disappointed with this if it happens (only writing “if” since the Sox nor Beltre have owned up to it yet even though ESPN.com already has him on the Red Sox page).  The contract isn’t crazy (sorry, Mr. Boras) and his defense is amazing.  Take away my fondness for Mike Lowell and my desire to see anyone who hurts him hogtied and there isn’t anything to dislike about this deal.   Those who don’t like it (and we’re taking away the Mike Lowell component here) seem to be obsessing on his 8 home runs in 2009.  In 2009 Beltre had shoulder surgery.  I think we can give him a pass for the weak home run count for one year.  The last time he had a season with under 20 home runs was 2005, when he had 19.  Before that, it was 2001, and from 2006 to 2008 his home run totals were 25, 26, 25.  As long as that shoulder is healthy, I’m not worrying about his home run total being low.  (I only pulled out home runs because that seems to be the biggest worry of the naysayers.  I’m not one who thinks your offense lives and dies with having 9 guys in the lineup who have to hit 20 home runs or better.)  I guess we can’t “officially” welcome Adrian to Boston just yet  – but it seems that he’s already getting a taste of what the fans will be like and he hasn’t even put the cap on yet.

MLBN with a marvelous recap of Randy Johnson’s career. I did the Big Unit and can’t wait for him to get into the HoF. http://bit.ly/7O4M0Z

Lovely typo from yours truly there, eh?  Well my intentions were pure.  Regardless of his mind-numbingly painful pit stop in the Bronx, Randy Johnson has always been one of my favorite pitchers.  I DIG the Big Unit and all of his grumpiness and pitching splendor and for him to be out of the game feels almost wrong.  Hell, though, 22 years is a long enough time for anyone to be doing what he was doing so I hope he enjoys retirement and maybe even smiles a time or two.

The 2010 Hall of Fame inductees get announced today.  How great is it to not be gnawing my fingernails in anticipation of Jim Rice being disappointed again?

January 6, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

And there's been a lot of broken dreams

Kelly O'Connor took this photo of Greg Montalbano at the Lowell Spinner's Alumni Dinner in January 2009 (Used with permission)

We lost Greg Montalbano in 2009. Kelly O'Connor took this photo of him at the Lowell Spinner's Alumni Dinner in January 2009 (Used with permission)

Just a note of warning:  This entry is long and although I want it to be all-encompassing, I’m sure I’ve missed  few things.  But this is pretty much how I remember 2009!

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2009 was a fairly eventful year for me personally in both the good and bad categories.  Sadly more bad than good which is probably why I initially avoided writing any kind of recap for the blog.  But while I was writing my recap of the Red Sox decade (and I’ll have that up as soon as I finish it!) I realized I should probably write something about the final year of the decade as well.  So here goes.

January:  I started blogging at WEEI.com.  Looking back on my entries for this month, I’m genuinely surprised I found so much to write about (it didn’t stop new readers from complaining that I was writing “drivel” though.  Should have been a sign!).  Personal highlights in January:  The ongoing Jason Varitek saga, the signing of Rocco Baldelli, Kyle Snyder getting picked up by the Mets, the beginning of the MLB Network and Jim Rice finally gets voted into the Hall of Fame!

February:  Bombshell of bombshells for MLB.  Selena Roberts exposes Alex Rodriguez as a steroid user.  The MLB Network cuts its teeth on this one and, unlike Peter Gammons and ESPN, doesn’t disappoint with their coverage.  Unafraid of losing access to the players (again, unlike Peter Gammons or ESPN), they go full throttle on this story and introduce us to their newest addition to the network:  Bob Costas.  I wrote a lot about MLBN in 2009 and a bit about Sl*ppy.  I would have written much less about the two, most likely, had this story not broken.  Personal highlights in February:  The Caribbean World Series on MLBN (I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed it!), Truck Day, pitchers and catchers reporting and Joe Torre’s book about the Yankees.

Chapter 10: The End of the Curse. When asked by Regis Philbin the other day what happened to the Yankees over the past 7 years, Joe responded “The Red Sox happened”. That will go down as possibly my favorite Red Sox/Yankee-related quote ever.

March:  I spent a lot of March writing ‘rants’ and pointing folks toward baseball-related Twitter accounts.  Must have been resting up for April!  Personal highlight in March:  The WBC.  I spent a lot of time ranting about players getting hurt and how I didn’t care who won only to be totally sucked into it by the end.

April:   The beginning of the season!  Lots of liveblogging and picking up more WEEI readers (with mixed results!).  Personal highlights in April:  Going to both Sox/Mets exhibition games at CitiField, attending Opening Day at Fenway and high-fiving JD Drew and Hideki Okajima during their introductions, being at Fenway for the walk-off win against the Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury stealing home on Andy Pettitte, Tim Wakefield taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning (thus setting the table for his All Star selection), watching Jonathan Van Every pitch while Javier Lopez floundered in right field then eventually getting DFA’d (watched on television, not in person), the Patriots Day game where Luke Scott got all pissy and some idiot fan threw a ball onto  the field and “Toeing the Rubber” getting nominated for a New England Sports Blog Award in the category “Best Red Sox Blog”. Relatively speaking, a great month except for one thing that really hit the baseball world hard and made the month miserable:  the death of Nick Adenhart.

But I don’t cry because of any personal connection I have to Nick. I don’t cry because a future baseball star is dead. I cry because parents lost a son today. Many people lost a friend. And the world lost someone who could have potentially been great. Not just at baseball but at life. No drunken ass has the right to take that away from us. This doesn’t “put things into perspective” for me. I hate when people say that. I’m forty years old for God’s sake, I’ve seen enough death and tragedy in my life to have proper perspective, thank you. I don’t watch baseball and think that what goes on down on that field is life or death and more important than anything else in my life. I’d argue that most sports fans, even if they act like they have no perspective, have exactly that. Baseball is an outlet to forget about the realities of life for a few hours.

May: Getting to see Daniel Bard’s first Major League appearance (after having seen him pitch in Pawtucket) was very special.  Finding out that Jerry Remy was recovering from cancer was sad and a little frightening.  Personal highlights in May:  Seeing Kyle Snyder with the Bisons at Pawtucket, Javier Lopez signing Steve the Ferret’s “Lopez” jersey (also at Pawtucket), Aubrey Huff fistpumping to Joba Chamberlain, appearing on “The Baseball Show” on Comcast SportsNet, crying (literally crying) over Big Papi’s first home run of the season, getting to meet metsgrrl and “paloozaing” with a huge group of people I love during the Mets/Sox series at Fenway.

Yesterday was an amazing day spent with friends (most of whom I haven’t seen in quite a while or hadn’t met yet!). There are many amazing tales to tell (but not here!) – my favorite being when our friend Susan noted that we could start singing “O Canada” except no one knows the words past “O Canada!”. Standing up and singing loudly and proudly, a group of us proved her wrong. That our serenade didn’t get us thrown out still kind of surprises me.

June:  This month brought us the end of interleague play, the end of Jonathan Van Every’s season (thanks to knee surgery), Tim Wakefield hitting ten victories with his torn labrum, John Smoltz making us all wonder why we were so excited to have him on the team while Dusty Brown makes his major league debut.  Personal highlights for June:  Derek Lowe returning to Fenway with the Braves, Nick Green’s walkoff against those same Braves, sitting in Fenway during a mind-numbing rain delayed game that turned into a loss for the Sox (okay, that one is a lowlight, really) and the Sox capping off 7 wins in a row against the Yankees with an eighth.

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January 3, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Here comes the jackpot question in advance

How could I NOT use a photo of Kyle for my final entry of the year?  (Original photo taken by Donna Ellis - photo of the autographed version courtesy of Kelly O'Connor)

How could I NOT use a photo of Kyle for my final entry of the year? Here's wishing good things for Kyle in 2010! (Original photo taken by Donna Ellis - photo of the autographed version courtesy of Kelly O'Connor)

I’m looking forward to the New Year.  I have no real reason to be optimistic..hell, last year I was REALLY looking forward to 2009 and not one thing went the way I expected it to and some went even worse than I could have imagined.  But I’m a big believer in clean slates and all that – so here’s to a wonderful 2010 for all of us!

For the most part, mine will start off – in all places – at Fenway!  No, I won’t be going to the Winter Classic – but I’ll be there on Saturday at the Legends game.  There was a time when I was very into hockey but that time has been gone for about a decade so going to see Bruins legends is perfect for me.  What I’m kind of hoping for is to be standing in Fenway Park while it is snowing.  Anything else that happens will be gravy.  I won’t lie.  The chances of my staying for the entire game are slim.  The tickets were a gift to me from someone who thought I’d think it was ‘cool’ to go see a hockey game at Fenway.  He was right.  But he also understood that I’d be going more for the experience and less for the hockey game so it’s all good.

The end of 2009 sees us saying goodbye to Jason Bay.  While I can’t wrap my mind around $66 million – I guess I can understand going for $6 million more than the Red Sox were offering.  Although, to my money-challenged life, an extra 6 million when you already are getting sixty million really makes no sense to me unless you really just don’t care where you play as long as you get the money.  Which seems to be where JayBay is.  I have no hard feelings, he did what I expected him to do, I guess I’m just a bit disappointed.  But he had no ties here so I don’t think anyone expected him to take any kind of ‘discount’.  I will say that I think it worked out well for both sides.  Bay got to be showcased in Boston so he COULD make his big payday (think anyone would throw him $66 million straight out of Pittsburgh?  Okay,  maybe the Mets would have still!) and while he was here he played well for the Red Sox.  Goodbye, good luck and I hope if he steps foot in Fenway again he gets a nice ovation and then goes 0-4 with three errors.

I like to party but I prefer to do it at home on New Year’s Eve.  The idea of all those people out there drinking and partying and then driving turns me into a nervous old lady.  So if you’re going out tonight, please try to be safe.  I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year’s Eve and that the new year brings nothing but good things to you all!

We’re just over a month away from Truck Day, folks!  We only need to hold on a little longer!

December 31, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , | 3 Comments

…and right would always win

Jason Bay with his version of giving ME the finger.  :)  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Jason Bay with his version of giving ME the finger. 🙂 Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

I really do apologize for not being better at updating the blog this December.  I really am going to work on that after the holiday.  And, hey, once December is over, we’re that much closer to truck day!!

All the buzz about the Red Sox making room in their budget to make Jason Bay another offer has me scratching my head.  Are they going to offer him more money and/or years after he rejected their last offer – essentially bidding against no other team but the Red Sox?  It was feeling, to me, like Bay and his agent overestimated the number of contending teams who would want a crack at him so I’m not getting why the Red Sox would jump back in.  I don’t hate the idea of Bay back on the Sox but I don’t love the idea of them throwing stupid money or years at him just to get him to stay.  I just don’t think he’s that valuable.  (Although, if the scuttlebutt is true and the Sox offered Matt Holliday five years, I’d much prefer that money and offer go to Bay instead.

I received a lovely email last night from a Royals fan who wrote that she found my blog while Googling Kyle Snyder’s name and wanted to know if I had any info on what he’s up to.  (See?  Royals fans are ever loyal.  One of my favorite fan bases!)  Sadly, I don’t.  Finding info on the Puerto Rico Baseball League has been close to impossible. (I can tell you his team is in first place and that the last time he pitched was on November 21.)  But I haven’t found one word about WHY it’s been over a month since he pitched.  Is he hurt?  Did he decide he didn’t need to play winter ball?  Was he so comfortable with how he felt physically after pitching in two games that he’s just hanging around with the team and not playing?  (I know practically nothing about this league so I really don’t have a clue here.)  I hope he’s healthy and enjoying the winter wherever he is and I hope we find out soon if/when he gets picked up by another team.  (And information from any folks out there who have some would be greatly appreciated!  We seem to be developing a group of Kyle fans – I get contacted almost weekly by someone asking about him – so it would be nice to have information to provide to folks!)

I hope those of you who celebrate have a wonderful Christmas and those of you who don’t just have a great long weekend!  Christmas Eve is the bigger day in my family (we celebrate on Christmas Day too but the bigger party is on the Eve) so today will be filled with lots of cleaning, cooking, and thanks to me being a goof and having Amazon.com send a package to my office instead of my home, a little bit of last-minute shopping before he festivities begin tonight.  It’s one of my favorite times of the year and I’m looking forward to it all!

I have one Christmas wish and it isn’t even baseball-related:  Be  nice to each other.  That’s all I ask.  (Okay, I have a baseball-related wish too:  No trading Jacoby Ellsbury or Clay Buchholz.  I don’t think I ask too much.  🙂 )

December 24, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I just have to look good, I don't have to be clear

While I don't hate the idea of Pedroia at short, I'd much prefer he stay at 2nd and Theo get the team a damn shortstop.  (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission)

While I don't hate the idea of Pedroia at short, I'd much prefer he stay at 2nd and Theo get the team a damn shortstop. (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission)

Gordon Edes is back where he belongs:  In Boston covering the Red Sox…so all is not lost!  (Seriously, I couldn’t be happier.  It’s nice to have a writer I feel like I can turn to for what is actually going on and not some tabloid talk.)

In his most recent post, Edes tells us that, in spite of their first offer being rejected, the Red Sox are still hot for Jason Bay.    Actually, it’s a line in his newest entry that they used as the headline “but a club source indicated that Bay remains the prime target“.  The rest of the piece is about Matt Holliday and Roy Halladay and Marco Scutaro and, well, basically everyone BUT Bay.  It is mostly about which free agents the Sox are targeting, though, and it’s an interesting piece.

I hope he’s right.  I hope they’re still considering making him an offer he can’t refuse.  But, again, I won’t be losing any sleep if they don’t.  I like Bay but I don’t think he’s irreplaceable.  Honestly, my bigger concern is the infield at the moment.  Alex Gonzalez might not be a future Hall of Famer but dammit he’s a quite decent shortstop…and having him is better than not having a shortstop at all.  I’m not buying into this Pedroia at short talk just yet.  Sure it was brought up, I get that, and if anyone thinks Pedie would ever turn down a challenge, well they aren’t paying attention.  But I don’t see it happening unless something fabulous turns up to take second base.  Meanwhile, Jed Lowrie quietly asks “WTH?”.

Been checking in on Kyle Snyder and his team in Puerto Rico.  The good news is that Arecibo is still in first place but the bad news is Kyle seems to still be stuck on only having pitched in two games…his last only one inning – and I still haven’t determined if he’s injured or just stuck in some kind of huge rotation.  Shout out to anyone in Puerto Rico (or anyone who follows the teams) with any information and I’d been terribly grateful.

Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated finally ended the long-time persecution of Derek Jeter by anointing him Sportsman of the Year.  I certainly hope he’ll now get the respect he deserves that has been so elusive to him throughout his career.

But who cares about Derek Jeter when there are nekkid photos of Grady Sizemore out there?  I’ve never looked at Sizemore the way “Grady’s Ladies” do but those pictures circulating right now make me think I might rethink my position on that.  Except that in the one where you see the most, he forgoes a figleaf for a teacup.   Bad choice, Mr. Sizemore, and one that your teammates will remind you of repeatedly throughout the 2010 season.

On a more serious note, it’s good to see Major League Baseball getting involved in trying to get the pictures taken down and not at all surprising that Deadspin doesn’t intend to do so (using the “They did it first” defense).  As was pointed out to me by a photographer friend, the pictures are legally Grady’s and were illegally obtained.  Doesn’t he have any legal recourse?  It would do my heart good to see more people go after the likes of Deadspin and Perez Hilton (pretty much one in the same to me) but I don’t see it happening any time soon.   It’s too bad.  Tabloid reporting (and outright theft of things like photos) seem to be the only way anyone online becomes successful these days.  It’s really kind of depressing.

I’m told there are 74 days until pitchers and catchers report.  What’s that mean, about 65 days until Truck Day?  There’s an awful lot of time to fill with speculation and rumors.  Ah, the holidays!

December 2, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

And she was guiding me home

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Well it wasn’t easy, but we got our two winners!  Congratulations to Beth in Tennessee (with a 60) and Kristen in Massachusetts (with a 50) for being the first two to get the most answers correct!  Beth and Kristen will have brand-new copies of GAME SIX: Cincinnati, Boston, and the 1975 World Series: The Triumph of America’s Pastime by Mark Frost, heading their way in time for Thanksgiving!

I’m hoping to get more opportunities for giveaways and I promise I’ll make the quizzes less difficult in the future!

Thanks to everyone who participated and special thanks to Molly K. Frandson at Hyperion Books for providing the books for this giveaway!

Still following the Puerto Rican Baseball League – Kyle Snyder has only pitched one game still and his team is just a half game out of first with a 4-2 record.  So far, so good. I just wish getting info on the games was easier than it has been.  I’m following two folks on Twitter who cover the league and that’s been a great help!  Thanks to friends of the blog who have been emailing me their own updates!

Jason Bay…well what are you going to do?  I don’t think anyone thought he’d accept whatever offer the Sox threw out there right off the bat so it didn’t come as a surprise.  All it really does is give us more time to wonder whether we want the Sox to go all out to keep him or if we’d be happy with them focusing elsewhere.  It’s only November…we have roughly two and half more months of this!

Thanks, again, to all of you who ventured into quiz territory and congratulations  again to Kristen and Beth!

November 20, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | Leave a comment

He couldn't stand just to be around

Rest in peace, Senator. (Photo taken by me on Opening Day this year)

Rest in peace, Senator. (Photo taken by me on Opening Day this year)

Missed a day of posting which is somewhat unusual for me.  Had the day off from work yesterday and basically spent it doing things while thinking “I should go blog” but never really got around to it.  Then the game came on, happiness mixed with frustration set in then I finished with the Yanks/Rangers game and called it a night, still having written nothing.  Up early this morning to the news of Ted Kennedy’s passing (and let me just say, the news devastates me so if you come here hating on him your comments won’t be here long – I’m not in the mood to deal with you) and I figure before I settle in to day of remembrances of him, I should write something – and mention that there will be a live chat tonight (I’ve given up calling them live blogs – I enjoy the chatting interaction much more than I do the straight live blogging – I like the community it seems to bring together) to welcome Tim Wakefield back.

For games against a so-called “easy” team for the Red Sox, these last two games didn’t feel easy.  Neither Buchholz nor Lester got the “W” but the team did and that’s all that matters.  Jacoby Ellsbury now holds the single-season, stolen bases record for the Red Sox and Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek seem to be co-existing rather nicely.  All in all I’m a happy gal.

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

When I look down I just miss all the good stuff

One of the more entertaining pictures I took on Saturday.  Mr. Bay was none too pleased with the ass tap from Mr. Swisher.  More photos from Saturday are at the Toeing the Rubber page on Facebook.

One of the more entertaining pictures I took on Saturday. Mr. Bay seemed none too pleased with the friendly ass tap from Mr. Swisher. More photos from Saturday are at the Toeing the Rubber Facebook page (linked on the left sidebar).

It both amuses and impresses me that Jason Bay, who has only been here a little over a year, is one of the more reasonable person around in regard to what is going on with the Red Sox:

“I think what goes unnoticed around here is we’re in first place for the other playoff spot,” Bay said. “We won the wild card last year and made Game 7 of the ALCS.”

While the media (and resident Yankees fan Lou) has given the World Championship to the Yankees, one of the newbies, a guy from a team that hasn’t sniffed the playoffs in quite some time, realizes that those awards aren’t given out until October.

Did it stink, watching Beckett struggle last night?  Hell, yeah.  Watching my ace give up five home runs isn’t quite what I’d call fun.  But am I worried (as some posted around the Internet last night) that he’s “done”?  Jesus, people, do we have to follow the media’s lead and only have two speeds?  I can’t go from extreme optimist to extreme pessimist as quickly as some folks.  I understand it was two bad outings in a row for Beckett but, frankly, shit happens.  I choose to stay in the middle and enjoy the freaking season while we have it.  The Sox still lead the wild card and while it’s unlikely the Yanks will tank so badly they’ll lose the division lead, anything is still possible.  I hold out hope until the math says otherwise.  That’s just how I roll.

I think it’s fair to say, though, that any Red Sox fan who willfully chooses to listen to Joe Morgan, Jon Miller and Steve Phillips call a Red Sox game (especially a Red Sox/Yankees game) is a glutton for punishment and gets what they deserve.  (I count myself in this group.  Last time the Sox were on ESPN I muted the game and listened to Joe Castiglione and Dave O’Brien.  Don’t know why I didn’t do this last night but I deeply regret it.)

The Sox and their fans have no time to wallow.  Tonight starts a four-game series against the White Sox with Buchholz (3.99) and Contreras 5.13) on the mound.  The rest of the series gives us Lester (3.58), Wakefield (4.31) and Tazawa (3.57) against Garcia (10.38), Floyd (3.98) and Danks (3.85).  This past weekend proved that pitching match-ups don’t always tell the story of what will happen…but I sure do like the chances of the Red Sox this week.

August 24, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , | 8 Comments