At midnight I began watching the replay of Saturday’s game (having watched most of it in real time) and fell asleep with it on. It was one of those restless sleeps where I was half asleep but could still hear the rain outside as well as the television and when Jed Lowrie hit his home run, I dreamed that they revealed his picture on a box of Wheaties at Fenway Park during a rain delay.
Today is Jed’s 27th birthday. Along with other good things coming to him, I hope he gets another start. It’s tough for me to watch Marco Scutaro get pushed out of his position but it’s also tough to watch Marco struggle knowing a productive Jed is on the bench.
“This is back to back games where Beckett is right on target”…so said Jerry Remy. Beckett had his second great game in a row. This time striking out nine and only giving up three hits and one earned run in seven innings. He and Jonathan Papelbon now share ERAs of 1.80.
It was a good win (and for the cynical, prior to yesterday, Beckett’s ERA against Toronto over the last three years was 11.80 with a total of zero wins. It’s fair to say, he has trouble against the Blue Jays) and here’s hoping it is the first of many. I’ll take a 10-game winning streak, sure.
The Red Sox are 3-10 and 5 games out of first place. The Minnesota Twins are 4-10, the Seattle Mariners and New York Mets are 4-11 and the Houston Astros are 5-10. Seattle is the farthest back in their division at 6.5 game out. I mention all this because the Red Sox might hold the worst record in baseball, right now, but they certainly aren’t the only team struggling. Heck, this week alone the Mets have had two doubleheaders and lost them both. Joe Nathan, closer for the Twins, has blown two saves in a row to the Tampa Bay Rays. Misery is spreading across MLB but it can’t last forever, right?
One win at a time works for me.
A shout out to Kristin F who was the first person to email me the correct answer to Friday’s contest question. She has a copy of Remembering Fenway Park coming her way! Thanks to every one for joining in! There will be another contest coming up soon!
Random stat that probably doesn’t mean anything but sounds great (with thanks to Bruce Allen over at Boston Sports Media Watch): In 2001, the Oakland A’s started 2-10 going 9-18 and didn’t get over .500 for good until July 8th and went on to win 102 games.
Blog suggestion for the day: Beth over at Cursed to First relays the Legend of Jed Lowrie.
Well I made it through six innings last night – that’s progress!
More interesting progress is that we are supposed to be getting Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie back today and Josh Beckett back at some point this weekend. Yanks and Rays both lost last night as well so while the Sox didn’t gain ground, they at least didn’t lose any and maybe the bringing back of more pitchers who can pitch will help kickstart this second half.
Bummed that I won’t be able to live blog or chat the game today as I had hoped but real life calls. I’ll hopefully be able to catch a few innings, though. Hoping Clay’s return is the beginning of a good run for the team.
If the 10pm games are too hard for you to stay up for this weekend, there are always the PawSox and SeaDogs to take in. There’s a 12pm PawSox game today in Pawtucket and a 7pm SeaDogs game in New Hampshire. Both teams are home on Thursday for 7pm games with the SeaDogs hosting “Adrian Gonzalez Bobblehead Night” and Mike Lowell rehabbing at Pawtucket. There’s enough local baseball to keep you happy if you miss the Red Sox.
Also today is the “Football at Fenway” soccer game which annoys me on many levels. First off, Fenway is in America and in America football is not what’s being played at Fenway today. What genuinely pisses me off about the soccer game is the destruction to the field. This isn’t January. Unlike when they had hockey at Fenway, the team wasn’t going to be playing any time soon. The Sox will be back in Boston a week from Friday and I can only imagine how terrible the field will look. For the record, I’m against concerts messing with the field during the season as well. Who decided it was a good idea to screw with the field IN season? If you’re so inclined, you can catch said soccer game on NESN tonight. I’ll stick with the SeaDogs on the radio, thanks.
The Cambridge Center for Adult Education is in the midst of a wonderful lecture series titled “Home Run in Harvard Square“. I had my first opportunity to attend last night – and was treated to a double-header of lectures. (You’ll forgive the vagueness of some of this. Knowing I would want to write about it, I was sure to bring my digital recorder last night. Which I left in the bottom of my bag while I drank free Narragansett Beer during the lectures! My “reporter” skills are lacking, I know!)
First we heard from Mike Hazen and Raquel Ferreira (directors of player development and minor league operations for the Red Sox, respectively) in their segment called “Scouting, Recruiting, Signing, Developing and Managing the Lads before The Show“. They talked mostly about what their jobs entail in regard to how they deal with the minor league players. Hearing that, by Hazen’s count, only two or three percent of the players in the minor league system will make it to the Bigs was eye-opening (especially given circa 2004, when the documentary “A Player to be Named Later” was made, the figure was estimated to be six percent). Hazen also referred to many of the players as having to be “delusional” to think they’ll make it anywhere past the minor leagues. Both Hazen and Ferreira agreed that EVERY player in the minors truly believes he has a chance at making it to the majors – even when the team knows it will never happen (and, needing those players to perform, they don’t share that information with them). Without naming names, Hazen said a 25 year-old player, just yesterday, retired. A player who, at 25, realized he wouldn’t be going any further in baseball than he already was, so he’s getting out to give himself time to find another career. It made me think about all the players who stick it out, truly hoping they’ll get their time and it amazes me that so many of them DO stick it out.
Day 3 of gray, rainy days. Yay.
At least NESN got their act together long enough for us to be able to watch the Red Sox beat the Twins (putting them up 3-1 in the Mayor’s Cup race). We could watch sunny Florida on our televisions and forget all the rain. It was nice for a few hours!
Luckily, the rain is going away and the rest of this week will be beautiful in Boston. Unfortunately, today we’re not only stuck with the rain but with no way to follow the Red Sox/Orioles game except through MLB.com’s “Scoreboard“. No NESN or MLBN, no MLB.tv, no radio…nothing but text to witness Mike Lowell’s first game of the spring (at first base no less).
If you’re desperate for some live baseball, the MLBN will be showing a Blue Jays/Tigers game at 1pm ET and then at 5pm ET an Indians/Brewers game and THEN at 10pm ET a Royals/White Sox game. So there IS baseball to be had today…it just isn’t Red Sox baseball.
In the meantime, something more amusing than Johnny Damon in a Tigers uniform: Caryn Rose aka Metsgrrl has launched a new blog today called “All Down the Line: Baseball Roadtripping” where she has reviews and photos of all the baseball parks she has visited. She breaks them down by food, fans, seating, and other criteria in a way I haven’t seen anywhere else. Caryn’s a great writer and an intense baseball fan and I think you’ll find her observations informative and entertaining. Why not give her a visit?
2 1/2 weeks to Opening Day (night)!
Generally speaking, it shouldn’t be difficult to find something to write about on a baseball-themed blog during the playoffs, right? I mean, sure, I’m a Red Sox fan and the majority of my blog writing is dedicated to them but it’s the PLAYOFFS, I should get some joy out of them since I’m also just a straight-out baseball fan. I should be writing about game 2 of the NLCS and game 1 of the ALCS.
But, see, both games annoyed the crap out of me so what would I write about? I’d love to write about Pedro’s dominance (and, make no mistake, he DID dominate, just ask Manny Ramirez) but since it was capped by a Phillies meltdown it’s a bit bittersweet. (Shout out to Phillies fans who have had to deal with Charlie Manuel all this time. I’m sure he’s a wonderful manager – hell he got the team the World Series last year – but could he be MORE trigger happy when it comes to pulling pitchers? Chan Ho Park was a victim of bad defense and weird hops not his own pitching. He should have left him in. Speaking of Chan Ho, how is it that I never noticed how pretty his face is? Even with all that hair. The man is quite a handsome fella. )
There is some news out of Red Sox country…according to various sources, Tim Wakefield’s back surgery is set for next Wednesday at Mass General. Nick Green will also be evaluated next week with surgery being a possible option and the word on Jed Lowrie is that his wrist is doing well and he should be ready to play when Spring Training arrives. If Wake’s surgery goes well, the Red Sox plan on bringing him back for another season. So not only for his health but for the team I’m sending out positive vibes for Wake’s surgery next week. I want him back in the red socks. Ditto for Jed Lowrie. (Nick Green? Well, I wish him good health but will be okay if his road doesn’t lead to Ft Myers next year.)
Only one MLB game tonight and it comes from the Bronx. Let’s hope Saunders fares better than Lackey did!
|Kyle Snyder today pitching against the Marlins in the 9th inning – screengrabbed by me.
Here’s a comment someone left today on a Red Sox blog I frequent:
Yeah, yeah, us Yankee fans won today, 5-1. HaHa! What’s the matter? Can’t take it?
Let’s see, the Red Sox lost the first two games of the Grapefruit League and the Yankees won their first two. Should we start printing the “2009 AL East Champions” shirts for the Bronx now? Somehow, I think not.
Granted, even in a Spring Training game I hate to see the Sox lose the way they did today (going into the 9th up 2-0 and losing 3-2) but even I won’t start wringing my hands just yet.
I’m happy with how the pitching looks thus far but oddly enough (giving my fondness for pitchers), my interest really is with how this shortstop competition will work out. I’ll be the first to admit that last year I was thisclose to hiring someone to take out Julio Lugo’s knee Nancy Kerrigan style before he got hurt (and then again when it looked like he just might be back for the end of the season). But, honestly, as much as I really want Jed Lowrie to stay up with the big team and be successful, I’d absolutely love to see Lugo dominate and this year. So I have no horse in this race. I want them both to succeed. I want them to make it practically impossible for Tito to make the decision on which player gets to start.
I had MLB.tv on at the office today listening to the Mets/Marlins game, waiting for Kyle Snyder to get into the game. He pitched the ninth inning, giving up one hit (a double) and no runs to close out the game. (The Mets are 2-0.) I did take the time to actually watch his part of the game. He looked good. And I mean that in every way that applies. He looked relaxed, he wasn’t wincing, he didn’t look tired or tight, there was no reaching for a sore spot…and for those lamenting his lack of curls in his Photo Day picture, they’re there…just a little shorter than usual. Again, he looked good. It was encouraging to see given how up and down last year was for Kyle. I hope this outing is a harbinger of good things to come for him this year.
Friday brings more baseball! Sox play Tampa Bay at 1:05pm. See, this is a game I want them to win. My brief illness messed with my schedule this week, so I’l be in the office on Friday listening through MLB.com. Bronson Arroyo also pitches his first real game this spring at 1:05pm on Friday. It’ll be interesting switching back and forth while also being productive.
I’m wiped. This week has sucked the something right the hell out of me. So I look forward to tonight’s game with the hope and expectation that the Sox will bounce back from these last two losses and kick some bluebird ass. There’s also the possibility that I just might pass out during the game and miss most of it…so I’m stocking up on the Red Bull this morning.
I hate going to the PawSox site and not having any news about the team. I feel like a huge chunk of my baseball season is missing. It doesn’t help that we’ll get no news on the guys (read: Kyle Snyder!) unless something drastic happens. I really love the Fall but I hate the “end” of baseball season. So September is a jumble of different emotions for me.
Because of a good and generous friend, I’m planning to be at tomorrow’s afternoon game (12:35pm!) and then at a family party during the second game. Tomorrow will be a long day regardless, but TWO baseball games? In the middle of a pennant race? I’m keeping the wine handy as well.
It’s time to hand the Blue Jays their hats, fellas, and tell them thanks for playing but get lost! I’ll take a split of the series, but I’d rather a win!
Sox are in a pennant race. This weekend is a relatively important series, especially considering what the Jays did to the Sox last weekend. So where does Rob Bradford (now of WEEI.com) send himself? Philadelphia…to cover the Dodgers/Phillies game tonight.
It’s August 21st. Ten days have passed since “the trade”. Why is Manny playing in Philadelphia more important or newsworthy than the team he gets paid to cover? The Boston sports media wonders why Sox fans are the way they are – it’s because the media feeds into every little thing. I don’t care what Manny does tonight in Philadelphia. I care what Jed Lowrie does in Toronto. I care what Kyle Snyder does in Rochester. Hell, I care more about what the Patriots are doing in Foxboro tonight than I do what Manny is doing in Philly.
In news I actually care about, Nick Cafardo is reporting that JD Drew was at a local hospital in Toronto getting an MRI on his back today. That will suck if we lose him for much longer. Cafardo also tells us that Beckett and Wake both threw “complaint”-free…so maybe there’s some good news to go with the bad.
The PawSox win tonight (or Toledo loses) and they’re guaranteed a spot in the playoffs (first time for the PawSox since 2003!). Edgar Martinez is pitching and I’ll be listening. Let’s send good vibes to Rochester for our AAA guys! Also note-worthy, Bronson Arroyo’s former personal catcher, David Ross, joins he PawSox roster tonight. Catching depth – we haz it!
When I’m at work, 7pm comes so quickly I usually don’t realize it’s here until some time past it. Being at home, I see the clock reads 5:10pm and 7:05pm seems eons away.
It is POURING right now. And weather.com says there is a 40 percent chance of rain from 7pm-10pm tonight.
I will be a cranky chickie if Charlie Zink gets rained out of his first major-league appearance.
But in NON-cranky news: Sox win big time in Chicago! (The RED Sox, that is!) Beckett looked like he was pitching in a playoff game and JD Drew came back to life. (Plus Jed Lowrie. Holy heck can we just give him the job and sit Lugo out for the rest of the season? Please???) Yankees lose in Minnesota! And Kyle pitched two clean innings yesterday in the GCL! (Including a backwards “K”, three ground outs and two outs in the air.) I got a message yesterday from someone in Sarasota who said she saw Kyle and that he was “in good spirits and looked great”. Yay Kyle!!!! Keep it going!
I’m supposed to be at Fenway tonight and tomorrow. We’ll see how the weather dictates that working out.
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)