Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Wins. Wins are nice.

Welcome back to the rotation, Wake!  (Photo taken by me in 2005)

Welcome back to the rotation, Wake. (Photo taken by me in 2005)

I really enjoy these mornings when watching “Breakfast with the Sox” is something I go out of my way to do.  (When the Sox lose, I don’t watch the replays, hell I usually don’t even watch the post-game show!)

As an aside before I start bragging on Clay, Based on feedback I’ve been receiving the past few weeks after each live chat, I’m banging around the idea of a message board connected to the blog as a place where folks can talk baseball (or just random daytime talk before games!) and have game day discussions (with a chat room attached as well).  Folks seem a little reticent to use the comments for chatting and some suggestions have come in about having a discussion board to visit.  Not sure what the response would be from the masses, though, so I thought I’d throw the idea out there and see what you all think.  Shoot me an email or leave a note in the comments section and let me know what  you think (emails would be great since then I’d have YOUR email address and could send out invites for the board if folks are so inclined).  What say you, folks?

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May 20, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Right on time, you will arrive

Make it so, JPB.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Make it so, JPB. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

While I wouldn’t congratulate the Yankees if the lot of them cured cancer, AIDS and herpes all on the same day, I will ask this:  Why were people (read: some New York sports writers) complaining that they were celebrating yesterday?  They just clinched the damn division – I think that’s worthy of a slug of champagne or two.

Mind you, I didn’t watch one moment of the celebration (thank you, universe, for making sure they clinched on national television so the world could see it) but they earned it so why give them grief about it?  I have a list of things I’d rather bitch about the Yankees for doing or not doing – celebrating such an accomplishment isn’t on it.

So now that THAT is over with we can focus on what’s really important:  The Red Sox getting into the post-season.  They have yet another shot tonight to do it with a win over the Blue Jays coupled with the Angels beating the Rangers.  Unfortunately, the Rangers play in California so even if the Sox do win tonight, we won’t know if they’ve clinched the wild card spot until past midnight.

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September 28, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , | 8 Comments

I got the money if you got the honey

Pedro got the final word in 2004.  (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/Boston Globe)

Pedro got the final word in 2004. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/Boston Globe)

I spent the weekend with friends so the Sox losses were a little easier to take.  But if I’m genuinely looking for something positive to take from yesterday’s loss, I’m going with the way Daisuke pitched.   Throwing 115 pitches in seven innings was more than I could have hoped for.  Sure, he walked three in a row and we had flashes of disaster looming but he really showed what he has.  He seems like a new person and if this is what we’re going to get once the Sox are in the playoffs – I’ll take it.

I won’t be happy with a Yankees sweep but more importantly I don’ want to see the Yanks celebrate in front of the Red Sox.  So Paul Byrd – your time to step up would be NOW.

Besides, the last time the Yanks won the division and the Sox won the wild card spot everything worked out well for the good guys, huh?

After the game yesterday, I kept hearing Pedro’s voice saying “I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy” and I remembered how miserable we all were when that happened.  Then I remembered Pedro, in Yankee Stadium for Game 2 of the 2004 ALCS with the Yankees fans chanting “Who’s Your Daddy?”, pointing to the sky and telling the fans who his “daddy” was.  Many parts of the 2004 season were bleak yet the team persevered and we all got through it pretty damn well.  So I’m not inclined to worry myself about the Yankees prosperity during the regular season.

Sure this is a new season, a new team, all that…but if 2004 taught me anything it’s that anything is possible.  SO armed with that knowledge, I’m prepared to enjoy today’s game if the rain ever lets up in the Bronx.

But, yeah, I’d like the Sox to win a game or three and just clinch this post-season spot already!

September 27, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | 1 Comment

You wave outside to the blind

MDC at Spring Training this year.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

MDC at Spring Training this year. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

I won’t lie.  I had a few reasons for writing this post so late in the day but the main one is that I figured I’d be less fired up by now than I was last night.  I suppose I’m much more rational about it now.

Just don’t introduce me to Manny Delcarmen any time soon okay?   Confession time:  I really like MDC.  I think he’s a good kid, he does a lot for the community, everyone seems to like him and when I DID meet him in person he was an absolute doll.  I just don’t get the warm fuzzies when he pitches.  And it’s because I think he’s a good kid that I don’t want to rip him apart for what has been a horrendous September and a pretty lackluster season in general.

So I waited until well past noon to write today’s entry out of respect for Manny Delcarmen.  And that’s all I have to say about him today.

Rangers won and the Sox lost – this was not in my plan.  But no worries.  Three more games in this series for each team.  There’s still plenty of time for the Sox to wreak havoc.  One thing I neglected to mention yesterday was that the Yankees are thisclose to their playoff berth.  All they have to do is win a game (or watch the Rangers lose a game) and they’re in.  Given that their captain is on record with not liking celebrations for the wild card spot – I wonder how they’ll react when it happens?  Of course, the Rangers could sweep this week and the Yankees could lose all their games against the Angels and they’d have to wait until the Sox were in town to try and get that spot.  Please, God, if they’re going to clinch it this week, let it be before the weekend.  That’s all I ask.

I appreciate each and every message I’ve received about Kyle Snyder – apparently my diligence has worked and we’ve recruited more Kyle Snyder fans!  Sadly, I’ve found out bupkis.   I hope he’s back in Florida enjoying the sunshine but I wish he was in New York helping the Mets close out a painful season.  In any event,  any info on where Kyle ends up in 2010 will be greatly appreciated!

Paul Byrd pitches against Zack Greinke tonight!  (Like how I added the exclamation point to make it seem that I’m excited about this?)  I had plans for this evening.  Fun, happy, exciting plans that I had to cancel.  I’m terribly disappointed that I had to cancel and for my troubles I get rewarded with watching Byrd v Greinke.  The game wasn’t the reason I had to cancel plans but I sure hope it turns out to be worth it.

September 22, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | 2 Comments

Try as I may I could never explain

It's "Clay".  "Mr. Buchholz", if you're nasty.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

It's "Clay". "Mr. Buchholz", if you're nasty. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

As some of you might have been able to figure out, I’ve been stricken with a terrible case of writer’s block.  Well, maybe I shouldn’t call it writer’s block, technically.  My entire Internet presences has been sporadic the last couple of weeks due to personal issues that I need not get into.  BUT I’m working at getting back into the groove of daily posting on the blog.

Writer’s block on a baseball blog during the most intense part of the season is poorly timed indeed.  At least I’m finally back in a place where I was able to watch all the games this weekend and see how much the pitching has stepped up.  Sure it was against the struggling Rays but, hell, the Yankees could only muster one win against the last place Orioles so I’ll take my moments of happiness where I can get them!

Today is the last off-day of the regular season for the Sox.  That feels so wrong to type.  I know we all say it every year but it seems like the season just began.  I received an email last night from a reader wanting to know if I know where Kyle Snyder will be next season!  Hell, I can’t even find out what he’s doing NOW let alone next year.  We’re in for a long off-season, I can sense it.  (Fingers are crossed that the off-season is made much shorter by the Red Sox playing well into October!)

I was debating which game I should live blog/chat this week.  I usually stick with Wednesdays because it’s easier for me given  my schedule…but Paul Byrd is pitching on Wednesday and I’m not sure I’m up for it.  The problem is, Daisuke Matsuzaka is  pitching on Tuesday – which isn’t really a problem because I’m fascinated to see how he’ll do but I’m not looking forward to a four-hour live blog.  🙂  So I think I’ve decided to stick with Wednesday.  If you’re around and are so inclined, please join us for the live chat!

If you’re looking for baseball tonight – the Angels make a pit stop in the Bronx to play a make up game before heading up to Boston.  Joba’s on the mound for the Yanks so there could be bloodshed.  Or he just might only be allowed to pitch one inning.  Either way, it could be entertaining!

September 14, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , | Leave a comment

We're gonna have a good time

Happy birthday to both Kyle Snyder and Michael Bowden!  (Bowden photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.)

Happy birthday to both Kyle Snyder and Michael Bowden! (Bowden photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.)

Well that was one hell of a game to watch, wasn’t it?

Don’t be raining on my parade with “Oh it was only the Orioles”.  Not only did the Red Sox and their bats go wild on O’s pitching but Clay Buchholz pitched one heck of a game for himself as well.  The remainder of the schedule for the Sox is, technically, a great one for them to start piling on the wins.  So what the Sox did on Tuesday night was exactly what they were supposed to do.  It made us happy, it helped the Sox in the wild card race…all is well in the world.

Okay, all isn’t well in the world.  Wednesday night brings us Paul Byrd on the mound.  So there’s that.  But for the most part, things are well in Red Sox Nation.  One game at a time.

Wednesday night brings ME to the Bronx and my first visit to the new Yankee Stadium.  I’m looking forward to it in the most touristy of ways.  I’m fascinated to see what the big deal is and pleased that I have old Yankee Stadium and CitiField to compare it to.  (Especially considering old Yankee Stadium didn’t really impress me at all and CitiField, while a terribly cool place to watch a ballgame, just felt like a “new” park, not necessarily anything special.)  I’m able to separate my feelings about the Yankees and my appreciation for a beautiful park.  But I’m not holding my breathe.  Personally, I think they’ve lost any ‘magic’ they had by ditching the old stadium.  At least for me.  Visiting the old stadium, I reflected on all the great players who were there.  There won’t be any of that at the new place – not for a long, long time.  Regardless of how many times YES tries to convince us that “mystique and aura” moved next door.

Friend of the blog “Andy” brings me the news that Kyle Snyder tweaked his shoulder in his last start with the Bisons (on September 1st).  His thinking is that after some rest, Kyle should be good to go for a call-up.   From his keyboard to God’s ears!  (And thanks for the info, Andy.  I still can’t find anything about this anywhere else.)  A call-up would be one heck of a birthday present for Kyle.

Let’s send Paul Byrd good vibes for a game as successful as Clay’s.  Winning is nice.  Very nice.

(For those interested, there’s a good chance I’ll be randomly tweeting from Yankee Stadium tomorrow night!)

September 9, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | 4 Comments

He'll be here in a litte while

Bring us a win, Wake!  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Bring us a win, Wake! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Ass kickings I don’t get to witness hurt much less than the ones I watch so I’m not all that upset this morning since I only watched a bit of the game.  Paul Byrd and Junichi Tazawa stunk (given his age and experience, I give Tazawa much more leeway in the ‘stinking’ department) and the White Sox pitching didn’t.  That’s pretty much all there is to say about that.

My mistake in the post from yesterday – I had forgotten about the whole “Wake is probably starting on Saturday” thing and used’s probables when writing about the upcoming pitching.  So today, a day after a 20-hit, 12-run drubbing, we get Wake on the mound against Gavin Floyd.  There’s a 50/50 chance I’ll get to watch the game today and I’m not too troubled by that.  Knowing  the Fox broadcasters will go on about last night’s game is enough to make me happy if I miss it.  I’d like to believe that the Sox wouldn’t be throwing Wake out there if he wasn’t well enough to pitch…but given some of the moves they’ve made lately I’m not convinced of that.

So I send positive vibes Wake’s way not only for the win but because I genuinely want him to be and pitch well and hope the Red Sox bats and pitching both come together for the nationally televised game.

Relaxing isn’t something I’m able to do all that much but being away from everything yesterday was grand.  I’m in a beautiful location and have another day to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine without focusing on anything too intense.  Hope everyone else has an equally beautiful day!

September 5, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | 2 Comments

I bet you do enough just to get by

Clay, beginning the 2009 season in Pawtucket.  My how time flies!  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Clay, beginning the 2009 season in Pawtucket. My how time flies! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Clay did us proud last night and in the process helped get the team the win.  Last night was a fun game to watch, huh?  Although I had to laugh during Clay’s post-game comments when he mentioned slowing down the pace of the game after the first inning.  Around the fourth inning, I remarked that I was surprised, given my love for baseball, that I was thinking “Jeez, this game is slow!”.  But if slow and steady wins the race then I’m all for it.

There’s a possibility that I’ll miss the next two games as I’m going away and probably won’t be by a television by the smart phone will keep me up to date!  I’m hoping to get updates in each night or early morning (I’m not even sure if the place I’m going has internet access!) and I’ll be back some time on Sunday (hmmm…I guess I might miss all three games).

Tonight, you all will enjoy Paul Byrd pitching against Freddy Garcia.  Well, at least I HOPE you’ll enjoy it.  The rest of the weekend brings Junichi Tazawa against Gavin Floyd on Fox and then Sunday back on NESN with Crabcakes pitching against John Danks.  The Yankees get the Blue Jays this weekend (tonight is the truly interesting match-up – Chamberlain v Halladay) and the Rangers get the Orioles.   Nothing comes easy, folks.

Hope everyone has a great holiday (if you’re in a place where this is a holiday) weekend!

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

Let it all hang out cause we've got a run to make

Welcome to Boston, Billy.  Just don't piss me off.  (Photo taken by me on Sunday)

Welcome to Boston, Billy. Just don't piss me off. (Photo taken by me on Sunday)

Contrary to what some might think, I love it when I’m wrong.  At least when I’m totally negative about something and I turn out to be shown up.  Messrs Byrd and Wagner both did that on Sunday.  Sure, one game is a small sample size but, for now, I’ll take it.  I’m not ready to pin playoff hopes on either Byrd nor Wagner but in a game where there was relatively little pressure but still a genuine desire to win the game they both stepped up and did extremely well.

Paul Byrd out-pitching Roy Halladay was all kinds of amazing, wasn’t it?

It was a fun game to watch in person and was interesting to see how passionate Paul Byrd was during it.  When he got out of the bases loaded jam I thought he might have had a stroke because I saw him hit the ground.  I’m guessing it was his gesture of thanks to whichever entity (be it God or JD Drew) he felt deserved it.  A sweep, even one of the Blue Jays, is always welcome around these parts.  Rangers and Rays lost, which helped the cause, but those Yankees just keep chugging, huh?  No worries.  Whether by division or wild card I sense the Red Sox will be hanging around in October.

The Rays finish their series with Detroit today while the Yankees start a series with the Orioles and the Rangers start a series with the Blue Jays.  The Sox, they get the day off before their series with the Rays.  The next seven games for the Red Sox are on the road.  3 against Tampa Bay and 4 against the White Sox.  This could turn out to be a great road trip for the hometown team.

Through a series of interesting circumstances, I’ll find myself at the new Yankee Stadium on September 9th.  If you had told me last year around this time that I would be visiting both new parks in New York I would have laughed at you.  But it seems the fates had other ideas.  It’s a Yankees/Rays game so I’ll have more opportunities to check out the park as I won’t feel obligated to stay glued to my seat (I might have to test the “God Bless America” rules!) as I would if the Red Sox were playing.   At the very least, I’m looking forward to being able to compare it to CitiField.  I might not like the Yankees but I sure do enjoy going to different ballparks.  And the tickets were free so how do you turn down an offer like that?  I’ll try to be tweeting and blogging from New York!

Rest up, folks.  September 1st is tomorrow so this time it counts!  (Or something like that!)

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

But he can kick like a mule

Chris Carter, back in May, using one of Jason Bay's bats in Pawtucket.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Chris Carter, back in May, using one of Jason Bay's bats in Pawtucket. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

So do I revel in Clay Buchholz pitching the way I knew he could or do I grouse about Paul Byrd pitching back with the Red Sox?

I mean Paul Byrd?  They already had Brad Penny.  Of course, not only is Byrd pitching today but I’ll be at the game.  Hoo-boy!  (Luckily, as has been pointed out to me, I’ll be in one of the EMC suites, thanks to the extreme generosity of others, and not in range to throw anything at him.)

Oh, and did I mention he’s pitching against Roy Halladay?  This should be quite a show, huh?

But how about Clay?  Pitches almost a complete game (and while I “get” why Tito took him out I still would have liked to have seen the kid finish the game.  The way he was pitching, I don’t think he would have done any worse than Okajima did!), threw 107 pitches (67 for strikes), only gave up three hits and walked two while striking out NINE and left the game having given up one run.  Sure, you can say it was “only” against the Blue Jays but Mr. Beckett had his own troubles against them, didn’t he?  Clay came up big for the team and for himself and it was great to be there to see it (even if I spent the game under cover in right field!).

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August 30, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , | 4 Comments