Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Briefly

I find a delightful irony in the fact that the one playoff series I was on the fence about which team I wanted to win is turning out to be the most interesting series of the four so far.

With all due respect to Roy Halladay’s no-hitter, which was fabulous, having three teams n the division series up 2-0 is, in a word, boring.  (Another word is frustrating, but I’ll leave that for now.)  So the Braves shaking things up last night and making them interesting at least gives me one series to look forward to.

Today both the Yankees and the Rangers have an opportunity to sweep their respective series.  I want the Rangers to sweep but I want the Twins to remember that they don’t HAVE to suck against the Yankees.  Kick it into gear, Minnesota.  You’re embarrassing yourselves.

And remember:  No matter how many times they play The Imperial March for their opponents, the Yankees will always be the bad guys.  We can’t let the bad guys win again.

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October 9, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2010 Playoffs-Day One

Slappy before yesterday’s Yankees/Twins game:

“I mean, for us to be David in this situation, I think, is great. The Yankees are always going to be somewhat favorites because we’re the Yankees and that comes with the territory. It is something that we embrace and we like. But [if] they want to call us underdogs, we’ll take that role.”

A message left on a friend’s Facebook page this morning:

I sent my son to school today with his Yankee Jersey on so he could be dressed like the winner he is!

This, as they say, is why we hate you.

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October 7, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Was there a full moon this weekend?

This is Eammon Portice.  A 25 year-old pitcher on the Portland SeaDogs.  The SeaDogs play at 1pm today and I figured a picture of Eammon was as good a way as any to let folks know that.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permisison.

This is Eammon Portice. A 25 year-old pitcher on the Portland SeaDogs. The SeaDogs play at 1pm today on NESN and I figured a picture of Eammon was as good a way as any to let folks know that*. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permisison.

Memorial Day weekend usually marks the first weekend of the summer (which is still not quite here yet) when people go away.  While I didn’t go away, activities this weekend caused me to miss a lot of baseball (including Friday’s and Sunday’s Sox games).  So if you’re one of those folks who did a little vacationing this weekend, or just had things that needed to get done and couldn’t stop to watch some baseball, here’s some of what you missed (in no particular order):

  • The Angels’ Kendry Morales broke his leg in the celebration following his walk-off grand slam on Saturday.   (Incidentally, it makes me crazy whenever anyone refers to a grand slam as a grand slam home run, as the announcer does in that clip.  By definition, a grand slam is a home run, no need to be redundant.)  If you watch the video, the celebration wasn’t even that rough, Kendry landed the wrong way (supposedly because someone was grabbing for him as he was landing).  This was followed by Howie Kendrick (has he always been called Howard or did someone finally ask him which he preferred?  I’ll never get used to “Howard”) hitting a walk-off home run on Sunday with no jumping into a pile this time (but still some celebrating).  I have no issue with teams celebrating walk-offs.  Heck it’s a big deal, let them celebrate.  Just maybe they could not try to kill each other while they’re doing it.  (Also hearing, “Jimmy Jack” as a term for a home run makes me want to break someone’s leg.)
  • Then there’s the Indians’ David Huff, who got nailed in the head with an ARod line drive that turned into a rbi double.  Huff, remarkably, didn’t end up with a concussion and didn’t even stay in the hospital overnight, returning to Yankee Stadium before the game ended.  The best part of this story, well aside from the fact that Huff is all right, is that ARod’s double made the score 2-0 Yanks in the 3rd inning and the score would get to 10-3, Yanks, yet would end 13-11 Indians.  Slappy taking out your pitcher is definitely a game you have to win.  Well done, Cleveland.  Sadly, not so well done?  Justin Masterson.  In the following game, Masterson was pitching what was probably his best game in a year.  In the middle of the 7th inning, the score was 3-0 Cleveland with Masterson only giving up 4 hits and a walk.  Then the 7th got ugly.   Three singles and a stolen base in the 7th scored two runs to make the score 3-2.  Masterson, with 103 pitches, get taken out of the game and his bullpen coughs up four more runs.  The bright side?  Masterson gets a no-decision, which breaks this streak of 11 losses in a row going back to last August.  I really feel for Justin Masterson but as much as I was upset about his being traded last year, this all kind of takes the sting of that away a little bit.
  • On the happier side of baseball, Roy Halladay becomes the third pitcher to throw a perfect game since “The Baseball Project” wrote and released “Harvey Haddix”.  I watched the last three innings of Halladay’s game against the Marlins because, well, watching Halladay pitch is entertaining on many levels, and the fans in Florida were really great.  I was so terribly impressed with their reactions to all the outs the Marlins were making – and then someone pointed out to me that, being in Florida, there are a lot of snowbirds down there and Yankees and Phillies fans both tend to take over the park.  So while I still choose to believe that the Marlins fans were just being awfully cool, it looks like it might have just been Phillies fans cheering their own.  Along with messing up Harvey’s song, Halladay is just the 2nd Phillie to pitch a perfect game and the 20th player in MLB history to do it as well as being the Arizona Fall League alumnus to throw one.  Cool stuff, Roy.  Happy that he has this to add to his resume!
  • The Red Sox ended up splitting the series with the Royals behind more great pitching from Buchholz and Lester, winning their weekend games, 1-0 and 8-1.  Mike Cameron came alive, David Ortiz and Jason Varitek added to their home run numbers and no one got injured celebrating anything.  I’d say that makes this weekend quite a successful one

Disappointingly, the Red Sox aren’t playing today.  While this gives me more time to focus on the barbecue (who am I kidding?  You know I’ll be going indoors watching pieces of the other games) it still disappoints me that, on a holiday, we don’t get baseball.  A little annoyed with the baseball gods with this one – although a day off, on a holiday, while they’re at home, is probably something most of the guys with families are looking forward to – so, I can’t be selfish.

Today is Dave Roberts’ 38th birthday.  Send him some good vibes, prayers, birthday wishes, whatever you have because the man deserves them.

Tomorrow the Sox begin a series against the Oakland A’s with John Lackey on the mound.  I think our Tuesday night live chat mojo is about to be seriously tested.  My computer issues are settled so the chat will be going on with, presumably, no interruptions!

(*It should be noted that Casey Kelly will be the starter for the SeaDogs today.  There’s a chance you can see Eammon come out of the bullpen, though!)

May 31, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I'm greedy for more

I try not to use photos that I don't have permission to use but when I saw this photo of Jose Lima I thought it was the perfect way to remember him.  Photo taken in Spring Training in 2005 by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images (and used without permission)

I try not to use photos that I don't have permission to use but when I saw this photo of Jose Lima I thought it was the perfect way to remember him. Photo taken in Spring Training in 2005 by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images (and used without permission)

Well we, apparently, had nothing to fear from Roy Halladay yesterday but Tim Wakefield left the Phillies shaking.  Wasn’t that nice?

The pitching matchups for the entire weekend gave most Red Sox fans pause when looking at them on paper.  John Lackey, well let’s not talk about him right now.  Both Daisuke Matsuzaka and Wake far exceeded most expectations.  I’m sure the Phillies are still shaking their heads wondering what the hell happened.  But it wasn’t all just pitching.  On Sunday, Pedroia, Hermida and Wake were the only starters without a hit and Ellsbury and Scutaro were the only ones without multiple hits.  The hitters attacked Halladay and Wake went after the Phils.  It was a nice way to spend a Sunday that was topped off with the Mets winning THEIR series against the Yankees- on national television  no less.

So right now the Red Sox are 2.5 games behind the Yankees (and a game and a half behind the Blue Jays…a Toronto win couple with a Yankees loss pushes the Yankees to third place).  I bring up the Yankees because I believe in small steps.  Get settled into second place and the worry about the rest.  Right now, getting settled into second place doesn’t seem so impossible to do.

The one bit of sad news we got Sunday was that Jose Lima died from a “massive” heart attack at the age of 37.  I know that people tend to speak well of the dead only once they’re gone but from the things I’ve read online from his past teammates and others who have worked with him, it seems like there were a lot of people who just genuinely liked Jose and I’m so sorry for them and for Lima’s family today.  It is never a good time to lose someone you love but as someone who has passed that age, 37 seems mind-shatteringly young.  So heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all of those mourning the loss of Lima Time.  Ben Shpigel of the New York Times wrote, what I think, is a truly beautiful tribute to the man which briefly remembers Geremi Gonzalez as well.

No day off for the Sox…tonight they’re at the Trop where Clay Buchholz goes up against Wade Davis at 7:10.  Let the winning streak continue!

May 24, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So close!

Mike Cameron gets another start in Portland today.  Come back soon, Mike!  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Mike Cameron gets another start in Portland today. Come back soon, Mike! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

I started with a couple of tweets just before the game began last night, and as it began I had to go offline for a while.  Come around the fourth inning and I decide to go online when I realized that Daisuke Matsuzaka hadn’t given up a hit yet.  That’s when I made the decision to keep doing what I was doing and not go online.  Why mess with the mojo?  🙂

It was about the 7th inning that I got this nagging feeling that he wouldn’t get his no-hitter.  Something just didn’t feel right (and none of that was his pitching or the defense behind him).  Maybe it was being in Philadelphia?  Or that the national broadcasters were calling the game not our Jerry and Don?  Whatever it was, when he lost the no-hit bid in the 8th, I was still disappointed but also still so proud.  Over the past four games, three of our pitches threw 8 complete innings.  For any team this is great but it’s especially important and impressive for the way the Red Sox pitching staff has been going.  Daisuke, someone who gets the wrath of many Red Sox fans and is the topic of many nasty emails sent my way from opposing fans, really came through and showed everyone what he was capable of.  He might not have gotten his no-hitter, just yet, but he definitely made folks in and around MLB stand up and take notice.

I had a discussion online not too long ago with someone who said that the Sox got hosed when the picked up Daisuke and he wasn’t worth his money.  When I countered that, in my opinion, his first two seasons alone with the Sox were definitely worth the money (one of those seasons was the championship 2007 season and the other was 2008 when he had 18 wins), the person still disagreed with me.  I’ll say it again, in terms of “baseball” money (read:  money I don’t have and can pretend to spend any way I like) and for what he has contributed, I still think Daisuke was worth it.  Doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes get fits when he’s on the mound, but I think the fits, at times, can defitely be worth it as well to see the end result.  Injured in 2009 and off to a late start in 2010 – we still haven’t seen everything he’ capable of.  Also, he pitched this one-hit game against possibly the best hitting team in baseball.  That is pretty damned impressive, no?

Also, props need to go to all the defense last night, but especially David Ortiz if for no other reason than he made a couple of really good plays that finally got the Fox broadcasters to shut up about how he was going to fail at first because he never plays the position.

With Josh Beckett on the dl, today Tim Wakefield pitches the rubber game against Roy Halladay at 1:35pm.  Both NESN and TBS are carrying the game because TBS, unlike Fox, doesn’t screw up everyone else’s baseball viewing pleasure just for their own greedy selves. Last night was a travesty in that there were actually people in MASSACHUSETTS who couldn’t watch the Sox play because their local Fox station decided to show the Mets/Yanks game.  Absolutely ridiculous Fox.  Good God when is that horrendous contract over?

Some folks have been using the new message board to in-game chat either in threads or in the built-in chat room so go on over if you’re so inclined!  Tuesday night live chats (and at some point maybe more) will still be held here – can’t mess with that magic yet!

May 23, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Take a ride on a West Coast kick

Photo of Wake last night taken by Jim Davis/Boston Globe

Photo of Wake last night taken by Jim Davis/Boston Globe

Live chat tonight, folks!

Wake v Halladay – Who ya got?

September 30, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | 2 Comments

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

Try and be happy while you do the nasty things you must


Bronson in 2006 on St Patrick’s Day. Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.net. Used with permission

I spent three hours writing and researching for the entry I planned on publishing today. And then I spent about 30 minutes deciding whether or not to actually publish it. I decided no. I put a lot of work into the piece and it wasn’t an easy decision to scrap it. But it’s gone and it won’t be resurrected. So it’s 1:30am and I still haven’t written a thing. Lovely.

Here’s my early morning ramblings that you’re stuck with since I decided to edit myself half to death. At this point, I don’t even know if I’m making any sense. Bear with me.

I received some entertaining emails today. From people criticizing my fantasy baseball team (“I weep for anyone affected by your decision-making!“) to people still begging me to not write about their favorite player (“Please don’t write about [Daniel] Bard“). Most interesting was from a new reader who found me through Twitter. He said he didn’t have the time to read the archives and he didn’t know if I consider myself a journalist or “just” a blogger but he wanted me to know that, to him, I was “just” a blogger and he didn’t understand why WEEI would bother putting me on their site.

Um, thanks for writing?

Watched Puerto Rico lose their first game of the WBC, which leads us to the US playing them tonight. This isn’t a game I’m looking forward to because I really like the Puerto Rican team and it seems odd that there could be a part of me rooting against the US. Inevitably, I will be rooting for the USA team. No worries there. But I’ll be a little sad for Puerto Rico if they lose (but it won’t dampen my happiness for team USA!).

Jeff Bailey, Jed Lowrie and Chris Carter all hit home runs yesterday off of Roy Halladay. I’m sorry I missed it. Does Doc get pissy during spring training games the way he does during regular season games?

No Mets game on Monday so no Kyle update. Given the schedule, I’m hoping he pitches today. But the game you’ll all be interested in is on NESN/MLB.tv and the MLBN at 1:05pm…Twins at Red Sox, which means we’ll probably see the green uniforms. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 17, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | Leave a comment

Duel

As most folks who read this blog know, I tend to favor pitchers. So you’d think that means I enjoy a pitcher’s duel.

I don’t.

Can’t complain about Crabcakes last night. Kid pitched one-hit baseball for eight innings. Nice work.

And Roy Halladay pitched a hell of a game as well. But has anyone ever seen a poorer loser than “Doc” (incidentally NOT the namesake of my llama!)? Had the Blue Jays pounded the Sox in the ninth and won and our pitcher acted like Halladay, I would have been embarrassed for him and the team.

Even though stopping the bleeding and winning the game was fabulous (special shout out to Dustin Pedroia!), I’m still not happy with the offense.

Masterson, Buchholz, Beckett and now Lester have all pitched fantastic games and NONE of them have a “W” to prove it. This team needs to shake the cobwebs off and start raking. Sooner would be good fellas.

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April 30, 2008 Posted by | Games, Players | , , , , , , | 6 Comments