Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kazerud: Fail? I Guess.

Jason is a Met. As far as I've been able to gather, donning this particular uniform curses you to years of misery and collapse. I'm not going to say I actually KNOW anything about the Mets other than the occassional jokes I hear about them and a few stories from reporters about their sad, sad season endings recently, but I can't imagine that The New York Mets was what Mr. Bay had in mind when he decided he was going to sign somewhere that was not Boston. Let's be clear about that, he wanted more money than Theo would have ever given him, and I am ok with that.

Yes, I loved the 36 home runs. I loved the paleness, and sure, even the Canadian-ness. The defense I did not love (and I found myself muttering many times when Kaz tried to field 'if that were Manny, people would be all over him for that'.... though that MAY have just been my bitterness talking).

Maybe my stance on defense is a little ... bias?... because I don't get the fielders that I want. But NO, I do NOT enjoy watching CRW field. I didn't enjoy watching Kaz field. Coco? I adored watching that guy track down a fly ball. Awesome. But he's gone now. And the reason for that, as Loyce Crisp would say (in my imagination), "It's cause you suck, son." There were around three different inside jokes in there that I wasn't going to make, but they happen. I don't know. I guess I'm never happy.

And I'll never be happy again, because Gonzo is STILL gone! I just want my Gonzo back. Even if we do happen to pick up another infield Gonzalez, it won't be the same. He's not Alex. He's not my shortstop. Besides that, I don't think I really like Adrian Gonzalez. His name reminds me of a very sad blue. We don't need sad blue on the Red Sox, right? RIGHT?! Who's with me? Anyone? No? Fine.

So, tomorrow is New Year's Eve, and I've still got my Mikey. And my 'I've still got my Mikey' I mean 'The Red Sox haven't dumped Lowell off on another team yet' and God bless that. On top of it all, I'm really starting to feel ok about the rotation again. Yeah, I dislike John Lackey, but I don't know the dislike is a permanent thing. Some players, I will never like. Ever. I don't think Lackey is one of those players, but I refuse to warm up to him right away. See... it only took me four seasons to warm up to JD Drew. I hated him because he was made of glass, and he took my Little Tek away from me. Even after his now-classic grand slam in the 2007 ALCS, I did not like him. But now? Now I don't think he's so bad, and I even found myself cheering for him at the end of the season. Maybe it's because POS was traded off. Maybe, just maybe, I disliked JD Drew that much more because I associated him with POS, but once that association was broken, the hatred could naturally dissipate.

No, I don't know what the hell I'm talking about half of the time. But I do love Ducky.

But, good luck today to my darling Mr. Awesome, whose fantastic thumb surgery is today to repair the wonderful injury that kept him with me! Thank you, thumb tendon. I don't know what I'd do without Mike Lowell, especially so soon after losing Tedy Bruschi to retirement. I just don't think I could have handled it. So yeah, no trading away my Mikey. Please?!

Ok, time for me to move Kaz to the former player list.... sigh.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mikey Awesome: Ours. For Now.

Have I really become so irrational and... well... insane, that I was THRILLED when I found out Mikey needed thumb surgery? When did I become Annie Wilkes, hoping to keep poor Michael incapacitated so he can't leave me, er, the Sox. I don't want him leaving the Sox. That would be Misery.

Did you see what I did there? I referenced a movie plot and then finished it up by saying the name of the movie slyly so you wouldn't know what I was doing. Then, of course, I ruined it all by telling you all about it. But, I'm wondering if my love for Mikey has taken a turn for the weird and inappropriate. I found out that Mike needs thumb surgery and I literally squee'd for joy, because this means that I get to claim he is a part of my favorite team for that much longer. I don't delude myself into thinking that they won't try to move him again, because I know they will, but I don't want Mikey to go. Not before Christmas. Not like this.

Just like when I wanted Jason Varitek back simply for the fact that I wanted him, knowing full well that he would be detrimental to the team, I want Mikey. Actually, Mikey being detrimental is far less a certainty than Tek was. I believe that Mike could be an asset, especially if there is no bounce back for Papi (which, really... is anyone REALLY expecting? Curious!). I don't know. I desperately miss baseball. Football is not enough for me. No, I need the excitement of every day, knowing there's a game. The off season is painful and slow. And cold. Have I mentioned that it's cold? Yeah, not a big fan of this.

I've been counting down to opening day for a while now. Can't wait, especially now since there's that much more of a chance that Mikey will be there for it. I love that man.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Not Trusting Theo: No Effect On My Desire To Go To Games

I may have mentioned it before, but really, no matter how much I dislike each individual component of the team, I love the team. I have tickets right now for three games at Fenway next season, and I will be heading to Baltimore, as usual, to see the Sox there. No matter HOW badly I dislike the moves by our esteemed GM.

I am a harsh Theo critic, perhaps unfairly. The fact that he tries to conduct business without any of the emotional, sentimental stuff getting in the way is what bugs me, but I know that's his job. He's not supposed to be sentimental. He's supposed to think of the greater good for the club. But the 'greater good' always seems to be getting rid of players that I want to keep. I've said it before, I would not be a good GM because I don't want to separate the heart and mind when it comes to baseball. Thank God I'm a fan so I don't have to. In 2004, Theo was a hero. In 2005, I had no issues with him, except that whole Renteria mess. I questioned it. Of course I did. In 2006, that's when Theo started breaking my heart. He traded Arroyo for Wily freakin' Mo, who... I don't even think he has a job any more. What happened down the stretch in 2006? We needed pitching like people in hell need ice water. We were throwing every straight-off-the-garbage-heap player we could find on the mound, and.... well, we all know how '06 ended. Maybe I unfairly expected Theo to be a fortune teller, and to realize that pitching is harder to come by than hitting, so you don't trade a decent mid-level starter who can eat innings for some unproven bat that has nothing but unachieved potential.

In 2007, there was Gagne. At the time, I thought it was a good move, but it was not, and again, I unfairly blamed Theo for it. Oh man, I almost forgot that 2007 was also the year of Lugo. And Drew. Holy hell, that was a bad year in terms of talent. Yeah, we won the world series and all, but Lugo, Drew, and Gagne in one year? Brutal.

In 2008, he got rid of Mirabelli. Unforgivable.

Now, at the end of the '09 season, he brings us Lackey. And Cameron. I don't see either as a smart move, and of course, here's why.

Cameron is the better of the two, short years, not too much money, great defense. We desperately needed defense in the outfield. As much as I loved Kazerud, he was not a defensive wizard, and don't even get me started on CRW. Watching him play defense on an average day usually gets me pretty angry. Whatever. Defense is fantastic, and I love preventing runs. The problem is, Cameron is seemingly replacing Kazerud, who was a very decent hitter and managed a good HR or two whenever we needed it. Mike Cameron is not going to replace Jason's bat, and we all know it. Fine. As long as the defense is shored up a bit, I guess I can do without the bat. But the guy will be 37 years old at the start of the season.... so, I don't know, I guess I'm expecting some DL time and a serious fade after the all-star break.

Now for Lackey. I HATE this signing. Aside from my personal hatred for all things Lackey, and that goes all the way to the stupid look on his face or how he was running his big whiney mouth about the Sox during the playoffs, I hate the deal. Listen, I admitted my irrational dislike for all things Theo, but one thing I've found to be true - When Theo falls in love with a player enough to give them a stupidly large contract, it doesn't tend to work in our favor. I understand that 5yrs/$80+ M is the running rate for top-of-the-rotation pitchers, but the only people Theo hands out big years to turn into busts. Rentaria. Lugo. Drew (and I put him on this list even with my growing affection for the man). Him falling in love with a player frightens me. I'm not even so concerned about Lackey's terrible numbers at Fenway. I am concerned with his terrible numbers against AL East opponents, though. This deal truly concerns me, and the fact that I now run the risk of having to see Lackey pitch in my park terrifies me as much as the thought of watching Penny pitch terrified me. Oh, how I long for Arroyo.

Now that I'm done being all mopey and irrational and emotional, so far this is what the team looks like to me (considering the Lowell deal is not official on paper or in my heart yet): C- Victor Martinez (toying with the idea of calling him either Vicky or Victory.... I'll explain at some point). 1B- Asshat, 2B - Munchkin, SS- Marco Scutaro, 3B - Mr. Awesome, LF - Mike Cameron, CF - CRW, RF - JD. Pitching Rotation: Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Dice-K, Wakefield.... don't know where Dahmer fits into all of this... we've never stuck with a six man rotation for more than a week, so maybe he's the odd man out. I'm hoping he's the odd man out. I don't even know who's in our bullpen any more... Paps, Oki, Strike-out-king, Rambo, Rambo 2, Boof Bonser?, Bard.... no clue. We'll see.

Something like 63 days till pitchers and catchers report. God bless a short offseason.

Friday, December 11, 2009

All I Can Do Is Mutter 'Why?'

I have yet to come up with an answer. Jeremy Hermida, another Ramon Ramirez, Marco Scutaro, that Atchinson guy, Max Ramirex, and Boof Bonser.

Please, someone answer me why.

I will have a farewell Mikey post up as soon as I stop weeping dramatically.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wait.... Perspective: I Lost It

Because I am a thoroughly irrational and ridiculous girl, despite my well-documented love for most things Red Sox, I am angered this morning. Are you kidding me, Theo? SERIOUSLY?! You're going to get rid of my Mikey? NO! I do not accept this. I was supposed to get one more damn year of Mike, and now you are trying to take him away from me? Do. Not. Want.

I am horribly, terribly angry this morning, and I'm allowed to be. Mike is definitely one of my favorite players. As a matter of fact, his handsome face is staring at me from my calendar this month. It is the month of the Mikey, and now I am losing him? Horrendous. Unacceptable. My sentimentality is offended beyond belief, so much that I refuse to even look at this from a rational, team-benefiting perspective. Nope, I'm just going to bitch and moan about it until I feel better or take a liking to one of the spare pieces of garbage that Theo's been amassing.

Really though, I'm angry, and so very sad. And no, I don't think any player that Theo's been coveting or acquiring will do anything to improve our team. I think his additions are actually going to make the team worse. We need a bat, so... we trade away one of the guys who was actually pretty good with a bat? What? I know he hit into a ton of double plays, and his 3B range wasn't so hot any more, but come on! And yes, I get it. Theo has surrendered this year as a rebuilding year, but does that mean he has to take away our opportunities to win? I'm starting to think my dream about him trading Jon Lester might not be so crazy after all. Now I am concerned. And again, I'm aware that I'm being irrational, but I don't care. I'm allowed to be irrational when I want to be. And right now, I want to be.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Meetings: Cold This Year

I always get my hopes up for the winter meetings and end up sleeping most of the way through them. Why? Because they're boring. Really, when's the last time Theo did anything fun at the winter meetings? Nope, can't think of anything, can you? You can't, because he didn't. Or maybe he did, but nothing is coming to mind.

Our signings thus far, that I've heard of, are Scutaro, Atchinson, and Hulett. Should I be jumping for joy over these acquisitions, because I'm not. I was almost not interested enough to even look up the spelling of Hulett's name. I hear the Yankees are getting/have gotten Curtis Granderson? That's great. I've mentioned before that I like grouping all the players I dislike together, so Granderson would be a good fit for the Yankees. Some may recall that Curtis is officially on my shit list forever because of that whole 'breaking up Beckett's no-hitter' thing back in June. I'm not worried about Granderson anyhow.

But other than that, it's been quiet. I hear Penny signed with the Cardinals? I guess he missed Smoltz. Together, their ERA's can balloon up and they can ride them off into the sunset, or some other such silliness. Yeah, still disappointed that I never got around to watching Smoltz pitch live and that i DID get around to watching Penny pitch live, but I'll survive this disappointment. I'm a trooper, after all.

I've gone through the schedule, up to the All-Star Break, and used my incredible powers of deduction and my mind-blowing ability to count to five, and I've pegged the games I plan on getting tickets for next season. There are only a few, but I'm sure I'll be at more than a few games. What would the season be like without the Red Sox live at Fenway and Camden? I just don't know.

And yes, I am still mourning the fact that Gonzo is a Blue Jay.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Perspective: I Haz It.

Once or twice, every December, I like to go back to 2004. Don't get me wrong, I like to go back there all the time, but in December especially. December is cold, and stressful, and right now the Patriots suck, so I go back and relive it. You know what I'm talking about. October 27th, 2004. Remember? Of course you do.

See, I like to do this because it helps keep everything in perspective, and it helps make the pain of the off-season so much more tolerable. And I don't know about you, but every time I look back, I can remember it all. I remember where I was, watching on a TV with a time-delay of a few seconds. Being on the phone with a friend whose TV did not have a time delay. Hearing her stifle her screams of excitement as Foulke threw to first because she didn't want to ruin it for me, and celebrating madly after it was done. I can't forget. I can't forget the excitement I felt.

I can't even imagine what it was like for people who lived and died with the team their whole lives. In 2004, I was all of 20 years old and I definitely didn't grow up in a sports-oriented house. I never even HEARD of the Red Sox until 8th grade. Don't ask me how that happened. I'm not sure, but Nomar was the first player I ever heard about. Strangely, I never took a liking to him. I didn't live a sheltered life. We owned a TV and had the newspaper delivered. I had friends who were, presumably, sports fans. But the fanaticism didn't get passed to me for whatever reason. So, no, I didn't suffer the way everyone else did, but the joy I felt was still incredible. I still like to think I did my time. There was no one in my family that I could think back and say "Man, I wish so-and-so was still around so they could have seen this." Nope. Nothing. But it was still incredible.

So, here we are, on the verge of hitting 2010 on the calendar. 11 years since I discovered this team. Five full seasons have passed since we first raised that 2004 championship banner. Does anyone remember April 11, 2005? You bet your ass you do. So do I. Of course I do, because I love the Sox. I love to remember. I love each and every member of that 2004 team... maybe not LOVE everybody, but I can't dislike any of them. It's illegal. You CANNOT, as a Red Sox fan, openly dislike any member of that team, with the obvious and glaring exception of Johnny Damon (though if he signs with a different team, he can be sort of loved again). I don't want to hear how you all hate Manny now. I'll never hate Manny. I can't. And yes, I still love Pedro, because I HAVE to. I keep my tabs on Arroyo. I grinned every time I heard Dave Roberts in the broadcast booth this season, even if he wasn't so good. I keep tracking devices on Doug Mirabelli. My love for Bellhorn has never wavered. Never. And it won't. I think back to Bill Mueller and smile all the time. Orlando Cabrera... no matter what uniform he's in, I want o hug him. Wherever Kevin Millar goes, I go. Baltimore, Toronto, doesn't matter. I plan my vacations based on where he's playing. Hell, I rallied to get Trot Nixon a job. Why? Because he's one of the 25, that's why.

Why the heck am I bringing up all this anyway? Well, for one, it's my blog and I can. Two, it reminds me that despite what I think about the team, it can get better. You never know who's gonna click and bring us back to the promised land. Why am I not waxing poetic about 2007? Well, because you just sort of knew, didn't you? I know I did. It wasn't surprising and death-defying (except for that whole Cleveland thing....) 2007 was fantastic, don't get me wrong, and I loved that team... except Lugo... but even that doesn't measure up to 2004. Nothing will ever measure up to 2004. 2004 gets me through any awful, long, winter day. It reminds me of spring, and sunshine, and Pedro's afro, and I can't help but feel good. I love feeling good, so I go back to 2004.

Now that I feel good, I can stay positive about the silly things Theo is doing. By all means, GM. Continue on! You've got my support. I've got visions of spring training dancing in my head.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn: Good morning!

I've been hibernating. Feels like a whole new year already. We're close to one, but not there yet. Tickets for spring training went on sale already, and soon we'll be in virtual waiting hell. No, I'm really not looking forward to it, but I'll be there because hell, I love those stupid Red Sox.

That being said, I'd like to welcome everyone back into the revolving shortstop door of hell. I'm going to absolutely hate to do it, but it's time to update my cast of characters again and move Gonzo back into the former player category. So now we're stuck with Scutaro. Pardon me if my enthusiasm for this isn't shining through in my writing. It's only because, well, I'm just not enthusiastic about it. You know what the Twins did? They got J.J. Hardy. I wanted J.J. Hardy. I knew that the Sox wouldn't bring back Gonzo, but I hoped to high heavens that they would consider trading for Hardy. Young, relatively talented, certainly no worse than anyone else we've had in here (except Gonzo), and controllable in the arbitration market.... to my knowledge anyway. Listen, I like him. It's not just because his name is Hardy. I think he would have been good for this team. But no. We've got Scutato. Hoo-ray.

So now we wait for the craziness of the winter meetings to hopefully produce a left fielder for us. Or a center fielder if they move Jacoby to left. Hell, let's get Coco Crisp back! Is Manny available? No? Pity, I would have liked to see him in a Sox uniform again. And yes, I know I am the minority in that opinion. Honestly, I'm not going to panic whether we get Bay, or Holliday, or none of the above, because my expectations of the team coming into this year are ZERO. I expect it to be a complete re-building year as we prepare for the final bows of Papi and Mikey, and the last appearance of the shell formerly known as Jason Varitek. We'll probably see Beckett pack up his huntin' rifles (and possibly Jonathan Papelbon) and head for greener pastures. Lord knows Theo won't think about giving him a long term contract. It's crazy how fast we've gone through four seasons of the Commander and Mr. Awesome. Feels like they've been part of the team forever. I like it that way, but I guess I have to be prepared for that to end.

I had an awful dream that Theo traded my Binky to the Yankees, which I KNOW he would never do, but it was a tad traumatizing, and it made me lose even more faith in our GM. I know the phrase is "In Theo We Trust" but there are just so many of his moves that seem completely boneheaded that I have to, you know, not trust him. I'd like to see Theo pick up some talented "talent" this offseason instead of picking up some high-ranked "potential." Though I will have to say, Tug might be the most ridiculous name I've experienced.

Someone call Julian Tavarez, please. One thing we do need on this team is personality. Munchkin's giant ego can't do all the work itself. Even with him, the giant hole left by the departure of Manny's ego is still just painful to acknowledge. I want fun! I want bowling on the field, taping guys to the dugout, wacky handshakes and hugs everywhere. If we're gonna suck this year, it might as well be fun to watch!

Welcome to the Winter Meetings, everyone. Some of my favorite times of Hot Stove Season.