Thursday, July 23, 2009

Relax: This Is Only A Test.

That's what I kept telling myself as the innings went on, and the Sox failed to string together hits. It's now been just about 49 innings since the Red Sox have put up a crooked number (Thanks to the fine research done over at Joy of Sox). 49 innings scoring only 1 run or fewer (that would be no runs for those of you not paying attention). We've lost 5 in a row. The Sox look like a little league team.

This is only a test.

Remember that when Brad Penny goes 5 innings tonight. It is only a test. When Papelbon loads the bases with no outs, it's only a test. When 'Tek strikes out swinging on a ridiculous pitch that he shouldn't have been swinging at? Only a test. When Jacoby swings at the first pitch and pops it up into the outfield? Only a test. When JD Drew stares at strike three for what feels like the 85th goddamned time in a row and you just want to scream "SWING THE F&*%ING BAT, YOU STUPID ASS! YOU'RE NOT GETTING PAID TO BE A F*&%ING MANNEQUIN!"... even this is only a test. A test of what, you ask. You know what, I reply.


So keep it. And let's will a win out of Penny tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OK, now I'm just annoyed

We can't beat veterans, we can't beat rookies.... scoring more than two runs seems to take an act of God these days.

I know it's only July and we're only one game out, but I am NOT happy about this. We went into the All-Star Break with a three game lead in our division and one week later we're a game out.

Hey Red Sox, in case you've forgotten, we've got an extremely talented farm system. So you might want to stop sucking because you can ALL be replaced. So get your goddamned acts together, because between the weather and you, my summer has been less than fun. So cut the shit!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Four Days Off: Killing All Momentum

Welcome back from the hideously long and stupid All Star Break, everyone! What a way to completely zap the momentum we had going. We roar into the break, building up a three game lead in our division and winning our final series with one hell of a badass performance by our ace, and then we whimper our way out of Toronto, losing only our third series since, what, May? I can't be too annoyed about it. Jon Lester may not have been sharp, but he was good. Roy Halladay, well, he was just better. It didn't hurt that our guys looked like they had left their bats at home somewhere. Maybe the equipment manager will find them before the game tonight. Wait... is there a game tonight?! Oh my God, I forgot the schedule!

Yeah. There's a game tonight. Smoltz vs. Millwood. This makes me sad, because our guys have tremendous trouble with Millwood. Well, the former Red Sox did. I don't know how this specific collection of ballplayers will do against him. Hopefully better than they did against Halladay, which shouldn't be too hard because Millwood is not Halladay.

Unfortunately, I didn't see the game on Friday, and I didn't see the game on Saturday. I didn't enjoy the game yesterday, and I won't be seeing the game tonight. It's essentially eight days without any good, meaningful baseball. It's killing me. But I'll be seeing Green Day tonight, and well, sometimes you HAVE to prioritize other things over baseball or you spend your entire summer on the couch. Lucky for me, after July, 90% of my summer vacations will revolve around baseball. It'll be nice to get away for a while to see some good old baseball. Yay baseball!

I'm assuming Smoltz will do well, because I want him to. Isn't that enough incentive for these guys? Making ME happy? No? Hmm... that seems like a big problem for me.

I'm sure I could find positives out of last night's game if I wanted to, I just don't feel that it went so bad as to need the positive reinforcement. Though I am annoyed that we're only a game ahead of the Yankees again. That irks me. Stop giving them hope!

Friday, July 17, 2009

POS: There's The Door, Please Make Your Way To It

I make no secret of the fact that I've been waiting, basically since they signed him, to move POS's name from my list of current Red Sox players to my list of former/non players. He is essentially the reason I started this blog. I needed an outlet to vent my endless frustrations about him and the team. If he's gone, no, I won't end the blog. It'll just be a much happier place to live.

To clarify... we did not win the world series in '07 with Lugo. We won despite him. Do you know what Lugo did in 2007? He made 462 outs. 10th in the league. No one else from the Sox cracked the top ten. Only 8 of those outs were sacrifice hits. 570 AB, and he made 462 outs. Yes, I'm being hyper critical of him, as I'm sure there were some other ugly numbers on the team that year. Truth is, I really just don't care.

I wanted him to do well. I didn't cheer for him, but I most certainly didn't boo him. It's just not logical to cheer against someone on your own team. He wasn't as BAD as I give him credit for, but he came with high expectations because of the stupid contract Theo gave him. When is Theo going to learn to NOT give ridiculous contracts to shortstops? It does not work well for him!

Either way, if this is the end of the Lugo era in Boston... I wish him luck. Honestly. Sort of like Wily Mo, as soon as they're off my team, I hope they find themselves somewhere good. But I will absolutely not be sad, nor will I ever look back on Lugo's tenure with the Sox fondly. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure there's a party in the planning stages to celebrate this departure. We just have to wait until it's official.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pedro: Now The 5th Phillie I Can Remember

I have issues remembering who plays on the Phillies. The thought process usually goes like this:

Me: Hmm... I can't seem to remember who plays for the Phillies. Weird.
Also Me: What do you care? You can't even watch Phillies games.
Me: Well I do love me some good baseball, and considering they're the current world series champions, you would think I could show them a tad bit of respect and, uh, know them.
Also Me: Knowing players names doesn't make the game any more or less enjoyable.
Me: That's a lie and you know it. It is way more fun to shout, for example "C'mon, Jay Bay! You got this!" than it is to scream "Alright, left fielder, you can do it!" And before you ask, yes, I scream enthusiastically at my TV.
Also Me: So knowing all this... knowing about your fanatical, obsessive need to know players' names, you're telling me you can't name anyone on the Phillies?
Me: No, I can name four of them. That still leaves 21 guys that continuously slip my mind!
Also Me: Which ones can you name?
Me: Ryan Howard!
Also Me: That's cheap. Everyone knows Howard. Who else you got?
Me: Jimmy Rollins.
Also Me: Former MVP Jimmy Rollins? Yeah, he's kind of a recognizable figure also. Keep 'em coming.
Me: .... Shane Victorino.
Also Me: It's because of the nickname, huh?
Me: (long pause) Yeah.
Also Me: Not everyone gets to be called the Flyin' Hawaiian. Last one?
Me: Uh... hmmm....
Also Me: Oh Come on, this is YOUR list of players YOU remember.
Me: Wait! Chase Utley.
Also Me: All star.
Me: What do you want from me, I'm trying!

And it sort of goes on and on like that. Now, they've got Pedro, and as soon as he joins the big club, I can brag that I know of five Phillies instead of just four. What an accomplishment.

In all honesty, I think this is a bad move for Pedro. I think he'd be better served to just go back under that mango tree and enjoy retirement, because that's far easier on us than having him struggle his way through baseball. His fastball isn't what it used to be, and though I can't vouch for his location, I bet that's not quite as crisp either. Pedro was/is a baseball God. He will be in the pantheon of the greatest pitchers of all time. The man was insanely good. He was good. These days, or at least his last days with the Mets (almost a year ago)... uh, not so good. Listen, I wish him the best of luck. Honestly, I do. I want to see him do well, but I have reservations about how effective he can really be. Lets hope the Pedro experiment works well.

Joe Maddon: Big Stupid Meanie.

Count me among the group that this morning is calling for the immediate deportation of Joe Maddon. I don't care where we deport him to, just get him the heck out. I don't even care if this post reeks of blatant homerism. Tim Wakefield should have been in the game. Would it REALLY have killed Maddon to put him in to face ONE DAMN BATTER? No, it wouldn't have. This game meant so much to Tim, just so he could find himself benched for the entire night. He sat on that bench, and you could see that despite everything, he was still enjoying himself. I'm happy for him, I am, I just really wanted to see him in that game last night. Tim just always seems to find himself as the team's resident sufferer no matter what team he's on. He's always the one that ends up getting let down. He does not let us down, the rest of the world lets him down. It makes me sad. But he'll show 'em. Next year, he'll be back, and maybe he'll even start. And win. He'll get the win because he'll be pitching so well that Francona (wishful thinking) will let him go five innings against the clueless NL lineups. It will be great.

I feel no shame in admitting that I was rooting for the NL to tie it back up so we could go into extra innings. Unfortunately, the NL ran into a string of very good pitching from our side and they just couldn't push across that extra run. I wanted the extra innings so badly. I resigned myself to not caring who won, as long as Tim got to pitch. He didn't. Strangely, I still find myself not caring who won. Woo. The AL beat the NL again. I'm so shocked.

Seriously, NL... you could help yourselves out. Take a few extra grounders before the game. Talk to your team mates. Do whatever you need to do in order to not look like a bunch of confused hobos roaming around the infield. That first inning was not pretty. Aside from the fact that Lincecum was possibly a tad nervous for whatever reason, the infield did not help matters.

Paps decided to treat MLB to a little taste of what he's been giving us most of the year... heart attacks. That's right, heart attack theater was in full force during the ASG. One pitch. His first pitch. It looked destined for the bullpen. Luckily, I suppose, Carl Crawford jumped or reached or whatever he did and hauled it back onto the field for the first out. That catch, which wasn't as spectacular as everyone would have you believe, won Crawford ASG MVP awards. You can thank Paps for that, Carl. You wouldn't have won it without him.

But what about my arch-nemesis Curtis Granderson? Didn't he deserve it for legging out that triple that essentially would put us back on top. Triples are rarer than catches, so I think Curtis should have gotten it. But what do I know? I'm ridiculously bias against players not on the Red Sox but still in the AL East, so yeah. Nice to see Paps get the win. Last two years, Red Sox players have played a large part in the All Star Game. It probably goes back further than that, but to be completely honest, my memory is useless, and I don't feel like looking it up. And not for nothing, but if Jeter could run, Kazerud would have gotten an RBI in the game. Thanks for nothing, Derek.

So now we have two more days until actual, meaningful baseball is back. What am I going to do with myself?! Oh my God! This is terrible! Meh, I'm sure I'll think of something...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Home Run Derby: I Didn't Watch It 'Cause It's Stupid

After last year, I just don't have any respect for the Home Run Derby. Because of my irrational, uncontrollable, and completely unexplainable hatred for Justin Morneau... and honestly, I don't know why I hate him, I just get completely infuriated when I see him. I'm sure he's a lovely man and all, and he's obviously somewhat talented, but for chrissakes!.... anyway, my point.... because of my hatred for him, watching him win ANOTHER award that he didn't really earn (oh now I remember, AL MVP 2006.... that's why I hate him. Well one of the reasons anyway) just left a bitter taste in my mouth. Anyone who watched the home run derby last year knows that Josh Hamilton was the star of that show, and he SHOULD have won it. Who makes up the crazy, stupid rules anyway? I'm glaring angrily at YOU, Bud Selig....

So this year, Prince Fielder was victorious. Of course, I was rooting for our hometown boy, Carlos Pena, but I also like Prince Fielder, so I don't mind that he won. Actually... there wasn't a single guy in the competition this year that I would have been angry if they won. It was a nice group. Very uncontroversial, which is a good thing. So congratulations to Prince on your win. The win makes sense to me. You hit the most home runs over all, you win. He hit the most. He won. Brilliant. It's just too bad it also falls in with the silly rules that I was just complaining about. Whatever. Good job Prince!

This is my thought... people watch the home run derby for the home runs. Obviously. There's nothing else to watch during this event. There is no fielding. It's not really pitching. No baserunning.... you get the picture. It's all about the big blast over the wall that people go crazy for. However, due to the cutbacks in steroids, the home run derby is looking sadder and sadder and a lot of the big hitters don't want to participate in it any more. This is my thought. Make the people who get caught using steroids participate in the derby. Make it part of the punishment. That way, you're guaranteed hitters who have a little extra power. Just think of the home run derby this year. It would have had ARod and Manny! Think of the excitement and marketing possibilities, and the off-chance that ARod would break down in tears when he fails to deliver in the clutch... also known as the first round. Hey, there's a lot of competition and pressure in that first round! But of course, no one ever listens to my ideas...

So tonight is the All Star Game. I'll be watching, because as I've been told... this time, it counts. Or whatever. I don't pay very much attention so I might have gotten that wrong. But it counts! Home field advantage and what have you! Excitement around every corner!... or at least at home plate, I assume. After tomorrow, I won't have to write about the All Star Game for another year, so yay! Congratulations again to the Red Sox All-Stars: Timothy Wakefield, Joshua Beckett, Jonathan Patmybum, Munchkin Pedroia, Asshat Youkilis, and Kazerud Bay. Go git 'em, boys. (Except for you, Munchkin. You stay home with Kelli)

Me: Not Taking an All Star Break Like Those Lazy Players

Nope. No break for me. While the players are out cavorting and gallavanting and doing absolutely nothing of value, I am taking the break as an opportunity to update this here blog. I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been a tad... bad with the whole updating process. Once technology has advanced to the point where my thoughts are transmitted directly into my blog, therefore saving me hours worth of typing, I will update my frequently. Then again, with the random thoughts in my head all the time, that might be a horrible idea. OK, so technology or no, I'm pretty much going to continue to be lazy as long as you promise to stay out of the brainmeats.

Despite the entire first paragraph, this post is not about me. It is about something I enjoy tremedously (not Cheez-Its either, although I am currently enjoying those tremendously). No, this post is about Josh. Because I don't know if you're aware of this, kind readers, but Josh? He kicked some serious butt the other day. Yes, two days ago. I am two days late with this post. 9 innings, folks. Nine gorgeously stupid innings. Less than 100 pitches!... 94 to be exact, and only three hits. He didn't walk a single batter, but that's not surprising given how low that pitch count was. I hope our other starters were paying attention. THAT is how you're supposed to pitch to bad teams. None of this 'putting it in the hands of the bullpen' crap. Be efficient. Throw strikes. Swear a little. Be Josh Beckett.

Watching Josh pitch during odd years is fun. I adore Jon, but Josh is my favorite to watch. He is just beyond awesome. I love angry Beckett, but arrogant, self-assured Beckett is pretty fun, too. When he knows he's got the stuff to get anyone out, and he does, it's a joy to watch. There's paint, and cheese, and the cheese has hair, and sometimes it's right down Broadway, and sometimes it's not, but you GOTTA HAVE IT! You gotta have those corners!... ok, sorry for that moment of Ecksclamations. I got carried away....

Sox fans in general are pretty lucky these days, and we've got very little to complain about. Our pitching depth is incredible. Our homegrown talent has been making it to All-Star games in their first few big league years. We've got a great ballpark. I don't care what anyone says, there is something magical about walking up the ramp and seeing the green monster out in left field. Every year, my first game of the season, it gives me goosebumps. I truly love that old park, flaws and all. I love this team, even if I do forget that sometimes.

Beckett may not be homegrown talent, but we had to give up some damn good home grown talent to get him, and I think it was worth it. I wouldn't reverse that trade. Sure, it'd be nice to have Hanley, but we got the (should-be) 2007 Cy Young winner and the 2007 World Series MVP out of the deal. With Mikey making his return on Friday, the Marlin-twins will be reunited again for another post-season run. Actually... Penny was a Marlin. We already have the Marlin-twins. With Mikey, it will be the Marlin-triplets. We'll be unstoppable in the post season! Where the hell is the smell of toast coming from?! We don't have a toaster up here... sorry, easily distracted.

I don't know if people have noticed, but CRW is up to 40 SB's. Assuming that he doesn't go through another month long stretch without swiping a bag, he is on pace to finish with 80. Ok, that's a lie, and completely 100% made up. I didn't feel like calculating out his projected pace, so we're just going to assume that it's 80. I am happy with that number, and we're keeping it. I just hope little Jacoby lives up to my expectations.

Into the All-Star break with a 3 game lead over the Yankees. Sweet. Though, don't be surprised when we get stuck facing Halladay. But... um... Halladay's not so tough. Right? ..... yeah.

I'm sure you'll hear from me again soon. I've got more to update.

Monday, July 13, 2009

John Smoltz: Please Plan On Buttering Up the Bullpen

If anyone could explain to me what John Smoltz did to so deeply upset each member of our bullpen, I would much appreciate it. In his last two starts, at Baltimore and vs. Kansas City, the usually reliable bullpen has given up 18 runs. No, you didn't read that incorrectly. I did write 18. That would be 10 against the AL east cellar dwellers, and 9 against a Royals team that is 11.5 games out of 1st in a (currently) soft division. If it weren't for how awful the Indians have been this season, they'd also be cellar dwellers. Sad.

Smoltz, for what it's worth, did pitch well. Five innings isn't a long outing, I know, but I think that once he gets his stamina back up, we'll be seeing him go 7 or more. He's John Smoltz, after all. So he's making the 'pen work. Could that be what's gotten them all so uppity. Oh no, they have to cover four innings! GASP! I know, I'm being unusually mean to the pirates in the pen, but I still love them. They just really really REALLY need these next four days off to relax and put some ice on those swollen ERAs.

The game as a whole... just wow. I don't even know what to write that can cover it. First of all, the team lines were as follows: KC: 9 13 3, BOS 15 12 1. We got outhit. Again. By Kansas City. Really! I know, I didn't believe it either. Hey, a win is still a win, right? Strangely enough, just like Lester, Smoltz only allowed one hit. Our bullpen gave up 12 in 4 innings. Ouch. More ice, please.

JD Drew made a great throw from right to nail Miguel Olivo at home. Seriously, it was a gorgeous throw, right to Tek's waiting glove. Tek, for his part, stretched out like a first baseman for the force play. Had the ball gotten by JD, poor Smoltz would have been out of luck again. But he charged it, gloved it, and threw a perfect cannonball home. He has got an arm when he wants to. The only thing troubling about finding out how good these guys are is when they're not performing the way you know they can. Now that I've seen JD throw that well, I expect full effort every time. More outfield assists, David!

We had home runs from Tek and Papi, and a pair of dingers from Youk. Offense from all over the bloody place. Aaron Bates got his first major league hit and RBI.... the ball from which he sent straight to his mother. You can't tell me that isn't adorable. Ok, I'll admit, to this point I've only seen about three innings of this game, so I can't really comment. I was in Pawtucket watching poor Charlie Zink get a beating while the game was recording on my TiVo at home. I got home and watched a few innings, but the rest of my report is based on box scores.

Pawtucket did not fare well. They ended up losing 8-7. Charlie was hammered in the first few innings, giving up 3 in the 1st, 4 in the 2nd and 1 in the 3rd before settling down for a bit. Dusty Brown had a bad day at the plate. Jed Lowrie was looking pretty good though, and Chris Carter had a nice home run to cut Syracuse's lead a little. They came up just short. Thus is the magic of the knuckleball.... you just never know what it's going to do. So I guess I will have to wait until I finish watching the game to give my full opinion.

Who am I kidding? I know that's not going to happen. It was a win. It was an ugly win, but a win nonetheless. And the PawSox will get the next time!

Jon Lester: Now Can Beat Kansas City In His Sleep

Alright, Jon. We get it. You obviously have something very personal against Kansas City. Whenever he faces them, he puts on his beatdown boots and... well, delivers a beat down. I don't know what it is. Maybe he had some bad barbecue there once. Maybe a road map of downtown got him severely lost, causing him to miss a flight. I could literally sit and speculate all day about why hearing "Kansas City" gets Jon into terminator mode, but it really doesn't matter. I'm glad he enjoys beating them so heartlessly. We've seen the no-hitter, and now we've seen the complete game shutout. It was not a no-hitter, nor was it a 1-hitter. It actually ended up being a 4 hitter. I've said it before, and I will undoubtedly continue to say it in the future... I don't care how many hits they're giving up as long as they don't give up runs. Jon's pitching made me very happy.

On a similar note, Brian Bannister's pitching surprised me. We actually got out-hit during this game. Bannister held us to 3 hits, and 1 run (even though it should have been 2... more on that in a minute). It's got to be absolutely unbearable to pitch that well and still lose. It would drive me crazy. And if he were facing any other team, I would really have hoped that he won the game. But he didn't, because Jon was just a little tiny bit better than him.

Very confusing game. We had fewer hits, more baserunners, and more runs. KC had more hits but only walked twice, giving them 6 baserunners to our 7. There was one error and one stolen base on each side. Jacoby Ellsbury got thrown out trying to score in the 5th inning. He got thrown out for bouncing his helmet when he was called out. After watching the replays, he was clearly (to me) not out. Yes, I was furious at the time because it was a scoreless game, and I had no idea how much longer Jon could hold out with no run support (I'll explain in a second), so I really wanted him to not be out. I swore and pounded my fists and was overall livid. CRW did not deserve his first major league ejection, but there it was. But do I want replays of plays at the plate, knowing full well that they can make or break a game? No. Honestly. I agree with the home run replays, but I just don't think that we should replay everything. It's the charm of the game.

I wanted Lester to get this win. After the first four innings, he was pitching just so damn well that I wanted it for him. He earned it. Bannister earned it, also, but alas you cannot have two W's handed out in one game. My adoration of Jon is well documented. He is, right now, three wins behind Joshua and Timothy. He's pitched just as well as the both of them, so he deserves to have a comparable record. 8-6 is ok. It's a little bit better than average, but the ERA is now under 4! 3.87 to be exact. After May, did it ever seem like we'd have two starters with ERA's under 4? It seemed like an overly ambitious hope. I'm glad they're pitching well, but because they're pitching well, I expect Jon's stats to start evening out. They're starting, but they wouldn''t look as nice as they do now without that W. He needed it. I wanted it. Munchkin assured it for him, and Pap saved it for him with the cleanest inning I've seen him have in a while.

Good game. Period.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Paps: Blaming Things on Rain, Taking Credit from the Wind

I am a shameless fan of the Paps/MDC version of "Blame It On Rain." It's the only thing I like about rain delays at the park. Why am I even bringing this up, you ask? For this reason... I'm starting to think that the weather and Paps aren't on the best terms.

First, he goes ahead and blames the rain. For what? Not sure, I never actually read/remembered the lyrics to that song. I like the chorus, and I enjoy the silly wigs and the dancing. I am easily amused. But Paps, regardless of his true feelings for the rain, looks like he's sided against it.

Then last night, when the save looked all but blown, the go-ahead HR was blown... right back onto the field. It was by the grace of something far more powerful that Scott Boras (and much more benevolent) that the ball hit by Hairston was not a home run. Paps was lucky. So what does he do? He takes credit for the save! Preposterous. Ok, so he didn't take it himself. The save was automatically assigned to him by official scorers and what have you, but we all know he didn't earn it last night. He hasn't been himself this year, and it's a tad bit scary. He does only have something like one blown save, but the close calls are piling up. Hopefully, he'll pull himself back together the way the majority of our starting pitchers have.

Wakefield. Win number 11. Did you think Tim would be leading the league in wins? No? Neither did I, but I'm sure happy for him. How many wins now does he need to become the all-time Red Sox wins leader? I'll look it up.... He's at 175, and he needs to get to 193. 18 wins shy! 18! Assuming he can win another 6-8 this year, he'll only need to have an average season next year. He only needs to play in 116 more games to pass Bob Stanley for all-time games played. Only 116... listen to me and my crazy talk. The man is almost 43 years old. Assuming that he pitches in 33 games, he'd have to pitch three and a half more seasons. What are the odds of keeping Wake in the rotation until he's 47? No clue.

So Pedie has been thinking about skipping the All-Star game to be with his wife. I say do it. It's an honor to be voted in, but family definitely comes first.

Lastly... my favorite AAA outfielder, Jonathan "Vantastic" Van Every was DFA'ed to make room on the 40-man roster for Lowrider, who will be in AA to finish his rehab. I hope than Vantastic clears waivers so we can keep him in AAA till we need him (especially since he is out for the rest of the year with an injury)... but if not, I wish him a speedy recovery and the best of luck whereever he ends up.

Starting four against the Royals, but there will be no Coco sightings, because he is also done for the year with an injury. I feel bad about that and hope that his recovery also goes well. Best of luck, Coco!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Josh Beckett: Destroyer of Souls

Truth be told, I'm not sure I've ever seen Joshua actually destroy a soul. I wouldn't even know how he'd begin to do that. I think the closest he ever came was during the 2007 ALCS against the Indians. I felt that he completely shattered their souls in game 5. You, of course, remember game 5. He was definitely a destroyer of souls on that night. So maybe last night he didn't destroy them. Maybe he just bruised them. It definitely was not his best game of the year, with only 4 K's, but it was really good. His super awesome ERA is down to 3.62. May 5th, just a little more than two months ago, it was 6.75. There's just no way you aren't impressed with the way he's flipped this season around.

Yes. I admit it. I love ERA. I'm not a big stat person. Numbers generally confuse me, but man, can I get behind something as simple as ERA. Don't judge me.

Was it just my imagination, or did Beckett seem mad last night? I am not complaining, not at ALL, because I enjoy Josh when he's angry. I think he's a better pitcher when he pitches a little bit mad. However, he's been very good this year about keeping his emotions under control, moreso than in previous years, and to see him swearing on the mound last night after not really making many mistakes was surprising. When he's pitching well, which he was last night, and he's still angry? Well, that's when I love him the most.

On a completely unrelated matter, it was nice to see Munchkin in the lineup last night, because that means that his wife is doing better.

The key to our series is All-Star Tim Wakefield. Awesome, huh?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tim Wakefield: How Dare I Let Him Slip My Mind

I've been meaning to write this post for three days. Since I have not gotten around to it yet, I guess now's as good a time as any.

I want to congratulate Tim Wakefield for his selection to the All-Star Game. I hoped for weeks that it would happen. I really, really wanted this. Tim, I think, deserves it more than anyone else on our team. Yeah, Josh Beckett has been showstopping for the last few months. Sure, Paps set a new Red Sox saves record, and as of right now has not demanded a trade anywhere. Sure, Munchkin and Youk deserve to go, and even Jason Bay makes a strong case for himself.

But it's Wakefield who deserves it most. The same Tim Wakefield who has been on the Sox for as long as I can remember. The Wakefield who humbly suffers indignities such as being left off the playoff roster. The same guy who took himself off a playoff roster because he knew it was the best thing for the team. The guy who was willing to lose out on millions of dollars of extra money by agreeing to a lifetime contract with the Red Sox for cheap money, because he knew he wanted to stay here. This is the same guy that people have been saying should retire for the last howevermany seasons. The same guy who was given the affectionate nickname Shakey Wakey by many I know. This is the guy who made people groan when they saw his name as the starting pitcher because you just didn't KNOW what you were going to get out of him that night.

No one knows where that knuckler is going to go. Or at least they didn't. Now, I can say with certainty that I know. It's going to the All Star Game where it belongs.

Anyone who can look out into the thousands of rabid, baseball hungry fans in Fenway and say that they love it there, and truly mean it, is OK in my book. Tim has suffered and sacrificed more for this team than anyone else in my memory (which is admittedly not super great). Anything for the team. THAT is the definition of an All Star. I've never been happier for someone to go to the silly exhibition game.

I generally don't want to see Sox players go. I know it's an honor, or whatever. Most of the time I prefer that they get their three days off and put them to good use. Wakefield is the exception, because you KNOW this means a lot to him. No one can tell me that an all-star selection means the same to Paps as it does to Wake. Paps has been going to the midsummer classic since he joined the team full time. He likes to be selected because it's one more bright, shiny mark on the resume that he plans on using to get a giant contract out of an unsuspecting team. For Tim, it really does seem to be more about the fact that he's appreciated.

Well Tim, I appreciate you, and I know a ton of other people who appreciate you, too. I couldn't be happier about an All-Star selection if I tried. Congratulations Tim Wakefield. You've earned this!

John Smoltz: Wasn't Gonna Win No Matter What

When your offense musters up two hits (HITS, not RUNS), you're not going to win a game. My thought in these situations is that I don't care how many runs we give up. Honestly, I don't. Yeah, during the game I was annoyed that the A's kept piling on and we weren't getting anything back, but once the horrorshow is over and I can look back on it as a whole, I find myself caring less and less about the five they put up and more about the zero we put up.

Smoltz was a little flat, but it doesn't matter. He wasn't going to win. You can't win if your team scores no runs. He'll get them next time. Though he does seem to be running into some pretty crappy luck lately...

This team looks tired. It really does. The All-Star break can't come soon enough, apparently. Or maybe they're just not used to playing on Mondays any more. We had a bunch of off-days on Mondays in June. Could be that it's just too hard to get out of off day mode now.

My first thought about Munchkin not being in the lineup last night for family reasons was that his wife had gone into labor. The last time she was on TV, she was looking a little pregnant. My super sincere apologies to Kelli Pedroia if she was in fact NOT pregnant, but she looked it. So, I hope that the family leave was for good news and not bad news. It's kind of weird to even think about the fact that Munchkin could realistically be a dad. He's a little kid in my mind.

I'm not about to get worked up over this game. No point. I guess I'll just chalk it up to an understaffed, tired team that ran into a pretty good pitcher during one of their collective bad days. That's gotta be it.

UPDATE: Seems I was correct about Mrs. Pedroia getting ready for diaper duty. However, with around a month left to her due date, she was taken to the hospital yesterday, according to this piece by ProJo. Wishing the Pedroias well, and hoping that all is OK with Kelli and the baby. Don't worry about the Sox, Dustin. They'll be ok. Just be with your wife right now.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Last Night's Game: Bleurgh!

Pardon me while I vomit for a few seconds. Man.... that was just flat out awful. It was disgusting, and...


OK. I think I got it out of my system for a while. It is no longer Tuesday. It is Wednesday. Do you know what happens on Wednesday if the weather behaves? That's right. We get Beckett. Being the gamer that Beckett is, don't think for a second that he has any intention of trusting our bullpen with any kind of lead. He's going nine today. Because unlike Fetus, Oki, Saito, and Paps, Beckett knows that we're facing the Orioles, and they ARE NOT A GOOD TEAM!

Not a good goddamned team at all! They're what, 12 games out of the division with four of the best teams in baseball in front of them?! That should have never happened. Unfortunately it did, and I am ultra-annoyed... especially because it was the Orioles. Wow, ok, I guess it wasn't completely out of my system yet. Deep breath... we're ok. It was a blip. You're not going to see our awesome bullpen give up ten runs every night.

But, because that was such a horrendous game that we need some kind of sugar coating to make it easier to swallow.... some positives from last night! Check me out, I'm gonna give you reasons to not be angry.

Positive number ONE! Did you see Smoltz? Did you see him?! He was great. I know, it was the Orioles, and I can't emphasize enough how bad of a team I think they are (because they're a bad team... who just happened to kick some serious Sox butt last night), but he was fantastic. He's going to get better as he gets stronger and more comfortable on a big league mound again. This, above all else should be a big smile-inducing point for everyone except Clay Buchholz. Don't worry, Clay, there's always next year to make the big club.

Positive number TWO! Our offense scored ten runs. We were having some issues with scoring runs in the last couple of games, in case you weren't aware, but they pulled their act together and managed to string together hits and home runs and general awesomeness. Who doesn't like to see that?

Positive number THREE! Manny Delcarmen didn't give up a run. He even got more outs than baserunners (2 outs, 1 baserunner)... whereas the same cannot be said for some of our other relievers. So MDC was the shining star of the black-hole of a bullpen we had last night. Way to go, Manny!

Positive number FOUR! Did you know 'Tek is now batting .238 with 11 home runs? Did you expect even this from Tek this year? Neither did I, and I love the guy. So take that however you want it, because I am happy with Tek.

Positive number FIVE! We have two players batting over .300 and Jacoby Ellsbury is one of them! No way, right? Really. He's at .303. Color me impressed.... actually now that I think about it, I don't really understand that saying. What color is 'impressed' anyway? How will I even know the color of impressed will match my outfit. Let's just leave me the color I am, and say that I'm happy with Jacoby.

Positive number SIX! Munchkin stole a base! Actually, for the season, he's stolen 14. Dig it, Munchkin can run. Is there anything he can't do? I don't know... he might not be able to reach the high shelves, but that's why we have Fetus. That's why we have him, right? Cause he's tall?

Obviously I'm kidding. I love Fetus. Which leads me to positive number SEVEN! Fetus' 5th and 6th innings were terrific. I guess we have learned that he is a two inning sort of guy, right? Since the 7th inning last night was by far as bad as I've ever seen from him, we can believe that there's no where for him to go but up, right? Right.

Speaking of going up... positive number EIGHT! Jeff Bailey. Making good use of his time in the big leagues. Way to go, Bails.

Positive number NINE!.... uh.... hmm. No one got hurt? This is starting to get difficult.

So, I'm going to end it with this... positive number TEN! We're still in first place in our division. Beat that, everyone else in the AL East.