Thursday, December 9, 2010

So Far Behind: Trying To Keep Up With The Sox

Hey Theo, could you maybe give me a few days to catch up with you? I really do want to keep my blog active, but I have got a lot of other stuff to take care of, seeing as how it's nearly Christmas and no, I don't have any of my shopping done. I haven't even gotten to Adrian Gonzalez yet, and you go ahead and sign Carl Crawford? I mean, good job on your part, but can you give me some time now? Please? Thanks.

I've had quite a bit to write about in the last week, but I haven't had the time, so now I'm going to write about Adrian and Carl in the same post. Look at that, I'm being efficient!

My initial reaction to the Gonzalez trade was, "Oh no. For who?" I may have mentioned once or twice before that like every baseball fan in the known universe (and probably in the unknown ones as well), I have favorite players. There are some itty bitty baby Sox that I wouldn't want to part with. Once I found out that none of those specific players were involved, I allowed myself to get excited. Don't get me wrong, I am sad we're going to miss out on watching Casey Kelly develop, but as a few others have mentioned, the pitcher's park out in San Diego may do wonders for him. I completely understand the inclusion of Anthony Rizzo, considering that first base would have been blocked and he would have nowhere to be promoted to. I didn't know much about Fuentes, but I still wish him luck all the same.

My second reaction, upon checking out all the press releases on various websites was that he looks a little like Ernie from the George Lopez Show if Ernie grew some facial hair. I think it's the eyes. Maybe someday I'll do a photo comparison. Not today, though. Today we have more pressing issues.

So, awesome. Theo heads into the winter meetings having acquired a big bat who should do well at Fenway to fill the offensive void left when VMart parted ways, and he managed to get him to agree to a seven year contract extension. He had already acomplished more than some people expected him to this winter, and he wasn't done. Bright and early this morning (re: 5:30 AM), I was (rudely) woken up by this (obnoxious) former coworker of mine who (despite numerous requests for him to not text me before sunrise) let me know that we also inked Carl Crawford to a seven year contract. Just to tally, this week, Theo has commited 14 years and something like $290M. I don't want to hear ANYONE complaining that John Henry's investment in the Liverpool soccer team is affecting the Red Sox.

As thrilled as I am at the big name acquisitions, I worry a little about Crawford and giving him such big years. Correct me if I'm wrong, and I very well may be wrong, but isn't he one of the many players over the years who claims to hate Boston and Boston fans? Also, with him no longer stealing against us, are his SB numbers going to go down? Besides that, as I was watching NESN this morning while getting ready, they pointed out that Crawford is more of a pull hitter than an opposite field guy. Whereas it seems Gonzalez will benefit from the wall, Crawford won't. I'm going to give it a chance and see if the atmosphere and knowing that all those people who had booed him in the past are now cheering for him will do him any good. I hope it does. I also hope the same factors don't freak out Gonzalez. We all know Fenway isn't the easiest place to play, and both are from fan bases that aren't as.... well, crazy, as Boston fans. I mean, Tampa had to give out free tickets to geet people into the stands, and they were in a playoff race. I'm hoping for good things from both players, and I'm excited to see where this team is headed right now.

Is there really anyone who can complain about these signings/trades? And just think, it's only December and Theo has already said that the bullpen is a priority. Let's see what he gets done here. Look at that, I wrote a whole post without insulting our GM once. Well, credit where credit is due and all that. Now.... if only the season would start tomorrow.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Okajima: It's So Hard To Say Goodbye

I know this was actually announced last week, but it was a hard week for me, and I'm trying to catch up now. It was announced that the Red Sox have non-tendered Hideki Okajima and he will be moving on. This is awfully hard for me because I liked Oki and his wacky delivery, but it was time.

Okajima has been on a slow decline for a while. Actually, pretty much since 2008. It wasn't as noticeable then, but the numbers were starting to slip. The guy only throws his fastball in the mid-to-high 80's. It was inevitable for the collective offensive monster of the American League to catch up to it. He was living off of pinpoint location and a little bit of trickery for a long time and we all knew it couldn't last forever. In his four wonderful seasons with the Red Sox, Oki posted ERA's of 2.22, 2.61, 3.39, and 4.50. His walks were (slightly) up in 2010, and his strikeouts were down. To me, that tells me that people were finally figuring him out. I don't know what the future holds for Oki. My guess is that it probably involves the National League somewhere. If it does, I wish him nothing but the best.

I will always remember Oki for three things; signing a baseball for my mom in Ft. Meyers, his absolutely fantastic 2007 which helped make the Sox world champions once again, and his delightfully addictive theme song. Yes, I AM going to miss hearing, "O....K.... A.... J.... I... M.... A. Okajima!" and chances are, a little part of you is going to miss it, too. The bullpen of 2007 was special. Sure, they didn't break a curse but honestly, there just aren't that many curses around to break. What they DID do was dominate when we needed them to. They entertained us. They were a band, and they were pirates. They kept it loose and seemed to genuinely enjoy their time out in the pen.

I am going to miss Oki. I just hope he lands with a fanbase that appreciates his entrance theme. Good luck, Oki!

EDIT: Yeah, I know he re-signed with the Sox, but I like this post so I'm keeping it. Welcome back, Oki!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Is Early: Varitek Re-Signs With Sox

Let me tell you, I have had one HELL of a week. At least it was pretty close to hell. So of course, when I woke up this morning and got the news that Tek has agreed to a one-year contract with the Sox, well, I was thrilled. I needed that news like you wouldn't believe. Really, it was all I wanted for Christmas and now that I've gotten it, I'm happy.

I am aware that there are still some huge holes that need to be filled and even more question marks that need to be answered, but I'm content. I'll say this now (and I'll probably contradict myself a million and a half times throughout the course of next season), but I don't care if the Sox don't make the playoffs as long as Tek and Wakey get to retire in Boston. Getting to the playoffs would be a bonus for me, but I can't help think, especially this upcoming season, is going to be far more about sentimentality for me. I know. Sentimentality is a theme I refer back to often because I am very sentimental about the players. I love winning, but I think I may love our guys more than just winning. Even when they're having rough stretches, I appreciate them because they provide me with hours and hours of entertainment and endless sports banter with friends. There are few players in all of baseball that I have bantered about more than Tek, but that may be more a product of his longevity on the team than anything else. Either way, I'm promised one more season with my Captain (periodically) behind the plate, and that makes me happy.

Other things that would make me happy include reliable bullpen pitching, strong seasons from our starting rotation, a healthy combination of Pedroia, Youk, and even Ellsbury, Josh Beckett getting on a Pedroia-like diet plan this winter, and spring training. Man, I miss baseball. I can't wait until our pitchers and catchers (including Varitek!) report to the Fort!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Victor Martinez: What A Tiger

I knew I probably wouldn't be writing much over the course of October and November, but man, I feel like it has been a long time. Now that my well-deserved month and a half of doing absolutely nothing of relevance in life is over, I can get back to baseball.

Unfortunately for me, baseball's been over for three weeks. Hey, had I known my timing would have been so poor, I wouldn't have gone to grad school. I know I missed a lot of basebally fun-type things, and it makes me sad that I am not invested enough in any of those things to go back and write about them. Here are the few notable exceptions:

-Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter in his first major league start and came one walk away from a perfect game. I am a big Roy Halladay fan, and I was very excited to have the opportunity to see that.

-The San Francisco Giants won the World Series when they beat the Texas Rangers. Not only is it a great travesty that any team hosting Edgar Rentaria could win a WS, but to give him the honor of MVP makes me want to rip my own eyebrows off.

-In other "hearing this makes me want to maim myself" news... everyone who votes for the gold gloves should be forced to take a class on how to judge worthiness of potential gold glove winners. Anyone who gave Jeter a vote automatically fails and should never be allowed to vote again. 2006 wasn't bad enough... you gave him ANOTHER one? Tragic. Beyond tragic. Also, embarassing.

-Victor Martinez has agreed to a contract with the Tigers....

And that's where this blog begins. Do I think that not re-signing Victor was a good idea? No, I absolutely do not think that, but this is where my irrationality kicks in. Of course it always comes back to the issue of Varitek. It will ALWAYS come back to Varitek. I've said it a million times already. I lost Mikey this season. I'm not mentally prepared to lose Tek, too. The problem is if Victor comes back, Tek has no job. He's never going to be a starter again, but with Victor on the roster, Salty becomes the backup, and Tek becomes pitching coach (probably on another team). Losing Victor's bat is going to be painful. I readily acknowledge that. I will also miss his antics. Granted, Beltre will probably not be back, so it's not as if he'd have anyone to assault anyway, but I did grow to like VMart. If the Sox were smart, we would have kept him, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Now we are in a position where Salty could potentially have his dream of working with Jason Varitek come true. He's why the Salty had been on record as saying he would welcome a trade to the Sox. We got a very tiny sample size of what Salty could do this past season. Anyone would be a fool to think that he wouldn't benefit tremendously from working with Jason Varitek as his backup. We are facing a scenario that I am ok with. The only step left to achieve that scenario is for the Sox to offer Varitek arbitration and for Varitek to put his ego aside and accept it. No one will ever love him, or pay him, the way we have. He'd be a fool to think that he could get a better deal anywhere else.

I will quietly suffer through as many bridge years as I have to in order to see Tek retire a Red Sox. Mikey got to do it, and he didn't put nearly as much into his career in Boston as Tek has. If there was one person I'd want to see the Sox do right by, it's Tek. If there were two, it's Tek and Wake. This is undoubtedly Wake's last season. He's already said it's a strong possibility. Tek and Wake ARE the Red Sox. Either of them finishing their career in another uniform just isn't right.

I doubt I'll ever be as sentimental over a player as I am with Tek. I will admit, I have NO idea what tricks Theo is planning for this offseason, and I don't know what the team will look like come spring. That's why I can't get upset about Victor's departure (well, not VERY upset). We might end up with something just as good, and if not, there's always Tek.... long as he's offered arbitration.

Monday, October 4, 2010

That's A Wrap: Closing Out 2010

That's it, folks. The 2010 Red Sox are over. Our bridge-year, run-prevention-defense and triple-starting-aces Red Sox are finished.

Next year, Mike Lowell won't be on that bench. He won't be in the clubhouse or on the disabled list. Hopefully, he'll be somewhere on a lake with his kids, teaching them how to fish. They're absolutely adorable, by the way, and it was fantastic to get even a quick glimpse of the 'daddy' side of Mike. He will be missed. Mikey helped me to move on from Billy Mueller. Who is going to help me move past Mikey? I don't know, but it would have to be someone good to replace the top-quality 3B's we've had around these parts lately. No offense to Beltre, but I never considered him our third baseman, even though the job was his.

It may have been the year of the pitcher, but it seems like it was also the year of the Red Sox babies. We know Lester, Buchholz, and Beltre all welcomed new additions to their families during the season. I don't quite remember when the Papelbons welcomed their second, but I know it was this year. At the very least, all of these brand new babies will get to spend an additional month with their daddies. As much as it stinks for baseball fans, it's a good thing for those guys' families. Family always comes first, after all. That's how it should be.

Maybe I was imagining it, but I'm pretty sure I saw Varitek shedding a tear as he moved around the dugout getting hugs and congratulatory high-fives from his team mates. I said the same thing two years ago that I'm going to say now. I'm not ready for it to be over. I cannot lose Mikey and Tek in the same year. I just can't. So the front office is going to have to bring the Captain back as the backup catcher next year. Can you picture Jason in another uniform? No, and you should never have to see it either.

I hope whatever happens, Paps gets a chance to rediscover whatever it was that he lost this year. I've piled on him a lot, and he deserved a lot of the criticism, but I liked it much better when I trusted him. I don't WANT to dislike Papelbon. This year, it was kind of hard not to. Down to the last moments of 2010, Paps made me swear at him. He made it an uncomfortable win. I'll still take uncomfortable wins over losses, but I want him to find his killer instinct over the off-season. Next year, I'll come in with a fresh opinion of Paps. I'm not going to let this bad year sour my outlook of him right off the bat because I know he was having family issues this year. Whatever those issues were, I hope they get better and let him focus on his job. And I really, REALLY hope he keeps his mouth closed about his salary. I'll be waiting to hear "Shipping Up To Boston" next year.

It's been said, but the kids were pretty damn alright this season. I'll go over it a little more in my annual 'favorite games' post that I like to do to wrap up my season of baseball game attendance, but how often do you get a season where almost every rookie who comes up has a highlight-reel worthy first game? Nava. McDonald. Doubront. Anderson. Reddick. Kalish. They are the future of the organization, and they did us proud. Sure, I would have preferred to keep our starters in the lineup, but since that wasn't an option, the kids got their chance, and they shined. Consider me impressed. And proud.

There are spots that the club needs to work on before opening day. There are veterans whose jobs need to be considered, and we need to find a starting job for Tim Wakefield, who believes that 2011 will be his last season. Despite all that happened, the Sox still battled to the very last week of the regular season, and managed to keep the Yankees from winning the AL East. It may not be the victory we wanted, but just like every other less-than-ideal outcome this season, it was what we got, and we've got to appreciate the little things. So, thank you Red Sox, for a memorable 2010 season. We'll see you guys in the Fort, when the casts and bandages have come off, and hope will spring eternal again.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Oh Johnny: Really?

Is everyone on the Red Sox pitching staff determined to leave a bad taste in the fans' mouths? We won't be seeing Beckett or Lester again this season, and those are the pitching performances they leave us with? Ok, I expected it from Beckett, but Johnny couldn't pull one more magically good game out of himself to keep his damn near perfect September record intact? He just couldn't will himself to not suck long enough to not get swept by the White Sox? WHY?

I can't get too worked up about it, though. I'm not going into the last three games of the baseball season angry. It seems like just yesterday I was counting the minutes to opening night, and now it's coming to an end. I may be a little disappointed with how it's going to end, but like I said before, I'm incredibly proud of this team. With 19 official trips to the disabled list, they're still in a position to win 90 games. We got to see a sparkling display of the talent in our minor leagues, and that HAS to make you feel good about the future of the team. But I'm not ready to talk about the season being over yet, and instead of focusing on the fact that we're not going to the postseason, I'm going to focus all of my love and energy into cheering for Mikey, Tek, and Papi, three players that I have tremendous love for, who may just be playing their last games in Red Sox uniforms this weekend.

Mikey will, hopefully, get a standing ovation for every single at-bat this weekend. Does hoping for this make me a little ridiculous? Sure. I've never cared about being ridiculous. From my seat somewhere along the last row of the bleachers, I'll be standing for every single AB, and cheering as loud as my lung will allow for both Tek and Papi. And who knows? Maybe Dice will surprise me! Maybe he'll have the best game of his career.

I'm very much looking forward to this weekend's games, because once they're over, it's over. I'll follow the playoffs, sure, but I don't really care. Once my team is out, I'm out. I'll be rooting for Minnesota though. Just for the hell of it.

Go Twins!

And go Red Sox! Let's make the Yankees limp into the postseason.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You Mean We're Still In This Thing?

Of course, by 'in', I mean in the sense that partycrashers who have been spotted by security are 'in' the party. They're there, but it's just a matter of moments before they're 'out.' What's left? Six games? With the injuries and the way the boys played for a good majority of the season, did anyone think they'd still technically be in the race for a playoff spot with six games left to go? I didn't. But damn if I'm not proud of them.

Dahmer came out last night and demanded that people give him a little notice for the Cy race. He won't win it, of course, but having his name in the mix is quite the accomplishment. I feel like the award is almost definitely going to Fatass in NY. He didn't deserve his first one, and if he gets it this year, he won't deserve it now either. On the risk that I'll feel foolish about complaining if he doesn't win it, I'm going to whine anyway. Everyone's so impressed with the 20 wins? Why? They weren't impressed in 2007. Sure, it's been done to death already, but I'm going to put up the numbers so far.

Sabathia King Felix
W 20 12
IP 229.1 241.2
ERA 3.26 2.31
CG 2 6
SHO 0 1
H 206 189
R 91 79
ER 83 62
HR 19 17
K 189 227
BB 72 68
ERA+ 133 171
WHIP 1.212 1.063
WAR 5.1 5.6

These are the stats that I know and feel comfortable with. I'm not so advanced when it comes to the stat world, but I understand these ones, and I feel they speak for themselves. In comparison, because no I cannot let this go, in 2007, Beckett had 20 wins. Fatass did not. Sure, Fatass pitched 40 more innings. His ERA was better by .06. He gave up nearly 40 more hits than Beckett and 3 more HR's than Beckett, had two fewer walks. Beckett had the better ERA+, and they had exactly the same WHIP. Fatass had a better WAR. For the most part, their numbers were almost identical, and though Beckett was the only player in the majors to reach 20 wins that year, Fatass got the Cy. Why? Because he pitched more innings, and did it on a less talented (albeit a very good) team.

So if Fatass wins this year, what makes it different? King Felix has more IP, a better ERA by nearly a run, more complete games, fewer hits, runs, earned runs, home runs and walks allowed, more K's, a better ERA+, WHIP, and WAR. In EVERY statistical category that matters, Felix wins hands down. But because Sabathia is in NY and he has 20 wins (a statistical category that doesn't matter and least reflects a pitcher's ability to pitch), he's the frontrunner? I don't agree. Just another reason for me to riot, I guess. Hopefully the voters will do right and give it to Felix. Not that I think they'll do that, but I can hope.

As for the Red Sox... man, all I know is that I'll be crying on Saturday, and then again on Sunday when it finally hits me that we'll never see some of these guys in Red Sox unis again. I'll miss Mike Lowell terribly. I don't know what's going to happen with Tek or Papi. Sure, a few of the newer guys are probably leaving, but Tek, Papi, and Mikey are.... I don't know. They're just special and more important because they've been here longer. There's always a chance that Jason and David will be back, but Mikey is gone after Sunday.

Just breaks my heart that he has to go out in a year where we have nearly no shot to make the playoffs. But we ARE technically still in it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sox: Can't Drag Me Back In

I can't get my hopes up. I just can't. I'm enjoying the hell out of the winning streak, but I am not going to let myself believe they're still in this thing. That way, if they DO make it to the playoffs, I'll be pleasantly surprised, and if they don't, I won't be disappointed.

Funny, though, how every time they lose a game, they're all done and we just need to look toward next season. When they win, people start calculating how many more games we need to win and how many games the Yanks/Rays have to lose to get us back in this thing.

None of it matters to me right now. What matters was the win. Dahmer bouncing back. 7 IP, 1 ER. THAT is the kind of game an ace has. Pay attention, Beckett and Lackey. And oh my God, I'm actually saying nice things about Dahmer. Well, he deserves it. He's been solid when almost the entire rotation (except for Lester) has been ridiculously inconsistent. For that, I finally give him credit.

More credit to Beltre. While I disapprove of a lot of things about him, mostly out of bitterness, I definitely approve of those marriage proposal home runs. I love having 10 hits, and getting clean innings from Oki and Atch. I love triples from the kids, and doubles from the vets. I love pickoffs. I love 96 mph fastballs. Basically, there wasn't anything I didn't love about that game. I'm glad we won.... but stop telling me we have a chance. I don't need to get my heart broken this year.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tug Hulett: ...What Happened?

Out of sheer boredom today, I was looking through some of my posts from before the season started, and I stumbled upon a name. Tug Hulett's name, actually. It made me realize that I had NO idea what had happened to him.

Off to I went! I honestly believe I'd be lost without that website. It's fantastic in it's ability to tell me anything I want to know. Once again, it came through for me when it told me that on August 7th, the Sox released Hulett. He signed what I can only imagine is a minor league deal with the Mariners, and he hasn't been heard from since. Granted, he has a .196 batting average in his only two years of big league experience, but would the Sox really have me believe that we had NO use for him? My God, his name is Tug! And if we really had no use for him, and he was so bad that he couldn't plug even one hole in the injury-consumed lineups of the Sox or their minor league affiliates, then why bother? WHY?

I suppose I don't expect an answer. I was just sort of surprised to find out I had missed this. Well, where ever Tug is now, I wish him luck.

See? See, this is what happens when I don't have any baseball in my life. Gametime tonight is going to be miraculous.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Timothy: Makes Me Happy

My thought is that by now, everyone knows what we're going to get out of Tim Wakefield when he starts a game. You're going to get 70 mph fastballs, lots of knuckleballs, base hits, a few runs, and some innings. Generally, no one expects anything fantastic out of Tim, but it's fine because he's steady and I appreciate the predictability of his performances (even if I can't predict the flutter of the knuckler).

He is never going to put up the best numbers, but I find that he usually will keep you in the game. I feel he did a pretty good job of that last night. And in doing so, our man Tim became the oldest pitcher in Red Sox history to win a game for the home town team. When he wins his next start? He will break his own record. It will happen. Yes, Tim gave up five runs. He does that on occassion. Granted, he only pitched five, but you have to keep in mind that this man is coming out of the bullpen, hasn't gotten regular work, and when he has worked, it hasn't been for longer than a few innings. I think with all of these considerations, people should be very pleased with what they got out of Timmy.

Full disclosure - I didn't watch the whole game on TV. I watched the first three innings, and then put GameDay on. The last thing I saw was David Ortiz hit a home run to tie the game. Appreciated. I don't dislike many people in baseball the way I dislike Camel. There's just something about his constant spitting that makes me dry heave. I can't tolerate him, so watching him get handed a loss is gratifying for me. Knowing our boys hit five home runs (including 2 by Scutaro!) was especially gratifying. Beltre and Victor also got in on the carnage and hit home runs. I wonder if after Victor hits a home run if Beltre tries to rub his head? It would only be fair. Weird, but fair. I also think it's a little weird that in all three games of the series, the winning team won with a double digit score, and the losing team lost with five runs. 12-5, 14-5, and 11-5.

I also want to point out that Atchison has been a lifesaver this season. For someone who was only on the team out of sheer luck, he's come up big when we needed him, and for that, I give him credit. Two scoreless innings for him last night, and it seems like we may have found a good long relief guy. Hopefully, by some miracle, we can continue to utilize his skills deep into October. I may be dreaming, but I enjoy being a dreamer I guess.

Since I didn't see the majority of the game, I can't comment on how Oki looked, but from what I read, he was a little stressful. Hey, stressful is ok ONLY if you get the job done. Apparently, he did, because the Sox walked away with the win. I don't know how many more wins the Sox have in them this season. I don't know if we'll be playing past October 3rd (I'll keep praying). All I know is that I love beating Matt Garza. Because he doesn't deserve to win.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How Grand!: Sox Find Their Bats

In a completely unexpected turn of events, last night, the Red Sox discovered that (contrary to their prior belief) they ARE allowed to hit the round, white thing that the other team kept throwing at them. Perhaps the ever-fantastic Rocco Baldelli was kind enough to say "hey, guys, it's cool if you hit the baseball. You're supposed to do that!" Or maybe the equally fantastic Carlos Pena passed a note over to the home team's dugout with the words "see ball, hit ball." I don't know. I just wanted an excuse to mention both Pena and Baldelli, because I adore both of them.

More likely, it was the fact that Jeff Neimann has struggled mightily since coming back from the disabled list a few weeks ago, and the Sox were finally able to take advantage of a struggling pitcher. I can't say that before this game, they had been completely inept at the plate. Saturday, sure. They were inept. Sunday, they scored five runs. On a day when Beckett is pitching and Pap is closing, five runs generally gives you the win. Well, just to make sure, the Sox decided to score twelve yesterday. I really hope that they didn't just use up all their offense for the week.

After the first two innings, I was pretty confident that the game wouldn't end before I had to be at work this morning. Luckily, the pace did pick up eventually. I think between the first two innings, there were something like 100 pitches thrown. Our first runs came on a giant 2-run shot by Papi and a solo shot by Beltre (and yes, Victor DID rub his head afterward). After putting up three in the first and second each, the Sox piled on with five more in the fourth, four of which came on Ryan Kalish's grand slam. Man, I love the itty bitty baby Sox. They've kept us alive this year.

Lester threw a bunch of pitches and was done after six, but he was actually pretty damn good, striking out ten and only allowing 2 runs (one in the first and one in the third), and subsequently picking up his 16th win. Nice to see the 'ace' version of him come up big when we need him. Sure, we're all but dead in the water, but isn't it more fun to keep things interesting? We may not make it far, but there's no point in not trying. Our PawSox relief corp had a bit of a rough time, giving up three runs, but were good enough to hold the win. Oki closed it out, and looked good doing so, which is nice for a change. Everything clicked yesterday. I wonder if they can keep it up or if we're going to go back to spotty defense and anemic offense. Based on the pattern of the season, I think I know which I should EXPECT, but I'm hoping for the opposite. Dice-K on the mound tonight. I'll keep one eye open.

Also, in case I haven't mentioned the awesomeness of Mikey lately... the man is playing with a broken rib, because he knows we need him to. Awesomeness or badassery? Perhaps both. I do love that man.

Papelbomb: We Lose

I just wanted to give a quick rundown of my opinion of Sunday's game. Especially now, tempered and happy by the results of Monday's game (which will be recapped shortly), I feel like I can write about the disaster on Sunday. Beckett wasn't bad. He wasn't the dominating, hellfire and brimstone spitting Texan that we needed. He was sort of a muted version of himself. If there was hellfire within, I certainly didn't see it. That said, he still kept the Sox in the game. Yes, he only pitched 6 1/3 innings, and gave up three runs (one earned), but we were still in it. I believe the Sox took the lead in the bottom of the seventh, but I don't feel like looking it up because the headlines and the reminder of the loss make me sad. The win was right within our grasp. We could all feel it. And then.... then it just slipped out of our fingers and it was gone.

Papelbon ultimately got the blown save and the loss. God knows I love picking on Papelbon. I do, but you cannot pin this all on him. He had gotten two outs in the top of the 8th, and labored through them. Had he looked particularly sharp, I would have felt better about it, but he didn't. Going into the 9th, his pitch count was getting a little high, and it worried me. I think he was right around 40 pitches when the game got out of control and he gave up the doubles that would tie it up. I know there is no easy decision for the manager when your closer is asked to get five outs and he labors through them. I can't say that if I were Tito, I would have pulled Pap. You have to figure that he's going to work his way out of it, but he just couldn't. Once the pitch count got too high, I think most people knew what was coming, but there was nothing we could do. As we saw, replacing Pap didn't really work out too well, but would it have gone differently if we had pulled him earlier? The closer doesn't always have to be the last one in the game.

I don't know what I would have done differently. All I know is that when he was pitching and you could see he wasn't hitting his spots, I sort of knew that he would blow it. Yet, strangely, I don't blame him. I'm more inclined to blame Tito, but again, I don't know what could have been done differently. It was an ugly end to an ugly series. Sloppy defense and some impossible pitching choices led to a sweep by the wrong colored Sox. Thankfully, the beating is over now, but man, did it feel like we had all been punched in the gut, or was it just me?

I'm glad that my next post gets to be more upbeat, because these downtrodden 'why does this keep happening' sort of posts are starting to make me sad.... so, let's just move along.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Me and The Team: Both Pretty Defeated

I'm having a bad morning. I wanted to crawl back into bed when I was halfway to work this morning, but I didn't. It feels like one of those days when you just know you shouldn't wake up. On top of it all, everyone seems pretty down on the Sox, which gets me pretty down. Yeah, we lost to the O's. Honestly, is anyone surprised at this point? We can't beat bad teams. I'm pretty sure we have a losing record against the worst of the worst in all of baseball.

Manny Delcarmen was traded to Colorado. I can't say I'm surprised. He's been incredibly inconsistent this year to the point that I sincerely couldn't figure out what was going on with him. He had his moments of brilliance where no one could touch him, and then he'd follow it up with a two or three game skid where he literally could not get an out. I guess it doesn't matter now. He'll have a new beginning with the Rockies. I do wish him well. No matter how much I made fun of him and ripped him apart, he was still a home town boy. I'm happy that he got to live out his dream and play for the Sox, but it's time for him to move on. All the best to Manny.

Beckett. Oh, Beckett. I specifically asked you at the beginning of the game to not suck, and you didn't listen to me. I wish you had. Perhaps I should have told the offense not to suck. As much as I was not surprised about losing to the O's, knowing that the boys have had a hard time scoring more than 2 runs for stretches of time this season is a litttle disappointing. Despite the injuries, we still have a good offense. Two runs against the Orioles hurts just a little. And in all fairness, Beckett did get over the suck and pitched seven good innings, only allowing 2 ER, but it wasn't enough. He wasn't enough, the bullpen wasn't enough, and the offense wasn't enough. That's the whole season in one sentence.

I still want to watch, though. So I'm going to. Lester's on the mound tonight, and Lester ALMOST never lets me down when he's in Baltimore. I'm hoping he has a good game. We need something to cheer about.

I was going to write about Manny... not Delcarmen, Ramirez.... but what is there to say? He hasn't played yet.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Boggling: Just Boggling

Saturday's loss was painful. I feel that almost goes without saying, but it was close and Dahmer pitched incredibly well until a stupid throw to first essentially cost him the game. Sure, the offense could have given him a little insurance, but they didn't and he knew what he had to work with. My philosophy (and forgive me if I am incorrectly recalling the scenario that allowed Pena to go first to third) is that with 2 outs, you ignore the runner at first. Focus on getting the out, and then the guy at first won't be a problem. I know, this is why I'm not a baseball player, or coach, or anything significant. It could have been avoided, but it wasn't, and we took the loss.

Once we lost game two, I had bad feelings about game three. I really don't have any faith in John Lackey, as much as I wish I did. Plus, it was an ESPN game and the bad luck that comes from listening to those clowns call our third baseman Adrian Bel-TRAY is pretty overwhelming. I didn't have high hopes. At least I wasn't disappointed. If I'm being honest, I was excited for this series. I think it really gave our boys a chance to show that they weren't out of it yet. A sweep would have brought up 2.5 out, and winning the series would have left us 4.5 out, but instead, we're 6.5 out with 30 games left to play. We're not done yet, but it's close. I can't say they didn't try. We all know that they've been working their butts off to keep themselves in this thing.... and it seems like every time Lackey starts, it has the opportunity to be the biggest game of his Red Sox career, and he's almost always disappointing. We needed him to come up big, and he just didn't. He didn't pitch AWFUL, per se, but we needed so much more from him. And Oki. I can't let Oki off the hook. He's been frightening at best this year. I don't know what he's doing wrong. Maybe it's just a case of players figuring him out. He's not overwhelming, and his location hasn't been perfect, so he's been getting knocked around. It's sad.

The kids keep grinding away, but their wheels are spinning and it's getting them nowhere. No, it's not over yet... but when it is over, we're going to look back at this season, hopefully with some level of pride for what they were able to accomplish while being completely and brutally destroyed by so many freak injuries. How often do you see two guys with broken ribs, two guys with broken feet, a random leg infection, and broken thumbs all in the same season on the same team? I'm not making excuses for them. They don't need my excuses. They've battled, but you just can't win every battle.

At the very least, it's easier to get tickets to Fenway.

Sigh. Go Sox!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ho Hum: Rain Takes Away My Baseball

Not much to report, actually, since the game was postponed last night. We're supposed to be getting a double header today, but if it keeps raining the way it was when I drove into work about a half an hour ago, then I don't think we'll get any games in. The rain stopping would be pretty fantastic. It's only Wednesday, and due to my automatic grogginess whenever it rains, I feel like this week has been 12 days long so far and I've had no motivation to do any of my homework. Oh well. I think a good nap may help that. Or not.

I'm not upset that he-whose-name-shall-not-be-spoken turned down the trade to Boston. Not even the tiniest bit. When the decision leaked, I'm pretty sure I did a little happy dance. That's the last I'm going to say about it.

The other bit of news is that Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been released from the hospital, seemingly over the strange leg infection that put him in there to begin with. You know it's a troublesome season when the guys are getting afflicted with infections and broken bones left and right. Hopefully he's fully recovered and can work his way back to the team really soon, because I swear to God if I have to watch Kevin Cash for an extended period of time I may have to gouge my own eyes out.

Oh yeah, Kevin Cash is being activated. I forgot to mention that... mostly because it makes me sad. So, come back soon Tek and Salty! No. Really. Soon. Like today. Please?

Better yet, make sure you're properly healed first. I guess I can sacrifice my own happiness for the long-term well being of the team. At least for a little while.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Red Sox: Baseball Team

I'm not going to lie, I felt pretty utterly defeated when Munchkin went back on the disabled list. It knocked all the enthusiasm out of me, and I feel like I've been going through the motions in watching the games since then. I want them to win, but I just don't feel like they will. Losing Youk was a huge blow. Losing CRW again was a little concerning. Losing Cameron, sadly, had no real impact on me since I didn't get to really see him play enough to make up my mind about him. It's August, and we have four players done for the year with injuries, but Munchkin hurt the most. He was the hope for so many people, played two games, and re-injured that foot.

Now I'm hovering right around pissed. What is the purpose of having an entire medical staff that cannot properly handle their responsibilities? Yes, I am looking for someone to blame, and it just seems a little appropriate that the blame fall on the medical staff that seems to be misdiagnosing players left and right these days. Remember a few years ago with Mikey's hip? How badly did they botch that? Heck, even at the beginning of the season, they didn't realize Ells had broken ribs for over a week. Both CRW and Munchkin were brought back too early from injuries. Isn't it the manager and the medical staff's responsibility to know the players well enough to know when they have to slow them down or force them to take a step back. Are they even evaluating them properly? Perhaps I'm just a tad bitter about losing all of these players, but I doubt I'm the only one scratching their head about the way the medical staff operates.

Either way, we've had a string of pretty good games. We also had a couple of bad ones mixed in there, but I'm chalking it up to a bad day for Lester and a bad season for Beckett. After all, it's an even-numbered year. I didn't really expect much from Josh. But recently, we've gotten good pitching out of Dice-K, Dahmer, and Lackey, and I can't really ask for much more, except offense... which we've actually gotten a pretty good dose of. Sure, winning series isn't as good as sweeping series, but it's far better than losing them. Lackey got us off to a good start against the Mariners, even if he does tend to be a little frustrating. Papelbon got a nice, easy save and looked good doing in, and the offense strung together hits, which I ALWAYS love to see. I look forward to a rebound outing from Josh, but if he fails, he fails. We'll move on. I'm trying so hard to stay positive. I don't think we're going to make the playoffs, but I can't just give up on hoping now. I'm going to keep hoping.

The thing that irks me right now is the situation with he-whose-name-shall-not-be-spoken. You know who I'm talking about. He's currently a Tiger, and the Red Sox put in a waiver claim on him. I don't know if perhaps the waiver claim was an actual attempt at reacquiring that lying miscreant, or if the Sox are just blocking the Yanks and the Rays from possibly acquiring him. Doesn't matter, as he doesn't seem all that enthusiastic about the prospect of returning to Boston anyway. I hope he does turn down the trade. I don't want him back in a Red Sox uniform. Call me bitter and spiteful if you will, but he lied. He had no reason to lie, but he did, and for that, I can't forgive him.

Had he NOT lied and bolted to the Yankees, I would have been angry, but I would have been able to cheer for him again when he became a Tiger. Or if he had gone to any other team except for the Yankees, without saying anything, I would have been fine. The man specifically said that he didn't care how much money the Yankees were going to throw at him, he could never be a Yankee. Not okay in my book. Complain about Manny all you want, but Manny never promised not to go play in New York. As much as I complain about Papelbon, I won't be surprised if he ends up in pinstripes some day. If he does, sure, I'll boo the hell out of him when he comes back to Fenway, but as soon as he leaves New York, I can continue cheering for him. Never that other guy. I can't. He shouldn't be allowed to redeem himself.

I know the front office may have been a little bit crappy to him, but he didn't essentially slap the front office. It was the fans who were most affected by his departure. Sucking up to them after the fact is meaningless. Well, now he has the opportunity to block the trade, and I wholeheartedly hope he does it because there is just nothing within me that wants to cheer for that man again. Please don't come back.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

That Guy: He Won Again

That guy I mentioned yesterday? The one who used to pitch for the other team but now he sometimes pitches for our team? He beat that team he used to pitch for again. He seems to be having lots of luck in that regard, and our offense seems to have no problem facing them. I like wins. I don't know if I've ever mentioned that before, but wins make me feel all warm inside. I haven't really liked that guy all that much.... well... ever, so it's nice for him to give me a reason to not want to punch my TV. Yeah, ok, the 3-run home run was frustrating, but it's fine. He didn't give up anything else after that, and that's really all that matters. I think. For now.

As for Daniel Nava... while I completely and utterly appreciate his hard work in this win, I think it would be in his best interests to, you know, not dive for baseballs. Yes, it had to be done, but that doesn't mean it wasn't scary. Especially after being hit in the ribs with a 90-something mph pitch. Sue me if I'm a little overprotective of our outfielders' ribs. I have justification for being this way. Nava was sort of my hero during the game last night. Watching him this season has been fun, hasn't it?

Bill Hall has also been a pleasant surprise. I think I've brought it up before, but aside from his suspect fielding, he's turned into a pretty good pickup. Solo homer to tie the game at 2 in the 4th was delightful. I don't know, it's another night that I really can't complain about. Everything seemed to make me happy.

Especially seeing Dave Roberts. He's looking fairly fantastic for someone who has gone through as much as he has, and that wonderful smile almost never left his face. The day before the Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon commenced, it was great to see Dave and get an update. I wish him absolutely the best in the world, and hope to see a little more of him. Good luck, Dave! We're all rooting for you!

Since I've been piling on Paps so much lately, I'll go ahead and give him credit. He was great last night. Nothing negative to add. I'm not going to bring up anything else from the season. He was great, and when he pitches like that, I'm happy. I think for the first time all season, I wasn't complete nerve-wrecked when he stepped onto the mound. I don't know why I wasn't nervous. Sometimes you just know that it's going to work out. So much credit to Paps. Let's keep that up, huh?

And last, but absolutely not least, happy birthday to my dad, who would have been 69 years old today. How very appropriate that today starts the radio telethon for the Jimmy Fund. My dad (also named Jimmy) passed away February 2, 2007 of colon cancer that metastasised to his lungs, so every year, I pledge my money to the Jimmy Fund, hoping that one day, there will be a cure. I pledge in my father's name, and I honestly believe that the money they collect makes a difference. I hope to live to see the day when I won't have to pledge any more. So happy birthday, dad. I love you, and I miss you so much. And I've already made my pledge in your name to try to put an end to this awful disease.

If you want to pledge money to the telethon, please go here:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Munchkin Returns: Havoc Will Be Wrought... You Know, Eventually

So Munchkin may not have made a Mike Lowell impact in his first game back, but he was the very first one to admit that he wasn't back to 100%. He also acknowledged that we needed him. And we so did. We needed him back like nobody's business. Seriously, we love Pedroia around these parts because he is unbelievably arrogant, entertaining, and talented. Nice to see athletes back up their big mouths with actual talent. I don't care that he had a bad game. Seeing him in there just makes me feel like they can win. Hopefully that will translate into (more) actual wins.

Dahmer was pretty darned good last night, if I do say so. The team overall has had pretty good success against the Angels this year, so it was nice to be consistant in one aspect of the season, huh? Seven innings and his ERA is hovering around 2.35 for the year. One good, scoreless inning a piece from Doubront and Bowden closed out the game, and the Sox got to leave with a win. Loved it.

You know what else I loved? Grand slams. And home runs that smash into the backs of car windows. I laughed because I expect to see something like that during neighborhood street baseball game, not a baseball game that occurs in a big league stadium. But, we've seen balls hit onto Landsdown before, so it's a park at your own risk sort of situation anyway. All I know is the owner of that car can't be too mad because they got a souvenir out of the damage (small victory, I know). As for Kalish, man did he pick a good night to hit his first grand slam. His first two home runs in the bigs were in two of the most popular stadiums in America. Just goes to show you that he's not intimidated, which bodes well for him. At least in my mind it does. I congratulate him on that wonderful GS. And Torrii Hunter, if you could stop stealing home runs from my team, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

Either way, it's hard to complain when the team is winning, even if Ellsbury and Cameron are pretty officially out for the season. We didn't need them anyway. Maybe next year we can get a center fielder whose ribs/abdominal area aren't made of pretzel sticks...

Not for nothing, but seriously, what the hell? I get it. You can't tell a person if they're in pain or not, and it's unfair for calling Ellsbury soft for missing most of the season with cracked ribs. But I think it's safe to say that after all those months he took off to rehab said ribs that the reasonable expectation was that they were healed. He cracked another damn rib! Someone get this kid some calcium, please? We don't need our outfield suffering from brittle bone syndrome. Honestly, I'm starting to get concerned. Also, yes, I am aware I am not a doctor, and I don't know anything about healing ribs and such, but I think it's only fair to assume that he was healed to the point that there were no more fractures in the ribs. And if he wasn't, then he shouldn't have come back. It's not like he was going to change public opinion of him anyway. Also not like he was going to single-handedly save the season. If he's hurt, let him sit out. I don't care. Are these the same ribs that he keep re-cracking? Or, forgive my absolute medical ignorance, do the former cracked ribs make other ribs more susceptible to breaking? I don't know. I don't know, but I feel like our medical staff should, and perhaps therein lies the problem. This has nothing to do with my personal opinion of Jacoby's talent. I haven't been that fond of him since long before his ribs were destroyed by Beltre anyway. I really just want to understand how this guy keeps cracking ribs. That's all./rant

Some guy who used to pitch for the other team is pitching for us tonight. I'm not getting my hopes up, but if Munchkin powers us to a win, I will not be upset.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Not Worth The Money: Paps Blows It Again

I can't help it. I know there are plenty of other people out there who can't help it either. Every time I watch Papelbon completely and utterly suck, the first thing that comes to mind is him complaining that he wants to set the standards for closers getting big paydays. You know you do, too. It's inevitable. And every time he blows it, and I think of that quote, I feel like I wouldn't mind if we didn't have him on the team any more, which makes me feel sort of bad. He was absolute nails when we needed him over the last five seasons. This season, not so much. Even last season, he was beginning to sputter a little. I don't mind the players claiming that the world owes them more money when they deliver, but when they don't, then I get annoyed. I've found myself annoyed with him far too much this year. Even when he doesn't blow the game, I just don't feel comfortable with him on the mound. It's sad to see how this has turned out. I remember when Paps came into a game, it was over. We win. No doubt about it. Now, I see him come into a game with a one run lead and I assume it's a loss. It shouldn't be like this, but it is. It's just sad. And unbelievably aggravating.

I won't blame Bard for that disaster. Bringing him in the way they did wasn't fair to him. Granted, he could have gotten out of it, but he's still a rookie, and hasn't been all that good with RISP this year. You just don't do that to him.

I had this whole big post written out in my mind yesterday about how Lackey finally pitched a game I could be proud of, and how maybe he's ready for the stretch run, blah blah blah. I mean, he still pitched a good game. He probably shouldn't have started the ninth, and if he was going to start the ninth, Tito should have probably let him get an out or two. To me, giving up a home run to Bautista doesn't show me that a guy's got nothing left. Doesn't Bautista lead the league in home runs? If not, he's mighty close. I don't know. I just don't know. I'm glad Beckett is on the mound tonight. At the very least, I have the opposite reaction to Josh than I do with Lackey or Paps. Even though for the majority of the year, Josh has been ridiculously bad, I still always feel like we're going to get a win with him on the mound. I don't try to understand why I think the way I do.

All I know is that I hate to be so negative in a post without pointing out some positives. Saltalamacchia (sp?) made his debut yesterday and in one game was 100% more useful than Kevin Cash has ever been. In his entire career. I can't stand Kevin Cash. So, Salty did good with two doubles and a thrown-out base runner.

Ronald hit another triple. I do believe that makes two days in a row that he's hit triples. I sort of wonder if there's a record for most consecutive games with triples. I know there is, but I don't want to look it up right now, so I'm going to pretend that I don't know and just leave myself to wondering.

Oh, and Lowrider hit his first home run of the season yesterday! Pretty good for a guy who, I was pretty sure became a distant figment of everyone's imaginations. But hell, even if he's not real, that home run really counted.

Despite how well our replacement infielders are, I still can't wait to get Munchkin back. To me, it sort of feels like a tag team match where one guy (the entire Red Sox team) has been in the ring for far too long and he's really dragging and getting beat up. Sure, once in a while, he'll get that burst of adrenaline and fight back, but for the most part, it's just the opponent kicking them when they're down. Pedroia is the tag team partner waiting in the corner, itching to get into the game. You know once he gets in, he's going to be kicking some ass. They may not win the match, but Pedroia, as well all know, is going to do his damndest to make a show of it. So, can we please tag him in now?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bill Hall: For The Win

Literally. Bill Hall created that win last night almost single-handedly. Two home runs, four RBI's, and some fancy leather work in the infield. I can't say that he hasn't been performing up to this point. He was brought in as a utility guy, and he's gotten over 200 at bats so far due to the fragile health of, well, everyone. He had something like 13 home runs coming into last night. Sure, his fielding has been a tad precarious at times, but he did what he could. But last night Backup Bill was pretty much the story.

Sure, Dahmer was good too, but we all know that you can lose a game with good starting pitching. If your offense doesn't help you out, you aren't going to win. Just ask Jon Lester how he feels about that, and he'll tell you... actually, no, he probably won't tell you anything. He'll just get into a Beckettesque speech about executing pitches and that sort of thing.

Wow, I really enjoy the word Beckettesque. But there I go, getting off track again. Dahmer pretty much rocked that pitching mound last night. Eight innings, five hits, one run., 2 walks, 4 K's. Saved the bullpen and took advantage of the rare offensive onslaught. I cannot remember the last time we won by such a large margin. I guess it's been far too long. Just so everyone is aware, Dahmer is sporting a very nifty and quite impressive 2.49 ERA. Man, do I love those ERAs.

Credit also goes to Dustin Richardson, who I was very mean to around the trade deadline when I heard that he had been promoted. It was nothing personal. I was frustrated. I also wasn't being very consistent, because I complained that I don't think the Sox should make any moves, and then I complained that we didn't make any moves. Never happy, I guess. But, really, I did stick by my belief that we have to ride it out. I just sort of wanted another reason to complain about Theo. Grudges. Hard to dispose of. But Dustin pitched a very clean, very lovely 9th innning yesterday. Granted, there was almost no pressure in this one, but it still needed to get done. Thank goodness for us that it did.

Let's see, who else on the offense side of things made me happy? Well, as usual, Mikey. Love that man. Three hits, a walk and an RBI are always appreciated. There were also HR's from Beltre and Drew, and a triple from Ronald. Poor Scutaro went 0-5 from the leadoff spot, but everyone is allowed to have a bad game once in a while. I LOVED the game last night. There haven't been many games I've truly loved this season. Feels like most of them have been more like heart attack theater than love stories, but what can you do? Bailing is not an option, because if you bail, you miss games like last night. It was refreshing. I think the whole team needed that.

Unfortunately, John Lackey, the killer of all momentum, is on the mound this afternoon. Hopefully John can prove me wrong about him and like, do something good. Because my patience with him is incredibly thin. Not like he cares.

But I'm watching you, John. Don't let me down.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mike Lowell: Hero!

I do love that Mike Lowell. Just something about him that makes me happy. Maybe it's the dashing good looks, or the classy way he handles himself. Oh, or maybe it's the game-winning home runs. Yeah, I think it's that last one. He's done that a few times since coming back from the disabled list. But, he's probably still Theo's mortal enemy. It's cool, Youk was nice enough to take himself out of the equation so Mikey could have his last hurrah in the bigs (assuming that he will, in fact, retire at the end of the season). I prefer to think of it as an act of kindness rather that yet another unfortunate accident at the expense of our season. Gives me more of a reason to like Youk.

I thought Dice-K was good yesterday. I mean, for the first few innings, I thought he was good. He sort of did that annoying implodey thing he does at times, and allowed the Jays to match the four spot we put on the board. Also, throwing 110 pitches in 5 and 2/3rds. Not super good. He did manage to strike out seven and limit his walks to three. I don't know. I usually don't expect too much from the guy anyway, so I'm not disappointed. Felix Doubrount, I think, handled himself wonderfully out of the pen. Yes, he blew the save and gave up a home run that tied the game, but he never let the Jays pull ahead, which to me, is pretty good for a kid learning to work out of the pen. I was proud of him, but then again, I love the rookies. All of them.

MDC and Paps both managed to pitch in a close game without blowing the lead or making me panic. Really, I think that was the best part of it all. There was no heart attack theater at the end of the game. Just nice, clean innings from two guys who have concerned me tremendously all year.

Aside from Mikey's HR, he also hit a sac fly in the 3rd. JD had a solo shot in the 5th. Lowrider had 2 RBI doubles, which is always nice from someone I keep forgetting is on the team, and Beltre and CRW each added an RBI via a double and a single respectively. So it was a team effort.

I didn't cover the Yankee series at all, and honestly, I have no intention of doing so even though we won 2 out of 4. It was good enough, but we have more important issues at hand now. Like, how will Dahmer fare against Shawn Marcum. I don't know, but I can't wait to find out!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dice-K Pitches 8: Somehow, It's Not April Fool's Day

I asked for a spark, and I got one. The team knows just what to do to drag me back into believing each and every time, don't they? I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem. As soon as I decide it's not worth believing in, they go ahead and have a game like yesterday (mind you, against the lowly Indians that we had NO right losing to in the first place), and I'm stuck. I have to believe. Even if they don't make the playoffs, even if we finish in fourth place, it won't matter as long as they show me that they haven't given up. Looks like they haven't quite done that yet. It's all I needed. I'm easy to please.... and really, I just love baseball so it's not like I could ever stop watching.

Adrian Beltre, the man who I blame for all the team's problems, hit a grand slam last night. The opposing pitcher whose name I do not remember and do not care to look up had a perfect game going until the 4th when Marco Scutaro singled, and then it all unraveled from there. Walks to Martinez and Drew loaded the bases, and Beltre crushed one into the monster. That was all we would need. Granted, when Papelbon came in to relieve Oki in the 9th with two on and one out and proceeded to walk the second batter he faced, I was thankful for those extra runs. With my limited faith in Papelbon, I was all but sure he was going to make it interesting and pilfer another win off a deserving team mate. Dice-K most definitely deserved that win. He went eight strong and only allowed one run on five hits and two walks, picking up six strikeouts along the way. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first time for the season that Dice's ERA has been below four. Now if only we could get Oki even to five, I'd be happy. But really, I can't complain about last night's game. We needed it.

Drew tacked on two more runs with a bases-loaded single in the 8th, which wasn't necessary, but still very appreciated. It was a good win... probably because Kevin Cash didn't get to play. I cannot stress enough how much I do not want him on my team. On MY team, Doug Mirabelli is still the backup catcher. Then again, on my team, Trot is still in right and Kevin Millar is the first base coach, but THAT is why I'm not a GM.

This weekend's series could bring us right back into the playoff argument or wipe us out of it completely. Either way, I got the spark I was looking for, so I'm holding on to my little sliver of faith until the end of the season, no matter how it ends. New daddy Clay Buchholz (Congratulations to Clay and Lindsay on the birth of their daughter whose name I do not remember!) takes the mound at Yankee Stadium, hell bent on keeping us in this thing. We're 5.5 games out of playoff spot. There's still enough time. We can do this.

Bring on Javier Vasquez. We're ready.

(At least I think we are. Hey, trying to stay positive here!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Just... I Don't Get It.

I completely lack any form of comprehension about what they're doing. Honestly. I'm not trying to be funny or amusing in any way, I really, truly do not understand this team. How do we go from the grit and fire of Tuesday's game to laying down like little whipped puppies at the hands of Fetus? Sure, you don't want to beat up on a former team mate, but could they not have gone 0-9 with runners in scoring position? Fetus has not been a good pitcher since he left this team, and he's exactly the type of pitcher the Sox need to beat up on.... and he's exactly the kind of pitcher we've been consistently losing to all year and I just don't know what to make of it. They're supposed to be too good to get beaten like this.

Watching this team this season has been like shooting off fireworks and staring at the sky waiting for the explosion, but the explosion never comes. We have everything we should need, but for some reason, it's just not happening.

After games like this, I always look for someone to blame. It's my natural reaction to a painful, soul-crushing loss that should have never happened. My instant reaction is Cash, because, all joking aside, I think he's a pitiful excuse for a catcher and he has no business being on a major league team. He is inept at game calling, and can't seem to catch anything with runners in scoring position. Offensively, he can't hit his own weight, and there's no power there. So he's my first candidate.

My second candidate is Beltre. I know Lester wasn't pitching well, and he certainly didn't help himself by throwing that bunt away, but it seemed like all night that Beltre was diving to his right to try to make plays and the ball just rolled by him. I feel like there was no effort out of him defensively last night. He wasn't making plays that I KNOW he can make, and more importantly, that Mike Lowell can make.

But, really, I blame Tito. I get that he doesn't want to exhaust Victor as a catcher, and I get that Fetus is tough on righties, but didn't he learn from the last time that his approach against our former pitcher wasn't working? You have Mikey on the bench, with all the motivation in the world to do well, even after Fetus came out of the game. I mean, I guess you shouldn't have to play your very best lineup against the Indians, especially when you have Lester on the mound, but I feel like there was a lot of poor managing in this game. I wonder though, if it was more Tito or Theo. Maybe I should just blame Theo.

I don't know. I want to have faith, but my faith is wavering. I feel like there just might not be enough time left for them to put it all together. I'm not going to give up on them, per se. I'll still be watching and cheering and going to Fenway as often as I can justify, but I'm really starting to feel like it's over. The weekend series with the Yankees will seal it for me one way or another. They don't have to win all the games, I just want to see that there's still fire on the team and I'll be able to believe. When they lay down for the Indians, I really question if they've got anything left.... even though only 24 hours prior to that, it looked like they were ready to demolish anything in their paths (I know, it was mostly Beckett, but still). I'm sure you can tell I'm feeling pretty negative today. I feel like I'm allowed to have my few moments of negativity over the course of a very long season. It's just that I can't think of a single positive from last night's game, and I am disappointed. I think all the fans are bummed out after a loss like this, and a lot of people are questioning if the team has it, if we're ever going to get the explosion that we're waiting for, or if we'll all just be left staring at the sky come October, wondering where it all went wrong.

All I need to see is a spark and I'll believe. Just one spark, guys. I'm begging you. Don't go out with a whimper, make a show out of it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mikey Lowell: I Will Always Love That Man

First, I need to say I'm mad at myself. I brought my camera and extra batteries, knowing that I would want to take plenty of pictures. What did I forget? My good memory card. Someone how only brought my 16 MB instead of my 2 GB, so after ten pictures or so, I was out of memory. Gah! Stupid me!

And honestly, there were so many wonderful things to take pictures of tonight. Like Mike Lowell, who deserved the two consecutive standing ovations he received (I stood for his third at-bat, but I was the only one in my section). There is no way that man doesn't know that we love him. All of us. Every single Red Sox fan in attendance. Apparently the only one who doesn't love him is Theo. I don't know why I can't accept that the Lowell situation is a business decision and not a personal one. Maybe it's because I think of Lowell more as an awesome person (based, really, on my own conclusions of what kind of person I think he is and not based on any actual information) than a baseball player. Josh Beckett called him "one of my best friends I've ever made in baseball." And if someone as anti-social and grouchy as Beckett says that (again, personal conclusions, not actual information), I think that means something. We love Mike Lowell in Boston. I'm glad he rewards our love with home runs. He deserved every second of those standing ovations, and I was so happy to see him back!

Also, Beckett. Hot. I mean in the fiery sense of the word. Yeah, of course, I can go all fangirl and gush about how gorgeous he is, but I'd actually rather gush about his eight strikeouts and his first win at Fenway since October of 2009. Another thing to gush about? Only three hits. Sure, one hit was a home run to the catcher that the Indians brought up to replace Santana, but... maybe that was just some bizarre form of reparations. He may have hit two batters, but Shin Soo Choo was faking it! You don't steal a base thirty seconds after hobbling to first if you're actually hurt. Also hot... his reaction to the Indians throwing behind Beltre. I totally appreciate standing up for your teammates, but if that gets Josh suspended, I'm not going to think it's so awesome any more. We'll see what happens. One thing I was concerned about was the lack of K-Men. I didn't see them there, and with 8 K's, it would have been a good night for them. Does this mean that Josh is officially not considered the ace any more?

I'm just so excited about Mikey and Josh and everything Mikey and Josh related that I don't even remember what else I wanted to mention. Oh yeah! Bill Hall... good work, man. Good work.

Because I only took nine pictures and I'm not feeling lazy tonight, here are a few select shots from tonight's game. I really need a new camera, though....

Directly before the home run. I didn't have much time to take this... he hit it out on the first pitch.

This is directly after the home run. I LOVE that man.

Captain in the dugout. My personal superstitious good luck charm!

Tomorrow night, I'll have my good memory card with me.

My Wish: Theo's Command!

Hah. I wish. But I did hope out loud that if Youk had to go down that we could bring up Mikey. Sure, you don't want to see anyone get hurt, but... Mikey!

At Fenway!

While I'm there!

I get Beckett and Mikey together at Fenway tonight. Consider me in fan girl mode. I'm not at all difficult to please, especially when it comes to baseball. But... yeah. Get well soon, Youk.

Santana: Get Better Soon

I sort of don't care that we lost. The Sox staged a good comeback. Sure, it fell a little short, but the didn't give up like I figured they would have. And honestly, after watching their catcher get maimed at our hands, we sort of owed them a win. Kalish felt horrible. You could see it all over his face how bad he felt. Obviously, he didn't do it on purpose, it was just a routine play where the catcher wasn't able to get into position before the collision at home. That doesn't mean it was easy to watch (though NESN apparently thought it was, re-showing it over and over), and every time I watched it, I cringed. Carlos must have been in some kind of shock, because I think I was crying harder than he was. You never want to see that sort of thing happen to anyone, especially to a young kid just trying to earn his keep at the big league level, and double especially not to a catcher, because my God do I love catchers. All I can say is that I hope he heals quickly and that they give him plenty of painkillers until he does heal.

I guess it was sort of fair that we lost Youk to a thumb injury. Yeah, having him in the lineup is a good thing, but I'll admit, I hope he goes on the DL if only to give Mikey Lowell the chance to come up and get his love and admiration from the fans before Theo ungraciously kicks him to the curb. I fail to understand why Theo seems to hate Mike so much. I used to think it was because he was part of the Beckett deal that took Hanley Ramirez away from us, but Theo seems to like Beckett. He's given him two contract extensions. The only thing I can think of now is that Theo is jealous of Mike's unbridled awesomeness, and he just can't bear to look at him and realize that he can never be Mike. I'm sure Mikey gets that a lot, but it's got to be hard being that fantastic.

Oh, but John Lackey, don't think this gets you off the hook, you giant, expensive mistake. I'd like to take an honest survey of Red Sox fans to see if there was anyone not named Theo Epstein that thought the Lackey signing was a good idea. And for five years! He wouldn't give guys like Pedro and Damon five years after their track records with the team, but he gives Lackey, a guy who never seemed to get it done on the big stage against us and was getting hurt more and more frequently, a five year contract. We really have to suffer through four more years of this? I'm especially harsh because I never liked Lackey to begin with, and he's taking up a rotation spot that could be occupied by Timothy... and before any of my hypothetical readers give me stats comparing Lackey to Wakefield, I want to point out that I'm a big fan of sentimentality and there are few players I get more sentimental over than Wakefield. If it were up to me, Trot Nixon would still be in right field. Be happy that I'm not in charge of assembling a team.

Lackey may have had a couple of good games, but I still feel like he needs to prove something... anything... to the Fenway faithful before we can get behind him. You can't fall apart like that to a team like the Indians. Much like the rest of Lackey's season, it's just not good enough. I don't care how many wins he has.

Beckett tonight. At least, Beckett better be tonight, because I bought tickets for tonight's game specifically to see Beckett. I have a history of missing Josh because of injuries, rain, or rotation changes. He's our only starter that I haven't seen live this year. I mean, for goodness sake, I got to see Felix Doubront before I got to see Josh! So I'm looking forward to seeing my favorite Texan pitcher. And he better be ready to show up Lackey because I will not tolerate another performance like last night's.

Also, for people who think it's impossible to get tickets... as soon as they announced that Wednesday night would be Lester vs. Fetus, I went on and bought two infield grandstand tickets for face value. It's easier to get 'cheap' tickets now than it's been in half a decade. Take advantage of it. If you don't, don't complain to me that you can't get tickets, because I'll know you're just not trying.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Papelbon: Mouth Continuing To Outshine Talent

Eh, I'm not going to pile on Paps, though I really want to. Fact is, he has been atrocious at times this season, and servicable other times. I think maybe once or twice he was dominant, but he certainly isn't who he'd like us to think he is. Dahmer deserved that win, and Papelbon stole it. Thank God wins and losses don't matter much to a pitcher... unless they want to win awards or something. Who really wants to do that?

Scutaro got to be the hero in this one, even if he didn't think he was going to be. He put down a very nice bunt, and the pitcher very nicely threw it away to score the winning run (don't even remember who was running... feel like the game was a million years ago). The home plate celebration was slightly less crazy that they've been in the past, which was nice. It almost seems like they're learning not to beat the hell out of each other, doesn't it?

I don't know what to say about the game. It was a very frustrating game, but it ended in a win, so I can't be all that upset. Anything that moves us closer to a playoff spot is a good thing, and as we all know, you don't get any points for style.

That'd be nice though. Style points? Papi and his bedazzled jacket alone would be worth at least five runs, wouldn't they? And Beckett's got some mighty nice cowboy boots. I may be in the minority, but I appreciate a guy who can rock some cowboy boots. And if style counted, you know for SURE they'd get Dougie back on the team. Dude can rock a black pinstripe suit (NOT Yankee style) like no one I've ever seen. Ten games easy. I guess they'd have to dock points for lack of style, though... those phiten necklaces aren't winning them any points, but are they worth negative points? Youk's current facial hair alignment would certainly be a game or two down. He's not working it right now. Shave that mess a little, and it would go from a negative to a positive in no time. Pedroia's swagger, and everything about Mike Lowell would be worth a few positive games. Would style points count for players on the DL?

I'm thinking far too hard about this. I really should be focused on the game. Papi just hit a wall-ball single in the 2nd inning off of Fausto Carmona. I'm going to watch this game after these three points:

1) My condolences to Dave Magadan and his family after the loss of his father. I didn't even know that he had been away for the last couple of days, but that is more of a testament to how busy I've been. Losing a father is hard at any age, and I certainly feel his pain.

and now the happy news:

2) Congratulations to Jon and Farrah Lester on the birth of their son, Hudson. I hadn't heard that they were expecting, but I really don't pay that much attention to the Sox wives. I guess Jon, Jonathan, and Dustin can all raise their boys together. WHat a future Red Sox team that could be, huh?

3) Happy 44th birthday to Tim Wakefield! Forty-ish days to go before he ties Yaz as the oldest player to ever play a game for the Red Sox. Tim should tie that record sometime in September.... and I hope he's in the rotation by then. No one deserves it more than Tim.

Oh, and Cameron's on the DL. Big surprise. Currently, he's sitting next to Jello Ellsbury in the dugout. I honestly prefer the minor leaguers. Because Cameron being on the DL means that Nava is back! Hooray! Ok, back to the game...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Trade Deadline: My Reaction

I hate you, Theo. I honestly do.

We needed bullpen help. You bring up a kid who couldn't get it done during his first stint with the big league club earlier this year. You also traded Ramon Ramirez for essentially nothing. Manny Delcarmen is still on the team. Bullpen: Not improved at all.

We needed outfield help. You designate Hermida for assignment, and bring up Kalish. Despite me wanting to see Kalish this season, how does a guy with no prior big league experience help us? Outfield: Not improved.

So, I guess we're supposed to wave the white flag now? I guess no one sent Papi the memo.

Mike Lowell still is in no man's land, and we're five and a half games out of a playoff spot.

Can everyone PLEASE stop telling me how much of a genius Theo is? I guess he wants to just wait till next year.

Oh, I still hate Adrian Beltre.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beckett: Gets the Win!

I don't know who is more excited about that win yesterday, me or Josh Beckett. My guess is probably me. After watching Josh for the last four seasons, I don't really thinks he gets excited about too much. And you know what? I'm still waiting for that jig he promised to do if the Sox won the WS in 2007. Did that happen and I just missed it? If so, does someone have a video?

And if not, someone grab a pistol and we'll make him dance.

I kid, of course. I don't know how to shoot a pistol, and I definitely wouldn't practice by shooting at the feet of someone who owns his own hunting ranch. THAT would be ridiculous. Back to my point... I'm shameless in my adoration for certain players, and Beckett is just one of those guys. His winning makes me happy. It brightens my day. I'm sure it makes him less neutral than normal, but he's probably focused more on the big picture than I am right now. As sad as this sounds, knowing that Josh just got his second win of the season makes me happy. On top of his second win, he earned the sweep. I do love sweeps, and I'm sure the Sox do, too. After that grim performance in Seattle, we sure needed that.

It's not really going to get any easier, though, so I hope that Munchkin heals up and Varitek comes back strong, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, we'll have an actual outfield someday.

I'm not really in the mood to rehash the entire game, but if almost all my love goes to Beckett for his performance in the game, the rest of it goes to Scutaro for allowing his performance to not be wasted. Now, I really hope the Red Sox are paying attention, because this is incredibly important: When you all are batting with the bases loaded, grand slams are a good thing. I know that grounding out weakly or flying out to shallow center have been the preferred results over the course of the road trip (and let's face it, the season... or at least that's how it seems), but I really am tired of squandering bases loaded situations, so perhaps we can do more grand slamming and less grounding out. Ok? Awesome!

Just out of my own curiosity, I am going to look up the team numbers with bases loaded this season. If you hear me weeping, you'll know why. Wait for it...

::Sob:: Ok... so, cumulatively, the Sox have seen a bases loaded situation 110 times this season. Seems like a lot, doesn't it? I guess it's not really, but it seems that way. In those 110 plate appearances, they've come away with 21 hits and seven walks. 76 runs have been scored. The Sox have recorded three grand slams (assuming that baseball-reference has already updated since yesterday's game). The frightening thing to me is that there's only a .001% difference between their batting average with bases loaded (.223) and their batting average on balls in play with the bases loaded (.222). Does this mean that we've been unbelievably unlucky this year or that we just aren't putting good swings on the ball? I don't even want to guess.

It doesn't matter. We got a win. But there will be baseballessness in my life today as the boys travel back from the west coast, so I guess I'm going to have to find something else to do with my time. Oh, I know! I'll catch up on the sleep I've been deprived over the last week and a half. Good plan. Goodnight all!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yawn: Yay We Win

Pardon the lack of enthusiasm. Part of it is due to the fact that I didn't watch the game... I mean the whole game. I watched innings 8 & 9 when I finally rolled home near 1 AM. Looks like our boys, even Lackey, did well. No complaints on my end. Lord knows I love a good win, and that win was good enough.

Despite not having anything interesting or compelling to write about from last night's game, I wanted to write two things (mostly because I'm avoiding doing a literature review that's due tomorrow, but that's another story entirely):

1) Mike Lowell hit three home runs for the PawSox last night. I know with Beltre, Youk, and Ortiz being incredibly useful right now, finding a place for Mikey is hard, but he's not going to be rehabbing for much longer, and we're going to need to find something to do with him. I say keep him. Well, I mean, keep him if it's in his best interest. I don't want to see Mike go back to the Yankees or to the Rays or, really, anyone in the AL. I'd rather him stay with us, but with the way our lineup is looking, I don't think it's too likely. If these are in fact Mikey's last days in the Red Sox organization, then at the very least he deserves a paragraph about his awesome offensive performance. And three home runs, I don't care at what level, qualifies as awesome for me. I love Mikey, and I only want him to be happy.

2) Beckett is pitching today (man, do I love former Marlins or what?). I won't see the start of the game, but hopefully I can catch the tail end of it. That probably means I won't get to see Joshua pitch, but I have no doubt in my mind that he'll be fine. Also, there's no one I trust more with completing a sweep. I don't even care if that trust is warranted or not. I have good feelings about today!

That is all. For now anyway. Hooray baseball!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jon Lester: Deserved Better

Beckett pitched well, Lester pitched brilliantly, and Dice-K even pitched impressively.

We walked away with one win.

After our amazing May and June, we've won 8 games in the month of July. The record for June is 8-12. We're wasting good pitching performances left and right. Perfect games, no hitters, doesn't matter. All wasted.

I'm looking at you, Eric Patterson. I don't care if you have to break both of your hands to make that play. A perfect game is on the line. You MAKE that catch, especially if you just ran all that way to get there. I know it was a mistake and you didn't intend to do it, but that one play made you look like a jackass. To me, it's inexcusable. There's always one play in a no-hitter... one defensive play that when the fielder makes it, you look at the pitcher and think 'that's it, he's got this,' but when Patterson botched that play, all I could think was 'damnit*... our momentum.' Sure enough, it was the turning point. Jon may have given up the home run, but Patterson allowed it to happen. Whatever, it's over. We lost. Against David freakin' Pauley.

*not even close to the actual word I used.

I'm not sitting here saying that the sky is falling or that the season is over, because it's not. We made up a 7 game deficit once already this season. I'm just wondering how many times we're going to have to battle back from the brink, just to watch our bullpen go nuclear over a potential win. Maybe it's time to drop the pirate bit. It's not bringing them luck any more. You don't believe me? Look at our record in extra-inning games. We're 4-8. Yes, it also reflects the lack of hitting, but it's not our starters pitching those extra innings.

Our pen has a cumulative record of 12-15, with an ERA of 3.88, and they've allowed 29 home runs. Forgive me if these numbers instill no confidence in me.

Last night, Dice only gave up one run in 6 innings, and Daniel Bard was nearly perfect for the 7th. After allowing a base runner in the 8th, with a total of 18 pitches, Bard was 'relieved' by Okajima, who apparently delighted in loading the bases, because he didn't THROW THE DAMN BALL TO FIRST! I've never hated Oki before, but come on, dude, what the hell?! You're not going to make the out at 3rd! Get the sure out! Where are the goddamned fundamentals?! He couldn't even get out of the inning after allowing five hits and two runs, and Rambo had to be brought in to finish the job.

No, the offense didn't help against Doug Fister. Nor did they help out against David freakin' Pauley. Really? You can't score two or three runs off a guy who has zero career wins and only pitches every other year? It's a joke. I don't even want to look at the numbers with runners in scoring position, because I'm afraid I'll cry. I don't get it. I really don't. What is happening with them? They're not facing good pitching. They can't really be that tired, because they've had plenty of time off this month. Sure, the lineup is a bunch of rookies and backup guys, but it's not the rookies and backup guys coming up to bat when we have the bases loaded. Why is Lackey the only one who gets any run support?!

It's a test of faith, I know. And it's incredibly tempting to demand Theo start making crazy trades and do something... anything to shake this team up a little bit, but I don't think it's the best idea. We've got to stand down and just make it through right now, as much as that hurts. Our guys are slowly trickling back to play. Besides, if it turns out that getting the hurt guys back is too little too late, then what good is a trade going to do for us anyway? We might as well keep the talent.

Though, I honestly would not mind some help in the bullpen, since Delcarmen and Oki don't remember how to get outs.

Dahmer should be on the mound tonight for game number 100 of the season, and I feel like today's just as good a day as any to get the bats going again. I'm keeping the faith.

Friday, July 23, 2010

John Lackey: Finally Earned His First Paycheck

Truth be told, I don't care that Lackey lost the no-hitter yesterday. Sure, maybe that makes me petty but I don't care. I didn't want Lackey and I haven't enjoyed watching him this season. Am I happy when he does well? Absolutely. But it's for the sake of the team, not for him. If he had gotten the no-no, I wouldn't have been angry, but... yeah. I'll just say I appreciate that old friend Josh Bard is the one who broke up the no-no. I didn't approve of the way our front office continuously brought him back and got rid of him. It was small revenge, sure, but he deserved it.

However, if we had lost this game, I would have been angry. I would have been very angry. Not that I stayed up for it. I actually had every intention of staying up for the game, but there was a pitching change in the 8th, and I thought I could just rest my eyes until they came back from commercials, and then I woke up when my alarm clock went off this morning. I couldn't have stayed up until 2 AM even if I wanted to, though.

Manny Delcarmen confuses me. What happened? On June 1st, he was sporting a 1.73 ERA and looking like the best thing to happen to the bullpen since pirate music (slight exaggeration, of course). He was our most reliable arm all through May, and most of June. Then what? He got hurt? Is that really it? Not for nothing, but he was on the disabled list and made rehab starts to take care of his forearm strain or whatever the problem was. June 3rd, the ERA started climbing. Two runs that night on two HR's to Oakland, and one run on June 6th brought it up to 2.67. After that, he enjoyed 5 1/3 IP over 6 appearances of scoreless baseball. Then in his next three appearances, he just completely and utterly fell apart, allowing nine runs on nine hits and two walks in one inning over three appearances. Two of those appearances (June 24 @ Colorado, and June 30th vs Tampa), he failed to record a single out, and then he was DL'ed. His first two outings back, he was great, allowing no hits and no runs in 2 1/3rd innings. Last night? Back to falling apart. 4 Runs on 2 hits in no innings. What's the problem? I don't know enough about pitching mechanics to know if he's doing something differently. When he's good, he's really good, but when he's bad, he is the destroyer of games. How do you pitch 1 1/3rd innings of perfect baseball one night and come back two days later looking like Eric Gagne? It doesn't make sense!

I won't even discuss Papelbon. My patience for him has slowly been getting shorter and shorter since 2008. Someone who bitches about money as much as he does needs to be able to back up his demands in performance. I also don't need to comment about our run prevention defense, considering the run preventors are mostly on the DL.

Wait. I will comment. Our defense is utter bullshit at times. To pick on Beltre for no reason, 15 errors? Seriously, my idea to call him Belteria a few months ago shouldn't have been this accurate. This was the improved defense we were supposed to get? REALLY? You honestly think Mike Lowell would have had 15 errors? The answer is no. Bill Hall has 8 errors. Eight. I know he's a backup, but eight? Marco Scutaro has TWELVE! Our run prevention infield has nore errors than I care to count. They're sloppy. It makes me angry. They're all lucky that they won last night, because that game certainly wasn't won on talent.

The last thing I can say is... it's nice to see them pull victory from the cold hands of ugly defeat. I just wish they wouldn't pull defeat from the warm, loving hands of victory so often. And good job, Patterson. You are the winner of the night.

On a side note, I did not realize that Nava had been optioned back to Pawtucket until I read an article about Mike Lowell helping the PawSox win their game last night. This means two things that I approve of: Mikey is getting close to rejoining the Sox (though I don't dare to speculate for how long), and that Wolverine is back in action. I've missed both of these individuals.

You know what else is going to happen tonight that will also win my approval? The return of Josh Beckett. I will try not to place too many high expectations on Joshua, since he's been crap all year and hasn't won a game since April 10th. But I am happy he's coming back. I've missed him, is all.

And I will stay up for the entire game.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Today: I Am A Zombie

Never mind the fact that I hadn't gotten a good night's sleep for a full week before the start of this west coast trip, and I've been doing nothing but schoolwork and resurfacing a concrete floor and no you don't need to know why... today I am a zombie, and an unhappy zombie at that. I'm gonna eat your damn brains and there's not a thing you can do about it. And no, I'm not one of those slowpoke zombies who shuffles along with no purpose. The only reason I'm moving so slowly is because I'm wearing heels and I miss my sneakers and.... getting off track. As usual.

We went from second place and one game out of first to third place and six games out of first before I even got to blink. I have no idea what happened. All I remember is bases loaded, and then it all goes black and somehow we lose. How do we keep losing? Yeah, I know. Kevin Cash. Adrian Beltre is officially not my most hated current Sox player. Congratulations, Adrian! I don't care how many ribs you broke, I can now actually say I don't dislike you the most. Cash... my mortal enemy (well, one of them) has returned. And he sucks. I know I'm the last person on Earth to suggest this, but Doug Mirabelli is literally just sitting around some office in Michigan. He'd look mighty good in some catchers' gear right now... and maybe a crisp white uniform? Wait, we're on the road, so.... grey? I can't even remember what color the uniforms are, I am so tired. But perhaps just the catchers' gear will do and I am moving on to a new topic before I start having to delete sentences.

I hate Kevin Cash. Wakefield does, too.

And who the hell is this "Lowrie" fellow. Name sounds vaguely familiar, but it's been such a long time. I thought he retired or something. But he's our shortstop for tonight, and for some reason he reminds me of CRW. This whole crazy team just fell apart, but we'll always have '04 and '07, and, well, now I want to watch Casablanca. And I'm absolutely confused as to how my mind got me here. Anyway. Who's pitching tonight? Dahmer? I sure hope so. Not that I'll remember the game tomorrow anyway.