Thursday, December 29, 2011

Trecherous: Okajima Signs With Yankees

Man, I thought I was upset about this whole Josh Reddick thing, and then I find out that Okajima signed a minor league deal with the Yankees? Why don't you just twist that knife a little bit more, Oki?

I didn't fault him for being upset after being taken off the 40-man roster. It's hard to fault a guy for actually wanting to play and wanting to be a useful member of the team. I agreed with that decision at the time because Oki was struggling and he wasn't helping anyone, but I've always liked the guy.

He was the throw-in. He was the guy they brought in to be BFF's with Dice-K, who wasn't expected to be spectacular but would still get outs. Well, he was spectacular, and when he would come out of the bullpen, you knew that the game was in good hands. A good portion of the time, his speed didn't crack the 90's, but he kept the hitters confused. Not many would argue that he ended up being a valuable part of the team longer than Dice-K did... though Dice is still technically part of the team and may once again prove valuable (not holding my breath).

Okajima once signed a baseball for my mom in spring training, and that was all she could talk about for the rest of vacation. That baseball is proudly displayed in her living room (next to two signed Jason Varitek baseballs), and it makes both her and I happy whenever we see it. Also, the Okajima song is the finest piece of music ever written. Perhaps I'm being a tad hyperbolic, but I love that entrance theme. I can't hear it and not sing along. I just can't.

But now Oki is a Yankee... at least a minor one... and I just have to thank him for all he's done and boo the hell out of him if he ever pitches against us. Sigh.

Oakland: Reddickulous

I dislike this. I dislike this tremendously. While I have few qualms about Andrew Bailey, I have tremendous problems with trading Josh Reddick to get him. Seriously. I love Josh Reddick. I honestly thought that he would be in right field this season, and he still might be! Only in Oakland.

Keebler thus far has been making.... interesting... moves. They really aren't the type of moves that I can get excited about or think, 'hm, I've always kind of liked that player. I wonder how they will fit in with the team.' Instead, I feel like it's a bunch of moments of, 'who the hell is that guy?,' or 'he traded FOR a former Yankee?!,' or 'no, really, who the hell is that guy?' I'm not saying that we need to sign Prince Fielder, but it would actually be nice to get a piece that I'm happy about. Maybe Andrew Bailey will be that piece, but his appearances will always be bittersweet because I will be stuck with thinking about poor Josh Reddick in Oakland.

I wish you the best of luck, Josh. I'm glad I was able to be in attendance for a good handful of your best games as a member of the Sox. Enjoy Oakland but know that I now have to root against you every time you come back to town.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

As The Crickets Chirp: Darvish Finds Out The Name Of His Secret Admirerer

The Red Sox seem to have posted no bid for Yu Darvish, so there hasn't been much news coming out of my go-to media outlets about his posting process. My guess is that after the fiasco that was Dice-K, Keebler decided that the best bet would be to stay far, far away from that mess. Actually, I think the reason that Keebs has made such minor moves and has kept so quiet is his post-traumatic stress disorder kicked in at the mere mention of a posting process.

"No, Theo, don't do it!" He begged.

"Quiet, Ben. This Dice-K guy is a sure thing."

"Won't you please think of the children?! The children, Theo! They don't even know what a gyroball is! I'm not sure it really exists!"

"Enough out of you. Back in the basement you go."

And there Ben would stay, through the bidding and negotiation. He was only let out of the basement once the damage was done, and even then he was given a pencil and a piece of paper and forced to learn how to spell Matsuzaka. It's bad memories for him. He just couldn't go through that again!

Anyway, the Texas Rangers won the bidding. I guess they saw something in this guy, and if Nolan Ryan thinks he's good enough, then I'm looking forward to seeing him pitch. Against us. When we face the Rangers. Wait, why am I looking forward to this? I give up. It's been a slow week. In case nothing else happens and I don't check in before Sunday, have a very Merry Christmas, you all.

I'm sort of hoping that Santa leaves me a right fielder in my stocking. What are you hoping Santa leaves you?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nick Punto: He Is Now On Our Team

With no facts or stats to back up this statement, I will make the following reaction to signing Nick Punto for 2 years $3M:

We traded Jed Lowrie so we could sign an older, more expensive Jed Lowrie.

Brilliant, Keebs. Brilliant.

Lowrider: Astro?

Farewell Lowrider. We hardly knew ye. Mostly because you couldn't stop hurting yourself and you didn't really get a chance to play. Your future now includes a trip to Houston with your (hopefully) buddy Kyle Weiland. I always felt bad for Weiland. He struggled every time he seemed to pitch for us. I might have been imagining that, but I'm pretty sure I'm not.

Parting with Lowrie does not surprise me. He couldn't show them what he needed to show them in order to become the shortstop of the future. Weird, now he's actually a shortstop of the future (get it? Because the Astros are a futuristic team? Is that funny? I don't think it's as funny in print as it was in my head. Sorry). Regardless, I don't think this is going to make his BFF-MVP runner up very happy. You know Lowrider was the only one Jacoby actually liked by the end of the season... if you are willing to believe what the media tells us. I'm not. Well, sometimes I am, but not in this case.

Melacon will be shipped to us as payment for these fine baseball players that we've provided to them. He seemed to have put up pretty good numbers last year, with the caveat being that it was for the Astros. Is he supposed to be our new closer? I don't know if I'm comfortable with putting the fate of my baseball games in the hands of a former Yankee.

Whatever. I don't honestly care about Lowrider and Weiland getting traded. I'm still in mourning over the possible end of Varitek's Sox career. I wish them well, but that's really the best I can do right now. Good luck in Houston, guys.

Oh Captain: Don't Go

I'm not really sure WHAT to say right now. Nothing is official. There's a chance for him to come back in some capacity (though definitely not as a player), but with the recent signing of Kelly Shoppach, who I happen to loathe, it seems all but certain that Jason Varitek's days with the Sox have come to an end.

(Please take a moment to cue up "Yesterday" by Boyz II Men, as you will need it for reflective background music as I begin my goodbye speech)

Jason made me fall in love with baseball. We didn't watch sports in my house growing up. I had zero exposure to the world of baseball. My dad wasn't a sports fan and my mom (a closet sports fan) followed his lead. When I was 18, the guy I was dating suggested we watch a baseball game. I agreed, mostly because I wanted to impress him. And then there was Tek. One look, I was hooked. I can't explain it. He hit a home run in the very first game I ever watched. For some reason, with my complete lack of knowledge for the sport, I didn't expect that catchers were able to hit. Tek hit. I fell in love. From that moment on, I needed to know everything I could about the novel concept I had just witnessed. Baseball. Imagine that.

Fast forward eight years. I know I said I'm ready for Tek to not be on the team any more, but I'm not. I'll never be ready. I want him on the team, I just don't neccessarily want him playing! That's not too much to ask, right? We've got a bunch of guys on the team who didn't play last year and a bunch more who won't be playing this year. We give THEM money. We let THEM show up to the park. Sign Tek for league minimum and give him unneccessary surgery!

If our GM or our manager or our Larry Lucchino think that Kelly Shoppach is the answer to anything other than 'who is a worse offensive and defensive catcher than a 40 year old Jason Varitek,' they are either fooling themselves or they are morons. Honestly, I do not see a single upgrade in Shoppach other than he's not 40. He's not even good looking. We got rid of him for a reason back in the day. If anyone in the organization honestly believed that he was worth retaining, they wouldn't have traded him to begin with. Theo held on to his favorite minor leaguers with an iron grip. We didn't believe in Shoppach then, and I have less reasons to believe in him now.

I understand wanting to save money, but do we really have to downgrade at positions? I'm not liking this. Bringing back Ortiz was a gesture of good faith to the fanbase, but you've got to do better than Shoppach. In case I haven't mentioned this, I hate Shoppach.

But, if this is goodbye, Jason, I want you to know that I cherished every moment of our time together. My well-worn Varitek jersey will never be retired (not until it is literally falling apart beyond repair) and I will support you no matter where you may end up. My heart breaks at the thought of you leaving. I know I was distraught when Mikey left, and we hadn't shared as many moments as you and I have, Jason. I thought we were in it for the long haul, but I guess fate has decided to tear us apart. Maybe in some other capacity, we can be together again. I'll never forget you, oh captain, my captain. Now please give me a moment. I think I have something in my eye.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Top Free Agents Keep Signing: Marlins And Angels Spending Like Drunken Sailors

Let me start by saying I have zero problem with these teams ponying up big money for free agents that they covet. I would be the Queen of Hypocracy if I said it wasn't ok. And I am equally fine with the fact that the Sox are not big-spending this year.

The Marlins made the first few big moves, and it looked like they were serious about Pujols. But then they stopped, and the Angels took over. Not only did they giftwrap CJ Wilson for themselves, but they tossed ten years, $250M+ at Albert and have wooed him away from the World Series Champion Cardinals. Money always talks, doesn't it?

I didn't care where either of them ended up. Would I like to have Pujols on my team? Yeah, probably... but logistically, we have nowhere to put him, and giving anyone more than a four or five year contract gives me hives. Anyone who honestly says they don't want Albert on their team is either in denial or does not watch baseball. Or maybe they don't like his face. There are certain players whose faces I do not like. CJ Wilson... yeah, I probably should have wanted him on my team, but I didn't. I would have rather had Buehrle.... Buerhle.... Bue... that guy from the White Sox. I would have rather had him. Wilson is talented, but I'm just not sold on him. It doesn't matter, really. I'm not a GM and I never should be.

Really, the only thing that I actually care about right in this very moment is the fact that Papi accepted arbitration and will be coming back. They needed to bring him back. I truly believe the goodwill of a patient, yet frustrated, fanbase was completely riding on Papi being brought back. At least the front office recognized that. I don't care how much money they have to pay him through arbitration. If they have no problem throwing money at Lackey for being useless, they can throw equal amounts of money at Papi for having a purpose. I'm looking forward to seeing how Keebler fixes the rest of the team. He's taking his time. I hope the slow rebuilding process is worth it, because it's driving me crazy. Typical neurotic Boston fan. What can I say? I just love that dirty water so, so much...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Arbitration Man: Papi To Accept Keebler's Offer

I think that had our GM included several cases of Chips Deluxe, or even E.L.Fudge cookies this would have been a done deal already. As it stands, the word is not official that Papi will be accepting arbitration, but it's likely. He still has until 11:59 PM to make up his mind one way or another. Hopefully, he'll say, 'Sure Keebs. Give me that one year and I'm gonna tear the cover off the ball and make you regret not giving me a long-term contract.' I mean, he'd probably say that in a cooler way, and with more of a Dominican accent, but you get the idea.

If our Papi does indeed accept arbitration, I will let out a huge sigh of relief. I need this. I think David needs this, too. It seems that most of the teams that have expressed interest in him have dropped out. The Jays don't want him. The Mariners don't want him. There are no other offers on the table, apparently. I'd say that I'm shocked, but I guess I can understand the logic to not wanting to sign a DH to a long-term contract worth around $10M per year. Papi wants a pay day, and he wants to guarantee a few other paydays after that. It's his right to look for a multi-year deal, but with such little interest, accepting arbitration is wise.

No one is ever going to love you the way we love you, Papi. Such a large chunk of this fanbase stood beside you, faith unwavering, through your toughest trials. So many of us never stopped feeling like you were one swing of the bat away from winning every game we were behind. You have our love, but sometimes all that love can guarantee you is arbitration. It may not be a fair trade. Oh no, it's not. But we want you to stay. Because we love you. Because you are an institution here. Because, damnit, you're Big Papi and I wouldn't trust any other pair of broad shoulders to carry this team when they need it most.

And maybe, if you keep doing what you do, we'll have the pleasure of watching you retire with "Red Sox" on your chest.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pedro: Hall Of Fame Bound

There's no question in my mind that Pedro's going in to the Hall. Not as a spectator, not as a visitor, but as a first ballot Hall of Famer. If he's not first ballot, everyone who didn't vote for him should have their vote revoked. Love him or hate him, Pedro was a force. He made the best hitters pumped up on the best steroids look foolish. And he made it look easy. This article from the Bleacher Report highlights Pedro's HOF resume. I do not agree with the assumption that he is a second balloter, but we'll conveniently ignore that part. Also, I'm a shameless homer for the players I love.

Another issue that should not be up for debate... Pedro is going in as a member of the Red Sox. He was with us longer than any other team. He was in his prime, and therefore the most dominant. He won a World Series with us and accumulated two out of his three Cy Young awards with us. I know the HOF committee gets to decide what hat he wears, but they need to slap a B on his forehead and call it a day, no questions asked.

Aside from all this HOF talk, hearing of Pedro's retirement makes me sad. It's an end for me, as a fan. The era of Pedro is officially over. There's no hope remaining that he'll come back just for a few games, toss on that old #45 and make batters look silly. I've already missed him in the last few years. Knowing that he's not walking through those doors any more makes me miss him so much more. Good luck with family life, Petey. We'll see you at your induction speech.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Just A Thought: 25

I'm not sure how I feel about Bobbysox wearing number 25. For some reason, I never had a problem with Mikey Lowell wearing the number, but letting Bobby wear it? I don't know.

Since Mike, I am a little protective of that number. Is that odd of me? Perhaps. But I love Mike Lowell, and my lifetime membership to the Mikey Lowell fan club was not negated by his retirement. I didn't see Tony C. play, so it didn't bother me as much. But Mikey? I adored watching him play.

You have upped the ante, Bobby. You better be good.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Finally: Some News

In a move that suprised literally no one, the Sox have decided to bring on Bobby Valentine as their new manager. My thoughts:

1) What the heck took them so long? We all knew Valentine was the front-runner for the job at least a few weeks back. What, did they have to go back through the video of his greatest hits? Did they have to finish up his fratboy hazing before he was welcome on the club? Am I just being really impatient about this whole thing? I think it's the last one, but it feels like they took forever to make up their minds. I hope they're completely happy with this decision.

2) I do think Valentine was the most qualified for the job among the remaining candidates. Knowing what little I do about him, I think he's going to be a much sterner force from the bench than Tito was. I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing, but I guess we'll find out. I adored Tito and his managerial style. Granted, some of his decisions drove me crazy, but I don't think any manager alive will make me happy 100% of the time. It remains to be seen if a more strong-willed manager can get our Pitchers of Beer under control.

3) I wonder what his beverage of choice is. I think it would be nice if he would take up drinking Bigelow green tea, just so the transition from Tito to Bobby will be a smooth one. Then again, he does seem more like a coffee man. Time will tell.

4) Anyway, welcome to the madhouse, Mr. Valentine. Don't mess up. Ever. Or I will blog angrily about you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, Red Sox Nation

To all the lovely folks that stop by this here ramblin' hole to get an earful of my crazy, ranty opinions, Happy Thanksgiving. I hope by the end of the day, you are all happy and full and surrounded by the people you love. I know I will be. Have a fantastic day, everyone!

And I can't wait to see if Keebs is going to bring anything delicious to the table today! He's an elf. He should at least be able to whip up some desserts. See you guys after the food coma!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Verlander For MVP: Good?

I think I'm supposed to be up in arms over the fact that Pretzels didn't win the AL MVP. You know me. I'm not. Granted, I think I would have been ok with Pretzels winning, but I am not willing to make a moving, heart-warming case over why Verlander just didn't measure up.

I am in the camp of rabid baseball fanatics that believe pitchers shouldn't be eligible for MVP awards. While the rest of the team is on the field day after day, a pitcher works once a week. How can he be most valuable? I don't see it. It is INSANELY important to point out that my philosophy on this particular topic is a disgruntled reaction to the great MVP Disaster of 1999. Look it up. No pitcher since then has even come close to being worthy. Why is Verlander more worthy than Pedro? WHY?! GAHH!

It's fine. Verlander apparently is now made of gold and can do no wrong. He can take home as much hardware as his little heart desires. Too bad the Tigers didn't make the World Series. I'm pretty sure I was rooting for them at some point. I don't remember. That was a really long time ago.

I don't think there's anything else that I need to update you kind people on. Theo stole our perspective manager, but the last laugh will be on him when he starts waving in batters during someone else's at bat. Those poor little Cubs don't know what's in store for them. So many outs at home. So. Many. Outs. No, I'm NOT bitter.

It's not like we still don't have a manager and our GM has accomplished nothing since putting Lackey on the shelf. Can we get some things crossed off that to-do list, Keebs? It's winter. I'm cold. I need the Hot Stove to keep me warm. What the hell are you waiting for?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Keebler?: Anyone Got Better Ideas

Ben Cherington is not giving me anything to work with! His Wikipedia page has nothing helpful (see for yourself here). He hasn't found a manager, signed a Big Papi, or done anything yet to give me any indication that he even deserves a nickname. I mean, even an abbreviated google search revealed no more pertinent information about Benny boy. How am I supposed to assign a merry moniker in the absence of revealing run-through of his entire life?! Yet Lauren is right. He needs a nickname. Ben Cherington is just too cumbersome a name to continuously write out.

I realize it's early in the Hot Stove season. Really, right now, we're in the warm stove season, when everything is just getting ready to go. Before we know it, there will be smoke, and fire, and cookies and Ben will have done something worthy of a nickname.

Nickname-maker is a hard job. Look at this. It's turned me into a rambling fool... you know, moreso than usual. We could call him GM-ington. We could call him White Rice (Uncle Ben... rice... is that racist?). We definitely shouldn't call him Benny Boy, though, because Urban Dictionary tells me that it's an unflattering nickname. Same with "Super Fruit" (I did a google search for cherry and the term Super Fruit came up. Just thought I'd let you in on the process). What about Mighty Mouse? Here he comes to save the day? I don't know. I don't know if any of these are sticking. We could call him Edward Smith, who was the captain of the Titanic. That would be bad karma! We don't want to call him Edward Smith. We don't actually want to mimic the Titanic, though the team did.... well, you know. But that was under Epstein, so if anything, Theo is Edward Smith. Good luck, Cubbies!

I've got Keebler. The man looks like a Keebler elf. This is what I have to work with, and therefore you get a half-hearted nickname based solely on his appearance. I know. It's lazy and you all deserve better from me, BUT YOU CAN'T HAVE BETTER! Does ANYONE have any other ideas?

Feel free to discuss. I kind of like Mighty Mouse, but Keebler is faster to type. If I don't come up with anything better, I'm flipping a coin and whatever nickname wins is going on my list. It's over to the right. See it? You might have to scroll down (or up) a little. There you go. He's either going to be an elf, or a mouse. His fate is in your, or the coin's, hands. And yes, I am aware that coins don't have hands.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Clever Joke About Entrance Theme: Goodbye Post

See ya, Paps. Good luck in Philly. That's really all I have to say about that.

Still working on that nickname. It's slow goings, guys. Slow goings.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gold Gloves: No Complaints

Erick Aybar, I love you. I know almost nothing about you, and I don't throw the word 'love' around easily (ok, when it comes to baseball, I definitely do, but for the sake of this post, I do not), but I absolutely love you. Why, you may ask? I'll tell you why.

Because you're not Derek F*&^ing Jeter.

You could be a can of creamed corn for all I care. The only thing I care about is that you're not Jeter, and you won a gold glove. I'm sure you deserved it. And if you didn't? Well I don't care. I support you winning it anyway. Because at this point, it's nothing but bitterness toward the SS Gold Glove and I need something to make me like it again. You, Erick Aybar, you will make me like it again. Today, sir, you are my hero.

In a little bit of good press from the Sox stronghold, three of our little darlings also came away with a gold glove. It's extremely fortunate that the gold glove voters didn't seem to watch how anyone played in September! I kid. You know, sort of. So congratulations to Ernie, Pretzels, and Munchkin. I still think Pretzels' defense is overrated, but I'm not going to begrudge him this award. I'm proud of our boys, who are (I'm sure) at this very moment strapped to chairs Clockwork Orange style, being forced to watch every moment of failure through the entire season.... because only making them watch September wouldn't be as effective and wouldn't last as long. I have no doubts that Ben Cherington is doing this for us because he loves us and wants us to be happy.

In other news, still trying to think up a good, clever nickname for Mr. Ben. I don't want to go the easy route and call him Uncle Ben... and I was thinking about Goldfinger, but I guess he'll have to do some other good stuff before he really earns that nickname. I'll go back to thinking....

Yeah, so congratulations, guys! Good work!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

11:39 PM: Have A Shot of Jack

Today is the day. Seven years ago, at 11:39 PM, Edgar Rentaria's ground ball to Foulke made us the happiest nation in the world.

There's a lot going on right now, but just like last week when I suggested that we all smile for a bit, I think we should all do a shot of Jack to celebrate the Idiots that made us happy.

That's all I've got, guys. I'm working on coming up with a nickname for Ben Cherington, but I'm not rushing it. He deserves a good one. I'll get back to you all. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's A Miracle!: Or An Injury. Your Call.

Ok, guys.... I checked the calendar at least fifteen times since I got the announcement (for the record, I got the announcement this morning). I am here to assure you that it is not December 25th, even if it feels like Christmas morning. And it DOES feel like Christmas morning.... and I'm as giddy as a child who just found her presents from Santa under the tree.

Ben Cherington is playing Santa in this scenario.

The present, as you know is Tommy John surgery. For John Lackey.

Call me a coldhearted bitch if you will, and lecture me on celebrating the misfortunes of others if you'd like, but we DESERVE to be happy about this! I deserve this, damnit! I sat through damn near every one of John Lackey's shit-tacular starts this season. I suffered through frigid temperatures, rain, blaring sun from which there was no escape, and overpowering fog that obstructed my view of the entire field. I suffered! And because of that, today I celebrate!

This doesn't solve our Mudpie problem, of course. I do believe he's signed through the 2015 season, but as a short-term solution, I'll take it. And I won't miss him.

Yup, I'm probably going to hell. It's fine, I'll have plenty of good company... and when I reflect on my life, I can think about how happy I was the day I found out John Lackey was going to be gone for 2012, and it will make my eternity in the lake of fire worth it.

I love you, Ben Cherington. I will make you extra cookies and leave extra milk by the fire for you this year.

PS - just for the record, I'm pretty sure this is the first post in which I use the two labels "Mudpie" and "Good things" together. Miraculous. Enjoy yourselves today, guys. This day belongs to the fans!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Red Sox Nation: Go Watch Some DVDs

Here's a sure way to put a smile on your face this morning.... plop your well-worn copy of Faith Rewarded (or Four Days In October... or hell, just the 2004 ALCS), watch that video until the very end of game 7, then pause the DVD. Let yourself get lost in that feeling. You remember it. The joy, the numbness, the excitement, the confusion of what had just happened. I know you remember it. Every Red Sox fan alive during October 20th, 2004 remembers it. Soak it in, and let that unadulterated joy completely neutralize all the feelings of frustration from this September. That was where we were seven years ago. Our team had just completed a miracle, and we loved them.

The current team is not the same as that team, and I'm not trying to pretend it is. But as horribly as this season ended for us, we still have that. Today, chicken and beer and anonymous sources and voodoo in the dugout isn't allowed to bother you.... because today is one of the worst days in the life of a Yankee fan, and that should be enough to make you smile.

It worked for me. I'm smiling. You deserve to be smiling, too. Happy anniversary, Red Sox Nation! Let's all look forward to more miracles in 2012!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Anonymous Sources: I Hate Them All

Enough! Geez, I honestly don't want to hear another damn word about pitchers drinking beer! Do I approve that they were drinking on the clock? No! But all this talk of drinking and chicken and team dysfunction and ineffective managers as the cause for the collapse? Ridiculous! This is so stupid. If I read one more article by anonymous sources, my head will implode, turn into a black hole, and destroy the entire Fenway area. I don't care if anonymous sources leak that Pedroia does voodoo dances to curse opposing pitchers in the visitor's clubhouse before games. I don't want to know if anonymous sources tell me Jason Varitek questioned Terry Francona's authority at every turn, or if they want me to believe that David Ortiz kept a Yankee jersey in his locker all season long. From now on, if you want me to believe you, put your name on it. If you stay anonymous, I'll assume you're lying. I have a feeling the majority of fans out there have already long ago reached this point.

Truth is, I don't like that our pitchers were drinking on the clock, but I believe them when they say they only drank during their off-days. Beer and chicken didn't cause the collapse. Shitty pitching, hitting, and fielding did. I am not the only one who blames Curt Young for a lot of this, but it comes back to the players. Don't focus on what they did off the field... what they did in the clubhouse. Put the blame on what we saw with our own eyes.... this bunch of guys didn't play well. It doesn't matter why. I'm tired of reasons and excuses. Now I want to hear how we're going to fix it. That's the only kind of information I want from anonymous sources.

For me, the gossip channel is off. I can't wait till spring training... oh yeah, Go Rangers!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lester Mans Up: One Pitcher Of Beer Comes Clean

It's not much, and it certainly doesn't change anything that happened this past September, but reading Jon Lester admit to the allegations against him and apologize for his bad decision-making skills earns him back a bit of respect in my book.

Of course, I don't know the complete set of circumstances that caused the club house to fall apart and I can't assume that pitchers drinking beer during their off-days was the sole reason for the collapse, but Jonny would have earned back a little more respect had he not said their 'bad habits' had nothing to do with the collapse. I have a feeling it had more to do with the collapse than he would like to admit.

Still, seeing as how he's the first one of the three to step up and apologize for the drinking made me feel one little iota better. It might have taken three weeks, but it's something, damnit, and I'm going to cling to it like a life-boat. After all, the wounds are still fresh and I need something to make me feel better.

It's the little things, guys. I'm trying to focus on the positive. Now, Josh Beckett and John Lackey, it's your turn. Get to apologizin'!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Welcome To The Smear Parade: Starting Right On Schedule

Hi, friends. It's me. Jup. I know I've been mostly absent during Red Sox Nation's time of need, but please know that I have never actually left you. I've just been speechless.

Now, this doesn't happen to me very often. I'm quite the opinionated young lady. I can be pretty witty when I want to be. Yet, in the wake of all that happened in September, I've found myself with nothing to say, no desire to analyze, and no clue what will become of my beloved team. It's been a time of introspection and mourning. I've mourned the playoff aspirations of my team as I stare blankly at the unused ALDS home game 1 tickets. I mourn the loss of Tito... simply the greatest Red Sox manager of my lifetime, and likely of all time. I mourn the 2011 Red Sox, as they will surely be a new beast with the dawning of spring training 2012. I mourn a lost season.

Ok, now that I'm done being dramatic, may I say this is all absolutely ridiculous. I will not believe one single slanderous front-office-based word that comes out about Tito, and I know any of my fellow Red Sox friends with brains will also know better. If I'm being completely honest, I could care less that Theo is gone. I can name more horrible moves he's made (Renteria, Lugo, Drew, Dice-K, Lackey, Gagne, Cameron, Jenks... just to name a few)than wonderful moves (trading for Ernie... signing Alex Gonzales twice.... um....) so I'm not sad to see him go. I only wish he could have taken some of his major-flop contracts with him.

If I want to go on to be more honest, I think it's time for Varitek to move on. Jason will forever be my favorite player and I didn't think it possible that I would see the day where I didn't want him on my team any more.... but I think it might be time to part ways with him. I don't feel honest calling him the captain any more. The 'C' should probably be put in storage until we see a leader emerge, or we can just give it to Munchkin.

I don't like hearing Papi talk of bolting to the Yankees. You may be mad at the front office, but please don't try to punish the fans for what they've done to you. By saying that, all you're doing is hurting us.... the ones that have stood by you during your entire tenure here. I respectfully ask you to stop this nonsense, Papi.

I have not come to a decision on what needs to be done about Wakefield. My heart says keep him, but my brain asks if his head is actually in the game or on his stats. I had never heard Timmy talk of individual accomplishments before, and it worries me. Though, I agree... we do deserve to watch him chase that record. But is that in the best interest of the other 24 guys?

I may not like knowing that Beckett, Lester, and Lackey were drinking, eating chicken, and playing video games in the clubhouse during gamedays, but finding out about this only now makes the Boston media look like a bunch of assholes. They have no problems reporting on other crap, like pending divorces or child support papers being served, crap that has no business in the sports section, but they don't tell us what's going on in the clubhouse. Disingenuous.

I'm anxious and nervous to see what other changes will be made. I am willing to garner no guesses over the fate of Papelbon. I don't like that our pitchers haven't made any public statements about the accusations. I don't like the front office for the way any of this is being handled.... but I love my team, and I will stick by them. And I'm here for you guys if you need a shoulder to cry on. Because I feel your pain.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tito Takes The Blame?: Bullshit.

I have not yet come to terms with the end of the season, and I don't really want to talk about it, but I couldn't stay silent on this.

If Tito is truly the one taking the blame for the monumental collapse, I am disgusted. Sure, he made a couple of boneheaded decisions, but HE didn't swing at bad pitches. HE didn't refuse to run out ground balls, and he sure as hell didn't misplay the balls in the field. As a matter of fact, I didn't see any of the fastballs Tito threw get slammed for home runs. I didn't see Tito walk anyone. How the hell is he taking the fall for this?

I'm pissed off. This isn't right.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summary: Anger

My parents always taught me if I didn't have anything nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all. Assuming that same principle applies to blogging, you have your explanation for where I've been.

I'm stressed, panicked, annoyed, and every other adjective with negative connotations you could imagine right now. But I'm trying to be nice about it. Aside from my random outbursts of swearing and idle threats of self-harm (let's face it, I'm way too selfish to ever hurt myself over a baseball team), I have been fairly composed about this embarassment of a month.

But last night.... oh man, last night was my breaking point. I can't be nice. Joshua? Of all people, Joshua has to put on that PITIFUL excuse for a pitching performance? Do the Red Sox not know that we're facing the Orioles? Because the Orioles suck and the Red Sox should know that! What the bloody hell is going on here?! It's September of 2011, boys. Not April 2011. Not September 2006, Josh! There is supposed to be hellfire and brimstone and badassery, but there is none! Instead we have crybabies, and implosions, and pathetic excuses. In the words of the late Owen Hart, enough is enough and it's time for a change! Baseball isn't working for our baseball team, so how about some pro wrestling? I want to see Stone Cold Stunners from Scutaro to anyone who dares run by him. I want piledrivers at home plate to be delivered by Varitek BEFORE the opponents swing the bat. Someone hand Ernie a steel chair and let him swing away at anyone heading up the line. Clotheslines from Munchkin at second base to anyone trying to steal. Intentional HBP's from Beckett, who, damnit! He should be allowed to do a pre-game promo that would be shown up on the Jumbotron. It's a jumbotron now. I demand it. And if the bullpen guys aren't legdropping the opposite team's outfielders at the start of every inning, they aren't doing their job! On top of all that, I want Munchkin to bring a microphone with him for every at bat. The homeplate ump should be Mean Gene Okerlund or Jerry the King Lawler, and they should ask him before EVERY AT BAT what we should expect him to do. And if he doesn't answer something along the lines of "I'll be stylin' and profilin' all around the bases tonight, Mean Gene. Wooo!" then he should be fined.

If they aren't going to play the game the right way, they should at least make it fun for me. Tag-team at-bats! When Ortiz gets tired of fouling off pitches, he can tag in Millar to do it for him! It's not like Kevin doesn't hang out at games anyway, and it would be a great plotline. Besides, we KNOW Kevin can foul off pitches like nobody's business. Then, when Papi is ready, he can tag back in. If we aren't going to get winning, then I want entertainment. Get on it, Tito. Immediately!

Oh, and Go Sox.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Red Sox Enemy #1: Daniel Bard

Dramatic and extreme? You bet. But right now, I sort of hate Daniel Bard's face, considering that he's been single handedly responsible for three Red Sox losses in the month of September. Some advice for Daniel: You throw 100 f***ing miles per hour. Stop throwing balls in the dirt, asshat! Alternately: The strike zone. Figure it out. Watching one of our best relievers come in and throw 9 balls in his first ten pitches is unbelievably aggrivating. Why? Why does this happen? Why didn't Tek stop it?

Mudpie actually pitched ok! I mean, I didn't enjoy watching him pitch, but he did well enough to leave with a lead! Also, I've got to put the blame on Francona, too. Bard's been shit this month. We're in a pennant race. When you see that he's got NOTHING, maybe it's time for a quick hook, huh? I understand that you've got to let your pitchers pitch and sometimes they have to work themselves out of their own troubles, but he literally could not pitch or field. Daniel did not show up ready to play, and if he's not focused, then I don't want him on my field while we're trying to hold the wild card.

Dwelling isn't going to do me any good. Posting while I'm still filled with irrational hate doesn't do you guys any good. Papi's out with spasms, Ernie left with a cramp (seriously, guys, time to play through a little bit of pain!), and we didn't have a baserunner for the last three innings of the game. Youkilis has been less than useless since his return, though I give him credit for playing through pain. No one on the team had more than one hit, with the majority of them going hitless. The fielding in this one was terrible on both ends, though Tek did make an amazing play at the plate. Not like it mattered, we still lost. How do you go from plating 18 runs the night before to the offensive 'performance' they put on yesterday afternoon? I don't get it. Someone tell the boys that it's July again and maybe they'll play better.

200: Finally!

Let me start by saying that everything was perfect at Fenway on Tuesday... at least in my opinion. The weather was great, the bleacher folk were wonderful, and it just FELT like it was going to be a good night. I'm glad it worked out as well as it did because I was a stressed out ball of nerves for the first five innings. Just like roughly 30,000 other people in attendance, I wanted this for Tim so badly. He's been through so much with the Sox and he's never really complained. I just wanted him to win. Those other 7,000 in attendance? Well, they were just there to drink beer and couldn't care if Tim won. But at least 30,000 of us cared.

No, it wasn't pretty. After taking a 2-0 lead, Tim pissed it away by allowing a 3-run (zero out) home run. The, after taking a 4-3 lead, Tim immediately allowed a 2-run home run that left me swearing like a sailor. Luckily, just two innings later, we took the lead for good.

I don't have the will to recount all of the 18 (18!!!!!) runs that they scored that inevitably got Timmy the win. Just know that Pretzels homered, and Munchkin homered twice in incredibly impressive fashion. After the first home run, Ryan commented 'holy shit, that Rudy kid hit a laser!' (he calls him Rudy because he's short and white, in case you didn't know). So I answered, "That's why they call him Laser Show.... the also call him Muddy Chicken, but I still haven't figured that one out."

Before long, the game started looking like Red Sox day care, with all the kids replacing the actual players. We had Anderson, Iglesias, and Lavarnway in the field and Tazawa on the mound. But it didn't matter anyway, because at the end of the game, the Sox had a 12-run lead. Twelve runs. They haven't scored twelve runs for Tim this season, never mind in a game... but I'm glad they found offense for our elder statesman.

It was amazing in the 9th, with Tazawa on the mound, hearing everyone chant "Wake-field! Wake-field! Wake-field!" It brought tears to my eyes (yes, I'm a sentimental loser and I don't care) when Wake came up those dugout stairs after the game, looking like he had been crying with his reddened nose and slightly puffy eyes. He can pretend he was showering if he wants to, but we all know he was shedding a few tears in that clubhouse. Even Ryan clapped at the video montage of Timmy's 17-year Red Sox career.... and he doesn't even like baseball. I lingered as long as I could, taking in the moment and watching the interviews and the videos and Timmy getting showered with champagne. What a night. I'm glad he could reach that milestone at home where he belongs. Boston loves you, Tim Wakefield. Congratulations!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Prediction For Tonight: Sung To The Tune of "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow" From Annie

Oh, the score will run up on Morrow
Bet your bottom dollar that B. Morrow won't have fun.
Just thinking about B. Morrow
Gives poor Wake no reason to feel sorrow.
He should feel none!
It hasn't been great
This wait
For 200.
But he'll get that win!
I'll grin
And saaaaaaaay...
We'll run up the score on Morrow
We just got to beat up on B. Morrow
For Timm-ay!
B. Morrow! B. Morrow! We'll beat you, B. Morrow!
Tim's only one win away!

Dedicated to Amy, because she's having a shitty day and I hope my dorkiness will help change that!

Greatest Red Sox Ever: Who's Your Favorite?

Have you guys seen this? Boston.com is holding a bracket-style tournament that you all can vote on to determine the greatest player in Red Sox history. My guess is that Ted Williams will probably win out in the end, and I will fiercely battle anyone who may say otherwise, but some of the matchups were definitely interesting.

I went through and made my choices for all four divisions, and there was only one I was legitimately stuck on …. Tim Wakefield vs. Jon Lester. Most of the matchups, I answered based completely on my personal biases (don’t we all do that though) and therefore, Trot Nixon is absolutely winning out over Roger Clemens. Other ones like Jimmie Foxx vs. Johnny Damon (who?) were no-brainers. Bill Lee vs. Curt Schilling? I went with Schill, but that does not at all diminish my love of the Spaceman. Still, through all the matchups, I stared at the matchup of Wake and Lester…. Torn as if being forced to choose between my own children. How do you choose?

I love Wakefield. He’s been around for as long as anyone remembers. He may have actually been on the team before there was a team… the quintessential Sox player. He’s known suffering and heartbreak and has been with us through it all. But if there’s a big game on the line, between the two of them, I want Lester on the mound.

Sure, Lester doesn’t share the decades of suffering with us that Wake shares, but Lester…. He’s ours. We’ve supported him through his personal suffering. He came up through our system. He’s developed right before our very eyes into a top-tier lefty. I adore Jon Lester. Besides, he’s good. You can’t actually ask me to choose between the two.

But that’s exactly what this tournament did. They made me choose. In the end, Timmy won out for me based completely on longevity. I’m still thinking about changing my mind though. It seems like the most important decision I could make for the day, to be honest. It’s not, but it feels like it is (probably because my other decisions aren’t as much fun). I hope Jon Lester doesn’t take it personally. It’s like asking me to choose my best friend over my grandfather. Family always comes first…. And now I’m rambling. Go vote! Or don’t, it won’t impact my day.

No Excuses This Time: Manny Messed Up

I got a text around 11 last night from a former coworker telling me that Manny had been arrested. This ex-coworker knows how much I love (loved? I don't know if it's past tense yet) Manny, and he takes great joy in his downfall.

How can I continue to be a Manny apologist? I am staunchly against domestic violence of any kind and have never ever supported a pro-athlete that partook in such tasteless and unmanly behavior. I know it's sort of different, because Manny is no longer a pro-athlete and I wasn't actively supporting him anyway, but he leaves me in a tough spot. Am I capable of not letting this marr my positive memories of him? I was able to deal with the steroids, but this? This might ruin everything. I'm a little disgusted this morning.

But, at least in terms of mugshots, his is exactly what I expected it to be. I'm upset by this. I need time to process...

Monday, September 12, 2011

September Is Stupid: I Hate Losing

Quick.... someone give me one positive that came out of this weekend's series with the Rays. One thing. Anything! I can't think of anything and I'm trying to stay positive.

I know I've been busy a lot lately, and I haven't been writing as much as I want to, but what is there to write about right now? I don't want to be a constant mass of negativity, but I'm not good at putting on a happy face when my team is playing like they're looking forward to golf in October. Really, Jon Lester, what was that? I expect it from Lackey, and Miller, and even Weiland, but you? That's twice in this month already that I've wanted to rip your face off. What's going on? This is when we need you the most, and instead of stepping up, you've taken a nap. Aces need to go more than four innings. You need to give us a chance to win!

I'm not even going to start on the offense because I just had breakfast and I don't feel like throwing up violently. Which WOULD happen. Because the offense has been stupid.

Just ONE positive. One happy thing that I can hold in my brain and think, 'Hm, yes, this is fine. There's nothing wrong with this.' I'll take anything. Work with me, guys.

Tuesday, I'm going to Fenway. I'm taking my boyfriend to his first game ever. Tuesday also happens to be the day that Wakefield once again goes for win number 200. I'll be spending my evening answering silly, obnoxious questions like 'why doesn't a foul count as a hit?' or 'why don't they just go into the stand to get the ball?' and I am genuinely hoping that these silly questions are not my favorite part of the night.... but if they are, then at least I have something, I guess.

Erm.... go Sox.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Stupid Team: Does Stupid Things

Dear Red Sox:

Stop sucking. You're making me mad. (With the obvious exception of my darling Varitek) I dislike all of you. Do your jobs and win games like you did in July. Thanks. Love, me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Three Letters: W, T, and F

You've got to be f'n kidding me, right? No, really, somebody better have staged that game, hacked into my satellite dish, and blocked me from watching the REAL game. I don't know who would have done it, and for their sake I better never find out because it WASN'T FUNNY!

This isn't April! I know it's cold and rainy like April, but it's freakin' September! Wake should have not only gotten his 200th career win a month and a damn half ago, but he should have been up to Red Sox career win #193. Damnit. Just damnit.

Seriously, universe, you're lucky I had key lime pie for breakfast. Had I not, you'd be facing one angry me right now. Angrier, actually. The delicious limey flavor cooled the anger a bit. Damn you, bullpen! Bless you, pie.

If Tim gets denied one more time, I honestly believe two things will happen: 1) My face will violently implode, 2) Ryan will be so terrified that HIS face will implode. We don't really want two imploded faces, DO WE, bullpen? No, we don't. So cut the stupid shit! I want wins, damnit, and I want them now!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

No, No, I Still Exist: I'm Just Procrastinating

Well.... there goes my effort to start off September right. Same goes for the Sox, I guess you could say. Aside from that pummeling of the Jays last night, there hasn't been much winning. Heck, there hasn't been much of anything! No pitching, no offense, no enthusiasm, no musical numbers.... it's been sad.

And now, to top all that suck off, Beckett's hurt. Oh, sure, he'll be ok... but I was supposed to see him pitch live next week. Thanks a lot, gods of pitching rotations. You're going to make me see Lackey again, aren't you? I might have to pledge not to buy any more game tickets until Lackey is gone. I guess I'll miss Fenway for the next few years. I can always sit in Game On! and stare lovingly at that beautiful old park, but it won't be the same. Thanks for ruining everything, Mudpie.

On a completely unrelated note, has anyone else noticed that it's been... um.... fall? Last time I checked my calendar (about thirty seconds ago because it's over my computer monitor and features a lovely collage of Doug Mirabelli this month), it was September 7th. I've had to wear sweaters to work. What is going on here? I expected nice weather for at least a few more weeks! Cold makes me sad. Cold means that baseball is ending soon, and then I am left with a big, baseball-shaped hole in the center of my heart until February. I can't dwell. I need to cherish the last few weeks of the season and embrace the cold wintery playoffs. I wish it were June again.

Should I even talk about attempt number 856 for Wakefield to win his 200th game? I don't know if I should bother, it doesn't seem to bring him luck. Either way, I'll be watching and hoping but not expecting much because our offense sucks when Wake is on the mound. I say all paychecks should be directly linked to how much offensive output each player contributes for the night. You want to go 0-4, Ernie? Then you get exactly $0 for tonight. Don't spend it all in one place. Ground into another double play, Scutaro? You owe US $500. Pay up and learn to avoid DPs. It's the only way to teach them. Take away their monies if they can't get Timmy a win! I demand it!

Maybe I should have stuck to not blogging....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Not His Best: But Still, A Win

Erm, to say that Beckett pitched well against the Yankees would be a bit of an overstatement. He was good enough to win, but not good enough to make my heart flutter like a knuckleball (not that the knuckleballs have been aflutter much lately). Sixth inning, Joshua. I feel like there needs to be at least 50% more focus involved in that inning. For future reference.

I have no idea what I'm writing about today. I don't feel like writing, but I'm trying to start September off on a good note. We won! The Jimmy Fund telethon raised over $3M! I.... didn't.... break anything? I don't know, I'm reaching here. Honestly, I'm kind of cranky and stressed out. My social life is putting a huge strain on my me-time. This weekend, I'm taking off. I don't know where to, but I'm packing up the boyfriend and we're going on a roadtrip to 'west.' So I probably won't be watching the games and I probably won't post about them. Yup. West. I don't know how far west. I guess it depends on how far we drive till I get tired. I don't want him driving my car, after all.

Tonight, I'm heading to Fenway with no tickets and hoping to get some awesome Will Call luck. After all, my boy Jonny is pitching, and there is nothing better to relieve stress than watching one of your favorite pitchers pitch live. Hopefully it'll help. If not, I'll pick up a couple of bottles of vodka on my way home from the game.

All I know is, I hope AJ Burnett is still crazy. That is all.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Don't Let The Yankees Ruin It: Jimmy Fund Time Has Returned!

I do this every year. It's time again for the Jimmy Fund Telethon, guys! Now, I know the Sox dropped an ugly one to the Yankees last night, leaving an entire nation on base, but don't let that sour your outlook on life. There's still plenty of good to be done, and maybe those karma points could go toward a Sox victory tonight? Hmm? Just a suggestion.

Cancer has affected my family so deeply, and I have lost so many loved ones to this horrible disease. The Jimmy Fund is my charity of choice for that very reason. There have been so many breakthroughs in cancer research, but all those breakthroughs require money. Every small bit counts. Believe me, it does.

My father and both of his parents were lost to cancer. My maternal grandfather died of cancer. My aunt and uncle both have struggled with cancer and are hanging strong right now. More funding means more research, and more research likely means more cures. I want to believe in a future where my niece and nephew don't have to worry about the disease. I want to believe in a future where people don't have to watch their loved ones go through what I watched my loved ones go through.

If you'd like to donate, go on and click here or call 1-877-738-1234. Additionally, you can text KCANCER to 20222 to donate $10 instantly! It's so easy, and you really didn't need to buy coffee and a bagel from Dunks today, did you?

If you'd like more inspiration as to why donating is a good idea, there are some touching stories listed here or if you just want to follow along with how the telethon is going, you can head over to the WEEI Radio Telethon page.

Or, if you've had enough of my little guilt trip, you can just look forward to watching Beckett mow down the Yankees tonight. There's nothing wrong with that.... but imagine how much better a win tonight would feel if you've already done your good deed for the day. Just saying.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Water Water Everywhere: My Saturday Getting Rained On

I hate rain. I hate rain and water and storms and puddles. I hate that this season, my 'game bag' also known as my purse that I take to Sox games has officially become my 'rainy game bag,' and includes a poncho, an umbrella, a towel for drying my seat, and plastic bags to put all my wet garb in. I hate that more than half of the games I've gone to this season have included rain delays.

So of course, I had tickets for Sunday's game. Good seats, too! Eleven rows from the visitor's dugout... and I got them at a discount. $90 seats that cost me $65 because they came from my best friend's cousin who knew a month in advance that she could not use them. That's why we got hit by a hurricane.

Driving to the train station, seeing the water literally just pouring off of buildings, finding out that one of the stations that I need to pass through was closed due to flooding... yeah, there was nothing about Saturday that made me think we were getting those games in. There was a huge part of me that just prayed they'd cancel because I'm tired of sitting in the rain, but my dedication would not allow me to not go.

The Red Sox allowed game two ticket holders to come into Fenway for the last two innings of game one. We got to go in early and sing along to Sweet Caroline and dance to Dirty Water (there was PLENTY of it, by the way) and still got to see game two. As a disclaimer, we didn't stay all the way through game two. Once it hit rain delay, I was convinced there was no way they were getting the rest of the game in. I was wrong... but I still justify my decision. If I never have to wear my poncho again, it'll be too soon.

I hate you, rain. I hate you, Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene. I hope everyone out there is safe, and for my friends who lost power this weekend, hope you get it back in time for the Yankees series that starts tonight.... or better yet, skip tonight and wait for Beckett tomorrow.

200 Denied: Again. Seriously?


Dislike. That is all.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Varitek Triples: Doesn't Fall Apart

I was in the car listening to the game on the radio. It was the top of the fifth in a scoreless game. Jon Lester had just, minutes before in the bottom of the fourth, given up his first hit of the game, so my dream of another KC no-hitter was dashed. I was feeling a little grumpy at the thought that it was the fifth inning and we still didn't have a single run against Kansas City. And then it happened.

Joe Castiglione started shouting. The ball was over right fielder Jeff Francoer's head. It was rolling to the wall! It got stuck under the wall and Tek was on his way to third as Jed Lowrie had already had time to get home and take a nap. Jason Varitek had collected himself an RBI triple.

Do you know how rare it is for Jason to hit a triple? Very. I know triples are rare in general, but in Tek's fifteen seasons in the bigs (yes, I count his one game in 97 as a year in the bigs), he's had 14 triples. He hasn't hit one since 2007, though he did have three that year. I know, I couldn't believe it either. From 2000 to 2005, he collected exactly one triple per season. In comparison, in the same span of years, David Ortiz has 16 triples. In six seasons, Munchkin has seven triples. In five seasons, Pretzels has 21. Slow guys don't hit as many triples as fast guys. THAT is a true story, so I am always more impressed with a Tek triple than a Pretzels triple.

Aside from that very cool play, we had the usually wonderful pitching of Jonny Lester to love and admire. He wasn't as sharp as he could have been, laboring through six innings and actually allowing more walks than strikeouts. That doesn't happen often. It's happened two other times this season (April 1st against Texas and August 10th against Minnesota), and both other times it has happened, Jon's lost the game. This time, however, he won. Thirteen wins on the season for our boy Jonny. Six runs of support on the board. That's what I like to see.

Ronald and Crawfish broke out the home run power, each collecting a solo shot for the night. In the 8th, Ernie, Lowrider, and the new kid combined to put three on the board. Yup, the new kid collected his first RBI (please keep in mind, Saturday DID NOT happen. Thank you.) I'm proud of him. I love to see the kids do well.

So the offense woke up a bit this weekend. Lester, Miller, and Beckett were able to collect wins to give us a series victory and... well, we won't talk about Saturday's game still. Somehow, through all of this, we've stayed tied with the Yankees. I wish that I could still say the same today. Next post, I discuss why the offense went back to sleep in Texas and theorize what thoughts are running through Erik Bedard's head when he's on the mound. Stay tuned.

Miller Gives Up Less Than Five Runs: Universe Implodes.

I guess I can be pretty mean to Andrew Miller. It's not completely intentional. I know he's just a kid. Talent. Potential. Blah. Not going through that again.

Despite my general feeling that he is of no use to us, he actually managed to pitch well against the Royals on Friday. Honestly, pitching well against the Royals shouldn't be considered a difficult task, but not everyone can live up to my impossibly high standards for pitchers. Actually, no one can. Beckett and Lester come close, but even they don't quite make it. Against one pretty bad team, Andrew Miller pitched 5.1 innings and only gave up three hits and a run. I won't go back through any of his other game data, but three hits and a run seems like a typical inning for him, not a typical game. Anyway, he won so cool.

Itty bitty baby catcher-turned-DH Ryan Lavarnway got his first hit as a major league ballplayer, but he still had a terrible night as he left eight runners on base. It's fine. He's young. If we didn't have injuries, he wouldn't even be up right now. I haven't seen enough of him yet to make any sort of brash statements about his possible abilities... and let's not fool ourselves, my statements would be brash.

Aside from Miller not sucking and the kid getting his first hit, Ernie semi-broke-out from his little funk, collecting three hits on the night and showing a teeny bit of power with two doubles. From what I hear, they almost went out of the park. Sadly, in baseball, almost doesn't count. What does count as going out of the park is Salty's 5th inning home run... because it actually went out of the park. Weird how that works.

Hmm, what else? Pretzels got hit in his back with a pitch and he's a big bruised marshmallow. Aceves continues to pitch like a rockstar when we need him to. Terry Francona still enjoys tea. I think that about covers it.

For the record, I am not writing about Saturday's game because I don't want to trigger any flashbacks. So we're skipping that and going right to Sunday. Everyone's cool with that, right? I sure hope so.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pedroia Is The Show: Everyone Else Is A Background Character

You know I would never take away from the importance of Beckett, but if it weren't for MC Laser Show, we would have been lost. No... wait, we would have lost, not would have been lost. He drove in three of the four runs we gathered on the night, with Tek driving in the other one. Strangely, both of them made outs at second base after RBI singles, so that was dumb. I don't like having so many baserunners thrown out trying to stretch singles into doubles. Especially Tek. Tek, darling, you can't run. It's not worth trying!

Beckett actually did get on my nerves yesterday. His first inning was a tad sketchy. His second inning was beautiful and ended with an easy-to-manage pitch count. But the third? Meh. All he had to do was hold the lead they gave him, and that's the one thing he failed to do. Overall, he could have been far worse. Three runs in seven innings with four strikeouts and no walks against one of the worse teams in baseball is nothing to sing songs about, but it'll do. 110 pitches in seven innings also isn't the best we've gotten out of him. Again, I'll limit my nugacious complaints because we won the game. Had we lost, heads would be on chopping blocks.

So, news is that Youkilis is now on the DL with a severe case of suck (which they kindly referred to as 'back trouble,' but we all know) and David Ortiz is down with a case of 'needing a vacation' which they covered up by calling it bursitis and putting him in a boot, so the Sox decided that we needed an offensive boost. Granted, they're about three weeks late to that party, but they called up Ryan Lavarnway to pump up our boys. He may not have gotten a hit last night, but I think he put the fear of God into Tek. Our old man catcher was hustling, for sure. Guess he wants to keep his job. Not gonna lie, I want him to keep it, too. It's got to be hard seeing the ghost of Christmas future hanging out in the dugout.

The Sox ended up with nine hits for the night, matching their hit total from the past three games. Thanks for waking up a little, bats. You're going to need to be fully caffeinated with Andrew Miller on the mound tonight, and I demand that by the time Wakey takes the mound on Saturday that you've gotten your shit together. Really, I don't ask for too much, do I?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Invisible Offense: Sox Do Nothing

Aside from solo home runs from my darling Jason and the suspicious Pretzels, we had nothing. In eighteen innings yesterday, the boys managed six hits, and three of them were home runs. The other three were singles. There's a problem here. I know Papi is sick (and I hope he gets well soon!) and I know Youkilis is all sore and grumpy for whatever reason, but six hits in eighteen innings? Come on, boys, you're far too talented for that.

I wanted a happy post here, because Lowrider, Munchkin, and Ernie worked together in the fourth inning to record a triple play. A triple play! Do you know how rare triple plays are? I should have been able to write about how awesome it was, and what a great job everyone did to make sure we won on a night where the defense managed a motherfreakin' triple play but I CAN'T! Because aside from the triple play and the two home runs every other moment of this game was useless to me! Bedard recorded a quality start but couldn't get any run support and lost the game. Jeff Niemman collected ten strikeouts from our lineup! TEN! That's more than our collective total of baserunners for the entire day.

I'm trying not to get annoyed, but I'm sure you can clearly see that I am failing that goal. Everyone on the team needs coffee. Lots and lots of coffee since they are obviously falling asleep at the plate. I can provide them with said coffee as I have a source at a coffee distribution center. This can happen. Where do I deliver the magical caffinated beans? Because I don't want to watch the boys sleep any more. We've only got a month and a half left to the season, and I loudly request that we don't end the season the way we started it. The way to avoid that? Coffee. Obviously.

I'll get on it. For now, start praying that Mudpie manages a good game, because we're .5 games out of the division lead, and I'm not comfortable here in second place.

Nice Rebound: Jon Lester Gets Back On Track

Not that I ever had major concerns about Jonny's ability to bounce back from two less-than-Lesterish outings, but it was still nice to "see" (hey, I have a job. I can't watch a 1 PM game on a Tuesday!)

The first inning was a tad bit worrisome, as he let up two doubles and a run in the first, but that would be it. He wouldn't let up another hit until Evan Longoria singled off of him in the sixth. He wasn't as dominant as he could be, throwing 113 pitches in just seven innings. We've seen better from him. His control was a little bit off at times, but he was still pretty fantastic if you ask me. Luckily the mistakes he did make weren't damaging. Oh, that Jonny. How I love him.

It was nice to see one of our starters only allow one run. It's been a while. The last time a starter allowed only one run was August 7th, when Josh once again showed the Yankees that they're nothing to be afraid of. We've had some rough starting pitching over the course of the last week, and even rougher offense. Let's get to the offense, shall we?

I know Sharky is generally credited as being a useful pitcher, which I generally disagree with. Especially against the Sox. Career-wise, he's 6-11 all time against us with a 4.84 ERA. The only teams that he has a higher ERA against are the Diamondbacks, the Reds, the Rockies, the Padres, and the Nationals, and he hasn't played more than two games against any of those teams. The Sox can generally handle Sharky. Not so much yesterday, though.

Three hits was the entirety of our offense against him. All three hits came in the third inning with singles from Reddick and Aviles and a home run for Pretzels. Seriously? Another home run? Is this guy on steroids or something? I'm highly suspicious of why all of a sudden, Pretzels has power. I don't like it. I also don't like that the rest of the offense sees Pretzels' newfound power as an excuse to take a nap at the plate. It may be a tad bit selfish of me to expect fireworks from the offense every night, especially considering how many fireworks we saw through the month of July, but I feel the mid-August sputtering to be entirely inappropriate.

I know. I'm being entitled. I expect to win, and I expect the starters to be stellar, and I expect the offense to put ten runs on the board every night. What a spoiled little sports fan I am... but I enjoy watching my team win, and the best way to win is to have your starters be stellar and to have your offense put a bunch of runs on the board. I like winning games like this, games that can be easily decided by one swing of the bat. I don't like watching the offense fail.... but I'm not going to complain, because they won, and that's what's important. Besides, I've got nothing to worry about as long as we've got Jonny.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Perpetually Behind: Playing Catch-Up in A Single Post

Nope, this isn't entirely ideal. I had been doing really well posting in the month of August, and then.... life. I sort of feel like a scam artist when I write about games that I didn't actually watch. Yeah, I get score updates and I read game wrapups the next day, but not actually SEEING the games makes it hard to write about them. The one thing I don't want to be is a scam artist.

So this is the part where I blame my boyfriend. You can blame him for every post I haven't written, and believe me, he's cool with it. See, he doesn't like sports, and he doesn't own a TV.... and I've been spending lots of time with him, so unless we're at a sports bar, I can't actually watch games. I get score updates from MLB and text messages from friends telling me what's going on, but it's not the same. So there's my excuse that no one asked for.

Anyway, in the week that I haven't found it necessary to post, let me give you a little rundown of what happened....

-We won last week's series with the Twins, dropping the last game 5-2, when Lester got roughed up and the batters decided to be useless.
-After winning the first game in Seattle and giving Lackey another gotdamned W for his undeserved collection, Beckett and Wakey imploded in their games, and we dropped a series to the Mariners.
-Let me repeat that, we dropped a series to the Mariners. I think I'm going to be sick.
-Wake once again was denied his 200th win in that loss, even though he pitched a complete game and wasn't the worst we've ever seen him. He'll get another shot, and quite frankly, I'm sick to death of waiting for the guys to support him. Enough shenanigans! You guys are making me mad.
-Ernie has not hit a home run yet in the month of August. He hit two in July (July 7th and July 30th). He has two RBIs this month. Make of that what you will.
-Carl Crawford is hitting .342 in his last ten games, so please, everyone... shut up about how signing him was a mistake. He's fine.
-We are, unfortunately, once again tied for first in the division. The Yankees took advantage of our failure in Seattle and used it to catch up to us. I hate the Yankees.
-This afternoon, Jon Lester tries to rebound from his rough start vs. the Twins when he takes on Sharky Shields and the Rays at Fenway. If we sweep the double header today and the Yankees lose their game, we could go right back to a 1.5 game lead in the division. Here's hoping.

So we're all caught up and everything is back to normal. I'm going to do my best this week to keep up, but... you know... don't hold me to that.

Congratulations Jim Thome: Slugger Reaches 600 Home Runs

Jim Thome has reached a milestone that few others have ever been able to reach. Last night, during the Twins/Tigers game, Jim clubbed his 600th career home run, becoming one of eight players to make it to 600. Other members of the 600 club include Barry Bonds*, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., A-rod, and Sammy Sosa.

Aaron, Ruth, and Mays are in the HOF. Bonds, Sosa, and A-rod did it with steroids, so it's yet to be seen whether or not the BBWAA will let them in. Griffey is more than likely going to get in. Where does that leave Jim Thome? Would you put him in the Hall?

He's a five-time All Star, finished in the top ten of MVP voting four times (finished in the top twenty nine times), finished in the top ten for OBP SLG% and OBPS% ten times between 1995 and right now. According to the Jim Thome page on the ever-fantastic baseball-reference.com , Jim Thome's got a good case. Using the Bill James "Hall of Fame Stats" tool, it looks like Jim's a pretty likely candidate to get in. I know, right now you're thinking "well, obviously Jim Thome is a likely HOF candidate. There was no reason to even write this much about the possibility!" And you're right, but I felt the need anyway.

Jim Thome seems like one of the truly nice guys in baseball. He seems to love what he does, and in every article I've read about his great achievement today, he's come off as an incredibly humble, down-to-Earth guy. I root extra hard for people like that. I want to see him do well, and I want to see him get into the Hall. This may ring as cliche, but once in a while, I want to see the nice guys finish first. And I'm rooting hard for Jim.

Congratulations on 600, Jim! Now keep working on the case for Cooperstown!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Varitek Celebrity Putt-Putt: Pictures!

See? Told you I'd have them up by Monday. Not the greatest shots in the world, but they're something!
Unfortunately, the rest of them came out even blurrier... there was one of Tim Wakefield tickling Salty's daughter, but the quality was not up-to-par. Oh well. Never say I don't give you anything. Back to the game!






Another ND For Josh: But Beating Up On Mo Makes It Ok

He was in control. He had his soul-shattering curveball. He had his electric fastball. He only allowed a single, paltry run in six innings, and yet again, Joshua walks away with nothing to show for it. Again, for the ninth time this season, Josh pitched his ass off and gets to watch someone else rack up a victory. This time, that other person was Daniel Bard.

Not to say that Daniel didn't deserve it. I fully appreciate the work Daniel did, but I'd love to see Josh get some stat-padding wins. But it's fine; I'm not going to dwell. Matt Albers and Franklin Morales both struggled in this one, and the Yankees picked up a lead almost the moment that Beckett came out of the game. Wheeler, Papelbon, and Bard, though... those three held the fort and I have zero complaints. Not allowing the Yankees to pad their lead gave the batters an opportunity to perform some magic.

In the 9th, Scutaro, Pretzels, and Munchkin worked together to steal away the game tying run from Mariano Rivera (the only Yankee I have even the tiniest shred of respect for) in the form of a sac fly. This was the only point in the game where the top of the order came through for us in this one. They're just lucky they saved their best for last when we needed it most.

Joe Girardi, who obviously confused last night for game seven of the ALCS, brought starter Phil Hughes into the game to replace Rivera in the 10th. Granted, Rivera blew the save, but he hadn't thrown a bunch of pitches, and in a tied game, don't you want your best pitcher on the mound? Obviously Joe does not. With one out, David Ortiz doubled and was instantly yanked from second in favor of Ronald. I will never complain about getting a little bit of speed in scoring position in the tenth inning. An intentional walk to Crawfish later, Reddick steps up to bat. One pitch later, he was cruising to first, McDonald was being called safe, and the Sox picked up their tenth win of the season against the Yankees.

We're staying positive in this one. I'm not going to complain about the lack of production from the top of the order or Tek's tough day at the plate. I'm remaining impressed by Beckett's badassery, thrilled with a Reddickulous walk-off, and overjoyed to hand the Yankees another series loss. All positives all the time.

Tonight, in about ten minutes, Tim Wakefield steps to the mound for his third attempt at win number 200. If I see any squandering on the part of our offense, I might fly to Minnesota in a Dustin Pedroia costume and take care of Minnesota myself. Timmy deserves this win. It's time to get it for him. Let's go, boys.

All Tied Up: Offense Eliminates Yankee Division Lead

That's better. Sure, we may have been out of first place for a few hours, but the universe righted itself in a timely manner. I'll take a tie for first over a one game deficit any time, thank you. As much as it pains me to do this, I have to give Pretzels the majority of the credit for this win. Our snacky little centerfielder essentially destroyed Fatass all on his own, going 2-for-4 with six RBIs. Saturday marks the fourth time Fatass has lost to the Sox this season. Have we officially gotten into his head yet, or is it going to take another start?

Do I have to give Mudpie credit here? I really don't want to. In all honesty, saying anything nice about him makes me feel a little dirty. You know no matter well he may have pitched this time around, he's not deserving of the praise. So if I have to give Pretzels credit in this one, I'm going to withhold the Mudpie credit. I can't say nice things about both of them in the same entry. The universe would swallow itself. True story.

It took Fatass two innings to remember he was pitching to the Red Sox, but sure enough, he started handing over runs in the third. It started innocently enough. A sac fly from Pretzels. An RBI 2B from Munchkin. Suddenly, the Sox had a 2-0 lead. A sloppy inning, a double play, and a single in the fourth tied the game at 2 each, but the Sox weren't done with Fatass yet. The bottom of the fourth found a double from Youkilis, a single from new Red Sox that I haven't mentioned yet (welcome to Boston, Mike Aviles!), an RBI single from Crawfish, an RBI single from Scutaro, and to top it off, a 3-run home run from Pretzels. In case you lost count, that was five runs. Suddenly, it was 7-2 Sox, and the Yankees would never come close to matching the Sox offensive output... I mean, if you don't consider four to be close to seven.

Daniel Bard gave up an uncharacteristic home run in the 8th, making it 7-4 at the time, but the Sox poured on three more runs (big surprise, Pretzels was credited with two of those three) in the bottom half of said inning.

How exactly did we lose the sure-thing game on Friday and win the no-chance game on Saturday? Baseball is funny. Next up, Josh Beckett takes on Freddy "The Rock" Garcia. If you don't think he looks like The Rock, you're wrong. Gee, I can't imagine how this one will end. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Lester Loses: Sox Fall Out Of First

Stupid, right? Bartolo Colon, who by my account shouldn't actually be able to throw 96 mph anymore, got the better of Jon Lester? Did that really happen? Why did that happen? I don't approve.

I know Jon wasn't the best he's ever been. His one bad inning was pretty bad (for him), and it was just enough to do the team in. It started so promising, too. Jonny struck out three of the first four batters he faced. He would only collect four more strikeouts on the night, while allowing four walks. That's unlike him. If I recall correctly, there were a number of pitches he wasn't happy with, but he usually can make adjustments. It wasn't his best day, but I'll give him a pass because he's Jon Lester and I love him. Lately, he's been suffering the lack of run support just as badly as Josh has. Seems like the only guys that are getting run support are Miller and Lackey. Life isn't fair sometimes.

Ortiz had a solo shot in this one. The other run the boys posted was a collection of effort from Reddick, Scutaro and Pretzels. I know Reddick was forced out by Scutaro, who ended up scoring on Pretzels' double, but I would be remiss if I didn't give credit to our rookie. With the way Reddick is playing right now, does anyone miss JD Drew? Because I don't.

I guess if you want to take some positives away from this, Albers continues to be solid out of the 'pen... and it's not exactly like Jonny got lit up. The best part, though, is that I can recount the game without annoyance because I have the benefit of knowing what happened in the next two games. There's no need for me to get worked up about falling out of first place at all. I know, it's a charmed life. Next up, the shocking results of the Lackey/Sabathia matchup.... or, I guess by now it's not as shocking any more.

Fetus Bests Bedard: But I Still Love Fetus

No, of course I didn't want Bedard to lose his Red Sox debut. While I did actually want Fetus to do well, I was hoping that the boys would pick up with the offense after he came out of the game. Little did I know that the offense wouldn't be the problem. Franklin Morales, on the other hand....

Franklin and I, we've had some disagreements in the past regarding how he should handle himself on the mound. He seems to think he should be allowed to surrender runs whenever he sees fit, and I think he should not. Ever. But we're different people and aren't always going to see eye-to-eye on stuff like this. For his, what? Ten minutes of effort? Mr. Morales was handed a well-deserved loss, negating what had been a delightful debut for Erik Bedard. Sorry about that, Erik. It's not always going to be bullpen implosions around here. I mean, sure, there will be times when your lead gets stripped away from you and you walk away with the Beckett special (the dreaded ND), but for the most part, your new bullpen will be good to you.

I'd get on Andrew Miller's case for pouring more fuel on the fire, but honestly, what's the point. On the offensive side of things, the boys weren't doing much with Fetus or his fellow pitchers. Aside from a 4th inning Reddick home run, the only other Boston RBI's were accumulated by Ernie and Papi in the first. They just didn't have anything going. I think the boys get overwhelmed looking toward the mound and seeing Fetus' happy little face. It's just not right. He's one of us! And where did that trade get us? Victor ditched us the minute he could, and Fetus is still piling up wins for Cleveland. Sure, I'd probably make the trade all over again. I'm just sad that he's not one of us anymore and I have a hard time letting go of stuff like that.

As usual, I'm behind on the blogging. I've got the whole Yankees series to review. Luckily for me, there's plenty of good to write about. Who doesn't like writing about beating the Yankees on a Monday afternoon? We just have to muddle through that one little loss first... but don't worry, we'll do it together.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

200: Denied

I'm all for walk-off wins. If I could use a word to describe walk-off wins, I think I'd go with spiffy. I toyed with using splendiferous, but I think I'll just play it safe and go with spiffy. Even when the walk-offs are being perpetrated by Pretzels, I enjoy them.

Before I go further with this thought, let me put in my two cents regarding Pretzels, since I enjoy being the contrarian so often. I still don't like him. I know he's like, the second coming of Ted Williams all of a sudden and everyone is back on the Jacoby bandwagon, pretending it's 2007 all over again, but I'm not buying it. You're not getting me on that bandwagon. It looks crowded, and I'm not that social. After giving it thirty seconds of thought, Pretzels has Kevin Cash syndrome. No matter what he does, no matter how well he plays, I won't like him, and I don't have a legitimate reason. With Cash, at least it was because he was replacing Mirabelli (a big no-no) and I'm ultra-protective of the catchers I love. Jacoby replaced Coco. I didn't love Coco.... I was ok with him toward the end, but I never loved him, so why am I so anti-Pretzels? I don't even want to like him. I guess it doesn't matter, but there will be no Jacoby-bandwagoning here, just the ocassional forced props when he does something well.

Now, onto Timmy. St. Timmy, like Commander Joshua before him, again gets no love from the offense. Oh, sure, they came through and won the game, but that win should have belonged to Tim, what with that quality start he posted and all. I don't know if they're aware, but it's currently August 4th, and we've got just about two months left to the regular season. Timmy still needs eight wins. That means he needs to win at least four wins per month. It's possible, but we need the whole team to rally together to get this done. Score the runs while Tim is on the mound, guys!

Tonight, in the series finale, Fetus takes on Erik Bedard, who will be making his Red Sox debut. I hate rooting against Fetus because.... well, because he's Fetus and I'm still a little in denial about him not being on the team any more, but I'm completely throwing my support behind Bedard in this one. He's got to be better than Miller, right?

....Right?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The No-Decision Epidemic: Beckett Again Gets No Support

What is it about Josh Beckett that the offense refuses to support? Is it his grumpy demeanor? Is it the way he wears his facial hair to make himself look like he has a chin when he doesn't? Are they jealous of his fastball? What is it?! I want to know! Josh has eight no-decisions this season. Jon Lester has five (Sox lost four of those five... late inning bullpen implosions, you know), Mudpie has one (Monday's game, breaking up a string of 17 decisions in a row), and Wakey has four starts in which he didn't receive a decision (three which ended up being Sox wins). Of Josh's eight ND's, the Sox have gone on to win six of those games. Five out of those six were won by one run, the other was won by two runs.

If the Sox had managed to score those single runs while Josh was in the game, he'd be 15-4 right now. He'd have as many wins and fewer losses than Justin Verlander. He'd be one win shy of the major league lead for wins. Granted, he's pitched 40 innings fewer than Verlander (no, I don't want to discuss the league leader in wins, thank you), and I don't so much believe that he has a case for the Cy Young over Verlander, it would be nice if his wins accurately reflected how well he's pitched this year. Do you really think Josh is only worthy of nine wins? Apparently, his offense thinks so. It's a shame.

It was a shame last night. I know Beckett only went six innings in a rain delayed game, and I know he gave up two solo home runs, but didn't he deserve a win? Why do they wait till he's out of the game to score runs? I don't get it. Someone ask Pretzels why he couldn't drive in another run earlier in the game. How come no one could get on base ahead of Youk before he hit that home run? Why couldn't Tek single instead of striking out in the second? Why is it so hard to support our damn ace? Ok, I'll stop with the questions that can never be answered. It just bugs me.

What doesn't bug me, however, is winning the game. I like that the winning rally was sparked by Varitek. I think it was a fantastic decision to pull Tek out of the game and let Salty run for him (because those knees aint getting Jason anywhere fast, kids), and I think it was wonderful that Reddick and Pretzels didn't waste the Captain's efforts. Also, I like that Salty is faster than I thought. I like that Salty and Pretzels teamed up in an inning to make good things happen because I legitimately laugh out loud a little bit every time I think of Salty Pretzels (yeah, so what?!). See? There's plenty that I liked about the game. I'm not always unhappy with the results.

So, I'm setting a goal for the Sox. The next time Beckett is on the mound, I would like to see them score four runs. That's it. Just four while he's pitching. With the offense we have, four shouldn't be much to ask for, and I'm fairly confident that Josh could make four runs stand. It's not that lofty a goal, boys. Just try. For me?

Look at that, I'm all caught up! I may have slacked through July, but August is a new month. Maybe I'll write about our new acquisitions next. Or maybe I won't. I guess I'll have to wait and see what I decide to do.

Mudpie Deserves No Love: And That's Exactly What He'll Get From Me

Damnit, Mudpie. Just damnit. You know, even though we had a lead and Mudpie had two good innings, I just never felt good about it. You know, because of who was pitching and all. Just... ugh. And to make matters worse, he let his sucktasticness spread to Bard. Me and Daniel Bard didn't quite see eye-to-eye a few times early on in the season. There were some moments where face-ripping gloves were needed, but in the last couple of months, I've had no complaints! Daniel and I were getting along just fine, and to be honest, I don't want to ruin the harmony we've had, so I have to blame Mudpie for this.

Mudpie left the game in the top of the seventh in a tied game. He had let the Indians take the lead in sixth, but Salty showed a little power and hit a two-run shot to tie it up for him. Not that he deserved it, but Salty was gracious with the run support. It stayed knotted up till the eighth, and then sad stuff happened.

You all know the story by now. Bard's scoreless streak, dating back to May 27th, had reached 26 1/3 innings. Solid, in-control pitching for more than two months. He comes into a Mudpie game and ends up surrendering what would be the winning runs in the form of a home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. Not for nothing, but Asdrubal is the worst name in the world, and based on that fact alone, he should not be allowed to hit home runs off of our solid set-up guy. It's not fair. There's no justice in that.

Am I being irrational? Absolutely. And it's not likely to stop. Because after Bard was infected by Lackey disease, Matt Albers caught it, too. I don't know if you've been paying attention to Albers, but he's another one who's been solid out of the pen. Prior to Monday night, Matt had not allowed a run since June 25th (13 1/3 innings). It's not quite the streak that Bard had, but it's impressive nonetheless. Look at the chain reaction Mudpie caused. Even these reliable bullpen guys could not protect themselves from the awesome sucktitude of John Lackey. Ridiculous.

Nothing in my being wants to discuss this game any more, especially when I know what happened last night. We've got happy thoughts coming our way, boys and girls. Happy thoughts in the form of Josh Beckett.

It's Wednesday: I'm Still Writing About The Weekend

Does it count as slacking if I'm trying really hard to make up for lost time? Because I feel like I should get a little bit of credit here. Better late than never, right?

Thankfully, I'm wrapping up the weekend (finally!) and then we can move on to the two games that already happened this week. Don't look at me with that shame and disappointment in your eyes, I feel bad enough as it is. Today, we discuss Andrew Miller.

Andrew seems like a fine young fellow, to be sure. Potential. Velocity. But mostly potential. Location, on the other hand, is a constant problem. With an ERA now sitting at 5.36 and a WHIP of 1.884, Andrew doesn't instill a whole lot of confidence in me. Though his BAbip is a slightly high .341 (MLB average = .299) and we can probably expect the hits to come down a bit in the future, 51 hits in 40 innings is still scary. To top it off, his BB/K ratio is exactly 1.00. For every strikeout, he walks a guy. I watch his location. Too many times, where Tek is set up and where Andrew throws the ball is too far off for comfort. So what's with this guy? Is it bad luck or is it just a case of potential that cannot be realized? Detroit and Florida quit on him, so obviously he's the type of player that Theo wants to tap into because Theo knows that even in a tight pennant race (like, um, the one we're in), the talent level on the team will be able to compensate for acquisition mistakes. In other words, we have the luxury of being able to give him a chance to achieve said potential. This is a luxury that most teams do not have.

Take Sunday. Miller pitched 5.2 innings and came out of the game trailing by a run. He had an ok game. The hits (10) were a little outrageous for five plus innings, but he only allowed one walk and managed eight strikeouts. He was one third of an inning away from his first dictionary-definition quality start since July 2nd, but a high pitch count prohibited him from continuing on after Juan Pierre's sixth inning single. Luckily, behind him in the bullpen were Aceves, Bard, and Papelbon, who finished out the game by allowing only one additional hit between them. They gave the Sox a chance to come back and win the game. Our bullpen has been incredible this season. As has our offense.

A seventh-inning rally got Miller off the hook and made sure Aceves got the win for another fine job out of the pen. An additional run in the ninth made the lead a little more comfortable. Oh, did I mention that Tek hit a home run? Because I'm pretty sure that was my favorite part of the game. Again. Tek, love, well-documented, blah blah blah. I repeat myself a lot. I'm aware of this issue.

I'm glad the boys walked away with a win, but I'm still uncomfortable with the thought of Miller on the mound. He makes me nervous, and I don't enjoy being nervous. Unfortunately, the man who pitched Monday? He just makes me angry. I think the tone of my next post is going to be angry, and I apologize for that in advance. Sorry, guys.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jonny Saves The Day: Because He Is Awesome

I love Jon Lester. I've always loved Jon Lester, and watching him pitch well? That makes everything sunshine and rainbows. Believe it or not, I actually got to watch this one... which was good because I didn't get to see his first start back from the DL and I've missed seeing him. It was nice to have a night to myself that I could spend watching baseball.

There's a small nagging thought in the back of my mind every time Jon Lester starts a game that leaves me believing he'll throw a no-hitter. Without fail, every time he pitches, I get this thought, and there's always this moment of great disappointment when he gives up that first hit. At least in this one, the first hit got taken care of relatively early with a harmless second inning double so my delusions of no-hit goodness were dashed quickly and I could still enjoy a tremendously well-pitched game.... at least on our side.

To be fair, this was a tense game through four innings. Through four innings, only four baserunners had reached base (a double, a walk, and two singles)... and then there was the fifth inning where the Sox were able to put four on the board, giving Jon Lester the only run support he would need. Maybe if they had given some of those runs to Wakey, we could have won TWO games instead of one. Just saying. The fifth inning went like this: Crawford single, Salty double, Reddick single, Scutaro sac fly, Pretzels single, Munchkin sac fly, Ernie IBB, and Youkilis single. In one inning, we managed to exceed the previous offensive output for the game. I love when that happens. Only when it's in our favor, though.

The ninth was another one of those awesome innings, and the boys managed five more (yes, Scoots drove in an eighth inning run, but not important). Ernie and Youk went back-to-back with home run goodness. There were doubles, there were singles, and there was just good times all around. I'm a big fan of good times.

Man, so far behind. If I have time tomorrow, I'll write about my disappointment with Miller and (ugh!) Mudpie, and I'll wax poetic about how I think I'll react to Wake winning his 200th game, and ramble about how much I love Josh.... only if I have time, though.

No Chicago Salvation: A Bad Friday Night For Timmy and Munchkin

That was stupid. Everything about Friday night's game was stupid, and I'm glad I didn't see the majority of it. As awful as it was of me, knowing that Tim was going for career win #200, I was on a date. I love Tim, and I support him fully (to the point that yes, I did wear my Tim Wakefield shirt on the date), but sometimes I have to miss a game. Lately, I've been missing quite a few of them. I need to get my gentleman caller hooked on baseball. Weird how I manage to find the one guy in Massachusetts that doesn't seem to care for sports.

I digress. I don't blame any of this loss on Tim. Perhaps I should, considering he did give up the three runs that were his ultimate demise in this game, but I don't want to blame him. I want to hug him and tell him it'll be alright and then smack everyone who was in the lineup for not supporting him. Why don't you guys love Tim? He's always supported you all! Do him a favor and let him get the win next time around, ok? Because him losing again because of inept bats is not something I'm comfortable with. Got it?! Jeez.

To further the suck for the evening, little MC Laser Show's hitting streak came to an end. They couldn't even give me that to hold on to, could they? Yes, I know Salty hit a home run, and I'm ultra-proud of him because I love when (most) catchers do well. I've always had a soft spot for catchers. I still wanted better for my Timmy. After all these years, they still can't manage regular run support for our veteran.

Luckily, Tim will get another chance. I'm so late posting last Friday's results that Tim actually gets his chance tomorrow. So you know what that means? That means today is Tim Wakefield's 45th birthday. Go celebrate today with a win, and make sure that he gets his 200th win as a belated birthday present tomorrow, boys. Happy birthday, Tim Wakefield!