Monday, August 30, 2010

Boggling: Just Boggling

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

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

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

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

Sigh. Go Sox!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ho Hum: Rain Takes Away My Baseball

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Red Sox: Baseball Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 19, 2010

That Guy: He Won Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 13, 2010

Not Worth The Money: Paps Blows It Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bill Hall: For The Win

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mike Lowell: Hero!

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 6, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Bring on Javier Vasquez. We're ready.

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

Thursday, August 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mikey Lowell: I Will Always Love That Man

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Wish: Theo's Command!

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

At Fenway!

While I'm there!

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

Santana: Get Better Soon

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 2, 2010

Papelbon: Mouth Continuing To Outshine Talent

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

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

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

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

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

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

and now the happy news:

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

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

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