BUCKNER WAS FRAMED!
Red Sox fans are NOT Charlie Brown futilely trying to kick a football. Red Sox fans are like Linus patiently waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive on a late October night.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
"I don't believe in them Curses! Someone wake up the damn Bambino. Maybe I'll drill him..." - Pedro the Great
There are no words! The GREAT PUMPKIN HAS FINALLY ARRIVED! Charlie Brown has kicked the football! Wile E. Coyote is chowing down on a roadrunner dinner at long last!!!
This is for all the generations of Red Sox fans past, families that shared hope in the Sox and all the fans that asked on their deathbeds how Ted Williams or Yaz played that day...
WE DID IT!!!!
We F-ing did it!!!!!!
I love you Red Sox!!! I love you BambinosCurse.com!
I love you Curt, and Theo and Foulke and Manny and Ortiz and Veritek and Johnny and Trot and Pedro and Arroyo and Millar and Mueller and Bellhorn and Cabrera!!!!
SHOUT IT FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP!!! The curse is dead! There is no curse! We made history, everyone else IS history!
GOOOOOOOOO RED SOX!!!!
High Fives and hugs Edw, Beth, Paul, Linda, Brian, Annette and everyone else!!!
I LOVE THIS TEAM!!! HOW SWEET THE FRUITS OF VICTORY!!!!!!!!!
I am so blessed that I got to see this team in person twice this year in Anaheim. Wake and Schilling!
GOOOOOOOOO 2004 RED SOX!!!!!
WE KEPT THE FAITH!!!
@ 10:48 PM
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
And in the end....
...there can only be one.
Manny! Way to shut your critics up. People wanna laugh at you... you leave em in your dust!
Ortiz! I've been hearing about how many runs you'd give up on defense in St. Louis. I'm still waiting.... Wow! What head's-up play at first and what a throw to third! You ROCK! You COMPLETELY took the wind out of the Cards' sails and allowed Pedro to ride his groove the through the seventh inning!
Pedro! Can't say enough about you showing the world what you can do on the grandest stage. You were a hero tonight! And if it was your last start in a Red Sox uniform, what a way to go out!? Thank you for everything Pedro!
Anybody notice the shot of Pedro spanking Walker at home with his glove after he was tagged out? What was that all about????
I couldn't believe how quiet Busch stadium went after the game. I'm pretty sure I heard a pin drop!
LaRussa looked like he was going to have an anyurism (sp?) during the post-game press conference. I had to admire him giving props to Francona for what he said when the Sox were down 0-3 about each day's game being the most important game to win.
Let's see a confident D-Lowe come out tomorrow and pitch for the BIG money. Let's go for the sweep. My wife wants to see the Red Sox win the World Series at Fenway but I din't think any long suffering Sox fan in New England would wish for anything but winning the World Series wit' a quick'ness!
Let's take care of business Red Sox! We can't back off now! Let's get Arroyo loose in the 'Pen. Let's have Embree, Myers, Leskanik, Mendoza, Timlin and Foulke ready to go if we have to go inning to inning. We have to pull out all the stops tomorrow to put this series to bed.
Someone call Bill Buckner and tell him he's needed for a parade in Boston this week!
Let's make more history!
We've wandered in the desert for twice as long as Moses! We thought Nomar would lead us into the promised land but like Moses, it wasn't meant to be for him to cross over the Jordan River. Tomorrow the unlikely Derek Lowe will take us where we can't even dream about.
Like Steven Wright said "The Red Sox winning the World Series... is like trying to imagine what's at the end of the universe... the mind just can't get around that concept." Well my friends... get ready for an education. We're almsot there. Get ready to see the first recorded celebration of a Red Sox World Series Championship! There were no radio, TV or film reporters in the club-house in 1918. Nobody knows what it looks like for the Red Sox to win it all. Let's find out tomorrow!
Go Red Sox!!!!
@ 10:29 PM
Monday, October 25, 2004
"I wanna shot at redemption..."
On this night, 18 years ago in 1986 the Red Sox were playing in Shea Stadium and were 1 STRIKE away from winning the World Series. A series of errors by manager John McNamara, Calvin Schiraldi, Bob Stanley and Rich Gedman setup a good guy to carry the cross of suffering for Red Sox fans for the next two decades.
Now after legions of Red Sox fans have come and gone only to return again and again in the hopes of the ultimate dream, the 2004 Red Sox are on the verge of taking the cross off Bill Buckner's shoulders forever.
In tribute to good old Bill I offer the Red Sox version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band:
It was 18 years ago today.
Billy Buckner learned he could not play.
That grounder's goin' up and down with style.
It was a guaranteed out by a mile. (NOT!)
So may I introduce to you:
The one and only exhibit A...
For Dan Shaughnessy's obsolete paperback.
We hope that he enjoys the show.
Dan Shaughnessy's obsolete paperback.
We're sorry but it's time to go.
Dan Shaughnessy's obsolete...
Dan Shaughnessy's obsolete...
Dan Shaughnessy's obsolete paperback.
It's wonderful to be here!
It's certainly a thrill!
He's such a jackass columnist
We'd love to send him off to Nome.
We'd love to send him home!
We don't really want to end this year!
But I guess its neither there nor here.
That our pitchers are gonna pitch so hard!
And our slugger's gonna go so yard!
So may I introduce to you:
The one and only Mark Bellhorn!
What would I do if ran out of room
taking grounders by David Ortiz?
Lend me your tears and I'll make you a play.
And I'll try not to put up an E.
Oh I go deep with a little help from my friends.
I hit high with a little help from my friends.
I'm gonna fly with a little help from my friends.
Do we need any DH?
We want somebody to hit.
Could there be any DH?
Ortiz is playing first base!
Would you believe we'd win 6 playoff games in a row?
Yes I'm certain that it happens all the time.
How 'bout when we're in a hole oh-and-three?
I'm not certain but I think it's time!
Oh I go deep with a little help from my friends.
I hit high with a little help from my friends.
I'm gonna fly with a little help from my friends.
And what does Bill Buckner have to say about all this fuss after all these years?
"The Idaho Statesman caught up with former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner over the weekend, and Bucker said the [World Series} game didn't mean squat to him.
"I have no strong feelings one way or another, but if (a Boston win) would mean that no one would bother me or my kids, I guess I would like to see them win it,'' said Buckner.
Buckner's goat status is surely partly unwarranted in the mere fact that there's no way the guy should have been on the field in the first place with his gimpy ankles. But it does set a precedent. Let's hope Terry Francona does not make the same mistake John McNamara did 18 years ago by letting David Ortiz in St. Louis or Kevin Millar in Boston stay on the field to celebrate in lieu of what he does every game with the lead, replace them with Doug Mientkiewicz."
Bill Buckner, true Red Sox fans still love you. When we win this World Series Boston is going to open their hearts to you for the suffering you've had to bear.
Go Red Sox!
@ 8:54 PM
Sunday, October 24, 2004
And then there were two....
Curt Schilling... you are going to spoil us with these performances. These works of art you weave from the mound are going to have us expecting miracles every night! Wow! 6 solid innings of 4-hit ball. No earned runs! You might think you could have done some things better tonight, but to us, you went above and beyond the call of duty yet again!
I LOVED the interview he gave where he said that he saw signs and posters of encouragement for him on bridges and telephone poles every mile of the long drive from his home to the park. No player and fan-base were ever more perfect for each other than Curt Schilling and red Sox Nation.
It blows my mind to think of the brief encounter I had with him before his game in Anaheim in July where he looked at me and waved hello as I peered into the dugout from the 1B camera-well. All I could think to say was "We Love you Curt!" It sounded so lame at the time, but really what else would I want him to know?
I was shocked to hear Schilling say after the game that he woke up early this morning before the game in bad pain, hobbling around barely able to walk, thinking that he wasn't going to be able to pitch tonight. I'm glad I didn't know that until after the game.
The team doctor truly deserves a full share of World Series bonus money for fixing the suture that was in the nerve in Curt's leg allowing him to pitch tonight.
The words to describe what Curt did tonight and in game 6 aren't there. Anything I can think of is too weak or feeble to do his performance justice. He was truly heroic. He was a total warrior pitching with single-minded dedication. He went out there not just for himself but for the other 24 guys on the team that he loves so dearly. There are no words to describe how inspiring that is to see!
It was beautiful seeing Tek hit a ball 415 feet into the triangle for a 2 RBI triple. My wife laughed and loved seeing the square he ripped in the butt of his pants.
Kudos indeed to former Cardinals catcher Tim McCarver for pointing out on the Fox broadvast that catchers are the one position player that can't get away with playing with a big hole in the butt of their pants. "Thank you Alex, I'll take the freaking obvious for $1000!"
I could SWEAR that Ortiz's towering hit went OVER Pesky's pole and I was so frustrated when it was ruled foul!!! At least A-Rod can sleep well knowing that not all umpire conferences go the Red Sox's way.
Way to go Bellhorn for putting up another big RBI hit tonight. Seems like Manny and Millar are about the only two players that are seriously overdue for some BIG hits at this point.
Everything I thought that would bode well for the Red Sox indeed did bode well for us. I think I'm still in shock that neither Torre nor LaRussa had his guys come out bunting against Schilling like they implied they would.
When Pujols was at third I was CERTAIN that LaRussa was going to use the suicide squeeze on Schilling. In the end it didn't matter since Pujols scored anyway but I can't fathom why they didn't put more pressure on Curt's ankle. With the slick, sloppy field conditions in both Game 6 of the ALCS and in tonight's game I don't know why they wouldn't use every advantage they could. I'm just glad it didn't work out that way.
Hopefully St. Louis will be warmer and drier for the defense and for Pedro. Pedro against Suppan will probably be the best match-up of the World Series, since Suppan has been tough-as-nails in his last few starts and Pedro has been less than god-like. I think if we can get a decent outing from Pedro we can get to their bullpen again and have a come-from-behind win. Pedro will probably give up 1-3 runs early before settling down and putting up 0's his last 3-4 innings.
Lowe against Marquis in Game 4 should be a pretty even match too. It just depends on which Derek Lowe shows up on the mound. Hopefully it will be the one that was lights-out in Game 7 of the ALCS.
I love this team! I love their heart! I don't know how I'll get through this off-day tomorrow. I can't wait for the next games in St. Louis and I would feel so vindicated in my faith in this team the last few years if they pulled off a 4-game sweep. even though it would be utterly awesome to see the Sox win the World Series at Fenway, at this point I'd rather not dodge any bullets and just go for the 4 game sweep.
Just two more wins needed! Go Red Sox!
@ 10:35 PM
Wow.... So what are the odds of; a low-key, on-base-percentage guy from the #2 spot in the order most of the year with a penchant for striking out hitting game winning or end of the night home-runs in three straight games????
What are the odds this same guy would ding two straight post-season home-runs off the foul pole in two different games?
What are the odds he would do it in Fenway Park in the World Series with Carlton Fisk looking on?
What are the odds he would hit Pesky's Pole with Johnny Pesky watching?
The great thing about bseball is there's a never-ending parade of events that leave you scratching your head wondering how the heck things this improbable can happen.
Game 1 sure was ugly. When Wake walked three straight batter I almost cried out in a Lucy Van Pelt voice saying "Oh no! We're doomed!"
When Millar's cut-off throw to third went into the Cards dugout I almost turned off the TV thinking that we were playing too sloppy to pull off a win.
When both teams kept scoring runs late into the game I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
On the drive home I heard a joke saying "So we wanted to watch Game 1 of the World Series but instead a softball game broke out. All that was missing was a keg at second base!"
So far the fact that the Cards have been far luckier tat home than on the road bodes well for the Red Sox. The fact that Matt Morris is in a funk and is starting on short rest bodes well for the Red Sox. The fact that Curt Schilling knows how to pitch big games with sutures in his ankle bodes well for the Red Sox.
We just have to hope that Francona puts Veritek behind Ortiz in the batting order so the Cards don't decide to give Ortiz the Bonds treatment.
At this point I fully expect great outings from Schilling, Pedro and Lowe and I don't see any reason why the Red Sox won't sweep the Cards in 4 games.
Go Schilling! Go Ortizzle! Go Bellhorn! Go Damon! Go Manny! Go Veritek! Go Red Sox!
@ 2:41 PM
Friday, October 22, 2004
Bring on the Cardinals
"So now it is down to you and it is down to me." - Vizzini - The Princess Bride
I still can't believe that tomorrow night I will be watching World Series festivities taking place in Fenway Park for the first time in my adult life. Now that we know who our opponent will be it will be intersting to see how the two teams deal with each other and adjust.
I wonder how much experience these National Leaguers have with a good knuckleball.
I wonder how up-to-date Curt Schilling's notes are on the Cardinals line-up.
I wonder if Jeff Suppan will give away the Red Sox secret recipe to the Cardinals.
I hope Pedro and Lowe will be able to handle Rolen, Edmonds, Walker and Pujols.
I hope Tito won't be hopelessly outmatched by LaRussa.
In othr news... Letterman had Schilling do the Top 10 list last night and it was pretty damn funny:
Top Ten Secrets To The Boston Red Sox Comeback presented by Curt Schilling
10. Unlike the first three games, we didn't leave early to beat the traffic.
9. We put flu virus in Jeter's gatorade.
8. Let's just say Pete Rose made some phone calls for us.
7. We asked Pokey Reese to be a little less pokey.
6. It's not like we haven't won a big game before--it's just been 86 years.
5. Honestly, I think we were tired of hearing about the Patriots.
4. The messages of encouragement Martha sent on prison napkins.
3. We pretended the baseball was Letterman's head.
2. What'd you expect--we have a guy who looks like Jesus!
1. We got Babe Ruth's ghost a hooker and now everything's cool.
Go Red Sox! Red Sox World Series Tickets.... priceless....
@ 9:20 AM
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
WE DID IT!!!!
We did it! We did it! Oh yeah yeah yeah... No eating here tonight! You're on a diet!
Our 2004 Red Sox are going to the World Series! The faith and belief of Red Sox nation was rewarded tonight as we SPANKED the Yankees and answered their taunt of "Who's your Daddy!?" Now New York knows the answer!
Just the first thoughts off the top of my head....
1. My wife called this comeback on Saturday right after the 19-8 massacre. She said "Can you imagine how great it would be for the Red Sox to come back and win the next 4 on the Yankees!? It would be the greatest upset since the 1980 USA Hockey Team!" My reply to her was that it certainly didn't look good for us to make that happen with no Schilling and everything else going wrong. I tip my cap to my wife and say thank you for calling this comeback! Sharing this unbelievable 4-game comeback with my wife and daughter in each game has been one of the greatest joys of my life!
2. Curt Schilling... you have been my personal hero all season! You have been my personal hero since 2001. What Curt Schilling did in game 6 was the most inspiring and amazing display of guts, courage, belief, faith and character I have ever seen. after seeing the blood on his socks I'll never look at the team name Red Sox or the Sox logo the same way again!
3. Ortiz! Wow! You are the 21st Century Babe Ruth!
4. John-ny Damon! Unfrozen Caveman outfielder! You are a freaking stud! We love you! We never gave up on you! We'll always wonder WWJDD?
5. Derek Lowe, you showed unbelievable heart in game 7 tonight and went far beyond what anybody dreamed to ask of you. You completely rock! Thank you for making the dream come true!
6. I am still stunned that they brought in Pedro in the 7th inning. I know what Francona was trying to do but that was still a bonehead move. Thankfully it ended before we got major ulcers seeing doubles pounded off of him.
7. The entie bullpen and pitching staff. What guts! What heart! What a refuse to lose spirit! The most inspiring thing I saw before Curt in game 6 was seeing Curt running around the dugout in game 5 with his glove on his hand dying to get into that game, then walking out to the bullpen with Lowe and Wakefield like three warriors getting ready for a do-or-die last stand. Abso-freaking-lutely amazing!
8. Seeing the Yankees get a taste of what the Red Sox have been living through for decades. Calls going against them. Balls landing short of the wall, just going foul, check-swings being called strikes, calls getting reversed against them, blind-stinking-zippidy-doo-dah-luck giving them the finger, seeing the Yankees snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Get in the back of the line Yanks... welcome to our world.
9. A-Rod.... aka Get-Out-Of-The-Way-Rod... your reputation took a big dent from that cheap swipe at Arroyo. Curt Schilling calld you on it. You'll never live it down.
10. Our beloved Red Sox are going to the World Series with HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE! They are painting the World Series logo behind homeplate at Fenway this year with no jinx coming in to play. As my wife says, right now he Astros and Cardinals are telling each other "After you, no you go ahead and play the Red Sox, no by all means be my guest, it's your turn!"
I'll post more but I wanted to share my immediate thoughts on this joyful night. I wish that I could share this moment with the gang at Bambinoscurse.com right now. Beth, Edw, Linda, Brian, Annette, Paul, congratulations! How sweet the fruits of victory! What a team! What a team!
Now who's going to pitch Game 1? Wakefield would be my vote.
Go Red Sox!
@ 10:54 PM
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Are we superstitious???
Since my last post the Red Sox have gone on a tear of 25 wins and 6 losses. Going back from August 4 to July 1 they had a record of 16 wins and 14 losses.
Hell yes I'm superstitious. I'm going to keep my big trap shut as long as the Red Sox keep this juggernaut rolling.
I'll be posting on a daily basis over at Bambino's Curse
in the meantime.
These guys are on fire. These guys can do nothing wrong. They don't know how to lose. They're on 100% afterburner and nobody's looking back!
Go Red Sox!!!! Next Year is Here! THIS IS NEXT YEAR! 8791! 8791! 8791!
@ 11:03 AM
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Seems like every August is full of changes.
It seems like when I am either moving or preparing to move or job-hunting or getting ready for my wedding or the birth of my baby it is always happening in August. I wonder why that is.
Of course the intersection of two major events in my life is what makes me think of the relation between August and changes. I am referring to both Nomar being traded to the Cubs and Willy Wonka handing me my walking papers in order to ship my job off to the Oompa Loompas.
The Nomar thing I can totally understand. He'd turned down a 4 year $60 Million Dollar contract last year, the A-Rod trade situation pushed him even further to the free-agent world, his injury drastically reduced his playing time and value and the Sox needed to make some MAJOR changes to their defense. It all makes sense. I'll miss Nomar VERY much. My heart NEVER wanted to see Nomar playing for another team, but my head knows that Theo did the right thing and got better than expected value for Nomar.
The other development in my life that I'm still coping with was the end of my five year stint working for a big big food company that Shaquille O'Neal calls Crunchous. They also own the Willy Wonka candy company so the joke about shipping my job off to the Oompa Loompas isn't really a joke at all. Since my job involves helping every member of the company fix their computer problems it feels especially, as Sting and the Police once said, like a humiliating kick in the crotch. (Pardon the colorful mtaphor)
Anyway these two dramatic "Do you remember where you were when you found out..." events interseected last Friday and I am still delaing with them. It all feels a bit unreal. Someone on BambinosCurse.com mentioned that between all the trades going on and Wakefield throwing a gem things have a definite Bizarro feel to them.
A friend called me from a business trip to Boston and said that all Nomar merchandise was half off and asked if I wanted a Nomar jersey. Of course I said yes and I am looking forward to seeing it when it gets here.
Another topic of conversation was what people's enduring memory of Nomar in Boston will be. My memory of him will be rushing home from work to catch his first at-bat after spending the first two months of 2004 on the DL. Seeing him stand-in to a standing ovation with all the love and good-will pouring down on him gave me goose-bumps as he stopped his rituals for aheartbeat to acknowledge the crowd. Nomar's relationship with management may have been one thing but as Curt Schilling said Nomar always gave 110% on the field.
I am fortunate that I got to see Nomar play for Boston in person one last time two weeks ago. Seeing him turn a double into a triple by hauling butt around second base told me right there what Nomar's desire is like. I'm very lucky that I got to see that.
Thanks for the memories Nomar. Let's hope you and I can both start up a great new chapter of our lives together.
And as far as the guys we got for Nomar go, I think they will put us over the top in the post-season. I STILL say we've got enough of a team to make a run at the division. Cabrera responds in a BIG way when the crowd is rooting for him. You'll see him go back to being a .300 hitter this year. Same with Doug M.
It's going to be a great year for baseball this year.
Go Red Sox!
@ 8:15 PM
Monday, July 19, 2004
A Tale of Two Games.... It was the best of games, it was the worst of games....
Wow, what a fun couple of baseball games that was!
Game 1 recap
Both Saturday and Sunday both games were sold out and about 25%-35% of the fans there were Red Sox fans. The Red Sox fans were alos a lot more organized and vocal in their support so in a lot of ways it really felt a lot like I was seeing a Red Sox home game.
There's a Red Sox bar & grill our here in Santa Monica called Sonny McLeans http://www.sonnymcleans.com
that organizes bus trips to the Angel games for Red Sox fans. It was great all through the games to see their entire section erupt in cheers and chants of "Let's go Red Sox! Let's go!" They all wore T-Shirts that said Red Sox Nation West. Gotta get me one of those.
Of course Wakefield's game on Saturday didn't go the way we'd hoped but it was still great to see Johnny Damon hit two home runs and Ortiz launched a nice high srcing bomb of his own. I think he actually was feeding off the boos he was getting there. I'm terrified as to how many games he will be suspended as we head into the Yankee series but at least the August schedule should give us a chance to make up some ground.
The crowd Saturday night in the field level seats were all pretty good natured. The only trouble came from two Angel fans that started arguing about what one of them was saying to a Red Sox fan. Both Angels fans were invited to visit the security office. LOL The Angels fans all around us were in good cheer and we all had fun trading banter back and forth.
When Guerrero came up I called out for Wake to walk him since he'll launch any pitch into the bleachers. When the smoke from the fireworks cleared the Angels fans there made sure to tell me that was a good call. LOL
And of course out from the bullpen we got our first good looks of the season at Nelson, Misterrrr Aaaandersonnn and of course Mendoza. I was hoping I'd see Manny playing on Saturday since my seats were close to where he plays in Left Field. Instead I got a splendid view of local boy Gabe Kapler. I was pretty impressed with his hitting and fielding though eh's no Manny. Well who is?
Not too much else to report from Saturday night's game. I was happy to see that Wake wasn't hurt from that come-backer that hit his shoulder-blade. After Nomar caught that I wondered how the official scoring on that play goes. Is it 1-6 or 1-6-3? LOL I wasn't able to get to the field early enough to try and get any autographs on Saturday but Sunday made up for that.
Sunday morning I got to the stadium about 90 minutes early and saw lots of red Sox pitchers out on the field. It was photo day with Angels fans all lined up around the warning track to meet players so Sox batting practice must have been earlier in the day.
Despite a good number of Red Sox fans all down at the field railing it wasn't too hard to meet the pitchers that came over. The hardest part was figuring out who was who. All the players were wearing practice caps, refleective sunglasses and plain windbreakers with no names or numbers on them. Seriously the way they were dressed they all looked like clones.
The only way to figure out who most of the pitchers were was to look at the swarm of 20 year old non-English speaking pro autograph hounds that would forcefully flock their way to a pitcher when he would come over. These guys must have been working for autograph dealers because they all had baseball cards of every player ready to be signed with expensive pens, they all worked together as if they did this every day and they knew exactly which player was which.
The first player I got to meet was Timlin. He was really nice about signing autographs and did a good job of making sure he signed things for the kids and not for the pros. I told him that he was nails on Friday night and he was really nice and appreciative. He had to leave before I could get an autograph though.
Bronson Arroyo came over next and was a really fun down-to-earth kid. Kids were asking himwho the toughest hittrs to face are. He said it's the unpredictable contact hitters that swing at anything like Eckstein, Kennedy and Vlad. He was really nice and signed the bill of my Red Sox hat.
Manny started walking around and teasing everybody. His hair looked extra-bouncy in the heat on Sunday. It was good to see him even though we could see he wasn't going to play. He has got such a great sense of fun and humor when he's out on the field. Getting there early you get to see a side of players that you just never see on TV. It's easy to forget that what these guys do is fun and they love every minute of it.
Manny didn't stay out long and only signed some autographs on the other side of the dugout from where I was.
Across the field I could see Pedro and Lowe out doing windsprints and stretching their hamstrings. It was amazing to see their workout routine on their off-day. It was damn hot down on that field and they were out there running out and walking back for over an hour before they started long-tossing. As I watched I kept thinking "These are the guys people are saying have no heart and are a bunch of selfish cry-baby head-cases? They're working their butts off in crazy heat and they aren't even playing today."
After Manny disappeared and the ushers were starting to sweep the field sections clear of us Red Sox rabble.
I then leaned over by the first base camera well and saw in the dugout that the only player there 45 minutes before game time was Curt Schilling. He looked like he was trying to relax and just clear his mind of anything. He looked as calm as could be crossing and uncrossing his legs and looking around at the field preparations.
I've heard how intense he is on game-day so I wasn't going to say anything to him, but then he looked over at me in my Red Sox regalia and waved a quick hello to me. I yelled over to him "We Love You Curt!" He again waved to me and said "Thanks." Yeah, you could say that got my adrenaline going! He'll never know that he's my hero or that he replied to me once on Ed's blog but it was great just to have that momentary interaction. Looks like I didn't distract him too much.
I then started walking away from the approaching ushers toward the right field foul pole when I came across a group of 10-20 people acting frantic about something. I crossed over to the second row to see who it was and it was Pedro! He was joking around with the kids and looking like he was having the time of his life.
When you find yourself standing there in awe facing these players you watch everyday it's so funny. You think to yourself... what can I say to this guy that will be of the slightest interest to him? You think and think... "Who's the toughest hitter you ever faced... nah too common.... Who's the greatest player you ever played with? Naw too lame.... How tough is it facing a good hitter with a full-count? Naw too esoteric..."
You think and think some more and then find that the only thing that you can get out of your mouth is..."You're the best Pedro! You rock!" Seriously, I don't think I could have felt any goofier but Pedro was nice and told me "Thank you man, you guys are great too. Ya know I always try and do my best out there."
I don't think he could have been nicer or looking like he was having more fun. He was working his way down the line to sign more autographs and was three people away from me when he got ushered away by a stadium attendant clearing the field. Ugh! 30 seconds away from Pedro autographing my hat. Oh well. I'm still plenty happy even getting Arroyo's autograph so that's cool.
My seats for Sunday were in the lower-nosebleeds by the left field foul-pole. I had a great view directly over the bullpen and I could really see the movement on Curt's pitches. I could see him painting the left and right sides of the plate at will. It was amazing how easy he made it look, especially with that kind of heat on the field. I loved seeing the movemennt on his pitches start out heading in to the left side of the plate and then curve back in a concave arc to the right.
After 15-20 minutes of warm-up tosses Curt walked slowly and deliberately out of the gates into left field for more stretching and jogging exercises. He later claimed his deliberateness was sluggishness but he looked like the zen pitching master to me.
Once the game was under way it looked like a pitching duel. Every one of Ortiz's at-bats was dramatic and exciting! On his first hit seeing him dig for third and then slide head-first was awesome! You should have seen the line he carved around secoond!
Then seeing Ortiz belt his three-run homer in the 6th was perfection. When he came to the plate I just knew it was going out. The same way I caleld Vlad's homer the night before. It just felt like it was a done-deal before he even got to the plate. I tell ya Ortiz really seemd to feed of the boos that were heaped down on him by the Angles fans.
I think the only way you could tell it wasn't a Sox home game was from the boos for Ortiz. Other than that there really wasn't any chanting for the Angels or big cheers when their big players came up. I guess LA fans are as laid-back as people say.
I was really disappointed to see Homar get plunked. From my seat I was worried that he got hit in the head so I was glad it was just his shoulder. Lackey claimed he slipped trying to throw the pitch that got Nomar out earlier. Yeah, right after Ortiz went yard on you and took your lead away. Uh-huh.
At first the Ump pointed at Lackey and signalled that he was tossed out. Scioscia came out to appeal it and that's when both benches were warned. I'm sure the umps thought it was retaliation for the homer since they didn't toss Curt for hitting Molina.
I think Curt retaliated perfectly. He didn't go head-hunting but he showed he wasn't gonna take it either. Still after the Ortiz thing I don't want to flirt with more suspensions.
At one point a bunch of Boston fans behind the dugout knocked a big inflatable socccer-ball into the Sox dugout. Ortiz and Manny messed around with it and then punched it back into the crowd. You've got to love seeing these guys have that kind of fun.
Johnny Damon was a lot of fun to watch as well. I loved seeing him come to plate and have Sox fans start chanting "Let's go Jesus! Let's Go!" Angles fans just kind of looked around in a bemused way trying to figure out what that was all about.
I heard one fan remark "Look at that guy, he looks like Charles Manson!" The uptight lady in front of me said "Oh he's just another one of those disgusting and depraved Red Sox players. I hate them. Tell that guy to get a shave." When I told her that he shaves his beard during the season for charity and has raised tens fo thousands of dollars that shut her up in a hurry. LOL
The other funny comment I heard from the peanut gallery was when Bellhorn's picture was plastered on the big display screens in the outfield. One lady looked up at Bellhorn's mug and said "Wow that's too bad that they had to use his high school yearbook photo!" I told her that was a good one and asked her if I could steal that line. So thank you to that anonymous Angel fan. LOL
That's about it for me.
Wow I wish I could go see a Red Sox game everyday!
@ 2:54 PM
Saturday, July 17, 2004
The Happiest Place on Earth
So just a few notes...
Great to see Pedro redeem himself after he got shelled the last time he pitched to the Angels. Holding their lineup to 2 runs is awesome! Pedro was nails and got some great swinging strikeouts.
Embree and Timlin coming out in relief two days in a row gave me a serious case of nerves, but Timlin and Foulke calmed me right down. Thanks guys.
Ortiz... What can I say. I can understand how angry he was but you can't throw bats onto the field, especially at people. I knew it was bad when after every ridiculous strike that was called on the Red Sox even the Angels announcers were saying "Wow looks like there are a lot of questionable strikes being called tonight."
Knowing that Ortiz has at least a 5-10 game suspension about to land on him a week before the Sox play the Yankees is a very frrustrating thought. The fact that Manny is virtually Day-to-Day with tight hamstrings is even scarier.
Kapler showed some great hustle grabbing a bloop fly ball at the last possible second. I was very impressed and seeing Manny pointing to him to guive him his props was good to see. Not nearly as spectacular as Jim Edmonds taking that home-run away three feet past the wall but still a thing of beauty.
Seeing Nomar all fired up and all smiles after the game was good to see too. I almost forgot what he looked like when he smiled.
The Angels announcers said they talked to Nomar before the game and he was still frustrated that his side of the story didn't get out after the bench-sitting incident a few weeks back. He said that he was sitting in his lucky spot and that his teammates told him not to leave the lucky spot so they could get a rally going.
I don't know if that's true or not. All I know is it does illustrate that as fans there are things that happen in the dugout that we just can't be privvy to in the course of a game.All that matters is how his teammates feel about him so I'll let them decide if Nomar's telling the truth or not. Nomar's a great player and we're lucky to have him. he just needs to learn how to stop hitting the ball right to the shortstop.
I'm off to the game tonight to see Wakefield pitch tonight against Bartolo Colon. He got seriously rocked in Dodger Stadium two weeks ago so I'm looking forward to seeing him get beat-up today.
Then of course I'm going to see Schilling pitch in person for the first time ever tomorrow. I can't wait to see him. My wife is soooo wonderful!
I originally got our tickets for Saturda's game thinking that Pedro would pitch the first game after the break. Wake usually pitches between Pedro and Curt so I was planning to see Curt pitch Saturday night. When my wife found out that I'd be missing Curt pitch by 1 day she bought me a ticket to Sunday's game. She didn't want me to miss seeing my hero pitch what could be his only regular season game in So Cal this year. I'm very loved. :)
Go Red Sox!
@ 9:16 AM
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
He walks in the classroom cool and slow....
So I get dragged into taking a Peanuts quiz to see which Peanuts Character I am.... And of course the answer is...
You are Charlie Brown!
Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Anyway... loved the All-Star game. What a good time that was. As much as it freaked me out to see Manny and Ortiz high-fiving Jeter and Giambi on their way back in the dugout, it was fan-freaking-tastic to see Clemens get shelled by guys playing for his former AL teams.
Don't get me wrong, I was really glad that he got so much attention in Houston and in the run-up to the game. These days he looks lika nice old guy that adopts puppies and helps old-ladies across the street. It's not that I wanted him to look bad or get his world rocked in his home stadium on All-Star night. I just wanted to see him brought down a peg or two.
I agree with the analysts that say that he did run himself ragged promoting this event and I do feel bad for him that it didn't go his way. But in a larger sense it restored some faith in the cosmic wheel of Karma and that what goes around comes around.
I think all the reports that Piazza must have been tipping Clemens' pitches are garbage, but it is funny to imagine Piazza pulling a Bull Durham on Clemens just for one final "F@*# You!" Of course I'm sure Piazza was way too professional for that. besides I think just about everybody was miked. Still it's funny to picture.
Of course my daily tracking of the RJ situation says that ever so slowly the RJ defense trade momentum is heading towards Boston. It looks like Theo and company know that getting him is like winning or losing the race for the atom bomb. We don't want to be runner-up.
We'll see how it plays out. I'd hate to see Nomar get run out of town but I'd hate even more to see RJ face us down the stretch and in the playoffs. Curt got it right though when he pointed out that this team has scored a ton of runs in the week following Mueller's return. This team will produce and will have a monster second half no matter what.
Good night fair-friends. Spent the day rubbing anti-itch cream on my 3 year-old daughter's body rash. Hopefully we'll all sleep soundly tonight and tomorrow she can go back to daycare. Wish me luck!
Go Red Sox!
@ 10:00 PM
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
The All-Star break is here.
No point here in commenting on Pedro starting his vacation early instead of starting against Texas in the game we lost 5-6 Sunday.
I'm not going to comment on Curt Schilling giving Manny a serious talking to and finger-wagging about sitting out with his tight hamstrings. Whatever happened they have dealt with it.
I had a lot of fun watching Curt, Ortiz and Manny enjoying themselves at the All-Star game. I loved seeing Manny jokng with Ortiz as he tried to find his groove in the home-run derby. I especially loved seeing Manny do his voodoo-fingers thing waving his fingers at Ortiz to get him going.
But the REALLY big news was the press got Randy Johnson to admit that he'll waive his no-trade clause if it helps the D-Backs and if it sends him to a team with a real chance to win the world series. Of course it will also take a team with something to offer AND the desire to take on RJ from the D-Backs to make this three part equation work.
I'm sure the Yanks could work a three-way deal with another team to get Arizona the prospects they'd need. I'm just praying that the David Wells incident keeps Colangelo from wanting any part in helping the Yanks out.
The Red Sox of course have a ton of good players we wouldn't miss too much (Lowe, Kim, Crespo, McCarty etc) and some great prospects the D-Backs should want in Youkilis and Shoppauch. That could be a heck of a trade package that would get the D-Backs back on their feet. We'll just have to see which way the wind blows.
As far as what's coming from the horse's mouth... here's the most relevant part of what Jayson Stark reports on RJ's talk with reporters:
"Winning a World Series," he said, "would far outweigh any individual accomplishments."
He knows some people have speculated that now that he's won one World Series, he might be driven by other goals that could take precedent over winning. But the Big Unit couldn't have shut down that speculation any more forcefully if he'd driven a tractor-trailer through his friendly neighborhood newspaper printing plant.
"I think I've done enough in the game now where I'm not worried about whether I'll go to the Hall of Fame," he said, "or what my legacy is. I've done all the individual things in the game I ever set out to do."
Which suggests he's driving this trade-me scenario for pureley selfless motives. But the trouble with that is that his employers, the Diamondbacks, might not see it that way.
They're interested in winning, too, of course. And if they make the wrong deal for Randy Johnson just because he wants them to, it might not further that noble pursuit.
So these next three weeks should be verrrry interesting. Will they or won't they? Yankees or Red Sox? East coast or west? Or possibly none of the above?
Those are questions we can't answer quite yet. But the biggest question of all was finally answered Monday. Does Randy Johnson want out? Hoo boy. Does he ever.
@ 9:56 AM
Friday, July 09, 2004
Damon for Local Hero!!!
Wow, Johnny Damon gets it done! Wow!
How can you not love this guy. Isn't it amazing to see a player when they are touched by magic and they capture lightning in a bottle?
2 home runs! A triple short of the cycle! Wow! Love it!
Kevin MIllar was no slouch either doubling up runners on first base three times!
Red Sox have won four in a row now. This team is clicking. Our guys will get a good long rest this week and be ready to keep rolling along next week in Anaheim.
I've got tickets to the game on 7/17. I'm desperately hoping I get to see Schilling pitch. I've never seen him pitch in person before and since he's my personal hero and all I'd love to see that!
Go Red Sox!
@ 8:45 PM
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Let's All Salute Captain Caveman!
Way to go Johnny Damon! WHat a way to beat the throw at home. Amazing that the A's always seem to find a way to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. LOL I was so thrilled to see JOhnny Damon get swarmed by his team-mates after hustling in and scoring the winning run. You gotta love this guy!
What an ending to an incredible game! I'm sad that Curt didn't get the W after the bullpen choked up the lead but I was mighty impressed with the resilience of this team. Manny and Ortiz put on their show again and Bill Mueller capped it off with a great game-winning hit.
This feels like the team that we've wanted to be excited about. The excitement had died off over the last two months leaving RSN restless. Columnists have been working overtime bashing Red Sox fans and saying how ridiculous we are. Well now we're back on track. This team, including Nomar, Trot and Mueller will find ways to win. This is the team we wanted to rally around all year.
Texas is bound to give us a run for our money this weekend but I like the matchups and I think we'll have some good baseball this weekend. I'll go to sleep now feeling very happy about sweeping the A's and heading towards All-Star week.
One thing is certain with this club, every week brings a new surprise. I can't wait to see what's around the corner!
Go Red Sox!
@ 9:43 PM
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy!
Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy!
Our worst nightmare would be Randy Johnson pitching for the Yankees. The best outcome we could reasonably hope for would be Randy Johnson staying in Arizona. The best outcome we could dream up would be RJ coming to the Red Sox.
Keeping RJ away from the Yankees is of the utmost importance. If that means paying him to play Rubik's Cube for the next three years that would be money well-spent. I'm not sure what the trade package for RJ would consist of but I would ship off every prospect we have to get 1-3 years of Randy Johnson.
Nomar's bat has come alive and is on fire now. Everybody that wanted to run Nomar out of town better take a second look at him now. If it turns out to be a Youkilis, Lowe, Kim, Millar, Crespo package for RJ I'd say that would be fine with me.
Let's keep our fingers and toes crossed. Let's hope that RJ and Schilling are as good pals as Curt says they are. Let's hope the allure of making history and getting a World Series ring in the AL is enough to tempt RJ to finish his career in Boston with Schilling. Let's hope Theo can keep working his magic!
Go Red Sox!
@ 10:12 PM
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Just keep swimming... Just keep swimming...
Just a short post to say that the tide is turning. After a nightmarish skid the last few weeks the Sox are starting to play more fundamentally sound baseball. The bast are waking up. The front office is working to make deals. Nomar is starting to hit. Hopefully he'll start making some plays too.
For those that gave up on the Sox and urged mgmnt to blow this team up and try again for 2005, the Sawx will show how short-sighted that view is. Some some interesting posts from the old salts at Sons of Sam Horn. They have it 100% right when they recall the 100 loss seasons of a decade ago.
They are right on the money in saying"Jeez did you really expect to get through a whole season without a slump or skid? Better now than in freaking September or October fer-Chrissakes!"
Another interesting observation I will quote from DamonasaNomad at SoSH:
"Last year on this date the Marlins were fourth in the NL East, 10.5 back of Atlanta, and 3.0 out of the wild card. The Angels in 2002 were second in the AL West, 2.5 out of a wild card spot. For God's sake, have a little equilibrium (that's horse tranquilizers)..."
My own personal observation/positive affirmation is this:
The team favored to win the WS at the All-Start break has a bad track record of making that happen the last three years. All the great teams surge into the post-season down the stretch. This team is capable of doing that.
They just have to find their heart, their fire, their desire to make it happen. They need to make it happen for reasons that have nothing to do with money, endorsements, contracts, extensions, perks or personal benefits. They need to do it for each other.
Go get em Red Sox!
@ 6:49 PM
Thursday, July 01, 2004
"Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?"
Cypher: I know what you're thinking, 'cause right now I'm thinking the same thing. Actually, I've been thinking it ever since I got here: Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?
This line from The Matrix feels oddly appropriate today. Being a Red Sox fan you always seem to wonder about the choice of the Blue Pill vs the Red Pill from the Matrix.
However as Red Sox Nation panic enters full swing, Annette over at BambinosCurse.com quite correctly points out that last year at this time the Sox were in a full swoon and feelings of panic were just as strong after their 15-6 April.
The Men Loft on Base and the incredibly poor defense are killing us right now, and we really need to shore up our pitching, but Theo will do what he can to make that happen.
More than anything the feeling that this team has no fire or sense of urgency and that they are just loping along from one day to the next. I suggested to Ed tha perhaps Theo's next move should be to trade Francona to the Phillies for Larry Bowa. I'm not much of a Bowa fan and don't generally care for fiery Earl Weaver type managers but at this point he doesn't seem to be helping the Phillies and I don't see how he could hurt the Red Sox. LOL
Theo has a list of priorities for July trades. I just hope that it looks something like this:
1.) Prevent Randy Johnson from going to the Yankees at all costs.
2.) Shore Up the starting rotation. Get Randy Johnson if possible.
3.) Improve situational hitting. Get an infielder that can get hits with runners in scoring position. Someone like Bret Boone, David Eckstein or Ichiro Suzuki. (Stat-heads may find much better examples of this but I'm just going off the top of my head here.)
4.) Improve the worst defense in baseball. Pokey getting back to his game will help. Mueller's return will help. I think we're starting to wonder though if Nomar will ever return to form and Ortiz/MIllar at first is just too depressing to think about for the long haul. I'd even take John Olerud despite his big offensive decline this year. That guy can scoop up ANYTHING that's catchable.
5.) If there's a way to improve speed and smarts on the basepaths, make it happen.
Let me know if there's anything I'm forgetting. Should be intersting to see how July goes. We need a monster month to overcome .500 for May and June.
Morpheus: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
Go Red Sox!
@ 8:58 AM
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
"Come to Boston..."
So here is the calculus we're looking at right now.
The Red Sox are playing .500 basbeall since May 1 and have not improved since the return of Trot and Nomar. Our number 3, 4 and 5 starters are getting beaten up at a fairly steady rate.
Peter Gammons declares that Boston has the worst defense in baseball as evidenced by the number of un-earned runs Boston is giving up.
Kevin Millar is becoming more of a liability with every game he plays.
When Boston gets a quality start from Pedro or Curt the offense relaxes and puts up 10-12 runs a game when only 4 or 5 are needed.
And of course now the word on the street is that George Steinbrenner has not only set his personal sites on the "untouchable" Randy Johnson, but now the D-Backs are sending scouts to AAA-Columbus.
Something is going on and it stinks to high heaven.
If Randy Johnson stays away from the Bronx and truly has NO interest in pitching for the Yankees then Boston still has a good chance to make the playoffs and beat New York to go to the World Series.
If Randy Johnson goes to New York and signs a ridiculous contract extension to play in the Bronx until his arm falls off, then that would be a total and complete disaster eclipsing the A-Rod debacle by an order of magnitude.
At this point it is time to pull out all the stops. Have Curt Schilling call Randy Johnson and tell him how great it would be to pitch together again and play golf on their off days again. Have Theo call Randy Johnson and tell him his secret recipe for cranberry sauce. Have Theo tell Randy that we'll buy all of his children puppies and ponies if he plays for Boston. Have Theo tell Colangelo we'll trade the D-Backs Lowe, Kim, Millar, Youkilis and Shoppauch for Randy Johnson. Have Theo tell them both we'll do whatever it takes to make a deal happen.
Randy Johnson in Yankee pinstripes is absolutely the worst baseball nightmare I could ever imagine. As great as it would be as a baseball fan to see Curt pitch against Randy in the playoffs, it would be my worst dream come true if RJ ends up in the Bronx.
Come on Theo! Show what you can do! Getting RJ would make you an immortal. Losing RJ to NY would get you run out of town.
Go Red Sox!
@ 11:26 AM
Friday, June 25, 2004
Is it safe to open my eyes yet?
We've won 4 of our last 10 games?
We've won 9 of our last 20 games???
Now we've got the Phillies and Yankees coming to town this week. Hmmmmmm........
Pedro against Abbott tonight should be a good game for us. The offense is overdue for another night where our ace gets twice as much run support as needed. The Philly offense is no joke though so hopefully Pedro and the rest of our guys have done their homework.
Lots of discussion is going on at Red Sox blogs about who is jumping off the bandwagon. I liked a comment that at this point a lot of fans aren't jumping off but are more interested in watching the blu of scenery than in being focused on where they are going.
I'm still waiting for this team to get it into gear. They are not playing anywhere near their potential. It may be a few more weeks for the rust to come off of Nomar and Trot but I know at some point this team is going to wake up and leave this shadow behind.
The best news today was that Theo did not give away the store trying to get Beltran. Youkilis and Shoppach are too necessary to the future of this club for 3 months of Beltran. He would have helped the offense this year but I don't think he would make the difference for us. I agree with those that say we need pitching, pitching and more pitching.
I also agree with those that say keeping Youkilis and Shoppach gives Theo a lot more flexibility with payroll and free agents next year. No need to pay through the nose for an exceptional player when you have up and comers that are also very good. Between Pedro, Veritek, Nomar and Lowe all due to be free agents this fall and all of them due some pretty big money I'd say keeping flexibility is extremely important.
I'd say a switch-hitting, power hitting intelligent hard-working catcher is the rarest commodity of them all so I'd make signing him a priority. Keeping Shoppach around should provide Theo with enough leverage to not get spanked. Pedro says he wants to stay and he says that Nomar wants to stay. These guys have played together a long time and I'm thinking they'll want to get this team over the top. I'd like to see Derek Lowe stick around to be the number three guy but if he drives the price up I'd say he's the easiest guy to replace.
In Theo we trust. He won't give the store away. This team will get better each yesr he's running the show.
Go Red Sox!
PS I don't want to stir up the pot again at BambinosCurse.com so I'll just post the link here of my favorite examples of why Steinbrenner is a crazy fricking lunatic:
The List: Steinbrenner's worst
@ 11:50 AM
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Feast or Famine or Why Can't They All Be Like This????
Wow! Schilling goes seven strong innings and gives up only one run.
Ortiz, Manny and Nomar all launch huge bombs. Nomar's first homer of the year is a grands slam! Wow that felt good to see! My two year-old daughter excitedly chanted
"No-Mar! No-Mar!" with me. Seeing that curtain call was even more beautiful.
Even seeing Trot get robbed of a home run over the bull-pen wall was awesome.
It would be nice if the Sox could score 9 runs each night Wake or Arroyo are pitching. Seems a shame to waste such a fine display of offense when thet pitching staff only gives up 2 runs but I'll be more than happy to take it. Wow that was a fun game.
Let's see if Lowe can keep putting up goose-eggs tonight. Trust in the sinker. No hanging curves, slurves, sliders or chads. Sounds like Mueller and BK Kim are getting closer to operational status and that can only help.
Go Red Sox!
@ 10:14 AM
Friday, June 18, 2004
The MRI heard round the world!
Good News! Schilling is in stable condition!
Boston Dirt Dogs
is reporting that the MRI on Schilling's ankle shows that it is stable. Curt is expecting to make his next start on Tuesday but the rumor mill says that the office wants Curt to sit out and give it some extra rest.
Curt's WICKED HAHHHD!
@ 3:06 PM
Lowe ball pitcher
Mmmmmmm Derek Lowe!
Just when we were ready to trade him and Kim for a case of Zima, Lowe sees a sports psychologist, learns to trust in his sinker, stops hanging curves and breaking balls and turns back into Mr. Lights Out.
This is just waht we need. With BostonDirtDogs reporting that the Sox office is shutting down Schilling for his next start we need our starters to be at the top of their game right now.
Pokey showed that the Sox actually can get some hits with the bases loaded. Ortiz got a career high 5 RBIs including an upper-deck bomb.
Now the Red Sox go to San Fran to face Barry. Wakefield will get to see if his knuckleball is back in action. If a spacious park at sea level with cool air on a breezy bay doesn't help then nothing will. Just PRAY that Pokey plays second because Wake will need all the defense he can get behind him.
Looks like the natives are especially excited to see the Red Sox coming to town this weekend. The Globe talked to the Giantys owner and reports:
Sellout crowds are expected this weekend for the Red Sox. "It's been a tougher ticket than the World Series," Magowan said.
That's all I need to know. We've got a good team. Our offense is bouncing back. Nomar and Trot are back in the game. We're going to have a good time. Sorry for the West Coast start times but that'll work just fine for me. LOL
Go Red Sox!
@ 7:32 AM
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Schilling! Don't be a hero!
Well what are ya gonna do...
Theo and Co. seriously need to address the problem of stranded runners on base. Maybe we need to start making RBIs and BAWRISP as important in their stat analysis as OBP.
Looking at the bright side, it's just two games out of 162. trot Nixon got a home run in his first game back. Our team is getting stronger each day while injuries weaken and tear other teams down each day.
Looks like the Yankee fans at bambinoscurse.com finally broke the back of Ed and Beth because they laid the big old hurt down on them under today's comments section. It was quite a sight. It's always fun to see them get told where to stick it.
Anyway our last game at Coors (for a while we hope) is under way. Let's take the win today and sweep SF to come home with a .666 road trip. We need to make up some serious ground righ freaking now.
We're fired up now baby. The players aren't panicing (sp?) so I'm not going to panic either.
The Archeron is a big dangerous ship with twice our guns and twice our numbers but we'll take her for a prize in the end.
Go Red Sox!
@ 3:04 PM
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
The one that got away... OR "I once left a runner on base 'THIS BIG!"
Well Schill takes the hill tonight. He reports that his ankle is feeling a lot better and will picth with more Maracaine injections before and during the game. That either means he'll feel no pain and pitch a gem as his ankle improves... or he'll do the best he can as the ankle suffers more damage since he won't feel pain from that area.
I'm going to echo Ed's tack at BambinosCurse.com from yesterday and say "I'm cautiously optimistic" Hopefully Curt is not causing more damage and won't have to go on the DL.
And in either case as far as tonight's game goes I don't think anybody else on the Sox staff knows how to handle Coors better than Curt so I know he'll bring his A game. Wish I could watch it on TV.
I have to voice tremedous skepticism at a quoted article by Dave Pinto in which he suggests Mark Bellhorn's 2B defense is close enough to Pokey's that it can't be justified to start Pokey over Bellhorn because of Bellhorn's OBP. From what I've seen so far the only evidence for that is in measuring fielding errors.
Pokey's Leap the other night definitely saved 1-2 runs and kept the game momentum from swinging completely against the Sox. I firmly believe that Pokey's play saved the game and locked down the win. I have also seen Pokey easily turn double-plays where Bellhorn would have a hard time making the force at 2B.
I'm not usually one to turn into a Neo-Luddite when people argue the importance of modern statistical analysis but when it comes to defensive contributions to a game. I still think you have to watch what is happening on the field to know the story.
I'm a big fan of Theo Epstein and Bill James' advanced use of statistical analysis and non-0traditional stats to build one heck of a team but to suggest that Pokey doesn't bring much to the table compared to Bellhorn is laughable.
I think Bellhorn and Youkilis should play because they are great and patient hitters. I just think that they should platoon at 3B until Mueller comes back and then they should rotate through the infield and right field to give guys a night off.
Of course after last night's game all of Red Sox Nation is waking up to the idea that maybe stranding 12 runners in a close game is not good enough to win first in this division.
If our coach had been Herb Brooks from the 1980 Olympic Hockey team he would have had the players running the bases all night in the thin air to remind them of what they have to do to be winners.
Of course if our coach had been Herb Brooks he probably would have been able to score at least a few runs with the bases loaded. 0-4 with the bases loaded! Come on!?!!?!? Bases loaded with no outs and nobody scores!?!? Jeez it's the 2003 ALDS all over again! LOL
I'm really starting to wonder if we need to start making some trades for some fast runners like Scott Podsednik and Juan Pierre to use speed as a weapon to get to the world series. We've got tons of offense. Awesome pitching and bullpen. Good depth on the bench. The places we are getting killed are defense, speed/baserunning and of course runners LOB.
Theo was wise enough to make a deal for Pokey. I'll trust that he's wise enough to see that there's no reason we can't make some changes to improve our other areas of improvement without sacrficing the others.
Hopefully our bats will come alive tonight and give Curt a good outing with good run support.
We lost another game in the AL East standings last night. We need to get this turned around right freaking now!
Go Red Sox!
@ 12:23 PM
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Was it "THE Jump" or "THE Catch" ? ? ?
So days after Pokey's Spider-sense had him leaping into orbit for that catch Sox fans are still watching the replay in stunned amazement.
And now the debate is beginning. This play definitely goes down in Red Sox lore with Fisk waving it fair and Clemens striking out 20 batters. But how to immortalize this play? What catchy name is attached to this?
"The Catch"? Of course this refers to Willie Mays over the shoulder catch in the Polo Grounds during the Giants World Series.
"The Jump"? Evokes what was amazing about this play but also sounds like a reference to Ozzie Smith or something dirty. LOL
"The Leap of Faith"? Sounds nice but isn't all that catchy. It also makes it sound like luck rather than skill was the main factor.
I don't know how this play should be named. They all sound good to me. I'll just always remember standing there thinking "I don't believe that just happened!"
So what should we call this Red Sox Nation?
@ 9:32 AM
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Your friendly neighborhood Pokey-Man!
Wow. What more can I say?
I can't top or add much to what Beth had to say about tonight's game at Cursed and First
. She was 100% right that all of Red Sox Nation said "Holy Crap!" in unison as we saw Dave Roberts' hopes for igniting a late inning rally go up in smoke.
He is the latest victim of the Red Sox Spiderman of a second baseman as he jumped what appeared to be 15 feet in the air to snare a hard liner that would have easily scored one or two runs as it was destined to roll into the right-center field gap. I've seen the replay 100 times of Pokey leaping up and snaring the line drive out of the air. He caught it at the absolute apex of his jump at the absolute tip of his glove. Even now we are ALL still wondering "How the hell did he DO that?!!?!?"
This play easily upstaged his earlier double-play where he caught another liner and the doubled-up Shawn Green on a close play at first.
Super-human powers are the only explanation for his defensive ability. He always manages to be where the ball is going. If that isn't Spider-sense I don't know what is. J/K Pokey has got to have some legendary skills to do this stuff!
And that goes without saying that his wall-double in the game was completely awesme as well. As awesome as Pedro was tonight giving up one run over 7 complete innings, Pokey was the big hero for the Sox tonight. I got goose-bumps watching Pokey joking in the dug-out as the crowd chanted "Pokey! Pokey! Pokey!" Dave Roberts looked pretty PO'ed having to listen to that.
I can' remember the last time the Sox had a player as awesome, fun and lovable as Pokey Reese. This guy flat out gets it done. Short-Stop, Second Base... it doesn't matter. He just wants to play and get it done.
I'll say it now that as much credit as the sluggers and starters deserve, when the red Sox win the World Series this year it's going to be Pokey Reese that is going to show what a complete genius Theo Epstein is.
I'll save my moaning about having to endure Joe Morgan and Johnny Miller for another time. It wasn't as bad as the McCarver curse yesterday but tedious doesn't begin to describe the Morgan and Miller tandem. The silver lining is that I got to see live not just one, but two consecutive Red Sox games.
Tonight's game thoroughly washes my mouth clean from the disaster yesterday. Another silver lining is that we haven't lost any ground against the Yankees as the injury monster starts to take their guys down with Mussina, Brown and most importantly Mariano Rivera suffering from tightness.
Time to feast on the weaker teams in the NL West as we go to Coors Field and SBC Park in Frisco. One a major hitters park, the other a major pitchers park. Could be a good time for a six game sweep. Let's make up soem ground boys!
Go Red Sox!
@ 10:22 PM
Saturday, June 12, 2004
I've FALLEN and I can't get up!
Yes it hurt. Yes the Dodgers are my hometown team and were my earliest reason for hating the Yankees. Games like this happen from time to time though and you have to deal with them when they come up.
When you have a knuckleballer as a starter luck is a big factor. Today it just didn't flutter our way. Anastacio Martinez didn't earn himself a legion of fans either. It's been a while since I've seen a merry-go-round like that. 30+ minutes to get through half an inning and rain wasn't a factor. Ugh! Painful!
Weaver was on the ropes a few times in the game too and it was just pure luck that we didn't knock him out of the game. When we had the bases loaded and Veritek hit that long fly ball I was shocked that it didn't go out. Sometimes God just decides to give Boston the finger.
I don't think it's a curse or anything else. I put a lot of stock in George Carlin's monlogue about God when he says that there are a lot of signs that God is at least incompetent and perhaps just doesn't give a crap. This is an attitude Carlin admires in a lot of people and can explain a lot of the bad results we see in the world around us.
Chicago Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908.
Chicago White Sox have not won the WS since 1917.
And then of course there's the Red Sox.
At least there's other teams and cities that God hates more than us.
I just don't think another team's fans have had their hearts ripped out more regularly than we have.
So I'm firmly in George Carlin's camp today. There really isn't much else today to explain what we saw.
I mean really, the worst part for me wasn't the fact that the game turned into crap. It's that the way life goes I ususally get to watch about 15-20 minutes of baseball highlights on an average night. Forget about actually sitting and watching a whole game. Life has too many other responsibilities and obligations to take care of.
Perhaps once a month or two a Red Sox game is nationally televised and I end up having time to watch. The one game that I got to watch was today and I'm going to spend the night wishing I could scrub it from my mind. Seeing one ball after another fly over the Monster or put another dent in it for a double.
And if there is ANYTHING worse than that it HAD to be listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver talk about all the dents in the Monster not being equal to the most famous Dent related to the Green Monster. Puh-Lease! I think that part of the broadcast marked the moment when Joe and Tim finally ran out of new things to talk about.
Perhaps Tim McCarver is the latest boogie man in Red Sox lore. Maybe we need Bill Murray to drive off a cliff with him in a pickup truck to make this madness stop. Seriously... when Tim McCarver is involved does anything good happen for the Red Sox? Anyone remember the 1967 World Series?
Let's start a petition to Fox to just use Remy for the next Red Sox post-season games. No more national guys. McCarver is bad luck and Vin Scully still hurts too much.
Oh and of course Thank You Fox for going to a split screen and the Baltimore Audio feed when Manny hit his home run. That allowed us the privelage of seeing Barry Bonds strike-out while listening to Jim Palmer do play-by-play.
Then when the feed came back to Joe and Tim they non-chalantly announced Manny had hit a two tun homer over the monster and then went back to discussing that Jim Palmer is the most attractive guy in Fox Sports broadcasting.
Thank goodness for Joe and Tim. Look what we would have missed. What a crime it would have been to endure Manny hitting one out. Ugh... yeah I know... it's all sour grapes right?
We got our butts kicked today. Tomorrow Pedro will get us back on our feet and we'll take the series from them.
Red Sox Lose + Yankees Win = The worst kind of day.... BUT tomorrow is another day that brings fresh hope.
Still We Believe. Go Red Sox!
@ 10:33 PM
Friday, June 11, 2004
Curt Schilling = H E R O
What else is there to say.
Seven strong innings under a gorgeous twilight sky. Only two earned runs against him. Even with a bad ankle which is affecting his fastball and the prospect of sugery either during or after this season Curt was a fearless warrior last night. This more we see him pitch in a Red Sox uniform the more impressive he is.
Last night Baseball Tonight crowned Curt Schilling the Red Sox #1 pitcher when compared to Pedro's ups and downs this year. I'm not sure a debate like that is likely to be productive but it was an interesting commentary not only on this season but on the decision that Francona will have when we go to the playoffs.
Pokey and Nomah put up the infield Monstah that we ll knew they would and they both went after the Green Monster. Pokey got a homer on his 31st birthday. (31 is a very good year!) and Nomar JUST missed a grand slam by about 15 feet. He had to settle for a 2 RBI double instead. LOL
Manny's homer over the Monstah was a sight. The beautiful glow of sunset was in the sky with a dozen different colors on the clouds floating by. It was amazing!
Awesome game last night. Bring on the Dodgers! Of course the important thing with them is to make damn sure we have the lead by the 8th inning or else we're sunk. Gagne is going to make these 3 games 7 or 8 inning affairs.
Go get em Red Sox!
@ 11:14 AM
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Well then... There it is.
So yesterday Red Sox Nation held its collective breath.
Some wondered if Nomar would play.
Some wondered if he'd be cheered or booed.
Some wondered if he'd get a hit.
Despite the bad defense of the team, Wakefield getting batted around in relief, and the skies opening up and dumping rain but not enough to give the Sox a Mulligan, yesterday was a game we'll all remember fondly.
I was lucky enough to catch Nomar's first at bat live just as I got home from work. I knew he'd get cheers and probably an ovation but I wasn't sure what the magnitude of the response would be.
To see him go through his glove and toe tapping and then tap his heart as he got choked up from the crowd it was like a big wave of love and acceptance was washing over the field. I'm jealous of Annette over at BambinosCurse.com that she got to be there for that.
For him to get a hit in his first at bat the pahk must have gone absolutely nuts. I'm glad I got to see it but I wish I could've been there.
Still I was expecting the offense to have an explosion last night after being held to one run the day before. Well, we're still waiting.
And to see Pokey sitting on the bench with Bellhorn at second and Andy Dominique at first made everybody crazy. Bellhorn has been an on-base machine but Arroyo and Wake really could have used the infield Monstah that Nomar and Pokey would have formed. To see that great ball that Nomar scooped up and threw to Dominique only to see him miss the dig made all of Red Sox Nation go nuts.
When the rain started with the score 4-0 I think we were all hoping we'd get a chance to have a do-over. No such luck.
Still we are good at dustng ourselves off and moving on to the next game hoping for a win. Curt's on the mound tonight so the W is almost guranteed. I just hope his ankle is getting better and not getting worse. I think we'd all agree the nightmare scenario now would be for Curt to go "Day to Day" for 10 weeks with an odd ankle problem.
Curt's a worrior and a gamer. He'll get the job done. We just need our offense to wake up. I will grant that last night the wind did blow a lot of hits foul that would have been fair and a couple of bombs landed as pop-flies. Let's get our PV on to get the weather on our side tonight. Valdez pitched a fair amount for the rangers and Mariners so the AL guys should know how to take him deep.
For those that don't check it very often you HAVE GOT to see the comments at www.bambinoscurse.com for June 10, 2004. I think I started a "Hot or Not" discussion thread with Beth and Annette regarding the Red Sox players. It's one of the funniest and most intersting things I've read in a while so check it out.
And also Beth's posts the last few weeks at patsox.blogspot.com have been really great. She's got a great take on the latest games and controversies and her passions run a lot hotter and colder than Ed's even tempered rationalism. Both styles are fun to read but reading a contrast of styles makes them both more entertaining. I especially loved the plea from a Red Sox widower. I'm sure my wife can relate to a lesser extent than him.
So go Red Sox! Go Curt! We NEEEEEEED the win tonight. We NEEEEED to string some W's together again to hang in this race. Let's hope the Yankees trip to even up this race. Their record as late has been freaking filthy. the only bright spot was seeing Kevin Brown leave with back soreness in the 2nd inning yesterday. He's just about overdue for his annual DL stint. That could give us a chance to tie up the gap.
@ 1:35 PM
Saturday, June 05, 2004
Listen up Yankee Fans!
Curt Schilling and I have one thing to say to all the Yankee fans out there spewing hate and negativity on Red Sox fan sites.
Thanks for playing and have a nice day. See you in October!
Go Red Sox!
@ 10:04 PM
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
We're goin to Dizneeland
Wow what a rough game that was last night. I think we had tempered expectations for the game last night becuase our #5 starter was going against Anaheim's #1 starter but we still figured we could beat them.
We got out to an early lead but Anaheim pulled ahead in the 6th. A lot of people are accusing Francona of being another Grady Little and not knowing when to pull his pitchers. I'm still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at this point. If it starts happening later in the year in more crucial situations we'll know we have a crisis to deal with.
I was pretty frustrated that Ortiz got a double in the 8th inning with less than two outs but nobody could get him home. To be fair though K Rod brought his electric stuff to the park last night and I knew it would be a tall order. Percival has been very touchable this year though so I was hoping for a 9th inning rally to pull ahead. daubach's two run homer got us close but it turned out to be a bridge too far.
Pedro goes against Vlad Guerrero tonight. That should be a fantastic duel and I can't wait to see what that looks like.
Over at Bambino's Curse the horde of Yankee cave-dwellers has suddenly come back to make their voices heard. Evidently one of them took exception to me calling them trollers and went on to call me an idiot for giving the Red Sox credit for holding onto first place for most of the season with their B-team roster filling 1/3 of the roster spots on any given night.
It's simply amazing what people will do for some attention. I might call Yankee fans a lot of things but I would never call someone I don't know an idiot. Most of the Yankee cave-dwellers that sit around rooting for the sun to rise tend to beat their chests and shout out how great their achievements are to an audience that couldn't care less but to start calling people idiots and morons for having opposing viewpoints is pitiful and a waste of good webspace.
Anyway... on to more pleasant topics. Nomar will be back soon. Trot is still working on getting back where he needs to be. Trade rumors are starting to heat up. Roster improvements for the Red Sox could be right around the corner. I can't wait to see what Theo has in store. This team keeps chugging away and having a great time. I can't wait to see what they'll do each new day.
Go get em Red Sox!
@ 8:43 AM
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Ya make me wanna sweep!
Well a lot has happened over the last month and the Red Sox are still 1 1/2 games ahead in first place.
Schilling has been everything we hoped he would be and more. He says he's nursing a bruised ankle which is a bit worrying but I trust that he knows how to take care of himself and can get that feeling better soon.
Nomar is still day to day. Red Sox fans have all pretty much realized that the tendon "bruise" has to be something a lot more serious for it to be 74 days of day-to-day status. There must have been some sort of tendon tear for him to be out this long. Still he's re-habbing and should be back in a few weeks so we'll cross our fingers on that.
Shaughnessy's hints that Nomar is trying to stick it to management or send a message after last winter is just plain BS. In his contract year Nomar isn't going to want to look like an injury case or a head case. Now that his agent is saying he's pretty sure Nomar will be back in Boston next year it looks like Nomar's asking price is going to be falling fast.
Manny has been on fire and displaying the attitude we love to see players show. "Just see the ball and hit it." Make the complicated simple. He seems to be having a great time and is getting big time results. The blast he hit over the light tower in Fenway against the Blue Jays in Fenway was awesome! Each passing day makes it look better and better that he wasn't claimed off waivers or traded last winter.
I can see that Ortiz and Manny really enjoy playing together and have a ton of fun together. Some people say this team seems flat compared to the Sox last year but to me these guys look like they are having fun and they know how to win.
All in all I can't say enough good things about this team. Foulke has only given up one earned run in 24 innings so far? A 0.37 ERA! This guy is a freaking assassin once he comes out of the pen.
The rest of the bullpen is rock solid. Pedro is having fun and getting it done. Lowe is starting to get things figured out and should be on track for his usual June rebound. Wakefield is a new daddy for the first time and seems to be doing better on less sleep.
Arroyo is holding his own and nobody's missing Kim too much at this point. We're still wondering if Kim will be traded or if he'll be kept in the Pen or Pawtucket as insurance.
Damon shaved off his beard and has been doing a much better job at getting on base. Some people are griping that he isn't the base stealing machine he was last year but I say it's still pretty early and those stats will bounce back somewhat. Not that this team is built on speed and base-stealing anyway though.
The defense has really started to come around. Last night's game had two gems from the infield. Pokey Reese charged a slow dribbler and bare-handed the ball and got it to first base in the nick of time to get the out.
Late in the game a bouncing liner was hit to McCarty at 1B which he was able to snag in foul territory and then throw across his body to Timlin covering first on an even closer play to get that out. Amazing stuff man!
Can't wait to see if the Sox can pull of a sweep of the A's after just sweeping the Blue Jays. The Mariners are coming to Boston this weekend and to say they have an up-hill climb is an understatement. The Red Sox definitely have a chance to add a pile of W's to the Win Column this week.
Arroyo versus Mulder tonight will be exciting. I predict this one will be a lot closer than the last two games.
Pedro is undefeated against the Mariners so that should be a confidence builder for tomorrow's game.
Go get em Red Sox!
@ 12:54 PM
Monday, April 26, 2004
Olde Towne Team Delights -- How "Sweep" it is!
Okay, welp, it's my first post in a while. Following the games and commenting at www.bambinoscurse.com left me with too little time to put up quality posts here... Sorry about that.
So much to comment on!
We're now in first place. 1 1/2 games up on the Orioles. 4 1/2 games up on the Yankees.
We swept them for the first time since 1999. We took 3 games from them at Yankee stadium and had the crowd leaving by the seventh inning and booing Derek Jeter of all people. Wow...
We took 3 of 4 fromt he Yankees in Fenway last week. Our 6th starter Bronson Arroyo beat their best starter Kevin Brown twice in 10 days!
The last game of the series had all 2nd and 3rd string guys playing the infield for the Red Sox.
The bull-pen has been lights-out and has thrown over 24 innings without allowing a run.
The weather is getting warmer and that has led to Pedro getting better with each start.
Lots of interesting comments in the press as well. Mike Celizic in New York now says it is officially time for the Yankees to panic.
My favorite comment so far this season was this piece I picked up from Gordon Edes -
"That derisive "1918" chant, so ubiquitous in Yankee Stadium? Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger suggested that at this rate, it will take on a new meaning this season: number of times the Sox and Yanks play (19), and the number of times the Sox come away a winner (18)."
Even Dan Shaughnessy is trying to jump mon the good vibrations band-wagon. Don't know he livves with himself.
Manny Ramirez is carrying the team offensively and is being praised by everybody in every corner. This Manny-saince is a delight to behold. He's making great plays in left-field. He's slugging as well as getting timely hits. This guy is awesome!
A-Rod may have broken out of his slump but the rest of the Yankee line-up is looking like a bunch of helpless amateurs.
Of course all of Red Sox Nation is worried that Steinbrenner may be cooking up another surprising aquisition to fix the situation but for now we're just revelling in this pure happy joy.
Today is an off-day for most of the league so hopefully our guys will get some much needed rest. tomorrow should be an interesting contect between Paul Abbott and Tim Wakefield. Abbott is no joke as a pitcher so hopefully we'll have our A-game ready tomorrow. Wakefield can be pretty successful against the D-Rays too so I think we have the edge. It sure would be nice to string even more wins together.
I know that in 2001 when the Mariners won 116 games Lou Pinieillla's philosophy was to go out and try and take 2 out of 3 games. Just keep winning the series he said and the rest would take care of itself. So far the Red Sox have been doing a great job at putting that into practice.
The team chemistry is as high now as I have ever seen it. Everybody is pulling for each other and supporting each other. This is a team that can really go places.
And of course the best part is that we're surging even without Nomar and Nixon. Once those RBI machines get back in the line-up this team is going to be incredibly scary for the rest of the AL.
Wednesday should be interesting to see how Schilling does in his return after the meltdown in Toronto. We're all still wondering if Francona left him in the game with the bases loaded and a rested bull-pen to teach him a lesson about throwing tantrums when getting pulled from a game or if he honestly thought that leaving Curt in to try and go for the complete game was the best way to go. I don't have to admit to anyone that Francona has forgotten more about managing a ball-club than I'll ever know but it's still interesting to think about.
For now the Red Sox can dance with joy and laughter. "Get your laugh on" has been suggested as this team's no slogan to replace "Cowboy Up." That's a slogan I can get behind although I still like Whicked Hahd even more. Looking at the schedule the Red Sox don't play anybody really scary until the A's in late May so we have no reason not to keep winning at a .667 clip.
With the Orioles playing more like the team they are than their record suggests this should be a perfect time for the Red Sox to build up quite a lead in the AL East. The Yankees meanwhile are playing Oakland tomorrow. Here's how their pitching rotation match-up looks:
4/27 Hudson 2.15 ERA vs Mussina 6.67 ERA
4/28 Mulder 2.33 ERA vs Contreras 10.64 ERA
4/29 Zito 2.12 ERA vs Brown 6.26 ERA
Looks like the Yanks aren't likely to win that series.
Go Red Sox!
@ 11:22 AM
Thursday, April 08, 2004
"Wake" me up before you go "Lowe"
All I can say is wow!
Who could ask for anything more than the start to the season that we've had?
Johnny Damon's big night last night was truly awesome. To go 5 for 5 and then top it off by stealing away a 3 run homer over the fence is was inspiring and heroic. What a stud!
I absolutely LOVED the Johnny Damon "Captain Caveman" cartoon Boston Dirt Dogs had on their site:
Can't say enough good things about Derek Lowe's outing either. 2 Runs over 6 Innings. Looks like he saw how to handle the middle of their order as well. I've got a great feeling about thse guys and am already having such a good time following these guys.
Ed at BambinosCurse.com
had a great write-up on his trip to Camden Yards for Curt Schilling's first start with the Red Sox. Sounds like he had a great time there. He sat just a dozen or so seats from Theo Epstein and has a pic of him from the game.
He said it was great to see what a joker Pedro is in the dugout. He said Pedro was smiling and lauching the whole time even when he'd poke his head out of the dugout and mess around with the rowdy O's fans.
I was surprised at how hostile the O's fans were to Kyle and Ed. It's not like the Red Sox are the big division rival of the Orioles. But then again I guess they don't really have a main rival apart from the teams that keep them from the playoffs. Still they should relax. The only fans I would say anything too would be Yankee fans for reasons that have been mentioned far too exhaustively here. "It's like rooting for Bill Gates to win the Lotttery.... If Yankees win World Series is worth a headline so is 'Bulldozer defeats tulip" -Rick Reilly
Anyway Wake takes the hill in 20 minutes. Should be an awesome game! I can't wait to see how we do!
Let's go Red Sox!
@ 2:50 PM
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Curt Schilling Brings IT!
Wow.... what a performance yesterday.
Curt Schilling was absolutely brilliant. 6 Innings, 7 Strikeouts, 1 Walk, 1 Earned Run, 6 Hits.
He threw 109 pitches and about 70% of them were strikes. What a stud!
Pedro learned quickly that the middle of that Baltimore line-up is no joke. I know he won't make that mistake with them again.
Curt held Tejada, Palmiero and Lopez to 2 for 11 when all was said and done.
The bull-pen was lights out. 3 innings, 3 pitchers, 9 outs, no runs. Can't ask for more than that. Foulke rang up a swinging strikeout on the last batter that sealed the deal.
I didn't get to watch the game from work but I followed the webcast and was as happy as I have been in a long time seeing the real 2004 Red Sox stand up. This team is going to have some awesome games this year. I can't wait for them to come to Anaheim in July. I hope I can see Schilling pitch out here.
It was nice for all the BS about contracts, and fastball velocities and Pedro going MIA, and Foulke's Spring Training performance all disappear into the afternoon sun. Schilling was every bit as awesome as I expected. He totally controlled the game every second he was on the mound. What a hero he is.
Foulke did exactly what was needed. 3up... 3 down. Game over Red Sox win!
As for all the chicken-littles out there that were ready to jump out a window after game 1, come back into the fold and root for your team. It doesn't take any guts to bail out on the team. It takes guts to root for them when the outcome is uncertain.
It's time for Derek Lowe to show us his stuff. I can't wait to see it. Hopefully Damon will get on base a bit more and set the table for the rest of the guys. Hopefully Manny's sore quads will be better soon too.
Let's go Red Sox!
@ 12:29 PM
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Let the Games Begin!
The season is under way folks and if opening day tells us anything it could be that this is the year of the underdog.
The Tigers beating the crap out of the Blue Jays and Cy Young winner Roy Halladay?
The Devil Rays spanking the Yankees?
The Brewers beat the Cardinals?
The Pirates beat the Phillies?
And yes... the Orioles beat the Red Sox.
Hard to believe all of these things happened in a few days. I'm sure this portends a wild, exciting, unpredictable season. It should be a lot of fun however it turns out.
The Red Sox loss was a little sad. I followed the game as it unfolded and could tell pedro was having a tough time getting started. The nightmare of the second inning felt like it would never end but once Pedro got warmed up and settled down the rest of his outing was pretty solid and he went 93 pitches.
I've heard a lot about the sloppy play that night, especially that long fly ball that Kapler and Damon couldn't get to. I don't understand that either. Word is the trip to Atlanta then up to Baltimore took a lot out of them and left them tired. That could be. I know we're going to have to do better than leaving 14 guys on base and having our lead-off hitter going Oh-fer Five.
Still I know it's a long season. I know that April is the time to shake things out and see what needs to be tweaked to get all the cylinders firing. If our hits had come been in a slightly different order the red Sox could have easily come out on top. Still it's a good lesson that the Orioles are not going to be doormats anymore and the heart of their order is as dangerous as any in the game.
Curt Schilling should be as prepared as any pitcher ever was when he takes the hill today. I can't wait to follow the action. I can only imagine how pumped up and excited he must be right now. If he can make his first outin a gem and if our offense is a bit more productive with men on base I know we'll have a very different outcome today. I seriously can't wait to see how things go today!
As for the whole Pedro situation... with him leaving the game early. The press is starting to grab the wrong end of the stick on this story to make more of it than it is. Was it childish and disrespectful? OF course it was! But it is something that the players and Francona will deal with on their own. Pedro should have known better. Francona shouldn't have to tell the press he didn't communicate that rule clearly enough. It is common sense.
But on the other hand I know Pedro was upset at how the game went and was obviously frustrated at his performance. I'm sure he didn't want to hang around and answer questions about it, but he needs to get over that stuff and be part of the team. His guys will protect Pedro's back but he needs to be there for them and not take advantage of their team spirit.
I'm sure Curt Schilling will have something to say about being accountable and being there for your team when the Sox have their team meeting. Curt was always there with his team even when he was injured or when he wasn't pitching. He would always stay and answer all questions about his outing whether it was great or not.
In any case it sounds like Terry Francona will talk to him and be firm and fair about it. Pedro should get a mulligan on this. We'll see how things go from here. There's a saying that the game 2 is the game that really tells you how your season will go. Once the expectations from Game 1 are settled the season can then progress the way it should.
Opening Day shows us anything can happen in this game... it can happen any time.
I think that's a good omen for a season when we all are expecting our team to go all the way and we won't accept anything less.
ed at bambinoscurse.com had a good entry today. He mentioned the stupidity of writers that have latched onto the idea that Red Sox fans are wandering the streets in their sleep having nightmares about Aaron F Boone. The common write-ups in the press is that Aaron Boone is as much a part of Red Sox lore as Bucky F Dent.
As all red Sox fans are pointing out.... nothing could be further from the truth. red Sox fans don't have nightmmares about Boone any more than we have nightmares about Ray Knight or Mookie Wilson. The problems in 1986 came from Calvin Schiraldi and Bob Stanley choking big time when the game was on the line. We will never forget what happened that night but no real Rd Sox fan has a grudge against Buckner or Mookie.
Aong those same lines no Red Sox fan has a problem with Tim Wakefield or Aaron Boone. What happened is what happened. Our problem is that with the game safely in our grasp Grady let Pedro get hit hard in the 7th inning and then they sent him back out in the 8th with his pitch count close to 100 and his velocity down. All casual fans knew Pedro was ortal after 100 pitches. Grady acted like this was a surprise to him.
This is why we don't blame Wakefield or Aaron Boone. We don't even blame Giambi's two vitamin enhanced home-runs off Pedro in that game. Nobody left that game with the epthet "Freaking" or any other F word. Not even Grady Little. It was just a bad thing that happened but we'll get over it.
2004 is our year. We have the right guys. They know that now is the time to make this happen.
The season is under way and this is going to be a great year.
Can't wait to see Schilling's debut today!
Go Red Sox!
@ 8:55 AM