Sunday, April 29, 2007

We Can't Win them All...

But it sure would be nice, wouldn't it?!?!?

The Yankees finally snap the losing streak Saturday, but continute to get banged up. Karstens now with a broken bone... on the first pitch to Lugo? Ouch! Another pitcher down. Reminicent of our woes from last season. Remember David Well's first outing back after his stint on the DL with knee issues? BAM! Line drive right to the knee that just got repaired. The Nation held its breath while Wells rolled around the pitcher's mound on his back, screaming in pain.

Lots of grumblings out of NY that maybe Torre's head is on the block right now. I don't understand that. The manager can only work with the talent he's been given. Shouldn't the blame go to the guy who spends Steinbrenner's money? Why is Cashman getting a free pass in NY? It's his job to buy the talent, and Torre's job to utilize them the best way that he can. Outside of Pettitte, I don't see where Cashman improved anything from a pitching standpoint for them.

But enough about the other guys...
What is up with the Red Sox and their inability to give Wakefield run support? Yesterday certainly wasn't Wake's best outing; the six walks he gave up certainly came back to haunt him, especially once Posada came up to the plate. But this poor guy Wakefield can't catch a break. David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and J.D. Drew -- went a combined 0-for-9 in the Bronx. The Sox bats seem to be hot on every day except when Wake is on the mound. It's very frustrating, that the Sox could only manage 1 run. Especially against Igawa. Igawa was just demoted to the bullpen because, despite the Yankee's pitching troubles, he couldn't cut it. Then in a pinch, he comes in and is very effective.



Well, we will wrap up Rivalry, Round Two tonite, with my favorite guy Tavarez on the mound. (yes, folks, that is sarcasm...) Maybe I'm being too hard on the guy. Afterall, he's the #5 guy so my expectations shouldn't be so high. I just can't help but hold my breath, whenever he steps up to the mound. He is a good guy, he is a team player and is willing to contribute wherever he is asked. But he's also a bit of a loose cannon. Plus, I must admit I am a huge Jon Lester supporter. Every day that goes by, is one step closer to Lester's return. And Lester's return is Tavarez' end as a starter.

So tonite I will watch the game, and bite my nails as always. Hopefully the loss last night was a heavy dose of motivation, so our bats will be strong once again and we can leave the Bronx 6.5 games up.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Willie Mo Pena... Mo fielding, Mo Hitting?

First off, Congrats and way to go Josh Beckett, 5-0 record. Only 2 other Red Sox pitchers have gotten off to a 5-0 start in April: The first was the Great Bambino Babe Ruth. The second was the Great Pedro Martinez in 2001. Great company to be in, Josh. All that work on those sliders and change-ups seem to be working so far in '07. Way to go. Keep it up and people are going to be whispering "cy young" when you're not looking...

So Willie Mo is the hero tonite, gets the grand slam to put the Sox up for good against the Orioles. This is the same Willie Mo that got booed profusely against the Jays, because he is too slow to catch a fly ball more than 15 feet away from him, with 2 outs, costing us 3 runs.

My mind isn't made up about this guy yet. Its a Jekyl and Hyde kinda thing.

On the one hand, when he connects, his power makes Papi look like a minor leaguer. There is some awesome potential. He doesn't just hit a homer, he shoots a rocket. Its nice to know that there is some extra power on that bench, in case we need it.

But on the other hand...

It's great that he can hit a homer, but it seems he's only capable of hitting fast balls down the middle. Sliders, curve balls, sinkers = STRIKEOUTS. Throw him anything other than a fastball, and we likely see a K or a popup. Last look, his batting average is somewhere around .176. Yikes, that's horrible. You can argue that he just needs more exposure, more at bats, more experience. While this may be true, combine his inconsistent offense with his less than stellar defensive ability, and his name in the lineup is a gamble. I'll be honest, when the bases were loaded, my husband and I both looked at each other and said, "Do you pinch hit him?" I thought since there was only 1 out, maybe keep him in and then pinch hit for Dustin Pedroia, since he isn't a power hitting guy; at least hope for a deep fly out by Willie Mo which could result in one RBI.

This is why Tito makes a 7 figure salary as the Red Sox Manager, and I write a blog on my own free time. I was wrong again; I never thought Willie Mo was going to hit a grand slam.

I am not ready to insist that he becomes an every day player. Let him lick his chops. Help us out from time to time, so JD Drew can get the rest he needs to remain healthy, and be that fill in for what is becoming Coco's plague of injuries. Give Papi some time when he needs it, and DH now and again. But this corner of Red Sox Nation hasn't seen enough consistency to warrant his being at the plate each and every day.

Lots of a Little to Say Today







No real big stories from Red Sox Nation today, but a few things to talk about just the same...


(thanks for more great pix from the Boston Dirt Dogs website...)




First, did you hear the big story out of Baltimore today?

Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne said Schilling painted his sock blood colored red as a PR stunt prior to Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series. He then added that his source was Dougie Mirabelli. Wow, there really mustn't be much going on in the booth down in Camden Yards, if that's all that Mr. Thorne can come up with to discuss. PPPLLLEEEAAASE. Does that ankle on the left look like a fake to you? Ouch. I don't think so!!!

********************************************************************

I found a quote in the NY Daily News today in an article written by Filip Bondy. Its a quote from Reggie Jackson that really irked me... read it for yourself:

For some perspective on April, you go to Mr. October.
"There's no question, the games don't count as much," Reggie Jackson is saying in the Yankee clubhouse. "In April and May, it's just one game. In September and October, you beat a team, those games count double."

HUH??? Games don't count now, but they count double in September and October? WHAT?? I didnt realize you get extra points for winning later in the season... Sorry if I sound sarcastic, but maybe Mr. October should go back to elementary school and TAKE A FEW MATH CLASSES. I don't remember Bud Selig putting in a clause stating that you get extra credit when you win at the end of the season. Sorry, Reggie, but if the Yankees miss making the playoffs this year by one or two games, they can most definitely be reminded that the games they lost in April COUNTED. Arrrggghh! That kind of arrogance really ticks me off.

*****************************************************

Finally, more good news on the Jon Lester front. He's been moved up to Pawtucket to continue his rehab there. More good news is that yesterday's rainout means that he is pitching Friday nite for the PawSox. So I can either watch Red Sox Yankees on TV or the family can take a little road trip to see Lester in person, hopefully for 5-6 innings. McCoy is a great place to scope out the prospects, and see a rehab stint like Lesters. So if you dont have tix in the Bronx and you aren't planning to see the Defenders tomorrow, consider giving a shout out to Lester in RI...

Good luck tonite Beckett... we're rooting for win #5...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'll Take 2 Alka Seltzers, please!



Parties are always lots of fun. But when the party ends, and you have overexerted yourself, it sometimes leaves you feeling a bit tired, and lacking of motivation.

That's what it feels like in Red Sox Nation today.

What a tremendous weekend we had! The Big Sweep! We beat our rivals! 4 home runs in a row, in one inning off the same pitcher! 2 really big comeback wins!

Our own "Boston - un -Massacre" Felt like the playoffs, and its only April... Whooo-hoo!

FAST FORWARD TO MONDAY...

The Yanks are gone, and all that adrenaline has worn off. Feeling a bit tired, and now the Blue Jays are in town.

If there is one thing I've learned following the AL East over the past 30 years, it's this: If you don't bring your A game to the ballpark, your opponent is likely to beat you. Blue Jays or Devil Rays, it doesn't matter. Last night was certainly an example of this theory in action:

The Sox were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. 10 left on base during the game

Lugo no hits, Ortiz no hits, Manny no hits.

No rest for the weary, boys. Tonite my buddy Tavarez is on the mound, and he is going to need your support. And don't forget... Countdown 3 days to Round Two, this time in the Bronx.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Historical, Yes. Pretty? Not Really.






Many thanks to (BDD Photo Illustration / Keith Monahan) from the Boston Dirt Dogs website for today's picture:

While those of us in Red Sox Nation woke up feeling pretty good today after this weekend's big sweep, I am sure those in Yankee Country are just downright frustrated.

1. Dice-K was not overly impressive, I admit, yet he still got the win.

2. The Boston Bats outhit the Yankee bats yet again.

3. More minor injuries, to the point that emergency catcher Josh Phelps was brought in.

4. Continued bullpen fatigue, due to Torre's use and use and use (70 2/3 innings so far this year).

Oh yeah, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention the historic 4 homers in a row thing. Back, to back, to back, to back.

Manny, JD Drew, Mike Lowell, and Capt. Varitek.

You can't help but feel for Chase Wright, their pitcher. That has got to deflate a rookie, to have to endure a pounding like that. Why Torre didn't pull Wright after homer #2, it's one of those Monday quarterback discussions. I know if Tito had kept one of ours in through 4 straight home runs, we'd all be looking for his head. Hopefully for Wright's sake, the rookie can manage his way past it, because if it sticks in his head, it could hurt him for a long, long time.

As a Red Sox fan, it thrills me that we now have a 4 game lead over the Yankees. Just like a bunch of dirt dogs; it was a gritty battle, a prize fight. We didn't dominate, but we pulled it together when we needed it. Not just on Papi's shoulders, either. A win is a win, even in April. I will take them any way we can get them. Its great to see we capitalized right now, because eventually all these hurt Yankees will be back. Chen Ming Wang is expected back tomorrow, and Mussina is right down the road. You know their focus will be to try and stop the bleeding of the blue blood in the Bronx.

Countdown - 4 days until Round Two, only this time our matchup will be on their turf. If the schedule stays the same, it will be Matzusaka vs. Wright again this coming Friday. For now, I will savor this weekend's events. As I said before, when the Sox play the Yanks, you just never know what will happen. That's why its always so much fun to watch.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

All Eyes on Deck for the Dice-Man




Tonite is the first big test for Matzusaka... I hope he has studied. Without a doubt, he is facing the deepest lineup he has ever pitched against. And, while the Sox have already shown this weekend that they can beat the Yankees without him, a game like tonite is the exact reason why the front office has spent over $100 million for him.


I'm glad we are here and not over in Japan. Those poor fans have to get up at like 3am to catch this game. Yikes.


I'm not worried about the first few innings. I am interested to see how he does, once the batters have seen him a couple times. This is going to be so much fun.


One of my Yankee friends told me we won these first 2 games not because we are good, but due to luck, because they have so many injuries right now. After taking a few deep breaths, I thought, OK. You have injuries right now. My Red Sox were plagued with injuries throughout most of last season, so what? And yes, those injuries in'06 resulted in a disasterous August and September. But that doesn't mean the Blue Jays didnt deserve to end up in 2nd place in the AL East ahead of us... THEY OUTPLAYED US, simple as that. I have No doubt, the Sox will have their share of it as well this year. Hell, I hold my breath everytime JD Drew exerts himself... did he just pull a muscle? Oh my god, Drew just tripped, did he just strain his oblique? Coco's dive after A-Rod's second homer the other night sent him flying over the fence, I thought for sure he reinjured his finger.


My point is, every team deals with injuries all the time, the key is how well your manager can adjust with the other players that he's got. You can't minimize someone's win, just because you had some guys hurt. I mean, if we lose tonite, I certainly wont blame it on Lester being away due to cancer rehab, or maybe if Matt Clement were well and had pitched tonite, it would have been the difference... can't do that.


That is why our teams play 160 games. That is why you can't measure your team's success on the 22nd of April. The Sox are playing pretty well right now. I am really happy about that. But so is A-Rod. That doesn't mean that we are ordering World Series Rings tomorrow, or that A-Rod will be Mr. October. We have to let it all play out. One game at a time. And tonite's game, win or lose, will be a historical one for Red Sox Nation. I will be watching, and I hope you will be too.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

No Cryptonite on Friday Nite


Well, if there is one thing I learned during the first outing of the Red Sox vs. Yankees, its that baseball players are human.


Mariano Rivera is not Superman. The Yankees have been very fortunate that they have had, without a doubt, the best closer that baseball has seen in recent years in Rivera. It has gotten to the point that when people see him coming through the doors, on his way to the mound, people have assumed he will always come out on top.
6-2 lead, 8th inning, why not take out Jason Giambi after his single, and put in a pinch runner. What at the time seemed like a minor decision by Torre at that time, became a choice with bad consequences, if you are a Yankee fan. I don't blame Joe... I probably would have done the same thing. Who knew the sox would take the lead 20 minutes later? And when Mike Meyers was unable to stop Big Papi, who else on earth would Torre have come in but Mariano Rivera? He was rested, and he is usually very, very good. It seemed like the best choice to make.

So, with 2 outs in the 9th, Kevin Thompson became the guy that HAD to get on base, instead of the Sox having to face Jason Giambi again. Giambi, I know who he is, he can be a Sox killer. But Kevin Thompson, who the heck is he?


Friday's game reminds us that when you are talking about Red Sox vs. Yankees, anything CAN and WILL happen.


Tito's decisions late in the game, on the other hand, paid off. That pitcher from the Far East certainly had good stuff. No, not the hyped-up, $100+ million dollar man. It was that other guy that played in Japan, the Hideki of the Red Sox, Hideki Okajima. Sox fans knew very little about this guy coming into the '07 season. Most people thought of him as just an extra guy to keep Dice-K company. No expectations. Wow, were we wrong.
And sure, April Rod did it again... not once but twice. 2 more homers. Both really good swings. AARRRGGGHHH! I will be honest with you, after the 1st half of the 8th, I too, thought the game was over.
When am I going to learn that it isn't over until Neil Diamond sings?
So next up for us this series is Josh Beckett. Currently 3-0. Hearing lots of good talk about his other pitches. No longer that one pitch pony from a year ago. I saw Beckett pitch at Yankee Stadium last year. The Fenway Faithful will remember that ugly outing. I'd like to forget it. It was a Monday night in early June (6/5/06). We lost 13-5, and Beckett got CREAMED. He was gone in the second inning. Giambi was only one of the guys who hit a 3 run homer before the end of the 2nd inning. Can't believe I spent hard earned cash to drive to NY and sit through that one. My Yankee fan friends at work had a field day at my expense after that one. I'd like to see some vindication for that ugly performance.
Good luck tonite boys. Josh, try using more than just the fastball, and you should do OK this time.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sox Vs. Yanks, Take One


Oh yeah.... here we go, Red Sox, here we go! This is gonna be one heck of a weekend...

its been a beautiful day, and we head into a beautiful weekend of baseball, folks.


The Evil Empire is Coming to Town, let the RIVALRY resume.




I still love this picture... I think even more so these days because A-Rod is doing so darn well this month. AARRGGHH! My planet seems a bit mis-aligned, when A-Rod gets all the accolades, how about yours? Its just not supposed to happen.


I am changing his name to April-Rod. He has definitely earned it. But I am sure there are still many Yankee fans out there who still don't give 2 craps if he becomes

April-Rod

May-Rod

June-Rod

July-Rod, August-Rod and even September Rod. For them, all they care is that he is October-Rod. So far in his pin-striped career, that's all that counts, if he can't be Mr. Clutch in the post season, all the numbers won't mean squat, he'll still be a schmuck.


YEE HAA its gonna be a great weekend. Here is my little take on things:


Starting Pitching - no doubt, advantage SOX. Starting pitchers for us so far have been solid, with good command (minus one Schill outing), and have gone deep into the games. Schill, Beckett, and Dice-K this weekend, those Yanks still are injury plagued, we MUST take advantage of this.


Relievers - slight advantage, SOX. Only because our guys are more rested. Torre has had to utilize his guys earlier into games so far, we have been fortunate that we get to the late 6th, or 7th inning consistently. Having Papelbon as the anchor has taken pressure off of those new guys, who now aren't being thrown into the fire before they're ready. Farnsworth and Proctor are decent, don't get me wrong, but Torre has been known to burn out his relievers, we should try and capitalize on this.


Closer - EVEN. I greatly respect Mariano, he has been the source of many of my rants and swearing at the TV over the years. But Papelbon is equally dangerous, and he is the REAL DEAL.


Offense - slight advantage, YANKEES. Our bats are still hot one night, cold the next. Them Yanks, on paper, still have the best offense, I hate to admit. April-Rod is hot right now, and Posada's always done well against the Sox.


I agree with those out there, who say it is pitching that wins games in the long run, not big bats. So I see this weekend going 2-1, Red Sox.
For all you guys that have tickets for this weekend, have a great time, have a Sam Adams for me under the Budweiser sign. I'll be right here on the couch, lookin' for ya!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Vote for your favorite All Star?

First off, a huge congratulations to Mark Buehrle of the White Sox on his amazing no hitter last night against the Texas Rangers. Great start of the year!

I noticed something on mlb.com last night that seems a bit ridiculous. We fans can now start voting for our favorite all stars for this year' MLB All Star Game.

13 games into the season? Major League Baseball is just asking for us to vote with our emotions, if they really expect votes this early in the season.

If we were to take a look at a few stats for some guys you expect to be going this year, their numbers TODAY are really not All Star worthy... look at someone like:

Manny Ramirez - .191 batting average, 0 home runs He has not proven anything this year that he is all star material.

Yet I bet there are votes already for him being tallied. Not because of his performance so far this year, but for his prior accomplishments.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tim Wakefield had another good outing last night. Its great to see him finally getting the offensive support. Home Run Derby style. Another HR from Dougy Mirabelli too. He's got twice as many homes runs than Manny Ramirez! Yikes! Too bad Dice-K wasn't as lucky on Tuesday. He had 1 bad inning, which could have been much, much worse. It's hard to watch a pitcher strike out 10 hitters, only give up 2 runs, and still lose. Welcome to America's Favorite Game, Dice-K.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

An All too familiar April....

Do these early April results seem a bit familiar?

The Sox are in 1st place in the AL East, coming strong out of the gate…
Beckett is 3-0 with an ERA under 2.00 (1.50 to be exact)…
Starting pitching looks really consistent

Like the rest of you, I am thrilled at how things have come together in ’07 so far.

But this is how it goes in Red Sox Nation. I can’t help but be cautiously optimistic, especially in April. Why am I so afraid to jump on the desk of my cubicle in the middle of my office and yell to the masses how psyched I am so far this year?

Maybe it’s the 86 years between Championship rings
Or maybe it’s the post All-Star game slide, that has plagued our team over time.
Or maybe I haven't shaken the disappointment of ’06, when our pitchers seemed to get hurt every other day…

I remember last year. We won like 8 games straight at the end of June into early July. I was in New Brunswick, Canada at the time. I couldn’t find a game on TV or any radio… no computer… all I got was box scores about 1 inch big in a newspaper written in French. It was like being in hell, and I missed the whole darn thing! Then I came home, and everything fell apart.

The opportunity is right now, for the Sox to run ahead of the pack and establish a cushion between us and the Jays/Yankees, as both are now dealing with some bumps in the road:

BJ Ryan from the Jays is on the DL, most likely for 6 weeks with elbow pain. Elbow pain is NEVER a good sign, especially with 3 more years to his contract. If our games this week against them are close ones, his absence will be noticed.

The Yankees’ rotation woes are no secret. With Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano and Chien-Ming Wang all on the DL right now, 3 of their 5 starting pitchers are missing. For them, it is like our problems after the All Star Break last year. How can you forget when Wells, Matt Clement, and Jon Lester all went down, with Papelbon hurting? Luckily for them Yankees they have a great lineup, because right now, their offense is winning their games. The Sox have to capitalize on this while their strongest pitchers are gone, because a healthy Yankees team can be a dangerous one.

So for today, the cautiously optimistic Red Sox fan is enjoying the first sweep of the year. I hope it is the first of many. Here’s to a good start, and to good health – not just in April, but for May - October as well.

Enjoy Dice-K tonite…

Sunday, April 15, 2007

9:57 AM April Showers Bring... nothing


AARRGHH!!!! Another rain delay!



The good news is that my friend and I bought these really cool Red Sox ponchos this morning, to protect us from the elements at Fenway Park... the bad news is that they are still in their original packaging; we never did need them today.


Yes, its true. 3 of us got up early and started our road trip to the Holy Land on Yawkee Way. Even though in our hearts we all knew on Saturday that today's game was going to be cancelled. We've been checking the weather forecasts for the last 48 hours, and there was NO WAY this nor'easter was going to miss Boston.



But it was that minor glimmer of hope, MAYBE just maybe there would be a sudden shift in a jet stream or something. Get there early and be lucky enough to get invited onto the warning track for closeup pictures of our favorite players. Be a part of the celebration of Jackie Robinson. Just a girls day out, sipping the best beer in America (my Sammy Adams), and yes, buying one of those $4 Fenway Franks, just because they're there.



On our way out the door, my loving husband offered me his snorkle gear, in case I needed it; how sweet of him. He's just smug because he spent Saturday with his buddy on the first base side of Fenway. He did remark that it was pretty windy and cold watching that awesome 8-0 win. Sorry buddy, I have a hard time having much sympathy, since my first attempt at the Fenway experience in '07 has been marred by something close to a freakin' hurricane!



By 9:57 AM our journey had ended. It was announced the game was officially postponed. Just as we approached the "Welcome to Massachusetts" sign on I-95, hope was gone.



No worries. Why not go shopping instead? Afterall, its all about good friends and good fun. Besides, the good thing about Major League Baseball, is that when there is a rainout, it's always rescheduled. So I have put away that really cool Red Sox poncho. The Angels will be back in mid August. And so will we.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Papelbon and the Mirabelli Miracle




Papelbon gets another huge debt of gratitude to me again... this is #2 in 2 opportunites.

We only needed 6 pitches from him this time.

Heat, heat, heat, heat, heat, heat and HEAT.


Wha? Was that 97 mph that last throw? Unbelievable. Is there anyone left out there outside Red Sox Nation that doesn't yet believe this guy is the Real Deal?

It is good to see Tito making good decisions so far in '07 with this bullpen. The notion that key times of the game are only in the 9th is just not true. This is the 2nd time that Papelbon coming in during the 8th inning was the right thing to do. I, like the rest of you in the Nation, keep last year's sore shoulder in the back of my mind. But bringing him in like this on 4 or 5 days rest, anticipating that he may come back for the 9th is OK with me. If he pitched the last 3 nights, then I'd be concerned. Lucky for us,
April showers = game delays = more rest for Pap's shoulder.
The only other thing I want to chew on today, is what I am labelling the "Mirabelli Miracle". We all know Doug is the backup catcher. We all know the Sox signed him, not for his bat, but because
no one else can catch a knuckleball as well as he.
When I see him up to bat, with 2 outs, I admit, that's when I go to the restroom, or check on the kids, or go get a snack, because in my mind, Mirabelli + 2 outs = end of the inning. (Same thing when Coco is up too, but I will save THAT rant for another posting...)
Hey, I accept Mirabelli for what he is. He complements Wakefield very well. And yesterday Mirabelli hit a home run at the right time of the game. It was the play that changed the game's momentum in our favor. That's great. Good for him. It's nice to spread it around, not always Papi and Manny being the game heroes. But all the post game shows out there, quickly turned him into the 2nd coming of Christ. Ugh. Please.
Just like when he got resigned last year. Flying him in on a jet plane and having police escorts, so he can run in just in the nick of time to face the Yankees. More publicity than Lady Di's funeral. PLEASE! HE PLAYS EVERY 5th GAME!
It just another reason why they call it a media "circus". Today, you hit an HR, you're the hero. Tomorrow, go 0-4 and you go back to bum.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Clemens Debate

I don't know about you, but I am getting a bit sick of hearing about Roger Clemens every week.

You cannot listen to Sports radio for longer than half an hour, before someone calls in to give their opinion on his immediate future. At least once per week, there is some small newspaper or web article, talking about how he has been asked for the Umpteenth time, if he is staying in Houston, or going back East after the All-Star break.

At this point in the season, there is absolutely nothing to talk about regarding this issue. Everyone knows no decision will be made for another 3 months, and the situation is exactly as it was for the last 6 months...

A. He throws practice pitches with the Astros
B. He still plays a lot of golf
C. He tells the media he hasn't made up his mind... Houston, NY, or Boston, or nothing
D. His decision may depend on how these teams are doing, are they in contention, etc.

Why is this such big news every week?

Hey, don't get me wrong, I loved Roger in Boston. Like everyone else in the Nation, it KILLED me when he left Toronto for the Yankees, and ended up with not one but TWO World Series rings. Who wouldn't want the Rocket, his accomplishments speak for themselves:

7 Cy Youngs (2 more than any other pitcher)
2 Pitching Triple Crowns
11 time All Star, 1 time All Star MVP ('86)

There is certainly a lot to love about the guy. I stood in line like everyone else at the Crystal Mall, back in high school, to get his autograph on my Rookie Card. Stood in line for 6 hours, the guy even put his arm around me. I thought I went to heaven, dead at 17 of pure joy.

But c'mon, enough is enough.

Yes, it would be a great end to his story, to come here and finish where he started.
Heck, I'd feel a lot better with him instead of Tavares in the starting rotation, that's for sure.

Knowing that there is possibility that he still has some effectiveness left, the rivalry in me wants to make sure he doesn't end up on that other team in contention, the Yankees. So I'd take him for that reason alone, to make sure he Yankees don't get him. But we all need to remember a few things:

1. Roger will be 45 in August. I only like that he is almost 45, because as long as he still plays, there is still someone older than I am out on the field. (I'm vain like that, I guess!) But being 45 years old, we have to be prepared that the Roger from 1986 is not the Roger that we will likely see in 2007. Look at poor Curt Schilling and his first outing this year. Curt got eaten alive, had one bad day, and some people were already willing to ship him off to the horse's glue farm.

2. Roger will be a diva, and a bit self centered too, and that won't help team chemistry. Everything about his contract will likely be for his best interests only. I think there are enough distractions down Yawkee Way, with all the Japanese media, translaters, and the whole Manny being Manny stuff. I am afraid that adding Roger's requirements will hurt the team's focus, not help it.

I think we all get hung up on what Roger once was, and all the accolades and accomplishments on his resume. We forget the reality that he will be 45.

Roger reminds me of an old boyfriend. When you sit and reminisce about him, you remember the laughs, the good times, the sweet gestures.
But then you go to your class reunion and see him again. That's when you remember why you broke up in the first place.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

AW MAN! RAINED OUT!!!


I sure do hate it when the weather keeps us inside !!!
See you on the mound tomorrow, Tim!
to all the Faithful... make up will be May 3rd.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dice Man Cometh, Hernandez Taketh Away



Wednesday's Results: Seattle 3, Boston 0


Matsuzaka actually pitched a decent game in tonite's 3-0 loss to the Mariners. The problem, which will be Thursday's big story, is just that Felix Hernandez pitched even better.


Wow, where on earth did this Hernandez guy come from? 21 years old, pitches a complete game, a one-hitter, and has his second shutout game in a row. Are we sure he isn't one of our former prospects that Theo dealt away in 2005 or something?


Well, the Nation can at least say that Dice-K accomplished something out there. All the hype over the last few days had nothing to do with anything other than one event:


One Red Sox pitcher, and one Seattle right fielder facing off in MLB.


Tonite was the big matchup: Dice-K vs. Ichiro. Its been so over dramatized, I kept waiting for 2 rock em' sock em' robots to come marching out to the plate and start beating each other, like some dumb B rated Godzilla movie.


Well, the matchup is over, and the final results are in... (here is where you hear the drumroll)..................................


Dice-K 4, Ichiro 0 hits


Ichiro did get on base his last time up, as he hit into a force play that got him on first base. Sorry folks, a scorekeeper doesn't count it as a hit, so no blemish to report on that up to bat.


So, for now Fenway's newest Monster, fondly referred to in Japan as "Kaibutsu", has taken Round One of the Far East Showdown.


For you non Japanese speaking folks, that monster word is pronounced "Kah-ee-booo-tsooo")



Hopefully Hideki Matsui will be off the DL in about 10 days or so, so we can continue the battle of the big Eastern Monsters. The Yankees are coming to town in a couple of weeks, so be prepared Sox Nation, as the hype rears its ugly head all over again.




Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hurray for FENWAY FRANKS

I wish we could put about 8 of today's runs in a jar, and shelf them to use for a future Red Sox outing, wouldn't that be great? The next time we get into a jam, and we are down by 2 or 3 runs, just have Tito go over to the shelf and grab a few, like jelly beans, and make it all better.

Wishful thinking, that's all.

Nothing is better than Opening Day at Fenway. Today's is certainly one that will be long remembered. Big big win, Timlin (tho' he struggled), is back, JD Drew is still productive and healthy, Harry Connick, Jr singing the national anthem.... oh yeah, great way to lure in us 30-something girls! It was Great to see Yaz out there, and Rico P. and the rest of the '67 Sox. As I sit here and look at my husband's Red Sox Nation membership card, here on our desk, I realize that those are the guys that brought New England back to the Sox. Few people gave 2 craps about the Sox, until that '67 season. Ever see the footage of Fenway? Maybe 5,000 people in the whole darn place prior to that miracle run. That pennant win introduced a whole new group to the Nation; who would have imagined its evolution to today, a franchise embraced worldwide.

It doesn't mean I don't have anything negative to say...

I don't know if you saw the press release from the Red Sox website, but Larry Lucchino was very proud to announce that food and beverage prices will not be increased this year at the ballpark.

Whoopdi - doo.

It costs $140 per seat to be in the 3rd row of the monster seats. My lowly Grandstand seat for this Sunday's game to go with my 3 girlfriends is $45.00. Do you really think it matters, Larry, that my FENWAY FRANK is still $4.00???? Do you REALLY think I am grateful to you?

C'mon! Going to Fenway is like going to BJs Warehouse... you CAN'T go in there and exit without spending anything less than $100.00!!

Larry, if you really want "to protect the ballpark experience for children and families", how about cutting back on the ticket prices once in awhile? Have a $10 day for kids, or something like that. Don't try to spin it like you are doing us a favor, when your ticket prices are like the highest in MLB. I'd rather be a patron at a restaurant outside the park before or after the game. At least this way, for that price get a decent, sit down, satisfying meal.

Sorry, Larry... nice try but I'm NOT BUYING IT.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Papelbon, the Nation thanks you BIG TIME

I think I am going to keep track of how many times this year Papelbon saves the hide of somebody else in the pen this year. Yesterday's game definitely counts as one. And a BIG one at that.

Unfortunately, I think this situation will be a recurring theme as the season progresses. Piniero looked like a high school guy out there.

I know it is (and will continue to be) a hot topic of discussion, debating whether or not it is a good thing to have Pap as the closer again. No one wants to see this guy get hurt again, least of all me. But for those out there who don't think he should have been moved from the starting rotation, at least acknowledge that there is something very special about him as closer. The guy looks like he belongs there, is meant to be there. I don't know of anyone else in the bullpen right now, who could have bailed us out of the 8th like that. And have a LIGHTS OUT 9th.

It was, hate to say it...

Mariano Rivera -like
Even
Goose Gossage - like back in the day.

So by holidays end, we split the series with the Rangers, and get back to .500 in the AL East Standings. I'll take it. Schilling looked a lot better today. I guess he had nowhere else to go but up, after that first outing! And Big Papi gets a tip of the hat as well. Nice to see he remembered where his groove was. I said in my last posting it would take Ortiz at least ten games. He proved me wrong, it only took him six.

No game on the schedule for tonite, so everyone enjoy the free time. I am sure we will start getting more hype in the coming 24 hours about the Dice-K start on Wednesday against Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki. But first we have Beckett coming in tomorrow.

Until then, I think I will go check out some of that candy in my sons' Easter Baskets. Talk to you Tuesday.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

No panic coming from my corner

After Saturday's baseball day, some Red Sox followers might think that its events marked the beginning of the end of the world... just look at what Easter Eve brought to the Nation...

- Tavares was terrible... just as I feared
- The bullpen never showed up, mostly due to J.C. Romero in the 6th
- Big Papi continued to fail at the plate
- A-Rod hit a walk off grand slam to come from behind and win, and go from Thursday's bum, to Saturday's hero. (This is the one that is hardest to swallow for me, watching all the Yankee fans cheering for the guy that they usually want to kill.)

Hey guys, let's all calm down, it's only week one.

Tavares' outing shouldn't be a HUGE shock to anyone; he is either lights out or shut the lights off 'cause I can't look at the car wreck. Unfortunately, he totalled the car last night.

The bullpen is the area everyone has been concerned about since last year, so why are we so shocked? Just because the previous 2 games were lights out? No one has played enough games to use for an accurate measuring stick. Hopefully with Timlin's return soon, there will be some stability in the pen, and things will get better, let's give it some time.

As far as Papi goes, I don't think its time to start booing him. I certainly give him a pass right now; the past has shown he usually takes about 10+ games or so to find his groove, so why would '07 be so different? He's been around the game enough that most teams now do that "pull hitter" shift to right field, so he has to constantly place the ball opposite field to get on base. This, in itself is an adjustment.

Also keep in mind that, once again, the Sox office shuffled the staff. There is new blood at second, short, right, and center has Coco trying to find his groove again. We can't forget that the arrival of Dice-K has changed the dynamics of this team as well. All these guys need to figure out how to play together as a team. That won't happen in a week.

I'm not making excuses. And I shouldn't. I question things like why Tito left Romero out there for 5 batters.

All I am saying is don't panic, just because Tampa Bay, of all teams, is now at the top of the AL East with that other team West of the CT border. Don't forget about '06, we had a great stretch early in the season, enjoying all the glories of 1st place standings prior to the All Star Break. And then all hell broke loose, and look where we ended up.

So instead, I will retire my Red Sox thoughts for the rest of the day. Today is Easter, a time to celebrate a new beginning, and count my blessings instead of how many hits in a row J.C. Romero gave up in the 6th last night. Besides, my number of blessings is a much higher number than 5.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

What about Mr. Lester?

Orignally written Friday 4/6/07:

I want to just put Dice-K on the backburner for a minute, because I heard some news today that is just as important to the team, in my opinion. Jon Lester had a very, very solid rehab outing yesterday.

OK, I will give you that his rehab is only at level A down in Greenville, being coached by Gabe Kapler, but his numbers were really good...

4 innings, 2 hits. Velocity got up to 96 mph. He still has 3-4 more starts there. His next checkup is the end of the month, so he is going nowhere until they make sure he is still cancer free.

Am I the only one who wants this guy back in the rotation asap? I can't believe no one is talking about it. When they moved Papelbon back to the closing role, the Sox really didn't have anyone to take his place. Right now they have Julian Tavarez in that role, lucky us he is starting on Saturday against Texas.

Julian... remember him? Are you comfortable with that? Sure, as a starter he had an OK September last year, as he was the best that we had at the end of last season with all the injuries. But the best that we had, really still wasn't very good. I saw him only a couple times on NESN during spring training this year, and his was more of a relief role. Hopefully the theory that he is a better starting pitcher than mid relief guy is true, because his audition as closer was an absolute disaster. His first pitch beaned a guy square in the back. His second outing wasn't much better, a couple pass balls, etc. I hope I am 100% wrong, but believe me, I will be holding my breath when he takes the mound on Saturday. Maybe the baseball gods will cut us some slack, and get him to hold the team to the 6th, anyway. I won't count on it, though.

Not If, but When Jon Lester makes it back into the rotation, I expect him to be a decent contributor, and what a comeback story that will be. To return cancer free within one year, stronger than before, what a success story. Sorry guys, I will have my tissues out for that one.

Welcome Matzusaka San !

Originally written Thursday April 5th...

I dont know about you, but I think Red Sox Nation gave one HUGH sigh of relief Thursday afternoon. "Attention all shoppers... The Dice-K bandwagon is about to roll down the road, make sure you go to your local sports store to buy your overpriced Matzuzaka t-shirt, written in Japanese! The $103 million dollar man has arrived..."

Alright, I know its only one game, but I honestly did not think he was going to live up to the hype, at least not this early. 10 Ks in his debut. You just don't see that with a rookie very often, maybe a couple times a decade if you're lucky. When he started to struggle, the sixth inning was a good opportunity to see if he had the toughness it takes to be an ace in the American League. After that homer and couple of singles, I was afraid we would see Donnelly warming up in the pen. But Dice-K adjusted in the 7th, striking out Shealy and Glode, and getting Buck to fly out, just like he is supposed to, yeah!!!

OK, OK, I know its just the Kansas City Royals; the Royals are very young and lack experience. But I will take the overrun of media, the gyroball, the interpreters... today I really liked what I saw.