Monday, July 30, 2007

2 out of 3... Ain't Bad



A sweep would have been nice, of course. But by Sunday night, we managed to bring our lead in the AL East back up to 8, thanks to Wake's outing on Friday night (7-1 win) and a solid outing by Lester (12-6 win) on Saturday.

Our bats continue their inconsistency, however, as Dice-K once again became a victim of poor run support on Sunday in his 5-3 loss. The other Manny, Manny Delcarmen, came in to replace Matzusaka and gave up a three run homer, and another insurance run, before getting taken out. But the damage had already been done.

It's OK. Yesterday one of my favorite non Red Sox ballplayers got inducted into the Hall of Fame, Cal Ripkin, Jr. A very classy guy, a lifetime Oriole. Ripkin holds the record for the most consecutive games, with 2,632 of them. The record was previously held by Lou Gehrig’s who had 2,130.

2,632. If you figure 160 games are played in a year, that equates to almost 16 and a half years of games, continually playing for the same team, without missing one, single game.

WOW. Hard to imagine that record ever getting broken, eh? Hmm... let's see J.D. Drew has about 5 consecutive games under his belt so far, so he only has 16 years, 3 months and 4 days left to go, right? Watch out, Cal... Drew's on a hot streak!!

Not too much was made yesterday, of the fact that a third eligible guy was NOT inducted into the Hall, Mark McGwire. McGwire was snubbed from the Hall voters, after not "discussing the past" during the Congressional Hearing on Steroid use 2 yrs ago. McGwire looked like an idiot on the stand, and very, very guilty, and now he is being punished for that lack of action in the hall of public opinion.

Ripkin and Gwinn, the other inductee, both acknowledged the negativity that currently exists in MLB. Ripkin commented that ballplayers, like it or not, are role models. Its up to them whether or not they are positive or negative ones. Gwinn agreed. As he said, “When you sign your name on the dotted line, it’s more than just playing the game of baseball. You’ve got to be responsible and make decisions and show people how things are supposed to be done.”

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Congratulations to Cal and Tony Gwinn, for honors well deserved.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A torrid Love Affair with Manny

On Wednesday, Manny infuriated me, to the point where I couldn't watch the NESN highlights.


On Thursday night, Manny reminds me once again why he is one of our day's premier hitters.

So it is, as a Red Sox fan, the torrid relationship with our left fielder, Manny Ramirez.


Manny bein' Manny. We hear that statement alot. So what does that mean?


It translates to this: I love my Red Sox. I support my team. No matter who is on it. Manny is our left fielder. I love his bat. I can't stand his attitude. I hate how he jogs to first base on ground balls. I hate how he will never speak to the media. I get frustrated that he doesn't always dive for popups. But, I love his bat. I love his bat. I love his bat.


Manny will be Manny. He will show you greatness, and the next day he will also show you idiotsy. Like it or not.


On Wednesday, the Nation was pretty miffed as to why Coco Crisp slowed down while trying to score the tying run in the sixth inning. He got nailed going home, and was a key reason why we lost the game, 1-0. My issue was with Manny. The on deck guy is supposed to signal to the runner going home, whether to slide or stand coming home.

Manny Ramirez wasn't around to help Crisp along from the on-deck circle. Instead, he was talking to someone in the dugout. Coco didnt see how close the play would really be. He slowed up, and was tagged. Ugly.

Last night, Thursday, it was the Manny offense show. His first home run was the 3rd longest home run in Jacobs field history. His second homer was icing on the cake, during a 17 hit game. Manny just bein' Manny.


This is the time of year where we usually see Manny having an episode. This is about when he tells the world he wants to be traded, needs time off because his "quad" hurts, etc. Funny thing is, this is the first year that he hasn't done it. For once, it's pretty quiet in Manny's World.

Just Manny bein' Manny. I suppose when one measures the good vs bad, it comes down to a player's production on the field. For this girl, that is good enough for me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

So Happy Together....





We adults can learn alot about good sportsmanship, from these two, best buddies, Jonathan and Ian.

Neither really care that the other roots for the "wrong" team, they just love hangin' around together, and playing baseball. Isn't that what this sport is really all about, anyway?!?

HEY RED SOX NATION!

Do you realize that Yankee fans, right now, all over the country, are actually ROOTING for the Red Sox to win? They may not be admitting it out loud, or even confessing this to their local bartenders or clergy, but in their hearts, they truly are, or should be. It's because that the Red Sox, winning these games on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday would really help their ultimate cause.

The Cleveland Indians currently lead the Wild Card race, and the Yankees are only 5.5 games behind. Yikes! Talk about your double edged sword!

Whoo-hoo! Shall we pass them our pink hats, with the cute blue letter "B"s on them? How about those big red foam hands that says "Boston #1" on them? I know where I can get you guys some of those Dice-K Japanese warrior headbands, really cheap!

C'mon Yankee fans, indulge me. I will gladly teach you all the words to the song, "Dirty Water" if you give me the chance. I KNOW you guys know the words to "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond. Hum with me, just a couple of bars, you know the tune... It won't hurt, at least not too much. ;-)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Guess who's back... Back Again...



The really intriguing thing about baseball, is that it is a game of continuous cycles. Sorry I haven't written in a few days; I've been away camping with family and friends, but now I'm back to work, just in time for tonite's opener in Cleveland. Since our last chat, the Sox have won 3 straight, and the uninspiring offensive seems to have come back to life. Just another cycle.








We leave Boston having gone 6-5. I really expected it to be more like 8-3, but at least we went above .500 before heading out on the road. Beckett, Gabbard and Wakefield got the "W"s, and we saw some really nice offense from the likes of Coco, Lugo, Lowell, Manny, and Drew. We scored 29 runs in the last 3 games.








The good news out of Pawtucket is that Schilling had a great outing on Saturday. Curt struck out 6 in 3 scoreless innings. Of his 40 pitches, 32 were for strikes. Sounds like he will return in 2 more starts, which brings us to our lead story: JON LESTER.








Lester is back to fill the pitching void, for a least 2 starts, beginning tonite. Joel Pinero has been designated for assignment, to make room for the fan favorite.








Lester's story is such great one. Just 11 months ago, we all heard the news that the then 22 yr old, was going away, to begin chemotherapy treatment for a form of cancer. At the time, the Sox were just plagued with injury after injury after injury. To hear another guy was down, was just par for the course. But this time, the "injury" was serious. This young guy was fighting for his life. Now, a year later and in remission, he's about to take the mound. Is he ready?








You wonder if the Sox are using this time to showcase him, as the trade deadline approaches. Some scouts say he's struggled in Pawtucket. It's the reason Gabbard got his shot in Boston in the first place.








Regardless, in my heart it doesn't matter what the stats will be for Jon Lester after tonite's game. Maybe he will exceed the high expectations, and dominate to a win. Or, maybe he will get shelled.








Does it really matter? The fact is, Lester is already a winner, regardless of what his numbers will read.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Enjoy this You Tube Video...


Don't Worry, Guys... Curt will be back, and ready to ramp it up. Go to this link and see his current workout routine...


KEEP THE FAITH, SOX NATION. PUT AWAY YOUR CRYING TOWELS, GET OFF YOUR LEDGES, AND SHOW THIS TEAM SOME SUPPORT!!!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

On, Off, On, Off....


I'm feeling rather cranky today. Our Sox are not making it easy to enjoy being in first place lately. Their production is like a lightswitch; one day it's on, the next day, off. Next day on, next day, off.
I felt pretty good having Kasem Gabbard pitch a complete game on Monday, with nice run support. By Tuesday night, I am entirely frustrated at our team's inconsistent pitching and inability to capitalize with runners on base. In the meantime, the Yanks manage to pull out a win in extra innings, bringing down our lead to 8 games.
Our Red Sox are as inconsistent as my golf game, and anyone who knows me, knows how true this statement is!
I heard a stat today that if the Red Sox continue to play just .500 baseball, but the Yankees play .620 ball, they will catch us. Isnt that the difference between teams winning 6.2 games out of 10 vs. 5 out of 10?
Do you see them in our rear view mirror? Remember the movie Jurassic Park, when T Rex is racing torwards the kids in their car? The rear view mirror says "objects are closer than they appear". For all you loons out there that prefer a closer race to the pennant, hold your breath. A few more weeks of inconsistent bats like we've had, and you guys are going to have your wish!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Relish the Positives


So now we are a few days into the second half. Even having lost last night 6-5 against the Jays, there are still some things we can be happy about:
1. We are still 10 games up, as the Yankees took a another dip under .500, in theri loss last night against the Devil Dogs. Today's Rosie picture is once again, courtesy of Roger Clemens.
2. Timlin came into the games last night, and looked good. Finally.
3. Curt Schilling threw off the mound for the first time since going on the DL yesterday. They thought he'd only pitch 35 pitches, he pitched 55, and the outing went very well. May even get to rehab in Pawtucket as early as next week. This is very very good news. The old Schill, not the "Old Schill" will be one of the key components down the stretch into the playoffs.
4. Lugo has started swinging. Don't look now, but he's now batting .202!!!
5. Manny's last 2 games has shown us he still has his power. 2 games is certainly not a measurement of one's success, but maybe its a sign of the right direction. Is Manny finally bein' Manny?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Enjoy Your day off from baseball!


Congrats to the AL, who won last night's 2007 All Star Game...
Have fun in the sun today, talk to you all soon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

a few photos from Fenway


Hey, look! Its Manny (derek) and Manny (jon) just bein' Manny.



Man, could my friend Mike get any closer to JIM RICE and TC during the NESN pregame show?



Whew!... do you see how close we just got to Varitek?



OK so now, here I am, cooling off after getting within a foot of Jason Varitek



So when your team is up by 9 runs, and its raining, what's more fun than just watching a ballgame?


Well, when you're 5 yrs old, Josh knows.... catch yourself some raindrops!!!!

thanks to Mike and Debbie for the photos, and to Luke and
Audrey, and Kristi and Darren for allowing their sons to grace the pages of this here blog with mine.

Let's all enjoy 1 more day off, and then we are off to the second half!!!!








Monday, July 9, 2007

The Cup is Half Full, folks


Well, here we are, halfway through our 2007 Season. This is the time of year where most baseball enthusiasts take the time to dissect their favorite team, review the last 3 months of performance, and make up their wish list of possible acquisitions and trades to pad the roster for post season play.
I don't know about you, but I really could care less about the All Star game. Well, I do care, to some extent. I want the American League to win it, so that (hopefully the Red Sox) the AL gets home field advantage for this year's World Series. For me, the All Star break is a merely a chance at a few days of regular television, and not a pre-game show, or a game, or a post-game show, or switch the channels from YES to NESN every 10 minutes. So what, you might ask, did I watch?
Spongebob.
Of all the opportunities on television tonite, I chose Spongebob. Actually my kids did the choosing. While it's cute that my 3 year old can do an uncanny rendition of Big Papi at the plate, including spitting on his hands and clapping them together, tonite I gave the boys a chance to be just regular kids, not kids living with parents who are fanatical members of Red Sox Nation.
Something is wrong with me. While it played, and the boys giggled, I just sat there, staring, and thinking about what I was going to write in my next blog entry.
It's a sickness, I admit. But I can't help but be obsessive over that which I love.
Heck, I've got my own opinions about this team.
We still have a 10 game lead, despite getting swept in Chicago. Ugh, that was not the way I hoped to end the first half. Our bats once again were quiet, and this time, it was very, very noticeable that Manny and Papi could not come through in clutch situations. I am not feeling comfortable. Still too many games left to be cocky. It would be great to figure out a way to acquire one more decent 3rd or 4th starter. Doesn't look like there is much out there, without giving away Theo's farm. It's my opinion that we keep most of those farm guys, too. We'll need them in '08 and '09.
Hate to say it, but this week we looked like the best team in the worst division. Whoopie. The best of the worst. Get us on the road, and we fell apart. That might get us the AL East, and MAYBE the AL pennant this year, but it sure won't get us another World Series ring.
A few things need to improve:
  • Manny's got to step up.
  • Papi needs to figure out what he's doing wrong at the plate.
  • Drew needs to stay healthy, and earn the $14.4 million dollars he's due this year.
  • Lugo... hmmm... not sure what to say there. Lugo needs to graduate from the Pony League and prove why he is worth $8.25 million to us this year. I read a stat today that, as of Saturday, he was 176th out of 176 for batting average, 174th in on-base percentage, 173rd in slugging and 175th in OPS. Ummm... doesn't that mean he pretty much stinks?
  • Timlin needs to be more consistent
  • Schilling needs to come to grips with being a creative pitcher, not an overpowering, dominant one. He still has the stuff to kick it out there, but it won't be because of his fastball.
There are things that got us here, though. This isn't the DOOM AND GLOOM show, folks!! Here are a few examples of why we are enjoying the laurels of first place:
  • Kevin Youkilis, for his bats and his defense.
  • Coco's defense
  • Dustin Pedroia
  • our Bullpen, especially Okajima and Papelbon
  • Manny Delcarmen
  • Mike Lowell, Mike Lowell and Mike Lowell. Did I mention Mike Lowell?
  • Josh Beckett
  • Dice-K
  • Alex Cora, the best guy to ride the bench in Boston.
So as the first half concludes, I hope you, like me, enjoy looking at the standings out there on the Green Monster. While we haven't always played our A game, we have won some really great games that we should all be proud of. (remember the Mother's Day miracle, for one!!) I think overall, our team is in decent shape. We can always use more pitching, and if there is any way Theo and the boys can figure out a way to get some more depth without sacrificing more than Willie Mo and a couple no name prospects, it just might be enough to put us over the top.
Coming up very soon will be some pictures that were taken last Thursday at our last road trip to Fenway, the big blowout against Tampa Bay. Be looking out for them, enjoy the break!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Oka-Doki, Okajima.... You're In!



Way to go, Okajima!!! Our setup man was the final player selected to the 32 man roster for the 2007 AL Roster for Tuesday's All Star Game. He is one of 6 Red Sox players who were voted in, and will accompany Beckett, Ortiz, Lowell, Papelbon, and Manny.

It is so awesome that he was voted in. This is the guy in the offseason that everyone joked was simply a translater for Dice-K, and would make no impact on our team. Boy were we wrong about that!! He currently has a 0.88 ERA in 28 appearances. He and Papelbon are the 1-2 punch that has made our club very successful, so far.

We were fortunate enough to be at the game last night, on a bus trip (thanks, Lisbon Rec Committee!) with our fellow Red Sox Nation fans from Lisbon. I have to say it is a lot of fun when your team is up 6-0 and there is only 1 out in the entire game. It quickly became batting practice. Coco (grand slam) had 5 RBIs Ortiz went 3-5 with 4 RBIs, Lowell went 5-6 with 5 RBIs. We even got a chance to see Jacoby Ellsbury in the second half of the game. Man, is he quick! I heard this morning that he has been sent back down to Pawtucket. Not because he wasn't productive, but they want him to continue to get every day work. He leaves us after having gone 6-16, batting an impressive .375.

Our seats were out in left field area, so had a chance to get pretty close to Willie Mo Pena. Couldn't help but wonder if it's the last time I will see him in a Red Sox uniform, in person. I really feel bad for him. He's young and needs the chance to play a lot, and isn't getting that chance here. And his batting average shows it. There are always trade rumors out there, I would hope there is a team out there that could give him the opportunity to work on his stuff and get more playing time. He will make a great DH somewhere in a few years, once he figures out how to hit anything other than the fastball. But with Papi here, Pena has little opportunity. Add to that, this Jacoby Ellsbury guy, and Willie Mo can pretty much forget about much opportunity here in Boston.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Little Heckler Had to Learn it from someone...



Great win last night at Fenway, as Dice-K commanded the Sox to a 4-1 win over Tampa Bay. It became the big pitching matchup that was not, as Kazmir got shelled in the 2nd inning, giving up 3 straight walks, and 3 runs. Big news of the night: Julio Lugo breaking out of his unbelievable drought, getting 2 hits. Yipee! He is now cruising at an unbelievable .194 batting average. Also in the headlines, Big Papi finally admits that his quads continue to bother him, which is definitely the major contributor to his lack of power and performance. Never mind, all you conspiracy theorists out there...





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

A LITTLE TIDBIT FROM FENWAY PARK

If I've learned anything from having a few young kids, it's that they notice and will emulate EVERYTHING that my husband or I will do. I am reminded constantly, by their actions, that I have to be very careful of what I say or do, because ultimately, they will imitate us. Not just the good, but also the bad, ugly, and embarrasing. There was a parent sitting near us at Sunday's game at Fenway who obviously does not get this simple principal. Either that, or he doesn't care that he has a very obnoxious 5 year old son. It was a glaring reminder that apples really do not fall far from their trees.

Sunday, the Sox were playing the Texas Rangers. Honestly, the game was pretty quiet, sitting there in section 8, not a lot of dramatics. Then Sammy Sosa came up to bat.

Sitting behind us, was what we thought to be a sweet looking 5 year old boy. Blond hair, blue eyes, great smile. Mostly sat there, eating snacks with his mom, dad and little sister. Until Sosa's turn. Then someone evil came out. All you could hear, in a perfect Boston accent was:

"HEY SAMMY! CAN YOU HEAR ME SAMMY? YOU GONNA STRIKE OUT SAMMY, YOU BIG CHEATAH!"

We all turned around, then looked at one another. Did that cute little kid say that?

"HEY SOSA! SAMMY SOSA! GO SIT DOWN, YOU BUM!"

Wow. No one even prompted the kid, he just got up and started yelling, all on his own. Not a single reaction came from his parents.

This continued periodically, until about the 8th inning. By then, I think his dad became quite frustrated at our beloved Red Sox, and their lack of production at the plate. Because now, everyone in section 8 found out that not only could little angel boy talk it up, but that his dad had quite a set of pipes of his own:

"HEY, J.D. DREW!! TROT WANTS HIS NUMBER 7 BACK, YOU BUM"

"MANNY! HEY MANNY! WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO EARN THAT FAT PAYCHECK OF YOURS, YOU BIG LOOSSAAAHHH!"

"LUGO! HEY LUGO! YOU !%#!%@! STINK!!!!!"

Ahhhh..... just another family day at Fenway Park.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

One Crazy Lady



When you go to Fenway Park, you just never know who you are going to meet...



I went to the game this past Sunday, with 3 of my friends. I thought that I looked kinda wierd when I put my rally cap on in the ninth, in the hopes it might help us get a couple of runs. It didn't work, of course; we lost, and it just made my "hat head" look that much more ridiculous.



Then I met this lady, "Pearl", and I realized it really didn't matter what my hair looked like:




She was actually very, very nice. But I didn't have the heart to tell her that she looked a little bit silly. I am not sure if you can tell, but if you click on this photo to enlarge it, you will notice that she is wearing Fenway Park on her head. Complete with the big Citgo sign out in left Center field. She told me she wore this outfit when the Sox won the World Series. She said it rather proudly, as if this outfit was the reason that they had won.


Hmmm... didn't seem to help the Sox at all on this day, since we lost the game.

The Blame Game



Before I start my most recent rant, I first want to say "Way to Go" to Jacoby Ellsbury. What an awesome game he had last night, making a big contribution during last night's 7-3 victory against the Rangers. You can clearly see why he has been the Red Sox's top prospect. He looks a lot like a young Damon, but of course he has a much better arm (just about anyone would), and wow, is he quick!!

It seems when things go awry, everyone is always looking for someone to blame:

Yankees stink right now because of Torre Or

Yankees stink right now because of Cashman Or

We've been losing as of late because of Tito Or

We've been losing as of late because of Theo Or

We're in a slide because of Lugo

How about this one? Have you heard it? Papa Jack being fired as the Sox's batting coach at the end of last year, is the reason why David Ortiz's power numbers are down this year.

I honestly don't believe this to be true, but here is the argument:

Ortiz in '06 with Papa Jack: 54 HRs and 137 RBIs

Ortiz in '07 without Papa Jack: projected to be 27 HRs and 103 RBI's.

My problem with this point is that it doesnt account for the emergence of power with fellas like Pedroia, Youk, and Mike Lowell. Same batting coach.

Hey, in our society, somebody's gotta take the heat, right?

Tonite, Dice-K will be facing Kazmir from the Devil Rays. It should be a great matchup. I will write again soon.

Monday, July 2, 2007

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ..........


We Sox fans sure are lucky that the AL East is in such a poor state these days.
There really isn't much more to say.
We have maintained a 10 game lead over Toronto, despite being 13-16 in our last 29 games. We've lost 5 of our last 6. The good news for us yesterday, was that not that we won (because we didn't), but that...
TORONTO LOST
YANKEES LOST (badly)
BALTIMORE LOST
TAMPA BAY LOST
I've never been happier to be in the company of so many losers in my life.
So even though we're in a slide, we aren't currently losing any momentum. Not something I feel very comfortable about, though.
Not much to brag about, for being in first place.