Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday Musings: December 18 (Tuesday Edition)

A few thoughts as we head into the holiday season:
  1. Roger Clemens on steroids? Who knew.
  2. You have to feel a little bit bad for the Boston Bruins. They have the third best record in the NHL (second place in their division) yet you would think they were the Weston High School girls field hockey team in terms of the love they get. To that end, I was driving up to Maine last weekend and passed a ticket broker who had their "top events" listed on their sign out front. One of the items listed was "Bruins Tickets." I scratched my head on that one - do people in Maine know that you can by scalped Bruins tickets for about 50% of face value right now?
  3. Patriots/Jets - was anyone else disappointed that Belichick didn't spit in Mangini's face after last Sunday's game? I didn't really expect any fireworks but there was a little part of me that was hoping for something more dramatic. Maybe even a friendly knee in the groin. Oh well.

    To that end, I was listening to WEEI last night and Big O. and the boys had Coach Belichick on. After about two minutes of discussion, I came to the conclusion that aliens had replaced Coach B. with a kinder, gentler, more humorous being. During the conversation, Belichick stopped Freddy, Steve, Pete and Big O. and asked them who they thought the Jets should go with at QB. He then sat back and listened to the boys trip all over themselves as they tried to impress Coach with their answers. What was shocking was the fact that B elichick seemed to be enjoying himself. It was nice to see a human side to Belichick.
  4. To my fantasy boys -- you know who you are -- what are the odds that three of the top four seeds all fall in the first round? My Melrose Mildew (7 seed) is riding Adrian Peterson all the way to the finals baby!
  5. Is the Santana deal going to get done or not? For all the pomp and circumstance about that deal, I can't believe that something isn't going to get done. Last Thursday on WEEI, Kirk Schilling practically guaranteed that the Sox would get Santana. As much as I'm conflicted about losing Ellsbury, having Santana alongside Beckett, Dice K, Bucholtz/Lester and Schilling is nothing short of awesome.
  6. Poor ARod and Scott Boras aren't speaking. A lovers quarrel perhaps?
  7. This is apropos of nothing but is Junior Seau gay? I don't care if he is or isn't but every time they show him in the locker room after a game, one has to wonder.
  8. Anyone else excited about the Celts 20-2 start?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

P-A-T-S Pats Pats Pats

So, I attended the Ravens/Pats game last night, courtesy of a friend at work. The seats were awesome - 20 rows back on the 35 yard line. Needless to say, the fans were incredible and the stadium was amazing. Anyway, enough verbal BJing for Baltimore. As you can guess, for most of the game, my meager "Go Pats" was lost in the see of noise created by the Baltimore fans. However, on those rare good plays in the first three quarters, I was able to locate some Pats fans to give high fives to. I have to say, it was incredibly great at the end of the game to have the fans go from 120 decibels to dead quiet - you could hear the crickets chirping. The fans were ready to ERUPT with cheers if they could just stop the Pats. The Ravens players didn't want to let them though - as they have all year. Pats pull out some serious magic out of their butts - regardless of what the Ravens players say - and won. What a game.

One other note, the fans were dejected both after AND before the game - like they knew they were going to lose. They just didn't know how heartbreaking the loss would be. I would hate to be a Ravens fan after that game.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

New York Beatings...may they continue..

First of all Aaron..my belated thanks for the kind words Monday regarding my 40th b-day. It sure has been a fun and exciting friendship the last 30+ years and hopefully many more. But one thing we have always enjoyed was sports and occasionally a little schadenfreude.. which brings us to the current sad state of New York sports compared to what we are enjoying in Boston.
You have to admit it has never been this good in Boston and that bad in NYC. For the 3 sports that matter in Boston I mean..
The new Celtics just put a 50 point whupping on the Knicks last night ( 45 points whatever ) which doesn't really show how good the C's are but really how bad and pathetic the Knicks are.
They were a mess way before the whole Isaiah sex-harrassment suit, and have done nothing to improve themselves but they may want to clean house by having Dolan fire himself and "little Zeke" and maybe turn them over to the capable sons of Steinbrenner Hank and Hal so they can trade for Kobe and sign him to a 20 year 900 million dollar contract extension and re-hire Larry Brown.
And the hits keep coming...
After the Spy-gate nonsense with the Patriots/Jets and the upcoming shellacking on Dec 16th (talk about 50 point beatings), and then the Football Giants turn to get abused just 2 weeks later, it should be a Merry X-mas and a Happy New Year for all Pats fans after watching them dismantle both NY football teams on the way towards hopefully an undefeated season and a victory in The Big Game ( no royalties paid for saying S___r B__l )
And last but not least..
The best rivalry in sports will get a lot better if Johan Santana lands in EITHER Boston or NYC this weekend or during the winter meetings next week. Honestly I would like nothing other than to step on the throats of the Yankees for the next 5-6 years by having Santana paired with Beckett and Dice-K in the rotation. The Sox are dealing clearly from a postion of strength after winning the World Series, having a farm system overstocked with talented prospects and of course tons of cash..so they win big by landing the prized lefty.
Even if he ends up in pinstripes it will certainly add to the drama ( OK the ridiculous over the top madness) that is Sox-Yanks and that would mean the Yanks have paid dearly in players/prospects and dollars. All of this after the very enjoyable A-Rod fiasco, (Thanks Boras and thank god he is not here) the gobs of cash given to Jorge,Mariano,Abreu ad all to keep up with the Sox, keep up with the Sox.. sounds funny doesn't it ?

**
But, being a hockey player since I was a kid, I feel I should add the Bruins to the mix since they are on the verge of becoming semi-relevant.. but there is no real Bruins - Rangers stuff to discuss but I have this.. enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8K7roZu3WU&mode=related&search

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Musings: November 26

It's been a while since I did a substantive post so I thought this morning might be a good time to recap what's going on in Boston sports (with my own little twist thrown in of course.)

First, I want to wish my boy Joey M. a happy 40th today. Joey M. is one of my best and longest standing friends. I've known him since third grade and he and I have done lots of cool stuff together over the years. Here's wishing him another 40 x 2 years of equal fun.

For starters, what a win by the Pats last night! I know everyone in New England is moping around thinking, "holy crap, we almost lost to the 5-5, McNabb-less Eagles last night. How is this possible when the spread was 24?!?" Well, these things happen. Take a look at the history books and you'll see a long string of unexpected "David vs. Goliath" upsets starting with the 1968 Bills (0-11) defeating the eventual Super Bowl champs, the NY Jets (who ultimately went 13-3.) There were also the 1985 Dolphins who prevented the Bears from besting their 17-0 record, beating the Bears on the national stage by a score of 38-24. That proved to be the Bears only loss that season on a way to a dominating Superbowl win over our beloved Pats.

You have to give Andy Reid, Jimmy Johnson, AJ Feeley and the no-name Eagles receiving corp. a ton of credit for a killer game night. First of all, Reid and Johnson schemed/coached the game like they were betting with house money. Onsides kicks in the first quarter? Trick plays? Bombs? All out blitzes? They threw the kitchen sink at the Pats and it almost worked. Then there was Feeley who was downright Brady-esque. He threw no fewer than 10 passes that were on a wire. And then their were the receivers who made unbelievable catch after unbelievable catch. I don't say this often but I take my hat off to those guys.

My second thought is, am I the only person in New England that is a little disappointed that our "hot stove" season for the Sox is already over? There will be no angst this off season over which pitcher we're going to post for. No upset stomachs over who will replace Damon in center field. No questions about who will close for the Sox or who will fill the fifth slot in the rotation. Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing. Now that Lowell and Schilling are wrapped up, we're essentially guaranteed that the same team that took the field in the 2007 World Series will be on the field on opening day in 2008. Just missing the drama a little I guess...

To that end, what are your thoughts on Boston going after Santana? Is it worth emptying the bank i.e. trading Ellsbury, Lester and Bucholtz to get THE most dominant left-hander in the game? This is a classic "bird in the hand" question but I have to say, after seeing what Ellsbury did in October and the sniff of what Bucholtz might bring, I say no. It pains me to think that way but this move has "Yankees" written all over it. As the Bronx Bombers have proven over the last several years, having too many veterans and not enough rookies/youth on a team can be deadly. Let's not monkey with success!

Last up, the Celtics. WOW! Are these guys good or what? This isn't anything that the press hasn't already told you but 11-1? When Ainge went out and acquired mssrs. Allen and Garnett, we all knew that we at least had a shot at the Eastern title. Now, it's not beyond the realm of belief to think that we could win it all provided we can stay healthy - and that's a BIG but. One thing that can't be underestimated is the play of Rondo and Perk along with the additions of House and Posey to the roster. Gotta give Danny an A+ for putting this team together (at least for now.)

One parting thought. After seeing the Eagles almost beat the Pats last night made me realize that we are probably not going to go undefeated this season. It's one thing when you are blowing teams out by 30-40 points and not really putting your players in jeopardy but last night was an all out war. If Belichick and the boys clinch home field throughout in two weeks by virtue of having a three game lead over the Colts and Steelers, I think you have to consider lightly resting some of your veterans. I know, call me crazy...

Sorry, I know the Bruins aren't that bad but I can't muster the energy to bring them up in this conversation. Oh yeah, I owe the Revs a belated pat on the back too. I know they are now officially the Bills of MLS but at least they make it to the big game every year!

p.s. Do you think the Dolphins are looking at Welker and saying, "why can't we get guys like that?"

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lowell is Staying Put!!!

As I predicted, this just in from Boston.com...

The Red Sox and third baseman Mike Lowell have reached an agreement on a new three-year deal. To read more, visit http://www.boston.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Called on the Carpet

Okay "Anonymous," whomever you are. You've called me on the carpet. This is the place where I'm setting the record straight.

For those of you who are wondering what I'm talking about, last night, there was a lot of swirl around the Red Sox re-signing 3rd baseman, Mike Lowell. Based on a few reports I read, it sounded like a deal might get worked out before midnight. I've always wanted to break a story and I thought this might be my shot. So I took a crack at what the headline might look like. "Sox Sign Lowell for Four Years at $48 Million" is close to how it read. Well, it wasn't true. My bad.

Today, "Anonymous" wrote a comment on that post and said "where's your source on the story. I haven't heard that from anyone else." Well, rather than comment back which I meant to do but never got to, I deleted the post. I shouldn't have.

The reason I did delete it was that by this evening, it was obvious that the Sox hadn't re-signed Lowell yet so I thought, "gee, it's kind of dumb to keep that post up" so I deleted it. Shortly thereafter, mr. or mrs. anonymous called me on the carpet saying that I should explain myself.

Well, there you have it. I've confessed. I'll take my fifty lashes with a wet noodle now. ;)

Seriously though, I do appreciate you keeping me honest.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Schilling Back with the Red Sox?

Whether he's just playing with us or he really means it (I think the latter), it looks like Schilling will be back with the Red Sox in 2008.

If you asked me about this a couple of weeks ago I would have said there was a 30% likelihood this would happen. Now if we can just wrap up Lowell and get something in return for Coco, I'm feeling good about the starting line-up and rotation for 2008.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

5 Reasons ARod is an Asshole

Do I even need to write this post? Am I telling you anything you don't already know? Probably not but I feel morally obligated to write this post. I'll keep it brief because otherwise I'll end up spinning into an endless diatribe about baseball's most hated player.

Here are five out of a thousand reasons to dislike this guy:
  1. Is there any less classy move than announcing your decision to opt out of your contract in the final innings of game four (the deciding game) of the World Series. This was an FU to Red Sox fans, Yankees fans and any real baseball fan for that matter. In essence, ARod and his butthole manager, Scott Boras, we're saying "we're more important than the most important game of America's favorite pastime.
  2. Asking for $350 million dollars when you've accomplished absolutely ZERO in the post season. I don't care that he's the best player in baseball during the regular season, the post season is when it counts. Ask Kirk Gibson, Mark Bellhorn or JD Drew. Jerk (ARod that is, not JD Drew) - these guys all went from regular season turds to post season heroes. Not Mr. July.
  3. His teammates hated him in Seattle, Texas and New York. That tells you a lot about his character. He's not called "The Cooler" for nothing.
  4. He tried to fight Jason Varitek in 2004. Really? Last time I checked, Varitek was one of the most respected guys in baseball.
  5. He wears a purse when he's running to first base. Okay he doesn't really wear a purse but I've always loved this picture.

Feel free to add to this list in the comments 'cause there are a ton more reasons to dislike this guy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Two Good For Words!!!

World Champs!!!

Twice in four years. Can you believe it? No more curse. No more curse! Jon Papelbon for president!!!
Photo courtesy Boston.com (whether they like it or not)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Oh What a Night (live from game 2 of the World Series)

Working on filling in the blanks on the color commentary from last night's game (game 2 of the 2007 World Series) but in the meantime, I have two cool videos and some photos you all might want to check out.

The first is local boy, James Taylor singing the National Anthem



The second is Papelbon striking out Brad Hawpe for the last out of the game -- and the save. Then the crowd -- including moi - goes wild.




Other pics


Cool projection of "2007 World Series" one one of the walls at Fenway


One of Game 2's heros, Mike Lowell (warming up)


Former Red Sox (and now announcer), Dewey Evans


The field during the fifth inning


Post game victory handshakes


Big Papelbon founder, Aaron (right) and his little bro, John (left)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

World Series Bound Baby

What a win. How much do you love Dustin Pedroia. And for that matter, Jacoby Ellsbury. Even JD Drew came through with another clutch hit. The piece de resistance? Coco Crisp's phenomenal catch to end the game. WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!

Colorado may have taken 2 out of 3 from us back in June but they have just run into a buzz saw called the Boston Red Sox. The playoff Red Sox. Just ask the '04 Yankees, '04 Angels, '04 Cardinals, '07 Angels and '07 Indians how that feels.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Indians Rock

Cleveland definitely does not rock. But the Indians sure do. I have to say that The Jake is putting Fenway to shame right now. And that team is just clicking on every level.

Also the vibe coming from the Indians right now feels a lot like how it felt with the Sox in the playoffs in '03 (minus the blunder) and '04. They feel destined.

That being said, I hope we come back and kick their asses tonight, and bring it back to Fenway. And hopefully Francona wakes up starts putting Elsbury in the lineup.

Cheers,
-JS

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

If the Sox give up as a team, is it ok for me to give up as a fan? I feel like I am wasting my energy on this team. I didn't see the patient, work the pitcher Sox last night, it was the impatient, swing at all the bad pitches Sox. Granted, Paul Byrd won 15 or 16 games this year, but the Sox should kill a guy like this. They have given up and thrown their gameplan out the window.

Running Commentary from Last Night's Game

Given the quality of the broadcasting team (or lack thereof) that Fox threw against the game, Jim and I decided to do a little color commentary of our own. These comments have been edited slightly to protect the innocent. Enjoy:


[20:34] Aaron: wait -- one of the announcers just said something funny!
[20:34] Lil' Jim: can someone please kill the guy banging that drum
[20:34] Aaron: paul byrd said "this may be the slowest throwing combo of starters of any game this year"
[20:34] Lil' Jim: ...and his geriatric father sitting next to him
[20:35] Aaron: Tim McCarver is going to tell us EVERYTHING there is to know about batting against a knuckleballer
[20:36] Aaron: but of course none of it will actually be true
[20:36] Lil' Jim: can we ask him to tell us how to hit someone who uses an old school wind-up
[20:36] Aaron: phew
[20:36] Lil' Jim: amen
[20:36] Aaron: I think you're about to find that out
[20:36] Aaron: in spades
[20:36] Lil' Jim: can you give me a moment before you announce what happens
[20:36] Lil' Jim: i'm on HD and about 5 seconds behind you
[20:37] Aaron: aha
[20:37] Aaron: sure thing ;)
[20:37] Lil' Jim: the fact that the guy in this Taco Bell commercial goes 1 - 2 - C has annoyed me since I first say it
[20:38] Lil' Jim: can they f-ing edit it a little better
[20:38] Aaron: sorry -- I'm already back to the game -- Lowell just hit a five run homer
[20:38] Aaron: oh, sox just won
[20:38] Aaron: sorry man, I forgot you were on delay
[20:38] Lil' Jim: lol


[20:41] Lil' Jim: double wind up to manny?
[20:41] Aaron: I wan't manny to hit a 600 foot shot and then just stand there for an hour
[20:41] Aaron: yes! first hit of the game
[20:41] Aaron: go Manny
[20:42] Lil' Jim: huh - i thought big papi was still up
[20:43] Aaron: it's already the fifth inning
[20:43] Aaron: what inning is it on your tv?
[20:43] Lil' Jim: game three - eighth inning
[20:43] Aaron: wow -- you're really behind
[20:44] Aaron: it's game seven on my tv -- sox are up 3 games to 2
[20:45] Aaron: Go JD!!!
[20:46] Lil' Jim: if they have another bases-loaded, no one out situation and don't score... i'm going to do a shot of barenjaegar
[20:46] Aaron: nope -- Coco will save us from that anguish
[20:47] Aaron: why do I smell a 1-0 combined 2 hitter going into the 9th inning in this one with the bad guys on top
[20:47] Lil' Jim: nope
[20:47] Aaron: it's like the reverse reverse lock
[20:50] Lil' Jim: dancing
[20:50] Aaron: knock on wood but it seems like good wakefield may have shown up for this game
[20:50] Lil' Jim: i'm knocking on my wood
[20:51] Aaron: huh, huh, huh, huh, hem, he, heh... you said "wood"
[20:51] Lil' Jim: yep
[20:52] Lil' Jim: wake will be taking questions between innings
[20:53] Aaron: not the way the sox are going -- 5 pitch innings
[20:53] Aaron: um, guys
[20:53] Aaron: there's no time limit on this game
[20:53] Lil' Jim: right
[20:54] Lil' Jim: feel free to take a pitch or two
[20:54] Lil' Jim: especially when you're behind in the count... "Paul Byrd knows how to throw balls for strikes when he's ahead in the count... it's uncanny!"
[20:55] Lil' Jim: thanks Tim
[20:55] Aaron: give Wake a chance to at least take a piss in between innings
[20:55] Aaron: yes - did you know that he's thrown more first pitch strikes than any other pitcher in MLB?
[20:56] Lil' Jim: double wind up coming
[20:57] Aaron: good thing about this game is that it will be over by 9:15
[20:57] Lil' Jim: i'm surprised this ump didn't call that a strike
[20:57] Aaron: the first 3-2 count of the game
[20:57] Lil' Jim: high and tight
[20:58] Aaron: "Tim, did you know that pitchers HAVE to throw strikes in 3-2 counts?"
[20:58] Aaron: "otherwise, the batter walks"
[21:01] Lil' Jim: chin music
[21:01] Lil' Jim: swear to god... i typed that before tim said it
[21:01] Aaron: guess those terrible towels didn't work so good
[21:03] Aaron: a HR here wouldn't suck
[21:03] Lil' Jim: hey big papi - how about a first pitch hack into the right field seats
[21:03] Lil' Jim: bad knee and all
[21:03] Aaron: yes
[21:06] Aaron: and he... ohhhh
[21:08] Lil' Jim: right to the shortstop... playing the the right of 2nd base
[21:09] Aaron: I'm not sure I get all this hype from the announcers and now the ads about Cleveland winning
[21:09] Aaron: they know that NOBODY will watch the world series if it's Colorado and Cleveland
[21:09] Aaron: well, maybe 50K people in Cleveland
[21:09] Aaron: that's it
[21:10] Lil' Jim: cleveland v colorado draws two markets... count 'em... 1...2....
[21:10] Aaron: I'm thinking just 1
[21:10] Aaron: I don't think the people in Colorado actually know there's a team outside the Broncos
[21:14] Lil' Jim: well
[21:14] Lil' Jim: they're in the f-ing world series
[21:14] Lil' Jim: MLB should pull the franchise
[21:14] Aaron: they'll find that out once the Broncos lose in the playoffs
[21:14] Aaron: the fans will be like, "I wonder how them Rockies did this year"
[21:14] Lil' Jim: mirabelli boxed it to look like a ball
[21:14] Aaron: and someone will say, "they f-ing won the world series you a-hole"
[21:15] Aaron: and they'll say, "but the broncos lost"
[21:15] Lil' Jim: tim just said stiff
[21:15] Aaron: huh, huh, huh, huh, hem, he, heh... you said "stiff"
[21:17] Lil' Jim: way to sacrifice the body Youk!

[21:24] Lil' Jim: not hard to get JD on a swinging strike
[21:24] Aaron: nope
[21:25] Aaron: go JD
[21:25] Aaron: who knew
[21:26] Lil' Jim: JD's gonna take second
[21:26] Aaron: fuck
[21:26] Aaron: how many hard hit fly outs are the Sox gonna hit
[21:26] Lil' Jim: yup
[21:26] Lil' Jim: it's killing us
[21:32] Aaron: that was the first hit by the Tribe tonight
[21:32] Aaron: of course it took McCarver 30 seconds more than me to figure that out
[21:32] Aaron: had to wake him up from his nap
[21:33] Lil' Jim: me too
[21:38] Aaron: you know it's a bad night when Doug Mirabelli is the most disciplined hitter on your team
[21:44] Aaron: okay, who called a 1-0 game going into the 9th?
[21:45] Aaron: blake almost fell over hitting that one
[21:47] Lil' Jim: i have Tom H heckling me
[21:47] Lil' Jim: this is bad
[21:48] Lil' Jim: that shouldn't have been called a hit by pitch
[21:48] Lil' Jim: he f-ing leaned into it
[21:52] Aaron: im sure
[21:56] Lil' Jim: we need our bats to come alive
[21:56] Aaron: ya think?
[21:56] Aaron: I told Melanie during that first game
[21:56] Lil' Jim: we can't go meekly
[21:56] Aaron: that I was nervous that the Sox were blowing their entire wad
[21:56] Aaron: and low and behold...
[21:56] Lil' Jim: wake's pitching a good game so far
[21:56] Aaron: yes
[21:56] Aaron: and if you think about it
[21:57] Lil' Jim: shut up joe
[21:57] Aaron: at least 50% of the time he makes that catch on the comebacker
[21:57] Aaron: and it's double play
[21:57] Lil' Jim: uhuh
[21:57] Lil' Jim: they're not gonna win if they don't f-ing score
[21:58] Aaron: that's a good point "Tim"
[21:58] Lil' Jim: "the interesting thing about this game is you just can't win if you don't score any runs"
[21:59] Aaron: you've gotta be kidding me
[21:59] Aaron: still the 5th
[21:59] Aaron: maybe all this waiting around will get to Byrd
[22:00] Lil' Jim: maybe
[22:00] Aaron: do you think Cleveland would notice if the Sox next pitcher warmed up for 45 minutes
[22:00] Aaron: Wake should have pretended he was hurt
[22:00] Lil' Jim: "paul byrd might need to go to the triple wind up to warm up after the layoff he's had between the the fifth and sixth innings"
[22:03] Aaron: game over
[22:03] Aaron: good night
[22:04] Lil' Jim: "manny delcarmen throws the ball a lot harder than Tim Wakefield... watch for clevland hitters to throw some balls over the right field wall...
[22:04] Lil' Jim: so discouraging
[22:04] Aaron: if's f-ing cleveland for god's sake
[22:05] Aaron: they have one good pitcher
[22:05] Aaron: and a bunch of guys named "ass druple"
[22:05] Lil' Jim: delcarmen's arm is dead
[22:05] Lil' Jim: i wish we had a guy like gagne
[22:05] Aaron: get him the freak out of there
[22:05] Aaron: can we trade gagne to them for a bag of sh!t
[22:06] Lil' Jim: tim, you lost me somewhere at leadoff
[22:07] Aaron: maybe the ump could throw us a bone here and call lofton out?
[22:07] Aaron: somewhere, Selig is calling the ump union saying guys
[22:07] Lil' Jim: he was safe
[22:08] Aaron: f-ing Cleveland and Colorado in the world series?
[22:08] Aaron: i don't think so
[22:08] Aaron: FIX THIS SITUATION NOW!!!
[22:08] Aaron: (I know he was safe)
[22:08] Lil' Jim: we're making cleveland looking like the 49 Yankees
[22:08] Lil' Jim: this is f-ing CLEVELAND
[22:09] Aaron: well, we came back from 3-0 in 2004
[22:09] Aaron: you've got to be sh!tting me
[22:09] Aaron: this is getting ridiculous
[22:09] Lil' Jim: holy sh!t
[22:09] Aaron: get him the hell out of the game NOW!!!
[22:09] Lil' Jim: they have a big f-ing horseshoe up their ass
[22:11] Lil' Jim: time for me to cry
[22:11] Aaron: go pats
[22:11] Lil' Jim: yupper
[22:12] Aaron: "Well Tim, something tells me the Sox shouldn't have scored all those runs on their first night"
[22:12] Aaron: oh good, Lester's loosening
[22:12] Aaron: that's almost as comforting as hearing "Gagne's coming in in a tied game in the 11th"
[22:13] Lil' Jim: how do you think byrd's feeling
[22:13] Aaron: right about now, a little stiff
[22:14] Aaron: if they can get three this inning
[22:14] Lil' Jim: they'll give him a really short leash
[22:14] Aaron: two in the seventh and three in the 8th
[22:14] Aaron: we're all set
[22:15] Aaron: that is of course if the sox can ever get a 3rd f-ing out in this inning
[22:15] Aaron: why is Francona not taking him out of the game?
[22:15] Aaron: he hasn't gotten an out yet
[22:15] Aaron: get him OUT
[22:15] Aaron: it's Kelly Shoppach for god's sake
[22:16] Aaron: I think he's batting .045
[22:16] Aaron: throw three pitches right down the plate
[22:16] Aaron: he's only got a 1-20 shot of hitting it
[22:18] Aaron: here we go Red Sox... here we go... here we go Red Sox... here we go
[22:19] Lil' Jim: this is our countrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry
[22:19] Aaron: has john cougar watermellon cougar melloncamp released a new album in the last twenty years?
[22:19] Lil' Jim: yes
[22:20] Aaron: I think he did one in the eighties and it just keeps getting recycled
[22:20] Lil' Jim: this is ooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuur countrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry
[22:20] Aaron: for Ford commercials
[22:21] Lil' Jim: have you played with web apps with the iphone?
[22:21] Aaron: nope
[22:21] Lil' Jim: some cool stuff
[22:22] Aaron: I'm sure
[22:22] Aaron: I'll have to check it out
[22:22] Lil' Jim: http://www.apple.com/webapps/
[22:22] Lil' Jim: i was playing with it this weekend
[22:22] Aaron: there's one back
[22:22] Aaron: 1 down, 6 to go
[22:22] Lil' Jim: ok
[22:22] Aaron: and byrd looks rusty
[22:22] Aaron: all of a sudden
[22:22] Lil' Jim: let's hope it's not too little too late
[22:22] Aaron: yes
[22:22] Aaron: if they can get 3-4 this inning
[22:22] Aaron: I think we can pull it off
[22:24] Lil' Jim: paul byrd is out soon
[22:24] Aaron: two down
[22:24] Aaron: five to go
[22:24] Aaron: here we go red sox, here we go
[22:24] Lil' Jim: bingo
[22:26] Aaron: wait, don't you want to leave Byrd in for a few more batters to see if he turns it around?
[22:26] Aaron: you should really save your bullpen for tomorrow night
[22:29] Aaron: you know, I wonder if any team has ever gone "back to back to back" in the ALCS
[22:30] Lil' Jim: shut up joe
[22:30] Lil' Jim: SHUT UP
[22:30] Lil' Jim: SHHHHHHHHUT UP
[22:31] Aaron: I would honestly chip in $50 to NOT hear these guys announce this series
[22:31] Aaron: I'll bet others would to
[22:31] Aaron: maybe that could be a PR stunt/money maker for Fox
[22:31] Lil' Jim: good at bat by manny
[22:31] Aaron: shall we suggest it?
[22:31] Lil' Jim: looking for a pitch to hit
[22:31] Aaron: he is the king of 0-2 to 3-2 counts
[22:31] Aaron: I'll bet he leads the league in that category
[22:32] Lil' Jim: is that his pocket hanging out? only manny
[22:32] Aaron: of course
[22:32] Aaron: so there goes ALCS history
[22:33] Aaron: let's see, what did I say?
[22:33] Lil' Jim: what was tek doing there
[22:33] Aaron: if the sox get 3 in this inning
[22:33] Aaron: 2 in the 7th
[22:33] Aaron: and three in the 8th?
[22:33] Lil' Jim: BACK TO BACK TO BACK
[22:33] Aaron: kind of wishing that delcarmen hadn't given up that 3 run homer right now
[22:34] Lil' Jim: right
[22:34] Lil' Jim: well... would be a great comeback
[22:34] Lil' Jim: speaking of a back breaker
[22:34] Aaron: yes
[22:35] Aaron: i like their referencing of that four consecutive HR game against the Yanks
[22:35] Aaron: Tim and chums must have just received the call from Selig
[22:36] Aaron: "Gents, if Cleveland wins this series, you're all fired"
[22:36] Aaron: Tim - shut the "f" up
[22:36] Lil' Jim: is it just the sixth?
[22:36] Aaron: Varitek is easily twice as good a defensive player as Mirabelli
[22:36] Aaron: yup
[22:36] Lil' Jim: right
[22:37] Lil' Jim: TIM - SHUT UP
[22:40] Lil' Jim: Lester
[22:40] Lil' Jim: heaven help us
[22:40] Aaron: no kidding
[22:40] Aaron: at least it's a clean inning
[22:41] Aaron: he hasn't thrown four straight balls
[22:41] Aaron: that's the upside
[22:43] Aaron: oops, spoke too soon
[22:43] Aaron: wow -- that last sentence had 7 "o's" in it
[22:50] Aaron: okay
[22:50] Aaron: all we need is two here
[22:54] Aaron: here we go!
[22:55] Lil' Jim: ok
[22:55] Aaron: oh good, I thought you had gone to bed
[22:57] Lil' Jim: nice twin killing
[22:58] Aaron: you've got to be kidding me with that catch
[23:07] Aaron: "kenny, when the ball goes down the middle of the plate and you have two strikes on you, it's a good idea to swing"
[23:07] Lil' Jim: lol
[23:08] Aaron: where was lester in the 5th?
[23:08] Lil' Jim: i have to keep you minimized because you're like 15 secs ahead of me
[23:08] Lil' Jim: this guy iritates me
[23:09] Aaron: which guy? remember, you're two games behind me
[23:09] Lil' Jim: the iphone guy
[23:09] Aaron: oh yeah
[23:10] Lil' Jim: " i needed a bag to carry them all around"
[23:10] Lil' Jim: don't be a f-ing loser
[23:10] Aaron: btw, ortiz and manny just went back to back
[23:10] Lil' Jim: get a phone - use it - if you need a new one - get one
[23:10] Lil' Jim: and you are now... minimized
[23:11] Lil' Jim: now or never man
[23:11] Aaron: yup
[23:14] Aaron: do we get points for pop ups?
[23:16] Lil' Jim: yeah
[23:16] Lil' Jim: selig's keeping track
[23:17] Lil' Jim: each one is a bullet in the umps if the sox lose the series
[23:18] Aaron: yup
[23:18] Aaron: the announcers have already started trying way too hard to tempt fate
[23:19] Aaron: they've mentioned 2004 three times
[23:34] Aaron: of course
[23:34] Aaron: how fitting
[23:34] Aaron: good night and good luck
[23:36] Lil' Jim: gnight

Monday, October 15, 2007

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Death and Taxes

So imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to find out that the Sox won in walk off fashion last night to go up 2-0 on the Halos. I stayed up a late as I could (11:40) but decided to record innings 8-9 on my DVR. Of course I was wide awake at 5:45 this morning so I got up to watch the rest of the game. Wow!

This dramatic win (thank you Danny Vinik for taking the ball away from Anaheim catcher, Jeff Mathis) combined with the Yanks equally dramatic -- and buggy -- loss last night, got me to thinking about the big picture. I've always been told that there are two certainties in life, death and taxes. I think we can now add two more:
  1. Red Sox always beat the Angels in the ALDS. My buddies (yes, that's you Lil' Jim) keep giving me a hard time about being over confident before the deal is done. I don't care. We've seen enough historical data to make this assertion. Sox will fly home from Anaheim/Los Angeles/Long Beach with the series in hand.

  2. ARod continues to play the role of "cooler" in the playoffs. I don't care that he batted .900 this year, hit 650 HRs and knocked in 2,000 RBI during the regular season - come playoff time, he becomes a different player. So far, he is 0-6 in this year's ALDS, part of a 28 at bat hitless streak in the playoffs.

    There was talk earlier about Boston signing him if he opts out of his contract. The Sox under NO circumstances should do this, not even if he agrees to come and play for free.
If we had Tim Wakefield or Jon Lester going in game three, I might not be so sure about a Sox sweep. But for all his blow-hardedness, Schilling is a big game pitcher, especially after his boy Beckett pitched lights out in game one. Plus, the Angels have to be feeling a little demoralized after their eighth straight post-season loss to the Sox. It's not like bringing Lackey back on three days rest is going to solve the problem either. For as good as that guy has been this season, he's been horrendous against Boston.

This might be sound like heresy because I dislike the Yanks as much as anyone but I wouldn't mind seeing the Bronx Bombers win a game or two just to make things tense for both teams. Even better would be to have three more extra inning games with the Tribe winning a dramatic game 5 16 inning victory. Ideally, Fausto Carmona will have to come in to pitch 5 of those innings and won't be able to pitch until game four of the ALCS>

Are you ready for some football?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cahhhhhhhhstanza!

I take it all back.


BTW, some smart guy got quoted in this article.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Redemption!

Magic number is now zero. The playoff matchups are set (I'm not so secretly relieved to be playing Anaheim vs. Cleveland in the first round).

One picture sums it up...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Three Reasons Why the Sox Needed this Win

The Sox win over Tampa Bay tonight was a big one. A REALLY big one. Below are three reasons we needed this win more than any other win this season:
  1. They clinched a playoff spot. Yes, nobody in Red Sox Nation will be happy with anything short of the AL East title but at a minimum, we're in the playoffs. The magic number to clinch the east is now 6.
  2. The Sox stay 2 1/2 ahead of the Yanks who pulled one out of their ass in a slugfest against the pesky Blue Jays. I was praying for another 14 inning heartbreaker for the Yanks but what can you do. At least it happened last night.
  3. The Sox still have the best record in baseball. Maintaining this status will make the Sox job of getting back to the fall classic immeasurably easier.
Two other reasons why this game was much needed:
  1. This was a come from behind win. These types of wins have been few and far between this season. It's really too bad that Javier Lopez had to blow this game for Dice K who pitched a great game tonight (two good starts in a row now.)
  2. Gagne and Papelbon looked "Gagne" and "Papelbon-esque". Even better, Jacoby Ellsbury continues his otherworldly hitting. Varitek finally has a big game (including a game tying HR in the 9th) and even JD Drew chipped in with his bat.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring but history says that Wake pitches well in TB. His last outing was okay so maybe tomorrow he can turn things around. At least for tonight, we can feel a little bit good about our home time boys.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

September Swoon? Who Cares

Although the Sox don't WANT to lose the American League East to the Yanquis, it may not matter. There's a recent track record of teams (check out who wont the World Series last year) of teams that don't do well in September yet succeed in October. See what Tom Caron of NESN has to say about this matter...

Ouch.

4 thoughts that I could not get out of my head during the Gagne filth of last night:

1. He sucks, I hate him. Why was I excited for 3 days fro when I heard the sox were signing him until he actually pitched this summer? Tito, sit his ass on the bench and don't bring him into any games unless we have a double digit lead.

2. I have the worst fantasy football team on Earth. And it drives me insane. And I made it even worse by listening to people say that Alex Smith will have a big year. No, he won't. And I put Jake Delhomme on waivers to pick Smith up. I am dumb. My team was bad enough as it is.

3. When Manny is ready to come back (now please). JD Drew should be on the bench too. Ramirez, Crisp, and Ellsbury should be our outfield. Every game. I don't care. They are good. Drew sucks.

4. Ouch. Unless I am going to play professional football or hockey I should not be deadlifting in the gym. I can't get out of this chair on my own. Everything hurts in my body (and my mind now that the sox are going to be fighting for the wild card - and I can't even look forward to my fantasy football team).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Axe to Grind

Am I the only one that's more than a little annoyed with the bull shit that's coming out of New Jersey these days? Let's get one thing clear -- I'm not a Patriot's apologist. Belichick and the Pats cheated, they got caught, they got punished, story over. But that's not good enough for Eric Mangina. He wants more trouble to come the Patriots way.

Let me throw a few simple facts on the table. The Jets got crushed by the Pats in week one. Jarvis Green alone sacked Chad Pennington three times, eventually knocking Pennington out of the game. The Jets got crushed last week by Balitmore. The score said 20-13 but it wasn't that close. It was 20-3 up until the fourth quarter.

So maybe the Pats had an advantage in week one against the Jets because they cheated (although I doubt it). In week two after getting severely punished by the NFL ($750k in penalties and likely the loss of a first round pick), there is no chance the Pats are still cheating in week two. What do they do? They come out and absolutely demolish San Diego, the team that many experts picked as third best in the league, 38-14 (and it wasn't that close.)

Honestly, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to look at the Pats and realize that they are so loaded with talent and heart, they are head and shoulders better than anyone in the league with the exception of maybe the Colts. It was stupid of them to even think about cheating given that fact but they did. But they got caught and paid the price.

Here's where the real rub is. Didn't Eric Mangini used to work for Belichick? That's right, as his defensive coordinator if I'm not mistaken. So how did he know about the Pats illegally taping his signals on defense. Did he divine it? Or is there a chance that he may have participated in a little taping himself when he was with the Pats?

What I can guarantee you is that Mangini is finished in this league. His team is going 7-9 this season. They'll go 5-11 next season and he'll get fired. After that, he'll be lucky if he gets a job as a Pop Warner coach. There's an unwritten rule in football (and any pro sport for that matter) that you don't tattle on other coaches, especially when there's no heat on you to do so. Mangini broke ranks and not only snitched on his former boss once but now is pushing the issue and claiming that the Pats were also illegally communicating with their defensive players by sending in signals into electronic ear pieces in week one.

Enough is enough. To make it worse, you get jerks like Chris Collinsworth (this guy really played football?) saying that the Pats should forfeit their next game against the Jets and a playoff game if they make the playoffs. Really Chris? Really? Maybe we should tar and feather Belichick and then hang him in Copley Square. He cheated, it was stupid, he and the Patriots were punished, let's move on.

Would you want to be the Buffalo Bills next week? Didn't think so.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Walk Off

Wow. We needed that one. How long has it been since Papi came to the plate in the 9th with the tying run on first base this season and actually driven in the winning run? Yes, we were spoiled last season. And yes, Papi has hit some clutch hits this season. But it seems like he had so many of those games last year.

It would have been a real shame to piss this one away considering the fact that the D-Rays scored all their runs in the 1st inning. They also needed this one to give them a little cushion going into the series with NY this weekend.

The player of the game? Yes, Papi was the king but Julian Tavarez was a close second. Go Sox!

Simply Amazin'

Wow, what a range of emotions last night's game brought. When I looked at the score on my iPhone, it was already 5-1, TB, and Wakefield was getting pulled from the game. Next thing I knew, it was 9-6, TB, and at this point, I decided to flip the game on. It didn't take much longer for the Tampa Bay bullpen to complete its implosion.

What amazes me is how a crappy Tampa Bay team can hold one of the most potent offenses in the league to no runs the night before in a 1-0 loss, only to give up 20 hits and 16 runs the following night. The silver lining is the fact that Schilling looked sharp in spite of taking the loss. The Sox bullpen also held their ground.

Two other pieces of good news. Ellsbury hit his 3rd HR of the season and extended his hitting streak to 11 games last night. The magic number is also 12 (a number which could be cut in half with a sweep this weekend).

I can't say as though I feel completely confident about the Sox playoff run given their hitting and pitching inconsistencies but we're in a hell of a lot better situation this year then we were last year at this point of the season. This weekend will tell us a lot about what the Sox are made of. Bring on the Bombers!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

1 of 3?

I'm going to go back to my comment, way back when, at the beginning of the season when we were just edging towards a double digit lead in the division. At the time, I think I said something like, 'it doesn't feel like the Sox are that good.' Well it doesn't. And they aren't. They have good pitching. But they still just can't put a good offensive game together against any decent pitching.

Last night was brutal watching an ancient Clemens throw that many walks but still carry a no-no into the 6th inning. Papi's dinger brought welcome relief, and it simply seemed unbelievable that JD Drew actually got a hit. Of course his next at bat when he could have plated the tying run he flailed at a slider, looking as pathetic as he did the night before.

So continuing a theme...we need some offense! Hopefully the answers are down on the farm and our 25 man roster looks slightly different going into the post-season when rosters contract again.

Seems crazy that I was calling for a Red Sox sweep three days ago. Now I just hope that we can limp out of the Bronx with at least one win.

Here's looking at you Schilling.

Cheers,
-JS

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Deja Vu All Over Again

Cross-posted on dicenation.com

Last night's loss to the Yankees was tough to stomach. Although it wasn't quite a gut punch game, it was definitely frustrating. Yes, the Sox are still 7 games up in the AL East -- a lead they will maintain with a win tonight or tomorrow -- but this game dredged up bad memories of past Yankee dominance.

To me, this game was reminiscent of 2003. Good starting pitching from both sides. A sprinkling of home runs shifting the balance of the game back and forth. A crushing blow in the 7th inning (in this case, a 2 run HR by Damon) and then a lights out performance by the Yank's pen. It's been a while since anyone not named Mariano Rivera (and even he has been shaky at times) has instilled fear into the hearts of batters in the bigs.

I've gotta tell you, new guy, Joba Chamberlain, can bring it. I was a little skeptical when I first heard that the Yanks were trading one of their arms (Proctor), for a bat (Betimet) with the assumption that Chamberlain would fill the void in the already leaky bullpen. Memories of Craig Hanson replacing dart throwing closer, Keith Foulke, came to mind. The kid has been darn good though and has brought an element of stability to the Yanks staff.

One has to feel for the Yankees fans just a little. Now I know that the season's not over and that the Yanks very well could be the entrant for the AL Wild Card, but they seem to be doing too little too late. After a serious ass kicking at the hands of Detroit (hello 16-0), they come back and play some serious baseball against the league leading Sox. If they had done a little more of that before the All Star break, the Sox would be in some serious poop right now.

With that said, I like the Sox odds tonight with the young Texan, Beckett, matching up against his idol and fellow Texan, Clemens. Clemens still has game left in him but I don't see him overpowering the Sox tonight. Having Manny out of the lineup tonight will hurt but with the way Papi, Lowell, Pedroia, Crisp and Lugo have been swinging the bats, we should be fine.

One can't help but wonder, however, if the Sox can stand to wait two more days for September call ups before promoting rookie phenom, Jacoby Ellsbury, to provide some pop in the outfield. Boston.com just reported that neither Manny nor Bobby Kielty will be available tonight so Lugo is the emergency 4th outfielder (ouch). On that happy note, go Sox!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Time to Sweep out The Yankees

OK. After last night's 16-0 loss to the Tigers in which we saw Mike Mussina's 3rd(?) bad loss in a row, I think it's finally, finally, time to put the Yankees to bed. It did get scary there for awhile. Less so, because of how close it got in the standings, but more around the fact that they were playing great and the Sox were just plodding along. Coming off a glorious four game sweep of the White Sox, granted they suck, where the Good Sox scored 46 runs, our guys have to be feeling pretty confident...and the Yanks must be feeling like John Daly waking up with a new wife after a hard bender.

So, in order for the Spankees to have any hope of getting back into the division race, hah, they need to sweep. If they win 2 of 3 this series, it's a loss for them. One game is not enough. On the other hand if the Red Sox win 2 of 3 the Spanks can probably start booking their October tee times, as they will have lost 8 of their last 10 games.

Now I don't want to jinx it, (knock, knock) but I think we might be in for a treat in which the Red Sox get some revenge for the Boston Massacre of last year, and sweep the Yankees right out their home park. Baseball gods please don't get angry, but there it is. Just like we needed the pain of '03 to make '04 happen, I think the pain of '06 will help to make '07 glorious.

Here's looking forward to a great series in which the Red Sox can finally claim the division.

Cheers,
-JS

Saturday, August 25, 2007

It Starts with Nos. 4 and 5

Let me start by saying that the Sox magic number is 26. If they can take two out of three from the Yanks starting on Tuesday, it's game over (officially this time.)

I do find it amusing that I live in a town where the baseball team owns the best record in the majors, is second in the majors in ERA, 8th in defense, 4th in runs scored and 6 1/2 up on the second place team in the division yet you hear nothing but doom and gloom on the radio. C'mon guys, really? I know it's been tough losing hold of a seemingly insurmountable 14 1/2 game lead (reminiscent of 1978, I know) but it hasn't been like the Sox have been stinking out the joint.

Let's hope that yesterday's twin-killing combined with today's massacre of the hapless ChiSox (35 runs scored in three games) is the start of a resurgence of the Sox bats. We know that Papi has been coming on strong. He's been lights out the last couple of weeks. Lugo and Crisp have finally turned things around. Lowell has continued to be Lowell of 2003 hitting for both power and average. Pedroia is rookie of the year material and Youkilis is finally showing signs of coming out of his two month slump.

So back to the title of this post... The thing I've been most impressed with this season (and a major but often uncited reason for the Sox's success this season) is the production from their 4th and 5th pitchers. During the last few years, the no. 5 in particular was a killer. Last year they marched out a dozen options in the five slot -- Snyder, Tavarez, Hansack, Dinardo, Johnson, Lester, etc. -- with very little success. Lester offered the most stability in that slot but that was short-lived after his diagnosis with cancer.

This year, the Sox have had much better production out of the 4th spot -- Wake has 16 "league leading" wins and has been mostly untouchable -- and that's led to less stress on the bullpen. The 5th slot hasn't been quite as reliable as Wake but it's done pretty darn good. Tavarez (see my earlier post, Julian Rising) has been a better than serviceable fifth starter. Lester has been good, not great. One might argue that 9-10 isn't exactly something to jump up and down about but given the fact that many of those starters by the no. 5 pitcher have been quality (or at least 5+ innings) has been a godsend. It's one of the reasons that the Sox bullpen has been near the tops in the majors this year.

A few other random notes to mention:

  • * When I saw the score of the Rangers and O's game the other night, 30-3 with our own, Kason Gabbard (6-1) getting the win, I thought it was a misprint. I thought to myself, that's got to be some sort of a record. Well, in fact it was the most runs scored in an MLB game since 1940. Pretty amazing.

  • * Think Doug Mirabelli has polished off his resume yet? Cash has looked pretty darn respectable in catching two of Wakie's games so far. Oh yeah, he may not hit much but he's got the same average as Mirabelli, makes 50% what he does and he's 7 years younger.

  • * Amazing how much more polished the Pats looked in their third game last night. Supposedly, this is the one that counts the most in the pre-season as the starters traditionally don't play more than a few downs in the final exhibition. Barring any injuries, the defense is going to be ruthless this year.

Big series between the Sox and the Yankees next week. To be honest, I'd love to see the Sox win every game 1-0 just to tweak the Yankees noses. Probably won't happen. In fact, if I were a betting man, I'd say the games are going to go 4-2, 7-5, and 2-1. My money is on the Sox winning the first and last games.

Anyone miss Wily Mo yet?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Going Elvis

It is the top of the 6th inning and in honor the upcoming anniversary of the King's death, I am thinking of going Elvis on my computer screen. Hide the freaking shotgun, cause this is one frustrating game.

Pitching and Defense

This has been cross-posted on sister site - http://dicenation.com

Pitching and defense wins games. At least that's what they say when it comes playoff time in Major League Baseball. There are two reasons why I agree with that theory:

  1. Anyone that has ever tried to hit a ball in 50 degree weather (the average nighttime temperature in late September/early October) can tell you that it's not a pleasant feeling. It's essential that you hit the ball with the meat of the bat. Anything below that and your hands sting for hours afterward.
  2. By the time you've played a 162 game season, players are tired. Most batters have 400-500 plate appearances which translates into somewhere between 1,500-2,000 "rip your arms out of your sockets" swings for many big leaguers. Granted, pitchers grind through the same 162 games but in most cases, starting pitchers have only pitched 35-40 times at an average of 6-7 innings/game.
Why I'm harping on this age old concept of "pitching and defense?" is because it's exactly the thing that will win the Red Sox their 2nd World Series in three years. It's also the reason I am not worried about the Yankees unbelievable post-All Star break push where the Bronx Bombers have won 24 of their last 33 (25 if you count the delayed game they won against the O's).

I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't impressed by what the Yanks have done over the last month. I'd also be lying if I didn't tell you that I've kept a closer eye on the out-of-town scoreboard every night. But at the end of the day, the Sox are just too good to blow this lead. Put it this way. The Sox have been playing just slightly better than .500 ball since June and yet they still maintain the best record in baseball and are five games better than the second place Yanks.

Two things that support the "pitching and defense" theory. For one, the Yankees offense has averaged just a hair over 7 runs/game during their last 33 games. However, they've also given up an average of 4.9 runs/game in that same stretch including losses to bottom dwellers Baltimore ( 0-12), Toronto (4-15), Chicago (9-13) and Tampa Bay (4-14.)

If you look at the ERAs of the projected playoff teams in the AL -- Sox (3.77), Angels (4.09), Detroit (4.65) and potentially Seattle (4.61) -- the Yanks, on paper at least, don't win many games against these teams. Given the Yankees upcoming schedule (3 with LA, 8 with Detroit, 3 with Boston and 3 with the Sox), we can see if this theory holds true.

The second item that supports the theory of "pitching and defense" leading to victory for the Sox is the law of averages. If the Red Sox own the 2nd best ERA in MLB (1st in the AL) while the Yankees are 14th overall (7th in the AL), the 6th best fielding percentage in MLB (3rd in the AL) and 4th best offense in the MLB (3rd in the AL -- NY is first overall in MLB), this says that the Red Sox have to hang on to their lead over the next 43 games.

There is still a lot of baseball to be played before the fat lady sings but you have to like the Sox chances. A lot of apologists (myself included) have tried to argue that the upcoming schedule for the Sox and Yanks will level the playing field a bit. At the end of the day though, it's about execution. The Sox have it where it counts -- the Yanks don't.

See you in October!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Rambling Chat Session: Red Sox vs Angels (8/8/07)

A late night IM dialogue during last night's Sox/Angels game between Adawg and Jim last night...

Session Start Wed Aug 08 22:37:03 2007

[22:42] Jim: lester's getting roughed up
[22:43] Aaron | 4777: yes
[22:43] Aaron | 4777: I'm very [beep]ing frustrated
[22:43] Aaron | 4777: with the Sox right now
[22:43] Jim: but the yankees got killed
[22:43] Aaron | 4777: thank goodness the Yanks got their dicks knocked in the dirt
[22:43] Aaron | 4777: ha
[22:56] Jim: is it me or does this game feel like water torture?
[22:56] Aaron | 4777: yes
[22:57] Aaron | 4777: i think lester has already thrown 120 pitches
[22:57] Jim: like the angels are just going to stand there and kick us in the shins all night
[22:57] Aaron | 4777: yup
[23:05] Aaron | 4777: Lester's thinking -- phew, at least I didn't cool off after my 200 pitch 2nd inning...
[23:06] Jim: ha
[23:12] Aaron | 4777: only 50 pitches that inning
[23:12] Aaron | 4777: we're making progress
[23:12] Jim : right... he's up to 245 and counting
[23:13] Aaron | 4777: btw, bob ryan is such a NY putz it makes me sick
[23:14] Jim: def leppard, styx and foreignor at the tweeter ctr... i'm there
[23:14] Aaron | 4777: but of course!
[23:14] Jim: if only motley crue was there too... i'd wear my leopard skin spandex
[23:14] Aaron | 4777: someone forgot to tell Pedroia
[23:15] Aaron | 4777: that he's supposed to be on a "hitting" strike
[23:15] Aaron | 4777: no hits this series!!!
[23:15] Aaron | 4777: anyone hits, they get sent back to the minors
[23:15] Jim Storer: gotta love the let's go red sox chant
[23:15] Aaron | 4777: maybe he can get picked off at first like Lugo
[23:15] Aaron | 4777: no kidding
[23:15] Aaron | 4777: if the Angels weren't kicking their ass
[23:15] Aaron | 4777: I'd be a pissed off fan
[23:16] Aaron | 4777: (speaking for Angels fans that is)
[23:16] Aaron | 4777: wow!
[23:16] Aaron | 4777: I smell DP!!!
[23:16] Jim: is it me or does this pitcher look like a young dan shaugnessy?
[23:16] Aaron | 4777: yes
[23:16] Aaron | 4777: and that's not a compliment
[23:16] Jim: c'mon - give me a close up
[23:17] Aaron | 4777: [bleep]
[23:17] Aaron | 4777: that would have been nice if it was a HR
[23:17] Jim: shut the
[bleep] up!
[23:17] Jim: he just doubled in two runs...
[23:17] Aaron | 4777: oh, I'm not complaining
[23:17] Aaron | 4777: just saying, when he first hit it
[23:18] Aaron | 4777: it looked like a HR
[23:18] Jim: "i wish i had the 40 oz sirloin... this ones only 32 oz"
[23:18] Aaron | 4777: I'm not ungrateful
[23:18] Jim: maybe it is shaughnessy?
[23:18] Aaron | 4777: maybe
[23:18] Jim: talk about the curse of the bambino
[23:18] Aaron | 4777: I wouldn't put it past him
[23:18] Aaron | 4777: same curly hair and weak chin
[23:19] Aaron | 4777: Mike Sciosia is such a fat-headed punk
[23:19] Aaron | 4777: if he wasn't a UMass boy
[23:19] Jim: not that there's anything wrong with that
[23:19] Aaron | 4777: I would really dislike him
[23:19] Aaron | 4777: Yeah kane!
[23:19] Aaron | 4777: what's up tie!
[23:19] Jim: i love JD Drew!
[23:19] Jim: he's awesome
[23:20] Aaron | 4777: wait
[23:20] Jim: let's hear some more "let's go red sox"
[23:20] Aaron | 4777: Junior Gong just wrote a Big P post
[23:20] Aaron | 4777: about how JD should get MVP consideration
[23:20] Aaron | 4777: what?
[23:20] Jim: lol
[23:20] Aaron | 4777: okay -- a HR hear and I can go to bed
[23:20] Aaron | 4777: sorry "here"
[23:22] Aaron | 4777: yes!!!!
[23:23] Aaron | 4777: what's up Shaugnessy
[23:23] Aaron | 4777: the wheels are starting to wobble a little
[23:23] Jim: that's definitely DS
[23:23] Aaron | 4777: yes
[23:23] Jim: you can't go to bed with this
[bleep] going on
[23:24] Jim: way to go 'Cap
[23:24] Aaron | 4777: atta boy
[23:25] Jim: now it's time for some wily mo power
[23:25] Jim: exactly
[23:25] Aaron | 4777: waivers
[23:25] Jim: nicely done f-ing first pitch willy
[23:25] Jim: what's your middle name... nomar?
[23:25] Aaron | 4777: make sure you help out the struggling pitcher
[23:26] Aaron | 4777: there's a reason why those bottom feeders are batting 8 and 9
[23:26] Jim: we have a good end of the order
[23:26] Aaron | 4777:
[bleep], let's go without the DH and let Lester hit
[23:26] Aaron | 4777: he can't do any worse than those two dildos
[23:26] Jim: lol
[23:29] Aaron | 4777: finally, Lester finds his mojo
[23:29] Aaron | 4777: just as he hits the 100 pitch mark
[23:30] Jim: let's see if we can hold a lead for an out or two
[23:31] Aaron | 4777: would be nice

[23:40] Aaron | 4777: nothing like the ump sweating the struggling pitcher with non-calls on close pitches
[23:40] Aaron | 4777: it pisses me off when they do that
[bleep]
[23:40] Jim: taking lester out after 198 pitches
[23:40] Jim: good call
[23:46] Jim: nice
[23:46] Aaron | 4777: very
[23:49] Jim: wtf????
[23:49] Jim:
http://tinyurl.com/yu5fh2 (reference to the news that Reggie Miller potentially joining the Celts)
[23:50] Aaron | 4777: yup
[23:50] Aaron | 4777: heard that on EEI on the way home from work
[23:50] Aaron | 4777: not a bad pickup if you ask me
[23:50] Jim: i still want them to go after CWeb
[23:50] Aaron | 4777: he's had two years to rest his legs
[23:50] Aaron | 4777: yup
[23:50] Aaron | 4777: don't be surprised if they do both
[23:50] Jim: cweb would really fit in nicely
[23:51] Aaron | 4777: they are playing with "house" money right now
[23:51] Aaron | 4777: that's what I love about lugo
[23:52] Jim: did you see him get out of the box?
[23:52] Jim: he took like 20 little baby steps to get moving
[23:53] Jim: memo to pedroia: show moss how a little guys hits the ball
[23:53] Aaron | 4777: no
[bleep]
[23:54] Aaron | 4777: awwwww....
[23:54] Aaron | 4777: too bad
[23:55] Jim: youk should bunt
[23:58] Jim: wait... DS is still in there?
[23:58] Aaron | 4777: yes he is
[23:58] Aaron | 4777: Mike Scioscia is trying to throw us a bone
[23:58] Jim: how you like them apples scioscia
[23:58] Aaron | 4777: exactly
[23:58] Aaron | 4777: I got her numbah
[23:59] Aaron | 4777: tie game at least
[23:59] Aaron | 4777: and runner at 3rd with one out
[23:59] Aaron | 4777: this game is going to go on until 5:30 in the AM
[00:00] Aaron | 4777: $20 says many hits one out right here
[00:00] Jim: don't pitch inside to manny
[00:00] Aaron | 4777: oh, that was his pitch
[00:00] Jim: that was the pitch right there
[00:01] Aaron | 4777: now he'll work the count full
[00:01] Jim: right
[00:01] Aaron | 4777: and either walk or hit a HR
[00:01] Aaron | 4777: or fly out weekly to RF
[00:01] Jim: how do they know which water is their's on the bench?
[00:02] Aaron | 4777: i think they don't
[00:02] Aaron | 4777: which is why when one guy gets sick
[00:02] Aaron | 4777: they all get sick
[00:02] Aaron | 4777: wasn't darren oliver on the sox back in the early 80's?
[00:03] Jim: i think yes
[00:03] Aaron | 4777: he's gotta be at least 50
[00:03] Aaron | 4777: JD looks pissed off
[00:03] Jim: i think he's got his groove back
[00:03] Aaron | 4777: let's hope
[00:04] Aaron | 4777: can you believe that Detroit lost to Tampon Bay 8-1?
[00:04] Aaron | 4777: I guess they spent their wad on beating the Sox before the all star break
[00:04] Aaron | 4777: 'cause they've played .500 ball since then
[00:05] Jim: yeah
[00:05] Jim: i was going to comment on that
[00:05] Jim: bedtime soon
[00:05] Aaron | 4777: yup
[00:05] Jim: let's get a lead
[00:05] Aaron | 4777: I'm in the same boat -- just hoping the Sox could score two here
[00:06] Aaron | 4777: or three
[00:06] Jim: i'm just looking for the salisbury steak... one run
[00:06] Aaron | 4777: I'll take one
[00:06] Aaron | 4777: but three would be nice too
[00:07] Aaron | 4777: there you go Salisbury
[00:07] Aaron | 4777: now Varitek will hit into a DP
[00:07] Jim: a little gravy
[00:07] Jim: nice
[00:07] Aaron | 4777: even though there are two out
[00:07] Aaron | 4777: outs
[00:07] Aaron | 4777: let's see if Oliver comes out in a wheel chair
[00:07] Aaron | 4777: that dude is old
[00:07] Aaron | 4777: I hate this ad btw
[00:07] Jim: remember the baseball club car
[00:07] Aaron | 4777: yes
[00:08] Aaron | 4777: the WB mason ads are worse than the Jordan's and Bob's furniture ads
[00:08] Aaron | 4777: I doubt it!...
[00:09] Aaron | 4777: we should post an edited version of this dialogue on Big P tomorrow
[00:09] Jim: yup


Obviously we didn't stay up for the whole game (the Sox won!) but we hung in there through 6 tough innings

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Big names, very big names, and at the right time?

Boston is a sports town, we all know that. But I feel like I have died and gone to heaven in the last couple of weeks. We're turning into the sports town... And it's exciting. Granted the sox are slumping a bit - a 5 game lead in the AL east isn't comfortable, certainly not like the 12 that it was, or the 8. But they are still the team to beat in baseball. The Bruins are, well, the Bruins. BUT.. Wow, now the Celtics and Patriots have made some serious moves. We're stacked.

I can't think of a reason that we aren't going to see at least one, possibly 3, of our teams playing for championships. I admit that the NBA championship might be asking a bit much. But to Adawg's point, if Lebron James can get to the game single-handedly, there's no reason a healthy 3 superstars can't run through the East. You have to think that the Sox bats will get hot again, and certainly it's better to be in the fall than summer. Their pitching is on point, and stacked. Adding Gagne isn't exactly hurting their rotation. And the Patriots.. a dynasty that could have won 5 of the last 6 super bowls, have more than made up for a few crucial dropped passes. At least on paper.

The last 10 or so years I can remember a flow of big names moving into town, yet it seemed to always be a few years late. Like it was some sot of trap to sell a few jerseys around town before these guys retired. I can't understand why else these veterans were brought in. See: Jose Canseco, Rod Beck (RIP), Andre Dawson, Dominique Wilkins, Brian Leetch, Gary Payton (he could be a stretch here), to name a few. Thanksfully the Patriots have done well at not falling into this phenomenon. But then again, they sucked for the most part until the new millenimum.

Pulling some names from our modern day rosters we can see names like: Tom Brady, Josh Beckett, Paul Pierce, Curt Schilling, David Ortiz, Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth, Manny Ramirez, Ray Allen, Junior Seau, Adalius Thomas, Richard Seymour, Kevin Garnett!

Not that they are all Hall of Famers, but most will be. Wow. What's next?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Friday Musings (late edition) August 3

Yes, this edition of "Friday Musings" is a few days late. I had the best of intentions of posting last Friday but life got in the way. So enough with the excuses and on with the post...

  • * Who is excited to see Manny Ramirez join the 500 HR club this season? I'm pretty sure he's going to do it. Right now, he's 11 HRs short of the major milestone. According to his season stats, he's hitting a home run every 20+ at bats. However, he's sped that pace up to a HR every 11+ at bats since the All Star game. My money says that he reaches the mark in the last series of the season against Minnesota (home.) You might want to buy your tickets now...

  • * Have you seen this picture yet? According to my friend JonS who writes for this blog, we got scooped by barstool.com. I wouldn't have if I had gotten my act together and published this post on Friday. Either way seeing Big Papelbon and Mike Lowell drinking some pops is pretty humerous. I wonder what those two talk about. Props to Cogslice for scoring this gem.

  • * I'm still a little floored by the number of people that are giving Ainge crap for trading Jefferson et al. for Garnett. While I'll admit that I'd like to see a little more of a supporting cast beyond the new big three (the Celts did sign Scot Pollard today), any GM would be lying if they said that they looked forward to playing the green this year. BTW, didn't LeBron single-handedly take the Cavs to the finals last year? I agree that he's an elite player but I'm not sure he's that much better than Kevin Garnett.

  • * So Barry finally broke the record tonight. Yippee! Now we can all get on with our lives.

  • * If you haven't seen the movie Borat yet, you're missing out on one of the best crafted pieces of comedy this century has to offer. Is it crass? Oh yeah. Would it make your grandmother blush? Most definitely. But does it bring you to the brink of wetting your pants repeatedly? Absolutely. As an add-on, if you have seen the movie but haven't seen Sasha Baron Cohen's appearance on Regis and Kelly you've got watch it now. In particular, pay attention to the reference to Kazakh's pop star, Corky Buchev. I laugh out loud every time I see it.

  • * Sitting here watching the Sox step all over their dicks against Anaheim. They go ahead 1-0 in the first and then allow Anaheim to score two for the early lead. Then Dougie M. hits a laser over the left-field wall with a man on to make it 4-2. Then the wheels fell off and Wake gives up five runs in the 5th. The Sox come right back and put the lead off man (Lowell) on. Instead of having men on 2nd and 3rd with no outs, Lowell tries to score from first and gets thrown out at the dish. Inevitably, the next two batters ground out -- rally over. WTF?
I don't see any good coming from me staying up to watch the rest of tonight's game (it's already 12:08). If the Sox pull off a victory, great. If not, the Yanks will be 5 games back. No pressure.

IMPORTANT POST SCRIPT -- My boy JonS sent me this link from Boston.com that made me feel a little better (and reiterated my stance over the last few posts)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Musings, July 27

It's Friday and we're gearing up for a hot weekend and a sweep of the D-rays. I know that this is going to crush the readers of this blog but no talk about Michael Vick, Tim Donaghy or Barry Bonds today...

  • *A co-worker of mine has been giving me shit recently about the Sox/Yankees (he's a Mets fan so his dislike of the Yanks is not far behind mine). Every day he comes into work and asks me if I'm nervous. My answer is of course "no" but yesterday I put my money where my mouth was. I said "Derek, if the Yankees play .800 ball the rest of the season, I'll walk up and down the hall at work in my underwear."

    Yes, the Yanks are currently 7 1/2 behind the Sox and were only 6 1/2 as recently as yesterday. However, the odds of them continuing their torrid pace down the stretch just isn't in their favor. They've got a crappy bullpen, average defense and several talented pitchers that are a tweaked hammy away from landing on the 15 day DL. The Sox meanwhile have shown that they have superior pitching and apparently their bats have started to follow suit. It's not happening and that's that.

  • * How can Dustin Pedroia not be your favorite Red Sox player? The guy is a dirt dog, he seems to get to every ball hit within 50 feet of him, he makes impossible throws... oh yeah, since May, he's also been one of the best and most consistent hitters on the team. Now I know why Theo was able to sleep peacefully after not resigning Mark Loretta.

  • * I'm I the only one that yells at my radio on my morning commute to work? Against my better judgment, I've been tuning in to WEEI to hear John Dennis et al. talk some serious smack recently. This morning, JD was talking about the possibility of the Pats getting off to a slow start due to Brady needing to get used to the new receivers. WHAT? Okay, I know they do have a slew of new receivers but last time I checked, Reche Caldwell, Ben Watson (a receiver posing as a tight end), Chad Jackson, Jabar Gaffney and Troy Brown all played for the Pats last year. Did they get cut and someone forgot to announce it?

  • * Going to see the Police tomorrow night at Fenway. Should be another great show in a string of many. Maybe we can get some post-concert reviews up this blog Sunday/Monday morning.

  • * I know I promised not to talk about Michael Vick or Tim Donaghy but I just can't resist this question. If you had to trade places with one of these two dirt bags, which would it be? There's a good chance Vick is going to do some time but you know Donaghy is either going to end up wearing cement shoes at the bottom of the East River or find an inconspicuous residence in the midwest as a member of the Federal Witness Protection Program. I can't say that either of these options sounds all that appealing.

  • * This may be a moot point because I think he's going to end up in Atlanta but I can't decide whether or not the Sox going after Teixiera is a good thing or not. On the plus side, he's relatively young, a great first baseman and hits for both average and power. On the downside, we already have a good, younger, first baseman who hits for average (and may eventually hit for power) who gets paid about 1/3 of what Teixiera makes. We also have a gold glove third baseman who is not as young, is in the last year of his contract but hits for both power and average and is a team leader that could be replaced if the above-mentioned Sox first basemen were to move over to Third. Bottom line -- I don't see Teixiera as a serious upgrade over Youk or Lowell and to get him, we'd be looking at losing at least Ellsbury and probably either Lester or Gabbard. Would love to see some "replies" with other opinions on this trade and other possibilities...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Toivonen for Soderberg Trade

An amusing e-mail exchange between me and my man Joey M. following yesterday's Tovionen for Soderberg trade. Thought you all might get a kick out of it

-----Original Message-----

From: Boston.com Newsletters [mailto:newsletters@boston.com]
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 5:01 PM
To: Aaron S.
Subject: Breaking Sports Alert: Toivonen traded

Hannu Toivonen has been traded to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for forward Carl Soderberg.

To read more, visit http://www.boston.com


-----Original Message-----

From: Aaron S.

Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 5:00 PM
To: Joe M.
Subject: FW: Breaking Sports Alert: Toivonen traded

Is this a good thing or bad thing? I know Toivonen is decent (he was our goalie, right?). Is Soderberg any good?


-----Original Message-----

From: Joe M.
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 9:47 AM
To: Aaron S.
Subject: RE: Breaking Sports Alert: Toivonen traded

Hey, what's up...

Not sure if it is good or bad, never heard of Soderberg, unless he is the guy that directs movies... then it would be good..

Honestly..Who f*ing cares... the B's are so irrelevant it is not even funny. Not sure which team in pro-sports that is mired in failure that you can compare them to...

You can't compare them to the KC Royals/Tampa Bay, because the B's have spent money, but not well.

You can't compare them to the Washington Redskins, because they have spent money and gotten little performance for it... because as crazy as Dan Snyder is he at least will go after the big name proven guys without hesitation... and not sit on his hands while free agents that could help go to other teams without any B's interest

You can only compare them to themselves..haven't done anything in the playoffs in years on the rare occasion they have made it... and 36 years since last Cup...

( Although the Celtics are going to make a run at them soon )

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Musings, July 20

After a week of shit pie performances by the Sox (Monday excepted), I'm dragging myself into Blogger today to write my "Friday Musings" column. Here goes:

  • * According to an anonymous source close to the Red Sox, Kevin Millar will "Cowboy Up" once again and become a member of the Red Sox. You may be thinking two things -- why and why? The answer to the first "why" as in "why would anyone want him" is, in spite of teetering along the Mendoza line the last few seasons, Millar has raised his average from .238 to .286 since June 14 and currently enjoys an OPS that is higher than Manny Ramirez. The answer to the second "why" as in "why do the Sox need him" is that they desperately need a right-hand bat for pinch hitting purposes late in the game. The Wily Mo experiment is obviously not working and we are getting killed with guys left on base.

  • *You want to talk about luck -- I took the family to the game this week (thanks to my dad for the tickets). You know which game I went to? The one game that didn't suck for weather or performance reasons i.e. Monday night. Great pitching performance by Kason Gabbard and HRs by Pedroia, Manny and Big Papi to boot. We had great seats and it was a perfect night for a game. I also met former Celtics Guard, David Wesley. It was almost surreal as the dialog (near the concessions) went something like this:

    ME: Hey, you used to play for the Celts, right?

    DAVID: (looking around), yes, that's right.

    ME: How are things? Enjoying the game?

    DAVID: Not bad and yeah, it's a good one.

    ME: So you went to Charlotte after the Celtics, right?

    DAVID: Yes, and then onto Houston and now Cleveland.

    ME: Things in Cleveland good?

    DAVID: Yeah, pretty good. Not bad.
    At this point, my daughter is looking at me cross-eyed because she has to use the Ladie's room. So I politely excuse myself and head on my way. What was particularly funny was that toward the end of our exchange, I think that if I asked him if he wanted to grab a beer and sit down with me and watch the game, he would have. No ego, no posse. Very cool

  • * Is anyone else looking over their shoulders at the Yanks right now? I'm doing my best to fight the urge. I'll be honest, I still don't think the Yanks catch the Sox (although anything is possible) because the Yanks are not going to continue to play .750 ball. It's near impossible to do. Second, the Sox aren't going to continue to play .500 ball. They're too good.

  • * Can the Sox possibly leave any more guys on base? I can't believe they got 11 hits last night and they were all singles. And they only scored two freaking runs. More of the same in Josh Beckett's last outing. Let's hope that streak of bad luck ends tonight.

  • * My how quickly things change. A month ago, nobody wanted Lugo on the team. Three months ago, the same could be said about Dustin Pedroia. Now these two guys are the players I most expect to get a hit (other than maybe Mike Lowell). Unbelievable.

  • * One more week until the Patriots camp opens. Can't wait!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Musings, July 13

Happy Friday the 13th!

Here goes:
  • * What the hell is wrong with Gary Sheffield? The guy is having a great season. His team is having a great season. His former team is having a shitty season and yet he feels the need to tee off on the coach and some of his former team members. If you haven't read about it, you should because it's nothing short of comical.
  • * Looks like Manny and Ortiz' power outages are over. Both have hit the ground running post-All Star break. Now that everyone on the team is starting to hit, we could be in for a scary July and August.
  • *Nice move by the Pats to re-sign Troy Brown. Ideally, this is his last season and then he moves into a cushy coaching position next season. If you look up the word "class act" in the dictionary, there is a picture of this guy next to the entry. Speaking of nice moves, the re-upping of Testaverde is not the worst idea in the world either. I love Cassell and do think he has the potential to be the next "Brady" but if he Brady goes down, I'd like someone in the game that's "been there, done that."
  • *Another loss for the Rocket against the mighty D-Rays. Breaks my heart...
  • *I know there has been a lot of discussion about JD Drew on this post -- most of it negative -- but it looks like he's taken to batting leadoff with a .317 avg. and .400 OBP. Let's hope that his removal from last night's game was just for precautionary measures.
  • *Just four more weeks until the Pats first preason game. My prediction is that the first offensive play of the game is a 75 yard bomb to Randy for a TD. That play will set the tone for this very promising season.
  • *So what does everyone think about A-Rod coming to the Sox next season. I hate the guy with every moral fiber of my being and he's been tagged with the nick-named the "Cooler" for a reason. However, the guy is arguably one of the 5 best players in the game right now. Thoughts?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sox Trade Options Are Limited

As we begin to head into the second half of the baseball season it should be pretty clear to everyone that the Red Sox are going to win the East comfortably and be in the post-season. As such they need to figure out what moves they can make to maximize their chances in winning another World Series. Unfortunately, their trade options are limited. Their two biggest needs right now are a leadoff hitter and a #5 hitter but Theo invested huge money in the offseason to address both with the signings of Lugo and Drew. The Lugo signing was needed because an early move by Theo (Coco Crisp) failed to properly address the void left by Damon at the top of the order. Much like a gambler who takes a beating on the NFL on Sunday and tries to make it all up on Monday Night Football, Theo chased by overpaying for Lugo (.197, 5 HR this season) when they could have had Alex Gonzales (.250, 13 HR) for a fraction of the cost. Drew is starting to show some signs of coming around at least in terms of average but he only has 33 RBIs at the break which is piss poor production for a # 5 hitter.

I don't see how they can upgrade at leadoff or the #5 hole giving the investments made to Lugo & Drew. So that means this team will need to improve by making a move for pitching. With Schilling supposedly on the shelve to August they could really use a #3 starter giving his uncertainty. I would only have two untouchables in the farm system for the right deal and they are Ellbury (the next Grady Sizemore) and Buchholtz. If they have to give up Lester for a solid # 3 starter I make the move. This hedges your bet on Schilling's health and best case if he is healthy would also improve your bullpen by moving Taverez there.

I don't feel great about the Sox chances against either Anaheim or Detroit in the playoffs. Theo needs to make a move to improve this club for the championship run. It is just too bad his offseason moves have limited the options.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday Musings, July 6

Cleaning out the cobwebs from a week out of the office...
  • * What about that Jacoby Ellsbury kid. Speed, power, defense. I can't wait until he gets his September call up and the Sox are 15 games up in the AL East. We are definitely going to enjoy watching this guy play.
  • * To that end, you almost wonder if someone slipped some video highlights of Ellsbury into Coco Crisp's locker with a note that said "watch out" because Coco sure has hit A LOT better over the last few weeks. Nice grand slam last night in the first against Tampon Bay.
  • * The Red Sox midseason grades provided by Chad Finn this week were entertaining and I have to say, I agree with most of them. However, I take exception with the "D" Chad gave Joel Pineiro. Taking out a three game stretch in May where Pineiro basically came in for mop-up duty, Joel would have a 3.99 ERA. For the most part, he has been a serviceable right-handed option out of the bullpen and I can honestly say, I don't mind seeing him come into a game, even when it's a tight one.
  • * The fact that the idiots on WEEI are still giving Ainge shit about trading for Ray Allen blows me away. I will bet anyone a rack of ribs that a) the Celt's aren't done dealing yet and b) that even as currently constituted, they are good enough to contend for the 3-4 spot in the East next year. Any takers?
  • * Tell me something. How is it possible that the Yankees are listed as "players" in half of the trade rumors on ESPN Insider? I'm quite sure they are interested in anyone and everyone but they have little of value to trade -- both in the farm system, and in the "bigs" -- and have said that they will not trade Philip Hughes. On top of that, they are 12 games behind the Sox with next to no chance of catching them and are 8 back in the wild card with four teams in front of them. I'm not ruling out a playoff appearance for them but seriously, this would be a great opportunity for the Yanks to acquiesce, become sellers and take the opportunity to rebuild their team around key players like Wang, Cano, and Cabrera. Fortunately for the Sox and the rest of the AL East, that's not the way George thinks so expect more payroll, fewer prospects and lots more overpaid veterans by the trade deadline.
  • * Is it heresy to start salivating about football season with the Sox in first place and cruising toward the AL East tile? Training camp starts next week and the season opener is just seven weeks away!
Let's keep our fingers crossed that Papi's HR touch returns this weekend in Comerica Park!