Thursday, May 25, 2006

Missed Opportunity

Sox drop series 1-2.

The Sox got to Johnson again but blew the opportunity to put away the Yankees. I thought this series was supposed to be easy. I guess all the prognosticators were a little wrong on this series. Not everyone was saying it but too many were already starting to write off the Yankees. Yes, they are in trouble with pitching. Yes they are missing a few offensive components and a couple others may be getting too old but are the Red Sox much different right now?

Right now the Red Sox have only 2 reliable starters in Schill and Becket. Wakefield will be fine but with his knuckle ball, you never know. After last night, Clement is a huge question mark. I hope he turns things around soon because he is owed about 9 million this year. That with the way he is performing means he can't be traded. Besides, we don't have the depth to do that anyway. The biggest wild card of them all?... That's right, David Wells. Lets hope he comes in tomorrow night and pitches well. That will give us an ok back end of the rotation and may take some of the pressure off Clement. At least we have room in the rotation for Clemens if/when/where he decides to play this year.

Unfortunately, one of the best things to happen to the Sox so far this year is also leading to this uncertainty in the pitching rotation. Papelbon. The kid is on fire with 15 saves. If they could even think about pulling him from the closer spot (which they can't obviously) he would solidify the rotation and give the Sox 3 nasty starters at the top of the rotation.

The good news... Tampa come to town for four games. Unfortunately, New York has Kansas City so unless the Red Sox sweep, we may see a lead change but ultimately, this early in the year, who cares about that.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

It Had To End Sometime

Baltimore 4, Boston 3

After winning 13 straight against Baltimore, the Sox finally lose in a game that was not as close as the final score indicates. Once again, the Red Sox offense failed to show up for a Tim Wakefield start. Wake wasn't brilliant but he did keep them in the game. He left with just a 3 run deficit. One 2 run mistake to Kevin Millar, a 2 run homerun in the 4th inning was the start and a wild pitch in the 5th was ultimately the game winning run.

Random thoughts

- Later in the game it started to seem like the plate umpire might have had an appointment to get to. Players on both sides were continually surprised with some of his strike calls. At least he was consistent I guess. Very big strike zone.

- I would have liked to see a couple more angles on the caught stealing to end the game. One of the closest plays that I've seen in a while.

- Someone has to step up besides Ortiz. Although he is hitting .302 Manny (the highest payed player on the team) only has 19 RBI. One behind the lead off hitter (Youk) . Of course, after Ortiz, there are less base runners left for Manny but I've seen him fail do drive in quite a few.

- I've read and heard complaints about the new Red Sox Nation. Specifically the "pink hats". Who in their right mind would complain about women, a lot of them fit, good looking women, at the ballpark. Comes across a lot like the guys who call women lesbians when they shoot 'em down at the bar. Most of the knocks come after being jealous of them swooning over the likes of Johnny Damon or whoever else. Big deal. They look a lot better walking up the aisle than you do.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

E-Rod Hands Game to the Sox


Today is a good day to be a Red Sox fan. The Yankees were embarrassed in their own house by the Sox 14-3. Let me say that again... 14-3. Randy Johnson didn't even make 4 innings.

Even better, Alex Rodriguez committed 2 major errors, leading to 4 unearned runs. That would have been all the Sox needed. The other 10 runs? Just an extra side of gravy on your KFC mashed potatoes. Only makes things better. The Yankees looked more like clowns than the favorite (not mine of course) to win the A.L. East.

Most noticeable, after A-Rod's first error, Johnson just couldn't seem to get it back together. Had he come up with that ball in the 3rd, there's no telling how the game would have went. Instead, Johnson just fell apart and the Sox lead the head-to-head match up 2-0.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Now It Feels Like Red Sox Baseball

Amazingly, it took 25 games and almost a month for it to really feel like the Red Sox season has begun. Yup, 29 days since opening day and yesterday was the true start of the '06 season. Don't misunderstand, I'm not dismissing the teams we've faced so far. I'm not naive enough to believe that they don't matter. Even Tampa matters because they can be a troublesome lot from time to time. But, when it all comes down to it, what are we as Sox fans obsessed with? The Yankees. I've never been at a concert or a Patriots or Bruins game and heard a "Blue Jays suck" chant break out. Yes, everywhere there are more than 10 Red Sox Fans, and most likely some alcohol you run the risk of hearing that nonsense. I've even heard reports of it on Crescent St. in Montreal at closing time. I may have actually been there to witness it but hey, It's Montreal at closing time. I run the risk of not remembering a lot of things up there at closing time.

Everything the Sox do is compared to the Yankees and how it affects each team. Constant analysis takes place as to how a person will handle the rivalry, how they'll perform against the other. We all know it goes both ways too. Brian Cashman proved it with the following statement regarding the reacquisition of Doug Mirabelli; "I wanted it to hurt, I monitor everything, and knew it was an obvious fit. I wanted to make sure their reacquisition was going to hurt as much as possible. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't a one-horse race."

The funny part of all this, since the start of the 2003 season the Sox are 29-28 during the regular season and 36-35 including the playoffs. Over all that time, the match-up between these 2 teams is simply a coin toss

Last night everything started just where it left off. Some columnists were worried that we've become a kinder gentler Nation, worried that we would be too soft on Johnny gone lately. Others thought we wouldn't give him the respect he deserves for being a hard nosed, impact player that gave his all for 4 seasons. Both happened.

And drama? No shortage. A barage of boos and a hitless night for Damon, Doug Mirabelli jumping out of his police escort from the airport just before the start of the game ready to go like a scene right out of a movie, and a late inning 3 run final nail in the coffin from David Ortiz against Myers, the former Sox lefty specialist that the Yankees signed to try to solve their woes against Papi. All this started off by the classy move of Damon showing his respect by tipping his cap to the fans while getting booed more than he was cheered. Going into last night (had I actually been there), I would not have clapped for the man. After that gesture, It would have been hard not to.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Let New York Cheer For Him Now

Enough of the debate... Johnny Damon is a Yankee now. Yes, he did great things in Boston, I was a fan, I admire his style of play, I don't even blame him for taking the offer from the Yankees, but the short answer to all the do we cheer or boo Johnny Damon is simple... He's a Yankee now. No, I don't feel betrayed, he's not a traitor, he's a business man and business will be great for him and his wife in New York.

When it is all over and Johnny limps out on the field at Fenway to take a wave at the crowd one day to celebrate an anniversary of the historic World Series win, then cheer him. For now... He's a Yankee.

He was on the right side of what's been called the best and biggest rivalry in American pro sports (I imagine only some European Soccer rivalries beat this). As far as I can tell, it's also the longest running rivalry. Celtics and Lakers? Who cares. The Bruins and Philly? long gone. Ok, Bruins and the Habs is still alive but nothing like it used to be and I can't think of many from other cities that even get close in any of the major sports.

Now Johnny, welcome to the other side of the rivalry. It's past like or dislike, you've spent the off-season endearing yourself to the dark side. Going out of your way to prove that your one of them now. Now, stand at the plate and take you medicine. Good luck... You're a Yankee now.