Saturday, July 22, 2006


Arms Testing

Aside from the usual lame-n-lazy, Reb has been super-busy, out of town a lot, and quite possibly *in love* and therefore duly distracted. But don't worry; said lucky boy still has no idea that I am a blogger, and once he finds out I'm sure it'll be all over and you'll have me back to yourselves... (er, probably not, but ya'll can hope.)

Anyway, just wanted to check in to say that even though I fell asleep while watching last night, I sure do continue to like Kyle Snyder, not that my opinion matters, but perhaps those of tito & tek DO:

"I really was impressed tonight," Francona said. "And what's even more encouraging for me is how impressed [Varitek] was. Tek really thinks this guy can pitch. That's a good sign for me. I think Tek is genuinely excited about what this guy can do. He threw a lot of strike ones today and got ahead."

yeah. now that's good news, especially with arms falling out of our rotation left and right. I half-heartedly wish I were not an atheist so I could PRAY for the quick recovery of Timmy's ribs before we have to use some kid right out of high school to start a game. Fortunately I believe good vibes are just as effective and am currently meditating to beam them out to both Wakefield and Wells regularly. I send some to Matty Clement, too, but those include a special emotional healing and anti-suckiness wish. And yes, perhaps I AM a freak, but at least I have an imagination.

I'm also sending out good tidings to Mike Lowell, and hoping he can keep a few crackers down by now. I'm really hoping Mike hasn't been spending a whole lot of time with his teammates lately, if you know what I mean. The last thing we need right now is a clubhouse flu epidemic. The great part of Mike illness is the creative adjustment to the rotation... Call me a fool, but I LOVE IT when Papi plays first base. Ok, so he does not have the range of KY, but it's cool to see how competant he is there, and maybe it'll have a bit of impact on those MVP voters this year. And of course it means we get Gabe AND Wily Mo in the lineup while Manny gets to bat AND rest his knee. I know Willie Harris was supposedly a tremendous asset to our bench, but I did not like seeing him out there with that pathetic .156 batting average. Fortunately he's agreed to hang out in Pawtucket to try and get his swing back and rejoin the gang as our pinch-running specialists once the roster expands in September.

On to today's game... I have a bad feeling that this is one of those "taste-o'-the-bigs" designed to scare the hell out of Gabbard and is not expected to go well. Fortunately we humans tend to rise to the occasion every once in awhile, and perhaps our hot bats will give Kevin the extra shot of confidence (or insurmountable lead) he needs to post a win in his first major league appearance.

Today's game will be @ 4:05 on FOX, including Hartford's FOX-61 (thanks Michael for the heads-up.) I will be a bit busy downing tequila shots in between meeting my new man's friends at a 40th birthday party, but I will be with you all in spirit... really. I may even make some pretend trips to the bathroom to check on the game. Just don't ask me to evaluate Gabbard's curveball.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


That Same Ugly Scapegoat

And so we begin the second half... with another extra-innings game. As I type, our boys in red have gone down by two in the eleventh. Tavaraz is pitching, causing the pelting of hundreds of televisions in the Nation with tomatos and curse words and even the lime slices from several freshly-downed Corona bottles (and who could blame them; many of us need the spirits to stomach the likes of Julie.)

Trouble is, I often start to feel comfortable with Julie on the mound. That is usually one or two pitches before he manages to fuck the game over. Such was the case tonight. I was right over there on the couch, all settled in comfortably and ready to stay there for awhile. I watched Tavaraz work the corners and Macha get pissed over the plate calls. I started to think that our nazi phone-puncher maybe wasn't so bad. yeah. you can probably guess what happened next. One meatball over the plate... and as if that wasn't enough, another.

I'm desperate to get rid of Julian Tavaraz, but also afraid. If he leaves he will surely stop throwing these meatballs and become untouchable, and probably in pinstripes. He's likely on Georgie's payroll already anyway. I think it's about time Timlin takes that guy hunting... you wouldn't have to pull a Cheney, Mike; a simple lead though unlevel terrain without warning might do nicely - heck, if you just find a way to trip the guy in the clubhouse you could save yourself the trip. Just make it something that lasts about two months, m-kay?

Were it not for that extra run driven in by Frank Thomas, I would still be watching the game right now. Kaplar & the Captain rallied for a run, but it wasn't enough. I'm sure there are some out there invoking the name of Fran-coma, playing backseat driver to Tito, so sure we ought to have walked the man. More will be asking (as I wondered myself, at the time) why Papelbon was cut short at one inning. I don't have the energy. That loss makes us big losers (so far) for the month of July. I go to bed thankful that baseball is a long season, almost as forgiving as groundhog day.

Tomorrow brings another game. Beckett v. Zito; now that should be good.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Happy Ending to the Break

Since 2003, the All-Star game has counted for something: home field advantage in the World Series. I can understand why a lot of (er, National League) fans don't like this new system, but personally I love it. It's great to see your favorite players selected to the teams, but without that carrot dangling, I could care less about the game. I love baseball, but give me Gilmore Girls and Law & Order re-runs all night long over a game that doesn't count.

By the time we reached the ninth last night, I was bored to tears but at least I was watching for a reason... And in the end that reason would not be denied. With just one out left, three straight hits reversed our fortunes, and the American League walked away victorious yet again. It only seems right since, you know, everyone knows the American league is superior. And as an added bonus, we all got to see Papi dig out a ball from A-rod, saving an error. I only regret that Pappy was not available to close it out for us... Ah, that will leave him well rested for us (yes, like Manny, yes).

If you're wondering what to do with yourself for the rest of the break, Chicago fans Ross and Taft are announcing a different kind of all-star team today. I recommend that you check it out, especially you readers of the female persuasion. I was actually asked to contribute to this, but as I do not swoon and gush quite as eloquently as some of my blogger colleagues, I urge you to (register &) comment!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Cut Manny Some Slack

Leading up to the Derby last night, I had ESPN on in the background as I roamed the apartment. I kept hearing the same crap we've seen spewed about for the past week, and it started to grate on me. The national media seems to regard Manny's knee as a phantom problem... an excuse to get out of something he doesn't want to do. They use the nineteen innings played on Sunday to evidence that Manny's knee is just fine.

Sure, Manny doesn't exactly bask in the limelight the way we are accustomed to seeing with most players of his caliber. He's a bit shy and would prefer to be left alone - he's even described as paranoid. It wouldn't surprise anyone if Manny would rather not deal with the "honor" of the flashbulbs and interviews and national spotlight of the All-Star Game.

The press has taken that view and run with it. They paint Manny's absence as a snub to the millions of fans who have voted him in... but let's not forget who really feels snubbed. For two years one of the most premier players in all of baseball has refused to talk them - and gotten away with it. Tired of trying to read between the expressions, the press has become increasingly aggressive in guessing what Manny's up to in his head (a pointless effort if you ask me; it's likely all kittens and rainbows in there.) It's almost as if they are trying to goad Manny into talking, which is also a complete waste of time.

In case there's anyone reading this that doesn't actually watch the Red Sox games and check the team site at least weekly, I should let you know that Manny's knee has been bothering him for at least two months. He doesn't like to take games off, but I know he's had one or two extra just to rest his knee. He's taken out of every game we are winning by a comfortable margin (which seems to be two or more now that we've got the Papel-bot), usually for a pinch runner in the seventh or so. As for the nineteen-inning marathon in Chicago on Sunday, people are reading faaaaar too much into that. In a game like that, every player move must be made carefully or you will run out of them. Manny's a competitor, sore knee or not; in a tight game, he wants to be in there, and you'd have to be crazy to take his bat out of the lineup. Of course he was out there.

I can understand why American League fans might be disappointed by Manny's absence. This one silly game makes a difference - as in one extra home game for the winning league - and Manny's bat could make a difference in any one game. This is exactly why Red Sox fans support Manny in missing the All-Star game this season... and why many yankee fans and blue jay fans and maybe even white sox and tigers fans are upset about it. Because missing this one game means three days off for Manny, which means two or three or maybe even a whole lot more games he'll be making a difference in down the stretch, and not for the whole AL, but exclusively for the Boston Red Sox.

So belly-ache all you want, people; we know the real reason you're upset about Manny not showing up this year, and we here in Red Sox Nation are just fine with it.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?