Sunday, April 22, 2007

Four in a Row Makes it a Clean Sweep!

Down 3-nill, bottom of the 3rd against a AA pitcher whose used his change and fastball to keep the Sox hitters off balance. Up come Manny Ramirez. He had 1 HR this season and was hitting under .200.

Biznam: He hit it (literally) out of the park. 3-1 Spanks....but the boys are back in the ball game.

Up next JD Drew. He's been the Sox' most consistent hitter, but he only has 1 HR. The kid hung a breaking ball and Drew cranked it past the 420 marker and over the bullpen.
3-2 Spanks.....we're getting something going.

Up next Mikey Lowell. (I'll preface this by saying I'm the hugest freakin' Mikey Lowell fan). He's been our spark plug all year. He and Drew carried the offense for the first 8 games. He cranks the ball over the monstah, over the monstah seats, and onto the Massachusets turnpike. 3-3....Sox are back in the ballgame.

Back-to-back-to-back. Nice work.

Up next: O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN Jason Varitek. He's been warming up at the dish as of late, and he has been hitting with power from the right side. He parks the 1-0 pitch over the monstah. 4-3 Olde Towne Team.

The first time the Red Sox have hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back homers, the first time it has happened against the same pitcher in 45 years. BEAUTIFUL.

Papelbon gets save #5, inducing AROD into a game ending ground-out, and the Sox swept the Spanks right out of Boston (first time they Sox have swept the Spanks at Fenway since I was 10). Tampa Bay should be sight for the sore eyes of Torre and the 185 Million dollar sub-.500 Yankees. How bad does it suck to be the Boss right now??

Up next the freakin' Blue Jays. I hate the Jays.....

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Most Important of Questions

Mr. Romney was in Iowa City, IA this afternoon campaigning for the Presidency.
After many people asked him questions on foreign policy, illegal immigration, and tax cuts, I could no longer resist....I had to ask him the mother of all questions:

GOVERNOR ROMNEY ARE YOU STILL A SOX FAN? To which he replied, "Go Sox!"

My vote is no longer up for grabs ladies and gents....and people say he flip-flops....

It's Like Deja Vu all Over Again!

Another blown save against the Sox! Are we seeing a legend crumble before our very eyes?? Like Jordan in a Wizards uni? For the love of all holy I hope so. I can respect Mariano Rivera for all that he has done and the fashion in which he plays the game, but there is nothing more that I like to see than a MO BLOW!

Check out this stat line: 2 Blown Saves, 1 win, 2 losses, 0 save, 8.44 ERA and a partridge in a pear tree.

I was a little surprised that Torre brought Rivera in in the eighth...who does Torre think Rivera is....JONATHAN PAPELBON??
For the sake of fairness, let's take a peek at Pap's state line (for comparison purposes only, of course.
4 Saves, O Blown Saves, 3 BBs, 11Ks, and a 0.00 ERA (That's...count 'em...three goose eggs).

I know it is early, but all of a sudden it looks like the Sox have the advantage over the Yankees when it comes to the bullpen. After all those years of being a closer away from being the better team, it looks as though Papelbon may be to us what Mo was to them.

Speaking of Dejavu, I couldn't help but think of Luis Gonzalez' game-winning bloop single against Mo in Game 7 of the '01 World Series. Runner on third, infield in...a bloop over Jeter's head.

...O' Captain my Captain!!! The slumping (offensively) Jason Varitek busted out of a slump going 3-4 with a homer 3 RBI. Atta' Boy 'Tek! Of course, his real value is what he does with the pitchers, but it's nice to see him swing the bat like in times past.

And lastly...our gift from the Far East...and I ain't talkin' 'bout Dice-K...Let's give it up for Hideki Okajima! After watching his first pitch sail out of the park in KC, I was a little worried that this little man's sole value would be in helping Dice-K adjust to a new country and culture. Since then, he's been rock let's give it up for Okajima! (Could we have a new set-up man emerging from the 'pen?)

HUGE WIN....a great victory after the Boston Massacre...Schill didn't bring his best stuff, but AROD is on a tear....AND IT STILL WASN'T ENOUGH!
Momma get out the broom...cuz I smell a sweep!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Sox Slay Halladay

Okay...not really. But, anytime Julian Tavarez starts and we win, I'm pretty happy...especially if it is against Doc Halladay (who, FYI, is a non-practicing Mormon for those interested in that type of thing).

I can't help but wonder if Blue Jays management is ragin' ticked that Halladay came out in order to bring a lefty in to face Big Papi David Ortiz. By the numbers it should work out great (in deed Ortiz struck out on a 3-2 pitch)...but that move eventually cost the Jays the game. It also accentuates a reason why I love the Sox' lineup this year.
After two righties at the start of the lineup (wouldn't it be nice if CoCo Crisp, a switch hitter, could get his stuff together) is goes Papi (L), Manny (R), Drew (L), Mikey Lowell (R), Varitek (S). For the love of all holy that screws with the opposing manager's mind. I'm sure Gibbons was thinking, "Manny has grounded out 3 times and is batting sub-.200, I'll bring in the left for Papi and Drew, then bring in a righty (if needed) for Lowell.
All I gosta say is Manny went yard. Sox Win.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Too Good To Be True? King Felix has an Elbow Issue

This post is for my good friend Will who has faithfully stood by his Seattle Seahawks and Mariners through thick and thin (even though he sometimes wears a Cubbies hat).

I gotta be honest, when I saw the filthy, nasty stuff this guy threw last Wednesday against the Sox, I thought to myself, "I haven't seen a young guy throw a ball that fast with that much movement since Kerry Wood stormed into the league in (was it '98??). For the sake of the Mariners' nation, I hope that this is just a mild sprain or a sore tendon. If this guy has to go get Tommy John's you might as well paint "middle reliever" on his forehead.

Don't get me wrong...King Felix is filthy, and I actually like watching him pitch. Therefore, I really do want him to do well. But, the writing is in the wall, and you may one day look back on this day as the day the '07 season went to hell in a handbasket.

Is the King dead? Long live the King.

An Unexpectedly Dynamic Duo: Tim-may and 'Belli

This guy is ageless. I freakin' love Tim Wakefield. I remember the first time I saw him pitch. I believe it was back in '91 in the ALCS against the Braves (he pitched for the Pirates). While Barry Bonds was choking on whatever 1991 version of flaxseed oil he was consuming, Tim-May single-handedly kept the Pirates in that series. His story intrigued me: a former 1B in the minors who switched over to pitcher when he realized he could throw a good knuckleball (Stargell described the knuckleball as a ball that "flies like a butterfly with hickups).

Now he is in his 13th Season with the Old Towne Team, and I couldn't be happier that he's still here. First, the guy is an absolute class act. When Aaron "freeking" Boone went yard on Wake in game 7 of the '03 ALCS, he cried. He loves the Sox, the fans, the city, and the park. And you know what? We love him right back. Sure....there are going to be times when Wake gets hammered (if it doesn't dance its just a 65 mph meatball over the plate), but this is a guy who will give you double-digit wins year in and year out. The last three years he's pitched between Schill and Pedro/Beckett, and I expect huge things out of him in the fourth spot.

Even at age 40, we should expect to see Wakefield in Beantown for many years to come. Consider this: Charlie Hough, another knuckleball pitcher, pitched more innings after age 40 than Wakefield has pitched in his entire career. If I'm Theo Epstein, I would plan on exercising Wake's option for the next five years or more.

Receiving Wakefield's knuckler behind the dish is Doug Mirabelli. 'Belli is one of a kind. The rest of the world snickered last season when the Josh Bard project went to hell in a handbasket, and the Sox traded for 'Belli and whisked him to Fenway with a police escort. All this for a backup catcher?? He is a backup catcher who happens to have an uncanny ability to catch an uncatchable pitch (Remember Gedman trying to catch Hough in the '86 All-Star game??). Although his value is primarily in catching Wakefield (and in giving Varitek a rest every fifth day), the last two games Dougie has done something I love to see him do: produce at the dish. 2 HRs in his last two games and an RBI single to boot.

Yankees fans can keep Mussina/Posada...I'll take Wake and 'Belli any time of the week.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Scutaro needs some chin music

So, Mariano Rivera is a guy who is easy to hate, especially if you're a Red Sox fan. But, as much as it kills me to say, the man is a class act. When I say "class act," I don't mean "Derek Jeter" class act, but more like Jason Varitek class act. He's not flashy, but he works hard and get's his job done (too well, in my opinion).

So, even a blind dog finds a bone, and so it was that Marco Scutaro hit a walk off dinger of the Sandman himself yesterday. Mo isn't about sour grapes, I'm sure he took the defeat in stride. However, Scutaro ticked me off. I understand watching the ball to see if it is fair or foul, but even after the little dweeb knocked the ball out, it took him a good five seconds to round first.

Lucky for Scutaro, Mo doesn't bean people. But if he did (and I would do it if I was the Sandman), Scutaro's victory dance would be accompanied by some chin music the next time I faced him. Luckily, Mariano Rivera is too classy (and good) to resort to Clemens-like antics.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Schilling was Thrilling

I watched Schill pitch a lot when he was with the Dbacks, and I've got to tell you we are really watching two different pitchers.

I used to be able to practically call Schill's game. I loved to watch him blow a 96 mph heater shoulder high past his NL West foes (if they swung, he'd get the K, if not, they were completely set up to get fooled by a filth splitter).

Yesterday, however, I saw some 88 mph fastballs at the knees, a few chancy changeups, and all in all, a very smart game....all while throwing a good 4-7 mph hours slower than his stuff in '01-02.

Good for him.

If he wants to get into the Hall (and I don't buy it for a minute that "he doesn't care"), he'll have to pitch smart. There are three things Schill can do to assure the Hall (maybe not a first-ballot HOFer, but to eventually get to Cooperstown):

1. Get 250 wins (not likely).
2. Win a Cy Young (really not likely)
3. Win another World Series (DANG LIKELY).

Seriously, the '07 Sox have all the weapons they need. As I watched Mariano Rivera give up a walk-off homer today (and although he is the best closer of all time, in my eyes, he is far less daunting than he once was), I have to wonder is Paps is the heir apparent. For the sake of Red Sox Nation, let's hope so.

There appears to be no better 1-2-3-4 punch than the Sox' rotation. Schill had a bad outing and Tavarez wasn't great his first start, but for the love of all holy, The Sox rotation looks delicious!

Papi is heating up, Lugo has looked great, and once Manny turns up the heat, Drew will keep him nice and safe in the cleanup slot. The bottom of the order is a mess (what the heck happened to CoCo Crisp?), but 1-5 looks like money in the bank.