Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wake Looks Good, Pen Struggles, Youk Saves the Day

Tim Wakefield's knuckleball worked well against the Reds this afternoon. He went 7 innings giving up 2 runs (both homers) before turning it over to the pen. Okajima struggled once again facing 3 batters and allowing 2 of them to reach before he was pulled. Delcarmen came in and let one of Oki's runners score before getting out of the 8th with a 1 run Sox lead. Papelbon came in for the 9th and got two quick ground outs before giving up a 2-strike home run to tie the game. Youk put the Sox back on top in the 10th with a home run and Coco quickly added another one. Hansen came in for the 10th and got two quick outs before giving up a hit up the middle. The hit seemed to bother Hansen and he allowed the winning run to come to the plate before getting the third out. Hansen earned his first save of the season and Papelbon got the win.

Sox Win 6-4 BOX SCORE

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Today's Lineup 6/14 at Cincinnati

Manny is out with the sore hamstring.

Ellsbury lf
Pedroia 2b
Drew rf
Lowell 3b
Youkilis 1b
Crisp cf
Lugo ss
Cash c
Wakefield p

UPDATE: Lugo was a late scratch with an illness, Cora is now in at short.

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City Lets Memorial to Joe DiMaggio Rot

Joe DiMaggio was from the Bay Area and lived in Martinez before he moved to San Francisco. He was given a boat by Yankee fans on "Joe DiMaggio Day" in 1949. He took Marilyn Monroe on the boat after their honeymoon and used it to fish occasionally. DiMaggio donated the "Joltin' Joe" to the city of Martinez where it was put on display after a ceremony in 1994. Since that point it has deteriorated in the weather and now has been put in a warehouse because nobody is willing to pay to restore it. The future of the Joltin Joe is uncertain and it may just go to the scrap heap. If Hank Steinbrenner really thinks this is Yankee Nation why hasn't anyone stepped up to to restore the boat?

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Papelbon Gets A Trip to the Principal's Office

Jonathan Papelbon gained some big media coverage with his comments earlier in the week about the Ray's incident saying the issue was not done. This did not please Terry Francona who said, "We don't need to go there" to the press before the game. He also said he was going to have a chat with Paps. Yesterday Papelbon decided to throw some more gas on the fire by bringing the subject up to reporters again. From today's Herald:

"I just never have been the one to sit there and say, ‘Golly gee, you guys got us. We’re not going to do nothing,’ and walk away from it. That’s just not how I do it. It might be because of the way I grew up, but if my brother hit me I was punching him back. Like Coco said, it’s tit for tat, I feel like when Bartlett went hard on him, and dropped the knee when he went headfirst, and (Coco) went in hard again, that’s tit for tat, done deal. And then they wanted to carry it over. They wanted to play this little game, then they wanted to throw cheap shots. That’s why I said it wasn’t done. It’s pretty plain and simple to me. The way I feel about the issue ain’t going to change."

Francona say him talking to reporters and brought him to his office to have a chat. I am all for Papelbon backing up his teammates but to constantly say things like this in the media is bush league. Go out there and get the job done, if it requires an inside pitch to settle the score than do that on the field. Talking about it to the press will just cause longer suspensions if an incident does happen. Papelbon needs to realize that he is not in middle school recess where everything needs to be tit for tat. If he was so upset about the incident with Coco where was he during the fight? Timlin had time to get into the mix from the pen. I hope Tito was able to put a lid on him about this issue.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Trot Nixon Now a Met


Trot Nixon is back in the bigs and this time with the NY Mets. He was acquired in a cash deal and for a player to be named later. The Mets need outfielders after a rash of recent injuries.

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Road Woes Continue

New league, same result. The Red Sox struggles on the road continued tonight with a loss to the Reds. Once again the offense disappeared when the road uniforms were donned; the Sox managed just 5 hits and one run in the game. Masterson gave up 3 runs on 4 hits (2 homers) in the game. He pitched well enough with 9 K's but a 2 run lead would prove to be insurmountable to the feeble Sox offense. Manny had the only RBI for Boston but had to leave the game early with the hamstring injury. Remy and Orsillo pointed out how troublesome this can be in inter-league play when Manny cannot DH.

Sox Lose 3-1 BOX SCORE

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Instant Replay By August?

Instant replay for home run calls may be headed to a stadium near you this season. MLB and the Players Association want to get a deal on this before the playoff start. A new system could be in place to make sure it will work for the post-season. As I have said before I am totally against this but it looks like it is coming.

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Tim Russert of NBC News Has Died

NBC Washington Bureau Chief and moderater of Meet the Press Tim Russert has died after collapsing today. Russert moderated the debate for President of Red Sox Nation last September. The Red Sox released the following statement about his passing.

Statement from Larry Lucchino, President and CEO, Boston Red Sox

On behalf of John Henry, Tom Werner, and the entire Boston Red Sox organization, I express our deep sadness and profound grief at the news of the passing of Tim Russert. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family including his wife, Maureen, and his son, Luke, who always made him so proud. Tim was a passionate fan of baseball, a great friend of the Red Sox, and a dear and beloved personal friend to many of us. He left us far, far too soon, but he leaves a gigantic legacy of professionalism, journalistic excellence, authenticity and friendship that will inspire us and generations to follow us. Red Sox Nation mourns the loss of Tim Russert more than we can express.

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Tonight's Lineup 6/13 at Cincinnati

Tek is still out and Casey is in for Youk.

Ellsbury-CF
Pedroia-2B
Drew-RF
Ramirez-LF
Lowell-3B
Casey-1B
Lugo-SS
Cash-C
Masterson-SP

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Rainout Possible Tonight

It is raining in Cincy and the forecast is for more rain so it may be difficult to get tonight's game in.

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Is This the End of the Line For Maple Bats?

Since 1997 the use of bats made out of maple has grown in MLB, currently 60% of players use them. Maple is harder and denser than the traditional ash used in bat making, so players think they get more out the bat although some studies have shown that there is no significant benefit from using maple over ash. The problem with maple bats has been the way they break; they sometimes shatter sending dangerous shards around the field or into the stands. A few people have been injured recently and now there is a call to ban the bats outright. There will be a meeting on June 24 between MLB and the MLBPA to discuss the future of maple bats. Any removal from the game will have to be collectively bargained. The owner of Sam Bats told the NY Times today the problem is caused by bat makers who do not let the maple dry out enough before the bat is made, in other words maple is not to blame, inferior bat makers are.

This is going to be an interesting decision by the players on what to do with the bats. Some players fear for their safety and want the bats banned while others believe their hitting would fall off without them. Hal Bodley of MLB.com doesn't think banning them is the answer.

On a side note, I am in a wood bat softball league where I have been using a maple bats this season. My bat has not shattered but it has not exactly caused me to be Big Papi at the plate either.

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Youk Going Back To Where It All Began

Kevin Youkilis will back to where he started in baseball when the Sox play the Reds today. He grew up in Cincy and went to Sycamore High School and the University of Cincinnati. Youk grew up a big fan of the Reds, he told the Globe what tonight's experience in going to be like:

“It’ll be a cool thing to play against the Reds, but it’ll be a little different in a new park“I grew up (going to) Riverfront Stadium. But it’s cool to go back with all my family and friends there. It’ll be a mob scene of people. It’s going to be fun to play in front of them.”

In other Youk news, the ProJo published this photo of Youk and Manny that seems to show the tiff is long in the past.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sox Win Finale at the Fens

The Red Sox continued to do well at home with another win against the Orioles tonight. Jon Lester pitched very well going 7 innings giving up 2 runs and 7 hits. The bullpen (Lopez and Timlin) pitched a perfect 8th and 9th to preserve the victory. Mike Lowell was the offensive hero of the game with a grand slam in the 5th.(video below) Youk and red hot J.D. Drew also went yard. Lugo had his 13th error of the game but did go 2-4 with a RBI. The Red Sox head to Cincy to resume inter-league play tomorrow. Justin Masterson will be on the mound and will have his first Major League at bat, which I am guessing is not going to be pretty.

Sox Win 9-2 BOX SCORE

video

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Papelbon Thinks Round 2 Is Coming With Rays

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Tonight's Lineup 6/12 vs. Orioles Start Time 6:05

Tek is still sick so Cash will be behind the dish

Jacoby Ellsbury, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
J.D. Drew, RF
Manny Ramirez, DH
Mike Lowell, 3B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Coco Crisp, CF
Julio Lugo, C

Kevin Cash, C

Jon Lester, SP

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Maybe A-Rod Needs Viagra

Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez struck out in a key at bat last night as the Yankees lost again and failed to get to 2 games over .500. From Blogging the Bombers:

"A commenter asked how many times this season Alex Rodriguez has struck out with runners in scoring position in the wake of A-Rod watching a called third strike to end the third inning with runners on first and third. Here’s the answer – that was No. 14, tops on the team and one more than Bobby Abreu, who happened to whiff just before Rodriguez did."

Maybe Roger* left some of his Viagra supply in his locker that the overpaid infielder could use.

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I'll Have a Fenway Frank, Hold the Mouse Droppings

Spaulding: "I want a hamburger...no, a cheeseburger...I want a hot dog...I want a milkshake"

Judge Smails: "You'll get nothing and like it!"

Judge Smails may have been on to something, at least when it comes to the food at Fenway Park. Health inspectors found numerous violations at Fenway on April 1st and again on Opening Day, April 8th.

Among the most disturbing violations: rodent droppings under service tables. Violations were bad enough that a court considered shutting down food service at Fenway while the issue is resolved.

Red Sox officials learned about the violations yesterday.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Colon Dazzles, Timlin Not So Much

Bartolo Colon earned his 150th career win tonight at Fenway with a win over the Orioles. He went 6 innings only giving up 1 run (homer to right) and striking out 7. Aardsma and Lopez kept the O's off the board until the ball was handed to Timlin in the 9th. The wheels came off quickly for the veteran reliever who gave up 2 runs in 2/3 of an inning and had to be rescued by Papelbon. The Sox offense only had 7 hits but with a few rallies and 2 big homers by Varitek and Lowell they were able to score 6 runs. Before the game started several Hall of Famers were on hand at Fenway to celebrate the Baseball as America exhibit at the Museum of Science. Bobby Doerr, Carlton Fisk, Wade Boggs and Dennis Eckersley represented the Sox and Eddie Murray was there for the O's. Fisk joined Remy and Orsillo later in the game. Speaking of Orsillo, that suit and tie were hideous tonight, somebody at Century 21 wants their jacket back.

Sox Win 6-3 BOX SCORE

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Kobe is a Yankees Fan


According to the Associated Press:


"Asked if he was disappointed in Schilling's comments, Bryant responded, "Go Yankees!''

I guess the old adage is true....losers love company.

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Tonight's Lineup 6/11 vs. the Orioles

Jacoby Ellsbury, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
J.D. Drew, RF
Manny Ramirez, DH
Mike Lowell, 3B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Jason Varitek, C
Coco Crisp, CF
Julio Lugo, SS

Bartolo 'el Gordo' Colon, SP

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Big Papi Becomes An American Citizen


David Ortiz became an American citizen today at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library. Ortiz immigrated from the Dominican Republic.

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Schilling Update

Curt Schilling has had no problems with throwing off of the mound and has been throwing harder. He will face hitters next week. From the looks of it Schilling could be making some rehab starts by the end of the month and could join the rotation after the All-Star Break...if all goes as planned. In the interim Schilling has been stirring up some heat in the media with his recent bashing of Kobe and the Lakers on 38pitches.com.

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Okajima Serves Up Some Meatballs

After a less than stellar performance from Josh Beckett, Hideki Okajima came to try to hold the lead. Like most of the times he faced the O's this year, it did not turn out well. He gave up 3 earned runs in 1/3 of an inning with 3 hits and 2 walks. The ProJo wonders if Okajima was a one hit (season) wonder. Rooster has a great writeup of the game over at The Rational Red Sox Fan.

Sox Lose 10-6 BOX SCORE

Tek talks about Okajima's outing:
video

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beckett Having Control Issues

Josh Beckett can't get his fastball or curve over for strikes and has thrown 75 pitches and has just started the 4th inning. Sox are losing 4-3.

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Tonight's Lineup 6/10 vs. the Orioles

Ellsbury lf
Pedroia 2b
Drew rf
Ramirez dh
Lowell 3b
Youkilis 1b
Varitek c
Crisp cf
Cora ss

Beckett p

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Time Change for Tonight's Game

The Sox will start at 6:05 tonight and Thursday so fans will be about to watch the C's in games 3 and 4 of the NBA finals beginning at 9 Eastern. (6 Pacific) Tonight's game is on NESN.

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Roger* Also Popped Viagra


The NY Daily News is reporting that Roger Clemens* kept a supply of Viagra in his Yankee locker to help his performance....on the field.

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Bobby Kielty Can't Get A Break


Bobby Kielty was making good progress on his road back to the majors. He was starting to get his hitting back with the PawSox and may have been called up when Coco gets suspended. Those chances ended yesterday when Kielty went on the minor league DL for the second time this season with an injured left oblique.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Buchholz Gets Shelled In Pawtucket

Clay Buchholz was gone after 3 innings today with the PawSox after giving up 6 hits, 2 walks and 2 earned runs. This is his third start since he was sent down and two of them have been bad. With the way Masterson pitched yesterday, Buchholz may have dropped on the depth chart for the Sox.

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The Masterson Dilemma


What *should* the Sox do with Masterson? Right now the rotation is as follows: Beckett, Wakefield, Lester, Colon, Masterson. When Dice-K returns, Masterson will obviously be the odd man out, unless Tito decides to go to a 6 man rotation, but there hasn't been any talk of that recently. That puts Bucholz and Masterson back in Pawtucket. And then there's the eventual return of Schilling. My money is on Colon getting traded, and either Bucholz or Masterson (whomever is posting the better numbers) moving back up. Theo made a brilliant move signing Colon and has quite the stable lined up, jic one of them gets hurt. Always a real possibility. The way Colon's pitching, he should be able to attract some quality talent in return for a player wherever needed by the Sox. Like shortstop for starters.

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Schilling Thinks The Sox Will Be OK Without Ortiz

Curt Schilling checks in over at 38pitches.com and covers most of the recent events. He highlights one of the great things about having Manny Ramirez on your team:

No one on this team is as affected by David’s absence as Manny. The reason that’s perfect for us is that Manny NEVER allows things like that to change his approach. He’s done what he’s done, the way he’s done it, for that very reason. Manny hits and Manny approaches his AB’s in his way, every day.

Manny and J.D. will continue to carry the team in Ortiz's absence and when Big Papi comes back with the rested knee the Sox will just get better. I would also like to point out just how great Wake has been lately, with the no-hitter by Lester, Manny hitting #500, and Masterson's great spot starts, Wakefield has been overlooked. He has had three great starts in a row and is one of the reasons why the Sox can overcome injuries and suspensions.

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Lester Calls Out Bob Watson

Jon Lester is not happy with his suspension and let his feelings known about Bob Watson the VP of MLB that handed out the penalties last week. Lester told the Herald the following:

“(Watson) said, ‘You hit Crawford with a curveball and guys are hitting guys with curveballs now.’ It’s stupid,” Lester said. “They have no idea. (Watson) didn’t watch the video. He doesn’t have a feel for the game. He doesn’t understand baseball....It really is B.S. that I got suspended and Shields, the guy that hit somebody, only gets one more game than me,” Lester said. “I didn’t throw any punches, and didn’t hit anybody on purpose. You have to talk to them and find out why.”

You may remember that Bob Watson is the guy that pissed off Terry Francona last August when he made him show his uniform top during a game against the Yankees, here's a flashback,

"I've never seen anything like that before in my life," he said. "Middle of the game you've got the fashion police. This is incredible. He made me show him [the jersey]. I was sort of in a hurry because I thought Jeter was going to steal third. I was trying to do my job...I didn't ask to appeal. I think the cursing I did to the guy going up the tunnel was probably appeal enough."

Watson, the former GM of the Yankees, is also responsible for the new "Francona Rule."

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sox Players Cheer on the Celts


Red Sox players were on hand for game two of the NBA Finals tonight to cheer on the Celtics. David Ortiz, Jon Lester, and Curt Schilling were all in attendance. Jon Lester was honored as a "Hero Among Us" by the Celtics before the game. Just like in years past the Lakers whined about the conditions of the Garden; now they are saying it is too cold.

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Sox Win A Pitcher's Duel

Justin Masterson does it again. He has made 4 spot starts for the Red Sox and has won 3 of them. (He would have 4 wins if the bullpen didn't blow one) He went 6 inning allowing just 3 hits and one run. J.D. Drew continues to power the offense and he drove in both runs today including the winning run with a homer in the 6th. The bullpen went 3 scoreless no hit innings to preserve the win. The "Beat LA" chants could be heard at the Fens throughout the game and the scoreboard also had some encouraging words for the C's. The Sox have a day off tomorrow, Beckett starts on Tuesday against the Orioles.

Sox Win 2-1 BOX SCORE

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Today's Lineup 6/8 vs. the Mariners

1. Julio Lugo, SS
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. J.D. Drew, RF
4. Manny Ramirez, DH
5. Mike Lowell, 3B
6. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
7. Jason Varitek, C
8. Coco Crisp, CF
9. Brandon Moss, LF

Justin Masterson, SP

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Dice-K on the Mend

Yesterday Dice-K began a throwing program on flat ground for the first time since he was injured. From Red Sox.com:

Everything went well," Francona said. "He's officially onto his throwing. Flat ground; it'll be flat ground for a while. This should come along pretty quickly."

Tito does not know a date for Matsusaka's return and thinks June 12, the day he comes off of the DL, is unlikely. A trip to Pawtucket for a rehab start might be needed but look for Dice-K to be back in the rotation by the end of the month.

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