Saturday, June 28, 2008

Clemens'* Ex-Squeeze in Trouble...Again

Last month the NY Daily Times alleged that Roger Clemens* started an improper relationship with country singer Mindy McCready when he was 28 and married and she was a mere 15 years old.

She had been on probation for a 2004 drug charge when she was recently arrested for violating her parole by falsifying her community service records.

I'm wondering if the drug charge involved steroids, perhaps? For her voice?

This is her 2004 mug shot.

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Tonight's Lineup 6/28 at Houston

Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Drew RF
Ramirez LF
Lowell 3B
Youkilis 1B
Varitek C
Lugo SS
Lester SP

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Have you voted yet?

If not, do it! Now!
Vote Varitek! Vote Youkilis! Vote Pedroia! Vote Papi!
Voting for the 2008 All Star Game ends on July 2, 11:59 pm.
You may vote up to 25 times.
As of June 23rd, Minnesota's Joe Mauer has overtaken Jason Varitek by 44,775 votes. At first base, Kevin Youkilis' edge over Mauer's teammate, Justin Morneau, is now less than 270,000 votes. At second base, Texas' Ian Kinsler made up more than 50,000 votes on Dustin Pedroia to come within 166,000 votes. And Derek Jeter zipped past David Ortiz to grab the lead in overall votes.
Jacoby Ellsbury! Vote for him in the write-in ballot!

Wouldn't it be SWEET to see 5 Sox starting at Yankee Stadium?!!!

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"Red Sox Kid Nation" Captain is from Northern California

As reported in the Marin Independent Journal today:


Eleven-year-old Ben Brandeis of Mill Valley [CA] and the Red Sox Nation have officially been connected.
Brandeis won a contest and has been elected as a captain of the Red Sox Kid Nation following online voting that ended June 22. He was one of 25 finalists across the country and one of a dozen who were finally selected from 32,000 votes nationwide. The 12 winners will be invited to Fenway Park in Boston for an inaugural ceremony where they will meet Red Sox television analyst Jerry Remy, the "president" of the Red Sox Nation, tour the ballpark, get premium seats to an upcoming Red Sox game and Red Sox apparel and autographs, and receive a year's supply of ice cream from the sponsor of the first contest that attracted nearly 700 applicants from 29 states.
Of the 12 winners, Brandeis, whose parents grew up in Massachusetts, is the only one who lives outside the six-state New England region.


Ben also has a website: http://www.voteforben.org/

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More Signs That Houston Fans Are Not Wicked Smahht

In today's Houston Chronicle they have a feature on how a local rapper name Paul Wall, whoever that is, gives his support to Roger Clemens*. Seriously, is this the best the Rocket* can do for quasi -celebrity props? That guy isn't even famous enough to be on a Fox reality show. To make the story even more ridiculous, the rapper will participate in a guitar hero contest competition after the game wearing a Clemens* jersey, that should pack in the fans. From the Chronicle:

"That's why I had to wear it on my back," Wall said. "I had to represent. It may be a little added pressure to win on the Guitar Hero. I'm representing Clemens."

Wall has been one of Clemens' biggest supporters in Houston since the seven-time Cy Young Award winner was mentioned in the Mitchell Report on Dec. 13. At one point, he paid for a billboard in town that read, "Houston Supports Roger Clemens." The owner of Paul Wall's Grills also vows to write a rap song in honor of Clemens, whom he has mentioned in a few of his songs.

"Yeah, I've put him in a couple verses here and there, especially when he started getting a lot of coverage and everybody started coming down on (Clemens') back just saying, 'This is how the world is, man,' " Wall said.
I don't know which is scarier; that this guy paid for a billboard to support Roger* or that the Chronicle published this story.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Sox Run On All Cylinders in Houston


Dice-K is back and in a big way. Matsuzaka went 5 scoreless innings allowing just 2 hits while striking out 4. Hansen and Delcarmen faced the minimum in the 6th and 7th before Okajima came in for the 8th. Oki was less than sharp again giving up 2 hitsincluding a home run in 2/3 of an inning. Papelbon came in for a 4 out save as the Sox staff shut down the Astros on 4 hits. Offensively the Sox looked good; Drew broke out of him mini slump with a 3 run tater in the third inning and Youk went 4-5. Not a bad way to start the second half.

Sox Win 6-1 BOX SCORE

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Coco's Suspension Reduced

MLB reduced Coco Crisp's 7 game suspension by 2 games. Coco was happy with the new but Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays was not. From the Boston Herald:

“First of all, the fact that after the appeal that we made the other day that Aki’s suspension was not reduced, I’m kind of baffled by it,” Maddon told Tampa Bay reporters prior to tonight’s game in Pittsburgh. “I don’t agree with it at all. I thought it should have been reduced. I thought it was way too severe, because of the fact that we were reacting to a situation. And then furthermore, the guy that pretty much created the entire moment gets his reduced by two [games]. Honestly, none of that makes any sense to me whatsoever. There’s no way for me to take all the information that I’ve heard over the last couple of days and indicate that I’m in agreement. Regardless that I’m a Ray or not, I would think that an independent person would also agree that how this has all come down, you would say that I disagree with this.”
Coco will play tonight and miss the remainder of the Houston series and the Tampa series. This could lighten up the tension between the two teams but Papelbon may get things heated back up if he has his say.

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Tonight's Lineup 6/27 at Houston

Crisp CF
Pedroia 2B
Drew RF
Ramirez LF
Lowell 3B
Youkilis 1B
Varitek C
Lugo SS
Matsuzaka SP

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Flush Twice, It's a Long Way to Texas

I read the above headline in a bathroom stall in Alaska several years ago and it seems appropriate today. The Sox are headed to Houston; home of Enron, George H.W. Bush Airport, and Roger Clemens*. Interleague play can sometimes make sense and be interesting but it is hard to get excited about playing the Astros. I wonder how many Sox blogs or newspaper stories are going to go with the "Houston, We Have A Problem" headline if Boston loses a game there? Houston is so caught up in the Shaun Chacon incident the city hardly notices the World Champs are coming to town, or maybe they are not the brightest of baseball fans. Take a look at what some typical Astros fans are like as they talk about Chacon. Oh those silly Texans, they make me laugh, especially the Barbara Bush look-a-like about 30 seconds into the video. FYI -Ed Wade is the GM that fired Tito in Philly.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Timlin Pitches Well For PawSox

Mike Timlin pitched the 8th inning for the PawSox tonight and retired the side in order. He threw 10 pitches, 7 for strikes. While this is a good sign, he will not be pitching at Fenway any time soon. If he can have 3-4 more outings like this it may hasten his arrival, a few more Oki or Hansen meltdowns might help him too.

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Starting in Center Field Tonight....

yahoo reports on the real names of pop stars. Madonna is Madonna Ciccone, Tiger Woods is Eldrick Woods, Larry the Cable Guy is Daniel Lawrence Whitney along with 17 others on their list. Number 5 on the list: Covelli (aka 'Coco') Crisp.

A-Rod did not make the list. I guess he's just not that big enough of a star.

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The Midseason Report Card

The Sox are halfway done with the regular season and on a pace to win 98 games. Here is how I grade the team so far.

Starting Pitching: B+ Beckett, Lester, Dice-K, and Wake all have ERA's under 4. Masterson has pitched well in spot starts, Colon has shown he can be a good member of the rotation. Outlook for the second half: Buchholz looks like he is ready to rejoin the club, Lester has become an ace and other arms are recovering; look for even better pitching from the rotation.

Relief Pitching: C- The pen has lost a few games this season and cannot get any consistency. Okajima is not the pitcher he was last year and Timlin looks like he is ready for the retirement home. Aardsma has been pitching well and Lopez, Hansen, or Delcarmen look good occasionally. Papelbon had a few blown saves in the first half but he is still the best closer in baseball. Outlook for the second half: Look for Theo to try to get some bullpen help before the deadline (just hope it's not somebody like Gagne) The pen will continue to be the weak point on the team.

Offense: B The numbers are not there in the first half and you have to blame this on injuries. Only Drew and Youk are batting over .300 and nobody is on pace for 100 RBI's (Manny will get there if he stays healthy). The team has great speed and can manufacture runs and the lineup can produce top to bottom. Outlook for the second half: If Big Papi can return at full strength this team is going to get better at the plate. The average and power numbers will rise as the team sees pitchers for the second or third time.

Defense: A- The team has been very good defensively other than Julio Lugo. The platooning of Ellsbury and Crisp allows for late defensive replacements in the outfield. Cora has also been coming in late at short. Outlook for the second half: More of the same solid defense and Lugo will not be as bad; he is not a great defensive shortstop but he should not be leading the league in errors.

Bench: A+ The Red Sox have the best bench in baseball and have been able to overcome injuries to Ortiz, Manny, Youk, Coco, Drew, and the sickness that went through the team earlier in the season. Casey and Cora have both filled in well. Cash is a great backup catcher and the Sox usually have Coco or Ellsbury in reserve for the outfield. Outlook for the second half: there is still a chance that Coco gets traded but the Sox will be ok on the bench with Moss and possibly Kielty. The bench is going to keep the Sox at the top of the division and be the ace in the hole for the playoffs.

Coaching and Management: A Francona and Theo have done a tremendous job handling all of the injuries and egos. They had a good backup plan when Schilling went down, they made the right moves with Buchholz and Masterson and have made the Coco/Ellsbury thing a non issue. Outlook for the second half: Who else would you want steering the ship than a guy who has won 2 of the last 4 World Series. Tito will have the team ready and rested for the post season and Theo will make sure he has the players to get there.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wake Cashes In

The Sox took the rubber match in the three game series against the Snakes behind solid pitching by Tim Wakefield and outstanding play by Kevin Cash. Wake went 7 innings, allowing just 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6. He kept Arizona hitters off balance all night. Kevin Cash was the other hero of the night hitting a 3-run homer, calling a great game behind the plate and throwing out a runner trying to steal second. Cash really deserves credit for how well he has caught Wake this season, he has been quietly getting the job done behind the dish and made people forget about Mirabelli. The Sox offense had 12 hits including 3 by Coco. Hansen did run into some trouble in the 9th and loaded the bases before Paps came in and bailed him out.

Sox Win 5-0 BOX SCORE

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Tonight's Lineup 6/25 vs. the D-Backs

Jacoby Ellsbury, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B

Manny Ramirez, DH
Mike Lowell, 3B
Coco Crisp, CF

Kevin Cash, C

Brandon Moss, RF

Julio Lugo, SS

Tim Wakefield SP

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Ortiz Update

Big Papi did take some swings today but it was not the best case senario according to Ortiz and the ProJo:

"There's a little bit of pain, but it's better than when I hurt it. Then I couldn't even hold onto the bat. I didn't take a full swing. It was very light. I was trying not to miss it, We're pretty much where they expected," said Ortiz of his medical staff. "I was a little disappointed. I want to be playing. There's not too much I can do about it but wait. It's a healing process. It's better than what it was."

Ortiz now looks like he is at least 3 weeks away from playing some rehab games with the PawSox before rejoining the team. So much for the Yankee series or even the All-Star Game.

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Injury Update

David Ortiz: With the cast removed Ortiz will take some swings today and be checked out by doctors before heading with the Sox to Houston. If all goes well he could be in there for the series with the Yankees.

Bartolo Colon: El Gordo has been put on the "slow road" to get back to the rotation to ensure he has totally healed (and to avoid any chance of him swinging a bat in an NL game.) From the ProJo:

“We’re going to slow (his rehab process) down for another week,” said Francona, “just to make sure we don’t have a problem like last time.”
Kevin Youkilis: Youk had a CT scan which came up negative and he saw an eye specialist about the injury. He did not start yesterday but did come in for the 9th. Tito talks about the injury below:


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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sox Bats Come Alive In The 8th

Masterson did not have his best stuff tonight but he kept the Sox in the game. He gave up a big three run homer but was able to stay in the game until the 7th when Chris Smith came in and kept the Snakes from adding to their lead. Aside from Pedroia's homer in the first, the Sox could not get to Arizona starter Doug Davis. By the time the 8th rolled around, Boston was down 4-1. In the bottom of the 8th Lugo and Ellsbury both singled, chasing Davis from the game. Chad Qualis came in and gave up an RBI single to Pedroia cutting the lead to 4-2. The rally seemed to be over when J.D. Drew K'd, followed by a grounder to short by Manny. Mike Lowell restarted the rally with a wall ball double plating 2 to tie the score at 4 apiece. The Red Sox captain came to the plate in the middle of a major slump and hit an RBI single to put the Sox ahead 5-4. Papelbon pitched the 9th (Youk also came in at first) and closed the door on the D-Backs.

Sox Win 5-4 BOX SCORE

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More Rain


Tonight's start has been delayed to 7:40 PM Eastern.

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It's Jerry Remy Day at Fenway

Today is Jerry Remy Day at Fenway, the Red Sox are honoring Remy to mark his 20th anniversary as NESN’s Red Sox analyst. Students from the RemDawg's hometown of Somerset, Mass will be part of the pregame ceremony. Check out a classic Remy moment below:

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Tonight's Lineup 6/24 vs. the Snakes

Youk will miss tonight's game with swelling under his eye, Moss will have to try to play first again tonight since Casey is still suspended.

Ellsbury LF
Pedroia 2B
Drew RF
Ramirez DH
Lowell 3B
Varitek C
Moss 1B
Crisp CF
Lugo SS

Masterson SP

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Eric Byrnes vs Jeff Kent For Worst Mustache

What was that thing on Eric Byrnes' face last night? He has apparently been trying to grow a mustache since last April.(without much success) He is giving Jeff Kent a run for his money for the 1970's porn star look.

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Nomar Is Genetically Challenged

There is a new reason why Nomar is always hurt, which he is again if you haven't noticed, he says its due to genetics. The Dodgers were going to have Nomar move back to short until he got reinjured this week. From Scout.com:

"Dodgers infielder Nomar Garciaparra said a genetic predisposition, one he didn't know he had until it was identified by a Boston physical therapist with whom he voluntarily consulted last week, is the reason his left-calf strain has been so long in healing."
You can say what you want about Theo signing Lugo but he abosultely made the right move in shipping off Nomar. I'm sure roids had nothing to do with the bulking up followed by the breakdown of ligaments.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Haren Shuts Down Sox...Youk Hurt

Dan Haren won a pitchers duel against Josh Beckett at Fenway as the Sox offense managed just 4 hits. Beckett had a shutout going in the 7th before he gave up 2 runs. One of the runs may not have scored but Moss (who was in for the injured Youk) bobbled the ball and had no play at the plate. The Sox tried to rally in the bottom of the inning and had bases loaded with one out. J.D. hit a sac-fly to put the Sox on the board. Manny came to the plate with runners on first and second and two outs. He hit a hard liner but it was right at the third baseman for the third out. Lyon came in for the 9th and the Sox went in order. Beckett and Aardsma both pitched very well for Boston but they did not have any run support.

Youk was hurt in the game during a warm-up between innings. He tried to catch a bouncing throw that came up on him and hit him below his eye. He was replaced my Moss at first because Casey was out serving the suspension from the Rays incident. No word on how much time Youk will miss.

Sox Lose 2-1 BOX SCORE

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O Brother, Where Art Thou

On the other team, that's where!
Last week, two former Red Sox teammates faced each other. Today the Drew brothers find themselves on opposing teams: JD for the Sox and Stephen for the D-backs. Stephen just flied out to his bro' in the first inning as the game delay is over and the game is on!

This just in~ Julio Lugo throws to 1st and does not make an error to end the top of the 1st.

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Schilling's Surgery Goes Well

The Herald is reporting that Curt Schilling sugery went better than expected, making it possible for him to possibly pitch next season. Not that it matters much to the Sox unless he is going to take a major discount.

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Today's Lineup 6/23 vs. the D-Backs

Ellsbury LF
Pedroia 2B
JD Drew RF
Ramirez DH
Lowell 3B
Youkilis 1B
Varitek C
Crisp CF
Lugo SS

Beckett SP

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Rain In the Forecast

The tarp is on the field and rain is in the forecast along with some lightning. This may be a tough one to get started on time.

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Tek Drops to Second in All-Star Voting

Jason Varitek is now behind Joe Mauer of the Twins for the starting catcher spot on the AL roster in the All-Star Game. There is still time for Tek to regain the lead, you can vote for him here.

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The Spaceman Can Still Get it Done

Bill Lee won a minor league game in Alaska over the weekend. From the Fairbanks News Miner:

Bill “Spaceman” Lee walked off the field with a cigar in his mouth, a grin on his face and another win on his record after the Midnight Sun Game this morning.

The 62-year old former Goldpanners and Boston Red Sox hurler, who hadn’t pitched in a Midnight Sun Game since losing to the Japanese national team in 1967, threw six-plus innings for the Alaska Goldpanners in their 10-6 win over the Southern California Running Birds.
Lee gave up 4 runs and had 3 K's in the game. I will always be a fan of Bill Lee because he got me tickets to my first Red Sox game. Bill Lee played for the Alaska Goldpanners earlier in his career. For a history of the Midnight Sun Baseball Classic look here.

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Bronson to the Bronx?

There are some trade rumors that former Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo may get traded to the Yankees. It would be a shame to see him in pinstripes, he has always been very loyal to the Sox, even after they screwed him over.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sox Win A Thriller

In perhaps the best game of the season, Kevin Youkilis helped the Sox avoid a sweep in a 13 inning game. Lester started the game and pitched very well, going 7-1/3 innings, with 2 runs on 9 hits, a walk and 3 strikeouts. Delcarmen came in and kept the Sox within one of the Cardinals in the 8th. The Sox caught a break when the Cardinals misplayed a hit by Coco allowing him to get to third, Lugo plated him with a sac-fly. Pedroia then singled and stole second (even though he was out on the replay) and then the Sox caught another break as the Cardinal reliever walked 3 straight batters, giving Boston a one run lead. Paps came in to pitch the 9th and close out the game but things did not work out that way. He got two quick outs before walking Chris Duncan, he then got two strikes on pinch hitter Adam Kennedy before giving up a hit over Coco's head to give the Cards a one run lead. This was Papelbon's 4th blown save of the season. Okajima loaded the bases in the 11th but Hansen struck out Ryan Ludwick to get out of it. The Sox then had bases loaded in the bottom of the inning with one out before Isringhausen struck out Cora and Ellsbury to get out of the jam. In the top of the 13th Adam Kennedy singled again with Chris Duncan on base, he was sent home on the play and J.D. Drew threw a stike to Tek who held on after a violent collision at the plate. In the bottom of the 13th Youk followed Mike Lowell's single with a walk-off homer to win the game, he had a home run earlier in the day.

Sox Win 5-3 in 13 Innings BOX SCORE

video

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Lester Should Help Sox Avoid Sweep

The Rays are only 1/2 game back but Jon Lester has proven to be a solid starter this season and should get the win today, keeping the Sox in first. Here is what he told ESPN about his recent pitching.

"It seems like every start, things are getting better," said Lester, who has walked just two batters over his last 20 1-3 innings. "Walks are going down, I'm more around the zone with better command of my stuff. I have the confidence to throw any pitch, any time."

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