Saturday, July 12, 2008

So Long, Bobby Kielty

Bobby Kielty has been released by the Red Sox. I posted earlier about the long road for him to get back with the big club and now that road has come to an end. Kielty asked the Sox to release him and they granted his request. He only appeared in 20 games for the Sox but did make the post-season roster. At game four of last year's World Series I turned to a fellow Sox fan at Coors Field as he was coming in to pinch hit and told him, "Kielty was crushing balls over the left field wall in BP, let's hope he can do it in the game." Sure enough he hit the biggest homer of his career.


Big Papi Will Rejoin the Team For the Yankees Series

David Oritz will rejoin the Red Sox on July 25 to start the series against the Yankees. He will make a few starts with the PawSox and if everything works out he will be in the Boston lineup by the end of the month.


Tonight's Lineup 7/12 vs. the Orioles

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. J.D. Drew, RF
4. Manny Ramirez, LF
5. Mike Lowell, 3B
6. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
7. Sean Casey, DH
8. Jed Lowrie, SS
9. Kevin Cash, C

Tim Wakefield, SP


Lowrie Called Up

In a sign that Lugo is headed to the DL, Jed Lowrie has been called up to the big club. You won't have Julio to kick around anymore, lets home Lowrie can be a consistent hitter and fielder at short. I would expect Cora to start today though, lineups coming soon.

UPDATE: Lugo has been placed on the 15-Day DL GoldBlog reports the following about the Lugo injury:

Lugo will miss at least a month with the injury to his left quad. The team is calling it a severe left quad strain, with a timetable of 4-6 weeks. But Lugo, speaking to reporters today, said the quad is torn, and was awaiting the full results of an MRI. But Lugo concurred with the 4-6 week timetable for a return.


Dumbass Hank Rips the Sox Again

Hank Steinbrenner keeps the quotes coming with this one from yesterday's USA Today interview:

"People in baseball know it, whether they want to admit it or not," Steinbrenner said. "It helps everyone when the Yankees are good. The Red Sox, whether they're good or not doesn't necessarily matter, nationally. ... Let's face it: The Yankees are baseball history. You're talking about 26 championships."
Note to Hank: The Sox outdraw the Yanks on the road. The only reason people are even talking about the Yankees now is because of the All-Star Game. Baseball attendance and ratings are up over the last few years...what team was on top during this period? That's right it was the Sox. Nice job by the Yanks on getting 2 hits last night BTW, maybe you should let blockhead Hal do the talking.


Buchholz Does Not Impress

After rehabbing with the PawSox since May, Clay Buchholz made his return to Boston last night. There was the hype that was there before the season started but once again he struggled and took another loss. Clay went 5 innings giving up 4 earned runs with 5 walks. This is a troubling senario for Boston because he did not really show any improvement and he was facing the O's. Theo had purposely held him back from starting against the Yanks last week to ensure a confidence building start against the O's but that plan has now backfired. The Sox bullpen woes showed up again in the 8th when Delcarmen gave up 2 more followed by Timlin being Timlin allowing a run in the 9th. The offense was not great last night even when aided by an error in the 9th. Pedroia's hit streak ended and the good/bad news of the night was that Lugo hurt his leg and may be headed to the DL.

Sox Lose 7-3 BOX SCORE


Friday, July 11, 2008

Tonight's Lineup 7/11 vs. the O's

J.D. is still out with the back issue and Coco has a bruised forearm.

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

Buchholz SP


Please Vote For Me For Red Sox Governor of California

I am running for Governor of Red Sox Nation for California and I would really appreciate your support. If you can take a minute and endorse my application here. You need to put Matt O'Donnell in the name field and in the email field. You can vote up to 10 times so please vote as many times as possible. I appreciate your support. (You do not have to live in California to vote for me.)


Masterson Shows He Can Be A Reliever Too

Justin Masterson pitched well as a relief pitcher for the PawSox yesterday retiring the Norfolk batters in order on 16 pitches including one strikeout. Pawtucket is planning on using Masterson again tonight. If Masterson can continue to do well in relief I would expect him to join the Red Sox pen by the end of the month.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Buchholz Explains Why Things Will Be Different This Time

Clay Buchholz will take the hill tomorrow night against the O's in his first start since returning from the PawSox. He told the Patriot Ledger about his struggles and how he has adapted:

“It was all mechanical, and sort of mental, too,” he said, “because I fell in love with throwing all my off-speed stuff for strikes and nobody hitting it. Then it got to a point where (hitters said), ‘All right, we’re just not going to swing at his fastball and wait for the off-speed stuff,’ and that’s when they started hitting me.”

He feels that returning to Boston will be different this time “because if somebody hits my fastball I’m not going to be afraid to throw it again. That’s what I did. I sort of veered away from it. I was on the 60 percent mark of throwing off-speed stuff. That’s not a good thing when you’re up there and everybody knows you can throw a fastball but you’re not doing it. I think I got it all sorted out now.”
If Buchholz can stay with the club and have an ERA under 4, the Sox will run away with the division.


Beckett Bowl Video


You Can Be Wally

The Sox are looking for someone to be Wally. Here is the job description:

Represent the Boston Red Sox as Wally at select community and corporate events; always conducting him or herself in a professional manner during appearances. Must be available in a part time hourly role on weekdays, weeknights, weekends and holidays. Must have reliable transportation.

Minimum of one year experience as a sports mascot, theme park character or actor. Must have general knowledge of baseball and the Boston Red Sox. Ability to interact with and entertain a crowd. Must be able to withstand high heat in costume and be able to lift 50 pounds.

If you thing you have what it takes to be the big green guy, apply here.


Not In Our Town

A group of citizens from Sarasota have started an online petition to try to block the public financing of a new spring training facility for the Red Sox. So far there are only 12 signatures on the petition. The city's proposal calls for an increase in the tourist tax to help pay for the ballpark so it would be Sox fans picking up the tab, not the local residents.


Announcing the Fenway West Message Board

A message board has been created for this site, you can visit it here and let everyone know your thoughts on the Sox and baseball in general.


Peter Gammons Talks About Sox at the Deadline

Gammons talks about what the Sox may do at the deadline. Topics include Bonds, Ortiz, Masterson, and potential deals. Watch Below:


Manny Being Manny in the Monster

During a pitching change in the 6th inning Manny went into the Green Monster to make a cell phone call. This is the type of Manny being Manny thing that is fine with Sox fans, especially when he produces like he did in that series.


Beckett Bowl Tonight

With an off day, many Sox players will be participating in Josh Beckett's charity bowling fundraiser including, Wake, Lester, Big Papi, Lopez, and Lowell. It all gets underway at 6pm Eastern for more info go to the Becketbowl website.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

23 Hits!

And not one of 'em by Big Papi! Can you imagine, can you just imagine for a moment if he was in the line up today?!

BTW, 23 is not the team record for most hits in one game. On June 27, 2003, they hit 28 of 'em.


Tiger Stadium Is Dismantled

Today is a sad day for baseball as the heavy equipment came in to destroy Tiger Stadium. The park opened on the same year as Fenway. While the ballpark was cramped and rundown in the last few years the Tigers played there, it had great history and could have been renovated. I was lucky enough to go to a game there in 1999 before the Tigers moved to their new home. Fenway and Wrigley are going to be all that are left of the historic stadiums.


We Bad, We Nationwide (Sox on Tube in July)

In the wake of a great sweep of a very respectable Twins club, here is the Sox nationwide TV schedule (from for the remainder of July:

Sun 13th v. BAL, TBS, 10:30 am
Sat 19th @ LAA, Fox, 12:55 pm
Sun 20th @ LAA, ESPN, 3:00 pm
Sat 26th v. NYY, Fox, 12:55 pm
Sun 27th v. NYY, ESPN, 5:00 pm
Mon 28th v. LAA, ESPN, 4:00 pm

There's one other Red Sox game in July, the All Star Game at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, July 15th.

All times PDT.

I'll be back east for the yankees series and will get to watch NESN and Jerry Remy for a change! Yay! No Joe Morgan that weekend for me!


A-Rod Flakes on Kid For Madonna

After A-Rod passed out in the delivery room for his newborn daughter he only saw her one more time according to US Magazine. He is said to have left to see Madonna right after the birth and he told a friend, "She's (Madonna) my fucking soulmate, dude."


Sox Crush Twins To Sweep Series

The Red Sox Offense came alive in a big way today at the Fens with 23 hits and 18 runs to sweep the three game series with the Twins. Ellsbury had a 4 hit day, Pedroia kept his hitting streak alive and Youk had 4 RBI's. Manny stayed hot and every Sox starter had at least one hit. Beckett did not pitch well giving up 5 earned runs in 5 innings but the offense provided enough firepower to weather a Julian Tavarez style meltdown and the pen was solid. The Rays lost to the Yankees in 10 so the Sox are just 2 games back and could have the division lead by the break.

Sox Win 18-5 BOX SCORE


Setback for Bartolo Colon

El Gordo was still feeling pain when he was throwing on flat ground and was told to take two days off. His return to the rotation will be delayed until a few weeks after the All-Star break at best.


Today's Lineup 7/9 vs. the Twins

J.D. is having back trouble again so Casey will DH and Manny will play left.




Theo Talks About Ortiz, J.D. Drew, Masterson, Buchholz and Tek

Theo gives some insight into the current state of the club. Watch below:


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Manny Leads the Sox to Victory Again

For the second straight night Manny Ramirez has provided the winning hit in the 8th inning, tonight it was a 2-run homer. Lester did not have his best stuff and had some control problems; he gave up 5 runs in 7 and 1/3 innings. The Sox trailed by 3 runs in the 8th but rallied back scoring 4 and giving Papelbon a one run lead for the top of the 9th. He picked up the save and the Sox now have a 2-game win streak and Manny has broken out of the slump. Boston plays a day game tomorrow but Manny should be in there as DH.

Sox Win 6-5 BOX SCORE


Julian Tavarez Has Another New Home


Tonight's Lineup 7/8 vs. the Twinkies

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

Jon Lester, SP


Red Sox Want a Replica of Fenway for Spring Training

News from Florida is that the Sox want to build "Fenway South" for spring training so players can get used to the dimensions of the field before the seasons starts, the stadium will include an exact replica of the Green Monster. There is competition between Ft. Myers and Sarasota for the location of the new spring facilities but either way the Sox should have a new stadium in Florida by 2012.


Is Masterson Going to Save the Pen?

Justin Masterson is returning to Pawtucket to become a reliever for the Red Sox. This could be a sign that the price for the mediocre relievers that will be available before the deadline are not worth the asking price and Theo is going to try to get it done in house. Masterson has shown he can get big league hitters out so it will be a great move if he can effectively make the transition.

In other Sox news, Jeff Bailey was called back up, this is the second time the power hitting first baseman has been with Boston this season.


Good News on Ortiz

Big Papi took live BP yesterday and everything went well. Here's what he told the ProJo:

“I feel good,” Ortiz said following the BP session. “My first day swinging out there and it was feeling good. I feel like I’m getting back to normal. I want to go back and play. When you don’t play it kills you. Injuries are better when you take your time because if you rush sometimes it’s not worth it.... “I was trying to swing the bat normally,” he said. “I wanted to swing hard to make sure I don’t feel anything. It was fine.”
There have been rumors about the Sox trying to get Teixeira or even Millar in case Ortiz did not make a recovery but now it looks like he will be able to rejoin the team after the break.


Buchholz is Back With the Big Club

Clay Buchholz pitched well with the PawSox lately and was rewarded by being brought up to rejoin Boston's rotation. The Red Sox were patient with him and believe he is ready to be an impact pitcher again. The good news for Clay was bad news for Justin Masterson who was sent down to the PawSox. In his last few starts Masterson pitched well enough but showed signs of inexperience and the need for more development.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Boston Bats Still A Bit Quiet, But Come Away With a Win

After 7 innings, the game was still scoreless. The Twins’ Baker went 7 IP, scattering 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 7. Dice-K was almost as frugal, allowing 6 hits, only walking 3, and striking out 5. Both pitchers at one point loaded the bases earlier in the game, but managed to get out of those jams unscathed.

Enter the bottom of the 7th frame. Red hot Pedroia doubles again (#26), and Manny knocked him in for the only run of the game.

Okajima walked one while notching the win. Pap finished the 9th for his 26th save.

Red Sox win 1-0. BOX SCORE


Red Sox Fans Must Not Lower Their Selves

Earlier this year, a drunken Yankee fan ran down two Sox fans in New Hampshire. Whether this was an act of revenge or not, Robert Correia, 20 of Cape Cod, MA, was held without bail after attacking a man with a baseball bat simply because he had NY license plates on his car. The victim is not even a baseball fan, nor did he even know that the Yankees were playing against Boston this weekend.

The victim was struck in traffic when Correia and others started yelling at him when they saw his plates. He got out of the car and asked them to stop, as there were children in the car. Correia went back to his nearby apartment and came back with a bat.

There’s always a few rotten apples at the bottom of the barrel, but Red Sox Nation does not need such acts from anyone claiming to be a Sox fan. Robert Correia is no Red Sox fan. We can’t lower ourselves to that abysmal level of disgusting, appalling acts. Good natured jeering is one thing. Violence against fans of other teams has no place anywhere near our favorite team, or any team for that matter.



Ain’t gonna happen.

Papi took batting practice before the game with the Twins today and promptly deposited 6 balls out of the park and sprayed line drives all over the place. He pushed himself, as he wanted to know definitively how his wrist was working.

“It feels good,” Ortiz said. “I was trying to swing hard and make sure I don’t feel anything. It was fine, and I’m going to keep doing what the trainers tell me to do and keep working hard.”

While he did mention something about being sore, that will happen to an athlete the first time he uses certain muscles that have been inactive for a period of time. The fact that he had huge smiles on his face is a good sign that he will be back soon, although rest assured that Tito and Theo won’t be rushing him back before he’s ready. Granted, it was batting practice, but this was just his first BP session since the injury occurred. He’ll be back soon.

As for Mr. Bonds*, yes, there had been much speculation a month ago about that alleged call that might have happened, or as of today, most likely will not happen, now that we’ve seen Papi back at the plate. Let’s suppose for just a moment, just one, that Papi was out for the season, or even another month or two. Taking it straight down to the playing field, Bonds would have been a good fit in the line-up as a temporary stand-in. (I won’t say replacement.)

Problem #1? His salary. Since no MLB team has made a pitch for the aging slugger, who by the way has reportedly been working out every day at UCLA, he could probably be had for a song. The Sox are among leading candidates to make it to the World Series this year and were needing a left handed power hitter, but Barry wants a ring more. Supply and demand.

Other problems would also be off the playing field. The media circus that surrounds him would only intensify in a city that has one of the most rabid baseball fan following in the nation, if not the most. Would he be bringing his La-Z-Boy lounger and his entourage to the clubhouse? There’s no love lost between Bonds and Schilling. What kind of tension would that relationship have brought to the clubhouse? Fans have already expressed disgust and even hatred towards Bonds over the lies and cheating, (but such sentiments don’t exist for that coach down the road in Foxboro.) I wonder what Boston fans would think of Bonds had he been hitting all those home runs as the DH for the Sox for all those years.

Whatever. A month ago, this was all fodder for the rumour mill. After Papi’s BP today, it’s all a moot point.


Dice-K Locked in a Pitcher's Duel

Dice-K might actually get a complete game today. Through 6 innings, he's only thrown 83 pitches, 56 of them for strikes, struck out 5, allowed 3 hits, and has only walked 3 so far. The Twins' Baker is having a good day today, too, silencing the Sox's bats for most of his 5+ innings: 3 hits, 2BB's, 7 K's.
Sox bats need to wake up now, hello!


Kieth Law! ESPN! WTF?!

Kieth Law of ESPN calls to task the players who voted in their poll for reserves and compares Jason Varitek to "various multicellular [sic] organisms capable of wearing a catcher's mitt."

What he fails to mention in his (article) is that while yes, Tek is in the worst slump of his career, his BA on May 24th was sitting at a very healthy .295. Millions of votes had been cast at that point, placing 'Tek 2nd in the catcher balloting. Law mentions nothing, absolutely nothing, of Tek's knowledge of batters, pitches, and his game calling abilities or defense. (Let's not discount his A-Rod smackdown talents, too.)

The All Star Game is not only about the best hitters at each position. One could make a case that Omar Vizquel, whose BA is somewhere below the Mendoza Line, could be an All Star with his glove alone. Picture the NL with a short lead in the 9th and no chance for him to come to the plate. Would you rather have Vizquel (1 error this year so far, .994 fielding pct.) or someone comaparable to say Jeter with 7 errors (.976) come in at that point?

I believe all the MLB players who voted know that Jason is much, much, MUCH more than just his bat. (Witnesss the Red Sox implosion of '06 the instant he hurt his knee.) They know, and rewarded him with what could be his last All Star game.

Law, as a baseball writer for ESPN, you should know that there is much more to this game we love than just hitting.

Kieth Law, you owe Jason Varitek an apology.

The other big snub is the one Mike Lowell got. His numbers are as good as they get, on the field or at the plate, and I would much rather have him on my team than A-Rod (who needs that freak show circus?) Knowing that Big Papi would not be able to represent the Sox in the game, I would have thought that at least one of the two L's, Lester and Lowell, should have been named to the team. (And I would have picked Lester over Pap, too.)

That being said, I have to agree with Law in regards to Jon Lester getting snubbed. No Beckett? No Dice-K? Understandable, but not Lester.


Time To Get Back Home

Once again the Sox proved they can't win on the road. Boston will be back at home until the All-Star game and hopefully can put a good streak together because this road trip made them look like a team with several holes. Here's how Bob Ryan put it in today's Globe:

The Red Sox went 3-7 on the trip. The Rays are feeling absolutely fantastic about themselves, and even the Yankees are in much better spirits than they were 48 hours ago. Welcome to 2008. We'd better table the Duck Boat talk for a little while, don't you think?

The Sox need to build some consistency at nearly every position and this home stand could be an indicator of how they are going to be for the second half.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sox Disappoint in Bronx Finale

Another great start by Tim Wakefield was wasted as the BoSox fell short to the Yankees in extra frames. Manny didn't deliver in the 9th watching a called third strike as the Sox offense failed to deliver late once again. The Yankees did not look much better until Girardi got tossed for arguing balls and strikes and sparked a fire under the offense of the Yanks. All was not lost on the evening, Extra Bases reported the following:

With Alex Rodriguez standing in the on-deck circle in the last half inning, a group of fans started singing the Madonna song "Like a Virgin" in his general direction.

Rodriguez, who is having an affair with Madonna according to reports, didn't seem to flinch a bit.

Sox lose 5-4 BOX SCORE


Tonight's Lineup in the Bronx

Manny has the night off, Casey will DH

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, LF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. J.D. Drew, RF
4. Mike Lowell, 3B
5. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
6. Sean Casey, DH
7. Coco Crisp, CF
8. Julio Lugo, SS
9. Kevin Cash, C

Tim Wakefield, SP


All Stars Named

TBS just finished naming the rosters for this year's mid-summer's classic.

I was 9 for 12 (.750) on my pitcher's choices. I forgot about the Kansas City factor. KC fans must not vote, so in order to make sure all teams are represented, a (usually marginal) pitcher from KC is selected. No one voted in Baltimore, either. George Sherrill, BAL and Joakim Soria, KCR were selected since no Royals nor O's were voted in by fans.

Realistically, I did not expect Wake would be named, but Lester without a doubt, should have.

American League

C Joe Mauer, MIN
1B Kevin Youkilis, BOS
2B Dustin Pedroia, BOS
SS Derek Jeter, NYY
3B Alex Rodriguez, NYY
OF Josh Hamilton, TEX
OF Manny Ramirez, BOS
OF Ichiro Suzuki, SEA
DH David Ortiz, BOSº


P Justin Duchscherer, OAK
P Roy Halladay, TOR
P Scott Kazmir, TBY
P Cliff Lee, CLE
P Joe Nathan, MIN
P Jonathan Papelbon, BOS
P Mariano Rivera, NYY
P Francisco Rodriguez, LAA
P Ervin Santana, LAA
P Joe Saunders, LAA
P George Sherrill, BAL
P Joakim Soria, KCR


C Dioner Navarro, TBY
C Jason Varitek, BOS
1B Justin Morneau, MIN
2B Ian Kinsler, TEX
SS Michael Young, TEX
3B Joe Crede, CWS
3B Carlos Guillen, DET
OF J.D. Drew, BOS
OF Carlos Quentin, CWS
OF Grady Sizemore, CLE
DH Milton Bradley, TEX

National League
C Geovany Soto, CHC
1B Lance Berkman, HOU
2B Chase Utley, PHI
SS Hanley Ramirez, FLA
3B Chipper Jones, ATL
OF Ryan Braun, MIL
OF Kosuke Fukudome, CHC
OF Alfonso Soriano, CHC

P Aaron Cook, COL
P Ryan Dempster, CHC
P Dan Haren, ARZ
P Brad Lidge, PHI
P Tim Lincecum, SFG
P Ben Sheets, MIL
P Edinson Volquez, CIN
P Billy Wagner, NYM
P Brandon Webb, ARZ
P Brian Wilson, SFG
P Kerry Wood, CHC
P Carlos Zambrano, CHC

C Russell Martin, LAD
1B Brian McCann, ATL
1B Adrian Gonzalez, SDP
1B Albert Pujols, STL
2B Dan Uggla, FLA
3B Aramis Ramirez, CHC
SS Cristian Guzman, WAS
SS Miguel Tejada, HOU
OF Matt Holliday, COL
OF Ryan Ludwick, STL
OF Nate McLouth, PIT

# Final Vote Selection
º Injured, will not participate
ª Named as replacement


Al All Star Team Arms Race

My picks for the AL pitching crew:

Tim Wakefield
Jon Lester
Joe Nathan, MIN, 1.26 ERA, 23/23 SVS/SVO, 44 K
Justin Duchscherer, OAK, 1.96, W9-L5, 59K
Jonathan Papelbon, BOS, 2.19, 25/29, 47K
Francisco Rodriguez, LAA, 1.93, 34/36, 35K
Rich Harden, OAK, 2.25, 5-0, 88K
Cliff Lee, CLE, 2.26, 11-1, 93K
Scott Kazmir, TBY, 2.63, 7-3, 75K
Roy Halladay, TOR, 2.88, 10-6, 113K
Ervin Santana, LAA, 3.28, 9-3, 106K
Mariano Rivera, NYY, 1.17, 23/23, 44K

and as an alternate pick:
John Lackey, LAA, 1.93, 6-2, 61K

Now that the error prone A-Rod and Jeter have been named to the starting team left side of the diamond, I should have looked closer at pitchers who induce ground balls to the right side (Pedroia and Youk.) Pedroia will have his work cut out for him trying to catch DP play balls from those two.

While Jon Lester is my sentimental pick for starter, I think Justin Duchscherer will start.
Picks coming up on TBS soon. We'll see how I do.


A Sox Win Tonight Will Make the Yankees Implode

If Wakefield can have another solid start and the offense can get some timely hits, the Yankees will face a loss that will have a devastating impact on their team. The Evil Empire is trotting out their "savior" Joba Chamberlain tonight and if the Sox can get to him, it could spell big trouble in the Bronx. The Yankees will fall farther behind the Sox and Rays and the first half will be declared a disaster. Hank will start blaming Cashman in the media while the media in turn will blame Girardi. The press will continue to hound A-Rod as the baseball world focuses on New York for the All-Star Game. A win by Boston would show how much trouble New York is in and that they have no quick fix; there is no player available at the deadline that would be able to save the sinking Yankees. Don't be surprised if there are some extracurricular activities in tonight's game after all of the bean balls yesterday. Girardi may try to get some spark in his team by having them mix it up with the Sox and there is still the Youk/Joba history. Should be a good one on ESPN tonight even with Joe Morgan announcing.



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