Saturday, August 16, 2008

Byrd Delivers, Offense Doesn't

The Red Sox acquired Paul Byrd to give them outings like he did tonight: 7 1/3 innings, 4 runs, no walks. His goal was to keep the Sox in the game and put them in a position to win with some big hits. The only problem with that was Boston was not facing the Texas Ranger pitching staff. The Jay's Roy Halladay thoroughly dominated the Red Sox offense tonight, going the distance and allowing just 1 run on a home run by Dustin Pedroia in the bottom of the 9th. The Sox did manage 7 hits but could not get a rally going and Jacoby Ellsbury was once again ineffective in the lead-off spot.

Sox Lose 4-1 BOX SCORE

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Book Review: Dirty Water - A Red Sox Mystery

Jere Smith from A Red Sox Fan in Pinstripe Territory sent me an advance copy the new book Dirty Water that he co-wrote with his mother, Mary-Ann Tirone Smith. The book is a mystery is set in Boston in the middle of the 2007 season. Together the authors spin a compelling murder mystery that Sox fans are sure to enjoy. While the story is about solving a crime, there is a good helping of Red Sox involvement; everyone from Big Papi to the Sox equipment manager makes an appearance. Jere's outstanding knowledge of the Red Sox organization, its players and history is evident throughout the book. You do not have to be a diehard Sox fan to enjoy the book but if you are you won't be disappointed.

The book begins with a baby that is left at Fenway Park and quickly evolves into a murder mystery that involves the Boston Police Department, the FBI, and a look at the shady underside of baseball. The characters and plot of the book reflect the social and cultural diversity of Boston along with great descriptions of the local geography. With well developed characters and a fast paced plot the Smiths have a solid hit that baseball and mystery fans will enjoy. I would suggest you get the book when it comes out next month and keep it for one of those winter months when you need a good Red Sox fix before spring training rolls around.

For more information and reviews of the book check out the book's blog.

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Tonight's Red Sox Lineup 8/16 vs. the Jays

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Bay, LF
Jed Lowrie, SS
Sean Casey, 1B
Jason Varitek, C

Paul Byrd, SP

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Boston Continues To Improve Farm System

Baseball America pointed out that the Red Sox are serious about the long term success of the franchise by spending big to sign draft picks. The Sox went over the $10 million mark for the first time this year, more than any team has previously spent on signing their draft picks. Yesterday the Sox signed their fourth and fifth round picks before the deadline. The Yankee's top pick has chosen to attend college over playing in the Bronx.

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This Day In Red Sox History

August 16

1915: “Smoky” Joe Wood, shut-outs the visiting Nationals 1 - 0. The District lost all 11 games at Fenway this year.

1940: "Double X" Jimmie Foxx leads the way in a 7-6 victory over the Senators with two home runs. His two home runs move him past the “Iron Man” Lou Gehrig with 495.

1948: In New York’s Memorial Hospital, George Herman “Babe” Ruth passes away, due to the effects of throat cancer. At his side are his wife Claire and their adopted daughters Dorothy and Julia. Ruth was 53.

1954: The New York Giants face Boston Red Sox in a charity game. Before the game starts Jimmy Piersall and the “Say Hey Kid” Willie Mays engage in a throwing contest. Unfortunately Peirsall hurts his arm. He still starts the game but leaves the game early. The next morning he wakes up and his arm is still sore, in fact the pain stays with him for at least a year, and he never regains his old form.

1978: Luis Tiant wins his 200th career game as the Red Sox beat the Nolan Ryan and the Angels 4-2. Jim Rice’s 2 run homer is what put Boston over the top.

1991: In a trade with Atlanta, Boston acquires P Dan Petry for a “player to be named later” (Mickey Pina).

2001: Despite being 13 games over the .500 mark and injuries to key players, the Red Sox fire Manager Jimy Williams. Pitching Coach Joe Kerrigan replaces him at the helm.

2002: Pedro Martinez scoreless inning streak is halted at 35, in a 5 – 0 loss to the Twins. It was the longest scoreless streak in the majors since 2000.

-Southstandah

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Beating a Dead Horse

If the AL East is a horse race then one horse is dead on the track: the New York Yankees. The Bronx Bummers blew another one last night when Rivera threw a wild pitch allowing the winning run to score in the 9th. The Yankees had a lead-off single in the bottom of the 9th but pinch runner Justin Christian was picked off first base. Giambi ended the game with a bases loaded fly out.

I keep hearing people say it is too early to write off the Yankees but that is pre-2004 thinking. The Yanks have zero chance of playing post-season baseball this year.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

This Week In Manny News

For those of you that still what to know what's going on the the Red Sox former left fielder, here's the latest.

You can buy Manny dreds in the Dodgers gift store and look like a loser wearing them.


Manny loves the Red Sox new blue uniforms. but still not as good as this classic Manny story

Manny got his haircut blah blah blah

Today was picture day for the Sox and Manny finally had a reason to miss it.

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Colon Only Goes 1 Inning In Rehab Start


Bartolo Colon was supposed to pitch 4 innings in tonight's rehab start with the PawSox but was replaced after the first inning. He gave up 2 hits, both singles, but no runs in the outing He threw 17 pitches, 9 for strikes.

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The Jimmy Fund Exceeds Its Goal

This year's Jimmy Fund goal was $4 million. At around 5 pm WEEI announced they had reached their goal and were still taking donations for cancer research. Donations have come in from all 50 states including a $1000 donation from the Houston, Texas Red Sox meetup group.

To continue the effort to fight cancer and donate money for cancer research you can participate in a golf tournament organized by a Red Sox fan in Gilroy, CA at Eagle Ridge Golf Course on Nov. 2. All of the proceeds will go to cancer research. For more info contact the Emperor of Red Sox Nation in Califonia here.




The replica World Series ring that was created for the telethon was auctioned for $90,961.00.

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Pitching Rotation Change

With the postponement of tonight's game, the Sox have adjusted the rotation. They will go with Byrd tomorrow night, Beckett on Sunday, Lester on Monday, and Dice-K on Wednesday. Buchholz's start will be moved back to Wednesday in Baltimore, the scene of his no-hitter. (something he might need to stay in the rotation.)

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Writing nasty A-Rod & Yankee lyrics during a rain delay

New Fenway West contributor Oregon Sox Fan gave us some ideas on how to bide time during a rain delay. I decided to try and alter some lyrics to an old Chicago song, '25 or 6 to 4', while killing some time (and the song.) Be forewarned though, after the original lyrics come some racy lines, so if you're easily offended, hit your back button now.

'25 or 6 to 4' by Chicago

Waiting for the break of day
Searching for something to say
Flashing lights against the sky
Giving up I close my eyes
Sitting cross-legged on the floor
25 or 6 to 4

Staring blindly into space
Getting up to splash my face
Wanting just to stay awake
Wondering how much I can take
Should I try to do some more
25 or 6 to 4

Feeling like I ought to sleep
Spinning room is sinking deep
Searching for something to say
Waiting for the break of day
25 or 6 to 4
25 or 6 to 4

'26, No More, No More', lyrics by Red Sox Sonoma

Waiting for the Rod dash A
Searching for a ball to play
Fly balls lost against the sky
Giving up he closed his eyes
Throwing balls past 1st some more
26, no more, no more

Sucking badly in third place
Jeter’s jizz upon his face
It’s not the icing on the cake
Madonna knows how much he’ll take
Should she go deeper even more
26, no more, no more

A-Rod looks like he’s asleep
AL East is very deep
Searching for KC to play
Hitting into double plays
26, no more, no more
26, no more, no more

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Rainout


Tonight's game has been postponed and a doubleheader has been scheduled for Sept 13..

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Fun Things To Do during a rain delay. .

1.) text all your friends, tell them you miss them

2.) give your significant other (if with you) that much needed backrub

3.) Buy a round!!!

4.) Sing Take Me Out To The Ball Game  

5.) Sing that song again in SPANISH

6.) Buy a round!!!

7.) talk about just how dern cool Oregon is

8.) play "guess the age of the people in your section"

9.) BUY ANOTHER ROUND (to make up for the ages you guessed wrong)

10.) when in doubt, start the YOUUUUUUKKKK Chant!

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Oregon Loves the Sox

let's take a storied history of the Boston Area, especially the Red Sox, and the great western state of Oregon (yes, the little one right above California, the "Green" state, if you will).

Jacoby Ellsbury, Obviously an Oregon State grad and Madras, Oregon hometown boy, (My hometown too, originally),
Jed Lowrie from our State Capital, Salem.

Now those are the two current, obvious ones.

Let's start with Johnny Pesky, from "Slab Town" (Portland, where the log slabs were left), worked for the PCL league Portland Beavers (knew the Dimaggios before they made the bigs) was a locker room attendant.
Bobby Doerr was fishing in Southern Oregon, fell in love with a small town Oregon Teacher
Ted Williams, said to have one of his favorite fishing holes, near that small town Oregon.

you want more? OK here we go...............
Don't forget other greats like Luis Tiant, Lou Pinella, Sam McDowell, Ray Fosse and other Local Beavers... I remember when the Beavers were the AAA twin's franchise in the 80's . . . but this doesn't even count the numerous players that have slipped in and out of our Fine cities and states, as ball players (like when I saw Tim Salmon play here in Bend as a A level player. . . )... so ... all tooting aside, I have one more, Not Sox related, but beloved in Boston as all get out, DANNY FRICKIN AINGE. Oregonian, I wont point out that the "NEW" Yankee . . Ritchie Sexson is an Oregonian.... but we'll leave that topic for another day.

Not to mention Scott Hatteberg, Alan Embree, Aaron Rowand, Jamie Burke,the once Yankee Scott Brosius, ok ok ok i'm done. . . OH yeah .. what about good ol' Harold Reynolds?? yeah we claim him too!

Phil Knight, Dan Fouts, Ahmad Rashad, Steve Prefontaine, Bill Bowerman (the Legend) Mary Decker Slaney, Picaboo Streeet, (Gold Medalist 2x) Mariel Zagunis, Dan O'Brien (Decathalete), Dick Fosbury (the Fosbury Flop), Matt Groening (The Simpsons creator LOL) don't forget Ann Curry from the Today Show : )...lots lots lots more, I think I've made my point.


Come To Oregon sometime, it's mellow here, BEAUTIFUL as all get out, and I'd love to buy you a world famous Oregon brew (some of the best in the world). . . Btw. . GO BEAVERS. GO SOX.

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This Could Be A Long One


It has been raining on and off at Fenway and showers are forecast throughout the evening. They should be able to get the game in but there will be delays.

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Tonight's Lineup 8/15 vs. the Jays

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Bay, LF
Jed Lowrie, SS
Sean Casey, 1B
Jason Varitek, C

Paul Byrd, SP

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Preview: Sox-Jays 8/15

Southstandah's preview of tonight's matchup:

The Former Arvada West Wildcat had a career high 130 pitches in a 4-2 loss to the Indians on August 9. To make up the 130 pitches in 6 2/3 innings of work, Halladay has been given an extra day of rest to get ready for the Red Sox. The 6 2/3 innings was a short outing for Halladay, since June 20 he has had 7 games of 7 innings of work or more, including two complete games wins. The 2003 AL CY Young winner is 10-11 lifetime against the Red Sox, with an ERA of 4.66 in 34 career games.


This will be the former Indians first start as a Red Sox, but he is no stranger to Fenway as he was the starting pitcher Game seven of the ALCS for the Tribe last October. Coming into today’s game Byrd is 4-0 since the All Star Game, and has a 1.24 ERA in those games. With Buchholz struggling and Tim Wakefield and Bartolo Colon on the Disabled List, his durable arm, and veteran leadership, might just make the difference in the stretch run to the pennant.

-Southstandah

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This Day In Red Sox History

Southstandah (a Sox fan from Arvada, Colorado) has joined Fenway West and will be contributing "This Day in Red Sox History" and game previews. Here is his post for today's Red Sox history.

August 15
1916: In a pitching duel at Fenway Park, “Babe” Ruth beats Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators, 1-0, in 13 innings.
1922: In a 19-11 loss to the Sox of Chicago, the two team hit a combined 35 singles (21 Chi 14 Bos) setting a Major League record.
1941: After a 40 minute rain delay in the eight inning, with Washington leading the game 6-3 the grounds crew fails to cover the field with a tarp, in case play would resume. Because of the inaction taken by the grounds crew, Red Sox manager Joe Cronin protests the game, and is awarded forfeiture from the Senators.
1942: The Red Sox win both games of a double header, by only one run. In the first game of today’s action, Ted Williams has a 2-run home run, in route to a 2-1 victory. This will be Tex Hughson’s 9th straight win.
1950: Taking both games of a double header against the A’s (8-3, 9 – 4) the Red Sox begun a 27 of 30 run which will put them back in to the pennant race. However Walt Dropo is hospitalized after being “dotted” by Philly pitcher Hank Wyse. Dropo will go on to be Rookie of the Year for 1950.
1951: Gene Conley shuts out the Indians 8-0. In the game Conley help his own cause with a homer. While Jackie Jensen and Carroll Hardy have back to back homers in the fifth, but the story of the game is Gene Conley for the second straight game he is 5-5, and two of those hits are home runs.
1977: When Jim Rice hit his 3rd inning double he became the first player since Ted Williams in 1939 to hit 20 homers, 20 doubles and 10 triples in the same season. In that time span only “Joltin” Joe (1948 & 1950) , “The Mick” (1955) and Charlie Keller (1946) of the Yankees reach those levels.
1982: In an 8-0 win over the visiting Orioles, the Red Sox tie an American League record by being intentional walked three times in the 8th innings.

-Southstandah

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Youk For MVP?

Is there a player in the American League that has been more valuable to his team than Kevin Youkilis this season? A strong argument can be made for Tampa's Evan Longoria, but I think Youk beats him out. Let's look at his current numbers: He is second in batting average for the AL at .322 (just 1 point behind Pedroia). He is tied for 10th in HR's and is 5th in RBI's. Youk has been a monster in the cleanup spot for Boston and has made teams pitch to Ortiz. When you add in the Gold Glove defense and the abiltiy to play first and third his value goes even higher. If Youk can keep solid numbers for the remainder of the season he will be in the running for the AL MVP.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mike Timlin

The venerable Mike Timlin pitched a perfect 9th inning tonight, needing only 10 pitches to retire the side in order as the Red Sox shut out the Rangers 10-0. This comes one night after relieving Jon Lester in the 7th inning. Timlin came in with 1 out and 2 on and proceeded to serve up a fatty meatball to Milton Bradley, who promptly deposited it in the CF stands.

Timlin has been a fixture in the Red Sox bullpen since 2003 and has performed admirably. His Sox career year was 2005 when he was 7-3, 2.24 ERA in 80+ innings. His numbers fell off a bit in 2006, but he rebounded the next year to post a 2-1 record, 3.42 ERA, while being a crucial member of the World Series winning team. He has pitched in at least 50 games and 55 innings every season that he’s worn a Sox uniform. His veteran presence is a valuable asset in the bullpen. Unfortunately, he’s not the same pitcher he was in 2003 or 2007. He’s 42 years old and in his 18th major league season. His WHIP has climbed almost a ½ point since last year, his 5.45 ERA is the highest of his career. All the wrong numbers are climbing up.

Timlin is the type of ballplayer I like. He’s not flashy, needy, or greedy. He got the job done, whether it was middle relief, set up, or closer. At least until this year. There comes a time in every ballplayer's career to hang up the spikes, and there may only be 2+ months before his get hung. It would be sad to see his last performance of his career be similar to his performance last night. It is sad when players attempt to play too far past their prime trying to prove they still have it, when they obviously don’t. Mike has been on-again, off-again, on-again this year. If this is indeed Timlin’s last year, it may be that he sees mop up duty for the rest of the season. Let’s hope that Tito uses Mike effectively down the stretch, for both the team's sake and Mike's. He won’t have his number retired, but he will be remembered as one of the best relievers to ever come out of the Sox bullpen.

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Clean up in inning 7!

I think I see a trend here. It appears as if the Sox bullpen performs much better when a pitching change is made at the beginning of an inning, as compared to when a change is made after opposing hitters get on base and/or score. Witness Okajima’s performances with men on, or from the start of an inning. Witness the performance of Timlin Wednesday as compared to tonight. I’m no manager, but perhaps Tito should consider pulling pitchers at the end of those later innings rather than sending them out 1 more time, only to allow a base runner(s) for the next reliever. Yes, I know Lester had a shutout going. Yes, I know the next man on the mound should be able to do the job asked of him, but they are not this year, and you have to work with what you’ve got. Making adjustments is what this game is all about, and pulling the starter sooner than later could be one of them.

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Everything's Bigger in Texas, Including the ERA's

The Sox put up some more crooked numbers on the Green Monster scoreboard tonight as they tagged Ranger pitchers for 10 more runs. The Sox scored a combined 37 runs in the three game series against Texas. Tonight's game started out slowly for the Sox at the plate and the Rangers threatened to draw first blood when they loaded the bases in the second. Dice-K performed another Houdini act to get out of the jam and cruised for 7 shutout innings. In the bottom of the second the Sox bats came alive, feasting on pitches up in the zone. The team batted around and Ortiz had another 3-run homer, at the end of the inning the Sox had put 9 runs on the board. Boston added another run when Jeff Bailey had his first career hit and RBI in the eighth inning. Delcarmen and Timlin closed out the game with perfect innings.

Unfortunately the Sox did not gain any ground on the Rays who won in extra innings against Oakland tonight. The other bad news for the Sox is that the Rays now get to feast on some Ranger pitching for their next series in Texas.

Sox Win 10-0 BOX SCORE

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What happened to Charlie Zink?

Charlie Zink had a perfect 1-2-3 inning in his major league debut Tuesday night. Three All-Stars, nonetheless (Kinsler, Young, Hamilton.) So what happened in the 2nd inning when he gave up 2 runs and in the 4th inning when the wheels came off?

He had to wait about 40 minutes after the 1st inning before he was able to take the mound again, while waiting for the Sox to pound out those 10 runs. Now I'm not complaining about the ostentatious display of offensive prowess, but a knuckleballer does not like to sit still for very long in between innings. As reported in the Providence (RI) Journal, Zink even got up two times to throw in the batting cages to stay warm.


Jim Bouton, author "Ball Four", his controversial diary written during his 1969 season with the old Seattle Pilots and the Houston Astros, was a knuckleballer. His coaches and managers at first didn't want him throwing that pitch at all, much less a whole game. Once he became proficient enough with the pitch and convinced his coaches and managers to let him throw it for the whole game, he discovered that he needed to be throwing a lot more often than a conventional starter, a LOT more often.

It looks promising that Zink did not feel too defeated by his last 3+ innings as shown by his comments in the Providence Journal report. My hope is that he continues to shine in Pawtucket for the remainder of August and gets called up in September. Wakefield then returns from the DL, pitches a gem and leaves the game after 7 innings with a healthy lead. Enter Zink. Cash is already behind the plate. Zink then pitches 2 more knee-buckling innings.

It could happen. Hang in there, Charlie Zink.

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Bud Says Replay Coming Sept 1st

Instant replay will be used in all ballparks starting Sept. 1 as long as there are no technical difficulties. Replays will only be used for boundary issues for home runs. My question is why now? Why not wait until the start of next season? I am against replay in baseball but if you are going to do it, do it right. Let the problems be worked out during spring training not during the last month of the season when teams are in the middle of a pennant race. More Bud being Bud.

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Tonight's Lineup 8/14 vs. the Rangers

J.D. Drew, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Jason Bay, LF
Jed Lowrie, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Coco Crisp, CF
Alex Cora, SS

Dice-K, SP

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What Happens When Wake Comes Back?

So Clay is still in the rotation, and Byrd is now with the team but what happens when Wake comes back? I think that Buchholz will be joining the pen after his next start if Wake comes off the DL as scheduled and Byrd will remain in the rotation. What then becomes of Bartolo 'el Gordo' Colon? Does the month of September become another spring training to see who is the 5th starter?

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Papelbon Speaks His Mind About Manny

Paps talked about the crazy game on Monday, the clubhouse, and his thoughts on Manny. Watch below:

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The Jimmy Fund Telethon Starts Today

Please do what you can for the Jimmy Fund. You can make a donation here.

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How The Yankees Blew It

How is that the team with the highest payroll in baseball is not going to make the playoffs? The answer is simple mismanagement from the top down. In the past the Yankees became a good team by developing top talent in their farm system and adding expensive free agents to fill in the gaps. As George neared the end of his tenure he forgot about the farm system and traded most of the talent away for big name players. With an All-Star at every base they played well enough to make the playoffs but they did not have the team cohesiveness to go all the way, call it the curse of A-Rod.

When Theo adapted some of the moneyball theories to Boston, the Red Sox became the best and most emulated team in baseball. They combined a strong farm system with the seeking out of undervalued free agents like David Ortiz.

After 2 World Series Championships in Boston and none in New York, the Yankees tried to play catch up. Hank is now at the helm and is trying to take some of the lessons the Sox had learned and apply them to the Yankees. Unfortunately for Hank, he is behind the curve and has bungled his new approach to team building. The Yankees had a chance to make their team better for the season but they made some early mistakes. They gave Posada and Rivera huge contracts in their declining years; Rivera pitched well but is showing signs of fading in the most important part of the season, while Posada has spent half of the season on the DL. The biggest mistake they made was overvaluing their young pitching. They could have had Santana for what now looks like a steal but they were trying to keep Hughes and Kennedy. In the early season they had a chance to trade Matsui to the Giants but they did not make the deal and now Matsui sits on the DL like Posada. For some reason they waited until too long to make trades for players like Pudge an Nady.

So now the Yankees are going to miss the playoffs and Hank says they are going to be the team to beat next year. The 2 best pitchers on the Yankees this season were Pettitte and Mussina. Are the Yankees going to shell out big money to keep some of their oldest players? Pettitte cost the Yankees $16 million this season and Moose will want a long term deal. Yesterday Peter Gammons said the Yankees were going to go after C.C. Sabathia in the off season but it will be a year too late because the Yankees will not have enough good pitching if they let Mussina and Pettitte go. Now that Hank was burned on the Santana deal he will overreach and go back to trying to buy a team. Cashman has tried to put some stability into the long term goals of the Yankees but it will be hard for him to achieve his goals with Hank breathing down his neck.

Let the good times roll.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jeff Bailey Up, Pauley Back Down

Jeff Bailey was called up from the PawSox tonight to give the Sox a backup for Youk and Casey. If Youk needs a break Lowrie can play third and Cora can go to short, if Casey needs a break Bailey can come in at first. Bailey is also a good bat to have on the bench for pinch hit situations late in the game (like when Tek comes up.)

David Pauley was called up in case the Sox needed some relief help tonight after the long outings for most of the pen last night. Since he was sent down today that leaves Buchholz in the rotation. I think Theo and Tito were hoping that Zink could stay longer and take a spot in the rotation with Byrd, but after last night they have decided to stick with Buchholz (this guy has had more chances than Steve Howe.) Who knows what will happen if Clay has another train wreck on the mound, which at this point seems likely.

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Sox Get Big Lead and Hold It (Sorta)

Earlier today I said to get ready for some more crooked numbers and that Lester should be able to hold the lead. I was mostly right. The Sox did jump out to an early lead getting 2 in the second and 4 in the third off of Mendoza while Lester cruised. Boston put up 2 more runs in the 5th for an 8-0 lead with Lester keeping the Rangers off the board through 7. Tito let Lester come back out for the 8th which in retrospect seems like a bad idea. He gave up a homer to Kinsler and back to back singles and was lifted for Mike Timlin. A pitch up in the zone was deposited behind the Sox pen to put the Rangers within reach. Panic quickly set in for fans still feeling a little shell shocked from last night but the fire was quickly put out. Timlin settled down with a strikeout before Lopez got the third out of the inning. Masterson came in for the 9th finished off the Rangers with a nice double play ball. Boston now has a 3 game win streak going and the Fenway magic appears to be working.

Sox Win 8-4 BOX SCORE

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Poor Yankees Update

The Yankees lost to the Twins today. (Aawwwww.) They are 3-7 in their last 10 games, and currently 8.5 games behind the Rays and 5 behind the Sox.

Hot on their heels are Toronto (2 games behind the Yanks in the loss column, 6-4 in their last 10), and Baltimore (5 games beind the yanks in the loss column.)

UPDATE: Toronto & Baltimore both win tonight.
Ray's and A's still in progress: 2-2, bottom of the 5th at Oakland.

AL EAST Current Standings
Team....W...L....GB
TBY......71...47.....-
BOS......70...51...2.5
NYY.....64...57...8.5
TOR.....62...59..11.0
BAL......57...62..14.5

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Tonight's Lineup 8/13 vs. Texas

J.D. Drew, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Jason Bay, LF
Jed Lowrie, SS
Sean Casey, 1B
Jason Varitek, C
Coco Crisp, CF

Jon Lester, SP

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Mike Lowell Goes On DL, Pauley Gets the Call

Mike Lowell has been placed on the 15 day DL with an oblique strain. David Pauley has been called up from Pawtucket, he will most likely take Wakefield's spot in the rotation meaning that Buchholz is out.

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Get Ready For Some Moah Crooked Numbahs

The Sox offense kept the scoreboard guys busy last night so let's hope they have some of Manny's Gatorade left over to keep them going tonight. The Rangers have Luis Mendoza going tonight and that could mean more fireworks from the Sox. In his last outing, Mendoza gave up 5 runs in three innings to Baltimore and in his last start at Fenway he gave up 7 runs in three innings. With Lester on the mound the Sox should be able to hold a lead.

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Pedroia Talks About Last Night's Game

Watch Dustin Pedroia talk about the crazy game last night:

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Morning News Roundup

The Ray's lost out here in California last night so the Sox are only 3 back.

The Yankees stayed alive with an extra innings win against the Twins but that helps the Sox in the wild card standings.

Charlie Zink was optioned back to Pawtucket, no word on who will get Wake's next start but it looks like Buchholz is going back to AAA.

Mike Lowell might be headed to the DL so Casey will get time at first and Youk will move to third. The Sox may call up Bailey or Thurston as a backup or they may have Lowrie play third on occasion when Lugo comes back.

Kid that first touched Papi's "double" was not ejected, kid that caught it off the tip was.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sox Win Massive Slugfest

When Zink retired the first 3 Rangers batters in order I thought we might be in for a quick night. After the Sox offense batted around in the bottom of the first and put up 10 runs including 2 home runs by Ortiz I thought we might be in for a relaxing night. What ensued can was a total collapse by the Sox pitching staff and an unbelievable performance by Boston at the plate, especially Pedroia, Ortiz and Youk. I cannot do justice to the summary of this game so I will suggest you check out The Rational Red Sox Fan or A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory for a complete review of the events tomorrow morning(authors from both sites were at the game) and watch the clip below.

Mike Lowell did have to leave the game with a strained oblique so he may be out for a few games.

Sox Win 19-17 BOX SCORE

video

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Don't Worry Folks, We Found Hank

Earlier today I wondered if Hank was OK since we had not heard from him for so long. But don't despair, Hank has been located after coming out of his bunker and yes, he is still a dumbass. Hank blamed injuries for the Yankee woes with the following from AP:

"I think it's very simple, we've been devastated by injuries. No team I've ever seen in baseball has been decimated like this. It would kill any team," Steinbrenner said. "Imagine the Red Sox without Josh Beckett aand Jon Lester.....It's not making excuses. It's reality. That's part of the game. That's clearly our problem.
Kinda sounds like an excuse to me. Didn't the Sox lose Schilling for the season? Didn't Big Papi miss over a month? Isn't Wake on the DL? Isn't Colon on the DL? Isn't Lugo on the DL? But Hank was not done yet, there's more:
"I'm not writing off this season," the team's co-chairman said Tuesday. "They're trying hard to win. There's only so much you can do. They're not supermen.......We're going to win it next year," he said. "If we need to add a top veteran pitcher, we'll do that. We'll do whatever we need to do. Next year we'll be extremely dangerous."
That's right Hank, there's always next year.

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Holy Crap!

Charlie Zink threw a 1-2-3 top of the 1st inning. The Sox then proceeded to pound out ten (10) runs, count 'em, yes TEN runs, 6 of them courtesy of Big Papi's 2 HR's in one inning! (When was the last time that happened?!)

I feel bad for Youk, though :-( He struck out twice in the inning :-(

I searched for 2 HR's in one inning and all I could find was this:

Most impressive home-run inning: Fernando Tatis, Cardinals, 1999
Hitting two home runs in one inning has been accomplished many times, but Tatis put a little twist to hit: both of his were grand slams, both hit off Chan Ho Park.

And found this at the same time:

Most memorable homer off someone wearing No. 99: Joe Carter off Mitch Williams, Game 6, 1993 World Series
Carter's one-out, three-run, bottom-of-the-ninth inning blast off Williams gave the Blue Jays an 8-6 victory to win the Series and gave us Carter's joyous romp around the bases.

UPDATE: From AP:

It was the fourth time in Red Sox history a player hit two homers in an inning. The last was Nomar Garciaparra in 2002.
The last time a player hit two home runs in the first inning was Aaron Boone of the Cincinnati Reds against the San Diego Padres on Aug. 9, 2002, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Both were two-run shots.
Bret Boone and Mike Cameron were the last American Leaguers to do it, and they did it in the same game, according to Elias. On May 2, 2002, the pair hit back-to-back homers twice in the first inning for the Seattle Mariners against the Chicago White Sox.

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Big Papi Has 6 RBI's In The First Inning!!!

David Ortiz has hit 2 3-run taters in the first inning to put the Sox up 10-0.

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Tonight's Lineup 8/12 vs. The Rangers

J.D Drew CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Mike Lowell 3B
Jason Bay LF
Jed Lowrie SS
Coco Crisp RF
Kevin Cash C

Charlie Zink SP

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Sox Get Paul Byrd From Tribe


The ProJo is reporting that the Sox have acquired pitcher Paul Byrd for a player to be named later from Cleveland. Byrd will help fill the back end of the rotation for the Red Sox now that Wake is on the DL and Buchholz has struggled as a starter. Byrd is 7-10 with a 4.53 ERA this season. The Red Sox announced that Byrd would start on Friday, Buchholz was scheduled to make that start so this may signal Clay's move to the pen.

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I'm Worried About Hank

What's going on in Tampa or Ocala or the undisclosed secure location where Hank Steinbrenner is hanging out? The Yanks are imploding after having lost 4 in a row and falling to 9 games back in the division. With news like that we should surely be hearing from Hank, but there has been nothing but dead air. Where is the calling out of players or the "we are going to go on a run" from Hank? Maybe Hank is sick or maybe he is worried more about his horses than the Yankees. Remember when Hank told the AP this earlier in the year?

`But as far as missing the playoffs - if we miss the playoffs by the end of this year, I don't know how patient I'll be.

Hank has been too quiet, I think he may be in some sort of trouble but I don't think Brian Cashman is going to notify the authorities.

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Zink's Road To Fenway

Charlie Zink will make his MLB debut tonight against the Rangers, an event that would seem very unlikely a few years ago. Zink pitched at the Savannah College of Art and Design for 3 years compiling a record of 9-17, he did have 14 K's in one game. Luis Tiant managed Zink in college and recommended him to the Red Sox. He was signed by the Sox as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He spent most of 2002 in Augusta and Sarasota playing A-Ball. In 2003 he was called up to the Portland Sea Dogs after he pitched a 3-hit complete game and was later named the Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Zink faced a setback in his career in 2004 when he spent most of the season on the DL with shoulder problems, an injury very similar to what Wake has now. In 2005 he played for the PawSox for the first time but would be sent back to Portland where he struggled for part of the season with a 6.36 ERA in July. In 2006 he split the season between the Sea Dogs and the PawSox as both a reliever and a starter. He was much more effective when he started and earned 10 wins, mostly with Portland. In 2007 he had 11 wins and this season he was an International League All-Star and is 13-4 for the season. Zink talked about the throwing a knuckleball in 2007.

I actually figured out how to throw the knuckleball when I was 11 I think. I saw Wakefield throwing it during the playoffs for the pirates and I was just fascinated. It came really easy to me and I would always throw it playing catch, However, I didn’t throw a knuckleball in a game until 2002. All of my coaches growing up said it was stupid and I shouldn't mess around with it.

I worked with Wakefield a few times every spring training for the past four years. He has been really helpful in just teaching the little things that I never knew before about how to be consistent. I think I've learned the most by just watching him and seeing how he pitches in different situations. I also worked with Charlie Hough for about a week during spring training two years ago. He was extremely helpful and it was nice to have another person to talk to about the knuckleball.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Beckett Throws A Gem

Josh Beckett won what looked like it would be a pitcher's duel until the wheels feel off for the White Sox in the 7th. Beckett kept hitters off balance all night and put Boston in a position to win with a few timely hits. After breaking up the no-hitter and shutout in the 7th, the Red Sox were able to get some timely hits and chase Danks from the game. The timely hits continued in the 9th where Boston added 3 more on a bases loaded double by Lowrie and a RBI by Ellsbury. Pedroia did not have a hit so his road hitting streak ends at 29. The Red Sox made so big plays in the field including a spectacular catch in center by Coco that saved 2 runs. Boston split the series with the White Sox at 2 games apiece and now head home to face the Rangers. With the Rays off tonight, the Sox pick up 1/2 a game in the division. The Yankees were shutout by the Twins tonight and have fallen to 9 games behind the Rays and 5 games behind Boston.

Sox Win 5-1 BOX SCORE

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Jinx

The Red Sox do not have a hit though 5...in other words Danks is throwing a NO-HITTER, actually, he is throwing a PERFECT GAME.

I hope that changes things.

UPDATE: Well, Jacoby just got hit by a pitch...perfect game gone.

UPDATE 2: Youk gets a broken bat single in the 7th, there goes the no-hitter. Now how about that shutout?

UPDATE 3: J.D. Drew just hit a 2-run double, there goes the shutout and the lead for Chicago. When used sparingly a little voodoo can work wonders.

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Papi Is Out Because of Wrist

David Ortiz is out tonight because of "slight soreness" in his wrist. This in not a good development no matter how insignificant it is spun to be.

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Sox on ESPN Weds (oops, I missed one)

Texas at Boston, this Wednesday, Aug 13, 4 pm (PDT) on ESPN.

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Zink Gets The Ball

What other team in baseball could replace one knuckleballer with another? With Wake going on the DL the Sox have chosen Charlie Zink to make his MLB debut on Tuesday. In case you were wondering, he is from northern California. When Zink was informed of the news he told the ProJo the following:

"This is everything I have ever dreamed of," said Zink moments ago. "It has come true now and I'm going to the major leagues. It's ridiculous. I'm at a loss for words. I really don't know what to say about it. I'll be smiling forever now. This is just awesome. Awesome."

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Tonight's Lineup 8/11 in Chicago

No word on why David Ortiz is out tonight, hopefully just a routine day off and not a signal of more wrist or knee problems. Coco gets a chance at the top tonight.

Coco Crisp, CF

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Mike Lowell, 3B
Jason Bay, LF
J.D. Drew, DH
Jed Lowrie, SS
Jason Varitek, C
Jacoby Ellsbury, RF

Josh Beckett, SP

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Pedroia Goes For Sox History Tonight


Dustin Pedroia is now tied with Tris Speaker for the longest road hitting streak in Red Sox history at 29 games. Pedroia is hitting .422 on the road for this streak.

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Is This Lucchino's Last Year In Boston?


SI's John Heyman thinks the working relationship between Theo and Lucchino cannot last, especially after the Ramirez trade. He goes on to speculate that Lucchino may end up working in L.A. next season. If you want to get some insight into the Epstein/Lucchino relationship issues from previous seasons, I highly recommend you read Feeding The Monster by Seth Mnookin.

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Sometimes Sox Fans Bring It On Themselves

Throughout the season I have been posting articles from newspapers around the country that have whined about Red Sox Nation when the Sox were coming to town. After watching this on YouTube, I have to admit they may me right about some fans. But give RSN credit, it was not derogatory or offensive. (except for some of the really bad singing)

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

NY Newsday Writes Yankees Obituary

After the Yankees were swept today by the Angels the team fell to 8.5 games behind the Rays and 4.5 behind the Sox. NY Newsday was the first of the New York newspapers to declare the season over for the Yankees. Here are a few highlights:

You could sense it in their hushed voices and downcast eyes. You could feel it in the mood of a clubhouse that couldn't be any lower if it were located in the La Brea tar pits. You could read it in their comments, peppered as they were with words such as "shocking," "devastating" and "horrible."...For years, even in the depths of their struggles, the Yankees and their fans could always draw strength and belief from their history. But that history is receding further into the past every season. Now it seems almost as murky and sepia-toned as old newsreel footage of Babe Ruth and Joe Dimaggio.
I am not so sure they are done yet, but stories like this as well as the soon to be heard Hankisms about the team can only cause more strife in the Bronx. Nothing like sending the Stadium out with a bang.

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More Of The Same

Buchholz struggles yet again and the Sox lose their 16th 1-run game in a row. Clay had early run support but quickly blew the 3 run lead and did not even get an out in the fourth before he was pulled. Once again he had good stuff at times but made too many mistakes and Chicago's offense took him deep when he did. Aardsma gave up another run but pitched his way out of a bases loaded jam. Masterson came in and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings with 5 K's making Red Sox Nation wonder why he was not the starter in this game. Okajima also looked good pitching a perfect inning. The Sox offense rallied but their best chance to get ahead ended when Lowell grounded into a bases loaded inning ending double play in the 7th. This is a game the Sox should have won but Buchholz dug too big of a hole. He has had his chances and now needs to be removed from the rotation which could be difficult with Wake going on the DL. Boston can not continue to allow Buchholz to learn on the job in the middle of a pennant race. Masterson, Pauley, or Zink need to be given the shot at the rotation, Buchholz simply is not good enough to be a major league starter right now.

Sox Lose 6-5 BOX SCORE

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Good News Bad News

The good news: Batolo Colon pitched well for the PawSox today going 3 scoreless innings with 3 K's and 3 hits.

The bad news: Buchholz is struggling again and has given up 5 runs through 3 including 3 homers.

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Today's Lineup 8/10 From the Windy City

Youk was going to bat cleanup today but he was a late scratch with soreness in his shoulder (welcome to the dog days) so Drew is fourth and Ellsbury will be back at the top. With Wake on the DL the Sox really need Buchholz to step up today. It would be nice if the offense can give him an early lead.

Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Drew RF
Lowell 3B
Bay LF
Casey 1B
Varitek C
Cora SS

Buchholz SP

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Wakefield To DL

Tim Wakefield is going on the DL due to stiffness in his right shoulder. From the ProJo:

``We're trying not to have this thing get to the part where it did (last year),'' said manager Terry Francona. ``Missing two starts is not what we're shooting for. But pitching at half-speed for the next 10 is not what we're looking for, either.''
Wake was scheduled to start Tuesday but no replacement starter has been named. Since Colon in not ready the Sox will have to choose between putting Masterson back in the rotation or call up David Pauley, Devern Hansack or Michael Bowden.

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