Sunday, August 27, 2006

Another weekend, another sweep.

We could talk about the injuries real or otherwise, the poor play - offensively and defensively - around decent starting pitching, the hamstrung management... but what's the point? We can't even take a game from the frigging Mariners.
At least the Pats looked good.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


It's been a while since i've had this taste of bile in my mouth. What a horrible and grueling weekend. What went wrong? Well, pretty much everything. (I say pretty much because Manny was out of control and both Schilling and Wells actually pitched quite well.) The paucity of timely hitting, the 3 dreadful starts, the gruesome bullpen numbers - this is some of the worst collective baseball i've seen in longer than I care to remember. They pretty much have sucked since they were swept by the Royals a couple of weeks ago but this series was the icing on the cake. Taking into consideration the rapidly dwindling number of games left and the general play of the teams with whom we're competing, the hurdles we need to negotiate in order to even have a chance at playoff possibilities seem virtually insurmountable.
Never has Varitek's importance been more apparent, especially in regards to the bullpen. Long the bedrocks of our pen this year, Timlin's - and to a lesser extent Papelbon's - struggles seem to have coincided with Varitek's absence. If you throw all of the other struggling young arms used to his guiding presence into the mix, you start to recognize his incalcuable value to the team. Just an observation.
I have no idea what the next few days will show but the team is battered after not only the crushing defeats but also the interminable games of intense baseball themselves. And to add further insult to injury, now they have straight late games on the west coast over the next 6 nights.
It ain't looking good, kids.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sox trade for Hinske, sign Pena

So the Sox need pitching help in a bad way, so what do they do, go sign two first basemen......WTF!!!!????

Hinske Trade

Carlos Pena

It's beginning to look a lot like 2003. We've now got like 4 first basemen/DH types. I'm not sure what the plan is, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Your thoughts???

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I guess their made of not good pitching.....

At least in the first inning. I can remember only 2 occasions in the last 3 weeks where a Sox starter pitched a clean first inning and only a couple more than that where the opposition was held scoreless. Granted the starter has gotten in a groove and ended up pitching into the 5th, 6th or later innings in all those games, but putting your team in a hole like that is not a great way to start the game off, especially when your missing key offensive guys like Nixon and Varitek. I was tempted to point to the lack of Varitekish preparation, but this trend started before his injury. It comes down to not making the pitches when needed.

Beckett talked last night in the post game interview about his theory of pitching. He said he thinks that basically the difference in any game is 5 key pitches. You make the good pitch in those 5 situations and you win the game, you don't and you lose. He pointed to 3 of the five key situation last night where he didn't make the pitch he needed to. So it's not that their not thinking about it, it's not they don't have a plan, and it's not lack of prep. It comes down to lack of execution.

If they don't start executing soon, it will be along September and short October......

Monday, August 14, 2006

Now we'll see what this team is made of...

After a frequently closer-than-comfortable sweep of the O's (but a sweep nonetheless), the Tigers come into town with still the best record in baseball... yet also coming off a five game losing streak. With the Sox only one game out and Detroit fighting to keep a comfortable lead in the central, much is at stake for both teams. One thing is certain - Detroit will be here ready to play. We must be prepared to respond in kind. All three Tiger starters have ERAs under 4 so we're going to have our work cut out for us. We counter with Beckett tonight, Schilling tomorrow, and Wells on Wednesday. All three have to work out their recent kinks and bring their A-games if we're going to stay in the hunt because the most important series of the year looms ahead on Friday: 5 games against the Yankees.
By this time next week, things should be pretty clear on where we are going to end up. I think it's safe to say that we have to win at least 5 of these next 8 games to feel comfortable about our long-term chances.
One thing's for sure - it's going to be an exciting week of baseball!

Friday, August 11, 2006

There's no place like home...

Dorothy wanted to get back to Kansas - we want to get the fuck out. God what a putrid road trip. Swept by the Royals, the worst team in baseball? They sure didn't look that way. The worst team right now was indeed in Kansas tonight, but they weren't wearing blue.
Smarten up, fellas! There's plenty of baseball left but there won't be if you don't turn it around, and fast. For another kick in the ass, there's the small matter of having to face some of the hottest teams in the league in the next stretch.
That home-town Fenway magic best be kicking in as soon as tomorrow. I'd prefer to switch gears to football around the first of November - not October.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tampa Bay causing problems....

Adam Stern was placed on waivers as part of the Javy Lopez trade, Tampa Bay claims him, so the Sox pulled him back. Here's the story: Tampa Bay Claims Stern

The rumor mill is that Tampa is just being a pain due to Boston not going for the Lugo deal that was suggested. Baseball politics, two of Zebs favorite topics rolled into one!!!!

I'm hearing this doesn't effect the Lopez deal because the Sox and O's have 6 months to finish the deal, when the season ends, Stern won't have to clear waivers.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Food Of The Gods... Hot dogs!

Since there's no game tonight I figured that i'd discuss one of my other true passions. Yup, i'm talking about those nitrate-laden intestine-wrapped bunch of ground-up unmentionables, the glorious Hot Dog. Amen.
My trip to Maine this weekend (my real home regardless of where i've lived since I actually resided there) yielded a revelatory revisiting of an incomparable Maine red. On our way out of town, my lovely wife Meg and I stopped in at the Houston-Brooks auction house to bid some folks adieu. The Megster felt a bit peckish and decided to snag a grilled-to-order aforementioned weenie. She offered me a bite as we were pulling away... and I nearly went off the road. That was some good, boys, let me tell you. I'm pissed now that I didn't turn around and go back in to ask what brand they were between mouthfuls of two or three more. I'd forgotten how fantastic they are! (I know there are several brands - Jordan's and Kirschner come to mind but i'm sure there are others - so one of you bastards has to fill me in as to what my ass is gonna grab the next chance I get.) Since i'm one of those guys who routinely goes 20 miles out of his way solely to grab a good dog, this was one of the more pleasantly unexpected hot dog experiences i've had lately.
Anyway, it got me to thinking about the best dogs i've had...
The late, lamented Barney's of Waterville has to be very near the top, what with their onions lightly grilled in bacon fat... drool, drool. (The currently operating "Bolley's" just down the street fills in as a fine substitute, however.)
"Coney Island Hot Dogs" in Worcester, Ma. - complete with a huge neon sign that has been around for nearly the 70+ years the place has - pretty much noursished me the 4 years I went to school there. While it's about the only reason I'd willingly cross the city line now, i've done so countless times.
"Caswell's Seafood" in Weymouth, Ma. makes my current local favorite, a foot-long gem with a perfectly toasted buttery bun. Throw some cheese on there, i'm nearly aroused.
"AA's Kitchen" (I've been known to make some killer dogs myself so I had to throw that in.)
Last but not least... A Fenway Frank at it's namesake. Sure it's rather pedestrian and ridiculously expensive but could there possibly be a more satisfying hot dog experience than that? The green of the wall contrasted with that of the grass, the noise, the smells, the cold lite beer... and a Fenway Frank as you settle in to watch the first pitch. Nearly perfect.

And you?

Deplorable weekend of baseball.....

Losing 2 out of three from the friggin D-Rays?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Those are the games they need to win in order to stay in the race with the Yankees. My finger is hovering over the panic button, and if they don't take all three from KC, then not only will I be pressing it, but jumping up and down on it. The bull pen has got to step up, they let the game saturday get out of reach in the eight and just down right wasted the best performance that we may ever see out of Johnson.

There is still a lot of baseball to play, and I like our chances head to head with the payroll bloated Yankees, but if you can't beat the teams that genuinely suck, you have no chance of doing anything.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Sox have a deal for Javy Lopez.......

The Sox Get Lopez

What do you guys think about this? I had posted that the guys on XM were talking about a deal, I went to the Globe and found the story above. It seems the Sox have to give up a 40 man roster guy, but that comes later.

Panic Button open thread

I know there's still a long way to go and that I'm sounding like the woe-is-me'er that Yankee fans claim we Sox fans are, and I know we have a lot less to whine about than the real havenots, but I fear as a result of our injuries and the Yankees killer offense we'll never get first place back. What say you?

I'm afraid they're just going to pummel everybody into submission again, though they are very beatable by a good team in a short series. They're pitching has been better than ours lately, but it's easy to pitch well when you know you're going to get 6 runs a game. When's the last time they scored less than 5?
It does peeve me off to a degree that they can go out w/out a care regarding money and get whoever they want, but those last 2 trades piss me off even more because they really had one good youngster to trade. Nobody was trading, the poor teams needed to dump those guys and they dumped them cheaply right into the Yankee's lap!

So again I say, while the phrase "good pitching beats good hitting every time," there's not enough good pitching to combat fantastic hitting 1 through 9 like NY has.
What say you to that?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

"I want you all to call me Loretta..."

Pardon the Python quote but after his timely stroke tonight, being named Loretta ain't such a bad thing at all. Walk-offs are all the rage these days it seems...
I actually feel kind of bad for the Tribe's new "closer" Carmona. He has truly decent stuff and throws some major gas but he's clearly a bit twisted up in the mental department. That's 3 saves in a row that he's blown after replacing Wickman and his (and his team's) confidence must be tanking. It's just too bad that such a young pitcher with an obvious arm can't get it together when he gets his big chance to shine. Not that i'm sorry that we've faced him, of course - I hope he comes in tomorrow.
Tonight there was another example of what I suspect will become a common topic of discussion around here: another jaw-dropping shot by Willy Mo. He hit an absolute missle tonight that was still rising when it hit the wall in back of the first row Monster seats. I haven't seen anyone who hits the ball harder than he does lately, Sheffield included. And I pity the fan who tries to catch one of those blasts bare-handed.
Well, the Yankees are keeping it too close for comfort. Mussina and Wang (who pitched shutout ball for 8 innings tonight, improving to a very quiet 13-4) are both nearly unbeatable and their offense continues to get it done from all parts of the lineup. These bastards ain't going away, folks.

Fellow Blogger Quoted by Edes

Yesterday on the pre-game show Gordon Edes quoted a fellow blogspot blogger. Here's the link: What this guy had was stats on Big Papi's walk off at bats. It was, I need not tell you, quite amazing. Just this year alone he is 8 for 9 in that situation. Since 2004 he's 11 for 14, reaching base 16 of 19 plate appearances.

As for the dismil display last night, what can you say, no hitting. While Johnson wasn't steller, the offfense was something like 1 for 9 with runners on base last night. The sox had oppurtunities but just couldn't capitalize. Sabathia had nasty stuff last night, good pitching beats a good offense every time.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

"Uh oh" or "Jason Johnson alert"

Well, the denizens of the bleachers better bring hard-hats tonight - old JJ is taking the ball. At least the infield should get a workout behind the sinkerball pitcher... fielding the cutoffs. I hate to be so down on the dude but recent (and not so recent) history justifies my pessimism. Hope i'm wrong.