Friday, June 30, 2006

That is amazing

Not only have they won 12 in a row, an amazing feat in the game of baseball, but now the Sox have tied the major league record for consecutive errorless games.

Who would have ever thought the Red Sox, of all teams, could do that? - Boston Red Sox: E’s now are silent

Whatever record it is? In playing baseball’s version of The Perfect Game, the Sox last night tied the major league record for consecutive errorless games. Entering tonight’s weekend series opener against the Florida Marlins in Miami, the Sox have played 16 straight games without an error. At this point of the season, the Sox’ 23 errors are the fewest by any team since such defensive data was first kept in 1960.

Matt Stone of the Herald (link above) has a real nice photo of Crisps incredible catch in the eighth.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Celtics futures are looking up

Making a trade for both a legitimate point guard and a center is big news for Danny Ainge and the Celtics.

“We think that he is probably the most ready of all the young point guards that were in the draft,” Ainge said. “He’s the same age as most of those guys (21), and he’s got (2,971) minutes under his belt.”

They also managed to get out from under their worst contract, that of LaFrentz. They will be paying Ratliff for two years at $11.7 million, but LaFrentz was due $12.2 million for three years.

And best of all, they didn't have to give up on Jefferson et al to do it. - Boston Celtics: Celtics point at Telfair -- Send pick to Portland for PG, Ratliff

The Herald is still reporting a possible deal for Iverson is still in the works. (blechhh... Have they learned nothing from the Patriots about character?)

Thankfully, we can move on now

I'm just tired of hearing about Pedro. Are we going to boo/cheer him? Lose/win to him? Was it a good/bad deal?

I know Pedro is a great pitcher. I know he has injury issues. I thought the Sox were making sense when they only wanted to pay him for three years, not four. And as for whether or not we cheered him or booed him, I couldn't have cared less. He's on the Mets, now. I thank him for his help in winning the World Series, but it's time to move on and try to win another one. Not focus on what happened two years ago.

When Pedro retires and comes back for a fan day, that's when I'll care.

Right now, the Red Sox are trying to continue a great streak (11 wins!). Josh Beckett needs to pitch like the number two he's supposed to be (which he did last night, but not under a lot of pressure). This is what we should be focusing on.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

That's right, don't pitch to Papi

After all, it's only Manny Ramirez waiting in line to stride to the plate. The future hall-of-famer?

In case you forgot: Manny's awards:
1999 AL Hank Aaron Award;AL RBI Leader
2002 AL Batting Champion
2004 AL Hank Aaron Award;World Series MVP;AL Home Run Champion

Manny has hit over 100 RBI's each season since 1998.

Did we mention the slow start he's had this season? That's right, he only has 51 RBIs so far this year.

Ramirez has also hit 20 homers for the 12th consecutive year (including this year) and has 455 in his career, passing Thome, who had 454, for 28th place.

And you (John Tomase) think they should have walked Ortiz to load the bases to get to Manny?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Papi and Papelbon

The walk-off HR by Ortiz was just another in a long line of unbelievably clutch winning plays. He just seems to radiate confidence and I knew when he stepped into the batters box, the game was over.

And Papelbon has just been incredible so far. You knew that as long as he was in the game long enough to get Ortiz back to the plate, the Red Sox were going to win.

Throw in Curt Schilling and, oh by the way that other guy Manny Ramirez, and you have a playoff team.

I'm not (too) worried about who's going to pitch in the fifth spot. The third spot belongs to Wakefield, and you know what you're going to get with him. Hopefully, that knuckleball will be dancing come playoff time. Add in the (arguable by someone I'm sure) best defensive team the Red Sox have had in decades, and this should be a great team.

But it's not.

Josh Beckett has to step up and be the number two starter they hired him to be. Otherwise, the rest of this stuff is just for show. You need two aces and a closer to win come playoff time. Without it...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lester was impressive

So, let's hope he's up here to stay now. I know he's only beaten the Nationals and the Braves and so our enthusiasm should be tempered a little bit by reality. But Lester is certainly capable enough to handle being the fourth starter.

As for the fifth starter, it looks like the next pitcher to be named is Jason Johnson. Kyle Snyder was optioned to AAA after last night's game in order to make room for Jason. Kyle was effective enough in his one start, but it looks like the Red Sox are willing to keep on looking for the 'lightning strike'.

Jason Johnson was acquired for cash or a player to be named later from the Cleveland Indians. His record is unimpressive, but the Sox are just hoping he can play well (or Snyder can) for about half a season or so, in the hopes that Clement, Wells or DiNardo show up in the park once again.

A veteran of all or part of 10 major league seasons with Pittsburgh (1997), Tampa Bay (1998), Baltimore (1999-2003), Detroit (2004-05) and Cleveland (2006), Johnson has made 32 starts or more in four of the last five campaigns and is a two-time 10-game winner with Baltimore in 2001 and 2003. He is 55-94 with a 4.95 ERA in 229 major league appearances, 213 as a starter.

The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder has won at least eight games in each of the last three seasons, including an 8-13 record with a 4.54 ERA in 33 starts for Detroit last year, matching his career high in starts (2004) and setting a career best with 210.0 innings. The Santa Barbara, CA native led the Tigers pitching staff with 19 quality starts and worked at least six innings in 25 starts.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

HGH comes to Boston

In the form of one Paxton Crawford, of all people. He's admitted to using HGH in Boston according the ESPN the Magazine.

Crawford comes clean - Extra Bases -

In a piece he wrote for this week’s ESPN The Magazine (subscription required to read), Crawford admitted to using steroids and HGH while with Boston from 2000-01. Check out a few of his comments, which also seem to shed a controversial light on the Sox clubhouse at that time.

“During minor league spring training with the Red Sox in 1999, some of the other guys saw I was hurting,” he writes. “They told me that if I took this stuff, it would make the pain go away and cut my recovery time in half. Shoot, why not? I'm just a country boy; I didn't even think twice.

All Star Voting

I think voting for the all stars is a good thing. It keeps club and media politics in perspective and allows the fans a chance to vote for the players who they want to see on this (not so important) day. But sometimes the voting just doesn't make any sense at all. I realize that some fans vote for 'their' players just because they are on their team. But let's be a little bit realistic about this.

Here's the current voting for outfielders in the American League.
1. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels 1,518,276
2. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox 1,477,626
3. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 996,148
4. Johnny Damon, Yankees 956,595
5. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays 752,422
6. Jermaine Dye, White Sox 598,441
7. Gary Sheffield, Yankees 535,564
8. Torii Hunter, Twins 509,722
9. Scott Podsednik, White Sox 508,210
10. Coco Crisp, Red Sox 481,612
11. Trot Nixon, Red Sox 437,693
12. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers 427,319
13. Hideki Matsui, Yankees 425,894
14. Grady Sizemore, Indians 392,102
15. Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays 272,381

Notice something stragne about the voting? Specifically about Red Sox players? And no, I'm not talking about Manny Ramirez. He's a perennial All-Star caliber player and even with a slow start, he deserves to be near the top.

No, I'm talking about Coco Crisp at number 10 and Trot Nixon at number 11. I understand why they're there, but this is ridiculous. Despite being a Red Sox fan, I'm not blind to reality, either. And neither of these players deserve to be anywhere near this list.

I realize that the Yankees and Red Sox have a great fan base who tend to vote more because they are more involved in their teams. But please go vote for the best players who deserve to be on this list. Just be a little bit realistic.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Thank you Snyder

Thank you very much Snyder. You helped us get one game done. Maybe even a second game on the will be in your future, after that? - Boston Red Sox: Sox swat Nats -- KC castoff Snyder makes mark in debut

Snyder helped shore up a thinning rotation, and as homestand openers and Red Sox debuts go, he had himself quite a solid evening.
As for the unusual suspects who came in to relieve him - Jermaine Van Buren, Javier Lopez, Rudy Seanez and Mike Timlin - there’s an extra donut and coffee for anyone who could have projected that cast of characters would combine on four scoreless innings of relief.

I think I'm happier about Manny's homerun. His average is .216 for the month of June, after tearing it up in May (.333 with 9 HR and a slugging percentage of .714), I'm hoping that whatever ailment is bothering him (hamstring, knee, etc...) will fade and he'll come back to dominate.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Don't get too excited

It's nice that they swept the Braves, no matter how hard they had to work at it in the end. They should beat them, and beat them handily. But when all is said and done, you need to take a look at the teams who they are 'really' competing against.

A win against the Yankees, Rangers, Phillies, or Blue Jays means more than a win against the Braves because they are the teams (the Red Sox have played) who are currently over 500.

And right now, the Red Sox are only 15-17 against them. They are 24-8 against teams under 500.

Which means they are better than the (current) bottom dwellers, but middle of the road when it comes to those who are leading the pack. And that just isn't good enough to make me feel comfortable.

BTW, in case you don't recognize him on the mound tonight, Kyle Snyder will be your starting pitcher. He was waived by the KC Royals (yes, that's right, the Royals didn't want him any more) and picked up by the Red Sox in what can only be described as a move of desparation to cover for the ailing Matt Clements. He may even start twice for the Red Sox, given their schedule.

Kyle's numbers:


I suppose I shouldn't be that critical, however. Snyder was a first-round draft choice in 1999 and has worked with Al Nipper before. He did have shoulder surgery last year and hasn't quite recovered since, however. He was 1-3 in 13 games (three starts) for the Royals in 2005. He also was 2-3 with a 3.55 ERA for Triple-A Omaha.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Red Sox re-acquire Lopez

Yesterday, the Boston Red Sox re-acquired lefty Javier Lopez in a trade with the Chicago White Sox. They sent David Riske.

Lopez is 2-1 with 0.55 ERA with 12 saves this year. He's also managed to hold lefties to .171 batting average. A fourth round selection of Arizona in the 1998 First-Year Player Draft, Lopez was picked by Boston in the Rule 5 Major League Draft in December 2002. The Red Sox traded Lopez to Colorado in March 2003. The Red Sox chose to keep another lefty, Matt White. They traded for Ryan Cameron, who is no longer in the organization.

Before you get too excited, take a gander at his major league numbers. It's not exactly the most exciting.

Major League Career6-46.0917103115.112979784972

He also made his debut last night, giving up an RBI single to Torii Hunter.

BTW, Ortiz long ball into the grandstands being stopped by a speaker is just plain awful. But the whole team should have played better in the first place. Losing a game doesn't happen on one pitch, one hit, or one speaker.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Red Sox better get their pitching act together

According to Tavarez (in the Herald) he's getting frustrated with his inconsistency. "This very frustrating. It'’s tough to face your teammates, losing a game like that, it'’s tough to sleep, especially after everyone else went out and did the job," Tavarez said. "It'’s tough to face Schilling, (Jonathan) Papelbon, and Mike Timlin, who went out and pitched so well. They worked hard to keep the game at 2-1. For me to go out there and not get the job done is really frustrating. It'’s been like that since the first day. I've been very inconsistent."

But then, that's been the story with the Red Sox pitching this year. Go down the line and except for Papelbon, every pitcher on the Red Sox has had some inconsistency. Some (Matt Clement) have just been downright awful, but most have just had up and down seasons so far.

Schilling: Despite his 9-2 record, Schilling had a down point this season. He seems to have figured it out and has been doing his job as ace since, though.

Beckett: Nothing but up and down. He's supposed to be 1b in this pitching rotation, and his record reflects that at 7-3, but he's also had games where he only lasted 3.2, 4.2 and 5 innings. That's not good enough to cover for a bullpen that just isn't very deep.

Wakefield: His record doesn't reflect the great start he had because he lacked run support. But in the month of May, he struggled and his ERA rose to 4.57. But just as he seemed to be getting that elusive knuckleball back, he's gone on the DL.

Wells and Clement have been more than just disappointing. They'be been just awful. It may be time for both of them to retire.

DiNardo, Lester and Pauley at least have the excuse of inexperience, but with ERA's of 7.11, 6.23, and 7.88 and a combined record of 1-4, they haven't been a lot of help.

Timlin, Foulke and Papelbon were the only bright spots in the bullpen, but now Timlin is on the DL with a dead arm (blamed on the Baseball Classic) and Foulke has tendonitis.

Despite that, the Red Sox are 36-27 and only one game back behind the Yankees (27-26). But if the pitchers don't get their act together, don't expect Toronto (36-29) to sit patiently behind them.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Memo to those who are bashing Tito

Not that I like to defend the Tito's moves, but who else was there? If Timlin couldn't pitch a second inning coming off the DL, then the Sox run out of options quickly.

Papelbon had already gone for two innings, then Timlin. After that, there just isn't much left in the bullpen.

There's Tavarez, Seanez, and Riske (Foulke went on the DL, not that you would want him out there right now, anyways). Which one of these do you want to see out there? Seanez may have been the best option, but he gave up 2 ER in his last outing.

The best option would be to bring up (and keep) Hansen and and the other kids. Let them get some big league time in. We're going to need them at the end of the season, not these others. But the kids weren't there on the bench last night.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Deion Branch a hold out

Deion is holding out on both the charitable golf tournament yesterday and the three-day minicamp starting today.

In the middle of his contract extension talks, it seems he wants to send a message to management. Unfortunately, this move makes it look he hasn't been paying attention this offseason to what management was saying to him.

The Patriots let Givens walk out because they wanted to give more to Branch. Maybe he should keep that in mind before he gets too entrenched.

Also, Branch should look a little more closely at what Seymour did in his 'holdout' last year. Yes, he didn't go to the mini-camp, but he did show up at other team functions, making sure his fans, teammates and coaches knew it wasn't personal.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Mixed Results

But Pauley is being sent down today. And it was nice to see him. Sometimes we fans get so wrapped up in the big league (or those who are in AAA) that we forget about the kids struggling to make it happen. I just hope he doesn't lose faith based on his outings.


Those aren't horrible numbers (especially th game in NY) for someone who was jumped two grades to play in the bigs.

"I saw what it takes to stay here," Pauley told the Boston Herald. "I have to go down and work on getting better so that I can get back here."

And it was a good thing for the Red Sox, too. With all their injury woes, they needed someone to pitch a few innings and they got it.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Lester could have done better

But that's alright with me. I'm just glad he's here and pitching. Besides, Texas has a great hitting line up (I can't imagine how it's worse than facing New York, though... maybe it was a crowd issue?). In a few weeks, after he's pitched in about five games, we'll evaluate how he's doing.

What I'm more surprised about is the Red Sox keeping Pauley up as well. I thought he'd be done and back to AA by now, but it seems that Clement's shoulder is keeping David's dream alive.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The big question

Is the Sox pitching good enough to get the Red Sox into the playoffs this year? Right now, I'd have to say yes, but it seems that not everyone is as confident as I am. And for good reason.

Despite strong starts from Schilling (going for his 9th win), Wakefield (record is suffering from lack of hitting during his games), and Beckett (up and down, but for the most part up) and having the best (arguably) closer in the game right now in Papelbon (19 of 19 save opportunities), the Red Sox are ranked 19th in team ERA and 13th for opponents batting avg.

The Sox best starter, Schilling, has an ERA of 3.89, putting him 43rd for pitchers in MLB. The Yankees have a team ERA of 4.15, helped a great deal by Mussinas 2.42 ERA.

Opponents are currently batting .264 against the Red Sox. The Yankees have kept their opponents avg at .254. placing them in 7th.

And we make fun of the Yankees pitchers. We've enjoyed Randy Johnson's struggles, and asked why the Yankees, despite their rotation and injury woes, did not offer Clemens the 'family clause'. What does that say about our own rotation?

But, as I said before, I believe the pitching staff is good enough to get the Sox into the playoffs. With their offense and defense helping out (just ask Pauley how he feels about the defensive upgrades this year), their chances are very good.

But then again, the Yankees are currently 3rd in offensive team batting avg, while we're ranked fourth.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Did he just say what I think he said?

Bronson is doing well in Cincinnati, obviously. And now you can even find him in a Ford Commercial.

If he really is saying what I think he's saying, don't play this one at work!
SawxBlog: Bronson Arroyo - Ford Commercial

Bronson's obviously doing O.K. in Cinci...when are we going to start seeing Wily Mo on NESN commercials?