Friday, November 14, 2003

Been Away

Sorry for the lack of activity. Been busy for a while. I'll try to find time to comment on the off-season happenings soon.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Feeling Better
It took me a few days, but I'm finally moving past the hurt of Game 7. At first, I wanted Grady's head on a pike. He may still need to be fired, simply because it's difficult to allow the face of the Boston Red Sox to be a man widely perceived by both Boston fans and other fans alike, as a complete and total moron.

And yet, if we are to believe what we hear, one of the reasons the Sox were so tight-knit this year is Grady's ability to manage a clubhouse. His game tactics are simply horrendous. Some of the worst I've ever seen, particularly when it comes to managing pitchers. But a different style of manager might hinder the team more than it helps. There are no easy answers. Heck, Bobby Cox has the same rap in Atlanta. Great clubhouse guy, terrible strategist.

So, I await the results. Apparently, they're waiting for some boring series between the Yankees and Marlins to make the annoucement. No, i'm not watching. Given the choice between watching Darth Vader and his minions add another trophy to their pile of treasure with a yawn and a snicker or the 4 die hard Marlins fans celebrate, I've chosen to persue other hobbies. College basketball is right around the corner and my UConn Huskies are pre-season #1!

Thursday, October 16, 2003



Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Not Much Positive to Say

Offense and defense sucked and Manny blew a huge chance. His HR was meaningless in context. Millar, Nomar, and Mueller are about as useless a trio with the bat I've ever seen. I have zero confidence when any one of them is up. Our pitching has been more than good enough. The bats have let us down big time. Wells is hittable. We need two in a row in NY and we have to rely on John Burkett. Gulp.

On a side note, the Cubs collapse tonight will go down as historic, alongside Buckner and 1986 if they don't pull out Game 7 tomorrow (or pull of a 9th inning miracle tonight).

Who's excited about a possible Yanks-Marlins World Series? Yeah, me neither. I think there's something good on Discovery Channel those nights.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Simply Disgusting

I don't think I can adequately put into words how I felt about today's game. It seems that every year the Red Sox are in contention or make the postseason, there comes a seminal moment when you suddenly realize that they are going to lose. Buckner is an obvious one. Mell Hall's blast in '91 (or was it '92) comes to mind. Aguilera blowing a save in the '95 ALDS. Today feels like that seminal moment.

Now, i'm not saying that I'm giving up and that they're definitely going to lose this series. But after the ugliness, I just knew they weren't going to win today (and I was right). And I just can't shake the bad feeling that it's over. For the first time this year, my faith in the guys has been shaken.

Some thoughts on the game:

Pedro let us down, big time. He comes out throwing nothing but slop, making me think he's hurt, yet again. Then, after he coughs up the 2-0 lead and let's the Yanks take a 3-2 lead, he decides "Hey, they're kicking my ass and I can't break a pane of glass, I think I'll buzz Garcia by his melon." Garcia and the Yanks take offense and get fired up (Go figure). That leads to...

Manny Ramirez' overreaction. He went to the plate convinced Rocket was going to throw at him. So when a high and slightly inside pitch comes his way, he goes icky-balookey. This causes the benches to empty, Zimmer charges Pedro and Pedro throws him to the ground. Now, Zimmer should not have taken a swing at Pedro, but watching that old man roll on the ground, man my stomach sank to my feet. This is what our postseason has now come to? All the good vibes from coming back against the A's are GONE. Now we are the punk ass team who beat up old men and throw at heads. Oh, and our groundskeepers bullrush opposing bullpens. What the *&$@ was that?

So, explain to me how a guy who threw nothing but mediocre slop for 4 innings comes out and mows down the Yankees for the next 3? WTF? Where the hell was that Pedro for the first 4? What, you had to instigate a whole freaking mess to get motivated to pitch? I think I got angrier about his post-incident performance. He had that in him the whole time? What the hell was he doing for the first 4 innings? And Manny? Jesus, thanks a freaking bunch you clueless nimrod. Talk with your bat.

And Nomar? Seriously, what is wrong with him. Is it Mia? His wrist? What? This guy tries to pull everything and has become a shadow of his former self. He used to rise to big spots. Now he's an automatic out, practically. So is our batting champ for that matter.

I've had enough venting. Bad vibes aside, I really think on paper, the Sox have a good shot at knocking Wells around tomorrow. I think they could win a high scoring affair. They better, because if they don't, it really is over.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

And Then There Were Three

Great all around performance last night. Wakefield has never looked better (at least not since 1995), the pen was solid, the hitting was back. I really like our chances tonight with D-Lowe. Pettitte is tough, to be sure, but I really like the way we're playing and Lowe is pitching with a confidence not seen since...well, ever. Not even in his early run last year did he look this committed.

Anyway, don't have much time today. Go Sox! Let's leave the Bronx up 2-0.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Haven't Had Time to Blog

We cap off another 0-2 comeback in the ALDS with one of the most exciting baseball games I've ever watched, and I have not really had the time to blog about it. I can only be brief tonight. That may have been the single most tense, exciting Red Sox game I've ever watched. My father couldn't handle it after Williamson walked two in the ninth and turnd the TV off because he didn't want to go to bed unable to sleep after watching the Sox blow it. Oh ye of little faith I chastised him!

I said some negative things about D-Lowe's mental make-up earlier this year and suggested they shop him around. I take it all back. He's obviously got the gnads to pitch in the big games. Why couldn't he be this confident all year? Eh, water under the bridge.

Last night's game was so exicting, even my sister, who hates baseball, was excited and now wants to watch the ALCS. When a game can convert someone who hates baseball, you know it was good.

Sox-Yanks ALCS, Part Deux
What can I say about this that others won't cover. Yankee fans claim that we're nothing to them, that it's too uneven to be a real rivalry. Yet they always come looking for Sox fans to start sh*t and gloat. Yeah, we mean nothing to you. OK.

So the "rivalry" restarts tomorrow. The teams were pretty even in the regular season series. The Yanks would have to be favored based on the fact that they are better rested and have their pitching staff lined up. Our series stretching to Monday hurt, as did having to use starters in relief.

Still, I think we've got more than a fighting chance. This team has shown that it will not lie down for anyone. I would set up our rotation this way.
1. Wakefield
2. Lowe
3. Pedro
4. Suppan
5. Wakefield
6. Lowe
7. Martinez

I take Suppan over Burkett based on Suppan's outing at Yankee Stadium in late August. They're really the same pitcher, only Suppan has a little more endurance.

I'll stick by my orginal prediction. Sox in 7. I'm holding out for the Armageddon Series (Sox vs. Cubs). Wouldn't that be a blast?

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Leaving On a Jet Plane....Back to Oakland

Incredible game today. Once Hudson left the game and Spraks came in I had visions of an 11-4 shellacking. Somehow, we still managed to scuffle on offense.

But in the 8th, all our big stars came through. Nomar finally got an extra base hit with his wall ball. Manny delivered a hit, but with that short LF, Nomar had to hold at third. How fitting was it that Ortiz broke through his 0 for 18 ALDS with a double on a 3-2 pitch over Dye's head in RF? You gotta feel the love for the big guy. He was the straw that stirred the drink (to borrow from Reggie) down the stretch, and it killed me to see him coming up empty now that we had made it.

And what can you say about Williamson? With his family situation now in order, he has stepped up big time. Williamson has to be the closer now, and it was telling that Kim was not up in the bullpen in the 9th. Don't know if that was due to his "shoulder stiffness" or not.

Game MVP: Johnny Damon

A lot of guys made big contributions, but I think if you combine Damon's 2 run HR with his huge throw to 3B, I think you have to give it to him.

So, Pedro tomorrow in Oakland on full rest vs. Zito on short rest. I gotta say, I like our chances, although I'm not foolish enough to think that it's a slam dunk. Man, I don't even dare think about a 1999 ALCS rematch yet....

In Closing

After tonight, does anyone else think Williamson should be our closer? He looks like his velocity and control is back. Timlin should obviously be the main set-up guy. Make Kim the 6th-7th guy.

What can I say, I'm speechless. Once again the 2003 Red Sox rise like the phoenix. We need to have extra inning postseason games at Fenway more often. They end so nicely. 1 PM tomorrow! Let's hope Burkett can avoid the 1st inning yips.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Boy Did Kapler Blow That One

Botch 2 bunts then hit into a DP. Thanks tons.
Good Move Grady

I was hoping he'd leave Timlin in for another inning. He didn't throw many pitches in the 8th, and he's been our best reliever. Not sure if I'd send him out for a third, although he didn't throw that many pitches again. Might be pressing our luck. However, who comes in now? Pedro I'd save for a lead (if I use him at all). I'd bring Kim, yes, Kim in. He seems to be better in tie games than with leads.
OK, Let's Cut the Crap Here

If we can't score against Ted f***ing Lilly at Fenway then we're not going to win anything anyway.
Inning 6: How Strange Can this Get?

First the play at the plate with Byrnes where he doesn't tag home, shoves Varitek theng ets tagged out. Then Nomar oles a grounder and Tejada stops running after brushing Muellar and gets called out. The fates are desperately, desperately trying to give this game to Boston and yet it's tied 1-1.
Inning Four :A's, "Take this Game", Sox, "NO!"

Now a botched pop up. The A's are trying hard to let the Sox back into this series. The Sox will have none of it so far. Only Lowe is barring the door right now.
Inning Two: Bizzare Defense

Three straight bizzare defenive gaffes from the A's give us a gift run. I have rarely seen interference in a run-down before, but it was rather obvious in this case. I wish we could have capitalized a little better. Still, we'll take the gift run.

p.s. Garica-popup.
Inning Two: Lowe Looks Damn Good

Wow, Lowe is on right now. His sinker looks fantastic. If he can keep his pitch count down, maybe we can get 8-9 out of him tonight.
Inning One: Shades of Canseco and Vaughn?

It looked like we might get to Lilly quickly, but Ramirez and Vaughn shut that down quickly. I'm starting to be reminded of 1995 whn Canseco and Vaughn were completely shut down in Cleveland's 3 game sweep. Let's hope they get of the schneid, and soon.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Game 2 Commentary


So When Does College Basketball Start?

Ok, I'm kidding, mostly. If 1999, the A's-Yanks series from '01 and this Sox entire 2003 season has taught me anything, it's to never give up until the last game is played. But it doesn't look too good. It looks like the pen will be the killer flaw we all feared it might be. Horrid defense, a wild knuckler and Barry Zito killed us today. God this sucks.
OK, where do we go from here?

The bullpen did its usual choke job, Little possibly ruined Lowe for Game 3, Arroyo was nowhere to be found (why? WHY?) and a valiant comeback by our boys was scuttled. Oh, and I had to stay up really f*cking late just for the pleasure of watching that botch job.

I really wish we could jettison the whole bullpen from the team (save maybe Timlin). This whole team fights and competes harder than any Sox team I've ever seen, but those pansies in the bullpen keep f***ing it up for them.

I'm very pessimistic about our chances at the World Series at this moment. I don't see how you can win without the bullpen playing a key role, and I do not think they're up to it.

That said, it's time to fight on, another game is upon us. Let's hope the knuckleball is working and Zito is off his game. I really don't want to have to climb out of an 0-2 hole again like in 1999. What are the odds of pulling that off again?

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