Sunday, July 31, 2005


"Forget about the trade, this is the place I want to be. They want to win. I want to win too. I'm back... I'm just here to play and win, I'm a gangster."

Manny does want to win, Manny is back, and Manny is a ganster.

While all this stuff with Manny and the trade deadline was going on, the Red Sox were able to put together a nice 5 game win streak including a sweep of the Minnesota Twins. Sunday's finale was by far the best game of the series and was perhaps the best game of the season so far.

Last night, the Red Sox were without a starter for today's game. Arroyo went Saturday, Miller's shoulder is bothering him so what would the Red Sox do? Call up a kid from AAA for a spot start. That sounds so good to say that instead of "put out Jeremi Gonzalez" or something along those lines. Jon Papelbon was 5-2 in AA Portland. He was 18-11 in his minor league career. His opponent was Brad Radke. Radke has 133 Major League wins. Papelbon (how many times can I mispell his name in one post?) had to come down to Fenway, pitch in front of 35,000 fans, while the team was in the middle of a veritable storm of BS.

Papelbon went 5.1 innings allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, and striking out 7. He looked shaky late in the game as the Twins saw more of him. This is understandable as he is still developing his curveball. In my opinion, Francona should have taken him out after 5 innings, but it didn't change the outcome of the game. Papelbon, like Delcarmen before him, struck out his first Major League batter. Manny #2 came in and got an out, then Myers and Timlin got the Sox to Schilling who has looked much better in his last few outings. Curt got his 5th Save.

The position players did their share to win the game. Gabe "Ty Law" Kapler had an amazing catch that seemed to jump start the offense in the next inning. Johnny Damon reached base safely in his 43rd consecutive game, Edgar Renteria had a big double, David Ortiz hit a solo Homerun, as did John Olerud who has cleaned up in the cleanup spot, Varitek had a double that moved Olerud to 3rd, allowing him to score, Millar had an RBI SAC-Fly, and of course, Manny Ramirez knocked in the game winning run with an RBI single.

Perhaps the two biggest contributors to this game were Terry Francona and Kevin Millar. I've often criticised Francona's seemingly Little League attitude, and Kevin Millar rarely escapes my wrath when he screws up, but I think they did alot behind the scenes to keep Manny on the team and keep Manny WITH the team. I heard on WEEI that Manny's agent contacted Francona before Saturday's game saying that Manny didn't want to play. Francona scratched him from the lineup. Then he was contacted again with the message that Manny did want to play. Francona wasn't going to play that game so he didn't put him in the lineup. A seemingly small gesture, but one that might have had an impact. On Sunday, Manny was once again absent from the lineup, but this time he was in the dugout with a bat in his hands, talking to Francona while both looked over notes. Francona waited until the absolute perfect time to insert Manny into the lineup, and it paid off.

Kevin Millar will never win a batting title, or a Gold Glove. But if there were an award for clubhouse presence, he'd get alot of votes every season. Alot of times, at least in my personal experiences, the best way to resolve a dispute between two people is to have an intermediary. Someone that both people respect. This person can make both people realize things they wouldn't otherwise realize. This seems to be what Millar did. Before Sunday's game, Manny went to Francona and said he wanted to stay. Who went with him? Kevin Millar. Who lightened up the mood? Kevin Millar.

In the end, the Red Sox got Jose Cruz Jr, a defensively gifted and offensively challenged outfielder who will probably compliment Gabe Kapler. He does have some pop though with 12 homeruns this season. The Red Sox also re-signed Gabe Kapler, picked up Alex Cora and Tony Graffanino, and got Chad Bradford. The team isn't completely assembled though. Schilling still isn't starting, Foulke is progressing with his knees, and there are a number of guys in Pawtucket and Portland and maybe even one in Lowell that will probably show their faces around Fenway before the regular season is over.

There's good reason that any Manny deal never went through. The one that everybody was talking about was the threeway trade with the Mets and D-Rays. The Sox were going to send Manny to New York, some prospects to Tampa, and get Mike Cameron and Aubrey Huff. The deal was killed by the moronic Tampa Devil Rays who decided they can win with Huff and Danys Baez on their team. Tampa felt that they needed to bleed the Red Sox farm system dry. There's no way in hell that the Red Sox would give up the league leader in RBIs, AND some of their top prospects for two slightly above average outfielders. What was Tampa thinking? That entire organisation needs to get its head out of its collective ass and take a look at the world around it. They're a joke of a franchise.

Its more than four hours after the deadline, and it appears as though there were no big trades. Here are all of today's transactions that are listed on

The Yankees traded Buddy Groom to the Diamondbacks for a player to be named later

The Braves traded Roman Colon and Zach Miner to the Tigers for Kyle Farnsworth

The Red Sox purchased Jon Papelbon's contract from AAA Pawtucket, optioned Lenny DiNardo to Pawtucket, and designated Luis Mendoza for assignment

The Cubs traded Matt Lawton to the Pirates for Jody Gerut

The White Sox traded Ryan Meaux to the Padres for Geoff Blum, recalled Joe Adkins from AAA Charlotte, and optioned Willie Harris and Ross Gload to Charlotte

The Angels recalled Chris Bootcheck from AAA Salt Lake, and optioned Jake Woods to Salt Lake

The Dodgers placed Jayson Werth on the 15 Day DL, and activated Jose Valentin off the 60 Day DL

The Mariners traded Ron Villon to the Marlins for Yorman Bazardo and Mike Flannery, and recalled George Sherrill from AAA Tacoma

The Nationals optioned Marlon Byrd to AAA New Orleans, and recalled Matt Cepicky from New Orleans

Not exactly breaking news for any of these transactions. Granted, some deals might be unannounced, but it appears as though no big names will be traded, at least not without going through the waiver process. AJ Burnett is a Marlin, Manny Ramirez is still in Boston, Jason Schmidt remains a Giant, Alfonso Soriano is still in Texas. How the heck did this happen?

This lack of trades is a result of one thing, in my opinion. The parody that League has. The Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles, White Sox, Angels, Athletics, Rangers, Braves, Nationals, Marlins, Phillies, Mets, Cardinals, Padres, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Twins, Indians, Astros, Cubs, and Brewers all have a chance to earn a playoff berth. That's 23 teams with a shot, albeit a small shot in most cases, and 7 teams that are truly out of it. That means 23 buyers and 7 sellers. This means demand is about three times higher than supply. The result of this inbalance (which ironically comes from remarkable balance) is that the teams that have desirable players such as Aubrey Huff or AJ Burnett, is that they feel like they can ask for more. They feel like they can ask a team to give up its top pitching prospect along with their best position player prospect. They feel like they can throw in an overpaid, under hitting third baseman. The 23 competetive teams are desperate, but not stupid. They're not going to give up more than they should for a player, nor are they going to take on extra money just for the sake of making a deal. I think all of the competetive teams came to the same conclusion. No-one is going to overpay for these players, so we're going to be in the same situation as before. This means that we're still in the race with few teams having any big edge. About the only 2 teams that are essentially assured a playoff spot are the Cardinals and White Sox. These teams didn't have to improve any to get into the playoffs, so they didn't make big moves. The other 21 teams are really competing with each other so if no-one made a move, there would be no clear cut favorite in any of the 6 open races around baseball.

Saturday, July 30, 2005


Beleive it or not, this is a new picture. After getting paid over $83 million by the Boston Red Sox, and winning a World Series with the team, it appears that Manny Ramirez is on his way out the Green Monster door for good.

The rumor of the day is that he'll be involved in a three team deal with the Mets and Devil Rays. The Red Sox will have to give up top pitching prospect Anibel Sanchez, catcher Kelly Shoppach, as well as Manny Ramirez. They would receive OF Mike Cameron, mid level starting pitcher Aaron Heilman, and 1B/OF Abrey Huff. This deal doesn't seem too appealing to me. Especially if we have to pay any of Ramirez's salary. Sanchez is our top pitching prospect. We can get alot for him or keep him and get alot out of him. Cameron and Huff are solid players, and I guess with the injury to Nixon they'll see alot of playing time, but neither one has even remotely the same lineup presence as Ramirez.

At the time this is written, the Red Sox have 20 hours to agree to a deal. If the Sox do deal Manny, I think they should get Burnett and take on Lowell's contract.

Apparently, Curt Schilling confronted Manny Ramirez in the Red Sox clubhouse and they needed to be seperated by David Ortiz.

Manny did not start tonight's game against the Twins. The explanation that came out of the organisation is that Francona decided to do it because he felt the trade talk was a bit of a distraction. This flies in the face of reality because Cameron and Huff are both playing tonight and Mueller has been playing despite trade rumors.

I've heard some people compare Manny Ramirez with Pedro Martinez. They claim that both players partook in alot of BS on and off the field. Any semi-intelligent Red Sox fan knows that Pedro was all business on the day he started. Every other day, he kept the clubhouse loose like a Kevin Millar does. Pedro Martinez never asked out of a game that meant something. Whenever this team needed Pedro, he was there. He didn't refuse to come out of the pen in Game 6 of the 1999 ALDS despite an arm injury, or in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS despite his history with the Yankees. In fact, the people comparing Pedro with Manny are the same people that claim Pedro should have taken himself out of Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. These people have a pathological hatred for the player that helped lift the Red Sox up into a level of respectable baseball and eventually helped the team win a World Series.

Friday, July 29, 2005


Tedy Bruschi, Ted Johnson, and Richard Seymour won't be there, but the rest of the Super Bowl XXXIX Champions will be at Gillette Stadium's practice fields for the first public practice of training camp today at 8:45 AM. The Pats have some problems to sort out. The lack of returning middle linebackers and the Richard Seymour situation being the two most prominent. Also, a new defensive coordinator and no offensive coordinator. If any team can work through these difficulties, its the Patriots.

Rodney Harrison's contract appears to have been reworked. Seymour faces $6,000 fines every day he misses camp. Rookie Wide Out Michael McGrew was cut by the Pats. Receivers Bethel Johnson and Tim Dwight were placed on the physically unable to perform list with foot-related injuries.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Weird, wild game on Tuesday night with alot of good and alot of bad. Let's start with the bad first and then cheer ourselves up with the good.

Clement went down in the scariest injury in baseball, the come-backer to the mound. When Bryce Florie was hit a few years ago, Joe Kerrigan calculated that the ball hit him at about 110+ MPH. That amount of force can be dangerous and even deadly. Fortunately, Clement was able to avert his head enough so that the ball hit him behind the ear and not in the face or temple. He was released from the hospital on Wednesday and showed up to the ballpark to watch the Sox beat Tampa 4-1. He will probably miss at least a start but might not go on the DL. Thanks to an off day Thursday and Monday, the Sox might be able to give him some time off without plugging in a spot starter.

Trot Nixon left the game in the previous half inning with a strained oblique muscle. He's had back problems before. The Sox put him on the 15 Day DL today. Francona said something about fluid be visible in three of the MRIs took of his back which means some damage has been done. Hopefully he'll be able to come back in 2 weeks or so because his bat is really important in the 5th/6th spot of the lineup to drive in Manny and Ortiz and get on base for Varitek, Millar, and Mueller.

Manny Ramirez couldn't come out to play today against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. When asked, his mommy said that he hadn't finished his homework, cleaned his room, or taken out the trash.

Here's what happened, Manny asked Tito for an off day during the White Sox series. Francona, knowing we'd need Manny's bat against the White Sox pitchers, told him that he couldn't, but could oblige him on the last day of the Devil Rays series. Makes some sense. Francona likes to give the double day off sometimes. Now, I have no problem with giving Manny a day off against the D-Rays, and I have no problem with the double day off. However, the situation was changed dramatically from Tuesday in the 2nd inning to Tuesday in the 4th. The Red Sox lost an outfielder to the DL, and had to work the bullpen much harder than anticipated. Manny didn't want to play though. And what choice did Francona have? The way Manny stumbled down the 1st base line nearly getting thrown out on a botched double play was indicative of what Manny's attitude probably would have been on Wednesday had Francona not succumbed to his player.

This problem with Manny isn't a new one, but I think it is more serious now. He's always been flaky, but this lack of wanting to play and win is a dangerous attitude. What do Kevin Youkilis and Adam Stern and Manny Delcarmen think when they're in the Red Sox clubhouse looking towards Manny not preparing to play? Do they think that if they get good enough, they can get paid $123,456 to sit on their ass? They'll still get cheered and loved so long as they perform on the days they actually try? Manny's contract runs until 2008 which means he is going to be with this team, barring a trade or retirement, when Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, Craig Hansen, Brandon Moss and any other prospect comes up to play. What will they think when they see Manny's BS being tolerated?

Okay, now for the good. Despite the injuries, and the BS, the Red Sox were able to take the final two against Tampa. If the Red Sox can just figure out how to win the 1st game in each new city, they will be very good on the road.

Manny Delcarmen had his Major League debut. He came into the 8th with the Sox down by 2 and he retired the side off 14 pitches striking out his first big league opponent and inducing a pair of groundouts.

Tuesday's game was all about picking up teammates. Svuem's F-up was covered up by Damon. Damon also picked up the entire team with his catch and homerun.

The Man of the Game for Tuesday is Johnny Damon who went 3 for 5 with a single, double, and homerun. He scored twice and knocked himself in. He also had a game saving catch in the 9th to force extra innings. He stole a base as well.

Wednesday's game was about effort. Edgar Renteria, for example, was able to get a run by walking, then stealing 2nd, advancing to 3rd on a passed ball and then scoring on a SAC Fly. Doug Mirabelli ran out an infield single and then stole 2nd. Yes, he stole a base. Wakefield went as deep as he could throwing 118 pitches over 7.1 innings. Bradford reobunded from yesterday's performance to record his first Hold of the season. He probably could have held on for the Save but Schilling did well to finish the game.

The Red Sox have an off day to fly back to Boston and possibly sort some things out. They welcome the Wild Card leading Twins to Fenway. Then the Royals come to town. The Sox don't take on another AL East team until August 29th when the D-Rays come to Boston.

The Yankees lost to Minnesota 7-3 so we are 2 games up on New York but only 1 in the loss column. The Orioles are involved in a tight game with the Rangers right now. If they win, they're 3.5 back, if not, they're 4.5 back.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

So Manny Ramirez wants a trade. This despite the fact that he begged not to be traded in the whole A-Rod non-deal. This despite being thrilled not to be picked up by anyone else. I'm not going to look too much into this story. Manny seems like he is prone to whimsical thougts and ideas none of which has any long term implication or bearing. The stories Jerry Remy tells about Manny proclaiming where he'll be traded too are both funny and indicative of Manny's say what you feel attitude.

Here are some reasons why the Red Sox should get AJ Burnett:
1. Lack of depth at starting pitching. Matt Clement has come down to earth, Wells has been decent but he's no #2, Miller is a #5 guy, Wakefield is a decent #4 but no better than that, and Arroyo just isn't consistent enough. This team needs more starting pitching from somewhere. Either from Schilling or from someone outside the team.

2. Schilling doesn't look impressive. He can be lights on or lights off. He doesn't seem capable of pushing off his leg in a comfortable way. Usually when starting pitchers move to the bullpen, their velocity increases. In Game 7 of the ALCS last season, Pedro came in and threw 97 even though in starting situations he rarely got to the 94 range. Schilling has been hovering around 88-92. That isn't the way it should be. When/If he returns to the rotation, how good will he be?

3. Despite the demand for Burnett, no-one seems to be willing to take Lowell. Lowell is making quite a bit of money. Lowell is having a very unproductive season, but his numbers in previous seasons are good. He batted .293 with 27 HRs in 2003. From 2000 to 2004, he averaged 24.6 HRs, and 94.6 RBI. He's a pull hitter and a righty which means The Monster would be very inviting. I think if we got this guy, he would produce for us. If we got this guy, we could trade Mueller to the Twins for JC Romero. If Lowell continued to struggle, we could plug Youkilis in there.

4. The money situation isn't that bad here. Lowell and Burnett would cost about $3.3M total for the last two months of the season. I'm sure Florida would send a few bucks for Lowell's salary. The Red Sox are at $121M right now which is high, but if you're going to invest $121M, wouldn't you be willing to risk $3M more in the hopes of putting you over the top. Besides, the Red Sox pull in around $200M in revenues and its not like they're trying to save money for a new ballpark. The Red Sox have about $20M worth of players that will be free agents next season. Bellhorn will be gone, Mueller probably won't be here, Damon is still unclear and might be swept up by New York, Timlin could be replaced by a younger player. The Red Sox have some younger, cheaper players in the minors so we could afford to re-sign AJ Burnett. I think Burnett would really help the rotation for the next few years.

5. Arroyo could move to the bullpen and improve that area of the team.

6. A potential playoff rotation of Clement, Burnett, Schilling, and Wells wouldn't be too shabby.

7. AJ Burnett has 3 fewer homeruns than Millar in 248 fewer At-Bats. Burnett's pace would result in 6 homeruns in the amount of at-bats Millar has had.

Makes you realise how much Millar sucks

The Red Sox called up Hyde Park's own Manny Delcarmen from AAA Pawtucket. Delcarmen is the first seriously good pitching prospect the Red Sox have brought up since Brian Rose. Hopefully Manny Delcarmen will do much better in the long run.


The good thing is, our pitching has come around just a little bit. The sad thing is, the bats haven't been producing what we need to win. Three or four runs just isn't enough to win consistently. And keeping inferior teams in the game just gives them confidence to beat us. Since scoring 17 runs against New York a week ago from last Friday, the Sox have averaged 4.2 runs a game. That just isn't good enough to win.

Let's start with Friday's game against Chicago. The offense performed poorly putting up only 4 runs but Wakefield was just terrible for a few pitches. The Sox go out and get a 1-0 lead off Garland, Chicago's 2nd best pitcher, and Wakefield gives it right back with a solo shot by Rowand. Then with 2 outs in the 6th, he just melts down and gives up a pair of three run homers. The game was over at that point.

The Man of the Game is Aaron Rowand who went 2 for 3 with a solo HR and an RBI single. He had 2 RBI and scored twice.

The Bitch-Goat:
Wakefield: 0.6 - 5.2 IP, 7 ER
Renteria: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 2 LOB
Ortiz: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 2 LOB
Mirabelli: 0.2 - 1 for 4, 3 K, 5 LOB

Saturday's game was Wade Miller's best start this season. The White Sox don't have a very good offense so if you can keep their bats quiet and prevent them from producing any runs, you will get to their pitching for a few and can take down a victory. That's what happened in this game. Miller gave up alot of baserunners but the White Sox weren't able to get the big hit to change the game. Myers and Timlin both did well. Schilling was shaky in the 9th though. More on that whole situation later.

The Man of the Game is Wade Miller who went 7 scoreless. He gave up 5 hits and walked 4, but he was able to pitch around all that and keep the White Sox scoreless.

Sunday's game was just sad. It started sad and it ended sad. First of all, why would you put Graffanino AND Cora in there on the same day against the team with the best record in the AL? Second of all, why would you put Mueller in the 2 spot of the lineup where he has never succeeded. Why not put Varitek there? Why would you ever bat Millar ahead of Varitek? Why does Millar even play? How come Youkilis is wallowing in AAA while Millar is about to be passed by AJ Burnett on the homerun list this season? How come you don't pinch hit for Cora or Graffanino in the 8th? How come Renteria didn't pinch hit/run for anybody? How come Olerud is only used as a defensive replacement? What the hell was Millar thinking trying to stretch a single into a double in the 6th down by 3? Did Johnny Damon lose the bat he was using for the hit streak? When will Trot Nixon ever get a big hit?

Bronson Arroyo started off the season as the Ace of the staff. Lately though, he's been mediocre or worse. Worst of all, he's been inconsistent. He'll have a great start, then a mediocre one, then a great one, then a mediocre one. I think he could best serve this team in the bullpen. more on THAT later.

The Man of the Game is Tadahito Iguchi. He went 3 for 4 with a homerun, 3 RBI, and 2 runs scored. His homer in the 2nd was big and his RBI single in the 7th gave the White Sox a comfortable cushion.

The Bitch-Goat:
Arroyo: 0.6 - 6.2 IP, 6 ER
Damon: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 2 LOB
Ramirez: 0.1 - 1 for 5, 3 K, 2 LOB
Graffanino: 0.2 - 0 for 3, K, 5 LOB

This series proved that the White Sox aren't that great. Their pitching shut down our hitting. Kind of. Our hitters left a total of 35 runners on base. That isn't very good considering we only scored 17 runs. We grounded into some large double plays and made some mistakes on the basepaths. Typical Red Sox baseball. Wait around for the 3 run homer. Then get thrown out at 2nd and now its only a 2 run homer. If we can get our bats going a bit, we can do some serious damage against anyone in the American League.

Losing to the Devil Rays is not an excusable thing to do. We should be sweeping the Devil Rays. We've played Tampa 10 times and are only 6-4. We should be 8-2 or better. They're such a terrible team and we get to play them 20 times a year. Thankfully, the Yankees are 3-7 against their Tampa rivals. The Red Sox have got to pick it up within the division. They're 20-26 against the AL East. We've had opportunities to beat up on Tampa and Toronto and knock Baltimore and New York a few games behind, but we haven't. Ever since we catapualted into first place with that great run in July, we've been the Copmplacent Sox once again.

The Man of the Game for Monday's loss is Julio Lugo who went 3 for 5 with a double.

The Bitch-Goat:
Wells: 0.1 - 6.1 IP, 3 ER
Schilling: 0.2 - 1.2 IP, ER
Nixon: 0.1 - Didn't evade a batted ball, overan a fly ball allowing for a run scoring double instead of just playing conservatively off the wall. and why wasn't he playing at the wall anyway with a runner on 1st and 2 outs? If Manny had made these errors, people would be all over him. Instead, Trot F's up and people still love him.
Ramirez: 0.2 - 0 for 4, K, 5 LOB
Millar (why the hell is he playing?!?): 0.2 - 0 for 4, 3 K, 4 LOB
Francona: 0.1 - for playing Millar every freakin' day
Renteria: 0.1 - 1 for 5, 2 K, 2 LOB

Friday, July 22, 2005


The White Sox did alot of little things right in this game, then they did alot of little things wrong. They ran the bases well and worked the count well, but defensively they dropped the ball. Literally. It seemed as though they choked. Clement pitched decently. Not as good as I'd like, but good enough to give us a chance to win. Schilling made a few mistakes in the 8th but in the 9th he was lights out with 2 Ks.

The Man of the Game is Edgar Renteria who went 3 for 4 with walk. He had a double, 2 runs scored and an RBI. At the outset of the game, he was the only hitter that looked good consistently against Clement.

The Angels came back to beat the Yankees so we're up 1.5 games. Randy Johnson tweaked his bat, and Tom Gordon's arm fatigue is close to putting him on the DL.

Game 2 Preview:
Tim Wakefield vs. Jon Garland
Garland is somewhat like Buehrle in that he is putting up great numbers depsite being a contact pitcher. He is 14-4 with a 3.21 ERA and a WHIP of 1.10. He's only striking out 4 batters every 9 innings but he doesn't allow many walks. He's also stayed away from the HR ball which helps alot in US Cellular Field.

Like Buehrle, some of the Sox have hit him well while others have struggled mightily. Damon is 6 for 12, Ortiz is 4 for 12 with 2 HRs, Manny is 7 for 11 with 2 doubles and 2 homers. Olerud is 1 for 11, Nixon is 0 for 6, and Tek is 2 for 8. Tek probably won't play with Wakefield pitching. Mirabelli is 0 for 2 off Garland.

Garland, like Buehrle, has benefited from playing against AL Central teams. His last start was decent. He went 6 scoreless innings. His last start was 5 innings allowing 3 runs. The Red Sox should be able to get to him.

Wakefield has been off and on and has struggled with the Homerun ball. This will probably come back to bite him in this game against the White Sox who have some good homerun hitters. The key will be how many runners are on base when the White Sox hit those HRs.

Only Carl Everett and Aaron Rowand have good numbers against Wakefield. Everett is 6 for 10, Rowand is 6 for 8 with a pair of homeruns. Overrall, the White Sox are batting .248 against Wakefield, but this number is skewed by players on Chicago that are on the DL such as Dye.

Wakefield has gone deep into his games recently, but has given up too many runs and homeruns for those games to be considered great performances. He's pitched 24 innings his last 3 starts, but has allowed 13 runs and 6 homers.

This game should be a good one. Wakefield will probably have a start like Clement had last night and I think Garland will be just as hittable as Buehrle. This one might come down to the bullpens.

Hockey is coming back. With rule changes and a salary cap. The game should flow better with the possibility of the red line being eliminated. They still need to widen the net and/or reduce the padding a goalie can wear. With a salary cap essentially already in place for the Boston Bruins, they should be able to do very well in the new NHL. The Bruins have focused on player devleopment and getting value out of low salary players. They should be poised to contend for the Stanley Cup now.

Tedy Bruschi is not going to play this year. I think this is the right decision on his part. He's got 3 rings, a Pro Bowl, and millions of fans. He's got a family too. Why risk what could be a crippling or even fatal injury just to try to get Super Bowl ring #4? I'm sure he'll stick aorund the team in some capacity though which is a good thing.

Terrell Owens' antics makes me appreciate guys like Troy Brown, Deion Branch, and Marvin Harrison.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


The Chicago White Sox have the best record in baseball. They're 62-31, 11 Games ahead of the Twins. They're on pace to win 108 games. But, alot of that success is due to their beating up on the mediocre and bad teams in their own division. They're 10-3 against Cleveland, 8-3 against Detroit, 9-0 against Kansas City, and 4-1 against Minnesota. That's 31-7 (.816). Against the rest of baseball, they're 31-24 (.564) which is still pretty good, but nowhere near as good as they're overrall record. however, they were 12-6 in interleague play. They're interleague opponents were the mediocre Chicago Cubs 6 times, the Rockies, the Padres, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers. among those teams, only the Padres are any good. Against just the American League East and West, they are 19-18 (.514). They've only played one of the Big Three in the AL East (Baltimore, Boston, New York) and went 2-2 against the Orioles. Against the other top team in the AL, the Angels, they are 4-3. They are not as good as their record suggests.

GAME 1: Matt Clement vs. Mark Buerhle
#1 vs. #1. Could this game be a possible preview of Game 1 of an ALDS? Perhaps.

Buehrle is having a career year. He's always been a solid pitcher but this year he is an Ace. his 2.58 ERA and 1.08 WHIP are very indicative of a quality pitcher. He keeps his pitch count down during games and gets most of his outs off of contact. He is striking out around 6 batters per every 9 innings.

He has a low 90's fastball mixed in with a good changeup and an occasional cutter. He challenges hitters in hitters counts and US Cellular Field is somewhat hitter friendly. He's been able to keep the ball in the ballpark this year though. He is difficult to run on with a good pick-off move. He works very fast which helps keep hitters off balance. The Red Sox will probably take alot of time in between pitches to keep him from building a rhythym. He is a workhorse that can go deep into games.

The Red Sox have some decent numbers against him in the past, but he's never been this good in the past. Ortiz is 9 for 29 off him with 4 doubles. Manny is 7 for 13 with a double and 3 Homers. Varitek is 6 for 13. Some have struggled though. Damon is 6 for 31, Millar is 0 for 11, Olerud is 1 for 11, Nixon is 0 for 4.

Buehrle has struggled somewhat in his last 3 starts compared to the 16 before them. He has pitched 20.1 innings in those 3 starts going 1-2, allowing 23 hits, 14 runs, and 8 earned runs. Although he is 11-3, he is 4-3 against .500 teams.

Clement has a similar record with a higher ERA. He has benefited from the 4th best run support in the AL but he has pitched well enough to win his games.

As a whole, the White Sox have pretty good numbers off of him but most of that is due to a number of them having 3 for 5s against him. Of the few White Sox to have seen him with regulairty, only Scott Podsednik has good numbers. He's 6 for 17. Timo Perez is 3 for 11, and Frank Thomas is 1 for 7.

Clement has been off and on all season. His last start was pathetic. He went 3.2 allowing 6 runs. Before that though, he went 8.2 innings against the Rangers. Before that though, he allowed 8 against Toronto. Clement has failed to go 5 or more three times this season. The 2 times before his last start, he followed with a Quality Start. Let's hope the trend continues.

I think Clement will rebound in this game and I think Buerhle's past history for giving up the long ball will come back to haunt him. Manny and Ortiz should get some nice hits off him. If Damon and Renteria can get on base for them, we should win this game.

Rest of the preview tomorrow.


Wow. She's 51? Anyway, the Red Sox cruised to a 9-4 victory that was nowhere near as close as that score suggests. This game was over before the Sox recorded an out in the 1st. The Sox were able to give some guys a bit of a rest going into the Chicago series as well as some playing time. Every position player except for Varitek played. The Sox had RBIs from 6 different players. Six different players also scored runs.

The Man of the Game is David Wells who went 7 allowing 2 earned runs and scattering 6 hits. It was his second quality start in the past week and his 6th win of his last 7 decisions.

Big series with the White Sox this weekend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


There's something about winning 5-2 that is great. 5-2 wins mean good pitching, timely hitting, solid defense, and a good bullpen. The Red Sox had all of those working last night. The Sox were also able to reclaim first place as the Yankees lost 2-1 to the Rangers.

Arroyo had a solid start. In the 7th he looked vulnerable but didn't blow it. Timlin pitched around a couple of infield singles that were quai-Errors and was able to hand the ball over to Schilling. Curt got his first Save in 375 appearances and 13 years.

The Sox were able to emerge from their offensive slump and put a decent number on the board. The Sox 5 RBI were divided between 5 different players.

The Man of the Game is Mike Timlin whose pitching line shouldv'e looked like: IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks. He pitched around some poor fielding plays, made up for that 1 hit he allowed by picking the guy off, and had 2 big strikeouts in what was a 1 run game.

The Red Sox designated Allan Embree for assignment. He will probably be traded for something very little in return or he will be outrightly released.

The Red Sox also made a pair of trades yesterday. They reaqcuired Adam Hyzdu who was traded to San Diego for Blaine Neal. They got Hyzdu for P Scott Cassidey. They also got Kansas City Royals seocnd baseman Tony Graffanino for P Juan Cedeno and OF Chip ambres.

Hyzdu could be a decent backup outfielder at least until Kapler can come off the DL. He is making just above the MLB minimum. We didn't have to give up that much to get him.

The acquisition of Graffanino is the death knell of Mark Bellhorn being the full-time second baseman. I'm sure he'll still have some playing time, but with Cora and Graffanino, I doubt he'll have more than 100 ABs for the rest of the season. This could be good for him as he won't get overexposed and will probably play against pitchers he has faired well against.

Graffanino is your typical journeyman 2nd baseman. He's played for Atlanta, Tampa, the White Sox, and the Royals. He's a carrer .263 hitter with some speed. He doesn't walk much but he doesn't strike out much. He has little to no power.

The Red Sox are in the running for AJ Burnett. But so is everyone else. Florida also wants teams to take on Mike Lowell's hefty salary. I think if we got Lowell though, his hitting might improve.

There are also rumors that the Red Sox might trade Bill Mueller to Twins lefty releiver JC Romero. This would not be a bad deal considering how good Romero is (2.21 ERA) and our ability to fill 3rd base with Youkilis or maybe Lowell.

Monday, July 18, 2005


The way the Red Sox played these last two games against the Yankees, they seriously need to reconsider their professions. Arroyo should continue in his music career along with Wakefield. Damon could be a backup dancer. Kevin Millar could be a toll booth operator on the Mass Pike (no offense to toll booth workers), Youkilis could work at McDonalds but never get a chance to do anything, Francona could be a little league coach making sure every kid felt special no matter how bad they are, and Clement could bitch and moan about not being named employee of the month and then only go to work for 2 hours.

The Red Sox got to Randy Johnson about as much as you're going to get to him. They couldn't get to him enough though. And they couldn't get to the bullpen at all. Gordon (wouldn't he look good in a Sox uniform right about now) and Rivera combined for 1.2 no hit innings. Meanwhile, Clement was just terrible. The bullpen did well to keep the Sox in the game but the comeback fell short.

Saturday's Man of the Game is Alex Rodriguez who went 1 for 4 with 2 RBI and 2 Runs scored with a big 2 run Homer.

The Bitch-Goat:
Clement: 0.7 - 2.2 IP, 6 ER
Ortiz: 0.1 - 0 for 5
Renteria: 0.1 - 1 for 5, 4 K, 3 LOB
Varitek: 0.1 - 0 for 3, K, 2 LOB

Sunday was simply inexcusable. One run off Al Leiter? Alex Cora batting with the bases loaded? Three homers allowed by Wakefield? Where was Olerud in the 9th? On the bench. Where was Youkilis? Pawtucket. Where was Kapler? On the DL. And by the way, to everyone celebrating the loss of Mark Bellhorn to the DL, Alex Cora is not a replacement. He is not an every day player on this team. Bellhorn isn't exactly the best hitter on the team, but he does his job. He'll hit around .240-260, with an OBP of .350+ which is better than Renteria or Millar. He has more HRs than Millar. He is a solid defensive first baseman and is very good at turning the double play. Youkilis should be playing 2nd or 3rd with Mueller at 2nd until Bellhorn returns or Pedroia/Hanley Ramirez are ready to come up. When Youkilis plays consistently, he hits well. He works the count even better than Bellhorn. Last season Youk batted .260 with 7 HRs in just over 200 ABs. His OBP was .367. He had 35 RBI. We're probably going to need him to play every day next year so why not give him some consistent playing time? Because Francona is against playing kids over veterans even if they only have 4 HRs, are leading the league in strikeouts, or are batting below .200 this season.

The Man of the Game Sunday is Jorge Posada ho went 1 for 3 with a 2 run shot and a walk.

The Bitch-Goat:
Wakefield: 0.5 - 9 IP, 5 ER
Cora: 0.1 - 0 for 2, GIDP, took a perfect 2-0 pitch right down the middle
Nixon: 0.1 - 0 for 4
Damon: 0.1 - 1 for 5, 2 LOB, 1 pitch out in the 9th
Bellhorn: 0.1 - 0 for 2, K
Mueller: 0.1 - 1 for 4, 2 LOB

Monday's loss is just as inexcusable. In the 1st inning, the Red Sox had a pair of bases loaded situations and got 1 run out of it. Then Kazmir was allowed to cruise the rest of the game. Then the Tampa Bay bullpen went 3 innings allowing only a walk.

Miller pitched about as well as you'd expect form a #5 pitcher. He pitched well enough to keep the Sox in the game. The bullpen did very well. Embree, Bradford, Myers, Timlin, and Schilling combined for 3.1 innings of scoreless relief allowing only 2 hits and striking out 3. The Red Sox had 3 singles. They were able to get on base because of the walk, but getting on base is only half of scoring runs. Getting big hits is the other half.

The Man of the Game is Carl Crawford who went 2 for 4 with a double. He stole 2 bases.

The Bitch-Goat:
Miller: 0.1 - 5.2 IP, 3 ER
Damon: 0.2 - 0 for 5, K, 2 LOB
Ortiz: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 2 K
Ramirez: 0.2 - 0 for 3, K, GIDP
Varitek: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 2 LOB
Nixon: 0.2 - 0 for 3, K, 4 LOB
Mueller: 0.1 - 0 for 4, K

The Red Sox fell back down to 2nd place when the Yankees beat the Rangers 11-10. Since coming back from Philadelphia and a 6-0 road trip, the Sox are 6-12 winning only one series over that stretch. We deserve to be in 2nd place and 3rd soon unless we turn it around.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Nothing like a 17-1 victory over New York to make you cheer up after a dissapointing 8-6 loss in the ninth the night before. Second time we've beaten New York 17-1. This was a game we should have won though. With Wang, New York's best pitcher lately, having shoulder trouble, New York was forced to give the ball to a guy with a 9.10 ERA coming into that game. The Sox did make that ERA go up though. It is at 54.00 now. The only Sox that didn't get a hit were Olerud, Mirabelli, and Bellhorn. Olerud and Mirabelli were replacements and Bellhorn walked twice.

The Man of the Game is Johnny Damon who went 3 for 4 with a walk. He was 3 for 3 with that walk in his first four plate appearances. He extended his career high hit streak to 27 which ties him with DiMaggio. Domenic DiMaggio for the 5th longest hit streak in Red Sox history. To put in perspective how impressive Domenic's brother's streak was, Damon needs to get a hit tomorrow to be halfway there.

Little known fact: During Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hit streak in 1941, he had a batting average of .409. In the same stretch, Ted Williams batted .412. Despite batting .406 that year, Williams lost the MVP to DiMaggio partially due to several vindictive Boston sports writers (Dan Shaughnessey's of the 1940s) leaving him off their ballots.

Thursday's loss was dissapointing. Arroyo was dissapointing, Timlin once again dissapointed with runners on base, and Embree was left in too long perhaps. The pitching was once again the cause of the Red Sox defeat. Granted, the Sox bats could have added onto their lead more, but they shouldn't have to score 17 runs every night in order to be sure of victory. Come October, this pitching staff will cause my cigarette consumption to increase dramatically so buy stock in Phillip Morriss.

I think bringing Curt into a 6-6 game against the New York Yankees with Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield coming up was a questionable decision. To go from the Syracuse Sky Chiefs in games that are meaningless to the New York Yankees and a very meaningful game is quite a step up. It was a nice moment when he walked in but beyond that, the 9th inning truly sucked. However, I don't see what other option Francona had apart from allowing Timlin to continue. And it looks like Rivera is back to being Rivera. That's not good for anyone but New York.

We made Mussina work early and got to him for a few, but then he settled down and kept his pitch count manageable.

The Man of the Game Thursday is Gary Steroid who went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and a homerun. He also walked. He scored twice and knocked in two. He didn't swing and miss at any fans during the game.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Embree: 0.1 - 0.2 IP, ER
Timlin: 0.1 - Inherited runner scored
Arroyo: 0.4 - 5.2 IP, 4 ER, forced Francona to go to pen early
Schilling: 0.3 - IP, 2 ER
Bellhorn: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 2 K, 4 LOB (I miss Youkilis!!!)

Big matchup on Saturday as Matt Clement takes on Randy Johnson. Hopefully the Sox will continue Johnson's struggles.

Did anyone else not see this "contact" between Wells and the ump? Cuz I didn't. Did anyone else think the second base umpire had no right to toss Wells for arguing balls and strikes? I didn't. Did anyone else think Wells was unjustified with his anger at the second base umpire? I didn't. Did anyone else think six games was a good suspension and deserved to be handed down to Wells for a phantom bump on an umpire that was being confrontational? I didn't.

Weird twist of fate: Could Schilling pitch the game that Wells misses? That'd be weird considering Foulke going to the DL opened up a slot in the bullpen for Curt.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Of the American League's 32 ABs, 17 were taken by AL East players. Of the AL's 11 hits, 7 were by AL East players. Of the 3 walks AL hitters had, 2 were by AL East players. Of the 7 runs the AL scored, 5 were scored by AL East players. Of the 7 RBI the AL had, 3 were by AL East players. Two of the biggest plays in the game were the double plays turned by Tejada and Roberts with Teixeira at first. AL East pitchers only went 2 innings in total, but one was Mariano Rivera who got the Save.

The American League is the better League this year and has been for nearly a decade. The AL won their 8th of 9 All-Star Games. The other one was the infamous tie. The AL went 136-116 (.540) in interleague play and deserve home field advantage in the World Series.

Speaking of home field advantage. Could Joe Buck and Tim McCarver please shut the F--- up about how home field advantage helped the Red Sox last year? I just don't see how it did. The Sox went 2-0 at Fenway and then 2-0 at Busch. If anything, they were more dominant at Busch than Fenway. The first game, there was actually doubt that the Sox would win. The next three games, there was no doubt at all. The Red Sox won the World Series because they dominated the Cardinals. They would have dominated them in Boston, St. Louis, New York, Tokyo, Mars, anywhere. It is just impossible for the Yankee loving Tim McCarver and the Cardinal loving Joe Buck to admit that the Red Sox were the best team last year and absolutely DOMINATED the Cardinals.

Should the All-Star game determine home field advantage? I'm going to say yes. Why? Because home field advantage doesn't matter. If you can't win on the road, you don't deserve to win. It's as simple as that. Plus, the All-Star game is now managed and played like a real game. The managers are typically managing contending teams so they want to win the game. The ratings are higher for thse games that count. That means more money and prestige for Major League Baseball. The other solutions don't make much sense. The random back and forth between AL and NL is fine but why not have something non-arbitrary to determine it? The team with the best record getting it doesn't make sense because teams play 144 of 162 games within their own league. That's about 90%. The Cardinals might get 110 wins this year in the NL because there aren't too many good teams. The White Sox, on the other hand, might get about 100 or 105 because there are alot of good teams in the AL. There is no good way to compare NL teams and AL teams.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


What is it about this guy that we can't figure out? He's gone 8 innings in all but 1 of his 4 starts this year against us. He's an average pitcher for Pedro's Sake! 43-36 for his career with an ERA of 4.48.

I agree with resting Millar and Bellhorn for this game given their lackluster performances against Lopez in the past, but I think Youkilis should have been in the lineup to replace one of them.

The Man of the Game is Rodrigo Lopez who went 8, allowing 1 run off 3 hits. He struck out 6.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Wakefield: 0.2 - 7 IP, 4 ER
Damon: 0.1 - 1 for 4
Renteria: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 2 K
Ortiz: 0.1 - 1 for 4
Ramirez: 0.1 - 1 for 4
Mueller: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Olerud: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Mirabelli: 0.1 - 0 for 2
Cora: 0.1 - 0 for 3

Basically everyone in the starting lineup except Nixon, who hit a homerun.

This series was a huge dissapointment. The Orioles were struggling coming into this. They had lost a rain-shortened 2 game series. Before that, they had lost 3 of 4 to the Indians. They were on a 2-11 slide coming into this series. They were fading from the divisional picture. Then we hand them a game by "resting" everyone for that tough flight to the All-Star Game in Detroit and lose on Thursday. Friday we win but on Saturday we're embarrassed and on Sunday, we're shut down by an average pitcher. Simply unacceptable.

The Red Sox are 2 games ahead of the Orioles now. Only 2.5 ahead of New York Had we taken 3 of 4, we would be six games ahead of Baltimore. We'd be 4.5 ahead of the Yankees. Had we swept Baltimore, which we could have given how poorly they had been playing, we would be ahead of the Yankees by 5.5 and ahead of the O's by 8 games.

The Red Sox need to come out of the gate strong in the 2nd half. They start out with an absolutely HUGE 4 game series with New York at Fenway Park. They can't lose that series. Then there's a 3 game set with the D-Rays that we should sweep. Then the Sox fly to Chicago to play 4 against the team with the best record in baseball: the Chicago White Sox. A 3 game series in Tampa is followed by a series with the Wild Card leading Twins.

The rest of July is not going to be easy. We need to beat the Yankees in order to maintain our position in the division. We need to beat up on the D-Rays. We can't just split 3-3 with them or win 4 of 6. We need to win at least 5 and it'd be nice to win all 6. We need to prove ourselves against the White Sox. We need to beat the Twins, a potential Wild Card competitor if we can't hold onto the division.

I really wish Clement wasn't going to the All-Star game. I wish he had to cry and pout. Nothing against him, but of all the things in the world to be upset over, going to some exhibition game in Detroit just doesn't seem like a huge deal. Hopefully he won't pitch much because I think we should start him out of the gate to begin the 2nd half.

I think we should go:
1. Clement
2. Wakefield
3. Arroyo
4. Wells
5. Miller

If the Sox take advantage of off-days, they can put a starting pitcher in the bullpen for about a week.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


Lack of defense, lack of hitting, lack of pitching. The oppositte for the Orioles. Not much analysis needed for Boston's 9-1 loss Saturday against the previously struggling Orioles.

The Man of the Game for Thursday's joke is Melvin Mora who went 2 for 3 with a solo HR.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Wells: 0.2 - 5 IP, 3 ER
Cora: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 2 Ks
Mueller: 0.1 - 0 for 2, 2 Ks
Millar: 0.1 - 0 for 2, 2 Ks, 3 LOB
Mirabelli: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 2 Ks, 3 LOB
Francona: 0.4 - Terrible lineup, resting Damon, Tek, Manny, and Renteria on the same day

The Man of the Game for Friday's win is Bronson Arroyo who went 7.2 innings allowing 2 runs. I know Damon went 4 for 5 with a walk, but 2 of those hits were bloops. Arroyo had a very solid outing against a fierce offense.

The Man of the Game for Saturday's loss is Miguel Tejada who went 5 for 5 with a pair of doubles. He had an RBI and scored twice.

The B-G shall be divided thusly:
Miller: 0.2 - 6 IP, 4 ER
Halama: 0.3 - 0.2 IP, 2 ER
Cassidy: 0.2 - 0.2 IP, 2 ER
Millar: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 2 LOB
Bellhorn: 0.2 - 0 for 4, 2 LOB, 4 K

When are we going to release Millar? If it isn't today, I will be pissed.

Friday, July 08, 2005


Kevin Millar may lead the team in one stat: fewest days off. How come he plays yet Manny, Tek, Damon, and Renteria all sit? Inexcusable lineup from Francona.

What the hell was Trot Nixon thinking when he got picked off from 1st base? Bob Lobell is right, if Manny had done that, he'd get toasted. But people in this town have a Trot Nixon fetish and totally excuse anything stupid that he does.

There's a few stories and rumors that have been circulating recently. They all seem to point towards a fair amount of dissension in the Red Sox clubhouse. We all knew Payton was unhappy, and that situation has been dealt with. We all know Foulke was pissed at anyone not praising his tremendous 4 blown saves but now he's had surgery and will hopefully be back to form in 6 weeks. But now, we have Damon being the Assistant Manager. We have Millar complaining about, of all things, playing time. And then we have Clement pissed about not making the All-Star team.

This might be understandable if the team was in last place. But they're in first and having these problems?

You are not a Major League manager. It is not your place to come out and say shit about your teammate, esepcially a guy like Schilling that has defended everyone from Pedro to Manny to Foulke to Edgar. You're a self-proclaimed idiot, so don't think you have the managerial sense that a manager has.

How the hell could you of all people be bitching about playing time? You have 4 homeruns in a power position. You're batting .271. You're slugging .378. You're getting paid $3.5 million. That's about $100,000 for every extra base hit you're on pace to get. Or $50,000 for every RBI you're on pace to get. You play your position terribly, especially compared to your competition, John Olerud. You didn't hit well in the 2003 playoffs or last year's playoffs. You spout off on WEEI about what you bring to the clubhouse. All you bring is a bottle of Jack Daniels and a tissue to whipe your tears with when a superior player is put in the lineup instead of you.

If you want playing time, Kev, you could go to Japan. You should be grateful the Red Sox broke tradition and claimed you. They brought you to a town that loves you, brought you to a great team that won a World Series, and now you're complaining about a guy who is a better hitter and a better fielder taking some time away from you? Grow the F--- up, Kevin! This team can win without you and if you were as great of a clubhouse guy as you claim you are, you'd be happy.

You're lucky to be playing pro ball, to be playing in this town and on this team. If you want playing time, go play for some 3rd place team in front of 17,000 people every night.

There are greater tragedies in life than missing an All-Star game. If you expect your manager to choose you over someone else just cuz you've been on his team for half a year, think again. Tito deserves some credit for the way he selected the team, based on the better players, not the cap on the head. You also started off pretty slow to begin the season.

This guy was the only player who had a right to beef. He made it clear he wanted to be traded. He never chose to come here. He still performed when he had a chance. And we got something for him. Good luck to Jay Payton.

I just have a bad, bad feeling about the next few weeks of baseball. All this clubhouse crap, Schilling having another poor rehab outing and looking as heavy as David Wells. Renteria still not hitting, Millar still getting playing time. Playing Baltimore and New York. Ugh.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


With all the news coming out of London today, I didn't do any sports news reading today. I turn on the Red Sox game so I can take a little break from serious stuff and Alex Cora is in the midst of striking out. Then Bill Mueller comes up.

Tito has decided to rest Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, and Edgar Renteria all on the same night. Now, I know Baltimore is struggling. I know the Rangers were assholes and didn't give us a few extra hours to fly to Baltimore by scheduling an afternoon game, and I know they're all beaten and bruised. However, to rest $44 million worth of player including the team Captain, the leadoff hitter, and the team leader in RBI all on the same day is aboslutely ludicrous.

The situation is worsened by the lack of Jay Payton (couldn't we have hung onto him for an extra day?) who was designated for assignment and will either be traded or released in the enxt 10 days. The situation is worsened by the fact that Wells is pitching with his 4.92 ERA. The situation is worsened because we only have 1 or 2 consistent bullpen pitchers to throw the 3 or 4 innings that will be required after Wells goes 5 or 6. The situation is worsened because this is the 2nd place team in our division and we have an opportunity to knock them out of the divisional race, knock them out of getting anyone at the trade deadline.

The Red Sox got Alex Cora, which I think is a good move considering that Ramon Vazquez has contributed nothing. However, to bat him in the leadoff spot against a divisional contender in his first game with a new team might be a bit too much for a backup infielder to handle.

The Red Sox activated Adam Stern and decided that today was the perfect game to try him out.

Francona seems to be giving up on this game before it starts. Yet, he still hasn't put Youkilis in there!!! I hate this BS about playing guys that have "earned" their playing time simply by being around baseball for a longer time.

If the Red Sox win this game, I'll be surprised. I think this series, if it doesn't go well for us, will give the Orioles alot of momentum and positivity going into the All-Star break.


Monday's game was dissapointing to say the least. Hopefully Foulke's struggles are simply the product of a knee injury. Perhaps Boston Dirt Dogs was correct. Probably just a lucky guess on their part.

The Man of the Game Monday is Mark Teixeira. He went 2 for 3 with a double, 2 walks, 2 Runs and an RBI.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Wade Miller: 0.1 - 6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER
Mike Timlin: 0.2 - 0.2 IP, ER
Keith Foulke: 0.7 - 0.1 IP, 2 ER

Tuesday was slightly nicer. Timlin got his 2nd save of the season as Foulke was a few hundred miles away from the mound, where he belongs until he rights himself.

The Man of the Game is a somewhat non-traditional choice for this game. I'm going to go with Ron Mehe. I know Wake had 8 innings, but he struggled in those last few and had some pretty loud outs. I know Manny moved into 2nd place all-time with his 20th Grand Slam, but it was his only hit of the game. Mehe came in after Chirs Young struggled mightily. The Red Sox were rallying in the 3rd when Mehe came in. He struck out Olerud and Mirabelli. He went 3.2 innings allowing 1 hit, no walks, and striking out 5. Had the Rangers been able to rally, he would have been the prime reason for their success.

The Man of the Game for Wednesday's 7-4 victory is Matt Clement who got 26 outs going 8.2 innings, scattering 9 hits and striking out 9.

It looks like until Schilling gets back, the Red Sox will be sharing the closing role. Timlin has closed in the past and Francona was perfectly willing to use Embree last night. Myers could go against some lefthanders. Hell, Clement won't be starting until after the All-Star game so maybe he could close late in the Baltimore series.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Wow, this news was unexpected to say the least. I don't even know all the details so here is the story: Story

Basically Foulke, who had MRIs the other day, is getting arthroscopic knee surgery. This will put him out for about 4-6 weeks. Meanwhile, Schilling will probably not join the team until after the All-Star game but will be rehabbing out of the pen in Pawtucket.

I think this is a good move for the moment. Schilling was doing very well early in the season in the 1st and 2nd innings. I calculated it at one point and opponents were batting .100 in Schilling's first inning and .250 in the 2nd. The first time through the lineup, opponents were batting .269 which wasn't bad at all compared to the .400+ they were batting their 3rd time up.

Long term though, we need Foulke as a closer and Schilling as a starter.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

81 DOWN, 81 TO GO

Halfway through the year. My view of the Red Sox is that of happiness tinged with dissapointment. I like where we are, but we could be ALOT better. Last night's loss was a good example of this dissapointment.

We're 46-35. We are 2.5 games ahead of Baltimore, 3 in the loss column. We are 4 ahead of New York, 4.5 ahead of Toronto and 20 ahead of Tampa Bay. New York and Toronto should not be that close. Baltimore shouldn't be that close.

We are on pace for 92 wins and 70 losses. That isn't too great, but right now that is the best pace in the AL East. If the season were to end right now, we'd be the 3rd seed in the AL playoffs, with a record slightly worse than the AL Wild Card leading Twins. With the Twins being in the same division as the White Sox, they'd be forced to play the #2 seeded LA Angels. The Red Sox, on the other hand, would be in position to play the White Sox, perhaps the best team in baseball.

Here are projected numbers and evaluations for Red Sox players:

C - Jason Varitek - .302 BA, 26 HR, 68 RBI
C - Doug Mirabelli - .255 BA, 8 HR, 22 RBI

90 RBI and 34 HR from the catcher's spot isn't bad at all. This area does not need improvement and as long as these guys stay healthy, we'll be fine.

1B - Kevin Millar - .273 BA, 8 HR, 60 RBI
(Olerud has only been with the team for 1/4 of a season so his numbers will be multiplied by three)
1B - John Olerud - .390 BA, 3 HR, 24 RBI

The fact that Millar, the starting first baseman, is on pace for the same amount of home runs as the backup catcher is a telling statistic. Millar has been a major dissapointment this year especially considering the production position he plays. 11 HRs, and 84 RBI from 1st base is not enough.

Kevin Millar is a 450 AB player. That's 2.78 ABs per game. He needs to get time off so he doesn't get exposed. With Boston, however, he had 544 ABs in 2003, 508 last year, and is on pace for 490 this year. It isn't a coincidence that Millar hit .314 and .306 in his last 2 seasons with Florida and has hit .276, .297, and .273 in 2 and a half seasons with Boston in Fenway.

The Red Sox need to give more playing time to John Olerud, at least against some right handed pitching and the guys he hits well against or the guys Millar doesn't hit well against. Francona also needs to remember that Kevin Youkilis is on the team. When Youkilis gets consistent playing time, he hits well. He needs it to be consistent though. A spot start once every 8 games or a pinch hit appearance here and there isn't enough. The Red Sox seriously need to look into a platoon situation at 1st base because Francona's love child, Millar, just isn't cutting it.

2B - Mark Bellhorn - .228 BA, 12 HR, 54 RBI

Bellhorn, a 2nd baseman, and the 9th hitter in the lineup, is on pace for 4 more HRs than Millar and only 6 fewer RBI. For all the crap Bellhorn has taken, he is not the biggest problem on the team. There is no replacement for Bellhorn, at the moment. I think Youkilis should have more appearances at 2nd base just to get his bat in the lineup. Bellhorn has been consistent with his defense though, unlike Renteria. Only 7 errors (1 at SS) and a .984 fielding percentage at 2nd base. Down the road, Dustin Pedroia may be playing 2nd base in late August and September if things go well in Pawtucket. Steroid taker Bret Boone is also out there. Until Pedroia is ready though, Bellhorn will continue to walk and strikeout and build the pitch count. He averages 4.22 pitches per AB.

3B - Bill Mueller - .285 BA, 6 HR, 64 RBI

The production numbers aren't really there for Mueller but he has been doing his job. He's getting on base alot (.384 OBP), fielding his position well, and making the other team's pitchers work through the entire lineup. He's still got those bad knees which is why I'd like to see Youkilis play a few games. In case you can't tell, I think Youkilis should be in the lineup somewhere very often because when given a consistent opportunity to hit, he has hit well.

SS - Edgar Renteria - .273 BA, 12 HR, 60 RBI

Yet another non power hitter on pace to hit more homers than Millar. Renteria has had some bright spots but overrall, he has been a big let down. He's made 13 errors, has grounded into as many double plays, and hasn't gotten on base enough. His OBP is .323 (Bellhorn's is .341). The most telling statistic is that he is on pace to score 90 runs. That's with Manny and Ortiz behind him. In my opinion, we need to find a replacement for Renteria at the #2 spot. I'd take Nixon or Varitek for their hitting of Bellhorn for his OBP over Renteria.

LF - Manny Ramirez - .273 BA, 42 HR, 146 RBI

The average isn't what we're used to seeing from Manny but it has been climbing. The other numbers are very Ramirez-esque. Manny is producing in the middle of the lineup despite the fact that Renteria isn't getting on base. Just imagine Manny's RBI total if Edgar was getting on 4 out of 10 plate appearances. Manny's also been good in the outfield playing the Green Monster well and accounting for 9 outfield assists. He's only on pace to score 102 Runs which tells me the bottom of the order isn't doing a good enough job driving him in.

CF - Johnny Damon - .338 BA, 8 HR, 84 RBI

Without a doubt, Johnny Damon is the ignition to the Red Sox offensive machine. In the midst of a career high 20 game hit streak, Damon has been able to get on base for guys like Ortiz and Manny, and he's also been able to knock in quite a few runs on his own. His average against lefties is about the same as it is against righties. He's on pace for 16 SB which is alot for any Red Sox player. He's been able to play through various injuries. The one knock on Damon, and it isn't a big knock, is that he doesn't play the outfield as well as he could. His arm is weak and he tends to have trouble playing the ball off the wall. He rarely plays the bounce and frequently runs headlong into the wall which sometimes makes for a brilliant catch but other times makes for an extra base for the runner and an injury for Damon.

RF - Trot Nixon - .297 BA, 16 HR, 82 RBI
RF - Jay Payton - .265 BA, 10 HR, 42 RBI

Combined, Nixon and Payton are on pace to put up some really good numbers. 124 RBI is a pretty good addition to the production of Ortiz and Ramirez. Francona has done a good job of giving both players ample playing time and keeping both players fresh.

DH - David Ortiz - .313 BA, 38 HR, 136 RBI

Along with Ramirez and the RF combo, Ortiz is the main producer in the lineup. He can also play first at times which I think is an option Francona should look into more due to Millar's lackluster offensive output.

1B/2B/3B - Kevin Youkilis - .273 BA, 2 HR, 18 RBI

Given more playing time with more consistency, I think Youkilis could be a good guy to have in the lineup. He has demonstrated the capability and willingness to play multiple positions. I think he just wants to play. With Millar, Renteria, and Bellhorn struggling, and Mueller slowed by knee injury, I think Youk should get at least 3 or 4 games a week. We're going to need this guy next year too so he needs ABs at the Major League level in order to be a full-time MLB player and produce in this lineup. He works counts (4.51 pitches per AB) and gets on base (.377 OBP, higher than Renteria and Bellhorn). He's a good guy to have on the team.

SP - Matt Clement - 18-4, 216.2 IP, 3.82 ERA, 176 K

Undoubtedly the ace of the staff with Schilling gone. If Curt comes back and is this good, we'll have a pretty nice 1-2 punch. Not as great as last year's but enough to give us a good start to any series.

SP - Tim Wakefield - 14-12, 205.1 IP, 3.94 ERA, 124 K

About what you expect from Wakefield. He's been tearing it up lately though and in any playoff series, he's a good #3 guy to have and can also work out of the pen if need be.

SP - David Wells - 12-8, 168 IP, 5.06 ERA, 94 K

D-Woah has been mediocre this season and very inconsistent. If he can perform consistently, we'll have a pretty good rotation top to bottom. Otherwise, we'll have a pretty poor bottom of the rotation.

SP - Bronson Arroyo - 12-10, 204 IP, 4.15 ERA, 122 K

Arroyo has also been hit or miss. He will most likely move to the pen when Schilling returns and I think he'll do well there. Hitters seem to improve against him as they see his stuff a second time through the lineup. If he's a releiver, he can be very effective the first time through and never have to face guys twice in a game.

SP - Wade Miller - 4-4, 124 IP, 4.94 ERA, 88 K

For a #5 starter, Miller is about what one would expect. He'll go out there and give you 5 or 6 innings allowing 3-5 runs and keep you in the game. If the bullpen weren't so glaringly bad, this would be fine due to our offense. However...

CP - Keith Foulke - 6.23 ERA, 30 Saves, 8 Blown Saves, 78 IP, 16 HR, 1.56 WHIP

Despite Millar, and Renteria struggling, Foulke has been without a doubt, the biggest dissapointment and biggest problem on the team. We've got a great offense, decent starting pitching, but in the 9th inning, the game is in doubt. That shouldn't be the case. He's going back to Boston to get his knee checked out. Hopefully it is just an injury, will heal, and Foulke can go back to saving games so all us Johnny from Burger Kings can cheer him again.

Set-Up - Mike Timlin - 2 Saves, 4 Blown Saves, 1.77 ERA, 30 Holds
Set-Up - Alan Embree - 0 Saves, 4 Blown Saves, 7.97 ERA, 8 Holds

Mike Timlin has been very good while Alan Embree has been very bad. Putrid even. Timlin's ERA is not totally revealing as he has allowed a good number of inherited runners to score. However, he has had a good season but Embree has failed miserably. Timlin has been somewhat overworked due to this inbalance. The Red Sox will probably plug Arroyo into Embree's set-up position but I think we need more help. Weirdly enough, Mike Stanton has a lower ERA this season and he was just released by the Yankees.

Situational Lefty - Mike Myers - 60 Appearances, 2.76 ERA, 32.2 IP, .227 Opponents BA (lefties only), 4 Holds

Myers has done his job very well and has given us the ability to get out tough lefties late in the game in tough situations.

Middle Releif - John Halama - 54 Appearances, 5.71 ERA, 82 IP, 2-2
Middle Releif - Matt Mantei - 68 Appearances, 6.49 ERA, 52.2 IP, 2-0

Nobody in baseball has good middle releif and the Red Sox are no exception. Our middle releif is terrible. Hopefully Arroyo's presence in the bullpen can improve this situation somewhat.

There you have it, the Red Sox are in 1st place halfway through the season but there is much work to be done. The Yankees are looking better and we still can't seem to beat Baltimore head-to-head.

Monday, July 04, 2005


There's a reason why Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in the division, if not the league. Arroyo pitched well but it wasn't enough. The bullpen further added to the hopelessness of the situation.

Halladay's brilliance was very well demonstrated in the 1st inning. Damon and Renteria led the game off for the Red Sox with some basehits. Halladay fell behind in the count to Ortiz. Every single pitch was low and away but was in such a spot that it was either close to being a strike, or was tempting to swing at. Ortiz fouled off a few pitches and the count was full. Ortiz has good numbers against Halladay with 9 extra basehits in 46 at-bats before the game. Halladay was not going to allow Ortiz to clear the bases with a double or hit a homerun. He knew if he walked Ortiz, no-one would score. The only thing Ortiz could get was an oppositte field single that could score only Damon. Halladay believed in himself and his pitching enough to allow a run. He knew he could let Ortiz knock 1 in, then get 3 outs without allowing many more. He was right. Ortiz got his single to left field scoring Damon. With runners on the corners Halladay fooled Manny Ramirez and got him to pop out. Nixon then grounded into an inning ending double play.

The Red Sox threatened later in the game but Halladay was able to bear down when he really needed to. He never got his pitch count up. The bullpen allowing 2 runs in the 8th almost helped us win the game. If it were still 3-1, Halladay probably would have been out to at least start the 9th.

The Man of the Game is, of course, Roy Halladay. He went 8 allowing only 1 earned run against the best offense in baseball. He only gave up 5 hits, a pair of walks, and struck out 6. He only had to throw 101 pitches and easily could have gone the full 9.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Arroyo: 0.1 - 8 IP, 3 ER
Embree: 0.2 - 0.2 IP, 2 ER
Timlin: 0.1 - 0.1 IP, Triple
Ramirez: 0.2 - 0 for 3, K, 2 LOB
Nixon: 0.2 - 0 for 3, 2 LOB, GIDP with 2 on in 1st, Fly Out not deep enough to score a run with bases loaded and 0 out in the 6th
Bellhorn: 0.2 - 0 for 4, 3 Ks, 1 pitch pop-out in 9th

Four Red Sox will be starting for the AL, the Cardinals have 6 representatives on the NL team. Here are the starters:

American League:
C - Jason Varitek - Boston Red Sox
1B - Mark Teixeira - Texas Rangers
2B - Brian Roberts - Baltimore Orioles
3B - Alex Rodriguez - New York Yankees
SS - Miguel Tejada - Baltimore Orioles
OF - Manny Ramirez - Boston Red Sox
OF - Johnny Damon - Boston Red Sox
OF - Vladimir Guerrero - Los Angeles Angels
DH - David Ortiz - Boston Red Sox

National League:
C - Mike Piazza - New York Mets
1B - Derrek Lee - Chicago Cubs
2B - Jeff Kent - Los Angeles Dodgers
3B - Scott Rolen - St. Louis Cardinals (WTF, mate?)
SS - David Eckstein - St. Louis Cardinals
OF - Carlos Beltran - New York Mets
OF - Jim Edmonds - St. Louis Cardinals
OF - Bobby Abreu - Philadelphia Phillies
DH - To Be Determined, my guess is Albert Pujols

Seven of the 9 AL starters are from the AL East. Half of the NL starters are from the NL Central. The team with the best record in baseball, the Chicago White Sox, might not have a starter in the game. Nor might the NL East leading Nationals.

Here are the full rosters.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Despite David Wells getting squeezed by home plate umpire Larry Poncino, and then unexpectedly ejected by 2nd place umpire Chris Guccione which was baffling because Wells turned away from home plate precisely to avoid an incident and ejection. Then he gets tossed by Guccione. The bullpen was able to come through with 2.1 scoreless innings.

The Man of the Game is Manny Ramirez who went 2 for 5 with the game winning 2 run homerun.

The Sox face a difficult challenge tomorrow in Roy Halladay.


Just an absolutely terrible display of baseball. I suppose Clement was due for a rough start. But the bullpen was unable to keep the Blue Jays at bay, and the offense was impotent. There's no other way to put it.

The Man of the Game is Reed Johnson who came into the game as a pinch hitter. He went 2 for 6 with a game breaking Grand Slam off Myers.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Halama: 0.1 - 2 IP, ER
Clement: 0.4 - 5.2 IP, 8 ER
Myers: 0.2 - 0.0 IP, ER, GS
Mantei: 0.2 - 0.1 IP, 5 ER
Ramirez: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 4 LOB

I think we've worn down Myers and Timlin just a bit. Last night was the only pitching matchup that was in our favor. Today is Chacin vs. Wells, tommorrow is Halladay vs. Arroyo. The Red Sox may be fortunate to take 1 from Toronto. It's amazing how much of a manic-depressive I am when it comes to the Sox.