Friday, May 20, 2005


Mueller and Miller both had great nights. Mueller got his first homer of the season and Miller got his first win of the season. The game was too close though. The Sox squandered a few big opportunities to blow the game wide open but they failed to get the big hit. And by they, I mean Edgar Renteria. Then Foulke came in and nearly blew what should have been a routine and easy save.

The Man of the Game is Johnny Damon who went 2 for 2 with a single and a triple. He also walked twice. He only scored once but that was mostly due to the 2, 3, 4, and 5 hitters oging a combined 1 for 15.

Tim Wakefield will take on Kyle Davies who will be making his Major League debut. you'd think that this game would be a lopsided victory for us but the Red Sox have been known to make random pitchers look like Cy Young.

For the first time all season, Wakefield won't be pitching to Doug Mirabelli. Mirabelli injured his wrist in an at-bat on Wednesday in the blowout loss to Oakland. Francona had take Varitek out in order to give Mirabelli some plate appearances and rest Tek and it backfired. This is the first time in his career that Mirabelli will be on the DL. Francona made no public decision as to who would catch for Wakefield. It will be either Varitek or Shawn Wooten who was brought up from Pawtucket. Francona might also have Millar catch because for some reason, he beleives Millar can do anything.

Sick of seeing Johnny Damon on TV? Then don't watch Fox tomorrow afternoon because Damon will be hosting This Week in Baseball.

Posting might be light in the next few days because I'm going to a casino in upstate New York and then going to Cooperstown to hopefully catch some of the Hall of Fame game. Then I might go up to Portland to see the Sea Dogs but that's still up in the air.


There's been alot of talk on WEEI and amongst fans of the Sox about what is wrong with this team. The focus of this ameteur analysis has been individual hitters. Kevin Millar is being slammed for his lack of performance. Mark Bellhorn is receiving his share of criticism for his strikeouts. People are finally realising that Renteria isn't that great of a player. The player escaping his share of criticism is Manny Ramirez.

Something is up with Manny. He isn't on pace for the RBI he is supposed to be getting. His batting average is almost .100 points lower than it should be. The most telling thing are his strikeouts. It isn't the number of strikeouts, its the way in which he has struck out and the situations in which he has struck out. He's taking alot of called strikes recently and he is having alot of swings that don't look like Manny Ramirez swings. Lately, he has been a hole in the lineup. I don't know if he is still hurt, but you can tell he is tentative at the plate. This, in my opinion, is the result of being hit by so many pitches.

Manny is pretty sensitive when it comes to being hit. Remember the beanball incident in the 2003 ALCS when he nearly charged the mound for a pitch that was merely slightly inside? Manny also seems to be a fe winches farther from the plate than he used to be. He isn't using the outside part of the plate. He hasn't been hitting the ball hard the other way. This is understandable if he is standing farther from the plate and isn't diving to hit the outside pitch. Even though being tentative is understandable, it is unacceptable. Manny needs to dig in and if he gets hit, he gets hit. I know its alot easier for me to say it than for Manny to do it, but it is his job to hit and drive in runs. Our cleanup hitter can't be a hole in the lineup if we hope to win the World Series again.

Another group of people escaping criticism is the pitching staff. No-one seems to care that the Sox allowed 23 runs to the terrible offense of Oakland. One sixth of Oakland's annual run production has been against Boston. That's simply pathetic. The Red Sox have been scoring about the same amount of runs as they did at this time last year. However, the pitching staff is less than what it was last season. Much less. This staff reminds me of the 2000-2003 Red Sox. One Ace and then 4 pitchers capable of solid starts but also capable of terrible outings.

I think this team has some sort of complacency to it. This wasn't acquired from winning the World Series. I think this team gained a sense of confidence from coming back and winning the ALCS last season. They didn't turn it on until they needed to and perhaps this season they're hoping to do the same thing. This can work out, but what if Baltimore or New York also turn it on and no matter how many games the Sox win in August and September, it might not matter.

Just imagine if we had kept Cabrera or signed Eckstein (and then been able to afford Pedro) and signed Tino Martinez. The Red Sox made very little effort to improve themselves in any way even though it was obvious they would be losing something in the rotation with Martinez and Lowe leaving and Schilling being a question mark. The only position at which the Sox attempted to improve themselves was at shortstop, a position at which they were fine at with Cabrera.

One thing I learned last year was that it isn't over until the math says so. We aren't failing as bad as the Yankees were a few weeks ago. We still have alot of work to do.