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.