Friday, June 30, 2006


Okay, I haven't done the Man of the Game, or the B*tch-Goat in quite some time, so I'm going to play some catch up to get back on track.

6-5, @ NYY, L 13-5:
Man of the Game: Jason Giambi* - 1 for 2, 3 run HR, 3 walks, 3 runs scored

Beckett: 0.7 - 1.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 R
Van Buren: 0.3 - 1.1 IP, 5 ER

6-6, @ NYY, L 2-1:
Man of the Game: Chieng Meng-Wang - 7 IP, ER

Crisp: 0.2 - 1 for 4, 4 LOB
Nixon: 0.2 - 0 for 4, 3 LOB
Varitek: 0.1 - 0 for 4, K
Cora: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 4 LOB
Seanez: 0.1 - inherited runner scored
Pauley: 0.3 - 6.2 IP, 2 ER

6-8, @ NYY, W 9-3:
Man of the Game: Curt Schilling - 8 IP, 3 ER, 4 K

6-9, TEX, W 4-3:
Man of the Game: Trot Nixon - 4 for 4, 3 run, 2 out HR, double

6-10, TEX, L 7-4:
Man of the Game: Hank Blalock - 3 for 4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 Runs, BB

Lester: 0.6 - 4.1 IP, 3 ER
Tavarez: 0.2 - 2.1 IP, 2 ER
Foulke: 0.1 - IP, 2 ER
Lowell: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 3 LOB

6-11, TEX, W 5-4:
Man of the Game: David Ortiz - 2 for 4, 4 RBI, GW 3 run HR with 2 outs, down by 2 runs

6-11, TEX, L 13-6:
Man of the Game: Mark DeRosa - 4 for 6, 2 RBI, 2 Runs, SB

Pauley: 0.6 - 5 IP, 6 ER
Tavarez: 0.1 - 1.1 IP, ER
Seanez: 0.2 - 0.2 IP, 2 ER
Foulke: 0.1 - 2 IP, 4 ER

6-13, @ MIN, L 5-2:
Man of the Game: Johan Santana - 8 IP, ER

Tavarez: 0.7 - IP, 4 ER
Crisp: 0.3 - 0 for 6, 2 K, 7 LOB

6-14, @ MIN, L 8-1:
Man of the Game: Justin Morneau - 2 for 4, Grand Slam, BB

Clement: 0.4 - 4.2 IP, 3 ER
Van Buren: 0.2 - 0.2 IP, 4 ER
Delcarmen: 0.2 - 1.2 IP, ER, Grand Slam HR
Nixon: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 3 LOB
Varitek: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 6 LOB

6-15, @ MIN, L 5-3:
Man of the Game: Carlos Silva - 6 IP, 0 ER

Wakefield: 0.5 - 6 IP, 3 ER, 4 R
Ramirez: 0.2 - 0 for 5, 2 K, 6 LOB
Mirabelli: 0.2 - 0 for 3, PB
Tavarez: 0.1 - IP, ER

6-16, @ ATL, W 4-1:
Man of the Game: Jon Lester - 6 IP, ER, 3 K

6-17, @ ATL, W 5-3:
Man of the Game: David Ortiz - 2 for 3, 2B, HR, BB, 2 RBI, 2 Runs

6-18, @ ATL, W 10-7:
Man of the Game: Kevin Youkilis - 2 for 6, 2 run HR in 8th

6-19, WAS, W 6-3:
Man of the Game: Manny Ramirez - 2 for 5, 2B, HR

6-20, WAS, W 11-3:
Man of the Game: Mark Loretta - 3 for 5, 3 RBI, Run

6-21, WAS, W 9-3:
Man of the Game: David Ortiz - 2 for 4, 2 out Grand Slam, 4 RBI, 2 Runs, BB

6-23, PHI, W 10-2:
Man of the Game: Josh Beckett - 8 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 8 K, no-hitter thru 5.1 IP

6-24, PHI, W 5-3:
Man of the Game: David Ortiz - 2 for 5, GW 2 run HR in 10th

6-26, PHI, W 8-7:
Man of the Game: Kevin Youkilis - 2 for 6, 2B, game tying RBI in 12th, scored game winning run on Ortiz single

6-27, NYM, W 9-4:
Man of the Game: Manny Ramirez - 2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI (both with 2 outs), Run, BB, Assist

6-28, NYM, W 10-2:
Man of the Game: Josh Beckett - 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 K

6-29, NYM, W 4-2:
Man of the Game: Curt Schilling - 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 K, Pickoff

So there we go, all up to date.


Bunt singles, diving catches, stolen bases, sacrifices, and some great pitching combined for a 4-2 Red Sox victory over the Mets for sweep #3 in a row, and the 12th win in a row. The last time the Sox won 12 straight was in '95 during Morgan Magic. That was also the last time we won the AL East.

David Ortiz hit homer #23 of the season and his 200th career blast. 111 of those have come in the past 3 years. Loretta also knocked one out. The Sox had 3 bunts, two of which were for singles, one was a sacrifice that moved Crisp to 3rd base to be knocked in by a Youkilis Sac-Fly.

Crisp had a sparkplug kind of night with the bunt single, scoring the go ahead run, stealing 2nd base beforehand, and making a sensational catch on a ball that would have tied the game and extended the 8th inning.

The Sox move to 4 games up on the idle New York Yankees and 5 up on the Blue Jays. The Sox fly down to the Port of Miami (Rick Ross song) to play the upsurging Marlins. Newcomer Jason Johnson faces Dontrelle Willis in the opener. Wake goes against Brian Moehler in Saturday's game. In the finale, Jon Lester goes against Josh Johnson.

After the Marlins, the Sox stay in Florida to play the (Devil) Rays, then go to Chicago to play the White Sox. Then it is All-Star break time. This time, it counts!

Thursday, June 29, 2006


The Mets are the first interleague test of the season thus far, and the Red Sox have already passed regardless of the outcome of tonight's game. The Sox won the first two games of the NL East dominating Mets by a combined score of 19-6. Terrific pitching performances from Lester, and Beckett. The bullpen has been great and with 19 runs in 2 games, it's pretty safe to say the offense has been doing great.

Last night saw the return of Pedro Martinez to the Fenway mound. He was not Vintage Pedro, at all. His head seemed out of it and few of his pitches were sharp. Perhaps he was overwhelmed by emotion, perhaps he was intimidated by the Sox lineup, perhaps he is still a bit off due to his hip injury. Maybe all three of those things combined. Whatever the cause, he didn't look good and the Sox jumped on him.

Thankfully, Sox fans did not jump on him as easily. Fans gave him a standing ovation several times. On his way to the bullpen, on his way back, and on his way to the mound. The Pedro haters and suspected racists at BostonDirtDogs are proclaiming it the "Quietest Standing Ovation in History." To be honest, I've heard louder ovations, but never a louder one for a player on another team. Also, how many standing O's did he get? Four or five? Pretty damn good if you ask me.

BDD is also claiming that the standing ovation was orchestrated by Red Sox brass by showing a highlight reel of Pedro Martinez moments. I guess Luchino and Henry probably went around Fenway bribing people to cheer for him to, Barabbas style.

Pedro got cheered because he was a great player for us for 7 years. His exit wasn't the most graceful, but compared to players like Damon or Clemens or Vaughn, it was relatively clean.

The Sox send 201 game winner Curt Schilling to the mound to face 286 game winner Tom Glavine in a battle of two of the great veteran pitchers in the game. I think the Sox can get to Glavine a bit, and Schilling might be able to keep the Mets bats silent.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Jonathan Papelbon had a rare lapse Monday afternoon, allowing his 2nd earned run of the season, as well as his 2nd blown save of the season. The Sox blew a 6 run lead in the final 3 innings of the game.

In the 12th, the Sox fell behind and were 1 out away from a devastating loss. Crisp had doubled, but was unable to advance. Youkilis, who has had a good number of clutch hits for us this season, knocked him home with a single. Kevin smartly advanced to 2nd on the throw home. Ortiz hit a single to knock in Youk and win the game 8-7. It was the 9th straight win for the Sox.

Now we face a real test, one of the best teams in baseball, the New York Metropolitans. Lester goes tomorrow for win #3 against Alay Soler. Josh Beckett goes against Pedro on Wednesday. Billerica's Tom Glavine goes against Curt Schilling in the final game. Glavine is 11-2 this year.

A few weeks ago, Damon returned to Boston and was booed by a significant number of fans at Fenway Park. Now, I wasn't against the booing of Damon, although I wasn't necessarily for it. However, if a large number of fans boo Pedro, I think it will be a shame.

Pedro was on the team for a longer time than Damon. Pedro was with us for 7 years, Damon for 4. Pedro suffered with guys like Mark Portugal backing him up in the rotation, and Chad Fox blowing saves for him. Damon had Ortiz, and Ramirez knocking him in.

For years, Pedro Martinez WAS the Boston Red Sox. In 98, he was the only pitcher to win a game in the post-season for us. In 99, he was 2-0 in the playoffs with 17 scoreless innings, and the only win against the Yankees in the entire 1999 post-season. He won 117 games for us in his career and we should always be grateful for that.

He left the team, for more money and a chance to be the #1 starter elsewhere. However, he never promised to never play for the Mets. Damon did promise to never play for the Yankees. Pedro made it pretty clear that whatever team gave him the best offer, he would pitch for them.

Pedro shouldn't get booed. If he does, it will be a small and ignorant segment of Red Sox Nation that has difficulty liking players that have accents, or it will be a group of moronic Red Sox fans that think Kevin Millar and Brian Daubach were great players.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Sorry for the lack of updates. Combintion of work and play kept me from having time to post anything significant.

The Sox re in first place thanks to interleague play. This is a strange development because the Red Sox are typically brought down from the top of the standings because of interleague play. The Sox are 8-1 against the NL. Granted, our interleague schedule has been easy. None of our opponents thus far have had .500+ records. The Mets (.625 winning %) will change that when they come to Fenway next week.

Paxton Crawford, a sidenote in Red Sox history, has recently come out and admitted to using steroids among other banned substances while he was on the Sox. He also claimed that he was encouraged to do it, and was able to proceed with his cheating in plain sight of the entire clubhouse. Tim Wakefield's reaction:

“To me he sounds like a guy who’s bitter at the organization. He should be thankful they gave him an opportunity to play. No one forced him to take anything. I remember him not being too bright. That’s what I remember about him.”

I'm gonna take Wake's word for it on this one. Crawford sucked, and is a well known sketchball. He has negligible credibility.

I don't doubt Crawford did take roids. However, I must say that the Sox are, apparently, one of the cleanest organizations in baseball when it comes to substances. We have the fewest minor league suspensions for performance enhancers with 1. The only players known or convincingly accused of roids or HGH have been lackluster benchwarmers like Crawford, Jeremy Giambi, Manny Alexander, and Jose Conseco.

The Astros will be paying Clemens about $830,000 per start. His 100 pitches ($8,300 per pitch) weren't enough for the Astros as Liriano went 8 and allowed 2. Clemens went 5 and allowed 2. I really hopes he falters and embarrasses himself. He's a deceptive, manipulative former Yankee.

The Red Sox traded a player to be named and cash considerations for pitcher Jason Johnson and cash considerations. The 33 year old former Oriole, Devil Ray, Tiger, Pirate, and Indian isn't going to be the final piece to the World Series puzzle by any stretch of the imagination. However, he has a functioning pitching arm which means he is valuable to us. He'll probably have an opportunity to make a few starts. If it doesn't work, he'll be released. If he pulls an Aron Small and wins 10 games, it'll be quite nice.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


The Sox faced up to their first test from Texas with a solid 4-3 win. Papelon shockingly gave up an inherited runner for his first Blown Save, but was able to pitch 1.1 innings without giving up another run in order to record his first win of the season.

Wakefield had yet another quality start with 7 inning, 2 earned run outing. Hansen was used in the 8th and didn't pitch all that well, but he did wind up with a Hold.

The Man of the Game is Trot Nixon who went 4 for 4 and was a triple shy of the cycle. He hit his 12th double and 6th homer of the season. He knocked in 3, all with 2 outs. He also scored a run.

Big doubleheader tomorrow.

Friday, June 09, 2006


After an embarrassing loss, then a tough loss, then a rainout, the Sox put on an impressive demonstration of baseball in the Bronx last night. They went up 1-0, then fell behind 3-1. In the 6th, they put together a 3 run rally to take the lead.

Manny walked to lead off the inning, then Nixon singled. Varitek singled in Nixon. Lowell was brushed by a pitch to load the bases. Proctor replaced Wright, then Youkilis hit a fly all to center field that was deep enough to score Nixon from 3rd. Gonzalez came up with a big double just past the glove of a diving A-Rod to give the Sox a 4-3 lead that wouldn't go away.

In the 7th, the Sox had an even bigger inning. Ortiz led off with a double, and then Manny was intentionally walked. Nixon flew out, then Varitek stepped to the plate and knocked the ball out of the park for his 6th homer of the year. Coco Crisp added two more runs with a 2 out single to give the Sox the 9-3 lead that wound up being the final score of the game.

Schilling pitched very nicely to pick up win number 9 of the season. All three of his runs came off of solo shots which is good and bad. It is bad because he made three bad pitches to give up those homers, but it is good that there was nobody on base so he wasn't making too many mistakes. He only gave up 4 hits, only 1 wasn't a homer. He also didn't walk any so the Yankees never really had threat for a big inning. Schilling held the Yankees 2 thru 5 hitters to a combined 0 for 12.

Schilling possibly could have gone the full 9, throwing only 96 pitches thru 8. However, we had a 6 run lead, and it was also a good opportunity to give Papelbon some work.

The Man of the Game is Jason Varitek who went 3 for 5 with 4 RBI. He had an RBI single in the 6th, and a 3 run homer in the 7th. He also scored a run in each inning.

The Sox now return to the Fens for a brief 4 game, 3 day homestand against the AL West leading Rangers.

Vicente Padilla, formerly of the Phillies, takes on Tim Wakefield tonight. In Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader, Jon Lester will make his Major League debut up against John Rheinecker. In the night cap, Josh Beckett will take on John "Way Back" Wasdin in his first start of the year. In Sunday's game, Clement goes against Kevin Millwood. We should be able to take 3 of 4 in this series. Hopefully Beckett and Clement will pitch as well as they're capable of.

The AL All-Star team still resembles a Yankee-Red Sox game with nothing but Yanks and Sox starting except for at one position.

Ortiz has a healthy 200,000 vote lead over Giambi at first base. Loretta remains 36,000 behind Robinson Cano at 2nd. A-Rod has a 414,000 vote lead over Lowell. Tejada is 240,000 behind Derek Jeter at short-stop. Sox fans have given Alex Gonzalez 173,000 votes that should have gone to Tejada or Jeter. Varitek hs a 50,000 vote lead over Ivan Rodriguez to catch the midsummer classic. In the outfield, Vladimir Guerrero leads with Manny and Damon behind him. Ichiro is in 4th more than 100,000 votes behind Damon. The All-Star game is shaping up to be an AL East dominated game.

The World Cup starts today with Germany taking on Costa Rica, and Poland facing Ecuador. If you're interested, I'm a member of a soccer blog, so check it out.


Thursday, June 08, 2006


Guys like Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis, Abe Alvarez, Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia, and Hanley Ramirez all came from Red Sox drafts. The Sox have actually been able to draft and develop some good players over the past few years which had been a major problem with the organization in years past.

The Sox drafted a high school outfielder by the name of Jason Place in the first round. The word is he has power, speed, and arm strength. He batted .544 his senior year and is a very highly touted proepect.

With compensatory picks for the loss of Johnny Damon to free agency, the Sox drafted pitcher Daniel Bard out of UNC. He's got talent with a 97 MPH fastball, but according to scouting reports, he has struggled with command, control, and consistency.

With the 40th pick, the Sox drafted another pitcher, this one out of Wichita State. Kristofer Johnson is coming off of Tommy John surgery, but he still has three viable pitches, which is a nice thing for a draftee to have.

With the 1,443rd pick, the Sox drafted Josh Papelbon out of North Florida. Josh is Jonathan's younger brother and is the all-time Saves leader at the University of Texas. Josh Papelbon was used as a reliever exclusively and will probably be seen this year in Low-A Lowell for the Spinners.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


When these two teams get together, sometimes it is a blowout one way or the other. But a good number of times, it is a closely fought display of great baseball. Last night was a demonstration of the quality of play both the Red Sox and Yankees are capable of.

What more could we have asked from David Pauley in only his 2nd MLB start? He went 6.2 innings for us and kept some of the fiercest and most steroid aided lineups in baseball to only 2 earned runs. But it wasn't enough. The Sox were able to muster only 1 run, despite having 10 baserunners.

The Sox wore down Wang early, forcing him to throw nearly 50 pitches in the first 2 innings, then they allowed him to settle and cruise. Ortiz hit a solo shot in the 3rd and the Red Sox had a little something going when Manny followed it up with a sharp single. Nixon nailed a ball, but he lined it right to the glove of Andy Phillips who then stepped on first for an inning ending double play.

The Sox went down in order in the 4th, in the 5th they had another baserunner erased by the double play, in the 6th Manny was thrown out trying to extend a single into a double, in the 7th the Sox had 2 on and 1 out, but Cora lined out and Crisp grounded out. In the 8th, Manny hit a fly ball that travelled about 400 feet to left center, but Melkey Cabrera snagged it just as it crossed over the outfield wall to keep the Yankees lead at 1. In the 9th, the Sox went down in order to Rivera. Pitiful offensive performance apart from two long fly balls.

Pauley pitched great. He allowed a game tying solo homerun in the 5th, and pitched into the 7th inning. He loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk before being removed for Rudy Seanez. Rudy walked Giambi to force home what would be the winning run. Pauley will get his first MLB loss, but he deserved a better fate.

The Man of the Game is Chieng Meng Wang who escaped danger and allowed only 1 run over 7 innings.

Here is the B*tch-Goat:
Pauley: 0.2 - 6.2 IP, 2 ER
Seanez: 0.1 - 1.1 IP, inherited runner scored
Cora: 0.2 - 0 for 3, 4 LOB
Nixon: 0.2 - 0 for 4, 3 LOB, LIDP
Varitek: 0.1 - 0 for 4
Crisp: 0.1 - 1 for 4, 4 LOB
Loretta: 0.1 - 1 for 4, LOB, GIDP

The Sox fall to 1.5 games behind the Yankees, and need to win both remaining games in order to recapture 1st place. This will be the first time all season that the Red Sox will be out of 1st place longer than 2 days. We're also only a game and a half ahead of Toronto in 3rd. We're slipping. We need to win the last 2 games just to go .500 on the rod trip. The schedule doesn't get any easier with the 1st place Rangers coming to Fenway this weekend for 4, including a doubleheader on Saturday.

Curt Schilling against Jaret Wright tonight. I think we'll win.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Beckett had his worst game of the season, allowing 8 runs in 1.1 innings. Van Buren came in and allowed 5 more and the game was mercifully over. The Sox put up 5 against Mussina, which is good considering how good he's pitched this season, but it was nowhere near enough.

The Man of the Game is Andy Phillips who went 2 for 5 with a 3 run homer.

Here is the B*tch-Goat:
Beckett: 0.9
Van Buren: 0.1

The good news out of New York is that Mike Timlin played catch and reportedly feels fine. He anticipates returning off the DL for the weekend series against Texas back in Fenway.

Monday, June 05, 2006


The early results from All-Star voting are in and in the AL, the Yankees and Red Sox have dominated voting. Here is who I voted for:

C - Jason Varitek - BOS
1B - David Ortiz - BOS
2B - Mark Loretta - BOS
3B - Mike Lowell - BOS
SS - Miguel Tejada - BAL
OF - Manny Ramirez - BOS
OF - Johnny Damon - NYY
OF - Vladimir Guerrero - LAA

The first release of results have every position except one filled by either a Red Sox or a Yankee player. Ortiz is the leader at 1st, Varitek is the leading catcher, Robinson Cano leads Mark Loretta by about 32,000 votes, A-Rod leads Mike Lowell by 300,000 votes, Jeter leads at short-stop (Sox fans, stop voting for Alex Gonzalez! At least vote for Tejada if you don't want to see Jeter in there). The outfield is Manny, Vlad, and Damon. Somehow, Coco Crisp is 9th in voting. Not to be outdone by stupid fans voting for their own players, the Yankees' Hideki Matsui, who is out for a long time, is 7th in outfield voting.

I think Manny, Tek, and Ortiz should be shoe ins for the All-Star Game. I also think Lowell and Loretta deserve to be there if they're not starters. Schilling should also get a nod, as should Mike Timlin who has 11 Holds and an ERA of 1.40. Papelbon should, without a doubt, go. He has 20 Saves in 20 opportunities, has an ERA of 0.32. Papelon's ERA is the lowest in the league among pitchers with 5 or more appearances as well as the lowest among those with 5 or more innings pitched. So, that's 8 Sox representatives sent to Pittsburgh. Of course, a few of them will get screwed, probably Loretta and Timlin. Oh well.


This series was a great test of the Boston Red Sox, and I think proved, somewhat, that we are a legitimate team. We've beaten up on the D-Rays and Orioles, struggled against the Blue Jays, and were 16-16 against teams that weren't from Baltimore or Tampa Bay. Granted, we didn't sweep, and we didn't dominate, but we won a tough series on the road against an unfamiliar first place team. We also managed to score runs against a good pitching staff. We also managed to hit homeruns in the biggest ballpark in the AL.

Friday night, Schilling pitched great and was lifted from the burden of what would have been a tough 2-1 loss by Kevin Youkilis, who is demonstrating he can hit in any spot in the order. He hit his 6th homer of the season in the 9th with 2 outs. Of course, with Jonathan "Fatality" Papelbon and a 3-2 lead, the game was over.

The Man of the Game for Friday's 3-2 win is Curt Schilling who went 7 innings, allowed 2 earned runs, and struck out 8 Tigers.

On Saturday, the bats weren't as supportive. Wakefield has been one of our best and most consistent pitchers this season, but his 4-7 record doesn't really reflect that. The Sox only managed to score 2 runs, and the bullpen allowed 3 runs in 1 inning after Wake left the game.

The Sox only had 7 baserunners in the 6-2 loss on Saturday. Only 3 Sox batters recorded hits.

The Man of the Game is Jeremey Bonderman who went 7.2 allowing 2 earned runs off 4 hits and struck out 6.

Here is the B*tch-Goat:
Wakefield: 0.2 - 7 IP, 3 ER
Delcarmen: 0.1 - 0.2 IP, 2 ER
Tavarez: 0.1 - 0.1 IP, ER, HR
Crisp: 0.1 - 0 for 4
Loretta: 0.1 - 0 for 4
Ortiz: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Ramirez: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Lowell: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 4 LOB
Youkilis: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 3 K

The Sox rebounded and took the rubber game impressively with an 8-3 victory. The Sox knocked out 4 homers and Clement pitched solidly in the series winning victory.

Manny is on a tear lately. In April, he had 4 homeruns. He had 9 in May and has already got 1 in June. His average at the end of April was .276, but he's raised it to .297 since then. He slugged .714 in May compared with .448 in April. He's heating up along with the weather.

Ortiz knocked in his 50th run of the season. He's tied for 2nd in the AL, 2 behind Chicago's Jim Thome, and tied with Cleveland's Travis Hafner.

Both Youkilis and Clement left the game early. Youk was hit by a pitch and the decision to remove him ws aided by the 5 run lead the Sox had amassed, and the fact that Lowell is a better defensive third baseman anyway. Clement was pulled by Jason Varitek early in the 7th inning. The claim after the game is that he was fatigued. This is probably true. Then again, this season the Sox have been sketchy when it comes to injuries. Hopefully there's nothing wrong because with Wells down, and DiNardo down, we can't afford to lose another starting pitcher.

The Man of the Game for the 8-3 victory is Kevin Youkilis who went 2 for 4 with a solo homer, 2 runs scored, and a stolen base.

Now it's back to playing the Yankees again.

We've got Beckett going against Mussina tonight. Then David Pauley up against CM Wang on Tuesday. Schilling faces Wright on Wednesday, and Wakefield goes against Johnson on Thursday. I think we can win 3 of 4, but you never know with these two teams getting together.

We'd better make this series count because we don't face the Yankees again until August 18th. That series is a 5 gamer with a doubleheader to kick it off. That's going to be crazy.

I wanted Roger Clemens back. I wanted to have another frontline pitcher at the top end of the rotation, especially considering our injury woes at the spot and our lack of depth. However, Roger, in my opinion, was afraid to come to Boston. What if he failed? In Houston, he wouldn't be viewed as a Messiah, coming to resurrect a pitching staff. However, that's how he's be seen in Boston or New York. If he failed, he'd be crucified (figuratively).

Instead of a nearly assured pennant race in the AL East, Clemens decided to stay in Houston, with a team that is below .500, in 3rd place, and 8.5 games out of the untouchable Cardinals. Furthermore, the Astros are 8th in the NL Wild Card picture, 5.5 games behind the Reds.

Houston has a slim chance to make the playoffs, which makes Clemens' decision to stay there a safe one. Whereas Boston and New York expect to make the playoffs, Houston, at this point, doesn't expect to do so. If they do make it, Clemens is the hero. If they don't, Clemens is the hero surrounded by fools and doesn't get blamed for the team's failure.

I think Clemens made his decision to stay in Houston a long time ago. I think he used public appearances to whip up media coverage in the enormous sports medias of Boston and New York. All this press terrified the Astros, who went all out to secure Clemens' services. Houston had already fielded a disappointing team this year, and if they had lost the Clemens sweepstakes, their fan base would become even more frustrated. Clemens and his agent drove up the price by feigning a move to Boston and New York, and Clemens got paid off. He'll make about $12.5 million this season to pitch in about 13 to 15 games.

So the Clemens sweepstakes is over. Roger might try it again next season, but hopefully we won't all be duped again. Now, he might never get his number retired here, and I'm fine with that. Have fun losing in Houston, Roger. Tune in to NESN and YES in September if you want to watch pennant race baseball.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


The Sox knocked out 4 homers to beat Toronto 8-6 on Wednesday. Minor leaguer David Pauley spot started and pitched about as well as any Sox starter in the series going 4.1 innings allowing 6 earned. The much lamented middle reliever corps performed very well. The bullpen pitched 4.2 scoreless innings, keeping the Sox in the game.

The Sox finally got to Ted Lilly, knocking him out of the game after only 4 innings. We now have an off day before moving on to face the Detroit Tigers. The first place Detroit Tigers. This series will be a test for the Red Sox, who have had the benefit of feasting on the Blue Jays and Devil Rays for a good part of the season.

The Man of the Game is Alex Rios who went 3 for 4 with a double, 2 Runs, and a stolen base. We've got to figure out a way to get this guy out.