Sunday, July 30, 2006


David Ortiz is the MVP of the AL. That's it. I don't care that he doesn't play the field every day. He had 4 hits and 4 RBI in yesterday's 7-6 extra innings victory over the LA Angels. He sparked the 8th inning game tying rally with a solo homer, then hit a pitch the opposite way out of the Ortiz shift in the 11th inning to end the game.

The Sox showed a great deal of resiliency in yesterday's game. Things like Manny's outfield assist, Papelbon's 2 perfect innings of relief to keep the Angels at bay, and Ortiz's oppo single demonstrate that this team is capable of winning any game any day, even if they're behind. That's very good for our hopes to make the playoffs and to do well in the playoffs.

Speaking of playoffs, the Red Sox gained a game on the Yankees after New York fell to the mighty Devil Rays 19-6. That's right, the Yankees were crushed in Yankee Stadium by Tampa Bay. The Sox lead in the division is now 1.5 games. The Sox also have a theoretical lead in the Wild Card of a game over Chicago.

David Wells will return to the Sox rotation tomorrow to face the Indians. He threw a simulated game last week and looked well. He will be forgoing a rehab start, which isn't such a bad idea. The Sox need starting pitching now and there are only 60 games left in the season.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz prove once again why they are the best combination of hitters in baseball. They're now at 60 combined homers and 171 combined RBI.

The Sox gave Beckett a 4 run lead in the early innings and that was enough.

The Sox maintain their 2.5 game lead over New York in the AL East. The Sox also have a game lead on the Wild Card leading White Sox.

There's only 64 games left for the Sox this season. Looking at the numbers, there are a few Sox players that could be up for individual accolades.

David Ortiz should win the MVP. He's got 95 RBI. The next highest in the AL is Travis Hafner with 83. Of course, some fools will not vote for him because he's a DH and not a "full-time" player. However, take Ortiz off the Red Sox and we're looking at a 3rd place team.

Papelbon should win the Rolaids Relief Award. He has the lowest ERA of every player in baseball who has pitched a significant amount of innings. 29 Saves in 32 opportunities. His WHIP is a ludicrous 0.71 and his 0.53 ERA speaks for itself. He's got 52 Ks in 51 innings with a strikeout to walk ratio of 5.78 to 1.

Since Papelbon pitched less than 50 innings last season, he is eligible for the Rookie of the Year Award. Frankly, I don't see how he couldn't get it. There are some out there who feel that Jared Weaver of the Angels is a contender. Weaver is 7-0 in 7 starts and if he remains perfect for the remainder of the year, he probably will get it. However, there are still a great deal of ballgames left to play and at the moment, Papelbon is the front runner for the award.

David Wells threw a 5 inning simulated game yesterday in Oakland. Manager Terry Francona said that Wells seemed like he got tired pitching in the heat, but looked "good." If all goes well, Wells could be pitching a minor league rehab start at the end of the week.

Schilling looks for win #13 against righty Jason Windsor.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


The Sox pounded 5 homers against Jamie Moyer and the Mariners en route to a 9-4 win. Kyle Snyder pitched well, allowing 2 runs in 5 innings before leaving with a leg cramp.

Kason Gabbard will make his MLB debut this afternoon as the starting pitcher. It is the 11th different starter the Sox have used this season, tying 2002's total. 2002 was also the last year we didn't make the playoffs.

Over the off-season, we definately must acquire some starting pitching.

The Yankees have been sucking as of late, dropping two straight to the Blue Jays. Toronto is now 5.5 behind us for 1st place and 2 behind New York for 2nd place. It's amazing what things like getting rid of Shea Hillenbrand can do for a team. We need to continue to beat up on bad tems like Seattle and Kansas City.

Friday, July 21, 2006


The Sox bats finally seemed to wake up yesterday afternoon against the Rangers. Seven Sox starters had a hit, and 4 had multiple hit games. WM Pena returned to the lineup and went 2 for 3 with a pair of 2 out RBI. You might remember Willy Mo as the other outfielder who is batting .330.

Schilling wasn't his Schutout self that he's been lately, but he was good enough to pitch 7 innings and kept the Rangers to 4 runs, which gave the Sox a chance to win the game. Delcarmen pitched a scoreless 8th, and Timlin came in to close it out with a perfect 9th for his 2nd Save of the year.

I don't think I can say enough about how valuable Mike Timlin has been to the Sox these past few seasons. Since 2003, he's been our best and most consistent reliever. We saw the rise and fall of Allan Embree, the great season Foulke had in '04, and now Papelbon is the top man in the bullpen, but Timlin has always been there. He's given us 274.2 good innings in 3 and a half seasons. 18 Saves, 77 Holds, and 23 Wins.

Anyway, the Sox take their 4 game winning streak on the road to face Seattle. They also carry a 2.5 game lead in the division thanks to Toronto's 5-4 extra inning win over the Yankees. Another important standings note, the Sox now have the same record as the White Sox, who lead the Wild Card.

Kyle Snyder takes on Jamie Moyer in a late, late game tonight at SafeCo

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I'm not very impressed with a sweep of Kansas City in which every game was a nail biting 1 run win. However, three wins are three wins. The Sox were carried by the pitching staff the past few days. Beckett threw another 8 inning gem, and Papelbon closed it for his 29th save. Manny hit a solo shot in the 4th for the lone run of the game. Mark Redman got the complete game loss and might have impressed some people looking for an extra pitcher (us, the Yankees).

The Sox are going to have to kick it up a notch now. Lefty John Rheinecker goes against Curt Schilling this afternoon in a makeup game against the Rangers. Righties are batting .372 against Rheinecker, but lefties are batting .178. I'm just gonna guess that Manny will have a big day at the plate.

Thanks to New York's loss to Seattle yesterday, the Sox are now 1.5 games ahead of them for first place in the division. We fly out to Oakland for a West Coast trip after today's game. The Yankees are up in Toronto for a 4 game series. That series could make Toronto a contender if they do well, or knock them out of the race. They're 5.5 behind us, which isn't insurmountable, but they need to start winning games.

Speaking of Toronto, they just cut former Red Sox third baseman and Fenway heartthrob Shea Hillenbrand. Why? Because he was chewing out the front office through the media.

Apparently Shea was upset that he wasn't getting enough playing time. He also declared expectations to be traded. He was also disappointed because nobody in the front office congratulated him on adopting a child. After his comments hit the press, the Jays held a team meeting to chew him out. Then, Hillenbrand refused to sit in the dugout during the game. He was summarily designated for assignment.

Toronto manager John Gibbons thinks his release "Will do wonders for the clubhouse."

This isn't the first time Hillenbrand has felt jilted by an organization that didn't treat him like a superstar. The guy has some ego on him. Good luck to the next franchise that tries him out.

$30 million for three years is what Beckett will cost us. I have to say, that isn't a bad deal. He seems to like being here, and I think we can all agree that he has improved the team. I don't think he'll be the Ace of the staff after 2007 when Schilling leaves unless he becomes a lot more consistent. I still think we need to acquire another top pitcher when Schilling leaves. However, the move to lock him up is a good one. The Sox avoided the hassle and bidding wars brought on by free agency and locked Beckett up over a year before they had to. Good job, Theo. Now, if you could have only done that with Pedro.

According to the Globe, Tim Wakefield will be placed on the 15 Day DL with a stress fracture in one of his ribs. The injury will put him out for at least 3 weeks. This adds to the Red Sox pitching woes. Kason Gabbard, 9-2 in AA Portland, is expected to take Wakefield's spot in the rotation.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Jon Lester has been somewhat of a savior for the Sox this season (say that 3 times fast). He went 8 scoreless, 1 hit innings last night to save the bullpen, and help the Red Sox to a 1-0 victory. Papelbon closed it out with a perfect 9th...again.

The lone Red Sox run came after Varitek hit a double off the Monster. It was only Tek's 2nd wall ball all season. He was knocked in by an Alex Gonzalez single up the middle after a long and tough at-bat.

The game was also Varitek's 991st game as a Red Sox catcher, a record for the 105 year old club, surpassing Carlton Fisk's mark of 990. The Captain has only missed games due to injury once when he broke his elbow diving for a foul ball.

The victory keeps the Sox half a game up on New York.

David Wells threw a 42 pitch, 3 inning simulated game today and there are no reports of discomfort or pain. He'll have another side session on Friday, most likely, then pitch another simulated game Monday.

Willy Mo Pena was activated off the DL, Jermaine Van Buren was called up from AAA. Javier Lopez was sent down to AAA and Willie Harris was designated for assignment.

The Sox look for the sweep this afternoon as Beckett faces Redman.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


It took the Red Sox 8 innings before they led against the Kansas City Royals. That shouldn't even count as a full victory, in my opinion. The Royals simply suck. They're 32-60, 30 games out of 1st place Detroit in the Central, and they're a pathetic 13-37 (.260) on the road.

The Sox saved embarrassment thanks to Loretta, Ortiz, pinch runner Willie Harris, and a Sac Fly off the bat of Manny Ramirez. The bullpen was also very good and kept us in the game. Delcarmen, Hansen, Timlin, and Papelbon combined for 5 innings, allowing just 1 run off 3 hits and 0 walks.

David Ortiz nabbed 2nd base in the 8th inning for his first steal of the season and 6th of his career. He is now tied for 3,786th all-time in stolen bases, only 1400 behind leader Rickey Henderson.

After a 49 pitch side session yesterday, David Wells is set to throw a simulated game on his 2nd trip back to recovery. The problem is, the Red Sox have day games Wednesday and Thursday so pitching a simulated game to hitters might prove difficult to do. We could really use Wells as a 5th starter. He isn't going to dominate or anything, but he'll at least throw strikes and eat innings.

Lester looks for win number 5 tonight against Brandon Duckworth.

Monday, July 17, 2006


It's been all or nothing for the Red Sox these past few weeks. They've looked amazing against the NL East and the White Sox. Then they looked absolutely dreadful against the D-Rays and Athletics. The Sox are now tied with the Yankees in the loss column for 1st place in the division. Frankly, I'm worried. We've only scored 20 runs in the last 5 games, which isn't enough to win consistently.

The Sox SHOULD go on a run in the next 8 games. We've got 4 against the atrocious Kansas City Royals, a makeup against Texas, then 3 against last place Seattle.

The West Coast trip coming up could make or break us. We need to start scoring more runs, getting better outings from our starters, and our bullpen needs to keep us in games.

A big question in RS Nation is what the Sox should do at the trade deadline. I don't think we should do much of anything. Perhaps pick up a veteran middle reliever, that's about it. I don't think we should trade off any of our top prospects for some 4.00 ERA starter to pitch for us for a few months.

We have a team capable of making the playoffs, and if we do get that far, it is certainly a team capable of winning in the playoffs. We have Schilling, Beckett, Wakefield, and Lester. Wells is still trying to come back. We could use another starter, especially with the doubleheaders against New York coming up. I don't think we need to go crazy about it, though. We shouldn't give up any prospect that is on the verge of making the Big League squad. We can trade some A, or AA prospects for a serviceable 5th starter. The emergence of players like Papelbon and Youkilis as top players will undoubtedly give some merit to the Red Sox farm system.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


With the Red Sox and Patriots annually competing for championships, I often look over the other two teams in Boston. Part of the reason being that it is painful to analyze and philosophize the goings on at the Fleet Center, from the penny pinching of the miserly Jeremy Jacobs, to the bumbling moves made by Danny Ainge.

Anyways, the Celtics are attempting to create a contending team. The NBA Draft saw them acquire two point guards, Sebastian Telfair from Portland, and Rajon Rondo from the University of Kentucky. This gives the C's a trio of young point guards. This means they will probably make a move to acquire on of the numerous frontline players available on the trading block.

The most popular name thrown about in the Celtics trade talkings is Allen Iverson's. Obviously, AI would improve the team. He'd take pressure off of Pierce and generate a great deal of energy. However, if things didn't go perfectly, things could get ugly.

The Boston sports media is relentless, especially when it comes to athletes that don't seem to be giving 110%. When Antoine Walker had his first stint with the C's, he was dubbed a "punk" simply because...well...who knows why. Because he wiggled? Iverson's persona and perceived personality is far more "punk-like" than Walker's was. Already, sports writers are advocating that Ainge not acquire him.

Would Iverson make the Celtics into a legitimate competitor for the title? No. However, is there any individual player who could do that? No. Iverson would help the team, give them a shot to go deeper into the playoffs, make the Celtics more attractive to prospective players, help encourage Pierce to stay by giving him quality teammates, and at the very least, put people into the seats and generate some excitement around the Celtics.

Meanwhile, the Bruins are looking to rebound from a ghastly 2005-06 season. The Bruins will be blown to pieces. According to their front office, Shawn McEachern and Alexei Zhamnov will see their contracts bought out. Hal Gill, Brian Leetch, Tom Fitzgerald and others will not have their contracts renewed.

After letting Mike Sullivan linger, the Bruins finally fired him and hired Dave Lewis to be the new head coach. They also picked up Zdeno Chara on the free agent market. They'll attempt to assemble a semi-competitive team while preparing to build a championship contender sometime in the near future. It's a slow process, but Bruins fans have been patient for 34 years, they will wait another 5 or 6.


Manny Ramirez, Mark Loretta and David Ortiz will be starting the All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. Jonathan Papelbon will be in the bullpen. At the moment, Curt will not be on the mound or even in the dugout. Schilling is 10-2 with a 3.54 ERA, but was passed over by White Sox and AL manager Ozzie Guillen. Part of the reason for this is because of players getting in on a stupid rule forcing every team to have a single representative on the roster. The Royals will be sending Mark Redman, who is 5-4 with a 5.59 ERA. The game counts, but it doesn't count enough to send the best players.

The American League is stacked with talent at every position. The AL should roll over the NL. The AL has not lost an All-Star Game since 1996, and has won every All-Star Game since the infamous tie in 2002. Over the past 18 All-Star Games, the AL is 14-3-1.

The fact that Schilling didn't make the team, and wasn't even selected as a candidate for the final spot to be voted on by the fans is BS. He's got 10 wins, is a bona fide star, and his ERA is 11th in the AL. Oh well, it will be good for him to get a few days off.

The AL East will have a very good showing on the AL team. Five of the starting 8 position players are AL East players, including all 4 infielders. Five of the 12 pitchers are from the East. Five of the 13 bench players are from the East. Overrall, 15 of the 33 players are AL Easters.

Why the hell is Ramon Hernandez a candidate to get the final roster spot?


The Red Sox ended Interleague play with a record of 16-2, which ties a record for most wins against the AL. The Sox win streak was stopped at 12 on Friday night, but they've still won 14 of their last 15 (.933). They also set a Major League record with 17 games in a row without an error. They've since made errors, but it is an impressive record to hold, especially for a Red Sox team.

Jason Johnson made his Red Sox debut on Friday night and didn't impress all that much. He went 4 and allowed 5.earned runs The bullpen kept the game close, but the offense wasn't capable of putting up more than 2 against Willis and the Marlins pitching staff.

As a team, the Sox went 8 for 34 (.236), but without Manny they were a combined 5 for 30 (.167). Manny had both RBIs. The Sox also had no extra base-hits. Willis stymied us. 'Nuf Said.

The Man of the Game is Dontrelle Willis who went 7 innings allowing only 2 runs and struck out 7. He also had a walk at the plate.

Here is the B*tch-Goat:
Johnson: 0.7 - 4 IP, 5 ER
Crisp: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 2 Ks
Lowell: 0.1 - 1 for 4, 3 LOB, GIDP
Varitek: 0.1 - 0 for 4

The Sox rebounded nicely with an 11-5 victory on the next day. Wakefield had a solid start and finally got the support he's been deserving all season long. Nine of the 13 hits the Sox had were for extra bases. Ortiz and Manny each had two homers, and Mike Lowell reclaimed his MLB lead in doubles with 29 thus far. Who knows how many runs we would have scored with a DH. Wake was 0 for 4, with 4 LOB, 3 of those he left on were in scoring position with 2 outs.

The Man of the Game is tough one between Manny and Ortiz. I'm going to have to go with David, though, because Manny struck out twice, and Papi had an extra double. Ortiz was 3 for 4 with 4 RBI, with a pair of homers, and a double. He scored 3 times.

The Sox had a closer game to finish the series and Interleague play. The thing that impresses me the most from the past few weeks is the fact that we can win blowout games 11-5, then the next day win a game 4-3. We can maintain leads when we get them, and come back from deficits when we fall behind.

The Sox jumped out to a 3-1 lead by the 3rd inning. Youkilis led off the game with his 10th homer of the year and his 40th RBI. Varitek led off the 2nd inning with his 8th homer and 39th RBI. The 3rd run was also via the homer as Ortiz had a 2 out solo shot in the 3rd. He's got 26 now with 75 RBI.

Lester pitched nicely and made good bid for win #4 of the season and his career. He allowed 2 in 5 innings of work. Tavarez pitched a scoreless 6th, but allowed the tying run to score in the 7th. It was the 2nd Blown Save of his season. Timlin came in and shut the door on a Marlins rally. Delcarmen got 2 outs in the 8th before Jonathan "Fatality" Papelbon came in and got the 4 out save. It was his 25th save, which is a new Red Sox rookie record, passing the late Dick Radatz.

The game winning RBI came from the bat of Mark Loretta, who saw his 14 game hitting streak end, but his game winning Sac-Fly was also his 500th career RBI.

The Man of the Game is tough. No player in the game had more than 2 hits, neither starting pitcher was great, and no reliever was totally lights out. I'm gonna have to go with Miguel Cabrera who went 2 for 5 with a game tying homer, and 2 runs scored.

The Sox stay in Florida to face the D-Rays.