Friday, March 10, 2006


If I knew how to Photoshop properly, I would replace the puppets with Roger Clemens, Derek Lee, Ken Griffey Jr, and Alex Rodriguez. And yes, I'd make A-Rod one of the female puppets.

Team USA advanced to the 2nd round of the World Baseball Classic with a 17-0 slaughter of South Africa. I'm not surprised and so I'm not really celebrating too much. If you ask me, we shouldn't have had to win this game in order to advance. Losing to Canada was inexcusable.

It gets much harder for the United States. They are in Pool 1 of the 2nd round with Mexico, Japan, and South Korea. Both Japan and South Korea should be well rested. Second round play begins on Monday. The first game for the US: Japan. The two teams with the best record in the 2nd round will play each other a 2nd time with the winner of that game advancing to the finals to play the winner of Group 2.

I think so far this thing has been a success. No players have gotten hurt, and there have been some really amazing games and performances. What surprises me was the way the weaker teams played. Teams like Australia, South Africa, and Panama were long shots to advance but they played very well considering the disadvantage in talent they have.

How bout this for a story, Shairon Martis of the Netherlands and a prospect in the Giants farm system threw a 7 inning no hitter against Panama. The Netherlands put up 10 runs so the game ended early via the slaughter rule. Martis was right on the edge of the pitch count limit for the 1st round, throwing 65 total pitches and allowing only 2 base runners.


The Boston Red Sox lost to the Los Angeles Red Sox 6-4. That is not a typo. The Dodgers are the Red Sox retirement home. Anyway, Arroyo dissapointed again while Derek Lowe was stellar for the Dodgers. Arroyo went 2 innings, allowing 5 earned runs. If this type of pitching continues, he very well may end up out of the rotation to start the season.

On the plus side of things, Abe Alvarez pitched a scoreless 7th allowing only 1 hit, and Craig Hansen pitched a perfect 8th. Trot Nixon was 1 for 2 with a walk, J.T. Snow was 1 for 3 with an RBI. Other than that, the Red Sox regulars were kept in check by Lowe and the rest of the Dodgers staff.

The Florida Marlins beat up on the Boston Marlins 12-1. That too, is not a typo. The Red Sox are a depository of former Marlin talent. The big hero of the day was former Red Sox prospect Hanley Ramirez who went 3 for 3 with a triple. He also scored 3 of Florida's runs as their leadoff hitter.

This game was not the Red Sox most determined effort to win this Spring. David Pauley started on the mound for us and was releived by Matt Ginter, Mike Holtz, Mike Burnabay, Craig Breslow and Jermaine van Buren. None of these guys will probably be on the 25 man roster on Opening Day.

Offensively, the Red Sox had more of an effort, it just wasn't that well executed of an effort. Alex Gonzalez went 0 for 3, Mark Loretta went 1 for 3, Mike Lowell went 0 for 3, Youkilis had a decent day going 1 for 2 with a double and a run, and Enrique Wilson went 0 for 2 but had the Sox only RBI of the game.

The Sox host the Phillies tomorrow afternoon at City of Palms Park.

After a surprising 8-6 loss to Canada, and thanks to a Mexico victory over Canada, the United States can advance to the 2nd round of the World Baseball Classic, only if they beat South Africa on Friday. They should do this, especially with Roger Clemens starting, but South Africa has not been a pushover. They nearly beat Canada and Canada beat us so anything can happen.

Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, and Japan have already advanced to the 2nd round of the WBC. Friday's games will determine the 2 other teams that will advance with them.

Just a few performances in the WBC by Red Sox players:

In Canada's 11-8 win over South Africa, Adam Stern went 2 for 3 with a double, an RBI, a walk, and a pair of runs scored. In Canada's 8-6 triumph over the US, Stern was the hero going 3 for 4 with a triple, a homerun, and 4 RBI.

Also in that game, Jason Varitek went 2 for 3 with a Grand Slam and 4 RBI. It wasn't enough, but it was the biggest hit of the day for the Americans.

In Mexico's 9-1 demolishment of Canada, Stern was a mere 1 for 2 with a walk. He has probably been Canada's MVP of the tournament thus far which may bode well for him in terms of a roster spot on the Red Sox.

In Puerto Rico's 2-1 victory over Panama, Alex Cora was 0 for 1 with a walk, a K, and a sacrifice. He went 0 for 3 with a SAC fly RBI in PR's 8-3 win over the Netherlands.

Lenny DiNardo got the loss for Italy when they fell to Venezuela 6-0. He started and allowed 2 runs in 2.2 innings of 4 hits.

David Ortiz went 0 for 2 but walked twice in the Dominican's 8-3 win over Italy. Papi might set and hold the WBC walk record for years to come. They just simply do not wish to pitch to him.

Sox youngster Trent Durrington went 0 for 4 but stole 2 bases in Australia's 2-0 loss to Venezuela.

So far, no player has gotten hurt in the WBC.

BRUINS TRADE SAMSONOV, LOSE TO HABSIn the first game of 4 very important contests between the Bruins and the 8th placed Canadiens, the Bruins were unable to come out on top. They were shut-out 3-0. Before the game, the Bruins were sellers in the NHL trading deadline, sending explosive winger Sergei Samsonov to Edmonton for centers Marty Reasoner and Yan Stastney as well as a 2nd round pick.

Neither Stastney or Reasoner are very good and the move appears to be an effort to get something before Samsonov left via free agency at the end of the season. It is very sad that the Bruins have traded both Joe Thornton and Sergei Samsonov away. They were drafted together years back, both in the 1st round and have both been great players. They were supposed to be the foundation of a Bruins Stanley Cup. Now they are gone. This has been a sad season for the Bruins.

Boston College will face off against Maryland in the 2nd round of the ACC tournament today in Greensboro. The Terps beat Georgia Tech 82-64 yesterday to advance. Maryland edged BC 73-71 back in mid December in College Park. The Eagles have improved since then and are rolling. However, BC has a tendency to fall short at the end of the season in most of its sports. Hopefully they can come up big, and win a few games in this pre-tourney tourney.

Sources and Resources for this post:
World Baseball Classic's Sports Section
Yahoo! MLB Photos
Yahoo! NCAA Hoops