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.