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.
THAT'S JUST SHANEY BEING SHANEY
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.
SOX EXTEND BECKETT TO 2009
$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.
WAKE SIDELINED WITH FRACTURED RIB
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.