Monday, June 30, 2008


For the second time this season, Manny Ramirez was involved in a physical altercation with a fellow member of the Red Sox organization. This time it was travelling secretary Jack McCormick.

Here's what happened:

Manny asked McCormick to get 16 tickets for Saturday night's game.

McCormick told Manny that he might not be able to get so many tickets on the day of the game.

They argued, Manny yelled "do your job!" and shoved McCormick.

Eventually, Manny apologized, and the matter was handled internally. Francona and the Red Sox plan on taking no disciplinary action.

But doesn't all of this seem tremendously out of character for Ramirez? First the incident with Youkilis, now this stuff? He's gone from someone who was relaxed, nonchalant, and cool as a cucumber; to Paul O'Neil. I'm not sure if I like it or not.

The Sporting News

Friday, June 27, 2008


Last night was the NBA Draft, and the Celtics made three picks. Here they are:

1st Round, 30th overall: J.R. Giddens - SG, New Mexico

6' 5", 208 lbs, 23 years old
Formerly of Kansas, Giddens transferred after getting involved in a bar fight during which he was stabbed in the right calf. He played his freshman year at Kansas, making the All Big XII freshman team. Played his sophomore year at KU, then transferred and had to sit out for a redshirted season due to NCAA rules. His junior year he was suspended by New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay for not being "a good teammate." But his senior year didn't see any incidents like that. Giddens averaged 16.3 points per game last season, with 8.8 rebounds. This helped him earn co-player of the year honors in the Mountain West Conference.

The Celtics could have gotten Giddens later in the 2nd round. He was projected by many to go in the 2nd or not at all. So they could have used their 47th overall pick, or traded down. And to be honest, Giddens doesn't impress me that much. That being said, he might turn into a good player if he's surrounded by the right teammates and the right coach. And the Celtics have both of those.

2nd Round, 47th overall: Bill Walker - SF, Kansas State

(Drafted by Washington, rights traded to Boston)
6' 6", 220 lbs, 20 years old
Was Michael Beasley's teammate at K-State, and OJ Mayo's teammate in high school. His freshman year for the Wildcats started late and ended early with an ACL injury. He averaged 16.1 points per game his sophomore season. Considering his age and lack of experience, you'd expect him to need to work on parts of his game. He isn't the best shooter in the world, nor is he the best ball handler. But he has potential to be a decent player in a few years.

2nd Round: 60th overall: Semih Erden - C, Fenerbahce Ulker (Turkey)

7' 1", 240 lbs, 21 years old
Token large European. Hasn't shown much in European play, averaging only 20 minutes, 6.7 points, and 4.3 points per game. His defensive shortcomings have drawn criticism, especially considering his size. On offense he's a non-force outside of the paint.

Draft Express - JR Giddens
Draft Express - Bill Walker
Draft Express - Semih Erden

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Even without the Yankee pinstripes, it's still a pleasure to put a loss next to Randy Johnson's name.

Tim Wakefield pitched great, holding Arizona to 2 hits over 7 innings of work. He only walked 1 and struck out 6. Delcarmen pitched the 8th and looked sharp, striking out 2 of the 3 men he faced. Craig Hansen looked shaky and once again forced the Sox to use Papelbon when they really shouldn't have had to. But Paps struck out the one man he faced to earn Save #23.

Dustin Pedroia continues to hit the ball well. He was 3 for 5. coco Crisp had a big night, going 3 for 4 with a trio of doubles. Kevin Ca$h Money hit his first homerun in a Red Sox uniform in the 8th, and it was a big one. His three run shot gave the Sox some insurance, which was quickly cashed in by Hansen. The one black mark of the game was that Manny was 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts.

This was game #81 for the Red Sox, and halfway through they look pretty sharp. They're on pace for 98 wins, which would be the most regular season wins since 2004. And we all know what happened in 2004. Their offense is impressive, even when missing some of its biggest pieces. But the pitching could use some improvement in all areas. Starters and relievers.

The Sox have Thursday off before starting a 3 game set in Houston. Daisuke will make his return, facing former Red Sox property Runelvys Hernandez. Hernandez is making his first MLB start of the season.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Elise Amendola


A 4 run 8th inning propelled the Red Sox to a 5-4 victory over the D-bax last night. Three of those 4 runs scored with 2 outs.

Dustin Pedroia got the scoring started in the 1st with a solo homerun. It was his 7th of the season. He only hit 8 last year.

Pedroia would later play a part in the 8th inning rally. He knocked in a run with a single to make it 4-2, and eventually scored the tying run. After hitting .260 for the month of May, Pedroia has really turned things on. He's hitting .284 in June. In the last 10 games, he's hitting .441 with 3 homeruns.

Kevin Youkilis didn't start due to the eye injury. But he was able to come in and play the 9th inning.

Justin Masterson looked solid once again. He went 6 and allowed 4 runs, and his big mistake was the 3 run homer in the 3rd. But he's really impressed me this season. I wish the Sox weren't so desperate for starters at the moment so he could pitch in Pawtucket for the rest of the year and start full-time in 2009.

Randy Johnson and his 5.09 ERA take on Tim Wakefield tonight.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The NHL free agency period begins on July 1st, and you can bet the farm that the Bruins will be calling Marian Hossa's agent, if they haven't already started talking to each other.

The Bruins tried to get Marian Hossa in February, but were unwilling to part with Phil Kessel, which turned out to be a deal breaker for the Penguins. But now Hossa has expressed an interest in testing the lucrative waters of free agency.

The problem is that the Bruins don't have much cap space. Making a competitive offer to Hossa would require creating some, most likely through the dismissal of veteran winger Glen Murray. But even then, the best the Bruins could do would be to match the other offers Hossa receives, and there will be plenty of those.

The Red Wings and Penguins will be in the mix, and they can offer Hossa a better chance to hoist the Stanley Cup. Then again, Hossa would be a secondary star for both teams. If he were to come to Boston, he'd already be on the same level with, if not slightly above Patrice Bergeron.

The offensive flexibility offered by Hossa is mouth watering, especially since the Bruins were 24th in goals scored last season. Hossa would also help out the Bruins' 16th ranked power play.

But I honestly don't see why Hossa would choose Boston. Due to the cap, they can't really outbid other teams for him. They can't offer him a great chance at winning a Cup. About the only thing the B's have in their favor is that Zdeno Chara is friends with Hossa. But God only knows what that means. The two played in Ottawa together, and for the Slovakian national team, so I'm sure they're buddies; but I doubt they call each other every night just to chat, or text each other in between periods.

It would be nice, though, for the Bruins to have a Kevin Garnett moment.

I remember finding out about you...


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn, File


The Sox were on the short end of a 2-1 duel between Dan Haren and Josh Beckett. Haren went 7 and only allowed 2 hits. The Sox only managed 4 hits in total, and got their lone run off reliever Tony Pena in the 8th.

Beckett pitched well enough to win. He allowed 2 runs in 8 innings while striking out 8. That's something encouraging to take from this game. He's only allowed 11 runs in his past 40 innings (2.48 ERA), which is what we're used to seeing from him. But in those 40 innings (which came over 6 starts), he's only 2-2. But as the quality starts continue, the wins will follow.

One bad thing to take from this game was the early exit of Kevin Youkilis. During warm ups in between innings, Mike Lowell bounced a ball, and it hit Youk in the eye. He started to swell up and was replaced by Brandon Moss at first (Casey started his 3 game suspension). The CT scan was negative. But losing Youkilis for any period of time hurts, especially with Ortiz on the DL and Casey suspended.

Justin Masterson goes against Doug Davis Tuesday night.

The Sports Network

Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Monday, June 23, 2008


Legendary comedian George Carlin died of heart failure yesterday. He was 71 years old. What I always loved about Carlin's stand-up was that it wasn't time specific, and it was ingeniously crafted. You could turn on one of his cable specials from the 80s and get a good laugh from it, without having to brush up on your 80s pop culture references.

He was also a master with words. The way he'd put words together to construct a joke was simply brilliant. He understood the relationship between words and how best to sequence them in order to make his jokes funnier. You see "comedians" like Dane Cook and Carlos Mencia ramble on, without even considering which words to use and in what order; and it makes you appreciate someone like Carlin.


The Red Sox avoided a 3 game sweep yesterday afternoon, thanks to a Kevin Youkilis walk off homerun. It was Youk's second blast of the day.

A good start from Lester (7.1 innings, 2 earned runs) was nearly wasted when Papelbon blew his 4th save of the season. The Sox had to dodge a few bullets in extra innings as Hideki Okajima continued to struggle (1.2 IP, 4 H, BB). JD Drew was 0 for 5 at the plate, but had a vital outfield assist to keep the game tied.

This was the first series the Red Sox lost at home since April. But now the struggling Diamondbacks come to town for three games. They're first in the NL West, but were swept by the Twins over the weekend.

Josh Beckett goes against Dan Haren Monday night.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Winslow Townson

Sunday, June 22, 2008


You probably didn't notice it, but the NHL held their draft over the weekend. Here's who the Bruins selected:

Round 1, Pick #16, Joe Colborne - Center, Camrose Kodiaks (Alberta JHL):
Considering the round, the team, the name, and the height of Joe Colborne; comparisons with Joe Thornton are inevitable. Colborne's 190 pounds don't quite fill that 6' 5" frame out, though, which is one of the reasons he'll be playing at the University of Denver this winter. He has speed, size, and plays both ways. The one knock on him is that he stays on the outside of plays a bit too much. But if he gets bigger, that should be an easily solved problem.

Round 2, Pick #47, Maxime Sauve - Center, Val D'Or Foreurs (Quebec Major JHL)
The fact that Maxime isn't just French Canadian, but was actually born in France is forgivable because of his amazingly awesome name (I'm going to call him Maxime Suave). He's small at 6' 0" 170 lbs, but makes up for that with amazing quickness and quality skating. He's a proficient scorer, as well. He'll probably stay in the QMJHL for the 08-09 season.

Round 3, Pick #77, Michael Hutchinson - Goalie, Barrie Colts (Ontario HL)
Hutchinson has recently shot up the goaltender rankings thanks to some impressive playoff performances in the OHL. Against the Brampton Battalion, he averaged 44 saves a game (in 5 games), propelling Barrie to victory in the series. Hutchinson will probably return to the Colts for the 08-09 season as he just turned 18.

Round 4, Pick #97, Jamie Arniel - Center, Sarnia Sting (OHL)
The Bruins traded up to meet Arniel, who fell all the way to the 4th round. Many had him ranked higher than Bruins' first-rounder Colborne. Arneil was a teammate in Sarnia with 1st overall pick Steve Stamkos. Arniel will try to fill Stamkos' shoes (or skates I guess) in Sarnia in 08-09.

Round 6, Pick #173, Nicholas Tremblay - Center, Smiths Falls Bears (Central Junior A HL)
Scored 51 goals, and 59 assists in 57 games last year. 5' 11" and 190 lbs.

Round 7, Pick #197, Mark Goggin - Center, Choate Rosemary Hall (Connecticut)
Another player who fell far in the draft and a good steal at 197th overall. He'll be playing in the USHL this season, as well as for Choate. He's committed to Dartmouth after he graduates. He turns 18 in about a month so he has plenty of time to grow.

That's the draft. Not too amazing, but you can see a definite interest in acquiring offense. The Bruins' specialty seemed to be players who fell for one reason or another. That can often be a good place to find value, either that or waste a pick. Not everyone falls for no reason. But trading up for Arniel seems like a solid move.

Illegal Curve's Bruins Blog

Photo Credits:
IIHF/HHoF/Mikael Fritzon
Andre Ringuette/Getty Images

Friday, June 20, 2008


Curt Schilling will undergo shoulder surgery on Monday, ending any chance of him pitching in the 2008 season, and probably ending his career. The surgery will correct the tendon problems Schilling experienced in the off-season.

It seems as though Schilling and Dr. Craig Morgan were right. During spring training, there was that huge debate between Schilling and the Red Sox over what the best course of action with his shoulder would be. The Red Sox were worried that surgery would end his season. so they implemented a rehab and strengthening program. Ironically, this program has left no chance for Schilling to return to the team in 2008.

Associated Press


You know your city is dominating in sports when people have "usual spots" for victory parades. My usual spot is on Tremont Street, right outside Park Street station. Stand up on the elevated flower beds and you have a sick view of the parade without being squeezed or having to show up at sunrise. But for yesterday's Celtics game, we went to Causeway Street, right where the parade pulled out of TD BankNorth Garden.

We got there at about 9:20 AM. Around 9:40, Doc Rivers was dropped off in a taxi. That's right, a plain, ordinary taxi pulled over to the curb and Doc Rivers walked out, which drove the crowd nuts. At 10:00, Tommy Heinsohn pulled into the Garden in a minivan.

Infamous WEEI caller and Foxy Lady aficionado Frank from Gloucester was there, wearing a customized Yankee jacket and a Celtics hat. For some reason he was allowed to stand inside of the bike fences and on the street.

It didn't get really crowded until 10:30. The north side of the street started chanting the most random things. They were big fans of the "Yankees Suck" chant, as well as chanting "M-V-P" toward nobody in particular. "Kobe Sucks" was another popular one.

At 10:50, the players began climbing onto the Duck Boats in the players lot, which sent people climbing the 8 foot fence for a better look. At 11:00, the bike cops lined up on the street. At 11:10, they rolled off and the parade began. I was up front, but hardly saw Paul Pierce. I didn't see Ray Allen at all. But we had a great view of KG and most of the other players.

The best part of the parade was the stink of big fat cigars emanating from the Duck Boats. I love the smell of cigar smoke at a Celtics parade. It smells like...


By 11:20, all the Duck Boats had gone past. They were flying. It seems like every parade drives faster and faster. And with no rally, it was quite anticlimactic, leaving everyone wanting just a little bit more. But some pizza and a few beers at Halftime Pizza afterward satiated me.


With the Celtics winning the NBA title, the Red Sox winning a series in Philadelphia flew way under the Boston sports radar. A big reason for this was the performance of JD Drew. He was 5 for 12 with 2 homers and 5 RBI in the series.

JD Drew is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now. In June, he's hitting .441, with a .547 OBP, and a 1.085 slugging percentage. 9 of his 13 homeruns have come in this month, as have 21 of his 43 RBI.

It seems as though JD Drew may be pulling a Josh Beckett; sucking his first year in Boston, and then breaking out. He already has more homeruns in 2008 than he did last season. Here is what JD Drew is on pace for in '08:

28 HR, 93 RBI, 147 H, .327 Avg, .432 OBP, .601 SLG, 114 R.

Those are the numbers we've been waiting to see from Drew. If he continues to produce for the remainder of the season, he adds so much potency and flexibility to the lineup. With his high OBP, he can hit 1st or 2nd. With his power he can hit 3rd or 4th. With his run production he can hit 5th, or 6th.

He and the Red Sox host one of his former teams this weekend as the St. Louis Cardinals come to town. All three interleague series the Sox have played this month have been rematches of previous World Series. The Sox lost to Cincinnati in 1975, beat Philadelphia in 1915, and have played St. Louis in three World Series (1946, 1967, 2004).



Brian Scalabrine talks trash to the media after the Celtics' blowout win in game 6:

The full "Where I remember happens" commercial about the Celtics acquiring KG:

This put-back dunk by Garnett in game 1 was one of the many little things that set the tone for this series, particularly the 3 games played in Boston.

The Celtics now have 17 NBA titles, more than any other team, and the third most titles in major North American sports. The Yankees have 26 World Series rings (which their desperate fans will not fail to remind you of), and the Montreal Canadiens have 24 Stanley Cups. HOWEVER, there have only been 62 NBA Championships, as opposed to 102 World Series, and 94 NHL Stanley Cups. The Celtics have won 27.4% of all NBA Championships. The Yankees: only 25.5%. The Canadiens: only 26.0%.

The Celtics are now 17-3 in NBA Championship Series, and 9-2 in Championship Series against the Lakers. Not much of a rivalry there.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008




Somewhere up in sports heaven, Red Auerbach is smoking a cigar. A cigar he lit in the 3rd quarter, because that's when Game 6 was over and done with.

The Celtics played with the intensity of a team facing elimination, while the Lakers played like a team with $1,000,000 riding on the Celtics. An absolutely dominant 2nd quarter led to a 58-35 halftime lead. Instead of coming out of the locker room fired up, the Lakers played half-assed defense, and seemed confused on offense.

Just some fun team stats from game 6. The Lakers had 2 offensive rebounds, the Celtics had 14. Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis, and Rajon Rondo had as many offensive rebounds as the Lakers did, and Kevin Garnett had 1 more. In total, the Celtics outrebounded LA 48 to 29. The Lakers stole the ball 4 times, the Celtics stole it 18 times. The Celtics turned the ball over 7 times, the Lakers turned it over 19 times.

Kobe Bryant, allegedly the best "played on the planet" (how old did that description get during this series?) shot 7 for 22. He shot 40.5% for the series.

Paul Pierce deservedly won the series MVP Award, and finished game 6 with 17 points and 10 assists. KG had 26 points and 14 rebounds. Ray Allen was 7 of 9 on three pointers and had 26 points. Rajon Rondo had another great game in Boston, with 21 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. The bench had 39 points.

It was absolute domination, which is what the Celtics did to the league all year long. And guess what, the PGA Tour will be back next season.

Rolling rally Thursday at 11 AM.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Bill Sikes
AP Photo/Winslow Townson
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Jemele Hill, an Page 2 columnist, has come under heavy fire this week for an absurd comparison in one of her columns.

"Rooting for the Celtics is like saying Hitler was a victim. It’s like hoping Gorbachev would get to the blinking red button before Reagan.”

Here is the article. As you can tell, the inflammatory comparisons have been removed. This was after an intense backlash, mostly from Celtics fans, who didn't like being lumped in with Hitler apologists.

In every documentary I've seen on neo-Nazis, I don't think I've ever heard any radical retard claim Hitler was a victim of anything.

To me, the Gorbachev/Reagan remark is even dumber, although not as offensive. Gorbachev was the architect of glasnot and one of the biggest reasons the USSR collapsed, ending the Cold War. He was a peace maker. Furthermore, if Celtics fans were rooting for Gorbachev to push the button, does that mean Jemele's fellow Pistons fans were rooting for Reagan to push the button? I was only a child in the 1980s, but I don't think anyone was rooting for anyone to push any little red buttons.

Some people, like those at the Celtics blog RedsArmy are calling for Jemele's head. The pressure has been under convinced them to remove the ludicrous comparisons and issue an apology. But to demand she be fired for this is insane. She has the right to say what she wants. If you don't like it, then don't read it. Who cares if her writing is still published somewhere? Act like an adult and get on with your life.

Jemele's analogies were crude, offensive, and generally stupid. But this seems to be a trend in sports journalism these days. Her entire column was a wandering rant about how much she hated the Celtics. It was repetitive and pointless. It could have been edited down to this sentence: "I like the Pistons, therefore I still hate the Celtics."

Instead, Jemele decided to go overboard. She used something called hyperbole. Hyperbole is an exaggeration used to create emphasis. For instance, the expression "Hungry enough to eat a horse," is an hyperbole used to express extreme hunger. She was trying to show how much she hated the Celtics. But she used the wrong hyperbole.

When you compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler, or Nazis; you light a figurative fire. They're incendiary words. Sometimes things can be compared to Hitler. Benito Mussolini, for instance, can be called Hitler Jr. But one has to be careful playing with fire. Jemele Hill wasn't careful. She simply thought of the most extreme comparison she could make, and didn't look back.

But that's what these journalists get paid for: to say dumb shit. The dumber and more obscenely grotesque, the better. Because with blogs, the internet, sports radio, and newspapers; being heard is more important than being right. The louder the better.

We see guys like Shaughnessey pull this sensationalist crap. But to be fair to the Shank, not only is Dan 100 times the writer Jemele is, he's also smart enough to know where the line is, and not to cross it. Shaughnessey tip-toes the line, and maybe takes a step across when you're not looking. But he doesn't blatantly leap over it like Jemele did.

Jemele Hill should rethink her philosophies on writing columns, but she won't. If she wrote more subdued and less ridiculous pieces, would fire her because people would stop reading. She's not an especially good writer. But her opinions spark fires. Nobody ignores a fire.


While the Red Sox played in Philadelphia, the PawSox played the Phillies' AAA affiliate in Allentown with Daisuke Matsuzaka starting. He went 5 innings, allowed 3 hits and 2 runs. In his first 4 innings, he mowed down the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He faced the minimum 12 batters and only threw 39 pitches. In total, 47 of his 65 pitches were for strikes. After the game, he said: "I don't know what percent I'm at, but I'm ready to pitch again."

Also on Monday, David Ortiz had his cast removed. His wrist will now be in a splint, and he can start exercising it.

Associated Press

Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Steve Klaver


It just wasn't a very good night for the Red Sox on any front, particularly Bartolo Colon. He only went 4 innings, giving up 6 hits, 2 walks, and 4 runs. At the plate, he looked like a drunk softball player, hacking wildly as Cole Hamels toyed with him. Yeah, watching pitchers bat is fun.

If Colon has another bad start his next time out, it's time to get concerned about his durability and recovery from starts.

The Red Sox got plenty of hits to put up more than 2 runs. Unfortunately, a pair of 2 out rallies both started (and quickly ended) when Colon was due up.

The good news is that Pedroia seems to be hitting again. He was 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Sean Casey also looks good, so when interleague play is over, he should be able to plug the DH hole left by Ortiz.

Jon Lester goes against Jamie "Which Team Am I On Now?" Moyer Tuesday night.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Tom Mihalek

Monday, June 16, 2008


The Celtics came close to finishing off the Lakers last night, but wound up on the wrong side of a 103 to 98 score. Once again, the Lakers pulled ahead early, leading by 19 at one point. They then collapsed, allowing the Celtics to come back. But the C's didn't put the finishing touches on the game and LA escaped.

Kevin Garnett had a mediocre to bad 4th quarter. On defense, he was rarely physical. Then again, he was in foul trouble, so that's understandable. On offense, however, he failed to be physical for the entire game. He made Pau Gasol look like an actual big man, and not just an overgrown soccer player. KG slapped defensive rebounds to the backcourt, instead of trying to haul them in. He didn't drive. He didn't get to the free throw line until the 4th quarter. And then he shot 1 of 4, which was back breaking.

I'm not going to pull a Phil Jackson and blame the officials for this loss. The Celtics did enough to lose it on their own. But the refs deserve free drinks in LA for at least a month.

With 0:48 on the clock in the 4th, and a 97-95 Laker lead, Paul Pierce pulled down a defensive rebound. He appeared to get mugged by three different Lakers as he corralled the ball. But he got out with the ball and brings it up the court. Then Kobe Bryant reaches around and hits Paul Pierce's side. KOBE NEVER TOUCHED THE BALL. It pops free, the Lakers get it, find Kobe running up the court, and he dunks to make it a 99-95 lead with 0:37 on the clock.

So instead of Paul Pierce going to the line with a chance to tie it, the Lakers get a 4 point lead. I'm not accusing the refs of bias, it was just a standard case of officials refusing to call fouls/penalties late in games. I guess by allowing rules to be broken late in a game, the officials avoid affecting the outcome. Flawless logic.

Anyway, the Celtics and Lakers come back home for some more fun. Hopefully KG will get his act together, because Pierce, Allen, and the bench are doing everything right. Game 6 Tuesday night.

And Jack Nicholson, get a life. You may be one of the coolest dudes on the planet, but any mystique you have evaporates when you yell at the refs like a 12 year old.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Pool, Larry W. Smith
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Sunday, June 15, 2008

100,000 HITS

Saturday afternoon, this blog reached 100,000 hits. It's a relatively small milestone, even for a sports blog, but I'm still proud. I just want to thank the 6 or 7 regular readers out there, as well as the thousands who stumble through by accident. Special props to my friends who indirectly encouraged me to start blogging by constantly asking what I thought about the latest Sox trade or the Patriots draft. Then there's that dude Andy who seems to hate Boston sports but always has something intelligent to contribute via comments. Then there are the multitude of sites that link to my articles, or subscribe to my feed. gets a special shout out for linking to my articles from time to time. And most importantly, I'd like to thank my sponsors. Because anything someone does that doesn't make him money is a waste of time.

So thank you everyone. Next stop: 1,000,000 hits.


Despite lacking Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz Sunday afternoon, the Red Sox slugged their way to a 9-0 win over the Reds. Every Sox batter reached base, except Josh Beckett. Coco Crisp, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Dustin Pedroia each hit homeruns, as did JD Drew, who now has 11. By the way, Drew now leads the team in runs scored with 50, and OPS at 1.004.

Jacoby Ellsbury broke the Red Sox rookie record for stolen bases. He stole 2, giving him 33 for the season. The previous record was held by Andy McCombell, set in 1908. Just to show how old that record is, that was the first year the Red Sox were known as the Red Sox. The AL rookie record is 66, set by Kenny Lofton in 1992. Ellsbury is on pace for 74.

Josh Beckett finally had a Josh Beckett calibre start, going 7 innings, scattering 6 hits, allowing no runs, and striking out 6.

The Sox have won 12 of their last 16 games. More importantly, they've won their last 2 road series in a row for the first time this season.

But things get much harder. The Red Sox start a three game series against Chase Utley and the NL East leading Phillies Monday night. Bartolo Colon faces Cole Hamels. In his last two starts Hamels threw 17 innings and only allowed 2 runs.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Tony Tribble

Saturday, June 14, 2008


The road woes continue for the Red Sox. After a 7-2 homestand, yet another road trip has begun with a loss, this time against the 6th place team in the NL Central.

To be fair, the Red Sox lineup had a few alterations to it. Of course, in an NL ballpark without the DH, somebody has to sit. Jason Varitek missed the game due to strep throat, and he actually got stranded in Cleveland on his way to Cincinnati. Manny drove in the lone Sox run, but left the game early due to his nagging hamstring issue. Manny won't start in this afternoon's game. Youkilis also sat while Sean Casey played first base.

Without Manny, the Red Sox offense that only managed 5 hits and 1 run last night loses even more teeth. Don't bank on a victory for this afternoon's game, folks. Tim Wakefield is on the mound for the Sox, and he's up against Edinson Volquez. Volquez is just 9-2 with a 1.56 ERA and he leads the universe in strikeouts with 96.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Tom Uhlman

Friday, June 13, 2008


Found this classic shirt from the 80s on

And The Serious Sports Network writes about Phil Jackson and the Lakers practising their excuses. You have to scroll down a bit for that one.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


All you can say is "wow." The Celtics were trailing by 21 points after the 1st quarter, by as many as 24 points, and by 20 points halfway through the 3rd. But from that point on, they outscored Los Angeles 47 to 21 and took game 3 97-91.

The series isn't over by any means, but no team has ever come from 3-1 behind in the Finals to win the series. But we here in Boston remember what happened in the 2004 ALCS. Anything can happen. But in order for such a catastrophe to unfold in 2008, the Lakers would need to win on Sunday, then win two games in Boston. Detroit was the only team besides the Celtics to win two games in Boston this season. So it's possible, but highly unlikely.

The Celtics and Lakers had two different games last night. The Lakers played out of their minds in the first half. They drained threes seemingly at will, and Lamar Odom started 7 for 7. The Celtics, on the other hand, only managed 14 points in the 1st quarter. Pierce's struggles continued, and the offense was as lost as they were in the 4th quarter of game 3.

What was scary about the 1st half was that Kobe hadn't yet gotten it going. The Lakers lead hovered around 20 points, but once Kobe started playing like the one-man-wrecking-crew/god ESPN declares him to be, it was going to be lights out for the C's.

But Kobe never reached top speed. He finished 6 of 19 for only 17 points. He was outscored by: Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Lamar Odom, and James Posey!!!

Meanwhile, Lamar Odom remembered that he's Lamar Odom. He was 1 for 4 in the 2nd half. The three pointers stopped falling for the Lakers. And on the other side of the ball, Paul Pierce and the rest of the PGA (Pierce, Garnett, Allen) Tour woke up. They got stops, forced bad shots, didn't screw around on offense and went on some big runs. To end the 3rd, the Celtics went on a 10-1 run, cutting LA's lead to 2 points. In the final 5 minutes of the 4th, the Celtics went on a 21-3 run.

Pierce recovered from a sluggish 1st half to finish with 20 points and 7 assists. Ray Allen had 19 points. He's been the most consistent player in the Finals, averaging 20 points per game. He also had 9 rebounds. KG recovered from a dreadful game 3 with a 7 for 14 shooting night and 16 points, to go along with his 11 rebounds.

James Posey came out of nowhere and put up 18 points. He hit four 3 pointers and was huge. Eduardo Casa a.k.a. Eddie House also came up big in support of the injured Rajon Rondo. Rondo only played 17 minutes, still nursing that ankle. House played 25 and had 11 points. Combined, the Celtics' bench had 35 points. The Lakers' bench had 15.

Game 5 awaits the Celtics and Lakers on Sunday. It will be a long, long two days in Boston. And if I have to hear anyone declaring their desire that the Celtics lose game 5 so they can win the title here in Boston, I'm going to dry heave.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Mark Avery
AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett each had their worst games of the playoffs, Kobe Bryant exploded for 36 points, and Sasha Vujacic came off the bench with 20. Yet the Lakers only beat the Celtics 87-81. As far as game 3 losses in the NBA Finals, this one ain't so bad.

I'll ease up a bit from my sensationalist headline. The Lakers weren't lucky, they were the better team last night. I'm not Phil Jackson, I won't make excuses. The refs had a solid game too, so no complaints there.

So what went wrong for the Celtics? For starters, Pierce had an atrocious night. He was 2 of 14 for 6 points. He got in foul trouble early. He turned the ball over. His passes lacked crispness, and sometimes lacked sense.

Kevin Garnett didn't look sharp either. He was 6 for 21 with only 21 points.

Ray Allen was on fire, though, nailing 5 three pointers in 5 attempts. He led the Celtics with 25 points.

Rajon Rondo's departure due to an ankle sprain hurt the Celtics a great deal. Although Eddie House played well in Rondo's absence, when Rajon returned, the Celtics offense sputtered and stalled. Unfortunately, this was down the stretch in the 4th quarter. It's no coincidence that this was also when LA took the lead back.

I wouldn't be too worried out there, Celtics fans. The Lakers needed Kobe to put up 36, and Vujacic to light it up with 3 pointers. They also got a little tiny bit of luck. Remember Pau "Missing an L" Gasol's "tip-in" in the 4th? He tried clamping both hands on it, the ball popped out, then fell in the hoop. This was Gasol's humble reaction to the gift given to him by the basketball gods:

Things will be different in game 4 on Thursday night. Once again, the Sox game has been moved up to 6.


Photo Credits:
Juan Ocampo/NBAE/Getty Images
Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill


JD Drew and Manny Ramirez went back-to-back in the 5th, but it wasn't enough. Beckett once again looked mediocre, but didn't pitch horribly. He scattered 8 hits, but only allowed 4 runs in his 6 innings.

Hideki Okajima has been nowhere near as good as he was last season. He got his 6th blown save last night. He only had 2 in '07. His ERA isn't bad at 2.89, but factor in the amount of inherited runs scored he's allowed and it's safe to say he's been a bit of a disappointment in 2008.

Bartolo Colon goes against 5-1 Garrett Olson Wednesday night.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


A Yankee clubhouse official has alleged that Roger Clemens took Viagra as a performance enhancing drug. No, not that kind of performance. On the field performance.

NY Daily News story

Apparently Viagra helps build endurance for athletes and increases the flow of oxygen to muscles. It also gives you wood, which can help some athletes tackle the side effects of other performance enhancers.

This Roger Clemens stuff keeps getting better and better.


Phil Jackson got fined for whining about the officiating in Sunday night's 108-102 loss to the Celtics. The Celtics got to the line many more times than the Lakers did, Kobe had a few soft fouls called on him, and the Celtics played a physical game down low. Then again, the Lakers aren't exactly a hard-nosed team that will draw a lot of fouls.

But any bad officiating wasn't one way. The lack of a travelling call on this play is simply grotesque. Travelling isn't like a foul or pass interference. There's no opinion in travelling. Too many steps is too many steps. Radmanovic took too many steps, the call was never made, and had the Lakers come from behind, maybe Doc Rivers would be the one complaining.

But Phil Jackson needs to shut up. Can't he just say "We were outplayed?" For as much crap as Bill Belichick takes in the national media, he's never copped out of a loss or used excuses like Jackson has. Phil Jackson, you'll never be even on the same level as Red Auerbach, so quit with the token LA excuses and admit that the Celtics were the better team in games 1 and 2.

Monday, June 09, 2008


The Celtics rode a roller coaster last night in Game 2 of the NBA finals. After leading by as many as 22 points in the 4th quarter, their lead evaporated, getting as close as 2 points. But the Celtics were strong down the stretch and prevailed 108-102.

Leon Powe had the game of his life. Any question marks surrounding the Celtics' bench in this series were answered with exclamation points thanks to Mr. Powe. In only 15 minutes of playing time, he had 21 points. He was 6 of 7 shooting (that one miss was actually an alley oop gone awry), and got to the line 13 times. He was simply unbelievable as he sparked the Celtics run that put them 20 ahead of the Lakers.

Powe wasn't the only one who answered questions. Paul Pierce clarified a great many things about his health last night. He had 28 points, 8 assists, and was 4 for 4 from 3 point range.

Kevin Garnett had a decent night, although he struggled early. He started the game 3 for 12 from the field, before finishing 7 for 19. Defensively he was a beast, and under the glass he hauled in 14 rebounds.

Ray Allen continued to shoot well. He was 2 of 3 from beyond the arc, and 6 of 11 overall. He once again finished with 17 points.

Rajon Rondo didn't put up many points (only 1 of 4 shooting for 4 points), but he did have 16 assists. The Celtics as a team had 31 assists for their 36 field goals. About the only knock on Rondo's night was that he was 2 of 6 at the charity stripe, and late in the 4th he got a little bit crazy with the unnecessary alley oop passes that wound up as Laker rebounds.

The big story of the game will probably be the way Los Angeles came back and made a game of things down the stretch, but to be honest, I don't think it was that big of a deal. Both teams slowed down when the Celtics were up by 20. Suddenly, Los Angeles couldn't miss three pointers. The Lakers started the 4th shooting 7 of 9 from behind the arc. That's insane. And it helped bring them back into the game.

The officials also deserve an assist. The Celtics weren't the only ones out there who lost focus. With 1:31 on the clock, Paul Pierce was mugged, but the refs didn't blow the whistle. Sasha Vujacic runs down the court, nails a 3, and it's a 104-98 game.

On the very next play, Vladimir Radmanovic took a stroll through the paint - a 4 step stroll - before dunking the ball. No travelling was called and the score was 104-100.

The Celtics put themselves in a bad position by losing their concentration and not properly finishing off the Lakers. But the refs were a big reason why the potential for a close game became a reality. Thankfully, the C's turned it back on, Paul Pierce nailed some clutch free throws, and so did James Posey.

Even though they allowed 102 points, the Celtics defense had one of their best games in the post-season, at least for 4/5 of the night. They smothered Bryant, forcing him to take near impossible shots. They kept Kobe out of the paint and held him to 11 of 23 shooting and 30 points. He only had 9 points in the 1st half and Ray Allen had already gotten him into foul trouble.

The series now heads west to LA. The Celtics proved in Detroit that they can win big games on the road. Now it's time for another test. Tuesday night, 9 PM


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
Elsa/Getty Images


Justin Masterson improved to 3-0 with yet another solid outing. He went 6 innings, allowing just 1 run off 3 hits. Craig Hansen pitched another scoreless inning, earning his 4th Hold of the season. Okajima and Papelbon pitched a perfect 8th and 9th, respectively. Papelbon only threw 5 pitches, all of which were strikes.

JD Drew provided all the offense that Masterson and company would need. He was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 3rd, then hit a solo homerun to center in the 6th.

The Sox have Monday off, then continue their homestand when the Orioles come to town. Beckett goes against Daniel Cabrera on Tuesday, which will start early due to the Celtics game.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Sunday, June 08, 2008


The Red Sox offense, which had been stymied by King Felix Hernandez on Friday, came alive Saturday afternoon, scoring 11 runs off 13 hits. Six of those hits were for extra bases. Manny Ramirez hit homerun #504 in the 1st, tying Eddie Murray for 23rd on the all-time list.

Fortunately for the Sox, neither Manny nor Ellsbury missed much time with the injuries they suffered in Thursday night's game. Ellsbury would replace Ramirez as a pinch runner in the 8th inning.

JD Drew continued his 7 game hit streak. He was 3 for 5 with a homerun, a triple, 2 RBI, and 3 runs. Drew now leads the Red Sox in batting average and OBP. He's raised his average .035 points since May 28th, and is 5th in the AL in batting average.

Dustin Pedroia got the day off. He's been struggling mightily as of late, going hitless in his last 12 at-bats. He's 1 for his last 17. His average has plummeted from .301 on May 21st to .266.

Kevin Youkilis committed an error at first base in the 9th inning. He seemed to lose sight of a ball thrown to him by Alex Cora. The ball dropped, Willie Bloomquist reached, and eventually came around to score. It was Youkilis' first error as a first baseman in 238 games, an MLB record.

Wakefield pitched superbly, allowing 2 runs in 7 innings. Eight of his 13 starts this year have been Quality Starts (6 innings or more, 3 earned runs or fewer).

Craig Hansen hasn't allowed an earned run in 5.2 innings, an impressive stretch for him. During that period, his ERA has deflated from 7.20 to a more tidy 4.60.

The Red Sox face the Mariners this afternoon in the rubber game. Justin Masterson faces Erik Bedard.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

Saturday, June 07, 2008


After Thursday evening's brawl with the (Devil) Rays, Major League Baseball has handed down some suspensions and undisclosed fines. Here they are:

Coco Crisp - 7 games
Jon Lester - 5 games
Sean Casey - 3 games

Crisp has appealed his, Lester has accepted his, Casey has yet to decide what to do.

Here are the suspensions given to Tampa Bay:

James Shields - 6 games
Jonny Gomes - 5 games
Edwin Jackson - 5 games
Carl Crawford - 4 games
Akinori Iwamura - 3 games

These suspensions seem fair to me. The way the Rays ganged up on Crisp when he was already was not only shameful, but unmanly. I'm also glad that Navarro didn't get suspended because he did his job in taking Crisp down, and nothing more.

The suspensions will be staggered, so it won't be as if Crisp, Lester, and Casey will all be absent at once. Just in case you don't know, suspensions aren't like the DL. The suspended player's spot on the roster cannot be filled by someone else until they come back. So when Crisp starts serving his, the Red Sox will have to play with 24 men.

Jacoby Ellsbury had an MRI on his wrist and it came out clean. No time on the DL is expected. He should return to the lineup fairly soon.

Curt Schilling threw 35 pitches off a mount on Friday. He'll soon start facing live hitters.

Daisuke Matsuzaka will begin throwing today.

Associated Press via


Last night the Sox were without David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, and Jacoby Ellsbury. Not surprisingly, they didn't manage to score. Although, they did get 7 hits and work 3 walks, but they couldn't get that big hit.

Not that it mattered. Colon had his first ugly start of the season, going 5 innings, allowing 6 runs, 3 earned runs (although the unearned runs came after his own errors. I hate that rule), 8 hits, and a walk. The 2 runs David Aardsma allowed in the 7th erased any doubt as to which team would win.

But this is what we're going to get from Colon. A couple of good starts, a couple of bad starts. The lack of offense intensifies the harshness of this loss. But considering the absences in the lineup, it shouldn't be too much cause for concern.

Tim Wakefield goes against Miguel Batista this afternoon.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Friday, June 06, 2008


To be honest, I didn't see this coming, and I'm ashamed at myself for not being able to foresee it. After the baserunning incidents involving Coco Crisp on Wednesday, along with the braggadocio Crisp showed after the game, thrown in with Tampa Bay's history of escalation and fight starting; and you've got a recipe for some drama.

If you missed it on Wednesday, Crisp attempted a steal of second base, and (Devil) Ray second baseman Jason Bartlett blocked the bag with his leg. Crisp slid in head first, jamming his hand against Bartlett’s leg. Later, Crisp tried to steal second again. This time, he purposely hit short-stop Akinori Iwamura while sliding. This caused some drama, and some shouting between Crisp and (Devil) Rays manager Joe “Drew Carey glasses” Maddon.

In Coco’s first at-bat of last night’s contest, pitcher James Shields threw at his hip. Coco took a step or two toward first, flung his bat aside and charged the mound. Shields threw a big right hook, but Crisp avoided it (Coco has an amateur boxing history, by the way). Both Shields and Crisp threw punches that didn’t land.

But by now, the benches had cleared. Catcher Dioner Navarro (who officially has 25 pounds on Crisp, but I’d say its more like 35) grabbed Crisp around the neck and hauled him down. Then the Rays swarmed and enveloped Coco. Jonny Gomes joined in the “Hit a man while he’s down” party. Carl Crawford came streaming in from the outfield to land a few hits on Coco. Even Iwamura stood around and pretended to hit Coco.

Meanwhile, the Sox took down Shields. Actually, it was third base coach DeMarlo Hale who should get credit for the tackle. General mayhem ensued, and scraps between players erupted all over the mound area. Finally, things settled down. Shields was ejected, Crisp was ejected, and Gomes was ejected.

Both sides were in the wrong on this one. The (Devil) Rays have a tendency to start trouble when it shouldn’t be started. Instead of moving on from Wednesday night’s drama, they felt the need to continue it and bring it to a higher level. Coco, for his part, should have kept his mouth shut after Wednesday’s game, and shouldn’t have charged the mound. Charging the mound doesn’t accomplish anything (ask Robin Ventura), especially when James Shields is 6’ 4” 214 and has Navarro watching his back.

That being said, the way the Rays ganged up on Coco was sad. Navarro had already taken him down, there was no need for Carl Crawford to start jabbing into him. Then again, what do you expect from the (Devil) Rays? “They hit like girls” according to Coco.

Noticeably late to the brawl was Manny Ramirez. In fact, Bartolo Colon, and some of the bullpen arrived before Manny. This may have been the spark to the scuffle between Manny and Youkilis.

The Sox are being very hush-hush about the dugout fight, and understandably so. What NESN’s cameras caught on tape is all we have to go on. Manny and Youkilis were jawing (mostly Youkilis). Manny walked past Youk, Youk said something, and Manny slapped Youkilis with the back of his hand, then charged him. Both were restrained, and Francona claims the situation has been dealt with.

My question is, what the hell did Youkilis say to get Manny so riled up? Since Manny’s been on this team, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him angry enough to hit someone. Youkilis either kept on him for a few innings, or said one or two magic words.

It did seem like it was merely overflowing testosterone. And God knows how many fights and arguments like these there are in private during a season.

Although the Red Sox won 7-1 (Manny had 5 RBI), it was a bit of a pyrrhic victory. Jacoby Ellsbury left the game in the 4th after rolling his wrist while making a diving catch. Manny left the game in the 7th after an awkward half-step on his right leg in the batter’s box.

Ellsbury is listed as day-to-day. The Sox sent down Chris Carter, and brought up Brandon Moss from AAA Pawtucket. Moss is hitting .313 with the PawSox, and was a respectable 6 for 21 with the big club earlier this season.

The Red Sox swept the Rays, and have won 6 of their last 7. Now Seattle comes to town. King Felix Hernandez goes against Bartolo Colon tonight at 7.

Hartford Courant
The Baseball Cube

Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer