Wednesday, August 1, 2007

a day late, a dollar short, and a new player on the team.

ok so... since i last commented on the Sox, we played a series against the Rays, suffered through the trade deadline, and got handled by the Orioles in the opening game of the current series. at Fenway, no less.

let's have a recap, shall we?
(no? you could live without it? too bad. my blog. =P how do like *them* apples??)

i had the distinct ::cough cough:: pleasure of watching the Sox with Staaaaaaaaaaats & Migraine all weekend. they rank right up there with the most annoying television baseball announcers out there. their voices are awful to listen to. they think they are funnier than they actually are. and while i do expect a team's local announcers to have a definite bias toward them, i also want a professional, accurate calling of the game. let's just say i would rather listen to the YES guys than these two buffoons.

1. what i can say about Staaaaaaaaaaaaaaats & Migraine that's positive though is that they have a healthy appreciation for the knuckleball & Wakey. in fact they described it in a way that i absolutely love: "Tim Wakefield's knuckleball is like a butterfly with a case of the hiccups."

2. as he often does, JFL made a spectacular looking effort at trying to catch a ball hit up the middle. he was not successful, of course, but when they described him as Leaping Lugo, it made me laugh.

3. apparently there is some bad blood between the Rays' mutant unidentifiable mascot, Raymond, & NESN's Rem-Dawg? all i know is that there were tiny stuffed Raymonds hanging all over the NESN broadcast booth during that game.

4. a line drive hit the rays catcher, who was the base runner, right in the ribs for the third out. painful way to make an out. the Red Sox would like to thank the Rays for their assistance in making outs for the Sox defense.

5. what you may or may not know is that i "live blog" my commentary while the game is on. at some point in the fourth inning, my commentary read: this is the team the Yankees scored 45 runs on?? and we can't even get ONE?! Tim Wakefield Disease strikes again. maybe they are saving all their bats for me Jon Lester tomorrow night... and then the Rays were kind enough to bring in their relievers. the Sox ended up winning 7-1 and bringing Wakey's record at The Trop to 8-0.

6. MDC (Manny Delcarmen for those of you unfamiliar with the lingo around these parts) has very pretty eyes. no, seriously. they have these long thick lashes most women spend ten minutes simulating with a tube of mascara each morning.

i was at the game with an *awesome* seat, in case you somehow missed it, but a couple of quick observations:

1. Jon Lester still has some command issues. also, when he comes off the field between innings, he walks very slowly (compared to the trot/jog the rest of the players use), head down, emotionless, making eye contact with no one. i wonder if that's to stay in his zone...?

2. as nightmarishly freaky as the Rays mascot is, they really do make him (her? it?) do some funny stuff. if i hadn't been so distracted by the Red Sox players ten feet away from me, i might have gotten more photos of some of his amusing antics. maybe next time.

3. i actually felt bad for JFL. he's seen former Red Sox come back to Fenway & receive some huge ovations. i think he was hoping for a little acknowledgement from the Tampa fans and they really did nothing. sad. he was supposedly one of their favorite players too.

4. at one point, David Ortiz managed to check swing -- and his bat disintegrated in his hands! it was so funny to see the bewildered expression on his face. no contact with the ball at all yet the bat snapped right in two as he checked his swing. you just don't know your own strength, Big Man!

5. our entire section at the game kept watching the Yankees-Orioles score flash by. the Os were winning... and then the Yankees score started to grow... and grow... and grow... the question of the hour was "is that game *ever* going to end?!" especially when Jon uncharacteristically blew the save when the Rays tied the game up at six in the ninth. thankfully, the Os held on to win it.

1. back to watching at home. (thank God i didn't pay money to see *this* game since the Rays won.)

2. observation: Dougie wears his pants like an old man. i swear they looked like they were pulled up to his armpits.

3. Matsuzaka sure does get wild with some of his pitches. might be a good thing Dougie was catching that game, being used to the fickle nature of Wakey's knuckler.

4. Staaaaaaaaats & Migraine informed us several times that the Rays have the fourth most home runs in MLB. just goes to show you that you can hit balls out of the yard all day long, and it's not what counts, as they are also the team in possession of the worst record in MLB as well.

5. so... suddenly WMP can hit the ball huh? interesting that he can pull out this special talent in time for the trade deadline. i do find it especially amusing that the media was claiming that several teams were very interested in acquiring him at the trade deadline, but the Sox front office said this was news to them. =P

6. speaking of WMP, seems the second he can hit, he loses what little defensive skill he has. he was chasing the ball all over right field like a puppy.

7. in other baseball games (namley, Houston), i wonder... how crappy do you feel as a starting pitcher when you give up eleven runs before your team ever comes to bat for the first time?

8. i have news for Staaaaaaaaaaaaats & Migraine. you cannot claim there is "action in the Rays bullpen." why? because there is no bullpen at Tropicana Field. just a bench & a strip of dirt along the foul line. =P

1. uhhhh... J? Bart? when did your team get that good?? ::jaw hangs open:: and ummm... care to part with Bedard?? WOW. even on a not-so-great start, he made us look *bad*.

2. trade deadline: i am happy for Joel Pineiro that he will be playing for a ML team. he doesn't belong in the minors. he was a good reliever, just the weakest link in, dare i say, a very strong bullpen.

3. more trade deadline: it smarts just a bit to have let Gabbard go. i am happy that he will go somewhere that he can be a guaranteed part of the rotation, but i like him. i wanted him to stay. and i can't shake the feeling that this was not a good choice.

4. MORE trade deadline: moving past my sadness about Gabby, we just added a very potent arm to an already kicking bullpen!! this is what i call "closer by committee"!! no matter what, we have a closer for any given game! and who better to set-up for your closer than another closer!! i think this was a good move, just sad about Gabbard having to go.

5. bad news about Brendan Donnelly. season-ending Tommy John surgery. poor guy. so enthusiastic about playing in Boston. effective. reliable. throws like a demon. and you could see how defeated & disappointed he was to make the announcement.

6. so. new rotation for the Sox starting this weekend: Joshy. Matsu. Schill. Wakey. Lester. this was the touted rotation we've been told we were waiting for all season. let's see if they are as good as we've been promised...

7. i am really impressed by Baltimore's Nick Markakis, more every time i see him play.

8. this scares the bejeezus outta me: Matt Clement had a very encouraging side session this afternoon. Francona said he didn't want to get into rating each session. But he said the pitcher was pleased. "He said it's the first time he's felt like a pitcher in a long time." Francona said Clement felt there was a lot of movement in his pitches. Francona said Clement is still a ways away from a game, but Clement wants to pitch before the season ends. (Extra Bases)

9. last year, down the stretch, when The Curse of the Gimpy Crow struck, Boston brought in a kid named Carlos Pena. good kid, played hard. he plays for Tampa this year. Extra Bases asks this burning question: did the Red Sox keep the wrong Pena?

10. oh man... finally a two-homer game for Big Papi and we wasted it on a loss? =/

with Gabbard calling Arlington home now =( Julian gets the start tonight =) and i hope he does well. i can't help but love our Yo-yo. and man... i really hope we can win. those damn Yankees are back to seven games behind us.

2 with their own thoughts:

Bart Wednesday, August 01, 2007 9:46:00 PM  

We got "good" when Trembley took over. He seems more and more like the real deal every day. He has the team loose but focused, and he doesn't take crap at all. He has the team taking infield practice before games...which is practically unheard of in this day and age, but the players are buying in to it.

And Bedard and Markakis were pretty much the asking price by every team that came calling. Somehow I doubt they part with them. Maybe Bedard next year if he won't sign with us long term, which has been hinted at. You'd be better suited going hard after the disenchanted Johan Santana.

J-Dawg's Realm Thursday, August 02, 2007 5:46:00 PM  

Yeah I am not sure what happened, but dang they have been looking decent lately. First of all, Erik Bedard named July Pitcher of the month (YAY!), we take the opener from you RSN, but then lose the next two (oh well, you ARE the better team right now)...Trade deadline comes and goes, and the only player they tried to deal was Kevin Millar (ex RSN)...that's IT? Oh well, we keep quietly winning 7 out of 10...keeping pace..still 10 ahead of the D-Rays so you might be right in that we WONT finish in last place.


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