Monday, July 16, 2007

no, Jonathan, "watchis" isn't a word

Two things you should already know about me:

1) I wish I had tons of money.
2) I wish the Red Sox and Fenway weren't so far away.

But now, these two things are magnified even more.

The Red Sox hold this thing called Picnic in the Park every year at Fenway. This year the picnic was yesterday. Check out some of the SWEET things they auctioned off this year:

  • A two day hunting trip with Mike Timlin and Tim Wakefield
  • A pizza party for 10 of your friends with special guest Mike Lowell.
  • Personal meeting with Daisuke Matsuzaka in addition to watching batting practice from the warning track AND great seats to the game
  • Dinner for 4 with the Schillings at THEIR HOME in the offseason
  • A game of scrabble with Jonathan Papelbon(my personal favorite)
  • A video game session before a game with Dustin Pedroia
You can check the rest of the auctioned items here. Pretty cool stuff. I heard on NESN today that they raised about $350,000 for charities.

Currently Drinking: screwdriver(I have OJ, I have vodka. Why not?)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

i hate this guy

I hate Scott Boras. He's a spineless, gutless agent that always costs teams more than they should pay for a player. As you know, he was the major reason the Matsuzaka negotiations took so long to finish. The Sox had the advantage of paying the posting fee to Dice-K, so ONLY they were able to talk to him; Boras was unable to use Free Agency bidding as his leverage.

Boras clients are always advised by him to test the free agent market when their contracts are up, causing teams to overbid against the market for the player they want.

So that's the main reason I hate this guy(and most other GMs in the business). But now, Boras is trying to mangle in the on-field happenings of his agents. More specifically, Daisuke Matsuzaka. Apparently, Boras is upset with the pitch counts of the $100 million dollar man, and he made his thoughts public.

But this is why I love our manager. His response to Boras' statement(that was asked by a reporter this morning):

"You know what, I've got a lot of respect for Scott, I really do. [But] he can run the pitching when he lets me run the contracts, how's that? Is that a fair tradeoff?"

That's right, Boras. Fuck off. Let the manager do the managing. Let the the pitching coach handle the pitchers.

Currently Drinking: water(gonna run after the Sox game)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

(slightly late) midseason report

Yeh, ok, I'm a little past the All-Star Break, but we're still close enough to talk about the first half. I wont go through each player and give a grade(like most places online are wont to do). Instead, I'm gonna touch on aspects of the team and give my opinion as to where things stand.

The Sox offense in the 1st half, although not on par with the 2003-2004 bats, was definitely more potent than most predicted before the season. The Sox are 1st in the AL in on-base % (.358) and 4th in slugging (.437). They lead the AL in walks by a huge margin (382 to Oakland's 340). They're getting on base, and they're hitting for decent power, which will almost always lead to runs(they're 4th in the AL in Runs Scored). Lowell, believe it or not, has been our "power" hitter, but if the first two games after the break are any indication, Papi and Manny are going to have monstah 2nd halves.

High Point: The Sox going back-to-back-to-back-to-back off rookie Yankee pitcher Chase Wright
Low Point: Julio Lugo

The Sox fielders have the 5th best fielding % in the AL with .985, and they have a total of 51 errors. They are obviously not as good as that awesome 9 were last year(66 errors TOTAL), but they've shown huge improvements the past few weeks. Coco Crisp and Youkilis could very well win Gold Gloves at season's end, and Pedroia is a serious contender for that piece of hardware as well.

High Point: ANY catch made by Coco Crisp.
Low Point: Mike Lowell has 13 errors so far. He had SIX all last year.

Starting Pitching
This pitching is good. Very good. Beckett leads the way in his Cy-Young caliber season, followed by Dice-K and Schilling. Curt threw a good side session yesterday, and there is hope he will be good-to-go not too long after August 1st. Beckett leads the league in wins, and Dice-K is in the top 5 in strikeouts. I'm hoping we see Lester up soon, although he has struggled(from what I have read) in his past few outings. I can understand that the Sox don't want to rush a guy that just went through cancer mere months ago. A Schilling-Beckett-Matsuzaka rotation in the playoffs would be S-I-C-K.

High Point: Schilling almost getting a no-hitter.
Low Point: Schilling almost getting a no-hitter.

Can we all agree that the bullpen has been the strongest part of this year's team? These guys are lights out all the way. Now with Manny Delcarmen back in the bigs and having confidence, we have a righty set-up man, a lefty set-up man(Okajima), and one the best closers in the game(Papelbon). You get the starter through 6 innings, and you can pretty much go home. Okajima has been nothing short of amazing, leading the majors in relief ERA with .810. Unreal.

High Point: Okajima making Barry Bonds look retarded at bat.
Low Point: A-Rod's go-ahead homer in the 9th inning against Papelbon.

1st Half Surprise
Dustin Pedroia. No question about it. This guy had a lousy call-up session last year in September, but coming into Spring Training he shed about 20 lbs. and had a new work ethic. This guy started slow in April, but after a few days off and some help with hitting coach Magadan, he's been en fuego. The Rookie of the Month in May, Pedroia almost seems like he puts maximum effort into his swings, yet he doesn't just hit for power. He spreads it around the field, rarely strikes out, and is very Youk-like in his at-bats. Oh, and he's an awesome fielder too, committing just THREE errors all year in almost as many chances as the rest of the AL 2nd basemen.

1st Half MVP
You know, at the beginning of the season, I would have said David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez. As it turns out, the 1st half MVP for me is none of ther than that Japanese pitching import that has been absolutely deadly on the mound. No no, I'm not talking about the Dice-man. I'm talking about Hideki Okajima, the left-handed specialist that DOESN'T EVEN LOOK AT THE BATTER when he pitches. To think, this guy was mainly brought in to make Matsuzaka's "transition" easier. Now, he(along with Pedroia and Dice) is a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate.

2nd Half Outlook
The Sox are in great position to take home the AL East title. Barring a complete collapse, and if the majority of the guys stay healthy(or take time off to rest), they can easily win 100 games at this pace. Another bullpen arm might be nice, but if they can take everyone into October with good health, they'll be in good shape.

What worries me:
David Ortiz. He has a torn meniscus, but it has no inflammation. He says he can play on it through the rest of the year, but he may need surgery after the season. This is obviously what has kept his power numbers at bay this season, although he is crushing doubles left and right and still getting on base, second only to Detroit's Magglio Ordonez. If he needs to rest, thanfully we have such a large lead in the division that we can give him that day off if need be. I still hope that he gets surgery this offseason and fixes it, and I REALLY hope this doesn't come back to bite us in September/October.

Bold Predicitons:
The Sox will somehow surprise us and make us MUCH better by the July 31st deadline by pulling a trade that we haven't even thought about.

Jacoby Ellsbury will be to the 2007 Red Sox in October what Dave Roberts was to the 2004 team. Mark my words.

Currently Drinking: Michelob Ultra Amber(an awesome discovery by the Sox Gal)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

maybe I'm in the minority

...but I absolutely love how the All-Star game decides home-field advantage in the World Series. Although it's not usually the norm, I highly disagree with Eric Wilbur on this issue.

I mean, I guess it really depends who your team is or for whom you are playing. Yeah, I'm rather certain Gil Meche of the Royals or Michael Young of the Rangers couldn't care less as to whether the Red Sox played 4 games at home during the Fall Classic. Likewise, I'm certain a player like Freddy Sanchez of the Pirates is indifferent as to whether his NL representative in the Series has the field advantage. Those guys just don't care.

But take a look at the starters for the AL. All of them are on serious contenders for the pennant. And the pitchers? All but Bobby Jenks and Gil Meche are currently on teams vying for a playoff berth. My point is clear. Sure, there will be a few on the All-Star squads that couldn't give a shit about home field advantage in the World Series, but they will be GREATLY outnumbered by those that do, which puts some meaning into an otherwise meaningless game.

Yes, I know. It's supposed to be an exhibition. But in all honesty, I didn't care AT ALL about the Midsummer Classic until 2003, when the rule to decide homefield in late October was put in place(granted, it was created from the debacle known as the 2002 All-Star Game, but that's another issue that's been talked about quite enough). Hell, I didn't even have a team in the summer of 2003 before August, yet I still watched the two leagues duke it out because it MEANT something. It was compelling. There WOULD be ramifications. Sure, the Yanks lost that year because they ran into a 23-year old name Josh Beckett, but still. Because the Marlins had to win it IN Yankee Stadium made it that more appealing.

The fact of the matter is that I watch the game now with more scrutiny than ever. Sure, the whole nation gets to see players like Okajima on the national stage, but if you're anywhere close to a baseball fan(and watch ESPN or FOX once every 2 months), you should know who he is. The game is fun to watch because it's an awesome collection of talent, but it's also fun because you KNOW your team(if they're in contention) wants to win the game. Luckily for me, my team has sent 6 of their best to ensure this happens.

Top 78 Reasons to Watch the 78th All-Star Game(from Page 2 on It's hilarious.

Here's to hoping that Michael Young repeats his performance last year and knocks in the winning run. Com'on American League!

Oh, and since tomorrow is the day after the All-Star Game(read: NOTHING in professional sports is happening), I'll post my midseason report card of the Sox.

Currently Drinking: Dr. Pepper(my first carbonated beverage in awhile...oh so good)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

a false sense of superiority

Well, I'm too exhausted from that 13-inning marathon the Sox just lost to blog much. My half-season review will have to wait tomorrow. The bullpen was steller once again, but of course someone had to take the loss, and unfortunately it was Paps. And I absolutely HATE the tv announcers for the other teams when they do the broadcast. They freakin' hate on every player on the Sox; Remy and Orsillo never do that. Eyugh. Hopefully I'll get the NESN broadcast tomorrow.

And I'm sure everyone in Detroit is saying how the Tigers are the best team right now because they have taken the first two from the Sox. Yeh ok. You beat us against Tavarez and our fill-in for Schilling. Please. We showed we were the better team earlier in the season at Fenway anyways. Dice is on the mound in a little over 12 hours, so we'll see how well your bats work then.

Currently Drinking: water(I'm doing the unthinkable and running tomorrow morning)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Joe Torre...or evil cult leader?

So I'm watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom tonight, and I realize that Dr. Jones wasn't fighting the evil voodoo shaman Mola Ram. He was fighting Joe Torre!!!

If only Mola Ram had Scott Proctor to do his evil bidding.

Speaking of Joe Torre, and my omni-present desire to make fun of the Yankees and their woes, here's a shot of Alex "my wife is a crazy bitch" Rodriguez in the dugout after the Yankees lost yet another game:

Aww, is little A-Rod gonna cry?? *sniff* *sniff*

Real sports news tomorrow. We'll talk about the midseason break, All-Star selections, and the perfect example on how NOT to have an at-bat(also known as Julio Lugo).

Currently Drinking: Dos Equis Amber(the roommate keeps buying it)
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