Friday, June 30, 2006

Tonight In South Florida, And Other Stuff, ALL NICE

Yes, it does not seem possible, at least on paper, that we have a chance in this one. That's why we do. Simple logic....I don't think it makes sense, and that's why anything is possible. Thundersnow, rainbows, smiles together with tears, richness with no money.....and the Red Sox and their fans. That's us! All are the highlights, the best things in life. I could go on, but I have to go out tonight. Everyone, enjoy the game. I'll be back by inning number 5, or so. No errors means an all-time record. SWEET. And one of my recaps, such as they are, in the morning. Take care. I love every one of you.

AMAZIN'........In Every Way


The Red Sox did everything right last night, Connecticut Day at Fenway Park. They bunted, they fielded, they caught the ball, and they hit. And Curt Schilling, facing fellow 200 game winner Tom Glavine, was just fine. He won his 10th game of the season, going 7 innings, allowing 2 runs. Timlin and Paps finished up, with Paps gaining his 24th save. The Red Sox tied the all-time major league mark for consecutive errorless games, a mark that can be broken tonight in the Sunshine State. Oh what a night. And one other thing. We wore down Tom Glavine, making him throw so many pitches that he was washed up and wasted, ready for the shower, after 5. Hey Tom, the hot water's on us!
Some Mets-Sox stats, with the Red Sox numbers first. Runs, 23-8. Hits,32-20. Batting avg.,.333-.206, and starters ERA, 2.75-11.68. (Htfd. Courant). ANNIHILATION. Pure and simple. And a dozen it is.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pedro's Wednesday Roast


Perdo got quite the welcome yet again last night, as the crowd cheered as if their lives depended on it. But that all ended at first pitch time. And Petey did not have it. Reluctant to throw inside to any member of the Sox, save for Mark Loretta, who was hit near the hands, his pitches were eminently hittable. He even botched a sure 6-4-3 double play in the first inning by looking to third, where no one was covering, before glancing quickly to 2nd before throwing to first for the sure out. This hurt him, as Nixon hit a sacrifice fly and Mikey Lowell hit a towering but catchable ball in front of the left field wall, where that black hole named Lastings Milledge failed to make a play. Twice in 2 nights. Care to make it 3 for 3, Lastings?
That was the beginning of the end, as Pedro was gone after 3 innings, allowing 8 runs and 7 hits while throwing 75 pitches. It will go down as one of his 5 worst Fenway starts, EVER.
Beckett was masterful, pitching 7 and 2/3 dominant innings with Lopez and Delcarmen turning out the lights for the Mets, who maybe aren't as good as everyone thinks. And one other milestone we should all be aware of. Last night's error free game by the Red Sox was their 15th straight, tied for the American League record for consecutive games played without an error. The Sox can tie the major league mark tonight, set by the '92 Cardinals. AMAZIN'. And that's something the Mets were not the past 2 nights.
Schill and Glavine tonight. Be there, as we go for a dozen, AND that major league streak. Big stuff.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Good Is Good

And by that, I meant that "good condition" is a far cry from what we feared.....BOSTON - "Peter Gammons, an ESPN analyst and member of the writer's wing of the baseball Hall of Fame, was in good condition Wednesday at a Boston hospital after surgery for a brain aneurysm."

***Peter here, and let's batter Petey tonight, like a piece of chicken. And of course, only after we finish his well deserved cheers and standing ovations. WHEN IT COUNTS!***

Meet The Mets. Beat The Mets


Oh what a night. But not for crisp efficient pitching. Soler and Lester were not sharp. Jon threw 76 pitches in the 4th and 5th innings alone, but he gutted it out and only allowed 2 runs in 5 innings while throwing 116 pitches.. The slow curve that struck out Wright ended his night, and thoroughly peeved Wright, so much so that he slammed his helmut in disgust. He was fooled by a beautiful 76 MPH curve, a thing of wonder. But while Lester was stuggling, so was Soler, who only lasted 4 and a third innings while giving up 10 hits. The Sox ended up with 15. The bullpen was it's usual shaky self, as Julia and Craig Hansen gave up solo runs. Timlin threw a 10 pitch 9th, giving Paps a well needed rest. 10 in a row. As sweet as it gets.
The crowd was involved too, and the night turned into a love fest, a mutual embrace for Pedro Martinez and the 1986 almost best team. One strike away, in fact. But that was 20 years ago. It's 2006. And Petey takes the mound tonight, facing our Josh Beckett. Must-see baseball. For those of you lucky enough to be going, and I know a couple of you, be safe, have fun, and come home hoarse. And bring our team in. I'll be doing my part, with a bunch of friends and the help of NESN. As we go for 11. Who'd a thunk?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Too Much Like An Obituary....I Pray NOT

ESPN baseball analyst Peter Gammons, 61, is undergoing surgery this afternoon for an aneurysm in his brain.

Gammons was stricken earlier today and was taken to a Boston-area hospital. He is expected to be in intensive care for the next 10 to 12 days.
Gammons and the Globe were the trailblazers of the baseball notes format in the 1970s. From that time until 2000, save for a few interruptions in the 1980s, Gammons's unique take on baseball was a mainstay of the Sunday Globe's sports section.
Gammons was honored as the recipient of the 2004 J.G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing during the 2005 Hall of Fame induction ceremony July 31 in Cooperstown, N.Y. He was selected in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
He began his career as a reporter for the Boston Globe in 1969 and wrote a very popular weekly Sunday baseball column for many years. He has also worked for Sports Illustrated covering the National Hockey League, college basketball and Major League Baseball (1976-78, 1986-90).
In 1986, upon his return to Sports Illustrated as a senior writer following a second stay at the Globe, he wrote numerous stories covering some of baseball's most important news events, as well as authoring "Inside Baseball,” Sports Illustrated's weekly baseball notebook.
Born April 9, 1945, Gammons is a native of Boston...."
**Peter here, and God Bless.........

I Was Hoping This Was An Error, But.......

From the Globe, This Minute......"Breaking Sports Alert: Gammons has surgery for brain aneurysm."
Jeez.....I wish the best.

Papi-licious....And Good-Bye To Rudy

What a win. If we have to use up the bullpen, it might as well result in a victory. And thanks to David Ortiz, it did. IT DID!! Oh, and before I forget, here's a quick note to Rudy Seanez. Rudy please go back to THE COSBY SHOW and reprise your role as Rudy Huckstable, youngest daughter of Cliff and Claire Huckstable. They seem like such a nice couple. You'd be appreciated there. You would enjoy yourself. They would love you like the little girl you are. And we, Red Sox fans the world over, would not have to see you anywhere near a pitching mound, especially during a game. Any inning. Any game. Go now. And goodbye.
Now, the game, all 12 innings of it. 6-0 after 6. Peaceful, calm, collected and relaxed. But Wakes has a long time to sit in that bottom of the 6th. Too long, as it turned out, as very quickly the bases were loaded and there were no outs. And on came young bouncy Rudy, skirt billowing in the breeze. And mayhem followed. An RBI single to Coste, and a bases clearing triple to Rollins. 5 minutes of disaster. Rudy, we will not forget.
Still, it was 6-5 as the 9th started, but Chase Utley hit a fly ball to right that was curling foul, and WOULD have been foul in most parks. But the Pesky pole is RIGHT THERE, and the ball hit the attached screen. We've lived with the help of that pole so many times. The pole giveth, the pole taketh away. Paps ERA doubled, and the game was tied.
12th inning, and down by a run, 7-6. Youk battles and singles in Coco, to tie it, setting the stage for our Big Papi, whose gap single won the game, walk off style. His 2nd in a row and 3rd in 8 games. Does it get any better?
The Mets are in town for the next 3 games. We won't be rested, but we WILL be ready.

Monday, June 26, 2006

One More Paps Fact...I Could Not Resist!!!!!

From the Herald, and to everyone, enjoy today's game. No rain near our Fenway........"Jonathan Papelbon is just the second pitcher in the last 40 years to allow one run or less in his first 38 innings of one season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The other also was a rookie: the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela allowed one run in his first 52 innings of 1981. . . ."
***Peter here, with one word........WOW!***

Wow, Did We, And The Country, Vote Well For The All Star Players!!

This, from the Lawrence, Kansas sports pages. The who? What paper? I don't know much about them, but a great article, a little bit of it right here........."At last check, the AL balloting was so rife with Yankees and Red Sox that players from those teams had the top two spots at first base (David Ortiz, Jason Giambi), second base (Robinson Cano, Mark Loretta) and third base (Alex Rodriguez, Mike Lowell). The Red Sox and Yankees were well-represented at catcher, where Jason Varitek (Red Sox) and Jorge Posada (Yankees) were first and third, respectively, and at shortstop, where Derek Jeter (Yankees) led over Miguel Tejada (Baltimore).
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero sits in the dugout in this file photo from Friday in Phoenix. Guerrero is the only All-Star Game vote-getter not from the Yankees or Red Sox to lead voting at his position.
The only AL position not led by a Red Sox or Yankees player was outfield, where Vladimir Guerrero (Angels) held a 40,650-vote lead over Manny Ramirez of, you guessed it, the Red Sox. Johnny Damon was fourth among AL outfielders. He plays for the Yankees but became a household name with the Red Sox. This stuff never ends."

***Peter here, and a great job by the Red Sox Nation voters, and also, I have to admit, the New York voters, AND the rest of the baseball-loving public. And the Mets are very well represented for the Senior circut. With Guillen as manager, this one should be fun, especially if we're enjoying the All Star Break from atop the AL East, by maybe 5 games or so. Pitching, hitting, and the very best defense. Nice, huh??

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Yes, We Have No Baseball

But we do tomorrow. And it is not a surprise. And that team from NY (NOT the Mets), who have 2 scheduled, are in a rain delay. We'll see you tomorrow for Fenway baseball against the Phillies, and with a high pressure system taking hold, there will be some sun. And humidity. And number 9.

Mark Loretta Will Be OK, FOR TUESDAY

From the Herald, and an important piece of our 2006 Red Sox team is OK....."Mark Loretta is expected to be sidelined until at least Tuesday after being forced to leave the Red Sox’ 5-3, 10-inning victory over the Philadelphia Phillies with a strained neck. "
***Peter here, and PHEW! Regarding today's game, the stationary front that the heavy rains have centered over is, as I type this, moving northward, and with it the heavy rain. That might not bode well for today's game. Here is a link so you can check the radar whenever you want, leading right up until gametime. Sorry, you have to copy and paste it, but just once. Then go back to it whenever you want. This is an animated loop, so give it 15 seconds or so. Here you go..

Basking In The Sunday Morning Glow, Part 8

Oh, what a feeling. And Fox got lucky with a game like that. The same Fox network who rips off everyone with a Hi Def TV set every damn Saturday afternoon when they show their weekly game in 480p, which is the same resolution (clarity) as a DVD. Yes, they stretch the picture so that it fits a 16x9 screen (widescreen, almost twice as wide as tall, as opposed to a standard TV, with a 4x3, or nearly square, screen), but it is not a Hi Def picture. That would be 720p, which if you do the math has nearly twice the resolution as 480p. And the thing that gets me is that with NESN televising EVERY game in Hi Def, the proper equipment is there! And yes, from all the comments from those of you who noticed the slightly inferior quality with their regular sets, you CAN tell the difference no matter what.
But that didn't make what happened on the field yesterday any less beautiful. Or precious. Or downright just so darn fabulous. Nothing could take that away. Nothing. We go for 9 in a row today, with our steadiest starter, ERAwise, Tim Wakefield, trying to shut 'em up and shut 'em down one more time. Broom time? We'll see. That would be 3. Oh yes.
As John Lennon said, in a weird collage from THE WHITE ALBUM, "Number nine, number nine." YES.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Walk Tall. Walk Proud. WALK OFF!!

Do you believe in magic??? We just saw it. Big Papi and another walk off home run. Paps wins it, and David Ortiz makes us all realize, yet again, why we love this game. There is nothing more to be said.


From the Globe Blog, as of 12:41 PM EDT....

"Going to work...
By Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff
The tarp is off the infield at Fenway and the grounds crew is going to work. There is still a light mist falling at Fenway, but it looks like we're going to play ball."

**Peter here, and I am ready for Red Sox baseball on Fox. Who'd a thunk? 8.**


That's the name of a new (to me) blog, written by John. Check him out...he's good. I've been having trouble adding links here, so I wanted to bring your attention to this "across the pond" blog. Here's the link.

Beautiful Beckett Brilliance


It was all Josh Beckett for the Red Sox last night, at least when it came to the pitching. He was brilliant, almost unhittable through 8, and Manny gave us all the runs we needed with a first inning 3 run homer. "The Gabe," Gabe Kapler, also hit one out in his one at bat, as he came in for Manny late in the game. Mike Timlin finished it out, and sent the crowd home late, but happy. The game was delayed for about 45 minutes by rain, but boy, was it worth the wait! Also of note-Alex Gonzalez extended his team record for games without an error to 51, and the team hit the 11 game mark of errorless ball, breaking the mark held by the 1986 team, which will be honored on Tuesday. Sweet stuff.
Today, with the rain's permission, in a game to be shown on Fox TV, EVEN HERE IN CONNECTICUT, Curt Schilling once again goes after number 10, to be opposed by the wretched wife-beater Brett Myers. I hope the fans have just the right kind of greeting for this a**hole.
And we go for 8.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Count me in! I'm a new JJ on

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed the off-day. I hope the lumber stays hot, hot enough to scorch the palms of any Phillie pitchers who have the misfortune to be on the mound for the next three days. We try to make our streak 7, with Josh on the hill and DIRTY WATER echoing over the Fenway Park speaker system at game's end. And of our new pitcher, read on, from today's Globe....."Jason Johnson, the pitcher Cleveland sent to the Sox along with more than $1 million, should be a familiar name to anyone who attended the Boston Baseball Writers dinner in December 2001. Johnson received the Tony Conigliaro Award for overcoming adversity. The tall righthander, who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 11, began wearing an insulin pump on his hip at all times in 2001, except when he's pitching . . . "
Having to wear an insulin pump is no easy thing, and it also means that he is afflicted with Type 1 Diabetes, the bad kind. The kind when you body decides, for one reason or another, to stop making insulin altogether. Insulin, produced by the pancreas (sic), regulates the way the body processes sugar, allowing the absorbtion of it into the organs instead of passing out of the body, unused while in the bloodstream, and peed out. Deadly. 90-95% of people diagnosed with diabetes have type 2, or adult onset diabetes, where the body makes insulin, as it should, but because of poor eating, lack of excercise, or being overweight, the body loses its ability to effectively use that insulin for its important sugar-regulating function. Type 1 diabetes is more commonly known as juvenile diabetes. Cruel, so cruel to be a kid and be forced to stick your finger 5 times a day and take insulin injections 4 times a day. That's my typical day, but I was lucky. My Type 1 diabetes did not occur until well into adulthood. I excercise as much as I can, after lunch and after dinner, but will forever need those shots of insulin, and forever know what I put in my body as food, and the consequences of that. But it's gotten me in shape, really good shape. And I am happy. Sure, I'd love to go to Fenway more often than once or twice a season, but taking a blood sugar level every three innings while crammed and sweating, and then finding the proper meal, ain't easy. Hey, enough of this. Go get 'em tonight Josh. 7 and we're in heaven. And thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Gonzo, One More Time

From the Globe......"He hasn't made an error since April. His 50-game errorless streak is a club record."
***Peter here. need I say more? Nope. Except this. We love you Rico.***

Sweet Words

From the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. And no, nothing to add from me, except for the smile.......

BOSTON— "All Jon Lester has to do now to turn David Wells into an archeological artifact is avoid gaining about 100 pounds.
Otherwise, the rookie lefty may have arrived a bit ahead of schedule as the answer to Boston’s need for another reliable arm — left-handed, right-handed, who cares? — in the Red Sox starting rotation.
Lester spun a beauty here last night as Boston finished a sweep of the Washington Nationals with a 9-3 victory. Lester struck out 10 in just six innings, becoming only the third Sox southpaw starter to strike out that many in a game since Bruce Hurst left town for San Diego at the end of the 1988 season."

***Peter here, and how nice is that! See Ya!

Nats Slammed, Then Swept Out Of Fenway

*****16 HITS FOR SOX*****

This was wild, fun, and over early. Jon Lester was sharp. All his pitches were working, and for 6 innings, he owned the Nationals, striking out ten while alowing one lone run. David Ortiz ended the competition with a grand slam in the second inning. He became only the 3rd player in major league history to have 5 career grand slams in the same ballpark, joining Cecil Cooper of the Brewers and Ken Williams of the St. Louis Browns. WOW!! Mark Loretta had his second straight 3 hit game. Trot Nixon also added 3 hits, as the Sox batted a Ted Williams-like .404 in the series. Maybe the Nationals could move into the AL East? Please??
Rudy and Judy each threw 1 20 pitch inning, of course giving up a run in each. Little Manny D. was just fine in the 8th. And an day off today as well as Monday will provide needed rest and forgoes any need for a 5th starter. Thank you schedule makers, although the way the club is hitting, we have to hope a day off doesn't cool the lumber. Oh, and Alex Gonzales continued his improved hitting while providing the best defense in the league. He and Alex Cora are invaluable.....naysayers be gone!
I'll be back later with more this and more that. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A DIRT BAG...And A Future Star?

From the Globe...."Paxton Crawford has always held an infamous place in Red Sox history, after the pitcher fell out of bed and landed on the disabled list (he said he slipped and cut his abdomen). Now, he might play an even more infamous role.
In a piece he wrote for this week’s ESPN The Magazine (subscription required to read), Crawford admitted to using steroids and HGH while with Boston from 2000-01".........AND...........Jason Johnson. Read more about him, also from the Globe........
"The scouting report on Johnson, who was picked up from Cleveland for cash and a player to be named later, via Francona was that the veteran righthander can sink with velocity and has a good breaking ball. Despite that, Johnson has only had a winning record once in all or part of 10 major league seasons. His best record was 8-7 with Baltimore in 1999.
Epstein elaborated on the move:
"He's a ground ball pitcher," said the Sox GM. "There have been a lot of balls that have been getting through [the Indians] infield that we hope that our infield defense, which we think is pretty good, might help him out a little bit."

***Peter here...every little thing is a good thing. Good night all!!!

Arielle...Read Her Blog! It's Peter here, and I wanted to put a link up to Arielle's blog, but I ran into trouble. So instead of wrecking something on my link list (I'll figure it out eventually), I ask you to check out her well written blog, called DISPATCHES FROM RED SOX TEEN NATION.. A good read is guaranteed for all! Oh, if you're reading this, Arielle, great job. And let's make a 5 game winning streak a 10 game one. That sound good?

Time For Your MULTIPLE All Star Votes!!!

Here is a long but essential article from the AP cataloging the current standings. We DO NOT want AROD to start at 3rd, but public recognition of his name is probablty too much of a hurdle for Mike Lowell. But let's do what we can. Go to, and vote. Robinson Cano over Mark Loretta????????AAAHHHH!!!! C'mom, American public. Readers, I love every one of you. Please vote, and as always, thanks for reading. If not for you, I would have given up the ghost and become a comment leaver, like I was last season. I like it here!
(AP) BOSTON David Ortiz continues to hold a commanding lead in fan balloting among first basemen for the American League All-Star team.
Ortiz is listed as a first baseman this year because the All-Star game will be played in a National League park in Pittsburgh, with no designated hitter
Ortiz leads the New York Yankees Jason Giambi by more than 460-thousand votes.
Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek still holds a lead over the Tigers' Ivan Rodriguez, while Manny Ramirez has slipped to second in outfield balloting behind the Angels' Vladimir Guerrero.
Mark Loretta is in second place for the starting second baseman spot, while Mike Lowell remains a distant second for third base behind the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez.
The All-Star game takes place on July 11th.
Here's the current tally.

First Base
1. David Ortiz, Red Sox, 1,257,595
2. Jason Giambi, Yankees, 796,146
3. Paul Konerko, White Sox, 579,666
4. Travis Hafner, Indians, 520,853
5. Chris Shelton, Tigers, 350,707

Second Base
1. Robinson Cano, Yankees, 796,204
2. Mark Loretta, Red Sox, 722,099
3. Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox, 670,547
4. Jose Lopez, Mariners, 384,890
5. Placido Polanco, Tigers, 352,665

Third Base
1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees, 1,374,155
2. Mike Lowell, Red Sox, 650,861
3. Troy Glaus, Blue Jays, 474,506
4. Joe Crede, White Sox, 459,189
5. Eric Chavez, Athletics, 407,628

1. Derek Jeter, Yankees, 1,457,637
2. Miguel Tejada, Orioles, 1,073,827
3. Michael Young, Rangers, 407,261
4. Alex Gonzalez, Red Sox, 346,302
5. Juan Uribe, White Sox, 311,030

1. Jason Varitek, Red Sox, 831,154
2. Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers, 803,964
3. Jorge Posada, Yankees, 608,670
4. A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox, 493,385
5. Joe Mauer, Twins, 464,161

1. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels, 1,518,276
2. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox, 1,477,626
3. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners, 996,148
4. Johnny Damon, Yankees, 956,595
5. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays, 752,422
6. Jermaine Dye, White Sox, 598,441
7. Gary Sheffield, Yankees, 535,564
8. Torii Hunter, Twins, 509,210
9. Scott Podsednik, White Sox, 508,210
10. Coco Crisp, Red Sox, 481,612
11. Trot Nixon, Red Sox, 437,693
12. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers, 427,319
13. Hideki Matsui, Yankees, 425,894
14. Grady Sizemore, Indians, 392,102
15. Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays, 272,381

(© 2006 The Associated Press. All .

Wake Gets Run Support And The Red Sox Win 5th Straight


This one was over after 3, and the hits kept coming, in bunches. Mark Loretta, Alex Cora and the ever reliable, we need him next year Trot Nixon all had 3 hits. Every starter but Manny and Papi scored, and again, the major's best defense allowed no errors. That's nine games in a row without an error.The last time that happened was 13 years ago. We are seeing something special with this 2006 edition of our Sox. Anybody not happy with the right now make-up of the team must have other problems facing them, for I think all is just fine. We do not need a 5th starter until July 1, and hopefully Matt will be back by then, back to his pre All Star form of last year. That might be asking a lot, but we deserve it.
Tavarez pitched an uneventful 7th, Hansen breezed through the 8th but allowed 2 meaningless runs in the ninth. He will remain with the club in the long reliever role, suggesting that Tito is tiring of the antics of Rudy and Judy. SSHH, don't tell anyone, but WE ALL ARE!
In Keith Foulke news, there IS no news. His elbow is still hurting. We can only hope he'll be back to the form he showed in late April and May.
Jon Lester goes to the hill tonight. And we go for 6 in a row. I have a real good feeling about this one. And the weather? Perfect.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Whalers.....err....the Hurricanes-TOP OF THE WORLD!

Wow, they did it. After leaving us in 1997 as Peter Karmanos become Hartford Idiot Enemy #1. He did what he thought was best for his team, but at the time, with all his moanng about lack of attendance, the Whale was averaging 13,000 fans per game, in a Civic center that held 16,000 plus. That ain't bad!
I had season tix when the Whalers were still in the WHA. And then, the fun started. I lived in downtown Hartford for a few years, steps away from the Civic Center. Dinner, beers and a game became a pastime for so many wonderful nights. The Stanley Cup WILL make a much deserved appearance downtown, and soon. Or Karmanos is really the fool. And yes, we here in Hartford still love the Whale, and today, we rejoice. Finally. Our hearts and souls stayed the same Whaler green when they moved, and now, we feel we are a nice part of the Cup.

Snyder Stands TALL As Red Sox Win 4th Straight


Kyle Snyder did a good enough job last night back home at Fenway, pitching 5 innings, the last 2 scoreless, as the Sox scored 6 in winning their 4th straight. And this is just the start of a beautiful homestand. For the rest of the month, we will have a 4 man rotation, and a good one at that. Off days at opportune times will allow us this luxury, as Matt Clement might begin a throwing program as early as today. A healthy Matt Clement is a fine answer to the hole in the number 5 slot of the rotation.
Our old friend Gabe Kapler started in right field last night, back again as our 4th outfielder. And the crowd showed its appreciation, showering him with cheers before his first at-bat and after scoring in the fourth. The 4th inning turned a 3-2 Nats lead into a 4-3 Sox lead, a lead that would never go away. Our bullpen performed perfectly, with one inning scoreless stints by Van Buren, Javie Lopez, Rudy Seanez (!) and Mike Timlin, who got his first save of the year with a 12 pitch 9th. This is the way things are supposed to go in nailing down a victory. Oh, and Manny hit his 453rd career homer in the 8th. Way to go, Manny.
In off the field news, J.T. Snow was let go, and Craig Hansen again called up from Pawtucket, hopefully this time for keeps. It will be great to see him in there for an inning when we need him. Another slice of youth and talent as the Yankees are finally showing their age and injuries. How nice is that!
Tim Wakefield tries to keep the winning streak alive tonight, and then it's the big three--Lester, Beckett, and Schill. And I like the sound of that.

Monday, June 19, 2006

How Nice Is This? A One Word Answer Is Perfect

This from today's Herald, a guaranteed smile........"Jonathan Papelbon’s ERA can’t get much lower, evidence by the fact that he threw 5 scoreless innings on the road trip, which only lowered it from 0.30 to 0.25. . . ."

***Peter here, and you know what? Just copying and pasting that one sentence made me smile, with a sense of " Hey, other teams, he's OURS!***

8th Inning Explosion-Early Morning Wake Up

I did not see ANY of this game. I had an early appointment this morning, so I had to go to bed really early last night. That appointment is already over. It's only 6:40 AM, so you know how early I had to awaken. (YAWN) I don't and won't write from a box score, but I will say that after 6 innings, it was a fairly ordinary looking 3-2 game. Bye bye Schill, hello mayhem, until the bats awoke with seismic eruptions and Paps put the now lowly Braves to sleep for the night, getting the final out in the 8th and shutting the door, bolting it closed, and welding the air leaks in that door. How nice to have a closer.
Back to Fenway tonight, with a starter we haven't seen, who has an ERA of 22 plus. You'd think the only direction that ERA could go is down. Let's hope so.
I'll be back later. I hope everyone's Father's Day was great, and thank you for the wonderful comments. And thanks to CYN at RED SOX CHICK (link on the right) for her link to my Father's Day post. You're the best, Cyn! And so are you, faithful readers.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Nats? Natch!

Again, this time in the bottom of the 9th. Happy Fathers Day, Yankees! OH, I'm supposed to be nice? Not on your life! No niceness for that team of Georgie's.

A Dad's Day Post...Just A Small Something About The Game Of Baseball

I'm sure you know this. I love the Red Sox...have all my life. From '67, as a small kid who probably did not know what was going on at Fenway on my first visit there, watching a team picked for 8th or 9th (one division only in the AL and NL, when there were true pennant races with no wild cards). To the 1975 Sox, my heros still.........Looie, Spaceman, Jim Ed, Freddie, and so many more. And after sweeping Oakland, having to play the mighty Reds, and BOY, were they mighty, in a World Seies that went all the way, and squeezed every atom of emotion and love and respect and just pure baseballness out of me, and every Sox lover. Heartbreak. Disapointment. But a feeling of being so proud. Tears too, yep. And then '78. Heartbreak in 3 and a half seconds. A little breeze, once gentle, then firm, blowing out innocently enough towards the Monster. And a fly ball floating towards that wall, with Yaz, a pound or two of the glove, camped under it. And watching his knees sag as the ball gently nestled into the net.
Sure, those are the downs of being a Red Sox fan. But they are outnumbered a zillion to one by the moments of elation, sheer jump in the air joy. Moments to be remembered for the rest of my life. And boy, I have so many of those. Lucky? You bet! And then there was 2004. That's all I need to say about that season.
I'm slowly getting to a point. And it's been fun. The words flowed through my head just as if I had a Bush-like little earpiece transmitting what I should write into my left ear. Left? Hey, that's where my voice is. I hope everyone has a great Father's Day. Kiss your Dad, if you can. I kissed my Dad's headstone. That was nice. I could feel him all around me. Be happy. Is there anything more important? Thanks for reading my words. It means so much.

Blackout Saturday Turned Out Pretty Well...And A True Pennant Race In August And September?

And by "blackout" Saturday, I refer to the fact that Connecticut, in true McCarthy style, was blacked out for Red Sox fans. I did not see the game, and so I am hesitant to write about it in my usual style. But I did see the box score. Before the series, which concludes tonight in Atlanta, I said it would be so nice to see Paps 3 times in the series. Well, so far, so good. 22 saves sounds and is sweet. Kevin Youklis back at lead off...another thing I wished outloud for. And he's right back there, and at home. And we love it. Instant offense, patient with the pitch selection, and non stop hustle. That is a true lead off man. Another good but "hey, it's right in front of your face" move by Terry. A rocket scientist move? Far from it. One was not needed. With Jon Lester, we have a solid 4 man rotation, and other than tomorrow (Monday), with days off the rest of the month here and there, we will not need a 5th starter. Matt will be back at the end of June, or at least that's when he is eligible to come back, and until then, we'll be fine. Now if he can regain the pre-All Star game form of last year, that's another story. Think post season if that happens. Because it's looking more and more like Detroit and Chicago will be in the post season, as Detroit, who had so much trouble against us and the Yankees, still feasts on the other teams in its division. And that's what the bulk of their games consist of. So the 5 games we play in August and the four in September against our hated rivals might be amazingly exciting, because we might be in the middle of an old fashioned pennant race, not one in which one team wins the division and the other gets in as the wild card. Think about it! 1967 all over again, with Toronto also in the mix. And all three teams knowing that only one will survive. Brings chills to my spine. I, for one, will patiently wait and see how this whole thing plays out. But think of the possibilities. My goodness.
Happy Father's Day to all the Dads here on this good earth, and those who are gone. Stay well everyone. And happy. For what's more important?

Saturday, June 17, 2006




The headlines only right now, as the Nationals stage a huge comeback against the hapless Yankees, and Josh Beckett pitches and clobbers the Red Sox to their second straight over the Atlanta Braves. First place?? Knotted up. More to come, before wake-up time tomorrow. All you have to do until then is.......SMILE.

A Josh In Atlanta Fact...From The Globe

'Josh Beckett (13 starts, 7-3, 5.26 ERA, 17 home runs allowed) has a lower ERA at Turner Field (1.67) than in any park in which he's pitched at least 25 innings."
***Peter here. Hey Josh, keep it up with those numbers down in Hotlanta. And no taters, please! I'll be listening. No eyes involved, unfortunately. As Felix Unger would say, in a very funny episode of THE ODD COUPLE, "You're my eyes, Gloria!" He was temporarily blinded, cut loose like a deuce, and today in Connecticut, we are, too. But I'll get by with a little help from my friends. My friends! That was John and Paul, last names not needed. And a little Bruce added for spice. Again, no last name needed. There is only one BRUUUCE. Never to be another.

A Shining Star In Atlanta


There was NO threat of rain, no uncertain start time. The things that I thought had bothered him last time obviously did. But there was nothing uncertain about the pitching of Jon Lester last night, who was cool, calm, and collected. He wore the right deodorant, and the struggling Braves paid for it. 6 innings, 93 pitches, and all of his pitches were working. The 92MPH fastball, the slider, the slow curve, sharp as a hair salon's razor against a stubbly face.
He worked out of trouble in the 4th and 5th, but good pitches and good glovework prevailed. It didn't matter that Atlanta had been struggling of late. His location, for the most part, was good, and hitters were baffled.
The 7th, 8th, and 9th were taken care of by the 'pen, with Rudy Tavarez going in the 7th. He has allowed only 2 earned runs in his last 17 and 1/3 innings going back 15 appearances. Could'a fooled me with that stat. Mike Timlin threw a 7 pitch 8th, and another rookie, Jonathon Papelbon, threw 16 in securing Lester's first big league win and his 21st save.
The batting star? There was but 1, Tek, for without his bases clearing double, the score might STILL be tied. He had 2 other hits in the game, and has been hot. The rest of the Sox are swinging cold lumber still, but the star of the night was on the mound, and in a Red Sox uniform. Sweet
Josh Beckett today, against a just called up Cormier. Maybe we can have a few players with multi-hit games. Just what the doctor ordered on this beautiful but blacked out here in Connecticut Saturday. Father's Day eve. I know my Dad would have enjoyed it.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Wrong Brooms!


Tim Wakefield has gotten 6 runs of support in his 8 losses. Yesterday was no different, for it wasn't until he was sitting in the dugout, in the 8th inning, that the Sox scored their three. And while most of the Twins' hits found the holes, or the stands in one case, the Red Sox saw a lot of baseballs ensnared in leather. Line drives galore, ground outs, double plays and line outs, all directed at one Twins glove after another. By the 8th, it was 4-0, but a threat of our own loomed. Nathan got out of a bases loaded no out situation with only 2 runs scored. He also gave up a run in the ninth, but Manny, hard luck Manny, struck out to end it and send his team out of town, out of Dodge, so to speak, and into Atlanta, where Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling are ready to break the hearts and souls of the Braves and their chanting fans
Did you see the shot Big Papi hit for a single? A SINGLE??? Yes, a single that, had it not hit a speaker, would have travelled 450 feet or so. Even the home club was embarassed. Burn down that cavern.
So onward. No time to recover, to lick our wounds clean. Tonight's matchup should be a good one. All 3 will be. But here in Connecticut on Saturday, we will not see the Sox. 55% of the country will see our team play the Braves, but we will be among the 24% that will see the Yanks play the woeful Nationals. Maybe channel 61 here in Hartford, the Fox affiliate for the entire state, forgot that the last time there was a Yankees Red Sox choice to be made, last Saturday, Muther Nature made the choice for them, providing rain in Boston and Yankee uniforms on TV. So Saturday will be a blacked out day for all of us here in the Constitution State. Bad move, Channel 61. Oh well, we'll have to win with no TV coverage. We've done it before, we'll do it again.
But all eyes will be on Jon Lester tonight. 7pm. Be there.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Riske Traded To ChiSox

I just heard this. David Riske, one of the few members of the bullpen that once in a while is able to record an out (NOT including Paps), was traded this afternoon to the Chicago White Sox for lefthander Javier Lopez. Said our Theo...
"We spoke to the White Sox trying to acquire Lopez,” said Epstein. “We sent a scout out to see him and got an excellent scouting report. We had a bit of redundancy with right-handed relievers. [Riske] was behind other guys in similar role, so we felt he was expendable to get a lefty who we think could help us now." The club likes Lopez, and sent a professional scout to see him with Charlotte (AAA). His velocity is averaging 88 mph, his fastball has good sink on it and he should provide “a very uncomfortable at-bat for left-handed hitters, but he’s still effective against right-handers,'’ said Epstein. He made it clear that the team is waiting for another reliever to step up and become a reliable option in the middle innings before the ball can be handed off to Mike Timlin and Jonathan Papelbon. Whether that pitcher is a veteran like Rudy Seanez or Julian Tavarez, or a younger pitcher like Manny Delcarmen, Jermaine Van Buren, Craig Hansen eventually or even Lopez, remains to be seen***Peter here....We can only hope. And BEHIND Rudy and Julia??????? Bye David, and hello Javie.

For Those Unsure About Matt's Health.....

There IS something wrong with Matt's upper arm and shoulder. And it's not only that he says so. These stats say it all, from the Globe....."Clement, in 235 career games through May 24, had failed to record a strikeout in a game just twice. In his past three games he has failed to strike out anybody in two of those games."
***Peter here, and again, all I can say is "OUCH." And "HELP." And "SAVE US.PLEASE!." That is all.

Red Sox Pitching Depth Makes Me Want To Hurl....

....and if I could hurl baseballs effectively, I would. But lunch is more my style. Last night, Matt Clement could not get the job done. He needs to see a doctor, and not just for his ailing bicep. I'll leave it at that. The bullpen? No help whatsoever, as Van Buren walked 'em full and Manny Delcarmen emptied them with a pitch that turned into a grand slam home run. It was over. MVP of the game for the Sox? Nate Reese, the bat boy who tackled a mentally disturbed fan, one of 2 who ran on the field. And Kevin Youklis was back in the lead off spot, something I clamored for a couple weeks ago. You cannot ignore his OBP, speed or no speed.
So, other than Schill, Wakes, Mike Timlin or Jonathon Papelbon, who would you feel comfortable with on the mound? Think, I'll give you a few seconds.............................................nada, zilch, no one. I came to the same conclusion. More on this later, but to tell you the truth, I have no solutions. Not this early in the morning. I'm still trying to digest the bullpen's ERA. Without Paps in the mix, it is 4.97, having allowed 16 runs and 17 hits in the last 10 and 2/3 innings. OUCH!!!!! Sad, too. So is second place. And that's exactly where we find ourselves this grey foggy and coolly dismal morning.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A 7 Letter Word For Doom, Mayhem, Or Disaster

In most cases, the answer to the question posed in the title would be TROUBLE. But in this blogdom of Red Sox comings and goings, the answer would be TAVAREZ. Julia was up to his old tricks last night, taking a 2-1 Sox lead in the 12th inning and turning it into a 5-2 defeat. I am getting tired of his act. We all are.
Curt Schilling was tremendous. Santana was brilliant, the best stuff I've seen all year. What Carlos Santana can do with a guitar, he can do with a baseball. But after 7, it was 1-1. After 11 and 1/2, it was 2-1 Red Sox, on Tek's home run. This was after great 'pen work by Paps for 2 and Mike Timlin (welcome back!) for 1. And then there was Tavarez. With 1 out, he hit Cuddyer, gave up a double to Morneau, and intentionally walked Torri Hunter. And was over. A grand slam by Jason Kubel had Julia jogging into the dugout with his tail between his legs, never to be seen by any Red Sox fan on the face of the earth again, ever. He will be hidden away underground in a place as unfindable as Jimmy Hoffa has been all these years. Ok...maybe I got carried away a little at the end of that sentence there, but that's the way I felt at the time.
So hats off to Curt Schilling. Hats off to Johan Santana. A job well done to both of you. Someone had to lose. It's a shame Little Manny wasn't brought in instead of Julia Tavarez. We'll get 'em tonight. We have to. There's not room at the top for us AND the Yankees. Not in Red Sox Nation. My nation.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

In 2006, Foulkie's Home IS The Road

A heckler has been making life at Fenway a little piece of Hell for Keith Foulke, an important part of the two headed bridge to Paps. But one heckler does not tell us the whole story, for before this loudmouth surfaced, our very own Foulkie was having his problems pitching at the Fens. Here are the home and away stats for Keith this year, as gleaned from today's Hartford Courant.

Home 15 games, 17 IP, 29 hits, 16 earned runs, 6 homers allowed, and an opposing player's batting average of .333
Away 14 games, 15 IP, 11 hits, 4 earned runs, ZERO home runs allowed, and an opposing batter's average of .208

Night and day. Sunshine or clouds. Black or white. However you want to put it, Keith Foulke has been thriving on the road this year. And where does our beloved team play tonight? In Minnesota, under the dome. Let's hope he can even out those numbers, with the at home stats rising to the road stats. How nice would that be?
So we turn to Curt Schilling to set the tone for this 6 game trip to Minnesota and annoying Atlanta (think the Indian chant, and try not to gag near your keyboard). He has a chance to be the first American League 10 game winner, well on his way to a 20 plus victory year. One at a time, Curt. Starting tonight. We'll be watching. And rooting. 8pm. We have your back.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Beauty........And A Beast...And A Manager's Blunder

What can you say about game one? Let me try. Josh Beckett pitched well enough to get the loss, although he WAS better than his last start. Stellar bullpen work by David Riske and the eventual winner, Manny Delcarmen, provided the stage for Big Papi's walk off wonder. And crowd #1 went home happy.
Boy, I wish I could stop there and say it was a wonderful winning Sunday, but....nope. David Pauley clearly didn't have it, and after his 8 hits given up in 1 plus innings, I sat there thinking to myself, "Wow, Francona is willing to throw any chance of winning this game in order to save the bullpen." Hey Tito, TODAY IS A DAY OFF!!! But the damage was done, Julia Tavarez and Rudy Seanez and Keith Foulke combined to give up more hits in a 9 inning game than any Sox team in 7 years. Sept. 22, 1999 to be exact. But it was Francona's willingness to sit on his ass when he wasn't hiding from the cameras in the second inning and give up the ghost that clearly made me mad as hell.
Batting stars of the twin bill? Papi with 4 hits, and the walf off, Mark Loretta with 5 hits, and Mike Lowell, who has been in a mini-slump but bounced back in the 2nd game with 2 hits. Two images will forever stay with me. Papi as he trotted around the bases, huge grin plastered across his face in the 9th, and Terry Francona, who was too ashamed in inning #2 to show his face in the dugout as he figuratively threw in the towel in inning # 2 of game 2. Bad job, Terry.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Walf Off. Walk Proud. Thank You Lou

David Ortiz did it again. A walk off Red Sox win. And this only moments after I finished reading the last few shining pages of a remarkable book. A biography of Lou Gehrig, called LUCKIEST MAN. About a man who was the epitome of courage. And if our Sox had lost? So what, I would have thought. There are so many things more important than a baseball game. But hey, Big Papi did it. I still would have had these tears streaming down my face. And the tears are not tears of joy, but tears of sadness, and hope. Hope that we all can lead our lives as the Yankee great Lou Gehrig did. When his body deserted him, but his mind and his soul never did. Until his last labored breath escaped his body. And I felt lucky, just for reading, and learning.
Thank you David Ortiz. And thank you Lou Gehrig. Right now I feel like the luckiest man. As my tears wet my cheeks, I am so much better for it. I sit here crying like a baby. And smiling like an innocent child. Thanks David, and Lou.

In Defense Of Our Jon Lester

His control was an issue in the minors, and it was yesterday. But imagine as the delay of minutes, then 1 hour, two, three, four crept slowly towards 5. Fenway Park, his dream place to start his major league career, chock full of frenzied fans. It must have weighed heavily on him. It would have made any one of US go nuts. His words.....“I was trying not to go stir crazy,” Lester said of the incredibly long delay to his debut. “I was just relieved I threw a couple of strikes (early in the game). The first one - I didn’t know where it was going to go.” Said Francona: “(Yesterday) was not an easy day to make your debut. He sat around a lot. I’m sure he had a lot of anxiety."
***Peter here. Anxiety? We ALL did. But to slowly saunter toward that hallowed center of the diamond, the Fenway Park mound, after a wait that long? I have to think his senses were stunningly enhanced. And with that, he might not have been as sharp as the Jon Lester we will get to know, and love. Starting again on Thursday, or more likely Friday with the blessed off day tomorrow. But business first. That business? WIN 2 TODAY. Nothing more, nothing less. GO SOX. Say it loud. Say it proud.

Walnuts At 5pm. With An Ice Cold Something At Noon. Medicinal

Surprisingly, Terry Francona has skipped Matt Clement and gone with David Pauley as game #2 starter. I like the way the kid pitches. A good start, one at home at Fenway, will be so good for his confidence, not to mention our happiness. It's Josh Beckett who will set the tone for this set as the starter in game #1. And then it's Pauley Walnuts' time. Get 'em!


Jon Lester and his teamates sat. And sat. And waited out a rain delay of more than 4 hours. I have to tell you, from the look of the radar at 5pm or so, I didn't know when they'd be able to play. But play they did, and Jon Lester pitched 4 and 1/3 innings, and threw more than 100 pitches. Afterwards, he said this...."I threw a lot of pitches in four innings. That's the biggest thing right now, to try to keep my pitching efficiency to a minimum," said Lester, who threw 102 pitches. "I was just happy to get the first one under my belt and get it done with." And done with it is, with Julia Tavarez, being the bum that he is, giving up the go ahead runs to the Rangers in another uninspiring performance. There are many other words I could have used in place of "uninspiring", but it's Sunday morning. I won't give in to the temptation.
On the bright side, Tek continued his offensive resurgence, and Manny hit a monster shot, but it was too little too late. We also saw Keith Foulke back on the mound, but he gave up a moon sot in the 9th for 2 runs, and that put it out of reach. But it was Julia who was the loser. Jon Lester, without having to wait for what seemed like a week in the dugout for his next start, will be just fine, thank you.
2 to play today, at noon and 5 or so. With Moose and his teamates losing yesterday, we stay 1 game up in the lost column. We need 2 today, and the weather will be just fine.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Rain Statement. For Us

"Today's game will not start on time (1:25 p.m.).
Sox spokesman John Blake said the team will re-assess the weather situation at 1:30 p.m. The Sox are concerned about starting the game too late because of the 8:05 nightcap starting time. The team needs time to be able to clear the park and get ready for the night crowd.
The other consideration is the people holding tickets for the afternoon game had been rained out in April and the team wants to make every effort to get the game in.
The Red Sox say their forecasts say the weather is supposed to clear eventually, but the question is when." ***Peter here, and isn't that the answer for everything in this life? Play ball soon, PLEASE, but after seeing the radar, who knows? Here's the link for Boston radar, out of Long Island

Rain in Boston...Yanks on Fox....FOR NOW. They WILL switch....

The title said it all. I'll check a radar..Here in Hartford...90 miles away south and west, it's, but nice. I want my Maypo...oops, I want my Red Sox!

In Central Connecticut, It's SOX on FOX 61.....

Phew! And to all the Yankee fans here in cool but great central Connecticut, have fun listening instead of watching.....GOOD JOB Channel 61 Fox Hartford. Now, it's time for Mr. Lester to show his stuff. Have fun.

A Big Scare, But Averted. There Will Be Sox Baseball At 1

The local Fox affiliate, channel 61 WTIC, in all their wisdom, has decided (I so hope) to televise our Red Sox at 1, rather than the Yankee game against nobody (Oakland), or another choice. So here, in Connecticut, there IS NO Yankee coverage. From my heart, I hope all the Yankee fans love it! But wait! Until 1PM, I'll be on pins and needles, needles and pins. And who did that song? Jere....was it Gary Lewis? You know so much about so much. I could have reworded that, but hey, just having fun. I'll be back at 1 to let you all know if the darkness of no coverage converges over this household. Doom and gloom? Or happiness unbounded. I think the latter.

Foulkie Sighting To Come.....TODAY, If Needed.

That's if we need him, in either game. This from today's Item......."BOSTON - While the Red Sox expect to get one reliever back today, they're going to be a little more conservative with another, and have sent a third back to Pawtucket.
Keith Foulke, sidelined with back problems for the last week, should be available for today's doubleheader against the Rangers.
"He was kind of wanting to make himself available for (last night), which is good," said manager Terry Francona. "But we've waited this long. My point being, OK, if we've waited this long, when you're ready to pitch in a game, let's not throw you back for another week."
Meanwhile Mike Timlin, who has been on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain and is eligible to be activated today, is not expected to see action until the team heads back out on the road, Tuesday in Minnesota."
***Peter here, and you know what Tom Petty said way back when.. "The waiting is the hardest part." And that's true. But being without Keith, AND Mike Timlin, and we're still in first place?? How great is that. And we'll see Mike back in 3 or 4 days. The bridge to Paps, redone, repaired, and back for us to enjoy. Sweeeet. As are you, my readers. Just saying that still floors me. Maybe some day, I'll get used to saying that. But until then, I'm going to work my butt off to keep ya coming back. My weapon of choice? Words. Red Sox words. Good and bad, but well written (I Hope). So far so good. I hpe y'all agree.

Wakefield Brilliant Again As Pap Blows Save, Gets Win

*****RJ a Bust as the Yankees Lose to Oakland. Pitched Like An Old Man*****

All good things muct come to an end, and last night in the top of the 8th, Jonathon Papelbon's 20 save streak did just that as he tried to get out of a two out two men on situation left by Craig Hansen. But a single by Blalock tied the score. It would not stay tied for long, as Mike Lowell's sacrifice fly plated Manny Ramirez with the winning run. Paps, his usual ferocious self in the 9th, struck out the side, pumping his fist and screaming in jubulation as his ERA stayed right where it was, 0.30 The last major leaguer with that low an ERA as late as June 9th was Anaheim's Brendan Donnelly, who did it in 2003.
The batting star? Our right fielder, Trot Nixon, who collected 4 hits with 3 RBIs. Big Papi's bat remains strangely quiet, and Manny isn't hitting up a strorm much either. And yet we manage to win. But Coco seems to be coming around. We need him to. We were spoiled rotten by Youk during his stint at batting lead off. He was one of the best in the league. Coco was 3 for 4.
So game #1 is today at 1pm, and Boston as I write this is surrounded by rain, with only light showers falling in the city itself. We should get the games in. Craig Hansen was sent back to Pawtucket to make room for Jon Lester to start the first game. Show us something, Jon. You can do it. This might be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Oh, we might have a Keith Foulke sighting this weekend. I hope so. Timlin is 4 or 5 days away. Then the bridge to Paps will be back, with toll collectors ready and willing to extract their fees. Namely, outs!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Rain To Our South...But It Is Moving To the East Northeast, I Think.....

It looks like the bulk of precipitation will be moving to the East of Boston for tonight, but that is not a sure thing. At 12:24, right now, that's how it looks. We'd all love to see baseball tonight. And it's looking more and more like it. As any meteorologist would say with this specific weather pattern, wait an hour. Things might change, But right now, it looks like PLAY BALL tonight at our home, Fenway Park. More to come on this Friday. And thanks for reading. I love ya all.

Sharp Schill And Dandy Defense Equals An Easy Win

Schill for 8 goods ones and a dominating non-save inning for Jonathon Papelbon had the folks going home somewhat early last night as the Red Sox cruised to a 9-3 victory at the Stadium last night, salvaging one of 3 games with the New York club.
The hitting stars? Crisp, Papi, Manny, Nixon, Lowell and AGon all had 2 hits, and Jason Varitek was the hit leader with 3 hits, 4 runs batted in, and the go-ahead home run, a 3 run shot in the 7th.
It will be Jon Lester starting game 1 tomorrow, that is unless tonight's game is rained out. A low-pressure system moving Northeast up the coast may drift to our East, giving the Boston area showers, or the low might track closer to the coast, resulting in rain, something we've seen way too much of. Time will tell.
The Yankees are 35-23, the Sox 34-23. Sheff needs surgery, Foulkie's back is still kicking up, although he plans to be back on the weekend. And Mike Timlin will be back by mid-week. Through all this, the 2 teams are neck and neck. And don't be surprised if it stays that way through September. But then again.............

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Foulke On The Back Burner For A Couple More Days

The end looks like it is in sight, and we might have a feeling better Keith Foulke back in the bullpen, where we so desperately need him, by the weekend. I hope so. The guys out there are overworked, and to lose our 2 headed bridge to Paps, Foulke AND Timlin, at the same time, could have been a disaster. Look for us to pile up some wins, in a row, when both guys are back. By Monday latest. Or thereabouts.

Al-Zarqawi DEAD

Hurray! Although this will probably cause an escalation of the violence, it means there is one less bad guy in this "never will end" war. I'll be back later today with Red Sox this and thats.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

RAIN-The Beatles (1966) Single B/W... PAPERBACK WRITER

"When the rain comes, they run and hide their heads
They might as well be dead
When the rain comes, when the rain comes."

Thank you, John. And thanks to you, Paul.

No make up date has been announced. That is all.

Well's Well Dry? Youk Back To Lead Off. TONIGHT!

First, from today's Worcester Telegram....."David Wells’ long career, which has included a short stretch with the Red Sox, may be nearing its end.
Wells will be going home to San Diego in the next day or two, manager Terry Francona said yesterday, to have his aching right knee looked at by Dr. Jan Fronek, who operated on it last October.
Yesterday, in the Boston clubhouse, Wells was seen wearing a brace on his right knee. He declined to speak with reporters. Francona said, however, that the pitcher “is having a tough time.”
***Peter here. That's too bad. He took a hard shot to a knee so structurally unsound that this recovery process might not work. There might not be an internal structure to save. And that makes the call up of Craig Hansen, and the probabable Jon Lester start on Saturday that much more important. And of course the emergence (YES,emergence) of David Pauley as our right now 5th starter. Yes, the hole has been plugged, with Hansen up with the big club to fill the role much like Pap's role last year. Long reliever in a non-blow-out, short 1 or 2 inning guy, and spot starter, but hopefully not needed with Pauley showing his stuff. Nice.
And one other thing. After watching Coco since his return, and having the pleasure of watching Kevin Youklis during Coco's 6 week absence, I have come to the conclusion that the Sox would be a better club right now with Youk back in the lead off spot. OBP and number of pitches he makes the opposing pitcher throw, often to start a game, dictate my thinking. Coco, while down in the order, would still be a vital part of our offense. And if and hopefully when his average and ability to be selective at the plate warrant his return to the top spot, GREAT! But now? One word. YOUK!!!

Pauley Walnuts and More Young Arms On The Way

Pauley had all his pitches working, as did Wang, in a 2-1 victory for the Yankees. The highlight of the game? The catch Melky Cabrera made off the bat of Manny Ramirez. As good as it gets. More later on this game, and the Yankee's 4 game winning streak against the Sox.

In other news, it looks now that Jon lester WILL pitch one of the two games against the Texas Rangers. And Craig Hansen was called up and will probably fill a role that Jonathon Papelbon held last year. Spot starter, long relief, late inning relief, wherever he is needed. And he said he's ready for it. We all hope so. With Keith Foulke remaining cagey and evasive about his possible return, and the long-tossing Mike Timlin out until next week, we need him.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

All Wins?? Don't Be Surprised If 5 Out Of Six ARE!

Tuesday, June 6
David Pauley (Red Sox) vs. Chien-Ming Wang (Yankees)
Wednesday, June 7
Curt Schilling (Red Sox) vs. Jaret Wright (Yankees)
Thursday, June 8
Tim Wakefield (Red Sox) vs. Randy Johnson (Yankees)
Friday, June 9
Matt Clement (Red Sox) vs. Vicente Padilla (Rangers)
Saturday, June 10
Josh Beckett (Red Sox) vs. John Rheinecker (Rangers)
Saturday, June 10
Jon Lester (Red Sox) vs. John Wasdin (Rangers)

***Peter here. And wins? On and on and on......summer starts on June 21st. You see, the fun is JUST starting. For all of us.....promise.......

From The Cleveland Ledger....And Well Written. To Forget, If But For A Moment

"When I caught up with Jonathan Papelbon by cell phone Monday afternoon, he was on his way to work. At Yankee Stadium.
Talk about job stress. If all went well, the end of Papelbon's work day would have him as the center of attention, with about 55,000 New York Yankees fans screaming against him, a national TV audience watching, and the Red Sox leading the Yankees by a half game in the American League East.
"It'll be a hostile environment for sure," Papelbon said. "You just have to feed off it. I want to be the best. That's my goal: To be the best. To be the best, you've got to beat the best."
Amazing, isn't it? Established, experienced closers such as Mariana Rivera, Jason Isringhausen, Billy Wagner and Brad Lidge all trail the 25-year-old Papelbon, who didn't even begin the season as the Red Sox closer. But when veteran Keith Foulke, the projected closer, struggled early, Francona auditioned Papelbon, who won the role and quickly became a star.
"I just told myself that I've got this chance to do something, so I might as well take advantage of it," said Papelbon, who has used a 95-97 mph fastball, a sharp-breaking slider and a newly developed split-finger fastball to dominate opposing hitters.
Going into Monday, Papelbon had struck out 26 and walked only three in 28 innings. His earned run average: a minuscule 0.33.
I knew he had a strong arm, good stuff. But if you had told me three years ago, he would be doing this well, this soon, in the major leagues, I would not have believed it.
Papelbon laughed when I told him just that and asked him how he had gotten so far, so fast.
"Hard work," he answered. "My work ethic has gone through the roof."
That split-finger fastball, developed during the 2005 season and perfected in the off-season, has been huge.
"Schill (Curt Schilling) showed me the grip in spring training last year, and I
Papelbon, a Baton Rouge native who went to high school in Florida and is building a home in Brandon, has as much confidence as he has stuff.

"Yes," he answers when asked if he thinks Bobby Thigpen's single-season saves record of 57 is attainable.
"Hey, Thigpen's a Mississippi State guy so you know I gotta go after it and try to keep it in the family," Papelbon said. "Anything's possible, but to get that many you've got to be perfect or almost perfect. You can't miss many."
Papelbon, again: "Why not set your goals high? I want to be the best. That's all. I want to be the best."
So far, he has been."

****Peter here. I thought those few words would help bring a smile to those still mourning last night's game, the first of four. Good stuff, huh?

Smile, After The Pain

Moose Mussina and the Yankees were hungry last night. And they feasted on us. Our pitching. Our defense. The Moose pitched well. Well enough. It was a close game, way back when, near the beginning. And then the MOOSE needed food, and his thirst consumed his every fiber. And that food was embodied by the runs his teamates, chosen substitutes and aging veterans, supplied. And the MOOSE was happy. Aged, but happy. And all fans RED shuffled home, or turned off their receivers in disgust. And then........everything was right in the world. This morning, when it really counts. The sun shines, the air is cool, the trees right now drink in their sunlight, and tonight looms. And the 2 nights after tonight. And slowly, smiles could be seen creeping onto the faces of the bereaved. And I say...that is good.

One Word Describes This One-UGLY!!

This was bad. Indescribably bad. Beckett was crucified. Van Buren was impeached. Riske was skewered. By then, it was 13-3. Deal Or No Deal time on NBC. Yes,that's right, I bailed on this one. I wasn't the only one.
Fastballs dealt by Beckett acquired jet packs and zoomed to every corner of Yankee Stadium. In 1 and 2/3 innings, he allowed 7 hits and 8 runs. 8 runs. Yes, 8 runs. Ex-Prez Van Buren went an inning, giving up one hit but 5 runs. Yes, 5 runs. And David Riske didn't give up any runs of his own, but added to the Van Buren total. The last 3 meaningless innings were thrown by Tavarez and Delcarmen.
I turned the page last night, around 8:30, when the TV was switched from NESN to NBC. Tonight will be different. My goodness, how could it be the same? And the date today, 6/6/06. An omen? Well, the devil's got my tounge.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Saturday: Two Against The Rangers. Very Interesting Possible Pitching Match Ups

From the Globe....."There was no official announcement from the Red Sox, but all signs point to 22-year-old Jon Lester making his major league debut Saturday in Fenway Park, when the Red Sox play a day-night doubleheader against the Texas Rangers.
Lester was to have pitched this past Saturday for Triple A Pawtucket, but the PawSox shuffled their rotation and are holding back Lester until tonight, when he is scheduled to pitch in Indianapolis. That would put him on track to pitch Saturday along with Josh Beckett, who is scheduled to face Mike Mussina tonight in the Bronx in the first of four games against the Yankees."

***Peter here again. And I am not getting ahead of myself. I know we have 4 intense games to come with the team we, and a big part of the country, love to hate. But this upcoming debut by the rookie lefty will be exciting. Especially when you throw John Wasdin in the mix. Yep, John "home run here, home run there" Wasdin. Have fun these next few days, and yes, you'll be reading me. Thanks for your continuing visits..I love ya!!!!!

Detroit Put In Its Place By The Cream Of The AL

Detroit, with the best record in the league, has been put in its place, losing 5 of 7 to the Yankees, and most recently the Boston Red Sox. Yesterday, it was Matt Clement's turn to resurrect a fumbling year, and he did so with 6 crisp and effective innings against the once cream of the American League. Youk and Big Papi went back to back in the 5th, and Manny clobbered one in the 7th to make it 5-3 Sox. And then the roof fell in for the Tigers and pitcher Jason Grilli, who was literally put over hot coals as he walked in 3 runs, resulting in the final score of 8-3.
Matt Clement worked on his mechanics between starts, and it paid off handsomely. Although he ran out of gas after just a handful of pitches in the 7th, we all could see that his pitches has a crispness, a spark that was missing before. Hey Matt, we sure can use you, the you we saw yesterday. See you Friday, at home, for the first of 4 against the Rangers. And for our Sox, it's NYC tonight, as Mike Mussina pitches for the home team, and Josh Beckett takes the hill for the visiting Sox. Fasten your seatbelts and come along for the ride!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

It's OVAH 8-3

And the wrap-up will be early AM tomorrow, with all the details you guys love..and first place again!

Paps Proud

One more tidbit on the incredible start by our very own Jonathon Papelbon. Ya gotta smile!

"Jonathan Papelbon, who recorded his 20th save in 20 chances in Friday’s 3-2 win against Detroit, became the fastest rookie to reach the plateau in major league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Papelbon did so in the Sox’ 52nd game, blowing away the previous mark of 76, established by Kansas City’s Mike MacDougal in 2003."
Peter here, and I just have one word to say.......NICE!!!

Bullpen No Help

Tim Wakefield pitched well enough to win. At least for 7 innings. It was 3-2 and the Sox were doing nothing to help themselves offensively. They were outpitched. But it was the bullpen that made this game a "no chance to come back" one, with Manny Delcarmen allowing 2 men on in the 8th before Julian Tavarez was summoned to face Maglio Ordonez, who was before this game 0-6 against him. BOOM....3 run homer. Tavarez put it in his own words, in an illuminating quote. Here it is....

"I left the ball in the middle of the plate and he hit a three-run bomb," Tavarez said. "That was the whole difference in the game. The location was what I got hurt with really bad right there. If I have good location, I think I get him out."

My goodness, Julian. Well, DUH! What a pearl of wisdom, a nugget of pure genius. That was it. The Sox had no runs hidden in their back pockets, or up their sleeves, and it was just another "good enough to win if we score some runs" game by Wakes. If the score had been tied or we had been up 4-3, I think the bullpen deployment would have been Foulke/Papelbon. But everyone has to do their jobs. Last night was not to be. Matt Clement tries to salvage his season from hell this afternoon, facing Zach Miner, 6-0 in the minor leagues this year. And then it's on to New York City. Can I stress this enough? No. Today is close to a must win.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

And Don't Forget The Runner-Up...Mark Loretta

From today's Globe........"Second baseman Mark Loretta has a great shot at being named American League player of the month after batting a major league-leading .404 in May. His 44 hits were the most he has had in any month in his career."

****Peter here...way to go Mark!! You are a big part of our infield, the BEST IN BASEBALL.

The 3rd "Every 14 Game" MVP Award...The Winner Is.....

Our first "Every 14 game Award For Excellence," above and beyond the call of duty went to Kevin Youklis, who continues to amaze us. As does the second winner of this quirky but from my heart award, Mike Lowell. Now it's time for THE 3rd "EVERY 14 GAME AWARD" to be announced. And the winner is...Jonathon Papelbon. He also continues to amaze not just us Red Sox lovers, but baseball fans the world over. Congrats Jonathon.
I wrote the following post in early April, right before Terry Francona yanked away, with good reason, the closer's role from Keith Foulke and gave it to Paps. A better move? Not in my memory. Here is what I wrote, in early April, when the closer was STILL Foulkie.
Jonathon Papelbon toes the mound, peering in to see Tek's sign. Outside fastball. He nods, starts his windup, and paints the outside black of the plate for a called third strike. The top of the ninth inning is over, the Sox win 2-1, and Papel secures his 20th save. It was not easy. Josh Beckett went the first seven, allowing a third inning solo shot to right. The Sox answered in the bottom half of the inning, with a sharp double to the gap in right by Big Papi, and a first pitch home run to dead center, his 18th, by Manny Ramirez. And that was all the scoring for Texas and Boston on this sunny humid Sunday June 11th. The Rangers were defeated in this 64th game of the season at Fenway Park. Tavarez pitched a 1-2-3 8th, setting the stage for Papel's 14th straight save. The crowd went home hot, dazed, but happy. The Sox were in first, with a record of 39-25, 5 games in front of the Yankees and Blue Jays.
Now this, of course, is just a little slice of my imagination. But it is a scenario that could come true if Keith Foulke's fastball does not regain it's pre-2005 zip, making his off speed stuff wicked once more.

****Peter here, back in present day June of 2006. If only I could be so good at picking lottery numbers! Wakes tonight with plenty of flutternutter deliveries to go around. Enjoy your weekend, and thank you SO much for reading. I mean that.

Youk Can Do It

Yooouuukkkk........I hear it now, echoing along New England's borders that frame Red Sox Nation. From down east Maine to Fairfield county on a monsoon-like Friday night. It was the 9th inning, and the Red Sox were down by a run, 2-1. Mike Lowell collected his 3rd hit of the night, and then a frustrated Kevin Youklis, who had struck out in his previous bat and had dropped a throw from Alex Cora for an error, launched one that JUST cleared the fence and bounced off the bullpen wall for a 2 run homer. It was 3-2, Schill was off the hook after 6 good innings, and it was Paps time. Save number 20? In the bag, as the Detroit fans had their first chance to see the MLB save leader up close and personal. In the situation where he has thrived this year. With the lead. Save number 20 in the bag. So kudos to Kevin, and to David Riske and Rudy Seanez, who held the Tiger lead to one while the visitors from Boston figured out a way to grab the lead. Mission accomplished.
In Baltimore, the Orioles did their expected "bend over and have your way with me" against the Yankees, but we knew that would happen. Our hearts and minds were in the midwest, in the Motor City. And I'm still revved up. And you know what? I like waking up in the morning, not with a yawn, but with a YOOOUUUKKK!!! I could get used to it. We all could.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Mystery Deepens As Yankees Lose More Than A Game


The Yankees lost the final of a 4 game set agaist Detroit as Kyle Farnsworth could not shut down the Tigers in the 9th inning, allowing 2 runs and earning, yes earning the loss. And the rash of injuries keeps spreading, as Mo Rivera was felled after pulling something in his back while trying to get into his cleats. It's painful...I've done it. Rest and rehab for a few days usually works, but the lingering doubts he has will remain longer. And the Sheffield news turned terrible. His wrist injury might require surgery. There is no timetable for his return.
NO TIMETABLE. Hmm. Sounds like the title of a good book. In stranger than fiction news, it very well might be. Stephen King, productive and beloved writer and lifelong Sox fan, has been doing research for a book to be released in summer '07 that has to do with an aging but once champonship big league ball team that has been overcome by injuries big and small, some believable and some just plain absurd. There is talk of an alien plot theme also involved in the string of injuries, and King has been seen doing research in and around Yankee Stadium. Sounds like the kind of book I'd read in a heartbeat, but I read everything he writes.
(Please click onto comments for further King news, and an explanation.)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Spelling Bee On ABC Tonight

8pm EDT. And talk about thunderstorms (I changed the subject), it's pitch black with the only illumination being the lightning. I think I had better get off the computer. Thanks for stopping by, Obi (secret message only Kim would know.)

With This 'Pen I Thee Win

It was that kind of performance by our bullpen. You know, the kind you'd like to marry and settle down with. The bullpen let the runs scored by our mighty offense win the game. Stellar work by Jermaine "ex-president" Van Buren, "Little " Manny Delcarmen, and Keith Foulke shut 'em down through the 8th after the rookie David Pauley faltered for good in the 5th. And Paps sealed the deal with number 19. In a row.
The offense? Would you believe 16 homers? Would you believe 12? Ok, Ok. They hit 4 homers, one each by Trot Nixon, Mark Loretta, Manny Ramirez and Big Papi. And they needed every run as our starter gave up 6 runs in 4 and 2/3 innings. And that is why the bullpen was the MVP of this game. And special honors go to Alex Gonzalez, who looked like a combination of Ozzie Smith and one of the Flying Wallenda Brothers, as he had a huge part in turning 3 double plays, all of them clutch as clutch can be.
So goodbye Canada. Take care Toronto. Glad to be out of here. Now it's on to Detroit, where the Yankees made quick work of the hapless Tigers yet again as Moose went the distance in pitching a gem. And it gave their bullpen a much needed rest. And we all hope Mike Lowell's hamstring was just tweaked a tad. A day off today is such a blessing, as the next 7 loom large in the headlights. We'll be ready.