Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wily Mo Pena Makes Me MAD!!!!!

Peter here. The clouds cleared early this morning after dire-sounding reports of a quick moving storm called an "Alberta Clipper." So named because this type of storm moves quickly from the Great Lakes southeast to somewhere in southern New England on its rapid journey into the Atlantic Ocean. Some of these re-develop off shore. This one didn't, nor was it expected too. And a dusting would be a generous term for the white stuff we were left with. And that's just fine.

Oh, and this story BOTHERS me. I am putting that mildly.....please, read on, from the Herald...about WMP.....

"The Sox still aren’t close to reaching a deal with Wily Mo Pena on a new contract, which could lead to the first arbitration case to go to a hearing since Theo Epstein took over as general manager after the 2002 season. The outfielder, who was paid $1.25 million last year, is seeking a raise to $2.2 million. The club is offering $1.725."

OK, Peter here.....I was going to include this WMP story with one or two others, but this BOTHERS me so much, I think it deserves to stand alone.....and yes, it does!!!

And Wily Mo Pena....fourth outfielder for the team we love, and hopeful reader of my blog. Or else, he'd miss this message. And readers? I hope you know I'm kidding...but if we were standing together, WMP and me, I'd turn to my left, and utter these words to him. And that I promise! we go. I hope I'm not knocked down or something.

And this, my readers, is Peter fiction.

"Hi there Wily. I hope you can prove to all of us RSN fans that you can CATCH THE BALL without any Jose Canseco antics before you huff and puff and demand more money than you're worth. I think this team, our team, the Boston Red Sox, would be so much better with Trot Nixon as our 4th outfielder.....but you're the one we will have to live with. So bash the ball, and when you get to the outfield, whichever one that will be, DO NOT EMBARRASS US! And behave. PLEASE!!!! I have no faith in you, so MAKE US BELIEVE! We are a nation of faith. Your RSN "faith level?" Hovering near nonexistant, at least for me....

Wily Mo, thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome. Peter N...This might be the start of a wonderful relationship!"

.....OR NOT! Up to you, guy who needs a bigger glove.

And the link to the original three part article from the Herald is here, with Daisuke news, on the title of this post.

WMP?? He has to prove himself before he asks the club, IN FRONT OF ALL OF US, for more money.
Peter, your guy here. Thanks for reading. ALWAYS.

Mr. and Mrs. Theo Epstein

Well, it had to happen! Theo and Marie are a married couple. Marie Whitney Epstein...has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? And I bet she does too....on the fourth finger of her left hand! They were married by an orthodox rabbi at the original Nathan's Famous Hot Dog stand at Coney Island, New York, a place that has fond memorories for the new bride.. So I'm sure we all wish the happy couple good luck, good health, and a happy life together. For many years.

The Boston Globe later changed the story. The couple was married on John Henry's yacht.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

One Post? Yes, Sometimes!

Oh yes...once in a great while I only write one post. Today (Tuesday) was a really busy day for me. Snow (just a bit) is expected tonight, and I had to deal with all the last minute bread and milk buyers who think that the end of the world is approaching! And so...........
..........have a great night my friends, and I'll be back Wednesday morning.....every day, every way..........I'm here. I've only missed two days in the last 14 months! Not bad, I think! I owe it to you, and I love each and every one of you. So thank you for reading me!!!!!!!!!!!!! Peter

Theo Stands Firm...Helton Trade DEAD

Unable to agree on financial and player considerations, talks between the Red Sox and the Rockies have ended. Caput. Finito. Theo stood firm in the face of the Rockies' demands for Delcarmen and Hansen. And that's great. We have another year to watch the brilliance of Mike Lowell at the hot corner. Mr. Doubles is comin' back!
I'll be back a bit later on this 6 degree F. Tuesday morning.

P.S, The entire Denver Post Article can be linked by clicking on the title of this post. I'm sure you've read the Globe and the Herald. So click away for Denver's best sports page!

Monday, January 29, 2007


Rest in peace, oh handsome and courageous one........and I am SO's not fair......

Breaking Schill News!!!!

And this, from the Globe, is printed in its need to click on this post's title. I have a word or two after you read this.....dated January 29, 2007.......

Schilling: I'll play in '08

By Steve Silva, Staff

"Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said this morning on Boston sports radio station WEEI that he will not retire from baseball at the end of this season, as he had previously had planned.
"I will play in 2008," were the words Curt Schilling told Red Sox Nation this morning on WEEI.
His contract with the Red Sox ends after this season.
"Where I'm going to play beyond 2007, I hope it's Boston, but I will go out and find a home to pitch,” he said. “I hope it's here but there's also that possibility [of pitching for another team]. It would not be to New York."
Schilling said his family played a big part in his decision not to hang ‘em up after this season.
"Over the last probably 5 or 6 months and my wife and kids and I have been talking and we came to conclusion about a week or 10 days ago that I was not going to retire in 2007, that I was going to go ahead," said Schilling. "I always believed physically I was going to be more than OK; I feel like last year, while I certainly didn't have a year like I know I could have, towards the end I became a lot healthier and my wife and kids want me to continue to play, which was the only reason I was retiring in the first place."
Schilling was 15-7 with a 3.97 ERA last season, his third in a Red Sox uniform."

3.97? Not bad for an "off-year." And that was HIS opinion of last year. And if you missed it, and this is BIG, he said he would NOT PITCH FOR NEW YORK! So that makes him "our" Curt forevermore. This is Peter here, and if Schill wants to pitch for us in '08, he will! Oh, and this is for you, John Kerry. Take a deep breath. It looks like you're safe! Curt will be far too busy winning games for the Boston Red Sox in 2008. The number one challenger for your seat will be on the mound, pitching for the team he'll be pitching for when he retires. An extra year of Curt Schilling? The Red Sox and all of us RSNers are happy.....but we have 2007 staring at us. Staring at us, RIGHT IN THE FACE! I love it. I'm ready.
Stay tuned...right here! I'll do my best to keep every reader informed. Heck, MORE than informed! Thanks for reading.

Rockies Ask....Theo Stands Firm On "Super Six."

The Helton negotiations have hit a snag, a snag in the form of a brick wall erected by Theo Epstein to protect the Sox' five (or six...see below) top prospects. They would be Craig Hansen, Little Manny Delcarmen, Jacob Elsbury, Daniel Bard and Clay Buchholz.The Rockies, in addition to Mikey Lowell and Julian Tavarez, want one of these guys. Our beloved Jon Lester's name has even been mentioned. Theo said, in a word, NO to each and every one of the "Super Six." And that's good. Helton is 32, he's not 28.
If this is as far as the deal goes, we're fine. I liked the setup of the 2007 Sox before these talks with the Rockies were made public, with the exception of the missing closer. To include one of these five (six, including JL) future greats would be lunacy.
Enjoy your Monday...I'll be back later this morning as we start the new week.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Is This Funny, Or What!!!!!!!

From laughed, and I HAD to share.....

"A pitch for Red Sox ace Curt Schilling to replace John Kerry in the U.S. Senate. (Peter here....!!!!!!!! on.)

Today’s Boston Herald reports there’s a move to draft Schilling as Kerry’s opponent in the 2008 senate race.
The most interesting piece of information:

****An online poll of 800 voters has Schilling leading Kerry by 96 percent."****

Peter again.....this has to be a goof, or a heck of a statement about John Kerry.......96%.....Anti-Bush-like numbers.
Bye everyone, until Monday. Enjoy the northeastern warmth, for 22 hours or so.


The line-up for 2007? We'll see. But no young arms to Colorado, Theo. Mikey Lowell and Julian Tavarez? Mike will be missed. He was an anchor and a sparkplug last year, with a glove as huge as his heart. But if that's what it takes. He will be missed, but the Sox are not acting out of urgency, and that's important.
Everyone, have a great Sunday, and your comments, pro or con, are more than welcome. But you know that by now. As always, thanks for being here. It means so much to me. And the day when pitchers and catchers report to camp is approaching at warp speed! I don't see any weaknesses on this cast of characters, with the exception of number nine Pedroia. And that's only because of a lack of big league, without further adieu, and thank you Boston Globe.........the starting lineup of your 2007 Boston Red Sox (?).

SS Julio Lugo
RF J.D. Drew
DH David Ortiz
LF Manny Ramírez
1B Todd Helton
3B Kevin Youkilis
C Jason Varitek
CF Coco Crisp
2B Dustin Pedroia

Red Sox Looking At Todd Helton

This from the Denver Post, and then a word from a puzzled yet optimistic me.....

"As first reported by The Denver Post on Saturday, the Rockies have discussed sending Helton to Boston, targeting young relievers Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen. The Red Sox have offered third baseman Mike Lowell and reliever Julian Tavarez, but are reluctant, thus far, to give up either young pitcher.
While an initial framework has been established on the $90.1 million remaining on Helton's contract - the Rockies would be responsible for a little more than $40 million as it stands - Helton's understandable desire for a speedy conclusion is also an important factor.
Helton, 33, has indicated to the Rockies that he would waive his no-trade clause for the Red Sox, but he is prepared to veto any deal if it is not consummated soon. The Red Sox's posture Saturday was to slightly downplay the talks, stressing a lack of urgency because they like their current lineup.
However, a major-league source who has spoken directly with the Red Sox said Saturday night there is still a good chance the deal gets done if Boston can get Helton for less than $10 million annually over the next six seasons.
Helton, who would likely bat second in front of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, is scheduled to make $16.6 million over the next four years, $19.1 million in 2011 with a $4.6 million buyout in 2012."

Peter here, and yes, there are articles in both the Globe and the Herald today. The Denver Post article is linked when you click on the title of this post. Helton would be a major addition to our lineup. But I like our lineup as it stands now. Giving up Lowell and moving Youk to third? There's an improvement, but not enough of an improvement to move Delcarmen or Hansen. Tavarez? Sure, I'm already waving! But he WAS good last year when all else failed, and the season was ovah.
I can't read minds-this whole thing has hit us suddenly. And I think the huge expenditure of money would be better spent on filling the biggest hole. THE CLOSER, or lack thereof. I guess we'll have to watch and wait as the wheels turn in the Sox front office. As the Globe summed up...
.......major league sources indicate that the Red Sox will only make a deal "if the chips are perfectly in place."

I always say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But Helton batting second, sure to hit .315, with plenty of pop in his bat? I could live with that.......but Theo, remember last year? We can never have enough pitching....

Saturday, January 27, 2007

GYROMANIA? Or.........

From SI, excerpts about the guy, OUR guy, who we all are so curious about. After all, he'll be pitching for the Boston Red Sox every five days. And we'll be watching. Read some of this, and then my comments. And I do recommmend clicking on this post's title for the FULL article, after you finish the post. Good stuff! Anyone for a GYRO? I know I'm ready, IF it exists!!!! It just might?! Here ya go......thank you SI.....

"To his Japanese fans, the right-hander is known simply as Daisuke. When he pitches, he often uses a high right leg kick on his follow-through. His fastball checks in at 93 mph. Knees buckle at the sight of his curve. His changeup makes hitters look foolish.
And then there's the gyroball...
"It is a pitch with a gyro spin," explains Dr. Ryutaro Himeno, the director of the Advanced Center for Computing and Communication at the physics and chemistry research institution Riken in Saitama Prefecture.
Himeno, who has done computer simulations of the gyroball's movement since the late 1990s, says that the pitch is delivered much like a "football pass," speeding toward the plate in a tight spiral.
The benefit of the four-seam gyroball, Tezuka says, is its surprising explosiveness. Batters, he believes, are lulled into thinking a typical fastball is approaching only to find that it already streaking through the zone as they start their cut. But most gyroballers, he says, throw the two-seam version because of its speed and sharper break.
"The gyroball is scary," says Tezuka, of the pitch's speed and unpredictability. "It is beyond imagination."

Peter here...sounds a LITTLE like hype to me, but there is so much more in the entire article. A must on the title. But's a little more, a tease! Hey, without a tease, I wouldn't be doing my best.........

"This April, a Japanese rookie pitcher will make his Fenway Park debut. He'll stand on the mound and probably kick at the rubber a few times before staring down at catcher Jason Varitek. The righty will get his sign, go into his windup and deliver a...
No doubt, Himeno and Tezuka will be following the flight of the pitch right along with everyone else."

Peter here yet again...hard to get rid of me? Well, don't try! And if THAT little snippet didn't get the entire article, with color diagrams and so much more, a must read. The pitch seems to be unique in that the pitcher snaps his wrist downward upon delivery. Fact, or fiction? Are we in Rod Serling's Twilight Zone? Or is this pitch another item in Daisuke's arsenal, one that hitters will be expecting, not knowing when or IF, that will further confuse the guessing game that is major league hitting. We will all find out.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and I know you'll enjoy the entire article. Illuminating. Heck, just plain fun! Thanks for being here, for reading. I appreciate it. Now click on the title, and thanks. And as always, I'd love to read your comments!!! Have a great weekend, although I will be here tomorrow morning with a post, and later today to read your comments. So SHOUT OUT! And thanks, as always. Always and forever.

Drew On Hitting At Fenway Park

This JD Drew quote appeared in the Saturday Courant. I'll follow that up with a quote from Theo and then some thoughts from me....

"I know I lost a lot of hits out in L.A. over the last couple of years driving the ball to left field," Drew said. "Hopefully those turn into doubles and add to my average and also add extra runs batted in and on-base percentage for the guys hitting behind me."
Drew hit .283 with 20 homers and 100 RBI in 146 games last season with the Dodgers. Drew, who has a career .393 on-base percentage, will hit fifth behind David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez."

"Two of our goals this offseason were to add another premium hitter, an on-base bat with power to complement Ortiz and Ramirez as well as to add a center field-caliber defensive player to our right field situation," Epstein said. "We think that in signing J.D. we've accomplished two of those goals with one signing."

Peter here. JD Drew has played right at Fenway, in 2003, and he'll have to relearn the tricky angles and low fence. For now, I have to have faith in his defensive ability and his knack for getting on base, especially batting in the crucial fifth spot of our lineup.
So now we wait for the pitching to jell and for someone, and we do not have a clue as to who that might be, to emerge as the closer. For without him, we're little better than a .500 third place club. There are not many more important pieces of the puzzle than the closer, a closer supreme. This from the Herald...

"Having a closer before spring training begins sounds less than likely, said Epstein, but he repeated his assurance that “certainly we’ll have one by the time the season breaks.”

Peter here...not they way it should be done!!!!! We have no choice but to hope that Theo knows what the heck he's doing. He's accomplished just about everything else he set out to do at the start of the off-season. I'll give him that. But.....

The entire Courant article is linked if you click on the title of this post. And I'll be back later. Feel free to leave a comment or two so I can be sure the minor glitches from yesterday have vanished. Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, January 26, 2007

I've Figured It Out..WOW..Thank You!!!

You see, the only comments that will come up anonymous are those dwindling numbers of folks, such as me 2 hours ago, who have not changed to the new format. I think. Do I like it? The newer and quicker publishing is great! Do I not like it? In some ways, YES, but as long as all my readers, during this coldest Friday in 15 months (IT IS), are doing great, then I am too. So enjoy your Friday afternoon, and I thank you. What else can I say....AS OF NOW, EXCEPT FOR SOME EARLIER POSTS, the new blog layout is working. I'll hold my breath, and as always, thank you, members of PBN...Peter's Blog Nation. Because you are the best. So enjoy Friday night, and wear a heavy jacket. Weekend coming up, and coming up quickly!!! Bye, until tomorrow...

More Drew Thoughts.....

I was in a hurry when I wrote my last post, an early morning "before the sun wakes itself up to shine on us" type of post. Not that today isn't beautiful. But the sun, the type of sun which "looks like the its rays have warmth amidst their yellow beauty," but do not, is only there for that beauty, not providing warmth. That's OK, it's late January!. But I'm home now, having accomplished everything I had to do on this early Friday (!!) morning, and then I had a 9AM Doctor appointment, just an "every three month" meeting with my doctor, the guru of diabetes of all kinds. And I'm fine! Although my body does not make insulin, and hasn't for the last two and a half years, I'm controlling my sugar by myself! Five finger sticks every day, to check the glucose (sugar) level, and a shot of insulin three times a day (with meals, because when one eats, that's the normal time a body, from the pancreas, would introduce insulin into the body, to help the body use the sugar contained in one form or another correctly.) And then one last shot, of long-acting insulin, for overnight. Taken before my sometimes early bedtime. I know it must sound like a hassle, but, as Bruce Springsteen wrote and sang in his 1987's song, from the CD of the same name, TUNNEL OF LOVE, an album about he and his wife, and the events leading to his divorce, well, he said this....."You have to learn to live with what you can't rise above." And I say..... WATCH ME RISE. And I have been! NO THANKS to our President, George Bush, and his archaic approach to stem cell research. Boob, idiot, dolt.

Wow, what was I going to say?? Oh, that's right...I'm glad you all have patience, for sometimes I go on a tangent. JD Drew, and this a more specific JDD update. And then I'll be back...........and this is from the Herald, linked when you click on this post's title.

" The deal (JD Drew) is far more complicated than anyone foresaw when Drew’s agent, Scott Boras, said at the winter meetings in Orlando on Dec. 5 that the deal, worth $70 million for a full five years, was done.
Because the Red Sox are concerned that Drew’s surgically repaired right shoulder could pose a problem in the last three years of the deal, the club insisted on protecting its investment by having an out clause, or a voidable contract.
For the first two years, the deal is standard, with all the money guaranteed. Beginning in the 2009 season, however, if Drew sustains a baseball-related injury to the shoulder that will require a disabled-list stint of more than 15 days and fewer than 40, then the Red Sox will have the right to void the last two years of the deal.
If the DL stint occurs in the fourth year, the Sox can void the fifth year.
While Drew’s injury history is long, the club feels it is signing an essentially healthy player. There is no current problem in the shoulder, the Sox believe, but there are enough warning signs that the condition could deteriorate in the coming years."

Peter here, and yes, our Red Sox front office not only protected themselves, and at the same time protected us, RSN members strong, they proved to us all that the exhorbitant 5 year deal is contigent on many things. Anotherwords.....NO DAMAGED GOODS WILL BE TOLERATED! And the reason for the delay between the initial JDD announcement and this, the final annoncement? Well, Scott Boras(s), when you deal with our Red Sox, you ain't getting by with ANYTHING. So, in fact, we put the screws to Mr. Boras(s) yet again during this '06-'07 off season. And readers, we did great, didn't we? An ace starter and a rightfielder who will be far more effective at the plate, and who will be holding down the number five spot in our great looking batting order. Dare I say Mikey Lowell will follow him at lucky number six. Or something like that. And watch out for Mr. Lowell this year. He will remain a vacuum cleaner, Oreck or not, at the hot corner, and he'll dazzle us just the same as he did last year, with his glove AND his bat. Sooooo...

I had to start a new paragraph. This is that type of paragraph when I wrap things up, thank you for reading, remind you to click on the title to access the original article, and then thank you all. Does that sound like me? I think so! And I do thank very much. Healthy and happy weekend, but you'll hear from me all weekend long. Get used to it! I know I am. And I love it!


Finally! The Red Sox and JD Drew have finalized contractual matters and he will take over Fenway's famed rightfield for the next five, or maybe three years. The holdup started with the medical exam. The doctors saw structural damage that led them to believe that the shoulder might break down in three to five years, So the club, wisely, wanted insurance. Insurance in the form of being able to bow out of the contract after three years if Drew's shoulder health warrents. Smart move? Yes. Boras one-upped again by our Sox. How sweet is that?
So we hope for the best, and we certainly can look at our 2007 club with all the pieces. Except for one. The closer.

(The original Globe article is linked by clicking on the title.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Our Bullpen, And A STUBBORN Wily Mo Pena

This post will be in two pieces. The first? From the Globe...and the subject? WMP.....I hope he knows what he's doing, because his defense? AHHH!!!! Well, read on....

" the lone Sox arbitration case left, and it looks like some time will pass before a resolution. Peña has asked for $2.2 million; the Sox countered with $1.725 million."

Peter here. Hey Wily, aren't you slumping horribly in the winter league? I also can remind you if you've forgotten.......HELLO!!! So please don't think you're God's gift to our outfield, because you are Fenway's WORST NIGHTMARE to play right, you idiot. So know your place, know the history of your club, which by the way, just to remind you, is THE BOSTON RED SOX. OUR team...not yours. Not yet. Maybe never. So GROW UP!!.

And........also from the Globe......

"The Sox' investment in the bullpen stands at $15.7 million......
The highest-paid member of the Sox bullpen as presently constituted is Joel Pineiro, who started in 148 of his 185 games in the big leagues for Seattle before being signed as a free agent for $4 million this season. Pineiro could become a candidate for the No. 5 spot in the rotation if the Sox change their minds about making Papelbon a starter.
The other Sox relievers under contract for 2007: Julian Tavarez ($3.1 million), Mike Timlin ($2.8 million), Romero ($1.6 million), Donnelly ($1.4 million), Okajima ($1.2 million), Craig Hansen ($700,000), Kyle Snyder ($535,000), and Craig Breslow (split contract, $400,000 in the big leagues, $130,000 in the minors).
Timlin, Tavarez, and Donnelly figure to be the top setup men, and Okajima and Romero (possibly Lopez) are the lefties. The dollars say Pineiro will be on the staff, possibly as the closer or fifth starter. That's six positions in the pen. With five starters (Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, and Papelbon), that would appear to leave one position open, assuming manager Terry Francona carries 12 pitchers. Hansack, Hansen, and Delcarmen stand to be the leading contenders for that final spot. The competition should be intense."

Peter here again, and THAT'S ENOUGH. You see, I'm on a mission. And that mission is to make sure our team, the Red Sox, gets their sh*t together, in spring training, if that's the way they want to do it. Why? Can we say B U L L P E N? I know we can. The whole darn season rides on the decisions not yet made. Am I mad? Not yet. Well, maybe. But it's like we have a wonderful chocolate cake....without the icing. Because the icing on any cake is a pitcher, a pitcher we've not yet met. But that pitcher can finish the icing on the cake and let us all go home, and turn off the TV, cheering, after a Red Sox victory.

I bent your ears, and I only do so with good reasons. Or many reasons. Enjoy this Thursday, and I wish Theo was reading. Right now. I KNOW you, my readers, are! And I thank you for that. And yes, click on the title for the article that started me on this rant (rant?....too strong a word.) But I love our Sox, as do we all! Just as I love you too.............and my final word is a six letter word...CLOSER. Thanks for reading lucky am I? I can answer that....wayyyy lucky!!!

And don't forget to click on this post's title. OK????

A New Bigger And Better Fenway Park

From the Herald......and then a comment. The entire Herald piece is linked by clicking on the title, but you'll have more fun reading me! And THEN clicking!

BOSTON - "The Boston Red Sox [team stats] will be able to squeeze several hundred more fans into Fenway Park [map] for each game this season.
Other improvements new for 2007 include:
-a new “Bleacher Bar” under the center field seats, in the area formerly occupied by the batting cages, that would open during the season.
-a new women’s restroom on the third-base side and renovations to the men’s room there that was built with the ballpark in 1912.
-vending machines that will allow fans to buy public transportation tickets, called “CharlieCards,” inside the ballpark.
-a new stairway to ease congestion behind home plate, resurrecting a plan from 1934 that allowed fans to go directly from Yawkey Way to the grandstand seats,
-cup holders for the field box seats,
-new escalators to the luxury club."

Peter here, and a new and bigger Fenway Park with a brand new restaurant (it's not just a "bleacher bar---it's a full restaurant) under the bleachers that will be open all year long are nice things. But I know what would be best for Fenway-going Red Sox fans, or the Sox fans who love to watch or listen at home or on the road. And that is a winning team. A first place team. A "play in October" team. We have a rotation that is the envy of most other teams. When the JD Drew rightfield position is all set, as I assume it will be, our lineup, top to bottom, will be an imposing one. The bench? SOLID. The glaring, yes GLARING weakness continues to be the bullpen, the 'pen as it is right now. I guess we'll learn so much about that group of closer-less guys, some of them with unlimited potential, some on the tail ends of their careers, during spring training. And it will be a scary time, because if someone fails to step up and become "that guy," there will be precious little time for a fix. That guy, the go- to guy. The one in whose hands the ninth inning of so many one-run Sox leads will rest, the guy we haven't met yet. That's him...we all know what he has to do, we just don't know his face! Please step up and shine. For without you, we're a third place team. And that's something NONE of us want. Or would tolerate. I think I speak for most of us.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Click On This Title. Why? The Results Will Surprise All Of You!! Not Me, Though. Not In The Least!!!

This is an informal poll put up by The Remy Report, who has a daily seven times per week "Today In Sports Newsletter." And it's great, so look for the free subscription info somewhere there. And it's not just baseball. In fact, today's selected article links are almost 100% Patriots. But today there's a poll, and if you click on the title above, I hope you'll vote. It's already a landslide, and it's all about a choice. Who would you rather see playing Fenway's spacious right on '07....JD Drew, or (and I know it's too late, because Trot is gone, but people voted!) our always number seven rightfielder supreme Trot (dirt dog) Nixon. So click on this post's title, and if you want to leave me a comment about how you feel, and why, that would be great. I know so many of you, my readers, and I know how you feel. But I thought this would be fun. The link, voting and all, should work! As always, and I will say it EVERY chance I get, thank you for reading me. To quote the great, maybe the GREATEST PLAYER EVER, Lou Gehrig. "I feel like the luckiest guy on the face of the Earth." Sad words, said when the man was so very sick, and saying farewell, FOREVER, to his fans at Yankee Stadium. And so early in his life. But, with tears in his eyes, he meant every word. He didn't even want to approach the mike on that fatefull goodbye day, but he was urged on by his managers and fellow players. And again I urge you to read the book about him, a true story written so well that ANY baseball fan would enjoy immensely. It's called THE LUCKIEST MAN, softcover available at amazon dot com, or ANYWHERE. I laughed, oh, I cried. But I was a better man, a better fan of the game of baseball, after lovingly reading click, and vote, and keep your sometimes silly but ALWAYS nice writer up to date with your feelings. Happy hump day, and as always, don't forget to click on the post's title to vote in the poll. And your thoughts? I'll devour them, and respond. Happy Hump Wednesday. And the arctic blast is coming, and coming soon for those of us in the northeastern part of our great country. Friday will be remembered for its wind chills, so bundle up. Comment if you can! I love you guys!!!

Arbitration Avoided For Donnelly

Right hander Brendan Donnelly avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year $1.4 million contract. He was seeking $1.6 million and the Red Sox had offered him $1.15 million. That's one down, one WMP left to go. General manager Theo Epstein has never allowed an arbitration-eligible player to go all the way to a hearing. Such hearings are scheduled for next month.

I think the Red Sox should give WMP a step-up glove with a GPS locater built in to help him track those fly balls that are not hit directly at him. The ones that he has to go back on give him the most trouble, and the GPS might help him get a better jump.

All kidding aside, congratulations Brendan. Have a great year. I'll be back later this morning with something else for you. Bet on it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

SUPER Seven!

MLB's Ian Browne answers seven beautiful and wonderful, even fascinating questions that I'd bet are on ALL your minds before the season of 2007. RSN questions for RSN lovers.So after reading my post, and this is important, click on the title of this post. Seven so great questions, with answers that are believable! I loved it. For the uninitiated, RSN translates, in English, to Red Sox Nation. Why the need for translation? Easy!!!! There are so many Japanese baseball fans (and I know!!! They've been here!!!) now interested in our Red Sox. So, I've had to write a separate blog entirely in Japanese.....I'll give you the link soon. But I ran into a problem.....I've searched my keyboard for the last couple hours for Japanese letters, and......and.......maybe it was because I was looking horizontally instead of vertically. Left to right...not up and down. All mixed up. But that's me! So this English version of Peter will have to do. OK??
Click on the title of the post, and if you can, I'd love to hear your comments, arguments, or thought processes that run through your mind, much like they ran like a river of white rapids through my brain, such as it is. My brain is a day to day thing, and I'm keeping an eye on it. And always the thoughts of 2007, and our Sox, and the hopes and dreams of an impatient nation of Sox lovers hungry, willing and waiting, patiently mostly, but sometimes not, for glory, RED SOX glory, in 2007, are near to my heart. And I cannot wait. The biggest questions?? For me there are two.....the obvious ones. Rightfield, and more critically, C L O S E R. Please be sure to click on the title for those magic seven questions, and I'd love to hear back from you! Always. But especially THIS time...the guy answered seven questions that I wish I had thought of myself, and was able to express so well! Take care my friends. Can't wait for a few comments. You're the best!

Bonds To Red Sox!

Nah! But I got your attention! Murray Chass of New York Times fame and a famous Red Sox hater wrote a column, linked when you click on the title of this post, about Red Sox fans and how they reacted to what was a throw-away joke line in a previous column. It has to do with the prospect of Barry Bonds coming to the Red Sox to play left and moving Manny to Fenway's spacious rightfield. A recipe for disaster? In my view, YES! Was he being serious? Read the article by clicking on the title of this brief post.
Thank you, EVERY ONE of you, for your kind wishes from yesterday. It's nice to have such good readers, and great friends.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pats Fall To Relentless Colt Offense

By the second half, the defensive line of the Patriots were huffing and puffing. They were wounded and tired. And the halftime lead disappeared more quickly than an ice cube at the beach. It got so bad that the last three offensive plays were running plays, smack through the wilting defensive line. And suddenly, it was over. The game. The season. The year.
The Colts will meet the Bears in Miami's Super Bowl. I have to root for the Bears, but I really think this is Peyton Manning's year. He showed us that yesterday. Thanks for a great season, Patriots. It was fun.
Oh, click on the link of this post for Jeff Jacobs' Hartford Courant column on the game. He is always entertaining and always one of my favorite sports writer. I will link many of his articles during Red Sox '07. Thanks....if I find anything baseball-related, I'll be back on this mournful Monday.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Football Sunday. OH YES!!!

Sunday. 8am. The sun peeks through the canopy of trees in the backyard, low on the horizon. A winterlike 9 degrees F. Winter is here, albeit a little late. And a coastal storm that will not be born for three days or so promises a heap of the white stuff for late in the week. MAYBE. As always, the exact path of this forthcoming storm is not yet known. If it moves up the coast and passes Connecticut as it slides over eastern Cape Cod....snow. A lot of snow. With wind. If it hugs the coast and passes directly over or just to the west of north central Connecticut, a mix of just about everything is certain. I'd take all snow over that treacherous mix anytime, any day. And if it travels inland to the west of Connecticut, then we would be on the warm side, as southerly winds bring an increase in temperature and a quick change to all rain. So the perfect snow track is one that will chart the storm north and east of Connecticut, crossing Cape Cod on its way north and east. Will it move fast, or will it slowly lumber on its northeasterly journey, maybe stalling just south of Long Island? That would cause the precipitation to last, and a chance for yet more snow to be dumped on us. All these questions are not answerable, not until the storm forms. If it does. And where it does. It's even too early to rely on the computer storm-path forecasts. But that, in just a few sentences, is the nature of what we here in the northeast United States of America call a Nor'easter. From snow to ice to sleet to rain...anything is possible and the meteorologists are just guessing at this early stage. I love talking weather...always have.
I told you that to tell you this. On this beautiful and sunny yet deep-freeze cold day, sports fans turn their eyes to football. Football New England Patriots' style in this neck of the woods. A 6:30pm kickoff time insures good primetime ratings for CBS, as well as the great matchup. Indianapolis and Peyton Manning and Adam Vinateri versus Tom Brady and his Patriots. The Pats are favored by a field goal....that's the home field advantage right there. Go Pats. The Colts have beaten us in our only meeting (thanks ***dawn***) this year, but they're going against a Patriots' team that has been tough to beat in the post seasons past.

This view, from the Lowell (MA.) Sun, says it all. The link can be accessed by clicking on the title of this post.

"The San Diego Chargers were perfect this season at home until the Patriots visited them last Sunday. The Colts too are "perfect at home (9-0). Certainly it is better to be at home for the playoffs. But the Patriots are 8-1 on the road this season. When Brady was asked whether the noise inside the RCA Dome will create problems with the snap count, he coolly replied, "We use a silent count. There is nothing coming from my mouth that they could get a jump (on)."
Brady is 23-1 on artificial surfaces (16 straight W's) and 12-1 in the playoffs. You do the math."

Oh yeah, I'm looking forward to this afternoon (game 1--Bears-Saints at 3:30pm) and evening of football, the fireplace blazing and the grill busy, laden with food of all kinds. Grilling with the ski jacket on. Oh yes!
Enjoy your Sunday everyone. If I stumble across anything baseball related, I'll be back with another post. But I did want to let you know what a winterish scene this Sunday morning has become. But sunshine abounds and it's warm and cozy inside, with just a sprinkle of snow here and there to freshen the outside view.
Enjoy the game, and again, GO PATS!!!!! Next stop for the two winners? ***THE SUPER BOWL***

And if you're in the neighborhood, or near it, stop on in!!!!! ANYTIME after three. RSVP!
Enjoy your Sunday, and thanks for everything. For reading. For being here. For your comments. For the smiles you give me.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Rolaids Anyone?

And Rolaids means relief! SI listed the top ten bullpen signings in this '06-'07 off-season, and the Red Sox, my Sox, OUR Sox, were nowhere to be found. No surprise! You can access the original SI article, with so many pics of each of their top 10 relievers, and sometime closers, who were signed this past few months by clicking on this post's title.
But I do have something to say. I usually do. I hope you get used to it!! Keith Foulke, the "should-have-been" MVP of the 2004 World Series, was listed at number three, where he will join our rightfielder-supreme Trot Nixon in Cleveland. I wish him luck, unless he's pitching against us. And the same goes for the newly departed and much loved Trot Nixon.

Who knows what the toughest in the majors rightfield ala Fenway Park will bring in these next few months? And this is where reality becomes fiction...enjoy!

We might see a game next year at Fenway with Cleveland as the visiting team, Foulkie pitching, the bottom of the ninth, two outs with men on second and third in a 3-2 game, the Indians a scinch. Anything can happen, and it WILL right now as Foulke whirls and throws.....a deep fly ball that wants to reach the Pesky Pole, but the wind is blowing it within reach of Nixon. He has to battle the fans, but......but....he DIVES and makes a TREMENDOUS catch (shades of Ken Coleman's call of the Yaz catch, so long ago...remember?) to end the Sox hopes on this early summer day. Foulke gets the save, his 14th (??) of the season. Boy, the Indians have to be so happy to have landed him. fiction. But we never know. Not now in mid-January. And when the Indians invade our Fenway later this year, Trot will see 36,000 PLUS people rising to their feet, screaming his name, as RSN laments his absence as he plays in HIS rightfield.
For my new readers, hello to you. For my returning readers, hello to you too! And EVERYONE, have a happy and healthy weekend. And be sure to click on this post's title for the illuminating and informative article from SI. With pics of all the relievers that we don't have. Thanks for being here...and reading me! I'm always thankful for my Sox friends. Every one of you! Peter N.

Boomer Stays West

Contrary to reports that had him travelling north to Toronto, David Wells is set to become the fifth starter for his hometown San Diego Padres. We wish him the best. The guy showed a heck of a lot of courage last year coming back from a bum knee. Win 15 Boomer!!
I'll be back a little later in the morning on this warmish Saturday. Oh, and that coastal storm I wrote about yesterday? I remember saying the odds were against a snowstorm barreling up the coast because of the warmer than normal water temperatures in the Atlantic. Well, put it this way. I spoke too soon, for next week might get downright interesting. And yes, you'll read about it right here at your all-purpose baseball-weather-just about anything else blog, peppered with comments that range from interesting to bothersome to repititive to just plain old nice. The majority are of the latter variety, but there is always one person who mucks it up for the rest of us. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Our Trot Trades His Beloved Red Sox....And We Love Him!

From the Globe blog, today about our rightfielder. And then a bunch of my thoughts. Rightfield will be "Trot's territory." Until someone else makes it his own.

Nixon to Indians

By Steve Silva, Staff

"The original dirt dog is now an Indian.

ESPN's Peter Gammons reported today that former Red Sox right fielder Trot Nixon has agreed to a one-year contract with the Cleveland Indians for $3 million. The Red Sox had elected not to offer salary arbitration to Nixon, a Type B free agent, who was paid $6.5 million last season. Nixon hit .278 in his 10 seasons with the Red Sox and hit 133 home runs while driving in 523 runs.
One of Nixon's biggest hits in a Red Sox uniform was an 11th inning walkoff home run on Oct. 4, 2003 as the Sox beat the Oakland A's 3-1 to avoid elimination in their best-of-five AL playoff series.
"All the home runs you hit in your career in the regular season don't mean much unless you start hitting some in the postseason," said Nixon after the game winner. "This is what you play for."
Nixon, a Fenway fan favorite, was with the Red Sox organization for his entire professional career before becoming a free agent at the end of the 2006 season. He spent the last eight years as Boston's starting right fielder, though he had been plagued with a series of injuries over the last few seasons.
"I am confident I am going to get a job,'' Nixon was quoted as saying in yesterday's Wilmington Star. "I can't have what is going on with free agency consume me.''
"I am confident I will be with a team next year,'' Nixon said. "Where, I don't know. My mom asks, 'How are negotiations going? Are there any negotiations?' I'm like, 'Nothing.'"

Peter here, and we KNEW this would happen while our Red Sox were busy concentrating on Boras(s) and his JD Drew. A mistake? No way I can tell you that. Will Trot be missed? For those out there who are knowlegeable Sox fans, well, you know the answer to that!

BEST OF LUCK, GOOD HEALTH Trot, and I hope that in your first time playing "your rightfield," our crowd will stand, and cheer, and give you what you deserve. I KNOW I will. And during the season, when it will become inevitable that Wily Mo Pena will play in right, try not to laugh as he fumbles and bumbles with all the angles at that "Pesky Pole' corner.

Best of everything. You always will be our true Dirt Dog.

A Great Companion Piece About Our 2007 Sox...

And courtesy of the great blog "Yanksfan vs. Soxfan." And I'm only giving you the link...just click on the title of this post. And bookmark them. One of the best "two-sided" Sox/Yanks blogs ever. No comments from me....none needed! MAGIC STUFF!

Winter Report Card Time....SI Style

I came across this article over at the website. It chronicles the AL teams' winter exploits, and the Boston Red Sox earned high marks. Here are a few of their observations, and then a comment or two from that guy named Peter. He seems to be a nice guy, but I'll reserve judgement for now........and I will limit these capsules to the AL East numbers one through three teams only. That's where our hopes and dreams live. From Sports Illustrated, and click on this post's title for the whole piece.....

"The Red Sox are up, the White Sox are down. The O's got a C, the A's a D.
The marks are in, and several American League teams may not want to look at theirs.

Boston Red Sox
Widely ridiculed for their stunning, $51.1 million posting price for Daisuke Matsuzaka, Boston's big international gambit turned out to be the best move anyone made this winter. They wound up securing Matsuzaka for $103 million, or $23 million less than the Giants paid for Barry Zito, nor even counting the $5 million to $7 million or so they will earn through marketing/branding opportunities. Julio Lugo is a better offensive player than Alex Gonzalez, and J.D. Drew is an upgrade over Trot Nixon, assuming they get that contract done someday.
Grade: A. (Peter here, just to say yes!!!!!)

New York Yankees
They have attempted to rekindle their past glory (Andy Pettitte; Roger Clemens?) and reinvigorate themselves by stockpiling youthful pitchers (Humberto Sanchez, Ross Ohlendorf and others) while also purging their clubhouse of greedy Sheffield and ornery Randy Johnson. The plan makes sense, but with Kei Igawa and Carl Pavano still penciled into the rotation, the pitching staff looks slightly unfinished. The bet is Clemens will be there by June (though the Red Sox and Astros haven't given up on that one).( Peter here, and damn right the Sox will not let Roger go to the pinstripes!!! Maybe Japan! Kidding...)
Grade: Incomplete (B- without Clemens, A- with him). (Peter here yet again..I'm just wondering why they didn't mention the Rocket in their stellar grade A report card about OUR team!)

Toronto Blue Jays
GM J.P. Ricciardi was right when he said it was a blessing they missed out on Meche. However, losing Ted Lilly -- a Red Sox killer -- will hurt. As will useful reliever Justin Speier's defection to the Angels. Thomas is an upgrade over Catalanotto for one of the majors' best offenses. The highlight, though, was when they surprised everyone by keeping Vernon Wells longterm.
Grade: B. (Peter here....and David Wells might be in their rotation mix. A solid number five for a team that finished second last year. Let us not forget that!!)

OK, Peter here for the last time in THIS post, which looks pretty good to me considering I've been editing content for about 20 minutes. You deserve the best I can do, every time, everyday, every post. That's the way it works here, and as you can see, I only included the numbers one through three of the top finishers in our AL East. And I have plenty to say. Toronto will be good, especially if the portly lefty is added to their rotation. The Yankees? They have the huge advantage in the bullpen for the late innings because of one guy and one guy only. Call him Mo. The Red Sox? My team, that's for sure, but I'm fairly certain you all know that by now. If not, go back to my post of November 20th, 2005. That's when I started this personal labor of love, frustration and sometimes glee. And the friends I've And I was going to say this about the team with the red socks. As of today, and trying not to forecast what will happen come April 2nd, I'm assuming that JD Drew WILL be installed in right, Trot's territory. I also assume that the horrid injury bug will strike ANOTHER team this year, instead of ours. And again I'm assuming that a closer will emerge from the uncertain roles now in our "too soon to know what's going on" bullpen.
A famous line from the TV show THE ODD COUPLE was uttered by Felix Unger, as played by the beloved and much missed Tony Randall. He said something like this. "When you assume, it makes an ass of you and me." So true. I might be ass-worthy after this post. I hope not, but I don't care. I assume (haha) you don't either!

We all look forward, with contained excitement, for baseball version 2007. The one glaring weakness, for our rotation is as set as any team in baseball, is the tail end of the bullpen. And I have faith that someone, identity unknown, will step up and take command. If not, if there is total failure such as when Foulkie, last year, got the quick hook and we RSNers rejoiced in EVERY Paps' performance, then who knows what will happen. The head of our team pitching rotation is only as good as the guy who will pitch the ninth in a one-run game, with every fan standing and cheering for every pitch. SCREAMING! I truly hope it does not come down to that, for Paps and his shoulder are best suited smack in the middle of our so strong-looking rotation. A rotation that can propel us to the farthest reaches of October. If, and ONLY if, there is a 'pen to take us through the eighth and the 27th out. To victory.

Should be fun, huh? Thanks for reading. This is another post where you can access the original SI article by clicking on the title. And I cannot wait to hear your comments on this white-looking but harmless day of cosmetic snow. That means just for looks, with no travel problems, just harmless white. Thanks for reading. As always, I so appreciate every one of you.

27 Days.....

That's how many days are left before pitchers and catchers report to hopefully sunny Florida to begin the 2007 baseball season. 27 days---wow! And upon awakening here in north central Connecticut, the ground gleams with a fresh coat of white. The first measurable snow we've had all year graces the lawns and roadways as the temperature hovers at a balmy 32 degrees F. The latest-ever date for the first snowfall is January 26th, so we almost set a record. And even though last night's snowfall measured only an inch, it just makes things look "right" for January 19th. Things are in order. I'm still waiting for the eventual Nor'easter, the big one as a low pressure system forms in the waters off the southeast and barrels up the coast with heavy snow and winds to chill your bones. But one thing is different about this winter of '06-'07...the waters off the eastern seaboard are at least 10 degrees warmer than usual. There will be a tendency for the precipitation from such a coastal storm to turn to rain, or, if the temperatures near the ground are cold enough, ice. So that "one and a half foot" giant of a storm just might not happen this year.
Enough with the weather, although I could go on for a few more paragraphs. I'll be back after sunrise with something baseball related. Spring Training rapidly approaches for our team without a closer. And we wait.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Once A Cheater.......

Always a cheater. This article from the Herald caught my eye and actually begged me to comment. Actually got down on its knees, ring in hand, and begged!'s an small piece of said article followed by my direct and maybe harsh comments. And you can click on the title to read the entire piece. Please do!

"Meanwhile, Bonds thinks McGwire and Rose belong in Cooperstown. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America denied McGwire in his first year of eligibility. The former slugger ranks seventh on the career list with 583 home runs, but his legacy was tarnished when he stonewalled Congress two years ago amid accusations of steroid use.
Rose is not eligible after receiving a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 for betting on the sport.
“I congratulate Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn for their induction to the Hall of Fame because they were great ballplayers,” Bonds said from the Dominican Republic. “But I also think McGwire and Pete Rose should be in Cooperstown.”"

Peter here, and I have much to say. First of all, Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn do NOT belong in the same sentence as Rose, McGwire and Barry! Much less the Hall of Fame. Baseball's finest. Barry Bonds' reputation has been tarnished beyond repair. And what do ya know? He is endorsing two other baseball once-greats whose reputations are sorely in need of tarnish remover of the industrial-strength kind. So I'm not surprised. Together, the three of them are like the evil version of the Three Stooges. Those four zany brothers have always been dear to my heart. Bumbling, stumbling and lovable. McGwire, Rose and Bonds? The exact opposite. They are players who had immense amounts of talent who turned to, at least in two cases, performance inhancing substances. And in the third case, betting on baseball WHILE he was managing. While he was in full control of a major league team. And ALL THREE share one thing in common. THEY ARE DIRTY DISGUSTING LIARS. To cover their sins, they warped the truth. I have no patience for people, anyone in any capacity, who lie to cover their asses. Bluntly said, but it's the way I feel. The Hall Of Fame does not now, nor EVER will, have a place for those who disgrace the very game that made them famous. No matter how many home runs (McGwire-Bonds) or hits (Pete) they have in their playing history.
Ok, I guess that was a bit of a rant...but a needed one. Barry, you need to choose friends who are truthful to the game that so many of us love. OR JUST GO AWAY! Case closed, at least for me.

It's been a busy three days for me, but I'm hanging in. And I thank you for hanging in. My readers are simply.....THE BEST!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Arbitration On The Horizon? Probably Not!

The Red Sox offered Wily Mo Pena, whose defensive ability strikes fear into the hearts of most Red Sox fans, $1.7 million dollars. Pena is seeking $2.2 million. And Brendan Donnelly is seeking $1.65 million. The club offered him $1.15 million. Arbitration cases will be heard by the league in February if the sides do not settle. But as written in the Herald today....

"The Sox and their two arbitration-eligible players, outfielder Wily Mo Pena and reliever Brendan Donnelly, exchanged figures yesterday and the gap between what salaries are being offered and what are being sought does not appear to be insurmountable in continued negotiations. These differences are relatively minor."

Peter here, and that's great news. WMP might have an inflated opinion of himself, but he'll be a force as a 4th outfielder, and we ALL hope his fielding has improved. IT HAS TO!!! I'll be back later if I can. I have family issues to deal with, but this blog is important to me, and allows me to escape, if only for a few minutes. And I thank you for reading me, and I thank you for your comments. ALL of you!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Here, Again I Shall Try

Yes, there are only two players left who are arbitration-eligible...Wily Mo Pena and Brendan Donnelly. Read this from the Herald, and then I'll be back.Thank you Boston Herald, and thank you my readers, my friends, my buddies, my.........everything.

"The Boston Red Sox are expected to exchange salary figures with their only two arbitration-eligible players today but are hopeful of avoiding hearings next month for determining how much outfielder Wily Mo Pena and reliever Brendan Donnelly will be paid this year.
Pena, who turns 25 on Jan. 23, earned $1.25 million in 2006 but is likely to end up with a bump to the $1.75 million to $1.95 million range. The power-hitting outfielder, who batted .301 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI in 84 games and 276 at-bats during his first season with the Sox, avoided arbitration with the Cincinnati Reds last year by agreeing to a one-year contract. The Reds traded Pena to the Sox during spring training last March in a deal that sent right-hander Bronson Arroyo to Cincinnati.
Donnelly, a righty acquired from the Los Angeles Angels last month in a trade for left-hander Phil Seibel, was paid $950,000 last year. The 35-year-old relief pitcher, who was 6-0 with a 3.94 ERA last season, is expected to end up with a bump into the $1.2 million to $1.4 million area."

OK. Peter here. Let's start with WMP, who is to me an offensive threat and a defensive liability. He is sure to get playing time this year, as he is our fourth (GULP!) outfielder. Maybe he had his vision checked AND corrected during the off-season...maybe a bigger glove, too! A little less than $2,000,000 for '07 sounds just about right. Expect no hearing to be needed. And if there is, I will be surprised. The guy can't catch the ball. But on the plus side, he is young, and he will get better. And he can, on occasion, BASH the ball. Of that I am sure. He has to be selective and tone down his lunging at pitches out of the strike zone.

And now Brendan Donnelly, Cyn's older brother. I'm only kidding, but if you haven't visited Cyn's blog, named Red Sox Chick, you are in for a treat, and her link is to your right under, links! How creative, Peter. (Hi Cyn!!) Ok ok, I'm back on topic. Brendan, oh Brendan, we are counting on you to solidify and nail down that crucial inning or so before the "closer to be named later" enters the game and nails down those hair-pulling floor-pacing games. The too close ones. And turn those close ones into victories! Mike Timlin will be in that mix too, but because of his age, he'll need rest between appearances. BD is no spring chicken either, but he should be a force. What we need is a guy with a low ERA and a low opponent's batting average against. Can Brendan give that to us? He will certainly try, but I can't predict the future, I only can comment on the recent past. A bump from the $950,000 BD was paid last year to the $1.5 million, or a little lower, plateau seems fair to me. He's also used to the DH-less AL and its batters. Another big plus.

So brick by brick, arm by arm, especially bullpen arms, the '07 Sox are shaping up. The question marks are evident....who's in right? That will be answered, maybe as quickly as the death of Fidel Castro is announced.. and that's soon! So we wait, arms crossed with smiles on our faces, because we know we're going to be good this year. Just HOW good depends on a number of things. I have a list, and at the top of that list is the closer to be named at a later date. If, and this is a HUGE if, someone (nameless for now, but not for long) a guy can step into the closer's role and perform and ACCOMPLISH 80% of what Paps accomplished last year, and barring the injury bug that spread like a foul and deadly disease last season, caught by a sneeze or a handshake, someone steps up and shines like the morning sun on a cloudless and wonderful day, we will be JUST FINE.
Thanks for reading another Peter post. Another that was a little longer than I'd planned. But that's OK...take take. And we wait for hard news of the right field kind. And as always, and I'll say this EVERY day, thank you for being here. Comments would be so great....

A Tuesday Quickie......

Sammy Sosa, all bulk and no bite, not without his steroids, is thinking about ending a two year absence from baseball and worked out for the Texas Rangers. He then met with Jon Daniels, the GM. I don't think AL pitchers have to quake in their cleats anytime soon.
I'll be back with something more substantial to start off your day, the first day of a short work week for some of us. Good morning!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Of Rocket And J.D. And JJ. And Of Course Dr. King

Good morning. Monday morning, and some of you might be, right now, groaning and muttering some not-so-sweet Monday nothings under their breath. But it IS a holiday...more on that later in this post. And we don't know much more about Roger Clemens and what he is doing and where he might go, if anywhere, than we did yesterday. But one thing I'm sure of...he'll be playing ball SOMEWHERE this coming season. Or half-season. From the Monday morning Herald, and then a word from me.....

"The Red Sox [team stats] arguably will have the strongest starting rotation in the American League heading into spring training, but that will not preclude them from pursuing Roger Clemens one more time.
Owner John W. Henry confirmed in a brief e-mail yesterday that the team intends to make another attempt to sign the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, potentially boosting a rotation that already includes Curt Schilling, Jonathan Papelbon, Tim Wakefield, Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jon Lester.
“I don’t think it’s any different than last year,” Clemens told “Three teams are always players in this situation: my hometown team, Boston and the Yankees.
“I’m really not any closer to making a decision.”"

Peter here, and OK Roger...take your time. And I will say once again that it would be FAR BETTER if you stay in Houston or come home to Boston than for you to return to New York. For that reason alone, I want you on OUR team, for half a season or whatever. Because chances are, if you don't come to Friendly Fenway, the place of your irreplaceable youth before you were booted out by Duquette and his loonieness and strange sense of timing (I mean, he was the one who said you were on the downslope of your career...what little he knew!), the pinstripes look too inviting, pitching with Andy, your hometown lefty friend. We cannot let that happen!

Oh, and what of JD Drew? Short and sweet from the same article.....

" Tomorrow marks the six-week anniversary since the Sox and agent Scott Boras acknowledged that free agent outfielder J.D. Drew [stats] had agreed to a five-year, $70 million contract with the team, but the deal remains to be finalized.
The Sox are seeking to amend the language of the deal in order to provide protection in the event that Drew’s surgically repaired right shoulder breaks down and leads to extended time lost. Boras insists that his client is healthy and that the shoulder shouldn’t be an issue. The sides talked throughout last week and general manager Theo Epstein reiterated there is no need to be concerned that Drew won’t be under contract soon."

Peter here. Yes, I know there are two different camps when it comes to Mr. Drew. One is the camp who thinks that $70 million is WAY too much money to offer the oft injured player whose OBP is quite good. And the other? He will be more than suitable for rightfield defense (but NO better than our Trot!) and a great number five guy to bat behind Papi and Manny. I haven't decided where I stand on this whole thing, but he will be signed officially soon. With further protection language built into his contract, as it should be. Sir Boras(s) will NOT rip us off again. Actually, we've taken HIM to the cleaners with Daisuke!

Oh, and Jason Johnson? Here you go......

"The free-agent market is thriving even for struggling pitchers headed to Japan. Right-hander Jason Johnson, who was 3-12 with a 6.35 ERA with three clubs last season, has agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract with the Seibu Lions, has learned." Peter here, and good for him!!!

Well, that's it for now kids! I am still aglow from the final minutes of the Patriots stirring and deserving victory yesterday. And I hope that glow helps ALL of us through a healthy and happy week. And of course we must take a moment to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For without him, so much of what we have would sadly not exist.
Take care, and as always, thanks for taking the time from your busy schedules to read what I have to say. That means so much to me. A WHOLE lot....

Hats Off To The Pats!

The final eleven points of a bruising and mistake-filled game propelled the New England Patriots into a date with the Colts in the AFC Championship game coming up Sunday at 6:30. A tough well-earned victory. The final score was 24-21. Pats.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Do To Unanimous Hysterical Demand......

First of all, turn your sound on. I'll wait, OK? Now that your sound is on, click on the title of this post. I promise you you won't regret it. In fact, it going to make you laugh like a hyena! I sent this three minute audio-only clip to Lauren and Kaylee yesterday (Sunday...and the links to their blogs are on your right!), and the comments that were emailed back to me were so positive, so gigglingly great, that I had to share this once in a lifetime "guy in the right place at the right time" moment of hilarity. Make sure your sound is on and you're not sipping ANYTHING liquid, for your keyboard could get very wet very quickly. And I'd LOVE to hear your comments. So sit back for three minutes or so and click on the title of this post. The guy has a laugh you won't believe!!! And laugh with him....after all, it's Sunday, and I love to bring smiles to ALL your faces. I really do! And I can't wait to hear from you. Thanks for the feedback, Kaylee and Lauren! You're both the best! Oh, everyone, you might want to pass this along to your friends. Yep, it's that funny! It really is!!

Lobster Anyone?

This nice article is from the Sunday NY Times, written by Red Sox hater Murray Chass. Here's a little bit of it. The entire article can be accessed by clicking on the title of this post. And I'll be back with a word from our sponsers (not).

"Devern Hansack. Remember the name. Remember it because it is the name of a pitcher who pitched a no-hitter that most everyone probably doesn’t know about.
A long rain delay preceded the game Hansack pitched on the last day of last season, and rain shortened it. Hansack, in his second major league start, pitched himself onto Page 369 of the Elias record book, “no-hit games fewer than nine innings,” adding his name for this year’s edition after Pascual Pérez, Montreal vs. Philadelphia, 1988.
Valiant though his performance was, it wasn’t an official no-hitter because Hansack didn’t pitch nine innings, a criterion for being credited with a no-hitter. He didn’t pitch nine innings because the Red Sox’ game against Baltimore was rained out after five innings.
“It kind of got lost even in Boston,” said John Blake, head of the Red Sox’ media relations. “We did our media thing with the manager and general manager after the game. The bigger question was what were we going to do with our coaching staff.”
Devern Hansack. Who is he, and why was he pitching for the Red Sox on the last day of the season?
Lest we forget, the Red Sox were out of the playoff chase. They had been eliminated from the American League East race on Sept. 20 and the wild-card race two days later. Hansack, a lobsterman from Nicaragua, is a 28-year-old right-hander, only the ninth player from his country to play in the major leagues. The last-day start was his second for Boston in the final weeks of the season.
In the Houston system for four years, Hansack was released at the end of spring training in 2004, and he was out of professional baseball for the next two years. Craig Shipley — tipped off by the third-base coach for the Nicaraguan national team, who scouts for the Red Sox — saw Hansack pitch in an international tournament in the Netherlands in 2005.
Shipley liked what he saw. “He was pretty easy to like,” Shipley said. “He was throwing 93, 94 and had a good slider......"

Peter here, trying to shed a little light on the pitching staff for the 2007 Boston Red Sox. A big bunch of ifs, but ifs never sounded so good! It will be interesting to watch the pitchers jell into a cohesive unit, headed by Schill and tailed, we don't know the answer to THAT one yet. but we will! Oh....GO PATS!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

SI's Babbling About Roger.....And WAY OFF The Mark...

From Friday's SI, and I'll be back to ridicule this as only I can (or try to!).....

"By unloading Randy Johnson, the New York Yankees didn't merely clear $14 million of his $16 million salary off their books and move a pitcher who didn't comfortably fit in New York back home to Arizona (not to mention one who just had back surgery -- though word is he's fine and will be ready for spring training). Or add four younger, less expensive players to the Yankees' organization. They also greatly enhanced their chances of signing the star pitcher they really want: Roger Clemens.
Some baseball officials say they believe Clemens is much more likely to sign with the Yankees now that Johnson is out. And that's true not only because the Yankees have more money to spend with Johnson gone. Word is, Clemens doesn't particularly care for Johnson and wouldn't have considered coming to the Yankees had the Big Unit still been in pinstripes.
In any case, baseball people now view the Yankees as the strong favorite to sign Clemens over the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox. Things can change, however. Clemens isn't expected to pitch until late May at the earliest despite the Yankees' preference that he start earlier. But Clemens is thought to be excited about returning to a place where there's urgency and drama surrounding every outing and a World Series-like atmosphere (though to be fair, the Astros have been in more World Series than the Yankees since The Rocket left New York)."

Peter here, and...uummm...let me respond to that last convoluted sentence. "Returning to a place where there's urgency and drama....and a World Series-like atmosphere...." Now doesn't that describe Fenway Park, not just EVERY season, but this coming 2007 season? So that last utterance by SI was sheer malarky (wow, I've never used that in a sentence. It means sheer BS!) So if Roger decides to go anywhere, I hope it's Houston, Texas, rather than that city nicknamed after a fruit (think cider). As we all do. But I think he wants to go back to where the magic, his magic, started. Back back back to when he was a big kid who could throw the ball by any hitter imaginable. And we in the stands ooohed and ahhed...I wish you could have been there. Oh, I put up the link for the original article on the title...all you have to do is click. But I'm much funnier to read! I think? Take care...every one of you.

On Manny, And Winter, And Other Stuff...ALL GOOD!

Other than agreeing to terms with Kyle Snyder, there's not much going on in our Red Sox world on this gray but soon to turn cold and then colder and then frigid as we head towards mid-week. Frigid means high temperatures not getting much higher than 20 degrees F. After the 50's that we've been used to in north central Connecticut, I've already located and dusted off the down ski jacket, the serious jacket for serious cold. Seriously!
There was an article in the Globe (you can access it by clicking on this post's title) that highlighted some Papelbon stuff, who I covered two posts ago, and also Mike Lowell. a huge part of Red Sox '07, and his thoughts on our clean-up hitter, one Manny Ramirez. I think you might have heard the name. Here's part of the piece, and then I will be back......

"Mike Lowell was asked if he was surprised the Sox have not traded Manny Ramírez.
"Not really," said the third baseman, who was in town last night to receive an award at the annual Boston Baseball Writers dinner, "because if you're going to trade him, you've got to get something for him. Those numbers he puts up are too ridiculous.
"Manny, he's actually a guy who's very friendly with us and kind of stays to himself. It's not like he's a nuisance in the clubhouse, by any means.
"But we want him to play all year and be behind David [Ortiz] all year. I think when he's not in the lineup, it not only affected him but it affects David. David walked a ton when Manny wasn't in there. Manny, to me honestly, he's the best hitter I've ever seen."

Great words Mike Lowell, our rock at third. Peter here, and what Mr. Lowell said makes so much sense. With a "WILLING TO PLAY" Manny, this club will be world's better. Batting fourth ensures Big Papi will see pitches IN the strike zone, and draw fewer walks, intentional or not. Having Manny's bat in there in the middle of the lineup brings the power numbers into the stratosphere. JD Drew seems to be slated for number five, but nothing about Mr. Drew is set in stone. His shoulder certainly isn't! NOT YET. Maybe not ever, or definitely with health provisions galore. And with good reason. He's got a shoulder that has been surgically repaired, and a history of injury. And if he misses playing time, Wily Mo Pena gains playing time. At the plate AND in the field. I have a huge problem with the latter. But you know that. If the Sox develop a closer, or go back to Paps in that role and pencil in a healthy (YAY!) Jon Lester for the number five spot, something Paps did not rule out at that same writer's dinner, then we'll know why. It would be caused by no one in the crowded bullpen stepping up and showing that he can withstand the pressure of a one run game in the ninth inning, with an important (they're ALL important) game in the balance and a victory sorely needed. It takes a special breed of mindset and pitching ability to get those last three (or four, or five) crucial outs. Last year Jonathon Papelbon did exactly that, and did it better than ANYONE. BAR NONE!!!! He taught the baseball world a lesson. But I hope he can resume his role in the rotation and our bullpen will find that pearl inside the ugly oyster, that elusive silver lining which turns a baseball season from a great one into one for the ages. And we're ALL ready for a season that can be called "one for the ages."

2007.........opening day in KC at 3:15 CST. In early April. WOW!

Have a safe and happy AND healthy weekend everyone. I'll be back later today, or Sunday morning, before your paper is delivered. Thanks for being here. Your faithful writer and just plain old big-time Sox fan, Peter N. And P.S. I'm always a fan of you out there who take time from their busy days to spend a few minutes here in "my land." By doing that, you keep me going. And for that, my eternal thanks!

Friday, January 12, 2007

I Like This Place!

Check it out by clicking on the title of this, my shortest ever (maybe) post. And take care. You're ALL special to me!
Oh, comments? I know it's Fox related, but's a nice site to bookmark......what do you think? And no, they're not paying me for the plug. I'm independently poor. Not.....but I would be destitute, homeless and hungry, probably half dead without you guys! And that I mean. From my heart.

What We Red Sox Fan(atics) LOVE To Hear

Jonathon Papelbon. Wait! Let me add two more words to that very short sentence. A HEALTHY Jonathon Papelbon. Sounds good, huh? It does to me on this Jauary 12th, a warm morning, but not as warm as we've been used to in this balmy continuation of a warm December, a time called January. All that will change, and soon. Sunday night, right through Tuesday morning (?) to be explicit, courtesy of frigid cold air that had been stranded and prevented from seeping down from Canada and points north. Normal temperatures will return, soon! But hold on...I lost my train of thought. My train was derailed, and it happens often. If I were you, I'd take the bus. Paps! Oh this article, which can be read in full by clicking on the title, from SLAM Sports, out of Canada, and echoed in many papers this morning. I thought this particular piece hadn't been seen by many of you, my expanding (!) core of faithfuls. So....

"The Boston Red Sox are still looking for a closer, even though they have one who was among baseball's best in 2006.
Jonathan Papelbon saved 35 games in 41 tries last year and was the runner-up for AL rookie of the year despite ending his season early with a shoulder injury. Now he's getting ready to pitch again - as a member of the Red Sox starting rotation.
"I want to go out and prove that I can do this as well," Papelbon said Thursday before collecting the Red Sox pitcher, rookie and fireman of the year awards at the annual dinner of the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. "We're going to have a great competition out there. There's no reason why, between the guys we've got we can't have an outstanding closer before the end of spring training."
A starter throughout his minor league career, Papelbon was 4-2 with a 0.92 ERA last season as a converted reliever. But he ended his season a month early because of a tired shoulder.
Papelbon met with the team's front office and medical staff in the off-season and they decided it would be better for him to have a regular spot in the rotation. But since then, the Red Sox have not been able to sign an accomplished pitcher to finish games.
General manager Theo Epstein has added former starter Joel Pineiro and right-hander Brendan Donnelly to compete for the closer's job with holdovers Julian Tavarez, Craig Hansen, Manny Delcarmen and Mike Timlin.
"Those answers will emerge in spring training," new pitching coach John Farrell said.
Could the answer be the same as it was last year.
"It's going to require added conversation about what's best not only for the Red Sox but what's best for Jonathan Papelbon's well-being," Farrell said.
The Red Sox could wind up with a surplus of starters if everything goes well with Curt Schilling, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield and Jon Lester. Already Papelbon has heard from fans who want him to return to the bullpen, and he knows he can end the closer search with one phone call.
"Of course I could," he said. "I told Theo the other day, 'I guess I'm going to have to go out and win five in a row to quiet everybody."'
Papelbon said he's been working out for more than three hours a day in response to recover from his injury. He started throwing 3 1/2 weeks ago, first from 30 feet, then 60 and now 90 as he makes his way to full arm strength at 150 feet.
"My arm's stronger than it's ever been," he said."

Peter here, smiling and ready. Smiling because I'm sure we ALL loved that last Paps' quote. Gotta love it! So Jonathon is excited to return (yes, return) to our strong rotation. Schill, knowing this is his last year, will raise his intensity every fifth day. Josh Beckett, on his second time through the AL, knows he has to mix up his pitches instead of rearing back and trying to throw a speedball by the hitter, when the hitter will be looking for it. Change your tactics, Josh. They DID NOT work last year. Daisuke...we'll see. One thing we know is this....he's got major league stuff. There WILL be a learning experience we'll all have to go through, including Dice himself. AND his interpreter. But he'll be just fine! Timmy Wakes..we know what to expect...when he's on, well, that's why we thank Dougie for catching those hopefully unhittable knucklers. 15 wins for Wakes? If that comes to pass, the sky is the limit as to where we will finish. And last and of course, not least, and said with soooo much love, Jon Lester. Courage exceeded. And thank God he is cancer-free. With his ability, as a pitcher AND a leftie, he will be on our pitching staff, 'pen, or a starter. For you see, and now that this has become a cliche, the Red Sox STILL ignored this early last season, so it bears repeating..... "There is no such thing a too much pitching."
I'm NOT going into the bullpen, or the fact that the Red Sox are one of three candidates for the late-starting services of one Roger Clemens. IS HE THE ANSWER TO OUR CLOSER CONFUSION? He could be, but he'd be sacrificing every cherished victory to add to his unbelievable record if he went that route. He will not. And it's been reported today that Rocket in no way will start the season as every other major leaguer spring training. So enough about Mr. Clemens...Roger, we'll see you later.
But the focus on this "already longer than I expected" Friday post is Paps, a healthy Paps pitching where HE WANTS to pitch. Anyone want to join me and say..."YES!!!!!" Thanks as always for reading me. I am humbled by my ever increasing readership. And I love every one of you!
Have a great Friday, the start of a mid-January football-filled weekend. Go Pats....a win in San Diego will make SUCH a statement. We'll have to wait, for it's the late Sunday game, but what better way to spend that late afternoon sun-setting part of the day than to watch Tom Brady and company invade and conquer southern California. Conquer away! For ALL of us.
Right Kaylee? She is SUCH a fan. As am I.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Roger And Geography In 2007....

Hello, me here, and this is also from today's Thursday New York Daily News...I'll be back with plenty of words....and this is regarding what that pitcher from Texas, I THINK his first name might be Roger, is thinking. But this is according to his agent, so spin might be involved. Wait a minute! Of COURSE it is.....and as always, click on the title to see and read and digest the original article.....

"Clemens will pitch a shortened season, just as he did for Houston last year. Clemens hasn't made a decision, Hendricks (his agent) said, but would pitch for only the Astros, Red Sox or Yankees. Clemens has always enjoyed drama, so a return to Boston, where he started his career as a 21-year-old in 1984, or New York, where he was on two World Series champions, is appealing as well."

This is an appeal to Roger Clemens, and NOT via his agent. This is via MY blog. It's called "Peter's Red Sox Forever," Rog. You should check it out! Maybe you haven't come by here, but so so many Red Sox fans are here every day. At least I hope they are...I KNOW they are. So, Rocket, if you go anywhere other than where you grew up, with the green wall and the loving and all-knowing fans, STAY HOME! I loved watching you in the 80's, when you morphed from a pudgy rookie with a GREAT fastball, into a pitcher supreme. REMEMBER YOUR ROOTS. I'll sign this Peter N. I've been around longer than you've been pitching, I remember in '84 when you had your injury scare. I was driving while listening to the game on the radio, and I...I...I almost had to pull over! I've yelled myself hoarse so many times when you toed the Fenway mound, much to our delight, excitement, and chills. 2007.....sounds good to me! Comments???????

Bobby Murcer Has Brain Cancer

Sad news from Thursday's Hartford Courant.......

"Bobby Murcer, a popular player with the Yankees and a longtime broadcaster for the team, is fighting for his life.
Murcer, 60, who had surgery Dec. 28 to remove a brain tumor, was told it was malignant and he faces weeks of intense chemotherapy."

Peter here, and all of us wish Bobby well in this, the toughest time of his life. Chemo is bad news, especially when the growth, the cancer, is in the brain. God bless you Bobby Murcer. There's nothing more I can say.

Liar...Cheater. Who? BARRY BONDS

This from Thursday's NY Daily News.....

"Barry Bonds, already under investigation for lying under oath about his steroid use, failed a test under Major League Baseball's amphetamine policy last season and then initially blamed it on a teammate, the Daily News has learned.
Under the policy, which went into effect only last season, players are not publicly identified for a first positive test.
But according to several sources, when first informed by the MLB Players Association of the positive test, Bonds attributed it to a substance he had taken from the locker of teammate Mark Sweeney. Sources did not identify the drug in question but characterized it as a serious stimulant. Bonds was not punished for his transgression, but instead was referred to treatment and counseling. While amphetamines are considered performance-enhancing drugs, they are treated differently than steroids under baseball's drug policy. Had Bonds failed a steroid test, he would have been suspended for 50 games, but under baseball's amphetamine policy no one is publicly identified or suspended until a second positive, which would result in a 25-game suspension."

Peter here, and what more can this guy do? And to the SF Giants, I will say this. Do not sign this guy. He's a fraud, a cheater, a liar! And I, as a baseball fan, have HAD ENOUGH! He always places the blame on someone else and pleads ignorance as to what substance he ingests. When I put something in MY body, I KNOW what it is. He is just trash. Pure and simple. Case closed. Goodbye Barry Bonds.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hall Of Fame Voting Stats

The only question I have is this, and I don't expect an answer, not from "them, the guilty voters,"....But I wonder, I do, who are the IDIOT(s) who did NOT vote for Cal Ripken? Or Tony Gwynn. What a baffoon(s). He should be banned from the H of F voting forever. But Cal finished with 537, or 98.5%. Tony Gwynn, as he should have, received 532 vote, or 97.6%. Both runaway winners, and deservedly so. The rest of the list is as follows......Goose Gossage-71.2%...Jim Ed-63.5%...Andre Dawson-56.7%...Bert Blyleven-47.7%...Lee Smith-39.8%...Jack Morris-37.1%...AND LASTLY, at least on MY list and in MY heart...Mark McGwire-23.5%!! Mark, when you lie, especially in a Congressional Hearing, you're going to pay the consequences. Hey Mark, on this Wednesday morning, say hello to reality, and MEET THE CONSEQUENCES.

Oh, this is from the Horrigan Herald article from just this Wednesday morning....I'll have something to say after. When don't I?.....

"The chances of both Gossage and Rice should be enhanced next year, when the ballot will have a much weaker first-year class, headed by Tim Raines and David Justice.
“Goose Gossage and Jim Rice, to me, are (Hall of Famers) when I think of those two guys,” Ripken said. “Jim Rice was the man when you went into that All-Star locker room for 10 years.” (Peter here, and are so right!)
Gwynn agreed.
“I feel guilty getting in, knowing guys like Goose, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, Steve Garvey and Tommy John aren’t in,” Gwynn said. “Getting in is a blessing, but those other guys are Hall of Famers.” (Me again, and Tony, you have all the class in the world for saying that. And you are a true Hall of Famer....18 years straight with a .300 plus batting average...who's matched that? TY Cobb....23 straight years! Holy crap!) Mr. Tony Gwynn....18 years of consecutive .300 plus hitting, and ALL, every one of those years with the same team. My goodness!!! In modern times too!

And so for Jim Rice, it's wait until next year yet again, but there is hope....the competition will not have many big names added for the next two year the strongest ballot newcomers will be Shawon Dunston, David Justice, and Tim Raines. I thought he'd squeak by this year with the two "can't misses" and the one "sure miss," the only three new adds. But Jim Ed, you know you're in the hall of fame of our hearts. Forever. And for anyone who remembers Jimmy playing that wall out in left, for opposing batters, it was a risk taking that "wide" turn around first, with maybe thoughts for second. Thoughts of making it into second base, on your feet or on your butt, were beautifully described by the umpire at second with his right hand raised and vocal cords blaring, "YOU'RE OUT! And we stood, and we cheered. We love you Jimmy!!!
And I love YOU, my readers...comments? If you can, as the Northeast United States slowly slipperingly slides into more normal temperaures in the next five days, you all take care. As always, I'm so glad you're here. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

No Dice Mr. Rice........

Yes, as expected, Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn were quickly ushered in to the Hall. Jim Ed Rice and all the others will have to wait.
Blogger has been down most of the day, but it's just back up, just in time to post this sad news. There's always next year! But I thought, I thought.......oh well. Jim, it was nice meeting you last night.

On The Ballot And In Our Hearts...No Matter What!

Today is the day for the future Hall of Famers, and Jim Ed Rice heads a class of players who are truly on the bubble. There are two shoo-in's-Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn. We're talking landslide voter tallys. There is one big name who will not get his 75%...he will not come near it. And that would be the bloated steroid-addicted liar named Mark McGwire. No chance, not this year, maybe never. I guess you know how I feel about him, and I am not alone.There are four players "on the bubble," and I'll save Jim Ed for last.
Goose Gossage had 64.6% voting last year. Andre Dawson polled 61.0%. And Bert Blyleven garnered 53.3%. All have a chance, a real chance, but not the chance that Jim Ed Rice has. Last year he came oh so close, with voting of 68.6%. He and the other "on the bubble" guys are going to benefit from the steroid backlash, Rice especially. In a career that lasted 15 seasons, from 1974-1989, he hit .298 with a .352 on-base percentage, a .502 slugging percentage with 382 home runs. Strong numbers in an era that did not know the meaning of the word steroid. Thank you Hartford Courant for the numbers, and click on this post's title for the original article. It's good!!
So we wait. We hope. And we know that Jim will have great chances coming up the next three years. But it's this year, TODAY, that I have my heart set on. Jim Ed was in my hometown of West Hartford last night for an appearance, and the number of well-wishers shaking his hand and wishing him luck was truly heartwarming. I was one of 'em. Good luck Jim Ed. You'll always be a Hall of Famer in OUR hearts.

Monday, January 08, 2007

One Is The Lonliest Number?

This from the Monday Globe, about the fewer number of pitchers who now, heading into 2007, can be considered true aces, number one stoppers supreme, not just for THEIR pitching staff but icons for baseball itself. Read on...I'll be back, and if you'd like to read the original Globe article, just click on the title! Takes you right there!!!!

"Baltimore scout Deacon Jones, who has seen major league baseball up close and personal for more than 50 years, recently raised the question, "Where have all the aces gone? How many guys now can you actually identify as No. 1 pitchers?"

Peter here...good question!!! Here's Nick C's answer......

"The answer for me is Johan Santana, Roy Halladay, Chris Carpenter, and Roy Oswalt. (Peter here...oooo! That's it? Aren't your forgetting someone? Read on!) Nick's words..........

Then it starts to get a little tougher. Yankee righthander Chien-Ming Wang is rising after a 19-win season (though it's just one year). Brandon Webb, the National League Cy Young winner, is on that path. Dontrelle Willis was there but took a tumble last season. Jake Peavy had a poor season. Bartolo Colon is a horse when healthy. (Peter here.......COLON? He's an overweight sometimes OK pitcher. But does he deserve to be mentioned here? ) Carlos Zambrano is heading that way also. C.C. Sabathia has his moments. John Lackey is heading in that No. 1 direction.
The older pitchers who were No. 1s in their day can still dominate ( Peter again, and NOW you bring up the cream de la cream? Jeez!): Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, John Smoltz, Jason Schmidt, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martínez, Mike Mussina, Greg Maddux, etc. But they're either hurt or declining." (Peter again! Yes, some are hurt, but others, namely one, is NOT DECLINING! Oh, I wish you knew a LITTLE bit about what to expect from Sox baseball ' thing we will NEVER see is Schill not give his all. Decline? No way no how, not for 2007).

OK, Peter here.....and I hope you can comment with some of your thoughts. I'm a Red Sox view will always be slanted towards the team we love. As always. Would you have me ANY other way? And I think, and this I wrote yesterday in my mailbag post, that Curt Schilling will think of his LAST 35 starts of his wonderful career, his last year, as a time to transcend time, to have the fire in his eyes, that Schilling fire that we've all known. The exact same shine as on "bloody sock night." And I know he'll try to recapture those "soon to be fleeting but not in 2007" moments that have defined his career for oh so many years!
Hey, we have 4 other great pitchers in our '07 rotation, but the focus of this Monday post is Schill and SCHILL ONLY. Just as it will be on opening day in KC.....HE IS OUR GUY!
And you know what? I feel the same way about all of you. And that will NEVER change. Promise.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday Morning Letter Time.......

I came across this letter that was submitted to SI and "John Donovan's Baseball Mailbag." Obviously the writer is not a Red Sox fan, but I do want to print his letter. Your comments are, as always, welcome...and I'll be back with a word too. Here you go....

Question---"Red Sox rotation formidable?!? Matsuzaka (unknown quality at this point); Curt chilling (old and creaky); Josh Beckett (wildly inconsistent); Tim Wakefield (enough said); Jon Papelbon (young, has yet to start a big league game). That's not formidable. That's hoping to catch lightning in a bottle at best, combustible at worst."
-- Matt Peake, Oakland, Calif.

John Donovan's answer--- "You're right. A lot of ifs in that rotation. But you have to admit the possibilities are there, which is a lot more than you can say about a lot of staffs."

Peter here...who else did you expect? Just kidding. OK, OK, Curt Schilling....old and creaky? He is an elder in baseball's warped sense of aging, but this is his last year as a major league pitcher, and I guarantee that every fifth day, when it's his turn to make that walk to the mound, there will be fire in his eyes as the years melt away, if only for three hours. Matt Peake (the writer of the original question) , don't worry or wonder about our number one starter. Whatever team is your team would love to have him out there for 35 starts. Daisuke.....we'll see. But based on his past performance numbers, I'm not worried. In fact, the hitters should be worried! Josh "Baseball" Beckett? Last year was a transition year from his NL roots to the AL "hitting machine" lineups. Expect him to learn and adapt. He's a tremendous number three starter, although some will consider him a number two. They're just numbers, "before the season starts" numbers, not stats. Number four, Timmy Wakefield. When he's "on," HE IS ON.....every hitter"s (and catcher's) worst nightmare. Flutter away in 2007, Tim. And last but far from least, Jonathon "lights out last year" Papelbon. This year, his first as a full-time starter, he will learn to pace himself and not rear back and blow away three or four or five batters, as he did without peer last year. The best number five starter in the major leagues, in my opinion.
Hey, these are all my opinions. Not a pitch has been thrown, not a ball has been fielded, not a fan has entered our Fenway Park. But yes, our starting rotation, as SI's John Donovan said, has all the possibilities of a championship fivesome. Now if only one person can emerge as a dominant "Papelbon-like" closer. The arms are out there in the bullpen. We have to wait for someone to make a statement and adapt to the huge role that is, right now, empty and waiting to be filled. A 2007 Red Sox closer supreme. Name to be announced. And that's where all the fun will be for us...the watching, the analyzing, the agony and ecstacy of games won or lost. Boston Red Sox '07........I can't wait.
Enjoy your Sunday. If you like football, go Pats! If you don't enjoy the pigskin madness, well, go Pats! And for the rest of you? GO PATS!!! And thanks for reading. As always, click on the title for the original SI article.

And The Official Saturday High Temperature Was.....

Following up on my warm weather post from yesterday, the official high temperature for Saturday January 6th, was an astounding astonishing holy you-know-what 72 degrees F. And I was outside all afternoon! Have a great Sunday and go Pats! I will be back later, when the sun kisses the horizon and the light shines down on all of us. Right now my bagel is toasting and my large glass of milk is cooling in the freezer. Ice cold.....mmmmm.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Wily Mo Pena And His Red Sox Future...

Wily Mo Pena? I've stated my case as to his defensive shortcomings. Read this....and click the title of this post for the entire article.....

What's Wily Mo's Role?

"In his inaugural season in Boston, Wily Mo Pena showed glimpses of the prodigious power that convinced the Red Sox to acquire him during spring training in 2006. Yet with only limited playing time, those glimpses were often fleeting, leaving plenty of questions surrounding the hulking outfielder's true potential.
"The best way for us to find out how good Wily Mo can be is to get 550 at-bats. Finding out how to do that is another story," said manager Terry Francona. "I personally don't think Wily Mo is a guy that you just play once or twice a week and expect him to hit."
As such, Pena might well prove more valuable as a trading chip to a club that is looking for an everyday outfielder with significant power potential. With the Sox still in need of a closer, Pena could well serve as a valuable trading chip...."

Peter here, and that last sentence is vital. If the Red Sox are still searching for a true closer to add to their ever-growing bullpen, then Wily Mo might indeed be so important. I personally do not want him to see many minutes in the outfield, whatever Red Sox outfield. If the Sox are to compete in the AL East, they cannot afford a defensive liablity...and WMP is JUST that. Click on the post title for the entire article.

Good News About Bobby Murcer On This Saturday Morning......

This from today's Globe........

"Bobby Murcer is back home in Oklahoma and doing well after surgery last week to remove a brain tumor.
The former New York Yankees star was released from a Houston hospital on Sunday evening and spent New Year's Eve in the city with his family, the team said Friday in a statement. Doctors cleared him to return to Oklahoma, which he did on Tuesday.
The 60-year-old Murcer has been relaxing and enjoying everyday activities, and hasn't had any setbacks since the surgery..."

Peter here, and I wanted to share that good news as soon as I read it. And it's amazing to think that one week after BRAIN SURGERY, he's at home with his family and loved ones. Welcome home Bobby. You played for the enemy, but you're just like all of us......human. Good health for the rest of your long life!

P.S. You can click on this post's title to read the original article. Please do. From today on, as I wrote at the end of my earlier post, any article that will help you to further try to understand my ramblings can be accessed by clicking on the title of a Peter post. I'm just getting used to this feature, a feature that everyone probably knows about but "clueless me," but I plan to use it on most posts. And yeah yeah yeah, make your jokes, because I sometimes am clueless as to Web features. But when it comes to finding and assembling the words about our Sox, count on me. Whenever, wherever and forever (I hope).
Again, Bobby Murcer, God Bless. And to you, my faithful readers, words fail me. I thank you.......