Monday, April 30, 2007

An Email From "Superbowl"....A Japanese Blogger And A Fan Of Hideki "The Darkman" Okajima...And My Friend

This is Peter on the Monday off-day. And I just received this email from Japan. I wanted to pass it along to you.......
"It's Great! His (Hideki ("the Darkman" Okajima) scoreless innings lasts !

By the way
Most of Japanese Media is following Matsuzaka, but at last, A program
featuring Okajima was
aired on NHK(Japanese state channel)
This 60 minutes program is mainly about the secret of his unique
"Looking down" delivery.
He's been adviced that change his pitching form because of lacking of
control until He met Y
omiuri Giants coach Katori
Katori didin't force a change but made it progressed using a PC
So He got good control and nifty curveball.

In this program, Okajima's wife confessed thatI in contrast to the
Dice-K, When he decided to contract with Red Sox, people said that if Okajima could Play in
MLB,anybody could be a Big Leager...

I also check Boston Globe and found new article about him.

Thank you good news, sorry bad bad english of mine."
May The Darkman guide you and Redsox

PETER here, and thank you Superbowl. The Darkman HAS been good to us, and you! And Red Sox fans the world over are united in peace and love. Everywhere. Forever.
OH, this is from Baseball Prospectus........

Top 5 2007 AL Bullpens

Team, Inherited Runs Prevented.....ERA.....

Minnesota Twins, 1.5, 2.63
Boston Red Sox, 3.1, 2.15
Chicago White Sox, -0.3, 1.45
Texas Rangers, 1.9, 1.42
Cleveland Indians, -3.3, 1.42

2.15! I like it!!!!!

April Thoughts...First Place Thoughts...OUR Thoughts!

That was the month that was. April, 2007. 16-8. A four game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays, the LARGEST April lead in franchise history. And the best record in all of major league baseball. Those are the neccessary facts so far this glorious season of '07. Here are a few observations I'd like to make.

The hitting. Grade B-.....Some guys started hot and cooled, JD Drew to name one. Some guys haven't even started to hit their stride. Manny immediately comes to mind. And some have been steady performers, such as Big Papi, Kevin Youklis and Mike Lowell. The hitting will improve.

The Rotation. Grade B.....Schill is just fine, and will be our ace for the entire season. And next season too, we all have to hope. Josh Beckett? Simply just about the best in all of baseball. Daisuke? Up and down games, but each start has been a milestone for the Japanese youngster. Milestones that are as far from normal as possible. Now the season will settle down for him and we'll see how he does. Wakes has a stingy ERA, but has suffered from a lack of run support and, like Daisuke, control issues. Tavarez, soon to be Lester? Yesterday's win over the Yankees was his best outing yet. He probably will only have one more turn as a starter. He will be valuable in the bullpen in a long relief pairing with Kyle Snyder.

The Bullpen. Grade A.....Simply astounding. Papelbon leads everybody with 8 saves in 8 chances and an ERA of nuthin'! Hideki Okajima, our Darkman, has also been one of the best relievers in all of baseball, with an ERA of 0.71 and a growing reputation as a Yankee killer. He truly is our "Hero of the Dark." Donnelly has been steady and consistant, Piniero good enough. Romero, another left arm, has been OK, too.....just. Kyle Snyder has been just fine. The 'pen right now is the best in the AL, if not all of baseball. Let's hope they keep it up. From Gordon Edes of the Globe, our Boston Globe..

"Jeter's home run ended a string of 13 2/3 scoreless innings by the Sox pen, which still has a 1.09 ERA (5 ER in 41 IP) over the last 17 games."

Peter here...and I have one word, and one word only..... WOW!!

Overall. B plus.....The 2007 Boston Red Sox are going places. If the injury bug stays away, the hitting becomes a little more consistant, the 5th spot in the rotation settles in with Jon Lester, and the bullpen remains lights out, we'll be at or near the top all season long. We all know that the Yankees will not languish where they are in the dankness of the cellar much longer. Or will they? Stay tuned, as May approaches at light speed. C'mon along and enjoy the ride. Something tells me that you already are!

And before I leave you, here are some great words about the man in the bullpen, our man, the Darkman...Hideki Okajima. Am I a fan? Oh yes! From the Monday Herald....

"For Red Sox [team stats] fans, Hideki Okajima’s performances thus far have been artful. Yesterday’s effort in a 7-4 Sox win over New York at Yankee Stadium was just the latest example, as the reliever lowered his ERA to 0.71 with two innings of shutout ball that included four strikeouts.
Finding a reliever who has given up just one run, struck out 17 and walked only three in his first 12 2/3 innings in the major leagues for the low price of $2.5 million over two years is rare enough. But discovering someone with that description who doesn’t look where he’s throwing the ball is downright legendary.
“Not to that extreme,” said Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell when asked if he has seen a pitcher with a similar delivery. “Particularly to have the fastball command and overall command he has. It’s very rare. When a pitcher gets a sense of where he’s throwing the ball, then he’s going to let his hand-eye coordination take over.
According to bullpen mate J.C. Romero, the entire process Okajima undertakes with each pitch has a very specific purpose. Romero explains that the long stare leading into each pitch is when the lefty finds his target, allowing for the no-look approach when the time comes to throw.
Considering Okajima hasn’t allowed an earned run since the Royals’ John Buck sent the lefty’s first big league pitch over the center field wall in Kansas City - he’s also now gone five innings against the Yankees, giving up just three hits while striking out seven - positives aren’t hard to find, no matter the delivery.
“It seems like every time he’s come into the game it’s been a rally-killer for us,” Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said. “We need to figure him out.”

You see, I told you. The Darkman lives! Our Yankee killer. And it's not even May. Click on this post's title to link with a column penned by the Courant's Jeff Jacobs. He calls it "Clicking on all cylinders." AND THAT WE ARE! I'd love to hear your thoughts. Comment away, and thanks. Enjoy your Monday, an off day for RSN, but not for our Red Sox hearts.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

SOX WIN OVER YANKEES! Another BULLPEN Beauty!!! The Darkman Shines His Light Over RSN!!

7-4 RED SOX! Tavarez----5 good ones. And then the 'pen......the Darkman, Timlin and Papelbon. A full wrap-up tomorrow morning!

Red Sox 7 9 2
Yankees 4 7 0

WP: J. Tavarez (1-2) S: J. Papelbon (8)
LP: C. Wang (0-2)

********ALEX CORA IS AMAZING!! He HAS to play every day!********

A day off Monday....and the Yankees? Vanquished yet again! Until the morning, see you later! Oh, the Red Sox have the best bullpen in the major leagues. with a 2.17 ERA. Not bad....not bad at all. THE DARKMAN LIVES!!! From Yahoo sports....
NEW YORK (AP) -- "The Boston Red Sox ended April on a high, thanks to another listless performance by the New York Yankees.
David Ortiz, Alex Cora and Manny Ramirez homered, Julian Tavarez got his first win of the season and the Red Sox beat New York 7-4 Sunday, sending the Yankees to their eighth loss in nine games.
Boston is 5-1 against New York, and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is angry about his team's slow start, possibly disappointed enough that manager Joe Torre's job may be in jeopardy.
With both teams off Monday, the Yankees (9-14) ended the month 6 1/2 games back of the AL East-leading Red Sox (16-8).
Tavarez (1-2) and three relievers (Hideki "the Darkman" Okajima, Mike Timlin, and Paps) held New York to seven hits, with Jonathan Papelbon pitching the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances."
Peter doesn't get much better, not in April!!!!! BOSTON RED SOX FOREVER.

Wakes Wild...Yanks Beat Sox

Yankees' starter Jeff Karstens was hit by a line drive off the bat of Julio Lugo. It broke his leg. In comes Igawa, and he pitched 7 brilliant innings. Tim Wakefield? That's a different story. He only lasted 5 1/3 innings, and his control was an issue all day. He only allowed 3 runs, but men were on base so often because of the 6 (yes, six!) walks he issued. The knuckler was fluttering out of the strike zone all afternoon long. Maybe it was because of all the hot air from the NY fans. Who knows? The good news? The Sox bullpen again was unscored on. I'm getting used to this!
The Red Sox offense? They took a day off. Ya can't win 'em all, I guess. It would have been nice, because Tavarez is going today. I have no faith in his ability to give his team 5 quality innings. He hasn't done it yet, and he only has one more start after this one before Jon Lester claims his rightful place in the rotation. That day can't come soon enough for me.
So we're still in first. We still have the best record in baseball. The sky hasn't fallen. Pigs aren't flying. No fat lady has sung. Today's game might be tough, but a half dozen runs should help. They'd help a lot.
Click on the title of this post for a NY Times article about the tenuous position Joe Torre finds himself in. I say none of this is his fault, but we all know Georgie Porgie.
Have a great Sunday everyone. Thank you for reading.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times

Yes, these are good times for the Boston Red Sox, and very bad times for the New York Yankees. The Yankees were on the short end of the stick once again last night, this time at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox roared back to an 11-4 victory. And when I say roar, it was a roar with an assist from Yankee starter Andy Pettitte, who didn't make it out of the 5th inning, and the woeful Yankee bullpen. And woeful they were, with the ultimate indignity suffered by Mariano Rivera in the ninth. He was credited with 4 runs, and his ERA is above 12!
Daisuke Matsuzaka, who recorded the victory, had one bad inning. After throwing only 42 pitches in the first 3 scoreless innings, he needed 41 for the 4th inning alone. His control deserted him, and the Yankees turned a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead. That did not last long. The Sox came back with 3 in the 5th and 1 in the 6th, and never looked back from there. Daisuke threw a season high 117 pitches. The Boston 'pen took over from there, with Timlin, the Darkman, Hideki Okajima and Joel Piniero hurling scoreless frames. The batting heroes? Julio Lugo had 3 hits, Papi had a huge hit in the 5th, one of two of his base hits for the day. Coco and Manny also had multiple hit games. I do want to say that after last night's start, Daisuke's season, and the man himself, should settle down. This is something that the Remdog touched on last night. From his first start in a Boston uniform, to his first start at Fenway, to his first start at Yankee Stadium, well, you get my drift. It's been a whirlwind disguised as baseball for the man. Maybe a sense of normalcy will settle him down so that he can avoid the one meltdown inning each game, just like April 17 in Toronto and last night in the Bronx. He'll fine tune his mechanics and his nerves will slowly adapt to the circumstances. And when those things happen, watch out American League!
So where does this leave us? For me it's a place called Happyland, reserved for the times when the Sox are in first place. And it's a great place to visit. In fact, I hope I can stay all year. I can post on my blog from there, and generally just have a great time. You're welcome to visit whenever you wish. The doors are always open. I hope you will.
The Sox have a record of 15-7, the best in all of baseball. And today it's the rookie Karstens versus usual Yankee-baffler Timmy Wakefield. Go get 'em Timmy, and bats, stay alive. You'll have plenty of pitches to hit today. The nationally televised game on Fox begins at 3:30, coast to coast, all around this good land of ours. Have a great weekend everybody!


The Jon Lester news was double good Friday. In his first Triple A start, he threw 5 shutout innings, with 56 of his 84 pitches strikes. And, more importantly, he received a clean bill of health from Mass General. Now that's the kind of news that makes me smile! We'll see you on or around May 6th, Jon. Wait until you hear the ovation your loving fans will give you, whether they be at Fenway, or home in their living rooms. RSN will be standing, waving, cheering and pouring out their love for you. That I promise.
I linked a Hartford Courant article on Daisuke's up, down and then up again Friday night. Just click on the title. Red Sox Forever. Everyday, everyway.

Friday, April 27, 2007

A Repost..a First!!

And that is this....I'm reposting something that yesterday was very special to me. In fact, it always will be, for the rest of my days, hopefully many! A Red Sox fan who lives in Japan wrote me, and made my heart sing......I added a couple comments since yesterday, AND I included his just now received email on this Friday morning. I wanted you, my readers, to see that it's a small world, after all. Thank you. Here is my yesterday post, and again, Superbowl-san's blog is linked right above, when you click on the title. His animation is at the very bottom of his blog post. What a great tee shirt, a two-sided one, would that make!? My imagination soars! You see, RSN has spread world-wide. So here you go!
Hello my readers. This is Peter N, and I just received this email on Thursday from a blogger from the native home of Daisuke and Hideki "the Darkman" Okajima. Please read, and I will link Superbowls' blog...just click on the title of this post. I am amazed, and happy. Darkman lives. Go Red Sox. Now read this, his spelling, and then click on the title. Thank you Superbowl-san. Peter Naboicheck, Peter N! Peter-san.

Hello Peter
I'm Superbowl, a Japanese bloger.
I showed the Gordon Edes' article put into Japanese on my blog
And I reached your blog.
i tried to leave comment on your blog, but i have no google account.
So i send mail like this.

my blog post is

sorry wrote it all in Japanese exept for quoted headlines and your name
(i don't know right pronunciation of your name, so can't put it into
Japanese characters)

but just see Bottom of it.
I made simple gif animation.

I think idea of DarkMan is so cool
I hope it sticks too.
and I also wanna hear his new theme music.

thanks for reading and forgive my bad english
I manage to read ariticles looking up every other word in a dictionary
but hardly write or speak like everyone else in Japan.

I'll spread the Nickname in Japan

AND JUST NOW, on this Friday morning, I received another email from Superbowl-san. I want to share it with you......

"This is Superbowl
Thank you for your quick response.
I enjoyed your blog post and their comments very much.
I'm Glad They liked my graphic.
thank you for everyone

Best regards
Superbowl from dark side of the globe (Now 22:15 JST)

Peter here, and thank YOU Superbowl-san. I am honored. To my on the title of this post. And again, Superbowl-san....thank you. And my readers, please don't forget, when you click on the title, go to the bottom of his blog post...there is a GREAT animation.
Who IS Darkman? His name is Hideki Okajima. He lives in the bullpen, a weapon, until called upon to eliminate our enemies. Because HE is the enemy of Red Sox opponents. His left arm blazes, and the opposing batters meekly bow, and go back to the shadows of their dugout. Defeated. By DARKMAN!! This is what makes being a baseball fan worth everything!
Thank you, my readers, American or Japanese. No matter where, the world of baseball unites us all. And that's good. You see, we're all the same. Loving, caring, needing friendship, or maybe just a hug.....that's what makes us all human. I love you all. Forever. My name is Peter N. Or Peter-san, as Superbowl-san said. And I love the Boston Red Sox. Join me as we travel through what very well might be a magical 2007. I know it will be. You see, I have faith.

Beckett's Arm, Pena's Bat Propel Sox Over O's

This would have been a tough one to lose. But there he was, the much maligned Wily Mo Pena, in a slump for the entire year, at the plate in the eighth with the bases loaded and the Sox down 2-1. He deposited a Chris Ray slider into the Red Sox bullpen for a grand slam and a 5-2 Red Sox lead. Beckett pitched the 8th, striking out his last 2 batters, and Jonathon Papelbon pitched the 9th for Beckett's 5th win and his 7th save. Josh Beckett joins Babe Ruth and Pedro Martinez as the only Red Sox pitchers in history to win 5 games in April. Not bad company indeed.
The Sox left runners on base in every inning, and it was an all too real possibility that they could have lost this one. But for the 5th time in the last 8 games, they came from behind to win. They have the best record in baseball heading into the 3 game series with the Yankees. Daisuke goes tonight, then Wakefield and (gulp!) Tavarez. So the table is set, the players will be in place, and we'll be watching. I must say again-great job WMP and tremendous pitching Josh Beckett.
Do you want the NY Times' take on the "bloody sock" debate? Click on the title of this's right there!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Comment From Japan......About Our Darkman!

Hello my readers. This is Peter N, and I just received this email from the native home of Daisuke and Hideki "the Darkman" Okajima. Please read, and I will link Superbowls' blog...just click on the title of this post. I am amazed, and happy. Darkman lives. Go Red Sox. Now read this, his spelling, and then click on the title. Thank you Superbowl-San. Peter N.

Hello Peter
I'm Superbowl, a Japanese bloger.
I showed the Gordon Edes' article put into Japanese on my blog
And I reached your blog.
i tried to leave comment on your blog, but i have no google account.
So i send mail like this.

my blog post is

sorry wrote it all in Japanese exept for quoted headlines and your name
(i don't know right pronunciation of your name, so can't put it into
Japanese characters)

but just see Bottom of it.
I made simple gif animation.

I think idea of DarkMan is so cool
I hope it sticks too.
and I also wanna hear his new theme music.

thanks for reading and forgive my bad english
I manage to read ariticles looking up every other word in a dictionary
but hardly write or speak like everyone else in Japan.

I'll spread the Nickname in Japan


Peter on the title, my readers... and again, Superbowl-san....thank you. And readers, when you click on the title, go to the bottom of his blog...there is a GREAT animation. Who IS Darkman? His name is Hideki Okajima, and he is the enemy of Red Sox opponents. His left arm blazes, and the opposing batters meekly bow, and go back to the shadows of their dugout. Defeated. By DARKMAN!! This is what makes being a baseball fan worth everything! Thank you my readers, American or Japanese. The world of baseball unites us all. And that's good. You see, we're all the same. Loving, caring, needing friendship, or maybe just a hug.....that's what makes us all human. I love you all.

A Quick Message For My Readers......

It's Peter on Thursday April 26th....I wanted to apologize for not commenting lately on your favorite places! I've been so busy, and I promise I'll be back "blogjogging" before you know it! I wouldn't know what to do without you.
Thank you for reading, and just for being here. Peter N.

OH, AND AS FOR THE BLOODY SOCK....Bruce said and wrote this a long time ago, about a subject very different. The Viet Nam War, but it sort of fits, right here, right now........

" And I said, "Hey kid, you think that's oil?
Man, that ain't oil, that's blood.
I wonder what he was thinking when he hit that storm....
Or was he just lost in the flood?"

Everyone, good night and go Sox. Tonight. Every night! Forever.

7 Innings Of Schilling Just What the Red Sox Needed

A two game losing streak? No problem. Curt Schilling is slated to pitch. And poof! The streak is gone, dust in the rear view mirror, a page turned, a new and brighter day. Schill went 7 strong innings, throwing 90 pitches while allowing only one run and 5 hits as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles 6-1. The game was close until the Sox broke it open with a 3 run 7th. The big hit? Who else? Big Papi David Ortiz. In an 11 pitch at bat, he dumped a single into shallow left field to go ahead 2-1. They added 2 more runs in the inning and 2 in the ninth to make the final 6-1. The Darkman, Hideki Okajima, Oki for short, and Brandon Donnelly completed the conquest with a stong inning apiece. So the pitching was strong from first throw to last.
The Sox have had their way with the Orioles in the recent past. Since the beginning of the 2006 season, they are 16-3 with a batting average of .290. Compare that to the O's batting average of .260 and the domination becomes even more clear. We have to hope it continues tonight with Beckett against Loewen. And then it's on to Yankee Stadium. They were rained out yesterday and fell 4 1/2 games behind the Boston club.
So let's get another one from the O's. 7pm tonight. And Josh, grab your 5th April victory. It'll be the only shot you get! And when you, my faithful readers, click on the title of this post, Gordon Edes' article about the game is linked. And the claim by the O's broadcasters about Curt and his bloody sock is also featured. Was it real blood? We know it was, but they seem to think otherwise. They can't beat us, so they have to find something else to talk about. Pitiful.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

As Ugly As It Gets? YES........

This one was ugly. From Manny's misadventures in leftfield to the utter reality that Wily Mo Pena will be a defensive liability this entire season, if not for his whole career. Oh, that's not a surprise to me. In fact, I have, with all the Boston writers, lamented on the defense by WMP since last year. And the front office knows about his "glovelessness" too. Last night, yes, it was all there. Naked, ugly and uncensored for too many of us to see. It's a good thing the team left town under cover of darkness last night, furtive and unseen to the masses. South, to Baltimore, for a 2 game set with the Orioles before the 3 game series in New York City with the last place (!) New York Yankees begins.
The pitching? For the Jays, Halladay had one of his strongest starts of the season. Even HE said his curve was the best he's had so far. But Julian Tavarez is another story entirely. He proved to all of us that he belongs in the bullpen, not in the rotation. His number 5 spot WILL be taken by Jon Lester on or about May 6th. Hurray!!! I can't wait! And that's exactly what you'll read about when you click on this post's title. It'll take you to the Globe's Nick Carfado, and his thoughts and feelings about the number 5 slot in the rotation. You'll enjoy it, although it is much too brief. Don't worry, there will be more. From me. Jon Lester is OUR Jon Lester, and the first time he does take the mound at our Fenway, RSN will go nuts! All of us.
Oh, and the final score? Should I remind you?? I have to. A dismal 10-3 loss to those Blue Jays. If losses counted double for sheer bad play, we would have lost two! Those JAYS seem to have our number yet again. But we didn't help our own cause, with errors and sheer sloppiness dooming us. And it put the 3 game sweep of the Yankees into our distant memory banks. It's too bad.
The O's for 2, with Schill and Beckett going. Let's turn the page and get a couple wins before we head into the lion's den. In this case, the lion is in last place. Hear them roar. Meow is more like it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Let Down? Jays Thump Sox

It's games like this one that make it hard to write a summary post. With the Sox clinging to a one run lead in the top of the 6th, it all came apart. A Frank Thomas home run that was still rising when it crashed into the Citgo sign was the ultimate difference, although the run credited to Piniero and the 2 given up by Timlin certainly ended it early for the sell-out crowd. Sloppy play and general listlessness because all the emotions were drained in the 3 game sweep of the Yankees? That's a question without an answer. But hey, our record is 12-6....that's nothing to sneeze at. Jeez, I just literally sneezed as I typed those words. I hope that doesn't put the spell of disaster on tonight's game. If it does, I'll do my best to never sneeze again. It's the least I can do for our Sox, the team of dreams. OUR dreams.
Back to tonight's's a rematch of last week's Sox victory over the Jays. Halladay versus Tavarez. A seeming mismatch that 5 days ago resulted in another win for the Boston club. Can lightning strike twice ? Can we leave Fenway tonight with another one under our belts? The odds say NO in a firm loud voice. But I say this. Who cares about the odds....Tavarez for 6 good ones and then maybe the Darkman into Donnelly into Paps. A recipe for victory? We'll see, tonight, at our favorite place in all the world. 7pm.
I also wanted to express my thanks to all of you, my good friends, who have emailed and commented here with your good wishes on my Gordon Edes' mention in the Globe. You warmed my heart, and I'll never forget it. His article about the back to back to back to back taters (I LOVE typing that!) is linked....just click on the post's title....easy! Here's a taste.......

"The probability of four consecutive home runs is p to the fourth power, or p times p times p times p. That equals .000000673, which in this case means there is a 1 in 1.4 million chance."

But we did it! Why? RED SOX FOREVER. Pure and simple.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Home Runs Power Red Sox Sweep Of Yankees

*********SOX GO BACK TO BACK TO BACK TO BACK***********

The Boston Red Sox rocked Fenway Park Sunday night in front of a national television audience with a homer barrage that beat the New York Yankees and swept them out of Fenway, tails between their legs and whimpering like scared canines. Sure they were injured, their starting pitching in tatters. But it's all part of the game, fellahs.
Daisuke Matsuzaka was not able to tame the potent Yankees lineup. Most teams will be unable to this year. It was 3-0 New York going into the bottom of the 3rd. I'll let the Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs take over from here. He says it better than I ever could........

"With two out in the third inning and the Yankees leading 3-0, Manny Ramirez crushed a 1-and-2 fastball deep into the Monster seats in left-center field for his second home run of the season.
Manny. Home run.
J.D. Drew. Home run.
Mike Lowell. Home run.
Jason Varitek. Home run.
"It certainly brought some life to the ballpark in a hurry," Francona said.
Back to back to back to back. And if John Sterling hadn't been so down-in-the-mouth over in the Yankees radio booth, we're sure he would have been screaming, "Belly to belly to belly to belly!"
When they played "Brass Bonanza" after Drew drove a 1-and-2 slider into the right-center field seats, man, you could have sworn Kevin Dineen or Ulfie Samuelsson could come to the plate and hit one off Wright.
Instead, it was Lowell who drove a 1-and-1 pitch over the Monster seats, past the Coke bottles, over everything for the third home run in a row.
OK, now we're looking for the history books - just in case. Now, we're hitting Google for every little historical tie-in and piece of minutiae - just in case.
Varitek lined a 1-and-0 fastball into the Monster seats.
"Just in case" just happened.
The four consecutive home runs tied the major league record. It had been done only four times before......"

Well said, Jeff. The entire article is linked when you click on the title of this post. Though the Sox lead then was 4-3, the Yankees came back against Daisuke to take a 5-4 lead. Until the 7th. Until Mikey Lowell, Sunday's hero, stepped to the plate with two men on and hit his second home run of the day. The victim this time? Scott Procter. The Sox never trailed after that, with the Darkman (Hideki Okajima), Brendan Donnelly and Paps finishing the game. Paps earned the save, the Red Sox had swept, and all was right with RSN. It doesn't get any better.
Now the reeling Toronto Blue Jays come to town, and then, after 2 games with the hot hot Orioles, it will be time to take a short road trip. To New York City. A place called Yankee Stadium, where the Red Sox will try for their 4th straight over the pinstripers. But tonight the Sox go for their 6th win in a row. Tim Wakefield will be on the hill, and if he pitches like he has been recently, good things will happen. And that would be so sweet.
Have a great Monday, everyone. And if you see a sad looking person today during your daily travels, odds are he or she is a Yankee fan. Red Sox Forever.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Gordon Edes On Hideki Okajima. And Me!!!!

I'm flabbergasted on this Sunday morning. On the floor, chest-clutching flabbergasted. Yesterday I received an email from Gordon Edes, asking me to check out the Sox notebook from today, Sunday. I linked it to the title. And that guy Peter he mentions? That's me!

So click on that title as I'm happily dumbfounded!!!!!! I still CANNOT BELIEVE IT!!!!! Thank you Gordon Edes. THE DARKMAN LIVES. Where? In our bullpen, ready to go when we need him most! Here's a little from the Sunday Red Sox notebook. Mr. Edes from the Boston Globe, thank you........

Reliever's been lighting it up...

Okajima emerging from large shadow...

By Gordon Edes, Globe Staff | April 22, 2007

"Daisuke Matsuzaka is the Monster. Hideki Matsui is Godzilla. And what about Hideki Okajima?
A reader (and baseball blogger) named Peter Naboicheck of Farmington, Conn., has taken to calling Okajima "Darkman," a comic-book creation played in the 1990 movie version by actor Liam Neeson. Naboicheck is riffing off Okajima's spring training utterance in which he said of pitching in Matsuzaka's shadow, "I am willing to be a hero in the dark."
The nickname may not stick, but Naboicheck may be onto something. Okajima has to rank as the revelation of the team's first month. Coming into the season, the 31-year-old lefthanded reliever's greatest value to the Sox, according to the wise guys, was to keep Matsuzaka company. He did little to disavow that notion when he gave up a home run on the first pitch he threw for the Sox, to John Buck of the Royals on Opening Day, but since then he has become an unexpected star of the bullpen.
Okajima entered yesterday's game with seven scoreless innings over his last seven appearances. He recorded his first major league save Friday night, when he challenged Alex Rodriguez with fastballs in the ninth inning and retired him with a full-count cutter that resulted in a soft liner to second.
Yesterday afternoon, with the tying runs on base in the seventh, Okajima struck out strongman Jason Giambi to end the inning, then got Robinson Cano to ground to second to begin the eighth, before being replaced by Mike Timlin."

WOW, that IS me. All I can say is I'm totally overwhelmed with happiness. Thank you Gordon, and thanks to the club closest to MY heart, and yours. The Boston Red Sox. CLICK ON THE TITLE for the entire article, one I will NEVER forget. And that's a promise! Happy healthy Sunday to every one of you. And who knows? Maybe even Hideki himself will be able to read a translated version! THE DARKMAN!

My New Car---Click Here!

A 2008 Audi TT, black with black interior. Sleek, powerful, road grabbing and just plain fun to drive. And one of the first 5 to arrive on our shores. I included the link to Audi so you can see what it looks like. Just click on the title. The first picture will load. Then direct your gaze about halfway down on the mid-left side, and you'll see 3 other choices, listed as B, C and D under the small heading that says "VIEW." Click on each one for a more all-around perspective. My favorite? I like 'em all, but "C" captures the rear end view, although none of the pictures really lets you see the exact body contour lines of the car. Yesterday, after returning home from the car dealership, I went for a ride to, well, to nowhere! And it was fun. Click on that title...tell me what you think. Oh, and the rear seats are suited for grocery bags or young children. ONLY! It's a 2 seater with a manual six-speed transmission. Just the way I like it. I need a clutch to survive. With a ton of horsepower and all-wheel all-the-time 4 wheel drive. The car, with an aggressive driver (me!) will push AND pull you into and through every turn. Thanks for taking a minute to check it out. This is one of my happier moments since my cat left me to join his brother in heaven. And I'm so glad. I needed something......but we have the Red Sox riding high!

Papi-Powered Sox Brush Aside Yankees

The Boston Red Sox, in a nationally televised game yesterday, swept past the New York Yankees for the second time in as many days. The final score was 7-5. Josh Beckett gave up 4 runs in the first 2 innings and needed 43 pitches in that span. But then he settled down and at one point retired 14 of 15 batters. He pitched until there were 2 outs in the 7th inning. It was then that the Darkman, cult figure in the making Hideki Okajima, kept the score 7-5 by getting 2 crucial outs. Timlin followed, pitching the remainder of the 8th, and the bridge to Papelbon was complete. And Paps did not let us down. This is from the NY Times....

The Yankees, or what was left of them, were no match for the Boston Red Sox, who overwhelmed Jeff Karstens in a 7-5 victory. It was the Yankees’ second loss this weekend, and they will face Daisuke Matsuzaka on Sunday as they try to avoid a sweep.
“Our goal right now is to try to stay as close as possible,” said Damon, who grounded out as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning.
.......the Yankees trudged off with a loss, despite scoring twice in the first and second innings against Josh Beckett. Rodriguez doubled to lead off the third, but Beckett retired 14 of the next 15 hitters, mixing his pitches better to stifle the Yankees.
Jason Giambi struck out twice against Beckett, both times looking, and later fanned with two men on against the left-hander Hideki Okajima. Beckett’s pitching line was spotty — six and two-thirds innings, nine hits and four earned runs — but he struck out seven. He became the first pitcher in the majors with four victories.
“That’s the best I’ve seen him look with his breaking ball and changeup, no doubt, since he came to the American League,” Giambi said. “That’s why he’s off to such a good start.”

Peter here, and nice words indeed from Mr. Giambi. Josh Beckett, after a tough first 2 innings, showed us why he is off to such a good start as he settled down and became nearly unhittable during the middle innings. And with Big Papi David Ortiz driving in 4 runs with a 2 run double in the first and a 2 run home run in the 4th, the Red Sox established a lead they would never give up, thanks to the persistance of Josh Beckett, the elusive heroics of the Darkman, the steadiness of Mike Timlin and Paps, well, just being Paps.
The Red Sox are 11-5, tied for the best record in the major leagues. They play the Yankees one more time tonight, at 8:30 in the national game of the week on ESPN. They go for the sweep with Daisuke Matsuzaka opposing Yankee rookie Chase Wright. But it's the Yankees doing the chasing right now in the AL East, and that's just the way we like it. And maybe, for a change, there will be run support for Daisuke.
I linked a very nice NY Times article about the Darkman and his developing importance to the team we love. Just click on the title, and remember....the Darkman lives. And the Red Sox are right with him. Enjoy your Sunday.....we go for the sweep tonight in what promises to be a fine night weather-wise for baseball. Yankee-Red Sox baseball. Need I say more?
Don't forget to click on the title for more on the game, and the Darkman. A smile is guaranteed. Promise.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Josh Beckett...A Few Words About The Saturday Sox Starter Supreme

Hi...a beautiful day has dawned on this special Saturday, and that goes for the Fenway Park weather too. We wouldn't have it any other way. Josh Baseball takes the hill shortly before 4pm, and our hearts are with him. A few words, from The Republican, out of that western Mass. town named Springfield, just 27 miles north from where I now sit......

" Josh Beckett already has pitched himself into elite company, right up there with Babe Ruth and Roger Clemens.
Baseball researchers at Elias Sports Bureau say they are the only pitchers in Red Sox history to win their first three outings while allowing no more than one run and striking out at least five in each game.
Babe Ruth did it in 1916, a season in which he would go 23-12 and help the Red Sox to a world championship. Clemens did it in 1991, when he would go 18-10 and win his third Cy Young Award.
Beckett, off to the best start of his career, has a 1.50 earned run average to show for three starts in which he has pitched a total of 18 innings while walking five and striking out 18. The opposition is hitting .159 against him.
The 26-year-old righthander gets the call today, facing the New York Yankees at Fenway Park."

Peter here, and Josh, great job. It's time to go for four! We are with you on what will be a perfect baseball day. Highs in the upper 60s to low 70s, little wind, and a team behind you that has been playing great ball. Oh, not to mention the 36,000 plus fans who are starving for another victory over those patched together New York Yankees. Go Josh...go Sox. Need I say more?
And for those of you who want to read the entire article, it's right on the title of this last morning post. I'll gear up again shortly before this afternoon's game. With a new car, which I'm picking up in an hour or so. Wow...Saturdays are great sometimes!

Yankees Giveth.....The Red Sox Taketh Away

Eighth inning magic and ninth inning pitching by the Darkman, Hideki Okajima, led the Boston Red Sox to a come from behind 7-6 victory over their hated rivals, the New York Yankees. 36,000 plus fans were sent home happy, walking on air with their heads inside cloud nine. And that eighth inning magic came against the best closer the game has ever seen, Mariano Rivera. That made the sweet even sweeter. The delicious more delectable. Here's a recap of the bottom of the eighth inning, from the Courant. Jeff Jacob's column is linked when you click on the title, but first........

"David Ortiz led off the eighth with a double off situational lefthander Mike Myers, then Luis Vizcaino walked Manny Ramirez. J.D. Drew moved the runners up with a groundout, and Mike Lowell scored Ortiz with a single to make it 6-3.
Yankees manager Joe Torre summoned Rivera for a five-out save, but by the time he got one out, the Red Sox had the lead. It was Rivera's first appearance since Sunday, when he allowed Marco Scutaro's walk-off three-run homer in Oakland.
"I really felt the inning he had to pitch was the eighth, because of everything that was going on," Torre said. "Every time we have a lead and he comes in and we don't have a lead when he gets off the mound, I'm always going to be shocked."
Jason Varitek singled to right to make it 6-4, then Coco Crisp pulled one down the right field line into the corner for a triple, allowing Lowell and Varitek to score and make it 6-6.
It was Crisp's first hit off Rivera in six career at-bats.
"We strung together some pretty good at-bats that inning," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. Alex Cora, the hitting hero in the ninth inning Thursday in Toronto, completed the comeback with a single to short left over a drawn-in infield, scoring Crisp to make it 7-6.
"I made my pitches," Rivera said. "Varitek hit a good pitch, Crisp hit a good pitch. And Cora ... they just found holes."

Peter here, and Mariano, those base hits found holes because they were hit so well. The pitches, at least the ones that turned into instant base hits, were over the plate with less than the normal "Mo" movement. 5 runs....7-6 Sox, and in from the bullpen, with Paps having thrown 47 pitches in the 2 preceding games, came the Darkman, Hideki Okajima, in the closer's role. And he earned the save, with AROD one of his conquests. And the Fenway Faithful went crazy. The NESN nuts too! I know. Last night I was a NESN nut! Thank you NESN HD....just like being there, almost. As close as one can get, but without the feel, the smells and the general sense of being a part of it by being RIGHT THERE. But it was fun, and that's an understatement.
So the Red Sox have won 8 of their last 10 and sit firmly and proudly atop the AL East. And although it's only April, some things are evident. The pitching is good, darn good, and can only get better when John Lester steps into the 5 spot of the rotation. The bullpen also has been great. Stand outs in the 'pen? The Darkman, Brendan Donnelly, Kyle Snyder and, of course, Jonathon Papelbon. Now if that injury bug that plagued the team last year, descimating all aspects of what was then a first place team, does not rear its ugly head, then the future is bright. And you know what? The future is NOW.
Fenway Park, today, at 3:55pm on Fox, pregame at 3:30. It will be the rookie Karstens versus the veteran Josh Beckett. GO SOX. This kind of baseball, with timely hittling and superb pitching, will take us far. And I, for one, am ready for that ride. Aren't you? Come with me! And as always, your comments are more than wanted, they're needed. And don't forget to click on the title of the post for Jeff Jacob's take on last night's game, centering on the incredibly hot start by AROD, and his last at bat, a failure. He's not a superman, but he HAS been swinging the bat like a super hero....for Yankee fans. We'll keep him off the basepaths this afternoon, with Josh NOT throwing too many fastballs, guessable fastballs. He's been so good so far. Keep it going Josh. RSN is watching, with support and love. And that love comes from ALL of us....forever.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Red Sox Pounce On Halladay-less Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays may be regretting their decision to remove their ace, Roy Halladay, from the game Thursday afternoon. The Boston Red Sox quickly scored 2 in the eighth to tie it on Manny's first home run and 2 more on an Alex Cora triple and a Coco sacrifice fly. Paps came in and pitched a 26 pitch 9th for his second straight save. But it was Alex Cora who was the hero, pulling off a double play on a bad feed from Mike Timlin in the 8th and hurrying his throw to first just in time to end the inning with the score tied. From the Courant.....

"He had just made the defensive play of the game in the eighth inning, converting a poor throw from pitcher Mike Timlin into an inning-ending double play that prevented the go-ahead run from scoring.
But while his teammates were relieved to be tied, Cora was fit to be tied. He had made the play despite taking a body block from Toronto's Lyle Overbay at second base.
"I don't mind if you go hard, but not with your arms up, and you can't reach the bag," Cora said. "For me personally, it wasn't a clean slide. That's something that I really don't like in the game. That part really bothers me sometimes."
For Cora, revenge was best served to left-center.
Batting with a runner at first and one out in the ninth, Cora ripped a triple into the gap to break the tie, then scored on a Coco Crisp sacrifice fly as the Red Sox rallied for a 5-3 victory before 33,297 Thursday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.
Cora started for Julio Lugo at shortstop. It was Lugo, running for Dustin Pedroia in the ninth, who scored on Cora's triple. Cora went for three, he said, figuring he'd give himself up with one out to ensure Lugo scored. Instead, Cora beat the throw at third, then scored on Crisp's sacrifice fly to center.
"He plays the game, is what he does," manager Terry Francona said." (To read the entire article, click on the title).

He sure does play the game...his team is playing the game too. Right now the pitching from top to bottom has been first rate. The bats could perk up a little, but the defense looks good. That's why they're in first place. A nice place to be with the New York Yankees coming to town. A Yankee team with a hurting rotation but with a lineup top to bottom that does one thing really well. Score runs. The Sox have their top three starters going tonight, Saturday and Sunday night, which is the ESPN national primetime game. So buckle up, wear those lucky shirts, hats or anything else that comes to mind. Tonight, Pettitte versus Curt Schilling. Bring dem bums on!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

SOX WIN!! Rubber Soul!!

The Boston Red Sox scored twice in the 8th and twice in the 9th to take the rubber game of the series against Toronto. They come home to face the Yankees with a record of 9-5. One thing is for certain....Jonathon Papelbon, who threw 21 pitches yesterday and 26 today, will be getting the day off tomorrow. But we come home to Fenway happy. Full wrap-up in the morning.

Home Runs And Knuckleballs Doom Jays

Tim Wakefield (2-1, 1.35era) and the Boston Red Sox made quick work of the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday night in Toronto, with the Red Sox winning by a score of 4-1. It was another sub-three hour game for Timmy, who only surrendered one hit through the first six innings. Big Papi, Doug Mirabelli and Mike Lowell went deep to help the cause as the Sox took over sole possession of first place. Brendan Donnelly pitched a 1-2-3 8th and Jonathon Papelbon threw a 21 pitch ninth for the save. And there WILL be day baseball today at 12:35 before the Sox make their way home for a three game set with the hated Yankees. A would-be pitching mismatch is on the card today, with Roy Halladay, a healthy Halladay, by the way, going against number five (for now) starter Julian Tavarez in the rubber game of the series.
Oh, and here's great news! Jon Lester continues his road to the majors.....Tito Francona had this to say, from the Courant (click on the title for the full article)...

"Jon Lester is getting closer to returning. The lefthander will make one more start for Single A Greenville Friday. His next start will be for Triple A Pawtucket next Wednesday or Thursday in Rochester, N.Y.
"We want to get him to a place where he can go and completely compete," Francona said. "Take the shackles off and go pitch as good as you can pitch and stay out there until the game dictates when you come out."

Go get 'em Jon. No shackles needed. We can't wait for your first walk to Fenway Park's hallowed mound.....we'll go nuts! With love....for you.
And one last word about the Sox pitching, wonderful words indeed! From the Globe.....

"Last night's game was the eighth straight in which the Sox have limited opponents to three or fewer runs, something the staff hadn't done since 1988, when Sox pitchers went 11 games at that level of stinginess."

Peter here. Nice! And as always, thanks for reading. You're the best!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech Horror. As Written By The Hartford Courant's, and Our VERY Own Jeff Jacobs

Please click on the title of this post. Just as soon as you read my very few words here. Please. Easy reading? NO. Never. Life is seldom easy, but when it is, well, that's the best. Jeff Jacobs, sports columnist supreme for our very own Hartford Courant, wrote a PAGE 1 piece today, Wednesday, April 18th. And as we all still shudder and grieve with tears and heartbreak for the souls lost in the senseless shooting, Jeff Jacobs makes us understand, with tough and honest words. And I'm thankful. Read his piece by clicking on the title. And no, for the first time, I will NOT be back with a comment. His words say everything. More than everything.
Senseless, heartless, so sad an act of a deranged mind. Please, my readers, for me, click on the title and read Jeff's column. And your comments are so welcome. So go ahead and click. His words will touch your heart, just as they touched mine. Thanks. And thank you Jeff. You have a gift, and we are so lucky to be able to read your thoughts. For they are ours.
And remember my friends, it's OK to cry. I did when I read this. So go right ahead...tears are a part of life. And so is Jeff Jacobs. For a very long time. Forever, for me. For all of us.

One Bad Inning Costs Daisuke And The Red Sox. Toronto Wins 2-1

It was the fourth when it all unravelled for Daisuke Matsuzaka. He only allowed 3 hits during his entire 6 inning stint, but walked 3, all bunched together in that ugly 4th. And the Blue Jays, with 3 (!!) hits, managed to win this one by the score of 2-1. Yet another Daisuke start where a lack of runs and a little wildness doomed his chance for win number 2. His stats so far in his 3 starts? Here you go. And thank you Hartford Courant for these numbers. 1 win, 2 losses, 20 IP with 6 ER, 5 (!!!) BB's, 24 (yet again !!) K's with a 2.70 ERA. The Red Sox, seemingly facing the very best of the opposing team's pitching performances every time Daisuke pitches, have struggled, with only 5 runs and 19 hits (11 alone against the Royals) in his 3 starts. THIS WILL CHANGE. I know it will. Mr. Matsuzaka has been the real thing, and as he gets more comfortable and his club backs him with more runs, only good things will happen. I know it!
Wakes goes tonight in the 2nd of 3 with the Jays, and then....THEN....the New York Yankees come to town, our town, our park, our fans. And the Red Sox will have their top three starters going against them.
But first? 2 more in Toronto. Let's win both.

On another note, wow, did I have an eventful morning today. It ended mere minutes ago. Something we all take for granted, the four tires on our cars, betrayed me. Well, at least one of them did, and so did the spare. And I learned the HARD way .....that's all it takes! The betrayal.......3 days before this car is being replaced by a shiny black new one! The story, and the waiting, and the.....oh well, I'll write a post about it in a few minutes. I should call it "How To Ruin Your Morning In One Easy Step." I wanted to get this Sox baseball post up as soon as I returned home from my mystifying and baffling morning of travel.
Enjoy this Wednesday. It's shortly after noon, and yes, I can start enjoying the day RIGHT NOW, after my "morning of misery." But I know, as we all know, this. It could always be worse. My heart still hurts, bleeds and grieves for the families of the Virginia Tech students, young people gunned down in their prime, while doing, of all things, sitting, just sitting in an everyday college classroom. God bless their souls.
I linked the excellent Globe article about last night's game in Canada. Just click on the title.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Daisuke Discussion...Really!

OK, it's really Tuesday. And when I look outside, as I am doing RIGHT now, I see the sun. Through a thick gray cloudy sky, in the upper atmosphere. Please give me a moment, I wanted to make sure that that golden orb IS the sun. WOW, it is!! Evaporation, please...I am so surrounded by too much water.
And I linked the Tuesday Boston Globe article, written by Mr. Edes, for some's a bit...

"Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his third start for the Red Sox tonight in Toronto, where he'll have the benefit of pitching indoors, which is much closer to what he's accustomed to than the cold weather in which he made his first two starts..."

Peter here, and that's it! Everything interesting by "you-know-who" was said in those few words, less than a paragraph, in fact. We're ready! And I know the Blue Jays will be vulnerable when each and every batter comes to the plate. They're facing a hot club (us!!!), with a pitcher that has so much for us. So, let's all have fun......RSN Forever.

Beckett, Bats And 'Pen Dominate Once Again

Josh Beckett's 2007 season is off to a smooth start. The same exact thing is true for his club, the Boston Red Sox. Beckett pitched 6 innings, allowing 6 hits and 1 run with 5 strikeouts. The bullpen was equally as good. The Darkman, Hideki Okajima, pitched a perfect 7th, with 2 strikeouts, needing only 9 pitches. Romero and Snyder were also good in the 8th and 9th, with Snyder giving up the final run. Julio Lugo made two great defensive plays and also collected 2 hits. Papi homered and Manny drove in 2. Patriot's Day was good to that team from Boston. Our team.
The Sox, 7-4 and hot, are in Toronto for the first of 3 Tuesday evening. Tonight's game features Daisuke Matsuzaka versus Gustavo Chacin. Let's get Daisuke some runs this time!
In storm news here in Farmington, I am still surrounded by water. The main road is closed, and the various short cuts that I know that allow me to navigate around and away from any traffic obstacles are all blocked off by deep, too deep, puddles of the wet stuff. I have to hope I'll be able to get out tomorrow as the water will hopefully stop rising and start to fall. I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of food, but I do have a nice turkey sandwich and fixin's for lunch. Dinner? I'll have to improvise. Being a type 1 diabetic means 3 full meals, with protein, a day. A peanut butter sandwich with a big salad might have to do this evening. NO MATTER WHAT, I'm getting out of here tomorrow. Man the topedoes, full speed ahead!
Take care everyone. Make the most of your Tuesday.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Fenway News? Great. A Sweep!! Other News...Tragic...Too Tragic

SOX WIN....7-2...Josh Beckett goes to 3-0, and he WILL be pitching Saturday, at Fenway, against the hurt, bewildered and doomed Yankees. There will be a full wrap-up first thing tomorrow morning.
But the news turns dark, as bad as it gets. Virginia Tech. Multiple homicides. Check out the latest on your local channels.
So sadness is mixed with sweetness. I wish things could be different. We go to Toronto, with a firm grasp on first place. The rotation looks great.
I mourn those souls who didn't make it through this Monday. A normal Monday, until a madman struck. May God bless, and may they rest in peace. Thanks for reading my mumblings......and the Va. Tech tragedy is linked on the title of this post. I wish it could be better. My heart is heavy, made of lead, still beating, but so sadly. I'm not sure why it works. Not now. Goodbye, and be safe. Always.

Quick Start By The Red Sox!

"5-1 baby, one to five. No one here gets out alive."
Oops, I lapsed into a Doors song. But the only ones who will NOT get out alive are the members of the Angels. We'll see. And it's NOW 6-1 good guys. OUR guys! "Josh Baseball", win number 3. For us........all of us.


I'm sorry for the pun, but I just went out, not far, to my surprise, to go to the supermarket. A quick 1 mile drive was impossible. Why? I'm underwater! Or at least the roads surrounding me are. I'm so happy that we never lost power. And my post title?? A little pun. The ducks might be doomed with this much rainfall. But that's not exactly what I meant! The drivers and their cars are not any luckier by any means. So I might be stranded...there are worse things. The freezer is full, as is the fridge. And our Sox? It's still raining here, 112 miles to the south and east of Boston, but nothing like last night. So we wait. And we'll see! Travel here is not seems that we had 4 inches of rain last night. With wind. And more on the way.
So go Sox. They will if they can play. Check the radar by clicking on the preceding post's title. You'll see that the radar is filling in over central Connecticut. But Boston? The view to the south, where the rain is coming from, looks better. It's a wait and see situation. Be safe in your travels. Always. I don't want to lose you.
And click on this title's post for the latest story about what's going on. Not the radar this time. Click!

Yes, We Have No Baseball

I don't see how it's possible. For many reasons. One, the storm, which now at 7am is located in the western portion of Long Island Sound, isn't moving. Bands of rain will continue to circulate around the storm system through Connecticut and eastern Mass. Including Boston's fabled Fenway. Look for yourself. The latest radar is again linked to the title of this post. Take a look right now, and then come back here. I'll wait. Do do do dah dah doo doo, oh, you're back. You see what I mean? And the amount of water that fell on the field last night HAD to leave it in bad shape. A 10am start. Impossible.
But look on the bright side.....we're in first place, our top three pitchers are lined up for the Yankee series, and the Yanks rotation is a disaster, wounded deeply and in tatters. Our club is rested. It's up to Toronto and it's sheltering dome. If you didn't check the radar earlier, do it now. And you make the call. Stranger things have no way has the game been called. As I type this, it's only 6:56am. But with a 10am start, it'll be tough. But remember, it's only a little after 6:30am. Check back after 8am.


And now, it's nearing 8am! I've looked at the radar periodically. Just click on this post's title and look for yourself. It's animation radar, so give it 10 seconds to load. The radar? It looks better and better by the moment, as long as the field is draining well. A huge dry slot had developed over most of the southern half of Connecticut, and that same dry slot might envelope Boston, BEFORE 10. Do miracles happen? I wouldn't call this a miracle, but the Sox brass want to get this one in. Not only because it's Patriot's Day, but because the Sox and the Angels only play a certain amount of games at each other's parks. So I have a feeling that my earlier "no way, no how" forecast of NO baseball might have been wrong. NESN at 8:30. Their pre-game coverage begins. And we will learn all. Hey, with Josh Beckett going, we Sox fans want this game to be played! 7-4 is sweeter than 6-4. Keep your eye on the radar by clicking on the title, and the official news will be here.......somewhere, a little later. If and when.
I like our team. I like our team a lot. And with Josh Baseball pitching, all the better. So bring it on, if it's safe for the players. Happy Patriot's Day. Be careful out there.

***********Another Update***************

It's 8:32, and there IS a rain delay. But if the field has drained and with the radar clearing out, there's a good chance for baseball. The game is now scheduled for the first pitch at 12:05. We'll see. And remember, with Josh going, we WANT to see this game. And he'll be on track for his important start on Saturday, against you-know-who. THAT IS VITAL! I'll keep my eye on the radar as the minutes tick slowly towards noon. And you can too by clicking on the title. We'll wait it out. Together!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Why No Sunday Baseball??

Just click on the title you JUST finished reading. That will zoom (or for you, Scotty, beam) you to the radar link (a loop---animated) from Brookhaven, LI, NY. Right here right now. Live and in living color. The perfect radar location to see what's here in northern Connecticut, and more importantly, what's heading to Fenway. Go!!! NOW!!!!!!! And in fact, if you ever have worries about the weather heading towards Fenway Park, bookmark this exact radar page. It's easy! This is best view only because weather, for the most part, travels west to east. In this case southwest to northeast. So if you EVER during this long and happy season wonder what the weather will bring us, and you're heading to Fenway and want an early clue what's in store in the skies above, just click on the bookmark you just set up. All through the summer! Your weather guy Peter. What can I say? I'm good. For Red Sox and weather, I AM good. Little else!
Now click on the title and see that radar. First place is ours. Not a bad day to "sit it out." And the runners will be wet tomorrrow. But they'll run! And now you have the perfect weather radar "click." Peter....your blog guy. Thanks for being here.

Red Sox Over Angels As Schilling Scoreless Streak Continues

Curt Schilling was brilliant for eight innings Saturday afternoon as the Boston Red Sox defeated the California LA Angels 8-0. He has a scoreless streak of 14 innings going, and he is truly pitching like our ace. I hope the front office can lock him up for next year before the All Star break, for he has become a wily experienced pitcher rather than the flamethrower he used to be. And he is better because of it. He had hopes of a complete game shutout until a laborious 7th inning. From the Courant.....

"No longer the workhorse he used to be, Schilling, 40, was content to play the role of the old warhorse on this overcast day. He was happy to play the hero, getting a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 36,300 as he walked off the mound in the eighth.
"If we had an extra day [of rest] I would have loved to have gone back out there," Schilling said. "But a 5-0 game becomes an 8-0 game and it ends up probably being the best decision for everybody involved. And really, at the end of the day, going back out for the ninth would have been me trying to get a shutout, as opposed to me trying to make 33 or 34 starts and being as healthy as I can."

And said Tito of his pitcher.....

"He threw strikes, he stayed out of the middle, and he really stayed out of a certain area or a pattern the whole day," manager Terry Francona said. "Changed locations, changed speeds, changed pitches on all the hitters right from the beginning, and didn't give anybody the same look or fall into a pattern. Did a great job with that."

Peter here. High praise from manager Francona. And this is huge...Sox starters have pitched at least seven innings in each of the last five games, going 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA. Curt and Josh are a big part of that stunning stat. Schill's pitch selection and the quality of each and every throw was a delight to every Red Sox fan anywhere--sitting in the stands or watching NESN at home. Economical is the word that comes to mind. Economical AND effective. Our Curt Schilling. He and Beckett make quite a one-two punch. And the way Daisuke and Wakes have been pitching, I'd say right now the Sox have the best one-two-three-four punch in all of baseball. Rotation-wise. They've won four of five games, and the lone loss featured a great Daisuke pitching performance which was overshadowed by the one hit outing by the Mariner's Felix Hernandez.

The batting stars? Big Papi. Big Papi. Big Papi. Big Papi. That's one for each of his 4 RBI, 3 of which came on a monster shot. Eric Hinske had a pair of hits and played first base.

So the club looks good. The hitting is there. The pitching is there. The bullpen, thank goodness for Paps, is there. And the Boston Red Sox are in first place. The rains have started here in the greater Hartford area at 7am, marching north and east towards Boston. There will not be baseball today, and with the early start tomorrow and the copious amount of rain expected over the next 24 hours, tomorrow's Patriot's Day game is in doubt, too. But I like where we are. I like it a lot.
I linked Amalie Benjamin's article from the Sunday Boston Globe. It's a good one. Click on the title, and enjoy your Sunday, grey and wet and cool here in north central Connecticut, RSN, USA.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

95 Years Ago Today...The Titanic Went Down

It was an early, eerie, unearthly but peaceful pre-dawn frigid morning. The sun, when eventually it dared to appear over the horizon, illuminated the unspeakable. What no one wanted to see. A ocean of.....nothing. No great ship. Too few lifeboats for the souls aboard the doomed Titanic. But there were bodies, corpses still floating lifelessly on whatever they could find to help them breath lifegiving air. But the life was sucked out of them. The water? Too cold to sustain the fragile heartbeats of so so many. The ocean fleet standard of its day went down in less than 3 hours. If the ship had not veered to miss the iceberg, resulting in a glancing but ripping hull-slicing encounter, the Titanic might still live. Loss of life with that kind of violent head on collision? Oh yes. But the tragic loss of too many people, women, men and children, could have been avoided. I mourn them all. The sunless, still and cold ocean waters have taken their toll on the metallic hull of the great ship. The forever startling and always starring ship of its day, and ours, lives on. And the souls who lost their lives will be remembered. Forever. In my heart they live on. As do we. Sadly. And today, I've said a prayer.
This is Peter. Just a look back, with sadness, on this day 95 years later. So long ago, but in our memories forever.
So be well. And thanks for being here. My readers are my treasured friends. And that will NEVER change. Not in my lifetime. That's a promise.

Angels Knuckle Under To Wakefield, Papelbon And The Red Sox

The wind was blowing in, fluttering Tim Wakefield's uniform. The uniform wasn't the only thing fluttering as Wakes tamed his all-over-the-strike-zone knuckleball and baffled the Angels for 7 plus innings. He only allowed one run and 5 hits while walking two in that span. The Sox held a 4-1 lead in the 8th when trouble made its evil entrance. This is from the Courant, as Tito called on his number one weapon, Jonathon Papelbon, when he was needed most.

"Wakefield was lifted in favor of Brendan Donnelly with no outs in the eighth after Maicer Izturis had an infield single and moved to second on Lowell's throwing error into the Red Sox dugout. Pedroia made a diving stop on a grounder by Gary Matthews Jr. and threw him out. But Donnelly hit Orlando Cabrera with a pitch.
Papelbon was called in and struck out Guerrero on a 97 mph fastball. Anderson lined to left to end the threat."

Peter here, and as Tito said after the game, he wasn't going to waste a weapon like Papelbon when he was needed the most. And he WAS needed in the 8th. Mike Timlin came in to pitch the ninth after the good guys scored 6 runs in the botton half of the 8th. Batting stars? JD Drew stays hot, Mikey Lowell had two hits, Mirabelli hit one out and lead off guy Julio Lugo collected 3 hits. An all around good effort for the second place Sox.
This 3 day weekend will be interesting weatherwise. For today's (Sat.) game--no problems as Curt goes for his second win of the season. But after that........well, let's just say that that might be it for the Angels and Boston. A huge storm will stall very near Connecticut late Sunday, with heavy precipitation from midday Sunday on. And with a ten AM Monday game, it's safe to say the timing is not good. So let's go out and win today. No ifs, ands or buts. 3:15. Fenway Park. Be there. Or have NESN tuned in near your favorite easy chair with an ice cold beverage of your choice.
The Courant article about last night's victory is linked when you click on the title. Enjoy your Saturday, the nice part of the weekend, at least here in the Northeast. After that? Nor'easter time. Snowless, but with too much rain and heavy winds. Me? I'd rather have the white stuff, one last time. But most of all I'd love to have the temperatures become normal for this time of year, which is in the lower 60s. We haven't hit 50 on a consistant basis. Yet. We will. GO SOX.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Rain Brings A Pitching Rotation Change

Well, yesterday's rain has brought about an upcoming change in the Red Sox pitching rotation. From the Courant.....

"Daisuke Matsuzaka was used to pitching on the sixth day in Japan. The rainout puts him back on the sixth day - at least for this turn.
Tim Wakefield (0-1, 1.50 ERA), Thursday's scheduled starter, will face the Angels' John Lackey (2-0, 0.75) today.
Julian Tavarez was moved from today to Monday's Patriots Day game and Matsuzaka will pitch Tuesday in Toronto.
Barring further rainouts, Matsuzaka would then be lined up to face the Yankees April 22, a Sunday night game in Boston, and April 27, the series opener in New York.
Other matchups against the Angels: Kelvim Escobar (1-1, 3.18) vs. Curt Schilling (1-1, 4.91) Saturday; Ervin Santana (1-1, 6.35) vs. Josh Beckett (2-0, 1.50) Sunday; Jered Weaver (11-2, 2.56 in 2006) vs. Tavarez (0-1, 9.00) Monday."

Peter here. Daisuke will start the first game under the dome in Toronto on Tuesday. If it were up to me, I'd just skip Tavarez' turn altogether, and do it as many times as the schedule would allow, until Jon Lester is good and ready to take over the 5th spot. No need to hurry him, though. But, and this from the Herald of the Hub......

"Pushing Matsuzaka back a day will have further long-term impact. Now he will be lined up to face the New York Yankees in each of the first two series later this month rather than just the first one. Matsuzaka is slotted to face the Yankees at Fenway on Sunday, April 22 (8:05 p.m., ESPN), followed by the first of three games in the Bronx on Friday, April 27. If he stays in line, he also would pitch the makeup game vs. Seattle."

Thank you Boston Herald. How great is that!! And so.......we head into tonight's game at 4-4, tied with the Yankees and one half game behind the first place Jays. We face them starting Tuesday, with, as you read, Daisuke. So we're in good shape. There is quite a storm which will form off the eastern seaboard mid-weekend. It will affect the Northeast Sunday and Monday. BIGTIME. My friends Jere and Cyn of Red Sox blog fame (yes, fame!) have tickets to all the games, Friday through Monday.
But baseball may be hard to find on Sunday and Monday. Wet fans? Certainly. But everyone at Fenway will be HAPPY wet fans. They'll be with their Fenway family. MY family. Red Sox family. OUR FAMILY, FOREVER. A bond that unites so many of us in brotherhood and sisterhood. It doesn't get any better. Never has. Never will.
Monday is Patriot's Day. Expect a very wet race. But as with all coastal storms, things can, and do change. Enjoy your Friday, and as always, thanks for reading. And the weekend coming up? One day at a time for the Boston Red Sox. And I love every one of 'em! And you too......
And I linked an article by Jeff Jacobs, Hartford Courant sportswriter. No one does it better. His subject from his this morning's Courant column? The Imus firing, and so much more....when you read him, you love him....thanks Jeff Jacobs. Just click on the title, and you'll be right there. Thanks.
Any comments about anything are so welcome. Click on the post title, and chime in! Have a wonder weekend.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mets' Fan Falls...My Goodness!

This blub is just for your you, my readers. We have to keep up with the ups and DOWNS (pun this) of our fellow Yankee-hating fans, Mets, believe it or not, here we go......

"Ellen Massey always counted being struck by a baseball or a bat at Shea Stadium among the hazards of being a Mets fan, but she never thought a 300-pound man would come crashing down the stands -- and onto her.
That's what the Manhattan resident, 58, said happened on Monday, Opening Day at Shea.
Shortly after the seventh-inning stretch, she said, a man dressed in a green Army-type jacket tumbled from higher seats and onto her back, knocking the wind out of her and, ultimately, causing serious injury.
"I only know he came flying," Massey, 58, said Wednesday from her bed in Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. "I was literally not able to breathe for about half-a-minute or so. The first thing I was aware of was not being able to breathe, and then when I was able to breathe I was aware of the pain in my lower back."
Massey, who is a lawyer, is scheduled for surgery on a vertebra on Friday. After she was injured, she said, she was attended to by two emergency medical technicians who were in the stands watching the game, and then by Shea's own medics, who stabilized her head and neck area and took her to a local hospital."

Peter here, and Ellen, I hope you will be OK. A lawsuit? Thats up to you. I am bound by law not to give my opinion. But, my goodness, be well. And I thought being a Yankee fan was bad for one's health. Heal......and the original article is linked, as always, when you click on the title....let's all hope for Ellen's well-being..........

HIS Opening Day......

This, from MLB.TV....about tonight's game and Wily Mo Pena.....

"If Thursday's weather forecast of rain and snow proves to be to be wrong, then Red Sox outfielder Wily Mo Pena will play. The contest against the Mariners, scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET at Fenway Park, is Pena's de facto Opening Day.
The slugging outfielder, aside from three cameo at-bats, has had to watch from the bench as his teammates have played the first eight games of the season.
"I'm excited, but I don't know about the weather," said Pena. "When I start my first game, that's going to be my Opening Day."

Peter here....JD Drew has been one of our batting stars this young season. Wily Mo? We will see him in the outfield positions, all of them, this season. And at the plate, he'll be fine. But defensively, treading the outfield turf of Fenway Park, well, we'll have to see. We have Tim Wakefield going tonight against a Mariner pitcher who cannot match what his teammante Felix Hernandez did last night. And if the weather cooperates, and right now, that's up in the air, we'll all see. As the Sox try to take 2 of 3.The MLB article is linked...just click on the title.
A 4:05 start...trying to beat the upcoming weather. And the bats will have to come alive....bigtime. FAITH.

Felix Hernandez One-Hits Boston

A no-hitter through seven. Only two balls hit into the outfield. A complete game. A shutout. The frenzied fans at Fenway Park last night were expecting those kind of fireworks from Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Boston Red Sox. Instead, the pitching star was the Mariners' own Felix Hernandez. He was masterful and in complete control for his nine innings of work. JD Drew broke up the no hitter in the eighth inning with a roller past the second baseman, but the Sox were still humbled by the array of Hernandez pitches. He is the real deal and the ace, as he should be, of the Mariner staff. So don't feel bad for Daisuke. He had a quality seven inning start. But the better mound guy won. It's going to happen again this year. Daisuke looked fine. Hernandez would have blown the doors off of ANY team he faced yesterday. And I still feel the wind on my face from his excellence. The Boston Red Sox? We'll be fine, just fine.
The Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs' great column about the game is linked to the title. Just click on it. He is my favorite sportswriter, and some people have said my style reminds them of him. And I say, "Yeah, right!" Check it out. He's good. Really good. And I'll link his column whenever he writes about our Red Sox during this now young season of 2007. Time flies, so let's have fun and beat those Mariners tonight. Their pitcher was unbeatable last night. Unreachable. Untouchable. Un-EVERYTHING! Two nights in a row? Not on my watch!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Beckett Plus Base Hits Plus Opening Day At Fenway....What A Beautiful Thing!

7 innings, 2 base hits. 1 run, earned. Final score 14-3 Red Sox. A great job by Josh Beckett at a Fenway Park filled with memories of the team from 40 years ago, overacheivers in a championship way, and a day filled with the hopes and dreams of the Red Sox team of today, of 2007, and ITS future hopes and dreams. Josh Beckett was Josh Baseball....using all of his pitches with all of the angles possible for every pitch. He was fun to watch, unpredictable to the Mariners' batters. And that is the key to his success. The key to every pitcher at any level of baseball as we know it....having the ability to fool that other guy, the one standing at the plate who's trying to guess your every move, your every delivery, your every pitch. Yesterday, Josh Beckett was ON. The master of deception on this cool early spring day of victory showed his stuff. And we smiled!
It was great to see the guys of 1967. I miss Tony C. I'm so happy his brothers were there, standing as one. It was great to see Captain Carl, half-uniformed or not. And where was Lonnie? Drilling a tooth, most likely.
But then, after a stirring rendition of "The Impossible Dream" sung by the ever suave Robert Goulet, and an inspiring "Play Ball" voiced by the much loved Johnny Pesky, who was momentarily overcome with grief shortly before those words, it was time for baseball 2007 Fenway style.
JD Drew showed his pleasure of playing at Fenway for the first time in the home uniform with a one-handed (it sure seemed so) home run swing...Youk responded with 3 hits, and Captain Tek, seemingly swinging the bat better and better every game, tallied 3 base hits. Right now, I think things are jelling, even the bullpen. In relief of MVP (of this game) Josh Beckett, there was Brendan Donnelly, who resumed his feud with Jose Guillen. Maybe I should rephrase that....Mr. Guillen resumed HIS feud with our Brendan, by promptly striking out. Donnelly did not try to hit him. Not even close. Long story short, the benches emptied and a "no holds-no touches" typical baseball staredown ensued. And then, the rout resumed. Darkman came in and cooled the temperature, and he did it quickly. And then Mike Timlin entered for his initial 2007 appearance. And he looked it. But the lead had ballooned to 11 by then, so it was a great time to let him blunder through a 24 pitch inning. A good real-time real-game workout. We need you Mike, for eighth inning wonders.
Opening Day 2007? I liked it. Tonight.....Daisuke Matsuzaka versus the best (so brilliant start) Seattle Mariner pitcher. His last name is Hernandez. Pencil his last name in as the losing pitcher for April 11th, 2007. I hope our Daisuke, in his second of so many future Red Sox starts, baffles and confuses his oponents yet again. front of 36,000 plus Red Sox fans in America....Daisuke fans through and through. And the fans in his native Japan, where the game will be televised starting at 8am, will be watching many!

Please, never forget. And me? Me? That guy from Connecticut named Peter (my real name?!)? Who cares? But I'm with you. Watching, cheering, and loving that team called the Boston Red Sox. I can't stop now! And I never will.

Tonight, we'll stand up. We'll cheer. And we'll pour our hearts out with love. I'm ready! Are you? FAITH forever. Thanks for reading, and when you click on the title of this post, up will appear the Hartford Courant columnist Jeff Jacobs' thoughts on opening day. I know you'll love his writing. So everyone, enjoy this hump day Wednesday, and a night reserved for Daisuke, and our Sox. And a victory. How sweet could it get? Just wait! I promise.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

14-3...So Much Sox Fun

And there will be, right here, a full wrap-up tomorrow.....great job Josh, and the bats, and everything!

A Comment From Sul Turns Into A Post On This Opening Day 2007

Yes, Sul, from Suldog-O-Rama, and his link is there on your right, under links, left me a wonderful comment about those "Cardiac Kids" from 1967. Here it is, with my reply....from just a couple minutes we wait for Fenway Park to turn magic........and some of that magic is linked right here. Click on the title...right above you. And imagine. 1967, and now, 2007.

From Sul...
"That '67 team was such a joy. And they're the only team that NOBODY has any bad feelings about, even though they lost the Series. What a fantastic fun summer that was!"

And my reply........

"Sul, we ALL know why, why, why did we lose that 7 game World Series against the so good St. Louis Cardinals. And it makes it easier to be able to sum up the answer to that question with two words. No debates, no ifs, ands or buts. NO NOTHING! Easy answer.....
He deserves these capital letters coming up................
The nastiest, the best (by far!) pitcher of 1967, of the all-time greatest....BOB GIBSON. He beat us 3 times in that 7 game series, a series that broke my "too young to know" heart....Lonnie, pitching on short rest (2 days!) for game 7, couldn't do it.
But, oh, that final day, the one that determined the AL Champ (and there was only one team from each league to go to the Series), was a family celebration. And I remember it so well. Like it was yesterday. My Dad young, my mom fussing and spreading the love she always had for her
Thanks, Sul. I remember it, young as I was, with my very little brother and my Dad and Mom, as a day of smiles. Of little firecrackers, the cardboard noisemakers set off by michievous Peter and his brother, in joy, happiness, sheer youthful Red Sox love. And then Rico caught that final out. The catch, a routine one near 3rd base, the one that propelled the lowly (or so they said) Red Sox to the World Series! 1967. It happened!!!!!! It did. And I smile. To this day. I was young, but I remember.
Sul, thanks. Everyone, enjoy this early April day at our Fenway. A magic day. I'm sure. We're all a part....and then, 2007 continues. With love. All of the RSN love.........

Opening Day, And A Look Back. 40 Years Back

Today, Tuesday April 10, 2007, we look back 40 years to that Impossible Dream Team of 1967. Some of the heroes who will be honored include Captain Carl Yastrezemski, Manager Dick Williams, second baseman supreme Mike Andrews, our greatest shortstop (ever), Rico Petrocelli, centerfielder Reggie Smith, rightfielder Ken Harrelson, who came to the team to replace the beaned, eventually fatally beaned Tony Conigliaro, and Billy Conigliaro, who will be there for his late brother, our beloved young slugger taken from us far too young. And far too soon. And so many other members of that team, the team that will live forever, will be on the Fenway field this afternoon. And we will salute them and rejoice with them.
And then the Nation turns its NOT lonely eyes to the 2007 Boston Red Sox. And THIS team of dreams. And we have plenty of them. All the pieces are there, except for the number five guy in the rotation. That will change. I promise. It's the Seattle Mariners, with Jeff Weaver pitching, against our Sox, who have Josh Beckett and his newly found curveball. I hope he can give us 7 today, or at the very least, 6. The Mariners are rested. Maybe too rested! Their entire series against the Indians was snowed out.
So, shortly after 1pm, the look back at the Impossible Dream team of 1967. And a couple minutes after 2pm, Baseball 2007 Boston Red Sox style. OUR style. Enjoy, and if you're there, congrats! You're so lucky. Wear a sweater. And for those of us planning to watch at home, enjoy the NESN HD or SD coverage, starting at 1pm. Go Josh. Go Sox. Go RSN. Go us!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Schill Plus Papi Plus Paps Equals VICTORY

Yes, that was the formula for victory yesterday. Schill went 7 quality innings, giving up a first inning run. Papi bashed 2 home runs to the same exact spot. And after would-be closer Joel Piniero provided uneeded drama by loading the bases in the 8th, and imagine if he WAS our closer, Javy Lopez recorded the first out, barely, of the inning and then Terry Francona did what he said he would not do. He brought in Paps to record the final 5 outs, which he did with 15 electrifying, mesmerising and overpowering pitches. This is from the Courant, but I linked the entire Boston Globe article, for its sheer on the title. You'll like it.............

"Summoned with the tying run at third and one out (in the 8th), Papelbon struck out the dangerous Michael Young on four pitches, then popped up Mark Teixeira on the first pitch to preserve the lead.
The ninth inning was more of the same as Papelbon went 12/3 innings to save Curt Schilling's first win of the season, a 3-2 victory over the Rangers before 28,347 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
"He was devastating and we needed every bit of that," Francona said. "We needed to win tonight. That's not how we drew that inning up. Paps is our guy, but what he did against the middle of that order, you're not going to see that very often. I don't care who it is."
Papelbon had not pitched since Thursday and the Red Sox are off today, so going to him for more than one inning was not a concern."

Those words do not do his pitching justice. No words can. But seeing is believing, jaw-dropping amazement mixed with sheer wonderment. When he's throwing like that, free, clean and easy and hitting the outside of the black, the VERY outside, he is the closest thing there is to unhittable. In Curt Schilling's own words......

"You just can't understand how unbelievable that is," Schilling said. "You just can't. Until you're on the mound, you cannot understand that there aren't very many guys in the history of the game that can do that."

Peter right here, and don't those words make you smile? I'm smiling right now as I read them. A ear to ear face-encompassing smile. Paps....'nuff said!
So the Red Sox arrived in Boston, ready to sleep in their own beds, in the wee hours of this morning. And the day off today will be greatly appreciated. Tomorrow the Mariners come to town for what promises to be a chilly 3 game set. Beckett, Daisuke and Wakes will be our pitchers as we try to sweep them. Wednesday's game will feature hordes of international media representatives, as Ichiro comes to town to face his fellow countryman.
Enjoy the day off, and have a good Monday. A 3-3 road trip? We'll take it. All the starters except for Tavarez, who won't be in the rotation when April turns into May, pitched well. Fenway here we come! And come Tuesday afternoon, shortly before 2, the celebration of the Cardiac Kids of 1967 begins. The home opener, with 36,000 plus Sox-loving fans standing, cheering and showing all the love that's possible for a team that could be SO good. This year. OUR team! And the team that brought our hearts to a standstill...all those years ago. And I guess right now this word comes to mind. FAITH. I have it. You have it. That's why they call us RSN.
1967? 2007? We're still here, and loving our team. And I'll say it loud. And proud. RED SOX FOREVER. And we're just getting started.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The 1967 Boston Red Sox..The Impossible Dream Brought To You By The Cardiac Kids

Who but "the cardiac kids" could have orchestrated a baseball season like that of the summer of 1967. The Red Sox, in a one division American League, when only the team at the top would go to the World Series and face that "other" team at the top, in the National League. Two teams, for all the glory. And glory was that "impossible dream." And before long, we knew an "impossible dream" was so possible. The 1967 Boston Red Sox...need I say more?
The Red Sox were picked to finish far back, but there was the 1967 version of Carl Yastrezemski to amaze us, thrill us, and nothing has ever been the same for any Red Sox baseball fan on the face of the earth since. 'bout the summer of Yaz? He was that overpowering. That clutch. That....well, he was all that!!! And we loved him. He became the eventual MVP and the LAST AL Triple Crown (BA, HRs and RBIs) winner. Here's a taste of the wonderful 5 star Sunday article from the Globe. In fact, I'm just reprinting it right here. In its entirety. THIS ARTICLE DESERVES IT, AND I WANT YOU TO READ IT.
So don't title click ANYTHING, not this time. Prepare to see, I was a very young kid in 1967, the year of SGT. Peppers and the Doors' first two albums, and little did I know at the time (I thought I knew next to nothing, and almost about EVERYTHING...blind youth, green eyes.....) that baseball Red Sox style was about to envelope me, hook, line and sinker. And to this day, it hasn't let go. Nor do I want it to. So sit back for 5 minutes....that's not too much to ask, and read this wonderful article written by Don Aucoin.....and you know what?....this piece lives up to my wonderful memories. 1967......oh, what a year. So we go back. Forty years back. Come with me.....
"When a kid dreamed the impossible"

By Don Aucoin, Globe Staff | April 7, 2007

"In every life there is one immortal summer. For me, and for countless other Red Sox fans, it is the Impossible Dream summer of 1967.
I was 11 years old then, and crazy for baseball in the way only an 11-year-old can be. Walking my paper route up and down Ashland's hills, I buried my nose in the sports section of my customers' Globes and Record-Americans and Herald-Travelers, heedless of the traffic.
During pickup games, I was sometimes Rico Petrocelli, the Sox's eager young shortstop, but more often I was Tony Conigliaro. (Tony C. dated starlets, and I hoped one day to do the same.)
Never did I imagine myself as Carl Yastrzemski. In 1967, that would have been like pretending to be God.
As the Sox headed north from spring training that year, Vegas was laying 100-1 odds against them winning the pennant. But my friends and I were expecting big things. We were always expecting big things from the Sox: We were kids. What did we know, or care, that it had been almost 50 years since they had won a World Series?
Now Time, that wily thief, has stolen another 30 years from us all. Now we know what our parents and grandparents knew, that to be a Red Sox fan is to envy Marley's Ghost, who only has to wear the chain he forged in life, and doesn't have to lug around a chain forged by Bill Buckner and Harry Frazee and Bucky Bleeping Dent.
Today, I look back with a bit of disbelief at that turbo-charged summer of 1967.
In particular, I think of Yaz - mighty, mythic Yaz. It is next to impossible to describe the sensation of watching him stride majestically through that season. He hit one homer after another, made one astounding play after another, always at the moment of highest drama - and you knew he would come through every time. You just knew it.
In 1990, in the first May Day march in Prague after the fall of communism, two jubilant men carried a sign that read: "Don't believe in miracles. Rely on them." That was how every kid in New England felt about Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
I think also of my father. When the pennant chase came down to two final, apocalyptic games with the Twins, Dad and I ensconced ourselves in adjoining easy chairs in our family den. We drew the shades to keep sunshine off the TV set, turned up the volume so it would feel as if we were at the ballpark, and settled in for the final chapter of a saga that had transfixed New England all summer long. My father was born in 1927, a year when the New York Yankees dynasty was at its zenith, led by Babe Ruth, who should have been winning pennants for the Red Sox but had been sold by the accursed Harry Frazee. My father had lived through the disappointment of 1946, when Johnny Pesky held the ball and Enos Slaughter scored and the Sox lost.
But he didn't mention to me that my Sox had last won a World Series in 1918. Why burden the kid with the past? However, when Yaz assumed his familiar corkscrew stance at the plate, my father told me about the time he'd taken me as a preschooler to see Yaz's legendary predecessor in left field: Ted Williams.
It is startling to realize now that in 1967, my father was younger than I am today. The unfiltered Lucky Strikes Dad smoked back then glowed red in the darkened den. The whole weekend seemed frozen in time, as if all other activities in the universe were on hold. We watched the ballgames in an unspoken communion of father and son, one of the best gifts baseball gives us.
Remembrance is the other great gift. I can still name the 1967 Red Sox lineup without consulting a scorecard, and Yastrzemski's stats - .326 batting average, 44 homers, 121 RBI - are etched in my cortex. My friend Brian, who is similarly afflicted, joined me in conjuring up memories of 1967 at Fenway the other night while we were watching the 1997 Red Sox.
Jim Lonborg, who would win 22 games and the Cy Young Award, presiding with paladin cool over the mound at Fenway. George Scott swatting 450-foot homers and scooping up everything hit his way at first. Right fielder Jose Tartabull, an unknown, exceeding the limits of his weak arm and throwing out a runner at the plate in a big game. Rico roosting under that final pop fly, then squeezing it into his glove to win the pennant while Boston went delirious with joy. Reggie Smith. Dalton Jones. Mike Andrews. Joe Foy. Jerry Adair, steadiness incarnate. Hawk Harrelson, our own flamboyant version of Joe Namath. Elston Howard, who had broken up rookie left-hander Billy Rohr's no-hitter while with the Yankees but helped the Sox in the stretch. Jovial third-base coach Eddie Popowski. Sparky Lyle. Manager Dick Williams, the crew-cut disciplinarian in the dugout, whom I didn't like because he reminded me of my shop teacher.
And Tony C., young, powerful, charismatic, surely on his way to a 600-homer career. Tony C., struck down by a fastball in August of 1967 with the sudden, jolting horror of a death in the family. To an 11-year-old, the sight of Tony C. unconscious in the dirt was the first hint that none of us lives forever.Thirty years later, I can still recite from memory, and it still chokes me up to do so, Ken Coleman's rendition of that awful moment from the record, "The Impossible Dream," released after the season. "And then one August night, the kid in right, lies sprawling in the dirt. The fastball struck him square; he's down. Is Tony badly hurt?"
Years later, I would learn that Yaz and Tony C. didn't like each other. Years later, I would notice the strange lack of joy Yaz sometimes took in the game he played so well, that it seemed to be a job to him.
But in 1967, I didn't know any of that. I only knew that my friends and I spoke of Yaz in the same awed tones our parents used when discussing FDR and Churchill. He made 1967 a Camelot for those of us too young to really remember JFK.
Was White Sox manager Eddie Stanky rash enough to disparage Yaz as "an All-Star from the neck down"? Then Yaz would get four hits against the White Sox, homer in his final at-bat, and tip his cap to Stanky as he rounded the bases.
Did Rohr need an impossible catch to preserve his no-hit bid in his major league debut against the Yankees? Then Yaz would make an impossible, somersaulting catch in the ninth inning, while Coleman frenziedly shrieked "Yastrzemski is going hard, way back, way back. And he dives - and makes a tremendous catch!" (Rohr would lose the no-hitter two batters later, but Yaz had done his part.)
Did the Sox, down 8-0 to the Angels, need a 3-run homer to ignite an amazing come-from-behind rally that would propel them to a 9-8 victory? Then Yaz would hit one. Did Yaz need to field a line drive with his bare hand on the first bounce to nail the runner at the plate? Then Yaz would do just that.
But it was in the final month of the season that Yaz soared into the realm of myth. The pennant race was intense, with the Red Sox, White Sox, Tigers, and Twins all bunched together, straining like racehorses toward the finish line. With two weeks to go, exactly one-half game separated the four teams. So what did Yaz do? He merely went 40 for 96 (.417) in the last 27 games of the season, driving in 26 runs. In his final 13 plate appearances, with everything on the line, Yaz got 10 hits. He ended up winning the Triple Crown.
Any player posing a threat to the Sox inhabited my personal demonology that year. I hated Jack Hamilton, who threw the pitch (a spitball, it was rumored) that shattered Tony C.'s cheek, and eventually his career. I hated the Twins' Harmon Killebrew, who had the effrontery to battle Yaz for the home-run crown. I hated Dean Chance, his name full of smoky menace somehow, who pitched the final regular-season game against Lonborg.
And I hated, with a deep thrill of fear, the forbidding Bob Gibson, star pitcher of the St. Louis Cardinals. He would crush the Sox - and the hopes of all of us - by winning three games in the World Series. A year or so ago, I heard Gibson interviewed on a Boston radio station, and was startled at what a nice guy he appeared to be. In 1967, he seemed as menacing as Moloch. When he took the mound, I trembled for my Sox.
I even came to hate my best friend, Paul, over the Red Sox. We'd rooted for the Sox together all summer, but when the Sox fell behind in the seventh game of the World Series, Paul began teasing me, predicting they would blow it. Then, in what I viewed as an unspeakable act of treason, he even offered to bet $ 1 on the Cardinals. When the game ended with the Sox losing, 7-2, I stormed out of Paul's house and walked home, tears scalding my face. I felt very old all of a sudden. I didn't talk to Paul for almost a year after that.
Extreme? You bet. But I was 11, and the lesson of the Impossible Dream year of 1967 was that life would always be lived at a fever pitch, that one heart-stopping drama would always follow another, that Good would always triumph over Evil.
In that sense, I guess 1967 was make-believe after all. But what a wonderfully sustaining fiction it was."
Peter here, and there comes along, once in a while, an article from one newspaper or another that captures my feelings. I know it was a longer excerpt than usual, but I was enthralled. MLK and RFK were alive and well. A different world? Yes, oh yes. And it wasn't fiction. Not 1967. Never. Out of the blue, overlooked by just about everyone, the Sox were a longshot. And don't get me wrong. Magic like 1967 doesn't come around often enough. 1967...just the sound resonates through and to my brain, and the memories are sweet. A Doors concert in Hartford when I was too young to drive. My Dad, bless his memory, took me. The show was held in one of the nicer small (3,000 people) concert halls in downtown Hartford, and my Dad, jazz lover that he was, enjoyed it. The 3 band members, without Jim, instrumentally jammed for about 10 minutes before Jim Morrison, 2 days before his eventual New Haven arrest for you-know what, shuffled slowly in from stage left, his gate unsteady but his voice so strong while cradling the mike, ready to sing. And my Dad whispered to me, and I can quote his exact words. "Peter, the band is great, but who's the goon in the leather pants?" And looking back, I now understand...Jim looked a little drunk, but my goodness, the band enveloped everyone lucky enough to be sitting in front of them. With waves of sound...organ, guitar and percussion while the Lizard King used his voice to further enthrall us. And when Jim sang, my Dad listened. And I was so happy....."Break On Through. Light My Fire. When the Music's Over. The End. Crystal Ship, Moonlight Drive." And the premiere of 1968's "The Unknown Soldier", complete with the mock "tied to the post" execution, which to this day resonates too much of our fruitless war in Iraq. And then there was more. For nearly 2 hours I was in heaven, and my Dad and I had a great time. I miss him. I always will....
Now wait, how did I get to 1967 music, good as it was, when I was talking about the 1967 Boston Red Sox Cardiac Kids American League Champions? I remember. I'll never forget. All the greatness of 1967 came flooding back...I hope you enjoyed the entire article. I sure did. And I hope our Sox will shake the cobwebs that are plastered to their bats, and the sticky residue accumulating on their cleats and gloves, and kick *ss tonight. Then a day off! And after that? I'd love to start the first homestand of the season at 3-3, not 2-4. Big Curt has to show us something on this Sunday evening. I hope he will. And the 40 year ceremony for those Cardiac Kids of 1967 will be on Tuesday, at home at Fenway. DO NOT MISS. But today, we need a "going home" victory by our ace, Curt Schilling. A 3-3 road trip? For our first early spring venture on those AL teams' roads? .500 ain't bad, so go CURT!! YOU HAVE TO!!!!
Enjoy this wonderful Easter Sunday. And thank you for stopping by and reading my sometimes nonsense-filled writing. And with an off-day Monday, our team will be ready for 36,000 plus Fenway fans Tuesday night. It will be chilly, but the love we have for our team will warm up Fenway Park, the place of our dreams, quicker than a huge kerosene heater powered by God. And that sounds great to me. A 3-3 road trip...we can live with that.
I'd love to read and respond to your comments, and you can title click for the Globe article, but it's all right here.
Happy Easter to you and your loved ones. Be safe, be healthy. And thanks for everything. Always.