Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gagne Is A Red Sox....DONE DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT A BULLPEN!

Eric GAGNE is a Boston Red Sox bullpen pitcher! And I'm smiling...and I will continue to smile. I hope you are, too! Try it, you'll like it!

From the AP.....just now.....

"With Eric Gagne finally pitching like his old self following two elbow operations and back surgery, the Boston Red Sox agreed Tuesday to acquire the reliever from the Texas Rangers.....
Gagne, who has a limited no-trade clause, was asked to give his consent to the trade Tuesday afternoon, a person familiar with the talks said, speaking on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not yet been made.
Unidentified major league sources told NESN that Gagne agreed to waive his no-trade clause and agreed to serve as the team's set-up man.
Once one of baseball's premier closers, Gagne was to join a Boston bullpen that already has two All-Star relievers: closer Jonathan Papelbon and setup man Hideki Okajima."

Sweeter than sugar! And we'll all remember this day, July 31st, 2007.

DYE Trade Dead.....Gabbard Gone for Gagne....

That's what it looks like at 2:43 EDT..........just me...keeping up with everything. BUT! More to come...there's nothing cemented in stone, diamond, ruby, or sapphire..............phew...a busy afternoon!!!


It looks like Gagne will be a Boston Red Sox pitcher....the Sox and Gags are negotiating about his no-trade clause. Pencil him in to the best bullpen in all of baseball, and that's the one from BOSTON...............WOW!

NEWS...More To Come....

"The pitching-starved St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday acquired right-hander Joel Pineiro, optioned to the minors last week by the Boston Red Sox, and cash for a minor league player to be named.
Pineiro, 28, was a 16-game winner in 2003. He was used exclusively in relief this year by the Red Sox before being sent to Triple-A Pawtucket on July 25."

Peter here, and that was from the Globe...more to come? OH YES! One more thing.....from the Globe......

"Are the Sox going to include Manny Delcarmen in any trade...he has the chance to become a premier set-up guy!

Peter here, and this is Gordon's answer............"Hey everyone...high noon, and we're still waiting word. I've been told by the Sox that they are not parting with Delcarmen. If anyone goes in the Dye deal, it's more likely to be Craig Hansen."

Peter again...that's good for me. More later...I have a feeling!!!

JUST IN....From The Boston Globe Blog...

Written by Gordon Edes, minutes ago.....

"Just touched base with one of my sources, and he told me the Red Sox are still waiting to hear back from the White Sox on Jermaine Dye. The ball is in the White Sox court, he said. Of course, it's an hour earlier in Chicago.

Nothing yet on Eric Gagne this a.m., though the reports out of Texas suggested that owner Tom Hicks may be trying to sign him to an extension and they're going to hold onto him."

Peter here.....I'll give you updates when I can.

July 31 2007.....Trading Deadline Day

The trading deadline at 4pm today is only a little less than 10 hours away, and the two names most associated with the Red Sox are right-handed outfielder Jermaine Dye and right-handed closer/reliever Eric Gagne. But Theo, very willing to trade Wily Mo Pena in a package for Dye, is NOT willing to part with Justin Masterson or Manny Delcarmen, both of whom are coveted by the White Sox. As for Gagne, the Rangers would want either Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester or Jacoby Ellsbury. Three words.....NO WAY JOSE! So the Red Sox just might stand pat. And there are worse things that could happen. With an 8 game lead over the Yankees and the New York club about 10 days away from a very tough and brutal part of their schedule, no emergency moves are needed. The Sox are getting back a healthy Curt Schilling in 6 days, and that's just like landing a top echelon trading deadline prize. He will cement the rotation, with Gabbard OR Lester (right now, it might depend on their next starts), for the stretch run through September. And believe me, Curt will be ready. Right from the get go. It's HIS time to shine. And that's not one of my hunches.....it's a fact to be.

The Red Sox are ready to play the Orioles, who have been tough lately, in a three game set at Fenway starting tonight. Here are the pitching matchups.......

Erik Bedard (10-4, 3.05 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett (13-4, 3.27) tonight
Steve Trachsel (5-7, 5.26) vs. Kason Gabbard (4-0, 3.73) Wednesday
Jeremy Guthrie (7-3, 2.89) vs. Tim Wakefield (12-9, 4.59) Thursday

And congratulations go out to Manny Ramirez for being named AL player of the week. His stats? He hit .393 with 3 home runs and 10 RBIs. Well done, Manny. Now if Papi could get hot, watch out American League.
Enjoy your Tuesday, and click on this post's title for an article written by the Globe's Gordon Edes, all about the Sox search for a right-handed slugger. And it's T minus 9 hours 35 minutes to the trading deadline as I type these words. If anything happens, you'll read about it right here. And that's a promise.

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Kazmir KO

Scott Kazmir of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays traded zeros with Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Boston Red Sox for six and a half innings, both pitchers in and out of trouble. And then came the bottom of the seventh. After a solo home run by Dioner Navarro and another single off Daisuke, on came the usually dependable Manny Delcarmen. Well, to put it kindly, it wasn't his day. Two home runs later, the Rays had a 5-0 lead, and even after two home runs by the Red Sox (Manny and Youk), the final score was 5-2 home team.

So the Red Sox return to Boston after a 5-2 road trip with a lead over the Yankees of 8 games. They are 64-41 and will face the Orioles at Fenway Park for three games starting Tuesday night before going to the west coast to face the Mariners. That left coast trip will feature the return of Curt Schilling, and he should provide quite a shot in the arm for the team. And with the trading deadline tomorrow at 4pm, who knows what will happen in the next 34 hours.

Click on the title of this post for an article by the Boston Globe's Nick Carfado. He comments on what might happen before the trading deadline and discusses the Red Sox bullpen. Enjoy your Monday, everyone.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

12 In 12 Equals A Victory

A rare blown save by Jonathon Papelbon, only his second of the year, led to a 12 inning victory by the Boston Red Sox over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Sox are now 64-40 and have won 8 of their past 9 games. Not bad for a team that has been without Curt Schilling. Jon Lester lasted into the seventh inning, but I noticed some disturbing aspects of his pitching. It seemed that an inordinate number of his tosses were alarmingly up in the zone, right up until he was pulled by Tito after giving up two solo home runs in the seventh. In fact, sixteen of his twenty outs were fly balls to the outfield. Pit him against a better hitting club and, I'm sorry to say, he would have been clobbered and out of the game early.

Kyle Snyder earned the victory, pitching two scoreless innings. Lopez finished off the Devil Rays in the 12th after the Red Sox erupted for 6 runs in the top of the frame. The highlight hit that broke open the game was a bases loaded double by the always clutch and soon to be All Star Kevin Youkilis. The Sox banged out 15 hits in all, and other than the acute pain when Paps gave up that two run home run to Gomes in the ninth, it was an enjoyable game to watch. Jon Lester has GOT to keep his pitches down, though. And even with the blown save, the Red Sox are 61-1 when leading after 8 innings. And that's the sign of a championship club. Oh, the lead over the Yankees, which was down to 6 1/2 games last Wednesday, is back to 9 games. And after they (the Yankees) finish their Baltimore series today, they play three with Chicago and three with KC. AND THEN IT GETS TOUGHER! We're in good shape. Believe it. Have faith.

Click on the title of this post for an article by the Boston Globe's Amalie Benjamin. It's a full wrap-up of last night's sweetness. And enjoy your Sunday. It's Daisuke versus the usually tough Scott Kazmir as the Sox try for a sweep against the Rays' best pitcher. GO SOX!! Forever.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Late Inning Magic Lifts The Red Sox--Schill Return News

As the old saying goes, better late than never, and that was very true last night at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Red Sox were held scoreless through the first five innings, and then erupted for three runs in the sixth inning, thanks to a home run smashed by Kevin Youkilis. That made it 3-1, and with a four spot in the eighth inning, the final score was 7-1 good guys. Manny continued his hot hitting, going 2-4, as his club won for the seventh time in the past eight games. With the Yankees' split of a suspended game and a regularly scheduled one, the lead is back to a healthy 8 games. And with Curt Schilling coming back (see below) on August 5th or 6th, things look great with a little more than two months to go. Tim Wakefield, who loves pitching at the Trop, recorded his 12th victory, going six mostly strong innings and allowing one solo run while striking out 7. The clutch Manny Delcarmen, little Manny no more, handled the 7th and 8th innings with just 26 pitches, and Kyle Snyder pitched an uneventful 9th. Great pitching, from the 'pen and the rotation--a trademark of this 2007 season.

Tonight, at 7pm EDT, Jon Lester will go for his second straight victory. His mound opponent will be the righthander James Shields, who has an ERA of 9.37 in his last three starts. The Red Sox will try to continue their mastery of the Devil Rays, and let us all remember, with a smile, that we still have 14 (!!!) games left with the young Florida club.

SCHILLING NEWS........thanks to the Hartford Courant..........

"The life is back in Curt Schilling's pitches. New life has been breathed into the 40-year-old pitcher.
An upbeat Schilling rejoined his teammates at Tropicana Field Friday, a day after striking out eight in five innings of a rehabilitation start for Triple A Pawtucket in Toledo, Ohio.
Schilling will make one more rehab start Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, then start for the Red Sox either Aug. 5 at Seattle or Aug. 6 at Anaheim.
Either way, he expects to be ready. He threw 66 pitches Thursday, 44 for strikes.
"I feel strong," said Schilling, on the disabled list since June 19 because of right shoulder tendinitis. "My split got better, and I thought it was really good my first time out [July 21]. Seven of the strikeouts last night came on the split, swings and misses in the middle counts, as well."

Peter here, and Curt, when you feel strong, we feel strong. August 5/6 cannot come soon enough. And what a rotation we will have! I have to believe that if Jon Lester has two good outings before Schill returns, it will be a toss up as to who stays (Gabbard or Lester) or who gets sent to Pawtucket. For the Boston Red Sox, it's a no lose situation. Just the kind we like!

Click on this post's title for the Boston Globe's Red Sox Notebook, with further news of Schill's return, Manny's continued hot streak, and more. Just for you. Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the hot Sox as they try to zap the Rays once again. Or as John Lennon said, long ago but still fresh in my mind, from THE WHITE ALBUM of 1968.... "So Captain Marble zapped him right between the eyes." Hey Devil Rays, it's ZAP TIME once again tonight, down at the Trop. To all my readers, enjoy the game and your weekend, and thank you for being here. I love ya all!!

Friday, July 27, 2007


Yes, that's right! The Boston Red Sox ended their four game series in Cleveland against the Indians by slugging 17 hits and scoring 14 runs, a far cry from the previous twin 1-0 games. And it turned out that they needed most of those runs. After going 4 innings and allowing only one runner to reach base, Kason Gabbard fell apart in the fifth. He said this, from the Courant.....

"I was just trying to be too perfect there," Gabbard said. "To me, it's kind of embarrassing to have that 9-1 lead and then have all that happen and not finish the inning. It was just one of those things."

Peter here, and he picked a good game to lose his tempo. He'll be fine for his next start. Manny and Wily Mo were among the batting stars. Manny had two home runs, the first of which was the 3rd longest home run EVER hit at the Jake (481 feet!!), and WMP had four hits and was a triple away from hitting for the cycle. All in all, the night, a humid and still one, belonged to the hitters. Okie and Lopez finished things up with hitless 11 pitch 8th and 9th innings. Okajima continues to be just about the best left handed reliever in all of baseball. Even though the nickname didn't stick, he's still MY Darkman.

So now it's on to Tampa Bay for three games with the Devil Rays. Winning two of three is a must....a sweep even better. Here are the pitching matchups......

Tim Wakefield (11-9, 4.74 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel (1-0, 5.82) tonight.
Jon Lester (1-0, 3.00) vs. James Shields (8-6, 4.44) Saturday.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (12-7, 3.79) vs. Scott Kazmir (7-7, 4.02) Sunday.

And lastly, Curt Schilling continued to impress for Pawtucket, going 5 innings and allowing NO runs on 2 hits while striking out 8. He was expected to pitch five innings or throw 60-65 pitches. He went into the fifth inning with a no-hitter. Impressive stuff, and he said he felt stronger as the innings went by. I can't imagine hearing any better news, and we'll see him, ready to start for our Red Sox, on or about August 5th. What a shot in the arm he will be for the club, and a death blow to the rest of the AL East.

With the Yankees' loss last night, the lead is back up to 7 1/2 games, and things are sweet. And that's the way I hope your weekend will be. SWEET! Click on the title of this post for all the details of Curt Schilling's thunderous rebirth, and be well. Happy weekend!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Beckett Superb As Indians Defeat Red Sox 1-0

Josh Beckett threw his best game of the season, a complete game 4 hitter. Said his battery mate........

"To me, it was one of the best outings Josh has ever had," catcher Jason Varitek said. "His command, his ability to use his curveball and changeup and still locate his fastball on both sides, he wasn't dominant to one side or the other. He made pitches."

NICE! The only mistake he made was a Guttierrez home run in the third inning. The problem? Fausto Carmona, the Indian's pitcher, was one run better, holding the Sox hitless until there was one out in the 6th inning. In that 6th inning Coco Crisp might have cost the Boston club a run as he tried to score from second on a Papi single. He appeared to slow up rounding third and was thrown out at the plate. But these type of games happen, and it's time to turn the page and win another five in a row. The way the Yankees are playing, albeit against the weakest of the weak (the Devil Rays and the Royals), we might have to. But the schedule favors the Red Sox, starting in a few short weeks. Our eyes turn to Kason Gabbard to start that new streak.

Curt Schilling (for more, see below) will have his second of three rehab starts tonight, so we'll see him on the big club around the 6th of August. There are more than two months of baseball left in the regular season, so there's no reason to hurry him. It IS important that we win the getaway game tonight in Cleveland. Taking three of four from THAT club on their turf would be nice indeed.

Click on the title of this post for details of Curt Schilling's appearance on Bob Costas' HBO show. He expressed his opinions on Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds and other's alleged steroid use in no uncertain terms. It airs starting today at 5:15 EDT and continues throughout the week. Have a great Thursday as we wrap things up in Cleveland and try to take three of four from a very good club in their own ballpark.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Daisuke And Defense Propel The Boston Red Sox To Their 5th Straight Win

This was a major league pitching duel, and the Boston Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians by a score of 1-0. Daisuke Matsuzaka outpitched CC Sabathia, just, in a sub 3 hour game. He allowed 4 hits and no runs while striking out 5. He threw a tidy 98 pitches and when he needed it, he was able to record the big out(s). The lone run came on a Mike Lowell fly to left that Ben Francisco at first backed off of before trapping it between his glove and the ground. The Sox showed their leather, too, with Julio Lugo, Wily Mo Pena (!!), Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis making sparkling plays in the field to support their team and their pitcher.

The Red Sox move to 61-39 and remain 7 1/2 games up on the hot Yankees. But the Yankees have been playing the Devil Rays and the Royals on their latest streak, while we've had the White Sox and the Indians. And tonight is the third game of the 4 game set, with Josh Beckett going against the Indian's Carmona, who is 12-4.

Click on the title for the Boston Globe's Nick Carfado's look at the state of the Red Sox, right now, in this critical time period when the trading deadline approaches. One thing is for sure. The rotation is just fine, with six guys, good ones all, ready for the 5 spots. To me, when Schill is ready, which should be Tuesday or so, Kason has to stay while Jon Lester will go back to Pawtucket. He'll be back a month after that, but there's only room for 5 starters. But what a nice problem Tito and Theo are saddled with.......the kind of problem we can all live with, happily ever after. Straight down that magic Yellow Brick Road to and through the post season.

Now let's go for number six in a row. Click on that title, and I'd love to read and respond to your comments. Last night's game? A CLASSIC! Go Josh Baseball!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jon Lester's Victory!

Jon Lester made a triumphant return to the major leagues as he led his Boston Red Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians. He threw 96 pitches in his six innings, giving up two runs and only five hits while walking three. The bullpen, in the form of Mike Timlin, Javy Lopez and Manny Delcarmen, held the Indians scoreless over the final three frames. And the offense provided an immediate cushion for Lester, scoring four runs in the first and another one in the second. The Indians' runs came on a two run home run by Grady Sizemore in the third inning. It was an emotional night for Jon and his Mom and Dad, who were in attendance and on camera often. When Lester takes the mound for his first start at Fenway, the seismic waves generated by the crowd's love will rock New England from Maine to Connecticut. And I have to add this blurb from today's Boston Herald. So sweet.........

"He’s progressively taking steps,” catcher Jason Varitek said. “His cutter was a little shorter, but outside of that he’s pretty close to the same. He has a little better feel on certain pitches at different times. It’s just taking steps, taking steps to being complete.
It was safe to say that for the first time in a long time, Lester felt pretty darn complete last night.
“Just pitching,” he said when asked what was the best thing about the night. “Just being able to pitch again. . . . It’s just nice to be back.”

Peter here. "Just pitching." Congratulations Jon. See you in five days, pitching your heart out yet again. Coco Crisp continued his torrid streak with four base hits. Peds had three and Youk and Manny each had two. Together the first four batters in the lineup collected eleven hits. If the Sox continue to score four or more runs in most of their games, the sky is the limit for this team. But the Yankees remain hot. They also won their fourth in a row last night behind great pitching by Clemens.

Tonight, Daisuke Matsuzaka will try to find his control and regain his form. He'll be faced by the Indian's Sabathia, a tough customer. But the Sox are playing good ball, and I expect them to win. Daisuke is due for a stellar outing.

I hope you all enjoyed Jon Lester's start last night as much as I did. It felt good to be alive. And that's what it's all about, isn't it? Click on the title of this post for more on our man Jon, and thank you for stopping by. Comments are always welcome. What did you think of Jon Lester last night?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Nailbiting Ninth

After being up by a score of 8-1, the Boston Red Sox were faced with a none out bases loaded situation in the ninth inning. The score was 8-5 in their favor, and the pitcher was Jonathon Papelbon, who created that awful situation all by himself. This is from the Courant......

"I'm not feeling too good right there," third baseman Mike Lowell said.
The view from the mound wasn't much different.
"I know I've got to throw a strike," Papelbon said. "He's got to swing at it or I've got to paint a pitch."
Papelbon came back to strike out Thome and got Paul Konerko to ground into a double play to preserve an 8-5 victory over the White Sox."

Peter here. Phew! Manny Delcarmen came in to relieve starter and winner Tim Wakefield, but was ineffective. But the Darkman came to the rescue to eradicate the enemy rally. He (Hideki Okajima) put out the seventh inning fire AND set down the White Sox 1-2-3 in the eighth. Said the White Sox manager about our Okie Doke....

"I think he is the key to their ball club," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of Okajima.

I'm back, and Ozzie's words were SO true! And then the stage belonged to Paps, who recorded his 22nd save. JUST. He had only pitched once in the past ten days, and it showed. Tito has got to get him in there at least once every 4 days or so for him to remain sharp, save or no save situation.
But the Red Sox showed that their hitting slump might be over, with three run home runs by Manny and Mikey Lowell. And now, it's on to Cleveland, who is in the thick of the wild card race, for four games. And on the mound will be Jon Lester, starting in place of Julian Tavarez, who was gracious when informed of the news. He is a good man, and he said this when informed of the change.......

"After my last start, I felt like something was going to happen," Tavarez said. "I think it's the right move and I respect that. I asked him how he was doing," Tavarez said. "He had a big smile on his face, which means he's doing good. I hope he pitches a great game."

Peter here....nice words, Julian. Thank you for the good times when you were a starter, and there were many. Your bowling ball roller to Youkilis and your traffic cop motions while on the mound come to mind, with a smile. And when Schilling comes back on the 31st, Lester will be on his way back to Pawtucket. We'll see him again in September, plus we get to see him for two starts in the next ten days with the home club to boot.

The Red Sox move to 59-39, twenty games over .500 yet again. They have a 7 1/2 game lead over the Yankees, who play the KC Royals four times starting today. They destroyed the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and they also have six games remaining with them. The Red Sox have 15! Advantage Sox. Click on the title for Dan Shaughnessy's great article all about Jon Lester's first start tonight, and when I read it, it made me cry. No, I'm not a wimp. I love life. So let's all stand and cheer as he strolls to the Cleveland mound for the first time since his awful diagnosis. I know I will. With all the joy in my heart. And there is SO much joy. I'd love to read your comments, and have a great week. Click on that title, and thanks.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


An 8-5 Red Sox victory over the White Sox. Their record stands at 59-39. And boy, does that sound sweet. Jon Lester will go tomorrow against Cleveland, and he'll be in the rotation until Curt Schilling gets back. Kason Gabbard is in the rotation for the duration of the season, AND the post season. FULL details first thing in the morning. Right here. Bye!!!!

JON LESTER TO PITCH Monday........

Yes, that's right! Tito pulled the trigger and replaced Julian Tavarez in the rotation with Jon Lester for the Monday game against Cleveland. More to come.....right now the Red Sox are ahead in the 8th inning 8-5....Oki on the mound, to be followed by Paps! I'll see you in the morning. 59-39 will sound great.

Good Day K-Sunshine

Kason Gabbard proved Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park that he belongs on the big club, where we can see him on the mound every fifth day. Using pinpoint control and changing speeds effectively, he kept the Chicago White Sox off stride all day. He pitched seven tremendous innings, giving up only three hits and walking just one. He gave up a run, but that was the fault of the continued inept and unprofessional play, in the field and at the plate, of Wily Mo Pena. He miffed a line drive hit to him by Paul Konerko, and that led to the run. But enough about WMP-his future with the Red Sox is a short one.
The home club broke the game open in the seventh inning with seven runs. Chicago pitchers issued nine free passes, and Coco Crisp continued his hot streak with three hits and five (!!) runs batted in. And a great day got better with the news that Curt Schilling was super sharp in his three inning stint at Pawtucket last night, allowing two hits and striking out six. Of his 40 pitches, 32 were strikes. We'll see him back, if things continue to go smoothly, Tuesday July 31. And what a rotation we'll have!

The Yankees swept the day-night games with the Devil Rays, so they are 7 1/2 games back. But the best is yet to come for our team from Boston. I just know it. With a 1-2-3-4 punch of Beckett, Schill, Daisuke and Gabby, with Wakes in there as starter number five, things will be sweet. And Theo will get us another slugger. So smile!

Click on the title for a joyous article written by the Hartford Courant's very own Jeff Jacobs. He titled it NO DOUBT, HE BELONGS, and it's an inspired piece of sportswriting. He touches on everything from Kason's brilliant outing to the woes of having WMP on the team to Curt Schilling's promising start last night. He's the best. So click on the title, and get ready to smile.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Red Beats White....They're Blue!

And by that I meant that the Boston Red Sox walked all over the Chicago White Sox, and the palehose MUST be feeling blue. "K-Sunshine" Kason Gabbard was superlative yet again, and he is a part of the rotation for good. Full details tomorrow morning, first thing. Oh, the score? 11-2 BOSTON. In a walk............

Lugo And Crisp Power Red Sox Win

The Boston Red Sox won for only the fourth time since July fifth Friday night, as a three run fifth inning triple by Coco Crisp and a grand slam in the eighth inning by the resurging Julio Lugo acounted for the 10-3 final score. Josh Beckett, not sharp but good enough for six innings, was credited with his thirteenth win of the season. Mike Timlin, unscored on in his last fourteen plus innings, Okajima and Piniero pitched scoreless ball for the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. What a bullpen this Boston club has! All in all, a very satisfying win. But it didn't start that way!
JD Drew, batting with two men on base in the first inning, hit a ball that clearly bounced off the wall ABOVE the red line. It was a home run.....no doubt about it. But the umpires huddled, and when they do that, they usually get it right. But noooooo....Drew was awarded a double, one run scored and Manny was out at the plate. Tito went nuts, as he should have, all to no avail. So until that Crisp-powered uprising in the fifth, it looked like the Red Sox would continue to be plagued by a lack of the big hit. But not last night!

Kason Gabbard tries to make it two in a row this afternoon on Fox. He will face the lefty John Danks. Lefty versus lefty at Fenway Park. May the better Sox win......the red ones. And this is from the Globe, all about the importance for a lefty of a late afternoon Fenway start......

"He (Gabby) might get an assist from the sun, thanks to a 3:55 p.m. start. Especially with lefthanders -- the White Sox also are throwing a lefty, John Danks -- Fenway's late-afternoon lighting can make it tricky for batters to pick up the ball."

Curt Schilling is slated to pitch three innings for Pawtucket tonight. He can't come back soon enough. And with the Yankees' loss last night, the AL East lead is back to 8 games. And that's good.

Click on the title for an article from the Boston Globe about Kason Gabbard's start this afternoon. And let's all hope that Jon Lester will be on the mound Monday, starting in place of Julian Tavarez. The Sox would have a much better chance at winning the ballgame. And that's what it's all about, isn't it? Comments, please? Have a wonderful, healthy and happy weekend. Red Sox Forever. And ever.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sixes Wild

Daisuke Matsuzaka just couldn't get away from the number six Thursday night at Fenway Park. He walked six, including the bases loaded in the sixth inning. That led to three runs on only two hits for the victorious Chicago White Sox. He threw 109 pitches in only five innings. Not good. Chicago won the game by the score of 4-2. The Red Sox have now lost eight of their past eleven contests. And they had eleven hits, yet they were only able to score two runs. The big hit remains elusive. Frustratingly elusive. Manny hit one to the deepest part of the triangle, but it was hauled in by centerfielder Jerry Owens, There were two men on base at the time. If he had hit it a few feet to the right, toward the bullpen wall, three crooked runs would have been put up on the bottom half of the scoreboard and the home club probably would have won. But it was not to be. Such is life right now in Red Sox Nation.

Josh Beckett will try to take this sad song and make it better tonight, and he'll be facing Jose Contraras, who is having a tough year. The lead over the Yankees stayed at seven games, however, as the Blue Jays rallied to beat them. But the bottom line is this: the Red Sox have to start winning ballgames. NOW!

Click on the title for more on the possibility of Jon Lester taking the place of Julian Tavarez in our embattled rotation, because right now it's almost like forfeiting a game when Tavy starts. And as always, thanks for stopping by. I can't tell you how much more fun it is to write these posts everyday when the Sox are winning, but win or lose, I'm here for you. And a few more big hits would go a long way towards making those future wins possible.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Reeling In Mid-Summer

The Boston Red Sox lost to the KC Royals in the rubber game of their three game set Wednesday by a score of 6-5. Julian Tavarez, who must be ejected from the rotation and shot on sight as soon as possible, failed to go five innings, giving up his usual five plus runs on too many base hits. To continue to let him pitch every fifth day would be ludicrous and would ensure further .500 play by the low-flying Bosox. Mike Lowell put it this way....I'll put it very differently. From the Hartford Courant.......

"We're actually fortunate. We've played, what, .500 baseball for over a month and we're up seven games? We've got to be lucky. We could be down seven games. We're almost dodging a bullet. I don't think anyone expected us to be up seven games at this point of the season."
"We don't want to be a .500 team. We feel we're a better team. You just don't put your hands up and give up."
In 22 games since June 22, the only consecutive victories for the Red Sox occurred July 2-5, a four-game stretch that included a sweep of the Devil Rays.
Since that sweep, the Red Sox have lost seven of 10, with five of the losses by one run."

Mike, I love ya, but c'mon. When the Red Sox were flying high earlier in the season, their pitching strong, their bullpen one of the best in baseball and their hitting good enough, every upcoming game was a sure victory in many of our minds. Now? Julian Tavarez is an utter failure who can't go five innings without giving up five plus runs. Tim Wakefield is a .500 pitcher. Always was, always will be. Curt will be coming back. Beckett and Daisuke? Wonderful, but we can count on the Sox to NOT hit in one of their starts. Sound familiar.....that adds up to losing 2 1/2 out of every five games, precisely what's been happening the last seven (!!!) weeks. Something must be done.......Tavy is gone, he has to be, with Gabbard taking his place. Schill has to come back within eight days. Wakes, we'll live with him, and Josh and Daisuke are just fine. The club needs another hitter and a healthy Curt. If not, the Yanks and the Red Sox will be neck and neck by August 10th. Believe me. I know. Oh, as Coco said, and this is from the Globe, written by the one and only Gordon Edes............

"So now, the Yanks are comin'. And with the White Sox here for four starting tonight, Daisuke is on the parapet.
"They've never been out of it," Crisp said of the Bombers. "If we keep playing ball, they won't catch us. If we keep winning one, losing one, then anything's possible. That's the name of the game. If we were down 10 right now to them, we could catch them, too. Our team's that good."

Coco, I so disagree. PROVE IT!!!

The White Sox come in for a three game set......here are the pitching matchups.

Javier Vazquez (6-5, 3.77 ERA) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (11-6, 3.94) tonight
Jose Contreras (5-11, 5.32) vs. Josh Beckett (12-3, 3.35) Friday
John Danks (6-6, 4.81) vs. Kason Gabbard (3-0, 3.38) Saturday
Jon Garland (7-6, 3.88) vs. Tim Wakefield (10-9, 4.69) Sunday

Our team needs help. Let no one else tell you differently. Click on the title for more on the June and July swoon. As always, I HAVE FAITH!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

8 Games Back............

The title of this post refers to the shrinking AL East lead the Boston Red Sox now have over the NY Yankees. And with Tavarez going today, who knows what that number will be tomorrow. These are clearly tough times for the Boston club, who were 0-5 with runners in scoring position last night against the rookie KC pitcher Leo Nunez. And Tim Wakefield just didn't have it. He gave up 6 runs on 9 hits in his 6 1/3 innings. The bullpen was no better, with Lopez and Piniero ineffective. Only Snyder pitched a scoreless frame, but that was the ninth inning, when the game was out of hand. All I can say was that this was a poor excuse for a baseball game. .500 baseball since May 29th just ain't going to make it.

The Sox try to take the rubber game of the series, putting Julian Tavarez on the mound to face the lefty Perez. The Red Sox are not playing like a first place team, and before we know it, their lead will be down to two or three games. I hope Theo and company do something about it sooner rather than later.

Click on the title for more on Tavarez' troubles of the past month, and hope that Schill comes back as quickly as possible. We need him.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Kason Gabbard pitched nine innings of near perfection Monday night at Fenway Park, and home runs by Papi and Manny and Peds powered the Sox to a quick 4-0 victory. This is from the Courant.........

"It was the first nine-inning shutout by a Red Sox rookie at Fenway Park since Roger Clemens in 1984 and first by a rookie lefthander at Fenway since Roger Moret in 1971. Rookie Devern Hansack threw a five-inning shutout in the 2006 season finale.
Overall, it was the first nine-inning shutout by a Sox rookie since Paul Quantrill 14 years ago in Seattle and first by a Sox rookie lefty since John Curtis in Cleveland 35 years ago."

And this is from the Hub Herald.......

"If all goes according to plan, Curt Schilling could return from the disabled list in two weeks. Last night, Kason Gabbard made an emphatic statement that he has no intention to merely occupy a spot in the rotation until Schilling resurfaces. (YES!!!)
The 25-year-old Gabbard turned in the staff’s second-best pitching performance of the season by holding the Kansas City Royals to only three hits in a 4-0 Red Sox win."

Using pinpoint location and following Tek's pitch selection calls to perfection, Gabbard solidified his hold on the number five slot in the rotation, and he should stay there when Schill comes back by month's end (sorry Tavy). Any other move makes no sense to me. He threw just 107 pitches, giving up three hits and striking out 8 in his nine innings of work. It will be great to see him out there every fifth day.....anything else would be a huge mistake. Theo, can ya hear me?
Tonight it's Timmy Wakefield, winner of his last three starts, facing KC's rookie Leo Nunez. And click on the title for the latest on Curt Schilling, who should be pitching on or near July 31 after two rehab starts with Pawtucket. What a shot in the arm that will be! Click on the title for more. Have a great Tuesday, and thanks for stopping by. GO SOX!

Monday, July 16, 2007


A complete game shutout by Kason G. He looks more poised for the big leagues every time he takes the mound. When Schill comes back. Tavy will be the one headed to the 'pen. I knew KG was ready. Full details on the Sox victory well before you wake up in the morning! GREAT JOB KG! And JUST enough hitting, too!


From RED REPORTER's blog, all about that team from Cincinnati........the team that broke my heart in the summer of 1975. And in that second week of June, 1975. Steven Spielberg thrilled us all, and DARED us to go into the water. The movie was JAWS, a movie experience I will never forget for the rest of my life. I saw it on opening afternoon in Hartford, and at its premiere on the wonderful island of St. Croix. And I DID go into the water, the very next day, swimming on the USVI reefs. Maybe looking (a little) for predaters, but enjoying the soothing coolness and ice green but warm waters. Oh, here's that Cinci. blurb, although I doubt it could ever come true...but we never know!

"Talk is getting stronger among scouts that the Reds might deal Bronson Arroyo. Wonder if the Red Sox will offer Wily Mo Peña."

Peter here...short but sweet, and a straight up WMP for Bronson trade would be too good to be true. It will never happen, unless.........well, it's best unsaid.

Great Pitching, No Big Hits Equals .500 Baseball

Mediocrity ruled yet again yesterday at Fenway Park. One run crossed the plate safely for the home team. One lone run. Josh Beckett was impeccable, Timlin was just fine, but the Boston Red Sox just couldn't come up with a clutch hit. The Totonto Blue Jays defeated the Sox 2-1. That's right, another 2-1 game. For the Sox to remain in first place through the month of September, they cannot play .500 baseball any longer. It's literally sickening! And the Yankees are now single digits back. The less I say about Sunday's game, the better, but the Sox have come out of the All Star break splitting four games with those Jays. Simply, that is NOT ACCEPTABLE. No way, no how.

KC comes to Fenway for three games starting today. Anything other than a sweep is another indication that this team needs another hitter, or another hitting coach. I do not get it. The good news? It looks like we'll see Schill back within 10 days. But all the pitching in the world can't help a team that scores one damn run.

The Boston Herald's Tony Massarotti hits the Red Sox nail squarely on the head with his Monday morning article. Click on the title. Needed reading!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sixth Inning Magic Powers Red Sox Win

Daisuke Matsuzaka wasn't exactly breezing along, but through five innings he had only given up one run while his teammates had scored four. But then came the sixth inning, which turned out to be his last. And much too quickly, the score went from 4-1 Sox to a 4-4 tie. It was a deflating time of the game for Boston fans, but that deflation only lasted about 13 minutes. Jason Varitek's two run tater was the big blow in a five run uprising for the home club. And after that, our lights-out bullpen made sure the score would stay the same. Manny Delcarmen, "Little Manny" no more, pitched the seventh and the eighth innings flawlessly, and Hideki Okajima breezed through an eleven pitch ninth. Final score? 9-4 Sox. Julio Lugo continued his hitting rebirth and Papi finally had a Fenway homer. But I want to come back to the Boston 'pen. Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima and Jonathon Papelbon comprise the best late inning trio we've had in a long time, a VERY long time. Delcarmen is pitching lights-out right now, challenging hitters with 97 MPH fastballs and beautiful curves. Oki and Paps? We know how they've been. If the Sox are leading after six, they stand a great chance of winning the game. And that's a beautiful thing.

I'm linking a Hartford Courant Sunday morning article about Larry Lucchino's desire to add AROD to the team next year. Mike Lowell is in his final year (as of now), and AROD could step right into his third base shoes. Or we could sign Lowell for another year and AROD could go back to his native land.....shortstop. I know, I know, AROD? On our team? REMEMBER THIS. Before he went to the Yankees he was all but inked by the Red Sox, and eager to come to Boston. I remember an interview spot on the Today Show before the deal was nixed by the player's association, and darn if he didn't have his Red Sox cap in his hands. Imagine his power numbers batting in the five spot of the lineup. Mind boggling! The $30 million a year will be easy for the Sox to come up with, because off the books will be more than $29 million, including the salaries of Lowell (maybe), Clement, Donnelly and others. So will it happen? Will AROD opt out of his Yankee contract? I hope so. With Boras as his agent, you have to think so. And 45 home runs and 145 RBIs (minimum) would be a nice addition to a lineup that needs another bopper bat. And he plays third base just fine. And the six hole just as well, if not better. So click on the title for all the particulars. Recommended reading.

The Red Sox move to 55-35, with their ace Josh "Baseball" Beckett ready to face Jesse Litsch. And then bye bye birdies. They head to NY and the mighty KC Royals invade Fenway for three. We'll be ready. Have a great Sunday, and click on that title.

And copy and paste this link for an article about a forthcoming Red Sox mystery novel. Right now, it's a mystery to all of us, but knowing Jere Smith and his acclaimed author mom Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, it will be a great one! Here's the link, but it's not clickable. Just copy and paste. And Jere's blog is on my link list, near the top, entitled A RED SOX FAN IN PINSTRIPE TERRITORY. Congrats go to Mary-Ann and Jere.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Missed Chances And Poor Pitching. Schilling Update

Julian Tavarez has become a liability to the starting rotation of the Boston Red Sox. He has failed to get out of the fifth inning in three of his last four starts, and hasn't won in recent memory while putting an unnecessary strain on the bullpen. When Schilling comes back (see article below), I say keep Gabbard, an effective lefty, in the rotation and banish Tavy to the 'pen, where he'll give us one or two good innings.....when needed.
Last night Tavy went four plus innings, giving up nine hits and four runs. He threw 101 pitches in those four plus innings, and that's way too much. The Sox led 2-0 after one on a Manny home run, but the Jays scored four big ones in the third inning to take the lead. But in the bottom of that frame, the Sox came back with three to take a 5-4 lead. But then Snyder, on in relief of Tavarez, opened the floodgates, leading to the last two runs of the game, and a 6-5 Blue Jays lead. That was the final score, even though Papi and Manny were up in the bottom of the ninth with the tying and winning runs on the bases. But they were unable to score as Papi flied to center, deep, and Manny lined to right. Turn the page. But this .500 baseball trend of the last 6 weeks must stop. NOW.

Here's some good news on Curt Schilling, who is so sorely missed as an integral part of the Red Sox rotation. This is from the Hartford Courant, and I thank them..........

"Curt Schilling threw more pitches than expected during a bullpen session Friday, another step toward him returning to Boston's rotation.
Throwing off a mound for the first time since going on the disabled list on June 19 with a tendinitis in his right shoulder, Schilling threw 55 pitches and worked on his entire repertoire.
Schilling was originally set to go 30-35 pitches, but felt strong in the workout before the Red Sox played Toronto.
"I feel better than I've felt, so I'm taking that as a positive and go from there," Schilling said. "I stopped because they told me to stop, not because I needed to."
The six-time All-Star is scheduled to throw another bullpen session and face batters Monday."

Peter here, and by next Saturday, just seven short days away, he should be ready for a rehab start with Pawtucket, and maybe five days after that, he could be back where he belongs, as our number two man in the rotation. If you do the math, that's less than two weeks away. He is sorely needed if the Red Sox want to stay where they are........and that's in first place. The rotation that I would like to see then? Beckett, Schilling, Matsuzaka, Wakes and Gabbard. Any comments??
Click on the title for the Globe's Red Sox Notebook, with more on Curt Schilling. Enjoy your weekend!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Doc Takes A Halladay

I think the Red Sox have Roy Halladay's number. Is he tipping his pitches and are the Red Sox the only team who has figured it out? I don't know, but half of the big guy's losses have come against the Boston club. Last night the Sox were powered by none other than Big Papi and Manny Ramirez. They combined for 5 hits and 5 RBIs. Just like the good old days! Timmy Wakefield was good enough, collecting his 10th win while allowing 4 runs and 9 hits in 6 innings. He walked no one. But the Sox did have a scare. A Big Papi scare in the 8th inning. David fouled a pitch off his ailing right knee, and while I watched, hands to my mouth, he bent down at the plate for a couple minutes, clearly in pain, as Tito and the trainer rushed out. But he stayed in, and we all have to hope he'll be OK today. Because when he and Manny start to hit, and they will, the club will be in so much better shape. Julio Lugo continued his pre-All Star Game hot streak, going 2 for 4.

So all in all, it was a fine way to start the second half. With the Yankees winning, we're 10 games up on them and 11 better than the Jays. The Yankees have three more down in Tampa Bay coming up, and you have to think they'll win two of them, if not all three. So these upcoming games are important. Julian Tavarez goes tonight, hoping to rebound from his disasterous last start. Then it will be Daisuke and Josh Baseball. So if we can grab a win tonight............

Click on the title for an article written by Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe, all about the aforementioned Daisuke Matsuzaka. I enjoyed it immensely. And here's the latest on Curt Schilling....

"Manager Terry Francona said Curt Schilling will throw a 30-35 pitch side session today. Schilling was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 19 with tendinitis in his right shoulder, but this is another benchmark in his rehab program.
"He's doing real well, doing how he hoped," Francona said. "The ball came out of his hand good the last couple days he's thrown. I'm kind of excited to see him get up on the mound. That's the next big step."

Peter here, and it will be great to see the big guy back on the mound, hitting his spots and hitting them with velocity. As the beloved and much missed Ned Martin used to say, "Oh Mercy!!" Happy Friday the 13th, where good luck and good fortune will abound tonight at Fenway Park, and for all of you, my faithful readers. Just a feeling. That's all.........

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Little Of This, A Little Of That

The second half of the 2007 baseball season starts tonight as the Boston Red Sox face off against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Lined up to pitch are the always tough Roy Halladay versus veteren knuckleballer Timmy Wakefield. The edge goes to the Blue Jays for this first of four because of that matchup. The Sox cannot afford to play .500 ball any more. Of the 77 games remaining for the Yankees, 56 of them, including the next 27, will be against teams with more losses than they have. I'll name them, and thank you Hartford Courant for this interesting stat. They are Toronto, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Kansas City and the White Sox. As the Courant said, the Yankees COULD go 50 something and 30 something. That thought scares me, because the Sox need another hitter, they need a knee-healthy Big Papi, and they need to get Schill back into the rotation, healthy and sound. If not, a trade for a hitter and a pitcher would be the only smart move. We have plenty of young players who we can part with, albeit reluctantly, and Wily Mo Pena is sure to go. PLEASE!!! I'll drive him myself! He'd be a great DH for some other club. ANY other club.

Oh, by the way...read this, from the NBX Sports Blog....

"56 of Boston’s remaining 75 games are against teams that were below .500 at the break."

Peter here, and I'd call that ease of schedule between the Yankees and our Sox a tie in terms of difficulty. Now we just have to perform! I hope you will all enjoy the second half of baseball 2007, when everything will be decided, and happiness or tears will prevail in Red Sox Nation. Let's hope it's the former of the two.

Click on the title for an article on Big Papi and his current status, written by the Herald's Steve Buckley. Have a great Thursday, and let's hope the Sox can reel off 8 out of 10 wins to begin the second half. A season we will ALL remember, for better or for worse. Here is the entire four game pitching schedule.......

Roy Halladay (10-3, 4.46) vs. Tim Wakefield (9-8, 4.39) tonight
Shaun Marcum (4-3, 3.62) vs. Julian Tavarez (5-7, 4.97) Friday
Dustin McGowan (5-4, 4.65) vs. Matsuzaka (10-6, 3.84) Saturday
Jesse Litsch (1-3, 4.74) vs. Beckett (12-2, 3.44) Sunday.

Peter here, and taking three of those four would be just fine with me. Take care everyone, and thanks for reading. GO SOX.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Another AL All Star Game Win......"Surgical Procedure" For Papi?

As in recent years, the AL continued their decade long mastery of the All Star Game with a 5-4 victory over the NL, assuring the AL team that makes it to the World Series the home team advantage. Papi and Manny went hitless and Mike Lowell contributed a single. The winning pitcher was none other than our very own Josh Beckett. Paps pitched a scoreless 8th and Oki Doke did not play. I'm sure he was honored to be there.....he sure looked happy! Baseball 2007 resumes tomorrow evening with a 4 game set against the always tough, at least for the last couple of years, Toronto Blue Jays.

In other news, I came across an article in this morning's Globe that mentioned the possibility of surgery (gulp!) for Big Papi in the off-season. At first I was mortified, but after reading the piece, I feel much better. Here it is, in its entirety..........

"Red Sox DH David Ortiz privately mentioned last weekend the possibility he might require a surgical procedure on his right knee, but because of the uncertainty surrounding his condition, he said he didn't want to say anything publicly until he knew more.
But yesterday, when asked specifically about his condition by the Boston Herald, Ortiz admitted he "probably" would need a procedure after the season.
Ortiz had said in Detroit over the weekend that the knee began to bother him last season after he twisted it while fielding bunts in batting practice at Yankee Stadium, a routine hitters follow before taking their cuts.
He said he got the knee tangled in some netting and twisted it, which was the cause of his problems.
"Some days it's good, some days it isn't," Ortiz said.
Ortiz entered the All-Star break batting .314 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs, fine numbers but well off the 31 home runs and 87 RBIs he had at the break last season.
He did not attribute the decline in his performance to injuries, including hamstring and quadriceps problems.
"It's the way I'm being pitched," he said. "You just don't get anything to hit anymore."
Ortiz has hit just three home runs in Fenway Park, the last April 21."

Peter here. Three home runs at Fenway, and none since April 21? Wow, that took ME by surprise. We need a solid and more productive second half from Papi AND Manny, and others, to remain in first place. As MCW said in her comment from the preceding post, anything can happen, and usually does, but if the Sox can bring their hitting numbers up a couple notches, and Schill comes back healthy, willing and strong, the sky is the limit for the club we love to love. I hope they can do it.

Click on the title for more on last night's salute to Willy Mays, and all the game details. It was a fun night, and the NL almost pulled off a great comeback. Who knows, a little single in the bottom of the 9th and none other than Hideki Okajima might have been summoned to put out the fire, as only the Darkman can do. A wonderful Wednesday to all of you, my faithful readers, and, as always, I thank you for being here each and every day. I guess I don't know how to take a day off, nor do I want to. And that's so great!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Remember After You Read This...I'm NOT The Enemy!!!

But I will give you my opinion on this commentary from MSNBC online. It has to do with the pennant races, and this excerpt is all about the AL East. My comments (be kind!) will follow........

By Michael Ventre
MSNBC contributor
Updated: 10:04 p.m. ET July 8, 2007


Michael Ventre

"Now that more pressing matters such as which sluggers passed up the Home Run Derby or why the Supreme Court failed to meddle in Barry Bonds’ late voting surge like it did in the 2000 presidential election are off the radar, it’s time to focus on the races.
No, I’m not talking about our inherent differences as humans, but rather the division races in baseball. At this time of year, they can be just as much of a hot-button topic.
The All-Star break is a chance for everyone involved to collect their breath, relax, count their money and complain about why they’re not featured more often on “Baseball Tonight.” But really the key issues involve teams vying for the postseason. In that regard, there figures to be some feisty maneuverings in the coming weeks.
It might be easier to begin with the one race that isn’t one. The Boston Red Sox appear to be moving like Secretariat at the Belmont Stakes. Despite some recent sputtering — the piping-hot Tigers completed a sweep of the Red Sox on Sunday, who have now lost eight of 13 overall — Boston still has a formidable 10-game lead in the American League East, and it has the pitching to hold off the rest of the division."

Peter here.....and here I go. Bulls*it!!! If the Red Sox, the team I love, continues to "sputter," winning one of every two games, ANYTHING is possible. I hate to say this, but with Clemens and Wang, the Yankees have two dependable starters, just like the Sox have. Moose and Pettitte? Here, and then not. Igawa....fuggit about it! The Yankees do have the lumber firepower, and that's what scares me. Will Schill be back, and healthy? If so, the AL East IS a lock. The Sox have to pick it up a notch. I think Michael Ventre, the author of this piece, has forgotton that it's not August. YET

Read his full article by clicking on this post's title. And your comments? Please.....I need to hear from you!

All Star Tuesday 2007

San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge gleaming in the background, streetcars and baseball fans mingling with everyday passersby. That is the setting for the 2007 All Star game. The Red Sox are well represented, with Big Papi starting and batting third in the AL line-up. Red Sox reserves are Manny, once again, a deserving Mike Lowell, and pitchers Josh Beckett, Jonathon Papelbon and the Darkman himself, our Okie Doke, Hideki Okajima. Who's missing? Kevin Youkilis, but with the game being in an NL park, there is no DH, hence David Ortiz was elected by the fans to start at first base. Fair enough, I guess, until the American and National Leagues agree on the matter. Believe me, within 5 years there will once again be one, and one only, standard. At least that's my opinion. It's all I have to give you.

There was a very interesting Q & A session with our closer Paps in today's Herald, and I linked it when you click on the title of this post. Here's a taste........

Q: "If Delcarmen continues to emerge, and Okajima continues along his same path, will you have that seventh-, eighth-, ninth-inning bullpen invincibility that so many teams crave, like the Yankees once had?

A: “I think so. I think our goal is to get there, and be that bullpen that when the starter leaves, it’s our game, and the game should be over. I think that’s what we all envision and would love to have. I think we’re close. But we’re not there yet. We still have work to do, and we all have to keep doing what we’re supposed to do.”

Peter here, and the bullpen has certainly been a huge reason for our first place first half. However, the club has been shown to be fallible lately, lately meaning the last five weeks, and we all have to hope things will be corrected. We also need a healthy Curt Schilling back in the rotation and more consistant hitting throughout the lineup. If not, and the club continues their "win one lose one" pace, someone is going to catch us. Is it time for the panic button? NOT BY A LONG SHOT. No hair pulling, no fingernail gnashing.......you see, they're not needed. A three week hot streak could make the other AL East teams choke on our dust, coughing and sputtering, nearly helpless. But it will take a few things for such a streak to take place. And number one on that list is a little more lumber. Bunches of base hits can cure so many ills, and as you'll read when you click on this post's title, the bullpen is confident and full of talented pitchers ready to take over from inning seven on. So from starters to the 'pen, we're good and going to get better with Schill's return. As for the hitting, we'll have to wait and see.

So enjoy the All Star game tonight, and remember, the winning league will be the home team in the World Series. And that's big. Thanks for reading, and click on that title.

Monday, July 09, 2007

No Dice!

It is said that everyone has a bad day here or there, and yesterday in Detroit, it was Daisuke Matsuzaka's turn for mediocrity. As he said himself, from the Courant.........

"First and foremost, I think the problem today was with my command," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. "Of course, there were a few hits that their hitters made some good contact on, but overall I felt that I left a lot of my pitches in soft locations.
"Had I been able to throw to a few better locations, I might have been able to hold them a little bit better in this game."

Peter here. He gave up 6 runs and 10 hits in only 6 innings, his shortest outing of the season. The Red Sox are a tired club, and the All Star game could not have come at a better time. Nagging injuries and an overused (lately) bullpen have contributed to the .500 baseball of the last 5 1/2 weeks. That's a long time to play "win one lose one," and I hope starting on Thursday the club will get it together once again. Or those "other" AL East clubs, namely one, will continue to creep up on us. I do not want that to happen.

In other news, Mark Buehrle has decided to sign a contract extention with the White Sox, so any dreams of him in red socks are just that....dreams. And I do have to mention, once again, the horrid play of Wily Mo Pena. He was 0-4 with three strikeouts, but to his credit he was robbed of a home run by the Tiger's Curtis Gunderson. His defense, however, is what really bothers me, and I mean REALLY BOTHERS ME, as he badly misplayed a drive to left by Gary Sheffield that should have been an out, but turned into a double. Theo, there must be a team looking for a DH......WMP is your guy. He is a defensive liability that frankly the club cannot have on their roster, be it in center, left or right. Bundle him with someone and get us another starter for the last seventy plus games. Please.

Click on the title of this post for the mid-season Red Sox report card, written by the Boston Herald's Tony Massarotti. A great read, and something I look forward to every season. Thanks Tony! In fact, here's a sample from the multi-pictorial mid-season review. You must read the whole thing, but here goes......

"Wily Mo Pena - For Sale: 6-foot-3, 245-pound outfielder who plays like the Dominican Rob Deer - hits it a mile, strikes out a ton , but defense is not nearly as good ... still just 25 years old ... in very good condition as he was acquired in a regrettable trade and has been used only sparingly ... owner seeks a right-handed reliever in return."

Peter here, and I so agree. I hope your week will be a great one as we here in Southern New England batten down the hatches and turn up the a/c to get ready for temperatures in the upper 90s and dew points in the low 70s. The dew point is a combination of temperature and humidity, and when it's in the lower 60s, it starts to feel humid when you leave the house. When it approaches or exceeds 70, we're talking jungle-type humidity, when the air feels just like you can cut it with a knife. A dew point of 74 or above is just plain old dangerous. But such is mid-July....hot and steamy. Let's hope our Sox get hot and can reel off 6 or 7 straight wins when baseball, in all its glory, returns to us on Thursday, from Friendly Fenway. Our home. Have a great All Star break. I'll be here every one of those three days, writing about something or other. I wouldn't have it any other way. Now please, click on the title, and you'll see, in pictures and words, Tony Massarotti"s mid-season thoughts. Have fun! I did!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Two And Out

13 innings, many of them with plenty of chances to score. Too many to mention, in fact. But after Big Papi's 2 run home run in the first inning, nothin'. A big fat string of twelve zeros. The Detroit starter Bonderman settled down and pitched through the eighth, while Kason Gabbard, in the rotation until Schill returns, was just great, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing only two runs. He'll be fine until Curt is healthy. But the Tigers scored the winning run off Jonathon Papelbon in the thirteenth inning, and it was finally over (see below). Outpitched? Yes, but by the barest of margins. A clutch hit and there would have been a different ending. But such is baseball. And with the Red Sox 20 games over .500 at 53-33, there's nothing to worry about. Not one darn thing. But it sure would be nice to win this afternoon, and we have our most consistant hurler on the mound. Daisuke Matsuzaka will try to take his team to the All Star break the right way---with a win. And going against him is the Tiger's Nate Robertson, who happens to be the weakest link of the Detroit rotation. It up to Daisuke. This is from the Boston Herald....

"The times have been few this season that Daisuke Matsuzaka has been called upon to be a stopper.
That job typically has fallen upon Curt Schilling or Josh Beckett. Matsuzaka has only pitched three times following a loss in his 17 starts to date, going 1-1 with a no-decision and a 3.60 ERA.
More to the point, we haven’t really seen him come in to halt a losing skid, or avoid embarrassment. He hasn’t had to stop the bleeding when another team is about to sweep the Sox. But that’s his mission today."

Peter here, and I'm sure he knows his mission...he ALWAYS DOES. He'll be out there to stop the mini-skid in Detroit. Click on the title of this post for more on last night's final at bat, when Pudge Rodriguez' drive was only inches away from the outstetched glove of the diving Coco Crisp. In fact, I just this second saw the replay of that drive by Pudge, and yes, it was a matter of inches. But so is the game of baseball itself.

Remember, my readers, we still have an eleven game lead in the AL East......maybe twelve after today. My fingers are crossed. But we are in great shape, our Sox getting healthier with the three day break looming. Everyone, enjoy your Sunday, and thanks, as always, for being here. I couldn't do this without you....ever.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Tavy Trouble

Game one in the Motor City was one to forget. The less said about it the better, so I'll be brief. Julian Tavarez, so consistant all season long, had an off night. After a grand slam hit by Marcus Thames in the fifth inning, he was gone, banished to the showers. The score at the time had ballooned to 8-1, and the Sox offense clearly could get nothing going. So I guess it's time to turn the page and hope Kason Gabbard can do better. With Daisuke going tomorrow, today would be a nice day to emerge victorious. Detroit's a good club, and Tampa Bay a distant memory. But it's still nice to know we have 15 games left with the Florida club.

You can click on the title of this post for more on Tavy's performance, and the thinking of the club to leave Jon Lester where he is at Triple A Pawtucket instead of bringing him up now. What I'd really like to see is a healthy Schill come back, and come back sooner than August first. But right now, from what I hear, that ain't going to happen. Time will tell.

So we've won four of the first five games of the seven game set before the All Star Game. Two more would be oh so nice! Have a great Saturday on this 7/7/07. Is seven your lucky number? Let's hope it is for the Sox! Don't forget to click on the title of this post for more on Tavy and the five spot of the rotation, from the Herald of Boston.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Red Sox Decapitate And Dismember The D'Rays-----Hideki Okajima Is An All Star!!

Wow! 13 runs in the first three innings helped Josh "Baseball" Beckett to his 12th win of the season. The batting heroes were many, but if I had to pick two, it would be Coco Crisp, who had a first inning grand slam off the Coke bottle, and Mike Lowell, who went 5 for 6. The Sox have scored 26 runs in their last three games, and we all have to hope they can keep it up for the three game set in Detroit that begins tonight.

And if that wasn't enough excitement for Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International, there was more to come. In the sixth inning the team announced that our lefty reliever supreme, Hideki Okajima, the Darkman, had won the online balloting and will be going to the All Star game. The crowd gave him a standing ovation as he bowed to them from the bullpen. I was touched and moved. He said this, from the Courant.......

"I appreciate all the people who voted for me," Okajima said. "American baseball fans, Japanese baseball fans, teammates, everybody. Big thanks to all the people who supported me."

Well said Oki. And in another bit of Sox news, not good news, I'm afraid, it looks like we won't see Curt Schilling back on the mound until August 1 or so. As long as his shoulder is sound and his velocity is back, we'll sure need him for the last two and a half months of the season and post-season (yes, we will be there!).

Lastly, I wanted to thank all of my readers and fellow bloggers from RSN and RSI for endlessly "blistering their fingers" to get Oki into the All Star Game. Where he belongs. GREAT JOB. Click on the title of this post for more on our newest ALL STAR. And what a great guy he is....a tremendous article from this morning's Globe....please click on the title, you'll enjoy, I promise. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Latest From Our Friends In Japan...Red Sox International

"Hello Peter-san
Happy Independence Day of your country !
And I felt happy to find a Japanese sign behind home plate of the
Fenway Park on TV.......
It said "Vote for Okajima MLB.com" (in Japanese).
So many Japanese Fans must have voted and I've been voting and voting and
voting and voted."

Go Darkman ! Thank you !

Thank you Superbowl-san.........we here in Red Sox Nation are united with you and your friends, members of Red Sox International, to help Hideki Okajima, our Darkman, our Oki, to become an All Star.

VOTE....for 9 hours and 45 minutes!!!! Just click on this post's title. Thanks! The world, from East to West, loves the Red Sox.

Wakes And The 'Pen Power Red Sox Third Straight


It all started with a perfectly placed safety squeeze, and ended with Jonathon Papelbon's 20th save. In between, there were plenty of two out hits by the Red Sox and 6 great speedy innings from Tim Wakefield. He ran into a little trouble in the 7th, loading the bases after recording an out before Javy Lopez allowed the runners to score. But in came our new "go-to guy," Little Manny Delcarmen, who has been pitching with supreme confidence and maximum velocity. He and Okajima (more on the Darkman to follow) make quite the two-headed bridge to Paps. In fact, I'm not going to call him "Little Manny" any more, not when he's freezing batters with 96 plus MPH fastballs and an occasional tremendous curve.
With four regulars getting a rest, this game still wasn't close. Spelling Manny in left was the speedy and talented Jacoby Ellsbury. I'd rather see him than Wily Mo Pena play any outfield position when a regular gets or needs a rest, especially after WMP's four strikeout weak plate appearances of Tuesday. He was embarassing, and his lack of defense is inexcusable. Ellsbury also collected his first major league RBI, and his speed makes him a natural on any outfield turf. ANYWHERE! Welcome to the big club, Jacoby. You've done so much already.
So the Red Sox win their third in a row, and coupled with the Yankees' loss, well, we're in great shape. As I said in previous posts, these games immediately preceding the All Star festivities are vital, and so far, the Red Sox have won the first three, with four to go. Josh Baseball goes tonight, and he'll be facing the Devil Rays' lefty Howell, another TB starter with an ERA around five. So let's sweep, and then get ready for the Tigers, IN the motor city. At least we won't have to face that tough lefty bully a***ole Kenny Rogers. He's pitched well in his comeback.

And now, it's the last chance I have to ask you to vote for our left-handed reliever extraordinaire, HIDEKI OKAJIMA. Let's make the Darkman an All Star. He so deserves it, and as of late yesterday (Wednesday), he still held a slim lead. We have until 6pm today, so please, vote a couple dozen times. He has been so good for our Boston Red Sox, for Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International. JUST CLICK ON THE TITLE OF THIS POST, and you will be directed to the actual fan ballot. And I thank you in advance for voting for our Oki, our Darkman, the enemy of OUR enemies. And with an ERA of 0.88, he certainly is. So click away! And as always, thanks.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Red Sox Win Three Straight!

Full details, first thing in the morning. Happy 4th of July!! YANKEES LOSE, TOO!!!!!!! Oh happy day. Fireworks to come!!!!! Look up!

Dazzling Daisuke


Daisuke Matsuzaka provided the pre-July 4th fireworks last night in front of another sold-out Fenway Park crowd on a cool and beautiful summer evening. Utilizing his curveball as much as his fastball, he went 8 innings, allowing only 4 hits and no runs. He struck out 9 in what might have been his strongest all around performance of the year. He seems to have settled into quite the groove after an understandable period of getting used to his new surroundings and the unfamiliar hitters. And he had a spectacular June, posting an ERA of 1.58 in his 5 starts. It's exciting that we'll be seeing him on the mound every 5th or 6th day.
The biggest hit of the day came from none other than the slumping Julio Lugo. He broke an 0-33 hitless streak with a single up the middle in the second inning that scored two runs and gave the Sox a 3-0 lead. Said the man himself, and this is from the Courant........

"Tonight was very special for me," said Lugo, who went 2-for-3 and raised his average to .194. "I'm the guy that's going to go out there and give you 100 percent every day. The fans see that I appreciate them doing that for me. I just put in what I've been practicing. I put on a good swing and fortunately I got a hit."

For Daisuke, a 3-0 lead was more than he's been used to by a long shot, and he dazzled and doodled with the Devil Rays throughout his super strong 8 innings. Jonathon Papelbon pitched the 9th in a non-save situation, allowing a harmless Pesky Pole home run before retiring the side and ending the game. And the fans went home happy as their team won its second straight. 5 more games to go before the All Star break, and it would be nice to win them all. And we'll see Daisuke again on Sunday. How sweet is that?

It's Wakefield versus Jackson in the Fourth of July 1PM game at the Fens today. The weather will be picture perfect as we all hope for many crooked numbers on the bottom half of the scoreboard on the Green Wall.

Oh, and this is so important. Please don't forget to vote for the Darkman, Hideki Okajima, for one of the final two All Star game spots. Just click on the title of this very post and you will be directed straight to the ballot. Even if you've already voted, vote again a dozen times or so. OKI has a narrow lead now, and Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International are not letting him down. If you don't believe that the Red Sox fans from Japan are behind Oki as much as we are, just scroll down to the post immediately preceding this one. Just below. It's an email I received from fellow Red Sox fan SuperBowl, a friend from Japan, a blog writer and a lover of that team from Boston. So just click on that title. And our very own Jonathon Papelbon said this, from mlb dot com.....

"Okajima has been a brilliant addition to the Boston bullpen this season, fashioning an 0.78 WHIP with 13 holds and 0.88 ERA in 38 appearances. On Red Sox regional network NESN Monday night, his late-inning cohort, Jonathan Papelbon, offered this slogan: "Get my man to San Fran, it's closer to Japan."
Okajima held a news conference with Japanese media following Monday night's game -- designed to heighten interest in the Final Vote over in Japan. "It would be a great honor if I get to the All-Star Game," Okajima said then. "But I can't get there myself. I can do my best to pitch well. But I have to rely on the fans to vote for me. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that's why I want to play in the All-Star Game this year."

Peter here. We love you, Oki, and we're going to do all we can to get you on that All Star Team. You deserve it. A 0.88 ERA...that's all that needs to be said. Voting ends 6pm Thursday. I have faith in you, my readers, to do all you can to make our Darkman an All Star. Thanks, and a happy and healthy holiday to you and yours. From me, that guy who sometimes just can't stop typing. VOTE OKI!!!!!! VOTE OKI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Click on the title. For me................

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Red Sox International Is Voting For The Darkman!!

I just received this email from our Japanese Red Sox International fans...please read.......
Thank you Peter-san
I already read your newest blog post.
Ian's comment on your yesterday's post showed me multiple vote can do.
So I devote every spare moment to vote.
and I ask my friends and add to my blog post to keep voting.

from the DarkMan's homeland with blisters
How nice is that!!! THANK YOU, and again, join RSN International and vote for Hideki Okajima. Our Darkman....just click on this post's title. And SuperBowl-san....thank you.

Hinske Halfway Heaven

The Red Sox broke out of their prolonged hitting slump, at least for a night but hopefully for far longer than that, and defeated the Texas Rangers 7-3, earning a split of the 4 game series. Kason Gabbard pitched hitless ball for 5 1/3 innings before allowing a three run home run off the bat of Brad Wilkerson. The bullpen was its usual effective self, with Timlin, Lopez, Snyder and the Darkman, Hideki Okajima (see more on the Darkman below) pitching scoreless ball. But the big blow was a 5th inning three run home run off the bat of game hero Eric Hinske. Crooked numbers in the third and fifth innings. It's about time! Said Tito, and this is from the Courant......

"He's about as professional as you get," manager Terry Francona said. "When Hinske does something, the dugout erupts. We'll take offense anywhere we can get it. Any time you put up crooked numbers and the middle of your order doesn't do it, that's a big lift for your ballclub."
The victory raised the Red Sox record to 50-31 at the halfway point of the season. Their 10 1/2-game lead over Toronto in the American League East is their largest ever after 81 games since baseball went to a 162-game season in 1962.*

Peter here. And at the exact halfway point of the season, we have to feel good about that record and those stats, but there are six games left before the All Star break, and I want to win them all. Those low run scoring losses by the club still weigh heavily on my soul. But for now, after a nice win, everything is rosy.
It's Daisuke Matsuzaka tonight at Fenway, and he'll face another club's ace, the always tough lefthander Scott Kazmir. Lefties always give the Sox trouble.....Kazmir has the stuff to do it every time.

I wanted to remind my readers to vote for our Darkman, Hideki Okajima, as he tries to become a member of the All Star team. After his perfection in the ninth inning last night, his ERA is down to a microscopic miniscule 0.88. So please, click on the title of this very post and make Hideki Okajima our All Star Darkman. The whole league knows he deserves it. So vote. Vote as many times as you wish. I've already lost count how many times I have. Go ahead, click on that title, and thanks. Even if you voted yesterday, DO IT AGAIN! Have a great Tuesday, the Fourth of July eve. NOW CLICK ON THE TITLE AND VOTE! My fellow blogger and friend Ian, of the great blog "Sox and Dawgs" (link on my link list, on your right), said this, in a comment yesterday......

"Voting is over at 6 pm on Thursday and should be announced that night or in the morning.
Okajima is trailing only Jeremy Bonderman right now, so keep voting, people. Just keep voting until your fingers hurt. I've already voted a 100x today."

Thanks Ian.....as Ringo Starr said after doing the drum line on Paul McCartney's HELTER SKELTER, from the White Album, "I've got blisters on me fingers!" I want them on yours, wearing out those fingers voting for Hideki. Now we know that we have Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 6pm. Please vote. Vote for our reliever, our Hideki, who is simply the best left-handed reliever in all of baseball. Click on the title. Thank you Ian. And go Sox, our Sox....forever. THE DARKMAN LIVES....on the All Star team. With our help. So click, click on the title, and I thank you, faithful readers. I really do........

Monday, July 02, 2007

Again, Vote For Our All Star To Be, Hideki Okajima...The Darkman

Just click on the title, right here, and vote. I've voted 10 times already on this early Monday morning. He's the best left-handed reliever in the league, with a 0.90 ERA, he pitches for our Red Sox, and he needs our help. I've already talked via email to my Japanese friends, and they're busy voting right now. Please, do the same. Click on the title, and thank you. I so appreciate it.

Downbound Train----Red Sox All Star Selections, And Vote For Hideki Okajima, The DARKMAN!

Another 2-1 loss. This is getting ridiculous! But it's true. The Red Sox lost Sunday yet again to the Texas Rangers and their mediocre starting pitching. And with Gabbard going today, who knows what will happen? The Sox were 13-14 in the month of June. They had the second lowest ERA in the league but batted as a team only .264. Only the White Sox scored fewer runs. (Thank you Htfd. Courant). That's a far cry from the bashing teams of '03, '04 and '05. But pitching is what makes good teams great. Said Kevin Youkilis about the batting woes, also from the Courant........

"We're going to go through ruts," said Kevin Youkilis, who reached base three times but didn't score. "You're going to have your down times. Right now we're not scoring runs, but we're pitching well. If we keep pitching well, we'll win games. It's going to happen. Just be patient. We're not playing that great, hitting-wise, but it's one of those things."

Wise words? I sure hope so. What's important right now is to win all seven of these remaining games before the All Star break. We still have a double digit lead in the AL East, but it should be 4 or 5 games larger than it is. 7pm baseball tonight---game one of seven.

Congratulations go out to Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, David Ortiz, Jonathon Papelbon and Manny Ramirez for their selection to the 2007 All Star team. And there's another guy who is still in the running. He would be none other than the Darkman, Hideki Okajima. Go to the Red Sox dot com page (or just click on the title of this post) and click your way to the "final player" voting and vote for him. Hard-luck loser? Kevin Youkilis. Everyday day, in everyway, he is an All Star in all our hearts. Click on the title of this post to get to the Sox official site and look for the Red VOTE OKAJIMA box on the right top portion of the page. Please.....his ERA is 0.90! He's our guy. Click on the title, and look for VOTE OKAJIMA. You can't miss it!!!! AND YOU CAN VOTE AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT TO!!!!! Please, let's get him in there. Without him, our lead would not be where it is in the AL East. I've already voted ten times this morning. What, I don't have anything better to do? No, I do, but he's our Darkman, and he's been eliminating every late inning threat and he has allowed the game to get to Paps. Isn't that worth your multiple votes, and a couple minutes of your time? It sure is!!!!! So please, for me, and Hideki, and Japan, and RSN, and Red Sox International, as they call it in Japan, vote Okajima. Thanks for being here with me, your quirky but lovable host, as always.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

One Is The Lonliest Number, AGAIN!

Yes, the Boston Red Sox managed to do it again this Sunday afternoon. And what is "it?" They scored one run and lost.....and this is facing a very mediocre Texas Ranger team. What is wrong? A full wrap-up report first thing Monday morning. And to answer that question, I have no idea, but this team is in trouble.

Fiction, From A Friend......

My good friends, you can call her N. She wrote this...and I enjoyed. I hope you do too. And again, the Sox, that team from Boston, are stuck on one run on this Sunday afternoon. SO FAR! Don't forget!! Stay away from the woods....read on...............


Once upon a time, there were two very good friends.
The boy’s name was Robby and the girl's name was
Amanda. They were only 5 years apart. Hope was just
10, and Robby was 15. They both liked to play hide and
go seek outside, in the lush green meadow right
outside of Robby’s house. There was a dark forest
surrounding the field they loved to play in, and the
forest, as some village people believed, was haunted.
But as kids were those days, they always liked scary
and mysterious things, and stories that were told by
their grandfathers and grandmothers late at night,
when the wolves howled and the moon was full and high.
As children do sometimes, they always dared each other
to do the most dangerous things, so Robby dared Hope
to go into the forbiddingly dark forest. She wasn’t
about to show him her fear of the dark and the
creatures that might lurk within the shadows of the
forest. So she went in, and Robby, upon her command,
followed. As they searched their way through the thick
trees, the hour grew late, and the feeling of someone
watching them with hungry and terrifying eyes was born
within their minds. Hope grew impatient of the dare,
and yearned for the moment when they finally would
leave the forest. The moon was now high and bright
above their heads and the depressing cries of a lonely
wolf had muted the rustling sound of the leaves that
were tossed around by the scarcely noticeable wind.
That bright orb in the sky made the forest more
mysterious than it already was. Mist had fallen,
surrounding them, and the spots of bright light shined
on the trunks of the trees, eerily illuminating them.
Unsure of anything, they moved toward the other side
of the forest, and they sensed a sudden and annoying
feeling that somebody or something was following them.
And it was at that moment that Robby decided they had
gone far enough. They should turn back before they
really DO get lost in this cursed forest. When they
made the slow and somehow impatient turn back, what
they saw was something that was incredibly disturbing.
What they saw was disturbing enough to make them drop
to their knees in berefit. And now darkness was
staring them straight in the eyes. And they, in that
noteworthy moment, declined the thought to walk to the
other side of the forest. As one of them took a step
forward, the things they feared most had appeared,
ghostly and terrifying. The gleaming eyes of the
wolves had interrupted their way. The hungry growls
and the pearly white teeth cast a deadly scene, which
caused Robby and Hope to take one more step back only
to find a close friend of their enemy. The beast stood
behind them. And at that moment, two children seemed
to be a lovely meal for the hungry wolves, but they
were left disappointed and yearning for blood. As the
wolves kept their full attention on Hope, Robby was
set free of the animals gaze. The creatures could wait
no longer. One leaped and sank his teeth into Hope’s
soft flesh surrounding her neck. And as Robby slowly
backed away from the attack and the screams of an
innocent child, Hope’s gaze fell upon his blue eyes.
He realized he couldn’t leave her there, but saving
his own life was at that moment his first priority. So
he ran, ran as far and as fast as he could, no matter
how hard the branches of the thick trees scarred his
face. And he didn't stop, not even when the only thing
that was on his mind was Hope’s disapproving gaze. His
fear and most unwanted dreams had, in fact, come true.
He had dreamt that this would happen, a nightmare that
was burned into his mind long ago, and the thing that
made him wake up in his dream, made him want to break
out of his bone and flesh at that moment, was upon
him. It was a chance, but his legs couldn’t carry him
fast enough for him to even try to get away. The
thought and the agony of the truth, and truth was
this. No matter how hard he tried to run, he could not
run fast enough, and when he tried to move his legs
faster, it was as if they were moving in slow, hard
motions, and he could not run away no matter how hard
his desire might have been. The wolves had noticed the
running child and started after him, but the menacing
pain and agony in their empty stomachs made them turn
back on impact just before they caught up to him.
Years have passed, and every single night, he
awoke drenched in cold sweat to the loud screams of
Hope, and the sight of her blood being spilled upon
the ground, fresh and flowing red, andthe sound of her
flesh being torn from her bones. And he still was
running, running away from the decision he made, and
the fact that he can’t turn back and try to save her
Then one night, on the same night that she died,
and under the same moon light, and by the same howl of
hungry wolves in the forest, she came. She came to
haunt him, and ask, why, oh why, did you make me die
that night, and why didn’t you turn back and try to
save me, even if that meant sacrificing yourself in
the process. He did not know…it was all too painful to
remember. And now she will come every night, and make
him relive that night, every year, on the same day and
hour. Unless she can look deep into her half eaten
heart and try, and only try, to forgive him for what
he has done.

PETER here, and as I said before, please stay away from that shaded patch of woods with the strange rust-colored patches of earth....especially in the dead of night. With the bright but dead moonlight creating shadows of dread and death. I don't want to lose any more of my readers to.......to.......well, use your imagination.......if you dare.

A Beckett And Lugo Stinkaroo Deluxe

4-0 Sox after 3 innings, and I was thinking this - what an easy and enjoyable game this will be. I mean, scoring 4 in the first two innings with THAT Texas starter on the mound meant batting practice for a couple more innings until he was taken out. But our .500 Boston Red Sox had a couple tricks up their sleeves. Beckett imploded in the 4th inning, allowing 4 runs on 6, yes 6, hits. After the ancient Sammy Sosa lined one just over the Wall in the 5th, it was 5-4 Texas, and the whole nature of my Saturday night did a 360 degree turn for the worse. Upside down and inside out. But there was one more whiff of stinkaroo left. Foul, unneeded and foolish, Lugo style.
8th inning, Lugo inserted into the game on second base, Kevin Youkilis at the plate. The choice to insert Lugo at that point was a good one by Tito. A single and we would have had a tie game. But then Lugo pulled one of the most boneheaded moves I've ever seen between the lines of a baseball diamond. And mind you, with Youk batting, you never want to take the lumber out of his talented hands. And that's exactly what Mr. Lugo did. He tried to steal third, and was out by a mile. I wish he had kept running, right out of Boston. In fact, if he had, he'd be near Philadephia by now, or close. Cora would start today at SS, and all would be better. In fact, AC might start at the shortstop position today, anyways.
So instead of 50-29, the Sox are 49-30, still in first place, but they've played sub .500 baseball for the month of June, and THEY'RE BETTER THAN THAT! I have no patience for games like last night, and if the Sox keep up this "win one, lose one" mediocrity, just over their shoulders, 2 or 3 games behind them, will be another team. The Red Sox players, coaches and manager had better shape up and start playing the way they're capable of.
One bright spot was the call-up of Jacoby Ellsbury, a much-heralded rookie centerfielder with blinding speed. He'll provide great defense in centerfield as Coco Crisp slowly heals. And with his motor? Well, he turned a routine grounder to short into an infield hit. "Nuff said. A diss to WMP and his defense?? Yes, deservedly so.
Tavy tries to right this badly leaking Red Sox ship this afternoon at 2pm. After last night, we need a victory, and a good July, especially during this stretch of games preceding the All Star festival. My goodness, we should have a 15 game lead in the AL East. Panic time? Not yet, but another month of "win one, lose one," would be trouble with a capital T. And that rhymes with P, and that stands for POOR.
Click on the title for more on the game, and enjoy your Sunday. I'm still disgusted by last night's farce of a baseball game. It's Sunday...maybe a Bloody Mary? I guess I can wait until game time and crack open a few cold ones. But it's tempting. Julian, give us 6 or 7 strong. The Darkman and Paps are ready and waiting. As am I.