Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Our Reigning Parade

What a joyous Tuesday it was in the small New England town of Boston, as tens of thousands of people lined the three mile parade route through the city. Everybody was happy, and the chants of "Sign Lowell" could be heard echoing through the twists and turns of the downtown area. At one point near the end of the festivities, Larry Lucchino picked up a megaphone and yelled to the crowd, "We hear you!" I sure hope so.

It looks as if we've seen the last of our rugged warrior Curt Schilling, and that makes me sad. Nobody gave more of his heart and soul to his team the last four years than Schill did. I will miss him immensely. We ALL will. Bobby Kielty also joined Curt in filing for free agency. Mike Lowell has not, as of yet. When, or only hopefully if, he does, he can be sure to hear from the New York Yankees, for they have no third baseman and would want him for that reason and to prevent the Sox from getting him. I hope Theo and company do the right thing, and do it fast. A three year deal, with an option for a fourth, seems like something both sides should be agreeable to. If not, someone needs to get their head examined by one of the Three Stooges. Stat. "Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard!! Report to Fenway Park immediately. A MR. T. Epstein needs to see you."

In between smiles of utter joy and happiness these past three days have been, for me, quick bouts of sadness, for 2007 is history, great history, and all that's left to look forward to is a couple of Championship sweatshirts (any day), the inevitable World Series DVD (widescreen, please!) and the memories. The memories will last forever. The team, however, will undergo change. Yes, they'll be competitive. Yes, they'll upgrade the pitching staff with another A starter to take Schill's place and be Beckett's #2, with Matsuzaka, Buchholz, Lester and Wakes to follow, and yes, they'll be the favorites to win it all again in '08. But I'll miss THIS bunch of guys, and what they did for us....bigtime. Have a great Wednesday. If there is any news about the Sox or baseball itself, I'll be here, all winter long, until that magic day in February when pitchers and catchers report. Count on me, just as I count on you. Have a safe and happy and fun All Hallow's Eve.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Torre/Mattingly News....And A Rolling Rally!

There are widespread reports from coast to coast that within the next couple of days ex-Yankee skipper Joe Torre will sign on to be the manager of the LA Dodgers. Don Mattingly, whose son is with the Dodger organization, will join him there as his bench coach. I wish Joe all the luck in the world. He is a class act no matter what team's uniform he wears. And there's a chance that free agents Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada might, just might be interested in signing with the left coast team that consists of veterans and younger guys who were not exactly harmonious in the latter stages of last season. Wow, the 2007 season WAS last season. It's hard to believe. But the news of the diamond, our national pastime, continues, and you can read about it right here all winter long.

The Red Sox rolling rally commences at noon today, starting at Fenway Park and continuing through the city. It's sure to attract tens of thousands of people. The weather, unlike last year, will be perfect, with sunny skies and temperatures approaching 60 degrees. Perfect weather for wearing your new World Champions sweatshirt, which is something I'm waiting to purchase. The reason I'm not wearing it right now is because only the celebration tee shirts have come in, but those sweatshirts should be in later this week. Or I can just order one (two, actually-one for my g/f) from the Yawkey Way Store online when they have them up. If you can't get to Boston, NESN is broadcasting with full coverage starting at 10:30AM this morning, so set your DVRs if you won't be home. And enjoy....we deserve it!

Click on the title of this post for the Herald's Tony Massarotti's look at this championship baseball team, and enjoy this Tuesday, a day of celebration, joy and gratitude. For today we say thank you to the 2007 Boston Red Sox. And thank YOU for being here, all season long. And for you new readers, enjoy the 2007 season, day by day, game by game, every one of 'em, by scrolling down to the archives on the very bottom righthand side of this page, and click on April '07....start with the earliest date, which will be game #1, and take a trip down nostalgia lane, when our hopes and dreams were just that. And now, they have become reality. And we are all the richer for it!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Once Again......

On this early Monday magic morning, I just watched the last 4 innings of the game....and the tears of joy came yet again. I LOVE this team!!! And I ALWAYS will.......


They did it! The Boston Red Sox defeated the Colorado Rockies by a score of 4-3 on a warm Sunday night in Denver. They are champions of the world once more, the only team to do it twice this century. Jon Lester was impeccable. He pitched 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball, giving up only 3 hits while walking 3 and throwing 92 pitches. The bullpen took it from there. Manny Delcarmen gave up a run in his 2/3 of an inning, Mike Timlin had 2 big strikeouts in his 2/3, an overused Hideki Okajima went 1/3 of an inning and gave up a 2 run home run to Garrett Atkins and zero ERA man Jonathon Papelbon threw 23 pitches in retiring the final 5 Colorado batters. And then, bedlam on the field. Pure and simple happy, joyous bedlam. And all around the world, RSN and RSI rejoiced with the team we love to love.

The Sox had a 1-0 first inning lead courtesy of a lead off double by Jacoby Ellsbury and a ground single through the drawn in infield by Big Papi. Their second run scored in the fifth inning. A leadoff double by Series MVP (he batted .400!) Mike Lowell and a single by Jason Varitek made it 2-0. Mike Lowell came through yet again leading off the seventh. He hit a home run to make it 3-0 good guys. But Brad Hawpe also hit a seventh inning tater, this one off Manny Delcarmen, to make it 3-1. In the eighth, another Sox player stepped up. Pinch hitter Bobby Kielty hit a leadoff home run, the eventual winning run, which made it 4-1. Good thing, too, for a tired Okie surrendered that 2 run shot to make it 4-3. Guess what happened next. PAP'S TIME!!! 5 outs later, with one minor scare on a ball corralled at the wall by Ellsbury, and the Red Sox had won their fourth straight over the overmatched Colorado Rockies and their eighth straight World Series triumph in all. I love that Dirty Watah!! Boston, you're my home.

The Red Sox finished this World Series with a team batting average of .333, second highest ever, next to the 1960 Yankees, who eventually lost, and a team ERA a staggering 2.50. They dominated the series every way possible, and we are so proud of them. And during the celebration after the game you could hear the many Red Sox fans chanting "Sign Lowell," and I so agree. AROD has departed the Yankees, or so it seems, but Mike Lowell belongs in our infield, at OUR hot corner. I hope he'll accept a 2 or 3 year contract, because at the age of 32, the Red Sox probably would not offer him a 4 year deal. But he was the sparkplug of this series with his uncanny infield glovework and his .400 batting average.

So it's ovah! We're all happy. There's a parade to come, in the streets and on the river. The Boston Red Sox are the best team on the planet. We knew it all along, didn't we? It wasn't that easy at times, but our continuing confidence helped us through these last 7 months. And click on the title of this post for the Globe's Gordon Edes' stirring and inspiring article entitled SOX ARE KING OF DIAMOND. And, Constant Readers, they're kings of our hearts, too, forever. Congratulations 2007 Boston Red made us ALL so very, very proud.

I'll be back every day to cover the off season wheelings and dealings, including the Hot Stove negotiations. These will all be topics of conversations in later days, later posts. Thank you for sharing this unforgettable 2007 season. And it's all here, every game, every day. Just scroll down to the very bottom righthand side of this page, where you'll see the archives. Click on April 2007, start at the earliest April date, and enjoy this season day by day, game by game. Every day, every game! 2007 will live forever in our hearts and souls. Enjoy this Monday, after a night we'll NEVER forget! And I'll never forget YOU, either. Or my 2007 Boston Red Sox. Champions of the world. Be well.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Red Sox 10 Rockies 5.....ON THE BRINK!

This game started out to be an early blowout, turned into a scary nailbiter, and ended up a statement victory for the Boston Red Sox. They were up 6-0, but Tito quickly removed a mostly effective Daisuke Matsuzaka in the 6th inning. Javy Lopez had nothing, nor did Mike Timlin, who finished the 6th by having his fielders snare two scorching line drives, Julio Lugo leaping high and just snaring a wicked shot that had trouble written all over it for the final out of the inning. Thursday night hero Hideki Okajima inherited a two men on mess caused by the ineffectiveness of Timlin and gave up a three run bomb to Holliday, but he gutted it out to extricate the Sox from further 7th inning damage. The score was 6-5 after seven, and Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International watched in nervous anticipation as the 8th inning started. And the Sox went on to score three times in that eighth and once in the ninth, powered as they were all game by Jacoby Ellsbury, who became the third rookie to have 4 hits in a World Series game, and Dustin Pedroia, and the victory statement was made and a 3-0 Series lead, an seemingly insurmountable one, was theirs. Ellsbury and Pedroia combined to go 7 for 10, and they'll be batting one-two in the order tonight, and maybe all of next year, too. Papelbon made it official with a 4 out, 15 pitch save. Okie threw 29 pitches, so he will sit tonight. But Paps, if needed, will be in there, for another win and the Red Sox will be 2007 World Champions. Wow, just typing that sent shivers down my spine! Said the Rockies' starter, Josh Fogg.....

"They just hit pitches. I made bad pitches, and they hit them. It wasn't like I lost command. It wasn't like I was out there searching. I made bad pitches, and they hit them.
"That's why they score 10 runs every night. They're a good team."

Well said, Josh. Tonight it's Aaron Cook versus Jon Lester. Seven good innings from Lester would be magic, for the Sox have had little trouble scoring runs in this series. They've won 7 straight World Series games. Let's go for 8. After all, 8 was and always will be Yaz' number, and that has to be a good sign.

Click on the title of this post for the Globe's Gordon Edes' look back at game four of the 2007 World Series. I do want to stress one thing....Daisuke had his best postseason start of the year, not allowing a hit after the first batter of the game stroked a single until the 5th inning. And his single in the 3rd inning drove in two runs. Great job Daisuke. Great job Red Sox. We're on the brink of history. Have a great Sunday, my Constant Readers, and an unforgettable for life Sunday night. GO SOX. FOREVER (and again I'll say, especially tonight).

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A World Series Weekend

Ah, it's Saturday, still dark with heavy showers coming down, feeding the thirsty greenery. Sorta nice, though. But it's a good thing the Sox are out in Denver, for Fenway Park is a soaked place, with more rain to come starting up again in the early evening. And in roughly 14 hours, it will be World Series time, as the Sox try to win one of the next two games so that Josh Beckett can pitch for the whole kitten caboodle (first time I ever typed that!) on Monday evening. The World Championship is staring us right in the face, eyeball to eyeball. Daisuke Matsuzaka will face Josh Fogg at 8:35 PM EDT. Fogg has turned into a reliable starter for the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies rookie shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki, had this to say about the two games played so far, a 13-1 Red Sox romp and a 2-1 Red Sox nailbiter......

"I credit their pitchers. They've done a great job so far. Hopefully we can get our bats going and make it a series. We just need to get going as a team here, get some momentum going, carry it over to each game. If you look at the first game, when you put up as many runs as they did, it's tough. If you're not swinging the bat, you're not going to win. The other game, they pitched really well."

Peter here, and Troy, you hit the nail on the head. And this, from AFP, about our Saturday starter.....

"The 27-year-old right-hander from Tokyo will become the first Japanese starting pitcher in World Series history on Saturday when he tries to give Boston a 3-0 lead over Colorado in Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven final."

The Sox lineup, top to bottom, is very selective and will not swing at anything but a pitch to their liking. Remember the three bases loaded walks in game one. All those runs didn't score solely because of singles and doubles....the Sox hitters wore down the opposing pitchers, just as they've done all season long.

Most importantly, Terry Francona has made his mind up on the lineup for these DH-less games. David Ortiz will play first base and red hot Kevin Youkilis will sit. Ellsbury will lead off with Pedroia batting second. The rest of the order remains the same, with the exception of Daisuke batting ninth. Maybe being able to pitch to the Colorado pitchers will help Daisuke to spin a great one. It will be the biggest start of his life, and he'll be ready. In fact, we're ALL ready for game three, with Paps and Okajima OK to go, if needed. Don't be surprised if Tito doesn't use Oki, though, for he did throw 2 1/3 innings. He only needed 29 pitches in that span, so I expect to see him, if needed. In World Series times, you go with your best.

Click on the title of this post for the Herald's Jeff Horrigan's article with the latest from Denver. Enjoy your Saturday, just a prelude for tonight's festivities. As always, thanks for being here, and your comments are welcomed and WILL be answered. GO SOX. Forever (but especially tonight!!).

Friday, October 26, 2007

Red Sox 2 Rockies 1

Game 2 of the 2007 World Series was a nailbiter instead of a blowout, but it was a thing of beauty. The Red Sox are now up 2 games to none and they have the day off to travel to Denver for the DH-less games 3, 4 and 5. And they're in the best position they could possibly be.

Curt Schilling pitched 5 1/3 quality innings in what might have been his final appearance at Fenway Park. He stayed on the mound for a long time after Tito came out to get him in the sixth, and left to a tremendous standing ovation. I also stood, right here in my living room! I'd would love to see him back. He only allowed 4 hits and that lone run while walking 2. He was just great, but the great gets even better! Hideki Okajima came in to get the last 2 outs of the sixth, which he did, and went on to pitch 2 1/3 perfect innings, striking out 4 and throwing almost nothing but strikes. Said his manager.....

"If Okie doesn't throw as many strikes as he did, he wouldn't have been able to stay out there for as long as he did," manager Terry Francona said. "He was so good. His command was spectacular. I mean, that set up the whole game."

Peter here, and Okajima was the first Japanese pitcher to appear in a World Series and he did more than just pitch, he played a major role. He was quite simply perfect. Jonathon Papelbon came in to get the last 4 outs of the game and earn the save. Curt Schilling called the game "the Papajima show." Well put, Curt.

JD Drew was 2 for 2 and drove in the first Sox run in the 4th and Mikey Lowell drove in Big Papi with the winning run in the fifth. It was a splendid but harrowing time for the Fenway Faithful and those who watched on FOX and FOXHD. But faith was rewarded. Wonderful beautiful faith. And as the Red Sox wing westward, they and we know that they're in perfect shape. Taking 2 of 3 in Denver is not impossible, and if that happens, Fenway will remain dark for the rest of the winter. But we will take it one game at a time. It's Daisuke Matsuzaka versus Josh Fogg Saturday night at 8:35PM EDT in what will be the biggest, most important start of Daisuke's young life. Go get 'em Daisuke! And gametime temperatures in Denver Saturday night will be in the mid to upper 30s! If ever a day game made perfect sense, well, this is it.

Click on the title of this post for the Globe's Gordon Edes' look back at game 2 of the 2007 World Series. Enjoy your Friday, keep believing, and keep the Red Sox in your thoughts and close to your hearts. Forever.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just For A Smile!!

Counting their comeback from a 3-1 deficit against Cleveland in the AL championship series, the Red Sox have outscored opponents 43-6 in their last four games.



The Colorado Rockies invaded Fenway Park Wednesday night to play the buzzsaw known as the Boston Red Sox, and they were promptly sliced and diced, pureed and sauteed. To a pulpy powerless sludge! By the end of 5 innings the Sox already had the 13-1 lead. Those 13 runs were the most scored by a team in game 1 of a World Series. Ever. The 12 run margin also set the record for a Series game 1. Every Boston starter had at least 1 hit except for Jacoby Ellsbury. And our Sox became the first team EVER to score 10 or more runs in 3 straight postseason games. My oh my! From the leadoff home run by Dustin Pedroia, the rout was on, and the Fenway Faithful were rewarded with an unbelievable time. All of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International are so damn proud.

Josh Beckett continued to be the best postseason pitcher there is. His record is now 4-0, his ERA in the low ones. He also became the first pitcher since Sandy Koufax to strike out the first 4 men that came to the plate. He was in command for his 7 innings and 93 pitches, allowing the lone run in the second inning. He gave up 6 harmless hits while walking 1 and striking out 9. Timlin and Gagne took care of the 8th and 9th innings perfectly. When Beckett is on the mound in October, as he will be this coming Monday, the opposing pitcher had better throw a shutout to have any chance of winning the ballgame. And that's just the way we like it.

Tonight, it's game 2 time, with Ubaldo Jimenez and his explosive fastball ready to take on postseason veteran Curt Schilling, in what might be his last, or second to last start in a Boston uniform. To say he'll be ready would be an utter understatement, an umistaken gaffe in logic. So I have confidence and faith that the Sox will go up 2 games to none and wing their way west for a game 3 on Saturday. But I don't want to get ahead of myself....first pitch time is 8:29 PM EDT, at our very own field of dreams realized and new dreams to come, Fenway Park. And those new dreams are happening right before our amazed eyes. The 2007 Boston Red Sox are for real, hitting and pitching as well as they have all year. And I couldn't be happier. Tonight, I'm going to do something differently, however, for I fell asleep last night after the 7 run 5th....I'm going to set the DVR to start recording at 10:00 and shut off at midnight.

Please click on the title of this post for more coverage of game one, the game that touched our hearts and warmed our souls. GO SOX. FOREVER! And thanks so much for being here. Your comments are appreciated and WILL be answered. Today, on this still dark Thursday morning, I am one happy Red Sox fan. Aren't we all?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The 2007 World Series Game #1 Wednesday Oct. 24 2007

Well, that magic day of days is here. Game one of the 2007 World Series of Baseball between the visiting Colorado Rockies and the Boston Red Sox begins at 8:35 PM EDT tonight, a little more than 14 hours from now. And the Red Sox had to take Tim Wakefield off the Series roster and add lefty Jon Lester. Wakes' shoulder just wasn't getting any better, and Lester looked good coming out of the bullpen for a three inning stint against the Indians. He'll be fine starting game #4. Here are the starting pitching matchups for the 2007 World Series of Baseball.....

Wed., Oct. 24 (8:35 p.m.)
Game 1 at Boston
Josh Beckett vs. Jeff Francis

Thurs., Oct. 25 (8:29 p.m.)
Game 2 at Boston
Curt Schilling vs. Ubaldo Jimenez

Saturday, Oct. 27 (8 p.m.)
Game 3 at Colorado
Daisuke Matsuzaka vs. Josh Fogg

Sunday, Oct. 28 (8 p.m.)
Game 4 at Colorado
Jon Lester vs. Aaron Cook

Monday, Oct. 29
Game 5* at Colorado (repeat game #1 starters)

Wednesday, Oct. 31
Game 6* at Boston (repeat game #2 starters)

tThursday, Nov. 1 (repeat game #3 starters, and everyone but Schill and Tom Yawkey will be available)
Game 7* at Boston

The first pitch will be thrown out by none other than Mr. Red Sox, Carl Yastrzemski. And, in a little trivia moment, the winner of game one in previous World Series has won it all 62% of the time. We have our best pitcher going tonight, so let's play ball!! I broke down the teams, position by position, including the bench, the bullpen and the manager, and I gave the edge to Boston everywhere but in center and rightfield. Then I checked the Hartford Courant's analysis, and to my surprise, it was identical. Talk about a smart Courant sportswriter! Just kidding. His pick was the Red Sox in 5 games. My pick is the Boston Red Sox in 6.

The intangibles are there, the drama and excitement sure to boil over in Fenway Park and throughout every inch of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International as 8:35PM grows nearer and nearer. THE WORLD SERIES! Wow!! My Constant Readers, treasure these games and this team of ours. For after all, who knows when next we might be treated to something as special as this.

The weather will be cool, with temperatures dropping all day to reside in the mid 50s by gametime. There will be intermitent showers but nothing that would interupt the game itself. Please click on the title of this post for the Boston Globe's Gordon Edes look at our game #1 starter, Josh "Baseball" Beckett. It's an illuminating and insightful piece about a helluva pitcher. And every one of you, enjoy tonight, and all the good times to come. For they WILL be good times, those moments that will be indelibly stamped in our memories for decades to come. A part of every one of us forever. And remember, always believe. Always have faith. Go Red Sox. And thanks, as always, for being here.

These are the times we'll remember, though they will not last forever. But the memories will...for life! My best to every one of you, always!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rotation Equation...Question Marks

It's the day before game 1 of THE WORLD SERIES. Wow, I love typing that! But there are some question marks about the Sox exact pitching rotation. One thing's for sure...Josh Beckett will be on the mound Wednesday night pitching his heart out for Boston at Fenway Park. After that, question marks. Remember, the middle 3 games will be in Colorado, and the DH will not come into play until game 6 on Wednesday, October 31st, Halloween night. Here's what might happen. To avoid having to insert Dougie Mirabelli into the lineup when Papi plays first base and either Youkilis moves to third and Lowell sits, or Lowell plays his position and Youk plays rightfield while JD Drew moves to center, which, in my opinion would be a HUGE mistake because Youk had problems playing left last year at Fenway, Wakes might be chosen to start game 2 Thursday night at the Fens. The Colorado outfield, rightfield especially, is a huge territory for Youkilis to man. So the way I see it, we'll be without an on-fire Youk or an always hot Mike Lowell for the games in the west. But such is the way it is in the World Series. There has been no official decision yet on this Tuesday morning, but I'm sure the scenario will be announced today. I'll post it as soon as I learn the strategy. I have all the faith in in the world for Kevin Youkilis when he's playing third, his initial infield spot, or, even better, first base, where he is quite simply the best defensive guy in MLB. But he had big problems in left last year, as I said, and the World Series is not the time or the place for a liability of any kind. So we wait.

I'll be posting on Wednesday my opinions about the games to come, the most important time of the year for ANY team. But there are only two left....the Colorado Rockies, rested, maybe too much so, and our very own Boston Red Sox, who are heavy favorites to earn their second world championship in the last four years. But the Rockies showed us all when the two teams played earlier in the regular season that they will be a force to be reckoned with, and predictions and odds are just that....guesses. I do NOT want to see Wakes starting game 2, but deep down, I see the logic, reluctantly.

Click on the title of this post for the Globe's RED SOX NOTEBOOK, in which the future rotation is the lead item. As always, Constant Readers, be well on this Tuesday, as our excitement slowly builds towards tomorrow night at 8:20PM EDT. The night our dreams start to take seed before blossoming and every game is vital. Be well.

Monday, October 22, 2007


They did it! They did it going away!! A close 3-2 ballgame turned into an 11-2 rout, and the Boston Red Sox are 2007 American League Champions. They will face the Colorado Rockies in game one of the World Series at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. Sounds sweet, huh?

Daisuke Matsuzaka gutted through 5 innings, giving up single runs in the 4th and 5th innings. Tito pulled him after that 5th and in came Hideki Okajima to pitch the 6 and 7th. At the time the score was 3-2 good guys. Papelbon came on and pitched the 8th and the 9th, securing the third victory in a row for this team that loves to come back against all the odds.
The batting stars are many....the team collected 15 hits in a savagely balanced attack, with Youkilis and Pedroia at the very top of the batting order collecting 3 hits apiece. Pedroia also had a pivotal 7th inning two run home run to make the score 5-2. This came a half inning after James Lofton was inexplicably held up at third on a single that hit the jutting-out portion of the wall in short leftfield. He would have scored and it would have been 3-3. But nooo. That was just one in a series of Cleveland miscues in this wonderful and wonderous series. Josh Beckett will be the game one starter Wednesday evening, as the team we love to love tries to conquer to world. And you know what? I think they will. Don't get me wrong-the Rockies are a very tough team on an incredible streak, but the Sox are running on all cylinders, hitting the ball and getting good starting pitching and superlative bullpen work.

Click on the title of this post for the Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs and his Monday morning sports column. The Title? "These are not our fathers' Red Sox." No, they're not...they're built to win, they're a team in the truest sense of the word, and they're ALL ours! They love each other, and we love them. Congratulation guys....we love you so very much. See you Wednesday.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


There is not a Red Sox fan out there who is surprised that their team has tied the American League Championship Series at three games all, forcing the pivotal game seven. Conversely, there is not a Cleveland Indian fan out there who is not reeling with shock. And that's JUST the way we like it. The Sox clobbered the Indians last night by a score of 12-2. The game was decided in the first inning when JD Drew came to the plate with the bases loaded and smashed a line drive to the camera well in straight centerfield. 4-0 good guys, and they cruised from there. The batting stars other than Drew were Kevin Youkilis and his three hits and Julio Lugo with his third inning double which plated two. A hearty well done must go out to Jacoby Ellsbury, our centerfielder next year and a superstar for many more, who contributed last night with his speed, his bat and his defense.

Curt Schilling made Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International proud with seven innings of quality pitching. He allowed only two runs in that span while giving up six hits and striking out five. He was vintage postseason Schill last night, and after he retired Trot Nixon to end the seventh, the crowd let him know it with a well-deserved standing ovation. I had tears in my eyes as I also stood and cheered right here in my living room. The Fenway Faithful were unbelievable all night, and the home field advantage has never been more evident. It was Lopez who threw an eight pitch perfect eighth and Gagne (!!) who finished the game with a nine pitch uneventful ninth. Three cheers Eric....finally!

It will be Jake Westbrook tonight, ready to face Daisuke Matsuzaka, who I believe will come out of his doldrums and go out there and attack the strikezone, going AFTER the hitters instead of the hitters going after him. Curt Schilling said this....

"I believe, based on his makeup, his demeanor, he's going to do something special," Schilling said of Matsuzaka, the loser in Game 3. "Just go out and win. I'm expecting him to come up huge."

Peter here, and I faith in this team is undiminished, as it always will be. Click on the title of this post for more on Daisuke and game number seven, and always remember....FAITH! GO SOX. FOREVER. Thanks for reading....I love ya all!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

There's NO Place Like Home.....

We have to HOPE there's no place like home, for shortly after 8PM EDT Saturday night, the Cleveland Indians will battle the Boston Red Sox in a do or die 6th game of the 2007 American League Championship Series. Elton John said in a long ago song that "Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting," and that's what these opponents will be doing on the field of dreams between the lines at the Fens. It will be the Indian's Fausto Carmona versus the veteran Curt Schilling. Schill had this to say yesterday for the members of the media....

"There’s always fear,” he said yesterday. “I mean, I’m scared to death to go out and fail (tonight). I’m terrified of letting my teammates down and the fan base down and this organization down, because they’re counting on me to survive and to get past another day.
“I’m scared to death to not do well (tonight),” he repeated, in the event someone in the back of the room, talking on a cell phone, hadn’t heard him the first time. “But I’m also very cognizant of the fact that fear is something that has always driven me and always pushed me.”

Peter here, and whatever works for you, Curt, let it work! The fastball now tops out at 88-89 MPH, but with his plate location and deadly, when it's working, splitter/cutter, he should be OK. He was pitching with a lot less stuff on that night 3 years ago when the bloody sock took center stage, and the team is asking everyone attending the game tonight at Fenway Park to wear red, to set the mood and show any Indians' fans just who's boss. And that's the Boston Red Sox.

Click on the title of this post for the Herald's Tony Massarotti's look at the home field advantage and the two games remaining here at Friendly Fenway, OUR field of dreams. His piece is titled "NO PLACE LIKE HOME." We have to HOPE there'll be two games left. And then, well, one step at a time, and that first step will be a giant step, with a veteran who has the best postseason stats for a pitcher as anyone has ever compiled. I have faith, Constant Reader, and I know you do, too. We'll build on that faith and ride on the back and right arm of Curt Schilling, our once ace, right into game 7. I JUST KNOW IT! Enjoy your Saturday. Settle in, buckle your seatbelts, let the pets out to "do their thing," make sure the kids are OK and be ready for anything at 8PM tonight. GO SOX! FOREVER!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Beckett At His Best Dominates Cleveland

Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus, and his name is Josh Beckett. Using his devastating curveball to complement his fastball and hitting both sides of the plate at will, Beckett and the Boston Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians 7-1, sending the best of 7 series back to Boston for game 6. Beckett threw 109 pitches in his 8 innings, giving up one run (in the first) on 6 hits while walking 1 and striking out 11 (!!). Said his manager, Tito Francona...

"We've leaned on him all year," manager Terry Francona said. "I thought he was up [in the strike zone] in the first inning. Once he settled down, started establishing his breaking ball, he became the dominant pitcher we rely on so much."
Beckett's career postseason numbers have grown more and more frightening. He has allowed only 13 earned runs in 652/3 innings, an ERA of 1.78. He has won all three off his starts this October, allowing three runs in 23 innings, for an ERA of 1.17.
"I don't think Josh fears anything," Mike Lowell said.

Peter here, and Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International fear no other team when the best pitcher in all of baseball, our Josh, is on the mound. Papelbon came on to pitch the ninth, and it was evident that he was rusty. He needed 22 pitches to retire the Indians scorelessly and finish the game, but he'll be fine and dandy come Saturday. The batting star was Kevin Youkilis, who homered in the first, tripled home Pedroia in the 7th and scored on Papi's sacrifice fly. Manny also collected 2 hits and continued his torrid postseason pace. In all, the Sox had 12 hits, doubling the Indians' ouput.

Game 6 will be Saturday night at 8:20PM, again televised by FOX and FOXHD. Curt Schilling, who is needed hugely (an understatement!), will be opposed by Carmona in a rematch of game 2. The Red Sox cannot survive without a good effort from someone in the starting four other than Beckett. That's all I can say. So Schill HAS TO come up big, and if he does, Matsuzaka has to follow suit. Am I confident? YES! Do I have faith? OH YES!! FOREVER!!!

Click on the title of this post for The Globe's Danny Shaughnessey's article entitled "MIGHTY TURNAROUND." You'll love it. And just as a postscript to the Joe Torre post I wrote yesterday afternoon when the news broke, it wasn't about the money for Torre...he wanted two years to enable him to manage the Yanks for the team's last year in the old stadium and the first year in the new one. It was the least those dimwitted Yankee decisionmakers could have done. Enjoy your Friday, and get set for tomorrow night! I am...already!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


In a typical Yankee idiotic move, after offering Joe Torre a one year (!) extention, he says NO! From ESPN.....

NEW YORK -- "Joe Torre rejected a $5 million, one-year contract to return as manager of the New York Yankees on Thursday.
The Yankees offered Torre a one-year deal with a base salary of $5 million and incentives that would have increased his salary to $8 million based on postseason performance. Under that offer, if Torre reached the World Series in 2008, an option for 2009 would have vested.
"It is now time for the New York Yankees to move forward," Levine said.
Torre made $7.5 million this year, the final season of a $19.2 million, three-year contract."

Peter here. I guess we all know now....the new leaders of the New York Yankees STILL don't know what the hell they are doing! Fools.

Beckett Or Bust!

Among the Manny rumblings echoing all around Red Sox Nation, the unmistakable fact still's Beckett or bust time tonight for the Boston Red Sox as they play game 5 of the American League Championship Series. He'll be opposed by the Cleveland ace CC Sabathia, who was wild and hittable last time. There was a media report yesterday that Beckett's back was bothering him and that if he was chosen to pitch game 4 on Tuesday, he would have been unable to. We have to hope that report was greatly exagerated, and John Farrell, the pitching coach, downplayed it but would not be specific. We'll find out in about 14 hours, won't we? He'll be FINE.

Now, on to Mr. Ramirez. I'll paste what he said, and then give my opinion as to why those comments caused such a furor, and why they shouldn't have.....

"We've been in this situation before," Ramirez said. "The other side, they're playing great, they're pitching the way they should and they're coming through with big hits. What can you do, man? You just think about [tonight]. You come and play hard and it's not over yet.
"We're not going to give up. We're going to play the game and move on. If it doesn't happen, who cares? There's always next year. It's not like it's the end of the world."

Peter here, and Manny is WON'T BE the end of the world. It's been a great season, and we all are proud of our team. But I have every intention of watching the Sox, our Sox, win tonight, and win BIG. And so does Manny. The poets and the pundits of the media can go to hell for making a mountain out of not even a molehill. Manny cares. We care. Bigtime. He was talking to a reporter when he said those words, and that's when the "Manny being Manny" persona comes to the forefront. We all know how hard he's worked to get his oblique healthy, and his postseason numbers, along with Big Papi's, have been unbelievable.

Click on the title of this post for the Globe's Gordon Edes look at tonight's game. and at the state of the Sox. It's called "Survival Test." It's just another game? No, it's not, but it's a game the Red Sox will win!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Fat Lady's Voice Echoes, Faintly, In The Distance

Curt Schilling 4 2/3 IP 9 H 5 R
Daisuke Matsuzaka 4 2/3 IP 6 H 4 R
Tim Wakefield 4 2/3 IP 5 H 5 R

See a trend? Three straight Red Sox starting pitchers couldn't go 5 innings. The sole exception, of course, is tomorrow's do or die starter, Josh Beckett. Terry Francona has had a quicker hook than in the regular season, and rightly so, but the Boston Red Sox, 7-3 losers to the Cleveland Indians last night, have experienced a rotation-wide failure of its starting pitching staff, with that one notable exception. Wakes breezed through the first 4 innings and his dazzling dancing knuckleball was nearly unhittable. But everything came apart in the 5th inning. I won't go into to all the details, you've probably seen the game or read the morning papers, but Cleveland ended up with 7 runs against Wakefield and Manny Delcarmen. The Sox bravely tried to start a comeback, hitting back to back to back home runs by Youk, Papi and Manny. ALL their runs in this series have come via the long ball, and that ain't good! But that was it! Finito. The Cleveland bullpen is a good one, and they shut Boston down the rest of the way.

3 games to 1...a tough road the Red Sox have to navigate. After the day off today, it will be the game 1 starters, Sabathia and Beckett, yet again. And, with a win, if they win, the series goes back to Fenway for the final 2. IF. That's a big if. Beating Sabathia twice in one series will be tough, but let's face it, this might be the year of Colorado and Cleveland in an "all C" World Series.

Click on the title of this post for Dan Shaughnessy's Boston Globe article on the Red Sox and the precarious position their starters have put them in. The hitters, too! And I still agree with Tito's decision to go with Wakes rather than a three day rested Josh Beckett. It's the pitching, not the manager's decision, that has put them where they are.

Enjoy this off day Hump Day, be safe, and be well. And thanks for reading. I'd love to read and respond to your you agree with the decision to go with Wakefield? Or not. See ya!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Daisuke...Short, NOT Sweet...Again

Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona put Daisuke Matsuzaka's outing Monday night in perfect perspective....

"What was the final count, 101?" Francona said. "It's a lot of pitches. It's a lot of deep counts. Saying that, he made the one glaring mistake to Lofton for the two-run home run. The more pitches you throw, especially to dangerous hitters, the better chance you give them. I mean, that's the same concept that we talk about all the time, they kind of reversed it on us."

Way too many pitches. Way too many long counts. He only lasted 4 2/3 innings. 101 pitches in that span is a ridiculous number. His outing was, in a word, excruciating. I have a few other choice words, but they are better left unsaid. The Cleveland Indians went ahead in the series two games to one by beating the Red Sox 4-2. The big blow was struck by Kenny Lofton. After dilly-dallying before approaching the plate for that at bat, drawing the ire of catcher Jason Varitek, he launched one that barely cleared the outstretched glove of JD Drew and landed in the seats beyond rightfield. That made the score 2-0, and the scene was set for another Boston setback. Only Tek's two run bomb off Ceveland starter and winner Jake Westbrook in the 7th inning kept the Sox from being shut out. They collected 7 hits, but the Indians only managed 6. They scored 4 runs, and that was more than enough.

So now the Red Sox, down two games to one with a possible 4 left to play, pin their 2007 hopes and dreams on knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who hasn't pitched since September 29th. His September ERA was a staggering 8.76. There are those in the media who are calling for Tito to skip his turn and go to superstar Josh Beckett tonight. He would be pitching on 3 days rest. But Francona is going to stick to his guns and go with Wakes....for better or for worse. If he and his team, our team, win, the series would be tied at 2 with a rested (5 days) Beckett ready to go on Thursday. Schilling (gulp!) and Daisuke (bigger gulp!!), if needed, will follow, all on an extra day of rest. It comes down to Wakes and his dancing knuckleball. Tonight, on Fox, in a late 8:07pm EDT start.

Click on the title of this post for the Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs' Tuesday morning column. It title? "By Josh, Francona should alter rotation." It's an illuminating, informative and entertaining piece, written by a master sportswriter. Just click on the title, and enjoy!

So now, in a little more than 13 hours, it's do or die time for Boston. The LAST thing they want is to be down 3 games to 1. And so it goes. Have a great Tuesday, turn the page yet again, and be well.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Rotation Remains The Same

Terry Francona, the manager of the Boston Red Sox, will not tinker with his rotation and move up Josh Beckett's start to game 4 on Wednesday, which would be 3 days rest. That move would enable Josh to pitch game 7 on his normal 4 days rest. Even if the Sox are down 3 games to 1, he is sticking with the 4 man rotation. I agree with his decision. He said this....

"I think sometimes you can get short-sighted," Francona said. "If you lose a couple games everybody wants you to immediately change what you've set up. The reason we set it up like this is because we think it gives us the best chance to win a series. It's also not just one guy it affects. It affects three guys in the rotation."

Peter here. Remember, there is an off day on Wednesday in Ohio between games 4 and 5. They play Monday and Tuesday, games 3 and 4, with that day off Wednesday, and then play the third and final game in Cleveland, game 5, on Thursday. Friday is a travel day, and the final two contests, if needed, will be at Fenway Park on Saturday and Sunday. Having Beckett pitch on Thursday, on 5 days rest, will also allow Schill, who looks like he needs it, and Daisuke extra rest between starts. But we all have to hope that Wakes can be effective. We also must hope for the same exact thing from Daisuke Matsuzaka today. So if the series goes 7 games, Beckett, Schill and Daisuke will pitch twice and Wakes will go one, tomorrow. I agree with Tito's strategy. Now the players, our players, have to deliver. Because it looks like Colorado is "that team," for they're running away with the NLCS, using good hitting and superior pitching to take the first 3 from a good Arizona team. They will be tough to beat in the World Series, that's for sure.

Todays opposing pitcher will be Jake Westbrook, who is eminently beatable. We need Daisuke to pitch 7 good innings, giving up 3 or less runs. The tired bullpen can take care of the last 2 innings, and do it well. No more 5 plus hour games, though. PLEASE!

Click on the title of this post for the Herald's Tony Massarotti's article about the Cleveland-Boston series so far. It's called "PUT UP OR SHUT UP TIME." Truer words have never been spoken. Have a great Monday, and as always, GO SOX!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cleveland Indians 13 Boston Red Sox 4

Every Red Sox fan seated in Fenway Park last night or those of us watching at home who are members of Red Sox Nation or Red Sox International knows that when Eric Gagne enters a baseball game in the late innings, disaster and utter mayhem follow. This proved to be the case Saturday evening, when in the 11th inning of a 6-6 game, he jogged to the mound. Terry Francona had already used Delcarmen, Timlin, Okajima and Papelbon, and was left with the dregs of the 'pen. Gagne promptly recorded the first out, but then put 2 men on with a single and an unneeded, unnecessary and idiotic walk. Tito was quick to yank him, maybe for the last time ever in a Sox uniform (we can only hope), but the seeds of ultimate destruction were already planted and taking root. Javy Lopez, who was no better, relieved Gagne and allowed a single to Trot Nixon, which scored the winning run. But he wasn't finished. He contributed a run scoring wild pitch, a walk and a single to Ryan Garko. It was 9-6, and the game was over. But Jon Lester, the LAST pitcher in the bullpen, also had something to say. He gave up a double and a 3 run homer, making the final score 13-6. Said Tito about the prospect of having to use Gagne in close situations (never!!).......

"The Red Sox could hide Eric Gagne only so long.
Before the game, Francona acknowledged that using Gagne in the postseason was not a simple proposition. In Game 1 Friday night, pitching with a 10-3 lead in the ninth, Gagne loaded the bases before getting the last out.
"It's a very difficult fine line right now," Francona said before Saturday's game. "We're in the postseason and it is a little tough. The one saving grace for me is the way he handles it. He's trying his behind off."

Tito, that ain't good enough! Curt Schilling did not look good, using a fastball that didn't top 88 MPH. Maybe he IS finished as a member of the Sox after this season. He gave up 5 runs in his 4 2/3 innings and proved that his great outing against the depleted Angels was mostly because they were forced to use a patchwork lineup. But the Sox proved resilient, and went ahead 6-5, only to have Delcarmen give up the tying run. And then what followed, as described above, we are all too familiar with. So I'll have to say something I haven't had to say this entire's time to turn the page. Consider it turned, and the day off today will help calm the soul and soothe the mind.

Jake Westbrook, who should be shaky at best, will oppose Daisuke Matsuzaka Monday evening in the city that houses the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio. I expect great things from him. He has something to prove. To ALL of us.

Click on the title of this post for the Globe's Jackie MacMullen's look back at Gagne and his inadequacies. She starts her piece with one word..."OUCH." My sentiments exactly. Hey, chins up, faith intact, my Constant Readers...there's a long way to go.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Red Sox Scalp The Indians 10-3...Lead ALCS 1 Game To None. They Took No Prisoners

I wrote in a post a couple of days ago that if CC Sabathia was as wild and erratic as he was against the Yankees, he wouldn't get past the 5th inning and the Red Sox would pummel him. Boy, was I right! The Boston Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians 10-3 on a cool and windy Friday night at Fenway Park in Boston. Josh Beckett was his usual dominating self, only needing to go 6 innings and giving up 2 runs on 4 hits while walking none. He was in control throughout his stint on the mound, and used a devastating curveball for most of those strikeouts. Timlin, Lopez and a shaky (what else is new?) Eric Gagne finished off the tribe, but it was Mr. Beckett who really shined. As for the offense, three words: Manny and Papi. They were on base an astounding 10 times in 10 collective at bats, and for the postseason so far, they have been on base a dreamlike and surreal 29 times out of 38 plate appearances. Said Mike Lowell....

"I've never seen anything like it," said Mike Lowell, who had three RBI. "They're unbelievable. They're aggressive, they're patient, they're picking their spots, and it doesn't seem like it's just one thing. They just have such solid at-bats. Just to get on one after the other, it's great for me because they're always on base. But it's really special, especially going up against a pitcher like C.C. To get on every time is unbelievable."

Peter here, and it WAS unbelievable. Any time one of the two stepped to the plate, the sense of something about to happen was palpable. They are so locked in, well, I've never seen anything like it. Mike Lowell had 3 RBIs as well, and the team had 12 hits in all. It was a mismatch, and it's looking as if the Sox, who have won 4 straight postseason games, are unbeatable. But it's a 7 game series, and they face a tough customer in Fausto Carmona tonight, but he'll be opposed by our very own Curt Schilling, who has a world of October baseball experience with the great stats to prove it. We're ready!

All of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International must be proud of our team. I know I am, and I can't wait until 8:20pm tonight for the first pitch of game 2, televised by Fox and FoxHD. For your further pleasure, click on the title of this post for Gordon Edes' look back at a Friday night when the Sox clicked on all cylinders and the Indians fell to the ground, stunned and disbelieving.

I believe. I have faith. And so do you, my readers. Have a wonderful Saturday as we bask in the glow of game one, a warm and sweet glow indeed. MORE PLEASE!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Weather Watch For Fenway Park......

For any lucky ones going to the game tonight.....the scattered showers and pockets of heavier rain have stopped here in North Central Connecticut, and that makes us GOLDEN for a Red Sox game at our Fenway Park at 7:10pm...your seats might be wet, but the wind will be doing its best to dry them off! And that wind will be blowing from left to right. So go! Jackets required, as well as a Sox joyful win! FOR ALL OF US!!! And, courtesy of NBC30, just click on the title of this very post for the animated radar! Just my way of saying GO SOX! Forever!

2007 American League Championship Series...Game 1

The Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox will play game one of the American League Championship Series tonight at Fenway Park in downtown Boston shortly after 7pm EDT. And the game will feature quite a pitching matchup. It will be CC Sabathia, the Indians lefthander who won 19 games this year, facing Josh "Baseball" Beckett, who won 20 games and is the leading candidate for the Cy Young Award. Sabathia is also a contender for that pitching honor. The weather at Fenway will be dry, with mid-day clearing, and temperatures near or just below 60 at gametime, dipping to the upper 40s and low 50s as the game's end nears. But the biggest factor Mother Nature will provide will be the wind, which will be out of the northwest and range from 15-35 MPH, with higher gusts. It will be blowing from left to right, so anything hit to rightfield might be blown near the vicinity of the Pesky Pole. Outfielders, be aware and then beware! Papi and Manny, hit a couple out! GO SOX! My prediction? The Boston Red Sox will win this prelude to the World Series in 6 games.
I'll say it again....GO SOX!!

Cograts go out to our closer, Jonathon Papelbon. He (37 saves) was named DHL Delivery Man of the Year as best reliever in baseball, as selected by fans online. And he provides a huge edge for the Red Sox, for Borowski, the Indian's closer, is hittable and unpredictable, with an ERA over 5.

To any of my readers going to the game, wear a sweater or jacket, be safe and have loads of fun. For everyone else, including me, who will be watching on Fox and FOXHD, do the same exact safe and have fun. A whole lot of fun. Some early crooked numbers for the Sox would ensure that mirth. Game 2 will be tomorrow night, at 8:30pm edt, again at magic Fenway Park. Where else? Please click on the title of this post for the Herald's Michael Silverman's complete position by position look at the matchup between the Indians and the Sox. It's an exhaustive analyzation of each facet of the teams, the hitters, the pitchers and the all-important coaches. A must read! Just click on that title, and you're there. And yes, I'm a little nervous, even at 6:30am in the morning. For in a little more than 12 hours and 30 minutes from right now, it's October baseball time, with the team that I love to love. And yes Gerry, you'll have a game to watch tonight! Wear your good luck tie!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Red Sox News And Notes

Tim Wakefield was able to throw a bullpen session yesterday at Fenway Park when the weather broke. He threw 77 pitches and proclaimed to Tito that he's ready to go. He is scheduled to pitch game 4 on Tuesday in Cleveland, one day after Daisuke Matsuzaka's game 3 start. Jonathon Papelbon and Curt Schilling also had side sessions, as did Josh Beckett, tomorrow's starter, on Monday.

Bobby Kielty, in all likelihood, will start in rightfield in place of JD Drew for Cleveland's CC Sabathia's game one start on Friday. This is from the Globe.....

"....Kielty's track record suggests he'll be in the starting lineup tomorrow night when the Sox face Sabathia in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. J.D. Drew, the Sox' regular right fielder, has three at-bats in his career against the lefthanded Sabathia, and has whiffed all three times.
Kielty, a switch hitter whose niche in the big leagues is as a righty batting against lefties, is hitting .310 lifetime against Sabathia, with nine hits in 29 at-bats, including four doubles and two home runs."

Peter here. Although JD Drew has been swinging a hotter bat lately, this is the right move. And who knows? Sabathia might be in for a short Fenway stay. I saw his start in game 1 against the Yankees, and he was wild and all over the place. The Red Sox will take pitches, foul them off, be selective, and then, poof! He'll be finished before 5 innings are up. That's my prediction for his game one start. The Red Sox will ride to victory on 7 strong innings from Beckett (if not 8) and more stellar bullpen work, with Paps closing it out, if he's needed. The Sox might be ahead by more then 5 runs by then, so it might be someone else doing the closing, but there's no holding Pap's usage back now...not at this point of October baseball. But I don't want to get ahead of myself. My prediction for the series? Boston Red Sox in 6 (if not 5). There will be a full position by position look at the series in tomorrow morning's post, right here, bright and early. Until then, enjoy your Thursday, which features game one between the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks. I like Colorado to go straight to the World 5 games. They have everything....timely hitting, great pitching, and a bullpen that makes other teams envious. I wish them luck, but they won't beat their American League opponent.

Well, the day we've all been waiting for is approaching rapidly. At a little after 7pm EDT tomorrow night, Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International will collectively take a deep breath, exhale deeply, and buckle themselves in for step one on a staircase that ends abruptly at the World Series of baseball. And I can't wait.

Click on the title of this post for the Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs' informative article all about the intertwined, at least for now, fates of Mariano Rivera and Yankee skipper and skipper-to-be Joe Torre....great stuff. And thank you, Constant Readers, for always being here. For me. I appreciate it so much. Oh, I added a link to my link list, which is on your right. It's called THE BROOKS FILE, written by Connecticut's own Gerry Brooks. He's our NBC30 news anchor, along with the talented and lovely Lisa Carberg. He's a funny guy, a big big Red Sox fan, and just an all-around good person who we all love. Check out his everyday funny, topical and timely blog, and thank you Gerry, for your kind words. To my readers, my link list is on the right side of this page...just look right there, to the right! And click on THE BROOKS FILE! And then bookmark it!!! In the meantime, GO SOX. FOREVER.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Rotation Is Set!

The Boston Red Sox have set their pitching rotation for the American League Championship Series, and Tito and John Farrell got it exactly right. It's Josh Beckett in game one, and he'll face CC Sabathia. In game two, and here is where Tito got it right, it will be Curt Schilling against Carmona. Matsuzaka and Wakefield, if his back holds up, round it out. If for some reason Wakes can't go, Josh Beckett will pitch on 3 days rest in game 4, and then if there's a 7th game, he will be available again on his normal 4 days of rest.

No news on Joe Torre yet, but I hope when the news does comes down, and it will, they keep him....they would never be able to find anyone better. Not on this earth. Or any other inhabited planets.

Click on the title of this post for the Globe's Gordon Edes' look at the Sox pitching rotation, including all the ifs, ands or buts. And as we approach the 61 hour mark until first pitch time, I wish you all well, and have a great hump day!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

JOHN LENNON--October 9, 1940-December 8, 1980

Happy birthday John. I miss you, the world misses you, and may you rest in peace. Everlasting peace. That's what you always wanted in this world of ours, peace, and I KNOW you finally found it. And that makes me happy, in a way, but at the same time, terribly sad. We need you.

Click on the title above to read my Oct. 9, 2006 post....I don't think I can add anything to that!

Yankees Lose To Indians....Is Joe Torre Finished??

Joe Torre's experiment with his number one pitcher, Chien-Ming Wang, failed miserably. Pitching on 3 days rest, Wang was only able to pitch one plus inning, failing to get an out in inning number two. Cleveland went on to win the game by a score of 6-4. I think it's a shame that Steinbrenner opened his BIG mouth and proclaimed that Torre would be fired if they did not win this series. The timing just plain stunk. Torre did a wonderful job managing a team with less than a full compliment of starters and relievers straight to the postseason. He should be applauded for his 2007 job, and that's exactly what happened last night at Yankee Stadium as the crowd incessantly chanted the manager's name. He is a class act. Always has, and always will be.

Game one of the American League Championship Series between Cleveland and Boston will take place Friday night at 7:10 PM on Fox and Fox HD. The Sox took the season series from them 5 games to 2. It will be Beckett, Schilling (he HAS to be our #2 starter!!), Matsuzaka, and if all goes well, Tim Wakefield, who is trying to get his back better. The bullpen will be rested and ready, as will all of RSN and RSI.

Click on the title of this post for more on the last we'll see of the 2007 Yankees, for they'll be a different ballclub next to bottom.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I LOVE This Team

I LOVE THIS TEAM. A simple statement. Case closed. Curt Schilling showed us all that he should be the game # 2 starter on Saturday....he was flat out brilliant. 7 innings pitched, 6 hits and ZERO runs allowed made for a memorable Sunday afternoon for Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International. Okajima and Gagne closed the game out, and the killing blow came in the 7 run 8th inning. But don't forget that 4th inning! Back to back towering home runs by Big Papi David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez helped power the Red Sox to an early and timely 2-0 lead, and from there the team rode the shoulders of starter Curt Schilling to victory. Theo, resign him!! And he should be our game #2 starter on Saturday evening, following Josh Beckett and preceding Daisuke and Wakes. CAN YOU HEAR ME, TITO???? LISTEN UP!!!!!! Theo Epstein said this.....

“He was carving on both sides of the plate,” said Epstein. “It’s so hard to execute perfection with that kind of command pitch after pitch, and he really did it. He was really an artist.

Perfection...I LOVE that word! The Red Sox pitchers put on a series-long clinic, holding the Angels scoreless in 25 of 27 innings and compiling a collective ERA of 1.30. Manny and Papi combined to go 8 for 15, with 4 home runs and 7 RBIs. Talk about the heart of the order! Mike Lowell, batting in the 5 spot, chimed in with 2 hits to lead a balanced Red Sox attack that was ruthless and unmerciful. THEY TOOK NO PRISONERS! The next stop is the American League Championship Series, and they'll face either the Cleveland Indians or the New York Yankees. If you ask me, I'd rather face the Indians, because we would overwhelm them. The Yankees play us tough. And Clemen's career seems to be over after an injury shortened 2 1/3 inning start.

HATS OFF TO CURT SCHILLING. You made us proud, big guy. And with 5 days off until game #2 on Saturday, you WILL be our starter. I just KNOW it.

Click on the title of this post for the Globe's Gordon Edes' look back at the series that warmed our hearts and made us so very proud. The 2007 Boston Red Sox. They're FOR REAL. AND THEY'RE OURS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

9-0 SOX! ***SOX WIN*** YES!!!!!

Top of the 8th....who will pitch the bottom of the 8th inning?

We'll find out!!!!! GO SOX...great, superb job by Schill!!!!!

To be continued........................UPDATE...9-0 GOOD GUYS...Okie pitching with 1 out in the bottom of the 8th.....Paps' time soon, and then we all, together, one voice, will say a loud earth shattering YES!! More to folow......

Into the 9th inning....Paps' time soon....great job by Okie, and the 'pen's ERA is 0.00...still. I'll be back for the bottom of that 9th.........and I mentioned that the number 7 would be magic! 10/7/07 at a first pitch time of 3:07.......more soon...really soon!!!!

Now it's time......but,'s Gagne...mistake???? With a 9-0 lead, I think, I know, we're OK....but...that's all, for now.....9-1. We're golden!! See you at Fenway!!!!

2 outs in the bottom of the most important inning....the 9th.

WE WIN...SOX WIN....SOX WIN...SOX WIN! I could go on.....but I don't have to!!!!

The Stage Shifts To Schill

Curt Schilling versus Jered Weaver, a study in contrasts. Jered Weaver of the LA Angels is making his first postseason start. Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox is 8-2 in his October career, with an ERA of 2.06. That winning percentage is the best of any pitcher with more than 10 postseason decisions, and his ERA is the third best among those who have pitched more than 100 innings. The Sox are up 2 games to none and are poised to put the killing blow, the finishing touches on the Western Division champions. Early. In 3 straight. If they win, Josh Beckett would be perfectly lined up to start game 1 of the American League Championship Series against Cleveland or the Yankees on Thursday. But that's looking ahead, and the present is what's important right now. And that present starts at 3:07pm EDT Sunday October 7, 2007. Triple 7s....lucky? We'll see soon.

The Yankees will send Roger Clemens to the mound to face Jake Westbrook, who compliled a won/loss record of 6-9 this year. Their backs are also to the wall, down 2 games to none. An early exit would be sweet for all members of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International, for the pinstriped ones have played us mighty tough, winning 10 of the 18 games played during the regular season. Will there be more Yankee/Red Sox games to come this year? Let's put it this way....I'm rooting for Cleveland to take it all today, in the Bronx, just as I'm hoping the Sox can swoop into California, win one game, and jet back home for the ALCS, when again they'll have the home field advantage. And if we get that far, the home field advantage for the World Series to boot, and how sweet would that be?

My Constant Readers, as Stephen King calls his fans, click on the title of this post for the Globe's Jackie MacMullan's look at the Angel/Red Sox series as it stands right now. And enjoy the afternoon delight to come that is October baseball, on TBS and TBS-HD, who have been doing a tremendous job covering the postseason so far. Much better than Fox ever has or ever will. GO SCHILL....GO SOX.

Any comments or predictions? Please leave them right here, and I'll respond to them promptly, as the minutes slowly creep towards that MAGIC time, and all of RSN and RSI await. Be well.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Manny Walk-Off Home Run Powers Red Sox To Victory Over Angels For 2-0 ALDS Lead


It was the bottom of the ninth inning, two men were on base, at first and third, there were two outs and Manny was striding towards the plate after Big Papi David Ortiz was again (and again) intentionally walked. The score was tied at three, and if ever there was a time for a "MANNY MOMENT," this was it. And then CRACK, BOOM, and Manny hit an absolute bomb OVER EVERYTHING in left. It was a walk-off three run home run, a true "Manny Moment," his first walk off homer since he joined the Sox and his first ever post season one. Needless to say, the team poured out of the dugout and the bullpen to join Manny as he reached home plate, and jubilation was in full force, on the field and everywhere in Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International. Said the man himself.....

"It's been a long time I don't do something special like that," Ramirez said. "I haven't been right all year round. But I guess, when you don't feel good and you still get hits, that's when you know you're a bad man."

You MIGHT be a "bad man," Manny, but you're OUR "bad man," and we love you. In terms of pitching, Daisuke Matsuzaka did not have a good night, going only 4 2/3 innings, throwing 96 pitches and allowing 4 runs on 3 hits and an unnecessary 3 walks. He was not sharp, but the Boston bullpen showed why it's the league's best, going the final 4 1/3 innings without allowing a hit. Kudos go out to Javy Lopez, Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima, who seems like his 10 day rest really helped, and Jonathon Papelbon, who earned the victory. Great job guys!

The club wings to California to join Josh Beckett and game #3 starter Curt Schilling, already there, who will try to make it a three game sweep Sunday afternoon. Oh, I almost forgot, the Indians again beat the visiting Yankees 2-1 in extra innings to forge ahead 2 games to none. The bug invasion must have bothered Yankee reliever Joba Chamberlin, but what he showed to me is this....the man the Yankees and their fans pin their 8th inning hopes on has a lot of growing up to do.

Please click on the title of this post for more on the Manny missle, and enjoy this off day Saturday. Bask with me in the glow, the warm fuzzy memories of last night's walk-off win, which seemed like a dream to me upon first awakening this early weekend morning, but which was all too real, or surreal, depending on how you look at it. Any way you view it, Sox fan or not (?), it's what baseball 2007 Red Sox style is all about! GO SOX! FOREVER. AND EVER. To be continued, for the story is far from over. 2 down, 9 to go for immortality.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Daisuke's Night To Shine---Cleveland Beats the Yankees

It's all come down to an 8:37pm Fenway Park start tonight for Daisuke Matsuzaka. After experiencing a season of unforgettable highs and noteworthy lows, he now has the spotlight shining directly upon him. And if he remembers to follow Tek's call of the game and mix up his pitches, utilizing his tremendous off speed breaking stuff along with an overpowering fastball, he'll be fine, just fine. He did that in his last start against the Minnesota Twins, using every one (or almost every one) of his pitches to baffle the Twins for 8 solid as a rock innings. On the other hand, his mound opponent Kelvim Escobar has struggled to a 7.63 ERA in his last 3 starts. A Sox win will put them firmly in the catbird seat for this 5 game series. And everyone in Fenway Park tonight and those all around Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International will be fervently rooting for that exact thing to happen. The weather in Boston will feel like it's mid-summer, with temperatures in the low 80s at first pitch time drifting into and through the mid 70s by game's end. Perfect weather for a baseball game. Perfect weather for the Fenway Faithful, all 37,000 of 'em. Perfect weather for a Sox win.

In the Cleveland game, the Yankees and Chien Ming Wang were battered and bruised by the Cleveland lineup, losing by a score of 12-3. The pinstripers could not take advantage of a wild CC Sabathia, who threw 114 pitches in his 5 inning outing. The Indian bullpen was strong, however, and kept the New York club from scoring any more runs other than the three he gave up. Wang, on the other hand, only lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up a monstrous 8 runs on 9 hits and 4 walks. He was sunk by his non-sinking sinker, a trend that I'd like to see continue. But that's predicated on him getting another start. It might not happen.

Click on the title of this post for the Herald's Steve Buckley's nice piece on the man who we rest our hopes and dreams on tonight, Daisuke Matsuzaka. Lets hope he can be "The Red Monster" yet again tonight. For his team. And for us. Have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend, and, as always, GO SOX. I'd love to read and respond to your comments on that Yankee loss or the upcoming Fenway Park Friday night lights.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Josh Beckett Completely Shuts Down The Angels.. Boston Red Sox 4 LA Angels 0

Josh Beckett threw a complete game four hit shutout and the Boston Red Sox beat the visiting LA Angels 4-0 in game 1 of the ALDS. An astounding 83 of his 108 pitches were strikes, and Beckett has now thrown shutouts in 3 of his past 4 playoff games. Here is what Tito and Josh himself said.....

"Josh went out there and executed his pitches, in my opinion, probably better than he has at any point in the season," manager Terry Francona said. "He attacked the strike zone with all his pitches. Cut his fastball at times. He pounded the strike zone with three great pitches. That was a great performance."
"I had a really good sinker today," Beckett said.

It was nice to see the Red Sox field their "A" lineup, with Youk batting second and Manny back in the cleanup spot. The only run the Red Sox would need came on a Kevin Youkilis home run in the first inning. Big Papi David Ortiz added a 2 run shot in the third, and Beckett took care of everything else. He was brilliant. The Red Sox take a 1-0 lead in this best of five series, and in a short series like this, the first game is a vital one. The two teams meet again on Friday, with Daisuke Matsuzaka ready to face Kelvim Escobar. Another win over the California team would be a crushing blow to them.....sounds good to me!

Click on the title of this post for the Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs' column on the dominance that was Josh Beckett on Wednesday night, a night filled with faith for the present and hope for the future. Have a great off-day Thursday, and root for Cleveland to sit on Wang's sinkers and drive them THROUGH the infield for base hits.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Magic Tuesday Night With Bruce & The Band in Hartford

It was as if time stood still. The band of my youth rocked Hartford last night and proved that they're my band of forever. And they always will be. Plastered on the front page of the Hartford Courant this morning is a huge picture of Bruce Springsteen, guitar and microphone in hand, and the BIG MAN, Clarence Clemons, sax firmly and proudly held high. Here is the entire review, and I must say that I had such a great time.....surrounded by a love fest of nearly 17,000 people united as one. Am I a little emotional? Oh yeah! For 2 1/2 hours, I experienced every emotion out there, AND THEN was a fantastic night, and somewhere in Hartford is my voice, ragged, overused, but still there, ready to rock and roar again, if only.......

***Springsteen Makes Old New, New Old***

"New songs, new tour: Of course Bruce Springsteen was going to be good when he and the E Street Band opened their fall outing Tuesday night at the Hartford Civic Center.
The Boss went one better, though, and put on a show he'll be hard-pressed to top between now and December, when the tour ends. Sorry, Philly.

Playing for more than two hours, Springsteen struck a near-perfect balance between old songs and new, making the former as fresh and eager as he made the latter sound classic and vital.
"So it begins!" he bellowed after the first number, "Radio Nowhere." It's also the first tune on his new album, "Magic," which was released Tuesday. Springsteen's gritty guitar riff echoed around the arena, Clarence Clemons' saxophone tore through the song like a runaway rocket and the Boss pleaded, "I just want to hear some rhythm" in the refrain.
There was no shortage of that: The band played 23 songs, building momentum as the show went on: "Lonesome Day," the dark new song "Gypsy Rider," "Reason to Believe." AND THEN IT HAPPENED, ON "NIGHT" : THE ROCK 'N ROLL MOMENT. IT'S THAT SPARK WHEN AN INSTANT FROZEN IN TIME SEEMS TO SUDDENLY UNSPOOL, WHEN THE WHOLE BAND LOCKS IN, TURNS A CORNER TOGETHER AND JUST TAKES OFF. Little Steven Van Zandt's over sharing the microphone with Springsteen, Clemons plants himself like an anchor and pumps his lungs into that sax, bassist Gary Tallent bops in the back and drummer Max Weinberg holds it all together with no-frills rhythm.
It's glorious and it's rare, yet it happened time after time as Springsteen and his band resurrected the secret hopes and guarded dreams of a generation that found release in his music.
It happened on "She's the One," the crowd roaring at the piano vamp that sends it off and thrills to the massive bomp-bomp-bomp, bomp-bomp Bo Diddley beat and Clemons' thunderous solo.
It happened on "The Rising," Springsteen's somber anthem paying tribute to the heroes of 9/11; and on "Badlands" and, of course, "Born to Run," songs about transcending limitations and conquering the world. For a night in Hartford, Springsteen, his band and his fans did exactly that.
It's a different world now from when Springsteen wrote those early songs, and he talked frankly at times about the differences. He decried "illegal wiretapping, rendition, black sites, an attack on the Constitution" before playing "Livin' in the Future," and introduced new song "Magic" as an allegory about an "Orwellian moment when what's true can be made to seem like a lie and what's a lie can be made to seem true, and we've witnessed the consequences over the past six years."
All is not lost, however, and Springsteen ended the show on a hopeful note with "American Land," an Irish reel stacked with fiddle, accordion and penny whistle. Springsteen played the tune frequently last year during a tour for his album of songs popularized by Pete Seeger, and it made for an uncharacteristic, if joyful way to finish his first night on tour."

Peter here, and I hope you enjoyed the review. Coming into Hartford last night, I was struck by the unforgettable images now seared into my brain--the streetside troubadours, the fans of all ages from all places united in a brotherly type of love, and the sheer energy of the best band in the none. And my faith in the power of music has been rekindled. But you know what? I never lost it in the first place.

I'll be back with a playoff post a little later this morning. Be well.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Rotating Rotation

There has been a change made by Terry Francona in the postseason pitching rotation. Daisuke Matsuzaka, orginally slated to pitch games two and five (if necessary) but then moved back to game three behind Curt Schilling, has been slid into the number two spot once again. Here's what the Red Sox pitching coach had to say.......

"We know that starter No. 2 is also going to be called upon in Game 5, if that situation does arise," pitching coach John Farrell said. "I think Daisuke's last performance closing out the regular season was a main contributor to that. And he has not faced the Angels to date, and we feel some of the unknown might be in favor of the pitcher at this point.
"I think there were signs leading up to the last start that he was making the necessary adjustments to get back to his approach that he used pretty much in the first three months in the season. I think it was a huge step, particularly for his own confidence."

Peter here, and yes, Daisuke was on top of his game that fateful day. And it IS a plus that the Angels have not seen him yet this year. Now as long as he sticks to the selection of pitches that worked for him in his first half of the season, echoed in his last start. Daisuke, don't shake off 'Tek! Josh Beckett will go against Angel ace John Lackey in games 1 and 4 (if necessary). It all starts tomorrow evening in the place of our dreams, Fenway Park. The Sox and Angels will play Game 1 on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Game 2 on Friday at 8:37 p.m., and Game 3 on Sunday at 3:07 p.m. The entire series will be televised on TBS, whose Hi-Def feed (ch. 198, for those of you in the area) was JUST added to my cable lineup yesterday. Perfect timing, Comcast!

Changing subjects, I've mentioned numerous times in the past month that tonight is a very special night for the city of Hartford, and for me too. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band open their 2007-08 World Tour right here at the Hartford Civic Center. The new album MAGIC is also released today. I was lucky that I was able to grab a ticket for the show, for 16,679 seats sold out in 15 minutes. But I'll be there for my 56th Bruce concert. That goes back a long, long way, for I first saw a scruffy, somewhat short bearded guy and his musical pals in 1974. His sheer incandescent energy instantly made me a Bruce fan supreme, and tonight cannot come soon enough. My review and the Hartford Courant review will appear right here, bright and early tomorrow. Here's what the Boston Globe had to say about the new album....

".......obviously, Springsteen has forgotten his roots and has become mired in a greasy pool of self-indulgence.
Don't you believe it.
I've listened to Magic twice this evening. There are echoes of Bruce's recent past, his middle years, and most definitely his roots. Put plainly, the record flat-out ROCKS. Walls of sound. There are grinding guitars, pounding drums, ghostly keyboards, piano, glockenspiel, snarling guitar solos, harmonica, melodies galore, cool vocal harmonies ... and Clarence. The BigMan. The longtime friend. The anchor. Bruce's singing on Magic takes some interesting turns as well, with swooping melodies pitted against a few very different song structures. While listening to "Girls In Their Summer Clothes," I scribbled down "...I've never heard Bruce sing like this before."
Magic ends with the hidden track "Terry's Song," a heartfelt tribute to his longtime friend Terry Magovern, who passed away at the end of July. One line brings into focus the many reasons why I love this music, and why music in general is so important to me: "Love is a power greater than death."

Peter here, and love IS all that, and more. Everyone, my wonderful readers all, enjoy your Tuesday, October 2nd. I know I will! And click on the title of this post for more on game two starter Daisuke Matsuzaka. And remember........"SHOW A LITTLE FAITH, THERE'S MAGIC IN THE NIGHT." Always and forever. I promise.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Red Sox Finish The Regular Season With The Best Record In Baseball

96-66, the best record in all of baseball, belongs to the Boston Red Sox. The team is to be applauded for its hard work and excellence, but the regular season is just the start. The ultimate goal? A World Championship for 2007. And the Sox have the team that could do it. But so do the Angels of LA. The Boston club has the home field advantage through the World Series by virtue of having the best record in the fact, in all of baseball, and should they make it that far, home field advantage for the World Series, too, thanks to the AL win over the NL in the All Star Game. So Fenway Park will be a very busy place starting on Wednesday, when it will be 19-9 John Lackey ready to face 20-7 Josh Beckett. Halos beware!

There are so many congratulations to go around, starting with Big Papi David Ortiz for having his best season ever, to Josh Beckett, the probable Cy Young Award winner, to rookie of the year (no doubt) Dustin Pedroia, and to Mike Lowell for his season-long sheer excellence. Of course, there's Okie, Papelbon and the whole 'pen, too, for without that bunch of guys, well, who knows what would have happened. But it didn't, and it did, if that makes sense, and we're on our way down that green brick road towards immortality. And the green is for Fenway Park.

My condolences go out to any Mets fans out there (that's you ML, among too many others), for their collapse was historic and heartbreaking. How could a future Hall of Fame pitcher like Tom Glavine be SO BAD yesterday, when everything was on the table and it was do or die? I HAVE NO IDEA. But they died. I feel for you, Mets fans. And I know EXACTLY what those emotions you remember the tears in the Boston dugout in 1986? I do, all too well.

There will be a thumbnail analysis of the upcoming Angels/Sox series to come. I'm having a busy first part of the week, culminating in a Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band concert here in Hartford tomorrow (!!!) night. But stay tuned, right here, for everything I know and learn goes right to you. And click on the title for the latest on David Ortiz and his cortisone shot. He will carry this team on his shoulders, much like Yaz did in 1967, until that ultimate dream is attained. And we'll be watching. All of us. With smiles AND tears of happiness. Your comments are so very welcome, for without you, I'd be muttering nonsense to myself! Thanks...forever!