Friday, October 31, 2008

No Baseball News For Now...MRI For Me Today

I wanted to give you a quick update on my shoulder which I injured rather badly two months (wow!!) ago. It is still killing me and I saw the Doctor once again on Thursday morning. He gave me a cortisone shot RIGHT in the shoulder joint. It hurt so much that I kicked the wall! It was a "no damage to the wall" tap, but BOY, now I know why the baseball players do not like them. Remember, I take six shots of insulin every single day, but this needle was a monster. Oh boy, I guess it doesn't help to be claustrophobic when you get into an MRI machine for thirty minutes. I'll tough it out...I always have through the lean health times. I get through the bad to get to the good in life. As John Lennon said, "life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans." Truer words have never been written or sung. I still shed a few tears when I type that lyric. By the way, it's from a song called BEAUTIFUL BOY, his 1980 tribute to his very young son. He was shot dead less than a month later...everyone's loss.

Everyone, thank you for stopping in, wish me luck and I'll write a full experience report when I get home late this morning. I appprecrciate every one of you SO much. I really do! As always, BE WELL.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies, the 2008 World Series Champions. Boy, does that sound nice...thoughts of last year are running through my head. It was their second world championship. Ever. The crowd and then the city went nuts. Wow, a lot of cheese steaks must have been sold. I'd love one right now but it's 6am. Peppers, onions, ketchup and pickles, please. To go. Thank you (while eating it immediately, or sooner). Seriously, to all the Philly fans, congrats and have fun. You have a parade coming up soon!
As always, my Constant Readers, BE WELL.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Night At The Library...SUCH A Good Time! World Series Game Five Put On Hold For Another Day...Great Job So Far, Bud

I spent a wonderful hour Tuesday night at the West Hartford Public Library. It's in West Hartford Center, West Hartford, Connecticut, smack dab (did I just type that?) in the middle of Blue Back Square, which is a two block wide collection of restaurants, stores, movie theaters and restaurants (didn't I just say that?). The authors of the new and thrilling mystery novel, DIRTY WATER : A RED SOX MYSTERY, Mary Ann Tirone Smith and Jere Smith (A Red Sox Fan In Pinstripe Territory...on my link list, near the top) held a book signing/reading/get together and the place was filled to the gills, stacked to the max, SRO only. Mary Ann and Jere, who I actually met for the first time (seems like I've known Jere for a long time), were gracious enough to sign everyone's book...some people bought multiple copies. I had a tremendous time. Thank you Mary Ann and Jere. Please click on the title of this post to be instantly transported to the Amazon dot com DIRTY WATER page. The book will make an excellent present for anyone you know...I've read it, so I'm sure of that! CLICK AWAY.

In other news, World Series game five will be resumed in the sixth inning tonight at 8:35pm EDT. Wow, it should take less than half an hour to finish...I wonder why it isn't starting later for the benefit of west coast viewers. After all, the ratings are the most important thing, aren't they, FOX brass? Of course they are. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Money, money and MORE money.

My thanks again to Mary Ann and Jere, and please click on the title for all you need to know about DIRTY WATER : A RED SOX MYSTERY. The book will make a great early Christmas present, or an everyday "Here, Honey...I love you" present. As I said in my last post, "a good time is guaranteed for all." Title click away...hi ho Silver, AWAY!! As always, be well.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rain Suspends World Series Game #5

What started out as an innocent drizzle became a healthy monsoon by the middle innings of game five in the City of Brotherly Love Monday night. Here's what the commisioner of baseball, Bud Selig (yes, he's still hanging on!) had to say...

“The game would have been in a rain delay until weather conditions allowed us to continue, and that would have been 24 hours or 48 hours or who knows,” Selig said. “I was not going to allow that to happen. We’ll stay here if we have to celebrate Thanksgiving here,” Selig said.

Peter here, and Happy Thankgiving, Bud. It was a necessary evil to stop the game when it was. Players' health was the main concern. I should have checked the weather more carefully before writing my last post, which guaranteed a Philadelphia win and a World Championship. Oh well, they'll get those Rays today, WEATHER PERMITTING. There is a low pressure system off the east coast of America and as it pulls away from the mid-Atlantic states and heads towards Southern New England, the winds will become downright strong from the northwest in the greater Philly area. So if the rain won't get them tonight, the wind will wreak havoc on any ball hit in the air. But such is baseball without a dome sheltering everyone inside, the way it was meant to be played. The game will resume at 8:35 pm EDT tonight at the point where it was stopped, televised to the nation on FOX and FOXHD. Enjoy!

That's it for today, for now. If you'd like, simply click on this post's title for the Boston Red Sox homepage, with news of the World Series game #5 suspension and everything Red Sox, including our Hank Aaron award winner, the honorable Kevin Youkilis. As always, BE WELL. If you're near Hartford tonight around seven, Mary Ann Tirone Smith and her son, Jere Smith, the writer of a great blog named Red Sox Fan In Pinstripe Territory (on my link list, near the top), will be at the West Hartford Public Library at 7pm. Get there early...seating is limited. As John Lennon said, long ago, "a good time is guaranteed for all." And I guarantee you'll have a good time when you read their book, DIRTY WATER : A RED SOX MYSTERY. I loved it!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Phillies Win 2008 World Series Four Games To One

Good early Monday morning, and this post's title will be the sports headline of Tuesday morning. The Rays have absolutely NO CHANCE of winning it all after losing game four by a score of 10-2. The Phillies lead the Rays three games to one and have a stranglehold on Tampa Bay. They were outpitched, outhit and outplayed in every way. The Phillies have the power and the arms to win it all, and they will. Tonight. So I figured to get a leg up on some other blogs by using that title. It'll be game one pitchers Hamels and Kazmir tonight with the first pitch at 8:29pm EDT.

In Boston Red Sox news, Kevin Youkilis has been named the recipient of the 2008 Hank Aaron Award. Could this be a precurser to the MVP? I say yes! Congrats, Kevin. You are an invaluable member of the Red Sox and the powers-that-be should "lock you up" with a long term, lucrative deal. I sure hope so! We all do!!

Have a wonderful Monday, enjoy game four tonight live from New York..oops....err, Philadelphia (Saturday Night Live was SO funny Thursday night) and as always, BE WELL.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Phillies Top Rays In World Series Game #3

The Philadelphia Phillies scored a run in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday night in Philadelphia and won by a score of 5-4. They took a 2-1 series advantage over the Tampa Bays Rays. Matt Garza was not the unbeatable hurler who the Red Sox saw in game seven of their series, far from it. Tonight's game, again in Phillie, will start at 8:29 pm EDT and feature Sonnanstine against Blanton. Look for Philadelphia to take a commanding 3-1 lead in this soon-to-be over World Series. Hey, my prediction from yesterday was dead wrong so I might as well go out on a limb, WAY out, on this one. The only thing right about my last post was leaving open the possibility of the rain leaving the area sometime before midnight. I nailed that one and the game started with only an hour plus delay. The Rays probably wish it had continued to pour. And pour. And keep pouring.

In Red Sox news, right now there isn't much. Little whispers about possible free agent intentions are just that, very soft, almost inaudible mostly meaningless words. But some, such as the desire to sign Teixeira or lock up Kevin Youkilis, who, by the way, is the most valuable player who takes the Fenway field day in and day out, are based in fact. But those whispers are preliminary in nature...the logs aren't on the "hot stove" just yet. They're still drying and aging in a huge pile in my garage. (They really are.) When the mood (and weather) seems right, I have almost a cord of dry, cut and ready to go "aged for seven years" wood. It only takes some crumpled up newspaper on the grate underneath two or three logs and maybe a piece or two of kindling and voila! You have a crackling and beautifully warming fire. I have a fireplace in the living room, too. Between the two, that's a great combination for a room-warming and toasty night watching something great (not good but great!) on the Hi-Def TV, most likely a movie or something I recorded on the DVR. OK, ok, I went off subject a little, but I'll leave you with this. Have a wonderful Sunday, enjoy World Series game four tonight on FOX and FOXHD and if you're inclined, have a good time with the myriad of football games pervading the television airwaves almost all day long. As always, BE WELL. You can click on this post's title for more Red Sox and baseball news. Your comments are always welcome and always answered, and don't forget this...thank you SO much for stopping in once again! I LOVE IT! I love you!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday Morning Thoughts, If Any...

Good morning. Game three of the 2008 World Series has a first pitch time of 8:35pm EDT tonight in the City of Brotherly Love (and cheesesteak sandwiches...I like Genos). It will be the 40 plus Jamie Moyer facing the ALCS MVP Matt Garza. I look for the Rays to take a 2-1 series lead after this one with a blistering offensive attack and a Garza who will render the Phillies helpless. Look for the lefty Price to come in for the final four or five outs.

If the Red Sox land Mark Teixeira and successfully trade Mike Lowell (only AFTER the Tex acquisition is final), look for a 1-7 lineup something like this...


How's that sound? That lineup is in the Sox thinking...I would put Big Papi in after Tex and follow with Youk, Bay and Drew. But this is all preliminary imagination run wild. I also read a Massarotti Boston Globe blog post that suggested such a lineup. First things first, though...sign Teixeira. Then a power-packed lineup will return to the still world champs. Pitching? That's another story, another day and another post.

I wish you all the best of weekends. Enjoy the game tonight, and look for Tampa Bay to silence the Phillies fans in attendance. If you're going, don't forget Geno's Cheesesteaks (alternate offering would be Pat's). As always, BE WELL.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tampa Bay Takes World Series Game Two Over Philadelphia...Sox To Pursue Free Agent Mark Teixeira?

There is much on our Friday plate on this cold, still dark morning. I'll start with game two of the World Series. Tampa Bay, behind "Big Game" James Shields, defeated the visiting Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 4-2. They ran, they hit and run and scratched out just what that they needed. The game was littered with Philadelphia lost chances and squandered opportunities, and I'm sure that team from Pennsylvania wants to forget game two and move on, at home, on Saturday. But the weather forecast might have the last word on that one. There is a good chance of heavy rain developing early Saturday down there, but it might not rain all night. The game is again scheduled for an 8:35pm EDT first pitch and I'll know more about the specific chances for wetness and I'll pass it on to you tomorrow. My original prediction came exactly true -- Philadelphia won game one behind their lefty wunderkind Hamels and Shields made it 1-1 with a gutsy performance in game two. It'll be Matt Garza and Jamie Moyer Saturday night, weather permitting, and the Rays will win with that matchup. I'm 100% sure of that one...I'm about 63% sure of the weather, though. Maybe a little less.

IN RED SOX NEWS, the Boston Globe recently reported that Boston does have a genuine interest in acquiring the services of free agent Mark Teixeira. Hey, I know how to spell his last name...maybe that means he'll be wearing a Boston uniform a few months from now. The Sox are said to be interested in letting Mikey Lowell play elsewhere if that happens, with Youkilis moving over to third, where he will and does thrive, and shuffle Big Papi David Ortiz down in the order, although with Ellsbury (or Crisp), Pedey, Ortiz, Teixeira, Youk, JD Drew and Bay as the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 batters, well, I could live with that. Happily ever after. We'll see, won't we?

That brings me to yesterday's post and the questions posed by the Globe's Tony Massarotti. Here they are with my opinions/suggestions/answers in brackets after each question. Thanks to Rooster of THE RATIONAL SOX BLOG (on my link list, near the top) for his illuminating and informative Red Sox savvy comments on my last post regarding these queries...

1) What do the Sox do with Ellsbury and/or Coco? Should Jacoby continue to lead off, or should it be Crisp, who was white hot in the postseason...should they trade Crisp while his value is so high? (Coco finished the year and the post season on a high note at the plate. But he has been afflicted with nagging and persistant injuries, so I would keep both. Each player can field the ball while running full tilt, but right now, offensively, you have to give the edge to Coco. KEEP BOTH.)

2) The shortstop question. Will it be Lugo or Lowrie in '09? Should they jettison Lugo? (Lowrie is our future If the Sox can include Lugo and the $18 million owed to him over the next 2 years in the possible Lowell trade, great! We have a super infield sub who goes by the name of Alex Cora. He WILL be back...that's guaranteed.)

3) What do the Sox do with Justin Masterson...'pen or rotation? (As Rooster said, ask the guy. I think the Sox will go after two starters sometime this fall, and Masterson proved he can be a valuable bullpen asset, so I hope he stays there. When a ground ball is needed with a man or two on base, he's the guy, other than Paps, that you'd want in there.)

4) Do they resign Jason Varitek? Do they let him leave, something he does not want to do, or do they get someone who can help him with the load? ('Tek had an absolute and stunning dropoff at the plate in '08, but when it comes to knowing the opposing hitters and preparing his pitcher for those hitters, there is no one better. Keep him and sign some help, someone who can lessen the "every four games of five" grind off of his shoulders. Even if he's not playing, he'd be in the clubhouse and dugout counseling that day's pitcher. That's priceless.)

5) Does Boston need another power hitter? If so, should they go after free agent Mark Teixeira, the potent first baseman from the Angels who will be a free agent this winter? (I answered this earlier in this post.)

That's it for the day! Have a wonderful weekend and I'll be back, bright and shining (well, maybe not shining but glowing, just a little), tomorrow morning. I'd love to read and respond to your comments on those five questions, if you can. As always and forever, BE WELL. Click on the link for the latest Red Sox news...thanks.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

World Series Game One Result...Five Boston Red Sox Off Season Questions

Philadelphia won game one of the 2008 World Series with a tense, terse 3-2 pitching-heavy victory in St. Petersburg, Florida Wednesday night. The Phillies' Cole Hamels outpitched Scott Kazmir, who pitched well himself, to earn the victory. Game two will be Thursday night at 8:35pm EDT on FOX and FOXHD. It's a must game for the Mohawk-laden Rays. Enjoy!

The Boston Globe's Tony Massarotti had a great piece in this morning's paper detailing the five most important questions Boston has to answer in the off season. I linked the article, which allows you, the fan, to vote on each query. Simply click on this title's post. You might be surprised by a couple of the leading voting answers, but you read this blog, among others, so I don't think so. Let me zap through the five questions and after you have a chance to vote, I'll follow it up with my exhaustively researched (yeah, right) opinions on each one. Hey, the only research I do when I give my opinion on anything Red Sox is listen to that little voice in my left ear that rings loud and clear and tells me what to write and how to write it. That little voice might have driven lesser people bonkers, but I kind of like it! I guess I'm a little bonkers to begin with. Here we go, and I paraphrase. Thank you Boston Globe and Tony Massarotti...

1) What do the Sox do with Ellsbury and/or Coco? Should Jacoby continue to lead off, or should it be Crisp, who was white hot in the postseason...should they trade Crisp while his value is so high?

2) The shortstop question. Will it be Lugo or Lowrie in '09? Should they jettison Lugo?

3) What do the Sox do with Justin Masterson...'pen or rotation?

4) Do they resign Jason Varitek? Do they let him leave, something he does not want to do, or do they get someone who can help him with the load?

5) Does Boston need another power hitter? If so, should they go after free agent Mark Teixeira, the potent first baseman from the Angels who will be a free agent this winter? If the answer was yes, who do they part with...Ortiz (no), Youk (NO, NO) or Mike Lowell (the best of the three--age etc.) ?

That's it! Just click on the title and vote for yourself. It only takes five minutes, and it's fun. And then leave your comments right here, if you can. I appreciate those of you who still stop in almost if not every makes this all worthwhile. I'll look for those comments and you'll be able to read my opinions on each question first thing in the morning. I haven't heard anything about Tito Francona's back because the Sox have not released anything to the public. When I hear it, you read it. Right here. As always, BE WELL.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Francona Health Update...World Series Game # 1

Terry "Tito" Francona, manager of the Boston Red Sox, will require back surgery in the next week or so. Here is what he had to say about his situation...

"I haven't been able to feel either arm for four or five months," Francona said. "I need to probably have some back surgery so I can stand a little straighter. I've had this since May. I'll go the next couple of days to get it figured out and then we'll get it done. This job takes an unbelievable amount . . . sometimes almost sucks the life out of you," said Francona, who signed a contract extension through 2011 in February. "I try real hard every winter to make sure when I come to spring training I can do my job because I owe that to the players and to the organization."

Peter here, and I, among many others, think Tito has been the best manager in all of baseball over the last five plus years. He knows how to juggle his lineup, juggle (when needed) his pitching staff and lead his team. HE KNOWS HOW TO WIN! Be well, Terry...we love you. By the way, the Red Sox granted him a contract extension good through 2011. Good for them. GOOD FOR US.

It's mid to late October and we all know what that means. It's World Series time. The Philadelphia Phillies will face the Tampa Bay Rays down in St. Petersburg, Florida. First pitch on FOX and FOX HD will be at 8:35pm EDT. The Phillies' Cole Hamels, a lefty who went 14-10 with a nifty 3.09 ERA will face off against another lefty, Scott Kazmir, who we're all familar with. In the regular season, he went 12-8 with a 3.49 ERA. So the stage is set, the Trop will be packed (it better be!!) and we're ready for baseball. I know, I know, the Red Sox aren't in it, but I'll still watch and try to enjoy while all the "what ifs" dance through my brain. But one thing was clear...Boston was outpitched, JUST BARELY, but outpitched by the Rays, and I pick them to win the Series in six games. The Phillies are a good team and I might be totally wrong, but I think this is Tampa Bay's year...I don't know why, I just do. The DH will favor the Rays in games one and two, and if needed, games six and seven.

Thanks for stopping in, click on the title of this post for all the details of Tito's upcoming surgery, and as always, BE WELL.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ALCS Game Seven Ratings...

Game seven of the American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and the Rays was the MOST WATCHED BASEBALL GAME ON CABLE...EVER! I guess that's what happens when the defending World Champs play the team who went from worst to first...and beyond. Here is a little of the press release...

"Sunday night's Game 7 averaged 13.3 million viewers, making it the highest-rated baseball game in cable history and the top-rated telecast on any kind on TBS."

Well done, Sox! A couple more runs, and...and.....oh well. There's 2009 to come.

Here, There Or Anywhere?

Who goes where, and when? That's what the off season is all about. Boston is in good shape in terms of free agency. Only six players who are possible free agents are on the roster. Thanks to the Hartford Courant for helping me with the details. The infield will mostly be intact. Youk is eligible for arbitration but he ain't going anywhere. The Sox should sign him to a long term deal...yesterday. Pedey is under team control, as is Jed Lowrie. Mike Lowell is signed through 2010 and had a successful hip operation...he should be ready by spring training. JASON VARITEK is a free's what Theo Epstein had to say about our captain...

"We're at a point now where we have a very solid foundation as an organization and we're not just going out this winter to try and address the 2009 team and that's it," general manager Theo Epstein said Monday at Fenway Park, where the players were cleaning out their lockers. "We're continuing the process of building and evolving the organization. He (Varitek) is an important part of the organization, there's no doubt about that," Epstein said. "Obviously, he's coming off of a year that wasn't his best, but he's important nonetheless. He's a free agent and we'll be talking to him. We have an obligation to explore all our options. We have to do that. We do that with every position, but we'll certainly be talking."

OK, Theo...I hope so. Jason Bay is signed through 2009, as is Coco Crisp. Jacoby Ellsbury is under team control and JD Drew is signed through 2011. Kevin Cash is arbitration eligible. ALEX CORA will be a free agent, as will KOTSAY and CASEY. Beckett is signed through next season with an option for 2010. Jon Lester, our 2008 hero, among others, is under team control. PAUL BYRD will be a free agent (bye bye Byrdie) and Matsuzaka will be with us through 2012. Wakefield has a 2009 team option and Aardsma is under team control. Javier Lopez will be eligible for arbitration and last and certainly least (yes, I said that!), MIKE TIMLIN will be a free agent and will not be back (my opinion...thanks Mikey).

A few questions linger in my mind. Who will be the two guys who will fill out the rotation? Will Lugo be kept, or will Lowrie and Cora take over the infield duties at short and where needed? But that's another day's post.

I hope you didn't suffer from baseball withdrawl last night...I did, just a little. You can click on this post title's for the Globe Sox homepage, and as always, BE WELL. Again, my thanks go out to the Hartford Courant and their fine sports department for helping me with the players' statuses (or is it stati?). See ya! A World Series post will be up first thing Wednesday.

Monday, October 20, 2008

WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER...Tampa Bay Defeats Boston And Goes To The World Series

The 2008 baseball season ended for the Boston Red Sox Sunday night as the American League pennant winning Tampa Bay Rays defeated them by a score of 3-1. Tampa Bay went from a 2007 season in which they had the worst record in baseball all the way to the upcoming World Series, and it was Matt Garza, last night's starter and series MVP, who helped them get there. He was simply stunningly effective last night, going seven innings and allowing a first inning home run to Dustin Pedroia and only one other hit. The Sox had the bases loaded in the eighth inning but rookie reliever David Price struck out JD Drew to end the last Boston threat of 2008. I think Pedey put my feelings in a nutshell with his postgame comments, and here they are, followed by Sox manager Terry Francona's take on his team...

"We played as hard as we could," said Dustin Pedroia, whose homer accounted for the Red Sox run. "I guess we ran out of magic. I'm proud of everybody. We played as hard as we could all year long to get to this point. Obviously, it's a tough loss. They move on."

"We didn't get as far as we wanted," manager Terry Francona said. "We got beat by a very good team. They'll represent the American League very, very well. But this is probably the funnest couple months maybe I've ever had. I know our guys will be down for a little while, but they have no reason to hang their heads. That's an unbelievable group of guys in there. The outcome of this game won't change my feelings toward that ever."

Peter here, and I feel the same way as Tito. This 2008 Red Sox team went through it all. They had injuries all season long but still managed to field an impressive lineup every day and come within one game of reaching the World Series. Think about it...that's pretty impressive, and that's why I love this team more than I ever have and am proud to call them MY TEAM, forever and ever. Jason Varitek was asked in the clubhouse if he had just played his last game with Boston. Tears welled up in his eyes and he was unable to utter a word. That's when I lost it...I'm never afraid to show my emotions. Never have, never will.

It was fun, wasn't it? What a summer! I want to thank the Boston Red Sox players, managers, owners, fans, fellow blogger friends and Constant Readers for making these last eight months so much fun for me. I will always treasure those memories as long as I am breathing. I plan to keep that up, too, the breathing, I mean. A little levity was needed right there, you see. At least for me.

You can click on the title of this post for the Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacob's Monday sports column. He says it all in a way like no one else can. His piece was on the front page of the Courant today, too. I might take a day or two off but I'll be back by Wednesday morning before the Rays play the Phillies in the World Series. Until then, your team and my team are still world champions. They always are deep inside my heart. And so are you. That's a wrap.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, the Boston Red Sox took game two of the three "Last Chance Texaco" baseball games by defeating the bedeviled and totally spooked Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 4-2. Josh Beckett started for the defending world champions and relied heavily on his curveball. He was able to control his 92 MPH fastballs too, and he threw 'em where Tampa Bay couldn't hit 'em. He knows how to pitch and he showed that to the world last night in a game that was blacked out for the first 19 minutes on TBS because of a shutdown of a master router, which feeds the signal to we the people. I listened to that 19 minutes on radio and was happy to hear that the Sox tied the game at one and went ahead 2-1 in the second inning. Beckett settled down magnificently after an Upton first inning solo tater and pitched five full, allowing two runs on fours hits, walking one and striking out three. Great job, Josh. The bullpen took over in the sixth inning with the Sox ahead on the strength of a tie-breaking home run by the captain, Jason Varitek, and they held the Rays hitless until Jonathon Papelbon's last pitch. Kudos to Beckett, Okajima, who has been lights out this October, Masterson and Paps...a dominating performance from the Boston 'pen yet again. OH YES! Ned Martin would say "MERCY!" I can hear him now as clear as day.

Youk also homered...he drove in two runs and has also been so clutch. Coco Crisp continued his hot hitting with three safeties and Big Papi and JD Drew had two apiece. Here is what Papi and Rays manager Joe Maddon had to say after the do or die game...

"There's nowhere to run," said David Ortiz. "We've been in there before. We know what it takes to win games. It's not easy. It's not like we like to be in that situation. I guess that's the way our destiny has been the past few years that we have won the World Series. It's hard, man. It's not an easy thing to do."

"It's all how we react to the moment, and it's a seventh game," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "So it's not about looking into the past, it's about looking into the future right now. We've got to get ready to play that game tonight."

Peter here, and hey, play and we'll take care of the winning. Fair enough? Your team looks shellshocked since the tremendous game five Boston comeback. Sleep on it, Joe. Sleep until Monday if you'd like.

Tonight at 8:07pm EDT on TBS & TBSHD, it'll be Jon Lester, the guy we want to be on the mound for a game seven, facing Matt Garza, who won game three for his team. All Lester has to do is have a typical Lester start and Boston will be heading to (dare I say it?) the World Series once again. Boy, when the Sox are down to elimination games, they have done remarkably well. Down 3 games to none against the Yankees in '04, they reeled off 4 straight wins to play on. Down 3 games to 1 against Cleveland last year, they reeled off seven straight wins to become world champions. Now, yet again, it's a winner take all game, and I have to give the nod to Boston. Only three of the Rays players have been involved in a game seven of ANY kind.

GO JON LESTER, GO BOSTON RED SOX. RSN and RSI have the faith, the faith to believe the unbelievable. To all my readers, enjoy the game tonight...this team has gone through so much bad fortune this year but THEY NEVER QUIT. And neither will I. Here's to does wonders. As always, BE WELL. You can click on the title of this post for more. Have a wonderful and winning Sunday. Only one more LAST CHANCE TEXACO game to's ours.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Last Chance Texaco Game # 2...Boston Red Sox At Tampa Bay Rays

Here we are - it's very early Saturday morning, a Saturday that might be the last day of the 2008 Boston Red Sox season or a day of celebration and anticipation of a game seven tomorrow night in St. Petersburg, Florida. It'll be Josh "Baseball" Beckett facing Tampa Bay ace James Shields, who is pitching with one extra day of rest. Manager Terry Francona has stated again and again that Beckett will be his game # 6 starter and, if needed (please!), Jon Lester will toe the rubber for game seven. But the troubling question that surrounds us all still lingers - is Beckett hurt? Can he still pitch effectively with a fastball that tops out at 92 MPH? His usual is 95-96 MPH, so there is less room for error if his fastball location is a little off, which it has been for his starts against the Angels and these Rays. All questions will be answered tonight, starting at 8:07pm EDT. You can see the game(s) on TBS and TBSHD, much to their delight. Were it not for the amazing Sox comeback, 2008 baseball would have ended for the TBS network. Now they reap the benefits (read revenue) for one, if not two more games.

Back to are some thoughts from Boston pitching coach John Farrell when he was asked if there was still a possibility that Lester might be moved up a day to start on Saturday...

"That was part of the initial conversation when we set out the rotation at the beginning of the series," Farrell said. "But given the situation we're in, we're going to need every starter to get to the next level. And that being the case, we didn't want to take a day away from Jon to move him up. We're still competing for a world championship. We've got to take care of this series first. But we weren't willing to run Jon out there with one less day of rest because we're also balancing a workload, an innings total that is unprecedented for him. So, all those factors combined, we stayed the course with our rotation."

Peter here, and that's good. I wouldn't have it any other way...if Lester was shifted to a game 6 slot, we'd STILL see Beckett for game 7. So the stage is set and the fans of Tampa Bay, Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International are ready, MORE than ready. SO LET'S PLAY BALL! Tonight...8:07pm EDT...TBS...GO SOX. You can click on the title of this post for the Boston Globe's complete coverage of game six and beyond. As always, BE WELL. Your pre and postgame comments are welcome and will always be answered. If you don't have a blogger or google (gmail) account, email me. It's easy to set up a gmail account, it's free, and you'll be able to comment on any of your favorite blogs. If you do that, I'll send you an invitation email to gmail, a great and completely free email system. Have a wonderful and safe (and winning) weekend.

Friday, October 17, 2008


There are no words to describe it, but it happened. IT HAPPENED! When I woke up this early Friday morning, I wiped the sleep from my eyes while thinking "was it all a dream, a wonderful, wonderous dream?" I put on ESPN radio, and the now legendary Boston comeback was all they were gabbing about. YES! You see, all those thoughts were in my head - there was no one here to say it to. But I didn't care...the Sox won! Holy you-know-what! THEY DID IT!!!!!!!!

It was 7-0 Tampa Bay after six, and if there was a word that meant bleaker than bleak, more hopeless than hopeless, more maddening that maddening, well, that word could have been applied. But four Boston runs in the seventh with the big blow a three run Big Papi home run, brought it to 7-4. The Fenway Faithful stirred, seemingly energized just a bit. Little did they (or we watching NESN) know what was to come. BUT IT CAME. Three more runs followed in the eighth with a key ten pitch at bat by Coco Crisp, maybe the best at bat of his career, which resulted in a run scoring single (he was thrown out trying to reach second, but so what). That knotted the game at seven...JD Drew, the player of the game, had hit a two run tater just before the Crisp heroics. It all came down to the bottom of the ninth as the Boston 'pen, except for Manny Delcarmen, was tremendous and kept it a tie ballgame. The crowd was deafening, the game was on the line and no one was breathing, just holding their breath in anticipation of something unbelievable happening. They all got their wish. BIGTIME. JD Drew came through once again with a walk off (the best kind) ground rule double in that last frame, and the world champion Boston Red Sox had unbelievably completed the second best postseason comeback ever. EVER!! The comeback was one for the ages. Here are some thoughts from Mark Kotsay and Tito Francona, among others...

“This gives us a lot of confidence, they kept us down for a while,” said Mark Kotsay, who scored the tying run after doubling in front of Crisp in the eighth. “Thankfully, we woke up before it’s too late. In baseball, you believe anything is possible, you have to be optimistic in this game. It wasn’t completely baffling that we came back and tied the game back up. As a club, we all pulled together and got this thing done.”

Coco Crisp called the game..."the most amazing game of my life.”

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon's thoughts were a little different...

“Of course we’re upset, of course, we don’t like losing that game, of course,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “But to dwell on it does no good whatsoever. We’ll lose heart for about a half hour or so, get on that plane, go home and then we’ll come back out for Game 6, and roll it out there again.”

An Red Sox manger Terry "Tito" Francona put it this way...

“I can’t say the game was exciting because the first six innings, we did nothing, they had their way with us every way possible. And then this place came unglued and we’ve seen that before. But because of the situation we’re in . . . that was pretty magical.”

Peter here, and yes, magical fits. I was listening to the latter part of the game on WTIC AM1080 Red Sox radio, until the big seventh inning. Immediately, the television went on and I ran downstairs to fire up the DVR to record TBS in HD. And that's exactly what I'm going to "relive" right now at 5:45 am EDT, pretending not to know what happened but not worried about a damn thing! The Boston Red Sox live on, and they'll play again Saturday night at 8:07pm EDT down at the Trop Dome. Will Lester start game six or will Tito stick with his original plan of Beckett for game six followed by Lester for the final contest? My guess is this...if Josh is "feeling fine," and we all know he doesn't look fine, he will start game six. Time will tell, but Tito Francona DID say that Beckett will be going on Saturday in St. Petersburg during the post game press conference. For now, just remember last night with a sly smile of contentment and a peaceful look of utter happiness. You deserve it, I deserve it, we all deserve it.

Click on this post's title for more about the game, have a great Friday, and I'd love to read and respond to every one of your comments. We should be proud of our team...I know I am. As always, be well. I love every one of you. I love the Boston Red Sox, too.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Good morning on this too early Thursday morning. Tonight's game will be game one of must win contests for the defending world champion Boston Red Sox. Why did I call it LAST CHANCE TEXACO game one? Just scroll down to the preceding post and you'll understand completely. The Tampa Bay Rays, firmly in complete control, have made a pitching change. Instead of James Shields, we'll see lefty but sometimes (lately) erratic Scott Kazmir. If he's on and has his control and can pitch more than six effective innings, this will be the last game for the team we love. But Boston has won three games in a row many times before. If Matsuzaka can do it once again and the Sox hitters can drive in some runs, we'll see Florida baseball starting on Saturday. With Beckett and Lester slated for games six and seven, well, those are the two guys, under normal circumstances, that we'd want to see. Obviously, these are anything but normal times for Boston.

So good luck to the Boston Red Sox. May Daisuke daze and confuse the Rays much like his first start of the series. May we live to play again. The game starts shortly after 8pm EDT and will be televised by the usual culprits-TBS and TBSHD. It all goes over to Fox and Fox HD for the World Series. By the way, the Phillies beat a game and determined Dodger team last night to make it into "the big one." Who will join them? We'll see, soon.

Please click on the title of this post, with your sound on, to listen to that Rickie Lee Jones song LAST CHANCE TEXACO. Just click on the title, look below and on the right side of the little image and click "watch in high quality," and you're all set. Haunting. As always, BE WELL. GO SOX...GO SOX.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Hello to you. I'll explain the title...before you enter the straight road west into the desert of the USA, there's a gas station...after that, it will be many, many miles before you'll see another. That's why it would be your last chance to fill up with now overpriced gallons. I hope the Red Sox are not on that road. By the way, that was a Rickie Lee Jones song from the 80's. Hauntingly beautiful. Please click on the title, turn on your sound, click the "watch in high quality " button, and enjoy. She was one of my favorite singer/songwriters back then...she has such a way with words. And this song brings back too many memories. Great audio and video quality, too. Are the Sox on that road, seeing that last chance Texaco station go by with 400 miles of barren, dry desert ahead, half a tank of gas and the radiator running near empty ? I hope not. CLICK AWAY...sound on. Thanks.


***BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE FENWAY*** Tampa Bay Rays 13 Boston Red Sox 4

The Boston Red Sox are in deep, DEEP trouble. Last night at Fenway Park, the Tampa Bays Rays demolished the home team by a score of 13-4. It was never close. Tim Wakefield, in his last start of 2008, allowed five runs in only 2 2/3 innings before being pulled by manager Terry Francona. Since their game one victory, a 2-0 win, Red Sox starting pitching has been horrendous and their hitting extremely woeful. Here's what Pedey Pedroia and catcher Keven Cash, who had a meaningless home run, had to say after the humiliation was over...

"We're down, 3-1, and if we lose, we're going home," Dustin Pedroia said. "Hit the panic button. You've got to play better. That's it. That's all I've got for you guys. Play better, we win."

"It's very deflating, frustrating, whatever word you want to use," said Kevin Cash, author of that home run. "We've got to regroup. We were down in this situation last year. That's a huge factor. Everybody in here still believes that we're going to go out and win Game 5 and so on."

Peter here. Wishful thinking, Kevin? I know these Sox have come back from 3-1 deficits before, most notably against the Yankees in 2004, but this is different. Josh Beckett looks like a ghostly apparition of himself and Jon Lester was bombed a couple days ago. Wakefield? You know the story there...he might have pitched his last for the club, much like Mike Timlin. Mike Lowell's booming bat has been missed and other key players just aren't hitting, slumping at the exact wrong time. It doesn't help that the Rays are running on all cylinders. Everyone seems to be locked in and more than ready to stomp their opponent into the ground much like a cigarette butt, smelly and nasty and burned down to the filter, used and worthless. I hate to say it, but that's exactly what's been happening.

After a day off today (Wednesday), Daisuke Matsuzaka will be handed the ball for the start. It will be up to him to start what would be a remarkable comeback. Frankly, I don't see it...and my nickname here in blogland is Mr. Optimistic. And that's so sad. If Tampa Bay does complete the series victory, I'll be rooting for them to go all the Impossible Dream season with a "last to first" one year turnaround. The way they've been playing against the defending world champions, they certainly would deserve it.

You can click on the title of this post for more on the massacre, and your comments are more than welcome and will be answered. It's a sad morning for Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International, but, as Yogi said long ago, "it ain't over until it's over." But it's pretty damn close, Mr. Berra. As always, BE WELL.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lester Pummeled As Tampa Bay Tilts The Red Sox 9-1

After a tremendous pitching effort in game one, the Boston Red Sox have seen two terrible outings. One, of course, was from the injured and hurting Josh Beckett. And the second was from Mr. Dependable, dependable until yesterday. Jon Lester gave up five runs in only 5 2/3 innings as the Red Sox went down to Tampa Bay by a score of 9-1. It was 5-0 after Tampa Bay's top half of the third, and I'm sorry to say, against Matt Garza, it was over. Finished. Gone. Garza worked six full, giving up only one earned run on six hits, walking three but striking out five. That's a far cry from Lester's numbers, and Paul Byrd in relief was no better, although he did save the Boston bullpen from unneeded's what manager Tito Francona & Jon Lester had to say after the important defeat, thoughts of Lester and Matt Garza...

“I didn’t stay away from the big inning,” Lester said in a quiet Red Sox clubhouse. “You can’t give them momentum like that.”

“It certainly wasn’t his sharpest outing,” Francona said. “But it wasn’t as bad as the numbers make it out to be - again, you put up four in an inning. Other than that, he was actually OK. Garza was throwing his fastball at times by us and that breaking ball at times that you had to respect,” manager Terry Francona said. “So that was a tough combination for us.”

The bright spots were few...Boston only managed seven base hits. So far, Jacoby Ellsbury is 0-14 for the series (ouch!) and Big Papi David Ortiz is a not much better 0-10 (oucher!!). Captain Jason Varitek has also been awful at the plate. These guys and the rest of their teammates must kick it up a notch. I watched the entire game, and by the third inning, I absolutely knew that Garza was going to be stingy with the base hits and even more so giving up any runs. The normally enthusiastic and somewhat raucus Fenway crowd was subdued and downright serious. The Sox are only two losses from the end of a 2008 season marked by injuries and then more injuries, peppered in between by more mishaps. But every baseball club goes through those kind of setbacks, and the Red Sox still managed to get to the American League Championship Series, one of only two AL teams left standing. And we're STILL standing, although with crutches. Timmy Wakefield will get his first postseason start of the season, and he'll be faced by Andy Sonnanstine, who sometimes gives Boston fits. LITERALLY! Game time and first pitch will be at 8:07pm EDT, with the pregame beginning on TBS and TBS HD at 8:00pm EDT. A win is a must...A MUST!

I thank you for stopping in yet again and I want to remind you that by clicking on this post's title, you'll be directed to the Boston Globe's Sox homepage. There, you will find all you need to know about a lost afternoon at Faithful Fenway Park. As always, BE WELL. And I must say this...GO SOX!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Game Three - Boston Red Sox & Tampa Bay Rays...JON LESTER IS IN THE BUILDING

Boston Red Sox baseball returns to Fenway Park today, Monday, October 13th. Happy Coumbus Day to every one of you. The weather will be downright perfect with sunny skies and temperatures in the very low to mid 70s for those of you lucky enough to be holding onto tickets for the important contest. The Red Sox have their best pitcher going. Jon Lester will face the sometimes tough Matt Garza in front of 38,000 plus of the Fenway Faithful. The shadows will affect those players in the batting box, which has to give a slim advantage to the lefty Lester. But he's been lights out this year day or night. The game will start at 4:37pm EDT and the winner will have a 2-1 series lead with two more games coming up at Fenway tomorrow and Thursday. If needed, the last two games will be Saturday and Sunday down at the Trop. But first things first...what happened to Josh Beckett? Here is what he and manager Terry "Tito" Francona had to say on that very subject...

"I can understand it," Beckett said about the queries from the media. "But if I tell you I'm fine, that's what you've got to go on. Unless you guys are getting information somewhere else, I don't know what to tell you guys. You guys keep asking me the same question about my health. I tell you I'm fine. Just go on that. Write that. I'm fine."

"He feels pretty good physically," manager Terry Francona said. "We spent a few minutes with him a little bit ago just trying to go through what his day will be like today, because today is a big work day. And again, just to double-check and make sure he's OK, because as we all know, when guys are competing, guys will fib or try to get through it. No, he's fine. He's certainly battling some consistency issues, and I think some of that is having some of your starts interrupted and then having the oblique a couple weeks ago. You know, it's been a battle for him."

Peter here, and quite frankly, I don't believe it. PERIOD. Someone like Josh does not just lose 3-5 MPH off his fastball without an underlying, maybe hidden reason. Is it the oblique? That would explain many things, but I don't think the Sox front office will be making any health annoucements because that would be giving Tampa Bay way too much information. We'll just have to wait until Saturday if a game six is necessary. One thing I DO hope, and that is this. I hope the club is not risking Josh's overall long term health in any way whatsoever. NO WAY, NO HOW.

This afternoon's game will be telecast on TBS and TBS HD. The Dodgers made their series a 2-1 affair (Phillies in the lead) and game four will follow the Sox game at 8:30pm EDT or so on FOX and FOX HD. I'd like to see Joe Torre's Dodgers knot the series at two...that would make for even more exciting October west coast baseball. But most importantly, we need a huge start from Mr. Lester in what will be his biggest start of the year, bigger than anything since his no hitter and before that his 2007 World Series clinching victory. So I have a really good inner feeling about game three. A SOXY feeling. I hope you do, too. If Boston scores three runs or more, put a check mark in the win column. Jon has been attacking the strike zone aggressively lately, not wasting too many pitches. And that was one of his only faults...too many pitches in too few innings. NOT ANY MORE!

So enjoy your holiday and this afternoon's Fenway Park brand of baseball, baseball as only the Boston Red Sox can do it. You can click on the title of this post for more on the upcoming Monday afternoon excitement, courtesy of the Boston Globe. Thank you so much for stopping in, and as always, BE WELL. Go RED SOX NATION, go RED SOX INTERNATIONAL. GO SOX.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Beckett Battered, Busted And Bruised...Tampa Bay 9 Red Sox 8 (11)

Only seven pitchers in playoff history had given up 8 runs or more in only 4 1/3 innings...until last night at the Trop Dome. Make it eight as Josh Beckett, the recipient of a pain injection earlier in the week, was battered bloody by the Tampa Bay Rays. Boston wasted 12 hits and 4 home runs in a losing cause. The final score was 9-8 Rays, and Red Sox Nation is very worried about their ace. Will he pitch again in 2008? Right now, we don't know, but things sure look bad for him. A shallow sacrifice fly to right by Upton scored the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning. Timlin had come in to pitch because Sox manager Terry "Tito" Francona was literally down to his last man on the pitching staff, namely Mike Timlin, who should hang up his cleats when the season ends, a post season quite possibly shortened by the ineffectiveness of the Boston ace, Josh Beckett. What a shame. Here are some thoughts from Tito, pitching coach John Farrell, who was ejected for arguing a strike/ball call late in the game, and the hurting man himself, Josh Beckett...

"I'm fine," Beckett said when asked about his condition. "It's frustrating when your team gets eight runs and you can't win the game. That's the frustrating part."

"More than anything, it was mislocation," said Sox pitching coach John Farrell. "I thought his stuff was consistent with what he was throwing the last 6-7-8 weeks of the season."

"We wanted Beckett to get through that fifth and set up our bullpen, and it didn't work," said Francona.

Peter here. Beckett's two-game linescore since straining the oblique and getting the injection: 9 1/3 innings, 18 hits, 5 walks, 5 homers, 12 earned runs, 199 pitches. And that just will not do. Is it better to just sit him down and find out where the discomfort is coming from, and why? I SAY YES, and (gulp) (gulp again) let Byrd take his spot for game five next Thursday at Fenway. But the Sox bats were working and working well. They banged out 12 hits, three each by Pedroia, Youkilis and Bay. They also hit four home runs. But, unlike the TV show, eight was NOT enough, and in the post season, that can be deadly to a team's chances. Boston did what it originally set out to do by knocking Kazmir out early, and the Tampa 'pen was not nearly as effective as the Boston bullpen, which was just fine, thank you, until Timlin toed the rubber. And then, scant minutes later, the Tampa Bay portion of the crowd down in Florida went home happy. The Red Sox simply went home, home to a New England that was thirsty for a 2-0 series lead, ravenous for a good showing from Beckett. Well, neither of those things happened, and the hunger remains, stronger than ever. The road is uphill from now on for the defending world champions.

Francona puts the ball in the hand of the team's true ace, Jon Lester, who will try to regain the home field advantage for the Sox Monday afternoon (YES, I said afternoon. First pitch will be at 4:37pm EDT). So we wait and try to enjoy a Sunday off day. The 'pen needs a rest. You & I need a rest. Beckett might be resting all winter long. We'll know more later and you'll read about it right here. Don't be surprised if Byrd takes the place of Josh at the end of the week. I hope not, but my inner feelings say that's going to happen.

Have a wonderful Sunday and a great Columbus Day Monday, click on the title for all the Boston Herald knows, and as always, BE WELL. And here's the bad news pitching line for Boston...

J. Beckett 4.1 9 8 8 1 5 3 16.62
J. Lopez 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 NA
M. Delcarmen 1.2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
H. Okajima 2.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
J. Masterson 0.2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
J. Papelbon 1.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
M. Timlin (L, 0-1) 0.2 0 1 1 3 0 0 13.50

Saturday, October 11, 2008

DAISUKE DOMINATION...Boston 2 Tampa Bay 0

Seven innings pitched. ZERO runs on four hits and two walks. That was Daisuke Matsuzaka's pitching line for Friday's Tampa Bay Rays/Boston Red Sox game. The Red Sox won the game by a score of 2-0, taking a 1-0 series lead. Josh Beckett will face the Ray's erratic at times Scott Kazmir tonight at 8pm EDT on TBS and TBSHD. But last night, it was all the escape artist known as Daisuke Matsuzaka. He didn't allow a hit until the bottom of the seventh, but there were a few bumps in the road. Right off the bat (no pun intended), Matsuzaka was in a jam with the bases full of Rays. After 27 pitches, the inning was over with no runners coming anywhere near the plate. Cliff Floyd grounded out to end it. Yet again, the Red Sox starter had wriggled out of it, much as he's done all season long in amassing 19 wins. He did not give up a hit until the seventh inning, an inning he got through unscathed and unscored upon. And then it was the 'pen's turn, and they shined just as brightly. Okajima, our Darkman, Masterson and Papelbon shut down the Rays' offense much like I shut off the oven when a meal is finished. Here is what Sox manager Terry Francona had to say after the game. Dice K chimes in with his thoughts, too...

"He was powering through that stretch, two-seamer and cutter," manager Terry Francona said. "His ball had a lot of life through the strike zone."

"With my fastball not where I wanted it to be, I used my second pitches to the corner," Dice-K said.

"He doesn't give in," Francona said. "He throws all his pitches so hitters have to respect, even in tight situations, he doesn't become a one-pitch pitcher."

I have a treat for you. The Hartford Courant's sportwriter, the incomparable Jeff Jacobs, wrote a column for the Saturday morning Courant entitled AN ESCAPE ARTIST AT HIS BEST. Of course, he meant Daisuke, and all you have to do to access that piece is simply click on the title of this post. If you're reading this on a news feeder or BASEBALL NOOZE, click into my actual blog site and then click on the title. But if you're here, it's easy. I know you will enjoy it...the man has a way with sports and words unmatched by any other human, at least on THIS planet.

So until that fateful hour of 8pm EDT, enjoy your Saturday and the start of the weekend. Our eyes turn to Josh Beckett. If he can turn it up a notch and regain his sharpness, the Rays will be making the trip to wonderful Boston down 0-2. Wouldn't that be nice? Wouldn't that be wonderful? Wouldn't that be terrific? OK, ok, I can stop now. As always and forever, BE WELL. And I'd love to read and respond to your comments...until 8pm...GO SOX

Friday, October 10, 2008

FOUR AND NO MORE...A Red Sox-Tampa Bay Matchup Preview

The Boston Globe today (Friday) ran a Nick Carfado Red Sox-Tampa Bay matchup synopsis. Just click on the title of this post and go through the pages (with pics) one by one...fielding, hitting, pitching etc. After each section, it will allow you to vote, but bear in mind that the voters are almost all exclusively Sox fans. But I found it an entertaining and informative way to spend 10 minutes. I hope you can try it!

So just click on the title...that's it! Tonight, it's Daisuke Matsuzaka and James Shields who are ready to go at it on the mound. The Phillies defeated the Dodgers on Thursday in a well pitched game by a score of 3-2. Manny had a couple hits, but he's been doing that almost every game for LA. Don't we wish he was a little (read..A LOT) more motivated to play for the Red Sox? What he did was unforgivably, unprofessionally hideous. No ifs, ands or buts. HE QUIT ON HIS TEAM...f*ck him. The Phillies and the artful Dodgers will play game two in the late afternoon, and then shortly after 7pm EDT, IT'S RED SOX BASEBALL TIME! Enjoy, and as always, BE WELL. Click on the title now and enjoy. I know you will. Thanks. You can always leave a comment...I'd love it. GO SOX. Oh, I almost forgot. Here is the complete seven game schedule. Remember, until the World Series, all games are on TBS and TBSHD...

GM HM Time (ET) Visiting Pitcher Home Pitcher
1 TB 10/10, 8:37 p.m. Bos: Matsuzaka TB: Shields
2 TB 10/11, 8:07 p.m. Bos: Beckett TB: Kazmir
3 Bos 10/13, 4:37 p.m. TB: Garza Bos: Lester
4 Bos 10/14, 8:07 p.m. TB: Sonnanstine Bos: Wakefield
5 Bos 10/16, 8:07 p.m. TB: Shields Bos: Matsuzaka
6 TB 10/18, 4:37 p.m. Bos: Beckett TB: Kazmir
7 TB 10/19, 8:07 p.m. Bos: Lester TB: Garza

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Happy Birthday John Lennon...1940-1980

You left us too soon. You would have turned 68 years old this morning. Wow, that's hard to believe! But your voice would still be ringing loud and clear, and I wish that we could all hear your feelings about the world today, much as it was when you were murdered, murdered by a cowardly jerk who shot you five times in the back at near point blank range... you never had a chance. You left us too early. I miss you.

"And we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yes, we all shine on, on and on and on and on"

John, you're still shining. You know what? You always will. I miss you.

Red Sox At Rays, Coming Soon To A Living Room Near You...Is There Still A Hint Of Bad Blood In The Air?

Yes, it's almost that time. Shortly after 7pm EDT tomorrow, way down in St. Petersburg, Florida, two teams that really don't like each other face off in a best of seven game series. The first two contests and the last two, if necessary, will take place in Florida, and the middle three will be at friendly Fenway Park. Is there still any bad blood between these two teams? The past is riddled with hit batsmen and brawls, punches and bitter feelings. Pedro Martinez, James Shields and Coco Crisp are just three of the many Boston and Tampa Bay players who have been involved in the mayhem. But these upcoming games are October baseball games, and nothing will match their importance or intensity. Here are a few thoughts from Sox manager Terry Francona and closer elite Jonathon Papelbon...

"The bad blood, I don't think anyone has even thought of it," Francona said. "This is the playoffs, and that really doesn't enter into it."

"I don't know," said closer Jonathan Papelbon. "There could be something that stirs it right back up. You know how these things linger all year long. I do know one thing: We're going to go to the ALCS and play good baseball."

Good baseball, Jonathon. Those are the magic words. I'm hoping for this and only (if it takes that many) close and intense games broken up by a couple Red Sox blowouts. I guess you can tell I'm a huge Boston fan...I have been since I was a kid. But I know how good a team Tampa Bay is and right now, they're the Cinderella story of baseball. You root for the underdog? Then you're rooting for the Rays, as many baseball fans throughout the country (and the world) most certainly are. They're the ones who are sick of seeing Boston in it year after year after year. Me? Well, you know the answer to that! Here's a prediction. The LA-Philadelphia series starts tonight in Philly. Yes, the Phillies had the better record and all that. But LA closed the season on a hot streak, helped by Manny's amazing .396 average with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs. I pick 'em to win in six games. I feel the same way about the Sox...six games. If it works out, both Joe Torre and Manny Ramirez will return to Fenway Park. Expect to hear cheers for Joe...he's a good guy and a great manager who no longer wears pinstripes and is loved by baseball fans in Boston and everywhere. Manny? Wow, that's another story entirely. The boos might be heard from the churches of Maine to the jails in New Jersey (thanks Bruce). And I'm being serious!!

Thank you for stopping in, your comments are always welcome and will always be answered, and please click on the title of this post to be linked to a tremendous article penned by the Hartford Courant's excellent Jeff Jacobs. It examines the bumpy history of these two combative teams. Jeff Jacobs is, quite simply, the best. The best ever. So click away! Hi ho Silver!! As always, BE WELL.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


From Boston dot com, just now...
Red Sox manager Terry Francona today announced his rotation for the ALCS, which kicks off on Friday night in St. Petersburg, Fla. against the Rays:

Game 1: Daisuke Matsuzaka
Game 2: Josh Beckett
Game 3: Jon Lester
Game 4: Tim Wakefield
Game 5: Matsuzaka
Game 6: Beckett
Game 7: Lester

P.S. In my last post, I took an educated guess... I was right.
Take care,'re the best!

Red Sox ALCS Pitching Rotation Thoughts...

Who starts game one against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night? Knowing the answer to that will help all the other rotation questions become clearer. It looks like the Sox will start Daisuke Matsuzaka on Friday down in Florida, with Beckett to follow. Matsuzaka will face James Shields, who is a tough customer. Jon Lester will open up the Fenway Park trio of games by starting game three, with Wakefield (NOT Byrd) to follow. That way Lester, clearly the best Red Sox pitcher on the planet, would be in line to start game seven, if there is a need for a game seven. Why not pitch Jon in game one? Simple...he would be pitching on three days rest, and with a long series in store, that is not necessary. Ex-ace Josh Beckett said this about Lester...

"Shit, he's a man," Beckett said when asked of Lester's performance in the ALDS. "There ain't nobody who wants to face him right now.

Well put, Josh. Right now, Lester is one of the top lefthanders in all of baseball. Why, do you ask, will he not be slated to pitch game two in St. Petersburg? It will have been a long time since Beckett has had multiple starts of any kind. Holding him back does not make any sense. Hopefully, the Sox can take one of two (if not both, but at least know me-Mr. Optimistic) before coming back to Boston. Having Lester start the home opener of the series just makes all the sense in the world, especially if the Sox are in desperate straits. P.S. They won't be.

I see the world champions winning the whole thing in six or seven games, probably seven...the Rays are simply too good a club to put away any more quickly, if at all. And what a series it should be! Two teams that intensely dislike each other, one an upstart long shot and one that is defending their world championship. But remember this...over 162 games, the Rays had the second best record in the American League. They used to be pushovers, a "put the game in the win column" type of team. NOT ANYMORE. Please remember that.

You can click on the title of this post to be linked to an informative and video loaded Fox sports site about our Sox. You'll spend so much time there, and all you have to do is click on the title. Put your sound on for the video segments. I like it, mucho! Thanks for stopping in. Your comments are always welcome and always answered. BE WELL. GO SOX. I'll say it again...GO SOX!!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

***SOXTOBER CONTINUES*** Red Sox Eliminate Angels...Advance To ALCS


The Boston Red Sox defeated the California LA Angels in another tight and beautifully pitched baseball game Monday night at Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts. The final score was 3-2. Jon Lester proved to everyone that he is the true ace of the pitching staff, going seven wonderous innings and allowing ZERO runs and only four base hits. He walked two and struck out four. He deserved the win, but the Halos scored twice in the eighth inning against the bullpen, which made the score 2-2. Hero time was upon us for the ninth inning. After a suicide squeeze play failed to produce an Angel run in the top of the inning, a Jed Lowrie single plated Jason Bay, who had doubled, and the walk-off celebration, wet and wild, commenced. Here are some thoughts, thoughts of the possibility of having to jet back to California if the Sox had lost, and more...

“We were dreading it (the westbound trip),” said center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who knocked in the first Red Sox run in the fifth. “I almost felt bad bringing my luggage here to the ballpark this afternoon. But we’re very happy to get it done here and now. You never know what can happen in a Game 5.”
“Absolutely - I left all my stuff in my car,” Pedroia said. “I’m not going to jinx anything and bring it out.”

When asked about the amazing performance by MVP of the series Jon Lester, his catcher said this...

“Powerful,” catcher Jason Varitek said of Lester. “He’s grown up before our eyes.”

Peter here, and that he has, Jason. Jon Lester is the true ACE of the Boston Red Sox, now and for many years to come. He will not be able to start game one of the Tampa Bay series because his normal four days rest would schedule him for Saturday. Josh Beckett will be the first man on the mound Friday night in Tampa. Theo Epstein had a few thoughts after the team he helped to build clinched the AL Championship Series for the third time in five years...

“That was a team victory tonight, as always,” a drenched general manager Theo Epstein said. “It’s been that way all year. It’s one of the things the Red Sox stand for now. It was typical. Right now this feels pretty good. This is a hard place to get to.”

Peter here...I'm happy, you're happy, and October has started out splendidly for the world champions. Now it gets tougher. The Tampa Bay Rays are NO team to dismiss. We've played them nineteen times so far, so we all know it. Experience and depth are on Boston's side. Karma might be the Rays' best friend, for this year they've done everything they've set out to do. The first four games of the seven game series schedule follows...

Friday at Tampa Bay (8:37pm EDT)
Saturday at Tampa Bay (8:07pm EDT)
Monday at Boston (4:37pm EDT)
Tuesday at Boston (8:07pm EDT)

Those are the first four five will also be at the Fens (if necessary) on Thursday and games six and seven, also if necessary, will move back to the dome in Florida over the weekend.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BOSTON RED SOX, 2007 WORLD CHAMPIONS who are going for one more. May the force be with them...our faith certainly is. Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International faith, the world over. Click on the title of this post for more on the walk-off victory, and as always, BE WELL.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Angels Win Tight, Taught Game

The visiting LA Angels beat the Boston Red Sox by a score of 5-4 in twelve innings Sunday evening, cutting Boston's series lead to two games to one. It was not a particularly good effort from starter Josh Beckett...maybe the injury time out made him a little rusty around the edges. No maybes about it...he looked out of synch and his pitches were JUST missing. He was only able to go five innings and uncharacteristically gave up four runs on nine (!) hits in that short span. The bullpen tried to rescue him with six scoreless innings of relief, but they couldn't make it seven. Erik Aybar singled in the go ahead run off Javy Lopez in the top of the 12th and the Sox failed to score in their half of the inning, ending a five hour plus game watched by the largest ever post-WWII Fenway Park crowd. Now that's something! And keep in mind that Jonathon Papelbon went two innings in the losing cause and will be used tonight for one inning and one inning only, if needed. I hope he is. Here's what manager Tito Francona had to say about his starter and ace...

“I thought the Angels really made Beckett work,” manager Terry Francona said. “You know, right from the very first pitch of the game, he was out of the stretch. Again, it’s been a couple of weeks. I don’t think his command was what it can be.
I thought our whole staff . . . seemed like we were pitching out of the stretch every single inning. We dodged a lot of bullets and couldn’t in the end.”

The Sox turn to their game one starter, Jon Lester, who takes his 11-1 Fenway Park record into the game. He'll be opposed by the Angel's game one starter, John Lackey. Here's a prediction...if the Red Sox score three runs or more, they'll win the game and wrap up the series. If not, the "tiptoe through the minefields" Daisuke Matsuzaka will go in the final game of the series Wednesday on the left coast. LET'S WRAP THIS UP TODAY and forgo any westbound flights. PLEASE!

You can click on this post's title for all the unsavory details of the big night at the Fens. Tonight's game will be televised at 8pm EDT on TBS and there, unless you're lucky enough to have tickets for the festivities. If you are going, bring a heavy sweater or a'll be downright chilly up there, as it will be down here in north central Connecticut. There are freeze warnings that have just been issued for us. 'Tis the season, or getting close to it, I guess. As always, BE WELL. I mean that.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Red Sox Are Going For Twelve Straight Wins Over The Vaunted But Now Meek LA Angels

Yes, that's right, I said MEEK. They are not playing the same brand of baseball they did all season long, a season that they recorded 100 wins, the only team in all of baseball to do it. But that was then and THIS IS NOW, and the Boston Red Sox are running on all their cylinders. Blessed with enough impact players to make it easy for skipper Terry "Tito" Francona to juggle his lineup for the most effective cast of charactors (a perfect example would be the lineup in game 2 of the series), Boston is both deep and talented. They've outhit, outpitched, outscored and outplayed the Halos in every way possible, and tonight they go with their ace, Josh Beckett. The players are relatively rested, the bullpen is fresh and the Fenway Faithful are chomping at the bit to file into Fenway Park tonight and cheer on their heros. Here are the thoughts of team sparkplug Dustin Pedroia and the workhorse of the bullpen (so far), Jonathon Papelbon...

“It’s huge, said Dustin Pedroia. They have the best record in baseball. Yeah, we’re up two games, but . . . I don’t know if we’re the underdogs or what the story is, but we’ve got to come out and win. We don’t want them to have any life. They’re a great team over there. They’re going to play with a sense of urgency - their season could be over,” said Pedroia. “We just have to win one more game, play as hard as we can and try to find a way. The last two games, we’ve pitched well, played good defense and got some huge hits from guys. When we do that, we’re going to win.”

“I just know that our ballclub is the kind of a team where, if you give us an inch, we’re going to take a mile. That’s kind of the mindset we have in this clubhouse, said closer Jonathan Papelbon. I know that everybody in this clubhouse wants to keep applying the pressure. We want to keep that foot on the neck. This is just the time of year where you pay for your mistakes more than you do in the regular season,” said Papelbon, who recorded six outs in Game 2. “Those hitters have seen you all year long now. It’s a little bit different.”

Congratulations MUST go out to Joe Torre and his LA Dodgers, who completed their sweep of the still-jinxed (??) Chicago Cubbies. Tonight's game at Friendly Fenway will start at 7:17pm EDT with a pregame show starting at 7pm EDT on TBS and TBSHD. It'll be lefty Joe Saunders (17-7 3.41) versus Josh "Baseball" Beckett (12-10 4.03) in front of nearly 38,000 Red Sox fans. The upstart Tampa Bay Rays can also go for their very own series sweep. They face the White Sox in Chicago late this afternoon, shortly after 4pm EDT, also on your TBS cable or dish channel. I hope the Sox can wrap it up tonight and have a little time to rest the weary. And I fervently pray for a White Sox win, just one, maybe two. But my thoughts and energy and good karma will be focused on that team from Boston, the one I love. I hope your Sunday will be wonderful, enjoy baseball at a relatively "normal" time, and GO SOX!! You can click on this post's title for more on game three of the American League Division Series (clincher??), and as always, BE WELL.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Boston Red Sox Take A Commanding 2-0 Lead Over The LA Angels

First and ninth inning home run magic propelled the Boston Red Sox to a 7-5 victory over the LA (California) Angels Friday night, and their flight home must have been a happy one. Jason Bay launched a three run shot in the first, an inning that Boston scored four times. Now that's a nice crooked number! Jason had three hits for the day. The Sox eventually expanded that lead to a 5-1 advantage before the Halos made it 5-3, then 5-4 and finally 5-5. They tied the score after eight full innings. But then the bookend to Bay's first inning tater happened. It was the ninth inning, Francisco Hernandez, the owner of the all-time single season saves record, was pitching, and JD Drew, the player of the game (along with Bay) with three hits, hit a monster shot to make the score 7-5 good guys. And that's where it stayed. Jonathon Papelbon pitched the final two innings and gave up one run, but that was it. Ervin Santana was floured, battered and fried early and only pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up those five runs on eight hits while walking none and striking out three. Matsuzaka, handed a 4-0 lead, was no better, always escaping disaster of his own creation. He did not have his control, what there is of it, and when his pitches found the zone, as they often did early, they were hit, hit squarely for base hits. He pranced and danced through minefields of his own creation for five innings, throwing a bulky 108 pitches in that short span. Now that's a ton of pitches! It was a typical Daisuke start, disappointing to say the least. An ineffective Okajima followed, and then the 'pen gates opened up with Jed Masterson and finally, FINALLY, Jonathon Papelbon, who recorded the final six outs without any of his baserunners getting anywhere near the plate. Game two hero JD Drew and Angel manager Mike Scioscia had this to say after the game, a game which put the Angels into quite the hole...

"There's probably no greater feeling as a baseball player," Drew said. "You battle all year to get to this point, and you get to experience that. I hadn't played in six weeks, so I'm thankful to be out there and just run around and play with our team. To contribute in a key situation is huge."

"We have a challenge," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "This game ain't over until somebody wins three games, it's that type of series. We go into Boston, win a game, and the pressure is back on them. We need to play baseball."

Peter here, and Mike, I think the pressure is on you and your team. Good luck against Beckett. The Boston ace has gotten the green light from the team of doctors and his manager, who watched his 67 pitch side session yesterday. He was rearing back and throwing everything with no fear whatsoever. Josh knows he can end this series on Sunday with a great outing, and a pitch count should not be a factor.

You can click on the title of this post for more coverage of a joyous night in Anaheim, joyous for Red Sox Nation, at least. The Angel fans raised the roof while their team was rallying but walked tomb-like, dusty and dead, as they filed out of the stands. Yes, they were thinking this...that team from Boston has beaten us eleven straight times in the postseason. And I would say to them this...let's make it an even dozen.

Have a wonderful weekend, enjoy the off day, and get ready for baseball on Sunday at a relatively normal time...shortly after 7:30pm EDT (TBS & TBSHD) that's more like it! Please leave me some comments so I know you're out there, and enjoy basking in the glow of yet another postseason Red Sox win. GO SOX, and as always, be well.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Game Two Tonight In Anaheim...Beckett, Drew And Lowell Updates

It's Friday morning, about sixteen hours before the first pitch between the Boston Red Sox and the LA Angels will be thrown. That happens shortly after 9:30pm EDT. Daisuke Matsuzaka is ready to face the Angels best starter, at least THIS year, Ervin Santana. If Boston wins, they will jet home with a commanding 2-0 series lead with their ace, Josh beckett, scheduled to start game three at Fenway on Sunday.

The latest injury news news is this - JD Drew's back did not act up after game one or on the day off, so it's highly likely we'll see him in rightfield tonight. In perhaps the most important injury news, Josh Beckett put the "pedal to the metal" in his workout yesterday. He threw about sixty pitches from a mound and let it all loose with no discomfort whatsoever. I swear if he's handed the ball for game three with his team (OUR team) holding a 2-0 series lead, it's goodbye Angels. But first things first. And the first thing is to WIN game two. The story on Mikey Lowell is more complicated. He's been going through a ton of pain, at the plate and while fielding the ball. Will he play? Here's what his manager, Terry Francona, had to say, followed by something from the man himself. He's such an important cog for this 2008 Boston Red Sox team. That fact alone makes any "should he play" decision crucial...

"We may have to make some changes as we go in the series," Francona said. "I spent a lot of time talking to Mike Lowell this morning. It's not just like a little nagging hamstring he's dealing with. I really don't know what we're going to do tomorrow. It's actually a very difficult decision for me. You've got a guy who's the ultimate gamer. He'll go out there every day. We're going back in a couple days to Fenway, facing a lefty. It's very important having his bat in the lineup. So again, there's some decisions we still need to make. I haven't really actually come to a conclusion yet. Mikey Lowell, what he's going through right now, he's going to pay for later. He knows that. He's beating his body up. As a manager or a teammate, I don't know how you can't respect that from him. He's the ultimate teammate."

"I don't see any problems," Lowell said. "I actually thought I was going to wake up really sore. I didn't. So, I'm looking forward to a workout, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's game."

Peter here...well said, Mike. If you're not able to play, you WILL be missed. I have a feeling that we'll see his familiar face and his great "gobble up that ball" defense come 9:37pm EDT...I sure hope so. The Sox are an incomplete team without him in there. But as of now (Friday morning, 6am EDT), both look like they're penciled in as starters. We'll see.

The winners yesterday were the Manny-led Dodgers, who have a two zip lead in their series with the Cubbies, the Phillies, who also have a commanding two zip lead over Milwaukee (they beat the Brewer's unstoppable CC Sabathia yesterday, which continued CC's postseason blues) and the Tampa Bay Rays, a team we are all very familiar with. Maybe too much so! They have a 1-0 lead over the other Chicago team, the White Sox. So today shapes up like this, baseball wise. The White Sox and the Rays will play shortly after 6pm EDT (TBS and TBSHD) with Buehrle vs. Kazmir - great matchup) followed by our very own defending world champs against the LA Halos, with first pitch shortly after 9:30pm EDT (TBS and TBSHD).

That's your Red Sox wrap for Friday, October 3, 2008. For more Red Sox news, simply click on the title of this post. And once again, in this playoff time of year, I'd love to read and respond to your comments. Please please me? And yes, that was the name of the second ever Beatle's single, recorded way back in 1963. Have a great Friday and look for me back here by tomorrow morning, early, REALLY early! But I'll be back before then to read any and all comments, or as the news warrants. I want to thank you once again for stopping in to this little corner of the 'blue nowhere." As always, BE WELL

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Lesters Dominates, Bay Blasts and Red Sox Win Game One Over Angels 4-1

WOW! Watching Jon Lester wriggle out of early inning mini-jams and then getting stronger and stronger as the game rolled by made me say just that after his brilliant outing was finished. The only run he allowed was an unearned one, unearned because of a rare Jed Lowrie fielding miscue. But Jason Bay's sixth inning shot off John Lackey in his third ever postseason at bat plated two and that was all the defending world champs needed. They won the game by a score of 4-1 after tacking on two pad runs in the top of the ninth before Papelbon came on and struck out the side in the bottom half of the frame. Jon Lester was magnificent, going seven full and allowing that one unearned run and six hits, walking only one and whiffing seven. I can't wait to see him at Fenway in game four on Monday, a game that WILL happen unless the Sox win two straight. Even though I love 'em, to win three straight from the Halos would be hard to imagine. But back to last night! Jacoby Ellsbury continues to get steaming hot. He had three base hits and made an ESPN highlight reel catch in the eighth inning, a fly ball that NO ONE thought he could reach. He has a fifth gear, an overdrive that he can access to give him a turbocharged burst of speed, and he used exactly that last night. Make sure you see the replay.

Angel manager Mike Sciocia had this to say about Boston starter Jon Lester, and then Jonathon Papelbon described his team's state of mind for us...

“I thought Lester threw some breaking balls behind in counts which got him back into counts and a curve that he was throwing inside to some of our righties,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, “and he had great stuff and he pitched a great ballgame.”

“We’re a bunch of stubborn, groovy guys,” Papelbon said of the team’s resilience. “It’s awesome. Guys in this clubhouse just expect that everyone’s going to lay it on the line for everyone else.”

Peter here. Paps, I'm groovy, you're groovy, the team is groovy, but more importantly, the Boston Red Sox have a 1-0 lead in this best of five ALDS series. Game two will be Friday, so both bullpens, including Paps, who only tossed thirteen pitches, will be fresh and ready to go. Dausuke Matsuzaka will go against Ervin Santana. If Daisuke has his control harnassed, he can be as tough as anyone in baseball. Let's say they win Friday night. A 2-0 lead with Beckett to (hopefully) go Monday for Boston would be close to an insurmountable lead. But we'll take it one game at a time and enjoy this day off. Tampa Bay and the White Sox start their series shortly after 2:30 pm EDT (TBS and TBS HD) followed by a 6pm EDT Brewers at Philadelphia game two. Game two between the Dodgers and Cubbies will follow that at approx. 9:30pm EDT. All are on TBS and TBS HD. Hey, we're running out of daylight savings time...I just realized that!

Enjoy this day off and bask in the glow of a resounding Boston victory. I have to say this again...Matsuzaka MUST have his control on Friday night. We need him to go six (or seven?) strong and we'll score enough runs to win. Boy, would that flight home be nice if that happened! But don't forget this...winning game one was SO important. You can click on this post's title for more on the California dreaming, and as always, BE WELL. I'd love to hear your thoughts about last night or about ANYTHING Sox. Thanks for stopping ya all!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

ALDS Game #1...Boston Red Sox At LA Angels

The LA Angels and the Boston Red Sox have met nine times in the post season since October of 1986, and Boston has won every won. Will that pleasing trend continue or will it revert back to 2008's 1-9 Red Sox regular season record? We'll only know the answer to that after game one, which starts shortly after 10pm EDT. Here are the all-important pitching matchups for the game. Bear in mind that John Lackey has had a rough September while Jon Lester was named AL Pitcher of the Month...
Red Sox
Jon Lester

vs Opp 0-0 7.20 2.20
Career vs Opp 1-1 7.78 2.19
Season 16-6 3.21 1.28

John Lackey

vs Opp 2-0 2.81 0.69
Career vs Opp 3-6 5.54 1.67
Season 12-5 3.75 1.23

All of the AL and NL ALDS games will be televised by TBS and (if you are lucky enough to receive it) TBS HD. It's a late starter but a little nap before the first pitch is not a bad idea, at least for me. You want a prediction? Oy vei. I guess I have to say that on Saturday, the Angels and Red Sox will be knotted at one game apiece. Daisuke Matsuzaka will pitch game two and Josh Beckett, as it stands right now, will toe the rubber in the Fenway opener game three on Sunday. He threw a side session on Tuesday and looked OK, according to his manager, Tito Francona, who had this to say yesterday on the prospect of Mike Lowell being able to play and whether or not he will be the DH for the team...

“Thought Mikey Lowell looked pretty good,” Francona said. “He’s not done doing everything he needs to do, but I thought it was very encouraging the way he moved around. The movement he did do didn’t grab at him. That was very encouraging.”
And no,” he said. “David is our DH. The way that the Angels play the game, we have to put our best team on the field. We want David DHing.”

Peter here. The Angels have the ability to bunt, and with speed on the basepaths, produce runs the way they were meant to be hustle and scratch base hits. Francona wants to put his best fielding team between the lines, so it makes sense to me! As for JD Drew, he and his back survived the plane flight without any ill effects and there's a good chance we'll see him in rightfield tonight. We can only hope.

So may the force be with the Boston Red Sox, that very special force of's always vital to win the first game in a short series such as this one. You can click on this post's title for more about the goings-on in California, where our team starts its quest for back to back world championships. So have faith. Like a protective animal, Boston always seems to rise up and attack when it's wounded, taking no prisoners. That's the way I see it, right here, right now. As always, BE WELL, and you can leave a comment with any and all last minute thoughts and maybe a prediction or two. Do we have a chance? I say yes, RESOUDINGLY.