Get Over It

Wah!  That’s all I’ve heard the past several days over the talk radio airwaves.  Wah!

Wah!  Opening Day isn’t Opening Day, it is Opening Night!  Wah!

Wah!  Opening Day is on Easter!  Wah!

Please……GET OVER IT

If you don’t like it!  Don’t go!  Don’t watch!  But seriously, quit your belly aching.

Without too much of a controversy during spring training, this has been the complaint du jour for the week.  Let’s get a few things straight, though.

First, Opening Day is Opening Day.  For those that don’t know, a day is a 24 hour period that begins at 12:00 am and ends 11:59pm.  The day is typically broken down into three segments: morning, afternoon, and evening.  Thus, on Sunday it is Opening Day with the game being played in the evening.  Hope you have this straight now.

Now, on to Easter.  I don’t understand this complaint.  At my house, the Easter Bunny is long gone by the time noon arrives.  Not to mention, the Easter baskets have long been raided and ravaged.  Thus the evening is the perfect time to sit back and let all that chocolate and jelly beans digest and to enjoy the FIRST REAL BASEBALL GAME OF THE SEASON!  Maybe if your lucky enough to be attending Opening Day, you may get some Red Sox jelly beans!  That would be sweet!

Plus, I heard they’re giving Wally the evening off, and this guy will be filling in as mascot for the game:

easter_bunny.jpg

Go Red Sox!!!!

Yard Sale at Fenway

Fenway_Front.jpgNo, I am not even talking about the Mike Lowell deal (which is not official, yet). 

Yesterday, when I got home from work around 3pm, this email was sitting in my inbox:


Everyone, 

I
know this is extremely late notice but the Red Sox have just invited all ARAMARK
employees to come on down to the yard sale today.  You can enter through Gate
E.  They are selling a number of different things ranging from $10-$700+. 
Please forward this along to your distribution lists if
possible.

Thanks,


This, of course, was the first I ever heard of it.  What notice!  This would have been awesome to go to.  However, apparently, the Red Sox weren’t too keen on promoting this event.  I did a google search for “Yard Sale at Fenway Park” and didn’t really see much pertaining to 2009 except for this, a post Fenway neighborhood blog


1:22 PM


Posted by
Stephen Brophy


Dear Fenway Neighbors,

Please join us for a
great opportunity to finish up (or begin!) your holiday shopping at the
Great Fenway Park Yard Sale today at Fenway Park until 5pm!

Items for sale include unique Red Sox memorabilia and one-of-a-kind items from Fenway Park.

Please enter through Gate E and let them know you’re a Fenway neighbor.

Hope to see you there!!!

Happy shopping!!
Beth Krudys


Interesting to find out how many people knew about this and how many people were there.  However, apparently it was quite successful because today the Red Sox have agreed to a 5 year contract with form Los Angeles of Anaheim Angel John Lackey and have made an offer of $15.5 million to Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman and are close to a deal with perennial Gold Glove outfielder Mike Cameron.

lackey.jpgWhile Lackey is a quality starting pitcher who has won quite a few big games in his career, I cannot say that I am truly enamored with this signing.  This does make a strong rotation for 2010 with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Clay Buccholz, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, and now Lackey.  However, with this contract being reported as a 5 yr / $85 million contract, you have to wonder how this signing is going to affect the Josh Beckett negotiations.  Beckett will become a free agent at the end of 2010.  Beckett will command a contract AT LEAST the length and size of Lackey’s deal.  With the Red Sox’ history of re-signing their own free agents (case in point Jason Bay right now; hence the news of an impending deal with Cameron), this has got to put up some red flags that this is Beckett’s last season in Fenway.  Besides Varitek a few years ago, I can’t really remember a premier player that the Red Sox re-signed once the player filed for free agency.  I hope this will not be the case, as Beckett still has quite a few years of top of the rotation pitching left in his career.  Time will tell.

This has not only been a busy Monday for the Red Sox, but a busy Monday baseball wide.  The big news of the day is the big Roy Halladay / Cliff Lee trade that is on the verge of being finalized.  This is a 3 team trade in which Halladay goes to Philadelphia (pending a contract extension being signed), Cliff Lee heads off to Seattle, and a bunch of prospects will go to Toronto.  This will be exciting to hear about the finalized deal.

A lot of times, the MLB “Hot Stove” season is a bit over-hyped and over-rated, but today has been an exciting day.  It has made me tune back into the MLB Network today after their rude programming where they replayed the Bucky “Bleeping” Dent game.  Gahhhhhhhh!

Go Sox!!!!

Invading Hollywood

World Series?  What?

So, I drove into Fenway Park today to pick up my
last paycheck of the season.  As I pull down Yawkey Way, I see lots of police
and police cars.  Normally, I turn right onto Van Ness to park, but that way is
blocked.  I continue down Yawkey where there are lots of trucks parked.  I look
at them and notice that they are film trucks.  Hmmmm, wonder what they are
filming here.  Anyway, I continue around the block and come back to Yawkey and
take a left and park right on the corner.

I get out of the vehicle and walk towards the media entrance at Gate D on Yawkey Way, thinking I can’t walk down Van Ness.  However, I’m told I have to enter in the triangle past Gate B, as usual.  Okay, so I end up walking past the police blockade and head down past the movie camera that is set up in the street.  Didn’t notice anything special except a crowd of people in the parking lot behind the Howard Johnson’s there.  I do notice, as I continue down the street, that two of the door are open to Fenway.  One of the doors is where the ambulance is usually parked during games, next to the first aid station.  The other door is the door right after that.  That one is usually NEVER open before / during games, only after.

I walk into the Fenway.  I actually love being able to head into the ballpark even when there is not even a game or other event going on.  What World Series?  Anyway, I go into the ballpark, pick up my check, and then head up to the big concourse in RF.  I see a couple of painter painting the railing heading up the handicap ramp into the bleachers behind the visitor’s bullpen.  I walk up the ramp next to it that leads to section 1 in the RF grandstand.  I look across the field, and see that all of the blue seats in the grandstand of sections 31, 32, and 33 have been ripped out.  You can only see the concrete there.  Looks like they are replacing the grandstand seats.  In the grandstand seats behind home plate there is a group of people sitting.  Looks like it is a tour group.  Here’s an empty Fenway from 2 weeks ago:

Loaded 2009-10-19 (S sleep, Sox, S B'day, S Fenway) 034.jpgAnyway, time to leave.  I head back out the way I came.  Head back down Van Ness street to head to my vehicle.  There are some people milling about, with ear pieces.  Are they part of the film crew?  Not sure, but there still isn’t any noticeable action happening.  I still see the camera set up though.  As I continue down the street, I see a cop is walking towards me.  I reach him and he says, “Hi, how you doing?”  I reply, “Good and you?” as I focus on him and notice it that he is not any ordinary cop, but:

ben.JPGYes, that is Ben Affleck.  He actually had a bit more facial growth than the above photo.  However, I was not expecting to see him there.  Plus, with him being from the area (and being a famous, superstar, Hollywood type) I was surprised he even greeted me friendly as we walked by each other.  Folks from the North East (NY, New England, etc) aren’t really known for being all that friendly.  I try to be, but take a walk around Boston, and you’ll noticed 95% of people just either walk with their head down or just plain ignore others.  But I digress.

Ben is in town (no pun intended) shooting a movie (he is directing as well as starring) titled “The Town.”  This movie also stars Jon Hamm (aka Don Draper of Mad Men (a great show)) (didn’t you love the double parenthesis there?), Chris Cooper, and Blake Lively (apparently my younger readers will know her.)

Anyway, I continue walking down the street thinking, “That was pretty cool!”  I continue past the camera and stop near the group of people who are behind the fence in the Howard Johnson parking lot.  As I stand there, I see a police cruiser come driving down the street with it’s lights on.  It goes past the camera and comes to a stop past where I am standing.  Then I see Ben Affleck come out one of the 2 open doors of Fenway, gun in hand.  He runs across the street and into the parking lot, and looks like he disappears behind one of the buildings.  A few minutes later I see him walking towards the group of people, and goes under a little canopy thing.  Apparently he is looking at the scene they just shot.  Meanwhile, the cruiser is reversing back up the street.  After a few minutes, he heads back where he came from and they do it again.  Cruiser comes down the road, Ben runs across the street.  They rinse and repeat one or two more times.  As they are doing this, I notice Jon Hamm is sitting over where the group of people are.  I pulled out my cell phone and snapped this picture:

1102091139.jpgThat’s Jon Hamm on the left.  He’s just killing his time on his phone, probably tweeting or facebooking it while waiting for his turn to shoot.  After I took that picture, some chick asked me to move further down the street (about 2 feet) past the entrance to that parking lot.  Oh well.  A little later, they cleared the whole street as they turned the camera around to shoot another scene.  I watched a bit on Yawkey Way.  I saw a bunch of background actors (probably extras?) in action at the intersection of Van Ness and Yawkey.  It may be possible that my vehicle will be in the scene as I was parked in the view of the camera.  I will check when the movie comes out and somehow post screen shots of it if it happens.  Haha.

Anyway, that was some excitement for me today.  Aside from having a famous author reading and posting on my blog once in a while, and having another famous author buy some cotton candy one time from me and a sports bar another time from me, and shaking the hand of the WWF Champion when I was in 7th grade, this was my closest to rubbing elbows with a famous person.  Haha.  I was hoping that I would bump into Jennifer Garner, so I could set up a play date with my kids and her kids.  However, it was not meant to be today.  Oh well, it was a cool day none the less.

Let Down

All the expert were saying it.  All the articles I read were saying it.  The Red Sox own the Angels.  The Red Sox are in the Angel’s head.  Here comes another Red Sox – Yankees ALCS.  Well, three games into the ALDS, and it was over.  However, this was not supposed to happen:

laa celebrate.JPGGetting swept?  Jonathan Papelbon blowing a post-season save?  Carlos Ruiz hitting a 3-run homer?  (Ooops, sorry about that.  Watching Dodgers-Phillies game 1 while I type this) Going down 1-2-3 to Brian Fuentes to end it?  Well, I guess there is something to say about ending it like you started it, isn’t there?  There were certainly a lot of 1-2-3 innings for the Red Sox offense this series.  What went wrong?

I don’t know, really.  The whole team was pretty flat.  The offense was anemic in Games 1 and 2. Scoring only 1 run of Lackey and Weaver.  The starters weren’t sharp.  Well, Clay Buchholz looked very good.  Much better than Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. 

However, when you’re leading batter in the series hit .250, your starters weren’t sharp, and your closer allows 5 runs (2 inherited runners, and the first 3 runs of his post-season career), that is a recipe for failure.  A disappointing way to lose a series and end a pretty nice season.  It took a few days to let it sink in.

When I left the game, the Sox were up 5-2.  I was pretty much expecting to be spending Columbus Day back at Fenway for a cold night of work.  Oh, here is me at work, for those who don’t know (sorry for the size, I used my digital camera to record it off the DVR, and then took a screen shot while replaying it using Windows Media Player):

vendahhh.JPGHowever, the biggest let down of losing that game aside from no World Series for the Red Sox was a hit in my wallet.  Working on Columbus Day would have given me Holiday Pay as well as an added incentive bonus pay for working my 65th game of the Season.

Oh, Red Sox, the ways you hurt me.

GO ANGELS!

P.S. Yes, I will still watch the the rest of the playoffs.  Even though, I am a Red Sox fan.  I am first and foremost a baseball fan.  I love the game, no matter who is playing.  Even the Yankees.  Now, back to the Phillies ~ Dodgers NLCS Game 1.

P.P.S. Sorry if I let down you readers (if there are any) this season.  Working two jobs, and two young children really don’t leave a lot of free time to sit down and write.  Thanks to all who still check in.  I should have more time during the off-season to write a bit more.

Byrd is the Wyrd

…or “word” for those that don’t get. Yeah, so it’s my own take on rhyming and writing.

It was
actually ironic that in his first start of the 2009 season, Paul Byrd
was facing the Toronto Blue Jays. In a span of three consecutive starts
(1 with Cleveland, 2 with Boston after we was traded in a waiver wire
deal) in August of 2008 he faced those Blue Jays. 5 of his last 10
starts of 2008 were against the Blue Jays as well. He was 2-2 with 1
no-decision in those 5 starts. So what were the expectations today? 5
innings? 3 runs? Keep the game close against Blue Jay ace Roy Halliday?
I think all of those would have been more than what the Red Sox would
have like to get out of Byrd. What did they get?

How about 6
shutout innings. 3 hits allowed to go along with 3 walks. I don’t even
think a performance like that entered anyone’s mind, not even Byrd’s.
What a follow up to Clay Buchholz’s splendid start the night before.  It was a great lift for the Red Sox tattered starting rotation, and
hopefully this is something Byrd can build off for the rest of the
season.

However, Byrd was not the only who made a big impression in their 2009 Red Sox debut. This guy was outstanding as well:

Newly
(well, it was almost a week ago now) acquired reliever Billy Wagner
final appeared in his first game as a Red Sox. He showed how nasty of
lefty he can be. He struck out the side, around a double in while
pitching the 8th inning. 11 of his 16 pitches were for strikes. Not
more you could have expected from him either. He will be a great weapon
to have in that bullpen down the stretch and during the playoffs (being
optimistic the Sox will end up winning the wild card) as well.

It
was a great way to end the homestand with a sweep of the flailing
Toronto Blue Jays. The Sox now head on a 7 game road trip to their
house of horrors in Tampa Bay and then the Windy City. This will be an
opportunity to knock the Rays right out of the wild card race, as well
as put the final nail in the White Sox playoff coffin that the Yankees
started closing up this weekend.

Go Sox!

Chip In

It is that time of year again, when the wonderful people associated with baseball, make a difference in trying to exterminate the terrible disease of cancer.  If you are willing, please take the time and contribute anything, from a quarter to whatever you can.

radio-telethon-logo-2.gifMost of us have been affected by this terrible disease, either directly or indirectly.  The stories that these cancer patients, survivors, and family members are heartwarming / heartbreaking all at the same time, but immensely amazing.  If you can’t contribute, please take the time to listen.  We all can make a difference, and even a little bit of a difference matters.

Me?  I am not associated with WEEI/NESN/Red Sox other than being a fan.  However, I have tried to contribute in some way in each of the 7 previous telethons.  Sometimes, it was just buying a T-shirt.  Other times it was donating my tips from working the games during the days of the telethon.  Other times it was saying a prayer for the patients, families, and doctors who have to go through this fight.  My mother has overcome colon cancer, but that is not the only motivation.  Hearing the children speak, the parents speak, or the doctors speak about this call me to action.  Eventhough it leaves a tear in your eye, or a heavy heart.  A difference is really bing made.  I mean just check this out:

Amazingly, a couple of years later he came back and sang the anthem again.  This time, after his rendition, he dropped the mic and took an impromptu (he was egged on earlier in the day talking on the radio, so maybe it ended up being planned, but I am not sure) run around the bases.  What a moment that was, and I’m not sure there was a dry eye in the ball park.

Thank you for letting me plug this and GO JIMMY FUND!

Youk in the Wrong, Tazawa Overshadowed

youkbrawl.JPG

I may be the only Red Sox fan who thinks this way, but Kevin Youkilis was in the wrong charging Rick Porcello tonight.  In my opinion, he was not the only Red Sox in the wrong either.

Now, I was there firsthand tonight.  However, as I was working, I am not sure how everything transpired.  I know Miguel Cabrera got hit near the wrist OR on the knob of the bat area.  I know Victor Martinez was not happy getting an inside fastball thrown to him.  The first inning and a half took so long to go by, that all I knew it was 8pm.

A fan seated in the last row of the 3rd base field box seats had just stopped me to buy some ice when Youkilis got plunked and all bedlam broke loose.  Youk charged the mound, the whole park was on there feet as dugouts and bullpens emptied out.  Chants of:  “Youk, Youk, Youk.”  From my view, it look like Youk had a nice take down and the excitement was electric in the little band box.  The umpired then held a conference as another chant of “Throw him out” went up.  The umpires then through out Porcello.

A little later, another on-field fracas took place when Terry Francona came out to agure with the 2nd base umpire after he called Drew out trying to steal second.  Francona was hot, and as he turned to head back to the dugout, he got tossed by the ump.  Francona went off more, and the crowd started a “Terry” chant.  Any replays I saw, showed that the play was CLOSE, but I think the umpire got the call right.

After I got home, I caught some of the discussion on MLB Tonight.  Mitch Williams and Joe Magrane were discussing the incident.  Both of them agreed that Porcello did not throw intentionally at Youk.  Williams had said the pitch was a two-seam fastball.  Magrane or Matt Vasgersian (I think it was Matt) said wouldn’t you throw a four seam fastball if you were going to hit someone.  Williams said, “Yes, plus it would hurt more.”  Now, I don’t really know the difference between a 2 seam and 4 seam, but in my opinion, he was not trying to hit Youkilis.  They also made note of Porcello’s reaction after he threw the pitch.  You can tell from his reaction, that he is upset that the pitch hit him.  I agree with Williams and Magrane, after further review.

During this discussion, MLB Tonight showed the incidents in last night’s game where Brad Penny hit Cabrera.  This was followed by Edwin Jackson hitting Youkilis in the ribs with a pitch.  That was OBVIOUSLY intentional.  Youkilis would have been less in the wrong charging Jackson.  However, Jackson isn’t a 20 year old rookie, so maybe Youkilis was a little apprehensive about charging Jackson. 

Even worse for Youk, he got tossed down to the ground by the rookie.  I was actually looking forward to be able to see the incident when I got home, because it looked like it was a good take down by Youk from my view along the 3rd base line.  Unfortunately, Youk was wrong to charge the mound, and ended up getting thrown down and I would judge as the loser in the brawl.  Finally, to add insult to injury, the Sox are going to lose his bat for anywhere from 5 – 8 games.

Oh yeah, one last thing.  This incident overshadowed the performance of rookie pitcher Junichi Tazawa.  Tazawa got his first career win.  He went 5 innings, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6.  He was probably a Nick Green error (another one?) from allowing zero runs, thus probably being able to got 6 or 7 innings.  In the first, Tazawa got Carlos Guillen to ground into what seemed like an inning ending double play.  However, Green’s throw was terrible, and the Sox weren’t able to even get 1 out, never mind the 2.  This allowed a run to score, and eventually 2 more scored.

However, Tazawa pitched well despite the errors, and shut down the Tigers the rest of the night.  This is looking like a nice signing for the Red Sox.  He pitched well in his debut in New York, despite giving up the game losing HR.  He’s got good stuff, and I’m looking forward to seeing more from him.

In the end, even though Youkilis was wrong to charge, that incident may have been a spark plug because later that inning, Jason Bay CRUSHED (and I mean CRUSHED) a 3-run HR to tie the game.  Also, luckily, for the Sox, they may end up being able to absorb Youkilis’ upcoming suspension with the likes of Mike Lowell.  He may be showing the lingering effects of his hip injury, but the guy can still hit.  He and Tazawa (along with Bay’s bomb) were the stars of the game, but the Youkilis brawl stole the show and is what everyone will be talking about the next day or so.

Go SOX!

PS.  Sorry for my long absence.  You may read more about that in the future.  ;)

UGHHHHHHHHHH!

This pretty much sums up the night tonight for the Red Sox (especially the bullpen):

CharlieBrown.jpg
peanutsbaseball-1.jpg

House of Horrors

househorror.jpg

It may not be like what the old Montreal Forum was to the Bruins…

Montreal_Forum_1970.jpgOr what the Orange Bowl in Miami was to the Patriots…

orange251.jpgBut this place is becoming the Red Sox House of Horrors:

trop701.jpgTropicana Field aka The Trop!!!

Prior to last night, the Red Sox had lost 10 of their last 11 regular season games in the building.  Not to mention, the 2008 season came to a screeching halt when the Rays won Game 7 of the ALCS.

The Sox had been very successful in Tampa, prior to 2007.  They had posted a 50-35 record at the Trop; including a 2002 when they went 10-0.  It was almost a home away from home.  The place even had more Red Sox fan in it than Ray fans.

After going 1-8 there in 2008, the Red Sox have only won 2 (including last night) of their last 12 games.  Hopefully, today the SOx will make it 2 in a row.  However, I am not holding my breath since Boston is sending Brad Penny to the hill while the Rays will be sending James Shields.  Seems like a mismatch to me. 

Anyway, the Sox didn’t get a win last year in Tampa until September, so now that they’ve got it out of the way in May, maybe it will set the foundation for better success this season than last.

Go Sox!

PS. Can somebody make Evan Longoria a LITTLE uncomfortable at the plate today???  Penny plugged him, let’s see what happens in next ABs.

Power Outage

power outage.jpg

22 games, 22 for 87 (.230 BA), 0 (ZERO) HR, 12 RBI, .623 OPS

After the month of April who would have guessed this line would belong too?  Normally, maybe him:

lugo.jpgThat would have been a good guess, but he only has played 2 games this April.  Plus, he is normally not know for power.

How about this fella:

tek.jpgAgain, not a bad guess.  He has had several 20 homer seasons, but it is not him.  He’s had a decent start, going deep 4 times so far.

Would you be surprised to find out that those numbers belong to:

big papi.JPGProbably not, if you have been following the Red Sox closely this season.  This is the big news with the Red Sox.  When Nick Green has more HRs and a higher slugging percentage than David Ortiz over the first 22 games, then something is the matter.

What is WRONG with Big Papi?

  • Past his prime, good years are behind him.
  • Lack of protection in the order; missing Manny behind him.
  • Wrist still hurts.
  • All of the above.
  • Nothing, give the guy a break! 

I don’t know the answer myself, but I can say it is not from lack of protection in the order.  People who think because Manny is no longer batting behind Ortiz that this is the reason are sort of clueless.  I mean Ortiz is hitting between the 2008 MVP and the 3rd Place finisher for 2008 MVP!  Anybody else have protection like that in MLB?

This is the first time since Ortiz joined the Red Sox that he has not at least 1 HR in a month where he has not been injured. 

Dating back to last season, Big Papi has now gone 25 games (in which he as gotten at least 1 AB) with out a HR.  That is the longest cold streak since he came to Boston.

He has had two 19 game homerless streaks, 1 occured last season and the other occured in 2007.

So, what is the problem?  Will he ever get out of this funk?  Will he be the Papi of 2004 – 2006?  So many questions, so little answers.

I think the problem is in Papi’s head.  I recall hear him complain about lack of protection (isn’t that a bit insulting to Kevin Youkilis) in the batting order.  However, Sean McAdams (I believe) has stated numerous times that the two seasons Manny packed it in during September, Ortiz had the best OPS (this coming from listening to talk radio, I haven’t research these numbers myself) during the month of September.  So he wasn’t missing Manny then. 

However, now that Ortiz doesn’t have it in the back of his head that Manny will be back, I think he is using it as an excuse (for a lack of a better term) when it is more of a combination that Ortiz may be thinking too much and having some erosion of his skills.  Ortiz also mentioned a while back that he isn’t getting any fastballs to hit.  I seem to recall plenty of fastballs in the mid to upper 80s that he is not catching up to. 

Hopefully, it is more of a mental funk than a physical / skill erosion problem.  The Red Sox are going to NEED Ortiz, especially when Youkilis, Bay, and Lowell cools down from their hot starts.

C’mon Big Papi, work it out.

Go Sox!

P.S.  This could have been about Josh Beckett too.  Since the Abreu incident, Beckett has not been himself.

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