Rantings and ravings from an admitted fan (as in fanatic!) of the Boston Red Sox. Updated only occasionally, but with my take on recent developments in Red Sox Nation. Updated more frequently during the end of the regular season and playoffs (hopefully).

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Step right up and Sweep the Mets!!!

So many highlights, so much to say.

I'm not sure what I enjoyed more, watching David Ortiz advance from second to third on a sac fly (you could almost hear Chris Berman yelling 'rumblin', stumblin', bumblin'), or Coco Crisp's sprawling catch to save the game? Clearly it was the catch -- they don't come much better.

If you throw in the circumstances that surrounded it (ie, the Mets probably would have tied the score and perhaps gone ahead had he not grabbed it), it might be the best catch of the year.

Schilling vs. Glavine started out as a pitchers' duel, and it *was* as they played to a 0-0 tie through six innings. But then Carlos Beltran got to Schilling with a 2-run shot for a 2-0 lead, and that lump in my throat appeared (I really wanted this sweep!). But Mark Loretta blasted a shot over the Monstah to cut the lead to 2-1, and then Papi played wall ball with a double to left-center. After advancing on the above-mentioned sac fly, he scored to tie the game. Coco Crisp then flashed some speed on the bases before scoring on a sac fly by Youk, and Big Papi added an insurance run with a homer to deep center. Papelbon comes on to save it in the 9th, and it's broom time for the Metropolitans!!!

But the catch. Just unbelievable!

And now the winning streak has reached 12 games, the longest for the Sox since 1995. And as Orel Hershiser (who has turned into a pretty darn good announcer, by the way) said during the call of the game tonight, the Sox won this won with a team approach and they executed in every aspect of the game. That's true. They showed:

  • offense: (seven hits and four earned runs against Tom Glavine and a pretty darn good bullpen)
  • defense: Coco, you the man!
  • pitching: Schilling looked mahvelous, and Papelbon was his usual solid self
  • baserunning: Papi even looked good on the basepaths, and Crisp was fantastic

All told, a rather pleasant night at the Fens. :-)

Honoring the '86 Red Sox

Maybe an 11-game winning streak just puts you in a good mood?

Maybe the 2004 championship cured everything? (I still can't get this smile off my face).

But if you would have told me that I would ever be in a positoin of looking back *fondly* on the year 1986 in baseball, I would have laughed. And then I would have cried.

But two nights ago the Sox had a special celebration honoring the 1986 AL champions, and a team that came closer to a World Series title without winning it than any team in baseball. Not that I'm still bitter, but ONE FRICKIN' STRIKE!!! Sorry, I'm back.

The celebration was not broadcast on the NESN satellite feed, but during the game they had members of the '86 team stop by the booth (Wade Boggs and Bruce Hurst) and relive some of the memories. The fact that Roger Clemens was pitching that very same night for the Houston Astros did not escape mention, and amazement. But one person couldn't be there, and you wonder if the reason he gave for not showing up was legit. Bill Buckner, whose name will forever be tied to one silly play despite an incredible career, couldn't make it. The official reason was something about his son, who is quite the ballplayer himself, having a scouting trip, or something like that. But you wonder how much motivation Billy Buck has to come back to Fenway. I was glad to see that the announcement of his name got cheers from the Fenway crowd, but these people put that poor man through the ringer for his failure to pick up Mookie Wilson's grounder. Even though the Steamer would not have covered the GOD DAMN BAG!!! Sorry, I'm back again. I've got to quit doing that.

There are so many bad memories of that night in 1986, and I can't even talk (write) about it without getting tears on my keyboard, and that's not going to be good for anyone. But I think the 2004 championship, more than anything else, has healed those wounds. That's what is so amazing about the 2004 title. Take 1967, 1978, 1986, and all bad memories of the previous 86 years and just throw them out the window. The slate is clean!

Plus, the fact that the Red Sox have taken 2 of the first 3 from the Mets (who are running away with the NL East this year, and are no slouches) in the series, and have Schilling on the hill going for the sweep tonight, doesn't hurt my mood one bit.

So I wish Billy Buck would have come back. He had an amazing career, and he should not be remembered for that play. I'm not naive enough to believe that that will ever be true, but he should know that Red Sox Nation loves him. But the Steamer should have covered the GOD DAMN BAG!!! (Sorry again...).

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pedro returns

I must admit to some watery eyes tonight as I watched Pedro take the hill for the first time back at Fenway Park. I was also a bit surprised that the Fenway crowd gave him such a nice ovation. Sure, he was superhuman as a pitcher for the Red Sox for many years, and the reception was certainly deserved. But I thought the way he left, and some of the comments he made about the organization on the way out, might have turned some folks against him. I am happy to be wrong, and I was proud of the reception given to the opposing pitcher in tonight's game vs. the Mets (meanwhile A-Rod gets booed at Yankee Stadium during every at-bat lately, at least until his walk-off homer today vs. the Braves). Go figure.

I was equally happy with the way the Red Sox greeted Pedro, as they touched him for 4 runs early and went to an 8-0 lead before he hit the showers. Not exactly vintage Pedro, but given the uniform he's wearing now, I'll take it. My daughter still says that Pedro is her favorite player (how do you explain free agency to an 8-year-old???), so tonight was a little weird. She said she was definitely rooting for the Red Sox, though, because "Pedro is just one guy, and the Red Sox are a whole team." Like the way that little one thinks.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Yet another reason to hate the Yankees...

I remember laughing at this when it was in the news as a controversy in May, but I just read the article by Mike Vaccaro in the New York Post where he basically called on the Yankee pitchers to throw at Ortiz. What a frickin' weasel! It is amazing how much testosterone can get you going when you're not the one who has to back up your words. I wonder if Vaccaro ever played beyond Little League? I wonder how he'd feel if his son was on a tear and someone recommended throwing at *him.* Lovely behavior, Mike, just lovely.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

J.T. Snow

The Sox designated J.T. Snow for assignment yesterday, starting the process on his leaving the Red Sox.  Sad to say it, but he was simply an insurance policy that the Red Sox didn’t need (and that’s a good thing, right?).  They simply didn’t know how Kevin Youkilis was going to work out at first base, and I think it’s now safe to say that the Youkilis experiment is working a little bit. J  But Snow expected more at-bats, and he was classy about it but also made it clear that he did not sign up to spit and scratch himself on the bench.  I feel bad for the guy, but for the team this is great news. It means a guy they weren’t sure about (Youk) has proven that he is a fantastic everyday player, and in the big picture that is a very good thing.