Power Nap!

Although I did not watch the game since I am studying for my Wednesday Constitutional Law final… I did have gameday on and was very happy Lester got the win. Interesting game, with an unexpected homer from Ross, several no-hit innings from Lester, an error from our power hitting shortstop Drew.. correction another 0-4 game with 3 strikeouts. When are the sox going to demote him to AAA so he can regain his timing without harming an already struggling Sox offense. When 50% of the games runs are driven in by Ross.. you know it hasnt been a high scoring game. Put Xander back at SS, Holt can slide to 3rd w/Cecchini/Herrera getting some at-bats.

Removing Drew is the perfect solution for this club.. Not that we dont want Stephen to play at all.. he’s sure handed as it gets, but we cant let him chase high heat.. it’s all too reminisent of Vtek’s end of career struggles. Letting Drew get his “spring training” reps in the minors allows for the ideal roster flexibility. Now Holt can get some infield highlights, Mookie can start in CF with JBJ in right and Nava/Gomes trying to get production out of what was a very successful platoon last year. But Nava went 0-4 in the 2-hole. and JBJ 0-3 with what seemed like too many first pitch outs. Can these guys try some new bats or stand somewhere new in the box.. or just get hits.. preferably big ones?

If drew is going to remain with the club, i admit that I kinda like the Drew/Xander tandem, but 0-7 combined doesnt look good. Xander seems to have lost his patience at the plate, and when he gets 2-2.. which seems like every at-bat… he is chasing the breaking ball on the inside corner.. or fastball high and away.. instead of how he usually takes those pitches. If he can just try to foul off some pitchers pitches, instead of weakly putting them in play.. he’ll have much better results.

Anywho.. Sox have won 100% of their games with Mookie on the roster. Lets hope that continues.. for as long as possible.

My ideal Red Sox Lineup

Today we see how dropping Xman into the 7hole will do, but I think this is a big mistake.

1) Putting Xander behind AJP gives me mixed feelings. i guess you dont want a high OBP guy in front of a low OPB guy, but I feel as though  Xander, Drew and JBJ are a weak 7-9. To be honest, i’d rather see Vasquez taking his hacks than AJP, but that lineup wouldnt be scary either.

2) something about having Nava as your cleanup hitter seems odd.. Id rather have pedroia slap a few singles withe men on base than nava pop fly somewhere.

3) Holt in not a Right Fielder. Sorry Brock, I’ve enjoyed you immensely in left and center, but you should have made that catch the other day with Lackey starting. Not that Nava or Gomes deserve RF but Holt in CF with JBJ in Right with his rocket arm couldnt be that bad. i dont want holt having to make throws to 3rd.

4) Is holt your defacto lead off hitter now? or can you drop in down to where Xander hit.

For me, my ideal line-up for June 24th 2014, with the roster we currently have…

1) Holt- you can hit him anywhere, but he’s doing well so keep him there

2) Ortiz- best hitter should hit 2nd.. Ortiz, although low BA, is your best hitter.. imagine the stress of having to get holt out now.. if ortiz looming.. If Ortiz is hitting 3/4.. most likely with a two out.. that is a much less stressful situation, and I’d rather let someone in 3/4 have a higher BA.

3) Pedroia.. has enough speed to beat out a double play.. I’m not a huge fan of having Ortiz/Nap back to back all the time..

4) napoli

5) Nava

6) Xman.. basesloaded.. two out.. who do you want at bat? not AJP

7) AJP

8) Drew

9) JBJ


Fever Pitch 2.0



Photo from ‘s weei article: http://fullcount.weei.com/?p=73509

Problem: Who’s on the rubber? A struggling veteran pitcher, or an inexperienced kid.
Can Clay become to the sox this year a better version of what Schilling was as a brief stint as relief pitcher. In my eyes, it’s either that, or Doubront has to find a role in the pen, because if the sox want to content they have to trust Rubby and Workman with a greater role. They can’t stash this talent anymore in the minors, and its time to let a veteran pitcher go. Whether thats trade Peavy (which im against, because he’s in the same mold of true ball players like gomes and holt, although his last start was anything but comfortable, he did leave the game in line for the win if it wasnt for a Breslow blunder.) Lackey is one of our most consistent. Lester, Lackey, Peavy, Workman and Rubby, with Clay spot starting and Doubront in the pen or Workman in the pen. Maybe it’s time to get rid of Breslow, I think he was more lucky than talented, but its up to him to prove me wrong. Badenhop has been brilliant and so has Miller (as long as he’s not pitching in extra innings) and Tazawa has been solid (the supposed heir to koji).

Speaking of Koji. We gotta use this guy until his arm falls off. He is in the midst of another potential historic year, and if we can bring him out, not only as our closer but as that almost daniel bard, whenever you need him, use him, type of player. If the sox arent winning games, they arent a lot of save opportunities, so heck if its the 6th inning an on, get koji in there in a close game, not breslow.

PS. Sadly, I’ll make this another thread, but for most of the reasons above.. this will be Lester’s last year. Dont pay him over 20 million for 5 years. He should either do similar to a pedroia deal like 7 years for 15 a year, make him a lifer, or let him walk. He’s not going to get better with age. We got 2 rings with him. You have young talent in need of rotation spots, talent that if they were on the A’s or another contending moneyball team, would be in the starting rotation. Look at CC Sabathia. He had an epic run of dominance far superior to Lester, and now he’s not cracking 90mph with regularity. I admit that Lester has the better pitching frame and the sox have the money to pay him, but I want the rotation of Owens, Rubby, Webster, Doubront, and either Clay or another veteran to be here come 2016/17.

Plus imagine an infield of middlebrooks, xander, pedroia, shaw, and betts/holt being our Zobrist.

Outfield: JBJ, Victorino, Nava, Brentz/Betts/Holt/Margot

I like where this team is headed.

The Clincher: A magic night at Fenway Park (HD)

Big thanks to BRETT COWETT of firebrandal.com for posting some great links this monday. I check that site almost every day and you’ll see me post some captions of their work with my addition commentary, including but not limited to various other writers from MLB.com, Boston.com, Weei, Fangraphs, and many other blogs I frequent.

Just as an fyi, I used to live on Queensberry St for 5 years, 3 blocks away from Fenway, and just moved away for law school this past August and it was quite surreal and infuriating to miss the Fenway Clincher. Especially since my last World Series experience was as a freshman in Smith Hall of Northeastern University, fall 2007, back when i briefly had a brand new razor flip phone that fell out of my sweatshirt pocket as we jumped up and down as strike 3 was recorded and was a small casualty, (in addition to a poor fellows yellow pickup truck).

Some other quick thoughts on the series:
Big walks from x-man, excited to see his rookie year next year. (please baseball gods, keep him healthy). Uppercrust, if that place is still in business should have free pineapple for a month, because the flying hawaiian delivered with a clutch grand slam. Ortiz, give him a 2 year.. 25-30 million dollar deal. I understand the business side of it, and the wait and see approach is nothing but smart, but piece of mind has to be worth something, and I bet stephen drew wishes he took the qualifying offer. Ortiz guy is going to the HOF and I dont want to see his last Frank Thomas-esque seasons with another team. Lester, if he was a lifetime contract give him a 6 year $100 million offer. We have the luxury of having a surplus of talented and cost controlled pitching, the issue is having to find spots in a veteran heavy rotation. With Dempster and Peavy only on the books for one more year, there will be plenty of opportunity to infuse youth with experience.

“I’m Not Superstitious, but I am a Little Stitious” : The Birds and the Beards.

Koji Uehara, Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Do I, as a fan, honestly believe that what I do has any impact on a baseball game being played hours away by grown men who will never know my name? I don’t. But has that stopped me from developing a variety of quirks, habits, and superstitions over the years? It hasn’t.

via “I’m Not Superstitious, but I am a Little Stitious” | Fire Brand of the American LeagueFire Brand of the American League.

A Great Article By Jack Keller.

I grew up taking the train from our home in Connecticut with my mom, to NYC, and during those 45 minutes before iPhones and even cd players… we had a thing called the newspaper.. and there were basically only two sections that I would read. 1) The funnies (http://garfieldminusgarfield.net) and 2) the sports section.

I grew up with my mom pointing out what an RBI meant, Hits, Homers, Batting Average. And I would check it DAILY… see who was close to batting .300 and who were below the Mendoza line. I was born in 1989, which means that I had the (un)lucky childhood of seeing the Yankees win perennially, but boy oh boy was rooting for the underdog so much more fun, and stressful. I’m surprised there were not any balding, diehard, 8-year-olds. We had Nomar and his 3 minute bat and glove routine between pitches, Pedro buzzing people by the ear, Jose Offerman, Brian Daubach and a whole other bunch of forgetful names and woeful september collapses. We all knew if we could score a run, pedro would win… but the guys the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter through 9 and still lose the game in extras. 

Any who.. point being.. over the years I grew my own superstitions, nothing specific, but I’d get this uncanny feeling that my daily karma would affect their win loss record. Like.. If I were to accidently litter, I would start walking away and then think to myself, “If I don’t go pick that up, the sox will lose” Seriously, baseball made me a better person, if not a weirder person.So I picked up those bottle caps and would hold on to them for hours until I could find a receptacle. I mean I’d be willing to risk having a chewing gum glued pocket than to piss off the baseball gods. This ties in to the superstition of not saying the word ‘no hitter; during a no-hitter. So many times, like clockwork, do I see an announcer, or a friend, look at the score, say.. “oh! he’s throwing a no-no..” and the VERY NEXT PITCH.. base hit.. up the middle… or a bloop.. or w/e.

I know, i know.. there is no way my actions could affect their play. And i know that thousands of baseball… even sports fans get overly attached to something bigger than themselves. But its fascinating.. isnt it?

Like.. the sox were down by like 5 runs one day.. and I was pissed and grumpy.. and i started kicking off my shoes and I took off my right sock and then all of a sudden.. base hit.. sooo.. I sat there motionless.. for like 2 minutes until… another base hit.. followed by another.. and a few runs and half an hour later.. I’m still frozen on the couch with a sock in my hand afraid to move.. did it work? kinda.. but we still lost the game, maybe I twitched or something. Or someone else near Fenway missed the garbage can and ruined it for the rest of us. Ha.

So I’m in Law School now, just my luck, the year I leave Boston after 7 years of being there, they make it to the World Series. So I’m flooded with reading, and there is another sox fan at this small NC school (Elon) and it was Game 6 of the ALCS, the sox were down in the middle innings. So we both decided to leave the library to catch dinner separately and come back to the library and finish studying for our Property midterm the next morning. Oy was I stressing out, I would not have been in a good mood had they forced a game 7, and to study with that nervousness would be.. really tough. So, I try to do anything i could to get the sox bats hot. I did push ups, showered, threw my sox T on, lucky underwear (superman boxers), favorite hat, and went back to the library. As I walk in, I kid you not, that same friend, Chris, had changed his clothes also.. Authentic Sox Jersey, both sporting our beards and we just laughed at each other that we kinda.. just had to do this.

My only remaining question is.. If the sox win the World Series… Do I get to shave? or Do i have to keep it for another full season… heck.. If it meant we’d get a handful of rings in a row… is it worth it? The job interviews. The lack of girlfriends.. I might have to stay in the south and apply to Duck Dynasty to maintain the Red Sox Dynasty.

Quick World Series Predictions: The Birds and the Beards.

Potential Sox MVP: Ellsbury

Key player to watch: Xander Bogaerts

Key Pitching Perfomance: Jake Peavy <Will he control his nerves>

Key Pinch Hitter: Daniel Nava

Sox win in 5.

So I’m thinking of shaving my beard…

Game 1: 2013 ALCS

Game 1: 2013 ALCS

I have never screamed louder for a measly base hit than I did in last night’s loss to the Tigers. Gotta hand it to them, this is not a blame game with umpire, but 17 strikeouts, and 13 men left on base with only 1 hit in the ninth inning… they deserve all the credit. How do you get 6 walks and go 0-6 with runners in scoring position, and not get a base hit.

We pushed their pitcher to 120 pitches in 6 innings, but could not break through.

2 games in the ALCS.. both 1-0 scores, against the ACE of their respective teams. Sanchez is their #3 starters, so now we have this uphill battle against the 2 best pitchers in the AL.

Lets home Clay and Lackey have a few gems in their pocket, or the bats to wake up, because otherwise, 2 games from now, would could be looking down a big 3 hole, and these handy beard trimmers are starting to look pretty good.

So thank you Nava for preventing an embarrassing combined no-hitter in the first game of the ALCS.

I was really happy to see Xander pinch hit, but not with 2 outs in the 9th. I was drinking Boston Lager, hoping for an X-men walk-off win.

A few interesting points from last night.

1) why did Ross start the game, only to be pinch hit for later by Salty? Are his numbers that much better against a pitcher we haven’t faced?

2) Why didn’t Berry steal 2nd, a batter earlier. Then Drew’s sac-fly could have gotten him to 3rd base with 2 out. We all know a wild-pitch there could tie the game and shift momentum.

3) I was talking to by buddy Caolan at the Red Sox bar Stumble Stilskins in Greensboro, NC during the game. And it was the 5th inning, 2 on, 2 out for Peralta. AND I SAID: Walk him, load the bases, he’s the guy that hit a double in his last at bat, I’d rather go after Infante. He said: No, there are 2 out, best go after him. Few seconds later.. the decisive bloop single that scored the winning run. Easy to look in hind sight of what we ought to do. Whenever I get in a one-run deficit.. I tell myself.. HEY we had to at least score a run to win the game, so that AINT THAT BAD. UNLESS.. you end up praying.. we have to get a hit to avoid embarrassment..

This series really hinges on what Middlebrooks, Drew and/or Xander can do. Because if you can effectively silence Ellsbury and Victorino.. our spark plugs.. and with Napoli fresh off a Belhorn besting record. There are just a lot of uncertainties… and we need a few clutch hits from everybody.

A loss is a loss. Time to turn the page.. do some law school reading and watch tonights game with a lucky playoff beer-d.

Quick Sox Recap: 3-1 Win Over Rays, move on to ALCS


Some quick thoughts about the Sox’s win over they Rays to move on to the ALCS.

1) Did they win this series? Or did Tampa really just choke… 3 games in a row. Bases loaded nobody out in the 2nd inning, and a strikeout and a double play later, I’m left scratching my head as to why we did not have at least a 1 run lead for most of this game. 1 run would have lowered my blood pressure substantially. Especially after we took Peavy out when down 0-1 in the 6th.

2) Craig Breslow, MVP of the Day. Struck out 4/5 batters and really killed any momentum the Rays had amassed.

3) Biggest at bat of the game: X-man.. Xander.. 2 walks.. and 2 runs. When will this kid get a start in the ALCS.. hopefully against a tough Lefty.. but are any of the Detroit Starter’s Left handed… And do I really want to see the A’s with all the former Sox providing them with excellent moneyball? Moss, Lowrie, Colon, Reddick, Crisp. Heck.. they’re a few players away from being a complete recycled sox team.. and i’m completely okay with that. The Red Sox just dont have the patience to let the David Murphy’s of the world breakout of their AAAA shell, yet here we have 30 year old Nava having such a great year.

Back to X-man’s 1st walk, that led to the game tying run. He had a good eye, and laid off some tough pitches. Looked cool as a cucumber and I’d like to see if we can get more of a lightning in a bottle ala Ellsbury in ’07… but you aint going to sit Drew/Middlebrooks, but you could alternate just to get him in the lineup.. and then pinch hit when necessary. Especially if Peavy is starting since he’s a fly ball pitcher.

4) Victorino. Basically guaranteed that I’ll be putting pineapple on my pizza for the time being, since the flying Hawaiian legged out a crucial infield hit to allow the go-ahead run to score. Guy playing right field.. with Pedrioa’s 110% effort. Hit by 4 pitches this ALDS and set a record for OBP over .500 for the series. Basically, any residual love i had for Trot Nixon and they way he played.. is now transferred to Vic. And also I give credit to him for the way he showed a bunt, maybe blocking the vision of the catcher which led to the passed ball that Xander scored on to tie it up. He’s 100 times more valuable than Crawford was to us, and for a fraction of the cost <although not to the savings Nava is awarding us> and he’s only been hitting from the right side.. which If he keeps it up.. may have to abandon his switch hitting ways, because the power is there.. especially on R/R.

I was a freshman at NU for the ’07 win and I find it funny that once I leave to NC, they’re back on top, with a model for sustained success, and bearded faces.


Silly String of Events: Sox ahead 1-0

Silly String of events

Red Sox up 1-0 in the ALDS

The Rays may have strung together an impressive 3 consecutive road wins to get into the postseason and a chance to play the Red Sox in the ALDS, but they would have needed a 4th consecutive road win to be holding a series lead morning. But thanks to a silly string of events in Game 1, all momentum has been shifted to the bearded fellows I root for, which is a huge sigh of relief considering there was a lot of talk about how the last 4 days off were negative in terms of momentum to the Sox staying hot at the plate.

Although Lester came out hot out of the gate last night, striking out the side in the 1st, the Rays hit 2 solo home run to quiet the Fenway faithful, and really make us wonder if we could best the Rays Lefty. Pedrioa got the inning started with a single, and then Ortiz hit, what i thought was a 2-run blast, but should have been out one with a runner on first, but instead turned into an error by Wil Myers who waved off Jennings but decided to let it fall behind him for a ground rule double. 2 Runners in scoring position, no out. BIG TURNING POINT.

Myers Mistake

Myers Mistake

Then after Gomes double off the monster to tie it at 2, Drew hit a dribbler and was called safe at 1st, nice hustle.. questionable call, but tie should go to the runner. Good heads up play by Gomes to score from 2nd from an infield hit.

Drew Safe

Drew Safe

That proved to be the winning run. As the Rays did not score again, but the Red Sox took the momentum and put up 12 on the board.

This win was huge because we were all questioning whether Lackey was the right match up for Price in game 2. If we were to win game one, then Lackey seems appropriate because he’s a gamer and pitched a great complete game against the Rays during the regular season, and happens to have better splits at home then on the Road. BUT if you needed someone to go toe to toe with Price, <to even the series at 1> I’d say that Buchholz gives you the best option, because he has the lowest ERA, but maybe lower endurance considering he’s only a few games removed from the DL.

But the sox won, and now we get to give Lackey the opportunity to prove why we spent the big bucks on him several off-seasons ago. And Just like JD Drew hit a $70 million dollar grand slam in ’07 against the Indians in Game 7 of the ALCS… Lackey has an chance to make this the $82.5 million postseason, starting with winning game 2 of the ALDS.. hopefully leading to 2 more important wins.

Who knows.. I hate to write off that this the only important postseason of his contract, but you cant take anything for granted..

and if we do become perennial winners.. we can reevaluate then.

<Funny thing: I was just browsing Boston.com and they have an article that says the same thing I felt about Lackey>

A victory Saturday against the Rays would do for Lackey what that grand slam in Game 6 of the 2007 ALCS did for J.D. Drew. It would provide at least one counter for all those punchlines about his fruitless long-term, big-money deal with team.


Also.. just consider who’s contracts we’ll pick up.. if the Sox have a ‘Successful’ postseason.
Salty, Drew, Napoli, Ellsbury… all within possibility of returning.

Otherwise, Bradley Jr, Carp, Butler… it your turn.

Go Sox!

ALDS Rays vs. Red Sox: Tale of the Tape – Stats Driven – Boston sports statistics blog

ALDS Preview

In 2008 when these two teams last squared off in the postseason, the Rays outlasted the Red Sox 4 games to 3 in the ALCS, advancing to the World Series where they were vanquished by the Philadelphia Phillies. While only David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia remain from the lineup that faced Matt Garza in the deciding game, Boston’s Game 7 starter, Jon Lester, will get the chance to avenge the loss by getting the ball for Boston in Game 1. The man who saved that clincher, David Price, will likely go to the mound for Tampa Bay in Game 2 on Saturday evening.

via ALDS Rays vs. Red Sox: Tale of the Tape – Stats Driven – Boston sports statistics blog.

Looks like we wont have any fried chicken or beer during this playoff series.

I, like the majority of Red Sox fans, are nervous about this series.

Maybe Ellsbury can steal us a taco and we can scratch away a few runs against the quality rays rotation.

I feel like the big hits are either going to be from:

a) The heart of the franchise: Ortiz, Pedroia, Ellsbury,

b) The new guys: Gomes, Drew, Victorino, Napoli

c) Feel good story: Nava, X-man, Carp, Salty

Which team should Red Sox want to play, Indians or Rays?

The Devils

Following is by Rob Bradford of WEEI.com

Take your pick.

Do you want the team in the Indians that has won 10 games in a row, exuding the kind of feeling not seen since the 2007 Colorado Rockies? (Remember, the club that went 21-1 before being swept by the Red Sox in the World Series?)

Or how about the Rays, an American League East rival that has given you a boatload of headaches for the last half-decade (48-43 advantage for Tampa Bay in the last five seasons)?

These are the options the Red Sox find themselves facing.

After the Rays’ 5-2 win over the Rangers, Tampa Bay now gets a crack at Cleveland in Wednesday night’s Wild Card play-in at Jacobs Field. The winner, of course, earns the right to play the Red Sox in a best-of-five division series.

So which club should the Red Sox want to play?

via Full Count » Which team should Red Sox want to play, Indians or Rays?.

I’ll just add in my own words that most Red Sox fans fear facing the Rays in the ALDS because of their starting pitching. Just in my perspective, how great would it be to see Terry Francona back as the manager of the Indians, then hopefully to the Dodgers in the World Series? The Dodgers with whom we completed the Mega-Deal, that was so essential to our current teams success. They’re basically the new Yankees with an almost unlimited bank account. Then there are the RED HOT Indians with Nick Swishalicious, Grey Hair Giambi, Ubaldo, Santana, and Danny Salazar <who started the year in AA and has only pitched 55 major league innings, but is good enough to start the one game wild card for the Indians. Apparently he can reach triple digits with his fastball and so far in the 1st inning of this playoff game he has struck out 2, so in just over 2 hours from now we should know who the sox will be facing in the ALDS.

Check out the link below to see fan thoughts of the upcoming ALDS.


Thoughts from the Fenway Park Practice

Notice how even the diehard fans reiterate the desire to see both the Indians and Dodgers!

Let me know in the comments who you’d rather see and why.