Friday, April 30

ITM: Going Around the Horn, Friday Edition

(an old pic...but damnit it's a good one for a Friday)

It's Friday, 70 degrees and sunny, the Sox have somehow won 7 of 9, and their upcoming series against the O's means they'll effectively be playing a Double A ball club. With that, let's quickly go around the horn....

-The Sox are 6-3 on the road? Really? That's gotta be a record through 9 games for the Sox

-Lars Anderson took one step back last year, perhaps being stifled by the hype, but apparently he has taken two steps forward this year. He was just promoted to Triple A Pawtucket (lock your doors). The 22 year old prospect was hitting .355 for Portland in 17 games this season, with 5 taters, 16 RBI and a slugging percentage of .667 (leading the league). He'll be splitting time at first and DH....could it be that Theo wants to see if he can hit at a major league level this year??

-David Ortiz has struck out in 33% of his plate appearances. You gotta try to do that. In the words of Tony about a turd cutter.

-It's official, despite T Murph's last post...I'm worried about V-Mart. If he doesn't hit, he's not a catcher.

-Another quality Pedroia quote...(in regards to the last two games in Toronto) "We run prevented the sh*t outta them". Priceless.

-According to the Wall Street Journal, the Red Sox are the second most hated team in baseball. I immediately assumed the Yanks would be number one.....but the Indians??? Did they mean the most irrelevant team in baseball? How are the Yankess only fifth? Someone check the methodology, because that simply can't be right.

-I hate how excited we all are about getting back to a 500 steps I guess.

-The Red Sox are pulling much lower TV rating thus far this year.....partially a product of the Celts and Bruins playoff runs. However, even when the Sox are on without local team challengers, they're only pulling a 5 compared to years past when they routinely pulled in 10-15 shares (sometimes closer to 20). Safe to say this team is not as exciting.....and the novelty of winning has worn off a bit in Boston....certainly the pink hats don't know what channel NESN is anymore.

-T Murph and I were allowed back into Remy's last night....and he managed to make it through the night without throwing up in the bathroom. We took in both the Rays and Yankee games while we were there.....this just in, the Rays are scary good. I'm talking best team in baseball hands down good (right now at least). They're on pace for 123 wins (that's not a made up number, that's real). Their makeup of young and confident talent is terrifying. I hate to say it because they're in the AL East, but I love watching them play.

-Mike Cameron may be on the mend, but I'm willing to roll the dice on Darnell McDonald and run with the 31 year old's confidence. Surely his .333 average won't last all season, but he already has more taters and RBI than Ortiz and Vmart. I don't care about respecting elders if he's producing and the Sox are winning....

Buchholz and Lester have put this rotation back on track, it's up the Lackey to keep it there tonight against the O's.

Go Sox.

Wednesday, April 28

I Was Starting to Get Worried

They only way the Sox are going to dig out of this hole (and they're back to .500) is with great pitching. Last night it started with Clay Buchholz and tonight it continued with Jon Lester, just the way Theo drew it up, kind of.

I wasn't sure which Lester was going to show up tonight, but he was dominate striking out 11 in 7 very strong innings. Bard continues to bring the heat, and Pap was confidence inspiring as Sox pitching combined to strike out 15 Blue Jays tonight. Coupled with Buchholz start last night, Red Sox fans finally have something to feel good about in this very young 2010 season.

With back to back great starts from starting pitching, pretty good defense, and solid relief pitching things appear to be back on track in the Nation. It will be interesting to see what the tone is tomorrow as a lot of people were ready to give up on the season, it's a long season people, they still have 140 games to play.

Day off tomorrow and the weekend rotation lines up with Lackey on Friday, Dice K making his debut on Saturday and JB taking the mound to close out the weekend in Baltimore.

I have no idea what to expect from Dice K, but JB has to turn it around and what better team to do it against then the Orioles. When (because I assume he will) Beckett figures it out it looks like the Sox will be running 4 quality starters out there, and 1 Kamikaze Pilot on the 5th day. I'm still not sure this team is good enough to make the playoffs, but as I said, there's a lot of baseball left to play.

Cheers to Darnell McDonald who continues to do everything right. McDonald scored the 1st run tonight and drove in the second with an RBI single. I personally thought his 15 minutes were going to last that one night, however he's been huge with Cameron and Ellsbury out. Seriously Cameron, take your time coming back.

Jeers to the Red Sox line up. Obviously they just swept the Jays and things are going well, but as the top of an inning ended I saw the "due up for the Sox...Varitek, Beltre, Hall", and I died a little inside. You just have to hope the guys in the bullpen don't have a tv on.

I'm all for the playoff hockey beard, I myself can not grow consistent facial hair yet, but Tom Caron needs to give it up, it's not helping, it's actually hurting. Bruins have home ice against the Flyers in the semi-finals, we'll see if Jacks' snowball continues to grow in round 2.

Lastly, and this has nothing to do with the Sox, Jake Peavy is killing my fantasy team. 5 runs in the first inning tonight, come on guy. I traded Mark Texieria for him last year (who's slow starts are becoming legendary), 5 minutes later he was on the DL for the season and this is how he starts 2010. Absolute junk, now I'm not sleeping nights, my 2008 championship feels like 86 years ago.

A Solid Win With Great Pitching? Really?

(lately, he'll either strike you out or steal your laptop)

Maybe I'm confused since I was switching back and forth from the Sox to the Celts, but did our baseball team just have a quality win?
It might be their first of the year, great pitching, timely "hitting", a quiet 9th inning and decent defense.

Certainly fans can point to Beltre's 19th error of the season (which is a lot considering we were promised a guy who was so good on the hot corner that he doesn't wear a cup). One could also say Boston's lack of true hitting against Macrum was concerning, as well as their propensity of one run victories (six straight)....but I'll take it.

Buchholz essentially told the rest of the staff to man up, take their skirts off, and get on his back.....coming through with a huge performance to save Tito from putting JD Drew on the mound in the 7th. Buchholz's ERA? 2.19....see how much he poured???

To prove yet again that everything relates back to either Major League, Tommy Boy, or Spaceballs.....We need to assume Tito will be using the following quote in the locker room:
"You guys won today. You guys won yesterday, so that's two in a row. If you win again tomorrow, that's called a winning streak. IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE"

Monday, April 26

The Anger Builds....

We're 19 games into the season, six games behind a studly Rays team in the AL East (4.5 behind the Yanks), and we're rolling out a Triple A type lineup tonight:

1-Scutaro SS,
2-Pedroia 2B,
3-Youkilis 1B,
4-Lowell 3B,
5-Drew RF,
6-Varitek C,
7-Beltre 3B,
8-Hall LF,
9-McDonald CF

I know a lot of it is out of Tito's control, but still, I never thought a 170 million dollar payroll could look similar to the Pirates lineup.

Some additional numbers to consider as you watch the Bruins instead of the Sox tonight:

-Adrian Beltre leads the team with a .286 average (with 0 taters)

-Pedey leads the team with 5 taters (Tek is alone in second with 4)

-Pedey also leads the team with 13 RBI

-Buchholz has the best era at 2.70

-The Sox are on pace to give up 1892 stolen bases (ok, that's not true, but they're going to shatter the record either way).

-The defensive upgrades of Scutaro and Beltre already have three errors a piece

-The Sox are 5-8 at friendly Fenway

-I'll end it with some optimism....Lars Anderson is currently batting .328 with 5 taters and 18 rbi for Portland

Go Bruins, I mean, Go Sox...

Sunday, April 25

ITM: A Review of the Monster: 1:20pm Update

(T Murph and his best friend....the most sober he looked all day)

It was a long weekend for us here at ITM, resulting in a "grit it out" performance at today's Sox game. Myself, T Murph, my brother and cousin spent the afternoon working off hangovers by sinking more beers at our standing room seats on top of the monster.

As today's earlier post indicated, we started the day at Remy's, where a severely hungover T Murph immediately christened the place by chucking in the bathroom. However, in a day where T Murph defined the term puke and rally, we managed to make the most of an otherwise crappy day on at the ballpark.

It was my first time on top of the monster, and I must say, I wasn't disappointed. From the great views, to the dedicated beer stand, to the severely intoxicated women hitting on T Murph, being on the monster is a great experience. The only thing missing in the equation was a Red Sox win.

Some additional thoughts:

-Adrian Beltre, making the tough plays look easy, and the easy plays amazingly tough since 2010

-Standing room monster seats are 35 dollars, face value. The actual seats are over a hundy spot....get there early to claim a good spot and the standing room is such a better deal
-If you have monster seats, get there an hour and a half to two hours early to shag homerun balls during BP. You'll have to fight off seven 12 year olds from Weston and Wellesley to secure yourself a ball, but it's worth it.

-After giving it some thought, we all decided that if we were in the front row of the monster seats, we'd definitely fall off of it. Serious liability.

-Had I caught that Miggy Tejada tater, I would have given it the ol' rookie of the year toss back onto on the field

-The Orioles are 3-16, awesome

-The phrase retox-to-detox was proven today. As a result, everyone around us on the monster either loved us, or hated us. I'm pretty sure I hated us.

-Oki's intro music might be the most annoying thing in the world. I don't know how people live in Japan.

-D Bard had one of those unhittable days. It's days like today that I have Iglesias-like excitement for the guy...which means tomorrow he'll give up a three run tater on a change up.

-We returned to Remy's after the game, and I'm proud to report that T Murph got some revenge (and preserved what little manhood he has left), by sinking a beer without booting in the bathroom.

-Remy's food, while a bit pricey, continues to impress

The Sox are currently flying up to Canada for a series against Toronto, after which they're headed back to Baltimore....they need to clean up against these weak teams...getting close to 500 would be nice.

Afternoon Update: (additional pics)

(T Murph utilizing some binoculars "given" to us by the group of drunk women....pretty sure he's using them backwards at that point)

(It was mascot day at Fenway? Can anyone tell us what the hell this thing is?? We were stumped)

ITM, In Rough Shape, But on the Monster

We may be hungover and still pessimistic about these Sox, but ITM and friends are on top of the monster waiting for Wakefield to offer up some tater shots.

We're still very much recovering from a rough night last night...but still managed to make a stop at Remys before the game. Only to have T Murph throw up in the bathroom while trying to drink a Sam Summer. Certainly a sign of a good night either way.

Nonetheless we're already sinking beers and screaming at Beltre.

Also, we have an over under bets on a round of beer on the number of steals on the Sox...pegged at 6 bags.

Pics to follow...

Go Sox.

Saturday, April 24

The Unthinkable

No, the title of this quick post isn't related to the Sox actually winning a game, or Ortiz putting one out of the park.....instead, the unthinkable happened last night, in that Beltre walked.

Not only did he walk. He walked with the bases loaded....with the game on the line....something I would have said was "unpossible" before the at bat. I thought he'd sooner throw the bat at a ball 3 feet off the plate before walking with the bases loaded....but I'll take it.

I'll admit, with everything going on in Boston sports last night, I had the Red Sox somewhat on the back burner....partly because I'm not happy with their play, and also because I couldn't remember what the heck channel NESN Plus was. That should never happen again.

-We're getting closer to May, so it makes sense that Lester pitched considerably better last night. That's back to back quality starts for the Red Sox....weird. Dice-K will surely ruin any streak the Sox try to put together in that category when he comes back to the team next week.

-It's 70 degrees and sunny out....I need to stop blogging and get outside...I'll close it with another priceless Pedey quote courtesy of WEEI:

Dustin Pedroia was limping after the game, with a wrap on his left ankle. His response when asked about the ailment? Predictable. “You can’t hurt steel.”

Now he just needs to get out of his current 1 for 20 slump...

Keep an eye out for ITM on the monster tomorrow....Wake is on the we're assuming we'll have all sorts of chances at grabbing a tater ball.

Thursday, April 22

Heidi Watney: The Real Key to Success

Boston's pitching has been horrendous. The numbers put them squarely at the bottom of the AL in nearly every category.

The bats, save for a few late inning heroics, have been scary silent.

Defense? Haven't seen it.....certainly not tonight.

Long relief? No chance.

Ellsbury was just diagnosed with a hairline fracture in 4 of his ribs.

6 wins, 10 loses...really?

Things are not going well for the Sox.

But the biggest problem isn't listed above, it's Heidi. Boston's sideline superstar (and Red Sox Nation morale-booster) has been MIA of late. Today, we finally learned it was a result of a concussion. She's been told to lay low and not work for a while. Imagine the headache she must have after being concussed and watching the Sox for the past week or two?

I haven't been able to get through watching two innings without wanting to repeatedly kick large objects.

Clearly the team, and the fans miss her ummmmm, passion. She's an essential contributor to the organization, and without her, the team doesn't have the ability to compete with the league's best.....or, in tonight's case, show any element of being a quality team itself.

Feel better Heidi, the Sox need ya.

And oh, we do too.
(if you didn't notice, this was my attempt at not blogging with complete anger tonight. I needed something to somewhat divert my attention from that pathetic offensive showing)

Wednesday, April 21

Will Theo Sleep Tonight?

How much sleep do you think Theo Epstein is getting lately? I'd wager not a lot. After selling all of Red Sox Nation on run prevention and great pitching all off season you can't find a bottle of Nyquil in a CVS anywhere in the Nation.

The 2010 Red Sox are not as bad their 5-9 record would indicate, but they sure have played like it, if not worse. I'm choosing not to freak out yet considering it's April and they are playing their 15th game of the season tonight.

I'm not worried about Cameron's defense. He made an error and under the microscope of Theo's "we'll win with pitching and defense", it looked ten thousand times worse. Couple that with the kidney stones (never had them, and I'd contempt visiting Dr Jack before passing one) and adjusting to Fenway Park there's only one way to go and that's up. Scutaro at short might be another story, I haven't decided yet.

That said, there are a number of disturbing trends and problems through 14 games and if they are not addressed or work themselves out...well I don't want to think about what Vicino would do.

I still believe that David Ortiz should grab some pine and stay there, and not just against lefties. I heard a stat today that he's seen 14 straight fastball and hasn't put a single one of them in play. The sad part is if you asked me to guess I probably would have went higher, at least 25, maybe even all year.

Vlad Guerrero stole 2 bases last night, let's sit back and digest that. If we jumped in a time machine to 1997 and that happened against the Montreal Expos I'd be okay with that, this guy use to be a 30/30 player. Now he runs with a piano, the kitchen table, and living room set on his back. (Good news is that if Sox pitching gives up a home run off the Jordan's Furniture sign that living room set is free!)

Part of last night's felonious activity on the base paths, 9 stolen bases, was due to the fact Wakefield was pitching and he's notoriously bad at holding runners on and he throw's a knuckle ball. The other part was Rub Baker, excuse me, Victor Martinez. If he can't figure it out behind the plate...wait what's that? Three Doors Down? Kryptonite? That's Jason Varitek's music!

Okay so I just blatantly ripped off Jim Ross and Bill Simmons to a lesser extent. Point is that with two thirds the starting outfield on the DL, opposing teams running around the bases like a little league game, the starting pitching sporting the worst ERA in the American League, and piss poor defense you might be seeing more of Tek behind the plate and more Victor at DH. Don't rule out the Sox trading for a catcher, Tek is not a long term option behind the dish if V-Mart isn't your guy.

So where am I mentally? Not ready to throw in the towel, but I'm also sick of watching the Springfield Isotopes out there.

Lost in everything that's happened, the Sox won last night!

One quick story. Email from my buddy Chris around lunch time, "Sox called up Reddick, kind of wish the called up this kid McDonald, he's raking at Pawtucket. " Text from me to Chris at 6pm last night, "Your boy McDonald got called up." The rest is really history and a few more texts were traded, great night for McDonald. Chris really needs a job in some front office, the Royals maybe?

JB is on the hill tonight, he looked great Friday against a much better Ray's line up. Pitch well JB, Theo needs some shut eye.

Tuesday, April 20

I Almost Wish I Was a Pink Hat Right Now

I'm honestly too angry and frustrated to blog about the Red Sox. A part of me almost wishes I owned one of these pink hats so I could giggle, not care about a terrible start to the season, and go back to watching the Hills.

Instead, I won't sleep well tonight....and will wake up with a bad attitude in the morning. Yep, it's Red Sox season.

Pedey sumed it up well earlier today...."When you don't show up, you're going to get beat," he said. "Doesn't matter if it's the Rays or (bleeping) Brookline High."

Translation: Take your collective skirts off, pick yourselves up and give the true fans a reason not to hate everything that moves.

It took every thing I had not to drop 15 F bombs in this short post....

Sunday, April 18

Going Around the Horn - With Anger Everywhere

Some random ramblings after the Rays punched us in the face all weekend long:

-Are the Rays this good....or are the Sox that bad? Unfortunately for Red Sox Nation, the eye test says both.

-I have zero confidence in Boston's ability to win a series against teams with quality pitching

-Jacoby is missed, the lineup needs the jump start

-The Sox can't handle the Ray's speed, pitching, lineup, or's early, I know, but that's not a good sign for the Nation's post season aspirations

-The Rays are undefeated on the road. I don't care if it's only two weeks into the season, that's studly.

-The weather and team performance has a lot to do with it, but the Fenway faithful were amazingly quiet this weekend. I'm pretty sure I made more noise than the park did....granted I was slightly over served and bowling strikes at Jillians, but still.

-Is it me, or did this weekend feel like the 2008 ALCS. The Rays are making a statement. The Sox have tomorrow's game to try to save some kind of face.

-It's sad that Tek and Pedey are our power hitters....think about how terrible the offense would be without Pedey's numbers. (I was going to launch into specific player's offensive struggles, but I ultimately decided it was much simpler and concise to point out the producers at this point)

-Pedey said it right last night: "We need to do everything better......or we're not going to be a playoff team, we've got teams that want to kick our ass". Spot on Pedey, you should write for ITM.

-Who is this Jade McCarthy chick? I'm sure she's quite nice, likes the Sox, and is articulate...but where's Heidi? Get Heidi back in the lineup and this is a different team, she's the spark plug we need.

-Just a reminder that Boston's record is 4-8. 1-5 at home. The Pittsburgh Pirates are 7- 5.

-The Rays starting rotation is deep....very much comparable to Boston's....yet it's at less than one quarter of the cost of Boston's staff (9.75 million in 2010, while Boston's is well into the 40's)

-If anyone saw or can find video of Joanna Hill (Seth from Superbad) throwing out the first pitch at Fenway today, I want to hear/see how it went. My boy is clearly not scared of carbs.

-I'm only in slight freak out mode at this point....I'll give the Sox the benefit of 30-40 games before I start lighting things on fire.

Thursday, April 15

ITM Over or Under

The Tampa Bay Rays are coming to Boston for the weekend. Let's play a little over or under:
  1. Over or under 3 home runs for Evan Longoria
  2. Over or under 12 stolen bases for the Rays
  3. Over or under 2 throws into center field for Victor Martinez
  4. Over or under 7 strike outs for David Ortiz
  5. Over or under 1 "lets go Bruins" chant

This is going to require some reader participation, time for all our fans to give something back and let us know what you think. My thoughts are as follows:

  1. Over
  2. Over
  3. Under
  4. Way Over
  5. Under

Wednesday, April 14

Hermy Powers Lackey to First Boston Win

We figured in honor of Lackey's first Boston win we'd include a picture of his wife........what? She's from Maine and got his first win in a Red Sox uniform.... why else we would use the picture?

Tim may have called it yesterday, don't be surprised if Jeremy Hermida is your everyday DH by May or June.
The 26 year old former first round pick is starting to make Tito's job a little more difficult.

Dustin Pedroia (who is acting like a cleanup hitter on my fantasy team right now) may be continuing to prove that he can "hit that pitch"....but it's Hermida who is stealing the media's print of late. (ITM note: from here on Hermida will be referred to as, "Hermy"...because it just feels right...and possibly because I spell his last name differently everytime.....and absolutely because we also somehow manage to tie it back to the "Herbie Hancock" joke from Tommy Boy....don't ask qustions.)

Hermy has started the past four games (partially as a result of Jacoby's injury) and through an admittedly small sample of 14 at bats, has five hits (3 doubles), one tater, and six rbi. Hey Ortiz...see how much he poured?

I'm pretty sure I recently read that Ortiz has more strikeouts than plate apparences...certainly believable, but I'll double check my sources.

You've read it on this blog before, we're not believers in Big Papi at this point, at least, not anywhere close to the 2007 levels of belief. We hope he proves us wrong, but did nothing to convince us today. We need realistic expectations (something, as Bostonians, we struggle with in nearly every facet of life).

Sure, Ortiz apparently had a double in the 9th inning today....but I didn't see it with my own eyes....which leads me to believe the story that he actually struck out, but the umpire felt bad for him and let Ortiz take a free swing off a tee. Rumor has it that he was somehow jammed and late on the ball despite it being on the tee....resulting in a blooper over the shifted third basemen's head.

The top of the lineup helped keep the game in the Sox favor early on, but it was Hermy's three run double in the 8th inning that broke the game open.

Turns out it was needed.....Bard continues to make ITM look bad (giving up a tater to Cudyer), and Pap was shaky at best. At least Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen have looked solid....

It's amazing how we can take a nice win and turn it into a negative post so easily right? Welcome to the real Red Sox Nation.

Regardless, Lackey once again stymied his opponent and gutted it out over 6 and 2/3rds. Hopefully Beckett and Lester were taking notes rather than seeing who can drop more F bombs in 30 seconds.

Tuesday, April 13

1 Week In...

With the day off in Minnesota, one can only assume the Red Sox are spending the day at the Mall of America riding the indoor roller coaster. Following yesterday's loss at the opening of the Twins' new stadium the Sox are sporting a 3-4 record 7 games into the 2010 season. Despite what the tone of local sports radio is, I'm not freaking out about dropping 2 out of 3 to the Yanks or the slow start, however here are a few thoughts and observations from the first week of the season.

The bullpen is a concern for me right now. If starting pitching is the strength of this team then the game plan is to hand a lot of 1 and 2 run leads to the bullpen, and so far they haven't been confidence inspiring. I'm not too worried about Paplebon blowing that save against the Yankees, however everyone leading up to him is giving me a moment’s pause. Danial Bard shouldn't throw change ups, I stand by that. Bard throws 100mph and has a pretty good slider, his change up kind of sucks right now. Throw the heat kid, every time you throw your change up you're doing the batter a favor. I'd like Okajima to be more like Okajima in 2007 and less like Derek Lowe coming out of the pen in a day game following a night game on a get away day for a west coast trip. And Ramon Ramirez with his ERA of 33.75 makes me miss Coco Crisp, and Coco Crisp makes me miss Andy Marte, and Andy Marte makes me miss the home run derby...

I don't want David Ortiz to be the DH on this team anymore. It's not just 7 games in with him, this goes back to the 2008 ALCS against the Rays. It's one thing to not bat his weight, quite another to not even bat my weight. He can't catch up to an average fastball, he certainly can't handle anything on the inside corner, and he definitely isn't feared at all anymore. I'm not going to delve into the steroid angle of his struggles; I'm just squarely in the column of him not being the everyday DH. If it's not there physically right now, and he's doubting himself mentally, I am more then willing to plug in a former top 10 prospect in there and see if that sweet stroke translates with more at bats....ahhh Hermida!?

Ortiz is a black hole in that line up right now and if the answer isn't on the bench (Lowell or Hermida) then I think Theo needs to go get someone at the trade deadline, this lineup will get shut down if they are playing ball in October.

With all apologies to Willy Mo Pena, Adrian Beltre is the real life Pedro Cerrano. Has that guy ever seen a breaking ball before?

Teams are 12 for 13 in stolen base attempts against the Sox this year, that's not a good number even if Faux News is spinning it. I demand to know who was thrown out, because he shouldn't be allowed to ever steal again if he can't swipe second against us (us, because yes, I play on the team). Singles are essentially doubles and runners in scoring position tend to score, see yesterday's game and Denard Span.

Part of the problem are the pitchers holding runners on, and the other huge part is Victor Martinez. I'm not sure what the answer is, short of bringing in a defensive oriented catcher, and since that isn't going to happen I don't think Lo-Jack has to worry about donating too much money for every runner the Sox throw out. The current Vegas money line has the over/under at 8%, I'm taking the under.

How much do I read into Beckett looking a couple thousand times more comfortable and effective with Tek behind the plate in his second start instead of V-Mart?

Also I got a text from a buddy of mine stating he would have lost huge amounts of money if you bet him Tek would hit a home run off Zack Greinke. Then Tek doubled down on us and hit a second home run in the game(though not against Greinke), I do wonder if MLB has satellites listening and watching us.

Just to clarify, it's hard to get too worked up about anything not having to do with Ortiz 7 games in, but I'm looking at the early warning signs. I don't anticipate Ortiz getting yanked out of the starting lineup in April, and I do anticipate the bullpen gets better.

Lackey's on the hill tomorrow and he was very impressive in his first start, also, I need a big start out of him before the fire sale on my fantasy starts because I am definitely freaking out about that.

Monday, April 12

Ramon, Que Paso Brosef?

The Red Sox offense has shown up over the past two games, temporarily calming our concerns around lineup production.

So, being a typical Bostonian, I can't let people forget about another issue after the first six games.

No, not Ortiz (this time)

Ramon Ramirez.

What the heck has happened to this guy? He's gone from a lights out, dependable reliever to someone that gets shelled every time he takes the hill. He's gotta be hurt right?

I know he hardly says anything in the clubhouse and is not comfortable speaking English, is he not telling us something? His numbers certainly are..... He's not right.

He's gone Clay Meredith on us since August of last year and most of us have overlooked it.
Remember how unhittable this guy was for the majority of 09'? Now he's the pitching equivalent of David Ortiz.....crapping his pants everytime he takes the hill.

We saw him during our trip down to Ft Myers and he got lit up by some Single A players.
Between the disappearance of Ramirez and the fact that Delcarmen has pulled a Rick Vaughn on us and lost his fastball, Tito may exhaust Bard and Oki by June.

....That said...Big Jon Sutd (Lester) on the mound at 4:10 today. Let's hope he goes deep into the game and saves the few members of our bullpen who can get an out these days.
How awesome would it be if Ortiz hits the first tater at the Twins new stadium? Unlikely, but money nonetheless.
Go Sox.

Saturday, April 10

Suffering Through a Loss, At a Bar, Without Sox Fans

The Red Sox are putting me in a tough position. A goal of mine (and ITM-Gal's) for 2010 was to practice greater emotional control when Red Sox season started.

"Just enjoy the game" she says.

I've been trying.

Last night was a true, early test.

After enjoying a great dinner with friends, we decided to join some of ITM-Gal's grad school friends at a local bar. In my head, I knew the bar only had one TV, so I had game planned my seat selection perfectly. A few minutes later, the game was on, I had the perfect seat-to-TV sight line, drinks were ordered and the Sox were winning. Things were looking up.

Until things went bad. I was meeting some of ITM-Gal's grad school friends for the first time, naturally we were all asking each other a lot of questions. The only problem was, being a full time graduate student at a top business school means most of her friends are not from Boston. In fact, last night, none of them were.

They could have cared less about the game. I made multiple attempts at talking about what was that was going on RIGHT BEHIND THEM.


The score gets closer, 3-2, Sox.

So as the game went on, Oki's struggles continued, and a player ITM has hyped up more than Tiger's return to golf (Bard) comes in and surrenders the lead for the second night in the row.

It's the 8th inning, the Sox are now losing to the lowly Royals 4-3. But the table doesn't notice.

I kept thinking, don't they know a loss would drop us to 1-3 and we have to face Cy Young award winner Zack Grienke tomorrow? Clearly they didn't.

I'm squirming in my seat at this point. I excuse myself, run to the bathroom to text message and or call multiple friends in order to scream about the Sox bullpen one answers.

I'm screwed.

Enter Soria. Cameron singles. Breathe.

A sacrifice and a strike out later, Dusty strolls to the plate with two outs in the 9th and the tying run in scoring position.

Of course, at that exact time, the conversation at the table turns to me. Pedroia is up, fouling away pitch after pitch, and everyone is looking at me to answer random questions about work/travel/marriage life etc. I'm sure my answers made no sense as I struggled to keep an eye on Pedroia and pretend like I was engaged in the conversation.

6 two strike foul tips later, as I neared blacking out, Pedroia flew out to rightfield and the Sox had lost.

I was squeezing my fists so hard under the table I'm sure my face was turning red.

There was no one to bitch to, no one to commiserate with....this is not how you're supposed to live. I swear ITM-Gal knew exactly what was going on the entire time and enjoyed seeing me sweat it out. Probably pay back for leaving the toilet seat down, or never keeping my half of the bedroom clean. It was well deserved in that regard.

The Sox are not making this 2010 goal of mine any more attainable with their early play, but it's somehow easier when you're surrounded by Sox fans going through the same ups and downs.

Tonight's game can't start soon enough....Go Sox.

Friday, April 9

Love Him or Hate Him, You Gotta Respect Mo's Comments...

Unless you've been living under a rock....or are a pink hat, by now you've read all about Joe West's ridiculous statement about Sox/Yankee games being too slow, and quote "embarrassing".

Well Mariano Rivera took it upon himself to fire back, essentially telling the fat umpire (who is consistently voted among the worst in the league) to sit down, shut up and put in a day's work like the rest of us....

“He has a job to do. He should do his job,” Rivera said. “We don’t want to play four-hour games but that’s what it takes. We respect and love the fans and do what we have to do and that’s play our game.”

Damn straight. Please accept their apologies that they're the best teams in the league and provide the highest TV ratings while entertaining the largest baseball markets in the league.

He's a joke. Save face and retire Joe West, no one respects you.

By no means am I saying I like Rivera. He's a Yankee, so that's against the rules. However I will say this, I continue respect the hell out of his talent and what he's proven on the field.....and now, I respect him even more as a result of that statement.....

If only Pap could have said it first.....but he would have fumbled the quote away and screwed up the punchline....

Wednesday, April 7

Well At Least Jerry Remy's Sports Bar is Awesome

Pretty depressing loss for the Sox tonight. Lackey was studly, the Yanks did what they could to increase his pitch count, but he deserved to get the W in his first Boston start.

I've promised myself not to freak out as much this year when it comes to the Sox. With that in mind, I'll turn towards a great night at Jerry Remy's Sports Bar. For those of you who don't know where it is, it's behind Fenway Park at 1265 Bolyston street. It has a great beer selection, more TV's than you can look at, an open air feel with a commanding view of Fenway Park, decent food options, and great service. The opinion was shared by all of my buddies in attendance. It's safe to say we'll be headed back there multiple times this season.

Other quick takeaways before I crash....

-Lackey has never been a strike out pitcher, but, in my opinion, he could stand to attack the strike zone a bit more (this after one start's worth of review...)

-No matter what he says, it's likely that Lackey will never come off as an intelligent person (see George Bush's Southern Syndrome).

-I still don't understand how Andy Pettitte's arm is still attached to his shoulder, especially when you consider the amount of HGH he was using (people like to forget that fact...much like Ortiz).
-Ortiz got a RBI single his mind, I'm sure that buys him 3 more weeks of mediocre stats.

-I hate that Curtis Granderson is on my fantasy team right now.

-I'm not worried about Papelbon. I swear.

....I think.

-Anyone else think that timely hitting is going to be more important than ever this year?

-Did Chan Ho Park really just limit the Sox to one hit over three innings? Chan Ho Park? Too bad we didn't have Cal Ripken Jr at the plate tonight.

-D Bard is long before the nut bags start calling for him to close games?

-The Sox may be 1-2 after starts by Beckett, Lester and Lackey, but I somehow feel better about them now than I did at the beginning of the season.

Another off day tomorrow? What's this about?? Don't they know I need consistency in my life?

Tuesday, April 6

Strengths Sink Sox Against Yanks

Starting pitching, defense and the bullpen. All are viewed as strengths for the upcoming season for the Red Sox.

Tonight however, not so much. Lester, who looked electric at times, struggled with his control and only got through five innings. The bullpen didn't fare much better as Oki surrendered a bases loaded walk as well as the lead in the 8th inning. Although it wasn't all his fault....

Marco Scutaro's two out throwing error allowed for the inning to continue. While the Yanks committed three errors to the Sox one, Boston's late miscue proved more significant.
Neither team can feel great about their respective wins....but it's game two, we can't rush to any judgements.

Some additional thoughts:

-David Ortiz is going to drive me absolutely nuts. Don't give me the "we need to wait until the weather gets warm"'s been 75 degrees all week. Tomorrow is headed for 85. Sure, he needs to earn a seat on the bench, but also needs to earn his secured spot in the lineup. Time will tell.

-I continue to hate Jorge Posada with a passion. For me, he's baseball's version of Karl Malone.....and man do I always have some choice words when his name comes up.

-Jeter may be limited in his range, but his timing and baseball IQ remains second to none at short. Gotta respect that.

-It's nice to see Beltre is off to solid start. Hopefully he doesn't put too much pressure on himself and lets the game (and production numbers) come to him.

-I can't wait to see what V-Mart 's full season numbers look like. It should be an interesting season of contract talks.

-Did JD Drew play tonight? I don't remember seeing him at all.

-D Bard's breaking stuff is nasty when it follows a hundy spot fastball. Ask A-rod

-Marcus Thames? Really?

Myself and some college buddies are headed right to Remy's Sports Bar after work tomorrow. If we can get in, I'll report back with some thoughts. If I'm smart, I won't blog from the b-berry after the 5th inning, it could be messy.

Please Tell Me This is Fake...

This video has to be doctored right? I'm sure the Boston FBI has dropped everything and are investigating it, but if it's real, someone needs to be held accountable. I'm talking door to door searches for anyone with ties to NY.

Until it's confirmed, I'm going to believe it's fake....mostly because it makes me feel better.

Big Jon Stud Lester on the mound tonight. Go Sox.

(ITM note: Videos and Blogger do not like each other, I'm working on the HTML format so bear with me) - Thanks to Barstoolsports-Boston for the find.

Monday, April 5

Pedroia: Peforming Well On and Off the Diamond

(According to Pedey, Tito's guns can only bench fives...)

It's a new day tomorrow and we've got a long season ahead of us. It's a marathon, not a game answers nothing, we have the same questions tonight as we did on Saturday night.....all that good stuff....

But Dustin Pedroia again went beyond just entertaining us on the diamond last night. After being the catalyst in Boston's comeback victory last night, he also managed to zing his head coach yet again....

Courtesy of the Globe....

......Francona was less pleased by how early he had arrived at the ballpark yesterday morning, in advance of the 8:10 p.m. start. “It was a mistake,’’ he said. “I was going to exercise. I just ate twice.’’ Said Pedroia, “Tito was in full uni, bench pressing fives. He was ready to go at 10:30 in the morning.’’

Gotta love Pedroia. It's a fitting way to end the day. Go Sox.

And The Emotional Roller Coaster Begins...

What an amazing opening night. Here are some quick game one take aways (drafted on the subway, via blackberry):

-The emotional roller coaster started right out the gate, at least the Sox didn't delay the inevitable?

-Pedro throwing out the first pitch made me miss him. Diva-ness aside,1999 remains the best season I've ever seen from a pitcher.

-Beckett left pitches up in the zone and looked shaky at best. That said, I'm not worried. He had no feel for his curve ball, and was essentially limited to two pitches. He'll be fine.

-Neither team should be too happy about the game, potent lineups, but sloppy middle relief.

-For one game at least, the offense silenced the critics.

-The new guys at the bottom of the order had a nice opening act,consistency will be key.

-Pedroia and Youk are still undervalued. They're the heart and soul of this team.

-If any of my neighbors have just moved in over the past 4 or 5months, they're about to realize a major change in the building. I hope they don't try to fall asleep early.

-I love having Peter Gammons on NESN. (Trick question, Gammons is god). Although he may dive across the table and strangle Jim Rice by game 14.

-Heidi brought her A game for opening night. Boom.

-How classic was JD's called strike three in the 2nd inning? Vintage stuff. He battled hard over 8 pitches but took a called strike 3 right over the plate. He showed no emotion and was making himself a sandwich on the bench by the time the ball made it around the horn.

-In the 5th inning my brother texted me that he was too mad to watch anymore and was going to bed. 2 innings later, when the Sox tied it,he calls me screaming in excitement. Yep, it's officially Red Sox season.

-I'm amazingly happy the Sox got the W last night. If not this Monday off day would be terrible for everyone near me. The words Monday and off day (in regards to the Sox) are a terrible combination. Couple that with a opening night loss to the Yankees and I would've lost it.

Hate the fact that today's an off day already. Such a tease. Go Sox.

Sunday, April 4

Happy Opening Day....Night...Whatever, Get Pumped

It's Opening Day (night), at Fenway.....against the Yankees....and 70 degrees out. Get pumped.

We considered doing a live blog for tonight's game, but in the end figured we all need to really let this sink in.

So finish up your Easter celebrations, run around in circles outside to shake off the butterflies, grab a beer, your Red Sox shirt and hat.....and settle in for a 4 hour season opener.

Go Sox!

Thursday, April 1

Spring Training in Italia? Sì Per Favore

This story actually ran in the Globe yesterday, but letting it go without mention would be like being in the batter's box with a three and one count, only to watch a 87 mph meatball go right down the middle.

Now I know some people see playing spring training baseball games in Southern Italy as "unamerican" and even, "unitalian", but that's certainly not my take.

We already make a big deal about going to Ft Myers for spring training in March now, imagine going to Sicily in March, warm weather, the Italian culture, Mediterranean women, amazing food, and Red Sox baseball. "Ma, per me, come un Vicino, è una bella cosa" (but, for me, as a Vicino, it's a beautiful thing).

...Perhaps we should also consider the idea of expanding the game's appeal, yadda yadda yadda.

After reading the article I immediately called ITMgal, who informed me that if I'm taking her to Italy it's not to watch baseball. No matter, I know that other Vicino's along with T and Joe Murph (Irishness aside) will be joining should my utopia world should it occur.

Also, can you imagine Pedroia in Sicily? There would be no middle ground. He'd either get himself killed, or be an immediate icon on the island.

Who can I call to support this? Obama? Let's get this done. Maybe I'll draft up a memo of ITM's support.

What are your thoughts on this? Unamerican and taking away from the smaller southern cities in the US? Or a complete utopia?
(ITM note: keep in mind, it's not for all of spring training, just a few games...i'm not trying too hard to sway your opinion with that statement)
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