Coco still leading man

For those of you who might be wondering if there is a leadoff controversy in store, considering how great Youkilis has done since Coco has been out, consider the issue to be over.

Terry Francona made it clear today that Coco will lead off when he comes back, which figures to be Monday night in Toronto. Youkilis said he doesn’t care at all, and that spots in the order are irrelevant.

Personally, I agree with Tito. The team is much better off with the Coco-Loretta combo at the top. Loretta is such a great bat handler that they’ll be able to capitalize on Coco’s speed.

In other developments, Damon and Posada aren’t playing tonight.

More later,

Ian.

35 Comments

I was so excited with the trade that brought over Coco, and I have been bummed since he got injured, and then sick. I hope he picks up where he left off! The cool thing is we are still in first place. Great job by Youk!

good job by tito dismissing this topic now rather then monday. the yanks and blue jays should have capitalized on our being without coco and wells for the first month. now we have them both. they couldn’t bury us when we were down so I doubt that they will be able to do that when we are 100% healthy.

I believe that Youk certainly will do great job in any spot. He is a real weapon. And I hope Coco comes back healthy.

yeah getting Wells and Coco back within a few days of each other is huge…though I will miss Wily Mo’s bat.

anyone headed to see Coco play for the PawSox this Saturday?

First pitch coming up in a minute. I think we’ll know by the 2nd or third inning who is going to win tonight. Will it be the old “LIGHTS OUT” Randy or will it be the new “by the rockets’ red glare” randy….and will Matt be able to get ahead of hitters and have good control. The starting pitcher–which one surfaces–will go a long way in determining whether the opponent down early can come back.

Is it just me, or does Mohr look terrible at the plate and in the field? It seems like he really doesn’t have much range out there…so why is he playing and Harris sitting? I really hope Gabe can hurry up and they can send Mohr down.

Does anyone have a friend or relative that works in a mental institution that would give Clement a cheap bed for a while? Wait… at $9 mill a year, I think he can afford it on his own. I think its a safe bet that the Dustin Mohr experiment is over.

Terrence Long, Melky Cabrera, Kelly Stinnett, 6.00 ERA Randy Johnson, Scott Erikson. A bunch of bad calls in our favor. At home. Terrible baserunning. What an embarrassing disgrace. All this talk about going for the jugular has been such a joke. I’m going to take some time off… It’s just too painful to watch a batch of horrendous players bring down the handful of great players we have. Think we would have won with Papelbon on the mound yesterday or today with 5 and 6 runs of support?

OK! I’ve assumed the proper position for what’s coming. Bent Over. While I stand by my earlier defense of Matt Clement, because I believed in what I said, I have no excuses for tonight. Lack of control did him in again. Even his effective pitches were out of the zone, which is fine if they swing at them. Jeter struck out on pitches that broke in the dirt. Ooooohhhhhhhhh those base on balls. Oooooohhhhhhhh those floggin’ runners left on base. And, Ooooooooohhhhh that Terry Francona, who once again sat on his wrinkled old butt on the dugout bench while yet another pitcher got his brains knocked out, waiting–at least–2-3 hitters too late to yank him. You really need to talk to Theo about this problem of for some reason not being able to pull the trigger on changing your pitchers. The idea, Terry, is to go get them BEFORE they blow the lead and tie. Not AFTER when everyone in the park, including the pitcher, knows he should have been out of there three hitters ago. It’s one of Francona’s trade marks! Somewhere later in the game I began to believe that not Matt and Terry alone blew this EXCEPTIONALLY frustrating game, but that it was a solid team effort. I think it was around the eight when we had third and second, one out. Harris spinning his wheels on second, speed to burn, with the tying run. NADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m awarding my outstanding Red Sox player award to Manny, not only for his continued outstanding hitting in this series, but mostly for running through his third base coach’s hold up sign to score a run. Whatzisname–Demaio Hale, whatever, not even going to look it up, has killed more runs over at third base than pulled hamstrings. He’s too darn conservative. There were some great posts earlier today. Thanks Robn. I appreciate it. You’ll have to pardon me now. I have only 45 minutes to try to come up with something less painful than what I just watched before May 24 comes to an end. I think I’ll go dunk my head in the toilet bowl…and see how long I can hold my breath!!! On the lighter side, folks, I hereby cast my official vote for ellencullum, at her request, to be Ian Browne’s assistant. She deserves it. So do you, Ian. BLOGGERS, POSTERS CAST YOUR VOTE TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. GURGLE……..GURGLE……..

p.s : There haven’t been very many posts tonight. I think everybody shot themselves. I reaaaallly gotta go now. GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM, KIDS!!!!!!!

Oh, double hockey sticks, I’m not going to drown myself until the NEXT time. By the way, BC PARK, I know you were wondering whether you had coined a new word—“pither”. Well, you have! It’s the new term for a pitcher who has just pitched a REALLY bad game, as pronounced by someone with a lisp. As in: “Boy, that pither tonight was a real pither!” As in Matt Clement 5/24/6. As in “The Big Ugly”, “The Big Geek”, The Big 5.00-Plus”, “The Big Washed Up”, ETCETERA, etcetera.

Thanks for your contribution to the English language.

Pronounced(in quick sequence): PITH-THUR

I never thought I’d be laughing tonight, but thanks, Dan Fagan, for providing me with some good laughs. So many people I’ve respected have believed a sense of humor is essential in life that I think there must be a good deal of truth in that. But I find it harder than some to hang onto a sense of humor. What a good group we have here. I’m also impressed with the politeness of everyone, even though they may strongly disagree with me. I’m glad to be a part of this group. It’s a pleasure to talk baseball with you folks.

Matt Clement equals Derek Lowe right now in the “I got hit hard and will pout about it the rest of the game” department.

I make it a point to almost never bash a player…so I’ll bash Theo. Thanks for getting rid of a reliable, albeit sometimes streaky, pitcher in Bronson Arroyo and leaving us with Clement and Wells. Good work there.

Don’t forget the fact that Clement is getting paid about $8 mil. more than he’s worth which makes him virtually untradeable.
I wish Clement only pitched on the weekends….. Every game he pitches winds up being 6 hours long with all his walks and 20 second windup and I wind up exhausted the next day at work.

I actually lost faith in Clement just before the Texas game started when he said that having a few extra days off makes things more difficult or words to that effect.
Even if its true

You dont…..say…it.

You dont…..think…it.

You just go….and…pitch.

Today did not surprise me.

One thing…. why is everyone putting Clement and Lowe in the same sentence. At the end of the day Lowe had defects but could pitch under extreme pressure, Matt……cant

Our pitching staff is starting to make me nervous. If the starter is not able to do the job, then the second-line group certainly isn’t. Seanez and Tavarez don’t appear to be the answer and where do we go from there! I will be happy to see Crisp back in the lineup but as I have said before, he is not going to be a savior. One player should not be that much of a difference. Good teams play over injuries. The Yankees are a good example of that. The Sox have a few fundamental problems that are beyond the ability of one player to solve! I am really hoping that Boomer is going to be able to perform. Go Sox.

First time poster, long time reader of all of your interesting thoughts. This staff has me worried. Schill and Beck fine, but now we have 3 number 5s, maybe number 4s on a good day. Wake, Clement and whoever else is there are good inning eaters which are good for your pen but expect 5/6 runs a game. We need another starter or else I hate to say it, we are doomed to win division or make wild card, but you’ll never go deeper especially with those iritating white sox with that rotation. Any word on Roger?

Coco needs to be back. As good as Youk is leading off, we need his bat in the bottom of order to give it some life.

The main question is the pitching staff. Obviously, Clement is not even a number 5 starter. Wells, who knows how he will be, and you can mark a loss of May 26 since Kazmir is pitching. Wake is inconsistent but it’s more because the lineup cannot score when he pitchers. Those knuckleballs seem to knuckle everyone’s bats. And the middle relief is still an issue: Tavarez, Seanez, Foulke even are brilliant one day and horrible the next.

Seems Red Sox have more a need for Roger. Unfortunately, that won’t happen in our lifetime.

We keep coming back to the whole Coco won’t make that big a difference topic, but I have to think it will be huge. How many times has the bottom of the order cost the Sox in the past few weeks? Take away any game that Dinardo pitched, the Sox have had a chance in most games. The past two nights are prime examples. Last night the Sox could have KO’d Johnson when they were up 5-4 and tek and lowell get on. Mohr looks lost, Gonzalez isn’t clutch (although he looked OK last night). Tuesday the bottom half killed at least 2 rallies that I can remember. With Coco back, Youk goes to that 8 spot and makes a pitcher throw pitches. That is a big key. Mirabelli was down and out with 3 pitches Tuesday then Willie Harris choked on himself! Youk will make the pitcher work, get on, and creat movement on the bases.
We can’t bank on a win every time Schill and Beckett pitch. With a decent lineup, Wake could have a couple more wins. Clement is lucky we have a decent lineup or he’d have only 1 or 2.

I’m scared to see how bad Toronto slaps him around Monday. I hate to be negative about the team that my wife thinks I love more than her, but it’s frustrating at times to wonder why the coaching staff isn’t as smart as the rest of us on this message board!

Well, I’ve fianlly come out of my game induced stupor and I can speak in something other than the language of four letter words. There was absolutely NO WAY I could have blogged in last night. As the ninth was ending(Thank God), I was on my way to bed to smother myself. How many times is Terry going to leave the pitcher in after he’s jerking the lead away from us??? No run support?? We had what should have been plenty. Clement faultered BADLY. When he did finally get yanked,(damage already done) he limped off the mound. If he was hurt enough to be limping, when he got smacked and Terry came out, he should have said so THEN!, instead of staying in and getting smacked around some more. Whoever would have come in surely could have done at least a little better on 2 fresh legs, than Clement did. Daniel Fagan you made me laugh today, didn’t think that was going to be possible after that fiasco last night that we called a game. Well DiNArdo is on the DL and that makes room for Wells. God please answer my prayers and make him ready and willing to pitch well. We’ve got Beckett throwing tonight, should be a better game. I loved the way Manny took care of business with the Yankees, but it just wasn’t enough. Our pitchers did us in, and they didnt have Damon,Matsui or Posada in last night, the night before, they didn’t have Sheffield or Matsui. Time for something other than excuses. Other than Papelbon coming into the rotation, does anyone have any ideas??? Fagan, think we need thome better pithers??

Thanks Robert Marshall for your characteristic civility and your compliments to all of us chipping in on the blog. Include yourself in there, too, Bob. Ellen, glad it helped you laugh, too. Sorry about my staccato postings around midnight, but it helped me out of my depression by realizing there are 118 games left before we go into and win the playoffs and series and 12 more with them **** Yankees, …and the blog line was wide open. I was really worried all you guys and gals were either down in your wine cellars…or overdosed on sleeping bills. It WAS an absolutely devastating defeat! So I’m glad my nonsense offered a little comic relief to others as well. And, yeth!, Ellen. Thome better pithers would be thwell!!! (See what you started, BC?) Where are U today, Robn? And, HEY! Rayman!Get over that hangover and come on back. You’re tough enough to survive anything, man!

Thanks Daniel for pulling me out of the gutter. What I’m most disappointed about is that I pretty much feel every year that this is the year we’ll finally win the division and not have to rely other teams losing (wildcard) and not have to be the underdogs and win on the road in the playoffs. I’ve felt that way every year even though we really haven’t had the better team most of those years. After seeing these last few games, I don’t really believe it anymore. Can we pull out a miraculous playoff victory? Sure, we finally proved that in 2004. Can we keep our heads screwed on enough to win more games than the Yankees, with 60% of the payroll, over 162 games, with the current crop of guys we have? Probably not. That’s what I’m disappointed about most.

Clement hasn’t been the same since he got mashed in the face by that ball last year… I have zero confidence in him when he is on the mound.

I don’t think it should have taken the Sox this long to realize it.

I’m here Dan, I’m here! I’m just trying to stop arguing with myself over Clement. (“He’s done, stick a fork in him!” “Shut up dork man, he just needs to get his confidence back.”) I don’t want to give up on the guy, probably because I remember how well he pitched in the first half of last season. I wish someone could figure out what it was that changed after the 2005 All-Star break. I really don’t think it was that ball he took to the head, but who knows? If I took a liner to the melon like that I think I’d have a little trouble tying my shoes, much less pitching to Major League hitters. One interesting comment the YES Network announcers made was that his arm angle is all over the place; in other words, his pitching motion is completely inconsistent. How do you help a guy fix that? I hope Al Nipper figures it out.

Ellen, I think Grady Little taught us all an important lesson: never depend on a pitcher to tell you when they should come out of a game. These are world-class athletes, and unless they’re spurting blood from a stump on their shoulder where their arm used to be, they’re going to say they’re OK. I think it’s just part of their psyche.

I’ll admit, losing two out of three to the despised Yankees (at FENWAY, no less) hurts like the dickens. But I’m not going to jump out my office window just yet. It’s only a one-story building, so it wouldn’t really accomplish anything anyway. I’m just going to hold my breath and see if Wells and Coco can bring a little magic back to the Sox, and hope that Theo & Co. don’t see fit to trade Kapler once he’s healthy.

It is the fan’s prerogative to second guess the manager, the front office, the groundskeeper, the concession stand worker and the ticket taker. But I know deep down that Terry Francona knows 500 to 1000% more than I do about managing a Major League baseball team.

My Yankee fan friends unfortunately reminded me that Clement’s downfall actually started before he got hit in the face last year. I double-checked when I tried to use the same excuse and it was true. Even that game, he was getting shelled at the time of the beaning.

Hey, rayman:

I can understand your feeling lousy right now, but it’s only the end of May. Lots of baseball still to be played, lots of trades still to be made.

Look at it this way: at least you’re not a Kansas City fan. They haven’t been able to feel like they could even contend for 15 years or so. The Sox usually have a shot at it, even if they fall short in the end.

Yeah he was getting shelled in that game, but that season was going great. He was 10-2 before the all star break, but finished just 13-6, a good record but not the pace he was on.

Nothing to feel lousy about right now. Coco is going to be the sparkplug at the top of the order and Youk will continue to do what he is doing later in the lineup. We are sitting in first atop the toughest division in baseball and as robnbetsy said, there is A LOT of baseball still to be played!

Good point Rob… Trades! Maybe we can unload Clement for a few good mouthpieces for Papelbon. I hear he grinds his teeth alot.

Unfortunately, the Sox will have to get Clement right, because NO team will take his contract now. Minnesota has a similar situation with Lohse. I think they actually sent him down to the minors. Maybe a stint with the Pawsox would allow Clement to figure out what is keeping him from pitching consistently…because lets face it, thats the problem. If he could maybe go to AAA and string together a few good outings, he would hopefully get his confidence back to be more consistent.

Off the cuff, what would you guys say the combined weight and height of Clement and Randy Johnson is? I say about 13 ft 4 inches with a combined weight of 310…Don’t ask why I am writing this…it was just something that kept bothering me last night during the game…hahaha

robnbetsy: I must have still been in a stupor when I wrote about Terry; I’m always the one who is spouting off about he and Theo doing what’s right for the club, thanks for setting me straight!, and we’re always saying that when you’re making the money that these guys do, “you **** it up and get the job done”… Speaking of Grady Little, from what I hear they’re tearing it up out there in the N.L. West. Except for the Pedro thing (I know that was a BIG ONE) I just LIKED Grady. You know one of the good ol’ boys of baseball. Also good to see our ex’s (Nomar, Derek and Billy)doing well (as long as they are not opposing us day to day). Maybe we’ll see them in October. I REALLY REALLY hope that Coco comes back and kicks things in the butt! When Kapler does get well and is ready to come back, I guess it only makes sense to expect a trade. With the Rays coming in tonight I hope we can start to get back to normal(?). With N.Y. off tonight we can gain a little with a win… We better; they’ve got Kansas City coming in for three starting Friday. The math should be pretty easy to figure with that!! LET’S GO SOX!!!

GO Sox looking forward to coco returning…I live in arizona but watch alot of sox on-line…..big sox fan

Two things. I would take Derek Lowe for Matt Clement now, straight up. You’d get the same performance in the regular season (a nut case with a 500 record) and a guy who is nothing but clutch in the post season. Derek Lowe on 2 days rest is one of the five best pitchers in the league. 2003-2004 playoffs, I rest my case.

Second, has anyone noticed how Johnny Damon is breaking down? He’s got the bad shoulder again and he’s hitting 280. Yeah, he was worth the cash.

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