Second fiddle

Here it is tonight, the showdown at the Rogers Centre for second place in the American League East.

If the Red Sox lose, the Jays will take over second, and the Sox will have just five games to get it back. Does it get any better than that?

Seriously, what a drag this last week is. I would think  the Red Sox front office is suitably fired up to make sure there is never again a dull finish to a season like this as long as the Epstein administration continues.

This is depressing to say the least. For the first time in five years, the Red Sox don’t matter to the baseball landscape as the season draws to a close.

The only real drama for tonight is Papi’s one crack at beating Babe for the most road homers in a season.

The homestand will be mostly about Trot’s final days — perhaps his final days but not definitely — in a Red Sox uniform.

64 Comments

I agree, Ian. This is depressing. I hope the Sox at least finish above the Blue Jays. I would think that the disappointment of this season will lead Theo and Henry to make sure the Sox are well-stocked for 2007. One positive is that the Yankees pitching continues to be subpar. They will likely not make it out of the ALDS.

Daniel Fagan has been one of the most knowledgeable contributors to this blog. He knows plenty about the Red Sox and baseball. He’s sharper than any ten of you put together, and funnier than any one hundred of you put together. When you’re the butt of humor, you don’t find it funny, because you can’t see how apt it is, how well it fits you. Dan and I sometimes stray off the stats and potential trades, not only because it gets dull after a while, but because we believe that the trends bode either well or ill for the future of the game, and therefore bear watching. And nobody does it more entertainingly than Daniel. Nobody knows what frustration really is until they’ve been a fan of that other pretty good team in the same division as the NYY. The ’06 Red Sox had so many ingredients I liked. I had such great hopes for them. I even tried the new watchamacallit box seats way up high behind home plate at Fenway this year. (They’re great.) It should have been a GREAT season. There was just too much LOSING going on, as USUAL. Obviously, the team was missing, or weak in, some vital ingredients (such as, most glaringly, middle relief pitching). Yet at the most disappointing point of the season, nailed down by the NYY, of all teams, in a humiliating series with them, the happy chatter went on; we could trade this one for that one, blah, blah, blah. And with the better Red Sox bloggers not blogging as much any more right now, evidently as down-in-the-dumps as I am, this chatter is with Yankee fans, no less, who seem to have taken over this blog, along with the teeny-boppers. So now most of the discussions were about how and why the NYY are superior in every facet of the game that came up. Incredible. If this kind of Red Sox blog is okay with all of you, if you enjoy the “banter,” then more power to you, by all means, go right ahead. Have fun, kiddies.

I still will watch each game, but Ian you are right that it’s depressing. I found myself becoming so frustrated yesterday during the game that I actually went out and mowed the lawn!! As I said the other day, it seems as if the guys have given up (I know we’re out of the big picture,) but you’d think that they’d like to at least finish above Toronto, and more respectably than where we sit today! I hopw Wake has a better outing today than he did last week!!
RAH RAH RAH!! Let’s Go RedSox, Let’s Go!!

PS, Ian have there been any rumblings about Trot that I haven’t heard?? I will definitely HATE to see him go. He’s one of the best!!

Robert, the Yankee fans that have come over have been informed, polite and funny at times, I’ve come to realize that this and every other teams blog is not just for that teams fans but for rebuttal and polite exchanges from other teams fans as well. That’s the spirit of competition coming into the mix, although I don’t like the Yankess, in fact I hate them, always have, always will, I’m open to different sides and differing opinions. The spirit of some peoples comments here of late, have been mean spirited, angry crude,and blatantly cruel at some points. I don’t see how that is either funny or entertaining as you put it.

oh did i fail your english test fagan? you must be so old you cant read anything anymore. and i like those cute little names. sounds something like my 2 year old brother would say.

p.s. old guys who have lost their senses dont rattle me.

How is it that so many nonames have been pitching gems against the sox this year. Now Marcum has started with 2 no hit innings, suks watching this #@! Go Papi, hate the blue jays, and im from canada..lol Wake’s off to a good start atleast.

Ellen,

Nobody would be more shocked than me if Trot is in a Red Sox uniform in ’07. He’s been a big part of the heart of this team, but has not produced on a consistent basis since the ’03 season. It looks like Trot will be forced to sign elsewhere.

Don’t worry stars, you saw my response to robert marshall. Eveyone who has been here all summer is more than ok in my book.We haven’t had any REAL verbal altercations in months, up until recently. We’ve all gotten along extremely well, in my opinion. It’s the ones who chose (or who have had their choice taken from them)not to comment and/or stay away that are the instigators now. I had a pretty graphic and rude comment tossed at me recently, but I will continue to ignore these, and not go one on one to rebutt or drag things out. You have been very knowledgeable(sp), and have contributed positively to this blog. i enjoy reading your comments; I know school s**ucks but keep up your studies, don’t end up like me! lol.

Ian, I’ll miss his glove in the field and just the veteran presence he brings and I’m sure that his mates will miss him, but not as much as I will. One of the last true dirt dawgs.
D rein: I’ve said many times that it’s the little guys (the ones you don’t suspect that can do this);they just come out and bite you on the Butt!) Hopefully we’ll have a couple of those nest year.

If you ask me, that’s part of the problem with the sox this year. Granted the injuries took thier toll, but the sox just don’t seem to have that spark. They have lost some character players, now lets get rid of the heart too. I know Nixon needs to play a full season, I know they want a guy with some pop in right who can produce 80-90 rbi’s. Nixon is that guy if he could stay healthy, but he’s also giving it 150% every night he’s in there. That’s got to be worth something especially with all the youngsters around right now. Lead by example. If he goes, then so goes another character player with heart and desire. Soon the sox will be corporate like the yankees…all stiff with short hair cuts watching over thier backs while big boss watches over them….nah, never with Papi around!…lol Why not platoon him with the next “big hurt”, between Manny taking his days off and platooning there will be enough to go around. You just don’t run into guys like Nixon and V-tech every day. The reason he’s hurt is the way he plays the game.

I absolutely agree with you on that point. We didn’t have the “chemistry” in the clubhouse or on the field this year, Do you remember “Cowboy up”?, THAT was chemistry. I think they need to keep a couple of “leaders”,solid long term veterans, around to show the way.

Count me in as another Red Sox Nation member who thinks that the chemistry this season just wasn’t there. We do have some professionals and gamers (Lowell, Loretta, A Gonz, Varitek, Nixon) but the team just didn’t gel like the 2004 version.

I think a key figure in Varitek. I posted this on my blog a little bit ago, and I’ll share it here. Varitek is someone who provides much more than hitting. His play calling, defense and leadership is crucial – so crucial that I think he should remain the starting catcher even if he hits .240 to .250 next season. Of course, I think he will turn it around and have a good showing at the plate in 2007. And hopefully George Kottaras is ready to serve as the backup catcher next season. Since he is the Sox catcher of the future, it would be nice if he could have a couple seasons under Varitek and absorb the captain’s knowledge and work ethic. Varitek will need to catch fewer games next season to remain fresh. I would rather the other catcher be Kottaras than Mirabelli or Huckaby.

I’m torn about Nixon. I agree with Ellen and D. Reinbold that he is part of the team’s heart, and it is a rare treat that a player remain part of one team for so long in today’s game. However, the Sox need production, and Trot just hasn’t provided it the last few years. Perhaps if he is healthy, they can resign him to a one-year deal and platoon him with Wily Mo, but I think that Wily Mo will hit 30-plus dingers and drive in 100-plus runs (and perhaps hit .290 or .300) if given 500-600 at-bats.

Although I have been a staunch supporter of Wake, I think that his day is possibly gone. How many times can you throw the knuckler and slow “fast ball” to these guys and have them not study it and master it? I love Wake and wish he’d had better sucess this year. maybe he could change his pitch specialty (I know, a little late for that).

I’m wondering whether they should resign Wakefield, too. He has definitely been ineffective this year, even before the injury. If they could sign someone like Ted Lilly, would he be more effective than Wakefield? Perhaps. I’m sure Theo will consider it; however, Wakefield’s salary is so reasonable ($4 million, I think), and he is versatile (perhaps he can work out of the bullpen again), I imagine he will be resigned.

thank you ellen, i think you pretty much summed it up. Let me present this question to all of you, particularly jeff since he brought it up: Does Wakefield excite you anymore? Ever since the ’03 playoffs really, do you get good vibes when he takes the mound?

No, I, since last year especially get very anxious when Wake pitches. I always remember what he used to be like, and then quickly it comes back to me how he has pictched this year. I love him dearly, and his legacy here with the Sox, I saw him pitch at the very 1st (and only) game I’ve ever been to in person, but I hate to say it but I think that it’s time the Sox retire the knuckle ball for now, at least until everyone who has seen it is gone from the league, a very long time.

Wakefield threw a complete gamer before his injury, and became alot better with the arrival of Mirabelli. However, since his return he hasn’t really been that great… but 4mil is tiny to the Sox, who can always use him in the long reliever role.

Smile Daniel….it will be only 84 more years till the Flops get a sniff at a title again…….$120 million, in 3rd place? Priceless!!!!!

This is by far one of the worst and most ARTFUL seasons I have seen in a long time. Not only because we held a lead over the and Blue Jays for most of the year, but because of the way it all unravelled. Yes there was Aaron Boone and the taste of the World Series looming in the collectinve mouth of Red Sox Nation, but this— THIS can only be described in one simple word: PATHETIC. True, bad luck and bad timing did have a big influence on the outcome but it was nonetheless avoidable. Our pitching was ok, not stellar by any means and improvable by ALL means. Papelbon was and still is for the most part unbelievable but our bats never came around and the only person who seemed to be able to deliver clutch hits were Manny and Ortiz. Our defense was the only thing that kept us in the running and the front office had to have known that. It’s almost as though that when Varitek and Clement got injured, everyone gave up. I didn’t want to give up, but each morning after reading the paper and seeing that we were slipping another game behind the Yankees, I can’t help but become absolutely infuriated. We are better than this and we SHOULD be better than this. No more of this “long term planning” when we continue to sacrifice years of losses for one year of victories while other teams put together strings of playoff births. Change the theory, but with that said dynasties aren’t built overnight, but they shouldn’t take decades to build with the amount of money that we have. I love the sox, I live for the sox, but this is a disaster and an embarrassment. Never give up, I’ve learned that but it seems as though everyone else has.

It is time for the red sox & ramirez to part ways. Consider if the sox had made the trade for santana in the off-season, the staff would have been worthy, & the pursuit for andruw jones would have been greater. I really do hope that ramirez leaves get out of town. I am tired of his anticks & all his silly non-sense. There is a time & a place for manny to be manny, & it is clearly no longer in boston. I strongly hope that the sox pursue andruw jones in the off-season as they did during the season. He would be great behind ortiz, & he is a good clutch hitter, I know, i watch the braves. although his HR total fell & he was a little injured, he’ll get over that. Please don’t tell me that willy mo will be replacing trot. trot’s time in boston is done. but if willy mo is the answear, then i’ll settle for trot. willy mo’s hitting in no way makes up for his defense, i’ve seen highschoolers catch fly balls better than him. It’s a joke! He’d be a good DH, but we’ve already got the best one. Not to mention, all you have to do is throw sliders in the dirt & he’ll strike out on just three pitches. I expect coco to pick it up next season. Youk is the best, but he’s got no business in left field. why not use hinske since he’s used to the outfield. & for the love of god, fire dave wallace, he’s a terrible pitching coach. He has yet to turn around a bad pitcher. Please promote Nip, he knows the young kids that will make up the staff anyway, so why not use him full time.

Well, Senor Fagan, at least 1 1/2 of your posts today touched upon baseball, which is an improvement. You’re actually palatable when you talk about baseball.

Regarding the blogs, as I mentioned, I am a professional writer and a publicist. I wite sports features, travel and lifestyle features, business features and personality profiles for regional and national magazines. As an independent publicist, I perform media relations and writing work for clients nationwide. Why do I bring this up? Well, blogs are becoming an inreasingly important communication tool not just for pleasure, but for business. I will continue my BoSox Banter blog for the long term, and I write it for pleasure since I am a baseball enthusiast. At the same time, it is providing me with an avenue to experiment with the world of blogging as I prepare to introduce blogs on my journalistic writing web site, and my PR writing web site. These blogs will help communicate with existing and prospective clients. I recommend anyone in business to create their own blog.

Regarding your insults, like I said, before I became a full-time freelance writer and publicist, I worked in the media for newspapers and magazines, including a two-year stint as a sports columnist. In that role, since columnists express their opinions in a very frank manner, they are susceptible to obscene insults, thus the reason posts like yours only serve as a source of embarassment and humiliation for the person who wrote them. Rather than litter the blogs with seemingly drug-induced rants and raves, it is a more productive use of one’s time to actually present an opinion and reasons to support that opinion without a personal attack. Most people on this blog – including Vince and Vik – do that. Thus the reason their presence here is welcomed. This does not mean we like the Yankees – I, for one, despise them and think they represent everything that is wrong about baseball. It just means that we have class and integrity. We can debate in a respectful manner and show that we are indeed civilized human beings.

Lastly, regarding the presence of tenn-agers on this blog, many of us were once teen-agers who followed the Sox closely. I am 38, so though I am still considered young, I am old enough to have grown up in an age with only daily newspapers as my source of Sox news, and that was limited since I grew up in southwest Ohio. If I was14 today, I would definitely spend my time participating in these blogs. When I was 14, I knew more about baseball than many adults because I devoured everything I could about the sport, which I still do today. Kids like Jamie (not sure how old he is) and Stars (not sure of his age either) seem well-versed in their knowledge about baseball and the Sox. They are very welcome here, and on my blog.

The bottom line is that we all are passionate about the Red Sox, we are very frustrated about this season and we look forward to the off-season (of course, seeing the Yankees lose in the ALDS is a pre-requisite before the Hot Stove League!).

One more thing, Senor Fagan. I know the past few weeks your face has been etched with concern wondering about the results of my colonoscopy. I had the procedure this morning and was given a clean bill of health.

Interestingly, I was talking to the nurse and learned that her husband is a die-hard Sox fan who was born and raised in Boston. When they were in Boston last January, they bought their 12-year-old daughter an authentic Johnny Damon jersey. When Damon reneged on his verbal commitment not to sign with the Yankees and joined the Evil Empire,the nurse’s husband forbid their daughter to wear the jersey! It has been hanging in the closet all year long. Vince, perhaps you would like to buy it as a keepsake!

get me a cheap price jeff and i’m in. i could use a third yankee jersey

Hey Guys, how’s everything going?? I’m just doing some last minute fine tuning of my “pre job offer” background history packet for the city. 15 pages, every job I’ve EVER held, where I’ve lived the whole 9 yards. But, if this will help me to secure this position, I’ll do it all again, even though it’s a PITA (pain in the, you know).
I’m getting a bit nervous because this interview isn’t 1 on 1, it’s a review board. They say the interview is actually only about 30 minutes. I remember back in high school, my first 3 minute impromptu speech. That felt like 3 hours. I hope this is a bit different. Anyway, keep your fingers crossed for me, or say a prayer, whatever you think will help me!!!

Ellen, I wish you well in your interview. I know the feeling of review board interviews. It can be intimidating, but I imagine you will do fine. Sounds like a good opportunity. Keep us posted!

The only way the Redsox are going to compete in 2007 is to fire Francona. He is the worst manager we have seen in years.
He could retire and do us all a favor.Anyone that can put up with Manny’s crying has to go.

While Tony may have taken his time in pulling some pitchers from games when they were in trouble this season, that’s about all you can fault him for. If you’re going to fire him then fire Theo too. I think that Francona did the best he could with what the front office provided him with. We did pretty darned good until the pitching started to fail, i.e. Clement, Wells, etc. So rather than fire him, why doesn’t the F.O. go out in the off season and overhaul the pitching staff, especially the bull pen?
In my opinion Tito and Epstein should still be there. Luccino needs to losen the purse strings in the off season, and spend some money trying to get the necessary elements we need to be more than a contender next season.

theo has made some bad moves, i never did agree with not re-signing lowe, and the mirabelli trade was terrible. giving up meredith after a year of hearing how great he will be, then he has one poor stint and is never heard from again until the trade. Pena might be a hitting star down the road, but where will we play him in the field and giving up arroyo, a potential 15 game winner not to mention an innings eater (as is lowe) has hurt the club. All the magic is missing, and yes the injuries were harsh, and the lester cancer thing is on another level. But the team certainly didn’t play like one when everyone came back either. The off season bullpen signings didn’t help anything either. If it weren’t for Tavarez making a starting pitching splash out of nowhere then it would have been a complete bust. Tito led the sox to a world series, more then i can say for the umpteen guys before him. Who knows what im saying…lol, lets just hope that the pitching all-around gets upgraded and that they have fun next year and play hard ball thru-out without too many injuries. I havent heard too many manny whining stories, his injury seems legit so why is everyone on his back. he’s one of the greatest all-time hitters and when were winning no ones saying “dump manny”!

Nothing personal to you D, but Manny played when we were in 1st, how many games has he played since the Yankee Debacle?? He seemed to disagree when he was struck out in that series,(I can’t recall which game) but we’ve seen very little of him since. I’ve always really liked Manny. Even when Manny was being Manny, But 2 MRI’S came up clean. It just make you wonder. If he’s hurt, I’m sorry. But, I just don’t think that he really wants to be here if they aren’t winning. If that’s the case, please let him go somewhere where he’ll be happy, (but not too happy against us), and let someone who really wants a chance to prove himself do a really great job for the Sox.
I would miss his antics, you know when he’s playing with Papi, or Wily, or anyone else, but if he’s not happy here, then he won’t be productive, and that’s not something we need.

I’m really glad to see SOME SPARK from the guys tonight. The bottom part of the lineup has provided most of it!! It’s nice to know that not all have packed their tents and gone home… And hey, Once again, Way to go PAPI!!!

Hey, isn’t Delmong Young the one that threw the bat at the umpire in the minors this year?? Great example for the young kids!! Get called out and bash the UMP!

btw ellen me and the redsox fan never amounted to anything, but I now have a new girlfriend, she is from connecticut and doesn’t particularly follow baseball….she does however root for the redsox to annoy me :)

Lol, considering how apparently superior Dan Fagan thinks he is to us Yankee fans, he sure knows how to waste time pointing out every flaw the Yankees have when his team is fighting for Toronto for second place.

I don’t mean that as a rip on the other Red Sox fans, however. I know that although most of you despise the Yankees just as we Yankee fans despise the Red Sox, you guys actually have the sense to admit that this isn’t your season and that you’ll enjoy seeing the Yankees flouder *cough* in the playoffs. That kind of civilized passion, Dan Fagan, is different from your senseless rants that half the people here bother reading thoroughly. I have good friends who are Red Sox fans. Sure, we have the usual “ha ha, 27 rings” or “ha ha, 2004 2004 2004″ zingers respectively, but unlike you, we actually give it a rest after a while. Hey, by the way, nice game against Tampa Bay today!

i wonder if we will be hearing anything from all these yankee posters when the playoffs start and team corporate goes down harsh.

Fagan needs grammar lessons… reading and trying to decipher what he’s trying to communicate is a truly impossible task…

*** does “DIZZY AND DAFFY AND (now…) DIPSCHIT!!! CATCHY, I TELL YA” mean…?

How old are you?

**** = what

d rein, putting ur obvious hatred aside for a second and considering the fact you know none of us personally, why wouldn’t we remain on here? I was here when the sox were in 1st, when the yankees were battered, I remain here when the yankees are at their current prime of the season and even if the yankees lose, we still would have won the division by double digits and made the playoffs. What would we be ashamed of?

and bringing up the fact the highest payroll in baseball should escape the first round would not be a wise direction to head towards as an insult in this current situation for the redsox.

Hey everyone!! Wow, did we get blown out tonight or what!! I think that this was just staged as a batting practice session for the Rays! Well another bad one. But everytime I think that we’ve got it bad this year I think of Jon Lester and then I remember that this IS afterall just a game. We’ll be back next year and we’ll be right up there again fighting with the Evil Empire.

BTW, I don’t think I’ve ever been compared to a Hall of Famer before, thanks, and Dizzy was also, according to alot of the older baseball fans that I know, one heck of an announcer, even though he gave the English teachers across the country fits with his murdering of the English language and its grammar. Sorry Vince you were only compared to his brother!!lol

Oh and I finally got through the Oral Board Interview today. I’ll get the results next week by mail. Please, still, keep those fingers (and any other available appendages) crossed for me!

how about 80 million for a few extra games…****!

lol…just read line number 2…go ahead and take your shot.

Vince, have your girlfriend email me, I’ll give her some finer points about the Sox that she can annoy you with, Since I don’t “other team-bash” I can live vicariously through her!!lol REALLY LOL!

I guess all are gone for the night??

lol ellen im forcing her to watch the playoffs, the last thing i need is for her to have redsox artillery….d rein its quite simple: you are the first team with over a 100 million dollar payroll to miss the playoffs completely. Not to mention however many times you have failed to win the division. Oh but of course according to mr. genius, only this millenium of baseball matters. Which btw, I thought yesterday was his last day? I thought he was going to “get a life” or something in his final moments before he finally dies

Oh come on Vince what’s a little annoyance between ball rivals?? dizzy.

Y’all know what I love?? I love Baseball and all its rivalries (sp), but I also love the comaraderie that it builds, I love the way it brings people from all different teams, races, occupations, and walks of life to a common ground. I think thats where we all arrived. Even though we hate the Yankees/Sox or whomever, we can all still come to this place and talk baseball, mixed with a touch of other things. I’m really glad I found Ian’s blog. Thanks you guys (and girls) and Vince, tell Kaylee I hope that her wrist is better.

Vince, even the Yankees and their unlimited payroll wold not have been able to overcome the volume of injuries the Sox experienced this season. It was difficult enough that Wells and Clement were unavailable from almost the get go (forcing us to use guys like DiNardo, Snyder, Jarvis and Pauley), but the early-season injury to Crisp was devastating since he was expected to be our tablesetter, but never recovered from his injury. Throw in the injuries to Wily Mo Pena, Nixon, Foulke, Papelbon, Lester, Wakefield and Varitek (which was the most critical), and you take away a bulk of the Sox key figures.

The Yankees, with their financial resources, have a strong enough lineup to endure when guys like Matsui and Sheffield are out. Yet it you took away Posada, a couple key middle relievers, and three starting pitchers, and the Yankees would be in the same position as the Red Sox.

As I have stated before, I agree that the Sox are not a small market team. They have a $100-plus million payroll – much of which was injured this season – yet the Yankees, with their unlimited payroll, have different expectations than any other team, as I have also stated before. The Yankees can plug any hole at any time. Thus, making the playoffs is not a measure of success for them. The only mark of success for the Yankees is win they win the AL. If they don’t then their season is not a success. Plain and simple. No excuse.

So if the Yankees win the AL, you have every reason to feel good. If they don’t, then you should hang your head in frustration. It still amazes me that, for as much as Steinbrenner spends – and all the financial resources at his feet for being in the largest media market in the U.S. and the revenues that produces for him – that the Yankees only have two starting pitchers they can count on – Wang and Mussina – and those two have been knocked around in recent starts.

You’re right, this wasn’t the Sox year – partly because of injuries, and partly because of an unreliable bullpen full of guys who will likely be solid big leagers but should have been in Triple-A this season. Next year, the Sox will be held to higher standards as well because Henry will likely open his wallet and bring in bigger names. So the Yankees were better than the Sox this year. That, I admit. But the Yankees season is not yet a success. And since they will likely lose in the ALDS, you will be in the same boat as we are regarding disappointment.

Similarly, I believed you too were going to get a life and not come on here yankeemm. Remember you said that? Further, for someone who feels the payroll argument is tired and worn out, I have never seen anyone bring the Red Sox payroll up quite as much as you.

Feel free to join the debate on this topic at http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com. We will keep Ian’s blog and my blog active throughout the off-season.

Way to go Derek Lowe…win no. 100, having a great season…the dodgers are counting on him as thier ace. Then i read he set his pants on fire by accident in between innings of last nights game…lol, hope the dodgers make it so we can watch him in the playoffs. why didn’t we re-sign him anyway. 3-0 in the playoffs of 2004. Including the series clincher. Big time performance from the pen in 2003 angainst the angels.

I loved that tribute to Johnny Pesky. He really deserves it, will he be celebrated every year? I hope so. It’s about time the Pole is dedicated to him, officially.

Clement should not return. He and Carl Pavano plus Mike Hampton should be shipped out to Devils Island for mental/physical disorder treatments.

It has been a tough year, but there are a lot of bright spots and things to be excited about. Curt Schilling had a pretty good year, and I would guess will be better next year. He has learned to pitch, and to deal with some loss of his overpowering stuff. Josh Beckett didn’t have as good a year as we all hoped. But, he did win 16 games, and he did take the mound every 5 days. Durability issues that were a major concern when he arrived might now be behind him. He could become a premier pitcher in baseball. How good was Mike Lowell all year long, and Youk stepped up and had a pretty good year. Who can’t be excited about Jonathan Papelbon, and youngsters Hansen and DelCarmen got some great experience and learned some valuable lessons. Javier Lopez has great potential, and even Keith Foulke has shown some flashes of the past. Manny and Papi, enough said. Wily Mo is just a baby, a very large, very strong baby who’s only going to get better. Is Gonzo a whiz or what, and didn’t hit half bad. Dustin Pedroia looks good and if he’s not ready, maybe Mark Loretta will return. Wake will be healthy again and give us 15 wins, and Captain Jason will be back to 100 percent. Yeah, it’s been a little tough, but I’m already a little excited. A little prayer for Jon Lester to recover and pick up where he left off. Crazy man Julian Tavares might have regained some confidence with his recent efforts. And in the absence of winning it all, we got to share some great moments with Big Papi and Johnny Pesky. For the last few days, I’m gonna have some fun. Maybe Papi will hit a couple more, and Trot will finish in style if it’s his destiny not to return. I live in Florida and don’t get to visit the old ball yard. But I remember from the hundreds of times I did when I was growing up, that the worst day at Fenway Park watching the Red Sox is better than the best day doing almost anything else.

actually i said i was going to stay on the yankee blog, unless i was directly addressed, which i was, never did i say i would leave the blogs.
Jeff, if you think our injuries were the extent of matsui and sheffield, you clearly did not watch the yankees this year (posada was missing for about a week and a half, as was most of their lineup at some point and i’m not even going to address a rod) and if you think the sox weren’t already starting to fade before the actual pounding and full extent of injuries than you weren’t watching them very well either. They never did particularly well vs the AL all season, interleague projected them better than they were. When the yankees were down and the sox were missing clement who was terrible to begin with and wells who was off to a slow start, they did nothing to pull away from a team with 250 rbi out of their lineup. When cano was injured (and i think its clear what he means to us now) and the sox were still relatively healthy (before the asb and before varitek went down) they now couldn’t pull away from a team missing about 330 rbi and 3 potential 300 hitters from their lineup. The injuries prevented a sox comeback in the division, not them from winning the division. We never got pavano back so clement can not even be addressed, to think ur team, 2nd highest payroll in baseball lost because after they were already struggling they amassed an insane amount of injuries is ridiculous.

You have young relievers being overworked in the bullpen, an injury proned right fielder, a 40+ starter and getting rid of an inning eater before the season starts, a struggling beckett and the sox don’t think to upgrade at the deadline? And you say it was the injuries? It was the lack of foresight and if you were preparing for the future then except it and move on, but don’t try and peg the yankees as not deserving the division because after they swept u ur team fell apart, that’s absurd.

Say what you want about the yankees in the alds….if it’s the twins we face santana who has split his other two years against us in the postseason and then what? A rookie, another rookie? An injured radke? Please. You consistantly say the yankees don’t have the pitching to advance but not once have you actually looked at all the other teams involved, everyone has their flaws. Even maddog as part of the mike and the maddog duo whom absolutely despises the yankees and all that they represent, said outside of santana and maybe a solid verlander or zito on a good night, there is no pitcher that not only can be favored to beat the yankees, but last deep into the game. It’s fine if you hate the yankees, that is expected, but don’t let that clog logic. The yankees are the favorite to win, even you admitted that, so how can you be so hellbent ona first round knockout? If you as redsox fans want to be considered on the yankees level stop hiding behind the payroll differences to make it seem like you’re a 2nd rate team when the going gets tough but if you are successful you act like you are a juggernaut on the same level as the yankees. You’re either the underdog or your the equal> if you’re the underdog than nothing but faith should assist you in thinking the sox can beat the yankees…if you consider the sox on the same playing ground, than quit complaining about a difference in payroll when you have the 2nd highest in all of baseball.

Why do I bring up payroll so much? Because this blog is like a broken record in trying to tarnish anything the yankees accomplish. You all watch baseball? You know the law of numbers, you know no team will win every single year? Then what is the point of bringing up payroll?

accept*

I mean, when you guys beat the devil rays or the orioles or the royals (or in this years case, lose to them) should I come on here and say “well you better have won, your payroll is so much higher, if you win the division but don’t beat these teams than you don’t deserve the division and your season is a waste”. it is ridiculous and hypocritical.

btw what ever happened to kumal?

I wish I had the time or the inclination to check how many times you have mentioned the words “Red Sox have the second highest payroll” or a variation on that theme. It does not matter if people bring up the Yankee payroll or not, you bring up this fact. And now that you bring it up, given that you bring up this point so much and imply the Red Sox should have more success…well I suppose your two words at the end of your blog sum it up.

And to say you would only come back on to the blog if you were addressed directly is ridiculous. You have been talking to people on this blog for months, you think they were just going to stop talking to you?

Dear Ian, I know that I was somewhere in the back of your mind when you wrote the 2 artcles about Trot. Thank you. For any Nixon fan, they were beautifully written. I’ve printed them both for my scrap book. Ian, thank you so much. There is one thing that I’m sad about; That it took his free agency year and his impending depature for Trot to be the lead story. I don’t have to tell you how much I admire our own original “Dirt Dawg”, the resin covered hat/helmet and the way he literally “throws”himself into each game. And yes I do remember the throw into the stands, much too soon. Yes Trot may have been injury plagued the past couple of seasons, but think about how many games he must have played before he actually was declared hurt.
I’m extremely grateful for all the hard work and determination that he has shown throughout the years.

I was fortunate enough to see him and get a good picture (although it is from his back) when I saw the Sox VS the Marlins here in south Florida. I realy would like to thank Trot for all the memories I’ve gotten from watching him play and for all the things about the way he palys that would made my Daddy smile:

Trot: I want you to remain a Sox player for as long as you want and/or are able.

Ian, thanks for 2 really good articles. Unfortunately tomorrow and Saturday will be the last chances I will get to see this weekend. I’m working Sunday and we’re not on tv, so I’ll relish ever y AB that I get to see Troy step in for.

glad you can admit it brendan, then i’m not so much of an intruder now am i? Consider it this way: everytime i mention the same fact over and over again, it is because im defending the same fact over and over again.

Anyway, how are you doing? Are you still watching all the games?

The red sox have the 2nd highest payroll becuase the yankees have the highest payroll. in other words, the sox have to spend in order to keep up with the yankees. if they didn’t spend, they would never contend with the yankees. look at the blue jays, they are clearly starting to head in that direction just to keep up with the sox. look at the d-rays, they’ll never do better than last because they won’t spend. that’s a financial fact. cashman watches the AL east teams & always out spends them. theo is trying to head in the direction of grooming prospects rather than buying big money ballers. unfortunatley, that won’t work in this division. i think that was made clear when theo didn’t want to trade prospects & spend money for help before the deadline. which means for me & the other sox fans, we’ll be lucky to see a real-deal contending team hopefully in four years or so. of course by then the propects will be professionals & start to demand big money, then the cycle repeats itself. i’ll admit that i’m very much jealous that the yankees go out & out spend their competition, cashman is smart & knows that if they want to win they have to get top veterans & they cost money. we’re pipe dreaming if we think we can just bring up a kid & expect him to carry a team. that’s a joke! & i won’t blame injuries on the sox’s terrible season, you smoke crack if you thought that everyone was going to stay healthy & play at 100% all season long. every MLB team can see injuries coming from the end of last season, theo acted as if the sox couldn’t get hurt & that injuries were something new to his team. he sat & chose to plan for the future, but let’s be real sox nation, the future doesn’t look that good. by the time these kids are ready to be contenders, ortiz will no longer be in his prime, he won’t 50 jacks a season, tek won’t be catching, & tito will be forced to retire for health reasons. Theo, please read this, i’m not a fortune teller, but you don’t need to be in order to see this coming. please take advantage of ortiz in his prime, don’t make me wait another 86 years.

After many years I was in

Fenway Park Tuesday to see

Schilling win and I felt as

if Big Papi had hit that

homerun just for me.

I was very proud of my

fellow Redsox fans Tuesday

night.

I hope Trot Nixon doesn’t

leave. His is the only

Bobble Head I have

Maryann

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