Trotting back home

It will be a festive Memorial Day night at Fenway with Trot Nixon coming back to Fenway. It’s hard for people outside of Boston to understand, but Nixon’s return will generate much of the same emotion as when other favorites from the past have returned. Remember when Pedro came back last year?

I know Nixon isn’t in that class as a player, but they love grit in Boston, and I’m sure Nixon is going to bring down the house when he steps in for his first at-bat and public address announcer Carl Beane blurts out, "Now batting for the Indians, No. 33, Trot Nixon".

Trot’s helmet will be dirty and his hat will be soaked in pine tar. By the third or fourth inning, I’m sure his uniform will be covered in dirt. Trot’s popularity was secured in these parts long before he turned into "one of the 25" who helped this team win a championship in 2004.

Unlike when players such as Johnny Damon, Roger Clemens and Mo Vaughn returned, there will be no mixed emotions for Trot. He wanted to come back, the fans wanted him to come back (granted at short-term length for modest money), but the Red Sox opted to go with the more gifted J.D. Drew. Take away the money and it’s hard to second-guess it from a baseball standpoint. At this stage of the game, Drew is the better player. But Trot brings out the emotions from the fans and he’ll get a hero’s return Monday.

What is everyone’s favorite Nixon moment? Mine is the Labor Day Grand Slam in Philly on Sept. 1, 2003. No. 2 would be his walkoff vs. the A’s in Game 3 of ’03. No. 3 would be his diving catch off Matsui in Game 5 of the ’04 ALCS. That was the single most underrated play of that entire postseason. If Nixon doesn’t catch that sinking missile, the Yankees probably take a 6-2 lead (minimum) and the Sox would not have come back against such a big deficit.

At any rate, here are some of Nixon’s recent comments — courtesy of Indians MLB.com reporter Anthony Castrovince — about his reunion at Fenway:

ON RETURNING TO BOSTON:
"I’ve got a lot of
friends on the team that I like and a lot of the people in the city who meant a
lot to my family and I, so it will be an exciting three days. And I’m hopeful
we, as a team, win these three games. We’re obviously playing a great team in
the Red Sox."

 

ON FACING SCHILL, BECKETT AND DICE-K:

"It’s obviously
difficult. But I’ve gone into series and faced Clemens, Mussina and Pettitte.
I’ve gone into series and faced Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz. But it’s a good
threesome."

ON PLAYING AT
FENWAY:

My first couple
years, I don’t think they sold out every game. We had a lot of sell-outs, don’t
get me wrong. But now it’s a premium ticket. [Playing there] has never lost its
luster. People don’t realize… those fans are not just in the city. They’re in
the suburbs, they’re in the next state over, all over the northeast. They know
the players, they know what they look like with a hat on, a hat off, glasses on.
They know your numbers, your stats. They just want you to play hard and win.
That should be the goal of every player.

ON THE INDIANS
PLAYING THE TIGERS AND RED SOX FOR 10 GAMES IN 10 DAYS:

"You can learn a
lot about this team in how we play [during this stretch]. This is probably one
of the two or three tests that we’re going to have this year. The first test was
losing off days and having to make up four games against Seattle, which is Major
League Baseball’s fault. I’m sure there will be another time in the season where
we’ll run into a series or a couple series that are going to define this team.
You just have to try to relax. When I see guys all worked up or too quiet, I
start yelling at them. It’s important to relax and live in the moment. There are
times where I didn’t live in the moment, especially in some of those Yankees-Red
Sox games. You’ve got to live in those moments, because they’re not going to
happen for everybody."

I’m sure Trot will have a full-blown press conference before Monday’s game. More then!

Ian.

48 Comments

Prodigal son returns….Trot…while not one of the elite players he will be given a nice warm reception. He has more heart in his pinky finger than most of those mercenaries in Pinstripes have in their big fat wallets. I salute the dirtdawg and look forward to maybe what will be an emotional series for Trot.

Honestly, I’d love to see Trot have a nice series on personal player perspective. Yet, I want our team to go out and win all 3 games.

Trot said it best himself: “And I’m hopeful we, as a team, win these three games.” That’s what I want to see us do along with a nice homecoming for everybody’s Dirt Dawg. :-)

Another thing, I’d hate to be J.D. if I get a line drive from Trot that could be playable. He’ll get booed if he makes the play, but he’ll get booed if he doesn’t.

So for those of us going to the game, show your love to Trot, but don’t be a jerk to J.D. if he robs Trot of a double. I sure will be happy cause Trot’s hitting so well.

Watch what you call a mercenary. He was the only homegrown of those 25 players who won the 2004 world series. There is no need to bash the pinstripes in an Indians Red Sox game with a hard worker returning to Fenway.

Zachary – I am not trying to kick the Yankees when they are down at all. I just think what he did has no place in the game.

There is a parallel in a soccer equivalent. When Turkey played Brazil a few years back, a Turkish player kicked a ball at a Brazilian when the play was dead. The ball hit him in the leg and he went down holding his face. This got the Turkish player sent off (what he set out to achieve). But the Brazilian got absolutely ridiculed for what he did given that he cheated to get what he wanted.

I guess what it comes down to is whether you think it’s ok to cheat to win games. And Vince sorry it’s not a fair comparison at all to the stolen base. One is a pure umpire call and the other is someone acting to get on base. It just feels shallow to me, and I think I’d feel the same if a Red Sox player did the same.

Best case scenario for tonight’s game :

Schill goes 7 IP, 1 R, 4 H

Oki…….. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H

Pap…….. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H and a save

Drew……. 4 for 4, 1 HR and a brilliant catch in RF

Trot……. 4 for 4, 1 Solo HR

SOX win 4-1.

Well, this will be my third attempt to join in this conversation. My computer has gone bananas!!

I can’t wait to see Trot tonight. He’s coming home, back to a place where the fans have loved him for years, and still do!! It will seem just like “back in the day” with him out there patrolling his old watch in right field; except now he’s wearing a new uniform and number. But you can bet he’ll still be running down fly balls and throwing his heart and soul into every play he’s involved in. As much of Trot fan as I am, and I do want him to play well and have a great series (and career), but.. I still bleed RedSox Red and Blue… So I hope our Sox go out there and Kick Some Indian Bhutt.

To Trot: WELCOME HOME, no one can wear #7 the way you did!!!

rs_34: I like your predictions, especially the one for Trot, and the final score!!!

Re Mientkievitcxyz-how do you spell that?, anyway, I did not see that game so I can’t comment directly. But I can remember a game in the 80’s, Sox and Yankees at the stadium, bottom of the 9th, tie game. Bob Stanley was pitching and he had walked one or two batters and loaded the bases. Willie Randolph worked the count to 3 balls, I forget how many strikes. The next pitch was right down the middle and Willie jumped back as if to get out of the way. He fooled the ump and he got a walk-off walk! Stanley came unglued, as well he should, and I thought he was going to have a heart attack. At the time I was furious with the umpire for letting Randolph fool him so badly, but I thought then that it was a great at-bat. I still do. It is the umpires’ job to get the call right.
Brendon, as far as that soccer game goes, to get hit in the leg and grab your face is a little much and that player should be ridiculed. At least keep it within reason when you are trying to get a call go your way.

I don’t want Trot to get a hit. I don’t want him to get on base. I wish him well against any other team, but not the Red Sox. I hope Trot goes 0-12, then bats .400 for the next couple months.

If you look at Coco’s last 10 games he has hit safely in 8 of 10, .289 ave, 7 runs scored, that’s the important stat-runs. Works out to 112 over the course of a season. So maybe we can say he is getting it together. His defense has been great, so overall I’d say he is a plus for this team.

zachary: I see your point about Mientkiewicz, but I don’t think I’d go so far as to call it cheating. To stick with the soccer analogy, soccer players take dives all the time to look like they were tripped. Sometimes it works and they get a free kick. Sometimes the referee lets play continue.

Same in basketball. Players often take a fall to draw a charge on the offensive player. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

I don’t really like any of those things. I think they all constitute intentional deception. It may seem like I’m drawing really fine line between that and cheating. I think the difference to me is that taking a dive or acting like you were hit by a pitch doesn’t actually violate any rule (at least not that I know of). Unsportsmanlike? Meh. Not enough to get me worked up.

As for Trot, I’ll most definitely be pulling to see him do well both in the field and at the plate. I just think the guy is a class act.

Vince: Although I’ve never conversed with you directly on this blog, I consider you to be a very knowledgeable and open minded Yankees fan. I didn’t mean to offend you with my comment as it was not meant to be a blanket statement on the entire Yankees team. As a true Red Sox fan, I would love to for the Sox to win the AL East and World Series but I can honestly tell you that I have a deep respect for the Jeters, Posadas, Brosius’, O’Neils, and Rivera’s. They epitomize what it means to be a Yankee. I loved it when the Sox were playing all those guys because it meant worthy competition and they left it all out there. I don’t like how the Yankees front office treated Bernie and this is coming from a Sox fan. I just think there is no fire or passion in the Bronx regarding many(not ALL) of the players. I’m not saying you do this, but alot of Yankee fans took winning for granted. If the Yankee woes continue, hopefully, some of the fans there will appreciate the 96-00 teams more than they already do.

Welcome back to Nixon, I too wish him an 0-12 series. I’m doubting that will happen, but lets hope he doesn’t inflict too much damage. The sox sweep texas and the yanks get swept…I guess losing 2/3 last week didn’t hurt a thing. Being my pc’s been down the past couple of days I have missed out commenting on the “cheat” play by the former sox\current Yankee first baseman Doug. M. (so i dont have to try to spell it..lol) A cheat’s a cheat regardless of why he cheated, desperation or otherwise. If that wasn’t the case I’m thinking we would see a ton of hopping players at home plate. I’m thinking doug has been watching too much of A-rod lately. I’m also thinking the umps around the league will be a bit tougher on close pitch calls against Doug for the next bit. Making things even so to speak. Lets go sox, I’m hoping schilling breaks out of his mini slump tonight…and wouldn’t it be nice if J.D. did the same.

Mientkiewcz

sorry, Mientkiewicz.

I haven’t posted in a long while but have always enjoyed the thoughts and comments of those regulars (and not so regulars that do). A few thoughts:

1) I welcome Trot back and hope he gets a well deserved standing O. The man is class, grit, and effort personified. I miss him.

2) I don’t remember the circumstances of why Dewey Evans was traded to or picked up by the Orioles for the 1991 season, but it seemed a shame that after a 19 year career in Boston he couldn’t serve out his last year in a Sox uniform. Sometimes statistical number crunching takes the heart away from baseball and punishes the fans and team chemistry. I was able, thankfully, to see Dewey play at Fenway in his last season and first series back in Boston. It was the fourth game of a four game series but Dewey still got a rousing ovation when announced. Roger Clemens was on the mound. Baltimore won that day 5-1, and Dewey went 2-4 with a double and triple. He scored on the triple because of a bobble by the right fielder Brunansky. The crowd went crazy as Dewey slid safely into home, as if the Sox themselves had scored. It was sweet. Let’s hope Trot has a similiar sweet day but with the Sox pulling off the victory.

3) I’ve been voting Youk as a write-in for the All Star Game, but as an outfielder since Papi is my 1B choice and Lowell my 3B choice. Youk seems to be cut from the same cloth as Trot.

4) I’ve been hating the ****’s Sporting goods ad that obnoxiously is aired every half inning on mlb.com. Enough already! The actor dressed as a Yankee fan saying “it means doing what it takes to win” is particularly annoying. I guess throwing elbows, slapping balls out of gloves, faking hit by pitches, and acquiring an aged and tiresome primadonna all fits that Yankee mantra.

5) What a joy it’s been to watch the Sox pitch this year. That’s the primary difference from years past. It used to be to load up on offense and play station to station waiting for the big inning. That recipe meant years of frustration for Sox fans. Now it appears the Yankees have adopted that strategy and they’ll suffer greatly because of it. What peace of mind having a late inning lead and feeling confident it will hold. I spent too many years watching our bullpen evaporate a lead.

GO SOX!!

I have been waiting for someone else to pick up on that Yankee fan being, well, whatever it is he’s trying to be!! It seems to me that all he needs is a white glove and a downward slap, or as the other fan suggested an “elbow up”, and we’d have a shorter version of A-Rod….

Thank you Aki,
I appreciate it. Likewise it’s always nice to see a Sox fan that can appreciate what their enemies have accomplished. Now it seems like the Sox have all of the pieces working for them at the moment. I did not take offense to anything you said, simply wanted to set the record straight that for a Sox fan to make a statement like that, they have to recognize they are living in a glass house.

You are right though, this team is not playing with enough heart, for whatever reason. The fans see it, the players know it, the opposing team takes advantage of it. As recently as 2005 this Yankees team (A Rod included) prided themselves on never being out of it, and now I believe they have two come from behind victories all season, there is clearly something wrong.

Vince, I for one know EXACTLY how you feel.. If it’s frustrating for us as fans imagine how some of the players feel. Last year was one of THE longest years I can recall as a RedSox Fan. I can truly sympathize with you!!

Like most of Red Sox Nation, I was a Trot Nixon fan – and I still am, except when he plays the Sox. But as you applaud and fondly remember Trot, also remember that it was time to let him go, and that J.D. Drew is a significant upgrade for now and the long term. True, Nixon’s numbers are better than Drew’s right now, but Drew provides stability in the field, on the basepaths and at the plate. I hope Nixon does well with the Indians, but I think Drew will make Red Sox Nation thankful that he is wearing a Red Sox uniform. You can’t keep players just for sentimental reasons.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

I missed Nixon’s first at bat. What happened? Did he get a huge ovation?

Doesn’t it seem like whenever Youk leads off the inning with a hit it always leads to a big inning? Plus our new RF gets a key hit and our old one gets a hit as well. Good Stuff

Yep, got a rousing ovation. He’s had three or four ovations so far.

Did anybody see that home run Manny hit? It was an absolute bullet. In his previous two at-bats he flied out to the warning track so this time he just decided to leave no doubt in anybody’s mind. Manny is officially heating up.

Drew is pitching in again tonight and has been on base twice so far. I think that’s the biggest part of his game: getting on base whether it’s via a hit or walk, and he seems to be working the count better lately rather than swinging wildly and finding himself in an 0-2 hole.

Vintage Schill so far tonight. I think his mini-slump is officially no more

When is Pedroia going to get a chance to replace one of the deadbeats at the top of our lineup?

Rayman, first, Julio Lugo is the only player at the top of the lineup not hitting. Crisp has been hitting the ball well in the last couple weeks, and Youkilis is one of the best hitters in the game. Pedroia is a rookie. It would not be wise to move him out of the No. 9 spot. He makes the bottom of the lineup formidable. Keep him there. He doesn’t need the undue pressure of hitting second, and he doesn’t have the speed to hit leadoff.

Youk hits one 304 out of the park against Atlanta and then hits one 410 feet inside the park and gets a homer anyway

Youk is officially the man.

What the **** just happened with Romero? Two walks with Hafner up?? I don’t like this…

And then Donnelly fails to do anything and unfortunately there’s no room for error for Lopez who gives up a sacrifice to Trot.

Okay guys, no more runs for the Chief Wahoo (at least I think that’s the mascot’s name) crew…

Err…I meant Romero failed to do anything and that left no room for error for Lopez…

Wow it’s been a long day :-)

WOOT! Yanks lost 7-2 to the Jays.

And now the Yanks just lost, if the DRays can come back against the Tigers (down 1 in the 9th) they will be tied with NY for last place, ouch

I was watching that game too Pacol and it was clearly the worst of the recent NY woes. They showed no effort against McGowan who came in with a 7.5 ERA and the bullpen stunk again.

…Meanwhile Pedroia is knocking on the door of .300 at .298 who woulda thought that?

I am delighted for Pedroia. A lot of people were knocking him for his low average last year and his poor start this year. But the fact is there had to be a reason why everyone was so high on him. He kept Kinsler off the team in college after all.

Paps has been struggling of late, including tonight. I wonder if he has some kind of injury. If he does with the huge division lead a trip to the DL for a couple weeks or a month wouldn’t kill him.

DRays are threatening, lets go Drays lets go

It’s over in Tampa, on MEMORIAL DAY welcome to the basement Yankees!!!

Can anyone give updates? Gameday seems to have stopped. Also, lol at Yankees in last

Working now

justin, Gameday was delayed because the game had been delayed Blake had originally been ruled HBP but it was overturned and became a swinging strike.

thanks for that

Paps has been struggling, but a part of me is thinking it’s something to do with the fact that he has no set routine in regards to when he’s pitching.

It’s not completely out of sync, but if I’m not mistaken, he’s clearly not pitching everyday or even every other day either so Paps’ off-days are…well, just off.

Man I feel bad for Yankee fans though…13 games back now or something?

If Pedroia gets over .300 BA and .400 OBA (.385 now), he should move up in the order… especially when their are .230/.240 BA, .298 OBA floating around. The guy has had guts all of his life I’m sure… I’m not buying this “Don’t move him up and risk hurting his confidence BS”. If it will help the team, he’s moving up and soon. That’s my call. Anybody think a 12 pitch at-bat would help at the top of the order ahead of Youk and Papi?

Anybody have any good juice from the Yankee camp? ESPN had a good stat on the board tonight… Yanks 5.5 games behind at the big Clemens announcement (remember the big fat love-in?). 13.5 games back now. Here is an excerpt from the dugout that day… “Great… Clemens is coming back… we really need his hitting, fielding, relief pitching, and coaching.”

I don’t know. If you’re suggesting a shake up of lineup, this is what I have in mind:

Coco S

Youk R

Papi L

Manny R

Drew L

Lowell R

Pedroia R

Tek S

Lugo R

— But that doesn’t make much sense. You need someone with decent speed at top of the order (so it’s either coco or lugo), so… I guess thought, for now, we’re not doing too bad, lets see if lugo need a little more time to get out of the funk.

By the way… Pedroia’s OBP (.385) is 4th on the team, behind Papi (.434), Youk (.431), and Lowell (.387).

Why is everyone feeling sorry for Yankee fans????? They have been on the top for so long, this is great. I’m not saying another word for fear of jinxing it. Wonder if the Rocket’s regreting his choice?

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