Homecoming King

Two straight opening game loud ovations for Dave Roberts. How can anyone be surprised, even if he spent all of three months as  Red Sox player and, if you recall, didn’t have a single at-bat in the 2004 postseason.

Roberts theft was the ultimate catalytic moment of a historic team. Every bit as much as Varitek’s leather sandwich in A-Rod’s face, followed by Billy Mueller’s walkoff on that July 24 of 2004.

I’d say that Orlando Cabrera and Roberts, for guys who only played three months in a city, have amazing and ever-lasting popularity here. The third guy acquired on July 31, 2004 — is not quite so popular. I speak of Doug Mientkiewicz, who has the third most popular "He Stole the Ball" in Boston sports history behind John Havlicek (1965) and Larry Bird (1987).

But it was nice that the Boston fans could at least take enough of a high road to give Mientkiewicz an ovation after his concussion. Cabrera and Roberts definitely brought a certain air of sunshine to the clubhouse after those lifeless three months in ’04 before they got there. Mientkiewicz also played hard, and his most memorable contribution was taking that Carlos Delgado shove during his one night at second base.

As for the Bonds circus, the treatment of him here has honestly been a lot more reserved than I would have thought. It didn’t seem nearly as nasty as it was for Johnny Damon when he came back last year, or A-Rod in any game he plays here.

Dice-K and Cain have a beauty going right now. It couldn’t be nicer hear at Fenway.

later,

Ian.

26 Comments

Dear Ian,
I was suprised that the pitching rotation changed, is it any reflection on how last the pitchers performed? Is it part of and all around shake up of the batting line-up as well as pitching?

Frank Anderson, Spokane,WA

I’m pretty surprised by this batting order. Ian, do you know whether Francona will stick with this lineup?

Nice win, well pitched game by the Dice man. Maybe we should hire his former manager? Nice to see Manny crank one too. Maybe we can sweep this set.

Ian,

As I now have a cable, I watched the Red Sox on Fox for the first time since moving to the States, so I didn’t get a chance to listen to Joe Castiglione broadcast the game.

I wonder if you, perhaps, passed on my message that I posted last week about how he mispronounces Matsuzaka’s name?

Just curious. ;)

I’m crossing my fingers and hoping we sweep tomorrow :-)

Callmegenki, you might have also noticed Tim McCarver also messed up Dice-K’s name a few times on Fox. Quite personally, I dislike most of Fox’s broadcasting of sports. I honestly can only deal with Joe Buck and Kenny Albert as announcers (well, they are pretty good) but everybody else (well, okay, minus Ken Rosenthal as well) I can do without.

But enough complaining about the broadcast, how was that pitchers duel, huh? Very well done by both starters and I’m happy we came out on the winning side. Let’s see how we do against Morris again. I’m hoping for something like our World Series beating of him back in ’04.

But if not, I’ll take just a W :-)

Smoltz pitched today, So Smoltz won’t be pitching against the Sox. Also, Chris Young of San Deigo Padres was in a brawl today and may be suspended by MLB. He is scheduled to pitch Vs Sox. If Young is suspended and he deosn’t appeal he will not pitch Vs Sox.

And Jake Peavy was also involved in the brawl as well. He may be suspended as well.

Sox still had a slumbering offense today, but you have to be impressed with Cain’s stuff. Very bright future.

If the Sox play the Padres next, which is my assumption ( much too tired to look at the schedule) I doubt you miss Peavy.

I almost guarantee a sweep tomorrow, the Giants are 6-15 in their last 21 and their offense is on an AARP fund right now.

Hehe, AARP fund…nicely said there Vince. :-)

Like Joseph said, Matt Cain is good. And that, is an understatement. He’s REALLY good. His first season, while he only pitched something around 45 innings, he was great in all of ‘em. Last season, he had the dreaded “sophomore slump,” but he showed flashes of excellence. This year, talk about tough-luck in the the W-L column. He’s too good to have that record and if Giants management keeps themselves “held hostage” by older players and their contracts, Cain will be gone sooner rather than later.

I know it seems awfully trivial to complain about Joe’s trouble with saying MatsuZAka’s name, but as I’ve lived in Japan for the past 17 years, it kind of rubs me the wrong way. Still, I would much prefer to listen to him broadcast the game over any of the Fox announcers. I guess I didn’t notice–or perhaps didn’t care to notice–that Tim McCarver was mispronouncing Dice-K’s name as well.

At any rate, it was a good game. Any time the Red Sox win, it’s a GOOD game. The strike zone seemed to be a little big that day, but as either pitcher enjoyed that advantage, it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I do think MatsuZAka is still trying to adapt to using an American baseball, though. Despite having 8 strikeouts, he does have command problems. I don’t think people truly realize how different the ball is in Japan. It’s basically a solid piece of rubber that has a lot of bounce to it. I’m amazed any Japanese pitcher can make the transition.

I honestly believe, though, that Daisuke is going to be one heck of a pitcher in a year or so. If anyone out there thinks differently, they are delusional.

GO RED SOX!

Hey guys, I didnt see much of the game yesterday, unfortunately. I saw Papi’s press conference and he was reeeeli mad at the homeplate umpire. Did ortiz strike out yesterday, and if he did, did he like argue it and yell at the umpire?? He reeli used some Expletive words in his interview. He said dat if JB was pitchin on that day, he would have had a no hitter. Oriz has reeli been angry at the umpires in this series. To me, i think that he is just reeli frustrated by the lack of power numbers and rbis he’s puttin up. I think he still has a chance to turn things around. What do you guys think? I just think Papi is just reeli angry about his own performance rather than the umpire’s. Also, i know that this is reeli off topic, but i have to know, in the beginning of the season, like in April to early May, did Manny ask for like an extension to his contract, and that he was happy in boston and wanted to stay? Do you guys think that he knew that he wasnt going to have a “manny-like” start to the season? Is that y he wanted an extension? O, well, i guess we’ll have to c today. Good job manny with da homerun. DO IT AGAIN PLZ!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sox are scheduled to face both Young and Peavy when they play the Padres. But they r both in the brawl yesterday vs Cubs. I am sure they will get suspended. But if they appeal their suspensions they will pitch Vs Sox. If not both will miss the Sox series.

By the way just read on EXTRA BASES @ Boston Globe that Donnolly is placed on DL with strained forearm and Manny Delcarman is called up.

Hi redsox fans, I will be attending my first redsox game at Fenway in July. i was wondering when the doors open for batting practice. Hope Lopez gets Bonds out right here.

While Peavy and Young quite possibly will get suspended for a few games, don’t expect them not to be pitching against the Red Sox. I’d be surprised if they didn’t appeal a possible suspension for the practical reason that the Red Sox are rolling into town.

However, we do have Dice-K going for us against Young, so that’s a plus. No idea against Peavy, but I could assume it’s Beckett or Schilling.

If Peavy & Young get suspended and they decide not to appeal the suspension then that is great for the Sox. Even if they appeal and pitch the Sox don’t have to score tons of runs to beat the Padres.I am guessing all 3 games to be very low scoring games. And all 3 r possibly short games(< 2Hrs) so that we can go bed by 12 on the East Coast.

I thought that a brawl is an automatic 1 game suspension?

Schilling Vs Chuck James(5-6 4.16)
Beckett Vs Tim hudson(6.22 ERA Vs Sox)

Tavarez Vs Buddy Carlyle(1-1 4.44 ERA)

Matsuzaka Vs Young

WakeFeild Vs Maddux

Schilling Vs Peavy

Let ESPN’s weekly deification of A-Rod begin

Are you kidding? Did you watch ESPN last year? A-Rod deserves every god quality ESPN gives him after what they did to him last year. You seem to forget back when Ortiz was mr. clutch last season, they showed him if he sneezed, and every single time A-Rod made an error or failed in a “clutch” situation, that was analyzed to death.

Though, the fact they now worship him probably works against the Yankees.

I don’t think Joe Morgan would say something negative about A-Rod even if you put a gun to his head. Whatever though, ESPN is all about the East Coast bias so no point in arguing over it.

I didn’t get to watch the game today but it seems like the top of the order is really rolling right now, see what happens when the rest of the team decides to chip in? Francona said that having Drew lead off wasn’t permanent, but I’m not so sure he should mess with a good thing right now.

Manny also seems poised to partake in his annual tradition of carrying the Sox on his back for a couple of weeks.

Brenden: I listen to ESPN Radio daily as I’m in my car daily and last season, they lambasted him all the time. They still do it this season, but really, they can’t do so much lately.

He’s just that good. On top of the fact, look at how comfortable he is at the plate and in the field. He might have done a few questionable things this season (not getting into that right now), but he is just exuding confidence right now and that’s dangerous.

It’s been said before: he wants to show he can “conquer” New York as a player. Honestly, the way he’s playing right now, if he continues even a semblance of it, I don’t know if the Yankees would want to let him opt-out, hehe (although I’m sure everybody is screaming “what about the postseason!?”).

callmegenki: It bothers me when announcers mispronounce players’ names as well. To me, it indicates that they don’t feel it’s important enough to really look at the name and pronounce it correctly. My uncle used to do the PA announcing at the Lake Placid ski jump facilities, and he got lots of comments from the foreign jumpers, thanking him for learning the correct pronunciation of their names. It makes a difference.

dj992: The last comment I heard Manny make about staying in Boston was that basically he’s fine with playing out his current contract with the Sox, but then intimated that he’d probably finish his career somewhere else. I think that was back in May.

bbush3: I think they open the gates at Fenway two hours before the scheduled game time. You should be able to confirm that on the Sox website.

New subject – I just noticed that of all the 1st place teams in the Major Leagues, the RS not only still have the best winning percentage, they also, at 7-3 have the best over the last 10 games.

dj992 & robnbetsy: Yeah, Manny said something along the lines he wants to finish his contract here, but I could swear he said something along the line that he wants to finish his career here in Boston as well, not that he’d go elsewhere.

If somebody could find what he actually said, that would be good (not so easy considering whenever he’s asked he’s all over the place, Manny being Manny as usual).

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