All-Star Tuesday

I’m blogging to you live from the sky. Well, actually the fifth deck of left field here at AT&T Park. Here is what the field looks like from my seat. I can’t complain. I actually have a great view of McCovey Cove from where I’m sitting so if anyone goes deep, I’ll see the water splash and the kayakers fighting over the ball. 0710071615

Not only is Hideki Okajima an All-Star, but so is his translator, Jeff Yamaguchi. Jeff called me over to his corner of the clubhouse today to show me that he happened to have a locker right next to Alex Rodriguez. Not bad company, right?

Red Sox assistant trainer Mike Reinold was also given clearance to come to the All-Star Game so he can monitor Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon. Reinold is extremely dedicated to the health of all the Red Sox pitchers and the club felt strongly about him being here with the two hard throwers.

David Ortiz seems to be a lot more relaxed in this environment than he was in the last couple of weeks of the first half. He can forget about his leg woes for a couple of days and just relish in the experience of being among the best of the best. All the players rode through the city today in a red carpet parade. Well, all of them except Manny. Manny did have his son following him around during batting practice and he seemed to be enjoying himself.

Josh Beckett will be the first pitcher out of the bullpen for manager Jim Leyland tonight. Josh will be reunited with catcher Pudge Rodriguez, his catcher from the 2003 World Series champion Marlins. Beckett expected to go one inning.

Papelbon expects he’ll pitch, but he wasn’t sure if it will be a closing situation.

More later,

Ian.

40 Comments

Ian:

Bless you boy, I have a son with your fine first name and a twin named Bryan. Why is this important? Well, because it is Learjet NOT Leerjet! Dude, they don’t fly it around casting drooling stares at beautiful women!

Other than that, thanks for your work from one more totally consumed member of the Nation.

Mike C.

For those of you interested in meeting at the Saturday, July 28 game between the Sox-Devil Rays, I can get a block of eight tickets for $26 each (including the Ticket Master convenience charge) in Section 137 (left field) Row DD. If anyone is interested, please let me know. Perhaps I can book the tickets, and you can mail me the money if you want to buy tickets for yourself. Face value, of course! Drop me an e-mail or a comment at Sox and Pinstripes to let me know. If there is enough interest for eight tickets (I will need just one for myself, and maybe a second if my girlfriend can go, so there will be six or seven spare tickets if I book these eight tickets), I need to know by Thursday since the game is drawing closer.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

I just dropped Jeff a note confirming my reservation with him for the 28th. Look forward to meeting some of you.

What a great tribute to Willie Mays. Like I told Jeff, one of the great things about being older is that I got to see Willie play. He was truly something special.

Peter Gammons did a nice interview with Barry Bonds last night. It’s about time the steroid controversy takes a back seat to what Barry Bonds has accomplished over the course of his career. I hope the commissioner and Hank Aaron have enough class to show up when he does break the record. I’d love to be there to see it.

gsm52: I don’t expect Hank Aaron to be around when Bonds breaks the record. Heck, Bonds put it best himself that Hank’s isn’t a “young-in” anymore and you can’t expect him to chase Bonds around waiting for this to happen.

As for Selig, recent rumors and apparently SI reported that he would be around. Selig countered today that “”All of this will have to be played by ear. I do have a day job.”

Regardless of the steroids controversy, etc. Selig should be there. First, the whole “Steroids Era” truly blossomed under his administration (while it was probably happening in the 80s under commish Fay Vincent, it doesn’t seem to have been as prolific as the past decade). Second, while commissioners were not around when Babe Ruth set the bar and Hank Aaron broke it, times have changed and with such a hallowed record, Selig should be there to at the very least acknowledge what Bonds does.

Now I’m far from a Bonds supporter but if there’s one thing I have to agree with Bonds, was that he said that Hank Aaron will still be the HR king and still is (or at least he did say something like that with Gammons or recently to somebody else; it was mentioned that he said that on Around the Horn on ESPN, so somebody correct me if I’m wrong).

Oh and before I officially sign off for the night, anybody notice that Clay Buchholz was promoted to Pawtucket?

That bodes well for him to be a late season call up. :-D

Congrats to the AL guys and congrats to Ichiro.Looks like game one of the 2007 World Series will be held at Fenway….I mean an amaerican league ballpark O=)
Beck got the win,he did great with that runner on third and only one out.He was fantastic as well as Papelbon pitching well with runner in scoring position.

Wasn’t it odd that Papelbon was pitching and Posada was catching?? Only in the ASG!!

That’s one of the reasons I like the All-Star game. Also having Ortiz hitting in front of A-Rod was fun to see.

I just found an encouraging stat on ESPN.com which calculates something called a player’s “well-hit average”, which basically means the amount of time a certain player squares a ball up and hits it hard. In 303 AB’s, Manny has 103 well-hit balls for a .340 average. Now obviously this doesn’t factor into his overall average or power numbers, but you have to figure that these balls are going to start finding gaps or not being knocked down by the wind in the 2nd half. Manny could easily have 15 HR’s right now if you recall the first couple weeks of the season when he was just absolutely crushing line drives at outfielders and to the warning track. By the way, Ortiz leads the team with a .355 average in that particular category.

And for pitchers, Papelbon and Okajima are the Red Sox players least likely to give up a well-hit ball (shocker) but third on the team is Kyle Snyder, which I bet nobody would have guessed.

Vince:

To respond to your last post, I’m not sure I’d agree that the Tigers “ran over” the Sox. Yes, they blew them out in the first game, but the other two were one run games.

Regardless, your point is well taken. Detroit is a powerful team that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Rob,
Also keep in mind their bullpen is without Urbina and though Rogers was 3-0 last I checked, he will only improve as he gets back into the swing of things. The Sox will improve as well but you can’t be too confident when a team just swept you. And probably like the Sox, the Tigers vastly improve in a short series. Again, take it from me, you do not want to underestimate those guys.

Zach how about the fact not only was Ortiz in front of A-Rod but behind Jeter? It was a “Papi sandwich”.

I also took note of Papelbon being caught by Posada. I cheered when he let the ball go by him on a Papelbon pitch. “Way to go Jorge! You make that boy look bad!”

I also wonder, do the two talk about their game plan before the game?

Like how does Posada know what to call for and the sequence to call it? I’m sure Papelbon has most of the say, but Posada has to know what’s coming because he has to catch it. Did Posada and Varitek talk? Did Posada even know he would catch Papelbon? Are they given a list of probables? How does that work?

That ” well-hit ball ” thing is interesting ; yes it is surprising to see Snyder among the best 3. Anything about Joel Pineiro, our BP thrower ?

On second thought, i’m not sure i want to see his stats.

Where did you find that “well hit ball” stat?

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

I’m with Joseph, but he didn’t calculate it himself, he found it on ESPN.com, but when I searched for that article, it couldn’t be found. I was looking for it so I could use it in finding out other players avg.

Hey all you Florida members of Red Sox Nation. So far, five of the 10 tickets (I am now willing to book 10 instead of 8) are taken for the July 28 Sox-Devil Rays game at Tropicana Field. I am going to book the tickets tomorrow. Please let me know if you’re interested. The seats are in left field in foul territory within view of the Red Sox bullpen. They are $26 each, which includes the Ticket Master convenience fee. They are face value. I’m just doing this so we can have a fun gathering and put faces with names that post on Brownie Points and Sox and Pinstripes. If you’re interested, respond to my post today on Sox and Pinstripes. Should be a good time!

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

You could tell that Posada was crossed up by Papelbon when Posada had the passed ball. Too bad Leyland didn’t let Papelbon close instead of Putz. There would’ve been less drama!

For the Sox the 4 important factors which determine if Sox play deep into October are

(1) Manny & Papi. Neither of these guys is the team leader in RBIs or HRs.

(2)Curt Schilling – His experience will be the key for going deep into October.

(3)Drew & Lugo – Drew has to play better in the 2nd half than he did in the 1st. He has shown signs of improvement and I think I think half a season should be enough to adjust to the AL for a career National Leaguer. Lugo has to get on base more consistently so that he can steal bases.

(4)Lester – I think Sox are being super extra cautious with Lester with the double digit lead in the division. Once he makes a comeback we have the Starting rotation in AL.

So did u guys hear about the Papi MRI story? Papi said that he would probably have surgery on his ailing knee in the offseason, but it is easy to see that his knees are really hurting him. In his first ab in the ASG, papi tried to check his swing, but after the check-swing, he winced. I think his knees are the reasons for his lack of power. Is he definitely getting the surgery in the offseason, or will he be out of the lineup for longs amounts of time? Culd it be possible that Manny is also hiding an injury?

That knee sure slow him down. When is the last time we saw a complete, agressive full swing from Papi ? I’m hoping that the Sox medical staff can keep him in the lineup with minimal pain and limitations of movements, otherwise it might be a long second half.

The fact that he actually PLAYED in the A.S. Game makes me think that it’s not that bad though.

Not that bad is better than bad, but it really depends on Manny. Ortiz has still been productive just not quite the same production of the past few years. If Manny heats up then Ortiz will see more good pitches (if you believe in protection) and the Sox will be fine, even if Ortiz hits 35 HR’s rather than 54. Because if they hold on and get to the playoffs then injured or not, he could heat up.

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

I don’t think Manny is concealing a new injury. He is 35, his knee might still be bothering him, and he is not in the best shape.

Dj992, made a good point(one that bother when lying in bed). If Papi doesn’t go one the DL, we might not have him for a long time, if he doen’t we still have to deal with the mediocore numbers, and risk further injury.

*bothers

Ortiz isn’t even on a pace for 35, I think last night they said it was 27 HR’s. The protection theory works if everyone heats up

Isn’t it funny when athletes struggle suddenly we start hearing about injuries!!!To me it is an easy thing to do. I know I’m giving Oritz a hard time here but I call it the way I see it!!! It has been obvious watching him for the last few weeks that his legs just aren’t right, he has no leg drive in his swing at all!!! He is still hitting the ball but with no lift at all. I just wonder when Oritz and Ramirez will be themselves again? When those 2 start getting hot there is not a better duo in baseball and it isn’t even close!!!! This day when there is no baseball, it *****!!!!

Here is the link for that stat, among others. You could really spend a long time on this site dissecting statistics. For instance, when Joel Pineiro is behind in a count (2-0, 2-1, 3 ball counts), 60% of the time he fails to record an out. Yikes.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2932476

By the way, while Manny is 2nd on the Red Sox in the “well-hit” average, he is FIFTH in the major leagues, so that is definitely a good sign.

That was a good article “Zachary.”

The Red Sox have the largest division lead in baseball. A difference of 5.5 games over the Brewers, who have the next largest division lead at 4.5 games. Never really heard of a team winning a division at the All Star break.

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

I am convinced that Sentinel is most likely a 10 year old who talks sports out of his rear end.

The idiot is back. Those mental houses aren’t what they used to be. They allow any lunatic to get out freely. Must be hard to post a comment with that straitjacket on, though.

vince, i’m pretty sure you meant Zumaya since Urbina is rotting away in jail for trying to “scare” away some of his farmers.
But point taken regarding the bullpen.

That’s the thing at this point in the season. Every team has incurred it’s share of injuries, so it all evens out. Timlin was hurt, who knows is he’ll regain form. Who knows when Schill will be back? Beckett hit the DL (although we actually gained games when he was out, go figure). Ortiz isn’t healthy and Piniero is on the DL (oh yeah, that doesn’t really matter).

Toronto lost Halladay and perenial Sox killer Chacin.

Even though Sox fans love to see the Yanks below .500, they did have their share of injuries as well.

Bottom line, the 2nd half is about who has the depth on their respective team and who can fight through the injuries and toll that the summer brings on.

Can’t wait to actually watch a game tonight. I’ve been having withdrawals.

My, my, Sentinel. What an articulate and well-reasoned post you’ve made. The logic behind it is obviously rock solid and unimpeachable. And look! The teacher gave you eight stars for your outstanding vocabulary! You must be so proud.

Now be a good boy and go take your medicine. Say hi to Mr. Fagan for us. I’m sure you and he are in the same ward.

Kumar:

The only point I might argue with is your last one. The Sox’ starting rotation is pretty darn good right now. If the decision were made to hold Lester back longer, I don’t think that would have nearly the effect that the other three factors would. However, it would be really cool to see him back in a Boston uniform, preferably sooner than later.

Rob,
Lester is important for the Sox this season. As is Sox rotation is darn good. But a dominant Lefty in a righty rotation will only help Sox in the long run.

Having said that the reason Sox r delaying Lester’s return is they have to get rid of someone to get him on the roster. To make room for Lester they have to get rid of Peneiro. Even though he was not effective so far this season but the Sox are not reay to give up on him yet. As of now there r too many quliaty pitchers trying to get in than there r roster spots available.

lol did I really say Urbina? My apologies, yes I did mean Zumaya….Though I still don’t like Urbina from the ’03 WS. Whenever he was the closer he closed, when Looper was the closer we had life.

Kumar:

I agree that Lester would be a great addition to the current starting lineup. But I thought we were talking about playoff performance. Once the Sox are in the playoffs, Schilling, Beckett and Matsuzaka should be able to handle the necessary starting duties.

I don’t know if I am the one who is the retard. You said that we havent put the Yankees away yet. Do you honestly expect a team to be put away at the break, or more so to have a bigger lead at the break than 10 games? In 98′ when the Yankees won 114 games, they had an 11.0 game lead in the division at the break. That is a difference of one game. The Red Sox have the largest lead of any division and it isn’t even close. And you misinterpreted what I said. I said “Never heard of a team winning the division at the break.” Which was in response to you saying “You still havent put away my Yankees.” I was simply addressing the fact that you apparently think it is common for divisions to be over at the All Star break. If you displayed logic in your comments, or possibly more thought into them, then you may come off as someone with actual credibility. But you choose to scatter away from logic. And as for past history…doesnt actually looking at a teams roster and making judgements serve more purpose than bringing up teams who have collapsed in the past that are not really associated with this team, especially that 78′ team which had absolutely nothing to do with this team. I don’t think the divsion is over, but we have the most comfortable lead of any division leader, and the team we have also makes me like our chances.

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

You just said again “You guys still haven’t put the Yanks away…” That is saying that because of their injuries and playing below their capabilities that the divsion should be over, right? I mean do you expect us to have a 20 game lead at the break? I don’t understand how we have not capitalized on their misfortunes. Sure if we would have played better in the month of June then we could have tacked onto that lead more, but all teams have times during the year when they don’t play so hot and struggle some. But the SOx still have the most wins in baseball. Do you expect them to have 65 wins now or something pretty unrealistic?

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

Joseph, you’re smarter than that. Don’t waste your time with that lunatic. He doesn’t want to argue like civil people, he just want to insult everyone. Since he’s not man enough to do that in person, he uses that blog, where he knows he’s anonymous. That’s the weak people’s way.

See guys ? And we thought we were right to feel good about our 1ST PLACE IN THE MLB TEAM ! The genius said it : we can’t.

Be proud of our team even if they haven’t build a million game lead over another MLB team ! How dumb are we !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guys ,ignore Sentinel.He is either a 10 year old talking sports out of his rear end or a big mental ***** who is mad because his daddy never gave him a hug.Chill out guys,lets go Sox!

RED SOX WIN! offense did its job especially off a tough pitcher.great way to start second half.

By the way,Joseph,if you want to talk baseball,dont try reasoning with Sentinel.hes a 10 year old who is mad because his daddy never gave him a hug.Stick with people like Kumar,me,or rsox.Im telling you.

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