An incredible loss

You may or may not have noticed that my byline has not appeared on the website the last few days and there have been no blog entries until now. I’m afraid there’s a reason for that.

My family was hit with an incredibly tragic situation on Friday night. My father in law, Richard Dunne, of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, fell victim to a fatal heart attack just about an hour after having a nice dinner with my wife, two of my three sons, my sister in law and my mother in law.

You can’t prepare for something like this. All you can do is deal with it, and that’s what I’m trying to do. Richard was 64 years old. It was way too soon for his number to be up and there was positively zero warning for it. This is so unfair.

He meant too much to his wonderful wife, his four daughters who loved him so much, and his three grandsons who hopefully will never forget their grandfather, who basically defined what it is to be a grandfather.

As you all know, I travel quite a bit for my job and as great a job as it is, it can be tough on my wife and family at times. However, my kids have had a second home in Rhode Island since the day they were born, and that was because Richard and his wife Paula always made it clear that their door was wide open for the kids and all the wonderful chaos they can bring at times. That door will still be open, of course, but the void will be sizable and painful for a while. There will come a time, I’m sure, when the great memories will prevail over the excruciating feeling of loss.

My wife doesn’t know how she is going to get through this, but she will. I know this because I know what an incredibly strong person, wife and mother she is.

The only thing I can suggest to  every reader of this blog to fully appreciate all of those who are part of your life on a daily basis.

Other than that, I’m basically out of words right now and that’s saying something since I write them for a living.

Here is the  Providence Journal obit for anyone who wants to read more about Richard’s life. 

This blog has been a sounding board for me since I started it in April, 2006, and today I’m using it to sound my feelings on a subject that goes well beyond balls and strikes.

There will come a time, in the not too distant future, when I’ll be blogging away again. Until then, please understand my temporary absence. And by all means, fire away with your comments, game-related or anything else.

All the best,

Ian.

193 Comments

That’s terrible Ian, I’m so sorry for your loss. There comes a time in every person’s life when their allegiance to a sports team is overruled by the element of human emotion. I can honestly say tonight, I am personally upset for your loss and I merely blog on your site. In a sense it’s amazing that sports can form that bond, in another it’s a reflection of how welcoming you, and most of the bloggers have been as well. Tonight, your Father-in-law and your wife’s father, are in my thoughts like they are one of my own.

As a Red Sox fan I often enjoy visiting your blog. Tonight was no different until I read about your incredible loss. Today, I decided to post my own thoughts for the first time here. Ian, I have no words that can take away the pain of your loss but it is in the beautiful memories you and your family share with Richard is where you all will find comfort and healing. This is the time where you all need to get strength from each other. And this is what Richard would want you to do.

As always, there are times where life takes its unexpected turns.

We just need to be strong.

May your strength be strong, Ian.

It is at times like this when we are reminded of what is really important in life. As much as we may get carried away with our passion for the sport and our beloved Red Sox, in the end, it is just entertainment. It is the people who God has put in our lives who are really important. Life is so short, and so precious. Thank you for sharing your pain with us. May God bring comfort to you and your family.

Ian, i am truly sorry for your loss. Those tragic events take a lot of love and time to get through. Please accept my deepest sympathy. I wish you and your family a big deal of courage and moral fibre to get through this and maybe become stronger persons. You still have a wonderful family to love and share with, so please apply your own advise and fully appreciate their presence on a daily basis. Take all the time you need, we will still be there.

Today my thoughts are with you and your family.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Ian. The loss of a loved one is not something you ever truly “get over.” But eventually there comes a day when it’s not the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning. I hope that day comes for you soon.

Ian,

My girlfriend and I had her parents over for dinner last night, and afterwards had a talk much like the end of your article here. You really can’t take any of the time with those you love for granted… You could have been describing Julie’s father, David, when talking about your wife’s dad. I know that day comes for everyone, but you’re right – that’s far too young! My deepest condolences to you and your wife’s family… The good memories will certainly outweigh the grief in time. Stay strong; we’ll hope to see you back here when you’re up to it.

– Douglas

Its redudant to repeat, but ….. stay strong, maybe you can find comfort in sports during your greiving, its fully understanable for your absence over the past week, personal life outweights the thoughts of obcessive Red Sox fans. Its difficult to deal with but, the good will always remain in your memories.

Good luck to your family and yourself, Ian.

Its redundant to repeat, but ….. stay strong, maybe you can find comfort in sports during your greiving, its fully understandable for your absence over the past week, personal life outweighs the thoughts of obcessive Red Sox fans. Its difficult to deal with but, the good will always remain in your memories.

Good luck to your family and yourself, Ian.

:)-ness always prevails over :(-ness.

Ian,

I am sorry for your loss. Tell each other stories of his strength.

— Ian

As strong as your wife is she will still need you near, I hope you can take the time you both will need to grieve and heal. Take care, hug her a lot.
Sean

Ian,
I’m very sorry for your loss. It’s harder sometimes when it is so sudden like that. One of my uncles died the same way after Thanksgiving dinner when I was a kid; it’s a shock. I hope you can take some time off just to be there for everyone. I know I speak for everyone here; you will be in our thoughts over the coming days. You’re not alone.

Hope I don’t seem too heartless switching over to baseball talk already, but I did want to point out the Ryan Braun error in the Brewers game last night. We’ve discussed in the past the fact that the rule book says a player doesn’t have to touch the ball to be credited with an error, but rarely does the official scorer credit them with one unless they do. Braun’s error is the first one I’ve seen in a long time where the fielder didn’t touch the ball. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen it happen.

Anyone care to make a prediction on Schilling’s performance tonight? I’m thinking less than stellar, although not terrible, handing over the ball to the bullpen in the middle of the sixth with a lead of no more than 2 runs. And if you asked me, I’d take it.

Ian, thank you for sharing with us what a great man your father in law was. I read your words everyday on this website and am honored that by reading this post I can support you even in the smallest way.

Ian, my condolences to you, your wife, your mother-in-law and your family. Though there is nothing that can be said to ease the sorrow, please know that your family is sincerely in my thoughts and prayers.

Ian,

My condolences, thoughts, and prayers are with you and your family. There’s little I can say to help you through this difficult time. Except to say hang in there, you’ll get through this as will your wife and family. with a lot of pain and tears, but maybe even a couple of laughs too. god bless him.

hang in there.

Best, G

Schilling’s cruising along through 3+ innings and all appears to be right in the Sox rotation, BUT THEN Schilling decides to try and barehand a one hop comebacker up the middle. Francona and the trainer had to come out and check on him.

He’s clearly affected and just gave up 2 runs. I’m just letting everybody who’s watching the game on GameCast know why Schilling has suddenly become so ineffective.

What all the others have said on this blog I whole-heartedly second and just hope that you can take some solace in all the joyous times you spent together and not be forced to dwell on this horrific tragedy. These moments really put baseball into perspective for us all. But maybe the baseball can serve as an outlet for the deep pain that has tragecially and suddenly stricken. Thoughts and prayers…

Pat

Schilling really is the x factor when it comes to the Sox IMO. They need a solid 3rd starter down the stretch and we all know what he is capable of come October. He did a nice job to retire the Angels there w/o any more damage done after the hand incident.

And who does James Hoye think he is? I remember that happening to Big Papi earlier in the season. These umps think they need to send a message but the fans didn’t pay good money to watch the star players get ejected. Turn the other cheek on that and don’t take it so personal, Mr. Hoye. At least we get a chance to see the MLB debut of Brandon Moss.

What happened to Manny? I heard Moss is in.

Ejected for arguing a check swing third strike Rayman. In reality all he did was say something with his back turned, heading back to the dugout but the ump thought it was enough and gave him the boot.

some thoughts on tonights game so far..

bad moves by manny and schilling

youk continues to impress me

and rex huddler may be the worst announcer in the game

(as Chone Figgins is at the plate)

“Let’s get Figgy with it.”

I officially hate Rex Huddler now because of that.

just about every “prediction”, if you wanna call them that, that huddler has made has been wrong..

“hes gonna come right back in with another heater. (splitter) oh, no he didnt”

“schillings fastball is obviously affected by that injury, he wont be throwing any here” (next two are fastballs)

OK, bottom 6th. Does Francona leave Schilling in one inning too long or does he get relief help? Will it matter if the Sox don’t get some hits?
But the Sox have been hitting better late in the game recently. Let’s see how it goes.

i hafta believe they will get as much out of schilling as they can. maybe a 7th?

I guess that answers that…

bahhhhhhh, there it is. solo homer to give a’s the lead…

I could just feel that one coming. Schill thru 6: 2 runs, quality start, giving his team a chance to win. Get a fresh arm in for the 7th? No, wait till he gives up some runs, THEN get him some help. It’s frustrating.

Drew’s been having himself a good game. I hope the weight is off his mind now that his son has had the surgery and he will start to do what Theo hired him to do. Atta boy, Drew.

coco coco coco… what are ya waiting for?

Schilling was very lucky tonight. He’s about where he was when he went on the DL. Fastball 86-88 with a couple at 91. The Angels had a lot of good swings at him and squared up a lot of balls. They hit some rockets that with a little elevation would have gone 400 feet. The ground ball off the finger didn’t hurt his effort. His best fastballs happened after that. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t have a lot of faith in his making a major contribution in the stretch drive. The Sox did not need Gagne. The should not have traded Gabbard.

If the Sox lose this game, they look to Wakefield and Lester to be the stoppers. Not good!

so, should i be the first to ask why moss was hitting in the 9th?

This was an awful display of baseball. Once again, Francona leaves in a starting pitcher one inning too long, even though he has baseball’s best bullpen at his fingertips. Ramirez’s temper tantrum cost the Sox their cleanup hitter. He is partially responsible for this loss because he, and not Brandon Moss, would have been at the plate with two on and two out against K-Rod in the ninth. Of course, with the way this team hits when they are trailing in a close game after the sixth inning, the outcome was predictable. The Sox do not deserve to make the playoffs, and likely will not win the AL East, if they do not start showing some spark when they are behind in the last four innings.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Nope, it makes perfect sense to have a rookie take his third major league at-bat against a pitcher with possibly the nastiest “stuff” in baseball with the tying runs on base in a playoff-type game.

I was actually thinking about this as it was developing (since K-Rod clearly wasn’t going to give Ortiz anything good to swing at), I’d rather have Moss up than have Wily Mo at the plate. Pena can’t identify, let alone hit, a slow looping curve ball so imagine what he would look like swinging at K-Rod’s hard biting curveball/slider.

The umpire who tossed Manny is a complete joke and essentially cost us any glimmer of making this game interesting. Did anybody think Moss would do anything heroic? No. If it was Manny, at least we could have hope. I urge everybody to watch the highlights. Manny took a check swing, was called out, said something on his way out of the box and then turned around and quickly said something else, then walked away…AND THEN the ump threw him out once his back was turned. Umpires need to seriously stop trying to steal the show, do their job, and call balls & strikes. But oh well, that’s baseball. Maybe Wake’s knuckleball will be on tomorrow night.

And my final thought of the night: it’s too bad Eric Gagne couldn’t pick up a bat and pinch hit in the 9th inning.

1st off, Ian you have my thoughts with you and your family at this time. I’m sorry to hear about your loss.

It must be a terrible feeling as a pitcher to know that if your team does not have the lead after the 6th that you are going to get stuck with a loss. That’s what it boils down to with this team. As Jeff said, they are not a good team right now and can NOT hit when it counts.

As far as Moss hitting in the 9th instead of Manny due to the ejection: while Manny has been hot since the break, we all know that he would have struck out. When is the last time Manny didn’t strike out in a late inning situation that the Sox needed him? His hits are ALL before the 7th inning.

I think a lot of us made the point at the trading deadline: Gagne is nice, but he’s not going to help come back from a 2 run deficit in the 8th or 9th.

Well, the goal is to win every series. Not sure I have as much faith in Wake and Lester as I did in Dice K and Beckett to win the last 2 of this series.

6 games–lowest the lead has been in a long time. 2 more games until we get out of the tough part of the schedule and the Yankees get to their tough patch. We’ll see.

Ian,

I have been reading your blog regularly since you started it, and have followed your writing on the website since well before then, yet I have never posted before. I wanted to express my condolences, and to let you know that strangely enough you have developed another, odd familyhere through this website. There are many people like me who read your writing every day, and feel in a strange waythat we do know you. While that knowledge might be artificial, we do care about you. It hurts us to know that you are going through this pain, but please appreciate that you do have all of our support, for whatever that is worth,

I am sorry for your loss. The loss of my father in 1995 still hurts to this day. She will get over the loss but she will never forget and thats how he will live on forever.

I’m really sorry for your family’s loss Ian. We’ll hold down the fort here while you take care of your family.

It’s another day, but the same story for the Red Sox. 11 runners left on base. Meaningless walks, singles, and steals… all when they don’t count. One clutch hit per game isn’t going to cut it.

I’m going to see Clay Buchholz, freakin’ Clay Buchholz. I live in upstate New York, and the Paw Sox are coming to Syracuse to play the Cheifs, since he pitched on Monday, that means he is piching the Sunday game. I’m also seeing Jacoby, Moss, Lowrie, Kottaras, Bailey and the rest of the crew. Its awesome and who knows who else is going to be called up.

rsjone: Buchholz pitched 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 ER, 9 K’s last night. No decison. He gets better every time he goes out in Pawtucket. Ellsbury is back after being out two weeks with a groin pull. Has already stolen another base. Pretty exciting times in Pawtucket, even though they aren’t winning. Have a good time.

Ian-
I feel for you. I went through almost the exact same thing 11 months ago; my wife’s father was 59 and healthy, and we had just had a wonderful night out with our family and their friends. I know there’s nothing that can be said this early to make anyone feel much better, except that unfortunately your family isn’t alone in your experience. Speaking from experience, everyone can get through it.

Thanks GSM, its going to be pure adernaline.

Hang on Ian, and the same for your wife, family, relatives, and anyone else affected by this loss.

Good luck to you and the Red Sox.

On some baseball terms . . . .

Wake is going for the Sox v. Halos tonight, and trying to win his 14th, That would tie him for the MLB lead, amazing, the aging knukleballer, wow.

For all us negative thinkers out there (myself definitely included), Eric Wilbur wrote a neat column regarding the division/standings and schedule played when it comes to the Sox and their “slim” 6 game lead. It really puts things in perspective. I’m not sophisticated enough to figure out how to post the link here (could never figure that out), but if you go on the bostondirtdogs website, there is a link to it.
Bottom line, Sox have lost 3 1/2 games in the past 2 months. This past month the Yanks have played TB, KC twice, Chicago, Baltimore. They’ve essentially played 1 team with a winning record…Toronto yesterday. The Sox in that time have gone 3-1 vs. Cleveland, 2-1 vs Seattle, 2-1 vs Baltimore and 3-1 vs. Chicago. (as well as 1-2 vs. KC, urgh).

Now the schedule shifts. If the Sox lead is still 6 or more by the end of this 9 game trip, things look good.

That being said, I’m sure we’ll all still get mad as heck when they play like **** and lose against teams that they should beat and especially when they are losing after 6….since that seems to be the nail in the coffin.

Also, I read where Wily Mo Pena cleared waivers??? I didn’t even see where he was DFA’d.

Someone, Vince/Jeff, correct me if I’m wrong, but since he cleared waivers, he can now go to AAA and get the playing time he needs, possibly to the point where he’ll perform and increase his trade value??

I haven’t been blogging for a few days and now that I’m back Ian, I want you to know how truly saddened I am regarding the passing of your father in-law. I hope that soon you and your whole family will be able to put smiles where I’m sure there are now tears. Losing my father 10 years ago still hurts, but the tears have been replaced by, as you said the warm and happy memories of the man and the time he spent here with his family and loved ones..
God Bless you and your family Ian.

We really need a win tonight. The Yankee footsteps are becoming alarmingly louder by the day.

You’ve got to figure, they’re going to lose sometime soon, right??? Wow, I really hope so.

I think lately we’ve been seeing a little too much of MBM. His bad decision making the other day regarding his baserunning, and last night losing it with the umpire… it’s the little things that’ll bring you to your knees!!! GO SOX!!!!!

ps, I hate these west coast games….SOOOOO LATE. I can only watch the 1st maybe 2nd inning before I have to go t bed to be able to get up for work at 5:30am…. Can we go home now????

I do know that Bobby Keilty was signed, and has been assigned to Pawtucket.

I think I saw that on the home page.

In other transactions, I also saw the Red Sox signed Junior Spivey to a minor league deal. I don’t know if anyone else remembers him with the Arizona Diamondbacks. His best year was in ’02 when he hit .301 with 16 homers 78 Rbis and 11 steals. I can see him helping the team off the bench at least when September rolls around. I know he plays second and I think the outfield as well. I would give him some time over Cora, who has been playing terrible since his hot April and May.

How can you expect Cora to stay hot with so few at bat and in field appearances??? It’s like expecting Mirabelli to have a .300 BA only catching Wakefield every 5 days.

With the kind of money they are paying Drew, he has got to be playing in this game tonight. The Sox can’t afford the liability of having Pena in the lineup.

The Sox look like they are asleep. Once again, Papi and Manny didn’t come through with men on base. Ortiz is getting some hits, but he’s not hitting the ball with any authority. I don’t like how this game is shaping up. The Angels are sqaring up pretty well on some of Wakefield’s pitches.

I would disagree with you rizzo. I think Cora makes some kind of contribution every time he plays. He seems to always do something good, although you’re right, he’s not hitting the way he was earlier in the season. He’s been a valuable guy and given the choice between him and Lugo, I’d take Cora.

I don’t expect him to stay hot, just be consistent. I would take a .270-.280 consistently from him rather than his great numbers early that have tailed off considerably.

Besides, he should know how to play with few at bats b/c that is what he has done his whole career. He is one of the best utilitymen in the game today but lately his offense (which is what this team needs a boost with) has been lacking.

Lugo or Cora is a tough choice. Lugo really is an enigma, he finally got hot for about 2, 3 weeks but he has slipped back into his old form of late. Cora benefitted early in the year from pretty consistent playing time and the drop off may directly be related to not being on the field.

One thing I really saw that I liked and respected from Cora was in Cleveland when Manny didn’t hustle out that would-be double. From what I saw he really got in Manny’s grill about his lack of hustle. Not too many guys would do that to Manny but Cora really showed me something that night.

If anything Cora is an asset to this team. He contributes all the time when he is out there, and if all the regulars had his hustle and desire they would not be losing these close games. IMO
Can someone explain to me how Wily Mo cleared waivers and was optioned to Pawtucket and is in RF tonite. How does that work?

Jeff Mathis and Maicer Izturis? The knuckleball can make the best look silly and the mediocre, stars

Where does it say that WMP cleared waivers Arnie? Is it on redsox.com?

Manny misses the cutoff man….run scores. No errors but the Sox are not playing good defense.

Lugo has also been pretty bad in the field. If it weren’t for Youk, he’d have twice the errors he has now. Cora is much better defensively, is not as fast, but is a better base runner, and gets you a clutch hit now and then.

Let’s go Wily Mo!

A resurgence from Dougie! That was a moonshot

Dougie crushed that ball!

Great minds think alike rizzo!

When you watch Mirabelli hit in batting practice if you ever catch an away game, he can tattoo every ball into the left field seats. I know that it is BP, but if you didn’t know who was hitting you would think it was someone like Sheffield.

Dougie has a great swing. I’m sure he’d hit better if he got to play more. He has done exactly what the Sox have asked of him this year. Good team guy to have around.

Papi is turning into a routine out, 4-3. He’s got to go the other way with the ball until he starts making better contact.

One guy who has surprised me is Pedroia. I thought he may cool off after his great hitting in June and July but not so. Still hitting .323. Everyone was saying he is a poor man’s David Eckstein but right now Eckstein is a poor man’s DP.

Papi and Manny: 0-6. Papi is facing the lefty but Manny has no excuse. That would have been a big run right there to make it a 3 run game.

They get Wakefield three runs and he comes out and walks the leadoff batter.

Lead hands Lugo strikes again.

This could get very ugly, very quickly.

Wow, on my drive home from work Wakefield gave up 5 runs.

I read about WMP clearing waivers here and on another blog. I don’t know how that works.

I knew the announcer Rex Hudler when he was with the Yankees “A” club here in the 80’s. He was a “HOMER” then and he’s still a homer, just another arrogant rich kid. 6 figure bonus to sign out of high school, and they had another shortstop from the D.R. who signed for nothing who was head and shoulders above him in the field and at the bat, but the BONUS BABY won that argument.

This game is completely out of control. 9 to 4 now, the Angels are hitting BP off Tavarez. This one’s ovah!

This is a disgusting display of baseball.

How could they send Lowell last inning?

There goes Coco’s gold glove.

I can’t believe I’m staying up all night to watch this fisasco.

I’m so disgusted with this team right now that I wish I could take a break, but since Sox and Pinstripes is an online publication to which I am committed to writing daily articles and posts, I can’t. So I will continue to toil through this season, which will end in September if the bats do not start producing when it matters. It means very little that so many Sox hitters are above or near .300. If you can’t get a key hit with runners in scoring position, rally from behind after the fifth inning, or break open a game early with a big inning instead of scoring just one run (each of the aforementioned descriptions apply to the Sox), a .300 average does not mean a thing. This ship is sinking, and it will only stay afloat if the offense can actually look like one that befits a first place team. I’m so aggravated right now that I wish the batting cages were open so I could go take out my frustrations on the pitched balls. But they’re not, so I will go back to my magazine feature deadline that is approaching. At least I can do my job, unlike the Red Sox offense.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Wow…

I’m really sorry for the loss Ian. My grandfather just recently passed away as well and my mother had a hard time dealing with it as well. My condolences to you and your family. Be strong, and you’ll get through it all.

I’m sure I speak for all of Red Sox Nation when I say this, but we’re here for you if you need us. :-)

Jeff, I’m with you on that one. I feel like a real Red Sox fan all over again. I have a feeling a team meeting might be coming. Our offense if making our acquisition of Gagne look completely useless.

It is good to see Douggie start mashing again cause he’s got the power, just not the hitting eye it seems. But the most of the rest of the team is tanking when we can’t afford to have that happen. It’s good to see DP and Youk hitting at 1-2 and getting on base, but our big bats aren’t doing ANYTHING all of a sudden.

But I’m done complaining cause I have to give a ton of credit to those Angels. I’m surprised the Mariners have closed the gap in the division the way they have since I expected the Angels to run away with the AL West. They’re good and in a short series, I really wouldn’t want to face them.

Lester my man, right the ship! :-D

I am going to start copying and pasting my posts every morning because it seems like the same thing. No timely hitting and another very unclutch performance. Sox knew the Yankees won, yet felt no urgency either night to come through and hold the lead.
This is a BAD baseball team right now.

I’m gonig to preface this next comment by saying I sympathise with what JD Drew dealt with with his child. But COME ON!!!!! $14 ******* million a year and you sit him against Joe Saunders?? Santana—ok, Satbathia, ok, but Joe friggen Saunders. The Sox deserve a refund on that fraud. Guy can’t play against an average left handed pitcher.

Wakefield…..well, unfortunately you’re going to get games like that from a knuckler. Haven’t had one in a while. Some teams (Yankees) actually have enough heart and fight to make these type of games slug fests and find a way to win. The Sox just roll over.

PANIC! PANIC! PANIC! PANIC! PANIC!

THAT “BUTTON” HAS BEEN PRESSED IN MY MIND. . . . . .

I only listened to about 10 minutes of the game on the radio last night… and I picked the perfect 10 minutes… Sox down 7-4 in the top of the 6th. Lowell gets on, Coco hits a double, and our resident Third Base Coach ***** sends Lowell WITH NO OUTS, DOWN 3 RUNS… Somebody needs to remind Hale that Lowell HAS NO SPEED. What kind of a ***** takes a chance down 3 with no out. Completely deflated the rally and we just rolled over for good at that point. 2nd and 3rd with nobody out could have been a completely different game. I’m sure the whole team was in shock that we would do something that stupid.

welcome to last year people. this team is scoreboard watching and they’re absolutely gassing it. said it before say it again. if you can’t score more than 3-4 runs per game in the AL you will not win consistently and this team certainly CAN but they haven’t given any indication they ever will. once again the 3rd base coach is absolutely brain dead. i don’t care if they somehow miraculously make the playoffs or even win the WS if they don’t replace him ( 3 base coach ) and the hitting coach they should all be fired. francona once again way too patient with wake and tavares. speaking of francona has anyone ever seen him mad? i understand you don’t want to be seen as panicing but wouldn’t it be nice to just once seem him get a lil angry and call these guys out for not performing up to their potential? as for drew not starting so much if i rem correctly there is some kind of clause in is deal that if he doesn’t start X amount of games the first two years it voids his no trade or maybe even lets the sox opt out altogther. have to feel the way he’s gagged all year that’s in the back of somebody’s mind. i’ve learned over many years not to be surprised by anything related to the sox but blowing a 14 game lead could be a new low. i’ll take aug 29 as the day the yankees actually take over first and that’s probably optimistic unless they ( the yankees ) start to struggle.

not to be overly nagative but anybody else think that if this team continues to tank and misses the playoffs once again that it may or should be it for francona? he seems like a class guy but i really think that laid back approach of his translates to his player performance. there just never seems to be a sense of urgency.

smckinny: Drew’s clause in his contract is about a specific injury keeping him from playing. So if he ends up on the DL and/or misses extended time because of it, his contract gets paid out in little bunches instead of bigger payouts.

I think Tito needs to get the team back into the mindset of getting their thing done then and now. It worked in ’04 and they need to start doing that now cause it doesn’t seem the players are caring about the game they’re playing at the moment. Unlike then, this is not the playoffs, so I feel he can call the team out and at the same time, he’ll throw himself under the bus as well knowing Tito; he’ll say something like: “We’re all underachieving and that shouldn’t be happening.” And a dash of anger wouldn’t be too bad either.

And coming from me, that’s harsh cause I’m one heck of a player apologist.

So you hear me guys? Get your act together and lets win a game tonight!

I think tonight is as close to a must-win in the regular season as there will ever be. And the matchup is favorable. But then again so have a lot of games this year that the Sox took the loss. Let’s be honest though, this IS a playoff team. Right now there are experiencing what a good team like Anaheim (maybe the best in the AL) can do. We are quick to forget how they took 2 out of 3 in Seattle. Who is better than Boston? Is Cleveland or Detroit? We took 2 out of 3 and 3 of 4 from the Indians when we played them. And Detroit we took 3 of 4 then were swept. Even if, and that is a big if, NY somehow catches us the Wild Card is still very manageable. So let’s not jump off the cliff and say things like this team can’t make the postseason. Remember your never as bad as you are when your losing. Bear in mind however when they make the playoffs, they are going to get a quick exit if this lackadaisical play continues.

With the big 3 going this weekend (and I will be at every one!) 2 out of 3 is realistic and a sweep is possible, but the Saturday game is against Bedard. I don’t think it is out of the question to win tonight then go take 2 in Baltimore and return home to play Tampa. Lets not forget who still holds the best record in baseball by a game and a half. I can’t imagine what this blog would sound like if this team was only the 2nd or 3rd best team in baseball!

So I realize this team is playing uninspired baseball right now we can’t jump the off the bridge like this season is lost. Remember Yankee fans doing that in April and May, and looks where they are now. Keep the Faith everybody!

PS: anyone else taking the trip down I-95 to catch the games this weekend? That place should be mobbed with Sox fans.

Jim Leyland said during the Tigers 1-9 stretch that they were uninspired too, hope that doesn’t happen to us. Keep the faith like Rizzo said, Faith in your team is the key.

Rizzo is right. All is not lost.

In addition to all of rizzo’s excellent points above, consider the remainder of the schedule:

The Yankees have 8 games left against Detroit, and three games each against Cleveland, Los Angeles and Seattle. That’s 17 games that aren’t necessarily automatic losses, but are tough games.

The toughest games the Red Sox have left, on the other hand, are three games against the Angels. Other than that, every game they play for the rest of the season (other than the six against the Yanks) is against teams that are in third place or worse in their division.

The Sox aren’t playing great right now. They need to pick it up, and soon. But given the strength of their remaining schedule, there’s really no reason to panic right now. We can save that for the playoffs.

the yankees did struggle in april and may but the key words there are APRIL and MAY. if the red sox continue to play the way they have the last 5 – 6 weeks ( basically 500 ball ) or so they’re not going to have the luxury of time to recover like the yankees did. i hope i’m wrong but they’re not scoring runs. schilling’s still a ? mark. lester and wake are going to give up more than their share of runs so if you can’t score they’re probably 500 pitchers at best. so basically you have beckett, dice-k , and a great bullpen to hang your hat on for the rest of the year. theo screwed up by not pursuing texiera more agressively. he was the only difference maker out there for this team. the bullpen was already the best in baseball. not saying adding gagne isn’t great and doesn’t help but i think they could have gotten both. and gagne isn’t going to help when your down by 5 late in the game. the only good deals he’s
( theo ) made since he got here where the scill deal and ortiz. he’s been way too conservative in terms of trades and probably made the worst free agent decisions, as far as who to sign, in baseball over the past 3 years but the future looks bright! if it ever gets here.

To all the doom and gloom merchants – the Red Sox have won 12 or their last 18 games – and that includes the two games they just lost to the Angels (who, if I am not mistaken, have the best record in the AL). Yes they have batted poorly in the 7th – 9th innings, but if they win 12 of their next 18, I will be fine with that. The reason for the panic is that the Yankees are playing so well. Our performance is always held relative to theirs. They had an easier stretch and hopefully will taper off soon when they hit this harder stretch of games.

Brendan,

Angels have the 2nd best record in AL. RedSox have the best record in the whole of MLB.

And guys u need to chill out a little bit. The rest of the season Sox have 4 Games Vs Angels at Home and 6 Games Vs Yanks for a total of 10 games. They r the only teams with winning records the RedSox are going to face for the rest of the season(51 games). Yanks have 8 games Vs Tigers, 3 Games Vs Indians, 3 Vs Seattle & 3 Vs Angels. Add 6 games against Sox. That comes to a total of 23 games Vs teams in PLAYOFF CONTENTION. 23 games out of 51 games against GOOD TEAMS vs 10 games against the GOOD TEAMS u get the picture. Add to that Sox still have 5 game lead over the Yanks. And don’t forget the Orioles the yanks still have 9 games against the Os who are a pain for the yanks so far this season. Also Add the fact that Yanks still have 7 games Vs the “pissed-off” BlueJays.

Having said all that Sox Offense Stinks. No Question abt that. The Sox are very very very disciplined at the plate. No Question abt that(they have most walks, take lots of pitches etc). If they can swing the bats more aggressively in addition to the discipline then it our offense is deadly. Just wait and see.

Sox have to win tonight there’s no 2 ways abt that. It’s a must win game today.

Sox offense needs a spark. It may be Moss or it may come in the form of Jacoby Ellsbury in September. Someone has to compete or push for the Drew’s spot on the roster so that he will start to produce consistently. There have to be changes in the team on the offense. There has to be competetion for the spots. Brandon Moss’s arrival coz of Hinske’s absence can be blessing in disguise.

considering 11 of the next 18 are on the road that would be a decent showing. problem is the way this team is playing i don’t see it happening. i really don’t care who is in 2nd. my only concern is by how many and what the trend is and the trend for this team is they continue to stuggle with hitting with RISP and this time of year is when that shows up. all pitchers wear down towards the end of the year and typically give up a few more runs and if you can’t out-produce your opp in that area you’re in trouble. i still can’t believe they hire a guy the padre’s fired as a hitting coach. i know he doesn’t swing the bat for them but still. the padre’s struggled with scoring runs and now the sox. that suggests a pattern to me with him. especially considering prior to his arrival boston was consistently one of the best in baseball with RISP.

Been a Sox fan for a while, have you, smckinny? No disrespect intended, but you seem to be stuck in Doomsday Sox Fan mode. “The way this team is playing” is to win over 60% of their games, both in the last couple of weeks and for pretty much the whole season thus far.

Think back to that 2004 season. The Sox were hot in the early part of the season, then played pretty mediocre ball until the middle of August. Then they came alive. I have every confidence that they can turn it around and plough through the rest of the season on a hot streak, just in time for the post season.

Schilling and Ortiz the only good signings he’s made??? I’d say the moves he made in ’04 were pretty darn good: Cabrera, Mientkiewicz and Roberts. And let’s not forget picking up Beckett and Lowell, when everyone thought Lowell was done. Sure, he let some free agents go that he should have kept, but he also let some go that were very smart moves. As much as I loved Mueller, Damon, and Trot, he made good decisions in letting them move on.

The Sox are doing just fine. Snap out of that funk, kiddo!!!

i have been actually. 30 + years so i consider myself more a realist than a doomsayer. plus considering they’re barely a 500 team over the last 6 weeks or so i’d say some concern is valid. as far as theo i’ll give you cabrerra ( although not re-signing him was stupid )i forgot about that one. the other two were basically bench guys. if roberts doesn’t steal that base you never even rem him being on the team. if i recall correctly the beckett/lowell trade was made by luchinno et al after theo resigned and prior to his return. i’ll also agree he’s made some good moves in NOT re-signing guys as it turns out and i’ll even add pedro to your list BUT what’s he ( Theo ) done since ’04 during the season to make his team better? and how have the guys he’s chosen to go after in free agency worked out? renteria ( pretty well for Atl. ), lugo, drew? my point is he ( theo ) just doesn’t seem to understand his team’s needs. last year pitching was horrible did he do anything? no. this year offense is horribly inconsistent. you have a 27 year old 1st baseman with HOF type numbers avail and you don’t won’t to deal ellsbury and a couple of others for that? doesn’t make sense to me. i can understand not wanting to part with buckholtz but any of the others ( inc lester ) i don’t get. bottom line is ( until this year )since ’04 they’ve basically been a non-factor and i place a lot of the blame on theo’s decision making. you have a valid point. they do still have the best record in MLB as of TODAY and i may be a little too critical but with 14 of the next 21 on the road and the way they’ve stuggled with RISP this year i just don’t see that “hot streak” out there. i hope they make me look stupid when all is said and done but unless drew gets really hot i don’t see it.

The Sox have played pretty good baseball until the last two games, both of which were pretty pathetic. The real issue is that the Sox were (and still are) in a position to drive a spike through the Yankees heart, and thus far, they have diddled away 7 of their 12 game lead.

Smckinny makes some valid points. There seems to be no sense of urgency. This translate to leadership issues which translates directly to the manager and front office. Francona seems to be more concerned about ensuring guys get their days off than he is about putting the team out there that has the best chance to win. He is more of a dad or a babysitter than he is a manager. If a player is the least bit sore, or tired, he get the night off. This leads to players becoming soft and unable to respond in critical situations. Those situations would include clutch hitting.

How much longer is he going to baby Papelbon? Sox have played over 110 games and we’ve seen Papelbon 39 times. No wonder he can’t throw strikes and has as many walks as he did all last year. He’s not sharp. He doesn’t pitch enough. How can you play WMP when you have a guy you paid 70 million dollars to sitting on the bench because a lefty is pitching?

Despite all that, the Sox have the best record in baseball, so we can’t complain too much. But I don’t think they put their best foot forward every night, and that’s something we can complain about.

gsm, the Sox will have a much more difficult time driving that spike through the Yanks’ heart especially since the Yanks have been hot and the Sox have not, and time continues to run short. Don’t be surprised to see the Yanks repeat history, and drive that spike through the Sox’s heart, and get over on Boston, again!!!

rocketman, nothing surprises me any more. However, the Yankees still have some work to do and as quickly as lead can disappear, it can reappear. Tonight is an important game. If the Sox can leave the west coast with a split, take a day off, then head to Baltimore with Beckett, Dice-K, and Schilling going, along with a well rested bullpen, they should be OK. They Yankees proceed to the schedule from **** for the rest of August and the Sox have it a little easier, although they play a lot of games on the road.

The Yankees are unlikely to keep winning like they have, especially against the likes of Cleveland, Detroit and the Angels.

Since the All Star break, the Red Sox are 15-11 against a reasonable schedule. The Yankees are an incredible 21-7 against what must be considered to be a pretty soft schedule. So they picked up 3.5 games over that stretch. Despite a couple of pretty crappy performance over the past couple of days, the Sox are holding their own. It was reasonable to expect the Yankees to gain some ground. How both teams play over the next two weeks heading into that series in New York at the end of the month will go a long way to determining the final outcome of this race. It’s time for Francona to step up and instill a little motivation into the Sox players.

I don’t understand why people refer to it as the “12 game” boston lead. The Sox lead by 14.5 games at one point, that was the peak, yet everybody, and I don’t mean to pick on you because it isn’t just you, but everybody even Boston newspapers refer to what was once a 12 game lead.

If the Yankees come back and win the division, which they won’t, it would be overcoming a 14.5 game lead, .5 better than the ’78 Sox had and it woudl come against what all experts say was the “better” sox team.

You are right Vince. The Sox did have a 14.5 game lead on the Yankees at one point. However, at that time, I think the lead over Toronto was 12, which is the biggest it has been. That’s probably where the confusion comes from.

My condolences to you Ian and your family. my mother is lying in a hospice as we speak battling a losing war with cancer that has ravaged her to a mere 70 lbs in 3 months. I echo Ian’s feelings on family and friends.

Go-Sox tonights a big game for us and lester, hopefully we can prevail as I see the jays have Doc going tonight against the yanks. Im hoping Doc doesnt bean Arod until atleast the 8th with a sizable lead…lol

A-Rod’s not in the lineup tonight.

Great point Gary, that is in all liklihood the confusion, thanks.

Given their past month, I still can’t count the Yankees out of this game even though they are facing Halladay. But….if the Sox see this score, they better realize they have chance to gain one of the games back that they’ve lost in this past week.
I hope we see some life from this team tonight.

I agree about Francona. He is too much of a players manager sometimes. He needs to light a fire somehow. Show some life and some emotion. Sitting on the bench and spitting every 3 seconds isn’t too motivating.

Jays are kicking the Yankees around early. It’s 8-2, bottom of three. Wang is gone. He lasted 2.2, gave up all eight runs. He just didn’t have anything tonight. It’s still early, but if this holds up, the Sox have a chance to do a little damage. Except one pitch to Cano, Halladay is looking pretty good so far.

Bobby Keilty struck-out 3 times in 3 AB’s in tonights game v. Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Ian Kennedy was pitching however . . . . . is he really an improvement over Wily Mo Pena.

Hey Vince, are we seeing a little bit of Francona in Joe Torre tonight? Why would he sit A-Rod, with a day off tomorrow, for a game that is so important?

Umpiring continues to **** this year. I mean, I was glad to see it, but Abreu got called out on a horrible pitch, then got ejected just like Manny the other night. I guess umpires don’t like those F-Bombs being tossed at them.

Keilty hasn’t played in almost a week and is coming back from surgery. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt this early. Plus, Wily Mo would have found a way to strike out 4 times in only 3 at bats….so I guess it’s an improvment!
Also, Keilty can field. He also isn’t afraid to play against tough pitchers, ala Drew.

Gary, his knee was sore from being hit by a pitch yesterday. Torre rested him today with the off day in mind tomorrow so he could have two days to recover. I also wouldn’t consider this game necessarily important. The Tigers are idle so the loss puts them 1 game back of the wildcard and they already took the series plus were facing halladay who they might not have beaten anyway, if you’re gonna lose one, let it be tonight. And in hindsight, they weren’t scoring 16 runs tonight lol.

Kevin, you like what Kennedy did tonight? 6 innings, 5 hits, no runs, 1 walk, 9 k? Good stuff.

whoops sorry, meant rs jones.

Lester has nothing. They are hitting him all over the park. The more I see, the less I like the Gabbard – Gagne trade.

Tigers lost as well Vince so they stayed half game back.

Another stinker from Wang. He’s beginning to look very hittable. I would like to say that a good pitcher did well against the Yanks, but NY had this one coming a mile away and it didn’t matter who was on the mound. Wang’s ERA is getting close to 4, thats not ace type stuff IMO

Oh yeah, and how horrible is Lugo. That’s about four times he’s been picked off this year on stupid baserunning plays.

Seven hits in 1.1 innings. Anyone warming up?

Yeah, but how the **** have they only scored 3 runs? I guess dumb baserunning by Cabrera back in the first. It didn’t work the first 2 nights scoring first, maybe they will have more success coming back, but I doubt it. At least they will stay 5 games up and the slate will be clean headed back to the east coast.

I think Lester will be a solid Major Leaguer starter for the long term, but for now, if he does not start giving the Sox effective outings, they should strongly consider giving Buchholz a start, or Masterson (who is so dominant in Double-A that his worst start was a 2 run, 5 hit outing) a start. Buchholz would be my preference.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Jeff, I think school is still out on Lester. I don’t see where he has particularly good stuff, and he doesn’t have much command of what he does throw. He’s always pitching from behind and while he was 7-2 last year, it wasn’t much different. His minor league numbers weren’t all that good so I don’t see what the big hype on him is. He needs a lot more development.

Garry, I agree that Lester needs to harness his control, but that can happen with experience. He still has not fully regained his velocity, which is 94-95. I think he will be much better next season. As for this year, I would like to see Buchholz (who has been dominant) get some starts if Lester does not start giving the Sox six solid innings.

Remember, Lester has not fully recovered from chemo. He has a wide array of pitches, but since his fast ball is in the low90s right now and not in the mid-90s, he is not as effective.

Any reason for the absence of Papi tonight? Is Tito just trying to get him a couple of days off in a row? I mean the guy is a DH, how much wear and tear can really happen to a guy in the action for 10,15 minutes a night. If anything sit him yesterday against the leftie Saunders. Or maybe he is hurting, idk

Finally, Manny with a clutch knock. I think he likes the DH thing.

The only game I actually got to watch Jon was his first game against Cleveland. Maybe it was because he was well rested but he looked fairly sharp. The fastball was getting by the hitters and the curveball had very good break. I agree with Jeff though maybe because of his recovery he can not pitch on a 5 day schedule, which would explain why his first was the best.

Showing some life. Finally. Still got a lot of work to do though. 7 or 8 runs may be what it takes tonight.

Hey, was that JD?

Drew likes hitting on the west coast

Hey, are these our Red Sox?

We all know that was Mikey Lowell

Wily Mo crushed that one, it went at least 95 feet.

Lester needs a good inning. We need 5-6 innings from him.

2 pitches, 2 outs. That one hurt bad

Hey rizzo, the Sox need to find a way to sign Mikey!

Yeah we don’t need A-Rod, give us Mikey! He is the offensive MVP, hands down

Yeah, although I wouldn’t mind seeing A-Rod at SS.

Yeah, it seems that Lowell, Youkilis and Pedroia are the only guys in this lineup who consistently get on base.

This is horrible to watch. Hope this game is over in time for me to get to work on time tomorrow.

I think we’re stuck with Lugo for a few more years. I can’t imagine any teams wanting to take on that salary

They need to get Lester out of there. He’s really struggling.

This game is turning into a copy for last night’s

of*

I am so sick and tired and Francona leaving pitchers in too long. No way Lester should have pitched to Figgins after walking two batters. I don’t like Francona’s decision style with starting pitchers at all.

Absolutely horrible. Francona needs his butt kicked. How many ropes and walks does the kid have to give up before he gets him out of there. It’s a good thig Francona has great talent there, because he’s a horrible manager.

I meant I am sick and tired of Francona…..

No, not Julian, anyone but him. Why not Kyle Synder? JT has already pitched in the first 2 nights of the series.

Apparently, Francona wants to spot the Angels some more runs by bringing in Tavarez.

A guy can not go from being a starter for the first 4 months then start pitching 3 nights in a row. Especially not this guy

That was sheer luck. The only reason Pedroia caught that rocket is because he was holding Figgins close to the bag, otherwise it would have been a run-scoring single.

At least it is a break that goes the Sox way. Although leaving in Tavarez for another few innings could result in a much larger deficit

Lugo needs to steal second. No more screwing around.

He can steal 3rd as well gsm, lol

Can they find to get 4 innings out Gagne/Oki/Pap? Let Timlin pitch the 5th

Can they find a way to get 4 innings out of Gagne/Oki/Pap? Let Timlin pitch the 5th

Yep! How freakin good is Youk?

Pedroia would have been out by 30 feet.

Big opportunity for Lowell here

Double steal and we tie the game?!?

I think I’m headed to bed NOW and dream that we do win :P :)

Lowell’s a freakin ball player!

Now that is a clutch hit. Hopefully, the rest of the Sox are paying attention.

Mr. Lowell comes through again. I think it needs to start pouring in Southern California.

I gotta ask – Where the heck was Lugo on the play? Is he asleep or what?

Why is Tavarez still in this game? Tito, tomorrow is an off day, please use the good part of the bullpen for as many outs as possible

What happened with Lugo? Did he miss the tag or something?

Drew has played a good center field tonight. He can got get ‘em a little and he’s got a decent arm

He didn’t cover second base. That was Youk!

You’re right Rizzo – Delcarmen, Okajima, Gagne and Pap.

Well I’m not watching or listening, just got it up on Gameday so I’m totally lost

I forgot about Timlin. Double play or a three run homer.

On the play, Guerrero hit a rocket off the center field wall, Drew made a nice play on one hop and gunned the ball to Pedroia, Lugo must have been scratching his butt somewhere because Youk went from first to cover second. If Lugo had been there in position, Guerrero might have been out.

i dont think he would have been out either way. pedroia was very quick getting the ball away and the tag was still late. i really dont think he had a chance.

but anyway lets hope timlin can get a double play

^^i think he would have been out either way

I can’t believe it is still the 5th, it is almost 12:30. I’m headed off for the night with the game tied at 6. I’ll hope for the best…

Timlin is about 5 mph slower than he was at the beginning of the year.

hes also seems about 5 years older than he was in the beginning of the year

You may be right monsta, but Youk had to turn to make the tag because he had to run ahead of Guerrero on the outfield side. If Lugo’s camped on the bag, Guerrero has to slide and they might have had a shot. My whole point though is that Lugo is standing around with his head stuck where the sun doesn’t shine when he should have been covering the bag.

(by the way I still hate rex huddler)

heyyy theres what weve been waiting for, a pena K

Day off tomorrow, where is Okajima, Gagne and Papelbon?

Rex Huddler is seriously the antichrist.

While I agree that Lester’s season is still young, he’s falling into old habits from last year (high pitch counts early in games), and if this trend continues, I’m with Jeff in bringing up Buchholz or Masterson.

Maybe tonight’s game will give us some reassurance that this Gagne deal was the right thing to do, it’s a tie ballgame right now and we have three of the most dominant relief pitchers at our disposal. With an off day tomorrow, now is not the time to baby these guys Tito.

To have the lead back at 6 games would be huge going into the series at Baltimore. Some pinch hitting heroics from Papi perhaps?

as much as I would love to see papi come in and do some damage, I think they would be better off leaving him out and giving him the rest he needs for that shoulder and knee. Id rather have a healthy papi through the stretch than 1 more hit tonight

Yep, I think Big Papi needs some time off. I would like to see him placed on the 15-day DL, DH Manny, move Crisp to left and call up Ellsbury to play center. Coco played left for the Indians. Big Papi needs some time off. I would rather see him rested for the stretch run than keep running him out there with a sore shoulder.

Lugo is horrible out there. A routine play for a major league shortstop. I think he’s the worst shortstop in the league.

I think you are very biased towards lugo. his defense has not been that bad, compared to other SS’s in the league.. when you factor his salary to his play, maybe he is the worst… what am i saying, i hate lugo

LOL! You crack me up monsta! Make up my mind, will you. I’ll give him credit, he got the ball in the air to drive in an important run.

I think the fact that he hasnt been on a 0-40 streak lately had me thinking that hes not that bad…

he still is

i guess im the only one still awake…

glad to see a win

I’m still awake…but barely.

That game just tied the longest 9-inning game played at Angels stadium. And it’s a good thing the Sox won, because I would have been pretty bitter if I had to stomach a sweep AND a painfully long ballgame.

Papelbon was throwing gas, consistently 97 mph on the corners. Maybe all of this rest is a good thing if that’s the Paps we’re going to see for the stretch run.

My final thought for the night: re-sign Mike Lowell right now.

Wow, that was a long one.
Lester…not consistent enough. We all wanted him up and Tavarez out of the rotation but I think we all see that he wasn’t ready. First game against Cleveland was more emotion than anything else. Since then it’s gotten progressively worse.

Lowell is a class act and **** of a player. He can be my 3rd baseman anyday.

Pedroia is a scrappy pest. I love it.

Lugo is turning into an adventure in the field.

Did JD actually get 2 hits for the 2nd game in a row??Gagne still hasn’t looked good in a game yet. He was shakey out there last night.

Paps was lights out.

Rex Hudler just jumped into the top 3 homer announcers. Thank goodness the Angels are on the west coast and we don’t have to hear him all the time.

Nice game, especially since they were down early. Way to take advantage of a NY loss.

well let’s hope that wasn’t the one good hitting night for the week. it was nice to see. as much as i admire lester for what he’s gone through the fact is he’s just doesn’t have good enough stuff to help this team very much IMO. he’s got the same issues he had last year when his good record was due largely to great run support. he did have 5 + era i think. he’s basically a LH tavares and if your fastball tops out at 90-92 you better have good breaking stuff and great command of it or you will get rocked. he doesn’t and he is. anytime they can get 5 innings out of him they should yank him immediately.

oh someone mentioned keilty striking out 3 times in a minor league game. yet another BRILLAINT move by theo. you need/want more offense so your solution is to go out and get a career 250 hitter with with no power. granted he might be a slight imp over willy mo in terms of actually making contact but does anybody really think this guy is going provide any significant upgrade? i mean the A’s **** and he couldn’t play for them. theo amazes me. at lest WMP is a threat to hit out out if he actually does make contact and not just another singles hitter.

A victory is a victory no matter how terrible and rotten the team played. The ‘pen did pitch 5 2/3, giving up 1 run, which gives us a great insurance cushion in case the starting does fail. . . . . thats Tavarez, Timlin, Okajima, Gagne, and Papelbon, not surprising that Tavarez gave up the only run.
I know I said thatt Keilty is not much of an improvment over Pena because of the 3 K’s, but he actually makes CONTACT, unlike like Wily MO Pena, fields better that WMP, and remember he is just coming off an injury, to me thats a major improvement.

Actually didn’t pitch well before he came to Boston . . . .

In July . . . .

10 G, 7 SV, 8 SVO, 10.1 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 5 R, 1 HR, 2 BB,

8 K

Since being in Boston . . . .

3 G, 3.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K

The stat that concerns me is is the more hits per inning, one swing can screw a game.

Also Lester last year had a 4.76 ERA, not great.

His scouting report says he has above-average control, but struggles controlling some of his pitches at times, and struggles with consistency, maybe Beckett can teach him how he reformed his pitching, espically help him with his curveball, something that Beckett also used to struggle with.

Let’s forget Lester’s poor performance and the fact that WMP is still on the team for just a moment and reflect on why I think last night’s game was a VERY good one for the Sox.

First of all, the Sox came into California with a 12 and 4 record in their previous 16 games. Then the Angels rubbed their noses in the dirt the first 2 games and embarrassed the Sox. Next, the division lead shrunk to 5 games after the second loss.

So I’m thinking the Red Sox players have had to look themselves in the eye and say “Hey, we’re an East coast team. We don’t get bullied by some southern Cal. sushi eaters.”(no offense to any sushi eaters out there) And they can see the Yanks are not slowing down. MOTIVATION!! Something that’s been lacking the past few months. These guys have been cruising the past 10 weeks or so. With such a huge lead it is only human nature to do so.

But last night they came back multiple times, got clutch hitting, and refused to give in. They scored when it mattered after the 6th. All good signs. Now they need to keep it up.

And JD Drew looks comfortable at the plate finally. Now instead of waving and missing hit-able pitches he is serving them into the outfield. Doesn’t it look like he is catching the ball on his bat and pushing it into the outfield? He makes it look so effortless.

Anyway, let’s hope this team has just gotten a little dose of Pete Rose intensity for the rest of the year.

And I agree, Rex Hudler is a dork. Painful to listen to.

Ian,

My condolences to you and your family. Your in my thoughts and prayers.

Brian

Ian,

Although I read your blog all the time, I haven’t posted here in quite a while. That has changed now, because I sincerely want to send my heartfelt condolences to you and your family over the loss of your father-in-law. May you all be surrounded with loving support during this time. You are all in our thoughts and prayers, Ian. God bless you and your wife and kids.

The Dowdy Family, Vista, CA

(We were at the game last night…awesome battle…we really needed the win. RSN was in full force in Anaheim!)

What we need now is a 10 game winning streak. Mylips to the RedSox Gods ears!! Go Sox.. oh and Let’s go Tribe!! Take out the Yankees!!!! Go TROT!!!!

The Sox head into Baltimore with Dice-K, Beckett and Schilling set to go. Everyone got a little breather with a day off, so they should be ready to get out there and kick some butt.

The next two weeks leading to the series in New York are critical. They really need to win this series with the Orioles, the two series with the Rays, and the one in Chicago. A split with the Angels is always good. If they do that, they should maintain or increase their lead on the Yankees. Even though Detroit and Cleveland have struggled some lately, I don’t think the Yankees will be as successful against them as they have been in the recent past over some weaker teams.

Exactly gsm.
I had said last week that if they can come back from this 9 game road trip with the 7 game lead still intact, then things would look pretty good.

The Sox are starting to play teams that they SHOULD beat. Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Chicago. I would hope they could be 3 of 4 at home from LA, but they way they just played them, that might be tough.

The Yanks are hitting the tough part of the schedule now, so that if the Sox have an 7 or 8 game lead by the time they play at the end of the month, only winning 1 of 3 in NY would only cost the Sox 1 game in the standings.

Bucholtz doing well in AAA. Lester struggling mightily. Does one more bad outing necessitate a move? Double header next week vs. LA. Rumblings are that Bucholtz could get the call for one of those 2 games. Should be interesting.

I agree that the Sox have a very good chance of holding off the rest of the division, given the rest of their schedule.

However, there is some truth to the thought that they need to start playing more inspired baseball. It’s all well and good to win every series against what used to be called “second division” teams. Stating the obvious, once they get into the post season, they will need to play better against the top teams. If they don’t they’ll be eliminated in the first division series.

Good points. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that from them on a consistent basis. Maybe it’s a good thing that the race got a little closer. Now the team will start playing with some agression. Not so much a “sense of urgency” per se, but more like a team with a killer instinct. If the playoffs started now and the Sox had to face any teams 1,2,3 starters, they would be in rough shape.
The fact that they won 2 of 3 in Seattle and came back in a hard fought game against LA shows some life and what this team is actually capable of. Losing 2 of 3 at home to KC or not having any life after the 6th inning won’t cut it.

The pieces are in place…it’s just a matter of putting all together on a consistent basis.

Losing the first 2 games to California or LA or Anaheim, whatever they call themselves now, was the best thing that could have happened. They got embarrassed, they lost ground in the division, and now they should be focused and a little angry. At least, I hope so. The Angels played them hard and showed them what they will be up against in October, so they got a little dose of reality. This next month will show us what they are made of. Keep your eye on Drew, I’m thinking he’ll show up(finally) for the rest of the season.

I am sorry for your loss and just wanted to say so.

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