Yankees get ****** punch in Detroit

Is Aug. 24 the day we’ll look back at as the day the American League East at last was wrested away by the Red Sox?

Manager Terry Francona’s nine sweeps a doubleheader in Chicago, scoring 21 runs in the process. Then the Yankees begin their game at Detroit at 11 p.m. Eastern time and lose at 3:30 a.m. on Carlos Guillen’s three-run, walkoff homer.

A day that started with the Yankees five games back ends with them 6 and 1/2 back. Ouch.

Meanwhile, Ortiz rips two homers and Youkilis looks like he’s getting his swing back and Schilling pitches his best game in weeks?

I don’t know. This thing will come to a head in the Bronx next week one way or another, but the Red Sox simply have the better team. To me, the Yankees are the 2005 Red Sox. Overly reliant on the offense. Yes, the Yankees have Joba Chamberlain, just like the Red Sox had Jonathan Papelbon late in 2005. But it wasn’t enough.

I don’t think Chamberlain is enough. I think the Yankees will put up a fight and get to the playoffs, but I’m not sure if they can advance. We’ll see.

The fun is finding out.

later,

Ian.

122 Comments

Ian, I’m surprised you’re awake ;-)

Seriously, good points. I was going to say something similar, but at this point, my mind is shutting down.

That’s a tough one to lose by the Yankees though.

Simply put, excellent pitching and decent offenses (note, not bad offenses like the Padres) can win. Just bashing the stuffing out of the ball will only get you so far.

Ian,

Are you the Jon Gruden of baseball writers?

Yankees right now should have there focus on the wild-card. Yankees bigger series is when the Mariners hit Yankee Stadium. Only way the Yankees catch the Red Sox is if they sweep the Sox at Yankee Stadium and I don’t see that happening. As of today the Yankees are 4 games behind Seattle in the loss column.

Clemens had another poor outing on the road. I would like to know what the Yankees record is in extra innings? It always seems to me when it goes beyond 9 innings the Yankees lose.

The NYY are 3-6 in extra, the Sox are 2-5. Neither team is a good bet in extras.

I figured the Red Sox would at least have a winning record in extra innings. I’ll take the Sox pen over the Yankees pen any day of the week. Even though that kid Chamberlain looks unhittable.

One thing I would like to see from the Red Sox is a come from behind win on the road. We’ve seen many times over the last few years but not this year. Perhaps in N.Y. we will see it.

Of course we should have Clay back when the rosters expand. So they bring in Joba and we counter with Buccholz. Then we each of a 05′ Papelbon-esque pitcher. And we still have papelbon!

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

I do like the idea of Bucholtz joining the Sox in early September and who doesn’t. Bucholtz will not have the impact like Chamberlain is right now. Chamberlain is mowing everyone down right now. When he comes in, it is good morning, good afternoon and good night.

I am looking forward to watching Bucholtz in the Red Sox rotation next year and years to come. Very impressed in what I have watched. I always get excited when young players are ready to join the big club. For years the Sox didn’t develop anything when it came to pitching. Certainly not the case with Theo and the front office.

Brian, I’m a little surprised that you would assume that the Sox would have a winning record in extra innings, mainly because of the lack of clutch hitting through 2/3 of the season, but I guees when your a Red Sox, and the numerous times we’ve won in those situations, it comes to be expected.

I just thought that with a team with the best record in baseball and the best bullpen that they would have a winning record in extra innings. One of there wins in extra innings came against the Devil Rays and I ask A question, does that count?

Imagine the Sox record if they actually had clutch hitting for the first two-thirds of the season.

I was cracking up at Michael Kay and Al Leiter’s commentary during the later hours of last night’s (this morning’s?) game. They both seemed deliriously excited when the Tigers finally ended it.

Sox will go into Yankee Stadium with no less than a 6 game lead. If they take the series, they put the AL East on ice. They cannot go into the series hoping to avoid a sweep because they are the better team and need to be on the offensive.

If you think the Red Sox baby Papelbon, I urge you to read up on the “Chamberlain Rules” which the Yankees have implemented. The good news? We won’t be seeing him two nights in a row in the Bronx.

However, offense wins the extra-inning games, but you make a point that a strong bullpen is essential to keeping the score tied etc.
The Red Sox are right were they need to be.

Wakefield is 6-10 with a 5.43 over his career vs. the White Sox, but has won his last two vs. them. Buerhle on the other hand is O-3 in his last three starts since Aug. 15 ’04 with a high 7.46 ERA, this may be close game, but a win is possible.

The last time Wang and Bondermand pitched against each other, weel, her are there stats lines . . .

Bonderman: 6.0, 7 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 K

Wang: 6.0, 9, 3, 2, and 6

For both teams it could be a win or a lose, the way the pair-ups match, I hope for a Sox win and a Yanks lose though like every Sox fan.

Forgive my spelling.

Bonderman has been doing his usual fade away come late summer. Wang has been very inconsisent, not getting the double play ball this year for some strange reason. I really don’t care what the Yankees do as long as the Sox continue to play the way they’re capable of. They will have no problems winning the division.

Yankees better be watching what the Mariners are doing rather than the Red Sox.

I believe we’ll take 3 of 4 from the White Sox, while the Yankees will split their series with the Tigers. If this happens, even if the Yankees take 2 of 3 from the Red Sox (which I think will happen), we will still be 5 up. Not bad heading into the final month.

I have seen Joba pitch a lot and he really looks like the real deal. I’d be interested to get a Yankee fans perspective on it, but I think they may be better served having him as their future closer. I could be wrong, but against big league hitters, they may begin seeing him better second and third time around. He did lose a game to Manhattan College only a year ago after all.

Man, what was Theo doing picking up a solid contact hitter who is content to play the role of 4th outfielder to replace our “endless potential power hitter”?

Difference between Pena and Kielty = a bases loaded rally which dies with a strikeout vs. putting the bat on the ball and driving in 2.

White Sox have mailed it in. All you have to do is jump out to a lead and they’re done. You can see it on there faces.

I think the Yankees should have Chamberlain as there setup guy for Rivera next season. The Yankees say he’ll be in the rotation next season but I disagree with that. We’ll see what they do with him.

I don’t know who thought Pena was a better fit for the Red Sox than Kielty but there is no comparison right now. Kielty is playing like Kapler did. What is important Kielty knows his role and knows how to deal with it. Pena as we all know has to play everyday and in Boston he wasn’t going to get that chance.

22 straight scoreless innings for Wakefield.

I swear if FOX plays that same player profile of Manny Ramirez one more time, I’m going to lose it. Apparently his nickname is “Baby Bull” and he enjoys rice & beans. Thanks for the insight FOX, that is really integral information.

Yeah, I’m not a fan of Fox baseball announcers, although I do like Joe Girardi (he is much more tolerable than Tim McCarver) I can do without Vasgersian.

Wakefield’s scoreless inning streak is truly remarkable. What a turnaround this season after having a tough stretch earlier. Even if Schilling does not fully rebound, Wakefield gives the Sox a 1-2-3 punch in the post-season, which is all you need.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

I was hoping the play by play announcer for today’s game was going to be either **** Stockton or Thom Brenneman. Matt Vasgersian is not good. When he does football for Fox he usually does alot of the lower end games such as the Vikings among other crappy teams.

Man I hate when our 4th outfielder picks up 3 hits and 4 RBI’s.

zacahary….that’s pretty funny….i actually appreciate that…….i’m glad ol bobby had a great game…..in fact i think i actually said earlier i hoped for it…..maybe they’ll trade drew and find a better LH option to platoon him with……it doesn’t change my opinion on what was best for this team THIS year when they don’t score 14 runs in a game……again i’m not a wily mo guy….i’a a power guy when your 10th in the league in hr’s…….he’s still a non-power guy but as long as people get on in front him it’s great……most “solid contact hitters” don’t have a 250 career avg but hopefully he keeps it up……he’s almost up to his career avg……..if tavares can give them 5 good ones tom this could be an excellent weekend…..and i never said PENA was a better fit…..i said a power hitter would serve them better given the same number of at bats….i could care less who it is.

Is anyone here old enough to remember Chicago White Sox pitcher Wilbur Wood? He threw a great knuckleball back in the 70’s. I am sure there were a few fans in Chicago today that remembered how effective he was. One year he won 20 and lost 20 as he pitched every two or three days.

Tim Wakefield has my vote to pitch every two or three days! Congratulations Tim on a great run of victories!!!! It couldn’t have come at a better time!

Why are we still using batting average to rate players? Who cares if Kielty has a lifetime BA of .250? As long as he hits lefties as well as he has in his career and makes contact. I wish Wily Mo the best but he was obviously not used to coming off the bench in pinch-hitting type roles or filling in every 4th day like Kielty is able to do.

BTW, Wakefield has to be one of the most underrated players in MLB…

Yo, Vince:

If you’re around and blogging tonight, I have a question for you. During tonight’s Yankees-Tigers game, Michael Kay made some comments about the fact that the official scorer changed Polanco’s error and gave it to Marcus Thames, which preserved the errorless streak for Polanco. Kay called it ‘home cooking’ and said he felt the streak would be seen as ‘dubious.’ What I’d like to know is whether Kay realizes that (according to what I’ve read) two of the hits credited to Joe DiMaggio during his 56-game streak were originally scored as errors during the games, and then later changed to hits, both of which preserved the streak, and if he does know it, how does he compare it to the Polanco situation? The only reason I bring this up here instead of on a Yankee blog is that I really don’t want to come across as some sort of troll looking to start an argument. I’m seriously interested in what he thinks. Got any ideas how I might find out? Maybe a Yankee fan like yourself could tactfully point out the DiMaggio facts and see how he reacts?

Wilbur Wood went thru the Red Sox system. He was a local product. I remember reading that Wilbur Wood started both ends of a doubleheader, now that is amazing.

Wakefield and Beckett have a shot to win 20. Of course Pedro and Derek Lowe were the last duo to win 20 in the same season. Here’s hoping they both do it.

I’ll have to agree with Brian about Wakefield and Beckett; I honestly didn’t even expect Wake to have 16 wins already. I figured he’d be say 14-9 or 14-8 instead of 16-10.

I can see why Wakefield is kept on as the Red Sox 4th-5th starter; he can usually provide some very good consistency. And for those who have been knocking him this season, well 16 wins is nothing to knock about, heh. If Cash can start hitting a bit more consistently, he might become Wake’s personal catcher instead of Mirabelli next season (I expect Wake to be around).

robnbetsy: I was about to mention something about DiMaggio cause I’ve read that as well. Honestly, IMHO, Kay opens his mouth before he thinks more often than not.

As for our RF situation, I don’t see Drew getting traded. Not anytime soon with that contract. Perhaps it’s first year jitters, who knows. As for Kielty, he’s a bench player, and Wily Mo really wasn’t. That’s really what it boils down to.

Something tells me 4 game sweep with Tavarez doing a little bowling as well :-D

the comment about trading drew was meant as a joke…..trust me he’s here for the duration most likely……wake has been, for him especially, rediculously consistent and very good.

The signing of J.D. Drew was a joke as well. Drew will be in the lineup today vs Vazquez. Let’s hope the Red Sox sweep today and go into N.Y. with alot of MO on there side.

Very rare to see a 4 game series and the bullpen is well rested. The Red Sox starters have done a great job against the hapless White Sox. Red Sox get a lead early and watch the White Sox quit right in front of our own eyes. I would say right now in baseball the White Sox are the worst team in baseball. At least the Devil Rays when they fell behind the Sox on Tuesday, they battled back and didn’t quit. This White Sox team to me looks as if they have mailed it in. They should be ashamed of themselves and it is great watching Ozzie Guillen suffer in that dugout.

the one thing about drew
( and it’s pretty much the only thing )is he has always been pretty conisistent so you would have to think he’s a good candidate to bounce back next year….it would be great if he could get hot and help this team this year but that just doesn’t appear likely.

smckinny: Well I missed the joke for sure at like 2:38 in the AM :-)

And the whole consistency factor about Drew is what’s bothering most people; that is, the fact that it’s not there is. I’m hoping the same as well (in that he bounces back).

Drew had a very good first 3 weeks of the season and then 1 game vs Arizona and that is about it. Remember he had the only hit for Boston vs Felix Hernandez. That seems about 3 years ago. He has played well in the o.f. and has a very good arm. There is still time for him to rebound but I have very little confidence in him. I am not the only one that feels that way of course. Something tells me there are many people that feel that way in the clubhouse.

Jeff,

Very good article on the Papelbon family.

I tried to comment on your article about it but couldn’t for some reason.

This has been a great weekend of basball so far! Everybody seems to contributing, well almost everybody. Anyway, A win today will really get the momentum going for the “RIVALRY” games this week.
LET’S GO REDSOX

LET’S GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today is the day J.D. Drew will contribute.

Good call bosox, Drew homer

Perhaps with Kielty getting alot of playing time against lefties that will motivate Drew. It better because this isn’t the time of year to sulk in the corner.

Youkilis has been swinging good lately. Time to drive in a run…

I’m not even going to make my now-daily sarcastic comments about how Kielty is the wrong guy for the job.

I think this is more of the JD Drew people were expecting: some pop in his bat and patience at the plate. Hopefully he can keep it going in the Yankees series because if we can have him, Ortiz, and Lowell all with hot bats, it will be huge.

How about Tavarez? You have to love his versatility.

I hope Tito gives Papelbon the 9th inning today with tomorrow’s upcoming off-day. Paps needs to be sharp for the Yankees series.

Wow, whoever signed Bobby Kielty is a *******’ genius! He does nothing but produce at the plate and play good defense. Good job Theo.

Gotta love the White Sox, eh? They’ve really helped the Red Sox’ bats get going, solving the other complaint.

The Yanks have officially cooled off, so even if the Sox lose 2 of 3 in New York it will be no big deal. Getting hot at the right time, GO SOX!

Paps: 13 pitches, 11 strikes; K’s the side.

4 straight games of 10 runs or more. You have to like our chances against NYY this series, especially when we have an offday while they have a wrap-around series.

The Yankees game vs. the Tigers tomorrow will decide whether the Sox lead by 7 or 8 games. I’m just curious as to where all the doomsday naysayers are now?

Gagne is so close to producing a clean inning, how about he gets it done multiple times in the next series? I think he can rise to the occasion (potential to basically clinch the AL East in a hostile environment).

I want nothing more than for the following: Dice-K to get some run support on Tuesday, the Sox bats to bulldoze through Roger Clemens on Wednesday, and for Schilling to silence Yankee Stadium on Thursday.

That’s not too much to ask for, is it?

Regardless of tomorrow night’s outcome, taking 2 of 3 in the Bronx would be the final nail in the AL East coffin. Each team has a top flight pitcher going each night so neither side will sweep. That means worst case scenario, the lead will be 6 with 4 and a half weeks (1 month) left in the season.

My prediction is the Yanks lose tomorrow, and the Sox win on Wednesday and hold a 7 game lead.

zachary……you are amusing……nobody’s happier ( and granted more surprised ) about kielty and his 2 or 3 good games than me……we’ll see how excited you are about your boy at the end of the year……i hope he keeps it up…..i wouldn’t bet on it…..but i do hope for it…..tavares was actually the mvp for today though……that’s 2 really good outings in a row for him…..oh and i’m pretty sure the only thing that motivates drew is the ATM when he makes sure his check was deposited…..overall though they seemed ( this weekend anyway ) to be much more agreesive at the plate
( not looking for walks constantly ) which is a good thing IMO if they keep it up.

*****TO ANYONE INTERESTED*****
I ourchased 2 tickets to the September 21st, Friday night game for our Sox v The TB d-Rays. They are right above the visitor dugout. I found out Friday that I have to have back surgery and won’t be ablr to use them. They total cost was 123.00. The face value of each ticket is 55.00 (@2= 110.00). Anyone who would like to purchase them, I’ll only ask the face value. Please let me know.

THANKS, ELLEN.

I forgot to correct my spelling, sorry!

Great game by Tavares today, he barely brushed anyone back, lol! Really, I thought he looked really good, like he was actually comfortable on the mound. Way to go Julian. As for the rest of the team, another great day.
Look out NY, hopefully when we leave there we’ll have another 1-2 games added to our lead. I’d love that. simply for the comfort cushion, you know??

I LOVE OUR SOX!!!!!

Hey my prediction came true! Woohoo!

And not to mention, the Yankees lost too. :-D

Talk about momentum going into the Bronx. :-D

I agree the division race is officially buried, but Ian, you need to do your research on the Yankees bullpen.

Farnsworth: last 7 appearances, no runs on 1 hit in 7 innings.

Chamberlain: You covered (and no, Bucholtz is not chamberlain, he has 9 innings less than Joba and that leaves him with none in relief)

Vizcaino: 6-1 1.33 ERA his last 42 innings.

Rivera: Is Rivera.

Edwar Ramirez: 2.45 ERA since being recalled.

No Villone and I doubt you see Henn. The bullpen is doing much better than most people are giving them credit for. Eight of their last nine innings have been for no runs (minus the walk off homer on Henn).

Pettitte has won his last 5 starts and Wang is coming off of an 8 inning, 2 run start after making mechanical adjustments.

I wonder if Francona has a new rotation in mind where Tavares pitches a ‘spot start’ every second time through the rotation. It really seems like Tavares responds to that kind of rest. Anyone notice his “El Tiante” delivery yesterday? He was still just out there having fun.

For the NY series, I just hope they win the first game, that guarantees that the Yanks can’t pick up more than a game, this week. They can play relaxed the rest of the series, that’s when they are dangerous.

Statistical discussion using the ‘expected wins’ Pythagorean calculation based on runs scored and runs given up:

records actual /expected

LA…..76-54 /72-58

M’s….73-55 /66-62

Cle….72-57 /70-59

DE…..70-60 /69-61

NNY….72-58 /78-52

BoSox…80-51 /83-48

If your actual record is lower than your expected you are under-performing, if it is higher you are over-performing.

Team by Team:

LA… Over

Mariners… Over

Indians… Over

Tigers… Over

Yanks… Under

BoSox… Under

Based on that small look at the numbers, the only teams that shouldn’t fade are the Tigers, Yanks, and Sox. Everyone else is beating the numbers and has a better record than they ‘should’.

I know it’s not perfect, but the numbers gurus are toting this as a consistently accurate way to analyze a team’s success. Fun to look at.

“we’ll see how excited you are about your boy at the end of the year……i hope he keeps it up…..i wouldn’t bet on it”

So even when things go well you need to be negative about the future Smckinny?

You say you think WMP would have been better for this team in terms of production. One of the best barometers of production is in RBI’s. In 156 AB’s, WMP had 17 RBI’s. In 23 AB’s, Kielty has half as many RBI’s as WMP for the ENTIRE season (8 RBI’s to date). How is that not better for the offense in terms of production? He has driven in runs; WMP, with all his home run threat, didn’t. It’s that simple.

To those of you on this blog who are perennially negative: CHEER UP! Enjoy the good things while you have them. Sox just crushed the other Sox 4 games in a row. Yanks are playing like mortals again. LIFE IS GOOD, BE HAPPY!

All the talk about JD Drew and Bobby Kielty is interesting, but is anyone thinking about what the Sox are going to do with Mike Lowell at the end of the year? Here is a guy who was the “take his salary too” throw in to the Josh Beckett acquisition, and he has come in here and had 2 phenomenal years. This year he will hit over .300 and have over 100 rbis, many, many of which have come in clutch situations. It concerns me that the sox track record for trying to reach contract extension deals after the season is over has not been stellar ( a la Derek Lowe, Johnny D, Pedro [yes, I'm glad we don't have Pedro and all his injuries at this point too]). The Sox could probably keep him for less than they are paying Drew (although that may be a basis of comparison for Lowell’s focus), and could find the money by retaining Schill at a substantially lower salary, or letting Schill go altogether (I did wash my mouth out with soap after I wrote that, but the public comments sure make it seem like Schill is headed out of town, and our after the season signing prowess is what it is).

I would hate to see Lowell go elsewhere, like the Yanks if they decide to waive good-bye to A-Rod. I will tell you, if those 2 players traded uniforms, I think the Red Sox would get the lesser end of the deal. A-Rod’s statistics notwithstanding, every time I watch a Sox game and watch how Lowell carries himself, he seems like such an integral part of the team. With the less than super-human years Big Papi and Manny are having, Lowell’s clutch hitting has had a lot to do with the Sox maintaining a substantial lead in their division.

Here’s hoping the front office sees it the same way and gets this deal done before too many unfriendly exchanges take place.

brendan…..chill…..i wasn’t being negative at all….just realistic…..simply pointing out that it’s highly unlikely he will be as prod as he was this weekend ( when he was great ) over the rem of the season for a couple of diff reasons…..i also said i was happy for him and hoped he would be…..how is that being negative?….and for 1000th time i did not say WMP was a better fit……what i said was given the choice of 250 sgls hitter vs a 250 power hitter THIS team with the power numbers being down this year needed another big bat….i don’t care what the name/names are…it’s simply an opinion……if you trade WMP, which i was fine with, i woulda rep him with another power bat…….when guys like kielty get hot they typically hit sgls and dbls ….when power hitters get hot they hit HR’s….if you got 2 guys who hit for basically the same avg why wouldn’t you take the one that hit’s it out most often?….again i don’t care what their names are……..you might disagree and that’s fine………but i would caution that just like it’s probably not wise to be too ctitcal based on a 3-4 game window the same can be said about being too excited…if someone wants to call it neg that’s their option…..i consider it constructive criticism…..and when the opp is warranted i’m the first to offer praise as well….now hopefully they get outta NY with no less than a 6 game lead.

I don’t want a 6 game lead, I want to bury the Yankees and have this discussion of the AL East to be over with. If the Yankees lose tonight (which is incredibly possible with Verlander vs. Mussina), the Sox will have an 8 game lead.

The hardest game they will have winning will be vs. Clemens (I think) because all of the Sox numbers against him are awful. Granted this was back when he was gun slinging around 95 mph in his first go-around with the Yankees, but when our best numbers are put up by Doug Mirabelli, you have to be worried.

I agree with dbenjamin 100% and am also nervous that A-Rod and Lowell will essentially switch jerseys in the offseason. Re-sign Mike Lowell: Fenway Park was made for his swing, he is hitting .360 there. He is also hitting .458 (!) when slotted in the 5th hole, and .360 with men in scoring position.

Smckinny,

Brendan is refering to a comment that you posted earlier, in which here are some qoutes:

“we’ll see how excited about your boy at the end of the year”

“i hope he keeps it up . . . . but I don’t bet on it”

smckinny@yadtel.net | August 26, 2007 06:13 PM

This was a response to Zachary.

Also…can…you…please…stop…commenting…in…this …fashion.

You want to get your points across, but it hard to do that when the reading difficulty is throught the roof.

I think of that as constructive criticism.

I’m complete with everybody who is talking about re-signing Mike Lowell. It’s not just his numbers we love, it’s his presence and leadership we enjoy and he’s just that all-around good guy. Plus, he wants to stay, so to Theo & Co, I say:

MAKE SOMETHING WORK!

Vince, good points on the Yankee bullpen and rotation. It’s just been that one or two pitches have killed them and it’s times like that, that really hurt. And when that’s coupled with cooling-down offense, it’s really bad. But even if the Yankees lose tonight, they can still go into the BoSox series taking positives out of the Detriot series. Mainly the fact that they’ll keep battling back. So it clearly won’t be easy for the BoSox no matter how much momentum they have.

So any predictions on this series? I’m going with the Yankees taking 2 out of 3 if the starting pitching is on, but it’ll be very close games.

Of course, I may end up eating what I say, but hey, it’s random prediction I’m making :-)

I would love to see Lowell back with Boston. One word that is always associated with Lowell is he is a ” professional”. How many times do we ever here that word regarding athletes? I would take a guess and say he is one of the most respected guys on the team. Among the starters Crisp is probably the guy that will not be back. Atlanta or Minnesota could be his destination for next season and beyond. Enough of that stuff, let’s worry about all that when the season ends.

Chances are the Sox lead will be 8 when they start the series vs N.Y. Mussina has been getting bombed as of late and Verlander is Detroit’s best starter. Yankees will limp home going 2-5 on there 7 game road trip.

I think the Red Sox will take 2 out of 3 in this series. One of there wins will be late in the game either against Chamberlain or Rivera. A sweep would be nice by Boston but I don’t see that happening. A little payback from last year’s 5 game sweep N.Y. did vs Boston and ended the Sox season in August. How great would that be if Boston did that????? I don’t think I would sleep for 2 days.

well i still don’t see how what i said was viewed as negative but what ever. i owuldn’t bet on tavares pitching as well as he has the past 2 but that doesn’t meen anything negative or critical. it’s just a fact. “your boy” is meant to be a figure of speach not anything negative. i have plenty guys i would consider my “boys” on this team. constructive critcism noted and accepted as such.

I see us winning 1 of 3, which, to be honest, I am fine with. Pettite has been extremely good laetly, so it may be another case of Dice K not getting run support. I could see Wednesday’s one between Beckett and Clemens being very close but am hopeful we will take it. Not that confident about Schill performing well, the Yankees offense has been a grind and he hasn’t really strung together two good starts in a long time. That said, I think we can really get after Wang.

IMO the only way a-rod isn’t playing 3rd for the sox next year is if he doesn’t opt out. that’s not likely but depending on what the yankees do for the rest of the year is possible. with clement, lowell, and schill ( not counting guys like hinske, etc ) likely gone that’s well over 30mm. even if schill comes back at reduced salary there’s still likely around 25-27mm and that’s if they don’t want to inc the payroll at all. no other team can touch that. i love lowell. he’s one of “my boys” and he’s easily the MVP of this team BUT given the choice of him or a-rod from a baseball standpoint it’s a no-brainer as far as i’m concerned. a-rod’s numbers are just rediculous. you think fenway is made for lowell? what do you think a-rod would do with 81 games hitting to that LF? now if a-rod does stay in NY then i would think they have to re-sign him unless they can trade for someone like cabrerra from the marlins. i just don’t see them moving youk back to 3rd and going with a new 1B and i don’t think hinske is a long term option at either.

“what do you think a-rod would do with 81 games hitting to that LF?”

Have a mental breakdown, cheat on his wife, have his lips turn blue in the cold months…just to name a few.

Not to mention his lips turning blue in the warm months. And his lips turning blue during the mild weather.

he’d also likely put up a min of 45 and 125 every year which IMO is really what matters. if he can survive mentally in NY he can probably handle boston. 30mm a yr will buy some good therapy. and as long as his wife is cool with his extracurricular activities why would you or anybody else care? i know i don’t. if you think there aren’t married current red sox ( or every other team for that matter ) players doing the same thing you’re dreaming.

Red Sox players are different to every other team. They would never do anything bad.

good one. personally i don’t consider hangin with strippers to be “bad”. i wish my wife were as understanding as a-rod’s! he’s just tryin to help those young ladies make a better life for themselves. i think that shows his charitable side.

Mussina is apparently pitching for his spot in the rotation tonight.

Anybody know who would be next in line? Somebody from the minors or what?

He really is a very giving and generous person when you think of it that way. And for that Toronto game, he clearly shouted “Not Mine!” in case the Blue Jays Third Baseman thought he was going to try and catch it. He’s a very sporting player.

If Mussina falters tonight in Detroit. Shane Rawley, Sterling Hitchcock, Rick Rhoden or Al Leiter could take his spot.

Seriously Ian Kennedy would probably take his spot. One of there young arms in the minors.

i’m sure all the strip club employees in the boston area would agree. for the record though the arroyo and pedroia sit’s were bush league no question IMO. the toronto thing while maybe not the most “sporting” thing to do was entirely on the the blue jays guy for allowing himself to be distracted like that. hopefully he keeps that one in the bag when/if he ‘s playin 3b for the sox. and i’m kidding about that but he’s not the first or last to pull that one. it’s really no different than say faking a cut off throw or the hidden ball trick IMO.

Let’s not forget about A-Rod’s antics against Arroyo back in 2004. The play itself didn’t bother me, it was his reaction after the incident. He had a look of ” Who Me “…

He is probably the best player I have ever seen in my life but giving him 30 million a year for the next 7 seasons. I am not in favor of that. When his career is all said and done, he could be the all time H.R. Leader, most hits and the most R.B.I.’s ever. That to me is amazing!!!

i will have to say cashman is a helluva lot better than theo at wasting $$$$$. and that’s saying something.

well considering manny is going to be 36 next year, if he’s even there, and carlos lee and vernon wells are getting close to 20mm for their prod i’d say that’s what market rate is and it’s worth it. close to it anyway. it’s not like with all they have going away they can’t afford it. they will still have plenty to make other moves if necessary. well depending on how good of a pre-nup henry had i suppose.

I say thank you to Mike Mussina. It is fun watching this Yankee team melt right in front of our own eyes.

The 2007 A.L. East champs are the Boston Red Sox.

The Sox say their not celebrating yet, so lets take “the boys”(no offense intended Smckinny) advice and not get ahead of ourselves, but . . . . Thanks a whole heck of a lot Mike Mussina, Edwar Ramirez
and Sean Henn for a 9-0 for The Tigers.

The Red Sox as a team shouldn’t look ahead because if they do they’ll be passed. Fans can of course.

Tigers bats should be thanked as well.

bosox, don’t be so quick to call us the champs yet, I’m waiting until that magic number dips another 10 games. Please people, no jinxing.

We have nothing to do with whether they win it or not. I know some of you out there think that but think about it for 1 second. That has always been funny to me and it always will be.

I guess I might have jinxed the Red Sox chances by writing that. A curse of some sort.

Yankees of course is a veteran team and they will not quit after this dreadful trip. They still have a great chance at the wildcard. There division chances are slim and none.

i’m certainly feeling a lot more optimistic than i was a week ago but personally i won’t be celebrating until the magic # is 1 or less and i hope they don’t either. home field
( aka best record ) is huge. did anybody see the stat on a-rod? when you count runs scored and rbi’s he’s personally accounted for appx 30% of their offense this year. now i’m worried the yankees might reconsider their decision not to neg with him if he opts out!

I have always been optimistic with this team. I haven’t been happy with there .500 play for about 2 months but baseball is a long season as we know. Look back in 2004, fast start and then they played .500 ball for a while. They got hot in late August and got the wildcard. Red Sox are a veteran team so you figured they would have responded eventually. Of course we wonder what Francona is thinking but for the most part he pushes the right buttons. To me this team isn’t just about the winning the division it is about playing deep into October. That is what this team was put together for and that is what we root for. Anything short of that to me would be extremely dissapointing. Get the best record in the A.L. and make sure the road to the World Series goes thru Fenway.

smckinny: Good points on the whole A-Rod bit (well, maybe not so good on the strip club part ;-) but…).

If I remember correctly, most of the players on the BoSox have no issues with A-Rod. However, how much of the payroll are Theo & Co. willing to roll into one player? I know his stats are just crazy, but that’s still a lot of money in one player.

IMHO, Lowell’s been pretty durable, and from day one people have said he’ll love Fenway because The Green Monstah will turn him into more of a doubles machine. Not only has he done that, he’s just been off the charts. Plus, lets not forget about clubhouse chemistry. I think after seeing what A-Rod did in 2004, you think Theo & Co want to add that to the clubhouse?

Bottom line: while A-Rod puts up the stats, he’s more of an annoying “diva” than some other players. Sure you can say Manny’s “diva-esque” but teammates like him more often than not (so it seems).

The Sox need to stay focused and continue to play quality baseball. They don’t need to worry about the Yankees or anyone else. If they take care of business, everything else will take care of itself, period.

Here’s why I think A-Rod will not end up in Boston. He’s 32 years old, and will be looking for a long term contract, probably 7 years. I don’t think the Sox are interested in that. If he takes three or four years, the Sox could entertain that. I also don’t think the Sox could take on A-Rod and keep Manny. That’s just too much money. Manny will turn 36 next season and I doubt anyone will take on his salary, especially because I think he would insist on the new club exercising the option on his contract. He’s soon to become a DH. If the Sox could move Manny, A-Rod would be a real possibility.

I think Schilling is gone. They will look for a quality starter during the off season to fill his slot in the rotation. I think they’ll season Bucholz one more year, or at least part of it, in Pawtucket. A quality starter will take priority over A-Rod. This year’s edition of the Red Sox is proof positive of the importance of good pitching.

I see Lowell returning if he doesn’t want a long term contract. The Sox will pay him fairly for two years, but no more than that. He’s having an extraordinary year and has been a durable player and consistent producer for a long time. If the Sox resign Lowell, the A-Rod deal is dead for sure.

If everything went like I would like to see it go, the lineup next year might look something like this:

Ellsbury CF

Pedroia 2B

A-Rod SS

Ortiz DH

Lowell 3B

Drew RF

Youk 1B

Varitek C

Crisp LF

Thoughts?

gsm,

You don’t have Lugo back. I don’t think the Sox will get rid of him during the winter. He has 27 million remaining with 3 years left on his current contract. If the Red Sox do get rid of Lugo they’ll have to eat alot of that 9 million for next season. I think among the starters on this team, Crisp will be the guy that will be dealt. Ellsbury of course will be the guy in c.f. next season and hopefully for years to come. I have no idea if A-Rod will be signed by the Red Sox and neither does anyone else of course, pure speculation.

Holy **** hit the fan in Detroit last night. Sox go to the Big Apple with an 8 game lead in the standings. Momentum is everything they say and one team looks a little lethargic. Who’s getting to the playoffs out of the Angels, Mariners, Tigers, Indians, and Yankees?

gsm:

It doesn’t look to me like your list jibes with your rationale, specifically at SS and 3B. You say you don’t think A-Rod will wind up in Boston if Lowell stays (“If the Sox resign Lowell, the A-Rod deal is dead for sure”), but you’ve got both of them in your lineup. It’s early yet and I haven’t had my coffee, but I’m scratching my head here.

Other than that little niggle, I’d be pretty happy with that lineup. I’m not sure what the relative merits are of having Crisp move to LF as opposed to Ellsbury, but one or the other would have to cover Manny’s spot.

As much as I’d like to see that lineup, I have my doubts that it will actually come to pass, even if the Sox were to win the Series this year. It seems like Theo likes to tinker with things too much to have 6 of the 8 position players the same two years in a row.

Vince – I agree the Yankee bullpen is not that bad, but I think it is a stretch to put Farnsworth and Ramirez in there as examples. Ramirez’s ERA (presumably up a bit after last night) must be from a very small sample of games (maybe 7 or 8 innings?) and there’s no way they would use him in a crunch game that is close. Farnsworth is maybe a bit more likely to be used, but this is a guy who by all accounts they were begging to trade a few weeks ago. It will take a while before they regain confidence in him. It is all well having good stats on Ramirez and Farnsworth but unless they are trusted, it limits the impact they are going to have, and so compromizes the effectiveness of the Yankee bullpen.

And stats such as “Eight of their last nine innings have been for no runs” are quickly erased by last night’s one. Nine innings is way too small a sample to use.

It’s great to see Mussina get shelled again after his quote when asked if he is fighting for his spot in the rotation… “Who are they going to replace me with?”. How about a bucket of wet turds? That would be about as effective as Mussina is right now.

if they trade manny a-rod is a necessecity! look at the numbers. schill, clement, lowell, and hinske rep appx 35mm. if they pay a-rod say 28-30 that still leaves 5-7 to invest in pitcher or whatever they want. that’s if they don’t inc. payroll a dime. they could maybe even get schill to come back for that and no doubt ( god forbid ) if they wanna take another chance on clement he could signed for much less. if a-rod opts and they do sign him i agree that for the first time they will make a concerted effort to move manny but it’s not a neceissity IMO. the following year they gain another 20mm in salary room. assuming they don’t pick up his option which seems unlikely right now. as far as not wanting to give a-rod a 7-8 yr deal. i disagree. imagine the marketing opp’s with a-rod closing in on breaking the HR record in a sox uniform. it’ll be int to see how it pans out. one things for certain IF he opts you’ll know boras already has a deal ( or at least an option ) in place. you don’t walk away from 81mm without a pretty good idea where you’re headed.

smckinny,

This just in A-Rod and Boras don’t have a deal in place. That is not going on right now. One team that is hoping A-Rod opts out is the Texas Rangers, they’ll be cleared of A-Rod’s contract. Of course that organazation with the extra $$$ will screw it up anyway. Boston should get involved just to make sure the Yankees pay even more for the services of A-Rod. I’m not in favor of signing A-Rod, finacially it doesn’t make alot of sense to me. From a baseball perspective, it makes all the sense in the world. The best player in my lifetime!!! Your committing to many $$$$ to one player. It can and will restrict your payroll, your hands will be tied.

Sox are going to hammer the NYY tonite. They are peaking at the right time. The Yanks have had their fun and now they are coming back to earth. This series will be fun for the Sox.

Brian, you are right about Lugo. That was kind of a dram lineup if everything went the way I would like it to go. But we both know Lugo and Manny will be back next year for the very reasons you stated. So with that in mind, they should just make a solid offer to Mikey.

Robinbetsy, you’re right. The lineup doesn’t jive with my rationale. The lineup is what I would like to see, I think my rationale is sound and A-Rod will be somewhere else because the Sox will be stuck with Manny and Lugo. Now in the scheme of things, that’s not so bad because I think Lugo will be better next year than he is this year, and Manny will be Manny. As far as having Ellsbury in CF and Crisp in LF, Ellsbury has just as much, or more range, and a much better arm. Crisp could lead the league in assists from Fenway’s left field, much like Manny does.

Arnie, I think whenever the Yankees and the Sox get together, whatever happened the day or the week before is out the window. After getting their collective arses handed to them in Detroit last night, you know the Yankess will come out with something to prove and they will be focused. The Sox better have their A-Game together and Dice-K better cease with the walks or he’ll get punished. You can’t pitch from a 3-1 count to Abreu, A-Rod, Giambi and Posada and expect success.

I hate tonight’s match up, I find it very hard to see Pettitte, the guy considered the Yankee stopper, losing to Dice-K, who has control issues, pitching against one of the most patient offences, while Dice K also gets poor run support. Hopefully I will be proved wrong.

I have a question. A lot of people earlier on this year said we should get rid of Wake next year. He’d had a couple of poor starts in a row I think. Do people still think the same? For me, he is performing above himself at the moment (joint league leader in wins?!) but I think he is a great guy to have, and a really consistent fourth or fifth starter. He gets shelled sometimes, but he will usually get a couple more wins than losses. That is as much, if not more, than you can ask for a number four or five guy. Has anyone changed their mind on him? Or do they reckon he should still go?

You’re right gsm, but I want to think positive. This blog has been a little down the past few weeks so I thought I’d do my part to cheerlead. But you can’t totally discount the fact that the Sox are playing better and they have a lot of confidence, whereas the Yankees are fighting for the wildcard and just are not as good as they should be, and they know it. Sorry, too long of a sentence.

Alright I used to love pondering with the idea of trading Lugo and making room for A-Rod to play short and keep Lowell at third base.Can you imagine facing a line up featuring A-Rod,Ortiz,Manny,Lowell,and Drew?Yeah.

By the way guys,sorry I haven’t been around.And also,Kinny,I will NOT judge you.If you profess to be a Red Sox fan,I will just take your word for it.

brian. we’ll just have to disagree on the a-rod thing. the way i look at they have appx 55mm sch to come off the payroll in the next 2 yrs. schill, manny, clement, lowell, and hinske. 35 of that next year alone. how much flexibility do you think they need? every position with the exception of 3rd is pretty much locked in for the next 2 -3 years at least barring a trade. i didn’t say they HAD a deal in place what i said was when decision time rolls around IF he does opt out you can bet boras will already know what kind of options he has and with whom and to me nobody can compete with boston financially EXCEPT of course the yankees. i tend to think their ego’s would get in the way though but that’s probably wishful thinking on my part.

bottom line on wakefield IMO is he can probably pitch until he’s 50 with as little strain as he puts on his arm. i mean he’s basically throwing batting practice in terms of velocity. and you’re right he’s usually gonna give you as many wins as losses if not one or two more. my guess is with his, by MLB pitcher standards, relatively low salary as long as he’s anywhere near 500 they’ll let him pitch as long as he wants. he’s given them a very good ROI over the years. i don’t have a problem with him at over 162 games but i get really nervous when pitches in the postseason.

Brendan, I was thinking that Wake had lost it when he went through that rough patch. Then there was the fact that if you had Wake you also had to have Mirabelli, and he was not producing anything. So it was 2 roster spots wasted. But now Wake has made some adjustment, or found the feel for the pitch, or whatever, and he’s back. And Cash could be a back-up catcher option So things look much brighter now.

Wakefield also eats a lot of innings.

smickinny,

Very true about the payroll coming off in the next season or two. Remember there will be more payroll added on as well. Papelbon, of course the Red Sox get lucky there because he is a closer. We all know closers don’t get as much $$$$ than a front line starter does. Youkilis after this season is arbrtration elgible, so that means he’ll be getting a significant increase in his salary. Didn’t we here after the 2004 season about all the payroll that was coming off? What did Theo do, sign Renteria to big $$$$ and the Sox had to eat part of that deal last year and I believe some of it this year. With this team there will always be big $$$$ contracts hanging around. A-Rod is one of the greatest players of all time and when this season is over he still will not have a championship. Some his fault, some not, but the facts are the facts. I believe it will restrict there hands when you tie so much to one player. If this basketball I would be all for it, that is where the stars usually win. Jordan, Bird and Magic of course just to name a few. A-Rod is obviously that caliber of player. He’ll go down as one of the greatest if not the greatest player of all time.

Hey Arnie, I’m right there with you. Cheer on brother!

The great thing about Wakefield is that he’s in great shape. Physically, he could probably pitch another 10 years. The thing you have to be with a knuckleball pitcher is patient. There are just days when knuckleballs don’t knuckle and they sit up there like beach balls waiting to be clobbered. That’s a bad thing. Then there are days when a knuckleball flutters so much, the pitcher has no clue what it’s going to do and he’s all over the place walking batters and throwing wild pitches. Then he has to rely on his 72 MPH fast ball to get people out. Um, that’s not a good thing either. Then there are days when that freakin knuckler is like magic and he can do whatever he wants with it just by changing the angle of his arm, or changing speeds. Wake has been having a lot of that lately.

If you look at the stats of the great knuckleballers like Phil and Joe Niekro, Wilbur Wood, and Hoyt Wilhelm, their winning pct. is right around the same as Wakefields. If you’re looking for a guy to go 19-4, it’s unlikely to be Wakefield. A good knuckleballer year is 16-12 or something like that.

There are going to be days when they give up 10 runs in two innings, and days when they are almost unhittable. So the question really is whether a 16 or 17 game winner is good enough to be a number four or five pitcher. The answer should be a resounding YES!!!! What other staff has a number 4 pitcher at 16-10? I’m thiking there aren’t any.

All that being said, The Sox are getting a bargain with their lifetime deal with Wakefield. At 4 million a year, I’m thinking there are 31 other teams in the league who would take him tomorrow.

Jeff/Vince: Did either of you receive my e-mail??? I’ve been having trouble with me email system and bell south. Please let me know. The e-mail was sent either Sunday or Monday. Thanks, EC.

I’m very surprised Ian hasn’t written a new post. Ian: Are you out there??? we miss you………..

I would have liked to see Kielty in the lineup tonight vs Pettite. I would assume the reason Drew is in tonight’s lineup is because Francona wants Drew’s glove out there as opposed to Kielty in r.f. Just a guess on that.

bosoxbrian. valid points but here’s the thing most sox fans don’t want to ack. if it weren’t for the yankees we would be the yankees. boston has far more finanacial resources than any team in MLB except for that team from the bronx. we all know that even if manny is there next year they probably won’t ex his option years so he’s likely gone in a max of 1 year. where do you go to replace that production? yeah texiera will be avail after next year but even he will likely cost 20mm a year. basically the way i look at it it could cost 10mm a yr additional for easily ( well except for maybe pujols ) the most productive hitter in baseball. maybe ever. i just don’t see how you can’t do it given the opportunity when there’s no way it straps you financially. the fact this team is where they are considering their lack of power this year is amazing and it’s not something you can count on every year IMO. if you could the angels and padres would play in the series every year.

smckinny— Of course if the Yankees didn’t exist we would be the Yankees. Sox payroll is 2nd right behind the Yankees.

I believe signing A-Rod to a long term deal would tie the Red Sox hands. To me that is too much $$$$ to 1 guy. I would love to see the $$$$ spread around and have a balanced team with no noticeable weak links. Word had it out of Texas is that Texeria turned down a 130 million dollar deal, I don’t know if that is true or not. Look at these teams that have signed these guys to 100 million dollar deals, there hands are tied. Of course those teams aren’t the Sox or Yankees but PAYROLL FLEXIBILITY to me is something that is very important to a baseball team. These salaries are going so high and these teams lock them into long term deals and after about a year so wonder why did I do that? How many times have you read/heard about teams trying to unload contracts? White Sox might have traded away Contreas already but can’t because of his 18 million for the next 2 seasons. Blue Jays will wonder in about 2 years why did they ever give Vernon Wells that kind of $$$$. I say A-Rod is a great player and that might be an insult to him but tying yourself up for several years to 1 guy with that kind of $$$$ I don’t like it. Payroll Flexibility is one thing I would love to see with the Red Sox and I don’t see that happening if they signed A-Rod.

O boy, Dice has already given up 2 runs. You think the A-Rod thing was on purpose? If it was, u think Pettitte will retaliate?

brian. fair enough but i just don’t see where they would lose the flex you’re talking about. have they lost anybody they wanted because manny was gettin 20mm a yr? i really think the lack of run support is in dice-k’s head. he’s looks like he’s trying to be so fine that it’s affecting his overall style. better get the bullpen ready tito.

30 million per season is a whole new animal.

I don’t know if lack of run support is in Dice-K’s head. He has a hard time throwing strikes consistently. Nice approach by Ramirez, shooting it the other way. When you fall behind hitters you will get hurt for sure.

I don’t think hitting A-Rod was on purpose. Just trying to pitch inside that’s all. Dice-K doesn’t know how to pitch inside yet. Sometimes when you go inside your going to hit someone. Clemens saw that and he’ll line up someone tomm for sure. We know how he is, he sticks up for his mates just like Pedro.

You never know with baseball. First inning Pettitte throws 7 pitches. Dice-K gets in all kinds of trouble. Now it’s the top of the 3rd, Pettitte has thrown 54 pitches and it’s tied. Looks a little better for the Sox. Go Dice-K!!

Yankees have stranded 3 runners in scoring position thru 3 innings. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Feels better when it’s the other side with the LOB’s.

Sox need to give Dice runs. Jeter just homered so we’re down by one. Sox need to score more for this guy.

Lowell leadoff single and he was stranded. Pedroia a single with 1 out and he is stranded. I don’t like too see that.

Jeter has been struggling but we all knew he would show up in this series.

How about that squirrel on top of the foul pole. How funny was that.

Everytime I watch a game at Yankee Stadium, I always think of that kid that was on the net behind home plate. That to me was a great moment.

Mickey Mantle said his best moment at Yankee Stadium was something that happened in the bullpen after he got hurt. Let’s say Mantle scored during that game but it wasn’t for his Yankees. Great story, who knows if it is true.

I don’t want to sound negative here, but Drew’s useless. 14MM dollars for one good game vs Arizona. Wonder how much it would cost for a good week out of him?

Your not sounding negative, your telling the truth about Drew. Kielty should have been in the lineup tonight. We all know that.

30mm is just a number for the sox and yankees it’s irrelevent. it just means the difference in paying somebody like cora or hinske 3-4 mm a yr vs bringing up a minor leaguer. not that they don’t bring value but there are 30 guys out there like that if not more. kielty would be a good example. it has no impact on who they would put on the field every day. if this holds up that would mean in 11 losses they’ve scored 11 runs in support of dice-k. that is absolutely MINDBOGGLING!

Easy for you to say that 30 million is irrelevent. One of the reasons back when the Red Sox wanted A-Rod and didn’t get him was the $$$$$ and the length of the contract. How quick we forget.

Dice-K for some reason doesn’t get run support. Lowe would get a bunch of runs when he pitched for the Sox. Dice-K should sue for lack of run support.

I wish someone would delete you, and bosox Ian. I F-A-R-T on both your Moms’ heads. LOL!!!!

Hmmmm, “JD Drew useless”… where have I heard that before??? OOPS, there goes my “if you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all” philosophy. I just can’t keep it in anymore. For 14 million a year, you’d think he’s could get a “clutch” hit every once in a while.
But…. The team as a whole needs to just Rock the lleh out of Yankee Stadium tonight.

I hope Beckett has as good a game as he’s been all year.

Let’s Go RedSox!!!!

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