Three wins down, eight to go

Remember that Red Sox team everyone was so worried about in September. The team that looked old and tired. The team that one veteran Boston sports columnist felt was the FOURTH best American League team in the playoffs?

Well, that team is gone. It has been replaced by a team that looks like it’s on a certifiable roll and is clicking exactly when you want to click.

Seriously, could things have gone any better for the Red Sox in this series? Beckett was Beckett and even added another notch or two. Schilling was phenomenal. Dice-K struggled, but even that game didn’t get out of hand.

And Manny and Ortiz are absolutely on fire. A combined 8-for-15 in the series with four homers. When those two guys are hot at the same time, the Red Sox are an incredibly tough team to beat.

The rotation is fresh, the bullpen, aside from Game 2, was not asked to do any heavy lifting.

And now maybe the Yankees and Indians wear each other down these next few days while the Red Sox sit around and rest.

Quite frankly, the Red Sox are the healthiest they’ve been in weeks and they have championship swagger at the moment.

Will it last? We’ll have to wait until Friday to find out. But something special might be going on over these next couple of weeks. The Red Sox definitely have that look about them right now.

More later,

Ian.

238 Comments

It sounds like the team is getting hot at just the right moment. We can only hope that Cleveland/Yanks goes to 5, with the Indians sneaking through after 15 innings ;)

They looked great. But, let’s face it, the Angels were a bit banged up, and even when healthy their offense isn’t that of the Indians, or certainly not the Yanks.

It was a perfect series. But it’s not time to start planning the parade just yet.

-Dan

http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

I think there is very little chance that this Indians/Yankees series does not go 5 games.

Paul Byrd pitching on the road in a hostile environment, with Wang at home and tired (apparently making his sinker more effective).

I foresee a high scoring game on the Yankees end, my only hope is that A-Rod continues to hit rinky-dink singles and do nothing of value in the playoffs.

It would be sweet to have either of the team’s aces go in Game 5. Especially if the Tribe wins and Carmona has to pitch in Game 1 of the ALDS at Fenway. Maybe he’ll be reminded of that 3-run walkoff bomb he gave up to Papi last year and crumble.

as much as i hate see them hang around i suppose the best case sceario would be for NY to win tonite and lose at cleve on wednesday. the you wouldn’t get carmona and cc back to back anytime i don’t think. they ( NY ) are really dangerous in a one game situtation though. i hope boston does the pitching rotation the same way personally. let dice pitch game 2 and let schill throw the first road game. clemens being out ( if he is ) may actually help the yankees shuld they get by cleve. i’m not so sure hughes isn’t better pitcher right now. even if he was healthy.

zachary. what are you gonna do if the yankees and sox end up switching 3rd basemen in the offseason? it’s not out of the realm of possibility. although based on steinbrenner’s comments this weekend i’d say the chances are higher than ever he’ll be back in NY.

I’ll become a Mets fan and hope Pedro can give me two more good years of memories like he did in ’99 and 2000.

Steinbrenner is so transparent,– that comment about not taking Torre back unless he wins this series, is all about motivating the players, and more directed at them than Torre. They love Torre and will now play for him as extra motivation. I wonder how many series Steinbrenner will keep milking this. If you lose, I will take away your beloved Joe — I guess Stienbrenner still has the low road in him, even now.

zach. what about pedro in ’04? i got a feeling the only way you’ll get anymore good memories out of him is if he comes back to boston.

steinbrenner did say this weekend that he was confident they would “RE-SIGN” a-rod which would contradict what cashman has said about not neg with him if/when he opt’s out. of course he’s pretty old he may not even rem what a-rod’s deal is. as for torre. that may be a smokescreen. i doubt it though. george is gettin on up there and i’m sure the urgency to win another title or two has been stepped up a bit. personally i think he (torre) may not wanna come back. that’s gotta get old eventually. he’s prob made about 50MM ( or more maybe ) as their coach. i know he’s got a home at kapalua in hawaii overlooking the ocean/golf course. that would look a lot better to me than putting up with that mess every year.

smckinny: wow — didn’t know that, I definitely would opt for Hawaii — then again, I am not a Yankee fan!!!

I like your explanation better, but it still is like motivation by threat, or he wouldn’t have said it now — typical S. move.

Unless the players already know what is going on, and have already resigned that Joe is moving on after this season, either way — it could give them a point to rally behind, as underhanded as that kind of motivation is.

well i hope they rally for one more game and then ol CC shuts them down on wed.

I would feel confident with us facing CC and Fausto back to back,no problem.I think we are just too locked in at this point to fall.

like everyone else, i would like the team we play tired. but, i would like the yankees out of the picture as soon as possible. tonight would be great.

Steinbrenner is so pathetic it’s comical. Did he think the players were sitting around thinking “Well, we’re down 2-0 in a best of five series, we’d better just hang it up,” but when he said he might fire Torre they said “Oh, maybe we should start trying.”

What maroon. (Apologies to Bugs Bunny.)

This series was a great confidence booster for our boys, and it also gave them a chance to see where things are coming together and where there needs to be some improvement. I think it’s great that they swept the Angels and now have a little time to work out the kinks before starting up again on Friday.

Those guys are going to work out all week and prepare, and as a fan I’m really excited about our chances to go all the way, no matter who they wind up playing.

I think strategically, if the NY/Cleveland series goes five games, it’s better for the Sox no matter who wins it. Boston’s pitching is shaping up exactly the way they need it to be, and the hitting is coming together in a big way. I hope they spend a lot of time on batting practice and coaching on swings over the next few days to try and strengthen their offense, which they’ll need against either the Yankees or the Indians.

______________________

SMCKINNEY says: “what are you gonna do if the yankees and sox end up switching 3rd basemen in the offseason?”

I think the Red Sox would be foolish not to sign Mike Lowell to a contract for at least one year, maybe even longer. Lowell has been the glue on this team all season, he’s an RBI machine, he’s rock solid at Third, and he represents the best character of the Red Sox. And quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to see Alex Rodriguez in a Red Sox uniform even if they could get him for what they’re paying Dustin Pedroia this year.

A-Rod is a distraction, he’s radioactive, he’s club-house poison and not at all a good fit for Boston – and certainly not worth 30 Mil a year! His negatives and baggage far outweigh any potential benefit he might bring, and realistically, Boston’s power hitting is pretty solid as it stands right now.

We just have to make sure that Theo is over his Cialis pryopism for A-Rod. We don’t want, or need A-Rod in Boston.

______________________

It’s kind of a toss up about who I’d rather see the Sox play – they’ve got a better record against the Indians, but it would be great to spank the Yankees again, and if this last series with the Angels proved anything, its that it all comes down to pitching, and I think Boston’s pitching beats NY’s without any doubt whatsoever.

My two cents – I really think the whole “we’re getting rest while the other two teams toil away” argument is over rated. Nobody really knows the value of the rest/rust dynamic. I am sure it depends on the team, the individual players, and a ton of other factors. I do know that the Cardinals went through to the World Series having played an epic 7 game series with the Mets, and then managed to beat a Tigers team which had swept the A’s.

Also, I don’t think it can be said enough how brilliantly Francona (oh wait sorry Francoma) has managed this team. He managed them to the best record in baseball, has created the best bullpen in the league through its efficient use (not over taxing them) and whatever the outcome of the ALCS, there is no doubt the Red Sox look the strongest team going in there. His shutting down of Manny and Okajima were not easy to do, particularly with the clamouring over the AL East. But both have been vital for us thus far and extremely effective. I can’t believe a lot of people want to see Francona fired.

brendan, I would agree with you about the rest thing. The Sox are already very well rested. Their biggest concern will be staying sharp. Beckett will be pitching on eight days rest. That’s not always a good thing for a power pitcher. I do think more rest helps Dice-K.

You want to pay A-Rod 30 million, or Lowell 12 million. No question, A-Rod is the best player in baseball, but he’s not 18 million better than Lowell. Give Lowell 3 years, pay him fairly, use the difference to get a top notch starting pitcher if there is one available. Mikey wants to stay, and the Sox need him to.

I also think it would be very difficult for Mikey to go to the Yankees. I could be wrong, but I think it would be an integrity issue for him. Schilling made some comments about that earlier in the year, and while I do think he indirectly slammed Johnny Damon, I like that attitude. I think if Mikey leaves, he could wind up in Philly where they need a third baseman and they would probably be willing to pay him.

I think the two names you see most often in the off season are Coco Crisp and Jacoby Ellsbury. If Manny stays, one of them has to go. Both are too good and worth too much to be kept as a fourth outfielder. It should be interesting.

If I were Theo, I’d wrap up Lowell and I’d probably try to extend Schilling for a year and I think now is the time to do that. Not only would it take care of business, but it would solidify and already close knit team even more.

nina. have to disaree w/ya on a-rod. no need in re-hashing all the reasons why. suffice it to say he’s the best all round player in the game. and lowell will never agree to a 1 year deal. he’ll be looking at 3-4 at 11-12mm per. i just don’t see theo doin that. somebody will but not theo IMO. if he’ll let the guys he’s let walk go ( and he was usually correct ) no way he gets emotionally attached to lowell. for the record though. if they can’t get a-rod or possibly cabrerra from the marlins there’s no one i’d rather have than lowell. my guess is IF they don’t get a-rod they will wind up with cabrerra or atkins from the rockies via a trade.

brendan. you’re correct about the whole “rest” thing. which kind of contradicts you’re whole not “over taxing” the bullpen during the year argument but what ever. i’m convinced your tito’s/franCOMA’s agent though. well actually it’s either you or ian. maybe you’re one and the same. ha! nah, he has made good decisons in the postseason. like i said after the year if you look at the body of work with him IMO so far it’s not that impressive except for 8 games in ’04. this year SO FAR it’s worked. we’ll see if it continues. i hope it does. i’ll have no problem saying i was wrong. he still manages too much for a future that may never get here IMO and that won’t change. see lou piniella last week for evidence of what can happen when you do that.

smckinny, if A-Rod goes 3-17 in this series and the Yankees lose, do you still want him?

It’s a given that A-Rod’s a great player, but I have faith that Boston can get to the postseason without him most years.

If you agree, then why would we pay $30 million/year for a player who’s going to help your team achieve something they could do without him? Because we know the guy is essentially dead weight in the postseason.

gsm. the difference is lowell came up through the yankee system. so if he’s not back in boston i think he would entertain it if it becomes an option. and i wouldn’t hold it agianst him one bit. damon on the other hand is a winy lil baby and schill did call him out and should have. he got his feelings hurt because he wasn’t WOOED in the proper manner by the sox. i’m not even sure it was a money thing. he just wanted to be begged to come back to message his ego. personally if a-rods avail i’d pay him the 30MM, trade manny, and keep coco and jacoby. he’s prob the only guy i’d trade manny for though. i got a feelin manny will come back HUGE next year. i think coco will wind up being involved in a trade for a 3rd baseman though. i also agree with you on schill. i don’t think there’s a better free agent out there. i’d move wake to the pen and go with schill, beck, dice, buch, and lester. you always got wake in the tavares role if someone gets hurt.

zachary. YES. and they can get to the playoffs most years without him but he’s the best player in the game. why would you not want him if he’s avail.? a-rod’s first year in NY ( the only year they made it past the 1st rd ) he hit 400+. with seattle he hit 300+ in their playoff app’s. the last 2 years he’s struggled in the first round but so has everybody else on that team. and they’ve lost in the first round. and i hope they continue to do so this year. but that won’t change my position on a-rod.

Hey all, How ironic that Trot hit a home run and then let a couple come in last night. can’t remember thae last time I saw him blow a routine play like that… WOW…
Anyway here’s hoping that we’ve got a plenty rested team that’s REALLY ready to go Friday night at the Fen!!

It’s great to be back!!!

Smckinny – I don’t think it contradicts it at all. For my money, the regular season is like a marathon where you have to pace yourself. I commend Tito on his use of the bullpen throughout the year, allowing people enough work whereby they didn’t get rusty but by no means overstretching them. Obviously he was aided by a solid rotation but a lot was on him. The rustiness thing now is completely out of Tito’s hands. You can’t lose a game in the post season to try and make sure your bullpen and starters get regular work. Therefore, if pitching is rusty heading into the ALCS, that is something that is completely outside his control.

I think if you think that Tito manages too much for a futue that may never happen, you need to compare him against teams that are the opposite. A lot of teams this year blew out big arms in their bullpen, and while that’s not necessarily due to overuse, it can definitely be a part of it. You can say the Yankees were managing for a future that might never happen with the so called Joba rules, but he is now fresh going into the playoffs and will be a weapon for them. You mught say they use Mo more but they have over 10 years of familiarity of what he can do and how effective he can be in different situations.

I think everyone thinks Piniella’s reasoning was ridiculous. You have seen Tito is more willing to stretch people out more now that we are in the final stretch – he would never have done what Piniella did.

welcome back ellen. don’t think you gotta worry about being rested. **** i’m afraid they’ll be in vacation mode already!

Sox well rested and Ellen resting, that to me is a winning combination!!! I’m sure everyone agrees.

With Byrd pitching tonight, this series is going back to Cleveland. Way too many baserunners when Byrd is on the hill. Yankees will be threatning all night. Will Byrd see the 4th inning tonight?

Yankees 9

Tribe 3

For the most part Francona did the right thing with the bullpen during the year.

Name me a manager that handles his pitching staff perfectly? You’ll be thinking a long time. Handling those ego’s and how you handle your pitching staff is the key to success for a big league manager. Francona obviously does a good job for the most part!!!

One more thing – I have heard the Gange trade being talked about as one of the worst trades ever, and while there is no dout he has not performed, I think the reasoning behind the trade was very solid. If you take a look at what you were getting – CY Young winner, only reliever to have a season never to have blown a save, etc. – I think it was hard to envision how Gagne would struggle. However, the principal of why he was brought here was solid.

I think the Front Office sensed Oki might not be able to keep his high standards up. He was bound to get tired, and the league was going to start figuring him out. This is a guy that had a 3.30 ERA in Japan after all. So while it may not have worked out because of Gagne’s form, I think the foresight of why Gagne was brought here was very good.

Gagne has had a hard time dealing with pitching in the 8th. It has been a major adjustment for him. He obviously hasn’t adjusted. The Red Sox certainly didn’t see that coming.

I hope the Sox don’t go with 3 catchers again. That made no sense at all. I would rather have an extra pitcher such as Corey or Tavarez.

Hey Ellen, welcome back.

I got to admit, although i said earlier that Wang, Pettite and Sabathia having to work extra shifts before earning a spot in ALDS would be a good thing for the well-rested Sox, i’m totally unable to wish a Yankee win. I give up. So i’m rooting for an Indians win tonight and if it means ( and it does ) we’ll have to face Sabathia in game 1, so be it.

Josh can handle that kind of challenge, and i believe the lineup can too.

I really don’t care who wins tonight. If the Sox play the way they are capable of, they will beat both the Yankees or the Tribe.

Anytime Paul Byrd is your starter, you should be praying!!! Way too many hits allowed during the season!!!

Let’s put it that way : for that game, my heart is with the Tribe and my money is on the Yanks.

Like Gwynn just said, Byrd is the same kind of pitcher as Westbrook, so …………

Roll call wasn’t even done and the Yankees were down 1-0.

LOL….

Off topic but is it Friends Pheobe Buffet in the first row behind home plate ? Just above the yankees.com ad, on the right.

smckinny,

Theo is a sabermetrics guy, so I don’t think any decision about Mike Lowell is going to be based on emotions. However, Theo has been very emotional about Alex Rodriguez, which is silly and dangerous for the organization.

This whole A-Rod is the best player to ever play the game is a media thing. The numbers don’t agree.

Let’s take a comparative look at the numbers:

Mike Lowell – .324 average, 21 HR, 120 RBI

Alex Rodriguez – .314 average, 54 HR, 156 RBI

A-Rod has better speed, but is only one year younger than Mike Lowell. And if you look at the numbers over the last three seasons, there’s not an enormous difference between the two players. So what are they really getting for that extra 18 Million they’d have to pay A-Rod? Headaches.

This ‘Best Player in the Game’ thinking is really kind of silly and is purely a media and fan creation.

So the question becomes if you can get Lowell for 11-12 Mil a year for even a three year deal, isn’t that a better deal than paying A-Rod 30 Mil a year and still having to deal with his negatives? I don’t think so. It’s not smart management.

Your other comments about trading Manny, Coco, and/or Ellsbury don’t make much sense to me either. The rule in baseball is that you don’t judge players in the spring or in the fall. There’s really no rationale offered as to why the Red Sox would trade Manny or Coco, to get what exactly?

If anything, the Red Sox have suffered from having too much talent on their team this year! Which presents its own set of problems and issues as to what to do with some of the younger prospects like Ellsbury.

As for the way Tito as managed this team… one word; masterful.

Brendan,

Fairly good analysis about the Gange’ situation, but let’s remember that this was a short term acquisition – they’re not married to the guy. Tho I’d still rather have Kason Gabbard back!

Both Matsuzaka and Okajima need to be looked at as rookies, despite what they did in Japan – this was very much an adjustment year for both of them, and I think John Farrell has managed the bullpen magnificently, and I’d expect both of these pitchers to continue to develop and improve here in Boston.

I think the real issue with Gange’ is that he looked a lot better on paper than he did on the mound. Realistically, he should have been able to make the adjustment if he were really as good as his on paper stats seemed to indicate. But I don’t think we’ll see much of Gange’ unless the Red Sox have another nine run lead and Tito wants to give Papelbon some rest.

I agree with you. I think the one thing on Gabbard is that they may have been selling a commodity at the peak of his worth. I guess only time will tell if that’s the case.

Wang seems to be stuggling a bit early but it’s hard to have confidence with Byrd up there. If I were the Indians, I’d have him on a very short leash and use their bullpen as much as possible (two from Perez, two from Betancourt, 1+ from Borowski, etc.). I could see Mussina coming in and being effective if Wang takes pulled.

nina. believe me i know how much theo is a sabre metrics geek/guru. the last 3 yrs lowell has appx 50 hr’s, 250 rbis, and is hitting 280. a-rod has appx 140 hr’s, 400 rbi’s, and is hitting .310 over that span. there’s simply no comparison. and he is the best all round player in the games because he also plays gold glove caliber def. there’s no one even close to him. it’s not media it’s a fact in this case. pujols would be the closest IMO and he’s light years behind. they would trade coco because they intend on jacoby playing center field next year. that’s prettty much a given now. they would trade manny IF they got a-rod and let coco play left. believe me i wouldn’t be disappointed if they fielded the same team next year but that is not gonna happen. as for tito. he’ll be back. i still don’t like his appraoch but if it works this year so be it. we all have our opinion’s. and mine on him remains that until this year ( which is TBD ) he has not been very impressive.

oh. and as far as having “too much talent”. that’s not possible in baseball especially IMO. it’s not like other sports where you have to share the ball. although personally i don’t think it’s possible to have too mcuh in any sport.

Tito’s resume is as follows: 2004 – won the WS. 2005 – reached playoffs but got bounced by the eventual WS winners. 2006 – did not reach playoffs but suffered an awful glut of injuries. 2007 – reached playoffs with best record in baseball, swept to reach ALCS. I don’t even care what happens in the ALCS for me to say I’ll take that unimpressiveness any day of the week. Through it all he keeps an even keel that is difficult given the environment.

Byrd against the Yankees is such a bad match up. They lay off or foul off the good pitches and punish the occasional bad ones.

brendan. they tied for the best record this year. and all teams have injuries. they also blew div leads the previous 2 years late in the season. as i’ve told you before. you like him. i respect that. he does some good things. i’ll ack that. personally though i just don’t like his overall approach. and there again i don’t find the body of work that impressive. you do. your entitled to that view.

this game is gonna take 9 hrs!

Hey all, I’ve been a long-time reader of the blog, and I had to register and log on just so I could say this.

I think it’s unfortunate that Joe Torre’s job is riding on the Yankees aging lineup. As a diehard Sox fan, he’s been a valiant foe, and I’m actually kind of sorry to think that this might be his last night in the rivalry.

smckinny, I’m with you about Tito. I’m not a huge fan of his managing style either. I think in my case it’s because he promotes a style of baseball which doesn’t necessarily equate to giving your best shot to winning every game and that, to me, gets a little frustrating at times. He’s appears to be too player friendly which puts questions in fans’ minds about who’s really running the show there. Then, there were all those moves and decisions that appeared to have no rationale. It just doesn’t feel or look right a lot of times.

All of that being said, it’s hard to chastise what he and the Sox have accomplished so far this year. Like I said going into the Angels series, the Sox were the best prepared team entering the post season. They were well rested and pretty healthy and he accomplished that while protecting a lead to win the division. So here we are, and you wonder how we got here, and all you can do is scratch your head and point to Tito. You got to give credit where credit is due and just eat a slice of humble pie and say “Nice Job Tito.”

I think the Torre era ends tonight, Yanks down by 5 and Byrd seems to be on his game.

ndc003, I agree it is unfortunate for Torre to be on the chopping block. He seems to be the least accountable member of the Yankees leadership. Cashman never put together a quality pitching staff, and as we all know, pitching gets you championships. Torre can’t swing the bats for his players, and with the talent in that lineup, how can it be Torre’s fault for the offense getting shut down by good pitching? Don’t get me wrong though, a season of managerial disarray in the Yankees camp only makes me smile as a Sox fan. I believe they’ll probably promote Mattingly to manager, who else is out there for hire that could possibly be a better skipper than Torre? There isn’t anyone, in my opinion.

rob8569: Oh I can’t argue with the Yankees in disarray either. I agree, it seems that Mattingly has been next in line for a few years now. Sometimes I wonder how much good Steinbrenner does for them vs. bad with his quick trigger finger.

Getting fired would be the best thing that could ever happen to Torre. He’s been putting up with Steinbrenner’s **** for long enough. He can go to Hawaii, retire, and enjoy the rest of his life.

Cleveland better start burying the Yanks, if they give up this 5 run lead (which is totally possible), I’d say their *** is grass in Game 5 with Pettite pitching for the Yanks. It’s unlikely they give it up, but from a game-to-game momentum standpoint, it would be a disaster for the Indians.

The also gave up a 4 run lead to the Yankees earlier this season. They were 4 up in the bottom of the ninth with 2 out and noone on.

Byrd has done a lot better than I thought after his early struggles but they shouldn’t try and overdo it. With the success of Lewis and Perez against the Yankees to date, I’d be bringing them in soon.

Ronan is coming up — time to push the mute button — or watch the Cowboys and Bills — if the Indians hold on — at least we won’t have to listen to him again this year !!!

Ronan Tynen perhaps for the final time at Yankee Stadium. NICE!!!

Another great thing. If the Sox win the A.L. Francona will be the manager for the All Star game at Yankee Stadium. That would be just GREAT!!! That would kill Yankee fans and the organazation too see a Red Sox manager in there dugout!!! Red Sox nation would be smiling that July night!!!

Watching the Bills is great as well. McGee goes all the way. Bills have 2 defensive t.d.’s and a kickoff return for a t.d.

Pats will put a hurting on the Cowboys in big D. Moss will show Owens that he is the best W.R. in the N.F.L.

It’s a great night. Yankees could get eliminated and the Cowboys are losing to the Bills. Jerry Jones doesn’t look so good and Steinbrenner will be throwing up all night!!!

A-Rod will opt out for sure. I don’t want his salary with the Red Sox. Paying too much $$$$ to one guy. The Sox are doing just fine without him. He is the best player for sure. His numbers are mind boggling. Perhaps he’ll be the all time H.R. leader, break Hank Aaron’s r.b.i. record and who knows maybe pass Pete Rose for the most hits of all time!!! That being said, the only ring he has is his wedding ring!!! The Rangers will be thrilled if A-Rod opts out of his contract!!! All that $$$$ they’ll be saving!!!

A-Rod certainly smoked that one!!!

If Torre does get canned I could see him being in the broadcast booth with some network. Make all that $$$$ and never lose a game all year!!! Sounds like a great life to me. Gets his batteries recharged and then maybe manage again.

Hawaii certainly sounds good though gsm. He can fish and golf and then fish again and perhaps golf again. Nice life for Torre, he deserves it. One of the greats of all time.

He absolutely is Brian, and a class guy on top of it all. I can’t think of a more deserving guy.

Has Tony Gwynn ever missed a meal?

I don’t want A-ROD either, but if we did go for him, I would keep Lowell, trade Lugo (somehow) and move A-Rod back to short — put up with his errors for season why he re-learns his old position.

Torre is a guy you respect for sure. There have been many managers in N.Y. that I haven’t liked/respected. Torre is class for sure. He deserves better. I think personally he has had enough anyway. He’ll walk away from it all. There is only so much you can take.

Brian, the Bills-Cowboys game is fun to watch too but i have JP Losman as my 5th QB on my fantasy team ( last pick of the draft ) so seeing Trent Edwards doing an o.k. job at the helm is eating me alive !

If the Sox do trade Lugo, they’ll have to eat alot of that contract. Let’s have the season end before we start talking about all of that. In other words, sometime around November!!!!

You have some bad q.b.’s on your team.

Was Drew Bledsoe available?

J.P. Lossman is more like it.

The Bills are a bad team but then again so aren’t the Jets and Dolphins!!!

If you add up the win totals of those 3 teams they will not add up to the Pats at season’s end.

Pats have clinced that division already.

Heck of a play by Jeter.

That could have been the game there!!!

Yankees remain alive, barely!!

I said my 5th QB. He would serve as a sub. My 4 regular QBs :

Carson Palmer

Marc Bulger ( i know, he’s injured )

Donovan McNabb

Ben Roethlisberger

Sorry folks about the football talk.

I don’t think I’d be hitting Giambi with nobody on base, especially with the way Duncan has hit.

You have 2 good ones, Palmer and Rothlisberger. McNabb I think just got sacked again as I write this!!! Football talk is good.

Ronan earlier, now I think it could be Kate Smith singing!!!

LOL….

Steinbrenner would have spent over 1 billion dollars since there last championship!!!

Money not well spent!!!

I heard the announcer say Clemens was deactivated before tonight’s game. If I understand the rules correctly, he would now not be eligible for the next series against the Red Sox if the Yankees get there.

If Borowski doesn’t implode (still a possibility), the Clemens decision won’t matter either way.

gsm,

You are correct, Clemens would be out for the A.L.C.S.

It will not matter anyway!!!

Tribe will be in Boston!!!

True enough!

Brian – you have more faith in Borowski than I do!

He is actually a good closer, he is just prone to the occasional big inning. Heart of the order up for the Yankees.

Yankees will make it interesting for sure. Too many vets around but 3 runs to tie, not going to happen!!!

Borowski is like the Todd Jones of last year. Everyone waiting for him to fail but it might not happen.

Looks like the Yankees are down to their final 3 outs…

Unless something miraculous happens with the Yankees’ offense against Borowski, we’re facing the Indians later this week.

Should be an interesting and tough match-up I’ll say.

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

Jeter mailing it in tonight!!!

It could be his last game with Torre as his manager and Jeter went down very quiet.

I can here Kate Smith warming up…

TBS just named Byrd “Player of the Game”, and it’s 1 out in the 9th, with Abreu and A-Rod expected. A-Rod has taken Borowski deep, oh, and Abrreu just homered. These TBS announcers are the worst I think I’ve heard.

If the Bosox are able to obtain A-Rod they would be foolish to turn dowm that opportunity.As far as salary is concerned baseball is playing with Monopoly money anyway. As others have indicated, the Sox should try to trade Lugo. It won’t take long for Arod to adjust. The Bosox would have some power lineup with Ortiz, Ramirez, Arod and Lowell. Another move would be to try and trade Crisp and have Ellsbury take over center field. Another trade that would be wishful thinking is to include Gagne and others to acquire Posada. The Sox should start to look for a replacement for Varitek soon anyway. Wow, what a lineup.

Those who bash A-Rod need to realize something for this series: everybody’s favorite Yankee, Jeter did absolutely nothing this series.

And it’s over!

Yankees lose! Theeeeeeeeeee Yankeees looooose!

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself :-D

pangelotti,

Posada is a free agent. You don’t have to trade for him.

Kate Smith is singing for sure!!!

Another Yankee failure in October!!!

THEEEE YANKEEEEES LOOOOOSE!!! THE YANKEEEES LOOOOOOOOOOSE!!! LOL

Vince where are you?

Don’t jump my friend!!!

2008 is right around the corner!!!

Please stay away from sharp objects!!!

Let’s talk free agents and trades after the post-season shall we folks?

We still have 8 more games to win :-D

THE YANKEES LOSE THEEEEE YANKEES LOOOOOOOOSE!!!!!
(Thanks for beating me to it Rob lol)

pacol,

You are 100 %!!!!

AMEN!!!!

The chokes on A-Rod, lol. I don’t think we want any part of that.

THE YANKEES LOSE THEEEEEEEE YANKEES LOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE!!!!!!

Oh my god Roger Clemens is in George Steinbrenner’s box!!!

Suzan Waldman, sorry honey!!!

For once, I think Red Sox fans have the right to gloat.

Just for now, but then it’s time we focus as fans to rattle the cages of the Indians. They won’t be easy, that’s for sure. They’ve got a 1-2 punch in C.C. and Carmona and while we may have that as well in Beckett and Schill, Byrd proved today that they have a bona fide number 3. I’m not sure if Dice-K can fit that bill after his last start. Even though he had the rest he’d prefer, he wasn’t up and running like we thought he would be.

Bullpen comparisons are a wash and the only thing we have going for us is that we have Papelbon as a closer.

The season really starts for us now. We have to let our experience shine through here.

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

R.I.P. Joe Torre, 1995-2007. Such a classy guy. First thing out of his mouth, even though he may get canned, is a congratulations to Wedge and the Indians.

Sox have the edge in the pen. Papelbon awaits and Cleveland doesn’t have a guy like that.

Carmona and Sabathia will be pitching at Fenway in the first 2 games. Not an easy task.

Oritz and Ramirez continue to click the way they have and Beckett and Schilling pitch the way they are capable of, I like the Sox chances for sure. It will be a tough team to beat for sure. Cleveland will be playing with a lot of confidence!!!

Man, it feels good ! And it feels right !!!!
You can go golfing now Roger.

You’re right though, Pacol. I’m worried a bit about Dice-K vs that lineup.

Remember, the Sox split last time these pitchers squared off, though the matchups will be reversed, I think. Beckett vs. Sabathia for Game 1 (which I have tix for! hooray!) and Carmona vs. Dice-K Game 2. I think Beckett beat Carmona before and Sabathia beat Matsuzaka if memory serves me correctly.

Who says Torre wants to comeback and manage next year. I say he walks away and says enough is enough.

You don’t fire a guy like that. Are you kidding me?

A-Rod disappered again. Mr. April!!!

Mr. May is Winfield and of course Mr. October is Reggie.

I’m worried about Dice K going against any lineup. His tank is on empty.

Dice-K should have a week of rest going into the ALCS. Hopefully that helps and he’s got time to figure out what went wrong.

Anybody know his stats vs. the Indians?

Bosox

Spreading your regular uninformed **** are you. Cleveland’s pen is as good or better than Boston’s-they’re deeper. And I think I’d take Sabathia and Carmona over either Becket and Dice-k or Becket and Shilling. Bottom line is, their team era is better.

You might be a bit stronger in the 3rd and 4th hole, but Cleveland’s lineup 1 through 9 is stronger than yours.

You were wrong to not want the Yanks to win. Cleveland is going to give you one **** of a run for your money.

Everytime I see Eric Wedge. I think of when Lou Gorman put him in the expansion draft. Boston’s writers beat Gorman down for that descion. Wedge was a high draft choice out of Wichita State, a powerhouse in college baseball. Wedge of course didn’t too much in his career. Boston’s writers of course were wrong again!!! Not that Lou Gorman was a great g.m. but he made the right move. Wedge’s career in Colorado never got off the ground. He like many catchers make good managers.

A-Rod won’t get his due this year; if it weren’t for him, the Yankees wouldn’t even be in the playoffs this year. We all know he carried the team for a long period of time.

Honestly, I blame pitching and then most of the veterans on the offensive side of the ball. Again, the key is pitching and Wang was just horrible. Honestly, something might be up if he’s pitching that badly all of a sudden, so we’ll see.

But it’s not just A-Rod’s fault. Where were Jeter, Posada, and Matsui?

I didn’t seem them make a peep in the playoffs whatsoever.

What I write is neither informed or uniformed. It is my opinion there gsumner. Just like what you say, it is your opinion/observation.

My Yankee fan friend,this girl….shes depressed now….I assured her the Red Sox will take care of those evil naughty indians for her…I mistakenly inadvertantly comeforted her!wow,lol.

gsumner,

Your the one that told us that Burnett is a better pitcher than Beckett.

I would have to say your the one that is uninformed. Nobody in there right mind would say Burnett is better than Beckett.

Comfort the gal there chaman. Go for it. If the Yankees can’t score, you might as well. LOL….

BoSox,the Indians have a good bullpen.Our bullpen is not a weakness though.Manny Delcarmen,Mike Timlin,Hideki Okajima,and Paps.Come on now.Our starting rotation is strong with Beckett and Schilling.Schilling handled the Indians earlier this year and he always rises to the occasion in the postseason.I guarantee you that if we beat the Indians….we ARE winning that World Series.I guaran-DAM-Tee you.

Thanks Bosox!You bet!

Also did I mention that Beckett never fails in the Post Season?

Indians do have a good pen but Boston’s is better because Papelbon is the difference. Papelbon is dominating!!!

Beckett is the definition of a true ace. He wants to carry the team on his back!!!

I’m holding my breath until we pass the ALCS.

This is our real post-season.

I’m 100% with gsumner: The Indians are going to give us all we can handle.

This will be a good, evenly contested series. Statistically speaking, the Sox have a slight edge in pitching, hitting, speed and defense. However, there’s not enough there to make a distinct difference. I think you throw statistics out the window anyway.

It’s gonna be fun.

The bullpen is absolutely a wash. While Cleveland has better set up men, we have the dominant closer they sorely lack.

The bottom line for the Indians is it doesn’t matter if their bullpen can hold a 1-run lead for the 6th, 7th, and 8th because at the end of the game Borowski is going to have to get the final 3 outs and I like our chances with him on the mound.

This should be a good series and I’d definitely rather play the Indians than the Yankees. It doesn’t matter how much better you might think Cleveland is, the psychological burden which Boston players carry when facing the Yankees won’t be a factor and that is huge.

Boston has to limit 2-out RBI’s because the Yankees got killed on them.

And we need to find a way to bottle up Kenny Lofton, remember when he killed us with that 4-4, 4 stolen bases game? But with the way our pitchers held the Angels running game in check, it shouldn’t be that hard.

And once again, I reiterate that Wang does not step up when needed, thus I do not consider him an ace.

we can do it…

Zach, Beckett is an ace for sure. Certainly, both Sabbathia and Carmona fall into that category as well. Dice-K is not in the category of those three, but in post season, Schilling is.

If they get the opportunity, I’d like to see the Sox run more in this series. They have better speed than Cleveland and can put the pressure on.

The one thing the Indians don’t have is someone to match the Ortiz – Ramirez combo.

gsumner,

What color is the sky in that world of yours that tells you that Cleveland’s bullpen is better and deeper than Boston’s?

Boston’s bullpen had the lowest ERA in baseball. Period.

Deeper? Um, okay, if you say so.

Cleveland will certainly be tough to beat, but I’d still rather play them than New York. Boston’s record against Cleveland was better, which is why I think we have this thing called home-field advantage in the ALCS.

But, you know, I don’t have great reserves of hate for the Indians (and their fans) the way I do for the Yankees (and their fans). This should most certainly be an exciting series, and as a fan, is one that I’m looking forward to watching, and winning.

gsumer, check your facts before you type.

Regular season American League team ERA’s:

Red Sox: 3.87 (#1)

Indians: 4.05 (#3)

ALDS team ERA’s:

Red Sox: 1.33 (#1)

Indians: 3.21 (#2)

So, no, the tribe’s ERA is not better.

One thing is for certain, like Zachary said, there won’t be that psychological burden which Boston has when facing the Yankees.

They always say the playoffs are the new season, and it has held true for the most part in both leagues. But it really comes out with Boston and to some extent Arizona. Look at the other teams and you’ll see. Colorado has been on a winning streak since the end of the regular season. Cleveland has been in command of its division for an extended period of time. Arizona is the only team, like Boston, which had to sort of fight to keep it’s division lead as it finished with a 0.5 game lead in the NL West.

Like Arizona, people following Boston had doubts of their make up in the playoffs. Arizona quashed that by sweeping the Cubs and the same goes for Boston in the way they quashed the Angels; their 3-4 combo is back and make that 3-4-5 because Lowell’s been continuing with his performance.

Like Ian said, Boston was the 4th best AL team in the playoffs but apparently they sure don’t seem it anymore.

In case people are wondering, here are team stats for Cleveland and Boston (respectively):

Batting Average: .302 & .269

Runs: 18 & 19

Home Runs: 5 (for both)

Slugging Percent: .538 & .495

ERA: 3.21 & 1.33

So it looks like Cleveland is getting on base with more frequency and is slugging about .43 points more as well. However, keep in mind they were feasting on bad starting pitching (minus Pettitte’s start which the bullpen blew).

But if they say good pitching wins play-off games, then I’d give Boston the edge. 1.33 ERA? That’s insanely good.

So in terms of hitting, they’ll neutralize each other because they’re relatively close, although Cleveland gets a slight edge. Pitching, Boston has to get the edge here considering how low their ERA is at the moment.

Putting all things together and looking at all the intangibles and various match up issues, here’s my prediction:

Boston wins the ALCS 4-2. However, don’t be surprised if it goes to a decisive Game 7 and they win the series 4-3.

It’ll be super close and I’m giving Boston the slight edge here because their pitching has been lights out and they have veteran experience.

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

Agreed on the point that Cleveland lacks the dynamic duo that Boston has in Ortiz + Ramirez, those two can literally decide multiple games in this series if they stay hot.

I think that a split at home will be the worst case scenario when it’s all said and done after two games at Fenway. I give the edge to Boston in Game 1 because CC was not especially strong in his start against the Yankees in a high pressure situation and that is going to be amplified since he’s on the road at a hostile Fenway.

One thing to keep an eye on is his matchup with Manny: 12-21, 4 HR and 7 RBI. Ortiz has had less success (5-18, 1 HR) so it’ll be interesting to see if he tries to pitch to Papi and not Manny.

Dice-K had a solid outing at Cleveland in his only start vs. them (7 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 5K) and Carmona was even better (8 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K). I think the first two games will be very telling, especially with our edge in Game 3 and the fact we should pound whoever the Tribe throws out for Game 4. It’s just a matter of if Wakefield shows up or not in his start.

Don’t forget that Dice-K blanked the Indians in July, only giving up 4 hits over 7 innings. I’m hoping that version of Dice-K shows up Saturday!

Carmona blanked the Sox for 8 innings in his last outing in Fenway. Carmona induced 19 ground outs in 2d game of ALDS.
The Sox lineup should learn from the Tribe’s approach to hitting against Wang.

If Carmona and Dice-K pitched the way they did in the last outing, the Tribe should take Game 2. But that’s on the paper only. Nobody including the Tribe fans gave Paul Byrd any chance and yet he was winning pitcher in Game 4.

it is too bad for torre. he is a class guy. although i can’t feel too sorry for him. i got a feeling his termination “package” will be pretty nice $$$ wise if it happens. if i were him i’d spending 6 mos a year in hawaii and the the other 6 mos somewhere really nice. ha!

This is Torre’s last year of contract. The Yanks don’t have to give him anything, simply not to extend his contract. If the Yanks are nice, they can give him a gold Rolex watch or something as a token of
(un)appreciation.

gsm. my postion on tito is basically the same as yours. i think he tanks winnable games throughout the season in preparation for the end of the year that may prove irrelevent with that style. i also think it causes players to get complacent at time which is also dangerous. not saying he intentionaly or wants to lose games. he just accepts a lot losses that don’t nece have to be. or as you said at the very least doesn’t give his teams the best opp to win. i think he’s done a good job thus far in the playoffs. can’t really think of one thing i’d change. of course there haven’t been any really tough decisions to make.

bosox. i disagree about dice being out of gas. his velocity is still there. i just think the last few starts he’s been trying to be too fine. nibbling at corners and throwing too much junk instead of trusting his stuff and forcing guys to put the ball in play.

Good thing that Cleveland won last night, and that the Yanks did not force a game 5. This way Cleveland gets to relax, rest up and lose their emotional edge. That is the one thing I worry about with the Sox. They have all the talent they need to beat the Indians, but will the lay-off hurt them? Now at least the Indians have almost the same amount of time to get rusty.

I think if I were Torre I would have just quit at the end of the game and not have to put up with G.S., the NY media, the huge player egos, etc, anymore. Split my time between Hawaii and Jackson Hole. Wait, maybe Hawaii, Jackson Hole and Paris….hey what about the Caribbean? Retire and enjoy, Joe, you deserve it.

I mean “loose” their emotional edge. What was I thinkin’?

it’ll be interesting to see whay they do with the rotation. i suppose it’ll depend on what happens in games 1/2. beck could pitch game 4 on 3 days and game 7 on normal rest if necessary.

Smckinny – the funny thing is the greatest flaw you find in Francona is what I reckon is his greatest attribute. He recognizes that the overall aim is to win in the post season – not to win as many games as possible. Would you have preferred that he won us 120 games and that we get bounced in the first round of the playoffs? He recognized that the difference between 120 games and 96 games is completely irrelevant. You take some losses if it will keep you in good shape for the playoffs. Either way we still have the best record in baseball.

That doesn’t mean he doesn’t make mistakes. Of course he does, he has thousands of them to make through the season. But I think overall he has been adept at recognizing what you lose in the short term to gain in the long run.

Also, I think some of his good decisions this playoffs include: leaving Beckett in for the 9th; taking Dice K out even though he hadn’t even gone five; leaving Schilling in for the 7th; his bullpen management, particularly in Game 2. The reason his decisions don’t look tough is because the result of his decisions has gone flawlessly.

Announcers. Every year I like to pick out a few choice items that are so stupid or inane that they make me either chuckle, scratch my head, or just plain want to puke. Here are a couple of my contenders for the worst bits of commentary so far:

With runners on first and second, the Diamondbacks choose to bunt the runners over. They do so successfully, and in the next at bat Chris Young homers. At the end of the inning, **** Stockton says that the bunt was “the key at bat in the inning.” I’m still trying to figure out what the difference would be if they were still on first and second when Young homered.

With Todd Helton (I think) coming up to bat, the Phillies shift their defense, with Chase Utley playing essentially a short right field. Helton pulls the ball and Utley goes to his left, dives, and the ball goes off his glove into foul territory. The announcer says that the Phillies had the defense positioned “perfectly” but that Utley couldn’t quite get to the ball. Oh? If they were positioned perfectly, then why did Utley have to dive?

I understand they’re paid to try and make the game more exciting, but they try too hard in my view. On the positive side, I thought Bremly and Gwynn did a very good job last night, offering insights and information that made the game more interesting.

Apparently Rivera, Posada, and Pettitte are all going to be testing the free agent market this offseason. Three homegrown Yankees.

Let’s sign them all plus A-Rod and then we can become the mini-Yankees!

I like Torre, I have no reason not to. He always conducts himself well and definitely did not deserve to be given an ultimatum once his team was in a 0-2 hole.

brendan just a diff of opinion i suppose. personally i don’t thik the two are mutually exclusive and i think you run a huge risk when you manage that way. what if you struggle late lose out on the p-offs altogether? look at the last 2 previous years. they’ve played horribly in aug./sept. and couldn’t get it turned around in oct. well last year that didn’t matter. and it very well coulda cost them again this year. but it didn’t. it’s a calculated gamble. some you win some you don’t. this year it looks pretty good so far. and those were all no-brainer decisions IMO. good ones don’t get me wrong. but easy. leaving schill in for the 7th was the only possible ?

Zachary, if you weren’t being sarcastic about being the mini-Yankees, I think I’d smack you, lol. :-P

Anybody know how Wakefield is? I know we have 3 of our guys lined up but if Wake isn’t ready to go, Beckett will probably pitch on 3 days of rest and I’m not a big fan of that type of move; usually doesn’t work so well.

Another thing, any hints as to what changes will be made for the ALCS roster?

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

zach. somebody else can have riviera. i think boston’s had all the former closers they can stand. i’d take the other 3 through. wouldn’t surprise me if pettite retired or went back to houton. posada and rivera will most likely end up back there. a-rod is the 240mm question.

according to fox sports wake is set for game 4 as of right now. although you know that would change if the series is close. you’d have to pitch beck on 3 days. knowing he’d go in game 7 on normal rest. also, schill is sch to pitch game 2 now instead of 3. i actually like that move as well. you have to figure westbrook or byrd will give up more than carmona.

I like this change in the pitching rotation. I will take our two big game pitchers in Games 1 + 2 vs. anybody. Instead of Game 2 being a toss-up with Dice pitching, I am confident we will get a solid performance from Schilling.

If Boston is down 2-1 in the series, I think you have to pitch Beckett on 3 days rest. You can’t take your chances on which Wakefield will show up. If they have a lead in the series, you can put Wake on a short leash and have Lester available for long relief if necessary.

There will be less pressure on Dice-K pitching Game 3 against Westbrook/Byrd, hopefully he can duplicate his last performance at The Jake.

brendan, good decisions are decisions that work and turn out OK. In this case, Tito’s decisions on Beckett, Dice-K and Schilling all worked and are therefore good ones.

Those situations always make me think back to Grady Little and the Pedro decision. I’d have made the exact same decision and left Pedro in there. He was the best pitcher in baseball, and needed to get one out. He was still throwing well and if he gets that pitch to Matsui two inches further in, Pedro breakes his bat and the inning is over and Little is a hero. All of the decisions Francona made were of the same nature and could just as easily have backfired, but they didn’t. That’s baseball.

You’re right, Tito does consider the big picture. Here’s my problem with that. People pay a lot of money to see the Red Sox play, and the players get paid huge dollars to perform their best every game. We, as fans, have the right to expect the Sox to put forward their best effort to win every time they take the field. If Tito doesn’t field his best team and make that effort every game, then the fans are not getting what they are paying for.

I think smckinny and I are both baseball purists, and probably me more than him. I know if I were scheduled to pitch a game, and I saw a lineup card that had Manny, Tek, Youk and Pedroia on the bench that night, I wouldn’t be real happy. That happened a few times this year and if I was a fan who showed up at that game, I wouldn’t be happy either.

Your point about winning 120 games or being knocked out in the first round is well taken. I remember a few years back the Mariners won some ridiculous number of games and I think got knocked out in the first round. They haven’t been the same since.

brendan, smckinny, gsm, I enjoy your point/counterpoint critiques of Tito. There are only a few things I know for certain about managers: they make way more decisions than we will ever know about. They know more about the players they manage than we do. They get blamed if the player screws up, or if the GM screws up or if the ownership screws up. They deal with all kinds of issues that we know nothing about, such as little quirks a player might have, players disliking one another, travel problems, personal issues a player may have, and on and on…. Mangers are the organization’s scapegoat. The thing I can’t understand is why anyone would take the job in the first place.

gsm, your idea that a manager should have his “A” team out there every night is great, and that’s one reason Cal played all those consecutive games, but the reality is it won’t happen. If there were no chance that your team would go to the playoffs I could see it, but why burn everyone out and squander a chance to play in the post-season? Would the fans be happy then? You won’t please everyone so why not manage with the post-season in mind.

These are all compelling arguments, but I wish there was a game instead.

Managers…. not mangers. My bad. It’s a little early for Christmas.

There are three possible outcomes to the season:
1. the Sox win the World Series and we are delirious with joy.

2. the Sox go to the World Series and lose.

3. the Sox lose in the ALCS.

Whatever happens I look forward to your assessments of Tito and the gang.

Go Sox!!! I want choice #1!!

arnie. why would anyone take the job? $$$$$$$$$. if you believe what you read he makes close to 2mm a yr. not joe torre money but not bad. i’d put up with a lot of questions for that. especially when i have the second highest payroll and agrguably the best overall team in baseball. all i ever put on tito, as far as blame, is in-game decisions. as for putting your “A” team out every nite. i’m with gsm. there is a certain obligation, IMO, to do it UNTIL you’ve clinched as much as you can during the regular season. i.e. div., homefield, etc. do you give guys days off occasionally? sure. but you don’t give them all the same night off when there is still something to play for and basically just concede games before they start. you can’t play/manage for a future point in time when you have no way of knowing what might transpire between now and then. not and win CONSISTENTLY. for proof i give you ’05 and ’06.

From an mlb.com article by Mike Petraglia, literary genius:
“‘I think it still will be intense here,’ said Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, who is known for his intensity.”

Arnie, your post was right on the money. One of the three scenarios you presented will undoubtedly occur. And another thing is certain. If the Sox do not win the World Series, we as Red Sox fans will not disappear. We will be disappointed and aggravated. People like Smckinny and Rayman will litter this site with their “woe is me” and “the sky is falling” attitude. There will be a plethora of opinions and discussions on who should stay and go, and what the Sox will look like in 2008. Yet, what separates Sox fans from Yankees fans, is that we are steadfast in our support win or lose. Many Yankees fans have gone into hiding. Lots of them did so after they lost game one, then many more climbed into their holes after Game Two. Now, we will hear from very few Yankees fans until the first of the following happens – the Red Sox lose in the ALCS or World Series, or when spring training arrives. These are certainly not indicators of true fans. That is why I believe that Yankees “followers” more accurately describes a high percentage of people who say they like the Yankees. You earn the title of being a fan by demonstrating unconditional support win or lose, year after year.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Cubs and Red Sox fans, are there no matter what happens!!!

The passion is unreal!!!

Sox made the right move with Schilling taken the hill for game 2. No game until Friday, I don’t know if I can handle it.

Arnie, you are absolutely right. I’m sure there are many decisions Tito makes every game we would never even think about considering things we know nothing about. But one of the issues I have is that he must think fans and players are idiots.

I read the article that announced Schilling was going to pitch the second game of the ALCS. I thought it was a great decision. Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t know why he made that change? Obviously, Schilling has a better shot at winning against Carmona than Dice-K does. At this point, Francona has much more confidence in Schilling than he does Dice-K, probably like most of us do. Dice-K then has a better shot at winning game 3 against a lesser pitcher.

But then Tito has to come up with this line of garbage: I think we tried to accomplish some things with Schill by giving him rest [in the Division Series], which I think really helped,” said Francona. “That was probably the biggest thing. Now, [he’ll go] on an extra day, and Daisuke’s days are going to be a little bit mixed up anyway, so it’s almost like skipping a turn. It will give him some time [to prepare], whether it’s against hitters or side sessions. We just feel like this is our best way to go forward.”

C’mon Tito, what kind of **** is that? More than anything, this is the thing I dislike most about Tito. These pitchers are all so well rested that none of what he said makes any sense or difference. I just don’t think it has anything to do with any of this. Why doesn’t he just tell it like it is? Schill is the guy that gives us the best chance to leave Boston with a 2-0 lead. Does he think he’s going to hurt someone’s feelings?

smckinny, that was mostly rhetorical speculation as to why anyone would want to be a big-league manager. I know there are many reasons, not the least of which is money. Most of these guys know nothing but baseball and they are still very competitive after they retire. So they get jobs as coaches and they go from there. And the big time for those guys is the Manager. A lot of these managers don’t need the money, they have an MLB pension or they front a business or some such, but the competitive fire makes them crave the action on the field.
And do you blame Tito for ’05 and ’06? That’s a stretch, I think. I’d put it more on Theo.

Jeff, you are right, we’ll hear from one and all at the end of the post-season. And I look forward to it.

And Sox fans are generally more obsessed than any other fans.

gsm, you point out one of the main reasons I would not do that job even if I was qualified: the politics. These guys often have to dance around the truth, in part because the media could pounce on anything the manager says to create a story. Case in point, if he was straight forward and said what you think he should say; the reporters could make a huge story out of his lack of confidence in Dice and run with it. It could get ugly, Dice-K would “lose face” and Tito would be distracted with damage control. That’s why they treat us like children. And we foster it because we buy the papers and talk about the stories they write even when we know it’s trash. Dan Shaunessey(sp?) anyone?? How do you spell that name?

Guys,I think shifting schilling to pitch Game 2 will definitely turn things around.I strongly beleive we can get ourselves a nice 3 games to none lead and have Wake pitch game 4 with no pressure,that would rock.But can never count the indians out.Should be a very good series.

Im not as sure…just for arguments sake and another point of view…what if schill pitches game 2 and loses to carmona, and what if dice k implodes in game 3 in indian land. I think the better move would have dice k pitching game 2, and the vet schilling…whom can handle the rough going better pitching game 3. If beckett’s on then were 2-1 for sure…maybe 3-0, but 2-1 looks good. I don’t know, carmona looks tough.

im only worred about Carmona.

All this criticism of Terry Francona seems like nothing but a bunch of hokum to me.

Correct me if I’m wrong or if I’ve missed something here; The Red Sox were in first place in the AL East since May, a place the team held, since May. The Red Sox were the first team in baseball to clinch a playoff spot. The Red Sox won the AL East Division Title. The Red Sox swept the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ALDS. The Red Sox are favored in the ALCS against the Indians. The Red Sox tied Cleveland for the best record in the American League but have homefield advantage because they won their season series against the Indians. The Red Sox bullpen had the lowest ERA in baseball. One of The Red Sox starting pitchers was the only 20 game winner in baseball this year and is a candidate for the Cy Young Award. The Red Sox Second Baseman is a candidate for Rookie of the Year. The Red Sox Third Baseman won a Golden Glove. The Red Sox catcher has a Golden Glove.

Have I missed anything?

So, after The Red Sox achieved all of the above, now Terry Francona is a chump, hasn’t got a clue, and had absolutely nothing to do with any of it? I mean, I just want to understand the arguments being proffered here.

Let me put it this way… Terry Francona will have that job for as long as he wants it if he continues to be as ineffective and incompetent as some seem to suggest he’s been. And if you really don’t understand what the manager does on, or for, a baseball team, then don’t comment about it, because it appears to me that a lot of people don’t.

I’ve got an idea… why don’t the Red Sox just trade everyone, chase after A-Rod, fire Tito and hire Joe Torre after Steinbrenner fires him, and pin their hopes on one guy who also seems to choke in every October baseball game he’s ever played, but hey, what’s a couple of playoff games and World Series rings between friends, right? – and maybe if they’re lucky they can get Derek Jeter too and all the fans can get free samples of his men’s Fragrance – Driven! Now that’ll make sure the Red Sox finally show some success… they won’t win much but they’ll sure smell nice!

Get Theo on the phone! Now!

We’re surrendering Fenway and moving to the Bronx!

[ /sarcasm off ]

Fools.

d_reinbold,

The thought process is to lock the Indians down in the first two games at home before going to Cleveland – Josh and Curt have the best strategic chance to do that, and since Daisuke likes the mound at The Jake, he’s very comfortable pitching there in game 3. The Red Sox need to dominate quickly; starting Beckett, Schilling, Dice-K, and then potentially Wakefield makes perfect sense. Depending on how the series shakes out, or if we even see Wakefield (still an unknown) the Red Sox can flip flop Matsuzaka and Schilling with the way the schedule falls and considering rest, and put Big Game Curt on the mound for any potential game 7, in Boston.

Arnieschmo – re: gsm’s point, I completely agree with you. Francona has to come up with lines like the ones he said because the truth of the matter is if he didn’t, you would very likely see a headline that says “Francona loses faith in Dice K”. The reprecussions would be pretty big, with a lot of column inches devoted to “what this means for Dice K in the future” (losing faith in him already – how can we trust him again in the future?) and “why have him on the post season roster at all if you have no faith on him?”. The media needs a good story to sell papers and this would certainly be one if Francona shot straight from the hip. Tito would then field endless questions about this. All the while, the team would be distracted from preparing for a huge series.

For a case in point, see A-Rod’s statement earlier on this year, when he said him and Jeter were not best friends. I don’t see that as a big deal in any way, but that didn’t stop a huge amount of devotion to the “story” in the press, including a lot of Yankees and their manager fielding questions on it.

Smckinny – your point that we need to get their first is well taken. But I do think there are a couple of things to consider. First, getting there in say early Sept (after going flat out) and then resting up does not do anyone any good either. That means the team goes nearly a full month without playing competitive baseball. Second, putting the non-regulars out there for the majority of this hypothetical stretch when they have the division won is not ideal in any way either. The core of the team would completely lose its rhythm and then have to get that back for the playoffs.

I don’t think any of those decisions were no-brainers. Leaving Beckett in for the 9th when you have the best closer in baseball in the pen? Why bring Delcarmen in for the 6th instead of Timlin? Why bring Lopez in to get the final out of the 5th? Decisions like this seem easy, but if they had gone wrong you would think they were awful decisions.

Finally, if you read (and believe) Moneyball, the playoffs are nothing but a crapshoot. I think that’s easy to believe seeing as the team that may end up winning it only got through because of something entirely outside their control (Hoffman blowing the save to the Brewers on the last day). If the Indians or Rockies win, we will have had our 8th different World Series winner in 8 years. For the playoffs, all you can do is prepare your team as best you can and give them the best chance to win. For my money, Francona has done that. And I definitely would not change that opinion, even if we lose to the Indians.

jeff. actually you couldn’t be more wrong. my concern during the season was they not blow a 14 1/2 game lead, win div., and get home field. they wound up accomplishing those objectives. all be it not as convincingly as they should have IMO. they’ve put themselves in the best possible shape. if they don’t win it all i’ll be very disappointed because i think they’re easily the best overall team. but overall once you give yourself a chance to get to the series you really can’t complain too much. it just comes down to who executes best. unless of course he reverts to francoma mode at some point and makes some decision that costs them a game.

arnie. i do blame theo for not doing anything DURING the season/seasons to address the teams weakness’s or needs. that’s another pet peave of mine. however, the fact is in ’05 & ’06 the teams were good enough to be in or around first place for much of the year and simply folded at the end. they were headed in that direction this year but did manage to play just well enough this time. IMO when a team has a consistent pattern like that a larger portion of the blame ( or credit ) goes on the manager.

brendan. please don’t mention me and “moneyball” ( or billy beane ) in the same post! ha! actually that is about the only part of that book/theory i would concur with. ol billy must not be a very good craps player though. it is a crapshoot as most playoffs in all sports are. as for francona and this teams preparation. i think he always prepares his team’s for the post season. problem in once again they have to get there. this year they did. the issue with me is consistency. i don’t think they or any other team can consistently reach their full potential with his style. there will be constant peaks and valleys IMO. hopefully this year is a peak. and i would never suggest playing non-reg’s for the entire month of sept. but clinching early does give you a chance to get reg guys enough scheduled rest and still keep them fresh and sharp for the post season IMO. not that that is incredibly important. look at az and colo. they had to go all out right til the end. do either of those teams look tired? not to me.

gsm. you’re spot on about the staff. don’t see how they could be more rested. i worry about them being rusty almost. that’s one reason that unless they’re up 3-0 ( not likely ) i can’t believe beck wouldn’t go in game 4 instead of wake or lester.

Nina, you are absolutely right. 4 out of the last 5 years they have gone to the playoffs, 3 times to the ALCS(with a chance for one more WS), and they won the Series when many of us thought the Sox would not do that in our lifetimes. You are right, these guys are incompetent!

I agree with anyone who supports Francona and Epstein. Sure, Francona makes some decisions that leave fans scratching their heads. But even die-hard fans like myself who have in-depth knowledge about the game do not match Francona’s level of expertise, nor do we know the behind-the-scenes reasoning that factors into certain decisions. And, sure, Epstein has made some questionable decisions as well, just as he has made a plethora of great moves. The Red Sox have surpassed the Yankees, and are now one of the elite teams of baseball. Because of Epstein’s strategy to draft and develop players while acquiring young veterans to fill holes; John Henry’s willingness to provide the bankroll to sign draft picks, sign impactful free agents and acquire players via trades; and Francona’s ability to effectively manage on the field and in the clubhouse, the Red Sox are contenders year after year. We are fans. We have a right to gripe about certain moves. But there is no reason to question Francona and Epstein as successful parts of the Red Sox equation. I agree that Francona and Epstein should remain for the long term. We as Red Sox fans have nothing to gripe about.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

In 2005, we had Matt Clement (the post-nailed by a line drive in the noggin version) starting Game 1 vs. Chicago. It didn’t look good from the get-go. Plus Boston had to fight for a playoff spot until the very last day of the season so they were exhausted, and not in a good way like the Rockies, who stormed back from a huge deficit to sneak in.

As for 2006, Epstein has gone on record and stated it was completely his fault for not addressing the team’s needs at the deadline. He took full responsibility and says he will never let it happen again.

Can you imagine the ratings for an Indians/Diamondbacks World Series? Especially considering all the great potential matchups the media was spinning (Yanks/Phils, Yanks/Cubs, Sox/Cubs, etc.)

zach. it’s pointless really as it it’s in the past but just for fun:

as far as ’05. i don’t now nor will ever buy the excuse or rationale that a ML team lost in the first rd of the playoffs because they were “exhausted”. and last time i checked it wasn’t a 1 game series. just becasue they lost the first one didn’t eliminate them.

as for ’06 and theo. i respect him for accepting responsibility and saying that but the fact, IMO, is he did the same thing this year. this team’s obvious need was offense at the deadline and instead of texiera ( or soemone ) he opted for gagne. the only difference is this year it didn’t come back to bite him in the ***.

you are right about the series ratings. i imagine the fox exec’s are pretty big sox boosters right now.

Beware Sox fans, if we’re not careful we’ll end up being Yankee fans….not happy because they made the playoffs but not convincingly enough. Their manager has the team prepared better than any other entering the playoffs but he is a buffoon. Where’s the enjoyment so far? Where’s the congrats, boys, on a good job so far? You’ll end up like those Broncos fans I have to put up with every day; they think that because they won 2 superbowls with Elway that the Lombardy trophy should reside in denver every year by divine right. Be careful Sox fans, remember your roots and be happy.

Zach, I used to think (pre-2004) that if the Cubs and Sox played in the World Series that both teams would somehow lose.

arnie. speaking for me. i’m tickled to death. they won the first rd and have a chance at the whole thing. that’s pretty much all you can ask. my issues with tito and theo have always mostly been about the reg season. i don’t know that they are any better “prepared” than the other 3 teams. but they are as prepared as THEY can be and they are the best all around team. they just need to execute at that level for 8 more games.

Arnie, you should be more like Yankees fans, if you don’t win a World Series with the money being spent, it IS a disappointment, especially with the Yankees now out of it.

Secondly, I don’t know when the day will come, but the moment a Red Sox fan stops mistakening being quiet for lacking loyalty will be a happy day.

You don’t hear from Yankees fans because they aren’t happy their season is over, not because they are trading in their hats for the Dodgers. That is possibly the stupidest and childish point somebody can make, to say “we’re not hearing from Yankees fans, they must not support their team” after fans sold out the ballpark all season even when they were under .500 and have the most watched regional network in TV history. Absolutely absurd to make such a ridiculous assumption about a fanbase based on absolutely nothing except prediction.

arnieschmo,

Right!? Did I miss something here? ^_^

I mean, I don’t get it! The Red Sox have consistently prospered and flourished in the last few years, and I believe much of that has to be attributed to the Henry/Lucchino/Werner ownership group, and Theo Epstein and Terry Francona.

Sure, there have been some team moves which on the surface maybe didn’t appear to make a lot of sense to the fans, but we look at this from a fan’s perspective, and I’m certainly not going to be the one sitting behind her computer or calling into some Sports Talk radio show or posting on some bulletin board about how Francona is a chump like I know better and say things like he hasn’t got a clue when the record clearly says otherwise!

The game of baseball is subtle and elegant, and the role of the manager, depending on the man and the team is an integral part of the entire process of success or failure, and the way I see it, the Red Sox have achieved a whole lot more success than failure since Tito has been at the helm.

I grew up with the Boston Red Sox, like so many others, and these Red Sox are not the team I grew up with, and I love it!

Sure, we can all gripe about some decisions which didn’t work out as planned; Eric Gange immediately comes to mind, and J.D. Drew has been a disappointment, but the Red Sox still continue to succeed and prosper because their manager knows how to adapt and make what he’s got work.

So, maybe I get a little emotional when I see someone bashing Tito or basically saying he’s a buffoon, because that’s just a bunch of uneducated and uninformed BS.

I mean, wow, does anyone think the Red Sox were better off with Jimy Williams or Joe Kerrigen or Grady Little in the dugout? I doubt it! Or here’s an idea… let’s get Dan Duquette back in the organization, that’s a sure recipe for success.

The way I see it, Terry Francona should walk out onto the mound at Fenway Park with a microphone and scream out “I am a Golden God.”

You bet he is.

I don’t think Sox fans will regress to the mentality of Yankees fans. The bottom line is that Sox fans are there win or lose. True, we should expect more with a higher payroll, but it is obvious that the Sox will not win the World Series every year, and there will be those off years like last season. Regardless, Sox fans will remain loyal and vocal, whether they win the World Series, lose in the playoffs or finish with no October baseball.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

LOL! This whole blog is really hilarious. Just a bunch of blowhards who think they know everything just out here having a blast and talkin’ Red Sox. I love it. This is my first year on the blog and I really enjoy it a lot. We deal with everything from pulling for Ellen to why the manager of the winningest team in baseball shouldn’t be rehired next year. We have views from the 17 year old chman in the Bronx to the very old me in Florida, and everyone in between. Makes me feel like a little kid again. It’s what being a baseball fan is, and being a Red Sox fanatic goes way beyond that.

At 7:10 PM Friday night, it all begins again. smckinny and brian will be ******* down the Kool Aid, Ellen will be here with her goofy cheers, Jeff will be over on soxandpinstripes doing his thing, redsoxloose will probably show up and make some idiot remark, and the rest of us will be doing whatever it is we do, but we’ll all be glued to the TV.

Hey Ian, you need to put up a chat room so we can banter back and forth.

As the Thing would say, “It’s Clobberin Time.”

Hey GSM.Love your last comment dude.We do need a nice chatroom.Gotta love Red Sox baseball man.lol.I say,we are locked in and we are favorites…LETS DO THIS!Redsoxloose or Sentinel will come on and say something retarded…actually no wait…Sentinel committed suicide….sorry.Coincidently some guy jumped infront an oncoming train in the subway this morning…dont think it was Sentinel do ya?Anyways,Lets go Sox!Ill just keep holding my ground here in the Bronx…getting attacked viciously by the Yankee fans in school!Haha Lets go Red Sox!

Let me tell you guys,theres this guy in my health and spanish class who is a stupid fan.he is like Sentinel and who knows might just be sentinel.He argues sports out of his rear end.He is the type that will come out of the blue and say something like : “The Yankees need a big slugger!” or “For the Red Sox to be successful,they need an Ace!” The guy cant get over the Indians winning,poor chap.All he mouths off about to me now is his 26 world championships.Then again thats all the guys around here argue with.

You know, this is strange…

I can’t ever remember there being such long lull between playoff series.

Feels like the space between the NFC & AFC Championship games and the Super Bowl.

It’s kinda eerie… :-P

gsm, there is a chatroom available if you check the game stats/score via MLB Gameday. It’s not very noticeable but there’s an option for chatting and you can enter a chatroom through it.

We should try that. :-D

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

Nina, I agree with what you are saying. I can’t remember a 5 year period when the Sox were this good. And as the season progressed I began to see how Tito’s managing style was very clever, cunning, almost genius. And you can see how he changes now that the playoffs are under way. I was being sarcastic saying he was incompetent.

Vince, how ya been? Busy with school? You were right, your Yankees won 94 games. I didn’t think they could do it. But here’s the reason Sox fans say that Yankee fans disappear when their team loses. Every Sox fan has had multiple Yankee fans taunt them and be “in your face” when the Yanks win. Now I know that not every Yankee fan is like that but, as a Sox fan, the Yankee fans that you remember are the obnoxious ones. So when the Yanks lose and the fans are all quiet we assume they are the fan equivalent of schoolyard bullies. It’s only human. And nothing stirs up this blog better than a discussion of Yanks v. Sox fandom.

Jeff and Vince, you two have a great blog. Great work all season.

One of the things I like most about Tito is that he stands behind his players. While he may talk up the decision to pitch Schill in Game # 2, he will not talk about the result of holding Dice-K back to Game # 3.

Anyone expecting him to suggest that the Sox have a better chance to win Game # 2 with Schill rather than Dice-K will be waiting a long time. That’s something Tito shares with Joe Torre — both accord their players a great deal of respect publicly. As a result, the players show a great deal of respect for them.

I have been moved by the level of support shown for Torre. I would agree with the generally expressed sentiment that he is a marvelous manager, and has done a wonderful job this year. But, as he acknowledges, the level of expectation in a place like New York (or Boston) is quite different. In a different city, (like Cleveland — where I live), with 4 World Series titles in 12 years, and 12 consecutive post-season appearances, they would be erecting statutes to him.

Speaking of the Yanks, I wanted to propose a different thought. Anyone who has read my postings knows my aversion to signing A-Rod and not signing Mikey Lowell. Assuming the Sox management takes the position that they have the $30 Mil. to consider signing A-Rod, I would propose that they do the following with that money, rather than sign A-Rod.

Give Mikey Lowell the $12-13 Mil. per year that he requests (and deserves based on his 2 years with the Sox).

Then, the Sox offer Jorge Posada $14-$15 Mil. to play for them, taking the balance of the available money and offering Tek a contract extension at the same salary.

I recognize that its unorthodox to carry 2 “super-catchers’. However, with the exception of Jeter, I don’t believe that there is any Yankee who is as integral to that team as Posada, particularly given the Yankees apparent determination to bank their future on young pitchers from their organization who will require the sort of nuruturing only Posada or Tek could give them. Separating the Yanks and Posada could well cause them a significant period of recovery during which they were no threat to any post-season baseball.

You ask the question: what do you then do with 2 front line catchers? Fair question. Beyond splitting their time behind the plate (and extending both of their careers), you could throw 1st baseman’s mitts at each of them and give them extra games spelling Youk. I believe that Youk’s tendency toward less performance in the 2nd half of the season could be addressed by giving him more rest early on.

Still not convinced? I suspect the Yankees will ultimately sign Posada. However, making him a blockbuster offer could force the Yanks to spend more money re-signing him than they had hoped to. This would be a nice “thank you” for Sparky Lyle, Wade Boggs, Johnny Damon, et al.

Think about it. Hopefully Theo will.

-david m. Benjamin

sentinel unfortunately did not commit suicide, I saw his retarded comment over on either Yankees Chick or Bronx Beat. Same stupid comments, he was even tring to **** of his fellow Yankees fans. What a complete imbecile.

BTW, I second the request for a chat room here, Ian. For now, everybody can go to Sox and Pinstripes if you want to chat during the game, as Jeff and Vince very thoughtfully put a chat thingamjiggy on the side bar. Not to mentin it’s one of the best blog sites around.

Well Rob,that guy needs some real physchological help.Sentinel is a real retarded,mental,stupid,incompetent,and moronic IDIOT.And yes Sentinel I dont care how pissed you get,if you want to say this is CH calling out Sentinel,then Amen and so be it.Red Sox have been great so far.Let us hope to keep it up.By the way,what do you think we will get out of Wakefield in game 4?Any thoughts or opinions floatin around out there???

Vince – I see what you’re saying alright, but does that mean that you and other Yankee fans would be on this blog a lot more if we’d been bounced by the Angels and you’d taken the Indians?

I don’t think any team can realistically expect to win the World Series each year. You can definitely aspire to it, but it just doesn’t seem feasible to expect it. Seven different winners in seven years suggests there’s a lot of luck to it. I still don’t understand how the Cardinals, led by a rotation of Marquis, Weaver and Reyes, and with a record barely over .500, managed to win.

I was watching Mike and Mike on ESPN2 this morning and they Tito on as a guest caller. Tito was pretty impressive in answering their questions. Among the things he talked about was the change in the rotation and he did talk about Dice-K’s inconsistencies and bad innings. He also talked about the Joe Torre situation and while he didn’t have anything against the Yankees’ making a change if that’s what they decide to do, he did say he didn’t like the stuff that came out while they were still playing. I thought Tito did a great job in that interview. He sounded like the guy in charge which is what I want to hear from our manager.

brendan:

St. Louis is a good example, but I’d go even farther and say that in the last six years, one can argue at least somewhat convincingly that the World Champions were not the obvious “best” team in baseball. There’s no chance that it could ever be “proven” definitively, since each person defines for themself how “best” is measured.

I think the majority of baseball fans would agree that the White Sox and the Cardinals were not the best teams in their respective championship years. 2004 was less arguable, but I would not disagree that strongly with anyone who said the Red Sox were not the best team in baseball that year. The Marlins and the Yankees were pretty closely matched, but overall the Yanks really had the stronger team. Anaheim is probably the team that is toughest to argue as not being the best in baseball that year, but the Diamondbacks were definitely not in 2001.

Aside from luck, it’s also just the team that gets to the playoffs, and then gets hot and stays hot. And I suppose getting hot and staying hot involves luck, too. The Yankees are a good example this year. Their hot streak just happened to end at the wrong time. Same with the Phillies.

Does all of this argue that the “luxury tax” and revenue sharing are creating parity in baseball? I couldn’t begin to tell you. Personally, I think it has more to do with teams going back to focusing on developing talent through their farm system, but that’s really just a guess on my part.

_____________________________

Completely unrelated topic: My brother, who lives in Cincinnati and does have a few minor connections, tells me that Boston will be playing Cincinnati in inter-league play next year, and thus will be playing in Cincinnati for the first time since the 1975 World Series. Should be pretty cool.

Robert – I definitely agree with that. As for the Sox in 04, it is hard to argue that they were by far the best team considering they were 3 outs away and 3-0 down.

Still 30 hours till Red Sox’ game time. Oy Gevaltd!!

The shabby treatment of Joe Torre by the Yankee owner has caused me to think of something that I have discussed at times with Yankee fans. That being whether the season is a failure if the team does not win the World Series.

My feeling has always been that baseball is entertainment and the value of that is not predicated on winning. Sure, if your team loses you are disappointed, but you have been entertained all year. And disappointment is part of life, and part of being a fan.

If anyone on this blog has read, and enjoyed, the story “The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant, s/he knows that heartbreak can be entertaining. Or how about “The Pearl” by Steinbeck? A beautifully written disaster. Were the 1967, ’78, ’86, ’03 seasons failures? Yes and no. They made us giddy with joy at one point and we were crushed later. Sophoclean. After 1986 the Grapes Of Wrath looked like a happy story to me. But the highs and lows are what make great art! If it was all highs then winning would be normal and definitely NOT as entertaining.

Where would we be this year without the great plays by Coco? How about our howls of outrage at JD’s, & Julio’s poor play. Tito’s decision making gave us all something to talk about. I could go on and on….it’s so much fun watching these guys! And so aggravating at times.

For high drama, you can’t get a better team than the Sox!

Sorry for all that everyone…..sigh… how long till game time?

No apologies necessary Arnie. I don’t think anyone here will ever criticize you for being passionate about the Sox. Like I’ve said before, it’s more than being a fan, it’s a way of life.

This has been a great year and we’ve seen some great things. DP has blossomed into a fine down and dirty player; Youk has 190 errorless games and counting; Mikey Freakin Lowell – what else needs to be said about him; Manny’s walk off in game 2; Jacoby Ellsbury scoring fron second on a passed ball; the Bucholz No Hitter; the old man Schilling’s one hitter; Beckett’s domination; and we could go on and on.

Hey you bloggers! What was your best memory of the 2007 season?

…..DP’s many spectacular catches, Ellsbury’s stealing 2d base on a pitch out, his flying around the bases, and so on and so on.
I was mostly impressed by Okajima and Paplebon 1-2 punch in the 8th and 9th. The Sox used to blow so many leads going to the 7th & 8th innings.

In 2003 5-2 lead into the 8th and lost the ALCS on Aaron Boone’s HR will not and cannot happen this year because we have Delcarmen, Oki and Papalbon to protect the leads for us.

gsm,

My best memory of the season has to be when the Sox hit 4 homers in a row. That got me off of my couch!!! UNBELIEVEABLE!!!

Everyone knew Varitek was going to make it 4 in a row!!! Even the Yankees knew it!!!

Honorable mentions for great memories. Okajima with the save to start the sweep off in the right direction. Sox had a great comeback in the 8th and Okajima comes in and nails it down. That was the beginning for my confidence in Okajima!!!

Of course Clay Bucholtz’s no hitter was right up there as well. A great night and a glimpse into the future!!!

I hope the GREATEST MEMORY of them all will happen later this month!!!

Okajima of course against the Yankees in the green uniforms, honoring the Celtics that night!!!

gsm. for me 2 stick out. buch’s no-no. and when they clinched the div. on a diff topic. i really have a hard time believing you pay JD 14mm a year and you sit him in the playoffs for BOBBY KIELTY. i know the numbers against CC but it still just doesn’t make sense to me. JD is a much better hitter. i hope he goes 4 for 4 but personally i don’t get it.

gsm,

Your favorite memory?

I will guess and say listening to Joe Migrane do Devil Rays games? LOL…Just kidding!!

Your favorite memory is?

bosox. you only yhought/knew tek would make it 4 in a row because there was no one on base!

smckinny,

Everyone knew he was going deep, including Jeter at s.s. and A-Rod at 3b. I think you might have been thinking positive on that one. Then again, you were thinking he would strike out.

Chase Wright hasn’t thrown at pitch in the big leagues since.

Francona’s father was a part of the last time a team hit 4 homers in a row. Somethings in baseball you can’t make it up. They interviewed Francona that night and he pretty much remembered the last time when it happened. He said to the E.S.P.N. guys Miller and Morgan that his father was a part of it. Good stuff that night. Ramirez, Drew, Lowell and Varitek go deep into the night!!!

My favorite memory of this season?
1) They day that the umpire yelled “PLAY BALL”

2) hasn’t happened yet; should be in about 2 1/2 weeks!!!

I disagree 100% with playing Kielty over Drew. JD has looked more comfortable at the plate in the past month and a half than he has at any point this season, and now you’re going to sit him for a Kielty because the redhead is hitting a tick above .300 against a pitcher who he hasn’t seen much of since 2002?

Put Ellsbury in if you don’t want Drew facing a tough lefty. We all know that Jacoby sits back nicely on lefty pitching and is a better hitter, fielder, and runner than Bobby Kielty will ever be.

Kielty’s numbers vs. CC aren’t even that staggering. This guy is a totally different pitcher than he was at any time in the past. I think you are inserting a legitimate easy out into this Boston lineup by slotting Kielty in.

Like smckinny said, I would love for him to prove me wrong but I’m not holding my breath waiting for it. When we get to the point that we’re depending on BOBBY KIELTY to provide the pop in our lineup, it’s a bad sign. At least Drew works the count, regardless of if he strikes out or not.

Beckett’s going to really need to be on now.

brian, Joe Migrane isn’t my favorite memory, just the one I can’t seem to forget.

I think that final, unbelievalbe, unhittable curve ball Bucholz threw on the last pitch of his no hitter. That may be the most perfect pitch I’ve ever seen in my life.

I love Ellsbury’s scoring from second base on the passed ball.

And of course, your four home run extravaganza. You just don’t see any of these things very often.

bosox. actually nothing tek does with the bases empty surprises me. it’s with MOB he get’s a lil suspect.

I agree with everyone who says Kielty should not be playing for Drew. Beyond everything zach had to say, Kielty hasn’t played in several weeks. I also agree with zach’s comments on Ellsbury. He seems to hit lefties pretty well.

Bucholtz was just GREAT that night. We saw the future that night. Not too many times in my life have I been excited about a young pitcher in the Red Sox system. Clemens, Papelbon and Bucholtz have gotten my attention when they have first come up. Let’s hope the latter 2 will be around for a long time and help the Sox win some championships!!!!

zach. it is a head scratcher. prob the first thing tito’s done in the post season i have a prob with. i don’t care whose pitching. you’ll never convince me the lineup’s more dangerous or in any way better with kielty vs. drew. now if wake actually pitches in game 4 that may be a bigger ? but that’s TBD.

i guess JD just needed some rest!

My favorite memory of this past season ? My only visit at Fenway, July 4th vs Tampa Bay. A 7-5 win and a save by Pap. We were in Bleachers 42, just behind the bullpen.

I still got goose bumps when i recall the moment he left the pen to jog towards the infield. When you’re there, with the music and all, it’s magical.

Very close in 2nd place, the 4 HRs in a row vs the Yankees.

Sox in 6 games over the Tribe. I’m gonna say Rockies in 6 games as well. I am rooting for the D-Backs though. Josh Byrnes ( former asst. g.m. with the Red Sox ) now currently g.m. of the D-Backs. Peter Woodfork ( Marblehead native ) is in the front office as well, Woodfork was also in the Boston front office. Byrnes brought Woodfork with him. Always great too see former Sox employees do well( except if Duquette got a front office job again ) Those 2 played a big role in the Sox championship in 2004. Also Jeff Moorad ( Manny’s old agent ) he is the one that negotiated Manny’s deal with Duquette, some years back. Moorad now is the D-Backs C.E.O. Also former Sox bench warmer Bob Melvin is the D-Backs manager. If the Sox win then Schilling goes against his old organazation. I love storylines and those are the reasons I am pulling for the D-Backs.

Carney Lansford is on the Rockies coaching staff. Sox traded him away to make room for Wade Boggs at 3b. I know I’m getting old, it seems like Lansford won the batting title with the Sox just a few years ago. Of course it was more like 26 years ago. Time flies as we all know!!! It should be some great baseball coming up in the next few weeks!!!

Okay, now I know I’m a baseball junkie!! I’m getting excited about tonights game…. and it’s being broadcast on TBS!!! YUK

Bosox, I used to just love Carney, really solid player.

I just looked up the Rockies coaching staff and didn’t see Lansford’s name listed. I did see him in the dugout against the Phillies. My brother and I were talking about it and of course talking about him when he played. I wonder why he is in the dugout if he is not a member of the coaching staff?

Who didn’t like Lansford? He also was a under-rated base stealer. I liked his hard nose style. One of the few times back in the day where a righty hitter won a batting title. 1981–strike season and 1989 ( Oakland with all that spacious foul territory ) not an easy thing to do but Lansford did it.

Brian, you’re a walking baseball encyclopedia !

I do like T.B.S. 1st team. I ask, has Tony Gwynn missed a meal since he retired? He was pudgy when he played but come on now. I would say he has put on 50 lbs. since he retired. He better be careful, I don’t want to read about him. He was just AWESOME!!! Too bad Gwynn played in S.D.

rsox,

I love it, just like everyone else. These last few days have been rough. I can’t wait for the games to start, especially tomm night. My day at work is not going to be productive!!! LOL…My co-workers would say, what has changed? LOL…

Will the layoff hurt the Rockies?

Webb is just great but other than him I think this D-Backs staff is weak!!!

smckinny,

If you see Erin Andrews tell her I say hello. Buy her drink a for me.

I don’t know, Brian. I tend to think so too, but they won the NL West title with that staff and then they beat the Cubs.
Go figure.

Hernandez does not impress me at all. Sox lit him up at Fenway last year when he was with the Nats. Results is that matters I guess.

Ilike the studio team, and since you guys are always talking about Erin A.and Bonnie and the rest I’ll say that Ron Darling isn’t now and never was too hard on the eyes!!! I just don’t like Carey. Everybody raves about his broadcasting prowess (as they did his father), but I just don’t get it. He puts me to sleep.

Darling a Mass native. Ellen your entitled too. I thought you would say **** Stockton or Ernie Johnson Jr. was HOT!!! LOL….

I don’t mind Chip Caray, not great but o.k. I think he is living off of the Caray name though. Harry, Skip, Chip and there are some on the way as well I’m sure. Harry was the best, broadcasts games drunk, you gotta love it!!!

Ripken Jr. and The Big hurt do a pretty good job. Smoltz the other night I thought was exceptional. He has a future in broadcasting when his career is over, if ever. Smoltz also is a great golfer, so he might give that a shot.

Joe Buck and McCarver tomm night, AMEN!!!

Kevin Kennedy though in the studio, UGH!!!! Never have liked him. When the Sox named him there manager, I was like oh no. They did win the division in 1995 but I knew with him there it wouldn’t last. He is full of himself!!!

We’ll know in about 15 minutes if the Rockies are still on their tie-breaker win buzz.

Joe Buck is downright the best, imo.

McCarver ……. well, you know him.

Speaking of that tie breaker game, guess who’s behind home plate.

I don’t think Drew getting paid $XX amount per year is a reason to have him in the lineup. If anything, this is Tito doing in the post season what everyone wanted him to do in the Regular Season – giving our team the best chance to win. Either way, I expect Drew to come in as soon as Sabathia leaves the game.

By the way, benching left handers, even when they are doing quite well, is something that is sort of an emerging trend. The Yankees benched Abreu a lot last year against lefties so that he wouldn’t lose the groove he was getting into.

Finally, just a rando thought. Jim Joyce has I would say easily the loudest strike call of any umpire around the league. Are there any statistics as to whether hitters swing more when he is calling so they don’t have to listen to him? It wouldn’t surprise me if there might be a small higher percentage of swings as hitters subconsciously don’t want to hear his call.

WOW what a macthup tommorow night. If you cant get excited for becket and sabbathia then check your pulse. The two best teams in baseball in a seven game series, it doesent get much better than that. Boston has a good team but i think the indians will pull it off in seven, but i look forward to a outstanding series.

GO TRIBE

Carney Lansford is the hitting coach for the Rockies’ AAA Farm Team the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. He has two sons pursuing careers in professional baseball.

Joe Buck is certainly the best play by play guy. Vin Scully broadcasting baseball for N.B.C. is my all time favorite. Dodger fans are lucky to have Scully do there games.

I did see Lansford in the Rockies dugout during the one of there games. I guess his son is in the A’s organazation.

brendan,

Durwood Merrill is pretty loud behind the plate as well. You can here him a mile away.

Webb is getting that sinker up tonight and the Rockies are hurting him.

What is going on with those D-Back fans, not even sold out. The Atlanta of the West is Phoenix with there baseball. Absolutely DISGUSTING, a playoff game not even sold out!!!!

You guys amaze me with your knowledge of who is where, doing what in baseball. Jeff is right, Red Sox fans are the most knowledgeable in baseball. Vince would argue vehemently with me.

Look out for the Rockies. They are very good and overachieving right now. That’s a tough combination for their opponents. The past three years they have been improving and learning how to win. Plus now they are on a ridiculous roll. They’re going to be tough.

Rockies smoked the Sox back in June. Of course that was a long time ago. Beckett had his worst outing of the year. They are beating down Webb tonight, not an easy thing to do. I can’t think of a hotter team in recent years.

Rockies teams in the past always folded on the road. Not this bunch. Francis looks like a legitmate #1 guy and that is key in October. Rockies are playing with alot of confidence and that is scary. In a weird way they remind of me of the Marlins of 2003 and we all knew what happened that year. A team that has come out of nowhere.

I love what I here from the Upton family. These 2 kids B.J. and Justin are extremly talented but they definetly have there heads on straight. Those 2 Upton boys are going to be around for a long time!!! Deystroying pitchers for years and making great plays in the field.

I don’t think Vince would argue because he is currently in a deep stage of depression.

Just kidding Vince.

Hughes, Kennedy and Chamberlain and with all that $$$ the future is bright. Just not the team to beat anymore in baseball.

A-Rod will opt out of his contract. Angels???? That is the most logical choice. Moreno loves to sign those Latin free agents. Gurrero, Cabrera, Escobar and Colon. Moreno knows of the latin popualtion and can dip into that market. Of course A-Rod’s big offensive numbers as well. Put him in that lineup and get away from the pressure of N.Y. and go where you are loved. Easy choice I think, as long as Moreno comes up with the $$$$. A-Rod will say where do I sign.

N.Y. will then have alot of extra $$$$ in there hands and they should be smart with it. Spend on quality not quanity!!! Of course I like every Sox fan says spend it on quanity!!!! We’ll see how it all unfolds.

I agree with the Sox in six prediction, per the preview on Sox and Pinstripes. Of course, I also predicted the Sox would beat the Dodgers in the World Series in the season preview back in April!

Thanks for the kind words about the blog. There are many well-written blogs related to the Sox and the Yankees across the blogosphere, but there are only a few that focus on the Sox and the Yankees, thus the reason for creating Sox and Pinstripes. I regularly read this site, many baseball media sites, and several blogs on a daily basis. Can’t get enough baseball!

In the off-season, the Sox, Yankees and baseball will still be our focus. I’ll be at the winter meetings in Nashville for a couple freelance assignments, as well as for Sox and Pinstripes. The off-season on the site will feature 3-4 baseball posts a week since the Hot Stove League is active, but there will also be a daily post about the Celtics, since many readers are Celtics fans, and this is shaping to be the most exciting Celtics season in a very long time.

Until then, I hope to have a lot to write about through October about the Red Sox. It has been a long week without baseball, and even if the Sox win the World Series, I will be aching for spring training the morning after the last game.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

I’m sure Vince is in a state of shock. Last October was not fun for us since the Sox did not reach the playoffs. Vince is also a Michigan fan, while I am a lifelong Ohio State fan. Right now, I have bragging rights. I’m a lifelong Celtics and Steelers fan as well, and I believe Vince is a Knicks and Giants fan. At least he has Quinnipiac hockey!

If A-Rod signs with the Angels, they will be doing nothing but stacking the middle of their order with two sluggers who light it up during the regular season but don’t perform in October.

zachary,

You might be right about those 2 in the playoffs. How would Gurrero perform if he had protection in the lineup? How would A-Rod perform if he was out of N.Y. in the playoffs? I think the answer to those 2 questions would be they both would do pretty well. We might find out but then again maybe not.

Jeff,

Michigan still has a chance. They are undefeated in the Big 10 just like Ohio State. Of course they meet in Ann Arbor and we all know how that game usually goes. Worst thing could be for Ohio State fans is Lloyd Carr gets canned and Michigan brings in one of there own, Les Miles. I think that is a strong possibility. Carr is on the hotseat and if he loses to the Buckeyes he could be done!!! Ohio State still has a chance to play in the B.C.S. Championship game but I don’t know if that is good or not. They got smoked last year in Arizona!!!

Jeff,

I do agree with you about when the season is over. Even if this one ends in late October or early November. I wish for spring training real quick. Nothing beats going to various sites around Florida and hearing the mitt pop.

Vince has the Knicks, in other words he doesn’t have a basketball team to root for. Any franchise where Isiah Thomas is in charge is a franchise that is going NOWHERE!!!

Only thing that would have made this series between the Sox and the Tribe, if Keith Foulke never retired. Imagine Foulke coming back to Fenway for this playoff series. The fans would be all over him. That would have been just great to watch. Foulke as we all know retired back in February. He gave the $$$ back I believe. Foulke of course back in 2004 was UNBELIEVABLE. Without him the Red Sox would have never won it Unfourtanly Foulke is remembered for his Johnny from Burger King comment back in 2005. A very negative person was Foulke, not the nicest guy from what you hear. Just something to throw out there.

Brian, while I agree that Vlad has no protection in that Angels lineup, it’s not like it would have done him any good. They didn’t pitch around him at all, he was 2-10 with 1 BB and 0 RBI.

In 2005, he was 8-38 (.210) with 0 extra base hits and 1 RBI in two series.

The guy just doesn’t bring it in October. With A-Rod you can make the case that at least he was performing before the pressures of New York got to him, but Vlad has no excuse and his body language, demeanor, and general play in this last series against Boston showed me a lot and I lost some respect for the guy.

Brian, Michigan is still perfect in the Big Ten, but they are far from a serious threat, though when Ohio State plays Michigan, it is like the Sox and Yankees – you can throw out the records because it is usually a close and intense game. The Buckeyes did get routed in the championship game last year. Hopefully that provides more motivation to win it this season. I think this is definitely Carr’s last season.

Colorado looked impressive again tonight. I think they will take that series easily. If the Sox win the ALCS, which I am confident they will, the Rockies will be a more formidable opponent in the World Series than St. Louis was in 2004. Of course, I still like Boston’s chances.

Not to mention his coming out of Game 2 after being plunked by Delcarmen. He played another couple of innings before taking himself out of the game when his spot in the batting order came up.

I don’t care if his arm fell off, when you’re the number one guy on your team and they need you, you don’t bail. (see: Schilling, Curt: 2004 ALCS).

Some of the best moments of ’07 so far: Youkilis’ inside-the-park homer, him chugging around the bases!, Jacoby scoring on the wild pitch/passed ball(?) from second and he slides across the plate, jumps up and goes to the dugout like he does that every day! When Lugo was in his 0 for 30 slump and the fans at Fenway were chanting his name and he gets a hit! and you could see how happy he was. Buckholz’ no-no. Coco’s catches. Papelbon’s 15 pitch 4 out save. Or was it 5 outs? That’s a few.

Papelbon’s save against Texas early in the season and the Clay Buchholz no-hitter are my two favorite games of the season.

Lol I enjoy when my sports teams are talked about.

I banned the Knicks since the brawl, I pull for the Heat and the Knicks (live in south florida now). I also pull for the Gators (thank you for killing ohio state) and Duke in basketball (been there fan since 6th grade). Hockey the Rangers, QU in college.

I do love Michigan football (giants pro), I also pull for the Gators and Clemson, none of them are making me happy this season. And no, i’m not a frontrunner, I have a reason for all of these college teams and my pro are pretty much straight up where i’m from/where I live.

Yankees, Giants and Rangers I passionately care for, in that order. And QU hockey. The rest I pull for but the NBA is played out for me.

I am not in a state of depression, that lasts 24 hours as I stated on Sox and Pinstripes, now I’m just trying to analyze the remaining teams. As I said I think the Indians are the team of destiny, but the Rockies can give either AL team a run for their money. The D Backs are a pushover.

Arnie, some Sox fans are very intelligent, many are ******, just like any fanbase. Though, Sox, Yankees, Cubs, Cardinals-those are prob the smartest fanbases.

Brendan, of course you’d see more ******* Yankees fans on this blog if you lost and we won, but that doesn’t mean Yankees fans aren’t passionate when they lose. Sox fans like to voice out their displeasure and blindly follow regardless, Yankees fans follow, but if something is wrong we voice it and if we fail then yes, we get depressed and don’t want to discuss it. Do you like to discuss failure? It doesn’t make sense to me.

My favorite Sox moment? Ortiz flying out to Jeter to seal the loss with the bases loaded.

gsm,

Favorite memories? Oh wow, so many this season! Maybe the Sept. 15th 10-1 spanking Josh Beckett gave the Yankees, or the home run Tek put on the beach in San Diego, or more recently, Jacoby Ellsbury flying head first across the plate in game three of the ALDS! If anything, and I think a lot of Red Sox fans might agree with me – this has been one of the most exciting Red Sox seasons of all time. First place since May, winning the division, a sweep to take the ALDS — really, really exciting stuff.

Arnie,

Yes I got the sarcasm! Thanks! I was mostly being sarcastic too! But it’s all in good fun!

Brendan,

I completely agree with you re: Drew in the lineup just because of salary. I think Drew has been a huge disappointment all season, even tho yes, he did look better in September, and marginally okay in the ALDS with his three RBIs — but I think Jacoby Ellsbury is a logical choice to go to if Tito decides to sit Drew. The only concern I have is that that RF corner at Fenway can be a little tricky for a fielder if a ball winds up in the corner over there, which is an advantage Trot Nixon will have over anyone the Sox put in Right. Drew has only played a year out there and Ellsbury doesn’t know it very well either, but Jacoby’s speed is an advantage, and hitting and speed wise I’m liking Ellsbury quite a lot these days.

bosoxbrian,

I’m going to have to disagree with you about Joe Buck. He was brutal on the sox in 2003 and 2004. Maybe he can call a game, and he’s certainly better than anyone TBS put behind a microphone, but I find him pretty ignorant about baseball and about Boston. IMO.

______________________

I think if A-Rod does follow Boras’ advice, we’ll see him in Anaheim next year if NY doesn’t lock him up. And he’s actually a perfect fit for their soccer-mom type of fan base (which he’ll like), and the Angels desperately need someone who can hit the long ball!

Tho, something I keep hearing from Yankees fans is about how great Derek Jeter is. I mean, yeah, he can hit some homers and knock in a few runs, but I think he’s the most over-rated shortstop in the game. And I think a fundamental mistake the Yankees have made, and keep making, is continuing to shape their team around him. When the Yankees brought A-Rod to NY, it never made sense to me why they forced him to switch to third in favor of Jeter. Rodriguez is/was a much better SS than Jeter, and I think that relationship got off on the wrong foot right from the start. It’s no wonder why this guy chokes every October. But hey, Jeter hit for a grand total of what was it, .171 in the ALDS? Wow, impressive…

Some captain. In the Game 2 bug game, they kept taking shots where you could see Jeter in the background doing the pee dance and looking like he wanted to run off the field in tears. Great example you set Derek. Duh.

Great discussions all around! Sox in 6! Pitching, Pitching, Pitching!

zacahry,

There were a few times in that series where the Sox pitched around Vlad. Most notably game 3, with the rookie Willits on deck ( replacement for Anderson ) Schilling didn’t give Vlad a strike, wise choice by Schilling. Willits popped up to foul ground to Varitek.

I think with a prescence of a big bat in Anaheim, Vlad would be more relaxed in the playoffs. That could only help. Ever since game 4 of the A.L.C.S. in 2004, A-Rod has disappeared. Going out West could only help him, psyche alone.

Vince,

I don’t understand, you said you don’t pull for the Knicks since the brawl. The next sentence you said you pull for the Heat and the Knicks. Explain that one please. A Duke fan, can we say frontrunner!!!! If there is a bump on the bandwagon, you better hold on tight.

bosox. i looked everywhere i thought she ( erin ) might be but no luck! oh well maybe next time.

smckinny,

When looking for Erin Andrews, look harder!!!

smckinny,

Are you saying you struck out? Did you go down looking or swinging?

Varitek to come thru tonight with men on base, 2 R.B.I. from Varitek tonight. Can you feel it smckinny?

I don’t pull for the Knicks in that I no longer follow them, but if they made the playoffs I’d pull for them over anybody but the Heat. The Heat have a great fan base in south florida and the better run organization, for that I appreciate them more right now. The Knicks are still a bunch of thugs and my belief is until that all changes and Thomas crawls under a rock somewhere, the team will not win anyway, thus I will continue not to support them.

Duke was the first college basketball game I ever remember watching on TV and the first championship I ever cared about was Duke-Uconn where duke LOST. I grew up on Elton Brand and Trajan Langdon, call me a frontrunner but it’s not like Duke was a champion and I’m still pulling for them even after back to back defeats before the sweet 16. Not to mention, one championship that I remember is not exactly striking gold.

Now, I also root for my own school obviously and I’ve adopted Clemson due to some close friends. I didn’t pick any of these teams because they “WON”.

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