Round 1 to the Celtics

You’re still on MLB.com, but I’m going to let a basketball blog break out here for a bit.

Forget about the seven-game series with Atlanta, which was a strange event in which the Celtics blew out the Hawks in all four games at home and looked like a lost bunch on the road.

For all intents and purposes, the NBA Playoffs for the Celtics began Tuesday night at the Garden in one of those rock em, sock em defensive tilts that marks true playoff basketball.

This was a battle of will on both sides and the difference was simply the two superstars. Kevin Garnett made all of his big shots. The King missed all of his — including a layup in which he had Kendrick Perkins backwards — that could have sent the game into Overtime.

It’s doubtful that you’ll ever see Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combine for four points in a basketball game ever again. And if it does somehow happen again, you can be sure the Celtics won’t win. Just as you can be sure the Cavs won’t win if LeBron goes 2-for-19 or whatever it was he shot last night yet they almost did anyway in this case. Strange, strange game. I’m not sure about you, but I’m feeling pretty good about Wally Szcerbiak (sp?) being on the other side of this matchup. Then again, I’d take Delonte West on my team any day.

One thing that drives me crazy is all the people that somehow think Doc Rivers is the reason whenever this team loses a basketball game or doesn’t play up to its capability. This is a veteran team that shouldn’t need a coach to put them over the top. I think Doc has had these guys prepared to play all year. The critics of Doc remind me a lot of the critics of Tito in post-October 2004. Francoma anyone? All those people who came up with that silly nickname must feel pretty idiotic if they are man or woman enough to own up to it. Those same people will be filling pretty silly if the Celtics win No. 17 this June.

While I think we’d all rather watch a more artistic game when the two teams are actually making shots, I did find last night’s game to be a thoroughly entertaining watch. Just two teams grinding and fighting and desperate to win.

I’m sure Game 2 will have a different personality. That’s just the way playoff basketball is.

Oh, by the way Manny belted No. 497 last night. Can anyone else in baseball besides Manny hit a lazy flyball that goes 420 feet? And it was the first time he had ever seen this kid pitcher and he rakes at the first pitch and puts it over the wall. I’ll say it again. What an unbelievable hitter this guy is.

Later,

 Ian.

153 Comments

Ian, I agree with you that the naysayers about Terry Francona were wrong, and I think it is juvenile to ever resort to calling a a person names like FranComa, Lugnuts, Judy Drew, etc. Unfortunately, there are lots of morons out there who cannot express themselves in an intelligent manner. But I digress. I disagree with you about Doc Rivers. I live in Orlando, and he was a poor coach here. He was ineffective in Boston until Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and key role players like Posey and House were acquired. I do think that a coach takes too much criticism when a team is bad, and too much credit when a team is good. I don’t think Rivers is a good Xs and Os guy, and I firmly believe the Celtics would be better off in the long run with someone else as the head coach. Nevertheless, the Celtics can win with Rivers as long as they have the Big Three, key role players and Rajon Rondo, who has made tremendous strides this year as a point guard.

I think Francona is the long-term answer for the Red Sox, but Rivers isn’t with the Celtics. Regardless who is the coach; however, I will remain passionate as I have since the late 70s when I was a little kid captivated by Larry Bird.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

It has taken me a long time to figure Tito out. I have to admit that although I never called him any names, I’ve been pretty critical of some of the moves he has made. It is now pretty obvious that Tito has a grasp of the big picture that not many (including me most of the time) do. Obviously, as a fan, I want to see him pull out all the stops to try to win every game. It’s the way of things for us fans. Tito thinks way beyond the 9th inning of tonight’s game. That was evident particularly last year when the Sox entered the post season with a healthy and well rested team.

I can even look at last night as a good example. Wakefield was breezing, 98 pitches, and a chance for a complete game shutout. The one guy in the Sox pen who could really make a difference right now is Timlin. He’s still coming back and last night was a good opportunity to get him some work, and try to boost his confidence, which he did. We all know Wakefield is a team guy and probably had no objection at all to giving up his personal achievement for the good of Mike Timlin and the team. The fan wants to see Wakefield go on, the good manager sees way beyond that. So even though I still cringe at some of Tito’s moves, it’s tough to question his credibility with what he has accomplished.

The Celtics game last night was a pretty horrific display of basketball, but you’re right Ian, it was exciting to watch. I recently had the chance to play golf with former Celtics guard and Hall of Famer, Sam Jones a few times. What a treat that was. Sam likes Doc Rivers. That’s good enough for me. By the way, Sam will turn 75 next month and he shot an 85. Oh yeah, he wasn’t shooting from the Seniors’ tees either. He is as accurate with his putter as he was with that deadly bank jump shot of his.

As long as Doc Rivers is fed the talent by Danny Ainge the Celtics will be just fine. K.C. Jones won 2 titles, let’s face it, he isn’t even in top 20 for coaches. Basketball is a players league and always will be that way. How many different teams have won the title in the last 25 years ? Only reason the Rockets won it all twice was Jordan thought he could play baseball. We all know what happened there. Jordan was managed by Francona in Birmingham and was a team-mate of Nomar in the Arizona Fall League. Good tidbits there, I’m sure you all knew that anyway.

Doc Rivers didn’t do well in Orlando because the Magic had no talent. McGrady was probably there best player and was very young at that time but then again he is over-rated. Hill was a poor signing by Gabriel, damaged goods. One thing I like about Doc was last year when the Celtics were going thru that horrible season, none of the players complained. That speaks volumes of him as a coach. Usually when a team has a skid like that, the players are quick to blame the coach. Especially in the N.B.A. They sell out there coach quick. There have been cases of that over the years.
Doc gets the respect of the players just like Francona does. If you don’t get the respect of the players, you are done!!! Players will challenge you, just too see what they’ll get away with. My only issue with Doc Rivers is he goes back home to Orlando too often. I am not sure if he did that alot this year, I know that was the case in the last couple of seasons. As you said Jeff, Rondo developed, that has to do with the coaching of Doc. I think Doc knows a thing or two about backcourt play. Celtics are the best Defensive team in the N.B.A. and once again that has to do with Doc as well. Tom Thibodeau as well, a great defensive coach, hired by Doc. Doc was a very good defensive player during his day. Of course it helps when you have Garnett on your team. A beast on the defensive end is Garnett. I don’t know if Doc will guide the C’s to a 17th title but he is someone you root for.

I hope Bucholtz can keep the streak going, the winning streak but also the streak by the starters. Quality start after another. These 2 games the Red Sox have jumped out early, keep that trend going. Jump these lifeless Tigers early, it is a team without any confidence. They almost have the attitude of how will we lose tonight. They have shown no life in the first 2 games. I’m sure the clubhouse is pretty tense among the guys. They seem to be hitting with white knuckles out there.

Oritz’s knee is just fine. Legging it out for a 2 out double.

Anybody know about Dustin. Is this just a night off or is he hurt?

Wakefield and Timlin, first pitchers over the age of 40 to combine for a shutout. Now that is funny. History was made, lol.

Dave,

I think it is a night off. His first game off since April 13th, he later played though. He is the only guy to play in all 34 games.

I have seen Drew groundout to second base too many times. He should try going the other way more.

j.d. is not the hitter I was hoping for. I might also add that as much as I enjoy Lowrie, his play shows me how amazing Dustin is. Dustin is a miracle out there.
Buckholtz is bleeding pitches. He needs to get some quick outs.

Bucholtz looking sharp early. Sheffield’s hit went about 25 feet. It goes as a single in the book.

I was hoping for Drew to hit .285 to .300 15 to 22 homers and drive in 90 runs and score 90 runs or so. Not a 14 million dollar player, money not well spent. I guess Theo was studying for the bar when math was going on.

I’m pretty impressed with Galaragga so far. We shall what happens when the Sox hit for the 2nd and 3rd time around the order.

I would agree but in fairness the Sox have never seen him before and that gives him an advantage. Tigers took the lead. Good hit and run play. They showed aggression.

Dave…

Tigers got a second run. They are showing some fire tonight.

Tigers are seeing Bucholtz for the first time and he is having some problems with the second time around. I hope the Sox do the same to Galaragga. Sox have jumped out early the last 2 games against this struggling Detroit team. Not the case tonight.

Bucholtz hit a wall here in the 3rd inning. He is on the ropes. Alot of off speed pitches here.

Francona had to put Tavarez trailing by one. Now it is a 4 run game

Tonight was 1 more reason why Tavarez should be dealt away. Send him to the N.L. I am sure someone over there needs a righty. The Sox will get very little in return but that is fine with me. I think his time is winding down in a Red Sox uniform.

Boston battling back, trying to make it a game.

Bucholtz with a poor start, alot of hits out there. That is how it goes with young pitching. There will be some growing pains and he is learning at the highest level. It will only make him a better pitcher.

Can Lugo deliver with a runner in scoring position? I doubt it.

I saw something the other night that Tavarez is third among active pitchers in holds. Does he get a hold for holding the Tigers ahead tonight?

Hey BoxSoxBrian,

In fairness to Taravez, he hasn’t pitched in a while but ya…that was bad. The Tigers bats and confidence are alive and this is something you don’t want right now. The main reason the Tigers have been shut down is lack of confidence.
Buckholtz will be a great pitcher and I suspect the one to be sent down once Colon comes up (if he comes up). The Sox have already said they have an inning count on him. He’s still a development and I suspect was not supposed to be up there but the Sox were out of arms. Schilling is also pitching but he has to earn a spot.
Taravez was put on because he’s mid-inning relief. No other reason. Sadly he lost the game for the Sox. There is just no way they will come back from a three run disadvantage. On top of that now Terry is digging into the pen. This — I hope — will not set off losing streak # 2.

Dave,

In my opinion you don’t want Tavarez pitching much anyway. If he is, things are going bad for the Red Sox.

I am not counting on Colon for too much this season. I still like the signing though. Low risk, high reward, that is a good thing.

Don’t count out Boston yet. This Tigers pen is not blowing people away. No Zuymaya and Rodney. Boston hitting the longball in the last couple of games as well. Of course for a comeback, the Sox pen has to do there work as well. We all know that could get dicey.

Gsm,
LOL.
That is the funniest comment on here. He is nothing but B.P. I will drive him to the airport. Tavarez is a character but I want a guy that gets people out.

bosoxbrian,

Ya, Tavarez got a lot of support from me early on but there is no question there has to be a better arm out there for this type of spot-starting and middle relief. He can’t be the only one that can do the job. In all fairness to Curt Schilling, if he could make the transaction it might save his arm some grief and give the Red Sox some bullpen support — but I’m not a pitching coach.
However, I feel like I can ALMOST make a $10.00 bet they won’t win tonight — but the Sox have been known to surprise me and I’m cheap!

Dave…

Aardsma has pretty good stuff, he just needs to find the strike zone. A lot like Hansen.

Dave,

I am not counting on Schilling at all. He only started throwing on flat ground and it wasn’t long distance and it was for a short time.

I would like too see him back but highly unlikely.

I am cheap as well. I wish Theo was, he wouldn’t have some ugly contracts on the team. Contracts they might have to eat part of it too deal them away. Namely Lugo and Drew.

I would agree about Aardsma, just like Delcarmen. Good stuff. Delcarmen’s fastball is more straight. Hansen in the 7th inning on Mon. night threw some nasty sliders. I really like what I see from him. Hansen will make some contributions to this team.

Aardsma has great stuff I think…but you are right — the strike zone seems to be the battle for him.

Of course Henry/Werner need to approve on the Drew and Lugo deals. Theo fell in love with Drew back when Drew had that great season in Atlanta. His only great season.

The Sox pen I think will work itself out as the season moves along. Lopez is getting lefties out this year, unlike last year. I still don’t trust Lopez in a close game, he needs to prove he can get the job done in a tight game. Anyone can get a lefty out when the team is up 3 runs or down 3 runs. He needs to do it when it is a 1 run game.

Let’s go Lowell, drive in some runs.

Lowell going deep!!!!! Tied up in Motown!!!

Lopez with a scoreless inning, that is what I am talking about. Doing it in a tight game, can’t get tighter than a tie game, lol.

Boston has the Mo now. Delcarmen warming up, now that could get interesting. He has fooled nobody so far this year.

Time for Boston to get there bats swinging. This Tigers pen is not good.

I think you’re right Brian, Hansen could really do some great things this year. I think he just started overthrowing when he got two outs the other night.

In the 2 games that Pedroia didn’t start, he comes off the bench with clutch hits. No Delcarmen with the lead, Oki for the 8th. Let’s get some insurance runs.

I really like Hansen. All you need is 2 good pitches coming out of that pen. A nasty slider and a blazing fastball he has. The Sox were very patient with him this time around. Of course he was rushed by Theo and company.

Hershiser was raving the other night about Hansen’s slider. He would know all about that, a great pitcher was Hershiser. What he did with the Dodgers in 1988, will be talked about forever.

Oh no

Jim Leyland rolled the dice there and it blew up in his face. That was not a percentage play for Leyland. Why would you have the runners take off ? Ordonez already in scoring position and the tying run. I am a fan of Leyland but he blew that one.

Stupid decision to start the runners in Leylands’ part.
Like what if what happened happened? Ordonez isn’t that much of a runner, and Varitek has a strong arm.
If we win this the Yankees are 5 or 5.5 games behind(I forgot)

Bosoxbrian,

Remind me never to make a bet because I will lose every time. Who could have predicted that the Sox would turn this around. Yes, they haven’t won yet but it’s looking much better now.

Walking Drew to face Varitek. Wow! I can’t believe they did that. Granted it worked…but J.D. Drew???

Dave…

Yankees aren’t even on the radar. Too many issues with that team. Swiss cheese are the Yankees, lol. Those young arms didn’t do the trick did they ? Kennedy in A.A.A. and Hughes on the shelf until July. Even when Hughes was healthy, he got hit hard.

Wang needed to come up big tonight and he didn’t. When you go against Lee, you need to bring your A game, not your B game.

Papelbon in, good morning, good afternoon and good night!!!!

Perhaps I counted chickens before they hatch but I have all confidence in Papelbon.

Never bet on sports, strange things happen. Vegas was built on LOSERS not winners.

Lugo with the error, you got to be kidding me. He had no shot at second, go to first for the sure out. I think he was thinking second base. When will he learn ? Will he learn ?

I never thought the Tigers would make it this interesting in the 9th.

Great bunt by Rodriguez.

This is getting interesting. Granderson, oh no.

A brand new game in Motown. A wild one tonight. I think I jinxed it.

What a crappy break for Pap. Check swing for a hit, error and he gets the blown save. That sucks.

….and a broke bat base hit…… UNBELIEVABLE!

The bleeder of all bleeders.

Go figure, Aardsma, Lopez give the Sox scorless innings and Papelbon gives up 2 runs. Of course Lugo’s error killed it. I didn’t have a good vibe when he booted that one.

The Sox fought too hard to lose that one. Real tough luck for Pap. He pitched well. Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you.

This all comes down to Lugos’ error. His defense is a weakness to this team, I’ve had enough. Get him off this team

Polanco with a 5 hit game. He is one of those pesky hitters. Pitchers hate to face. Always puts the ball in play, makes alot of contact.

Never saw that one coming tonight. The Sox turn to Beckett. A couple of hard throwers tomm. night.

That is not a Papelbon blown save, that BS should go next to Lugo’s name all the way. I never really noticed the errors but when they come at a time like that you gotta ask yourself, what is he thinking out there? Take the out at first and don’t try and hurry it. We all hated Renteria’s defense but this guy could get to Renteria’s 30 errors by the all star break

Joyce lead off the inning with basically a swinging bunt. Lugo’s error and then Polanco’s bleeder.

Sox will win 99% of those games, tonight was the 1% I guess. Papelbon will have probably no more than 5 blown saves.

Ouch! That hurt. I was wondering why they didn’t walk Granderson. That sets up a force at home. And his run is meaningless. With the bad mojo going in that inning it probably wouldn’t have mattered, but it surprised me.

I could see the look on Papelbon’s face after the error. He looked like he wanted to take Lugo and throw him over the ballpark. I’m sure he feels horrible but his error count has been exploding. He really needs to find a new home and take Drew with him. I like Crisp. Papelbon would have won that game were it not for Lugo. I’m sure he tried, I really am but that was a heartbreak of a game.

Dave…

Where is Glenn Hoffman? Rick Burleson? John Valentin? LOL.

I would rather have Bartlett with the Rays. He is very good with the glove and will hit .250. Good enough for me. Lugo doesn’t have the concentration out there. 9 million the Sox are paying him. Who is his agent? I need him, lol.

When will Francona and Epstein wisen up and get rid of Lugo, Tavarez, Lopez and Crisp- if you can’t trade them send them down to Pawtucket. How many games do you have to blow before you get smart?

Let’s hope this loss doesn’t affect Papelbon!!

Hi all from West Texas! 70 members of the Texas Nation turned out tonite to watch this gut-wrencher at the Pub. Consensus opinion is that Lugo needs to be Lu-Gone. We go through shortstops like underwear. No more big contracts until they find one with Jeter-like talent. Paps, it wasn’t your fault.

Where’s Cora? Lowrie? Either one is an improvement. Dump that $9 mill contract and put the RIGHT guy at SS.

panglotti,

Don’t worry about Papelbon. He has a short term memory and will recover from this. Lugo will play tonight. No question in my mind because Francona will stick by his players and make Lugo get back on the horse. Then watch Lowrie or Cora take over soon enough. I think everyone has had enough of Lugo and the slippery glove.

Dave…

I think if Lugo botches another play late in the game and it costs the Red Sox. I think Cora could be a defensive replacement for Lugo. Until then, Lugo will be in there, Francona stands by his players. Cora is alot more steady than Lugo. Lugo can make the dazzling play but when he has time to think he is in trouble out there. Just like last night, he didn’t have a play at second. I don’t know why he was thinking he did. Get the sure out. That sure out was a throw to first. I have never understood the love affair with Lugo.
Why give him 4 years ? If memory serves correct, the Cubs wanted Lugo in the o.f. Who was offering Lugo the $$$$ and a shot at s.s.? Other than Boston. He isn’t one of these players you need to get. Boston wins the World Series without Lugo. He is not a difference maker. He is a #9 hitter and has a very average glove. I guess you could say he is the best #9 hitter in the league.

bosoxbrian,

Right on all points. Lugo needs to go. He is abysmal. He wants to make the big plays and has the talent but not the smarts. The Sox need a good shortstop. They need one. Right now Rick Burleson out of retirement looks good.
Cora would make a great substitution. Everyone was screaming for him to replace Dustin but right now Lugo is a much clearer choice. Lugo can’t cut it and with the Texas Rangers he will do fine.
Dave…

Bosoxbrian,

Just want to add how much I’ve enjoyed these boards. My daughter is always reminding me to say ‘they tried’ so I have to be careful ever saying anything negative about the team…but it sure is great to talk to you all. You’re a great set of people. Beckett will pitch tonight. Sox should take this game because Minnesota will be very tough going.

Dave…

Dave,

I think every member of the Red Sox tries. I am convinced of that. That being said, this isn’t little league. It is the big leagues.

I agree about Minnesota, that will be a tough series. I am expecting a split at the Metrodome. That place has been a horror show for the Red Sox at times in the past. I have alot of respect for that organization, not the owner though. Pohlad has more money than most but he is CHEAP!!!

Dave,

Lugo’s problem is simple, a total lack of concentration and I think he panics at times. He plays a critical position. My mother even said, what is with this guy. You put good players at s.s. She is almost 70, she can figure it out, why can’t the Red Sox? LOL.

If there is one glaring error on Theo’s resume, it is at the shortstop position. He could have had either Cabrera or Gonzo for less than he paid for Lugo. Well, we’re stuck with him so we might as well pull for him to do well. Think positive.

Hey bosoxbrian:

If you remember when the Sox returned to Fenway, I said they had a “gut check” in front of them, with the Rays and the Jays at home, and then the Tigers, Twins and O’s on the road…16 games. Thus far, they are making me look good — 6 and 3, with 7 more games to play. If they win 3 or 4 of the remainder, they will come through this period winning more than 50% of the games…if they win more, its gravy in the boat. This despite the injuries, the illness and being on the road for 24 of the 1st 43 games. I’m beginning to think this team is for real. Now, if they could only find that one additional reliever we all believe they need.

Going back to the shortstop merry-go-round…does anyone know if the Sox are still paying part of Renteria’s salary? If they are and they decide to eat the last 2 years of Lugo’s salary to unload him, they are going to start looking like the spendthrift Yankees.

Speaking of the Yankees and their porous pitching staff, maybe they can bring the “Hands in her pocket, Rocket Man” back for one more Summer fling. I recognize that soxandpinstripes may not care for my nickname, but I think its funny!

Dbenjamin,

The Red Sox aren’t paying Renteria’s contract, amen!!! They did in 2006 and 2007. 2 years was enough.
The Sox let Cabrera go and I believe the Sox compensation for that was Ellsbury and Lowrie. I might be way off there. So obviously Theo did good there. Ellsbury was taken in rd. 1 with the 23rd pick overall and Lowrie was the 45th player taken in the draft. Hansen was also taken in rd. 1, 26th player taken. Perhaps someone on here can clarify that for me. Hansen was not compensation, I know that much. Like Bucholtz drafted with compensation from the sox losing Pedro.

Gonzalez should have been brought back, he was dynamite at s.s. He was a vacuum.
Jeff is a big Ohio State fan like you dbenjamin, he’ll give you a free pass, lol. I’m sure he’ll laugh at your comment.

This team is for real, I don’t know why you wouldn’t think they are not. Angels, Indians and Red Sox are the 3 best, no order there. When it is all said and done.

LeBron James will put 30 on the Celtics, I think he’ll take it to the hoop more. What a game it will be in Boston tonight. Looking forward to switching back and forth tonight. My eyes will be bugging out of my head around 10:30, lol. Oh well.

Dbenjamin,

The Braves are paying part of Renteria’s deal this year. It doesn’t say how much but a part of it anyway. Good riddance. Renteria was a guy that didn’t fit in Boston. Great move by Theo, he recognized his mistake and sent him off to Atlanta. I was very glad he shipped him out of town.

dbenjamin, bosoxbrian,

Why is it so hard to get a good shortstop. Surely there are some talented guys out there. We’re not talking Josh Beckett. We’re talking about a guy who can field ground balls and turn a double play. I just want Lugo to NOT make errors. He’s bleeding the infield. Dustin doesn’t have Lugo’s natural fielding talent but works at it and focuses and it sickens me that Dustin works his tail off every day and Lugo with all that talent looks like an idiot.
Well, we need **** and we need an arm in the pen. We need to find new homes for Lugo, Drew, Tavarez, Manny Delcarman and Timlin. That would be ideal but I also realize that any team had its weaknesses.

Dave,

I agree with you about the s.s. position. I think Lowrie will be the starter next year. Boston will have to eat part of the Lugo contract. That will be the only way a team will make the trade.

I am not ready to give up on Delcarmen yet. He has so much ability. Timlin does give them a veteran presence out there. Obviously Timlin’s career is coming to a close. He should retire at season’s end. One thing for sure about Timlin, he will spend time on the D.L. again. He is north of 40 years old. Tavarez should be shipped away, sooner than later.

I hope Beckett can get the team some Mo tonightand the Sox bats continue to hit the longball. No Ramirez tonight but Ortiz is looking good the last 3 games. He looks very healthy in the batters box.

The measure of any good investment is do you get your anticipated return, or in more simplistice terms, if you sell it for more than you paid for it (make a profit) its a good deal, in you sell for it a less (its a bad deal) — and in baseball, if you come anywhere near to breaking even — you probably paid a reasonable amount.

Therefore the most obvious way you can tell that none of the follow acquisitions Crisp, Lugo, Drew were good financially (even if they help the team) is that we obviously cannot find a home for any of them — no one else is willing to pay the money we did (or want) for them. Same for Lopez, Delcarman, maybe Hansen, Corey, Timlin, Tavarez (in a different way). Where can we trade them? Timlin has been a fantastic investment though, and he may have 1 more year in him, or may already have returned his value — the rest of the pitchers we didn’t pay much for, or came up from the farm — but do they have any trade value?

So we can’t move these guys — and who do you replace them with? somebody else’s poorer investments?

Looks to me like the SOX stock-brokers have a handful of stinkers in their portfolio, but hey have some real winners too (Ortiz, Ramirez, Lowell, Beckett, Youkolis, Pedroia, Elsbury, Papelbon, Lester, Buckholtz).

The only thing I can’t understand is that when you have real clinker in investments, you unload it and cut your losses before it hurts you more. I don’t understand we don’t do that with the SS. We have other options that do not seem to have the potential to hurt as much or as often. There must be some reason we don’t understand because we are not in the know.

How could I leave out Varitek — one of our very very best in the list of our current great investments — probably left out others too.

BosoxBrian,

I have eliminated a superstition. Every game the Sox have won was when I wore a Red Sox shirting during the game time. Last night I didn’t. Tonight I haven’t…but then again, Oki and Papelbon. Can they close the game?
Please tell me we won’t see Timlin and Delcarman. Oh no!

dgneubert,

Glad you brought up Jason. Sadly he does the stuff that doesn’t get noticed like getting a pitching staff up to snuff and preparing pitcher for a game. Does cash do that?
he also works with young pitchers on mechanics and while his hitting isn’t a Manny when a hit is needed, Varitek is always there. He’s just amazing. The man can struggle in a game but with runners on base or with the game down, suddenly he’s swinging like Manny R.
Varitek should be in the hall but he’s one of those quiet little secrets.
Incidentally, in bringing your point in investments, since you are in essence buying people not product the variables are all over the place. Who could have imagined that Dustin Pedroia would do what he did? Who could have predicted Youk or Lowell? You just never know. Even Beckett wasn’t always the Josh Beckett we see on the mound. At one time he struggled even with all that talent.

Lugo is also 3 attempts and no success. Go lugo!

Lugo, amazing, can’t even get a poor bunt done. Lugo’s maximum value on good night: 0 — his potential value on any night — can cost you game. Please do we have to watch him all year. His batting stance wierd — legs to far apart — no wonder he can’t hit — also looks like his on ice skates or balancing both feet on a tight-wire. I can’t imagine anyone looking more unbalanced and uncomfortable at the plate.

dgneubert,

In fairness I have seen Lugo do some really good bunts but sadly he’s just burned so much forgiveness that it’s hard not see him as a total frustration. I agree thought Lugo not causing any damage — that’s a good game. As a matter of fact, he’s brilliant when he doesn’t take you out of the game.

Hansen got 1-2-3. That was impressive. I cringed and he got them out — why — I was wearing my Red Sox shirt!

Did you hear the tigers announcers. ‘Glad to see him leave town’ in reference to Youk!

Dave…

Oh no! Manny Delcarman. Now another loss for the Sox. This is a disaster. Not Manny. Not manny!

Dustin did his dustin move! Wow can he play second.

They won with Manny! Manny won the game! Ya!

I was just thinking that imagine if Lugo was playing second instead of Pedroia. We would have had runners at first and second. I just worry about Dustin injuring himself but I am convinced the Sox are where they are partly because of Dustin. The second baseman is amazing and very underrated. He is the best second baseman in the game right now (IMHO)

Dave…

Hey anybody out there?

Dave…

Dave, yea, you’re right Pedroia is another mega-pick in the SOX portfolio — and I would have dumped him in the first part of 07, but I still don’t think our SS will come around — its going on 1.5 seasons and no change, iffy defense, almost no offense. Again, I know they can’t cut him, maybe the feel Lowrie isn’t quite ready yet.

Here is a scenario we haven’t talk about, going way back. If they had Pedroia in system as ****, why didn’t hey just promote him to SS, keep Mark Laretta at SS — wouldn’t have been air-tight infield, failing that — I was happy with Gonzales.

Not sure where the as ****, came from, should have been, as ****

I’ve seen a couple of posts talking about Lugo’s natural fielding ability. He can’t judge a pop-up, he has hands of stone, and he has a good, but erratic arm. Also, for a guy with his speed, I would say his range, especially to his left is fair at best. I don’t see much natural anything there.

Ellsbury was taken with the Sox first round pick, the 23rd overall in 2005. Craig Hansen was was taken 26th overall with the compensation pick from the Dodgers for Derek Lowe. They got Bucholz and Lowrie in the Supplemental First Round with compensation for Cabrera and Pedro. In any case, it was a superb draft and in the long run, maybe giving up Cabrera was a worthwhile evolution.

Gsm,

Thanks for the help. A SUPERB draft.

Cabrera was AWESOME in Boston. Everyone on the team seemed to LOVE the guy, especially Manny. No errors in 14 playoff games for Cabrera. Lugo can’t go 14 minutes without an error, lol.

Beckett looked great, in total control. What happened to Verlander? He used to throw 97 m.p.h.
Sox take 3 of 4, it should have been a sweep. This series in Minnesota I think will be a tough one. A split. The Metrodome has to be the UGLIEST place in baseball, just ahead of Trpoicana Field in St. Pete.

Hey guys, great game yesterday. Beck did great and offense fired well. Well Tavarez, hmm,……. No comment. Last nights game…a masterpiece. Imagine how lethal our bullpen could be is Aardsma and Delcarmen were to pitch as well consistantly as they have the potential to and if Timlin was to somehow settle down?

What’s the consensus in RSN about giving Lowrie more time at SS? I would think Epstein would tend toward a solution from within rather than a trade given the pressure of playing in Boston! Renteria has been a star elsewhere!

Kramer,

I wouldn’t bury Lugo just yet. I am not a fan of Lugo but I think he should be given a chance. If he continues to make a bunch of errors late in the game. Cora should go in late to replace Lugo. My question is what will Theo and the Red Sox do when Cora returns? I think Lowrie will go back down to A.A.A. What do they do when Casey returns? Hansen back to A.A.A.? Then again, it will all work itself out. It usually does.

Bosoxbrain — Lugo has had 1.5 year chance and no sign of improvement or consistency. Even Crisp seems to be coming around now — hmmm — maybe that is two-sided argument — hasn’t Crisp been here a year longer than Lugo — but even also, in all that time Crisp has been an incredible defensive asset, where as the whole time, Lugo has been a defensive risk.

All last year I worried that Lugo would cost us dearly in the playoffs defensively, and contribute to wasted opportunities offensively. As it turned out, I think he did ok offensively as I recall, which was a great relief — but he actually did almost cost us the post season. Maybe you remember cause you have all the details on these things, but I remember a botched pop-up in the late innings of pivotal game (was Schilling pitching?) . We were so fortunate he was, because he didn’t let that error frustrate it, and he closed out the innings without giving up a run — a feat Papelbon was not able to do the other night. My memory is that if Cleveland (i think) had capitalized on the error — we might not have moved on.

That is risk that I find had to continue to tolerate. If he doesn’t show confidence, consistency, and cleaner baseball now, I see no reason to carry this risk anymore, when you have more secure (and cheaper) options at hand.

That said, I pull for everyone every game, I wish Lugo could prove us all wrong, I really do.

BTW — is there any really successful batter in baseball (now or in the past) that has as wide a stance as Lugo (relative to his size) in the batters box. I don’t know how he can even move, or shift his weight at all, with such a wide stance. Maybe that is a technique he is using to keep his body steady during his swing (and I am not a hitting expert) — but I don’t see how he can hit anyway with that stance. Magaden must approve of it though.

Dgneubert,

I have said several times on here, I am no fan of Lugo. That being said, he should be given a chance to work thru it. I think we have too see the long term picture here. If Lugo botches another game or two, then Cora should be inserted in as a defensive replacement. Until then, whether we like it or not, Lugo should be given a shot to redeem himself. He should be on a short leash though.

I think with Lugo it is very simple, he lacks concentration and he seems to panic a little bit. He has made some really nice plays out there. I would label him average defensively and his arm can get him in trouble. Only Bill Russell could get some of those throws to first, lol.

You are correct about the Tribe not capitalizing on the error.

I am with you as well, Lugo proves everyone wrong. One thing from his perspective that must be refreshing, he has Francona backing him, that goes a long way with a player. That will give him confidence. We shall see, here’s hoping.

Lugo hasnt been all that bad offensively this year but his defense has definitely been a liability.

Will a pitcher with the first name of Boof beat Boston? I sure hope not.

Here’s an estimate, the red sox should trade Lugo

Soxfan015,

If the Sox trade Lugo ( Unlikely to happen during the season ) What would they get? How much of the contract would the Sox have to pay for? I am with you about Lugo. It is very frustrating to watch him account for half of the errors on the team. On top of his poor play in the field, he is slumping at the plate. It might be effecting him at the plate.

Lester is falling behind alot of the Twins hitters. Twins have themselves a nice little lineup. I wonder about there pitching staff. Everett at s.s. would look good with the Red Sox. A former member of the Sox organization, traded for that weirdo Carl Everett.

I would love too see Boston’s record at the Metrodome in the last 5 years? I am guessing it is under .500. Does anyone know?

Well, it would certanly be nice to trade Lugo, the problem is that 9 Mio per Year and that level of playing (both offensively and defensively), you will find NO trading partners at all. I think the only real option right now is releasing him. The guy is completely lost right now.

Lugo is the best defensive SS (starting) the Red Sox have had since Alex Gonzalez. So why would they trade him?

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

Sergio,

I don’t think releasing Lugo is the answer. There is no chance Boston will do that. They would have to eat around 20 million dollars, ZERO CHANCE.

This field reporter for the Twins is AWFUL. He stumbles all over his words. He can’t say a complete sentence without messing up. Who is this guy? Thank god he isn’t on the Red Sox beat.

Hi Brian. I am watching the game on mlb.tv and they have the FSN North broadcast, and the guys were saying that since 2001, the Twins have defeated the Red Sox 14 out of 21 at Metrodome

Statman,

I think Cora is better defensively than Lugo. At least Cora will make the simple play, unlike Lugo. From what I have seen from Lowrie, he could be better as well. Of course Lowrie has been a very small sampling. Lugo will be dealt at the end of the season. Boston will have to eat part of the contract. Just like they did with Renteria, when they dealt him to Atlanta.

Sergio,

Thanks for the info. I remember back in 2006, the Sox got swept in Minnesota. In the last few seasons, Boston has had there problems in Toronto and Seattle as well. Strange how that is.

I will be happy when the Twins go to there new stadium. I really don’t like watching games on t.v. at the Metrodome. It is so UGLY. I am not a fan of domes anyway.

Sergio,

I am watching it on the extra innings package. The Twins broadcast, just like you are. Blyleven is great, very funny. Who is the guy that does the sideline reporting? He stumbles over all his words and he looks like he is in high school. He is the worst on t.v. Anyone on t.v. should be able to speak and don’t stumble over there words. It is called being professional.

Lowell with the big hit. The Sox are 8-2 since Lowell has returned to the lineup.

Brian, that was a joke. I said Lugo was the best starting defensive SS we have had since Gonzo, who was the last starting defensive SS.

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

I guess I missed the joke, the joke is on me, lol. I wish Gonzalez was still with Boston, he was flawless back in 2006. A vacuum at s.s.

Ramirez having problems with another fastball. We have seen that before. Especially up in the zone.

Let’s see how the pen does tonight. Lester hung tough tonight, which is great too see. A sign he is learning out there. In the past, he would have been done by the 4th inning.

Great block of the plate by Varitek. Pedroia threw a strike to Varitek.

I think Varitek is the best catcher at blocking the plate, active players. That is one tough position. One of the toughest in sports, any sport.

Sciossia was the best I have ever seen, he was a brick wall at the plate.

Hey everyone,

Just saw Ironman at the movies. Oh is this a nailbiter. I am glad that I was home for this one. The Twins are tough — very tough.
Read all your comments about Lugo. One thing is for sure, don’t make 20 million dollar deals with minor leaguers.
I refuse to watch games this tight — it is now full count with the tieing run on third. I can’t take it!

Dave…

p.s. I meant “I am glad I was NOT home for this one. Now I wish I could take my eyes off of it. Papelbon walks! No!

AGAIN. Pap is having it hard lately

redsoxfan015,

In my opinion Papelbon is starting to bring it on himself. He’s only throwing one pitch. He seems lately to refuse to throw anything else but that. Now batters — as you’ve noticed — are hitting him. He needs that cutter and slider. He’s got to mix up pitches because they are figuring him out – IMHO

Uh oh! 2 eggs in a row from Paps…

Here come the Devil Rays

er… excuse me the Rays

Maybe watching Lugo make another error and giving up runs against the Twins tonight reminded Papelbon of his last outing when Lugo blew the game against the Tigers – again in the ninth. Hard to believe that they let two unopposed stolen bases in the ninth putting the game-winning runner in scoring position. Not good baseball. Somebody should have waken them up. Perhaps Francoma (Freudian slip), and perhaps the rest of the team, are relying too much on Papelbon to blow things by batters. Creepy hits happen and they beat him twice. Again- unload Lugo- he is a hex that continues to haunt the Sox.

pangelotti,

Personally, I disagree. Yes Lugo has his issues but Papelbon is relying too much on the fastball. In an interview after the game he said that he wasn’t able to execute the cutter. It came in like a fastball. Too many pitchers, in my opinion, rely on heat instead of strategy. Dice-K last year went to heat (not that he’s got Papelbon’s heat) and found dismal success. Hitters ALWAYS love that pitch first (minus Manny as of late for some reason) because it’s predictable. The twins are hitting Papelbon because they know what to expect. It’s been decided that everyone needs to hit him and they have.
As far as base stealing, I’ve always found that a mixed thing. You hold the runner you distract from the plate but you don’t hold the runner and you give up a free hit. What’s the best solution. I guess according to Papelbon it’s pitch. I don’t know.

Tito:

Bring back Cora or Lowrie as soon as you can. Please.

Papelbon will be OK. The blown save against the Tigers was a Lugo-aided fluke, and last night he was just a wee bit off. The walk to Gomez really killed him. He couldn’t finish him, and then a bloop single by a guy who was overmatched but just got enough of the bat on the ball. Don’t worry about Pap. He’ll adjust.

Lugo is infuriating because of his inconsistancy. If you recall the Tiger’s fiasco, on the check-swing roller he fielded it cleanly and made a good throw, too late. On the very next try, an easier play and he boots it. That was the key to the inning as, you all know. If you do the math, Lugo is making an error every 3.3 games which is astonishing. He will finish with 48 errors if he continues on this pace. FORTY-EIGHT errors! I’m hoping he can improve because as far as I can tell, he isn’t going anywhere.

Papelbon is the least of the worries. He’ll probably blow 5 or so saves all season. He is the BEST closer in baseball.

Boston has for some reason has always struggled in the Metrodome. A losing record over the years.

Dice-K will be pitching tonight, let’s hope he doesn’t walk everyone. He should feel comfortable in the dome. There are so many domes in Japan.

The Twins have themselves a nice little lineup. I wonder if there pitching will hold for the entire season. I have my doubts. I think the Tribe will win the Central. Twins could finish over .500, not bad for a team that lost Johan Santana. Alot of teams would fall apart if they lost an ace like Santana. Twins seem to have a great minor league system.

I think Lugo just made another error, lol. That pace he is on is insane. I think he’ll end up with 25 to 30, still too many.

Brian,

I forget what you predicted for the Tigers. Did you have them as first in the ALC or Wild Card?

Kramer,

Wild card and a 1st. rd. exit for the Tigers. Sox in the East, Tribe in the Central, gulp–Mariners in the West. Tigers as the wild card. Tribe winning it all.
No Yankees in the playoffs for me. You can’t have 2 unproven kids in your rotation with Mussina in there as well. Not too mention, nobody other than Chamberlain and Rivera in the pen. That is my Yankee rip for the day, lol.

How about you Kramer? Your predictions ?

My head says the Red Sox but my heart says the Yanks! Otherwise, there are soooo many variables!

Baseball is too hard to predict. The best teams are separated fom the worst by only one win in five! Greatest game on Earth!

Kramer,

Only sport that is easy to predict is basketball. All the other sports, is a coin toss. Baseball is a longgggg season. Go back to 2003, Marlins got off to a poor start, they fire there manager. A handful of months later, they win it all. Nobody saw that happening. Rockies last year, came out of nowhere. So many other examples out there as well.

Basketball, you can pretty much name the 3 or 4 teams that will win it all. That has gone on for years and years. Lakers, Celtics, Pistons, Bulls, Spurs and Rockets ( only because Jordan thought he could play baseball ) have won it all in the last 25 years. Sixers won it once in there. All the other teams, more than once.

My heart says the Red Sox as always but I have never picked a team to win it all that I root for. Yankees will be very lucky to make the playoffs. This year is different from last year for the Yankees. This year, there kid plan has blown up. Kennedy in A.A.A. and Hughes slated to return in July. Mussina, like driftwood on the beach, washed up. Mussina will give the Yankees an occasional good start but overall he will hurt them more than he will help them. Posada, who knows when his return will be. A-Rod a year ago was killing every pitcher, obviously he is hurt now. Even when he was healthy there was no way he was going to duplicate what he did a year ago. The Yankees are swiss cheese, alot of holes. Pretty much fact. I don’t see the Yankees winning more than 90 games.

Everybody in the act today, even Crisp and Lowrie

Bet Pap is happy not to blow this one!
Dice-K now is 6-0. Anyone think this is going to be a breakout season now?!
Another thing is that he was wild early and he didn’t give up a walk after the second inning. A good start for the Dice.

I’m glad Francona is giving Lowrie a shot at shortstop. He did well today and let’s hope he can keep it going. Maybe the rest will help Lugo. The longer the rest Lugo gets the better. Dice-K also gave us a good outing and seemed to have better control in his last inning. Lopez surprised as well. Maybe we are on a roll. Manny seems to be in a rut- let’s hope he can pull himself out. Youkis really hot.

A solid start for Dice-K. It’s amazing how good he can be when you throws strikes. Youkilis on a home run tear. I guess he loves the road.

Celtics on the road, same old story. This time around, they are getting smoked. Trailing by as much as 26, 43-17. OUCH!!! Boston might be able to pull within 10 points but they will not win. Too much of a hill to climb.

James is quiet again tonight. Celtics doing a good job defensively on him.

Wakefield in the dome tomm. night, that is always a good thing. The knuckleball indoors.

Freakish things are happening when Papelbon pitches now. Did that ball hit off the speaker or did Tek lose it in the background? And what were they thinking when they built that dome? Did the architect think maybe it would be fun to re-create a Bedouin’s tent or maybe they thought Ringling Brothers Big Top would be nice? Or did the Glad Bag company design the outfield? Good Lord, that place is a travesty.
How ’bout Dice-K? He’s in a groove now. Good game, Sox.

Good game by the guys.Great to see coco and Lowrie hit as well as Lowell. Dice K was very solid. We lloked great out there tonight!

Hey everyone,

Papelbon looked great tonight. He was using a nasty cutter as well as the heat and what the difference it made.
Lugo got a night off. I hope he can have a week off. He could use some rest anyway and a refreshed Lugo will only help him.

Dice -K found that strike zone again and it was a pleasure to watch this time. The power hitters came through. Manny is still struggling and I’m a bit worried about it. It’s such a treat to see this team though when they are on fire. They are just unstoppable.

Two stupid question:

1) Why is it so important to get left handed batters out that we have Lopez just for that? What makes a lefty so deadly on the field as opposed to a right handed hitter.

2) Why do pitchers go to the stretch when a runner is on. Is it to reduce the delivery time to the plate or is it an actual rule in the game?

Thanks…

Hi Dave!
How ya doin’? The theory is that a hitter will pick up the ball better out of the pitcher’s hand from the opposite side. So if a pitcher is a lefty, you want to bat righthanded and vice versa. Hence switch hitters. So a left-handed pitcher should get left-handed batters out more easily. Jeff, of soxandpinstripes blog always maintains that a major league pitcher should be able to get anyone out, lefty or righty, and I agree. But managers and baseball pundits believe in the left-hand specialist.
Pitchers use the stretch because it takes less time to the plate and helps the catcher throw out potential base stealers.

Dave, there is no stupid question when you are seeking to learn more about baseball! A pitcher uses the stretch when a baserunner is on so he can hold the runner on. Otherwise, runners would easily steal second and third. In the wind-up, a pitcher cannot throw to first to hold a runner on without balking.

Arnie, I really do believe that the left-handed specialist is a wasted roster spot. I also don’t like how starters are on a 100-pitch pitch count, and that they are often pulled after five innings. I agree with Nolan Ryan. Pitchers are stronger when throw more pitches. Pitchers like Roy Halladay should be a dime a dozen (as far as pitching into the eighth and ninth inning on a consistent basis), but they aren’t. I love baseball, and I think it is a great sport, but pitch counts and left-handed specialists are two aspects I don’t like. I think teams tend to baby their pitchers too much – the Red Sox included.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Brian, I am aggravated with the Celtics. In the playoffs, they have been a completely different team on the road than they are at home. It wasn’t like that in the regular season, when they even handled most of the Western Conference teams, and Detroit. There is no excuse for this. They must start winning on the road, or they won’t hang a 17th banner at the Garden (actually, it would be a first banner at the new Garden, but you understand what I’m writing!). Technically, since they have the league’s best record, they could win the NBA title without winning a game on the road, but sooner or later they will lose a game at home, and they will need to win one on the road.

Regarding Lugo, I hope he recovers from his concussion, which is an injury not to be taken lightly. I would rather see him on the DL, Lowrie at shortstop and Alex Cora as the utility infielder. Lowrie is not spectacular on defense, but he is steady, and that is what the Red Sox need.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Jeff, Don Drysdale said the same thing about pitchers; they get hurt because they don’t pitch enough. Good point about the balking. I always thought the sole reason for the stretch when pitching with runners on is because the windup takes too much time to get the pitch to the plate and the runner has an easier chance to steal.

Jeff, I absolutely agree about the left-handed specialist. For all the work these guys put into their craft and all the money they make, is it too much to ask to get right handers out as well as leftys? Sheesh!

Sox with the best record in the Al, and only percentage points behind the D-backs, 12 games into a 16 game run of some consequence. They are 9-3 in their last 12 games. If they can split these last 4, going 11-5, then have a day off the head back home for a few games that may be a bit easier.

Sox team era is now under 4.00, and they are climbing among the leaders in MLB, while they lead MLB in team batting average.

It certainly would be nice to acquire one more pitcher in exchange for CoCo, whose market value has to be rising. With Vernon Wells on the DL, maybe the Blue Jays would part with one of their pitchers for him. Or maybe, the Dodgers would sent Derek Lowe back to the Sox so they could collect their 3rd CF’r (lol) — what do you think?

Dbenjamin,

Mike Lowell returns and the team has gone 9-3. Interesting I think. Conidience? I don’t think so.

I would like too see the Sox keep Crisp for now. He has been playing well and he is a perfect fit. Drew always seems to miss a game or two and Ellsbury can’t play everyday. Crisp’s salary isn’t all that bad. I think Crisp will be with Boston until at least late July and chances are all the way to the end of the year.

Now if a team offered something really nice for Crisp, pull the trigger.

The Dodgers could use another c.f.’er, you are right about that. Might as well have 3 of them.

Jeff,

I would like too have pitchers come out of the bullpen that can get righties and lefties out. Embree was a lefty that would get righties and lefties out. I think the numbers showed he had more success against righties actually. A lefty specialist hinders a teams bench. Look at the Yankees the last couple of years with Myers. Torre’s hands were tied at times because of Myers.

Bring back Tony Fossas!!! LOL. Just kidding.

The Celtics won 3 titles back in the 1980’s because they won playoff games on the road. Just like so many other teams that have won champions. Detriot will go into Boston and win a game. Of course Boston has to get by the Cavs.

Brian,

Funny you should mention the 2003 Marlins! Just the team I was thinking of when you speak of winning with inexperienced pitchers!

Another factor in the righty/lefty matchup is that it’s easier to hit a pitch breaking towards the batter rather than away. So a normal curve ball from a left-handed pitcher breaks away from a left-handed batter. Most right-handed pitchers who are effective against left-handed batters feature a ball breaking away like a change-up or a tailing two-seam fastball. If I’m a little off here, Jeff will clean this up!

Also, a pitcher effective against both sides usually can throw pitches breaking in both directions like Matsusaka or Mariano Rivera. Pin point control helps too!

Guys, I heard Shaq is coming to the Yankees and Tony Parker is gonna come flying into Yankee Stadium with a cape on and holding a bat. The Yankees are gonna sign Shaq and Tony Parker. Yup and David Cone. Shaq is gonna play Centre Field and Tony Parker is gonna be new Right Fielder.

Crazy-in-the-HeadMAN,

That’s funny! And I’m putting up my pitching target tomorrow and working on my off-speed stuff. I don’t have any on-speed stuff since I can’t find any rigged gun that would allow me to reach my age, 66, and I have to rest an hour after 13 pitches, but, if I get a call, I’ll go!

And Curt Schilling and Bartolo Colon are getting ready for the Red Sox! Oh wait! That’s not a joke!

Haha Right on Kramer! Your the man and I mean that. Big Schill and Bartolo Colon are bound to make a positive impact at some point in our 2008 campaign as defending world champs.

Yes! I’m sure they will, but, a correction is in order. You are the defending World Series Champions, and favored to repeat for 2008 and 2009. If I had any money to bet, I’d be a fool to bet against you!

also i seriously on ESPN dat David Well si interested in coming back to the Yankees and dat Hank Stienebrenner is thinking bout it. Dat fat old toad Wells…

lol

Great humour Robert. People like you and BoSoxBrian are certainly great fans to talk to. Gotta luv Red Sox baseball man.

BTW, in March 2009 I’m already anticipating a pitching match up of Matsusaka vs Yu Darvish, if the USA can win the Region!

It would be quite interesting.

Hey guys,

thanks for the questions answered. Now can I ask my final set of questions that have bugged me as of late? I promise no more after this. Is that OK?

1) Can someone please explain a bawk (spelling) to me in simple language. I’ve never quite understood. Is it to do with having to take a step towards home plate first or something?

2) Why call it a rubber game? Where did that term come from? (The rubber meets the road or something???)

3) Why is the knuckleball dying out. Certainly it’s a hard pitch to throw and control but Wakefield has proven it can shut down a lineup in a hurry. Is anybody but Wakefield using that pitch or is it going to become a dying art?

4) Outside of deciding if a runner can go to home from third base, what exactly does a third base and first base coach do anyway?

Thanks so much to all of you. You’re great!

Dave…

Dave
(1) check out http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-balk-in-baseball.htm
* Pitcher makes a motion typically associated with his pitching motion but his foot is not touching the pitching rubber.
* After pausing in the pitching position, pitcher removes one hand from the ball. Dropping the ball once on the pitching plate is also ruled a balk.

The underlying principle behind the balk rule is to protect base-runners (and would-be base-stealers) from being deceived by the pitcher. Deceiving a base-runner is the best way to throw him out, but if the deception breaks one of the guidelines above, a balk has occurred.

(4) First & Third base coaches also pass along plays via hand signals to the runners (like steal, hit and run, etc).

Don’t know why this wasn’t in the definition above, maybe there is a better definition on wikipedia (or elsewhere) — but the pitcher has to become set (in his motion) before throwing to first (or pitching for that matter) — if the pitcher never stops his motion (again becomes set) before throwing to first or pitching, that is a balk as well (I believe).

Don’t know why this wasn’t in the definition above, maybe there is a better definition on wikipedia (or elsewhere) — but the pitcher has to become set (in his motion) before throwing to first (or pitching for that matter) — if the pitcher never stops his motion (again becomes set) before throwing to first or pitching, that is a balk as well (I believe).

Much better and thorough definitiion of a balk on wikipedia — check out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balk

How long does it take Francona to realize that Wakefield had absolutely nothing today? After the three run homer he should have had someone warming up. After the second homer he should have been pulled. A 5 to 1 deficit is bad enough but the game was early. Increasing the Twins lead to 7 to 1 by keeping Wakefield in is ridiculous.The Sox battled back and if Drew hadn’t got caught at third on Crisp’s shot offf Nathan it could have been a different ballgame. I realize that Francona has a lot of respect and feelings for Wakefield but I think he let the game get out of hand.

Pangelotti,

In Francona’s defense, it is very hard to gauge Wakefield. He might have left him in a little long, I wouldn’t totally disagree with you. There have been games in the past where Wakefield got hit hard early and he battled thru it. He’ll end up given the team 6 innings or so. You can never tell with those knuckleballers. From pitch to pitch or start to start. You just have to hope for the best.

Timlin had another rough outing, no surprise.

If Drew takes off for 3rd right away, he might have been safe. He hesitated and it cost him and the team. I will be glad when the Sox get out of Minneapolis. A house of horrors over the years. That carpet they play on seems very bouncy. Any little hit goes thru and any bouncer in the outfield seems to be very tricky. Not too mention that dumb baggy in right.

Let’s hope they can get out of the Twin cities with a split. Bucholtz on the hill, his last time out, he got rocked. Rookie pitchers will be up and down all year. Learning on the big league level, not an easy thing to do.

I loved watching Oritz behind Francona, when Tito was doing the interview in the dugout. Francona swore on t.v.–good stuff for sure. Francona said he could kick Oritz’s a–. lol.

Hey guys,

First, thank you for all the help on balks (got the spelling right this time) and the one on the first and third base coaches. Clears up a lot of grief for me on feeling stupid about it.

pangelotti,
I suspect that it’s not about Wakefield but about pitching realities. Move Wakefield out of the game and you start draining the bullpen dry and that’s kind of what happened. You never want to take out a starting pitched unless you have too because you drain the pen — but that’s my opinion.

Did you guys notice that Corey has gone to the Padres. I’m a bit surprised because his last outing was great. Cora is back in the lineup — didn’t that feel great!
It’s a tough loss but Timlin gave up the final run that won the game for the Twins. I’m sure the Sox will be really glad to leave Twinville.
Manny is falling into a major slump.

Dave…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 78 other followers

%d bloggers like this: