Road Test

Tonight is truly Driver’s Ed for the Boston Celtics. It’s time, for once and for all, to see how this team handles the road.

They’ve driven off of it so far in these playoffs, nearly to a state of utter disaster and embarrassment against Atlanta.

Game 3 at Cleveland was so bad that my eight-year-old son was screaming for Doc Rivers to put Scalabrine in the game. When I reminded him that Scal was inactive, he still thought that Scalabrine — decked out in suit and tie — would be better than what was going on out there on the floor at the time.

Truth be told, the Celtics need to play with an attitude like they did during the regular season. They need to play like an attitude like they have at home in the playoffs.

Rondo needs to start being Rondo again. Garnett needs to take it strong to the basket. Paul Pierce needs to pretend this is the 2002 and 2003 playoffs and it is on him to will points for this team. Ray Allen needs to play with a pulse.

Mind you, the home team is taking care of business in just about every playoff series at the moment. But the Celtics need to at least get competitive on the road. Last game was an embarrassment.

We’ll see what they have in store tonight.

Meanwhile at the Metrodome, Buchholz takes the ball as the Sox try to salvage a split in Minny.

Ian.

94 Comments

I thought the Celtics should have put in Greg Kite or Darren Tillis, lol. Couldn’t have done any worse.

Celtics starters have come out lifeless the last 2 games. That is concerning to me.

Celtics didn’t attempt a f.t. until 3:30 minutes to go until half-time. They need to take it to the rack and put the pressure on the Cavs. All the pressure is on the Cavs tonight not the Celtics.

LeBron hasn’t done much in the series, if the Celtics continue to play him the way they have. The Celtics should win tonight. I doubt West and Smith will have the games they had the other night tonight. The Celtics bench has to show up tonight, they pulled a disappearing act the other night.

Only the Pistons have won on the road in the 2nd rd.

The big trio needs to step it up tonight. I refuse to call them the big 3, they are not worthy of that. Like comparing apples and oranges. Then again, like comparing the Yankees with the Red Sox, LOL.

I agree with your Big Trio comment Brian. The schedule is starting to grind the aging Celtics. They look tired. This year, they are the Yankees of the NBA. They tried to buy a championship and they played hard all year, and now they could be out of gas. They need to win tonight or there could be huge pressure on them when they return to Boston. I hope they prove me wrong and play some inspired basketball tonight. Consider that the first game they benefitted from King James missing a lot of close in shots he would normally make. It’s not going to be easy and they better not come out thinking they can walk through this thing tonight.

I see efforts are being made to trade Tavarez. He hasn’t pitched all that well, but on the other hand, he hasn’t had that many opportunities to work either. He did some good things for the Sox last year and he can eat some innings if necessary. He certainly acts like all the dots aren’t connected sometimes, but he’s been a good team player and has done anything the Sox have asked of him. Manny say he should be traded to Milwaukee for a sausage. LOL.

Garry, I agree that Tavarez has made contributions in a Red Sox uniform (as a spot starter), but he is not a reliable reliever, so the recent news that he has been designated for assignment will help the Sox bullpen. Hansen stays (at least for the time being), and Tavarez goes. I wish him well, and I’m sure he will do better as a starter in the National League.

As for the Celtics, I don’t think they are tired. Doc Rivers did a good job of resting them down the stretch, and the bench is deep and talented. They are just playing without intensity on the road. I am extremely aggravated with them right now. If the Celtics play poorly tonight, I hope that at least the Red Sox win. Otherwise I might have to turn off my TV and take a drive!

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

I am with you gsm on Tavarez, even though we are in the minority. He is a great innings eater and even if he’s not perfect the fact that he can throw 5 or 6 in relief if need be is not something any of the other current 7 relievers can say. He definietly has some screws loose upstairs but he is a valuable asset to that clubhouse and keeps the guys loose. I hope they don’t outright release him but at least get something for him in return (I think COL is the most interested), to give up a seasoned vet like him for nothing is pointless. I for one am happy with the contributions he has made for this team. I can’t point out a single game he has single-handedly lost this year, but I can remember one he helped win on a monday night in Cleveland about a month ago.

Hey guys,

There have been a lot of changes going on in the lineup. Corey got traded to San Diego, Tavarez is gone. What does assignment mean anyway? Hansen is up.
Taravez has been very frustrating to watch this season but you are right guys — he hasn’t pitched much. He has that rubber arm allowing him to come in and eat innings. It won’t always be pretty but it happens.
The reality is that the Sox have a glut of arms and new ones hungry for the team. Snyder found that out early on.
Part of me wishes Timlin was out and Taravez was in. Timlin is done in my humble opinion. Having a pressure release value is handy but I suppose they see Schilling and Colon still looking for starts and have to make room for those players. Tavarez was a cheap release. Timlin more expensive.
I wish Corey the best though. I think he’ll like San Diego. For one thing — the weather is much warmer!

Dave…

I am very happy the Red Sox got rid of Tavarez. I think they went as far as they could with him. He was doing the Red Sox no good. When was the last time he was effective for the Red Sox? It has been a while. I have watched him many times this year get smacked around. Tavarez did give them some spot starts when they needed an emergency starter. They could always call up Masterson again or Pauley. Also with Tavarez gone. Let’s hope this open’s the eyes for Timlin. If he continues to falter, he’ll be gone as well down the road. I am like everyone else, I want Timlin to figure it out. If he can’t, I say good luck with your next team. So far Lopez has been very effective against lefties. If he continues doing that, he’ll be around. If not, perhaps his time will come to a close as well. I have seen this bullpen too many times struggle and blow games. I have seen enough, this pen is there biggest issue. They can fix the pen within. Not many if any teams can say that.

Also the Red Sox are showing confidence in Hansen. I think that could do wonders for him. A player needs to be shown the team has confidence in him, especially a young player. It woud have done the Red Sox no good if Hansen went back to A.A.A. At some point he needs to stay up with the big club. His time is now.

All I know is the Sox are 23-17 without him because the Manny HR never happens in Cleveland that night if EZ didn’t give them 2 and 2/3 strong innings. I too wish it was Timlin going and not Tavarez. Timlin for all he did for them in winning 2 WS is now really showing signs of his age. I know EZ didn’t do perfect either last night but that Monroe HR was a killer in the 8th.

Tavarez has been effective once ( back in mid April ) he came in relief for Lester. That goes to show you right there, his time is up. One time, safe to say he has done poorly. I agree totally, if he didn’t pitch well that cold night, the Sox would have another loss.

When the season started, I thought the pen had alot of dead weight. Snyder was high on the dead weight list, also Tavarez was high on that list. Corey I thought would do o.k., I was way off there. Lopez has surprised me so far. I still don’t trust him when the game is close. Timlin is north of 40 years old, never a good thing. Especially for a pitcher coming out of the bullpen. He does give them a veteran presence but he has shown alot of age this year. I also expect Timlin to be on the D.L. again this year. That is how it works out for guys his age. Especially after last year and he is a year older now.

I watch Livan Hernandez and I think to myself how has this guy lasted this long? He has nothing on his ball. I remember when he was a member of the Nationals and the Red Sox pounded him. Back in 2006 at Fenway. Goes to show you, you don’t have to throw hard to win.

Great approach by the Sox tonight against this soft stuff. Going the other way. Staying back on the ball. I would assume alot of players go up there and try to hit it a mile. Not the way to go against Hernandez.

Bucholtz takes the mound with a nice lead.

Let’s hope both Boston teams go on the road and win tonight. That would be sweet!!!!!

The scouting report says that Manny can go the other way, but Livan didn’t apply it.

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

Grrr…

Buckholtz got a nice 3 run lead and in one inning he’s blown two runs and counting with the runners at the corners. This is really frustrating. The pitching is starting to become unglued again.
Will add it’s nice to see Manny smash one out of the park. Once he gets past 500, he will feel so much better.
I hated to see Corey go in a way. I think he has potential but in the Sox’s mind you either produce for me or you’re gone. That has its minus points making players panic and feel the stress of always having to win. Sox need to be careful about too much instability in the lineup.

Dave,

Corey is a journeyman. You don’t know what you are getting from those type of guys. Snyder fits that category. No track record in the big leagues. No consisentcy from those guys. They are not reliable. Tavarez was a guy that wasn’t reliable. Boston is a pressure cooker, no doubt. If your a sensitive player, chances are you will not do well in Boston. Some guys have a hard time with it and there are some players that thrive in that atmosphere. Playing for the Red Sox is living life in a fish bowl.

That cuve Bucholtz has is something else. He is only 23 yrs. old. He doesn’t even know how to pitch yet. How good will he be when he figures it out? He hasn’t even scratched the surface yet. Scary is one word that comes to my mind on how good he will be. I love watching the young guys on the Red Sox.

This kid Gomez for the Twins flies. I would love too watch Ellsbury and Gomez in a race.

Pedroia hit that one hard, great reaction by Hernandez.

Good perspective Brian. Sometimes I keep forgetting how young he is. It’s obvious that Buckholtz is going to be one of the best.
Good point on Corey. You know your stuff Brian. I just wish the Sox were not always in these nailbiters — then again the blowouts can be boring! Go figure!

Dave…

Dave,

I am excited about Bucholtz just as much as the next Red Sox fan. I know there will be growing pains for a young pitcher on the big league level. Especially a starter. It took Schilling a while to figure it out. So many others had there growing pains as well. Glavine lost 19 games one year. You need to have patience with young arms. I’m glad the Yankees didn’t, lol. They rushed Kennedy for sure and Hughes as well.

It is great to watch Cora at s.s. Anything hit his way, he’ll make the play.

Boston should pound Hernandez. He has nothing on his ball, nothing but a junkballer.

I wasn’t aware Tavarez had been designated for assignment when I did my post.

Dave, a player is designated for assignment for the purpose of clearing a spot on the 40 man roster. In this case, I think Tavarez was designated to make room for Casey to come back. A player designated for assignment is usually put on waivers. If the player clears waivers, he then has the option of accepting a minor league assignment or becoming a free agent when released. He can then sign with any team, including the team that released him. Bryan Corey did that earlier this year. A team also has the option of trading the player. Decisions on these things must be made within 10 days of when the player is designated for assignment.

I think Tavarez is a serviceable pitcher. I think his lack of work hurt him. Given the choice between him and a Hansen who is firing on all cylinders, the obvious choice is Hansen. That being said, I don’t have the confidence in Hansen of some people. I’d like to see him a few times in a tight game under some pressure before I make a judgement.

Gsm,

You better be careful on what you write on here, lol. You mention Tavarez’s name and all of a sudden he is no longer a member of the Red Sox. I guess you didn’t know you had that kind of power, lol.

These E.S.P.N. announcers aren’t all that bad. Hershiser knows his pitching. Why isn’t he a pitching coach on the big league level? I know he interviewed for the A’s managerial job, that went to there current manager Geren. He also was the Rangers pitching coach under Showalter. I guess he wants to see his kid play at U.S.C. That is the only thing I can think of.

The Sox are making Hernandez look way too good.

This is getting ugly. Bucholz is throwing everything waist high, right down the middle. He’s got good stuff, but no command.

It would be a great season if Boston never visited Minneapolis, Toronto and Seattle. A house of horrors over the years. I don’t know why that is but that is how it has gone of the last few years. Kryptonite for the Red Sox.

Francona looks like he wants to choke someone. He looks pissed!!!

This game is far from over but it started so promising. I thought Boston was going to knock out Hernandez by the 4th.
Bucholtz got shelled again. Pitching on the road is not easy, Bucholtz has found that out this year.

Yeah Brian, better not tick me off, or poof! you’ll be gone. LOL!

Hersheiser is pretty good and he does know his pitching. He’d be a heck of a pitching coach. He’s so much better than Joe Anyone Whose Last Name Begins With M (Magrane, Morgan). He actually knows what he’s talking about and he was right on about Bucholz.

This guy Hernandez looks like a batting practice pitcher.

Gsm,

It is refreshing to here Hershiser talk about the game and pitching.

I would assume some teams must have contacted him for a job as there big league pitching coach. He does have a kid at U.S.C. and maybe he wants to watch him play. When his son graduates or gets drafted, I guess he’ll entertain jobs then. Just a guess.

Can you start to mention Lugo now gsm? Poof, he could gone, that power you have.

I live in the St. Pete and I get to here Migrane/Magrane quite a bit. He thinks he is funny and he isn’t. Morgan is another one, dumb dumb!!! Morgan’s ego is too much for me.

Hernandez throws junk. Not impressive to me.

Well Brian, even gsm-power can’t overcome the millions Lugo is getting paid. There’s nobody stupid enough to take on that load unless the Sox pay a big part of his salary. Even then, I’m not sure anyone will take him. Cora is playing well, but I don’t think he’s the long term answer. Lowrie is a good looking player and probably a better option right now than Lugo for sure. Cora is great insurance.

Cora is there best defensive s.s. but he isn’t an everyday player. I think Lugo will be dealt at the end of the season. It will be Renteria all over again. Boston will have to eat part of the contract. Just like they did with Renteria. Lowrie will be the s.s. to start the 2009 season. Send Lugo to the N.L.
Boston should have split this series, they should have won on Friday night.
Boston will be 4-4 after 8 games on this 10 game trip. Beckett goes tomm. night against that hapless Oriole linuep. A punchless lineup in Baltimore. Beckett should cruise!!!

Celtics are hanging around and LeBron has 3 fouls at the half. Let’s see if Boston can get it done in the 4th qtr. on the road. They haven’t done it yet in the playoffs. Can they do it tonight?

Sox are playing a very uninspired game tonight. It looks to me like they are just going through the motions.

Great news, the hapless Orioles who are following the hapless Twins. The Twins look like they are hitting every ball hard. Even ground balls are hit like rockets.

The Sox came out swinging and Bucholtz didn’t hold the momentum. After that, it has been all Twins. I would agree with your observations about going thru the motions.

I would like too see Bucholtz’s numbers on the road. I am sure they are not good. Alot of hits and that means a bunch of runs scored. Winning on the road for a young arm is extremely difficult. A learning experience, you hope they learn anyway.

Gsm,

I don’t think the Twins are hapless though. Any team with Mauer and Morneau aren’t hapless. Alot of good young talent on the Twins. Twins should finish above .500. I don’t see much young talent on the Orioles. Markakis is dynamite but not much after that. Orioles will finish in last place. I think the Orioles are the letter H in hapless, lol.

Boston has had there fun in Baltimore over the last few years. Unlike Minneapolis, never a good series in Minneapolis for the Red Sox.

Ramirez was going for lifetime H.R. #499 on that swing.

Not the most exciting game from a Sox standpoint. Going thru the motions as gsm put it. I think he is dead on.

Not the best series for the sox. Hopefully they can regroup in Baltimore. The worst thing is that both of the last losses were on national T.V., and Yankee fans can laugh at it. Besides postseason, it doesn’t seem the redsox are good on national T.V.

I didn’t think the Twins were hapless either Brian. Of course, listening to the broadcasters, you would have thought they were the team from Perkins Institute for the Blind. The Twins squared up a lot of pitches during this series and consistently hit the ball hard. Except Dice K, the Sox starting pitching was disappointing.

Well, it’s off to watch the Celtics. They are still hanging around after three, but they aren’t shooting very well and I’m not understanding some of Doc Rivers’ substitutions.

Gsm,

You are correct about the Sox starting pitching this past weekend. For some strange reason the Red Sox always seem to struggle at the Metrodome. The ball seems to go pretty quick on that carpet. That being said, they should have split the series. Papelbon’s blown save on Friday night, cost them a win.

Garnett was wearing invisible ink in the 4th. 0 points for a guy they call the “Big Ticket”. That is totally unacceptable. For some reason, none of the trio, takes over a game and especially on the road. The N.B.A. is a players league. Garnett, Allen and Pierce need to step it up and soon. If not, they will be watching the playoffs real soon. The Celtics do alot of standing around on the offensive end in the 4th. They settle for way too many jumpshots. You live by the jumpshot you will die by the jumpshot. A very old saying but I think it is quite true in this case. They have no low post game at all and that will eventually cost them. Either in this series or the next series.

Brian,

Garnett is having a lot of trouble getting to the basket from the low post. Every time he gets the ball down low, he either sends it back outside or settles for some crazy fall away shot. I think you’re right. He doesn’t seem to get many opportunities to make a decent pass which is probably the result of the Celtics standing around. Cleveland made some excellent passes last night for some easy baskets. Kind or reminds me of the way KC, Sam, Satch, Hondo and Bill Russell moved the ball around.

Gsm,

Garnett is a soft player. He settles for too many 18 footers in my opinion. I think Powe is there best low post player. For some reason these stars the Celtics have don’t have that killer instinct. They don’t take the game over. They are 6-5 in the playoffs. I put all the blame on them. They got all the credit for finishing with the best record in the N.B.A. I say you get the credit, you should get the blame as well.

Your going back before my day. Some great names though. All those titles the Celtics won, in front of small crowds at old Garden. I wish I got a chance too see them play. I would loved it. The way basketball was meant to be played.

Simply put, Kevin Garnett is a cupcake. I agree with Brian. He settles for too many outside shots, and many of those are fade away. You’re about 7-foot- tall, for crying out loud, you don’t need to fade away. For someone who is so intense, Garnett is soft. He would be well-suited for the Orlando Magic. I would like to see more of Powe and Big Baby in the remaining games. Also more of James Posey and less of Sam Cassell.

Also, I am baffled why Buchholz does not use his fast ball more often, as the ESPN announcers were discussing last night. Even if you have a great curve like Buchholz does, big league hitters will pound it if they see it enough. It was an aggravating night for Boston sports. Looks like the Celtics-Cavs will go seven, or perhaps six if Cleveland wins Game 5 at Boston. I don’t have much confidence in the Celtics right now.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Everyone who has been here on the blog for a year or 2 knows that I have never been a fan of Julian “Senor Ez” Tavarez. I cant say that I am surprised (except that it took this long) that the Sox designated him for assignment or am I sorry.
I do however hope that Julian finds a team where he can contribute positively on a regular, consistant basis.

Good Luck, Julian.

Jeff,

Regarding Bucholtz and his curve, it was the first smart thing Steve Phillips has ever said, lol.

Colon will be joining the team sometime soon. Bucholtz will go back to A.A.A. and the E.S.P.N. announcers are right. With hopes of him finding himself down on the farm. He needs to decide what kind of pitcher he’ll be. When he threw the no no last September, 56% of his pitches that night were fastballs. This year, I thought they said 51% of his pitches are fastballs. When you throw 95 m.p.h. you should throw it more often. Throw it to both sides of the plate.

Cassell had 2 awful games in Cleveland. He along with Garnett were the reasons why they won game 1. Cassell had 10 4th qtr. points. I think the Celtics need to see a Dr. and not Doc Rivers, lol. They are messed up upstairs. They are 0-5 on the road. They have melted in the 4th qtr. in 4 of those games.

question bosoxbrian,

When you said ‘what type of pitcher he wants to be’ I’m going to guess at the answer so please correct if I am wrong.

I’m assuming you mean of Buckholtz, if he is an offspeed pitcher or a power pitcher. Is that what the phrase means?

I read an interview after the game where he said the fastball wasn’t working at all for him so he went with the off speed stuff and of course they were sitting on it. He felt frustrated. As Joe Morgan (not the player from the Cincinnatti Reds organization) might say “he didn’t have his stuff and if he would have had his stuff then he would have pitched well but he didn’t have his stuff.” Joe was a character. As someone once said to be ‘he didn’t have much in the brain department but he’s been around the game a long time)

Dave…

Dave,

You are correct. I think Steve Phillips ( who I usually don’t agree with ) was correct in my opinion when talking about Bucholtz.

Joe Morgan was a character. Six two and even was his old saying. He did manage the Red Sox to 2 division titles. He saved the 1988 season with Morgan Magic. I guy I rooted for but I knew he wasn’t the long term answer on the Sox bench. A former snowplow driver, you gotta love Joe Morgan. Not many New Englanders can say they managed the Boston Red Sox.

Jeff wins the spelling award! Only he and I can spell Buchholz!

BTW, Jeff or Brian, why was Masterson sent back to Portland instead of Pawtucket?

Kramer,

Your asking a guy like me why was Masterson sent down? I can’t even spell Bucholtz’s name, lol. Bucholz, I did it, yes!!!! As Marv Albert would say.

I’m guessing it comes to down to a certain amount number of innings in A.A. they want from him. He’ll be in A.A.A. soon and sometime in the summer in Boston. No later than Sept. 1.

BosoxBrian,

I didn’t know Joe was a snowplow driver! He sure was New England though and you’re right, he gave the Sox two world titles. I loved Morgan. He (forgive me) sometimes made me chuckle when he spoke but he had a great passion for the Sox and winning and that was cool.
Sox once again put 3 on the board. Beckett gave one up but I have more confidence in Beckett. He’s seasoned.

BosoxBrian,
One more question. As far as the life of a pitcher, is a hard thrower or an off speed type of pitcher going to last longer (as a function of arm movement). I know for example a curveball is really hard on the arm as is the slider. What are your thoughts?

One more thing,

I have no idea that Bucholz was spelled that way. I must say though that despite that Bickholz is a great pitcher, Buchholtz is a very hard name to spell. Fortunately, I paid attention to you guys and have Buchholtz’s name down packed. Now I can talk about Backhotz and get it right!

dave…

Wow our starting pitching has been on fire.

Unfortunately its from the balls flying by their heads

dthatcher1,

Well, it was on fire and the Orioles have certainly doused it with water. I think it’s exhaustion and having Francona away didn’t help matters. This is depressing. I’m actually feeling down about the Sox. They won’t win tonight. I can feel it. I hope I’m wrong.

Dave…

Geez, don’t go giving Steve Phillips much credit. He was jumping on the back of Hersheiser’s comments.

Why in God’s name did Beckett throw Millar a fast ball with two strikes? Millar hasn’t hit a breaking pitch in ten years. I don’t know what Tek and Beckett were thinking.

This umpire has a huge strike zone. It’s about four feet wide, but he’s being pretty consistent and calling it for both teams. Hitters better go up there ready to swing.

I still think the Celtics are tired. They just aren’t young enough to put up with this every other night stuff.

You know earlier this year I heard an ESPN analyst talking and he did not pick the SOX to make the playoffs. I thought he was nuts but now I wonder if maybe I was just blinded by being too close. I am not giving up of course but this pitching problem is real and bad.

Beckett is making some good pitches that are getting hit. There’s just not much you can do about that. It almost looks like they know what is coming.

Dave,

That is a great question regarding what kind of pitcher would last longer. That debate could go on for days.

I would say a guy that can throw the hard stuff will last longer. Too much strain on the elbow with the curves and sliders. Then again, how is the pitcher built? Beckett is a guy that should pitch into his mid to late 30’s. He is very big and his other pitches are very good. A very good curve and changeup.

I think if Ron Guidry was bigger, he would have lasted longer. He was really good for a stretch. Also I would put Pedro in that category as well. If Pedro was bigger, he would have lasted. I think his time is winding down. There was a stretch for a few years where Pedro was the best in the game. Nolan Ryan was throwing gas when he retired. His body was breaking down so it was time for him to call it a career. Ryan lasted so long, he struck out Tito and Terry Francona. That says alot right there.

Morgan won 2 division titles but the Sox ran into the A’s. Morgan never won a playoff game. Everyone liked Joe Morgan. I didn’t like the idea of his hunches but sometimes they paid off. Morgan wouldn’t too well with today’s game. The scouting reports are very detailed. Theo and the baseball ops. guys would bury him with all this info. Morgan wouldn’t last.

Ramirez battling, he usually wins these battles. Not this time.

He couldn’t even get it out of the infield. Worst case scenario, a double play. OUCH!!!!

Gsm,

Phillips was the one that said if Bucholz ( Kramer I passed the spelling test ) does go back to A.A.A. he needs to define on what kind of pitcher he wants to be. Is he a junkballer or does he want to throw the fastball? I agree with what Phillips said. Hershiser had his comments as well.

Bases loaded and nobody out and nobody scores. Are you kidding me ? This is the O’s pen. I guess the Sox bats are hapless, lol.

Gsm,

I don’t think age has to do with the Celtics not playing well. Only older guys they have are Allen and Cassell. Brown as well but he doesn’t play much. Doc rested some coming down the stretch. He made sure they were fresh for the playoffs. Right now it is a post-season that could come to a close very soon.

Even if they beat the Cavs, they will not beat Detroit. The Pistons will be well rested and they have alot of options on the offensive end. I thought when the playoffs started the Celtics could win championship #17, I don’t think that will happen now.

Ellsbury should be running and running real soon. He hasn’t gotten caught yet in the big leagues.

Cora with a clutch hit. Go figure, Ramirez up with the bases loaded and can’t get the ball out of the infield.

Another close game with the Red Sox.

The pitchers that last the longest are the ones with the best mechanics. The pitchers who throw with the most natural motions. They are easy to see. They are the ones who seem to be hardly working because they are throwing within the limits of what their body will give them. Clemens, Ryan, Koufax, Drysdale, Spahn, Blyleven, Halladay, Mickey Lolich, Seaver and Beckett are a few that come to mind. These guys never had arm problems. Their mechanics were perfect or are perfect and they are all horses who can pitch forever. Of course, these guys are all starters.

Guys like Guidry and Pedro were great pitchers but if you ever saw them pitch in slow motion, their arms and bodies were pretty severely contorted. Guys like them threw way beyond what their bodies were structured to do. Unfortunately, that’s the case with most pitchers. They subject their arms, shoulders and elbows to strain beyond what is normal, or they try to do unnatural things like turn the ball over.

That was absolutely the right call on Ortiz. He committed.

Why didn’t the home plate umpire ask if Ortiz went around? When it is that close, especially late in the game, they usually ask. I can’t believe he made that call on his own. I don’t think Ortiz went around. Jim Palmer didn’t think so.

Boston went down very easy in the 9th. Beckett had that one bad inning and it cost him. Sox are sleepwalking lately. They left Detroit on a high. It can turn quick.

Amen, the Brewers are coming to Fenway this weekend.

Brian, I don’t think Bucholz needs to go to AAA to define the type of pitcher he is. He’s got a pitching coach and a guy who is supposedly the best handler of pitchers in baseball catching him. He’ll never get any better coaching anywhere else. He has proven he can pitch in the big leagues. His problem wasn’t what he was throwing, it was where. Given Phillips comments and Hersheiser’s comments, Hersheiser’s were far more germane. Bucholz had mechanics issues, trying to overthrow. When that happens, you open up and leave everything up. Hersheiser correctly referred to it as pitching uphill.

As far as the Celtics go, Garnett is 32 and has been around for 12 tough years, mostly with bad teams. Pierce is 30. They aren’t spring chickens and neither of them is used to a season this long. The Cavs are younger, faster, and stronger. The Celtics have the better players but the question will be whether or not they can keep up. Don’t forget, they also just came off a tough seven game series with Atlanta. The Celtics should win the series, but the best player on the court will be in a Cleveland uniform.

Look at a guy like Barry Zito, great mechanics and also some great genetics. Zito has never been on the D.L. Zito should pitch until he is 40.
Koufax didn’t last a long time, had a arm injury. From what I have read and what people have told me. Perhaps the best.

I think genetics plays a role into it as well.

The Sox are now in 2nd place. The Rays beat the Yankees in 11 innings. Yankees are taken on water.

Gsm,

I think Bucholz needs more seasoning. A handful of more starts in A.A.A. wouldn’t hurt him, it would only help him. He has gotten smoked on the road. Only 1 real good start on the road.
I would agree with you he does have one of the best pitching coaches in the game. If Colon does comeback, I think Bucholz goes back to A.A.A. He has fallen in love with his off speed stuff, he defintely should be throwing more fastballs. When you hit 95 m.p.h. on the gun, you have a very good fastball. He needs to throw it more. I think most agree there.

The Best player is obviously in a Cleveland uniform, no doubt about it. Overall talent are wearing green and white. I am convinced whoever plays Detroit will lose. The Pistons will be well rested and they are a veteran team. The Pistons are an older team and they don’t seem to be tired. This is the playoffs, no time to be tired. Time to dig deep if they are tired. Garnett is a very unselfish star, he doesn’t have it in him to take a game over. I would love too see him do it but I doubt it will happen. That is what I love about Kobe Bryant and LeBron, they can/will take a game over and rip your heart out while doing so. That is what makes them great. All the pressure is on Boston tomm. night. How will they respond to the pressure? There biggest pressure cooker of the year, bar none.

Ortiz was a great actor. He turned a bad swing into looking like he was ducking away. However, it wasn’t the ducking that brought the bat around. If you watch the slow motion replay, you can see that he didn’t start ducking until after he committed and the ball was by him. The umpire is not obligagted to ask for assistance if he believes he can make the call on his own. I honestly didn’t think it was close. I thought he went around. But beyond all that, Ortiz should not even have made anything close to an attempt at that pitch. It wasn’t even close to the strike zone.

Brian, if Tek and Farrell think Bucholz should throw more fastballs, then all they have to do is call them. Bucholz isn’t calling the game. I think at this point sending him to AAA would be bad for his moral. The realithy is that he probably should have started the season at Pawtucket. Right now, I don’t think the Sox have any choice but to go with him. Colon won’t be ready for quite a while.

….and by the way, just because Steve Phillips thinks Bucholz should be throwing more fastballs, that doesn’t make it so. I think Tek and Farrell have a good handle on him and he’ll get through this and be OK.

Gsm,

Chances are Colon will be making a start sometime this month. What the Sox could do is keep Bucholz and have him as there long guy. Colon when and if he makes his start, he will not go more than 5 innings.

For some reason Bucholz isn’t throwing as many fastballs. Obviously Farrell and Varitek aren’t calling them. I think they should and most people do.

I think he should have started the year at A.A.A. as well. The issue there is, who would have been in the rotation? If Schilling didn’t get hurt, Bucholz would have started the year in A.A.A. I think most agree there. One thing I do know, he will be a very good pitcher for several years. He has good mechanics and is a very good athlete. He is one of the fastest guys on the Red Sox. When dealing with young pitching, patience is the word for everyone involved.

Gsm,

Phillips said it as well and most people think he should be throwing more fastballs. His fastball is 95 m.p.h.– above average fastball that can get big league hitters out. He certainly threw it when he tossed his no hitter last September. It seems he has fallen in love with his secondary pitches. It happens with alot of pitchers out there. I agree with you he’ll be o.k. I’m glad he is a member of the Red Sox. Great job by Theo and the front office. So many young talent up and down in the organization. Not the case with the previous management.

Finally Brian, our great minds are thinking alike again. I guess the older we get, the longer it takes to get on the same wave length.

Has Colon pitched in Pawtucket yet? I would think he would need at least three starts down there before coming to Boston.

Gsm,

I agree with you about Oritz, he shouldn’t have thought about that pitch. A leadoff walk usually scores, especially late in a 1 run game.

Colon made a start in Sarasota this past Monday. I think he went 3 innings. I think he will be making a start in A.A.A. on Sat. night. I am guessing he’ll make his debut sometime in late May. I also think Colon made a start in A.A.A. back in early April. I’m not too sure but I think so. Getting old, memory fails, especially at this hour, lol.

Gsm,

You don’t want to be thinking like me, lol. I am not banking on Colon to stay healthy. He could be another Wade Miller. Miller made a few starts and that was about it. I still like the Colon signing. High reward–low risk.

NO, NO, NO. Come on guys! Two hs in BUCHHOLZ! Ian gets it right also! And Steve Phillips was a failure as the Mets GM, so who cares what he thinks!

And I think Colon could be great, but in somebody’s bullpen! There just can’t be many innings left in that unrepaired shoulder!

Kramer,

My grandmother a former teacher is not too happy with me on here. My spelling of Buchholz, I FINALLY DID IT. Now you can sleep at night, lol.

Phillips was the last g.m. of the Mets to get them to the World Series. That being said, I am not a fan of his. I would assume Hershiser must love being next to him in the broadcast booth, he makes Hershiser look and sound so good, lol. Hershiser is my favorite as a baseball analyst. He knows more pitching than anyone in the booth. I think someday he’ll be back in the dugout.

Mysteries revealed!

Buckholz pitched with a busted fingernail. That’s why he couldn’t throw the fastball. All the talk about his gamestyle was not the reason. he just had pain when he threw hard. He admitted he should never have pitched the game.

Injury count

Varitek — suffered the flu for a week
Lugo — out with a head injury
Lowell — suffered a smashed thumb but is recovering
Manny — struggling with hitting as of late but no injury
Crisp — when is this guy healthy anyway?
Ellsbury — his injury count is piling up as well
Drew — out with a hand sprain
Beckett — bad back but recovering
Timlin — hand problem but healed.
Casey — pulled muscles but back
Cora — elbow but back
etc,

The injury count is overwhelming. Why can’t they stay healthy?

Dave…

Damn. This is why I worry about Okajima with runners on

Ump made a horrible call on Manny after that! Not a good week at all!

Well… now we can hope for a Rays loss today and tommorow

There are some days I actually have to work for a living. So I missed the game and it looks like I might be glad I did. Okie Dokie has good numbers, but he isn’t getting the job done in tight situations. I looked at the game log and see Lopez got a couple of outs and gave up a hit and got yanked. He’s been doing well lately and probably should have been allowed to finish the inning.

Dave, the Sox have had their fair share of illness and injury but have managed to put a decent lineup out there every night. Injuries are not the reason for their fairly mediocre record at this point. The biggest reason is pitching failure. The woes of the bullpen have spread to the starting rotation. Maybe Dice-K can turn it around tomorrow.

I think the same thing that Hank Steinbrenner said about the Yankees can be said about the Red Sox. They are not playing very inspired baseball. They don’t seem hungry. They need to start playing like the Rays! OMG, I never thought I’d say that.

Gsm,

Great line at the end. The problem with the Red Sox in the last 4 games, they are playing like the Devil Rays, lol.

Thank god interleague play starts this weekend. The Brewers hit Fenway. Red Sox have done quite well against the N.L. the last few seasons.

Brewers and Red Sox, were some old A.L. East battles back in the day. Francona’s old team, the Brewers.

Injuries are a part of the game. They are lame excuses. Every team will have there fair amount of injuries.

Bosoxbrian,

question: How do you get a team to play hungry and how does a team stop being hungry? What are the dynamics involved?

Thanks.

Dave…

Oh yeah Brian, the battles with Harvey’s Wallbangers. The days of Gormon Thomas, Darrell Porter and some of my other minor league cronies. They had a couple of pretty good years back then.

Red Sox and Rays, role reversal or what? They are even jumping on the Rays bandwagon up here in Jacksonville. It’s unbelievable. It’s also very early.

Dave, hungry teams have something to prove. Nobody expects anything from them so they often play with a chip on their shoulders. You generally see that kind of attitude with younger teams who haven’t won in a long time. They just play with a lot more intensity and emotion.

Teams like the Sox and Yankees with an abundance of veteran players know that over the course of the season that they are going to be competitive. Winning every game isn’t as important to them as it is to those “hungry teams”. Teams like the Sox get hungry when they find themselves being embarrassed by a losing streak, like the Sox are now. You’ll probably see them go on a winning streak in the very near future because they will get a little “hungry”.

Brian, Celts squeezed one out tonight. It would sure be nice if they could finish this thing in Cleveland.

It wouldn’t be right to end the night without a comment about the Honorable Senator Specter. He just isn’t going to let this Spygate thing die. So I read some of his comments and did a little research. He comments on what a fine and upstanding young man Matt Walsh is. Then he says Matt Walsh told him that a few days before the Patriots played Tampa on September 11, 2000, he spoke with an unidentified offensive lineman who went to a meeting with Belichick and a couple of his coaches and was instructed to memorize the defensive signals (apparently from a film of an earlier game) and provide information to Charlie Weiss so he could relay it to the offense. The lineman supposedly told Walsh that the Patriots were able to anticipate 75% of Tampa’s defensive calls. Well, a look into history reveals the Patriots didn’t play Tampa on September 11, 2000. That was a Monday night game against the Jets. They played Tampa the week before. OK, so I’ll even concede the mistake on the date. Well, the Pats must have really been able to anticipate the Bucs’ defensive strategy in their 21-16 loss. Yeah, they sure had the upper hand as Drew Bledsoe was sacked six times, the Pats accured a massive 278 total yards, punted nine times and score one offensive touchdown. The other score was a punt return by Troy Brown. I’m thinking those sneaky Bucs probably changed their signals. How could Coach Bill and his cast of delinquents get fooled by a trick like that?

So Specter mouths off about an independent investigation using a story told by a know thief and liar as part of his justification. What a joke. I say let him do the investigation, but if he is going to associate to Mitchell, then do it right. Don’t limit it to the Patriots. Take a look at what the whole league is doing. He can’t believe that the Patriots are the only team guilty of this kind of thing. Yeah, the Pats broke a rule. In my mind, what they did equates to a parking ticket relative to the seriousness of the ways to cheat in the NFL.

OK, I’m done…… ahhhhh……. I fell off my soapbox.

The Sox seem to playing to get the game over. There doesn’t appear to be any life or ambition. The way they are playing they deserve to lose. The only thing I would have done (and admittedly it is in hindsight) is that I would have brought in Okajima in to pitch to Marakas, since he is a left-handed batter. Give the Twins and the O’s credit. They came out to play. The Sox are dragging. Let’s hope getting back to Fenway wakes them up and they begin to play ball like they should.

Gsm,

Well said about Specter. We have some bigger issues going on in this country. Spygate shouldn’t even be on the radar for a senator. That is my take on Specter.

Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer spoke on the Fox pregame show about things they did as a coach. This just in, they all do something to gain an edge. That is life in the N.F.L. and for that matter, sports!!!!

Suppan takes the mound for the Brewers tomm. night. I am expecting the Red Sox to pound him. He has nightmares of Fenway. Suppan, not one of Theo’s best deals. Freddy Sanchez for a very average pitcher, and calling Suppan average, that is a major compliment. He is nothing but a N.L. pitcher. He couldn’t survive in the A.L. and defintely not at Fenway.

LeBron was on fire in the first half but they shut him down in the second half. Rondo had 2 huge 3 pointers in the first half. I think those were the 2 biggest shots of the night for the Celtics. The Celtics were down by 12 at the time. Garnett came out strong in the 3rd qtr, which was great too see. Even Ray Allen contributed and Pierce as well. To the road they go and they are 0-5 on the road in the playoffs. They have fizzled on the road in the 4th qtr. in the playoffs.

Hey Bosoxbrian:

Imagine if politicians put all of that effort searching out steroid use or video tape use in sports to encouraging the development of green, alternative energy sources…we might not have to worry about what’s going on in the middle East! It seems every time they tackle a real problem, they screw it up, so the only way they can make positive headlines is to tackle problems they can’t do anything about.

Now don’t get me wrong…I do not condone cheating in sports no matter how it manifests. But…first they were investigating use of drugs during a time when it was permissible to use those drugs. Now, they are investigating the filming of televised games for future use. Isn’t that what all teams are talking about when they discuss “looking at film?” Is the difference here the filming of the coaches activities off the field, rather than the activity on the field? Are obsessive coaches like Belichick not permitted to review game films to see what play an opposing defense runs on every 3rd and long play? Or what play an opposing offense runs on 1st down deep in their own end? Are they not allowed to analyze film to interpret when an opposing team is likely to run a “trick” play.

I do recognize that at times, degree of difference can be the determiner of right vs. wrong. However, I’ve heard no one say that taping signals for later game use is illegal. I see where some are clinging to the notion that Matt Walsh was told to keep it quiet. Perhaps he was told so that other teams wouldn’t catch on and change their signals!! I remember golfing great Gene Sarazen, a sports figure revered for class and doing it the right way. After developing the “sand wedge” a revolutionary concept back in his day, he turned it upside down in his bag, afraid the British Open officials would ban it from play. Innovators of all sorts worry about detection for many different reasons. Because they worry does not automatically imply wrongdoing or illegality. Perhaps they just don’t want anyone else copying them!

In any event, if its wrong, the NFL will deal with it — they have showed a stomache for doing just that. If its not, let’s drop it…I have this real queezy feeling that what is going on here is nothing more than partisan politics. Spector represents Pennsylvania, which just happens to be where Pittsburgh is located. Is he doing this to show Steeler fans that he’s “butch” in their defense. I have heard crazier things out of politicians.

The best suggestion I have ever heard about politicians (and my wife was an elected member of the state legislature for 8 years) is that they get paid only for the days they are NOT in session. That might eliminate some of the over-tinkering and the partisan bickering. It’s one political solution we haven’t tried yet!!!

I must tell you it was tough last night hanging around a bar in Northeast Ohio after my golf league play concluded, watching the first half of the Celt’s game. Things looked bleak, and the local crowds were really whipped up. Rajon Rondo looked like an absolute all-star. Where did he come from? Did the Celt’s actually make a draft pick that panned out?

I don’t think I am alone when I say that the Sox recent play makes me a bit nervous. I accept what you describe as their woes in Minnesota. However, to drop 2 games to the O’s when they establish a 3 run lead in each, and where Beckett is pitching in one of them! Yikes!

Do you see them bringing Colon up anytime soon? Do you think that Buchholz will be sent down for more experience, this broken nail thing notwithstanding? Is this the same Craig Hansen we saw in 2006? Worse yet, do we of RSN have to begin obsessing about the Rays rather than the Yanks!?!?!?!?! (lol)

Dbenjamin,

Specter is a big Eagles fan. I also think he has season tickets for the Eagles, I might be wrong on that one. I would agree as well with your comment about the whole Steeler thing as well. Specter needs to focus on more important stuff. Why is he so involved with this? I would love to know his reasons. Then again coming from a politician, I don’t really want to know, lol.

The road trip started so good. Beating down on a struggling Tiger team. I have no idea what happened in Baltimore the last 2 games. Bekcett had a rough inning and it cost him. No excuse to give up 5 runs to the Orioles in 1 inning. Sox scored only 6 runs in 2 games against the Orioles, again no excuses.

A much needed day off with the Brewers coming to Fenway is just what the doctor ordered.

Boston has played so so baseball and they still have one of the better records in the game. They have to get back to winning series and when you start doing that, you will seperate yourself from the rest of the pack.

I will never bring up a politician’s name again on here. I need to wash my mouth out with soap right now, lol.

FYI, here’s a post i made on a Yankee blog Tuesday:
“Anyone else see the contrast between the Red Sox on Sunday night and the Yankees Monday night? Hate to praise the Sox, but the only word I can think of for their comeback attempt is ferocious.”

Is the early success of both the Marlins and Rays indicative of teams playing in warmer weather?

And, WOW, the Brewers sign Braun for 8 years! The dollar and length of contract trend is outrageous!

Kramer,

Weather has nothing to do with it. If that was the case they would have great starts every year. Some good young players that are playing with alot of confidence and have alot of momentum on there side.

What will happen to the Rays when they go on the road? Marlins are in the N.L. East but they better shore up there pitching. If they don’t, they will not go anywhere. I think the Rays will be pesky all year.

Mussina has been pitching real well as of late. I don’t think anyone should overlook that. Will he stay healthy all year? Can he sustain it all year? I have my doubts. He is getting up there in age. As of right now the Yankees aren’t even on the Red Sox radar. If the Sox play the way they are capable of, they should win the division by at least 5 games.

Red Sox can’t seem to click anything together. When they hit, the pitching stinks. When they pitch well, they don’t hit. It is a matter of time when they click it all together.

Brian,

I expect the Rays to fade a bit when the humidity rises! And the youth on both Florida teams is usefull to stay healthy. It seems they have less injuries.

Brian and Dbenjamin, I don’t know whether Specter is an Eagles or a Steelers fan. What I do know is that he is a Comcast fan, who made a large contribution to his campaign and whose home offices reside in PA. You can bet you sweet *** that if he gets a chance to stick it to the NFL on behalf of Comcast, he will.

Anyone see the HBO program Hacking Democracy? Maybe we should do an investigation on cheating in politics. What am I talking about, those people would never cheat. LOL!

Ian better get a new post up here. I think we need a new start!

Gsm,

You could be right about the Comcast ordeal there. That could be where it all starts. Trying to stick it to the N.F.L. as you say. Whatever his platform is, he will end up looking like the fool he is. Not that it would be difficult to make a fool look bad, lol.

Since there is no game tonight, boo-hoo, maybe Ian won’t mind too much if we philosophize about politics. In my dealings with bureaucrats and politicians I’ve learned that they are always motivated by power(for themselves) and control(over you and me). Everything they do and say can be traced back to that motivation. All political speeches, when you take out all the slick talk and platitudes, boil down to,”If you just do what I say, you’ll be happy. If you give me the wheel, I’ll drive you to utopia.” Every time, every one of them. Don’t let them fool you.

arnie,

Sounds like something is frustrating you about politicians. I heard a great satire about the anti-christ running for president! He was asked does he support the people. He said, “sure…I’ll do whatever you want…not that it matters anyway..ha ha!” (antichrist08.com) is the site. It’s a SATIRE just so we’re clear OK! It’s a SATIRE!

Steroid use:
Since you guys have hit upon the cheating aspect of steroids, please don’t forget the health damage that it does to your body. You want to cheat with steroids, that’s not cool, but if you’re a role model and kids see that as an avenue to go forward, that’s unforgiveable. Unfortunately, everyone sat on it for so long that it’s really become a joke. Everyone looked the other way. What’s going to happen to Roger Clemens at 60? What catch-up problems will he encounter.

I’ve also noticed since Lugo came out of the lineup, the tension on the boards really dropped. It’s nice to have an error free shortstop isn’t it?

Let’s all give our condolences to Terry Francona and his family.

Dave…

Dave, I’ll check out that site when I get home tonight. As to my bitterness about politicians, it comes from my dealings with them in the course of my career. I like straight-forward people and politicians are anything but. I did like the secret service guys I met, straight-forward as all get-out.

But it’s true; listen to a political speech and dissect what was really said. 95% is feel-good platitudes and 5% is a tidbit of policy. Pick any one of them, Dem or Repub, doesn’t matter.

On to baseball. The Sox are playing amazingly inconsistent ball this year. Mostly the pitchers, but also the hitting has been up and down. Sometimes when the pitchers pitch, the hitters can’t get untracked. As my mom said the other day,”Boy, they’re making some bad mistakes!” But, on the bright side, they have a ton of talent and it seems like when somebody gets hurt the sub fills in well. Just settle down and play the way you can, guys, and all will be well.

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