Here in the land of the Baltimore Birds with news that Daisuke Matsuzaka is going on the DL with a mild rotator cuff strain. It’s really not a surprise at all. The Sox are very conservative when it comes to pitchers and are actually of the belief that all of them can benefit from about two weeks off during the season.

Jeff Bailey is here from Pawtucket, and will come off the bench until Tuesday, when Justin Masterson will be activated to take Dice-K’s spot in the rotation.

Oh, it’s Manny Ramirez’s 36th birthday. What better way to celebrate it than with home run No. 500? He can even hug his pal Millar as he rounds first. Per usual, Manny was in a great mood before the game today. “Don’t worry about it” is his new catch phrase. He won’t stop saying it. When Jim Palmer walked through the clubhouse, Manny shouted to him, “I’ll see you in Cooperstown.”

In more mundane news, J.D. Drew has the night off because of Vertigo. He’s getting the head spins. By the way, Vertigo is one of my favorite U2 songs ever. Just thought I’d share that.

Celtics predictions tonight? I don’t feel strongly about this one either way. Let me know what all of you think.


For dgneubert: To answer your question from the previous thread, you can get the spacing you want by hitting your return key three times before you begin your next paragraph. For whatever reason, three hits gives you a new paragraph and one line break. It must have something to do with the coding on the page. I actually looked at the coding and that’s what I saw.

Ian/Brian: I think the Lakers win gives the Celtics a lot of motivation going into tonight’s game. I think they’d like to have a couple of days off before heading to the finals. Brian, I agree with you 100 percent on Garnett. He’s got to be aggressive and take his shots. Unless he is doubled or tripled, I don’t think he should give the ball up if he gets it low. Ray Allen could make things a lot easier with another productive night.

Drew has vertigo? Hmmmm…… I hadn’t heard that one before. Let’s see……. I think there will be 16 games played today and tonight. I wonder how many of the 144 players in the starting lineups will be there because someone is injured, sick, has vertigo or is just taking a day off? I’d be willing to bet at least 10 percent of the normal starters will not be playing tonight, and it might even be closer to 20 percent.

Brian, speculating Manny’s future will be interesting. I think a lot will depend on how he produces, and who is available in the off season. Losing him would surely leave a large void behind Papi, but it seems like that void is getting larger anyway. We’ll see.

There is no doubt that the front office, which includes the GM, the big league manager and player development personnel, rule the minor league teams with an iron fist. There are three kinds of players in the minor leagues: major leaguers who are there for rehab or whatever, legitimate prospects, and role players. In the entire Sox farm system, they likely have about 20 players they consider to be legitimate prospects. Those are the players the front office watches closely. Minor league managers have lost their jobs for not following the directions of the front office. My former manager, Earl Torgeson was one of those guys. At the big league level, I think there is a lot more that goes into deciding who will or will not play. I think the ultimate decision is Tito’s, but he makes those decisions with significant input from Theo, medical personnel, the pitching coach and the players themselves. You think about managers and you thing about them as managers of game situations, but they are also managers of people. I think Tito is a particularly smart one although I think he babies some of the players a little too much.

My math is awful. There will be 288 players in starting lineups….

I think the Celtics have a better chance than usual tonight since Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups are both ailing. It would help the Celtics tremendously confidence-wise if they could wrap this up in Detroit. The Lakers are hot, and the Celtics can not afford to play lackluster basketball in any of the games (if they do advance to the NBA Finals).

I wrote about Drew’s vertigo in my most recent post. In that post, I mentioned Nick Esasky, the first baseman who was acquired from Cincinnati in the late 80s and then had his career end because of chronic vertigo. Anyone remember him?


J.D. Drew has vertigo? How in the world do you get vertigo? What sort of ailment creates vertigo?

Do you think Manny’s numbers which are terrible are a function of that blasted home run count? I mean ever since that happened Manny’s been swinging the axe like a weapon instead of a precision instrument?

Finally, why can’t Lugo get on the DL list. It would do the team a great deal of a morale boost?


Thanks for letting us know about hitting enter 3 times and we can get a new paragraph. Can we all hit the return button 3 times and return J.D. Drew? LOL. Just something to think about that’s all.

Drew with another ailment. He is given all Red Sox fans vertigo, lol. I assume some players in that clubhouse wonder about Drew’s passion for the game. I am pretty convinced on that one.

I would love too see Boston wrap it up tonight. If Garnett is in the paint and passes it, I will not be happy. How effective will Hamilton be tonight? Billups needs to step it up tonight, if he does Detroit will win. I will predict a game 7 in Boston on Sunday. I hope I am dead wrong.

Dice-K to be shutdown for a little bit here. I agree with it. No reason to push him for games in late May or early June. Once again the Red Sox are looking at the bigger picture and they do a very good job with that. There are bigger games to be played later in the season. They also have enough pitching depth where they can do some spot starts with Masterson. He has shown he can get big league hitters out and has pitched very well at Fenway. This experience will only help Masterson for the future. He will be a better pitcher because of it. Sometime during the summer, he should join Boston full-time. Chances are in the bullpen.


Esasky was here and played great and left Boston. He wanted to go back and be near his family so he signed with Atlanta. I remember initially they thought he had lyme disease but was told he had Vertigo. He played great in his one season with Boston. He won the 10th player award. Esasky was no fan of Boston. A solid trade pulled off by Lou Gorman.

I also believe Dwight Evans had a bout with Vertigo. Way back when.

Scoring early is something the Red Sox haven’t done much on the road lately. It is about time. I would love too see a blowout tonight, this team needs it bad.

I don’t know why the Sox would even try the suicide squeeze there? I am not a fan of that play. Never have been and never will be. I am surprised with Cora’s attempt or lack there of.

Cabrera is one of these guys I would love too see Boston pound. He is a hot head and I think he is very immature. He had an incident with the Red Sox last year and I think he has had some issues with them before that. He thinks he is alot better than what he is.

J.D. is out with Vertigo. Lugo is out with incompetence. This might be a great win!

Crisp tries to steal home…OK, does Crisp want a job or not?


The Sox tried a suicide squeeze, Cora is the guy that messed that one up. Cora’s job is to get the bat on the ball, you do anything to make contact. I thought Cora’s attempt was very lame. I was very surprised with Cora’s attempt, he is one of the more fundamentally sound players around and is very smart. A future manager is Cora, a coach for sure, just like his brother Joey with the White Sox.


Fair enough. Those type of plays are both aggressive and dangerous — hence the suicide word in it. Well, I guess it shows than anyone can make mistake but you’re right, Alex should have done better.


Lugo is inhabiting Cora’s body — oh no !!!

Two runners on. Come on Josh. We can do it!


Runner at second with 1 out and the R.B.I. guys up and the Sox fail to score. They need to do better than that.

Another longball given up by Beckett. At least it was a solo shot.

The Sox are looking like their usual inept selves at the plate tonight. Let’s see what happens with Cora and then the top of the order coming up in the fifth.

I think that was a purpose pitch by Beckett to Millar. Millar had a look as if he thought it was as well, no smile from Millar.

Ray Allen looking good early, which is great too see. Detroit’s backcourt has been the offense for the Pistons. Hamilton is looking quite healthy.

Let’s hope the momentum will carry into the 7th. Striking out with the bases loaded is a total downer. Boston should jump on Cabrera here.

I was amazed with Beckett that inning. He must have thrown 30 pitches or so, and never even took a deep breath. What a horse he is. He can keep going. He lost his command a little, but he is still throwing very well.

Big strikeout by Beckett.

Celtics lead by 6 early in the 2nd quarter

Take advantage of that throwing error. Ellsbury should be able to steal second with ease. Cabrera is very slow to the plate. I think Colon could steal a base off of Cabrera, lol.

I think I could steal a base off Cabrera. Have you ever seen so many conferences over one base runner? How stupid was that, especially when with Cabrera pitching, you’re practically conceding second base.

It’s late in the game, lead run on third…….. I think Ortiz has to swallow the pride and look to the left side.

Looks like Pedroia and Youkilis are the real catalysts on this team, when they are cold, we just don’t score, then again, nobody coming thru in the clutch again, go figure, Els, Pedroia, Ortiz, Ramirez, Lowell, Youk, even Varitek, all cold with RISP, and Coco and Cora not coming thru either — I just don’t get it, this team is better, but we are still hanging in there so far.

Crap, Delcarman


I see the problem — if the Sox just pitch no hitters every night they will win more games!

Manny is once again bleeding pitches but I can see he’s really trying hard. He’s just not cutting it on this team.

We made it to extra innings — a first!

Man the bats are cold — Ortiz has completely lost his clutch mentality — completely — this is going to be a long season — doubt if we pull this one out — their bullpen looks better, and their hitting looks better (in late innings, since we got nothing)


Right now Charlie Brown and Lucy are playing better than the Red Sox.

If this goes a long time, I expect Cash catching tomorrow.


One way to win is to throw no hitters as you say. Gurantee a victory with a no no.

Red Sox bats are dead right now. They need to wakeup and soon. If the Orioles win, it is not the fault of the Red Sox pitchers.

I think Francona should grab a bat and show these guys how to hit, lol.

Hanson is on. This a bad thing to put this guy in clutch situations. He’s still a kid.
Runners now on first and second. I’m not sure I can watch this anymore. It’s too painful!


Now we need offense (Mannys 500th homerun, for example) this inning


I agree. What we need right now is one hitter on the team on fire. Right now we have NONE. Not one hitter is pounding the baseball. None! All this money and all this talent and we’re hitting .198 as a team as of late (it seems)
It’s very frustrating. Maybe they need extra batting practice. Maybe Francona can have them in an all night batting clinic. It certainly won’t hurt them. They look half asleep anyway!

Manny managed to send the ball to the catcher. That’s just sad.

If we pull out a W tonight, it has to be this inning — Hansen (when he is good) is usually not good the 2nd inning — so that means the SOX need to remember this, goto Timlin, or Aardmsa, or win now — then again Papelbon hasn’t been real sharp the last few times out — so even if we take a lead — it could still be interesting.

Lowell flied out. Do the Sox know that you can hit the ball between the fielders?

Another inning the sox shut out. Annoying

Whew, the Orioles didn’t break a sweat. There is NO way they will win tonight. I hate to say it guys but outside of one game I’ve been right. They were almost swept with Seattle and I predict a full sweep with Baltimore. I hope I’m wrong!

I thought it would take a while for Ramirez to hit lifetime H.R. #500 but I didn’t think it would take this long. My oh my!!! It is weighing on him, he might say otherwise. Only way Boston wins this one, someone hits a H.R. I don’t see them coming up with 2 hits in 1 inning to win this one tonight.

I think the Sox need a new strategy. Bring a small chair to the plate. Sit down and watch the pitches fly by. This approach is just as effective as their present strategy.

Hanson really did a good job this inning — a really good job.

Maybe Ramirez slump to 500 has infected the whole team — hey I have wild one to counter-act Dave’s dooms-day prediction — if we can hold out that long — tonite is Lugo’s night — with miscues by Cora and Varitek that you could argue that without we would have wone this game 2-1 or 3-2 — maybe tonite the polar axis of the SOX will reverse, and Lugo will knock in the winning run !!!!!


OK if Lugo scores this winning run, it is my conviction that the Red Sox will all fall over from heart attacks or suffer from a spread of Vertigo forcing the entire Pawtucket Red Sox organization to take over while everyone recovers.

It is also my conviction that this will go fifteen innings with the Orioles taking the win 3 – 2. Fortunately this is just a guess.


Well, Dustin blew runners on second and third. That bites.

Best chance the red sox will have all night


Timlin’s in. We can go to bed soon.

Beat L.A. Beat L.A. Beat L.A. The greatest chant will return at the Garden. You gotta love it!!!!

David Stern is the happiest guy alive.

Unbelievable – Lugo has probably found a way to cost us this game too — routine double play muffed — argh

Close to losing it then.
Great news for the Celtics. Hope for a 17th banner

Celtics were unbelievable in the fouth quarter. Great defense, great offense…….. they didn’t quit. See if the Sox can take a hint.

Great idea by Ortiz, just get on somehow someway.

Ortiz with second life. He does not take advantage.

Ramirez with #500 here we go!!!

Lugo really must be working with a secret organization who’s sole mission was to take down the Red Sox. We all know this secret organization. It’s initials are (NYY)

Where is Ortiz’s fire ?

Ortiz has fire but it’s now a pilot light.

All the pressure will be on the Lakers. They will be favored to win. They also will have the best player in the world. It should be a great series!!! Celtics beat them twice but that was long ago and before Gasol got there.

Baltimore gave the Sox second life. Are they taking pointers from Lugo????

We got ahead. We got a run. We got a run!!!! We got a run!!!! We got a run!!!! We got a run!!!! We got a run!!!!

We got a run!!!! We got a run!!!! We got a run!!!!

Finally they score after 11 scoreless innings

Finally a clutch player, coming up clutch — Lowell, — hey Dave — you know Lowell came up through the NYY farm and played for them before the Marlins got him in an expansion draft — if I got that right?


Could someone please explain to me the extra innings rules. Sometimes you get the go ahead run and you win the game. Sometimes you don’t and have to get through three more outs. How does that work?


I knew Lowell came through the Yankees because he said they treated him well and he liked the organization.

Youk got a hit! This is amazing!

Lowell was dealt to the Yankees, no expansion draft. Lowell didn’t play in many games with the Yankees.


Home team gets to hit last. Those are the extra inning rules.


Thanks for that info. Sounds like if you want to win an extra innings game you have a better chance at home then away.


I heard Lugo put on a defensive clinic before the game for the Orioles.

Crisp hit a double. I can’t take it. I can’t take it. They may win this game after all. This is amazing. One error shifted the entire game from Baltimore (are you listening Lugo?)

Will take it — looks like Mother’s Day Miracle II — late — don’t think we won this game, we let the O’s lose it — assuming Papelbon closes this wierd nite out !

Orioles are playing like a little league team now. 3 errors this inning

OK that was a bit mean of me. Lugo doesn’t want to go out there a blow a game. Lugo if you’re listening — sorry!

Lugo walks. It’s like the floodgates just exploded!

Sarfate must have went to the Manny Delcarman school of the strike zone.


The rumor is wrong. He just came out with a new book and handed out copies to the Orioles. It’s called “You can make errors and win games — don’t worry just be happy”

Papelbon hasn’t worked in a while. I hope he isn’t rusty.


Do pinch hitters really work? So far I’ve seen very rare results.

One out away. I was right but for the wrong team. The Sox win it in 13.

We won!!!! We won!!!!

The cause of Drew’s vertigo is that he is dizzy from seeing all those dollar bills spinning in his head whether he plays well, plays badly or doesn’t play at all.
On the other hand Lugo is dizzy for no reason at all.
We won tonight’s game due to the generosity of the Baltimore Orioles. Even when we win a game we are still left with that empty feeling in our stomachs. It seems that we are always hanging in waiting for that ultimate shoe to fall. Let’s hope the Sox wake up and play like they should.

How about the Red Sox bullpen last night. 7 innings of shutout baseball and only 4 hits allowed, walked 4 as well. I call it the way I see it, they were the reason why the Red Sox won. Haven’t said that many times this year. Usually I am on here and say nothing but negative things about these guys. They were well rested going into last night’s game. Wakefiled with the complete game on Wed. night and the off day on Thursday. The bullpen hasn’t pitched since Tuesday night. Even Timlin pitched well, last time we seen him on the mound. He was given up the winning hit in Seattle.


It was a great win. Francona used the entire bullpen to do it (but one) and no question they held their own.
There is also no question that they needed those errors to reboot the bats but it did work.

I hope Cash does get the start. Varitek really worked his tail off last night.

Just saw Lugo’s fumble on replay. it’s Lugo being Lugo. it’s obvious he never had a mild concussion. That’s beaning with the ball just increased the great brain damage he already has.


The Red Sox will take a win anyway they can. If the other team wants to give it away, let them. I hope a win like that can get this team going again. I just want too see this team finish the roadtrip on a strong note. Put the West coast horror show behind them. Boston has DOMINATED the Orioles in the last few seasons. In Baltimore and in Boston. Boston plays them 18 times, they should win 12 of them.

Question for everyone:
What does overthrowing the ball mean from a pitcher’s point of view? My guess it you’re using your arm to throw a bullet and lose control as a function of that.


You’re right of course. I think if Lugo is benched for this trip they have a better chance. Cora is a more stable defensive player. Lugo is a walking error. I’ve never seen him this incompetent. Every game he’s finding ways to mess it up. Routine ground balls become major dramatic tension if they head to him.

I think this would be a good night for Lester to turn around his last start. I hope he comes out strong and doesn’t try too hard.

I probably shouldn’t write this — but nevertheless, I think its something that does affect all ball players (I believe) when struggling, so what the heck….

We really should not bash Lugo so much, as much as I want him off the team, and as much as I have contributed to this.

I don’t think fans realize how much players feel collective pressure from the fan base, and how it affects thier play, and can mount and multiply.

We all admit that pressure in the playoffs is felt — and some players rise to it, overcome it, and even use it, and others fold under the pressure. But what about the pressure of millions watching and probably knowing that everyone knows (or thinks) you are the weak link, and hating you for it, when millions of people dispise you, expect you to fail, and you know your days are numbered, or even on the more positive side, that millions of people expect you to come through on every clutch occasion — its got to extremely difficult to perform under those conditions.

Now I am not saying that any of these problems (in Lugo’s case or in others) is not part of MLB baseball and its inflated salaries, and is not self-inflicted (or at least self-initiated) or due these bloated salaries, histories, or even faulty player assessment (which is not the players fault really)… the criticism may be justified (in black and white terms) — all I am saying is that the negative scorn of millions of people is felt and adds to the problem, it doesn’t help them do their best (while you have them).

Its hard to make correction with hope and determination when millions of folks are “knowing” you will fail. Try staying determined, optimistic, corrective when you have a single person, a boss, pier, or friend that hates you and waits on your every move to oppress you — now multiply that by millions.

I have said this before on this blog, and I know its all part of baseball, and we just blow off steam on this blog, etc… all I am saying is that it doesn’t help the players, and probably adds to the weight against positive correction more than we realize, or probably even dismiss entirely as having an affect at all.

Finally, this doesn’t mean you can’t criticize and correct, and everything has to be PolyAnna — MaryKay positive kool-aid praise, handing out A’s for C or D performance, — its just means, we shouldn’t despise or players while we have them, or write and transmit words that spread that sentiment constantly and mercilessly or pull them down further —

We don’t have to keep them — we just want to create the atmosphere, opportunities, and conditions for their best performance while we have them.

I know — that is the coaches job — what we say and do — has no affect — right? I really wonder sometimes — a zillion rain drops can produce quite a storm?

Sorry for the lecture to myself…

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