Celtics and Lakers — What more could you ask for?

Today is like Christmas for any Celtics follower who grew up in the Bird era, not to mention the Russell Era, or the Havlicek-Cowens era. Everyone has been waiting a long time for this.

Not just to play the Lakers in the finals, but anyone in the Finals. Let’s see, I was in ninth grade the last time they made it this far. Since then, I’ve graduated high school, graduated college, gotten married, have had three kids and two jobs, and who knows how many cars.

This is going to be something special. Covering the Red Sox is my job and I enjoy it thoroughly. Watching the Celtics is a hobby — one that anyone who knows me with any depth knows that I am extremely passionate about. Following this team has been an addiction since I used to listen to Johnny Most under my pillow at night. I never jumped off the bandwagon either because I never knew there was a bandwagon. That’s not how it works for me.

One of my friends in the press box told me to take the smile off my face in the last couple of minutes of the Celtics game last night. Sorry, but it was hard to.

After going through Len Bias and Reggie Lewis and Bill Walton’s bad feet and Kevin McHale’s bad ankle and Larry Bird’s bad back and the train wreck that was the Rick Pitino era — I’ve blacked the M.L. Carr years out of my memory bank — and the short-lived hope under Jim O’Brien, this is surreal to know that the Celtics are playing the Lakers in the Finals.

Paul Pierce has proven to be the ultimate winner. He, more than any other Celtic — including Garnett — has put this team on his back this spring. That’s been enjoyable to watch.

This will be the best challenge yet. But just having homecourt gives them a very real chance at Number 17.

I’m not sure there can be better basketball than these two teams played in the ’84, ’85 and ’87 Finals, but it will be fun trying to see if they can.

In the next few days, you will be forced to think about who can stop Kobe, and if the Celtics can overcome Rondo’s inexperience. And as much as I defend Doc Rivers, Phil Jackson is the most successful NBA Finals coach this side of Red Auerbach. How about Gasol?

Do me a favor. Save those issues and just savor the moment for now.

Buckle up, guys and gals. This is going to be a ride to remember.

92 Comments

Growing up in the Boston area back in the 1980′s was WONDERFUL. It was all about the Celtics. Look no further to the night that Roger Clemens struck out 20 Mariners, the attendance that cool April night was 13,414 at Fenway. Of course 22 years later, 50,000 people say they were there for Clemens’ 20 K game. That same night the Celtics were looking to finish off the Hawks and one of there guards that night was Glenn “Doc” Rivers. The Celtics were well on there way to there 16th banner. It was kind of dissapointing that year because the Celtics beat the Rockets and not the Lakers. I never thought that would be there last title for a while. Celtics had a high lottery pick coming to them and we all know what happened there.

One thing I really hated about the Lakers back then and to this day are there coaches. Two guys I really don’t like are Pat Riley and Phil Jackson. Of course Isiah Thomas is right up there with them. Riley always complained and moaned about the Celtics rough play. He thought at times they were cheap. Of course years later Riley tried coaching a team that played football rather than basketball, the N.Y. Knicks ( actually the N.Y. Bricks were more like it ) He is such a HYPOCRITE that Pat Riley. Phil Jackson has said some poor things about the GREAT ARNOLD “RED” AUREBACH. If it wasn’t for Red, you wouldn’t be making your millions Phil Jackson. I hope Red’s ghost blocks a few shots around the rim, lol.

It should be lots of fun. Kobe Bryant the by far and away the best player in the league. I also have alot of respect for Derek Fisher. What he went thru last year during the playoffs. He showed high standards and high morals.

Beat L.A. BEAT L.A. BEAT L.A.–The greatest chant in sports!!!!

Who does Bill Walton root for ? His son of course but deep down inside he still bleeds green.

The Celtics of 1985-86 is the best team I have ever seen. Easily the best starting 5 I have ever seen. Also they were the best passing team I have ever seen. They had 2 UGLY losses that year. There first game of the year at N.J. Also Christmas in N.Y.–Celtics blew a huge lead, I think they led by 30 and lost. That was there wakeup call for that season.
Boston in 7 games!!!! Game 7 will be the highest rated telecast of an N.B.A. game.

#500—That was a ROCKET!!!!

MANNY 500

Another good game for the Red Sox bullpen(Even though it is the sox’s 3 best relievers today) 4 scoreless innings today. Maybe this is a different buullpen

CONGRATULATIONS TO MANNY NUMBER 500!

Congratulations, Manny!! Now that he’s got that monkey off his back he can start hitting again.

Now the Sox can look for a sweep of the Orioles and end the trip 5-5. THAT would be great.

Dgneubert, I feel your pain re: Lugo. It’s so hard to cheer for the guy and be rah-rah when after all this time he still underperforms woefully. Or maybe I should say he underperforms with great gusto and enthusiasm. Well, anyway, perhaps you’re right and Julio is feeling the collective disappointment and negative vibe of RSN. So I, for one, am going to stop praying that he wakes up some morning with the burning desire to quit baseball and sell real estate and I will be sending him positive vibrations before each game. Maybe I’ll set up a little shrine, light a candle, and offer a shot of rum and a Dominican cigar to the spirit of Tom Yawkey so he can intercede with Jobu on Lugo’s behalf. Certainly couldn’t hurt and I will feel personally responsible if he ever goes 4 for 4. Now about J D Drew……..

Hey Everyone
(This is all positive)

Congratulations Manny. That’s got to feel good. You finished long before Yaz got his 3000 hits which took forever. We are so proud of you.

Congrats on a great bullpen. Yes the Orioles are not the best hitting team but it was great to see it.

Congratulations on Youk who showed how great a fielder he is.

Congratulations on Ellsbury showing his fire on the basepaths.

Congratulations on winning two games in a row and playing really well. This was more vintage Red Sox. Lester still looks shaky but otherwise we had some good pitching.

Congratulations on the Celtics. It’s been a very long time.

Finally — on a personal note, congratulations on my two daughters doing some great recitals today. Your Dad was very proud of you both!

Back to back great games for the Red Sox bullpen. 4 innings of goose-eggs last night. Aardsma might have had his bet outing last night. 2 scoreless innings but more importantly no walks. Okajima looked like his usual self. Red Sox bullpen in the first 2 games of the series, 11 innings pitched and NO RUNS ALLOWED. Never thought I would be seeing that. They were well rested coming into this series. Thanks to Wakefield on Wed. night and then the off day on Thurs.

I guess I should sign on and add my congratulations to Manny on No. 500. I feel like I have seen all of them — first during the 90′s when he was bashing them here in Cleveburg, then onto the Sox. Obviously, I was one of the few Cleveburgers not unhappy when Manny left for the money in Mass.

Hey, Bosoxbrian, why do you think there is no conversation about bringing Buchholz back up, now that Dice-K is on the DL. When I was back East last weekend, I did go to the Pawsox game on Sunday, and saw him pitch 4 innings. He looked pretty good — he had the heater going, and he mixed in some soft stuff. I’m no pitching coach, but it looked like he was throwing away from hitters alot, particularly right-handers, like he was unable (or unwilling) to claim the inner half and work both sides of the plate. That’s just my take — I wonder why Sox management is not ready to bring him back up.

I also hope, now with both Buchholz and Masterson pitching for the Pawsox, there aren’t any problems that develop when one or the other gets called up to the big club.

I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop with Colon. I’m skeptical about his being the real deal, given the way the Angels gave up on him. I mean, with his 2 wins, the Sox have already realized immense yield on their investment — I do hope it keeps on providing dividends and my concern is just me being a nervous-nellie.

I also feel like I have been with him since the very beginning. A number of my Indian-supporter pals here in Northeast Ohio used to talk about him they way they have been talking about CC Sabathia over the last several years. And many of them were really p.o.’d when Cleveland traded him to Montreal, although in retrospect, they have no beef, having gotten both Grady Sizemore and Cliff Lee in that deal. Well, let’s see what happens today — see if he can pitch good game No. 3, and put the sox in a position to get to 4-5 on this road trip.

Then, home for a while and bring on the National League. That should add up to a good month of June for the Sox. Speaking of the National League, the Cincinnati Reds won’t sell individual tix to the upcoming Sox games without packaging tix to 4 or 5 other games. Guess they have to try to prop up their mid-week attendance woes with their “good games.” I’d be willing to take a bunch of people and make the 4-5 hour trip to see the Sox, but not at that price. Guess I’ll just have to watch all of the games in the comfort of my own home on Sports Time Ohio.

Speaking of the Sox and attendance, it seems hard to believe that as recently as 1998, they were only the 9th best (of 14th) in the AL for home attendance. As recently as 2001, they were only 6th best. Its amazing what a difference success makes. Its also amazing how, now when they are selling out all of their games, they still only have the 4th best home attendance in the AL. I know its heresy, but there’s an argument there for finding a way to dramatically enlarge the ballpark. I’m not sold on what the Yanks did — building a new park next door…but at some point this issue will be confronted again.

Dbenjamin,

There will not be any hurt feelings between Buchholz and Masterson. There all into it together. I’m sure it has happened between team-mates in the minors. Buchholz will be back up, they just want him to get some more innings in A.A.A. The Sox definetly have there fair amount of good young talent down in the minors. Winning and developing, a winning combo. I like your scouting report on Buchholz, very nice.

A great trade by the Tribe, getting Sizemore and Lee. Sabathia is gone at season’s end. He could even get dealt around the trading deadline.

I really like the June schedule as well. Not many if any series will be lost by the Red Sox. The Sox have dominated interleague play in the last few years. Sox going to Cinn. means about 10 H.R.’s for the Sox that weekend. A homecoming for Youkilis, I’m sure he is quite excited about that. I would love too see Arroyo get a start that weekend.

New owners have done a great job with getting Fenway filled. Also kudo’s to whoever decided to move the Sox game on Thursday to 6:00, up 1 hour. I guess there is a basketball game going on that night, lol.

Hey guys,

Why didn’t Crisp play? Is he hurt?

I’m liking this so far. From what I’ve seen, Colon knows what to do with a lead. Throw strikes, get outs. Baltimore is helping to cure the Sox’ road ills.

Is that William Shatner managing the O’s? Looks like him a little bit.

Manny and Mikey, back-to-back!!!! C’mon Bartolo, do your stuff.

Colon has now handed the Orioles three runs. We may have a disaster here.

Uh-oh, I spoke too soon. Settle down there, Bart.

I’d like to see at least 6 innings out of Colon today. 7 would be great. Hang in there BC.

Look at that!!! Lugo’s 2 for 3! The positive vibes are working!!

Arnie,

Great call on the look a like, William Shanter and the O’s manager Trembley. I assume he has heard that before.

Lugo deep in the hole with an accurate throw! Go Julio.

These Baltimore fielders are like Roberto Duran. “hands of stone”

Arnie,

That comment on Lugo — you’re starting to scare me here! (LOL)

Bailey seems to be the most terrifying batter on the Red Sox considering all the walks he’s earned.

Drew with a home run.

Crisp as a pinch hitter.

I’m trying to cheer for Lugo .Pointing out his successes. I know it’s not easy, but someone has to do it. Or are you referring to the “deep in the hole” portion of that comment? Don’t go there, Dave. LOL JK

Nice effort by Colon today. He could be the find of the year. Great catch by J.D. Drew. There’s no doubt he’s been a disappointment since his arrival in Boston. However, it’s not for the lack of trying. He does play a pretty solid outfield.

Looks like Ellsbury is getting on a little bit of a roll. What a catalyst he is at the top of the order. I don’t think I’ve seen any team as concerned about a baserunner as the Orioles have been about Ellsbury.

The Big Three Celtics of the 80′s were certainly something to watch, but if you’re old like me, you got spoiled by Celtics machine of the 60′s. I don’t think there has ever been a team that played as well together as a unit as those Russell, Sanders, Jones, Jones, Heinsohn, Havlicek, Ramsey,etc teams did. They get my vote.

Arnie, I know what you mean trying to cheer for Lugo and find positive things. It just seems as soon as you start doing that, he does something to rip your heart out. Like Drew, his problems aren’t from lack of effort and he certainly appears to fit well with the players. I just used to have a full head of hair before he got here.

Good game, Sox. Colon appeared not to have his best today, but he knows how to win. I like him as a Sox so far. Tomorrow, go for the sweep.

After 33 years in the restaurant business I’ve learned to expect the worst from everyone. Positive reinforcement works in this business only if your staff has a good healthy fear of you. So my first instinct is to laugh when someone suggests that we be positive about Lugo. On further reflection, I know that I’d never boo one of the Sox players, and I was touched last year when the fans at Fenway cheered for Lugo when he broke that 0 for 33 slump. That was a great moment. So why not send him some good vibes. It’s not like I’ll be surprised when he messes up again or that I’ll feel betrayed. And I have to admit, the little dude tries. What else can you ask?

Arnie,

Well no wonder you’re frustrated with the Sox. Being in the restaurant business will burn anyone out. I do IT and know all about burnout.
You are right about the positive side. It reflects on us as participants as well. We come across even better as the greatest fans in the world.
This was a great win but most important the Sox looked confident out there. I’m going to make a stretch here — I think part of the slump was Manny and the pressure of hitting. Notice how well he hit today.

Great too see Colon improve to 3-0. More importantly his velocity is there.

Also it is great too see the Sox playing longball today. Great hustle by Lugo on a routine grounder to second.

Great too see the Sox hitting the longball. They smoked the Orioles today. I hope Ortiz’s wrist is o.k. Here’s hoping!!! Sox bring the brooms tomm. night, I hope they end the road trip on a positive note.

I hope Ortiz’s M.R.I. turns out o.k. I think it is precautionary, just to make sure everything is just fine.

The brooms are out at Fenway South, lol. The bats have been alive and well and the bullpen has been OUTSTANDING. This weekend the Sox finally clicked as a team. They got good pitching with some timely hits. Bashing the ball yesterday!!!

If Boston does sweep the O’s tonight, This would be there 5th sweep of the Year. The Sox have been swept 3 times this year ( All on the road of course ) I don’t count 2 game series. I really hate 2 game series anyway, my rant of the night, lol. I hope it is my only rant.

Oy, another hit into double play from Lugo! C’mon, get it together.

Does anyone know why Ellsbury wears one long sleeve and one short sleeve? Just wondering…

Let’s get Wake some run support tonight. After that gem he pitched last week, he deserves it!

~Christina

Let’s go, Sox, get some runs here. Give Wakefield a chance to win this one. C’mon guys!

502! I think we’ll see a lot more from Manny now that 500 has passed.

What’s the new rule in baseball that’s making the strike zone so ambiguous? I know about the new rule in the batter’s box, but I didn’t see that enforced at all through the weekend games.

Nice catch Coco!!

Yes!!! Cash! Game tied!

OK Julio, go-ahead runner on 2nd, 2 outs. You can do it. Take a deep breath. Go Lugo. Go Go GO

Crap!

A little cutie does the O’s sidelines, she is no Heidi Watney, lol.

This Orioles lineup is very weak. Markakis and Roberts are there only threats. Roberts will be dealt around the deadline— July 31.

Time for Boston to get some runs and get this sweep going!!!

A leadoff walk to Youkilis, nice!!!

Gsm,

Are you ready for Joe ( Migrane ) Magrane for the next 3 nights?

Great hitting by Mike. Terrible clutch hitting by Drew and Cora. Looked like Cora may have swung at ball 4.

Its time for Lowrie, our short stop position is just not measuring up sadly, either one. My theory (hope) is that the only reason the SOX are not bringing up Lowrie now is they are trying to wait it out and bring him up at the latest possible moment in the season, like they did with Elsbury last year. Just enough to give him some traction, but as little exposure to potential post season opponents as possible, so they have as little data and experience facing him entering the post season.

Does this make any sense, or just amateur thinking?

I had a feeling Oki was going to cough this one up, using him too much again. Papelbon is a little shaky too, his last outing might have been trouble were it not for a very fortunate pop line drive to Cora, for the double play.

Just when the rest of the bull pen finally gets their act going, Oki and Pap start struggling.

Ain’t that a kick in the pants.

Okajima had nothing tonight. I don’t think it helped that Tito left him in trying to let him work through it. He really looked lost out there. Now that the other guys are stepping up I think Francona would be wise to use Oki a little more cautiously for awhile. Let him get some rest and some confidence back.

Sox 1 for 9 with RISP tonight. They had their chances to put this game away and didn’t.

Although Oki pitched awful tonight — it looked like Elsbury misplayed Jone’s double just a bit — he could have caught that ball, and we would have been out of the eight tied at 3-3. Oh well, at least this series turned the road trip from disastrous to mildly disappointing. Now we will have to sweep the Rays to regain first place.

I think the decline of Okijima started late last year, and in the post season last year, especially the World Series. We explained it as over use, but I am beginning to wonder if he was just over achieving for most of 07, and now he is coming back to his norm for the competition in this league.

I really like Oki, he was so gracious in the Red Sox parade, seemed genuinely grateful to the fans and for this experience — you could feel it from him, but I am not sure he can sustain the 8th inning responsibility another year. This seems to be pattern emerging for three plus months now going back to last season.

Ortiz out for a month with a wrist injury. I assume the Sox will have Coco in l.f. alot and put Ramirez as the D.H. That will keep Ramirez fresh for the season. Ramirez will play left of course but I think Coco will get the bulk of playing time. If Brandon Moss is ready, he’ll probably be called up and play l.f. as well. Theo and the front office has been very busy with alot of moves this year. Players going on the D.L. and who can forget when it seemed everyone got hit with the flu. All in all it will make the Red Sox a stronger team. One thing it has shown about the Red Sox this year, they have depth. Not many if any teams can say that. Ortiz will be missed of course but other guys have to step it up. J.D. Drew you are one of them. You were brought to Boston to produce and hit in the 5 hole. I’m not saying he should hit 5th but what I am saying it is time for him to get his bat rolling and drive the ball. His swing is made for Fenway. He should be going to the wall more.

I will take a guess and say Ortiz will not be back until after the All Star Break. If Ortiz’s wrist doesn’t respond, that means he’ll have to go under the knife and have surgery. If he does have surgery, his season would be done.

If Ortiz did have surgery ( of course praying he doesn’t ) does Barry Bonds end up in Boston as the D.H.?????? MMMMMMMMMMMM…………….Pure speculation of course, something to think about. I know I am going to get killed for writing that. I just wanted to throw it out there. I think I might get killed just for putting his name on here, LOL……

If Ellsbury makes that catch it would be one for the highlight reels for sure. Much more difficult than it looks to run full speed into a wall and catch a ball over your shoulder.(As if I know, lol). You can’t expect him to make that catch, but if he does then the Sox are in great shape to win the game.

Ortiz out for a month? That will hurt. The Sox offense really seems to feed off him, I think. But this year they have faced a lot of challenges and mostly have prevailed. They’ll have to buck up and play with a little extra passion(hear that JD?) and pick up the slack. Manny will have to hit fot two like he did earlier when Papi was struggling.

I think Bonds is done. Not even the Yankees would touch him now, and that’s saying something. I could be wrong of course, but I don’t see Bonds coming back at all. Too much ill will now for him. He’s finished, I think.

Arnie,

I agree with you. If Ellsbury made that catch, that would have been better than Ichiro’s last week against Varitek. Okajima got smoked tonight. He has bad memories of Camden Yards. Grand slam a few weeks back and now this inning tonight. Okajima has been subpar this year. Last year at this time he was UNTOUCHABLE. Nobody could hit him. I still would like too see the bullpen addressed by Theo come trading deadline. A lefty or righty that can get people out, not asking for too much am I ? LOL……

Arnie,

I also think Bonds could be done as well. I just threw it out there, something to ponder. Pure speculation on my behalf. I probably pissed off some when/if they read it.

I was thinking if Ichiro’s catch when I wrote that post. He almost knocked himself out of the game hitting the wall. He looked a little hurt after that catch, but stayed in the game.

Shows how much bad blood has been created by Barry B. that you think just by mentioning his name you piss off some Nationers.

Hey Bosoxbrian:

Isn’t it amazing. The Sox are about to go through a stretch without their best pitcher (this year) and their best hitter, and we still expect them to win! I’ve gotta say, I believe the lefthanded hitter who will be used to replace Big Papi is Sean Casey. Beyond the external problems that Bonds would represent, and the clubhouse problems, the last 2 years his home run production has been in the 20′s, his rbi production has been in the 60-70s, and his batting average has been .270ish. The Sox can replace most of that with Casey, or perhaps with Brandon Moss, as you suggest, who homered for me when I watched the Pawsox last Sunday, apparently had 3 in a game the other night, and had the game tie-r in the 9th in the 1st game in Tokyo.

Bonds’ salary demands would make him the Red Sox equivalent of the Rocket. But, it would be interesting to know what the front office would do if they truly felt there was no other way to win this year besides bringing Bonds in. I’d like to think they would stay the course and rely on their depth. They also have Bobby Kielty hanging around somewhere.

The Sox bringing in Bonds might cause them to be loved even less than the Pats. Barry Bonds and Bill Belicheck, the hated “B” boys!

So maybe, June might not be as “duck soup” a month as you and I were gloating that it would be. How many of us would have thought, back in Spring Training, that on June 1st, Bartolo Colon would have more victories than Clay Buchholz? You could have gotten some pretty long odds on that bet!

Dbenjamin,

Casey as well will get more playing time. I assume Youkilis will hit the 3 hole. Youkilis is so valuable. He can hit anywhere in the lineup and when Lowell went down he stepped in at third as if he had been there for years. You can never have enough players like Youkilis.

Who also would have thought that come early June the Rays are in first place. Tampa Bay have been pitching great. No Percival, so there bullpen is a little short for the series. Rays pen in the past was there biggest issue. Not the case this year. They lead baseball with 6 walk-off H.R.’s. That is amazing!!!! I guess they think there never out of it, that is a dangerous team.

This 9 game homestand, the Sox should win 7. Just win series, that is all you have to do in baseball. A tough stretch without Ortiz but they have a nice mix of vets and youth. Francona doesn’t panic so the Sox will be just fine. That is one thing I really like about Francona, alot of managers tend to hit the panic button.

I just threw out the whole Bonds thing just because I guess. Do I really believe Boston should sign him if Ortiz was sidelined for the remainder of the year? No, I wouldn’t want him as a part of the Red Sox anyway. Of course there will be speculation and the media in Boston love speculation. I’m guessing Ortiz is back just after the All Star break, here’s hoping.

I still think Boston will do well in June, they should win there fair amount of series that month. It is tougher of course without Oritz and that big bat of his.

Ok, I have to chime in on the Barry Bonds debate — you only have to look one season removed to see how well a big name turned out in Boston — Gagne — need I say more? What a colossal bad move that was unless we pick up someone really great in the draft pick we got for the trade (or whatever the transaction was) of Gagne to the Brewers. I can’t believe any team was foolish enough to repeat our error.

What’s the old country song — fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice — shame on me. That is my feeling.

Bond’s won’t happen, but if it does, the only way it will not hurt the team, is if the Greenland ice cap melts in its entirety this summer and global warming hits in full force, and the completion of the baseball season is cancelled cause too many stadiums are underwater.

Hold one, wait……maybe there is one way for this acquisition to result in a net positive — some multi-player deal — bring in Bonds, ship out someone who plays Short Stop!!! but since Bonds no longer plays for any team — that ain’t gonna happen either.

Do not touch!!! Under Any Circumstance!

Someone’s comment about torpedoing popularity amongst RSN is great point too, holding unlikable key characters is not worth it. Unfortunately I am a Dallas Cowboy fan going back to Tom Laundry era — so I am pretty neutral about the Pats, but look what Jerry Jones has done to the Cowboy image, Terrel Owens, Tank Johnson, now Pacman Jones — I haven’t admitted I am Cowboy fan to anyone in 10 years as a result — its no longer fun to win, and when they do, there isn’t the joy in the wins that there used to be (for me at least) — cause of all the unpopular personnel moves.

Winning at all costs is a Yankee mentality, that we should all be happy has failed for the Yankees since 2000 when they began to immerse themselves in this strategy — never works, thankfully.

DBen,
You forgot to mention Barry’s walks. he seldon sees anything good to hit except for mistakes.

Brian,
Great to throw the name in for discussion. Does anybody, anywhere want Bonds? I don’t, but that porch at the Stadium is so inviting! Moss would be my choice. I think he’s ready! And I always favor the kids.

Brian, Barry Bonds? C’mon! Moss is Major League ready, and Chris Carter will be surprising to those of you who aren’t familiar with him. In addition, Sean Casey sprays line drives all over the field. He doesn’t have much power, but he can DH and hit eighth behind Varitek and give the bottom of the order some punch. He does hit a lot of doubles, and he seems to get a hit when needed. I do think that Carter will get a lot of at-bats initially to see what he can do at the big league level.

I think that, if another regular gets hurt, the Sox will have to consider a deal for someone like Adam Dunn. But only if that happens. I would rather the Sox keep their top prospects. I don’t want to see productive players traded for a rent-a-player. It’s bad enough that Gabbard and Murphy are in Texas. None of the free agents – Bonds, Sosa, Lofton, Sanders – seem appealing. Let’s go with what we have. I think the offense will be fine.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Jeff,

I threw it out there. Did I say I want him, no!!!! If and that is a big if, Ortiz doesn’t comeback this year. You will here Bonds’ name thrown around. Pure specualtion as I wrote earlier. You know how the sports world works and especially in Boston. I say Oritz will be back sometime after the All Star break.

I don’t see Adam Dunn coming to Boston because the Reds asking price will be too much. Also Dunn is a free agent at the end of the year.

Carter or Moss, sounds like the Vikings W.R.’s back in the day, lol. I like Moss and from what I have heard about Carter is good as well. Haven’t seen Carter in person or on t.v. so I can’t comment on him. Moss is solid and like what I have seen from him. Moss has hit on all levels and has done fairly well against big league pitching. He already came up big during a game this year. His blast off of Street in Japan.

Kramer,

That is all I did, throw it out there for discussion. It sounds like some people’s blood boiled when I mentioned his name,lol. Which I knew that would happen.

I would agree Bonds hitting at N.Y. would be very tempting. I think Toronto should go after Bonds, they need another bat or two. He would help them for sure. Jays pitching is the best in the division and with a bat like Bonds, it would only help. The Jays will not do it but I think they should.

Carter caught my eye last year when I did a little exercise on AAA first basemen! He seemed like one of the better choices along with Barton, Kohansky, and Votto! Great pick up for Pena though he is not known for his defense! Pawtucket had him in Left Field during the recent series with the SWB Yankees!

Will any team, even a desperate one, sign Bonds? I heard his name mentioned during the recent Detroit and Seattle series for the opposing teams!

I think you’ll see a lot of the Ellsbury, Crisp, Drew outfield with Manny as the DH. Crisp for Ortiz in the lineup doesn’t seem like a real good tradeoff, but look at the defense and the speed. I think with Youk, Manny and Lowell, you have enough RBI guys to get by.

To be honest, I think Ortiz could have another 20 or so RBI’s if he didn’t try to hit through the shifts. He’s left a bunch of runners on base this year. He was much more effective when he was driving the ball up the middle and to the left side. Now that Manny is past 500, that’s what he has been doing and you see the results. Mike Lowell is starting to hit with runners in scoring position and he is driving in some runs.

The Sox have a lot of options and I don’t think they have to look outside their 40 man roster for help to fill the Ortiz gap. Nobody is capable of doing what Papi has done, but I just don’t think the drop off will be that significant.

Bonds is more likely to be starring in the baseball equivalent of The Longest Yard than he is playing for the Red Sox.

Oh no, it’s Joe Migrane tonight. Sometimes I hate living in Florida. Then we can’t even get the game in HD here in Jacksonville.

Good news!(For me anyway) Chris Carter was called up!

At Fenway, in my opinion, Ellsbury in Left is not better than Manny! And it would be nice if Crisp can have another offensive outburst!

Gsm,

The worst part when the Tampa Bay plays Boston, it is Migrane time for us and other Florida resident’s. Also it is pallendrome Staats as the play by play guy, not good for us.

I love it when I see Drew go the other way towards the wall. Drew should hit .330 or so at Fenway. His stroke his perfect for Fenway. It drives me nuts when I see Drew trying to pull everything.

Kramer,

I agree with you about Ellsbury in left at Fenway. Ramirez is better. Ellsbury brings speed and his speed is negated in left at Fenway. His arm isn’t as good as Ramirez.

Rays have some good young arms. Garza should be in there rotation for quite a while. Stocking lots of good young arms is the way to win.

Hey, Bosoxbrian:

It’s funny. I told you that I saw the Pawsox a week ago Sunday night when Clay Buchholz pitched his first rehab game, and I told you about the home run hit by Brandon Moss. Well, the first home run hit in a game the Pawsox won 11-1 was by a guy named Chris Carter, and it was launched! My brother-in-law and I agreed that we would be able to say we knew him when! Well ladies and gentlemen, When has already happened!!!! (LOL).

Its just amazing to me….this organization is so loaded with talent. Yes, I know they have the high priced acquisitions like Manny R., and Dice-K and Beckett and Mikey L. and Schill. But so much of their talent is either home grown or nurtured (I throw Tek into the latter category)…Youk, DP, Jacoby, Jon L., Pap, Hansen Justin M., Manny D. And they keep bringing up youngsters. Its a great time to be a Red Sox fan.

I always quake when I say this (LOL) but I couldn’t agree with you more about Tito. What a great manager for this team. The White Sox can have diarreah (sp?) mouth Ozzie, I’ll take Tito over anyone in the majors. Even if it takes chewing gum or chewing tobacco, he will find a way to keep this team together and get them to perform its maximum best.

Dbenjamin,

Agree with me will get you in trouble, lol. In all seriousness Francona is the right guy to lead this team. He treats them with respect and he has there back all the way. More importantly they also have his back. Nobody has ever sold out Francona, not too my knowledge. Of course there are disagreements between players and Francona but he keeps it in house. Which can be very difficult in Boston.

Red Sox squandered a chance in the 3rd. 2 on and nobody out and no runs. When given the chance, you need to cash in.

Ozzie Guillen’s act gets quite old. I think his time as manager will end at the end of the year. After a while, I’m sure some of the players must say enough is enough. Just keep a lid on it. Also Kenny Williams feels that way and that could mean the end for Guillen.

I will predict Cliff Floyd will get hurt during this series. He was born hurt!!! Always missing games with lingering injuries. He must be made of paper, lol.

Hey BosoxBrian:

What about Joba’s first start…2 1/3 innings, 62 pitches…4 walks…and I thought the Red Sox rookie pitchers provided a bunch of stomache gas (lol). He’s got a ways to go…Again I hate to admit when you’re right, but the [D] Rays may be the team to beat in the East.

For all you Nancy Drew dislikers…how ’bout ‘dat long ball!!!!

Great catch by Drew. WOO

Dbenjamin,

I don’t think the Rays are the team to beat for the division. Look no further than the Red Sox. I do think Tampa Bay is the team to beat for the wild card. Imagine that.

Chamberlain should have started on the road rather than Yankee Stadium. A poor descion by the Yankees. Another poor descion by the Yankees no surprise, lol. He was extremely nervous and it showed with his lack of control. Trying to be too perfect. His emotions might have gotten the best of him. His emotions made him a weapon coming out of the pen but not tonight as A starter. He can only get better, lol.

Chamberlain is the best setup guy in baseball, we all agree there. Chamberlain as as A starter is a total unknown. Also it leaves a HUGE HOLE in there bullpen. They don’t have a guy that can jump in and take his role.

Hey BosoxBrian:

Bring on Kyle Farnsworth, slurp, slurp (lol)!

Dbenjamin,

Better yet bring on LaTroy Hawkins, lol.

Hansen coming into the game. A big spot here.

It looks like Boston will improve to an incredible 22-5 at home. That is dominating!!!

Drew steps it up tonight with a long H.R. He needs to step it up while Ortiz is on the shelf. It will be interesting to look at the numbers when Ortiz is back.

Hansen was very impressive. If he can pitch like that, he will be a force in the Sox pen. Francona has confidence in Hansen and that will only help him. I really like what I see from Hansen.

Another scoreless inning from Delcarmen. He has pitched very well as of late. It looks like his struggles are behind him. Then again with Delcarmen, you never know for sure. He can very inconsisent at times as we all know.

Masterson did give them 6 innings but Tampa Bay had some good swings against him. Overall not bad from Masterson, the kid started the year at A.A. and doesn’t have many innings in A.A.A. He looks like he belongs out there.

Papelbon looks like he is throwing some serious gas!!!! Iwamurra is swinging and the ball is in the mitt.

Another good game for the Red Sox bullpen.
Without Okajima, sox relievers are dominating now

I thought Masterson pitched well last night. He got a little sloppy with his location a couple of times. I really like the way he goes after hitters. He has the makings of a solid big league pitcher.

Great effort by Hansen. He’s had a few of those. He could really make a difference this year if he can keep his head straight and stay ahead of hitters in the count. He’ got great stuff.

That was the best I’ve seen Papelbon look in a while. He was really bringing it. You are right Brian. The ball was on the way back to the mound by the time Iwamura finished his swing. He had no chance.

Brian, got any tylenol? I woke up with a Magrane hangover this morning. Aye, two more days of that putz!

No question, Ellsbury’s speed is somewhat negated in left field at Fenway and Manny is the master of the wall. But in every other park, Ellsbury is the better option out there. That might be the way to approach things until Papi gets back. Let Manny play at home and DH on the road. I think Manny likes the DH role. He has nothing else to think about except hitting. Of course, it’s probably that way when he’s in the field too. LOL

I think we’ll be lucky to see Papi before August. He’s in a cast, he’ll lose some strength and mobility and it will take some time to get those things back. Two weeks is also not a very long healing period for a tear of any kind. There’s no guarantee he wouldn’t reinjure it. Papi is lucky to have Tito. Tito will always err to the cautious and conservative side of these kinds of things.

Gsm,

There isn’t enough Tylenol to help with Magrane ( Migrane ) and his partner Staats. I think they are the worst duo in baseball. Very boring and they add nothing to the telecast. Migrane thinks he is funny but he is farrrrrr from funny.

Papelbon needed that last night. He smoked thru that lineup last night. He hit 98 on the gun. His fastball explodes at home plate. He is the ultimate weapon!!!!

Red Sox can send a message to these Young Rays in this series. We are the team to beat. The path goes thru Boston.

Beckett seems to be throwing well, but he’s giving up some rockets so far tonight……

We all hoped when Ortiz went on the D.L. that Drew would step up, so far he has delivered. Not only at the plate but in the field as well. Drew looks very comfortable in the box.

Good news about Schilling, he threw 25 pitches off the mound. On Friday he’ll throw 35. Baby steps for Schilling. I’m sure he is very determined to play this season. I would love too see it but I am not counting on it.

Bad news out of Atlanta with Smoltz being done for the season. I have always liked watching him pitch. One of the best over the last 15 years. He was dominant as a starter and reliever. I hope he returns next year. He is off too Cooperstown when his career is all done. Along with Glavine and Maddux. Smoltz a great golfer so I guess another career as a pro could happen.

Gsm,

I would agree about the hard hits by the Rays. Longoria smoked that one to center. Hinske’s hit was smoked as well. Beckett didn’t give up many of those last year.

Gsm,

It’s only the 4th inning of game 2 and my Tylenol is empty!!! LOL…. C.V.S. is going to love me tonight and tomm. night, lol.

Tonight looks like a game in April and not June. Jackson is a type of pitcher when things go south the kid is done!!! He loses confidence quick. I assume the pen for the Rays will be working alot tonight.

Brian, I’m dying here. No Tylenol, no Motrin, no Advil….. only a huge Magrane. Maybe these acid reflux pills will help.

That is good news about Schilling, but I don’t think they ought to bring him back until he’s ready to step in and give them seven innings. Let him go through his spring training and pitch a month in AAA. He’s not going to help by going out there with a 50-60 pitch limit. That will just wear out the bullpen.

Drew has stepped it up some. It’s good to see. Like I said before, it’s never been a matter of effort. He has looked real good in the outfield too.

Smoltz is a class act. He’s done everything the Braves have ever asked of him and he’s been a great ambassador for the team as well. I hear he also gives Tiger a run for his money on the golf course. He could probably retire and be good enough to get on one of the tours. How special would that be?

I knew that idiot Magrane would make it through the series without referring to Don Orsillillio…….. LOL! What an idiot!

…..wouldn’t make it……

Del Carmen has been pitching a lot better since he got rid of that stupid hairy little rodent on his chin. He was overpowering tonight. Good job!

Brian, Magrane and Staats must have put you to sleep, or killed you.

LOL! A Staats Quote: “Hope you enjoyed the telecast, if not the outcome……” I really enjoyed the outcome, the telecast sucked.

The first place Tampa Bay Rays: “Welcome to Fenway Park.”

Does anyone know why the game was not televised as scheduled on ESPN tonight? I had to watch the game on Rays TV, and as Brian and Garry mentioned, the announcers are awful. Dwayne Staats spends most of his time expending every ounce of energy trying to insult the Red Sox with demeaning comments and Joe Magrane makes little sense. My favorite Staats comment happens when Youkilis gripes at a called strike, which we all know occurs on a daily basis. Staats says the same thing, even if it is three straight nights. It’s like he has nothing else to say, or he doesn’t think viewers will remember he said the same comment the night before.

It’s good to see the Delcarmen and Hansen gaining confidence. Since Okajima is no longer reliable with runners on in tight games, someone needs to step up. I feel comfortable now with Delcarmen, Hansen and David Aardsma, and, of course, Jonathan Papelbon.

Kudos to J.D. Drew as well. The Red Sox need him to produce runs with Ortiz unavailable. At least in the last two games he has done more than reach base via walk and/or single.

I’m excited about the draft. I’ll be covering it tomorrow, and writing some posts. The Red Sox have five of the first 108 picks, which is valuable in the Major League Baseball draft. Because they have the money, and they are willing to spend it, the Red Sox can get first round caliber players in the second and third rounds because some of those players slip due to signability concerns. Boston has a lot of exciting prospects at the low levels of the minors right now, and they will be climbing the ladder past Single-A next season. Hopefully, this year’s draft class will do the same.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Oh, by the way, “Beat LA, Beat LA!”

That’s funny, it was on ESPN in SC, but I watched online, which was the NESN broadcast. Usually it would have been blacked out, but I haven’t had any games blacked out this year, even when I’ve been able to watch them on TV. Glad I didn’t have to deal with those Rays TV guys; they are the WORST.

More MASH with Klinger Lugo and Henry Theo

Corporal Lugo Klinger walked into Henry Theo Blake’s office and sat down opposite of him. He wore a lavender dress with an aqua skirt and beige hair – dyed of course. He had blush, eye shadow and lipstick with high heals and sanded and painted fingernails.
“What is it this time Lugo?”
“Sir, “said Lugo. “Migrane and I have still not got your approval for our adult films line starting with “The Thrusting headache”.”
Theo sat back and grabbed his head. He said, “Klinger… if I let you do this…won’t be able to keep up with the requests for a frontal lobotomy…starting with myself!”
“Sir…you’re prejudice.”
“No I’m sane…there’s a difference, “snapped Coronal Theo Blake.
“So I take it the answer is no! Is that what you’re saying? No to Migrane’s Muffler!”
Theo just sat there watching the figure in front of him and paused wondering where the suicide pills were.
“Why not just make documentaries?”
“Sir…I tried.”
“And!”
“You suggested Porn!”
Theo Henry finally recalled that conversation and wondered what sort of idiot he had turned into.
“Klinger Lugo…why would you want to film your relationship with Migrane anyway?”
Klinger Lugo sat down and pondered that idea and came up with an answer.
“We’re unique!”
“You’re disgusting!”
“That’s why we’re unique!”
Henry gritted his teeth and looked away facing another headache.
“Sir, “interjected Radar.”Klinger Lugo is under contract till 2010 for 80 million dollars.”
Theo slammed the table and said, “what idiot approved that venture.”
“The same person who approved Gag-me.”
Henry Theo got up and chewed on a piece of paper before realizing it and tossed it out.
“Boy oh boy Radar…we have our share of idiots around here. “
“You said it sir.”
Theo rolled his eyes and looked at Lugo who had a smile that felt like a third watching of The Exorcist.
“Can I at least get leave sir?”
“Why!”
“Because I’m crazy. Section 8…remember?”
Henry Theo leaned forward and said, “if I did that for everyone we’d have no one at the factory Lugo…be reasonable.”
“If you don’t grant me leave…I’ll tell everyone how you denied that my father died.”
Theo leaned back and then grabbed the computer. He looked up the record of Klinger Lugo.
“OK…leave for…Mamma died on 8/17, Papa died 8/18, Papa pregnant 8/19, mama pregnant 8/20, Klinger Lugo pregnant 8/21, Lugo and Migrane both pregnant 8/23, Rosanne pregnant with Klinger Lugo baby 8/25, Rosanne and Migrane pregnant 8/27,…oh here’s an oldie but goodie – Rosanne and Migrane and Lugo pregnant, the rest are just dead 8/29. Lugo aren’t you ashamed of yourself.”
“Yes sir, “snapped Lugo. “I have to go back to Migrane so he can punish me.”
“Ya…well…head over to Magaret Ellen. She’ll have lots of supplies for you.”
“I will sir. Klinger Lugo signing off!”
Henry leaned back against his desk and signed the last document in black.
“Sir…”
“What…Radar.”
“We just switched to red. It’s in the memo!”
“So…we have to do all these documents all over again?”
“Yes sir.”
“Why Radar. Why can’t this company just stick to one color!”
“We’ve diversified!”
Henry kicked the chair and decided it was time for lunch. He walked out feeling better already but the worst was yet to come.

TO BE CONTINUED

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