City of Brotherly Hate

Actually, it’s the City of Brotherly Love where I am right now. That was just me paying homage to the late, great Johnny Most. In the 1980s, he used to start his pregame intro in Philly like this:

“Hi there once again everybody, this is Johnny Most, high above  courtside, here in the city of Brotherly Hate, in the Spectrum in Philadelphia where the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers get ready for basketball battle. Both ballclubs are on the floor right now and this should be a real war.”

Got to love Johnny. But you couldn’t much love that Celtics loss last night. It would have been nice to see them win it in LA, but I guess Garnett wanted to force a Game 6. I’m sorry, I like KG and he did completely change the culture of the franchise. But I firmly believe he is the reason they didn’t win that game last night. Missed free throws, missed layups on tip-ins, dumb fouls, etc. I still don’t see this thing going 7. But stranger things have happened. Check out the 2004 ALCS for memories of just how much stranger.

As for today in Philadelphia, Big Bart Colon, who had very little juice on his fastball tonight, had to leave the game after four innings — and three home runs — with back stiffness. It must be contagious. Kevin Youkilis was scratched from the lineup at the last minute with muscle spasms in his mid back. Jason Varitek has been moved to the sixth spot in the lineup. The mighty Casey replaces Youk and hits seventh.

Manny is back in the lineup. His hamstring has sufficiently improved. The team is in a holding pattern regarding Schilling, who was disappointed by his throwing session on Friday. We should find out within the next 24 hours what is next for Schill, who did have a closed door meeting with Terry Francona today.

David Ortiz had his cast removed, replaced by a removable forearm splint. He should be able to start doing range of motion exercises by tomorrow.

Are any of you Brownie Points readers from the South Shore? The reason I ask is that I’m doing a book signing at the Hingham Barnes and Noble on Thursday night, beginning at 6. I’d love to see some of you there.

Ian.

39 Comments

Garnett looked like Shaq at the line. The C’s should celebrate back in Boston. Either Tues. or Thurs. I hope it is tomm. night. Then again something tells me it will be on Thursday night. They might as well play another 7 game series, lol. Pierce will be the M.V.P. of the Finals.

I am not expecting Schilling to throw 1 pitch in the bigs this season. If he does, that will be a MAJOR accomplishment. I hope he proves me dead wrong but I doubt it.

Red Sox have had some fun in Philly over the last few seasons. Another tiny park they have to play in. Ramirez, Drew ( Philly loves Drew—lol ) and Lowell might end up hitting some longballs that end up in Delaware. I believe Lowell has had some good numbers in Philly. The Phillies almost signed him this past winter. Classy Lowell took less money. He never wanted to leave Boston anyway, we all knew that.

Hamels is certainly a tough pitcher, Sox have there work cut out for them. Hamels throws in the mid 90′s and a great change-up. Talking about contrasting styles, Hamels tonight and the ageless Jamie Moyer tomm. night. Moyer’s fastball can’t even break glass, lol. He still gets the job done though. A classy guy is Moyer, a former Boston lefty. He has been around for a longggggg time. You gotta root for guys like Moyer but not tomm. night.

Also Jerry Remy on Saturday didn’t seem optimistic about Oritz returning. Remy sounded as if Ortiz will need surgery. Also it sounded from listening to Remy that if Oritz returns he will not be the same hitter. He talked about the torque Ortiz has on his swing, so much force.

Ian,

Speaking of the south, when will you have a book signing south, like St. Pete, Florida?

I thought Hamels had a mid 90′s fastball. There I go thinking again, lol. He does a great change-up.

Those days at the Spectrum were great. I loved Dave Zinkoff’s ( P.A. Announcer at The Spectrum ) his intro of Julius Ervinggggggg. Bob Casey ( Metrodome P.A. Announcer ) with Kirby Puckett was great as well. I miss Sherm Feller for sure.

Rollings smoked that one, that would have been a H.R. anywhere. Alot of pop in the Phillies lineup. The Phillies have an A.L. lineup. Colon fooling nobody.

Can’t believe I am going to say this, but I think we would have had a better chance with the same line-up as in Cin — Rameriz doesn’t look good yet, still looks like he is being cautious at the plate with his leg, so that has got to affect his hitting, so far 0 for 3, and Coco was really hot, plus he is going to face some suspensions soon. Seems like it might have been a better move to let Rameriz get fully better, and ride the hot bat while you can, not give Coco a chance to cool down.

Lugo and pitcher in 8th and 9th spot — ouch, not far from having two pitchers in the batting line up. Why does Lugo step out of the batter box’s so much at the last minute. That is really irritating, even to a Sox fan — only effect it seems to have is to prolong his out.

I don’t know why Timlin was put in over Aardsma. Timlin has had a very rough go of it this season. E.S.P.N. had a graphic that said the Red Sox have had the most pitching changes in all of baseball, not good.

I think father time has not only caught up to Timlin but passed him. A great attempt by Ellsbury in c.f. Almost had it. Two unlikely guys with tripes, Burrell and Howard. The Phillies have hit some rockets tonight, these balls have been crushed!!!

I feel badly for Timlin, but it’s just time for him to go to Francona and call it a day. He just doesn’t have it any more. His velocity seems OK, but he just keeps getting ripped. He just throws everything right down the middle.

I think Ellsbury should have made the catch on Howard’s fly ball. It would have been a good catch, but he should have made it. He was there.

Is Tiger Woods the very best in the world at what he does. There is no other player in any sport that dominates his sport the way Tiger Woods dominates golf. Probably the closest is Roger Federer in tennis. This guy has knee surgery, doesn’t play in two months, and comes out and beats the best field golf has to offer. I felt a little bad for Rocco Mediate. He had a nice tournament. In most tournaments, Tiger is even money to win against the entire field.

Gsm,

I agree with you about Ellsbury, should have made the catch. If you asked Ellsbury, he would say he should have had it. It defintely would have a nice snag for sure, a web gem on Baseball Tonight.

Solid start for Hamels tonight, no surprise. He had it working tonight. This is the only series in June I thought Boston could lose. Other than that, Boston should cruise against St. Louis, Az. and Houston. Winning 7 of the 9 games. Boston faces St. Louis without Pujols, Az. is really struggling as of late and the Astros seem to bottom out a little.

A promising outing for Oki, at least he didn’t give up any runs. The Phillies go in order. It will be interesting too see what the Sox will do when they have a lead late in the game. How will Francona work the pen? Will Oki be the 8th inning guy? If Oki is the 8th inning guy still, I assume he will be on a very short leash, just like Saturday vs the Reds. We shall see.

dgneubert,

I don’t think I have laughed this hard in a while. The ‘only prolongs his out” almost sent me to the floor. In fairness Lugo has been hitting better and he didn’t make an error in this game.

Pitching staff is a problem. Colon’s last two starts were abysmal. Manny is sagging like a deflated balloon. I wanted Crisp in there myself. Crisp is on fire and wants to play. Manny seems to want to get through the game and I’m sure his frustration level is high — he wants a long term contract with the Sox and he’s putting undo pressure on himself.

Timlin is hanging pitches. I don’t think it’s age. I think it’s the fact he’s hanging pitches. I’ve seen Beckett perform the same trick with the same result. Timlin needs to stop hanging pitches.

This game was nothing but pain for me to see.

dave….. have Brian send you some Kool Aid. That will make the pain go away.

Brian…… big one for the Celts tonight. They didn’t play their best ball and almost pulled it off in LA. Pierce was great, but Garnett still isn’t being as dominant as I think he should be. He seems to be taking his shots always falling from the basket instead of going toward it. That’s why he’s not at the foul line more often. I like Pierce to come up big again and and wouldn’t be surprised to see a significant contribution from Cassell, Powe and Posey. The bench has played well most of the series, and at home should be a deciding factor.

Ortiz is out of his cast, but I still don’t hold high hopes for an early return. The Sox would do well to give him plenty of time to get range of motion and strength to 100 percent before he even starts baseball activities. Swinging a bat is a very violent and stressful action on the old wrists. He could reinjure it, even worse, in a single swing if he’s not 100 percent. I agree with you Brian. I don’t see Schilling pitching at all this year. It just doesn’t seem right that someone didn’t know this situation existed with him before he signed his contract. What a waste of 8 million dollars. Well, maybe he’ll prove us wrong in which case I’ll gladly eat another slice of humble pie.

Gsm,

No Kool Aid to give, lol.

I’m also with you about Garnett. He is too good too struggle. I don’t think anyone in a Laker uniform should be able to stop him. Garnett for some reason doesn’t take it strong to the rim. He is soft!!! I agree with you as well about the bench. They have played very well in this series. Powe was HUGE in game 2. Posey has hit some big shots in this series as well. I hope Perkins can give the Celtics some quality minutes tonight.

If and when Ortiz does come back to play, he will not be the same hitter this year. I think some people think he’ll be back and be Ortiz again. It will be an adjustment for him. I don’t know what the Red Sox will do come trading deadline but grabbing a bat would be a good thing. Of course bullpen help as well and getting rid of Lugo would be fine as well. I am in agreement with you about the Schilling situation, a total waste of 8 million dollars. I would love for him to prove us wrong but highly unlikely. He will be on another team next year. Thanks for the 2 titles Curt but your time is over in Boston.

Brian, I think if Schilling doesn’t make it back this year it will be over for him. The Sox have been awfully quiet about his progress for the most part, but I think he’s lacking the heart to do what he has to do to get back in top form. It’s a lot to ask of an old beat up and overweight body like his. I can vouch for that first hand…… LOL! As weird as it might sound, pitching through what he did in 2004 was gutsy, but easier than what he’s going through now. That was just a little pain……. what he’s facing now requires a lot of work and I think is too much for him to overcome. To be honest, at this point, what’s his incentive? The Sox have adequate pitching without him and he’s guaranteed his 8 million. I really don’t think he ever recovered from 2004. He was never the same pitcher, although he had some good games. I suppose if they could get him back in September and he performed, he would be good to take into the post season where he excels. He could be a hero one final time, which is very Schilling-like.

Gsm,

Schilling as we all know has a very large ego. I don’t think he wants to end his career like this. If he doesn’t pitch this year ( I say it will not happen ) I think he would like to give it 1 more year. I don’t know who that would be. Perhaps Tampa Bay, he has known Joe Maddon for several years. Perhaps somewhere out West. Thanks for the memories Curt but I think the sun has set on him in Boston and perhaps his career. Certainly one of the best post-season pitchers I have seen. Morris, Smoltz among others. Imagine 8 million guranteed, must be sweet. Pavano and Jason Schmidt as well collecting big $$$$$ while watching.

Gsm,

I also totally agree with you when you said he hasn’t totally recovered from 2004. Schilling should always have a free drink in Boston forever,lol. Unbelieveable what he did back in 2004.

Dice-K had his rehab start last night against the IronPigs and threw 65 pitches and I am shocked 47 for strikes. Let’s hope Dice-K does that on Saturday vs St. Louis. If he does that, it will be a great sign for the Red Sox. All he has to do is throw strikes and be consisent. I don’t think I am asking for too much.

Brian,
I agree with you on that. Dice-K needs to be consistant.

Willie Randolph being fired isn’t that much of a surprise, but the Mets winning yesterday and he is still is fired is kind of low.
Watching college baseball and it’s future stars. That is what is exciting about watching it.

Soxfan015,

I think how the Mets fired Randolph was in very poor taste. They also fired Rick Peterson, a very good pitching coach. If the Mets don’t make the playoffs, there g.m. Omar Minaya will be gone as well. Perhaps Cashman will take over the Mets, lol. I also think his job is on the line as well. Being a baseball fan in N.Y. is not good right now. 2 teams with huge payrolls but nothing to show for it and the rest of the season looks pretty bleek. Alot of baseball to be played, anything can/will happen.

As much as I hate to say it, I agree with Hank Steinbrenner on the National League and the DH thing. Baseball should be baseball…… one set of rules for all teams/leagues. The playing fields becomes uneven in interleague and world series games, with the home team having a distinct advantage if all else is even. Seeing Wang go down running bases is a travesty. AL pitchers aren’t used to that, or handling a bat. I could see a broken finger or two on bunt attempts. The whole thing is really stupid. DH enables fans to see both Youk and Papi instead of some bumbling pitcher up there as an auto out. It’s a much better game with the DH.

I don’t think the timing of his firing made much of a difference to Randolph. In fact, he ended on a positive note which I think is a good thing. However, I do think that firing him at this point in the season serves no useful purpose. That team still has a lot of talent and could make a run and he should have been given the chance to make that happen. Now you have an interim manager who really serves at the discretion of the front office. We’ll see, but I think it’s all down hill for the Mets from here.

I think either you have the D.H. or you let pitchers bat. Either way is fine with me. Personally I would like too see pitchers bat, that is how the game was invented many moons ago. I would like too see both leagues play the same. For instance in the N.F.L. they don’t have rules for the A.F.C. that differ from the N.F.C. Only baseball has to be different.

I’m sure Randolph wasn’t too happy with the timing of it but then again this is pro sports. That is how it goes sometimes. Some things are done very professionally and some stuff is handled very poorly. Personally Minaya put the Mets together, he is the one responsible. He’ll be done soon anyway. Sometimes a firing can get the team going again, a new voice. Look no further than the Marlins of 2003. Torborg was canned and in comes Jack McKeon and the rest is history as they say.

I hope the Red Sox can bounce back tonight. The Phillies were ready last night. They came out of the gates quick last night. Swinging away early in the count. It seemed every ball they hit was solid. Lester has done very well lately. One thing for sure this Phillies team can hit a fastball. Lester needs to locate his fastball to be successful tonight.

Brian, we are just so freaking brilliant. Curt Schilling is having is shoulder examined tomorrow in Boston. He has reached a plateau, whatever that is, and has been told to shut it down.

Lugo leading off, Ellsbury on the bench. I don’t understand, end of comment.

Colon on the 15 day DL from swinging the bat. See post above………. put the DH in the NL. Youk still out. Seems like back issues are becoming chronic with him.

Gsm,

Brillant and myself doesn’t belong in the same sentence, lol.

I guess Colon hurt his back on the swing where his helmet fell off. Colon was foolish in the batters box last night anyway. He was swinging for the fences, he wasn’t getting cheated in his swing last night.

Are the Red Sox showcasing Lugo? That is the only reason he would leadoff. Then again him at the top of the order, leaves him exposed. Lugo should be at the bottom, where he belongs.

Youkilis has his share of injuries, that is for sure. He misses his fair amount of games.

OK, Brian, brilliant doesn’t really apply to me either….. actually it doesn’t remotely apply to me. About the only thing brilliant about me is the sun reflecting off my rapidly balding dome.

I can almost buy playing Crisp and leading him off, bjt Lugo? What’s Tito thinking about. Lugo needs to be showcased, or maybe suitcased and shipped off somewhere else.

Gsm,

LOL on your last sentence. Great stuff and I agree very much. That is the only reason I could think of. Lugo did lead off a couple of other times as well. Let’s face it, the guy should be at the bottom of the order. I assume come late July, Lugo will be in that suitcase and shipped off somewhere. If not late July, definetly during the winter. At least a yr. ago he was driving in some runs, not this year. Not too mention his errors at s.s. have killed the Sox at times. I would agree with you have Crisp lead off tonight not Lugo. Anyone but Lugo. How about Remy? LOL…..

Great to hear Harry Kalas doing the game. One of the best!!!! He does a great job with N.F.L. Films.

I love watching guys like Moyer. He is the definition of crafty.

Hey everyone,

No cool aid. Can I survive the night!

Youk gets his share of injuries but he also does 110% on the field. He earns my respect as Mr. Hustle.

Lugo I am sure he will make a great porn star when he retires from baseball later this year. Speaking of future porn stars, Tavarez has worked his ERA up to almost 9.0. Way to go Julian.

I’m sad about Schilling. To be fair, I think he should have gotten the surgery. His physical structure and pot belly did not cater to a physical rehab program. Sometimes tells me he’s torn something and this may be it. I kind of feel bad. He really is a great pitcher.

Colon taking swings was ridiculous.

Sox are up by two. Drew struck out — with two men on and Lugo stealing a base successfully. Perhaps the idea of ending up a future porn star scared him into running like the wind! (LOL)

Dave…

Lugo was out at third base. Nice move to get his foot in, but he came off the bag with the tag on him.

It’s amazing to me that Moyer can still even pitch in the big leagues. This game is going to take forever. Each of his pitches takes at least five seconds to get to the plate.

Lester’s count is up to 30 — in two innings and 2nd inning not even done yet. He needs to get more efficient outings otherwise Timlin will work his magic again.
I feel bad for Oki. I really think it may be confidence. If you walk out on the mound and don’t perform it can really break your confidence. This is why I think it takes a special mentality to work the bullpen. I don’t think dumping a guy in there who’s not cutting it as a starter is a good thing. A bullpen means — think skin, short term memory, and an ego the size of Texas just to cope. I could be wrong.
Who’s the pitching expert out there who can answer my dilemma:
“can starting pitchers become bullpen aces or not”

Gsm,

Moyer has been around for a long time. You ask how long? He made his big league debut about a week after the Celtics beat the Rockets back in June of 1986. Imagine that? 22 years later and the guy is still pitching. Moyer has had an amazing career. I wonder how many current managers faced Moyer? Has Francona faced Moyer?

Moyer is walking just about everyone tonight.

I think Lugo started up so Francona can get the inevitable out over with so they have something to look forward to in the lineup.

How do you get swinging strikes…on changeups???? How is that possible considering he’s only throwing changeups and curveballs. This is minor league pitching?

Celtics beat the Rockets on June 8th in 1986. June 16th Moyer made his big league debut. Steve Carlton was the losing pitcher for the Phillies against Moyer and the Cubs.

Lugo hit a double? Is that…possible????

Moyer has been around forever is right. I remember his having some good years in Seattle, but I didn’t think he had 237 wins. He’s like Wakefield. None of his stats are all that good, but he wins.

Dave, when I was pitching, every pitcher aspired to be a starting pitcher. Nobody wanted to be a relief pitcher. In fact, there were times when I got my work between starts as a reliever. Things are different now. Now, pitchers are groomed or aspire to be relievers. To me, it’s all hogwash. I believe any quality pitcher can be a relief pitcher. A pitcher who is unable to perform as a starter is likely going to be unable to perform as a reliever. Relievers are supposed to have this “attitude” which is different than that of a starter. That would be hogwash as well. All pitchers have to do the same thing. They have to pitch ahead in the count, throw strikes, and get batters out. The inning or the situation doesn’t change any of that.

Lester once again is becoming the ace of the team replacing Dice-K. I’m really impressed.

gsm52
Sounds like logic to me but with a starter you walk in with 0-0 and don’t have the game on the line but then again, a starter can fall into a hole in a second.
Thanks gsm for answering my question.

Dave, a game is on the line from the first pitch. There is as much pressure to get hitters out in the first inning as there is in the eighth. Most relievers come in with a clean inning and have to get three outs. That’s no more or less difficult than pitching the first inning.

Ellsbury stealing second was a good move. Trying for third not so smart with a good hitter like Lowell up there. With his speed, the one base doesn’t make that much difference. Francona should talk with him.

Nice job by Lester tonight. Looks like he’s growing up nicely into a big league pitcher. His command seems to improve every time out.

Celts are doing well with a 13 point lead a little more than half way through the second quarter. Beat LA, beat LA, beat LA!!!!!

gsm52,
Good point. As we saw with Colon last night, the first inning is just as important as the ninth.

I think Ellsbury is hungry to break a new base stealing record for the season.

Papelbon looks in good form but the Phillies were also chasing those high fastballs as well. His velocity was low tonight as well hitting about 90 which is really unusual for him but it worked.

Sorry, Oki with Hansen warming up- same thing. I hope not.

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