Live From The Trop

“That’s it. The soap opera is over.”

That is what Manny Ramirez said earlier this afternoon, and he wasn’t talking about all the drama that developed between the Sox and Rays in Boston earlier this month. He was speaking of his own incident with venerable traveling secretary Jack McCormick in which Manny allegedly threw McCormick to the ground after an argument involving tickets.

I think that incident is pretty much over, but it’s too bad it had to happen in the first place. It’s unfortunate that McCormick had to be the recipient of what was — most likely — classless behavior by Ramirez. McCormick is one of the true good guys around the Red Sox, as anyone who is even remotely familiar with the inner workings of the team, is well aware of.

What isn’t over is the American League East. Far from it. These next three games should tell a lot about the Rays, and whether they have staying power to last in this race all summer. I think they have the talent to do so.

Masterson looked a little sluggish tonight. On the other hand, Clay Buchholz again sparked for Pawtucket this evening. As someone has already said to me shortly upon my arrival in Tampa, “Draw your own conclusions.” … Oh, by the way, Timlin had an easy 1-2-3 inning for the PawSox tonight. He can be activated as early as Thursday in New York.

DH David Ortiz today confirmed the inevitable. He won’t play in the All-Star Game.

82 Comments

Ian,

It wasn’t most likely classless behavior, it was classless behavior. He should be ashamed of himself!!!

My question about the Rays is what happens later in the season. Shields was shut down last September. Kazmir has had his share of shoulder issues. Garza is totally unproven. Percival is an older guy who already has been on the D.L. Time will tell I guess. The Rays are a dangerous team, especially at home. They have dominated at home this season. I think it is great for baseball too see a team like the Rays playing well.

I agree Brian. Manny is lucky charges weren’t preferred against him.

Once again, two outs, nobody on, Masterson gives up the walk and gets to pitch to Pena………….. and BOOM again. Two two out walks result in two runs.

Hey guys…

So now it’s 3 – 1. Once again the Red Sox have proven they will get one run per game. Another useless effort in hitting. Now it’s 4 – 1. This game is out of control. Manny with another strike out. Lugnut Lugo is doing nothing and the S.O’s are climbing up. If I were the Red Sox I’d just say “Tampa we’re…we’re pathetic. You guys take the next three games and we’ll go home!

There you go guys!

Whew…on other news…we’re being too soft on Manny. Manny needs a humble pill. He’s not exemplifying the Red Sox. Incidentally, Tampa has won the brawl — they did it without raising a fist — it’s called a great team.

Hey Brian, let’s team up and bid on that gold extravaganza weekend with Migrane. There can be only one thing better than listening to Migrane on Rays TV, and that would spending an entire weekend with him.

Wait, I can’t, I think I have a root canal scheduled for that weekend.

Whaaaaaaa! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa!…….Man oh man! Where’s the Whaaaaaambulence? Migrane is whining!

Hey Brian, can you imagine putting Migrane, Youk and Dave together in a ranting contest? That would be one for the ages.

Gsm,

I just might bid for that great weekend with Migrane. I could get rid of him forever if I bid enough $$$$, lol.

Someone should tell Drew tomm. that it is still June. Another H.R. for Drew. I wasn’t a big fan of signing Drew but without his production this month, the Sox would be up the creek.

bosoxbrian,

Migrane and Drew only rant. I just tell the truth (LOL)

Gsm,

My money would be on Dave. He would win the rant!!! The power of Dave, lol.

Another two out walk…….. a terrible effort on that ground ball by Lugo……… his range is worse than Jeter’s.

I think you could be right. Migrane would rant and forget what he was ranting about. You would rant about nothing but would mostly rant to himself. Clearly, Dave is the champion. However, he’s been a little weak tonight, and it shows in the Sox performance. C’mon Dave, you can do better than this. Be the champion you are. Rant on!

Upton is trying to hit his second homer of the night. Taking some big cuts. I think his approach should be shorten the stroke and extend the lead. All you need is a single.

Masterson’s night is over. Time for the Sox bats to get things rolling!!! Make Shields work for it, have him earn it!!!

Gsm,

I want to make a bid, just to get my name on the board, lol.

Be careful, you might get stuck with it. LOL! Not me, I’m having that root canal, much less painful.

Hey Brian, maybe we could bid an extra $500 if they would leave Migrane behind.

Youk makes an out and Migrane says he’ll start whining again. If Youk played for the Rays, Migrane would love the guy. Remy is wayyyyyy better than Migrane. Migrane comes across as a total jerk!!! You never here Remy talk about a player like that, he is too professional. Migrane is very condisending/arrogant for sure.

Gsm,

I want Migrane to go. I can rag him all weekend. LOL!!!

You might be right about me getting stuck with it, now that would be funny!!!

Wow, you guys are right; these announcers are HOMERS. I usually have the sound muted for away games, but I wanted to see what all the fuss is about with Migrane. OY!!! Ouch!! These two are a close second only to the White Sox announers, my least favorite. Back to mute for me!

The Sox have a chance here. Sheilds is gone. Lets see what our boys can do. Cmon Sox!

I remember when the Cards played the Twins in the World Series and rooting for the Twins. I am so glad I did. One thing I remember, all the home teams won but Migrane got smoked!!!! LOL……..

OK, two on, one out. This is the inning for us!

Wow I hadn’t thought about it from that perspective. An opportunity to talk trash to Migrane for a whole weekend. I real chance to put him in his place, maybe even convince him he doesn’t know crap about baseball. Maybe we could even invite Youk along. Can you imagine Youk on a golf course. We’d have Mirgrane in a straight jacket talking to himself by the end of the weekend. He’d be finished, and we’d be free.

Arnie, two on, one out, Tek and Lugo up. I don’t hold a lot of hope.

A pitcher named Balfour!

Arnie,

Hawk Harrelson is defintely a homer but at least he can be funny at times. Migrane is just ANNOYING!! He thinks he is funny but far from it. Staats has the worst perm I have ever seen!!! He thinks every call goes to Boston, so unprofessional!!!

Gsm,

LOL…… Great comments!!! I would be all over that guy Migrane. Flashbacks of the World Series in 1987, he wouldn’t know what to do. We would put him in a looney bin. LOL!!!

Sadly, you were right, Gsm.

Brian, this game stinks…….. I’m running out of witty things to say……………and Dave is sleeping instead of ranting……. all happening with the pleasantries of Migrane in the background. I’m thinking about a move, “Field of Screams” and my question would be “Is this h-e-l-l?

Great play by Smith on the bunt.

Brian, I gotta have a Rays Golf Bag……and those Rays Pro-V1 golf ball.

What a great play by Youk on that bunt play!

Gsm,

Boston is down by 2 runs but it seems like more. I agree, we need a Dave rant. That will get the boys going!!!

Ellsbury leads off in the 8th, that is where it will start, it has to.

Smith has a very good change-up.

Smith needs a ground ball big time here!

This is giving me a headache! The good thing is…….hmmm……the good thing is…… oh! I remember! ’04; remember how bad the Sox looked sometimes,…. and last year, they went through a stretch where this blog was smoking from all the anger and frustration. So I’m still cheerful knowing that this team is loaded with talented players who know how to win when it counts (well, yea, I know it counts all the time, but) and at the end of the year we’ll all be happy when the Sox are once again at the top of the AL East. Tito will keep a steady hand at the helm and Papi will come back swinging that big bat. All will be well in Beantown…….Now if I can keep from having a heart attack til then….

I AM worried about Manny. Is he coming unglued? Fighting with Youk and now this with the traveling secretary???? That’s not Manny being Manny, that’s Manny being stupid! WAKE UP Manny!

Another guy in the Sox pen that can’t find the plate. I have seen this act many times. Theo needs to add an arm or two to the pen.

Gomes do what you do best, which is nothing!!! D.P. for Gomes. Let’s go Lopez. Sox get out of this inning, they can win this one.

Bottom 7th isn’t going well. Sox are going through their sleep-walking period these last dozen games or so.

I’m sure Francona is thinking I should have pulled the infield in. I could see it on his face.

I’m wondering if Lugo had charged that ball if they get the DP? Probably not, or maybe he would have thrown it into the dugout. Just when you need Gomes to hit the ball hard, he hits it too slow.

Lugo did the only thing he could do with it. I’m thinking I could have beat that one out to avoid the double play. Another pathetic effort. I think I can still catch the final few races at the dog track. That has to be more entertaining. Night all!

The bats to get rolling? In the Red Sox case that means rolling them back to the dugout. Hence begins the first of three continuous losses for the Red Sox. They will lose tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday. Lugnut Lugo will lead the way and Manny will be swinging at air.
Thank goodness I’m not a pessimist!

Ok Brian, so I unmuted my computer to give these TB dweebs a chance to compete with Hawk Harrelson and I hafta say, you certainly have a point about the uselessness of the commentary. These guys make some asinine statements. Migrane and his pal—what was his name?— make Forrest Gump seem like Einstein. But harrelson just annoys the beejeesus out of me. So it’s a tossup.

Good one, Dave. Rolling them back to the dugout, I like that one. Sad to say, it’s true these days. Ah well, better days is comin’.

Well at least its a game in the end — I didn’t get to watch this game tonite, got one quick sneek to see Lugo end dribble out to the pitcher with two on (won’t say anymore) — then this 9th inning gift by the stadium — I don’t have much hope for Casey in clutch at bats either, and he has cooled off lately as well — if we could only tie — we had some major mo — going to steal a game — but by the time I finish this post, the game might be over !!!

I can’t believe we stuck with Lugo — two chokes in one game in 5 minutes of watching the guy for me –

dgneubert,

Don’t beat up on lugnut too harshly. He is now representative of the lackluster effort of the team. Right now the entire team is junk. Bring up Bucholtz and send down Masterson. He’s too young to be playing on this team anyway. What a lifeless effort. Three in a row and I can’t remember winning more than one in a row — if they could at all. The Red Sox are playing now like the bad news bears…but they were funny and had Jody Foster.

dgneubert,

Don’t beat up on lugnut too harshly. He is now representative of the lackluster effort of the team. Right now the entire team is junk. Bring up Bucholtz and send down Masterson. He’s too young to be playing on this team anyway. What a lifeless effort. Three in a row and I can’t remember winning more than one in a row — if they could at all. The Red Sox are playing now like the bad news bears…but they were funny.

lol. Dave, the Bad News Bears had Tatum O’Neal, not Jodie Foster. I echo everyone’s frustration, and I believe that Masterson is better suited for the bullpen, and that Clay Buchholz should make the start at Yankee Stadium. He now has one start (albeit awful) at Yankee Stadium under his belt, so he will be less intimidated. Buchholz had another solid start tonight at Pawtucket, so he could make the start Saturday at Yankee Stadium. It would be ideal to send Masterson to Pawtucket, give him some work as a reliever (which some in the Red Sox organization believe is his role for the long term) and bring him back up in the second half.

Of course, pitching is not the main issue. A lack of timely hittins is the problem. And, Brian, you’re right. Boston desperately needs a reliable, veteran reliever. Okajima and Timlin are not the answers.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

I am soooo thankful that I got my refund from MLB.COM and went with direct tv mlb. I no longer have to deal with the ‘homer’ broadcasters,, and I can (but usually DO NOT) watch from bed if i want to . MLB.COM was really great and understanding about my dis-satisfaction. My hat is off to their customer service.
OKay.. I’ve always been a loyal Soxfan and only asked for one or two people to be sent or sat down (Tavarez Seanez and I think Gagne, although I did rant and rave about JD’s lack of anything last year). I and a whole lot of others have been patient reagrding Julio Lugo (J-Go). Its past time to sit him and put Alex Cora in or really do something to trade him. Its not about his last at bat tonight. That was a lefty pitcher, righty batter thing… He very often hits into a double play, hits a ground out if not a double play,… and if he strikes out he looks as if he’s going to either murder the umpire or have a contract put out on him.. Would Manny be his hit man?? LOL

Anyway I have vented plenty long enough tonight so all I will say now is the Sox have to kick ath.. that was said with a lisp..

Theo needs to deal Lugo in late July. The Red Sox ate part of Renteria’s contract and they will have to do the same with Lugo. Boston will turn to a combo of Lowrie and Cora at s.s. Lugo is killing the Red Sox in the field and at the plate. He is a total liability out there. Last night in the 9th Boston had to play with 2 outs because we all knew Lugo wasn’t going to get a hit!!! At least last year Lugo drove in runs, certainly not the case this year!!!!

No question Lugo’s defense has been horrible. Last year, he had a lot of RBI’s on ground outs. It wasn’t like he was banging the ball all over the park. He is actually hitting better this year. However, take a look at the guys hitting in front of him, especially Tek. Tek is doing nothing to either get on base or move the guys who get on in front of him to set Lugo up for the RBIs. Certainly, Lugo hasn’t performed all that well in the clutch, but with the exception of Mike Lowell, that seems to be an epidemic these days.

Ellsbury is sputtering at the top of the order. He hasn’t hit much in a couple of weeks and he’s not walking with the frequency he did earlier in the season. Earlier, he lit the offense on fire, but he’s not doing that now. When he starts hitting again, you’ll see a huge difference in the Sox offense.

Masterson lacked command last night, but he still pitched a gutsy game. Still, the reason the Sox lost was free passes. That one run the Rays scored as a result of Smith’s three walks turned out to be HUGE! This is a mental thing young pitchers have to overcome and it’s Farrell’s job to help them do that. I also believe that while Tek gets a lot of credit for calling games and handling the staff, that a big part of the problem rests with him. He is the guy that’s out on the field and should recognize when a pitcher is trying to do too much. He is the guy who should be out on the mound reeling a young pitcher back in when he goes astray and to be honest, I just don’t see that happen very much. When a young pitcher stuggles, he loses focus, his mechanics break down, he starts overthrowing and as we’ve seen over and over, it goes from bad to worse. On three different occasions last night, Masterson walks a guy on four pitches with two out and nobody on. Not once did Tek visit the mound to settle him down. Instead, Masterson grooves a pitch in an attempt to throw a strike and gets whacked.

Tek has had a great run with the Sox, but I would have to think very hard before I signed him to a lucrative contract after this season. He has become an offensive liability, he doesn’t throw very well any more, and I’m not sure he’s the best at handling young pitchers. I know he studies opposing hitters and spends a lot of time preparing for games. However, that does no good if he can’t communicate that knowledge to his young pitchers. It’s very difficult to be objective about Tek, because I like him so much and he has done so much for the Sox.

Brian, I agree that Cora is not the answer at shortstop. Lowrie is the answer with an assist and some guidance from Cora. Lugo is a liability out there. I cringe every time a ball is hit his way.

Lugo’s play is obviously so weak on both sides (offense and defense) that I have to believe that the decision to keep playing him is a strategy thing. Jed Lowrie already came up once, and was really hot, added energy, it was great. But then he too started to cool off after a while with the bat, though his energy never diminished.

Therefore, I am suspecting that you get sometimes get some sort of initial uncharacteristic boost when you first bring up a really capable new player, either from a rookie sense that given this opportunity, you are going to jump all over it, or more probably that opposing teams don’t know your weaknesses as well, — anyway some combination of initial zeal and your competition not knowing you that may give you a highly productive ride for a while.

Maybe that is what happened with Ellsbury last year, and what the SOX are going to try to duplicate with Lawrie late this year. Maybe Lugo knows this is coming and that is why he is playing so poorly again this year, who knows.

So my guess is we will see Jed late in the season, and Francona will make it painful for us all delaying to very last possible moment, and if Lawrie truely outplays Lugo, we will see the switch to him late, or probably just to truely stress us all out, in the post season as he did with Crisp/Ellsbury.

As far as Masterson/Buckholtz — again — it has to be a strategy thing, they know what they got — that must have some timing they are wisely not willing to disclose. I thought it was going to be for the Yankee series, but I see Masterson penciled in now. They have their own timing in mind, and as long as we are in the lead, or very close (in the hunt) — they probably aren’t going to move off their already planned timing.

I feel for Colon — he started out great, but then started to crack even before his ill advised swings in the NL game. I am not sure if we will give him another go. Too bad.

Well, you all are certainly making compelling points re: various specifics of the Sox poor play lately. But if I could add my two cents worth here; I’d have to say that the attrition seems to be getting to the Sox. I’m not an excuse monger, but the Sox have had more than their fair share of challenges and uphill battles this year. The abbreviated spring, the Japan trip, more spring training, opening day in Oakland, opening day in Canada, opening day in Fenway, then the flu, all the little and big injuries. Even Muhammad Ali could only take so many punches before going down. To their credit, they’ve weathered this storm of misfortune admirably, but at some point it gets to you. Now the small weaknesses that would be relatively easy to endure become huge. The bullpen was not ready to start the season, that’s obvious. Now that Papi is out for an extended time and Manny is struggling, the weakness in the line-up is glaring. Too many young guys in the rotation. As great as those kids have been, they need more experience. On and on it goes, and now the true test of mettle begins. Can the Sox buck up and over achieve until things calm down or will they fold their cards and go home? Can they play out of their minds and put together an epic run or will they start to give up? That will be the story of the ’08 Sox. Let’s see what they’re made of. Starting tonight.

Arnie, we all want to sit on our fat butts and see the Red Sox play exciting ball every night, but that’s just not going to happen. It’s a 162 game grind and there are going to be ups and downs. I think the last team to have no downs was Seattle when the won about a million games. We saw what then happened to them in the post season. We get frustrated, but then, that’s what fans do.

You make a lot of valid points. The Sox have surely been through a lot and by the end of this trip they will have played more road games than anyone. It’s been a tough road so far and they have had to rely on young players to get them through. That being said, they’re a game and a half out of first place and can be right back there with a couple of wins tonight and tomorrow. I guess we can’t complain too much about that. Young players like Ellsbury, Lowrie, Masterson, and Buchholz have a lot of growing to do. We don’t think of them as such, but Pedroia, Del Carmen, Hansen, and Papelbon are still babies in their own right. Dice-K is older with more experience, but even he’s not used to this kind of grind. We have Manny, Papi, Lowell and Tek but the rest are kids. Our expectations of them are high, and we take the likes of Youk and Pedroia for granted.

I think the Sox will be OK, but there’s a new gun in town now and we all have to contend with the Rays. They are a solid team if their pitching holds up. They still have some work to do on the offensive side of things. Big game tonight, let’s see if the Sox are ready to play.

I have one solution–Let’s blame it on tha Japanese food.

dgneubert, Colon will be back with the Sox. They are just taking their time with him since the rotation is doing well. No need to rush him back because of his injury history. Colon has pitched well, and he should contribute in the second half.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Good move by Francona tonight. With a righty going and Lugo not hitting and can’t field. Cora is in the lineup, we all know he is much better defensively and adds another lefty bat against the righty. I wonder if we’ll see more of that. I would like too see it. I am usually a very patient fan but Lugo has tested my patience. I would like too see him go. If he isn’t dealt in late July, ship him out of town in the winter!!! Snyder, Tavarez and Corey were dead weight on this team now Lugo is.

Red Sox need good consisent at bats tonight. No easy innings for Garza. Make him work!!! All the pressure is on T.B. tonight. Garza has never pitched in a big game before. Let him feel the pressure!!! Shields had an easy time early last night. I want too see Boston jump the Rays early and often!!! The Rays are a little short in there pen, I doubt Percival will be available tonight and tomm. I would expect him to be out until after the All Star break.

Ellsbury is now 9 for his last 52. I assume when Crisp’s suspension is up, Ellsbury will get a much needed day off.

Garza came out throwing gas. Establishing that fastball early.

I thought Francona playing Cora was a good move. It was a good move if your T.B. lol. Cora is playing like Lugo, lol. That is a play that Cora should be able to make in his sleep. Whether he is on the right side of the infield or left side of the infield. It was a routine grounder.

We are seeing role reversal here. Sox are looking like the old Rays. I don’t like that shift, I never had, and never will. Everyone is out of position and I just don’t think it saves that many hits. If major leaguers didn’t have such huge freaking egos, they’d have a hit every time they see that shift employed. If guys like Papi bang the ball to the left side a few times, they’ll quit doing that shift crap.

No way Manny catches up with those high pitches. Garza struck him out without throwing a strike.

Seriously, what are those stupid bells for?

Gsm,

Ramirez has little chance with Garza’s high heat. Any fastball up in the zone, he can’t hit it. We have been seeing it now for close to 2 years.

Floyd doesn’t get cheated up there. He swings hard. He is made of paper, always hurt is Floyd.

RedSoxfan015,

That is baseball for rednecks I guess, lol. Miss. State does it for football but that is college.

Yeah. Rays fans are rednecks. lol

Just posted thread for tonight’s game.

Red neck baseball…..LOL! Good one Brian.

Ellsbury needs to be bunting. Some how, some way, he needs to get on and get to second base.

RedSoxfan,

I’m not saying all of them are but whoever rings a cowbell at a big league game could qualify, lol.

Garza is blowing them away. Pedroia is the only one who has had a good swing against him. At least make him work out there.

Bad swing by Pedroia that time, popped out on ball one!

Excellent job by Drew. Didn’t try to do too much.

Rays and Roytals this weekend. First 10,000 fans on Saturday get hats. They’ll probably have 2,000 left over. Too bad, the Rays are a pretty good, young and exciting team to watch. I’d watch them if it weren’t for Joe Migrane.

Leadoff hitter, with that shift, Pena ought to be thinking of nothing but banging the ball down the third base line.

How screwed up is that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey Brian, did you win the weekend with Migrane?

The Sox are having some good rips at Garza now. There have been some really hard hit balls in the past couple of innings, but unfortunately, they are all right at someone.

We couldn’t have asked any more from Wake than what he gave us tonight. Best case, he should be leading 1-0. This has the potential to be another wasted great effort by a starting pitcher. There have been too many of those this year……. I guess that’s baseball. With all that seems to have gone wrong, the Sox are still among the top teams in MLB.

Casey hitting for Cash, I guess that’s it for Wakefield. Nice job Wake.

What a terrible at bat by Drew. He watched a hanging curve and two mediocre fastballs go right down the middle. What was he thinking about?

Ian,
I can not sit and read a Red Sox blog that does not mention the severe handicap Julio Lugo is putting on the pitchers the middle infield and the team in general. He Blew a double play that cost them game one, Youk saved him on another in the same game. I’m tired of hearing about his personal pride. I’m looking for is what every fan looks for in a Shotstop, range, foot work and throwing accuracy. I think Lugo lacks in all these areas. Big Contract or not we need to look for other answers to fix this defensive liability.

Ian,man-up and call out Ramirez for what he is over the Jack McCormick incident……A punk. No ifs,ands,or buts.
A 36 year old pro athlete knocks around a 64 year old secretary,after making a stupid demand,no less,he’s a punk,plain and simple. You should have said so.

Craig Hansen someone needs to give u a heads up!! Are u
playing ball or doing a dance routine?? For god sakes throw
the dam ball u are embaracing yourself and your team mates. you need to look at a game footage of u pitching and
see how foolish u look doing your wind up, not to mention
how long u take, Good God!! On a day game the temp. can be 90* pluss now its the 7th or 8th. inn. and your team mates have been at it for 3hrs. I bet they agree with me THROW the dam ball and stop show boating…..And Lugo if u did less show boating u would not make so many screw ups….Now Lets Play Ball !!!

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