Aaannnnnnddddddddddd Good Afternoon Everybody!

That was the greeting of the now-defunct Mike and the Mad Dog Show, which had a 19-year run until ending abruptly on Thursday.

As a resident of New York City from April, 1998-March, 2002, I felt obligated to weigh in on the end of an era. True confession as a lifelong follower of Boston sports who was a New York transplant for four years: I loved listening to Mike and the Mad Dog. Those guys were, as Mad Dog himself might say, “twemendous”. Just a great listen.

They were passionate about their topics and had the pulse of NYC sports like nobody else. Dog had his dog-whistle screech and quintessential New York accent. Francessa, who came across as a little smug, was the big Yankees fan, and seemingly the voice of reason for the show when Dog would go on one of his emotional rants. I found Dog to be extremely endearing. As a listener, you felt like you knew him.

As everyone knows by now, they weren’t best friends off the air, though they were by no means enemies either. Did that really matter? It’s like the Bird and McHale thing. They were great teammates on the court.

They basically had me at hello with Russo’s  vintage opening. Then he’d break into, “How are you today Mikey?” And Mikey would always respond with, in that deep voice, “I’m fine, dawg.”

Then they’d quickly segue into the hot button issue of the day. “I mean, Mike, it’s just tewwwwible the way the Yankees keep giving away these games in the late innings.”; “Dawg, I know, Tohhhhrrrrre’s got to stick with his stahters longehhhh”.

When Dog really wanted to emphasize a point, he would start with, “Listen, Mike …”. And when Mike made a really astute piece of analysis, Dog would give him a tip of the cap by saying, “That’s a great point by you, Mike. Excellent point.”

You always knew when a really big game was about to be played, or had been played the night before, because Mike would refer to it in his very best New York accent as “Huuuuuggeeeeeee.”

It was great that Dog was a SF Giants fan instead of a Yankees fan. It made the show a great listen. They both were always very objective when talking about the Mets.

Dog loved to talk about tennis and Mike loved every team his close friend Bill Parcells ever coached or was affiliated with.

I remember one specific time I was driving up to Boston from New York in my car and I wanted to tear Russo’s head off. It was during the 1999 Red Sox-Indians Division Series and the Dog was just attacking Pedro Martinez for coming out of Game 1 after four innings with an arm injury. He was questioning Pedro’s heart and guts and calling him soft for coming out.

Because I knew what type of competitor Pedro was, I was getting so annoyed. I wish I had Dog’s phone number handy when Pedro came out of the bullpen a few days later and fired six no-hit innings at the Indians in decisive Game 5 while throwing in the high 80s. But those guys were so strong with their opinions that you either agreed or wanted to shake your transistor radio in disgust. That’s what made them so great.

I lived in New York during a great time period for sports. The Yankees were in the World Series all four Octobers I lived there. The Mets were highly relevant in two out of the four years. The Knicks were having a strong run under Jeff Van Gundy. The Giants and Jets were also at solid points, the former going to the Super Bowl in 2000 and the latter becoming important again under Tuna. Mike and The Mad Dog had the words to describe all that was going on at this exciting time in New York sports.

It’s too bad for New Yorkers who defined their afternoons with the banter of these two guys that they won’t be around in tandem anymore.

But they had a great run — one that I’m sure they are both very proud of.

P.S. — Bill Simmons a few years back wrote this classic running diary of a Mike and the Mad Dog show that he covered live.

123 Comments

Hey BosoxBrian:

As a general rule, I would agree with you about pitchers and long-term contracts. Think about Carl Pavano, Mike Hampton, Mark Mulder and now Barry Zito (at least so far for the Giants!).

But there are exceptions: the Sox spent $90 Mil. for Pedro over 7 years, and got 117 wins from him, at the modest price of approx. $770,000 per win, the Year 2001 being the only year that was seriously disturbed by injuries, and he was a little guy.

I don’t know that I would be throwing that kind of money at Ben Sheets, but CC is a BIGGGG 28 (just) yo who has already won 113 games in the majors. While I recognize that you can never say never, he would seem less prone to injury or losing his stuff (seemed to come out of his early season funk nicely this year) than most. If I were a GM (and a rich man…yadda…dadda…dadda…dum!) I’d be seriously interested in him….or Roy Halladay, who is 31, has won 125 MLB games [and likely to win 5 more this year], in the prime of his career and throwing complete games like it was the 1950’s…by the way, how long is he under contract with the Blue Jays for?

When you evaluate a pitcher for a 7 year contract, you actually should plan on giving him his value for 5-6 years, figuring 1 – 2 years hurt during the process. The Sox have Beckett for what, 1-2 more years, at which point he will be 30 or so, and looking for his killer contract. The Sox have Dice-K for 2 more years, when he will be 30, and looking for that killer contract.

During spring training, the Indians offered Sabathia $18 Mil. per for I believe it was 4 years, and Sabathia never said yes, and he never said no. He wanted that long-term, killer contract, the Indians took a pass, and now they will have to regroup over the Winter, having just remade their team. I honestly think they have seen the best of Jake Westbrook and Travis Hafner, so they have to replace Westbrook, Sabathia and Byrd, along with Hafner at DH and Casey Blake, who just did everything asked of him. They also have to figure whether Martinez can continue to play effectively on his knees, or whether he is to play 1st base, and whether they will get enough production out of him to warrant his playing there.

I think its different trying to take a flier on someone else’s talent, as the Sox did with Martinez and were rewarded, and giving that killer contract to someone you have seen day in and day out, whose willingness and ability to play through bumps and bruises you’ve seen up close and personal.

I remember not so long ago when “Big Z” was the Cubs No. 3 starter. All he did was keep pitching and keep pitching and keep pitching himself right up to the top of the Cubs rotation, and then was rewarded with a long term contract. If they are going to pitch their all for somebody, that somebody should protect him financially.

While the numbers may be similar, I don’t think one can realistically compare Wake and Sabathia. True, Wake has been a reliable pitcher, and was on a tear when he got hurt. But Wake is older, has demonstrated that he is prone to injury, and can lose it without warning. With a proto-typical pitcher like Sabathia, there are usually signals as to when they don’t have it or lose it. With Wake, it seems to just happen all of a sudden and pooff, 5 runs have scored. While he has been a quintessential team player and member, and a valuable contributor to the Red Sox fortunes, give me a chance to trade straight up, Wake for Sabathia, even making their ages and experiences the same, and I would make that deal every time.

But what’s all this talk about acquiring pitchers for next year? I think Wake will come back for one more year, and then the Sox have Lester, Beckett and Dice-K. You all have me convinced that at some point in the not-too distant future, Buchholz will again look like the real deal, and he would be competing for the 5th starting position with El Rotundo Colon, Mike Bowden, David Pauley, Charlie Zink (lol — poor Charlie), Daniel Bard or whoever else the Sox think is ready in the minors (this is usually where Jeff enters and fills us all in on the Sox incredible minor league talent). The Sox are going to need to re-assess over the winter whether they have Masterson and Buchholz placed correctly on their staff. Masterson looked awfully good in the starting role this year.

AJ Burnett always looks good vs. the Sox, but he has a 4 1/2 ERA that indicates he doesn’t do so well against the rest of the AL, and he had that awful attitude when he left the Fish. Derek Lowe has to be coming to the end of his Dodgers contract, but I doubt the Sox would want him back at 35 yo. I’m not sure there’s an awful lot else out there that the Sox would improve themselves with pitching-wise.

Now catching, that’s where I think the Sox need to focus. It does make one wonder if domestic problems have distracted Tek this year, but at 37 next Spring, I don’t think he will ever return to the full-contributing player he has always been. I am hopeful he and the Sox can work out a deal that allows them to continue to get the benefit of what he means to the team, at a price they can afford and he can accept. I also have not seen enough out of the combined Sox catchers to believe they have the solution “in house.” My targets — call me crazy if you’d like — Kelly Shoppach — The Sox traded him away to get CoCo. Here in Cleveland, I think he is rounding into a real contributing performer. I suspect that he would be tough to pry away from Cleveland, and might well cost the Sox more than they might want to pay…or…Jarrod Saltalamacchia. This guy is only 23 and showed enough promise to convince Texas to get him in return for Mark Teixeira. I suspect that the Rangers would demand a lot for him, and I suspect the Sox are leery of the Rangers after what little they got for Kason Gabbard.

With Lowell for 2 more years and Youk, I’m not clear the Sox need Teixeira. Yes, it would be nice to have a slugger’s bat to hit behind Big Papi and afford him all of the protection that Manny gave him. However, I think the only way the Sox will get that is to go after Matt Holliday (imagine if the Sox had both Holliday and Halladay, every day would seem like Christmas!). While I like Jason Bay, and have been very impressed with his performance and the way he has transitioned into Boston, I think the Rockies would look at that swap long and hard. It might minimize whatever else the Sox would have to give up to get Holliday into Fenway’s left field.

Speaking again of Halladay, the Sox still have 11 (including today’s) (out of 39 remaining) games to play against the Blue Jays. They need to solve their Toronto riddle if they are going to play into the post-season. I hope that Beckett can produce the solution to that riddle. As it appears to line-up, it looks as though the Sox will face the same pitching line-up (Halladay, Marcum and Burnett) that they were scheduled to face this weekend, with the same opposing line-up (Byrd, Beckett and Lester). Once they finish with the O’s, they will have 35 games remaining, 19 home, 16 away, against the Blue Jays — 10, the Yanks — 6 and the Rays — 6. If they are going to win the AL East, the will have to beat the best of the AL East. It should make for an interesting ride!!!!!

Beckett has been solid his last 2 starts. I am expecting Beckett to continue that trend and get the Sox back on there winning ways!!!

dbenjamin, all things being equal, I too would take CC over Wake every time. But if I have the choice of Wake at $4 million, or CC for $20 million, knowing that I have Beckett and Dice-K already, I’d have to think long and hard about it. For me, the bottom line for a pitcher is production…. wins and losses. Wakefield certainly doesn’t do it with the pizzaz of CC, but he gets it done. The question is whether the $15 million difference in salary a year is worth what amounts to two wins a year. I guess that’s why guys like Theo get paid the big bucks.

I think the radar gun is definitely screwed up at Fenway. Beckett is throwing at 97 mph and they are whacking his fastball all over the park. He needs to get out of this inning with no further damage, but I see Overbay having some good swings.

I can’t believe what I am watching. This Jays team has given Boston fits over the last 3 years or so.

Poor baserunning by Drew.

Lind smoked one that one to r.f.

Beckett is getting drilled today. An old fashioned butt whipping!!! Time to get Beckett outta there!!!

This is really ugly!

Boston pitching allowed 17 runs on Tues. night and now this. Not good!!!

And the Sox only have 10 more games vs. the Blue Jays! They have got to figure something out!!!!!

10 more games against the Jays means 5 wins for the Sox. I don’t know what the Sox record is against the Jays the last 3 years or so but I doubt it is very good. Less than .500 I am sure.

Boston has to scratch there way back. I don’t see many longballs happening.

Aardsma is his own worst enemy. I doubt he’ll be a member of the Red Sox bullpen next season. If you can’t throw strikes, what good are you? lol.

Drew has more aches and pains and than any player I have ever heard of. The game is out of hand so I don’t mind seeing Drew out of the game. If the game was very close, I would have said, “suck it up Drew”. Look no further than Mike Lowell. The guy could barely run and he was in the lineup every game.

This could be the ugliest loss for the Sox all season!!!

lol. You’re right, DBenjamin, I do like to talk about the Red Sox farm system. Why wouldn’t I? It gets deeper and deeper each year.

I firmly believe that Boston will get another veteran starter for 2009 to accompany Beckett, Matsuzaka and Lester. Wakefield cannot be counted upon to last an entire season, and Buchholz and Bowden are still developing. Masterson will likely remain in the bullpen. I expect them to go after Sabathia, Sheets and perhaps Yu Darvish, if he is made available in Japan. Personally, I would rather they let Sabathia land somewhere else. I do not want to see the Sox sign him to a six-year deal.

Regarding Teixeira, the Sox may choose not to aggressively pursue him because of Lars Anderson, who is now the top-rated Red Sox prospect and is ripping the ball at Double-A Portland. He also plays solid defense at first base, and hits from the left side. Anderson could be ready for a full-time big league job by 2010. He will probably start next year at Pawtucket. Why sign Teixeira to a costly long-term deal when you have someone like Anderson on the cusp of the big leagues?

Regarding the Bay for Holliday swap, remember, Bay is just signed through next year, and he will command a huge salary as well. So the Rockies might not find that appealing, since the reason they are planning to unload Holliday is to save them from a huge increase in payroll. I do agree that Holliday is a step above Bay at the plate, but I think Bay will put up 25-30 home runs, 90-100 RBI and a .280-.290 average over a full season in Boston.

I could tell your comment about my passion for talking about the Sox farm system was laced with sarcasm, but for those of you who do follow the farm system, or like learning about Red Sox prospects, I am in the midst of a daily series where I rank the organization’s top outfielders, middle infielders, corner infielders, catchers, starting pitchers and relief pitchers. It’s hard not to get excited when you see the talented depth in the Red Sox farm system.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Brian, I agree with you about Aardsma. He has nasty stuff, but it doesn’t do any good if he can’t consistently get the ball over the plate. Right now, only Papelbon, Delcarmen, Okajima and Masterson are assured spots in the bullpen next season. Hopefully, Bard and Lentz emerge. I also have heard that the Sox might move David Pauley into a relief role next year.

By the way, are you preparing for Tropical Storm (and soon-to-be Hurricane) Fay? I know it is expected to impact your neck of the woods in Tampa and my neck of the woods in Orlando either Tuesday or Wednesday. Hopefully, my digital cable doesn’t go out. I don’t mind if trees are down, as long as my MLB Extra Innings is still viewable!

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Dbenjamin,

You want Holliday in the worst way, don’t you? I don’t understand why the Rockies would trade Holliday and in the package be Bay. Bay is a free agent after the 2009 season, just like Holliday. I wouldn’t mind seeing Holliday with the Red Sox but the Rockies will be asking for quite a bit. After you give up all that talent for Holliday, you’ll have to sign him to a long term deal on top of it. If the Rockies deal Holliday ( I think they will in the winter ) they will ask Theo for some top prospects. I’m not sure if I would do that. Of course alot will be happening between now and then. I think Boston will go after Texeria and give him some big $$$$. They looked into trading for him this year. So obviously they are intrigued about Texeria and who wouldn’t be? A switch hitter that hits for power in the middle of the lineup, not too mention his gold glove at first. If the Sox did sign Texeria ( 120 million or more over 6 years or 7 years ) they will move Youk to 3b and trade Lowell. If the Sox do trade Lowell away, his contract is friendly. Only another 2 more years. Perhaps they move Youk to l.f. and Bay is dealt away. I think Texeria will be the #1 guy the Sox will go after in the winter. I’m guessing Lowell is dealt away. My mother bought Damon’s book and he was gone and she bought Lowell’s book so I guess he’ll be dealt away. lol. If Lowell is dealt, it will be her fault. Alot can and will happen from now until then anyway. Pure speculation and sometimes the off-season is more fun than the season!!! lol.

Jeff,

lol. I agree with you about the storm. As long as my extra innings doesn’t go out. No lost power, I will pray for that. A hurricane watch has been issued from Key West to Anna Maria Island. Anna Maria Island is about 20 miles south of me. A hurricane can always turn at the last second and end up going anywhere. We shall see.

I think one of the guys Boston will target in the off-season is Saltimacchia ( Salty ) lol. Theo and the Sox like him alot. They need to do something with the catcher position. Varitek is on his last legs. Divorce or no divorce. No pun intended.

I certainly wouldn’t get involved in the Sabathia sweepstakes. No pitcher is worth that kind of $$$$. Boston could go after Burnett. They looked into him when he was a free agent. Of course he signed with Toronto. I’m not saying I’m a fan of that because I am not. Burnett pitches well against good teams but disappears against the poor teams. He loses focus and I don’t like that.

I’m well aware of the topsy turvy nature of hurricanes. I went through all four that hit Orlando in 2004. Lost my roof in one and the rest of my place in the second storm a week later. I also went through an F-5 tornado when I lived in Ohio. Natural disasters have a way of locating where I am!

I hope the Sox stay away from Burnett. He doesn’t consistently throw strikes. I remember when he pitched his no-hitter against San Diego he had seven or eight walks.

Saltalamacchia doesn’t look like a very good defensive catcher, so I hope the Sox don’t pursue him. I like Dusty Brown. I am hoping for a Varitek and Brown platoon next season. Luis Exposito, in my opinion, will be Boston’s catcher by 2011.

Very strange that Buchholz pitched only one inning. They must still be planning to start him on Wednesday.

Hey guys,

I recently attended a team meeting that Terry Francona had with his team. Here are some of the comments when Terry asked “what can you do extra for this team.
Beckett
“I guess I can give up my day job as a neurosurgeon. I thought I could handle both careers but I guess it’s affecting me this season. Besides it’s so frustrating when my patients have a 2% survival rate.”
Lugo
“I guess the biggest thing for me is to stay injured. Everytime I get healthy things go bad for the team. Thank goodness Rosanne is my P.T. person.”
Drew
“I guess I can give up my fire department job. Besides having to leave a fire to play the field…not a good idea. ”
Varitek
“I guess getting two hours sleep is really too much. I need the time to manage the pitching staff, figure out how to pitch to each batter and take batting practice. I’ll use that time to improve my bat even more and concentration at staying awake since I won’t be getting any more sleep. ”
Manny Delcarman
“I guess being a four star pastry chief is wearing out my arm since I use it so much during the day…I’m not a very good pastry chief.”
Lopez
“Oh man…now I get it! Being a lefty specialist…I thought that meant I was working for the democratic party. Only recently did Terry set me straight asking if I wanted Beckett’s brain surgery — I turned him down.”
Aardmara (spelling)
“Being a cross dressing waiter at the Waffle House has really worn me out. I’m going to stop doing that and instead focus on baseball…does anyone want any coffee with their donuts?”
Youk
“Everyone says I have a bad attitude and tempermental and whiny but working as a prison guard at WalePole really does help me vent my anger but i can see it takes away from the playing field. I’m going to cut back my hours.”
Pedroia
“Ah…I’m…OK…like…are you guys…crazy?”
Coco Crisp
“I’m giving up being a McDonaldsaholic but those tasty fries and burgers are so good. Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce cheese onions on a sesame seed bun and let’s not forget supersize me deep fried synthetic french fries with their delicious partially hydrogenated, non dairy, processed milk shakes just really hit the spot.”
Theo Epstein
“I”m going to continue to get great players like Lugo, Gagne and Drew while getting rid of bad players while eating their costs such as “Taravez, Hansen, Corey, etc. ” so we always have a great team. Hey that punch wasn’t funny Francona!!!!”

“I don’t mind playing with
“The main

p.s. I have no idea where that “I don’t mind playing with” came from. Sorry about that. Enjoy. Feedback welcome.

dave, you must frequently hum the tune, “Too much time on my hands.”

Garry,

Buchholz is still slated to take the hill on Wed. against the Birds.

An abysmal performance by the Red Sox today. Namely Josh Beckett. What the hey happened to Beckett today? He fooled absolutely nobody. Beckett picked a rotten time to have his poorest outing!!! I expected Beckett to pitch 7 innings and give up no more than 3 runs today. What was I drinking thinking that. lol. This Red Sox team beats down on the nobodies of the world but when they play a team that can play, they lose. They swept the A’s, Rangers ( big f’ing deal ) take 2 of 3 from K.C. on the road, another hapless team. A 9 game road trip coming up. Chances are Boston will win either 4 or 5 games on this trip. Winning 6 games on this trip is a dream!!!! I wonder if the Red Sox can schedule the Rangers for more games at Fenway? LOL!!!

Dave,

I think it is official you have lost your mind. lol.

Jeff:

Sorry my comments about your knowledge of the Sox minor league prospects sounded sarcastic. It was not meant that way. You clearly enjoy it and command great knowledge, that was what I was intending to convey. I obviously didn’t do a very good job.

BosoxBrian — I do want Holliday. The Sox have some longstanding history among left fielders (need we recite them???), and I just don’t think Jason Bay is the heir apparent. He is a very good ballplayer, we agree on that (and I am spitting up my lunch, lol!). However, I don’t think he would command near as much as Holliday will (can you say the difference between $13 and $20 Mil. is not a lot, and Bay is actually 2 yrs. older than Holliday). I think that difference will be meaningful to the Rockies, who could sign Bay long term to a more affordable deal than Holliday. You are right, Bay is not chopped liver, so hopefully, the “prospects demand” the Rockies would make on top of Bay would not be as significant. For that matter, the Sox could sign Bay long term, and then agree to absorb a portion of his compensation for the benefit of getting Holliday.

Yes, I am fixated. But give me 2 other ballplayers who will be available who can approach what Holliday would mean to the Sox (assuming his health), or forecast as much of a fixture to the Sox as Holliday does. Imagine long term the following members of the Sox team: Youk, DP, Lowrie, JL, Holliday, Dice-K, Pap, Ellsbury and perhaps Beckett. That, my friends, is a young dynasty in the making, one that could make the Yankees success at the turn of the century look second-rate.

Before we become enamored with paying Teixeira all that money, let’s understand what the translation will be to Youk. He’s going to want his share. Now maybe Lars Anderson will supplant Youk, but I’ve got to tell you. Youk bleeds Red Sox colors in the same way that DP does, in the same way Tek always has, and in the same way the Jeter bleeds Yankee pinstripes. I just don’t see a future for the Sox without Youk as a prominent part of it.

Let’s hope the Sox can find a way to better compete against the Blue Jays in their next 10 outings with them, beginning next weekend at Skydome.

Also, I am glad to see others who recognize what I am suggesting about Saltalamacchia!!!

This team finally puzzles me. They are that box of chocoaltes Forrest Gump’s mother was talking about. I guess we all better take it one day at a time or we will all be in the mental hospital……with Dave!!!!!!!! Ha Ha. Hang in there Sox fans. I wanted to say it’s a long season but it’s getting late early. Save room for me Dave….I’m going mental.

bosoxbanter,

Actually I have no time on my hands. I have two kids that I care for, work, fix up the house, just had a friend from MI come over. Had a lot of social engagements and in general work my tail off. This is the one place where I act a bit crazy because it’s the only place that lets me (LOL). It’s a great relief. I wrote that after spending four hours repairing and caulking and cleaning three windows in the house in 87 degree heat so ya…I think I’m allowed five minutes to go nuts! (LOL)

Dbenjamin,

Also buyer beware when your getting a hitter from Colorado. Look at there numbers, home and away. I’m guessing Holliday would get a contract worth about 15 million per season. The length of the deal is anyone’s guess. I don’t think Bay would be part of the deal. He’s a free agent at the end of the 2009 season. The Rockies would want players that they control for a few years. No way is Boston going to pay part of the salary if Bay was dealt to Colorado. As it is they are going to eat part of Lugo’s deal.

Youk will want his share and he’ll get his share as well. I think with Youk, they can get a hometown discount per say. Remember his fiance’ ( soon to be wife ) is from Newton and a Boston College grad. Pedroia and Youk will be wearing the letter C on there shirt soon someday.

I don’t know if the Red Sox will figure out the Jays anytime soon. They haven’t in the last 3 years or so. I seriously doubt they’ll figure it out this time around. With 10 games left with the Jays, they’ll win 5 of them. I’m guessing Boston goes 23-15 in there final 38 games. That will give them 94 wins, will that be enough to get them in the playoffs?

If the Sox can get some consistent pitching over the last 38 games, they have a good chance. They have the staff to do it…..they just have to execute and get on a roll. I have faith. If they get in, they have a good enough staff to win a short series or two. Off-season will be interesting with Coco and Lugo. I agree Brain on the with the Colorado htter theory. I haven’t really looked at Holliday’s numbers on the raod but Colorado sure made Dante Bichette and Vinny Castillo look pretty awesome. Helton had some big years there too and is still there battling injuries. Bichette and Castilla were a lot older than Holliday but that place sure helped their numbers. Was that before the humidor or was the humidor always there?

Cfarn,

I agree with you about the Sox having the pitching talent to do get on a roll. As you say, will they execute? The million dollar question. They also need to hit with men on base and Ortiz needs to hit good pitching not just Texas pitching.

With T.B. winning big late, that will put the Sox 6 games back in the loss column. That will be tough to make up. It can happen but will it happen? Boston needs to start winning and now. This 9 game road trip will tell alot about this team. We all know they can win at Fenway ( not this weekend anyway ) but can they get the job done away from Fenway?

Like I said a week or two ago… Pedroia, Youk, and a bucket of puke.

Remember the dates 8-21 September. The Sox have 12 games in 13 days. 6 against Tampa Bay and 6 against Toronto. That will be very tough. The pitching will need to be on because that’s the only way you will beat those two teams. They need to enter the 8th of September on a good note and they need to start now. Don’t wait Sox……you can’t go into that date needing 9 of 12 against those two teams. Been there…tried that.

I wish that Toronto has scored all the runs it will score for the remaining 7 games. It is pathetic that only DP, Youk, and Lowrie have been consistently hitting for the Sox. Let’s see what Lester can do against a tough pitcher Guthrie tonight.
I’d like to think that Beck is the ace. In reality, Beck is not the Beck of 07. I don’t know what’s wrong with Beck this year, either physically or mechanical. I don’t know which Beck will show up when he is pitching. That said, I still feel the Sox has strong 123 starters. The offense gravely concerns me. If the Sox don’t start hitting agisnt a good team, the wc team will come from AL central and the Yanks are only 5 games back.

The division leading Rays are hosting the AL West leader LAA and Cental leader CWS for the next two series. Let’s start rooting for the LLA and CWS. The Sox are on the road against Baltimore and Toronto. The consolation is that the Sox won’t face Halliday in Toronto.

(…she yawns and stretches after awaking from a horrible dream) Hey to all!! Wow, I must have been exhausted Friday night. I went to sleep and had these horrible dreams/nightmares. It was very eerily weird. I had a dream that we were playing the Blue Jays and lost 4-1 and 15-4. Glad that it was just a dream… OWWW.. I just pinched myself.. and I felt it.. IT WASNT A DREAM< IT WAS REAL!!! ARGHHHHHH!!!!
What the hell was that they were doing this weekend?? Because it sure as hell didnt look like playing baseball..
We need to have 5-6 game win streak,, more would be better. 4.5 games out??? That simply is unacceptable. What did they think?? That they were playing on the road.. we are supposed to WIN at home, not have our baseball brains bashed in. And who dug up this guy who looks like Beckett.. I know, buchholz had a body costume made up to look just like Josh.. then he drugged Josh stuffed him in Lugo’s locker and took the mound in disguise. Not entirely impossible being that it looked like Clayboys style of pitching, you know throwing batting practice to the opposing team. Time for those crani-rectomies (getting their heads out of their…..)
I feel a little better now, not much but a little.
Lester better have his “A+” game tonight. Aubrey Huff is on my fantasy team and he’s knocking the leather off the ball lately and Kev-Lar (Millar) isnt having too bad a year either, and Brian Roberts and, and and…
ANYWAY LET’S GO REDSOX, LET’S GO!!!!!

Just in ase there was any ambiguity to my statements, let me just say: “I AM PITTHED OFF”
oh and only .5 up in the wild card standings?? Get it together and play the ball WE ALL KNOW THAT YOU CAN!!!

ellen: Don’t count on 5-6 game win streak. Your Clayboy is pitching on Wednesday. Let’s just hope the Angels will beat the crap out of the yesteryear’s Devils.

The Sox better start worrying about winning their games intead of “hoping” the Rays lose. That strategy might have worked back in May but it’s getting late to go that route now. Come on Sox…start playing some good baseball. Pitching, defense and timely hitting. That’s about the extent of my ranting. Sorry.

Hey to any of you who are in the path or on the fringe of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Faye.. God Bless You and keep you safe!! Im in Fort Lauderdale and we’re going to get the “dirty side” of the storm. Everything is supposed to hit the fan late tonight. We’re starting to lose directv signal now so I probably wont have the internet for much longer…
I hope (ithink) that I can see the game tonight!!
Take care Nationers!! I will come back when I can!
I LOVE OUR SOX AND THE NATION!!

Thats another thing… We all need to start referring to the Rays as THE DEVILRAYS and I too Hope that the Angelic ones from Anaheim beat the stuffing out of the DEVILRAYS and Migraine!!!

Maybe Theo will come to his senses and do somthing with Clayboy, like lock HIM in Lugo’s locker.. maybe he can become Zazu’s valet, his butler or whatever, I dont care but please…. Until he gets worked out whatever is on his mind or is troubling him… DON’T LET HIM PITCH, unless its for the DEVILRAYS

Jack Buck had a great call on the Kirk Gibson H.R. ( Game 1 1988 World Series ) His famous line was ” I can’t believe what I just saw” . I am saying the same thing about Varitek’s H.R. lol. When Varitek gets up I automatically have him going back to the bench. I have ZERO confidence in him getting a hit, never mind a H.R. I don’t think I have ever seen a Red Sox hitter in a bigger slump. If your name is Jason, you go deep into the night tonight. Boston needs to win this series, a sweep would be just freaking wonderful but I would be happy if this team took 2 of 3.

Lester is the Red Sox pitcher I have the most confidence in when he takes the hill. The same amount of confidence I had in Beckett a season ago. I expect Lester to go 7 innings almost every start. Lester is one these guys that gets stronger as the game gets deeper!!! A rare breed for sure now!!!

Ian,

Please a new thread. This Mike and Mad Dog is killing me here!!! lol.

Hey everybody, how you all doing? Florida people, be safe! I talked with my sister in Tampa and she thinks this will be a smallish storm, but she’s still boarding up her windows etc. Be careful! Ellen, Brian, Garry, Jeff and whoever else, I’m hoping and praying you all stay safe.

What a dreadful weekend for the Sox. Mine was not fun, but the Sox got their a$$es handed to them pretty good by the BJ’s.

Dave, don’t let these bloggers here intimidate you! Just go ahead and be your goofy, looney self and if ….excuse me, MY MAN TEK!!!! all the abuse you get here because you can’t hit anymore; Home Run!!!! good for you!……Ok back to Dave, Dave if these guys give you a hard time, you tell me and I’ll handle it. I fear no blogger and I’ll set them straight!! Uh… anyway, Tek crushed that pitch! We need a lineup for this game, Dave. No slacking!

Lowrie’s looking pretty smooth out there. Go Lester!!

Thanks Arnie. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Lester is looking good tonight. The Sox need to give him some run support. Tampa is leading LA 4-1. Floyd hit a home run that never got more than about 20 feet off the ground. What a rope. It’s looking more and more like the Rays are for real. They are hitting better now than they did with Longoria and Crawford in the lineup.

Brian, how you doing in St Pete? Is the wind and rain coming yet? Battening down the hatches? Got your bottled water and batteries? Vodka, beer and wine good to go? Be careful, be safe. I hear that in my old stomping ground, Key West, they are surfing in the storm! Still crazy down there!

Garry FKA Gsm, I think Brian is right in the path of Fay. The bulls eye is on him.

I have my bottle of vodka and I have O.J. and Cranberry juice as well. In other words I am well prepared. lol. Batteries, water and all the other stuff, don’t bother with that. I can drink whether the power is on or not. LOL!! Thanks for the kind words Arnie. It looks like it will be a glorified Tropical storm around the bay area but with a Hurricane you can never tell for sure. They twist and turn like Barry Sanders did when he was with the Lions.

The Rays are here to stay for sure. Anytime a team can pitch will always be in it. I thought there lineup would struggle without Crawford and Longoria but as gsm said they seem to hit better without those guys. I also thought ( there I go thinking again ) that there defense would be missed for sure. Longoria is a gold glove caliber third baseman and Crawford covers alot of ground in left. So far it hasn’t at all. If Boston catches T.B. they will have to earn it for sure. I don’t see T.B. going on a long losing streak anytime soon!!! I project Boston going 23-15 in there final 38 games. At that rate I think they’ll finish a little short for the division. My predictions usually go wrong anyway.

Garry, I was thinking earlier in the day that it looks like the Sox will end up playing for the wildcard. The Rays are not going away. Sox have to start winning consistantly, maybe 6 of 10 or 7 of 10 for the rest of the season. 7 of 10 will be tough but they’ve got to get into the habit of winning and avoid these melt-downs like this weekend.

I’m guessing the Angels—Rays game tomm. night will be ppd. and a double-header will be played on Wed. night. I hope the Angels can burn out that T.B. pitching if there is a double-header on Wed. night.

Garry,

I also saw that H.R. by Floyd. That ball was a laser. Not many people hit hard line drives as hard as Floyd. He smokes it, usually right back up the middle. If he could only stay healthy. Floyd rolls out of bed and gets hurts at times. Too bad because everything you here about him he seems like a good guy.

I don’t like what’s going on in this game. The Sox take a 2 run lead early and then we watch the other team catch up, and maybe go ahead. It seems to be a pattern. They just sit back and watch the game. It only takes one bad pitch and we are another game behind in the loss column. The Sox have to wake up and not slip back into their layed- back routine.

A perfect game plan for Francona would be Lester handing it off to Papelbon.

Well, 84 pitches and Jon L’s through the 7th. However, I suspect that Guthrie’s also coming out for the 8th. What’s this Magic Duss he’s sprinkled on the baseball to make it al but unhittable by the Sox except for 2 swings? I agree with pangelotti — 2 runs do not an offensive showing make. It’s one thing when your performance is limited by Doc Halladay. Guthrie’s a good pitcher, but he doesn’t often get compared to Halladay! Come on guys…Jon’s pitched a great game — give him some breathing room!

Just checked the weather channel and it looks like the storm is going to hit south of the Tampa area. That is a good thing since the west side of those storms usually doesn’t do much damage. The circulation of the storm will likely bring more issues to the east coast and it looks like Ellen could get some serious rain and a little wind. It will weaken as it makes its way up the middle of the state and should reach the east coast right at or below Jacksonville. If it gets back to the ocean south of Jax, we’ll get some pretty good wind and rain. They are concerned that the weather north of us will cause the storm to sit, spin and intensify off the coast of NE Florida or Georgia. That wouldn’t be a good thing. It will screw up my golf for the weekend.

Ellsbury has to start hitting at the top of the order. He’s not getting the job done as a leadoff hitter. He and Pedroia are the protectors for Papi. They’ve got to get it going.

Crisp thought he struck out. He was going towards the Red Sox dugout. If I was the home plate umpire I would have rung him up. You don’t head back to the dugout Coco. Go down the line and have the ump call 3rd strike then. Crisp should be running here!!!

As soon as I hit the submit button Crisp was tossed out at second. I agree with Remy, a great throw by Hernandez. Crisp was out easily!!!

Hard to believe Crisp was thrown out by that much.

Garry…..We’ll call you Al Roker on here. lol. I think you have a future as a weatherman.

I am with you about Ellsbury. He doesn’t seem to get it done at the top of the order.

I think Pedroia should have taken a pitch or two and have given Ells a chance to run. Now we have Papi leading off.

I just took a look at the Tampa game. The Angels are in town and I’ll bet there aren’t 20,000 people at that game. Of course, it could be the storm, but that has to reall $uck.

Gsm,

I think it has something to do with the storm but on a normal night maybe 25,000. Still a small crowd. It could be a preview of the 2008 A.L.C.S. T.B. plays great at home!!! Just ask the Red Sox. lol.

Lester is starting to fatigue some. He is leaving his pitches up a little.

Both sides are having issues with the plate umpire on low pitches. However, he has been consistent with them all night long. I think he has called a pretty good game so far. Lots of BOSOX fans in Baltimore tonight.

Al Roker? If I were black and had a mousy mustache, he could be mini-me.

That’s some pretty nice pitching by Lester.

Lester made it through the 7th. The question is do you let him start the 8th? Even fatigued, he might be better than any option you currently have in the bullpen. Let’s see, who can come in and throws strikes and get batters out? The Sox bullpen is kind of like “pick your poison”.

Gsm,

He is the only weatherman I could think of. How about Dick Albert? Harvey Leonard? Don Kent? They are Boston legends. Weather gods. lol.

Lester pitched around that jam. Lester is very much in control when he is on the hill. Fun to watch a guy grow right in front of our eyes. Who doesn’t like Lester? A very mature young man is Lester.

I would love too see Boston score some insurance runs here in the 8th.

Garry or Gsm, lol.

I would have Lester take the hill in the 8th. Send him back out. Okajima has pitched well as of late but the Orioles have smacked him around this year!!!

Sox need to get some runs here so it doesn’t matter who comes in. Well, I guess that would be lots of runs, but they could do it. Cmon Sox!!

Yah, now Jon L. is through the 7th, but having thrown 103 pitches. Guthrie is out. If I were in Tito’s shoes I’d be looking at Masterson in the 8th and Pap in the 9th. I’m glad I don’t have his hush puppies on…Tough call whichever way he goes.

I would say this. Whatever happens, Lester doesn’t deserve to lose, and if he doesn’t go out in the 8th, he doesn’t no matter what happens. Maybe the Sox can connect with a guy sporting an 8.10 ERA, making Tito’s shoes a whole lot looser!!!!

Jason Bay you are the man!!!!! Those are the insurance runs I was talking about.

JASON BAY!!!!! Yahoooo! Way to go!

That’s the cushion we need. Now, let’s hold onto it.

Rocky Cherry sounds like a flavor of the month at Baskin Robbins. lol. It could be the dumbest sounding name in the big leagues!!! lol.

Good job by Bay. Now for surfe I’d have Lester start the 8th.

Don Kent? That’s a blast from the past. A weather god for sure.

Wow, Jason Bay with his 2nd dinger tonight gives the Sox a 3 run cushion….And all I do is talk about trading him to the Rockies….I’m sorry Jason, I’m sorry Jason, I’m sorry Jason, I’m sorry Jason (How many more times do I gotta write dat, teach — Well, you get the idea!!!!)

Angels down 2 runs after 6 innings. Let’s go L.A. Let’s go L.A. Wash my mouth out with soap, rooting for L.A. ugh!!! lol.

Heads up base running to take 3rd.

Duck Snort!! Hahaha!

You know your slow when your lifted for a pinch runner and it is Alex Cora. I think I could beat Cora in a race. I know I could beat Casey. lol.

LOL! Absolutely right Arnie.

Dbenjamin,

I can’t believe it, you didn’t mention Matt Holiday yet. lol.

Friday night fight! Rocky Cherry vs. Boof Bonser.

Tek swiings at Ball 3 and Ball 4…………. he’s got a hitter’s count and misses that badly. Not good.

Garry….Don Kent was just great!!! He set a high standard for weathermen. I wonder if he is still alive? mmmmmmm. I might have too look that up. My favorite weatherman of all time is Lloyd Lindsay Young. He was on channel 9 in N.J. He would always say a hellllllllo to someone. He was absolutley insane!!! lol. He might have been drunk on air or just naturally nuts.

I think Tek has problems with his eyes. He doesn’t seem to be able to distinguish between balls that are in the strike zone and those he is unable to reach. He seems to always be guessing. Seriously, he should have his eyes checked.

The Angels have tightened things up a little in Tampa. Rays 5, Angels 3 after six complete.

Arnie…..That would be an interesting fight. They could take all there frustrations out in the ring. My money is on Boof. lol. Rocky Cherry, ice-cream flavor, enough said. lol.

Hey Brian, Don Kent is alive and well…… from my home town of Quincy, MA.

Don Kent (born, 1920) was a radio and television meteorologist for several decades in the Boston, Massachusetts area. He is notable in that he was the first radio and television metereologist in Boston.[1]

He was raised in Quincy, Massachusetts. He developed and applied his meteorological skills while serving in the US Coast Guard during World War II. After his Coast Guard service, he began his career in 1947 at WJDA in Quincy.[2] While at WJDA, he used the name “Don Dixon”. The reason for this was that the family business, Kent’s Carpets, was the sponsor of his weather spots. The name change was necessary to hide family involvement in the program.

In 1951, Kent began using his own name on the air when was hired away from WJDA, a weak daytime-only station, by the powerful, clear channel, 50,000 watt WBZ (AM) radio in Boston. He also appeared on WBZ-TV which was then an NBC television network affiliate. He retired in 1985

He also demonstrated an exemplary Boston accent. He greeted his audiences, saying “Good mahning, ev’rybahdy.” Another Kentism was “Pahtly cloudy or sunny”.

Hey, BosoxBrian:

I deserved your comment…So you know, I’m still writing “I’m sorry Jason” on the chalkboard. I may have to keep it up right on through the time when the Sox clinch a play-off spot.

Well, that was a smart play by Crisp to get a 3 ball walk. That and a bunt are his weapons now.

Garry,

Wikipedia is a great thing. I am quite relieved that Don Kent is alive and well. Amen!!! I wonder how many people are talking about Don Kent tonight? If he only knew. lol.

I think Boston takes the 1st game of this series. I am hoping for a sweep but 2 wins would be fine by me. A 3 run lead and Delcarmen is out there. I am fine with that. If it was a 1 run game, Lester would have taken the mound for the 8th. I wouldn’t want Delcarmen on the mound in a 1 run game, nooooooo way!!!

Garry, that’s impressive. A post with footnotes. You do your home-work well.

It’s now 5-4 Tampa, top of the 7th.

Dbenjamin,

I can see you now at the blackboard. I will not say anything bad about Bay. You will have to write that 50 times. lol. Great too see Bay go deep twice tonight. He made a difference tonight, no doubt!!! Lester with another outstanding start. He is money for sure. Lester has so much confidence when he is out there. All he does is throw strikes and jumps ahead of hitters. Sounds easy doesn’t it? lol.

Straight from Wikipedia Brian. I’m surprised they had him in there.

Garry,

A legend like Don Kent, I am sure he was the first person they put in there. lol. The founder of wikipedia is from St. Pete. Get this story, you’ll love this one. He broke up with his girlfriend thru Wikipedia, what do you think of that? lol. Gotta love it!!!

They should have a chalk-board in the bullpen and in the dugout that Manny must write “NO WALKS” one hundred times he walks a batter.

The Red Sox Bullpen school of better pitching says you should alway walk two batters to get to the opposing team’s best hitter so you can make the closer earn his salary. WTF is wrong with Delcarmen????? That is such BS.

Delcarmen always makes it look interesting, doesn’t he? A 3 run lead and he issues back to back walks. I am thiking he will not be a member of the Red Sox next year. Delcarmen must drive Tito, Farrell and Theo absolutely nuts!!!

Grrrrr….. Del Carmen!!! Throw strikes!!!!

Pangelotti,

They would run out of chalk, lol. Also there arm would be so tired they wouldn’t be able to pitch for a week. Then again that would be a good thing. lol.

Someone must give Delcarmen and Aardsma and freaking road map to home plate. lol. I have said this before, thank god there not air traffic controllers. lol. Alot of planes would be hitting each other in the sky.

Perfect, just the way Delcarmen drew it up and then the closer falls behind in the count and elects a hanging splitter. A master piece…… a work of art you can’t see anywhere else.

That’s discouraging. Stupid walks!! A one run game now. Is it that hard to throw a friggin strike!!!

Well, out of the 8th, past the heart of the O’s line-up, and onto the 9th.

Delcarmen should be ashamed of himself!!! Gets 2 guys out and falls apart. I have seen that act too many times with him. He is a total head case. He needs to forget what happened and regain focus and attack the next hitter as if nothing happened. In other words have a bad memory!!! I personally think he’ll be shipped out of Boston when this season is over. What you see is what you got with him. Gsm said it before, perhaps Delcarmen could be a starter. He certainly can’t get it done coming out of the pen. He is too inconsisent for my liking!!!

If I were Tito I would have a consistent understanding with Manny and Aardvark . You walk one batter and you are out!!

You’ve gotta say though, 4 runs scored, and only 1 hit out of the Sox top 4 in the line-up. I don’t want many more of these nail-biters. The other problem is, with Dice-K on the mound tomorrow night, I can’t imagine that Pap will come out of the pen again.

How much better is Ortiz when he doesn’t try to pull everything?

Great too see Ortiz driving the ball the other way. I like it!!! Perhaps Ortiz could drive Delcarmen the other way, lol.

Oops, 2 hits out of the top 4…way to gut it out DP!!!

Good hustle by Pedroia and great hitting by Papi. 2 run lead.

Oops, 3 hits out of the top 4. Could this be…..a rally?!?!?!?!?

Ortiz hustling all the way. He wasn’t going to be denied at the plate. You gotta love that hustle from Ortiz.

Great too watch the Sox score late in the game and on the road. We haven’t seen much of that this year.

I’m sorry Jason…I’m sorry Jason…I’m sorry Jason…I’m going to run out of chalk soon…I’m sorry Jason…I’m sorry Jason…etc….etc

Dbenjamin,

I think your forgiven. All you have to do is root for U.S.C. against Ohio State. lol. Jock itch for the Trojans, now that is funny!!

Crisp has one other weapon– his head. But he should keep his helmet on.

I wonder if Sammy Stewart or Mike Flannagan will pitch tonight? LOL!!!

Varitek has too be the easiest out in baseball. Throw a strike and he’ll either swing and miss or take it right down the middle. He hit a longball tonight, so he is done hitting for at least a week. He is totally pathetic up there!!

I like it, Papi getting it done with his legs! Takes him a while to get up to speed, about 15 minutes, but once he gets going no one wants to stand in the way. Hey, that reminds me, I haven’t seen too many plays at the plate lately with the runner crashing into the catcher. Is that a thing of the past? Remember the All Star game where Pete Rose laid out the AL catcher, I think it was Ray Fosse? Crushed him. If I remember correctly, that catcher was never the same after. It’s been a few years but I can still see that play at the plate. One thing I liked about Rose, he played all out, every pitch, every game.

Arnie,

Rose never took a game off. Nobody hustled more than Rose, not only in baseball but in all of sports!! Fosse now does the A’s games on t.v.

That was the 1970 All Star Game. What a hit that was on Fosse. he was a real good catcher too. Really never got untracked after that. The best thing about that game though was Yaz…..4 hits and named MVP even though the AL lost. The AL was losing one game after the other for quite a while back then.

Good min for the Sox tonight. Lester is the only reason they haven’t hit a huge losing streak this year. Good game for Jason Bay too. He’s been pretty decent. If he’s still here next year…good for us. He gives 110% and that is really all a fan can ask for.

Feel bad for Tek. It’s hard to be a leader when your going like he is but he still calls a good game and that’s what we need down the stretch. Go Sox!!!!!!!!

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