The Thrill of Victory

As we wait for Mark Kotsay to try and navigate the airport and the New York traffic to make it to Yankee Stadium in time for tonight’s game — do you think he will get the Doug Mirabelli police escort? — I just wanted to share the Boston media’s thrilling 9-7 victory over our New York counterparts today. The game — the last ever media game at Yankee Stadium — was a comeback special and lasted eight innings.

Down 7-1 to New York, the Boston bats rallied furiously. Trailing 7-4 entering our final at-bat, we came up with five runs. The winning run came home when a gimpy Jeff Goldberg of the Hartford Courant – torn left meniscus and thoroughly messed up ACL — somehow made a mad dash to score on a wild pitch.

Great rally. Without question, the MVP of the game was Katz Nagao, the Japanese right-hander who throws everything but the kitchen sink. Katz came out of the bullpen to fire four shutout innings to earn the win. And he added a ground-rule double for good measure.

One of the best parts of the game was that Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record and ESPN.com could be there. Klapisch, who has played semi-pro ball for years, recently had a terrible injury in one of his leagues.

In the words of Klapisch’s recent column, “the ball sliced open my cornea, completely detached my retina, ruptured
several areas of the eye socket and broke nearly every bone on the
right side of my face.”

Slowly but surely, Bob is gaining back vision in the eye and even spoke of playing in next year’s media game. Apologies to your doctor, Bob, if you didn’t want me to put that on my blog!! Anyway, I don’t doubt that he will be back on the field.

Back to this year’s game, Uri Berenguer, the Red Sox’s spanish broadcaster, had a terrific game, belting two hits and playing solid defense at second base. And our third star had to be Goldberg, just fighting his way down that last 90 feet. Great stuff!

I’m looking forward to the game at Fenway on Sept. 26.

Amazing how when you win you don’t think of individual stats. This is the first time in this blog I’ve mentioned my 0-for-2 performance, which included a strikeout against Tyler Kepner of the NY Times — I took a good cut on the first pitch but fouled it straight back and another foul back on the second pitch before whiffing on the deuce — and a groundout to second base against my MLB.com counterpart Bryan Hoch.

The play of the day was made by Jack Curry of the NY Times, who dove into the third base stands Derek Jeter style to make a great catch. Of course, Jack made the play from third instead of short, but he was still mighty impressive.

All in all, just a great day. And once again, kudos go out to our catcher Mike Petraglia, who is the glue to our team. Though I’ve only been playing in these games since 2004, Petraglia  — who is a multi-media force for both MLB.com and WEEI.com — has caught every Boston-New York media game since 1995.

Anyway, a great time was had by all.

59 Comments

Good fun news on the media game!

If you all can stand it, back to the Manny trade one last time — I was picking up my dog from doggie day care (while we were on a short 4 day holiday) — and the doggie day-care owner was wearing a Sox sweatshirt (in the middle of summer — go figure). Anyway we starting talking baseball (she really knew her stuff) — and she came up with the best argument I have heard yet, why the SOX management blew the Manny deal. It was not a bitter conversation, just a no non-sense call like it is comment. So I have to pass it along. I had to agree with her.

With all the talk about ball players making 20 million and for that kind of money, you should at least do your job, and give it 100% on the field (and all of that is indisputably true, Manny definitely dropped an unbelievably selfish/self-unaware bomb on his teammates, fans, everyone except himself – so he thinks)…. but that said — the front office guys get paid a lot of money too, a whole lot of money — and one of those responsibilities surely includes managing the egos of their sometimes self-inflated players. So SOX management didn’t earn their millions either.

I would have to hear it from an insider to not believe that some egos up the ranks just go too bent out of shape and then having their pride too offended, dropped the ball of reason and gave up coddling a super-star (brat-ish) talent.

How can you arrive at deal where you have to pay Manny’s salary for the remainder of the year, and give up two first round draft picks (that still irks me) — all because you couldn’t manage the ego of one difficult (but extremely talented ball player). Isn’t that what those guys are paid to do? How can you not turn Manny around and say, we guarantee we will let you enter free-agency in off-season, just make your mark here one last time, and you will be in the best position anyway to get your 100 million 4 year deal, we get our draft picks, hopefully one more ring, etc…

I think that doggie-day-care owner saw something I had not realized — the front office guys didn’t earn their millions either…. they struck out big time — at least in the terms of the deal — we will see what it may or may not cost us down the line. Only long term upside I see in this deal is that we unloaded Hansen

I happen to be a long time Dallas Cowboy fan as well (I know you can throw blog tomatoes at me for that one) — but I saw the ego collapse between Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson after their 2nd super-bowl win in 93 (I think) cost them a 3rd straight Super Bowl appearance, almost cost them a Super Bowl victory the next year (were it now for two really bad passes by Neil O’Donnell), but more destructively, significantly accelerated and advanced the decline of the 90-95 Cowboys, and 12-13 years later they are still trying to get even 1 playoff victory win. A big price to pay for the precious pride of the people at the top. There was accelerated exit of key players after this incident, that finally took its tool after two years.

I hope that is not the case for the Red Sox — but my gut tells me it is at least partially true.

That said, I have infinite more respect for Red Sox management than Jerry Jones — though I don’t know either of course, just observing a really bad deal going down that seem reconcilable unless there was some really bad blood going on that we don’t know about — and if so — again, if those front office guys are supposed to earn their millions, why didn’t they show skills sufficient to prevent this? or maybe they are not worth their compensation either?

No Carl Beane and Bob Klapisch run in this year, I find that to be very dissapointing. LOL!! It doesn’t matter whether it is the media or the Red Sox, Boston will win for sure!! No muscle pulls Ian, very impressed.

The Yanks has posted its lineup and the Sox TBA. I guess the Sox are holding to see if Kotsay can make it in time.

I think ZAZU tried to pull the old “tail wagging the dog” trick one too many times. The management failed a long time ago not reigning this guy in years ago but like any major corporation….when it’s time to cut the losses and move on….that’s what you do. The Sox cut their losses and the management is still paying dearly for their mistake but the Sox stock has risen since ZAZU left. And now life goes on and the Sox will finish it up the best they can….except now the team is on one sheet of music and they are giving it all they have. Your Doggy Daycare friend was right though, management mismanaged the situation. Happens everywhere, every day.

dgneubert,

Unfortunately the players rule the day and it’s been that way for a while. Ever since incompetent owners starting bleeding money to players not worth it, it has been downhill ever since. Pitchers get paid way too much (Wakefield an exception of course) and players get paid too much. You shove that much money in the faces of the players you ask for trouble.
In the He-who-must-not-be-named, and having managed people myself, in the end, you have an irritant and no matter what you do, you have problems. If they perform but are a total loser, you can’t fire them for fear of a lawsuit. If they fail both you can fire them but in baseball, we sign contracts. No employer signs contracts like this except baseball players eliminating the fire clause. This of course creates a situation where players rule the game.
IMHO, players should have the same standards as everyone else. Yes, you can release contractual situations but then you’re still playing them. Taravez is an example of that fiasco.
This year the Sox lost Mirabelli, Taravez, Corey, Hansen, etc. and got next to nothing in return. Management isn’t the problem, it’s the way the game is managed and nobody seems to want to change that situation at all.

Tonight’s lineup

RF Ellsbury
2B Pedroia
DH Ortiz
1B Youkilis
LF Bay
3B Lowrie
C Varitek
SS Cora
CF Crisp

I’m fine with the Manny trade. He obviously showed he could tank games by faking injury, at least we had someboy in the lineup who cared… but there is no guarantee he wouldn’t have taken it one step further and purposely tanked games where he was playing. Better to let him go before we got to that point (assuming he didn’t already do this on occasion). I’d take Bay (and next year too) over Manny/Hansen/whoever.

Zazu missed games because of a knee injury. He hasn’t missed one yet. LOL!! Things that me go mmmmmm. Zazu is happy now because he controls everything when the season is done. Zazu is Boras’ puppett. LOL!!! You can almost see the strings above Zazu.

Rayman gets a weekend in the Bronx tied to a bed having to watch Roseanne and Ellen Degeneris. It’s the price you pay for mentioning the player’s name who shall not be mentioned here.

Getting Kotsay looks good now but it’s going to make the outfield situation crowded when Drew gets back. Coco has been playing pretty well lately.

You have to wonder how good Zazu would be if he applied himself all the time. He certainly is one of the greatest right handed hitters in the history of the game but there were many times when it seemed like he just didn’t come to play. It’s too bad for him, and too bad for the Sox. Next to Ruth and Gehrig, Zazu and Papi may have been the best 1-2 punch in history.

Congrats Ian on your victory today. Way to come back and make it real painful for the NY media!

Ian, you live a pretty lucky life… You have played on the Glorious Green of Fenway and in The house that Ruth built.. I’m envious.. I just want to LOOK at the Green in Fenway up close and personal!
Welcome to the newest member of the RedSox Family, Good Luck Mark!!
IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO BELIEVE!!!!

Garry, I was reading the punishment you dolled out for Rayman, and I’m glad that you tagged a last name on the Ellen!! and it wasnt MY last name!! lol

LETS GO REDSOX LETS GO! CLAP CLAP CLAP…

okay, hockey season is over, football season isnt here yet, where are you guys?? Heloooooo anybody home??

LOL! Ellen, I was trying to punish Rayman, not you!

Remdawg and Orsillo were discussing the merits of implementing replay now. I have to agree with Orsillo who says the rules should not be changed in the middle of the season. How fair is that to teams that have played in games where there have been questionable calls? Beyond that, I don’t like replay anyway unless it would be done the same way it is done in the NFL. That is, the manager must request it and it is done right on the field on the field by the home plate umpire. There should not be some bozo sitting at a monitor somewhere holding up a game because he thinks there might be a reason for review when there isn’t.

Replay should happen in 2009 not 2008.

Big K by Byrd on Nady.

Hank looks a little rough!!! lol.

IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO IDO BELIEVE!!!

Another big crowd in St. Pete tonight. lol. Alot of fans dressed in blue seats. Nobody really cares about T.B. around here. You’ll here more people talking about the Bucs pre-season game this week than the Rays.

No lead is safe with an average pitcher like Byrd. The sox need more runs

My computer has been screwed up or something tonight. I can’t seem to get anything posted.

Ah, it worked. Wow, looks like the lights are on but nobody’s home. Good game tonight. Even Manny D had a 1-2-3 inning. Byrd pitched a very Byrd-like game and Bay has done what he needs to do with RISP. Sox are looking good.

Well, I thought I was abandoned!!! hey does anybody out there BELIEVE???? IDO!!
IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO BELIEVE!!!

Thanks for the clapping Ellen……I DO BELIEVE, I DO BELIEVE, I DO BELIEVE…..Now we are even but I am not doing the woooooooooo thing you do!!!

WAY TO GO PETEY BOY!!! You go Dustin!!!!!! What a capper!!!

DEVILRAYS DEVILRAYS DEVILRAYS~~~~~ didnt do what they were supposed to do!! Thats some fan base they have isnt it!!! You could have hit a ball anywhere in the seats and the odds were no lawsuit would have resulted!!!

The final nail is in the coffin. The sweep tomm. would be just freaking woderful!!

Sox win another at the Stadium. I love it. Wouldn’t it be great for the Sox to go out at Yankee Stadium with a sweep!!! GO SOX!!
I actually had a dinner engagement tonight
so I couldn’t watch the game, but I’m hoping to watch a little tomorrow at work. If all goes well I could actually begin to have a life………nah, JK. Don’t worry, I won’t leave RSN!!!

I’ll chime in with a comment on ZAZU and whether the management was at fault for not reeling him in . Some people simply will not, or cannot, do things the right way ie: do what’s best for the team. There are some unredeemable “me first” people out there. It could be that this was bound to happen sooner or later but the Sox management did such a great job in putting off the inevitable. So good, in fact, that the Sox were able to win 2 WS rings with a malcontent in the clubhouse. It’s one thing to say that these management guru’s are somehow magically supposed to keep a ZAZU-type in line, but it may not be possible in the real world. The real world doesn’t work like that. Theo does not have a magic wand that will make players behave.

hey to all…. WE WON YAY!!!!!! See you tomorrow!!! I’m buying stock in O’Cedar when the market opens in the a.m.!! LOL

Hey, the Sox are only 3 games under .500 now for the season.

You’re right Brian, that should take care of the Yankees. However, the Red Sox still have other business to take care of. They need to keep winning and if they do, I think they have a fair chance to catch Tampa. They have six games left with the Rays so they control their own destiny. This has been a great road trip so far, the best in a long, long time. If they win tomorrow night, they finish 7-2 on this trip and are within a couple of games of playing .500 on the road for the year. After tomorrow, they play 19 of their final 28 games at home.

Things that were a real concern a couple of weeks ago could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Lowell’s and Drew’s injuries forced them to take a break they probably both needed, especially Lowell. He was trying to play through some other things and was really struggling. Now, hopefully, he’ll be well rested and ready to go for the home stretch. Jed Lowrie, a rookie and really an unknown commodity, has stepped up and produced and will likely be in the lineup for the rest of the season. I’m pretty sure Lugo, at least I think that’s his name, is done. Wake got a break and should be strong down the stretch. And of course the loss of Zazu was a huge concern, but Papi has hit and Jason Bay has done more than expected.

Kudos to Mike Timlin for a real professional relief appearance tonight. He gave up the bomb to Giambi and a couple of hits, but he did exactly what he was supposed to do and that was get outs. With a big lead, you don’t screw around. You throw strikes and get out of there as quick as you can. When you do that, you’re going to give up some hits but with a nine run lead, who cares. No picking corners, no walks …… pitch to contact, and get outs. A veteran performance. Very nice job Mike.

Pedroia is starting to gain ground on Youk in my estimation of who should be MVP on this team. His power surge of late has him in contention. Maybe co-MVP’s. Tito’s got them doin’ it again, late in the year and they are playing their best baseball so far. They just might overtake the devilrays.

arnieschmo: good point on ZAZU — I have to admit.

And maybe, as you imply, it was at the point of no return for reasons we don’t know — but I still can’t conceive why management tactically couldn’t preserve their two first round draft picks — by offering Manny unrestricted free agency at the end of the season? Does anyone know whether that was ever on the table? If it was, and Manny still forced his way out-of-town then he really is a self-centered and self-deluded personality beyond my comprehension.

I suppose I shouldn’t ask when and why everyone on this blog started referring to Manny as ZAZU?

This is why Delcarmen drives me nuts!! He looked like he took the mound for the first time in his career on Tues. night. Last night he looked like the best set-up guy in baseball. Just be consisent Delcarmen, that is all I ask of you.

Paul Byrd did what you expect from him. A solid move by Theo.

Again that was so much fun to watch. Yankees went into Fenway in August of 2006 and swept Boston in a 5 game series. That ended the Red Sox season that year. Boston was toast. I want too see the Sox sweep the Yankees today and have the last game ever played between these two teams be quite memorable. Lester’s only time starting in N.Y. a complete game shutout and his last start he got blitzed. I am expecting Lester to bounce back today and give the Sox a solid outing. N.Y. looks like a worn out team and I am loving every second of it. I guess 200 million dollars doesn’t go as far these days, lol. The looks of Hank and Hal were priceless. LOL!!!

Na na na na… Na na na na… Hey hey hey… Goodbye… The Yanks are so bad, I almost feel sorry for them. Almost.
They are going to spend 10M per year on anybody with a pulse…
Pedroia and Youks probably are co-MVPs. Can’t go wrong either way.

Rayman…

Anybody with a pulse, great line. Blank checks will be given to players by Hank and Hal.

Brian:
Did Delcarman make you nervous when he came on 7th and the Sox were up only 2 runs? I was so edgy that I made so many unnecesssary trips to the bathroom ’cause I couldn’t bear to watch him pitch.
I think it was a great idea letting him pitch in the 7th instead of as a set up guy in the 8th. In case Delcarman screwed up, the Sox still has 2 innings to come back.
Just keep winning! The Sox will win the next 3 series. Then come the real test from 9/8 till 9/21. TB and Tor have the best team ERA in AL, if not MLB.
I think Tito will let Crisp play and give Ellsbury a day or two off when Kotsay is in the lineup. Crisp has been great and Ellsbury had taken some hard hits in OF.

This afernoon’s line up

Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Youkilis 1B
Bay LF
Kotsay RF
Lowrie 3B
Cora SS
Varitek C

007…

Delcarmen always gives makes me nervous. lol.When he threw a fastball right by Cano, I said we are watching good Manny. No worries. When he walks the first hitter, I think negative thoughts right away. I don’t understand him. He has all the tools to be one of the better guys coming out of the pen but loses confidence too quick at times. He is what he is I guess.

Does the bull pen need another reliable arm? Carl Pavano is available. lol.

The contrast between Delcarmen and Papelbon is remarkable, you’d think Manny would recognize it and adjust. Manny’s always nibbling and picking away, while Papelbon is always purposeful in his style–alot of 1st pitch strikes, pinpoint accuracy. I think Delcarmen has good control most of the time, it’s just that he tries to make his pitches too perfect. Then he gets behind in the count, his pitches become too predictable (fastballs down broadway, or curveballs that miss the corners) and hitters start playing batting practice with him or they walk.

I love Mike Timlin, but he’s gotta call it a day. He’s only useful in a “mop up” role, when the team is either ahead by 10 runs or behind by 10 runs. He can’t be trusted in a close game, like Delcarmen. I hope Mike retires at the end of the season and becomes the Sox bullpen coach.

Okajima seems to be coming around, and along with Masterson and Lopez, I’ve been a little less depressed lately about the Sox middle relief.

The only mistake the Sox made about Ramirez is that they didn’t get rid of him in the offseason (which was my recommendation in other blogs). Not only was Manny a distraction at the best of times, I always believed he was a bit antithetical to the “spirit” of the Red Sox–low key, workmanlike, not flashy. Get the job done and then go sit down and shut up. Guys like Williams, Yaz, Fisk. Pedroia, Youkilis, Varitek, Drew. Hit the ball, put your head down and run like hell. Spare me the Terrell Owens-inspired gawking and smirking and hot dogging. In the offseason, it was far more important for the Sox to resign Lowell who to me, in 2007, was the REAL heart and soul of the Red Sox. I was hoping they’d let Manny be Manny somewhere else after the WS 2007. I’ll admit he was a great hitter, but he was more of a liability than an asset. Give me Jason Bay any day, he’s a much better fit with the Red Sox “work ethic” than Manny ever was.

Yes, the 6 home runs and 21 rbi’s Manny has had in the 25 games he’s played as a Dodger would have looked good on the Sox scoreboard. But in that time, Jason Bay has had 4 HR’s and 24 rbi’s, so not a lot’s been missed. Also, Manny’s beginning to cool off a bit, and is returning to hitting the .300 or so he was hitting for the Sox.

The one striking reality is all the “L’s” that are lining up in the Dodger games he’s been playing in. I translate that to mean that Manny by himself cannot carry his team any longer. A very good ballplayer, but no longer a game changer. I think the Sox got adequate consideration for him in Bay and will save $10 Mil. on Manny’s salary when Bay plays left field next year. Now as to the managment blowing it because they gave too much else away, I really don’t think that with Manny the Sox were going anywhere, any more than the 2004 Sox were going to win with Nomar. Both are/were Red Sox icons. But I believe that the FO earned their money on this call by making the right call. We’ll obviously debate this one a while longer, but I disagree that it was the wrong decision, and I don’t think Manny’s performance would have gotten markedly better simply by voiding the 2 options. By the way, I like how Manny has cut his hair (lol).

I can feel the excitement for getting Mark Kotsay, and I certainly hope that it turns out well. However, why did the Sox and Bobby Kielty give up on each other so soon? As a switch hitter, he would have been a perfect substitute for Drew, and I thought that was why he was camping in the minors? Am I missing something….again (lol).

Jason Bay and Paul Byrd have proven to be good acquisitions and hopefully Kotsay will be also. Jason’s records speak for itself. Jason’s triple unravelled the Yank’s pitching and started the onslaught. I wonder if Ellsbury could make that catch at the wall. Paul Byd offers a quality start (gives up 3 runs or fewer in 6 innings) every 5 days, or most of the time.
We noticed the positive changed in team spirit, karma or whatever since you konw who and Buchholz had departed. I am not saying Buchholz was like you know who. Without Buchholz, the team definitely believe that they can sustain a long winning streak, not an automatic loss when he pitches.

Boston looks like a team right now that is peeking at the right time. I still think Sunday’s win was their biggest of the year. I would love too see the Red Sox have a run of playoffs year after year just like the Yankees.

Dbenjamin,

I see where Ohio State has a tough game this weekend, Youngstown State. lol.

Was it Dave Robertson who served up the grand slam? He is on his way to AAA.
Yes, the Sox are in the groove right now.

dbenjamin — good points on Manny trade, you guys are starting to win me over, or making me feel better about all this. I did like the fun and levity Manny brought to the game, and chemistry he brought to Ortiz (so it would seem) but I guess it couldn’t mask too much ego any longer.

I couldn’t agree more about Bobby Kielty. I really liked that guy. He fit perfectly. My favorite moment that I will always remember most about the 2007 WS was Kietly’s one at bat (in the whole series, if not post season, don’ recall) — one pitch, and he goes yard to ultimately win the series for us. The only upside it letting him go (in my opinion and its not much upside) — is that you can’t go out much higher than that — one at bat, one pitch — WS winner.

I think he is in the Minnesota minor league system now. We should get him back.

Hey, don’t want to ruin everyone’s mojo — but we need to wait a bit before we can determine whetrer are really in a grove.

Pitchers are still inconsistent, and the Yankees appear to be rolling over (so you can’t judge too much from the Yankee series) — the Blue Jays maybe — that was a good sign. But playing the Yankees seems like playing the Rangers right now — and look what happened after the Rangers left town, didn’t we get swept by the Angels for three losses? Becket?? Lester (2 1/3 — although that I am sure was fluke), Wakefield (back?) — Yankee pitching terrible. Got clunked 11-0 by Blue Jays three games ago.

Signs are favorable, but we really need to win every series in Sept (I think) to exorcise the demons that we could fall into one of the cycles were we lose three straight and get swept out of the post season.

Hey to all: I am a t work so I wont be able to check in mucha, if at all during the game…. SO I’ll say it now>>

IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO BELIEVE!!!!
GO REDSOX….

Just another nail, folks! Still breathing, very slightly. And the RSox never fail to focus on the Yankees. Don’t ignore the others!

Clunked 11-0? That was a RSox score last Saturday, against the Jays. We only lost 14-3 last Thursday! LOL.

What was that Papelbon pose? Has he been to Rio?

RobertKramer: I was about to say the same thing. Papelbon had his arms extended sideways and looked like JC’s statue in Rio. lol
The Yanks are on life support and Lester is about to pull the plug.

I just snuck a peek at the score on game day…..

IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO BELIEVE!!!!
LETS GO REDSOX!!!!!

I STILL BELIEVE!!

A DEEP BREATH! My dad had one more, just before he died!

GSM,
How did you cope the humanity of umpires? My only experience was in softball, as a player, team manager, and finally league commissioner!
CF04,
All those minor league parks. Were you a player?

Ellen,
Well you should. But, the bigger enemy now is those %Z@&*CQXX Rays. Hope I have a choice between the NESN and Florida feeds. I like Orsillo’s(sp?) voice, but not Migraine’s(sp?)

Kramer, That would be “THE DEVILRAYS DEVILRAYS DEVILRAYS”.. just a little superstition I picked up….

Well, the game was a good one.. not the outcome but the fact that it was close… I think Lester has just come such a long way,.. if playoffs started tomorrow (and we were in them) I would send him out there 1st game….

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