AL East showdown under the roof

All the years I’ve come here, and I never tried to imagine what it would be like to cover a September series at Tropicana Field that mattered. And here we are.

This used to be where we’d come to unwind after a stressful, crowded, intense series somewhere else.

And just as I was in the middle of typing, Big Papi just left the yard. A three-run blast off Kazmir, and just like that, Dice-K has himself a three-spot to work with. Make that a four-spot as Mike Lowell also puts one out. The Rays can’t feel good about Kazmir opening the game with eight straight balls, which obviously left him in the mode of, “OK, I need to get the ball over the plate and take my chances”. He did take his chances, and Ortiz and Lowell took him over the wall.

Speaking of Lowell, he told his former ghost writer Rob Bradford — and the current beatwriter for WEEI.com — that he has a slight tear of the labrum in his right hip. I didn’t even know the hip had a labrum. Also, if Lowell can take the likes of Kazmir deep, Sox fans should feel pretty good bout the chances he can salvage his way through the rest of 2008.

At any rate, there is quite a media following for this series. The press box has three packed rows. Faces in the crowd: Jayson Stark of ESPN.com; Hal Bodley of MLB.com; Scott Miller of CBS Sports (seat there for him, but he’s yet to arrive); the aforementioned Bradford; Joltin Joe Haggerty of Comcast Sportsnet, the Woburn Times, NECN, CN8  and Boston Metro. Oh, and WEEI. Is there anyone he doesn’t take a paycheck from? Make sure to check out the underrated Hacks with Haggs blog when you get a chance. That’s http://www.hackswithhaggs.com in your game program.

Tito’s take on the Rays and this series, before the game was pretty good:

“I don’t think, because we’ve been here before, we should
downplay what we’re going through the the next couple of weeks. This is exciting.
This is great,” Francona said. “The Rays are certainly the story of the year and I understand
that. If it wasn’t for us, I would be a fan of them. I’m not. we really want to
win. I’d hate to be walking around here like, oh, we’re the team that’s been
here. We need to match the energy, if not exceed their energy. These are big
games for us. I don’t see why they’re any bigger for them than they are for
us.”

Look for Jonathan Papelbon to sit this one out after pitching the last two days.

111 Comments

Dice-K looking sharp early. Boston jumped out a week ago to a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning against T.B. Let’s hope Boston puts the pedal to the metal tonight and thru-out this series!

BoSox Brian is always first out of the gate!

As soon as I said Dice-K looking sharp, he suddenly put 2 runners on. I guess I jinxed him. lol. Pena looked he struck out but that is how it goes I guess.

Ian,

First out of the gate but last too finish. lol. My energy is strong early but……….lol. Wish I was in St. Pete for this series!

but you are more consistent in coming through with the first game post every night than he is with pounding the strike zone.

Ian,

Any ghosts in your room at The Vinoy? lol.

Cliff Floyd hits the ball as hard as anyone!

My claim to fame is having the first post on Brownie Points. My parents would be so proud of me. lol.

No vinoy for me this time. I’m living in bliss in Tampa. Very nice hotel at the Interational Plaza.

Kazmir is all over the place. I totally disagree with the warning. Kazmir has no clue where the ball is going.

Let’s just hope that Theo doesn’t have an inspiration and signs Kazmir next year.

Although in fairness, usually Kazmir is a good pitcher.

Ian,

International Mall is very nice.

What do you think of the warning by the home plate umpire?

Ridculous

Hey ian, You know how much I enjoy your coverage, but tell Jayson Stark I really like to listen to his segment on the local sports talk radio station here (790 the ticket) I think he’s on with Sid Rosenberg.

These Tampa Bay announcers are getting on my nerves.

Ian, Bosoxbrian is the anchor of your blog. He’s the MAN on Browniepoints.

Does anyone else get nervous the entire game when Dice-K is pitching, no matter the score — I might settle down if it was 10-0.

If fairness to Dice-K, he really is doing pretty good, all things considered. Last year, he was all the rage — this year he is a our number 3 pitcher at best, inspite of his 16-2 record. There doesn’t seem to be the accolades following him, nor the praise, and we have to remember he was a A-Rod type icon in Japan. But he is out still trying his hardest, still delivering. But to go from #1 pitcher in Japan to better than average pitcher in the US (a foreign country for him) — and still keep giving it your all — speaks for his control over his ego and pride to some degree. I got to give him kudos for that.

And Ellen, you’re the WOMAN on Browniepoints.

Did anyone notice the NESN announcement that the SOX are not first in the AL in defense? I can’t imagine how that happened? Does any one have a explanation? LOL!

GO JBAY, GO JBAY!!!! JBAY BAYBAY!!!

Arnie,

If I am the anchor here, we are in big trouble. Another longball for the Red Sox!!

DG: I’ll bet that Julio Lugo(maxkinger lugo) had NOTHING to do with that did he????? lol

But Brian If Jerry and Don have as much fun as it seems, think of ALL the fun WE can have!!!

I’ll net Dice-K cries all the way to the bank about it!! lol

Even though Dice-K gives me indigestion when he pitches, I’m not as down on him as most Sox fans. Yes, he’s only a 5 or 6 inning pitcher but …..Jason Bay!!!! hits the ball and it never comes down!!!!……anyway, I’d rather have Dice-K getting wins for the Sox even with fewer innings than have him go 7 and lose. No, Dice isn’t an ace and I know he taxes the bullpen and he makes us all nervous, but in the end he gets wins for the team. I hope he improves but I also hope he doesn’t improve his control and then lose the victories in the process.

Arnie,

Dice-K does win and we can’t complain with results. It just how he gets to those results. Nibble nibble nibble…

Arnie, I’m glad that you noticed… being that I am the ONLY woman on the Brownie Points Blog….. (unless somebody out there is keeping secrets from us!!lol)
GO JASON!!!!! OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN!!!!! TEK TEK BABY!!!

Love it !!!

I think I here Kate Smith singing in the background. This one is over tonight!!

Tek’s my hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can anyone say “Standings all tied up??” Division even??
I don’t want it to change, but something is up with Kazmir…

Arnie, I like Dice-K as much as the next Sox fan but you have to admit that he hasn’t lived up to his hype or his $$$$.

Geez, no wonder nobody’s talking to me. I’m still on the old thread……… Where’s my Devilray chowdah? I’m wasting away to nothing?

Since you didn’t see it on the last thread Brian, I’ll say it again here ——> “No Migrane?……. You S-U-C-K-!

Let’s not get too overconfident yet. There’s still a lot of baseball to be played.

Ellsbury shows you why you hustle out every ball put in play. Nice job.

Do you hear the DEVILRAYSDEVILRAYSDEVILRAYS fans booing… are they booing US or their pitching staff??

Kazmir had nothing tonight.

Ten run lead, we can all relax a little. I put away the Pepto and the Rolaids. But I’ll keep the Tums handy just in case. Brian, you said it right ,Dice-K nibbles, nibbles, nibbles and I end up nibbling on Tums.

Where’s my Chowdah Arnie? I’m wasting away to nothing.

Now, I hope Dice-K doesn’t come out and screw around. I want 7 good innings out of him tonight. NO BS!

Okay. let’s keep something in the tank for the next 2!! Wake is going tomorrow night.. Eva Longoria just got hit…. one more by either staff and they are gone!

What the hell is Dice-K thinking about? He’s lucky he didn’t get ejected by this spastic home plate umpire?

Is Byrd pitching the 3rd game in this series??

Garry, I’ve got your food ready. The stock market will come back, don’t worry.

No, its Becket, then Wakefield I think

I’m sure it will Arnie, but in the meantime I’m going to have to rely on your care packages!

Much better for Dice-K….

I don’t like blow-outs, then you get shut out the next game or two — probably by resolve by your opponent. Oh well, can stop swinging either — might as well take batting practice.

Way to go Dice-K. He started out shaky but gets his rhythm back and puts up a zero.

6 homers by the Sox today. Wow. I think this is the most homers in a game for the Sox since the famous day when (Then known on Manny on this blog) Zazu, Drew, Lowell, and Tek went back-to-back-to-back-to-back on a cool evening on April 21, 2007. ( I do not remember really, but I just wanted that memory back. LOL!)

Wow, they’re yelling “MVP, MVP” in St. Petersburg!

My Dad would always say, “Save some for tomorrow, guys.” when the Sox would pile on. And sure enough, they always seemed to struggle the next day.

11 run lead and Matsuzaka walks the leadoff hitter. Wait a moment, I’ve got to get a Tums. Cmon Dice-K!!!!! I defend you and this is the payback I get???? Grrrrrrrr…….

Ellen,

Wakefield will be on the hill on Wed. night against Garza. Tampa’s best starter.

Ok who is really comfortable with this lead knowing the bullpen will have to finish it because Dice K is only a 5 inning pitcher?

What a message sent by Boston tonight! They’re letting the young Rays know who is the team too beat! A fight at the bat rack tonight. I am usually not a big fan of these type of games. That being said, I am loving this one. I would love it more if I was listening too Migrane and Staats. Never thought I would ever ever say that. I am sure they’re complaining of the umps and Boston gets all the breaks. It has nothing to do with the longballs Boston has it. LOL! Those 2 are clowns for sure! Once again it would be a very poor telecast but the outcome is just GREAT!

The Red Sox might outscore the Pats. LOL! Pats scored 16 pts. yesterday.

Wow!! they sound like Yankee fans!!

agenv86,

This one is over!

Give Remy a bat. lol.

Get a pinch runner for Lowell. He doesn’t need to be out there any more tonight……. good Cora in.

I hope so but this same bullpen gave up 6 runs in one inning to this team before. As long as the Rays keep subbing for scrubs and Tito doesn’t put Timlin in we should be OK. One of these guys needs to pitch at least 3 innings with Beckett going tomorrow. He is on a pitch count so they will need to be rested.

LOL! Hey Brian …….. Staats isn’t getting a lot of help from Migrane tonight now that griping about the umpiring doesn’t make any difference.

Someone explain to Dice-K that this game doesn’t really have to be five hours long. It’s OK if he throws strikes and doesn’t walk anyone.

I guess Dice-K thinks he’s like us…. paid by the hour!! lol

Dave hasnt been around tonight.. I guess that means that we’ll be getting the next M*A*S*H installment…
Trivia question for those of you old enough to remember MASH the Movie and MASH theTV show…
Who is the only character played ny the same actor in both the film and the TV show…. no googling you guys.

I’d rather see a base hit and a dinger than a bunch of walks and 40 billion pitches. Smith gets a passing grade for that inning because it was pretty quick.

Radar.

Oh, I guess I need to come up with a prize…. let’s see… A weekend at Klingers house and a tour of his closet… and a meal from Arnie, unless Arnie wins then I cook the meal.

Wow, Arnie, don’t take so long next time!! Sorry it wasnt a tougher trivia question..

and Arnie, who was the actor that played the character Radar O’Reilly?

What are you going to cook for me Ellen?

I’ll arrange to have Roseann excort you through Klingers closet for that one

I’ll have to think about it, but I’m sure that it wont compare to your fare.. I’m pretty simple and the “homecooking” type.
You’re not a vegan are you??

As much as I watched and enjoyed the TV program MASH, I never saw the movie. I started to watch it a few times, but it was after I had already seen the TV program for several years. I just couldn’t get into it.

Now I do know that Radar was played by Gary Burghoff. What was Radar’s first name?

……..and while you’re at it, what was Hawkeye Pierce’s full name?

LOL! Cash at third! What’s up with that?

Roseanne can’t escort anyone through a closet, once she enters there is no more room for a second person.

Nope, not a vegan. You know, most chefs I know love food like meatloaf, roasted chicken, mac and cheese etc. We don’t make that kind of food generally, so it is a welcome change. Personally, I like simple food that is down-home and made with real ingredients. Or really exotic. Not much in-between.

Radar’s first name was Walter. Walter O’Reilly. Hawkeye was Benjamin Franklin Pierce. You have to work hard to trip me up on MASH trivia. I’ve seen the show one too many times.
Dave…

okay… another one… B.J. Hunnicutt.. what does the B.J. stand for??

Garry,

The movie was more sardonic and cruel in shape than the series. There was no character to really connect with. Even Hawkeye was cruel as was Trapper. It was of course a reflection of the cruelty of war. It’s hard to get into at all because of that fact but that’s why the movie is so important.

The movie was so much better than the tv show. But I made the mistake of seeing the movie a second time. Second time around it was awful.

Don Johnson just hit his second home run. Chris Smith could make a game out of this.

The MASH tv show was so smarmy, it just made me gag. At least the movie had an amoral edge to it.

Dave, in it’s own satirical way, the TV program did a good job of showing the brutality of that war.

Ellen,
B.J. never revealed his first name as far as I know. Everytime it was asked the answer was “anything you want it to mean.”

However…what was B.J.’s daughter’s name?

Arnie, How does this sound. Buttermilk dipped golden fried chicken,,, with a Sweet potatoe souffle topped with candied pecans/or hand “mash”ed potatoes and fresh green beans (sauteed with bacon and sweet vidalia onions) hush puppies and for desert, fresh home made apple or peach pie (your choice) with sweet fresh whipped cream?? The beverage?? of course Seet Tea with mint from my garden.. Is that to your liking?……… and I won’t let Roseann anywhere near the room…

No it stood for something… His mothers name was Bea and his fathers name was Jay……….

That’s true Ellen, I knew that too…but again B.J. didn’t say that was his name — only that his parents had those names. He denied that was his name.

Oooh…… Oooooh…… pick me, pick me, I know the answer!

Daughter’s name was Erin…… wife was Peg. His name was never really revealed, but it did have significance, what was it?

Man, you guys are way ahead of me! It must have been nap time or something.

O.K. you are right on all counts…but I didn’t know it had any significance beyond being the running joke with Hawkeye torturing him to death and of course the obvious double entendre (spelling).

LOL! Hey, anyone know what’s going on in the game. I only know it’s the bottom of the ninth.

He lived in Mill Valley California…. who’s cooking for me?
…Isnt it strange how when we’re losing we’re on the edge of our seats and when we’re winning like this we wander away???? nature of the beast! i guess….

They just said under 30,000 at the Trop tonight. How bad is that? If I were the owners, I’d be thinking about moving the Rays.

What was the name of Klingers home town baseball team…?

Ellen, I’ve booked my ticket to Ft Lauderdale. Your menu is EXACTLY the kind of food I like. See ya in about 5 hours. Peach Pie, thanks. If you cook like that your husband is lucky and tell him I said so.

Toledo Mud Hens!

The Toledo Mudhens

GANE OVAH……. we are tied with the DEVILRAYSDEVILRAYSDEVILRAYS!!!! Hold on this is about to get FREAKIN INTERESTING!!!!!!

Ha agenv86, beat you by a millisecond.

2 great things about tonights win. First we are tied for first. Secondly, the GD Yanks won and they still moved a game closer to being eliminated!!!!!!!!!!

Good win for the Sox tonight. See you all tomorrow.

NO PRIZE BUT RIGHT BY BOTH!!!!! Arnie, I try to cook a fresh meal every night but some nights my husband just say… “can we just heat up leftovers?” He’s not a poster model for Jenny Craig.. he’s well taken care of.. and says you’re welcome anytime!!

Garry, if you think 30k is bad, look at the Marlins. #weeks ago when they were still in th efight they had a day game that had less than 1300 people there…. even the players joke about it now.

PART II of the MASH Story — enjoy!

Father Tim hopped along the ground leaving a trail of sandy dust and footprints…footprint heading towards the Motor Pool. It had been a busy day. He meant Rizzo Francona at the motor pool looking for someone to talk too.
“Father Tim what happened to you?”
Father Tim Knuckle Wakefield felt wet from sweat and sat down resting against the banged up golf cart. Everyone was asked to use the golf carts and it was Rizzo Francona’s job to keep them in shape leaving him a lot of downtime because for some reason nobody used the carts.
Father Tim looked at Rizzo and said, “nothing really…just a minor altercation in the O.R yesterday.”
Rizzo Francona waved his sunflower seeds and shoved some in his mouth spitting them in the air. He grabbed peanuts, popcorn, cashews, walnuts and dates and chewed on them before spraying them all over the seat.
“Dice-K again hu?”
“How’d you know, “asked Father Tim who then watched Francona chew on some watermelon seeds and then drink some water before spraying it on the windshield but that was before grabbing some raisins and spitting them on the floor of the jeep.
“Dice-K…”
“We all make mistakes”, interrupted Father Tim no longer able to look at Rizzo Francona.
Dice-K’s problem was not a new one. He was considered a master of hand-eye coordination. At age five he learned how to ride a bike but broke his jaw when he couldn’t grab the handlebars properly. At age six he lost one eye when he failed to use a fork properly. At age eight, using a hammer he suffered his first concussion and at age nine he tried baseball. Sadly he had no idea that a bat could drive that much force when he swung it into his head aiming for the ball that was almost a foot away from the bat. Then at age thirteen he tried fishing with a friend. He realized too late that the fishing pole was not a spear. Then at sixteen while woodworking Dice-K used a Porter Cable router and sadly the lawsuits are still ongoing so we can’t discuss the cases. At age seventeen he tried his hand at chemistry. He was grateful his parents had homeowners insurance and a good fire department. At age eighteen he was hired for the MASH unit and at age eighteen and one hour his job was to cut down maple trees for bats and ten minutes later he walked into the O.R. for Father Tim’s advice carrying the chainsaw and five minutes after that Father Tim had emergency surgery.
“What about a prosthetic leg, “asked Rizzo Francona.
“I gave the prosthetic leg to a poor Dice-K but sadly I didn’t have an arm to spare. “
“I thought they took away the chainsaw?”
Father Tim sighed and said, “but they forgot about cordless drill in the shop.”
Rizzo Francona turned to his side and said, “You can’t possibly tell me you lose an arm from a cordless drill.
Francona paused a second and then finally said in unison with Father Tim, “Dice-K.”
Nothing more needed to be said.
“Want to grab some lunch, “asked Rizzo Francona.
Father Tim smiled and sighed saying. “Have you seen the menu? Creamed Corn with garlic and spam. Powdered eggs with jello and finally oatmeal with soy sauce.”
Rizzo Francona looked away and said, “I thought Arnie…”
“Arnie! Father Tim interjected and said, “Arnie has the day off. Migrane is cooking today as punishment for almost severing David Ortiz’s hand with one of his repaired bats. No…I’m afraid food is just not an option today.”
Francona nodded and chewed on beans and rice before spitting it out on the hood of the golf cart. He then took the beans from the hood and ate them again mixing them with the watermelon goop from the floor of the golf cart.
“Well…you certainly have an interesting way of…eating your food.”
“Only eat what I like Father Tim. The rest I spit out. “
This time Francona smiled sending a blast of rotting food odor into Father Tim’s face. Suddenly the food in the mess hall didn’t sound so bad.
“Leaving father? I can give you a ride in the golf cart!”
“I suddenly gained an appetite and I can hop my way to the mess hall. See you Rizzo Francona!”
Francona smiled before grabbing some cherry tomatoes and crab legs and then spraying them all over the dashboard.
Father Tim hopped along to the mess tent but what was inside…would change everything.

TO BE CONTINUED.

Good job Dave!! I’ll say good night now to all the faithful follwing of the RedSox Nation…. LET ME HEAR YOU NATIONERS!!!! SAY IT WITH ME BRETHREN!!
IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO BELIEVE!!!!
PRAISE WITH ME EVERYONE!!! LET ME HEAR YOU!!!
LET’S GO REDSOX, LET’S GO!!! CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!!! BRIAN!!! I CANT HEARRR YOU!!! PRAISE THE SOX!!!

Dave, you’re an f-ing genius!

Beckett tomorrow for the AL East lead. I like our chances!

I DO BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a great game by the Sox last night. Now, they only have to win 6 of their final 12 to snatch a play-off spot…That’s assuming that the pretenders win all of their remaining games…which ain’t gonna happen…the Yanks have 3 more against the White Sox…3 in Toronto and finish with 3 at Fenway…the Blue Jays have those 3 vs. the Yanks and 3 vs. the Sox over the weekend..the Twinkies have 4 at the Rays this weekend, and then 3 vs. the White Sox next week…the White Sox have 3 more at Yankee Stadium, and then 3 at the Twinkies next week…after the Rays finish the 2 more they have vs. the Sox, the Twinkies come right in for 4 with no breather. Our Sox finish their 5 more game road trip (they are 5-3 in the first 8 of their 13 game Rays/Jays/Rays/Jays adventure) with 7 at home vs. Clevelburg and the Yanks. What a great time to figure out how to win on the road!!! This juggernaut is just chugging along. This could be over early!!!

Hey Dave, your writing has inspired me. I’m going to discuss a project to write a book with my partner in crime at BSBGSM Inc. which will feature your posts along with some of the other characters we have grown to know and love around here. I’m cutting and pasting as I write here. We’re going to split the profits amongst all the bloggers here. The book will be “Ian Browne – What Red Sox Nation Really Talks About”. Chapter 1 – “Dave’s Rants from Yesteryear”. Chapter 2 – “Dave’s Bedside Stories of Red Sox Folklore”. Chapter 3 – “Arnie’s Recipes to Settle Your Stomach When Dice-K is Pitching”. Chapter 4 – “Brian’s Kool Aid Concoctions to Get You Through the Season”. Chapter 5 – “Ellen’s Pom Poms and Other Intimate Secrets Revealed.” Chapter 6 – “Dave’s Jody Foster Fantasies”. Chapter 7 – “Arnie and Roseanne in Paradise”. Chapter 8 – Cfarnham’s Pom Poms and Other Intimate Secrets Revealed” (sorry Craig, you brought it on yourself with all the clapping! LOL!) Chapter 9 – “What Happened to Vince?”

I need some more inspiration Dave. My creative juices have stopped flowing.

Josh Beckett gets to “Ace it Up” tonight. Kazmir completely collapsed under the pressure last night. I don’t think I’ve seen a pitcher so shaken out there since I last saw Craig Hansen, who made a habit of being like that. The Rays have finally come back to Earth and it will be interesting to see if they can handle the real pressure of a pennant race. Of course, the good thing is that they play knowing that they in all likelihood have a playoff berth locked up no matter what. The Sox are a good combination of veteran and young players and some of the veterans have had some time off over the course of the year, so nobody should be really tired.

The Sox are 27-13 without Zazu. Production hasn’t fallen off much with Jason Bay and Youk backing up Papi. However, I think there have been a couple of factors with the Sox recent good play. One has been the bullpen. Masterson has been a HUGE addition out there and adds a whole new level of confidence. Manny D has been very good lately, as has Lopez. Oki has been better than he was earlier in the year, and while Pap has had some shaky outings recently, I think he’ll be OK. I think he loses something if he has to work back to back, and loses a lot if he works three in a row. I certainly would not be afraid to use Masterson in a closer’s role if needed. I also think Masterson has a lot more durability than Papelbon, just because of the way he throws. He has a really nice easy motion. The other factor I think is Jed Lowrey, who has done a super job and produced some key hits.

Garry,

Let’s try too get a piece of Dave’s creative writing here. I would love to retire before 50. lol. I don’t know where he comes up with this stuff but he is talented for sure. Scott Boras might be heading to Nashville very soon to ink him to a lenghty deal.

Very well said with your assesment on the Red Sox. Also another big key is they’re getting production from the bottom of the order. That has been going on for almost a month now. Most of the season the bottom of the order were easy innings for the opponents. Varitek, Crisp and Lowrie have been hitting. Lowrie also is making the simple play in the field something Lugo couldn’t do. As you said Masterson has been huge out of the pen. I really like what I see from him and have from day 1. He is a very mature young man. Now I know why Tony Gwynn talked highly of him. That speaks volumes right there.

Beckett needs too be the ace he is as you say. This is what it is all about. Beckett should be able to give the Sox 100 pitches tonight and maybe a little more. The main guys out of the pen are well rested tonight. Jump the Rays early again, that is the key. Keep this young T.B. thinking out there. Last night’s game was alot of fun! One H.R. after another. B.P. for the Red Sox!

An interesting quote from Coco; he says he enjoys flying under the radar. So maybe he felt the pressure all along. We all thought so. So finally he is relaxed and it turns out he can produce! I think there will be no Coco trade in the off-season. Drew is unable to play an entire season and Coco can find a lot of playing time.

How did I come to be associated with Roseanne??? Well, take one for the team, I guess. Yuck! But Garry, how can there be paradise if Roseanne is there? They are mutually exclusive!

Arnie,

I think your dead on about Crisp. He’ll be in Boston in 2009. Only way I think he is gone if someone offers a deal that Boston couldn’t turn down. I doubt that will happen. I was one of those guys that felt Crisp should have been dealt away but obvioulsy Theo made the right move. Crisp is playing with alot of confidence and looks very relaxed at the plate! His play lately has really helped Boston. As the season goes deeper and deeper you need production from everyone on the team. Drew is obviously one of those guys that can’t make it thru an entire season. Drew did carry this team in the month of June and we shouldn’t forget that. Ortiz went down and Drew elevated his play. If Drew didn’t, where would this team be? I am glad we are not wondering.

I am looking forward to the Sox hitting Sonnastine hard. They made him look way too good last Wed. night at Fenway.

The Sox win would have a detrimental effect on the young Rays. I don’t think the Rays unlike a veteran team like the Sox can absorb the shock of having their ace shelled by the Boston Bombers.
Tonight we are not going to let Sonnanstine get away like he did last outing. The Rays show sign of wilting comes September. The young arms are getting fatigue.
Coco has been filling in brilliantly and deserves to be in the lineup everyday.

Well Arnie, maybe I’ll have to change that chapter to “Arnie’s Roseanne Nightmare and Other Perverted Dreams”.

Coco has been very professional about his whole situation this year. However, he has had his share of down time with injuries as well. At least it seems like the Sox outfield woes have been well timed with a replacement always readily available. That’s just part of the depth and diversity this whole Sox team has shown this year. Lowrie, Cora, and Youk have bounced all over the infield and Ellsbury has shown the ability to play equally well in any outfield position. The same has been true with the batting order where it has been leadoff and cleanup by committee this year. Out of necessity, it has been a real team effort and players have made personal sacrifices for the good of the team. It’s a great thing to see in today’s professional sports environment.

I think was impressed me the most was the organization’s willingness to part with Zazu, at what was really a substantial cost, to give the Sox a better chance to win. I really believe that if Zazu showed up with a “take care of business” attitude, the Sox would have been better off to keep him. However, that obviously wasn’t the case and it wasn’t going to be. It would have been more costly to try to hold his feet to the fire. It’s very unusual for players to not take another player’s side, but we saw that with this team. If you want to know the truth, I believe that’s why you have seen Lugo disappear into obscurity. He was a big Zazu advocate.

Red Sox Line up:
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, LF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Mike Lowell, 3B
6. Mark Kotsay, RF
7. Jed Lowrie, SS
8. Jason Varitek, C
9. Coco Crisp, CF

Jason Bay is out of the lineup. Is Jason OK or is Tito is playing lefty v. righty? With Beck on the hill, I would rest Lowell since his back is not 100% and play the left hitting Casey instead. Coco is productive and being a switch hitter deserves to be playing everyday.

This one was hard to write and make funny and hopefully it works.

Father Tim…hopped through the dusty turf and landed inside the cabin of Ellen Margaret Hooligan tearing up what was left of his knee in the process. He stepped inside wondering what sins he had committed walking into a female’s house but this was Ellen and he was celibate and taking so many pain killers he barely was able to focus anymore anyway.
She stood there weeping into her Red Sox jersey with Casey on the back of it. He could see the pain her in face from missing Casey and not wearing a respirator when running the table saw.
Ellen was a diligent soul who was abandoned by father and mother and lived in orphanages before being left on the street at 16 selling rusty nails and dirt just to have a meal to eat. She joined Louisville Slugger and worked her way up from the dirt of the streets to a prominent role of head nurse. It was then she fell in love with baseball player Donald Casey Penopscot. She loved him and picked out his first bat of purple heart – the love bat as she called it. They fell in love and it was a good time. It was also a good thing that she married him one month later. Migrane was making passes at her and the latest was disgusting. He was dressed in diapers and a pacifier trying to win her affections but he made a horrible error — Migrane forgot to change the diaper.
Father Tim hopped to the chair and sat down smashing into the wall. He took a deep breath. He had once dreamed of being a major league pitcher having invented what he called the ‘knuckleball’ that baffled hitters but then decided that only a total moron would think you could make it on the knuckleball anyway.
“Thank you for seeing…father…What happened to your right arm?”
“You noticed?”
Father Tim sighed. How did she find out?
“Father…what happened to your right arm?”
“It was in the mess tent. I saw a young man who had just lost his arm on a lathe. He was only fifteen. What could I do but give to others?”
Margaret Ellen fell to her knees and kissed his hands.
“You are so…strange.”
Father Knuckles Tim sighed. Wouldn’t any good soul give away multiple body parts at the risk of great infection and serious trauma when the need arrived?
“I’m not good Margaret…I’m just Father Tim Knuckles, donated leg, donated kidneys, donated eye, donated left arm, donated stomach, donated gal bladder and spleen and donated bone marrow Wakefield. I’m just doing what every altruistic and demented preacher would do when the need arrives.”
“Yes…I can understand the demented part all right.”
Margaret sighed and got up offering Father Tim some 100 proof to which he drank with gusto that eased the pain from all the scars on his body.
“Now Father…with Donald gone…I feel so…”
“Desperate to have a large family of fifteen. I understand.”
Ellen seemed to have that smile you have when someone extracts all your teeth from your mouth.”
“Fifteen?”
Father Tim tapped her head. “I understand Mrs. Donald Casey. I understand. If you want twenty…you can do that.”
Margaret Ellen then grabbed the 100 proof and gulped down some herself before grabbing some morphine and injecting herself with it.
“Oh a papertowel holder. The cook has been looking for one!”
Ellen grabbed the black object from Father Tim and threw it to the side.
“Ellen!”
“Father, “said Ellen grabbing his knuckles. “That’s…that’s not a paper towel holder…it’s a…special…drill bit for cutting…things…anyway… Father…listen…I need your help today OK.”
“Of course, “said Father Tim.
“I have not seen Donald Casey in over a month. I’m lonely without him and…did you really mean twenty children?”
“Oh Ellen you can have nineteen is that works for you better. We’re flexible.”
Father Tim tapped her head again and sighed. Margaret Ellen was such a good soul. It was like himself. By giving his remaining kidney away this morning meant a life for another human being and the small side effects of painful and grueling dialysis and death in five years never crossed his mind once.
“Father have you ever thought about getting some mental help?”
Father Tim smiled in response.
“In high school I was part of the children’s relief fund and gave to the peace corps before heading overseas and helping the poor and starving. It was there I rebuilt an entire village living off of caffeine medications and scraps of garbage because I wouldn’t let a child starve. It’s why I have false teeth nowadays as well as the loss of my stomach. I have to eat fifteen small meals a day but it’s worth it for it reminds me of the hunger of others. “
“Father…you’re…f…”
“A saint. I know. I hear it all the time. Ah.”
Father Tim paused and looked around the room.
“Oh Ellen. Look at this. Warm clothing for cold souls…and it’s so shiny. How do you get such a shine and look they come with black hoods…”
“Father, “said Margaret almost snapping his neck off twisting it away from the suit said, “Father…those aren’t warm suits…they’re…they’re…ah…balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Now I need your help to get my mind off of Donald Casey and Red Sox games aren’t doing it…and I need your help.“
Father Tim felt so inadequate. He had no idea what to say about the situation but took his left arm and patted his knuckles on her hair.
“Ellen…that must be a slippery chair to have all those straps on it and what are those wires for…an electric blanket?”
“Father, “screamed Ellen, “let’s stop looking around the room. I mean…the point is…”
Father Tim’s room had a chair made from an old rock, dried seaweed for a bed and an old blanket made from an old Red Sox shirt found in Yankee Stadium donated to him. He believed in abject poverty and absolute suffering.
“Margaret…why are the sleeves so long on your jacket?”
“Father…pay attention…please.”
Father Tim reached over and grabbed some hand cream before Margaret took it away from him.
“Father…that’s for…ah…cooking. Let’s focus here!”
“you have a lot of clothespins. We have dryers.”
“Father, “screamed Margaret who had the sudden red glare on her face. “Father…I think I feel better now. I can safely say I feel much better now…really. Why don’t you go home and call it a night.”
“Of course, “said Father Tim. “Glad I could be of help.”
Father Tim felt dizzy but recovered as he got up. He had unfortunately given a pint of blood that morning before the kidney and arm operation as well as the bone marrow transplant and as he got up he fell back down on the floor and passed out. Margaret reached over and held him.
“Hawkeye!” screamed Margaret.
Hawkeye ran in and starred around the room.
“Hawkeye…Father Tim…”
Hawkeye ran over and looked at the Father.
“My goodness Margaret. He’s in bad shape. Let’s get him to surgery…now!”

TO BE CONTINUED:

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