O'Canada

Up here in Toronto, where the weather is magical for those of us who love the crisp, Autumn air.

Speaking of magic, this is the time of year where magic numbers dominate the topic of conversation.

The Red Sox, entering play today, have a magic number of two to clinch a playoff berth. Simply stated, if the Red Sox win two out of their final nine games, they are in the playoffs, no matter what anyone else does. In other words, it would take the biggest choke in baseball history — and  the most magical comeback in baseball history — for them to be October spectators.

There is a very small chance the Sox could clinch today. This is what would have to happen.

The Red Sox must beat Roy Halladay and the Jays (1:05 p.m. ET game). The Yankees — pitching a young prospect named Alfredo Aceves — must lose their 1:05 game to the Orioles. And then, if those two things occur, either the Twins — facing Scott Kazmir at 3:55 — or the White Sox — playing at Kansas City at 7:10 p.m. ET — must lose.

How do the White Sox — who lead the Twins by 2.5 games in the AL Central — factor into this? Here’s the deal. The White Sox have 68 losses as of today and the Twins have 71 losses. The White Sox and Twins have three head-to-head games left this season which means that if the Twins were to run the table, the White Sox would have to finish with a minimum of 71 losses (72 if they lose today). If the Red Sox win today, the most losses they can have is 71. That’s why a loss by the White Sox or Twins — along with a loss by the Yankees (71 losses) could clinch things for Boston. Get it?

By the way, huge thank you to Jeff Goldberg of Hartford Courant fame for helping me out with this. I hate to break it to Jeff though — I’m still going to rip him apart in fantasy football this year even if he doesn’t know it yet.

As for the news of the day, J.D. Drew remains, at best, in limbo, and, at worst, haunted by the prospect of not playing another the game this season. He just can’t get rid of the spasms. And anyone who thinks that J.D. is dogging it is being unfair. You don’t get multiple injections and epidurals in a desperate attempt to make pain go away if there is no pain. He was extremely dejected last night.

That’s all for now.

Ian.

75 Comments

O.K. Let’s get this started with a new MASH segment. Please READ!

It was early morning…maybe 6:00 am. A late night poker game an extra innings game kept the 4077th up late repairing bats for the next day. Still when the sun beams through the wire mesh of the tent, the baseball bat doctors revive with glee in their eyes.
“B.S, “ said Hawkeye Gary half asleep.
“What, “snapped BoSoxBrian Hunnicut barely able to stay awake.
“Do you see Captain Flagpole here?”
B.S. immediately rose up like the wave of a hurricane and starred into the gleaming, smug and arrogant face of the vial.Captain Flagpole Boris.
“Rise and shine…or do you seen pink when you guys open your eyes!”
“I certainly don’t see green, “said Hawkeye Garry starring into his paycheck.
“Green…glad you’re not one of those kooky environmentalists…commie Hawkeye.”
Hawkeye dropped his check and said, “FlagPole Boris…you do know this 2008 or are you just missing the good old days?”
FlagPole Boris waved his hand in the air and pulled out his glasses and said, “Joke all you want…I’m here for a reason.”
“What’s that, ‘asked BosoxBrian Hunnicut.
“I don’t know, “said Flagpole Boris but then pulled off his glasses and said, “I preserve secrets and the only way to do that is not to know any secrets and that’s what keeps this company great.”
Everyone nodded.
“Where’s Migrane?”
“At Lugo’s, “said Hawkeye Gary.
“What’s he doing there?”
‘They like to play go-fish together. Why don’t you join them? You’re just the kind those two crave.”
FlagPole Boris paused and slammed his fist into his hand.
“True patriots.”
“Ya you could say that, “said Hawkeye Gary putting on his boots.
“Hopefully we’re OK” said BoSox Brian.
“I can’t tell you, “said Flagpole. “I haven’t figure it out yet…but give me time and I will and still have time to play go-fish with Lugo and Migrane.”
“Ya well…have fun.”
The two watched FlagPole storm off out of the place.
“We have to do something about him, “said Hawkeye Gary.
“I agree, “said Bo Sox Brian, “but what.”
Hawkeye leaned back and said,”I have an idea.”
$$$
It was hours later when lunch happened. Flagpole Boris was walking around the mess tent and fell against Arnie the cook.
“Is that food you’re serving…or something else.”
“Depends on the day, “said Arnie.
“What day, “said Flagpole Boris.
Arnie leaned around and checked the powdered eggs with just a dash of salt and pepper.
“When all the company sends me is pickled ding-dongs, creamed bologna ice cream, and candied lizard tail hot dogs you have to wonder what the goal is.”
Boris Flagpole leaned forward and said, “Lugo and Boris told me that they have a lot of uses for pickled ding-dongs.”
“Don’t put that image in my mind Boris Flagpole. I barely was able to get through last weeks meal.”
“What was that?”
“Zazu surprise…and don’t you dare ask me anymore of that. Stomach pumping is not a pleasant time.”
Boris Flagpole smiled and grabbed a can of food.
“Tell me…or I’ll take away your entire supply of this.”
Arnie looked at Flagpole and said, “that’s very nice of you. Please enjoy the barbequed grapefruit sorbet.”
Flagpole put the can back on the shelf and said, “Ingenious. Sorbet that doesn’t have to be frozen. Now I know your secrets. “
Flagpole grabbed it and opened it up. He took two bites and then choked in pain falling on the floor. “did I forget to mention the fermented dog tails in the sorbet?”
Flag forced himself up. He fell against the wall.
“You’re now under the watchful eye of me FlagPole.”
“You’re FlagPole, I’m Arnie.”
Flagpole walked backwards and stepped in the goop.
“That’s the cat liter oatmeal you just ruined and I just added the nutmeg and ginger!”
Flagpole ran out screaming from the cafeteria. Arnie winked at Hawkeye.
$$$
Flagpole wasn’t giving up and walked over to the lounge. He stepped inside and looked around. Klinger Lugo and Migrane were playing postoffice.
“You two…up!”
Migrane and Lugo both starred at Flagpole Boris.
“I meant you two get up…not just a part of you.”
Flagpole then sat down before getting up quickly and starred at the image on the floor.
“Is that…me..in drag…with…bananas?”
“Ready for pealing, ‘said Migrane. “Go Devil Rays. Ha!”
Flagpole then got up as Lugo and Migrane began to play baby time and ran out screaming.
$$$
“You look like someone with a problem, “said Margaret Ellen.
“This entire place is nuts!”
“Well…Flagpole, “said Margaret Ellen. “Maybe we should talk this out…over dinner.”
“No, “shouted Flagpole. “I think I’ve…had enough food for a day.”
“A drink!”
“No, said Flagpole. “What I need is some time with…affection.”
Margaret felt unease and a queezy feeling like when she first tried cat litter oatmeal.
“Sounds like a patriotic thing to do! “smiled Flagpole Boris as he wrapped his arms around her.
“Ah…have you seen the operating room?”
“No…but we can do that, ‘snickered Flagpole.
They walked along. Flagpole followed her to the factory.
“Is this Zazu’s bat?”
Margaret Nodded. Flagpole lifted it up running his hands…down the grease…before putting it down.
“So…what’s that bat?”
“It’s Shawn Casey’s. The first baseman. We just had a great weekend together. “
“You’re…dating…him? Why? His salary is atrocious and he’s a team player. He sickens me. ”
“I know…how exciting…you are…Boris Flagpole…but you see I’m keeping Casey.”
“He’s commie!”
“He’s English”
`”Worse!” cursed Flagpole.
Flagpole Boris paused and looked around.
“Wait…now I get it. You’re all working for…Zazu! It all makes sense now. The inferior Black and Decker tools, the lousy dust collection, the Elmer’s Glue, the biscuit joints…all made with the bottom dollar in mind. “
“What?”
“I don’t have a point, ‘said Boris Flagpole looking baffled as usual. “But if I did…I could let you know it, but if I did then I’d have to kill you because you didn’t know it and that I can’t allow because I know too much and that makes me too dangerous to tell you anything.”
“Glad to see you think like a lobotomy patient.”
Flagpole’s eyes gleamed at a note.
“Ah…a note.”
Flagpole ran over and grabbed it from Ellen.
“What does it say?” asked Ellen.
“It’s in code…”
“I think it’s Spanish.”
Flag smirked. “I think it’s Spanish.”
“It says…that…Zazu will play nice and accept a lower paycheck and is sorry for what he did to the Red Sox and wants to give all his money away to charity.”
“Ah, “screamed Boris Flagpole. “That’s not the American way and he knows it. “
“Sounds like you need to head to Los Angeles and straighten him out.”
“Ya, “said Boris Flagpole. “One billion dollars in two years with half the ownership of Yankee stadium and three new homes. Steinbrenner will pay. They always pay…to Boris and when I’m done with Boris…Colon will get a raise…a very large raise. Ya…Boris Flagpole is back.”
“Not if you’re here!”
“Right, “said Flagpole. “I’m so out of here!”
Hawkeye and BoSox Brian came from behind the curtain.
“Margaret you were beautiful!”
“Boris Flagpole won’t be around any longer. “

TO BE CONTINUED

My gripe of the day, how come the Jays don’t play Sat. night home games? I can’t watch it like most of us.

I certainly don’t think Drew is dogging it but if it wasn’t his back it would have been another injury. He isn’t made for the long haul.

Lester and Halladay again, what a great match-up that was last Sunday in Boston.
Last time Lester pitched in Toronto the Jays knocked him around. Lester had his worst start of the season and maybe his career. I don’t see that happening this time!

Dbenjamin,

Trojans did them in last week in a “BIG” way. Will Troy? Upset special???? lol.

Saturday’s in Toronto not kind to Lester.

That’s it JB. Back in the ballgame

Great story Dave.

Sox are getting pitches to hit but are fouling them off. At least that’s how it looks on my blurry computer picture. Maybe next year I’ll get the mlb premium. If business is good, that is.

BJ announcers are whining about the umpires. Didn’t anyone tell them that complaining about those things is OUR job?? The fans complain, not the announcers. Take a cue from Remy, he’ll say, “well he might have an arguement”, and leave it at that.

Wells plays like Mays against the Sox. Nice catch in center. Not spectacular, but nice.

Sox can’t get a clutch hit. It’s frustrating.

B.J. Ryan isn’t the dominating closer he has been in the past. Boston should be able to get something going in the 9th. I am envy of you Arnie, watching the game. No game here in Florida.

Don’t lose any sleep over this game. I figued it this way. Coming into this series with Burnett then Halliday pitching. If we split these two games it would be the best we could do. Tomorrow could be the clincher.

Quite true agenv86 but that is the kind of pitching you will see in the playoffs.

Yup and that is a whole different concern with this team. Besides our bullpen that is shaky at best right now.

Sox can win tomorrow and take 2 of 3. That will be a good thing, especially considering how the BJ’s have handled the Sox in recent years in Toronto.

Tommorrow IS another day!!! No one ever told us that this was going to be easy!!!
I think that the cardiologists in the Nation are going to be making alot of money here in the next couple of weeks…
Congrats to Lou Pinnella (did anyone know that he was All-American In BASKETball in high school and that he was the 1st player to go to bat for the Kansas City Royals?I didnt)and the Cubs!! I think that all of us can relate to their past heartaches and heartbreaks. I cant wish them TOO much luck though…. lol.
Another day game tomorrow..
*** Dave, that was a great piece today!!! Keep em coming, my husband is loving them as much as I am!!!

Nice job by Jon Lester today. Didn’t have his best stuff, struggled for a couple of innings, then got into a nice groove and kept his team in the game. But for a timely hit in the 7th or 8th inning, he might have come out of the game with a no-decision or maybe even a win.

And speaking of timely hitting (not!) someone tell me how Alex Cora is sporting a .277 batting average. Frankly, I don’t believe I’ve seen him get a hit all season.

A tribute. For my next few blog entries I’m paying tribute — and satire to some of the Red Sox players. My first is to Dustin whom I have incredible high respect for and honor him and his integrity for the second baseman that often doesn’t get noticed:

2B – Pedroia.

Dustin Pedroia walked onto the sound stage for the screen test.
“Batman screen test of Dustin Pedroia.”
Pedroia run on the stage and leaped over the barricade. A series of men with machine guns shot at him with rubber bullets but Pedroia weaved and bobbed and dived and avoided each and every bullet. He jumped grabbed the rope and flew across the stage hit the wall and run up the wall to the ceiling. He lunged, grabbed a light, did a summersault and fell to the ground thirty feet rolling to a stop.
“Cut!”
Pedroia got up sweating and huffing and puffing.
“Dustin…you’re just not talented enough.”
Pedroia stood confused and said, “what?”
The crew seemed distracted and confused.
“Dustin, “said the director. “let’s face it. You have no coordination or skill at being a costumed superhero. No writer will acknowledge your performance so give it up.”
Dustin felt the exhaustion but burned because of the reaction of it all.
“Hey…I deserve to be noticed. I’m worth it.”
The place went silent and Dustin left the stage, dejected and somber but knowing that in the end he really was a special person…if only someone would notice. He fell against the wall looking at the next audition.
“Your name?”
“Zazu!”
“Begin.”
Zazu tried to dive against the bullets but became a human target getting fifteen rubber bullets in his chest. He then veered left and then right tripping on the stage sending a light fixture to the ground. He got up and ran to the wall and smashed against it.
“Cut.”
Zazu walked forward huffing and puffing and then laughing at how silly he looked.
“I think we found our Batman!”
“Yes, “screamed Zazu.”
Dustin stormed on the stage.
“Wait…you chose him over me. I have the talent and I worked so hard at it. Why can’t I get noticed!”
Nobody said anything. Dustin just kicked the light fixture and strolled down the dusty caldron of the back room. He looked back as Zazu signed a contract.
“Dustin…wait up! I already quit the part. I’m sick of management and their sick of me. I want peace.”
Dustin stopped Zazu and said, “you just signed a contract. How is that possible?”
Zazu smiled and said, “ya…and they’re gonna pay me even if I don’t act in a play. It rocks!”
Dustin looked back in disgust and wondering what kind of a crazy game this was anyway.
“You know what sickens me most. Is that hard working and talented people get rolled over by idiots like you. That’s what sickens my stomach.”
Zazu smiled and said, “hey…not my problem!”
Dustin couldn’t respond but walked out of the studio. He had his integrity. That was more important to him that shiny cars and fancy contracts anyway. This was Dustin Pedroia — a real talent and a great person and he knew it.

p.s. more MASH to come. Just needed a break.

This one is to Lugo who gave us an unimaginable display of three stooges game play.

SS – Lugo:

“All right men. This is the…ah…there he is!”
The entire squad cheered and roared as the man in black formed in line. The sergeant patted him on the back. The smile from Lugo filled the room with excitement.
“All right. This is the most dangerous assignment we have ever tackled but I feel better now that we have this man here. Lugo…”
“Yes Sir!”
“Are you ready to lead all these men!”
“Yes sir, “screamed Lugo!”
“Are you ready to use the most unstable weapon ever developed by mankind where only an athletically coordinated and supremely talented man can handle!”
“Yes sir because I am the most talented and coordinated man for the job!”
The sergeant squeezed into Lugo and pressed his sweaty brow in his nose.
“Then why is it Lugo that when you worked as a roofer your entire crew got more nails in their bodies then you got on the roof!”
“Ah…”
“And why is it Lugo that when you worked as an egg handler, the company suffered a 98% loss in egg production…handling eggs.”
“Ah…”
“And why is it Lugo that when you worked as something as harmless as an electrician you had a crew loss that was higher than the entire death row of the United States?”
“Ah…I don’t know sir…but…”
“Never mind Lugo, “smiled the sergeant. “What matters is that you are here and that you will be doing this solo. A true hero!”
“Solo…sir?”
”That’s right. Show us what you are made of sir…without wetting your pants.”
“Ah…yes sir…sir.”
Lugo then took the weapon in hand and gripped it hard. He ran out of the room to the cheers of the crew. They all drew a collective breath including the Sergeant.
“Glad that’s over.”
Lugo then came back pointing the weapon at the crew at point blank range and said, “Sir is this the on switch?”

This is a tribute to Mike Lowell — truly the most tenacious and gutsy player of the team.

3B – Lowell.

Secret Agent Lowell faced his most deadly enemy – a ten ton monster with horns and fire for breath. He was completely outnumbered but held his face up and said, “go on…make my day!”
The monster struck once and smashed Secret Agent’s legs and then crushed his ribs sending him to the ground.
“You…think…you have me…but you don’t…because I have…backup.”
Backup agent Zazu was sitting in a restaurant eating cherry sauce over sweet ice cream.
The monster grabbed Lowell and threw him against the wall with a bone crushing smash.
“You…think…you…have…me…but you don’t…because…I…have…backup.”
The monster grabbed Lowell and kicked him down the alley. Lowell was in horrible pain but pulled himself up and said, “you…think…” Lowell fell to the ground but stuck it out. He got up again and said, “I’m going…to…kill…Zazu.”
Lowell then fell to the ground and said, “tomorrow.”
$$$
The monster left and sat down next to Zazu and ate sweet peas and yogurt.
“You’re backup?, “growled the monster.
Zazu looked back wearing a tuxedo and a gold watch and said, “you know what I am? I know that white wine and lobster go good together and that having ten homes means I lead the good life…and you?”
“Boras…hired killer.”
Zazu leaned back and said, “we should team up!”
“I was thinking the same thing. You got the talent…but I got the muscle but I tell ya…I wouldn’t want to depend on you if my life depended on it”
Zazu laughed and said, “ya…I know what you mean.”
The two walked out and headed into the sunset.

This one is for Dice-K. A pitcher who has a terrible time finding the strike zone. It was hysterical to write this one.

P – Dice-K

Once again they had the deadliest killer holed up in a large apartment building. The SWAT team was sent in targeting their prey. They were the elite. Dice-K, paid the most, was the lead sniper. He hit the roof waiting.
“Dice-K in position.”
“10-4 Dice-K.”
Dice-K aimed his weapon.
“Target in sight!”
“Fire”
Dice-K squeezed the trigger and sent the bullet heading towards the target. He felt sweat stick to his left eye. Another success.
“Target taken care of, “said Dice-K with pride.”
“Ah…sir…that was Mrs. Weathers…the neighbor two doors down.”
Dice-K realized he was allowed a small mistake. He aimed again and fired.
“Target taken care of, “said Dice-K with gleaming pride.”
“Sir.”
“yes”
“The killer won’t be getting any more mail…sir.”
“Yes” shouted Dice-K.
“Sir what I mean is you killed the mailman.”
“Mail…carrier, “said Dice-K always politically correct.
Dice-K aimed again. Right now he had a count of 2 – 0…3 – 0 but he was trying. 4 – 0. If this were baseball that was his first walk.
“Dice-K reloading.”
He got up and fell back down aiming and targeting. This time his frustration got the most of him. He took out two cats, a dog, the fire hydrant, a chimney, a gas tank – that was a real bad idea – a fire truck, two cars, the neighbor’s prize bull terrier, two swallows overhead and a small plane circling the place and a rare bald Eagle. Smoke was fuming from the gun. Dice-K continued before he got his target.
“Dice-K…target acquired?”
“Ya…you got him…ah…we can talk about this later.”
Dice-K got up and smiled before falling back down.
“Sir.”
“Dice-K here…”
“Next time…just take one shot…not fifty two.”
“Fifty two?”
“Well…it was fifty six…but who’s counting.”
Dice-K walked off the roof, sweat and brine covering him. He walked down the ladder and fell to the ground. A crowd poured around him…then Mr. Weathers made it to the front row and Mr. Weathers never missed his target.

This one is for Colon. He had a small part in this season and gets a small write up.

P – Colon
“Welcome to the Colon cooking show. First we’re going to make ah…chicken. Here’s some chicken and here’s some ah…potatoes. Put them together and you get chicken and potatoes. Now before you get too excited because I know I am, let’s make it Italian and…ah…well…that’s all for the Colon cooking show. Join me next week when I try something new. It’s called the Colon woodworking show. “
Colon walked left of the camera.
“Ah…that’s all really. I’m done. “
Colon then walked right of the camera.
“Get the hint. I’m done. Shut the camera off!”
Colon rolled his eyes and walked off stage. The camera didn’t follow him. The lights went out.

This one is for Jason Bay who comes across as the perfect family man.

LF – Jason Bay

Jason Bay sat down in a bar with Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. They all laughed and joked around munching on nachos, waving to fans and just having a great time.
“Well Jason, “said Mike Lowell. “How do you like Boston?”
Jason who was just finishing his drink placed it down and said, “well…the fans are intense.”
The crew nodded in acknowledgement and Jason knew they understood the situation.
“And the pressure is tough…”
“Ya, “said Youk who drank another beer.
“But…in the end my family and my community really keep me grounded and all the great community service and hospital visits really…they really keep it home you know.”
“Ya, “said a much subdued crew.
“You…have time…” asked David Ortiz
“On my days off and whenever I can. Monday is the community kitchen, Tuesday is homeless children, Wednesday is hospital visits and so on…keeps me happy.”
“Wow, “said the Mike Lowell. “You’re…amazing. “
“Hey…I have my down times. When the fans sent death threats because I didn’t play because my baby was born…that was depressing and being away from my wife and kids…”
“So you do it hu?” asked Mike Lowell
“Do what, ‘asked Jason looking confused.
“You…calm yourself, “said David.
“Oh ya, “said Jason, “I do yoga.”
“No, “interrupted Kevin. “You…take care of business…when you’re not around your wife.”
“Of course…I pay the bills…”
“Jason, “interjected Kevin Youk. “We all have families here…but…you know…can’t always get to a cold shower.”
The pause filled the room and Jason then said, “Oh ya…I get ya.”
“No, “said Jason. “Never had the urge. I just call her up and sing to her on the phone and all that…oh that reminds me. Gotta call my wife. See you guys later.”
Jason left the table leaving the crew in utter confusion.
“He’s a saint, “said Mike Lowell.
“He’s amazing, “said David Ortiz.
“We…could learn from him, “said Kevin Youk.
They paused and said, “how about we make a bet. One hundred dollars…that we give to charity.”
“Charities good, “said Mike Lowell.
“Winner takes all on who can hold out the longest.”
They all nodded and paused starring at each other. They looked around the room. Fans were everywhere. Some waved fingers at them while others ignored them.
“Boston is tough. Tough pressure, “said David Ortiz.
“Ya, “said Kevin. “How we take it I don’t know.”
Mike leaned back and said, “I can’t sometimes…”
They paused another second. Youk put one hundred dollars on the table. David Ortiz and Mike Lowell soon followed. Nobody said anything until Youk coughed and David Ortiz nodded and Mike Lowell rubbed his beard.
“That was fast, “said Mike.
“Very, “said Youk.
“The pressure you know, “said David Ortiz.
Mike signed and said, “not like we wanna play for Pitsburgh…or Texas?”
Everyone coughed and nodded.
David leaned up and said, “does twice mean two hundred dollars.”
Youk nodded and drank a beer.
“Na…you’re…fine.”
“Ya, “said Mike. “It’s…OK…really.”
A pause passed around the table like an order of drinks.
“We should stop at three right?” said Youk.
Mike nodded.
David nodded.
“We play New York tomorrow.”
“Four…I think we stop at four…right?” asked Mike.
“Hey guys, “said Jason Bay who returned to the table and said. “My wife says my new baby burped. Isn’t that great.”
Everyone nodded and moved their hands to their drinks.
“You guys OK?”
“Ah…ya, “said David. “Just thinking about the Yankees game.”
Mike and Youk nodded.
“Wow…that’s going to be exciting isn’t it. I’m just glad that after the game, I get to visit poor Billy in the hospital. Should be a great time.
“four, “said David.
“that makes five, ‘said Mike.
“Sore, “said Youk.
“Well, “ said Jason. “You guys can join me.”
“Ah, “said David. “another time…I’m kind of sore too.”
“Whew, “said Jason. “I know those injuries. Tough things.”
“Ya, “said Mike.
Jason walked off waving to fans. Some threw fingers at him but somehow he shrugged it off.
“We really need to be more like Jason Bay, “said Mike.
“Ya…we sure do, “said David.
“I agree, “said Youk. “After the Yankees series.”
They all nodded to each other as the night wore on.

Congrats to T.B. for clinching a playoff spot. Who would have thought that when the season started? I thought T.B. would finish .500. Yankees payroll at 200 million and they’ll be watching the playoffs like me. Red Sox payroll at 133 million and they’ll get the wild card. Goes too show you what good pitching,defense and a solid bullpen can get you. Also some timely hits as well. T.B. gives hope to the other smaller market teams. Good scouting can/will go a longgg way! Kudos to the front office of T.B. and to Joe Maddon as well. Maddon the run away choice for manager of the year. Enough of them. lol.

The Red Sox have a chance to win another series in Toronto. If Boston win today, that means they would have went 7-3 against the Jays in the last month or so. Toronto has had Boston’s number in the last few years. Last road game for the Red Sox. Where did this season go? It seems like yesterday I was watching the Red Sox at 6:00 a.m. in Japan. Time flies they say, a sign of age. LOL!!

BsB: I agree with you regarding The DevilRaysDevilRaysDevilRays… I just wonder what they’ll (their F.O.) do next year…. will they hang on to people or will they be a chop-shop like the Marlins have done each time they had a great season…. That’ll be interesting to see.
I think that Dave must have had TOO much caffieine yesterday or a strong bout of insomnia. Great reading and insight, especially the Tribute to Pedroia.

OK, I know I do a lot of comedy but this one is entirely serious. It’s a tribute to our beloved manager.
Terry Francona – a tribute

It was 5 – 3 Devil Rays in the ninth. Papelbon wasn’t at his game. Terry was chugging water but it didn’t help. He heard a thumping on the roof.
“If I was the manager, I’d drill holes in my brain rather than put that piece of #$A#4 up there.”
Terry didn’t like the sound. It pounded his already bone crushing migraine headache. The runned made it home. The Sox lost the game. The fans groaned as if their entire life came to an end.
Papelbon walked into the clubhouse as fans cursed Francona’s name. Francona had to comfort him and be optimistic. He had to cheer him up and encourage him. He had to get him to ignore the boos. Fortunately Papelbon was able to muster most of the chaos but even he was human. It was part of being in Boston Francona told himself.
Of course after every game you have the press. No time sit and sulk. Francona walked to the press room. He sat down unable to get the headache away from him.
“The Sox have lost four in a row – does that bother you…or is this par for the course.”
Francona sighed at the question. The press was ripe today and was sending its blades right at him.
“Well, we hit low spots just like every other team. We’ve got to refocus…”
“Do you think you can?”
Francona shook his head wondering why the vultures were so hungry today of all days.
“We have a good team and great players. It’s unfortunate…”
“Do you think Papelbon should continue to be the closer?”
Francona sighed and felt the knot in his stomach twist and turn.
“We’re sticking with Papelbon yes. He has great days too.”
Francona said it and wanted to remind everyone that ballplayers that do well are praised but are treated like six month old milk in the refrigerator when they slip up. That was Boston.
“Sir…what are the playoff hopes now that the critical game was destroyed by your choice in Papelbon.”
Francona smiled but the forced smile was worse than no smile at all. Sometimes he imagined the room might catch on fire and end his misery but then nodded in acknowledgement. They had their jobs too and were expressing the anguish of the fans whose hopes live and die by pennant races and close games.
“There is always hope and I assure you…we’re struggling now but we also have the team that can turn itself around.”
The words rippled through his spine. He wasn’t sure of that but he had to play the game but after four losses he had no sense of humor nor did he possess a witty comeback line. Instead he begged for his mental bladder to be empty of these creatures of the night.
“Sir…the fans are demanding that perhaps…”
Now it was the old ‘play manager’ questions. Over and over again they would outguess and outthink you. Sometimes they were right but often they were short sighted but when you’re down four games you’re really not sure about anything. Confidence is built on success and grit it built on failure but in Boston grit is the only way to survive in Boston.
“Sir…do you think Beckett…”
$$$
It was an especially long press conference. They always are after a tough loss. Francona hit his favorite hangout – the hotel room. He didn’t go out anywhere. He learned long ago that the public was going to nag you and outguess you. Some were nice but when you lose in Boston, even the most ardent fan loses patience. Boston was like no other city. It bore the scares of years of frustration and that won’t heal with two World Series wins. It will help but an entire generation of fans must past through the night before healing begins. He sipped his tea and his water and leaned back against the pillow. Cops was on tonight. He liked Cops. It was mindless entertainment and it was readily available T.V.
John Lester tapped on the door. Francona smiled – family is made everywhere you go. Lester was a good son and even on bad days Francona felt better at his presence.
“Should be a good game tomorrow.”
Francona didn’t want to hear the word game but it was expected.
“You’ll do great!”
Francona couldn’t believe how hard that was to say. After four games in a row, the pressure was on Lester. The father becomes the son and the son becomes the father.
“You get some sleep, “said John reading Terry’s weariness.
Francona nodded. Lester got the message. The door closed and Francona watched cops. He shut it off after ten minutes and looked through the lineup card for the fifteenth time. He made notes to himself and for the next hour he planned tomorrow’s game and the next ten after that. How erratic the season was but 2008 was the worst. Japan, everyone’s favorite Los Angeles Dodger player, flu, colds, injuries and the ever present demands of winning.
All Terry could do was plan the next game. It was the only control he had today. He planned until his head hurt and then thought of the family he was without again because of the game. It was always the game. There was nothing but the game. Even laundry would wait because of the game…but that was Boston.
Francona leaned back and said, “they don’t pay managers enough to do this.”
He munched on some apple listening to the crisp sounds of chewing that distracted him from tomorrow’s game. Lester would have to pitch a shutout the way the bats were silent. Lester can do it…but why should he half to. That’s what hitting is all about. Nobody can imagine what eight innings can do to a man on the mound. Every batter can take you out of the game. The perfect pitch misses and you let it dig at you for the next four days. The perfect slider hangs and you’re out of the game awaiting the press as you explain your mistake amongst teammates who try their hardest not to notice. Why in the world does anyone do this game? Why in the world would you put yourself through it? Other people have this pressure but they don’t have a billion people knowing your every move. You can’t hide anything in baseball…it stick out like a spike in the road.
Francona sighed and let those thoughts drift into the night. He listened to the air conditioner. Why don’t hotels have central air instead of room by room control? They’re noisy and they keep you awake at night.
Francona looked at the lineup and planned out tomorrow. Hot hitting David Ortiz was still struggling with his wrist and Lowell was a walking injury. Drew had back problems and…
Francona turned back on the TV and looked at cops and watched another arrest. It got his mind off his problems. It let him go to sleep.

Ellen — it was insomnia. I must confess that our retirement fund died after the U.S. financial crisis so this got my mind off my worries.

Please guys at least read the one about Francona. It’s good writing — give it a change — O.K. BosoxBrian (LOL)

Dave,

Great writing. I think Ian should look out here.

Ellen,

T.B. has some of there core guys locked up. Only one’s that aren’t locked up is Crawford and Upton. I don’t think Garza is as well. Longoria, Kazmir, Shields, Pena are locked up. The Marlins will have another fire sale this year, alot of there players are up for arbitration.

IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO BELIEVE!!!
LET’S GO REDSOX, LET’S GO!!! CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!
DEVILJAYS, DEVILJAYS, DEVILJAYS, LOSE LOSE LOSE!!!

Not impressed with this kid Richmond. His numbers are horrible and I can see why. Boston should be able to knock him around today!

thanks bosoxbrian. It means a lot. Tough time for our family financially since the crisis hit. Bit scared. We spend within our means but we have a lot of our money in stocks — need I say more.

That Ortiz HR is a good sign. He’s been hitting a few lately

Really nice piece there Dave… Ian hould watch out.. especially if he ventures away from reporting!!, or you venture into it!!!!
Kotsay finally gets a hit and it gets wasted. That is a bat we are really going to need to get hot in the next week or so…..
I can’t believe that we have only eight games left.. Where has the time gone…. I can’t believe I will have watched 159 games (and listened to the other 3) by the time next Sunday wraps things up…. (no life I guess you could say) Whether we won or lost, when I’m watching I feel a mix of emotions.. They range from being 5 or 6 and the excitement of seeing my favorite guys (all) take the field. The field itself, especially when the games are at Fenway… The inane superstitions that I allow myself to carry on with… Anger when we mess up.. Total elation when we make a great comeback.But the most powerful emotion I feel is the feeling of warmth… I think that comes from all of the other emotions combined and the sense of family and loyalty that Our Sox inspire… that comes with being a member of the REDSOX NATION.

Thanks Ellen,
It means a lot. I’m really proud of that piece. If I was to publish I’d tighten up the story, etc. but as-is it really works. There is also an inside joke. My brother-in-law used to travel around the country as a blues singer. He always talked about watching COPS because no matter how grimy the hotel room was there was always cops on the air and it was something mindless to watch so I added it to Francona’s character.

Awfully quiet on the board — ah, I know why. You’re all readying the stories I posted — you guys rock! (LOL)

DEVILRAYS DEVILRAYS DEVILRAYS are down 4-1.. magic number for the division is 6…. lets make this as hard as possibel for them, while helping our own cause!!!!
LET’S GO REDSOX LET’S GO!!! CLAP CLAP CLAP!!
BSB CLAP FOR ME OKAY???

Looks like I’m going to have to do some extensive stretching excercises with Mr.Casey…. He is looking a bit tense and still at the plate!!

You go Ellen.

Nice start for Dice-K. This might be one of his best starts of the season.

If the Sox don’t have Drew for the playoffs, that’s bad enough. But I think a greater loss would be Lowell. Casey or Cora just can’t pick up the slack, and I think Lowrie’s a better hitter with Lowell in the lineup.

I was just thinking…..if the Sox had a 2 1/2 game lead with the Devil Rays on my butt I would be nervous as usual. I am not ready to give up the division yet. The Sox still have a chance both mathematically and realistically. I don’t think the Sox have settled for the Wild Card just yet either.

I have been thinking the same thing about the Wild Card… I think their approach is sneak softly and swing a big stick!!!

Had a chance to watch the Dodgers-Giants game last night. Big night for Manny-Child with 2 home runs, but I get a sense that he just doesn’t get the audience for his hot-dogging silliness anymore. The quality of the showboating has diminished, presumably because 99.9% of the world is asleep when the Dodgers are playing on the west coast. And a good proportion of the remaining 0.1% who care about the NL west probably have the Dodgers on TV while they’re sleeping! (Man, that is one boring baseball team!).

Observation. In the 3 hr broadcast, I don’t believe Vin Skully stopped talking even for one second. Doesn’t this guy ever breathe? Somebody needs to get a colour commentator to poor ol’ Vin, his voice gets a little tiring after awhile.

Cleveland can be tough but the Sox have put together a very decent September thus far. It would be nice to put the DEVILRAYS in the Wild Card slot just before the post season starts. I have to give them credit though……they have held off every charge that has been thrown at them.

Ron,
I am out here on the West coast and we get the Dodgers regularly and you are right. Watching them play is like watching paint dry and Vin Scully gives you play-by-play on how the paint is drying. I watched the first couple games when ZAZU was traded to them but even that lost it’s luster quickly. I hardly ever watch them unless the cartoon channel is on the blink….then I watch ZAZU for my cartoon fix….even though he’s been on fiire since the trade.

Now….that’s more like the Sox of ’07…quality start….nice bridge to Pappelbon….lights out….Sox win!!!!!! We need to go into the play-offs like this.

You have to be able to win the close ones in October….the bullpen will be crucial.

I’ve been flipping back and forth between this game and the Patriots, who are being totally embarrassed by the Dolphins. Except Ellis Hobbs’ kickoff returns, there isn’t a good thing to be said about the Patriots’ effort today. That was the most pathetic football effort I’ve seen in the Belichick era.

Nice start by Dice-K. Ellsbury seems to be swinging a lot better. Okajima has looked good recently. There are a lot of positive things to be said about the Sox. The Jays are the team most of us thought would the Sox fits over the last month of the season, but the Sox have played very well. I think if the Sox hang on to win this game, they will have won the last four series with the Jays.

With a Yankee loss tonight, the Sox clinch the wild card if they hang on to win today. If that happens, I think Tito and the Sox deserve a lot of credit. They have hung tough through a lot of trying situations. Look at the lineup and rotation today compared to what it was expected to be at the beginning of the season. Gone are Zazu, Drew, Lowell and Lugo. If I told you on April 15th that by the 1st of September, all those players would be gone, how much of a chance would you have given the Sox. I still don’t like some of his situational management, but overall, good job Tito.

As for the division, I think the Sox should play cautiously for the division. They should play hard, but I just don’t think they ought to kill anyone to do it and I think the focus from here on out should be to line up the pitching rotation for the post season. The thing that makes that easier to do is that there will be a couple of days off between the end of the season and the start of the playoffs. So if they did have a chance to win the division, they could pitch their starters through to the end ……. except no way does Beckett get two starts. Other than the fact that Drew and Lowell likely won’t be avaialbe for the post season, the Sox end the season in pretthy good shape.

Wow, what a great game, maybe a preview of what to expect from the Sox in the playoffs? Solid start, solid fielding, solid relief work, a couple of timely hits, some smart baserunning (Pedroia), some more power from Ortiz. Final score was 3-0, but it seemed like the Jays were never really in this game.

Also, season series with the Jays was 9-9. Remarkable, given that the Sox just couldn’t seem to beat the Jays earlier in the season. They took 5 of these 7 games against Toronto in the past week, and 7 of the last 10 games against the Jays. Outstanding!

Garry,
I agree with you about the play-offs….don’t kill anyone to win the division….but if it’s close….do what it takes. The Sox have put so many line-ups out there lately that it seems they find a way to win no matter who is there. I think they need to continue that this week and see what happens. No 3 days rest garbage or any of that….just play like they have been. I’d rather face the White Sox than the Angels but either way….I think the road to the WS goes through Anaheim.

NIce, Nice game by Matsuzaka today.. 2 of 3 from the Jays.. Things could ABSOLUTELY looking a whole helluva lot worse!!!
IDOBELIEVE!!!
and I hope THE DEVILRAYS DEVILRAYS DEVILRAYS L O S E!!!!

On the RedSox home page they have a poll. “Who is the MVP for September… I have voted a couple of times. I was just looking at the results.. If you add up all the percentage points it adds up to 101 percent!!!! Only in the RedSox Nation do we givemore than100%!!!!!!

A ho hum win for the Red Sox. Not the most exciting game too watch. Dice-K with a solid start. He actually threw over 100 pitches thru 7 innings and not 5 or 6 innings. Ortiz with another H.R. Going the other way. I can’t even think when the last time Ortiz went the other way for a H.R. It has been a while.It looks like Ortiz’s H.R. stroke is here and at the right time. Also the pen was solid again just like it was on Friday night. Papelbon looked like the Papelbon we have all loved. The Red Sox are coming together at the right time. I agree with cfarn, the road to the World Series goes thru Anaheim. Might as well play them right out of the gate and have Beckett on the hill for game #1. Obvioulsy the Angels will not choose the longer series in rd. 1. Sciossia and the Angels are not that dumb. lol. Here’s hoping they do choose the longer series!

I agree with you Garry about the Pats effort today. Absolutely pathetic!! If you can’t stop the run in the N.F.L. you will go nowhere. It doesn’t matter who your q.b. is. I think I could have ran for a T.D. against the Pats. They got pushed around up front. The Dolphins dominated the Pats on both sides of the ball. I wouldn’t want to be at practice this week. Belichick will be in a foul mood, he is not the nicest guy even when they win. Most expensive tickets in the league. I don’t think the fans got their money’s worth. LOL!!

I don’t know if any of y’all saw the ceremonies for the closing of YANKEE STADUIM but… even though I am A SOX FAN through, it was moving… Don Larson and Mighty Whitey on the same mound?? That’s something.. and don’t forget….. The RedSox made a lot of those memories at Yankee Stadiuma lot of history there.
but on a Villainous note… Damn I hope that the next foreclosure in the US in on that BILLION dollar plus home….
OKAY, I KNOW THAT’S MEAN BUT….

Am watching the game now. When they had Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra up in the booth it was a riot!!!!!! I am enjoying all the historical tidbits being thrown out during the game. It’s almost like listening to Garry on this blog. Ha Ha!!!!!!!

I think the most amazing thing to me is the fact that Mickey Mantle only missed hitting a fair ball out of the park by 18 inches against a pitcher who was trying to get him out. Josh Hamilton was hitting absolute meat in the home run derby and did not hit one out.

Another young man by the name of Josh Gibson supposedly hit a fair ball out of Yankee Stadium but that one was never verified. (Negro Leagues catcher who would have torn up major league pitching if given the chance)
Great game to watch tonight.

Actually, Mick’s home run missed by about six feet. However, he’s not the only one to hit that upper fascade in left field. Yaz has also done it, but you never hear about that.

I watched the end of the Yankee-Oriole game, a rather nice tribute by the Yankee players. Quite classy, although I didn’t need to hear Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” repeatedly ad nauseum. At the fourth time around, I had to shut the TV off.

There is something almost sacreligeous about tearing down these old ball parks–Yankee Stadium, Comisky Park, Polo Grounds, Shibe Park, etc. etc. I know I know, they’re not the Egyptian Pyramids or anything. But still, they are a living testimony to a very important part of American culture.

Will the Red Sox continue to be the Red Sox if ever they demolish Fenway for a new McPark? Same thing for the Cubbies and Wrigley Field. These ballparks are national treasures, they should never be demolished.

If the Red Sox ever wanted to build a new stadium to get more gate revenue, what they should do is just build a giant coliseum around Fenway Park. Fans could then go to see the Red Sox AND the Park–Fenway is simply an inextricable part of the Red Sox experience. If you get rid of Fenway, a vital part of the Red Sox would be lost forever.

Didn’t former Red Sox pitching coach Bill Fisher serve up Mantle’s moonshot?

2 out of 3 ain’t bad (courtesy of Meatloaf) at Toronto that was what we hoped for. When Lester was bad he was good, at least not that bad. Knowing Captain Francona, the Sox rotation for the playoffs will be Beckett, Dice-K, and Lester. Dice-K’s road record is 9-0 with ERA 2.9 something. That pretty much assures that the Sox can do no worse than a split at LAA.
Let’s clinch tonight with a win, not with the Yankee loss.

With Beckett on the hill, the Sox will clinch tonight!

Brian, how do you remember all those things? Who gave up which homer, what year such-and-such happened and to whom. Very impressive.

Dave, your writing is great. LOVE IT! When are you going to publish some fantasy novel. I like to read those in bed to relax and go to sleep. Sadly, there ain’t a whole lot else going on in my bed these days except reading and sleeping. Whaaaa Whaaa! Get me some kleenex.

Since Yankee stadium finished its run yesterday, I will give tribute to my all-time favorite Yankee, Lou Gehrig. The greatest Yankee ever. Bar none. Talent, integrity, humility, work ethic. He was a true hero.

GO Beckett!!! GO SOX!!! PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YAHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Arnie,

I remember Bob Costas ( who is a HUGE Mantle fan ) talking about it during the game of the week way back when. I’m not sure if it is Bill Fisher or not but I think it is. Perhaps someone on here can verify who it is. This is what makes baseball a great sport talking about stuff like this.

I agree with cfarn about Ford and Yogi talking in the booth last night. I almost had tears in my eyes listening to them. It will be a very very sad day when Yogi moves on. I love listening to Yogi!! The scooter told both Whitey and Yogi that Jackie Robinson was safe from where he stood at s.s. The problem was Scooter wasn’t even playing s.s. How funny is that. Scooter told them that years later. Great story for sure.

Arnie,

Thank you. I tried sending you a copy of Chapter 1 of my book but the email bounced arnieschmo@hotmail.com

Is that correct or you could send me the correct one. Use daveandtracy@hotmail.com

Arnie, Did you already kick Roseann to the curb???? Oh my goodness….. and she said she was really going to try this time.
Dave, chapter 3 never made it…. can you try again???
I printed out the tentative playoff schedule today… One is a day game… I think I feel an “afternoon flu” coming on for that day! Strange how sometimes you can feel it developing like that, lol! I AM NOT MISSING ONE PLAYOFF GAME… I Haven’t missed a game all year, I’m not going to start now.

Ellen — sent. Dave…

I like how Tito has set up the rotation to try to win the division and start the play-offs strong at the same time. Say what you will…..it hasn’t been easy for him this year and all in all….might be the best job he’s done since he’s been in Boston. Injuries, turmoil, bullpen woes, and whatever else could have happened….he’s kept the team at even keel and always focused. Unlike some managers, he doesn’t add to the problem when the problems arise. There were nights when he wanted to keep the starter in because his bullpen was horrible and he wasn’t sure which way to go and he knew he was in a lot of no-win situations for a long stretch. He has played with the hand that he was dealt with and shut his mouth and remained calm. I’m sure he was frustrated at the deadline when no bull-pen help was acquired but for the most part kept plugging away and kept the heat off his players so they could perform. He gets the most bang for OUR buck out of players who have been filling in for the injured starters. I think the pressure is lifted off those guys because Tito doesn’t look disgusted in the dugout when bad things happen and they know Tito will not embarass them in the public eye. My two cents and I figure this will wake up the Tito bangers!!!!!! Ha Ha!

cfarnham04,
Well put and how I feel as well. Read the story I wrote about Tito and it fictionalizes how I feel about the manager and it’s a honor to write about him in such a positive light. He’s not perfect but who is. Tito’s strength is his long term planning and consistent attitude and demeanor. Who would want to be a manager in Boston anyway>

Okay, Let’s get this party started….. It’s time to take care of business and get in Post Season form. It’s not like we’ve not been here before, and no excuses, just go out and do the job that needs to be done!
IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO BELIEVE!!!
LET’S GO REDSOX, LET’S GO!!! CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!
WOOOOOOOOOOOOO-WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

WTF???? I stepped into the kitchen for a second to toss my peppers and onions and I come back to 0-1, and BASES LOADED????? GET OVER IT!

YES!!!!! That was close and could have been REALLY BAAAD!
HUGE strike out.

Everyone seems to be just 1 step off tonight… not quite firing on all cylinders… They cant be playing like this. We need to CLINCH!!

Bad break for the Sox. Bailey hit that ball hard. I wonder what Tek was thinking about heading to third. Didn’t he have the whole play in front of him?

Another Duh Tek moment

The problem is he isn’t used to being on base

‘This home plate umpire is in love with the outside corner on left handed hitters. Lowrie took two strikes that that could just as easily have been called balls. I’m not saying they were bad calls, I’m just saying that he has a very wide strike zone. However, he has been very consistent with it so Lowrie has to be thinking about protecting the plate in those situations when pitches are that close. It wasn’t too long ago when Ellsbury went through a period when he was being called out on pitches like those. Now he seems to be protecting the plate a little better. You gotta give Bettencourt credit, he made some great pitches.

OK, they put Crisp in for Casey to run. I guess my question is why would Crisp be running.

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