Magic number — 0

Now we can talk playoffs.

Wakefield or Byrd in Game 4 if the Angels choose Division Series A?

What is your roster looking like? Here’s what mine would look like.

Catchers
Varitek
Cash

Infielders
Youkilis
Pedroia
Lowrie
Lowell
Casey
Cora

Outfielders
Bay
Ellsbury
Crisp
Drew
Kotsay

DH
Ortiz

Pitchers

Beckett
Lester
Matsuzaka
Wakefield
Byrd
Papelbon
Okajima
Masterson
Delcarmen
Lopez
Timlin

Which series will Anaheim take? Do they view it as an advantage to pitch Lackey and Santana twice in the series, or would that be playing into the Red Sox’s hands with Beckett and Lester?

The intrigue continues.

104 Comments

That’s it Carter! 4-0

What a great first inning. Happy happy. Joy joy. I was worried they’d suffer a let-down, but nope, they are relaxed and pummeling Carmona. I love it. Now Byrd can do his thing and throw strikes.

has anyone ever seen a 51-pitch inning before?

Ian,
I think Garry had a 65 pitch inning for the Seattle Pilots in 1969.

Don’t look now……Orioles 6 TB 0. I haven’t given up yet.

Dice-K seems to throw about 50 pitches per inning and nobody scores.

The Sox are looking like the Bad News Bears……… and Paul Byrd is tossing batting practice.

Craig, I don’t think I ever threw 65 pitches in an inning, and probably not even 51. However, there were some innings that just went on forever and it seemed like I must have thrown 100 pitches.

In Carmona’s defense, the Sox hit some good pitches. It wasn’t like he was all over the place or walking the park. He made some good pitches and was a little unlucky as ground balls found their way through the infield.

Ian,

I agree with most of your post season roster but there are a couple of changes I might make. I’d have to give some thought to Kotsay. He hasn’t done much lately. I’d

I also don’t think you need five starters so I might lose Byrd or Wakefield and my choice would likely be Byrd. He served his purpose. He came here, made some starts and ate up some innings. In a five game series, you’ll probably never see a fourth starter, nevermind a fifth. I would likely substitute David Aardsma to bolster the pen.

I also don’t think Mike Timlin will play much of a role, but his veteran presence will be good for a very young Sox bullpen.

Yes Dave, and Its really starting to “kind of” make sense to me…. don’t judge too harshly, remember, I’m a blonde!!

Ellen, can I send you Chapter 4??? Please, please! I welcome also any feedback (tighten up here, more explanation here, change this, etc. Don’t be afraid to help me out!
Thanks…

Dave…

Arnie, they heard your comment regarding a let down and they are headed there… tie score.. but… since it’s a new thread…. STILL.. IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO BELIEVE!!!!!
LET’SGOREDSOXLET’SGO!!! CLAPCLAPCLAP!!!!
WOOOOOOOOOO-WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
COME ON GUYS WIN OUT!!!

Sure Dave… I’d love to read it when ever you’re ready…. but I need a little more time before I can help with suggestions…

Hey Dave, where’s my chapter one? Just sub yahoo.com for the hotmail. Oh no, now I’ll get nasty emails from Fagan! I guess that’s what the delete button is for.

Sox need some runs, lot’s of ‘em. Byrd is looking like me out there, except I’m MUCH more handsome, hehe.

I wonder how many pitches Feldman threw for Texas in the first inning of that 19-17 game when he gave up 10 runs? It must have been something close to 51.

Mike Timlin has gone to the long pants. Maybe that will change his luck.

About time he’s wearing long pants!

I think Timlin is the only guy on the Sox who’s number corresponds to his age.

Ian, I went back and counted. Feldman also threw 51 pitches for the Rangers in that 10 run first inning. So we’ve seen it at least twice this year.

It must be getting chilly up that way, Mikey T. has on LONG pants tonight and I see some sweaters in the stands… Oh how I would love to have something below 88 degrees and 96 percent humidity….

Heard and interesting stat about Zazu today. He is the 2nd player in history to have 50 RBI’s in each league in the same season. Carlos Beltran was the other in 2004. What a shame that whole Zazu story is. What a waste.

Ellen, it’s 68 degrees here in Jax right now. High tomorrow is expected to be 75. It is beautiful.

Do you remeber how they used to call Pete Rose “Charlie Hustle”??? I think that our “Petey” desreves a nickname like that because all he EVER does IS HUSTLE!!!!….

Ellen, where did you come up with Petey? Why not Dusty? LOL!

I think the Sox are going to win this game. They’ll score a couple in the 8th and take the win.

“Wont you come home Jeff Bailey, wont you come home!!”

Petey is what Tito started calling him at the beginning of his rookie season… (that and RATBOY!!) I guess from the 1st three letters of his last name.. ??? and MV Dustin doesnt sound as good as MV PETEY!!

make room Garry, I’m on my way up!!! It is just so humid here!!

Come on… Let him be Dr. Feel Good or Dr. No Hits tonight!!! (I call him Dr. because his initials are MD.. and I don’t want to use his 1st name!!)

Delcarmen, THROW STRIKES!!!! I need some Pepto.

Arnie… Ifyou get some “heated” emails they may be from ME!!!!

To Manny with love, signed the home plate umpire. What a gift!

Go DelCarmen!!

Hey Ellen, my best friend has a condo in St. Augustine …. you and your lesser half can spend a few days there.

WOW!!!! Manny DC!! A gift strikeout, then a great pitch to end the game! Good job.

Hey Ellen, I just read that post of yours from 9:58! Warm me up, it’s gonna get cold here real soon. lol

Garry, careful… I would LOVE to see St Augustine…

Another Big W in OUR column!!! YOU GO REDSOX BOYS oops, REDSOX MEN!!!

G’NIGHT ALL, WE GOTTA LOVE IT THIS WEEK!!!

Carmona’s 51 pitch 1st inning just goes to prove my point. Cleveburg appeals his 6 game suspension so he can do what….throw a 51 pitch 1st inning and then get yanked from a game that means nothing to the Indians, who instead will go without his services at the beginning of next season, when his services could well mean a lot to them. They signed him for significant $$ earlier this season. Why not act like that investment is important to you???

I would rather see Aardsma than Timlin. Francona will probably choose Timlin. If I was the Angels I would choose the shorter series. The longer series plays into the Red Sox hands.

Red Sox with another 1 run victory. This Francona guy is becoming quite the genious! LOL!!

St. Augustine is beautiful. So much history. The best part about it…..The Fountain Of Youth! LOL!!

Why wasn’t Masterson invited to the players meeting regarding the “important issue” of playoffs shares? Poor Masterson was sitting alone in the dugout.
Dave:
Stop writing for a moment. Send out your scouts to find out why and report back to us promptu.

If I were Francona I’d concede the division and plan for the playoffs. I have a feeling he already has.

Pedroia with 20 steals. He doesn’t seem to be that fast, but he knows how to play the game. 20 for 21, pretty good percentage.

You’re right Brian. Great move by Francona telling Bailey to hit that triple. How does he do it? lol

Arnie,

I am really not sure how Francona did that but I think it is very impressive!

Your dead on with Pedroia, he just knows how to play the game! Cano is more athletic but I would take Pedroia over Cano if I had my choice.

Poor Mets couldn’t score that leadoff triple at the bottom of 9. My prediction of Mets/Sox WS…oh well !

007chow,

I talked to Masterson after the game and all he said was “No worries. I have a nail gun.” I’m not sure what he meant but I guess he’s got some home improvement projects going. Good luck to him.

007-This is for you:

Masterson was aware of being the lone star of the club in many ways. He sat on the red bench watching the stadium and the cold night air. His heart burned with anger and bitterness. He had taken it all and as he rose from the seat, suddenly the glamour and prestige of the major leagues left bitterness in his tongue and the hobby of woodworking somehow didn’t feel good anymore. It was time to take a trip to the car and eat the carcass of revenge.
$$$
Terry Francona rolled his eyes after the hour long meeting. He envied Masterson – he didn’t have to deal with this garbage…but as John walked in the room carrying just a long extension cord and a power strip, questions were asked.
“John…we’re…what are you doing?”
“Overhead projector setup. Though the guys might enjoy a movie.”
Terry smiled. Somehow the John he knew and respected always came up with the great idea and the great solution to a tough problem. That was John. When asked to clean the toilets when the night crew was out – John was there. When asked to pick up all the chewing gum and sunflower seeds from the dugout using just a small spoon – John was there. When asked to repaint some seats – John was there and still all smiles at the press conference. When asked to remove the glamour of starting pitching and be relegated to the forgotten kingdom of the bullpen – John was there.
“I’ll be back, “said John putting on a pair shades.
“O.K….” said Terry before pausing as John came in with a UPS battery backup and plugged it into the wall. He then extended the extension cord out to the front of the room.
“John…can this wait?”
“Almost done, “smiled John with his glasses on and leather jacket and boots. It was out of uniform but Terry understood.
John walked out of the room and turned back and said, “I’ll be back.” It was slow and a very bad Terminator impersonation. Terry rolled his head. It was that time. Everyone sat back in their seats towards the back of the room. Terry joined them.
“O.K….” shouted John.
John rolled in with a tool belt and a large saw-zaw, 3 horse router, circular saw and nail gun.
“Ah…John…you OK?”
”Sure, everything is fine, “said John with an enhanced giggle under his chin. He plugged in the power tools singing “I can’t wait another day…until I kill you. You’ve only been abusing me…but it’s all about to change.”
Terry tightened up on his shoulders. John Masterson, that sweet boy of the country, that apple in everyone’s eyes screamed like Jim Carry and said, “Show time!”
Everyone yawned and stretched their legs. John just stood their disgusted.
“This is a hostile killing idiots!”
“John, “said Dustin. “I get it. You’re going to build a bird house for us. That’s what all the power tools are for!”
John screamed and grabbed the saw-zaw and held it up like a chain saw.
“This Porter Cable saw zaw can cut through anything.”
“Should I exchange mine for a Porter Cable, “asked J.D. Drew…also an avid woodworker.
John slammed the tool down on the table and said, “shut up!”
He turned it on and screamed before cutting into the table sending saw dust everywhere. He screamed and howled like a hyena and as the table broke in two so did the blade. Everyone clapped.
“I’ve hated that old table, “said Mike Lowell.
“Ahhhh” screamed John. He grabbed another blade and stuck it in the saw but created a large cut on his fingers.
“Stupid saw. You’re no good for nothing.”
John paused and grabbed a towel from his tool belt. He laughed again and aimed for a chair and cut it in two but it took ten minutes and John had to stop. Sawdust in his eyes.
“Safety glasses. Of course John. This is a safety demonstration, “said pitching coach John Farrell.
John threw the saw against the wall and grabbed his router. He started it up.
“Now Papelbon. Now I won’t have to hear any more of your stupid hunting stories where you killed an entire herd of moose with the jawbone of a cow. “
“That’s an…” said Papelbon
“Shut up, “screamed John. “Now taste this 3 horse Porter Cable Router with a four inch cutting bit from Whitesand. Die Papelbon.”
John lifted the router and aimed it horizontal before dropping it.
“John…you really should use a 2 horse router. Look what happened to me when he tried the 3 horse router. They’re too heavy to lift. You know that, “said J.D. Drew.
John then threw it down and cried. He paused then grabbed a ¾ inch hammer drill and started it up before the vibration burned in his ears. He threw it down as well. He sat down and said, “I’m a failure. I can’t do anything right.”
Well, “said Terry. “I don’t know about you guys but John’s got a large cleanup to do.”
“Ya, “said Masterson. “I’ll get it done by morning.”
Terry came over and said, “I can get you your favorites!”
John smiled and said, “Carvel ice cream bars. You’re the best.”
Terry smiled and patted John on the back and then sighed. David Ortiz pulled Terry aside and said, “this was so much better than last month when he used a staple gun. That was kind of pathetic.”
Mike Lowell nodded and said, “or what about the time he threw crayons at us. I bought that box for my kids.”
Terry sighed again and said, “look, it’s only once a month when he cracks up like this. Give him some slack here!”
Everyone left and John just continued to clean up. He smiled and said, “October isn’t that far away and by then…I’ll have my new Dewalt jig saw. Ya…then it’s my turn.”

Ian, I like your roster. The only exception I would make is substituting Jeff Bailey for Mike Timlin. I think a 10-man pitching staff in the ALDS will suffice. And I prefer Byrd in the pen over Timlin and Aardsma. On a sidenote, I truly hope the Sox do not resign Alex Cora and find a more productive utility infielder. Especially since Mike Lowell might not be 100 percent in April when he has off-season surgery, the Sox will need a utility middle infielder who can step in and provide depth since Lowrie might be needed at times at third. I like the idea of resigning Mark Loretta (if he can still play an adequate shortstop along with second base). He is a free agent in the off-season.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Jeff,

I agree very much with Cora. His time should be over in Boston. I don’t think Loretta has the range anymore to play s.s. Bailey coming off the bench sounds like a good choice. Only way Timlin should see the mound is in a blowout!

Have any of you Floridians heard the latest on the Rays getting a new field to play on? I’ve gotta think the northern clubs (except Toronto) would want to open there in April!

Kramer,

No new field in St. Pete. It might be on the ballot in 2 or 3 years, “might” being the key word……..If the Rays are struggling with there attendance in 2 or 3 years. I think Stu Sternberg will look elsewhere. Orlando? Charlotte? San Antonio? Just too name a few cities.

Brian,
The Rays could win two or three consecutive championships and still struggle with their attendance! I don’t think they sell out now do they? I’ll be watching their playoff attendance with curiousity!

Wow Jeff and Brian, you guys are pretty tough on Cora. This guy has done a great job for the Sox. He’s hitting .267, had some clutch hits, and has played great defense. I’m trying to determine what the issue is here. Beyond that, he’s been a terrific team guy and has done everything asked of him. Loretta had a good year in Boston and plays an OK second base, but Cora by far is the superior defender. We’ll have to see how Lowell shapes up for next year and if he is unable to play, then the answer isn’t a utility infielder. Unfortunately, the answer is likely Lugo at short and Lowrie at third with a utility backup. If Lowell can play and give the Sox 130 games, then the answer is Lowell at third, Lowries at short and at third when Lowell can’t play, and a utility guy that can play short. I’m pretty sure Cora can play any infield position. I really like him and hope the Sox do keep him around.

Kramer, the Rays playoff games are already sold out.

Tampa is a small market and the Rays have no indigenous fan base since they are so new. They also have no stars to draw people to the park. Winning will help, but like the Marlins, they will always have attendance issues until they build a fan base which takes about a century….. LOL! Oh yeah, they need to get rid of those clowns who do their telecasts. I wouldn’t be a Rays fan just because of those idiots, and in all seriousness, I’m not joking about that.

Garry,
A sellout is nice, but will they all show? We’ll have to see!

I don’t agree that Cora has done a great job, Garry. He is a serviceable backup, but nothing special. He is adequate – but not great – on defense. His range is diminishing, he has little speed and he is not a very good hitter. Lowell will need surgery after the season, and I read where he might not be ready by opening day, so the Sox might need a backup for April. Doubtful it will be Lugo. I also read where the Sox are considering a swap of Lugo to Detroit to Dontrelle Willis. Not sure I like that idea, but no doubt the Sox should unload Lugo and sign or trade for a utility infielder other than Cora. If the Sox don’t deal Lugo for a player who has a similar salary (Willis actually receives a few million more a season than Lugo and, like Lugo, is signed through 2010), they will have to pay part of his salary to get another team to take him.

The Sox have Argenis Diaz and Yamaico Navarro in the minors. They are both promising prospects. Several baseball people have said that Diaz would win a gold glove in the bigs right now as a shortstop, and he is a decent slap hitter at the plate. Navarro is more versatile. He can play short, second and third, and he has a better bat than Diaz. In 2010, one or the other could be the Sox utility infielder. As for 2009, they will likely start at the Double-A (Navarro) and Triple-A (Diaz) level.

Since the Sox have no more Jed Lowries and Dustin Pedroias who are on the cusp of the big leagues (Diaz needs a full year at Triple-A; he played half a season at Double-A Portland this year and has never played Triple-A ball), they will have to go outside the organization to get a utility guy. I firmly believe that, since it is uncertain how Lowell will respond in 2009, the Sox MUST sign or acquire another versatile infielder who is better at the plate and in the field than Cora.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

The new Tampa Stadium should be open in 2012… it looks like a sailboat!!

Dave, I got chapter 4 and will read it in the a.m. THANKS!!

I just have time before 1st pitch:
IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO BELIEVE!!!
LET’SGOREDSOXLET’SGO!!!! CLAPCLAPCLAP!!!!
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Hey, What was it that Garko said last year during the Playoffs?? “The champagne tastes just as good on the road”?? (when they thought they were going to win it in Fenway) I think he’s still waiting to pop the cork!!

They have announced the Governors of RedSox Nation… How ironic.. the Florida Governor is-from- TAMPA BAY!!!!

Well Jeff, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I think Cora has been a very serviceable backup and utility guy. I really disagree with your assessment of his defensive skills because I think his range is pretty good, he has a good arm, and turns a good DP. Like I said, he’s hitting .267, which for a backup isn’t half bad. In fact, there are a lot of starting infielders doing a lot worse than that. Keep in mind a utility/backup guy is that for a reason. You’re not going to find a first line player hitting .300 with great range to fill that role. For the money they’re paying him, Cora is a great asset at a good price. I think what you look for in a utility player is someone who’s not going to hurt you if your starter goes down or needs a break. Cora certainly fills that role well.

As far as Lowell is concerned, the Sox are just going to have to make a decision as to how they want to handle that. Personally, I think it may be prudent to take him out of service right now and start getting things taken care of. The only thing he’s going to accomplish by continuing his attempt to play is to further irritate an already painful situation. I don’t see him being able to do very much.

Well,
This is really going to hurt but….Brian…I finally disagree with you on something. I think Cora has done an adequate job with the Sox. With the sporadic play a utility player gets adequate is a good thing. As the great Garry says, Cora has done everything they have asked of him ala Coco Crisp and has not caused any team disention I know of. If you can have a guy like Cora on the bench who accepts his role without whining that is almost as valuable as his adequate play when called upon. He can play 3rd, SS and 2nd and doesn’t really hurt you defencsively and he occasionally gets a hit here and there. I think if the Sox let him go, you’ll notice it more than you think.
Ok everyone…., who was the player nicknamed “Super Sub” with the Red Sox?

Garry….is your last name Roggenburk by chance??????

On another note, take a look at the way Sowers is wearing his socks and pants. You just don’t see stirrups and knickers any more. That’s the way baseball uniforms were designed to be worn. Another reminder of the good old days. Sowers doesn’t pitch worth a darn, but he sure looks good.

If the radar gun at Fenway is even close to being right, Lester has outstanding velocity tonight.

Lester is throwing first pitch strikes….and his pitching line reflects it.

Pedroia throws across his body as well as any second baseman I’ve ever seen. He should be a gold glover this year along with Ellsbury, who has played every outfield position, made a million great catches, has a few assists, and hasn’t made an error.

Pretty quiet tonight….

What a year Yooooooook is having. Wow.

Yeah Craig, it would be you and me. By the way, last name is McGrath, not Roggenburk…… he’s a little older than I am.

I know that we’re going to the Post Season, but….
WE ONLY HAVE 3 MORE REGULAR SEASON GAMES…. I’m starting to feel the pains of withdrawl..
and just an aside to you guys… Can we wait at LEAST until November to start dismantling the team????
and for my opinion… Cora has done an above average job for a guy who for the longest time was playing like 2-3 games out of 8-10… I think he shows the spirit of what the RedSox need as far as not complaining about playing time etc…. AND HE’S NOT A PRIMA DONNA (or a prima ZAZU!!)
We should start a campaign to: KEEP ALEX CORA, KEEP A.C.

Roger that…..I agreed with you back there on Cora. I think he would be missed.

Last three games of the year coming up with the Yankees…… and it doesn’t even matter. There’s no anticipation, no emotion, no nothing! This is almost un-American. How long has it been since a Sox-Yankee series had so little significance. Man, the Rays really screwed up this season.

Ellen,
The other campaign even though you want to wait is to say goodbye to our bad experiment…..Lugo. He was a lab experiment that went bad!!!!!!

Don’t worry Craig, we can bring Brian around on Cora. He probably had too much Kool Aid before he said that.

Ellen, your are right about Cora. I think he’s been more than above average as a fill in guy. He’s done a great job.

Well, I’m outa here. See you guys tomorrow night…….. and by the way Ellen, if you really want to visit St. Augustine, let me know, I’ll set you up!

Hey,
Is it possible the Rays could choke and make this series with the Yankees a bit more interesting. I think the DEVILRAYS could show some respect to us and make that happen!!!! At least the blog would be a bit more spicey! Now on to important things…like looking for a Titleist 585H Hybrid golf club!!!!!

Brian,
Garry and I would like to set up an appointment with you to talk about the future of Alex Cora. Ellen…you are invited. Maybe the three of us can wear Brian down.

I don’t think we can move him off of this one… Brian, being as OLD as he is, is pretty set in his thinking!!lol

Hey, is Cora’s contract up?? If so offer him a “raise” and maybe incentives in the contract, but who else are we going to get that fits and plays as well as he does with Petey and Youk??? Loretta?? When his contract was up a couple of years ago, I got HAMMERED by a few people on here.. and Jeff I think you were one of them, maybe I’m wrong.. but its two years down the road, and I don’t think that Mark is a good idea.. he fit here then but I think not so much now.

Nite all you LOYAL NATIONERS!! See you tomorrow night.. Same Sox Time, Same Sox Blog!! G’Night Ian!! and thanks for all you do!!
p.s. only ten female RSN Governors!!! I’ll make it 11 next year.

Ian,
How do you feel about Alex Cora? Just curious.

Ellen, at the time I felt it was ideal to give the starting job to Pedroia because he was ready. That was a good decision. In 2009, Loretta is just one of the possibilities for a utility infielder for the Red Sox. He is primarily a second baseman, but he can play shortstop and third base. I wouldn’t want Loretta as a starting infielder, but I would want him as a utility guy.

Garry, I do think that Cora has some good attributes. First and foremost, he is a genuine baseball player who is fundamentally sound, accepts his role and is so intelligent about the game that many people believe he will be a manager someday. And you’re right, he does have a strong arm. However, his range is not what it used to be, he has little speed and he has rarely been a good hitter. Look at his career numbers. Since we don’t know how healthy Lowell will be next season, the Sox will need more from their utility middle infielder (since Lowrie can move to third, if needed), just as they will need more from their backup catcher because Varitek will need more days off. They can find someone who can provide decent defense, more pop at the plate and someone who accepts his role as a utility guy. Juan Uribe is one option. I remember a month or two ago the Sox were rumored to be discussing Uribe for Cora.

I just threw Loretta’s name out there because I know he is a free agent, and he is still a decent second baseman and he produces at the plate. I haven’t seen him play shortstop this season, so I’m not aware if he is still adequate there.

I recognize that Cora has been valuable to this team for the last couple years, but it’s time to move on after this season. Hopefully, though, he recovers from being hit in the same spot in consecutive games because it would not be ideal to have Gil Velazquez as the utility infielder in the playoffs.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Good night you guys,
My best friend and co-worker is an avid Angels fan. Born and raised in Southern california. he is old enough to remember 1986. He says that the ghost of Dave Henderson is still jinxing the Angels in post-season against the Sox. I think we fans are a true barometer of how things might go in a short series and although the Angels are very confident….he is a little worried. No….we don’t decide the outcome….but he is sweating bullets. He is praying that somehow the Sox pull off a miracle and beat the DEVILRAYS out for the East title so that the Angels can open against the DEVILRAYS. Now that’s pretty desperate!!!! The Sox are no bargain if indeed they are the wild card. We all know that anything can happen and crap happens you can’t explain. Just wanted to give you the perspective of one worried Halos fan.

Garry,
Looks like I found my hybrid (Titleist 585.H)….someone is going to be paying the piper this weekend!!!!!!!

Garry, I am curious about what other Red Sox fans think about whether the team should resign Cora or find another utility middle infielder for 2009, so I included the debate in my post under today’s (Friday) date on Sox and Pinstripes. I also included a reference comparing Gil Velazquez to Moonlight Graham in Field of Dreams.

By the way, I am fond of St. Augustine, too. I have written four travel features over the years about different aspects of the city. I love the architecture, the museums, the corny attractions and the ghost tours, of which there are many! The lighthouse is fun to visit, as is the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. It is definitely a place that you need to visit more than once to see everything, and there are an array of good restaurants and historic inns, too. Be careful, though, many of those inns are haunted and have people scurrying out in the middle of the night :)

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

CFarnham, I too believe that the Sox match-up well against the Angels. It would be ideal to win a game in LA so the Sox can wrap up the series at Fenway. I know that the Angels are exceptional on the road, but I think the Sox will take care of business in the ALDS.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Keep Cora! Cora did a more than adequate job but not a great job as an IF. Cora is a class act and good to have him in the club house.
I surely remenber Dave Henderson’s HR off Donnie Moore. DM was never the same pitcher after that HR. DM went insane afterwards. Did Henderson hit 2 HRs, one to tie and other to win in extra inning?

You know there isn’t much happening when we are discussing the “imortal Alex Cora”. lol.

Dbenjamin,

U.S.C. lost to the real O.S.U. LOL!!

Donnie Moore blew his own brains out… talk about taking a loss hard.

I think the question of Alex Cora’s fate should be left to the FO. In 2004, I think the Sox did a good job with Pokey Reese as a back-up, and expected they would keep him. They chose not to, and he quickly found his way out of baseball. Ultimately, I expect it will be a numbers game. How much value do the Sox place in Cora, his talent and his role, as opposed to how Alex views it? I feel the Patriots have done a masterful job in judging talent and role vs. player expectations, even when it results in the loss of valuable players like Asante Samuel.

Like others, I have been pleased with the contributions Alex has made when called upon. He can play either middle infield position, and is a more than adequate hitter. However, I do not see him as an everyday player for the Sox, my misgivings about Julio Lugo notwithstanding. If Alex sees his future (and also his compensation entitlement) as an everyday player (where he would make a good deal more money), I don’t expect that the FO will embrace that concept. I dislike envisioning the prospect of life without Alex Cora because he seems like a wonderful clubhouse presence, but that is not enough to justify a starter’s level of compensation for a back-up player (Eric Hinske’s $5 Mil. last year notwithstanding).

I think the Sox will have several difficult decisions to make concerning the amount they will pay back-ups including Mark Kotsay and Sean Casey, both of whom I’m glad the Sox have. However, those players have to concern themselves with their own best interest as well as their team’s best interest. I believe that Casey has done well enough to have another team consider him as their prime 1st base option (with the appropriate pay level), and Kotsay, I believe has been primarily a starting outfielder.

Hey BosoxBrian: I thought of you a good deal last evening, but was not intending to “rub it in.” I think USC’s experience last evening will remind some that on any given day a team, even an outstanding one, can be ambushed, especially when their primary running back is injured, and may cause the Buckeyes’ National ranking to elevate, particularly if they take care of business against Minnesota. I appreciate your willingness to forward Rays ticket info to me. Please use my alternate e-mail address which is dmbenjatty@yahoo.com. I do have some “down days” during what would be the ALCS, and have my sister and brother-in-law living at the Villages. As long as I buy a couple of extra tix, I can usually freeload for a while (lol). Hopefully the Sox and the Rays will make it to the ALCS. I think that would be a good series, and am not concerned about the Angels season record vs. the Sox. I think Beckett, Lester and Dice-K are hitting their respective strides just at the right time, and the essential bullpen is getting itself squared away. DelCarmen, Masterson and Pap are starting to remind me of the way Timlin, Embree and Foulke came on at the end of the 2004 season, and I liken Lopez to Mike Myers and Okajima to Scott Williamson. Over a short haul, I like their chances of taking care of business, particularly if the starters get to or through the 7th inning.

With the way the Sox have laid out their starting rotation this week-end, will they go with Lester, then Dice-K then Beckett in the opening round of the play-offs? Or do you think, if the Sox lose on Friday or the Rays win, that Beckett will not start on Saturday, or might only pitch a few innings?

Dbenjamin,

Beckett game #1….Dice-K game#2 and Lester game#3…Dice-K’s numbers on the road are excellent and Lester at Fenway has been dominate!

I’m not sure what too say when you say you were thinking of me last night. LOL!! Ga. Fl. L.S.U. Ok. Mizzou.. Texas and Texas Tech are quite happy with U.S.C. going down! 2 strongest conference’s in the nation are the S.E.C. and The Big 12! Every other conference, average at best! Then you have the A.C.C. LOL!!

Dbenjamin, I do not think Cora aspires to be an every day player any longer. I think he gave up that notion when he resigned with the Sox a couple of years ago. I do think the Sox will resign him because at what they are paying him, he is a real bargain.

Jeff, I’ll be interested to see what comments the Cora debate brings on your site. I’ll check it over the course of the day. I hope you’re right about the Sox unloading Lugo but I think they’ll have some difficulty with that. I believe they see Lowrie as their every day shortstop next year and hope Lowell will be OK. They should be able to tell a lot of things not too long after his surgery and know if they have to go after another infielder. Of course, another option is to move Youk to third and use Bailey/Casey or someone else at first. Isn’t it great having a deep roster with versatile players!!!

There’s a part of me that hopes the Rays don’t fold in Detroit. If they win tonight or tomorrow, then the Sox don’t have to worry about making up missed games with the Yankees due to bad weather this weekend. I don’t want to have to see them play Monday since the pitching rotation and bullpen is set up well going into the post season.

Garry, I was thinking the same thing about the weather situation. I would like the Sox to win tonight and the Rays lose so the 500 Rays fans in existence can sweat some more :) It is impressive that they sold out their playoff tickets, but I bet if you investigate closely, many people who bought those packages are Red Sox fans anticipating a Sox-Rays ALCS. I know that I considered it, but I decided that I will just buy a single-game ticket on Stub Hub if the Sox-Rays meet.

I do believe that the Sox will resign Casey, who recognizes that at this point he is not a full-time player, but not Kotsay, who will draw a lot of interest as a center fielder. If they don’t sign, Chris Carter is an ideal option, as is Jeff Bailey, though I prefer Carter over Bailey. I imagine that the Sox will keep Coco Crisp because of J.D. Drew’s lingering health issues. You’re right, it is ideal to have different options.

I read where the Sox might ask Lugo to be a super utility guy. He has played second and the outfield as well as shortstop. I would prefer they do that than trade him for Dontrelle Willis, but ultimately I hope they find a destination for him. Detroit will need a shortstop after this season, thus the rumors about their possible interest in Lugo. The shortstop position is extremely thin in the free agent market, so that will help the Sox in their efforts to deal Lugo (as long as he proves his quad is no longer bothering him). Lugo doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would accept a utility role. He has griped about the prospect of Boston playing him in center field, saying that, “I’m a shortstop.” Insert joke here!

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Red Sox
1. Jacoby Ellbury, CF
2. Jed Lowrie, SS
3. David Ortiz,1B
4, Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. Jason Bay LF
6. Mike Lowell, DH
7. Mark Kotsay, RF
8. Kevin Cash, C
9. Gil Velazquez, 2B
— Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP

Ortiz playing first when it is not an NL game?!?!?!? WOW

I doubt the game will be played. It is ill advised to have Papi play 1st on wet ground. Lowell has limited sideway mobility so Pai has to play 1st if he has to be in the lineup.

If the games isnt played tonight, doubleheader tomorrow/Sunday or make up on Monday?? Just play it tonight and get it over with, because there is no assurance that the weather the rest of the weekend will be any better…
I’ll say it anyway just in case….
IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO BELIEVE!!!!
LET’SGOREDSOXLET’SGO!!!!! CLAPCLAPCLAP!!!
WOOOOOOOOOOOOO-WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

NESN is showing “CHAMPIONS AGAIN.. THE 2007 REDSOX” as a filler during the rain delay… great show…

Ellen,

No makeup on Monday. That will not happen.

I like the idea of Ortiz playing first but not tonight. Poor weather! I was wondering when the “great” Gil Velazquez was going to make an appearance. LOL!!

GAME ON!!!! GO SOX!!!!!! WOOOOOO-WOOOOOOOOO!!!

No Papi at 1st… boohoo, SeanCasey’s 3rd error at 1st!!!

BSB, I’m glad tghat they are playing the game tonight… don’t want to mess too much with the rotation even though Matsuzaka opted not to start (they gave him the option).
Come on David Pauley!!!!

Sean’s error cost us a run…. I could say the wet field was as culpable as Casey, but no, Casey didnt play the ball/field right.

Hey Brian.. You got your wish… THE “GREAT” MR VELAZQUEZ” makes an appearance…. I had no idea who you were talking about. but there he is!!

Hellooooooo…. New thread and Ian and I are wondering where you guys are… What isit?? we get the Wild Card and nobody shows up??? GET YOUR BUTTS OVER THERE NOW!! THAT’S AN ORDER.

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