Game 4 of the ALDS — Lowell done?

Not only is Mike Lowell out of tonight’s game, he probably won’t play again until 2009. He’s off the roster, meaning he loses eligibility until the World Seres. Last night, it was clear as day just how limited Lowell had become on both sides of the ball.

Mark Kotsay will again play first base. Red Sox manager Terry Francona says everyone from Jonathan Papelbon to the rest of his relievers are likely available.

The lineup is pretty standard: Kotsay hitting seventh and playing first. Everything else is the same.  J.D. Drew back in there in the five-hole.

225 Comments

I never thought I would say it but having Mike Lowell on the bench is a good thing.

Lester has been dominate at home all season and that trend should continue. Time for Pedroia to get his act together at the plate!

I expect the Red Sox to win every playoff game including tonight. A good pitcher will find a way to win without having his A game, so I have no wiggle room for a great pitcher like Lester!

Mike Lowell has my ultimate respect but shutting him down for the season makes alot of sense. I’m sure Lowell is very frustrated but it is best for the team. I read in the paper that Lowell had a difficult time putting on his pants after the game last night. Talking about a guy that loves the game! Francona and the Red Sox really like what Kotsay brings to the table but what happened to Sean Casey? I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the lineup.

I agree Brian, it’s time for Mikey to call it a day and let his team mates carry the load for him. He has made a courageous effort, but in all honesty, both he and Tito should have recognized he just couldn’t do it. There were two balls last night that a healthy Mike Lowell gets to, but he just couldn’t move.

More than any other start this year, Lester has the chance to step up and be the man. I think he has the stuff and the mental makeup to do it. Compared to what he’s been through in real life, this is child’s play.

The Sox hit Lackey better in game 1 than they did during the regular season and I expect they’ll hit him pretty well tonight. I don’t think he’s a huge mystery once hitters have seen him a couple of times.

Mike Lowell is gamer. I seriously doubted that he should have been in the lineup last night which might or might not make a difference to the outcome of the game. With DP and Ortiz are not hitting, the Sox have to play small fundamental ball by advancing runner(s) to win. A big play will follow.

Garry…

I think corageous is a good word to describe Mike Lowell. I’m sure Mike Lowell is quite respected in that Red Sox clubhouse.

Lackey has had a rough time at Fenway over the years. He did have a no no going into the 9th inning in late July but let’s face it that was during the Zazu crap! I would like too see Pedroia get his bat going again. Ellsbury has been on base this entire series. I’m guessing Pedroia has 2 hits tonight!

Just about every commercial during the playoffs is a Viagra ad. Don’t we see enough wood during the game? LOL!!

T.B. is smelling the A.L.C.S. Andy Sonnastine looking like Don Drysdale again. Sonnastine shut down the Red Sox in the final couple of weeks of the season.

White Sox can get back into this game. They have alot of power!

I cannot believe that Kotsay is starting in place of Casey… Can someone help me understand Tito’s reasoning??
Kotsay has played 34 total games at 1st base in his career… That’s not to say he isn’t a good defensive player, but is he better than Casey?

Off the bench, Kotsay gives many more options than Casey, who can’t pinch run and can only sub in at first…
Kotsay would be a step up speed wise for Papi or Casey as a choice off the bench.

Casey, obviously, has shown nothing but that he can hit all season and for his entire career. They are both left handed hitters, so it isn’t for that reason….

any suggestions??

The Sox should take a page from Scoscia’s book and move runners up. Bunt if you have to. That’s how the A;’s won last night. We had Ells on second with none out. Pedroia should have bunted him to third. No one on the team should be precluded from moving a runner up if it means we can win the ballgame. The A’s just about gave us that game and we couldn’t finish it. Beckett had no reason being in as long as he did. Well, that’s water under the bridge. Let’s hope we learn from our mistakes and finish it tonight.

Hi everyone, hope that you all had a good day….
I’m straddling the fence as to whether I should do my regular post before tonights game… I think that my superstitions (who, me??) are catching up with me…. I invite everyone to weigh in with a Yes or No…

Brian, my husband and I were commenting about the numerous, and stupid, Viagra commercials just yesterday. But I have to say one thing…
Our Sox obviously DIDN”T take theirs and DIDNT have enough “wood” against The Angels last night!! lol

My comments regarding Lowell sitting: I kept hoping last night that Tito would take him out.. He was throwing himself around 3rd base and that couldnt have been good for the partially torn labrum, man he must be in some kinda pain today. I think that its time he does sit and let someone else step up and shoulder the load like he did for us this time last year… >>FEEL BETTER AND GET SOLID AGAIN SOON MIKEY!!

I have a feeling that Petey is going to break through the slump tonight… I hope that he is not over analyzing his lack O’Bat of late. GO PETEY!!!!!

Ellen…

Those ad’s are certainly dumb dumb. No doubt. I have seen enough of them. It seems every commercial is a Viagra ad. I hope the Sox get there wood going tonight.

2008 A.L.C.S. T.B. vs ?????

Congrats to the Rays and there 20 fans in the Tampa bay area. LOL!!

Bottom of the 9th in the Rays Sox game,,, 1 out left and Orsillo says .. The RedSox are down to their last out! hope thats not afreudian slip!

IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO BELIEVE!!!
LET’SGOREDSOXLET’SGO!!! CLAPCLAPCLAP!!!
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOFREAKINGWOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

Where does this guy Sager get his suits or sport coats??
UGLY CLOTHES ARE US???

Who is going to be the RedSox Player to attach the “jumpercables” to this RedSox batting order?? I say it will be Dustin…. chime in everyone….

Shhhhhhh!! Don’t talk so loud we might wake Everyone Up!!!

Well, Lester looks great to me. But, as with Beckett, I have not “studied” him throughout the season as others have! So tell me how he looks to you!

Hey guys, If I complain about Mc Carver ever again… please remind me how bad Bucky and Chippy are, thank God Ron Darling is there too… At least I know he LOOKS good!, and he’s not bad as an announcer….

Darling looks so much heavier than his playing days!

Ellen…

You will not be seeing McCarver do a Red Sox game until the fall classic. Let’s hope that will happen.

This game tonight is going to be a tight one! A mistake here and there will be quite costly.

The Sox have to wake up or they will be heading back to CA. I’ve seen these doldrums during the season and it wasn’t pretty. There is no life.

I’m guessing Lester is good for 115 pitches tonight and maybe a little more. Lester needed that inning after a lenghty 3rd inning.

Pedroia will be leading off, time for him to snap out of it!

Brian,
I agree…….no more than 120.

Pedroia still hitless in the series. Never saw that one happening!

Klank!!!

Bye, bye, Bay be!

Red Sox were given the extra out but did not cash in!

Right direction, wrong distance!

The Captain ripped that one!

Howie Kendrick continues to have a horrible series! Let’s go Pedroia.

Great time for hit #1!

THERE’S OUR PETEY!!!!! gooooooo DUSTIN!!

Just a matter of time for Pedroia to bust out! Way to go Pedroia. More 2 out runs by Boston. That has been the theme of this series for the Red Sox.

So now that the question “will Pedroia ever get another hit?” has been answered, the next question is “will Ortiz ever hit another home run?”

After you get 2 runs, your starter is supposed to keep the momentum going and that is what Lester did.

One more inning out of Lester, then it’s fingernail chewing time. I’m not sure if I’d be going to Papelbon tonight. He’s pitched alot of innings in this series. They’re gonna need someone else too (Delcarmen pitched well yesterday). Or maybe Lester can have a 5-pitch inning and come back for the 8th.

NEED MORE RUNS!!

Lester is throwing a gem. I’d put him out there for the 8th. He looks like he could throw for another 5 innings. I said before this series that in order for the Sox to win, Lester had to come up big in games 1 and 4, and he’s answered the call.

Varitek wasn’t bunting? I am puzzled.

Brutal non-call by the manager takes the Sox out of a possible run. You’ve got the #8 batter on first with none out, an opportunity to sacrifice him over for the #1 and #2 hitters, and he’s swinging away???

Boy, we coulda used that run.

I can’t believe he took Lester out. I hope he knows what he’s doing…

Why did Tito pull Lester???

Let’s hope that Tito is not overmanaging by pulling Lester.

109 pitches!

NO WALKS!!!

Sometimes the Red Sox win DESPITE the manager. There have been two questionable decisions in the last two innings.

In the playoffs pitch count goes out the window. Particularly if your pitcher is doing well. No excuse for pulling Lester unless he was in trouble.

No gopher balls!!!!

LETSGOREDSOXLET’SG0!!! CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!!!
COME ON BABIES!!!!!! KICK AHHSSS!!!!!
Dustin Come On BUDDY!!!

Tito makes me sick!!!

Hmmm.

We get two strikes on batters and then we can’t put them away!!!

I gotta put that one on Varitek — as much as I like him — he made Masterson nibble like he was Dice-K — he had both hitters 0-2, then he calls for the ball outside and high — and gets Masterson in trouble — he just should have let him pitch.

Poor decisions all around, but the seed of it all was the stupid decision to take Lester out of the game.

Someone has to pick up Masterson!

To a certain extent dgneubert, I agree. However, if you’re Okajima, you don’t walk any hitter with two outs, nobody on, with a two run lead. You especially don’t do it on four straight pitchers.

I hate that standup thing Tek does. It serves no purpose at all, and is easily detected by a hitter. You have a guy like Guerrero up there who will swing at about anything, and you can’t get anything close enough to make him swing. That’s crap.

Walks will kill you…………. period.

If the Sox lose theyshould thank Tito for blowing this game. The only more stupid move a Sox manager made was by Grady Little.

Garry,
How do you say that in Japanese?

pangelotti…

You hit the nail on the head. That was “grady little” stupid, an entirely higher class of stupidity.

So now the countdown begins. Do the Angels score the winning run in the 9th? 10th? 11th? Sox just ain’t hitting and unless there’s another one of those strange popups to Tori Hunter in CF, they’re not going to score anymore. Two runs is all they were able to score today.

And now the load falls on the shoulders of Dice-W.

All the Sox are doing now is waiting for the shoe to fall so that they could pack for CA.

I’m not putting this one on Tito. We have pitchers who didn’t perform.

Ok, the game is pretty much shot. You can take Masterson out any time now, Tito.

I’d like to see Tito’s excuse for pulling Lester.

Good call Tito. Take another chaw of tobaccie and some bubble gum.

ARGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay I’m tired of this crap!!!!!! IT’S TIME TO TAKE CARE OF THIS FREAKIN TEAM!!!
\DELCARMEN IN/ GET IN THERE.. TAKE CARE OF THIS GUY AND GET THE DAMNED JOB DONE!!!! WHAT, YOU DONT WANT TO DO THIS AT HOME?????
JUST DO IT!!!!!

Where is all the doom and gloom from, west coast?

That decision to pull Lester has cost the Sox this series, and hopefully with cost Francona his job.

Let’s see if Scoscia bunts to move the runner. Something Tito didn’t do tonight or more importantly last night when Ells doubled withn none out.

God Please spare fromthe sound of Buck Martinez’ voice!!!! if I were a pitcher for the Sox I’d take a chance and see if I could hit either Martinez or Caray!!!

We got a break. Let’s see if that gives us some momentum to wake up and pull the game out from the disaster Tito created.

That was a gutsy call by scioscia, aybar is the bonehead on that play. You gotta get your bat on the ball–anything–stick head in the way if you gotta. Suicide squeeze, man, you gotta get SOMETHING on the ball.

There was no reason to pull Lester, but there was no reason not to. He gave you seven good innings and maybe Tito knew something we don’t. The bullpen has been good. Okajima commits the mortal sin by walking Teixeira with two outs and nobody on. Masterson follows him straight to hell by walking Guerrero after getting ahead 0-2. There’s not excuse for either of those things.

Angels are just GIVING this series to the Sox, but they just ain’t taking it.

GREAT JOB BY TEK!!!! GOOD TAG…

That ball doesn’t bounce into the stands Bay has at least a triple.

Its only a break if The Sox take advantage of it!!!

Now that saves a lot of jet fuel!!!

One rookie picks up the other!!!

Let’s hear all the haters on this blog now!! Great series all around by the Sox, including the manager, screw the haters

LOL! Tito was brilliant! Kotsay with a bullet and a freaking rookie comes through!

Mike Scocia with the attempted squeeze. That’s why they call it suicide, and for the Angels, it was.

See you in Tampa Bay!

P.S. How freaking good is Lester!

Angels just simply ran out of horseshoes in that inning. Bay just misses out on an inside the park homer, then Kotsay’s smash for a sure double snared by Tex.

Francona should get down on his hands and knees and kiss Jed Lowrie’s feet. Jed just saved Francona’s job, I think. They fired Little a couple of years ago for a similar bonehead managerial decision at a similar time of the playoffs.

I doubt Jed Lowrie will sleep more than 5 minutes tonight! That was clutch! Bay in the middle of it yet again!

Haters? Who said anything about hating? I like Francona. But he makes stupid managerial decisions sometimes. Those two propositions are not mutually incompatable.

Tonight he made a stupid decision to pull Lester. I don’t hate him because of his stupid decision. I just think it was a stupid decision.

Oh yeah, just one final thought on something that will likely go unnoticed. On that attempted squeeze play, Manny Delcarmen makes a perfect pitch. In that situation, you get the pitch as close as you can to the batter and that pitch was low, hard, and inside ……. the toughest pitch to bunt. With all the bullpen screwed up tonight, Manny’s pitch may have saved the season. Good freaking job Manny!

Didnt Jed Lowrie drive in JBay after bays 1st at bat to win a game??? Can someone who knows how to, check that??
ohand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THEEEEEEEEEE REDDDDDDDDDDDDDSOXXXXXXXXXXXXX
WINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!
WHEW!! THAT WAS A TOUGH WIN!!!
ILOVE OUR SOX, I LOVE THE REDSOX NATION… and… yes.
I LOVE ALL OF THE BROWNIE POINTS BLOGGERS!!! AND IAN?? WE ABSOLUTELY ADORE YOU FOR GIVING US A PLACE TO WHILE AWAY OUR REDSOX HOURS!!!!!

Ronkelly….

Zero chance of the Red Sox firing Francona. Comparing that situation to this situation is apples and oranges! I also think Lester should have at least started the 8th but in no way does it compare to that fateful night in N.Y. 5 yrs. ago! Not even close!

I think Sciossia totally errored on the suicide squeeze. Perhaps a safety squeeze. Delcarmen almost hit the batter with 2 pitches. Calling for a sucide squeeze? I think Sciossia was trying to be to cute there. As Garry said that is why they call it the suicide squeeze! LOL!

Hey all — important point everyone is missing.

I know, I KNOW Francona hated to pull Lester but I knew why — pitch count. Managers live and die by it and Lester is untested. He’s pitched more this year than every other year and Francona is thinking about Lester in 2009 and that’s why he pulled him. You can’t ruin an arm like this one. The problem has been the same all season — the bullpen is crap. Masterson should not be in there — he’s a rookie and should not be put in these pressure situations. He’s been moved up too quickly and everyone knows it.
Oki can’t do tie games. Francona tried him and he failed. He then tried Masterson because he needed Delcarman for the ninth. Everyone is bashing Francona but the reality is he has few options here. His bullpen is just junk (Papelbon excluded and in fairness Delcarman but he’s unpredictable).
Finally, I’m desperately glad they won. I don’t see them winning the ALCS. They don’t have the bullpen or the starting pitching so I want to enjoy this moment. They earned it. As Ellen would say — I do believe.

Bosoxbrian…

Well thankfully, we’ll never know, but I think it’s more “apples and apples” than “apples and oranges”. Little left Pedro in when everyone in the world was expecting him to take Pedro out. They lost the game and the series directly because of that decision. Francona takes Lester out when everyone in the world was expecting him to leave Lester in. Had they lost that game, it would have been directly because of that decision.

There was no reason to take Lester out, do you think taking Lester out was a good decision? You think they’d win Game 5 with Dice-K in Anaheim? Apples and oranges? Hardly.

Thankfully, we’ll never know. Hence, Tito should be washing Jed’s car and mowing Jed’s lawn for the next few weeks.

Last time a defending champ won a playoff series was the Yankees back in 2001. In other words the Red Sox as defending champs are in unchartered waters!

Ron Kelly: If Jed Lowrie wereher right now I WOULD KISS HIS FEET!!!! and all of my RSN brothers, you ca go ahead now with the piggish remarks!! If you dont I’ll be disappointed.

Damn, I should be exhausted but I’m running on adrennalin!!! It feels great!!

What a game, what a series!! I thought Lester should have started the 8th, but then Oki gets 2 outs and I thought, well, Tito did the right thing. Then the walks, the wild pitch, the single and there goes the lead. The leadoff double off Masterson and I’m thinking that Tito just managed the Sox back to Anaheim, but it was great to see MDC pitch inside, and what a play by Tek(The Captain rules!!) Jason Bay and Jed Lowrie!!!! Wow!!! I still think Lester should have pitched the 8th with Manny DC warming up, but it turned out great.

Ronkelly….

I think we do know. Francona has won 2 titles and this was game #4 of the A.L.D.S. rd. 1. The situation you are talking about happened in game #7 A.L.C.S. and the Red Sox haven’t won a title since 1918. The situations aren’t even close! Apples and oranges! Can’t say it any other way. Obviously you have your mind made up, actually thinking Francona would have been fired. Zero chance! I’m sure most agree, I hope anyway. lol.

Angels had 100 wins, all for not! Another team with the best record in baseball that falls short in the playoffs. Shields seems to have lots and lots of trouble against the Red Sox. His e.ra. at Fenway must be sky high.

Who is this ronkelly creature? Tito is the manager for a reason! I can’t believe some of the idiotic comments on this website! We’re moving on to the next level. Go Sox!

I’m all fired up!! I can’t even think straight. On to St. Pete. The rays will be tough but the Sox are just as tough and I think they’ll win in a hard-fought battle. This will be a heavy wieght fight but the Sox know how to win. They just beat a team that DOMINATED them the whole season. 8 losses to the halos in the regular season and they beat them 3 games to 1. So the rays better watch out.

I’m still concerned with the pen before Papelbon. T.B. pen has been dynamite all season long and was against the White Sox. It will be a fun series for sure. I’m guessing some tempers will flare in that one!

I have a question for all of my BIG STRONG MACHO RedSox Brownie Point Bloggers, and as far as the Blog goes, We are ALL pretty close, so you have to be honest!! Brutally honest………..
How many of you got teary eyed when the REDSOX CLINCHED????? Please, tell me the truth.

Arnie….

Time to go to Pass A Grille and get ready for the A.L.C.S. lol. Perhaps off to Tampa and Cubans on me. LOL!!

It’s so easy to blame the manager when things go wrong. The fault was the Angels were a tough team and the Sox squeaked by with a battered offense and a battered bullpen made of rookies and tired vets. The fact that they made it this far is amazing.

No tears here! Sorry Ellen. Perhaps the only reason I would cry is not seeing Craig Sager’s jacket for the next few days or so. LOL!!

Ellen – I cried! Go Sox!

Ellen want to know why I cried. Because right now the world is a very scary place with a global economy that is on the verge of collapse. Right now the Sox keep me sane.

Ronkelly: I’m just joking when I say this but isnt the phrase mutually incompatable sort of like A) military intelligence or B) Jumbo shrimp; an oxymoron!!?? lol

wow. sounds like momma and poppa francona subscribe to this blog. apologies to your son, you should perhaps develop a bit thicker skin.

ronkelly1959,
Lighten up. This is a great blog. These are great people — trust me. We should be cheering together. In the end the Sox Won. That’s what counts.

‘scuse me, but was that bullet aimed at me?? If so , I guess you missed the part where I said I WAS JOKING… I just found the phrase amusing.

and perhaps Ronkelly, maybe you could have a positive thought or comment from time to time.. Yes,No?? Your call..
BUT Please let me speak as one has been here on this blog from the beginning.. You should NEVER bring down a great moment. I do believe that if Francona didnt have the support of the front office, we, and the entire world would have heard about it by now.. I’m an Administrative Assistant/Office Manager, I have no idea what your occupation is, but I think that I can rest assured that Francona has a handle on things… much more so than I or you would……… Just my ever so ever positive outlook…..

Time for me to say GoodNight Nationers!! Thanks for being here with and for me. This yet another Wonderful Moment for our RedSox Memory Bank.
I’ll talk to y’all tomorrow!!
LOVE THE SOX, LOVE THE NATION, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS BLOG….
THANK YOU IAN BROWN!!!!!

Hey Brian, I’m there! If I can squeeze a couple days off that is. I’ll let you know.

Ellen, no tears this time. I had some choice words for LAA—–send them home crying, I love it!!!! f—ing LA. I’m all adrenalized! I can’t stand any of those LA teams and I love it when they lose. Happy Happy!!!!

Ellen and Arnie it’s been a great run so far. If the Sox take Tampa it’s great. Right now the Sox won the division and that’s something else. Now the playoffs and then WS? Who knows.

Apples and Oranges!! >> Black and White!!

The baseball god gift wrapped the game to the Sox second night in a row. The Sox graciously accepted it. Was Jason Bay the MVP of the series? Lester should be the co-MVP. There is no doubt that Lester has captured the tile ACE of the staff. Becklett has to earn it to reclaim the title.
The Angels pitching completely shut down the Sox hitting. The Sox actually scored just 2 “earned” runs in 2 games. Ellsbury hit into DP and the inning should have been over with no run scored.
Francona made or didn’t make some in game strategic moves last night which are forgotten and forgiven. If the Sox blew the game, Francona has a lot of explaining to do. That said, Francona is still the right mannager for the Sox. All is well that ends well!

Hey BosoxBrian:

Once again I agree with you “against the world.” By my count, Tito has won 25 of 35 play-off games, every play-off series but one (when the Red Sox were clearly outpitched by a White Sox team on its way to a “date with destiny”), and has won both world series he’s managed, WITHOUT LOSING A GAME. Goooolllllyyyy!!!!(as Gomer Pyle would say), this is one tough, f@%$ing crowd.

Jon Lester had already pitched his guts out over 109 pitches, and the only thing fans can say is “fire the manager if he doesn’t make Lester pitch more!!” If this is truly a team game, as the Sox, particularly the FO maintains, then somebody, at some time, has to pick up where Lester left off. If they can’t do that, then they’re moving on. Now, the Sox should have Lester ready to go for Game 2 vs. TB on Saturday. I acknowledge that Tito doesn’t always “manage the moment,” recognizing there may be other, larger implications, but I believe that makes him a great player’s manager.

I’d like to think that his players, having just gotten ******* for the 2nd time in 2 years, having lost both of the first 2 play-off games at their home ballpark, having barely eeked out 1 victory in 4 games, would have more class than to be running around claiming the better team (Angels?) in the series lost. If the Sox had spent the year playing the wounded A’s, Mariners and Rangers, the Sox might have won 110 games!

The Sox had all sorts of adversity to handle this year, all sorts of injuries (a number of which were plainly visible during this series), and yet they still find a way to win, bringing youngsters up, acquiring “cast-off vets”, no one else wanted (including an Angels cast-off, Bartolo Colon, when he wasn’t feeling sorry for himself etc., etc.).

Now I know Casey Kotchman is not Youk, but he’s not a bad ballplayer at 25. Imagine how the Angels FO will now be second-guessing themselves if they can’t afford Teixeira’s price (and his play-off performance was only worth $$$$$$$$$$$ to him), and have traded away a significant piece of their future, to end up in the same place they wound up at last year!

The Sox on the other hand, persevere through injuries and second-guessing themselves. Yes, I know they gave up on Zazu, but the man was in his mid-30’s, had become poison to the clubhouse, and was replaced by a pretty fair ballplayer who the Sox control at a much smaller price than Zazu. I know that if Bay had not performed the way he did on the grand stage of Fenway, many of us would be belly-aching and second-guessing the “trading of the dreadlocks.” I know the Sox took a sniff at Teixeira as July was ending. Credit them with knowing what they had, and what they needed. Credit the FO with asking Tito how badly they needed Teix, and credit Tito with not panicking over the hand he was dealt.

Whatever else happens over the remainder of this season, I will enjoy it more if we can find away to abide the talent and judgment of the manager who has demonstrated himself to be the most successful in baseball over the past 5 years. And over that time, he has had teams (exc. from last year to this), which had to be largely remade — imagine, as the Sox were pouring champagne all over each other in ’04, they would never get another pitch from either Pedro or Lowe, and would never get performance from Schill as they did in ’04 (last year’s play-off run notwithstanding!). Yet, somehow they have found a way to regroup, making a few mistakes along the way (Matt Clement….the shortstop replacements…Gary Payson), but largely covering those with farm system call-ups.

All along, one of the few constants has been Tito…getting them back into the show in ’05 despite the injuries…keeping them near the show in ’06 until the injuries became so devastating that no one could overcome it.

Imagine, we are back at the beginning of this past February, and I were to tell you that Schill would not throw a pitch all year, Buchholz would have a disastrous year, Big Papi and Mikey would both have, comparatively, sub-par years, and each would spend considerable time on the DL and neither would be responsible for plating a critical run in the ALDS, that Ellsbury would not have a year like the Fall he enjoyed in ’07, that Beckett would spend significant time on the DL, would win only 12 ballgames, amass 4+ ERA, and that he would have his worst career play-off performance in the ALDS in a game the Sox would lose, that Zazu would not contribute at all beyond July 31st, that the Sox would finish 8 games in front of the Yanks, but not win the AL East, that Drew would spend (what?) 6 weeks on the DL as the year ground to a close, and that DP would go 1 – 17 in the ALDS. Now how many of you would honestly tell me that given that set of facts, you would have predicted that the Sox would make it to the ALCS?

Somehow, someway, the Sox kept it together, found the necessary replacement parts, and kept them playing together all year. Give Tito some credit folks. My birthday buddy is not just a pretty face, thankfully!!!

If Francona did that suicide squeeze—Red Sox fans would have been screaming for a while on that one.

Francona will never call for a suicide squeeze. He will just let the batter swing it away. If it works, it’s great. If not, so be it. What’s got into Socisia’s head, why not a safety bunt? The Red Sox is blessed because of their ownership, front office, and field managment.

Well,
Great game last night. My take on Francona. Anyone whining on here about him would be the first one to whine when they let him go. There is no one out there in the baseball world available who is better than he is. He would last about 1 day before 10 teams were fighting over him if we let him go. He He has 2 WS wins since 04 and he’s got a chance at another one. What more are you asking for? And just to let you know….he could have lost last night’s game and the next one in Anaheim and he’d still be here next year because he has not done enough wrong to compound his mistakes. There’s more to managing than making every “perfect” decision on the field. ANd one more thing….there are certain bloggers on here who only show up when the Sox are losing or are losing momentum in a game. Maybe you folks…and you know who you are…should start a new blog for the doom and gloom crowd. I won’t be on that blog. Go Sox and thank you Tito for getting us to another ALCS.

cfarnham04,
Ditto on everything but I would also add that a manager can only do so much. Lester should have BEEN PULLED. He is a young arm and still strengthening. Going past 100 pitches was a dangerous situation. He’s never pitched these many innings in his life. It’s unknown territory and nobody wants to risk an arm like Lester. Terry did the most responsible decision. I admire him. Tito always said — I’m NOT a fan manager.
Also want to add Tek. Any other catcher would have missed that play. Varitek is the best defensive catcher in the league right now and the most prepared. You can’t fool him.
Also want to add that at some point, no matter what you do, you’re going to lose games. Angels were killers out there. They are a tough team. This is not the Angels of 2007. They are a much tougher team.
Finally, I’m celebrating all week over the win. I don’t see them winning against the Rays. I would love it. I really would love it but I don’t see it — but then again, I didn’t expect them to win against the Angels. Just shows what heart and a great manager can do.

Dave, I think the Sox will beat Tampa Bay, I really do. The Sox pick their game up in October and this last series was no different. My only concern is Beckett. Of course, that’s a huge concern, but maybe his start against LA was a tune-up and he’ll be sharp for TB. Hope so. If not, they’ll have to figure a way to beat TB without him. Maybe Garry can pitch a game.

I went over to the LA Angels website to read the blog and find out if the fans are calling for Scioscia’s head, but there is no blog there! Torii Hunter has a playoff blog but that’s different. When a player has a blog the comments are sycophantic fawning, not pithy comments like we have here. It’s like, “Torii, I wanna have your baby!!!” That kind of crap. LA makes me want to puke, NO BLOG???!!! Cmon!!! I’m so glad the Sox bounced them again this year. Anyway, I forget what my point was so I’ll get back to you when I remember.

Francona did the right move by pulling Lester after 7. What I read is that Francona actually wanted to start Lester in 8 until he met Lester in the dugout. In my book, Lester is the MVP of the series.
The Angels pitching completely shut down the Sox hitting. Yet the Sox still find a way to win. The Rays pitching is no way close that of Angels. This is October and you can throw the regular season records out of the window. The Sox in 6.

007chow,
I emailed you twice. Please let me know if you got something — Dave…
cfarnham04,
One thing I disagree with is excluding because we don’t like content. Yes if it’s gloom and doom I’ve been known to do that but I also have a lot of positive stuff and zany stories. Exclusion isn’t what a blog is about. As long as the person is not threatening of offensive I think we shouldn’t do that.
007chow,
I had no idea Francona pulled Lester with a meeting. Makes sense. Personally I read a lot about Lester and the concern of ruining a great arm. No question Lester is the MVP because he was the most consistent. I worry a great deal about beckett and Petroia and Ortiz. All three are struggling and vital to replace the energy of Mike Lowell.
If the Sox beat the Rays I will be in 7th heaven. I am tired of the media love for the Rays. They are becoming the heartwrenching story of a team with a low payroll overcoming all odds. It’s kind of nauseating.

Dave,
I agree with you 100% about Lester being pulled. The Sox were not in the same situation as the Angels last night. We had a little bit of breathing room…they had none. It was win or go home for them. There was absolutely no reason to abuse Lester last night and the job got done after he left. Unlike the Brewers with CC Sabathia, the Sox plan on keeping Lester around for a while and there is no reason to wear him out. Now…if this were July and it was a must have game…Francona might have left him in there for an extra inning because he had no faith in the bullpen at that time. Now Francona knows who he wants and when he wants them and things are coming together. Make no mistake, Francona knows the pulse of this team and he has done a remarkable job with all the intangibles thrown at him this year. Remeber ’06 when Varitek went down and the whole season took a crap. Francona has had to deal with a lot more than that this year and look…..the team barely missed a beat. I am extremely proud of this team and Francona. They have really stepped up and taken what the game threw at them and pressed on. The Sox had a great September and the Rays won the division….the Sox did not give it to them….the Rays won it. So I am looking forward to a great ALCS. Terry will put the best team he can on the field..and if they execute….they have a chance. BTW….smart move to drop Lowell. He is a gamer and would have played until the Sox finally said no. We can get by and have. Go Sox!!!!!!

Dave,
BTW….I like your book so far….and I am not even much of a SCI-FI guy….so that is good new for you!!!!!!

Did any of you here Lackey’s comments after the game? A case of sour grapes! My respect for Lackey is low! I read some of it on Boston.com Lackey got outpitched twice in the series, look no further than that Lackey!

Delcarmen and Masterson have been doing great in the pen. Masterson has tremendous stuff (probably will be starting next season) and had Guerrero and Hunter at 0-2. I’m not sure if Tek didn’t overthink back there and not just let Masterson blow a 96 mph heater by one of them.

I’d agree TB’s pen is better than the Sox with the excpetion of the closer but ours has not been that bad

Dave:
I missed your first email and have responded to your second email.

I agree that there is no point wearing out Lester like there is no tomorrow. Lowrie was struck out by Shields’ curve ball the night before and he expected and got the curve. Veritek and Delcarman also expected the squeeze play and they talked about it on the mound – beware of the squeeze.

Soscia is a class act unlike Lackey who bad mouthed the Sox after the game.

Masterson as good as he is can’t blow a 96 mph heater by Torii Hunter. I would walk Hunter to load the bases and pitch to Napoli. I know, the night before Beckett was throwing batting practice and had nothing. Napoli filed out, didn’t he?

Brian, I did see Lackey’s comments and sour grapes would be an understatement. However, I might have less respect for him if he felt any other way after the game. I lost respect for him when I saw his crybaby antics after errors made by his defense. He showed hit team mates up, and that’s never a good thing.

The squeeze play call by Scoccia, like the decision to remove Lester by Tito, is a great managerial decision if it works. Suicide squeezes almost always work if the batter can get the ball down in fair terretory. There is almost no way to defend it except to do what Delcarmen did, and that’s to get the ball down and in where it’s tough for a batter to see. For the Angels, who weren’t having the best series hitting with RISP, I thought it was a good call.

There seems to be some controversy over Tek’s tag at third base because the ball came out of his glove after the fact. After reviewing the rule book, I believe the ump made the correct call despite what those Bozos on ESPN are saying. Everyone wants to apply the rules for a catch to the tag situation and the rules are clearly very different. For a catch, a player must gain control of the ball and maintain control of the ball and the ground (or wall, another player, umpire or just about anything else) can cause a fumble. On a catch the ball must be under the fielder’s control and voluntarily removed from the glove. If he catches a fly ball, takes a step or two and crashes into a wall and drops the ball, it will not be ruled a catch. However, on a tag, the requirement only exists for the fielder to have firm control of the ball when the tag is made. Tek clearly had control of the ball before, during and after the tag. In that case, the ground cannot cause a fumble. The only thing that can cause a fumble is the baserunner. If for example, Tek tagged the runner on the foot and the ball was kicked (unintentionally) loose, then the runner would have been safe. You see this all the time on plays at second base. The same rule applies on tagging a base. A middle infielder will get a throw, tag the base for a force out, and then drop the ball as he goes to make a throw. In this case, the ball is not voluntarily removed from the glove, but the out is called any way because the fielder had control of the ball when he tagged the base. Bottom line here is that you cannot compare or equate a tag play to a catch. The rules are entirely different. Nice call by the umpire.

Here’s Lackey’s comment:
It’s way different than last year,” Lackey told ESPN.com. “We are way better than they are. We lost to a team not as good as us.

“[On Sunday] they scored on a pop fly they called a hit, which is a joke,” said Lackey, referring to a popup that was misplayed into three runs. “[On Monday], they score on a broken-bat ground ball and a fly ball anywhere else in America [except in Fenway Park]. And [Pedroia's] fist-pumping on second like he did something great.”

Glad to see bloggers rally around Francona. Pulling Lester was the right decision. The move would have been tougher for an older, more veteran pitcher with an ego to placate. Better to pull him too early than too late!

As far as Lackey is concerned, more collective talent does not mean way better!

Kramer…

I think Lackey has alot of maturing to do! Last time I checked he was the one who got outpitched twice in the series. Also why in the world did the Angels select the longer series? That played right into the Red Sox hands. Whoever made that descion, thank you! LOL!!

Your Phillies are alive and well. Part of me is rooting for the Phillies. The other part of me is pulling for the Dodgers for obvious reasons. Down here in St. Pete the bandwagon is full! LOL!

Lackey should not have shown up his teammates on the national stage, nor on any other stage. Last I heard it’s a team game and the fielders are not there just for his sake, but for all together. Anyway, Garry, you always wanted a player to be honest and not give “canned” answers. Lackey did that. He didn’t mention K-Rod’s fist pumping or Aybar’s “cheap” game winning hit or any break that the Angels got but failed to take advantage of. He also forgot that the Halo batters were hitting in the same ball park as the Sox. Lastly, the team that PLAYS better wins, not the team that is better on paper.
But, having said all that, I’d be angry and bitter too. I just wouldn’t blame the wrong things for the loss. The “inferior” team played better, more fundamentally sound baseball.

I was wrong about Tito. I should have trusted that he made the right decision. I thought Lester was doing so well, I wanted him back in there in the 8th. But hey, I’m in my living room 2,000 miles away, what do I know? Tito’s still the best manager the Sox have had.

Brian,
Ballplayers do say some of the dumbest things! Maybe Lackey will now scream he was mis-quoted!!!

There would be a lot of drama in a Dodger/Red Sox World Series which could be fun. And it would be fine to see one of my past favorites, Reggie Smith, in a broadcast roll!!!

Do you have ALCS tix?

Read this. You’ll feel better about everyone’s favorite:
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF John LACKEY

John Lackey got up in the morning. He realized this was a great morning. He was going to face the Boston Red Sox for the World Series ? or was it the playoffs or something. He was never sure. He rolled his hands and screamed, ?mom where?s my #$#$ breakfast. I want it now!?
Lackey then walked to the kitchen. His belly hung out to dry.
?Don?t you think you should change your diaper John??
?Mom I have to pitch a game today. Where?s my #$#$ donuts!?
?Right here dear!?
Lackey did what his mom said and removed his diaper. He then sat down and looked at the stove.
?I wish you well tonight dear, ?said his mom.
Lackey turned around and said, ?I?m a God?I don?t need luck!?
Lackey?s mom turned around and said, ?sure dear.?
Lackey put on his uniform. It was custom made. The phone rang. Lackey picked it up.
?Who?s being stupid today!? It was Lackey?s standard comment.
Lackey paused and said, ?oh sorry boss.?
?What! I have to come early to the park. F##$# you!?
Lackey threw the phone across the room and threw his diaper on it before smashing both with his hand. He felt better. You could tell. His smile was less nasty.
?Mom?pick up a new @#$#$ phone or I?ll #$#$ throw my #$#$ temper #$%#$ around!?
?Yes dear.?
Lackey walked outside and waited for his escort. It was due in five minutes. He munched on donuts and burped at the cars on the street.
?Mom?@$# car isn?t @#$@# here!?
?You destroyed the phone?dear?
Lackey turned around and walked towards the door. He kicked it inside and screamed before falling to the ground and threw a nasty temper tantrum. Fortunately his mom was there to help.
It only took ten minutes for Lackey to sit down at the stop with a brown bag lunch and his sippy cup. He liked drinking orange juice with cool aid. It was his favorite drink. He liked his sippy cup. It never spilled. The limo finally arrived.
?Sorry sir!?
Lackey stepped inside and grabbed his etch-a-sketch.
?Fenway loser park?.NOW!?
The car sped off. Lackey started making prank calls to the Boston Red Sox club house until they took the phone off the hook.
?Ha?they are such #$#$ losers driver. Ha?they are such babies.?
Lackey then grabbed his sippy cup before screaming, ?my sippy cup is empty. Where?s mommy!?
Lackey called home and screamed at his mommy before making the driver fill it with more cool aid. When Lackey got to the ballpark he stepped out. The driver sped off like a bullet. Lackey saw a fan. He ran to the fan. He grabbed the purse out of the woman?s hand and said, ?my autograph now!?
The fan walked away. Maybe it was his squeaky, whiny voice or perhaps the fact that he had cool aid and pop tarts all over his shirt or perhaps the fact that he almost assaulted her. A cop came by.
?What?s the problem.?
?I?m a ballplayer idiot.?
The cop understood and walked away. Lackey loved baseball. No accountability it seemed.
?#$#$ you, you #$#$ #$#$.?
Lackey then went inside the clubhouse. Everyone stood around with smiles until Lackey came in.
?I?m ready you awesome #$#$ team except for #$#$ and #$#$ and @#@#$ and #$#$. You guys are lousy.?
He screamed it so loud that everyone backed away from him.
?Now where?s my new diaper!?
The ball boy handed it to him. Lackey kicked him and be backed off. He then slipped it on.
?Let go get em??
Lackey shoved everyone aside. A reporter grabbed him. Lackey stuck his tongue out and make funny faces saying, ?na, na, na, na, na, I?m better than yooou!?
Lackey went out and waved to the crowds. Lackey bowed and greeted them and then shouted, ?I?m better than all of you!?
Lackey hit the mound. The first Red Sox player came up. Lackey threw the first pitch. It didn?t hit his mark and he jumped up and down on the mound. He screamed and cursed then threw his hat down. That was typical of John Lackey ? a class act.

It was later in the evening when Lackey went into the corner. They had lost the game and Lackey blamed everyone including Abraham Lincoln and Clark Kent. Then he screamed some more until his voice shut down from screaming. He had thrown his batting helmet, his glove, his shoes, his diaper and his sippy cup.
Finally, Lackey saw his mother and she hugged him. Lackey felt better. Mom was always so nice to him and he knew he was an Angel inside. There would be next year. For the California Angels that could wait a long time.

Oh sorry, I know it’s the L.A. Angels but I’ve known then as the California Angels a lot longer. Enjoy…it made me feel better after Lackey’s ridiculous comments.

Dave, that’s hilarious!

Arnie, I’ve read it twice myself and I’m still with tears in my eyes. I don’t know why but I think it’s the funniest thing I ever wrote — or because I have two kids and have experienced the life of a child and have met many a neighbor kids who act just like Lackey.

Arnie, I’ve heard that you are planning a “special dinner” for Mr Lackey. I have a few suggestions as to put on the menu.
1). an appetizer of Sour Grapes
2). an entree of Crow
and for dessert
3). deep dish humble pie

Good one,Ellen.

I’m not sure the Sox are inferior to the Angels. About the only player I would take over what the Sox had on the field last night from the Angels is Teixeira and at this point I might take Vlad over Ortiz as the DH. I think the pitching is pretty much a wash as both teams have excellent staffs. Lackey may have felt the Angels were better than the Sox, and he should feel that way, but I just don’t see it. The Angels won 100 games playing in a division far inferior to what the Sox had to compete against all year.

I don’t think either team was particularly productive in key situations, but the Sox were productive a few more times than the Angels were and that was the difference in the series. The Angels banged the ball all over both ball parks, and had a lot of scoring opportunities but failure to get key hits and base running blunders cost them a lot. There’s a difference between being aggressive and being stupid and Vlad’s being thrown out at third on the Youk play, and Hunter’s being thrown out at second trying to stretch a single were both probably plays that crossed that line between aggressive and stupid. I don’t fault either of them for their hustle, but a little discretion in both of those instances might have turned the series.

As I look forward to the ALCS, I see Tito hasn’t announced the pitching rotation yet, so it’s a good time to speculate. If I were managing the Red Sox, I would start Beckett on Friday, bring Lester back on Saturday, and follow up with Dice-K for the first game in Boston on Monday. That would put Beckett and Lester on normal rotation and give Dice-K a couple of extra days of rest so he could then go out and throw 500 pitches if he needed to. I’d probably look at Paul Byrd for game 4 although Wakefield has a good history against the Rays. The problem I have with Wake is that he takes Tek out of the lineup and in the playoffs, I want Tek in there. Any thoughts?

Let’s focus on something. What’s Lackey talking about? The fact that he was twice matched up against a pitcher who, in a much tougher division than his, won far more games (16-12), pitched far more innings (210 – 163), struck out more batters (152-135) and had a far better ERA (3.21 to 3.75)? In a 5 game series, when your team leadership chooses the series set-up which allows the Sox (and the Angels) to pitch their best pitcher twice, meaning the Sox could pitch Lester twice, it also allowed the Angels to pitch Lackey twice against Lester. In that circumstance, you have to place primary responsibility on the Angels pitcher in those two games — John Lackey!!!. The result, Angels lost both game Lackey pitched. Lackey’s fault…depends on your perspective. However, on neither occasion did he out-pitch Lester and/or get done-in by a weird circumstance or events.

For him to now complain or minimize the Sox ability, well that’s just “covering his ***.” Shame on him. If you’re a big game pitcher, you out-pitch your opponent. If not, shut your mouth, pick up your glove, and go home!!!! Shame on him.

Is there an ALDS MVP? I have seen no announcement, and it had to go to either Lester or Jason Bay!!! Now as for the ALCS, do not count the Sox out. They know, particularly in light of the past 5 years, what it takes to win. The Rays are there for their very first time. Will the superlative Rays’ starting pitching continue???or will it wilt under the pressure?? Will the shut-down relief pitching continue??? Will the timely hitting continue??? If so, they will likely be the AL rep in the WS, and will likely win the 2008 WS. If not, herrreeee come the Sooooxxxxx!!!!!!

The Sox have been there before, know what it takes to win, and know how to deliver. It will be interesting to see who the Sox announce as their 1st game starter. I might take a look at Wake in the dome, where he’s had so much success, with Lester pitching Game 2 and then Beckett and Dice-K pitching Game 3 and 4, making Lester ready for Game 5. Remember, they don’t have to win all 7, just 4 of 7. Just a thought.

On another subject, does anyone think the Sox will “go after” Teixeira in the off-season? He will be very expensive, but was outrageous for the Angels in the ALDS. I’m unclear how the accommodate Teixeira unless he plays 1B, Youk plays 3B and Lowell rides the pines for 2 years. Otherwise, do you put Teixeira in left and have Bay ride the pines? A lot of talent for an $8 Mil per year back-up to ride the pines (Bay). At some point, the Sox have to recognize an embarrassment of riches, and let talented players go. Teixeira is certainly one of them.

Of bigger concern is what the Sox do with Crisp and Kotsay in the off-season. Kotsay made some amazing plays, and hit some amazing smashes!!! CoCo has to want to start as a ballplayer for some team. These are 2 good players looking to maximize their respective revenue with the right team. Theo, are you going to be the Yankees and throw money at players who sit on the bench? or are you going to allow talented players to leave and maximize their real value? A very tough decision, but you have proven time and again that you are up to it.

oh… Arnie, P.S. >> there is one other thing that I’d like to tell Lackey to eat, but that wouldn’t be polite or lady-like!!! we all know how I strive to be that…. LOL!!

What is it that so many ball players and athletes say?? “I’d rather be LUCKY than Good!!” I’d rather Be REDSOX than LACKEY!!!

Unless Ortiz returns to his old form, I could see Lowell as something less than an everyday player at 3B coupled with some games as DH. I have no clue of what the recovery time will be for the surgery he faces!

You know what?? I think I can excuse what Lackey said for one reason… The reporters caught RIGHT after his team was eliminated from playoff/ws contention. We all have to know that at that time the hurt was still really RAW. I do believe, however, that you would NEVER hear something like that out of the mouth of A RedSox player for one reason: The RedSox management let’s these guys know right from the get-go as to what is expected of them in regard to talking to the media. They go through a class from what I understand when they are brought up from the minors. I’m sure that they are also made aware that there will be a $price to pay if something comes back to bite them in the *** that they’ve said to the media that reflects poorly on the RS Organization.

Has Ian weighed in on the Sox win at all??? HEY IAN WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU??

Here is a question for each of us… What would each of us be doing if there wasn’t a Brownie Points (or other RS blog) in existence??

dbenjamin,
My selfish side says keep Crisp for role playing when we need him, but I’d really like to see him get a chance to play every day because I think he could put up some pretty decent numbers for somebody if he could play every day. Sadly enough that would mean a trade but he deserves to play more than he does. I really like the way he has handled himself despite his situation in Boston and I think that makes himself valuable and a smart GM will recognize that. Kotsay is in the same boat. Don’t think he’d appreciate the role playing over 162 games. The Sox sure were lucky this year with the bench! Hope they keep Cora because I am not sure he would start anywhere else and he has been good for this team. The off-season will be interesting for sure.

Ellen,
Speaking as a newcomer this year….this blog is great. Can get stuff off your chest and interact with folks who understand each other for the most part. How was this blog’s attitude the year Tek was hurt and the Sox crapped the bed?

I think Lowell should have surgery as soon as possible. He’s not going to get better for the WS. The Sox will have to win without contribution from him anyway, might as well get the rehab started sooner. Also, if the surgery is not successful Theo might know in time whether to pursue Texiera or not. That’s so far ahead of ourselves, let’s wait til December.

I think Crisp might want to stay. Do you want to go to the post season every year or maybe not go? That’s a tricky question. He might figure, hey, I’ve got my ring(s) now I want the money for being a starter somewhere. Ya nevah know!

As for Lackey, his comments were laughable. If your team is “way better” then win a couple games!!! Don’t make errors, leave runners on base and give up timely hits!! Then come talk to us! They could very easily have been swept! He had 2 shots at a win and he got out pitched twice. Maybe his team would be “way better” without him. That’s what he meant, I’m sure.lol

PART II — A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOHN LACKEY

John Lackey stood in front of the audience and stooped down.
?Hey, welcome to the wet diapers. We?re gonna sing an? entertain you and all that with some hard rock?ah?Archie tunes.?
An audience member shouted, ?forget it, you?re awful.?
That burned John?s diaper rash and it made him scratch it.
?How do you know!?
?I?ve seen you pitch!?
Lackey came down from the stage pushing for a fight. He kicked a chair moved off the stage. It was going to get ugly.
$$$
It was fifteen minutes later at his home when John was throwing hundred dollar bills at the wall and drawing crayon mustaches on them.
?I want him dead. I hate him. Nobody pushes me around.?
John?s mom came over and smashed her head against the wall.
?Why?d you do that mom??
She held her head and said, ?it helps with your condition.?
She paused and said, ?why don?t you watch the Superfriends. ?
?I hate that show. It?s for kids!?
?Mr. Rogers??
?Mom, why do you think I?m such a baby. I make more money than this entire block. More money, more money, more money. ?
John then got up. He stormed off to his room and closed the door.
She picked up the vacuum cleaner and then went to his room. She opened the door.
?John?have you been playing amusement park with the vacuum cleaner again??
?No!?
She rolled her eyes.
?John?you know you?re not ready for that!?
John nodded.
?John! The finishing sander! What is it with you!?
$$$
It was later when John appeared on the Tim McCarver show. Tim stood back with a reserved look. John was?John.
?So?John?are you?.normal??
?I?m normal, ?shouted John before a belay of gas sprung around the room.
?I have to change my diaper now Mr. McCarver.?
John left the stage and suddenly The Tim McCarver show interviewed Yogi Berra.
$$$
John was at a restaurant. He screamed until he got service.
?Mac and cheese!?
?That?s sissy stuff. ?
?I?ll be back with your chocolate milk too!?
John ate it well despite the snickers. He kept throwing his food at them and laughing hysterically. He then taunted the audience and called them names. John was having a good day.

Craig. I like your literary stylings!!! LOL.. Everybody was a bit down and we had ablog troll extrodonaire here at brownie points who just made everyone miserable with name calling and calling out everyone to fight… His name was Daniel Fagan… He made the blog horrible to be on that year and we all were hurting to begin with. Last year was good and this year we have some of the veterans, some from last year and all the newbee’s and EVERYONE HAS BEEN GREAT!!!! I have had an ABSOLUTE blast with out the bottle of ABSOLUTE!!!! lol

Man,
It seems like Friday is forever away from now!!!!!!

Ellen, I remember the dreary days of Fagan. I used to read the blog to connect with like-minded Sox fans and often I’d end up thinking,”Wow, these folks are lunatics, just like my staff!” He and Vince went at it like cats and dogs sometimes. I still think Fagan is bipolar but refuses to take his meds. I’ve worked with some bipolar folks and lost one to suicide and another ended up in jail—he thought he saw Jon Benet Ramsey rise up from the sidewalk and whisper to him that his OTHER employer(thank God- he later stabbed him) killed her. But I digress.

To answer your question: If I didn’t have this blog to hang around I would:
A. Drink myself to an early grave. I have access to a bewildering array of libations.
B. Work as Julio Lugo’s Personal Assistant. He does a lot of speaking engagements now that he no longer plays baseball.
C. Collect stamps. Which would surely lead me back to A.

Arnie… for those Lugo speaking engagements…
A) English or broken english
b) Pesos or dollars??? lol
Damn do you remember some of the things Fagan said about me, when i stood up for Vince??? Wow, the man could get as graphic as Dave does in his novel!!! I know he came on here under at least 5 names and every time I busted him I’d get more graphic crap thrown…. I’m glad Mark Newman and Ian took care of stuff like that!

Many of us have criticized Tito for not letting Lester go out there in the eight inning.Based upon some of the comments made it appears that Tito’s discussion with Lester in the dugout may have been the basis of Tito’s decision. However, as a fan and not privy to dugout discussions we can only basis our comments on what we see and what moves are made. Absent of the dugout discussions I feel that Tito did not make the right decision. Lester was terrific; he had control of his pitches and did not appear to be in any trouble. And for Tito to pull him ,assuming it was due to pitch count, I’m from the old school where starting pitchers pitched far more complete game that they do today. Since Lester looked in complete control I think, like others, he should have stayed in and that Tito made a bad decision. Fortunately, the game turned out well and we should forward to facing The DEVILRAYS and prove that we are the better team.

Ellen, I used to stare at the computer in wide-eyed amazement sometimes after I’d read some of Fagan’s posts. He was one crude person. Sick. He might be out there now straining at his straight jacket trying to free up a hand so he can type in some diseased comment or other.

Anyway, if you’d like to book Lugo to speak at your next Bar Mitzvah party or Seder, I can give you a fee schedule. If you’d like proper English including complete sentences and cogent thoughts that is the highest at $15,000. 15 minutes. Our next price beak, and our most popular package, includes one half hour of broken English featuring inane ramblings, run-on sentences, jokes without punchlines and multi-lingual cursing. A bargain at $750. For 2 hamburgers and a bottle of Yoo-Hoo he’ll stick a kazoo you-know-where and break wind for a half hour. VERY popular at children’s parties. (This is Brian’s fave—after a fifth of Grey Goose—–sorry Brian, JK). Julio is also in high demand at circumcisions. Call any time.

Ooooops……………”Our next price break”…………………..not price beak,,, my bad.

By the way Ellen, since I’m still wide awake, I must say that you hung in there with remarkable toughness when Fagan was polluting this blog. I admire toughness very very much. Good job! I’m impressed.

Francona’s comment on removing Lester:

On why he removed Jon Lester from the game after seven shutout innings:

“When he came off the mound [after the seventh inning], he was done. He knew he was done. And [pitching coach] John Farrell asked him something about, ‘What do you have left?,’ and [Jon] said something about, ‘I think I can go out.” But he was already done, we already had [Hideki Okajima] in the game. I had told Jon the minute he looked up at the sky [after retiring the final batter of the seventh inning] that ‘Okie is in the game.’ There’s no way we’re going to make a mistake like that [sending a pitcher back out after thinking his work was done]”

On whether Lester knew the pitch count ahead of time:

“Oh, of course not. That’s be stupid. I’m mean, how do we know? We don’t know ourselves. That pitch count has gotten a life of its own. There are so many more things that go into it: The score of the game, who’s available in the bullpen, who we’re facing, there’s a lot of things that go into it. The pitch count meant very little last night.”

And this is what Adam Kilgore said:
Adam Kilgore: For question 1: When Lester got Mike Napoli out on that fly to the warning track in left to end the seventh, in his mind, he thought he was done. When pitching coach John Farrell asked Lester if he was done, Lester, without giving it much thought, replied, “Yes.” Even though Lester later said he could go back out, Terry Francona thought it was dangerous to take a pitcher who mentally turned it off and then send him back out, anyway. Plus, he had thrown 109 pitches — only a hyper-quick inning likely would have prevented a mid-inning pitching change. Let there be no mistake: Jon Lester has been the best player in these playoffs, on any team in any league. I don’t see how you could argue otherwise.

Lester was mentally done and when that happens, time to bring in someone else. If Boston is going to win it all, Masterson, Okajima and Delcarmen need to throw strikes! No free passes, those walks always end up scoring!

I think the days off leading to game #1 helps Boston. I think that is where there experience will show.

If Beckett is up to it, perhaps he should open the League playoffs with Lester for game 2. This way they could each be ready for later games in the seven game series. Due to the time off before the start of the series, assuming they are physically able, they should have had sufficient rest. If they are successful Tito can then determine his subsequent pitchers. Perhaps DiceK for game three .

Game 1: Daisuke Matsuzaka
Game 2: Josh Beckett
Game 3: Jon Lester
Game 4: Tim Wakefield
Game 5: Matsuzaka
Game 6: Beckett
Game 7: Lester

That’s a surprise! Dice-K in the lead-off spot. Good thing I’m working Friday night, I don’t think my nerves could take it. The Sox win almost every time Matsuzaka pitches but the tension wears me out. Runners all over the place, his deliberate style, a million pitches. I’d be swilling the Pepto.

Thank you pangelotti. Hey dudes and dudette ….. we have an ALCS coming up here. It’s time to start having fun with that. Lunatic Lackey and his comments are in the past, and the last thing Coco and Kotsay are worried about at this point and the last thing we should be worried about is where they will be next year. We’ll have plenty of time to talk about that. As the elder statesman of this blog, I direct everyone’s attention be switched to the ALCS and speculation about what the Sox are going to do about those pesky Rays who will just not go away.

Tito has a choice to make on game 1. He has already said it won’t be Lester. I think the obvious choice is Beckett. Although he lacked command in his last game, he threw well and got his 100 pitches in. He could return to his dominant form for this game. Bring Lester back for game 2 and Dice-K will be very well rested for game 3.

The Rays and Sox come into this series pretty evenly matched. The Sox have a slight edge on offense and the Rays with pitching, but I don’t think the differences are significant enough to even consider. I just looked at the team stats for the season, and I was surprised at how close they were.

I think there will be two kesy for the Sox to win this series. The first is pitching and in particular, I think they can’t give up many free passes. They have to make the Rays earn their way on base. Amazingly, the Sox, well known for their patience at the plate, saw only about 4 pitches more per game than the Rays. The Sox pitchers are going to have to get ahead in the count, and stay ahead. If they give up too many free passes, the Rays speed will become a huge factor. The second issue is hitting with RISP. While the Sox have scored more runs, they have left a ton of runners on base. On the other hand, the Rays have been getting timely hits all year which is why they are where they are. What they lack in talent, they make up for in timeliness. The Sox have to do a better job with RISP than they did against the Angels.

I thought experience might play a role, but nothing seems to intimidate the Rays. They did what they needed to do down the stretch to win the division and they disposed of the White Sox with relative ease. The Sox better go to Tampa ready to do battle and grind it out.

When you list Dicek as a starter you have to add a few more names to come on in the sixth inning and thereafter e.g., DiceK, Masterson, Oki, and then Paps. It’s almost like a package deal
Talking about tears- the Sox and the Nation had tears of joy; the Angels had tears of sorrow and the Yankees had, and still have, tears of anger and envy-Tears that would last all fall, and winter. Couldn’t happen to a better team.
As far as Texiera is concerned- whether the Sox truly want him or not- they should remain in the bidding to drive his price up.

Let’s go Sox!!

The rotation I posted is that Francona announced today.

Let me modify the rotation for Francona.

Game 1: Daisuke Matsuzaka and Paul Byrd
Game 2: Josh Beckett
Game 3: Jon Lester
Game 4: Tim Wakefield
Game 5: Matsuzaka and Paul Byrd
Game 6: Beckett
Game 7: Lester

Dice-K never pitched more than 5 innings against the TB this year. If the trend continues, Byrd has to come in to pitch 6th & 7th inning. lol

Francona set up the rotation this way because once again Francona is looking down the road. Beckett game #6 and Lester game #7. It all makes sense to me!

007…

If Dice-K does go 5 innings on Friday night. I doubt he will. Byrd will not be the first pitcher coming out of the pen. If Dice-K is knocked out before the 5th, Byrd will be the first reliever coming out of the pen.

Sox in 6 games! The rest will help the Red Sox and it will hurt the young and inexperienced Rays!

Can anybody tell me why the red aren’t going to go after C.C.?! Lester, C.C., Beckett, Dice-K and Wake doesn’t sound good enough? and we have to keep him away from the Yankees! And if they dont get C.C., and the Yankees do, who will the Sox get? I know we have good pitchers, but Lester is the only one who is really good, all around, as far as this year goes, and i think, in order to keep the no doubt very re-armed Yanks and those darn Rays behidn us, we need something spectacular!

Scoring early will be a key for the Red Sox in this series! What happens to the Rays when they make a miscue or two? That will decide alot right there! Boston has made some errors in critical games but T.B. hasn’t been there before. We have no clue on how they’ll react. One thing I do know is the Rays can throw some leather around. They are one of the best defensive teams in baseball. Navarro also has done well in throwing out runners. He tossed Ellsbury out one time with ease! Boston has the clear advantage with Papelbon over Dan Wheeler. The bridge to the closer I would say T.B. with a slight advantage. Balfour and Howell have been very good against Boston all season long. Boston has done well against Wheeler! Bradford is obviously a tough match-up for righties. Tough to get anything in the air against him. Unless your Zazu and going for lifetime H.R. #500!

Dice-K? Gm 1?? Okay. Dice-k is good on the road. But I am still surprised

The guy Boston hit hard this year was Kazmir. In season’s past he owned the Red Sox! Garza has the best stuff on the team but I wonder about his maturity. He seems to fight himself at times. Sonnastine was a guy that gave Boston fits in 2 starts in Sept.

I am expecting Pedroia to bounce back in this series and Drew to do some damage as well. I’m worried about Ortiz. His wrist must be very sore, that is the only thing I can think of. A healthy Ortiz is lethal! Perhaps these days off will help him. Last series at the Trop, Oritz hit 3 longballs. I hope he finds that stroke again.

One thing for certain is there won?t be defense lapses on the part of the Rays. The Rays scored 6 runs against CWS pitching in every game in the ALDS. The CWS pitching is nowhere close to the Red Sox. Dice-K has not lost a road game yet. Beckett pitched extremely well at Trop. On 4/27/08 Beck pitched 7 innings and gave up 1 ER. On 9/16/08, 8 innings pitched and 1 ER.
If Beckett is healthy abd Dice-K pitches 6 strong innings, a sweep of the first 2 games is not out of the realm of imagination. The Sox can?t do worse than a split. The Sox in 6.

Garry…

Last time I checked, Kramer had you by at least 50 years. lol. I think Kramer is the elder statesmen on here. LOL!! Don’t kill me know Mr. Kramer. You told us on here that you were a little sensitive. Remember? HA…HA….

007…

I agree very much with your assesment on the defensive lapses. L.A. made there fair amount of them. T.B. has been solid all season long in the field. Especially up the middle.

This is going to be a very gritty series. Whomever comes out on top will be ready for the World Series. As of late, the ALCS has proved to be the killer series. if the Sox survive this they have a good chance at the WS.
Dice-K needs to watch his pitch count. The Rays know this and will be doing a lot of tenacious foul ball hitting just to drive his count up. In addition the Sox clutch hitting — as I’ve said before is terrible. The LOB is just frustrating. They really need to put a stop to it. The one-two punch from last year is gone and that is showing its effects. No massive home run to fix the problem. Everything has been doubles and singles with Bay pounding out a couple but otherwise the team’s offense and their bullpen are great weaknesses. I’m sure next year it will be fixed. Let’s see what happens this year. I’m going to shoot for the Sox in 7.

dave:
What you said is not totally wrong. But give credit to Angels’ pitching which practically shut down the Sox hitting. If it weren’t for the Angels defensive lapses, the Sox could be playing Game 5 tonight, if not already been eliminated.
The Rays 3 SPs aren’t as good as Angels’. However, the Sox can’t let No. 4 starter Sonnenstyn shut down the Sox again.
In October it’s not the best team wins. It’s who plays better that wins. Some of us have said whoever wins the Angels/Sox series wins the WS. I still believe it. The Sox in 6.

Brian, being the elder statesman here is kind of like being President of the United States. You have to be born in the U.S. to be President. As we all know, Kramer is a Yankee fan which makes him ineligible for designation as the elder statesman.

I see Francona’s logic with his rotation, although I would prefer to see Beckett pitch game 1. I just think it’s important to take your best shot at winning the first game and I like Beckett to be able to do that more than I like Dice-K. The Rays will not permit Dice-K to give up a lot of walks. They will run him out of the game if he does that. He has got to get ahead in the count.

Read Francona’s logic with the rotation:

On the Red Sox’ pitching rotation for the ALCS:

Francona: We’re going to go Daisuke [Matsuzaka], [Josh] Beckett, [Jon} Lester, [and Tim] Wakefield [in that order] now. We reserve the right if something crazy happens in the middle to make a change but that’s the way we’re set up to go. The reasoning is actually pretty simple. I think I thought this was how it would shake out even before we did the media after we beat Anaheim. I just needed to take the proper time to talk it through. It gives people rest, not too much rest not too little. It’s probably the best way where we don’t have one guy going on [eight days' rest], one guy going on regular. Keep everybody somewhat in line. Rest at this time of year is huge and we’ll take advantage of it while trying not to give too much. And the guys that pitch [Games] 1, 2, and 3 are lined up for 5, 6, and 7. Nobody’s going to throw three [games] so having those three twice is really what’s important regardless of how it’s lined up.

On if Lester’s 11-1 record at Fenway factored into the rotation decision:

Francona: Not really, I know what it is. You can get into a lot of details but there really didn’t need to be. The way it lined up was appropriate. Those three [Dice-K, Lester, and Beckett] will pitch twice if it goes to seven games. In the end, as long as they’re pitching the order isn’t as important so then you go on what’s best for them.

Well guys, if the Sox win this year I will rejoice with joy. The world is collapsing around us and this is a great escape. I would also like them to win the World Series if anything to prove that Zazu is not a god. Hmmm…. a teamup between Lackey and Zazu. Oh it’s too good to resist a satire on that one!

Hope you don’t mind a newbie from across the pond joining in the discussion…
Some thoughts about he forthcoming ALCS: I think it’s going to be very tough indeed for the Sox – those pesky Rays have shown that they can hang in & beat the Sox in final/extra innings. That will give them a lot of belief in pressure situations – they won’t go away.
Compared to the ALDS, I suspect PD will hit more – his crucial double in Game 4 indicates normal service will be resumed. Will Papi be more of an influence? If he is, it could just be the factor that tips the scales in our favour – we’ve go to where we are his season with him playing at 70%.
I like our 5-7 in the batting line-up – Drew, Bay & Kotsay could go on to give us a lot of production. I thought in the final inning against the Angels, Drew, Bay, Kotsay & Lowrie looked completely zoned-in – scoring the run just didn’t seem in doubt.
Obviously, to me, our main problem will be with the bull-pen. I was surprised Tito invested so heavily throughout the series in Masterson – but the experience will have served him well. Okie doesn’t have the same effect he had last year (familiarity, I guess), but Delcarmen seems to me to have come of age during the final couple of months. Byrd may well end up having to do an important job for us (especially in Games 1 &/or 5!1).
I fear the Rays might sneak it – Monday night may just have marked the best we could have achieved from a season ravaged by injuries & disturbances. But if the Rays show the slightest weakness, no team is better equipped mentally, & in terms of ability & commitment, to capitalise, than the Sox.

Masterson was frightened in his first postseason appearance. He will be fine hopefully. I was little surprised that Francona stayed with Masterson little longer than I would like.

The Rays rotation as expected: Shields, Kazmir, Garza, and Sonnanstine.

LACKEY AND ZAZU AND LUGO AND MIGRANE — OH MY!

John Lackey sat in his room with his tinker toys and radioactive explosives with Zazu joining in. It was their first sleep over together. Already two houses in the neighborhood were burning to the ground. Zazu and John had fun.
?I should have beat those stupid Sox! Lackey smart!?
?Ya right. I?ve got brains?you?ve got evolution.?
Lackey got angry and threw a marble at Zazu?s head. Zazu responded in kind. Before long they were throwing crayons, baseballs, darts and puzzle pieces and plutonium 238 at each other.
?Stop it, ?shouted Lackey?s mom.
?He called me evolved Mom!?
Mrs. Lackey went to Zazu and said, ?You know that?s not true. Apologize!?
?Sorry Lackey. Everyone knows you?re not evolved yet.?
The two went back to playing.
?Where?s our friend, ?said Lackey.
?He?s staying at some sort of hotel in Las Vegas. He?ll be their till December.?
?I want OJ!? screamed Lackey.
?Ha?Devil Rays. I’m a Migrane headache.?
Joe Migrane walked in. He sat down as everyone groaned. It was going to be a long afternoon.
?Let?s play vacuum cleaner with Lugo! We have fun!?
?Shut up, ?snapped Lackey as he smashed Migrane?s teeth in.
?You?re as sick as Lugo. You?re evolved. I know that now! Mom!?
?Will you calm down, ?said Zazu as he pulled out thousand dollar bills and started tearing them up with his switchblade.
?This is fun, ?said Zazu. ?I like torn money.?
?What is it with you three. Can?t three immature, sadistic, psychotic arsonists who are also overgrown millionaire idiots play together?”
?Yes Mom. ?said Lackey.
?Yes Mrs Lacky, ?said Zazu.
?I?m annoying, ?smiled Migrane.
?You three are sick?just sick.?
?Hey?can I play!? said Migrane.
Lugo walked in with his Barbie dress and jumped up and down.
?What is it about baseball anyway??
Mrs. Lackey walked away and locked the door. The vacuum cleaner turned on as well as the sander. Moans and screams were heard before everyone laughed at each other. At that moment she wanted to burn the entire home down.

pangelotti@cox.net
Sorry! No tears being shed! I hope you don’t believe that “bitterness spewing” crap!!!

Brian,
The “sensative” mention was more about Arnie’s comments on the Torre handling. I don’t mind anyone getting a few laughs about me or the Yankees! That’s the fun of blogging.
Thanks for calling us “the mighty” a while back, I didn’t think you would concede that!

I’m slightly puzzled. I read what Tito said about spacing his starters out so that they each get about as much rest, but by not pitching Wake in Game 2, he gives up such a potentially big advantage of the knuckleball in the dome. I recognize Wake was knocked around his last time pitching in Tampa, but he has typically been $$$ there. If he was slotted into Game 2, they could then pitch Beckett in Game 3 and Lester in Game 4, being able to bring them each back on 4 days rest in Games 6 and 7, with Dice-K pitching Game 5 on five days rest. I suspect that Tito wants to get Beckett back on the mound as quickly as possible, and perhaps that’s the real reason that we won’t hear discussion about pitching Wake in Tampa.

Let’s see…Wake pitching in Tampa vs. Wake pitching in Fenway…I did see him pitch a beauty vs. Arizona at Fenway in last May beating the Big Unit in what was a close game for the longest time (until Kevin Cash went deep). Time will tell, I keep preaching to trust Tito, so I guess I have to drink my own kool-aid and join my own prayer meeting. It should be a dandy series.

I laughed at the observation a commmentator made on one of the ESPN talk shows. He said, “Wouldn’t it be strange if the Dodgers and the Sox played in the World Series, and Zazu got both a winner’s and a loser’s share?” Think about it….Whatever else they think of him, I suspect the current Sox players would vote Zazu a share, even if he was earning one of his own — didn’t Nomar get a share after the 2004 World Series?

Hey Kramer, why bring me into this??? I’m minding my own business here and you start with the Torre stuff! Sheeeesh! Can I help it if the Yanks gave Torre a bad deal? Was it me who decided to let the twelve-straight-years-in-the-playoffs-manager go? Now it’s 13 years! Or is it 14? I can’t keep track. You know I’m just kidding. I don’t want to stir up bad feelings. JK.
But the sad thing is that the LAD made out like a bandit this year. They get a HOF manager, an HOF hitter(who costs them nothing) and they could be going to the WS. Maybe we should both be crying Kramer. Until the Sox beat those nasty Dodgers. Then the AL East will prevail!!!

The key to this upcoming series is the Sox pitchers not giving up the RISP hits to the rays. Just like they did to Anaheim. That will win it for our Sox.

Dbenjamin–

I never thought about it, Zazu getting W.S. share from both sides. Quite funny. Usually the talking heads on those shows make little sense.

I also think the Sox want Beckett to get back on that mounds as soon as they can as you correctly said. Yikes–agreeing with you, ohhhhhh no. lol.

Garry…

Are you saying Kramer is from points beyond? LOL!! Actually being the elder statesmen on this blog has more clout than being the president of the U.S. LOL!! I have very little confidence in those folks but for an elder statesmen like you, so much respect! lol.

I believe!! Oh yes I do!!

Dbenjamin,

You are correct when you say Nomar got a share. The Boston media made him out to be a villian and a malcontent. What a surprise, not. I think Nomar is just a guy that keeps to himself and is quite weird. He comes across as a guy that beats to a different drummer. Doesn’t make him a bad person like he was potrayed. One thing I do know, his kids are going to be great athletes. Injury prone but really good athletes. lol.

Hey I’m #200!!
Arnie: I want to reply to your comments about our ex-left fielder now known as ZAZU…. You made a good point about the Dodgers making out like Bandits.. They did…. But just think about this. The Zazu/Dodger thing is like when you have a new girlfriend. In the beginning everything is bright and shiny new!!! You are all about being on your best behavior and having fun… its after you give her a ring (or in Zazu’s case, a contract) the the little things start to creep in,,, you know, now she doesnt mind flipping you off, or she talks like a truck driver… The shiny gold starts to turn really brassy! You begin to see her for what she really is. Her true colors and behavior start to seep to the surface like an over flowing septic tank!!! The Dodgers (or who ever gets him) will see the real Zazu-being Zazu soon enough!!!!
The longer I think about it, the more I can see exactly how planned out he and Boris had this!!!!

Dbenjamin: I’m not so sure that the SOX players WOULD vote him a share…. He kind of pooped on ALL OF THEM…
and don’t think for a minute that the ownership wouldnt make their stance known as well.. How many of our guys are up for contract renewal or salary arbitration this year???

Hey there Jambo04!!! WELCOME TO THE CREME DE LA CREME of ALL RedSox blogs!!! All “rookies” are WELCOME here!! Since you don’t know me… I’m am the un-Official Head Cheerleader, Welcome Wagon Hostess and all around “ever, and forever optimist”, everyone here will tell you that I have MANY MANY pairs of RoseColored glasses, all the milk (or beer) glasses in my house are 1/2 full not 1/2 empty,,, Have you ever heard of PollyAnna??? Well thats me.. anyway, have fun here!! This is a wonderful time of year to come aboard!!!!

Ellen, are you talking from personal experience about the girlfriend thing,lol.

I’ve got you down for one Lugo speech for your birthday. Bad English version. Lucky for you it’s not the kazoo! Your inlaws booked the speech. Hmmm….

Thanks for your welcome, ellen – 1st posts are always a courageous leap in the dark, the fear of the silence outweighing the fear of the abuse!
My 1st taste of Fenway was back in ’86 – I was on a scholarship to a college up north of Mass, & we travelled down to catch a couple of Sox games…after which, back home, I followed their progress avidly on this strange new broadcasting outlet in UK called Channel 4…all the way up to Billy Buck in Game 6…I have such strong memories of sitting in dingy basements back in New Hampshire, having the rudiments of Baseball explained to me, while watching Jim Rice, Don Baylor (the only man I’ve seen who time & again moved in to get hit by off-plate pitches!), Oil-Can Boyd, Clemens…& Wade Boggs, of whom I still have a threadbare t-shirt proclaiming that he’d be the ‘Next 400 Hitter’…
Now, you see, my soccer team, back in Scotland, hadn’t won diddly-squat, for as long as you’d care to remember (despite having been formed back in the 1870s, & having won many of the early League titles from the beginning of the Century…are you getting the picture?)…until 1986, when they went on this miraculous run of 31 unbeaten games, all the way up to the last game of the season, when they only had to draw to win the championship, &, hell, even if they lost, their arch-rivals would have to win by more than 4 goals…& so, on that last day of the season, with 7 minutes to go, & half their team out with flu, they conceded the goal that would consign them to defeat, while those same, pesky, arch-rivals notched up their 5th, improbable, goal, so that, after a season of around 280 days, we finally lost out in the last 7 minutes…& then, just a matter of weeks later, I watched “my” baseball team, with a similar history, a similar romance, playing in a similar old stadium, come within minutes of winning after decades of failure…
And I Loved Them All the More, for everything that the Red Sox, & Fenway, stand for, & still do…
So that, even now, when the Sox no longer epitomise gallant losers, but rather, represent the close-to-perfect harmony of history & tradition, allied with contemporary excellence, even though I had that whole historically gallant loser thing hard-wired in to me, I now watch Youk, & PD, & Ellsbury, & Lester, & Lowrie…&, dammit all, Tek & Wake…& I think, well, just how lucky can a fan be?
So, while this may all seem a bit tangential to the matter at hand, ellen, it comes back to this whole cheer-leading, optimism, thing – & whether or not you settle in for the ALCS expecting the best or fearing the worst…
I’m thinking 3 things – the bull-pen, natch; whether Dice-K is able to squeeze out at least 1 win…& whether Papi is able to get hot? Have we really shifted from assuming the answer will be ‘No’, or can we begin to believe that ‘Yes’ is genuinely realistic to assert?
Thanks again for your welcome, from a long-time lurker…

Arnie: You are too much…. WOW!! you’d like that huh??
Also, if my in-laws ordered the Lugo speech.. you are A TRUE MIRACLE WORKER>>> are you like John
Edwards??? Talking to the dead, lol!!!!!

Wow. Oil Can Boyd… there is a name I havent heard or thought of in YEARS

jambo04
The days of RSN fearing the worst are over! Repeat championships signal the start of expecting the best. Get used to it!!!

Hey all!
I fully realize that I’m just an honorary and temporary (October 2008 only) member of RSN, so not being named the elder statesman is not a slight. I intend to join in the fun that is anticipation of an ALCS victory against those Damn Rays!!!

Jambo04: Really great story… You sound like me when I first came on here… I was scared to death.. No one knew that I was born and still live in Florida,,, I was afraid to ll them that!!! This year has a really GREAT bunch of GUYS and me… (I take pride in the fact that I am the only “girl”{unless one of these “guys” is holding something back from me!~!} on the blog. We have had years that weren’t so pleasant as far as one or two of the bloggers, you know waht they call “blog trolls”. Anyway, we all hope that you’ll stick around for the ride…. It’s going to get very interesting, and I’ll steal a line from an old Bette Davis movie.. (I hope I get it right) … It’s going to be a BUMPY night…. (a few of them I’m sure!!!)
HEY YOU GUYS, YOU HAVENT SEEN THIS IN A COUPLE OF DAYS.. I need practice!!
IDO BELIEVE, IDO BELIEVE, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO BELIEVE!!!

RGK:: You are ALWAYS A FRIEND HERE!!

Jambo04,
Great story! You’re a true Sox fan. We grew up with doom and gloom and a large dose of frustration. I’m glad to have those days behind us. Hey, I had a roommate who was a Brit by way of Kenya and she would say “Jambo” instead of “hello”. Welcome to the blog.

Ellen, so sorry about your in-laws’ demise. You killed off the whole family?? Wow, impressive! Anyway, in your 7:22 post where you so accurately described my ex, I was wondering how you know her?

Kramer, welcome to RSN. Maybe Garry would let you be Honorary Elder Statesman. Or if you don’t like the “elder” moniker, perhaps you could be “Classic” Statesman. Temporarily, of course. We’ll have a plaque made for you: Robert G. Kramer–Honorary Classic Statesman. You are truly a renaissance man, able to set aside your loyalties and take up a new fight; for the time being. I salute your flexibility.

Ahhhh…..I can’t stand the waiting for the ALCS to start!!! My normally foolish posts start a gradual descent into madness! Pardon me evryone, I’m going to go have a smoke, that will clear my head. Is it Friday yet????

I see Tito has named DiceK to start the first game. One of his reasons is that he doesn’t want his pitchers to be away for too long or they might develop rust. Well, when we expect that DiceK will pitch his normal 5 innings, followed by Masterson for two; Oki for one and finishing with Paps for one he will have four oiled pitchers in one, game. Thar’ seems to be well thought-out strategy. Hopefully it will work. DiceK may surprise us all and pitch seven or eight innings. We can dream. Let’s go Sox. Let’s beat the DEVILRAYS!!!

Jambo04,
Do you live anywhere near Ipswich or Felixstowe? I was stationed at RAF Bentwaters from 1977-1980. Great assignment….I was 18 years old, first time away from home and scared as hell. Almost as scared as the first time I entered this blog!!!!! Welcome!!!!!

Welcome aboard jambo. It’s always great to have new bloggers. We have a great time here, nobody takes anything personally, and we all share a love for the Sox and the game of baseball. So join in to some good discussion and good natured ribbing.

Kramer, you are the baseball fan extraordinaire who understands and appreciates that the game transcends our loyalties to our beloved Sox, and your beloved Yankees. I guess maybe age does that to us.

Brian, I watched an hour of the presidential debate the other night. I turned it off. I couldn’t stand it any more. As an American citizen, I was embarrassed that one of those two clowns will ultimately be the leader of this great country, and that somewhere, we couldn’t find someone better qualified and suited for the job. They were more interested in taking shots at each other than answering questions or addressing the issues. On November 4th, I’m writing in Jesse “The Body” Ventura on my ballot.

No way does Zazu get a share if the Sox win the series. He would then get two shares, one from the Sox, and one from the Dodgers. Tim McCarver said all that needs to be said about Zazu ……. “What he did was despicable!”

Hey Ian, where are you? We are floudering here, all trying to be brilliant, and we need some guidance!

Garry…

Perhaps Ian is hanging out at the beach in Florida somewhere. Along the Don Cesar.
I think I am writing in Ian Browne for pres. Ian is a leader and when he writes a new thread we respond. To me that is leadership at it’s best! LOL!! Clowns is a kind word to call them. LOL!! Enough of that political garbage.

I know one player that wouldn’t vote a share for Zazu. Pedroia, no way would he! Then again Boston needs to win it all before we talk about that. A tough long road ahead, no doubt! T.B. will be very tough, no doubt.

T.B. all year has played in alot of close games and have won them. Escpecially at home. They can pitch, especially late in the game. The one guy I think Boston can get to is Wheeler. Howell throws all that junk and Boston doesn’t seem to do anything against him. Perhaps the more you see of Howell, the better it is for a hitter. When Howell was in the rotation last year, Boston smoked him! I remember 1 start at Fenway he didn’t even get out of the 1st inning.

When will we have our first altercation? Tempers will flare for sure. It will be very intense. These teams do not like each other.

I agree with McCarver and who doesn’t? McCarver says that about Zazu and he’ll be doing the Dodgers–Phillies series. Good for McCarver, he spoke the truth! I wonder what McCarver’s good pal Joe Torre thought about his comments? McCarver has been around the game for a long time and he is old school. Something tells me if McCarver was the catcher and Gibson was on the hill and Zazu at the plate. High and tight from Gibson! Gibson didn’t take crap from anyone!

Jambo..

Welcome aboard. Across the pond, good stuff there! I have never been but I will someday. I think that is great that you still keep up with the Red Sox. Excellent! Red Sox fans are literally all across the globe!

I don’t understand all the hype about the Rays. The games that the Sox lost to the Rays were very close games indeed. The Sox lost mostly 1 run game, 2 runs, and 3 runs (by shut out) except for the one blow out that Wake pitched in Sept. Unlike the Angels, the Rays lineup doesn’t scare me. Longoria didn’t do much in the NLDS. Who else? Crawford, BJ Upton, Navarro, Floyd.
Francona is going to announce the roster before 3 pm workout. I don’t expect any change, perhaps Timlim will be added to the roster.

Thanks for all your kind welcomes, guys-appreciate it.
Brian – to give you an idea of how deep, & how widely spread, Red Sox Nation is, my current soccer team (my family live just 200 metres from the ground), doing well enough down in the basement of English soccer leagues, boasts 3 die-hard Red Sox fans (our average crowds are just under 5000). Of the rest, I don’t know of any who follow baseball at all. Yankee caps are everywhere (because of a reciprocal promotional tie in with Manchester Utd football club), but my experience is that anyone who actually follows baseball seriously over here follows the Sox. It gets in your blood!
Chow – you say you don’t understand the hype about those pesky Rays, & then cite all the close games they’ve won. For me, though, that’s just the point – the best teams are always the ones who prevail in tight, gritty, struggles. That’s why such teams always seem to be “lucky” (& it’s better to be lucky than good!). It’s all in the mind – believing that the talent you have is good enough to see you through in these close calls. The Sox have had this mentality for some years now (the management, & Tito in particular, have to take so much credit for this). Now the Rays have it – which is why it will be tough .

Timlin in. Gil Valezquez out. Ross remains.

Garry, I feel your political pain. We’re about to elect an avowed socialist to be the leader of the world’s largest capitalist economy, mostly on the basis that he gives a good speech(unlike Lugo) and that he isn’t the current President. I’m so totally disappointed in the American public for doing virtually NO research into this election. It shows in the polls. It saddens me. But that is more than enough politics for this blog and I won’t get started in an argument. Beg your pardon, Ian, for mentioning it.

Rays are gonna be tough. But I have full faith the Sox will prevail.I was listening to Tracy Ringlesby(spelling?) on the radio and he was asked to make his prediction and he said,”Well, my heart is with the Rays but in my mind I think the Sox will win.” No one loves us anymore, sob, sob, cry, cry. Hahaha But I’m glad his mind is in the right place, if not his heart.

The immortal Velazquez watches the games like me! LOL.

Arnie,
Classic infers something special to me, that doesn’t fit. Elder is fine, it’s the truth and I’m happy with it.

Good afternoon to all!!!! I’m in the process of making dinner (chiken and gravy, rice and gravy, black eyed peas) and have a second to say hi while the chicken is browning.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow night as I’m already experiencing withdrawl symptoms…
My feeling is that the DEVILRAYSDEVILRAYSDEVILRAYS somewhat resemble the Rockies of 07…. Really good run and everything but I do think that the World Series experience and the Veteran presence on the Sox will play into this quite a bit…. I’ll be back!!

NEW THREAD

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