And down the stretch they come — without Damon

It sure would have been fun to have Johnny Damon back down the stretch. There would have been an element of excitement, just because of the lightning rod he can be. Or perhaps Damon put it even better yesterday after explaining his decision to stay in Detroit.

“I texted with Varitek and I talked to Big Papi. And their whole thing is they want a spark,” Damon said. “They obviously feel like they need a spark. If I was going there, obviously, it’s going to be the biggest story in baseball to detract them from what’s going on the field, because the attention’s on me and my wacky self. But that’s not going to happen. That’s done.”

Can the Red Sox do it without Damon’s wacky self, even without Ellsbury, Youkilis and possibly Pedroia the rest of the way?

“This has been who we are, and it’s been who we are all year and we’re in the right place,” said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. “And it’s come down to the same thing it has all year: We throw the ball well, we present ourselves with good opportunities to win. And we have to continue to do that, and that’s going to be even more important over this next month and a week.”

Or as Jonathan Papelbon notes, maybe the urgency of the situation will inspire the team to do something memorable.

“I think that once the playoff race heats up a little bit more, we can kind of see where everybody is at on the scale of, if it comes up to a couple weeks, whether our backs are against the wall or not will really determine a lot in how we go out and play,” Papelbon said. “When this team’s back has been put up against the wall, I think that’s kind of when we’ve been at our best.”

“We’re trying, we’re trying,” said Ortiz. “We’re trying to play our best and everybody knows it. It’s a ride or die situation towards the end of the season. You have to win as many games as you can so you can be playing in October.”

Can they do it with this cast?

“It’s not like we have other options,” Ortiz said. “Of course, we’re battling and we have to ride with this.”

The ride starts today for a day-night doubleheader. A sweep would be a good start for the Sox.

83 Comments

Boston needs to take both games! Take advantage of your schedule. Lester needs to be Lester tonight because he is going against King Felix. Beckett needs to be Beckett, not John Burkett or Matt Clement! lol.

Seattle’s lineup is loaded with outs!

I don’t think Pauley will make it past the 5th.

Yes, the Sox have to take both games just to keep pace with the Yanks and the Rays. The Mariners lineup has too many automatic outs other than Suzuki and Figgins. But again unless our youngsters start to hit, the bottom third of the Sox lineup are outs as well. We don?t know whether Hall will have a good day (an out of the yard HR) or a bad day (0-4 and a fielding error).
Go Beckett.

Johnny Damon’s teamates asked him to stay in Detroit ??? Are you kidding me, like No teamates in BOSTON asked him to Stay in BOSTON when he went to N.Y. He didn’t come back because he wasn’t MAN enough to face the Boston fans + the team he left behind !!! We’ll be just fine with all this younger talent + a few of our seasoned Veterans, and we all know who they are !!!! It sure will be sweeter when we get into the play-offs ,after the injury prone season we have had, Good Job Boys !!! If any team can do it , our Red Sox can !!!

Let me chime in with my thoughts about Damon. I’m not sure where some you were getting your information fro but if Damon did agree to play with the Red Sox, Boston would have to pay him roughly 1.8 million dollars, some of you said ” 8 million “. That’s the contract he signed with Detroit during the winter. I disagree with others when they said that Boston claimed Damon to block him from T.B. and N.Y. From what I have read in the last day or so, Boston wanted Damon on their team for the final six weeks or so. Obviously Damon wanted nothing to do with Boston and that is his right. I believe he would have been a good fit for this team in the last six weeks or so. The production from l.f. this year has been TERRIBLE! Boston paying someone around 1.8 million for the final six weeks or so was well within their budget. I still believe like many of you on here that Boston needs to add an arm to the bullpen. Theo did the right thing when he didn’t pull the trigger to get a bullpen arm back in late July, the asking price was way high! I assume the price has gone down dramatically and perhaps Boston could pull off a trade for a bullpen arm, not only for the final six weeks but for 2011!

Damon is a guy that plays hard every single game, you never ever see him loaf. Even on a routine ground ball to second, he busts his butt down the line and that is all I can ask for as a fan! The only player that left ( among the productive players ) that I would NEVER EVER want back is Zazu, his final days in Boston were a total disgrace!! He QUIT on his team!!

I think Beckett will have a good outing against a hapless team. My concern is can the Sox score enough runs against Jane Pauley?

Never ever thought I would ever say that ” Joe West made a great call ” but he did. Ichiro wasn’t even close to the second base bag, he was closer to the team hotel. lol.

When Pauley has his good stuff, lots of balls will be hit on the ground.

Note to Josh…work harder. You’re getting there but giving up 3 runs in not good. You’re also putting more pressure on the bullpen. All the obvious I know and I know its not easy but I’m not making your salary either.

Josh is struggling again. That blown inning is really hurting him. Giving up three runs without much effort from the MARINERS is not a great sign. I know I’m obvious but if you want to switch jobs and I can be a millionaire, no prob!

Are my posts not being posted? Once again the mlb blogs need to switch from using Windows 98 with virus bonus pack and instead switch to linux.

With both Nick Johnson and Lance Berkman on the DL, the Yankees would have plenty of use for Damon right now! The block worked, thanks a lot Theo!

I don’t know why the Red Sox claimed Damon, but I’m glad he declined. He doesn’t improve the Red Sox over what MacDonald, Hall and Kalish bring. He’s not worth the money, even 1,8 MM. Certainly, MacDonald and Hall have earned the right to keep playing and it’s a good opportunity to continue to take a look at Kalish. I wish the Sox didn’t claim Damon……..he wouldn’t have helped the Yankees or the Rays either, but maybe one of them would have been stuck with him

David Ortiz continues to tick me off. How many times has he been up this year with runners in scoring position and one fielder on the left side of the infield. It happened again today with Scutaro on third. He could have bunted, taken a check swing, or done anything to get the ball to the left side. But no, another weak grounder to 2nd base. He could be hitting 40 points higher with a bunch more RBI’s if he didn’t have such a huge ego. Hey Papi, there’s no “I” in team.

Boston has been unable to come up with the ” big hit “. Scutaro with a leadoff double and some run producing bats due up but Scutaro can only get to third. If Boston can’t do anything against Pauley, what will they do against King Felix tonight?

And the lefties Nava and Kalish are killing the team. The young righties (Hall & McD) are ok.

In the never seen this dept. Drew is playing r.f. with dark glasses on a rainy day.

The one thing that bothers me the most with Damon, he said ” their were some hard feelings at the end ” Boston offered him a 4 yr. deal worth 40 million, if that is hard feelings, sign me up! LOL!

Beltre with a grand slam just over a week ago but overall this year with the bases loaded, he hasn’t done much. Same with Martinez.

Good job Beltre! Let’s break this game open!

I should bash Nava more. A clutch 2 out 2 run single! Go Beckett!

I should bash Nava more. A clutch 2 out 2 run single! Go Beckett!

REAL TIME POST OUT OF ORDER:
With both Nick Johnson and Lance Berkman on the DL, the Yankees would have plenty of use for Damon right now! The block worked, thanks a lot Theo!

And if I remember correctly, Damon got the ultimate snub by Theo when he temporarily took a leave of absence in early 2005. I’m not sure who made the $40 mil 4 year offer, but Theo’s leave said “NOT NEGOTIABLE.”

Are the posts working now?

Whew…they work. For a few minutes I think the blog was using Windows 98 with the Bonus Virus pack.
Hey Bob!

Greg,
Today is the first chance for me to re-appear since your three week “vacation” in July! I had a 5 day free trial of MLB Extra Innings back then but BPE was shut down. I finally got my video card settings set up properly so I’m now watching MLB.TV’s Seattle @ Boston on the equivalent of about a 32″ screen. I checked again for BPE, but again found it dead.
I know you put a lot of effort into it. Thanks for that!!!

Un-fricken-real. We stake Beckett to a 4-run lead and he nearly gives it all back on 2 HR shots. Difficult to win that way. GO SOX!

Hello Dave. I hope you’re still dry!

Beckett just showed everyone why he is nothing more than a 5th starter. He gave it up quick. When your team gives you a nice cushion, you don’t throw gopher balls!

Hey, Bob! Thanks for the heads-up! BPE is going, but it is largely the “Game Day Blog”/ CoverItLive that is embedded in the site that is actually being used. Since I have an invite system I am using, the BPE part of it is largely dormant, but it is still there to be used if/when we need to. Otherwise, the Game Day Blog is still in use– if you wish to have an invite sent at any time, I’ll be happy to do so. It is yet undetermined if/how it might be used during the off-season.

Not posting as much as I used to :), but I can’t leave the Damon story alone. Now I am not defending at all the egos of or the salaries given to baseball players or management (its what tends to ruin baseball on both sides) — but I am growing more convinced that there is some critical sensitivity or ego in the RedSox management (I have my guesses who) that is a little too thin skinned for baseball.

Look at the merry go around and expense that three decisions have cost the Red Sox (Cabrera, Damon, and Manny). All major egotistical personalities (can’t and won’t defend that) — but other clubs have managed these very same personalities and not created or left a trail of bitterness. And when one of those clubs is the NY Yankees, wow — you gotta wonder what kind of snootiness, (or unwillingness to finesse egos) may lurk in Sox management.

Now I might be absolutely wrong, have no way of knowing. But either the SOX are a non-nonsense team that says live or die, we are not going to cater to these types of personalities, or they are pretty much the same or worse than the players and don’t have to skills or willingness to neutralize ego eruptions in players.

Unfortunately, I suspect its the latter, and I do believe the SOX would have been better over this stretch since Damon left with Damon, Manny, and maybe Cabrera too. It would have helped to keep Manny happy, team would have preserved more cohesion, spent way less money, and had more success with theses guys, than without — the chemistry and core spirit of the 2004 would have remained — instead of draining it all.

Not saying Damon and Manny didn’t make bad decisions either, its just a toss up whose decisions (management or players) were worse, or cost the team more?

Well, one more run. Better than nothing, but should have gotten more out of that rally (as is often the case with us this year…)
Hey, DGN/ Dave2!
GO SOX!

Thanks again Greg. For now Brownie Points is enough as is Bombers Beat though both still have the delayed vs. real time posting errors that are very frustrating. I still seldom watch live games.

Huge insurance run, not sure what Mike Lowell was thinking.

Dgneubert….

Manny is having issues in L.A. Boston bent over backwards to keep Manny happy and obviously that wasn’t enough. His final straw was when he pushed the travel sec. in Houston, he punched his ticket out of Boston! A little more than a month after that UGLY incident in Houston, he was off to L.A. It sounds like the Dodgers have had enough! Some team will be dumb enough to sign Manny next year and initially everything will be happy but eventually his act will wear thin, like it always does. Some things will never change.

I’m not sure what your talking about with Cabrera. He was a nice addition back in 2004 but it sounded like he had some ” issues ” in Boston AND those issues were on the ” ugly ” side!

Brian,
The rumors I hear have Manny going to the White Sox for the rest of the year.

And Pap with a save! Where will he play in 2011?

Switching over to Tampa Bay @ Los Angeles Angels. If there are any more afternoon Red Sox games I’ll catch you guys again later!!! Bye.

If this game was played against a team not named Mariners, the Sox would likely lose with Beck on the mound. Unbelievable! The Sox had used Bard and Paps and doubtful they are available in Game 2. Tomorrow is an off day, who knows.

Robert,

That is what everyone is saying, White Sox bound. Manny might return to Fenway ” again “. Chicago hits Boston for a weekend series. Boston goes to Chicago for a (4) game series towards the end of Sept. Chicago wanted Manny or Adam Dunn back in late July. Imagine Manny and Ozzie Guillen in the same dugout? My oh my. lol. The Chicago would have a field day.

Good news in Anaheim for N.Y. and Boston fans, T.B. is trailing.

007..

You might be right but Boston played Seattle, so who cares! lol.

Beckett is dominant in the first and second round against the lineup. The Sox need bullpen help. Move Beckett to the BP and start Prince Felix. Remember Dennis Eckersly? Just a thought.

Beckett’s last two starts were very similar. The roof seems to cave in quick and it unravels for Beckett. Is it a stamina issue?

Wakefield on the hill with Cash behind the dish and King Felix on the hill for Seattle. Now Beltre is done for the game, oh well. The Red Sox will finish 6-3 during this homestand, not the record I was hoping for but they MUST take 2 out of 3 from T.B.

Imagine what Hernandez’s record would be if he pitched with Boston, N.Y. or T.B. ?? Not many if any pitchers are better than King Felix!

Initially I had my doubts with Doubront coming out of the pen but he has done quite well. I didn’t think he would be this consistent and this realiable. Boston is hanging around in this game. If they can get King Felix out of the game, they could pull this game out. Boston needs base runners!

Great at bat by Hall, leads off the 8th with a double.

Martinez and Ortiz both stepped up with runners on base and they couldn’t come up with big hit.

The Sawx were 1 clutch hit away from at least tying the game. It’s a moral victory to have kept the game close facing King Felix.
I like the in game moves by walking Kotchman and Bryanan (?) when the first base was open be it 1 out and 2 outs, Hall pinching hit for Cash, and the bullpen management. A good game depsite the loss and the NY and TB lost as well.

I believe the result might be different if Beltre didn’t get tossed. We had the immortal Navarro batting behind Papi. lol.

The Sox have to take at least 2 games from TB. If it means using Bard and Paps in the three games, so be it. there is no wiggle-room left. If the game is on the line- use your best. They can rest later.

I think the Sox will need to win about 80% of their remaining games. They could do it, but it’s gonna be tough. The Sox need to sweep TB.
Cmon Sox!! You can do it!!!

I am just going to enjoy the rest of the season. It’s OK for me for the Sox NOT to make the playoffs mainly because I’d hate to see them shelled in the playoffs. There is always next year.

Footnote:
Considering the injuries the Sox have done darn well. In a way, its not fair since in any other division, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. The eastern division is unbelievably difficult.
Injuries:

Ellsbury (season ending broken ribs)
Cameron (season ending hernia ?)
Drew (daily owees)
Beltre (stiff hamstring that he plays through)
Pedroia (season ending injury?)
Youk (Season ending injury)
Dice-K (back issues again)
beckett (back issues but somewhat recovered)
martinez (broken toe but recovered)
Clay (hamstring strain…but recovered)
Lowrie (mono but recovered)
Julio Lugo (moved to another team but we’re still paying him)
Okijima (hurt possibly for rest of season?)
Patterson (strained neck…due back in September)
Varitek (still out but hopes to return soon)
Saltalamacchia, Jarrod (C) infection (you can’t make this stuff up)
Tazawa, Junichi (P) season…perhaps career ending surgery

Come on now. This is a LOT to expect after this nightmare of battle wounds.

Dave,
You forgot Casey Kelly who was shut down for the season with a Lat injury.

Ian, there’s no ink in the pen, we’ll havta do it, (or not) without Johnny. Dave; looking over your list,,how many of these guys do the Sox ‘own’ after 010? I counted 6 of 16,,maybe 011 is Theo’s bridge year? How many of the (our starter) ‘kids’ stay in the bigs? Well, they all did a fine job showing their talents and I commend them, thanks for keeping the RS close. and No, I havn’t thrown in the towel, I just wanna get on an upper deck of the ship before the iceburg gets any closer. GO SOX!

If there is this year regarless how grim it may seem, go for it. Every game should be playd almost like the 7th game of WS. Do not worry about the next game. Take one game at the time.
There are so much work to be done for next year, the catcher, 3B, the OF (even assuming Cameron & Ells are healthy) unless Theo is happy with the youngsters, the bullpen. The bridge has not been built or in the process of being completed at best. Go Sox.

Having to win 80 percent of the remaining games is a tall order but it can be achieved. A lot of calls have to go the way of the Sox and the pitching and fielding will have to be stellar as well as having some really big bats catch fire. A huge streak will have to be put together. That’s a lot of variables that have to come together at the same time. **************IDOBELIEVE*************
I don’t think that the F.O. expected that the Sox would still be hanging around the race with all the injuries and therefor the cheap s o b’s
didn’t want to put any money into what they saw as a lost season. You know as Theo said.. it’s a bridge year.. bridge year my hiney.. I really think that the wrong person went to San Diego. Look at the job that Hoyers doing out there (yes I know he inherited alot of the good fortune that they are having). Time for a front office shake up?? Maybe so. Theo’s salary would be a ton of money dumped!! lol
Anyway.. I’m keeping all appendages crossed (yes, that is a BIT uncomfortable but I’m a team kind of girl!!)

This is Theo Epstein’s contract…..

Theo Epstein Executive VP/General Manager
2009 -

* 2009 -
o signed extension 11/3/08
* 3 years/$4.5M (2006-08)
o returned to job 1/06 after resignation 10/05
o deal pays about $1.5M annually
* 3 years (2003-05)
o originally hired 11/02
* VP/Player Personnel Ben Cherington (co-GM, 10/05-1/06)
* VP/International Scouting Craig Shipley
* Director of Scouting Amiel Sawdaye
* Director of Player Development Mike Hazen
* Director of Baseball Operations Brian O’Hallora

Hey Ellen,

Well Theo Epstein put it best when asked what he will do in the offseason as he said, “I’m buy, buy, buying. My cat’s breath smells like cat food. Goo, goo!”

He also said, “daddy, I’m Red Soxing!”
His father said, “that’s nice Theo now take your pill.”
“Oh boy, my pill tastes like my cat after she licks it. I’m chewing. “

This is the THE series. The Sox have to win tonight and beat the Ray’s best pitcher Dennis Price even if it means to use Bard for 2 innngs and Paps for 2 innings. If the Sox &*^% tonight and Lackey is pitching on Sunday, when the ST starts?

I would LOVE to see Jason back again before the season ends. I fear this may be his last but I think in backup role, he does very well. It would be a shame to lose him…especially considering the replacements…with all due respect to Cash.
.
I would also accept if the Sox get creamed this weekend. It will be an impossible battle. The Rays have everything on their side. The Sox have NOTHING going for them but I give them enormous credit for making it this far. They have amazing heart.
.
Next year fire Theo. I would like to keep Beltre but Boras will send him to the Mets or Yankees. I would like to do something about Ellsbury to keep him going. I would like to lock in Clay B. I would like to say goodbye to David Ortiz. I will miss his big bat but his ‘team’ atmosphere is fading. His ego is too large. I would like to see Drew go away. He’s a good player but doesn’t play through injuries. I would also like to rehab Beckett. He’s too talented an arm to have this performance. Perhaps over the winter he can get it together.

This is priceless and my technical world. In working through a problem on one of my systems. Don’t worry if you don’t understand the information. The key is the last line of the file.
(p.s. the file is called README)

The scripts in this directory are executed each time the system enters this runlevel.

The scripts are all symbolic links whose targets are located in
/etc/init.d/ .

To disable a service in this runlevel, rename its script in this
directory so that the new name begins with a ‘K’ and a two-digit
number, and run ‘update-rc.d script defaults’ to reorder the scripts according to dependencies. A warning about the current runlevels being enabled not matching the LSB header in the init.d script will be printed. To re-enable the service, rename the script back to its original name beginning with ‘S’ and run update-rc.d again.

For a more information see /etc/init.d/README.

(gee can you guess what file this came from ???)
hint: /etc/init.d/README
Just to let them know, the file they are referring too IS the README file that I’m reading right now.

My biggest concern is RISP. I like the way the game was managed the night game of the double header. Maybe it was Tito calling shots from the clubhouse. Walk if necessary with an open base. Use Delcarman but not for long before disaster strikes. Go Sox.

The Rays signed Brad Hawpe. I’d sign Adam LaRoach to play 1B with Lowell and V-Mart catches down the stretch. Go Sox.

I wish Dennis Price was on the hill for T.B. LOL!

Dennis Price, Vincent Price, David Price, what’s the difference? It’s just a name. I wish anyone other than David Price is pitching for TB.

007….

Something tells me the Red Sox feel the same way!

Last time Boston faced Price, it was under the dome and he blew them away with a steady diet of fastballs.

I would like to see Hall in l.f.—McDonald in c.f.–Lowrie playing second. I am hoping Francona plays Drew tonight, none of this sitting against lefties garbage! Drew was handed a long term, big $$$$ deal to produce. Not to sit against tough lefties. I’m in favor of an occasional break ( every player needs that from time to time ) but this Red Sox team is desperate and the ” best ” team needs to be on the field.

Brian:
I think Tito will play the lineup you wished. I hope Tito is not playing Navarro at 2B. I see a pitching duel tonight, Which team has a clutch hit wins the game. Go Lester. Go Sox.

I love the lineup, MacD batting second, Beltre cleanup and Papi in the 5th hole. I love it.

Good hit Lowrie. Papi should focus on going the other way with Price. The ball he hit for a double could have been stretched for a triple if he was running at the crack of the bat rather than trotting. It could have meant a run. Tito should also have had Lowell bunt him over to third. In this game every run counts. Anyone gets on second with none out should be moved to third.Hall looks terrible at the plate.
Lester has to focus on getting ahead of the batters. Walks could kill him.

Good hit Lowrie. Papi should focus on going the other way with Price. The ball he hit for a double could have been stretched for a triple if he was running at the crack of the bat rather than trotting. It could have meant a run. Tito should also have had Lowell bunt him over to third. In this game every run counts. Anyone gets on second with none out should be moved to third.Hall looks terrible at the plate.
Lester has to focus on getting ahead of the batters. Walks could kill him.

What’s with Scutaro? Sometimes his throws to first bring back memories of Lugnuts!!!

C’mon Lester – let’s not give them runs!!!

OK Sox- We managed to only give them only one run. They are too good a team to be giving them anything. Let’s get that run back and a few more.

We get the men on base but we are unable to get that key hit and drive them in. Let’s hold them Lester.

With a one run lead Lester has to focus on getting that lead-off man out. He can’t afford to walk them. WALKS WILL KILL YOU!!!. Now, let’s get some runs!!!!

If Price is still pitching and Hall gets up again, Tito should pinch hit for him. Hall has no clue as tro what he is doing at the plate.

If Lester continues to show lack of control, Tito should pull him. Forget pitch count.

3 outs away and the Yanks are losing big. Lester’s wildness will soon be forgotten and forgiven. Go Sox.

C’mon Paps—-NO WALKS!!!!

Just checked the score. YES!! YES!! YES!!
This is the biggest win of the year so far for the Sox. Beat TB with their best guy on the mound in TB!!! Great win!!

Big win for the Sox but this was not the test. Sox always take the first win but the next two are a big test. Nevertheless its quite late in the year and a weakened team. We’ll see. It certainly would be a shot in the arm for the Sox to take this series.

Big game tomorrow. Let’s hope that our bats come alive and that we get a big jump on Garza and that Bucholz holds them down. One game at a time. A sweep for the Soxes- both Red and White would make things really interesting. Let’s keep our fingers – and whatever else- crossed.

We saw the best and bad Lester at the same game. Lester was doing the Houdini act all night. Lester was able to get the key outs and contained Pena and Longoria. It was the scripted game that Lester had a strong 7 innings and Bard the 8th and Paps closed out the game. Go Bucky and Sox.

Lester has to be good to be lucky. The bot of 6th could be a big inning for the Rays thanks to McD’s strong throw to the plate.
I know Tito would play Nava, Kalish and JD. But I’d like to see big Mac at CF albeit against a RHP.

DiceK is a good 5 or 6 inning pitcher. Let’s hope that Tito pulls him before he gives up his lead and blows the game.

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