Web Analytics and Web Statistics by NextSTAT The Boston Sports Nut: July 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

Red Sox, Lester, Papi, Manny topple Yankees 9-2

July 27. BOSTON. MA --Manny Ramirez might be happier if the Red Sox traded him. On Sunday night he showed why they shouldn't. Love him or hate him.

The quirky slugger caused a pregame stir by saying he'd be open to a deal. Then he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs in a revived Boston offense that ruined the New York Yankees perfect post-All-Star break record with a 9-2 win. Curious comments and stinging line drives -- just Manny being Manny.

lot of things," Mike Lowell said. "Some of them are entertaining. Some of them make you roll your eyes and spin your head. But it seems like every time after he says something he goes 3-for-4 so maybe we should encourage him to say something like that." Trading their cleanup hitter, who is 22-for-47 in his last 13 games, seems unlikely for a team just one game behind AL East leader Tampa Bay and two ahead of third-place New York, which is 8-1 since the All-Star Game. In his third game since missing 45 with a left wrist injury, Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBIs.

Jon Lester (9-3) stayed unbeaten since his last loss on May 25 with his sixth win in nine starts despite working out of trouble in four of the first five innings. He could relax with a 7-0 lead after four. Boston finished with 15 hits.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Now he's a guaranteed out

Shaughnessy: Sox are fed up with Manny(Boston Globe) Sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy discusses the absence of left fielder Manny Ramirez, and what that could mean for the left fielder's future with the club. By Chona Camomot, Globe Staff

The Red Sox have had it with Manny Ramírez. Manny has punched his ticket out of town. It's over. O-VA. Adios, amigo. Good night, Irene. Turn out the lights. Last night's 1-0 loss to the Yankees (think they could have used Manny?) was the proverbial last worthless evening.
Ramírez sealed his fate with the club yesterday afternoon. After longtime enabler Terry Francona filled out a lineup card with Manny batting fourth, the Sox made an announcement that Manny could not play in the biggest game of the season. Seems there were problems with his right knee. Manny was a late scratch.

It was extraordinary. In the past, management and the manager would do handstands to excuse Manny's strange acts. No more. This time, the manager - apparently confident there's nothing wrong with the slugger - put Manny's name in the lineup, then sat and waited for Manny to pull himself out of the lineup. Manny complied. Never concerned with wins or losses, Manny told Brad Mills he was unable to play and took himself out of the batting order for the (thus far) biggest game of the season.

It was predictable. It was ridiculous. It was the last straw. Former state treasurer Bob Crane happened by the EMC Club, pregame, and spoke for many fans when he said, "Manny's got to go. Enough's enough. Fans are finally sick of this guy."

The possibility exists that Manny truly has a sore right knee. No one can get inside the head of an athlete and evaluate game-readiness. If Manny's knee is killing him, there is no way for us to know, and we are wildly unfair to question his condition. I'm willing to take that chance. I don't believe him. Call me a cynic. Call me a nitwit. Whatever. I'm comfortable with the theory that Manny is using his alleged knee injury to send a message to the ball club. We don't know why. We never know why. Manny shut it down in 2006 and he's toying with the Red Sox again. In the middle of a pennant race. It is despicable. And the front office and his teammates are burning. Off the record, of course.

Ramírez had an MRI yesterday and it was clean. This time, the Sox plan to do something about this situation. Soon.

MY TAKE ON THIS: Good bye Mr. Bum-irez. Hit the road, Jack. Don't come back, Mack. Take your rack, grab your sack and never turn back!!!! Let's proclaim today as 'farewell Manny' day. Don't forget to file your new mailing address with the Post Office on Monday.

Joba outduels Beckett; Sox drop a squeaker 1-0

July 25, 2008. BOSTON, MA -- The Red Sox dropped a tough one to the Yankees last night 1-0 in what turned out to be a pitcher's duel between Josh Beckett and Joba Chamberlain.

David Ortiz was back. Josh Beckett was pitching for the Red Sox. The Fenway Park crowd was pumped up for the renewal of the rivalry with the Yankees.

None of that bothered Joba Chamberlain. The right-hander took another big step in his transition from the bullpen to the rotation with his best major league start as surging New York beat Boston 1-0 Friday night for its seventh straight win. The third-place Yankees pulled within two of Boston and stayed three back of AL East-leading Tampa Bay, which won 5-3 at Kansas City. New York also bolstered its bullpen and lineup, acquiring outfielder Xavier Nady and left-hander Damaso Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

For New York, Chamberlain's effort and the added help made it a big night.
"I've had quality starts against everybody," Chamberlain bragged. "You understand it's going to be a tough game. He [Beckett] is an unbelievable pitcher. He battles and claws."

"I was the second-best pitcher today," Beckett said, "and ultimately that gets you a loss most of the time." Chamberlain has allowed three runs or less in all 10 starts this year. On Friday, he gave up three singles -- one to Ortiz, who missed the previous 45 games with a left wrist injury -- and struck out nine in a career-high seven innings.

"He matched Beckett inning for inning," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

MY TAKE ON THIS: We are in biggg trouble and we need to take the final 2 games of this series. We can not let the Yankees leave Fenway Pock on Sunday night tied with us. This is truly a 3-team race and we have the least momentum out of those teams. We could find ourselves 5 games behind the Yankees and Ray in the next 10 days or so. Manny didn't even pinch-hit in this game, so that probably tells you something right there. Could be out for the weekend. Hopefully, he won't be DL'd. We are in big trouble. Get out the pooper-scoopers!!! Good bye, Manny. Hope you last until game 4 of this year's World Series. We need to have you against the Mets. After that....you are gone-a-mundo!!! I guess you'll get a 4-year $100M deal someplace.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Manny is out for tonight.

JULY 25... BOSTON MA -- Manny was in the original lineup, but has just been scratched. Let's go Papi. This could be a big series (at least as far as hype goes) only if either team sweeps. If the Sox win 3 or the Yanks win 3, it's really no big deal.

Boston Globe article - Yankees suck

July 24. Kevin Cullen of the Boston Glove wrote an article asking us not to use the chant 'Yankees Suck." Guess he has nothing else to write about. And he really stoops low enough to kiss Derek Jeter's ass.

The Yankees are in town for a weekend series, and this would be a nice time to retire the stupidest chant in the world: Yankees suck

I don't like the Yankees. I never did, though as a kid I liked the way Bobby Murcer played the outfield, and for some odd reason I always wanted Horace Clarke to do well. But I am a Red Sox fan, have been all my life, and so that means I don't like the Yankees. My two sons don't like the Yankees either. But here's the critical difference: I respect the Yankees, and I've taught my sons to do so, too. They are 14 and 11, love baseball, and know that Derek Jeter plays the game as well and as hard as anyone has. If I were picking sides in the schoolyard, Jeter is the guy I'd pick first.

If you watch him in the on-deck circle at Fenway, Jeter turns and talks to the kids. He's one of the few players who seem to comprehend how lucky he is to be playing a game and making millions doing it. He's class, all the way, and he's the Yankees captain, epitomizes them as a team, and the hell with the Boss, this is Jeter's team. So when you say the Yankees suck, you're saying Derek Jeter sucks, which is preposterous.

But that's over. It's been over since October 2004, when "Yankees suck" should have been put out to pasture. Shouting "Yankees suck" at Fenway Park today is like yelling "No Taxation Without Representation!" at Faneuil Hall. Whatever you think of "Yankees suck," it used to mean something, but now it doesn't. It is mindless, as those who chant it often are. I was at Game 7 of the Celtics-Hawks playoff series, and when it became apparent that the C's would win, some in the crowd started chanting "Yankees suck."

"Dad," my oldest asked, "why are they saying that at a Celtics game?"
"Because," I replied, "they're too stupid to think up anything else."

Personally, I have never yelled "Yankees suck," just as I have never sung the chorus to "Sweet Caroline," or participated in The Wave. Now, sit back, and think long and hard for a moment. Have you ever said "Yankees suck"? Think of the people you have seen or heard saying this over the years. My experience has been that most people who shout "Yankees suck" are either drunk, obnoxious, or stupid and very often a combination of all three. They are an mbarrassment to the rest of us, and their chant makes us look like a bunch of local yokels.

MY TAKE ON THIS So, what do you think about that article. It sucks, doesn't it. Yankees suck; Jetah sucks and Kevin Cullen sucks. This guy is the arrogant one, calling Sox fans 'stupid.' Plain and clear, plain and simple...THE YANKEES SUCK. I hope we have 39,000 fans out there yelling at the top of their lungs...YANKEES SUCK...CULLEN SUCKS... YANKEES SUCK!! This guy devoted a whole stinkin article to this. Biggest series of the year and he is writing about this. Big Papi coming back; is Manny going to play; Can Josh Beckett toss a gem?. Trade deadline approaching... there's all kind of stories out there.

By Josh, The Stage has been Set.

July 25. FENWAY PARK, BOSTON, MA -- Here we go people, what we've all been waiting for but hoped that this pennant race wouldn't turn out to be so complicated. The Rays lost yesterday and the Yankees and Sox did not play, but we are in a virtual tie for the lead. The Sox have been sputtering and the Yankees unfortunately have been rolling. Amazing how they are just 3 games back with that awful pitching staff and those injuries. Gotta give them credit for that.

And whoever would have thought that the Tampa Bay Gutless Rays would still be hanging around. They are supposed to be 20 games out by now.

Hopefully, we will have the 'dynamic duo' both in the lineup today. It's so great to have the Big Papi back and it appears as though he has kept his stroke, after blasting 3 home runs for the Pawsox. We need THEE MANNY RAMIREZ. Not the Jaywalking, poking head through scoreboard, tumbling in the outfield clown we have witnessed lately.

So today at approximately 4:05, Josh Beckett and Joba Chamberlain will come out of their corners and square off. A slugfest? A pitching duel? At least four hours of some of the greatest entertainment in baseball. We need a sweep. Got to push 'em back. Kill the Yankees.

I wish that this was a 4-game series and we could stick Dice-K in right after Wakefield. We'd send the Yankees hitters sputtering and spinning for a week after that. However, as the rotation goes, we'll see our ace, Jon Lester take the mound on Sunday, following Tim (anything goes, but been pretty darn good lately) Wakefield. We have to face a tough Andy Pettitte on Saturday and in the finale, a rejuvenated Skidknee Ponson.

Manny and his sore ass.... I mean knee

July 23. SEATTLE, WA -- "He showed up this morning, I wasn't ready for that,'' Francona said. "He said his right knee hurts.'' Francona then joked, "The (expletive) jaywalking, if you do it right, you won't hurt your knee.'' Ramirez told reporters his knee has been bothering him for about a week. "I've just been trying to play it out," he said, while jokingly singing for tips at his locker in the clubhouse, with his I-Pod docked to a speaker and a cup out seeking donations from teammates. "I decided it was time to give it a rest." Asked if he would be ready for the Yankees series, which begins Friday, Ramirez said, "I don't know. I'm day-to-day at this point."--

"I've just been trying to play it out," he said, while jokingly singing for tips at his locker in the clubhouse, with his I-Pod docked to a speaker and a cup out seeking donations from teammates. "I decided it was time to give it a rest."

Okay Manny..... anything you say, man. Will you be in Cleveland next year? You have had some really great years and we would not have won the World Serious twice without you (or maybe we could have), but I think that you'll be packing your things before long. You have become a cancer and let's get rid of you before it spreads. I think that all this nonsense started when Julian, your buddy, was released. $20 million per year, 20 million problems.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Trade Rumors

Red Sox looking to acquire Uribe in deal with Chicago

July 23, 2008 By Danny Knobler CBSSports.com Senior Writer

The Red Sox are deep in conversations with the White Sox on a trade that would send infielder Juan Uribe to Boston, according to sources. Uribe is batting just .225 in limited playing time this season, but his three home runs are one more than all Red Sox shortstops have hit. Boston shortstops are 28th in the majors in runs scored and 23rd in RBI.

Here's what a couple White Sox fans have to say about Uribe... kind of the same thing our fans have been saying about Lugo for quite awhile. Please don't do the trade!!

July 23, 2008 11:01 pm the BoSox want Uribe, they can have him! This would give us the opportunity to get Ozuna back.
July 23, 2008 8:00 pm I'll drive Uribe to Boston if the Red Sox want him, hell, I'd be a happy man if some one took him, he's got a good glove at SS, but he's just so stupid at the plate, all the potential he could ever want and he's a .230 hitter, pathetic.


Ichiro Suzuki. Great ballplayer. Had he played his entire career in the Majors, he would have put up some unbelieveable stats. He's approaching the 3,000 hit plateau for his career(s). Fortunately or unfortunately, J.D. Drew has put together his best season and he will be a mainstay out there in right field beside Jacoby Ellsbury and 'what's his name' for the time being. The Mariner's could be moving Ichiro, but I doubt it. If JD had a dismal season, they we would now be looking for a right fielder and we would not have depended on a PawSox call-up. Gosh, could you imagine a lineup like Ellsbury (batting 9th), Suzuki, Pedroia, Papi, Manny, Youk, etc. I think that Ichiro would have really fired up this club and it would have been a cakewalk through the World Serious. But nonetheless, our lineup is pretty darn good right now with a couple glaring holes....shortstop and a non-hitting, waiting to come around Jason Vari-technical difficulties. Oh, cripes, I've got to stop 'Bermanizing' peoples names.

But tell me something people...haven't you noticed that Ichiro pretty much 'accentuates' every catch, jump, dive out there in the outfield and also while batting. Kind of like, 'hey, I'm cool' and trying to put on a show everytime the cameras are on him. He's not 'hi-fiving' fans out there like somebody we know, but he always throws in that extra, un-needed twist, jump, turn after catching the ball to make fans think was more of a sensational catch. It guess it's all about showtime and being entertaining. You don't see JD doing that crap and Ellsbury just does what comes natural. And the other guy....well, every time he goes for the ball, you move to the edge of your seat, because he could end up diving, rolling around and then laying on the ball.

Sox Sweep Mariners in 12 innings 6-3

July 23. SEATTLE. WA --The Red Sox concluded their 6-game road trip, sweeping the lowly Seattle Mariners in 12 innings 6-3.

Mike Lowell hit a two-run single off Sean Green in the 12th inning, and the Red Sox took advantage of two outfield errors to beat the sunken Mariners 6-3 on Wednesday and complete Boston's first series sweep at Seattle in 15 years. The Red Sox entered the series having lost eight of 11 on the road, leaving manager Terry Francona to say he was perplexed. They flew home for the latest showdown with New York after their first three-game sweep on the road this season.

Even without their heavy artillery, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, who rested Wednesday with a sore knee, Boston stayed a half-game behind first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East.
"Since I've been with the Red Sox, we don't play well in Seattle. So this was a big series for us," Lowell said.

Raul Ibanez and Jose Vidro hit home runs in the fifth consecutive loss for the AL's worst team. Seattle expected to be in the postseason but dropped a season-low 25 games under .500, and is in clearance-sale mode for the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline. Ibanez and Vidro are top candidates to go.

Jacoby Ellsbury began the 12th with his fourth hit in 34 at-bats, a single off Green (2-3). A hit-and-run groundout by Dustin Pedroia got Ellsbury to second before Green intentionally walked J.D. Drew. Kevin Youkilis then hit a liner that center fielder Willie Bloomquist sprinted deep for but had clang off the inside of his glove. The error loaded the bases, and Lowell unloaded them with his second hit of the game. Sean Casey, the designated hitter for Ramirez, singled home Youkilis to make it 6-3. Jonathan Papelbon (4-3), pitching a third consecutive day, created a jam in the 11th by flubbing a pickup of Vidro's leadoff squibber down the first-base line for a generously scored infield single. Craig Hansen allowed Seattle to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the 12th but retired Vidro on a ground out for his second save in four chances.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

MLB Trade Deadline Approaching - July 31

The deadline for trades is quickly approaching. Just a week away.

Names being tossed around:

OF Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies: He has one year and $13 million left before free agency, and after 2009 the Rockies will have little chance to keep him.

1B Mark Teixeira, Atlanta Braves: He's a free agent after the season, but if they're in the race, how can they move him?

LH reliever Brian Fuentes, Rockies: He's a free agent after the season, and Manny Corpas is the future closer.

OF Jason Bay, Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates are asking a lot, but why not?

RH reliever Huston Street, Oakland Athletics: When GM Billy Beane makes up his mind to trade someone, it's a done deal.

Others: 3B Adrian Beltre, Seattle Mariners; OF Xavier Nady, Pirates; RH starter Livan Hernandez, Minnesota Twins; 3B Garrett Atkins, Rockies; 3B Casey Blake, Cleveland Indians

Rotoworld.com top 150 prospects for mid-season

2008 Midseason Top 150 Prospects

1. David Price - LHP Rays - DOB: 08/26/85 - ETA: Aug. 2008Previous rankings: 2008 #74-0, 1.82 ERA, 28 H, 37/7 K/BB in 34 2/3 IP (A+ Vero Beach)4-0, 2.03 ERA, 26 H, 25/10 K/BB in 31 IP (AA Montgomery)That Price went down with an elbow injury before throwing his first professional pitch was more than a little worrisome, but he's been brilliant since returning in late May, and as long as the Rays were being completely upfront in calling the injury a strained muscle, there's no reason to look at him as more of a health concern going forward than the typical 22-year-old pitcher. Price is on his way to showing above average command to go along with his dominant fastball-slider combination, so he could prove to be better than Scott Kazmir. The Rays might add him to their rotation next month.

There are 25 listed in Rotoworld with additions each week. http://www.rotoworld.com/

Michael Bowden is listed at number 14.

Yankees Fans Bulldoze Papelbon's Home

Call of the Green Monster - An satirical look at current Red Sox topics

Tragedy struck for the Papelbon family when they learned that last night hordes of irate Yankees fans demolished his home with bulldozers. The fans stated that the reason they carried out the heinous crime was because of Papelbon’s insults to Mariano Rivera prior to the All-Star game. They apparently still don’t understand that Papelbon actually paid tribute to Rivera and emphatically stated that Rivera should close the game.

To read the remainder of the story, go to the website: Call of the Green Monster which has a lot of satirical stories regarding our beloved Red Sox. Enjoy the humor.

This Day in Red Sox History

July 24 1978: Carl Yastrzemski drives in Fred Lynn with a single in the 6th inning, for the 1500th RBI of his career. Exactly one year later, Yaz hits the 400th home run of his career.

July 23 1973: Nomar Garciaparra is born in Whittier, California. 29 years later, on 7/23/2002, he hits three home runs including a grand slam in a 22-4 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

July 22 1944: Sparky Lyle is born in DuBois, Pennsylvania.

July 21 1946: Ted Williams hits for the cycle at home against St. Louis. The Red Sox win 7-4.

July 22 Highlights and Headliners

*Matsuzaka improves to 11-1 (2.63) allowing 2 hits and 2 walks over first 7 innings before faltering in the 8th. Sox win 4-2 over Seattle.

*Manny-being-Manny gets stopped, questioned for jay walking in Seattle. Officer didn't recognize him and was preparing to take him downtown, but he produced ID. That's okay, you're Money, I mean Manny.

*K-Rod on fire. Picks up save number 41. On pace to break saves record. Lost arbitration case earlier this year. Angels will pay dearly for that. If he stays healthy, he could reach 65.

*Yankees win 5th in a row. Beat Twins 8-2. Close to within 3 games of Sox; 3 1/2 behind Rays.

*VandenHurk pitches 5 no-hit innings vs Atlanta. Four pitchers combine for one-hitter; Marlins swim past Atlanta 4-0.

Dice-K Scuttles Mariners 4-2

July 23. SEATTLE, WA -- Even though Matsuzuka had to leave in the eighth inning, he continued his masterful pitching away from Fenway Park, as the Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 on Tuesday night. Matsuzaka (11-1) was dominant for the first seven innings, scattering two hits before Seattle finally got to him in the eighth, ending any hopes for the second complete game of his career.

Matsuzaka's scoreless innings streak ended at 24 1/3. Dice-K's countryman, Ichiro Suzuki, lined an RBI double over center fielder Coco Crisp with one out in the eighth for the first run allowed by Matsuzaka since the first inning against Tampa Bay on July 2 when Evan Longoria hit a two-out RBI single. Matsuzaka had not allowed an earned run in his previous two starts.
"Facing off against Ichiro I wanted to make good pitches to good spots," Matsuzaka said.

Jose Lopez followed the double with an RBI single to score Suzuki and knock out Matsuzaka, who walked three and struck out six. Hideki Okajima got the final two outs of the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 30th save in 34 chances. "If our starters get us deep like that we should be OK," Francona said. "Sometimes your pitching gives your offense time to kind of get straightened out. If we get deep in games on a consistent basis we should be fine."
Boston's offense got a jolt from the start thanks to J.D. Drew. His 18th homer sent with two outs in the first sent Matsuzaka to the mound with a 1-0 lead.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lester pitches another gem; Sox skim Seattle 4-0

July 21, 2008. SEATTLE, WA - - Jonathan Lester took his traveling road show to Seattle and put in another excellent performance. Lester (8-3) was born in nearby Tacoma and starred at that city's Bellarmine Prep high school. He said distractions and expectations may have been part of the reason for pitching poorly here.

"It's nice to come back home and pitch halfway decent," he said.
Lester struck out six and walked none in 7 1/3 innings. He allowed eight hits, the final one a hard one-hopper off his right shin. He left the game with a trainer and the bases loaded but did not appear injured while watching from the bench as Jonathan Papelbon got Raul Ibanez to ground into a double play.

Before Monday, his ERA in two starts in Seattle was 8.10, his worst against any AL opponent.
Rookie Jed Lowrie hit a two-run single in the eighth and Manny Ramirez, the designated hitter in the absence of David Ortiz, had three singles to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Boston won for just the third time in 13 road games to remain 1½ games behind first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Manny this, Manny that...

Personally, I am sick and tired of all these Manny-erisms. I can understand the Sox' management for trying to put off these issues until the end of the season, when they decide not to renew his contract. Manny is not going to play for the Red Sox next season... you can take it to the bank. He thinks everything he does is cute, funny, etc..... pops out of windows on the scoreboard, running over to the bathroom back there, Hi-fiving fans after catching the ball, diving for a ball and rolling all over the place while coming to rest on the ball. This crap just isn't funny anymore and I hope that management will stop kissing his ass. We don't need him. He's not producing like he once did and he thinks he doesn't have to.

I got news for you Mr. Ramirez. We appreciate your help in getting to the World Series twice along with any other contribution you decide to give this season, but as far as I'm concerned, do it some place else. The Sox will have no problem filling your spot in the lineup. It was a lot of fun during the several years you were here, but you have worn out your welcome. Adios. Sayonarra, etc. etc. etc.

What the 'Eck' is wrong with Manny!

"... and there's people scuffling, not making very much money and this guy's dropping a $20 million bomb like it's no big deal, I'm in the driver's seat, this, that... that's bothersome to me, to watch this go on like that with Manny. I respect the guy. He's one of the greatest players ever, but this is tired, to me. The players put up with it because they have to. I don't have to. I can come on this show [NESN pregame] and tell you I don't like it. And I don't like the way Manny plays this game, not so much the way he plays it, but the way he's playing his act with his contract. I don't want to hear about it to be honest with you. He's making a lot of money. He's been making a lot of money a long, long time, eight years, all of a sudden he starts chirpin' about the last year, it's because all of a sudden it's money time again. That's about all I can say about that right now because I don't want to go too far." 7.18.08, Dennis Eckersley on Manny Being Greedy

Red Sox get bucked around 11-3

July 18. ANAHEIM -- The Disneyland Angels pounded Clay Buccholz for eight runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings in his second start since returning from the minors. Four of the runs against the right-hander were unearned, the result of a two-out fielding error by Alex Cora on Torii Hunter's slow grounder to shortstop in the fifth.

It was time for another of our famous 'Manny being Manny' moments. Manny Ramirez, whose defensive play in left field has always been a cause for concern for the Red Sox, misplayed what appeared to be a bloop RBI single by Maicer Izturis into a triple during a three-run sixth that extended the Angels' lead to 11-3.

The 12-time All-Star made a futile dive for a ball he had no chance of catching, then stumbled as he went to retrieve it -- and ended up rolling over onto the baseball. Ramirez finally relayed it back to the infield a few seconds later and broke into a huge grin that didn't exactly mirror the pained expression on manager Terry Francona's face.

"It's not an error, but I think I made the bloopers for life," Ramirez said. "I had a bad jump, but I still went for it. I missed the ball and that was it. I felt like I was swimming in a swamp right there."

Buchholz is 0-3 with a 10.00 ERA in his last four starts. He made his big league debut against the Angels last Aug. 17 at Boston and beat Lackey 8-4. Two weeks later, he pitched a no-hitter against Baltimore in his next outing. But in 12 starts with the Red Sox since, he is 3-6 with a 5.28 ERA.
Buchhol threw 37 of his 83 pitches in the first inning while the Angels grabbed a 3-0 lead.

Maybe Masterson won't come back as a MIDDLE RELIEVER after all or somebody else will probably fill that #5 slot in the rotation. Never know. We can't horse around. (buck - holz)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Baseball's Most Wanted™ II

Baseball's Most Wanted™ II
The Top 10 Book of More Bad Hops, Screwball Players, and other Oddities
Floyd Conner

272 pages; 5" x 8"; 10 B&W PHOTOS
$12.95 $10.36
978-1-57488-362-6Baseball has so many stars and scrubs, quotables and notables - so many that one book just isn’t enough to cover them all. Enter Baseball's Most Wanted™ II. Starting where Baseball's Most Wanted™ left off, version 2.0 introduces even more colorful characters, inept fielders and hitters, and forgotten stars as well as all the teams, fans, managers, and even announcers who are a vibrant part of baseball’s past, present, and future. You’ll read top-ten lists of the best and worst hitters and pitchers, the most unique memorabilia, and the most obsessed fans.Learn which president vowed to never play the game again after he got shelled in a semipro game. Find out if Tony Suck lived up to his name or rose above it. Discover the secret lure of the no-hitter and how even usually inept pitchers can catch lightning in a bottle and reach Nirvana. You’ll read about these as well as hundreds of other people, places, and events. With more than sixty lists of trivia to amuse and amaze, Baseball's Most Wanted™ II is a wonderful celebration of America’s love of baseball, warts and all.

Ripley's Baseball Oddities Book

Ripley's Believe It Or Not: Baseball Oddities & Trivia
Tim O'Brien
Ripley Publishing
7576 Kingspoint Parkway, Suite 188, Orlando, FL 32819
9781893951297, $10.88, http://www.ripleys.com/

A baseball hit 400 feet has twice the destructive energy as a bullet fired from a .8 calibur pistol. That, and other strange and unusual facts can be found in "Ripley's Believe It Or Not!: Baseball Oddities & Trivia: A Journey Through the Weird, Wacky, and Absolutely True World of Baseball". Packed cover to cover with charming drawings by John Granziano, "Ripley's Believe It or Not: Baseball Oddities & Trivia: A Journey Through the Weird, Wacky, and Absolutely True World of Baseball" is over a hundred pages of interesting and intriguing facts and notes of interest. Highly recommended for baseball fans or anyone who just likes weird, bizarre information--it also should be considered as a lighter edition to any community library collection focuses on sports or baseball. \
COPYRIGHT 2008 Midwest Book Review

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Josh Hamilton's 28 homers revisited

Been doing a lot of thinking on this. Really try not to dwell too long on any one issue, but this one makes me wonder. How did he do it? Smoke and mirrors? Performing the greatest magic trick ever, Josh Hamilton gave the illusion of blasting 28 home runs, 19 MORE THAN ANY ONE PLAYER IN ANY ROUND.

As the ball kept flying off his bat, Mark Berman kept making remarks about the weird sound coming from his bat when he connected. Weird sound? I forget the exact wording, but something similar was said. He said that he had never heard a sound like that before.

You know, that 28 home runs are quite a bit. This guy would sign an autograph, blast a long one. Big Papi comes running by....out goes another one, etc., etc., etc. It seem like all he had to do was to lay some wood on the ball and it went flying.

Then in the last two rounds, he did not even come anywhere close to what he did that first round. Maybe HE WAS tired by then. Or, I personally suspect that the bat used for the 28 home runs was doctored. A wooden bat hollowed out and replaced inside with metal? Weird sound....mmmmm. Why didn't he quit after maybe 10 home runs? If you Ti-vo'ed the game, take a look at where the bat goes when he was done in that first round. I recall him going over to the clubhouse.

American League sleepwalks to 4-3 win in 15 innings

July 15. Yankee Stadium. It was an All-Star Game unlike any other. That, of course, is because the first 78 All-Star Games actually ended. Ah, but not this one. It couldn't. It wouldn't. It almost didn't.

Midnight came and went. One o' frigging clock in the morning came and went. Yet the All-Star madness went on and on, defying the odds, defying the baseball gods, defying every clock on every wall. "I just know I looked up and it said 1:40 in the morning, and it was the 15th inning," said Twins first baseman Justin Morneau. "I never ever expected to come here and experience that."

J.D. Drew wondered whether he'd be pitching soon. Clint Hurdle sounded out David Wright about his mound prowess. It was the 15th inning of the final All-Star game at Yankee Stadium, and the bullpens were empty. As goodbyes go, this was a long, long one. "It was just crazy how it seemed like it lasted forever," Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "It was the last year for Yankee Stadium, the last All-Star game, and it's kind of fitting that it seemed like it lasted forever."

Not quite. Justin Morneau slid home just in time on Michael Young's sacrifice fly in the 15th inning, giving the American League a 4-3 victory that extended its unbeaten streak to 12. In a game that began at dusk Tuesday and ended at 1:37 a.m. Wednesday morning, the grand old ballpark was half-empty when Young stopped a 4-hour, 50-minute marathon on the 453rd pitch. Given the ticket prices — $525-$725 in the lower deck, $150 in the bleachers — fans deserved something extra. They got it.

Many of the 49 Hall of Famers honored during pregame pageantry likely were in bed by the final out. For Boston's Terry Francona, the AL manager, this took on the stress of a game that counts in the standings. "I told Jim Leyland, `I'll quit cursing, I'll quit chewing,'" he said, referring to the Detroit manager who was part of his coaching staff. "I lied."

The NL was given a pregame pep talk by Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, whose motto is: "Let's play two!" And they nearly did, matching the NL's 2-1 win at Anaheim in 1967 for the longest All-Star game. Winner Scott Kazmir and loser Brad Lidge were the last available pitchers. Some started to worry this would replicate 2002's 7-7, 11-inning tie in Milwaukee, which caused the commissioner's office to expand the rosters

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Remember when Finley sold Rudi and Fingers to Red Sox

On June 15, 1976, I was seated midways up along the left field side of the Oakland Coliseum. There was a walkway just to the left of me. Prior to the start of the game, I saw one of the most surprising sights I had ever seen at a ball game. Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers walking with one another, wearing Red Sox uniforms as they headed out onto the field. I had no idea what had transpired earlier in the day. Soon after, people listening to the radio filled me in on what had happened, as Charlie Finley had tried to begin dismantling the A's.

Rollie Fingers was part of a few historic deals and non-deals during his career. A's owner Charlie Finley announced he had swapped Fingers and Joe Rudi to the Boston Red Sox, and also that he had sold Vida Blue to the New York Yankees. However, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn voided the deals, citing that they were "not in the best interest of baseball." While an enraged Finley sued MLB, the A's sat Fingers, Rudi and Blue on the bench until the issue was resolved in Kuhn's favor in June.

Home Run Derby

So if, Josh Hamilton decided to stop at say, 10 home runs in that first round (enough to advance & conserve energy) and not hit 28 bangers, then this would have been one of the most boring HR contests ever?

No real sluggers. No comment on A-dude not wanting to participate. Hometown too? Final year of Yankee Stadium. He doesn't care. I guess he had better things to do? I guess that's 'rod being rod.'

Justin Morneau wins it 5 to 3. Doesn't really get more boring than that. A few long blasts by some of the other players and that about sums it up. The 'back...back...back..back' shouting by Mark Berman is about 10 years too old and just having Joe Morgan there gives me the creeps. We all know that Joe seems to give the impression that fans don't know jack!!! Thank gosh that he didn't go into his 'detailed' explanations of the 'sluggers' swings, etc. You know what I mean.

Kind of amazed at how Josh was able to keep it up in that first round pounding one after another. You had Bradley coming over, giving him a rubdown; Big Papi running across home plate on his way to the John, bringing out a rash of 'boos' from the stands; breaking out the sharpie to sign baseballs. I mean he had all kind of distractions, yet he blasted 28 that first round. I find that amazing, but it is time to stop dwelling on his past for so long. This part of the HR Derby was the most exciting in history.

So, what do you find more exciting. Hamilton stopping at 10 HRs that first round and going on to win the contest or hitting 28 home runs that first round. Three years from now, who would remember him winning (if he did)? Nobody. Actually, I don't think that anybody really cared who won this one...even though most of us were rooting for Hamilton..... or in 10 years from now, virtually everybody will remember the 28 he hit.

Red Sox Jokes

On the first day of school a first grade teacher explains to her class that she is a Yankees fan. She asks her students to raise their hands if they, too, are Yankees fans. Wanting to impress their teacher, everyone in the class raises their hand except one little girl. The teacher looks at the girl with surprise and says, "Janie, why didn't you raise your hand?"

"Because I'm not a Yankees fan," she replied.
The teacher, still shocked, asked, "Well, if you are not a Yankees fan, then who are you a fan of?"
"I am a Red Sox fan, and proud of it," Janie replied.
The teacher could not believe her ears. "Janie, why pray tell are you a Red Sox fan?"
"Because my mom is a Red Sox fan, and my dad is Red Sox fan, so I'm a Red Sox fan too!"
"Well," said the teacher in a obviously annoyed tone, "that is no reason for you to be a Red Sox fan. You don't have to be just like your parents all of the time. What if your mom were an idiot and your dad were a moron, what would you be then?"
"Then," Janie smiled, "I'd be a Yankees fan."

This Day in Red Sox History

July 14 1956: Mel Parnell pitches a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox for a 4-0 victory at Fenway Park.

July 15 1988: Joe Morgan wins his first games as manager, as the Sox sweep the Royals in a doubleheader. That begins a 12-game winning streak which moves the Sox from 8.5 games back to only 1.5 games out of first place.

July 16 1912: Tris Speaker extends his hitting streak to 30 games. He also has two 20-game hitting streaks in 1912. The Red Sox beat the Tigers 7-2.

July 17 1990: Minnesota becomes the first team in major league history to pull off two triple plays in one game, but it isn't enough to overcome Boston as the Red Sox beat the Twins 1-0.

July 18 1998: Donnie Sadler's first major league home run is the first of Boston's record four two-out homers in a 9-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers. In the seven-run fourth inning, Darren Lewis, Nomar Garciaparra and Mo Vaughn follow to break the AL record of three held by six teams.

July 19 1933: Rick Ferrell of the Red Sox hits a home run off brother Wes, who is pitching for the Cleveland Indians. Wes also homers in the game.

The words of Jonathan Papelbon; Paps being Paps

Confidence is a key element in a relief pitcher's mental make-up. And Boston' Jonathan Papelbon and the Yankees' Mariano Rivera, two of the game's best closers, don't lack for it.

Consider Papelbon, who on Monday suggested -- before toning down his comments -- that he should pitch the ninth in Tuesday night's All-Star Game rather than Rivera, even though the game is at Yankee Stadium. "We've both earned that right; us, by winning the World Series and having the opportunity of having our manager there and our team being represented, and Mariano by what he's done for this role, we're in Yankee Stadium and blah, blah, blah," Papelbon said. "It's not that easy. Everybody thinks it's a cut and dry answer, but it's not."

"If I was managing the team, I would close," Papelbon said. "I'm not managing the team, so it don't matter." But Rivera feels the same way about taking the mound for the ninth. "It's definitely tough, but we're here in Yankee Stadium. I think I should get the shot," Rivera said. "I definitely would love to. Knowing [Red Sox manager] Terry Francona, I have a feeling he'll put me there if we have the opportunity to close the game."

Francona, who is managing the AL thanks to Boston's 2007 World Series triumph, was mum when asked who would pitch the ninth. "Out of the spirit of the game and competition, and having a little bit of fun, we're not going to announce the rest of our rotation yet," Francona said.

In additional comments on Monday, Papelbon lessened the suspense, saying Rivera should get the nod. "I'm making a statement right now, saying I don't want it, I want [Rivera] to have it. I said all that earlier, but that's the way I feel about it," Papelbon said. "This is what I think, of course I want to close the game out. I wouldn't be Jonathan Papelbon if I didn't want to close the game out," he said. "But at the same time, there's also things within this game I have to understand and people have to understand. It doesn't always work out that way.
"I feel I owe a lot to this game and that's one of the things I owe to this game, to let an elder statesman go ahead of me."

Justin Morneau takes HR Derby

Jul 14. Yankee Stadium, NY - - Josh Hamilton (Rangers) carved his niche in the annals of HR Derby by blasting 28 home runs in the first round. However, after that, he seemingly ran out of Wheaties as he lost in the finals to Justin Morneau (Twins).

Nobody had ever hit 28 home runs in one round of Derby-dom before. Only one man (Bobby Abreu, with his 24 bombs in Round 1 in 2005) had ever come within 10. For that matter, Abreu was the only player in Derby history who had ever hit at least 28 homers on one night, let alone one round.

"It was amazing, all the way from home run No. 1 to home run No. 28," said Hamilton's teammate in Texas, Ian Kinsler. "It seemed like it was never going to stop." That, in fact, was exactly what it seemed like. Baseballs kept disappearing. The bedlam in the seats kept getting louder and louder. The major league baseball players watching it kept shaking their heads, pretty much in awe of what they were seeing. And they weren't the only ones, because this is what Josh Hamilton did -- in just that one round:

Josh Hamilton hit more home runs in the first round of the Derby (28) than he has through the first half of the season (21).He hit a home run on 13 swings in a row. And 16 of 17. And 20 of 22. And 22 of 25.

But mostly, he battered the right-field bleachers with one mortar after another. He hit four home runs that nearly cleared those bleachers -- and one that bonked off the bottom of the distant Bank of America sign, 502 feet from where he was standing, sending 53,716 witnesses into complete apoplexy. "He hit that sign," said Kinsler, "and that ball just disappeared. And it was like it was gone forever. I kept looking at that sign, and I was thinking, `There's not a chance I could probably hit that thing from second base." But incredibly, that wasn't even Hamilton's longest home run of that round. There was also a towering 504-footer that plopped into the last row of the bleachers, even farther out toward center field. And there was a 518-foot Mars mission that landed so high up in the third deck, you felt like it might have thumped off the top of the Empire State Building if he'd smoked it in Manhattan.

Even Hamilton had a special feeling for that shot, because it was the closest he came to fulfilling his pre-Derby prediction that he might be able to hit the first fair ball in history ever to completely leave Yankee Stadium.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Baseball's anthem, 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game,' turns 100.

CLEVELAND — It's the third most frequently sung song in the United States, yet few know all its lyrics. It's been recorded by more than 400 artists, from Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa. It's been performed live by Mike Ditka and Ozzy Osbourne - with varying skill levels.
Six-year-olds and 96-year-olds know its chorus by heart, and it rises into the summer air each night at ballparks around the U.S., as thousands of joyous voices sing as one.

Hastily written on a New York subway 100 years ago - or so the story goes - "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" has made it from Tin Pan Alley to YouTube.com, and with help from Harry Caray, baseball's anthem has never been more popular. "I like the song. It's about baseball, so what's not to like?" said Hall of Famer Bob Feller.

A sign advertising a game at the Polo Grounds inspired singer Jack Norworth to write a tune about America's favourite pastime. Or so he claims. In about the time it takes to play an inning, Norworth had some lyrics about a baseball fan named Katie Casey whose boyfriend called to see if she'd like to go to a show. Her emphatic response is the chorus "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," which trails only "Happy Birthday" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the most frequently performed songs, according to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Winners of past Home Run Derby's

Here's a listing of the past Home Run Derby winners:

2007 - Vladimir Guerrero - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - 17 - AT&T Park, SF
2006 - Ryan Howard - Philadelphia Phillies - 23 - PNC Park, Pittsburgh
2005 - Bobby Abreu - Philadelphia Phillies - 41 - Comerica Park, Detroit
2004 - Miguel Tejada - Baltimore Orioles - 27 - Minute Maid Park, Houston
2003 - Garret Anderson - Anaheim Angels - 22 - U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
2002 - Jason Giambi - New York Yankees - 24 - Miller Park, Milwaukee
2001 - Luis Gonzalez - Arizona Diamondbacks - 16 - Safeco Field, Seattle
2000 - Sammy Sosa - Chicago Cubs - 26 - Turner Field, Atlanta
1999 - Ken Griffey, Jr. - Seattle Mariners - 16 - Fenway Park, Boston
1998 - Ken Griffey, Jr. - Seattle Mariners - 19 - Coors Field, Denver
1997 - Tino Martinez - New York Yankees - 16 - Jacobs Field, Cleveland
1996 - Barry Bonds - San Francisco Giants - 17 - Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia
1995 - Frank Thomas - Chicago White Sox - 15 - The Ballpark in Arlington, Texas
1994 - Ken Griffey, Jr. - Seattle Mariners - 7 - Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh
1993 - Juan González - Texas Rangers - 7 - Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore
1992 - Mark McGwire - Oakland Athletics - 12 - Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego
1991 - Cal Ripken, Jr. - Baltimore Orioles - 12 - SkyDome, Toronto
1990 - Ryne Sandberg - Chicago Cubs - 3 - Wrigley Field, Chicago
1989 - Eric Davis - Cincinnati Reds - 3 - Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim
1988 - Canceled due to rain - Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati
1987 - Andre Dawson - Chicago Cubs - 4 - Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland
1986 (tie) - Wally Joyner - California Angels - 4 - Astrodome, Houston
1986 (tie) - Darryl Strawberry - New York Mets - 4 - Astrodome, Houston
1985 - Dave Parker - Cincinnati Reds - 6 - Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minn

2008 Home Run Derby

The field for Monday's All-Star Home Run Derby (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Yankee Stadium is complete. Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau was named as the eighth and final competitor for the derby Sunday.

Morneau is one of four American League players in the derby, joining the Indians' Grady Sizemore, the Rays' Evan Longoria and the Rangers' Josh Hamilton. The NL side is represented by the Phillies' Chase Utley, the Marlins' Dan Uggla the Astros' Lance Berkman and the Brewers' Ryan Braun.

Looks like virtually all of the 'big bats' have passed on this event. It would have been nice to see such sluggers as Ryan Howard, Big Papi (injured), ARod, Manny, Adam (swing and miss or hit a home run) Dunn, Jason Giambi...... really wanted to see somebody pick up some mileage with their blasts. Well... I guess you never know.

Red Sox back in first

Before the Red Sox began their series against the Minnesota Twins last Monday (July 7) it looked like the battle for the Wild Card was about to start. They were 5 games in back of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Sox swept the Twins and took two out of three; the Rays meanwhile ran off on a six-game losing streak, coming back down to earth. The Red Sox ended Sunday ahead of the Rays by 1/2 game. Amazing.

Dice-K 0's Os for six innings

July 14. BOSTON, MA -- Matsuzaka pitched the Red Sox into first place handing the Orioles a 2-1 loss. Last Monday, the Sox were 5 games behind Tampa Bay and started a six-game homestand. They swept the Twins and took 2 out of 3 from Baltimore. Meanwhile, the Rays lost 6 consecutive games.

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and five walks while improving his record to 10-1. Jonathan Papelbon escaped in the ninth for his 28th save of the season and 100th of his career.

The Red Sox moved a half-game ahead of Tampa Bay and took the division lead for the first time since June 28. Boston trailed by a season-high five games last weekend, then won five of six while the Rays lost seven in a row. "I was talking trash to my teammates to make sure they got back in first place before I came back," Ortiz said. "I can't wait to start playing again and I am feeling good." Ortiz has missed 39 games because of an injured wrist. The All-Star slugger is expected to return in time for a series against the rival New York Yankees on July 25.

Matsuzaka helped himself by snaring Melvin Mora's hard comebacker with the bases loaded to end the fifth, and has given up just one run in his last 23 1/3 innings. Only twice in 16 starts has he allowed more than three runs. Even with his impressive record and a 2.65 ERA, Matsuzaka is not among the Red Sox representatives in the All-Star Game. Opponents are 0-for-11 this season with the bases loaded against Matsuzaka.

Jose Canseco - the Boxer?

ATLANTIC CITY - The former Bash Brother got his head bashed in Saturday night.
In less time than it takes to round the bases after one of his moon-shot homers, Jose Canseco was knocked out by former NFL return man Vai Sikahema in their celebrity boxing match that was equal parts "Saturday Night Fever" meets "Road House." How's this for star power - 1993 Phillies World Series goat Mitch Williams was ringside for the main event.
Sikahema, who was an amateur Golden Gloves champ during his youth before starring in the NFL, rocked Canseco with a devastating left hook in the first 30 seconds that dropped the former slugger to the mat. After a brief recovery, Canseco withstood another flurry of punches from the "Tongan Terror" before falling like a timber and mercilessly ending his night. If Canseco wanted to use the "Sweet Science" as a launching pad to a new career, it took 1:37 to prove the 44-year-old admitted steroid user better start thinking about a writing a third book

For nearly two decades, Canseco was one of baseball's most feared hitters, a superstar who earned millions of dollars whacking 462 career homers before packed stadiums from the Bay Area to the Bronx. These days, Canseco has been reduced to a circus side-show, a man with sizeable money woes who is loathed by former baseball players, coaches and executives after he put Major League Baseball on notice for its steroid sins with "Juiced."
According to a source familiar with the fight, Canseco earned a $35,000 purse - the equivalent of what he once made for several at-bats. But Canseco had to travel across the country to brawl Sikahema in what was supposed to be three, two-minute rounds. If Canseco goes any lower, his next gig may be blowing fire out of his mouth at county fairs.

AL Assists Leaders - Outfielders

Here's the leaders in assists for Outfielders in the American League:

Nick Markasis (Bal).....9
B.J. Upton (TBay).......9
Delmon Young (Min)......8
Raul Ibanez (Sea).......7
Bobby Abreu (NY)........7
Manny Ramirez (Bos).....6
Ben Francisco (Cle).....6
Carlos Gomez (Min)......6
Michael Cuddyer (Min)...6

In 1918....

* Players did not have uniform numbers
* Because of gamblers, teams didn't announce the starting pitchers before games. If they did, the offending team would be subject to a $25 fine
*The spitball was legal. It was not banned until February of 1920
*Fans were not allowed to keep foul balls hit into the stands
*RBI's were not counted in any consistent way
*Players were paid their salaries on a monthly basis
*There were 16 teams in 11 cities. Since then 6 of those teams have moved: Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns, Philadelphia A's, Boston Braves, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Dodgers
*Teams had no affiliated minor league farm clubs
*A team batting in the bottom of the ninth or in the last half of an extra inning could not win by more than one run. For example, if the home team trailed by a run and a player hit a three-run homer, he would be credited with only a triple, and his team would be victorious by one run, not two. This rule was changed in 1920
*There was no commissioner; instead baseball's governing body was the three-member panel "National Commission"

As for the Red Sox, 1918 was the year that
*Spring Training was held in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Red Sox finished the exhibition season 9-5. All games were played against the Brooklyn Dodgers
*In April, the team featured only a 19-man roster
*Fenway Park was 550 feet to center and there was a steep dirt hill in left field in front of the Green Monster
*Babe Ruth started 19 games as a pitcher, completing 18 of them
*On May 6, Ruth started his first game at a position other than pitcher
*Future Red Sox Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr were born
*Due to World War I the regular season ended early and the team played only 126 games. The Red Sox finished 75-51, 2½ games ahead of Cleveland

Following the 1918 season the team's fortunes changed for the worse. The Red Sox would not again experience a winning season until 1935 and have now gone 83 years without winning the World Series. In that time they have lost four Game 7's; in 1946, 67, 75, and 86. And while generations of Sox fans have succumbed to the idea that the team will not win another title "in my lifetime," the players on the 1918 team never received their championship emblems in theirs. In 1993 the Red Sox held a ceremony at Fenway Park and presented replica emblems to the descendants of the team's members, a full 75 years after the team could last lay claim to having earned the distinction of World Champions.

This day in Red Sox history

July 13 1999: The Red Sox host the All-Star Game at Fenway Park. Pedro Martinez strikes out the first four batters of the game to earn the game's MVP. MLB's All-Century Team is honored before the game.

July 12 1901: Cy Young wins the 300th game of his career, beating the Philadelphia A's 5-3.

July 11 1914: Babe Ruth makes his major league debut. He strikes out the first batter he faces, and allows eight hits in seven innings. The Sox win 4-3, but he ends up with a no-decision.

July 10 1945: No All-Star Game is scheduled due to World War II, but several exhibition games are played across the country to benefit war relief efforts. The Red Sox play the Braves at Fenway Park and win 8-1. The game raises $70,000 for the United War Fund.

July 9 1976: Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey dies, leaving the team to his widow Jean.

July 8 1994: John Valentin completes an unassisted triple play in the sixth inning of a game against Seattle. He goes on to lead off the bottom of the sixth with a home run.

Wake's puts O's to sleep; Sox win 12-1

July 12. BOSTON, MA -- Tim Wakefield (6-6 3.60) put together another dandy, allowing just two hits while walking one in 7 innings of work. He retired the final 13 men to face him before giving way to the bullpen in the eighth inning. Kevin Youkilis' first career grand slam helped him tally his first six-RBI game, and J.D. Drew and Manny Ramirez homered on consecutive pitches in the first inning to stake Wakefield (6-6) to an early lead.

"I think that's actually the best I've seen him pitch," said Francona, who had to leave Wakefield off the World Series roster last fall because of lingering back and shoulder problems. "He worked hard to stay where he is. When last year ended, and he wasn't able to pitch, it was very important to him to come back and take the ball when it's his turn." Youkilis, who had four RBIs in Boston's 18-5 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday, homered in the third when the Red Sox scored seven times to chase Radhames Liz (3-2). Youkilis also added a sacrifice fly in the fourth and a run-scoring infield single in the eighth.

Wakefield went at least seven innings in seven straight games before lasting 6 1/3 last Sunday. But he had just two wins to show for the streak, with three losses in which the Red Sox scored a total of five runs and two no-decisions when the bullpen blew the lead. The Red Sox scored 12 runs for the fourth time this season and improved to 35-11 at home (best in MLB).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Here's Manny again. Can you hear me now?

During the sixth-inning pitching change in the Sox-Twins game yesterday afternoon, Manny Ramirez climbed into the Green Monster and could be seen talking on a cell phone as Javier Lopez entered the game in relief of Sox starter Josh Beckett ...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Red Sox prospects - Richie Lenz

According to multiple sources, fireballing reliever Richie Lentz was promoted to AA Portland from Lancaster this morning. Lentz went 4-3 with a 2.87 ERA for the JetHawks, along with an eye-popping 77 strikeouts in 53.1 innings. He is presently the 33rd ranked prospect in the Red Sox system according to SoxProspect.com's rankings. It will likely take a day for Lentz to pack up and travel across country before he officially reports to the Sea Dogs. When he does, we anticipate it could be the first of a bevvy of transactions before or during the upcoming All Star breaks. Clay Buchholz and Justin Masterson should both be in Boston permanently within a few days after the MLB All Star Break (Buchholz gets the start for Boston on Friday, but might be optioned back to Pawtucket after the game so the Sox can add another hitter for a few games). Michael Bowden may be pitching his last game in AA today. Not too sure if we'll ever see him pitch very much for the Red Sox, since we are loaded with great throwing young arms. However, you might see the Sox bring him up to 'showcase' his talents for a start or two and include him in a deal. But then again, we look pretty decent at just about every position. However, we might need a power hitter or middle-reliever.
Read more and see stats: http://soxprospects.com/players/lentz-richie.htm

Red Sox clobber Twins 18-5

July 9, BOSTON, MA -- It seems like just a few days ago the Red Sox were 5 games behind the Tampa Bay DEVIL Rays and were sinking fast. Minnesota was just two games behind them for the wild card.

However, the three-game sweep of Minnesota has changed things and hopefully started the Red Sox on their way toward winning the AL East. Manny has finally gotten out of his slump, as he made some adjustments with his body and is hitting as well as ever. Today was their best hitting display of the year.

The triple play that wasn't would have been just what the Twins needed to get out of trouble. When the outs all disappeared, so did Minnesota's chances of avoiding a sweep in Boston.
Dustin Pedroia hit a three-run double as the Red Sox scored seven times in the seventh inning -- all of them after a triple play was taken off the board -- and Boston beat Minnesota 18-5 on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.

Jacoby Ellsbury had a career-high four hits and Manny Ramirez, Kevin Youkilis and Sean Casey had three apiece to help Boston set season highs for hits (23) and runs. The Twins loaded the bases in the seventh and failed to score, but they trailed just 7-5 in the bottom half when they appeared to escape a jam on what was initially ruled a triple play.

The Red Sox had runners on second and third when Jason Varitek hit a sinking liner to center and Denard Span slid for the ball, backhanding it and then holding up his glove as if he caught it. The base runners took off and, after the umpires belatedly signaled a catch, Span threw to second to double off Casey. Second baseman Alexi Casilla leisurely threw to third to get Mike Lowell, who had already crossed the plate. (Lowell appeared to have tagged up, but he was rung up anyway.) While the umpires conferred, official scorer Mike Petraglia announced that the play was an 8-4-5 triple play, "for now."

The call was reversed -- correctly, replays confirmed -- and irate Twins manager Ron Gardenhire came out of the dugout for an argument that led to a quick ejection. "I'm not going to tell you guys what I think," said Gardenhire, whose team had won 16 of 18 before coming to Fenway Park. "Every time I say what I say, I get in trouble."

Josh Beckett (9-5) allowed three runs in the first and followed it with four scoreless innings before being chased after two batters in the sixth. He allowed five earned runs and eight hits, giving him his first two-start winning streak since May 3-8.

After the game, Jeff Bailey was packaged off to Pawtucket to make room for Clay Buchholz who will be the starting pitcher on Friday.

More All-Star game trivia

In 1945, with severe wartime travel restrictions in effect, the All-Star Game scheduled to be played at Boston's Fenway Park was deferred until the next season. There were two All-Star Games played each season from 1959 to 1962. The second game was added to raise money for the players' pension funds, as well as other causes. The experiment was abandoned on the grounds that having two games watered down the appeal of the event.

At Fenway Park in Boston on July 31, 1961, the first All-Star Game tie in history occurred when the game was stopped after the 9th inning due to rain. The only other rain-shortened game had been in 1952, but it had a winner.

The 1967 game lasted 15 innings, the longest MLB All-Star Game in innings as of 2007. The middle portion of the 1981 season, including the scheduled All-Star break, had been erased due to the players' strike. To promote the resumption of the season, the game (in Cleveland) was moved from its original July date to Sunday night, August 9. Second half regular-season play began the next afternoon with a game in Wrigley Field in Chicago. The 1981 game is the only MLB All-Star Game to be played on a weekend.

The 2002 All-Star Game, held in Milwaukee, ended in controversy in the 11th inning, when both teams ran out of substitute players available to pitch in relief. At that point, Commissioner Bud Selig, coincidentally a Milwaukee native and former owner of the Brewers, declared the game to end in a tie. The crowd booed and the media were highly critical of this unsatisfying conclusion.
To provide additional incentive for victory, Major League Baseball reached an agreement with the players union to award home-field advantage for the World Series to the league that won the All-Star Game, for 2003 to 2004. Since then, the agreement was extended twice, in 2005 and 2006. Previously, home field advantage in the World Series alternated between the two leagues each year.

Did you know that.....

In 1957, fans of the Cincinnati Reds stuffed the ballot box and elected 7 Reds players to start in the All-Star Game. They were:

Johnny Temple, 2B
Roy McMillan, SS
Don Hoak, 3B
Ed Bailey, C
Frank Robinson, LF
Gus Bell, CF
Wally Post, RF

The only non-Red elected to start for the National League was St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman Stan Musial. While the Reds were known to be a great offensive team with many outstanding position players, most baseball observers agreed that they did not deserve seven starters in the All-Star Game. An investigation showed that over half of the ballots cast came from Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Enquirer had printed up pre-marked ballots and distributed them with the Sunday newspaper to make it easy for Reds fans to vote often. There were even stories of bars in Cincinnati not serving alcohol to customers until they filled out a ballot.

Comeback Kids Strike Again - Beat Twins 6-5

July 8 BOSTON, MA So nice to be back on that home turf and eat some of that home cooking. It was Manny being Manny for the second time in a row as he appears to be coming out of his latest slump. He's been stinging the ball the past several games and has homered in both games against Minnesota, winning Monday's 1-0 and then tying up Tuesday's game at 5-apiece

After a difficult series against Boston's rival, Manny Ramirez has responded with a game-winning hit and a game-tying home run on back-to-back nights against the Minnesota Twins. "We had a terrific inning, a lot of good things happened," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Last night was what we needed, but sometimes you need a home run."
Ramirez drove home Boston's only run in a 1-0 victory on an RBI single Monday night against Minnesota. He was 2-for-8 with four strikeouts against the New York Yankees over the weekend.
One out after Ramirez's home run, Kevin Youkilis doubled and Brandon Moss slapped a single up the middle for the go-ahead run. "I think we were in a really good situation," Moss said. "Even though we were down by three, we had our leadoff guy coming up in Ellsbury and then Pedroia, who has been smoking. Then it would be J.D. Drew and Manny. I don't think anybody was surprised to see Manny go deep in that situation, he's done it so much."

Pedroia extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games with his sixth-inning single.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Posey to leave Celtics; Thanks for your help!!

Could the Celtics miss out on their two biggest targets this offseason?
On the day before NBA free agents can begin signing contracts, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported this morning that the Hornets are zeroed in on former Celtics swingman James Posey. Meanwhile, the San Antonio Express-News suggested that the Spurs are at the front of the line for Corey Maggette.

In today's edition, the Times-Picayune's John Reid writes: The Hornets are targeting Boston Celtics free agent James Posey to solve their needs at shooting guard, but whether Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower can pull off a deal is uncertain.
Free agents can begin signing contracts Wednesday, and Posey is one of the most sought after on the market. Posey, who can play shooting guard and small forward, appears to be one of the Hornets' No. 1 targets. However, it likely would take a full mid-level exception offer of $5.8 million for him to consider coming to New Orleans.

Since July 1, the first day teams could begin contacting free agents, Bower has been in discussions with Posey's agent, Mark Bartelstein. Posey, 6 feet 8, was the Celtics' top reserve and played a key role against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. "Jeff and I have had a lot of conversations," Bartelstein said. "We're talking." Bartelstein represents a handful of Celtics, including first-round draft choice J.R. Giddens and free agents Eddie House and Scot Pollard. The Hornets were previously talking with the seemingly popular agent about Jannero Pargo, a free-agent guard New Orleans hopes to bring back, according to the Times-Picayune.

Monday, July 7, 2008

1999 All-Star Game Tribute to Ted Williams

Wednesday July 14, 1999 Players flocked to greet legend Williams before first pitch. BOSTON (AP) -- There was a baseball love-in on the mound, the stars of the night and the stars of the century swamping Ted Williams, gazing at him in awe, reaching over each other to shake his hand.

He rode out in a golf cart from center field at the All-Star game after they'd all been introduced -- Aaron and Mays, Feller and Musial from summers past, McGwire and Sosa, Ripken and Griffey from Tuesday night's lineup. Players watched as the adoring crowd stood and cheered him, the roar almost as loud as the jets that buzzed Fenway Park after the national anthem. And they watched Williams respond by waving his cap, a gesture he never made as a player, even after he homered in his final game. Williams was often booed by Fenway fans during his playing days, but he's now more popular than ever.

"Hell, I haven't had a base hit in 30 years, and I'm a better hitter now than I've ever been in my life," Williams said. The 80-year-old Williams waved all the way down the right field line as the golf cart proceeded toward the mound. He rose gingerly from the cart -- two strokes and a broken hip in recent years make it hard for him to walk. And then he took the ball to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to Carlton Fisk. "Where is he?" Williams asked. His vision, once the best in the game, has suffered, too, and he can't see well outside a narrow range.

"I got you," Gwynn said. Williams joked a bit, then tossed a soft pitch to Fisk, inside but all the way to the plate. Fisk jogged to the mound to hug him. While Williams was in the cart, young and old surrounded him, reached out to touch him, shake his hand. It was a huge huddle on the mound, no one wanting to leave, no one caring much if the game was delayed. "Where's Sammy?" Williams bellowed, calling for Sosa, then shaking his hand.

"He wanted to talk baseball with everybody out there," McGwire said, adding that a lot of players got choked up. Larry Walker of the Rockies was one of them. "Tears were coming out of Ted's eyes. I had to turn away because tears were coming out my eyes, too." The game was running late, but no one wanted this moment to end. "It was kind of funny," Boston shortstop Nomar Garciaparra said. "When the announcer asked everybody to go back to the dugout, everybody said no. It didn't matter. What time was the first pitch? Nobody cared." Said Rafael Palmeiro: "That's the chance of a lifetime. The game can wait." McGwire and all the others lingered on the mound with Williams a few more minutes.

Finally, Williams was helped back into the cart, and the crowd roared again until he made his way to his box seat along the first base line with commissioner Bud Selig. "Wasn't it great!" Williams said. "I can only describe it as great. It didn't surprise me all that much because I know how these fans are here in Boston. They love this game as much as any players and Boston's lucky to have the faithful Red Sox fans. They're the best."

Red Sox player moves

July 7. Masterson out, Bailey in, Buchholz coming.

BOSTON -- The Red Sox optioned starting pitcher Justin Masterson to Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday, with plans to convert him into a relief pitcher. Manager Terry Francona said the team is preparing to recall right-hander Clay Buchholz, who will take Masterson's spot as the fifth starter. Buchholz was sent to the minors to work on his fastball command after spending the last two weeks of May on the disabled list. "We think getting Justin getting acclimated to the bullpen has a chance to really help our ball club," Francona said. "There's a couple of ways to do it. You could just give him the ball and send him out there. I don't think that's the best way to develop somebody to pitch meaningful innings. So we sat him down and talked about it."
Buchholz, who threw a no-hitter in his second major league start on Sept. 1, against Baltimore, struggled in his first eight starts this season for Boston. He was 2-3 with a 5.53 ERA before tearing the nail on his right middle finger.

For now, the Red Sox recalled first baseman Jeff Bailey from Pawtucket to take Masterson's place on the roster. "We wanted to, at some point, get Clay back here and get him in the rotation and I think we've been alluding to and talking about that," Francona said. "We'll go from there.
"There's not a firm timetable but the idea is to get him acclimated to where he can help us. In the meantime, Jeff Bailey will be here until we can activate Clay."

Things Boston

Things Boston will be a weekly feature on this blog. Today I have posted a link to a pdf guide to Summer events in and around Boston from the CityofBoston.org website. Quite informative.


True Story of Paul Revere.

In 1774 and the Spring of 1775 Paul Revere was employed by the Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Massachusetts Committee of Safety as an express rider to carry news, messages, and copies of resolutions as far away as New York and Philadelphia.
On the evening of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere was sent for by Dr. Joseph Warren and instructed to ride to Lexington, Massachusetts, to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were marching to arrest them. After being rowed across the Charles River to Charlestown by two associates, Paul Revere borrowed a horse from his friend Deacon John Larkin. While in Charlestown, he verified that the local "Sons of Liberty" committee had seen his pre-arranged signals. (Two lanterns had been hung briefly in the bell-tower of Christ Church in Boston, indicating that troops would row "by sea" across the Charles River to Cambridge, rather than marching "by land" out Boston Neck. Revere had arranged for these signals the previous weekend, as he was afraid that he might be prevented from leaving Boston).

On the way to Lexington, Revere "alarmed" the country-side, stopping at each house, and arrived in Lexington about midnight. As he approached the house where Adams and Hancock were staying, a sentry asked that he not make so much noise. "Noise!" cried Revere, "You'll have noise enough before long. The regulars are coming out!" After delivering his message, Revere was joined by a second rider, William Dawes, who had been sent on the same errand by a different route. Deciding on their own to continue on to Concord, Massachusetts, where weapons and supplies were hidden, Revere and Dawes were joined by a third rider, Dr. Samuel Prescott. Soon after, all three were arrested by a British patrol. Prescott escaped almost immediately, and Dawes soon after. Revere was held for some time and then released. Left without a horse, Revere returned to Lexington in time to witness part of the battle on the Lexington Green.

The image is that of Paul Revere's House. You can read more about the house at


This day in Red Sox history

July 7, 1923: The Red Sox lose to Cleveland, 27-3, in the first game of a doubleheader. Boston starter Lefty O'Doul is being punished for breaking curfew by manager Frank Chance. Chance refuses to relieve O'Doul until he gets the third out of the sixth, while the Indians score 13 runs that inning. It's the most runs ever allowed by the Sox in one game. They go on to lose the nightcap 8-5.

July 6, 1944: Bob Johnson hits for the cycle at home against Detroit. The Red Sox win the game 13-3.

July 5, 2002: Ted Williams dies at the age of 83

July 4, 1977: The Red Sox hit eight home runs. Fred Lynn and George Scott hit two, while Bernie Carbo, Butch Hobson, Jim Rice, and Carl Yastrzemski add homers of their own, as the Sox beat the Blue Jays 9-6 at Fenway Park. Seven of the home runs are solo homers, setting a major league record.

Wrigley Field - Los Angeles

Home Run Derby (1959+) was filmed at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. I really had to scratch my head on this one. Wrigley Field was a ballpark in Los Angeles which served as host to minor league baseball teams in the region for over 30 years, and was the home park for the Los Angeles Angels (now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), in their expansion season of 1961.
The park was built in South Los Angeles in 1925 and was named after William Wrigley Jr. the chewing gu magnate who owned the first tenants, the original Los Angeles Angels minor-league team. In 1925, the Angels moved from their former home at Washington Park (Los Angeles), which was also known as Chutes Park. Wrigley also owned the Chicago Cub, whose home is a more famous park also named after him.

With its location near Hollywood, Wrigley Field was a popular place to film baseball movies. Among the most well known movies filmed there were The Pride of the Yankees and a movie version of the stage play Damn Yankees. Even the film noir classic Armored Car Robbery had its title heist set at Wrigley. It later found its way into television, serving as the backdrop for the Home Run Derb series in 1959, a popular show which featured one-on-one contests between baseball's top home run hitters, which had a brief revival in 1989 when it aired on ESPN. Episodes of shows as diverse as The Twilight Zone and The Munsters were also filmed here.
L.A. Wrigley's minor league baseball days ended when the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League transferred to Los Angeles in 1958. The use of Wrigley was studied by the Dodgers, but they opted for seating capacity over suitability as a baseball field, and instead set up shop in the Los Angeles Coliseum(which had a 251-foot foul line) while awaiting construction of Dodger Stadium.

The following baseball teams occupied the Stadium....Los Angeles Angels (PCL) (1925–1957)Hollywood Stars (PCL) (1926–1935), (1938)Los Angeles Angels (AL) (1961)

Home Run Derby - Original TV Series

I remember when I was 8 years old and watching Home Run Derby every week. Home Run Derby was a 1959 television show held at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles pitting the top sluggers of Major League Baseball against each other in 9-inning home run contests. The show was produced and hosted by actor and Hollywood Stars broadcaster Mark Scott.

The rules were similar to modern home run derbies, with one notable exception. The show's rules were that if a batter did not swing at a pitch that was in the strike zone, that also constituted an out, although this rarely happened. Nine future Hall of Famers would eventually participate in the series. Art Passarella, a major league umpire who would go on to a TV acting career, served as the plate umpire. There were also umpires in the outfield to help judge fly balls that were close calls. This TV series helped inspire the Home Run Derby event this is now held the day before the annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game and is televised on ESPN.

This TV show was enjoyable back then and every once in awhile pops on one of the channels. Haven't seen it in quite awhile and I would imagine that ratings would be low. However, there are three volumes of Home Run Derby available on DVD. Just checked NETFLIX and they have all three available.

There were 26 episodes in Season One, pitting contests between such notables as Mays vs Mantle, Rocky Colavito vs Jackie Jensen, Eddie Mathews vs Hank Aaron, etc. Please click here for a link to an episode listing.

Scott noted that Wrigley Field in Los Angeles (the name of the stadium was never mentioned) was chosen to host the event because its fence distances were symmetrical and favored neither right-handed or left-handed hitters (although the left field wall was a few feet higher than the right field fence). It was also the only "true" baseball stadium in Los Angeles at the time that was available for offseason tapings. The Los Angeles Dodgers played at the Memorial Coliseum during 1958-1961, a site that, even if available, would have given an unfair advantage to right-handed batters. The winner received $2,000 and was invited back for the next week's episode against a new opponent. The runner-up received $1,000. If a batter hit three home runs in a row, he would receive a $500 bonus. A fourth home run in a row would be worth another $500 bonus. Any consecutive home runs hit beyond that would each be worth $1,000. Each show would end with the host presenting each player with their prize checks (beginning with the loser), and would award separate checks for consecutive home run bonuses. These were the real checks, not the jumbo "display" checks typically used today. For example, if the winner hit three homers in a row, they would receive one check for $2000 and another for $500 instead of one check for $2500. Also, as an incentive for throwing good home run hitting balls, the pitcher who threw the most pitches for home runs also received a bonus, according to the host.

Sox lose tough one to Yanks 2-1

July 5. New York, NY. It was a classic pitching duel between Justin Masterson and Mike Moose-ina. But it all came down to Mariano Rivera.

We had him on the ropes in the 9th inning, but Rivera pitched himself in and out of trouble Saturday, escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the ninth inning and preserving a 2-1 victory. After Mike Mussina pitched six shutout innings, Rivera took over in the ninth with a 2-0 lead. The Red Sox quickly scored a run and were poised to get more, but Rivera struck out Coco Crisp, got Jason Varitek on a popup and fanned Julio Lugo for his 23rd save.

Justin Masterson (4-3) hit three batters, threw a wild pitch and walked two, but managed to hold the Yankees in check in his six innings. The rookie right-hander allowed six hits in his first appearance against New York. Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 13 games for Boston, which almost dealt the Yankees a heartbreaking loss.

Jose Veras and Kyle Farnsworth each worked a perfect inning to set up Rivera, who hit two batters in a game for the first time in his career. He also allowed a run in a save situation for the first time this season. "It definitely was interesting," Rivera said. "You definitely don't want to get into that situation but it happens. You just have to deal with it."

Boston's first four batters reached and Mike Lowell's RBI single cut it to 2-1. Crisp's strikeout was the 900th of Rivera's career, but it was Varitek who was really kicking himself after the game. "He's Mariano Rivera, but in that situation I've got to do something more," said Varitek, who popped out on a 2-0 pitch. Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez was hit three times, tying the major league record, and the teams combined for seven hit batsmen total, matching a modern big league mark, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. So, do you really think that all 3 times were accidental. I did not see the game, but somebody needed to be tossed.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Red Sox upend Yankees 6-4; Damon Hurt

July 4 New York, NY.... Kevin Youkilis made the final Fourth at the ballpark truly memorable, sparking a come-from-behind 6-4 victory for the Red Sox on Friday with one of the strangest triples you'll ever see.

Mike Lowell drove in four including a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the fifth against Darrell Rasner (4-7), who lost for the seventh time in eight starts. But Youkilis created the lasting memory, hitting a drive that left New York's Johnny Damon with a sprained and bruised left shoulder, a momentum turner that sent the punchless Yankees to their fifth loss in six games.

With New York leading 3-1 in the third, Youkilis hit a two-out scorcher with two on. Damon raced back, jumped and gloved it but as he crashed into the left-field fence, the ball popped out of the webbing of his glove. It bounced up off the top of the wall. And bounced. And bounced.
The ball came to rest on top of the fence, which was shaking from Damon's impact. The sellout crowd of 55,130 at Yankee Stadium wondered: Would it fall behind for a home run, roll back onto the field or just sit there?

Finally, the ball dropped back in and landed near Damon, who was sprawled on the warning track. A fan behind the fence frantically pointed to the ball. Youkilis cruised into third base as Boston tied it at 3. Damon checked his glove to determine whether he made the catch. Then he looked around for the ball. "I had no clue," he said. "When I didn't see it at first, I thought it might have been a home run."

Damon threw the ball back to the infield, threw his glove down and left the game. An MRI revealed a sprained acromioclavicular joint, and Damon said he would be out at least a few days. If the pain doesn't subside, he could wind up on the disabled list for the first time in a 14-season major league career.

New York fell into fourth in the AL East, percentage points behind Baltimore, six games back of the Red Sox and a season-high nine games behind division-leading Tampa Bay. The Yankees scored eight runs in their last five losses, batting .179. A day after going 0-for-10 with runners on base, the Yankees were 2-for-14. Josh Beckett (8-5) recovered from a three-run first that included a two-run double by Alex Rodriquez, A-Rod came in on Giambi's sacrifice fly, but New York didn't score again until Jeter's RBI double with two outs in the ninth off Jonathan Papelbon, a ball center fielder Coco Crisp gloved with a diving catch. Bell admitted umpires blew the call.

The battle resumes today with Justin Masterson (4-2 3.75) on the hill for the Sox opposing Mike Mussina (10-6 3.87).

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Boston Dead Sox lose again; Major meltdown of bullpen.

July 2 Tampa Bay, Fl Thought we had enough runs to walk away with a 'W.' The Red Sux were leading 4-1 in the bottom of the six. Daisuke 'walker' Matsuzaka had finished his day, having pitched good (or bad?) for 5 innings. He only allowed two hits and struck out 5. Fortunately his 'nitpicked' five walks didn't kill him. However, like always, he kept everybody on the edges of there seats.

There's no secret to the success of the Tampa Bay Rays this season. Good pitching, solid defense and timely hitting carried them to the top of the AL East standings. Dustin Pedroia went 4-for-5, finishing a single shy of becoming the first Boston player to hit for the cycle since in 1996. He homered in the first off , then tripled and scored in the third and doubled and scored in the fifth while helping the Red Sox build a 4-1 lead. Pedroia, 25-for-44 during a 10-game hitting streak, flied to center in the sixth before delivering a two-out RBI double off Glover that trimmed Tampa Bay's lead to 7-5 in the eighth. Longoria had a RBI single off Dice-K in the first inning, and his two-run double off Craig Hansen (1-3) was the big blow in a six-run seventh and gave the rookie 15 RBIs in his last 10 games.

Manny Delcarmen and Craig Hansen each gave up 3 runs in a critical sixth inning without retired a batter. MELTDOWN!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

AL Player of the Week

July 1. Evan Longoria was name the American League's Player of the week.

Longoria became the first Rays rookie to take player of the week honors after hitting .433 (13-for-30) with five doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs last week against Florida and Pittsburgh. He is the second Rays player this year to be so honored, joining RHP James Shields (April 28).
There's no question Longoria had a stellar week, including four hits Friday at Pittsburgh and homers on consecutive days against the Marlins, but the Rays' newfound high profile around the game couldn't have hurt his candidacy.

"It's taken us a long time to get any kind of national recognition, and there are still the doubts out there that we can hold up what we're doing," Longoria said. "But to be in the here and now and be in the national spotlight for now is cool."

So, What is Ailing Manny? - Sox lose 3-1

July 1. Tampa Bay, FL The Red Sox dropped another game to the 'mighty' Tampa Bay Rowdies, I mean Rays. Matt Garza pitched seven strong innings in his first outing since throwing a one-hitter, and the Rays beat Boston and nemesis Tim Wakefield 3-1 on Tuesday night to extend their lead in the division to a season-best 2½ games over the second-place Red Sox. Nothing more to say about this loss.

Lately, the Sox offense has been lethargic. Seems like we are just getting contributions from perhaps one or two hitters per game. Hopefully, Ellsbury will come out of his 'June swoon.' His hitting is in a funk right now, so obviously he's not running, stealing bases and distracting whoever is on the hill. We need Biggg Papi. Looks like he won't be back until late July... I hope. We need him to liven up the joint.

This brings us to Mannnnnny Rummmmeeerez. Something is really troubling him. He has been quite temperamental, going off on a number of individuals. He's all wound up, that's for sure. In the past, he's been somewhat 'quiet' in a number of ways. He was very good friends with Julian Tavarez and I think that he's upset that he is gone. The Sox have dumped other Manny companions over the year's also. I guess watching Pedro head for the Sour Apple did a number on him back then.

The Sox are missing that fighting spirit. They have 'pretended' to forget what happened in Boston with the Rowdies (I mean Rays) and at times they seem like a bunch of zombies. I know what 'happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse' and that's an excellent policy. Try to keep the freaking nosy media out of their faces. We are slip-sliding away but the ship will be righted by the All-Star break. Is a split in New Yock the best we can hope for...is that out of the question? Yankees are rolling and if we don't get things turned around soon, we could have them only a game or two in back of us by the end of the weekend AND the Rays could be 7-8 games ahead of us and have all the momentum in the world. We need a good fight but we just can't afford more suspensions. Need to get everybody back and healthy. Maybe Tito will get tossed tonight and fire up these suckers.
Red Sox..... please line up and give Manny a hug today and tell him "I love you, Manny. Hit one for the gipper today"