And Thank You for visiting Sonoma Dave's Giant Red Sox Blog! This blog is an archive of most of my posts on Fenway West. Effective immediately, I will be be including posts about the San Francisco Giants, MLB, and on occasion, stuff that has nothing to do with baseball at all.

Please visit FENWAY WEST.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Amalie Benjamin & Tim Kurkjian on Scouting

Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe wrote a nice piece on Blair Henry, the Northern California and Nevada scout for the Boston Red Sox. Blair Henry was the scout who found Lars Anderson. In her article, she describes not only the Henry's discovery of Anderson, but also gives us a glimpse into the life and travels of MLB scouts, seemingly a dying profession in the aftermath of Billy Beane's Moneyball approach to scouting. She describes the Red Sox's approach to homegrown scouting and it's relationship to filling out the roster with trades and free agents.

Tim Kurkjian of ESPN
also told some great scout stories in his book, "Is This A Great Game, or What?" I'll leave you with a passage from that book:

Ellis Clary was an old-time scout for several teams. “He had a heart attack and was basically pronounced dead,” said Farmer. “He was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital when he came to. He asked, “Where the hell are we?” The ambulance guy said, ‘On the way to the hospital in an ambulance.’ Ellis asked, ‘Where is the ballpark?! Get the mileage from the ballpark to the hospital! I’m going to need that for my expense account!”

(Hey, I was a bookkeeper! It was funny to me!)
Previously published at FenwayWest.com

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Separated at birth?

Yankee Owners on the Down Low

Ever since Ruth fucked Ruppert for $70k in 1927, Yankee owners have gone buns up kneelin' takin' it dry and bare from big name stars all the way up to A-Rod and now Sabfathia and T'shitter. It's no wonder they haven't had a money shot since 2000. All that fiduciary debauchery seems to have landed them a fat STD (star transmitted disease) that is looking pretty damn near fatal at this point.

All those A2M (Alex to Mark) scenes from Yankee Porn 2009 will certainly bring them down with Hep-A or yet some other nasty disease. Next they'll be hiring Julian Tavarez.

Teixeira! All the A-Rod soap in the world won't help you next year! Ask Boras!

The Next 2 Posts

The next 2 posts are Red Sox Sonoma exclusives that you won't find anywhere else. Salty language and photo alert in effect!

Red Sox Sonoma 2009 Update

I've been contributing to FenwayWest.com for most of 2008 and will continue in 2009. I started up this blog as an archive of my FW posts only, not to compete or replace Fenway West. I have now finished posting all my FW posts from 2008 here. Going forward, I will be posting them here after posting them on FW, but in a little more timely fashion.

Let's go Red Sox! All the way in '09!

Happy Birthday Hideki Okajima

DOB 12/25/75

Mike Lowell- Safe at 3rd!

I'm extremely happy to see that Mike Lowell has a job with the Sox in 2009. While Mark Teixeira's bat and glove may have been a welcome presence in the Sox line up (to some), the heart and soul (aka chemistry) of the team that missed going to the 2008 WS by only one (1) game (with an injury riddled line up, taboot) would have no doubt been disrupted to an unfortunate end. Watch out for the Sox in 2009 with a healthy Papi and Lowell!

I don't care what ANYbody says- chemistry is just as important as talent. Case in point- the Yankees, who have plenty of talent, but have not had any chemistry since..... lemmee see..... um..... somebody please remind me the last time they even went to the WS, never mind WIN one?

Mark Teixeira's prescence in a Yankee clown suit guarantees them nothing, certainly not #27. It's that dark shadow that oozes pinstripe scum and greed, scum and greed (aka Boras) that Teixeira will have to scrub himself clean of since he will be next to the grandstanding greed king himself, A-Rod.

Not that I would ever wish ill upon a ball player, but in 2009, I see Sabathia showing up to ST with an extra 30#, Burnett getting 3 starts before his next trip to the DL, and Teixeira, well, he'll have to invest a ton of his $180m in A-Rod soap.

Last item- with that $180m not spent on Teixiera, sign 'Tek already!

Note about the photo- I googled 'A-Rod Soap' and I got 'soap on a rod'.

John Henry Calls the Bluff of Boras...

…and Boras just shit his bed. He bluffed one too many times. Players will drop him like the bag of shit that he is. He becomes a nobody, a has been, nothing. Players salaries return to normal, as do ticket prices, and a tall glass of Sam Adams will be only $4.

I was dreaming when I wrote this....

Mark Teixeira Just Farted

He is rumoured to have had bacon and eggs for breakfast.

Rolling Green Monster Update

Yesterday I posted about Rocky Rhodes and his Rolling Green Monster and his recent mechanical problems. His plight first became known on the Sawxheads fan social networking site. He recently posted some more detailed comments about his situation:

hi, its a dodge explorer motor home not a jeep, that's not the problem. the problem is there are no replacement parts available. 2 there is a major snow storm coming. 3 the garage has given me till tomorrow to have the rgm outta here because he can't fix it. thanks for your thoughts But I need your prayers. everything happens for a reason. we're not suppose to know why, we're suppose to just try to make life better

If there are any mechanically inclined Sox fans who can steer him in the right direction to obtain the parts he needs (10 bolt rear end), please contact Mickey's Towing & Repair Station, 3104 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport, CT, phone # 203.336.3042


Rocky has found the parts! Thanks to Sawxheads member 'redsoxguitar', he was able to locate the 10 bolt rear end he needed. Not an easy part to find, I'm sure. Now all he needs is a shop big enough to handle the job.

The Rolling Green Monster is in Trouble!!!

Last month Fenway West posted a story about Rocky Rhodes and his Rolling Green Monster (RGM) and his cross country trip to raise money and awareness for The Jimmy Fund and cancer research.

I received a message today from Rocky. He is stranded at Mickey's Towing & Repair Station, 3104 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport, CT, phone # 203.336.3042, and in need of a 10 bolt rear end for his 1980 Dodge Explorer van. I am not a mechanic, so I didn't know what other questions to ask him about the van.

If there are any mechanics in RSN that can help him out, please send me a message: redsoxsonoma@yahoo.com or try calling the repair shop at the number above.

Thank you all in advance for any help we can send his way!!!

UPDATE: The passenger side wheels actually fell off while he was driving to Yankee Stadium.

2012 (A Short Story)


I was laying in bed late one night last summer reading "Joe DiMaggio- The Hero's Life", when all of a sudden, I put the book down, picked up my notebook and pen and started writing. I kept on writing and didn't stop until I had filled up about 6 pages. What follows is almost exactly what I wrote that night. Certain events since then have sent me back to the drawing board to tweak it a bit, but otherwise very few changes have been made. This is a story (fantasy, really) that just that flowed out of me with literally no effort at all. This is my first attempt at writing fiction.

2012 (A Short Story)

It is September of 2012. The Red Sox have been dominating the AL East since 2004, having won 5 of the last 8 World Series by an astounding margin of 20 games to 6, and setting a new Major League Record for most wins in the regular season in 2010 along the way. Terry Francona has been a brilliant manager and has been receiving all star performances from Pedroia, Youk, Bay, Ellsbury, Papelbon, Beckett, and Dice-K. Even Wakefield is still throwing that screwy knuckleball and doing it well! He's 46 years old, but Hoyt Wilhem and Wilbur Wood both pitched into their late 40's, and Satchel Paige pitched until he was 53, so why not Wake? He still gets 175+ innings per season and 4.20 has been his highest ERA since 2007.

And Lester! Jon Lester! His fairy tale continues as if he's living in some parallel universe. He has been dominating the Junior Circuit like no other lefty since Randy Johnson was in Seattle. He has become the ace of the staff, not an easy thing to do with a staff that includes All-Stars and Cy Young winners Beckett and Dice-K. He's won no less than 18 games in each season since 2009 and lost no more than 9 in that same time span. He's struck out at least 175 batters and has had an ERA no higher than 3.15, a remarkable feat considering that Fenway is a difficult park for southpaws, to say the least. He has 9 shoutouts and 2 no-hitters since 2008, and a Cy Young Award of his own last year. He even made it into the 7th inning with a perfect game going on that was broken up by a cheap infield hit that was questionable to all but the 1st base umpire whose view of the play was somewhat obstructed. Tito racked up yet another early exit that day arguing Lester's case, but to no avail. This has been a Red Sox dynasty even more impressive than their run in the early 20th century when that team won 5 World Series in 15 years before the infamous, but almost now forgotten sale of Ruth to the formerly despised Yankees.

The Yankees on the other hand....

Ah, yes, the Yankees. The once great and proud Yankees had fallen on hard times. After completely missing the playoffs in 2008 for the first time since 1994, Hank Steinbrenner continued to screw up the club so badly into 2009, that their (remaining) fans were calling for his head on a stick! Even Joba Chamberlain, the poster child of the new generation of Yankee's was disgracing the once venerable franchise with his many notable trips to the stripper clubs, DUI's, and his continued harassment of Kevin Youkilis which finally earned him a fine and suspension. The Evil Empire had been destroyed by the Rebel Red Sox so badly that Steinbrenner finally said, 'Fuck this shit', sold the team, and went back to his horse ranch much to the delight of Yankee fans in the tri-state area, thus ending the Steinbrenner years in disgrace. The new owners immediately set about to right the ship. They hired a brilliant GM to replace Cashman and immediately made several 'Fuckin' A' trades, as Billy Beane called them (trades that when other GM's hear of, they say, 'Fuckin' A!') Working the off season trading market like the stock market, they loaded up with top draft picks and top prospects for 2011. They cut loose all the old and overpaid stars: Damon, Matsui, Abreu, and Petitte. They cut loose all the over-priced candy that Hank went out and bought after missing the playoffs in 2008, including Manny Ramirez, who missed most of 2010 and 2011 with injuries after Hank washed his feet and then gave him $90 million. The Yankees were still stuck with some of the old guard from the 1995-2000 dynasty, the ones who King George bowed down to and lavished with contracts back in 2007: Old Man Jeter, and Mr. Controversy, A-Rod (Posada and Rivera had finally hung up their spikes in 2011.) One thing was certain about A-Rod, barring injury or unforeseen circumstance; he would hit more than 800 home runs by the time he was done with his career. The Yankees lost 92 games in in 2009, but with the new owners making immediate changes in the way the whole company was run and not just the approach to fielding and managing the team, they fared much better in 2010, winning 80 and losing 82, and continued to improve in 2011, but slowly, winning 82 and losing 80. But 2012 was different. The draft picks and the farm system had finally produced some bona fide major leaguers who were primed for breakout seasons in 2012, comparable to the Papelbon- Youkilis- Pedroia- Ellsbury- Lowrie- Lester breakout years. No one really thought that they were a legitimate challenge to the Sox, but winning 90 games was a real possibility this year.

The Sox had developed a model farm system and had handfuls of major league quality studs in Pawtucket just chomping at the bit to get a taste of the big show. 2012 brought a slew of injuries to the team, but they continued to win, although with not quite as much authority as the year before. The Sox were on a pace to win 95 games this year despite the injuries, but the whole AL East had become the strongest division in the major's. Even Baltimore was a contender. In 2011, all 5 teams finished at .500 or better. The Yankees had been having a superb year for the young team and were only 2 games behind the Sox heading into the final series of the season for both teams. It seemed as if every season the Yanks and the Sox played each other on the last weekend. It wasn't of course, but it just seemed like it. Sox fans were delighted that after looking up at the Yanks for all those painful 86+ years, that the tide had turned and the Sox were enjoying their dynasty. Coming into the final 3 game series of the year, the Yankees were hot, winning 10 of their last 12 and were only 2 games behind the 1st place Sox. A-Rod had finally gotten his shit together and started producing when it mattered. The Sox had been playing well and only needed to win 1 of the final 3 games to clinch the division. With Beckett, Dice-K, and Lester scheduled to pitch the final 3 games at Fenway, it seemed that the Sox had a virtual lock on the division title. Beckett and Dice-K were superb! Unfortunately, the young Yankee pitchers were 1 run better as the Sox lost 1-0 and 2-1. It was the first time in over 200 games that the Sox had been shut out! An eery, unsettling discomfort fell over Red Sox Nation that hadn't been felt since 2004. But not to worry- Jon Lester would be pitching the finale. Lester had been having yet another career year: 24-6, 2.92, 209 K's, 0.98 WHIP, but there was one batter in the whole American League who seemed to have figured him out: A-Rod. While his numbers against Lester weren't outstanding, he did have more success against him than anyone else in the league.

It is now the top of the 9th inning and the Yankees have 2 outs. The Sox are up 4-3, Lester is spinning another gem, but he walks Jeter after an 8 pitch battle, the last one barely an inch off the plate, or so it seemed. Although A-Rod has had some success against Lester this year, he had been baffled by Lester all day this day. Lester had another great game going with a low pitch count, so Tito decided to leave him in, as A-Rod had been having marginal success with Pap this year, as well.

0-1 ->

1-1 (barely) ->

1-2 ->

1-2 (foul) ->

1-2 (foul) ->

1-2 (foul) ->

2-2 ->

2-2 (foul) ->

2-2 (foul) ->

3-2 ->

3-2 (foul) ->

Finally on the 12th pitch of the at-bat, 2 outs, full count, go ahead run at the plate..... SWING!


Oh shit!

Back, back, back, back...

Just like the old days between the Yanks and the Sox!

Originally posted on walstib, ykwim? by Red Sox Sonoma 12/10/08

Friday, December 26, 2008

Out and About Today (Yankee Fans Everywhere! Aaagghh!!)

I was out and about town today with my Sox hat on, making a couple of quick stops. At the pharmacy, I got in line behind a guy wearing a NY hat. He looked at me and said something to the effect of, "Uh-oh! Red Sox!" I didn't sense that he was about turn mean or nasty, but just didn't know what to say. I engaged him in some conversation, told him about the Yankee fan bartender that served Matt and I at the ASG last summer and how straight up he was. I told him about my father being a Yankee fan, and that I wrote for this blog. We spoke of Sabathia, Teixeira, and the Steinbrenner's (Yankee fans can't stand them, either!) I also told him that I have written on more than one occasion that not all Yankee fans are scumbags, to which he enjoyed a little chuckle.
Next up, some guy on craigslist posted that he was selling some percussion equipment in the Target parking lot. Sounded sketchy, but since it was right here in town, and I was out anyhow, I decided to stop by and see what wares he had for sale. (No cowbells, though.) Pretty much the same discussion happened with him, too.
OK, so it's winter and there's not a whole lot going on right now as we wait for more Hot Stove news. Just thought I'd try and promote some goodwill between Red Sox and Yankee fans. It's not the Yankees that we can't stand (as long as they finish behind the Sox), it's the Steinbrenner's! Even the Yankee fans say so!

Chuckle of the Day

This is from “Eight Men Out”, by Eliot Asinof, the story of the 1919 Chicago White Sox who threw the World Series that year.

Ring Lardner was writing in a different vein: “As for today’s game, they was a scribe downtown this AM saying that 2 men asked who was going to pitch today and the scribe said Cicotte and 1 of the men said you are crazy as Cicotte has such a sore arm that he can’t wash the back of his neck. So when we come out to the park this scribe told me about it and I said they wasn’t nothing in the rules of today’s game that required Cicotte to wash the back of his neck.

Eddie Cicotte & Babe Ruth

‘Well,’ said the other expert, ‘the man was just speaking figurative and meant that Eddie had a sore arm.’ ‘Well,’ I said, ‘if he has only one sore arm he can still wash the back of his neck as I only use 1 even when I am going to a party.’
‘The back of your neck looks like it,’ said the other expert. ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘But what is the different or not about Cicotte only having 1 sore arm as he only pitches with 1 arm.’ ‘Yes, you bum, but that is the arm the man said was sore.’

[sic],[sic], [sic], & [sic]

My Father is a Yankee Fan

Despite growing up about 50 miles southwest of Fenway Park, my father is a Yankee fan. (Hmmmmm..... maybe that's why we never went to many Sox games!) He was born in 1918 and missed the 1st Sox Dynasty of 1903-1918. By the time he was a young boy playing sandlot ball, it was Yankees, this and Yankees that, and Babe Ruth hitting 60 HR’s! He played 2B for his high school team and hit about .285. He wanted to keep playing, but his father wouldn’t let him play during his senior year. (Oh, was the coach pissed off!) The Great Depression was still a recent memory, and he was needed to work in the family business, thus ending any potential career in baseball. (The broken leg didn’t help, either.)

But this post isn’t about baseball.

My father served in the Army (Ozark 102nd Division) in WWII in France and Germany. He was a Lieutenant, and was promoted to Captain upon his discharge. He’s not a doctor, but because of his degree, he was the adjunct to the Captain in his medical unit. I recall seeing some of the schwag he brought back from Europe when I was young, including a parachute, a Nazi flag, and maybe even his side arm, but I have no idea what happened to any of that. (I do have his baseball bat, though.) Maybe it was the broken leg that kept him from the front lines, but I can only imagine that he must have seen some horrific injuries serving in a medical unit. He never spoke much about his time in the Army when I was younger, never even suggested that I serve, most likely due to what he witnessed while there. (The draft was over before I was 18.)

A couple of years ago, he finally opened up a bit and started to talk a little bit about his time in the military. I told him that he should write all this down. Well, he finally did start writing, and just recently gave me the book for me to blog it to the rest of the family. I have not read it yet.

While I am very left leaning, I never went to any ant-Viet Nam war protests. I never spit upon or disrespected any of the returning soldiers in any way. I never served in the military, but I never was much into socio-economics and politics when I was a teenager. Hell, for all I know, I may not have even been tall enough to qualify. While I may question the administrations and the policies that put our great (but not perfect) country in war, I harbor no resentment nor disrespect towards the men and women who have been sent there, as well as the ones who are in the military, but have not had to endure that hell.

My band mate and best friend served in The Marines in Viet Nam. He came back OK. My ex-father-in-law served in the Coast Guard in Nam and saw his best friends face blow up in front of him. He’s messed up. I even have Sawxheads ‘friends’ whom I have yet to meet in person who were in the military.

So what is the point of this blog? Respect Veterans. After all that they have been through, they get pitiful health care when they get back here. I see it with my father and my band mate. They fought so that I can write ‘Bush sucks!’ and not have to worry about it. Many of them enlisted before they ever had a clue that they would be sent overseas to fight in misguided war. (I can write that because of them.) Many had absolutely ZERO desire to be there. But they went. Protest the war and bitch at the politicians that send troops there, but respect the men and women who are Veterans, and those who will be Veterans.

My Turn at Armchair GM

Rest assured that Theo will be analyzing EVERY position player and EVERY pitcher with a fine tooth comb in regards to value to the team, as well as trade value.

WAKEFIELD & CASH~ Signing Wake for $4m gives the Sox a proven 5th or even 4th man in the rotation, while at the same time frees up umpteen bazillions for other needs. While Cash is no Papi at the plate, he does have adequate skills behind the dish. The experience he gains as Wake’s personal catcher will only serve to increase his trade value come the day Wake does retire. And if Charlie Zink stays hot in Pawtucket and shows up north, then the Sox in Beantown have a catcher who can handle the knuckleball.

LOWELL/TEXEIRA/PAPI/YOUK~ It’s tough to write about the players in this infield logjam separately as they are all so closely related in the evaluation of potential improvements.

Mike Lowell took a discount to stay in Boston when he could have easily left for more money elsewhere. He is the type of player you want in your clubhouse, in your line-up, and on your field. He’s another proven veteran. While he suffered some injuries in 2008, there is no reason to believe that he will not rebound after his surgery and have another good year. While he may not have a career year, expect him to earn every penny of his contract. He cares about the team, is well liked by teammates and fans alike, and gives everything he’s got. If Theo jettisons Lowell for Texeira, it will set a bad precedent. Exceptional players down the road would be less likely to sign with the Sox knowing that a heartless SOB GM will trade them anyhow. Texeira’s bat would of course be most welcomed in the line-up behind Papi, but at what cost? The bazillions he will most likely command? The ill will that could be fostered by trading quite capable and admirable players who happen to be over 32 years old?

Lowell being the professional that he is, I expect him to recuperate nicely and rehab himself into season ready condition come February. I expect Papi to rebound as well. While I don’t expect he’ll hit 54 HR’s again, a winter of rest for his wrist and knees will ready him for whacking 30-35 taters in 2009. While Youk is not Manny, he’s shown he is not to be taken lightly at the plate. Their Gold Glove work at 1B and 3B take away runs from other teams.

VARITEK~ I say keep him. Who would be his heir? Much has been made of his decline at the plate this year, but let’s not forget that as late as the end of May this past season, he was still hitting at a .295 average. It’s quite possible personal issues took its toll on his offense, and it’s quite possible he could rebound to hit .250 or better. His game calling skills make up for a BA less than stellar. Now when Boras demands an outrageous amount of money for the Captain (that would be anything more than $16m/2 years), then all bets are off. I hope ‘Tek realizes the monetary value and historical value to the game in his staying with Boston for the remainder of his career. Let’s not forget the deal Posada got and the year he had this past season at his age. Boras! Are you listening?

CORA~ I think it was Sparky Anderson who said he didn’t want guys on his bench who were happy to be role players. I disagree. There are guys out there who give 100% in that capacity, and Cora is one of them. He plays 3 positions well, hits .275, is a smart player, and is a bargain, taboot. I say keep him. Besides, he likes it in Boston.

CASEY & KOTSAY~ Who wouldn’t want Casey on his team? His clubhouse presence is a huge asset, he hits for average, and is quite adequate at first base. He could be a starter on many other teams, and may well pursue that route via free agency. He would be missed should he decide to find a full time job, but not irreplaceable. Much of the same could be said for Kotsay. He has proven his talent in the outfield and at first base and would make a fine candidate for a bench player, but I expect he will look for full time playing as well. Lars Anderson may not quite be ready for the big leagues this season (I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him in a couple of spots along the way, though), but Theo will find a quality back-up player should Casey and Kotsay both bolt.

BAY/DREW/ELLSBURY/CRISP~ As it turned out, this 4 man outfield seemed to work well in 2008. Jason Bay is not the HR machine Manny is, but his defense and professionalism added to his above average offensive skills make up for the loss of HR’s that Manny would produce. And we know Bay will be there every day.

Three outfield starts per game times 162 games divided by 4 outfielders gives each an average of over 120 starts. Injuries and slumps happen, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Theo keep all 4, and then dangle Crisp next July, unless he’s needed to secure the elusive stud pitcher they should seek to offset the loss of Manny’s run production.

LOWRIE/LUGO~ Theo will find a way to unload Lugo, whether he has to eat some of his contract or not. Lowrie will be the starting SS, who can also spell 3B and 2B if needed. We now know the reason for Lowrie’s drop-off in the 2nd half, expect another rebound.

My projected starting day line-up:

CF- Ellsbury (L)
2B- Pedroia (R)
DH- Ortiz (L)
1B- Youkilis (R)
RF- Drew (L)
3B- Lowell (R)
LF- Bay (R)
C - Varitek (S)*
SS- Lowrie (S)

SP- Lester (L)

This is an elite defensive line-up. If they hit to the best of their abilities, offense will be no problem.
*If Boras doesn’t break the bank.

Lester, Dice-K, Beckett, Wakefield make up 4 of the 5 starters. Rather than stir up shit in the infield by adding Texeira, which looks good as it is, find that last stud pitcher. Lowe? (How many elbow curls is he up to these days?) Sabathia (Too fat?) Peavey? (How much?) Byrd? (Good, but not that good.) Another Japanese hurler? Theo will find the right one. And once the injuries start up, you’ve got Bowden, Bucholz, Pauley, Zink, and Hansack waiting down in Pawtucket. Many have recently discounted the notion, but Schilling as a mid-season pick-up if necessary is not all that bad of an idea, if he’s well and not retired.

What team doesn’t need help in this department? Papelbon, Masterson (who could also start), Okajima, Delcarmen, and Lopez look to return. Timlin should retire. Aardsma? His performance fell after returning from the DL, he could be gone. Theo needs to find two good arms for the ‘pen.

Except for Baltimore, expect another dog-fight in the AL East again. My heart says Boston wins, but what do I know? I'm only playing armchair GM.

Quick! I Need a Rays Shirt & a Mohawk Wig!

I thought I'd be a loser for Halloween.

No, really, though, a tip of the wig, er, hat to the Rays for their great run. Now, if it wasn't for a little problem of three missing runs in the 9th inning of game #7 of the ALCS, it might have, it just might have been Sox in 4 over the Phillies. Y'think?

Be safe Halloween night!

Must be the off season

I think they're cuter than, say, the Idaho Vandals cheerleaders. Y'think?


While 101 may be a west coast highway, never forget that is the number of games the Red Sox won this year. The Red Sox won one hundred and one games in 2008.

Pre-Game Thoughts

Will Don Zimmer charge Jon Lester tonight?
Do the Rays have their "Least of the East" shirts ready?
Are hairdressers in Florida ready for the onslaught of customers looking to get their 'hawks shaved?
Are drummers and percussionists ready to snap up all those cowbells that'll be on craigslist and e-bay tomorrow?

"Yankes" [sic] Fans Display Their Intellect

Sean Bunn is the Red Sox Nation governor from North Carolina. He had organized a viewing party in Raleigh the night the Sox lost to Tampa Bay by the score of 13-4. Adding insult to injury, upon returning home after the game that night, he discovered that his condo had been vandalized by "Yankes" fans. Vandals broke into his house and spray painted the NY logo, pinstripes (jail bars?), and other vulgarisms all over his home, including Jeter and A-Rod's uniform numbers on the back of his dress shirts. (He may donate the shirts to The Jimmy Fund to be auctioned off.)
Read the full story here.

This just goes to show you....

You NEVER leave a Sox game before it’s over! And the game is never over until it’s over!

To those ‘ f a n s ’ (and I use that word EXTREMELY loosely) who left early: SUCKAS!!!!!

Holy shizzit, I am still stunned!

Trigger Happy at the Trop

Tampa Bay security tasered a Red Sox fan this weekend. Busted Coverage provides these two videos, but no mention is made of what the fan did that caused the Trop security to respond with tasers, but I do notice that 1, possibly 2 of the security guards (law enforcement wannabes) are the same ones who nearly tasered Sciesinski last month.

red sox fan tasered

A Buck Martinez Nugget If Ever I Heard One

Beckett's on the mound when the camera shows Delcarmen and Lopez in the bullpen warming up. Manny's got his hand down his pants fixing his cup.

Caray~ "They're loose down in the Red Sox bullpen."

Martinez~ "He's not."

7th Inning Stretch

I prefer NY's Irish Tenor doing God Bless America over David Archuleta (who?), but in the land of retirees, I was half expecting to hear the Viagara theme song.

The Ray's only have 2 hits through 7? Lumber problems? Maybe that theme song would be appropriate for more than one reason.

Narragansett Beer

My Uncle Mickey used to own a 'packy' in RI. That's a package store, or a liquor store, for those of you not from the Red Sox country. Since I've been in CA for twenty + years, I haven't had opportunities to drink it. I'm under the impression that they went out of business, too. Just as there are no two beers alike, so are there no two beer drinkers alike. I am happy to report that I've never suffered any gastrointestinal difficulties after imbibing the RI brew. After reading the preceding post about Narry', I found this gem of a poster from 1967, and a couple of TV ads, as well. I also happen to have this 100 + yo Narragansett Brewery bottle opener for sale.
Serious inquiries only.

Narragansett Ad

Vintage narragansett beer ad

The TBS Slant

It's been noted in various posts and subsequent comments that the TBS game analysis is biased against the Sox. Buck Martinez, while announcing the defensive alignment of the Sox tonight, just said that the Sox are noticeably weaker with Lowell out, Youkilis at 3rd, and Kotsay in at 1st. While it may be true that Gold Glover Mike Lowell is out of the line-up, Youkilis is just as capable at that position. Martinez should know that 3rd base is the original position of Youk. As for Kotsay, Martinez must have been off to the pissoir while he was making those fantastic plays at 1st the other night.

Frank and the Bloggers

I think Frank is on to the scribes. There's been no shortage of posts on various blogs, no shortage of comments by readers of the scribes. Yet we are still inundated by the barrage of Frank TV ads. Frank just promised that we will get even more Frank TV ads, 'til we puke. Great.

Hatin' the Sox

Now that the Sox have won 2 World Series' in the past 4 years and are poised to win a 3rd (back to back, no less), it seems as if the whole world is hatin' the Sox.

This is an anonymous comment in response to an earlier post:

As much as I would love to see the Dodgers hand Boston their arse in the Series this is Tampa Bays year. Do Red Sox fans know they have now become the Yankees and more peeps hate 'em because of it? Once they are no longer the reigning champs the economy will improve and gas prices will go down.

Baseball should be happy that it's not the Yankees and the Braves in the WS for the umpteenth time in a row. One would think that baseball fans would be happy for the Sox enjoying a little bit of success after 86 years of drought. Let's not forget this is the first time in a while the Sox have finished ahead of the Yankees in the division, too. Yeah, we can be a little bit giddy*, but can you blame us after 86 years of misery? Did the A's and Royals catch this shit when they had their strings of success? How about the Big Red Machine?

So why hate the winners? Will the Cubs get it when they start winning World Series'? What about the Giants? They've got their own drought going on as well. I am happy for the Brewers and the Phillies for getting into October this year. And yes, the Rays, too. I'm glad to see different teams playing in October. Different teams getting into the playoffs is good for baseball. (In the grand scheme of things, the Sox are still a 'different' team in the WS. Still there ten years from now? Then it would be old.)

Complaints have been lodged over the Sox's payroll. You can thank the Yankees for raising the payroll bar so damn high that the only way to compete in the AL East is to raise your own. Gotta give 'em credit though, for not matching them dollar for dollar. For the record, the Sox are 4th in MLB in top salary totals in 2008. This after being in the 2nd spot in 2005 and 2006. This year, they trailed the league leading Yankees by $76 million dollars in that department.

As a Sox fan of over 40 years, of course I want to see the Sox win another WS this year, but I am not so naive to think that they will do it every year. Rivalries I get, but this hating thing, I don't. The Sox won't be winning divisions, pennants, and World Series' every year. Somewhere down the line, (hopefully not in my lifetime), the Sox will flounder, but for now, they've built a system designed for some extended success. Compared to the monopoly the Yanks have had on the WS over the years, this run of success (to date) is relatively short, so why the hate? Life is too short to be 'hating.' Trash talk your opponent, but respect them as well, for there are no winners without losers. (It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it, and everyone gets their turn with the shovel, Yankees, too. Sox had it for 86 years.)

Enjoy the game, and may the better team win.

*Preemptive rebuttal: Yes, I know we have obnoxious fans, but no more than any other team. Can't judge the whole fan base by the actions of the few stupid ones.

SOX v. TBY Statistics: Sox got nuthin' to worry 'bout

The Sox and the Rays have played 18 games this season, the Rays winning 10 and the Sox 8, but lets take a closer look at one statistic in particular: runs scored. The Sox outscored the Rays by a total of 87 to 67 runs, for an average of 4.8 to 3.7 per game. Each team blanked the other 1 time. The Sox scored in double digits twice, and the Rays, once. In the games that the Rays won, they outscored the Sox by a mere 4.6 to 2.6 average runs per game, but in the games that the Sox won, the average number of runs per game was 7.6 for the Sox and 2.6 for the Rays.
Significant difference.

Somebody Call A Waahmbulance for Lackey

He's startin' to sound like ol' dumbass Hank!

Jason Bay Scores The Winning Run

One photo.....

Death by Suicide

You can't tell me Cap't 'Tek doesn't have his game goin' on! Willits? OUT!

Time to go Fishin'!

Bring on the Rays!!!!



Hats off to the Angels for pushin' the Sox as hard as they did.

All I can say right now is:


"Waste of a year"

That's what Derek Jeter called 2008. "Waste of a year."

From the Examiner:

With the re-signing of Brian Cashman as Yankee GM for three more years, focus can shift from what went wrong in 2008 to what needs to be done for 2009.

The “waste of a year,” as Derek Jeter put it, is over.

A disastrous season that resulted in a perennial contender going home before October 1st can be boiled down to two major failings – injuries and underperformance.

That's just like the Yankees. Never looking at the good side of anything, they whine and complain and bitch and piss and moan about everything. They can win 95+ games, go deep into the playoffs, but not the World Series, and their fans will cuss them out for losing that last game rather than congratulate them for all the games that they did win. (I'm still a bit surprised that Hank has not yet complained about the Yankees winning more games than the White Sox.)

The Yankees and their fans expect them to win 173 games every year and if they don't, they're a failure. Well I've got news for all those of the Empire: It ain't gonna happen. Even if you still win the last 11, it still ain't gonna happen. Get used to that fact. No team can maintain that level of excellence for such extended periods of time. It is just impossible to win the World Series every year, or make it to the Series, or win the Pennant or even your division! It just ain't gonna happen, and you better get used to it. The Red Sox, Cubs, White Sox, and Giants all have had, or are still having their extended Title droughts (50+ years) and the Yankees are now at the beginning of their own curse ridden drought. Their curses now include that of King George, A-Rod, and now, Joe.

The peacock swagger of a benchful of overpaid stars is not what wins titles. Instead of bitching about a star pitcher injuring himself while running the bases in an interleague game, (compare with the Sox's reaction to Colon injuring himself in an interleague game), you should have pulled an up and coming AAA'er whom you should have had ready to go. That is, had you not traded them all away for your peacocks. Had the King savored his World Series wins as if he hadn't been there in a generation instead of dismantling the team and preparing for the next season the next day, the Yankees might not be in this mini-drought. Yes, mini-drought. Eight years without a World Series title is nothing. Ask the Pirates and Royals.

I recently finished reading "The No Asshole Rule" by Robert Sutton, PhD, Stanford University. In it, he examines the various costs of having assholes as coworkers, or bosses, as well as ways to avoid hiring assholes, and what to do if you find yourself with an asshole coworker or boss. (You may draw your own conclusions to the addition of this paragraph.)

No, Mr. Jeter, 2008 was not a waste of a year for the Yankees. Not if you learn from your mistakes and do something about them. (Sometimes it can take many years to learn from your mistakes.) The Evil in George Steinbrenner's Evil Empire has even gotten into your essence if you look at it that way.

Shock the Monkey!

Shock, spank, slice, and Dice-K that monkey!

In the meantime, the Sox set yet *Another* new record

The Red Sox have now taken 11 straight playoff games from the Halo's, setting a new MLB record for most consecutive wins over one team.

One Picture Says A Thousand Words

K-Rod, post JD Drew dinger.

TBS v. Fox

No contest! Thank Christ Fox is not broadcasting the playoffs! Although I don't particularly care for the sound of Buck Martinez's voice, what he has to say is a helluva lot more interesting than Ken Rosenthal or Jeanie Zelasko and company. I'd still rather be watching NESN, but TBS works just fine for me, (except for the 'shotgun' commercials and that damn fanfare they play too much.)
During the post-game show, they showed the Kirk Gibson walk off HR off of Eck, who is on the TBS panel. They were discussing the origin of the 'walk-off' phrase when Eck said he used that term before that game. He called that Gibson HR a 'Walk-off Johnson'.
And whatever happened to Don Orsillo? Wasn't he supposed to be working this game?

Masterson: Baptism by Fire

Justin Masterson came in to pitch in the bottom of the 8th inning in the 1st game of the ALDS tonight, the 1st playoff game for the young rookie. In a game in which the Sox were only up by 1 run, he allowed 2 hits, I was starting to think Tito should've called Oki, who had been warming up, instead. Thanks to a tremendous, web-gem worthy sliding catch by Ellsbury, and heads-up thinking by Youk and a stop sign that Vlad blew off, Masterson made it out of the inning unscathed, and gets a Hold in his 1st playoff game. I'm sure he won't ever forget this game!

Mother Nature: "Psyche!"

That's just the way it goes in baseball sometimes.

Baseball gets rain delays and postponements. Football? Phpffphtt! No way! (Don't forget they only play 16 regular season games.) Baseball is different. Even the parks are of different dimensions from one to the next. But one of the biggest differences is that 2 teams could play 4 & 1/2 innings, and if the umpires and Mother Nature deemed it so, that partial game could be completely wiped off the books and started over again. Can you imagine the ugly howl that would have emanated from the bowels of the Evil Empire had the rain continued last night, wiping out a Yankee 13-4 lead?! Ol' dumbass Hank would have complained to the commissioner, weather.com, the governor, GW, and Jesus Christ himself had the umps called last nights game! You don't hear the Sox whining about resuming play or why it rained today and didn't rain enough last night.

Given the history between these two team, a thought did cross the back of my mind when the Sox had scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th and were threatening to score more. I thought, "I suppose it is within the realm of possibility that the Sox could score 15 runs in one inning." (I wonder how many Yank fans were thinking the same thing~ grin/snicker/chuckle.) A basketball team could be down by 15 points with 45 seconds left on the clock and you know there is no way to make up the difference (unless the opposition walks off the court.) In football, you could be down by 15 with less than a 45 seconds to go and the same scenario ensues. But in baseball, highly unlikely as it may be, it still could happen. Actually, the Sox scored 17 runs in one inning against Detroit on 18 June, 1953, 7th inning. (This being the MLB record of the modern era.)

These are just some of the differences that make this such a great game.

And that's just the way it goes in baseball.

(Get used to it, Hank.)

Where are they now? Julian Tavarez

Mr. Hollywood, Julian Tavarez, who started this season with the Sox got a travellin' bone. He went from Boston to Milwaukee to Atlanta. I guess he must really like Boston. He came in for Atlanta in the 9th inning with the Braves and Astros tied at 4 apiece. Four pitches later, the Braves lost, 5-4. Tavarez is sportin' a healthy 5.20 ERA.

Playoff bound, but.... OUCH!!!!

It wasn't supposed to end this way. The Ray's dive to the bottom of the sea in their last three games, and the Sox thrash the Yanks in their last three. That's the way it was supposed to end. It even looked like Mother Nature was going to bat for the Sox as well. The Sox had a 3-1 lead after the 1st, but the Yanks would score in every inning afterward up until the game was mercifully stopped in the middle of the 5th with the Sox on a short end of a lopsided 13-4 score. If only the rain had continued, that score would have been wiped out and the game would start over, but it was not meant to be. The rain relented, the game ensued, the Yanks continued to vent their frustrations running the score up to 19-8. Ugh. This isn't the way it was supposed to end. Let's hope this bitch-slap the Sox got tonight knocks some playoff-winning sense into them.

Tonight's 9/26 Line-up v. Yankees

CF Ellsbury
SS Lowrie
DH Lowell
3B Youkilis
RF Kotsay
LF Bay
1B Casey
2B Velazquez

SP Pauley

5 PM (PDT) Rain delay
Weather.com Boston forecast

UPDATE: 5:35 PM (PDT) Game underway

Lester's Playoff Tune-up

The Sox hit the ground running and racked up 5 runs in the 1st two innings of today’s game, starting with an Ellsbury single on the 2nd pitch he saw. Given that cushion, Lester toyed with the Tribe for the rest of the game, flirting with history yet again. Except for 1 pitch, that 1 lousy pitch, ball #4 to Kelly Shoppach, Lester had a perfect game through 5 innings! No hits, no WP’s, no HBP, no errors, just that 1 pitch. He ended up with an interesting line: 6 IP, 2 hits, 1 BB, 1 ER, 1 WP, 1 Balk, 1 HBP, 4 K’s, 86 pitches (55 for strikes.) In a breakout season- which was highlighted by a no-hitter against KC in May- he finished with a 16-6 record and a 3.21 ERA. He also produced his staff-leading 20th quality start. Tito is keeping his main guys in the ‘pen sharp: Masterson came in for the 7th, Oki in the 8th, and Pap in the 9th. Those three combined for a perfect final 3 innings with 0 BB’s, 0 hits, 0 runs, and 1 K each. Offensively, Ellsbury, Lowrie, and Youk each had 2 hits and each scored 2 runs, including Youk’s #28 ‘tater.

The Tigers had seafood for dinner today, munching on the Ray’s and beating them 7-5.
And in Toronto, the Jay’s knocked the yanks around 8-2 in the battle for 3rd place.


Sox Win, but what up with BJ's and O's?

The Sox jumped all over Fausto Carmona for 4 runs in the 1st inning tonight. Carmona was so awful that he didn’t even get sent out for the 2nd inning after having thrown 51 pitches in that one inning. 51 pitches in one inning! I remember Wake throwing less pitches in 5 (five) innings! He’s no Beckett or Lester, but the well-seasoned Byrd can give you 6 innings and keep you in the game without his cage getting rattled. It was looking like the Sox were going to fly away with this one after the 1st inning, but the Tribe chipped away at the 4 run cushion the Sox gave him, tying it 4-4 in the 5th inning. No longer in line for the win, Byrd had his feathers plucked, and Timlin came in the 6th inning. Timlin?! Yikes! Hoping for an ‘on-again’ performance (Y’know how he’s been on-again, off-again? Please don't be a turkey today!), we watched him go 1.1 innings, 1 hit, 1 K, 1 BB. Aardsma, similar numbers. Bottom of the 8th, Bailey triples, Kotsay doubles, 5-4 Sox up. Manny pitches in the 9th and garners his save #2 of the season with 1 BB and 2 K’s.

Meanwhile in Toronto and Baltimore….

Yankees and Blue Jay’s were tied at 2-2 going into the 10th when the yanks erupted for 4 runs. Sheesh Toronto! Give the Sox headaches and then go belly up on the yanks! WTFiuwTHAT?!
In Baltimore, the O’s went up 5-0 over the Ray’s by the 2nd inning. It is now 7-6 Ray’s in the 8th.

Sox win, 5-4 BOX SCORE


Apparently, a Yankee fan (and most likely Darwin award candidate) thought he could slip a fast one by the Red Sox and attempted to register the mark “SEX ROD” in the same style as the “RED SOX” logo of the American League Baseball Club.

John L. Welch
is a registered patent attorney with more than 30 years of experience in patent and trademark litigation, prosecution and counseling, has represented clients in scores of patent, trademark, copyright, unfair competition, and domain name lawsuits across the country, and has handled hundreds of opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In his blog, “The TTABlog ® (Keeping Tabs on the TTAB ®)
, he examines the case of New Yorker and self-proclaimed "humorist" Brad Francis Sherman v. Boston Red Sox and his attempt to register the “SEX ROD” logo. The TTAB sided with the Red Sox finding that Sherman lacked a bona fide intent to use the mark, and further that the mark is both scandalous and disparaging.

If you’re looking for a light, easy reading entertainment piece, this is not it. Rather it discusses the finer points of trademark and copyright infringement as it pertains to this case involving the Red Sox.

Separated at birth?

Jamey Carroll of CLE and I-Rod of NYY?

You decide!

Wakefield adds yet another 6 innings to his resume

Tim Wakefield produced another quality start, turning in another solid, (yet not overwhelming), 6 innings. Except for that 1 inning (HBP, single, single, double, double), Wake was looking good again: 6 IP, 6 hits, 4 ER's, 1 BB, 99 pitches.

Cliff Lee was good, but not good enough, as he was most likely due for another loss before the season was over: 9 hits, 5 ER's, 3 BB's, 8 K's, and another Youk HR (his 27th this season) into the Monster seats.

Masterson, Okajima, and Lopez decided the game wasn't over yet with the Sox ahead 5-4 in the 8th inning getting two outs but loading the bases in the process to pave the way for Papelbon's early entrance. Pap got Jamey Carroll out on 1 pitch.

Lee would not go the distance as relief came in the form of..... Brendan Donnelly! That firey Irishman who was in the Sox 'pen in 2007, he of the 8.00+ ERA entering the game. Alex Cora worked him for 10 pitches before getting a free pass, one that was nullified moments later when he was caught stealing.

Pap comes back out for the 9th inning, but which Pap? The overwhelming Pap of 2006, or the just slightly super-human Pap who's been keeping us guessing this season? He started off with 2 straight balls to Choo. Who? Choo. And then he struck him out. Struck out Peralta, too. Martinez popped up on the 1st pitch he saw. It took Pap 10 pitches to garner the last 4 outs and his 41st save of the season.

Offensive stars of the game for the Sox were Pedroia (2-4, 2 RBI's), and Youk (HR, 3 BB's.)

On to NYY, TOR, and TBY: NYY beat TOR 3-1, leaving the Yanks in 3rd place, and 3 games up on the Jay's. The Ray's are losing to the O's, 4-1 in the 6th, after taking the 1st game of their double header, 5-2. Chad Bradford was on the mound for TBY, starter Talbot getting pulled in the 5th inning.

Beckett didn't bring is best stuff today, but...

Sox were down 4-2 going into the 7th inning. Beckett threw 105 pitches in 6 innings, struck out 6, but allowed 4 ER's and 7 hits. He only walked 1 batter, but hit 2 others. Not looking good getting deep into the 9th inning, down 4-3, 2 outs. But wait! There's more! Youk singles! Bay doubles! SOAB! Lowrie strikes out swinging to kill the rally.
This post ain't over yet. Tampa Bay beat the O's 4-2. (Kevin Millar popped out to end their rally, as well as not hitting that last HR at Yankee Stadium like he said he was going to do.)
SOAB is right. Sox are now 2.5 games behind the Ray's (I thought they were supposed to go belly up in September?) On the brighter side, Masterson and Okajima pitched 2.2 innings: no hits, no runs, no walks, 3 strikeouts.
Lookin' like it might be Sox and Halo's in the ALDS. Let's hope Tito has a few cards up his sleeve for that series.

Sox lose 4-3 BOX SCORE

Dice-K Goes 18-2 as Sox Shutout Toronto, 3-0

After tossing 45 pitches in the first 2 innings, Dice-K then went 5 more scoreless innings, throwing only 64 more pitches and issuing only 2 free passes along the way. The win makes Dice-K the first Sox pitcher to win 18 of his first 20 decisions, while going 9-0 on the road.
Ellsbury ripped a leadoff triple in the 1st and scored on Pedroia's sac fly. Ellsbury had a 3 for 4 day, including 2 doubles. Papi followed one of those doubles with a home run to give the Sox a 3 run lead. Pedroia also hit a league leading 52nd double and stole 3rd base, taboot. Oki pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning, and Pap got his 40th save.
The Sox did their job today, a Yankee loss tonight in their last game in the House That was Built for Ruth will put the Sox in the postseason, and send the pinstripers to dusting off their golf clubs.
TBS also noted at the end of the game that the Yankee-Sox finale at Fenway next Sunday is one of four games that could be broadcast that day.
Minnesota beat Tampa Bay 4-1 today, leaving only the Sox only 1.5 games out of 1st.

Sox win 3-0 BOX SCORE

Colon placed on suspended list

Righty's time in Boston likely over after injury-plagued season

From redsox.com:

TORONTO -- Bartolo Colon's mostly injury-plagued run with the Red Sox all but came to an end on Friday, when the team placed the big right-hander on the suspended list.
Colon went to the Dominican Republic earlier this week to tend to a personal matter and expressed a preference to stay there, rather than return to the Red Sox and serve as, at most, a long reliever or spot starter for the rest of the regular season.
It's doubtful that Colon -- who made seven starts for the Red Sox -- would have factored into the team's postseason plans.
"He got home for the personal stuff and decided that he just wasn't real comfortable [returning]," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He was either going to be in the bullpen or back up a starter here."
When none of the other 29 teams made a run at Colon over the offseason, the Red Sox took a no-risk flyer on the 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner and signed him to a Minor League deal in February.
Colon suffered an oblique injury in April, but entered the Red Sox rotation for a six-start run on May 21, breaking out to a 3-0 start. But his good fortune ended when Colon tweaked his back while taking a big swing in an Interleague game against the Phillies on June 16.
He finally made it back to Fenway on Sept. 13, earning a no-decision in the second game of a doubleheader against the Blue Jays. Colon went 4-2 with a 3.92 ERA in 2008.
With five able starters healthy (Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield and Paul Byrd), there was not much of a role left for Colon.
By putting him on the suspended list, the Red Sox don't have to pay Colon for the rest of the season.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sciesinski Arrest Video

More on Tasergate

Apparently there is more to the story.
From tampabay.com:

Sciesinski, 33, pleaded no contest to the charge Thursday morning. He also admitted to chanting "Let's go, Red Sox!" in the back of the police van.
The judge found him guilty. He was sentenced to the night he had already spent in jail and fined $375 and court costs.
The Sarasota DJ tells a different story. He wasn't drunk, he said, just "buzzed" after his third rum and Coke. He said he cursed in front of some kids but apologized. He said it was Rays fans who were being rowdy. He was just "heckling."
He said he went limp when he got tackled and that he was threatened with the Taser after he had surrendered. And he said "they beat me up pretty bad."
But Sciesinski said he won't file a complaint.
"If he would have Tased me, yeah, I would," he said. "But there's no need for ill feelings."

Okajima's option picked up for 2009

From redsox.com:
BOSTON -- The Red Sox announced Saturday that reliever Hideki Okajima's option has officially vested for next season.
Okajima's two-year, $2.5 million contract had a $1.75 million option for 2009, but if he pitched in at least 115 games in '07 and '08, the Sox would automatically pick it up.
"In a day and age when it's hard to find relievers," manager Terry Francona said, "he's done a pretty good job."
Entering Saturday's doubleheader with Toronto, Okajima has pitched in 123 games over the past two seasons; his 115th appearance was Aug. 20 at Baltimore. But due to paperwork and finalization on the option pickup, the Red Sox did not officially announce it until Saturday.
Okajima, 32, joined the Red Sox in November 2006 as an amateur free agent. The lefty came to the Major Leagues with a 34-32 career record and a 3.36 ERA in Japan.
He made the American League All-Star team in 2007 with a 3-2 record and a 2.22 ERA. This season hasn't been quite so seamless -- while Okajima harbors an identical record and a 2.88 ERA, he's blown eight saves.
"He set the bar unbelievably high," said Francona of Okajima's first year, when he finished sixth in the AL Rookie of the Year Award voting. "This year, I think by his own accounts, it hasn't been as easy as it was last year."
Okajima has pitched 123 1/3 innings in his first two seasons in Boston, and his strength down the stretch in 2007 undoubtedly helped the Sox toward their World Series title.
Now, with the option picked up, Okajima will have the opportunity to make a similar impact down the stretch this year and in 2009.
"He's still a pretty good reliever, and when he has that split over -- or that changeup or whatever you call it -- he can be a dominant reliever," Francona said. "There have been times this year when it hasn't always been there."

Lester to take on Halladay on TBS

New addition to the Sox national TV schedule this week: Jon Lester v. Roy Halladay of Toronto will be on TBS this Sunday, September 14, 10:35 AM (PDT) on TBS.

Celebrity TP

I found this photo of Yankee TP a while back. Someone asked me where to buy some, but I didn't know. Well, I have since found a link:

Besides Yankee TP, they also sell TP w/your favorite celebrity on it. If you click on the link, you'll get a good chuckle from who's first on their list!