Please visit FENWAY WEST.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The 5 HR's allowed by Beckett in one game is a new low for him. In his last 2 starts/13.1 IP, he's allowed 15 ER's; and in his last 3 starts he's allowed 10 HR's. He denied that working with new catcher Martinez for the 1st time had anything to do with his previous loss, Varitek was catching again tonight. So what is wrong with Beckett and the Sox these days? They had better figure all this out and fast, too. September is right around the corner.
Sox Lose 4-8 BOX SCORE
Kevin Youkilis led the charge to right the ship, albeit one day late (no thanks to Penny), with 2 HR's, 3 hits total, and 6 RBI's. Junichi Tazawa tossed a great game as he scattered 8 hits over 6 scoreless innings. All the bazillions of dollars the Yanks spent on Burnett couldn't save him today as the Sox pounced on him for 7 runs before the 2nd inning was over. They never looked back, totalling up 14 runs on 15 hits. The lonesome Yankee run was a moot point solo shot by Swisher in the 7th inning.
Sox Win 14-1 BOX SCORE
The Sox are 6.5 GB the Yankees. Penny and Tazawa are the next 2 pitchers up for Boston. Let's hope they turn in a pair of good performances and the bats stay hot. This series ends on Sunday with Beckett up against Sabathia. Beckett will be looking to rebound after a rare poor performance in his last outing. Sabathia beat Buchholz in a pitcher's duel the last time he faced the Sox.
Sox Win 8-1 BOX SCORE
Tonight was no different, except that the Sox bats were alive and there was no bullpen implosion, either. Buchholz can probably see that 'Entering RI, The Ocean State' sign disappearing fast in his rear view mirror. (The perps only got to 2 of his rims before being nabbed, and not the rear view mirrors.) He turned in another great game tonight: 6 IP, 6 H's, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K's, lowering his ERA to below 4.00, and got run support this time. The Sox tagged Toronto ace Halladay for 5 runs by the time the 5th inning had ended. Ortiz, Bay, and Martinez all had HR's for the Sox, who banged out 10 H's total.
Sox Win 6-1 BOX SCORE
From the 'mound' (a small hill) to the 'bullpen' (far, far away), the game is a simple one. But don't forget the food.
By Chris Erskine August 19, 2009 11:52 a.m.
Sadly, many folks still don't understand the game of baseball well enough to appreciate our local teams' fairy-tale seasons. So here's the deal on this beautiful and occasionally arcane sport -- a beginner's guide to baseball:
Baseball is a simple game with a million rules, all subject to the interpretation of four blind but very assertive people known as "umpires." These umpires are usually assisted by 30,000 to 40,000 beery-eyed witnesses, all of whom are sure they saw the close play better -- from a quarter-mile away. They are blind too.
One of the first things you notice is that the players often wear white, representing purity and innocence of spirit. This is one of many baseball traditions. White also shows the dirt best. To stay loose, the players scratch themselves a lot, but only when the TV camera is on them. No one knows why.
A game begins with a group song, then a man goes to a little hill. His purpose is to throw the ball past an opposing player, from his little hill, sometimes called a "mound," to the catcher, who takes a position behind home plate. So yes, technically, they are throwing the ball out of bounds with every single pitch.
When a "batter" misses the ball three times, he is considered "out," and it is baseball tradition for him to bark something rude to the vision-impaired (blind) person behind home plate. But not too rude. If you bark something too rude, you are asked to please leave, thank you very much. As you can tell already, baseball is a very passive-aggressive experience.
Now, if a batted ball lands on or within the chalk lines, the batter runs counterclockwise in sequence to the four bases. Why you would want to run in a big circle, basically getting nowhere, is one of the glories of the game and is considered a template for life itself. First, second and third base are also popular euphemisms for sexual conquest, assuming you have such things in your life.
As with romance, there are many ways to be called out in baseball. You can strike out, as mentioned earlier, or you can get tagged out. Various scenarios involve tagging second, third or home, providing that it's a "force play" situation. In double plays, the shortstop doesn't even need to have the ball when he swipes second base. He just needs to pretend.
Are you with us so far? Good.
When a team records three outs, what happens next is that all the fans get up and go to the snack bar for ridiculously overpriced food. In another baseball tradition, items that are supposed to be hot are cold (hot dogs), and items that are supposed to be cold are hot (beer).
Fans will also use this time to stand in line at the restroom (which is free but probably not for long).
By the time the fans return, it is often about the fifth inning. There is usually much circling of the bases by the batters about this time, which makes everyone happy, except the manager and the pitching coach, who are all the time going out to the mound to consult with the pitcher and to make sure he is not drunk or something.
If the manager is unhappy, or the pitcher is drunk, the manager will motion for another pitcher to come in, someone who is worse than the one before.
At that point, another new player trots in, usually from the farthest point possible from the pitching mound itself. They call this distant area "the bullpen." The journey is basically like going from the Continental terminal for a connecting flight to the American terminal -- except it takes longer.
Even after the new pitcher finally arrives, the game cannot resume yet, for although he has been warming up, this new pitcher needs to warm up some more.
No one knows why.
After a long delay, the game begins again, and this new pitcher will often face only one or two batters before the manager will "yank" him for another pitcher, because the next batter is right-handed, and he doesn't want his lefty to face a righty because batters see the ball better when it is thrown by someone of the opposite persuasion.
Still with us? Amazing.
In almost every game, there will be a big flare-up, a batter will be hit by a pitch or maybe a "balk" will be called. No one completely understands balks, except for three old-timers and they are all living in an assisted-care facility in Palm Springs. So whenever a balk is called, there is much discussion.
Discussions like this are frequent in baseball, and occasionally venomous. Anger is essential to the game of baseball and provides much of the visual entertainment. Anger is almost as important as eating, which provides the main action.
Honestly, if you took away the food, no one would go to a baseball game at all.
“I thought it was O.K.,” said Martinez, who wore a bigger catcher’s mitt during the session. “I dropped some balls, obviously, but we’ll see. I’ll get another bullpen session to try it again. I’m going to do my best and see what happens.”
If Martinez can figure out that screwy pitch, it will not bode well for Kottaras. The Sox sorely need Wake back in the rotation. Let’s hope that V-Mart can handle that pitch. If he succeeds, then Tito will have the luxury of shuffling him to 1B, Youk to 3B, and giving Mike Lowell another day off, before returning to the dish and giving ‘Tek a break.
Now I know some will be calling for Wake to retire, but if he can stay healthy, he’s a steal at $4M/year. Given his longevity, he could be asking for a lot more, but this just gives the Sox the luxury of being able to spend that $$$ on others, knowing full well what they can expect from Wake each year: 10-15 wins, 150+ innings.
Try this link and go to page 2.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sox Win 8-4 BOX SCORE
Buchholz, Cabrera, Bard, and Tazawa have all made it to Boston since graduating from Pawtucket this year so far. Bowden could be next, but there are also a couple of other pitchers that are putting up some noticeable numbers, including Marcus McBeth, Rocky Cherry, Billy Traber, and Jose Vaquedano. Javier Lopez has been a bit streaky at times, stringing several scoreless performances together, interupted by a couple of stinkers. He seems to be on an upswing right now, hurling 7 scoreless innings over his last 7 appearances.
Yes folks, just when we thought it was safe to go to the ball park again, just when we thought the Sox bats had come alive for good, after watching in painful silence as the Yankees put the hurt on the Sox by limiting them to 0 runs in a 25 inning stretch, just after we see them turn the corner and pound out 15 runs in 2 games against the Tigers, the bats go quiet once more. The opposing pitcher this time was another stud, Justin Verlander, who silenced the Sox bats, save for 4 hits, and 0 runs.
Buchholz now has two quality starts in a row. With Smoltz shaky at best and now gone, and with Penny having a bit of a rollercoaster ride lately, Buchholz appears to be stepping up his game. Let’s hope that his good showings against Sabathia and Verlander, and Tazawa’s 4 good innings once he settled down, are signs of good gems to come.
There is some other good news from this game besides Buchholz’s pitching. Fernando Cabrera, who was recently called up to Boston from Pawtucket, struck out the side in the 9th inning. He allowed only 1 hit in his 2 innings pitched so far.
Sox Lose 0-2 BOX SCORE
Sensing that my trips back east might be lessening in the not too distant future, I tried to talk my brother into taking in a game at Fenway Park this year. He steadfastly refused to take out a 2nd mortgage on his home to finance such a trip, so I decided to try for a game at McCoy Stadium instead. No alternative financing was required, so we purchased a pair of tickets in a great location on line for $24. ($24 at Fenway might get you a beer and a dog.)
As soon as he completed the transaction…. DOH! I write for a Red Sox blog that gets well in excess of 4K hits a month! I quickly called Matt O’Donnell, owner and editor of FenwayWest.com, and told him I wanted to try and get press passes for a PawSox game. Well of course! I gave a call to the PawSox and was directed to Bill Wanless, Vice President of Public Relations, and left a voice mail. I followed that up with an e-mail, telling him about graduating from high school around the corner to my current status as a contributing writer to this blog. I received a quick response awarding me 2 press passes! (Well, don’t I feel special!)
Half way up to Pawtucket, I realized I had forgotten my questions that I had drawn up beforehand! We made a quick stop at a library, went to my e-mail and printed them up again. We had no problem entering and parking in the VIP section. I was thinking that I may not have time to get onto the field to talk to any of the players. After finding the press box, I made it to the field and spoke briefly with the first player I saw hoping I would not have to break out my poor, broken Spanish. No such luck, but I was able to communicate a bit with pitcher Randor Bierd, from the Dominican Republic.
Still looking like quite the newbie I was, I asked the first person I saw about talking with any players considering the late time it was getting to be. Feeling a little discouraged, I turned around to find my way back up to the press box when I see a player signing autographs for kids who would drop down toy buckets and cut out milk jugs in hopes of gaining an autograph. He turned slightly, and I saw #30- Michael Bowden! Yes! He was one of three players I had prepared questions for. He was easily accessible, friendly, and willing to answer my questions. He readily agreed to have his photo taken for my post of his interview as well.
This stroke of good luck certainly had a quick, positive effect on my attitude and confidence. I continue to backtrack and follow my steps from the press box. I’m walking along the edge of the field that borders the stands, when a group of kids from a Cape Cod youth organization start yelling down at me asking me for my autograph. "My autograph?! But I’m nobody." They responded, “Well, you’re down on the field, so you must be somebody!” So I obliged them and signed a t-shirt, sneaker, and a hat.
On up to the press box. I met the 2 Steve’s calling the game, and they directed me to sit anywhere that was unoccupied. I start walking down the aisle and stopped at the first station I saw. It wasn’t until after the game had started that I realized I was directly behind home plate, totally in line with the plate, rubber, and second base. Air conditioning on a hot, muggy Rhode Island summer day felt good at first. Soon though, the windows were being opened one by one, making the experience closer to what it should be- outdoors.
I opened my laptop, got Game Day up, and started typing. Score sheets, press info, statistics, and player bios were made available for all. There was great food and drinks for all in the press box, in a casual atmosphere.
It was another full house at McCoy. My brother had been roaming around while I made my way to the field and then back up to the press box and showed up just after the National Anthem had been sung. The Columbus Clippers get roundly booed as if they were the Yankees at Fenway.
I found myself sitting next to sports writer Mike Scandura who turned out to be of great assistance to me. When my brother showed up, he jumps right into the conversation giving me some time to write and enjoy the game, too. Scandura was very knowledgeable about the Sox and the game. He also filled me in about protocol for those with press passes. To my other side was the official scorer, behind him was the man who puts up the plays and stats on Game Day.
The PawSox would eventually lose the game. Clinging to a 2-1 lead going into the 7th inning behind a good 5 inning performance by Kris Johnson, Javier Lopez came in and unfortunately had a horrible day on the mound. He allowed three runs to score on three hits one walk and one error by himself. I had been hoping to see him return to his old self when he was pitching well for Boston. He had a recent run of good games in June and July, (8 games, 9 innings, 0 runs allowed), before another downslide. He’s been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride this season. After a few subpar games at the end of July, he’s gotten back into a nice groove in August (6 games, 6.2 innings, 3 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts and 0 earned runs.) Let’s hope that’s the Javier Lopez that may show up in Boston in September.
Once the game was over, Mike showed me the way to the clubhouse. After giving the players about 15 minutes, we were allowed to enter. There were sofas, a big TV, and food for the players. Past these were the lockers. I saw Lopez, but was hesitant to approach him given his performance. My questions were based upon his good string of frames just earlier in the month. He was quick to make his departure, understandably so. Mike was interviewing Fernando Cabrera, after which I got to ask him a few questions. After Cabrera, I spoke with manager Ron Johnson and batting coach Russ Morman.
After we left the clubhouse, we took a walk through the halls beneath the stands which had seemingly endless memorabilia from the PawSox history, including the longest professional baseball game ever played- 33 innings, which started on April 18th, 1981, was called at 4 in the morning of April 19th. The game was finished on June 23rd. Members of the Red Sox roster in 1981 who played in that game include Wade Boggs, Bob Ojeda, Bruce Hurst, Rich Gedman, and manager Joe Morgan. Cal Ripken, Jr. was a member of the opposing team, the Rochester Red Wings.
Fenway Park isn't the only Red Sox park that hosts major concerts. While I was back east, Bob Dylan played a show there.
Everything about the day was near perfect. I got my first press credentials and 4 interviews. The only thing to make the day better would have been the PawSox winning, but as Johnson and Morman both said, the development of the players is just as, if not more important than winning. Big thanks go to Mike Scandura for showing me the ropes, Bill Wanless for getting me the passes, and Michael Bowden, Fernando Cabrera, Ron Johnson, and Russ Morman for taking the time to speak with me.
Some may have questioned why he got the call rather than Michael Bowden. Unfortunately for Bowden, he had a poor start on August 5, (3 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 K), which may be the most likely reason he was bypassed this time.
I found him congenial and easily accessible; as I did with all the other PawSox manager and players I spoke with. Morman is as genuinely interested in the progress of the players that pass through Pawtucket as manager Ron Johnson.
Q~ Who has been your biggest surprise this season so far?
A~ We just like to continue to see the guys continue their progress in terms of trying to make it to the big leagues. I would say that maybe a guy like Aaron Bates might fit that. He was a major league invite, he started off the season at Double A, got to Triple A, got a chance to get to the big leagues.
Q~ Like Michael Bowden last year.
A~ Exactly. There are those types of stories. Chris [Carter] has been up and down, Jeff Bailey’s been back and forth a couple of times
Q~ Is there anyone at Portland or the single A teams that looking forward to get up here at Pawtucket?
A~ I have no idea about that. Until they show [up] here, I don’t really know. We also have another young player that’s just come up this year, Bubba Bell came up this year, and Mark Wagner, too, who caught behind the plate today, so we’ve got some good young talent that’s moving through the system and getting their feet wet here at the Triple A level. It’s exciting to see some of the guy’s progress in their careers.
Q~ How about Chris Duncan from St. Louis?
A~ He’s been an absolute professional He came in here and just really worked hard. He’s a special kid anyways, he’s always been around baseball. It’s great to see him out there. He’s going to be a big influence and very influential because he’s been there. He’s already shown guys how to go about their business with his work ethic. It’s been really, really good.
(Chris Duncan was not very talkative and didn’t want to answer questions, understandably so, but was very polite nonetheless. He was recently traded to the Red Sox for Julio Lugo and sent to the AAA PawSox after being in the Major Leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals.)
Q~ Who has been your biggest surprise this season so far?
A~ That’s kind of a tough question to answer because I don’t really… I don’t think you can really go into a minor league season and actually…. Nothing comes as a real surprise unless you’ve got a guy who’s a utility infielder and at this point in the year he’s got 35 home runs, or something strange like that.
Q~ Like Bowden last year?
A~ Michael Bowden has been a prospect since the day he started so that’s not a surprise. Buchholz, the way he was, was not a surprise; Chris Johnson is a prospect. Actually, I don’t have any surprises this year.
Q~ After making the playoffs last year, and falling below .500 this year, would you say that your W-L record is not indicative of the team’s true abilities?
A~ No, I would just think that we were pretty much a different team last year, we had a more veteran club last year. We’ve got a lot of young guys, a lot of movement. To be honest with you, the won-loss record is really never …. With the Boston Red Sox, our goal is to make sure players are prepared to either cover guys when they get hurt in the big leagues, or move on and become Major Leaguers. If you can combine it with winning, that’s great as we did last year. This year, we haven’t had the top club this year… so we’ll find a way to win every night no matter what the score is.
Q~ Is there anyone at Portland or the single A teams that looking forward to get up here at Pawtucket?
A~ I’m sure they all are… we’ve got instructors with people down there. Our job is to work with these guys, and believe me, it’s consuming enough, that’s why we leave that to the bosses… and when they become Triple A we take them from there.
Rice's instinct helped save Keane's life, but it will not be found in Rice's statistics nor will it be on his plaque at Cooperstown. In all the hoopla over whether or not Rice would make it into The Hall; are his numbers good enough, did he play long enough, etc.; this defining moment in Jim Rice's career should not ever be forgotten, especially in this year, the year that he was finally inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame.
Bowden was drafted in the first round of the 2005 draft by the Red Sox, and has been rising ever since. He started the 2008 season at AA Portland, made the AA All Star Team, moved up to AAA Pawtucket after that, and made it all the way up to the big leagues, pitching in that one game. He started the 2009 season in Pawtucket and has already made one appearance in Boston already this year, pitching 2 innings of scoreless relief, striking out 2, and allowing no walks.
His won-loss record at Pawtucket this year is a deceiving 3-4, but in 103.1 IP, he has only allowed 86 hits, 39 ER's for 3.40 ERA, walking 38, striking out 74, and limiting opposing batters to a paltry .226 average.
I expect we will see Michael Bowden in Boston again this year. I had an opportunity to speak with him at the Pawtucket-Columbus game on July 27th. In my few moments I had to speak with him, he was very polite and cooperative to speak with. I certainly hope we get to see him when the Red Sox come to Oakland next year!
Q~ You’ve been progressing quite nicely, starting at Portland AA last year, making it to the AA ASG last year, then up to AAA Pawtucket, and finally making an appearance in Boston, allowing only 2 runs in 7 innings against Chicago. That must feel pretty good.
A~ 2 runs in 5 innings. It was an awesome experience. I’m from the Chicago area and I grew up rooting for the Cubs, so going up there making my debut against the White Sox and actually getting the win was an unbelievable experience.
Q~ You have to look past your won-loss record to get the real picture of your season. You had a nice gem the other night, but lost 3-1. How do you feel about your season overall so far this year?
Q~ There seems to be a logjam ahead of you in the Boston rotation and because of this; your name comes up often as a potential trading chip. Any thoughts that you would like to share on that situation?
A~ You know what, it’s something that me as a player I don’t control, it’s up to the front office. I understand that it’s a business so I know that it could happen but me personally I don’t worry about it since it’s out of my control, so until something happens I really don’t care. You know I just throw it over my shoulder and take care of what I need to.
Q~ Do you feel that there is more pressure in the Red Sox system than there is elsewhere?
A~ Sure, I mean, they’ve got a much bigger fan base, the media there is pretty overwhelming at times, but you know what, I thrive off of that stuff like that and it just motivates me to work harder and do the best that I can.
Q~ How do you like Pawtucket and RI and the east coast?
A~I liked them until this year, but it’s been raining 75% of the time. Our weather here has been tough to play in. It hasn’t been a normal summer; very rainy, humid. We’ve had a few nice days. It’s nice that our All Star break, our three days were perfect, so that was very nice. Overall I love playing in Pawtucket, the fans here are awesome, they sell out in the summer, good atmosphere here, good ball park, good team, the front office here is awesome, they treat us nicely, so it’s fun coming to the ball park every day.
Sox Lose 4-6 Box Score
This year Cabrera has been quietly amassing a fantastic set of numbers. In 36 appearances and 45 innings pitched, he has earned 19 saves, allowing only 34 hits, 19 walks, and 9 earned runs, while striking out 44, limiting opposing batter's to a .209 BA, and posting a 1.80 ERA. It looks like he may finally have reached the final level before being called up to the big leagues one more time. I had a chance to speak with Cabrera after the July 27th PawSox game at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI. Not knowing beforehand if he spoke English or not, I prepared my questions in Spanish, but discovered he speaks English well, and answered them in English. I found him to be a very congenial person to speak with. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in Boston in September when the rosters expand.
Q~ Was it important to you to be on the Triple A All Star Team?
(¿Es importante que usted esté en el equipo de los Triple A All Stars?)
A~ It is really, really important because that is a sign of recognition that you had a great season in the first half.
Q~ You have good statistics this year. Are you happy this year?
(Tiene usted estadísticas bueno esto ano. ¿Esta contente esto ano?)
A~ I’m really happy here. I’m really happy because I’m working hard to do that. Things go well this year. I’m working hard to keep things going well this year.
Q~ You wear number 38, the number of Curt Schilling. These are big shoes to fill, yes?
(¿Tiene usted el numero treinte-ocho, el numero de Curt Schilling. Es zapatos grandes, no es?)
A~ This is a number I always wear in my career, and I never thought I tried to use it because it was Curt Schilling’s number. I like that number and now here I have the opportunity to take it, so it is a number I use throughout my career in the minors, so I never have the chance to use it in the big leagues. It is a number I like to wear even in Puerto Rico... and that’s good because sometimes you feel comfortable with some [things like that], so I get the chance to wear it here.
Q~ What part of your game have you been working on the most this year?
(¿Qué parte de tu juego que han estado tratando de mejorar esta ano?)
A~ I work a lot on the mental part, focus, and attacking the hitters. I try to attack the hitters better than I was doing in the past. It is more the mental part… that I try to do better. It works for me, I feel more mature, I feel more complete in that part. You learn more about the game, you are more able to control your emotions, control everything in your game because this is pretty much a mental game. That was the only thing I really want to work on. A lot of times you don’t know if you’re better on that, and you go to get some more experience… I can feel I’m better in that. That’s good, I’m going to keep working to get better every day.
Q~ Do you like The USA and Rhode Island?
(¿Te gustan los Estados Unidos en general, y de Rhode Island en particular?)
A~ I am here to work, so it’s not about what the city has to offer, but it’s a city I like because we can see the support from the fans. It’s a good stadium.
Sox Win 18-10 BOX SCORE
John Smoltz is set to face Joba in the opener, meaning the Sox bats better be alive and kicking. Despite his historic credentials, Smoltz has not found his rhythm and has not yet turned in a quality start this season.
As much as I would love to see the Sox sweep the Yankees the whole season, it is highly unlikely that would happen. This might just be the game that snaps the 8 game streak. Then again, now that the trade deadline has passed, players might be a bit more relieved that their status hasn't changed and should be able to focus more on the game, rather than distractions such as their status and other unsavory issues not needed to be rehashed in this post. The initial horror and furor over other issues has (hopefully) reached and passed it's peak. The dust will settle, and the answers to the questions will be answered.
To the Sox: you concentrate on today's game and let us armchair GM's worry about games later in the week. Play ball!
I was a second away from hitting the 'post now' button, when I took a quick look at Gameday on RedSox.com. The Sox are already up 4-0 in the top of the 4th. That should be a big enough cushion to get Buchholz started off with the right pitch.
USA Today's Bob Nightengale via Twitter: the Red Sox are about to acquire first baseman/catcher Victor Martinez from the Indians. Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse, trying to confirm, says it "looks good." FOX Sports agrees, and notes a lack of a third team involved. They also believe this kills the Adrian Gonzalez talks.
Former popular Red Sox pitcher, now pitching for Cincinnati, speaks out about steroids and the list. He says that even he may be on the list. Buster Olney and Peter Gammons weigh in on his comments.
With Penny and Smoltz on the rollercoaster and Dice-K still at least a month away (probably won't be back until September 1st), could Halladay wind up in a Sox uni?
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.........
Yes, it is a sad day in Red Sox Nation. I like Papi as much as any other fan. I've read his autobiography and was impressed by his integrity and his many other positive qualities. I will reserve final judgement of him after he does his research to find out what the substance was that got him on 'the list.' One thing is certain, he will talk, he will come clean, and it won't be some half assed dog 'n pony show like A-Rod or that other former Yankee.
David Ortiz is no Roger Clemens.
WEEI.com posted some of his comments:
“It’s so hard to even understand, I mean what is that list? This has become an
absolute joke, I think it’s just a crock, I don’t even believe the list, it’s kind of ridiculous when you have a list like that and it doesn’t go through the proper channels. What is the truth about something like that? That’s just unfair.
“I know David and I know the guy is just so solid as an individual and cares about the game and what he does, I just hope he’s doing alright.”
“There’s a lot of guys having to deal with accusations and that’s unfortunate. I don’t know the truth. The only thing for me is that I don’t agree with people taking them at all by any means.”
“You have guys who are taking regular supplements at GNC and getting 50-game suspensions. That’s unfortunate. There’s a big difference between being a cheater and being irresponsible, they seem to put the same label on both.”
“There are flaws but it’s getting better. It’s not perfect but I think it’s headed in the
right direction for sure. I think we all as individuals and fans of the game have to be aware of that, it’s not going to be perfect and we shouldn’t cast somebody a certain way until we hear the whole story.”
“There’s process that’s supposed to go on, if there’s a suspension a guy can appeal it and there’s a big process to see what happened, did any of those guys [listed] even
have that chance? I guarantee they didn’t. It was a list that was supposed to be
anonymous and now they’re saying it’s not. They didn’t have a process.”
“There was supposed to be just a number. I knew guys who didn’t take the test just to be positive because they wanted testing. Are those guys on the list? I don’t know. There are literally guys who said, ‘I’m not taking it, go ahead and put me on there because I want the number to be above [five percent], if those guys are on the list?’ How about that? People don’t talk about that.”
“I think there’s a bigger issue about a grand jury and stuff being leaked like that, I think we have a bigger problem there than steroids in baseball, that’s a lot bigger than stuff that’s supposed to be sealed and confidential. It’s not anymore. That hurts in all walks of life.”
“Then you’re going to have 100 guys trying to tell a story, but is this [list] even
legit? I don’t know, that’s what you question. It’s one of those things where if
it was in court it would probably be tossed out and not allowed.”
Rosenthal: Black cloud over Boston
BOSTON, MA — Red Sox Designated Hitter David Ortiz issued the following statement today:
Today I was informed by a reporter that I was on the 2003 list of MLB players to test positive for performance-enhancing substances. This happened right before our game, and the news blindsided me. I said I had no comment because I wanted to get to the bottom of this.
I want to talk about this situation and I will as soon as I have more answers. In the meantime I want to let you know how I am approaching this situation. One, I have already contacted the Players Association to confirm if this report is true. I have just been told that the report is true. Based on the way I have lived my life, I am surprised to learn I tested positive. Two, I will find out what I tested positive for. And, three, based on whatever I learn, I will share this information with my club and the public. You know me - I will not hide and I will not make excuses.
I want to thank my family, the Red Sox, my teammates, and the fans for their patience and support.
The Sox found themselves in a 4-1 hole before their bats came alive, scoring 8 runs over the next three innings. After Delcarmen, Bard came in and pitched another scoreless inning. Pap got the save, but not before allowing a single and a stolen base to Orlando Cabrera.
SOX WIN 8-5 Box Score
BOSTON, MA—Red Sox right-handed pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka issued the following statement today:
“I spoke to Tito on the phone yesterday, and I’m very glad that we had a productive conversation.
As for the reports from the past several days, I want to correct some misunderstandings. I did not go public with any complaints and I regret that some of my private conversations were made public without my knowledge or consent.
Also, I never said in public or in private conversation that: ‘If I’m forced to continue to train in this environment, I may no longer be able to pitch like I did in Japan.’
I had no intention of criticizing the team and we are, in fact, working together to communicate, to exchange ideas, and to try to understand one another’s baseball culture as we move forward.
The team and I have had many meetings and conversations, and after shaking hands with the general manager, manager, and coaches on the 24th, I was able to resume my training in a good state of mind.
My goal is to put myself into a position where I can contribute to this team.
I look forward to rejoining my teammates and playing in front of the fans at Fenway Park.”
Lastly, speaking of beer (mmmmm, beer....), to my disbelief, I see Narragansett Beer is back! "I have to buy at least one six pack of that", I thought, so I did. Back at the folks, I pop one open, take a sip, and say to my father, "Now I know why they went out of business."
Although he was primarily a middle reliever and set up man, Timlin amassed 27 saves while with Boston, and was a reliable rock in the Sox bullpen for most of his 6 years there. In 2005, he notched a 7-3 W-L record, with a 2.24 ERA. He made 81 appearances and racked up 13 saves. His numbers fell off in 2006, causing many to speculate that his career might be near it's end. However, he rebounded in 2007 with a 2-1 record and a 3.42 ERA in 50 appearances. His numbers fell again in 2008 and he filed for free agency at the end of that season.
Timlin, 43, indicated when he filed for free agency that he may just attempt a return in 2009 after taking a year off.
“Sometimes the time off helps," said Timlin, who stayed in shape by playing catch with former teammate Mike Myers and throwing batting practice for his son’s youth team. “God has given me the strength to do this. I believe I can still pitch at this level."
I was on I-93 in Quincy in rainy bumper to bumper traffic when the driver's side windshield wiper fell off. Thank the powers that be that the traffic was slow and that an emergency turn-out showed up about a half mile later. I got out and started fiddling with it, but was not having much luck. I got back in the car to dry out for a moment, still scratching my head, when a knock on the window startled us. It was a tow truck driver, mechanic, and first aid specialist from the "Angels of the Highway" roadside assistance program funded by the Commerce Insurance Co. Not having driven in MA for over 20 years, I had no knowledge of this program, but you could probably hear my sigh of relief all the way back in CA. Thankfully, we had cell phones ready to go, but Plan B was not necessary.
I'm sending out a big shout of thanks to John the driver for his help! I tried to offer him a gratuity for his services, but he graciously turned it down, saying he's just doing his job. I told him I was looking for an umbrella to help keep him dry, but again he said not to bother, he's just doing his job, as he had 8 more hours to go.
We got back on our way and passed through Ted Williams Tunnel. This was my daughter's first solo flight, so I accompanied her as far as they would let an unticketed person could go. I stayed until I could no longer see her, and later received a text message saying she was on the plane. Easily flustered in situations such as this, I was looking for an information booth or a map of Logan and/or Boston when a Logan employee helped me with the self service parking check out machine. I didn't get his name, and I wasn't even 100% sure he was an employee of Logan (I didn't see any identification on his business suit), but big thanks to him as well!
OK, it's only 6 PM, maybe I'll try to find my way to Fenway and Cask 'n Flagon for a brew. I get back in my father's car and the brakes are feeling scarily soft. Not having driven in Boston for an even longer period of time, I deferred to caution and decided to just stay on the highway back to RI.
Dad! Fix your brakes! Yankee fans, sheesh! But he's still my father.
I did have an odd experience the first night I was back. This was primarily a summer cottage neighborhood 40 years ago, far removed from bright urban lights and suburban sidewalks. Every year when I come back, usually about the same time in July, I walk up and down the road that parallels Mount Hope Bay, and then walk down the public right of way and have a seat on the benches just above the beach. As I was walking back to the folk's home, a car comes around the corner with a bright light shining on me. WT.... ? "Hey partner, what're you up to?" came booming from the loudspeaker on the patrol car. He gets out, I tell him I'm just taking a walk. My brother lives in this house that we were immediately next to, and my parents live in the house next door, as I pointed to it. Next thing I knew, he had me assume the position and patted me down. Fortunately, I still had my wallet and ID on me, which he asked me for. He called in the DL#, and I could hear them recite and verify my name and address. Apparently, some neighborhood newbie with nothing better to do called the local constable to say that there was a strange man walking up and down the street. Sheesh. Besides all the McMansions the town zoning commission has crammed into every last available lot, and the neon palm trees, (yes- neon palm trees!), I now have to endure this.
The next night I had my Sox shirt and hat on, and ran into 5 old friends as I took my evening walk. Much better. (I had considered calling the local PD to ask them if it was OK to take a walk, but thought better of the inquiry.)
Now if only the Sox can find their bats. Maybe I'll send them another of my father's old bats from his high school days that I found in the basement. Not to worry, it's still only July, and we're now into the 21st century. No more swoons.